Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Fall quarter is finally coming to a close.. almost.

I haven't posted since October 22nd. Ahhh! This quarter has literally swallowed me whole. Between Front staff, law, and photojournalism (which is easily my favorite class), I've been crazy busy. Add in work and a little bit of a social life, and goodbye, blog.  Sorry!

I've learned a lot this quarter, about both journalism itself and what it's like to be a journalist.  Writing can be hard, but there are certain aspects to being a journalism major that have its perks.  Likewise, there are also bits and pieces that totally suck.  But like most things, the good outweigh the bad.

What I have for you lovely readers today is a compilation of the pros and cons of being a journalism student.

I'll start with the bad, so that I can end with the good.

LOTS of outside work.
While being on the school newspaper, you're expected to put out a lot of work, which is again expected.  It is a real newspaper.  You're held to the same professional standards as other newspapers.  Sometimes I would be working on multiple stories at a time, which is a daunting task when working with features.  (Features are the longer, insightful stories and profiles inside the newspaper.)  Photo J was a lot of work as well, but not nearly as much as Front staff.  That was work I enjoyed a little bit more when I put my head to it.

Talking to people.
At work, I can find a random person and talk to them about what fabulous deals we have at Forever 21 at any given moment, but when it comes to interviews, talking to strangers is a lot harder.  When I would be out shooting photo projects, I would have to go up to random people, talk to them, ask them their name, age, phone number, and some questions— luckily, most people are willing to be photographed, but photographing strangers is no easy task.  Most people make some self-depreciating joke, and you have to figure out a way to make light of it ("oh, don't get below my shoulders! I don't like that to be photographed!"- how do you reply to that!?) 

Not being able to be creative.
If you've read a newspaper, you know that there is a very particular kind of voice that reporters have when writing.  All of the stories can kind of sound the same after a while, and you have to be super precise with your words/AP style.  This is tricky for me because I like to write like I talk (well, you are reading my blog.) 

Meeting new people, and learning new things.
While it was really hard talking to new people, the experience was like no other once you got to meet them.  I met an 86-year-old woman who had lost two husbands on the same day (years apart), and a fellow student who was trapped in a snow cave for 24 hours and managed to survive.  I also got to meet some faculty quartet members, Miss Seattle and so many other amazing personalities who I wouldn't have met otherwise. I also got to learn about Paganism, a forgotten Bellingham author, and so many other things that I wouldn't have known existed otherwise.

Seeing your stories published.
This is potentially the biggest 'pro' of them all.

Through all of the hard work and time invested into this major, there's nothing better than picking up a newspaper and seeing "By Allie Holzman" (or something else. Or Allie Holzman if your name is also Allie Holzman.)  

My first story! You can read it HERE
Definitely not my best story or hair day but that's beside the point.  I was so stoked to see my name in the paper that day.

Read this story HERE!

The first story I wrote that made front page sneak peek! This one was probably one of my funnest ones to write as it was about a fellow Western student who is phenomenal at Humans vs Zombies, and it gave me a newfound respect for the players of the game.  I could actually kind of tell you how the game works now, too. See? Learning. Plus this was a better outfit and hair day, AND it was right before my birthday. Good day, right there.

Finally, in the last week of the quarter, I got my first double truck.  For you non-journalism people, that's just a two-page centerfold.  THAT was a good way to end the quarter.
If you don't have super sight, read what I wrote about Hanukkah at Western HERE. 

Well, that's it for now. 

I'll post again during break, when all I'm doing is working and sitting at home.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Hey, Dad.

Today marks 9 months since you lost your battle with cancer.

It's been a while since I gave you a life update.

I'm gonna try to write this like I used to write you letters in Freshman year and we were pen pals.

There's a lot you've missed since you've been in heaven or wherever it is people go (if they go anywhere. I'm still figuring out what my beliefs are regarding the afterlife.  I loved discussing this with you.)

One, we had an amazing trip to Europe this summer.
I know you planned it with mom before you died.  You guys talked about it and said it was okay to use some of the insurance money to send us on a trip.  It was just what we needed- well, if I'm speaking for myself.  When I think about 2013, I'll think of losing you.  But I'll think about that trip, and the beautiful sights in Italy, and the atmosphere of London and how badly I want to go back.

Two, school started again.
I'm in three journalism classes this quarter.  Law, newspaper staff, and photojournalism.  Law is kicking my butt because it's, well, law.  Newspaper staff is a lot of work but I love it anyway.  It's pretty cool seeing my work published and knowing that the entire school can read it.  Photojournalism... easily my favorite class. I've gotten A's on everything so far and I love seeing a new side to photography.  I know you would be stoked to see how well I'm doing with all this.

Three, I'm on Relay committee this year!
I know you totally supported me through the one Relay I did while you were still here.  You gave me a pretty hefty donation and I wasn't expecting that at all.  I guess for you it meant a lot.  Last year I was the 2nd highest fundraiser and Leo's Legacy was the top team.  Now I'm trying to be one of the people who makes it happen and help the ACS fight against cancer so at least one less family has to go through what we went through.

I found an email last weekend that you sent the other weekend to an old friend.  You caught her up with what was going on in your life, and then talked about your family.  You gave, like, one sentence about Coralie and Sara.  Then you proceeded to give a whole paragraph on me and how I'm doing.  You ended it with "one of my only hopes is to be there when she graduates".  I'm usually pretty good at keeping my cool and not freaking out, but I started bawling when I read that.  The things that get me are knowing you're not going to be there for the big things.  For instance, graduation.  You're not going to be there to see me walk across the stage and get that coveted diploma.  When/if I get married, you're not going to be there to walk me down the aisle.  My kids will never know their grandpa Leo.

A couple weeks ago I was walking home from class and had the sudden urge "oh, I'll call Dad" and then as I got my phone out of my pocket I realized I couldn't just do that anymore.

It's getting easier without you.  Well, I should say I'm getting more used to it.  There are some things I'm not sure how to get used to.  There are a lot of firsts to be had- my first birthday without you, your first birthday without you, our first Christmas without you.  I'm not sure how I'll handle those yet but we're getting there.

One step at a time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

case of the mondays

Oh, Monday. I loathe you and love you at the same time.

On one hand- you are the beginning of a new week! A new, glorious week! So many potential successes are to be had.

On the other- you are the end of a weekend.  A glorious, glorious three day weekend (which I have every week- not to brag or anything).

This week has been crazy but I'm starting to say that about every week. Unless I'm posting more than once a week, assume that I am busy- not that I've forgotten about this blog.  I'm still learning how to balance school, work, and a social life, let alone keeping up with shortforalexandra.

I've got a love/hate relationship with craziness (kind of like mondays).  I like being busy because time goes by fast.  When you have more to do, time seems to go by a lot quicker.  I'd rather have too much to do than be bored most of the time.  However, business can lead to a lot of stress... I swear, my teachers all conspired together and had shit due on the same day.  It was an awful day and I could count the hours of sleep I had on one hand.

Halloween is getting closer, so hopefully this weekend will be a good way to kick back and forget about all the stresses of every day life.

Goods and bads of this week:
  • Good: My 20th birthday is on Sunday! It is also my roommate, Erica's birthday on the same day and she happens to be turning 21. Super excited for her! 
  • Good: I'm working on another story for The Western Front right now and I'm super pumped about it.  
  • Good: My first story was published!
  • Bad: I feel like I'm behind in one of my classes. I hate that feeling...
  • Bad: Tomorrow is 9 months since my dad passed away.  Good: I feel like I've got a lot stronger throughout his death, and really found peace with it all.
  • Good: I've been so, so happy with everything. My major, my friends, my family... everything is falling into place.  

Here's what I've been up to:


Continuing to gawk at the sunset off my back deck. 

Adoring the foggy Bellingham days.

Got a new computer- a shiny new 15" retina display Macbook Pro (which I am using to write this post!) and not realizing how thin it is! Mac went on Jenny Craig.

Editing my second photojournalism project.  I signed up for the Adobe Creative Cloud- an awesome deal for $20/mo!



I just really, really love leaves. (and my new tattoo. aaah!)

Falling in love with my other new tattoo. 

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

happy sunday!

Last week is over and all I have to say is thank god.

I had a crazy busy week- I had a million things due on the same day, and then more things due, and more things due, and more things do.

On the other hand, it was a pretty rewarding week.  I got my first photojournalism project done (it's posted here on my journalism blog!) and while it's not my best photography I'm still pretty proud of it.  I need to get better behind the camera.

Saturday I went to a Relay for Life committee workshop in Seattle and all I have to say is that I am so happy I got involved with it.  I have done Relay for the past two years, but after this year's relay I decided I wanted to help be behind the scenes, and the people are fantastic and the ACS is able to do so much.  

Here's what I've been up to on instagrizzle:

Being cute AGAIN with Bridget. We haven't had any cute pictures together until recently. Now we have a couple. Yay!

Fangirling hard over my city and my favorite season. 
Doodling on a white board while "studying" with Paige in the library.

Took this whilst out and about doing my first photojournalism project. I love my city. (More fangirling). 

Can you guys guess what my favorite color is?

Trying to get more work done. Ahh!

Fangirling (word of the day) about my new shoes, and again, fall.  

Taking pretty pictures of pretty things at my school. 


Being adorbs with my roommate Paige before going to a lil shinding last night which ended up turning into a full out riot. Stay classy, Bellingham.  

I'm hoping to post at least once a week, on Sundays, about my week in general and hopefully keep posting other random things.  School takes away from my Allie time.  

Have a lovely week!

Saturday, October 5, 2013



It's been a while since I've posted.  And it will probably be a while until I post regularly again... or at least until I can figure out how I'm going to balance school and work and (maybe) having a social life.

It's going to take me a lot of coffee and persistence to get me through this quarter.  I'm enrolled in 3 classes- which doesn't seem like a lot- but they're only 10 weeks each so you go fast.  I've got Media Law, Photojournalism, and Front Staff (AKA, our school newspaper).

I'll be busy busy busy, but if you are super interested in my life, give me a follow in Instagram or Twitter (my twitter is private unless you are also on twitter and request to follow me).  I'll also be maintaining a journalism-specific blog in which I'll be posting any articles I write (I think I'm allowed to do that) and photos from my photojournalism class.

In the mean time, here's what I've been up to on Instagram:

Starting school again.
Having a morning long-distance coffee date with my favorite.

Doing maid-of-honor things for my best friend, Tawny, as she married her best friend Garret. I couldn't be happier for these two.

My roommate, Bridget, married the two of them and we have a running joke that we don't have any nice pictures together so finally we got one. Two years in the making.


Study date in the library with another one of my wonderful roommates.
I saw this leaf every day on my way to school and finally picked it up and took a picture with it and yet another one of my roommates caught me looking like a weirdo carrying a giant leaf. Also, new shoes!

Waiting outside one of WWU's best spots for my first interview for the school paper.

Writing my first feature. At 2 AM. Yay for strict deadlines!

I'll link up this blog to my J-blog as soon as I get it up and running and actually have stuff posted on it.  Right now it's still under construction.

Peace and blessins,

Friday, September 20, 2013

class must-haves

I'm admitting defeat.

By that, I'm admitting that school does indeed start on Wednesday, and I'll be beginning my 3rd year at university.

This summer has been absolutely amazing- kicking off with memorial day weekend at the Gorge seeing some of my favorite musicians, then going to five countries in Europe (six if you count the Frankfurt airport, and two continents if you agree that Turkey is in Asia and not Europe), and then camping in the Okanogan for a week and a half.  On top of all that, I moved from a tiny apartment to a three-story house.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my summer.

Now, it's time for fall.  It's time for sweaters and pumpkins and candles and iOS7 and corn mazes and crispy leaves and clouds and halloween and all that jazz.

Salted Caramel // Haggen
Apple Cinnamon // Dollar Tree

Yesterday I took the seven minute walk from my house to campus (super close!) and picked up my books for my classes and got some school supplies.

I'm one of those crazy people who goes nuts over office supplies.  As a kid, I loved getting new markers and pencil crayons and regular crayons, and as I got older that transitioned into pencils and notebooks and Peechee folders and highlighters.  I'm pretty sure it had something to do with my dad bringing me home random office supplies- yellow lined paper, tri-tip highlighters, and pens with "Safeco" on them.

There's a stigma regarding college kids- freshman year you buy pretty much everything you can find, and senior year you buy notebooks and pens.  I've definitely learned to downsize, but I still end up buying more than "normal".  I just frikken love supplies.  What can I say?

1- Post It Notes
Essential for tagging pages in textbooks and keeping track of where you are in your planner.  Also for leaving fun notes all over your roommate's rooms.

2- Miro 7x10 Canvas Notebook
Canvas covers and 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  Plus, it's nice paper that passes my 'writing' test- I'm picky about how pencils and pens write on paper.  The campus bookstore makes some generic notebooks (I don't know what else to call them, but they're also 100% post-consumer recycled paper but it just isn't very good paper in my opinion) but this one looks better and has nicer paper.  It's got 200 sheets of paper, so I'll probably need another notebook at some point in the quarter because I still prefer taking notes by hand rather than on the computer, but it's definitely one I won't mind replacing.

3- Plastic folders
For holding syllabi and rough drafts of any articles I'll be writing for the school newspaper. Aaaah!

4- Staedtler Highlighter Pens
In the prettiest colors I could find.

5- Pentel E-Sharp .5mm Mechanical Pencil
Another pencil that passes my standards.

miro notebook // highlighter // pencil

6- 2014 Paper Source Pool Academic Date Book
When it comes to schoolwork I rely on my planner like crazy.  I swear I spent half an hour looking all over The Paper Source in Bellevue looking for just the right planner.  It's a little spendy- $33.95- but still cheaper than Erin Condren planners and absolutely adorable inside.  Plus it comes with stickers.

7- Pilot G2 Assorted Pens
When taking notes, it's easy to get bored.  A long time ago I heard someone say that taking notes in different colors not only allows you to categorize them, but also keeps it visually fun and makes it easier to read when reviewing your notes.

You now know what I'm doing this week.

Finally, textbooks.  Not a supply, but a necessity (depending on the class).

That's not all of them, I just have yet to dig them out from under my bed.

What are your favorite things about back-to-school or just fall in general?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

want-right-now wednesday

First of all, my last post- fat and sassy, which recounts my journey with body positivity- quickly became my most popular post with over 300 views in a day.  Thanks to everyone who read it and shared it with their friends and family... it's because of you guys that it's become so much easier to love myself and make sharing my story worthwhile.

Now, because of that body positivity I talked about in said post, I've also gained a sense of style (I think?) and learned what I like to dress myself in.  I've also talked about how excited I am for fall and the fashion it brings.  Or, as Nathan and I like to call it, FASHUN.

Our friendship in a nutshell.

Clothes are pretty and all, and I always want more, but unfortunately they are also expensive.  If I had an unlimited amount of money, my pinterest closet would be real, but for now all I can do is go to my favorite websites and recklessly pin and pretend that I am the model in the picture werking it in those beautiful, beautiful clothes.  

So, without further adieu, here are some more pretty clothes that I've been lusting after.  A sequel to "Want Right Now: Forever 21" edition. 

From left to right:

I'm totally late on the peplum trend.  I used to think "you have to have a certain type of body" to wear peplum, but fuck that shit.  If I want to wear something that flares out at the biggest part of me, I will.  I actually tried this top on a few weeks ago when I had a major Torrid haul thanks to my wonderful mommy, and I wasn't sure if I wanted it or not, so I didn't get it.  I now regret that.  

I know you can't see it in the silly little graphic I made, but those little buttons are pyramidal studs, and I'm all about those lately.  At first they seemed totally weird to me- but now I have a few items in my closet with them and they're easily my favorite.  I can't help but to love those babies.  They make everything they're on just a little more badass.  All about that. 

With cold weather approaching, a peacoat is absolutely perfect.  Most days in Bellingham are usually just... crisp, not overly cold, so a peacoat is fine for walking around but whenever you get to your destination (AKA, class, or the library, etc) you'll want to take it off.  I already own a jacket similar to this one but it's a couple years old and starting to fall apart because it was pretty cheap.  That calls for a new one.. amirite?

Three little words. Words every woman wants to hear. IT'S ON SALE. Also, aaaaaadorable.  Do want. On my body. Now.

I used to have a problem with wearing out the left elbow of everything I wore.  No idea how it happened, but it did.  Elbow patches are a handy solution for this, as well as super cute because they're hearts!  From the front, it'll just look like it a plain black sweater.  Alas, party in the back.  Hearts on the elbows.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Denim vest with a hoodie built in. I'm sold.

More peplum! And sleeves!  I would totally pair this with some olive or burgundy jeans and combat boots to make it a little less girly.  

Any "want now" post I ever make will probably include Forever 21 usually because their clothes are the "trendiest" and cutest.  I also work there.  #shamelessplug 

Another "fat people shouldn't" rule that I'm gladly becoming more comfortable with breaking is the whole colored skinny jeans fiasco.  I'll stick to the darker neutrals, at least for now- and burgundy/wine skinny jeans are something I've wanted for a while.  Again, perfect for fall, and burgundy can be paired with pretty much any color.

I don't really know why I want this.  I just do.  

Galaxy print is super duper popular these days, and for good reason.  Hipsters were at first rejoicing but now probably crying because literally everyone and their mother wants something with the galaxy on it.  (or at least I think they do).  This skirt speaks for itself.  Maybe it's just the doctor who fan in me wanting this like no other.

This baby is (light) olive and has some conical studs.  It couldn't be more Allie if it tried.

I had a pair of olive pants.  I wore them so much that they ripped in the seam.  I cried and cried and cried.  Not really.  I need a new pair in my life ASAP and these totally fit the part.  

Born in the 90's and living in one of the most hipster towns in Washington, I feel like everyone needs a flannel shirt, and I'm seriously lacking by only owning one.  

So, yeah.  If anyone has any overwhelming urges to buy me these, hit me up, and I'll gladly help you out. Kidding! But not really.