Tattoo Tuesday V.33

*Before I post this week's feature I'd like to make something very clear. When I feature my friends or readers in this space, it is NOT so they can be cut down or have rude/nasty comments made about anything they are sharing. It's one thing to leave a comment on this blog in regards to a post that I make- I couldn't care less and I see it as par for the course- but these are my guests, and I simply won't tolerate that kind of nonsense. From now on if you don't have something nice to say on a feature post here, DON'T SAY IT AT ALL. It's not welcome and I simply won't have you rude, anonymous people treating guests of my blog in such a disrespectful way. I wouldn't allow it in my home, and I won't allow it in my internet home. So, with that little bit of negativity out of the way, on to some happiness, shall we? :)

This week I am featuring one of my FAVORITE people in the entire blogging world ever, my friend Megan! Megan and I have been reading each others' blogs for a couple of years now, and I absolutely adore this wonderful woman. She's a huge inspiration to me, incredibly sweet and intelligent, and on the top of my "I can't wait to meet you" list. Do yourself a favor and visit her blog if you're looking to become inspired by clean/healthy eating, a do-it-yourself kinda mama, and her daily photos of her beautiful self and family. She is only 20 years old, but is incredibly wise beyond her years. Featuring her here is long overdue, and I'm excited to share her words and photos with all of you. So thanks Megan for being a part of this series!

Name and blog name: Megan! -

Age: 20

Occupation: Army Wife & Stay at home mom to my wonderful daughter, Scarlett!

Age of first tattoo: 17

Favorite tattoo: I'd have to say that would be my newest addition, my lighthouse.

Featured tattoo/location: Lighthouse on right forearm.

Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Kane at Spider Monkey tattoo in Olympia, Washington.

1) Tell us about the tattoo you are sharing with us- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did you choose this particular piece of art?

I've always loved Nautical Artwork, but found myself really falling in love with it, after my husband joined the Army ( yep! not the Navy! funny huh?). The symbolism I took with the lighthouse was, no matter how far (you're out to sea) or lost in life, there will always be a lighthouse (or light) guiding you back home. For me, being whipped away from all of my family and friends, and dealing with the Military life represented that. It was hard to always see the light at the end of the tunnel - Getting my lighthouse, helps me realize that no matter how hard things get - there will always be a 'light'. I also asked my artist to specifically include an Anchor to my piece - to me, an anchor symbolizes "stability" and for my husband and I, getting to that point has been a hard and rocky road, but we are finally there! and I wanted to commemorate that moment! :)

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

Yes! I have a 1/2 sleeve of two newlyweds, Dia de los Muertos style! I'm absolutely in love with this tattoo, but most of all, my artist included two little love birds sitting in a tree behind the groom :) - I also have a diamond on my right wrist, "Don't Panic" on my left forearm (not because of Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy! haha. more of just a reminder to myself! :) and Ben's initials down in my...pelvic region :)

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Oh yes, definitely! I have a couple more pieces being planned right now. I've been thinking of something special for my daughter, but nothing is good enough, yet! :)

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them?

Ah, I've been waiting to answer this question! :) I know this sounds absolutely horrible - but, my mother didn't know about any of my tattoos, until a year and a HALF after I got them! She absolutely despises them, and I was so scared she'd disown me (not even kidding), I just couldn't tell her..but of course, she ended up finding out, and absolutely LOVES the ones I have. She makes subtle hints here and there, about how she really thinks the one's I have are ENOUGH, but she also supports everything I choose in my life and I couldn't love her more.
But negativity? Oh sure! Moms look at me differently because of them, but I know the art on my skin, doesn't make me any less of a mother, so it doesn't matter to me! :)

5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

A friend once told me, when I was struggling on the drawing for my tattoo, "tattoo artists...are...artists! shoot out some words that are meaningful to you, (regarding the tattoo you want) and let them come up with something! That's their job!"
& That's exactly what I've done with every tattoo! I give them some key notes about what I want and let their minds go to work. I end up loving what they come up with every time!

Two Segements of Renae's Arm

I spotted a whole lot going on with Renae's left forearm, while browsing at the Chelsea Salvation Army store, so I just had to ask.

Let's deconstruct:

The first part of this tattoo is the dark heart on the inner part of the forearm. Renae attributes this to Rob at the Orlando branch of Hart and Huntington. In over three years of inkspotting, this is the first piece on Tattoosday that has been credited to one of their shops.

Renae, who has "no idea" how many tattoos she has (which is synonymous for "too many to count"), wanted to add to her arm, so she headed to Brooklyn Ink in Bay Ridge.

Alex Franklin was given free reign, according to Renae. Her exact quote was "use your imagination and run," which must be music to many a tattooists ears.

Alex did the flourishes around the original tattoo, along with the phrase "gutta cavat lapidem," a Latin phrase by Ovid which translates to "dripping water hollows out a stone," which is a shortened version of the line "Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence." This quote is known to many New Yorkers who have seen it inscribed underground here (with a broader description here).

And he tattooed the piece on the other side of the arm:

Work from Brooklyn Ink (and a lot by Alex) has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Renae for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

I love Sunday, on a Monday.

This weekend was so great. I came down to my parents' with two set goals in mind: finding Lauren's wedding dress and starting the search for furniture for the new house. The first of the two was a total success and the second remains a work in progress of course, but I definitely checked some things off of our list. The dress Lauren found is absolutely amazing. We knew it was "the one" right away, and it looks like it was made for her. I obviously can't share photos, but in March you'll be able to see it in all its glory!

Speaking of, it's amazing to me to see my baby sister all grown up. Granted, she's not a baby anymore but it's still a little crazy to know she will be getting married in a few months. I can't wait to stand up on her wedding day, as her Matron of Honor. It's going to be the most beautiful day and all of her planning and hard work is going to pay off and I am excited to see her so happy. I'm kind of obsessed with planning and weddings, and all things LOVE so it's so fun to see all of this taking shape. We also spent a bit of our weekend doing some furniture shopping, and I'm getting more and more excited to finally close, move in, and decorate! With about 10 weeks to go until baby Henry's due date, it's just starting to stress me out that we have absolutely nothing done, bought, put together, or figured out! AH! That's stressful to even type. However, I know it will all come together once we are in the new place, but right now it's just hard to be in the in between.

While at my parents' home I always get totally inspired to eat even healthier due to my Mom. Right now she is completely vegan and eats a diet of mainly vegetables and grains like quinoa (one of my all-time favorite foods). She always comes up with the best, most interesting recipes, and I love love love trying the things she makes. Last time I was there she made this amazing raw apple and fruit dessert that I've been thinking about it every day since then. Unfortunately she didn't make it this time- THANKS FOR NOTHING MOM ;), but hopefully she will next time. Hint, hint! If she does, I will be sure to share the recipe, I think you guys will love it too.

Short post, but I'll be back tomorrow morning with my Tattoo Tuesday feature! Here are some photos from the weekend-

prettiest rainbow ever! This photo doesn't even do it justice.

Lauren trying on dresses

29 weeks pregnant and heading to the gym :)

an "H" for Henry's nursery, via Anthropologie

the fruits of my weekend shopping for AFTER Henry is born. I figure if I see something cute I should just get it now right? I won't be pregnant forever. ;)

on the open road home to Hank :)
more pictures form July 2010

Suri, Katie & Isabella went shopping in Toronto on July 18th 2010.

Suri is wearing Shoes & Headband by Bonpoint and Dress by Holmes&Yang.

Thanks to Amy for these cute pictures!

Find the best lingerie boutique listings at

John's Root People

At the end of July, I coincidentally exited the A train at 14th Street at the same time as John, who was visiting from Nevada.

I had been admiring his sleeve on the train, but didn't have the opportunity to speak to him about it until after he got off the subway.

He referred to these creatures as "Root People":

It's an abstract collaboration with the artist, Rickett, at The Ruby Lantern in Carson City, Nevada.

They started working together in January of this year, and they're not yet finished with the whole sleeve. As you can tell, it's very unusual and has a very unique approach.

These designs are all on John's right arm, and I am particular to the female tree person above on his inner forearm.

Thanks to John for sharing his Root People here with us on Tattoosday!

Gina's Phoenix

In late June, I ran into Gina in Penn Station and complimented her on a tattoo she had on her back. At the time, she was wearing something with straps that covered part of the design. I gave her a flier and she remarked that she had just recently discovered the site through this post on the tattoo of Julie Powell.

Alas, like so many folks to whom I give fliers, I didn't receive any emails or photos. But a month passed and one day I was pleasantly surprised to see an email from Gina, with the following photos of her phoenix tattoo:

I'll let her explain the rest:

"... I had completely forgotten [about sending in the photo] until I found the picture I took for you on my camera... This was done by Junii at the Diamond Club in San Francisco. [Bill Salmon, Junii's husband, is the studio owner]. She does amazing line work.  She's also incredibly conscientious about design and her clients.  For both my tattoos, she spend a lot of time talking with me, looking at the 20 pictures I had brought in of bits or aspects of what I wanted, then went off and did her own research, always coming back with exactly the right drawing.

This one - I got it after a really, really difficult year. So, obviously, not the deepest symbolism - just wanted to remind myself of the possibility of renewal."

Thanks to Gina for sharing her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

Soundtrack to happy

We all have those songs in our lives, the songs that when we hear them, they take us back to a really wonderful, happy time. Music is powerful. Some of my most vivid memories are attached to different songs, and different times of my life can be recollected when I hear certain albums. Recently I was driving in the car, listening to my ipod on shuffle, when a particular song came on that I hadn't heard in some time, "Everything Must Go" by the Weakerthans. Immediately I was brought back to 2004, and waking up at Hank's house, that song being the alarm tone on his phone every morning. Hearing it made me feel like I was right there, waiting for the leaves to turn orange and red and yellow up in Prescott, laying together for hours, being young, and getting to know everything about one another in a time that really was the very beginning of us. This song reminds me of Hank, it reminds me of the fall, and it reminds me of the two or three days I would spend with him at a time, as we ventured into long-distance relationship territory during that autumn. When I hear it I feel inspired, I feel so very alive, and it truly makes my heart skip a small beat to think about what a wonderful, naive, and blissful time that was. Young love.

Almost exactly a year later we moved in together to our first place, and August fell away on the calendar as September arrived with an autumn chill. We celebrated our first anniversary, one year together during that month. Unfortunately I was incredibly sick, to point of not being able to leave the house and go on the romantic date Hank had planned for us to celebrate the occasion. I was stuffy, my stomach hurt, and I was experiencing the tail-end of a bad flu. I remember feeling beyond disappointed and let down. This wonderful man, who I'd spent the last year of my life falling in love with, had tried to plan this beautiful evening, and all I could do was sit on the couch in my pajamas and try to muster up the strength to do just about anything. I was so sad, and as the night progressed I only became sadder. It must have been 11 o'clock pm when Hank suddenly got up from our little nest and plugged in his ipod. All of a sudden Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" came on the speakers, and Hank reached for my hand. There, in our 1905 shoebox of an apartment, the streetlight illuminating us through the window while the wood floors creaked beneath our feet, we had our first dance to that beautiful song, to celebrate a most wonderful year. Three years later I'd hear that song again, when we shared our next "first" dance at our wedding. To this day, no matter how many time I hear it played, I still get the chills thinking back to all of the memories tied to it.

Do you have any "special" songs that remind you of a wonderful time? If you're inspired, post about it on your blog, and share the link here, or just add a comment telling us what song strikes a chord in your heart. I'd love to know!


Alex Shares a Floral Tattoo, Roots and All

Sometimes I see tattoos before I see people.

Back in July, for example, I approached a guy on the West 4th Street subway platform to ask him about this tattoo on his right forearm:

It was only after I said hello to him that I realized he was someone named Alex who lives in my neighborhood in Brooklyn.

In fact, Alex had a tattoo featured here back in 2009, after I stopped  him in the laundromat.

This floral tattoo is a representation of how a flower overcomes obstacles and pain to lay down roots, rises up, and blooms.

He draws the comparison to life, as nothing comes without hard work and bypassing obstacles.

The tattoo was created by Shon Lindauer at Thicker Than Water in Manhattan. Shon is the same artist that did the tiger on my calf. Other work from Thicker Than Water has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Alex for once again sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!

Kevin's Gravitational Tattoo

I love word tattoos so I couldn't help but stop Kevin at Barnes & Noble earlier this month. He had this tattoo inked on his inner right forearm:

He explained that he enrolled in school not knowing for sure what he wanted to do. He was on a path for a career in finance, but also has a keen interest in art and graphic design.

He says that the tattoo is a reminder that, although gravity is all around us, and pulling us toward the status quo, he should stay true to himself and never give up his interest in art.

He had this done by Betty Rose at Red Rocket Tattoo in Manhattan. Work from Red Rocket has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Kevin for sharing his Gravity with us here on Tattoosday!

10 things I've learned in my 20s, Part 2

10 things

Here is the second part to my "10 things I've learned in my 20s" post. You can view part one by clicking here. And don't forget to leave a link in the comments if you make a list of your own; I'd love to read it. This was so fun to write, and it was definitely an introspective, self-growth kind of process. Thanks again for reading!

Just to recap- and again, see part one for the full write up- here are my first five lessons:

1) Never let anyone else make you feel bad about your choices.
2) Get into the habit of working out.
3) Don't be flaky.
4) Do not, do not, do not change yourself to suit a guy.
5) Not everyone will like you.

and the final five...

6) Don't rush. I can't tell you how many times over my teenage and college years I would be thinking of what's next, what's coming in the horizon, what I could look forward to. Looking back, I feel like I always had my mind on the next milestone, plan, weekend, etc. and although I do feel this kind of thinking can be great...I think if you're too caught up in the "next" thing, you're bound to miss a lot. I remember when Hank and I first moved in with each other, in 2005. We rented the tiniest little apartment right downtown. I've mentioned it before, but it was basically a studio, but had a small, closet-like space that fit only a twin bed, with room for nothing else. I can remember in the beginning of that experience I kept talking about our next place, the next thing...and I can remember Hank saying to me, "Just take this in NOW, this is the beginning of us, and we will never be able to go back to these days again." That reminder was all I needed to be more present, and I cherished every single day we spent building the beginning of our life together, twin bed and all. It became our tiny little love nest, and we both look back so fondly on that adorable little apartment every time we walk or drive by it while downtown. I'm lucky I have someone who is so in tune with the important things in life because I would have been so sad had I missed all of it, hoping for the next thing to come along too quickly. And I think that can be applied to anything in life. I'm so happy I followed this advice, and slowly took in the many stages my life has had since that realization- falling in love, getting engaged, moving into different places, planning a wedding and getting married, many trips with my girlfriends and family, milestones for my loved ones, the process of buying our first home, and being pregnant. I feel like I've been so present for each thing, and I am beyond thankful for that.

7) Every single day is a choice to be either positive or negative. This has taken me the longest of all of my lessons to master, but luckily I am pretty much there. There were so many times over the past ten years or so when I would almost choose to be in a bad mood. I knew exactly what I was doing, made the conscious effort to just "give in" to feeling like shit, and instead of trying to cheer myself up I would just fall deeper into negativity. The older I got the more I realized that I control quite a bit in my little world- and although I can't control other people, I can control my reactions to them, in in turn, my mood. I can wake up and decide to have an awesome day, or I can wake up and let little things annoy me and in turn have a bad day. It's all about that first decision.

8) It's okay to let go; people change. Over the past decade of my life I've had lots of friends- high school friends, friends from different places I've worked, college, etc. It's hard when you've been friends with someone for a long time, and then life goes on, and you move on...and the friendship isn't what it once was. It can cause a lot of grief and upset feelings when friends drift apart, but I strongly believe that this is a natural thing that happens and it's best to just let things be as they will be. That's not to say to stop making an effort and let that fall to the wayside, but more so in the case of the "natural drift" (I'm sure you know what I mean). There's a lot of people I care for deeply, but we just aren't as close as we used to be. There aren't hard feelings, there's no weirdness, it's just a mutual understanding that at this time in our lives our relationship has a bit of a different definition. It's funny because sometimes friends come into your life, and then out, and then sometimes they come back in. One of my closest friends, let's call her S., was my best friend for a long time, at the end of college and for years after. We drifted apart a bit, but after I got married we came back into great touch and although we don't talk all of the time, she is one of the most important people in my life and will be an Auntie to our son. I really believe that it's okay for this to happen with friends. I feel like we try to hold on a lot to "what was," or what a relationship used to be, but in reality, everything is always changing- people, circumstances, it seems only natural that if two people don't change in the same way, things will shift. You can accept it, keep loving your friend, and know that in time everything works itself out just as it should. Everything has a season, and whether that season is for a year or a lifetime, it's okay.

9) It's not that big of a deal. Have you ever been through something terrible, and while it was going on you thought to yourself, "Oh my god, this is the WORST. How am I ever going to get through this?!" I'm sure you've had moments like that, I've had my fair share like I'm sure everyone has. This lesson is only learned after going through this horrible, bad thing, and coming out on the other side. I can think of so many instances that seemed like it was the end of the world for me. In my early twenties, I can think of some seemingly life-changing moments- breaking up with a boyfriend, having drama with a friend, getting into a fight with my parents, failing a "huge" test...and guess what? In the span of things, time goes by, and all of these instances that seemed so big and life altering are just bumps in the road, lessons to be learned, and memories, as your present becomes your past. It's good to live in the moment and to feel those emotions, but always keep in the back of your mind that you've been there before, and you'll be there again...this too shall pass. Thinking this helps me see the big picture when I think that things just can't get worse, or when I feel down in the dumps. For every up there is a down, and vice versa. It's just the way it goes. Accepting this, and knowing that it WILL get better is key.

10) Don't let anyone else's definition of happiness/success/life make you question your own definition of those things. This is the last lesson on my list, and I think it's the most powerful lesson of all that I've learned. Similar to my number one lesson, but still different in its own right. No matter what you do in life, no matter who you surround yourself with, there is always going to be someone who doesn't understand why you choose to do what you do, why you've chosen a certain career, partner, passion, or life path (hell, you can even add to that list outfit, tattoo, or sandwich at lunch!). Sometimes these people can be your parents, your friends, or even someone you don't know at all. Maybe you're a musician who has a dream of touring around the country in a van, with four of your best friends. Maybe you want to be an artist, but your parents think you should be a doctor. Maybe you are happy working, and college isn't for you. Or maybe you want to GO to college, but your friends think that's lame. Who knows. But someone will always have an opinion and someone will always NOT understand how on earth you could be HAPPY doing what you're doing. That's because they are imposing their definition of happiness onto you, even though you are totally different people with totally different goals and hopes and dreams. Even at this point in my life, when old classmates or friends find out that I won't be "using" my Bachelor's and Master's degree and will instead be staying home to raise and take care of my family, they are shocked. They don't "get" how I could be happy doing that. And they don't get it because again, it goes against THEIR idea of happiness. Hank traveled in and out of the country right out of high school with his band Life in Pictures, and a lot of his family didn't get it. When I started dating Hank and he was gone for months at a time, and some of my friends didn't get it. They were appalled that he could "leave me like that," but again, they could never really get it because they have different ideas of what happiness is. Believe me when I tell you that if you worry about what ANYONE thinks when you are making big life decisions, you will never be happy. You can't go to law school to please a parent, and you shouldn't not join the Peace Corps, start a small business, or fall in love with who you love just to please another person. How are you supposed to live an entire life (hello, you only get one!) for someone else? You have to follow your idea and definition of success and I guarantee you will find happiness in whatever that may be. Granted, the journey of actually finding your happiness is another topic for another day, but following your heart is a good start. ;)

I also thought I'd include 10 "smaller" things that I've learned along the way -

1) People really are the company they keep.
2) If someone talks shit about everyone, it's pretty probable they talk shit about you too.
3) Negativity is contagious.
4) Follow your gut, it's usually right.
5) Mean girls are just sad, insecure girls. Don't let them affect you.
6) Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, luckier, etc.
7) Quality over quantity is a good rule for most everything.
8) It's NEVER too late to make a change in your life.
9) The grass isn't always greener.
10) Do wild and crazy things/take spontaneous trips/fall in love a million times while you're young, you'll be in a different place in your life before you know it, and all of these things either a) won't seem appealing or b) won't be possible. And experiencing a multitude of these things are important things to learn from and to be able to look back on as you build your life in your late twenties and thirties.

Travis and Another Perspective of Ganesh

People who are familiar with being featured here on Tattoosday know that there is a process, in which I generally go chronologically, and it often can be several weeks before I post their work.

But there are always exceptions.

Take, for example, Travis, who I met on Monday near the corner of 32nd and 8th Avenue waiting for a bus.

Under normal circumstances, you'd have seen Travis's tattoo in September but, the next day, I got the following mysterious tweet: "@Tattoosday post pictures of that guys tattoos- you were talking to him yesterday outside MSG plzz! *stalker*".


Well, a little bit of digging, and I discovered that the source of the message was Hannah, who appeared last month on Tattoosday here. And since I'm a sucker for my fans, I'll gladly oblige and share Travis's tattoo with us here today. Here it is:

Travis's tattoo depicts the Hindu deity Ganesh. However, unlike this Ganesh tattoo, this one has a twist.

Travis explained that one of the common beliefs is that Ganesh was born with a human head, but that he was beheaded as a boy, and his head was replaced with that of an elephant. He obtained a third eye so that he could make sure he was never betrayed again.

Travis says that he often feels "too aware" of others, to the point that it detracts from his enjoyment of life. Thus, his tattoo of Ganesh has him literally slicing off the third eye, wielding a sword with his trunk, which metaphorically translates to Travis "cooling out" and being less aware so that he can enjoy life more.

The "F.I.A." on the banner stand for "Fuck It All".

Travis has eight tattoos, which includes a full sleeve, all by artist Brad Stevens at Dare Devil Tattoo in New York City.

Thanks to Travis for sharing this interesting interpretation of Ganesh with us here on Tattoosday!

Small World, Tattoosday-Style

I have a few days off and was buying some milk at the grocery store when an older gentleman in line behind me complimented me on the tiger tattoo on my calf, which has been well-documented here, in this initial post, and subsequent ones.

The gentleman asked who the artist was and mentioned his son was an artist as well. "Who?" I asked, and he told me, Mike Perfetto, aka Designs by Michael Angelo in Brooklyn. I gave him a flier and he introduced himself as Ralph Perfetto, our Democratic District Leader here in Bay Ridge.

I know you're likely thinking, "Nice story, Bill, but is it really that much of a small world coincidence?" Actually, yes, because my backlog had brought me to posting a couple of tattoos on Peter, who I had last seen at the Matty No Times benefit back on July 17. One of those tattoos, you guessed it, is by Mike Perfetto.

Let's take a look:

Pete also shared a tattoo on his leg by legendary Brooklyn artist Tony Polito. As you can see, Pete has quite a collection of ink, and he takes pride in the work he has from "old school" New York artists tattooing in the American Traditional style.

Pete explained that "Old Calcutta" was a nickname for Tony's shop from the early '80s to the mid '90s because of the high intensity atmosphere of the shop and the people who were there.

Thanks to Peter for sharing his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday (again and again). Peter has been working hard at New York Hardcore Tattoo on Stanton Street. They have recently remodeled the shop and are working hard on producing quality art on the denizens of New York City. Be sure to stop in and meet their crew.

Tattoo Tuesday V.32

This week I am featuring one of the sweetest, cutest ladies in the blogging world, Ms. Kyla Roma! If you don't already read her blog do yourself a favor and pop on over to say hello. She's always posting tons of goodness and her site always a fun, engaging read. Kyla also has some beautiful artwork on her body, and I'm so happy she was excited to share them with all of you!

Name and blog name: Kyla Roma -

Age: 25

Occupation: Blog designer for Freckled Nest & part time receptionist

Age of first tattoo: 18

Favorite tattoo: My shoulder piece!

Featured tattoo/location: My cherry blossom shoulder piece & partial sleeve

Artist/shop/location of featured tattoo: Rich at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada!)

1) Tell us about the tattoo you are sharing with us- is there a background story or special meaning? Why did you choose this particular piece of art?

I love Japanese art and mythology, and because I have a koi fish on my back I wanted something that would work with that visually. Cherry blossoms can represent both the beauty and brevity of life, but beyond that they're just beautiful and are everywhere in my favourite city, Vancouver. I've been going out there every year to visit my best friend for a long time, and it's a place where I can go to regroup and get away from the daily grind. It's a reminder to myself to focus on the beautiful things in life, and to not take things so seriously.

2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?

I have a 8"
koi fish swimming on my back that was my first tattoo I got when I was 18. My favourite thing about her is the expression on her face - she's a very happy and feminine fish!

3) Do you plan on getting more?

Yes! I'm planning to make both my arms half sleeves, to pull the cherry blossoms down below my elbow on my left arm and to incorporate some colourful and detailled birds on both arms. I have lots of ideas for when I have more spending money.

4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them?

I anticipated that I would get negative reactions, but it really hasn't happened.
I've had a coworker make fun of my shoulder piece once, but I think that really comes from a place of not taking the time to understand, or not knowing what to say.

My family is used to the tattoo on my back, and they're still getting used to my shoulder piece. Everyone has been kind and curious, if a little taken aback, but they all know me really well and think it suits me. I'm still wearing cardigans around my grandparents, but they're really sweet people who try to understand what I'm going through, so I'm not going to keep it hidden forever.

Generally I've been a little surprised by the amount of staring that people do at tattoos, but I've already started tuning it out and I don't notice too much any more. Mostly it's been really positive because I've wanted this for so long, and to finally have it feels fantastic. When someone comments on how beautiful they think it is, it really makes my day.

5) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?

Public Service Announcement: Being tattooed on top of your collarbone is a really special kind of awful. I love mine, but I'm not sure that I'll do the top of my shoulders when I do my right arm! Make sure you eat a good meal about an hour before you go to your appointment so you don't run out of energy. Long sessions are exhausting, and sugary drinks can really help you. And if your shop doesn't have a TV, bring a laptop and a bunch of DVDs.

Also, don't be a hero! If your artist has a long wait list, book two appointments to shade & colour a large piece up front. My artist had a four month waiting list, and when we did the colour it lasted for just shy of five hours. Had I thought ahead and scheduled two appointments I could have had the colour done with only a few weeks between appointments instead of having to do it all at once or wait four months.

Under One Small Star - Two Tattoos from Anna

I met Anna earlier this month in Penn Station. I felt compelled to stop her when she walked by and I caught a glimpse of this amazing tattoo:

I love seeing ink that is new and original, and I had never seen a line of anything run up the length of a leg like this.

Anna explained that this was a line of poetry that reads "My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second" that she heard on a trip to Cambodia. Her group leader, Jan, had shared the poem, "Under One Small Star" by Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska, and the verse meant a lot to her during her trip there. This one specific line really resounded with her, so she first "paid a Khmer translation site and then had a friend [she] made in Cambodia, Ponheary, check the translation just to make sure it was correct".

I love the international flavor of this tattoo - a poem originally in Polish, translated to English, then re-translated to Khmer, transcribed in flesh in America!

The line runs from top to bottom and was inked by Jason at Powerhouse Tattoo Company in Montclair, New Jersey.

The poem is reprinted in its entirety at the end of this post.

Since it is Tat-Tuesday, let's look at a second tattoo from Anna, this one on the back side of her right arm:

This is Joan of Arc, "a hero of mine," says Anna, who admires her from the feminist perspective and finds her an "unbelievably inspirational" historical figure.

This piece was tattooed by the wonderful Stephanie Tamez at New York Adorned. Stephanie's work has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks again to Anna for sharing these two of her seven tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep
today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread
from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

--Wislawa Szymborska

On Aging

my Grandmother's hand <3

I'm not sure if I'm in the minority here, but when I think about getting older, it doesn't bother me one bit. I've never been one to shy away from celebrating a birthday- in fact, I absolutely love them and really enjoy not just my own, but everyone else's too. As the years go by, I've noticed that my love for turning another year older has become more of the oddity than the norm. I've also noticed that with this fear of aging, comes an acceptance of holding onto youth. I'm definitely not one to judge but I do not get this at all. I don't understand trying to hold onto what you looked like before, when this is now, not then. I don't understand risking your life to cut, tuck and snip unwanted body parts up, up and away. I don't understand trying to mask years of emotion and experience by freezing your facial muscles into place. I just don't.

At 28 years old, I've already seen a large number of my friends and acquaintances get all sorts of procedures. Although I accept my friends and I support whatever decision they want to make in regards to their body, it makes me incredibly sad. What is it about our culture that makes women feel like they need to change who they are to suit some notion we have of beauty or youth? Why can't we accept that every stage of life is beautiful? Now- I know some of you reading this may have gotten said procedures, and I hope you know again, I am absolutely not here to judge. I'm simply coming from another side. In fact, if you are in support of the things I've mentioned I'd genuinely love to hear your viewpoints. I understand that in many cases, people feel insecure about certain aspects of their bodies, and plastic surgery or other procedures can help them feel more confident. As always, live and let live; more power to you. I'm not questioning your decision to have the procedure because I know everyone has a reason to do what they do, but I'm more so questioning the basis of the thought process there- what about our culture drives women to make decisions like that?

In all actuality, I think the biggest confusion for me comes in the form of Botox or other injections. One of the things I don't get, and will never ever get, is how someone could inject something into their face without knowing the true implications of the product. Because Botox, Restylane, and the like are fairly new and have been widely used for less than 15-20 on Earth can we even begin to guess the long term affects of these procedures? Even if something is deemed "safe" now, how do we know what will happen in 30, 40, 50 years? These chemicals people are injecting into their bodies are just that- chemicals. And we truly don't know what will happen in a few years from now because this is all uncharted territory. Will they cause Cancer? Loss of all muscle use in the face at age 60? Who knows.

I just started noticing the very beginning of fine lines around my eyes and although I regularly use eye cream and will continue to use eye cream, I feel that wrinkles and lines are inevitable. It's okay to age. It's okay to not look like a teenager when I'll be 30 in two years. I'll make smart choices and use the right products to look the best I can, but it's inevitable- my body, face, and overall self will absolutely change with time. When I see older women with lines on their face, I know each of those lines holds a story- each laugh line was made through the repeated gesture of smiling, and even those brow furrows came from more thoughts than we could imagine. I hope that as I continue to age I will be able to accept all of the changes my body will go through. I know it's easier said than done, especially since I haven't really experienced much of the process yet, but I think with awareness and mindfulness it will be easier. Right now my body is housing another, and after our baby is born my body won't ever be the same. And that is okay with me. Trying to hold on, trying to make things the way they were...this is just not a natural thing in my eyes. Time goes on, aging happens. I want to embrace each number I see, be it 30, 40, or 80, with happiness and celebration that I have made it another year, or forty. I want my face to show everywhere I've been, and I want to be around other women who accept these things about each other rather than peer pressure one another to get the latest procedure and try everything under the sun to turn back time. This is not "Death Becomes Her," and there is no fountain of youth. All we can do is treat our bodies with the utmost respect and do things that keep us feeling youthful and keep our bodies in the best shape possible. We can wear sunscreen and eat fresh foods, exercise, take vitamins and use good for us products. All we can do is make choices that benefit our health, and in turn benefit our spirit. And if I'm doing the best I can, I am going to accept every single wrinkle and change that transpires. I can't wait to be 80, tattooed and wrinkly, and hopefully have a happy life full of self-acceptance to look back on. I write this as a reminder to myself, a reminder to cherish every little step in this journey and to ACCEPT every change, for it is truly, truly inevitable. I hope you'll join me in working towards this acceptance of aging, and in turn an acceptance of ourselves. This may be slightly irrelevant to some of you- many of you are possibly quite a bit younger, but I think it's always something to think about. When you're in college you are no longer a high schooler. Time has gone by, things have changed. After college, you're a twenty-something trying to make it in the world, time has gone by, things have changed. Later you'll be 30, then 40, looking back on your life and musing about how quickly time flies. Why look back and realize you wasted time worrying about the inevitable?

This was all kind of a mish-mosh of things running through my head, but I wanted to share because it's something that's been on my mind for awhile. If you got through this barrage of thoughts, thank you for reading until the end! And now I wonder: Do you have a hard time getting older? Do birthdays bother you? Or are you more in my boat, with each year being a badge of celebration? I'd love to hear from you. :)

Happy Monday, everyone!
August 2010

Suri & Co spent a day shopping around Toronto on Sunday, 22.
Before picking up take-away food the trio stopped by Starbucks, Gap Kids and Anthropology.

Suri is wearing the same dress which she first wore on July 21st 2010, but today the dress is worn inside-out.. :)
very creative of our little fashionista! :)

Suri is expanding her Raingear collection by wearing these Hello Kitty Polka Dot Boots by Western Chief.

Thanks to Katrina for the news! :)


Music Monday

I don't usually participate in this wonderful weekly blog feature that a lot of my pals partake in, but this week I thought I would give it a go. Music is a huge part of my life, and I don't think there's many instances where there isn't some form of music being played or created in our home. Recently, I've been listening to the same bands and the same albums over and over, so I thought I would recommend some of my old favorites, just in case any of them are new to you.

The first band I'm sharing is one of my all-time favorite bands (musicians) from my younger years, Pedro the Lion. SO GOOD. I'm going to recommend his first (and in my opinion, the best) album, originally released in 1998 and then re-recorded and re-released in 2001 by Jade Tree. The album is called "It's Hard to Find a Friend" and has a million of my favorite songs on it. To me, this music is incredibly contemplative. It makes me want to lay in bed and just stare at the ceiling, think about life, and daydream. I hope you enjoy it too.

Here are a couple songs from that album. Every song is amazing, so if you like it, I suggest downloading the whole thing! If you're viewing this post via Google Reader you'll need to actually click on my blog to see the playlist.

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Another band I've been non-stop listening to lately is one of my normal favorites, Lucero. Oh, Ben Nichols. His voice is so amazing and their songs are just so wonderful. Listening to them makes me want to go sit and swing on a front porch, in the middle of the summer somewhere in the South, and have an ice cold beer. Or whiskey. A few things wrong with this picture. One, we don't have a proper front porch or a swing, I live in Arizona, I don't drink beer or whiskey (pregnant or not)...and we're heading into fall. Oh well, a girl can dream. I bet that if you don't already LOVE this band you will soon.

a few of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums from this band (Tennessee):

And last but not least I've been listening to St. Vincent an awful lot. My friend Elisa originally introduced me to this wonderful woman a long while back, and I really, really love her and her multiple instrument playing, beautiful singing self. My favorite album of hers is probably "Marry Me," released in 2007. Here are a couple of my favorite songs from that album.

I hope all of you enjoyed this little music post, and I hope you have a fabulous Monday!