Monday, January 16, 2012

No Hair, Don't Care.


Long hair, don't care is so 20l1.

We got some good laughs out of this tagline before the The Staves // Civil Wars concert @ The Pageant last night. Such an awesome show. Shout out to Rachel, Alex, Liz, Taylor, and Molly for a wonderful evening.

BTW, check out my friend Molly's blog this semester--she leaves for Thailand tomorrow! Can't wait to read about all of the amazing things you're doing over there.

Listening
The Staves, who opened up last night. Three sisters from Liverpool who sound like more innocent versions of Laura Marling + some beautiful harmonies. Very charming.

Reading
The Hunger Games

Watching

Drinking 
Zen tea

Blog

Happy Martin Luther King Day! We've come so far.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas Break Instagrams










   

1. My favorite gift from Santa this year, a beautiful lace Anthropologie dress.
2. Words of wisdom from Dove dark chocolate.
3. Ryan's Inferno seasonal pizza from Dewey's, the #1 reason why January rocks.
4. Chloe loves her cone.
5. Our precious new neighbor Carolina at 10 months!
6. Parfait with strawberries and bananas and hemp+ granola, all organic!
7. Our first mother/daughter happy hour, being 21 is so exciting!
8. Reunited with my first grade teacher :) Such an awesome lady.
9. Dark & rich hot chocolate + Bailey's from the Chocolate Bar.
10. Homemade hot chocolate (emphasis on the chocolate) with A Gray while we watched the film The Beginners.

Now 2 more days until I head back to Columbia! Break has been perfect, but I'm excited to get back into a routine again. And start my new accounting job! Since two of my best friends are going abroad this semester, I'm trying to stay as busy as possible. I will miss you Sue and Liz!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

One of my biggest resolutions for this year is to live more simply, and focus on the necessities. The needs and not the wants. Here is a list of some of the most important ones:

>> Walking more. Ever since I brought my car to school, I find myself making excuses about why I need to drive somewhere, yet somehow I lived without it at school for two years just fine.

>> Riding my bike more, even when it's cold and I reeeeally just want to take the bus or drive my car. My job this upcoming semester is also very close to my house (and I get to wear school clothes this time! Cya heels and pencil skirts.) so I really have no excuse not to bike to work either.

>> Eating closer to the garden, and choosing organic or local whenever possible (HyVee has a great organic section for all you Mizzou students!).

>> Buying less and saving more, and only spending money on the necessities. As I learn more and more about the way that people in other places live, through documentaries or sermons or youtube videos or whatever it may be, and how many people are forced to live with so little, it really makes me think about the things that I have and the way that I have spent my money in the past. Non profit work and helping those who are less fortunate has always been something that is near and dear to my heart, yet I thought that donating to an organization and doing a mission trip here and there was enough. It's not. We think we need the coolest cars, most luxurious cars, even though they're complete gas guzzlers and far worse than other, more efficient options for our environment. We think we need the designer handbags, even though a $20 bag would probably be just as practical. We go out to the bars and spend countless amounts of money on over-priced drinks or on cover charges or cabs at the end of the night, when that money could be going towards so many better things. All of these things are part of our culture, and these materialistic ideas have been instilled in our minds since we were little due to advertising and how products are being marketed. I mean heck, I wouldn't wear anything that didn't say Abercromie & Fitch or Hollister Co. on it in middle school because I thought I wouldn't be "cool" if people didn't know where I bought my clothes from. But now we're older and wiser, and I think deep down we all know that its the people and the moments and the experiences that are most valuable, and the rest of it is just noise. So I urge all of you to simplify your life, and focus on the things that really matter. While you're at it, check out themochaclub.org (an organization I'm in at Mizzou that strives to raise money and awareness for people in Africa) and see how you can start this resolution today by sacrificing the price of two lattes (or two drinks or a meal at chipotle etc.) per month in order to help the lives of those who have nothing.

>> On that note, saying goodbye to lattes. I think I need it, but I know I don't, and I especially don't need to be spending almost $5 a day or consuming give-or-take 300 liquid calories on something that will last me a maximum of 15 minutes. This means making tea at home and carrying it to class in a thermos, or substituting lattes for black coffee or tea if I need a pick me up while studying on campus or downtown, which will save me approximately $2-3 each time and a whole lot of unnecessary calories.

>> Cutting out alcohol. When reading health and lifestyle books, I find this is always one of the first things they talk about. Our culture is so revolved around drinking, but I have found that there are so many ways to have fun and feel good about yourself without it. I'm not saying that a casual drink here and there is bad, but think about how much you spend on alcohol every month, and then the drunk food and hungover food that you eat the next day. For most college students that's a lot. Try substituting a night on town town with a game night or movie night with your friends, staying in on a Wednesday or Thursday instead of going out to read a good book, or going out with friends to just grab one beer. You'll feel better, happier, and your body and bank account with thank you.

>> And the one that's on everyone's list, working out more and hopefully completing my fourth half-marathon with some great friends this spring!

Check out this video on Bellingham, Washington; a small town that has developed a completely sustainable, local-living economy. They trade cookies for fresh veggies! I wish we could all live like this. Who wants to move here with me?!


These are just some of my resolutions and the way that I hope to live in 2012. What are your resolutions for 2012?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"99 is Not 100"

Property of Hummable.net

Although I love this photo, I have to disagree with Death Cab's "The New Year," in which the lyrics go on to say, "So this is the new year, and I don't feel any different," because I do. The new year has given me a sense of renewal, which I so greatly needed after some of the ups and downs of last year. One of my new years resolutions is to expect less and give more, because as my Dad put it the other day, "in relationships, you should always give 60%, because you are never actually giving as much as you think you are." This attitude has already allowed me to live more selflessly, which has thus far (okay, I know it's only been like three days) lead to a greater sense of happiness and appreciation for everything I have.

Speaking of appreciation, I just got home from watching Lucy Walker's award winning documentary Wasteland with a few friends tonight. Wasteland, a film about the art that stems from the world's largest landfill, is one of the most powerful documentaries I have seen since the Invisible Children documentary in 8th grade. Anonymous calls it "An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit." Watch the trailer for yourself, and then I seriously recommend renting the movie on iTunes. I promise you that you will walk away with a whole different outlook on life, or at least a stronger desire to recycle.


The film is about Brazil's best-selling modern artist, Vik Muniz, who decides to make art out of the world's largest landfill, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. During his two year stay in Rio, Muniz takes pictures of the "pickers," some of Rio's shunned individuals who spend their days picking recylable items out of the landfill in return for pay, and then Muniz  creates the images of the pickers using solely the garbage from the landfill. The film shows the real relationships that Muniz makes with these individuals, and through his project, ultimately gives them a sense of hope that there is life beyond the landfill and an experience that they will never forget.




1) The Jardim Gramacho Landfill
2-3) The artwork, made solely out of the garbage from the pickers

Vik Muniz, in my opinion, effectively communicates with the audience through his art that beauty can by found in anything, even garbage. As Muniz put it, these pickers were all great people who had great senses of pride in what they did, they were just unlucky. As Muniz himself grew up poor, his project in Rio was designed so that he could help "give back," and that he did. All of the earnings from the sold photographs were given to the pickers and allowed them to create better lives for themselves.

I can definitely say that I look at garbage in a whole new way, and also have a renewed sense of why recycling is so important. In the words of Valter, one of the many beautifully raw characters in the film, "One single can is of great importance, because 99 is not 100 and that single one will make a difference.”

So if you are still sitting there looking for a New Year's resolution, or maybe you haven't even thought about what you're going to do yet, here's an easy one for you: recycle. It's that easy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

An Unexpected New Years

So I turned 21 two months ago, and what did I want to do with my New Years Eve? Babysit. And that I did. For these two angels, Paige and Dylan:

video

After two hours, I finally got 5-year-old Dylan to fall asleep at about 9:45 pm, an hour and forty five minutes past his bedtime. I eventually had to resort to lullabies to get the lil guy to calm down, which I have almost never had to do while babysitting. I started off with "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (duh) and after that it was really a mental struggle to think of songs to sing. That's when I remembered the song that my dad used to sing to me.. "Loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra loo-ra lie." No, his name wasn't Laura, but I was desperate. Some of those lullabies really brought back some good memories. I sang "Hushaby Baby" (even though he's five) and also dipped into some Christmas songs, including Sufjan Steven's Come Thou Fount. Thank goodness he fell asleep during that because I almost desperately busted out the Taylor Swift...

As I finally started getting comfortable on the couch, the parents came home at around 10:30. If it weren't for the chocolate covered espresso beans that I had just eaten, I'm pretty sure I would have been passed out by then.. I was not expecting them to be home before midnight!

Their 10:30 arrival turned into a pleasant surprise, and I ended up getting to go out with some friends and have one of the most enjoyable New Year's Eves yet, playing games, sipping champagne, and watching the ball drop with some great people.







Happy 2012 everyone, let's make it the best year yet.

Laura