12/31/16

A Few of My Favorite Things from 2016



With 2016 coming to a close, a wanted to take a moment and share some of my favorite discoveries from 2016. 

Book of the Month Club


This subscription might be my favorite find of 2016. Book of the Month Club invites guest judges like Ellie Kemper, Anthony Bourdain, and Allison Williams (to name a few) to select five books every month for members to choose from. Depending on your subscription, you can choose how many discounted books you receive each month - and you can always purchase an additional book at a lower rate if it sounds especially interesting! The site offers a ton of promo codes, so I'd recommend subscribing to their newsletter or following them on Instagram to ensure you join at the best price.

Glossier


Glossier is my indie beauty find of 2016. Their Generation G matte lipstick, Super Pack face oils, and Stretch Concealer have earned permanent places in my beauty cabinet. Plus, their products ship quick and are pretty reasonably priced (especially considering their high quality). 

News Subscriptions


After the recent presidential election, I subscribed to digital subscriptions of The New York Times and The Washignton Post. I wanted to show my support for hard-hitting journalism, and ensure I always had a method of staying properly informed. With so much fake and click-bait news out there now, it's nice to open these news apps and get a rundown of that day's most up-to-date and noteworthy happenings.

Fitbit Charge 2
On Black Friday, my sister, Dad, and I purchased Fitbit Charge 2 devices. These fitness trackers start at $150 and track everything from your daily steps, heart rate, sleeping patterns, meditation sequences, GPS for running, reminders to move throughout the day, and more! Plus, the devices use bluetooth to silently buzz to notify you of incoming calls and texts. My family has been using ur Fitbit Charge 2s to compete in various step goal competitions, which has been a great motivator for us to go out exploring together as a family.

Three Corgmigos


My family has three corgis named Vixey, Easy, and Slick (from left to right). This year, my sister started an Instagram account called Three Corgmigos. If you love corgis and clever captions, then you should follow along. Her posts always make me laugh when they go live on Instagram.

Tasty


I discovered Tasty's video recipes this year and am obsessed - so much so that I received their cookbook as a Christmas gift this year. I've always been more of a visual learner, so their simple, step-by-step recipes make it easy to follow along. It also doesn't hurt that the recipes are quick to make and always delicious.

Online Yoga Classes


Right now, YogaWorks is offering online yoga classes for $50 for an entire year with the promo code HOLIDAYS! I was a YogaWorks studio member for a year and loved their classes. Unfortunately, the new apartment I moved to was just far enough way from my old studio to make driving to my regular classes too inconvenient. Now, I'm a huge fan of their online classes! I purchased all my usual class props from Amazon at discounted prices, so it's been fun to experiment with new classes whenever I have down time. I also love that I can take the classes wherever I go if I'm traveling - great investment!

'Nasty Woman' Movement



Despite my girl not getting elected, I loved the lasting impact left by the 'Nasty Women' movement. If you haven't read up on it yet, you should! The stories shared on social media using this hashtag are incredibly powerful, and something everyone should expose themselves to - male or female. 

Tile Mate


I received a Tile Mate at a work event I attended this year, and I love it! The slim tile attaches to your keyring, purse, wallet, gym bag, etc. and you can track its location through the Tile app on your mobile phone. Conversely, you can also find your phone using a Tile Mate too. By pressing the center "Tile" logo on the device, your phone will start ringing so you can locate it. A four-pack of Tile Mates costs $70, and the units last you one year. They don't require charging or a battery change, and you can recycle them after one year to purchase new Tile Mates at a discounted price.

WestWorld


HBO's WestWorld was my binge-show of 2016. You can watch a trailer of the series here. The basic premise is a futuristic theme park where human visitors interact with robotic "hosts" to the extent that you can't tell who is who in this western-themed world. The show plays with themes of psychology, sci-fi, technology, and is definitely a must-watch.

Lush Face Masks


These all-natural face masks are my favorite, and I put one of these bad boys on my face every week. On average, each mask is about $10 and they address the full spectrum of skin care needs from acne, oily skin, moisturization, and brightening. Since getting into this routine, I've noticed a significant improvement in my skin's overall health and appearance. If you visit a Lush store, their employees can help you find the best mask for your skin type. Mask of Magnaminty is my go-to, but honestly, they're all great. Plus, once you've gone through five jars, you can bring them into a Lush store to recycle for a free mask - pretty cool!

11/9/16

Why I Voted for Her


I'm proud of my vote and involvement in this Presidential Election.

I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton just because she's a democrat or a woman.

I voted for her because she had the most proven political, educational, and activist accomplishments under her belt.

I voted for her because she was a champion for all minorities. I love and respect my friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members and the spectrum of different medical, racial, sexual, and religious beliefs they represent. With my vote, I wanted to be able to look them in the eye and say my vote stood up for them - not just myself and the privileges I was lucky enough to be afforded growing up.

I voted for her because she believed in innovative scientific research - especially cancer. My dad has stage IV PMP cancer - an orphan disease. An orphan disease is a form of illness that affects less than 200,000 individuals nationwide and whose root cause is unknown. I voted for her because she would continue to safeguard my family through health insurance coverage today, and actively seek new medical advances for tomorrow. Today, I fear any government spending going toward researching my dad's rare form of cancer might be extinguished based on the beliefs and priorities of our new, majority government.

I voted for her because she respected my right to make decisions about my body - and all the other women in my life, regardless of their political or religious beliefs. Every woman should have a choice just like I have mine.

I voted for her because she believed in supporting new technologies - particularly since I work for a company that beta tests the latest in technological advancements.

I voted for her because she would have supported my academic achievements in my undergraduate and Master's programs, and not make me doubt my self worth by doing a double take of my reflection in the mirror.

I voted for her because I could picture her going overseas and building bridges with world leaders abroad, as well as with opposing political leaders at home.

I voted for her because she was passionate about protecting our environment. Being awestruck from trips to our country's National Parks are some of my most cherished memories, and an experience I want continuously preserved for future generations to come. I wanted environmental conservation to be a priority, and to not have it get swindled to turn quick profits today.

I voted for her because I felt she was the best role model to children. She was the candidate whose eyes lit up talking about our nation's history, and her potential role in helping shape its future as President. She was the candidate who would have inspired the next generation to do anything and be anything so long as they worked hard.

I voted for her because she was imperfect, but willing to fall on her sword.

I voted for her because she was the most decent human being. When I'm 80 years old, I can justify my vote for her when my grandchild interviews me for their paper on, "Who did you vote for in the 2016 presidential election and why?" He or she will be wide-eyed looking up at me - with all the facts - and enough time will have passed for the dust to settle on this moment in our nation's history. When that moment comes, I'll be proud to stand by my decision.

I'm proud of who I voted for despite her losing. Social media has already taught me I have many friends who said they were voting Hillary, only to endorse pro-Trump posts. All I ask of Trump supporters is to be proud of their candidate and their support of him. If you ever felt like you had to hide your support from a known Clinton supporter, then maybe you missed an opportunity to engage them in a meaningful conversation that could have lessened the divide currently felt within our country. And if you still feel you have to hide your true self and beliefs after a win, then maybe you didn't really win at all.

Regardless of your party, I hope we're all weary of how a one party system in this country jeopardizes our democracy. Ours is a system of lively debate - checks and balances - so concessions are reached and opposing voices are heard. Today's one party system is an eerie repeat of a dark chapter in our world history, and an unbalanced system we should all be concerned about. Yes, the people have spoken - but that doesn't mean there won't be serious repercussions within the political discourse of this country with the adoption of a basically blank check system for the next two years.

As of January 20, 2017, he'll be our Commander in Chief, and I value the respect, honor, and history that office holds. I think myself, and other Clinton supporters, can humbly accept defeat alongside Trump supporters' gracious respect of our loss in this race. Please understand where we're coming from - we saw through the media and made our own character assessments of your candidate. Yes, we know you're excited and feel heard as a political body. Please alter your perspective and acknowledge we are bewildered, heartbroken, and scared for the security of ourselves and loved ones - particularly minorities.

We can't come together without patience, time, and empathy. It isn't going to happen overnight, but it will happen. Until then, Democrats need to be assured that the best interests of the whole country were at the heart of this vote, and Republicans need to empathize as we regroup as a party - and ultimately a nation.

As a kid, I remember watching my first Presidential Election in 2000 on TV and asking my parents (of two daughters), "Why are there never women?" and they replied, "Maybe someday during your lifetime." I hope we continue to share stories of how Presidential candidates' platform positions personally affect and inspire our families and friends, so everyone can understand the full weight of their political voice in the future. I voted and volunteered for the losing candidate, and that's OK because this is my story. Regardless of party lines, I hope you can respectfully share your story too in an effort to come together for the greater good.


#HillYeah