Uncategorized, wellness

Sunflowers & Selenite: Rose Quartz

From left right: black tourmaline in quartz, black tourmaline, and rose quartz.

Selenite will always be one of my favorite crystals because it’s the first one I ever had, but rose quartz is also in my favorites! This has been one of the stones I take with me daily when I feel like I need a little help.

What it’s for…

The pink isn’t just for show, rose quartz is all about love. It is for compassion and embracing love. It’s not just for romantics either, it is for self-love and appreciating friends and family. I have come to think of carrying my rose quartz around as my own form of self-care. Rose quartz is also for vibrating higher. Through its strong tie to love, it is also helpful when it comes to forgiveness and finding understanding.

I don’t think anyone will be surprised when I say this but rose quartz is for the heart chakra. By creating that sense of understanding it can help you move forward when you’re going through hard times. Being able to forgive yourself and others and moving on is one of the best forms of self-care so I am not surprised at all that rose quartz is tied to that!

How I use it…

As I mentioned earlier this is one of those stones that I feel compelled to take with me most days. If I have a quiz or an exam, I’m usually wearing a Patagonia and you can find my tower in my pocket.

I also meditate with it frequently. It’s one of the crystals that I’m just drawn to hold in my hand when I’m looking to meditate on something specific.

The light in me honors the light in each of you!

xox,

Marissa

P.S. All of the crystals pictured came from Seed to Stem in Worcester! The mantra card is from Vibrate Higher!

Travel, Uncategorized

A Wilmington Weekend

This year, Spring Break took me to Wilmington, North Carolina. It was my first time in North Carolina and my first time spending ten hours in a car! We chose to cut our vacation short as while we were down there, COVID-19 just kept getting worse. While we only spent two days down there we certainly filled our days to the max. So here are my recommendations for the things to see in Wilmington.

Bellamy Mansion Gardens

Places to Eat

Flaming Amy’s Bowl is a retro-style all you can eat stir-fry place in Wilmington. Imagine Subway but instead you can create a rice, noodle, or burrito with all the toppings you could ever dream of! Not to mention they have at least fifteen sauces and you can even mix sauces. This was my favorite thing we ate all weekend and although we joked about going back every day to try something new, I have a feeling I would have gotten the same thing every time!

We also made it to Front Street Brewery in the downtown area. At Front Street I got to try something I had only seen on Facebook videos, jackfruit! I’ve seen so many videos of people preparing jackfruit either vegan or vegetarian but the thing is, it looks like meat! This was a BBQ jackfruit and even though I came nowhere close to finishing it, it was so good! My one disclaimer is that it definitely doesn’t have the same texture as meat. I’d like to try a buffalo style next! We didn’t get around to it but the have a free tour everyday at 3:15 and 4:15.

For dinner on our last night in Wilmington, we got ice cream at Kilwins. Nothing says you’re on vacation like spending the day at the beach and then having ice cream for dinner. I got “Wilmington Mud” and “Fudge Brownie” and then we took our ice cream cones to sit on the bench Nathan and Haley sat at on One Tree Hill.

And while I can’t speak to the food, we also stopped by the Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar before heading home from Carolina Beach. It was a pretty cool spot to enjoy the sunshine and the ocean views before heading back home.

Things to See

Our first stop was Battleship North Carolina. For someone that has had a huge fear of boats since we read about the Titanic in third grade, I love touring ships. I used to make it a point to tour the USS Cassin Young in Boston every Fourth of July so it only makes sense I had to see this one too. And this makes the Cassin Young look like a row boat! There were at least four floors below the main deck to explore and two or three above! It was unbelievable! My favorite part was the crew memories they had scattered throughout the rooms where you could learn what daily life was like.

Our next stop was the Bellamy Mansion. I also love touring old homes and this one was so gorgeous! This is considered an urban plantation, where the Bellamys had their main house, the slave quarters, and the carriage house fenced in one area on Market Street. This is a beautiful house with a lot of history to share. We did the audio tour on our phones but you can also take a live tour through the mansion as well.

People to Meet

Well, not quite. We took the ghost tour that ran out of Black Cat Magic. This was my second ghost tour and I actually got something out of it!

After years of watching Ghost Adventures, and then sleeping with the light on, I have become Zak Bagans. This tour had several spots they could take and our guide was a go with the flow kind of person. If she didn’t have recommendations, she said she had a few favorite places where she knew her “friends” were pretty active. Whenever she said a spot was pretty active you can bet I whipped out my phone and took a picture expecting it to look exactly like my pictures from our Albuquerque ghost tour- empty.

But no!

When we got back into the car we looked at my photos we noticed the little blue light and I was convinced it was a ghost. With the tour guide already gone, we drove down the street to where the tours left from hoping we hadn’t missed her for good so she could either tell us “probably not” or “yup that’s it”. And we hop out of the car, we probably freaked her out because we came from the other direction out of absolutely nowhere but she was a good sport about us essentially stalking her. When I showed her the pictures she said something along the lines of “oh yeah that’s my friends”. So there you have it, the story of how I became a ghost hunter.

Next member of the Mystery Gang right here

So those are my favorite things from Wilmington, NC! I hope I’ll be able to go back some day and enjoy more of the city but that’s it for now!

Happy traveling (once we’re past social distancing)!

xox,

Marissa

Style, Uncategorized

Spring Style Part II

We’re moving on up and looking at pants/skirts for the spring season. Following the social distance order, the malls near me have begun to close as well so why not spend some time online shopping. Even if you’re not in the mood to buy anything, I know I’ll be looking through websites just for something to do.

I’ve been saying this for awhile, but I’m finally starting to incorporate workplace attire into my style posts! Now that I’m preparing for my full time clinicals (!!!) it’s becoming more and more important for me to start transitioning my closet to match the working world.

Paper Bag Pants

J. Crew Factory: Chambray Tie-Waist Pant | Banana Republic Factory: Paperbag Shorts

The tie-waist style is one of my favorites! I think it’s so fun and it adds a little something, without you needing to find the perfect belt. Both of these are also great spring colors and can seamlessly transition into your summer wardrobe.

Gingham

Forever 21: Gingham Button-Front Skort | J. Crew Factory: Gingham Winnie Pant

Who doesn’t love gingham? I feel like we completely skipped over winter and so it’s easy to break out the skirts (or skorts) a little earlier this year! I find that if it’s on the cooler side I pick either a long sleeve top and short bottoms or full length pants and a short sleeve shirt. To make the Winnie pants a little more springy, I would pair it with a basic lavender tee.

Florals

Loft: Lily Riviera Pants | Forever 21: Floral Tiered Flounce-Hem Skirt

What says spring more than florals? I can’t even tell you how excited I got when we were driving through Virginia for Spring Break and I saw all the flowers on the trees. To me, it’s a sign that winter is over and warmer weather is here to stay so why not break out all the florals.

That’s all I have for you today! In light of everything that’s going on in the world, make sure to take some time for yourself and wash your hands!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

All photos are the stock photos from the company’s website!

Style, Uncategorized

Spring Shoes

There’s something about spring that makes me want to go shopping for a whole new wardrobe. So when contemplating what I should talk about on the blog this week, I figured why not start from the bottom and work our way up.

Flats

Kelly & Katie: Weslyne Ballet Flat in Dusty Rose

I worked at DSW the summer before I started college and I was always a huge fan of the Kelly & Katie shoes and this shoe is no exception. There are two things about this shoe that I’m really loving: the scallops and the color. Together, those two make it the perfect spring shoe! I think it’s also versatile and depending on your outfit you can wear them to work or out to dinner with friends. Better act fast these are on clearance!

Journee Collection: Lana Flat in Light Pink

There’s a theme already! It’s no secret pastels are associated with spring, and one of my favorite pastels is pink! Ballet flats are easily my go-to shoe but sometimes if they don’t fit quite right, you lose one walking up the stairs and then everyone has to stop for you and somehow it’s not the Cinderella moment you were expecting (not from personal experience of anything).

Slip-Ons

Easy Street: Sailor Slip-On in Navy

Personally, I don’t see the navy in this one but I do see a great spring color! This would look so cute with cuffed jeans and a white eyelet top. This one also looks like they’d be super comfortable if you end up standing on your feet a lot.

TOMS: Kelli Slip-On in Gold

TOMS are some of my favorite shoes and I love that they’re expanding into newer styles! I think the tassels give this such a nice touch. The canvas is the perfect spring to summer transition, I think it would look great with linen dresses! They could even make their way into fall with the tassel colors!

Sandals

Sam Edelman: Patti Sandal in Beige

Sam Edelman was always another one of my favorites to look at! While I don’t have them yet, I think everyone needs a nice beige sandal. These would be the perfect match for any Easter dress or your best brunch outfit.

Kelly & Katie: Paisly Sandal in Gold

I can’t say I’m surprised that Kelly & Katie made it on the list again. I have a pair very similar to these and it’s all I wear all summer! They’re so comfortable, I’ve spent the whole day wandering around Boston in them. The only downside? You get some absolutely wild tan lines!

I hope you enjoyed this little round up! I always love doing these types of posts because it’s like online shopping without my bank account suffering. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Stay stylish!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Sunflowers & Selenite: Amethyst

It was only a matter of time until our girl amethyst showed up. If you listen to the Sage Sisters podcast (“Health, Spirituality, Crystals, Shungite, and Ayahuasca” or “Crystals 101″) you’ll understand why amethyst is the crystal. One of their guests even said he didn’t want amethyst to be his favorite crystal because it’s so mainstream, but it’s just such a classic it had to be.

Amethyst

What it’s for: Amethyst is known as a powerful healing stone and it is associated with the third eye chakra. The vibes are good and high helping create a space of harmony. It is important in dispelling negative energy and aiding the user in trusting their intuition.

Amethyst is helpful when it comes to making decisions. From its connection to the third eye chakra, amethyst gives its user mental clarity which helps remove emotion from decision making. It is also helpful when it comes to setting realistic goals.

For all of these reasons, amethyst is great for meditation. You can use the mental clarity that you gain to visualize your goals and aspirations. This is the year of manifesting what we want!

How I use it: I actually have two amethysts in my collection. I have one large one and a smaller one (much more travel sized). In the days leading up to starting the spring semester I sat and meditated with amethyst at the top of my yoga mat, and at the end of my practice I balanced the smaller piece on my third eye chakra as I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this semester.

The light in me honors the light in each of you, let’s vibrate higher!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized

NYE Style Guide

I wanted to share a few NYE looks for anyone still looking for the perfect outfit! While NYE is the perfect excuse to break out the black, gold, and silver sequins this year you can spice it up with some 1920s themed fun, Old Sport.


Faux Fabulous

If you’re ringing in the New Year in the Northeast you may want to a faux vest to tie your outfit together.

Flapper Fringe

Flappers are the most iconic look from the 20s and can you even say you’re a flapper if you aren’t wearing fringe? I’m not quite sure, so better stay safe than sorry!

Fancy Pants

If you’re going for more ABBA than art deco look no further. These pants are the perfect way to prove you are the dancing queen.

Geometric Glitter

I saved the most on themed look for last. People usually opt for sequins and glitter on New Year’s Eve but this isn’t just any NYE. Bring out all the art deco old sport, the 20’s are back.

I hope that helps you plan out your NYE eve look! Time to start thinking about those resolutions!

All photos are from the website with the exception of the sequin skirt and fur look which is from the Lo Meyer blog!

Let me know what you’re wearing this NYE!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Celebrating Two Years!

holding sunflowers
I was going to go to a local cupcake store for these photos but then I realized the sunflower festival was happening, so I grabbed my nearest seersucker dress and took my most “on brand” photos to date!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for two years now! It feels like I’ve been at this forever but it also feels like I just started yesterday. In this post I’m going to share a little bit about why I started blogging as well as answering questions that you guys had for me, so let’s get started!

Why I Started Blogging

Here’s a little known fun fact: this is actually my second blog! I was inspired to start one because I used to read a blog about physical therapy school and I tried to start one about being a pre-PT but it didn’t last. I wish I could remember what the name of it was but those posts have been deleted and I transformed that blog into Sunflowers and Seersucker.

I started this blog because I was inspired by bloggers like Kate from Lonestar Southern and Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep. I wanted a place to document my style and share my thoughts and I’m so glad I started! Blogging has become such a fun part of my life and I’m glad I have a space where I can document what I’m doing so I can look back on it later!

walking with sunflowers
Probably checking to see if I have any bugs on me.

The Lessons

Something you may realize is that all of these lessons are centered around a common theme. I apologize if you end up thinking it’s repetitive but here we go:

Be authentic.

All of my favorite bloggers show their day to day life alongside the “highlight reel” that is Instagram. From sharing her hair loss and wig wearing journeys to showing viewers her husband’s broken toe, Dani (@daniaustin on Instagram) is the queen of keeping it real.

I personally believe that everyone who blogs should incorporate lifestyle into their pages if you blog/post on Instagram. I think keeps things interesting while also showing people that life isn’t meant to be perfect. We’ve let social media take over so much of our daily lives that it’s time to learn to laugh at ourselves.

Don’t niche down.

If you’re trying to make it big blogging, you probably shouldn’t listen to this piece of advice because every podcast I listen to tells you to find a niche and they have at least 10x the amount of followers that I have, BUT, if you’re blogging as a hobby write about everything that interests you!

People aren’t one-dimensional, so play to all of your interests. I love picking out cute outfits so I started this blog to share my closet, but I also love reading. So once I found out there were book blogs and #bookstagram I wanted to share my reading list too. It’s easy to get caught up in making things fit your niche but you’re still sharing something valuable it just might not be what someone was expecting. For example, I don’t follow any instagram accounts dedicated to making smoothies (although I do love looking at smoothie bowls) but when someone shares a good looking smoothie I usually screenshot it.

The numbers don’t matter.

This is such a hard one! For the past few weeks I’ve been staring at my follower count on Instagram just willing it to hit 1000. But so much of Instagram just isn’t real!

Real talk: when I first started trying to grow my Instagram I joined a Facebook “likes” group. You could comment on a daily likes thread and you and 99 other people would go like each other’s pictures. Sure my likes went up but I didn’t have anything in common with these people, they weren’t interested in my posts and I wasn’t interested in theirs except for the extra like. Not to mention it was stressful. I was always checking to see if a thread had been posted because I wanted to keep up my number of likes. And you had 12-24 hours to complete all the likes. I can’t even tell you how many times I wrote “oops sorry Instagram won’t let me like anymore posts right now” just because I didn’t have the time/energy to go down the list even though it’s a pretty mindless activity.

So next time you find yourself playing the comparing game, tell yourself that whoever you’re comparing yourself to may be using other sources. It wasn’t just small bloggers who are in those groups, some bigger accounts are there boosting engagement too!

Focus on the people.

This is social media we’re talking about. Not thing I want to focus on going forward is making real connections. I’m going to comment on more posts that I find interesting and ask people questions about how they’re doing. I want to find authentic engagement, I want people to comment on my posts because they think it’s interesting or they’re giving recommendations.

I recently joined @bloggersliveboston and I can’t wait to start meeting some New England bloggers! I haven’t been able to make it to an event yet but I’m looking forward to making connections really soon!

girl with her back to camera holding sunflowers, in front of sunflower field
They don’t even look real!

Answering Your Questions

And now to your questions! I had a lot of similar themes so I tried to tie them together but if I missed your question, comment below/send my a DM and I’ll answer it!

How I grew my followers?

I’ve tried a few different ways to grow my followers so here’s the rundown:

  • In the Facebook groups I was talking about earlier I have also participated in follow for follow threads. So I would put my link down and then you would either have to follow everyone or pick a certain number of people per thread and follow them. If this is the route you’re going to try to grow followers I would definitely recommend the latter. While following everyone will get you more followers, it’s better long term wise to pick people that have similar interests to you!
  • I’ve also done a few loop giveaways. I did find these to be beneficial as I always gained a ton of followers and only lost a few in the days after the prize was announced. My advice if you’re trying this method: find giveaways that match your/your followers’ interests and make sure the giveaway account unfollows you before the prize is announced. Matching interests is important with the authenticity factor, for example I don’t think too many of my followers would want to win a gift card to Game Stop but they may want to try to win a gift card to Lilly, especially when After Party Sale season comes around (if anyone wants to do this as a giveaway hit me up it sounds like a good idea!). And as for the unfollowing factor, it’s easier for people to unfollow you if all they have to do is go down a list of everyone that participated in a giveaway 😉
  • I have had some luck recently with my new and improved authentic engagement strategy. It is a slower process than the methods above but I’m okay with that! All that’s required for this one: comment on people’s photos! People that you follow and people that you don’t! Think like Oprah: you get a comment, you get a comment, everyone gets a comment. The important thing here is don’t just say “cute” make it meaningful, make it something you would want someone to comment on your page. Although I’m definitely guilty of throwing some “so cute girl”‘s around too.

Advice for new bloggers?

Have fun with it! This is your corner of the internet so share whatever makes you happy! Think of what interests you and share that. I am a firm believer in “your vibe attracts your tribe” so share what makes you smile and you’ll find people with common interests.

Biggest thing I’ve learned?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely apparent throughout this whole article but it’s important so I’ll say it again: stay true to yourself! At the end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters! I actually just finished a book that is about social media and staying true to yourself and while the post is still being typed up, it was a good reminder that sometimes social media doesn’t feel social at all.

girl in sunflower field
Cheers to 2 years!

And so you have it! What have you learned from having a blog?

This dress is from Banana a few summers ago so here is a similar style from Tommy Bahama! Unlike mine, it has pockets which always seem like the best thing when it comes to dresses. I tried to find cheaper alternatives but it’s the end of the season so you’re best bet is looking on Poshmark!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Enlightenment of Bees

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden is the perfect mix of self discovery, a love story, and an honest reflection about voluntourism. This story is well thought out and each theme plays out very well and compliments each other. 

This story starts out with a proposal gone wrong and follows Mia on her journey to find herself. After a six year relationship, she realizes she had been in a relationship that forced her to compromise rather than fostering her growth. But it’s not just her love story, Nana Alice and her best friend Rosie also find themselves looking for love. 

As for the voluntourism aspect, Linden does not shy away from addressing the savior complex. If you’re not familiar with it it can be easily explained by @barbiesavior on Instagram. This book brings up two really good points about changing the world:

  •   It’s a two way street. You can’t go into a different culture and assume you’re the only person of value, you need to build a community.
  • finding where your passions meet the worlds needs

It’s a hard discussion to have, but this book definitely paves the way for the discussions to happen. As someone who has always wanted to do a volunteer trip abroad this has made me realize that without the community aspect no real change can be made. 

Another important lesson from this book was that the refugee crisis does not stop at the border. The true test comes as people are trying to acclimate into their new lives. 

There was one thing that was totally lost on me, the bee analogy. Bees are scattered throughout the text and I’ll be(e) honest I was confused. Until, I couldn’t take it anymore, I felt like they must mean something for them to show up that often. So I turned to Google and saw that bees represent community, brightness, and personal power. Well played Linden, well played.

If you’re looking for a thought provoking read that has a seamless storyline, this is your next pick.

Happy reading!

xox, 

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Bodies Alive

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is a little different than usual. While we’ll still be talking about the human body, it’s not in the way you may be expecting.

This Sunday I was at the Museum of Science in Boston/Cambridge (the museum is actually split between Boston and Cambridge) and I got to see the Body World exhibit and it was amazing!

I went to see Bodies: The Exhibition when I took anatomy in high school and now that I have taken two more years of anatomy I feel like my appreciation for the human body and traveling exhibitions has only grown.

One thing that really amazed me about Body Worlds was that it was educational beyond just the bodies. They had rooms dedicated to different body systems and would include education about how to remain healthy through diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices in each section. As someone who just learned about workplace ergonomics one of my favorite parts was the video about adjusting posture while sitting at a desk and a model about proper lifting technique. I may be on summer break but it was a great way to review some key concepts from last semester!

A section on cataracts. I had no idea Monet and Degas both had problems with vision and it was interesting to see what they saw vs what they painted.

My favorite part of the exhibit besides being able to look at the bodies was the section on centenarians. Body Worlds featured a few people who have made it to 100 years old and had them speak about their lifestyles. While diet and exercise was mentioned, they centenarians also talked about their role in society. One woman discussed how important it was for her to be able to still be an active participant in her life, she still volunteers in her community and spends time with friends and family.

I had to feature this one on the blog! Mobility is medicine!

When you leave Body Worlds you can pick up a chip and pledge to make a lifestyle choice that will improve your quality of life. I was happy to see “exercise more” had a ton of pledges but since mental health is just as important as physical health, I pledged to stress less.

“Eat less sugar” was another popular one and if we weren’t in peak ice cream eating season I may have put my chip there…

But let’s get to the good stuff! The bodies! They are preserved through a process called Plastination and were absolutely amazing. It’s no secret I am a huge nerd when it comes to this kind of thing but they were breathtaking. You could see each of the muscles so clearly and the bodies were posed in such interesting ways, I could go on and on.

It wasn’t just the bodies that were on display, they had the nervous system and plastic replicas of the heart and all of it’s arteries and veins. The nervous system had to be the wildest thing for me because I was able to just stare at the brachial plexus I had learned about in class and look at in our cadavers but there it was laid out in front of me connected to all of the other nerves in the body.

I know not everyone may want to actually see the bodies so here is your warning: the donors are below!!

Could you imagine being the person to set this up?

That’s it for my review of the exhibit itself but I encourage you to keep reading below and learn about how these companies get the bodies. It’s an important discussion to have so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Something important to keep in mind when looking into these types of exhibits: where the donors come from. In our anatomy class our professor mentioned that while these traveling exhibits are informative they don’t always get their bodies in the right way. Body Worlds’ donors come from people in Europe and the United States who have agreed to donating their bodies to medical students and the general public to learn from. Body Worlds is even stricter with their donations now after discovering some of their bodies were coming from Russian human trafficking rings. In an interview with NPR the founder of Body Worlds said, “What I certainly never use for public exhibitions are unclaimed bodies, prisoners, bodies from mental institutions and executed prisoners.” The key phrase here is public exhibitions. The founder of Body Worlds has admitted to selling unclaimed bodies for educational purposes. These bodies come from Chinese medical schools and have no written confirmation.

Bodies: The Exhibition is another story. The spokesperson for the company openly admits the bodies on display are unclaimed. The founder of this traveling cadaver company used to work with Body Worlds and then created a rival. This is the exhibition I had seen in high school and while it was one of my favorite field trips I had ever gone on, knowing that these bodies may not have been acquired in an ethical manner makes me cringe. But at least they are honest about not being able to verify who was donated to them.

So what can you do with this information? Weigh the options. Both companies have some shady deals going on, whether it’s the bodies they display publicly or sell to medical schools they both obtain bodies in an unethical way. If this is something you are really interested in seeing you just have to decide if you’d rather look at the bodies that were donated or if you are okay with seeing bodies who were not willing but the company is upfront about the means of getting them.

All of the information on donors to Body Worlds and Bodies: The Exhibition came from two NPR articles from 2006. While it is older information, this is the most trustworthy website I could come across.

I’m a huge quote person so I loved that there were quotes about life scattered throughout Body Worlds.

That’s all I have for you this Wednesday! Stay tuned next week for a more traditional Wellness Wednesday post!

xox,

Marissa