Happy Holidays from THL!

The first day of November hit, and suddenly, the world turned its attention to the holidays. Ads appeared everywhere boasting holiday sales, the biggest savings you’d see all year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday came and went with a deluge of emails urging us all to shop, shop, shop.

While I am one to love shopping — and writing about shopping — today is a day to remember that Christmas and the holiday season in general are not about buying clothes or stocking up on makeup. They are not about clipping coupons or heading out to shop at  the stroke of midnight.

Not even remotely.

The holidays are about family. They are about spending time with the people you love the most, and letting them know how much they mean to you. They are about drawing each other near and holding each other close, being grateful to have people who love you and ground you in the midst of the craziness that is our world today.

They are about remembering your past and being hopeful for your future. They are about giving more than you receive, and not just giving in a monetary or commercial way, but giving of time, love, patience and care. They are about opening our hearts, clearing our minds and just being present in a fleeting moment in time that will soon be a mere memory.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for: from my family and friends, to my job and this labor of love that is THL, my life is filled with blessings both large and small over which I continually pinch myself.

So today, I will take stock not of the gifts that were under my Christmas tree, but of the gifts I’ve been given throughout my life and the gift that is my life in general.

I urge you all to try do the same, not just today, but every day. I know I will.

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a very happy holiday season.

XO,

Nicole

 

McGrady takes Sports Illustrated by storm

Remember this name: Hunter McGrady.

The 23-year-old model recently made her debut in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and was dubbed the “curviest model ever” to grace the glossy, according to Elite Daily, but it’s not just her stunningly gorgeous photos that are making headlines. It’s her message of body acceptance that is making a splash.

After beginning her modeling career at age 16, McGrady was initially unable to make her way as a smaller-sized model, she told Elite Daily, and was met with rejection after showing up to a photo shoot — as a size 4 — and being turned away because of her size.

But past stumbling blocks didn’t hold her back: not only did McGrady land a spot in this year’s SI swimsuit edition, she also was named one of the issue’s Rookies of the Year, according to Elite Daily — a feat she achieved after modeling a painted-on swimsuit.

“I didn’t feel like I was naked at all. But I was 100 percent naked. You have to own it,” she told Yahoo Style.

And own it she did. The best part is that she’s inspiring other women to own their bodies just the same.

“I want women to pick up what is the considered the sexiest magazine issue and feel inspired,” she said, according to Yahoo Style. “There’s someone in it who looks like them, who isn’t the traditional model they see. Every body type is beautiful.”

Amen to that.