Resolutions for 2014


Here's a page in my journal about my goals for this year. I think it's important to have one theme, typically a virtue one works toward (honesty, courage, stability, health, etc.) as well as subgoals that help guide your more general goals.

I think I get my mannish hand-writing from my father hahaha!

Happy New Year everyone! Be sure to wear circles and other round patterns to attract financial luck for the New Year and pay off all your debts. In many Asian cultures, there is a belief that your behavior on New Year's Day will be paid back to you ten-fold through the whole year. It's important to be good and rack up good karma especially on New Year's Day for this reason :) Pay off your debts now so you don't spend the year in debt. Clean the house now so your life isn't a mess in 2014. You get the picture.

Bye, 2013!
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Holidays


Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.  Merry Bathtub to all.

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Weekend Links 12.20.13


Cinderella 1997 with Brandy, Whitney Houston, Victor Garber, Whoopi, Bernadette Peters, and Paolo Montalban in FULL in case you're feeling nostalgic. FYI I saw Bernadette Peters in person during the summer and I swear, the woman doesn't age. >>>

Plenty of feminist discussion surrounding the new Beyonce album, and the queen herself. This is probably my favorite perspective on it I've read. It's basically, we will defend her against white feminists who deem her sexuality and perspective too far from their centered vision of what a woman should be, but we can't get too blinded by our sisterhood to her that we turn off our critical gaze and refuse to acknowledge the problematic aspects within her work. >>>

If you don't think that this 50 year old former Olympic hopeful who fell victim to an eating disorder who then recovered and now trains for the 2014 Olympics again isn't inspiring as hell, get out. >>>

This non-profit is built off the idea of giving women in developing economies employment, education, and mentorship so that they can save toward a new business venture while paying for their children's education and clean water. Basically, it's awesome. Consider buying their products or donating to them this holiday season. >>>

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Switching up my Oral Health Routine: Colgate Optic White and Oral B Clinical Pro Flex Review

I have a long and harrowing history with my teeth. One that involved my absolutely hating brushing my teeth as a kid, and developed into a decade-long affair with some serious orthodontia. And when i say serious, I mean serious. I had a lot of issues ranging from consistent, intense, terrible grinding (continues to this day) induced by my anxious personality, to cavity issues caused by weakened teeth, to an overbite which mandated a headgear (yeah I was one of those kids), to crooked teeth which took years of braces to straighten out.


Nowadays, I get complimented on my smile and even my teeth themselves. I try to do the best I can to prevent their decline. But, to be honest, I drink way more coffee and soda than I should, and my favorite sodas are highly acidic! It's going to stain my teeth!

I recently switched to Colgate Optic White toothpaste and I'm really happy with the switch. The flavor isn't too harsh (a real turn off for me) and I am totally enjoying the whitening agent.


Before I made the switch, I looked into whitening options. I had thought about teeth-whitening for a while, partially because my soda habit is pretty serious, and also because I figured it was a good idea to start now and work on whitening over time than attempting to undergo a dramatic, expensive whitening procedure later when hustling to look good for graduation or even wedding photos (a lot of my friends have expressed to me a fear that they're teeth would be a stark contrast to the white of a wedding dress!). My mother used whitening strips and to be honest, I didn't think it fit in with my lifestyle. I tried them once and found them uncomfortable. I thought about whitening toothpastes but I didn't really know what was in them and thought that bleaching was probably a bad idea.

I learned that Colgate Optic White uses hydrogen peroxide, which is used in some teeth whitening procedures, and isn't terribly harsh. Optic White is safe for every day use and gets best results in about 4 weeks, and after that it sort of plateaus and is more about maintaining the white that you now have. It's about the strongest whitening you can get from an everyday toothpaste.

I thought it would be a good idea to switch since I really like my smile, and this seemed like the easiest way to make it as white as possible. I've noticed that my teeth are whiter after a few weeks of use, and the best part is that I didn't have to change my routine! Do you know how great it is to have your teeth whitened without having to worry about an appointment or setting aside a block of time in your day to stick a yucky piece of plastic in your mouth? It's AWESOME!

before
after
I also swapped out my toothbrush for the new Oral B Pro Health Clinical Pro Flex. I'd recently attended a chat in which I was informed that in order to stay healthy, you're actually supposed to swap out your toothbrush every 3-6 months. Somehow I missed this memo? I'd been using an electric toothbrush for years and I had swapped the head maybe a grand total of 3 times. (TMI? Maybe.) I took a long hard look at my electric toothbrush: it was sad and battered like a salty sailor who'd seen too many storms-- and the bacterial field day that was every sinus infection I've had the past few years (hint, I had more than 5. Maybe my overuse of that Sonicare was part of it).


I'd really liked the Oral B Pro Health ones in the past, but the new Pro Health Clinical Pro Flex looked like some serious business. Fortunately, I happened to be with my friend whose sister is a dental hygienist, and her sister was called in. Apparently the Clinical Pro Flex were amazing in clinical trials. I am extremely satisfied with the level of clean I get from this toothbrush!

So maybe it's not a terribly exciting post, but I'm excited to head into this new year with whiter teeth. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to kick my soda habit, unless it's needed for caffeine reasons when studying, so I'm hoping to really brighten up in the teeth department once I stop habitually staining. 2014: Clean Slate, Clean Mouth. Um, well maybe I'll aim higher than that, but it's a good start, you know?

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Gift Guide for the Organized

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We all have at least one friend whose dorm room or apartment look like something out of a magazine or pinterest board. Like Santa, she makes tons of lists, checks them twice, and accomplishes an almost magical amount of work without even making it look hard. Here are some gifts for the girl who has it all together, and maybe even for the girl who's trying to be that girl.

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Weekend Links 12.12.13



NPR's 100 favorite songs of 2013 including CHVRCHES, Ariana Grande, Beck, David Bowie, Daft Punk and more >>>

There's no such thing as a "universal female experience" that women of all races, classes, nationalities, and sexual orientations share-- but the myth that there is this essential universal female experience stands strong, and it hurts women to base our politics off of it >>>

Melvfitness shows you exactly how she faked an amazing before/after photo, just to show you that you can look great or you can look terrible because real bodies have great moments and sloppier moments, good staging and bad staging >>>

Who counts as a woman of color? Asian women, as well as women from many other backgrounds outside of Black women, often find themselves either lumped in with whites, excluded by the POC label, or erased all together >>>

Shrinking Women by Lily Myers >>>


“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.” >>>

24 Rules for Being a Gentleman in the Modern Age >>>
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Bangs!

I gave myself a new haircut! I'd been considering thick bangs for a long time, and I finally did it.

BEFORE

AFTER

I actually haven't had bangs since I was like 8. I kind of vacillate between loving it and feeling like I gave myself an early nineties haircut and I don't know how to style. I mostly love it. I'm kind of proud that it came out as well as it did!

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My 6 Favorite Study Tools


It's Finals Week. That means studying like hell. Paper writing. Note taking. Flashcard... flashing? Here are my favorite study tools for the most miserable time of the academic year.

1 - SelfControl. This free app for Mac blocks you from any sites you place on your blacklist for a set amount of time. You will not be able to access the sites even if you try restarting your computer or deleting the app! This is an awesome tool if you have to be on the computer and internet (say, to write a paper) but can't resist the temptation of social media.

2 - Colored Pens. Color helps me organize my notes better because it allows for visual indications of categories or differences. I currently use Papermate InkJoy pens and I really like them. I am also a big fan of Staedtler fine-liners. They're great for diagramming but also for creating categories and associations by writing different things in different colors.

3 - 5x8" Lined Post-Its. These are SUCH great post-its for studying. Typically I summarize each page or each pair of adjacent pages on these post-its, or I write key questions to quiz myself on the content of each page. If I need more detailed info, I remove the post-it

4 - Flashcards [+]. This is the best flashcard app out there. You want the capability, Flashcards [+] has it. Editing styles, colors, and fonts of the writing on the cards, adding pictures and drawings, using bullets, importing from quizlet, allowing you to share with friends, allowing you to quiz yourself with matching, spelling quizzes, true or false, and even measuring your accuracy. It's great since you always have your phone on you. No more fumbling with hundreds of index cards, killing trees, losing them, leaving them at home, etc. It's free, with a $5 upgrade to allow you to have more than 100 items in a deck. It's worth it since that's about the same cost as two packs of index cards!

5 - Planner. If you don't have an agenda / weekly planner of some sort, you need to get on that. I'm a fan of the greenroom weekly planners that you can find at Target for $8 (and the price drops significantly into late January and February). Using your planner to figure out your exam schedule and your study schedule can put you on track to using your time wisely.

6 - Highlighters. Highlighting is an important part of the process. Highlight assignments. Highlight notes. Highlight rubrics. Highlight study guides. Highlight textbooks. It's classic and essential. I like to highlight textbooks and assignments. It's also great if you're writing a paper and are highlighting specific quotes or passages. I like Sharpie Accent highlighters.

What are your favorite study tools?
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Weekend Links


How a pair of old ladies are changing prison inmates lives by teaching them to knit >>>

I really enjoyed this piece Joe Jonas did detailing his life as a Jonas Brother and all the craziness that fame got him and his family into. He's my favorite of the 3 and I love how honest he was about everything from family to sex and drugs >>>

Why Love Actually is actually a terribly unromantic film (and everyone needs to know because I was extremely angry I wasted 2 hours of my life watching that drivel because everyone insisted it was so great) >>>

For Doctor Who fans: A great article on how Moffat is RUINING the show, specifically, his absolute inability to give meaning and significance to death. I long for the day when he's canned and Who can return to its former glory >>>

One woman's crusade against "the most hated man on the internet" aka the King of Revenge Porn. She deserves all the awards >>>

A great piece on Elle about why Carrie Bradshaw is full of shit >>>


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