Friday, August 28, 2015

5 NEW Reasons Why I'm ready for Fall NOW!

Okay, I know I've written about this before...specifically last year (August 20th to be exact, you can read it here) which is sorta funny considering I've been itching to write this for almost two weeks... so I guess it makes sense considering my general distaste for summer. By August I'm just dying for Fall. Seriously, after the first hot day of the season (and for where I live, I'm talking 100+ degrees) I'm already ready for summer to be over. And by the time August gets here, I'm REALLY dying for Fall. 

But anyways, I've been getting really excited for my favorite season and thought I'd share the NEW things I'm looking forward to this Fall! (I promise I won't repeat any from last year!)

If someone can find this beanie for me, I will give them a gazillion bucks.
Seriously, I've been looking for it EVERYWHERE

1. Beanies

Those that know me, know my love for beanies. I LOVE THEM. And not just because you can hide a really bad hair day (or don't even HAVE to do your hair that day) under a great beanie and no one's the wiser. Until now that is. :) But really, I looooove beanies. They are cozy and warm and wonderful. Especially when you have curly hair like mine that tends to get a little out-of-control the first drop of rain or moisture in the air. 

2. Fall Nail Polish

I just bought my Halloween colors (which are like the most FUN colors of the year!) for the whole month of October, thanks to OPI (personal favorite) and I can't wait to do them!! On good weeks, I do my nails every weekend, it's sort of a ritual. On bad weeks (like right now, because school just started up again) I have on the same nail color for 2+ weeks. Not my favorite. I always feel more me with a fresh paint job. AND FALL COLORS ARE MY FAVORITE.  Generally, I love darker colors more than lighter/brighter ones, so this is just me, IN MY ELEMENT. OPI released their Fall 2015 line called Venice and it's fantastic. Still, my favorite full collection is the San Francisco line, because the colors are seriously gorgeous and absolutely perfect. (And also, I'm a #norcal girl, born and bred, so there's that

3. October *Halloween* Book Club

A new tradition my sister and I started last year; we come up  with a list of literary works to read each week during the month of October and it's fantastic. We are *a little* Halloween obsessed in my family, and this makes the whole month EVEN BETTER! We've almost finalized the list for this year and I have to say, it's gonna be real good! Last year we read Practical Magic, Dracula, The Raven & Tell Tale Heart, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and a couple other short stories. It was AWESOME. This year...well, you'll have to wait and see the list when I post it next month! ;)

4. Rain Boots 

This year I'm buying my first pair of actual adult rain boots and I couldn't be more excited! I have several picked out, but I haven't decided yet. I also kinda want more than one pair, so we'll see...hahaha But they definitely scream FALL and winter goodness! But I mean, who doesn't love BOOT SEASON in general, amirite?!

5. Pumpkin Juice

Yes, of Harry Potter fame. We just made this for a Harry Potter dinner party we hosted two weeks ago and it was *FANTASTIC*. Seriously, it's a new favorite of mine. If you haven't tried it yet or made your own yet, you need to. NOW. Even if you're not a Harry Potter fan (gasp! Shame on you!!) you should still try this out. Your taste buds and tummy will thank you. It's like drinking Halloween and Thanksgiving combined! Lots of easy recipes on Pinterest, you can pick one that tickles your fancy. :)

So that's that. Right now I can't wait for sweater weather, stormy days and bundling up under some cozy blankets by the fire with a great book. But until then, I'll be beating the heat inside with my best friend, A/C, dreaming of Fall.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Why My Clothes & Makeup are for ME and No One Else.

My bestie and I were talking the other night night about fashion and how we choose to present ourselves to the world, and we both had similar striking experiences with peoples' comments in regards to what we wear or how we choose to look, which got me thinking. I'm so sick and tired of people assuming that I dress the way I do or wear the makeup I do for men. Like somehow, I couldn't possibly be choosing that pair of shoes or that smokey eye look for any other intention than to get attention from men. Because that would be preposterous!

First of all, your individual style, your fashion sense, the things that you're drawn to, are a reflection of who you are. They are part of your soul. They are as much apart of you as your sense of humor or the color of your eyes. They are part of the fibers that make up your being!

Side note: you should never feel pressured to wear ANYTHING you don't feel comfortable in. As Helen Fielding wrote, "you should only buy clothes that makes you want to do a small dance". I 100% agree with this. Wear what you love, don't let what's "trendy" or "in" change that. (And it's totally okay to love what's trendy! The point is, don't feel pressure to look a certain way, love what you wear and you'll feel good in it all day!) Wear what you wear because you like it. 

Okay, back on task. Secondly, the archaic idea that women must conform their bodies and their individuality to societal demands in order to "get a man" is repulsive. If the only way to get a man is by looking or dressing a certain way, I don't want said man at all. Why do we continue to allow society to mandate how we look, how we dress, how we act? Why are women consistently dehumanized into sexual objects, whose only purpose or goals in life are to get attention from men? We are not objects. We are flesh and bones with intelligence and dreams and the power to make them happen. We do not need to dress a certain way or look a certain way in order to "get attention", because our souls are bright enough to do that for us. We shouldn't ever have to prove we're "worthy" of attention or "worthy" of love. As Queen Bey says, "I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world." 

Thirdly, this also opens up another aspect of sexism that primarily only women face, and sometimes both sexes are participants. If a guy wears a nice pair of shoes to work or a nice suit, do you think anyone asks him if he is dressing like that to get a girl? Not in a million years. But if a girl wears nice shoes or a nice outfit, does her hair or makeup a certain way, she's asked "who are you dressing up for?" or "you know, you don't have to wear a lot of eyeliner to be beautiful. Guys actually prefer it when you don't ". (Thanks for the advice, but I'm not doing this for them.)

It's just so frustrating that even in 2015, women are still, on some levels, considered to only have (or should only have) one goal: finding the perfect man. Which is funny, because I'm only trying to find myself.  This is not an anti-men blog, I want to make that very clear. I have the desire to get married like many people do. But I'm not going to become someone else to do it. I'm not going to pick out my clothes in the morning thinking "I wonder what the male population will find most attractive today?" or "Gee, I guess I shouldn't wear this amazing purple eye shadow or this color lipstick because if I meet a cute boy today, I don't want to scare him off!" I'm not going to live my life for the pursuit of someone else. I'm going to live my life for me, for my happiness, and hopefully along the way I meet someone who gets me, the way I am. 

Somehow, our society has gotten it's claws deep into our skin, and we've got to start removing them, nail by nail.  I look at my beautiful nieces and I hope that they grow into a society that accepts women as they are, their bodies, their desires, their dreams. I hope that their strong spirits will be cultivated by our world and not diminished. We're slowly, ever so slowly, beginning to change. But it takes all of us working tirelessly to make that happen. Live your life for you, be generous and kind and compassionate and never, for one second, stop being who you are.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What Ben & Leslie From Parks & Rec Taught Me About Love

Parks and Rec is one of my favorite comedy TV shows. EVER. Everything about this show was perfect. Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza...EVERYONE was stellar in their roles. It had some of the most unique and fiercely lovable characters in TV history and every episode was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. Oh P&R, how I miss you dearly.

One of the greatest parts of the show (did I mention the writing is GENIUS?!) were the relationships. Leslie (Amy) and Ann (Rashida) are #friendshipgoals if there ever was any. Ben (Adam) and Chris (Rob) are one of the best #bromance 's out there. And don't even get me started on the hilariousness of Donna/Tom, Leslie/April, or the entire group as serious #squadgoals. And while I looooved April/Andy and Chris/Ann, the BEST couple on the show is Leslie & Ben.

Leslie and Ben have one of the best relationships on television. Seriously, they give me hope for real love still existing. While other couples on TV are cheating, betraying, fighting, abandoning, ignoring, or hurting each other, Leslie and Ben stand strong as fiercely loyal, sweet, endearing and supportive of each other. Basically, although their relationship is not perfect, they work through it, and continue to be loving, understanding, and supportive of each other, no matter what. They are always putting each other first and striving to make the other person happy. Seriously, there isn't a better example of love out there.

What Ben & Leslie Taught me About Love

LOVE this scene when they're in Paris
1. They Do Romance

Ben and Leslie are always being cute and romantic. However big or small, it keeps their relationship strong.

2. They remind each other what they love about the other.

3. Even though it's sometimes hard, they tell each other how they feel.

Ben and Leslie are open and honest about their feelings, because they've created a trusting relationship in which they feel safe to do so. This is SUPER important in ALL relationships. Even if they don't necessarily like what the other person has to say or disagree with them, they still talk it out, even if it takes Leslie a couple minutes to calm down. ;) Bottling emotions is bad news and that pressure is bound to explode sometime, and usually in a very messy way.

4. They do whatever it takes to make the other smile

5. They devote time to each other and their relationship

Even though they both have great jobs and lots of responsibilities they always make the effort and time to be together. 

6. They tell each other most everything

Whether it's Leslie's attraction to Joe Bidden or Ben's secret obsession to make calzones a legitimate thing, they tell each other everything! Honesty is always the best policy. 

7. They are constantly supporting and lightening the other's load

They know that they can't be great without the support of each other. 

8. They are each other's biggest cheerleaders

Seriously, it's all amounts of adorable to watch how devoted and happily they cheer each other on. 

9. They goof off and look stupid together.

They laugh together and they goof off together and they never make each other feel stupid. I just love it. 

10. They are amazing FRIENDS which make them even better partners.

11. They are straight with each other when needs be.

Sometimes you just really need someone to tell it to you how it is. That's love.

12. They do everything they can to make the other's dreams come true.

They will do whatever it takes to make each other's dreams come true and I love it. Even if it seems impossible, they find a way to make it happen, however crazy it might be.

This might be one of my favorite moments of theirs!!

13. They dance with each other

14. They know how to execute a perfect *couples* costume.

Princess Bride, could they really get anymore *perfect*?!?! The answer is no. 

15. Their wedding was really about them as a couple, not the show of a wedding.

I Looooove their wedding. Of course everything goes wrong and something happens to Leslie's dress, so they fashion one out of the newspapers from all of her major projects. In the end, they just get married in from of all their friends in the Parks Dept. because of course they did.

16. They protect each other

They are always protecting each other. When Ben and Ann (Leslie's best friend) fear that Leslie's got too much on her plate, they band together and make sure that her function goes smoothly. I love this scene, where they're talking about their "secret signal" and such. Sooo funny!

17. They compliment each other. 

 18. They are genuinely PROUD of each other. And show it.

Seriously, they are always so PROUD of each other and it makes me smile. How are they so cute?!

19. They accept each others apologies. Always.

They are never purposefully mean or cruel to each other, but if they hurt each others feelings, they always apologize and they always forgive.

20. They share meals together

Couples that eat together stay together.

21. They make each other thoughtful gifts

They are always so thoughtful with each other, for everything. But I love how thoughtful their gifts are to each other. They always take the time to really think about each other, it's that action that makes their gifts so amazing, not the actual "gifts" part. Some of the best moments of the show are watching them trying to "out gift" each other, even though everyone should just accept that Leslie Knope is THE BEST. EVER.

22. Everything about this.

23. They always say 'I love you'.

I love this about them. They never speak ill of or to each other. They are always kind and they always say "I love you', which are they three most important words in the history of words. Despite the fact that they already know that they love each other, they still take the time to say it. Because they are the best.


If you didn't cry during the proposal scene, YOU ARE NOT HUMAN. Maybe one of the sweetest proposals in the history of proposals. 

Thanks Ben and Leslie for showing us that true love still exists. It was looking a little dicey for a while in TV land... (Olivia and Fitz, I'm looking at you.)