Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: 30 Days of Mindful Movement

IMG_8225 2

I know my head is cut off but this was the first time I ever jumped back from crow! And how cute is my dog Maggie!

If you haven’t guessed already, today’s Wellness Wednesday is another yoga flow!

Alo Yoga has created a series of videos called 30 Days of Mindful Movement and it is such a great way to expand your yoga practice! I love all of the twists and variations on traditional yoga that I have learned from this series. It really gets you thinking about yoga in a different way. For so long I had seen teaching yoga as a fun job that I was lucky to have. And to an extent I had seen it as making shakes when yoga is so much more than getting into a shape. It is about the journey, I’m not the most flexible in my shoulders and hips so when I finally get a pose it’s even more rewarding because I know how much time I dedicated to gaining flexibility in those areas.

Yesterday was actually the last day of new videos as they uploaded them as a way to get a  fresh start on the New Year. Each week had a theme that had you being mindful as you were loading the videos.

Week one: resolutions

Week two: energize

Week three: mindfulness

Week four: strength

Alo filmed so many great teachers but my favorites were definitely Andrew Seely and Josh Kramer. I love seeing the incredible control they have over their bodies. Andrew just has a great energy that makes his classes so fun. Josh made me step out of my comfort zone. Two of my favorite things I learned from him were Malasana squats (found in day 4) which is great for opening the hips and strengthening the legs and jump back from crow. I had just gotten crow in the first place and never thought I would be able to jump back. 24 hours after my first attempt in Josh’s class (also day 4) I was able to do it, not as gracefully as Josh can but still it’s all about the process!

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in, or deepen, your yoga practice this is the series for you! Get started by practicing mindfulness for just 30 minutes every day for the next 30 days. Alo has coordinated classes from vinyasa to yin yoga, and from beginner to more experienced, this is such a good investment of your time! If you take the time to be mindful you will grow stronger in mind and body.

Thank you Alo!

xox,

Marissa

 

 

College, Uncategorized

What to do When the Semester Doesn’t Start Off Right

IMG_7861Last week I talked about how second semester is a fresh start, but what if the fresh start does not go according to plan.

Here is how my first three days of school went:

  • In one of my classes there are tables of two, I ended up sitting alone.
  • One of my classes got the time switched and no one sent us a notification.
  • After asking if  the time change was true my teacher responded, “Yes that is correct.” And that was it, only slightly intimidating…
  • I was 60 seconds late to the class mentioned above after realizing it was on the other end of campus. I’ll admit it, I backpack ran… what has my life come to.
  • I had to give up my yoga class because of the time change.

So yes, most of these things have to do with one little switch but in the moment it seemed like such a big deal.

Just remember that things get better.

  • Friday morning in the same class I sat along two days earlier, someone sat down right next to me.
  • After apologizing to the teacher because I was late, and telling her I was going to have to miss a class because I’m going to a conference, she seemed really nice.
  • I’m now co-teaching a yoga class Friday nights!
  • I started a job at a child care center with some of the cutest kids I’ve ever met!

So just remember, nothing is permanent and you can direct where your day goes. Do not let other people make you miserable.

xox,

Marissa

 

Lifestyle

The Women’s March

IMG_2903On January 20th I attended my second Women’s March. Last year when I heard our school was sending a bus to Boston to attend the Women’s March I was hesitant. I was not sure I should even be going, I was still questioning whether or not I even considered calling myself a feminist. I mean I have never gone out in public without a bra let alone burn one…

At the end of my freshman year I joined a group at school called SEED, Scientists Embracing Equality and Diversity. That club really opened my eyes that the world isn’t fair. One of the things that has stuck with me from one of our first club meetings (I joined SEED in it’s first year) is that even though there seem to be more women working as physical therapists men still hold more of the higher positions. As a white girl that’s fortunate enough to attend a private college I had never thought I would have limitations in what I chose to do.

So fast forward to sophomore year and the election of Donald Trump. It’s safe to say a lot of the members of SEED were disappointed in this election, with his comments about women and his disregard for global warming I started to realize that when you believe in something you need to voice your opinion. So when I heard about the bus going into Boston I thought it would be such a cool experience. But I was also terrified. I saw clips on the news of police in riot gear and I freaked out. But I mean how often do you get the opportunity to be surrounded by so many people who want to lift each other up. So I put myself on the waitlist and I was lucky enough to get in.

Here are some of my favorite signs from Boston:

I can honestly tell you that is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. Last year was my year of trying new things and I am so glad I went. It’s so powerful to be around women who support each other and want each other to succeed. I learned that I need to use my voice to stick up not only myself but also for other women (and men!) who face more discrimination than I will. The American Dream should be available to everyone. There are three memories that stick out to me about that day. One was when we were at the rally in the morning. They had a group of Native American women sing the National Anthem in their native language and it was so beautiful. The next is more of a funny one. After realizing we would not even get to walk because so many people showed up at this rally, my friends and I hopped a fence. Talk about women and men lifting up women, there’s no way I could have gotten over that fence without my friends, talk about a metaphor. And the third was just how breathtaking it all was. I remember I just walked marveling at all the pink and posters around me. It was indescribable.

Here’s a picture of me at the Boston march:

IMG_2958

So fast forward to this year. One of my best friends mentioned how a girl I went with last year was getting a group together to go to Northampton. I immediately texted her that I was in. As exciting as it is to go to a march, it was a little disappointing that we had to go again. It was just 364 days ago that we were marching and although things are changing it’s not soon enough. Two months after the Boston march a Canadian judge in a rape trial asked a woman why she couldn’t her knees together (full article). But then we have trials like Larry Nasser which gives you hope things are changing. If you want to see a strong woman in action watch this excerpt of Aly Raisman’s speech at his sentencing.

I felt more comfortable going this time. I have gotten over my apprehension about calling myself a feminist although I do not go around telling everyone I am one 😉

The night before we all met at one girl’s apartment and made signs. I borrowed one of my best friend’s shirts because I left the one feminist shirt I had at home. It’s crazy how much I had grown in one year, I had boarded the bus a year prior with no idea what to expect, no sign, and no feminist gear. This year I had a sign (with words on the front and back so everyone can see what I have to say!), a shirt, and an even larger group of friends to go with.

This year’s was definitely more low-key but I still had an amazing time. There were less people but it was still so crowded you could barely move at one point.

Here are some of my favorite signs from Northampton:

First of all I love the sign about introverts because as an introvert I totally agree!

Can we talk about how cute this girl is?! And her sister had a sign with the Star Wars logo for the rebellion that said Rebel.

IMG_8059One of my favorite things that was said at this march was not to make fun of Donald Trump’s physical appearance. A disabilities advocate was speaking and said you can make fun of his character all you want but when you talk about his tiny hands you are hurting people with disabilities. I think one of the reasons that I had originally been hesitant to call myself a feminist was because they seem very polar. You will not catch me saying #notmypresident because guess what he is. I did not vote for him but he is still in charge of the country I live in. I am not happy that he is but he is.  So I really admired that someone brought that point up because I think it is important to remember. Spewing hate is only making more walls when we should be building bridges.

While we are on the topic of building bridges let me tell you about Maddie, the girl I went with last year and this year. She is the definition of a strong woman and a self proclaimed nasty woman. She was the president of our school’s Rachel’s Challenge group before I took over (ahhhhhh!) and she is always starting chain reactions. She made an extra sign to bring to Northampton so that she could give it to someone that did not have one. She knows how to lift people up, emotionally and over fences. And here is our transformation picture.

Last but not least I wanted to tell you about my sign. The front has become my feminist mantra after it was behind me in my Boston picture. That photo was not staged it just happened that way. The back said “If not now when?”. A tribute to one of my favorite Christian songs (Do Something by Matthew West) that says, “If not us then who, if not me and you, right now. It’s time for us to do something. If not now then when, will we see and end to all this pain. It’s not enough to do nothing it’s time for us to do something.”

IMG_8149

That was way longer than I expected and I think it is the longest thing I have ever written on here but I hope you liked it! And remember we were all given a voice, to stand up for ourselves and others.

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 12

IMG_8092.JPG-1

After a long hiatus Weekly Style is back! I was in Northampton last weekend for the Women’s March (post coming soon) and I saw this sign and I knew that this week’s post would be another fair trade post. That is something very important to me and even though Dressember is over, I need to keep shopping consciously at the forefront of my mind. It’s so easy to buy clothes and jewelry from anywhere, but once we start questioning where our clothes come from we can change how they are made. And it is not something that will happen overnight. I’ll be honest I love saving money and clothes that are made by underpaid women are going to be way cheaper than clothes made following fair trade guidelines. If you want to read my Dressember posts they are (here and here) and if you would like to donate to my campaign to help empower women follow this link.

Since it’s founding in 1946, Ten Thousand Villages has paid it’s workers more than 140 million dollars. That money has helped children go to school, workers feed their families, and allowed families to stay happy and healthy in their home. Ten Thousand Villages in committed to paying their employees a fair and livable wage because without it people would be either unemployed or underpaid. They are taking action against the cycle of oppression! Dressember put this fact on their Instagram today: “There are over 40 million garment workers in the world today. They majority making less than $3 a day.

I am going to refrain from writing the prices because they may vary from online and in store but everything I picked out ranges from $8.50-$30! Without further ado, today’s pieces:

Stitched Succulents Necklace

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 4.47.35 PM

I am a huge fan of succulents and statement necklaces and I just think this necklace is so fun! I think it would look great with a camel colored or a matching green sweater. Because this piece makes such a big statement, in my opinion, I would go for a crew neck sweater but if you’re more adventurous than I am I would love to hear your thoughts! This necklace was made in India!

Merlot Jewel Necklace

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 4.53.16 PM

This is definitely closer to my typical statement necklace! This piece is also from India and I love the red and pink accents. It is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Dot of Daisy Pendant

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 4.57.27 PM

If you aren’t a statement necklace person here is a simple pendant for you! Spring is coming and this is such a perfect, simple touch to any outfit. This necklace was also made in India.

Golden Leaf Bracelet

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 5.00.34 PM

This bracelet is perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors! My Nana gave me a love of ginkgo trees and gave me a necklace with a ginkgo leaf and I immediately thought of that when I saw this! This is such a simple bracelet but it is so beautiful! It is made in Nairobi, Kenya.

Golden Thread Necklace

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 5.05.14 PM

How could I pass this up it’s a gold triangle (bonus points for being balanced on the point)?! No further explanation needed. This necklace is made near New Delhi, India.

Last but not least, Three Points Capiz Necklace

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 5.12.37 PM

This piece screams Great Gatsby to me, which is perfect because that is one of my favorite books and movies! I would wear this necklace with a black sweater but I think it would look perfect with any color! This necklace is made in the Philippines.

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: The Winter Warrior Challenge

IMG_7996.JPG

This Wellness Wednesday is a running challenge!

My mom has been doing it for five or six years and this is my third year participating. If you know that I ran cross country and track in high school you may be asking why haven’t you done it for five or six years as well? Because this is not just any running challenge, you must run every day for the month of January, outside. In high school if it was too cold we just would stay inside so I was not about to do a sprinting workout just to run three more miles outside after.

This challenge is put on by Marathon Sports and there are three different levels. If you are running five or more miles a day, you are in the gold category. If you do not want to commit to five miles every day but do at least three you are silver. I am doing silver this year! And then if you are out there for at least one mile a day you are bronze. I have also done bronze.

And if running isn’t your thing you can walk, limp, or crawl. Those are all options in the run log when you go to track your mileage. It does not matter how fast you go as long as you are out there.

In the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

I’m not sure what the reasoning behind having all of those options is but I think they may be tied to this quote. Obama included this quote in his speech after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013.

I’m not going to lie to you, some days it really sucks to get out and walk in the cold. And it is even harder when you’re out there walking in a bomb cyclone. There are so many ways to get miles in, for example, some days I purposely park in the farthest spot. Or when friends offer me a ride back to the dorms after our night class I tell them I need to walk (it’s only like half a mile away!).

IMG_8102.JPG

Here is my car in the last possible spot when I ran to Kohl’s to get towels!

So what should you do if you want to get your run streak on? Start today! There is no better time than the present. Look around and  see if there are any running clubs near you, the Marathon Sports near me runs every Tuesday night. There is also a running club near my house called Central Mass Striders, they run a 5k every Saturday and during the summer they do track/speed workouts one night a week. If you can’t find anyone to do with you, just look at your calendar and circle the day 31 days from now and then you can write the miles in your agenda!

Happy running! Or walking, limping, or crawling!

xoxo,

Marissa

College, Uncategorized

The Perks of Second Semester

IMG_7755

Second semester in college is truly a beautiful thing. This is my first time in the past three years that I do not carry over any classes into the spring. That means no biology II, chemistry II, anatomy II, or physics II; I am starting this semester on a completely new page.

Personally I think of each new semester as a time to set resolutions, and it just so happens that spring semester coincides with the biggest time to make resolutions. If you are like me and you like setting resolutions, you get two chances a semester to stop and think about your goals for the next 16 weeks. One of my resolutions this semester: get all As!

If you are like me and have no part II classes, there are no expectations going into this semester besides your own! You can’t tell yourself oh you got an A last semester so you have to do that again, or on the flip side you can’t beat yourself up for getting a B and telling yourself you need to step your game up.

If you are like me during my freshman and sophomore year remember: college is not like high school! Your grades from last semester do not average in with this semester to make a final grade. Even if it’s the same class you still have a brand new start! You have the advantage of knowing what the class set up/teaching style is without having to bring in any grades.

You also have the opportunity to start new clubs and activities in the second semester. Although I’m sure any club would be happy to have you drop in during a semester it can be less intimidating to start when you know it’s likely you won’t be the only new person in the room.

If you’re looking for tips to stay organized this semester check out my tips here!

Happy second semester!

xoxo,

Marissa

 

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Shaken

If you’re looking for a book to inspire you when you are feeling hopeless, Shaken is the book for you. Tebow, also called Timmy, has not had an easy life. He’s gotten cut from multiple teams, way to go Belichick, and he has never given up on his dream.

I’ll be honest I’m not the biggest football fan. I watch the Patriots because I’m from New England and I’ll watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. The only reason I’ve been more interested in football lately is because of Deflategate. I watched games more often just to see Tom Brady make his comeback. I took this picture about a year ago and all I could think was where will they put the new banner. I haven’t been back but I’m sure they found a nice spot.

IMG_2465

While I might not know too much about football I knew about Tim Tebow. He was known for Tebowing and because it was just like planking, everyone was doing it. At that point in time, my mom wasn’t a big fan of TB12. It wasn’t until the world turned against New England during Deflategate that she ended up being a fan. But when the world mas making fun of Tim Tebow she thought he was the nicest guy. Her reasoning was how could people love Tom, who seemed so selfish, and hate Tim, who seemed so wholesome. So for Christmas last year she bought me his book. I just got around to reading it this winter break but I wished I had picked it up sooner.

Some parts of the story seem unreal. When he was playing for Florida, Timmy wrote John 3:16 on his eye black and millions of fans googled the passage. Then exactly three years later he threw 316 yards, averaged 31.6 yards per completion, the Steelers had a possession time of 31:06, and CBS’s overnight ratings were 31.6. There’s something else mixed in there about being third and 16, but I don’t understand too much about football so I do not know what that means. But, even thought I do not know too much about football you can’t ignore the crazy phenomenon that is the fact that three years later to the day, in his first NFL playoff game John 3:16 was there. I even looked up the stats after, I mean why would he lie about that but it just seems so unreal. This post is 6 years to the day after what is now known as the 3:16 game.

He also has other stories about the missionary work he’s done. My favorite story was when he was visiting a prison and he really wanted to go home. It had been a long day and he was emotionally exhausted, but he saw one hallway he hadn’t been down. He found out it was the suicide watch area and he knew he had to go down there. I’ll leave the rest of the story for you to read, but it leaves you with a feeling of we are exactly where we need to be at every moment. There’s a plan bigger than the one we created.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that sometimes you are where you are because someone around you needs help. And it was nice to read a book from someone who believes in that as well.

This book makes you question why people make fun of Tim Tebow. In the height of his quest to be a quarterback, people were looking for any way to tear him down. He has such a good heart. He looks for the best in others and the best in whatever his situation may be.

If you want a good, inspirational read, Shaken is the book for you.

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

NYE

My parents have made it a tradition that when I come home from the fall semester we go to see the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker. This year we tied it into our New Years Eve plans.

IMG_0114

We stayed at the Park Plaza (I’m a lucky girl!) and because of the weather we figured we would hang out in the lobby for the balloon drop at midnight.

We went to their last showing of the year and it was magical! There is something special about the final performance and I would definitely recommend going!

IMG_5681

Next year I’ll be able to get a glass of champagne!

IMG_6051

Outfit details:

Earrings: mine are from Charming Charlie! I got them for $1.20 because my local store went out of business. My heart is sad but my wallet is doing the happy dance. Here is a really similar set!

Dress: from the Dressember collection at Elegantees. The Dressember collection is not on their website anymore but here is a gorgeous black dress! I don’t know how this dress fits but the one I got is a little short and I have to wear leggings underneath it instead of tights. I’m 5’8″ and I tried to size up to a small but it’s still short.

Vest: from Old Navy! Here is the link!

Go to my Instagram (sunflowersandseersucker) to see another outfit pic!

After dinner we went back to the hotel to figure out a dinner plan. We ended up going to P.F. Chang’s and from there we headed to Copley to see the ice sculptures and fireworks. As I mentioned earlier we were planning on staying at the hotel but there was definitely a reason we were meant to be at Copley.

IMG_7750 2

The fireworks! Counting down to the New Year was so exciting! You could feel the energy and the fireworks were amazing! I even made it on NECN Boston! I was behind one of the news anchors while she was filming and I’ll post the video if I ever find it!

IMG_7721

Look at my little BitMoji partying it up!

Comment your favorite New Year’s Eve memory below!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Weekly Style 11

How could I not do Lilly Pulitzer the week of the After Party Sale?!

Here are the things I scored:

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 10.22.54 AM

My first purchase was the Sleeveless Essie dress in Multi Sparkling Sands. I’m so in love with this print and I think it will be perfect for trips to the Vineyard this summer! Here is the link but there are only XS and XL left!

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 10.23.38 AM

The other thing I bought was the 5″ Buttercup Scallop Hem Shorts in Multi Lulu. If you read my post from the APS this summer you know I’m looking for shorts for Disney and these are perfect for a day on the Jungle Cruise with a Dole Whip in hand. And they have a matching print for Minnie ears!

Here are the things I’m loving from their website:

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 10.30.08 PM

I probably screamed when I saw that they teamed up with the Jane Goodall Institute for this Print with Purpose. In the third grade my class had to do a project on a celebrity, while other kids chose to do NBA players or singers, I chose to do a primatologist. What can  say I’ve always been a nerd. So it’s no wonder that when my fashion inspiration teamed up with my childhood hero I’m more than a little obsessed. You can find the Harper Shift Dress in Chimply Chic here.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 10.39.30 PM

How could I not include this dress? It has all my favorite things: maroon, gold, and sparkles. Not to mention it’s called Matilda, a book I loved reading growing up. Another thing I was really hoping would be included in the sale but hopefully next time! If you want the Matilda Silk Tunic Dress you can find it here,

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 10.44.40 PM.png

I just bought my first pair of tassel earrings (thanks Charming Charlie!) and I’m obsessed so let’s keep the tassel trend going. They add a lit bit of fun and flair to any look. I love rompers because they’re so easy, no need to waste time matching!If you’re looking to have something to look forward to wearing this summer, the Amerie Romper can be found here.

All pictures are from the Lilly website!

Stay Stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Dressember Round Up!

Donations are open until the end of January! I’m halfway to my goal, help IJM rescue exploited women and donate here!

Due to the fact that I reused a lot of dresses and just swatted out accessories I do not want to bore you with all the repetitiveness so I picked a few that give you a look into my crazy life.

Here’s me in my classic black t shirt dress powering through the end of the semester. On the left I used a maroon plaid scarf to add one color to a long day locked in a study room. The walls are whiteboards how cool! Then on the right I’m filming my ASL final. We picked a cartoon (I did Garfield) and we had to write a story in ASL and then film ourselves doing it.

IMG_2790

Same dress different scarf! I’m in the meditation room at school and trust me the outfit looked better when the socks were scrunched down a little.

My Elegantees dress was so perfect for Christmas shopping and New Year’s Eve! This dress was from their Dressember collection and it’s no longer available but they have so many other gorgeous dresses.

Some more pictures by the tree!

My Christmas Eve look!

There are no skirts allowed in Dressember so I am actually wearing a dress under my skirt! The skirt is from J.Crew Factory and you can find it here. I’m obsessed with their sidewalk skirts this is my second one!  The socks are also J.Crew Factory and you can pick them up here. I love their camp socks I have light blue, dark blue, and now red! The scarf is from Banana Republic Factory and it was one of our doorbuster on Black Friday! It’s no longer online but a few stores have it left in their clearance section.

IMG_3329

I wore that Loft dress I love so much for Christmas. In reality I didn’t get dressed fro Christmas but I did go to Midnight Mass!  You can see more pictures in this dress here.

IMG_6433

You really can do anything in a dress! Like donate blood!

So that’s my round up! Here is proof that you do not need anywhere close to 31 dresses to participate. I wore that black t shirt dress from Marshalls probably close to half of the days. I hope everyone reading this post considers participating next year I’d love to get a team started. This is such a fun way that makes you look at what you own and how lucky you are.

And now I want to close with one more thought. I felt this a little past halfway in the challenge and I saw other people voicing this same opinion on Instagram. Some days the last thing you want to put on is a dress. And that’s saying something considering all summer long I’m only in dresses. It’s cold, I’m running from dance class to give a tour to physiology of exercise lab and I needed to carry a change of clothes with me all the time. While I was running around I would wear my dress and as soon as I got to my destination I would change. There was a lot of planning ahead and arriving early but I wanted to stay as true to this challenge as I could. So sometimes wearing a dress felt like a hassle. But then you have to really stop and think, how lucky am I that this is a hassle. The women who I am standing up for do not even have the choice to put on what they want. And that thought alone is a very humbling experience.

Here’s another thought. A lot of people may be thinking well what can I really do. I personally did not really want to ask my friends for money, it’s the holidays, people are already spending a ton of money. But it made me mindful. I thought about these women every day during the month of December, which is more than I had thought about exploited women the rest of the year. One of the reasons I decided to join was because a friend of mine had said something along the lines of “you can’t do that” and I’m so glad I’m competitive because that gave me the internal fire to sign up.

Dressember has also raised my awareness of shopping ethically and fair trade certified. I dedicated so much time to looking up facts about trafficking and companies that are ethical for my blog posts and I learned so much about the world around me. While exploitation happens abroad it also happens in right here in America, a country we call the greatest in the world.

It’s overwhelming to think about so I will leave my thoughts at that. But if you’re sitting at home thinking how can I make a difference… wear a dress.

xox,
Marissa