What Brightened My Week:

This face mask. I got a free sample from Sephora and love to follow it up with Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask. A mask night while sipping a cup of chamomile tea before bed is my idea of pure bliss.

Coconut oil has changed my life. I use it to moisturize when I get out of the shower. It seems price-y but when you look at the cost of even drug store lotions, it’s so cheap because a jar will last you forever. It definitely makes you smell like an Almond Joy, but I’m into it. I started using it after reading this article on Into the Gloss. My next venture in natural beauty is trying apple cider vinegar as toner and using the oil on my face.

This bathmat is back in stock, and I want to buy it but the price tag is a third of my paycheck this week. Not gonna happen but a girl can dream. Someone sponsor my dream lifestyle.

Christine Nguyen has a new March Favorites video. She is truly my beauty guru. I also discovered Elyse Love this week. She’s a dermatology resident and gives some sage skincare advice. Follow her on instagram!

I finally started reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. I picked it up at Brookline Booksmith on sale a while back for half the price it’s listed at on Amazon. Plus, I got to support an independent bookstore. Double win! So far, I’m loving Straub’s writing style. Plus Leah Goren’s cover illustrations is so dreamy. I’m dying to buy a print of her work.

Also, I’m gonna show my millennial for a second and leave this here. Swoon.

Personal victories: I had some major career wins this week. At my current internship, I’m really satisfied with how far I’ve come in the short time I’ve been there. I’m combining my love of broadcast with helping others, and it feels incredibly fulfilling. I was also really focused on my academics this week and feel good about my classes. After a few off weeks, it’s nice to be back on my game.

Alright, now let’s get out there and seize this weekend… even if it’s filled with work obligations like mine is.

*Featured image from DesignLoveFest

Summer Uniform

Changing of seasons means only one thing to me: change of closet. In the past this has been especially exciting as summer means no dress codes. However, I’m *trying* to enter the realm of adulthood that includes a job/internship. Luckily, professionalism is becoming trendy and what is in lends itself to easy dressing for the workplace.

The idea of a work uniform became incredibly appealing to me when I first read this piece. So as I’ve been doing my usual online (window) shopping, I found myself looking at the same three things: striped tee shirt, black pants, and black mules. These are some of my favorite pieces that will be taking over my summer 2017 workwear.

summer uniform

One // Two

Three // Four

Five // Six

20

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Dear Samantha,

This is what I wish for you in your 20th year:

  1. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
  2. Do not fear your own voice.
  3. Write your heart onto the page.
  4. Be active when it comes to moving your body and expressing your beliefs.
  5. Live every day with purpose.

Have a fulfilling year. Let Anna Quindlen’s words ring in your ears, “George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”

Love,

Me

Shark or Dolphin? Night One Bachelor Recap

ALEXIS

photo via ABC

Wow. Wow. What a night.

If I could have described exactly how I wanted night one to go to the producers, they would have pulled through. CRAZY.

The thirty hand-picked women arrived at the mansion to meet our Bachelor, Nick Viall. So many wore red dresses. So many had awkward first encounters.

But most importantly Nick gave his first impression rose to, Rachel, who it should be noted is a black woman. This is huge considering a black woman got the first rose rather than getting sent home:

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Where should we start? These are my 20 takeaways from night one:

    1. Nick had bleach blonde hair in high school giving serious 90’s vibes in those high school prom pictures.
    2. His little sister, Bella gave him advice. I need more of her on this show to be the voice of reason.
    3. Rachel, the lawyer, is a perfect contestant. I can’t wait for her to win this whole thing or at least be the next Bachelorette.
    4. Danielle L. owns three nail salons? I love these women with their badass careers.
    5. Josephine is awesome. So glad she got a rose. I thought she might be too quirky to get a rose the first night, but she pulled through. I want to be best friends with her.
    6. Raven, who I mentioned in my last post, had a second notable quote (beyond her shooting, mudding and reading the bible comment) by saying her hometown can be described by “”Family, faith and football because that is all we have”. Someone get this girl to a city.
    7. Danielle M. is amazing. One of my guy friends texted in our group chat that she was his top contestant. She has “wife-y” written all over her. Definitely in the running for a place in the final two.
    8. Corinne, Corinne, Corinne. You are 24 years old and proudly say that you are a multi-million dollar business owner. Do not also proudly say that you couldn’t survive without your nanny. Watching her is like watching a car crash. I fully expect her to make it to final 5 or 6, but I don’t see her getting a hometown date.
    9. Taylor brought up racism she has faced in her package. Whoa. So excited to see this show being progressive. They just need to get on the feminist train now…
    10. Christen had a painfully awkward entrance with that massive yellow fan. She was too starstruck when meeting Nick. Yikes.
    11. Sarah made me laugh when she came in the house and yelled “Oh my good there’s food.” A girl after my own heart.
    12. Taylor had a moment reminiscent of Chantal’s entrance on Brad Womack’s second season.
    13. Jasmine G. brought Neil Lane (of Bachelor fame) on her entrance which killed me. You have to love a girl who knows what she wants. Especially since those rings are always so horrible, I’m glad she is taking things into her own hands. Never trust a man.
    14. When Liz (who has made it clear that she and Nick had sex the night of Jade and Tanner’s wedding) entered she didn’t say anything but Nick clearly knew who she was. Their encounter was so uncomfortable, but I’m impressed how she spun it to be a positive?

15 . Nick later seemed hurt that she never reached out to him. Damn. DAMN.

16. Danielle M. and Nick have instant chemistry. She seems like the typical choice for a Bachelor “wife-y” however she isn’t what I expect of Nick’s choice. Interesting to see how that will play out.

17. Corinne is not doing herself any favors with that awkward kiss on night one. When Nick commented that it was forced, that doesn’t play well for her.

18. No one knows whether or not Alexis is wearing a shark or dolphin costume. Scratch that. Everyone knows she’s wearing a shark costume. She is the only one who believes it is a dolphin. Oh yeah, did I mention her career is “aspiring dolphin trainer”?

19. Rachel got the first impression rose. This is MASSIVE considering POC rarey get any visibility on this show. She and Nick are obviously clicking so I cannot wait to see her journey this season. I’m routing for her to be the next Bachelorette because she deserves better than Nick.

20. No one really notable got sent home. I didn’t know the names of any of them. They were all really mad that shark/dolphin girl got a rose over them, but I wasn’t mad.

This season had begun on a particularly ridiculous notes. Congratulations in advance to the producer and their increase in ratings *eye roll*.

The Bachelor is (almost) back!!!

So here are a few of my favorite things: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. Yup, I am a member of Bachelor Nation. I am not crazy though. As a killjoy feminist, I watch the show through that lens and try to be critical when the show inevitably gets into cringeworthy territory. Also, I’ve seen UnReal, and understand how heavily produced the show can be. However, I still route for the bachelor or bachelorette because as crazy as it seems, sometimes this process works!

For example some of the contestants from seasons past, Ashley and JP, Sean and Catherine, Desiree and Chris, Kaitlyn and Shawn, Ben and Lauren, Jojo and Jordan and Carly and Evan (my faves!!!!). I would just like to say I am obsessed with all these couples especially Kaitlyn and Shawn as well as Carly and Evan. If you don’t have Kaitlyn on snapchat (@snapbackbean) do it! She’s so funny and her love of Shawn’s dog Doodle is the best. Also Carly’s new dog Huck is adorable so please take a follow of her on Instagram (@carlywad) where she frequently documents his adventures on instastories. Also she and Evan were in a holiday decoration competition with their neighbors. It was so domestic, I love it.

Moving onto our present season, tonight Nick Viall of Andi and Kaitlyn’s seasons of the Bachelorette as well as the last season of Bachelor in Paradise, will be at the helm of The Bachelor in the title role. I am so excited. While on the Bachelorette, Nick was clearly the villain of both seasons. However, the producers have a heavy hand in how contestants are portrayed. I go deep down the rabbit hole of Bachelor gossip, and rumors have been floated that perhaps Nick’s storyline on Kaitlyn’s season wasn’t authentic and needed to spice up a season that would have been boring otherwise. As well as on Andi’s season, Nick was only made to be the villain to distract from that season’s “winner” Josh’s genuine wickedness. In Andi’s recently released book she describes abuse allegations against Josh. Just saying…

I always liked Nick so I’m beyond excited for this show. He has some interesting ladies lined up. Here are the notable ladies seen in the intro package previews from the “Countdown to Nick” show that aired Sunday. Let us begin:

Corinne is a multi-million dollar business owner. She repeated this very confidently in her package as well as in all the previews. She also seemed very aggressive in the previews (specifically sexually). I’m all about ladies owning her sexuality ,but unfortunately I don’t think it is going to help her on the show. A contestant that says “my vagina is platinum” doesn’t translate to the “wife-y” type to the producers.

Jasmine G. is a Golden State Warrior dancer, and this girl has serious confidence and from what I saw in the promos, that is going to intimidate the girls. Important to note that she is an African American contestant. Historically contestants of color don’t make it very far but I think that is going to change this season. I also want to put her in the running for the next Bachelorette. I am dying to see a person of color at the head of this franchise!

Rachel is another African American contestant. She’s a lawyer from Texas and definitely has her life together. She is a clear front runner for me, and I love her already. She makes it as far as Finland which could be far along in the season depending on if it is the first or second destination for the show. I really hope she makes it to the final three because I’m just putting it out there, she is my choice for the next Bachelorette.

Christen is quite the contestant. Her package featured a declaration stating that she was saving herself for marriage for “faith-based” reasons. This was followed by a very sexual moment of her straddling a horse. Ugh. She’s going to throw girls under the bus who are being too sexual with Nick. She’ll be the foil villain to Corinne because she’s going to stir up drama with the next notable contestant…

Elizabeth! She was the maid of honor at Jade and Tanner’s wedding and apparently that evening she and Nick spent the night together. I’m a little disappointed because all we know about her so far is that she and Nick have hooked up, and I want to know more about her life! I truly hope her personality and substance is showcased over her prior relations to Nick.

The rest of these contestants were not featured in promo packages, but I think they are notable:

Danielle M. – From her bio online, it is very clear that her story will be based around the lost of her fiancé. I think she’s going to be top 4 contestant and will at least get a hometown date. Definitely a frontrunner. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep her around because her storyline is definitely one they could work with if she were to be the next Bachelorette.

Olivia and Taylor – I don’t know much about these contestants, however, they were both featured quite frequently in the previews without going into detail which could hint that they will go far. Taylor is a counselor and really seems to have it together. Nothing that notable about Olivia, honestly.

Jaimi – I don’t think Jaimi will go far, HOWEVER, in the promo she discussed telling Nick about her past girlfriend. STOP THE PRESSES. I am beyond excited to have some LGBT representation on the show. I am really nervous that she’ll describe it as a “phase” because I would love to have bisexual visibility on the show.

I am so excited for this show, and I can’t wait for the episode tonight. Will definitely have more to say come Tuesday! See ya then!

I’m Gonna Be A Better Human (if i can)

I’ve been listening to this song quite a bit lately, and I know the lyrics come across rather silly, but this tine still manage to stop me in my tracks whenever I hear, I’m gonna be a better human if I can.

2016 was a big year in so many ways –mostly in some pretty horrible ways. It put so many of us through the ringer, but I do have to say that I am coming out the other side a better person than I was at the start.

I have big plans for 2017 part of which includes utilizing this little corner of the internet a lot more. See ya in 2017!

Please vote.

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Yeah, you may not agree with all her policies. Yeah, you can keep calling her crooked. But guess what?

She’s a bad ass.

She doesn’t care if people like her. She wants to get shit done. She always has and always will.

When Hillary first said the above quote, it was 1992. It was controversial because she showed that she wasn’t going to take a backseat in our male-dominated democracy.

Today, she doesn’t have to hide those words. They’re a platform for her campaign. A symbol of the progress she started 20 years ago. She was laying the groundwork for us ladies to accomplish whatever the hell we wanted before we were even born.

I am so proud that I got to vote for this nasty women.

So please go vote.

Doing My Best

I haven’t posted in forever. Here are a bunch of photos of my time back in Boston so far.

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First night back in Boston

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This year’s dorm decor. I got that lamp from the kid’s section of Target.

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Walking the bridge from Cambridge to Boston. In the center you can see the gold tip of the Capital building.

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The view from my room is a brick wall. My friend has a gorgeous view of the sunset every night.

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First walk to the Esplanade of the year.

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I bought two plants and now I’m an obnoxious cat lady.

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I discovered Brookline Booksmith. My life will never be the same.

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Gourmet Dumpling House & Mia

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Donburri at Wagamama

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Best friend visits for less then 24 hours.

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Don’t know what I would do without these people.

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Washington in the Garden.

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Ben looks so grown up in his college apartment.

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When your dad takes you out for a bowl of noodle soup. The next day I came down with strep and was out of commission for like a week.

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I have a secret walking route that is so peaceful.

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OTTO Pizza is my home away from home.

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Fall in Brookline.

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Fall nights at home.

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So happy to be home with my dad and to be in the Maine fresh air.

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The best brunch in the whole wide world.

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Mom came for Parent’s Weekend. And pasta.

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Sorry mom.

Let Uncertainty Drive You

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Annoying motivational/optimistic photo because I am annoying. Just kidding. Read this thing I wrote. Please.

A year ago this week, I was moved into my college dorm feeling completely ecstatic, overwhelmed, terrified and every other emotion a person can possibly feel. Freshman year was a roller coaster. There were the late nights that I stayed up with friends laughing those deep belly laughs that feel like an ab workout, and other nights I put myself to bed early after finding myself feeling deeply alone and crying on the itchy dorm carpet. There were many one-person dance parties hosted. There was a lot of Bova’s cannoli or Maria’s nachos eaten past midnight. There were fights to be had. There were the horrible professors and the disappointing grades here and there. But I do not take any of it for granted – both the good and the bad because despite it all, I am so thrilled to be back.

Yes, I still remember all of the lows suffered. The delusions of a young heart, the times I was an awful friend and the procrastination that left me in a mess of stress. From all of it, I learned who I was and who I wanted to be. I came into my freshman year wanting so much, but I had to banish many of those desires. I wish I had let the unknown creep in more because the minute you let go of your expectations is the moment that anything can happen. So as all of you college freshman, roll onto your college campuses feeling all the feels as they say (or maybe I just say this, whatever) please, let one emotion rise to the top: uncertainty.

Embrace the mystery of what is going to be ahead of you for your freshman year. Let curiosity allow you to walk a messy but fulfilling path to reaching your potential. I’m not trying to write this as some all knowing upperclassmen because I certainly am not. While I hold many regrets from my freshman year, I do my best to hopefully right my wrongs and then move on knowing that the past is in the past.

Therefore, I sort of hope that reading this would allow even just one of you to avoid regretting moments in this incredible year of your life. Be driven by the uncertain future. Don’t take your education for granted. Do stupid stuff but always be safe. Break the mold and be full of contradictions. Define yourself and don’t let others try and stuff you into a box. It’s okay to cry because you won’t remembers those nights. However, you will remember the nights with your friends where you can’t stop smiling. When you look back and recall those nights a few days, weeks, months, even a year later, that smile will return to your face.

College is such a massive opportunity above all. Go in with an open mind, stay positive and just have some fun.

Thank You Notes to Strangers

Thank you…

 

…to the cashier who complimented my shirt. It was new and a little more cropped than I’m used to so it boosted my confidence in wearing it.

 

…to the man driving the seafood truck, who let me go in front of him so I didn’t get blocked by the traffic behind him. If you hadn’t, I would have been late to work.

 

…to the construction worker who flashed me a big smile and peace sign when he saw my green VW bug drive by. Smiles are contagious.