honest to blog

Happy Wednesday, Magical Creatures!

I follow a fair number of fashion + lifestyle bloggers. I love to see carefully curated social content: you know, when the caption, outfit, photo, lighting all rolls into one beautiful piece of art that ALSO fits with the  user’s social media image and aesthetic.

I try to achieve the same level of content, just without a professional photographer, brands sponsoring me, and without the same resources that other bloggers have. Challenging, yes, but I do my best.

Over labor day weekend I traveled with my family to Atlanta to visit my brother. While we were there I saw something that shocked and appalled me, and I thought I’d share it with you all. It reminded me why I like doing what I do, and why I might not be as polished or successful as other bloggers.

My family and I went to Shake Shack on a sunny Saturday afternoon, because cheese fries. I ordered a full meal–burger (no bun), cheese fries and a Diet Coke.

We were sitting outside eating when we noticed a couple behind us. The girl was skinny, beautiful, fashionable and well made-up. She and (what I assume was) her significant other were sitting across from one another with similar full meals in front of them.

He was eating, she wasn’t. She was taking pictures of her food with a professional camera. He looked a little annoyed, but I understand. We are all guilty of taking photos of delicious food before eating it–I do it. We all do it.

She held up her burger gracefully to take a photo with the Atlanta skyline. I assume the photo turned out great, it was the perfect day.

It began to occur to me that her food was probably getting cold. I thought, my mouth full of cheese fries, that she should eat it soon or it would get soggy.

After that, I started beating myself up. This girl was so gorgeous, like unbelievable. She had the perfect body, hair, makeup and outfit. How is it that she gets to eat junk food and still be perfect? I looked down at my empty container of fries with disgust.

Then something unexpected happened: She picked up her tray full of food, took one sip of her milkshake, and walked over to the trashcan and threw all of it away.

I think we are all guilty of comparing ourselves to the ideal standards we see on social media. We all know we’re not supposed to do it, and we all talk about not doing it, and then we do it. It’s subconsciously ingrained in our scrolls. It happens without us even knowing.

The worst part is, what we see on social media isn’t always genuine or real. Pictures are posed, moments are invented, truths are exaggerated, photos are edited. This is the reality of the business. I don’t expect everything I see to be genuine, but I guess I never suspected it would be that fake.

The idea that this girl posted all these pictures of her food, and then a picture of her honestly makes me sick to my stomach. Young women are going to look at this. They are going to think, “Why am I so fat?” They are going to think, “Why can she eat that food and still look like that?” When the truth is, she can’t. She is human. She is faking. She has the power to influence the next generation, and instead she is perpetuating unrealistic goals, ideals and images of being a woman. I mean all first-world self-esteem issues aside, the sheer food waste is nauseating.

Sometimes, I’m unsatisfied with my content. But the truth is, the reason I don’t have as much content and as picture perfect content is that I don’t make shit up. If you see me drinking a margarita, I’m drinking it. If you see me wearing an outfit, I’m wearing it. All day. If I post a picture of cheese fries, you better believe I’m eating those cheese fries.

I promise that I will always be honest & transparent in all I post on social media, and I so appreciate those who do the same.

I hope this gives you some sort of perspective and encouragement. You are enough. You are perfect. You are beautiful. Not to mention, think about how unhappy that girl is. She missed out on some damn good cheese fries.

Glitter and Rainbows,

Hannah

 

23 things i did while i was 22

Happy Wednesday, Magical Creatures!

I turn 23 tomorrow, which is such a weird age, don’t you think? I’m pretty sure that I  thought I would never be 23. You think about what your life will be like when you are 21, 25, 30 even 22, but never once have I thought, “Hmm. I wonder what my life will be like when I’m 23.”

But, I will be 23. I’m going to have to deal with being 23 for an entire year, so don’t worry, getting over it now.

Looking back at the past year, I realize how absolutely insane it has been. I’ve gone through some major life changes and accomplished quite a bit (no wonder I’m so tired!).

For today, I am still 22, and the earth has given me magical weather. Rainy, humid, cool but not cold. The air feels thick.

On this, my last day of 22, I thought I’d try to gain a little wisdom by reflecting on the last year of my life.

  1. I wrote 15 blog posts. Not my best work, I know. I’m not going to beat myself up though because I do what I can and what I need to do for myself, and sometimes blogging gets pushed down near the bottom of that list.
  2. I decided to take a break from my part time job. I decided that concentrating on my academics was more important.
  3. I joined a student organization. I am well known for being un-involved in extracurricular activities (in college, at least). This was a big stretch for me but I gained valuable assets from joining PRSSA.
  4. I voted. Although the election didn’t exactly turn out how I had hoped, I am glad I made the decision to exercise my right.
  5. I interviewed for an internship, and I got the job. I had a fantastic experience working at Liz Alig. So fantastic, I forgot to leave!
  6. I interviewed for an internship, and I didn’t get the job. This failure was an important stepping stone for learning how I perform in interviews, and how to accept my personal strengths and weaknesses.
  7. I saw Hamilton. I was in the room where it happened with my mom and sis.
  8. I raised my GPA, made the Dean’s list, and was granted back my presidential scholarship. I went through a few personal and health struggles that negatively impacted my class performance during my sophomore year, resulting in the loss of my scholarship. But, I worked really hard to get it back and did even better than I thought I would. It was a huge win for me, mostly because I proved to myself that I could do it.
  9. I went to Washington DC. I have been before when I was younger, but this time I felt like I was genuinely able to appreciate the value of the history I was seeing and experiencing.
  10. I got bangs. Hey–we all have regrets.
  11. I decided to make a conscious effort to reduce my footprint. I started to be more conscious of what garments I was buying, in what quantity and from where.
  12. I went to Colorado. It was my first time in the rocky mountains AND taking a vacation without my fam. I also learned that Colorado is WAY TOO FAR TO DRIVE TO.
  13. I was diagnosed with sciatica. So, my back hurts sometimes. Sometimes it’s really painful but other times it’s fine.
  14. I attended a public protest.
  15. I reconnected with a friend. Overjoyed that I randomly ran in to my high school best friend Ally at a bar in Warsaw, because now she can be more than just my high school best friend.
  16. I lived by myself for the first time. A little scary, but I learned to be cautious about leaving lights on and locking my door.
  17. I learned what it feels like to be overworked. Once my internship started and I was driving to Indy three times a week, while also working at American Eagle, while also looking for a job, while also taking my final college course and sometimes babysitting–I was a little tired.
  18. I graduated from college. Whoo!
  19. I moved to downtown Indianapolis. And I love it.
  20. I started a full time job. Again, love it.
  21. I saw the solar eclipse. Not full totality, but standing in the circle with 500 of my closest friends and looking up at the sky together was pretty cool.
  22. I dyed my hair red. I’m hoping it will make me more fiery and adventurous. That’s how it works, right?
  23. I visited my brother in Atlanta and made a couple new friends. I finally had a chance to get to know my brothers girlfriend, Jessica. I also became bffs with her dog, Tucker, who is a sweet magical unicorn puppy. And I saw Stan Lee and we are best friends now I think.

Wow! So many things! Anyways, happy birthday to me and all that nonsense. Look out for my sister and I this weekend on Mass Ave celebrating. We’ll be the ones wearing obnoxious blow up unicorn horns on our heads.

Below is a small collection of photographed standout moments from 22.

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn

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life update (i’m a big girl now)

Happy Friday, Magical Creatures!

Good news: I am finally a college graduate.

You probably didn’t know because I didn’t have any sappy posts or posed cap-and-gown photos (I decided to skip my graduation and save the $110), but I did it.

Much has happened in the past month, and my life seems to be picking up its pace exponentially. First things first, I graduated from Ball State with a BS in Public Relations, already having a full-time job lined up for after school. I had set this goal for myself during the spring semester knowing fully that many people don’t find a job until a year or two after graduation. I feel fortunate to have accomplished this goal and am so thankful to all of the people who aided in my search.

I finished up my internship with Liz Alig on a Friday (I’m still doing blogger relations), moved to downtown Indianapolis that weekend, and started my new job on that Monday. I was thoroughly exhausted for a couple of weeks, but I survived, and came out the other end determined and thrilled to be doing what I’m doing.

I live in an industrial studio apartment with 15 foot ceilings, concrete floors, and stainless steel countertops (peek Justin and Akio on bottom right).

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And the biggest bathtub I’ve ever soaked in.

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Apartment tour coming soon, but first I have to unpack all the way (she says three weeks later while sitting in bed and watching A Handmaid’s Tale).

Oh, and there’s a rooftop infinity pool.

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I’m working at High Alpha, a venture capital studio that dreams up and funds tech companies. My job is fast paced and my co-workers are fantastic.

The office is on the top floor of a building right on Monument Circle, daily inspirational city views included.

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In summary, I am currently living in a big girl apartment, working a big girl job, all in a big girl city.

Now I’m just waiting for it to feel like home.

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn

i <3 these things (aka may faves)

Happy Thursday, Magical Creatures!

I want to finish off the month of May by sharing a few of my favorite things.

If you just hummed The Sound of Music, go ahead and include yourself on this list.

1. I’m Drinking: La Croix

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Or, the new Diet Coke.

I’m constantly fighting the hydration battle. I’ve never been good at carrying a water bottle or remembering to drink when I’m not thirsty. And, I’m ashamed to say it, but WATER IS SO BORING.

This month, I have been trying to transition to drinking something a little healthier than Diet Coke. It still satisfies my carbonation craving, but is free of artificial sweeteners!

My go-to is the Peach-Pear flavor, but Grapefruit is a classic.

2. I’m Watching: Bill Nye Saves the World

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Bill Nye is still targeting millennials in this new Netflix original, but don’t worry, he’s grown with us. In each episode, Bill tackles a different controversial subject, debunking myths with help from his correspondents and a panel of experts.

I love science, so watching this show was a no brainer for me. But if you think science is lame, who are you, and also, you won’t after watching this show. Bill educates his audience in entirely entertaining ways, as usual, and all in an array of classy bow-tie-and-suit combinations.

His dad-esque humor and wacky experiments make me feel like a kid again.

3. I’m Wearing: Bobby Pins

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Bobby pins are always in my hair because I’m growing out my bangs, but I’m not complaining.

Some people try to hide their bobby pins, but I say wear them loud and proud.

Showing off pins is a strong feminine statement. It says, “Yes, I work hard to look this good. Don’t underestimate me.”

I have some cute colored ones as well as the classic kind, which are a little more functional. I love them piled on in an up do, or just pulling hair out of the face.

4. I’m Reading: Girl on the Train

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I’m right in the middle of this book, so don’t worry, no spoilers will be given because I don’t even know them yet.

I mostly started to read this book because I wanted to see the movie, but I’m enjoying it far more than I initially expected.

The structure of the narrative makes my heart happy. It has a creative timeline that keeps me on my toes, not to mention the complex and relatable characters that author Paula Hawkins has dreamed up.

5. I’m Using: Neutrogena Hydro Boost

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Yes, this is the product on those commercials with Kristin Bell where she has the best looking skin you have ever seen. And surprisingly, it is actually real.

I mean it’s not going to give you Kristin-Bell-level skin, that’s just good genes. But it DOES work.

Thanks to my extremely talented esthetitian/beauty-guru friend Ally, I have a new skin care routine that is changing my life (post to come in the next month).

I learned that my skin isn’t dry, it’s dehydrated. Instead of a lotion moisturizer I am now using a water-based moisturizer! It’s hydrating my skin like crazy. My skin actually has glow now, which I’ve honestly never seen before.

It’s on the high end of pricing for Neutrogena, but I think it’s worth the splurge for a good moisturizer.

6. I’m Listening to: Future Islands

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Just check them out, okay?

All I have to say is that they are officially my summer crush. And I have them on repeat.

 

Thanks for checking out my post, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, magical creatures!

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn

 

a summer of fun (aka work work)

Happy Friday, Magical Creatures!

I am officially 2 weeks into my summer “break”.

I am in the process of finishing my final semester at Ball State (!!!!). All I have left to complete is my 2 credit internship class. If you don’t know about my internship, refer back to this previous post. I’ve been doing blogger relations, and I’ve even been able to correspond with some of my favorite bloggers! So, mostly, I’ve been trying not to fangirl at them and being a complete professional.

This summer feels like a new start for me, as I am venturing out into the world, job searching, working and continuing to blog.

The sad part about this summer is that Anthony is living at home so that he can audition in Chicago, get his personal trainer’s license and take coding classes. He’s pretty cool.

As a result, I am flying solo in Muncie. This weekend I’ve been adjusting the apartment to fit one person’s stuff instead of two which means there is SO MUCH SPACE, WOW. Although, unfortunately, it feels a bit empty.

Here is a list of things I’ll be doing this summer:

  • interning with Liz Alig
  • working at American Eagle
  • looking for a (real) job
  • blogging
  • trying to resist adopting a cat
  • buying too many plants
  • painting my nails odd colors
  • forgetting to water the plants
  • making tapestries with Mandy
  • trying to get my skin to clear up
  • buying plants to replace the dead ones
  • eating so much guacamole

I’m interviewing next week with a financial firm in Carmel! The real world is coming so fast, but I actually feel like I’m ready for it for the first time.

Let me know what you guys are up to this summer in the comments!

Have a good weekend, magical creatures.

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn

politics are tricky (aka send help)

Happy Thursday, Magical Creatures!

If you follow me on social media, you know that I don’t make political posts.

I was raised to believe in the secret ballot. I honestly never knew who my dad voted for, his stances on political issues or if he had any party loyalties at all.

I’m grateful that my parents were thoughtful when it came to sharing their political views with me. They managed to teach me morality without viewing it through a political lens.

As a teenager, I was able to form my own opinions based upon the moral code I had already built. This led me to be more open-minded when faced with opposing viewpoints.

My dad was (and still is) a public relations professional and has always worked with governmental officials of both parties, which was why he had to be extremely careful about expressing political opinions. He is a smart guy (duh).

Social media wasn’t around when my dad was looking for PR jobs.

Having a strong online presence and image is now a necessity, therefore I am careful. I proceed with caution, because what I say could cost me a job.

Now here’s where things get crazy.

Recent events have led me to believe that staying quiet no longer adheres to my moral code. Compassion, equality and tolerance seem to have taken a backseat in today’s political environment.

In the future, I’m going to be a little more daring.

Social media has always been the best way for me to express myself, and it feels dishonest to continue to avoid certain topics.

If employers are turned off by my viewpoints, so be it. That means that I probably wouldn’t have been happy at their company, anyway.

I know that this is going to be tricky. I know that this is a risk, which means I will be doubly cautious when crafting content.

In this era of filters and Photoshop, I want to be the most genuine me I can be.

I want to be truth-y.

Thanks for sticking by me, magical creatures.

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn

 

photo: Nan Schamerloh Miller

 

 

bangs in the wind (aka smh)

Happy Thursday, Magical Creatures!

I did it. I got bangs.

Curly hair and bangs are usually a no-no, but why would I obey that rule?

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If you can tell by my oozing enthusiasm in this picture, there are quite a few reasons I may have wanted to obey that rule.

In the past two weeks I have encountered obstacles that I expected when I committed to this new look.

I have also encountered obstacles that I did not expect.

CURRENT OBSTACLES:

  • bangs do not automatically “bang,” they need a bit of training while wet
  • bangs flip out instead of in sometimes
  • bangs curl in a way that isn’t like the pretty girls in the magazine
  • wind
  • bangs do not listen to pleading or crying, they think I am a sissy
  • bangs look like furry unibrow when viewed from my own eyes
  • bangs look greasy if conditioned properly
  • I am lazy and bangs require motivation

I am beginning to suspect that the magical curly-banged Pinterest girls actually work hard to get that effortless tousled look

As with I do with everything in my life, I have been researching like crazy to try to figure out some ways to make my new bang-ed life a little bit easier. Here are a few tips I have for anyone thinking about doing the chop.

INVEST IN HEADBANDS

I should have bought headbands before I cut my hair. Some days, bangs just aren’t worth the work. That’s where headbands come in to save the day. Other valuable assets include cute clips, bobby pins, bandannas and headscarves.

CURLY HAIR WORKS IF YOU WORK

I have found a few methods that help me to have cute, voluminous bangs without slaving over them. Sometimes, I blow dry them down before I go to bed. It takes about 30 seconds. Or, I twist the wet bangs into cute curly sections, and let them air dry. I separate and style them after they’ve completely dried. Occasionally I’ll use a curling iron to curl them under; a straight iron will make them stick straight out. Not cute.

REMEMBER THAT WIND EXISTS

Generally, styling  bangs is a struggle so when you finally get them in place you desperately want them to stay exactly like that. Then, you go outside and the wind is like, “OH LOOK BANGS WHY DONT I JUST COME IN AND MESS THEM UP FOR YOU.” The best method I’ve experimented with is a lightweight hairspray to tame them slightly. Another solution is a compact mirror to immediately fix your hair when you get inside again.
If any of you bang-ed beauties have any advice on this matter PLEASE share. I’d love to try anything you have to offer.

Have a good weekend, magical creatures! I’ll be attending the Women’s March on Washington (the one in Indy) with my sis. I hope to see some of your fine, feminist faces there!

Glitter and Rainbows,

The Girlicorn