What to do…. When it’s ugly weather outside

Introducing: What to do…. Wednesdays

So far, I have only done some random posts that project thoughts that constantly whirr in my head. I would like to switch it up a bit by introducing a “stable” post for every Wednesday called What to do Wednesdays. 

Recently, there has been snow (more like slush) storms that have hit Oregon. This leaves for awful weather to walk twenty minutes in just so you can get to class. Also, apparently those who are prone to allergies, such as myself, end up getting sick due to such ugly weather.

In light of this, I have been thinking of things to do to preoccupy myself while avoiding the weather outside. It is never good to depress yourself even further by doing things that won’t lift your spirits, so do things that make you happy. Things that make me happy are:

  • Chowing down on Girl Scout cookies until I have had enough (Thin Mints=heaven)
  • Skyping with girlfriends whose pretty faces I haven’t seen in forever due to distance
  • Organizing my apartment (potential candidate for OCD)
  • Watching a Classic movie–anything directed by Hitchcock or anything that has Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly in it is preferred
  • Playing some happy music like Sinatra or the Beatles
  • Reading a good book
  • Making some hot Apple Cinnamon tea and muffins
  • Eating a yummy bowl of oatmeal with blueberries in it
  • Pinning so much amazing stuff that I find off the internet

The best thing to remember when the weather gets miserable, is that you don’t have to be as miserable as it. Also, bad weather always provide a good opportunity for having some “me time” 🙂

Come to me, Spring!

As much as I have always loved Winter, the constant stream of wet Oregon wintry weather is really starting to annoy. Okay. Yes it was nice to be at a friend of a friend’s house watching the Oscars and enjoying dinner with snow falling outside.

However, I want  NEED Spring. I want to be able to wear pretty skirts with a light jacket that make me feel girly. I want to see pretty and sugary colors everywhere instead of the drab gray and black (though I am a part of that..tsk). Most of all, I want the sun and the ability to at least even think about picnics near the river.

Somebody want to send or buy this pretty girl some flowers, i’d be quite touched! Color is a dire necessity for my apartment right now!

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Culture Shock

Generally, when you hear the term “culture” you think of a foreign country and their way of life versus yours in the country you live in. This post is not about that type of culture. As I briefly mentioned in my “About Me” section, I am originally from the South. I was born and raised in Houston and lived there until I graduated high school. For some crazy reason I had been fixated on going to school in Oregon and have now been here for a little more than six months. Boy, are things different!

For a while now I have wanted to openly discuss the things that make Texas so awesome and also not so awesome while doing the same for Oregon. So here I go:

Texas PROS: 

  • LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF BBQ
  • Southern Gentlemen
  • Southern Hospitality
  • What-a-Burger
  • Immense love for football
  • The Hill Country
  • Pecans
  • Steakhouses
  • Cowboys
  • George Strait
  • My family
  • HEB
  • ChickFilA
  • Mexican food
  • Last but not least.. It will always be my HOME ❤

Texas CONS: 

  • It is ALWAYS hot pretty much
  • Houston and Dallas traffic
  • Lift-kits
  • The smog and pollution around Houston area
  • HUMIDITY (BLECK)

Oregon PROS:

  • No pollution
  • Beautiful trees and greenery
  • Small little coastal towns that look out onto the Pacific
  • hiking
  • Clean, fresh water
  • Portland
  • So many thrift stores
  • Cool fashion sense
  • REAL seafood

Oregon CONS:

  • Rains almost every day
  • A-lot of poverty in some places
  • Substances out of the wazoo
  • Hypocrites about tolerance
  • Low supply of meat
  • Hippies and Tree Huggers

So, there you have it. A list of Pros and Cons about my home place and where I currently live. Honestly, a big reason as to why I came to write it all out had to deal with yesterday, Ash Wednesday. Like a good Catholic should I went to Ash Wednesday Mass yesterday at noon. Of course I also wore my ashes for the rest of the day like you are supposed to. For some reason I felt that I got more stares at people for the ash cross on my forehead here on campus than I ever did back home. Surprisingly one of my good friends even asked what had happened to me as she did not know what it meant. This is strange to me because where I grew up in Houston there were so many religious institutions that not many people didn’t know about such practices.

Yesterday definitely showed me the differences in faith culture between the two states. I had always known that all over America there could be different sorts of culture identified with their different areas, for instance the South and our use of the words ain’t and y’all. It’s funny how people always talk about learning ’bout new cultures and ways of life in a foreign country when all they need to do really is go to another part of the country.

(Also, if you couldn’t tell by my PROS list for Texas.. I am a major foodie.)

No pain, no gain

This phrase relates to what is going on in my life so well. Just this past weekend I went on my first ever hiking trip and this coming up Weds. is Ash Wednesday while Spring Break just keeps on creeping up. [Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop some pounds during Lent like I did after hiking! ;)]

To start off, for all those who read this and don’t know me personally, I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet (sans swimming). This isn’t because instead I was Miss Pageant Queen or Miss Intellectual (lie… I could be considered being the last one). No, for all of my life i’ve been living with a bum knee that would come out of its socket randomly off and on. So it’s easy to see why I never got super into doing sports or anything of the sort. With that being said, I also have never been hiking before either. I may have gone into the trip with rose colored glasses because what I did was not at all what I had expected. Never in my life did I think i’d be climbing up a freaking 70 degree angle slope of a sand dune not just once but twice (by the third time I just slid my way down…wheeee!). Honestly, I am still suffering from it all while typing this in my nice n’ cozy bed.

Also, being the bad Catholic that I am I totally didn’t know what day Ash Wednesday was until this past Friday (tsk tsk on me). So while collapsing after getting home from my hike last night I contemplated what I could give up for Lent. Not wanting to get all big headed, but it was hard to come up with things that are considered vices. I don’t drink alcohol nor coffee, I don’t smoke and I don’t eat that much chocolate (allergic). So I was stuck… Until I thought of my routine every other week day: “Go to Geology lecture..wait an hour at Dux while eating a poppyseed muffin and Chobani yogurt..then go to Math”. Simple? Yes..but there is a culprit amongst that routine and that is that damn poppyseed muffin. I don’t know why but I love those things, just are so yummy! Yet, I didn’t feel like that was enough. So I looked back at my daily routine and was noticing how I like to frequent Facebook a few times a day (hey, who doesn’t?). Therefore, adios Facebook and poppyseed muffins for quite a few weeks! And I know it’ll be tough and there will be lots of temptation…but it’s okay, Pinterest and blueberry muffins/banana bread will help me cope 😉

Looking from both situations from a “glass half full” perspective, you can speak of how from hiking I got some exercise and from Lent I distanced myself from the drain of Facebook….. which leads me to how Spring Break is coming up! As we all know, this time of year is when more and more gym memberships are being activated and you see more women out there on the running trails. Yes, swimsuit season will shortly be upon us. Therefore it is time to “feel the burn” and get going on that body! I myself am even wanting to get in better shape (meaning to TONE, not go all supermodel SKINNY–don’t do it girls, you’re just hurting yourselves!). It’s hard not to get into a mindset of wanting a “killer bod” when people keep on pinning cute swimsuits on Pinterest or while flipping through a magazine you see an editorial featuring the latest swim concoctions.

The hiking trip and Lent can then, inexplicably, be narrowed down to helping me. If I eat no poppyseed muffins, then I am therefore eating less bread in general. By going on that hiking trip I learned that I can physically accomplish a-lot more than what I thought I could meaning I can go on more strenuous walks in the park. Lastly, the less time I spend on Facebook equates to more time enjoying things that actually have value. Therefore, the phrase “no pain, no gain” can truly come out meaning that even if you “lose” something there can always be something better to take its place. 🙂

(Have a good beginning of the week y’all!)

It’s sometimes not “just hair”….

With short hair you begin to crave pearl necklaces, long earrings, and a variety of sunglasses. And you brush your teeth more often. Short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style. When it starts growing out a little and losing its style, you have to wear sunglasses until you can get it to the hairdresser. That’s why you need a variety. short hair makes you aware of subtraction as style. You can no longer wear puffed sleeves or ruffles; the neat is suddenly preferable to the fussy. You eye the tweezers instead of the blusher. What else can you take away? You can’t hide behind short hair… you may look a little androgynous, a little unfinished, a little bare… but your face is no longer a flat screen surrounded by a curtain: the world sees you in three dimensions.” -Joan Juliet Buck

 

Having just a few inches of hair on my head, you can definitely say I stand out in a sea of young women my age. Then again, even if my hair was not as short as it is (though I could go shorter…and have thought about it) I still stand out being a brunette. For so many women, blonde still is recognized as the “it” color. Just like long, flouncy hair is the “it” cut. I know a-lot of women and girls who have dyed their hair or put in extensions because of following the trends. Let me tell you, they looked so much better before!

Oh and guys say they don’t understand the female obsession with looks, especially with hair, even though they also promote the idea of what is “it”. Many guys go for a long haired woman than one with short hair. As Joan Juliet Buck noted the look of short hair is perceived as “androgynous” and for some reason many have come to the conclusion that women who have short hair are also homosexual (this is so NOT true men and women). So every time I go back home and head into Houston for my haircut, I am always surrounded by women saying “Oh no, just a trim” as they sift through the latest magazine. That is the one thing that is true, society prefers a woman with long hair versus one with short hair. How many times have you seen a woman with cropped hair be on the cover of a magazine? Not very often. And those that do appear on the cover are because of the hair or the “change” they did or the label that the short hair has given them (ex: Rooney Mara now as a badass because of her Lisbeth ‘do).

Women with short hair should be looked at in a similar light to those who have longer hair: that they are beautiful. That just because of their hair does not mean that they cannot be perceived as sexy or pretty or graceful. There should be no standard label of a short-haired woman as a “badass” or “tough”. On the contrast, in my experience with having short hair (for the past two years now) I have become more feminine in my appearance. Granted, on many days when I am not in the mood to even get out of my apartment I resort to my skinny jeans and motorcycle jacket–it’s comfy!

However, I have come to love how with short hair more of the emphasis has been on my NATURAL beauty such as my high cheek bones or my eyes that act as my very own mood rings or my cute nose. People now are not just looking at my hair but are looking at ME and it is such a wonderful feeling. And yes, I have also had to deal with the stereotypes associated (again, lady at Home Goods, those plates were for my friends mother not for us) which is disappointing. Disappointing because of the image that some have of women with short hair they will not get to know that person. For all they know, that woman could’ve become your best girl friend and you just blew it!

Hair, being a big component of appearance, has come to matter greatly. As much as we’d hate to admit it, we do judge a book by its cover. Just like how I can go on against the beloved societal norm of long hair women with said long hair can rant on how only women with short hair are looked at as tough.

So no, hair is not just hair. Just like all other things, hair has the ability to define you.

Love Thyself

Hello y’all! Yes, on the day of love and flowers and romance and Hallmark cards I have decided to start a blog. Random? Yes. Is it because midterm exams are over with and i’m single and don’t know what else to do on Valentines day? Err, yes and no.

For a good period of time I have been an avid reader of lifestyle, cooking, and fashion blogs. However, it always made me sad that the majority of those out there who do blog are generally in their late twenties and who have a pretty steady life–career and longtime boyfriend or husband. For those of us who are still going through the general messiness of life (I do not mean to say that marriage or a full-time cannot be messy), it sometimes can be hard to relate to things that are blogged about.

No, I do not attend fashion shows whenever they roll around each year. My idea of a catwalk is the distance from the door to my seat in lecture hall or the tiny bit of walking distance in a restaurant in my college town. I also do not have a fancy camera where I can daily take pictures of my outfits, even though I wish I did. However, that last one might be a good thing considering the late avid use of my UOregon pullover and skinnies and Docs outfit. (Listen, this rain here is HARD to work with when it comes to trying to look cute. Not cool.)

Yet, I always make the best of things. Am I technically single on this day that everybody celebrates as a couples holiday? Indeed, I am, but the thing is that ultimately I am fine with that. I already surround myself with people who love and cherish me such as my friends and family, and first and foremost, I LOVE MYSELF. I think that is one thing that people need to take away from this holiday–loving themselves.

I hope that all who read this know how important it is to appreciate and love yourself. If not, maybe this can serve as a reminder of you. It is a very important thing to remember and I know many lose touch with that fact, which I see daily of other girls here at my college. Just know: “You is smart You is kind You is important.”

I hope y’all have a LOVEly Valentines Day wherever you are.

CP