Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's a contest!

So I have this friend, whom I'm very blessed to know. She is an amazing person. She's also amazing at designing and re-purposing things for next to nothing. She has an eye for it. Well, she has this blog called DIY Design where she's been keeping everyone up to speed on her latest and greatest projects, and has since started her own business. And guess what? She's having a contest! And not just for a really cool piece of art, or re-purposed dresser. Oh, no. She's giving away an entire room makeover! Wahoo!! So head over here to check it all out and get in on it. You won't be disappointed.

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

I just read this article and had to pass it along.  You can see the article with all it's related links and videos here . I'm sure he is taking more than a bit of guff for it.  So Mr. Granderson, from one concerned parent to another - THANK-YOU!
Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) -- I saw someone at the airport the other day who really caught my eye.
Her beautiful, long blond hair was braided back a la Bo Derek in the movie "10" (or for the younger set, Christina Aguilera during her "Xtina" phase). Her lips were pink and shiny from the gloss, and her earrings dangled playfully from her lobes.

You can tell she had been vacationing somewhere warm, because you could see her deep tan around her midriff thanks to the halter top and the tight sweatpants that rested just a little low on her waist. The icing on the cake? The word "Juicy" was written on her backside.

Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. ... I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet.

Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire this spring for introducing the "Ashley," a push-up bra for girls who normally are too young to have anything to push up. Originally it was marketed for girls as young as 7, but after public outcry, it raised its intended audience to the wise old age of 12. I wonder how do people initiate a conversation in the office about the undeveloped chest of elementary school girls without someone nearby thinking they're pedophiles?

What kind of PowerPoint presentation was shown to the Abercrombie executives that persuaded them to green light such a product?

That there was a demand to make little girls hot?

I mean, that is the purpose of a push-up bra, right? To enhance sex appeal by lifting up, pushing together and basically showcasing the wearer's breasts. Now, thanks to AF Kids, girls don't have to wait until high school to feel self-conscious about their, uhm, girls. They can start almost as soon as they're potty trained. Maybe this fall the retailer should consider keeping a plastic surgeon on site for free consultations.

We've been here with Abercrombie before -- if you recall, about 10 years ago they sold thongs for 10-year-olds -- but they're hardly alone in pitching inappropriate clothing to young girls. Four years ago the popular "Bratz" franchise introduced padded bras called "bralettes" for girls as young as six. That was also around the time the good folks at Wal-Mart rolled out a pair of pink panties in its junior department with the phrase "Who Needs Credit Cards" printed on the front.

I guess I've been out-of-the-loop and didn't realize there's been an ongoing stampede of 10-year-old girls driving to the mall with their tiny fists full of cash demanding sexier apparel.

What's that you say? Ten-year-olds can't drive? They don't have money, either? Well, how else are they getting ahold of these push-up bras and whore-friendly panties?

Their parents?

Noooo, couldn't be.

What adult who wants a daughter to grow up with high self-esteem would even consider purchasing such items? What parent is looking at their sweet, little girl thinking, "She would be perfect if she just had a little bit more up top."

And then I remember the little girl at the airport. And the girls we've all seen at the mall. And the kiddie beauty pageants.

And then I realize as creepy as it is to think a store like Abercrombie is offering something like the "Ashley", the fact remains that sex only sells because people are buying it. No successful retailer would consider introducing an item like a padded bikini top for kindergarteners if they didn't think people would buy it.
If they didn't think parents would buy it, which begs the question: What in the hell is wrong with us?

It's easy to blast companies for introducing the sexy wear, but our ire really should be directed at the parents who think low rise jeans for a second grader is cute. They are the ones who are spending the money to fuel this budding trend. They are the ones who are suppose to decide what's appropriate for their young children to wear, not executives looking to brew up controversy or turn a profit.

I get it, Rihanna's really popular. But that's a pretty weak reason for someone to dress their little girl like her.
I don't care how popular Lil' Wayne is, my son knows I would break both of his legs long before I would allow him to walk out of the house with his pants falling off his butt. Such a stance doesn't always makes me popular -- and the house does get tense from time to time -- but I'm his father, not his friend.

Friends bow to peer pressure. Parents say, "No, and that's the end of it."

The way I see it, my son can go to therapy later if my strict rules have scarred him. But I have peace knowing he'll be able to afford therapy as an adult because I didn't allow him to wear or do whatever he wanted as a kid.

Maybe I'm a Tiger Dad.

Maybe I should mind my own business.

Or maybe I'm just a concerned parent worried about little girls like the one I saw at the airport.

In 2007, the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report linking early sexualization with three of the most common mental-health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. There's nothing inherently wrong with parents wanting to appease their daughters by buying them the latest fashions. But is getting cool points today worth the harm dressing little girls like prostitutes could cause tomorrow?

A line needs to be drawn, but not by Abercrombie. Not by Britney Spears. And not by these little girls who don't know better and desperately need their parents to be parents and not 40-year-old BFFs.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just a little something I whipped up

with some inspiration from this beautiful site here.

My sister is having an "I got married last summer" reception here on Friday, and wants to do a vintage theme. Most everything we are using for decorating/serving we are raiding from my Grandma's house. Unfortunately, tiered dessert trays are not something my Grandma has and they are ridiculously expensive, even at a thrift store ($45 dollars!) So my Mom and I decided to make some.

We turned all this......

in to this.....

You will need
plates - we found all our plates at the thrift store, most of which cost a whopping 50 cents!

 candle sticks - again from the thrift store. Depending on what style of tier you want to do, will dictate what you are looking for here. We used short glass ones for a low base,

and taller brass and silver ones for the actual tiers.

Glass ones were about 25-50 cents, brass/silver $2

Epoxy glue (clear drying is best) - this you shouldn't get from the thrift store. Walmart is a safer bet. This was a splurge at $8/bottle - we were able to make 7 tiered plates (3-3tiered, 3-2 tiered, and 1 cake platter with 1 1/4 small bottles of epoxy)

tinfoil, Popsicle sticks - for mixing and spreading the glue. Plan to use a few of these, especially if you are using quick drying epoxy

Once you've gathered everything, and have decided which plates and candle sticks you want together, you are ready to go.

Mix the glue on a piece of tinfoil as per instructions on the bottle.

Spread on the candle sticks

Place on the bottom on the plates and allow to dry (again follow instructions on glue for drying times).

Once dry, attach the tiers together, one at a time allowing to dry in between.

Voila! You have some beautiful tiered plates for between $2-$7!

Helpful Hints:

If you are making several tiered plates like me, you may want to use a slow drying epoxy so you have more time to glue everything before your glue dries. Unless of course you are impatient like me, then just get the fast drying glue, mix small amounts at a time and work really fast!

You may want to mark the center of each plate using a ruler so that the candle sticks end up in the center. Unless of course you are like me, and couldn't be bothered, then just eyeball it and hope for the best.

You may want to do this without any help from children - the fumes from the glue seems to induce tantrums of epic know, just sayin',
theoretically of course