Thursday, April 2, 2015

Badass Homeowner

Sooo... I've been gone from this site for about 3 years now.  Wow.  Time flies.  But I've been gone for several very good and exciting reasons.  Number one, my career as an artist really started to take off and if I had time to write a blog post I did it on my own website (I won't link to it because I prefer to remain anonymous on here).  Number two, I bought a house!  Anyone who has ever bought a house knows how long and emotionally hard that process is.  Not to mention getting your new house ready with repairs, paint, unpacking... But it's been worth it, and I felt that my experience in home buying would make a good post because I have some advice to share on "how to buy a home as a Badass Chick".

When you first start seriously thinking about buying a home for the first time you have this vision in mind of your dream place.  For some people it's a modern style condo in the hip trendy part of the city.  For others it's a rustic place out in the country on sprawling land.  Some people like to live in the suburbs where their money can get them more bang for their buck, and others like older homes with vintage charm or fixers that they can really make their own.  Everyone has their vision.  Then you start actually shopping around and reality hits.

Maybe for your budget the size of house you want is out of your league, maybe there aren't many homes available in the part of the city you want to live in,  maybe all that's in your range is a very generic bland house that feels like your first college apartment.  Your realtor, your family, and your friends will all give you advice on what you should be looking for or where you should be looking.  This is when you need to put on your Badass Chick attitude and stick to your guns.  Of course there will be compromises, but you need to think about what's really important to you and stand firm.  Is it the location?  The size and number of rooms?  The style?  The price?  Get creative but don't let other people tell you what you should buy because this is YOUR HOUSE!  You're going to have to live in it, not them.  If you wake up everyday in a house you hate in an area you don't want to live it's going to make you miserable.

My home buying experience was that my husband and I wanted to buy a duplex or some sort of conjoined home with my sister and her fiance.  We liked fun vintage homes, but most important to us was that we stayed in the city.  We live in Portland which is broken up into funky little neighborhoods, each with their own vibe and culture.  We wanted to live somewhere where we could walk to everything, with food and entertainment right in the area, and somewhere not too far from downtown.  Our realtor, however, kept showing us places in the middle of nowhere, far away from the city.  Helpful and well meaning people kept telling us that there was nothing in the city and that we should look in the suburbs.  Nothing against people that love the suburbs, your school districts are great and your houses are big, but I grew up there and they make me claustrophobic.  I love the city and those places just aren't right for us.  It started to feel hopeless though, and so we started the process of putting in an offer on a place in Oregon City.  Far away from our beloved city.  Surrounded by nothing and with nothing to walk to.  Thankfully the sewer and house inspection raised red alerts so we didn't move forward.  Several months later we ended up buying an amazing duplex in an eclectic little neighborhood hidden in the North of the city.  It's incredibly walkable, has tons of stuff to do here, the people are really friendly, it's a short drive to downtown, and it's affordable!  We stuck to our guns and even though many people thought that our ideas were strange, now they are love to come visit our weird little family compound in the funky neighborhood.

I've watched so many of my friends go through the same thing, and I've realized that the perfect home is different for everyone.  Sometimes it can feel like there's only one path and it leads to the nice house in the burbs with a picket fence, but if that's not right for you that's fine!  I was so worried that I would have to compromise what was important to me to own a home, but we finally found something that feels like us.  One of the rules of being a Badass Chick is that she goes her own way and sticks to her guns, but for major life events like buying a house sometimes it feels like there are no alternatives.  I'm here to tell you that there are!  I love to look at all the different places and ways that people live on OffBeat Home and Life, so take a virtual tour of a studio in the city, or an old Victorian house, a co-op housing unit, or a capsule home.  If you're looking for a new home take the time to find something that's uniquely you, because every Badass Chick needs a place to call home.

Happy hunting!
Ms. G

Monday, November 5, 2012

Badass Chick Movies

Yes I've been away, but no I'm not gone.  I've been busy with my work, which is good because it means that things are finally moving.  This also means that I have to schedule myself more carefully so that I don't become overwhelmed and let things slide through the cracks; like this blog.

There are a lot of BadAss Chicks in movies nowadays.  While men still dominate as the lead in action flicks, these ladies defiantly kick-ass and hold their own.  This is just my own Top Ten list of BAC characters in movies I've actually seen, so if your favorite female lead isn't on this list I just probably haven't gotten around to seeing the movie yet.  Leave your favorite BAC movie character in the comments below!

Here are my favorite Top Ten BadAss Chick movie characters:

1.  Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Alien

2.  Linda Hamilton as Sarah Conner in Terminator

3.  Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

4.  Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill

5.  Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 

6.  Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity in The Matrix

7.  Milla Jovovich as Leeloo in Fifth Element

8.  Charlize Theron as Æon Flux, Æon Flux

9.  Geena Davis as Morgan Adams in Cutthroat Island

10.  Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Have a Badass Period

Since many of you might be taking a long weekend I thought I'd post today instead of Friday (my usual posting day).  I also thought that since some of you might be heading out for adventures such as camping, boating, hiking, or traveling, this would be a timely post.

Some of you might think that this post is gross or it's too much information, but I'm a woman writing this blog for other women and periods are a fact of life.  So deal with it.  I wanted to talk about something that has changed the way I think and relate to my period: menstrual cups.

Menstrual cups are usually made of silicone and are an alternative to tampons or pads.  You insert them in your vagina and they work by collecting and holding the menstrual blood until you take them out and empty them.  I bought one for a backpacking trip because the thought of packing out used tampons freaked me out and this seemed like the easier option.  I tried it out for a week before I took it backpacking and it definitely took some time to get used, but now I love it so much I haven't gone back to tampons!  This blog is for BadAss Chicks, and they are ladies who probably travel, play sports, or explore the outdoors.  BACs aren't about to be hindered by their body's need to shed it's uterine lining, but our periods make it hard to be adventurous when we have to be running to the bathroom every couple hours and hauling around a supply of feminine products.  Menstrual cups will give you some freedom back, so you can be your BA self with confidence on your period in any situation.  Here are some pros and cons of the cup:

  • It's reusable - think of how many tampons and pads you send to the landfill every month, now think about how many you use over a lifetime!  The environment will thank you.
  • It's cheaper in the long run - all those tampons or pads that you buy every month cost money.  While it initially cost more than a box of tampons (mine was $40) they last a lot longer and will save you of money over time.
  • They're better for your body - think about tampons with all the fibers they're made of.  Do you really think none of those bleached fibers are being left behind in your body?  Think again. Drop a tampon in a glass of water and watch what is floating in the water.  The cups are made of medical grade silicone and not only do they not leave anything behind but....
  • They won't dry you out - they don't take away your natural fluids with them.
  • They're more comfortable - they're flexible and heat up with your body so they form to you body.  I didn't even notice how uncomfortable tampons were until I switched, now I can't go back.
  • You deal with them less - during a normal flow day you only have to clean your cup about every 10-12 hours, unlike every 2-3 hours like tampons or pads.  You can go so much longer without having to find a bathroom while still feeling secure.
  • They're great for travel - I lived in a foreign country for a year that wasn't up to speed on tampons so all us girls that moved there had to pack soooo many tampons, and then scout the city for more supplies.  One of my friends I met there only packed a cup so she didn't have to worry about tracking down more tampons.  If I had known about cups before I moved I would have had more room in my suitcase for shoes...
  • They're great for sports - since they don't have to be dealt with as often as tampons and they don't leak when inserted properly, they're perfect for all kinds of sports like swimming, gymnastics, running, and of course backpacking

  • Not available everywhere - they're not usually found in grocery stores so many women order them online.  I actually found mine in an natural food store and I've seen them for sale in outdoor sports stores.
  • They take a little while to get used to - putting them in and taking them out comfortably and quickly takes a little practice.  I would recommend that you give it two full cycles before you make up your mind that you hate them because the first cycle is really awkward and it's not until the second time that you feel confident.
  • They're a little grosser than disposables - if you're just used to throwing tampons or pads away and hardly looking at them it might seem really gross to empty and wash a cup with menstrual blood.  At first it's a little weird, but you get used to it, and you'll be better educated about your body.  It's a natural, normal thing and you shouldn't be grossed out by your own body.
  • They're awkward to wash in public restrooms - if you don't want to walk to the sink to wash it with people watching you can get around that by simply emptying it into the toilet then wiping it out with some tissue paper.  As long as you clean it later at home it'll be fine.  Alternatively you can bring a little squeeze bottle of water and some of the cup wash into the bathroom with you.  That's what I did while backpacking.
  • They need to be sterilized once a month - you need to give it a really good cleaning with the cup wash once a month then sterilize it in boiling water.  This doesn't take very long, but if you forget to do it and your period starts you'll have to have some backup available until you get clean it cause you don't want an infection...
  • You'll want to tell everyone about it  - you'll annoy your friends and neighbors by telling them waaay too much your vagina and period.  But seriously, once you convert to the cup you'll wonder why no one ever told you about this before and you'll find yourself trying to spread the word *cough* blog post *cough* :)
Do some research, find out if the cup is for you, and have a badass period.

Ms. G

Friday, August 24, 2012

Badass Books

I wanted to write a really quick post to promote one of my favorite badass books about badass chicks.
Great Gals Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick Ass Life Summer Pierre
"Great Gals: Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life" by Summer Pierre is a beautifully illustrated book about awesome, inspiring women from history and modern times.  One of the things I like about the book is that their bios aren't just a highlight reel of what was amazing about their lives, but also what was hard for them, their struggles, what they thought about themselves, and what society thought about them.  My favorite thing about the book though is that it's interactive.  In between the bios are pages with prompted list making, brainstorming, and free writing.  It encourages you to think about what you admire in these women and apply it to your own life.  A book that encourages women to live a more "kick-ass life"?  Now that's badass.

Check out this book trailer made by Summer Pierre herself:


Monday, August 20, 2012

Death of a True Badass Chick

Today we lost a true BadAss Chick when Phyllis Diller passed away at age 95.  Diller was one of the pioneers is female stand-up comedy, known for her self depricating humor, wild on stage costumes, crazy laugh, and rapid fire punch lines.  Diller began in television in the early 50's and went on to do variety shows, films, and USO tours.  Back when women were supposed to be playing the demure, put-together housewife role, Diller was anything but.  With her wild wigs, short eccentric dresses, and her wild cackle she made a name for herself in stand up comedy by laughing at herself with the audience.  We'll miss you Phyllis.

Ms. G 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My BadAss Chick Mix

I'm a runner and I've been working on a BadAss Chick playlist to get me pumped while I'm pounding the pavement.  My requirements are that it has to be sung by a woman, the general message of the song has to be about their general badassery, and it has to have a really good beat to run to.  Here is the mix I have so far:

 Mia - Bad Girls

Kreayshawn - Gucci Gucci

Beyonce - Diva

 Joan Jett - Bad Reputation


Beyonce - Girls (who run the world)

Pink - So What

Rock out!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rules for being a Badass Chick

Here are my long awaited rules for being a BadAss Chick:

  1. Forget about the rules, but be prepared for the consequences.  This doesn't mean doing illegal things just because they're illegal.  This means doing what you think is right, living by own values, and not relying on what others say is OK for you to do.  However, if you are breaking rules you have to be prepared for the consequences and make decisions knowing full well what you're getting into.  Don't be naive about it.
  2. Be honest.  BAC don't need to lie.  You shouldn't be doing anything that you would be ashamed of admitting to.  If you're honest all the time then people know what they're getting from you is real.
  3. Speak your mind.  This ties in with being honest, but takes it a step further.  You can hold your tongue about something you think is wrong and technically you won't be lying, but you won't really be speaking your truth either.  If you think something is important to say, then say it, but don't go around giving your opinion like it's gospel. 
  4. Wear what you want.  Fashion should be fun and functional, but don't be a slave to trends.  Develop your own look and borrow freely from styles you like, but ignore fashion "rules" and expectations.  If high heels hurt your feet and you hate them, don't wear them!  If you like to rock leggings more than jeans, go for it!  If you prefer all black or bright colors, don't worry about what palette is "in" for the season.  You should always feel awesome in your clothes.
  5. Be fit and ready for anything.  Now, this doesn't mean lose 10 lbs or look better in a bikini.  Diets are stupid and 20 different exercises for that "inner thigh gap" are useless.  I'm talking about functional fitness.  Being up for anything like running to catch a train, learning to surf, climbing a tree, hiking out into the wilderness, dancing all night, swimming in a river, etc. It's about using your body in different ways, regardless of what it looks like.
  6. Stick up for the underdog.  Real BAC don't put the little guy down.  Basically, don't be a bully.  Don't join in when people are bashing someone who doesn't deserve it.  Don't use your status as a BAC to intimidate, but to step in when someone needs you.
  7. Do everything with confidence.  Even if you have to fake it.  That doesn't mean pretending that you're an expert at something you aren't, or even acting like  you know what you're doing if you don't.  Even when you're learning something new, you can have confidence.  Confidence that you can try something new, learn something, master something, talk to anybody, handle yourself in any situation.  Confidence is not being so afraid to fail that you don't even try.  
  8. Don't be a bitch.  Being a BAC isn't the same thing as being a bitch.  BAC are honest, brave, and totally themselves, while bitches are mean just for the sake of being mean but call it honesty.  A bitch might say something like, "Look, I'm just being honest, but your new hair cut looks awful."  BAC are honest about important things, things that matter, and they're tough when they need to be.  Bitches use the excuse of "honesty" to hurt people and label their bullying as "toughness".  Not the same.
  9. Forget the haters.  Don't worry about what other people think of you.  Do, say, and wear what feels right to you.  If you start to worry too much about other people's opinion, you probably wouldn't even leave the house.  Someone is always going to disapprove, someone is always going to think what you're doing is wrong, or tacky, or dangerous.  But it's not their life.  
  10. Push yourself.  BAC are constantly trying to improve themselves.  Even when you're 95 you should learning new things and exploring the boundaries of your comfort zone.  If you don't push yourself you'll never grow as a person.  Never stop learning, trying, or exploring.
Now go out there and have a BadAss day!