What is Sexy: Part Five and Final

In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  Taking care of yourself is sexy.

The older I get, the more truth I find in the addage, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  And, mama can’t be happy if she is sick, tired, or sad.  I find in my own family that my attitude affects everyone.  Last year, around this time, I felt like I was mired in a mess of myself and tired of making excuses for putting off taking care of Lane.

  • I had not taken time to exercise because I already had working-mother-guilt about leaving Thor in daycare, and I couldn’t stand the thought of him being in someone else’s care for even five minutes more than was absolutely necessary.  This was an excellent excuse to avoid the gym!
  • I had neglected my eating habits because I didn’t have time to shop, prepare, or cook decently.  This was an excellent reason to order pizza!
  • I had completely ignored my emotional self because I was trying to be a soldier.  This was an excellent reason to…uh…blog?

A friend’s divorce (that mirrored my parents’)  pushed me over the edge.  I was reliving the same hurt I had experienced with my parents’ nasty split, and old splinters from that broken heart were working their way into the present.  It jolted me and forced me to really take stock of what I had, and what I needed to have in order to get me through the next fifty years of my life.

Breaking points don’t have to be bad.  You remember Glow Sticks?  The only way to get anything good out of them is to break the capsule inside, release the chemical compound that catalyzes illumination, then shake like crazy.  The potential to glow is in the stick the whole time, but until you crack the hard shell surrounding the hydrogen peroxide and let it out into the phenyl oxalate ester and fluorescent dye (thanks, Bill Nye, Science Guy!), activating the potential, you’ve just got a whole lot of nothing at all.

I think a lot about glow sticks when I’m having a rough patch.  How will I shake up what’s been broken, so that instead of being bitter, I can be brighter?  Sounds corny, doesn’t it?  Rave on!

Last year, I quit making excuses for not taking care of myself. 

I got into therapy, joined Weight Watchers, started working the menus I had through my membership to JulieAnneRhodes.com, and I hit the gym.  I worked on healing my heart, my health, and the circumference of my hips.  I swam laps.  I did yoga.  I substituted apples for Doritos.  I went for long walks with my family.  I changed jobs.  I made changes in relationships.  I learned to say no to other people, and yes to myself without guilt.  And I like to think I am brighter for it.  I know I’m happier.  I know I’m healthier.

Following is a list I can highly recommend for sexy, sexy self-improvement.  Some of it is local to me (in Dallas/Fort Worth), but it’s a starting place of what to look for if you’re outside the area.  Take care of you, Boo.  No one else is going to do it for you, but everyone around you will benefit when you get started.

I’d Do Me

I want this blog entry to be really special.  Because, if you’re a new reader who has come over from the Nickelodeon Parents Connect site and hit the “previous posts” button, it is likely that this will be the blog entry you read, and I want you to enjoy yourself here. 

I started blogging with a LiveJournal in December of 2001.  I had met this guy I really liked, and I wanted him to like me.  He had an LJ, and I hoped that if I started one, I could catch and keep his interest.  It worked well enough that he married me, and seems to still like me.  He still reads my blog after ten years.  That’s something!

I drove all my LJ friends berserk with journaling my wedding (2 out of 4 bridesmaids have confirmed I was bridezilla.  The other 2 said I was just fine, but they might just have been afraid of me.)  Eleven months after that hoopla died down, I started driving readers further nuts with journaling my pregnancy.  My first Mommy Blog was born five months into the pregnancy, and I kept up with Mommie Diarist until just before Thor (the nickname our son has had since his first sonogram) started Kindergarten–he learned to read, and I didn’t want to embarrass him by keeping a totally Thor-centric blog. 

I started To The 9s, a fashion/style/etiquette based blog, while I was working for a staffing agency.  The impetus for that being the number of job candidates I was seeing, who showed up for interviews wearing dirty, wrinkled, extremely casual attire, including flip-flops, and the coworker who never bothered to dry her hair before coming in to work. 

I kept up with that through the chronicles of my Exotic Dance Class, a diet, and the gutting depression that came with having made a very bad decision to change jobs.  The Women Worth Knowing project came out of those days as well. 

I started thinking about the wonderful women I knew all across this world, and wanted to introduce them to one another.  I created a profile Q&A and sent it off to various and sundry, and started posting those as a means of highlighting women who were successful in their endeavours at home, in the workplace, and in the world.  You can read the archives here and join the Facebook group here.  Eventually, I’ll start updating again.  I know some really amazing women.

To the 9s went the way of the Dodo, and when I was ready to start blogging again, it became The Outside Lane.  Part mommy-blog, part human interest blog, part fashion/music/movie reviews blog, part soapbox, part therapy, all me.  I have no idea how you would market this thing.  It’s very…diverse?  I hope it’s diverse and not just scattered.  I write about what I find interesting.  I write the topics of conversation I’d like to have.  I like to think the common thread is my personal sense of humor, and I like to think that comes across whether I’m shaking my tiny fist of rage, or shaking my booty.

If you’re here from Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect, then you’ve come by way of the Sexy Mama Bootcamp.  If you’re looking for advice on how to be sexy, the best I can give you is to fall in love with yourself. 

And buy one of these t-shirts.  If you wear one of these t-shirts, you will be totally sexy.  Trust me.  I’m an expert.

What is Sexy: Part Four

In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  Music is sexy

All the music you want to hear

My friend, Sunshine, is the host of the raddest retro radio station around: The Retro Red-Eye Express.  Retro Red-Eye Express, is on Saturday night, 11pm-2am CT on 90.1 FM KKFI (in Kansas City area), and streams live on http://kkfi.org.  The show features music which mostly tends toward New Wave, 80s Alternative, Post-Punk, Gothic/Industrial, 90s Electronica, Punk, some 70s Glam Rock, and many current artists whose music is influenced by those genres.

Saturday nights 11pm – 2am (CT) on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio
Listen Live via Web-streaming Website: http://www.kkfi.org
Playlists: http://retroredeye.blogspot.com
MySpace: http://myspace.com/retrosunshine
Facebook: http://facebook.com/retrosunshine
Twitter: http://twitter.com/retrosunshine
2.  Helping Senior Citizens is sexy
One of my personal favorite community outreaches is the Dallas based Senior Source.  Seniors are a forgotten population, hidden away in nursing homes, or invisible because they are homebound and helpless.  The mission of The Senior Source is to improve the quality of life of older adults in the greater Dallas area through protection, eldercare, advocacy, volunteerism, and employment services.  Since 1961, The Senior Source has served greater Dallas as the go-to nonprofit for aging services.  We assist older adults at all income levels from the most active to the very frail. People come to us for help with job searches, nursing home advocacy, money management, volunteer opportunities and counseling on any aging issue.
If you’re in DFW, look them up and see how you can help.  Otherwise, look for your local senior resources and get involved!  We’ll all be old one day.  Let’s make sure our elders have the care we’re going to want to have.
3.  Sexy vampires are sexy

What Is Sexy: Part Three

In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  Finding new ways to make old things beautiful is sexy.

Bridal bouquet made of brooches from The Vintage Texan

Oh my word.  Jennifer Green is another neighbor of mine who is the artisan behind The Vintage Texan blog and corresponding etsy store.  When she told me about her work, I got very excited.  When I saw her work?  I wanted to get married all over again just so I could have a brooch bouquet!  Jennifer says, ” I specialize in taking old thing and turning them into new. I try to bring back the old traditions of canning, and lately I have started selling my vintage brooch bouquets. Each bouquet is handcrafted by me by using items that normally people would just throw away. I use brooches, earrings, and just about anything shiny that people “love”. I am growing this to include several other items such as vintage brooch cake toppers, brooch boutonnieres, picture frames and other things vintage.”   You HAVE to look at her site, and if you know any brides-to-be, you MUST direct them Jennifer’s way.

2.  Getting a jump on the next Big Thing in Books is sexy.

Martha Brockenbrough’s new book cover!

I have been reading Martha Brockenbrough’s work since 1998, when her writing was the brightest spot in a dark space of time between 9-5 every day.  I cannot wait to get my copy of Devine Intervention!  June 1 people.  Check out the blurb below from Goodreads, and tell me you don’t want to read more.  No…don’t tell me that.  Because then we can’t be friends anymore.

There is a great legend of the guardian angel who traveled across time and space for the human girl he loved, slaying those who would threaten her with a gleaming sword made of heavenly light.

This is not that story.

Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine’s guardian angel. Sort of. He’s more of an angel trainee, in heaven’s soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he’s just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.”

3.  Having a beautiful, brilliant, best sisterfriend for 30 years is sexy

Jamie and I have been friends since we were eleven-years-old. She’s more sister than anything else, and I am so proud to know her.

Since Jamie Anne Grimes, my lifelong friend and beauty/brains behind A Dash of Domestic has been teaching me about what it means to be centered in myself, and grounded in my own confidence for thirty years, I’m going to let her tell you what it means to be sexy.

What is sexy?

Sexy can be so many different things.

For me….

dirt underneath the fingernail of my index finger and smeared across my cheek. A ponytail, un stylishly near the very top of my head. Sweat across my brow, one glove on….where the other one went….no one’s quite sure.

This is sexy to me.

I have a vegetable garden. I grow food my family, neighbors, and friends eat.

Plants tended to and grown with love and care by me. Food grown from organic seeds, food that’s pesticide free.

Food I am proud to cook and share.

This is sexy….

being able to provide food for those I care about is sexy.


To follow my garden exploits….click

What’s Sexy: Part Two

In just a couple of days, on May 22, you’ll see The Outside Lane featured on theNickelodeon Parents Connect Sexy Mama Boot Camp.  Leading up to that, I’d like to introduce you (and any new readers) to some things I think are sexy.

1.  My cousin, LynDee Walker, the award-winning journalist is sexy

LynDee Walker

LynDee is a fantastic writer, who is currently contributing articles on parenting to The Examiner.  You should read her work because she is smart, she is sincere, she is loving, and she is a lovely, lovely human being.  LynDee asked, specifically, that I link to her column about Mike and Laura Canahuati, and their baby Avery, who suffered from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Check it out, but grab a tissue first.

2.  Turning your hobby into a booming business is sexy

If you were a baby, you would want to wear fashions from Too Too Fabulous.

My friend, Cameron Stutzman, turned her crafty hobby into the too, too fabulous TOO TOO FABULOUS.  Shop her store for adorable baby and toddler clothes, mega hairbows, and exactly the kinds of shoes you’ll need to train up your favorite little future-shoe-diva.  Custom items at great prices.  You’ll love it!

3.  Sharing your knowledge is sexy

Julie Anne Rhodes is sexy.

I can’t say enough about Julie Anne Rhodes.  She is one of my feminine role models.  She is as comfortable in Versace as she is in her chef’s apron, and as willing to share tips about both.  Julie Anne’s Personal Chef Approach to cooking has made my kitchen life a cinch, and made me feel like a success at the same time.  You will definitely want to check out her site, and definitely want to join as a premium member.