Facebook Giveaway : Humans of New York

You’re probably thinking, “What, another giveaway?!” Well, I honestly hadn’t planned on doing two giveaways within a month, but then something fun happened. Our little Facebook community started to grow, and I swore that when we reached 300 followers, I’d do a little giveaway to thank everyone over there for all the love and support over the last year. So in honor of that fun milestone, I’m giving out a copy of one of my favorite books, Humans of New York, based on the popular blog and Facebook community.

I love EVERYTHING about the Humans of New York movement, and everything the creator, Brandon Stanton, has done using this incredible platform. He raised $1.4 million dollars for an inner city school by sharing with his online community. He even traveled to the Middle East to share stories of people whose lives had been torn apart by war. Brandon and Humans of New York showcases the very best of humanity, and what good can be done through blogging and photography…obviously something I’m very passionate about.

If you’d like to enter this giveaway, please head over to the Crazy Bananas Creative Studio Facebook page, follow us (if you’re not already) and then leave a comment on the giveaway photo (click here for a direct link).

The winner will be selected randomly while I’m in New York on April 25th! Good luck! I hope you win!

Turning Strangers into Friends

(Chris and Amaira by Richard Renaldi via CBS News)

I came across this story recently and loved it so much, I had to share. The images are magical and the idea behind the project is just lovely. A photographer in New York City grabs strangers off the street and then asks them to pose intimately, as if they are lovers, friends or family members. The results are stunning.

(Thanks to Rachel for the heads up on this story!)

Photos of Motherhood


Source / Source / Source

I admit it, I’ve been sort of done with Pinterest lately. For so long it’s just felt like one more social media outlet I have to update, and since I’m not much of a crafter or cook, it didn’t really appeal to me. But I’m starting to get my Pinterest groove back. The other day I created a new board called “Motherhood” with photos that make me tear up. Sure, I’m a sensitive soul, but I really believe that motherhood is one of the most beautiful things to witness, and candid photos of moms just get me all weepy. I love moms. They (we) rule. This is the way Pinterest works for me…not in trying to find perfection so that I can attain it, but in finding real life beauty and sharing it.

For more of my Motherhood board, click here. For my sorely neglected Pinterest profile, click here.

I Heart the Internet : Fall Edition


– The above photo of a high school assembly in 1968, via Flickr.

This lip sync battle between Jimmy Fallon, one of his writers and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I mean, seriously.

– Au Revoir Simone’s new song, “Somebody Who.”

Shakespeare being performed in its original accent, as it would’ve been spoken at the time it was written. So fascinating!

– This quote, by Piers Morgan (via Mighty Girl):

“You’ve got an emergency. Who would you call at four in the morning, knowing they would get out of bed and do whatever they could to help you? Those are your friends. That reduces your Christmas-card list a lot.”

This article, “My Posthumous Advice for My Daughter.”

This new show. I know. I know. God help us all, but I love it. Of course. (What can I say, my favorite Halloween movie is of the same name and I bought a pumpkin yesterday, so maybe it’s just a phase?)

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie. Boom.

Finding the Beauty in Me

love yourself linkup
{An outtake from a recent self-photo shoot…not perfect, off center and out of focus in my weedy backyard…but still, beautiful.}

Throughout the years I have harbored a love/hate relationship with myself. Which, honestly, when I read it right there in print, sounds flat out insane. I mean, I spend so much time lifting other women up and touting the awesomeness that is the gaggle of rad ladies in my life (and whoa, they are incredible), but I have to admit, I have a hard time treating myself with the same kindness. But isn’t that how we all can be? I feel like so many of the women I know, especially the moms, spend a majority of their time propping up everyone around them and forget to do the same for themselves.

For me, this bad attitude toward myself started fairly young. I was the second daughter in my family, and through no fault of her own, my sister is gorgeous. Like, straight up model-esque. She was tall and thin and so, so pretty, and since we were many years apart, her beautiful phase coincided perfectly with my totally awkward stage. She was also effortlessly cool, while I felt like a nerdy outcast most of the time. By the time I hit my teen years, I had a nice, big pot of self-loathing stewing in my brain.

So early on I decided it didn’t matter how I looked. I would be awesome because of my mind and my heart! And for years, this sort of worked. I told people I didn’t care about that superficial stuff, and continued to promote my hard work in academics and sports. I was in drama club and I was known for going to Space Camp. I had my own little nerdy crew and I loved them!

But deep down, I knew I was a phony. No matter how hard I tried to mask it, I did care. I thought I cared because I wanted people to like me, but what I learned later was I wanted to like myself. Even though outwardly I acted like it didn’t matter, inside I was beating myself senseless. And this bad behavior manifested itself in truly horrid ways. You could see it in the way I treated my boyfriend, friends and family. I thought I was so good at hiding all those feelings, but it turns out, they were out there for everyone to see, even if they didn’t know exactly what they were seeing.

Fast forward about 10 years and two kids later…and I’d love to say I’m better now. I’d love to say, “Gosh darnit, I love ME!!!” And you know what? Some days I do! In fact, most days I do. When I look at my body now, I see hips that carried two little beings. I see eyes that have wrinkles from smiling too much. I see a snaggle tooth that will always have a great story behind it. I have spider veins like my mom and an overbite like my dad. I have lots of freckles. My feet are massive. My boobs, which fed two babies for two years, are no longer the plump melons they once were. Now they are more like water balloons. But hey, water balloons can be fun, right?! Who doesn’t love water balloons? Sure, there are days when I look in the mirror and feel just gross, but I’m human, and I’m allowed to feel bad sometimes. Usually it’s right around that moment that my daughter, who has my eyes, face, hair and smile, will ask me how she’s looking today. And what will I say? Would I dare tell my mini-reflection she looked gross? Hell no, because she doesn’t. She is beautiful and glorious, and I will tell her that every single day.

My point is, when I look at myself these days, I don’t see perfection in the mirror. I see myself. I see a body that is carrying my spirit around this world, and that’s a pretty incredible thing.

Dare I say, a BEAUTIFUL thing.

This post is part of the Love Yourself Linkup. Visit here to learn more and read some amazing posts from real, beautiful, smart women.

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