#30daysofthanks Day 1 &2

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Pumpkins courtesy of Pinterest

Hi everyone! I have been gone, and there is really no excuse for that. But does it make it better if I say that I have had a lot of homework and exams? And what is weirder – the last time I posted I am positive that I was not in classes yet. And here we are. The day after Day of the Dead.

I figured that an easier way to get back into the groove of writing would be to focus on solely that. Writing, minus the fashion, style, and vegan life. I was thinking of how to do this for the past week and a half, and then I saw this post on Facebook, where someone had hashtagged #30daysofthanks, and posted a picture along with it. I thought it was so sweet and a good idea, since sometimes too much homework and stress from classes leaves us jaded and without any time to realize that there is much to still be happy about.

I for one always have a strange reaction every time I come home for the holidays. For the first two days I am still trying to forget about the exams I have to go through to pay my dues before being able to lay back and celebrate and get back to my usual routine at home.

So this year I have decided to change that. In order to remind myself that there is much to be happy about and that not everything is stressful and grey and exhausting (I could write a book about the stress of exams and fill it with anecdotes…) I have decided to join in on this hashtag trend, although I will spare my friends the newsfeed spam and post here exclusively.

I am well aware that I am a day late, so today I will mention TWO things that made me thankful or reminded me of what I should be grateful for. So let us embark on this journey of pumpkins, lattes, and the joy that is everything autumnal!!! Follow me friends! *throws the single orange leaf that has fallen to the ground in Texas*

November 1st, 2016 aka the first day of Christmas according to Starbucks

Lattes. All of them. Chai lattes specifically.

Before you judge me for picking a material item hear me out!

I have a tendency to say that I will do a lot of things and then not go through with them. And I am bored of that, because it leads to me complaining about being stuck in a rut, when my actions – or lack of- are what has me sitting there. I used to depend on other people to feel like I was having fun or doing something worthwhile. Ex: asking friends to study together to make myself do it or to go to Starbucks because I wasn’t capable of going alone.

Recently, I had this ridiculous craving for a chai latte. And I was thinking, if only I had a friend who would go with me! I cannot possibly go downtown and find one! I guess I’ll sit around in my bedroom. 

I honestly don’t know what urged me out of bed. Maybe it was that the craving was that bad. Maybe I remembered that I had gotten a paycheck recently so I was feeling giddy and reckless. But it was probably that I realized that if I wasn’t brave enough to do it alone today, tomorrow I would be in the same rut, but in a  different situation. And the idea of being in a rut permanently or even long term scares me.

So I went out, got on the public metro (yay eco friendly transportation options!) and went downtown to a coffee shop I found on Yelp, and sat there proudly drinking my almond chai latte for as long as I could, using baby sips that you would normally a little girl using at a tea party.

And good news! I’m sipping my second chai latte at the same spot right now. Hooray for leaving comfort zones and exploring downtown! I am thankful for this latte for helping me realize that I am capable of going out and doing something about my boredom instead of simply complaining about it. My destiny is in my hands! – Mwah ha ha ha ha –

November 2nd, 2016

And now we are at the present! Today I am thankful for the slightly cooler weather. It got me in the mood to write this post and indirectly dragged me out of the creative darkness I was in. I would say family, for calling and messaging me, but that would be unfair to dedicate only one day to them, when I could in theory write about them for thirty days of thanks as well, and many more. So leaving my family out of this, I am thankful for this blog. Because it feel like home, in a way. And I have a lot of ideas I am still trying to get out on this little spot.

I was thinking recently- and I even dropped the idea in a conversation with a friend a few minutes ago- that I would really like to compile the short stories I write and maybe add some simple illustrations to them too. I am not an artist in any way, but I think the stories would make more sense and look more complete with something else there with them.

It is still a very, very rough idea though. But it was brought back to the forefront of my mind because of this blog! I initially had this idea a few years back in high school. Although then it was supposed to be entirely fiction, I feel like I have enough anecdotes on my own to suffice, mixed with some creative liberty.

I will cut myself off here, because I am too excited to write again and share with you all and I don’t want to exhaust my writing, and I fear I’m word vomiting.

But to recap, yes! I am back. Tell your friends.

1 down, 3 to go

I decided to write down my thoughts every day of my last week of my freshman year of college, just so I could look at it now and laugh at what exams, anxiety, and lack of sleep did to my brain.

Monday, May the second:

I want sleep. I’m not hungry, but it would screw up my metabolism if I didn’t, right? Hmm. I also have money on my ID card that will go to waste…time to buy Starbucks and plant based snacks and biodegradable deodorant! Wait. I have a final coming up soon, right? Hmm. Study…or watch people get ready for the Met gala? How many people actually get invited? What did they do to get invited? What am I doing with my life- I should be doing something Met gala worthy. Why can’t I SLEEP?! (I believe this last sentence was when I checked in around midnight after long restlessly for two hours- I get anxiety at night, and it’s worse if I can’t sleep).

I’m assuming I fell asleep, because the last sentence was a jumble of letters that I suspect were the result of my phone hitting my face.

Tuesday, May third:

Whoa! Last day of classes! I think I’ll miss my French and English classes the most. I liked sitting in the front of the class. It just occurred to me that I never looked at who sat behind me in my classes, so I’m only acquainted with the people who say in my row. Note to self: stop listening to One Dance by Drake before you make yourself hate it. Maybe I should actually go to the vegan place everyone keeps mentioning. *goes to only vegan friendly cafe in town* OH MY GOODNESS they have wheatgrass! They have agave!? They have acaí?! They put Colombian chocolate and cacao in their smoothies!? *Samples six smoothies* *decides to get food instead because they have kale wraps* Vegan food is good. Food is good. Food. Food. Note to self: learn to contain yourself when you see vegan safe places. Hold up – they have composted utensils and cups *squeals*. Reread latest note to self. Thirty minutes writing a final assignment= nothing left to do until Friday, aside from hand delivering my final assignment and eight page analysis over a book. Life is good. It’s the little things. Like smoothies. Like white bean kale wraps. <- rereading latest note to self again. Speaking of little things, I made the best decision of my life and instead of immediately folding my laundry, I’m lying in it while it’s burning. I’m so happy I have a high pain/heat tolerance. I mean, I’m red all over but it’s worth it, since I’m always cold. *lies in silence for twenty minutes fluffing laundry around self like an awkward pigeon* I found an unused nose strip in intact packaging. Hmm. A girl should always pamper herself.

Thirty minutes later: OW (it meant it when it said twenty minutes max)

Late night thoughts: I should really start packing my stuff to move out. I should get out of this now cold pile of laundry.

Wednesday, May the fourth:

Typing. Typing. Essay. Ooh! Starbucks! Packing….I hate packing. Nah. YouTube it is. Jon Snow is actually alive(?(!!!!!)?). Let’s watch the clip again. His gasp scares me every time. *Watches Jon Snow come back to life ten times*. I stared at the ceiling today. I mentally planned how much I had to fit in a two by three by one suitcase. Not much. How on earth have I accumulated so much? Time to look up how to tidy up. Google says I need to become a minimalist or I’ll get overwhelmed by material possessions and fall into a downward spiral of consumerism and emptiness. Je me sens vide. Ça ne m’étonne pas plus. (Quote from French Vogue, in February, translated: I feel empty. That does not surprise me anymore.) Maybe when I get home I can become a minimalist. Wait- can fashion pundits become minimalists? Are we the fashion obsessed condemned to fall with the sinking ship because of technology and fashion burn-out???!!!! Am I still freaking out because Alexander Wang is out of Balenciaga seven months later??!

You better believe I fell asleep pondering this. No continuous train of thought; just thoughts floating through my head. I dreamed of being at a board meeting of my college professors failing me for unknown reasons.

Thursday, May fifth:

My final assignment is done. I can go turn it in. Can I go home now? Clouds part, and it occurs to me that I still have not studied for my french final that’s tomorrow at 8 am. Thanks conscience, for appearing now. Let’s study for now. Two hours staring at french words in a cold room. Oh look. My roommate is singing. No studying today. *Leaves apartment for a colder albeit quieter place*. I hate packing stuff. When my sister moved out after freshman year she hardly packed. Guess I’ll pack everything. Oh crap. I have to eat all of my veggies so none go bad. *Eats two cups of sugar snap peas and twelve cherry tomatoes and two glasses of cashew milk and two servings of almonds and a stalk of celery. I’m going home tomorrow I’m going home tomorrow home is nice home is great home home home HOMMMMMMME. (Fell asleep here)

Friday, May sixth:

HOMMMMMMMME (Continuity). Bye French – see you soon – sincerely, NOT fluent. <– I just came back to say that this must have made sense to me when I wrote it, but now its so random that I left it there and didn’t edit it out, because it is too funny.

I don’t think to tell Dad to bring  a second car to help me move home again. The car is so stuffed, I swear Dad cannot see in his rear view mirror.

One car ride later= SO MUCH UNPACKING I feel claustrophobic. Is it normal to get anxiety from having much more than you need? Is it normal to be disgusted by belongings and to purge yourself of items out of immense guilt of hoarding items that aren’t even eco-friendly? I should get that New York Times bestseller that says that I should tidy up more. No, then that counts as consumption, and I have no space for another book. Ugh.

Lying down later- Whoa. I’m done with my first year of college. Holy asidfjaklsdnfhdfjsfihringr. Sleep sounds nice. WAIT did I leave my contacts in my apartment before I  checked out of there and surrendered my key?! *falls asleep*

P.S. I didn’t leave my contacts behind.

Moral of the story- get sleep, or you won’t remember to write with tenses and you won’t suffer delusions of grandeur that specifically make you think you’re William Faulkner and write in a stream of consciousness. Yay, my first year is over! Here is my documentation of my outfit on Wednesday, trying to figure out what to pack and when, and trying to stay calm as my roommates pile their stuff everywhere.

 

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Actually got nauseous during the last days out of anxiety, saw myself in my roommate’s mirror, and realized that I dressed decently- for once. 

What the Semester Brought

Hey, What’s Up, Hello (Imagine me extending the ‘O’ part)?

It has been an entire semester of college for me. If you are still here reading, then you know that I struggled a bit to post while I was bouncing between college and my house, where I took pictures. After a while, homework began to pile up, and I realized that I was standing at a fork in the road. On one hand, I could go all out and try to post all the time and just plan outfits to wear. But isn’t that a bit, I don’t know…fake? The reason I was inspired to blog when I was thirteen was because I saw that the bloggers I looked up to actually wore those outfits they captured in photographs. They woke up, and chose those flawless and chic outfits and ran errands. They didn’t (hopefully didn’t) take pictures and then fall back into sweatpants and lie around. In my imagination, my ideal blogger and style crush would go to someone who wore her pointy toed pumps with an obscene blanket scarf and bag and death grip skinny trousers and walked- YES, walked- to her destination, and sweat in her blazer and got blisters from her shoes but still did it anyway. She would walk to work and take the stairs and print papers and make phone calls and order coffee and maybe spill some, I don’t know- the point is, I would hope she had a real life behind her awesome outfit. So her Rag and Bone jeans wouldn’t be fresh out of a shipment box and worn once for five minutes for the sake of a picture, they would be those jeans that got sriracha stains on them that she had to secretly scrub for twenty minutes in her bathroom.

End rant.

Oh, and on the other hand I neglected in the analogy earlier, there was the option I chose; I decided to rise to the occasion and act like a mature adult. Let me explain my thought process:

  • “My parents are paying for a large chunk of my college career. It goes without saying that they expect the best grades from me as a sign of my undying gratitude.”
  • “Writing for my blog is great, yeah, its the best, BUT I don’t actually get paid or get any college credit/recognition for it. So I can’t show up at home with an amateur blog and expect them to give me a standing ovation.”
  • “Ultimately, I want to be a professional with an office job, and to do that, I should probably get a degree in something…” *chuckles dryly*
  • “All jokes aside, I want to go to college and do well, and this blog is kind of in the way of that.”
  • “Looks like I should postpone this until I have more time…” 

*Accidentally waits two months*

So here I am, saying sorry to you, bloggy friend. I’ve left you hanging. I’ll pick this back up while I’m home, and try to figure out when I’ll post at school. Because it really is a shame to refuse your hobby (mine is writing, if I had not made that clear before). After a while, the creativity dies if its not nurtured. And this is embarrassingly narcissistic of me to say, but I had some great outfit ideas that came to me during the past two months and I hate when bad ideas are not shared. Because when I’m on the run some other day, I might be out of outfit ideas because I forgot the cute idea I had before. 
So because of that, I’ll use this time to throw some photos at you, because after reading this far, your eyes deserve a break from all this text filled monotony.

Let’s catch up, since Texas did not get much colder. 

So on this nice day, I came to the conclusion that jumpsuits were the sugar to my tea. Once you experience choosing an outfit in 0.0004 seconds, you cannot possibly go back willingly. 
I deleted the one where I was smiling. This was a second later, when I was going to talk. Sorry about that strange face. 
In the case that I cannot wear a jumpsuit/romper, I love maxi dresses more than words can describe.
My hair has grown since then, you’ll see it soon. *Serene smile* or *indigestion smile*
And then I went to the library with my brother, who I then blackmailed into taking a picture of my outfit. 
Wow, I feel terrible saying that. 
Canvas tote bags for the win. Who needs designer bags when you have a solid and reliable conversation starter? 
I found another more ‘artsy’ shot by my brother, who seems to be best at candids of me. Especially of me talking or grimacing while the sun blinds me. 
Oh trees. I had nothing else to say about this photo, as crazy as that seems. 

Now that I’ve given you a crazy amount of text and adequate visual aids, I think I’ll sign off for today.
If you somehow found me, or have been here all along,

THANKS. Fifty points for Ravenclaw House for being loyal to their fellow Ravenclaw’s blog!

If you don’t hate me yet for such a cumbersome post and still want more visual aids and awkward rambling, you can check out my Instagram! 

XOXO- but I’m giving you an intense bear hug for reading, seriously.  Okay. See you soon!

My Sunday Sendoff feat. Ruggles Green

On Sunday, my sister invited my family to eat lunch and walk around a bit and mainly enjoy each other’s company. The point was to have family time and send me off with a vegan meal. Obviously I was estatic all of a sudden when they told me I could choose a vegan friendly restaurant, so I almost immediately responded with Ruggles Green in City Centre, even though I was silently hoping someone would ask to go to an Indian restaurant, because I have wanted to go try Indian food for a very long time.

**Disclaimer**
All pictures on my post today were taken with an iPhone six, so don’t be alarmed by the drastic change in the quality of the pictures! 
Carry On! 🙂

I got the veggie wrap and a side quinoa salad, both vegan! And I grabbed some pickles that were prepared in-house. 

I think now would be a good time to also mention that I am a huge fan of food-porn, also known as a pre-food ritual of being grateful for the food — actually, I just really like taking pictures of food. There’s no legitimate way of justifying it, just that I like looking at food. So just expect more food posts in the future!

After somehow destroying the wrap ( I hate being such a messy eater) and being joyful and staring at my vegan feast in awe, we all ended up walking around City Centre and staring at macarons- I need to find a place that makes vegan macarons…does that even exist?– and not getting them because I couldn’t find vegan versions. In the end, we packed up and moved our sunday party to Starbucks, and I decided to take pictures because I honestly don’t have casual candid pictures of my whole family, and I figured this was a great time to record in pictures.

Aww, look at the kids. Behold the closest people I have to me, genetically speaking. 

My mom is so classy that she refuses to cover her coffee with the plastic covers and prefers to drink her beverages as if they were tea-cups. 

And Dad loves the covers. 

Behold!  My sister MP drinking what appears to be snow. (Vanilla bean frap FYI)

I had a Mango Black tea lemonade…I’m really predictable. 

Behold! My brother/photographer, contemplating the simple things in life, like his mocha frappuccino. 

He requested a selfie. And it looks like my straw is up my nose. 

The family who drinks Starbucks together stays together.

Thanks for reading, and have a happy Tuesday!

Diary of a Vegan: Month One

Today, I complete one month as a vegan.
I wanted to talk about this journey- not to sound preachy or force this idea upon anyone, but also as a way to keep track of the little things I have accomplished for now. I also know many people who don’t actually know as much as they think about this lifestyle, and while there are quite a few vegan food bloggers/vloggers I can name off the top of my head right now, the majority of the people I personally know are still a bit in the dark. To give an example, I know a few people who think vegans are radical vegetarians who fight for the rights of animals…which I guess could be plausible, but is still off the mark.

How I define the vegan lifestyle: When a person decides to cut meat and dairy out of their diet, and any food that contains an animal byproduct.

One thing I learned quickly was that food companies tend to sneak animal products into food that normally shouldn’t have. This is mostly in canned or boxed goods, so I don’t plan on continuing that anytime soon. For example, I was going to eat some falafel that my mom made last night, and then my sister decided to tell me that the box clearly listed gelatin as one of the ingredients. Sigh.

Here is where I would like to amend the title of this blog post. I have been a vegan about 99% of the time, which is why I’m calling this my vegan diary. Because the truth is, this is a process, and a trip to Vegantopia. And I’m still miles away. But, I have taken major steps by completely cutting out dairy and meat.

So far, I have felt healthier, and lighter- compared to when I used to eat meat, and I would feel heavy and drowsy. And as for energy, I feel full of energy all the time. What’s nice is that I feel great so far, and that’s a great way to start!

Thanks for reading!

For Good.

When I left my blog this time, it wasn’t because I didn’t care about it, or that I didn’t want to write anything, because I did. What freaked me out was that I just didn’t have anything to say. I used to be very shy- school projects that involved my vocal participation led me to veer on the edge of trepidation and inner chaos, but writing never scared me, because I could always say what I wanted to say when I felt like it if it was written down and unspoken. And when I realized I could write things down and that that altered how people saw me or the fact that they judged me exponentially less than they did normally, the words would flow like water. So it only made sense for me to stare into the heavens like a forsaken beached whale when I realized that my waterfall of words was gone.

I would like to blame it on the AP exams I took recently. I would love to blame it on lack of sleep and malnourishment (that’s a major stretch, though, since I eat when I’m frustrated). It could easily be all those things. Unfortunately though, I think it came to me questioning my motives about this blog. I even made YouTube videos (you already know that, though) that I abandoned because I doubted that I had things to say worth listening to. While I didn’t feel very bad or guilty about that endeavor, I was amazed at the effect not writing had on me. And I think that matured me in the sense that I’m not as afraid as I was before to write what I think here and live with the fact that I won’t be a famous New York Times Bestselling author or the next Tavi Gevinson or Anna Wintour, or face the realization that I will probably wait a long time before I get to write for a kind and dedicated blog follower.

So, what happens now?

Well, I’m going to be back here writing, and yes- I did change the blog name. No, that doesn’t mean that I am any less fascinated by the French language, or any less pretentious about speaking a few words. It stands for me being the second child. It is something that I will let define me on a surface level, and something that I bring up more than you’d think- well, when I’m with my siblings, of course, and in jest. I figured that if I titled this blog something that was closer to my heart and something that represents me much better than a phrase I liked, than I would feel more comfortable writing more often.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” 

-Sylvia Plath


Thanks, Sylvia.

Starting today, I will be back to posting, and I’ll try to open this page up whenever I get those writing moods, which are happening more now that I’ve gotten my summer ‘flow’, haha. And be prepared for posts about everything, be it style, food, travel, or me just ranting about things, or even just talking about my neighbor’s new dog that sits in my backyard. 
If I haven’t lost you yet, hooray! You get a cookie. And a high five. And this jar that is filled to the brim with air. 
Thanks for reading!!