I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lighten The Load...

So my post the other day got a little attention.  I really do mean a little, because my reach really isn't very long, but in the circles I blog in, I got more (or less) reaction than I expected.

Very few liked my post...but many had a LOT to say about it.  Apparently, I am a man-hating lesbian now.  So be it.  If that's what you read, well...you may be part of the problem.  And by problem, I mean the fact that so few of the husbands I know really share a fair share in the  responsibility of raising their families and household chores.

I think wives can be part of the problem.  Because sometimes we let them.  Now there are two ways to look at this.  One is that you have a wife who is high energy and likes serving her family and taking care of a husband.  I get this. There is nothing wrong with this except that it then does not allow the husband to give back to the relationship and also serve.  The second reason (and this is for all of you out there that I've heard complain about your husbands and yet were quick to defend him after Saturday's post) is that it is just easier that way.  This is called enabling.  I have A LOT of experience with this.  It also does not allow a partner to grow and develop an attitude where you give and serve your spouse in caring ways.

I also heard that my feminist ways were disrupting the natural gendered order of things.  Seriously.  So here's my question if that is true...IF in the natural order of things wives do everything, including provide  income, what is the natural position of men?  I think that's where a few guys got themselves into a little bit of a snit--they felt threatened.

But here's really the gist of my point.  If you really care for someone...let's say a spouse, why would you let them shoulder the bulk of responsibility alone?  Are husbands and wives not to bear the burden of life together?  Shouldn't you seek out ways to make this sad hard existence easier and lighter for the person you love more than anyone else in the world??

So again, if my post hit a nerve, it is probably not (although possible, I am fallible ) that either you or your spouse are not serving one another fully.  It is probably not because you are concerned about me not having a husband or because I hate men or might be gay or have gone off the feminist cliff of no return (non of which are true...just to clarify...again).

And anyway, it isn't any of my business HOW you all do it at your house, all I'm saying is, that in order to have a fulfilling relationship I would need someone who could step up to the plate, and quite frankly, the pickings look slim.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why No One Needs a Husband or What We Need Are More Wives

OK.  I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here.  I'm allowed, because I say so and this is my blog, so I guess if you didn't want to hear it and only wanted to real awesome happy fun things...go somewhere else.

But I don't need a husband.  

You don't either.  What we need are Wives.

And here are 5 reasons why

1.  Wives don't "babysit" their children.  They raise them.  They go to soccer practice and dance class and parent teacher conferences.  They volunteer in their children's classroom's (even if they work). They read with them and do their homework and discipline them. They don't expect awards for doing the thing they signed up to do.  They show up and get it done.

2.  A Wife would be an equal partner in household duties and chores.  Even if one of you stays home to care for little children, and one goes to work, at the end of the day there are still things that need to be done.  And if BOTH of you work, BOTH of you would share in household responsibilities.  No one deems anything as "women's work" because quite frankly, women do it all.  I get that things divide up differently when one stays home.  I tried this for about a year and half and took on an extra portion of household stuff, but here's the thing: if one of you is home with little children, that is the primary responsibility, and sometimes, little else gets done.  Also, what if you NEVER got to get off duty?

3.  A Wife would not make the decisions FOR me or FOR the family.  I know this doesn't apply in lots of households, but in Mormon land the man is the head of the household and we are taught that they will lead their family.  HAH!  What I want is someone who talks through all critical family choices and respects and backs me up when I make have to make a solo choice.  AND THEN I'll do that for you. I certainly don't need to be reprimanded by a husband when they feel their authority (or masculinity) has been compromised.  You may think I'm joking about this, but I witness it all the time. In public.

4.  A Wife sees when there is a need and does it.  She doesn't wait for someone else to do it.  She doesn't sit on the couch and pretend the need doesn't exist.  Yes, there are lazy wives.  I've seen those too.  I categorize those as husband-wives (and nothing gets done at their house) but they are few and far between.  And despite the fact that there are articles every year (often around mother's day) that break down how much women get done on any given day vs. men, and more articles about how men are pitching in more than ever!, the disparity between what men do and what women do remains great.  I hear men joke about it all the time, so I know they are aware of it.  So....my only deduction from this is that men just don't care.  How's that for a partner?

5. A Wife can multi-task.  Even when I see husbands try to be helpful,  too often, they can only focus on one thing at a time.  Sure, they can watch the kids, but the house will become-remain-BE a mess. Sure they can go grocery shopping, but they can't make the list/do coupons/take the kids/fill the car with gas/remember that Johnny needs poster board.  They can put laundry IN the washing machine, but cannot dry/fold/iron/put it away.  And all too often they don't quite follow through with the thing they started out doing.

I'm sure you could all add to this list.  I don't actually want to put men down but I don't think they make good partners. I'm sure there are those of you out there who are exceptions to this list.  Maybe.  Like a unicorn you exist somewhere in our dreams.  BUT, from my experience, you all just aren't pulling your own weight.

So let it be known.  What I need in my life is someone who will equally help raise and care for children and accomplish households needs all without being told to do so.

Sounds like what I need is a wife.  I'll bet you do too.

And if you are a man reading this, and you are offended, ask yourself "do I really do as much as and am an equal partner to my wife?"  If the answer is honestly yes, congratulations.  But don't expect an award for it...you are accomplishing the bare minimum of what it means to be a true partner.

*This is NOT an announcement.  I am not turning the heterosexual chapter of my life over to a new page...if you thought that you were looking too hard.  I just get people asking me ALL the time why I am not actively looking for a husband, and as you can see, based on the husbands I see all around me, why would I want one?

**I am also not advocating that all the women I know become lesbians.  Geesh.  You are on the wrong blog.

***I am also not saying I hate men.  Again, wrong blog.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More Weird Crap. It Never Ends.

I just realized we haven't done one of these for awhile and I've got strange images piling up all over my desktop.  Must remedy that.

First, I've had this one for awhile.  Febreeze, Sleep Serenity.  Endorsed, mind you, by the National Sleep Foundation.  So....you spray your room with a deodorizer, which helps you sleep.  I really just cannot quite understand where this one came from.  It kind of makes me think people should probably just clean their rooms.

I get these emails everyday for "deals".  Every now and again, I actually do find a deal on something....mostly I get recommendations for stuff like this, which, I think, is rather brilliant.

After watching the entire SEVEN seasons of Monarch of the Glen last summer, I think I"m ready for this. For JUST $25!!

And then there's this.  She's leaping because she's hair free??

This was sent last week, I assume, to give some poor guy an idea for a wife or girlfriend.  But here's the thing.  Unless she specifically asked for laser hair removal, it may not be terribly romantic.

And then this happened.  I have a friend who has recently decided to try Internet dating (don't ask me why, I think it is for good blogging stories...) and guys keep asking her for inappropriate pictures of herself.  So, being the kind of friend I am, I whipped up a little something...in the event, as it were.  And now it is on the interwebs and I did that.  It still makes me giggle.  A lot.
I have some serious mad photo shop skilz.

You're Welcome!  Tomorrow is the weekend y'all!  We're nearly there!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

This Little Piggy

So we trucked south this weekend to the warm sunshine.  My family still lives there, and my kids love to play with their cousins "down on the farm."  I jest because they don't actually live on a farm, but it seems to be getting closer and closer to it all the time.

They live in Hurricane and before you go pronouncing it all fancy, I'd like to point out that on Wikipedia, which we all know to be the source of all information in the modern world, says that you say it 'Hur-kan".  

They actually live in the middle of this southern Utah metropolis-like near "downtown" not out in the sticks and are allowed to have (and have had or the neighbors have had at any given time) horses, pigs, goats, chickens, cows and anything else.  Last time we were there it was baby goats next door.

Currently, they have two batches of piglets.  One about 2 or 3 weeks old and one less than a week. THEY ARE SO CUTE.  I wanted one until I looked at their moms and decided against it.  Poor mom pigs.  They have something like 14 babies a pop.

To add to the farm love, my sister and her husband have taken on an actual farm down the road a bit in Toquerville with cows.  We stopped by there today while they tagged all the new calves and my son and his cousins tore around the fields on four wheelers like mad men.  And burned things. They burned a big pile of stuff.  We smelled awesome.  When you live on a farm, you must smell awesome all the time.

William took to a day on the farm like a champ.  Anna was bored and wrinkled that freckled little nose somethin' fierce.  Although she did like holding the baby pigs.  And who wouldn't??  They were so stinkin' cute.  I would gladly trade Huck for one.

Friday, February 14, 2014

So La...How'd Your Blog Get It's Name?

This post was originally published in March of 2011 when I first started blogging.
I have a lot of new readers and had a few people ask me where I got the name...and here you go.

You're Welcome.

Last weekend I attended a large family gathering consisting of lots of little kids and lots of people from an in-law family that I did not know. There was cake, which was good, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep me pleasant for an extended period of time. My Father-in-law (not exactly a source of joviality and pleasantries) leaned over to me and hinted humorously that I am not the cheeriest of souls. I eyed him narrowly and responded, “I am a freaking Ray of Sunshine, Dammit.”

And in all honesty, I am…comparatively speaking. I come from a family of cranky, depressive, ornery, self-indulgent curmudgeons. And that is being somewhat generous. My extended family may be solely responsible for the drug-industry’s increased revenue over the past decade (as more and more of them reach an age to seek treatment…)

When my son was setting up our Wii a few years ago, he created Miis for everyone in the family. He proudly showed me the one had made for me. I was tickled, but asked him why I looked so angry. He candidly answered “But that is just how you look.”

This only worries me as it may affect my kids. I have worried since before their births of their future personalities and inherited genetic lack of cheerfulness. As of yet, they haven’t exhibited any overly negative behaviors, but I still keep a watchful eye.

So, it is true, I do not have a naturally sunny disposition, but that does not reflect my relative happiness in the present or generally. I am just not a smiler. In reality, I am happier now that I have been in years. I think some of this comes with an acceptance of life (and the #$%#@! it hands you) and of self. I am not perfect. I am not going to win mother-of-the-year or Ms. Congeniality…ever.

But I have little to complain about and much to be thankful for. I have two beautiful kids who could, quite possibly, have a better mother, but certainly not one who loves them more. I’m sure somewhere out there is a small group of loyal friends who like me for my “honesty.” So what if no one else can see my particular brand of sunshine. I claim it as my own, and do with it what I will….which may, on any given day look rather grumpy.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Do You LOVE Me?

Apparently I am unable to learn from my own mistakes.  This is a sign of weakness, my friends.

Remember back about 2 years to this exact same time of year.....(it's ok, here is the post) when Anna decided she was going to make her own valentines?  Worst idea EVER.
So last year we bought them.  Not even the good ones.  Stupid clearance puppy ones.  No candy.

But we have a little problem around our house.  We are Pinterest addicts.  ADDICTS I tell you.  You can follow me by clicking on the button to the left.  I pin amazing crap.  And lots of it.  But my mini me likes it too, and she likes to find what I call "ways to make my mother feel inferior".  This is no easy task.  I'm a doer.  And I do LOTS of things really really well.  This is not bragging, this is the honest truth.  But Anna, she is good at picking out stuff that will drive me crazy...

And she found these super adorable minion valentines made from Twinkies.  And I caved.  The only thing that saved us this time around was that she was willing to do almost all of it herself.  And in true copy-cat fashion, she got her self all set up and turned on a movie to do her project.  Sometimes I really like that kid.

But THEN, she found a minion valentine's box.  I did help a little with that, but she's getting good. It did turn out cute.  Wm looked on as I retrieved all the fixin's to make the box and commented "I guess it it is good thing we live in a house with a lot of stuff."  Yeah, well, I KNEW we were going to need that scrap of denim and an empty canister.  STill...I do not recommend doing crap like this. NOT WORTH IT.  BUY the damn valentines.  But if you want to, I've got pictures pinned.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

View From a Train

So UTA and I may have mended the spat we had last year this time.  The Frontrunner train, which connects Davis, Salt Lake and Utah Counties was new and still experiencing some growing pains.  I've been trying to take the train as often as possible, since it is both economical and good for our air.  We've had HORRIBLE air quality this year.  Bad enough that regular old citizens like myself are starting to pay attention and have fits.  And EVERYONE has been so sick...I have to think the two are related.

I kept track and in the month of January I took the train 12 out of 19 possible days saving myself approximately.....$240 in gas.  Did that number make you a little sick to your stomach?  It should.  I drive a mid-size SUV, which I need to shuttle my costumes all around like a crazy person, but commuting is not its thing, and I cannot afford both a carrying car and a commuter car (someday....).

So these days the train is mostly running on time.  I'm not gonna lie, though...it takes planning to take the train.  They have added in extra trains and the 1/2 hour during morning and afternoon rush hour...but if you miss it, it is at least a half hour if not an hour til the next one.  It is getting busier, though, so I'm hoping we'll soon move to a 15-20 minutes schedule, which would really be great for us daily commuters.  Also, my drive to UVU takes 35 from my house.  To take the train, I have to plan and hour and ten minutes.  That times adds up to more than an extra hour commuting a day.  Yeah, there's Internet and I try to use that time to get stuff done, but when you run on a tight schedule like I do, an extra hour a day is a big deal.

Also, people are annoying.  They are loud and rude and consistently choose to sit at the tables to SLEEP.  You can sleep anywhere...I need that table to set up my computer and spread out my papers and WORK.  Move it, buddy.

That said, I'm pretty proud of SLC and the job they've done with the trax and front runner.  We're seldom out in front for progressive stuff, but this is an area where someone has planned and made things happen.

Here are a collection of "Views From a Train" as I'm calling them, that I've been collecting since last spring.

And lest you think all train views are beautiful...

This is a Mink farm in Lehi...you know, for all those Mink coats
you still see people wear.

There are LOTS of piles of trash along my route.

And there are dozens of homes this close to the train tracks.
I can look right into their backyards only feet away.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This is Our Year

I recently had pictures taken of The Citizens and I and I was really pleased with how they turned out.  I had wanted to do them and send out actual Christmas cards...but, you know...life and $%@! got in the way...but we did get them taken in early January, and I thought "HEY!  I could still send out New Year's cards," but I only got the images back from the photographer last week, and the cards came in the mail today.  So, I will send a handful out, but will mostly virtual card people since we are really closer to Valentines Day than the New Year...whatchagonnado?

Anyway, I snapped a pic of the cards with my phone and although the quality isn't great, you can see that although I might seem like a curmudgeonly pessimist, these cards prove that there is still a spark of positivity in me.

Happy New Year y'all.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Get The Skinny

So, for some reason, I am drawn like a moth to the flame of crazy diets.  Not that I participate in them, but I find them, for no apparent reason  (or maybe they find me for a very apparent reason...hm...where's my cupcake?)

Here's a round up of some the most awesome (read: terrifying) diets on the planet.  May you find the right fit for you.  Or, you know...we could eat a little less and exercise a little more...

Werewolf Diet

Apparently, this is diet based on using cleansing juice type fasts using a lunar calendar...not getting a wolf to pick off the fatty parts of your ass.  Looking at this diet did learn me some new vocabulary, though, which i love.  Lycanthrope: which is a werewolf.

The Marie Antoinette Diet

I could get into this one.  In this diet, you eat cake for breakfast.  Well...not exactly, but if you are going to eat cake, eat it early on in the day and eat very light at night.  Makes a much sense as anything, and doesn't sound dangerous or totally depriving.

The Corset Diet

Which is exactly what you think.  You wear a corset so restrictive, you can't eat.  Works every time.

The Twinkie Diet

This is similar to the Subway Sandwich diet Jared used, only you restrict your diet to only Twinkies.  The theory being that Twinkies are only 150 calories each, so you could eat 10 in a day and still only consume 1500 calories.  And who could possibly eat 10 Twinkies in a day, so then you starve...and voila!  You lose weight.

The Cotton Ball Diet

In this diet you eat cotton balls before every meal so that you fill up on cotton balls, and not food.  Um....that doesn't sound dangerous at all.

And then I got this little gem in my inbox this week...

So they are rings, you wear on your toes, to stimulate your metabolism.  I'm assuming this has something to do with pressure points, but really, if it were that easy, they'd slip those puppies on us at birth.

If our planet is wiped out and a thousand years in the future alien anthropologists are sent here to learn about us....well...wow.  just wow.

And now I really do need a cupcake.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lara Beene Designs, LLC

So...I am officially a Limited Liability Company.  I have had a "business" of sorts for the last several years with my freelance design, but decided to upgrade it a bit to open a few more doors.

I know that name there is super exciting, but I was standing at the counter of the Murray City Offices and they asked "What is the name of your company?" and that is what came out of my mouth.  Whatchagonna do?

I actually have no idea how this changes things...I guess I'd better figure it out.  Being a business woman and all.

I think I need to get new business cards and checking account.  There may be other things too...feel free to offer suggestions.

If you haven't already, check out my website that has everything I've been up to on it!  labeene.com

And here's a snapshot of shows to come in the next year!  It's good to be a working girl.