Favorite Etsy Shops

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Since we’re nearing the end of this school year, my bank account is dwindling very quickly. So what do I do when I have no money to spend? Online shop, naturally. AKA, put a ridiculous amount of items in my cart, look at the total, remember I’m broke, sigh deeply, and close out of the tab. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m a big Etsy lover, and whenever I’m in the mood for something unique and fun, I always head there to see what I can drool over. I have had a positive experience with my Etsy purchases in the past, so allow me to share my favorites with you!

1. Amordress

I bought a dress from this shop last spring, and I love it! There are pages upon pages of cute dresses, bags, and jewelry-and they’re all relatively inexpensive. It ships from Thailand, but the shipping is quick and reliable. Plus, this dress is absolutely darling.

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 2. Soapwalla Kitchen

I have only bought the deodorant cream from Soapwalla before, but they have so many different products to suit different needs. The best part? They’re all organic and cruelty free!

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3. PetitPlat

 I haven’t gotten around to actually purchasing anything from this shop yet, but about 90% of my favorited items are all from here! They are such cute, delicate, quirky pieces of jewelry. There’s just something about miniature fruit that sucks me in.

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Feel free to share your favorite Etsy shops with me-the more the merrier!

LET PEOPLE FEEL

I’m going to try to make this post short and sweet, but it is something that has been on my mind since yesterday and I feel I should address it.

There’s this thing people like to do called ‘invalidating someone’s feelings.’ As many of you probably know, a member from One Direction left the band yesterday and it was a big deal for a lot of people, including myself.

I’ve seen too many people mocking, judging, and essentially just being rude to those of us who are genuinely upset over the situation. The most common claim is that “teenage girls are crying over nothing,” which is problematic in multiple ways. First, to negatively label everyone as “emotional teenage girls” is disgusting-why is it so easy to invalidate a “teenage girls” feelings because of her age and her gender? This is definitely linked to the way young girls are treated in our society: as if they’re shallow, unintelligent, hormone driven people who are apparently a tumor to the intellectual world. But let me just say this: I have never known more compassionate, smart, dedicated and kind people than the teenage girls that have been in my life. Although I am now 21, I have been a teenage girl once and I will always take offense when you belittle someone like that.

Next, people tend to see this entire situation as childish and shallow, but those are the people who have literally no idea what this band means to its fans. It’s deeper than just attractive boys and catchy music, and for a lot of us it is personal. This band has been a big part of our lives for four or five years and when you become invested in something for that long, when you create bonds because of it and you grow up alongside it, it obviously means more than what’s at the surface. I was going through a strange time in my life when I discovered this band, but because of it I met some of my closest friends, I have learned things that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned, I have become a better person, and I have felt like I’ve really belonged. For many of us it has been a constant in our lives, something to always go to whenever we needed because we knew it would always be there. So excuse us for hurting and excuse us for having legitimate feelings.

Of course there are always going to be “bigger and more important” things happening in the world, but that doesn’t mean your personal issues and emotions aren’t worth anything. If you see someone who is clearly affected by something, no matter how insignificant you deem it to be, just respect their feelings. Show some sympathy. Life isn’t about making people feel ashamed for what they love just so you can feel superior for the time being. People can hurt in ways that you might not understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.

 ☮

An Eventful Week

Where do I even begin?

Last Saturday was my 21st birthday, so my friends and I celebrated accordingly. Although I unfortunately didn’t have the chance to see my family on my birthday, it was still one of the best birthdays that I have ever had. It was a beautiful, sunny day in Duluth and I was surrounded by so many wonderful people who worked so hard to give me an amazing day!

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As you can see, I was a birthday princess. Can I wear that crown around all the time?

On Monday, Reena and I hopped on a bus to Chicago for our “spring break in the city” and we spent the week adventuring, shopping, walking, eating pizza, walking some more, taking the subway, getting lost, and did I mention walking?

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This past week has been one of the most memorable of 2015 and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend my 21st with such caring friends, and to have traveled to a new city with my best friend. Coming back to school and having to put last week in the past is certainly tough, but I am looking forward to all that the future has to bring for me.

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” -Emily Dickinson.

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I also want to thank my friends for showing me an immense support for this blog. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the kind words and encouragement you all throw my way. It means the world.

 ☮

Spring Is Near!

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 Whenever someone has asked what my favorite season is, my response has always been “fall” and I’ve only recently realized that I’m a liar. I have been lying for nearly 21 years about what my favorite season is. And I didn’t even know it!

There’s just something about spring that lifts my spirits. Perhaps it’s the distinct smell, the sun peeking out more and more, the sound of birds chirping again, or the simple fact that everything is coming back to life. It’s beautiful.

After months of bitter cold and snow, it’s a miracle when the temperatures start rising to 30 and 40 degrees. I love being able to go outside in just a light sweatshirt. I love seeing the trees grow their leaves again. I love the slight breeze. I love the melting snow. But most of all, I love how happy I am when it’s springtime. It’s almost as if I come back to life, too.

Here are some songs on my spring playlist:

Bloom-The Paper Kites

Shine On-The Kooks

Hero-Family of the Year

Into the Wild-Lewis Watson

Rollercoaster-Bleachers

What’s your favorite part about spring? What are you looking forward to in these next few months?

Finding Creativity

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Creativity comes in waves for me. As soon as I manage to grab hold of it, it somehow slips right out of my fingertips. Lacking creativity and going through “writers block” is very difficult for me because I feel that I am at my best when I am being creative and when I am inspired.

So how does one go about finding creativity? Well, I’ve found that there are little things that I can do to help keep me inspired. The first of which is having a clean, organized desk. There’s something about neatness that lets my imagination run wild, and messy desks are the bane of my existence.

Next, brainstorm. Doodle. Make lists. It’s helpful to give your mind a little push to get you started. You don’t have to spill the utmost brilliant ideas onto paper, but start with something small. Perhaps something that you’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately, something in your room that catches your eye, or even a picture that you saw as you scrolled through your social media outlets.

I suppose the last one depends on if you like tea or not, but a cup of tea always helps me to center myself and sort through the jumbled ideas in my head!

What are some ways that you find creativity and inspiration? Let me know in the comments below!

Make It Happen

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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

(Yet another reason March is the best month of them all.) (The other reason being my birthday.)

To celebrate this wonderful day I’ve decided to share with you some of the kick-ass women that have helped shape my life in huge ways.

Malala Yousafzai and her inspiring strength and passion for what she believes in. She encourages me to stand up for what’s right and to keep fueling my desire for learning.

Simone de Beauvoir, a philosopher and feminist who really made me think, who stretched my mind in ways I did not think it could be stretched.

Kimberle Crenshaw for introducing me to intersectionality, which is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT aspect of feminism as a whole.

Sylvia Plath, who taught me that it’s okay to feel and that my feelings are valid. The Bell Jar opened my mind to thoughts and situations that are very rarely discussed, let alone written about.

My professors that I’ve had during my time here at UWS. Each one of them inspire me to become a better person and challenge me in the classroom and therefore out in the “real world” as well. Because of them, I look forward to going to class because I know I’ll leave as an even better version of myself.

My mom because she’s one heck of a mom and role-model.

And of course, all my amazing, intelligent, ambitious, and kind friends without whom I would certainly not be the person I am today.

So thank you to all the women I’ve mentioned, and of course those whom I have not. I am so proud to be a woman among all these beautiful souls.