Weeny Opens his KitNip Box!

Happy Caturday furriends! We are so thankful for the lovely folks over at KitNip Box who have sent goodies! Weeny had a blast just opening it! This one happened to be rock n’ roll themed, and his first pick was the little “Hiss” T-shirt. KitNip Box is a kitty subscription box that offers high quality goods and healthy treats for your fur-babies! It comes with a list of all the goodies inside, so you know exactly what your little one is getting. Here’s the list for Weeny’s box:He absolutely loves everything so far! The little T-shirt and crinkle pillow seem to be his favorites. They even included some healthy treats! Click right here to visit their website and grab your own KitNip Box subscription!! Follow their Instagram at @kitnipbox and tag your posts #kitnipbox to show them some love!!

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Unpopular Opinion: I’m a Size 0, I HATE IT, and This is Why!

Happy Saturday guys! The weekend creeps upon us once again! As I’ve been so busy and thinking of a different sort of post to write, I’ve decided to take a step back and take the filter off, so to speak. Maybe the winter is just getting to me, maybe I just want to start off 2018 being a bit more “real,” but I figured it was time to give the pretty glittery stuff a little rest for a moment and talk about something hard for a change!

Not a single one of us is without body issues. Some of us may hide it better than others, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hidden underneath the surface. That’s totally okay, because it’s part of the human experience. We all have them. That being said, I wanted to bring a different perspective to the table…one that isn’t usually talked about and often swept under the rug.

I am a tiny size 0 (in US sizes, at least). I know there’s many people out there who see that as ideal and beautiful, but I want to make it clear that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and that if I had a choice, I would’ve never wanted this. If there was anything I could do to change this, I would do it without a second thought. My genes happened to mix up a certain way and come out in the combination they did, and I’m stuck with the results whether I like it or not!

You’d be shocked how many people I encounter IRL who don’t seem to understand this, and I wanted to put some facts out there to clear things up.

First and foremost, I LOVE food! You’ve probably guessed that if you’ve been reading the recipes I’ve posted. I spend A LOT of time thinking about what I want on the menu in our house for the coming week, what new things I want to try next time I go shopping, and so on. I would say I have a very healthy relationship with food. It’s not weird, hostile or an otherwise messy issue in any way. Therefore it’s hard not to get offended when someone accuses me of having an eating disorder, which SO MANY A**HOLES DO!! And I wonder, just…WHY? Is there that many people that have just never seen a thin person before? Or never seen anyone who doesn’t look just like them? That doesn’t fit their definition of “normal?” The world is a tough place for some of us who forget that not everyone is as open minded and as tolerant as we are. We often think everyone is as nice and kind as we are, but the sad reality is that it isn’t the case. There’s all kinds, good and bad. All we can do is teach others to be tolerant in the best way we know how. Chances are that if you read here regularly then you already do this, but I hope this prompts you to encourage even one person to be a bit more open minded.

“OMG…do you ever eat?!”

That’s a stupid question.

I know, I wish I could say there are no such things as stupid questions but unfortunately sometimes, there can be. This is one of them, and it’s one I get asked more often than I ever thought possible!

Doesn’t every living thing HAVE TO eat to LIVE? Us, animals, plants, everything?? Even little amoebas need to get energy in some form. Asking someone if they eat is like asking if they breathe oxygen! So yes, I am a living being that eats and breathes oxygen just like everyone else!

“You need to EAT MORE!!!!”

Uhh…No.

I do not.

That’s another one I get pretty often, and one can’t truly know how frustrating it is unless it happens to you. I eat until I am full, just like any other person who has a healthy relationship with food. Sometimes it’s a little, sometimes it’s a lot. I’ll eat as much as I can handle without over-stuffing myself. “Eating more” won’t do anything besides make me sluggish, so why should I do that and waste food that I could be saving for later? Again, very few people understand when I explain this. They insist I could just “eat more” and *POOF!* As if they know anything about MY body. *facepalm x10000* Trust me, if “eating more” was an option, don’t you think I would have done that a lonnnnggggg time ago?!

My only “restriction” (if you can call it that) is that I do my best to avoid GMOs and weird ingredients I can’t pronounce. I encourage others to do the same and to look for the shortest list of ingredients on their food labels when grocery shopping. If there’s a whole effing long ass paragraph on the contents label, I think it would be in everybody’s best interest to pass it up for something with less mystery ingredients if possible.

People these days are usually pretty understanding when I explain this, but once in a while I’ll get that person who says “You don’t NEED to eat healthy stuff!” As if losing weight is the only reason to eat healthy? *sighs.* Then I have to explain that everyone should eat foods that make them feel good, whether they’re “dieting” or not!

“Oh you like healthy food, THAT’s why you’re so skinny!”

No, it is not. My desire to eat good food has nothing to do with being skinny!

By the way, I want you to try something. Go on Instagram and search the hashtags #skinny #thin and #thighgap. A WARNING pops up! GRAPHIC CONTENT you guys!! Because thin women are just OH SO OFFENSIVE they will make your eyeballs bleed!!!! Ugh. The #fat hashtag however, is totally okay you guys!!! #bodypositive

Yes, I get that there’s a lot of girls who do starve themselves and go on social media looking for further starvation inspiration and documenting their progress. Yes, those girls need help. But should they be lumped in with ALL skinny people whether they can help how they look or not? I say HELL NO!

Which brings me to my next point. I have a “thigh gap.” I do not want nor did I ever ask for a “thigh gap.” I did not roll out of bed one day and decide that obtaining a thigh gap would be one of my goals. But I have one whether I want one or not. But wait! Thigh gaps AREN’T REAL! REAL women don’t have those silly stupid fake thigh gaps you guyssss!!! Only fake photoshopped women have thoseeee!!!!

Oh, and my favorite…

“OMG Guys ONLY like big girls!!!!! Guys don’t like skinny girlsss!!!!”

Oh, do kindly f*** off! Guys like whatever the hell they decide they like. Some like black hair, some like blond. Some like green eyes, some like blue or brown. Some guys like girls and some guys like guys. Different guys prefer girls of all different skin colors. Some even like imperfections, like moles or messed up teeth. But NOT ALL guys have to only like “big girls.” They do not all have to prefer big girls over any other body type, and to go around telling women that only big girls are desirable is damaging.

Aside from being asked questions so frustrating that you don’t know how to manage an answer anymore or being told you don’t need to eat healthy, imagine growing up as a skinny kid and being told by people (including your family who should know better) that you should gain weight because you would be more attractive, more desirable, and just overall better because you clearly aren’t good enough the way you are. Imagine seeing ads showing “real women” (Dove, for example, which I will bitch about in a separate post) and none of them look like you. But OMG those women are REAL U GUYZ!! That’s what REAL WOMEN LOOK LIKE!! Not those fake skinny bitches that don’t even exist in real life…these are REAL WOMEN!! *bangs head on wall*

See that adorable outfit on that mannequin you just have to have? Tough s**t, the smallest size is a medium. You can try it on just to see, but as badly as you want to make it work, it doesn’t look hopeful. But do not bother complaining about your clothes shopping issues around other women, OH NO, you don’t get to do that. Your problems are not real. Only “big girls” get to vent about their problems, and if you try to, you will get called “anorexic” and told to just shut up. Because, ya know, you must not have any legitimate problems like other “real” women have. You aren’t real and neither are your problems. Woohooo!

You could also be strolling down the street minding your own business when a random stranger who happens to have an empty soul full of evil and contempt decides to tell you to “eat a cheeseburger.” Yes, this has happened MORE THAN ONCE. What is going through these awful people’s minds, I have no clue. I will never begin to understand what makes them think that is acceptable behavior. I mean, shouting insults at random people?! Come on! But unfortunately, if your a thin woman people think this is okay to do to you. We all know they wouldn’t dare go up to a heavy person and tell them to stop eating or “cut out the cheeseburgers” because that would be OH SO MEANNNNN!!! You can’t say thatttttt!!!You’ll hurt their feeeeelllinngssss!!!! But skinny girls have no feelings and no real problems so it’s totally okay to say whatever horrible things you want to them, right guysss??!

Another one is, “Have you been to the doctor?”

Or “Are you healthy?”

Yes and yes. No other explanation should be needed here.

Also, your friends are posting their ski trips on Instagram but alas, you have to pass on the winter sports because the cold is literally unbearable for you. I myself don’t mind this one too much since I’m a summer person anyway. I’ll take the warm sandy beach!

It’s also somehow acceptable for weirdos to grab your wrist with their thumb and forefinger in a circle, and look at it as if you are some kind of alien. But prepare for war if you retaliate by poking their stomach or something, which is just as bad, but you would totally never do that because that’s OMG SO MEANNN!

Go somewhere with only hard chairs? WOOT! Your ass is about to hurt and I hope you brought a pillow, because they will not make accommodations for your tiny butt.

And let’s not forget the whole “body positive” movement! You get to be “body positive” ONLY if you aren’t skinny. Because thin women don’t deserve to be “body positive” guys! *barf*

You may not complain of any ailments either, because there will always be THAT person who attributes your problems to being “too thin” or having “no meat on your bones.” I’m a very sweet, kind, patient and tolerant person 99.9% of the time. I do my best to ignore things that rub me the wrong way and focus on the positive. But the next person that says anything to me about “meat” and “bones” is going to be dragged by their hair into a world of pain! Because of this, I have to keep quiet most of the time when something is bothering me. Cold? It’s because there’s no meat on your bones! Got a headache? It’s because your skinny! Got a bruise on you leg from bumping into a table? It’s because your so skinny! Hungry? Tired? Stressed? Need a joint, a beer and a nice long nap? It’s because you’re so thin and must never eat! I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. It’s tough feeling like you can’t speak up when something is wrong, for fear of being judged. God forbid you ever end up with a serious health issue, or it will be ignored and attributed to being “too skinny.” I am so so thankful for the few girlfriends in my life that I can say these things to without judgement. They are what keep me sane.

The only real possible solution to any of this is to lift weights and do squats every single day (which I would LOVE to be able to do) but don’t we all get busy? Keeping up with a regimen is hard for anybody, even with all the time in the world and a personal trainer to light the fire under your butt. Even after a pretty long successful streak, the second I skip a few days I shrink back to tiny size! But then again, would it make me go up a clothing size? Would it make the cold more bearable? Who really knows, only time will tell. Maybe the mean comments would stop, maybe not. But as tempting as it is, we must make improvements to please ourselves and better our own lives, not to appease others who don’t truly matter. Oh well, gotta pick yourself back up. That is, after some much needed winter hibernation, of course! *huddles up under covers*

Stuffing-Style Turkey Meatloaf

I hope everyone had an awesome holiday and got all the goodies you wished for!! Now is that weird time between Christmas and New Years when I’m in limbo and feeling like a total blob, yet wanna get motivated for all the fab things we have planned in 2018! As I write this, I’ve got my ass parked on the couch in my fluffy robe looking at some leftover holiday mess that seems to creep back no matter how many times I attempt to clean it. The good news is, I’m bringing you my meatloaf recipe I made on Christmas Eve as promised on my Instagram post!

Let me begin my telling you I am SO NOT a meatloaf person normally, nor was I ever until I discovered THIS! I can’t take credit for the bread idea myself, but this is my version! It’s turkey meat, so much better for you than beef, and unlike other meatloaf I’ve tried before it is so so smooth!! So here it is…

  • 2 packages of ground turkey (antibiotic and hormone-free!)
  • 4-5 slices of bread (I use wheat bread)
  • 1 Large egg
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • A dash of liquid smoke
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • A pinch of cumin
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. Throw the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl
  3. Tear the bread up into small pieces and add it to the turkey mixture
  4. Add the egg, olive oil, cumin, salt, hot sauce and liquid smoke
  5. Chop the onion and add it to the mix
  6. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture (I prefer gloves when I don’t want to get my fingers sticky).
  7. Coat a baking pan with butter or coconut oil spray
  8. Form the mixture into a “loaf” on the pan
  9. Cover it with foil or a lid and pop it in the oven for 1 hour or until it’s cooked through the center
  10. Remove the foil toward the end to allow your loaf to “brown” a bit on top if you prefer
  11. Slice and serve!!

Show me your healthy turkey loaf with your fav side dishes on IG @stephaniepiix #urbanmermaid💕😋

What I Love About CBD Oil

Happy cyber-week and I hope you all had a blessed weekend! I recently received this gift from NW Hemp Products and wanted to share my experience. Since I’ve received it, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to use it and have been pleased with the results so far!

It’s called Go Green Hemp CBD Oil from the awesome folks at NW Hemp Products, and the instructions on the bottle say to take it orally as a dietary supplement. I dropped a few drops in my water bottle 2-3 times a day for the last week or so. It does make your water taste different (peppermint, in this case) but it’s not so overpowering that it takes over your tastebuds. Just a nice little bit of flavor!

As you may or may not know, hemp is quite the magical little plant. Not to be confused with marijuana, this stuff won’t get you stoned because it does not contain THC. So yes, you can drink it while doing important stuff and no, you won’t fail a pee test! Here’s the side of the box:

Some of the benefits to using CBD oil include cardiovascular health, decreased anxiety, and possible treatment of some neurological disorders such as seizures. Everyone is different of course (I’m totally not a doctor, heheheee), but all these results have been reported by people in the past. I have, however, done some of my own experimenting!

As far as that dull, yucky winter skin goes I tried putting a few drops on my face at night after I get out of the shower. It’s been AWESOME!! It absorbs nicely into my skin and the peppermint leaves my face with a nice cool tingle that makes it feel so clean! It also got rid of the dry, flakey patches pretty quick and they haven’t come back!

I find that hemp products absorb really well into my skin overall, which especially comes in handy during the winter months when you happen to be a germaphobe who washes your hands A LOT! A few drops on my knuckles where my skin was starting to crack, and POOF! Relief!! You can grab this oil or tons of other fabulous hemp products for a meaningful holiday gift (or treat yo self) right here! 😉

Have you tried it? What are your favorite hemp products? Let me know in the comments!! XO

Product Review: Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser

If you’ve been reading my posts regularly, you probably know I’ve discovered Milk Makeup products not long ago and I’ve become a huge fan! This one isn’t makeup, though. It’s a facial cleanser!

You can tell from this pic I’ve been using it a little over a week, so here are some things I want to mention about it:

It’s cruelty free and vegan, like all their products. I have very acne prone skin (although it’s gotten better in recent years) and this cleanser is free of harsh chemicals and full of soothing ingredients that won’t irritate my face. Of course, Matcha green tea is the main ingredient. I’ve also been using it a bit on my chest and shoulders, as I’ve experienced breakouts in those areas as well. It’s very good for removing makeup as well. This is some info that came in the package:

And here is my own simplified list of pros/cons.

Pros:

•Soothing green tea feels good on my skin

•packaging makes it easy to hold in the shower while washing your face, unlike bar soap.

•vegan and cruelty free

•portable container

Cons:

•It’s running out faster than I want it to (wish it was bigger!)

•It doesn’t really lather (I like soapy bubbles)

So there you go! My overall rating for this product would be 8.5 out of 10! I definitely love it and recommend it!

What facial cleanser have you been using? What’s your fav? Tell me in the comments and find me on Instagram at @stephaniepiix or tag #urbanmermaid 🧜🏼‍♀️

XO! 😘

Weird Beauty Secret: To Tape or Not To Tape?

You’ve most likely heard of a million different solutions or products geared toward women (and guys) who want to get rid of fine lines or wrinkles. Let me just say, I know I’m WAYYYY too young to be having this problem! It would seem the only real, promising solution is surgery. But after reading through different forums and comments on the internet, I’ve noticed I’m not the only 20-something having this issue. I’ve seen quite a few young women complaining of fine lines, mostly “smile lines.” This is what was bothering me the most, so I did some research.

After watching some YouTube reviews on various face-tape and sticky-like products, I read the comments and noticed people mentioning surgical paper tape.

Yep, that cheap gauze tape from the bandage section of the drug store.

So I tried it, and I want to share my experience with you guys! It’s NOT easy to admit to the whole internet, of course. It’s a somewhat embarrassing problem that I usually bitch about to close friends on FaceTime…in my robe….with my face covered in tape. But alas, this is what drives me insane pretty much every day, and what I’ve done about it:

You can see the line is not as deep and more of a “surface line.” However, you do have to do this all the time, preferably every night for the best results. The internet seems to be full of articles written by people whining about how this doesn’t really work. Well, that is because you have to keep doing it, and there is no guarantee since one persons skin is not going to be the same as another’s. You will most likely see results happen slowly over time. This is why it’s not considered a “permanent fix.” It does, however, make my skin feel and look tighter in the morning when done right!

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should find the stiffest tape possible!! This is actually very important. The flimsy dollar store tape may give you some results, but could leave you with residual lines once you remove the tape.

Don’t be alarmed, though. Those will disappear as the morning wears on. But the better solution is to just avoid the cheap tape (lesson learned!!) It may also take a few tries to get the hang of it, since everyone’s face is different.

If this is something you want to try, here’s a few key points to sum things up:

•place tape long ways along the “wrinkle”

•make sure your face is clean

•you may do this after your nightly skin care routine

• always use the stiffest tape possible

•be sure to use tape that is meant for skin, NEVER use masking tape or any other tape not in the bandage section!! It could have chemicals on it that you don’t want on your skin!😵

Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments! XO

Smokey 3 Cheese Eggplant Casserole 

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a lovely 4th (for my US readers at least). I myself am just trying to take advantage of every summer day while having my ass thoroughly kicked by allergies. Fun! I want to share this awesome recipe with you all. It’s my own version of the classic Eggplant Parmesan!

Eggplant is amazing as a meat replacement because it has that meaty-like texture. You can also add mushrooms to this dish for an even more filling meal!

Ingredients:

• 1 large or 2 small eggplants

• a pinch of salt

• 3 eggs (it doesn’t hurt to have more on hand just in case)

• 1 can of breadcrumbs

• liquid smoke

• 1 tomato

• 1 cup of kale leaves

• minced or fresh garlic

• white wine

• 3 cheeses (preferably Parmesan, Gouda and Swiss…but for this one I used Swiss and double sharp cheddar for the hubby).

• 1 package of mushrooms

• 1/2 a small onion

• olive or vegetable oil

• hemp seeds (optional but highly recommended). Where on earth do you get those?! Why, right here of course!

Preheat your oven to about 350 and start by slicing your eggplant about a quarter inch thick. Place the slices in a colander to “dry out” a bit. Add a pinch of salt to them to speed up this process. Let sit about 20-30 minutes. You can use this time to rinse off your kale and mushrooms and set them aside.Once you feel they’ve sat long enough, heat your oil up in a large pan. Beat the eggs in a bowl and dump some breadcrumbs on a plate. You’ll be dipping each piece in the eggs first, then the breadcrumbs (they should stick) then throw them into the pan to fry until they are a nice golden brown on both sides. Once you do this, set them aside on a separate plate. Repeat until all the pieces are fried. Keep in mind: you’ll be adding more oil during the cooking process because these bitches suck up oil like crazy!!Now here’s the fun part: making the sauce! I love making my own sauces! Feel free to get creative with this part.My inspiration for this recipe to begin with was that I wanted to make an Eggplant Parmesan, but I’m not a red sauce person and wanted to tone it down a bit by making a “pink sauce.”

For the sauce I used the cheese grater on one tomato to make it into a “paste,” chopped 1/2 an onion, and 1 clove of garlic. Add about a tablespoon of white wine (feel free to drink the rest) and a small dash of my new-found favorite…Liquid smoke!!! This stuff is AMAZEBALLS!! I’m totally serious!! Even your hands will smell heavenly when working with this stuff (don’t eat those, though!) Please be aware, a little bit goes a long way with this, so your best bet is to pour a few drops into the cap and add it to your sauce that way. I find it really is quite potent! Mix the sauce well and set it aside.

Going back to the eggplant slices, coat a large baking pan with the oil you used to fry the eggplant pieces and start putting the pieces down in the pan. You will be layering all the ingredients together. Add the cheese and pour some of the sauce over the slices evenly, and start laying the kale and mushroom slices in as well.You’ll see it start coming together! Keep adding the cheese and sauce between layers until all the sauce is used up.Once all of the ingredients are in the pan, make the top part the cheesiest layer. Then sprinkle your hemp seeds on top for an extra protein boost! Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until you see the top layer of cheese start to get brown. Let it cool and share the smokey happiness!

Try it and tell me what you think in the comments or on my Instagram @stephaniepicss 🥂💜