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The Manual Exposure Playlist Mixtape

Mixtape cassette image for manual exposure

Mixtape cassette image for manual exposure

The playlist of Songs, Artists, and Music that inspired Manual Exposure by Jeannie M. Bushnell

“Parachute” by Ingrid Michaelson

“Breakfast Can Wait” by PRINCE (yes, for those wondering, that is exactly what I wear when I bake)

“Wet” by Nicole Scherzinger

“Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran

“Reach Out” by Hilary Duff

“Crush” by David Archuleta

“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

“Back Together” by Jesse McCartney

“Landslide” by Dixie Chicks

“Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg

“Heart Attack” by Demi Levato

“Kisses Down Low” by Kelly Rowland

“Lego House” by Ed Sheeran

“Perfume” by Britney Spears

“Right There” by Nicole Scherzinger featuring 50 Cent

“I Don’t Need A  Man” by The Pussycat Dolls

“How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding

“Work B**ch” by Britney Spears inspired me to get my butt in the seat and write.

When I’m not listening to a specific song, I always have classical music playing.

I played “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding on repeat so often I was afraid my cat might stab me. If I had to pick a “theme” song for my book, this beautiful song would be it. I like to think this is Sage and Kirby’s song.  Awwwww.

 

 

 

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Show Your Gratitude: 365 Grateful Project Challenge

kitchen tool with redhair

There are many things one may say about me, but I hope one of the traits that float to the top of that alphabet soup is how thankful I am. In my life I’ve gone without food, medical care, and many other necessities of life that some people never think twice about. The one deficiency that has left an indelible mark on my life is a lack of familial support.

My experiences have made me supportive of efforts others put forth, and if I can lend a hand when someone is in need, I will do everything I can to help them. I am truly thankful for any wisdom, grace, and kindness that is extended my way. I’m not a person easily brought to tears, but a kind word can make me cry in the ugliest of ways.

I know many individuals who have or have had everything their heart desires. This has not made them happy or grateful people. In fact, it has seemingly made them resentful and jealous of another’s success or happiness. I always find this shocking because I don’t understand how someone who has never had to sacrifice one thing for the other could ever have anything but appreciation in their heart. Sadly, I don’t have to understand it, as the actions continue without explanation or logic.

As I hit the “publish” button on my book, I was filled with so many overwhelming emotions, but the one that rose to the top was gratitude. I’m thankful that someone cared enough for me that they taught me to read. This singular act set my entire devotion to words and learning in motion. This gift is repeatedly given to me every day. Everyone who has ever read my short stories, newspaper articles, essays, and papers and offered a word of guidance or support are forever in my heart. So many people have helped me get here—from strangers who posted a helpful link, video, or article on their site, to the inspirational writers who’ve come before me.

As I step forward into 2014, I endeavor to be even more thankful. I’m taking up the 365 Grateful Project challenge and documenting something that I am grateful for each and every day. I can’t wait to see how the year unfolds, and I certainly don’t want to miss a moment of it. I’d love for you to join me in the project! I’ll post my daily photos to Instagram and share them on here in a weekly recap. I hope this activity helps you get to know me. I look forward to see/hear what you are sharing. 2014 – Show your gratitude.


Redheaded Shredder

I love kitchen gadgets. This redheaded shredder was a gift from my husband. She is beyond cute.

Turtle Planter

The frost in Charlotte has taken out the bottom of my little turtle planter, but he will live on. This day was sunny and beautiful.


Vegan Enchiladas

Everything that comes out of my kitchen is vegan. I’m so thankful I know how to cook. That wasn’t always the case. 🙂


Hair Intact

Trying a new hairstylist isn’t easy, but I came out with my hair intact.


TWU Education, Friendship and Love

I’m the first in my family to go to college. I paid for my college education. While at TWU, I worked twenty hours a week and carried a nineteen-hour class load. I was fortunate to find friendship and love at this beautiful campus.


Manual Exposure on a Mug

This sweet keepsake is a wonderful daily reminder of what I’ve accomplished.


Lovely Days

I’m so thankful for the winter days in Charlotte. We’ve had some bitter weather, but it is nothing like what I’ve endured in other places.


Frozen But Thawing

The cold snap hit Charlotte hard. Our kitchen was without hot water for two days. The houses here are just not made for such cold weather. Our little backyard pond was the perfect illustration of the big thaw.


I am Loved

The little things my husband does, like making french toast and coffee, are the greatest tokens of affection. These are the things that you can overlook, but they are the greatest things that you will miss.

 

 

 

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Loving Another Starts With Loving Yourself

Jeannie Bushnell Wakes Up

Jeannie Bushnell Wakes Up

This is me without makeup. I woke up, turned on my computer, and snapped a selfie. Yes, I have a hole in my shirt. I haven’t even had coffee or brushed my hair! I’m sure you could point out 112 things wrong with that photo, and I’m okay with that. You know why? I’ll never be as beautiful as I am in this moment. Every minute it takes me to write this, I’m aging. My body parts are failing, wrinkling, and losing their elasticity. All of this is happening with neither my permission nor my approval.

You will NEVER be as young or as beautiful as you are in this moment. You will get this one day. You will turn back and question, “Why the hell didn’t I see how stunning I was then? Why did I think I was fat, ugly, and disgusting?” You will see that every day you are given the opportunity to love yourself. I don’t care about those people who have rejected you and haven’t loved you. Love yourself. Believe that your thoughts count more than whispered judgments.

If someone hasn’t realized how beautiful you are, thank your lucky stars. You don’t want anyone who doesn’t see how perfect you are. Turn off the negative talk in your head, and maybe you’ll begin to hear the positive voices that are trying to be heard.

We all keep a running list of things we don’t like about ourselves. I’m not going to list all of mine, because I think I’ve done enough sharing in this post (see photo above). So, you have a choice, sit and fume and pout about the crap you can’t change, or get to work on the stuff you can change. No, you aren’t going to drop fifty pounds overnight. Should you stop going out of the house or throw on a tarp? NO! Clothes are accessories, love. You are meant to be the star of the clothes, not the other way around. Wear clothing that accents the positive on your body.

Accent the positive in you, every day! You know the most beautiful thing about anyone’s face? Their smile. A smile can truly make or break a face. Haven’t you met someone who may have have been blessed with a beautiful body, but they didn’t seem very pretty because they looked sour? Everyone wins with a smile; you look better, and you make everyone around you feel better. Well, except for those super people who insist upon waiting to knock you down until you become miserable like them. Yes, those people exist. They are the ones who ask me, “What are you so happy about?” or better yet, “What made you smile so big?”

I’m tired of hearing people lament about how the media, and the fashion, advertising, and entertainment industries are perpetrating unattainable images of women. Yes, those images have always existed, but that is not where the youth of today are learning to hate themselves. They are smart enough to know that images are digitally enhanced, and that it takes hours to accomplish the looks they admire on celebrities. They are picking up self-hate from YOU- their moms, aunts, sisters, cousins, teachers, and close family friends. Yes, YOU.

Your little niece notices when you shy away from the camera stating that you “don’t like your photo taken.” Your daughter absorbs every minute of the self-hate you dole out, repeating the phrases she hears you say about hating your thighs and watching as your cry about your weight. When you starve yourself to lose a pound, your little sister learns what it means to be a woman.

Start owning the power you have, and realize that you are the instrument of change in this battle.

Why does this matter to me? When you choose to be more kind to yourself, you extend that generosity to everyone around you, and a profound circle of love and kindness begins to spread throughout the world. You can all it a cliché, but I just call it truth- loving another starts with loving yourself.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Scary Witch Tongue

Jeannie M. Bushnell at five years old with Halloween witch mask.

Miley Cyrus has nothing on the five year old version of Jeannie. I dropped the scary witch mask and decided to stick out my tongue. Apparently, this was a more terrifying image to me than the mask. I find that mask disturbing today, and I cannot imagine what would make me choose it as a child. I do have an affection for a bushy eyebrow; perhaps this was the inception.

 

Jeannie M. Bushnell at five years old with Halloween witch mask.

Jeannie M. Bushnell, 5 years old @ Halloween

I love that my hair blends in with the field behind me.