Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Qualms with "The Bachelor" Franchise

When I was probably in fourth grade, the very first season of "The Bachelor" came out and I remember watching each weekly episode with my mom, anxiously anticipating what might happen next.  As a fourth grader, it was all very exciting- the dates, the glamor, the handsome man.
Then came "The Bachelorette" and I was so excited because Trista, the runner-up, ended up marrying Ryan, a sexy fireman.  I always had my predictions on how the show would end.  The Bachelor would always choose some gorgeous lady who may not necessarily be a good fit for him, but they would probably have copious amounts of hot sex (whoops, was I not supposed to say that?).  However, ever since Trista, I've believed the Bachelorettes are there for different reasons.  Trista and Ryan are still married and have kids now.  I remember watching their wedding (on tv) as a little girl and just being in total awe of the beauty of it all.

And that's where the media gets ya.

I'm a media major, so I know how this goes down.  I also have a Gender & Women's Studies certificate, the equivalent of a minor, and apart from throwing my degrees in your face, I'm a proud feminist.  However, when getting down to brass tacks, I enjoy the franchise but I have a lot of problems with it.

The first is that I stopped watching the show for several reasons, but mainly because it portrayed love as a very materialistic concept and that's a huge lie.  It felt like all of the relationships built on the franchise ended up failing miserably.  I also never liked the idea of perpetuating the notion that love is inevitable by going on a rock climbing date followed by a private jet flight to Paris to nosh on baguettes at the Eiffel Tower.  Love is hard work.  I saw in several of the chosen bachelors that they were still in their "bro" modes.  Maybe they wanted to be in a committed relationship, but at the end of the day, they were surrounded by beautiful ladies who were almost desperately wanting to get married.  That in itself isn't setting up a person to find a good match- that's an orgy waiting to happen.

So my second problem with the show is a constant reliance on feeding off of women's fear of not being married.  This is very much a cultural thing, where women (and men) feel like they need to get married by a certain age.  You graduate college, maybe establish a career and then you get married.  It's like a mathematical equation and if for some reason you can't add up those numbers, something feels off.  Societal notions force people to feel inadequate and at the end of the day, all we need is some love.

When you take away the fancy dates and hot guy, you have women in their late 20s and early 30s, pouring their hearts out to America because they are scared shitless that they'll end up alone.  They are literally bawling into the camera.  That is a terrible thing to monopolize on.

My third problem with the franchise is the unrealistic fantasy and dramatic scripts that infiltrate every episode.  I know, it makes for good tv, but teaches young girls that to get a guy, it should be a competition.  You know what I learned while growing up and being Miz Independent in college?  If he doesn't want you, he can watch you walk out the door.  He's not worth your time.  I remember one of the first days of college, my dad said to me, that if a guy likes you he will go out of his way to make sure you know that.  It's totally true.  How can The Bachelor do that if he has to "go out of his way" to show 15 other ladies that he may or may not have feelings for them?  A relationship is a personal, intimate matter that involves two partners working together.  I see several of these relationships falling apart because the show isn't created on building a relationship.  It creates a fantasy.  It also creates a really awful dynamic between the women living in the house.  This mentality that I must "fight for my man" is a constant theme.  That's not how a healthy relationship is built. 

Sean, the newest Bachelor, seems like a great guy.  The personality he exudes, and the many bloggers who watch the show, encouraged me to try out this season.  I stopped watching a long time ago because the show's content was very surface level and I was tired of it.  Regardless, I started watching again.  I actually think he is there for the right reasons, which is refreshing to witness.  However, the show is still as tasteless as ever.

I know I have a privileged perspective in writing this post.  I'm 23, married, and have a career and college degree.  My perspective is one that many of these women on the show continually talk about. Watching the individual perspective clips was often heartbreaking.  A cruise ship entertainer performed a song for Sean as her way to stand out and when she was sent home on the first night, she felt absolutely ridiculous.  Her she was, putting herself out there to find a husband, and she leaves feeling rejected and worthless. 

The most recent episode featured a young woman with the most brilliant smile and who had been yearning for a one-on-one date with Sean for the past couple of weeks.  She got the date, but if you're a fan of the franchise, the "pretty woman" dates often lead to a huge bout of rejection.  She was taken shopping, given earrings, and the full on works for Sean's version of the "most romantic" date he could think of.  To put things in perspective, his past one-on-one dates were more like challenges for the women.  Almost like, "if you conquer your fear- you will earn my love via this rose."  So her date did not fit this norm whatsoever.  Instead, at the end of the night Sean told her that he wasn't feeling it.  Now Sean wanted to feel something for her but going into the date he knew he really wasn't sure if there was something even there.  This is the part that truly bothers me.  Instead of taking her on a date that would build up her confidence in an empowering way, he chose to spoil her in superficial terms to let her down easy.  It sends the message that this woman could be bought and that he could make things better by saying, "I don't want to be your husband, but hey, here are some earrings."

She was devastated.

As addicting as the show can be, it sends really poor messages out to young women.  I often think about what it was like to live in a wonderful sorority house and having sisters wish that they could meet great guys.  I have witnessed countless heartbreaks and ladies asking "what did I do wrong" and "why me," but there are a multitude of reasons and excuses why things don't work out.  Finding the right life partner isn't going to be a beach volleyball match where the winning girl gets to spend more time with the guy.  Finding your partner involves conversation, connection, and genuine interest.  It involves leaving yourself vulnerable for another person and trusting that they won't hurt you.  It is about honesty and openness.  These are concepts that the show frequently brings up in conversations, but are rarely ever displayed.

Thanks for reading this post and if you have any thoughts on it, I'd love to hear!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters to My Former Single Self

Linking up with Lisette over at Northern Belle Diaries for "Letters to My Former Single Self."
What did you think about dating and relationships when you were little? 
 What do you think of them now?

 Dear Kimberly Rose,

This is your 23-year old self writing to you about life in college and expectations that you had as a little girl about love and being in a committed relationship.  You didn't date much in high school because your parents held a tight leash, and that will be both good and bad.  It was good in the sense that they were good, loving and responsible parents.  It will be bad though in the sense that once you're in college, you don't really know how to date college boys.  I know it sounds silly, but college will be one amazing adventure and the relationships will be fleeting.

Disney cruise with my family when I was in high school
When you were a little girl, you pictured marrying a great guy and your imagination would run wild with all the adventures you two would have together; from getting married, to traveling the world, getting a house, and as you rocked your Bitty Baby, Anna, and American Girl doll Samantha, you pictured what it might like to have a family as well.  You also grew up in a very Catholic family and although you might not agree with all concepts around it, it did give you the belief to hold off on sex and that is a good thing.  The guys you meet in college will be everything you imagined, smart, talented and very handsome.  However, just keep in mind that sometimes they're just trying to have a good time, even if it's at the detriment of others.

College Kimmie before a fundraising charity event
You will love getting dressed up for philanthropy events, socials, and parties.  You will also love meeting people at these events and a lot of cute boys.  Have fun, but realize that's all that they are there to do.  Most of them love living a life that could rival Total Frat Move and they think you're pretty and smart, but at the end of the day, they don't want a girlfriend.  That's just a life lesson you'll have to learn.  Boys are cheats and liars, they're such a big disgrace, they will tell you anything to get to, baseball, he thinks he's gonna score...

You're going to have a few serious boyfriends, one during the start of the freshman year of college, one during the start of sophomore year, and then finally you'll meet Ryan.  In-between you will be in casual relationships with a couple other guys, in which you think it will develop into something more, but be honest with yourself in each of those relationships.  You and those boys did not have enough in common to string a relationship between your academic goals and future career aspirations.  That's ok.  Part of me wants to tell you to say "f*** off" to the guys that broke your heart (before they have the opportunity to, of course) but a heartbreak is a valuable lesson learned.  I would recommend not starting college with a boyfriend.  You're not the only one who did this.  As an RA, you saw your residents come in with significant others and within a few months, almost all of them break-up.  It's just not a good time in your life.  The guy you meet the second semester of your freshman year is charming, but totally not worth your time or energy.  The following summer after, you're going to date a guy from your hometown who is going to break your heart.  You are going to fall into what you think is love, but it's a short-lived romance.  He will tell you that he wants to marry you and when you're with him everything makes sense.  When he breaks your heart, it hurts so badly that you both attempt getting back together three times.  Honey, it's just not going to work.  It will throw you into a type of sadness where you end up casually dating a guy that Fall, who you think you can rely on and is a good person.  He will introduce you to the stereotypical frat boy mentality and he's a piece of shit.  You can do without him and later on in life, he'll be one of those college guys.  You make up your mind that while becoming an Air Force officer, there will be few men who would choose to follow you around for your career, so you become lax in your expectations of dating with the assumption that you'll probably end up marrying another officer in the Air Force.  I would tell you not to get so discouraged and to enjoy the time you have while being young.  One of your best-friend's mommas, Ruth, will tell you that when you work on making yourself happy, other people see that.  Happy people attract other happy people.  It's something you will continue to work on for the rest of your college experience.

During Thanksgiving break of your junior year, your friend Ryan is going to message you on Facebook while he is deployed in Afghanistan.  For the first time in a long time, you're enjoying real, genuine conversations with a guy and you'll have a great time talking via Facebook chat (ahh technology).  When he comes home from his first deployment, you'll have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him while he's on leave and you'll fall madly in love.  He is an amazing man and you're going to marry him the very next year.  He loves you, takes care of, and is incredibly honest with you.


Love and romance can sometimes be a fairytale, but it is very hard work.  It involves honest communication and looking out for your partner above all else.  It involves sacrifice and understanding that you're not just looking out for yourself but for your family.  Your mil-to-mil marriage will take you from Wisconsin to California and to Montana.  It will leave you far from your family and you will miss them greatly and that's why you have your best-friend and life partner with you.  You won't want to do everything together, but you will learn to enjoy the simplest aspects of life together.

Thanks for Reading!

The Book Chat: What Are You Currently Reading

for The Blogger Book Chat.


I'm trying to fit in three books this month for three different reasons but who doesn't love a challenge that involves books?  The first is The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and the book selection for Literary Junkies book club.  It deals with an American woman who travels Europe and ends up with a suitor.  I feel like it will cover the idea of not having expectations met and good doses of reality.  The second, Total Frat Move, is a book I'm reviewing that is completely hilarious.  I stopped following TFM on Twitter because most of the tweets are beyond ridiculous, but while reading the book, it is wildly entertaining.  The last is Gone Girl, which I have been dying to read and the selection for Bonnie's Book Club.  Life of Bon was one of my Blog Obsessions for February and I am so excited to see her with this new "novel" idea.  Hardy har, I've got jokes.

The Blogger Book Swap is underway!  If you haven't linked up and you're participating, check out the post below.  It is wonderful to see so many avid readers sharing their experiences.  My swap buddy, Christina, has been a joy to work with and I can't wait to send her the complete package (still waiting on the book to come in...le sigh).  Anywho, I can't wait to share on the page what I received from Christina.

I also just found out about Real Simple's No Obligation Book Club- I am a sucker for a book club.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the link-up!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blogger Book Swap Link-Up


So very excited to link up to my very own blogger book swap. I know I was responsible for partnering folks up, but I am so glad that Christine was my first blogger book swap partner because she is so sincere and genuine.  She is also a great blogger, check out her blog at A Day in the Life.

Christine was kind enough to send me a copy of The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott and this adorable mug complete with hot chocolate.  It's not just plain ol' hot chocolate, it turns pink!

Picture the Titanic, filled with people seeking to travel to America either for pleasure or opportunity.  The main character is Tess, a young woman attempting to become a seamstress when she meets a famous designer.  She and the designer make it onto a lifeboat after the tragic accident and the media starts throwing accusations about this famous persona and true intentions.  I saw great reviews on this in several of my favorite magazines and so I was incredibly excited to receive this from Christine.

 Holly says link-up to share your Blogger Book Swap!

 photo simplicity_bookswap_zps39e14544.jpg 

Make sure to fill out this survey anytime during the process so we can make future swaps even better!

Blog Obsessions for January

Ladies and Gents, it's time to reveal some of my favorite blog picks for the month of January.

Sweetness Itself

Erin from Sweetness Itself is quite literally that, incredibly sweet and her blog posts are so filled with encouragement.  Admittedly, sometimes when I come across certain Christian blogs, I become hesitant in following them.  Now I don't want to turn this into a rant but I have a very distinct set of beliefs that include allowing people all available rights and I am also a follower of Christ.  Erin's blog doesn't shove anything down your throat.  In fact, it's a very personal journey and she has allowed everyone the privilege of viewing that.  I really loved her post on being single on Valentine's Day.  Every Valentine's Day, she prepares a letter for her future husband and prays for him.  All I've got to say is that her future partner will be one blessed person to have her.

Brooke from Tales of my Fairytales is hilarious, witty and loves big hair!  I found her blog off of Sami's Shenanigans and Brooke provides quick posts on various topics that are just cute and fun.  She reminds me of a ton of my sorority sisters and I also love her taste in music.  Her writing style sounds like you're talking to your best-friend and her stories will provide you with plenty of laughs.  If you like Sami's Shenanigans or I Wore Yoga Pants to Work, this is definitely a great option to check out.

Bonnie from The Life of Bon is downright hilarious.  She's a teacher to high school students, and I've got to say, I would have loved to have had her as a college professor.  She is funny and creates really fun programming for her students, including a banned book club.  What the what?! I know, scandalous, right?  and I love it  I definitely enjoy her blog posts and the type of content she puts up.  She also features really fun blogs as well.  Bonnie just started her own blogger book club and their first read will be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I have it waiting on my shelf and Bobbi from Today, I'm Bobbi has been waiting for me to read this.  I fail, I'm sorry everyone.  But, at least now I have a deadline to get it done.  Back to Bonnie, she and her husband are super adorable.  Hands down one of my favorite favorite favorite (yes, three favorites) to follow.

Erin is already well known in the blogosphere but it's no surprise why.  She is a fun writer that always keeps up with the needs and wants of her readers.  She is super cute and creates fun link-ups.  She did a recent one titled, "if I were a boy" and I'm sure you've already seen a few link-ups to that post that are highly entertaining.  She's all around lifestyle blogger and covers food, drinks, books, and sass.  Love.her.

You may have seen Taralynn from Undressed Skeleton all over the Pinterest world and that's probably because she is a sensation.  Taralynn hosts a predominantly fitness and healthy lifestyle blog over on Tumblr.  Her recipes are meant to be an integral part of your lifestyle and she coaches you through posts on how to incorporate fitness and healthy eating into everyday living.  She's really an inspiration and her blog is definitely worth checking out.

Dan from Single Dad Laughing is an absolute riot.  I found his blog through a marriage post featured on Pinterest.  He actually has two on the topic of how he "blew" his marriage.  My husband even read the post.  Dan's commentary was thoughtful and genuine.  He was even able to make a few cracks at himself.  Actually, he was very honest about how he approached his marriage and what he could have done better.  He is definitely an entertaining writer and a dad who truly loves his son.  Dan has a couple of books out and I downloaded one of the copies onto my Kindle that I can't wait to read. 

Now there are always and forever a ton of blogs that I love so dearly.  However, I chose to feature these ones for this month because they stood out to me.  I am always adding new blogs to my Google Reader feed and looking for posts and content that is worth sitting down with. 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Favorite Things Friday: New House Edition

No, this isn't our house but isn't it beautiful?
I'm incredibly excited for our upcoming move because we'll be living in our home for FOUR years.  Not three months, six months, or a year, but four actual years.  It could even be five or six.  Regardless, it's a beautiful thought to be able to nest a little bit and really establish what I call "home."

I've definitely been indulging in Pinterest pictures of home improvement projects and decor.  Ever since marrying Ryan, I have dreamed of owning our own home and being able to paint the walls, install fixtures and really make it our own.  Being in the military, I'm not entirely sure when that will be, but for now having a home for at least four years is pretty darn awesome.

So this Favorite Things Friday is dedicated to my dream home and maybe even a few things that I would like to use for our new house.

Stunning copper and gray contemporary bathroom
I absolutely love dream bathrooms.  Has anyone swooned over a waterfall shower?  The idea of having a spa and shower jets sounds fricken amazing.

I have always wanted a kickass shower in my future home. This is definitely happening :)
Speaking of showers, how about this shower door?
It reminds me of greenhouse and has such a romantic theme to it.

shower door
my future office please
This is the place where dreams come true!  
I would fill the walls of my office with pictures to inspire and space to design.
I would also have tons of books, because what would my office be without books.

This kitchen is so spacious and delightful! 
I adore natural light in rooms and how the cabinetry works so well with the counter tops.

I like this. $10 wall shelf!
These picture shelves are darling! I can picture them lining the hallways with beautiful family photos.

Dark wall, white frames.  Love this for an accent wall.
As if the shelves didn't tip you off, I love picture frames and incorporating family pictures into the home decor.
textured wallpaper stairs.
My infatuation with details would definitely include these wallpaper stairs.

amazing tiny book nook.
I would love to cuddle up with a book, a glass of Arizona Tea, and just snuggle up in this book nook for an afternoon.  

Other awesome book nooks, include this guy:

Closet Doors
Totally and completely obsessed with these closet doors!  Don't they remind you of one of those Cotton Brand commercials?  Those commercials are always so fabulous and carefree.  You have all of these actresses singing about their cotton fabric dresses and doing fabulous things.   
Le sigh- living the dream

Built in dog crate.. I love that it has its own windows
This would be perfect for our two German Shepherds.  I also love that there are windows for the dogs to peer out and I also really like this crate/pen area that is built into the house.

Much better than a Crate!!!
I'm very much a visual learner, so I love adding pictures and just an overall visual dynamic whenever I present anything, so that's why there is a large abundance of pictures.  If you like these, definitely follow my Pinterest boards.  These pictures are not mine and I tried to reference their accurate sources to the best of my ability.  Oh and we can't forget about this incredible fire pit/back yard scene:

Sunken fire pit. Love it!
and after a cozy night with friends, you can check out a book from your personal library

kaiew:    this would be so wonderful
Hell to the yeah, 
that would be one awesome house.

Thanks for reading (more like viewing)!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Facts of Kimmie

Linking up with Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants to Work because this looks like too much fun =]

Fact- I run because I really really really really like dessert.  Cupcakes, ice cream, cookies...da-lish.

Fact- I was born in the Philippines.

Fact- I come from a large military family...guess the branch ;)

Fact- I love weddings and I think nothing is more romantic than an engagement announcement or a proposal.

Fact- I'm really good at the creative side of advertising but I don't know if I would be a good fit for an ad agency.

Fact- I love cooking up a delicious dinner.  I find it really fun to be able to mix different tastes, spices, etc. to create a great meal.

Fact- I greatly disliked being a stay-at-home wife. I'm not knocking anyone who is a stay-at-home mom or wife, it really wasn't for me.

Fact- I don't really have any great drive to meet my birth dad.

Fact- One of my life ambitions is to write a novel and get it published.  I would love to have short stories published in a magazine.

Fact- I love

Fact- I prefer to watch a new show, marathon-style.  Once the first season is out, I sit with Netflix on and just watch all of the episodes.

Fact- I'm a hopeless romantic.

Fact- I am a bookaholic.  I love finding new books and great deals. I think a person's bookcase can say a lot about who they are.

Fact- I hope that Ryan and I will have a wedding ceremony and reception someday.

Fact- I periodically get mad boughts of baby fever.

Fact- My dad is one of my favorite guys.  He's technically my step-dad but I've always looked to him as just being good ol' dad.  He came up with the concept of Friday present where every Friday he gives my mom a little gift.

Fact- I love blogging and following other awesome bloggers.  It's a fun way to just take a deep breath after a long day and I may or may not live vicariously through their adventures.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Time with Friends and Playing Cupid

Our good friends, Meagan and Jeff, came to visit us for the long weekend and we had such a blast.  They came up on Saturday and we ate dinner at a local steak house and saw "Zero Dark Thirty." I really enjoyed it, although for such a strong, female lead, I thought she overstepped a lot of areas.  Basically in my opinion, that was an unrealistic portrayal of how that all works in terms of chain of command or chain of infrastructure.  Regardless, I enjoyed it.  On Sunday morning we visited a local "country kitchen" which is well known for its delicious breakfasts.  I had their signature omelette skillet and Meagan and I shared a "hot mess muffin."  It was really nice to catch up and just be with another couple that has grown with us as well.  Jeff and Ryan have deployed together and Meagan and I went through our first deployment on the homefront together, even though we were states apart.

While visiting the steak house on Saturday, the boys decided to frequent the bar and Meagan and I made a trip to Target.  Lordy, do I love Target.  They sell the Papyrus line of cards and I got to play cupid a little bit for my hubby (but it's a secret because he doesn't know yet!).

I came across these cards and I love them! I always get Ryan a romantic card and then a sassy card, just because they're too much fun.

I don't think I'll have time to make valentines this year and we'll also be moving on Valentine's Day, so I'm excited to have all of these little preparations already set to go.  What will you be doing for Valentine's Day?

Thanks for Reading!