Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Milk & Honey pt. 2

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: The U.S. State Department reports that 80% of all trafficking victims are female, and 50% of trafficking victims are children (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Milk & Honey was so different than anything I have ever read before and I loved it! As I told you in my last post, Rupi Kaur truly puts her heart on paper. She is so open to her audience but that does not leave her vulnerable, it leaves her powerful. Kaur lets her readers know that having feelings does not make you weak, it is where your strength lies.

As I mentioned before, Milk & Honey is broken down into four parts, The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and the Healing. Last time I told you there were two ways to tackle this book, in order or by the section that speaks to you. I chose to go in order and after finishing it I would personally recommend that way if you are looking for a rollercoaster of emotions.

The Hurting: This was the hardest section to get through. Kaur talks about physical abuse and an absent father. One of my favorite poem from this section was:

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The Loving: I thought this was going to be my favorite part and although it was good, The Healing stands out to me. This part is definitely a good pick me up from the section before it. There were a lot of love poems in here but one of my favorites was all about self-love.

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The Breaking: Just as quickly as she brought us from hurting to being full of love, Kaur brings us back down again. The Breaking deals with the pain of a lost love. This is the part that tells readers that being broken does not mean you are weak. One of my favorites from this section was…

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The Healing: My favorite section! This section of Milk & Honey was so uplifting and it was the best section to end on. If you need a book to tell you be strong, this is it! I bookmarked so many poems in this section it was nearly impossible to choose one but I wanted to share one that is absolute #girlpower…

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My biggest suggestion for reading Milk & Honey is to bookmark ones that mean something to you. Whether they speak to you from experience or they just stop and make you think it can be your own diary inside of Rupi Kaur’s. I am planning on using a different color post-it and on the inside cover write a key so I know which poems spoke to me each time I read it.

What’s your favorite Rupi Kaur poem? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

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What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Tuesdays with Morrie

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Of the 4,460 human trafficking cases reported, 3,186 of them were sex trafficking (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Happy Tuesday!

I just picked up Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom yesterday and I’m already halfway through it.

I started Tuesdays with Morrie when I was in seventh or eighth grade but I never got too far. I put it next on my reading list because Mitch Albom came to my college and gave a talk about a month ago. Although I was not able to go, I was inspired by the selflessness I saw in him in the videos that were posted.

Something surprising I learned about him in the book so far is that he did not always have a humanitarian heart. To learn more about what Albom was like in his early career go start Tuesdays with Morrie! 

As I’ve talked about before, I love  quotes and Tuesdays with Morrie is full of them. One of my favorites is,

“Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.”

I’ll update with you guys with more about my favorite parts and what I loved about it once I finish but as for now I definitely recommend reading it!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Giving Tuesday

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Alleged sex trafficker Ludwig Fainberg explains, “You can buy a woman for $10,000 and make your money back in a week if she is pretty and young. Then everything else is profit.” (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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I thought about rounding up some Cyber Monday deals for Monday Saving Monday but then I thought I would try something a little bit different. Odds are, if you’re interested in Cyber Monday deals you already picked out the ones that peak your interest. I’ve decided to share something that isn’t on quite as many people’s radar- Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a day to give back. As a country we go from being extremely thankful to trampling people to get a 60″ flatscreen TV in not even 24 hours. Although Massachusetts has blue laws that prevent a lot of retail stores from being open on Thanksgiving, retail workers in other states are not so lucky. In what seems like a competition to be the first open on Black Friday, many stores now open on Thanksgiving.

2005 brought Cyber Monday. Another day, a little less dangerous, where people are solely focused on snagging the best items for the best price. Many people do not even need what they are buying, they just feel like they need to participate in the bargain hunting.

As a result, Giving Tuesday was created as a way to get back into the holiday spirit. You do not even have to spend money to participate, you can donate your time!

This will be my third year helping out at my college’s Giving Tuesday. Every year the Rachel’s Challenge group pairs with a leadership conference to host a clothing and food drive. Every year I have donated clothes as well as helping at the booth or collecting donations from the residence halls.

So I shared my way of getting involved on Giving Tuesday and here are  5 suggestions for you to get involved in Giving Tuesday…

  1. Donate to my Dressember campaign! Dressember uses the funds they raise to write grants to two organizations called International Justice Mission and A21 to help them in the fight against human trafficking. Just $200 will help provide a woman who has just gotten out of trafficking with meals, counseling, vocational training, and any legal needs.You do not have to give a ton but it would mean the world to me if you donated to my page!

2.  Do a closet clean out! This does not require you to spend anything! If you bought three  articles of clothing for yourself try finding three articles of clothing that you do not wear and donate them to charity.

3. Spend time at an animal shelter! This is such a popular volunteering option and it seems like they’re always in need of people to help. It isn’t just office work many shelters need help with you can help feed kittens, clean cages, and walk dogs. Here’s the story of a cross country team that takes shelter dogs on a run every morning!

4. Donate blood! In high school I used to help coordinate blood drives and giving blood has been very important to me ever since. While the Red Cross is an awesome place to give blood you can also give to local hospitals. Personally I’ve given to the Red Cross, Boston Children’s Bloodmobile, and Baystate Hospital’s Bloodmobile!

5. Make compliment cards! This is another thing I have done with the Rachel’s Challenge group at school. Just like the Kindness Rocks, you take fun paper, write compliments on them, and pass them out. You can leave them in a place where someone will find it or you can pass them out to friends! My suggestion is to avoid physical compliments like “You’re pretty” and try to focus more on their personality with compliments like: “I am a better person because I met you”, “You never fail to make me smile”, or “You light up the room”.

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I hope you enjoyed these Giving Tuesday tips and I hope you try to incorporate some of them into your Tuesday!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 6: Black Friday

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: In 2017, all 50 states have had people call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to report trafficking cases. (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Instead of my usual Weekly Style Post I wanted to share some deals from a ton of different stores I love.

Banana Republic Factory

The whole store is 60% for Black Friday!

I had my first shift there since Columbus Day on Wednesday night and let’s just say I left a pile of clothes on hold to purchase on Black Friday. Most of the things I’ll be getting are for gifts but here are the things I’m treating myself to…

Cable Cowl Turtleneck Sweater Dress

 

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How cute is this dress?! It’s perfect for the holidays and Dressember!

Wooly Fit and Flare Skirt

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Another piece that is perfect for the holidays!

J. Crew Factory

The store is 50-60% off for Black Friday!

Layered Circle Necklace

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My favorite J. Crew piece! This necklace is so perfect for any outfit but especially Christmas parties.

Pleated Mini Skirt

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All pictures are the display photos on their respective websites! I do not own them!

Lifestyle, Style, Uncategorized

A Day in the Life: Thanksgiving Edition

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: In 2017, all 50 states have had people call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline to report trafficking cases. (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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6:00 a.m. Wake up… for the first time.

6:15 a.m. Wake up for the second time, press snooze one more time.

6:30 a.m. Wake up for the third time, get dressed to go for a run.

8:00a.m. Turkey Trot time!

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9:30 a.m. I’m back at home watching the parade and reading Tuesdays with Morrie (new what I’m reading coming soon!).

1:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Dinner time! I would have included a picture of my plate but it’s not nearly as colorful as other people’s. I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving food (turkey, potatoes, corn…) so for dinner I had stuffing and pasta! I’m definitely lucky that my Dad makes me my own food on Thanksgiving or else I would’ve been starving until dessert!

2:30 p.m. We took Maggie for a walk around the neighborhood… she definitely had a lot to eat today too!

 

After coming back from our walk I remembered I needed to take outfit pics!IMG_6744

Outfit details:

Knit Ear WarmerOne of my best investments this fall. I’m not really a big hat person so this is perfect for cold weather! Another plus? It comes in every neutral imaginable!

VestOld Navy’s quilted vest in steel wool. It comes in a variety of colors. I love that this vest is lighter than all of my other ones, it’s perfect for layering!

The sweater is from Banana Republic Factory Store. I don’t see the same one on their website but here is a similar V-Neck sweater that comes in eggplant!

My leggings are just plain black leggings I got from Marshalls!

And to tie the whole look together: 8″ Bean Boots. I have them in the classic tan/brown but they have a color option for any lifestyle!

Not pictured…

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My new Starfish Project earrings! These are the Kelly Studs and you might remember them from a previous Weekly Style post. I just got them when I came home on Tuesday and I love how small and dainty they are!

5:00 p.m. We drove out to my grandmother’s to drop off some leftovers for her.

6:00 p.m. We drove up to the mall to check out the lines for Black Friday. One of our traditions is always driving by to see the lines, there were definitely less people up there this year. The only store people were outside of was Best Buy, there were no lines at Target or Kohl’s and they had barriers set up as well.

IMG_67727:00 p.m. Another round of stuffing, a second slice of pie, and catching up on blog posts! If you have any Thanksgiving or Black Friday traditions leave them in the comments!

 

Stay stylish! And if you’re going Black Friday shopping stay safe!

xox,

Marissa

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Yankee Candle Factory

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: In my last few posts I shared how many people around the world and in Thailand specifically live without citizenship. Part of the reason why so many people are left without citizenship is because while the tribes have not moved, borders are shifting and no government officials have tried to include them  (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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This past weekend my roommates and I decided to see the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Yankee Candle Factory!

Regardless of the time of year, I definitely recommend making a trip to the Yankee Candle Factory should you find yourself in Western Mass. I think it definitely helps to get you in the holiday spirit but if you’re celebrating Christmas in July you’ll have just as much fun!

Walking through the Factory and seeing the mini villages, ornaments, and trees is a lot of fun! My friends and I breezed through it the first time and then went through a lot slower and focused on the parts we really enjoyed. My favorite room is the one where it snows!

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My favorite part of the Factory itself was the museum. Every few hours they have an informational session about how the process of candle making has evolved. I know it sounds super boring but I found it fascinating!

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I didn’t buy anything because the line was over an hour long! They have two sets of registers and both wrapped around the store. You could see a few baskets here and there from people who gave up and did not return their items.

If you’re looking to go to the factory and avoid the lines do not go the weekend of November 25th. That’s the day Santa arrives and it is their busiest day of the year!

I also found my new favorite winter candle…

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Cascading Snowberry! Macintosh will always have a special place in my heart but this one is a close second. As for what I wore…

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I’m an outfit repeater! I wore the same sweater a few weeks ago when I went apple picking. This sweater is from Old Navy and it also come in black, light heather gray, and cranberry sauce. You can find the sweater here, I’m sure there’s going to be an awesome deal on them on Friday. My earrings are from my favorite place, Starfish Project! The ones that I got can be found here and they also have them in turquoise and navy.

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If you missed my last weekend trip post you can check it out here!

 

Style, Uncategorized

Money Saving Monday: Brand Representatives

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: In my last post I shared how many people around the world and in Thailand specifically live without citizenship. Women and children in native tribes in Thailand are much more likely to be victims of trafficking and exploitation (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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If you’re like me and you spend a lot of time on Instagram you’ve probably seen brand representative discount codes by now. A lot of people who use Instagram to promote their product use brand representatives or brand ambassadors. These brand representatives get items at a discounted price in return for promoting the products they receive.

Here’s an example: I just started being a brand ambassador for Hampton Ivy. For me, this means that I will receive stuff from them in return for writing a post about it/featuring it on my social media outlets. For you this means 15% off your purchase! If you use the code marissam15 you will get a 15% discount on your purchase. If you’d like to see some of the items I received from Hampton Ivy, look no further!

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One of the great things about using Instagram for your shopping is that you’re supporting small businesses.  Most of these people are working from home and sharing their product on Etsy. It’s really hard to compete with giant name brand companies, but when you shop small you are supporting the American dream!

I’m just going to be sharing the name of the Instagram shop below. I figured it wouldn’t be fair for me to pick and choose which brand representatives to use but if you are a brand representative and would like to be on the list, let me know and I can add your name!

So without further ado here are some shops that use Brand Ambassadors or Brand Representatives:

@jadelynnbrooke: This is a very popular preppy clothing brand and I’m sure you follow a few of their reps on Instagram, I know I do. Staying true to supporting the American Dream like I told you earlier this shop is run by three sisters. They have both high school and college representatives and you can find them by looking through the tag #jadelynnbrooke. Using a representative’s code will get you 15% off!

@sgprep: Southern Girl Prep is another store that specializes in cute graphic tees. You can find some of their representatives by looking through their posts and see if they are featured or by searching the tag #sgprep or #teamsgp. This code will also get you 15% off your purchase!

@barklyngrace: Not only do they make cute shirts but a portion of all sales go towards saving homeless dogs! You can get 20% off your purchase when you use a code. Not sure where to look? Try searching through the #barklyngrace tag!

@thepinkishflamingo: This start-up started in a dorm room, how cool is that! Inspired by flocking, the creators wanted to create a brand that shows just how fun life can be! By searching #tpflamingo you can find their brand representatives and get 30% off your purchase!

Happy saving!

xox,

Marissa

If you missed my last post on what I’m reading you can find it here!

 

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Milk & Honey pt. 1

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Of the 12 million people living without citizenship to a country, 20% of those people are from Thailand.  This means that although you may live somewhere you have no rights, from protection from law enforcement to an education. (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Although it wasn’t next on my To Read list, I am very excited to be reading Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur. I had always contemplated reading it but I never got around to it until one of my friends gave it to me as a gift.

I had never read a collection of poetry before so let me give you two ways to read a book like this…

  1. Dive In: Incase you didn’t know, Milk & Honey is a collection of poems put into four chapters- The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing. This is my first time reading a book like this so this is the approach I took. I’ve only read the first part so far but I think the way the chapters go will flow really nicely.
  2. Read the sections the order that they speak to you: If you’re going through a breakup right now start with part 3, if you just got in a relationship and have all the feels start with part two. The beautiful part about this book is that the four sections go really well together but it makes sense in any order. You do not have to start at chapter one, you can start wherever it makes sense for you.

What’s shocking about this book is that it’s so honest. This is a collection of Kaur’s poems that helped her out of a dark time. I’m guilty of speed reading and I’m trying to slow down for this book especially. I really feel like there is something to be gained by really taking the time to enjoy this but because it’s a collection of shorter stories I want to know them all and I keep flying through. There are definitely ones that make you take a moment though. It’s not even intentional but you just need a moment to stop and process. Her writing is so powerful and it truly is just her heart on paper.

Since I have only finished The Hurting I figured I would share my favorite poem thus far.  It was so hard to pick one but I chose the one that really left me in awe of how honest Rupi Kaur is.

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Have you guys ever read a collection of poems before? If you’ve read Milk & Honey let me know how you tackled it in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 5

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: One in five women is a victim of rape or attempted rape. Twenty percent is too high (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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I’m so excited to officially announce that I am a brand ambassador for Hampton Ivy! This is such a great company and they stay true to classic Americana. All of their pieces are made on Long Island, how cool is that! I just received my first package and the products are so beautiful! Let me give you a quick rundown of what I received…

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First of all, how cute is the box! I’m in love with the attention to detail!

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AHHH here it is! This is my favorite Hampton Ivy product! The Preppy Gold Dainty Charm Necklace- Single Pearl is so perfect. My go to necklaces are usually statement pieces but this makes a statement in a different way. It’s so simple and elegant and it ties any outfit together really well.

Next is the Women’s Preppy Nautical Gold Anchor Navy Leather Stud Earrings:

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How cute are these! They are small enough you can get away with keeping a little bit of summer on you all the time! TMI but I have sensitive ears when it comes to earrings and something that always scares me when I get new earrings is that my ears might turn a little black. After wearing these for a few hours my ears still look normal!

Here’s a closer look:

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Last but not least is the Women’s Preppy Bangle Bracelet –  Plaid 

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This is so perfect for fall! I got it in plaid but it also comes in tartan. If you have been reading my style posts for awhile now you probably know about my slight major obsession with maroon. This is the perfect accessory when you are wearing a camel sweater and maroon scarf… or maybe a black dress and a maroon scarf. Whatever your style choices are you definitely have room for this on your jewelry tree.

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If you absolutely love any of the items you saw in this post or you found something else amazing on the Hampton Ivy website then use my code marissam15 to get 15% off your purchase! Happy shopping!

xox,
Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Write it Down

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Every year, five million people lose their homes to land theft. As I talked about in my fact from Weekly Style 4, many of the people that will lose their homes will not receive justice. Many of the women and children who are victims of land theft are not protected by the law (information was found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Something that I have been getting back into lately is journaling. It was something that was really important to me when I was in junior high but as my school workload increased it got left behind.

I started journaling after the Rachel’s Challenge program came to my school in the 7th grade. Rachel Scott has inspired me since the first time I saw the presentation about her during school. Later that day, I made my mom go with me to the presentation they had for parents and on the way home she brought me to CVS to get a journal. The cover of that journal is covered in quotes from Rachel, her five challenges, and then other quotes I loved.

One of the main challenges with journaling for me is that I want to share everything. It ended up taking so much time because I wanted to write down every detail of my day. While that’s something I want to do sometimes I felt pressed for time and discouraged that I would not be able to dedicate as much time as I wanted to journaling.

So how have I changed my habits? I started writing down my “God moment” for every day. “God moments” were introduced to me at a church camp I went to every summer. It’s hard to describe because it’s different for everyone but they’re little moments in everyday life that makes you appreciate the little things. So everyday I write at least one thing in my journal and if time permits I’ll pour my heart out.

Another thing I try to write everyday is a positive quote every day. Something I’m trying to focus on this year is staying positive. I love quotes and my mom used to write a quote on my lunch bag everyday so it’s another thing that has a lot of meaning to me.

Another form of journaling is this blog. It’s a way for me to share my thoughts in a little bit more of an organized fashion. Even though I just entered into the blogging world I really enjoy getting to write about aspects of my life I wouldn’t really include in my journal.

For anyone that wants to get into journaling I would say just go for it! It’s such a great way to keep track of your goals and process your day. Whether you’re planning on starting a pen and paper journal or a blog remember to keep it fun! It shouldn’t feel like a chore.

Here’s a look at the journal I’m writing in now. Each of my journals have a very different look and for this one I wanted to keep the positive thoughts flowing…

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Good luck journaling!

xox,

Marissa