Learning to live and love again

Finding love when you least except it.

Date night is here

Sometimes a night out isn't all it's cracked up to be.

When it Rains, it pours

What happens when everything just goes wrong.

Mental illness and the struggles behind it

The key to understanding mental illness.

The best Chili ever

My Thrilly Chili

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What you should be teaching your children about manners and respect.

A few weeks back my son did something that made me give pause. I took him with to go shopping. As he was opening up the door to the store, he never glanced back to see if anyone was behind him. He just opened he door for himself and walked in. I was directly behind him and had the door shut in my face, due to his inconsideration. Also there was an elderly couple coming in directly behind me. I was very embarrassed and shocked at his behavior. I had a long talk with him on his behavior and how that is going to change for the better.

See, I know I raised him right. I taught him the value of using manners. I taught him to never look down on others. I taught him to always look for the good in each other. I taught him to respect his elders, never talk back, open doors for others, etc.. So If I taught him all that, then why did he act this way?

In part I think it's society. According to the Daily Mail a growing lack of adult authority has bred a 'spoilt generation' of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect. It's becoming a me, me, me generation. They are in their own heads and no real cares in the world. When they don't show consideration for other people, it's simply because other people have no relevance in their world. 

The other part is due to parents having busier schedules than yesteryear. Some parents work sun up to down and barely see their children at all. As a parent you hope that you are teaching your children to behave in a respectful manner, but sometimes it falls to the waste side. We need to be teaching our kids those magic words: Please, thank you, you're welcome, I'm sorry, may I, and excuse me. 

Sending handwritten notes has some how become a thing of the past. Why is this?

When your child gets a birthday present, or a graduation gift, they should really be writing a note to the sender for picking out an item just for them. It's all in the acknowledgement. It doesn't have to be some lengthy letter. Short and sweet works. Simply use the senders name, in the body of the letter thank them for the gift (be specific) and how it will be used or what type of use you will get out of it. Anything works. You just want to let them know you appreciate the effort they have gone to in giving you that item. Then sign your name. Hand deliver or send in the mail. That's it. If you have little ones a simply wording or 2, from you as the parent works on their behalf, but be sure to add something from them such as a thumbprint, or giving them the pen to "sign" their name. It's the effort that counts.

We are not teaching our children the most important manner of all: showing and treating others with respectChildren learn by example. Show kindness to others and your children will pick up on that. Speak in a kind and gentle voice. If a child hears yelling and bickering all the time, that's exactly what they will do. You are your child's teacher. When talking to another person give them your full attention. It's the same with children. If you ignore them when they are trying to have a conversation with you, then they will learn that, what they have to say isn't important. Above all respect your elders and the disabled. Open doors for them, offer up a seat on the bus to them, let them go ahead of you when ordering food... This goes for all adults. Show courtesy to everyone. You lead by example. If your child sees that, it will become second nature to pull out a seat, or open doors for others. 

Obviously these are a few things that I noticed, so because of that, I'm setting out on a mission. Starting in July I'm going to do 30 good deeds for 30 days. I'm going to get my own children involved in these deeds. I'm going to post what happened as a weekly series. There are a few rules though: has to be kid friendly, can't be costly, has to work around my tremendously busy schedule and can't involve needles or blood.  

Some ideas I'm working on are paying it forward, participating in community events, donate clothing, write notes to local organizations thanking them for their hard work, and donate to the local animal shelter. This are just a few ideas, but I need more suggestions. What good deeds would you like to add to my list? Drop your ideas in the comments box below.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blogger Recognition Award

When I went to bed last night, I never in my wildest dreams, would think I would be nominated for The Blogger Recognition Award. I'm probably like most adults upon waking up in the morning. You wake up and check your phone. I usually do because I'm one of those anal people that has to clear my screen of all the notifications that I received through out the night. Imagine my surprise when I seen a message from Malalai Sana from Secrets of Greatest Minds. Thanks you Malalai for nominating my blog with this award. It truly is a great feeling to be recognized for your hard work.

There are though a few rules when accepting this award:

  1. Thank the nominator and provide a link to their blog
  2. Write a post to show the award
  3. Write a brief story on how my blog got started
  4. Give 2 small pieces of advice to other bloggers
  5. Select 15 bloggers to pass the award onto
  6. Tell those nominees they were selected via a comment

The birth story of Life of an Imperfect Mom
Since I was a little kid, I have loved reading and writing. You would never see me without pen, paper and a good book in hand. As I got older my love for reading and writing grew. Unfortunately life happens and I had to put my hobby to the side. I was either always working or taking care of my children. I decided in 2014 to go back to college but, again, life got in the way and I had to take a year off. With the support of my family, I quit my job and went back to school full time. It was at that moment I thought, I wonder if other moms go through the same struggles as me. Trying to find balance to it. Maintaining a job, raising children, going back to school, organizing a house, etc.. On top of all that, trying to the perfect parent, because sorry to say, there are a tremendous amount of judgmental people out there. I knew I was not in the least perfect. I've made my share of mistakes and I own up to that. I then decided I wanted to get my story out there. My goal is for other parents to be able to relate to the situations I deal with and maybe get a chuckle or two from it. 

My advice to new bloggers
  1. Be true to you. Don't try to conform to what other bloggers do. It will feel unnatural to you and your audience will pick up on that. Say you are a travel blogger and you focus on just places to visit or getting the best deals on vacation and you think to yourself, " Other bloggers in my niche talk about food, so maybe I should add that to get more viewers." That's fine and dandy, but if all of sudden you start incorporating food and recipes, your viewers will get confused. Define your niche and never conform. You are a unique individual and that's what will bring your viewers coming back for more. 
  2. It takes time and work to truly get your name out there. Don't assume you will start a blog and over night you will be a blogging sensation. You have to take time to write engaging content, promote said content through social media, such as blogging forums/ groups, twitter, Instagram, and yes Facebook. If you don't promote then no one will know you are out there. That takes time especially since you are just trying to get a handle on creating content for your blog. Hard work, time and dedication does pay off.     

Now on to the nominees! There are tons of truly amazing bloggers out there and it was hard to narrow the field down to 15. 
My nominees in no particular order.

There are so many amazing blogs out there and they cover such a wide range of topics. be sure to click on each link to check out the terrific content that each of these bloggers have written. Words can not express the gratitude felt to Malalai Sana from Secrets of Greatest Minds for nominating me for this award.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The link between the fashion industry and body image issues

Last night I had to pick up my hubby from work. I was a bit early and since he works in our local mall, I decided to browse a few of the stores there. Now, I love shopping. What woman doesn't? Sadly, I was just window shopping, because I'm just broke as hell. Plus, have you looked at the prices of clothing. I swear even children's clothes are more expensive than adult clothes and that's saying something. As I was glancing around and looking at prices I noticed a few things. Prices and styles of clothing for women. Clothing companies should really get their heads out of their asses and take note. Every, and I mean EVERY women is different. Men too, but sorry guys this article is about women's clothing since it's near and dear to my heart.

One size does not fit all
If I buy a shirt and it's the dreaded OSFA (one size fits all) you best believe, it's not. The way the shirt would look on my figure would look way different on a woman who is taller, shorter, skinnier, larger. small, medium, large frame. 
Buying a skirt.. Hello.. Maybe I could get a single leg into the skirt, while on another lady it falls right off. 
I understand that OSFA is about an average sized female wearing it, but we aren't all average. We come in all shapes and sized. So OSFA does NOT in fact, fit all.

All women's clothes are not priced the same.
I admit, I'm not a small person. I have curves. I have birthed 6 children and while I do take care of myself but the weight is still there. I embrace the curves I do have. Anyways.. Because I'm curvier that means I have to buy an article of clothing at about 70-90 % more than I would if I was skinnier. I understand it's more fabric.. yada, yada, yada.. But seriously, I already have a hang up about my weight. At least make it affordable for me to buy an article of clothing to cover up said extra weight. I mean take a look at the difference in prices. A bra in my size and one that "might" cover a boob.

Bra from Lane Bryant. Size 42DDD priced at $54.50
Bra from Charlotte Russe. Size Large priced at $10.99

Style discrepancy 
I want my clothes to feel good on my body. If I feel good with what I'm wearing, then my overall mood will convey that. I want to shine and feel secure in my body. Not feel shame and disgust. I love the way some clothes look, whether the clothes are bigger or smaller doesn't matter. The problem I have is when i find cute as fuck clothes and they aren't in my size. Maybe I can find my size and I go to try it on and low and behold I look like I'm wearing a mumu. I don't want to sit home in yoga pants and an over sized tshirt all the time. When I have to go out, I want to look good. Every person has a certain style and I know what I like. The styles below do not appeal to me in the least. Seems to me being curvier means you can't have fashion in your life. 

Size 14 from Lane Bryant
Size 14 from Lane Bryant
Size 14 from Charlotte Russe.
Size 14 from Charlotte Russe

The mannequins always look better.  
You walk past the window to the store and see the perfect looking outfit. You think to yourself, "I have to buy that." You gather all the items in your size and head off to the fitting room. When you are done getting dressed and step in front of the mirror, you notice that you look no where near how the mannequin looked wearing the same exact outfit. How is this possible? Well that because it's a damn mannequin and they have no curves. They are pretty much all built the same, just a few alterations here and there for different clothing shops. The size of a mannequin in a plus size shop like Lane Bryant is about a size 12, with no extra love handles, no curves and a has regular sized cleavage area. The size of a mannequin from Charlotte Russe is about a size 2. Again no extra love handle, no curves and sorry to say smaller than average chest size. The clothes always look better on the mannequin because they don't take into account body shapes and sizes. 

Lane Bryant outfit
Outfit from Lane Bryant

Charlotte Russe outfits
Sizes vary from store to store and label to label.
I can buy the perfect pair of jeans from target in a size 14, go to Maurice's a week later, and need to buy a size 18 in jeans. Why? Did I gain a bunch of weight in that time? Sure it's possible, I'm a woman. The weight gain wouldn't be from food, it would be do to the fact we have this slightly annoying thing called a period. Our sizes can vary depending on where we are in our cycle. Alas though, that's not the main reason why the discrepancy in sizing labels. It's because clothing companies each have their own standards of measurements. Hard to understand I know. It should be the same all around. That's why a size 14 at one store is not the same as a size 14 at another store.

The way we view our body is crucial to our self esteem. We certainly don't need the fashion industry telling us we should all look the same. They should make more of an effort to understand body types and how they can play a part in raising the self esteem in women everywhere. 

What do think about my observations? Have any thing to add? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The 4 types of attachment theories between infants and caregivers

Attachment is an emotional tie that an infant forms with a caregiver. It’s a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time. Infants show their attachment thorough proximity-seeking (such as approaching and following caregivers) and through contact-maintaining (such as touching, snuggling, and holding). Attachment needs are evident, like when a baby cries, if the caregiver closes the door when going to the bathroom (lost proximity) or fusses if a back-facing car seat prevents the baby from seeing the parent (lost contact). Infants with secure attachment feel confident and comfortable. The caregiver is a base for exploration, providing assurance, and enabling discovery. 

There are four types of attachments. They are secure attachment, insecure-avoidant attachment, insecure-resistant/ambivalent attachment, and disorganized attachment.

     Secure attachment (type B) is a relationship where an infant obtains both comfort and confidence from the presence of his or her caregiver. The internal working model of these infants is likely to be one that expects that their needs will be known and met, that they will be attuned to and emotionally regulated, and that they can freely explore their environment in safety.

        Insecure-avoidant attachment (type A) is a pattern of attachment in which an infant avoids connection with the caregiver, as when the infant seems not to care about the caregiver’s presence, departure or return. The internal working model is likely, “mom does not respond to my emotions, especially when I am needy or angry, so I will shut down my needs and try to become independent.” The infants then protect themselves from this difficult situation by dissociating from contact with their normal need for connection, and repress their emotions more generally. This is a “deactivating” strategy with respect to attachment.

      Insecure-resistant/ambivalent attachment (type C) is a pattern of attachment in which an infant’s anxiety and uncertainty are evident, as when the infant becomes very upset at separation from the caregiver, such as infants both resist and seek contact for reunion. The likely internal working model here is “even if mom is available physically, she will likely not be able to soothe me.” These infants respond by “over-activating” their attachment system.

    Disorganized attachment (type D) is a type of pattern that is marked by an infant’s inconsistent reactions to the caregiver’s departure and return. Their inner working model of this relationship is not functional, and is one where the “supposed” source of soothing is also the source of danger — a situation of “fright without solution” — leaving their mind state and behavior very disorganized. 

To be clear, about one-third of infants are insecure, either indifferent (type A) or unduly anxious (type C). About 5 to 10% of infants fit into non of these categories: they are disorganized (type D), with no consistent strategy for social interactions, avoidance, or resistance. Sometimes they become hostile and aggressive, difficult for anyone to relate to. Unlike the first 3 types, disorganized infants have elevated levels of cortisol in reaction to stress. 

Attachment patterns form in infancy but aren't set in stone. Do you see these type of attachments in your child?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

30 activities to do with your kids this summer

Now that my kids are out of school I have to figure out ways for them to stay entertained. If I don't I will never hear the end of it. I'm sure you know what I mean by "it". If not, you are lucky because "it" means, "I'm bored". You will hear it no less than 100 times a day. Now I'm not here to be my child's personal means of entertainment. I'm a full time college student and have a wickedly weird schedule. I want my children to go outside, make friends and get dirty while doing it. I don't want them inside playing video or computer games all summer. As such, for the summer, I am altering my schedule to adjust for time spent with my kids. They are a priority. So, with that being said, I put together a list of activities you can do with your kids that are either free or minimal cost to you. These activities are great because they can be played with friends (with supervision of course). Get together with other moms and hang out while your kids have fun. Better yet, join in!

  1. Fly a kite, make paper airplane, build a rocket.
  2. Go on a nature hike, take pictures and look for insects.
  3. Play baseball, soccer, kickball, and basketball.
  4. Create a fort in your living room out of blankets. 
  5. Build stuff with blocks and Legos.
  6. Play board and card games.
  7. Go to a museum or a zoo.
  8. Go to a playground or park.
  9. Ride bikes together.
  10. Go to the beach and build sandcastles.
  11. Tell ghost stories around a fire.
  12. Play freeze tag, mother may I, red rover, and green light, red light.
  13. Have a scavenger hunt.
  14. Plant a flower or vegetable garden garden. 
  15. Bake cookies or a cake. 
  16. Play hide-and-seek.
  17. Sing and dance to music.
  18. Finger paint on a canvas.
  19. Make edible play dough from scratch.
  20. Make Popsicles with yogurt.
  21. Tie dye T shirts.
  22. Do a science experiment.
  23. Go to the library and read books together.
  24. Volunteer your time at a non profit.
  25. Create an obstacle course.
  26. Pitch a tent and sleep outside.
  27. Have a water balloon fight.
  28. Play in the rain and make mud pies.
  29. Make your own bubbles and have a bubble blowing contest.
  30. Play with nerf and squirt guns.

Hopefully you all will have fun doing some of these activities with your kids. I know I will.