Daddies, don’t tell your daughter she’s pretty. Period.

Growing up, my dad always introduced me as the pretty one. Period.

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The Thompsons 1970 – L to R: Christy, Vicki, Cathy, Elsie (mom), and Ron (dad)

My sisters were pretty, but they had other attributes he chose to point out when introducing them to friends and business colleagues.

Meet my oldest daughter, Cathy. She’s so sharp. She’ll be an architect, an accountant, or a lawyer some day.

Meet Vicki, my middle daughter. She’s a natural born leader and very intelligent. She’ll be a teacher and make a difference in this world when she grows up.

Meet Christy, my baby, she’s so pretty. Period.

That’s all I ever got. Pretty. Period. It stuck with me my whole life and that label, that concept, has probably, in some way, been transferred into the minds of my own girls. Period.

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders - Look Ma, I'm up top - no hands - aren't I pretty?

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders – Look Ma, I’m up top – no hands – aren’t I pretty?

My whole life, I’ve been consumed with “pretty”. I was afforded all of my opportunities because I was pretty. Period. There could be no other answer. In high school, I made the cheerleading squad. I was captain in fact. It was obviously because I was pretty. Period.

I got good grades in high school and college. I’m sure it was because I was pretty. Period. Pretty people always get everything handed to them. Period.

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In my 20s, I got jobs, when there were countless applicants, because I was pretty. I wasn’t the smart one. I certainly wasn’t cut out to change the world. I was just pretty. Period. And people admired that and they gave me all of the opportunities I was afforded because of that. Period.

Surely, I never got anything based on my merits. I couldn’t. I was pretty. Period.

I’m pretty, I’m thin, I’m nice, and GOSH DARN IT…people like me. That’s my life’s platform. I’m afraid that’s what I instilled in my girls. Because…pretty. Period. That thin thing often brings up talk of  Body Dysmorphic Disorder amongst my pretty (not-so-period) friends. I’m taken aback, but I get it. 

My oldest daughter is thin as a rail, and she’s pretty. My second daughter is struggling with her weight since the birth of her daughter, but by God, she’s pretty. My 7-year-old daughter is basically a stick, but she talks about the fat content in her food despite my constant insistence that she allows me to “worry” about her health while she just enjoys her youth. It’s not pretty. Period.

my babies

You see, I don’t want her, or any of them, to worry or stress like I did. My dad, my high school boyfriend (4 long years), and my 1st husband (10 long years) reminded me how important it was that I was thin and pretty. Period. That lead me to years of binging and purging, anorexia and bulimia, that not many people know about. But I was pretty! Period.

It’s a life-long lineage that stemmed from the fact that my dad said I was pretty. Period. Constantly.

As I look back on my life now, at all of my accomplishments, at all of the jobs I’ve secured, at the financially-secure place I am at now, I realize that it wasn’t “pretty” that got me here. Period. Sure, I might have gotten my foot in the door when I was 20 because I was “prettier” than another candidate, but it wasn’t because I was pretty. Period. I got those jobs, those opportunities, because I was pretty intelligent, pretty charming, pretty entertaining, pretty convincing, pretty funny, and pretty damned amazing. Period.

I’m 47 now and “pretty” doesn’t get me far in life anymore. I get me far in life. I always have. Period. The inside of me is so much more powerful than “pretty” and that’s what I want to pass on to my daughters. Even though I’m sagging, my abs will never be what they once were, I’m still pretty. Period.

So, a message to my dad, and to all of the dads (and moms) out there, please don’t just continue to tell your daughters they’re pretty. Period. Don’t ever end pretty with that period. Instead, say, hey baby, you’re pretty amazing. You’re pretty intelligent. You’re a pretty good reader. You’re pretty intuitive. You’re a pretty great family member, friend, and an all around great person. In fact, you’re pretty good at EVERYTHING you do. Period.

Serve your daughters well. We struggle with pretty enough. Please don’t make us think that is the be all and end all of life. We won’t stay pretty, young, and thin forever. We just can’t. Period.

And I’ve finally accepted, despite what I’ve heard my whole life, that I’m pretty freaking amazing. Not just pretty. Period.

DIY Orange Sea Salt Scrub

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts, orange scented bath salts

When I was in Arkansas for a recent conference, they had the most amazing sea salt scrub in all of the bathrooms at the hotel. Let’s face it folks, I don’t get out much, so I’m not overly accustomed to this sort of thing. Then B took us (yes, all of us) out for our 11th anniversary last week, and a sea salt scrub was awaiting me in the restaurant bathroom too. Bug and I washed our hands, used this scrub, and talked about how wonderful it was. Then I saw a post by my friend, Censie from Building Our Story, and she shared how easy it was to make her Lavender Vanilla Scrub at home.

I had a plan. You might have guessed by now that it involved sea salt and some super soft hands. You might (OK, you were) have been right.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts

I wanted this stuff in my house. I wanted my guests to feel as special as I do every time I step into a bathroom with this hand-softening magic. She made it look SO easy. And guess what? It really is! I used Censie’s initial “recipe” and changed it up to fit my color and “flavor” preferences, and it was a huge hit with me, with Bug, and with my neighbors (more on that later).

DIY sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts

Want to make some for yourself?

What you’ll need:

  • Sealable glass or plastic container (I used mason jars)
  • 2 cups Epson salt
  • 2 cups course sea salt
  • 3 tbsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 5 drops red food coloring to give it the orange glow (this is optional and you should never use too much or your hands will show it).

DIY orange sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts
What you’ll do:

  • Mix the Epson salt and sea salt in a bowl. Make sure you get rid of any clumps.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the orange extract, coconut (or olive) oil, and food coloring together.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the salt mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Carefully put the mixed salts into a mason jar (or container of choice), and you’re done.

This stuff is ah-mazing and I use it every day. So does Bug. It’s great for making your guests feel special, it’s super easy, and it’s an awesome gift. We were invited to a cookout over the weekend and I brought a mason jar full to the hostess. She put it out on her bathroom sink and by the end of the night, every women in the place was asking if I sell it. It’s that delicious to your hands.

The possibilities are endless since there are so many scent and color combinations you can try. Who knew feeling this pampered could be this simple? Not me, until now anyway. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Sure, you can buy this in the store, but I honestly think this DIY version is even better than the stuff I used in those hotels and high-dollar restaurants. My hands have never felt, or smelled, this good!

8 On-The-Go Summer Essentials for Moms

For the record, I’m sharing these 8 summer essentials for moms on the go (hey, that’s me) as part of a sponsored post for Poise Microliner through Socialstars. #PoisewithSAM

Poise Microliners, 8 summer essentials for moms, LBL, light bladder leakage, moms

So, you’re a mom on the go like me, huh? We’re always heading to the pool, or to the beach, or off on a bike ride, or some other family adventure, especially in the summertime, and it’s important for moms to be prepared for anything, and everything! We need to make sure we have everything the kids need. We need to make sure to have everything the husband needs. Everyone will need to be fed if you’re out all day. But what about mom? We need to be prepared too. And let’s face it, as moms, we have issues. No, I’m not talking emotional scars here. I’m talking “mom” stuff. You know, the stuff that happens to us after we become moms and begin to age a little? Yes, that stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact of life and when we’re out in the elements, all day long, we need to be prepared. Yes, I do mean the damage the sun can do to our drooping (OK, mine, maybe not yours) faces, and oh heck, I’ll say it, loss of control of some of our functions thanks to the minions. Yes, LBL (light bladder leakage). I’ve already explained that. Being prepared for anything is key!

bike riding, Galveston, family outing, moms, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

One of my family’s favorite outings is bike riding. It’s a huge deal for us and it’s a full day’s event. We need to be prepared. So while B is prepping our bike, or as I like to call it, #GossettBusComingThrough, I’m prepping everything else inside to ready us for the day. He gets the tools for the actual bike (can’t have a low tire, can’t be without seat adjusters, etc.), but I get our “tools” ready for the day. Here are my top 8 essentials for a great family day of bike-riding fun!

bike riding essentials, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, Galveston

1. Sunglasses for everyone.

The sun is BRIGHT here, y’all. I mean super bright and all of these blue eyes are very sensitive to the sun. We need sunglasses to keep our eyes safe, free of squinting, and in the cases of my “boys”, no sneezing. Seriously, they both sneeze every time their eyes hit the sun. We can’t have that, so I’m always prepared with sunglasses for all.

#PoisewithSAM, Poise Microliners, LBL, light bladder leakage, bike riding essentials for moms

2. Sunscreen.

Like I said, our sun is bright, and HOT. We need to protect all of our skin all day long with a good sunblock. Bubby and B are fair and Bug and I tan with a quickness. Neither is great for our skin (especially mine because, well…wrinkles), so we need to be prepared. We spray down before we leave, and I bring the spray along to reapply throughout the day.

3. A picnic lunch.

When you ride a bike all day long, you get a little hungry. Even though we just do leisurely bike rides (hey I’m not trying to race or anything), it’s still exercise and we get hungry. Stopping at restaurants along the way can get expensive, so I’m always sure to pack a nice picnic lunch and we plan a family-friendly stop along the way. This week, it was a fun park with a little water splashing action. Sandwiches are always best because you can pack light and everyone feels satisfied.

4. Bottled water.

This is a HUGE deal. You need to stay hydrated in all of that hot summer sun, especially for something like a bike ride. You don’t want anyone getting dehydrated, so tossing some bottled water in that cooler/picnic basket is essential.

5. Bug spray.

Mosquitos are BAD here y’all, and they’re demon mosquitos at that. We spray down before we go, and we’re sure to bring more to reapply as necessary. Seriously, the mosquito should be our national bird. HUGE, I tell ya, just huge, and demonic.

6. Cell phone.

OK, for me, this is a biggy for many reasons. First, you’re out and about and something could happen so you’ll need a charged phone in case you need to make a call (might I also suggest a portable charger just in case?). Second, photo opps of course. You don’t want to lug around your big camera, but you still want to capture those fun moments, right? Last, ummm, how else would I post all of the fun on my social media if I forgot it? Right. Never go anywhere without your cell phone!

Poise, bike riding, Galveston, LBL, light bladder leakage

7. The bike.

Well, you can’t go on a bike ride without the bikes of course. Or in our case, one big, extremely long, bike for the entire family. Once he’s done assembling, and I’m done prepping, we’re ready to go and I know that we’ll all be safe and completely ready for a full day of fun!

8. Poise Microliners

But I almost forgot about me. About the LBL. Moms always forget to take care of themselves. But this time, I was prepared and I’ve been prepared all summer. Thanks to Poise Microliners, I haven’t had to worry about embarrassments or walks of shame. Just because pooping out 4 kids has done some things to my body that I don’t care to admit all of the time, that doesn’t stop me from having fun. I just plop a microliner in my panties and don’t worry if I can’t quite make it to the next port-o-potty because I know these thin (seriously, you can’t even tell that they’re there) pads will protect me, just in case. If you’d like to try them for yourself, you can. For free!

Galveston, bike riding, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

Another successful weekend for our family, without incident, and fully prepared. This OCD comes in handy sometimes. Plus it keeps me feeling protected, protective, young, and prepared for anything. Are you ready when you head out of the house this summer? Don’t worry about the little things, and don’t you dare worry about embarrassment just because mommy issues have you wondering if you should stay at home. LBL is a thing, y’all, and you aren’t alone. 1 in 3 women have issues with light bladder leakage. It’s just a thing. Put Poise on your list and you’ll never have to worry again!