dollar store diva

Pie-Mary or Gender Equality-Mary? (Spoilers Included)

February 27, 2015

This week saw the end of a popular NBC show named "Parks and Recreation." This star-studded documentary-style commentary followed a Parks and Rec department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana through heartbreak, love, lust, success, failure, the birth of babies, name confusion, taking over neighboring towns, tackling a sugary mega-million dollar company, and more. Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Low, and more stars brought us through this roller coaster. However, a few episodes into its final season, this show gave us all a timely message that resonates with us: gender equality.
To catch everyone up on the episode, I'll write a short recap (spoilers included). In the P&R episode "Candidate Cooks Up Controversy", Ben is on the Congressional campaign circuit, and an antiquated traditional called the "Piemary" is coming up. In this event, all of the wives of the men running must bake a pie and will be judged on their pie. Not their ideas, not the amount of money they raise for charity, not their careers, but for how good their pie tastes. Since Leslie is a strong political female already, journalists had already been raising concerns about her not being your average candidate's wife. Her refusing to enter to sexist event raised even more eyebrows. The power couple decided to throw a curveball on the tradition and have Ben enter a calzone into the contest. This created an uproar, included a man from the "men's rights" movement screeching for equality for men against women. However, Leslie saved the day with a great speech at a press conference as always:
“I’m sorry that the spotlight is on me and not on Ben, because he’s going to make a great congressman. Second, the Male Men? You’re ridiculous, and men’s rights is nothing. Third, I am now going to give you permanent answers to all of the silly questions you’re going to ask me and every other woman in this election: ‘Why did I change my hairstyle?’ I don’t know, I just thought it would look better, or my kids got gum in it. ‘Are you trying to have it all?’ That question makes no sense! It’s a stupid question. Stop asking it. ‘Do you miss your kids when you’re at work?’ Yes, of course I do! Everybody does! And then, you know, sometimes, I don’t.”
Ben jumps in with “And, by the way, no one’s ever asked me that question," to add more credibility to her speech. Why can men have a strong political campaign and not worry about their children? Why is it that, the minute a women tries to be powerful, people are suddenly concerned about who's watching their children? This episode brings up the idea that there doesn't have to be a "cookie cutter" example of a candidate's wife, or any women for that matter.

I'm a huge fan of satire. When people ask me my favorite type of movie, I always gravitate toward comedy. However, I'd much rather a witty comedy that says something about society than a slapshot comedy. The "meninist" group that was protesting Lesley was an example of P&R's comedic genius. "Oh, so Ben was asking for it because he was wearing an apron?", is one that had me in stitches. It was a slap in the face to the people that use the argument "not all men do." Personally, people with this argument aren't realizing the big issues. P&R has no problems attacking the big issues.
Sometimes, all it takes is a mix of a hit show and a leading lady of comedy for society to see the big issues. 

What do you think of P&R's latest jab toward gender equality?
Do you have a stance on the subject?
Are you a fan of the show?

Leave a comment!

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Tips On Finding Your Personal Style

February 22, 2015

This semester at school, my I'm focusing of personal style, fashion, and body image, with my three different research projects (I know, don't remind me). The topic of my first paper is, "How Personal Style Affects Personal Identity." The topic of my second paper is, "How Exercise Effects Body Image", and the third research project is about fashion in relation to PR & Marketing. So, I decided I'd write a post about personal style. 

Personal fashion sense is something that is very important to me. Without a doubt, I believe no matter how high or low fashion is on your list of priorities, fashion affects your self-perception. How? Don't ask me, I haven't quite conducted my research yet.

So, what is personal style? It's pretty self-explanatory. It's the style of clothes you gravitate towards and wear often. It's what clothes you feel the most "you" in. When I did a focus group in my class, the subjects agreed that they felt the most confident and comfortable simultaneously in their favorite outfits. When they are feeling the height of their comfort and confidence, they can then fully be "themselves." So, I guess you could say that personal style also encompasses personality and self-perception.

I'm not saying that everybody has to be in a box. I'm a firm believer in being in many boxes, but not spreading myself too thin. Why should we describe ourselves with such stereotypical words, when we could describe ourselves by our emotional and character traits? Instead of describing our personality as punky or sporty, how about we say that we are a kind, level-headed person that loves to play basketball? Sometimes I find myself dressing pop-punk with band shirts, flannels, and beanies. Sometimes, I find myself dressing preppy in button-downs and arm candy galore. Sometimes, I find myself dressing boho with paisley, flowy cardigans, and round sunglasses. However, I know my personality traits: determined, loyal, and level-headed. Instead of using boho as my personal style description, I'd use one personality trait, and a general word to describe the clothes I own.

So, I've come up with a very simple formula for finding our personal style. Our personality is the root of our style. The theme of the clothes we wear are the adjective. Below are two columns: personality traits and clothing traits. Pick one word from each column that describes your style. There's your personal style!

For example, my two words would be "driven trendy." I am driven to succeed in my life and my career, and I'm always looking for the newest trends in pretty much anything, but the pieces I buy are usually on-trend. So, my clothing style would be described as trendy. Also, the field I'm entering is all about being trendy, so it all ties in.

What are your two words? Comment below, or tweet me!

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February 18, 2015

Don't you just love free stuff? The other day, I went down to the mailroom only expecting a Valentines' package from my mother, however I was pleasantly surprised to also see a packed from my good friends at Influenster! I've always wanted to get a monthly subscription, so when I saw that this box was full of a bunch of treats for me to test, I was thrilled. Happy V-Day to me!

The theme of this box if the "Refresh" VoxBox. It's full of stuff that I actually really need right now before Lent. This Lent, I'm going vegan. I want to refresh my tastebuds and mind back into my healthy mode. I still consider myself a "health nut",  however I feel like being at school without a kitchen, and just time have taken me away from my strict, healthy, paleo path I was on my senior year of high school. I figure if I stick to this "vegan" life for a while, everything else will seem like second nature after lent. I want to feel lighter and detoxed. The items in this box are designed to refresh your whole body: food, mouth, and face.

Beanitos Chips: #allthatandabagofchips
These chips are gluten-free and protein packed, because they're made from chips! I received the cheese and the restaurant style. I'm a little wimpy when it comes to spice, so the cheese flavor was a bit spicy for me, however they were still super addicting. I couldn't believe this isn't your typical tortilla chip. I'll definitely be repurchasing - especially for the protein. I'll need it because I'm going vegan for lent!

Skinnygirl Dark Chocolate Tasty Nutrition Bar #skinnygirlXinfluenster
Before I got this, I thought Skinnygirl only made alcohol, so I was pleasantly surprised to get this! I'm so glad they sent me a dark chocolate pretzel flavor, too. It's like they know the key to my heart!
I would definitely repurchase this bar because it was filling and delicious. Again, it will save me during my veganism for lent!

Covergirl Ultrasmooth Foundation: #UltraSmooth
This foundation did a fabulous job of covering my blemish-y, spotty, uneven complexion. No wonder they call this line "cosmetics-meets-skincare." 

L'OCCITANE Shea Butter Comforting Cream: #ineedshea
This stuff is perfect to use right after the shower. My face is always a bad combination of red, hot, and dry after the shower. This cream did the trick to make it better! The only thing that I'm not a fan of is the baby powder smell. It wasn't a pleasant surprise.

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masques: ##MJPeelOffs
I've used similar products to this before, so I was excited when I saw this face mask! I'm always down for a good face mask. This one's "flavor" is honey, so it looks, feels, and smells like actual honey! After about 10 minutes, I could feel the mask was ready to be peeled off. It left my skin feeling soft and cleansed! A little honey goes a long way.

Enjoying my face mask! You can see the yellow coloring on my face.

LISTERINE Pocket Bacs: #ListerinePocketBacs
I got a little bit of nostalgia when I saw these! I remember perpetually carrying these around in my first ever coach wristlet, when I was in 7th grade. I would carry that, cash, scrunchies, and my coin purse. Oh, the days before  having to carry car keys, license, compacts, and cell phones. I always like to have these handy, they're an essential.

DenTek Fun Flossers:
These are like your typical flossers but they're flavored! The berry flavor was a nice twist.

DenTek Comfort Clean Floss Picks:
I was so grateful to see these because the last time I went to the dentist, my gums bled everywhere because they were sensitive from not flossing enough. My dentist basically scolded me (oops). Thanks for saving me from a scolding from my dentist, DenTek! 

All products were sent to me complimentary for testing purposes, thanks to Influenster.

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Dear Snowdays: An Open Letter

February 13, 2015

 Dear Snowdays, or Snow, in General,
We do admire your fluffy white texture as it lays on the tree branches. We do admire the way that you pack into the most perfect snowman or snowball. We love the way you look with a "corncob pipe and button nose", and especially with a top hat on. We love when you make the conditions too bad for school - however, we love this all to a point.
Although our love is like no other, sometimes, we can feel a bit smothered by your snow embrace. You're a great weather event, however sometimes you can be a bit much. 
Don't get us wrong, we love loud, strong personalities. But don't you think you're getting to be a bit much? Don't you think giving us 28.9" and below is a little mean? We get it, it's winter, this is your season, blah blah. But wasn't one storm enough? You've hit us with two more and another one on the way. 
At this point, we may have to break up soon. A lot of us are already contemplating picking up and moving to warmer habitats. Some of us students have classes, club meetings, and events that keep getting cancelled because of all of these Monday and Tuesday snow days. Why must you always make it all about YOU? Can't you consider our college careers? We're paying to get class cancelled and get assigned paper and extra assignment sin lieu of class.
Also, isn't it a little annoying to be piling on top of where we live, drive, and park? Why must we limit our lives because you want a little bit of attention? Also, why is it up to us to move you with our hands and shovels? Why can't you remove yourself? You're so selfish!
So, sorry snow, but I just don't think we can work out anymore. It's not us, it's you. Maybe we can stay friends.

The Students

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Will you be Classic, Flirty, or Vampy for Valentines Day?

February 11, 2015

Why are we drawn to the colors red and pink on Valentines Day? I was so curious about this question, I took it to the only place that will give you a straight answer in this world: Google. I was very pleased with the historic context behind the answer! St. Valentine, the man behind the big day, was a martyr. Red represents the blood of a martyr. So, that's the "bloody" reason why everyone gravitate towards red on Valentines Day. I figured what better way to honor this martyr than to jump on the blogging bandwagon and do a red-lip inspired post.

However, like love, red lips don't deserve just one special day to be celebrated. I'm a firm  believer in a statement lip year-round. However, I also love pink lips, whether they be light or bright. I fit in a flirty pink lip into this post for my fellow pink lovers.

What look are you? I feel the most "myself" with a pink, flirty lip, and a flowy, flirty top and cardigan. Here are three directions to take this Valentines Day, by my top 3 lip product recommendations and outfit ideas!

1. The Classic Look

Sweater - $28 Blackfive
Necklace - $10 Amazon
Shoes  -$48
Pants - $20 
Lips - Smashbox Lipgloss

2. The Flirty Look
Necklaces - $5.50 Etsy
Pants  -$30 Blackfive
Booties - $98 TOMS
Lips - MAC Impassioned

3. The Vampy Look

Ear Cuffs - $35 Claires
Dress - $50 ASOS
Jacket - $90 BONADRAG
Booties - $75 ASOS
Houndstooth Tights - $9.90 Forever 21
Lips - Revlon Just Bitten Kissable

I'm dying to know, what look are you? Comment below: classic, flirty, or vampy?

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Valentines Day Paypal Cash Giveaway!

February 07, 2015

 Hello, my lovelies! Since I love you all, and to show you HOW much I love you this Valentines season I decided to let you "treat yo'self." I can't take all the credit, however. Valerie from In-Between Life has put together this wonderful giveaway for $100 paypal cash for you to really treat yourself! Whether or not a special someone is treating you with nice gifts and gestures this Valentines Day, you always have a reason to treat yourself!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to the following bloggers for contributing to this giveaway:

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January Goals

February 05, 2015

Monthly Goals

Most people think of love, valentines candy, and flowers when the think of February. As of recent, I will not have a "valentine" this year. Honestly, I feel so refreshed. I've spent the past two Valentines days with someone and as awesome and wonderful relationships are, and as my friends have told me, this is my prime time to be "single." On the practical end, it saves me a ton of money (besides for the money I'll spend on candy for myself). It also saves a lot of time getting ready and going out (besides the time spent with my GALentines). I've learned the important of friends and family as opposed to loved ones these past few months. Its such a great feeling to embrace my real support system.

February may be a short month, but there's still so much to accomplish in it! As I mentioned in my previews goals post, I said that I wanted to really hunker down and be productive on my blog and internships. I've definitely started making moves towards that, but the four snow days we had in the past two weeks have warranted more fun than work. I figure while I'm young, balance out the work and the play as best as I can, right? Below are my monthly goals!

This is part of the monthly link-up at

How This works:
  1. Follow your hosts My So-Called Chaos and A Peek at Karen's World to keep up with this link-up.
  2. Write up a post recapping last month's goals and setting goals for next month.
  3.  Make sure to include the button in your post by grabbing the code above.
  4. Link up your goals post with the monthly linky which goes live on the first Thursday of the month.
  5. Visit other links in the party to show support and offer advice for other goal setters.
  6. Have fun and make some new friends!
Here were my January Goals. How did I do? 

January Goals
  • Make the deans list - Success
  • Put up a good fight for the thing I can't discuss on here yet.. :P - Yeah, not going so well. The thing I couldn't discuss was the cutting of the cross country program.
  • Throw Ashley a fun and successful birthday party - The snow stopped it :(
  • Finish "Women in Clothes" - haaa....
  • Hit 2,000 unique hits this month - Almost...
  • Follow up on internship applications - Success! Got an interview.

February Goals

  • Hit 1500 Uniques
  • Make connections at conference
  • Win the challenge at conference
  • Stay on top of hybrid courses
  • Have a successful internship interview
  • Start going to SurfSet once a week

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5 corners


February 03, 2015

On Sunday, my mom came up for a much-needed visit. For it being Super Bowl Sunday, I knew that it meant a lot for her to come. For her to drive all this way and be back for kick-off, it was a big risk for a big-time Patriots fan. If you couldn't already tell, yes, I was rooting for the Pats.

And thank God! Sorry to any Seahawks fans reading, but we kicked some serious ass. I think the end of that game was more of a show than the halftime show. I'm all for dancing sharks, Lenny Kravitz, surreal acid trips, and my girl Missy Elliot, but I love to see a fight break out even more. I'm so glad the Pats won, especially after the hardship of #DeflateGate over the past few weeks. I'm also relived for the NFL. The fact that the Super Bowl was so theatrical and entertaining might have helped shown a good light on the NFL after it's year of bad PR, such as the whole Ray Rice thing.

While my mother visited yesterday we were debating on where to go for lunch. I felt like getting out of Salem, so I looked at restaurants in Marblehead. When I came across the listing for 5 Corners Kitchen on Yelp, I saw that it was serving brunch then and I was instantly drawn to it. There's nothing better than Sunday Brunch!

5 Corners Kitchen is located in the quaint, seaside town of Marblehead in the historic North Shore of Massachusetts. Marblehead is easily accessible from the bike path right near my dorm. On Marblehead neck is "Castle Rock", a beautiful rock feature sculpted by the ocean.

In the downtown area of this seaside town is an intersection that has five corners. On one of those five corner is a modern Parisian bistro that serves some of the best brunch I've ever had.

The open concept dining room is minimalistic and modern. The Parisian touches include chandeliers and modern cutlery. When we opened the door, there was a thick velvet curtain there to block the cold air from coming in. How considerate! The waitstaff was courteous and knowledgeable. The only downside to my experience was I wish I knew I could've dressed up more. The crowd was business casual millennials and families. I was dying of jealousy of the pleather blazer of the girl next to me. I never miss an opportunity to dress up.

Let's go over the important part, the food. Everything on the brunch menu look so enticing, my mother and I couldn't decide on what to do. We decided on getting two appetizers and each an entree for each of us. 

For drinks, my mom got coffee and I got fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.We decided on getting beignets and yogurt, granola and berries for appetizers. The beignets were light fluffy, and sweet and were accompanies by a sweet icing that seemed like it was cream-cheese based. The Vermont greek yogurt was thick and sweet, and the ripe strawberries and blueberries along with the granola was a wonderful combination. The only thing I wouldn't have again was the shredded mint on top - there was just too much.

This was my delicious brunch. It was a house-smoked salmon and spinach Benedict with roasted potatoes. The bacon on the right was some the house-smoked bacon my mother got as a side. The poached egg and hollandaise sauce flowed over the crisp, buttery english muffin. The smoked salmon and spinach were great toppers. If anything says "salmon" or "spinach" on it, I pretty much always order it. It also came with roasted potatoes that were a bit spicy, but if I were someone that enjoyed spice, I know I would've liked it. My mother ordered an omelette that came with the same potatoes.

Overall, I'd give 5 Corners Kitchen an 8.5/10. Their service was polite and knowledgeable, their ambiance was modern and relaxed, and their food was high quality, creative, and delicious. I definitely am curious about their dinner menu!

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