Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Things you should know about inequality in America

**Please note this was written back in April so the headlines have changes somewhat but this is still entirely relevant and I highly suggest you take the time to read up & get informed if you aren't already. 
By now I hope all of you have heard about the riots in Baltimore. If you haven’t, this article does a good job at covering the backstory and events leading up to the riots. We think this is really important though, so we’re going to give you a brief overview of what everyone’s saying about Baltimore, race, and inequality.
So what happened in Baltimore?:
A man named Freddie Gray was arrested. The officers who took him into custody say he ran when they approached him, prompting suspicion- they later found a switchblade on him. Gray was injured at some point between his arrest and his arrival at the police station. He died due to a severe spinal cord injury.
Why is this causing so much controversy?:
We don’t know for sure what happened to Freddie Gray. There aren’t videos from the police van, so right now it’s essentially just the officers’ words against whatever conjecture people make- the case is undergoing investigation. Meanwhile, using Freddie Gray as a symbol of racism and police brutality, people are protesting and rioting in Baltimore. Some of the protests turned violent. The Crips and the Bloods are involved. Basically, there’s a lot of confusion and a lot of he-said-she-said, so people are getting pretty heated.
What are people saying in favor of the Baltimore Police Department and police in general?:
Maybe the way to avoid police brutality is to avoid doing illegal things. The protestors are just using this as an excuse to gang up on police. Not all the police are bad. There’s no proof that Freddie Gray wasn’t doing something wrong.
What are people in saying in favor of Freddie Gray and the protestors?:
The officers approached Gray for no reason, which means they probably just thought he looked suspicious because of his skin color. Only part of the protests are violent. The media is portraying the violent protestors as a majority when, in actuality, this is more about peaceful protests and starting a conversation about race. There’s no proof that the Officers weren’t doing something wrong.
What do we think?:
To me, this is clear cut. Gray went into that van fine and came out with a lethal injury. Now someone always says, “but not all police are bad!” or “there are some Black people who should be arrested!” I agree completely. That being said, right now we need to focus on the fact that police brutality IS a real issue and racism DOES come into play in a lot of arrests. It isn’t hard to realize that Freddie Gray was racially profiled and that it was very unlikely that he did anything in that van to warrant the kind of force that could cause a major spinal cord injury.
And if you’re one of the people saying that “racism isn’t real” or that “they’re just complaining”, just remember that people said the same thing during the Civil Rights Movement. You’re probably horrified by the way People of Color were treated in 1960s, so just imagine how people will be thinking of us 50 years from now.
We can do better. We should do better. I get that it’s easy to ignore things that don’t affect you directly, but we owe it to people like Freddie Gray and Mike Brown to have the tough conversations, really evaluate ourselves and our societies, and figure out where to go from here.
xoxo,
Yasi

Move Review: She's Beautiful When She's Angry

Shes-Beautiful-When-Shes-Angry-Screenshot
This past weekend (so like 3 months ago now) Yasi and I got the chance to attend a screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry at a film festival in our area. The film, directed by Mary Dore, is a documentary that focuses on the woman’s liberation movement of the late 1960’s-early 1970s, as well as modern day movements. In case you didn’t know, Yasi and I are hardcore feminists, and before some of you freak out and decide to call us things like “feminazis,” we would like to provide the accurate definition of the word feminism:
feminism-definition_6bdd9646-2a74-4f3a-a1c0-6dbc48f3654b_large
Feminism is all about equality for all. For us, it is not man-hating, it is about respect and equal opportunity. We strongly believe that men face many inequalities as well, but that those will continue to exist until society fixes the way it looks at women.
This idea is something that came up in the documentary often. The women of the time had basically no fundamental human rights. They were expected to get married young, raise children, stay home, and take care of the home. God forbid the wife didn’t have a home-cooked meal on the table when her husband got home from work. The only jobs available were secretarial jobs, with ads looking for “sexy secretaries”. They were seen as sex objects, yet birth control was not readily available and/or had extreme side effects, there were no daycare options for children and abortion was illegal. Women were too emotional to have positions of power. etc. etc…
As we watched the film, we recognized many things have changed for the better throughout time, but that we still face many of the same problems that women have been fighting against for more than 45 years. The film was incredibly good at pointing out the problems that still exist, like inequalities in the workplace, in politics, and society in general. As we watched the old footage, we were surprised to how relevant what they were fighting for is. It’s the disrespect and expectations that Yasi and I face regularly. Whether it’s someone asking Yasi if she picked her major to get a better version of the “MRS degree” or if it’s somebody I’ve never talked to asking me out because I have “big boobs and a nice ass” and then when I kindly reject I “friend zoned” him and should “give him a chance”. Rape culture and sexual assault on college campuses are issues that are just now coming into the spotlight, even though they’ve been problems for years. As college students, we’ve seen this culture first hand and are working hard to change it, although there’s a shocking amount of resistance.
Yasi and I want to graduate college and be able to have equal pay as a man in the same job with the same degree. Both of us do well in school, yet we’re likely to make less than our male counterparts who had C averages.
And then of course there are still political disagreements about if women should have control of their bodies or not. The list goes on and on.
The film got us thinking, as the current generation, what can we do to continue the fight that women started in the early 1900s? Until women stop being objectified and seen as overly emotional weaklings and men stop having to be macho and emotionless, the fight won’t be over. Equality makes life easier for everyone. You can freely be yourself and express yourself without being judged by the opposite sex, or your own.
cinnamon-rolls-not-gender-roles
If a man wants to be a teacher, a nurse, a business man, or a stay-at-home Dad, GREAT! If a woman wants to be a designer, a CEO, the president, a stay-at-home Mom, GREAT! Be who you want to be, not what society tells you to be.
I apologize for the long post, but it is something that we are both truly passionate about. PLEASE check out the movie if you have a chance, it is very informative for all! Furthermore, if you have an issue with women’s rights, gay rights, trans rights, civil rights, HUMAN rights, please kindly unfollow our blog.
Thank you all very much for your time,
Xoxo Lexi “Yasi and I could rant about feminism all day, no joke”
FUCK YEAH FEMINISM!!!
xoxo,
Yasi “NOW I WANT A CINNAMON ROLL ALSO I AM FIRED UP RN CAN YOU TELL??!!”

Style Inspiration: Emma Roberts


Emma Roberts' Instagram is full of style. Her outfits are amazing, she's always traveling to cool places with fun people, and she's constantly picking up a new book to read. This is why this week we have chosen her as our style inspiration. She consistently stays ahead of the trends, but also dresses comfortably/reasonably enough that normal human beings can dress like her. I picked out three of my favorite looks from her Instagram:

1. Classy Crop Top

Get her look:
2. Black is the New Black

Get her look: 

3. Cozy & Warm

Get her look: 

        
Happy shopping! Xo, Lexi

Pro Tips for Tax Season

All right kiddos,
It’s that time of the year again! And by that time of the year I mean tax return season. If you haven't spent received your return already, you should be getting it shortly. Did you not get a return? Are you wondering why? Are you now worried that you missed a deadline? If you're worried, it is entirely possible that you failed to file your taxes by April 15th (which is the deadline), so I thought I'd give you a little briefing so you're prepared for next tax season and answer questions including: 
– Is this going to cost me anything?
– How much effort is this going to require?
– What are my taxes even doing?
– Can I just ignore this whole thing and keep living young n wild n free?
To answer the last question on that list- NO. Sorry, you do actually have to pay attention to taxes. Luckily we’ve got a little bit of experience under our belts and are here to give you the quick & dirty.*
The short story:
Taxes are really important to keep this country going- they do things like repair
roads, fund public education, and other important government-provided services.
The long story:
Read if you dare.
The lingo:
The IRS: Stands for the Internal Revenue Service. They’re part of the Department of
the Treasury and handle anything and everything related to taxes. Which
is a lot.
Audit:      Depends on the context, but what we’re talking about here is the IRS giving you side eye because you’re doing something that seems shady. Obviously if you’re a multimillionaire your audit is going to be a little different than if you make $250 a month at the library, but this is just someone checking out your tax records again to make sure you aren’t evading taxes, committing fraud, etc. Also known as: something you really don’t want to happen to you. Pay your taxes.
W2:        This is a report you should receive from your employer. It has the information you need to complete your income taxes, like how much you made that fiscal year, how much was automatically deducted for taxes, how much was deducted for your 401k that you don’t actually have yet, etc. etc.
1040EZ:  Probably the only thing you’ll be filling out right now  (Unless you are Lorde, in which case your taxes will probably be much more complicated. If you are in fact Lorde, you also probably have a very hip, Australian tax person so you don’t really need to be here.) This is your basic federal income tax form that’s going to ask you about things like dependents, property, etc. Don’t let it scare you- it’s actually really easy.
The who/what/when/where/how:
– Unless you sold an app at the age of 16 or are, as we mentioned previously, Lorde,
as a student or early twenty-something your taxes are probably going to be pretty
simple. By simple we mean filing your taxes will either be free or cost <$50 and
take under an hour.
– You generally have to file by April 15th. You can apply for an extension, but as a
college student you proooobably aren’t going to qualify for one.
– Make sure you have your W2!!!!!!!!!!
– File online. H&R Block has free online tax services that make it really easy.
– Speaking of filing online, FILE ONLINE. Companies that specialize in taxes make it
a lot easier to make sure you’re doing everything you need to (because we want to
avoid that #auditgrind) so take advantage of them.
– You’ll get your return a lot faster if you set up direct deposit instead of asking to get
a check in the mail. If you don’t know your routing number/check number (like me
and probably everyone under the age of 25 because what college sophomore do
you know that has their own checkbook), go on your bank’s website. Routing
numbers are easy to look up and you can get your checking number if you receive
online statements.
That’s all the advice we have! If you or someone you know is a tax expert, please feel free to let us know any additions/changes you suggest.
xoxo,
Yasi “Probs going to bake cookies for my local H&R Block peeps”
*Disclaimer: We are not nor do we claim to be tax experts! This information is intended as friendly advice only and we cannot be held accountable for any miscommunications, misinterpretations, misinformation, etc. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Favorite Workouts

You've heard all the benefits of exercise a million times already so I'm just gonna cut straight to it- you may feel very differently, but I'm one of those people who just isn't happy if I don't exercise. Even just a 20 minute jog and some ab work in my room boosts my mood infinitely. Without my daily sweat sesh I'm a total grouch, can't sleep, and generally feel like a slug.

Even so, I get bored working out. There's nothing I hate quite as much as pounding out 45 minutes on the elliptical and doing bicep curls while surrounded by a bunch of other miserable-looking people. Before college, I did dance/yoga/golf/various other sports just because I enjoyed them- the exercise was secondary. After testing out about a million different forms of exercise, I've found a few that I have a ton of fun with. If you're looking to switch up your fitness routine, here are a few of my recommendations!

1. Pilates                                                                                   LA Recommendation: Wundabar Pilates
    Mat classes are fine, but I'm personally a fan of the reformer. If you've never seen one, it looks
    vaguely like a medieval torture device. In a way it is, but the classes are small, the teachers are
    attentive, everything can be modified for your needs, and it activates muscles you didn't even know
    you had. I've had back problems in the past, but the core strengthening exercises have helped
    alleviate pain and improve my posture.

2. Yoga                                                                           LA Recommendation: Corepower, YogaWorks
    I'm terrible about stretching on my own. We always spent so much time stretching in dance that I
    never had to think about it, but my joint problems got so much worse when I stopped. Yoga
    provides a low-impact way to strengthen and stretch, plus it helps me get out of my head. It is
    rooted in Hindu tradition and really does provide a spiritual experience, regardless of what religion
    you are (or aren't).

3. Spinning                                                                                           LA Recommendation: SoulCycle
    Even though I would consider myself a runner, I don't actually enjoy running all that much.
    Spinning provides the same cardio conditioning in a team environment. Personally, I'm a
    SoulCycle diehard. The music is incredible and the instructors are basically therapists/spiritual
    guides. The classes include choreography that you do on the bike (don't think about it too much)
    and everyone is really supportive. They encourage you to leave competition at the door and just
    focus on yourself, so it isn't hard to really get in the zone (there's a reason they have words like
    'tribe' and 'pack' plastered everywhere).

4. Barre                                                                                       LA Recommendation: The Bar Method
    I love this because it reminds me of dance classes and allows me to relive my unfulfilled dream of
    being a ballet dancer. Think you can manage a few plies? Believe me, it's so much harder than it
    looks- you'll be feeling the burn by the time you leave.

5. TRX/HIIT                         LA Recommendation: 360 Elite Performance Sports (tell Ted I sent you)
    The gym where I go to school is a total boys club and I hate the looks I get when I use weights, so
    I've always wanted to be able to strut in and do 20 pull ups as a sort of f*** you to the guys. For
    me, this is the stuff of arm-shaking, jelly-leg dreams. It'll kick your butt, but you'll also feel
    stronger than ever.

6. Outdoor Training                                  LA Recommendation: Griffith Park, The November Project
    It's a great workout and it's free- what more could you ask for? Literally just get out, find a patch of 
    grass, and start exercising. You can do a million different variations on squats, lunges, ab exercises, 
    plants, push ups, and warm up drills without any equipment. The November Project is an awesome 
    way to workout with other people if you have a hard time getting motivated on your own, and it's 
    in a lot of cities!

7. Hiking                                      LA Recommendation: Eaton Canyon, Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park
    Again, it's free. You get to experience nature and get a killer workout. There are great views. I'm
    seeing only pluses here, so find a hill or mountain or trail or whatever and get hiking!

8. Jogging/Running                  LA Recommendation: Santa Monica, Rose Bowl, Silverlake Reservoir
    Awesome cardio if you're into it, and unless you prefer treadmills you don't have to spend anything
    to run outside. Try getting Rock My Run and Interval Run (available through the app store) to help
    you get started.

9. Rock Climbing                     LA Recommendation: Joshua Tree (if you're experienced), Stronghold
    This takes me back to years of sleep away camp. The rock wall was my absolute favorite activity
    and I'd always beg to go back after my cabin moved on to other activities. Most climbing gyms
    offer lessons in belaying, bouldering, etc. and you can take classes on outdoor climbing as well.
    Whether you want to rough it and go on a camping/climbing excursion or prefer the gym, it's great
    exercise and a lot of fun to do with friends.

10. Beach Bike Rides           LA Recommendation: I mean, take your pick. You've got the entire coast.
    Who didn't like riding their bike when they were little? This is one of those things that burns
    calories without you even thinking about it. Take a picnic along and enjoy the views of the beach
    while you're at it.

Are you a fanatic for a different type of exercise? Let us know in the comments!

xoxo,
Yasi "Still only at 1 pull up but I'm GOING to show up those boys"







Sunday, June 28, 2015

#SundayFunday

While some people dread Sundays, they've always been my favorite day of the week. I usually try to get things I have to get done out of the way on Saturday night so on Sunday I wake up to a clean room, clean clothes, and an open schedule.

Sometimes life gets in the way- I'll have work or school or meetings or whatever that I have to deal with and Sunday gets busy for whatever reason. That's why when I do have a free day, I really try to capitalize on #SundayFunday and enjoy my free time. Below are some of my personal favorite activities, along with suggestions for any of you in the Los Angeles area. Enjoy!

1. Get sweatin'
     Yes, I actually enjoy (most) forms of exercise. I love getting up on Sunday and taking my dog for
     a walk, hiking on a new trail, playing tennis with my mom, gardening, spinning, whatever. 
     Exercise in any form actually makes you happier and more productive, so it's the perfect way to 
     beat the Sunday blues. 
     My LA favs: Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park, Rose Bowl Loop, SoulCycle

2. Brunch
     I'm using it as a verb here because I don't just mean 'eat a meal during the hours between 
     breakfast and lunch', I mean 'get a group of friends and family together, sit down, put the phones 
     away, and share a meal together during the hours between breakfast and lunch'. 
     My LA favs: Little Dom's, Bottega Louie, Republique, Huckleberry, Lincoln, Sqirl

3. See something new
     Go to a museum or an art gallery, go to a concert, see a movie, see a play, support the local high 
     school marching band, visit the world's largest ball of twine because it happens to be just 45 
     minutes from your house. It doesn't matter what you're seeing, just find something new and go. 
     My LA favs: Norton Simon, Getty Villa, Galerie Michael, Reagan Library (a little further out but 
     worth a trip)

4. Take on a project
     Always wanted an herb garden? Been needing some new wall decor? Dying to change the wall 
     color in your bathroom? Just do it! Go online or go to a store and talk to some experts to see what 
     the project will entail and get cracking. Just a tip- it's best to choose a project that will take 8 hours 
     or less.

5. Enjoy nature
     Seriously, it's free and probably won't be there that much longer #climate change for you to enjoy
     so why not take advantage of it? Go to a local park (or a nearby National Park), take a hike, go to
     the beach, spend a day on the lake. If walking around in nature isn't really your thing, try a specific
     nature experience like visiting botanical gardens, going on guided horseback ride, or whitewater
     rafting. 
     My LA favs: Zuma beach, Huntington Gardens, day trips to Sequoia National Park or Santa 
     Barbara

6. Shop local
     Sunday is a huge day for farmers' markets and flea markets, plus there are probably local vendors 
     with shops near you that you've never heard of before. Take some time to explore the shop of a 
     glassblower a couple blocks away or stop in a cool, independent record store. Since you're not in a 
     time crunch, step away from your usual haunts and just wander around some new shops.
     My LA favs: Rose Bowl flea market (seriously the best in LA), Nonna, Letters from LA

Let us know how you spend your Sunday by tagging us or using #PJdoesSunday!

xoxo,
Yasi "I have done approximately 5 of the things on this list today alone #productivity"










Sunday Movie Review: It Follows

Today, Yasi and I went to see the new horror film It FollowsWe are typically not the people who go to the movies to see a horror film, but given our love of American Horror Story and It Follows being one of the best reviewed horror films in decades, we thought we would give it a shot, and we’re glad we did.
What it’s about: 
Following a strange sexual encounter, a teenager (Maika Monroe) has disturbing visions and the inescapable feeling that someone — or something — is after her.
Lexi's Review:
It Follows is one of those movies that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, and leaves you with many questions and thoughts once it’s over. The originality is undeniable, which kept the element of surprise very real. The concepts are ones I have never seen on screen before.The music was just as ominous, loud, and great as you would expect it to be (think classic horror films). The characters were well-balanced, interesting, and real. The acting was phenomenal (super job by Maika Monroe). It was actually scary, and not in a stupid or cheesy way. It was very well-done by director David Robert Mitchell and the cinematography was excellent. Overall, it left me wanting more (ahhh so many questions!). I wasn’t ready for it to end because I just wanted to keep watching and see what was going to happen. It is definitely worth seeing if you’re in the mood for a little suspense, fear, and good storytelling. I give it 4/5 stars.
Yasi's Review: 
I WOKE UP AT 2 AM CONVINCED IT WAS STANDING IN THE CORNER OF MY ROOM. #NEVERAGAIN
Xo, Lexi “I probably won’t sleep for 3 days”
xoxo, Yasi “WHO CAME UP WITH THIS SHIT I DEMAND AN APOLOGY”

*Update: 'Today' was actually many months ago when this came out 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ice Cream Without an Ice-Cream Maker (Healthy/Vegan/Gluten Free!)

Do you ever have a craving for ice cream on demand but the campus convenience stores don’t have the flavor you want/soft serve isn’t cutting it/you don’t have time to get off campus/you have half a jar of peanut butter and no money to get more food/you’re on a diet? Does THIS look appealing to you?
FullSizeRender-3
Of course it does. It’s a giant, delicious scoop of chocolate ice cream and it’s not like you’re Satan or Anna Wintour. Before you think “What a b****, making me crave ice cream and then dangling this in front of my face”, ask yourself this:
Do you have $2?
Do you have 10 minutes?
Do you have a blender or food processor?
Do you have access to a dining hall/convenience store/some food-providing facility?
If you answered YES to these questions, then this too can be yours! How, you ask?
I don’t have fancy kitchen gadgets. As much as I’d like to channel my Barefoot Contessa and pick some lavender and strawberries that I’ve grown in leftover grounds of coffee I personally harvested from the Amazon basin, toss them in with some milk courtesy of my albino cow named Neigeux, add a swirl of honey collected from my colony of Cornish black bees and use my $12,000 ice cream maker to concoct something truly cookbook worthy, I am a college student on a budget. Good news for you- even given my
limited nonexistent kitchen space, small budget, and lack of equipment, I was able to make this and it is delicious.
No, it’s not the same as chocolate ice cream. I’m sorry, but there is no substitute for the real deal and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. That being said, this is delicious, healthy(ish), quick, and cheap. You can also pass this off as a valid dinner choice so get down with your bad selves and try out this recipe for banana blender ice cream! Seriously, this sh** is bananas.
(Sorry. I had to.)
Ingredients
5 bananas, sliced and frozen
Add-ins (depends on what you choose)
Not-so-chunky-monkey: peanut butter (I like skippy natural), dark chocolate chips or bar, salted peanuts
Berry good: strawberries, dark chocolate chips
Salty caramel crunch: medjool dates, coconut oil, sea salt (all for salted caramel); pretzels
Tropical: Coconut milk, coconut shavings
But don’t be afraid to get creative and add whatever you want!
Directions:
Place 1-2 frozen bananas in your blender or food processor and pulse until they are coarsely ground and mealy.* Add additional frozen bananas 1 at a time; once they’ve all been added, blend/process until the mixture is thick but smooth, about the consistency of soft serve. Add in any frozen fruits and nut butters you’re using and blend until evenly distributed.
Cut up chocolate bars, pretzels, etc. and add those, pulsing just a few times and then stirring the mixture to distribute. Pour into a tupperware container (like an empty Talenti container), bowl with plastic wrap, or whatever you have on hand that you can store things in and place in the freezer.
Stir every 20 minutes or so until thick, more the consistency of frozen custard. Enjoy!
xoxo,
Yasi “I’ve taken 17 bananas from my dining hall in the last 7 days”
*If you’re making the tropical flavor, add about 1/4 cup coconut milk at the start.
**Full disclaimer: I didn’t personally come up with this idea but the recipe is my own- I generally just blend to taste and don’t use exact measurements. And yeah, I know I’ve made this about as unhealthy as it can be. DEAL WITH IT.

Working at Your College Library, in Gifs


1. You genuinely don’t understand why people have so much trouble finding books.
2. People ask if you know the best study spots in the library. OBVIOUSLY you do, but you’ll never tell.
"Omg haha no I don't stay here! I like to study in the dining hall!!!"
3. You’ve gotten to the point where you’ll dance in the stacks while you shelve books and do not care if someone sees you.
Yeah, I'm jumping up and down lip synching. This is MY territory. 
4. When you have a late shift and your supervisor has you shelf reading or shelving in the basement
5. You know the feeling when one of your friends starts walking over to the desk
OMG yay my friends love me!!!
6. Until you start talking to them about weekend plans and then they say “So I’m looking for this book for my history class?”
They do not love me :/
7. Your crush will approach the desk with a huge stack of books and you’ll pray the system doesn’t work so they have to make small talk
I have to pretend I don't know their name/year/major/hometown/pet's name???
8. You’ve had to push an old, loud, awful wooden cart through a quiet room at least once
Ugh everyone needs to stop being so uptight! Like chill! *sobs internally*
9. And someone you know probably took a snapchat of you doing it
Haha yeah that was soooo funny! *still sobbing*
10. It probably ended up in some groupmes. And on facebook.
Someone is going to bring this out at my wedding. I know it. It's never going away. 
10. Someone will check out a book and one look at the title will make you feel inadequate.
11. At some point, a professor that made your life a living hell for a semester will approach the desk and you have to muster all your strength not to be an a**hole to them
12. When someone comes over to the desk and asks if you can get a book for them
13. You’ve probably thought that staying at school and working over a short break was a good idea
(and you had to justify an excessive online shopping habit)

14. And then when you had no human contact for 4 days you realized how stupid that was
Ok, maybe you didn't talk to a volleyball, but you def talked to your mom like 20 times and probably talked to a random statue. 
15. That feeling when you’re finally entrusted with the library golf cart so you can drive books around campus
Especially when you won't give them rides. 
16. You’ve inevitably had to go to work hungover at some point.
Will anyone notice if I'm wearing sunglasses at the circulation desk??
16. Even though you have a love/hate relationship with the library, you know it’s the best job any college student could have.

xoxo,
Yasi

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Brunch At Home

If you're anything like me, you consider brunch to be the most important meal in any person's diet. Seriously though, you can have breakfast OR lunch or any combination. It's the ultimate excuse to get 5 different beverages and some weird combination like pizza and pancakes- you really can have your cake and eat it to. The only problem? A lot of restaurants only bring their a game on weekends. What's a girl to do when she needs brunch on a random Wednesday? 
Enter the ultimate brunch menu: stuffed french toast and potato basil fritatta. I made these for Easter this year since I was at school with some friends. You get the best of both worlds! Recipes are below:
easter2
And this potato basil frittata a la the Barefoot Contessa:
easter1
Confession: I'm in love with Ina Garten. You'll probably be hearing a lot about her. 
Frittata recipe here
Stuffed French Toast
This is just about the easiest thing ever to make and never fails to impress! Try whipping this up for friends or family if you need to convince them that you’re a very high-functioning human. 
Ingredients:
1-2 Italian, Brioche, or Challah loaves (something large enough to hold filling)
Eggs (About 6)
Heavy Cream (small container works)
Cinnamon
Vanilla Extract
Unsalted Butter
Filling items (potential flavor combos below, but feel free to get creative)
Directions:Cut bread into thick slices, about 1 1/2 inches each, then cut a slit in the top of each slice to create a pocket. Fill each slice with desired fruits, nuts, etc. and set aside.
Beat eggs and heavy cream until combined. Add a splash of vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk to distribute.
Warm up a griddle or place a pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, soak each stuffed slice of toast in the egg mixture until thoroughly saturated. Melt a tablespoon of butter on your griddle/in the pan, then place the egg-soaked slices in to cook. Cook for a few minutes on each side, including the bottom. Because this is extra thick, it’ll take a little longer to cook through. Make sure it isn’t burning or staying super light- if it is, adjust temperature accordingly.
Serve with a fruit compote, syrup, or plan. Enjoy!
Blueberry-Meyer Lemon-Goat Cheese: Heat frozen blueberries in a saucepan over medium heat until they take on the consistency of a sauce. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a meyer lemon in and stir. Stir goat cheese with a little bit of honey, lemon zest, and the juice from the rest of the lemon. Use to fill each slice of toast.
Grapefruit-Blackberry-Pistachio: Heat frozen blackberries in a saucepan over medium heat with the juice of a ruby red grapefruit until it takes on the consistency of a sauce. Mix with roasted pistachios and fill toast.
Other fillings: Nutella, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Caramelized Bananas, Peaches & Mascarpone, Cinnamon Apples, Cardamom Pears and Almonds
Now get cooking!
xoxo,
Yasi “Is 11 pm to late to make brunch?"

Staying in Touch

Last weekend my best friend from high school came to visit. We had an old-fashioned sleepover, complete with movies from our middle school years, gossip, and junk food and it was an absolutely blast.
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There’s so much that happens in our day to day lives that friends from home don’t see, so I loved being able to show M my life at college, introducing her to new friends and showing her around campus. My high school friends and I chose colleges all around the country- from Boston to Atlanta, New York to San Francisco- so we knew staying in touch would be a challenge. We’ve always made it a priority, but busy college schedules mean that FaceTime-ing your friends isn’t always at the top of your to-do list. After almost 2 years of college, we’ve worked out a pretty great system for staying in touch, so I thought I’d share some of my tips with you.
1. Start early
No one wants to believe that they are the friend group that’s going to dissolve as soon as they leave for college, but it happens to a lot of people. I recommend making concrete plans you can stick to during the summer before you all leave. Once you’re all settled in, it’ll be so much easier to stay in touch when you already have a schedule.
2. Be realistic
College students are busy. That’s just a fact. It’s pretty rare that I can get a group of more than 6 friends together for dinner because everyone’s schedules are so different, and we all go to the same school. Add in different time zones, and it makes it a real challenge to carve out time to talk. Don’t say that you’re going to talk to your best friend for an hour every afternoon, because lots of things will get in the way of that. Instead, find one time every week or every other week that you can really stick to- it’ll make it that much more exciting when you call or FaceTime each other.
3. Use social media!
Social media can be an awesome tool for staying in touch, and there are tons of apps and websites you can utilize. Create a secret Facebook group, a shared snapchat account, or a private blog so you can share everything that’s happening in your life. My friend group was fairly big, so our Facebook group makes it easy to post articles, buzzfeed quizzes, and videos in our group so everyone can see them.
4. Find traditions 
My friends and I do a weekly update in our Facebook group. Every Sunday, someone starts a post and everyone else comments 3 things that happened that week. Sometimes it’s exciting news about an internship, sometimes a funny story, or sometimes a request for advice. It’s something I look forward to every week and something I share uniquely with my group of high school friends.
5. Send mail
There is nothing better than opening up your mailbox to find something from a friend. Postcards are a fun and inexpensive way to show friends where you live. Pick some up that feature pictures of your college or the city where you live and send them out on a random day so your friends will be surprised. You can also send cards for birthdays, valentines’ day, halloween, etc. I write and address cards at the beginning of the semester then put the day I need to mail them on my calendar- it takes less than 5 minutes to put a card in the mailbox, so if you have them all ready to go you won’t forget once school gets busy. Care packages are a little more expensive so they depend on your budget, but I like using the small flat-rate shipping boxes to send candy and small trinkets for birthdays or holidays (they’re only $5 each!)
Do you have any traditions with your high school friends? Let us know in the comments!
xoxo,
Yasi “Easter candy will be the death of me”

Budgeting as a College Student and Twenty-Something

I totally get that college students’ budgets generally aren’t ideal- believe me, I’m right there too. That being said, there are ways you can get around a restrictive budget so you can still shop and go out with friends. The key to stretching your budget isn’t to see how many things you can get for a dollar, but to figure out ways to make your dollar buy more. Here’s a list of discounts, tips, and tricks for making your dollar go further.
Clothes:- A lot of retailers offer great discounts for students- below are a few of my favorites, but never be afraid to ask! Other stores often have seasonal discounts- keep an eye out for back-to-school student specials (looking at you, Forever 21).  
     Banana Republic, Asos: 10%
     J. Crew, Madewell: 15%
     Kate Spade: 20%                                                     
Subscribe to email lists! Not only do you usually get a discount when you sign up, but places like J. Crew, J. Crew Factory, Loft, Urban Outfitters, etc. are almost always having promotions- you can get clothes much cheaper than the listed price.
Entertainment/Travel:
– Get an ISIC card! It’s a sort of international student ID that gets you discounts basically everywhere. Most museums and historical sites offer student prices for admission, although they don’t always advertise them. Always, always ask.
– When booking travel in the Eurozone, look for the ‘youth’ option. Even though that generally means <18 here in the states, you can get cheaper prices in Europe until you’re well into your twenties.
– Book through STA Travel– they have good deals on airfare, hotels, and more for students. They also offer travel planning in their offices if you aren’t good with details, so take advantage of those services.
– Spotify premium is only $5 a month for students! So much cheaper than iTunes, so worth it.
Others:
– Ask for memberships as gifts- Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc. make awesome birthday or Christmas presents that will save you money throughout the year.
– Order your books from Amazon. Seriously. It is SO SO SO much cheaper than the bookstore.
– Go on stores’ websites before you make your purchases- Joann’s Fabrics, Michael’s, and Jiffy Lube always have coupons on their websites that you can scan from your phone, so just look them up if you need to buy something.
– Get a Target RedCard (and pay it off every month). This is a great way to build credit and you get a 5% discount on everything. It may not sound like much, but by the end of my first year with the card I’d saved over $100 dollars. That’s a cute new dress, several dinners out, or a fun day trip with friends.
– Look into membership and loyalty programs! A lot of them are free, so as long as you don’t spend more than you would have before you’re winning.
Are there any other money-saving tricks that keep you on budget? Let us know in the comments!
Xoxo,
Yasi “I know this because I’m a shopaholic”

Splurge, Save, Steal: Wardrobe Essentials

We’re starting a new post series! Splurge, save, steal is going to highlight 5 items (could be anything from clothes to books to household appliances) and we’ll give you 3 options for each: a splurge, a save, and a steal. This edition includes the 5 essential pieces we think every girl should have in her arsenal.
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1. The everyday dress
What it’s good for: Waking up too late to choose an outfit,
hungover brunch, sunny days, literally anything
What to look for: Clean, simple structure- shift or a-line dresses. Neutral tones, simple pattern or patternless, breathable/non-restrictive fabric. Machine washable.
Splurge     Save     Steal
2. The classic tee
What it’s good for: Lazy weekends, tied over a dress, layered with jackets/blazers/sweaters
What to look for: Mid-weight material, colors that work well with your wardrobe, soft fabric, a simple pattern.
Splurge     Save     Steal
3. The ballet flat
What it’s good for: Anything and everything, any time, everywhere.
What to look for: Comfort, durable material, classic silhouette. Comfort. Timeless color (read: black). And comfort.
Splurge     Save     Steal
4. The live-in jeans
What it’s good for: Layered with an oversized sweater and booties for winter lunches. With a blazer and blouse for casual meetings. With a tailored sweater, pearls, and riding boots for looking like an asshole. What aren’t they good for, really?
What to look for: Dark wash, mid-rise, skinny or straight cut. Hits at ankle. Tailored.
Splurge     Save     Steal
5. The go-to dress
What it’s good for: Interviews, nice dinners, cocktail parties, events you were invited to by a professor, potential employer, etc. Family events, formal chapter. Every single time you have an event and think ‘everything I have is either too dressy or too casual. You’ll wear this a lot.
What to look for: Solid color, probably dark, maybe a contrast piping. Simple fabric without weird textures that doesn’t wrinkle easily. Appropriate hem length for interviews (although you don’t have to look like a nun- if you like above-the-knee, go for it). Nicely tailored, comfortable.
Splurge     Save     Steal
What about you? Are there any items in your wardrobe that you can’t live without?
xoxo,
Yasi “Is it acceptable that I already want to eat again?”