Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Why I Stand With Kesha

I have been sick now for the last couple of weeks, and somehow got worse again this weekend, so I'm finally going to the doctor tomorrow. Winter is definitely the worst season for health! I hope you are all powering through this rough flu season with plenty of orange juice.
Today I wanted to talk about something that I am sure you have all heard about: the Kesha court case. I think it is so horrible that in today's world, a woman still has to work with a man who abused her after she spoke out about it, and made it known to a judge. The fact that our society gets to "judge" whether or not a woman actually got raped is scary; we should never make a woman who was abused in any way feel like her experience is not valid. The way some women are treated after they are raped is horrible, too. They should not be looked down upon in any way, be blamed for what happened to them by another person, or lose any of their merit in regards to their professional life or career.

It is heartbreaking to hear sayings like "she was asking for it," or "well, dressed like that, what did she expect?" Women should now be blamed for actions that are done to them without their consent. It does not matter in the slightest what they are wearing, no means no. Just because a woman is wearing a mini-skirt and a tank top, as opposed to head-to-toe clothing, does not in any way constitute them being asked to be raped. The fact that I, and every single woman, have to question our outfits as being "acceptable" or not too risqué, shows just how wrong our society is in the way in which women are viewed, and have to act in order to protect themselves.
It is also incredibly sad that women do not feel safe while walking home alone in the dark. It is natural for us to have at least one other person with us in order to feel safe, and even then, will cross the street if there is a group of guys making sexual remarks to us, just to be safe. My parents never had to worry as much about my brother being raped, or assaulted in any other way, as much as they did (and still do!) about me. The fact that their worries are extremely valid is the most sobering part. When I went out in high school, it was expected that I would send them quick updates throughout the night telling them where I was, my expected time of arrival back home, and if I had any problems with anything. Their concern comes out of a place of love, which I appreciate greatly, but it is also sad that they had to worry so much about letting their daughter go anywhere only with friends. Even my older brother (read: overprotective older brother) worried about me going out when we were younger, and still does with me being at college. My parents were also super anxious about me going to college, because they wouldn't be there to constantly know my whereabouts, but we talk everyday which allows them a little (tiny) bit of relief.
Back to the Kesha case, it is tragic that she is going to be forced to work with a man who abused her, and that she can't do much of anything about it. No woman deserves that. The fact that a judge gets to decide whether or not she can break her contract after she was sexually abused by the man is also terrible. It should not be up to debate; because she was abused by this man, Kesha has every right to break it.
I have never posted anything like this on my blog before, but I think it is a super important topic that everyone should be talking about. The Kesha case is just one of many, and though it is really well-known right now because she is a celebrity, it is bringing a lot of awareness to the disparities women still face today, especially in regards to rape and sexism.

Do you stand with Kesha?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to: Get Rid of Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin)

I hope you are all having a good week so far! We are nearly to Friday, which means we are so close to the weekend, and the weekend=sleep. These past few weeks have been so incredibly busy, and my sleep schedule has definitely been suffering. I can't wait to just sleep in this weekend and relax a little bit!

For today's post, I'm going to be talking about Keratosis Pilaris, or chicken skin (not my favorite term), which are those pesky little bumps on arms, and sometimes thighs. I often get a couple on my cheeks in the winter when my skin is dry, and I have always had them on my arms. When I was younger, I was extremely self-conscious of them, because they can be very unsightly at times. As you already know, I didn't have great confidence when I was younger, and my arms were a huge part of that. I hated wearing short sleeve shirts because they showed my arms and Keratosis Pilaris, so in turn, I hated my arms. This was problamatic because I was always in dance and swim while growing up, but I actually never really thought too much about it, because I was too focused on the activity at hand. My teammates were like family, anyway, so I felt comfortable enough around them to show my arms.

These bumps are usually white or red, and itch sometimes, but are otherwise not physically bothersome, other than not looking very nice. They are the results of the buildup of keratin in hair follicles, which blocks their growth and forms these bumps. The cause for this extra keratin is unknown, but has been linked to a couple of different things, like gluten intolerance. Funnily enough, when I stopped eating gluten because of my allergy, my bumps improved greatly. I can't say with certainty that these two things are linked, but other people have noticed this as well. According to doctors, KP is supposed to go away by the time you are 30. My mom has KP as well, but once she was around my age (19), hers started improving greatly, and they were essentially gone when she reached her twenties. My KP did improve a lot once I got to high school, which was really nice. Today, I don't have nearly as much as I did when I was younger, but I also know how to manage it a lot better now.

My mom and I tried most everything to get rid of my KP since it bothered me so much. We asked my doctor about it, who prescribed a couple of creams that didn't really help, and I couldn't use them continuously anyway since my skin is so sensitive (we're talking extremely sensitive here, so much so that I have to use baby sunscreen). Then we heard of KP Duty from Derma Doctor, which you can get from Sephora, and the product seemed very promising. We excitedly bought it, hoping for the miracle results it promised. I gave the lotion a couple of months, and I didn't notice a difference at all. It was a good moisturizer, yes, but for that price, it was not worth it at all.

After that, we decided to try all-natural products, so I started using a Burt's Bee's honey body butter. I absolutely loved it because it smelled really nice, and did improve my bumps a little bit. It wasn't expensive, so I stuck with it for a couple of years, since there wan't really an alternative that worked better. In conjunction with this, I read that coconut oil could help improve the bumps, so I made a coconut sugar scrub to use in the shower. It really helps to moisturize my skin, and also gently exfoliate it a bit. I don't use it that often anymore, simply because it's a little messy to use in the shower, and I don't really have the time to keep up with making it in college.

I also tried the Lush Buffy Body Butter, which was a really good lotion bar, but didn't do much in the way of improving my KP. It was a nice replacement for the coconut oil sugar scrub since I didn't have to actually make anything, however, it wasn't worth it for me to keep buying it. Plus, it was a little too abrasive for my sensitive skin.

Last year, I saw a commercial for a lotion from Gold Bond called "Rough and Bumpy Skin," and was really eager to try it. I read reviews of it online, and they were all really positive, so I decided to give it a try. I again gave it a couple of months to really start working, since it takes a while for any treatment of KP to have an effect, and I was pleasantly surprised! No, not all of my bumps are gone, but they are greatly improved. I still have them, but I wasn't expecting for this to be the cure-all bump-slayer, because these little suckers are incurable. I'm not sure if they are going away simply because I am getting older, or if this body lotion is really doing its job. Either way, this lotion is really moisturizing, and comes in a huge tub that lasts me for a couple of months. It doesn't have a smell which is really important for my skin, because it typically does not tolerate scented products. I slather it on all over my body right after the shower (which is the most important time to moisturize!), and my skin is nice and moisturized for the rest of the day! This product is also really great for the winter when my skin is especially dry.

As far as how I manage my KP, I have found a routine that really works for me. I exfoliate my arms (gently!) once or twice a week with the Simple Smoothing Face Scrub, and use the Rough and Bumpy lotion everyday as soon as I get out of the shower. This works for me, and I have been through many different products to get here! Different things work for different people, so make sure you find out what helps you the most, and stick with it! My mom always told me my KP would get better as I got older, and it really has been true for me. However, waiting until you're 30 for your KP to improve is really frustrating when you are young and unhappy with the way your skin looks, so try out a couple of different ways to see what helps!

I also made a video about this, which you can check out here!

I hope these tips helped, and that you find a way to manage your KP! Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

This is NOT a sponsored post, and all opinions are mine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lampshading: How to Style a Turtleneck

Before I get into this post, I just wanted to let you guys know that I got into the study abroad program I applied for in San Sebastián, Spain! I found out on Saturday, so now I'm just waiting to hear back from the London program, and depending on what they say, I'll choose between the two! At least now I know for sure that I'll be studying abroad this summer. I am so, so, so excited!! Both locations would be a blast, so I don't think I can go wrong with either program. Hopefully I hear back from the London program soon, though, so I can decided and start getting ready for the program I choose, because they are both coming up in about 5 months! That really isn't long, and I like to prepare early, so I'm itching to make a decision.
I also just found out last night that I got into my major, which is International Relations! I am so relieved to finally find out that I got in, because now I can start planning even more for my future. As you all can tell, planning makes me very happy haha. I went out last night with my friends and got ice cream to celebrate, and I ate way too much, but I was too happy to care! I just wanted to update you guys really quickly, because I'm just so happy! :)

Now moving on to the post at hand: you may have heard the term "lampshading" here and there, and you're probably thinking uh, why would I want to look like a lamp? When I first heard of this, I was super confused as to what it actually meant, so I looked around, and I am loving this trend! It just basically refers to wearing an oversized turtleneck sweater, with either tights and boots, or knee high boots. I always wear mine with sweater tights for warmth, but I think they also look so cute with knee high boots! I have really been wanting to get a pair of knee high boots because they can dress up any outfit, and they are just really cute in general.

When it comes to sweaters, I usually always go for more neutral colored ones, so I really wanted to try something new with this electric blue colored one! It's great to brighten up your wardrobe in the winter, and it makes my hair pop, which is really nice. I got this sweater from H&M.
I usually wear this sweater with my sweater tights from Nordstrom, but it can also be worn with leggings! Whichever you prefer will be really cute, because you can't go wrong with these sweaters.

I like to wear simple statement jewelry with my sweater, because I want the main focus to be the turtleneck aspect, and the color. Here, I have a couple of my favorite rings: my moon and star one from Tilly's, my vine ring I always wear, and also a geode ring one of my best friends got me. I like the eclectic collection of all of them when they are put together!

Keeping my hair in a half bun also keeps it out of my face, which is really nice, and adds a little complexity to the look. Turtleneck sweaters also look really nice with your hair pulled slicked back into a ponytail, for a more chic look! I actually did that today with this outfit, and I love how it looks. You can also always go for an effortless down 'do!

Here, I'm just wearing my classic baby pink bag from Ted Baker, since really anything goes with this sweater. It gives it a bit more of a girly look, but I think pairing this with a dark bag could make it look super cool as well. I was wearing this out during the day, so I tend to go for lighter colored bags when I am running errands. This one also happens to basically contain my life, so it's easier to grab when I know I'll need random little keepsakes from my purse.

I like to wear my classic combat boots from Steve Madden with this outfit, because it gives the look a bit more of a grunge style to it, but if you pair different shoes with a turtleneck, it creates a whole different feel to the outfit! Thigh high boots make it look super chic, booties can add a really cute night-out look, and I love my combat boots when I wear this during the day.

Those are my tips on styling an oversized turtleneck sweater, and how to achieve the lampshade trend that everyone is talking about! It's a bit of a strange urban trend - I've seen it a lot in downtown Seattle - but I think it is so cute, and works for everyone. It seriously feels like you're wearing a blanket all day, and is perfect for a cold winter day when you just want to cuddle in a huge sweater, but still look cute!

Do you like turtleneck sweaters?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dressed-Up Winter Look

I cannot believe it is February already. January really flew by, but overall it was a pretty good start to the year! It was one of the busiest months I've had in a while, which probably sets the tone for a very busy year. That is just fine with me, since it means a lot of opportunities! I just turned in my application to my major, as well as two for study abroad programs this summer. I applied to a program in London, and one in San Sebastián, Spain, so hopefully I get one. I will keep you guys posted!
As for today's post, I'm going to be sharing an outfit that I wear a lot in the winter when I want to look a little more dressed up, or just feel like looking nice!

 I thought the Seattle skyline looked so cool in this photo!

 As in my Casual Winter Outfit, this is the cowl that I made myself with giant yarn! It is seriously my newest obsession, and I really want to make a blanket out of giant yarn!

 My sweater is from Nordstrom, and it is definitely one of the staples in my wardrobe! It goes with most anything, can be dressed up or down, and is super comfortable!

My booties are from Nordstrom Rack, and they are super comfortable! I am super picky with shoe comfort, so I was really happy to find these.

 This is the ring that I always wear, and I believe I got it at Tilly's, but it's been a long time! It's a vine ring, and is one of my all-time favorites. I also always forget to take off my Fitbit when I take outfit pictures! The thing never really leaves my wrist, anyway.

 My skirt is from H&M, and I love the burgundy color of it. Burgundy and maroon have both been two of my favorite colors clothes-wise for a while now. They are so pretty for the fall and winter, so I try and wear them as much as possible during both seasons!

 I'm also wearing sweater tights here from Nordstrom, and ohmygosh if you don't have sweater tights, you seriously need to get some! They amazingly enough keep you super warm, and they are so soft and cozy. I wear them all the time during the winter, because they allow me to wear cute skirts and dresses that I probably wouldn't wear otherwise due to the cold!

All in all, this is one of my go-to looks when I want to look more put together, and can't find an excuse to wear yoga pants and a sweater to something. These colors are all so pretty for winter, and work well really well together.

What do you like to wear in the winter when you have to look more dressed up?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)