What's On My Christmas List This Year

What's On My Christmas List This Year

Santa better get his wallet ready.

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It's the most wonderful time of the year with two weeks left in the semester and a one month break calling my name. Christmas is right around the corner and we all know what that means: time to break out the Christmas list.

This year, whether I receive these items as presents or impulsively buy them myself, I just want to say how grateful I am for everyone in my life, both old and new. No item on this list can replace the friendships I have.

But on a superficial note, here's what I'm asking for this year:

1. Nike Air Force 1's

Basic, I know, but they match with everything and I need a new pair of non-trashed white shoes. I can thank Castle Court for destroying my once perfect, white Vans.

https://www.nike.com/t/air-force-1-07-womens-shoe-KyTwDPGG

2. JBL Flip 4

Pregame in my room every weekend spring semester. We're always in my room anyway, so it's about time I stop borrowing my friend's speaker and get my own.

I also just like to blast music when I'm in the room, so it all works out.

https://www.jbl.com/bluetooth-speakers/

3. William Sonoma Peppermint Bark

Nothing screams Christmas quite like William Sonoma peppermint bark. Pulling this out of my stocking Christmas morning is easily the best part of the day. Please get yourself a box if you haven't tried it, it's to die for.

https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/peppermint-bark/

4. Chipotle Gift Card

I cannot stand the dining hall food, so I end up spending more time in Chipotle than I do in the library. My friends know me well enough to know that they can convince me to do anything if getting Chipotle is part of the plan, but my bank account cries every time I decide to splurge on that burrito bowl AND chips and guac.

5. Hydroflask

$2 water bottles from the vending machine start to add up. I have reusable bottles, but the Hydroflask is such an aesthetic, I can't resist. And of course, it has to be pink.

https://www.hydroflask.com/18-oz-standard-mouth-flex/

6. Money

Please just send any dollar amount my way. I'll even attach my Venmo. I didn't realize how fast I can spend money when I don't have a job. At least in high school when I went on shopping sprees I could work extra shifts to make up for the new pair of shoes.

7. Fuzzy Socks

As soon as the cold season hits, I break out the fuzzy socks. I can never have too many, especially because they seem to go missing every time I do laundry.

8. Glossier Perfume

This scent is absolutely FYE. Glossier as a whole is an amazing makeup brand, but this perfume trumps any fancy perfume you can get at Bloomingdales, in my opinion. It's light, but also has a notable aroma that lingers. The bottle is cute, too.

https://www.glossier.com/products/

9. I.AM.GIA Pixie Coat in Black

Yes, I own the tan one, but I can really never have too many jackets. The Pixie Coat matches with everything and it keeps me so warm on windy days here in Cuseland. My closet may burst after this last jacket purchase, but we keep on moving on.

https://iamgia.com/products/pixie-coat-black

10. LPA Puffer Jacket 600 from Revolve

I lied, the Pixie Coat will not be the last jacket. The 80's are making a comeback with their colorblock windbreakers and bright colored puffer jackets and I am absolutely all for it. I own one in hot pink, so they can keep each other company in my closet between uses.

https://www.lpathelabel.com/products/jacket-600-black

11. Longchamp Le Pliage Neo Large Nylon Tote in Black

I saw this bag while I was Black Friday shopping and I fell in love. I couldn't splurge $190 on one item because Bloomingdale's was the first store I hit that night, but I knew I had to take a picture for a later date. I have the same one in navy, but it's too small to hold an overabundance of items. This bag is much larger, perfect for traveling, and will match with anything in my closet.

https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/longchamp-large-le-pliage-neo-nylon-tote/

12. Voevia Light Brown from Aldo

Another Black Friday find. I've seen these shoes, or shoes very similar, in so many pictures and they are absolutely adorable. I've been needing a cute pair of waterproof shoes to wear to class since there's always some type of precipitation here.

https://www.aldoshoes.com/us/en_US/Women/Footwear/Boots/Ankle-boots/Voevia/

Just let it be known that I don't necessarily believe I'm going to receive everything on this list, it's a lot, I know. I am a shopaholic, though, and like to follow trends, so it isn't too hard for me to find things that I want. Plus, hopefully this adds some inspiration to those who need to find something to add to their lists this year.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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5 Things I'm Going To Do To Better Myself This Summer

Every summer I tell myself that I'm going to make a change, but this summer is when I'm finally going to do it.

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After years and years of telling myself that I was going to have a summer "transformation", I finally committed myself to it this summer. This school year was a bit rough to say the least. I was sick for six months, in the hospital for a few weeks, my identity was stolen, and I was ghosted by eight different guys... Yeah, you heard me. Eight. So as you can see, my year was a bit shitty. But it took all of that to finally make me buckle down and want to make a change in my life. It's about time that I focus on my mental and physical health and I've never been more ready. Here are 5 of the things I'm going to do this summer to better myself:

1. Kick box

Last summer I started kick-boxing and it is one of the hardest workouts I've completed. Not only was I in the best shape of my life for a couple months last summer, but it also improved my mental health drastically. It gave me an outlet to channel all of my negative energy whether it was in the heat of the moment or if it had building up inside me for months. After the tragedies of this school year, I am more than ready to get back into the gym and get all of my energy out. Not only will I be in great shape again, but my mental health is sure to get back on track in no time.

2.  Practice yoga

Over the years I have dabbled in yoga, but this summer I really want to focus on my practice. I've considered buying a yoga membership but those can get quite expensive, so I'm going to resort to YouTube to practice yoga about 5 times a week. This will not only improve my mental health but also improve my physical health and give me some designated time each day to devote to working on myself in all aspects.

3. Paint and draw

In the past, painting and drawing has been another outlet that I've channeled my bottled up energy. Whenever I've gone through a breakup or had a falling out with a friend, I painted and used my emotion to inspire art from the root of my feelings. The art that I produce when I'm feeling down is some of the best artwork that I create, but if I get in the regular practice of painting, I will have another outlet to channel my energy and focus on the promotion of creativity and mental health. Not to mention, I might have some really cute room decor by the end of the summer.

4. Write

Now I am a writing major, but sometimes I find myself in a rut. However, whenever I get ghosted or whenever I feel self conscious I am completely inspired. I am full of words and thoughts and feelings and there is no better way to channel those thoughts than by putting them down on paper. Getting those thoughts out and making them tangible is a great way to relieve stress and promote good mental health and I plan to focus on that this summer. This will help me to better myself, but also will allow me to enlarge my portfolio, helping me develop professionally in the process.

5. Go to therapy

Last summer I attended therapy quite regularly in the month of August due to my binge eating being at its worst, but I wish I'd attended therapy all summer to help keep things in regulation. This summer I plan to attend therapy every other week, not due to any particular reason, but rather to practice good mental health on a biweekly basis and to be prepared in case of a flare up or an unexpected event. Going to therapy is perfectly normal and healthy and is quite beneficial when it comes to improving mental health and self awareness. I plan to really tackle this this summer in order to ensure a mentally healthy summer and the start of a healthy and happy school year next fall.

I know it's hard to buckle down and tell yourself that you're going to make a change, but I highly encourage you to try it this summer. Even if you only last a week, you still dedicated a week to trying to better yourself and that says a lot. Try kick-boxing or yoga or painting or whatever helps you focus and channel your energy. Even if it's a small start, it's better than nothing, and I guarantee you'll be thanking yourself at the end of the summer.

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