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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Listen :: Weird Al's Parody of "Blurred Lines" (Guest Post)

Hey, do you remember that awful and misogynistic song that Robin Thicke released last summer?

Yeah, me too.

What annoyed me the most about it, was how everyone lost their damn mind for a catchy tune. Every person I talked to was like, "Yeah, half naked models and disgusting talk about raping women being totally ok as if consent could ever be a blurred line...BUT SO CATCHY!"

Totally grossed me out.

I was super annoyed that the beat for "Blurred Lines" was just an appropriated Marvin Gaye beat. Because 1. Stealing and 2. Marvin Gaye knows how to talk about sex AND consent AND respect and 3. Why not just dance to a BETTER song anyway? But no one would listen. Still, there is hope...in the form of Weird Al!


Thank heavens for a man with a sense of humor and respect who is using that same catchy beat to talk about how annoying it is that no one can get their grammar right...and how we see that now, everywhere, with social media. Don't mind the split infinitive at the end of the video. Instead, turn the volume up and get your dance on to an APPROPRIATE song that doesn't disrespect women and has that some catchy beat everyone seems to love!

Fenna Blue is a NEOhio native. She's an avid geocacher and photographer. Her favorite pastimes are snuggling with her fluffy kitties and cussing like a sailor! She writes for her personal blog, The Honest Badger, and TV review blog, Gotta Watch It.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lookbook :: Summer 2014

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Baby Shower 1 | Nature Center 1

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Nature Center 2 | Eastern Market

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Belle Isle | Vanity Fair

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Baby Shower 2 | Old Nikes

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Best Leggings Ever | Non-Maternity Dress

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Double Rainbow | Griffith Park

At the end of each season, I compile all of my outfits from the past few months into one post. Not only do I like seeing how my personal style has evolved, but I love looking back on the good times! I don't know about you, but I believe that something as simple as a piece of clothing can evoke a wonderful memory. I can peek through my closet and each hanger tells a story.

The sad thing is, I've been thinking about nixing outfit posts from the blog altogether. It's actually an idea I've been struggling with for awhile now. Would you miss them if I stopped? I think I'm going to do another reader survey soon, since it's been almost a year. Until then, we'll just see where life takes me, as my blogs are a reflection of my life. And taking some time off will be the perfect opportunity to prioritize!

PS: You can see my last lookbook post here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Loves :: thredUP vs. Twice / Which is Best for You?

Hey gang! Today I want to compare two separate secondhand sites, thredUP and Twice.

For someone who is seemingly messy and disorganized, I actually love to sort through things, get rid of stuff and put together cute displays around the house. Our bedroom and closet are about double the size of our last, which makes it a bit easier to keep our belongings in order. However, as a recovering hoarder, there's nothing I like better than creating empty space. Can I get an amen?

Dragging bags and boxes of clothes to places like Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Company and Plato's Closet gets tiring after awhile. Companies like thredUP and Twice make selling easy by shipping you a bag that you can fill and send right back from the comfort of your home! (And despite me sounding like a spokesperson, this is not a sponsored post -- just something I want to share with you.)

I've bought and sold with Twice before, but this is my first thredUP experience. Though they're very similar, they do have a few differences as well. I'm going to tell you about my experiences with each thus far and how they compare so you can decide which would be best for you!

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1) Shipping process (selling): With both companies, you can request a bag (with a pre-paid shipping label attached), and it gets sent to you (all folded neatly) within a few days. With Twice, you also have the option of printing out the label instead and sticking it to a box you already have, but I don't have a printer and I'd be too lazy to try to find a box. The bag thing is idiot-proof. And it's free. It costs $4.95 to get your stuff back from Twice and $12.99 to get your stuff back from thredUP. I'm not sure why you would send them anything that you're not ready to get rid of anyway, but if you have separation anxiety, there you go!

2) Shipping process (buying): Shipping is free when you spend $49 or more with Twice; for smaller orders, they charge a $4.95 flat delivery rate. Packages are received within 2-3 business days. As for thredUP, shipping is also free for orders $50 or more. Otherwise, it's $2.99 for the first item and $0.99 for each additional item. Packages are received within 3-8 business days. (So basically, you could buy four $10 items from Twice and it'd be $44.95; if you bought four $10 pieces from thredUP it'd cost $45.96.)

3) Sizes you can buy/sell: Twice carries sizes 00-22. thredUP carries 00-32, along with maternity and kids' clothes too! Pretty exciting stuff for this point in my life.

4) Brands and pricing: Both companies boast a wide price range, from $8 shirts to $800 handbags. There's really something for everyone, either way. When it comes to selling, Twice accepts mostly designer brands (cheapest stores listed would be Express, Ann Taylor, Urban Outfitters, ASOS) whereas thredUP has a wider range of both high and fast fashion (Forever 21, H&M, Target, even TJ Maxx).

5) How much you get back: To give you an idea, I just looked up my records with Twice. I've had 33 items accepted and 38 declined and made $123.25. The amount you receive for your clothes is really dependent on the condition of what you send in, what the original prices were, how new and on-trend the items are, what the brand is, etc. Make sure the clothing is freshly laundered (it's totally worth it to take something nice to the dry cleaner first) and fold everything up in the bag as neatly as you can. If there's anything wrong with the item at all (a stain, tear, missing button, missing tag, etc) it won't be accepted. However, both companies donate what they don't sell, so you can feel good about whatever you're sending in. I never include anything I wouldn't take to Goodwill anyway. You can choose to use your earnings as store credit or cash out via Paypal. thredUP also has the option of donating the money to charity. How sweet!

6) Rewards program: As most companies do, both thredUP and Twice have a rewards program. They're pretty much the same: if you invite a friend and she buys or sells, she gets $10 and so do you. Not too shabby.

I'll be writing a follow-up after I get paid from these new bags, but until then, let me know if you've used either of these websites! Or, which do you think would benefit you more? Feel free to tweet or Facebook me!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lessons :: 3 Things I Learned After Moving 1300 Miles From Home (Guest Post)

Panorama of Denver from Lookout Mountain

"I’m going to move to Denver when my lease is up in Detroit."

I heard the words coming out of my mouth but I still couldn’t believe what I had just said. I was really doing it. I was going to move across the country to a place where I barely knew two other people.

I’m the type of person who, if I say I’m going to do something, then I’m going to do it. That’s why I couldn’t believe I had just told my mom I was moving to Denver. That meant I actually had to do it. I had to leave everything I knew and move to a city I had been to one time for a total of 48 hours.

Aside from being neurotic and having to follow through on everything I commit to regardless of the cost, telling everyone I was moving to Denver helped me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Their reactions shocked me. Most people simply responded with envy.

"Good for you. I wish I could move somewhere awesome."

"Get out of Detroit while you still can, I wish I had."

"If I were your age, I’d be doing the same thing."


After hearing so many regretful responses, I knew I would be in those shoes if I never moved. The truth was, all of those people could have moved if they really wanted to. But they didn’t. They made excuses, they got distracted, they had other priorities.

Rebirth of Detroit Graffiti

FIGHTING WITH MYSELF

That was probably the hardest part of moving. Convincing myself that I wasn’t making the biggest mistake of my life.

"I have a job in Detroit. What if I can’t find a job in Denver?"

"I have friends in Detroit. What if I can’t find friends in Denver?"

"I love living in Detroit. What if I hate Denver?"

"What if I miss my family?"

"What if I miss an important event?"


Finally, I figured out the answer.

WELL…WHAT IF?!

Will I die? Not likely. Will I be sad? Maybe. Will it be the end of the world? No.

The worst that could happen would be that I would be uncomfortable at best. And if I avoid making a decision that could massively impact my life for the better just because I’m afraid of being sort of uncomfortable…I’ll always wonder, "What if I hadn’t chickened out?"

So here I am, now. Four months in Denver. I found a job a week before I moved, I’ve made friends, and I’ve done things I had only dreamed of doing before I moved.

Things worked out almost too perfectly. I can’t promise the same for others considering doing something similar but I can promise that you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would.

If I had to sum up what I’ve learned from the move so far, I’d say there are three things that are most prominent.

GO IT ALONE

Obviously moving somewhere where you don’t know anyone, you won’t always have someone to do things with. But you’ll always have something you want to do (unless you move somewhere weird, then…who knows). That’s the dilemma. So many things to do, so little people to do them with.

You’re going to have to learn to enjoy your own company and be comfortable doing things alone. For introverts like me, sometimes this is a dream come true. Go on a hike without anyone to hold me back or ask me dumb questions? SIGN ME UP!

Other times, it’s lonely. Like when there’s a cool brewery down the road from me but I don’t really want to go alone because I’m too awkward to make friends with strangers around me.

You get used to it. It’s just something you have to deal with until you make some friends.

Yoga at Red Rocks Amphitheater

LEARN TO LOVE THE AWKWARD

I am notoriously…super awkward. I don’t know what it is, but when a stranger talks to me, I immediately forget all words in the English language and how to form a coherent sentence. I walk away from every social situation and immediately think of the perfect thing to say.

Being somewhere new, I’m literally always talking to strangers. And I’m learning a lot in the process which is slowly making me better at meeting new people.

I’ve realized that my social skills will never improve if I sit at home and read books or blogs or watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix for four hours straight. I just have to keep putting myself in awkward situations until they’re not awkward anymore.

In Detroit, it was easy for me to be social without ever getting into an awkward situation. It’s a small city and everyone knows everyone. If I wanted to be social, I could hang out with people I knew and not have to worry about that awkward "Hi, let’s get to know each other" conversation.

Here, things are a bit different. However…

Hiking to the top of Mt. Bierstadt

IT'S A LOT EASIER TO MAKE FRIENDS

Well, I think it is. I don’t know about you but, "Hi. I just moved here and don’t know anyone." is the easiest way to make an awkward situation seem totally normal.

Luckily, most people in Denver are not actually from Denver so I always have great conversations with people I meet about how and why they moved here.

Don’t get me wrong, people aren’t just going to come knocking on your door asking to be your friend, you have to put yourself out there, first. Go to a Meet Up, visit a church, join a gym, take a bike ride on a Saturday afternoon (seriously, I made a friend at a stoplight), just put yourself in social situations.

Once you’re there, making conversation isn’t so bad.

Moving across the country was probably one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made but I knew it was something I had to do to grow as a person. It hasn’t been easy and plans have changed but I don’t think I’ll ever regret it and I know I would have regretted not moving.

If you’ve ever considered moving, do it. Personally, I think it’s something everyone in their 20s should do in order to really get a sense of themselves. When you’re away from everyone you know, you stop being a reflection of everyone around you and start coming into your own. And what’s the worst that could happen? You can always move back if you hate it.

Oh, by the way…I’m Alysia and I write about spiritual and physical health on my blog, Equally Yolked. If you like what you read, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Bloglovin! And check out my other guest post on this blog!
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