Stylish Parks

Just a word:  Don't worry I haven't quit.  When I first started working this summer I was neck deep, but now I'm only waist deep which feels a little bit better.  I've just been doing so much photoshop and post preparations.  For fun, I went ahead and joined Instagram just to get used to things.  More work to be done, but I can pop in here a lot more.   

Recently, a list came out of the wealthiest person per state.  Another one was released prior to that of the wealthiest families in America.  When I see this type of money, the thought crosses my head, "What would I do with all of that money?"  What would you do?  The Zuckerberg's announced a large gift donation to the California education system of 300 million dollars.  William Koch decided to spend his money on consumer protections for the wine industry.  Bill Gates has decided to spend a good portion of his money on the distribution of the polio vaccination.  My mother says that she would set up a fund for braces and accutane.  Having taught in the schools, she has seen a great need for these forms of cosmetic appearances to be met.  I think I would start out supporting a charity that's already there, and I know just the one. 


This is supermodel Natalia Vodianova, she has a charity that I think is my absolute favorite/favourite.  You see, it is a charity that is very simple, but can really change the world: Parks for children.  If I was one of the wealthiest people in the world, I would most likely live in a small attic, surrounded by precious works of art, and just go nuts building and designing park after park for kids.  The thought of a McMansion or fancy car just automatically deadens my synapses.  I refuse to feed that wretched ape brain, well maybe, just a little bit.  Families need parks to be accessible, a park should never really be three blocks from their home, or much of a jaunt to attain.  Imagine, one could build an Abe Lincoln park, a Goya park or a Michael Jordan park.  Children need parks.  They don't have to be super big, just a nice neighborhood park.  When home developers build communities now they have found that the real draw for families is park accessibility.  Most have started putting a park in along with the homes being built.  They aren't exclusive or off limits, but developers have found this to be huge for families. 



The Naked Heart foundation builds parks all over the world.  They take applications where there is a need for parks, and the sad thing is, there is a need.  When we lived in Utah, especially in Salt Lake, I noticed an absence of parks.  There were streets wide enough for gas guzzling suv's, but sidewalks not wide enough for strollers.  If "The Lion", Brigham Young were around today, I would have no problem quarreling with him over that one.  For a place where there's supposed to be an emphasis on children and the family, it almost seemed the opposite.  An LDS meetinghouse is good for three hours on Sunday, but it provides no park for a child to play on, no slide to go down, or swing to swing on.  Salem, Oregon has over 1600 acres of parks and Salt Lake has 925 acres.  Salem has 42 percent more parks, than Salt Lake.  We want a culture in this country that encourages a childhood, not one that discourages it.  Parks create routine and structure, and where there is routine and structure, wealth tends to follow.  Where is the grandparent brigade calling for parks in Utah?   


I've always thought this was the loveliest tribute to a person possible, a park.  A park not only for children, but running trails for adults too.  This one is in homage to the late princess Diana, a Peter Pan themed park.


Ralph Klein Park Green Field

Here we have the Ralph Klein Park in Calgary.  My brother can still remember the day Ralph Klein came and gave them a new park at their elementary school. 

Central Park West, Manhattan

Perhaps the most famous park is Central Park.  But still, it can be a real trek to get to, I can't imagine doing that on a daily basis with my children.  The hot trend in cities like New York are built in play spaces; slides and swings right in the living room.  I completely agree with this.  Children need to play.  There are not enough parks in New York, Paris or London to my liking.  You can give me all the art in the world and operas, but without parks or beautiful hikes to go on, I turn up my nose.  Sure people have to live and work in New York for their job, but I cannot say that the quality of lifestyle is high with such an absence of green space.  Answer me that one Anna.  It isn't that I hate it, but it is just not the most ideal city for children.

One of the first things the Obamas did after moving into the White House, was have a park put in.  I really hope that whoever the next president is, they keep it there.  No need to get political over a park (fingers crossed).


 With the nation's obesity epidemic continuing to climb, it would be a good idea to get some more accessible parks in this nation.  The obesity is a heavy tax upon us all.  I would bet that where there are high obesity rates, in certain cities, park accessibility is low.  The above is a picture of Adele playing at a wonderful park in Orem.  A tall fence was around it to stop kids from being hit by a car.  You can have all of the precious art in the world, but the art of a wealthy lifestyle has the real value. 

 File:Mona Lisa.jpg
 wikipedia

I'm sure the Mona Lisa would give her biggest smile yet.


Kate, Not So Great



I miss her.  I miss her, so, so much.  Princess Diana, the woman who lit up the room.  Every time I see Kate, I think about what Diana would have worn.  Sometimes, I look through all of my old books about Diana.  One day I might plunk out some money for one of her iconic knitted sweaters.  Such as the black sheep, the alpaca, koala bear or the one above.  These sweaters were known as the, "Royal Sweaters."  At times a whole bunch of them will come out at once, over and over again.  I put the following quote up on the inside door, of my 11th grade locker, from the above sweater, "I'm a luxury few can afford."  In other words, "Don't hit on me unless you make $12.50 an hour you, 17 year old, you."  Ahahaha.  My mother and Diana may have bumped into each other on the streets of London, as they both lived in proximity to one another.  

This last trip that Kate and William took to Australia, really made me miss Diana.  Maybe we'll always be in Diana withdrawals.  She wasn't perfect, and none of us are, but she held us captive.  Of course, she died in the age of mystery, and that was a part of her allure, but I miss her.

I don't think Kate is the fashion trailblazer that Diana was.  With Diana it was always new and fresh, cute and approachable.  Kate didn't have any great fashion moments.  Diana had us looking up and down, she held us.  I'm not expecting Kate to be Diana, but I do think the style stakes could be upped a bit more.


Kate Middleton and Prince William posed in front of Ayers Rock at the end of day 15 [AP]

Hollow, empty, makes me miss Di.  This whole ensemble makes me ache for Diana. We are given nothing, nothing but "safe."  What about this?  A wide electric blue waistband belt around that dress, opposite on the color wheel of the Ayers rock.  Hair half up in a Mohawk braid, with the sapphire earrings.  Mixing old with new, and in tribute to the late Diana.  The shoes can be black sandal boots, Gladiator style.  Give us something Kate, make us feel connected.  She leaves us empty, Diana never left us empty.  One could almost say that Diana invested in her audience, and they therefore were very invested in her.

Favourite: The Duchess wore an Alexander McQueen cornflower blue coat dress, with navy suede shoes in Blenheim at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre

Like this one.  Yeah, the plane scenario between the two of them was a cute, but again, "SIGH!"  This is a great opportunity to wear the Royal brooches.  One on each shoulder, not right on top, but facing you, maybe a cluster on each.  They need to be worn in an un-conventional sort of way, fresh and new.  Heels need to be red, with a red and white polka dot sole.  Why?  Because it is in homage to Rosie the Riveter, and a retro pattern.  The hair can have a plain ribbon red headband.  But no, it is nothing, the outfit just says, "I went to the store and picked out a coat."  Pout, pout, I miss Di. 

Vibrant: Kate wore a sheath style blue and white dress from LK Bennett for her arrival in Brisbane

Like this?  What is this?  It looks like it came out of a Sears catalogue, eeeeuuueeww.  I mean Sears is nice, but not for a Royal tour.  Hot pink clutch, fold over in leather to start.  Give those flowers a bit of edge.  A Royal jewel bracelet, so that people can feel connected to the Royal family.  The shoes need to be white, but with a certain design.  I'm mixed about a fascinator at this point, but with the bracelet I have in mind and the design, the audience won't be left hungry.  Preferably, what we want to do here is use the Royal jewels that have been worn in the past, by other Royals.  You know you get 2nd and 3rd generation coming to these events, and they want to feel connected to the generations before them.


Rugby attire: Kate changed into skinny jeans, a pastel Jonathan Saunders knit and Mint Velvet plimsolls
Daily Mail

No Kate, no, no, no.  No connection again.  Wear a collegiate sweatshirt, or the Field Hockey team sweatshirt for Great Britain.  Represent!  But yet, they don't.  Wear a St.Andrew's sweatshirt, you are coming up on your third year anniversary.  This sweater needs to leave the premises.  Form an emotional connection with the audience, this sweater does not do that.

Easter Sunday: Kate wore a stunning dove grey Alexander McQueen coat dress to a service at St Andrew¿s Cathedral


Did Camilla pick this out?  Because it looks like Camilla picked this out.  Those outfits should be for Camilla.  Ugh.  This needs to be a totally different outfit.  While were here, the Royal Jewels need to be brought out, I would go with light pink shoes.  A clutch with Victorian roses, and those roses intertwined in the hat.  Trust me, it would look good.  I'm thinking the Redoute roses and Carolina Herrera. 

Doting mum: Kate wore a now sold out £390 black and white Tory Burch knitted dress and a £5,500 Cartier Ballon Bleu watch for a play date with George

Okay here we are at playgroup.  This outfit is all wrong.  Flats ..........in a baby blue, George is still a baby, and the flats will be in tribute to his babyhood.  Black floodwaters with a medium cuff, coming out and mother of pearl buttons.  A t-shirt with a sweater, and hair in a headband.  Maybe a little bit of Audrey Hepburn.  Again, she gives us nothing.

Bright: In Waikato Kate wore the $3,000 green wool-crepe coat dress by Turkish-English label Erdem which William disapproved of

Okay, this coat can go places........it can leave and lift.  For now the plane is stalled, the coat went nowhere.  Black and white striped clutch, with an amazing hat.  Hair back into a bun, and I'm thinking a Royal choker, we'll see.  

Kate Middleton & Prince William Open Cancer Unit

I remember this visit.  Whenever Diana went to a hospital she wore something that would take the child's mind off of all the pain, not look like the wall of a hospital.  I suspect that they're both trying to reflect austerity, but end up blending in with the wall of a hospital.  William could have put a cartoonish tie on, and then donated it to the hospital.  Kate needed to wear a beautiful butterfly print dress, turquoise and purple with a Royal necklace and shoes with one big butterfly on each.  These kids will talk about this visit for the rest of their lives.  They will try to color pictures, and they want something interesting to color.  Look like a princess to them, the girls want to tell you how they love your clothes, and the boys want to laugh at the tie.  William and Kate are on very tight boundaries as to what they can and can't talk about, connection needs to be formed with clothing too.

I know these are financially hard times for people and that the Royals don't want to flaunt all of their jewels, or seem like clotheshorses, but they could bring in a stylist to up the ante just a bit more.  The audience needs to be acknowledged through the clothing.  It isn't Will or Kate's fault, and it doesn't reflect poorly on them, but the public relations part of this is important.  The survival of the monarchy needs all of these little things.  We may find in time, there is an audience, that becomes just as captivated with her as they were with Diana.  People want to see a Princess, give them that.

   
When Diana used to go visit children in the hospital, she would look glamorous and dress up in bright colors, knowing that the kids would like those bright colors.  I took a page out of Di's playbook before I left to see Anne-Louise at the hospital, and I'll never forget it as long as I live.  I wasn't supposed to go and see her, but when I did she looked like Chump out of the Goonies, all swollen up.  I'll never forget walking in and having the wind knocked out of me.  However, the most magical thing happened,  Anne-Louise's mangled face lit-up and the first thing she said to me was, "Mom I love those earrings, look at those earrings!"  I picked them out, they were colorful, beaded, the kind of thing a kid would like, something Diana might wear.  I took them off and Anne-Louise held them and kept putting them on and off of me.  I still have them, they need some repair work, but taking a page out of Di's fashion plate really helped.  And it always woos an audience, no matter what state they may be in.

 
 Catholiceducation


I was really happy to see that the hem lines were lowered and weights put in at the bottom of the seams for Kate's clothing of the Australia tour.  We do not want any dresses or skirts flying up, or any mid-thigh showing.   All of the clothing flaps, make Kate more vulnerable.  Kate also carries the weight of a great history behind her, all of it.  It needs to be carried, in a modern and modest way. 

  Girls who do dress immodestly show the limited amount of education throughout the generations.  It's because there hasn't been a high amount of education throughout the generations, and that particular brain may find stimulation through bad sexual attention.  This particular brain wasn't formed to feel stimulated by Shakespeare or Liszt.  Instead the brain has to find stimulation through lower means, such as attention through immodest clothing.  That's why education is so important, it "broadens the mind" and the girl can then see the world for more than getting attention through bad clothing.  

Countries with a high sexualization of women or a culture of, "womanizing" are often more likely to experience a higher rate of economic poverty.  The men like the attention the woman gets, and the women have not seen or experienced a bigger world.  The women are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, and therefore are powerless to stop the corruption in their own communities or government.  The only thing they have going for them is their looks.  Caitlin Flanagan's book Girl Land talks about all of that.  One could almost say that the economic upheaval that has happened in so many of these countries, is in direct correlation with a powerless culture of women.

My mother has noticed that the low-cut jeans and tank tops with spaghetti straps are out, and the more modest clothing is in.  In the world of side boobs and tank tops, we are seeing a "Return to Modesty."  Sexy does not mean you are dressed like a meal ticket, but it does not mean that you should look like a frump either.  One of my mother's colleagues said it perfectly, "The lower the IQ, the lower the top." 
Diana is stunning in houndstooth as she and William attend church in Sandringham. via StyleList
Nobody can ever replace Diana, but it would be nice if there were just a bit more of the Royal touch, make it special for the audience.  The more an audience feels a connection to an outfit, the greater the investment that individual will feel towards the Royal family.  And that my friends, means survival for the Monarchy.

Ban Bossy



 There is a great new campaign out there, and you should know about it.  BAN BOSSY. 

 

  My mom is putting posters up all over her classroom right now.



She's calling on her girls more in class.  Usually girls don't voice their opinion because being opinionated is not a desirable attribute by society's standard, but that can change.  Her desirable attributes aren't only in her bra size.




If our girls are going to be one day raising sons and daughters, than they too need to teach them to lead. 


Girls have normally been taught to be oppressive, because it looks nicer, and they are valued for being nice.  That's a wrong value system.  We value them for standing up and doing the right thing, not for trying to control the feelings around them.  They are capable of taking responsibility for all of the wrong they do and all of the right they do, let the image fall, let all of it go.  Women have been taught to "protect" which may seem right, but can actually go the wrong way.  Women usually don't do the right thing because they are trying to protect something or someone they love, therefore they feel justified.  Now here comes my little Mormon slant.
Women of God can never be like women of the world.
You can be tough and tender.  What may look tender can actually be cruel.  You can be coarse and kind.  One can do a lot of evil in the name of "Good Works."  You can even be rude and refined.  It is rude to stand by and not do the right thing.  Because the only thing you do is weaken your own family, and enable the wrong person.  You can have fame, fortune and be faithful.  The size of your bank account is not an indicator of how faithful you are.  You can be greedy and good.  Is is good to want to work and build, therefore you can stabilize your own family, and bless the lives of others.  You can be virtuous and be vain.  An embrace of femininity is vain.  One has to take care of themselves, but in doing so, you celebrate virtue.  You can be pure and popular.  When you are pure, you will attract the crowd that will rise to your standards, and that can become pretty popular.  If you become popular, it should be for the right thing, not to become enslaved to the jewel of popularity, both inside and outside the church.  The temptaion works both ways.


simple wedding gown ... Cap sleeved a-line wedding dress... Chiffon sheer ... Rustic glamorous, country elegance, shabby chic, vintage, whimsical, boho, best day ever

My mother has had an especiallly hard time getting the Mormon girls to speak up.  One day she pulled one girl aside and asked her why she talked in a "toddler voice".  The girl replied, "But Ms. Olsen, you know who my father is, and he told me if I talked like that I would scare all of the boys off and no one would want to marry me."  The sad thing is she said it in the same toddler voice.  My mom knows the well-known and connected "role-model" family.  The girl is welcome to excel at a sport, but if she crosses the line of opinion, she'll un-nerve the men around her who pretend to be so tough.



What if we had said to Michael Jordan:  Don't be so strong!  Quit wanting it so bad!  You're being a bully, bossy or a b***h.  What if we had said those things?  So why do we say it to our girls, when they have an opinion?  Why is it okay if they silently play a sport but remain on the sidelines when it comes to controversial leadership? 
Nobody says to the president, a male role thus far, "Stop making the economy work so well.  Is is really hurting our feelings."  Nobody devalues that job.

Martha Stewart Headshot
When Martha Stewart does a good job, she is openly criticized.  Why?  Both the White House and keeping your own home intact are important.  We shouldn't devalue the role of the woman ever, no matter what she chooses
.
I want all of my children to know that I love what I do.  My days are never a blur. I don't find them hard, boring, lonely or unfulfilledThis is the best kind of work there is, the most important kind of work.  

I want my son to marry a girl who will challenge him every step of the way, not just hang out, be cool, be friends and marry him when marriage is convenient for him.  I want someone who will make him feel uncomfortable and call him on his wrongs and not enable him.  

Strong women mean strong households.  The strength of a nation is in each household.

  I say Ban Bossy!

Calligraphy Quotes


When my mom was growing up, her mother Pearl Marie would stick a quote or two up in her room.  Usually from a philosopher or poet my mother was really into.  My mother learned calligraphy at an early age.  Over the years she would write out quotes that she particularly liked.  My grandmother wanted to have a whole gallery wall of them, a collection really.

 This is the only one that was framed before she died and was always hung on a wall of ours growing up.
 When my mom came back to teach, her old highschool teacher still had a quote she gave him.  Yes, she teaches where she went to highschool.  When he retired he gave it back to her and I popped it in a frame.
 This is all that we have of the imagined Gallery Wall.  Right now my mom is working on a file folder of quotes in different sizes for each grandkid.  None of the quotes will be done on paper in unusual sizes though, as I want them to be easy to pop into a frame. However I don't want them all looking the same. 



I also pinned some really great Canadian quotes.  Liana, Laura K., Kristy and I would be stuck at the 
bus stop on freezing cold days.  The drives down Sarcee were unforgettable.
 
They say it's because some parents drop their kids off anyway because they have to go to work. If no one was there, the student could freeze to death. Is the problem the School or the Parent?
 Happy Friday!