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