Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why I've Been Gone

I have been absent for a few months, and while there really is no good excuse other than anxiety and being busy, I have been put through quite the ordeal recently.

The medical shitshow:
It started a few months ago, I was having minor trouble getting out of chairs. I let it go, thinking I strained my hip or pulled a muscle, but the more time passed, the more debilitating it came. Eventually, it turned into excruciating, grinding, clicking pain in both of my hips that brought me to the verge of vomiting every day. I was referred to a rheumatologist, thinking it was arthritis, but after countless X-Rays and blood tests (needles make me gag), it was clear that arthritis wasn't the issue. The entire process of ordering tests and getting passed between doctors took months, but felt like years of suffering through a horrible limp and borderline immobility.
I also got some pretty aggressive bandages since I was constantly getting stabbed with needles.

The official diagnosis (this is just medical information, feel free to skip to the rest)

Boy did I learn a bomb ass collection of medical terminology. Halfway through my medical journey, I could speak in fluent “Doctor” which had my mom - who obviously came to every appointment with me - stunned. So here’s the deal:
  • I have hypermobile joints, which means that they can bend way more than they’re supposed to. I tend to sit into them instead of using my muscles, so they stretched too far and eventually just gave out. I have no outer hip muscle now. None. Literally none.
  • I have pincer lesions, which means I was born with a bone overgrowth in both of my hips, so they do this super cute thing where my bones click together as I walk and make me die.
  • I have labral tears. Due to the gloriousness of the previously mentioned afflictions, the soft tissue in my hips said, “NOPE, NOT TODAY” and ripped and filled with fluid. So that feels good.

It was humbling
Friends and family have been utterly invaluable to me. There were points that I physically could not get out of bed, and had to be pushed out. There were times I couldn’t get out of my car without falling, and I had to put my sassy independent attitude aside and ask for help.

When I went to the doctors, I sometimes had to wear some unsightly items of clothing in front of others. That’s when you just need to turn it into Fashion Week 2018- hip impairment addition.

I got a cane! ITS PINK!
I got a cane and the first week of using it was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a while. It afforded me a lot of physical independence which was amazing, but it also drew a lot of stares, which made me even more self conscious. The loud tapping of it down the hall drew so many eyes and I wanted to crawl inside of my jacket and die.
“Why does that young girl have a cane??”

They didn’t even just stare at me, it felt like they looked through me. My mom told me that I should wear a sign that said, “If you want to know my story, buy me lunch” which I found amusing.

For the record, I’m a big fan of paninis.

How are you doing now?
I’m doing much better, thanks for asking! I’ve been working really hard at physical therapy and taking the worlds worst feeling medicines, so I’m actually healing pretty well now. Because naturally, the bad side effects of a medicine positively correlate with their healing power. Naturally.

It still hurts, but I can now walk without looking like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, which is nice. Unfortunately, I had to quit my job at Starbucks since it’s too physically demanding for me to heal properly, which is sad, but since I’m graduating I should be able to find something where I’m not standing for 10,000 hours at a time.

What I learned:
While you are your best advocate for your own healthcare, the people around you to support you through this time are important, amazing, and should be cherished. So thank you. Also, I learned that MRIs are literal death and anyone who says otherwise should not be trusted.
  1. Please do not stare at people with physical impairments. But you can smile at them, smiling is nice.
  2. If someone gets out of their car in a handicap spot and looks fine from the outside, don’t be an a-hole and just assume they’re lying about their injury or illness- they have a placard for a reason.
  3. It’s really hard to use a cane and drink hot coffee at the same time, but if you can dream it, you can do it! Just believe!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Success Behind the Scenes- Nathan Bajar

Nathan Bajar has published his photographs in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Vice Magazine, Refinery 29, The Fader, Hypebeast.com, A.R.T.S.Y Magazine, and is absolutely nothing like I expected him to be. As a Montclair State University Alumni, he came back yesterday to give a guest presentation to art students and me, a random girl who took photography for giggles to see what I could learn. However, I found that his speech far surpassed the photo advice that he gave us, and taught me a few different things that I never would have expected to learn in a cramped little art room with nothing but small plastic seats.


I think when someone successful comes to mind, whether they be a musician, artist, writer, athlete, or anything of the like, we conjure up images of this larger than life person on a heroic journey that seems just about everything other than attainable. I’ve seen many successful professionals speak and have even talked to them personally, but never once did I think to myself, “Wow I will definitely accomplish everything they did in the next five years.” They just seem transcended and unattainable, and I think that’s where many people give up- because even when onlookers ask this idol how it was done, the answers of “work hard and be yourself” don’t quite satiate the desires of the asker nor do they seem like a practical guide to take actionable steps forward.


But here is why I liked Nathan so much: Not only did he provide a step by step answer as to how he does exactly what he does, but he also didn’t pretend to know the answers to all of our questions. He didn’t act as if though he loved all of his work or that he was anywhere close to being done with his growth. He showed us his photography that he considered “crap” and allowed us into the tender moments of his family as he shared with us his failures. He broke down any larger than life idea I had about being successful and served as a reminder that success is achieved by regular people who have the patience to sift through obstacles, regardless of whether or not they know they’ll ever make it.
He was eccentric, a little scatterbrained in the absolute best way, candid and open. When asked about the process of transitioning from student to photographing for famous publications, he laughed and said something to the effect of, “It’s just really fucking hard.” Rock on Nathan- thanks for being real.

To see more of Nathan’s work, you can find his instagram @nate_nate or visit NathanBajar.com.
All photos by Nathan Bajar



The Art of Eating Alone

Eating alone is super weird...right? Don’t you just feel like soooo bad for that person sitting alone over there?


While I was in Europe, I was introduced to the art of eating alone and fell in love. I don’t mean eating every meal, I’m not a loner sociopath, but every few months I’ll go out by myself for a little me time.


Since eating is typically a social activity, it can be perceived as pretty strange when you spot someone at a table for one, but it also has the potential to be one of the most rejuvenating meals you’ll have.



You can take your sweet time
For some reason, I eat much slower when I’m alone, which is something I actually noticed by accident. I’ve never felt consciously pressured to eat quickly, but when I’m alone I focus more on what I’m doing and savoring the moment, like I described in my article “Say Hi to Hygge”


You don’t feel pressured
There’s nobody to judge the way you eat, what you order or the pace you eat. There’s no need to keep up a conversation, try to impress someone, or worry how you’re splitting the check. Sometimes a treat out with no expectations or explanations is just what you need.


You get shit done
What do you mean you ‘get shit done’? You’re just eating.


Yes, well it turns out that showering is not the only place where your great thinking (and great singing voice might I add) can come to life. It’s pretty hard not to come up with good ideas over a large bowl of pasta- really.


It builds independence
My first meal alone had me incredibly nervous and did not happen by choice. I was worried people would judge me, think I had no friends, or worse- got ditched, but once I was able to move past that, I had such a relaxing day. Now I feel more free to go somewhere alone if my boyfriend is busy and my friends aren’t in the mood for Mexican food. Honestly, who isn’t in the mood for Mexican food???

Now, I feel the need to reiterate, I’m not advocating anyone totally abandons ship and starts eating every meal alone! Nothing can beat a coffee date with your best friend, a date-date with a cutie, or Sunday dinner with the family...but in all the chaos that life can and will throw at you, it’s important to make a little extra time for yourself. And pasta...definitely pasta.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

7 Easy Ways to Fix Dry Skin

WINTER IS COMING AND I FEEL IT IN MY SKIN!



Anyone with dry skin knows that winter is just the worst time of the year. Your lips crack, your nose peels, and your complexion is covered in texture and redness. Dewy and radiant skin? What does that look like???


After many years of brutal misery and a dried out face, I figured out the formula to save your skin this winter and I am so excited to be able to share it. These methods should all provide nearly immediate results and the best part, it’s all sensitive skin approved!


Josie Maran
My best friend introduced this product to me and I don’t care if you think I’m being dramatic when I say that this product changed my life- because it literally did. I rub this oil into my skin after I take off my makeup and it is like drenching my face in the most comfortable moisture in the world.
Dry skin? Who the hell is she?


Sephora.com
Let’s be honest here, she’s great, but she sure as hell aint’ cheap at $16 for just 0.5 oz! So naturally, a college girl on a budget had to do some digging, and I found what is said to be the perfect dupe at a significantly lower price tag.


Ulta.com
This life saving tub of cocoa butter will lock in all of your skin’s moisture and give you long wearing comfort. I like to rub this into my skin after a shower but before I leave the little steam room I created, and it saves me that itchy dryness I will have otherwise gotten no less than ten minutes later. The best part is, you can even get it for $5.50.


You don’t even have to splurge hundreds of dollars on a humidifier to save your skin. You can find a humidifier on Amazon for under $50 and save your skin a whole lot of grief. This will also help a dry nose/throat. Just leave it on while you sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to go!


While this vegan formula isn’t so much of a remedy for dry skin, it’ll help you fake it til you make it. Spraying fine mist this post makeup application will bring your face to life, making it dewy and fresh instantly and ready to glow! (Hahah get it?)


Honey
I usually ditch my pricey face masks when my skin dries out and go back to the basics. People always roll their eyes and think this trick is weird- until they try it. Wash your face with warm (not hot water), pat dry, then apply an even layer of honey across the skin, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and patting dry again. Because honey is a natural humectant, it’ll draw moisture into your skin while it’s antibacterial properties zap all of the junk in your pores. Effective, inexpensive, stupidly easy, natural. You’re welcome.


Water
This is a duh, but hydration starts from the inside out, and the more water that you put into your body, the easier it will be to prevent dryness in the bitter cold. I know it’s annoying, but I’m just saying. Try putting some lemon or natural fruit flavor into your H2O if it’s “not really your thing”.

So basically, if you’re dry as a desert like me and can’t stand tight, uncomfortable and itchy skin, give some of these tricks a try. Browse through the products I linked for your convenience right now and your skin will thank you later.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lazy Girl's Guide to Looking Cute

Honestly, looking cute takes a lot of effort and energy...energy that I don’t have. Naturally I needed to find a hack to this so that I could look like I put some ounce of effort into my appearance. My gift to you:


Body Suits- Body suits are honestly just the gift that keeps on giving. Sure, you have to literally get naked if you want to use the bathroom, but the other 97% of the time that you’re not peeing, they serve as simple and put together staple in your wardrobe. Simple, easy, and it looks like you might have actually tried.

Vests- Let’s be honest, vests are everything. You literally do NOTHING special...nothing, yet you look put together. Plus, they’re warm, comfortable for fall, and some have pockets. I loveee me some pockets. Like that moment you’re wearing a cute dress with pockets and someone compliments it, and your automatic response is, “Thanks it has pockets!!!”

Shoes- I’m pretty convinced that a pair of booties can fix anything. I once wore a plain sweatshirt, jeans and booties, and received at least 4 compliments. Isn’t that the dream? Minimal effort high reward. Say no more.


Accessories- Jewelry can make even a t-shirt and jeans a cute ensemble. Whether you’re using it to incorporate a pop of color or just need some sort of detailing, it’s one of those easy ways to make it appear like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.

Hair- A gal in a rush hardly has time to do her hair and with the afro that I was blessed with, that is a hard pass for me. I just straighten the tops of my hair to make it smooth which takes a whopping total of 5 seconds and maybe maybeeee put an anti frizz cream in my hair if I’m rushing, but going somewhere important.

If my hair is looking all sorts of freaky, I put it up in this cute little do like this

Makeup- A little makeup can go a long way. With a few dabs of concealer under your eyes and some mascara coated & curled lashes, you’ll be looking fresh and awake even if you crawled home at 2 am from a bar. It’s fine...nobody can tell…
Nails- I never really put that much stock into nails, but you don’t have to go to the salon every other week to look put together. I feel like the bar is even as low as not having horribly chipped, brightly colored polish on your fingers. Even naked nails with some semblance of a smoothed out shape can make you look like a more clean cut version of yourself.

So throw together one, two, or a combination of these elements to achieve the ultimate lazy girl’s guide to looking cute. I just consider this a more effective way to fake it through the day...but don’t worry, I won’t tell your secret.

Monday, September 11, 2017

7 Natural Headache Remedies

As a particularly wound and type A individual, I am prone to headaches. But no, they’re not just regular headaches, they’re the type that put pressure on the back of your eyes, make your skull ache, and mentally paralyze you for the following hours. Side effects may include an attitude.

Because they happen too frequently for me to be popping pills constantly, I decided to get a little more creative in my approach and managed to boil my methods down to these solutions:

Peppermint Oil- Peppermint oil has a really fascinating cooling effect on the skin that helps with cramps and headaches. It’s kind of like a natural and less aggressive pine tree-smelling Icy Hot. I dab it on my temples and wipe it with a cotton pad like a headband across the top of my forehead and it is glorious.

A little of this goes a long way, and within 3-5 minutes of application, I feel transcended into a headache free world and feel like my brain is being massaged by angels. Yes, that description was both dramatic and creepy..I’m quite a talent.

I picked a up a bottle from Harmon Face Values for about $6. To be honest, it smells disgusting, but it really gets the job done and that’s all I care about. This bottle will also last you forever and a day.

Water- Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration and exhaustion, so chances are that a nice big glass of water could help your case. Worst case scenario? It doesn’t work, but at least you’re hydrated and reaping the hundreds on benefits that drinking water has.

Scrap the Screen: One of the biggest cause of my massive headaches are my screens. Whether I’m staring at my phone for hours or banging away at my computer keyboard for work, I’m constantly staring at a bright, glowing, 2D experience. Try taking a few breaks, or switch any note taking/work to paper for an hour or two a day. It could do you wonders.

Showers: A lot of the time, my headaches are caused by the unnecessary amount of stress that I put on myself, and a hot shower is what I need to literally melt away my pain. I’ve also heard of a lot of people taking baths and using types of aromatherapy salts and bath butters to help, but I’m more of a shower gal myself.

Scents: My boyfriend got me these stress relief aromatherapy products from Bath and Body Works for Christmas and I’m honestly obsessed. I hate smelly smells if that makes sense, but these scents are so light and airy, yet still potent enough to be soothing. Definitely would recommend giving these a whirl.

Exercise: Sometimes a good workout will help to clear my head. If the pounding of your legs against unforgiving pavement makes your mind reel, try a session of yoga. Not only are you able engage every muscle in your body, but your focus will slowly and gently clear your mental state into something less hostile.

Naps: When all else fails, go the hell to sleep. Need I say more?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

8 Ways to Repurpose Old Textbooks

College is apparently the time for purchasing grossly overpriced textbooks that you may or may not ever use. Let me help you with that! Here are 8 ways you can immortalize the overpriced pages of hell.


  1. Smash Bugs
I have chased plenty of bugs around my room with a big ole book.
  1. Seat booster
For the vertically challenged. You know how it is.
  1. Coaster
Like to entertain? This is the coaster for you! It can fit up to 10 cups and has at least 500 pages to buffer any spill from your table… order today!
  1. Working out
Don this bad boy on your next workout and the extra weight will have you prepped for the heavyweight champs in no time.
  1. Diet Coach
Just put it near your favorite snacks and you’ll find yourself not even wanting to go near it! Bikini season made simple.
  1. Life Coach
Hey, your life might suck right now, but keep your book around to remind yourself it sucks a little less because you don’t have to read it anymore.
  1. Kindling
Ah, there is no time like the summer/fall or a bonfire. Break out the marshmallows, gather some friends, and watch your enemy go up in flames. The book I mean...
  1.  What you actually bought it for

Oh yeah, I guess that could work too.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Summer City Essentials

As you know from by Instagram, I worked full time in Manhattan this summer which meant some long ass hours and an equally long bus commute. If nothing else, I like to be prepared, so it’s surprising that I’m just short of having a zombie apocalypse kit in my bag. But if I were...comment on my Instagram at what you would suggest. Anyways, here are my summer NYC must haves.


Hydration:  I always try to carry water in my bag because the summer sun can be pretty unforgiving. I also try to hydrate the outside of my body, using Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment. The polluted city air has not been kind to my skin, but this mask clears my face and leaves me hydrated for my trek. This was truly a godsend.



Tip Top Footwear:  I brought two pairs of shoes with me every day- one to walk a mile to work in, and the others to wear at work all day. Don’t try to look cute if you know the shoes are going to make you run (hobble) home crying at the end of the day, be smart and know how far you’re walking.


Food: And not just because I get hangry easily. A quick snack in any city could suddenly have you breaking the bank- so planning your meals for the day and bringing all of the munchies for in between can really save you time and money.
Maps: If you ask my family and friends, they’ll tell you I’m a neurotic planner, BUT having a preloaded map on your phone could save you a lot of time, frustration, and data. This way you can quickly check for your destination or see what cool places might be around you. Life is better with preloaded maps.


A Charger: My worst fear is getting stranded in the city because my phone died, so I always bring a charger along with me, or if I know I’m not going to have access to outlets for a while, a little charging stick. They’re seriously a lifesaver whether you’re on the beach or pounding the pavement. 10/10 would recommend.

In the end, cities can be a great time, and they can be even more great if you’re not dehydrated in your worn out shoes, hopelessly lost with a dying phone. Take my word for it. Best of luck in your travels and feel free to share your best travel tips @TheDayILived

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Most Basic Social Media Posts by Season

I feel like most people if not all frequent instagrammers have been guilty of at least one teeeensy weeeeensy post that was just a little, oh I don’t know- “basic”. I hate that term, but for the sake of the article, go grab your PSL lattes and let’s get down to some basic business.


Spring


Ah the spring. The birds are singing, the shorts are prematurely being broken out, and your social feeds can be found packed with snapchat stories of the new highest temperature of the season, the first spots of grass poking through ice, or filled with bikini spring break pictures.


It’s not that the spring breakers want to throw in your face that they’re somewhere tropical while you’re dealing with a cold and moody weather system but- oh wait, yes that’s exactly what they’re doing  #NeverLeaving  #TakeMeWithYou


Summer


Speaking of #NeverLeaving, I feel like that’s easily one of the most common summer hashtags for vacation season. Prepare yourself for endless instagram posts of bikinis on the beach followed with captions saying, “Life’s a beach”  “Never leaving”  “Needed some vitamin sea”


You might also sea pictures and videos of your friends with fishbowl drinks and staying out all night whilst you bitterly sit at work all day. (I’m not jealous...I swear...)

Fall


If you didn’t post a picture in a pumpkin patch, did you even go pumpkin picking? Fall is by far the best season (fact) for it’s food, the cute outfits, and “snuggle weather” as you will most commonly see on Twitter. I’m serious- try going online in the fall and not see a fall inspo collage of pictures relating to food or large sweaters. I’ll wait.




Winter


The winter is easily my least favorite season for both the uncomfortably cold air and all of the social media that comes along with it. For starters, if even a few flakes drift from the sky it is on every single person's’ snapchat story as if it doesn’t do this every year.


Let’s also not forget that despite it being called the “spring semester” for college, it is very much a winter semester, and when greek recruitment typically happens, so brace yourself for the intense bombardment of squats, crafts, and nonstop Greek puns.

Fast forward and we are onto New Years with it’s sparkly glittery grandeur, then shampoo, rinse and repeat for the next 20 years.


So, which season are you the worst culprit of? Are you a PSL and spiced chai lover, a “sandy cheeks” on the beach with a margarita, a spring dress sportin, somehow allergy resistant  anomaly, or a demon who finds a way to enjoy the cold of winter? I’m not biased.

Own up to your guilty pleasure in the comments of my Instagram or Twitter, or better yet, publicly call out your friend for their posts. Out of love of course.