Wednesday, September 28, 2016

OOTD: Last First Day

September 21st marked a momentous day: my last first day of school! I can't believe I've been in school for 15 years, and I definitely can't believe I'm graduating in just a few short months. Do I look like someone who's ready to take on the real world? I have no idea what my future holds (to the point of minute panic), but I'm certainly not trying to give off those vibes. I'm trying to take advantage of dressing non-professionally for as long as I can; hence the crop top and extreme distressed denim.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

September POPSUGAR Must Have Box

I'm so excited: POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to see what the service is all about! I'm a sucker for subscription boxes: it's like receiving a present every month. The Must Have Box is $39.95 a month and is available for $5 less with the code SHOP5. You're welcome, everyone.

1. Wide Brim Hat from Jack & Lucy
It's fall, which means it's officially hat season. Plus, with a $58 suggested retail, this hat makes the rest of the box essentially free. My hat did come a little squished, though that's always a risk one has to take when having things come through the mail.

2. Flint Lint Roller:
I go through lint rollers like no one's business: my dog has black fur and sheds like it's going out of style. I love this lint roller because it's collapsable, which makes it super easy (and stylish) to carry around for lint rolling emergencies. I'm so tired of my portable lint roller sticking to the sides of my purse and dirtying itself up with crumbs I'm not looking to get rid of.

3. Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer in The Warning:
I haven't owned lip gloss since I was in middle school. Back then, the only lip glosses I could afford were super sticky, which turned me off to the whole experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture of this lip product, as well as by the rich pink color.

4. MANI-ER Tool Kit by NCLA:
I'm obsessed with little kits like this. They're so cute and compact and convenient. I own most of the stuff in this kit already, though I guess it would be a great travel manicure set.

5. The Gluten Free Bites Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites:
Full disclosure: I don't like shredded coconut, so I didn't actually try these. My roommate who did try these, though, said they're really good!

I honestly squealed when I unwrapped this (those of you who watched my Snapchat story saw!). Since bleaching my hair, it's been drier than it's ever been. I've tried coconut oil, trimming the split ends, and deep conditioner. The next step was to try a mask, and I was so relieved to have one picked out for me. I used it this weekend and was so satisfied with the results!

Monday, September 19, 2016

OOTD: Big Dipper

Those of you who follow me on Instagram probably know that I got matching big dipper/little dipper tattoos with my little sister last month. We've wanted to get matching tattoos for as long as I can remember, and our mutual love of the stars made constellations a perfect option. We settled on the big dipper/little dipper combo because we're each others' big and little sisters. Now that I've written the official background story on the internet, I assume I'm free to tell bs stories to strangers who ask about the meaning of my tattoo in the future... Right?
I've wanted to get a wrist tattoo since I was 16. I planned on getting one several months after turning 18 to celebrate going a year without self-harming, but encountered some issues with my parents. Placing a tattoo, a permanent piece of art, on a part of my body that I used to punish when I was experiencing a particularly rough bout of depressive symptoms, seems like an appropriate way to both honor my past struggles and constantly remind myself of the hope that I have for the future. I've been free of self-harm since October 20, 2015, and I've made tremendous strides in my treatment since then. I'm proud to be able to look at this inscription on my body and be reminded of what I've been through and one of my biggest supporters and reasons to live: my sister.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Everyday Jewelry

As I'm sure some of you have noticed, there are a couple pieces of jewelry that I am always wearing. Each piece has meaning or purpose; some have both. You may have seen them in person or in blog posts. I never link similar pieces in my OOTDs because they're such a regular part of my look that I honestly often forget I'm wearing them. So, I've decided to give a little background on each piece of jewelry that I wear every day.

I got this Invicta diving watch last year for my birthday. Because it's a diving watch, it's waterproof, which means I never have to take it off. In fact, the only time I remove it is when I'm dressing up.

My trusty black hair tie counts as a piece of jewelry, right?

I got both this ring and bracelet from my mom, who got them from a Eugene street fair when she was in high school. I'm very impressed they've held up this long, especially as I've worn them every day since I was in high school.

Emily gave me this bracelet a couple years ago for my birthday. It says, "She believed she could, so she did." It's really quite an honor that she thinks I can do whatever I put my mind to.

The year after our year in Spain, Francesca sent me a bracelet with the coordinates of our bus stop in downtown Málaga. She had a matching one, so we could be reminded of each other every time we wear it. I wore it every day until I lost it inner-tubing. Luckily, Francesca lost hers around the same time, so I ordered us new matching ones with the coordinates of our bus stop near our host families' houses.

Monday, September 12, 2016

OOTD: Leaf It to Me

This was the outfit I wore the day after I fell down a hill and scraped up my knee really badly and twisted my ankle. Dang these stupid Seattle hills! As you know (if you've read even, like, one other blog post of mine), I really value being comfortable in what I wear, so I wasn't about to wear heels or some tight-fitting pants when I was in so much pain. Hence, my trusty Steve Madden Chelsea boots to make walking a little easier and this long, flowy skirt to hide my still-healing knee without constricting it. I based the rest of my outfit around these essential pieces. Fun fact: I actually made this choker in the true Broke & Fabulous way!

Monday, September 5, 2016

OOTD: Greenhouse

After three years of living in Seattle, I finally got my act together and visited Volunteer Park. I can't believe I've lived thirty minutes away and never been! It was a beautiful walk (if a little hot in the 90 F weather) and a beautiful park. My favorite feature was the Volunteer Park Conservatory. With only a $4 entry fee, it was totally worth it, if even for the Instagram pictures.
These booties are my essential Seattle footwear. They're simple, cute, and super comfortable, which is totally necessary considering I walk everywhere. The platform is tall enough to efficiently avoid puddles, another Seattle necessity. I wear them all year long with every possible kind of outfit.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

BYOC Rooftop Soiree // Hosting Events as an Introvert

I had two primary motivations for hosting several friends for a Bring Your Own Cheese (BYOC) night. First, I love cheese. Every time I go to the grocery store, my one big treat for the trip is a new kind of gourmet cheese. Unfortunately, as a college student, I'm unable to indulge myself in as many different kinds of cheese as I'd like. So, a friend and I came up with the BYOC event to provide a large variety of cheeses at a more reasonable expense to each attendee. My second motivation was that I've always wanted to attend a chic event held on a rooftop overlooking the rest of the city. Cliche, yes, but still a dream of mine. When I found out I was dog sitting in a building downtown with a roof, I knew I had to take advantage of it. A few minutes on Facebook later, and voila! The event was set in motion.

Now, those of you who know me know that I often find myself torn between my desire to host people I love and the immense anxiety I experience surrounding social occasions. My mom and her friends have taught me the art of hosting since I was young. They've shown me how to prep for an event, how to set a dress code, how to determine when a theme is appropriate (pretty much any special occasion except religious holidays), and how be DIY savvy enough to decorate like a Kardashian. My dad has taught me how to supplement an event with the perfect menu and party playlist. I grew up going to some really awesome events, and have thrown some pretty cool ones of my own (including a Harry Potter party for my sister's 11th birthday, a mother-daughter graduation tea party, and my own birthday parties since I was in middle school).

At the same time, though, I am an introvert with an anxiety disorder. As much as I love picture-worthy DIY decorations and the idea of spending an evening with some of my friends, I treasure my alone time and have been known to hyperventilate at the thought of interacting with people for too long. So, I'm often torn between these two opposing parts of myself.

How do I satisfy my desire to host fun nights while keeping my anxiety and introverted tendencies in check? Well, I've spent a lot of years trying and failing to achieve this balance. I've overextended myself and found myself alone in my room by the end of the night, desperate for some breathing space. I've made the mistake of inviting a wrong person or two and ended up wishing everyone would just go home already within mere minutes of opening my door. I've even spent long periods of time without anything planned, only to find myself feeling lonely and bored. So, I've tested my own boundaries to be able to establish what I'm comfortable (and happiest) doing.

First, I've found that I'm happiest with a smaller guest list. As enticing and easy as it is to keep clicking "invite" on Facebook, things are more likely to get out of control and I'm more likely to feel overwhelmed with a large guest list. Keeping it small means it's quieter, easier to clean up, and my guests are also less likely to feel overwhelmed: all of which help to ease my anxiety. Plus, having a small number of close friends means it's more intimate, which is conducive to stimulating group conversation.

Second, I set an end time. I've learned that I have the emotional energy to keep a party going for about four hours. After that, I find myself wishing everyone would leave so I could snuggle my dog in peace. This is a lot easier to enforce with a smaller guest list.

Third, I keep the emphasis off the alcohol. I'm not a huge fan of doing anything based on drinking, so this is an obvious rule that I set for myself. When there is alcohol present, it's never hard alcohol, and it's provided in moderation. Drunk people make me incredibly anxious and uncomfortable, so I avoid that as much as possible. Plus, there are so many other things to emphasize at an event: good friends, good food, and good picture opportunities, to name a few.

Finally, I keep things casual. This is especially essential as a college student. I've learned from experience that people my age simply don't have the funds or the time to fully participate in formal or themed occasions. This used to disappoint me, but now I embrace it. I have plenty of time to kick things up a notch in the years in front of me. For now, I'm enjoying company over costumery.