Friday, March 30, 2012

On admiration.

We all have someone we admire. Perhaps it is for their work ethic, or their confidence, or their superb sense of style, or their success... or perhaps just their happiness. Admiration is, I think, a healthy motivation to keep moving forward, but it can also be terribly counterproductive and even unhealthy.

As I said, admiration is healthy -- obsession and idolization are not. Often, when we discover someone to admire, we set them up on a pedestal. It seems they have no faults or flaws, that they never hit obstacles, and that they could not ever be anything but fabulous, all the time. This, of course, is utterly untrue. Even those people who seem like they really have their lives together stumble sometimes. For example, one of my favorite bloggers, a photographer with impeccable fashion and a great sense of humour, who always seems to be living a perfect life, recently posted about how her severe anxiety is turning her life upside down.

It's more than heartening to know that all of these "perfect" people I so admire have issues exactly like mine. But without that post, I would never have known -- in this way, the internet can be wholly misleading. Admiring someone you don't know in real life, such as a celebrity or blogger, is often a set-up for unrealistic expectations. If you knew someone in person, you would see them with less-than-perfect hair, or under stress, or failing to meet a goal. But if you don't, you're only seeing the little bits of them they've hand-selected for you and broadcasted. In this way, millions of people are mislead into thinking they are "not creative enough" or "not smart enough" or "not rich enough" or "not pretty enough" or "not happy enough" to be as successful as their role models.

Tied in with these feelings of irrelevancy, many people will try to be "creative enough" or "pretty enough" or "happy enough" by copying exactly what their role model does. This is where we get trends, and trends get boring fast. Not only will you not have success copying others, it hinders your own creative spirit and overall self-esteem. You are your own person, unique to everyone else, and although we all may share certain things in common, what makes you precisely happy, your niche in life, is different from everyone around you. It's up to you to take inspiration, figure a few things out and rush full steam ahead into your dreams.

Did you hear that? Your dreams. Not anyone else's. Yours. If you follow them, some day you'll become someone to admire, if you aren't already! There are plenty of "practical" people who will sneer at those who blindly follow their passion and intuition until they find happiness. And sure, your dreams may not be completely clear. They probably won't be easy to reach, either. But if you are committed, and are truly carving out your own path in the tangled jungle of life, you will succeed.

It's a wonderful thing, to have figures in your life you can look up to and aspire to be like. But think carefully on that: aspire to be like them. Not to be them. Everyone is flawed, everyone has bad days, and everyone successful had to climb a long ladder to get to where they are. So take inspiration and set some goals, but remember: as fantastic as it may seem to be someone else, there is no one more rewarding to be than you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Miniature Key-Lime Pies

These tiny treats are not only delicious, quick, easy, and filling, but healthy, too! In fact, this recipe totals up to less than 200 calories--not to mention all the protein and nutrients in the yogurt!

-key lime Greek yogurt
-mini graham-cracker crusts
-whipped cream

1. Spoon yogurt into the pie crust until it is level with the edge. I used about half the container, which is maybe half a cup of yogurt.
2. Squirt whipped cream over the whole thing.
3. Enjoy! These little pies are ready to eat right away.

Alternately, make these pies with lemon Greek yogurt, or any other flavour of your choice! :)

As you may have noticed, I'm on a bit of a recipe kick lately! As well as a health kick - nutrition is fascinating me at the moment. While I get my spring cleaning done and resettle into daily routine, I probably will be posting less/mostly outfits and recipes. After these next two weeks I'll most likely be back on track, with lots of cute DIY ideas!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A stormy Sunday

"It's out of focus because that's hipster"

Pete and I spent a while at Starbucks on this gloomy Sunday before doing some spring cleaning in my train-wreck of a bedroom. It's a beautiful building with an even more beautiful courtyard outside, including an extremely beautiful tree that Pete wouldn't let me climb because the employees would yell at me. Psh, safety hazards are irrelevant. It was a perfect climbing tree.

And, only because I love you guys so much.... an extremely terrifying picture of Pete and I. 

Converse Shirt: Forever 21
Denim Vest: Forever 21
Jeans: PacSun
Docs: gifted
Crossbody bag (not pictured): TJ Maxx

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Zucchini Muffins, anyone?

Hello, all! This morning I am here to share with you one of my absolute favorite bread recipes from the, er, well-loved family cookbook. Zucchini muffins may sound disgusting to you, but as the world's pickiest eater it is some of the most delicious bread I've ever tasted, so I'm sure you'll adore it. Plus, it's a much healthier snack substitute than what you may usually munch on!

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 cup finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
¼ cup cooking oil
1 egg
¼ tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1. Preheat oven to 350° and line muffin tin with paper baking cups (or, if making zucchini bread, grease and 8x4x2-inch loaf pan).
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. 
3. In another mixing bowl, combine sugar, shredded zucchini, cooking oil, egg, and lemon peel; mix well.
4. Add dry ingredient mixture, stir until just combined.
5. Pour batter into muffin tins, about ¾ full. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (if making zucchini bread, bake for 55 to 60 minutes). Cool before eating.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

On living without borders

Humans can't stand the unknown. This is why we live in a society dictated by rules and neat little categories. We label, we judge, and even the nonconformists conform in a sense. It's a sad thing, but the majority of the world, myself included, feel the need to define themselves, pin themselves down. We read books about coming of age, and the implication is that as you grow up, you will come to know yourself and your niche in the world. In reality, the opposite is true.

It's hilariously ironic and difficult to accept, but the only thing you can ever be completely certain about is that you can never be completely sure about anything. The only constant in this world is change. This is why it's so absolutely absurd to try to define yourself or anything else. I don't know if other people feel the same, but in my opinion, every second I am alive leaves me an utterly different person than I was the last.

However, as creatures programmed to label, unable to cope without boundaries, this concept, once it has even been realized, is tremendously difficult to process. One of my greatest struggles and uncertainties in my life is my gender identity. I identify as gender-fluid, but my constant gender swings and in-between feelings are eating away at me; I feel too girly to be a boy, but too not a girl to commit to being a girl full time (disclaimer: I am not insinuating that my gender expression is a choice, at all, moreover I'm unable to cope with the constant flip-flopping and unidentifiable feelings and so feel the need to commit to one gender). I like girl clothes and my girl body too much to identify as female-to-male transgender and turn my life upside down, but identifying as a girl all the time would mean casting aside an important part of who I am. It's incredibly frustrating, especially because the constant gender-flopping confuses myself and those around me. I am hoping that, with time, I can come to accept myself more and potentially be appeased with simply being a tomboy on the days where I feel profoundly masculine. It's an excruciating process that adds a lot of strain to my life - but why must I define myself at all?

We weren't meant to be pinned like a butterfly on a cork-board, permanently lodged in one spot in society, into one personality our whole lives. We take in too much information every day to remain unchanged. We are always changing, and change is a beautiful thing! I personally cannot keep myself on a schedule. I buy planning notebooks and they end up forgotten in my bag in a few weeks. I organize my entire room only to re-clutter all my surfaces within the month. To be honest, I'm just a little bit lazy and forgetful, and also a little bit too adventurous to wake up and do the same thing every day of my life! I love learning, but school was always torture because of the way we all shuffle about when the bell rings like mindless drones, learning things because state requires us too, under intense pressure. Sure, some things in life are time-sensitive, but general schooling suppresses creative urges  and adds an amazing amount of undue stress to a person's life.

Society's expectations lead people, especially young people, to believe they have to do certain things. These assumptions cause people to live within boundaries, without even realizing what they've done or the world of opportunities waiting for them. I'm always a bit suspicious of people who have wanted to do the same thing since they were very young. Some people may have a genuine calling, but most are probably following the leader, rising up to expectations, and not considering all the possibilities. There are probably a million people out there with the potential to change the world, and maybe one hundred of them will actually realize their own power.

On that note, I present a challenge. I dare you to do one thing every day you would not normally do or don't think yourself capable of doing. If you're shy, a big step may be paying someone a compliment, or talking to someone you've been hesitating to talk to for a while now. If there is a skill, such as a form of art, that you admire but think you can't pursue, I challenge you to do some research and dive in... if you think you can't paint, then paint! After all, legends are made, not born. Any time the voice in your head hesitates or tells you there is something you cannot do, I challenge you to defy that evil voice! You never know, the stranger on the sidewalk may turn out to be the love of your life. I challenge you to live without borders and hold nothing back.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Flowers are blooming... how lovely are these little yellow bushes in my backyard? I am so excited about this beautiful weather.

Who likes my new journal?

Sweater: TJ Maxx
Shorts: Aeropostale
Earrings: H&M London
Crossbody bag: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Sperry's

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm baaaaack!

Well, the musical is over, a reality difficult to face without danger of tears. However, this means that I can now do all sorts of unheard-of things like get adequate sleep and have free time! *gasp* Anyway, the weather here is GORGEOUS. I was outside with my baby Beatrice (a.k.a. my 35mm film Promaster) and I figured I'd take a few digital pictures for the blog to get the ball rolling!

And in case you were wondering, my digital camera is named Phillip, and he and Beatrice are secretly engaged.. shhh.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Inspirational quotes, anyone?

I love quotes. In fact, I have an entire notebook dedicated to quotes. I waste spend a great deal of time perusing the internet for quotes. And don't even get me started on what an ordeal it was to pick only one inspirational quote to paint on my wall...

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you all! If you have any amazing, funny, or thought-provoking quotes you think I'd enjoy, comment or email me!
Of course, I could rant on and on about these quotes and their significance. Hell, I could write a book on philosophy where each chapter is based off of a different quote (on second thoughts, that's not an awful idea...). But, I'll spare you. Enjoy these amazing quotes!

Plaque found on Etsy.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

"Fairytales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - G.K. Chesterton

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." - John Lennon

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde

"There will be sleeping enough in the grave." - Benjamin Franklin

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you're right." - Henry Ford

"If you cannot be a poet, be the poem." - David Carradine

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." - Albert Camus

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." - Milton Berle

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

"We do not sing because we are happy. We are happy because we sing." - William James

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A health kick, Anything Goes, and some other jumbled thoughts

Hello, all! You are looking at an obnoxiously large photo of my new Nike Free Runs! I got them this morning and I kind of don't want to take them off. They're super comfortable and they actually look good, too! I always hated wearing sneakers because they would completely clash with any sort of outfit I had planned, but I can actually see myself wearing these as part of an outfit! They're extremely lightweight as well. Good purchase? I think yes.

Getting these fabulous new shoes made me want to go for a run, so I did - I jogged 1.4 miles. Considering that outside of gym class I never, ever run, I'm very proud of myself for not dropping dead with cramps. My body was built for athletics, honestly, and I'm pretty fast, but my stamina is awful because I've always had an aversion to sports. Ah, well. I intend to jog or at least walk every single day now.

As well as contracting a furious case of spring fever, I'm on a health streak as well. I've never needed to watch what I ate, and I still don't, because my metabolism is so high. But it's actually kind of interesting, nutrition and such things... and I might as well get into an exercise routine now, so when I hit 40 I don't gain 1235979123 pounds. And the endorphins produced while exercising are always a plus. Now, instead of eating chocolate in lame attempts to fight off depression, I pledge to go for a jog instead!

I apologize for my absence this week. I've been pretty busy and feeling a bit down, so blogging hasn't exactly been my top priority, but I am getting back on track! Yesterday was pretty exciting, though; in the morning I attended a dance rehearsal for the upcoming school musical, and then around noon my family and I drove down to NYC to see the Anything Goes revival on Broadway! And let me tell you, Sutton Foster is basically a goddess. In addition to being wildly attractive, she has a phenomenal voice, and incredible dancing and acting skills! It was a fantastic show, I'm so glad to have seen it.

Forgive my scatter-brained thoughts; I'm a little bit sick and very tired. And since the final days of preparations for the musical is next week, it's a fine time to start living on Vitamin C drops, protein bars, and tea! (: I hope you've all had a smashing week. I'll be sure to blog more often from now on!