Sunday, November 30, 2014

Feminism: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 I realize this isn't a news channel or the NY Times, but Bailey and I had some ranting that was just too good to keep to ourselves. The bottom line is this: equality is a good thing, all people are created equal under God, but the problem is when organizations try to preach that equality is right at all costs and under all circumstances. No, men and women are not equal. As far as their functions, abilities and purposes, men and women will never be equal. Ever. And that pill is a hard one for modernity to swallow. We apologize if this post causes controversy or offends anyone as we are simply sharing our opinions (as conservative women who actually care about the current events of this somewhat screwed up country) Enjoy!

The Truth Behind Feminism
Guest post by Bailey Barnes

I am a woman and I’m not embarrassed by my femininity at all. I embrace it and celebrate it. But there are some organizations that do make me embarrassed to be a woman. They’re claiming they are feminists yet they seem to be demeaning women in the process.

You all know exactly what I’m talking about.

FCKH8 is a so-called feminist organization that is supposed to be showing the world that we should treat everyone, especially women, with the utmost respect. That is a great goal. I agree that everyone should be treated with respect. Kudos to you FCKH8. Really great goal. Their methods in doing this are incredibly disgusting. They created a video of young girls (young meaning, well, first graders) endorsing feminism and swearing like sailors. It’s incredibly disturbing. No matter your opinion on curse words, the video just makes women look bad.

And this is coming from a woman.

The fact is, true equality between men and women is impossible. Truly impossible. We’re made differently; for different purposes. Our brains are wired differently, our bodies function differently. Yes, I believe we should be treated with respect, but FCKH8 is just creating more hate.
Not to mention, these organizations don’t support the beauty of women’s bodies.

Organizations like FCKH8 are all pro-choice.

They tell us to love our bodies, to embrace our femininity, but also to kill our babies if they’re inconvenient?

Haven’t we women been taught the value of our bodies? The amazing ability we have to bring life into the world?

True feminism, in my mind, is loving every aspect of ourselves and the amazing things our bodies have been gifted to do.

So what is the solution? Just complain about feminist organizations? Not at all. There are actual non-profit organizations that support my views and the views of so many other women around the world.

The Guiding Star Project is a group that call themselves “new feminists.” Their motto is simple and represents everything that I believe encompasses true feminism. Their motto goes as follows:

“Pro-Women, Pro-Peace, Pro-Life.”

Their mission statement is written on their Facebook page.

“The Guiding Star Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring about a Culture of Life through the nationwide establishment of holistic comprehensive health centers offering life-affirming services for women and their families.To accomplish this mission we will work to provide guidance and support to individuals and organizations wanting to unite and work cooperatively in their own communities in order to better coordinate their services for the benefit for women and families.”

This organization aims to show women the importance of their there you have it. Real feminism. Boom.

Check out their informational video.

With love,
Bailey Barnes

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Best Things About Your College Family

I think the biggest difference between high school and college is the relationships you begin to develop with people. Yes, I am very busy with lectures, homework, and studying. Somehow, amid the craziness of it all, I still find time to be with my friends more than I ever did in high school. That's what's so great about living on campus. You develop close relationships like you've never experienced before and it's absolutely wonderful. Bailey and I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends, who we have fondly started referring to as "the Family." We eat together, study together, cry together and laugh together, and wherever we go, no matter what's going down, there is always someone from the Family who we can find in one of a few places. We've had our troubles, but so far, there hasn't been any challenge that we can't get through and we consider ourselves pretty darn lucky to have such a crazy but lovable group. 

The Best Things About Your College Family
 Guest post by Bailey Barnes 

I've begun to notice, within the past few weeks, that my friends at this school, the people I'm with everyday, are slowly becoming more than friends to me. "Friend" doesn't seem like a good enough word to describe them. They're becoming my family. 

These are the best things about your friends becoming your family:

1. You're never alone
Just like your actual family, they love you no matter what. You could make the biggest mistake of your life and they're still going to be there for you. Just like your blood relatives, they're not going to abandon you. 

2. Someone's room becomes everyone's room
There's the room that everyone is ALWAYS in. Like constantly. It starts to be referred to as "the house" instead of so and so's room. 

3. There aren't any secrets
Everyone knows everything. Think you can keep something from the Family? That's funny. You can't. 

4. You make elaborate plans about the family in the future
"We should totally go on a cross country road trip!" 
"Wanna be a bridesmaid in my wedding?"
"Let's all get an apartment together in two years!"
 All quotes I've heard since I developed the family-like friendships in college. Making plans for the future isn't even weird for them. They're probably thinking it, too. 

5. Everything is shared
Actually everything. Clothes, food, drinks. Everything. There are usually articles of clothing, keys, and someone's phone and charger left in anyone's room (probably the house) at any given time.

6. Your problem becomes the family's problem 
They have your back and they're ready to defend you when someone is disrespecting you. It's like having your big siblings with you all the time, always ready to kick some serious butt. 

7. You can be yourself 
The best thing about your friends becoming your family is that you can be yourself around them. There's no need to wear a mask. Your family will accept you no matter what. 

I'd just like to finish this post by thanking everyone I consider my family in college. You guys are all amazing and are making every day of my college experience better than the one before. I truly love all of you. Thanks for a great first few months. Can't wait for what's to come!

With love, 
Bailey Barnes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

'Tis The Season For Holiday Movies

I cannot stress enough what a huge role movies play this time of year. Really TV in general, from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, to the Thanksgiving parade to White Christmas to the Superbowl, holiday entertainment remains a tradition in my family, and as something that Americans across the world can all joyfully take part in. 

Growing up, we didn't have TV. I watched movies, and still enjoy them, especially the classics (cue Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe) but I wasn't subject to the riffraff that my parents wisely kept me away from. About a year or two before we moved back to California, we got cable, after something like fourteen years, and it was no longer just a treat (along with swimming pools and Fruit Loops) when we stayed in a hotel. On Thanksgiving mornings, we would watch the Parade while my mother sautéed and baked, wearing her apron, her hair pulled back and her slippers on. We would watch the holiday cooking shows, and by the time we were heating up leftovers around 9:30 pm, we had started the Hallmark movies. My mother still teases me that no one in their right mind watches Hallmark and Lifetime movies (except me, of course, but maybe I'm not in my right mind, after all) 

A few of my personal favorites: 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Family Stone

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Home Alone

The Polar Express

White Christmas

I highly recommend that you watch each one of these films this holiday season because they really capture the spirit of Christmas and they're the perfect mix of laughs, sympathy and hope. I know for a fact that White Christmas and The Family Stone are on Netflix, and usually the others are played on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas, which starts on December 1. 

What are some of your favorite holiday movies? Do they play a big role in your family traditions? 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What I'm Looking Forward To Back Home

It's official, the Christmas countdown has begun. I'm not ignoring Thanksgiving, not in the least, but this will be the first holiday-related post. With only 36 days until Christmas, and one and a half weeks into the snow season here in North Dakota, it's easy to get in the holiday mood, even if it is a tad early. But then again, since when does joy and coziness and festiveness have a time frame? I haven't seen my family since late August, and waiting until late December will be tricky, especially over Thanksgiving, but keeping in mind the things that I am most looking forward to makes the wait a bit easier. 

  1. Chipotle: Sorry Qdoba, you just aren't the same. I know I'm spoiled because I can usually get authentic Mexican food anywhere I go, (one of the perks of being Californian) but oh boy do I miss it. Although, I just really miss good food in general. The cafeteria could always be worse, but home cooked meals are definitely taken for granted
  2. Sunshine: So far, the snow hasn't been terrible and I'd go as far as to say it's borderline beautiful, but there's nothing like getting more than two hours of vitamin D on the daily
  3. In'n'Out: I guess this goes along with Chipotle, and considering the next one is good sushi, maybe I'm thinking about food a little too much, but it's going to happen ASAP. I miss my animal fries. 
  4. Sushi: Bismarck has a few sushi places which do the job, but knowing that your meal was caught a mere few hours before put on the plate is something that just can't be replaced
  5. Cousin Time: I come from a very close-knit family, with over thirty cousins and the best time of year is when we all come home and bundle up in our pajamas after all the presents have been opened, all the noogies have been given, all the dishes are done and all the leftovers have been reheated 
  6. Fresh fruit and avocados: Avocados don't exist in the midwest, and it's been really hard to adapt to seeing as I literally lived on avocados, orange juice and eggs over the summer (I know I sound like a foodie snob, I just can't help mother raised me right)
  7. Flip-flops: I'm going to need a pedicure, but it will be entirely acceptable to wear flip flops, even on Christmas, and I'm perfectly okay with that
  8. Not having to FaceTime my mother: Being in the same time zone as my family is another thing that I've taken for granted; I don't know how many times I've tried to call and it's not a good time or she's already in bed (yes, she goes to sleep before me and it's not cool) 
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Five Ways to Move On

One of the biggest differences between college and high school is that in college you can really choose your friends. You can choose who you want to spend your time with, who you want to trust with your deepest secrets and who you let see the best and worst of yourself. I graduated with a class of twelve, and therefore I didn't necessarily have as much freedom in choosing my friends; we had mostly the same values and beliefs, and because there were only twelve, it was much easier to get along with everyone than not. Here in college though, there are hundreds to choose from, and if you don't choose carefully, it's easy to get really screwed really fast. I have had the great pleasure of finding and befriending the beautiful Bailey Barnes. She is 4'11 (yes, that's actually shorter than me) and has one of the biggest hearts I know. We bonded one night taking care of a mutual friend, and hit it off right away. We share a love for writing and when I asked her if she would like to start a guest post series on the blog, it was an immediate yes. Her words are clear and to the point, which is one of the many reasons why I happen to love her. 

Five Ways to Move On
Guest post by Bailey Barnes

Two months ago, my heart was broken.
The details aren't important. It was messy and I don't like talking about it. 
I'm not writing this for sympathy. I want people to learn from what I've discovered over the past two months. 

Moving on is tough. Coming to the realization that things won't be the same with the person that you loved more than anything is scary. Trust me, I know. 

Here's a list of what I've learned about moving on over the past two months:

1. It's not the end of the world
It's really not. The world will continue to turn and life doesn't stop happening. I know how sad you are. I've been there, but it gets better. 

2. Surround yourself with TRUE friends
Please PLEASE don't be by yourself. I know that you want to sit on your floor and listen to Taylor Swift songs and cry, but that will not help anything. Talk about how you're feeling with someone who is a true friend. They'll be able to sympathize with you and help you move on. 

3. Take the pictures down
Chances are, you two probably are done for good. Stop staring of the pictures of you guys on your desk. Just stop. It's not helping. Also, give his sweatshirts back. And you should probably delete them on snapchat too while you're at it. Seeing what they're up to is a constant reminder that they are able to be happy without you. That'll only make it harder to move on. 

4. Don't rebound
I get it. It's weird being alone, especially if you're fresh out of a long term relationship. I know how badly you want to feel love, to feel affection. Believe me when I tell you that it's not worth it. "Rebounding" is only going to put you in a worse emotional state than you were before. Surround yourself with people who won't take advantage of your walls being down. 

5. There's someone out there for you
I promise. It'll get easier. Eventually, you'll wake up in the morning with someone else on your mind. Just be patient. 

With love, 
Bailey Barnes 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The First Snowfall

"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another, quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found?"
 -J.B. Priestly

Waking up to four inches of snow this morning was nothing short of surprising. I knew it was supposed to snow through the night, but actually being in it was different than I was expecting. I haven't been in the snow since I lived in Wisconsin, which is going on four years ago, so while I haven't forgotten it, I've forgotten what it's like to be in it. The struggle hits when you realize that it's not that cold, but the wind chill is dropping the temperature an extra 15 degrees. 
Rough life. 
It's beautiful though, and I didn't even slip on the ice. I did accidentally walk off the sidewalk because I couldn't tell that it was ending, so I got a shoe-full of slush, but I put my socks on the heater vent and we were golden. My cousin and I seized the opportunity for an impromptu photoshoot, making the mistake of not wearing gloves, and nearly freezing our fingers off three photos in, but it was all worth it. 

I will probably hate it in about two weeks, but for now, I am embracing this change of scenery as a fresh start and a sign of new beginnings. 

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

I'm Alive

Remember that time when I neglected my blog? Yeah, me too. It's been a while. I don't have any particular reason, and no, I don't really want to talk about it. It's been weird lately and I guess I haven't really been myself. But that's okay, because sometimes we just need to take some time. 

What has been happening? 

I finished working with the Measure 7 Campaign, and ended October with a big fat paycheck. I recruited my cousin and a group of my friends to work with me, so needless to say, we'll all be going on a shopping spree soon. 

I opened a North Dakota bank account and deposited my first $500. Maybe being an adult isn't so bad all the time. 

We had our first snow last night, and while it didn't stick, it was still a beautiful sight to wake up to. We're expecting up to six more inches tomorrow. 

I didn't leave my room until 5 pm yesterday, and I managed to eat multiple bowls of cereal and ramen, and watch six hours of New Girl and The Carrie Diaries. Oh Netflix, you really are the best therapy. 

My cousin and best friend both went out of town this weekend, so that should have been my first hint that it would be a rough weekend. As much as I attempt to be an independent woman, sometimes a girl really needs her girls. Thankfully, I have a few more than two friends, so I wasn't completely alone, but still. This is a weekend that I'm looking forward to being done with.
I have been listening to V by Maroon 5 constantly for the past two weeks or so. I have pretty much all the songs memorized and I can relate to each one. It isn't very often that an album is 100% on point, usually there are a few songs that aren't as great as the rest, but this album is absolutely perfect. I just can't even. 

It hit me earlier this week...  I'm really missing home. I'm pretty good with dealing with homesickness, but a combination of having a new baby in the family, cold weather setting in, and the holidays rolling around, California is calling my name. Thank God I have a cousin here or I think I would actually lose my mind.  I'm counting down the days until I'm on a west-bound plane.
Wearing two pairs of leggings has become a daily occurrence, and puffer vests are my current obsession. I have my eye on a certain pair of Sperry boots, so those might have to happen. Also,  I'm planning on doing a late-fall fashion post soon, so look forward to that. 

I continue writing for the school paper, and I recently applied and was interviewed for the Business Manager position for the paper. I'm hoping I can get it, because it would be a great outlet for me to practice my social and marketing skills. Along those lines, I switched my major again. I dropped the business part because I realized that I had formed a false idea of what it, as of now, I am treading along the line between Public Relations and Mass Communications. Both could work and I can see myself being successful in both, but I need to research a tad more before officially declaring. So I will keep updates coming as far as that goes. 

Boys are stupid. Men aren't much better. That's all I'm saying about that. 

I know it's a ways away still, but who else is excited for Downton Abbey? Can I get a hell yes. Also, has anyone else heard about A Series of Unfortunate Events that Netflix is producing? I remember my mother reading all the books to me and my siblings one winter. Then I went back and read them all myself, and I loved the movie. I have high hopes for the show, but I don't have enough information to be able to tell if it'll be good yet. 

Sometimes life kicks you in the butt, and you lay there for a while, waiting for someone to help you up, and eventually they do, but you realize that you could have gotten up so much sooner if you hadn't waited. This is my life right now. But I'll be okay, because I'm always okay. 

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