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VIDEO: Reviewing The Best Subscription Boxes (Part 2)

**Disclaimer: Some products below were sent to me for review. All opinions are mine. Some links are also affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

House Plant Box:

https://www.instagram.com/houseplantbox/

Sudsy Box:

https://www.instagram.com/sudsyandcompany/

"Marissa15" for 15% off!

Her Fit Club Box:

https://www.instagram.com/herfitclubbox/

Lingerie Box:

https://www.instagram.com/lingerieboxusa/

Oceanista Box:

https://www.instagram.com/oceanistabrand/

"OnAir" for $10 off

Dollar Shave Club:

https://www.instagram.com/dollarshaveclub/

Miss to Mrs Box:

https://www.instagram.com/misstomrsbox/

Chasin Unicorns:

https://www.instagram.com/chasinunicorns/

Apocabox:

https://www.instagram.com/apocabox/

Walmart Baby Box:

https://walmart.cesampling.com/babybox/order

Buddhi Box:

https://www.instagram.com/buddhibox/

Confetti Collection Box:

https://www.instagram.com/confetticollectionbox/

UpBoxes/ Bella Box:

https://www.instagram.com/upboxes/

Testing Out The NewAir Portable Air Conditioner

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Disclosure: This post is in partnership with NewAir. All opinions are my own, of course! :)

Photography: Amanda Calabrese

Florida is HOT y’all. And not just “oh I could use a light breeze hot”. Nope. The sun did not come to play this year and I knew I needed to do something about it.

Recently I just started a new remote job where I spend most of my days home in front of my giant office window. Unfortunately the A/C in the office just isn’t as powerful as the rest of the house.

Enter NewAir.

This thing is NO JOKE. Not only is it beautiful and blends into my decor perfectly, but most importantly…it’s powerful.

It also is not just an air conditioner, but a dehumidifier and fan too! Perfect for that nasty Florida humidity!

And perhaps best of all…everything I needed was packaged perfectly in the box. No trip to Home Depot needed for the venting or remote control. Halllllelujah!

Check out the NewAir Portable Air Conditioner for yourself HERE!

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Corckcicle's New LUNCHBOX!

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It’s here!! When the Corkcicle team reached out and asked if I wanted to try their new Adair Lunchbox, it took all of 2 seconds to say “UM, YES!!!” I mean, look at it you guys! It’s beautiful. And functional. What more could you want?

Here’s what the Corkcicle site has to say about it…

The Adair Crossbody is the chicest lunchbox ever. Cool, half-moon silhouette. Extra-long crossbody strap. Four Fresh colors. Plus, it keeps contents cool until you're ready to dig in. 

•  Premium Food- Safe Lining
•  Double Zipper Main Compartment
•  Vegan Leather, adjustable strap
•  External Front Pocket 

Don’t worry, after the photo shoot I took out the fake succulents and replaced it with actual food. :)

I also tried out the new Sport Canteen, which features an awesome flip top lid. I’ve been bringing it on my runs (ok…jogs. ok…walks) and love the convenience.

Huge thank you to Kim, Corckcicle, and my incredible photographer Amanda for bringing this shoot to life.

Book with Amanda here!

And check out the links below to grab an Adair Crossbody for yourself!

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VIDEO: Reviewing The Best Subscription Boxes

**Disclaimer: Some products below were sent to me for review. All opinions are mine. Some links are also affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

VIDEO: Changing To A "Green" Lifestyle

**Disclaimer: Some products below were sent to me for review. All opinions are mine. Some links are also affiliate links. Thank you for your support!


Why I Support #MeToo AND Professional Cheerleading....

Transcription and video below…

So yesterday I opened up my phone, and I saw an alert that announced that the Orlando Magic has decided to get rid of their long-standing all-female dance team, and instead they are replacing it with a co-ed hip-hop entertainment team.

And while their website and official statement might be about "fresh entertainment", I think we can all be honest about what it really is...it's a cop-out. It's no secret what's been going on in the media. Many teams...the Spurs, now the Magic, and surely many more teams to follow are either eliminating or completely changing their cheerleading/ their dance/ entertainment squads.

There's been countless allegations made, and lawsuits brought by cheerleaders demanding fair pay. And it is a real shame that instead of working towards that fairness and working towards that equality, that we're just gonna eliminate it all together because we don't want the headache.

For those of you who don't know me my name is Marissa, and I'm a progressive. I am a supporter of "Me Too". But I'm also a former professional cheerleader.

This afternoon I was on my phone and I was looking more into the issue, and I came across an opinion piece by a former co-worker of mine... and I've got a few things to say about that. According to this author, these all-female cheerleading squads "were started to provide eye candy for guys at games."

I can assure you these women are not on a field, on a court, on a stage for the sole purpose of providing eye candy to men. In fact, let me take you a little bit behind the scenes of an audition process for a team.

Of course each team is going to be a little bit different, but here's my experience.

My experience...there was always an initial full day of auditions where you learn multiple routines, there's multiple rounds of cuts, often times when we're talking about the elite professional teams..NFL, NBA, we're talking about hundreds of women-500 women- being narrowed down to a group of 20/ 30/ 40.

Generally after that you have a week of boot camp. This is intense physical classes. They're testing your strength, your endurance, your mental fitness. During that week often times there's some sort of corporate interview where you're sitting down with the executives at whatever company you're auditioning for. They're asking about your education, your career, your community service events, and overall trying to get to know you and make sure that you're gonna be a good representation of their organization.

After that there's usually some sort of public final-round. This is in front of all of your friends, your family, to see how you perform in front of a crowd. Can you keep the energy up and remember the routine under pressure?

And let me be very blunt...none of this is cheap. You're spending hundreds of dollars getting headshots taken, on costumes, getting your hair, makeup, nails, tan, done. And let's be honest...nobody is going to be fooled. Of course looks are taken into account, but it is not just that. It is also about talent and stamina.

Just a few hours ago I was venting to a friend on the phone about this, and she said "is it all really worth that?"

And you better believe the answer is yes. If a woman is out performing out on that court, out on that field, out on that stage, it is because she wants to be there. It is probably because she's been spending her entire life training for that moment. We're talking recitals, competitions, thousands of dollars on dance lessons. A lot of times these women are trained in ballet, tap, jazz, acro. They've been dancing and cheering since they could walk.

In my career...on top of my entire competitive childhood dancing, I was on my college team... I was on a professional team for the National Lacrosse League...and eventually I moved up to several years with Orlando city soccer, which is now of course part of the MLS. I can't speak for all women, but for me being on those teams built my self confidence. It built my physical health, my mental health. I have friends on those teams that I'm still in touch with now ten years later, and I know are going to be part of my life for eternity. It teaches you teamwork and community service, charity, giving back, being part of whatever city you're living in. It gave me the chance to travel and be part of finals and playoff games that I would have never been able to have been a part of if it wasn't for those dance teams.

So to the author who says that "these teams are only there objectifying women for the viewing pleasure of male audiences" or to the other author with an opinion piece that says "with skimpy suggestive outfits as their uniform their only purpose is to titillate"...

It shows me that we have lost the capacity for nuance. We have lost the ability to separate serious allegations of rape, with women who are voluntarily on the court because they earned it, they earned their place on that field, on that stage. And they have a right to wear whatever they want to wear and not be assaulted.

It is absolutely possible to want to dance, to be sexy, and to respect women. Those things are not mutually exclusive.

I can want to not be catcalled and also be damn proud of myself for the way that I look in a swimsuit calendar.

It is evident by these opinion pieces by men who have never stepped foot on a field or performed in front of a crowd, or gone through the rigorous audition process of women who so badly want to be on that stage, and by the owners who are more concerned with protecting themselves than they are protecting the women who work for them. They are willing to pay their male athletes tens of millions of dollars, but they are unwilling to pay a fair wage for women who are performing on those teams. And it is not unreasonable to ask for that fair wage. 

These women who are putting their jobs and their identities, and their reputations on the line to bring these lawsuits forward are honestly so brave, because it's something that I would have never done when I was on those teams. I would have never even thought to do it.

I mean often times we were asked to arrive at least two hours early so that we could get ready, and do rehearsal on the field. Following that we were the last ones to leave after the game because we were signing autographs and interacting with fans. And for one of the teams I worked for I made $50 per game, and for another team that I worked for I made $25 per game. That's all while doing unpaid practices two/ three/ four times a week, and charity appearances that were built into our contracts.

And I did it because I wanted to be there. So let me reiterate I was not doing it because I was thinking about how turned on someone in the stands might be by my performance. I was doing it because I loved my teammates, I love to perform, and I love to dance.

If you are genuinely interested in keeping up with the times, and moving forward, and being progressive there's absolutely changes that can and should be made.

So where would we go from here?

First and foremost I see nothing wrong with allowing men to perform on these teams. If there are men who are equally as talented, and passionate, and driven as the women who are auditioning...I personally see nothing wrong with that. 

Number two...a fair wage. Compensate your dancers and cheerleaders as you would any other member of your organization.

And three...let's teach the men in our lives- our sons, fathers, dads, brothers, to do better. Teach them that just because I'm doing a sexy dance routine or because my uniform happens to be spandex and lycra that it is not okay to touch me, it is not okay to grope me, and it is not okay to cat call.

And we have to teach our girls that they can want to be both strong AND sexy.

That they can want to be both desired AND respected.

And that yes, you can be a *massive* supporter of the #MeToo movement AND also a professional cheerleader.


https://www.nba.com/magic/magic-announce-tryouts-new-hip-hop-dance-teams

 

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/mike-bianchi-commentary/os-sp-orlando-magic-dancers-coed-dance-team-20190611-2mmjew2k2fcqxhk4c6wj63xyhu-story.html


 

If there are owners/ executives/ leaders who are looking to make a positive change towards equality without eliminating teams all together…let’s chat.  <3

___________________________

✔ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marissaonai...

✔ Twitter: https://twitter.com/marissaonair?lang=en

✔ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarissaOnAir/

✔ Email: marissanclark91@gmail.com

 

INSTAGRAM @MarissaOnAir

 

How To: Throw A Donut Themed Baby Shower/ Sprinkle

As much as I LOVEEEEE to host things, I’ve actually never been asked to host an event for someone else before…until recently. My good friend Kayla was having her second baby (a now beautiful, healthy baby boy named Brooks!) and my friend Emily and I were asked to host her “sprinkle”. Obviously I was over the moon and started Pinterest-ing immediately. Here’s how our donut/ colorful/ sprinkle themed shower turned out! Links below!

(*Note: I do earn a slight commission off some links. These are at no cost to you. I only share products I genuinely love and believe in. Thanks for your support!)

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And my personal favorite piece of decor……THE BALLOON ARCH!!!!

I know I know it looks intimidating, but it was actually incredibly easy to put together with the DIY kit from Amazon. It was around $30 and truly made the whole event (in my opinion)! They come in soooo many colors and would be a perfect addition to any party! Links below :)

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My Heart On My Sleeve...

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crush

VERB

  • Deform, pulverize, or force inwards by compressing forcefully.


I fell. 

I fell hard. 

Not like, fell on the floor (though that might have been less painful). 

I fell for a crush. 

Those of you who know me personally, or were listeners of Johnnys House, know how rare this is. 

It’s no secret I’ve decided to stay single for a hot minute, and many people (Hi Grimes!) would say it’s largely in part to me being ~overly-picky~

Truth be told, I can’t vividly remember the last time I allowed myself to have that “butterfly-in-stomach/ I-could-throw-up-but-I’m-also-so-happy” feeling. 

Until recently. 

Despite publishing a blog to thousands of followers, I do have SOME shame...so I’ll try not to give away too many details. But let’s just say this person was tall/ handsome/ and had an accent to die for. From the moment I met him I wanted to know more about him. He was tough, but had a smile that made me blush. 

And did I mention the accent? 

I found myself reverting back to school-girl ways. Finding reasons to be around him, checking him out from across the room, and teasing him in a flirty way. 

You know the phrase RBF? Resting b*tch face? Well, I have resting everything face. I suppose I wear my heart not only on my sleeve, but my face too. Therefore it doesn’t take very long for anyone to know how I’m feeling. And in this case, I couldn’t keep it to myself much longer and decided to ask him out for a drink. 

***Rejected*** (for good reason, but still)

Ouch.

Now, in the era of modern dating, I don’t normally think twice of making the first move. I’ve slid into DMs. I text first. I’ve initiated hangouts. But this felt different. This time felt extra vulnerable. 

And I suppose that’s the problem with “wearing your heart on your sleeve”. Vulnerability. Allowing yourself to feel deeply...falling hard...not holding back... As perfectly described in the Ted Talk above.


And it’s not just something I’ve faced in the world of dating. I struggle with it every day in the workplace. The idea of “it’s not personal, it’s business” is impossible for me. Everything is personal. Everything hits below the skin. (You can imagine how challenging this is in the world of “show business”!!!) 

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t ALL negative. 

For one, it provides me with a much greater capacity for empathy. I’d even argue it’s the main reason I was inspired to start my charity. It allows me to FEEL others pain, and take action to help them. 

It allows me the courage to say “F**k it” and go for it. Whether it’s asking out a crush or quitting a job I’m unhappy in, I always know exactly how I feel and what to do about it. 

And finally, it allows me to love. A lot. 

Because in the end, I’d rather love and lost than to have never loved at all. Right? 

10 Highlights From 2018! #Blessed

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Well, there are only 2 days left in 2018 and as cheesy as it is, I wanted to share a few of my own personal highlights from this year. I tend to eye roll at the thought of “reflecting on my year” and “making New Years resolutions”, but after what one could describe as a tumultuous year, it just feels right. Though not everything on this list is super-positive (a lot of them are!), each thing brought me to where I am now, and for that I am grateful!! Here we gooooo!

  • Stepping Up My Activist Game

    If you had asked me 5 years ago whether I would ever take an interest in politics, I might have spit my drink out laughing. But thanks to friends and family who inspired me to pay attention and get involved…you could say I’ve found a new passion. There is something incredibly patriotic about exercising my right to vote, and to speak my mind against issues I don’t believe in. This year I attended the March For Our Lives rally, advocated for Andrew Gillum in the midterms, and even got to see Chris Hayes do his show live from Orlando! ~swoon~

  • Christmas In New York City!

    I must say my brother and I’s gift-giving this Mother’s Day was pretttty on point. We surprised our mom (a huge Harry Potter fan) with tix to check out Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Broadway in NEW YORK CITY! Ahh. I will never forget her face when she opened those tickets. While we were there we got to see the Radio City Rockettes, and experience all things Christmas-In-New-York. One could only describe that entire trip as…magical.

  • Vegas, Baby!

    Even with $0.00 in my bank account, when my girlfriends texted me earlier this year asking if I wanted to go see the Backstreet Boys residency in Las Vegas, my answer was an astounding, “YES”!!! I hustled and made it happen and had what one could only describe as a religious experience…It fulfilled every ounce of my 90’s-kid expectations, and then some.

  • Losing and Finding Bodie!

    I must apologize to those of you who went through what can only be described as a traumatic experience with me this June….our dog running away from home….TWICE. Yep, that’s right. Bodie gave me enough stress in just 2 weeks to age me (and possibly you) by five years. The first time he decided to take an overnight trip across the street during a thunderstorm. Fortunately, a wonderful soul who happened to VOLUNTEER AT PET SHELTERS took him in overnight and found us on Facebook the next day.

    The second trip was a bit longer…8 days to be exact. This time he found himself wandering through a forrest several miles from our house.

    We posted, we went door-to-door, we hung flyers, and I even blasted it out on the radio. One Sunday afternoon we finally got a call from a woman who spotted him on the side of the road, which ultimately led to us finding him in a sewage pond during a rainstorm, and that good-samaritan ending up with a shattered ankle in a hospital. It’s actually somehow more bizarre than it sounds, so I made a Youtube video to tell the whole story….

  • Saying Goodbye to XL 106.7

    I used to always tell Johnny how crazy it was that I —vividly— remember listening to him and Doc on my way to MIDDLE SCHOOL. I remember playing back the Johnny’s House podcasts when moving into my town house. When I had a sh*tty traveling sales job, I would turn on XL 106.7 just to make the car rides more bearable. So believe me, the magnitude of being given the opportunity to work at iHeart Media and with Johnny was not lost on me. It still blows my mind.

    But as the saying goes, “all things must come to an end.” I spent five years hustling my way through morning radio, and in October this year decided I would need to say goodbye in order to continue ‘moving up the ladder’. While sleeping-in these past few weeks have definitely been ah-mazing, I will forever have a piece of XL in my heart.

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  • Getting Our New Puppy!

    I’m t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e at keeping secrets. Like, when someone tells me I have to keep something a secret for X amount of time, that secret is all I can think about. That’s what happened when we decided to surprise my dad with a puppy for Christmas. I knew a few weeks before hand, and was SOOOO excited to deliver the news. While we don’t get to bring this little guy home until January 11, 2019, the actual surprise was still a highlight in our year. Let’s just hope he’s not as good of an “escape artist” as Bodie!!!

  • Visiting My Hometown

    Most of y’all know I’m a Southern girl at heart. So any chance I get to visit my hometown of Houston brings me an immense amount of joy. Not only do my aunt and uncle still live there, but my BFF of almost ten years does too. Every time we see each other, it’s like not even a second has passed. When I visited in October we took a trip to a pumpkin patch/ pig racing/ corn maze farm, and even got our *sses to a 7AM Beyonce-themed spin class!

  • Face Of A Feminist, The Podcast

    In December of 2017, Laura and I were sitting in my damn-near 5sq. ft. apartment and decided we wanted to launch a podcast. She had already started “Face Of A Feminist,” but we wanted an outlet to not only talk about issues we think women want/need to hear, but to also gain experience in the podcast-hosting world. That decision led to a year full of challenges, growth, and memories I’ll never forget.

    After a few months of podcasting, FOAF grew to an on-air radio show on Saturday mornings, “Live With Laura Diaz and Marissa”. Why did I make sure to include ‘Saturday mornings’? Because it turns out those two words led to an unforgettable interview with Andy Cohen from Bravo. Which then led to Perez Hilton sliding into my DM’s. And the rest, as they say, is history…

  • Sharing My Skincare Journey

    Ohhhhh, Accutane. I guess you could say Accutane is the best AND worst thing that has ever entered my life. After years of dealing with persistent, cystic acne, I made the decision to start Accutane in April. I had done the research, signed the contracts, taken the online quizzes, gotten my blood drawn…the wholeeee enchilada. Despite being well-informed of the side effects and risks, a part of me still thought the hype was “dramatic”. I still never thought it could be as bad as they say.

    I was wrong.

    The first three months were bearable (see an update below), but the last two were insufferable. Words can’t describe how it affected my life. The joint pain made it impossible to walk upstairs to my third floor apartment. The dryness made my lips crack and bleed open. The fatigue made my 3AM alarms and 11PM night club gigs miserable. And the depression led me to have to drop everything to move back home with my parents. Ultimately I was advised to stop taking it immediately, one month before the course was finished, and the withdrawal effects put me in the hospital.

    So obviously I would tell you it wasn’t worth it, right?

    Well, I don’t know. After another two months OFF the medication I am feeling much better. My skin….OMG. It’s perfect. Not one single blemish in months. And all of those life side effects…well, maybe it was meant to be? I don’t know. I truly don’t know.

    What I do know though is that my skin has never looked better!

  • Meeting Nora and the Nora Sandigo Foundation

    In July I got a call from my friend Claire who was telling me about a woman named Nora Sandigo who was legal guardian to over 1,500 children down in Miami. These children are American citizens, but their parents are not. When the parents arrive to the States, they sign over legal guardianship to Nora in case they are ever faced with deportation. Incredible, right?

    Turns out I already knew Nora’s story after seeing a news report on her the day before, and was just as blown away as Claire. We immediately called and asked what she needed.

    After 3 weeks of a social media campaign/ beg fest, we raised almost $3,000 to buy goods to bring to Nora and her children. Though I haven’t been listing my highlights in any particular order…this one tops the list.

    The success of that food drive inspired me to kick off 2019 by forming my own non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. It will be called Generation Giving, and I am ecstatic to see what we can give to those in need this upcoming year! For more information and to donate, click HERE.

So in short, it’s been a pretty eventful year. Thank you all for your support, love, generosity, and inspiration. Wishing you all a great 2019 and HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3

xo,

Marissa

How To: Make Reindeer Food

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One of my favorite projects around Christmas time is making ‘Reindeer Food’ to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve night. As the poem says, the oats and glitter will guide Santa and his reindeer to your house!

My brother and I sprinkled this mixture outside every year, and it is so fun to make our own bags to pass out to kids in the community! It is such a fun and easy craft. Here’s how to make them for yourself!

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First thing you will need are snack size bags and a large tub of Oats.

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Pour some Oats inside the snack size bags, and grab your glitter!

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Sprinkle the glitter(s) of your choice on top of the Oats. You want to make sure Santa can spot your house! ;)

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We found this version of the Reindeer Food poem online, but found the back to be a bit hard to read. I created a new one you can grab below! It will automatically shoot the PDF to your inbox. :)

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This year we misplaced our “crazy scissors”, but if you have craft scissors, feel free to cut out the printable with those, and simply staple to the top!

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That’s it…enjoy! Sending lots of love and light to you and your loved ones this Christmas!

 

My Favorite D.I.Y. Accounts To Follow

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From children’s crafts, to party décor, to home project tutorials…we’ve rounded up a few of the best DIY Instagram accounts to follow ASAP!

@diplycrafty


‘Crafty’ has amassed an impressive 5.5 MILLION followers on Instagram and provides the perfect balance of tutorials and DIY inspo.  Much like the popular Buzzfeed Tasty tutorials, the Crafty how-to videos are quick, clear, and simple to follow for every level crafter.  In addition to DIY home projects (DIY letter holders and DIY corkboards,) they also provide great tutorials on how to make your own soap or puppy shampoo!

@abeautifulmess

Elsie and Emma are the masterminds behind the popular account at @ABeautifulMess.  The two sisters have built an audience of over 610,000 followers with their stunning profile.  A Beautiful Mess often features home interior before/ afters, and you can even find a few recipes thrown in on their blog! In addition to incredible content, the pair also gives back to their followers with the occasional giveaway. 



@ohhappyday

If you love bright, uplifting, fun Insta profiles, then you will LOVE @OhHappyDay.  Based in San Francisco, the @OhHappyDay team provides all the inspiration you need to throw a creative, show-stopping party.  With balloon wall displays and fun themed napkins, scrolling through their feed will make you feel the need to throw a gathering ASAP.  Take inspo from their mermaid, watermelon, or pastel-colored themes!



@agirlandagluegun

Kim, AKA Kimbo, over at @AGirlAndAGlueGun has one of the best-rounded crafting profiles on Insta! Seriously…she’s got everything! From craft storage ideas to planner inspiration, she will inspire any crafter at heart.  Plus, if you head over to her blog, you can find lots of free goodies! She often provides her followers with free printables and cut files for the Silhoette cutting machine. 



@smartfundiy

If you are a letterboard-lover…this account is for you!! @SmartFunDIY is the ultimate place for sassy letterboard ideas, as well as organization tips for those messy craft rooms.  They often utilize a variety of drawers, peg boards, and containers for all crafting storage needs.  Plus, you can find the occasional fun Disneyland post thrown in! Who doesn’t love that?!



@gluedtomycrafts

In the sunny city of Tampa Bay, Stacey runs the incredible @GluedToMyCrafts account.  Trust me, if you have young kids (or are a grown-up who’s a kid at heart) you’ve got to check out Stacey’s page.  She utilizes all the classics: paper plates, popsicle sticks, cotton balls, etc. to piece together children’s crafts. She’s also got great ideas for teachers gifts and personalized cards. I love how she used construction paper and popsicle sticks to make candy apples!

 

Help Start Digging

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Yesterday the tabloids were filled with “Breaking News” about Pete Davidson, Kanye West, and mental health. While people have differing opinions on those celebrities themselves, I felt the conversation opening back up about mental illness was an important one...one I would like to be a part of. 

I wrote this blog post about a month ago, but wasn’t brave enough to share. Now that I am doing better each day, I realized while the National attention is on mental health, this could be a small part of a larger solution......


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Emptiness. 

That’s what I feel. Not necessarily sadness, but simply nothing. 

“Go for a workout.” 

“Pull yourself together.” 

“It’s just a lack of motivation.” 

For those who have never experienced severe clinical depression, their words are misguided. 

Normally when I blog, it’s because I’ve reached the other side of an experience. I have words of wisdom, a positive ending... 

But this is different. I’m still in the middle of it. 

A few weeks ago it was a monumental task to brush my teeth. And that’s not an exaggeration. Getting myself in the bath felt like lifting a ton of bricks into the tub. 

Yet, how could I be so depressed when I have so much to be thankful for? A job, friends, family, dog, apartment, etc. Well, because depression isn’t a lack of motivation , gratefulness, or desire to be well. It’s chemical. 

Think of all of the celebrities who have ended their lives because of depression. They had fame, family, and more money than they could ever spend. But depression doesn’t discriminate, and money doesn’t fix everything. 

My depression isn’t a new development. I believe it was triggered by the passing of my best friend in college, and has hung around since. I began taking antidepressants around 2010, and have since been on a roller coaster of doses and brands.

My most recent episode left me with painful frustration, not just at the fact that I realized this will be a lifelong battle, but that our healthcare system is still so unequipped to address mental illness. 

A few weeks ago I had hit a new low. My physical pain was so great that I had simply lost the drive to fight. I had no intention to hurt myself, instead I had lost the ability to feel joy and excitement about my future. I knew I needed help. 

I found myself in the ER addressing my physical issues, but when the subject of my mental health came up, there were no follow-up questions or solutions. I saw a separate doctor who told me he doesn’t “address mental health”. When I called to make an appointment with the psychiatrist he recommended, they said they were only booking patients for July. As in, July 2019. The next psychiatrist didn’t take my insurance. The next required two appointments before addressing antidepressants. And on, and on. 

I’m blessed to live in a time where I feel comfortable discussing mental health, but I still believe we have a ways to go. Even as a privileged, educated individual, I felt disgusted by this system. 

Eventually I was able to find a doctor to change my medication, but even then there are hurdles of side effects that come with those changes. I have an incredible therapist, but unfortunately the cost is simply too high to go as often as I need. Add that on to the crushing hospital bill and it leaves one in an even more depressed state. 

I wish I could wrap this up with a pretty bow. I wish I was on the other side of this telling you now I’m in a happy, balanced state. But not yet. For now it’s simply a blog to tell those of you going through something similar that I GET YOU. That we WILL be okay. This is temporary, and this too shall pass. That I am confident of. 

And for those of you who are blessed to not relate to anything above, I offer this food for thought....

A forum I read likened clinical depression to shoveling snow. Some days you shovel the snow effortlessly, back your car out, and go to work. Other days the weight of the snow is too much to pick up. You’re tired and can’t do it alone. 

If you see someone struggling to lift their shovel, my plea is to take ahold of theirs and help start digging. 

<3
————

If you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255.

Backstreet Boys Larger Than Life 2018- LAS VEGAS VLOG

My Favorite Tech Toy This Year

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My Favorite Tech Toy This Year
A review of the iRobot Roomba 690

Ok...it's no secret I'm a tech nerd. My Amazon Alexa can turn on and off my lights, heat up my crockpot, dim my vanity lights, pre heat my curling iron, and even turn on my aromatherapy diffuser when I'm feeling stressed.

But one thing she wasn't able to do? Clean my house.

Until now.

If you are anything like my friends and family, you are probably ready to start an intervention for my laziness....but hear me out.

I have been looking into investing in a robotic vacuum for quite some time now. My parents have had one for a few years, and while it had its downfalls, it helped reduce pet hair and dirt exponentially.

So when Black Friday came around and I saw an Amazon deal for the iRobot Roomba 690 with Bluetooth, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of simply saying, "Alexa, turn on iRobot" and watching my Roomba go! Even better, the app would allow me to monitor everything from any room in the house.

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So I took the plunge. Soon my new toy arrived and the set up began. After registering on the app, and syncing my Roomba to my Echo Dot, we were in business!

One of the great features included in this set is the "invisible barrier wall". It comes with the option to block off a room using a straight lined laser, or with a circumference around the tower. I opted for the circle surrounding a house plant. As the Roomba approached, it quickly turned around and moved on its way.

So what are the downsides? Not many, really.

Occasionally my Roomba would find itself wrapped around a string from a rug in my bathroom, or stuck on a sheet in the bedroom, but truthfully those should have been picked up before it started its cleaning cycle. I found myself occasionally placing it in a different room if it spent too much time in one area, but it probably was a matter of preference.

Once my Roomba decided it was time to recharge, it automatically found its way back to the docking station (something my parents robot never could do). On only one occasion did it not make it back, and that was due to an obstacle on the floor. I'll give it a pass.

Overall I found the 690 model to be exactly what I needed. If you aren't in need of the Bluetooth/ Alexa feature, you could opt for the 650. Or if you are really feeling a splurge you could jump to the Roomba 960. For my budget and living space though, this was exactly what I needed.

If you're thinking about taking the (kinda-lazy-but-super-necessary) plunge into the world of robotic vacuuming, check out the products mentioned above here....

How I Learned To Deal With Anxiety

Anxiety is something I've never really talked about before in public. I've always felt like anxiety = unstable/crazy in society. But I realize now that's not necessarily the case. 

If you've ever been unfortunate enough to have a panic attack, you probably know the feeling like you're 'going to die'. Your heart speeds up, your vision gets blurry, your chest starts hurting, fingers go numb, and you are certain you're having a heart attack/dying. It's the worst. 

During grad school I had them all the time until I got the right amount of counseling & meds to stop them. 

But earlier this week it happened again. 

A full blown anxiety attack. 

I can't explain exactly why, but after a really stressful day I found myself hyperventilating on my bed wishing it would stop. And it finally did. 

Now I know the WORST thing you can do with a medical problem is to Google it…but I caved. And I actually came across something really encouraging....a list of meditation videos to help you relax and de-stress. 

You can check out the full list HERE.  

I'll be honest I've always been a skeptic to meditation or the whole yogi-lifestyle, but I found these videos incredibly helpful. It might not be for everyone, but I thought I would share a few of my favs in case you want to give it a shot: 

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How To Make Salad Last A WEEK

 

So we're doing this weight loss challenge and as someone who DESPISES cooking, I'm always looking for something that requires minimal effort and is still healthy. So thankfully I came across this brilliant idea on Pinterest: Mason Jar Layered Salad.

I usually pre-make four of these on Sunday, stick them in the fridge, and my lunch is ready to go!

These are the tricks I learned to making it last a full week:

1) You HAVE to layer it properly.  It keeps the lettuce fresh and not soggy.  

2) Use LIME JUICE to keep the avocado & tomatoes from brown-ing.  

3) I keep my dressing in a separate container.

4) I also use 'wide-mouth' mason jars to make it easier for stuffing! 

Here is how I layer mine....

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*Before adding the lettuce, make sure you add lime juice to the bottom layer to keep it from brown-ing. 

 

Here are the small containers I use to keep my dressing in (can find at Publix or Walmart).  And yes, they are supposed to be for shots! LOL! 

 

And if you really want to get fancy...check out these recipes for Mason Jar burrito bowls, cajun shrimp jars, & more! 

Happy eating! 


 

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I HAD A QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS

 

For me, birthdays are usually a several week long celebration. But next week I turn 25 and there's just something about this year that feels different. 

I haven't planned one dinner, one party, or sent out one invite. Instead I find myself evaluating where I am in life, and couldn't help but wonder if having a "quarter life crisis" is a real thing? 

 

 quarter life crisis: Usually occurs sometime in your twenties, a few years out of school and still feel as though you're waiting for your life to begin. 

Check, check, and check. 

 

Don't get me wrong I feel extremely blessed. I have an amazing family, job, and friends. But sometimes I can't help but look at people my age who've already accomplished so much and feel a sense of admiration. They've either purchased their first home, make a good salary, are engaged/married, or are starting a family and I wonder if somehow I'm "behind the curve".  Because let's be honest....none of those things are happening anytime soon! 

 

I used to have it all mapped out. I was going to graduate college, become a news anchor, get married and start a family before the age of 30.....LOL. In fact I used to frown upon people who just "went with the flow" and never had a life plan. But now even picturing where I'll be in 5 years feels like a complete blur. It's as if I have to fight through the fog in my brain to even visualize the next 6 months. 

 

The truth is now I don't know what the future holds. I know I'm completely terrified, confused, and feel like running away from adulthood....but somewhere in there is a sense of excitement. Excitement to see where this ridiculous journey of life will end up. I'll keep ya posted. 

xoxo,

 

Marissa 


 

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WHY MILLENNIAL DATING IS THE WORST

 

(Pic: Graham Oakley) 

 

You’ve heard the show.  Everyone jokes me for being single.  But let me tell you it’s not for a lack of trying.  And in my dating ‘adventures’ recently I’ve noticed a few trends that I feel need to be stopped ASAP.   So those of you in relationships, feel free to repost for your single friends to see.  And all you singles out there, grab a glass of wine and take notes…..

 

1-  1) Make Conversation

 

Tinder. Bumble. Grindr. Match. POF…..Literally the list goes on and on for dating sites. If you’re someone whose been in the online dating game for more than 3 days you’ve probably encountered one of these two types of people:

 

Person A:  Always responds to your messages.  But has no interest in making REAL conversation.  You ask a question, they respond with one or two words.  They probably only use you to pass the time at work. 

Person B:  This person knows just about everything about you.  You’ve messaged on dating sites, started texting, Facebook messaging, etc.  You talk everyday and they SEEM interested in you.  But when it comes down to making plans, they have no real intention of ever meeting up.  This is where my phrase “I don’t need a pen pal” was created. 

 

So what’s the takeaway? If you don’t really like the person you’re talking to- don’t message them out of boredom.  Just un-match and wait until you find someone who interests you.  Leading people on is lame and you shouldn’t have to beg someone to hang out with you. 

 

And if you DO like them- make plans! It’s no fun to go on a first date with someone who you already know everything about.  I guarantee if they message you for a few days, they also want to see you in person. 

 

2)    2) Show The Heck Up

 

 

 

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So you’ve finally asked someone out and have plans to actually meet in person. NOTHING is more irritating to a girl who spent days picking out an outfit, and hours doing her hair/makeup than getting a text 15 minutes before your date saying “(some sort of BS excuse)….won’t be able to make it tonight.”

 

 **insert eyeroll emoji**

 

Y’all.  It’s just common decency.  I get things happen.  But as SOON as you know you won’t be able to make it, just send a text.  Even if you decide at the last minute you would rather stay home and watch Netflix (which is realllll low, btw)….just send a dang text. 

 

If something did genuinely happen though and you can’t show up, make an effort to let the person know it’s not because you aren’t interested.  I once had a guy send flowers to my work as an apology for leaving me hanging.  Those guys deserve another chance.  I’ll always assume guys who leave it at “won’t make it tonight” also mean “won’t make it ever.”

 

Moral of the story? If you make the effort to arrange plans…show the heck up. Nothing is sexier than someone who respects your time. 

 

 

3)   3) Man/ Woman Up

 

 

(Pic: Google/ Imgflip.com)

 

So you go on a date or two or three.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  And as adults there’s no reason to feel bad about that. UNLESS you ghost them.

 

Ahhhh ghosting.  Something my girlfriends and I have spent hours trying to analyze. Unfortunately though, there’s not much to analyze except that person is not even worth your time or energy. 

 

OF COURSE confrontation is awkward.  Telling someone you just aren’t interested in them (regardless of the reason) is suuuuuper uncomfortable.  But if someone has invested even a few days of their time into talking/ hanging out with you, the least you could do is text a simple “I just don’t think it’s going to work out.”

 

Don’t’ deflect.  Don’t be evasive.  I’d much rather someone straight up tell me we’re never going to hangout again than be left waiting for a possible invite. 

 

So man/woman up, send a text, and move onto the next! It’s their loss anyways ;)

 

Xoxo,

 

 

Marissa

 

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