life is a little rough right now

I’ll be back next week.



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Rule #5: Thou Shalt Know How to Protect Thyself

Women’s self-defense is something I am incredibly passionate about. Did you know that 1 in 4 girls will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime? That 60% of sexual assaults are never reported to the police? That 88% of sexual assault victims knew their attacker? That 15/16 rapists will never spend a day in jail?

I am passionate about this partially because I am a sexual assault survivor. Though I sometimes still have trouble convincing myself that it wasn’t my fault, I do know that things could have been a lot worse if I didn’t have some basic self-defense skills that I learned from women’s self-defense class I took a few years ago. I actually took the class somewhat by accident, because I was naive enough to think it would never happen to me. But it did. It wasn’t rainy or night like in the movies – in fact, it was a bright, sunny afternoon. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I was lucky because I knew some basic moves that, also luckily, were enough to scare off my attacker.

Defend yourself -- avoidance, anger essential elements for protection

photo via Fort Rucker

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being assaulted, here are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your knees and elbows pack the most punch in terms of force (you’re also the least likely to injure yourself if you use your elbow or knee).
  • You know that self-defense bit from Miss Congeniality? It’s not bad – Solar plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin! The last two are especially good to aim for.
  • Make lots of noise if you can. Yell something – anything – it will get people’s attention.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings – if you’re in an unfamiliar environment, never go anywhere alone unless you’re absolutely sure it is safe (ask the locals!)
  • Trust your gut. If you feel a situation is unsafe, get out. Your instinct is always your bet.
  • If you are sexually assaulted, report it immediately. Even if they don’t catch your attacker, your report may help in the future if your attacker continues to attack other women.
Part of being the best woman you can be is knowing how to protect your awesome self. The effects of sexual assault can be devastating and long-lasting. You can’t know if it’ll happen to you or not – so the best thing you can do for yourself is be prepared. Don’t make the mistake I made and think it can’t happen to you. It can happen to anybody. So prepare yourself, and know how to protect yourself.
Here are some good resources:

Slutwalk London

photo via msmornington
Go forth and protect your amazing self.

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Power Monday: Linda Rodin

Today’s Power Monday EDF is…Linda Rodin!

photo by Christopher Dinerman

Why she kicks butt: This lady is a “veritable slice of fashion history,” as her biography says. I couldn’t put it better myself, so I won’t.

10 things you might not know (source, except for the last three, where source is linked):

  • Linda has lived in NYC her whole life, but was introduced to fashion in Italy as a teenager.
  • She met Twiggy and Verushka on her stay in Italy.
  • She’s a stylist for all sorts of A-listers, from Revlon to Victoria’s Secret to Halle Berry to Adriana Lima.
  • She owned the first ever boutique store in Soho, which was called “The Hop Shop”.
  • Rodin has a home-developed line of eleven essential-oil-based facial moisturizers.
  • She doesn’t buy designer clothing for herself.
  • Instead of splurging on herself, Rodin donates her money to charities such as Housing Works, or to family members in need.
  • She loves the color pink.
  • She has a sparkly hatpin collection.
  • Her poodle’s name is Winky.

Have a fab evening!




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Rule #4: Thou Shalt Embrace Change

Autumn at Lake Clara Meerphoto via fkehren

As the leaves on the trees start to change, it’s a good season to think about change in our own lives. My life has been one of twists and turns and almost zero consistency, so accepting change has never really been a problem in my own personal life. For me, it’s been adapt or fail at life. As a result, not many curveballs thrown my way catch me off guard, and resistance to surprise is a pretty good character trait to have. It will make you resilient, like the trees that shed their leaves in the fall but bounce back, full-force blooming in spring.

It drives me insane when people say, “Don’t ever change!” Really, really insane. A you’re-lucky-I-have-good-self-restraint-because-I-really-want-to-punch-you-in-the-face-right-now kind of insane. Life is change. Change is life. When you ask me not to change, you’re effectively asking me not to live.

Be The Change
photo via victius

There are two quotes I’ve held near and dear to my heart for a very long time. One is the quote above, and the other is a Buddhist saying: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Compassion is necessary.” Change can definitely bring pain. But when it does, you have two options: mope; or go out and be the change. Embrace the change. To me, a fusion of the two quotes I love equals something like this:

“Change is inevitable, and sometimes painful. But when you accept both, you can move forward and you can begin to heal.”

That doesn’t mean we can’t question change. In fact, the book I Moved Your Cheese strongly suggests that we DO question change, as a sort of rebuttal to Who Moved My Cheese? (Both are very good, short reads, by the way. If you haven’t read them, it’s worth the 20-30 minutes it will take you to get through each one.) I agree with the idea we should question change. We don’t need to blindly move through life as the pawn of so-called “fate”. We can control our destiny. That doesn’t mean our path is obstacle free, but we do have the option of whether we’ll turn back around or figure out a way to get around that obstacle. The latter is more difficult, but it will move you toward your dreams.

My apologies for a shorter-than-normal post, but I’m being thrown a lot of curveballs at the moment and even though I rock at hitting every one of them out of the park, it’s still quite the workout.

Go forth and be okay with change.


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Power Monday: JWOWW

Yeah, you heard me right. This week’s Power Monday EDF is the Jersey Shore‘s JWOWW.

For those of you who read my first post, eyebrows may have been raised when I mentioned JWOWW’s name as an example of an EDF. But I hold my stance.

 Harper's Bazaar-Jersey Shore -JWowwphoto credit

Why she kicks butt: Jenni JWOWW Farley kicks butt in my book because of HER book. That’s right, her bookThe Rules According to JWOWW: Shore-Tested Secrets On Landing A Mint Guy, Staying Fresh To Death, and Kicking the Competition to the Curb. Why did I read this book, you ask? Well, it was an accident, really and truly. A friend gave it to me as a gag gift – I’d never even seen Jersey Shore before (I now admit to watching a few of the first episodes just to get an idea of what she was like as a person and see if she was truly an EDF worthy of this blog). But it sat on my nightstand, and it was good “thoughtless reading” – that is, it wasn’t an essay on race theory, or a Dante novel. And as I read more, I realized I was actually enjoying reading it. Not because it told me anything I didn’t know (I am Queen B, after all), but because the book’s message is genuinely good. I didn’t expect this, since my made-from-a-distance first impression of the entire Jersey Shore cast was, “Yuck. Trash. Go away.” (Just being honest.) JWOWW proved me wrong, and I was humbled. In the book, JWOWW touts a message of straight-up-EDF. She encourages girls to go for what they want, to be who they want to be, to not compromise, to take care of themselves. I’m serious folks, this is a good book – go buy it. Never in my life did I think I would so hardcore endorse something created by a Jersey Shore cast member. But I am, and after seeing her on the show as a real-life person, I can also say she’s a woman I would want as my friend and that she would be hella fun to party with. I’m just sayin’.

10 things you might not know (sources: and her book, except where noted)

  • Jenni grew up in upstate New York.
  • She moved to NYC for college when she was 21.
  • She’s a computer geek and graphic designer by trade.
  • She started and still owns her own graphic design company, Jenni Farley Designs, Inc.
  • Her favorite places to shop include Affliction, Bebe, Cache, Guess, Armani Exchange, Le Chateau, Steve Madden, and Express.
  • She likes drinking vodka seltzers.
  • Her favorite clubs at home in Long Island are Glo, Neptune Beach Club, and Savannah Lounge.
  • She released a clothing line in 2010 but it was recalled shortly thereafter. She said it will be re-released.
  • Her upcoming business ventures include a line of bronzer, workout videos, diet supplements, and sports drinks.
  • In April of this year MTV announced that Jenni and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi are going to have their own show.
Happy Monday – go kick this week’s butt!

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Photo Finish Friday

It's in your nature, you can paint whatever picture you via fededozza

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”

-Ayn Rand

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Wishbook Wednesday

Everyone knows there’s no better way to start off the morning than with some Kanye, so to kick off this Wishbook Wednesday I give you New York Magazine’s mashup of all the “Huhs,” “Hahs,” “Hehs,” and “Henhs” from his album Watch the Throne.

Still reading? Glad I didn’t lose you. Here are some other things on my mind this week:

1) The new Bligh Skyscraper in Sydney, Australia

Glass core of new cylindrical skyscraper lit up, Bligh St, Sydney, Australia

photo via pranavbhatt

Helloooo, sexy architecture. This building commissioned by the Dexus Property Group is the greenest skyscraper in Sydney, achieving the highest possible score in Australia’s Green Star standard. The design is solar-oriented, so it creates advantageous sun and shade. It has a 28-story atrium that floods the building with natural light. There’s a patio on the 15th floor and the roof is green-planted with fresh air and views of the Sydney harbor. I want to work here!

2) These Miu Miu leather platform pumps

I can’t find a picture licensed to share, but you should go take a gander because they’re preeeeettty, if pumps are your thing. Unfortunately, these fall under my “I-would-need-to-rob-a-bank-before-I-could-afford-these” category.

3) Blue Bottle Coffee Company

Blue Bottle Coffee

photo via michelleysbelly

I’m definitely trying this place the next time I’m in San Fran. Named after the first coffeehouse in Central Europe, these organic micro-roasters “roast coffee on vintage gear, put it in compostable bags, and still get it to our customers within 48 hours.” If you’re a coffee addict and a coffee snob (see: me), this sounds ahhh-mazing.

4) Star-Trek Sugar Cookies

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek, Darla of whipped up these awesome sugar cookies. Though I must say that I’m not sure I could eat these if I ever made them. Partially because it would be an incredible feat of fantastic baking by someone who forgets to halve the salt in a halved cookie recipe. I would just want to put them on display, or something. That might raise some questions.

Happy Hump Day!


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