Twerking 9-year-olds + June Ad Space

I would almost (ALMOST) have kids just so I could send them to hip hop dance class. That’s a legitimate reason to procreate, right?

But we’re not just here to talk about sending more people, traffic, and eyeballs towards your online space. I have ad space – you might want some?

Who advertises here?  Life coaches. Etsy shops. Indie fashion labels. Travel websites.  Artists.  Designers of all types.  Who reads Yes and Yes?  Smart, funny, awesome women.  Mostly 18-35 English speakers – though there are plenty of teenagers and above-35s who stop by as well.  If you’re a Big Deal Brand and you’re interested in working together, check out my past partnerships with Blowfish Shoes, Shutterfly, Uncommon Goods, and 15each.co among others.
Sidebar ad space is available in one, two and three month packages with pricing discounts at two and three months. All 220 x 100 sponsors will be included in the mid-month sponsor introduction post.

 

$80 and $200 sponsors also have the option of offering discount codes to Yes and Yes newsletter subscribers (4,300+ people!) at no additional charge.

Some facts about Yes and Yes?

Daily unique visitors: 3,200 – 3,500 a day
Page views: 240,000+ per month
Twitter followers: 7,540+
Facebook fans: 4,770+
Blogspot followers: 3,300+
Google Page Rank: 4
RSS feed subscribers (between Feedburner, Bloglovin’, Feedly)12,000+
Newsletter subscribers: 4,300+

Some of the nice things that previous sponsors have said about Yes and Yes?

Having advertised on Yes and Yes in the past, I knew Sarah was the person to contact when I was launching my 21-Day Instagram course. I made nearly a 500% return on my ad investment. If your target client is a smart, savvy young woman with a desire to better herself and the world around her, advertising with Sarah will help you reach her. –Melissa Camilleri, Founder of Compliment, Inc. and the 21-Day Insta-course
I’ve sponsored with Sarah a few times, and each experience has been amazing! The day my sponsored post went up I got five times my usual traffic! Not only is she a breeze to work with and prompt with communication, but she is also genuine and really does want to support other bloggers. So many times, advertising on another blog is a one-way street, but when I sponsor Sarah I feel like we’re supporting each other. It’s wonderful to have someone like her in the blogosphere! – Stephanie, The Loudmouth Lifestyle
Sponsoring Yes & Yes is the single best thing I’ve done to grow my blog’s readership and community.Sarah is a joy to work with and has shared thoughtful ideas to make the sponsorship a real partnership. My data-loving jaw dropped when I looked at site statistics for readers from Yes & Yes: the average (lovely) visitor from Y&Y stayed on my site for 3:22 minutes compared to an average 1:22, the bounce rate was 44% compared to the average 78%, and Y&Y was my second largest traffic source for the month. The community Sarah cultivates on Y&Y is a supportive, engaged group who have kept reading and commenting since I first sponsored Y&Y in March. Thank you, Sarah! – Alicia Johnston, Jaybird
Isn’t that lovely? Email me at sarah (at) yesandyes (dot) org to organize a sponsorship.

 

The Oddly Obvious Thing I Need To Be Reminded Of

oddly obviousThe recipe said ‘hands-on time: 7 minutes, total time: 25 minutes’ and like a sucker, I believed them.

I started on the waffles 30 minutes before my friends were due for brunch. “I’ll serve you waffles fresh off the griddle!” I said. “I can’t wait to show you this new recipe!” I said.
My friends arrived to find me flustered and flour-covered, yelling about Waffles These Days and OMG did you know that waffles think they deserve whipped egg whites? Who do these waffles think they are?!
In more experienced hands, maybe these fancy-ass waffles would have only required seven minutes of hands-on time, but in my not-accustomed-to-sifting-flour hands, this was a one-hour kind of recipe.
But instead of mentally berating myself for my waffle-making failings, I remembered something my friend Katie told me. 

“The more you do it, the easier it gets.”

And while that might seem like the most obvious statement to ever grace your screen, I think it’s worth remembering.
I’ve been driving a stick shift since I was 16. It is well and truly second nature, as easy as breathing or changing stations during commercials. I’ve been writing for 15 years – I can bang out a month’s worth of blog posts in a few uninterrupted hours. After 12 years of serious travel, I can pack for a month of travel – in a carry-on – in an hour.
But ask me to assemble an IKEA desk? That ish will take me three days – because I’ve only done it a few times. The same goes for cooking any type of meat, sewing things, training dogs, mathing or (apparently) making new recipes. I hope you’re prepared to wait because this is going to take a while. And it’s probably going to be painful to watch.
And for a long time I viewed these struggles as an excuse to quit, because if I’m not immediately good and it’s not immediately easy, then clearly it’s not meant to be. But if you don’t keep doing it, it will never get easier.
This applies to every area of our lives.
The more you negotiate for better pay and benefits, the easier it gets.
The more you walk away from toxic relationships, the easier it gets.
The more you reach out to people you want to befriend, the easier it gets.
When we’re in the midst of doing that difficult thing – asking for a raise, whipping egg whites – instead of viewing the struggle as a failure in the making, what if we viewed it as an investment in future ease? Our future selves will thank us for putting in the hours to make this easier. Our future selves will befriend and waffle and negotiate with ease because our current selves made the effort.
What did you struggle with in the past that’s easy now? What do you wish was easy? Tell us in the comments!
Photo by Kyle Lamothe // cc

Kitchen Globetrotter: Suriname Vegetable Salad with Coconut Dressing

This is one of many internationally flavored recipes that make up our Kitchen Globetrotter series. But this recipe comes from our new contributor, Heidi Larson of Foodie Crush fame. You’re going to want to check out her amazing recipes on her blog or follow along on Twitter or Instagram.

Suriname saladWhile many of us in the good old U S of A experience the exoticism of the tropics through the straw of an umbrella-adorned fruity drink while visiting the Florida Keys or at a lei-studded luau, well-heeled travelers know that tropical flavors need not be only fruity, nor solely sippable.

The South American country of Suriname is a small country.  In fact, Suriname’s Dutch-speaking population is equivalent to the size of Tuscon, AZ. But unlike water-starved Tuscon, the Caribbean climate of Suriname is sublimely tropical thanks to its pristine Amazonian rain forests and nature preserves.

The Suriname culture revels in its Indonesian and East Indian influences. Seafood, exotic fruits and typically farmed vegetables like potatoes, plantains and beans are prime ingredients in the country’s cooking and are main players in all degrees of sweetness and spice as main dishes, salads, and sides.

The cabbage and bean salad called Goedangan is one example of how Suriname’s tropical sweet flavors mix seamlessly with fresh vegetables. This fresh salad could be a side dish for spicy shrimp or served as a main dish with peanut sauce and extra helpings of hard boiled eggs. And if you’re a dressing freak like me, feel free to double it.

Goedangan Vegetable Salad with Coconut Dressing
lightly adapted from here

Goedangan-foodiecrush.com-23For the Dressing:
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 small jalepeño, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Juice of 1-2 limes, to taste
Pinch of salt

For the Salad:
½ small head of green cabbage, sliced thinly
½ small head of red cabbage, sliced thinly
8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
1 cup mung bean sprouts
3-4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 cucumber, sliced thin
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Make the Dressing:
Whisk together the coconut cream and yogurt. Stir in the sugar, coriander, lime juice, and salt. Add the minced jalapeño to desired spiciness. Chill until ready to serve.

salad surinameTo Make the Salad:
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the green cabbage and bean sprouts for 30 seconds. Transfer the cabbage and bean sprouts to the ice water bath then drain in a colander. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the green beans for 2-3 minutes or until just crisp-tender. Add the green beans to the ice bath, then transfer to the colander to drain. Bring the water to a boil and cook the purple cabbage for 30 seconds, plunge into the ice bath then transfer to another colander or paper towel covered plate to drain.

Arrange the vegetables on individual plates or a platter with the quartered hard boiled eggs. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with cilantro. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Thanks so much, Heidi! Any Surinamese readers out there? Or have you traveled there? What other recipes do you like?

photo credit M M and Noé Alfaro // cc

True Story: My 8-Year-Old Daughter Dresses Exclusively Like A Boy

This is one of many True Story interviews in which we talk to people who have experienced interesting, challenging, amazing things. This is the story of Stasia and her daughter Raisa who only wears ‘boy’ clothes.

Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m a 40-year-old momma with two wildly beautiful kids (2 and 8) and a wicked handsome social worker husband, living the good life in Vermont. Last year, I threw caution and pragmatism to the wind, quit my job, and started a biz as a Personal Stylist, and have never looked back. I had no choice… my daughter made me do it :)
Tell us about your daughter. 
Raisa is an 8 years old kid with incredible style :) She’s sassy, bold, cool and charismatic… just not in the way I had envisioned when I was planning out what life would be like with a baby girl. She was born with “special needs”. She’s had hundreds of doctor’s appointments, has been under anesthesia over a dozen times, and sleeps with a c-pap machine every night. She loves to ski, bike, fish, and swim. She would wear a suit jacket and bow tie to school every single day if her closet was abundant enough to support her desires. She’s tough, gentle, bold, sensitive… and she loves her brother more than anything on earth.
At what age did she start wanting to dress like a boy? 
She started trending toward boy clothes around 3 years old, but I didn’t make much of it at the time. I could still get her in dresses though admittedly it was a battle. As she neared 6 years old, we would have throw-down fights around her wardrobe. I would get crazy upset when she outright REFUSED to wear the super fun, cute, whimsical clothes I had purchased for her.You see, Raisa looks different than other kids, and I thought I could combat the inevitable bullying if she wore hip clothes and looked ridiculously cute all the time. Plus, after years of hospital visits and hundreds of doctor’s appointments, I was exhausted, and couldn’t imagine navigating and challenging the roles of gender in our society. I just wanted things to be regular. You know, easy.
What make you change your mind and buy her first shirt and tie?
We were shopping at our local thrift store, and she asked me (as she’s done a million times) to help her look for a “boy” shirt and tie. I said no. She’d had enough “no” from me, so she walked up to the counter and asked the cashier to help her look in the kid’s section for a shirt and tie. They did, and they found the most dreadful Walmart looking shirt and tie combo I had ever seen.I couldn’t say no since the cashier was the one who presented it to me – so I begrudgingly paid $3 for the combo and figured I’d just re-donate it the following day. I wish I could say I “changed my mind”, but unfortunately it wasn’t a selfless act, and I didn’t let go of my antiquated belief systems for another couple of hours…
How did she react when she put on her shirt and tie for the first time?
As soon as we got home from the thrift store, she immediately put on the shirt and tie and stood in front of the mirror. When she first saw her reflection, she became motionless and said to me in a whisper, “Mama, look how handsome I look.” Then she bolted across the dining room and said, “Mama, Mama, look how fast I can run!” and then she jumped and said, “Mama, look how much higher I can jump when I’m wearing a shirt and tie!”I just stood there, ashamed, shocked and in disbelief. She could run faster and jump higher when she was wearing clothes on the outside that reflected who she was on the inside. Though I understood the sentiment of “authentic style” to a degree, she articulated it in a way that knocked my socks off. The lesson was profound, and it changed the trajectory of my life.
Does she ‘dress like a boy’ every day now? 
Every. Single. Day. And most days she’s wearing a bow tie and a blazer :) She’s unstoppable.
How have the people in your life reacted to her fashion choices?
They LOVE it! In fact, she’s become a bit of a local sensation in her bow ties and neckties. Believe it or not, I haven’t heard one single person say anything cross about her boy-like presentation. Pretty amazing, don’t you think?
How do other kids react to her choices?
Great question!! Kids are a wee bit confused… “Is Raisa a boy or a girl?” Even her classmates that have known her for years have questioned whether she’s a boy or a girl. But other than that, it’s no big deal. And honestly, Raisa thinks it’s cool that she looks and dresses like a boy but IS a girl.
Has she made any comments about wishing she was a boy? Or does it seem like her interest ends at wearing clothes that are traditionally male?
This is tricky territory. She acts like a boy, dresses like a boy and stays far away from anything girl because “What if people think I’m a girl?” BUT, she’s never said she wishes she were a boy, and trust me, we’ve asked. She has said over and over that she’s happy that she’s a girl, but just likes everything boy, and likes that people think she’s a boy. She loves that her brother calls her “sissy” and loves her very feminine name. So for now, we’re allowing her to lead the conversation and we’ll just keep checking in, supporting her, and loving her.
Raisa has taken the gender binary and tipped it upside down. She resonates with both “boy” and “girl,” and is at ease in that place of “in between”. Gender, it turns out, is a continuum, and she understands that better than most.
Has this changed the way you think about gender? Parenting? Fashion?
It’s changed the way I think about everything!! And I mean EVERYTHING.
I was in the beginning, contemplative stages of starting my biz as a personal stylist when the shirt and tie incident happened. In that moment, my purpose became clear, and my message of “Inside-Out Congruency” became my life’s work. When I meet with clients, the first and absolute most important thing I do is help them figure out who they are on the inside so that we can reflect that on the outside. I want every woman in the world to “run faster and jump higher”.
And really, this philosophy of Inside-Out Congruency transcends everything! Allowing and supporting those around us to fully live in their truest place and space will create a world with greater harmony and less of the us vs them.
What’s one thing you’ve learned from this that any of us could apply to our daily lives? 
I’ve learned that belief systems and inflexible plans can be dangerous, and the tighter we hold on to them, the more tumultuous and unstable our lives become. Before Raisa was born, my husband and I had crafted and created a wanderlust lives for ourselves and our soon-to-be family. But the moment she was born, we had to say goodbye to our grand plan because now her life was on the line and we needed to plant ourselves near her big city hospital. We settled in Vermont, created community, and have never looked back.

When she was born, I envisioned she would be this hip, sweet, funky, charismatic girl who loved shimmer and sparkle, despite her differences… and this is also something I’ve had to let go of. All those years that I fought, refused and rejected the notion that my daughter was more “boy” than “girl” resulted in nothing more than battle wounds – for both of us. I’ve learned that letting go and flexibility release our hearts from tension and makes space for profound love.

Thank you so, so much for sharing this sweet story, Stasia. Do you guys have any (polite!) questions for her?

Web Time Wasters

I’m on a six-week road trip around the U.S. and Canada (you can follow along on Instagram) so I’ve asked some of my favorite internet friends to fill in while I’m out and about!

Hey yo! I’m Elizabeth and I work with business owners who hate marketing + promoting their business over at elizabethmckenzie.com.au. I’m all about real world spirituality (in a totally unwanky way), savouring champagne + celebrity gossip, have my latest pop obsession as the soundtrack to my life (helloooo, T Swizzle + 1989 = perfection), and creating programs that eff with the traditional marketing plan so your business enhances your life, your spirituality + your soul. (Woah).

Sooo, let’s talk links hey?

This is the best video clip ever (as if she wouldn’t be on the list right?).

Feeling frustrated and wanna vent? This women’s already done it for you, in the most hilarious way.

Oh hey, Gossip Girl fans? Check out this open letter to Dan (aka lonely boy) getting schooled

Needa funny up you insta-feed? Follow this rad dude and thank me later.

I’m totally crushing on prints from this lady.

Are you a badass who’s all about living in the real world but wants to know more about your chakras and all that whack energy stuff? Click here and grab your free chakra manual (Oh hey, yeah I’m the one who created it. Remember that real world spiritual stuff? Not. A. Joke.)

If you haven’t read this book yet, I feel sorry for you. Mindy for President!

I gotta admit, I’m all for the DadBod. Finally, I can eat pizza and ice cream and still potentially hook up with Leo cos we’re soooooo on the same level.

Think inspiration quotes are a bit extreme? So does this funny gal.

And to wrap up, here’s the trailer for the Backstreet Boys movie. You’re so very welcome (Ps – AJ can I have your babies?)

Peace out!

Office makeovers + Morning in Paris + Skinny pasta

You guys, I’m sorry if you had big plans for this morning, but those errands are going to have to wait. We’ve got some particularly awesome links from this month’s sponsors and you’re going to want to pour an extra cup of coffee for these.

Sorry/you’re welcome.

Favorite posts:
Office makeover // What to pack for a spring trip // How to style a coffee table
Let’s be friends!
instagram // pinterest // twitter // facebook


Favorite stuff:
One-pot skinny pasta primavera // Puff pastry with sabayon custard and strawberries //
Beet avacado and goat cheese salad
Let’s be friends!
facebook // twitter // pinterest


Favorite posts:
Hello world, once again // Basil does Hampstead heath // Morning in Paris
Let’s be friends!
facebook // twitter // instagram // pinterest


Favorite posts:
Paris fashion week aw15 street style // Best time to exercise to lose weight //
Weddings diy photo booth
Let’s be friends!
facebook // twitter // instagram


Favorite posts:
How I grew my following by 17,000 people in 1 year // 3 weeks of step-by-step emails
Let’s be friends!
twitter // facebook // instagram // pinterest

Wanna see your sweet mug here – in front of 12,000 people? Sponsorships are waaaaay affordable and waaaaay effective. Check out my rates and info here or drop me a line at sarah (at) yesandyes (dot) org and we’ll get you started!

2 Dirty Secrets About Starting Your First Blog

This post is dedicated to every former English Major looking for a creative outlet and everybody who’s psyching themselves out over templates and opt-ins. Pop over to my small business blog if you’re interested!

Why Is It So Hard To Enjoy Our Happiness?

enjoy your happiness
A traveler friend once told me that she breaks down the best moments of her trips into monetary units.
That amazing, three-hour lunch under the Spanish moss with your best friends cost more than the $150 restaurant bill. It’s the four-hour, $400 flight that brought you to Savannah and the hour of faffing around at the car rental place. It’s the 30 minutes of Googling to find this gorgeous, hole-in-the-wall bistro and the $50 dress you bought for this trip.
Using her calculations that meal actually cost me $350 and two days of my life.
I’m sure I audibly gasped when I ran the numbers on some of my favorite memories. $550 for that time I hand-fed the sassy alpaca! $375 dollars for the afternoon Alex and I played board games in the park and ate hipster ice cream! $400 for real, actual tacos in Mexico, consumed on paper plates while sitting in plastic chairs on the side of the road.
I probably even whimpered “Dude! I don’t need any help feeling guilty about my travel spending!” And I promptly tried to forget all about it.
Even if my friend’s idea was more budget-based than inspirational, it had a surprisingly centering effect on me. Because I have this ridiculous, terrible habit of rushing through happiness. 
I’m standing on the parade route at Dollywood, watching one of my favorite celebrities wave glamorously, and as soon as she’s past, I’m wondering where we parked. It’s the last day of a perfect cabin weekend with friends and instead of pouring myself another mimosa on the deck, I’m thinking about weekend traffic and looking for my phone charger.
Why is it so hard to sit in our happiness? Why is it so difficult to say “Be happy in this moment, this moment is your life” … and then stay in the moment? Am I the only one who recites that mantra and then immediately starts thinking about what I’ll make for dinner?
If this sounds familiar, let’s make a pact. Let’s learn to sit in our happiness (even if it makes us a little uncomfortable.) Let’s honor all the hard work and time and money that went into any given moment of transcendent joy. For every joy and laughter-filled dinner party, there are hours of menu planning, cooking, and clean up. For every triumphant finish-line-crossing, there are months of training and sweat and compromise.
When we rush through our happiness, we’re disrespecting all the hard work we put into making those moments happen. We owe it to ourselves (and our bank accounts and calendars) to stay in those moments of joy and actually, you know, enjoy them.
Do you struggle to actually stay in your moments of happiness? Have you ever run the math on what went into making those moments happen? 
Photo by Donnie Nunley // cc

Good Idea: Two Clever, Slightly Gross Makeup Tricks

makeup tricks

Before you read this, you should know that I am not in any way, shape or form a makeup or beauty expert. I mean, when strapped for space I use a three-product makeup bag.

That being said, who doesn’t love makeup tips? Especially tips for those of us who are lazy/slightly gross/still figuring out how to apply liquid liner?

Is that you? Welcome to the club! I’m the acting president. You can be the treasurer if you want.

1. If you don’t have concealer, use the foundation around the neck of the bottle
Yes, that thick, slightly dried up foundation that’s built up around the neck of your Covergirl Outlast. Why? Since it’s dried out the color is more concentrated, so it’ll give you “fuller coverage” (read: cover up zits.)

2. Use your ‘lip balm finger’ to moisturize your cuticles
You know what I mean: when you apply lip balm from a pot or use your finger to scoop out the last of your lipstick, you’re left with a greasy finger. My inclination is usually to wipe it on my jeans (GROSS. DON’T.) but you know what’s way better? Rubbing that smidge of left over lip balm or lipstick into your cuticles. Both your jeans and your cuticles will appreciate it.

Obviously, this doesn’t really work with matte or super pigmented lipsticks. Then you’ll just have weird magenta fingers.

Tell me your weird beauty tips! I also shave with conditioner and moisturize with grapeseed oil!

photo by Sodanie Chea // cc