Link Love Wednesday: The Meaning of Life

purpose-in-life-warning-to-others-ecardWhat’s shaking, readers? We’re already a few weeks into the New Year, but I’m still referring to 2013 as “last year.” Are any of you guilty of the same thing?

2015 is treating me well! Between attending events for work and attempting to cook without burning my kitchen down, I have been keeping busy and having a great year. What have you been up to since the clock struck midnight on January 1?

No matter what your plans have been, you’ll want to check out the latest in Link Love. Your computer will thank you!

What have been some of your favorite links this year?

The Weekend Five: Travel Essentials for the New Year

Friday-Friendly-Funny-Dave-Blazek-Friendly-Planet-Travel-Airline-Seat2015 is here, which means it’s time to dust off those New Years Resolution travel goals and make our vacation dreams a reality! I was especially spoiled to take two trips out of the country during my junior year of college, visiting both the Middle East and Europe (see my posts on London, Paris and Rome!), but my love for travel has taken a backseat since I graduated from college almost two years ago. This year, I hope to go on a few more adventures to reawaken my wanderlust and explore something new!

As part of RelayRides‘ travel essentials campaign, I’ll be sharing five must-haves for your next trip. Keep these on your list as you plan out your own 2015 adventures, and keep RelayRides in mind for future airport car rentals, which you can access at airports all over the country! :)

The Weekend Five: Travel Essentials

camera_funny_never1. Camera.
I’ll never forget the joy I felt as a child when my parents bought me disposable cameras before we went on vacation. In fact, on one trip, I went through three disposable cameras throughout the course of a week, snapping photos all over New York City. Bringing your camera is an important (if not slightly obvious) way to capture each moment of your trip. Whenever I go on vacation, I always bring an extra memory card in case I get a little photo-crazy. Make sure you bring something you don’t mind carrying around!

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2. Lip balm and moisturizers.
Chances are, if you’re traveling anywhere that has even a slightly different climate from where you live, the new environment will have an impact on your skin. If you’re flying to your destination, your lips are sure to chap on the airplane, so make sure you pack your favorite lip balm (guys included) and a moisturizer for your face. After spending 10 days in the desert and then flying home, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror in the airport bathroom. I will never again travel without sufficient moisturizer and a consistent regimen!

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travel essentials for the new year3. Itinerary.
I am a firm believer in the value of a good itinerary. Planning what you want to see and do ahead of your trip is essential for making the most out of your vacation! Allow room for spontaneity – you never know what you’ll stumble into along the way! – but have a basic schedule for where you want to go and what you want to see.

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4. Chargers.
Make sure you pack chargers for all devices that you plan to use on your trip. If your camera dies on Day 2 out of 5, you don’t want those photos to be your last! A phone charger is also important, especially if you’re traveling within the country and will be using your phone to regularly communicate. Pro tip: To avoid leaving your charger at the hotel, leave a note for yourself to remember your charger, and keep that note by the door. My dad, a pilot, taught me that before my first overnight trip without my family, and I will never forget it!

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travel must haves5. Journal.
On my past few trips, I decided to bring a journal for a few reasons. One: it allowed me to create a chronological list of the attractions I’d photographed throughout the trip (so I wouldn’t forget what they were a few days later when I returned home). Two: it was a great way for me to record my personal observations and experiences throughout the trip, in a way that was private but still meaningful. I kept my journals from my most recent trips to Israel and Europe, and two years later, I still enjoy reading them on occasion and remembering some of the nuances of the trips.

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What are your travel essentials? Share your must-haves in the comments section below!

Whole30 Recap: Week 2

diet-funnyWe’ve survived another week! Can you believe we are about halfway through the January Whole30? I’ll admit that some of my symptoms, such as bloating and headaches, still haven’t fully disappeared. However, I am amazed to see my differences in mood, skin and energy levels!

With a new week behind us, I’ll share my latest round-up of meals and daily observations during my own Whole30. For more information, visit my introductory post or check out my recap from Week 1!

Keep in mind the following disclaimers as we delve into Week 2’s program:

  • I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
  • This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
  • I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again!  :) However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
  • You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!

Time for some Whole30 deliciousness!

whole30 round 2 veemoze

Day 8 (Jan. 8)

Feelings: I have always been convinced that I have ADD, but today I felt like my concentration was at an all-time high. Even when faced with some stressful subject matter, my mood was a lot more even. When I eat a lot of processed foods, I find that I get a lot more emotional over the little things and am not as efficient when it comes to solving problems. On Day 8, I felt like a lot of my irrational processed food monsters that had resurfaced during the holidays were gone.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter and a bowl of raspberries.

sweet potato noodles veemoze

I sprinkled in rosemary for a little something extra!

Lunch: Sweet Potato Noodles (from Civilized Caveman Cooking) and a hard-boiled egg.

Yum!

Yum!

Dinner: Went out to a local restaurant and ordered the California Salad, with spinach (which you’d normally have to force me to eat), cucumber, blueberries, strawberries, orange, and a hard-boiled egg.

Day 9 (Jan. 9)

Feelings: For the love of Gosling, my pants are tighter! I wish I could skip this side effect and instantly feel all the positive ones, but it should only last a few days… right? It was frustrating to feel bloated and have a stomachache all day, but I had to remind myself that “this, too, shall pass.” Because of this, I ate fairly light on Day 9.

Breakfast: Bowl of raspberries. (Like I said, I really wasn’t feeling well on Day 9.)

Lunch: Cucumber Pasta Salad (from Holistically Engineered), accompanied by Whole30-compliant applesauce and a hard-boiled egg.

Ohhhh, pineapple. I just can't get enough of you.

Ohhhh, pineapple. I just can’t get enough of you.

Dinner: Roasted broccoli (cooked in olive oil, garlic and salt at 400F for 20 minutes) and this delicious grilled pineapple inspired by @danikabrysha’s Instagram guest post on @whole30recipes, sans walnuts.

Day 10 (Jan. 10)

Feelings: When I woke up on Day 10, I felt extremely well-rested and in a very good mood. This could have had something to do with the fact that it was Saturday and I’d slept in, but I’d like to think some of it had to do with my positive food choices!

Breakfast: Nectarine and a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower (cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of paprika for 20 minutes) and more grilled pineapple because it has become my favorite thing in the world.

Coconut Lime Chicken Bites = Yum!

Coconut Lime Chicken Bites = Yum!

Dinner: Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (from Daily Bites Blog) and diced potatoes cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I was so excited to cook something that my boyfriend also enjoys!

Day 11 (Jan. 11)

Feelings: On Day 11, I noticed that a lot of the puffiness in my face had gone down. I woke up feeling very well-rested again today, but felt increasingly tired as the day wore on. As much as I hate to admit it, I attribute this to a lack of proteins and fats throughout the day.

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Breakfast: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’ Instagram post on @whole30recipes).

Lunch: Picked up lunch from another local restaurant with my boyfriend and sister and ordered the Southwest Salad, with mixed greens, carrots and raisins.

Dinner: Leftover Coconut Lime Chicken Bites and diced potatoes, because leftovers are fun, too.

Day 12 (Jan. 12)

Feelings: Today I was feeling super bloated. I thought this phase of the program would have been over by now, but it wasn’t. With today’s stomachache, I tried to eat fairly light meals again.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter.

Lunch: Roasted Broccoli (cooked in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic at 400F) and a bowl of grapes. Looking back, I now think that too many grapes may have perpetuated the problem.

Dinner: Scrambled Eggs (my first time making them myself in months!) and a nectarine. Not going to lie, it was total comfort food on a rainy day.

Day 13 (Jan. 13)

Feelings: I didn’t feel as bloated on Day 13, but I did have a pretty persistent headache throughout the day. Usually I get those from processed food and artificial sugars, but with those foods out of my diet, I’m not really sure where this headache came from. The weather was pretty dreary, so my headache probably had something to do with the barometric pressure or something intelligent like that.

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg and a nectarine.

Lunch: Roasted Cauliflower (see Day 10 for exact instructions) and another egg.

The chicken didn't come out the way I wanted, but the veggies/sauce were fantastic!

The chicken didn’t come out the way I wanted, but the veggies/sauce were fantastic!

Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken (from Paleo Leap) with red pepper, yellow pepper, water chestnuts and pineapple. I love the crunch of the water chestnuts! This was a fantastic dinner – one of my favorites so far.

Day 14 (Jan. 14)

Feelings: It was an eventful Wednesday, but I really felt positive and empowered, like I could take on the day! Of course, after I took on the day, I fell asleep on the couch watching an adorable animal movie and woke up to Season 2 of The Wire, a show I do not currently watch. Still, it is important to note the profound effect this program has had on my mood!

Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg (typical) and an apple.

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad and plain applesauce. This was especially tough, because at one of my work events that day, we gave out pizza and it smelled amazing. Thankfully, I remembered how awful I feel when I eat pizza, and suddenly my carrot salad was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.

Dinner: I was exhausted from working back-to-back events, so I went out to dinner and ordered a spinach salad with warm grilled chicken (don’t you love when the chicken is actually warm?), carrots, cabbage, and orange slices.

Takeaways from the Week

  • Ghee is really good. I never had it during Round 1 or Round 2 of my Whole30 in 2014, but I finally picked some up and used it in my sweet potato noodles and my scrambled eggs. I love the taste and will definitely use it in the future!
  • Even if protein is your least favorite food group, you still need to eat it. Otherwise, you will be a sleepy, grumpy jerk until you do.
  • It is important to have a game plan when you know you will be faced with tempting food choices. Pack a lunch if you know you’ll be all day, or check the menu ahead of time before you go out so that you already know what you’ll be ordering. You can even be a control-freak like me, and pick all the restaurants yourself! Your friends can get junky bar food anywhere, but it ismuch harder for you to find something Whole30-friendly at most restaurants that still looks appetizing.

What have you learned this week? What new recipes do you suggest testing out? Share your Whole30 experiences in the comments section below!

Link Love Wednesday: Happy New Year!

0b32ed3e28a98cf77dbc847abf7697c0Happy Hump Day, my dear readers, and welcome to the very first Link Love of the year! I hope 2015 is treating you well and that you are on track to accomplish everything you set out to achieve in the final days of 2014. I know I am! ;)

Settle into the New Year with this week’s batch of Link Love. You won’t regret it!

Make the Most Out of Your University’s Career Centre

logotransparentHappy Tuesday, all! Hope you are having a great start to your week.

For many of you, the first week of spring semester is here! As you master your new schedule and figure out which new clubs to join, don’t forget one other important university department: the career center. This office can help you choose a major, create a resume/cover letter/CV, apply for jobs and even make connections with important folks in your industry of choice!

Want to know more about how to make the most of your university’s career center? Check out my latest guest blog for the London-based Career Camel and drop a comment to say hello! Even alumni can benefit from this awesome resource, and my article will give you a few pointers for getting started.

What are you waiting for? :)

Whole30 Recap: Week 1

t-338Hi there, Whole30-ers!

For those of you who are completing the site-wide January Whole30 as part of your New Year’s Resolutions, Mazel Tov on finishing your first week. For those of my readers who are not familiar with the program but eager to learn more about it, you can read my introductory post here. I am so excited to share my own Whole30 experiences with you on a week-by-week basis. Every time I have done this program, I have learned new things about myself and developed positive new habits. I can’t wait to see what this month brings!

Before I proceed with my week of meals, please note the following disclaimers:

  • I am not a medical professional of any kind and I will not claim that what has worked for me will work for you. If you have any medical questions, please consult a professional.
  • This is not a full meal-plan for everyone following the Whole30. There are some days where I just can’t handle a large meal, so I might just stick to roasted veggies or something light. There are other days when I might eat a small (compliant) snack in between meals, and those snacks are not necessarily reported on my blog. Please listen to your body. We are all different!
  • I repeat meals that I enjoy. You will not be getting a list of 90 different dishes, mainly because I am a creature of habit and when something tastes good, I want to have it again! :) However, I will still be testing out new recipes every week, while rotating in some of the old favorites.
  • You can follow along on my Instagram page, where I post meals and recipe ideas daily!

And now, onto the meals!

Day 1 (Jan. 1)

originalFeelings: I woke up feeling like crap on New Year’s Day. My nose was stuffed up, my skin was completely broken out, and I had an awful headache that my mom and I attributed to a food hangover, probably from all the pizza and junk food I gorged out on the night before. I tried to begin the day in a totally zen, conquer-all-my-resolutions-at-once way, but it quickly turned into a Kill All The Things kind of day.

Breakfast: My mom’s scrambled eggs (yum!) and a bowl of strawberries.

Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken and cucumber slices, topped with balsamic vinegar.

Moroccan Carrot Salad!

Moroccan Carrot Salad! This has probably been the most popular food picture I’ve ever posted on Instagram, and it tastes delicious.

Dinner: Moroccan Carrot Salad (inspired by @bloemingfabulous’s recipe on Instagram) and a hard-boiled egg. (For the carrot salad, I season with just paprika and cinnamon, and leave out the almonds. I could go either way with the cilantro – tastes good with or without it!)

Day 2 (Jan. 2)

Feelings: My stomach felt a lot less bloated today, but my headache from Day 1 stuck with me until mid-afternoon on Day 2.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and an Apple + Banana Trader Joe’s bar. (These bars are a nice on-the-go option when you don’t have a lot of time, but you will probably want to pair with a protein.)

Lunch: Sweet Potato Hash (sweet potato diced and cooked with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other seasoning) and a salad with cucumber, strawberries, and a hard boiled egg.

Dinner: Coconut Chicken (made by my mom, but not unlike this recipe, except she used coconut flour instead of almond), broccoli and baked sweet potato.

 Day 3 (Jan. 3)

Feelings: It was great to wake up without a headache! I felt well-rested when I woke up this morning. The day was bittersweet, because it was my last day in South Florida on vacation, so I had to pack up my car and say goodbye to my family that afternoon. Still, I felt somewhat clear-headed and better than I’d felt the past two days.

My mom's famous scrambled eggs!

My mom’s famous scrambled eggs!

Breakfast: One more round of my mom’s scrambled eggs (I never make them as well at home, so I had to take advantage on my last day!) and a bowl of strawberries and blackberries.

Lunch: Leftover coconut chicken, broccoli and a nectarine.

Dinner: Hard-boiled egg and a bag of grapes. (I was driving around dinnertime and couldn’t stop for dinner, so I had these packed ahead of time to eat in the car.)

Day 4 (Jan. 4)

Feelings: I started to notice a big difference in my skin by Day 4. My skin felt a lot smoother (although some of that could have been from all the time spent in my parents’ saltwater pool!), but I also noticed that my eczema breakout from back home was finally clearing up. In the mirror, I saw that my face looked less puffy than it had looked in a while. The only negative symptom on Day 4 was that my awful headache decided to return.

Breakfast: Moroccan Carrot Salad. (Throughout this Whole30 series, you’ll start to notice that this is one of my favorite meals… In fact, I can eat it at all times of the day!)

You can throw together a salad so quickly with whatever ingredients you have!

You can throw together a salad so quickly with whatever ingredients you have!

Lunch: Salad with strawberries and a hard-boiled egg.

Dinner: Zesty Chicken Bites (from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen) and a bowl of roasted broccoli (drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, and cook for 20 minutes at 400F).

Day 5 (Jan. 5)

Feelings: I was exhausted this morning! This probably had something to do with the fact that this was my first day back at work in two weeks, so I had to adjust to getting up earlier and getting back into my old routine. I was also extremely bloated on Day 5, but my face still looked thinner and less puffy.

Breakfast: Apple with almond butter, cinnamon and a few raisins sprinkled on top.

Lunch: Salad with strawberries, hard-boiled egg, cucumber and blackberries.

Cucumber Pasta Salad may have been my favorite recipe all week!

Cucumber Pasta Salad may have been my favorite recipe all week!

Dinner: Cucumber “Pasta” Salad (from Holistically Engineered) and a hard-boiled egg. The pasta salad was to die for and my very first experience with a vegetable spiralizer! The dressing was superb, and I will definitely make a bottle of it in the future to use on other salads. I skipped the olives and instead of grape tomatoes, I decided to be extra fancy and use actual grapes.

Day 6 (Jan. 6)

Feelings: I was even more exhausted on Day 6 than I was on Day 5. I definitely could have used a nap! I was no longer bloated, but I had a lot of stomach pain throughout the day – I even woke up in the middle of the night with it! Because of this, I stuck to smaller meals and tried to drink more water instead.

Breakfast: Banana with almond butter.

Lunch: Roasted broccoli.

Cauliflower “couscous” features cauliflower, cilantro and raisins (yum!), while this Moroccan chicken combines pretty much every spice in my cabinet.

Dinner: Cauliflower Couscous (from Unbageled) and Moroccan Chicken (pan-fried instead of grilled onto kebobs, inspired by Closet Cooking). This has been one of my more adventurous meals and my first experience with cauliflower rice. It was delicious!

Day 7 (Jan. 7)

Feelings: When I woke up on Day 7, I realized it was the first time in a while that I slept completely through the night! I felt a lot more well-rested, and when I looked in the mirror, I noticed that I looked a little smaller around the ribcage.

Breakfast: Two hard boiled eggs. How fancy!

Lunch: Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Dinner: Salad with strawberries, grapes and a hard-boiled egg.

Takeaways from the Week

  • No matter how experienced of a chef you are (or in my case, inexperienced), it is still important to try out new techniques. I used a spiralizer and riced cauliflower for the first time this week, and will definitely be incorporating both of those into my meals in the future!
  • My selfies will never get as many Instagram likes as my food pictures. (Waaaaah.)
  • I may not be experiencing all of the fabulous feelings I have gotten from previous rounds of Whole30, but I know that these things take time. My job is to be patient and keep at it! I am still feeling a thousand times better today than I did on Day 1.

How is your Whole30 going? Any recipes or tips you’d like to share? Feel free to add yours in the comments section below!

And don’t forget to follow me at @veemoze on Instagram for more recipe and food excitement!

2014 Book Challenge Results

tumblr_static_bibliophileHappy New Year, and thank you for stopping by! :) 2015 is an exciting time for me at So It Must Be True, with health and wellness becoming one of the blog’s added focuses, as well as some brand new content. As a writer, I love to read in my spare time, and occasionally the books I read will inspire my blog posts!

Every year, I aim to read as much as I can, and I create annual recaps to share my book lists with readers!

While adjusting to full-time employment and a busy schedule, I haven’t had a ton of time to read for pleasure this year, but I am still happy to have enjoyed some great books! (Yes, I know I fell way short of my 50 book challenge, but hey – I really liked the books I did get to read!)

Below is a list of books I read this year, as well as any blog posts inspired by them. (Click for recaps from 2011, 2012 and 2013.) Let me know what great books you’ve enjoyed this year!

Books I’ve Read in 2014:

1. The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1/18/14)
2. Silent Dancing by Judith Ortiz Cofer (1/21/14) – The Stories We Tell Ourselves
3. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman by Nora Ephron (1/28/14)
4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (2/20/14)
5. It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (2/25/14)
6. Divergent by Veronica Roth (3/30/14)
7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (4/30/14)
8. Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III (5/22/14)
9. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (7/10/14)
10. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (8/2/14) – How I Met Your Mother, Toltec Wisdom and Letting Go
11. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding (9/3/14)
12. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (12/25/14)

Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year? What do you suggest for 2015?

Happy, Healthy New Year: Whole30-Style

Whole30-official-header-360Happy New Year! 2015 is officially here, which means it’s time to kick off another fabulous year of new adventures, friendships and growth opportunities. I have high hopes for 2015, and am excited to pursue new goals and successes in the next 12 months.

What are you hoping to achieve in 2015? How do you plan to get those dreams in motion?

In 2014, I began to really focus on improving my health. Through two full rounds of the Whole30, I dove right into a strict clean eating regimen, eliminating grains, sweeteners, soy, dairy, alcohol and other unnecessary evils from my diet. In spite of the challenges I faced as a pasta-loving, meat-hating picky eater, I loved the program and lost a lot of weight in the process. I also significantly improved my eczema, reduced my chronic headaches, increased my energy levels and felt fantastic.

4f77ca9c7c410171fb7c62c05c856164Unfortunately, as the year wore on, I fell into some bad habits and began to forget some of the valuable lessons I’d learned from the Whole30 in the first place. Along with many Whole30 enthusiasts, I decided to embark on the January Whole30 (beginning today!) to re-ingrain some of those positive habits into my lifestyle.

In the past, I have shared my progress through social media (Instagram in particular!), and through that experience, several friends have suggested I create a blog dedicated to my Whole30 journey. This time around, I have decided to journal my progress through weekly posts at So It Must Be True.

These posts will document the meals I ate, links to recipes, how I felt each day in the program and more! I am excited to share these weekly Whole30 posts, and hope you will be able to use them as a resource if you decide to complete your own program! If you are familiar with paleo/Whole30 living, feel free to share your own tips and recipes in the comments section as the weeks wear on.

fefe36a03c2cdf6723a51b7b93cc433cI am so excited to share my health and wellness journey here with you! This blog will still focus on the topics you’ve come to expect week to week — college, career, relationships, and pop culture — but as health has become a bigger priority in my life, it will also shape the content I post.

I hope you enjoy my weekly Whole30 articles! I’m looking forward to a fantastic month ahead (or two – I’m planning to expand mine to 60 days), and I can’t wait to get started.

Once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wishing you all the best in life, love, health and success.

2014: The Year in Review

I'm pretty sure I had one of these.

I’m pretty sure I had one of these.

Can you believe it has been 15 years since the major Y2K scare? Luckily, a lot has changed since the days of pleather pants and Ricky Martin, and I have finally grown out of those bell bottoms I wore as the clock struck midnight. Thank goodness our computers continued to function and the world didn’t end!

2014 was a landmark year of its own, with plenty of interesting pop culture events and trends to reach the masses. I’m still not entirely sure what an Iggy Azalea is or why parachute pants are making a comeback (sorry, but no one looks good in those), but I am happy to report that starting this year, So It Must Be True will begin compiling an annual Year in Review, summarizing some of the highlights of the last 365 days.

Enjoy my last article of 2014 below and have a very happy, healthy New Year! Feel free to add your own categories in the comments section below. :)

2014: The Year in Review

  • faux_outrageTheme of the Year: Faux Outrage.
    Yes, 2014 was definitely the year of Faux Outrage, expressed mainly through social media shares of popular opinion piece articles. We became especially sensitive to all issues, even those we secretly didn’t know or care much about, in the interest of portraying ourselves as Social Activists. Through Facebook and Twitter posts, we shared our outrage over very minor issues and often glossed over the much more major ones. While political correctness and kindness have always been undeniably important, 2014 was the year that we berated each other mercilessly in order to show how accepting and supportive we really were.
  • Word of the Year: “Appropriation.”
    In the interest of Faux Outrage, we often accused even the most harmless of events to perpetuate “cultural appropriation” or “misappropriation.” For many of us, this was the first time we had ever seen or heard this word, but we were excited to use it even when cultural appropriation wasn’t happening. (Note: This is a very real thing, and we should be mindful of the way we treat other people and their cultures, but 2014 often misused and overused the term when it really didn’t apply.)
  • article-swift-0607Celebrity Makeover of the Year: Taylor Swift.
    In 2014, something miraculous happened for Taylor Swift. She transformed herself from “the girl who goes from boyfriend to boyfriend and writes songs about each of them” to “the girl who values her female friendships (and probably, in secret, still has some boyfriends here and there.” T. Swift became known for her signature red lipstick, her chic sense of style, and her coterie of superstar celebrity pals. If Taylor Swift was friends with Lena Dunham and Emma Stone, then how bad could she really be? Taylor Swift also seemed to become a lot more self-aware in 2014 as she fully transitioned to the genre of pop, writing songs that poked fun at society’s perceptions of her. What will Taylor do next?
  • Most Disliked Celebrity of the Year: Justin Bieber.
    My mom has said that if Justin Bieber were her child, he would be in time-out by now for his awful behavior. Does anyone still listen to his music?
  • 532047_10151365719858869_358177475_nSuperfood of the Year: Kale.
    As we aim to #eatclean as part of our New Year’s Resolutions, we can’t forget how much kale has dominated our Pinterest boards in the last year. Other foods that run closely behind: sweet potato (the paleo community’s Superfood of the Year), quinoa, and cauliflower (which has lent itself to gluten-free rice, pizza crust, mashed faux-tatoes, and so much more!).
  • Hot Button Issue of the Year: Feminism.
    Every year, we pick a new cause to make ourselves feel particularly important and well-informed. When I first started college, that cause was environmentalism, as everyone began to concern themselves with global warming. However, as the years wore on, more and more people stopped biking to classes and bringing recyclable bags to the grocery store. In 2014, everyone became a feminist. Many of us were feminists to begin with, but now it was especially in vogue to post Jezebel articles about slut-shaming, body-shaming, and every other kind of shaming imaginable. My personal favorite articles were those that accused certain celebrities of being or not being feminists. When Shailene Woodley (mentioned later in this article) announced that she was not a feminist, the Internet nearly broke. I’d like to think that many of the feminists that emerged in 2014 will continue to defend women’s rights in 2015 and beyond, but the cynical part of me fears that feminism has become just as much of a trend for the sake of being a trend as anything else.
  • TV Show of the Year: Orange is the New Black.tumblr_mr3p0tsiSl1sdc0bvo1_250
    When Season 2 of the Netflix original came out in 2014, social media exploded with posts about the show and the binge-watching that went along with it.  This show received tons of award nominations in the months to come, and will be bringing much of its well-earned popularity with it into the year 2015.
  • Actress of the Year: Shailene Woodley.
    Oh, Shailene, you strange forest nymph/child of the moon. Shailene Woodley, who was known for a few of her roles prior to 2014, suddenly went from pretty-but-unmemorable-unwed-teen-mother-on-television to quirky-nature-loving-movie-star. The young actress had several major movie roles this year, but was even more known for her interesting interviews and homemade remedies for everything imaginable.
  • Actor of the Year: Chris Pratt.
    After getting in shape for Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt was not only the lovable goofball from Parks and Recreation, but also a total stud. His bodacious new bod, coupled with his funny quotes and infectious smile, made him 2014’s most likable heartthrob.
  • 675d8cc18205907f363667eae27740d6Clothing Trend of the Year: Crop Tops & Dresses.
    Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, girls aimed to show off their belly-buttons. Crop tops and cropped dresses have emerged in 2014 (popularized by Taylor Swift and other celebrities), this time showing off the upper ribcage but leaving the navel to the imagination. I’m not sure if this will ever be a trend I decide to follow, but if I ever do get that six-pack I pray for every year, this trend will at least help me reveal part of it to the world.

What trends and events do you think everyone will remember from 2014?

Sound off in the comments below!

Link Love Tuesday: Happy Holidays!

hanukkah-kwanzaa-happy-holidays-christmas-season-ecards-someecardsHappy Hanukkah to all my readers who celebrate! I wish you a joyous holiday filled with latkes and devoid of stupid questions. :) As for many of my other readers, can you believe that Christmas is almost here? The year has flown by, and while I look forward to celebrating every holiday I can with my loved ones, I would like to hold onto 2014 a little longer. What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?

 

What are some of your favorite links and articles for the week?