Seattle-based writers

Forever 21 Spring Clothing Haul! (Athletic Wear + Other Stuff) – 05/24/15

Call me basic, but I actually kinda love Forever 21. Actually, it’s more of a love-hate relationship. The shop’s great because you can walk in through their doors and find something cute and it’s quick and simple to find exactly what you want, especially basic clothing items, via the search bar at the top of their website. The downside is that their quality isn’t exactly amazing, which isn’t really much of a surprise considering how inexpensive the majority of their items are. And what is Forever 21’s deal, carrying uber-expensive brands? No, I’m not paying for a $90 bikini when there are $4 separates right there.

I suck at in-store shopping. It’s probably some sort of anxiety disorder because I get so overwhelmed walking into massive stores such as Forever 21 and H&M, where my wallet could cover practically any item sold, but they just have so much stuff that I can’t process anything. Therefore, I’ll often walk out empty-handed. Also, does anyone else get a tinge of suspense when you pay via credit/debit card? “What if it’s denied?” Basically, I’m horrible at “mission shopping” (going into a store with a mission to get what you want), and prefer to work behind the keyboard and get my retail fix online.

I’m supposed to be saving up for a new MacBook, but here’s what I’ve recently ordered from Forever 21!

And what the heck. It’s Memorial Day weekend!

Athletic Wear

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Sports Bra: High Impact Mesh-Back Sports Bra in Charcoal ($13)

– I’ve recently discovered that you shouldn’t have to wear your normal bra underneath a sports bra, which I’ve been doing for the last several years because my sports bra is literally a piece of stretchy fabric with no support whatsoever. Thanks, H&M.

Shorts: Woven Running Shorts in Mint ($16)

– As some of you may know, I’m participating in a half-marathon this June. TMI alert: my pair of LuluLemon running shorts makes my legs chafe, even though I don’t carry fat in my legs. I’m praying that the layer of spandex in these shorts will keep my inner thighs from destroying themselves while running the 13.1 miles.

Tank Top: Lightweight Racerback Tank in Black ($13)

– It gets warm while running during the summer, and short sleeve tees are unacceptable during these times. Therefore, I bought this tank top. I think that it will work well with the previously mentioned sports bra, shorts, and my black running shoes, come (half) marathon day!

Other Stuff

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Dress: Cutout Crochet-Paneled Dress in Sage ($23)

– After half-marathon morning, I’m going out for lunch with my family at the Space Needle, and I’m planning on wearing this dress. It also came in white, but that looked too bridal for me. I’m planning on wearing a long, black finely-knit cardigan that I have from H&M with this dress.

Headband: Triangle Metal Headband in Gold ($5)

– It’s like edgy kitten-ears. That’s all I have to say about this, and it was cheap. So, why not?!

Shoes: Faux Leather Crisscross-Strap Sandals in Black ($13)

– Believe it or not, I do not own a single pair of black sandals. I have white sandals, brown/camel sandals, and gold sandals, but not black sandals. These will pair well with the dress and headband, as well as for an everyday, summer style.

 

What do you think? See anything you like? Tell me in the comments!

Have a lovely Sunday,

-Sarah

 

Go From ‘Meh to Yeah!’ Within One Hour – 05/23/15

Full title: How to go from sweaty hair and half worn-off makeup to Victoria’s Secret Angel-status within one hour. Well maybe not Angel, but it’s all about how you think of oneself, right?

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Attractive woman running next to several Victoria’s Secret Angels.

 

It can’t just be me. Have you ever had one of those days where it’s just one thing to do after the other, with zero breaks until you finally get to go to sleep? Last Wednesday, I was scheduled for an 8 MILE “jog” (I’m not a fast runner), and had to get ready to go out for dinner with my father about an hour after I got back home. I take my running seriously, and I couldn’t have gone any other time of the day to exercise, and another struggle with exercising and doing things is that there’s rarely enough time to eat:( I have a feeling that we’ve all been here before, so here are my tips on getting yourself ready to go out again within an hour after exercising!

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Is it better to eat and then get dressed, or get dressed and then eat?

 

1) Get your priorities together; Chances are, you don’t have much (or any!) time to waste. You’ll probably need to take a shower and put on fresh clothes. If your makeup still looks alright, your face can be salvaged with a fresh coat of mascara and powder. If your hair is sweaty and you don’t have time to wash it or it would be inappropriate to have wet hair where you’re going, spray in some dry shampoo to make your hair less sweaty and more clean (even if it isn’t!).

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Is it? Is it really?

 

2) After working out, you’re going to be hungry and eventually hangry. Nobody likes a hangry person. Don’t be that hangry person. In my case, eating at home always takes longer than imagined because you have to make something, eat it, and clean up afterwards. To avoid this inconvenience and save time, pack a granola bar or something into your bag to tide your stomach over until you can eat a proper meal.

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Don’t clean, eat!

 

3) Don’t do anything within this hour that you can’t do later when you have more time. No matter how much of a clean freak you are, whoever you’re meeting later will never know if you have dishes in the sink or whether or not you haven’t vacuumed in a few days.  This hour has to be devoted to getting yourself ready and presentable and going from gross (sorry, but if you still look cute after working out, you probably didn’t try hard enough), to fabulous. You can clean your room later.

These tips always work for me, and I hope they’ll work for you as well!

Have a delightful Saturday:)

-Sarah

What I Wore Today! – 05/22/15

Yesterday it was 80 degrees. Today, it was 50. If that doesn’t scream how bipolar Seattle’s weather is, I don’t know what does. Yesterday, I wore a pair of burgundy, flowly-material short shorts and a white tank top, and today, you’d think it was fall again; today I wore basic black jeans, a taupey/beige sweater, faux-Chanel (because I’m broke) handbag, brown leather sandals, and silver feather earrings.

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Jeans: Pacsun Bullhead Denim Co. Low Rise Starry Skinny Jeans, $45

Sweater: Forever 21 Open-Knit Boxy Sweater, $14

Handbag: Forever 21 Quilted Faux Leather Convertible Bag, $23

Sandals: Steve Madden Donddi Leather Ankle Strap Sandals, $60

Earrings: Pacsun With Love from CA Hamsa Feather Earring Set, $11

In America, this weekend is Memorial day weekend so I have no school this Friday or Monday. Please don’t ask me what we’re memorializing, for I do not now (I swear I’m American). So, this morning, I took the placement test to get into my local community college, bought a bus pass for easy access to the college as I do not have a car of my own yet (I am licensed though), and went to Panera Bread for lunch with my mother. It was very nice to have a break day from half-marathon training, which is much harder and more strenuous than I expected, which makes me sound stupid. Great.

How was your friday?  Do you know what Memorial day weekend celebrates?

Have a real nice day!

-Sarah

Lush Brazilliant Shampoo Bar Review

Who knew that haircare could be so complicated? There’s oily hair, dry hair, and what really is “normal” hair? Clearly I didn’t go to beauty school. When I was younger, my tresses were constantly dry because my mother made my brother and I take swimming classes during the summer, you know, in case we went into the ocean or something. It’s still quite thick, dry and curly because I like to straighten or curl my hair on occasion, and I haven’t been able to find a conditioner that truly makes my hair feel healthy and not like a matted chinchilla.

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Attractive Lush-Man peeling oranges.

Lush Cosmetics gets really good reviews on their solid shampoo bars, and I haven’t tried a single one out yet. They recently put up a shop in my local mall, and so I bought the ‘Brazilliant‘ shampoo bar because it is orangey-yellow in color, smells nice like citrus, and also because it claims to ‘liven up my hair’, which sounded promising. The next day, I went for an eight mile run in 80 degree heat, and needless to say, my hair was sweaty. Very sweaty. These bars claim to be worth about 80 washes, or the equivalent of three bottles of liquid shampoo, and take no packaging except for a small metal tin to keep the product from dissolving away in the shower.

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Oranges getting pulverized.

The lovely-smelling lady in the Lush shop told me that I could either rub the bar on my wet hair and then lather from there on with my hands, or that I could rub the bar onto my wet hands and then lather into wet hair. I went for the second choice because I didn’t want to get strands of long, dark brown hair getting stuck in the brand-new bar. Sounds weird, but the lather was aca-mazing! After rinsing out and conditioning, the strong yet subtle citrusy-scent was still lingering around, even after air-drying and curling. My hair felt very clean, but still soft and moisturized after conditioning, of course. In case anyone’s wondering, I use the ‘Tresemme moisture-rich conditioner’.

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A wide collection of Brazilliant Shampoo Bars.

The Facts:

Price: $9.95/ 1.9 oz.

What it’s meant for: thick, curly, or dry hair.

Scent: Orangey/ Citrusy

Have you tried out one of Lush’s solid shampoo bars? Let me know in the comments!

Have a nothing-but-lovely day!

– Sarah

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 8

Rays of sunlight danced and sprinted across the crests of Elliot Bay’s waves, as light poured in through the apartment’s massive, master-bedroom skylight. To the east, Seattle concaved around the Bay which rounded to the tip of Alki neighborhood. The long-awaited summer season had made the bed too hot to sleep in, regardless of how many windows they would spread open before climbing under the covers together. Now, Igor was digging himself a nest and building a fort out of the blankets that were kicked off of the mattress during the night. An intoxicating aroma of sea-salt from the ocean and fresh gardenia deriving from the rooftop garden flooded into their senses, lulling her mind back to rest.

He awoke an hour later in the same bed with no head to hold or hand to kiss. His head was still fuzzed-over after slumbering in a now-sold apartment in San Francisco, California, the familiarity of waking alone remaining. Sizzling eggs scrambling and the scent of bacon confused Jack for a second as he had been living alone for a while now, yet he was still in bed. His return to Seattle the previous night prompted a 14-hour nap in Joelle’s bed, and had finally awoken to a decadent breakfast with his one, true love. They had the rest of the day, the weekend, their lives to do whatever they felt like doing.

Joelle cleared the used dishes into the small kitchen after they were done eating. The small, decorative table she had found at the local, Sunday market on the deck had fitted snugly into the corner, allotting the ideal amount of space for two people to sit at the same time while a cat sleeps atop the railing. Jack freshened himself up and went into their bedroom to grab a small box from his nightstand drawer. A few minutes later, they were off and out the door.

Volleyball players were grunting and playing their game while Jack and Joelle were laying out their towels atop the endlessly-deep sands of Alki Beach. The definition of the waves blurred into a blue mass when Jack pretended to drop his eye contacts. They flipped their towels, dug through the sand, and peered into shells until she finally found what he was hiding. A small, silver, sparkly piece of metal shimmered in the light and fell into her hands. When she turned around to face Jack, he was down on one knee, asking her to marry him. He had planted the ring on the beach while Joelle wasn’t looking. She couldn’t possibly have been happier. The decades of love that she could foreseer with Jack were never-ending and took up her future time with ideas on how they would spend each and every day together until they were gone for eternity.

 

 

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 7

Their months apart passed as slowly as the fog rolled in over San Francisco bay, as slowly as the night crawled in over the Seattle, summer sky. Quarters ended after every 2 1/2 months with a two-week gap in which they would alternate visits to each other’s cities. Summers would be spent in his California and winters on her occasionally snowy Alki beach.

Both of them changed during their time apart from one another. Neither of them cheated, heck, they couldn’t even begin to fathom that either one of them would find somebody else to love as well as they loved each other. Their winter visits in Seattle were magical: snow as light as powdered sugar fell over the bay, slowly but surely replacing the sandy shore with flakes of the solidified rain. Joelle found great pleasure in her trips down to San Francisco; her hours alone listening to Lana del Rey albums in her car was a personalized getaway to a nirvana of relaxation which could only come when alone in one’s presence. Hearing another person’s voice when she was by herself made her feel less alone, as though she was with someone comforting without worrying about being judged for being herself.

As the years went on, Jack eventually graduated from FIDM with a degree in men’s fashion. A few months earlier, Joelle had graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor in journalism. He had made the car journey to the Seattle campus to see her graduate and grasp her diploma in her impeccably manicured hands, wearing his favorite dress. Passing through Oregon state on I-5, she felt different this time although she had made this same trip several times over the past several years. She didn’t want to listen to music. She didn’t want to be alone but she also didn’t want to with somebody else. A tingle crept over her spine and up into her neck as she clasped the steering wheel with her dominant hand and sped off into the distance.

He finally had it. He could see it. He had it in his hands. Seconds ago, the dean of FIDM had handed Jack his diploma, a piece of paper he had been busting himself over for the past six years. He never wore suits; if was going to class, which he never missed, he would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt; if he was at home, he was in a pair of sweatpants and old t-shirt. In the back of her car she had secretly packed all of Igor’s things and Igor himself in his crate in order to surprise Jack with the greatest animal ever. Slight meows every now and again from the sleeping feline in the back of the car gave Joelle the company that she wanted for the long, lonely, journey to northern California.

They awoke in his bed, in an apartment which overlooked the fog-covered bay region. An hour ago, Joelle had snuck out to her car to grab Igor, bring him back to his condo, and pretend to fall asleep into Jack’s arms again. Something scratched his legs and he couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised to feel the soft cuddles of his little, baby cheetah.

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 5

Endless hours of sunlight and millions of stars by night filled their summer. Every morning they would wake up in Jack’s bed and pile their way out over the hard-wood flooring to catch a glimpse of the beach at sunrise. His entire self was accommodating, most evidently in the extensive time he would spend with Joelle on a daily basis, taking care of her when she felt stupid and speaking in whispers to each other when the days would come to a close. It was the most memorable summer of their lives because neither of them had ever felt so close to another person before.

In July, Jack had been accepted to the school of Fashion Design and Marketing in San Francisco. He had done everything from spending his Saturday nights studying for his AP classes to writing endless college application essays to get into school. He didn’t have money, he depended on his GPA to get himself into the best of the best. In the meanwhile, Joelle was accepted to the University of Washington to progress her studies in journalism. Her dream was to eventually have her own magazine. There was this fear in the back of Joelle’s mind that her relationship, a perfect relationship, would crumble away and disintegrate without reason while Jack was away for the four years it would take him to get his degree. Jack was afraid that Joelle would find someone else while he was away, because she was the most special girl anyone could think of.

On an afternoon in the last few weeks of August, Joelle returned to her penthouse apartment to gather her things in uncountable boxes to be moved into Jack’s vacant loft. After all, Jack couldn’t take Igor with him and somebody had to be there to feed, bath, and study on the floor with. Although she knew that she would see Jack in 2 1/2 months, one day without him felt like a year. Jack had already left for California a few days earlier, of course only after giving Joelle cuddles for hours and kisses for days. While he was settling into his new dorm, Jack felt empty even though he knew that this was a step in the right direction. He was following his dreams but at the same time he wanted Joelle. He needed her as much as she needed him.

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 4

Golden sunlight crashed in through the white linen sheers as daylight arose over the city. “Where am I?”, was her first conscious thought, blonde waves strewn across the pillow. All that she could see was white. Out of the abyss of covers she felt something wriggle her way up through her legs and onto her abdomen. Gently peeking up the blanket she saw a speckled, Serval kitten napping beneath her bust-line. “His name’s ‘Igor'”, Jack’s voice enchanting Joelle as she laid in bed relaxed yet awake. It was the day of their senior graduation, but right now all that Joelle wanted to do was play ‘hide-and-seek’ with Igor throughout the loft.

Several hours later, Joelle was slipping her small frame into an emerald-green silk dress to later be paired with her white, Chandler Academy, graduation cap & gown. Meanwhile, Jack was doing up his torso into a mint-green button up and slacks for his lower half. He loved her more than the rainy days of Seattle, more than the amount of droplets of water in the Pacific ocean. She breathed him, as though she couldn’t live without him if her survival depended on it. He saved her life the instant she came into his.

Immediately after the fire grew into the parking lot, the oxygen line beneath the street exploded. Jack was leading her away to the safety of his loft when the fireball burst and Joelle was only multiple feet away from the flaming inferno. The next thing she could remember were masked faces asking her to wiggle her toes and look into a bright light. Her dress had been cut off of her and a gown placed on while she was unconscious. Out of the haze of gloved hands and syringes she saw Jack’s face: scared, apologetic, and overwhelmed. He had never meant to hurt her, in fact he was trying to save her from the scare of the fire by leading her away to the safety of his home. They wanted to be in each other’s company and nothing less.

In the afternoon they ate lunch at the Space Needle’s restaurant and subsequently went on to Chandler Academy to graduate on to college. Jack’s only supporter was Joelle while Joelle had her father, mother, and brother clapping for her in the stands. Her memory was still a bit fuzzy but a growing feeling crawled over her with discern. She thought: “Will Jack and I go separate ways?”. She knew in her heart that there was something gripping her to Jack’s wrist but there was no way to know for sure.

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 3

And she danced. Her feet guided the framework of their bodies into endless circles atop the sand. His arm secured her torso of  beaded, midnight-blue chiffon while slithering his fingers down towards her waist. The last several months of dress-fittings and calorie-tracking allowed her size four figure to stun under the moonlight of Alki Beach. He held her  close as the water lapped upon the shore as though she may float out into the sea at any second if he were to let go of her for an instant.

Joelle wasn’t a dancer, she was the star of her high school cross-country team. Jack ran from his past. When he was with her he didn’t want to think about anything else. Her eyes were capable of  captivating an entire audience for hours without ever uttering a single, spoken word. Senior prom never crossed Jack’s mind – he had to be more concerned with sending away college applications than attempting to impress Jo with a new tuxedo. Everyone at Chandler Academy knew that Jack and Joelle were the ‘It’ couple – no girl wasn’t jealous of Joelle’s looks and Jack’s friends could only dream of calling a girl like Jo, theirs.

She never looked sub-par; her clothes was steam-pressed right off of the latest runways and her just-below-the-shoulder cut of heavenly, strawberry blonde waves bounced around her head with minimal effort. Nobody in their right mind could deny that her greatest accessory regardless of her extensive, designer shoe collection and heart-shaped Tiffany earrings, were her eyes: twinkling pools of aquamarine blue that couldn’t have been missed by the International Space Station. Jack’s hair was never not scuffed, revealing a pink, one-inch long scar running along the crest of his left eyebrow. His brown eyes and spindly yet muscular frame meshed into the  waves of adolescent men flooding the corridors of Chandler when classes were released on the hour. Their appearances combined with their backstories made their relationship a joke to the perfect stranger, but they were happy. They were in love.

With arms dangling loosely around his neck and hands grasped around her waist, their final dance came to a close as cars began to file out of the parking lot and girls removed their heels before returning to their respective limo drivers. Final kisses were delivered from couple to couple before embarking on their separate ways, although they were all destined to find one another at Chandler come next Monday morning. Nothing about the night hadn’t been ideal, perfect perhaps. The sea glistened under the light of the millions of stars, the jewels on Jo’s bodice reflecting every particle infinitely back into the night air.

Collective feminine screams deriving from the coastal avenue drew the attention of every student away from the magical nature of the evening to the armada of ambulances, police cruisers, and fire trucks swelling up just 200 meters from Jack’s feet. Flames shot into the air, the inevitable inferno multiplying its base until it occupied nearly 25 square feet. “Come with me”, Jack said to Joelle as he reached for her trembling hand, ultimately leading her away to the small sanctuary of his loft located four blocks into the distance from the tapped-in fire hydrants.

 

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 2

Jack travelled 28 weeks of the calendar year. Joelle couldn’t keep a job. Joelle didn’t need a job, she didn’t need the income. “To waste her time away”, as Jack would say, Joelle, or ‘Jo’ for short, spent her hours without Jack working as an unpaid student-teacher at the local high school. Jack made eight figures a year selling his watches world-wide after 12 years of focused education and hardened skill. He covered her every cost, whether it be the grocery bill, the newest collection of Chanel lipsticks, or a getaway to the palm-fronds of Dubai.

Jack was from the southern end of the island where trailer parks out-ruled mansions; Joelle grew up in a high-rise apartment a stride away from the hustle & bustle of Pike Place Market. His family grew up on welfare and food stamps, parents divorcing when he was four. Jack knew how to fight for what he needed, to fend for himself. Fashion was overlooked in his family as something that was prissy and unnecessary. Joelle’s father’s pharmaceutical company made its first million after discovering an experimental drug to cure cancer. Any of her needs were fulfilled within an instant by her father’s money without question.

By the time Jack turned 15, he had secretly saved enough money to move out from the park and into South Seattle. There was nothing more important to him than his education because no one in his family had ever graduated from high school. He wanted to do something for himself. He wanted to make something of himself. After seven years of working the local farm, there were enough funds in his BOA account to support a year of studying at the Chandler Academy in the city.

There was a girl like Joelle at nearly every high school imaginable; always smiling, untouchable beauty, as though there were a family of birds singing around her person at all times. It was impossible to not be awed when you were within her presence. The boys and girls all had eyes for her, yet the only person she had eyes for were her boyfriend, Leon. It is unknown what happened to Leon, all we know is that he is no longer relevant to their story.

Jack had one school-embossed uniform for the entire year, Joelle had five sets. As with every other male in her class, she was the only girl that was worthy of having a crush on. He didn’t believe that he would even have a chance to touch Jo’s hand. Little did he know, things had turned between Joelle and Leon. She didn’t feel loved, lonely.  Leon couldn’t keep up with the jealously of his friends. Jack caught Joelle’s eye across the corridor and he couldn’t have been more ready to endlessly, helplessly, fall into her gentle graces.