Tuesday, February 24, 2015

52 mornings // 08

"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" -L.M. Montgomery

There are days when it feels like nothing is going on, and then there are days when it feels like everything is going on at the same time. There's never an in-between. Right now it's feeling like the latter and it's really stressing me out. I left campus for Centennial Conference Champs early Friday morning and got back Sunday at midnight. Next weekend I'll also be gone Friday to Sunday, and the weekend after that is spring break, which marks the halfway point of my second semester of college. Ah, but don't forget all the mid-terms I'll have to take right before vacation.

I was having a horrible weekend, but I woke up this morning and life was okay. "Morning's great that way. You can cry yourself to sleep and wake up wondering what the fuss was over." -Terri Farley, Seven Tears Into the Sea. While I didn't cry myself to sleep, I did let out a few cries of frustration here and there. Nothing really terrible happened, but my tolerance level decreases as stress increases.

The highlight of my weekend was the Hampton's complimentary beverage bar: 1) Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix, 2) coffee cups with various prints of lips and moustaches, and 3) different colored coffee cup sleeves with various prints of bow ties, necklaces, earbuds, and cameras. If this was the highlight of my weekend, what does that tell you? But I guess, to be fair, the bar was pretty cool.

I forced myself to hold off writing this post, because I didn't want it to become one huge rant and burden you with my whining. Instead, I angrily wrote out my feelings in private to capture my emotions so that I could channel them in a more controlled manner through this post to deliver a coherent message to you. But don't worry, I had a cathartic ranting session with some friends irl too.

What do you do when you come across a person or situation you're just so done with? What do you do when all your fricks have flown away? At this point, I couldn't exhaust any more energy to put on a composed exterior. I shut down. It's not a great coping mechanism, but it's my instinct. I get a lot of crap about it from my parents, and for good reason too. I figure shutting down is better than blowing up, but that's just an excuse. Either way, you end up hurting the people around you, especially the ones who care the most, which are the people who deserve it the least, and that was my greatest regret.

In this situation, my shutting down only fed the fire, so it was a vicious cycle that nobody won. While I could have just sucked it up, I don't think that that's fair. Why should I have to take the mental/emotional abuse? "Abuse" may be too strong of a word; perhaps "injustice" is more fitting. You get my point. Anyways, I admit that I was probably picking a fight with the way I reacted to the situation. So what could I have done differently? What's a stubborn person to do in a stubborn situation?

When you get frustrated, the easy way out and most common instinct is to lash out, but don't. Stay focused and in control. Do something that involves rhythm such as counting to ten or taking deep breaths, and keep doing this until your rhythm evens out and slows down. Think about what's really happening before you decide how you want to react. Whichever way you choose to do it, think positive and keep your interaction with other people respectful. Often times you might take out your anger on something (or someone) other than the cause of your frustration. To make sure that you don't wrongfully blame others, practice using "I statements" to describe how you feel.

I'm definitely not a pro at dealing with people who frustrate me (like, at all), so please leave some tips in the comments below about how you might deal, because right now I only have two tactics:

  1. Content yourself with knowing that karma's a biatch. Whether or not you believe in the religious concept of karma, I think there is some kind of sense to it. If someone lives their life being a donkeybutt, life is going to bite them back in the donkeybutt. You get what you give.
  2. Overcompensate to point out how ridiculous everything is. This option is a little more immature, but it's a lot more fun and probably what I'd resort to. And maybe it's not so bad a method. It's sure to keep the mood lighthearted. For example, if someone is being unnecessarily impatient, you can reply to everything they order with, "Sir, yes sir!" and give a salute and everything. I guess this is a more proactive version of being passive aggressive.

Finally after this long weekend I'm back at Bryn Mawr. It's good to be home :)

PS: 070605040302. 01.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015

52 mornings // 07

Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it. -Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember.

The campus is looking beautiful with a fresh layer of snow, but don't let its calm demeanor fool you. Something unseen threads its way through the spindly branches and rustles the fallen leaves. It finds its way to the hood of your coat and snakes past your scarf, seeping all the way down to the very tip of your toes. And you will know that one thing is true: you can sure as hell feel wind chill, and it's a biatch.

So I guess it's an accurate metaphor for love. LOL jk, hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day :)

If it weren't for my breakfast buddy, I would never have made it out of my dorm. Trying to get out of bed is a battle every morning, but it's been especially grueling lately. When the wind is almost literally howling outside, it's very hard to find the motivation to slog through it to join civilization, even if they do have pancakes and potatoes for breakfast. Because who needs civilization when there's wifi?

Not only did we make it out of the dorm, but we also made it all the way across campus to the dining halls with all our fingers and toes attached. I'd call it a day right then and there, but unfortunately, a pile of assignments eagerly await me. Their enthusiasm for me is not reciprocated by me for them.

But I remember how glorious it felt to complete all my work last weekend and how much easier it was for me to get through the week because of that. So I set to work. It's a lot like exercise. Getting out of bed, into your workout clothes, and out to the gym are the hardest parts, but once you get it going it's not so bad, and afterwards you feel invincible with all those endorphins pumping through you. It doesn't make it any easier to get up the next morning, but you just need to hold onto that feeling you get after the whole thing. Actually, being academically productive is pretty much exercise. But for your brain.

Now I'm a little stuck. Throughout the week, at the back of my mind I'm always thinking, "What can I do on Sunday for my 52 project that could be even the slightest bit interesting? Should I schedule this outing or that outing on Sunday instead of Saturday just so that I have something to blog about?" Ya know, the struggles of a personal lifestyle blogger. But doing something every week, even if it's only once a week, is kinda tiring, especially on top of all that darn school work. On one hand, I can spend my weekends doing awesome things to blog about, and on the other hand, I can spend my weekends being productive and making my life easier. For a type A personality like myself, having fun doesn't always mean taking the easy way, which makes this dilemma considerably more difficult to deal with.

It's past midnight and this post is already a day late, so I'll let this matter (and myself) rest (zzz) and just go with the flow for the time being. Hopefully the urgency of various situations I come across will make the decisions for me. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head (and bed) and let it be.

Winter links // Don't forget the magic of winter. When the sun starts scorching, you'll wish it was snow white. Make the most of it and go on snow adventures. It's still possible to take pictures in cold weather. Here are some tricks to look and feel fairly awesome even though it's freezing. Have fun with layers. Play around with scarves. Head back inside before you get frostbite, jump into a cozy outfit, sip on a hot drink, and build forts. If you already caught a cold, try this cold cure mocktail. And you might as well set up a bar cart while you're hibernating so that you're ready to go as soon as you're feeling better. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a DIY hot chocolate bar, a DIY cafe corner, and indulge in some comfort food with this mac and cheese party. Whether or not you invite guests over while you burrow away in your house, keep up your winter skincare routinerescue dehydrated skin, and wake up winter skin.

PS: 0605040302. 01.
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Everything LOVE-ly

ONE // Rose petal infused honey

Everyone knows the way to my heart is through my stomach. A festive pizza is always a good idea. Or perhaps start with something a little more refined like this rose petal infused honey, avocado toast egg-in-a-hole, or Valentine's Day treat box, which would also make a great gift. But who are we kidding? I'm eating this all myself! In fact, I'll also be indulging in this slutty brownie sundae. Other cute desserts are London cheesecake, almond cake, and confetti hearts bubble gum cake. Valentine's Day is not complete without red velvet recipes: pancakes with honeyed whipped cream cheese and layer cake with cream cheese frosting. Or change it up with raspberries: salted chocolate raspberry stout doughnuts and chocolate cupcakes with creamy raspberry frosting. If you have time, try these rainbow heart cookies. Or just take a swig of alcohol: champagne punch, cocktails, and grapefruit mojitos.

TWO // Be the best Valentine

I've never had a boyfriend before, but I've never been bothered by Valentine's Day. I'm really excited for February 15 though; I can't resist chocolates on sale. As a single person, I've always regarded Valentine's Day as a time for me to be selfish, indulge in what I want, and treat myself. But this time I challenge you (and myself) to not limit Valentine's Day to romantic love. Give all the lovely people in your life some appreciation. Show your friends you love them. Love yourself. Just because you don't have a date doesn't mean you can't dress yourself up! Make a cute arrow and heart hair pin. Go casual during the day and formal at night. Go for a soft ensemble with a sweet and simple look or go bold lipped. Make them kiss proof just in case. You never know what the day might bring! Or just tune out, relax, and take a bath with Lush's Valentine's Day collection, because as Sylvia Plath says, "There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."

THREE // Printable Valentine party bags

For those of you unlucky enough to have the obligation to give your significant other a present, here are some helpful gift guides to make your life a little easier: for her, for him, and most importantly, for yourself. To get you started, here are some freebies: printable card 1, printable card 2, printable wall letters, and treat box labels. Personally, I think DIY gifts are the best, especially for a sentimental holiday like Valentine's Day: you're dynamite, branch tree, photo bannermini-zineflip booklightbulb, typographic favor bags, tic-tac-toe, and more and more! Don't underestimate the power of the traditional sweethearts candies (graham cracker conversation hearts, balloons, glitter heart candy boxes, leather gift tags), handwritten note (love note wall art, message in a bottle), or flowers (tips for buying flowers, paper flower pop up box, note wrapped flowers, crepe paper tulip).

FOUR // Your life is a hot date. Show up. (img src: Design Love Fest's 10 favorite pins right now)

"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning." -J.B. Priestley. Whatever you do, don't wallow in self pity. Today is not the day! Fall in love with everyone, fall in love with life. Wake up every morning ready to seize the day. Find beauty in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. Read a cute comic. Skip 50 Shades of Grey. Go on a boat ride. Go do something. Find the lost art of free time. You have more than you think. Live simply. Waste note, want not. Don't forget your passion projects.

FIVE // Create a cozy date night

Much like Christmas, Valentine's Day isn't about giving and getting gifts but about spending time with the people you love most. Have a cozy date night at home without any distractions and spend some quality time together. Doesn't that sound nice? Now I'm wondering, why wait until Valentine's Day? Why not have date nights all throughout the year? 1000 Thread's 52 dates project last year inspired me to do my own 52 project this year, so if you have a date, definitely give this a shot! You don't have to have a whole soiree, but if that's what you want, that can be a lot of fun too! It'd be a great excuse to pull out some confetti poppers. Or is a soiree too sophisticated for confetti? Nah. Whether for a large group or just for yourself and significant other, change things up with this modern romantic Valentine's Day table or inspire yourself with this more traditional pink and gold brunch moodboard.

PS: Throwback to this time last year.
Brunch at Audrey's © 2013.

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