Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm on Huffington Post!

Last week I was walking down Dearborn Street when I heard this polite little voice ask, "Excuse me?" It took a second to register that this voice was directed at me, but when I turned around I saw a girl walking up behind me. She asked if she could take my picture for a blog. Obviously I replied with an enthusiastic, "Of course!" because, let's be real, it was incredibly flattering and these kinds of things do not happen every day. I asked her what blog she works for and she replied with one I am very familiar with. I am talking about College Fashionista, which is the very same blog I worked for while I was attending Indiana University. If you are unfamiliar with the blog, it documents student style all over the world. The girl I met, Sarah, attends Northeastern University in Boston, but she is currently in Chicago interning for CF. She incorporated the pictures she took of me to give some style inspiration to college students. You can see the article on Huffington Post here. Needless to say, Sarah kind of made my day. She was absolutely lovely and I'm happy I met her. Here are some of the shots she took:

Half of this outfit was thrifted. I'm telling you, second hand is where it's at. 
Also, I found those shoes on sale four years ago.

                           
Grandpa sweater: Plato's Closet in Bloomington | Tank and Belt: Goodwill | Pants: Levi's | Bag: Jessica Simpson


As previously mentioned, I used to write for College Fashionista back in the day.  The blog has become extremely successful and it's interesting to see how young 20-somethings are dressing all over the world. I really enjoyed writing for this blog. It encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to approach people who had great style. Writing a style column every week fulfilled me.You can see all of my posts here. 

Some of the absolute best memories I made in college were with the fashion design students. I had quite a few opportunities to model and all of that. Being around creative people inspired me endlessly. It makes me so happy to see how far they have all come since we graduated. I found this video that College Fashionista made about the RSO show I was in my senior year. It warms my heart to see the footage of Jake and I standing next to each other and listening to him explain his designs. I adore all of these people and I'm so proud of them. Excuse me as I leisurely stroll down memory lane... 



 I was lucky enough to model some of Jake's designs in two different shows. Let me brag for a second...

This is the design I am wearing in the video.
(Left: Jake's showcase |Right: RSO show)

Another design at his showcase. I loved every minute of it.


Like I said, these were some of the best memories I made while I was in Bloomington. Although I'm not working the in fashion industry, a piece of my heart will always belong to it because I have loved fashion, style, and aesthetics my whole life. It makes me happy when I meet people who have similar interests. You can count on me continuing to post fashion/beauty related things on here. I'm pretty much over the moon about this feature. Thank you again, Sarah! It was a pleasure. :) 

Until next time,

Amelia

To see Sarah's posts on College Fashionista, just click here

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WCW: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Let me preface this post by saying I identify as a feminist.

If you read that sentence and immediately wanted to roll your eyes and leave this blog, go ahead. I have no time for people who refuse to listen. Feminism is an incredibly complex topic that still requires lengthy discussions and descriptions. I personally cannot understand what the confusion is about because feminism, put simply, is the belief that ALL people are equal. No one should be more powerful or have more advantage than the anyone else. However, I have found that many people believe we are already equal and that I should just shut up. Yeah, that's not going to happen. I could go on and on and on about how inequality is alive and well in the world. I am referring to inequality in every sense. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are happening everywhere, every single day. If you research these issues, there's enough information to keep you occupied for months.

I understand this is a heavy topic. Many people don't want to bother with it. The people who think it has nothing to do with them are the same people that have a lot of privilege in this world. You are lucky enough that our society doesn't oppress you. I know how privileged I am and I'm taking that knowledge and running with it to help other people who are not. I can't sit by and pretend there aren't problems. I know I can't fix everything, but I have a voice and a brain and I'm going to use them to help in every way I can. Equality should not be something that has to be fought for, but unfortunately that's the way it is right now. But that doesn't mean it has to stay this way.

I know now that I have been a feminist since the day I was born. I was raised around the strongest women. I learned about all of the tribulations they went through and it occurred to me that if they can go through all of that, then I can get through anything. I was blessed with a family that encouraged me and reminded me that I am capable of anything. My mother and grandmothers instilled an independence and strength in me. They also instilled understanding, gentleness, and kindness. I watched how they took care of themselves while taking care of others. I learned that loving and accepting people unconditionally is true strength. I am so grateful to them for that. I am also grateful that I have been exposed to what feminism is and what it means.


Now for my WCW.

This is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and she is phenomenal.




Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie did a Ted Talk last year. I remember scrolling through YouTube and finding that video. I clicked the link excitedly, anticipating what this woman was going to say. I was stunned and mesmerized by her.



Chimamanda is incredibly inspiring. She is a gifted writer and quite obviously an eloquent speaker. Do yourself a favor and watch this video in it's entirety. She has so many intelligent and insightful things to say. She also has quite a sense of humor. I'm dedicating this post to her because she makes me feel proud. I'm proud of being a woman and of my femininity. I'm proud of other women. I'm proud of the men who treat women equally. I'm proud of people who are brave enough to say what they think and share how they feel. I feel like a mama lion right now. That's how proud I am.

(Side note: This is the video that Beyonce sampled in her song "***Flawless". The term "feminism" is seldom used in mass media, but she included it in a popular song so now it has more exposure. Good job, Bey.)

I'll leave you with this quote:

"I just write. I have to write. I like to say that I didn't choose writing, writing chose me. This may sound slightly mythical, but I sometimes feel as if my writing is something bigger than I am." 

I feel you on that, Chimamanda. I really do.

Until next time,

Amelia

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five Favorites No. 2

1. I found this article about a little boy who set up his own animal shelter. This kid is after my heart.

2. I think the Haim sisters are exactly what the music industry needed. I love everything about their debut album. Not only do they rock leather jackets on the reg, but they are ridiculously talented. Watch this video and try to tell me they aren't cool.


3. I recently found Ashley's blog through a photo on Pinterest and I just kept scrolling through her archive. I love everything about her style. And she might have one of the best jobs ever.

4. The Monadnock Building. I'm going to have to say that this is my favorite building in downtown Chicago. I have an affinity for old buildings. Like, I wouldn't mind living in a haunted Victorian home. That is beside the point. If you ever find yourself in The Loop, take a stroll through this building. I have been inside of it several times and the architecture never fails to amaze me. It was restored to it's original condition so basically it's like passing through a time warp.

5. This piece of writing titled "Tell The People You Love That You Love Them". I love her writing style and I love what she is conveying, particularly this part:

"But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans."
It made me so happy to read this. I do love being reckless and affectionate and alive. 
I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend! 
Until next time,
Amelia 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WCW: Maya Angelou

WCW is a thing. It is a thing I appreciate and subscribe to. If you are unfamiliar with this acronym, it stands for Woman Crush Wednesday. What is a woman crush? To me, it's the realization that there is so much to love about so many different women. Today I'm dedicating my WCW to Maya Angelou because she is one of my favorite writers and human beings.



Phenomenal Woman is one of my very favorite poems.

Maya was born in 1928. She faced adversity her entire life. Her strength, confidence, and gentleness inspire me on a regular basis. I wish I could give her a hug, I really do. She is exactly the kind of writer that I wish I could call up on the phone once I'm finished reading their work. I imagine having a conversation with her would leave me with a fuller heart. What an enchanting lady.

"When you learn, teach. When you get, give."


Until next time,

Amelia

Monday, May 19, 2014

Myers Briggs Personality Type: INFJ

I took this personality test a couple of years ago because I enjoy figuring everyone, including myself, out. I like digging as deep as I possibly can. I like being able to make sense out of things. I like understanding people better so that I can show them kindness and patience. Once I found out what my type was, I began googling like crazy. I agreed with 100% of the information I found. I couldn't even pretend to be skeptical because all of the descriptions were accurate. Even the things I never talk about were accurate. I wondered how it was possible. I'm really into this. It helped me feel a lot more understood. So, without further ado, my personality type explained:

I -- Introverted

N -- Intuitive 

F -- Feeling

J -- Judging 

Allow me to elaborate...

The nickname for this particular personality type is "The Counselor" or "The Protector". It is the rarest of all 16 personality types, adding up to approximately 1% of the world's population. Which leads to the personality description...

As I was saying, INFJ's often feel misunderstood. I can relate to this a million times over. I have often felt like an outsider. I only open up to people once I feel I can trust them. Though I am guarded, I am actually very warm and gentle with people. Some might say I care "too much", but I can't help it. I'm highly intuitive, so much that I often experience premonitions. It's pretty spooky. I live inside my head most of the time. I am my own worst enemy. I have high expectations of myself and others. All I ever want is to help people.

I found this blog post regarding how to love an INFJ. All of the points mentioned are true, but #1, #4, #9, and #17 really stuck out to me. I read them and immediately felt like it was written about me. And of course #20 is very, very true. :)

I encourage you to figure out your personality type. It's so revealing that it kind of freaks me out. You can find out more information about all 16 types here. If you know yours, leave it in the comment section.

Until next time,

Amelia







Saturday, May 17, 2014

Influenced

I have been a big Mary-Kate and Ashley fan for, like, ever. I used to rent all of their movies and watch them over and over again. I love how they have established themselves in this world. They never cease to amaze me. I have had their book, Influence, for quite some time. I have looked at it before, but it has been tucked away for a while. I naturally gravitate toward books when I'm lacking inspiration and for some reason, I thought to pick up Influence again. I'm really glad I did.



Inside the book, they both fill out a Proust Questionnaire. If you are unfamiliar with this, it is a list of questions put together by Marcel Proust that allows people to get to know themselves and others a bit more. Obviously questions have been added and changed over the years, but I found some online that I thought would be fun to answer.




Below are my answers. If you find this interesting, fill them out too! I highly encourage people to do things that help them get in touch with who they are. It's important to reflect and grow. You might learn something about yourself that you never thought you would.

I apologize for my sloppy handwriting. I try so hard.

Enjoy! xo








Tuesday, May 13, 2014

If you can't hold on, then baby don't save me

I often talk about being a free spirit.  I like to think that there are people out there who feel as boundless and hopeful as I do.  Traditionally we are taught to think and behave the way others think and behave.  That simply never worked out for me.  I have a mind of my own and I like discussing different opinions and ideas with people.  I don't think everyone needs to agree in order to get along, but it is seldom you meet people that are your equal on the important levels.  I have been fortunate enough to meet people that have seen a deeper side of me.  Those relationships are something I will always cherish.  Maybe it's because I'm an INFJ (Maybe I should do a post on this too?), but I don't like the superficial things people rely on for discussion.  Meaningless talk can make me feel even more alone even though I'm with people. I have found that loners are typically not alone because they want to be, but because it is difficult for them to find people they can connect with.  But being alone is such a beautiful thing for people to learn.  I enjoy my solitude.  Being your own best friend can help you gain perspective on just how wonderful and important you are in this world.  You deserve time by yourself.   You deserve deep rooted and unconditionally loving relationships, including the one with yourself. 








Until next time,

Amelia 


Note: I think I may actually set up a loose schedule for this blog. I'm thinking something along the lines of "Music Monday", "Friday Favorites", etc. So.... we shall see!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Note to self:

Write more.

I have been an avid reader my whole life. My mom jokes that she never could keep me in books because I would go through them so quickly. Granted there are times when I won't pick up a novel for months. MONTHS! If I'm not feeling it, I won't read it. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go back to a book and start all over again because the first time around didn't click. I think this same pattern has been occurring with my writing. 

I have always written, but I became a lot more involved with it during my years in college. I finally decided to pursue a minor in creative writing concentrating in poetry. It is one of the best decisions I ever made. 

I love words. I love strings of words that sound like a song when they are read aloud. My books are usually dog-eared and marked up. I underline the portions that speak to me something magical. I guess when the right piece of writing, like a song, comes along it lights me on fire. I feel that much more alive when I read something someone else has written that I can relate to. This is the exact reason why I choose to write and (sometimes) share what I write. I want to give that same alive feeling to other people. I want to be that hand they feel holding theirs when they need it most. I want them to feel like I am their best friend because I understand them in a way they thought nobody ever could. This concept was first introduced to me by none other than J.D. Salinger himself. Not everyone is a fan of The Catcher in the Rye, but I was that student that loved required reading and I kinda sorta fell in love with Holden Caulfield. I like them complicated.

In the novel, Holden says, "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it." 

Wouldn't it be nice?

I want to be this for someone else. I want to empower and encourage people with my words. I want them to feel they have a safe place they can turn to just by skimming things I have written. This just might be one of the biggest dreams I have.

So, I'm making it a point to write more. I haven't done much over the past couple of years, but I'm beginning to again and it feels really good. Maybe I'll even post some on here someday. Who knows.

Until next time,

Amelia 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Reflections

I have been in an incredibly reflective mood lately. This usually happens when I take the time to do something out of my every day routine, when I'm reminded just how human I am, when I can't sleep because my thoughts decide to run wild. I try very hard to live in the present moment, but I think it's safe to assume that I will never fully accomplish that. I think and I feel far too much to ever be just "in the moment" for more than a moment. So I'm sorry Eckhart Tolle, but I will continue to struggle to stay in the Now for as long as I live. I'm okay with it.

But there are those fleeting moments that I will always cherish. Moments shared with others. Moments I've had alone. I think it is wise to jot down some of the little things that have happened so that if I ever feel like I'm getting pulled into a memory lane that is, well, not necessarily constructive, I can switch gears and remember the good things instead.

I would post a list on here, but I'm a little too reserved with those kinds of things. I do find images that remind me of certain things though. Isn't it always true that a picture is worth a thousand words? I don't know if that is true, but I do know that certain photos strike a chord in me and let me slip into a minute of nostalgia. Here are some I've found that have done that...












I found all of these images on Pinterest, so I don't have any of the original sources. My apologies!

Until next time,

Amelia


Friday, May 2, 2014

What Inspires You?

"What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits." - Carl Jung

What a profound thought. The idea that the things that provided pure joy for us when we were children are quite possibly the very same things that will bring us pure joy as adults. As I type this out the concept seems pretty obvious, but it is true that many people lose touch with the little things that bring them joy as they grow older. Not to worry though because you are reading this now and I am here to tell you that you have absolutely no obligation to do what people expect of you. Read that sentence again.

You have every right to live the life you dream about.

Now, before you think about doing anything drastic please keep in mind we all have responsibilities to uphold. This is an inevitable part of life. However, I have learned that if you get creative and get a little gutsy, you can change things in your life so that you do feel more satisfied and joyful. I guess I just hate to see people feel "stuck" in their current situation. With some motivation and initiative, anything can change. 

Back to the whole point of this post...

I have always had a huge, wild imagination. I always played pretend as a child, endlessly entertained for hours. This trait has carried into my young adulthood. I'm always thinking of something to daydream about, to create, etc. I hope that this trait never goes away because I love cultivating my creativity.

A few things that make me very excited about life are making things with my hands, writing, taking photographs, and interacting with new people (and animals). I am on a personal mission to incorporate all of the things that make me happy into my life on a daily basis and maybe, possibly make a living at it. So, I sit here and wonder what inspires others? Not everyone is the "creative type". What gets other people excited in their life?  

Until next time,

Amelia