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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

fat and sassy

Let me start this post off with letting you know how long it's taken me to write it.  I can't seem to find the write words to explain my thoughts sometimes, especially when it's something as personal as this.

I've mentioned it in a few posts, but I've not always been as confident as I am today.  I know I say it over and over again, but I used to not care about how I dressed or looked, but that's taken a turn in the past year or so.

I want everyone to know that they are beautiful.

I have never in my life been thin.
It's taken me years to realize this- but it's okay not to be thin.  

As a chubby kid, I grew up with that feeling that being fat was bad.  I thought that I would have more friends if I weren't chubby or if I didn't have my "fluffer belly". 

I was part of the scary statistic about the high percentages of young girls who are dissatisfied with their bodies.  "In a survey of girls 9 and 10 years old, 40% have tried to lose weight, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute."  Yeah, that was me. How fucked up is it that nine year olds are trying to lose weight? 

I was a pre-teen during the peak of "Atkins" and "South Beach" diets and I even tried the Atkins diet.  I hated it.  I loved carbs too much.  I still do.  The idea of a salad for 2/3 of my meals made me want to vomit.  However, I was still on diet after diet after diet for as long as I can remember.  I can't think of any time as a child, preteen, or teenager where eating 'normal' food didn't make me feel guilty in some way.  If I got picked on- I deserved it, because I was chubby.  I stayed chubby all throughout elementary and middle school.

Even at my thinnest, I was still a size 11-13; which was fine by me.  I felt great, but I lost the weight in an awful way, and it didn't stay off for long.

Close to my thinnest, right before I turned 15.
I lost the weight because I was testing for my black belt in early 2008 when I was 14 years old.  I started a diet called the HMR diet- it consisted of a shake for breakfast (which I quickly learned to mix with coffee to make it taste less disgusting) and two pre-packaged meals for lunch and dinner.  They were like Lean Cuisine, but had no need to be refrigerated, and tasted absolutely disgusting.  I lost close to 40 lbs, tested for my black belt, passed, and as soon as it was over, I stopped the diet. I had no reason to continue after I could pass the vigorous physical test to earn my black belt (which is, to this day, my greatest accomplishment and I have no regrets).   The HMR worked when testing for my black belt- but temporarily.  This diet taught me how to eat as little as possible and nothing else.  As soon as I was "finished" with the testing process I went back to eating the same old, same old and I gained it all back because I didn't know anything about nutrition or eating balanced meals.  But here's the thing: Even at my thinnest, I still thought I was too fat.

Shortly after I received my black belt and turned 15, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer for the first time.  Being 15 is hard in the first place- my first year in high school, trying to figure out 'who I was' and what I wanted to do with my life- but then you hear that your dad is probably going to die within the next five years and my whole world fell apart.  I quickly turned to food for comfort and gained back every single pound that I had lost, and then some.

He went in and out of remission as I continued in and out of diets.  There was always something new- only organic food! no carbs! no sugar! no eating after 8PM! - but nothing worked. I would always come home after school and eat literally anything I could find.  I found solace in eating, and not much else.  During my junior and senior year of high school, he was in remission, and I continued to "diet".  I found a way to lose weight that was successful- by just watching what I ate.  I counted every calorie, worked out a shit ton, sometimes doing two-a-days, and the weight fell off.  I lost about 20 lbs and I've still kept them off to this day.  But that's not the point of this post.

Then I was accepted to my university of choice, and moved to said school later that fall.  A few days before I moved out, my dad was diagnosed again, but this time the cancer was in his lymph nodes and his lungs.  It was serious.  And I was about to move out.

I had two things to focus on: school, and my dad.  I wanted so badly to forget school and move back home and be with my dad as he got worse and worse, but ultimately stayed in school as that's what he wanted and that's what we agreed would be best.

I cared very little for myself freshman year of college.  I worked out a fair amount- I did a lot of Zumba with my dorm friends- and ate whatever the dining hall had to offer (mostly chicken burgers).  Doing something about my weight was the last thing on my mind between my sick dad and my schoolwork.

I didn't care what I looked like.  Ever.  But I knew I hated it.  I would wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt to class most days and just throw on the usual makeup.  I wanted to look better, but didn't want to admit that regular junior's sizing wouldn't fit me in most cases.  Shopping in the plus section seemed like a death sentence.  If I shop in the plus size section, then that will confirm everything I've ever wanted to deny about my body.

Well, one day, I happened to stumble upon an adorable coat online in the plus size section of Forever 21.  I bought it. And you know what? The world didn't end.  My friends didn't suddenly abandon me because I was - god forbid- plus size.

Depriving myself of happiness is probably my biggest regret in my short 19 years of life.
Society engrains in our minds that fat people are not as worthy of happiness as thin people.
It wasn't until very recently that I stumbled upon the "fat acceptance" crowd online.  It seemed ludicrous at first- why is there a fat acceptance community? Why are people glorifying obesity?  Isn't that bad?

Online, I found hundreds of people who were my size- as well as people who were bigger, and smaller- who were comfortable in their own skin.

These people, even though they were 'plus-size' like me, were happy.  They would dress themselves in adorable clothing, put on kickass makeup, and be unapolagetically themselves 100% of the time.

 I aspired to be like them- to be okay with my size.

Well, why can't I do that? Why can't I think of myself as that way?

I would look at pictures of women of all sizes and think "wow, they are beautiful".  Why should I tell myself that I'm not?

As soon as I got remotely interested in plus size clothing and the "fat acceptance" culture, I was hired at a clothing store.  This totally explains why I got so obsessed with style- it's easy to when you're surrounded by hundreds of clothing items daily.  I started building up my own closet with clothes from stores like Torrid and Forever 21+.  I looked cute in the clothes I was in, and they fit me right because I wouldn't deny my plus-sized-ness (yeah, I just made up a word).  The world still didn't end.  I didn't get fatter because I bought plus size clothes.

Moral of the story:

You are allowed to think you are pretty.  You are deserving of all of the love and acceptance that surrounds you.  You are not worth less because you are fat (or thin or anything in between).  A real woman does not have curves, neither is she a rail.  A real woman is any woman.  What she looks like does not dictate her status of being a "real" woman.  Eat that donut, or cheeseburger, or kale, or whatever you want.  It's your body.  You are in control of it.  No one else.  Body acceptance is not about glorifying obesity.   It is not about wanting to lose weight.  Or gain it.  Body acceptance, and body positivity, means that we should not discriminate against others based on their shape and size.  People are unique.  No two bodies are the same.  And that's fine.

Just because someone doesn't look like you doesn't mean that they're bad.   It just means they look different.  How hard is that to understand?  Body policing is never, in any, way, shape or form, okay.

Never tell someone anything along the lines of "you'd be so pretty if you lost weight".  "I'm worried about your health".  "You've really let yourself go lately".  This is what leads to the feelings I explained earlier and the statistics about nine year olds wanting to lose weight- it send off messages that fat isn't okay.  And you know what?  It is okay.  I am fat. And I am happy. God forbid.  My health is fine.  My bloodwork is always outstanding.  No, I can't run a mile faster than you, but I can wurq my butt off during zumba.

Accepting my size didn't happen overnight.  It happened with the help of amazing people in my real-world life and my online life who live to inspire others.

Some blogs that inspired me:

I can't find the sources for the first two images- If I'm using your image and want me to take it down or credit it, let me know and I will do so!

If I can help just one person start to see themselves in a different way, I'll have made my mark in the world.

You are more than a number.  You are valuable no matter what your size is.  You are deserving of happiness and love and kisses and hugs and rainbows and butterflies if you are 100 pounds or 300 pounds.

Body acceptance isn't overnight, either.  It's a long road, and it's okay to not like yourself every now and then.  I still have days where I think "ugh, I'm so fat".  Baby steps.  Honor your curves, every single one of them.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Last week is gone.  A new one's started.  This happens a lot.  52 times a year, more or less.

I thank instagram for allowing me to make my life look prettier than it actually is.

(1) I couldn't sleep.  It was dark and scary and I was home alone in a century-old house for the first time and the fire alarm decided to warn me at 5 AM that it's in need of a battery change.

(2) Does that not look comfortable as hell?

(3) Grabbed some Pho at Pho 99 with Bridget and Nolan.  Bridget sneezed funny, Nolan and I laughed, and the people behind us gave us the nastiest looks for thinking it was funny.

(4) Checked out the new Winco in Bellingham (I've never been before, and holy shit, this store is awesome and perfect for college students because it's so cheap) and decided to buy some lemon cupcake mix.  Spontaneous lemon cupcakes are the best kind of cupcakes.

(5) A beautiful foggy, pre-autumn morning from the back porch.  

(6) Waiting with my roommate Pagio for my other roommate Burgita to get off work and come to ze mall with us. 

(7) Some pink moscato and, again, the view from our back porch.  I kind of love that view.  Prepare to see a lot of it.

(8) Went to Canada for the day to celebrate a friend's birthday, and Burgita took a picture of me on the railroad tracks.  Normally I'm the one behind the camera, so it was pretty neat to get a few photos. 

(9) Just another chill morning in my room.  

Small life update: I'm employed again! I'll be working at Forever 21 again, as a stock associate this time.

I'm also currently obsessed with these songs.

I also changed my URL from "allietriestoblog" to "shortforalexandra".  I won't change it again.  Promise.

I'll post more next week.  I've been pretty low-key this week.  Sorry, all 4 avid readers of my blog.

PS! I hit 1,000 views on this blog.  Thanks for reading, everyone.