I absolutely love aquariums so I am excited to share this news with you and give away tickets -- visiting The Aquarium of the Pacific is the perfect Summer activity!
August is your last chance to see more than a dozen species featured in the Aquarium of the Pacific's Vanishing Animals Exhibit, which closes on September 4. Located in the Aquarium’s changing exhibits gallery on the first floor of their stunning property, the gallery space highlights impacts of human activities on land resulting in terrestrial animal extinctions.
Learn about rebounds from near-extinction through live animal exhibits, multimedia and interactive displays, and interpretive panels about how we have the opportunity in the near future to avert crises with various species. Visitors can also learn more about animal extinctions, the important relationship humans share with our planet, and our future ocean through a special, short daily show projected on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Science on a Sphere in the Aquarium’s Ocean Science Center.
And there’s an astounding “roster” in attendance! Animals on display include fishes, newts, salamanders native to local streams, and invasive species of crayfish and finfish in these ecosystems; American alligators; healthy corals contrasted with corals overgrown with algae; oysters, mussels, and white abalone, representing species commonly propagated in aquaculture farms; Atlantic cod; and cardinal tetras and discus fish.
Space and the ocean are the final frontier. I love going to the aquarium because I always discover something wondrous and learn something new. I can't wait to go check this out and am excited to give someone else the chance to see it, too!
Admission to The Aquarium of the Pacific is relatively inexpensive at $29.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. Learn more about the Aquarium's Vanishing Animals Exhibit, now on display until September 4, here or check out their Facebook page. AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN TWO TICKETS:
I'm gonna ask you all to indulge me in some vanity, guys.
To celebrate America's independence this year, I decided I would wear a bathing suit. In public. Well, among friends in public. I've dropped some weight and I asked myself, what was the point of working this hard if I didn't get to do things I wouldn't allow myself to do before?
And what's more, I'm gonna post a picture!
The headband's amazing, right? I got it for like $3 at H&M in June just to break out for this party.
Irrelevant fun fact: The temporary flash tat peeking out on my left arm took ten days to come off. Let that be a warning to you all. Also, NEVER put those things where you have body hair.... OUCH. But I digress.
I'm gonna be honest with you here, I'm pretty pleased with how I look in that photo.
I have to say that out loud because I've lost a substantial amount of weight but I really struggle to literally see it when I look in the mirror. In the mirror, I just see.... ME. I see how I picture myself in my mind. When I do recognize it, it's in a photo or in a side-by-side/before-and-after image kind of thing.
Anyway, it took several online purchases and a couple trips to the mall, but I eventually found something I didn't feel like a whale in. For what it's worth, what I ended up with came from Lane Bryant's swim separates -- it's a tankini top and a skirted short bottom. The key was having the built-in bra, even though it was a huge pain to put on a take off, especially once I was wet, and also having an oversized cover-up on (a kimono jacket I got from Nordstrom a couple years ago) to hang out in.
I was empowered by this step. I could not have predicted the effect it would have on me. I was not prepared for how comfortable I'd feel in my own skin. Which is weird for being in a small piece of clothing that I hadn't donned in several years, right? But it was liberating.
So I guess really, in honor of America's independence, in a way, I was also celebrating my own.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.
Ask a man which facial features he finds attractive in a woman and he is likely to mention defined cheekbones, full lips, and large, defined eyes. Most often, it's the eyes that attract attention first. But, why are larger eyes so attractive to the opposite sex? One answer is that they are regarded as a sign of high estrogen levels, which indicates high fertility. Another reason for the attraction of large eyes is that wide eyes are often associated with innocence and youth. Youth is also regarded as an indicator of fertility. This is the basis of the appeal of larger eyes.
If you are not blessed with larger eyes, you can feel as though you are losing out in the attractiveness stakes. The good news is that the problem is easily remedied, by simply using make-up in the right way. You have access to everything you need, at your fingertips, from retailers such as Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio. But, there are so many products to choose from, which ones can help give your eyes the width and definition you are looking for? Let's take a look.
The first thing you need, if you want to make your eyes stand out, is a good base. Nude shadow is the perfect choice for this job.
The best choice of eyeliner color, if you want to make your eyes appear bigger, is light brown. You should use this color on both lids. If you would like your eyes to appear longer as well as wider then ensure that you use the eyeliner more heavily on the outside corners.
If you would rather not use brown eyeliner on your lower lid, you do have options. You can choose to use a neutral or white pencil. Either of these shades makes the area brighter and can give a sense of your eyes being larger.
You should already have a nude shadow in place on your eyes. Now, you should choose another shadow that is slightly darker. Applying this shadow adds depth to the effect and gives a sense of increased eye size.
Mascara is one of the most important products when it comes to eye make-up. Curling your lashes before you apply mascara helps to make your eyes look bigger. Once you have done this you should apply several coats of black mascara to the lashes. If you want an even more dramatic effect, you may want to think about applying false lashes.
If your eyes are not large, you should find that these tips help you make them look bigger. As you can see, if you make the best use of makeup you can create an impressive effect. You can have the big and beautiful eyes that you want. Eyes are a part of the face that many people notice first, so you want to ensure that you make the most of yours. Doing so can make you feel better about yourself, and help improve your confidence.
Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post.
At every wedding you attend, you will have to answer the question: which gift should I give? To find the answer to this question, you should follow these tips:
You should not get too creative. Most brides prefer the gifts that come from their registry list. To see whether the couple is registered, you should look online. You might find that the couple has a website that leads to their wedding registry.
Retailers make shopping easier by allowing the guests to have access to registries online. Because the couple chooses a registry for a reason, you cannot go wrong when you pick an item from it. You don’t need to feel bad about making an online purchase as many brides buy their dress online; retailers will efficiently gift wrap and ship your gift to the address on the registry.
Entertaining, Bed and Bath Gifts are Necessary
Unlike in previous years, modern couples prefer to have a modern twist on traditional gifts. However, the best gifts still hail from the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and dining departments. If you are looking for deluxe bed and bath gifts, you should opt for gifts that give the couple a hotel-like environment every time they wake up.
For instance, you can buy a trio of gifts that will provide your desired theme: a thick down blanket, a set of very soft pillows, and high thread-count towels. In terms of entertainment, items for everyday use are interesting to most brides, so you should gift stainless flatware and dish sets that can be used on multiple occasions.
Even if they have been living together, most couples use their wedding as an excuse to upgrade their kitchen with top-quality appliances. For this reason, you cannot go wrong with cookware and gadgets that not only improve the aesthetic appeal of a kitchen but also make working in it easier.
Whatever you do, do not use the price-per-plate to determine how much you should spend on your wedding gift. Just as you would not spend less money on your best friend’s gift because she was having a casual wedding, you should not be a miser when buying wedding gifts. You should let your relation to the person who is getting married guide the amount. Ss a guest, you should keep your budget in mind when buying a gift, but fifty dollars is the going minimum amount for gifts these days.
Buy Gifts Within Two Months
Two out of three couples that have tied the knot are yet to receive all their wedding gifts. Thanks to the convenience that online shopping affords us, such a delay is not acceptable. You should try to send your gifts within 2 months of the wedding.
No matter how excited you are to show your gift to the bride and groom, you should not bring it to their wedding. Nobody wants to lug a gift around on the happiest day of their lives: you should consider shipping the gift directly to their house.
Most couples prefer to receive big group gifts that make sense and have been purchased by a group of friends. In most cases, the couple would not be able to afford such gifts on their own.
Has the couple registered an item that is too expensive for one person to afford?
You should reach out to a few guests and chip in to buy this gift. Moreover, the members of the bridal party can pool their resources together and buy the present of the couple’s dreams.
When you give a wedding gift, for instance, a wedding portrait painting, you should not expect to get it back. According to the owner of Instapainting, the bride and groom should be courteous enough to give it back if they cancel their wedding but you should not hold your breath.
Disclosure/Disclaimer: I want to say right up front that this is not a sponsored post. I took this on purely because it's a tool I believe in and a cause I am passionate about.
How do we reconcile the importance of mental health awareness with the stigmas attached to its challenges?
There is still such a stigma in this country attached to mental health issues and my friends, we gotta cut that shit out. There is such a lack of support for a community of people out there who desperately need it. And we have to stop making assumptions. People experience symptoms of mental illnesses differently—and some engage in potentially dangerous or risky behaviors to avoid or cover up symptoms of a potential mental health problem. When we engage in prevention and early identification, we can help reduce the burden of mental illness by identifying symptoms and warning signs early—and provide effective treatment. Simply having a sounding board is clutch here. A professional listener.
But it's a conundrum to find someone, right? No one wants to ask out loud "can anyone refer me to a good shrink?" No one wants to attach themselves to that round of judgement. And believe it or not, there's not really a place online to find someone to talk to. I mean, there are 800 numbers and databases, but nothing with a personal touch, which is so needed in this space. You can call your insurance and ask for help, but, well, I don't know about you, but I hate having that conversation with a corporate representative. My personal life is none of their business.
In case you haven't heard, United Airlines has been having a pretty tough quarter.
I wish I could tell you I was surprised to hear it. I was horrified, mind you, but not surprised. I have flown United fairly often because, well, when you travel for business you don't always get to customize your itinerary.
You see, there was this one time I flew on United and standing at the front of the line to board at the gate, I overheard flight attendants making fun of a passenger who'd approached them earlier with a question. It was repugnant behavior. Another time, in one of their lounges, a front desk receptionist told me in a astonishingly rude tone that my problem wasn't her problem (I couldn't get on the WiFi). I can't forget the time my flight with United was delayed hours and hours and we were given no information -- not even when people at the gate started to get shouty and threatening. United staff just walked away and left us there. When we finally boarded, no apology was given, nothing was explained.
And now let me also tell you about one of the most humiliating moments of my entire life.
I'm very tall and, frankly, wide (I mean, hence the blog name), so when it's available to me, I'll spend the $20 or $60 to upgrade to more leg room. One such time, this put me in an exit row.
Now, I travel with my own seat-belt extender. I do this for two reasons. First, airplane seats suck, and even though I fit between the armrests just fine, the seat-belts also suck. Second, when you ask a flight attendant for a seat-belt extender, they tend to wrap it up and slip it to you covertly, like it's this thing you need to be ashamed of and it just always left me with this residual stench of embarrassment I did not care for. So when I found out Amazon sold seat-belt extenders, it was a no-brainer.
You know how right before take-off, the flight attendants walk up and down the aisle to make sure your seat is upright and everyone's properly fastened in?
Here's how it went....
Flight Attendant: Excuse me, ma'am?
I looked up at her. Why was she shouting at me?
Flight Attendant: Ma'am, I'm afraid disabled people cannot sit in the exit row.
Me: I'm sorry...?
Flight Attendant: You have a seat-belt extender and so you cannot sit in the exit row.
Me: But I'm not disabled.
Flight Attendant: That's policy, ma'am. We'll have to find you a new seat.
Me: But I paid extra to sit in this seat.
Flight Attendant: When you land, you can take that up with somebody or call the airline but I need to move you.
There may have been a little more banter after that but I don't recall specifics. I was red in the face. I was mortified. The entire plane was tuned into our conversation. I held back tears as I unbuckled myself, gathered my things, stepped over the two passengers in my row, and followed the snotty flight attendant to a seat in the last row of the plane, on the aisle.
I was so devastated, I didn't even have time to care that I had paid for an upgrade and instead smelled the bathroom for the six hour flight home. I took a xanax and tried to sleep through as much of the flight as possible. Sometimes I woke up and teared up a little. I refused beverages and snacks because I wanted precisely nothing from this airline except to get home.
I was not given a refund for my upgrade, by the way. I emailed their customer care account (I just checked my gmail, I've emailed them a few times over the last few years) and never heard back. And honestly, I didn't even care that much because I mostly just wanted to forget that whole flight had ever happened. It's really hard to recover from feeling that humiliated. She had called me "disabled" and it was just so public and nasty - I still just do not understand why her tone was so condescending and cruel.
Much later, unable to stop thinking about it, I did finally do some research. Apparently, the reason someone using a seat-belt extender cannot sit in the exit row is because it physically makes your seat-belt strap longer so when you take it off, it hangs lower off the seat, and there is a concern people exiting will trip over it.
Fair enough, I suppose, but really, if people are scrambling to get off a crashing plane, there's gonna be a lot of tripping and shoving and panic.... But again, fair enough. And needless to say, it has nothing to do with anyone being disabled.
Recently, I've lost some weight and last month, I flew Southwest to Las Vegas. Their staff is always incredible, for the record. And for the first time in more than 10 years, I did not need a seat-belt extender. I burst into tears. Also, I was sitting in the mother-effing exit row. It was an amazing feeling and I couldn't help but think "I'm not disabled anymore, United. Fuck you."