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Don’t Live In Fear, Live With Pride

Live In Pride

Live In Pride


I have spoken here on the blog before about how important it is to me to be a straight ally to the LGBTQ community, and how I feel we can’t have equality for any group if we don’t have equality for everyone. Because I have the personal platform and ability to blog and to talk to many people across the US I felt it was important to make this post right now.

Unless you live under a rock you have already heard about the very unfortunate event that happened in Orlando, FL. If by some miracle you have not, you can read the original news release here and the more updated press release from the President here.

Essentially as time went by through the day the body count and the number of injured went up, as well as information about who the shooter was came out. There have been reports that the man was involved with ISIS, and there have been words like terrorism tosses around. However his father has released a statement that implies that jealousy may have been the cause instead, and that the family has no knowledge of his intent or actions. You can read about that and watch the news clip here.

But something else happened later in the day that hasn’t gotten the same amount of press, mainly because it was prevented from happening. A young white male was heavily armed  with weapons and the items capable of creating explosives. He was stopped in Santa Monica, CA and arrested. He stated that he had been on his way to the LA Gay Pride Festival. There really has  not been much of a statement made on the incident, only that this is not related to the Orlando event as far as authorities can tell. But if you would like to read it for yourself you can find it here.


James Wesley Howell

James Wesley Howell, potential gunman in LA


Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen gunman of mass shooting in Orlando.











I wanted to share pictures of both of these young men, not to burn their faces in your memory, but to make a point that is very important. Yes, there has been mention of potential involvement of ISIS in the Orlando case, but that has yet to be proven. And even if it is true I think we should be careful about how we use the word terrorism in this case. That word, especially when used in conjunction with a group like ISIS holds a certain type of meaning. But this was not everyone being targeted in the US, this was a specific group, and this was motivated by hate. It is a hate crime. And so when you look at the man who had aimed to go to LA, with the kind of weapons he had on him, had he not been stopped he easily could have done as much or more damage as what happened in Orlando. So look at these two faces and know that hate does not come in one color. Please don’t make what happened in Orlando about the color of someone’s skin, the country their family was from, their families religion. Let it stay what it was really about, HATE! And now lets heal that.

And the other reason I really wanted to do this post tonight is to ask people to please don’t let yourself live in fear. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ community or a straight ally, don’t stay home because you’re afraid of what might happen. I know there have been some reports of other threats for various Pride events around the country, and I know if you tend to be the type that worries or is anxiety ridden it can become fear inducing. You can not live a life based on things that might happen.

Yes it can be scary at times to stand up and oppose bullies (and yes I do consider someone who threatens other people even with this severe of consequences a bully) when they have threatened you. I have made a habit in my life of standing up to bullies, and it has been hard at times. I have even had people ask me why I do and say some of the things I do or comment on how they just couldn’t do what I did because they would be too terrified of the retaliation. But I have through my life maintained that if I believe in something I stand strong in my beliefs and I don’t back down based on fear of what might happen.

So my biggest wish is for all of you to not live in fear, but instead live with pride. Please support your local LGBTQ community in whatever way you can. Either in showing support to individuals you know personally or even better going and helping out at some of the Pride events.





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The Leaf, By Bellabeat – Where Did You Get That “Necklace”

Over the last month or so you might have noticed in a lot of my pictures I am wearing the same “necklace” over and over again. And it seem like, increasingly, every time I wear it out or in a picture I have someone asking where I got my “necklace”. So I thought I would make a post about it.

Each time someone asks me about where I got my “necklace” I am a little surprised that there is anyone left that doesn’t know about it already. It seems like I have seen it all over social media for well over a year. There was even a waiting list to get it initially. And just so you have a fresh idea of what I am talking about, here are some of the various pictures I have posted here on the blog, and on my various social media accounts, with me wearing the “necklace”.

Outfit for Day 24 of All Dress April  Outfit for Day 29 of All Dress April










2016-05-19 16.06.49

And by now you have probably deduced with all my use of quotations marks around the word “necklace”, that its not a necklace at all, or at least its not just a necklace. What it actually is, is the Bellabeat Leaf Exclusive. Its a health tracker made to look and be worn like jewelry. So think like a fitbit, but it looks prettier. And it has some special advantages since it is made just for women in mind. First let me tell you a little more about it, and then I will tell you why I decided I wanted one and my overall thoughts on it since using it for almost a month now.

It comes in two color options, they have a silver with natural wood (which is what mine is) and there is a rose gold with black wood. You can wear these three different ways. I have obviously chosen to wear it as a necklace, but you can also wear it like a bracelet, or it can be clipped onto your clothing. Each leaf comes with the necessary items to be able to wear it all three ways. I will insert pictures I got from their website here so you can see what the other options look like.

41136_39  41136_37





And I don’t really have any pictures to share of it, but I just received an email saying they have a couple of new jewelry options for the Leaf. I took a look, and one is a really cool looking double wrap bracelet that comes in a couple of color options. And they also have a few new necklace chain options.

As I said before the Leaf is like a fitbit, but it is so much more. Designed by a woman – for women, the LEAF does everything a health tracker should do, and then some:

  • Measures sleep – the LEAF logs sleep quality and quantity, giving the user insight into the number of hours and percentage quality of sleep. The charts within the app let the user compare their periods of light sleep and deep sleep, allowing them to identify what type of day or activity leads to a better night’s sleep.
  • Tracks activity – measures daily movement, burned calories and allows the user to set daily goals to keep them motivated. The app will also let users enter specific sports and activities, giving a detailed overview of their movement throughout the day.
  • Monitors reproductive health – gives a detailed overview of the user’s menstrual cycle and helps women trying to conceive to identify ovulation days and increase their chances of successful conception. By cross-referencing daily activity in the LEAF app with their menstrual cycle, women are able to better understand their health trends during this specific time. The period part of the app is equipped with witty notes designed to brighten up the user during PMS times.Reduces stress – the built-in breathing exercises help the LEAF user cope with stress. By cross-referencing the breathing data with the amount of stress the user might be feeling, the LEAF allows the user to learn which breathing exercises help minimize stress.
  • Keeps things on schedule – the smart alarm feature within the LEAF app lets the user set reminders for things like taking their pill on time or getting tampons, there’s the wake up alarm option and an inactivity alert that warns the user if they’ve been inactive for too long.

I initially wanted a health monitor myself more for the sleep tracking aspect. I have always suffered from severe insomnia as well as sleep walking. I have done sleep studies, but haven’t really found much help, and I thought keeping track of my sleeping patterns might be helpful. I had held back from getting a fitbit because I didn’t like the way they were so bulky and I hate wearing anything on my wrist. When I saw the Leaf come out I thought it was such a great option. And I love that it has so many other things that it helps track like your period. (Story for another day, I have had a hysterectomy but still have a period)

It did take some getting use to remembering to put the necklace back on after a shower, but it didn’t take long. And outside of remembering to put it on, its really comfortable to wear, and it adjusts to various lengths. I really like the app that reminds me to take my pills. Its such a gentler way that a loud alarm on your phone to get the reminder. You only feel your necklace vibrate, and if you don’t remember what it was for you can look at your phone and will tell you what the alarm is for.

I haven’t really played around with the meditation app yet, but I do intend to. And while I am not trying to use it to encourage any extra exercise, I do find it interesting seeing how many steps I take day to day and what activities increase that without me really thinking about it.

Overall I am really happy with mine and if I had it to over again, I would still get it. As I use it more or as I see more products become available I will try and keep everyone updated. In the meantime, for anyone who wants to purchase one for themselves, I searched to see if I could find some special offers or coupon codes. I found this link that if you Order now and get your LEAF with free accessories. Or I also found on Offers Dot Com if you order at the Bellabeat Leaf Exclusive website and use code MYLEAF20, you are suppose to get 20% off your order. It says the coupon expires 5/31/16.

Does anyone else have the Leaf? How do you like yours? What was your main purpose for getting it, or did someone else get it for you?

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