Wednesday, July 27, 2016

OOTD: Urban Safari

I wore this outfit to the Woodland Park Zoo. I've been disappointed with the cold-ish weather we've been having in Seattle this summer, but I loved having an excuse to wear this dress. Olive green is one of my favorite colors to wear, and I appreciate that I can wear it with both brown and black. I obviously had to wear my leopard print boots to see a leopard in real life!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Coping With a Breakup + Playlist

It's been about 3 months since my (now ex) of nearly three years broke up with me. I spent a while feeling like I would never recover. When that was over, I spent some time feeling like I would never fall in love again. I went through a couple other hard phases, and I guess I'm still getting over it. This was my first love, and seeing that end was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. The weirdest thing to think about is that everybody experiences going through a tough breakup. It's a universal experience, yet it's one that feels so painfully pointed and unique that it feels like no one could ever possibly understand what you're going through. As sad as it is that everyone experiences heartbreak, it's led to some pretty good music to help the rest of us get through a similar experience. My breakup playlist was pretty much just Miley Cyrus's last two albums, but I've compiled a playlist of my favorite breakup songs according to which stage of grief comes after a breakup. Listen to it below and follow my advice on what to do in each stage.

Stage 1: Denial
- "Stay" by Rihanna ft Mikky Ekko
- "Someone Else" by Miley Cyrus
- "Tremble" by Nicole Millar
- "The Garden" by Mirah
- "Breezeblocks" by alt-J
- "Denial" by The Vaccines
- "Haunted (Acoustic)" by Taylor Swift

What to do when you're in denial:
- Make and get rid of an "ex box." Gather everything your ex gave you or that you got together or that reminds you too much of them and take it to a donation center. Keeping that stuff around will only make it harder to accept that they're gone, and it'll only serve to make you sadder during the depression stage.
- Start thinking about your future without your ex. Instead of dwelling on what you'll be missing, imagine new possibilities and opportunities presenting themselves.
- Whenever you catch yourself saying, "I can't believe...", remind yourself that it's true. Be open to accepting reality as it is: this will make the recovery process quicker and easier.
- Take at least 45 days off from talking to your ex. Hide them on social media, ask your friends not to talk to you about them, and delete their texts from your phone. That whole "but we can be friends!" thing can work, but only after time. It is essential that you take time off from the relationship before you even think about rebuilding it as a friendship.

Stage 2: Anger
- "My Song 5" by Haim
- "FU" by Miley Cyrus and French Montana
- "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse
- "Hang Me Up To Dry" by Cold War Kids
- "Take It All Away" by Cake

What to do when you're angry:
- Gently avoid your ex. I know people say you're not supposed to go out of your way to avoid seeing an ex, but if seeing them is going to put you in a worse mood or trigger you to blow up at them, it's completely fine to avoid. Eventually you'll be able to see them in passing, even if it's a little awkward.
- Go out. Put on your hottest outfit, get ready with Nicki Minaj on, and meet your friends for dinner or dancing. Acting on your desire for revenge in a passive and harmless way, by looking your best and flirting with someone new, will bring you a sense of relief. Plus, going out is a great way to distract yourself from unwanted emotions.
- Practice calming exercises. Do deep breathing (I recommend breathing in for 5 seconds and breathing out or 7), drink some decaf tea, meditate, color, etc.

Stage 3: Bargaining/guilt
"Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus
- "Back In Your Head" by Tegan and Sara
- "Man" by the bird and the bee
- "Mercy" by Duffy

What to do when you're bargaining or feeling guilty:
- Examine the relationship rationally. Would your ex really have stayed if you'd cooked them dinner more or complained less? Or were there deeper, more complex issues that caused the breakup? Even if the breakup was caused by something shallow, do you really want to be with someone who won't take your bad with your good features? Remind yourself that no one is perfect, that no one can expect you to be perfect, and that your less-than-desirable traits do not define or destroy you.
- Forgive yourself. You may not have done your best, but you can do better next time. Forgive yourself for anything you keep telling yourself you did wrong: it's in the past, what's done is done, and what's important is that you move on instead of dwelling on what could have been.
- Own up to what's making you feel guilty in a safe space. Tell a friend what's been on your mind. Chances are, you'll receive the validation you need that you're not a bad person.

Stage 4: Sadness
- "Drive" by Miley Cyrus
- "Stay High (Habits Remix)" by Tove Lo
- "Never Ending" by Rihanna
- "I Get So Scared" by Miley Cyrus
- "Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey
- "Landfill" by Daughter
- "I Gave You All" by Mumford & Sons

What to do when you're sad:
- Keep a list of all the positive or meaningful things that happen throughout the day. They can be as simple as noticing the beauty of a garden you walk by every day or as monumental as receiving a promotion at work. Remind yourself that, even in sadness, good things can and will continue to occur.
- Stimulate your 5 senses. Light a nice-smelling candle, eat some ice cream, snuggle up in a soft blanket, listen to your favorite music, or watch cute dog videos.
- Do something you love. Don't put pressure on yourself to immediately feel better in the process of completing the activity, but rather let this be an opportunity for you to dote on yourself.
- Give yourself space to be sad. Your emotions are valid and an important part of being human. Losing a relationship is never easy, and it makes complete sense to be sad in light of a breakup. Lean on the people in your life for support and give yourself permission to do what you need to get through this hard period of your life. Just make sure that by making way for sadness you're not fueling or encouraging it.
- Do the opposite of what you feel like doing. If you feel like curling up in bed, put on an upbeat song and dance around your room. If you haven't felt like eating all day, eat a PB&J. Resisting and even defying your sadness urges is incredibly difficult, but it really does help.

Stage 5: Acceptance
- "Going On" by Gnarls Barkley
- "Elastic Heart" by Sia
- "Nineteen" by Tegan and Sara
- "Kissing You Goodbye" by The Pierces
- "Love Myself" by Hailee Steinfeld

What to do when you've accepted the breakup:
- Just keep moving on. Keep your heart open to new loves and new losses. Find fulfillment in your life without your ex. Immerse yourself in your career. Start a new hobby. Travel. Don't look back.

Monday, July 18, 2016

OOTD: Post Alley

There were a couple weeks in late June-early July when the temperature was in the 60's. As disappointing as it was to have to cancel all my warm outdoor plans, I was secretly a little jazzed to be able to wear this long-sleeve shirt I made at the beginning of summer. I have a hard time wearing this lip color because, even though it matches my hair and is rad as hell, it's pretty out-there. I figured a bright purple lip would go perfectly with this fringe shirt and these pattern pants. The whole outfit is a little out-there, which I love.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

DIY: Gemstone Embellished Sunglasses

I've always loved out-of-the-ordinary sunglasses. I've seen embellished sunglasses around, and figured it would be a super easy look to recreate (and I was right!). I was inspired by these Prada shades (and these strikingly similar glasses from Slay Accessories).

What you need:
- A plain pair of sunglasses (preferably with super thick rims)
- Craft gemstones
- A hot glue gun + hot glue

Step 1:
Pull aside the gems you want to use. Make sure you have an even number of each gemstone if you're looking to make each side symmetrical.

Step 2:
Use hot glue to glue the gems on the glasses. Make sure to evenly space the gems and keep the hot glue from touching the lens!

Step 3 (optional):
Glue gems to the two end pieces for a little bit of extra flair.

Voila! There you have it!

Monday, July 11, 2016

OOTD: Urban Setting

I've been admiring this wall every time I walk past it for the last couple months. One of my favorite parts of living in a city is that, because everything is so close together, there's so much to see in even a short walk to the grocery store. I based this outfit on the lip color that I bought after seeing it modeled on Twitter. I love rocking black, white, and neutrals, especially with my colorful hair.

Friday, July 8, 2016

My Book Collection

I love books. I've always loved books. The only time I would ever get in trouble in school as a child was because I would read under my desk or during recess, when I was supposed to be outside. My favorite place on Capitol Hill is a used bookstore that sells books for $1 and houses three cats. I've made innumerable trips to that place and bought innumerable books. Maintaining a book collection in a small living space is difficult, though. Every time I move, I have to get rid of some of my books or leave them at home. One day, I'll be able to house all of my precious book babies in the same place. In the meantime, this is what's on my bookshelf right now.

What I'm reading right now:
Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction by Patricia Adler and Peter Adler. I'm reading this for the Criminal Justice course I'm taking this summer on deviance and social control. It's a collection of essays and articles on the subject, spanning everything from theories of deviance to analyses of methods of research on deviance.
The City of Devi by Manil Suri. I started reading this book over spring break and have been cracking it open as often as possible since then. It's hard to read for fun when I'm also required to read for school.
Despair by Vladimir Nabokov. I love Nabokov: he wrote one of my favorite books, Lolita. I've been reading this since winter break. It takes a lot of attention to read, so I haven't been reading it as often as I would like.
The Stranger by Albert Camus. I first tried reading this in high school, but couldn't get into it. I found this copy for $2 at Twice Sold Tales and tried reading it again my freshman year at Seattle University. I was quickly overwhelmed with school work, and had to drop it. I finally picked it back up again when I needed something small to take with me to the beach.

Hilarious memoirs:
Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I ordered this book as soon as it came out: hence, the hardback copy.
Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. Another immediate order, another hardback copy. I read this in one night when struggling with a bout of depression-fueled insomnia. It helped with both the depression and insomnia.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. This is one of my favorite books! It made me laugh, cry, and want to write more.
Other hilarious memoirs I own: Bossypants by Tina Fey and Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh.

Fantasy series:
The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire. I've read the first two in the last year, and they are two of my favorite books I've ever read.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Confession: I've only read A Game of Thrones and seen the first four seasons of the TV show. I'm a terrible fan, but I was turned off by the sexual violence portrayed in the series. Still, I own the first four of these books.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I first read these books in middle school. I've reread them several times since then, and they still hold up. They're my favorite books. Every time I reread them, I get something new out of them. I call Luxe my dæmon.
Other fantasy series I own: Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

My favorite books:
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. This was one of the first books I read when I came back from Spain, so the Spanglish was much welcome. I actually stole this from my dad (please don't tell him) so that I could have a copy of such a meaningful book with me at school.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. This is the copy my mom bought for me when I was 15. I know what you're thinking: what was a 15-year-old doing reading a book analyzing the life and habits of a pedophile? My mom saw this on a list of classics, liked the cover, and picked it up for me to read for a book report. I'm super grateful she bought it for me, because it's some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I've loved this book since middle school, when I actually short stories inspired by Alice's adventures.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. I was surprised to enjoy a book with heavy Christian themes written by such a notoriously Christian author, but I really enjoyed both the story and the writing.
Other favorite books: the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

Yeah... I haven't actually read any of these yet.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Dracula by Bram Stoker.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Other classics I own (and have actually read): Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald, and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Science books:
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Rmachandran and Sandra Blakeslee. This book is about mirror neurons, a subject I first learned about in my first biology-based psychology class. I was so excited to find this book at Twice Sold Tales to learn more about an academic subject that interested me.
Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond by Lawrence M. Krauss. I've always said that if I could study anything in the world, I'd study astrophysics. Unfortunately, I don't understand math well enough to fully comprehend physics, so I read books like this, that break physics down in an easy-to-read way.
An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain by Diane Ackerman.
Eureka! Discovering Your Inner Scientist by Chad Orzel.
Other science books I own: Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics by Jennifer Oullette.

Spin-off books:
The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy: Wicked Wisdom of the West edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng.
Alice in Quantumland by Robert Gilmore. I haven't read this yet, but it combines two of my favorite things to read about: Alice in Wonderland and quantum physics.
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials adapted by Nicholas Wright. This is the play version of my favorite book series.
Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman. After years of hoping for an expansion on my favorite book series, I stumbled across this tiny book on Amazon that details a little bit more of Lyra's childhood.

Books I judged by their covers or reputations.
Room by Emma Donoghue.
A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Fiction by Suzette Field.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! by Jonathan Goldstein. I literally just bought this because the author's last name is also Goldstein.
Other books I bought based on their covers or reputations: Aesop's Fables by Aesop, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

Follow me on Goodreads to see more of my book collection, including what I've read and what I'm hoping to read. Check out my friend Olivia's blog to get a taste of some of my literary inspiration.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

OOTD: Red, White, & Blue

I've been waiting to wear this shirt for months now. Sure, we had a spike of heat in spring, but since then, it's simply been warm in Seattle. Plus, it's not exactly the most appropriate item of clothing. Pairing it with a pair of pants is a big deal for me. I'm not super comfortable showing my midsection, so I've never paired a crop top with pants, no matter how high-waisted they are. Emily has started rocking the crop top and jeans look, though, which has inspired me to try it out. Unsurprisingly, I love it!
Everything in this outfit is thrifted. I love these pants: I bought them for $7 at Goodwill and distressed them myself. The shoes and shirt were both less than $5 on Poshmark. Someone left this belt at my house after a school dance in high school (I don't know who it was, but don't tell them I still wear it: it's my only belt). This choker is actually a piece of elastic that came wrapped around some soap. I found this pinwheel on the ground on the last day of classes in the spring. This is one of the most Broke & Fabulous outfits I've ever worn.