A Valentine’s Day outfit // scallop hem skirt + heart tights

Happy Friday all! I’ve got another festive Valentine’s Day outfit today, because I can’t help getting into the spirit. I bought these awesome heart tights from Modcloth about a month ago and knew I was going to save them for February. Hope you like this outfit!

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New beginnings & my new year’s resolutions

Oh my! It’s been a crazy year already for me and it’s hardly been two weeks. I’ve been posting a little less than I have in the past because there have been some exciting new events in my life that have kept me busy in a very good way. I thought I’d reflect on them here, and think about my goals for the upcoming year.

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A poem for your weekend: ‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’

Hands up if you love Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d share a favorite poem of mine today, one that I constantly think of, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers.” I love the imagery of hope being a bird, a bird that never asks anything in return, and always comes back to help those who need it most. Just reading this poem is enough to infuse some happiness and hope in me, and it’s ironic and lovely that this poem is, in essence, hope. At least for me! It always lifts my spirits.

I absolutely adore this poem, and I know so many of you do, too! Enjoy, and have a wonderful Saturday! I’ll be celebrating Fourth of July here in the States, so just a lot of barbecue, beach, and beer. = perfect. 😉Read More »

A poem for your Saturday // William Wordsworth

Happy Saturday, everyone. I thought I’d share a poem here today, by one of my favorite poets William Wordsworth.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

william wordsworthI wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

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Inspiration by Paulo Coelho

I’m not one for motivational quotes. Sometimes, I think they’re simplistic and cheesy, but every once in a while, I’ll come across a quote that makes me stop and think and that gives me some hope, strength, or motivation. Usually, these quotes come from books.

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Fashion // Maybe this year

Every year, I look forward to what I’m going to wear for Christmas Day. All my life, I’ve loved to dress up on special occasions, and even on occasions that aren’t that special for obvious reasons, but that feel special to me. I like to dress up just for the sake of it.

So this year, I put together this outfit culled from the presents I received on the day and some affordable pieces from Marshalls and other stores like that. I love how this outfit is sparkly, cute, and chic, but also comfy and affordable. Hope you like it! It would also be a perfect choice for New Year’s Eve!

I also did my eye makeup in a very fun way—with rhinestones on my lids. I got the idea from my favorite beauty vlogger Chloe Morello, who got it from Kylie Jenner’s Halloween costume this year. It was not so easy gluing jewels to my eyes, but hey, the end result was totally worth it. 🙂

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sweater from Marshalls (Abercrombie & Fitch), shoes, necklace, and shorts from Easy Pickins

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Helen of Troy, as told by Margaret Atwood: a poem

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite poems ever. This is “Helen of Troy Does Countertop Dancing” by Margaret Atwood. I’ve been thinking a lot about this poem recently, because I’m reading this book about Helen of Troy through the ages, Beauty, Myth, Devastation by Ruby Blondell.

I first read this poem in college and since Helen of Troy is a source of constant fascination to me, I wanted to share this fantastic, amazing poem and my thoughts. My last essay I ever wrote as an undergrad dealt with Helen and this poem, and it’s been dear to me ever since.

Here it is:

Helen_of_TroyThe world is full of women
who’d tell me I should be ashamed of myself
if they had the chance. Quit dancing.
Get some self-respect
and a day job.
Right. And minimum wage,
and varicose veins, just standing
in one place for eight hours
behind a glass counter
bundled up to the neck, instead of
naked as a meat sandwich.
Selling gloves, or something.
Instead of what I do sell.
You have to have talent
to peddle a thing so nebulous
and without material form.
Exploited, they’d say. Yes, any way
you cut it, but I’ve a choice
of how, and I’ll take the money.

I do give value.
Like preachers, I sell vision,
like perfume ads, desire
or its facsimile. Like jokes
or war, it’s all in the timing.
I sell men back their worse suspicions:
that everything’s for sale,
and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see
a chain-saw murder just before it happens,
when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple
are still connected.
Such hatred leaps in them,
my beery worshippers! That, or a bleary
hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads
and upturned eyes, imploring
but ready to snap at my ankles,
I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge
to step on ants. I keep the beat,
and dance for them because
they can’t. The music smells like foxes,
crisp as heated metal
searing the nostrils
or humid as August, hazy and languorous
as a looted city the day after,
when all the rape’s been done
already, and the killing,
and the survivors wander around
looking for garbage
to eat, and there’s only a bleak exhaustion.
Speaking of which, it’s the smiling
tires me out the most.
This, and the pretence
that I can’t hear them.
And I can’t, because I’m after all
a foreigner to them.
The speech here is all warty gutturals,
obvious as a slab of ham,
but I come from the province of the gods
where meanings are lilting and oblique.
I don’t let on to everyone,
but lean close, and I’ll whisper:
My mother was raped by a holy swan.
You believe that? You can take me out to dinner.
That’s what we tell all the husbands.
There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around.

Not that anyone here
but you would understand.
The rest of them would like to watch me
and feel nothing. Reduce me to components
as in a clock factory or abattoir.
Crush out the mystery.
Wall me up alive
in my own body.
They’d like to see through me,
but nothing is more opaque
than absolute transparency.
Look—my feet don’t hit the marble!
Like breath or a balloon, I’m rising,
I hover six inches in the air
in my blazing swan-egg of light.
You think I’m not a goddess?
Try me.
This is a torch song.
Touch me and you’ll burn.

I love this poem because it’s somewhat an updated interpretation of Helen of Troy’s persona for the 20th century, and also because it makes clear that Helen is still relevant today. We still struggle with gender inequality, and as a society, women are still objectified and reduced to something less than human for expressing sexuality, and are demonized for practicing agency.

Gender norms and sex politics are all there in the story of Helen of Troy, and Margaret Atwood’s take just makes that so much clearer in this poem, rich and striking and beautiful and uncomfortable.

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Fiction Fridays at The Duck & The Owl!

This week, I started contributing short stories/flash fiction for The Duck & The Owl! My stories are now featured in one of their series called “Fiction Fridays,” and they’ll appear a couple times a month alongside other writers. I love it!

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Today, a little something I wrote called “Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme” is up for your perusal. Head to The Duck & The Owl to read it and don’t forget to follow Kaitlyn and Sarah. Their blog is all about positivity, self-love and artistic endeavors.

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Fashion | Because the sky is blue

Continuing my theme of boho style, I put together this outfit with a color I hardly ever use: green. To be fair, this is teal rather than green, but I love it just the same. I’m a very color-oriented person and I tend to go through phases of being obsessed with one color. Right now, it’s turquoise and teal. So that’s two colors. 😉 I also love these floral bitty pointed flats from Forever 21, and I’m obsessed with this diamond/criss-cross necklace I got in my April Rocksbox.

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top and flats from Forever 21, necklace c/o Rocksbox 

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NaNoWriMo and the plotless novel…

I went into Nano completely blind. It was my first, and it followed an intense period of aggressive writer’s block, a.k.a., the “I-would-rather-scrub-the-bathroom-floor-than-write” period. And no, I didn’t even scrub the bathroom floor. But anyway, I didn’t do the October tradition of plotting the novel, nor did I do anything but preliminary research. I just had an idea and ran with it. Well…

After the initial ten days or so I realized I had no plot. I still kind of don’t. And I realized that I wasn’t nervous about it, which comes back to my mindset entering NaNoWriMo. I wanted to give myself the freedom to lose Nano. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to finish 50,000 words by the end of the month and risk burning myself out and not writing again for months. Slow and steady was my motto, and it’s not sucking so far 🙂

I’ve had the time to let the story evolve, and it’s still evolving, still slowly. I’m doing research as I go, which isn’t great for the continuity of the novel but it’s allowed me to grow as a writer. It’s let me find out what my limitations are, how I learn, how I get inspired. It’s also challenged my determination and discipline. I’m still so wrapped up in this story, and Nano or no Nano, I’m so excited to find out where it will take me.