Sunday, May 24, 2015

I Believe // 2

Almost a year ago I wrote this post when I was going through a rough time. My dog Pepper had just passed away the week before, and naturally I was having trouble dealing with it. At a seemingly random moment that week, my roommate and I drove past this giant field of sunflowers. It was such a beautiful moment, and during that time in my grief, I got a chance to focus in all the beauty in the world, rather than the sadness.

Lately I've been thinking about how that field of sunflowers helped me cope with that pain. It may sound so silly, but it's a memory I look back on and can think on positively.

Since then, here are a few more things I believe:
  • I believe in forgetting to sweat the small things.
  • I believe in staying up late to talk to a friend on the phone.
  • I believe in kissing children, animals, your friends, and your parents, no matter how old you/they are. Even if it's just on the cheek.
  • I believe that sunshine is an instant mood-booster.
  • I believe in laughing at myself.
  • I believe in trying new things.
  • I believe that getting grocery store sushi and a $5 movie is one of the best things you can do on a weeknight.
  • I believe that ocean, river, and lake water have healing properties.
  • I believe in using glitter whenever the occasion allows.
  • I believe in that love will prevail.
  • I believe that there's something magical about staying up to watch the sunrise.
  • I believe in saying what you mean, and meaning what you say.
  • I believe that children are far more wise than they realize they are.
  • I believe in picking fresh flowers from the garden.
  • I believe in doing hard things.
  • I believe in supporting people's dreams with reckless abandon, because...
  • I believe that anything is possible.

What do you believe in?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Weirdest Reasons I've "Broken Up" With Guys.

There's this hilarious thread on Reddit about the most "George Costanza-esque" reasons that people have broken up with their significant others. Buzzfeed took those Reddit posts and made them into these hilarious images. Because I thought it was so funny, I thought I would divulge some of the reasons I decided to break things off with (or stop talking to) certain guys. Of course, not all of these were real relationships. Some of them never got a second date. You can read about a few of my other previous (and hilariously sad) dating experiences in this post.

  • I never actually broke up with my first "boyfriend"... I had a friend do it for me. She was brutal too. When he asked why I didn't want to see him anymore, she said "Jess just thinks you're boring." OUCH! (sorry dude) Keep in mind, this was the 7th grade.

  • One guy never got a second date from me because the only think he talked about at dinner was his car, and how fast his car was, and how expensive his car was... Bye bro.

  • A guy I dated for a few months revealed to me that he had a "little secret crush" on one of my friends. That relationship ended as soon as the words left his mouth. Ew.

  • I cut off all of communication with another guy because I realized he looked almost exactly like my (female) cousin. It was just too weird. And he was kind of (really) annoying anyway.

  • There was this one guy who I was never interested in romantically, but he seemed nice enough to invite to a few kickbacks. The first time we invited him to a party... he asked me, my roommate, and another one of my friends to be his girlfriend. And he was completely serious. It was super strange. Needless to say, we haven't invited him back.

  • I stopped talking to this one guy because he sent me unsolicited pictures of himself nude... and then when I never responded (because ew), he texted me the next day asking me if I "dreamed about it." LOL

  • This one dude got super hurt when I turned him down for a not-a-date date. Then when I finally agreed to hang out with him, he whined about me "not wanting to do stuff." This was obviously confusing and frustrating. I haven't spoken to him since.

  • I couldn't take this one guy seriously because he told me he wanted to be a "real serious actor. Like the kind that lives in California." We don't talk, but I know for a fact he still has yet to make it to Cali.

  • In high school I had to stop seeing one this guy because he got in trouble with the law... oops.

  • And finally, this one weirdo... we've been together almost two years, but I still can't handle the fact that he doesn't like mayonnaise or anything similar on his sandwiches. What a freak.

What is the weirdest reason you've ended a relationship?
Do you have any dating deal breakers?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why Meghan Trainor's Music is Garbage

It's a sad moment when something that could be so right goes horribly, horribly wrong. I know we've beaten the issues of All About That Bass to death, but Meghan Trainor is still not done. Not only is she "bringing booty back," she's reinforcing the ideas of internalized sexism.

Just to make sure we're all on the same page, All About That Bass, Trainor's first smash hit, seemed like a body positive anthem... at first. With lines like "every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top" it was hard not to love that catchy tune... until we decided to dig a little deeper.

When Trainor croons that she "got that boom boom that all the boys chase" she's solidifying the idea that we should want men to chase us, and that the number of men you attract is directly related to your self-worth.

Then Trainor goes on to tell us that "boys like a little more booty to hold at night" and we're left thinking that men should only want us if we have a certain type of derrière. There are loads of things wrong with that statement, obviously.

When she goes on to slam others with a different body type than hers "go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that" she's sending an even more hurtful message. Even though she's "just playin'" this is hardly the body positive anthem we hoped in our hearts that it would be. 

In Dear Future Husband, we meet another cutesy song-gone-wrong. Once again Trainor bases a woman's self worth on what a man does for her. She riddles on her honey-do-list to her "future husband," but hardly mentions what she'll do for him in return... oh, except for sex.

It could even be argued that she sends a little jab out to the stay-at-home wives and mothers out there, with the line "So don't be thinking I'll be home and baking apple pies" because if a woman doesn't have a traditional career, obviously her place is in the kitchen...

OH and she's perpetuating the stereotype that women are hysterical and irrational with the line "you gotta know how to treat me like a lady, even when I'm acting crazy, tell me everything's alright." Yeah Meghan, that's just what I want when I'm angry, (or expressing any type of emotion) for a man (or anyone) to ignore me, pass me off as "crazy" and treat me "like a lady," whatever the hell that means.

Trainor responds to the backlash with something along the lines of "People are always put off by something that's fresh and new..." (so body shaming and sexism is new?!) and ends by telling us that if we just listen to her music more, we'll start to like it. HA! 

Sigh. When will this girl ever learn? Maybe she should take a gander at those truly positive songs by P!nk, Xtina, or even more recently, Colbie Calliat?

What do you think of Meghan Trainor's music?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eating Clean // Kale Chips

Every once in a while I get an urge to try something new, and recently I've been working on eating a little cleaner. Even when eating clean, I still get cravings for snacks, especially salty ones. Instead of eating my weight in potato chips and pretzels, I decided to make kale chips.

At first I was intimidated by kale, that leafy green monster. When I realized that all you needed to do was chop it up and bake it, I was down for the adventure.

Kale chips have a very unique flavor, but they're a pretty good alternative for a salty snack. I experimented a little with my seasonings, and tried everything from garlic and salt to Old Bay.

To make kale chips, all you need is:
  • A bundle of fresh kale - I found this at my local grocery store for only .99 cents! (Kale chips cost about $7 a package at Whole Foods, so making them at home is so much cheaper!)
  • A tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Whatever seasonings you like!

Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse your kale and shake off all the excess water. After that, you've just gotta pick the leaves off of the stems, and rip the leaves into chip-sized pieces.

Then, toss your kale with a little olive oil, and sprinkle your seasonings over it.

Once that's done, spread the kale out on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven for 8 minutes or until the kale is crispy.

And then you're done! Allow to cool and enjoy!

What flavor kale chips would you make?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What Finals Week Feels Like

Imagine waking up from a bad dream every day for a week, only that dream is your life, and there's no waking up, because you haven't slept in three days. There are no coherent moments. There is no happiness. There is only coffee and scantron sheets and 6 page essays due at midnight. There is only darkness. If you're one of the lucky ones that hasn't had to deal with this treachery, allow me to explain to you how it feels, if I can even stay awake long enough to type this.

  • Finals week feels like slamming your toe into a coffee table, every hour on the hour, for 7 to 10 consecutive days.
  • Finals week feels like being stuck in traffic for hours on the way to and from the DMV.
  • Finals week is flinching every time you hear the world "cumulative."
  • Finals week is the confusing sensation where all your friends are busy, but simultaneously angry at you for being unable hang out with them because you're busy too.
  • Finals week feels like accidentally stepping on a puppy's paw or a cat's tail.
  • Finals week is getting a text from at least one your parents saying "are you okay?"
  • Finals week feels like being on an episode of Fear Factor.
  • Finals week is being on the urge of laughing and crying hysterically, at exactly the same moment.
  • Finals week feels like you can't keep your eyes open when you're awake, and you can't keep your eyes closed when you're supposed to be asleep.
  • Finals week makes you forget what your life used to be like before finals.
  • Finals week lowers all your standards for "acceptable sleeping locations."
  • Finals week drove my friends to putting up a tent in an academic building, and camping out the night before their exams. (It was actually pretty cool)
  • Finals week makes you wish you studied more. It makes you wish you'd picked any other combination of classes. It makes you wish you picked a different major. It makes you wish you'd picked another life completely.
  • Finals week makes you feel like you'll never be able to relax again.

But when it's over, it makes you appreciate your freedom even more. And we'll do it all over next semester. Maybe it'll be worth it... someday.

How did/do you get through finals week?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Wishlist // I've got the Springtime Blues...

I never considered myself the Vera Bradley type, but it's about to be summer roadtrip season and I have absolutely nothing in terms of luggage. I don't even have a duffel bag! How sad is that? And once I saw this Vera Bradley print, I thought it was about time to get myself one. Amazon has some great prices on them too!

Other things I have my eye on lately: The Able Scarf by fashionABLE // Kitchenaid Food Processor and Hand Mixer in blue ice (also, boysenberry is a gorgeous color, I've been having trouble deciding!)  // Bath & Body Works candles, as always // a new moleskine journal // zoya nailpolish // and of course, travel bags to match the duffel!

What kinds of things are on your wishlist this spring?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Can We Stop Instagramming These Things Already?

There comes a time in every young woman's life when she has simply posted too many photos of Starbucks drinks. That line was crossed for me a few nights ago, and though I don't vow to never post another Starbucks photo, I will try my hardest to refrain in the future. Why, you ask? Because the world has already seen it a million times, and it's never any different.

Granted, my last Instagram photo of a Starbucks drink was their newest release, the "S'mores Frappuccino" and it was amazing. I felt the need to tell the world that this drink was "omg literally saving my life right now" and though it tasted awesome, it was not actually saving my life. Nor would I order one of these drinks again, mostly because they contain entirely too much sugar.

What I'm saying here is... we have probably all taken the same exact photo 400 different times. What is that doing for us, really? Sure, the photo may gain you some sort of Starbucks Aficionado street cred, but who is that helping at the end of the day?

My photography professor (hi Justin) asked us this question at the beginning of the semester: "Why Take Another Photo?" and it's taken me until now to fully understand why he asked it. Why take another photo of a Starbucks drink when there's so much out there to actually experience?

These are my list of things that we (myself included) should stop wasting our time posting on Instagram:

  • Starbucks drinks - unless of course they're "literally saving your life" in an actual literal way.
  • Your fast food order - seriously, Chipotle is always the same. So is Panera. If you're going to post these, at least try something new each time.
  • Running errands - why?
  • Another variation of that same selfie - you are a beautiful person (seriously!), but three selfies on the same day, at the same place, with the same shirt is a little much.
  • Empty dishes - why show us the plate after you ate the meal? Just pay your bill and go home.
  • Hot dog legs - taking actual pictures of the beach would be better. Nice tan though.
  • Inspirational quotes - I have never seen a quote on Instagram that changed my life for the better. I've never actually read one that I can remember. They are an instant eyeroll. (Of course if you love them, who am I to judge?! Do you.)
  • Someone giving you a pedicure - this one just always struck me as really weird.
  • Hospital selfies / pics, especially IV in arm - I get why people post these, as medical stuff can be really significant in your life, but I think these need to come with a trigger warning or at least a text/call to your loved ones first. Nobody wants to find out you're in the hospital over social media. Unless of course you're delivering a baby. Then yay!
  • Videos of inside jokes - you are actually the only person that understands this, why not just save it to your phone?
  • Photos from Tumblr - you're not fooling anyone, we know that isn't your record player.

And now my list of things that you should always post on Instagram:

  • Pets - some may argue with me on this, but I LOVE seeing other people's pets on the 'gram.
  • Babies - while 100 photos a day isn't my preferred method of seeing your little one, a few photos here and there are sure to make me smile.
  • Special food photos: like food you made yourself, a new restaurant you're trying out, anything worthy of the #foodporn hashtag.
  • Something you created. If you're crafty, I wanna see it.
  • Your travels. Heck yeah hiking photos. Oh you're in Paris now? Work that bikini girl.
  • Your #OOTD if it's on point and you're really feeling it.
  • Your #wcw, especially when it's me.
  • The people you love, just don't add that "we've had our ups and downs" bullshit caption.
  • Your accomplishments. Get your brag on!
  • Anything else that showcases your personality. That's the reason we follow you! A little bit of cliché is okay, as long as you're having fun with it. 

Of course I'm not the Instagram police (they don't pay me enough for that), and you can post Starbucks pictures any time you want, but why not think outside the box next time you're thinking of snapping a pic of that caramel macchiato?

What is on your Instagram no-no list?
Take a peek at my Instagram and feel free to call me out for breaking my own rules!