Imagine if More Children Spent Their Whole School Day Outside?

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

Sunset from Crater Lake in Oregon

I’ve talked a lot recently about how being outdoors, among nature, getting grounded with the earth truly changes us. Then I came across this post today from Lulastic about a Kindergarten in Germany held in a forest.

No toilets. No electricity. Held outdoors in all seasons. With minimal adult interaction. And knives from the All Knives site. Imagine all the cheap electricity bills you could be getting if they were outside all day, at least we have the Brisbane Electricians that help us save money.

Not some Lord of the Flies craziness – this school, Waldkindergarten outside of Freiberg, in south Germany, is helping children between two and a half and six learn. Grow. Communicate by using speech pathologist help. Have imaginations. But most importantly? Be CONFIDENT in themselves.

What an amazing place – I would love to see more of these around the world. However, they don’t exist, but what does exist is that every parent can take their child out and do the same. Take them outside. Not a structured play setting. Take them in to nature. Where they can explore, touch things, hike, play … and grow their confidence.

Get outside. Let free creativity flourish.

I Watched the Internet Grow Up…

Kristine with a K in Portland

I forget sometimes how I have watched the , first hand. Right in front of me. Blogging since 2000 — well, my first dip in the blogging pool was actually after watching Faith and other designers create things similar to blogs in 1999, but I really got going with blogging in 2000 — means I have seen a lot. I forget that sometimes.

Then I’m at my friend Stephanie’s house and I pick up the First 20 Years issue of Wired Magazine.

Looking at the list of the influencers, the things, the events, the websites and the webhoster vergleich they use … I realize that there are people I’ve met among that list. People that if you asked me, I’d even dare to call friends.

It is strangely fascinating to me. There are people on the list that I wouldn’t have included. People that I feel have dramatically changed the way the world interacts with the internet (Matt of WordPress for example) that are not included on the list.

As I logged in to my blog to write this post, I saw that I had traffic today from this post that Matt wrote back in 2004. He came *to my house* to do my MovableType to WordPress migration, personally. I asked him a few years ago about why, and he said it was the largest blog to migrate that he was aware of at that point in time.

It is just fascinating to think of it all. Back in 1987 as I started college, my mom asked me why I didn’t consider majoring in Computer Science because I seemed to like it so much in high school. I laughed, and asked what I do with THAT??? I’m glad I got cyber insurance UK, because I also noticed people got very good at hacking other people’s computers.

I’d say the joke was on me, but in reality I still ended up where I belonged, If I would have seen the list of free laptops by back then I would have probably made a better decision. Thanks to a law firm called The Yost Law Firm where I worked in IT needing to get online, I hand-coded the HTML after teaching myself how and built my first GeoCities site. I was given stock in GeoCities, and later sold it to fund the down payment on a car. I eventually found the Digital Divas (I think that is what they were called?) and started to blog. I went to South by Southwest Interactive in 2002, back when it was so small that the whole thing maybe took up 10 rooms in the convention center, there were no big corporations at the trade show (Microsoft, etc), and the after-party was at Bruce Sterling’s house — and there I met some of the very people on this Wired Magazine cover.

I have always written from the heart. I have always been myself, vulnerably and authentic. I have always shared freely, both on my blogs and on forums in various places. It is incredible to look back at what that has brought me in return in my life. Not just the people on the magazine cover, but deep friendships that have been forged as well. Friends that it may have taken me years to meet up with in person (like Kristine, in the photograph above, who I was able to meet up with after 12 years in Portland this summer), but that changed my life none the less. My entire job focuses around the internet now, and while I never thought that would be a reality 15 years ago, now it feels perfectly natural to me.

I’m so grateful for all of the friends in my life that the internet has brought me. I’ve learned over the years that there are people behind the keyboards, and most of them are pretty accessible. We are all often linked together in some way. I’m lucky that I watched the internet grow up, because it has changed my life in so many ways.

Must Break Through…

Mary Allen College in Crockett Texas

As I went to bed last night I was angry with myself. I started this site over, fresh and new, so it wouldn’t feel like and empty shell any more. A clean slate. A new start.

Yet what I wrote yesterday didn’t feel like my voice. It didn’t feel authentically me. If you & I were talking, I wouldn’t sound like that.

It pisses me off.

That anger is a good thing though, because I’m going to keep it in mind as I write, or at least I’ll try. If I wouldn’t say it out loud, then I’ll think about how I would.

I want my posts to feel like a letter. A note from me to you. A journal for myself. Personal.

Practice, practice, practice. Now that I’m aware of it, I can deal with it.

No more being pissed off at my writing. When it feels like crap, I just need to break through and continue.

Photograph taken on a recent Texas road trip. The former Mary Allen College in Crockett, Texas.

13 Years and 1 Day – Changing the BigPinkCookie name…

Avenger of Sexiness Cards

13 years ago yesterday I wrote the first post on this site. The First First Post. It is incredible to me to think that this site has been around now for 13 years and 1 day.

More incredible to me is the fact that I’m in the process of leaving behind the BigPinkCookie name after all these years.

Yes, you read that correctly. I keep trying to “revive” the blog, and I realized while I was at the Mom 2.0 Summit this past weekend that a revival was not what I need. I need a fresh start. A new identity that matches the rest of the changes in my life.

This blog has seen me through so many great times, so many amazing things. I met Mike, we bought a house, got married, Jason grew up, we bought a house in the Heights, we sold our old house. I made new friends, friends that have been with me through a lot of things.

This blog has also seen me through some really hard times. Maybe that is the baggage that I’m feeling, that I don’t want to carry around any more.

Most of all, I have changed. 13 years ago I was working for a web design company. Then another, then a round of being unemployed, time at a law firm, back to school, years as a wedding photographer plus a boudoir photographer.

In 2010, I started working with Jeff Jochum, first through two workshops where I realized I *REALLY* wanted to focus on photographing Hot Mamas, and over the next year or so of coaching with him I discovered … well, I discovered ME. (Matter of fact, the move to the Heights and the physical changes all started after that time.)

I’ve never felt more like myself since … well, for as long as I can remember. I now own my own business, happily working as the Hot Mama photographer. I love my life. While BigPinkCookie helped me get to that place, who I am now is the Avenger of Sexiness. I help Hot Mamas grow their confidence and rediscover their beauty … all while I am doing the same for myself.

It was fascinating watching how “Avenger of Sexiness” resonates with other women as they read my business card or commented on my t-shirt at Mom 2.0 last weekend.

That was when it hit me. This blog? It needs a change. A fresh start. And that all starts with the name. As soon as I can get the geek-fu magic to take place it will become

Writing that out makes me feel like I can breathe again. I’ve known for 4 months now that I need to do something BIG with the Avenger of Sexiness concept, and this change is just the start of it. I don’t know what the future holds, but I can’t wait to find out!

I’m not sure what I am doing with the archives. I don’t know how it will all work. Don’t worry, I promise you won’t get lost trying to find me. For now, consider this post a line in the sand. From here on out, I am the Avenger of Sexiness!

PS – if you have any suggestions of what I should use for my Twitter name, please let me know. @ChristineBPC makes no sense if I’m no longer the BigPinkCookie. To be honest? That is the only part of this name change that is freaking me out!

Brussels Sprouts…

Brussels Sprouts

I had been on such a roll here with daily posts, and then one day, I slipped. One day lead to two, which lead to over a week. Yesterday I realized that not posting here daily was actually adding to the grumpy mood that I was in. It seems I do need to keep a rhythm going, to keep the habit up. It gives me something to strive for, even when I feel like no one will notice.

(If you notice me slacking off again, nudge me, okay?)

The reason that I pieced this all together? Brussels Sprouts. More specifically, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Writing that post last night was like opening up a flood gate. I didn’t want to stop writing. Then it hit me how much I missed it.

As I looked at all the comments that flooded in, I learned that the Brussels Sprouts, which no one seems to care about and they are the most hated vegetable on the planet, is actually pretty well liked. Well, by my friends at least.

Things aren’t always what they seem. Don’t give up. Do things that are good for you.

Not a reminder I expected to get from a vegetable, but I’ll take it.

As we start the month of May today, I’m about to hit the 18 month anniversary of starting up 4-Hour Body, going gluten-free, and changing a lot of things. I plan to reflect on that a lot this month. One of the things that has changed? I’ve learned to have a new appreciation for foods I always thought I didn’t like – including Brussels sprouts. Pretty amazing to look back and think about!