As a proud feminist, I admire the strength and courage of the women in history before me. The women who dared to think radically, risked their lives, and ultimately changed the course of American history. Notably, half of the women on this list are African-American. I came to know many of the names on this list through I loved as a child: Book of Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle Volume Two. I found the book in my elementary school library about a decade ago, and fell in love with their thrilling, admirable stories immediately. Many of them didn’t use weapons or force to wage their wars: they used words, art, media, music, and non-violent organizations. The more I read it, the more I loved it, and I received my own copy on my tenth birthday. There are countless more wonderful women I could include on this list, but these are the top six that have made the largest impact on me.

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Ida B. Wells. Like nearly every African-American women in the nineteenth century, Ida B. Wells was no stranger to a difficult and tragic upbringing. When she was just fourteen years of age, her parents and a brother died of yellow fever, leaving her to take care of her five other siblings on her own. Miraculously, Wells managed to raise them all and still continue her own education, eventually finding herself as a writer for a local black weekly newspaper. Using her powerful words as weapons, Wells published stories of racism and injustice brazenly. Ida B. Wells had to carry two pistols at all times to protect herself, and had to escape Memphis in 1892 to escape a lynch mob. Even after these threats, Wells continued to establish herself as a fierce and talented journalist, eventually planting herself in New York to write for the New York Age. She was also one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), though the latter is unfortunately not usually recognized.

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Sophie Scholl. In the two-week or so period I spent studying Nazi Germany  in middle school, I’d say about half a class period was spent discussing the incredible story of Sophie Scholl. IF that. In a day of age seeping with Nazi propaganda, Sophie Scholl established herself as outspoken and enduring. With her brother, Han, and a handful if other German students, Scholl became involved in a campaign known as the White Rose, which aimed to expose the innocent murder of Jews under Hitler’s reign. After famously papering her university campus with pamphlets exposing the horrors of Nazi Germany, Scholl and the other members of the White Rose were taken into brutal custody. Sophie was interrogated for seventeen hours, emerged at the Munich Palace of Justice with a broken leg, and then was denied the right to speak at her trial. Over the voices of her opposers, Sophie boldly cried, “Somebody had to make a start! What we said and wrote are what many people are thinking. They just don’t dare say it out loud!” Scholl was beheaded at the age of twenty-one for speaking out about white supremacy in Nazi Germany, but still, her memory and dedication to the White Rose is not forgotten.


Marian Anderson. Marian Anderson’s story was the first page I flipped open to in the library book, and admittedly, she was also my first crush. Like many classical performers in the twentieth century, Anderson discovered her love for music through singing in her church choir as a child. She spent her earlier days touring Europe as a concert singer and contralto, eventually earning herself reviews that stated she was “making music that probed too deep for words.” Despite her popularity in Europe, Marian Anderson was denied several opportunities in the United States due to her being African-American. She was even refused a performance at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., which led to a protest against the decision lead by Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1978, Anderson was rightfully awarded with the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center Honor for her service to the music community.

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Ruby Bridges. Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges will always be most notably remembered as the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. At only six years-old, Bridges had to be escorted to class every day by her mother and U.S. marshals to protect her safety. Because many parents disagreed with Ruby’s presence at the school, many of the children were even pulled out to avoid interacting with her. Despite the blatant racism, death threats, and harrowing behaviours Ruby faced, she was praised by her family and teachers for exhibiting unwavering bravery and strength. After completing her education and going on to study travel and tourism, Ruby Bridges settled down in New Orleans with her husband and four sons. She formed the Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1999 after the murder of her youngest brother, Malcolm, with the hopes of promoting tolerance and respect. To this day, though she is not extensively recognized, her contributions to civil rights activism are nothing short of exceptional.


Mary Wollstonecraft. I couldn’t complete this list without mentioning talented writer and feminist icon, Mary Wollstonecraft. I admire her for so many things: her passion, her newfangled thinking, and ultimately, her trailblazing writings. She argued in her famous work A Vindication of the Rights of Women that women were deliberately trained to be incapable powerless. Though a radical thought at the time, Wollstonecraft pushed the idea of equal education and radical reform for women of all backgrounds. Her book caused considerable controversy and failed to bring about any immediate reforms, but by the 1840s, the women’s movements began to resurrect her ideas. I wished I had been able to study Wollstonecraft’s life more deeply in high school, but unfortunately, my curriculum did not put a lot of emphasis or attention on any of these women. Hopefully, this article can shine the little bit of light and love on them that they deserve.

Works consulted:

Igus, Toyomi. Book of Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle. Vol. 2, Reading Rainbow.


If there’s one thing I find myself buying again and again, it’s certainly metaphysical crystals. Not only are gems and crystals aesthetically pleasing and (generally) cheap, they also offer a wide variety of healing properties for both mental and physical health. As of right now, I’m just starting to get over an awful viral infection that unfortunately kept me bedridden and away from the blog for almost a week, so I’m happy to finally be back on my feet with new content! Here is the newest cluster of crystals that I’ll be adding to my collection.

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Orange calcite. Beautiful, powerful, and cleansing, orange calcite works similarly to a vacuum in your body. While many stones have specific areas of the body that they are best suited for, calcite is actually quite versatile in its powers. Meditating with the stone enables your body to be cleansed of negative energy throughout all seven chakras, making it a great beginner stone for any new crystal lovers. Calcite is also very abundant, and is found in large deposits all over the world. Try meditating with orange calcite on your solar plexus chakra to improve self-esteem and overall positive energy.

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Purple fluorite. Fluorite is a lovely pastel medley of pinks, blues, and foamy greens, known best for its harmonizing qualities. Because its colors are cooler-based, the chakras with which it best correlates are the throat, third eye, and crown chakras. It is arguably one of the best stones to assist in studying, retaining information, and overall focus of the mind, making it a student’s best friend. On top of heightening mental abilities, fluorite can also help with physical pains like arthritis, bone ailments, and jaw/tooth issues.

aquamarine.jpgAquamarine. Aquamarine is yet another strong healing gem that has been used and cherished for centuries. In the ancient times, seamen carried aquamarine to promote safe travel across the ocean. It is also ideal for relaxation, promoting sleep, and lessening anxiety. As someone who struggles with a handful of fears and phobias, I find a great deal of comfort from aquamarine, and aspire to keep it close with me often. Similarly to the ocean’s energy, aquamarine is smooth, harmonizing, and comforting.

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Smoky quartz. Smoky quartz is a versatile stone for both physical and emotional applications, and even considered by some to be the very best stone for keeping yourself grounded. Meditating with smoky quartz at your root chakra will promote positive thoughts and calmness, while eradicating physical pain at the same time. This stone is a perfect tool for anyone suffering with back pain, cramps, sore muscles, and general nervousness. According to Village Silversmith, “Wearing or carrying smoky quartz aids our auric fields, enabling us to see phenomenal such as ghosts, UFOs, fairies, and spirit guides.” Obviously, not everybody is a big believer in magical phenomenon, but it’s still a very interesting point to add.

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Red Jasper. In general, jasper is a very energizing and vigorating stone, making it ideal for the root and sacral chakras. Because there are so many types of jasper, it’s impossible to categorize them all by one specific set of properties; red jasper is actually very contrasting from any other type of jasper. In my own personal words, I tend to jokingly refer to red jasper as the “sexy stone.” Red jasper has been proven to increase fertility, sexual function, and general stamina, so the name seemed fitting enough to me. Additionally, red jasper is used for banishing evil promoting protection, with accounts of this going back to the fifteenth century. When you find yourself overwhelmed by nightmares, try to sleep with this stone nearby.

bumblebee jasper.jpgBumblebee Jasper. If red jasper were to be considered the “evil twin,” then this sunny block of brilliant yellows must be the “good” one. Bumblebee jasper is actually technically not jasper- it contains no quartz- but still contains strong metaphysical properties for your mind and body. Because gemstone colors generally correlate with their perfect chakra, you may have guessed by now that bumblebee jasper is perfect for the solar plexus chakra. Using this stone can energize your soul, promote personal growth, and improve your self-esteem. Think of it as a little ray of sunshine in your pocket, spreading happiness and positivity.


Moonstone. Pure, mysterious, and utterly gorgeous- I was so happy to finally get a tumbled moonstone today. Since the earliest times, moonstone has been documented as an amulet of protection and a tangible connection to the moon itself. Like many white or light-colored stones, moonstone is ideal for the crown and third-eye chakras. Sleeping and meditating with moonstone close by will connect you to a higher presence and a deeper state of mind, especially if you are a more sensitive person than others. Additionally, it is a great stone for love, and is believed to reunite those who parted in anger.

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Tigers Eye. Tigers Eye is prideful, confident, and ideal for boosting your self-esteem. If you find yourself feeling scared of a new experience or journey that you will be embarking on, carrying Tigers Eye can help to rectify your anxiety or fear. Some crystal healers also believe that Tigers Eye can help those suffering from personality disorders or mental illness, though there is no scientific proof to confirm this. Nonetheless, Tigers Eye aids harmony and balance in difficult situations, and profoundly amplifies overall energy.


Emerald. As green correlates with the heart chakra, it probably comes as no surprise that emerald promotes love and domestic bliss. As an Aries, I feel a particularly strong connection to emerald and bloodstone, which are my gemstones. Wearing emerald brings warmth and positive emotions, and encourages harmony in both your body and your living space. This is truly the stone of unconditional love, so use it in times when you wish to nurture your heart and warm up your soul. As once noted by St. Hildegard of Bingen, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” Keep this stone intimate and safely protected, and its healing properties will reach you.

Further reading:

Where to buy crystals:
Disclosure: While I am a strong supporter of metaphysical healing, crystals should never fully replace medical care or be used to diagnose any illness! Make sure you speak with your doctor if you have any serious illnesses that need a more thorough treatment. That being said, stay safe, happy, and have fun with your crystals! Xoxo, Sarah

As you (probably) know, I happen to be a very big fan of thrift shopping. It’s affordable, it’s sustainable, and it translates to a completely unique wardrobe! My favorite thrift shop is The Garment District in Cambridge, but since it can be a headache to get down there when I’m home from college, I usually opt for Goodwill instead. You’d be surprised; beyond those funky-looking sweaters and bizarre accessories, there are actually some fabulous gems hiding.

This cream-colored Banana Republic blouse. My first thought when I clapped eyes on this delicate summer-y top was, “Oh my god! I’ll look like Truly Scrumptious!” After that public broadcast, the rest was history. The material is transparent and light, making it a great addition to any sundress. And, because the color is so neutral, it can be paired with almost any color scheme.   


These vintage Anne Klein kitten heels. I tend to wear a lot of warm-toned outfits, so when I find the perfect vintage warm-toned shoe in my size, it’s a happy day. These heels are surprisingly comfortable and easy to dance around in, despite their delicate nature. They also appeared brand-new when I bought them, and no scuff marks could be seen on the bottom. I’m a bit of a health stickler when it comes to buying old shoes, so I’m extremely happy with the quality.


This lovely floral patterned scarf. I used to have tons of girly cotton scarves dotted around my closet, but unfortunately, they seem to have vanished over the years. It’s time to start rebuilding my collection, starting with this absolutely gorgeous piece. Scarves are the pinup girl’s best friend: they’re versatile, comfortable, and add a strong statement to any looks requiring some extra jazz. If I remember correctly, this scarf was only four dollars!


This roomy Old Navy carpet bag. When I say roomy, I’m seriously not kidding around. This carpet bag can hold my phone, wallet, keys, medications, KNITTING NEEDLES, and water bottle all at once. The bag is in stellar condition for being secondhand, too; the lining is perfectly intact. I also personally prefer the clasp over a zipper, which I find tends to break down over time. Sultry summer date nights, here I come.


This Joseph A. sweater with embroidered flowers. There’s something so unique and delicate about this piece, and it caught my eye immediately, and the tiny flowers around the collar add a truly adorable touch. The material is also fairly light and stretchy, making it ideal for these moderately warm New England summers.


This absolutely amazing FOUR DOLLAR bag. The minute I laid eyes on it, I knew it was made for me. Talk about traveling overnight in style! The bag also came with a tiny phone holder and miniature zip-bag, ideal for holding smaller essentials. Being the summer-hater I am, the chances are I will not be bringing this gem to the beach, but I’ll be sure to find an even better purpose for it. The bag is also enhanced with beaded details, adding a bit of sparkle and interest to the already beautiful design.



The people have spoken, and this is what they want.


My bestest buddy is a six year-old labrador named Duke. While he may appear roly-poly on the outside, beyond all that blubber is a real heart of gold. So, of course, why wouldn’t I want to share pictures of him snoozing with the Internet?

Here he is as a young, baby floofer. And yes, that’s me holding him for the first time!


Duke happens to be a very fashionable dog. One of his favorite sleeping accessories is this lovely tartan plaid scarf. duke2

Truly, a more magnificent sight has never been seen.


He’s ready for his close-up!


Duke is very compliant with mid-snooze pats.


He really KNEEds to get his rest…




I mean, is that really comfortable?


*Cries from cuteness overload*


Oh, did I mention Duke has a liking for sleeping on filthy laundry?


Sweet dreams, cherub.


If you’re not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, this article probably won’t make very much sense. INFJ is one of the sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types, and an extra-special one, dare I say. INFJs are the rarest personality type and make up less than one percent of the population. As an INFJ myself, it was an extremely rewarding experience to finally take the test and realize that my uniqueness and sensitivity is a good thing. I also began researching characters who are believed to be INFJs in literature, and found myself astounded by the results.

Side note: Obviously, MBTI is not a proven science, and thus, these ideas are my opinions and not necessarily factually proven. That being said, I did consult quite a few forums to verify my thoughts. Also, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Let’s refresh: What are the indications of an INFJ? Primarily, you can identify an INFJ by their strong intuition, sensitivity, and strong emotions. We enjoy spending time alone, reflecting on events of the day and the interactions we endured. Fiercely independent and quietly strong-willed, INFJs have left their mark on the world for centuries.

Ivy Walker

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“I see the world, just not as you see it.”

Though there may have been a few logical flaws in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2004 thriller The Village, heroine Ivy Walker was one of the golden characters that held the story together. Even in the face of fear, trauma, and loss, Ivy, a blind character, demonstrated incredible strength. One of the INFJ’s greatest tributes is their empathy for others, and Ivy’s emotional courage is what makes the plot relatable. Though a part of her has empathy for Noah Percy’s developmental disability, she ultimately must choose Lucius’ life over his. Soft spoken and unconditionally loyal to her family, Ivy is the true embodiment of an INFJ.

Atticus Finch

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view; until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Clearly, literary superhero Atticus Finch is an extremely complex character with a wildly fluctuating reputation (especially after the release of Go Set a Watchman). No matter how you feel about the father of Jem and Scout, it can’t be denied that his foresight and individuality sets him apart from peers in his community. While his Intuition (N) is introverted, his Feeling (Fe) is very extroverted- seen in how he encourages Scout to look at the world from a new perspective. One of the INFJ’s greatest assets is their diplomatic attitude, and Finch embodies this perfectly with his deep thinking and desire to make everybody happy, if possible.

Nitta Sayuri (Chiyo)


“This is why dreams can be such a dangerous thing; they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely.”

One of the reasons I loved Memoirs of a Geisha so much was because I truly felt like I identified with the main character, Sayuri. In true INFJ fashion, she is quiet, reserved, and peaceful on the outside. On the inside, however, Sayuri is brewing with visions of an idealistic future for herself and the Chairman. Sayuri is a hopeless romantic, often lost in the dream of what could be. She understands the balance between reality and idealism, but still secretly hopes for a future in which her soul can truly flourish. Delicate as a flower, but stronger than fire, Sayuri weaves a beautiful account of the INFJ in Memoirs of a Geisha.  

Lindsay Weir

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“Just ’cause a girl speaks her mind, doesn’t mean she’s a psycho.”

If you were a teenager in the 1990s, there’s a solid chance you probably remember the short-lived television show Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay, who openly struggles with peer pressure throughout the season, is easily swayed by her friends. She also serves as a mediator for many of the characters, quietly observing the change in her friends as they grow and mature together. Lindsay is perhaps one of the most thoughtful characters on the show, viewing life as a big picture rather than a collection of small details.

Jay Gatsby


“There I was, way off my ambition, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care.”

As perhaps the most controversial character on the list, Jay Gatsby goes through one of the most dramatic character developments I’ve ever seen in a mere 192 pages. Though extremely idealistic and determined to achieve his goals, his weaknesses ultimately lead to his death. When an INFJ truly, deeply loves someone or something, the chances of tearing him/her away from their goal is slim to none. Gatsby’s love for Daisy and relentless pursuing of her just shows how out of touch with reality he can be, despite being extremely intellectual. Gatsby is quiet, observant, and clearly ambivalent as he switches between a wild party goer and an idealistic lover.

Daenerys Targaryen


“I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.”

I’m not a big watcher of Game of Thrones, but it didn’t take me very long to pick up a few clues about Daenerys. Though shy on the surface, she is a powerful ruler and a stubborn believer of what she feels is right. She is also extremely sensitive to criticism, and fiercely believes that all of her ideas must be righteous. Because her intuition and understanding of humanity are so strong, Daenerys understands what the other characters need to succeed and persevere. And, like every other character on this list, she is a strong advocate for social justice.  

Who are your favorite INFJs in literature? Let me know in the comment section!

Take the test yourself:

Picture Citations

There seems to be an assumption going around that vegans only eat raw fruits and vegetables. I, in fact, first learned about this phenomenon through a meme on facebook:


I mean, for one thing, I haven’t had a “heavy night out” in years. I’m more into the “stay at home and binge-watch The Office” scene. With a bag of Lay’s potato chips. Or a plate of enchiladas.

So clearly, my dietary needs extend a little bit beyond celery and sliced apples. I like a hearty, filling meal just as much as the next person- just without the whole murdering-innocent-animals component. And thus, the veggie burger was born.

If you’ve read up to this point, I’m hoping it’s safe to say you’re interested in my favorite foods to eat on the daily. This is an average meal plan for me, including snacks and how much water I aim to consume over the course of the day.


The time that I eat breakfast varies from day to day, but generally, it’s after eight and before eleven. If I’m working an A.M. shift for that particular day, I’ll probably skip the smoothie bowl and grab some cereal instead. Buuut, if I’ve got some time to kill, a smoothie bowl is ALWAYS a go-to. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and the results are always remarkably tasty. This morning, I blended frozen mango chunks, ice, and bananas to get a base for the bowl- about a handful of each. To garnish and give it that insta-ready look, I added some more bananas, some strawberries, kiwi, peanut butter, granola, and cocoa pieces. The results are refreshing and filling, delivering a perfect punch of protein to get me through the day. Along with the smoothie bowl, I also enjoyed some iced coffee (a must) and a glass of water. I also prepare my portable water bottle, which I enhance by adding fresh fruits or cucumbers.



Lately, I’ve been on a meatless meatball kick. These “meatballs” from Trader Joe’s are truly top notch, and add a rich flavor to any savory meal. Did I mention there are twelve grams of protein in every serving? Because they can be so filling, I sometimes choose to just enjoy them alone. Today, however, I added in a cup of steamed vegetables to bring some color to my meal. By lunchtime, I’ve probably downed half of my water bottle- if not more. Once you make drinking water a routine priority in your daily life, the rest is easy. Drinking water comes just as mindlessly to me as blinking or breathing- it’s not something I need to remind myself to do. Not only does drinking an adequate amount of water keep you feeling hydrated and awake, it’s also great for keeping your skin looking blemish-free.



Before I became a vegan, one of the hardest things I envisioned giving up was pizza. On top of being the token dish at every social get-together, pizza is simple to make and extremely tasty. The good news is, vegan pizza is just as easy to make (and dare I say, even tastier.) My favorite way to prepare pizza is on a piece of vegan naan bread, which is available at most chain grocery stores. Feel free to top your naan pizza with whatever toppings you want, but for me, I only eat my pizza plain. Daiya makes excellent mozzarella-style shreds that melt and taste just like real cheese, I’m happy to report. Once again, I opt for a glass of water with my meal, or polish off my first bottle of flavored water that I made around breakfast time.


Around this time, I’m usually reading, writing for the blog, or catching up with my friends over text. I also tend to get very snacky around this time, as a thin-crust plain pizza doesn’t always quite cut it. Some of my favorite late-night snacks are peanut butter, chips, strawberries, granola, or cereal- or even a combination of two. I also tend to drink a lot of water at night, usually if I’m concentrating on one task for a long period of time. I also LOVE to take steaming hot baths, and enjoy a tall glass of cold water during that as well. If it’s a chilly night and I’m not in the mood to work on projects or take a bath, I enjoy making myself a cup of hot cinnamon tea and parking myself in front of my laptop to watch Netflix. Whatever it is I choose to do, I always make sure I’m satisfied, happy, and ultimately, healthy.


If you’re interested in learning more about my diet, or if you have any suggestions for me, drop a comment below! I look forward to posting again on Wednesday!





Yes, this one’s for all you lovely pinup gals out there. As a practicing pinup myself, one of the best aspects of the style is the lovely compliments I receive from others. Vintage clothing is a timeless taste- one that will never go out of style. Not only is it beautifully classic and easily recognizable, but it’s also extremely fun to shop for! Here, I’ve compiled a list of where I like to find my retro-style clothes. Grace Karin and Belle Poque are available through Amazon, but I will include the link to the websites as well.

Without further adieu, my top three favorite modern vintage shops!

Grace Karin. Grace Karin is probably (actually, definitely) my favorite place to find modern vintage clothes. The prices are fair, the quality is terrific, and the range of prints to choose from is extremely impressive. The website also offers a wide range of styles to choose from, including casual dresses, vintage dresses, prom dresses, petticoats, and accessories. Grace Karin is the 2nd cheapest option for dresses and petticoats, with Belle Poque beating its prices ever so slightly. Belle Poque, if I remember correctly, actually falls under the same company that manufactures the Grace Karin dresses. For that reason, you’ll notice many of the patterns and styles are similar between the two companies.



Belle Poque. As previously stated, Belle Poque carries the most cost efficient options for emerging vintage lovers. Not only do they also offer a wide range of dresses and petticoats, but they sell some prom dresses on the website as well! The vintage aesthetic of the clothes extends far beyond 50s glam as well- you can also find some steampunk Moulin Rouge-style skirts in the “Bottoms” section of the website. Just like Grace Karin, Belle Poque is independently owned and based in the USA. Many of the items are made from thick, breathable, high-quality cotton- something important to polyester haters like me.



Modcloth. While Modcloth may be twice as expensive as Grace Karin and Belle Poque, it doesn’t come without good reason. These clothes are simply impeccably made and impossible to replicate, if I do say so myself. And, unlike Grace Karin and Belle Poque, Modcloth offers a swimsuit and shoe collection! (Remember my vegan sloth flats? Yes, those are from Modcloth). The heels on the website are absolutely adorable, and, if I had a larger disposable income, I’d buy many more of them. If you have a little bit of extra cash around, and you want something really special, I would definitely point you in the direction of Modcloth.



Unique Vintage. One of my favorite things about Unique Vintage is that the clothes are divided by era- so you can pick and choose what selections you’d like to see. Unique Vintage also has a lovely range of plus size options for vintage dresses, swim, and even flapper. The bright patterns, expertise construction, and inclusiveness of this brand makes them one of my personal favorites for picking up vintage goodies. Just like Modcloth, however, the prices are a little up there, so be careful how much you choose to splurge!



All pictures are from the websites they correspond with.

I’m no stranger to mental illness, but I’m not an expert either. That being said, I have picked up a few nuggets of information along the way, especially those pertaining to capitalism and injustice in modern health care. Oh, and the poor handling of mental illness in both public and private educational institutions.

With that out of the way, let’s carry on.

In this day of age, ADHD and ADD are basically slapped on anybody with a hyperactive mind. These diagnoses usually stamped onto the identities of children when they are quite young- more often in boys than in girls. While women are just as likely to have ADHD as a man, the stereotype seems to be that only men are diagnosed with the disorder. For this reason, ADD and ADHD are overwhelmingly underdiagnosed in females who are less likely to exhibit signs of hyperactivity.


In my case, for example, I never had any issues with sitting still in elementary/middle school. In high school, I actually rather enjoyed sitting and taking notes. The only reason I excused myself from class to get my body moving was if I felt a panic attack coming on- not because I was bored. Perhaps the reason I never suspected I had ADD was because of this reason- I wasn’t loud, I wasn’t disruptive, and I wasn’t a “problem.”

The problem is, I did have symptoms of ADD, I just didn’t realize that that’s what they actually were. Looking back, I never had the slightest clue what my math and science teachers were talking about. Lectures, graphs, and numbers would go in one ear and come out the other within seconds. I could study data for hours on end, and my brain still wouldn’t be able to comprehend what I was seeing. Did I feel stupid? Absolutely. Did I think these issues, in fact, were attributed to a learning disability and thus not my fault? No, it never crossed my mind.

And THAT is the problem.

I got through public school with decent grades and a clean record of good behavior, but I did it through what I call intuitive learning. Rather than fundamentally understanding the material itself, I watched the other students and mimicked exactly what they did. I sure didn’t learn anything, but I earned myself the grades I needed.

In science classes which required physical labs, I probably would have seriously injured myself had I not been paired with a lab partner. No matter how hard I tried to listen to directions and visualize the steps in my brain, I just couldn’t grasp the concepts. I obviously wanted to understand the safety procedures and do the work properly, but no matter how hard I tried to focus, I always found myself completely tuning out and focusing on nothingness. No, I wasn’t even just daydreaming, my mind was literally blank.


As I said, these intuitive-learning and people-pleasing tactics got me through high school with decent grades- enough to get me into college at least. I wasn’t the smartest in my class, but I also wasn’t the dumbest- hence why I was never detected as a “problem.”

What I excelled at the most in my high school career were art and English classes, which probably comes as no surprise. I have a much easier time focusing and absorbing information when I’m provided with colors, shapes, textures, pictures, etc., and these types of classes were excellent for my talents. Not only was I flourishing and having a good time learning, I was also recognizing my strengths and realizing that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

Of course, like many other underfunded public schools, my high school didn’t see art and imagination the same way I did. These classes were apparently not as important as mathematics and sciences, as demonstrated when we almost lost ALL art/music classes to budget cuts.

*Deep sigh.*

Can you imagine being a right-brained woman with undiagnosed ADD going through four years of schooling without any clue what’s going on around you?

Luckily, we artists and musicians fought the budget cuts for the classes that we deserved. That’s another story, though- one I’ll surely go into another time.

Anyway, on with the key point. The United States is building a wall (ha) of misdiagnosed mental illness, and the building blocks are ignorance and bias. I could have gotten the help I’d needed earlier and had a much more enriched learning experience in high school, had I known my learning disability was something to be taken seriously. Until we, the adults and the professionals, put more emphasis on true signs of ADD, girls (like younger me) will still avoid coming forward and sharing their struggles. If we all paid a little more attention to how our children, then perhaps these disabilities would be properly diagnosed and treated.

Works consulted/further reading:


I’ve always been a book addict, and an old-school one at that. Not only are my preferred selections are the ones published in the nineteenth century under obsolete pseudonyms, but the way I like to enjoy my novels is rather old-fashioned as well. Tablets and Kindles? Forget it. I need to put a book up to my nose and sniff it to know if I’m going to buy it.

Admittedly, I do frequently reread books the books I love and cherish. Some of the books I read again and again include Anne of Green Gables, Memoirs of a Geisha, When You Reach Me, and Little Women. Anything with a strong female lead a heart-twisting plot evokes both my mind and my wallet, without question. The four books I’m currently reading go as follows:

Memoirs of a Geisha

Author: Arthur Golden

Page Count: 428

Genre: Historical Novel


As previously said, this bestselling novel is one that I find myself picking up again and again. This timeless classic work is so beautifully written, you’ll find yourself periodically forgetting it’s a work of fiction. Nitta Sayuri, the main protagonist, weaves a story of success and prosperity after loss and trauma. Golden gives also gives an extraordinary look into the scenery Japan’s beauty, and reading this book made me want to hop on the next flight to Kyoto. This novel is a perfect blend of history and romance, and a must-have for any serious book lover.


The Name of the Star

Author: Maureen Johnson

Page Count: 372

Genre: Fiction, Ghost Story


For someone who adores books and buys them on a whim, I have a surprisingly difficult time getting into books that I’m not priorly familiar with. And, for this reason, I was a little skeptical to dive into the Shades of London series. Apparently, I didn’t need to worry; I finished this book in three days, and I currently have the second book in my Amazon cart. This book has the perfect elements for a ghost story: a boarding school in London, a century-old killer, and a brashly brave female heroine. And really, what’s cooler than a secret British Police Force that fights off ghosts with diamonds?


And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Page Count: 284

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Psychological Thriller


As you’ve probably caught on to, I’m a sucker for anything that’s spooky and psychologically thrilling. That being said, how could I not pick up a copy of this classic Christie novel? This bestselling thriller has sold 100 million copies worldwide, and as I delve into it, I can see why. Christie’s hauntingly beautiful dialogue and nuggets of details tie the plot together into something truly magical. Similarly to The Name of the Star, I see myself devouring this book within weeks, if not days.



Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

Author: Edith Hamilton

Page Count: 465

Genre: Mythology


Growing up, one of my favorite things to read was a children’s book of mythology stories. I especially loved the tragic (yet oddly fascinating?) story of Persephone’s kidnapping to the underworld, and the tragic death of Icarus. Nothing compares to the beauty and intricacy of these stories, and Edith Hamilton does an excellent job weaving the tales. I love enjoying this book over a cup of ginger tea with my feet kicked up on the ottoman- and maybe The Office playing in the background. (Trust me, I’m an excellent multitasker.)


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Name: Citrine
Chakras: Sacral, Solar Plexus, Crown

Zodiac: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra

Planet: Jupiter

Element: Air


Fun fact! Citrine was known as the “merchant stone,” as it was kept in cash boxes to attract prosperity.

On top of using crystals for my own health and well-being, I also frequently use them on friends and family for reiki-like healing sessions. One of the most common stones I use on the root and sacral chakras is citrine- a beautiful tangerine gemstone which originates from quartz. Citrine is the stone of abundance and success, bringing creativity and prosperity to all of your environments. The energy of citrine is one that is happy, joyful, energetic and vitalizing, on top of being fantastic for your health.

The healing properties of citrine extend to your body, mind, physiological realm, and emotions. If you find yourself feeling heavy and exhausted, meditating with citrine can energize your body and recharge your mind. Citrine also corresponds with the circulation and energy systems, thymus, thyroid, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, and the the female reproductive system. The stone is obviously versatile in what it promotes, making it my go-to for crystal healing sessions.

In regards to the mind, citrine promotes calmness and enhances your concentration, allowing you to focus on important information and steer away from distractions. I personally find myself holding on to citrine and studying it in times when I feel emotionally lost. There is something truly magical and mysterious about the way citrine works; this stone helps you to unearth the confidence and creative drive that may be hiding deep within you. As someone who is extremely sensitive to criticism, I have found that citrine helps me to respond calmly and constructively. Citrine itself possesses a positive attitude, and if you believe in the stone, that positive energy will seep into you as well.

Piggybacking on the mindfulness of citrine, it can also assist with raising self-esteem and overcoming depression. As an Aries myself who struggled with depression in the past, the correspondence between astrology and metaphysicality is something real and raw in my life. I am a highly sensitive person, and possessing a stone like citrine filters my intense energy into something positive and rich. If you want to know more information about citrine and its metaphysical properties, I highly recommend any book by Judy Hall. As for purchasing citrine yourself, Village Silversmith has wonderful authentic crystals. I’ve been buying from them (I live in New England) for many, many years, and recommend them to anyone who is starting out with crystals.

Judy Hall’s Website:

Village Silversmith Website: