To Do List For 2016

I don’t want to call these resolutions because I hate that word and no one ever follows them anyway, but rather these are the things to cross off my list this year.

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Turn 24

Blog once a week

Start the book that I’ve been wanting to write for three years

Go to London and Ireland

Buy nicer jeans

Figure out how to get paid to travel

Read 50 (new!) books

Minimize my wardrobe

Move to France

Get a massage

Finish translating Anna Gavalda’s collection of short stories

Figure out…things because life is too complicated to try and tackle

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The Anti-Bucket List

Thanks to Liv Purvis and everything she does, she inspired me to toot my own horn about the things that happened to me this year. The “Anti-Bucket List” as the cool kids are calling it these days. When I was trying to think of what to write down, I started scrolling through the photos from this year and realized what a strange, incredible, odd and all the other adjectives between “amazing” and “ehhhh” there are–because I know there are a lot! So, without further ado, my list.

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1. Learned how to properly walk in heels as I have always been bad at it and shunned all heels from being on my feet. But hey, look at me now, mom, bet you thought this day would never come.

2. Cut 10 inches off my hair because why not?

3. Looked up if you can legally take a cake on a plane and learned that you can and now the next time I fly, I will be sitting there with a full carrot cake in my lap, serving it to passengers to make friends.

4. Went to New York and saw and hugged and kissed people I haven’t seen in ages. I’ll be seeing you all soon.

5. JK Rowling got a Twitter account and everything in life was great.

6. Graduated university. I DID IT. Alas, it was pouring down rain and my mom couldn’t get a decent shot of me walking across the stage, but it happened.

7. Went to the top of the Arch for the first time and didn’t poop my pants.

8. Won 3 Instagram contests. Hell yeah.

9. Quit my job at the bank to pursue a job in writing and all things social media and haven’t had a single regret.

10. Got into a car accident, totaled my car and bought a new one all within two weeks. Cried a lot. But Gunther treats me right (my car, for those who don’t know his name).

11. Sat front row at STLFW and promptly fainted at the end. I mean, Fashion Week, right?!

12. Mauhaus announced they’re making a cat cafe here in STL and everything in life will be perfect once that happens.

13. Made really amazing, beautiful, unique, and wonderful friends.

14. Still loving the Oxford Comma even though work tells me not to use it. WELL LOOK HERE, KELSEY. I’M USING IT! (But not at work because, ugh, we don’t use it.)

15. Became part of an epic Girl Gang.

Side Effects of STLFW

Four days. One tired girl. Saint Louis Fashion Week was one to remember. I spent too much money. Drank a bit too much. Met people who have more money than I’ll ever make in my whole life. Fainted. Ate in passing. Met the woman who created New York Fashion Week and had beef with Kanye West (!). Sat across from Iris Apfel with my knickers showing. Was inspired by so many people. Cried every day, most especially in the shower where I sobbed and sobbed. Said “is this real life?” more than 30 times. Held hands with someone I haven’t seen in months. Drank lots of champagne and acted like I was a lot cleverer than I am. Took too many photos of myself and of others. Learned how to SnapChat better. Had the most quotable week of my life. “Ugh, my straw fell into my champagne.” Touched art with teeth and not sure if I was allowed to do that. Saw a lot of boobs. Saw more of St. Louis than I have in my whole life. Drank 27 coffees in the span of four days. Laughed harder than I have in over a year. Fell in love harder with all the people around me.

  
  


The morning after the night before

  
  
  
  

Photo by Suzy Gorman

Dear July // A Time Capsule

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Dear July,

I have a video for you somewhere in my computer, but I’m much too lazy and frankly too nervous to put the footage together. It’s 11:59 on your last day and I feel as if you didn’t really happen. Were you really even here? You must have been, but it seems as if every time you are here, you go by much too quickly. You were…really great, July. I’m talking to you as if you are a person because all the memories that happened inside these 31 days are enough to make a person. I left my job of four years, my comfort job for something that makes me so excited while at the same time so nervous. It was a leap for me and one that I’m anxious about, but I know it was the correct, best and most thrilling move I could make. I have loved the people I met this month and knowing that these people believe and see something in me that I can’t quite see yet makes me want to work so much harder. I’m really happy, July. I inspired people this month and let my voice finally be heard that I kept quiet and hidden for a very long time. Because I was afraid of what would happen if I did let my opinions be known. Because I was much too young or too naive to have an opinion, or so they say, yet after a week, they are still talking and my desire to spark a conversation has turned into a full fledged forest fire. So, thank you, July. You were here much too quickly, the year is half over, but you made me realize I have a voice. That my opinions can matter. That, although the world can be a scary and daunting place, sometimes you just need to jump. I can’t wait to see what happens in August.

Dear June // A Timecapsule

My very first vlog is up online for the whole world to see and judge me quite harshly on. I’ve never done any type of videos before, so it’s not very good at all. But, I enjoyed making it and trying something different that I can hopefully get better at.

Dear June,

So far this month, I have painted my nails thirty-one times. I haven’t brushed my hair. I ate six pints of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food. And only cried twenty-two times. Mostly during TV shows, four times during HeyClaire’s video to her mom.

I started off the month by falling out of love and hiding it quite intensely. I didn’t realize it would take me three months and not responding to texts to finally get over someone. But, I stopped answering phone calls and text messages and left things to the last minute before canceling again. It’s still something I’m continuing to work on, but not very well.

June is always lonely for me. I used to love the summer as a kid, but the older I get the more I long for the Fall and new beginnings instead of the excessive heat of summer and my clothes sticking to the backs of my legs. Yet, this month was about rain, and more rain, and the continuous monotonous rain.

But then it became about the starts of projects and songs and books and movies and TV shows and candles and lots and lots of candles and friends. Actual friends. Which is strange for me to not have everyone I want to hang out with spread across the globe, but a small group I can call and go to a movie and dinner with. It became about learning new things and juggling three jobs and slowly trying not to lose my mind in the process.

June, you’ve been about learning to take chances and not be so scared to take the next step. I have been so scared lately. Scared to make the wrong step and ruin my life forever, but JK Rowling didn’t have her life figured out by 23 and I’ll figure it out one day. I hope. Maybe in July.

*went off on a different course whilst speaking, but this was the main idea.

Top Rated Essie Colors

*Disclaimer: I apologize about the weird lighting in the photos, my camera is on its last legs.

My obsession with Essie started only two years ago. I had a friend introduce the brand to me after I told her that every time I bought an OPI nail polish, it would start to flake right away. Now, I had always been an OPI girl and never once strayed from them until Essie’s “Bahama Mama” was thrust into my hand and it was love at first sight. Or polish, should I say?

Today, I have quite an extensive collection of Essie. And by that, I mean I have over 30 different colors. However, each of them get used a lot. I change up my nail color at least once or twice a week because I get bored and like having my nails done, and I detest when they are chipped.

Below are my top favorite colors of the collection that I have. A few colors that aren’t listed that I am in love with are: After School Boy Blazer, Wicked, Stylenomics, and Bahama Mama.

Fashion Playground : mint green (or as the website says “pistachio green”)

Lilacism : lilac (duh)

Topless & Barefoot : perfect nude (for my very pale skin)

Petal Pushers : from the new Essie Spring Collection; a slate blue color that somehow, for me, brightens up those rainy days — like today.

Chinchilly : I call this color “stone gray,” Essie calls it “sleek granite gray.” Whatever the color is, I adore it.

  

Chills & Thrills : I quite surprise myself by enjoying this color on my fingers, but I love it. It’s a vibrant, almost, neon cobalt blue. If you’re feeling fierce, I highly recommend.

Garden Variety : from the new Essie Spring Collection, teal blue and again I surprise myself by being so obsessed with this color, but I think it’s gorgeous.

Geranium : my all time favorite Essie color. I wear this color all year round, but feel it is more spring/summer color. It is an orangey-red that works perfectly with girls who have red undertones in their skin.

Forever Yummy : blood red or “Creamy Tango Red” like Essie claims; whenever I want to feel like I could kill a man with a look, I wear this color. 

Secret Story : a gorgeous spring color, is “orchid pink” a color because I’m making it one.

  

Should we get the “ew! feet!” comment out of the way? And, yes, I know my big toe is horribly painted. I love nail polish and love having painted fingers and toes, but I’m awful at painting them. Boo.

Fall in Line : a nice forest green; I believe this is from the Dress to Kilt Collection which produced a number of my favorite Essie colors.

Flowerista : from the new Essie Spring Collection, a gorgeous plum that is so easy to apply and extremely vibrant.

  

Et, voila! My top-rated collection. What are some of your favorite colors and which ones do you think are “must haves?” Let me know in the comments!

Dear March

  
Dear March,
 
Happy Birthday, me. I’m 23 now and if you had asked 16 year old me, or even 18 year old me where I’d be right now, it wouldn’t be here. In the same old place. Yet, as stuck as I thought I’d might feel, I feel surprisingly secure. Perhaps it’s the graduation cap and gown that are now sitting on my desk, waiting for me to put on in two months time, but suddenly, I feel like anything can happen. Sorry for the cliché. Even though I haven’t gotten a call back from a single employer and have had countless “we regret to inform you” letters delivered to my inbox on the daily, that doesn’t stop me from trying. I hope to finally get somewhere. Be the person that I imagined myself to be one day. Add more pins to my world map. Be the adventurer I think I am. 
 
So far this year, I’ve done a handful of things that took me slightly out of my comfort zone which is needed. I went to an event where I knew hardly anyone and made myself talk to new people. I interacted. I was social. I shook hands and was handed business cards. I acted like a normal human being for once, and that’s always a step in the right direction. 
 
I went to New York, which isn’t out of my comfort zone because cities are very much my comfort zone, but I met new people and exchanged information with more new people. I’m meeting people! Who knew that after five years of having friends that live far away from me, I can actually interact with humans standing right in front of me? Strange.
 
I joined the Francophone Society of St. Louis so I can embarrass myself in front of strangers with my French. I must say, though, I have really improved. Ask the man at La Bonne Bouchée, he knows. Le homme est trés patient avec moi quand je choissis quelque chose manger avant la classe. 
 
I have stopped, well I’ve been getting better at not spending my money on stupid, unnecessary things. Which is really hard.
 
March, it’s been grand. I feel good about this year. More than I did at the start of it. I’ve decided to give up my biggest comfort of all which I’m going to be okay with at some point in the future. I know it will. But that’s a piece for another time. Until then, I’ll see you forever in my dreams.
 
Now, I’ll patiently wait for April.
 
Mackenzie