Hello, Spring!

I’ve been away for quite awhile (almost three months—yikes). The winter here in Boston has been brutal with consistently below freezing temperatures and the near-snowpocalypse, so going outside to shoot photos has been nearly impossible. Today was the first day that I walked outside and didn’t immediately want to sprint back into the comfort of the heated indoors (you know it’s been a cold winter when 34 degrees feels delightfully warm). The thought of walking around without being bundled up in my marshmallow of a coat is pretty exciting. I’m ready to get back into the swing of blogging!

Here’s a short recap of what happened in the last 11 weeks:

1) Winter break in Orlando, Florida with David and his family: The best way I could’ve imagined wrapping up the crazy year that was 2014. We spent over a week in Orlando and managed to explore almost all of what the area had to offer. David and I were so excited to celebrate an amazing 3 years together and we even got to celebrate New Years surrounded by fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Disney was great and nostalgic, but our favorite park was definitely Universal Studios: we rode every roller coaster (none disappointed) and totally geeked out over Harry Potter World!

  • Parks visited: Seaworld, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, & Magic Kingdom

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2) Girls Write Now: GWN is a super cool organization that offers writing to programs and mentorship opportunities to girls with underprivileged backgrounds in New York City. They’re ranked as one of the best after school programs in the country and each year they publish an anthology of the girls’ hard work—pretty amazing stuff. In January, I had the opportunity to speak about blogging and activism at their Mid-Year Mentee Workshop!

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Photo courtesy of Girls Write Now’s instagram @girlswritenow

 

4) Beginning of my 2nd semester at Wellesley: As great as winter break was, I missed my friends more than anything and was so excited to be reunited with them! We were all so excited to catch each other up on what happened during our winter breaks, and we’ve pretty much been inseparable since. I’m so grateful for these girls! Here’s us celebrating the first snow:

3) Wellesley Women in Business: I joined their executive board as Social Media/Outreach Chair! Ever since applying to Wellesley I’ve wanted to get involved with WWIB, so joining the eboard as a first year is so exciting. This semester I’ll be revamping our organization’s blog, updating our website’s design, and reaching out to more Wellesley students and alums in business. It’s only been two weeks, but I’ve already bonded so much with everyone else on eboard and have nothing but good vibes moving forward!

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    My friend Jen (WWIB’s Publicity Chair) and I behind the scenes at our headshot photoshoot!

5) Internship: I passed two rounds of interviews and got a summer internship in Boston (more on this in a couple weeks)!

4) #WomenOnTheMap: A crazy cool project I’ve been working on for the past year!

Summary of this project from a blog I co-authored for SPARK: “For the past year, we’ve been quietly working on a project that we’re thrilled to finally announce! SPARK has teamed up with Google to put Women On The Map so that wherever you are in the world, you can be alerted about something amazing that a woman did right where you are standing. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are thrilled to launch this unique SPARK “herstorytelling” project on Field Trip, a location-based app created by Google that recommends unique and interesting places to visit. We have “mapped” more than 100 amazing and impressive women, and connected their stories with landmarks and locations significant to their lives in dozens of cities and 28 countries around the world.”

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Ice Skating at the Duck Pond

To make sure we weren’t overwhelmed by finals stress, my friends and I decided to take time out to do one fun thing each day of reading period. Thus, we thought it was a great idea to venture into Boston and skate in the infamous Duck Pond. None of had ice skated in years, so it was hilarious to laugh at each as we repeatedly grasped for the side rails while toddlers skated past with effortless ease. I had some embarrassing near-falls myself. But all in all, it was an incredibly fun day. We can’t wait to visit again!

(Disclaimer: These photos are slightly deceptive—we were actually freezing our butts off.)

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Floppy felt hat: Nordstrom Rack // Shirt, cardigan, scarf: Forever 21 // Gloves: H&M // Jeans: Old Navy

Chérie

Classes have ended and finals are (unfortunately) now in full swing. During weeks like this, I’m commonly spotted in lazy outfits that usually incorporate jeans and sweatshirts, eating lots of pizza at the dining hall, hauling a giant bag over my shoulder (I should really stop doing this, my back hates me), and squinting at my computer.

But I did manage to have one good style day this week.

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Fuzzy jacket: Nordstrom Rack // Boots: Bandolino // Dress: Malloy (bought at Marshall’s) // Beanie: knitted by my grandma

 

What’s On My Radar (11.24-11.30)

1. Being home for Thanksgiving

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Though it took nearly 10 hours of traveling, I was so happy to go home for Thanksgiving this week. Seeing my family, puppy, and close friends for the first time since August provided some much needed love and comfort before I had to head back to Wellesley in preparation for finals. Our family hosted a huge Thanksgiving dinner party that bustled with food, hugs, and delightful conversation. I spent the rest of my time at home watching movies with my mom, drinking tea, going through childhood photos, and snoozing. All in all, it was a wonderful time!

2. Keeping up with news in Ferguson

Rioting erupts in Ferguson, Missouri after police involved shooting of an unarmed teen

It’s impossible to sum up the anguish and incredulity I’ve felt this week regarding the Michael Brown decision in a blog post. Like many, I’m still processing through all of the information and all of my feelings. It has been heartbreaking to see ignorance and hatred, yet inspiring to see thousands of activists around the country mobilizing for action. I am hopeful that such a momentous event as this will cause reverberations for change for decades to come.

Haven’t been following Ferguson? Read up.

3. Zella Day

This girl’s voice is simply a dream and she recently released her first EP titled Zella Day. I’ve had it playing on repeat all week. (It’s on Spotify, go listen.)

3. Smart Girls Guide Holiday Issue

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This month I had the honor of interviewing my friend and prison reform activist Eva Shang! At just 18 years old, she’s a sophomore at Harvard College, directs an education program at a women’s prison, has made numerous TEDx appearances, and served as a UN Girl Up Teen Advisor. She’s someone I’m immensely inspired by and I have faith that she’ll continue doing amazing things in the future! Be sure to check out the interview on pages 13-17.

4. Film: Save My Seoul

I’ve been watching Jubilee Project videos for years now. They’re a small nonprofit film group that makes short films related to social issues, and recently they’ve created their first full feature length documentary about prostitution and sex trafficking in Seoul, South Korea. They screened the film at Wellesley and even hosted a engaging Q&A session afterwards, where we got to learn about what happened behind-the-scenes. It was an incredibly powerful film that combined personal narratives and interviews with experts and activists with and raw, unglamorous footage that captured the exploitative reality of the underground sex industry in Seoul. Though the film hasn’t been officially released, here’s a peek!

5. Floppy felt hats

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Ever since seeing Kristina Bazan rocking floppy hats on Instagram, I’ve fallen in love with the look of these hats. They’re casual, yet add just a little touch of sophistication to an outfit. They’re bold, yet mask the face just enough to create a hint of mystery. Complete with riding boots and neutral colors, you can’t go wrong with these beautiful hats!

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Whew, it’s almost Friday! This week has been packed with exams, problem sets, and essays. I cannot wait to go home for Thanksgiving break to see my family, friends, and Maya (the pup!) for the first time since I’ve gone off to college. Though it’s been an exciting couple of months, I’m definitely ready to cuddle up in my own bed and enjoy a day (or a couple) of napping and Netflix.

As the weather has gotten colder and colder (it’s been in the 30’s in Massachusetts this week!), I’ve been piling on more and more layers. I recently invested in my first pair of riding boots—they’re warm, comfy, and versatile enough to be paired with virtually anything I choose to wear this winter. As for the rest of the look, I decided to throw together something that felt relaxed but chic at the same time. Often times I have to run to a professional event right after class and don’t have time to change, so I’ll whip up something that works for both occasions. Add some accessories, and violà, you’re golden!

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Boots: Bandolino “Carlotta” boots // Bag: Asos (similar here) // Sweater vest & necklace: Forever21 // Button-down shirt: NY&Co. // Lips: NYX  “Perfect Red” lipstick // Watch: thrifted

Life Updates Told Through Instagram

What a crazy semester so far! With so much new freedom and an ever-growing list of things grabbing at my attention, freshman year has been overwhelming, challenging, and wonderful all at the same time. Every day I’m reminded of how lucky I am to receive an education, have access to all these new opportunities, explore new interests, and have the chance to be curious and make mistakes. I feel so incredibly blessed.

Here are some updates from my life, as told through Instagram, when I don’t have the chance to write full blog posts!

Fall Break in the Big Apple

It hurts to think of how terrible I’ve been at keeping up with my blog since college started. To be honest, between classes, studying, spending time with friends, working on extracurricular projects, and working part-time as a photographer, any extra time I have is spent sleeping. (Excuses, excuses, I know.) Nevertheless, I believe that late is better than never.

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I spent fall break visiting friends in New York City!

At Wellesley it’s consensual amongst almost everyone that if you stay on campus longer than a week, you’ve trapped yourself in the Wellesley Bubble. Though I make an effort to get off campus at least once a week, during midterms season I was definitely guilty of being too lazy and tired to go into Boston. It was such a wonderful feeling to leave campus for a few days and travel a bit.

After an hour on the train and five hours on a bus (*shudders at the memory*), I arrived at the familiar Port Authority Bus Terminal in Times Square. Seeing the familiar Hudson News storekeeper’s face, smelling the smells of coffee and exhaust, and hearing the city’s bustling traffic, I remembered how anxious I felt the first time I traveled to NYC alone. Now, the city felt smaller, safer, and kinder. What a difference a year can make.

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Yummy Asian deserts at The Spot Desert Bar in Midtown!

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That’s my friend Alexia! We became really close through a summer program at Brown University two years ago, but since she lived in California and I lived on the East coast, we weren’t able to get hangout since. Now that she goes to college in NYC, we’re super excited to see each other more often. It amazed me that even after two years, it felt like we picked up exactly where we left off!

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Day 1: The first thing I did upon arriving was take the subway up to Columbia University to visit my friend Alexia. We had an amazing time catching up on life, comparing our college experiences, and having lunch at a cute restaurant on Broadway. After she had to leave for her music rehearsal, I took the subway downtown to New York University to meet up with my friend Alyssa. We had dinner at an Asian restaurant nearby, and I swear, I almost fainted upon tasting lo mein for the first time in months.

Day 2: Alyssa and her friend Angela decided to take me shopping Soho! The prices for most of the stores were way out of our student budgets, but it was still super fun to look at all the beautiful clothes on display. I bought some long sleeve shirts, scarves, and coats that’ll definitely come in handy for wintertime in Boston. It started raining in the afternoon, so we decided to have a low-key day. We went to an adorable Asian desert bar, lounged around at Alyssa’s dorm, and made late night pasta!

Day 3: After saying goodbye to Alyssa, I took the subway to Union Station to meet my friend Evelyn, who also happens to be one of David’s best friends from freshman year. We grabbed a quick lunch at the Whole Foods nearby and filled each other in on school and life. Even though it was super quick, I was so glad to see her and catch up! Soon afterwards, I hopped on a bus to go back to Boston.