A Peek Inside of Influenster's #HCVoxBox

Hey all! For the past year, I've been signed up for Influenster. 
Long story short: Basically, you sign up, answer a few questions about yourself, and link your social accounts. That's it.

My favorite part about Influenster is that it doesn't take a huge chunk out of your day. A lot of similar websites will ask you to perform more tasks, answer more questions, etc, but you never get as many products, and if you do, they're not full-sized. It's just not worth it, you know? I'm not going to spend hours on hours on your website so I can get a travel sized lotion.

But Influenster is different. They work with top brands and offers boxes and products to everyone. You don't have to have a huge following on social media and you don't have to pay a CENT. Literally, ever. 

They just want you to test the products. It's really a win-win-win situation for the site, the brand, and YOU.

I think it's just a fun community to be apart of. It makes my day getting a voxbox sent to me. And the tasks, contests, and questions they offer aren't a hassle, they're actually fun to do. 

So, yeah, that's what Influenster is. If you're interested in joining, here's the link.
Here's what I got in the #HCVoxBox:

1. Kettle Brand Potato Chips in Pepperoncini
I'm a huge fan of kettle chips. I mean, once I learned they existed, I couldn't get enough of them. The last kettle brand flavor I had was salt and vinegar and I thought it was too sweet and mediciney - but these pepperoncini chips were BOMB. I was so sad when the bag ended. It was similar to the jalapeno flavor.
2. Ludens Throat Drops in Green Apple
This was awesome on Influenster's part to include these. Cough drops are one of those things everyone needs but rarely buys. I love the variety of flavor Luden's offers and I'm super excited to try the strawberry banana flavor.
3. Olay Active Botanicals cleanser
When I was reading the ingredients on the back, I didn't see any alcohols that are known to be harmful to the skin, which was a plus. It has cucumber and snow mushroom extract and really does refresh my skin. I'm stoked to see if there's going to be any long term affects! All I know is, I'm stepping up my skincare routine with #ActiveBotanicals. It's worth a try!
4. Sinful Colors Nail Polish / "Diamond in the raw" and a top coat
Normally, silvery colors don't go on the nails too good unless you add a few coats, but this went on nicely. And I'm so glad they added a top coat! It dried really fast and has been lasting me a while.
5. Red Vines Original Twists
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Red Vines or Twizzlers. I tried them to see if anything changed, but they just taste like bitter, sugary, rubber sticks. I don't know, I'll probably just give them to my mom.

These products featured were sent to me for free by Influenster for testing purposes. But hey, that is the point of the site! x

14 Struggles of a Barista

I don't talk about it often because it's truly not that interesting, but I'm a barista! It's not my deepest passion, but it's a pretty awesome gig for the meantime.

I've worked at two different Starbucks, a Peets Coffee & Tea, and a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. This was all within a year and mostly because I relocated so much. However, I loved every bit of it. I truly mastered coffee and tea in every form and learned the 3 top coffee shops inside and out. That's something I know is beneficial to me.

Now, I'm about to start my SECOND barista job at the busiest Starbucks in the nation (that's a fact, not an exaggeration): at Disneyland. Sweet neptune...why do I do this to myself? I just love Disneyland a lot.

I love coffee and tea. Personally, being on bar is a really therapeutic experience for me. The sweet aroma of espresso grinding. The challenge of steaming the perfect milk. Mixing powders, syrups, espresso and milk into the perfect concoction of a drink. It's lovely! Sometimes coffee is the high point of someones day, and I like to be the one making their drink perfectly. I've gotten my drink messed up so many times and I never want customers to experience that.

I mean, did you know coffee is one of the #1 things people instagram? Coffee culture is something that has gone through the roof within the past 5-10 years. It's all over social media. Celebrities cannot be seen without holding their cup of coffee. People freak out during pumpkin spice season. Coffeeshop playlists are some of the top playlists on spotify. Most people meet for coffee instead of anything else. Everyone is in love with latte art. Coffee is a big part of our culture now and I enjoy being apart of that, as a barista and a customer.

However, sometimes being a barista isn't that lovely...there are some struggles. Let's talk about it, shall we?

{Oh, and happy national coffee day everyone!}
All day September 29th, expect free or discounted coffee and basically every coffee shop in the world.

1. When customers say: "Oh, I wanted it iced."
You might've wanted it iced, but you definitely didn't say that.

2. And we can't forget the classic: "Oh! I forgot, I wanted soy milk."
If you truly can't have dairy, you'll know to say soy milk. I've been ordering lattes for 3 years with soy milk and I never forget because I hate drinking dairy. A lot of people like to say they wanted soy after they paid, but that just makes it inconvenient for all the other customers waiting behind you and the baristas. 

3. Saying you'll shower in the morning but never following through. 
I mean, who wants to wake up at 4 AM to shower? Not me. Overall, your shower schedule gets pretty messed up.

4. Customers coming in daily with extra complicated orders that you know make no sense. 
You accomodate their order, but they still complain. You are left wondering why they don't make it at home.

5. Wanting coffee from a cafe that you don't work at really bad but not wanting to pay for it. 
"I can just make that at work for free...keep it together.."

6. Always judging the playlist of music that plays throughout your shift. 
Wanting to burst out in dance when your jam comes on and wanting to stand in the back for 5 minutes when a Maroon 5 song comes on. 

7. While you love coffee in every shape and form, you can't help but judge the pretentiousness of some of your coworkers. 
At the end of the day, it's a cup of coffee.

8. When the company you work for has strict corporate standards and you're forced to follow them although they aren't beneficial to anyone. 
Who would know what's best for the customers - the executive assistant sitting at an office filing paperwork, or the barista making the drinks and dealing with the customers on a daily basis? *sips tea*

9. When the customers change ends up being 1 cent and they put it in your tip jar. 
When the customers change ends up being 1 cent and they don't put it in your tip jar. I never know how to feel. Should I feel thankful or offended?

10. When you're having a badass conversation with your coworker and a customer walks in and you stop mid-sentence to scream "HEY HOW ARE YA?!" 
15 lattes later..."So what were we talking about?"

11. Yelling out drinks and having a customer come up 10 minutes later, "Which one is decaf? Is this mine? Wait..I don't know if this is what I ordered. Can you remake it?" 
As a barista, we are constantly busy. I probably forgot your name and your drink and moved onto other names and drinks. I don't know if that's your decaf whole milk 5 shot extra hot vanilla latte.

12. Also, we love when you're in a rush so you treat everyone rudely. 
If you plan to get coffee every morning, you should leave the house earlier. *sips tea again*

13. Sticky, syrupy arms. Always smelling like coffee. Burn marks on your hands. Constantly having hat hair.

14. Society romanticizing the barista. 
Sure, it takes a lot of knowledge, art, and skill. And it's a bit harder to get compared to typical food / retail jobs. But it's not like we just stand around drinking gourmet coffee listening to indie music. There's a lot of work we put into the coffee, tea and espresso drinks. And we have to clean...be cashiers...deal with customer service...and clean. There's a ridiculous amount of cleaning. 

{The Paradise Falls Jar}

The 'paradise falls' jar is a jar filled with loose change and extra money, created by Carl and Ellie from Disney's Up. Throughout their life together, they are always saving for their next adventure, especially their trip to Paradise Falls. 

I've been craving adventure and it feels really good to save up for it.

What I'm potentially saving up for:
Disneyland dates.
San Fransisco road trip.
New York business trip.
A moped or vespa, preferably Italian.
A new car / apartment.
Fluffy cardigans.
Dresses with peter pan collars.
Nerdy conventions, of course!
A PS4..and new games.
And a whole lotta snacks.

Here is my Up inspired Paradise Falls Jar.

Simply Dress: Red Carpet Inspiration

Every time I watch the Emmys, I become obsessed with fashion. It's one of my dreams to attend an award show just so I can style my outfit. Award show season brings out the stylist in me.

With all of this in mind, I thought I would compile a collage of my four favorite dresses from Simply Dress.

They offer prom/homecoming dresses, wedding dresses, red carpet dresses, etc. Their dresses are all really versatile. From your typical over-the-top neon princess prom dresses...all the way to regal classic gowns.

Even their wedding dresses are affordable and elegantly unique. This is one of my favorite wedding dresses from Simply Dress. It looks like something a medieval bride would wear - except it's modernized, of course.

The aesthetic I want when it comes to dresses, you ask?
Dark and lacy romantic reds - reminiscent of ancient balls and New York nights.
Glittery golds mixed with neutral tones of beige and silver, shimmering their way through even the largest of crowds. 
Fitted waists, meshed tops, flowing bottoms, gracing the floor with each and every loud step, embracing the enchantment to come.

I miss that feeling. And If I have a special occasion coming up, you'll find me browsing Simply Dress for hours...

HONEYMOON by Lana Del Rey - A Full Review & Recap

Honeymoon is finally out.

Del Rey's debut album, Born to Die, was a fiery explosion of red white and blue...to say the least. As she started to release more music, her hair got darker. Her voice got deeper. It was like you could sense the pure exhaustion in her soul. You got to live out her journey with her, which is why each album is truly a gem in it's own way.

A lot of critics think Honeymoon is underwhelming compared to her past albums. Yet even more critics will state that Honeymoon is Lana's best album yet.

However, I can't agree with either statement. Lana Del Rey isn't to be judged in that sense. She makes music because she has to, not to break records or top charts. Each album represents a set of stories, an era in Del Rey's life. They are tied together with secret motifs wrapped in poetry and pain. When we try to judge one Lana's music from a production, instrumental or even a vocal standpoint - we are judging her wrongly. Art is a very organic process for Lana and we don't have to like the art she puts out.

While Born to Die, Paradise, Ultraviolence, and even her unreleased music show her in abusive relationships, driving across the country, starving for fame, struggling with drugs and money - Honeymoon is the light at the end of the tunnel. It's sort of coming to terms with who you are and your situation. There's not much to do once you hit the top. "What now?"

Honeymoon isn't the journey or the destination. It's the after. She stated in an interview with V Magazine that Honeymoon is about "life, love, paradise, freedom...that's forever. With someone, or just with yourself."

These 3.5 albums have been quite an adventure. I never listened to them because they passed the societal standard of 'what real music is,' but because I've always felt a spiritual connection to them.

There's a sense of acceptance and hope in Honeymoon, instead of the typical feeling of struggle and stress. And I can vibe with that.

Here is a track-by-track review of Honeymoon:

1. Honeymoon
I expected a lot out of this song, but it's actually my least favorite on the album. I think it's boring, underwhelming, and really has no underlying theme to it.
2. Music to Watch Boys To
This is one of her few 'background' songs. It doesn't carry as much as most of her music does, but it's refreshing to have that on a Lana album.
3. Terrence Loves You
This song is honestly so beautifully crafted. It's jazzy, raw, and REAL. It's filled with desperate love and sudden realization of your current situation. "I lost myself when I lost you..."
4. God Knows I Tried
An absolute 1960s bittersweet dream. It really represents the end of an era with such hopeful undertones. It makes me want to go soul-searching again and run in an open field.
5. High By the Beach
Just a tad overrated, but it's a lovely song for summer.
6. Freak
Sitting by the pool in California, light rock music in the background, summer love & sunsets. This song makes me want to relive summer again. Not to mention, it's one of her sexiest songs.
7. Art Deco
The moment she says "queen of the downtown scene," my heart literally stops. If Born to Die, her unreleased demos and Ultraviolence had a baby, it would be this track.
8. Burnt Norton (Interlude)
I'm so happy Lana included this. Her voiceovers make me want to takeover the world and fall asleep at the same time. Ever since she started putting voiceovers in her music and videos, almost every female artist started doing it. Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Halsey...the list goes on and on. I choose Lana's voiceovers anyway.
9. Religion
If any song is going to be a single, it should be 'Religion.' The very moment the chorus hits, it's like I have the sudden urge to start dancing.
10. Salvatore
Am I driving through Italy on a red moped or am I listening to this song? I want to slow dance to this song in Italy while eating spaghetti and I WILL. Absolutely stunning.
11. The Blackest Day
This song embodies Lana Del Rey. It starts off with one of her classic nail polish references, continues with her nostalgic vocals, and of course she talks about cars and guns. 1950s tease.
12. 24
I don't even care about the lyrics, because her vocals make me go crazy in this song. Filled with grace and adrenaline, it sounds like it came straight out of a James Bond film.
13. Swan Song
This song hits me because I know how hard Lana has struggled in her life to get where she is and at this point, she just wants to live and love. This could potentially be the last 'real song' on a Lana album, so I don't take the lyrics lightly. Let's just say I cried the first time I listened to it.
14. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
"But I'm just a soul who's intentions are good..." A strikingly beauteous cover and an impeccable way to end the album.

Listen to Honeymoon below.

And the collection is complete.

Enthusiastic Girl + 'Boring' Life = Realizations

Lately, I've been having realizations about the way I've been living my life and how it's not healthy for me. Happiness is key, mental health is key, spirituality is key, relationships are key, art is key. So...what exactly was I doing wrong?

I didn't want people to love me or hate me. I wanted to just be there. If I was grocery shopping, it was just that. If I was working, it was just that. If I was at school, it was just that.

But with me 'just being there' in so many situations in my life, I began to lose my identity, therefore, I began to lose moments that had so much potential to be great out of a silly fear of people having any type of feeling towards me.

One night I lost it. I began crying, and crying.....and crying some more. Why wasn't I immersing in life? My life looks so good on paper and in pictures. And to be fair, it is a good life. So why did I feel this way?

It's because I didn't give myself time to feel these moments. I was rushing myself through life and running in circles. I ran into this problem too often and I was sick of running into it again.

I didn't let people in my life the way I used to because I was clouded by what was important to me. I had the relationship I wanted, my career was on the right path, and I knew what I wanted in life...so everything else was just background noise. I stopped talking to people because I didn't want them to expect anything out of me.

I suppose I was just used to conversation meaning more than conversation. I always assumed if someone was talking to me, they wanted something from me: whether it be money, food, advice, or a connection to someone I knew.

Rainy day in LA.
And if it wasn't for something I could actually physically give them, it was for what they wanted me to be in their life - their best friend, their girlfriend, their advice-giver, their colleague, etc. And because I never knew the intentions when someone started conversation with me, I would avoid it and keep it minimal.

It took me along time to find out who I actually was and I went through a lot of soul-searching to get there, but then I got comfortable. I started to pick and choose who I would be myself with and where I would be myself.

I started hiding parts of myself out of convenience and just to make the day go by faster. Yet because I was living like this, every day felt the same: boring and bland.

My thoughts continued to flow through me. I remembered who I am. I am eternally enthusiastic and I embrace the little things in life: my favorite snacks, the change of seasons, little compliments from people. Yet lately, I haven't been appreciating those things. So I knew I had to get out of this funk immediately, because I was wasting the biggest gift I could ever receive: life.

One day, I thought, "fuck it." I decided to be ME in each and every moment and talk to everyone that crosses my path. I was done downplaying myself. I spoke up when I wanted to speak up. If I wanted to make an inappropriate joke, I did it. If I liked what someone was doing, I told them. If I wanted to reference a film that no one knew, I did it anyways because maybe (just maybe) someone might know about it.
I wrote this blogpost while eating this yummy lunch box.

Not everyone has such intense intentions while talking to you, and let me tell you, it sure makes life a lot better to talk to people.

For the past few days, I've been journaling my experiences. Some of the things I immersed myself in the past few days:

  • I woke up to the rain and it was so peaceful. My neighbor was lighting a maple candle and I smelt it through the window. Amazing way to start the day. I was so sleepy...yet so relaxed..yet so connected with nature...lucid dreaming...ahhh...
  • I had pretty awesome conversations with people I normally wouldn't talk to. From politics, to Disney, to food, to nail polish - I benefited people and people benefited me! Living life this way makes the days feel more unique and a more immersive experience.
  • Turns out going grocery shopping while all the halloween stuff is for sale makes me REALLY happy. I've really been enjoying the change of seasons and I really show it. 
  • From auditions, to writing, to baristaing, I always make sure to make genuine connection and enjoy something out of each and every day / moment. I never want one day to look the same. Let's add some laughter, some weirdness, some emotions, some mistakes, you know?
  • I'm done with that lazy mentality that our generation gets caught into so much. Sleep, social media, all nighters, memes, more sleep...you know? I got so caught up in it that I began to lose my personality a bit. Not about that life anymore.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed simple things like walking, driving, sunsets, music, and coffee like I used to. These things are important.

So, there you have it world. I don't wanna lose the best parts of me. I don't want my life to fly by as I stand there, numb and emotionless. I haven't "self-helped" in quite some time and I now know how truly vital that is for me. X

Autumn, My Heart & Soul

Autumn is here. (kind of.) Well, not really.

But sort of. I mean, it's really hot in California still.

But...all the Halloween stuff is out already.


I feel like every year, once September hits, my blog is taken over by the eternal joy that Autumn brings me. Autumn symbolizes so much for me in a truly spiritual way. It's a way for me to be revitalized again. In fact, yesterday I had a huge realization that I will talk about in my next post. That's just what new seasons do to me!

We can always joke about how annoying it is that people are overly-obsessed over pumpkin spice flavored everything, but hey, it's much more than just the taste. That maple-pumpkin-salted caramelly-spicy-oaky flavor is really only appropriate one time of the year. I don't know about you, but I would prefer to not eat pumpkin in the spring or summer. 

These fall themed items appeal to our senses and make us feel positive feelings. Grandma's famous pumpkin pie. The way your mom always scented the house with cinnamon in early November. The September nature walks, scented with pine, maple, and decaying leaves. The memories trick or treating, the halloween parties, your first pumpkin spice latte in the cold weather. The bonfire nights in your boyfriend's musky-scented hoodie.

It brings back those nostalgic feelings and motivates us to make new ones. It gives us hope, I think. When we associate certain scents, sights, sounds and tastes with Autumn, we are associating them with primarily positive feelings. 

Other than our survival, I think that's a big part of why we have five senses. To feel. I always loved holidays because they give us a reason to stop and celebrate LIFE. 

Yesterday, I went to a few stores and was overtaken with euphoria when I saw all the fall / halloween stuff out. Here's some of the lovely, adorable things I witnessed.

Located at the entrance of Trader Joes. Typical but ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.

Pumpkin macarons, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread pudding at Trader Joes. Also, huge kudos to whoever designed and did the calligraphy for the pumpkin cheesecake box. It's so precious and pleasing to the eye - making cheesecake seem like a autumnal fairytale.

Then I actually purchased halloween oreos. I never was a huge fan of oreos growing up, primarily because I only liked the middle part and I always preferred chewy cookies. However, I just found out they were vegan which is a plus considering I like to limit animal product in my diet. Not only that, but if I have a chocolate/sweet craving (which is rare), it's something to have in the house. It actually lasts long too!

With that being said, I knew I needed to get these halloween oreos. I remember having them a few times when I was little and thinking they're the cutest. It was definitely an impulse buy! Here's what they looked like. As you can see, they are orange on the inside and have 5 halloween designs: a pumpkin, a bat, a skull, a haunted house, and a 'trick-or-treat' one. YAY FOR HALLOWEEN OREOS!

I'm so enthusiastic about what this autumn will bring me. Andrew and I actually made a bucket list a few days ago so we can make it an autumn full of new, magical memories! So STOKED.


There's not much you need to know about me once you realize I am utterly obsessed with wearing sweaters. I wear them regardless of season or location. I rock every color, size and fit. And... I get a little too enthusiastic once September hits. 

Once that cool morning breeze embraces me, I know it's sweater weather. Here are some sweaters I have been eyeing lately. 

Maybe you'll see some #ootd posts in the future. 
But for now, have some sweater envy with me.

sweater envy

Mini dress

Chinti and Parker long sleeve top
$540 - liberty.co.uk

Green top
$105 - harrypotterplatform934.com

Knit cardigan

Long shirt

Cotton sweater

White top

Cultural Appropriation or Cultural Segregation?

Before you read this article, know this: I am writing this with an open mind and an open heart. I am writing this with zero bias, bringing forth new points and ideas. 

Cultural appropriation is a bandwagon everyone likes to jump on, and regardless of your stance on it, you've probably culturally appropriated another culture. Oh, and your culture has probably been appropriated by someone else.

What exactly is cultural appropriation?
Let me break it down for you in simple terms.

There are certain symbols, features and practices that are associated with certain cultures, religions, ethnicities, etc. They have a deep meaning behind them.

Sometimes, people not apart of that culture, religion or ethnicity will use that symbol for their own good, ignorantly, with no knowledge of the symbol. A lot of the times the individual is privileged and is mocking the symbol. Sometimes the individual really had no harm and was just taking part in a trend. 

It all started with mainly white girls wearing native american headdresses and bindis at music festivals. Then white people wearing cornrows. Then white people incorporating other cultures in a stereotypical way in their performances and music videos. Ever since then, everyone has their eyes perched for the next cultural appropriator. 

While we can all acknowledge that the decision to mock or take advantage of a culture that isn't yours is completely absurd, I think this conversation has been taken too far.

In a sense, all this talk of cultural appropriation has it's pros and cons. It's good that this all happened so we can educate ourselves and realize maybe we shouldn't be mocking other cultures or using it to our own privilege. "Hey, maybe I shouldn't be a slutty native american for halloween. Maybe I shouldn't wear a bindi to a musical festival just to be trendy. Maybe I shouldn't use a bunch of black girls twerking as props in my music video."

Then again...

While all of that is true, this talk of cultural appropriation has gone too far. No surprise, that's usually the way social justice warriors work. But is all of this talk segregating us? Is it making us too sensitive? Is it making us afraid to try out other cultures? Are we too quick to make assumptions when we see people practicing other cultures?

The thing that makes me feel uneasy is the fact that most of the people discussing cultural appropriation are people who were born in America, raised with American culture. If we really trace our ancestry back to our roots, we may come from Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, etc...however, 90% of the time when you are raised in America, you leave the culture of that ancestry behind to adapt to the melting pot this country is. When I look back at my days in the public school system, we all came from different races, religions and cultures - but we were very similar because we were raised in America, at the same school, in the same town. 

Does the color of your skin or the history of your ethnicity give you the right to participate in certain practices while other colors and ethnicities can't?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, we can't assume that people are apart of a culture because of their ethnicity. That's only pushing stereotypes on us more. We can't assume every indian kid practices hinduism. We can't assume every black kid is from the hood and was raised with 'black culture.' We can't assume that every white kid grew up in a six-figure christian home and was raised with 'white culture.' We can't assume people speak or do not speak certain languages. Especially considering the fact that this conversation is mostly being held in America, we need to accept the fact that America is a melting pot and not everyone is what you expect them to be. Culture is much more than what you are born into. It is something you learn and grow with. 

NOT ONLY THAT, but if we are all of the sudden going to start being territorial with our ancestry that we never cared about before, there is always historical debate about where certain symbols and practices came from. For us to completely understand cultural appropriation, we would need to know the complete history of all 196 countries in the world. If we did take the time to understand that, we would realize a lot of symbols and practices aren't from just one culture. But that's another story.

So. Can we learn other cultures if we are trying to avoid them because we are afraid at being called out? Are we unintentionally segregating ourselves? "This is my culture. This is my music. This is my fashion. You CANNOT participate unless you do intensive research on it or if you are from my region of the world." Is it 1672?

Let's discuss this further. Does cultural appropriation exist, and is it wrong?

However, you know what else is wrong? Telling people that if they want to wear a cross, a hijab, cornrows, a bindi, a headdress, - they need to do intensive research on it and wear it for a symbolic reason. Telling them that they cannot participate in a culture unless their DNA correlates with it is taking away their freedom.

To you, a cross may represent your dedication to Jesus Christ and the christian religion. But someone else may just want to wear it as a fashion statement. Or maybe it means something else to them.

To you, cornrows may have been a way to organically tame your hair and it may have been apart of your culture growing up, but to someone else - it may just be a new hairstyle they wanted to try out.

Don't get me wrong - it's annoying seeing ignorant people use cultural and religious symbols for some trendy statement or just to be ironic, but we can't stop it. There's a lot of annoying things and people in the world but we can't start banning them from society.

While tons of the points being brought up in this discussion are valid, I feel like it's also backtracking. Just because people jump onto the bandwagon of whatever's trendy doesn't mean they are intentionally being offensive. I mean, look at the history of fashion. As much as I love it, it's all bullshit. The fashion world is just copying people for money, beauty standards, and ripping off of cultures. Why are we just noticing this now?

Does anyone remember when we would pay $30 dollars for a shitty shirt that said 'Hollister' on it? That wasn't appropriating a culture, but it was a silly fashion trend almost everyone participated in without really knowing why. That's what people do and we can't stop it. People participate in trends because a lot of people are mindless consumers or just want to fit in with everyone else. That's kind of the goal of retail, too.

I guess this is apart of what I do as an open-minded individual. At my conservative family get-togethers, I'm always throwing around the most liberal viewpoints so they can open their mind a bit. But when I'm on the internet and I see it being taken over by social justice warriors, I start playing devils advocate so they can calm down, to be quite honest.

The internet paints the world to be something it's not. Perhaps it's because most of the people speaking so loudly on the internet rarely get to experience authentic life. But, hey, social justice warriors: every single day at work, school, or just going about your life: look around you. Look at the damn melting pot around you. Look at the different people participating in different cultures that probably aren't theirs. Look at the interracial relationships and friendships. Look at the people interacting. JUST LOOK.

Do you expect italian people to get mad when you eat or make pizza? Do you expect the chinese to throw a fit when you eat or make eggrolls? Does South America cry with anger every time we decide we want to eat a burrito? I don't know the history or cultural significance of any of those foods yet I eat them all with no shame.

Just because there is discrimination and ignorant people in the world, doesn't mean we should point fingers at everyone else.

Lastly, if you are going to be a social justice warrior crying wolf every time you think someone is participating in cultural appropriation, do it for everyone. Not just the celebrities you don't like. Don't focus on one demographic, either. All races and genders and ages participate in it. 

It's never just black and white. Europe and Africa have many countries inside of it and all of those countries are different. (I can't believe I actually have to say that.) It's the same thing with Asia and South America, too, you know. Hypothetically speaking, someone white can appropriate another white persons culture! Someone black can appropriate another black persons culture! The list goes on and on. 

There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation, and I hope and pray more people will start appreciating instead of appropriating. Yet before we start pointing fingers and twitter-ranting, we need to take a step back and realize what we are saying. The more effort we put into this conversation, the more 'safe' we become as a country, and we segregate ourselves more and more.

Songs I Can't Stop Listening To Right Now


It's like every other day a breathtaking single or album is coming out and I can barely contain myself. Here are four new songs I literally can't stop listening to. (Pssst. You should totally listen to them too.)

Brendon Urie described it as "Frank Sinatra vocals with Beyonce beats." And damn, is he right or what? This is the definition of the music I've been looking for lately. Classy jazz with a little bit of hip hop infused with pop punk. Yes, Panic, YES.

Love her or hate her, it's HER album and she really did what she wanted with it. It's not typical pop. It's super experimental but some of the songs just sound so...good, to be quite honest. This is one of my favorites. It's like you feel her emotions coming out of the speakers. Beauty.

It's hard to just listen to this song, you know? You have to be emotionally prepared. It's not background music. It's SOUL music. Lana does it again with her natural poetic ways. I love how lately she's been more effortless in her music. It's honestly so raw to me.

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about Halsey yet, but so far, most of it is pretty positive. Badlands is a super youthful, grungy album that I think a lot of people were waiting for without even knowing it. Try listening to Colors and Roman Holiday. All of her songs are really easy on the ears. Also, she's a badass in every single way, so...give her a listen.

Tuesday Obsession: Earth Balance ♡

Today, lets talk about vegan snacks for lazy people. In other words, let's talk about Earth Balance. 100% plant based, non-GMO, vegan brand full of deliciousness. At this point, I've basically tried all of their products...but here are some of my favorite to name a few.
Okay, their butter is AMAZING. I add it to everything with zero guilt knowing it's vegan, organic, and actually healthy. It's full of that sweet yet salty flavor that keeps you coming back for more, hence why I love adding it to toast in the morning. NOM.

The mac and cheese has a very sharp flavor to it and has the same texture as Kraft. It's made the same exact way, too. For me, the first few bites were delectable, yet after a while, I got sick of the taste. It's very strong yet in an odd way. 

Earth Balance also has a line of vegan chips, cheddar crackers and popcorn. I would recommend them all for sure, but the vegan sour cream & onion kettle chips are my favorite. A crunchy yet flaky texture, a strong flavor that doesn't even seem like it's veganized, and it surprisingly fills you up fast. It can be expensive, but if you're vegan and you're looking for a snack, I recommend these or the cheddar squares.

You can find Earth Balance butters in basically any grocery store. Their other products are usually only sold at Whole Foods and other health stores. 

Earth Balance is the reason I will literally never use butter again. Unless it's their vegan 'butter' of course...