FREE HUGS for the Degenerate Beauty Queens

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To quote Lana Del Rey, we are a bunch of “degenerate beauty queens”. It’s unfortunate that our generation is so warped into this dehumanizing way of life. We live in a world where we give people weird looks when they wave to us or think someone is being creepy when they’re just smiling. You let a car go in front of you and, 89% of the time, you don’t even get a thank you’ wave. We spend more time on our phones than we do having an actual face to face conversation. When was the last time you started a conversation with a stranger? If you go into a doctors office nowadays, all you see is everyone on their phones. I think the lack of verbal and physical human interaction has caused us to become these stuck-up Miranda Priestly (Devil wears Prada [Meryl Streep’s character, the snobby bitch]), where it’s all business, all the time. I was becoming this Miranda-Priestly-zombie until I went to the NCSL leadership conference in Arlington, VA and met some amazing people. One of them is Tom Krieglstein (I had to google his last name because I definitely butchered that!), who was the MC of our conference. He brought the FREE HUGS campaign to our attention and it really sparked something inside of me.
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ImageHe showed us this video that shows a man walking around with a sign that says, “Free Hugs” and him walking around hugging strangers.  I got a bit emotional watching it because I thought to myself, “how sad is it that there are not more people like this out there?” I turned to my gal pal, Sarah and said “THIS IS MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL!” After hearing the story of Juan Mann, it didn’t take much to get me on board, nor did it take much to get my fellow student senates to join in as well.

ImageWhile we were waiting for the time to board our flight, we spent an hour walking around and holding the “FREE HUGS” signs and this was the reaction we received:


This inspired me to start this club with my friend called, PaK which stands for “Positivity and Kindness”. Our mission is to show that with very little efforts, you can make a positive imPAKt [punny!] on lives through simple acts of kindness. Movements such as FREE HUGS, cost nothing but you can see from the video that this made a lot of people smile. The world is already cruel enough. If more people went out there and tried to make it a better– then maybe people wouldn’t be so bad. This also motivated me to donate my birthday for a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. Pencils of Promise is something that I believe in because I see education as an absolute necessity in changing the world. Some people don’t share my views but I truly feel that if everyone is educated than there would be less ignorance and therefore better judgement. Who knows, there could be a child out there who will be able to cure aids one day, or a child who will one day become a leader that says NO to war–all that child need is an education. You can totally support this effort, and give me the best birthday present in the whole entire world by donating here.

Follow PaK on twitter : @jointhePAK

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Touring through Washington, DC during the NCSL conference.

ImageI was glad to have been able to have some free time to go on a tour around Washington, DC during the National Center for Student Leadership conference (NCSL). I felt I have learned more from being there, on that tour, than I’ve ever had in any of my history classes throughout my whole academic career. There is something about being physically there that just makes you retain more information and seek more knowledge about different things. Such as, did you know that George Washington laid cornerstones to the U.S Capitol Building but died before it was finished? Our tour guide was knowledgable and provided us with the substantial amount of information. I mean, I feel as though I can now probably answer some questions on jeopardy! Kidding, kind of.
ImageThe only complaint that I have really have about this tour is that we were on a strict time limit; I was pretty upset about not being to walk closer towards the Capitol Building because we had to get back on the bus to get to another stop. I have this weird thing where I want to actually physically touch the building to feel complete. Is that weird? Probably so but it gives me this weird I’m touching history feeling and not being able to walk up there– it made me pretty annoyed.

ImageAhh, the White House. I remember in fourth grade, I looked up how many rooms there are in the White House and when I learned that there were 132 rooms..my initial thoughts were, “holy cow, I feel bad for the person who has to mop those floors!”. As I got older, my concern for the cleanliness of the house is not as apparent but what is is my desire to live in this house one day. Whether I marry a President or become President– I will live in the White House.

The rest of the tour consisted of walking around different memorial sites and I can’t even begin to explain to you how each site touched me differently. What broke my heart was seeing the Vietnam Memorial wall face to face. Knowing that every name listed is a life gone too soon (or missing in action) is unsettling. The worst is while I’m standing there, teary eyed, staring at these names– I hear a teenage say, “I know veterans are people who are dead….sooooo how do you know which of these names are people who are dead?” I was so mortified by her statement because of her tone of voice as she said it. She was completely nonchalant and did not really seem to care about her surroundings. Her ignorance is truly what scares me for the future because she is our future. TEACH YOUR KIDS!
ImageImageImageOne of the best things about all this is experiencing DC with some of the best people. My fellow student senates and I were able to get closer because this trip. It’s nice to be able to be with a group of motivated, energetic people that have a thirst for knowledge and life. They funniest bunch of turds. If anyone ever has the opportunity to go to DC– I would definitely recommend taking the tour but also be sure to take the time to walk around and experience it for yourself without the group. There were moments where I wished that I was able to just take a moment to let everything sink in but because there was a time constraint.. it made it difficult.

Pictures by @photographybysarahm

Express to Impress.

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ImageHey hey HEY hey! I am now in Arlington, VA– which ain’t nothing but a shuttle ride into Washington DC. Going to spend the weekend networking and understanding the concept of leadership, brand yourself, and also build the foundation to success. While doing so, my lovely gal pal Sarah (an amateur photographer) will be taking the on the role of being my blog photographer. I’m not usually a person who wears business attire on a regular basis but this weekend is an exception and it gave me the opportunity to play dress up. I should get used to this because I intend on being your First Lady one day (David, if you will have me..if not, then…well…Plan B — I become President. Either way, it’s a win-win for me).

ImageTell me that this head shot does not look business-y to you! TELL ME. Kidding, don’t. I think it looks wonderful and Sarah really captured a good face shot. Normally, I hate pictures of my face. Seriously, it’s not my thing. I often hate my face because I feel that I’m not a very photogenic person. HOWEVER, my lovely photographers can create miracles.

I have been slacking with blogging lately because life has gotten super busy but this weekend is a great time to update a lot because of the multiple things we will be doing. ALSO, I have to actually dress up and not just walk around in gym clothes like a bum. I don’t even know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. We can pretend that it’s a great thing! ENJOY! haha. ❤
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ImageWHAT I’M WEARING:
Shirt and Skirt – Express
Heels – Nine West

Photographs taken by Sarah Musard.
Follow her @photographybysarahm

Judge a person by Who they look up to.

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Amy Cuddy, James Franco, Chiara Ferragni, Malala Yousafzai

Classmate, “Who is your role model” 
Me, “Uhm…I don’t know. I have so many!”
Classmate, “Name top 4 without thinking..”
Me, “James Franco, Amy Cuddy, Chiara Ferragni, and Malala Yousafzai”
Classmate smiles, “hmm, interesting.”
Me (raising an eyebrow), “What?”
Classmate, “Just surprised you didn’t name Hillary Clinton or, like, Britney Spears or something”

This little conversation had me thinking. Aside from what the dictionary tells you, what makes someone a role model? What makes them a good role model or a bad? To me, I think a role model is someone that, you not only adore and look up to, but is also a figure that helps mold your future self. Whether they inspire you through their experiences, teaches you ways to help better yourself, or motivate you in a sense that makes you want to strive to be where they are– it’s pretty clear to me, that a role model is much more than just someone you simply look up to. Mine are:

  • Amy Cuddy – Harvard Professor and Psychologist. Her Tedtalk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” really gave me the confidence to put good use to “fake it until you become it.” Basically she explains that we’re not always going to be comfortable with everything but even when we are faced with life’s adversities — as long as we handle ourselves in a manner that we think would be appropriate, we can break out uncomfortableness and start becoming what we want to be. She’s the reason why I have such confidence.

  • Chiara Ferragni – blogger for The Blonde Salad, fashionist/designer. She started her career with a simple blog that she started in 2009. Her tips on fashion, pictures of travels, and her overall personality really makes brings that freshness to the world of social media. She taught me to always follow your dreams because you never know when you’ll catch a break!
  • Malala Yousafzai – education activist. This Pakistani girl had the courage to speak up about women’s right to education. There was an attempted assasination because she spoke so openly about her beliefs and even after that — SHE STILL spoke for the importance of educating women. It’s amazing how we complain about so many things when there are people out there that would die to have what we have. She reminds me to be appreciative of all of our rights and freedom, as well as never giving up in what you believe in.

  • James Edward Franco – actor, author, director, professor, poet, artist, model, etc — this dapper mother effer, is pretty much my idea of a perfect man. Not only is he good looking but is also brilliant and versatile. How many celebrities do you know that is so open with his fans on social media sites such as instagram? I could literally spend hours upon hours talking about this man but we’ll let his resume do all the talking. He motivates me to be brilliant

So, as much as I love Britney Spears and admire Hillary Clinton — these four are my role models. 

So what if I don’t like my kid?

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Before any of you sanctimonious people jump down my throat, let me just begin by saying that I love my son more than anything in this whole entire world. However just because I love him does not necessarily mean I have to always like him. I say this with heavy heart because no one wants to feel this way. Naturally, I would all like to enjoy every aspect of motherhood all the time. I would like to think that I could be Supermom and tackle everything that is thrown my way…but I’m not and I can’t. I am a single mother who is balancing two jobs while going to school full time and dealing with a child who is going through his terrible twos too early. Due to the overwhelming stress with being able to maintain balance, I often find myself on the brink of cracking when my son decides to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store—kicking, screaming, biting, etc. Or when he uses my waterproof mascara to color my beige walls. Or when he decides to rip pages of my books (my most prized possessions) that I have yet to read. Or when he simply wants to cry for two hours straight—and doesn’t want to be held or talked to. I really mean this when I say, that you really don’t know the depth of your love for your child until you know what it’s like to dislike (and dare I say, hate) them but still care for them. In other words, they’re still here, alive and breathing even though you may have pictured killing them or giving them away.

I am human and I would like to think that by admitting the fact that I don’t always enjoy being a mom is pretty brave because we live in a society that holds very little empathy for this sort of confessional. Let me assure you that this is not synonymous with me regretting to have my son because I don’t. I would never trade my son for anything. This is just me being honest with myself, and allowing myself to feel what I feel in this very moment.

For a while, I have been reluctant with admitting to even my closest friends and family that sometimes I just hate being a mother. I hate it. It’s hard! Especially when I’m doing it alone. I was afraid to share that with people because I know the look I would get: that condescending stare that leaves me feeling embarrassed and useless. It’s as though I’m weak by admitting that being a mom can be overwhelmingly stressful at times. It didn’t help when I decided to openly express my misery at work and this woman said, “I could never understand how mothers can say that they don’t like their children. I love being a mom!” Mind you, this woman is at the nail salon getting her nails done without her kids. It must be nice to have that time for yourself, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong; I see nothing wrong with mothers taking time for themselves (I highly recommend it!), however don’t tell me that you love being a mom all the time when you’re at the nail salon, alone. This is the type of attitude that makes other moms feel bad for not having that perfect American Cookie-cutter lifestyle. It makes them feel like they’re horrible parents when in actuality they’re just normal. My favorite is when someone suggests that you are simply being ungrateful when others would kill to have a child and can’t. That really chaps my ass because it’s entirely unfair to think that just because someone has a child, and others can’t, that they are not allowed to feel like crap sometimes. That’s unnecessary pressure to put on someone! It’s not fair to pass judgment on others when you have no idea what is going on in their life.

However, I digress.

The point of this is to say that I find it sad how little people empathize with mothers who admit their feelings. This is why some people internalize it because they don’t want to feel judged and get called things like “ bad mom” when that is not the case at all. This may be why some parents do eventually break because they don’t speak up when they’re overwhelmed. You can only bottle up so much before you crack. I think it’s perfectly okay to admit when it’s hard and to maybe get some support from others. Even if you just vocalize your feelings, you’ll feel better. Anything is better than to just keep it all inside, getting depressed and then go crazy. I know for me, when I feel like I’m about to literally about to go crazy psycho—I vent to my friends, or write a humorous Facebook status to lighten the mood, or just scream in my room by myself. Admitting and sharing does not make me a bad mother this is my antithesis to psychotic. Motherhood is not always going to be pretty, and you’re not always going to be happy– BUT THAT’S OKAY! It’s okay because I know I’m not alone when it comes to feeling this way and if you’re a mom who is reading this and have felt this way – please know that you are not crazy, you’re normal.

Meet my son when he’s throwing a tantrum:

 Child’s logic on loving and liking:

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Pictures via Google.

Raise your glasses and toast to health!

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CocoPoma-What Morning Booster!

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Filled with everything [fiber, vitamin A, B, and C] that makes you feel better in the morning. It’s a great immune booster and it tastes really delicious. Kind of like a bit of paradise during these winter months. cheers! X

Don’t pull a Kanye.

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Haruki Murakami once said, “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” Haruki Murakami (a name that I, even with the help of Google, have a tough time pronouncing) has a point but lately I seem to only want to read what others are reading. Mostly because of my curiosity of wanting to know what the hype is all about. When people were talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, I went out, bought the three books, and finished it all in a week and a half. (I’m not a fast reader at all.) I don’t think I would agree with a lot of women when they expressed such enthusiasm about it, saying things like, “It’s such a great book! OMG—BEST SHIT, EVER!” Though I don’t necessarily think it is the worst read, I certainly do not believe it is anywhere near the best. I assume these same women who made the opinion on Fifty Shades of Grey just never read an erotic novel before. There have been many books that I’ve read because someone else has suggested it but it did not necessarily mean that I thought what he or she thought. Am I making sense? So in my opinion, though I agree with that wonderful quote above, I suggest that people should ALWAYS read what others are reading—that way you can form your own opinion on it (hopefully, you’re not a bandwagoner and just say what others have said) and rate it on Goodreads for people like me to be motivated to read it and agree with you or read it to challenge your shitty ratings. I know when I see a crappy rating on a book and read the reviews, there is this voice inside my head that channels my beloved spirit animal, Neil Patrick Harris, and say, “Challenge accepted!”

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“I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life.”
Kanye is someone we should all strive to be. We should certainly raise our children to be completely arrogant through their ignorance. Forget philosophy, science and literature when you can just school them with ‘Kanyeism”.

I’m truly afraid that society is becoming:

Books < Kanyeism
#yolo, choose to live wisely.