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dear america, you sent for me.

Dear America,

Remember when we were the land of the free and the home of the brave. That whole, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” We are a place where immigrants wrote the laws, established our systems, and laid the ground work to create the country where we live (#alexanderhamilton).

Immigrants, they have moms and dads and family and lives that they are trying to make better.

My great-great-great-grandparents on one side were Jewish immigrants to the United States at a time when it wasn’t so popular to be Jews. It’s lucky for them that they made their move from Europe in the late 1800s/early 1900s, because if they had waited until the late 1930s, there is a chance that the country would have told them the borders were very closed. Because Jewish refugees in World War II weren’t sexy, at least, not until 1944 when mass holocaust couldn’t be denied.

Refugees, they have moms and dads and family and lives that are in such danger that they would rather sleep on the highway in a country that doesn’t want them then remain where they are.

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These are the people that we live in fear of. Approximately 38% of the refugees look like this. Small children, under the age of 12, who long for home and only remember the war and violence that has surrounded them. Another 50% of refugees are women. They are fleeing from the homes they have made, to nothing. They run away from a world that can care less what their religion is, death will come eventually. Girls are taken from their families, assaulted, and often left for dead. They sit at fences and wait for countries to let them in. They look for someone who sees their pain and invites them in. They look for welcome and they instead receive a wall.

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Refugees, much like these families, have been settled in the U.S. for years upon years. Since 9/11 and the rise of terrorism-based fear, not a single terror attack has been carried out by a refugee. In Paris, we watched as eight French Nationals killed over 100 fellow citizens in the name of chaos and bloodshed. Our fear makes us want to hide. And in moments like this, all I can wonder is when did our fear become bigger then our faith. As we are caught up in our fear we have forgotten what makes us great. In an effort to keep all of the perceived evil out, we ignore the command in Isaiah to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s case.” We cover our fear and our ignorance in the cloak of patriotism.

Our safety is never guaranteed. Terrorism, car-jacker, serial killer, spree-killer, burglar, rapist, school-shooter, stray bullet. The way to keep us safe isn’t building higher walls, it isn’t arming every able-bodied person in the U.S., and it damned well isn’t ignoring the INSANE amount of violence in the world. It is seeking justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is helping our neighbors and heaping kindness on their heads. It is being global in a world that wants us to sit in our comfortable houses with our overabundance of stuff. It is creating a legacy for which we many never see the fruit.

Legacy. What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see
I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me
America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me
You let me make a difference
A place where even orphan immigrants
Can leave their fingerprints and rise up

You sent for me.

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life // sleep, dream, and social sexuality

I tend to have really weird dreams…like the time I was stealth dating Ed Sheeran and only Ann was able to figure it out, it was weird. That is only kind of relevant to the story right now.

Last night I had a dream.

It was one of those happy, wonderful, wake up feeling awesome, while also simultaneously wondering what is wrong with your subconscious sort of dreams. As I told a friend, it was an alternate universe dream of my dating life, which is to say, in the dream I had one. It wasn’t some crazy jetting off to Paris with Ed Sheeran situation, it was figuring out who between two people I really actually liked. As both actually wanted to spend time with me, intentional time. It was an email that was like, “hey let’s hang out and here is a list of 20 (I’m guessing on the number) things that I think we would have fun doing.” [This is where real life and dream Whitney swooned, a man who plans things]. It was being asked absurd and unnecessary questions because someone just wants to have a conversation. Pretty much, it was dream world. It wasn’t “oh he’s the hottest man in the room, yes please!” and it wasn’t “he’s a Prince of England, thank the Lord,” it was just an email and really really dumb questions that even dream Whitney was like, for serious…please stop.

And then I woke up.

And, not gonna lie, I was totally in this happy endorphin place that not even close to my normal morning feelings (not even a little bit).

Then, I made it a moment about the decline of relationships in society. It probably doesn’t help that yesterday I spent the morning reading about the church and social sexuality, but that is a norm so my euphoric, happy, dream brain was never going to win this round. It led to the thought of there is a problem that has become the norm and that is cross-gendered compliments have all but disappeared as people are terrified to find themselves accidentally in a relationship…which, you know, can’t really happen but apparently somewhere out there a boy said a girl looked nice and found himself wed the next day. Poor sucker. And so mutual appreciation fizzles out and the lack of connection awkwardness is in. Self-confidence falls, introspection rises, and in the end, no one is feeling the happy gleeful feelings of being appreciated…instead, you often just feel used.

I have a friend, and he has (unbeknownst to him) become one of those people that I just think the world of. He is a “turn your frown upside-down” sort of person. Actually, he reminds me a lot of my baby brother, so I was bound to think “well aren’t you the bestest.” It not crazy to get a “just because” hug when it seems like your day has been hard. Conversations can bounce between food, life, who he’s currently dating, and the evangelical church…but mostly food. I’ve made macaroons for his sister, he’s mocked my inability to cut bell peppers thin enough for a veggie and hummus plate (ugh chef-types). But at the end of even the briefest interaction, it’s hard to not feel good. It’s the feeling of someone who is actively willing to engage you and appreciates what you bring to the table, which is not my kitchen knife skills.

What is worrisome, is how little that feeling occurs in day to day life.

We want to know each other and be known. Connection and intimacy is craved, and not just in a “let’s date and get married” sort of way. It shouldn’t be taboo to have an extra ticket to the ballet (welcome to my life) and invite a guy friend to go along just because it might be fun. Likewise, just because you have dinner with someone, and they pay for the bill, doesn’t mean you are magically dating. If that was the case, there would be a whole lot more lady relationships in the world because the girl squad in my life regularly foots the bill for each other. Somewhere it became okay to only know those who are just like you, gender-wise. And with is we lost something special. We lost the feeling of feeling appreciated and wanted. We now only feel sought after when someone is trying to ask you out on a date, or if that need a favor. It is common place to hear how women dress up for other women (cause we’re judgey like that) and because unless a guy is making a move, he probably isn’t going to say that you look nice…so you play to your audience.

So instead we live in the magical euphoric dream world. The world where there are legit a million Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes, celebrity crushes, and “color me swoon” coloring books (which is the best Birthday present ever).

Because in dream world, no one will accidentally marry you off for appreciating someone.

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the amazing art of liz climo

Sometimes you find something so great, that you sit at your desk and giggle…and then you send it to every single person who happens to be signed in to Google Hangout in that moment (sorry everyone actually trying to work). Today, it is the amazing illustrations/comics of Liz Climo. And I’m obsessed. Add to that, I think I have identified a few people’s spirit comics.

Can we guess which one belongs to which of the #squad? (Also, a lot of the prints are for sale, danger)

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thinking about thinx

Because…periods. I don’t even think there is anything else to say.

But since someone will be like, “what is going on here…,” I’ve included the video below and there are many, many, many, many articles that you can read about the on-going saga. But pretty much the short version: period is a bad word, men are offended, children are scarred from seeing a grapefruit, and Georgia O’Keefe is no longer on display in any museum or gift shop anywhere forever (I may have made up that last bit).


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life // a sexy lifestyle blog (ha!)


It is so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Who has the better job, the cooler stuff, the biggest parties, and the best “lifestyle” blog…you know the ones, where every outfit, party, craft, house, life is perfect. I’d say I wish, but I’m not sure if I do.

Let’s talk about my “lifestyle blog.” I spend about 30 days per year photographing something (vacation, families, a wedding or two, my own projects, etc.); there are another 15-ish days to hosting shindigs and happy hours. A smattering of days are focused on the crafting arts, read: spray paint, and a full week is spent on my devotion to sending tax-deductions to the goodwill. If I really buckled down, I could throw that image out there, life would be perfect, the world would envy my great luck, and people would want to be me. But then there are the other 300-ish days of the year.

The rest of that time, oh team, is spent on the following ideas/things:

  • societal constraints toward women and how women don’t win, and that is a problem
  • singleness. the never-ending, poke-my-eye-out discussion of the church
  • discussions and articles on dating culture, not just the church! everyone’s screwed! it’s nice not to feel alone.
  • figuring out how long I can hit snooze before I’m actually late to work
  • lunch
  • why everyone should go to counseling
  • pinterest: cocktail ideas! DIYS! make-my-own clothes! (because #insane)
  • the evils of high fructose corn syrup
  • singleness. (I kid you not — so bad it’s on there twice)
  • realizing the older I get the less I like people and their personalities, can I get an amen on that one
  • gushing about whatever my most recent obsession is
  • the internet
  • hulu, netflix, abc family app, usa app, cbs app, on-demand (it’s a problem)

…and let me tell you, that isn’t sexy lifestyle blog fodder. Except, it actually is life, so maybe it is. It will always come with a pretty picture, cause I’m me. Parties will always be styled, because again, me. But you also might get a rant about how periods (not the punctuation kind) are not offensive, and the NYC MTA can shove it, or that medieval prostitution led to really weird modern viewpoints on sexuality within the church. I may gush about the ballet in one sentence and roll my eyes about the opera in the next. I will definitely talk about being bi-racial. I can love and hate my hair within the same breath; it’s a great prop…it’s the devil, depends on the millisecond.

One day there may be a cool recipe or crafty project or photo shoot or shopping favs, and the next day there might be an article about…well, periods.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring (since it’s come up twice, if you guess periods and advertising, you might be totally right. Sorry to the .2% of men who stumbled across this, but it just might be the day for an expanded education).

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30 Years // The Swag


It seemed like a good time to take a crew to the wonderful world of Disney, land that is. Since I’m me, and me is a bit absurd, it was an excuse to make welcome bags of my likes. So as I prep a million and one posts on parties and reflects and loves, I figured, why not start with the swag.


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If I could provide a tutorial on the bags, I would. But I did them late one night, in my room that looks like a goodwill drop off site, while watching a lot of Criminal Minds. So so so much Criminal Minds. That being said, the bags are from amazon, the sharpies are from whatever drawer I found them in, and the designs are care of my noodle. I filled them with some of my favorite things from May Designs, Emily McDowell, Baublebar, and of course the Disney store…oh, and many Mother’s Circus Animal Cookie packets. A welcome bag fit for a queen…or just me.

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bags // notebooks // necklaces // postcards // disney tsum tsums
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travel // new york state of mind

Despite being so close to NYC, my frolicking doesn’t take me there as much as my dancing/eating/Broadway loving heart would love. But, when I made it to “the City,” being able to run around (and walk over so many bridges) with Madeline was clearly my favorite past-time. So when she and her roommate both decided it was time to move on to smaller, better and more Southern places, it was time for one last hurrah. And hurrah we all did. Involving tacos, bridges, ice cream, Brooklyn, subways, fancy cocktails, skylines, and so many flights of stairs (the curse of the walk-up apartment). Here’s to the lovely ladies no longer of NYC!

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Looking for great views of the Manhattan skyline, hit up The Ides at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It isn’t a new, hip place. It’s actually a pretty established hip place. You might have to wait in line to get to the elevator, but once you make it to the bar you are met with great drinks and even more amazing views. And, when you’re hanging out with Madeline, you guaranteed that you can shove your way through the happy hour crowd to take a selfie or two with the sunset on our backs.

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After walking 13,000 steps from 3:00PM – 12:00AM, clearly the only thing to do the next day is to get up and walk some more. So many avenues. And they are so long. But back to the real point of this…breakfast at Buvette in the West Village. I ate all of the gluten, within reason, and it was so goooood. I had almost forgotten how amazing homemade bread is, but consider me reminded and jealous of all the gluten-grazers in the world. An after breakfast stroll, walking the many avenues, stopping to photograph the Hamilton marquee, a subway ride, and a stroll around the East Village searching for Dark & Stormy slushies later…it was time to think about dinner. Going away dinner at Empellon Taqueria and my margarita was served with a giant wedge of pineapple and a hint of spice and it was wonderful. A scoop of ice cream from Van Leeuwen, more walking, and so many avenues later, I felt confident we had made the most of our 17,000 steps for the day and our going-away 48 hours. Next time in New Orleans!

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One of the hardest parts about falling off the wagon (over and over and over again), is getting back on said wagon. And when it comes to the world of blogging, it’s not much different. The longer the time, the more it’s hard to restart. I wanted to come back with a bang, some awesome post about my summer vacation or a deep post about the inner thoughts of unemployment. But, at the end of the day…photos. It’s the end all and be all of life. And so without further ado, here is what unemployment looked like…minus a few things that I’ll post later.

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life // …said at a Mumford & Sons concert


Mumford and Sons came to the D.C. area last night, and I never miss a M&S show. And so began the epic adventure that included a lot of driving, a lot of waiting in parking lines, walking really far, and so by the time we arrived Ann and I were full of sass. The crowd was all sorts of interesting. The music was AH-MAZING. And then the following lines were uttered (by us):

– “Marcus Mumford Mumbles”
– “Your boyfriend is rocking it”
– “If your kid likes the band enough for you to Facetime them [during every song], why didn’t you buy them a ticket…there wasn’t a limit of 2 tickets per order”
– “There is only one Mumford, there are no sons”
– “She is reading her mail”
– “Ugh, Your camera isn’t broken, you can’t take a picture…stop trying”
– “D.C. has no rhythm”
– “She didn’t smile once…she looks unhappy…Why is she here??”
– “Please, stop clapping…you’re ruining this for me”
– “There Ben, my boyfriend, Marcus, Winston 1 and Winston 2” — “His name is Ted…he had a blood clot…he deserves his own name”
– “Oh look, he’s playing the actual piano now” — “Ugh. That’s like a thigh holster, slay me”

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