By Rachel Comish
I love birthdays. Seriously. I make birthdays a big deal. It’s not just my own birthday, but others’ birthdays too. Nothing makes me more giddy than handing over a present that I know deep down in my soul is perfect.
One of the things I love is how so many things can go into planning a birthday. I’ve always been a fan of small gestures, especially if I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Something I like to do is make a card. I use colored paper and markers and sometimes glitter. I write a personal message and usually draw a funny picture to go with it.
Something else I love to do is draw/write a comic story. It can tell the story of your relationship with that person or simply be an artistic portrayal of a grandma tearing a dinosaur to shreds with her teeth. Whatever you feel represents your friendship.
Decorations are always good. I like covering everything with streamers, I’ll even wrap the streamers around a designated birthday chair to create a throne. I also blow up balloons until I can’t breath, and I make signs and crowns for the birthday person. I like knowing they walked into an explosion of their special day.
And then there’s the food. I love to bake, so I like baking treats as a present. There’s also something I saw on Gilmore Girls that I loved. Rory spells out a birthday message for Lorlei’s birthday using cookies. I did that this year, but I used mini Reeses cups. It was so cute!
Another gift I like to give is massages. I’ll make coupons for a free foot rub or something, especially for my mom who taught me everything I know. It’s a thoughtful present that’s good for people you’re close with and don’t mind touching.
If you want to go bigger, do a party. I love murder mystery parties, they are so fun. They do take a bit more planning and you often have to buy a story to pull it off, so it is more work. You also have to have the right crowd. If you want to do a murder mystery, invite people who like being silly and solving mysteries. Being friends with theatre people or other creative types definitely helps.
If a murder mystery is too intense, just go with a simple party. It could be a big group or a small gathering. It’s fun to hang up posters with phrases at the top like, “Rachel’s funniest moment was…” or “I remember when Rachel said…”. Everyone fills in the blank and the birthday girl or boy goes home with an interesting birthday present.
There are so many ways to celebrate a birthday. Mostly, just make them or yourself feel special. It’s a day to celebrate all your best qualities and awesomeness.
I was in love once, and we broke up for several different reasons. Our relationship was the best relationship I had ever been in and has some of the best times of my life. Now several years later, we reconnected and it's easy again between us. I know this may sound cliche, but there's something different about him now, years later, and I'm not one who believes in change very easily. I'm hesitant to step into this again, because I was pretty broken up after things ended, but I can't stop myself from wanting to give it another chance. Am I completely out of my head here? Am I an idiot? What should I do?
First things first—you are not an idiot. I might think there’s something wrong with you if you weren’t tempted by the best relationship you ever had! You’re not the first person, either, to want to get back together with an ex. To be honest, your situation is fairly common. Many people reconnect with past boyfriends/girlfriends because time apart has helped them realize that they were, in fact, the right person for them.
We gravitate toward the people that once made us so happy, even if there was hurt in the end. Like a mother who feels the pain of birth, and then the true joy of holding a newborn—she forgets the pain and years later will become pregnant again, even though she knows the pain will still be there. It’s a metaphor for life—balancing the pain of separation with the joy of reuniting.
So, you’ve reconnected with a past flame. And things seem different. The skeptics out there will tell you not to be naïve, not to fall for him again because only heartache is in your future—but not me. You say that you’re the type of person who doesn’t believe people change easily. That, alone, lets me know that when you say he’s changed, he’s most likely changed. With the help of hindsight, and a few more years of maturity and life experience, it’s no wonder he seems different. Because you should want him to be.
You wouldn’t want to be with someone who never grew or became a better person throughout their life, right? Couples who divorce or break up on T.V. often use the excuse “he’s not the man I married.” Well of course he’s not! Life has happened since then. He’s developing new hobbies, following new career paths, figuring out his life, starting a family with you—changes are inevitable, but, most importantly, they are good. Just make sure his changes are manifested in his actions, not just his words.
Let me tell you a story to prove my point. My sister dated a boy when she was fifteen, and liked him more than she has ever liked anyone. And it didn’t end well. A few years later they reconnected but several factors (bad timing, immaturity, moving thousands of miles away) broke them up again. A couple of years after that they began corresponding and—as adults with more experience in love and life—they reconnected permanently, married, and gave me the cutest nephew in all creation.
Don’t give up. If you have so many beautiful memories with him, and want to give him another chance, I say go for it.
By Melanie Walker
3 years ago I took a trip to Ireland. Yes, the Ireland—the land of the greenery and clovers. From my experience, I compiled a list of reasons why you should definitely not go to Ireland:
(All images are directly derived from my camera that captured real live scenery, events, and happenings)
#1 Luscious landscapes of emerald green and vibrant hues
Get your glasses, because it’ll take you back to the Emerald City that we all read about from Oz. The plush hills and clover patches will just make you want to roll around in them—talk about gross.
#2 Storybook towns
Walking around in the little towns will make you feel just like a little kid again with the quaint homes, brick roads, and the little church that sits on top of the hill. So annoying. Adulthood rocks.
#3 Hauntingly beautiful ruins cover the landscape allowing history to live on through the ages
History was your worst subject, right?
#4 You can visit all your favorite bucket list items
Kissing the Blarney Stone? The Cliffs of Insanity where they filmed scenes in Princess Bride and Harry Potter? Dublin’s literary treasures? Overrated, obviously.
#5 The friendly and attractive people
The locals are friendly. The fellow travelers are friendly. And those Irish accents? Totally lame.
#6 The animals are just as friendly as the people
People actually take care of their livestock and they’re healthy? Well that’s just un-American.
#7 You’ll feel like a true adventurer
Ireland is full of hidden gems and places you can hike and bike to. With a quick ferry ride, I was able to bike around the entire island Inis Mor while taking pictures of the scenery and wildlife.
Who wants to bike around and explore when you could be sitting in your dark bedroom texting your life away?
#8 Ireland holds a significant wonder of the world
Newgrange lies right in Northern Ireland in Boyne Valley, showcasing ancient Neolithic history. The tombstone is 5,215 years old (that’s older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Giza!) and you can actually go inside and lay your precious little hands on history’s treasure.
Who cares about things that are older than us?
#9 The music and the pubs
Every night the pubs feature musicians who play fun music that makes you get on your feet and meet plenty of new friends. The musicians are friendly and you can approach them and talk to them after their performance. You’ll dance into the early morning with people from all over the world. Sounds boring, huh?
#10 The food
Ireland has the best potatoes and sausages you could possibly ever savor. Boooo, we all hate excellent food.
#11 You’ll find inner peace at the end of your trip
There’s something pretty terrible about sitting on a beautiful green hill as the sun is setting and you contemplate the things that are really important in life—like friendships to be made and had, your place in this huge world, and what petty things we go through in life that ultimately don’t matter in the end. A sense of self and the world, that I believe you can only get from traveling, is really a terrible thing to find.
So take my word for it; don’t visit Ireland.
By Rachel Comish
In college, one of my fashion forward friends bluntly told me that my bra didn’t fit. She told me if I kept it up, I was going to be seriously saggy when I was older and I owed more respect to myself and my appearance.
I was then introduced to Victoria’s Secret.
You might be thinking: why would I spend $50 on bra when I can get a $10 bra from Wal-Mart? Good question. That was kind of my thought process when I first went in. But then I started wearing these beautiful comfortable bras and everything changed.
When a bra fits right, your shirt fits better. When you have better support, your posture improves. Everything falls into place, and honestly, these bras are so much more comfortable than cheap bras.
Victoria’s Secret helped me realize what kind of body I have and it changed my style. I started wearing brighter, tighter shirts that showed off my fabulous figure. These bras last forever too, I wear bras that I got four years ago and they still work just as well.
If you really can’t splurge quite as much, shop the sales. Victoria’s Secret does a fantastic semi-annual sale every June and December, selling bras for $15. It’s not like you need to shop for bras more often than every six months, so if you time it right there’s really not a difference in price at all.
I also love my Victoria’s Secret robes and nightgowns. I have a couple cotton nightgowns and a couple satin ones. Growing up, I always slept in an oversized shirt just because that was more comfortable. Nightgowns are pretty much the same thing— they’re just a longer shirt.
There’s something about sleeping in a satin nightgown that improves your chances of having sparkly princess dreams, or at least feeling like a princess. But if you’re really not a nightgown person, they have also pretty satin pajamas.
And now we have reached the lingerie portion of the discussion. Lingerie is a big part of Victoria’s Secret, and usually what people associate with the company. There’s the stigma from seeing teeny models showing off bedazzled bras and lingerie in professionally perfect bodies. There’s the pressure that lingerie has to look that way in order for it to be sexy.
That’s just not true.
Lingerie is always sexy. Lingerie is about you. It is about your personality, confidence, and sense of style.
When I buy lingerie for my engaged friends, I always figure out what they like first. I can choose something that I know they would look amazing in, but it’s all about what makes them feel beautiful and confident. I take them shopping and pick out different options. I ask them what colors and material they prefer.
I make sure they know that this is not about making the guy want to have sex with you. Lingerie is about you wanting to feel sexy.
So be confident. Embrace your sexiness, and don’t try to hide it under bad style. You don’t have to be girly to wear a bra that fits properly, not all of us like wearing red satin bras with cute little hearts and that’s totally okay.
What you wear is about you and your ability to express yourself. It’s about self-respect and style. Have fun with what you wear, even if it’s hidden underneath.
I like to play video games, but I don't want anyone to know about it. I keep it a secret because I'm embarrassed. And I'm afraid that if people know that I like video games, they might assume that I'm a certain way when I'm not. I don't want people to judge me. I mean, sometimes I'll spend all day playing video games. Is that bad? Am I addicted to video games? Should I stop?
First of all, don't be embarrassed. You should never feel embarrassed about a healthy hobby (note that I say healthy). You're a complicated person: there are a lot of different dimensions to you. You probably don't just play video games. So if people judge based on one small component of your life, that's their problem.
There's definitely a stereotype surrounding people who play video games. And as we know, stereotypes are definitely not always accurate. Don't let people stereotype you. And if they do, you don't need them in your life! So tell your friends. Don't be ashamed. Maybe they'll even want to play with you.
Think of video games like Netflix. It's totally okay for you to spend your day binge-watching a show every once and a while, right? It's the same with video games. Maybe you want to spend your Saturday playing video game after a stressful week. Or maybe you play all day when you're sick and stuck at home. That's all totally fine.
But if you find yourself playing video games all day four times a week or even playing video games 6 or more hours every single day, we have a problem on our hands. Just like with Netflix or chocolate, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Your life should not revolve around video games.
If this is the case with you, you definitely need to seek help. Video game addiction is a real thing that real people suffer from.
According to WebMD, the symptoms of a video game addiction are:
- Playing for a long time.
- Playing video games to ignore life problems, depression, or anxiety.
- Not telling family or friends to hide gaming.
- Getting grumpy when cutting back on gaming.
- Thinking about video games during other activities.
Like I said-- if you're experiencing this, get some help. If not, you're probably just fine. There's nothing wrong with enjoying video games-- but like with pretty much anything, don't let it get too out of hand.
So you do you, girl! Life your life, be happy, and don't pay attention to those critics in your life.
By Melanie Walker
Cue phrase: “What goes around comes around.” Yeah, yeah ok, whatever. Let me just put this quote in the place where quotes go to die.
I’m going to stand on my stake and make a brutal confession to you: I have always struggled with wishing people well.
Anyone that knows me may gasp because I’m a very positive and uplifting person. But you know, it gets hard when friend after friend announces their engagement to you, has a baby, or progresses in life in a way that is just incomprehensible to you in the current moment. I’ve struggled with my love for the person but the clawing desire of wanting what someone else has and uttering the classic phrase that I’m sure every person in their 20’s has groaned and said: When is it going to be my turn?
Wishing well for others is difficult, especially if the person has what you want or if the person has hurt you in some way. If you’re finding that you have the same struggle I have had in the past--
Take a deep breath.
Look that person in the eye.
And put on a smile, no matter how difficult or forced it feels.
Trust me on this. It’ll be much better for you in the long run.
I have an inside joke with myself that if I press the “like” button for every wedding picture I see on my newsfeed, that will be how many likes and well-wishes I will get when it finally is my turn to post the picture of myself in that wedding dress I pinned on Pinterest and the dude that made it all worthwhile for me.
Want to know how I know this? Because I am a firm believer in Karma. Karma is usually seen as a negative thing, but Karma can actually be a pretty sweet deal.
I’m not saying that I’m only nice to others for my own personal benefit. I’m saying practicing good Karma makes you an overall better person—one who people can rely on to share their joy in their success, one who knows how to love their friends and family, and one who knows how to be happy for other people. And not a forged, “waxy-smiled” happiness—a true and genuine happiness for other people and a desire for their happiness too.
So I’ll say it again. When that friend looks you in the eye and announces their promotion over you or that they just got a boyfriend when you’re in one of life’s many slumps, you put on that smile and congratulate them. Fake it till you make it, then move on with your life. When your ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend from college posts their new baby picture or announces their Master’s degree: either choose to like it or not, smile, and keep scrolling. You are much better than the shifty eyes or painful smile someone gives you when you have a win of your own.
In personal experience, every smile I’ve given to others has repaid back to me in many of my life’s highs and lows. I have always had someone beside me to either cheer or console and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I didn’t work at actually meaning “best wishes!” when I say it to someone.
So, Karma is a blessing. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself.
Images from http://gettingthewordswrong.com/
By Rachel Comish
There have been a lot of products booming from the new organic movement. A few years ago, everyone started trying to be healthier and go all natural with what they put in their bodies.
Enter essential oils.
I was introduced to essential oils when I went to a doTERRA party with my mom and sisters. The hostess explained all the benefits of using oils while I tried not to sneeze from all the strong smells. She showed us combinations that could cure headaches, stomachaches, colds, and acne. It seemed too good to be true.
I told her about the stomachaches I’d been having that no doctor could cure and she sent me home with a sample. Amazingly enough, it actually worked. She gave me a combination of Digestive and Lemon oils, which I kept by my bed to fend off my midnight stomach spasms. I would apply the oil to my stomach and get a minty fresh tingling that made the pain fade.
I got a few different oils, but I still take my Digestive oil with me everywhere. I occasionally get carsick, so I’ll dab a bit of oil on my mouth and it really helps.
My mom bought the jumbo pack and uses them for everything. She mixed a concoction that cured my sunburn (Lavender, Tea Tree, and Frankincense), made me sleep better (Lavender and Cedarwood), and got rid of headaches (Lavender, Frankincense, Copaiba, and Peppermint).
It’s so nice to have this as an option. Not everyone likes popping pills and this is a natural alternative to medicine. Also, you can use this stuff when you’re pregnant, unlike Aspirin.
But the oils aren’t just medicine, they’re also beauty products.
You can mix oils to create face wash, moisturizer, and conditioner. Add any oil (I prefer lavender and eucalyptus) to Epsom salts in a sealed jar to let it soak. This creates great bath salts.
Here’s a blog for some very creative doTERRA recipes:
I also really love the deep blue oil and lotion. It’s really good for your muscles, so if you work out or just have a bad back this stuff feels amazing. If you have allergies, use the Breathe blend (lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, and thyme). There are also vitamins, weight loss supplements, and hair products.
You can also add oils to a diffuser or candles. I have a diffuser and I love creating different concoctions and filling my room with nice smells.
These oils can be anything, there are so many different uses for them. I love it!
Visit the doTERRA website for more info.
I know there's a lot of controversy on feminism these days. With all the confusion of groups such as YesAllWomen or NotAllMen, what exactly defines a feminist? I'm hesitant to call myself a feminist because I like men, but I also want to stand for women's rights. How can I find a healthy balance of the two?
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding feminism, so it makes total sense that you'd be confused about what feminism stands for. For the record, the basic definition of feminism is the social, political, and economical equality of the sexes. In reality, feminism benefits both men and women (for reasons that we'll get to later).
Often, feminists are confused for misandrists. Misandry is the dislike or prejudice against men. There are some women out there, calling themselves feminists, that vocally dislike men. Let's be clear: these women are misandrists. Feminists are not man-haters. So yes, you can be a feminist and appreciate men.
Basic feminism asks that women receive the same amount of respect that men receive. Whether it's in the workplace, the media, or in the home-- men and women should be valued and treated with the same amount of respect.
Think about your own life-- were there any instances (in the workplace, at school, etc.) where you were treated differently because you're a woman? If not, ask around-- your friends might have some horror stories. In the meantime, I can give a few examples from my own life.
There have been instances where I've been accused of being on my period when I was angry or impassioned about something. I've been catcalled and called a bitch when I refused to answer. I've been referred to as "bossy" while co-directing a project, while my male counterpart was simply referred to as "the boss".
And don't even get me started on women in professional environments. How often are women in executive positions referred to as the bitch, while male executives are praised for their relentless work ethic? And what about the media? Women are constantly being objectified in the entertainment world.
Some people might say that these are problems of the past. But there are facts and articles telling us that these issues are still alive and well.
As aforementioned feminism really does benefit both men and women, because it means that both men and women are treated equally. Have you ever noticed that men who are in touch with their feelings are sometimes referred as being "girly" or "feminine"? It's not just an offhand comment. These statements are conditioning our men to show less emotion, and creating a group of tough-guy, emotionally constipated males.
Nowadays, feminism has been warped to portray a completely different ideology. But the bottom line is that basic feminism is simply common sense. Obviously men and women should be treated equally. Obviously men should be allowed to express their emotions. Obviously we should all be treated with the same amount of respect.
You want to find a healthy balance in your life? Just call yourself a feminist. Not a misandrist, but a feminist. So do what you love, treat everyone with respect, and kick some major ass.
By Melanie Walker
Ah, Spring. One of the best times of the year: the time for beginnings, blossoms, and baseball. That’s right, ladies. I’m talking about those tight-pants-wearing players with the messy hair that sticks out of their caps.
Picture this: it’s a warm spring night in May and the dude you’re interested in wants to take you out on a date to the ballgame. Or maybe you scored some free tickets to the minor league game that’s happening that night and you have someone special in mind to take.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer a little dirt on your diamonds and this is your ideal date.
There’s just something special about sitting in those hard chairs sharing a blanket with someone your love, anticipating the next pitch on a 4 Ball 3 Strike while your team’s bases are loaded, with a hot dog in one hand and a Coke in your cup holder.
But for those girls who aren’t as stoked about the ballpark due to lack of cognizance when it comes to the rules, don’t worry— I got you covered. You’ll be baseball-chic in no time, and, quite impressive on your date!
Here is The Basic Baseball Low-Down:
(Oh, and if you don’t want to go to the game because you think baseball is boring, please see someone about that; I can assure you that nothing is boring about a sport that requires such meticulous technique, strength, and teamwork.)
Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, played on an enclosed field.
The infield is a 90-foot square. The outfield is the area between two foul lines formed by extending two sides of the square from home plate.
There are nine innings in a game and three outs for each team.
The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.
A fielder is any defensive player. A batter is any offensive player.
A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.
The catcher is the fielder who takes his position back of the home base and catches the pitcher's pitch when the batter does not hit the pitch.
A runner is an offensive player who is advancing toward, or touching, or returning to any base.
A tag is when a fielder in touches a base or the runner with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove
A strike is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire. Strikes occur when the batter misses his pitch or does not hit the ball when it is in the strike zone.
The strike zone is the swinging area eligible for strike-outs by the pitcher.
A ball is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter.
An out is one of the three unsuccessful tries of a score from offensive team during its time at bat.
The players of the home team take their defensive positions and the first batter of the visiting team takes his position in the batter's box.
The game begins when the Umpire calls, “play.”
The batting order has to be followed throughout the entire game unless players are substituted for another.
A batter has legally completed his time to bat when he is put out or becomes a runner.
Batters are put out by:
Batters advance to their bases by:
Once the batter advances to first base, he is considered a runner.
A run is scored each time the runner legally touches first, second, third, and home base before three batters are put out to end the inning.
When three offensive players are legally put out, the teams switch making the team on field the batters and vice versa.
A run is scored One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning.
Whichever team has scored the most runs by the 9th inning wins. However, if teams are tied, the game may go into extra innings until a team wins.
Extra Baseball Terms to Impress
Fly ball: batted ball that goes high in the air straight from the bat without first touching the ground.
Batter’s Box: the area within which the batter shall stand during his time at bat.
Battery: the pitcher and catcher
Ground ball: is a batted ball that rolls or bounces close to the ground.
Wild Pitch: an error pitch that is not hit by the batter, and not stopped by the catcher, that enables the runners to advance.
So there you have it. Your own personal instruction manual to read up on before the game. Don’t forget to use these terms, put on that ball cap, and always remember: you don’t score points in baseball, only runs.
(Images via crunchyroll.com)
By Sadie Young
Happy Star Wars Day! In honor of this momentous holiday, we present to you seven Star Wars-themed products to brighten your nerd-tastic life.
1. R2D2 Car Charger
Make R2D2 your new traveling companion with this phone car charger.
2. Decor Pillow
I won’t these in my future home someday…when I have someone to share them with (insert crying laughing emoji). These are a perfect addition to the master bedroom.
3. Lightsaber Earrings
I’m all about the little details when it comes to representing my fandom, especially when they’re from the dark side.
4. Art Prints
This artist is fabulous and has the best Star Wars art (and other nerd art as well). Check out SuperEmoFriends on Etsy!
5. Death Star Shower Curtain
Because who wouldn’t want to shower behind the death star? This is definitely on my list of things to buy.
6. Han Solo in Carbonite Fridge
Just in case you needed a place to house your “Carbonited” beverages.
7. Darth Vader Toaster
Trust me, you’ll never want normal toast again.
While the amount of Star Wars memorabilia is quite staggering, hopefully this helps to narrow down the list of things to splurge your tax refund on… don’t get trampled by any AT-ATs out there and, as always may the force be with you.