Strength and Beauty – Beauty of a Woman #BOAW17

Hello?

Is anyone out there?

It has been a looooong time since I have written anything, blog included.

One year, actually.

Why?

I had another baby!!

My two little hearts… (copyright Tiffany A. White)

That’s right—I now have two boys under the age of three.  Crazy, right?  I am blessed to get to stay home with them; but needless to say, they keep me insanely busy.  As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here typing these words as they simultaneously nap—a VERY rare occurrence in my house.  Never did I think I would be a stay-at-home mom.  And never did I think it would be as difficult as it is to get two babies to sleep at the same time, especially at night.

On any average night, I am usually up a minimum of three times between midnight and 8AM.  It’s safe to say my sleep suffers greatly when at least two of those stints lead to an hour’s worth of breastfeeding.  But hey—I can catch up on TV while nursing, a pastime that I don’t get all that much time to enjoy anymore.

I am tired.  But what mom isn’t?  Heck, what woman isn’t?  We ladies usually take on enough to keep us busy 25 hours a day.

Wait.  What?  There’s only 24 hours in a day?

This brings me to the point of today’s post.  The reason I am forfeiting my naptime—some of the only minutes a day that I have to myself.

When August McLaughlin approached me about joining her 6th Annual Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, I knew I wanted to participate.  I realized I would probably struggle to find the time to write anything, but I wanted to AND I knew it would feel great to do something besides being a wife, mother, and housekeeper.  Although, I do love my new job.  I do.  Motherhood is probably the most difficult job I have had to date, but also the most rewarding.  However, blogging again, even if just this one post for the next year, would feel wonderful, especially writing about such an important topic—women’s beauty.

So, thank you, August.  Thank you for pulling me back in.

Now, enough rambling…here goes:

By definition, beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or platform, or something else.

So what is beauty to me?  Or better yet, what makes a woman beautiful?

WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL.  ALL WOMEN!

Period.

But today, I’m going to focus on just one of the many reasons why women are beautiful: our strength and ability to persevere.

When we run into one of life’s detours?  We drive right through it.  Women have the ability to push through any of life’s obstacles.

For example—my exhaustion.

I am beyond exhausted.

I can’t even put into words how tired I am— eye-crossing, head-dropping, deliriously tired.

And apparently whiney, but I have the right, in my opinion.

Regardless, I push through, get as much done as I possibly can without collapsing, and attempt to make each and every day as special as I can for my boys (hubby included). It’s not easy, and I’m not perfect, but it’s my best. And trust me, not being perfect is REALLY hard for me.

But seriously, and no offense to the opposite sex—I love my husband… he works hard so I can stay home; he loves me and spoils me and the boys more than he should (but don’t tell him that!); he also picks up where he can around the house to help me—but women run circles around men.  Perhaps this is all due to our ability to multitask?  Sure.  But I like to think it’s because we are the real HERcules.

In Greek Mythology, Hercules was a male, son of Zeus; but in today’s society, women are definitely HERculean.

We are strong. Physically strong.  Emotionally strong.  Mentally strong.  And this strength makes us beautiful—inside and out.

There is nothing we can’t achieve or accomplish.  I learned this firsthand during pregnancy and childbirth.  Our bodies do amazing things.  I have seen my husband stub his toe—he couldn’t birth a baby.

I love you, honey.  🙂

Not all women choose to be mothers, and that’s okay.  We are all still equally strong.  We may not feel confident in our beauty every day.  We may not believe in our beauty every day.  True; but we are.

So own it, ladies.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Now, I am not sure this post makes sense or that I haven’t repeated myself over and over.  Chances are I’m rambling and I’m jumping all over the place.  But I hope I’ve at least conveyed one simple message.

WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL.

It’s time for me to now go brew another cup of my Heaven, my lifeline, my momma juice as I call it—COFFEE!

Thanks again to August for hosting such an awesome event and for inviting me to participate.  As wonderful and as beautiful as us women are, we do need the reminder now and again.

Be sure to stop by August’s Blogfest page to join in the #BOAW17 fun.

Until next time…

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

 

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The True Beauty of… Breasts – Beauty of Woman #BOAW16

Wow. May 2016. Where has the time gone? It has been almost a year since my last blog post. Okay; it has been a year. I guess life gets in the way sometimes—a lot of the time.

Motherhood has really changed my life—for the better—but changed, nonetheless. Everything has taken a backseat, especially my writing (and household chores). My Little Dude is a month from his second birthday and…shhhh…we’re expecting our second. That’s my first public admission of this pregnancy.

Despite my social media life, I am a very private person. But between the preparation for our new addition AND August’s 5th annual Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, I knew I had something to say.

I know – people who know me say this is nothing out of the ordinary.

But seriously. Time to blog.

Waterolor beautiful girl. Vector illustration of woman beauty salon

My perspective on a woman’s beauty has changed. Maybe not so much changed, but grown by leaps and bounds.

By definition, beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or platform, or something else.

I’ve always seen the beauty, both internally and externally of a woman. However, having undergone the many changes I have the past two and a half years, I now have a deeper appreciation… a deeper understanding… and a deeper love—for myself, other women, and the female body. More specifically, boobs, or the scientific terminology, breasts.

Men have always appreciated a woman’s breasts. But have we as women appreciated our breasts as much as the men? Probably not. We’re our worst critics. I bet as a whole, we complain a lot about the pair we have… much like our hair, our thighs, and any other body part we deem imperfect. Notice I said we deem

But guess what? Our breasts are AMAZING!

Small, large, super-sized, droopy, perky, it doesn’t matter.

All boobs rock!

I certainly didn’t appreciate my “girls” until experiencing breastfeeding firsthand. Our breasts aren’t just an aesthetic body part to improve our physical appearance; although they don’t hurt it either. Our breasts serve a purpose—to feed our young. Having not been breastfed (well, I wouldn’t remember anyway, would I?) or being around breastfeeding prior to having my son, I didn’t really grasp just how amazing breasts actually were. I guess I was kind of like a man—I saw a “good pair” and thought WOW.

Not anymore. I truly get it now.

From the moment our body completes the mind-boggling and precious process we know as childbirth, our breasts produce the food necessary for our offspring. As our babies grow and change, our milk supply grows and changes with them, giving them the exact, THE EXACT nutrition our child needs. No two nursings are alike—breastfeeding is constantly evolving to our baby’s needs.

Amazing, right? I need a new word for amazing…

It doesn’t stop there.

Our breasts produce the antibodies our kiddos need to fight off ailments. Without getting too scientific, their saliva enters the breast through one of the many milk ducts and our body recognizes when something is “off.” The female body then produces exactly what the baby needs to help fight whatever it is that is wrong. All through the boob.

Amazing, right? There I go again with that word… but it is. Truly.

Now, breastfeeding isn’t for all mothers and that’s okay. My mother didn’t breastfeed me and I personally think I turned out fine and I love her to death.

However, I knew I wanted to try for my Little Dude and I wanted to go for as long as I could. When I first hit the six month mark, I was thrilled, but I wasn’t ready to stop. Next we accomplished twelve months, which was fantastic… but my husband and I made the decision to keep going. When it’s all said and done, my son and I made it to eighteen months before calling it quits.

And guess what? We had ZERO non-well visits to his pediatrician in that time. No ear infections, no nothing. If he happened to get a runny nose, I nursed more and his tiny little common cold never progressed.

Simply amazing. Forget it—I’m not looking for another word any longer. Amazing says it all.

For whatever reason, some people are offended by women breastfeeding in public. Why it’s okay for a woman to show cleavage and be sexy, yet it’s not for her to feed her little one the best nutrients he or she can possibly receive is beyond me.

But society freaks. While I’m for it (I’m a BIG breastfeeding advocate), let’s all be mindful of others.  On both sides. Always.

And remember…

The true beauty of breasts… it’s AMAZING!

My Little Dude and Me (copyright Tiffany A. White)
My Little Dude and Me
(copyright Tiffany A. White)

PS.  Stop by August’s Blogfest page to participate in the #BOAW16 fun!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Finding Beauty – Beauty of Woman #BOAW15

It has been a loooooong time since I have written anything, including content for my blog. *dusts off cobwebs*

As many of you know, my writing has taken a back seat to my new and VERY important job—motherhood. Say HELLO to my little dude—well, to his feet, now almost nine months old.

Toes!!
Toes!!

And while I do miss writing, I can’t dedicate much time to my craft. I’ve had tons of ideas (thank goodness for notebooks), but have been looking for the perfect opportunity (and time) to stick my toes back into the shallow end and put pen to paper. Yes; I still handwrite everything prior to tapping the keyboard with my fingertips… I’m old school like that.

When I read August was launching the 4th annual Beauty of a Woman Blogfest, I knew the time had finally arrived.

Why now?

Because I have something to say. I know – people who know me say this is nothing out of the ordinary.

But seriously.

My perspective on a woman’s beauty has changed. Maybe not so much changed, but grown by leaps and bounds. I’ve always seen the beauty, both internally and externally of a woman. However, having undergone the many changes I have the past sixteen months, I now have a deeper appreciation… a deeper understanding… and a deeper love—for myself and other women.

By definition, beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or platform, or something else.

So what is beauty to me? Or better yet, what makes a woman beautiful? Well, there’s the obvious that most everyone associates to the word beauty—aesthetics. And yes; aesthetically, all women are beautiful—all shapes and sizes. Women are also beautiful by the kindness they extend to others and as reflected by the confidence they emit. There’s also strength, perseverance, and humility…

Here’s the truth—WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL. ALL WOMEN!

The minute we think otherwise, we have a problem.

Sure, I’ve thought of myself as beautiful at times in my life. Lord knows I have the confidence necessary to hold my head up high. But only recently have I truly felt beautiful, and it’s not because of my physical appearance. AT ALL.

Matter of fact, I’m the largest I’ve ever been in my life (yeah; pregnancy weight DOES NOT just come off, not even when breastfeeding) with arguably the worst complexion I have ever had (thank you adult-onset rosacea, courtesy of… you guessed it… my pregnancy).

I am beautiful because of my strength and perseverance. I have been blessed; but like all others, I have faced a few curve balls while standing at the home plate of life. When I could have given up and felt sorry for myself, I instead took a deep breath and kept motorin’, searching for the positives.

Everything we encounter, especially the detours, makes us stronger. Our ability to push through makes us beautiful.

My epiphany came with pregnancy, the birth of my son, and these early stages of motherhood—none of which was a piece of cake—not for me. I watched my body change (pregnant women do not always glow); I experienced health scares (during my forty weeks, hours before my son graced us with his presence, and postpartum); I pushed, literally, through a two and a half day labor… over fifty hours of a pressure and pain I still to this day can’t describe to others; and I have struggled with things since, thanks to my constant state of exhaustion.

But you know what? I am beautiful. I’m beautiful despite my size 12 clothes being tight (I can’t believe I just “said” my size out loud). I’m beautiful despite the permanent black circles under my eyes. I’m beautiful despite my face looking like I stayed out in the sun too long with big ole sunshades covering my eyes… a red raccoon if you will.

Now, not all women are mothers and that’s okay. Heck, I didn’t even know I wanted to be a mother until my 36th year on this earth. Motherhood is not for everyone and does not define us as women. All women are just as strong and beautiful due to the unique situations in their lives, regardless of their desire to be or not to be a mother. However, in my instance, motherhood is what opened my eyes to what makes me beautiful… to what makes my mother beautiful… my grandmother, aunts, cousins, friends… etc.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this…

Women make it their job to persevere. Through our drive and our strength, we find a way. We may not feel confident or believe ourselves to be beautiful every day, BUT WE ARE.

What’s the saying?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We simply must believe it ourselves.

Let’s stop restricting beauty to the size zero models strutting down the catwalks. Instead, let’s focus on finding the strength both internally and externally to claim our own beauty. Embrace our confidence. Demand respect. And don’t knock others.

Oh, yes… and smile.

You’re beautiful.

Beautiful artwork courtesy of the VERY beautiful Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson
Beautiful artwork courtesy of the VERY beautiful Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

PS.  Stop by August’s Blogfest page to participate in #BOAW15 fun!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Friday FaBOOolousness – March’s MarvelOoous Mashups, Awards, and a Tag Meme

We skipped February so it’s time for The Ooo Factor’s next installment of MarvelOoous Mashups.  This month I’m including a few awards that my fellow bloggers so generously awarded me, as well as participating in the widely spread Lucky 7 Meme.

First up, a big HUGE thanks to Marcy Kennedy for awarding me the Liebster Award!

Liebster is the German word for beloved person.  If anything, I have definitely developed a close friendship with Marcy, even though we’ve never met in real life.  She is one of the most supportive writing friends a girl could have, and I look forward daily to her tweets, emails, posts, and smiles.

In turn, I award these great blogging friends with the Liebster Award: Amber West and Jen L. Kirchner.  They’re my liebsters and excellent bloggers.

Jen has previously written a few great Vote Your Own Adventure blog series, but she’s now venturing out into the Sci-Fi world and provides great Gaming Reviews for Girls as well as Sci-Fi Pin Ups each month.

Amber, in addition to all of her blogging greatness, has started a new series of her own where she takes inspiration from her blog commenters to build the next portion of her story.  Her tale has just begun, so be sure and stop by her blog to contribute to her Tell Me a Story series.

I’d also like to express a big HUGE thanks to Martine Svanevik for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award and Fallon Brown for the Versatile Blogger Award.

I’ve done this a few times, but still feel like I should share the love and award a few new bloggers with the same honor.

Let’s see….who’s Kreativ?  Definitely Myndi Shafer.  Myndi blogs about anything and everything, but my favorite series is her I am Beautiful posts where she features women’s beauty from the inside out.

Who’s deserving of the Versatile Blogger Award?  Lydia Sharp of The Sharp Angle.  Lydia blogs about everything from vivacious spring colors, to the writing craft, and in one of my favorite segments, she promotes other writers and their books out in the market today in Fresh Baked Books.

THANK YOU, everyone!  Winning these awards for my posts means so very much to me, AND congratulations to the new recipients.

*****

In addition to these fabOoolous bloggers deserving of the awards, be sure to click on these sites featured in the March edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

PART I: FabOoolous Writerly Posts

When writing, we’ve all heard to be careful with our use of flashbacks.  Luckily, Lydia Sharp helps us along with her post: Good Flashbacks, Bad Flashbacks.

All writers waffle back and forth as to whether or not they should travel down the traditional publishing route, the indie publishing route, or the self-publishing route.  These next two posts explore two of the three roads: The Ins and Outs of Indie Publishing, a guest post by PJ Sharon courtesy of Catie Rhodes, and Publishing with Small Press, a guest post by Laura Kaye courtesy of Stacy Green.  These are fabOoolous reads for all writers considering their publishing options.

Show Don’t Tell – one of the most popular phrases a writer hears when attending self-editing workshops.  Thanks to the great Angela R. Wallace, I found this wonderful example of how to show and not tell by Ilona Andrews.  Thanks for sharing, Angela!

What do we do when we want to talk about a controversial topic on our blog?  Taking a side in any controversy can be controversial in itself.  Thanks to August McLaughlin, she offers up a wonderful summation of just what to do in her post: Controversial Blog Posts – How to Make them Work.

We all know that Targeting Advertising is the Key to Success, right?  If not, check out this fabOoolous post and list of resources by Emlyn Chand.

PART II: FabOoolous Recipes

It’s Martini O’clock!  When in need of a fancy cocktail to get us through the night (or day in some circumstances), Jillian Dodd has just what we need: the Thin Mint Martini and the Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini.  YUM!!!

Part III: FabOoolous True Crime Stories

Jeffrey Dahmer didn’t corner the market on homosexual oriented serial killings. Kansas City had its own monster: Robert Berdella, a.k.a. the Butcher. While Dahmer killed his victims fairly quickly, Berdella liked to torture the young men he seduced for days and sometimes weeks. He kept a “torture book” detailing his sadistic activities. 

Ooo, Stacy really grabbed my attention with this one!  When I see an introduction like this, I’m interested.  For more about Bob’s Bazaar Bizarre, check out Stacy Green’s thrilling post.

What ‘s better than True Crime?  Throwing ghosts into the mix.  The Devil’s Weekend by Catie Rhodes does not disappoint.  To quote Catie quoting Joseph Conrad: “The horror! the horror!”

Part IV: Just Because They’re fabOoolous

Anyone who knows me, knows I love scary movies.  Especially slashers.  Which is why it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite links these past few months is Sonia G. Medeiros’ Creepiest Movie Quotes.

My vote for creepiest movie quote – “Your blood, all over me” from When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Can anyone name a few Songs that Became Movies?  It’s a lot harder than it seems.  Check out a few of the lyrical sensations that took Hollywood by storm, courtesy of Catie Rhodes.

Ever wonder what in the world the kids are talking about today?  Take a trip down memory lane with these Excellent Generational Phrases by Erin Brambilla.

Who is a Larger than Life Character?  Check out this very interesting blog post by Julie Glover where she explores theconcoctions of an author’s mind who take on their own identity and become conversational touchpoints

Julie picked Hannibal Lector as one of her top six. I have to agree…

Ever wonder what a logline would be like if we combined two movies together?  To be honest, I hadn’t either.  Not until I read Loglines from the Edge of Ridiculousness by Myndi Shafer.  This post is brilliant and very entertaining.

We can never be too safe in today’s digital world, which is why I absolutely recommend this fabOoolous Tech Safety and Security blog with Ian Thompson courtesy of Amber West.  Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the hackers are growing exponentially today?

*****

And now for the last part of today’s special blog celebration — my participation in The Lucky 7 Meme tag game.  Thank you to Angela R. Wallace, Marcy Kennedy, Lisa Hall Wilson, Shannyn Schroeder, and Jillian Dodd for the big slap on the back (that’s how you play tag, right?).

Of course with any tagging game, there are rules…

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines (sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 writers and let them know.

Everyone knows that I’m working on my first YA mystery novel, but very few know anything about it.  I’ve kept pretty mum on my title and storyline, but considering I’m almost done with my cover and am in the final editing stage, it’s time.

So here’s an excerpt from the rough draft of my first book… drumroll please…

Football Sweetheart

Whew!  That’s the first time I’ve publically announced the name of my book!!

I’ve been editing for the past few months and I’m really not sure if this scene will actually end up on page 77, but it’s there now.  So here goes…

Aimee glanced up while singing along to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” only to notice Jeanie wasn’t standing in the circle any longer.  She slowed her swaying, and started looking around.  Jeanie was new to the school, new to the group, and had never been out to Uncle Marty’s — not with the girls anyway.  Just as she started to panic, Aimee spotted Jeanie across the dark street talking to Bobby.   

“The nerve!”   Aimee spewed spit with the exclamation, luckily keeping her tone low enough to only grab the attention of her friends. 

Okay, so it’s not much… but I did play by the rules – page 77, 7 lines down, 7 lines of my novel.

I’ve read some great excerpts of those participating in the Lucky 7 Meme tag game these past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to more.  Here are my Lucky 7 that I’d like to return the favor and slap on the back — TAG, YOU’RE IT!

  1.        Jen L. Kirchner
  2.        Amber West
  3.        Angela R. Wallace
  4.        Nichole Chase
  5.        Stephanie Nelson
  6.        Liz Schulte
  7.        Claudia Lefeve

This was really out of my comfort zone to announce the name of my book as well as include a small excerpt.  But why not?  I sure hope my Lucky 7 take the plunge with me, but I also understand if they don’t.

What blogs have you read lately that have really stood out among the rest?  Have any good blog posts for writers regarding self-publishing or e-books that you’d like to share? Recipes? How about a favorite true crime story that sends chills down your spine?  We’d love to hear from you!