Positive Influence

ImageMost people know Mackelmore for his radio hit “Thrift Shop“, but lately I have been listening to a lot more of his music, and I am truly inspired. Most of his music has a lot more meaning than “Thrift Shop”, and it bothers me that this is the only song of his that the radio will put on the air, but I’m not surprised.

ImageThe first song that turned me on to the rest of his music is “Same Love” which is about marriage equality. Mackelmore starts off the song with admitting that he once thought he was gay, “When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay because I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight“, he goes on to say how being gay has so many stereotypes, but it’s not really so clear cut, it’s not a decision someone makes as the “right wing politicians” think it is.

While I haven’t had the chance to listen to every song, most of his other music is about his struggle with alcoholism. This really hits home for me as I have seen loved ones struggle with it and I’m growing up in a time where many of my peers abuse prescription drugs, which Mackelmore also talks about in his songs. In his song “Otherside” Mackelmore specifically calls out Lil’ Wayne for his “purple drank”, but he does it in a way that doesn’t put anyone down. “This is not Californication, there’s no way to glorify this pavement, Syrup, Percocet, and an eighth a day will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant. Despite how Lil Wayne lives, it’s not conducive to being creative“.

Another song that I really took to was “A Wake” which is about the current generation in general. The line that gets to me everytime is when he says, “I grew up during Reaganomics, when Ice T was out there on his killing cops shit or Rodney King Imagewas getting beat on and they let off every single officer, and Los Angeles went and lost it. Now every month there is a new Rodney on Youtube, it’s just something our generation is used to“. What gives me chills is how right he is. How often have we seen a video of a cop abusing their power on youtube, but what have we done to stop it? I know it’s hard to compete with and there are a lot of problems that need to be dealt with in this world, but what’s important is that we don’t forget them. I think that Mackelmore, and other rappers like him, should be on the radio more than the rappers that encourage young kids to smoke and drink. Mackelmore is a positive figure who makes it look cool to be free from alcohol, his raps tell it like it is, and that’s something that’s rare today- but kids need it.

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What happened in Boston on Monday is so heartbreaking. It’s scary to say, but it’s beginning to feel like there’s no place safe anymore; shootings at elementary schools, in movie theaters, and explosions at a marathon. Lately, I’ve been really wrapped up in my own life, stressing over school and problems with my relationship, but events like this remind me of what’s most important in life. Though it’s hard at times, I’m going to make a conscious effort to remember that life is short, we never know how long we have. It’s important that we try to live everyday like it’s our last, love as much as we can, and be grateful for all that we have.

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Meat Free Meat

A big question I get about being vegetarian is whether I not I miss eating meat or not. Overall the answer to that question is “no”. However, I do get rare cravings for one particular item: chicken nuggets. Luckily for me, supermarkets carry meat substitutes that are tasty and satisfying. Here are my recommendations of my favorite meatless meat items!

1. Quorn chicken nuggets. I have tried a few different brands of fake chicken andImage this is by far the best, especially if you take the time to put them in the oven! ( I also love this brands chicken cutlets, they have one with cheese underneath the crust mm!)

2. Quorn Meatballs. Okay, so I really like this brand. I was really hesitant to try meat free meatballs but to my surprise they were delicious! I literally couldn’t stop eating them and they are a great addition to a quick pasta!

3. Lightlife Smartdogs. Veggie hotdogs sound gross, I know, but trust me they are great!Image They are my favorite thing to bring to barbeques when everyone else is eating hamburgers and real hotdogs. A few of my (very against being vegetarian) guy friends have tried these and approved (secretly of course haha).

4. Smashburger’s Veggie burger. So I know this isn’t a do it yourself one but I have tried a lot of veggie burgers from a lot of different places and I have to say that this is my favorite. ImageThe best part is that it’s customizable. I like mine with avocados!

5. EVOL burritos. These are delicious and quick! Make sure you pick up one that’s labeled vegetarian or vegan.

Do you have any favorite vegetarian/vegan items?

xx

        Cait

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Chelsea Market

The other day I traveled into the city with a friend who was Imagelooking for some cool spots to take photos for class. We (accidentally) ended up near Chelsea Market and The High Line. I have been to The High Line once before and I loved it, but this time it was a little too cold to be up there. However, once it’s warmer I definitely recommend it! It’s this old railroad that they have converted into a beautiful walkway filled with great views of the city and lovely gardens. After that we explored Chelsea Market for a bit and it was amazing! I can’t believe I haven’t been here before. You walk in and it’s almost like you’re in another world. I wish I had taken more pictures but I will definitely be going back, so that’s okay. Anyways, if you Imagehaven’t been here and you are looking to kill some time you should check it out. There are restaurants, small shops, and just a lot of people watching! I was really excited when I saw a place that made crepes (my guilty pleasure)! I got nutella and banana yum!

xx

Cait

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How to Enjoy Being Alone

When I was younger I used to be really shy. I’d stand next to my mom at birthday parties, cry for my parents on the first day of every school year, and I only kept a few close friends. In middle school and high school I went through a stage where my friends were my world You know what I’m talking about girls: same team in gym class, a select few at the lunch table, countless sleepovers, and god forbid one of you even venture to the restroom alone! However, once I entered college I became increasingly okay with being by myself, and I began to realize that this wasn’t so for everyone else. alone-seussIt’s hard for some people to sit by themselves at a cafe or go for a walk without being self conscious of other people, but I think everyone should try it. When your alone you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. There’s no wondering if the other person with you is having fun or them wanting to do something you don’t feel like doing. It’s all about you. It may sound selfish, but it’s important to spend time with yourself. If you can’t spend time with yourself how do you expect other people to do the same? Also, it’s a great thing to learn how to do before it becomes something you need to learn how to do. If you know you can be okay alone, it won’t feel so bad the next time you go through a break-up, whether it be with a girlfriend/boyfriend or a friend. Trust me, it’s very freeing. So here it is, baby steps!

1. Go shopping alone. Take notice of how nice it is not to worry about someone else wanting to go in a certain store or try something on when you’d rather just move along.

2. Sit alone at a cafe. Bring a book or your laptop if you’d like.

3. Eat lunch alone. A lot of places cater to this now, so don’t worry too much! Sit alone at a Panera Bread, a Starbucks, or a pizza counter and I’m sure you’ll do just fine. You will probably notice that you eat a lot slower and only until your full when you aren’t busy talking to a friend the whole time. (And try to avoid playing on your cell phone!)

4. Sit at a park alone. Bring a book, write, or just take in the quiet and do a lot of people watching!

5. Take a trip. I know this one seems difficult, but there are plenty of programs/tours that allow you to meet up with other people. If you have the money I definitely recommend EF College Break.

And remember, people are not thinking about you nearly as much as you think they are, they are too busy worrying about themselves (just as you’re doing)!

xx good luck!

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