Wow, it has been a bit since I’ve last posted here. August 3, 2017. Let’s see, where does one even begin? In September I moved to a pretty bomb apartment with my childhood best friend. We have sweeping views of Bellingham Bay and it’s a short walk to school. The late summer was filled with lots of last minute hikes, bouldering sessions on the beach, and many haphazard adventures. In the fall, I fell in love with biking again. I pushed the limits of my little racing bike, taking it on muddy trail rides and splashing it through countless puddles around town. But fall wasn’t just all biking, I started to recognize the importance of my Bellingham family. I spent countless evenings having family dinners with my brother and our close friends. And most importantly, in October we welcomed Luna into the clan. She immediately stole everyone’s hearts, despite being a holy terror sometimes.
If I am being completely honest, spring quarter was a hard one for me. I left behind familiarity and friends to seek out something I was passionate about. Environmental studies is not offered at Walla Walla University and overall I was feeling a little trapped. I couldn’t live off campus, I wasn’t able to drive 5 min to see the sea, and I was hours away from home. And I really wish that I could have my friends and still attend the university that was best suited for me. But I couldn’t, so I moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University.
The adjustment period was a bit rough, if you know me at all, then you would know I’m quite introverted. So introverted that I scored the highest on a test I had to do in a health class. So making friends proved to be challenging and not having my study buddies around made things worse. But I’ve managed and now I am here, done with spring qtr.
I was flipping through my bullet journal on Saturday evening and came across a page of quotes from April of last year. The one that stuck out to me the most said…
“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
It’s a quote by Roald Dahl. And it was a simple reminder to run full speed ahead at the things I’m passionate about. It reminded me that I haven’t done any community service or volunteer work in almost a year and that I miss it dearly. It made me realize that I shouldn’t hold back my passion for creating and that I should embrace it. And most importantly it reminded me to run towards a major in environmental studies wholeheartedly. I’ve been holding back, sulking, and getting lost in it all. But sometimes we just need a gentle to reminder to focus on a few things and do them well in life.
So this week, I encourage you to be an enthusiast about your life. Find your passions in life and seek them out wholeheartedly.
Etsy is one of my favorite places to shop. I like being able to support makers and creators while also finding really unique and beautiful items. So in honor of my love for Etsy, I thought I would start a series to share some of my favorites that I find on Etsy. Lately I’ve been in love with all the feminist related items on Etsy, so this weeks theme is all about the advocacy of women’s rights.
I feel like I say this every month, but it feels like May has slipped through my fingers. I can’t believe that it is already June! June is probably my favorite month, something about the weather, all the delicious fruit that starts ripening, oh and my birthday…! Anyways, this isn’t all about June yet, so let’s get back to my favorites for May.
Uncle Harry’s toothpaste – This toothpaste has been absolutely amazing. I picked it up when I was starting to run out of my old toothpaste that came in a plastic tube. This comes in a glass jar, which I love, but when I first started it using it, it felt a bit strange. The essential oils make it extremely minty and the texture is quite different, but now I wouldn’t imagine going back to conventional toothpaste. My teeth have never felt healthier and it does an excellent job at leaving your teeth sparklingly fresh. I’m sad that I am nearly out, but before I rebuy it I am going to attempt a DIY version. But I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a pre-made zero waste or a natural version for conventional toothpaste.
Nubian Heritage Mango Butter Scrub – This body scrub is a m a z i n g ….. It makes your skin feel and smell amazing! I like to pair it with some baking soda to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize my skin. I honestly can’t get over how soft it makes my skin. It is another one that I would love to attempt a DIY version so I can avoid the plastic packaging, but I don’t think I could recreate the amazing smell. I would definitely give it a try, especially if you have dry skin. ( I have oily skin, so that is why I pair it with the baking soda)
Shea Butter African Black Soap (lemongrass citrus) – I just started using this soap towards the end of the month when I ran out of my liquid body was from Alaffia, and Oh Mah God. This stuff is amazing. I was looking for a new body soap that didn’t come in plastic packaging but wanted to stick with this brand, because I absolutely love their products. This soap delivers my friend, it is cleansing, yet still moisturizing and leaves me wondering why I didn’t switch to this bar soap sooner. For added benefit, I hang it in a mesh cotton bag, which keeps it contained and also exfoliates my skin. And it comes in wrapped in paper, which is pretty good as far as zero waste beauty products go. 10/10 would recommend, especially with the mesh bag.
Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig Bars – I know, doesn’t really fit with my movement toward living a less wasteful life, but they are so good…. They are a way tastier version of fig newtons and they’ve definitely been a life saver on days when I am too busy to pack food to take to campus. They are a still going to be a favorite, despite the waste they create. But I definitely need to a find a better solution for next month.
Home Brewed Kombucha – If you are a kombucha lover, then I highly recommend searching your local craigslist and investing a few dollars in a scooby. Brewing your own kombucha is really simple and in the end is so much cheaper than buying it at the store. And it also is way less wasteful because you can buy your tea and sugar in bulk, brew it and store it in glass jars. If you live in the Bellingham area, let me know if you need a scooby, with each new batch I end up with more babies than I know what to do with.
Still Water Earrings – I picked up these beauties at the farmers market, and they are the first pair of earrings that I actually love. They are dangly, yet simple, and most importantly comfortable and cute! Unfortunately, you can’t purchase them online, but if you are ever in Bellingham on a Saturday, hit up the farmer’s market and check out the jewelry stalls. There are tons of options and they are all handmade!
Merrell Mix Master Move Glide Trail Running Shoes – Does this even count as fashion? Probably better suited in the health category, but whateverrrr. These trail running shoes are my new fav closed toed shoes. Lab day was painful before these beauties entered my life and I hiking ceased to exist before I got these. I was a lucky duck and got these on sale at REI, but these shoes are so good that I would probably pay full price now that I know. They are minimal, yet still, give support and there was no “break in” period. You know, the time when you get ugly blisters and question if it is really worth it? Anyway, these are the first pair of running shoes I’ve ever loved whole heartedly. Summer trail runs here I come!
Salt Lamp – I had been curious about salt lamps for a while, but not due to their supposed health benefits, but rather for the warm and comforting light they emit. I bought this one off of a friend who was moving away and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s perfect to turn on in the evenings right before bed because it is a dim warm light that doesn’t mess with your body. I would highly recommend getting one if you are looking for some nice dim room lighting.
Rabbits – I stumbled across this podcast and I was instantly hooked. If you are into mystery and intrigue, definitely give it a listen. For added fun, listen to it while walking to it alone it the forest. Definitely, adds to the scary element.
“When Carly Parker’s friend Yumiko goes missing under very mysterious circumstances, Carly’s search for her friend leads her headfirst into a ancient mysterious game known only as Rabbits. Soon Carly begins to suspect that Rabbits is much more than just a game, and that the key to understanding Rabbits, might be the key to the survival of our species, and the Universe, as we know it.”
S-Town – Another great podcast, which I promptly completed in a couple of days.
“John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.”
Ponzi Supernova – These episodes are so short its a crime, but nevertheless it is another captivating podcast. It is still coming out, so a great podcast to start for the month of June.
Bernie Madoff Speaks.
“Was his $65 billion fraud a freak occurrence, or destined to be repeated? An exclusive audio investigation into the dark interior of our financial systems.”
I can’t believe it’s May already! Last month was crazy. Between adjusting to my new life in Bellingham and starting my first quarter at Western Washington University, April just seemed to fly by.
First up on my list of favorites, is the ring pictured above. After living here for a couple of weeks, I noticed that a lot of people were wearing layers of lots of really cool rings. So when I stumbled upon this one at the farmers market, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Continue reading →
Gurl, you are already fabulous just the way you are. Don’t listen to the media! Say no to all their silly little products because you are perfect already without them. Not only will it be better for you, but it will also be better for the environment.
So I’ve been a little absent lately, but nevertheless I have been busy. Since I’ve last posted, I have finished my last quarter at Walla Walla University and have transferred to my new university. (And done a whole of other things in between…) That whole process involved moving from Walla Walla to home to Bellingham. It has been a stressful couple of weeks, but ultimately I know that I am doing the right thing. Transferring to Western is one of the best choices that I have made for myself in awhile, despite the fact that I am starting over completely.
It is scary to go where not many people go. I came from a conservative private school and not many people attended public universities. I am one of the very few from my class that branched out and even so, it took me two quarters at the wrong university to figure out that I wanted something different. I’ve not even been here a week and I am already loving it. It is scary as hell, I know like 3 people and they are all upperclassmen. Then there is me… a lowly freshman who tends to get lost every 3 seconds. But despite being friendless, lost, and very confused, I know that this is the right place for me.
I am slowly transitioning (…or maybe not so slowly) into the person I’ve always wanted to be, but never felt that I could be.
At my previous university I was required to have a mentor who was overly religious and quite judgmental of my choices. Our last meeting ended in an explosion of her passive aggressively disproving of my life and not understanding my choice. Fast forward to my first day here and I was getting my ears pierced and my brother and I came up with a great idea of writing a blog called A Letter to My Mentor. And although I won’t make a whole new blog, I am thinking of posting about my life here in bellingham in a series called A Letter to My Mentor. And if I keep it up, it will be a really nice way to look back on this big, exciting, and important part of my life.
So right now that is me. I can’t promise consistent posts, as I am still getting settled, but I hope that soon I can get back to regular posts.
I spend years with a closet full of clothes and a desire to keep buying more, yet simultaneously feeling like I had nothing to wear to everyday. Last year I bought a book by Mari Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After reading it, I got rid of some clothes and other possessions, but I still couldn’t get rid of somethings even if they didn’t bring me any joy. I spend another fall buying more clothes for my first quarter in college. I always felt like I had a lot of clothes, but I was in for a surprise when I met my roommate. There is no judgement here, but she had considerably more clothes than I did. This made me feel somewhat better, but I was still struggling to get ready in the morning, and I wasn’t loving what I came up with either.
Fast forward to christmas break, I was surfing through Netflix looking for something to watch while I was knitting. I remembered bookmarking a documentary called The True Cost awhile ago and so I decided to finally watch it. Upon finishing it, I felt completely different. All of the sudden I had no desire to go out and purchase more clothes or shop at stores that support fast fashion. The documentary had gotten me on a roll and I started watching Youtube videos about sustainable fashion. After a couple of days, I decided that I didn’t want to buy anything new that would support fast fashion. But I didn’t stop there, it was another day and I was searching for an another documentary. This time I stumbled upon one about minimalism. After finishing it, I felt ready to make some big changes. I started with my old room at home and started getting rid of things that no longer brought me joy or no longer served a purpose for me. By the time I was done I felt like a big weight had been lifted off of me. Instead of my clothes lying in a heap, I laid them out on the floor and every morning it was easy to pick what I wanted to wear because all the items that laid before me, were pieces that I loved.
When I got back to my dorm room I spend several hours, packing away anything that didn’t bring me joy and unpacking and organizing that things that did. And since then, everyday it has taken me seconds to pick out my clothes and I don’t feel uncomfortable or mismatched like I use to. I even found ways to pair pieces that I loved, but never wear…like the skirt pictured above. I wear that outfit every week now, alternating between a black or a grey sweater.
Eventually I would like to try out the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I counted the pieces that I have currently in my closet and it totals up to around 50 pieces including shoes and not including workout clothes and I still have some summer clothes stored away at home. I think it would be cool to try project 333, but I haven’t decided yet.
The other really cool thing that I’ve noticed since paring down my possessions is how its affect my anxiety. I feel less anxious everyday. I’m not worried about how I look anymore, because I love all the pieces in my closet, and I’m not faced with extra decisions everyday that can lead to ramping up my anxiety. I discovered that something as simple as getting ready each day was actually starting my day with a dose of anxiety. I had too many choices and it was always overwhelming. But now my day starts out easy and stress free.
This month I finished two really great books; All the Light We Cannot See and Euphoria. All the Light We Cannot See came to me highly recommended and it turned out to be one of those books where when you start reading it you just can’t stop! It is set during World War II and follows the story of a blind girl and an orphan and their lives throughout the war. Heart wrenching and captivating, would recommend to anyone looking for a good book. (Note: It is not historically factual…)
Euphoria was almost equally as good, but a little more heavy. It’s about three anthropologists and their adventures in New Guinea. Here is a description I found that sums it up much better than I could have…
“English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. Haunted by the memory of his brothers’ deaths and increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, he is on the verge of suicide when an encounter with colleagues, the controversial Nell Stone and her wry, mercurial husband Fen, pulls him back from the brink.”
One of my new years resolutions was to read more, I made a particular goal to read at least one book a month . That doesn’t seem like a lot, but I wanted to give myself an attainable goal to accomplish each month, despite if my life gets busy. Having said that, I think that I am off to a safe start on my goal. 1 month down, 11 more to go!
Let me know what books you read this month and if you have any recommendation for me on books to read next month.
I’ve been using the bullet journal method for almost a year now. My first entry was for the month of April and over the months I’ve figured out layouts that I like. I definitely no longer follow the template, but rather just make up layouts that work best for me. Pictured below are a few of my current favorite pages.