FREE HUGS for the Degenerate Beauty Queens

Image

To quote Lana Del Rey, we are a bunch of “degenerate beauty queens”. It’s unfortunate that our generation is so warped into this dehumanizing way of life. We live in a world where we give people weird looks when they wave to us or think someone is being creepy when they’re just smiling. You let a car go in front of you and, 89% of the time, you don’t even get a thank you’ wave. We spend more time on our phones than we do having an actual face to face conversation. When was the last time you started a conversation with a stranger? If you go into a doctors office nowadays, all you see is everyone on their phones. I think the lack of verbal and physical human interaction has caused us to become these stuck-up Miranda Priestly (Devil wears Prada [Meryl Streep's character, the snobby bitch]), where it’s all business, all the time. I was becoming this Miranda-Priestly-zombie until I went to the NCSL leadership conference in Arlington, VA and met some amazing people. One of them is Tom Krieglstein (I had to google his last name because I definitely butchered that!), who was the MC of our conference. He brought the FREE HUGS campaign to our attention and it really sparked something inside of me.
Image

ImageHe showed us this video that shows a man walking around with a sign that says, “Free Hugs” and him walking around hugging strangers.  I got a bit emotional watching it because I thought to myself, “how sad is it that there are not more people like this out there?” I turned to my gal pal, Sarah and said “THIS IS MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL!” After hearing the story of Juan Mann, it didn’t take much to get me on board, nor did it take much to get my fellow student senates to join in as well.

ImageWhile we were waiting for the time to board our flight, we spent an hour walking around and holding the “FREE HUGS” signs and this was the reaction we received:


This inspired me to start this club with my friend called, PaK which stands for “Positivity and Kindness”. Our mission is to show that with very little efforts, you can make a positive imPAKt [punny!] on lives through simple acts of kindness. Movements such as FREE HUGS, cost nothing but you can see from the video that this made a lot of people smile. The world is already cruel enough. If more people went out there and tried to make it a better– then maybe people wouldn’t be so bad. This also motivated me to donate my birthday for a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. Pencils of Promise is something that I believe in because I see education as an absolute necessity in changing the world. Some people don’t share my views but I truly feel that if everyone is educated than there would be less ignorance and therefore better judgement. Who knows, there could be a child out there who will be able to cure aids one day, or a child who will one day become a leader that says NO to war–all that child need is an education. You can totally support this effort, and give me the best birthday present in the whole entire world by donating here.

Follow PaK on twitter : @jointhePAK

Touring through Washington, DC during the NCSL conference.

ImageI was glad to have been able to have some free time to go on a tour around Washington, DC during the National Center for Student Leadership conference (NCSL). I felt I have learned more from being there, on that tour, than I’ve ever had in any of my history classes throughout my whole academic career. There is something about being physically there that just makes you retain more information and seek more knowledge about different things. Such as, did you know that George Washington laid cornerstones to the U.S Capitol Building but died before it was finished? Our tour guide was knowledgable and provided us with the substantial amount of information. I mean, I feel as though I can now probably answer some questions on jeopardy! Kidding, kind of.
ImageThe only complaint that I have really have about this tour is that we were on a strict time limit; I was pretty upset about not being to walk closer towards the Capitol Building because we had to get back on the bus to get to another stop. I have this weird thing where I want to actually physically touch the building to feel complete. Is that weird? Probably so but it gives me this weird I’m touching history feeling and not being able to walk up there– it made me pretty annoyed.

ImageAhh, the White House. I remember in fourth grade, I looked up how many rooms there are in the White House and when I learned that there were 132 rooms..my initial thoughts were, “holy cow, I feel bad for the person who has to mop those floors!”. As I got older, my concern for the cleanliness of the house is not as apparent but what is is my desire to live in this house one day. Whether I marry a President or become President– I will live in the White House.

The rest of the tour consisted of walking around different memorial sites and I can’t even begin to explain to you how each site touched me differently. What broke my heart was seeing the Vietnam Memorial wall face to face. Knowing that every name listed is a life gone too soon (or missing in action) is unsettling. The worst is while I’m standing there, teary eyed, staring at these names– I hear a teenage say, “I know veterans are people who are dead….sooooo how do you know which of these names are people who are dead?” I was so mortified by her statement because of her tone of voice as she said it. She was completely nonchalant and did not really seem to care about her surroundings. Her ignorance is truly what scares me for the future because she is our future. TEACH YOUR KIDS!
ImageImageImageOne of the best things about all this is experiencing DC with some of the best people. My fellow student senates and I were able to get closer because this trip. It’s nice to be able to be with a group of motivated, energetic people that have a thirst for knowledge and life. They funniest bunch of turds. If anyone ever has the opportunity to go to DC– I would definitely recommend taking the tour but also be sure to take the time to walk around and experience it for yourself without the group. There were moments where I wished that I was able to just take a moment to let everything sink in but because there was a time constraint.. it made it difficult.

Pictures by @photographybysarahm

Spring Flingin’ It!

Image Weather in DC is definitely reflecting the Spring season. We got to enjoy the nice sun and low 60s while Massachusetts still had low 40s. Warmer weather really puts people in a much better mood. I know I was more energetic and enthusiastic about being outdoors these past few days. Because the weather was so lovely, I took it upon myself to take this opportunity to throw on my favorite casual spring attire! WELCOME SPRING! My personal style is wearing what’s comfortable and cute. I wear basic colors but sometimes I like to add in a vibrant piece just to bring out the outfit. I’m also a broke college student and can’t really afford many name brand things, and that means I shop at places like Charlotte Rousse, Forever 21, and of course Target (or Tarje, if you’re fancy). Brands are nice, and I value the small amount of name brand things that I do have but lack of brand shouldn’t deter you from looking super adorable! I hope you guys like my look!
ImageImage

Image

Image

ImageImage

ImageImageWHAT I AM WEARING:
Scarf and Shirt: Charlotte Russe
Belt: Gucci
Shoes: Pink and Pepper Sandals
Shorts: Koppen
Bracelets: Alex and Ani, and Pandora
Purse: Target

Photographs taken by Sarah Musard
Follow her on instagram – @photographybysarahm
Image

 

 

Express to Impress.

Image

ImageHey hey HEY hey! I am now in Arlington, VA– which ain’t nothing but a shuttle ride into Washington DC. Going to spend the weekend networking and understanding the concept of leadership, brand yourself, and also build the foundation to success. While doing so, my lovely gal pal Sarah (an amateur photographer) will be taking the on the role of being my blog photographer. I’m not usually a person who wears business attire on a regular basis but this weekend is an exception and it gave me the opportunity to play dress up. I should get used to this because I intend on being your First Lady one day (David, if you will have me..if not, then…well…Plan B — I become President. Either way, it’s a win-win for me).

ImageTell me that this head shot does not look business-y to you! TELL ME. Kidding, don’t. I think it looks wonderful and Sarah really captured a good face shot. Normally, I hate pictures of my face. Seriously, it’s not my thing. I often hate my face because I feel that I’m not a very photogenic person. HOWEVER, my lovely photographers can create miracles.

I have been slacking with blogging lately because life has gotten super busy but this weekend is a great time to update a lot because of the multiple things we will be doing. ALSO, I have to actually dress up and not just walk around in gym clothes like a bum. I don’t even know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. We can pretend that it’s a great thing! ENJOY! haha. <3
Image

Image

ImageWHAT I’M WEARING:
Shirt and Skirt – Express
Heels – Nine West

Photographs taken by Sarah Musard.
Follow her @photographybysarahm

Carrot Risotto

ImageI was craving risotto and normally risotto in my household comes in the form of a box. So today, I googled “healthy kids risotto” and found this gem of a recipe. It was so quick to make and really delicious! Plus like a huge Vitamin A booster!

Image

What you’ll need:

1 cup of rice
1/2 diced onions
2 chopped carrots
1 cup of carrot juice
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 tbp olive oil

ImageFirst, have all your ingredients ready to go. Juice enough carrots to make 1 cup of carrot juice. I used about 5. Then peel and chop two carrots. Once that is finish, heat a medium size sauce pan and add the olive oil and heat it for a bit. Put in your onions and chopped carrots and sauteed until the carrots are kinda soft. It takes about 5-6 mins. Then put the rice in and stir the rice around with the carrots for a couple of mins before adding in 1/2 a cup of chicken stock. The rice should quickly absorb the stock. Then mix the other 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock with the carrot juice and the 1 cup of water into one– and slowly pour into the saucepan. LITTLE BY LITTLE.

ImageYou continue pouring the mixture into the rice and stir every so often. It takes about 20 mins to cook! I like the smell of parsley so I always chop it and put it on top of my…everything. I know my directions are awful sometimes but that just means that I’m open for questions! Enjoy!

Image

Image

Image

Mass Pencils of Promise

This is the video that I have recently submitted to this Online Philanthropy Contest called GenerousU for my school. This contest gives students the opportunity to present their charity, in hopes of gaining money donated towards their cause. My cause is being a part of this nonprofit organization called Pencils of Promise. The reason why this organization is so close to my heart is because I feel that education is one of biggest factor that we can use to change the world. There are so many problems in this world and we fail to see that most of those problems comes from the lack of a good education. There are more than 57 million children who doesn’t have access to an education. I know that being from a country where we often time take for granted all the things that other countries lack– education should not be one of them. I truly believe that if we could help affect children’s life through the means of an education, it allows them the opportunity to learn things and be empowered to become outstanding individuals.  “We’ve learned that education is a living, breathing entity that with the right nurturing, evolves into something spectacular. We’ve learned that every piece of its growth is a challenge and that each pencil, each dollar, each volunteer is essential”.

IMG_8451

IMG_8442With the conjoined efforts of many of my friends and staff at school, we are able to bring awareness of the importance of education to not only ourselves but also to the world. This program can help build a school in countries such as Guatemala, Laos, and Ghana. You never know what might be trapped inside the mind of someone who cannot afford an education. By simply caring about them and doing something that seems so insignificant, we can change their entire future and that is truly empowering. So many people have already joined this cause, I want to be able to be a part of something that goes above and beyond just simple donations. This also promotes the belief that in order to change the perspective of the greater people then we must first start with the children.

IMG_8367

IMG_8435

They always say that “children are the future”. I think it’s time that we start taking that statement seriously. We can impact lives by just taking the initiative to do something.

Please join us in the efforts of raising awareness for educational opportunities for all. You can help by voting for our project here on TrueHero– where all that you have do is simply put in your email to vote, then validate it once the link it sent to your email. Or you can help us reach our goal in sponsoring a classroom by donating to our fundraising page. Or simply share this post!

VOTE | DONATE | SHARE

photos by Shawn Pearce
video by Rob Mills