Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fuji Instax 7 Giveaway

One of my favorite websites, The Plaid Barn, is hosting a giveaway to win a Fuji Instax 7. I've had my eye on these cameras for quite some time and have come close to buying one on more than one occasion, so winning one would be awesome!

If you'd also like the opportunity to win one of these little guys, make sure you enter the giveaway here. Good luck!

P.S. Check out my lovely new sponsors for August; I'm pretty excited to have them all on board!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting Over Girl Hate

Yesterday, my fellow blogger friend, Rachel, posted a link on Twitter to an older story from Rookie magazine. It's a super quick read and though I think it was written with high school girls in mind, I think women of all age groups are probably a bit guilty of feeling a few (if not all) of these emotions. Women should be encouraging, complimenting and teaming up with each other. Not insulting, belittling, or cutting down one another. It's such a waste of time! Isn't there enough hate in the world?? Let's bring girl power back and remember what the Spice Girls taught us about friendship.

Okay, but seriously.

(Image via Bikini Kill Zine.)
1. Separate girl hate from real hate.

It’s probably someone you don’t know too well—maybe you have mutual friends, or she’s in one of your classes. When you see her or she’s mentioned in conversation, you panic a little on the inside as your mind immediately goes to anything about her that could be at all negative. Find it! Quick! Reassure me of her flaws! Step one is seeing these annoying feelings for what they are: girl hate.

Girl hate is not hating someone who happens to be a girl, it’s hating someone because we’re told that, as girls, we should hate other girls who are as awesome as or more awesome than ourselves. That there can ever only be ONE cool girl, ONE funny girl, ONE smart girl, etc., in a circle of people. This myth has a long history, as I gorgeously scrawled here:

(Image via Rookie.)

This, along with the myth that other girls are obstacles in your Life Goal of Finding a Man (but that’s a WHOLE other chicken-scratch chart), is why girls compete with one another. THIS SUCKS. The only good thing that has ever come out of this is inspiration for Mean Girls.

The good news is that it’s very handy to know when you’ve internalized a societal problem and turned it into how you feel about people in your life and about yourself. You’re not a sexist pig, you’ve just been raised around a bunch of them in the form of some awful magazines and movies and stuff, where women are always competing for the same man, the same title, where the main character looks over at the other girl with her shiny hair, socializing smilingly with a boy, and feels nothing but resentment. Now that you know that, you can understand how stupid it all is, and differentiate between the girls you hate because you’re told to be jealous and the girls who might actually just not be nice people.

The bad news is that sometimes jealousy is more personal than that, and really does have to do with just you and her. You probably feel a little threatened by her because you two are so similar, but you’re afraid she’s an even better version of you. Here’s the thing—the horribly, eye-rollingly cheesy thing: no one can be a better version of yourself than you. And becoming the best possible example of your you-ness does not include focusing on how much you dislike another person.

2. Realize it has nothing to do with her.

Seriously. Look at her. You barely know this girl. What, you heard she did something slutty at a party two years ago? Two days ago? Who cares! She walks a certain way, answers questions in class a certain way, wears stuff no one else could pull off? Look: confidence is not a crime. It does not mean a girl is a bitch or a slut, or thinks she’s better than you. It just means that she likes herself. And personally, I don’t wanna live in a world where any girl with healthy self-esteem is labeled a whore, or where you have to dislike yourself to be considered a nice person. As long as we’re talking about good ol’ confidence and not being a total self-absorbed dick, I want everyone to be confident and like themselves! Sincerely. People not liking themselves seems to be where their hating other people begins, and that’s when you get a world full of hatred and spite and darkness, and that is why we have to sing awful songs in music class about loving children and trees and shit. These songs must be stopped. I have very little patience for them.

So get ready to reevaluate your opinion of this girl. Break the habits of looking for any little things she has done that could count against her, quit listening to gossip, stop judging her pictures on Facebook, and start giving her the benefit of the doubt. Remember: these songs, they are awful.

3. New and improved, try Girl Love!

Trust me—you secretly want to be best friends with this girl. Because she’s like you! That’s where the jealousy comes in, remember? I’m close friends with a girl I used to have some serious girl hate for. Recognizing what a wonderful person she is not only made me realize how idiotic I was being before, but it really did make me feel better about myself. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that pointing out flaws in others makes us feel good, but ultimately, those moments of pleasure are fleeting. In the long run, they get you in the habit of looking for flaws in everyone, including yourself.

I’m not saying we all have to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows all the time. I love my Darias and my Enids and I think a good dose of angst is healthy. But hating people is stressful. Negativity is tiring. Causing drama is dumb. Some people are worth hating, but energy and time and brainpower are too valuable to waste on general shittiness.

4. And above all, maybe the most important thing to keep in mind…

She’s probably insecure about herself, too. We’re all teenagers here. And we’re all going to be insecure no matter what, because whatever hormonal thing is going on inside our bodies (ew, sorry) is so nasty and annoying. It sucks, but it’s why we can find friends and things we love to make it easier. Let’s not make it harder for one another or for ourselves. As Kevin G said, don’t let the hatas stop you from doin’ yo thang. In return, don’t stop anyone else from doing theirs. And if you two happen to share a thang, don’t compete over it. Celebrate it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Movie Trailers

After seeing Moonrise Kingdom a few weeks ago, I've been on a movie kick and am antsy to see another awesome movie in the theater. I suppose not having television/commercials has its downfalls since it kind of leaves me in the dark about new movie releases, but when I think of it, I sometimes browse iTunes Movie Trailers on the Apple website, and I'm always pleasantly surprised at what I find. I thought I'd share a few movies I came across today that I'm pretty excited to see.

Ruby Sparks

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

Safety Not Guaranteed

To Rome With Love

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

What movies are you looking forward to seeing this summer??

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Memories V.1 San Francisco

Monday Memories is a simple new series on my blog 
where I share stories and photos from my past 
as a way to keep my brain active, 
my happy memories present, 
and my writer's block at bay.

In the summer of 2010, one of my best friends, Shaun, was offered a job at Google in San Francisco. Without a place to live, Shaun
was a bit overwhelmed and needed a friend for support while he scoped out apartments on the West Coast a week before starting
at Google, so I booked a ticket last minute and flew out to lend a hand and help him sort out his exciting new life.

We were fortunate enough to stay with a couple named Mark and Erin who were friends of a friend. They welcomed us with open 
arms and I was overcome by how very sweet they were the entire time we were there. They never made us feel like we were 
being intrusive and I felt so comfortable with them; almost like we had known each other for years.

Their home was filled with fuzzy rugs, vegetarian cookbooks, buddhas, plants, love, and warmth. Since our time in San Francisco
was mostly rushed and a bit frantic as we searched from sunrise to sunset for an apartment, it definitely helped coming back at
the end of each night to Mark and Erin's lovely home.

Shaun and I bussed, trained, Bart-ed, and walked, walked, walked all over San Francisco in search of an apartment. It was super
tiring and blisters formed on four of my toes by the end of the 2nd day. I was also freezing since I didn't pack accordingly. Who
knew Cali could be so cold in August? Mark Twain was right. "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."

We met nice people along the way, including a man and his dog who we sat and talked to for nearly 30 minutes only because we
rang his buzzer by mistake, thinking it was the building and number we called earlier for an appointment. San Franciscans are 
too nice!

Between appointments to look at apartments, Shaun and I were able to do a bit of touristy stuff as well. We visited the Harvey
Milk Plaza which was heartbreaking, yet inspiring. Castro Street was full of energy, and I think it was the happiest place we visited
on this trip. Seeing Harvey's old camera store was amazing, and I purchased a shirt at the Human Rights Campaign shop just up
the street.

We took a detour and checked out the Google Campus. I couldn't believe how incredible it was! Googlers definitely have it made.
If Google employees aren't the happiest people on Earth, I don't know who is.

We rode the streetcars downtown and hung our feet over the edge as the trolley drove up and down the curvy roads. We ate lunch at a
50's style diner on the top of a hill that overlooked Alcatraz.

We rented a Zip Car and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge at night. We ate at countless new restaurants and walked away
satisfied each time. Though exhausted by the end of it all, I think our San Francisco adventure was a success. Once you get used to
the smog, the rain, the hills, the overcast days, and the chilly, windy temperatures, San Francisco really grows on you. It truly is 
a beautiful and unique place and I can't wait to go back.

Side note/Fun fact: Months after he was settled in his new city, Shaun participated in Google's "It Gets Better" video. He's appropriately wearing the Wisconsin shirt. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Instagram Lately

A little update on life via the photos from my phone. (i.e., Instagram.)

// 1. Andrew and I on the 4th of July, waiting for the fireworks to start.
// 2. We had a great view of the fireworks from Andrew's rooftop.
// 3. Afternoon snack. I swear I could eat an entire bag of cherries in one sitting.
// 4. I went to my first Nationals game a few weeks ago. I felt so wrong being there since I'm a Brewer's fan, but it was still fun to experience. I'm glad I went, even though we got rained out!

// 1. Though you can't really tell here, I colored my hair BRIGHT red recently. The box said "Sweet Pepper" and for some reason I refused to believe it would actually come out looking like a pepper. It's starting to fade now, but yikes, it was bright!
// 2. To celebrate our one year anniversary of moving to the East Coast, my roommates took Chris and I out for cupcakes. Aren't they sweet?
// 3. There are real pandas at the zoo in DC! I've never seen one in real life, so it was pretty awesome being able to watch them for a while. My nickname growing up was Manda Panda. :)
// 4. An afternoon lunch with my handsome at Sweet Green. Yum!

// 1. Andrew and I on the 4th of July, relaxing and eating cupcakes with friends.
// 2. Andrew picked me up in a convertible one night and we drove around the city, taking pictures and listening to music. It was a really nice surprise. Someday I'll own a convertible...
// 3. My friend Derek's band, The Fatty Acids, were on tour last month, and when they came to DC, we grabbed some dinner and caught up before we headed over to the venue for the show. They were really great of course, and it was so good seeing Derek!
// 4. Andrew and I celebrated our anniversary at the end of June; I really can't believe a whole year has gone by already! Time flies when you're having fun, right? ♥ ♥ ♥

// 1. I met up with Natasha while she was visiting her brother in DC a few weeks ago and we grabbed lunch downtown. Our time together was short, but I'm still so glad I got to see her. I'm really looking forward to our next meet-up!
// 2. Bowling with the roommies like the true Wisconsinites that we are. :)
// 3. Mia is the best kitty, ever. Ever!
// 4. A little Sunday project. I used fabric from some curtains I made years ago and turned it into a tote. Fun, fun!

// 1. Waiting for my plane at the airport. (I took a spur of the moment trip to Wisconsin a few days ago.)
// 2. How can you tell if you're in Wisconsin? Every gas station has at least one entire case of JUST cheese for sale, as well as endless displays full of beer.
// 3. I got to see Winston! He's my friend Ashley's doggie and I love him so much!
// 4. My friend Megan was visiting Wisconsin from Texas this weekend, so I'm glad we were able to time it right and meet up. We got together with Gina as well. I love and miss them every day. It's really hard living so far away from your best friends, but visits like this definitely make up for it.

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, my user name is @amanda_face. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Favorites // 07.13

Surprise! I'm in Wisconsin. I decided two nights ago that I would take a spur of the moment trip to the Midwest since my cousin (who I haven't seen in three years) is visiting from Thailand with her new baby.

Though I'm happy to be here, the start to my trip was a bit rocky. Two hours before I flew in, my Dad was feeling really warm and had a strange, burning sensation in his jaw (which is a sure sign of a heart attack), so my mom rushed him to the ER. This same thing happened a few years ago, and the doctors found that the left ventricle to his heart was 97% blocked. He now has a stent and takes blood thinners daily. Any weird feeling he gets shouldn't be taken lightly which is why my mom brought him in.

They kept him overnight to monitor him, and this morning (as I type this actually) he will be doing a stress test. He said he feels fine, and keeps saying he shouldn't have gone in, but there's nothing wrong with being extra careful and taking precautions. So, we'll see how the tests go. I'm sure everything will be okay.

To take my mind off things, I decided to put together some of my favorite images this week from Pinterest. I didn't post any favorites last week mainly because I'm considering changing up the way I do things on the ole' blog, but it's still a work in progress.

I hope your Friday the 13th is a happy one, full of non-superstitious events.

You can follow me on Pinterest here.