Life As A Pioneer (AKA living as a millennial without a microwave)

As my roommates and I all move out to start our new adult lives our stuff has slowly began to disappear from our house. I’m currently sitting in a living room with a tv stand, but no tv, end tables, but no couch, curtain rods, but no curtains…you get the picture. Not throwing shade at my roommates – this is just how adulthood is sometimes. Or, as the kids say nowadays, that’s just “how it be.”

I don’t know about you, but my microwave is an adulthood essential. All of my home cooked meals usually end up in there, most of those meals being a 9pm dinner of popcorn and wine. Living life without a microwave has thus left me without my popcorn, and I have been (somewhat) devastated. It’s crazy to think that I go about my days using technology that could be easily replaced but when I’m left trying to “easily replace” it I’m somewhat dumbfounded by how much my adult self needed it.

People say that a wine glass is basically just an adult sippy cup. If that’s the case, then my microwave is the adult version of a pack’n’play. Instead of reheating my coffee or tea, I have to brew a new batch. Trying to make a frozen meal? Forget it being ready in five minutes because now you have to wait on the oven to heat up. And don’t get me started about popcorn on the stove – I nearly took my own eye out. I’m having to re-learn simple tasks that are crucial to adulthood (like, for example, cooking…). No longer are things quick and easy. I actually have to plan things out. Yeesh.

I hope you all realize that that was sarcasm. If not, it was sarcasm. Cool. Glad we’re on the same page. Anyways! This is a long winded way of saying that I take a lot of things for granted and don’t realize it until it’s 2am and I’m making stove top popcorn and being burned by flying bits of butter. Adulthood is a long and winding road. Simple things like microwaves and iPhones make it a lot easier, but in terms of actually knowing how to do life “right” my generation has a long way to go. We’re so dependent on the technologies of our childhood that when it comes to facing some part of life without them we tend to fall apart and not really know how to carry on as normal. This goes for little things, like single use plastics, too.

Plastics became big during my parents’ childhoods. Tupperware became an especially fast growing phenomenon. My mom remembers having tupperware parties where housewives would gather around to sell each other Rubbermade bowls and lids. Now we’ve become so reliant on it that living life without it seems…awkward, and more effort than it’s worth. For example, why would you go through the trouble of getting out pots and pans if you could just pop that dinner plate into the microwave to heat it up? Why go bring your own cups to Starbucks when they have their own? Get my drift?

It’s so much easier to walk into a store and buy what you need and walk out without having to think about it. Not to mention, it’s much cheaper to buy single use plastics than to purchase things in containers made of glass or metal. Another thing to not mention is the way an entire industry has changed based on the fact that we’re no longer using glass refillable bottles for milk, and it’s no longer a “neighborhood” thing where you leave the bottles at your doorstep and your friendly neighborhood milk bottle boy would pick them up, have them refilled, and bring them back. Instead of a neighborhood enterprise, it’s now national. If I’m being honest, this is pretty remarkable in an oddly awe-inspiring way (keep a lookout for my next memoir Girl Inspired by How Single Use Plastics Changed the National Dairy Industry in Under One Generation. Haha. Just kidding.).

Change is hard. Reverse change is even harder. No one likes to think about going backwards as progress, but hey, sometimes you need to take a step back in order to get a running start, right? And now, as I go back to living life with the crippling anxiety of not having my microwave to assist me in my comfort of superfluous everyday living, I have decided that appliance I cannot live without is my tea kettle, which actually isn’t mine but my roommate’s. Wish me luck.

If you’d like to read more about single use plastics, click on the following links:

If you want to read more about the United State’s milk industry, click here:

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My Mother, the Feminist

When people ask me where I get my stubborn sense of independence from, I always smile and say “I get it from my mom.” Mothers tend to be complicated creatures, but they’ll love you like no one else. I’m lucky my mother has given me all the opportunities she wishes she’d had growing up.

When my mom went to school girls were not allowed to wear pants. Her mother needed the permission of her husband to have her tubes tied. Sexual education tended to be abstinence only or not at all. While women began to go to college more often, campuses were often dominated by the male sex. I believe that growing up in a culture where my mother learned to fight to be heard helped her raise a strong, fiercely independent daughter.

Throughout my life my mother has encouraged me to be the doctor, the lawyer, the scientist – rather for me to marry one of the above. I was always pushed towards success. I learned very quickly that brains, brawn, and beauty are not mutually exclusive features. There’s so much my mother has taught me throughout my life that one day doesn’t feel sufficient enough to show my love. And even though I don’t always remember to say “thank you” every day, I know I should.

Thank you, Mom, for teaching me to be the person I am and giving me the strength to go out on a limb to discover the person I want to grow up to be.

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Things I Wish I Could Go Back and Tell Freshman Year Me

The best four years of my life are coming to a close this Friday. I’m graduating from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology, with an emphasis in neuroscience, and a minor in Art History. I’ll be heading off to Macon, Georgia in July to start law school at Mercer with a full ride. I should feel ecstatic about this next chapter of my life, but now that I’m here all I want to do is rewind.

My parents always told me that I would enjoy college. They told me I would find my people, people just like me that were cool with being uncool and didn’t mind if all I wanted to talk about was the news or science facts or cats. I didn’t believe them. Middle school and high school had been so awful that I didn’t believe that any form of school could be okay, much less actually enjoyed. I wish I had listened to them. I went into my freshman year cautious, guarded, and terribly shy. I wanted to make new friends because I was lonely, but I was so scared being bullied or hated that I really struggled with actually connecting with people. Four years later and I could become BFF’s with just about anyone. I re-learned that the world is full of good intentions, but not always good people, and that’s okay. Being kind and open will get you much further than being cautious.

I’ve never been good at math and science, or at least not as good at that as I am at writing. My parents always encouraged me to follow my passion, but I was dead set on having a career that would allow me to make enough money to support a family. I chose science as a freshman because I saw the potential for a safety net – I could go to school and do just okay and still end up making enough money to be considered successful. Three semesters into my science courses and I was calling my dad, in tears, on a monthly basis because I hated my classes so much. The one thing I learned from this? Do something you’re good at for a career, and save the stuff that makes you happy for your weekends. Science fills me with wonder and excitement, but taking science classes made me want to pull my hair out. I just flat out wasn’t good at them, so I didn’t enjoy them. It made science feel like a chore rather than an ambition. You might disagree with me here, but my advice is to never let the thing that brings you joy become your day job, because then it feels like a chore.

Walking into college, I decided that I wasn’t here to have fun, I was here to make a career for myself. I was so driven. I wanted to work in a lab and have internships with the CDC and go places. Only in my junior year did I actually stop myself and say “hold up, I have the rest of my life to work, but if I go out with friends or wake up early to watch the sunrise instead of applying for a second job I’m going to have so much more fun”. Junior year I changed my mindset, added a minor that made me happy, stopped freaking out about adulthood, got an internship in something that wasn’t science, decided on going to law school instead of getting my Ph. D. (still might happen one day, though), and started living. Wow. Not only did my quality of life improve, my grades did too.

Now that my undergrad life is coming to a close I’m beginning to realize how much I have truly loved this chapter in my life. I’m glad I embraced it, even though it took a few semesters. As I head off into law school I am reminded of how lucky I am that I have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Go Dawgs!

Graduation Invitations With Paperless Post

For my high school graduation I sent out paper invitations. While it was fun to design them and have a physical photo to hang on my refrigerator at home, it was very expensive and time consuming. This year, for my college graduation announcements I decided to go with Paperless Post! They make designing and sending your invitations so much easier.

While the main reason I decided to go paperless for announcements this year was based off of time (addressing a hundred envelopes and licking them shut is not my ideal night off from work and studying lol), I also love that Paperless Post is so much cheaper than many of the cards I could be sending out! Graduation announcements really add up when you factor in design work, printing, and stamps. Not to mention the back and forth trips to the store to approve designs and pick up printed copies! Making my graduation announcements digital allows me to have my free nights remain free, and I have peace of mind that my environmental impact will be small (because everyone knows that once graduation occurs, all those announcements hanging on the fridge go immediately into the waste basket).

I initially thought that designing my own online card would take a long time, but Paperless Post has tons of already made up cards to choose from. Not only do they have graduation cards and fliers, they have templates for every event you could be hosting! My coworker and I picked out a black and gold graduation announcement, I filled in the information, added my guest list, and hit send! It took all of fifteen minutes, and that’s only because I couldn’t pick which card I wanted! With so many gorgeous designs, you’ll probably run into the same problem – and that’s a wonderful problem to have!

The above photo is what the card will look like when you’re setting it up online. You get to customize the text, colors, and backdrop. I like the original settings with black and gold caps, black and gold text, and the gold confetti as the backdrop. Paperless Post is also really good about telling you how much your card(s) will be while you’re creating them so that you can customize your card without having to get all the way to checkout to see how much it costs. Just click on the coins memo in the righthand corner of your creation screen to see how much each part of the card will cost. The more you want to customize, the more coins this will cost you, but that’s the same for every invitation and announcement – paperless or not.

You can also customize the envelope! I just love the inside of this one. How cute!

My favorite part about Paperless Post cards is the email you get…it feels just like a regular letter only digitized! Your guest’s name is written on the front of the envelope in pretty cursive (you can customize this font too! I like the cursive because it matches my handwriting). The envelope even has a stamp on it! You click on the link in the email and the envelope opens up in another browser with your card. If you scroll down, under the card has all your additional information. I added a link to mine so that people can watch my Commencement ceremony online. Other options include setting a location with directions and a map, a guest list, RSVP, adding a registry list. The best part? The invitation also works like a Facebook event wall where invited guests can leave comments and interact.

How are you designing your grad announcements?

The post was sponsored by Paperless Post. All thoughts and ideas are my own. Thank you for supporting sponsored posts as they help keep this site up and running.

A Hair, Skin, and Nails Essential

One of my goals for 2019 is to focus on my health. I was already eating healthy and exercising regularly, but I knew there was more to my health than just that. In 2018 I focused on skincare, so adding in hair care seemed like the obvious next step.

I’ve been using hair masks, coconut oil, and chemically free shampoo since January. I started the new year off strong by getting my split ends trimmed, my scalp treated (winter air, cold, and dry heat – oh my!), and limiting the amount of heat treatment I did on a daily basis. My hair hadn’t grown very much (maybe an inch at best) after three months, but it looked and felt amazing. Friends commented on how shiny it looked (and it still does!) and some people (*cough cough* Will) decided that my silky strands were their new fiddling fingers play toy.

At the end of March, I received a package from Influenster with products to review. One of those products was Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies! I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to try a gummy vitamin. I’d heard how well these worked and had been meaning to buy them each time I went to the store, but of course my sleep deprived college student brain continually forget until I was half way home with my groceries. Receiving the Nature’s Bounty gummies in the mail seemed like fate!

While I get most of my vitamins and minerals from what I eat, I know things can left out, especially biotin, that are important for hair care. That’s why taking a supplement, like Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nailes Gummies , helps with hair and nail growth. That little extra dose of biotin really goes a long way! My hair has grown another inch since starting taking the gummies each morning, and I’ve only been taking half the recommended dose. The strawberry flavored gummies have become as essential a step in my morning routine as my favorite face wash and moisturizer!

I can now say that my hair is ready for all the graduation events and heat-based styling that comes with them!

This post contains affiliate links and sponsored content. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting sponsored content and shopping through affiliated links, as the money gained helps me continue to run this site.

April Fools!

A beloved day of pranks and mischief, today even some big corporations are joining in on the fun. Some of my favorites are linked below.

Pupbucks – A Starbucks just for dogs! While some of the clientele may me a bit challenging, at least they come when their name is called!

Edible Arrangements – a doggy bouquet for the one you truly love!

Wayfair – A dog wedding registry! Because we all need some treats!

Happy April Fool’s!

The One Where Things Get Political

News flash: this is not a lighthearted episode of Friends, but rather my hot take of certain political tidbits popping up in my life right now that I think are important to discuss, namely the video of the University of Georgia TKE brothers that has been circulating on Twitter.

I don’t often get political on this platform (or on social media in general, save for this post from after the 2016 election). I try to keep things offline and have conversations face to face. That being said, our conversational world is changing. People are taking to social media and other outlets more and more when discussing important things like racism, capitalism, the GOP, etc. I don’t think there’s anything inherently right or wrong about that. It’s just how my generation, and the generations around mine, think and act and see and do. It’s how we interact with the world. We are both distancing ourselves from these topics while also bringing them closer to home. And that leaves me here.

I’m saddened and disgusted by what has happened at my university this month. It hurts to see us on the news for something that doesn’t reflect who we are. I came to UGA because everyone was nice to me. Being a white female, I haven’t experienced anti-white racism and did not think about racism at all when touring the campus in 2015. The students I met treated me with respect, and remarked with smiles and happiness when I told them I would be joining them as a Dawg the following fall. In the back of my mind, I knew racism existed but didn’t think that I would see it so out in the open as we all did on Twitter and national news this past week.

Many commenters have stated that they are not surprised. I am ashamed of that, but I am more angered by the fact that they expect racism to happen in the South simply because it is the South. Yes, we have a history of racism, bigotry, disenfranchisement, slavery, and other horrible, unspeakable things but so does the rest of the United States. This problem is not limited to the South alone. It involves all of us, an entire nation of peoples that need to learn to do better.

I consider myself an ally. I try to listen twice as often as I speak. I try to do my own research on racial issues so as to not put the burden entirely on people of color to explain their problems to me. But I know I am not doing enough. As a young adult I’ve seen the Black Lives Matter movement, Baltimore, Charlottesville, and now members of UGA TKE posting racist videos joking about slavery on the internet. After each event I have reevaluated what I am doing to be an ally. Yesterday, during a conversation with one of the student organization executive boards I am a part of, I asked what more I could do. My advisor responded “you can do more by asking that question of yourself every single day.” That hit me harder than I thought it would, because it doesn’t only apply to race but to being an ally for all. You can always do more, be more, listen more, educate more. There is always something more to do even if you think you’re doing enough.