I was a Barbie girl.

I was a Barbie girl. Yes, I hounded my sister daily to play Barbies with me. She hated it. I of course still persisted. I probably had 10 different Barbies and one Ken doll to go along with them. I am not sure what ever made me want to play with Barbie. It is hard to see in hindsight as I am so far from a Barbie girl these days. I, of course, did not see that their feet were set in a previous high heel position, or that getting their high heels on was nearly impossible. Is that why I hate high heels today?

One of mine had a fake tan (I think she was called Bikini Barbie), another was Exercise Barbie with her own workout outfits, one had a fancy dress, another was Bride Barbie, but other than their differing outfits they all looked the same — not much to differentiate them from the other. I know I made up different scenarios and enjoyed trying to create different clothing options — so maybe I was interested in design and had no idea. Other than that I do not remember why I was so enamored with Barbie.

Fast forward to 2015 and Barbie launches this new ad that is not about fashion and looks, but rather teaching, sports, and taking care of animals. It goes deeper. While maybe it feels like the adults looking on are laughing at them, I wonder if the laughing is fascination with what is coming out of each girls mouth. I am not sure what a young girl would think if they watched this ad, but I hope that the message at the end: “When a Girl Plays with Barbie She Imagines Everything She Can Become.” My hope is that a girl does not have to just play with Barbie, but that when a girl plays at all her imagination lets her create the world around her so she sees all she can be.

What do you think?

Random Recipe: Mozzarella Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Last weekend we were at a house-warming party for a friend. She made the most amazing salad. Seriously, it has been a while since I have had a new salad and one that truly hit the spot. The guests cleared out the bowl, and she saw how enamored I was with it. She pulled me aside and said she would make more. It is easy and has very few ingredients. We then made it this week, and it was good, but I need to find out what she did. She sometimes cooks in the oh I’ll add more of this here and that there. And, somehow her version just tasted better. Hmmm.

We cut the recipe in half (even though the original recipe says for 2).

Smoked Mozzarella Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing [Adapted]

Serves 2

Salad_

2 oz mixed greens

1/2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced

Dressing_

2.5 oz jarred sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (drained weight)
1/8 c fresh basil, shredded
1/8 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp capers, rinsed
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
extra olive oil
salt+pepper to taste

Directions_

Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender. Use the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes and add extra as needed to equal 1/3 cup of oil. Blend until smooth. Toss the mixed greens, sliced mozzarella, and dressing together and serve.

Try it — I am curious what you think, and how it could be tweaked.

Not asking for help

I will tell you now. I have a horrible time asking for help. Chris can back me up on this – I rarely ask for help. Part of it has to do with how I grew up, where I had to balance life, school, homework, being an awkward teen, taking care of my mom and all the household items that connected to that (paying the bills, groceries, cleaning, etc.). Due to all of those crazy tasks added to my plate from the age of twelve, I am used to juggling many balls, sometimes balls of fire. I am used to it, and it means that even to this day I have a hard time saying: “Can you help me?”

I recently found this article called: “Why Are We So Afraid of Asking for Help?” on the Daily Worth website. The funny part is that the article talks about not asking for help in the context of being a woman. Sure, that does not help my strange childhood upbringing. Yes, I am also a hardcore woman, and I want to be able to do anything. You know the line from: Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” That was always the mantra in my life. As the youngest of three, I wanted to make sure I could keep up, so if my sister and brother could play a board game, I would try to figure out how to play it so I can be included, and then I would concentrate, watch, and figure out how to beat everyone. To my disadvantage, eventually they did not want to play with me because I would kick their butt.

In any case, needing help. I never really learned how to ask for help. Generally, as a kid when I would ask for help, it would not come through, so I would just figure it out on my own and not expect anything from anyone. Sad, but true. I still have a hard time. The thought: ‘you could ask for help to do this’ rarely crosses my mind. Except for with Chris. Somehow he has me whooped, and I usually have no problem asking him for help. Maybe he wishes I was not so addicted to his help, but I think he should feel enamored. I have wholeheartedly given him my heart, and my ability to ask for help.

I am learning to ask for help, but the road is slow. Be patient with me.