Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2008

YAY! It’s finally the end of 2008 and beginning of the new year! Can you believe that we’re just one year away from a new decade into the second millennium? Me either! Man! Where did the time go?

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this last year in GBD terms! Fun, eh?

Starting back in January, I came up to Vancouver to have a planning session with the K’s about how the alpha version of the site will work. We made oh so many plans and began to discuss design and development options, but really kept most of it in the overall way the site will work. In March, I moved up north to Vancouver to overtake work with GBD and gather necessary requirements to be able to work with GBD’s amazing graphic designer and art director, Cory Crowther. We spent all of March and April refining our previous version of the site to allow newsletters and videos to be posted and viewed. At this time we had a lot of interested people coming to the site on a regular basis, but knew that we wanted to see more visitors.

Along came May and June and the days were getting pleasant in Vancouver… just pleasant enough to enjoy the lovely commute from Burnaby, where I lived, to Vancouver, where I worked. Cory and I worked together to create version two of the site which brought to you the beautiful aesthetics featuring our girl, Holly, and the ability to make comments, sign-in, and the beginning of the community feeling that we want to create here at GbD. Marianne continued to work on our facebook and marketing research and got us some really awesome data.

July brought us our MySpace account layout, which allowed us to begin utilizing the account and our site visitors continued to grow and grow.

In August, our business cards were finally ready to be printed and dude, they look amazing. Rounded corners, sleek design (what else can we expect with Cory at the helm?) and a lot of TLC and we were equipped with information at hand!

The forum then came up for everyone to enjoy and we began opening the blog posts up to more than just ourselves.

September and October proved to be fun months for us on the inside as we worked hard behind the scenes to get a lot of important planning finalized… well that was the plan. There was a few breaks here and there as Kristin and Kendra each shopped for very special additions to their family… Dublin and Marcus.

Marcus arrived in a very special Halloween costume, which we shall refer to as his birthday suit costume (hehe, I’m funny sometimes) and the GbD Kingdom rejoiced at the arrival of the newest and most male member of the team. Kathy stepped up to the plate and began to post lots of lovely information on our blog (and aren’t we ever-grateful!!).

Over the course of the year, I lost about 45 pounds and reported in during that journey to you all, and am ever grateful for the wonderful support that everyone has been throughout the journey. Aside from my own personal journey, we now have a very large consistently growing number of subscribers to our newsletter that we send out as often as possible.

This year, we hope to be able to bring to you more exciting adventures and wonderful community building opportunities. May the year be filled with growth, friends, happiness, and new shiny things on girlsbydesign.com.

Love you all!
xo
tabby
(oh and Kristin and Kendra and Marianne…. and we’ll include Kathy too!)

Rest In Peace

December 31, 2008

2009

Ladies and gentlemen of the GBD.  Today, the 31st day of December 2008, on the eve of the first day of the year 2009,…today is a sad, sad day indeed.  For it is the last New Year’s Eve celebration in our lifetimes that can make use of the famed “0-0” (“double zero”) glasses.  The next time these glasses will bless us with their presence won’t be for almost a THOUSAND years.

These glasses touched all of our hearts.  Their witty use of the double zeroes to serve NOT ONLY as the digits in the year, BUT ALSO as the actual glasses themselves – you know, to COVER THE EYES – a pure stroke of genius!  Such wit!  Such style!  Such sophistication!  Is there enough glitter on this good, green earth to adequately show the fullness of our joy?  A joy that sparkles and shines more brightly in the twilight than even the Twilight vampires in the sun?  I think not.

And so, though our hearts ache for those untold billions in the coming generations who will never get the chance to experience the magic, yes MAGIC, that happens when those double zeroes lovingly frame our eyes, let us take a moment now to bask in our own glory, our own destiny. For we are the chosen ones, the last of our kind to don these precious glasses before they fade into the shadows of time, never to return until the next millennium.

Let us bow our heads and reflect on the tremendous impact these glasses have had on our lives, and express our deepest gratitude for that little extra something special these glasses never failed to bring to the party over the years.  Let us look back on all the good times and wonderful memories the “0-0” glasses have given us over the past decade.

2000  2001  2002     2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008

 

Happy New Year everyone!!  Rock those 2009 glasses and wear ’em like you mean it! 😀

Gadgets

December 30, 2008

So, I am updating this from my awesome iPhone. I am so in love with this gadget!

What kind of phones do you all use?

Ps. Yes, I know this is a short post but well worth the discussion in my opinion!

SEKRIT MSG TO KRISTIN KREUK….

December 30, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE!!

May your 26th year be filled with love, joy, happiness, and lots of wonderfulness and gooey goodness! And more kick-ass haircuts!

Love,
Kendra, Tabby, Marianne, Kathy, and pretty much the rest of the world!

PS. this is the entry for you all to post your birthday wishes to Kristin! YAY!

News Day Tuesday: Teens Be Thinking Dey Da Bomb

December 30, 2008


Around 5,000 teenagers gather in front of Berlin’s town hall on November 12, 2008 to demonstrate for better education systems. (photo: Tobias Schwarz / Reuters)

Self-esteem, self-esteem…everyone’s always talking about self-esteem, especially the self-esteem of young people.  Well you know what?  It turns out that you high schoolers think quite highly of yourselves…at least according to this study that appeared in the November issue of Psychological Science.  (You can read more about the study here and here.)

Researchers examined answers that thousands of U.S. high school students gave to questions about how they viewed themselves.  They found that of the students surveyed in 2006:

  • 15.6% reported earning an A average in high school, compared to 7.7% in 1976
  • 54.4% thought they’d be “very good” parents, compared to 35.6% in 1975
  • 56.4% thought they’d be “very good” spouses, compared to 36.7% in 1975
  • 64.7% thought they’d be “very good” workers, compared to 48.8% in 1975
  • 72.8% said they were satisfied with themselves, compared to 67.4% in 1975

So yay right?  It seems like students today are more confident in themselves.  This news is all peaches and cream and rainbows and giggles!  But ohhhh…Jean Twenge of San Diego State University (one of the researchers of the study) says hold on and pump the brakes!

“What this shows is that confidence has crossed over into overconfidence…High school students‘ responses have crossed over into a really unrealistic realm, with three-fourths of them expecting performance that’s effectively in the top 20 percent.”  According to Twenge, “uncritical boosterism” by parents and grade inflation by teachers may be fostering expectations that could be in for a rude awakening in the real world.  And Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University who has studied self-esteem, worries that kids may have become more fragile and less able to take criticism well.  He says, “Thinking you’re God’s gift to the world is nice for you.  It’s a little harder for everyone else around you.”  Ouch.

But hey…it’s not all rain on the parade!  Even Twenge stresses that thinking you’re the bomb isn’t necessarily bad: “Young people have always had some degree of starry-eyed optimism, and that’s probably a good thing.  And setting goals for yourself is a good thing.  It’s just when those goals are wildly unrealistic, then that can cause trouble for everyone.”

Jennifer Crocker, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan and a longtime researcher in self-esteem, says that today’s youth might be right to be more self-confident: “The fact is that we are all getting smarter – IQ is going up quite dramatically over this same period of time.  Students may believe that they are getting trained better than they used to, that they are learning skills that they didn’t use to have.  So, maybe their predictions aren’t unreasonable.”

Also chiming in is Brent Roberts, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who argues that not only is high self-esteem more likely to protect youth against depression, but that having optimistic goals may lead people to do better.  He says, “We don’t know what these kids eventually are going to do.  Maybe a lot of them will be great workers and better at family life than their parents were.”

So does this study reflect your reality?  Are y’all as confident as this study suggests?  Do you think having high self-esteem is good?  Bad?  A double-edged sword?  Twenge mentioned “unrealistic” goals and expectations.  What does that mean?  How do you know if you’re being “unrealistic”?  Where do you draw the line between being practical and limiting yourself?  Is it bad to aim too high?

Weight Check In…

December 29, 2008

Hello Lovely Ladycakes (and the men who are still reading this blog)!

Yes, I know its been sooooo long since you’ve heard from me about my weight journey. I’m back! I had taken quite the break from my weight journey, justifying it because I was eating out a lot, saying “but its so so hard to eat healthy!” Its so funny how often I try to trick myself. I also realized that there’s times when I eat healthy just to avoid getting “a talkin’ to” from my friends who are trying to hold me accountable. So I’d eat the steam veggies and avocado rice cakes when in their presence (or not) and it just didn’t feel good to do it for those reasons. Now, I’m eating totally on my own, for my own reasons, with no one to please and it feels so much more like myself and my own journey, you know?

Anyway! Despite the trickery… I am still down at 210 lbs and plan to loose 20 pounds by February 8th. So! I am going to make a committment to check-in every day either about my weight loss or something else equally interesting from now until then. If I don’t check in, will one of a billion of you email me and nag me? You can send emails to tabby@girlsbydesign.com for the nagging. I may not answer you but it could be the push to get me to stick to my word that I need… you know… 5 to 100 emails every day that I miss posting? 😀

I got a membership at Planet Fitness: The No Judgement Zone. w00t! I want to be going to the gym at least three times a week. This should be fun! I missed posting! I will post new pics of me when I’m down at 208 pounds.

xo

tabby

Movie Madness Mondays “MARLEY & ME”

December 29, 2008

Yo Yo Ladies!

Here is a Movie Review from the fabulous Taylor Nikole!

Heck ya! I am so pulling this review out spur of the moment! Although I will admit that writing it is totally worth it because this movie was soooo awesome… not to mention ninety-five percent of the people in the theatre were sobbing by the end of the movie. Usually I would laugh at this, but… uhh I was actually part of that ninety five percent. Yes, this movie was an absolute tear jerker. Lets just say, after this movie I went home and gave my doggies a big hug and lots of kisses.

Some people would say “gag me now” at the though of a ‘gushy’ movie, but dudes go see it! Like NOW! Okay thanks! I mean how often do you get a two love stories in one movie? Most of the time when there are two love stories… the story doesn’t end too well in one persons favor. You have the love story of a couple and the ‘love story’ that is ultimately created when the couple adopts their first puppy, Marley. In this movie everyone wins… yet at the same time loses, which may not sound exactly appealing to some, but it’s ultimately a story about learning (all about learning) to love, adjust, and give up what you love for the people/pets you care most about More than anything I thought this movie taught important life lessons (to me) and how each viewer interpreted this varies (although I still hope everyone who sees this movie takes something out of it).

I always like to put a little about the movie for the people who have heard nothing about the movie (yes there are people like that)… so here it goes:

Marley & Me follows the story of a married couple John Grogan and Jenny Vogt (Grogan) who move to South Florida after their wedding. Jenny has a plan set out, which she describes to John on their wedding night (mind you he is a man… therefore he freaks out, although for some reason I don’t blame him)… first there is finding the right guy, then there is getting married, after that there is moving to a warmer place (aka the reason why they moved to South Florida), next there is getting a job in the city, then find a house and last but not least pop out a couple kids and live happily ever after. Of course John is the good husband and wants to make his wife happy therefore he decides he might as wel try out the fathering business… but his best guy friend intervenes telling him that he should get her a puppy instead. He tells John that he won’t have to take care of it, Jenny will end up doing so and instead of becoming a lifeless family man he will become a master. John decides its better to go with the puppy idea (duh) and they get a puppy whom they nickname ‘clearance puppy’ since they got him for a flat rate of two hundred dollars opposed to his brothers and sisters who were about three hundred. Soon after they find out why he was the ‘clearance puppy’. Marley is the worst dog in the world and seemingly not trainable, which leads John to have great writing material for a ‘twice a week column’ which he inherits from a writer at his work.

I’ve said enough and you will have to go see it to hear the rest, because I am evil like that. Okay, and my life lesson(s) I took from the movie are ones that you could take from any story that involves a compassionate and caring relationship between family. First, I learned that although you may want to kill your family they are the best things that will ever happen to you… and will always be the ones staying by you through everything (cliché I know, but so true).Second, (and this is more personal) the most stupid and frustrating situations you come across with your family will always be the ones that you grow the most from… and will always be the ones laughed about and

remembered for years to come. And last but not least, always value what you have. This movie taught all of those lessons, it was about learning what you appreciate and valuing the relationships you have while you still have them (Aka value the present).

So here is my question to you guys (yes a question is necessary and a perfect spark for conversation):

Who/what do you value the most in life and what would you do and how would you feel if you knew before hand you were going to lose it/them?

(I feel a lot of the tears from the viewers had come from personal experience)

By the way guis… this book was based on a book written by the actual John Grogan (and not Owen Wilson). I’m definitely going to check that out on my next visit to the book store.

Love,

Taylor Nikole

10 Activities to Help You Make a Change in 2009

December 29, 2008

Hey Ladies,

As promised a few weeks ago, here is a post from Sparkle Soup enjoy!

xo
K.
2008 was a year of many changes for everyone. GBD co-founder Kristin went through much personal and professional growth as she transitioned from her show Smallville to becoming a businesswoman. She also cut her hair short (link to Kristin’s blog on cutting her hair), which was a very bold move for her, but beautiful. If you have long h air and you’ve never tried a short hairstyle, try it – it feels wonderful, and your hair does grow out. Co-founder Kendra went through physical, emotional, and hormonal changes as she discovered she was pregnant with the most adorable baby. She went from superwoman to superwoman mommy of Marcus. Websurfer Kathy was minding her own business surfing the internet, subscribing to RSS feeds, procrastinating, and watching television shows other than Smallville to taking over the GBD blog in a one-woman domination and enjoying the power. In her own words, “Mwahahaha!” 20 Answers

So, I’m contributing this little article for GBD, just to add a bit of a change to Kathy’s blogging and to fulfill my obligation as a contributor since it was announced through the GBD newsletter that I (sparklesoup) will be “contributing in the near future”, and yes – to hopefully get those of us still afraid to make a change to finally stand up and say, “Yes, I will make a change this year,” to do it.

Here are 10 Ways to Get You Started:

1. Volunteer – If you live in the US, here are some formal opportunities to give you an idea. http://www.volunteer.gov/gov/
If you actually fall into the GBD demographics (13 years old to 19 years old), there are opportunities just for teens. (http://www.networkforgood.org/volunteer/)

You can also find volunte er opportunities at your local organizations such as your hospital, animal shelter, active adult (senior) centers, library, church, or school.

2. Express Yourself – Get creative. Get expressive.
Make music (http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Song)

Make memories and capture it on scrapbooks (http://www.smilebox.com/scrapbooks/)

Make over yourself (http://www.dailymakeover.com/)

3. Get Healthy
Start or continue exercising (http://www.4girls.gov/fitness/)
Learn how to eat a well-balanced nutritious meal (http://www.4girls.gov/nutrition/).
Learn how to relax and fight stress (http://www.4girls.gov/emotions/)

4. Try Something New
Have you always been too shy to meet someone new? Go out there and say “Hi.” Here are some tips to get over shyness (http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-Shyness)

Have you always been afraid to brave the wilderness? Challenge yourself by going on an Outward Bound (http://www.outwardbound.org/) expedition.

5. Learn Something New
If you always wanted to learn how to make a Crème Brulee, take a cooking class.
If you always was too afraid to go scuba diving, get certified.

6. Embrace Your Friends and Family

Want to know how to become a better friend? Click here. (http://www.4girls.gov/relationships/friendships/index.cfm)

Want a better relationship with your parents or caretaker? (http://www.4girls.gov/relationships/relparents/index.cfm)

Want a better relationship with your siblings?
(http://www.4girls.gov/relationships/siblings/index.cfm)

7. Embrace Your Community

Like it or not, we all live in a community. Whether or not you want to be a part of it is up to you, but if you want to make a positive change for the world, it starts little at a time. It starts in your own backyard, your neighborhood, your community. Here are some suggestions on what you can do (http://www.4girls.gov/relationships/community/index.cfm)

8. Get Organized

Save time, save space, and save your sanity by getting organized! With a new year approaching, now is the time to look at what you have and decide whether to keep, donate, or sell. I’ve been a professional organizer so I know it does take some hard work to organize and to stay organize. There are also tons of emotions involve. It is harder than it looks for most people, so here are some words of advice to help get you started. ( http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Organized)

9. Get Happy!

10. Enter a Contest (If you fall within the age range and live in Los Angeles, CA, apply for the GBD Timeout Retreat). It sounds like a great workshop for girls, and the facilities where it takes place sounds inspiring. I may stop by (since I’m like o nly an hour or 2 away) just to say “hi” from Auntie Kailin or get a room just to finish writing some books I’m supposed to finish in 2009.

So GO ahead. Seize the Day!

Contributed by Kailin Gow

Author of The Gifted Girls Guide to 365 Days of the Year: Fun Things to do for Kids and Grown-ups That’ll Develop Creativity, Social Skills and Self-Confidence! (Sparklesoup.com)

Sparklesoup – Providing sparkle and nourishment to the mind, body, and soul with over 150 titles.

Small World. Like, REALLY small.

December 28, 2008

People had made me feel small so I wanted to show them how significant small could be.
– Willard Wigan


The Wizard of Oz (Click to enlarge. Can you see Toto by Dorothy’s feet?)


The Statue of Liberty (Click to enlarge.)

The above are photos of micro sculptures created by Willard Wigan.  You might be wondering what the silver, metallic looking thing is that the sculptures are balanced on.  That would be the eye of a needle.  Wigan has sculpted these figures to fit inside (or on) the eye of a needle.  The EYE of a NEEDLE people!  I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to thread a needle, but I have, and it ain’t exactly as easy as throwing a baseball through a hula hoop.  These sculptures are so small, you need a microscope to view them.  They’re so small that Wigan uses a SINGLE hair plucked off a FLY to paint his sculptures.  They’re so small, that he works IN BETWEEN HEARTBEATS because the pulse from his fingers might mess up his work.  Once, while putting the finishing touches on an Alice in Wonderland piece, the sculpture disappeared when he was working on it.  He thinks he accidentally inhaled it.  I actually cracked up when I heard him say that, but stopped when I realized he wasn’t joking.

The history behind Wigan’s artwork is pretty inspiring.  As a boy, he had undiagnosed dyslexia, so he didn’t do well in school and was made fun of because of it.  So to get away from it all, he would go to the park and watch the ants.  Then he started making tiny wooden houses for the ants.  Then he started making furniture for those houses, and then clothes for the ants, and so on and so forth…he kept challenging himself to make smaller and more difficult things.  Now, his artwork is worth millions of dollars and elicits awe and wonder from those who see his work.

You can read an article about Wigan here, or see more photos of Wigan’s work here and here.  You can see a video interview with Wigan below (watch the video…at the end you’ll see a sculpture of Charlie Chaplin balanced on the TIP of an EYELASH).  Wigan’s official website is here.

Brainercise: Eddy edition version 2.0

December 28, 2008

Well hellooooooo there GBD! Hope y’all had a Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / Happy Kwanzaa.   I think Kwanzaa is still going on though, so yay for the continued partying! 🙂

My answer to Eddy’s light bulb brainteaser is comment #14.  Eddy’s answer is comment #13.  And guess what!  Eddy is apparently full of brainteasers because here’s another one!  Thanks again Eddy!  (I’m just copying and pasting again.)

A Sheikh passes away and leaves his 17 camels to his three daughters. According to the family tradition, the oldest daughter should get half (1/2) of the camels, the second oldest one should get a third (1/3) and the youngest daughter should get a ninth (1/9). The daughters have to follow the rules and the camels must of course remain alive.

Seeing how puzzled the three daughters are, their neighbor offers to help them out. How can the neighbor solve their problem.

As you might have guessed, the camels are not aliens, good luck!

*** NOTE ***  I may be wrong (as I often am), but I think the youngest daughter should be getting a sixth (1/6) instead of a ninth (1/9) of the camels, otherwise the math doesn’t work out – I think all of the fractions should add up to 1, which represents all of the camels.  If the youngest daughter gets a ninth instead of a sixth, then there’s still an eighteenth (1/18) of the camels remaining, which I guess is okay, but makes the brainteaser kind of weird.  Anyway, my answer will be based on the assumption that the youngest daughter gets a sixth instead of a ninth, but I suppose it doesn’t really make a difference…you’ll just have leftover camels if you assume a ninth, and no leftover camels if you assume a sixth.  That is, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking.  lol.