Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of Goodwill

Thrifting is a beautiful thing. Everything is much cheaper and completely unique. Occasionally there'll be a stain or something that requires a wash or two, but nothing beats having something old and with a story (I love trying to guess who owned the clothes before I did. The weirdest part is how I probably wear it completely differently).
I only really got into it this year, but I've found some real gems. So without further ado, I present to you...

Green Sweater//Levi's Cutoffs
This sweater was originally purchased to be made into an ugly Christmas sweater. After one wear, I planned to donate it again. It sat in the "donate" pile for a year until I realized how amazing it was (super duper fuzzy, shoulder pads, big sleeves) and put it back in my closet. The shorts used to be jeans that I picked up for my Napoleon Dynamite Halloween costume a few years ago, then chopped into shorts. Gotta love mom shorts...

1970s Embroidered Button-Down
I actually didn't find this at a goodwill, it used to be my mom's. Her grandmother embroidered it for her in the 70s and my brother and I used it as a dress-up fro years until we realized just how fantastic it was. There's a cactus on the pocket and an apple on the back...what more could you want?

Black Accented Blouse//Mom Shorts
Someone once told me that this shirt had a bowling vibe in a good way and I can't help but agree. It goes with nearly everything and it's absurdly unique. I love it. The shorts are also absolutely my favorite shorts that I own. They aren't cutoffs so they generally fit better and are more comfortable. During the summer I live in these.

Crazy 80s Sweater
I was doing some Instagram surfing when I saw an account called Bumbler Vintage tagged. After investigation, I realized it was an etsy shop and that's where I found this marvelous sweater. I mean...just look at it!! The arrows kill me...

Very 80s Pastel Jacket
After purchasing the aforementioned "crazy 80s sweater", this jacket was in the suggestions and I couldn't resist buying it either. It's pure perfection--shoulder pads, the best color combimnatopm I've ever seen. PLUS it's got triangles everywhere. It screams 80s and it screams Hannah. 
I found it here.

What's the best thing you've found at a thrift store?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 No-Cost Gifts

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably either neglected to get someone something or need something creative and heartfelt but don’t have an indefinite bank account. It is officially the eleventh hour in terms of gift shopping, but that’s ok…I’ve got your back:
Bag O’ Compliments
This is my favorite thing to give someone. My friend Jessica gave me a jar full of folded stars with the sweetest messages written on the inside and because it put such a smile on my face, I’ve wanted to make a little container of specific-to-the-person compliments for everyone. It doesn’t take too much—just write your nice things on slips of paper and put them in an envelope. It’s a feel-good gift all around.

Make them a zine
This one can be a little bit time consuming, but if you can doodle on a very basic level, this could be for you. Come up with a theme, and design 6 pages around it. Preferably something the intended gift recipient is particularly obsessed with and preferably given to someone who may appreciate the zine and not think it’s junk. For example, I would never give my 52-year-old father a zine for Christmas. Or my 15-year-old brother.

Write them a poem
There’s nothing more personal than a poem specifically written for someone. It’s beautiful, unique, and something that they’ll cherish forever. Again, make sure they’re the type who enjoys poetry, but if they’re literature-lovers, go for it.

Make earrings or a pin out of an old toy
I recently made some fun dino accessories for myself by gluing pin backs on of plastic dino toys. You can do this with anything! If you have an old toy story figurine, and your BFF loves toy story, do that!! You can work on cleaning out your old toys and make them something super quirky and that nobody else has.

Baked Goods
My Family's famous Irish Shortbread
I love food. I’m guessing you do too. And if you love food, I’ll wager your friends do too. Why not make them extra happy and bake them some cookies? Sure, it’s a very temporary gift, but it’s inexpensive and there’s a good chance they’ll love it.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Readers,

    Recently in my Economics class, my teacher assigned us a project to write a gratitude letter to someone who had positively influenced our lives and then reflect on the experience. I was astounded that we were getting a project that was unrelated to economics--we were being graded on something that would improve our mental health.
     I still did it the night before, but I poured thought into the letter to the drum major from my freshman year. She was also a female trombonist and was instrumental in my involvement in the music program (no pun intended). I looked up to her as a role model and she made me feel welcome when I usually felt awkward and out of place. She was so surprised to hear from me and it felt so good to thank her properly for everything she had done for me, whether she realized what she was doing or not.
     Every day in economics, we write 3 good things that happened to us in the last 24 hours. We take a few minutes out of class to improve our mental health. I feel happier and the 3 good things every day really put things in perspective--it's the little things that count. 
   What really struck me about everything was that this teacher and this class was the first time anyone had tried to improve my mental health and my life in the entirety of my high school career. And that makes you wonder...should we focus more on improving the mental health of teenagers in school? Just some food for thought...
   Anyways I thought that since this season is all about reflection and gratitude, I would share some things that I'm grateful for, and encourage you to do the same:

Take some time and think about who and what make your life special. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mental Health & Compliments

      As much as I hate to admit it, writing college application essays requires a lot of introspection. Many of the prompts have forced me to weigh my values and consider the world's most relevant problems. I'd also consider myself a thoughtful person, so I always try to write something that reaches my core beliefs. So when one prompt asked me what app I would create I was a bit taken aback. What hasn't been made already? What is useful for everyday life? I started to think about things that people typically overlook. There was one glaring topic: mental health. In the fast-paced environments we live in, it's easy to forget about our well-being. A positive attitude can really impact how we think, feel, and act. Mental wellness means a better quality of life, and that's something that all of us deserves.

       From there, I came up with an app that would give people little goals for the day, encourage healthy habits, and offer small reminders to promote wellness. But the feature that I knew I needed to include was a compliment generator. I know it sounds sort of silly, but it's important that we are reminded that we matter and that each of us has something special to offer the world. Compliments can instantly change your mood and someone else's. It's a win-win. I also believe that compliments should not be exclusive to physical appearance. Many people have much more to contribute to the world than just a cute top and perfect hair (although these things are great too! Yay body positivity!). Acknowledging someone as more than just how they look can monumentally improve how that person feels about who they are and how they think others perceive them. Take a couple seconds out of your day to share something you love about a person you know. Giving compliments is an easy  habit to get into and a step in the right direction for mental wellness.

Compliments that aren't about physical appearance


Thursday, November 19, 2015

High Sk├╝le

A few pictures my friend and I snapped during our lunch period. The weather has been unseasonably warm so I've been trying to take advantage of it by eating outside and wearing skirts and going jacket-less.


Shirt: thrifted, Skirt and Socks: Old Navy, Sneakers: Converse, Buttons: all DIY except the french-fried button from

Special thanks to my lovely friend Meredith  for the photographs


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Look Who Decided to Stick Around

It seemed like every weekend has been split between marching band and work and homework and college apps: I don't think I've take a breath since the beginning of the school year
However, that doesn't excuse me from completely neglecting this lovely little blog, so I'm sorry Freckles & Olives, I still love you!

Now to pick up where we left off: 
 I received a package in the mail that I forgot I ordered

This little book has officially made my week. I don't know where I'm going to use any of the stickers because, honestly, they're all too cute in my opinion. I just don't want to use them. 

However what this DID get me thinking of was making my own stickers: 
My friend jackie started this fun underground craft club where we go after school and hang out and make pretty things and talk about our lives. This time, she brought in sheets of sticker paper for every one and we made our own stickers. I had so much fun making these and I think they're darling. If you want to make your own, you can find the sticker paper at michael's (it's literally just paper with an adhesive back) and draw whatever you want! I'll definitely be going back to pick up some more paper for myself.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Exploratory Art

In which I share some stunning, imaginative, and innovative art of four artists from around the globe.

  One. Emi Haze, who lives in north-eastern Italy, is a digital artist who uses Photoshop to create her works. Haze likes to combine elements of the human form with different aspects of nature, juxtaposing our "essence as celestial bodies" with our ever-changing world.
Atom Heart Mother
Atom Heart Mother


Cosmogony Rorschach
Cosmogony Rorschach

Two. David McLeod, is an Australian digital and 3D artist who is currently living in New York City. McLeod experiments with CGI illustration, typography, and  lettering to create 3D objects, motions, textures, and letters. Also make sure you check out these mesmerizing videos of McLeod's 3D motion art.

 McLeod's "visual experiments" under Abstractions. 

Amfursands- That pun though

Material Objects 

Three & Four. People Too are a duo based in Russia that make art with paper. They chronicle their works here, which showcases their artistry and skill with paper. They're best know for bringing sheet music to life, depicting everyday activities like eating, dancing, working, and playing.

drawing art on sheet music bringing to life by people too 15 Using Art to Bring Sheet Music to Life

drawing art on sheet music bringing to life by people too 9 Using Art to Bring Sheet Music to Life
Just look at the hat on the 16th note- my band nerd heart is fluttering with joy.

   I hope you enjoyed exploring the diversity of each artist's work. Art is one of the few things that bring this world together, where we can all feel something universally, despite our differences, so I hope to share new artists as I continue to discover them. Are there any artists you think I should check out? 


Monday, October 5, 2015

Advice from a High School Senior

   The growing anticipation of starting yet other year of school has settled, and students are getting back into the daily grind. For some it's a new beginning and for other's it's another year in the confusing jungle called high school. But having been though the same halls for four year now, I've realized so many things that I wish I would've known/been told as a freshman, sophomore, and even junior. So I figured that I'd share my wisdom for those of who are still plowing through the last four years of primary education before stepping out into the "real world."

   Make the effort to surround yourself with a good group of people. Don't base your friend group around popularity- base it on how supportive and trustworthy they are. Hang around people who make you smile and are judgement free instead someone who makes you feel physically or emotionally drained. Your group of friends is a support network so make sure you're there for your friends as much as you want them to be there for you. Also, make sure you are comfortable being alone at times. You may need advice from a friend(s) at certain times but make sure you are able to rationalize and cope with certain aspects of school school on your own.

"You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people."

-The Breakfast Club

You will be changing all through high school. Looking back, freshman year isn't as cringe-worthy as middle school but it's still bad. Be ready to make changes to your schedules so you have time for extracurricular activities and adjust habits to be more productive. If things just aren't working out for you try new strategies to see if they help (ex. different study techniques). As time goes on you should also be open to tailoring your personality to really become the person you want to be. It may seem a little confusing at times with so much on your plate, but it's important to be happy with who you are. 

 This one is quite simple: don't buy the fanciest and smallest backpack. Buy the one what will survive the flooded hallways, the "I'm throwing this three feet because I'm frustrated," and the 7 ton textbooks you will need to carry. These backpacks may be a little pricey (I have a North Face which was expensive) but they last at least all years in high school. Pro tip: get ones with a solid back and comfortable shoulder straps since it's better for your back. Another pro-tip: forget binders, use folders- they're a million times lighter, a lot cheaper, and let you organize your classes more easily since your teacher will forget to whole punch papers 80% of the time which is extremely frustrating.

Sometimes it's just one of those days where you go from speculating the value in completing textbook notes to questioning humanity's entire existence and your place among it. Speaking from personal experience, these days are difficult (and always fall on the days where you have the most homework and least amount of time) but they're temporary. All you have to say to yourself is "Tomorrow is another day." You have your entire life ahead of you, don't let one teach, friend, assignment, or test bring you down. If you are destined to do something, know that you will find away to accomplish it. 
Schools often forget about the most important part of school: you. If you are not in the right mindset for school it is 100% okay to take a mental health day. Your well being is worth a day off just gathering your thoughts over Netflix. Go back to school the next day feeling refreshed, prepared, and confident.

Join clubs and after school activities from the get-go. Besides boosting your resume, clubs are a great outlet. It's extremely rewarding when you meet and collaborate with people with similar interests for a common goal. Pick some legit clubs first- like Model UN, marching band, robotics, Honor Society, FBLA- and then join some fun ones like hacky-sack club or a crafting club where it's a carefree, low-stress environment.
From another standpoint, get involved in your classes. Participate a lot, engage with your classmates outside of just that class. Also, talk to your teachers. Bring up a cool place you've been to that relates to the subject, talk about an article you like, ask them about how they got into teaching. Engaging with your teachers makes you more comfortable with them as a student and shows the teacher that you genuinely care about the class.  

   Spoiler Alert: you actually need to work hard in high school. Your grades do matter. If you find yourself in a mid-year crisis you need to push through. Although it doesn't always seem worth it, studying and completing your assignments help you a lot in the long run. Grades are more significant junior year but if you've been consistent with the years before it will still be the same, just with some more emphasis on college. You future will start to matter more, and doing well in school will open up many more opportunities when you want them to be available. If you have a goal for yourself, lets say a dream college, print a picture and post it on your bulletin board and keep it in your agenda to remind you how short- term diligence has long-term rewards.Those late night (including a few all nighters) will pay off in high grades, praise, and personal satisfaction.

High school isn't the end all be all for the rest of your life. You may feel like you need to make all these life decision at a young age but you don't need to have everything figured out. It's your life, you make it what it is one step at a time. It's okay not to know, it's okay to mess up. Do what you like, what you want, at your own pace, with your own style, or whatever else. And if there's one aphorism that incorporates all these aspects of high school it's you do you


Any advice you think it important for high schoolers everywhere? Any wisdom for a teenager about to start college, yet another adventure?