Call Me Human

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Over the past week, I’ve seen a lot of back and fourth about every facet regarding the introduction of Caitlyn Jenner to the world. “She’s not a hero”. “It’s not natural”. “God doesn’t make mistakes, he brings you into this world the way you are supposed to be”. I held off on writing about this, because I don’t believe unless I have PERSONALLY been through that same struggle, I really don’t have the right to cast my judgement or negative opinions on it. However, seeing as this will be my last post on my this blog (see end of post for exciting news!), I wanted it to mean something.

1) ” She Is Not a Hero”

My timeline has been flooded with photos of soldiers in combat, bleeding for their country, with the caption “THIS is a hero, not Caitlyn Jenner!”. Soldiers are probably the most heroic and brave humans on this planet, and we should thank them every day for our freedom. However, bravery comes in many different forms. The kid who stands up to his bullies is brave. The 18-year-old that decides to enlist is brave. The 20 -something that needs to start over and moves to better their life, is brave. The single mother who raises her children on her own is brave. Caitlyn Jenner is brave. How dare people deem her bravery and struggles not good enough to be qualified as a hero. Just because it does not effect you personally, does not mean her honesty will not save thousands of lives. Have compassion for the people that this means something to. No-one is saying Caitlyn is more brave than a soldier, but her own kind of bravery is going to make this a better world for so many people that have been waiting so long for it.

2) “God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, She Was Born a Man on Purpose”

Believe it or not, Jesus was actually there when Caitlyn was created- we were not. He knows the plans God has for Caitlyn and her life. He formed Caitlyn perfectly in his mother’s womb. Because Caitlyn was created by the Father, he looks at her and loves her. If the Father loves Caitlyn, and we love the Father, why do so many throw so much pompous hate her way? As Christians, we are told to love one another. Period. There is no * there. Nothing to tell us that we do not have not love people we believe are bigger sinners than us. Mind you that “Love” is not synonymous with “Agree”. It means you can still show compassion and love, even to those you do not agree with. I disagree with people I love all the time. With their choices, words, outfits (yes, outfits), but I still love them. What kind of monster would I be if I stopped loving someone because they wore Crocs?

3) “Who cares!!!”

The 41% of transgender people that have attempted suicide, care. Again, just because Caitlyn means nothing to you, it does not give you the right to diminish what she means to others. While you are all warm and cozy in your bed comfortable with your sexuality and gender, be thankful. Be thankful you can live your life freely and openly without others posting articles on Facebook belittling your human dignity.

At the end of the day, we are all entitled to our own opinion. However, do not confuse having an opinion for having the right to sit on your high horse and judge someone else’s struggles and pain. Show the love, kindness and compassion you would want if you were not “the norm”. There is too much hate in this world already to have it in ourselves.

“I’m not sure there is anything worse than causing those whom God loves, to question whether God loves them.”

PS- Here’s that exciting news! Over the past few months, I have been working with my incredibly talented friend, Leah, to start my own website! Look out for the launch soon!

Enough is Enough.

The other day, I stumbled upon a blog entitled “When Women Refuse“. I went through pages and pages of heart-wrenching stories of women being assaulted, beaten, and even killed when they refused a man’s advances. I became absolutely sick to my stomach reading those stories, thinking how those horrible things could happen to any girl I know.

There has been a lot of national attention on rape culture lately, and I am proud to see women and men around the world joining together for such an important cause. While my blood is nice and boiling, I’ve decided to compile a list for men and boys of all ages to showcase how absolutely ridiculous their entitled behavior can be:

DISCLAIMER: I am not a “man-hater”. I am just fed up with story after story of male abuse. We all should be.

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1) Women are NOT objects. We are human beings, just like your mother, sisters, aunts, etc. My female status does not make me any less of a person.

2) The way we dress does not give you permission to touch our bodies or call us names. If I want to wear a short skirt, I should be able to wear it without the connotation that I am ready for you to approach me with sexual advances. It also does not make me a slut, or a whore. It makes me a person wearing clothes of my choosing.

3) A woman’s purpose in this world is not to serve a man. If I am in a loving relationship, I will do everything I can to show how much I care, love and respect my man. Women are here to do a lot of stuff greater than getting sandwiches or stroking egos.

4) WOMEN DO NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING. UNLESS YOU ARE INVITED, YOUR MALE STATUS DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO TOUCH MY BODY. IT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO REACT POORLY IF I POLITELY DECLINE YOUR ADVANCES. All the same, my territory as a woman doesn’t grant me permission to be a bee-otch, unless provoked.

5) That being said, if we politely decline you, do the same and politely respect our choice. It is not personal, it is us simply choosing to not accept that drink, want to dance, etc. If you are such a “man”, I am sure you will find another girl in no time.

* As women/humans, we do need to remember to be kind and polite to ALL people, even if it is some guy at a bar you are just not interested in. But if he crosses the line, all bets are off.

6) Men, I realize it takes courage to walk up to a girl and strike up a conversation. But getting angry, calling her names, creepily commenting on her body as if you have a right to it is going to get you NOWHERE. You wonder why you have to be a coward and force yourself on girls? It’s because you’re a Grade A Douche who can’t get anyone to consent. Being a gentleman goes a long way, just like being a kind woman does.

7) My body parts are not for ownership, except by me. There is nothing more insulting than a man grabbing my butt in a bar because he feels he has the right to because his is a man, GOD’S GREATEST GIFT TO EARTH.

8) This isn’t quite a statement, but a question. Men, when has cat calling, booty grabbing, trash talking a woman EVER WORKED FOR YOU. I’m serious- when is the last time you passed a girl and said “hey sexy” and she turned around and went home with you? My guess is never, because now that girl hates you and is preparing her pepper spray.

9) Every girl insulted and assaulted has a mother, father, sister, brother, etc. She has a family. How would you feel if a woman in your family was treated the same way?

10) Being a dick to girls does not make you cool, it does not make you seem dominant or any more of a man. A real man treats women with respect, as a real woman treats men with respect.

I am lucky enough to know many men that are pure gentlemen. And unfortunately I do see a lot of them get pushed aside for the bad guys. I get it. Dating and sex are a tough game to play. But when does the bad guy ever win? When does he ever live happily ever after? Men, please do not succumb to asserting your “male dominance” to get the girl. It has never worked, and nor will it as now more than ever, we are fighting back.

 emma

 

I got that Wintertime, Wintertime dry skin/chapped lips/ static hair

It is my pre-New Year’s resolution to write more. I love writing and sharing my obviously important insight with you all, but I also love Netflix, binge eating and bar-hopping, and I somehow I always find those more often.

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As Winter creeps up on us like Kim Kardashian’s ass on my timeline, I start to search for new Winter products. Like many of you I’m sure, my skin, hair and lips go into a full catastrophic meltdown at the first gust of bitter winter air.

Over the years, I’ve formed an arsenal of winter-proof products that keep me from being scalier than that Komodo Dragon Bindi Irwin used to sing about (If no-one else remembers that, I’m extremely embarrassed for myself).

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1) Due to the popularity of tights (Thank you God), women shaving their legs in the winter is at an all time low. And although I own tights more opaque than a window tint, I still try my best to keep my gams in line. Not even for the man in my life, but mostly for the girl who does my pedicures.

Image_1_Pomegranate_Raspberry_with_Razor_rev_17EOS Shave Cream$3.49.

This product is a miracle. An absolute MIRACLE. You really don’t have to use much, but it leaves your legs smoother than that first time you shaved in middle school and could finally wear skirts (Hollister here I come!!).

2) My face never fails to get incredibly dry November-March. So dry that I try not to stand too close to anyone so they can’t tell. My boyfriend doesn’t get kissed for a solid 3 months.

However now I’m macking away because this product has SAVED ME. It softly removes any dead skin and leaves you with a fresh, polished face. 100% worth the price, and I only needed to use it about 2x a week for great results.

 

s1314723-main-LheroLaura Mercier Face Polish$32.00.

3) STATIC HAIR. There’s really nothing else to say. I was turned onto this tip last year by a friend who was probably trying to drop a hint that my hair looked like some kid’s that kept his hand on that ball at the science center for too long. Throw a dryer sheet in your bag and run it through your hair to get rid of static. These are great because they don’t leave behind any fragrance.

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Bounce Free & Sensitive Dryer Sheets$8.59.

4) Anyone that knows me knows that my number one priority and love in life is chapstick. I can’t be more than 5 feet away from it at all times. I keep multiple tubes in my car, desk, purse, nightstand, etc. just to assure I am never without. I’ve tried just about every balm on the market and this one still reigns supreme. My lips never get chapped or dry, and a little goes a long way.

aquaphorAquaphor$4.99.

5) The best hand lotion I’ve ever had comes from the same brand as my game-changing shave cream- eos. I first loved the small size and slimness of the packaging (ideal for coat pockets), but I really went head over heels for the insane amount of moisture it gives my poor cuticles and hands. Plus it doesn’t smell like Christmas threw up on me.

 

EOSEOS Hand Cream$1.99

Winter can be such a harsh, cruel time here in the Mid-West, so anything to help me survive is KEY. Just remember when all else fails, Florida is only a plane ride away, but vodka is cheaper and closer.

celine

Fall Needs (Yes, NEEDS)

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Fall is without a doubt my favorite season. The weather, the fashion, the football, the snacks that come with watching football, etc. For some odd reason, whenever I think about Fall fashion, I think about what I would want to wear as I scarf down a dozen doughnuts at the Cider Mill (I need therapy). My excitement for the season is building, so I’ve already picked out some pieces I feel I need to complete the vision of drowning myself in fresh cider:

 

1) Rebecca Minkoff ” Mini 5- Zip” Convertible Crossbody Bag: $129 ( special Nordstrom Anniversary sale price!)

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Optimal for free hands to carry more doughnuts. Plus this beautiful grey sleet color will go with everything.

 

2) TopShop for Nordstrom “Mine” Ankle Boot: $130.00 

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I’ve been looking for a brown ankle bootie that doesn’t cut me off at a place that makes me look like i have cankles, this may be them.

 

3) Laundry by Shelli Segal Tweed Single Breasted Reefer Coat: $100 (Another Nordstrom Anniversary sale item!)

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I love experimenting with menswear in the fall, this coat is the perfect piece to play around with.

 

4) J. Crew Merino Asymmetrical Zip Sweater: $89.50

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Love this heather color, would be great unzipped with a silk tee underneath and boyfriend jeans.

 

5) Club Monaco Bria Belt: $69.50

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A little expensive for a belt (hello student discount!), but I think I would get a lot of mileage out of this one!

 

6) Zara Faux Leather Dress: $79.90

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The perfect leather dress to transition from Fall to Winter (A single tear streamed down my face as I typed that word).

 

 Total amount (with student discounts, sale prices that may not be listed): around $500. I’ve recently purged my closet (quality over quantity people!), and I gave myself a budget of $450 for new Fall staples. A litttlleee over budget, so I sold a Kate Spade handbag on ebay that I love, but rarely ever use for the extra dough.

Great rule of thumb to follow: when you gain a piece, give away or sell a piece. Keeps you from hoarding and cluttering your space with things you don’t wear! Except for my haven’t worn since ’99 “Limited Too” *Nsync Shirt. That beauty is here to stay.

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How To Be A Morning Person (or at least how to fake it).

Anyone that knows me knows that a bomb could go off, a tornado could rip through my house and Karl Lagerfeld could be splashing me with water and I STILL probably wouldn’t wake up. What can I say? I LOVE SLEEP. I love it so much that I commit to long hours of it and frequently (naps are gifts from God). This makes it extremely difficult for me to get up in the morning to get ready for work. “But Alex! You’re an adult, you should be able to get up on your own!” You don’t get it, I.LOVE.SLEEP.

Over time, I’ve had to come up with fool-proof ways to get me out of bed and to be happy about it. Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks can actually turn you into a morning person, or at least fake it long enough to get you to work on time and looking refreshed.

 

 

Actual Morning Person:

1) I used to keep my phone next to my bed and use it as my alarm. The second it went off, I turned off the volume button and returned to my cruel mistress, sleep. Needless to say, that wasn’t working for me. Even putting my phone across the room didn’t work. So I invested in an ACTUAL alarm clock. Yes, they still make them. I got this one at Anthropologie. It looks adorable on my dresser and there is no way I am sleeping through that thing. I also tried waking up to the radio on my iHome. It worked some days, but other days I fell back asleep listening to the “blah blah.. Kim Kardashian..blah…cat befriends walrus..blah blah..”.

modern-clocks

$38.00

Anthropologie, http://www.anthropologie.com

2) Put a speaker in your bathroom. If you’re like me, I shower every morning before work. I use this simple one from C. Wonder. I just put my iPhone in it and blast some serious jams while I’m in the shower. No batteries, no cords, simple yet effective. There is no way in hell I’m not having a good day when I’m blaring 112’s “Peaches & Cream”.

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$7.99- on sale for another 50% off right now!

C.Wonder, http://www.cwonder.com

3) I know this is a weird tip, but my mom told me to do it and it works. When you’re in the shower, or after washing your face, try smiling. Just smile a big, cheesy, borderline-creepy grin. Most of us have the same, “oh my God I can’t believe I have to work” frown on our face all morning. Just smiling a few times relieves the stress of the morning hustle and makes you just a bit happier. It works and my mom was right, PER USUAL.

 

How to Fake It:

There are just some mornings that not even coffee or funny cat videos can fix. For that, I have to cheat a little.

1) I put my face primer in the fridge. If you’re not using face primer before you put on your makeup, SHAME ON YOU. It makes your makeup go on so smooth and gives you a great base. Putting it in the fridge makes it nice and chilly, so when I put it on my face it really wakes me up. My all time favorite is Bare Minerals Prime Time Brightening Foundation Primer.

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$24.00

Bare Escentuals, http://www.bareescentuals.com

2) I like to shower everyday, but sometimes I wake up, turn on the shower, laugh, and turn it back off. No time to shower, but plenty of time to still look good! I recently Discovered Oribe Texturizing Spray. It’s great on clean hair too to add some oomph, but I also use it as a dry shampoo on second-day hair. I spray it on my roots and wherever I want volume, throw it up in a messy ballerina bun (steps below work perfect for me) and I’m done. (ballerina buns usually take me a few tries, I  blame taking Jazz/HipHop instead of Ballet when I was 7).

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                              $42.00

Blue Mercury, http://www.bluemercury.com

3) Brighten your peepers. I use Benefits Watts Up! Highlighter on the inside corner of my eyes. It instantly brightens them up and hides the fact that I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix (still can’t cope with Lexi dying..Shonda Rhimes is a BETCH).

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$30

Sephora, http://www.benefitcosmetics.com

 

4) You didn’t shower, so you probably smell just a little. No need to take an Irish Shower and douse yourself in perfume (note, co-workers WILL NOTICE and no-one likes Flowerbomb THAT much) .Body wipes make you feel fresh and clean when you don’t have time for the real thing.

01-totalbeauty-logo-feb-must-buys$3.29

Drugstores

5) My new favorite trick that I swear by: blow dry your eye-lash curler (Thanks LC). I blast my lash-curler (I live by Tweezerman Procurl) for a few seconds, then wait about 20 more seconds to curl. I promise you, your lashes will curl and look SO.MUCH.BETTER. Eyes will look instantly more alive. Just add a few coats of mascara (Covergirls’ Lash Blast is bomb.com) and you look like you just got back from 6 weeks at Promises Resort (for a shopping addition…not boxed wine…).

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                                 $20                                                                                                       $6.99

                               Sephora, http://www.Sephora.com                                                       Drugstores

 

Just try ONE of these things this week and I guarantee you’ll have a little more pep in your step in the morning. At the very least listen to 112’s Peaches &Cream. It will change your morning and possibly your entire outlook on life.

58 Essential Dance GIFs

Equality for Taco Waffles.. and Michael Sam.

 

These past few weeks, I’ve been truly saddened and angered by the people in this country. Of course I’ve always known that there are people out there that are “against gay people” (really though, how is that even a thing), but recent events have really brought to light the horrible amount of hate that is projected not just onto fellow Americans, but fellow humans.

Obviously, the recent event that I’m referring to is the Michael Sam kiss seen around the world. Comments on every news article include “GROSS!” “I DIDN’T WANT TO SEE THAT” “THAT IS A SIN!”. You wanna know what? I’m not even mad at those people. You can have your beliefs, I can have mine. It’s the people that say “Nothing against gays… but I didn’t want my kids to see that! How am I supposed to explain that to them!?” that really make me angrier than Solange in an elevator. Or Michelle Williams. She has a lot to be angry about.

1) You do have something against “the gays”. Stop lying to make yourself feel like a better person.

2) DON’T BE A LAZY PARENT. It is your job to explain things to your children. If they ask about Michael Sam, chances are you won’t have to explain anything even related to sex or even this kiss itself- just that a man loves a man. Kids are extremely accepting- if you teach them to be. No kid is born a homophobe or a racist. Those behaviors are taught. The whole “my kids shouldn’t have to see that” is an excuse to make your children as intolerant as you are.

Now I’m not for gay rights or gay marriage because I have gay friends- but because I am a human being that thinks everyone should be treated equally. It truly blows my mind that people care so much about something that has nothing to do with them. It blows my mind even more that as a free country, we even have to VOTE on whether a group of HUMANS get the same right as everyone else.

You don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry a gay person. You don’t think gay people should adopt kids? Don’t adopt a kid with a gay person. You don’t like to watch Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend? Change the channel. You don’t want your kids to see that? Stop worrying about what they might see and use this as an opportunity to teach compassion and kindness. I won’t say tolerance, because we shouldn’t have be taught to “tolerate” any one group of people. Except Nickleback/Creed fans.

I do love this country. I love being able to order a grilled cheese to my house at 4 a.m. and I love that I can get a taco waffle when I wake up (U.S.A! U.S.A!), and I know the good will always, ALWAYS, outweigh the bad. But this country could be a lot more awesome if we could just accept one another, regardless of who they are designed to love. Then maybe, JUST MAYBE, when your kid sees a woman sharing one of those taco waffles with another woman, they won’t bat an eye.

 

Social Bul-media.

Social-Media-Addiction

My day usually goes something like this: wake up, refresh Twitter, shower, refresh Facebook, go to work, refresh, refresh, send an email, refresh, REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH- until I am completely burnt out on what all my friends, strangers and celebrities are up to.  I used to enjoy seeing photos of that kid from high school’s cool dinner, or what my favorite blogger wore that day. However, I’ve noticed recently that social media no longer makes me happy, it’s making me feel inadequate.

As women (and men!), we are under enough pressure as is. Pressure to have the perfect hair, a great outfit, perfect make-up, a toned body, and the list goes on and on. Now, I’ve never held myself to the standard of being perfect- because I know that’s unattainable. I just do my thing and hold enough confidence to be myself and work with what I’ve got.

However, that confidence diminishes when I go on Instagram and I see my favorite bloggers perfectly polished outfit,  frizz-free hairdo and pore-less face. The outfit that I loved when I got dressed in the morning becomes suddenly not trendy enough, my new haircut is deemed as lame and I start researching the latest craze in skin care (FYI, it’s rubbing coffee on your nose with lemon- DOESN’T WORK…says a friend).

Then I go on Twitter and see my friend started her day with an egg white scramble and a protein shake. Great, now I feel fat because I had a bagel for breakfast. She’s got abs and I’ve got cream cheese on my shirt. So I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work and never eat Einstein’s again.

Then I get on Facebook and see that annoying couple post a PERFECT photo of them in a field or some sh$# and I think, “why don’t I have cute pictures like that?” “Why am I not having a picnic in an old industrial building with perfect lighting?”(But then I usually go back to gagging at the making-out photos and feel thankful that my relationship is a blast- with or without photos with lyrics underneath).

Every single time I refresh the page, my confidence decays just a little bit and I wish I could be more like anyone but me. I’m sure there’s plenty of people out there that don’t feel this way, but for the millions of us that hold some insecurities, enough is enough.

This morning, I had an Epiphany mid Instagram binge. All these social media sites are for the HIGHLIGHTS of our life. No-one is posting pictures of themselves popping a pimple or looking like a wet rat when they get out of the shower or fighting with their BAE<3. We will never get to see those things that inevitably, everyone goes through- so we forget that they exist for everyone. We see ourselves look less that perfect and doing less than awesome things everyday. It’s truly destructive to always be comparing our lows to someone’s highs.

So many people portray their lives to be perfect online- they made the perfect meal, had the perfect workout, wore the perfect outfit. I’m happy for you really, I am! We should all be proud of the cool stuff we do and accomplish. But I’ll no longer make myself believe that’s how your life is all the time. You’re showing me your highs, and you deserve the right to keep your lows private.

I’m guilty of this too, I know. I’ll post pictures of the great sweater I wore and how good my hair looked that day, but there’s no way you’re going to see me in my 2007 Paul Frank Jammies with a seaweed mask on eating cookie dough by the roll- but know that that does happen 1-2x a week. But now when I refresh the page and see that bloggers stellar “just-woke-up-perfectly-curled!” hair, I’ll know that she probably slept with her mouth open and drooled everywhere, just like the rest of us.

Photo by Sathish Issac