Saturday, March 28, 2015

Inspired: Women's Equality and Ted Talks

As much as school completely drains me, it also completely inspires me. I love learning, I love being around other people and hearing their perspectives, and I love feeling like I am bettering myself. School is out for spring break, but my classes have still be on my mind as I read, write, and watch TV. One of the classes that has been inspiring me most this semester is Women's Studies. Learning about social, racial, and class issues has been eye-opening and core-shaking. We have come a long way when it comes to equality, but we still have a very long way to go. My teacher began the semester by asking us what we stand for. Even though most of us have something we believe in and support, few of us fight to make a change. My teacher responded to the silence of our class by asking us a question, "Well, what are you mad as hell about?" This Ted Talk sums it up for me.

This Ted Talk is titled, "Everyday sexism". Women and men, this is a Ted Talk for all. Laura Bates talks about an experience she had with a man groping her on a subway, and when she vocalized what was happening, everyone on the subway turned in the other direction or gazed at the window, uncomfortable. Women all around the world experience sexual harassment. Because it has become so common, it has begun to be brushed off as nothing but a mundane happening. 
  We need to vocalize what makes us uncomfortable, stand up for ourselves, and stop pretending that being sexualized, cat-called, and harassed is okay. Women- we can wear whatever we want. We can travel alone, we can wander the streets at night, we can. 
Being assaulted is never at the fault of the victim. A short skirt is not a yes. Not being able to speak is not consent. Being incoherent does not give any assaulter the right. These are our lives and our bodies. Our minds and our souls, and we can be hit on, grabbed, whistled at a thousand times over, but the second we begin to think it is us who needs to change is when we hand over our power. We are not at fault for the ignorant. This talk inspired me to stop feeding into the fear that society has been trying to force me to swallow. It's not okay. I stand up for myself not just for me, but for future girls and boys. 

The current argument presented in this Ted Talk was that women are equal now, and women calling attention to any inequalities are just "overdramatic and sensitive." The opposing argument presented by Laura Bates is that 1 in 3 women from all over the world will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. 1 in 3. I will not become a statistic, and I will fight like hell to educate women and men. We have to believe and love ourselves enough to stand up for ourselves. And it is incredibly scary and overwhelming. But we are so worth it. Stand up for yourself to scare the hell out of the guy that grabbed your ass because he felt like it. Stand up for yourself so he realized it is never okay. Stand up for yourself because you have vital thoughts, feelings, needs, and are an equal to all human beings. 

Here are a list of some other Ted Talks about women's equality. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! If you have any book, documentary or any other suggestions of things that are inspiring you, share below!
1. We Should All Be Feminists-

Take time this week to share what you are grateful for (in my case, education and sharing this information with all of you.) Link up with Ember Grey.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

in the park

The grass poked through my shirt and the wind played with my hair and I thought about how wonderful it was to just lie there, still.

How incredible that the most healing of places are often just in between trees, or hidden in mountain ranges, or tucked away in mundane places where we often don’t look or appreciate.

The warmth of the sun made me tired, and the glare of it’s light made me squint, so I closed my eyes and thought of nothing.

Nothing except that moment, and how badly I needed it. How I had been longing for a second to just be still. And I just became so, so, so happy.

For all the things that have brought me to this place, and even the times that challenged or hurt me.  

Isn’t it amazing to think of all the things we can survive? And all the things we can learn and experience? All the trauma our body can handle and all the pain our hearts can mend completely baffles me. All the people that we can love, and all the places we can go. Isn’t it amazing to think all we have to do is grant ourselves permission to enjoy every part of our life, even the really challenging parts?

I felt so alive as I breathed deeply and lied still in the grass. I felt present and hopeful. Nothing is perfectly in place right now and that’s the whole point. We have to vow to live beautiful, inspiring lives regardless of where we are, physically, mentally, and emotionally. We have to make peace with the messy, torn, and painful parts of our stories. It’s the only way to move forward, gracefully and mercifully, to the next chapters.

We have to take time to lie still, marvel, appreciate, explore and love deeply.

I felt light and airy as the sun traced my face through the trees dangling branches. And while I have things that I often feel like weigh me down, I realized that we don’t always get to let go of what hurts us, but we do get to decide whether those things become weights on our shoulder or stepping stones to where we hope to be.

And right now that is what I have to remember.

The grass dampened my shirt, and the sun kept me warm, and my mind was clear like the sky, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday morning.

Wishing you all a great week xoxo 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sister day

image via Pinterest

Life gets busy. That is no secret. There's always, always something that will need to be done. There will be school, and jobs, careers, families, boyfriends, girlfriends, and everything in between.

It is so important to spend time each week doing something that makes you happy. Something that is separate from your job, school, responsibilities, whatever it may be. We've got to make time to put down our to-do list and appreciate the simplicity of having no plans, no where to be, and nothing to attend to. It's called uninterrupted bliss and I got a good six hours of it with my favorite (and only) sister this Friday.

I am overwhelmingly grateful for Lizzie and anytime we get together. She is absolutely hilarious, brilliant, kind, and caring. We spent the afternoon hanging out on Saturday after nearly three weeks of extra busy schedules.

Here is a list of ten things we did together.

1. Got coffee-wasted at Sunrise. Lizzie used to hate coffee. I think I was born loving it. Now, both of us enjoy bottomless cups of iced coffee, a splash of cream and two Sugar in the Raw. (Passed down from our mama).

2. Ate carb-free at Eat. Nothing gets your body in spring break shape like four pounds of bread and chips. Worth it.
Also, patio seating in 80 degree weather. Perfect lunch spot.

3. Walked around downtown and soaked in the sunshine.

4. Found a O-Face Doughnuts. (Ate doughnuts before picture was taken).

 5. Spotted a sticker wall.

6. Went into cute shops. (Co-te-rie).

7. Took car pictures.

8. Talked about memories, goals, and dreams.

9. Laughed, laughed, laughed. 

10. Took deep breaths. Stopped checking the time.

Bonus: 11. I was reminded all day that not everyone gets a sister that is also their closest friend. Not everyone understands that home isn't always a  place, but a person.

For my sweet sister,

I am thankful for the times we wake up, and your voice fills our apartment and you ask me what we should do. And you make silly jokes, and you dance with me in the kitchen.

I am thankful for the times that we get ready in our separate rooms down the hall, and shout our conversations to each other just so we can keep talking.

I am thankful for each and every time you have been there. I am thankful for our moments of silence because we are just so comfortable with each other.

I am thankful that you always say yes to dessert, yes to new adventures (if I beg hard enough), and yes to do-nothing days.

Also, equally thankful that you are SO pretty, because we share the same genes. So by default, I'm sorta kinda pretty like you. (But not as pretty because let's be honest look at her.)

Happy Monday, everyone! Set aside some time for yourself this weekend and hug the people you care about extra tight. xoxo

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Banana Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Lately I have been romanticizing my mornings: reading part of a book, practicing my affirmations, sitting still and enjoying breakfast, waking up a half hour early just to enjoy the sun, the beginning of a new day, and to really appreciate my life.

It's been the best change and in addition to it, I have found some awesome (healthy) breakfast recipes.

These banana oatmeal greek yogurt pancakes are so so so so good. I eat them at least twice a week. The best part? In one serving, which is six pancakes, there is only 277 calories. Seriously. Only 277 calories and in my opinion, they taste better that regular pancakes.

The recipe is from the blog, Running with Spoons. I follow the recipe exactly. They take about fifteen minutes to make, with prep time. Here is Amanda's recipe!

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ medium banana, sliced
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. almond milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and coat it with cooking spray or oil. You want to make sure that it's very hot before you start cooking your pancakes.
  2. Add ingredients to a blender in the order listed and blend until oats are broken down and batter is frothy.
  3. Using a ladle or ¼ cup measuring cup, drop batter onto skillet until desired size of pancakes is reached. Cook until the edges begin to look dry and bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, flip and cook about 2 more minutes on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter, making sure to coat your skillet again with oil between each batch.
  4. Remove from heat and serve with your favourite toppings.
I hope you all enjoy these pancakes as much as I do. Also, if you are trying to eat healthier or find great new recipes, her blog is filled with them. I've been having so much fun in the kitchen lately, and cooking on my own has been a time and money saver. If you are looking for ways to brighten your morning, read my last post here.  
Happy Wednesday! xoxo

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 Things to Make Your Morning Brighter

I am a "I'll take sleep over showering" kind of girl. I once hit the snooze button sixteen times before getting out of bed. I'll admit to literally running out the door, and to my car, with a bowl of oatmeal in hand because my complete lack of time.

You probably read the title of this post and thought I was a morning person. And despite everything listed above, nothing makes me quite as happy as starting a new day. I love mornings, I love the way the light comes through my window making dancing shadows on my bed sheets. I love the first sip of coffee of the day (because there is always many, many more), and despite how often I rush, I truly do enjoy the beginning of each day.

This past week I have been trying news things to make my morning go more smoothly. There are so many tiny changes you can make to start your day off right. Most things I'm doing are just swaps. Not eating breakfast in my car, not brushing my teeth while simultaneously blow drying my hair. You know, little things.

I'm sharing my favorite five changes to my morning. I hope you enjoy and get to enjoy the best part of the day.

1. Positive affirmations.
I typically try to set an intention everyday, but between rushing and other responsibilities, I had stopped for a while. Now, the first thing I do when I wake up is drink a glass of lemon water, open the living room window, take a deep breath, and sit on the floor for two minutes with my eyes closed. I think of what I want to accomplish for the day, how I am going to do it, and why it is important. I tell myself to love others unconditionally, to support and honor myself, and to face the day with a grateful heart. I usually send out some love and good thoughts to family and friends. This helps me find my balance and center and begin the day with a clear mind, and a positive attitude.

some affirmation cards via Pinterest
2. Eat breakfast. At a table.
I began making myself a good breakfast and sitting down to actually enjoy it. Typically I'll give myself 10-15 minutes to just eat, and drink my coffee. Not eating breakfast while driving a car is a nice change. Funny/Sad story: I once made a huge spinach and blueberry smoothie, ran to my car to get to school on time, and when I was in my car taking a left turn, the smoothie flew out of my hand, onto the dash board and all over my (brand new) car mats. Table it is from now on.

My quinoa pancakes are my FAVORITE. The link to the recipe is here.
3. Take the time to feel pretty/handsome/whatever
If you start the day with, "Man, I look ugly today." Chances are you aren't going to feel to great when facing people in meetings, hanging out with friends, or going to school, running errands, whatever. Give yourself enough time to pick out an outfit you feel good in, take a shower, do your hair. On rough days, I always were a certain bracelet, and lipstick color. It makes me feel better, more confident, and takes thirty seconds.

4. Don't watch trash TV in the morning.
I used to play something on TV as background noise while I got ready or ate breakfast. I switched to reading a part of a book or watching a Ted Talk online. I learn something new, and it makes me feel empowered and excited to share what I learned.

5. Make your bed and pick up what you can.
Coming home to a dirty room or a messy bed makes me personally feel organized and chaotic. Coming home to a space that is clean and inviting allows you to relax, and sleep easy. Last tip, lavender essential oil is incredible for getting a good night's rest, and eucalyptus oil in the morning is revitalizing and smells heavenly.

I hope you all have a wonderful day! Share your favorite morning tips below, I am always looking to improve my routine. xoxo
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