notes

she writes it all!

I’m not sure what to write about.

I’ve been in a serious case of writer’s block, and in denial about it, for months now and all my excuses have been used. The truth is there’s a lot of stuff happening in my world, and by “my world” I mean the rest of the world with an emphasis on what affects me.

I’ve been trying to get through my routine winter break reading lists, keeping up with the eco trends of sustainable fashion and saying “no!” to plastic straws (#savetheturtles), and downloading word-a-day dictionary apps to help expand my vocabulary. For the next few posts, you can go ahead and excuse my use of really fancy words as synonyms for adjectives like awesome and cool, because I’m about to get pretty flashy with my word scores.

Because this post is more for the purpose of proving I’m alive, I’ll rely on the default of introducing you to some books, artists, and ideas. Let’s get into it.

Literature. That I’m Reading. All at once? Gasp!

You’re on an Airplane by Parker Posey- I fell in love with this comedic memoir for Posey’s ability to masterfully tell a story with the same amount of dramatic expression and rabbit trails that I find myself akin to. It’s storytelling at its finest, and I’m really a huge fan.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman- I’m only a few chapters deep, but so far this seems pretty synonymous to Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and I am very fond of that kind of drama and plot line. Stay tuned for an upcoming book review.

Becoming by Michelle Obama- Did this one really need an introduction? no. But I’m reading a big girl book written by America’s queen, and I really needed to flaunt that in your faces.

Music.

Still Woozy: He’s got some great tunes behind the name and popularity from his single, Goodie Bag. All of his music, though few in numbers, is chill but also cool as hell. I’m really bad at describing music, but– take my word for it– he’s on the up and up.

Briston Maroney: Remember that guy from American Idol season 13? it’s okay if you don’t. However his stardom began or didn’t, he’s been releasing some great jams. Personal favorites of mine include Hard to Tell, Freaking Out On the Interstate, and Rose.

Laundry Day: I’ve been really obsessed with their song, Jane, but I also can hit shuffle on either of their two albums and find myself in a trance. Very romantic, very cool (do you see why I need that daily dictionary?)

Stuff.

My Barnes and Noble Membership- Have you ever gotten really stressed out in a completely non-stressful situation? Found yourself signing away an annual $25 to a large corporation that you’re supposed to be against in order to shop local and support small businesses? But because of the 30 person deep line of angry elves who also didn’t finish their holiday shopping on time, you are hyper aware of the time that you’re taking up and suddenly you say “sure” to something you’re very unsure about? and the woman behind the counter is beaming while packing away your 12 new purchases into a swag bag (which let’s be real, how swag can a bag from Barnes and Noble be?), and you realize you just became a member to Barnes and Noble? Now I feel played.

The Atlantic- In my Barnes and Noble expedition (no, it’s not an exaggeration if you walked away with a swag bag), I grabbed a copy of the winter edition of The Atlantic because why the heck not at that point? There was an article about why we, as Americans, get so damn pissed off. I thought it was insightful, and also terrifying. It broke down the timeline of anger in America, which I didn’t even know could be calculated and fit into time slots, but hey, I also didn’t know I could sign away my life rights to B&N–ok. that was dramatic, and I’m realizing that I’m really milking this whole membership thing. The point is that the article was thorough and made some real sense. Check it out here if you’re also scared of the kind of person America is becoming.

Ideas.

(This is a new section I’d like to call “the devil’s avocado” because I’m so not the person to be asking these questions, but I’m also super curious about them and should just educate myself… so rather I should call this, “things I need to educate myself on.”)

In the argument of sustainable fashion, are we for or against faux fur? If synthetic fur is not good for our planet, how can we please both sides of that dispute?

Is there a real stigma toward calling oneself a feminist? If so, is it based on the fear of being associated with female domination? and if that is true, are we actually scared of letting women dominate? Or are we scared of being men-haters? On that note, why haven’t we moved past this false image of men-hating feminism?

Are we all narcissists when it comes down to definitions? Because we are introspective through our personal psyches, is our self awareness being confused with narcissism? If so, aren’t we all self absorbed due to our innate perspective? Or are we just really obsessed with labeling people as narcissists?

–This is where I draw the line because maybe I’m just a narcissist who is making excuses with technicalities.

Sorry again for the separation anxiety. I truly enjoy this platform, and I hope I can keep writing for you and for me.

Thanks for reading,

RR

GB

 

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2018, notes

i’m the queen of france

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hey there good lookin’

You may be saying to yourself, “wow! it has been some time! does she own a calendar? watch? any outlet for time and organization? who is she?” and you would be correct, my friends. It has been some time.

These last eight weeks I’ve been manifesting in the French Riviera: laying on the beach, drinking very cheap rosé and eating expensive ravioli that I simply do not have the funds for (hence the cheap wine: it’s called balance). This lifestyle has been so hard to become accustomed to (she makes jokes too!).

On a real note, I’ve been studying abroad in Cannes, France for the past two months, and between classes, beach trips, weekend excursions, and being on island time pretty much all the time, I’d like to believe that I’ve grown a lot as a person. These experiences, people, conversations and occasional late night crêpe runs have vastly changed my perspective on a lot. Here’s where I cut myself off because I’m not trying to be the basic girl who goes to study abroad for one summer and thinks that she’s suddenly Ghandi. I know I’m not an intellectual now.

All in all, I’m thankful for this experience.

Now that you know a bit about my hiatus, thanks for still stickin’ around,

RR

GB

 

 

 

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2018, notes

slowest reader award

About a year ago after finishing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s honest yet loving novel, “Americanah,” I was on a mission to find a like-minded author whose work could illustrate a part of America that I was keen on better understanding: immigration. I found said-detail in Imbolo Mbue’s “Behold The Dreamers,” which takes place in early the 2000s and New York City.

A disclaimer that I find necessary to add, before I state my opinion and summary of the book, is that with this novel I found a problem that too often I put it down, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. Although I was heavily interested in the story, I neglected to afford the time for it. Alas, a year has gone by, and today I finished it. I felt like that was important to admit. Now you’re up to speed.

The story takes you through the perspective of its two main characters, Jende and Neni, husband and wife, as they live through a chain of events. By doing so with each chapter, it creates a personal voice for the two. They are not just names that help keep the story organized, but rather they are people whom readers can recognize just by flow of verbiage. (I know that I may seem ramble-y when talking about this aspect of the novel, but throughout my reading career I’ve grown a specific liking to authors that use this device to their advantage. Emma Straub does a great job at personalizing her characters with this system, and Adichie used it as well in “Americanah.”)

Aside from an analysis on the quality of writing and character building, I also enjoyed it for its honest telling of a reality that many suffer as immigrants in our country. There is the classic representation of America being a symbol for freedom and opportunity, while also present is the harsh truth that the grass may just seem greener on the other side.

I cannot put to words the highlights of the story without doing it an injustice, plus it took me a scattered year of corner folding to finally complete it. All that I can say is my own opinion, which is that it truly enlightened me on a part of America I’ve never been involved with or even fully aware of its realities. It awakened the same spirit that was brought about from “Americanah.” And while I feel naïve and ignorant for my previous neglect of America’s insufficient immigration system, I also feel empowered to do what I can with this information and opportunity. With that being said, I trust that you’ll read it yourself, and maybe you’ll find a new understanding for the Dreamers as well.

Thanks for reading,

RR

GB

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2018, notes

what’s it like dating yourself in 2018? — a piece on self love.

Good evening friends!

Valentine’s day was yesterday, and I wanted to make a little spiel on self-love in the simplest ways. Here are some things that I think we all appreciate but don’t actually give credit to for making us happy.

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You want to go see that new movie with someone special? it’s called an over-sized sweatshirt and your four best friends. Lady Bird was so much better with your girls anyways.IMG_1493

Waking up and wanting to go get a bagel with someone so you go get that bagel, come home, get back in bed and turn on New Girl.

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Everyday is an anniversary– that leopard print coat you wanted? it’s yours. Most online stores don’t even up-charge for gift wrapping, and that means you buy all those things you’ve saved on your wish list, ship ’em as a gift, and happy anniversary to you. “oh I shouldn’t have!”

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Concerts are so much better when you’re not trying to vibe with the music while feeling conflicted as to whether or not nodding your head looks like you don’t know every word of each song. Now, you can get your freak on and whip out all your middle school dance moves because chances are you’re wearing comfortable sneakers and didn’t even do your hair for the night.

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Going to sleep at a reasonable hour not wondering where your goodnight text is because your dad already texted you two hours ago.

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You feel empowered to never be tethered to someone because it’s 2018 and Oprah’s Golden Globe’s speech is still the background on your phone.

Sorry if this was stupid or cheesy, but I think that self-love is pretty underrated, and being aware that you shouldn’t define yourself by your relationship status needs to be the goal of 2018.

Let’s celebrate ourselves!

–RR

GB

 

 

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cheers to friday and pizza rolls

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side note: my 9:40 am class was canceled, work was pushed back an hour, and I’m ignoring all my other responsibilities to lay in bed with pizza rolls and That 70’s Show. That’s all you need to know, you may proceed.

Remember that time I featured a little doodle made by my adolescent sister? Ya well, I got lucky again and had her sketch another one, which ended up being an absolute master piece that made me lose my ish. She’s amazing. It hurts. Ok.

On another note, I finally got around to watching the beautiful film, Lady Bird.

You laugh. You cry. You experience every emotion on such relatable terms with the protagonist, who makes you feel like pink hair is for everyone and the early 2000’s need to make a comeback (if it hasn’t already? I can’t keep up.)

I could write an entire post trying to elaborate on its grandeur and authenticity, but I don’t think my words would do her/it/Greta Gerwig justice– so just take my word for it and go see it. You will not regret it, I promise.

–RR

GB

It would also be pretty cool, if you checked out my little sister’s art account on instagram @emily_rae_art!

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Three Really Cool Things!

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My friend introduced me to this band, CLUBZ. The two creators’ aim was to revive the Hispanic music industry with 80’s and 90’s vibes, and I’m pretty much all about it. It’s pretty contagious.

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Really trying to come up with reasons I do not need this tee, but I have yet to find one convincing enough.

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Remember my blog post about the french and how awesome they are? Ya well my dream of being one is kinda coming true this summer! I’m studying abroad for eight whole weeks in the south of France! so many baguettes, so many mispronunciations, but so much fun.

–RR

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my abandoned book collection

Today’s post comes to you from a very honest and intentional place in me.

I want to address the books I’ve purchased, began reading, and left to collect dust on my bookshelf. These books are all written by fine authors, and some are books I still have full intent on reading, and for whatever reason regretfully I have yet to do so.

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  • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
  • The Nest By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • How To Ruin Everything: Essays by George Watsky
  • The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  • Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

This past summer, when I blogged about the books I wanted to read before school started again, I actually read majority of the books on my list. I figured by calling myself out on ditching the present thought of each book, I will reintroduce myself to them and maybe actually finish some this time.

All of these books were recommended to me from trusted opinions, and I had high intentions of finishing each, but as you know life gets in the way and after months go by my interest is gone.

So there you have it. My abandoned collection of books and stories that I still hope to one day rekindle my fascination for. Crossing my fingers that I’ll pick up one of these again and read it in full. If I do, it will probably end up being reviewing it on here, so I guess you’ll be a witness to my success or failure either way.

As always, thanks for reading!

RR

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notes

“writing coaches”

You probably thought I quit on my 2018 goal, didn’t you?

I thought coming up with topics to write about would be easier on the spot, but this is a learning process and I’m nowhere near my creative spark. Alas, here we are though!

On this blog, I promised to talk about one thing and that is creators and creatives. I usually default to talking about subjective inspiration from musicians, artists, and quotes, but I think it’s interesting to look at the actual people who inspire me to do what I’m doing: write. By this I mean the literal writers, public figures, etc. whose work and talents I’ve seen and am motivated to imitate.

  1. Emma Straub. I rank her #1 because she’s a phenomenal writer and my favorite personality to follow on Instagram. This past summer I had a fan girl moment at her bookstore in Brooklyn when I mistook her husband for an average employee and asked him to do an interview with me for my journalism class. As soon as I heard his name my jaw dropped and my exact words were, “oh my god you’re married to Emma Straub. I love her.” I proceeded with the interview, cried a few tears on the inside, and ended up getting my book signed by her without actually meeting her. I own all four of her novels, and two copies of Modern Lovers. I also have the french edition of Modern Lovers shipping to my apartment because I’m that girl who needs everything with Emma Straub’s name on it in my possession. I’ve ended up talking more about my obsession with her than I actually have about her writing and why it inspires me, but she’s a unique person and I hope one day to be her or at least just be her friend. yeah let’s start with that first actually.
  2. Carrie Bradshaw. Part of me cringes at this one because of how cliché and expected it is, but if I’m being honest with myself the first time I ever decided that I wanted to write for a fashion magazine was in the eighth grade after watching an episode of Sex and the City and seeing her shoe collection. I thought to myself, “Yeah I’m a pretty decent writer and it seems like Bradshaw’s got a pretty snazzy lifestyle in New York. I’ll be a journalist.” Shows you how little I knew at the age of 13. Nonetheless, her character’s bold personality and lifestyle seemed exciting, and I knew that writing was something I liked so it made sense to go after the same dreams–minus the promiscuity. It’s cheesy, and I’m embarrassed to look up to a fictional character as my inspiration, but it is what it is.
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her novel, Americanah, changed my perspective my country and myself. Her writing introduced me to like-minded authors and stories, which have all sparked a new interest for discussing the problems of America that we so often ignore. Her work is based on topics and interests that I hope to one day have a large enough voice to discuss.

So there you have it, my short and sweet list of the three women who have set the bar high for my dream of being a writer. You could say they are my “writing coaches,” yes that’s fair. Here’s to the anticipation of watching my list grow!

Thanks for reading,

RR

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this is a commitment I will most likely regret

Hey folks!

I just made an impulse decision for this year that I’m going to aim to post on this blog-thingy everyday! yes you read that correctly.

I’m tired of making excuses for this bad boy, and my schedule is actually very packed for this next semester of school… BUT I’m doing this because why not, and if I don’t end up sticking with it what else is new?

sounds like a good plan, no?

I think the reason I’m never inspired to write anymore is because I’m not actually challenging myself to do so. By forcing myself to write everyday, I’m challenging myself.

I really hope this turns out to be a good thing, and not just a couple posts about the music I’ve been listening too and the episodes of new girl that I like.

I’m also hoping that whether it’s a sentence of a post or a few solid paragraphs, I actually take this year to write and publish each day.

I guess we’ll find out.

2018, here goes nothing.

UPDATE: day seven in and I’m giving up (sigh). I will say however that I want to continue posting on a weekly basis because I did enjoy creating last few posts, and it got me out of my writer’s block for the time being. I think posting everyday is a little excessive for everyone so I’m dialing it back! okay that’s all continue with your days.

Thanks for reading,

RR

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words that I keep around for good measure. also Love.

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We’re rounding the corner of this year, and 2018 is vastly approaching with its promises and expectations.

In honor of the end of this year, I’m revealing a small portion of my collection of quotes, lyrics, and notes, which I’ve kept for the last year. Some are words written by my favorite authors, others are lyrics that I find myself humming, and some are even words that were spoken or written to me that I keep to reflect on. A good sum of the words that I keep are those that I feel inspired by. Whether it’s to become the kind of person who fits the description of some or it’s that I am constantly reminding myself to practice the advice of some, I feel obliged to hold onto these. I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites.

“You’re a lover of the wild and a joker of the heart.” The Kooks, Junk of the Heart

“She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park 

“Before you say no, don’t say no.” New Girl, episode 25 season 2

“I still remember me before you.” – Seinabo Sey, Still

“Choices were easy to make until you realized how long life could be.” – Emma Straub, Modern Lovers

“I have what I have and I am happy. I’ve lost what I’ve lost and I am still happy.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk & Honey

And there you have it!

2017 held a lot of very special times for me. Whether times of grief or glee, I learned to stop relying on others or even myself, but instead I relied on love. The love I have for people and the love being shown to me. With that being said, my salutations go out to 2018 as I look forward to loving more.

Thanks for reading,

RR

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notes

here is my poor excuse for a blog post and I hope you enjoy it.

Hey friends

Today, I just kind of want to blab about some things that I really like. This would be what most bloggers or internet personalities would call their “favorites,” but I don’t want to come to terms with the fact that my laziness has molded me into the amateur-blogger-stereotype so we’re going to pretend that this isn’t a run-on sentence and proceed with some things that I love to talk about.

Some tunes that I enjoy around this time of year that don’t involve any santa references or jingles bells:

  • I Believe In Us – LÉON
  • Drama – Jesse Rutherford
  • Give It To Me – HOMESHAKE
  • Warm On A Cold Night – Honne
  • Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths
  • Still – Seinabo Sey
  • You’re Still A Mystery – Bleachers

If you really want to keep up with what I listen to you can follow my spotify (self promotion! hi! and I don’t even feel bad about it).

In the category of literature, I’m still trying to find time to finish “Behold the Dreamers,” by Imbolo Mbue. I made a promise to myself (and to this novel) that I would finish it out despite the fact that it has been almost 6 months since I picked it up, and I’m a woman of my word. A book that I am very interested in reading next is John Green’s newest, “Turtles All the Way Down.” I’ll keep you updated with my thoughts on both.

I’m about to break into some uncharted territory on this blog, a safe place where I never thought I’d reach the point of discussing cosmetics as a ploy for conversation-content. I’m dramatic.Processed with VSCO with m5 presetReally, I just want to put a bug in your ear if you are curious or have heard the name Glossier. It’s actually a pretty rad company considering it all started on a blog, Into the Gloss, and later branched into its own skincare and cosmetics line. The brand is still pretty young, but, nonetheless, I’ve become my own sort of junkie to its products.

So in the spirit of holiday giving, here are some recommended products courtesy of moi that I look forward to using every day, and that on occasion make me feel like a Glossier model (look em up. they’re a bunch of cool girls. trust me.)

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This isn’t a favorite of mine, but instead it’s a thought: I want to learn to cook. Not like top chef or putting garnishes on a plate, but I want to move past ramen noodles and Kraft’s easy-mac every night. My budget for groceries normally depends on the Free People sale selection so please keep that in mind before you judge me on my eating habits. If you have any tips on how to make normal people food please let me know.

I don’t have too much else to talk about, and so I’m going to get back to watching Sex and the City season six and pretending my life is more exciting than it actually is.

Cheers to keeping it real and happy holidays,

RR

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good times, bad times

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pc: @hannahmorgan

Hey! Hello! What’s going on?

This semester has been crazy and it’s almost over. wow.

A lot has happened in the last few months. A lot of good. A lot of bad. I won’t bother you with the details of either.

Needless to say, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and taking time to establish peace and security in my life recently. I’m happy to report that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing peers and friends, who never cease in dedicating their time and love to me.

In other news, I don’t have much to write about today. Actually, I’ve been having some serious difficulty coming up with anything to write about, and that’s why I’ve been so absent. I figured instead of mustering up some post about a bunch of nonsense, I would instead repeat some words that have been sort of my prayer or mantra these last few months.

I do my best to keep this blog pretty neutral in terms of religious and political opinions, but I find it refreshing every now and then to be reminded of certain values and truths that hold close to my faith. With that being said, something that has rung true in my heart and circulated my mind has been this lyric, and it’s pretty much my inspiration for this post:

“Give me the strength to be able to sing it is well with my soul.”

The line comes from the MercyMe song “Even If.”

When I first heard it, I was stunned by how vulnerable it made me feel. This period of life has brought moments of tears, laughter, frustration, anxiety, and humility. With each moment, whether good or bad, I’ve needed God.

I don’t really know what else there is to say other than that I encourage you to find that lyric, line, song, person, moment, or whatever it is that humbles you and reminds you that you can’t do this by yourself. Part of growing is realizing that you can’t do it on your own.

Some other powerful songs that I recommend:

  • Bloom Later by Jesse Rutherford
  • Something Beautiful by NeedToBreathe
  • Letter By The Water by The Japanese House
  • Everybody Lost Somebody by Bleachers
  • Still by Seinabo Sey

What inspires you?

Thanks for reading my little spiel. Back to hibernation I go!

RR

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