9/14/2014

104.5 Block Party




Perks of going to college in Philadelphia? Being in Philadelphia for events like this. The 104.5 radio Block Party concerts are free concerts in Philadelphia. They used to be held in Piazza at Schmidts, but after rowdy concert-goers disgustingly ruined the neighborhood, 104.5 lost their contract with Piazza and relocated to Festival Pier at Penn's Landing. Who's complaining though? Festival Pier at Penn's Landing is just as beautiful. Even in the rain, Penn's Landing still has its charm. 


9/01/2014

College Chronicles: Week One


Pictures with my roommate at Made in America. 

Before I write anything college related, I'd like to give a quick Happy Birthday shout out to my dad. This year I was not home to celebrate it with my family, but I was there in spirit.

My first week of being a college student has officially come to a close, and my second one will begin tomorrow at 2pm (the time of my only class on Tuesdays and Thursdays). I am writing this post from my bed at home. Yes you read it right, only one week down and I am already at home. In the beginning of the week my mouth started to ache. Slowly, the pain grew stronger and spread to other areas of my mouth. My parents and I are 95% sure my wisdom teeth are growing in. Tomorrow at 8am I have a dentist appointment, to confirm our suspicions.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn't think much of getting my wisdom teeth out. I've seen at least a dozen friends go through the procedure. For me its different. I am a college student now. Missing a day of college classes will hurt me more than missing a day of high school classes ever would. Not to mention that in a couple of my classes, too many absences result in a lower grade. Even though it would be for a credible reason, it upsets me knowing that I may have to miss class because of my wisdom teeth surgery.

I've only been dealing with the pain of my wisdom teeth growing in for a week and it is already becoming unbearable. While hanging out in my dorm room and the floor commons, I would hold an ice pack to my face. I would also take an ice cold water bottle to class and hold that to my face in hopes that it would look a little less ridiculous than an ice pack.

Aside from the mouth situation, my first week went well. (I hope I'm not jinxing anything!!) My roommate and I grew close to some of the guys on our floor. During the day and at night, after finishing classes and homework, we gather in the common area on our floor and we hangout. Other people from the floor come and go too. I look forward to these daily hangouts. Unlike a weeknight at home, there is always something to do after finishing homework and studying.

On Wednesday night, guys on my floor had an extra ticket to the Phillies vs. Nationals baseball game. How could I deny a free ticket? We drove into the city for the game. Though we only made it until the beginning of the fifth inning before getting bored and going back to SJU, it was still nice getting off campus. It made me realize one of the reasons why SJU is so amazing: the city is so accessible.

Labor Day weekend was the weekend of the Budweiser Made in America (MIA) music festival. My friend and I got tickets this past May. While at school we met plenty of other SJU students with tickets to MIA, my roommate and members of the s-s-s-s-squad included. The squad took the train from SJU to Suburban Station and walked the rest of the way to Benjamin Franklin Parkway where the festival is held. We saw OCD, Chromeo, City and Colour, The Nationals, J Cole, Steve Aoki, and Kanye West. It was so much fun, but we were definitely ill prepared. We didn't eat much before the concert and each of us ended up spending approximately $20 on subpar food that day.

Instead of going to day two of the festival, I came home. It was nice being reunited with my parents, my dog Duke, my bed, my shower, and home cooked meals. My bed felt like a cloud, and not having to wear flip flops in the shower felt just as heavenly (I wish I was kidding about that). One thing I did not expect though was missing my dorm room and the college life. It felt weird not having my roommate sleep five feet away. It felt weird not being in my nicely decorated cement block. In fact, I even texted my roommate saying that I am "coming home" at 1 on Tuesday. Coming home. Home as in Saint Joseph's University.

Will it ever replace my home where my parents (and clean shower) are? Most certainly not. I suppose it is my second home now. After all, at Orientation the upperclassmen Orientation leaders created us with "Welcome Home". Perhaps they are right.

8/23/2014

College Chronicles: Day One/ Two: August 22nd, 23rd






Yesterday (August 22nd) my parents and I made the 45 minute long journey to Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. We got there around one and spent the next few hours unpacking my belongings and situating my room. The whole day I was nervous. My cheeks were flushed, my head was pounding, and my heart was racing. All summer college was just an idea. Yesterday it became a reality, but somehow it still feels like a fantasy. I am physically at college, but I don't feel like a college student yet. I suppose it will change once classes begin on Monday.

I wanted to decorate my room so that it feels like home to me. After finishing, I realized that it will never be my home; it will never be Harleysville. It will never be my front bedroom with light lilac walls, a comfortable queen bed, and various magazine pictures and a collage of pictures on the walls. Most importantly, my dorm room doesn't have steps that lead to my kitchen and living room where my mom, dad, and dog are. They are what's missing. My dorm is not my home because my family is not in it.

Saying goodbye to them yesterday was difficult. I have never been away from home for an extended period of time. The longest I've been away from them was about a week, and it was comforting knowing that at the end of the week I would be able to come home to them. Though they are still close, I don't have the luxury of seeing them whenever I want. Leaving me at college was difficult for them too. We tried not to cry, but of course we did anyways when I hugged them goodbye. (I'm tearing up now just thinking of it, so I need to move on.)

My roommate and I went out to eat shortly after our parents left. The options were limited, but I ended up getting a salad. Typical girl move? Maybe. I'm terrified of the freshman fifteen, so salad seemed like a better option than pizza. The rest of the night we lounged around the dorm's common area, and also bonded with our RA (residence advisor). She told us all about greek life, and though I never considered myself a sorority girl, the way she described it made me consider rushing. I still have a whole semester to decide whether or not I rush, so thats TBD.

Going to bed and waking up in a college dorm was unusual. Again, it has become reality but it is still surreal. After growing up in an only child situation, adjusting to a roommate has been interesting. My roommate is super nice and we get along well, so that aspect hasn't been difficult. The only obstacle is learning how to actually live and share a confined space with someone. A cement block isn't the most ideal place to do that either, but thats college for you.

As I write this we are hanging out in our room. Our door is always open and other girls on the floor stop in randomly to talk, which is nice. Before leaving my mom explained that 25% of the people will be in the same situation as me: new, afraid, nervous, excited, and alone. She was right, which makes it easier to meet people. Everyone has been on edge, especially last night. Right now we are all clinging to anyone we can. Eventually, after we go to our classes, join clubs, and meet other people we will find our group of good friends and our niche within the school. I'm looking forward to that.

So, goodbye for now. I hope to keep posting about my college experiences, specifically for my family to follow whats happening in my life.

8/19/2014

Through the Sun's Eyes


I came across this video on Upworthy. It demonstrates what our skin looks like through the sun's eyes. Just a friendly reminder to always use sunscreen to protect your skin, and maintain healthy, young looking skin.


8/14/2014

Squashing Gender Roles: Women as Housewives








(Photos are from editorials in Vogue magazine.)

Every once in awhile my mom will badger me about learning how to cook. I get it, I do. Almost all of the women in my family are amazing chefs and they pride themselves for that (with good reason), so I can see why it is imperative for me to follow in the footsteps. Right now, my cooking skills are subpar. If I really try I can throw together an adequate meal but I don't feel like trying. I'm certain I'll have my postgrad days for experimenting with cooking. However, family members often joke with me that my lack of cooking skills will be a negative aspect to my future marriage.


I receive comments that go a little like this:
"What are you going to do when you have a husband?"
"You need to learn to cook for your future family!!!"

Oh, and my favorite one:
"You better hope your husband knows how to cook, because your family will starve otherwise."

Actually, yes, I do hope my future husband has taken a cooking class or two. Not just because I have the capability of burning water, but because as a wife I shouldn't hold the entire responsibility of feeding a family.

People need to let go of that gender role. Wives should not solely be accountable of cleaning, taking care of the household, and putting a meal on the dinner table every night. Why have we not moved on to more contemporary household norms? Women cannot be held to those standards. In 2012, 58% of women were in the labor force, compared to 1963 when only 38% of women worked. Out of the 58% of working women in 2012, 70.5% were mothers. No longer does the husband (aka the main household breadwinner in the past), go to work from 9-5 as the wife stays home in her dress and apron, caring for the offspring, doing laundry and dusting before preparing a meal for when her husband comes home. Why is it that as far as women have come in society, we are still dealing with the expectation that we alone- not our husbands- have to put a meal on the dinner table every night.

(Side note: now many may come up with a rebuttal to my argument here. It may go a little something like this: women don't do the handy work and yard work... Yes, very true, but that also proves a point about gender roles in general. We are still stuck in these gender roles. For lack of better words, or rather just to put it bluntly: gender roles suck for both men and women.)

My rant is over. This isn't my excuse for not wanting to learn how to cook. I will learn eventually, however I am hoping that my future husband will understand that I will not be subjected to feeding the family every night because I'm the wife. It is a small and relatively insignificant situation to take the time to write and complain about, but it is a gender role I am tired of. Also, this isn't to say that all men don't cook, because I know guys in my family and also guy friends who love to cook. This situation does not apply to each household, but to many it still does.

Where my statistics came from: http://www.dol.gov/wb/pcswinfographic.pdf 
For more statistics on women in the workforce: http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/stats_data.htm

7/26/2014

Campus Must-Haves

Campus Must-Haves



So I was thinking about what items are essential for college. In my last post I featured the items that I want, but don't necessarily need. Above I have featured a few key items to bring with you to college. There are definitely many more must-haves, but for now these top my list.

1. Rain boots. For the inevitable rainy days, these boots are essential for walking across campus to class. The red of these Hunter boots is striking, and would definitely make a statement. Not to mention, their vibrance would certainly contrast the dull rainy days.

2. An umbrella. Same philosophy for the rain boots applies to umbrellas. Get a bright umbrella that is sure to stand out. This Lily Pulitzer version is sure to do the trick.

3. Backpack. Getting a backpack for college is obvious. As I mentioned in my last post, they definitely are more functional and responsible than a huge tote or satchel. When buying a backpack, make sure to get one big enough to hold books, notebooks, and your laptop. They don't have to be boring either. This polka-dotted backpack from Herschel Supply Co. is super cute, and colorful.

4. Dry shampoo. This is for the mornings when your dorm bed somehow feels extra comfortable so you hit the snooze button on your alarm once, or three times. A little of this before 8am classes can go a long way.

5. Small cross body or chain wallet. Almost everyone has heard that carrying a lanyard around your neck is "so freshman". In order to avoid this campus faux pas invest in a small cross body or a chain wallet like this one from Tory Burch to hold your college ID, license, money, and anything else you would normally hold in a forbidden lanyard.

Be sure to check back here regularly for more college and campus related posts. 

7/24/2014

Fairytale Wish List: College Edition


Today I officially registered for my college courses. For the curious and nosey (don’t worry, I’m a nosey person too) minds out there I am taking Theology, Art History, English, Italian, and Political Science: American Government and Politics. I thought orientation made me ready for college, but this definitely triumphs. I’m at the point of the summer when I’m bummed its over because it means endless summer nights spent with friends doing absolutely nothing are officially over, but I’m also ecstatic because I am starting a whole new chapter in my life.

My four years of high school consisted of obscene amounts of character development for me. Starting out as a naïve freshman I spent the next four years realizing my values and my beliefs, and finding my voice. Looking back at the girl I was to the woman I became is unbelievable. I don’t consider myself a perfect character though. I still have my flaws and I’m certain I always will. 

With the big transition from high school to college coming up, I’ve found myself in need of a state of mind transition. No longer am I the only child from the suburbs. Now I am being thrown into a dormitory with community bathrooms and a roommate. Another transition I’d like to make is a fashion one. In high school I’ve always been apprehensive about wearing certain outfits and experimenting with certain trends. College is my time to start new, start fresh. If I had unlimited money to spend, these are a few items I'd buy for college.




College Wants




1.     This Kenzo sweatshirt is perfect for when the temperature starts dropping. Its warm, effortless and comfortable without sacrificing style.
2.     Because I’ll be carrying around heavy books, notebooks, and my laptop almost everywhere I go, this backpack is perfect. Also, backpacks eliminate the shoulder pain that comes with satchels.
3.     When the temperature drops even more, this Burberry cape will be extra warm. The muted colors are perfect for winter, and to me, warm capes are the acceptable alternative to wrapping fuzzy blankets around myself.
4.     One of my latest style obsessions are kimonos. They are perfect for layering when its not cold enough for a cardigan. I love the mixture of turquois and emerald green in this Anna Sui kimono.
5.     These Dolce Vita booties are perfect for fall and can be worn with almost anything. The height is semi-reasonable for walking around campus, and the thick heel doesn't hurt either.
6.    Never thought I'd say this but I’m giving into the “wear Nike sneakers with anything” trend. Waking up late for class every once in a while is inevitable, so these black Nikes are perfect for the days when I have to sprint across campus to make it to class.

6/18/2014

Graduation | What's Next?








Its been almost one week since I donned a white cap and gown, and walked up a small set of stairs to shake the hand of my principal and receive my diploma. It doesn’t feel real to me yet. I assumed that by now I would have begun to feel different; like a college student, or a high school graduate at the very least. But nope. I still feel like I will be going to high school again next year. It hasn’t fully hit me yet.

Occasionally it will hit me for a moment or two. When my principal announced “I now present to you the class of 2014” it hit me. A shiver went down my shine and a smile stretched across my face as we walked in front of hundreds of parents, teachers, family members, and fellow classmates.

I can’t help but wonder, “what’s next”?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, then you may have seen my various posts that outlined my aspirations and my plans on how to get there. When I first started this blog in February of my sophomore year of high school I was so certain of the career path I’d be taking. I had it all planned out—the roadmap to where I want to be was so ideal that it was almost naïve.

“I’ll go to college in New York City, I will intern during college and surely the magazine will hire me shortly after graduation, then I will be an assistant and just work my way up the ladder until I became an editor.”

I was (am) so young. I was so idealistic. I was so hopeful. I was so naïve.

Two years ago when I started this blog I was certain there would be no other path for me. I was convinced that I was meant to be an editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. While I still dream to work at a fashion magazine, I have realized that it is an incredibly hard job to come by. Yes, there are more jobs in the fashion industry than ever before, and no I am not giving up on my dream. I simply realized that I do need a back up plan. I do need other career options, and I need to be open to taking them if need be.

The road map to my future as a fashion editor has been altered a bit. I am not going to university in New York City. While it is a bit disappointing, I am so happy where I am actually going.

In the fall I will be attending Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. I will also be double majoring in English and Marketing. 

The first time I visited the campus I fell in love, I truly did. It felt right. I felt like I could see myself walking on the campus. It’s a medium sized school, which is perfect for me. It isn’t too big that I would be overwhelmed, and it isn’t too small that I would know every single person there. It is perfect because it is a short train ride away from Center City Philadelphia.

So here I am, a high school graduate about to face the unknown. I might have my aspirations figured out but I have no idea where they will take me. 

5/23/2014

Of Time




Photos borrowed from various Teen Vogue editorials. 

I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Are those few hours I spent with you
Closer than ever
wrapped up, lost in sheets together
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Is sharing the same space, the same air
So close I could feel your heart beat
To the same rhythm as my own
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Are your arms, embracing me
Your breath on my shoulder
Our hands entwined
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Are your lips kissing my shoulder
Wandering across my neck
You loved me, I wanted to love you
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Are those moments we spent
Our bodies close, Our hearts closer
My mind far off in the distance
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Is how I rolled over onto my side
Facing away from you
Leaving your love behind me
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Is how you gave me all
But my mind wandered off
To a place where you were not
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Is how at that moment
As you tried to love me
I thought I had all the time in the world
I have a lifetime ahead of me
But all I can think about
Is how I was wrong
I wasted time I thought I had
Now my heart aches for more time with you
a.l.t
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3/17/2014

This Race Has No Finish Line


    
Image from: here
    There was a time when fashion wasn't all about competing to see who has better style, pitting celebrities against each other to see "who wore it best". It wasn't all about who wore the most designer clothing, or who was lucky enough to get snapped by a street style photographer.

    There was a time when fashion was an art. A true, true art. Where you wore what you wanted simply because you wanted to, not because you needed to impress society as a whole. There was a time when fashion was all about expression, not impression. Where did that time go? Why was it whisked away? Why did the label-hungry and the style-less wealthy take over with outfits straight from the runway—not even styled differently to show personality?

    There was a time when fashion blogging wasn't all about materialism. Now, fashion blogging is a competition of who can gain the most followers and the most traffic. A competition of who could work with the most brands—the more renowned the brands, the better. A competition of who could profit the most. A competition of who has better style among bloggers.

    There was a time when fashionistas blogged simply because they loved it, they loved fashion, they loved writing, and they wanted to share it.

    Fashion has been formed into a competition. This competition will forever be sans winner. There can't be a winner of a competition that shouldn't even be a competition. It shouldn't work that way; it can't work that way. This competition has a grand prize of, of what? Pride. You make the most money out of all bloggers? Pride. You "have the best style out of all the bloggers"? Pride. What does this pride mean though, why must you have it? Yes fashion is about taking pride in what you're wearing. But when we all first started our blogs, it wasn't about winning pride, it was about doing it because we love it.

    We take our cameras out into the public and take pictures of ourselves, seeming extraordinarily narcissistic to those who don't know what we are doing that for, because we love it. We spend precious time choosing the best pictures and editing them and carefully crafting a well-written post because we love doing it. We engage with fellow fashionistas because it's a community, not because we want to gain traffic in a fake manner. At least that is how it was.

    There have been articles written over the last few years exclaiming that blogging is dying! No, blogs and bloggers are not dying. We are all simply just losing this pointless competition we subconsciously created for ourselves. For every blog that drops out of the race, five more are created. At first, they are running because they love it, because it's fun for them. Then, they realize that it is a serious "competition", and they pick up the pace, trying to keep up with the big dogs that have been in the head of the pack since 2008.

    This race to be the best is unlike any other race. This is no 100-meter dash, or even a distance marathon with a clear finish line, a clear winner. This race doesn't have a finish line. 

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xo
AT