Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Endings and Beginnings

Hey, friends. It seems like time is slipping away from me lately. Sometimes when I realize this is my last semester of school I have to do a double take. How did two years pass so quickly, especially when my time at Salt Lake Community College felt like an eternity? It's kind of a bummer. As much as school is a ton of work and I'm excited for it to be over, I have loved almost all of my classes at the University of Utah. If I had it my way, I'd spend the rest of my life discussing books on books on books with opinionated literary scholars.

That being said, each day of this semester is dragging on. It's difficult to be in that spot where I'm not registering for exciting new classes next semester, but I also don't have a job yet. I've been applying like nobody's business, but job hunting isn't what it used to be. It's a huge time commitment. Luckily, I have an interview for an internship that I'm really excited about this Friday, so wish me luck. 

On top of all of that, Karl and I are going to Sandals in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in a little over a month(!). We're going to have a butler and a balcony and a private resort beach, and a pillow menu (yes, a menu where you can choose what kind of pillows you want)...I could go on and on. Karl and I are beyond excited. We never took a real honeymoon, so this vacation has been a long time coming.  

I'm on the cusp of a lot of huge changes and I'm really excited for what the future holds. It's hard to say goodbye to the life I've known over the last few years, but I'm ready to embrace a career and a few virgin piña coladas on the beach with my best friend. 

I hope all of you out in Blogland are having a good week. Stay happy. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hello Again and My Favorite Social Issue

Hello, friends. Long time, no see. Things have been pretty quiet over here for the last little bit, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this little home away from home in the virtual world. To be honest, lately my life looks like this: wake up, shower, go to class, come home for lunch, go to another class, come home for dinner, do homework, watch The Walking Dead, go to bed. And just like that, you have the perfect vision of the last two months. Thrilling, right?

I guess I am reducing my life down a little too much. I want to talk about something that I've become incredibly passionate about but have never really written about in this space. If we're friends on Facebook, you're probably very aware that I am a passionate advocate for women's rights. This includes the desire to change everything from the overt objectification and sexualization of women in the media to the lack of education and ritualistic cutting of women all over the world. The name for this social movement is feminism. I know a lot of you tend to shy away from this word as images of bra burnings and abortion rallies come to mind, but feminism is simply the belief in equality for women. Caitlin Moran sums it up pretty well in her book, How to Be a Woman: 

"We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans?"

For me, feminism is the right to see women of all shapes, sizes, and races represented in the media, both as true, unaltered representations, as well as diverse characters in films and television. Feminism is women supporting other women in all that they do. It's about ending sex trafficking and the forced slavery of women all over the world. I feel strongly about these issues largely because of documentaries that have changed my life. I cannot recommend these enough.

1. Miss Representation is a documentary about the negative portrayal of women in the media. Watch the preview:

2. Half the Sky is a documentary based on a book by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that focuses on the plight women face globally. It's about six hours of straight turmoil, but it's so worth it. Watch the preview:

If you want to learn more, I also recommend following these groups of Facebook:
Smart Girls at the Party (founded by Amy Poehler)

And of course you can always add me as a friend on Facebook and get flooded with reposts from these fabulous groups above. And just in case you were wondering, I often share these posts and documentaries with Karl, who also now identifies as a feminist. ;)

Feminism has become hugely important in my life as of late. I am always thinking of ways to spread its message and to change my own mindset and that of others so that we can all become forces for change. In the end, the only way to reshape world is to do something or to say something. We can all alter the way the world sees and projects women, we just have to identify the problem and get to work.

So here's my question for you: how do you feel about feminism? Are there any other issues that you're passionate about?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 in Review

Hello, friends! I've been super sick lately, so this post is a little late coming. I always like doing a year-end post to take stock of where I've been and what I've accomplished. Occasionally throughout the year, I met up with old friends and the inevitable question always came up: "So, what's new in your life?" Answering this question was always hard because I'm not in a particularly exciting stage of life. One of my best friends just had a baby, another just began a new relationship. Meanwhile, life is pretty much the same for me. I'm still plugging away at school and living my life. Still, there have been little blips of interesting things I'm glad to remember about this last year, so here we go with my top 10 moments from 2013. 

1. I visited:
  -Price, UT (three times)
  -St. George, UT and Zion National Park
  -Lava Hot Springs, ID (three times)
2. I worked at Torrid for a few weeks last month. 
3. I had a lot of fun dyeing my hair platinum, then purple, then watching it fade into gorgeous lilac hues.
4. Karl and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary.
5. We bought a new car and said goodbye to my favorite car ever (RIP 4Runner).
6. Karl and I moved back into the first place we lived as a married couple. 
7. I reached the 5-year marker with this blog. Hooray!
8. I read 37 books 
9. I applied for graduation (!)
10. I've had the opportunity to take lots of photos I love this year. It's been so fun to organize mini shoots and get to know my camera a little better.

Stay tuned for a post with my plans for 2014. I have a feeling it's going to be a big year. :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

All I want for Christmas

Hi, friends! Karl's been asking me what I want for Christmas a lot lately, and when I suggest he look at my Pinterest board, appropriately titled, "Hey, Karl. Here's some stuff I want," He gets a look of confusion and fear. Yeah, a machinist/aspiring engineer is afraid of Pinterest. That being said, I decided to put together a little gift guide of things I want to make things easier for that husband of mine.

For the most part, I'm trying to aim for small business/artist purchases, because I'm a big supporter of putting my money toward companies/people that I believe in. While not all of the following items fit in that group, I try to choose a majority of what I want from small businesses and I encourage you to do the same.

1// 2// 3// 4// 5// 6// 7// 8// 9

For me, Christmas isn't super about the gifts, but I'm not going to lie, I do love receiving thoughtful gifts from Karl. 

What about you? What are you wanting for Christmas? 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree

The other night we went to a tree farm to get our tree. We're having a bit of a lean Christmas over here in the Bringhurst residence, so we went for a tiny, slightly lop-sided tree. Since finals are crazy right now, we didn't get around to decorating it until the other night and you know what? Having a small tree is great! It takes much less time to decorate, it still smells fantastic, and there are significantly fewer needles all over the place, which is great because Karl and I tend to have a dead tree by the end of the first week. It's our curse, but we think we're endearing. Haha.

Well, here is the finished product. We love it.

1// Karl being all cute behind the Christmas tree because he doesn't have pants on. 2//Getting a little Bokeh. 3//A nice, albeit blurry Christmas tree picture. I really need to get a tripod. 4//Having the same initials as my husband is great, FYI.

Well that's it for me. I've got two more finals to do and then I'll finally get to enjoy the holiday more thoroughly. What about you? Have you been soaking up the Christmas spirit yet?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lately: December Edition

Hello there! Long time, no see. I'll admit, things have once again been crazy around here. Finals are in full swing, the Holidays crept up on me out of nowhere, I got a new job, and I've been doing some bodily housekeeping (doctors, dentist, etc). It's best and easiest to use a template, since so much is going on. 

Snapshots of life lately: 1//The gorgeous drive to Price, UT that Karl and I took for Thanksgiving. 2// We got our Christmas tree tonight! 3//Karl and I being ridiculous in the car. 4//Another road trip pic. Price has some gorgeous rock formations. 5//Being at school at 9AM during a snow storm is hard. 6//Karl and I re-did Thanksgiving. We made our own turkey and cinnamon rolls to boot!

Making: My house look like Christmas. Karl's doing homework right this second, but as soon as he's done, the festivities will begin.
Cooking: Nothing. I made banana bread this morning, but I took it out of the oven too soon. Wah, wah.
Drinking: Diet Coke. I should just have it injected into my veins. 
Reading: Nothing at the moment. I finished Jane Austen's Persuasion yesterday and it's hands down, my favorite Austen Novel. Once finals are over, I hope to read Daring Greatly and Under Wildwood.
Wanting: My L.L. Bean snow boots to arrive already! It's getting treacherous on campus.
Looking: forward to lunch with my BFF tomorrow.
Playing: My Sufjan Stevens Christmas collection.
Wasting: Time by blogging, instead of making revisions on my latest short story.
Dreading: Spring semester. Things are going to get crazyyy.
Wishing: Finals had been in November. Really University of Utah? Only two weeks for Christmas break?
Enjoying: The fact that I get to binge-watch Christmas movies now. Hello, Love Actually and The Holiday.
Waiting: For Karl to finish studying so we can blast Christmas music and slow dance as we decorate.
Liking: Catching Fire. My girl, JLaw killed it.
Wondering: What I'm going to get Karl for Christmas. He's so hard to shop for, guys.
Loving: Ponce. He's been the best little cuddle buddy lately, especially on my bad days.
Hoping: I can somehow get all of my final assignments done this week. Hopefully I'll find motivation to start at some point.
Marveling: Over how expensive Christmas trees can be. We spent $40 on a three foot tree. Yeesh.
Needing: To get to the chiropractor tomorrow. I can't believe how amazing an adjustment can feel. If you've never been, I highly suggest going.
Smelling: The new pine-scented candle we bought today. It has a bamboo wick, which is weird, but cool.
Wearing: Sweats and a scarf. The draft through my front door is no joke.
Following: Buzzfeed on FB is the best decision I've ever made. So good.
Noticing: How close I am to graduation (this spring) and also panicking a little.
Knowing: That I've gotta start building up a good resume. I'm about to be thrown to the sharks.
Thinking: How I mostly hate working, but my seasonal job is pretty good.
Feeling: Like going to the gym at 5AM tomorrow is going to be really, really tough.
Bookmarking: Composite photo DIYs on Youtube for my photography class. Oy.
Opening: My short story to work on. I guess I can't procrastinate my final portfolio forever. 
Watching: Life on Netflix. I definitely prefer Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers, so this show isn't my fave.

Feeling: Stressed out, a little emotional, but happy overall.

Life is crazy, but I'm hoping to soak up as much of the holidays as I can. Stay tuned for a post that includes my Christmas wish-list coming at you in the next week or so. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Which I Get a Little Church-y

Hey guys. It's been a bit since I've done a real blog post, but to be honest it's because I haven't wanted to show how angry/sad/frustrated I've been. My heart has been hurting a lot with things people have said and done. It's interesting because I've been feeling so down, and as I've read some of my favorite blogs lately, I've noticed that there are many other women feeling the same or similar things as me. I guess you have to lose faith in humanity to have it restored, right?

I've experienced lots of cruelty recently. The kind of cruelty I haven't experienced since high school. The kind where I'm sitting in a booth at Zupas sobbing and trying to make sure the people that hurt me don't see me succumbing to their incredible unkindness. One thing I've learned is that once someone hurts you, you tend to notice other people, organizations, and companies (I'm looking at you, Lululemon) being rude or inconsiderate left and right. As a result, I'm feeling a bit downtrodden and cold toward people in general at the moment.

That being said, I'm excited for the holidays. Whenever I'm feeling like people are mostly bad, I think about the holidays. Christmas music starts playing, hot chocolate comes in red cups, people smile more, and there is generally more charity to be found. For me, Christmas can't come soon enough. It's hard to be sad when you're decorating Christmas trees, buying gifts for others, and binge-watching Love Actually.

So, here's where things start looking up. In the car the other night when I was feeling particularly down, Karl told me about an experience that had been related to him by his old bishop. One time when he was out to dinner, his bishop was receiving terrible service. The waitress ignored him and his wife, their food was cold, etc. At the end of the meal, he was so frustrated that he was trying to think of things to do to get back at the waitress (i.e. not leave a tip, call and complain, call her out to her face), when he heard, "She is a child of God" whispered to him. Immediately any feelings of anger dissapated with that knowledge and he decided to give the waitress the benefit of the doubt. Who knows what's going on in other people's lives, right? The fact of the matter is, we are all children of God.

This last Sunday, Karl and I sat down at church to find out that it was the Primary Program. For those of you who don't know, in my church the Primary consists of all the kids between 3 and 11. On rare occasions, these kids get of in front of the entire congregation to sing songs and read little bits of scripture or tell personal experiences. It's one of the most adorable things you'll ever see, I highly recommend coming to one, even if you're not LDS. Anyway, on Sunday, each child went up to the microphone and said his or her name, something they consider themselves to be (scientist, artist, cowboy(!) etc.), and each one followed that with, "I am a child of God." 

It hit me again while I was watching these sweet little kids I've grown to love. They know they are children of God and they know others are children of God. So why do we, as adults, forget this so often? I'm constantly putting myself down. I'm so quick to judge others and often too quick to get angry or impatient with just about everyone. I know I'm not alone in this. I think all of us need to keep this fact in the forefront of our minds at all times: we are all children of God and none of us deserves to feel less or to make others feel less than that.

This holiday season, when you begin to feel angry at the line-cutters at Target, or want to yell at the people walking soooo slowly in front of you at the mall (this kills me), or even if someone says something explicitly offensive to you, try to remember that we're all children of God and move along gracefully.

In the mean time, I'll try to dispose of the hypothetical fantasy in which I "accidentally" pour soda all over those girls at Zupas. I guess they're daughters of God too… :)

Overall, be kind, be good, be happy. This applies to others as well as yourself. Have a great week, friends and as always, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Catober Picks

In case you didn't know, October has officially been dubbed "Catober" by cat enthusiasts and trendy stores alike. I know it's almost the end of the month and National Cat Day was yesterday, but it seems like I'm a day behind on everything right now (don't even get me started on school work). Despite my lateness,  I wanted to show you guys my favorite cat-themed products. I'm constantly pinning cat things and having a month dedicated to cats realllllly gives me a great opportunity to indulge my cat lady tendencies, so without further ado, here they are.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Do you have any cat-themed items you're loving right now? I'm always looking for more items to satisfy my cat lady tendencies. :) Have a happy and safe Halloween and I hope your November starts with a bang. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lately: October Edition

Hey, friends! I thought I'd spend some time talking about my life lately and I found this handy-dandy template to help me out with that.

Making: My latest bit of writing using an experimental format for my creative writing class. It's kind of a nightmare.

Cooking: Nothing. We moved two weeks ago and have been dealing with mouse poop issues. I KNOW. We've cleaned the cabinets like ten times. I'm still freaking out about it and compulsively checking the internet for symptoms of Hantavirus.
Drinking: Smartwater. Post-chiropractic hydration is important, you know.
Reading: Mansfield Park (Jane Austen), which I'm loving, Nadja (André Breton), which I'm loathing, and The Rings of Saturn (W.G. Sebald), which I'm undecided on.
Wanting: This set of illustrated gems.
Looking: To get all of the unpacking done, chronic back pain be damned.
Playing: My mixed CD of Soko songs. I love her and you will too once you listen to this song.
Wasting: My entire fall break on more and more British crime dramas.
Sewing: Uhhh...I'm sending stuff to my mom to sew. Does that count?
Wishing: Karl would stop asking Siri what the life expectancy of ragdoll cats is. I don't like thinking about Kitten's mortality.
Enjoying: Not wearing a bra all week. It's pretty awesome.
Waiting: For Karl to shower so we can go see a movie about Somali pirates. 
Liking: That there are websites devoted to cat obesity. Nice.
Wondering: When all the leaves will fall off the trees. Please don't go! I love you!
Loving: My husband, Karl. He's so great, guys.
Hoping: My photography class gets cancelled on Tuesday. School from 8AM to 9PM isn't exactly enjoyable.
Marveling: Over my new position as a staff member on my school's literary magazine. SUPER excited.
Needing: To get my homework done for Tuesday, but hey, I've got all weekend.
Smelling: Blueberry muffins the neighbors downstairs are baking. Sometimes sharing a ventilation system is torture.
Wearing: My uniform lately. Black leggings, one of my long-sleeved, supersoft, black t-shirts (I have three. Yes, I have a problem), and my blue flannel button up.  
Following: Way too many blogs on Bloglovin. I spend so much time perusing them.
Noticing: How great this fall break has been. Lots of pajama-wearing, TV watching, and kitten cuddling.
Knowing: That I'm a feminist and I'm in love with the video at the top of this post. Watch it. It's pretty powerful.
Thinking: About the delicious pizza I'm going to eat tonight. Este Pizzeria is the best in Salt Lake. Hands down.
Feeling: A little achy from the chiropractor, but otherwise, pretty good. 
Bookmarking: Everything and anything on Pinterest. I may have a problem.
Opening: My new hot pink lipstick for date night.
Giggling: At Ponce who keeps attacking my sock-covered feet from under the bed.
Feeling: Happy, optimistic, and calm.

Well, I hope you all have a great weekend! 


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