Slam Poetry

Recently I’ve been sucked into the world of YouTube, but instead of watching¬†makeup video after makeup video I’ve been watching tons of slam poems. I’ve always loved listening to/watching slam poems because they are so powerful. The poetic language captivates me and the topics are so interesting. From gender stereotypes to feminism to LGBTQ rights to mental health to education, there are so many topics to watch!

I’ve compiled a few slam poems for you all that I really liked watching, so enjoy!

The first one is by Dylan Garity and he addresses problems with the education system using an immigrant standpoint. These problems are still relevant now, and it’s something I’ve seen firsthand, which is why I thought this was a really powerful one.

This next one is by Blythe Baird and she talks about her personal experience with eating disorders. There is definitely a rise in awareness for mental health now, and this poem is a great way to continue to understand our misconceptions about eating disorders.

This next poem is by Megan Falley, and this one is just straight up sad. It’s called “In Fear of My Mother Being Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease,” and I’m sure you can tell from the title why I say that. (Side note: Megan Falley performs very powerful and extremely feminist poems with Olivia Gatwood, so if you want to check those out, and I highly recommend you do, go visit www.speaklikeagirl.com)

The last poem has a much lighter tone than the previous ones. It’s by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye and it’s called “When Love Arrives.” It’s cute, but still very poetic and I like it. ūüôā

I hope you got something out of these poems. I hope they made you stop and just think for a second, because that’s how you know it’s a good one.

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Winter Essentials

If you live in the northern hemisphere,¬†you may have been experiencing never ending sunshine for the past forever!¬†We’ve had months of good weather in California, but winter has finally arrived! It’s been raining a lot (even though it might not seem like it from these pictures), and I’ve finally needed a jacket to leave the house. In celebration of this well needed change in weather, I am going to¬†show you ¬†what I need to survive during the cold winter.

1. Chapstick

Chapstick is a necessity in my everyday life anyway, but in winter my addiction intensifies. I am that¬†person who finishes a tube of chapstick all the way to the end without losing it. (I know this picture seems like major product promotion, but honestly Burt’s Bees is a little too waxy for me. I prefer the original Chapstick brand.)

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2. Slippers

My feet are always freezing, so I need fuzzy slippers! I love these ones because they are so warm and fit snuggly when I wear thick socks.

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3. Knit Scarves

Luckily my mom loves to knit scarves, so I have a growing supply of these cozy accessories. I love having a variety of colors, from vibrant reds to neutral grays to go with everything in my closet.

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4. A Good Book

Always a necessity is a good book to read while cuddled up on the couch. I chose this book¬†I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson to spotlight because it’s the latest book I’ve read that I really loved. I’ll just give you the short summary written on the back cover: “Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. Now they are barely speaking- and both falling for boys they can’t have. Love’s complicated.”

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5. Good Movies

Winter break is the perfect time to catch up on any movies you’ve wanted to see or just to watch old favorites. All the movies I’ve shown are ones that I love to watch again and again!

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6. Board Games

Because my family is forced to spend lots of time together during winter break, we end up playing tons of board games. I love it because we always end up laughing so much! (Or we end up so mad at each other we need to walk away.) Either way, I look forward to breaking out games like Monopoly, Spot it, and Battleship.

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7. DIY Crafts

With all the Secret Santa’s and White Elephants during this time of year, DIY crafts are the best way to add that personal touch. I love making things anyway, but this is a good non screen activity to keep me busy during the winter. This is a terrarium that I made as a gift. Let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make one yourself!

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There are so many more essentials I could add to this list, but this post would turn into pages. Instead, I’ll just leave you with these 7 of my ¬†essentials for surviving this winter season.¬†What¬†do you need to survive the cold?

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New Orleans!

A few months ago, I booked a ticket to New Orleans for the weekend. It was a pretty spontaneous decision (check that off my bucket list). One of my best friends moved there for college, so I thought I would give her a visit.

I discovered that New Orleans is so different than anything that I’m used to! The people are so welcoming and chatty, the buildings in the French Quarter have so much history behind them, and the food there is definitely worth trying!

Here are a few snapshots from my weekend in New Orleans. Enjoy!

NOLA-Alarm
My flight was super early in the morning, but at least I was excited!
NOLA-Colorado Snow
I had a layover in Denver, and being from California, I haven’t seen snow in so long! I needed to get a picture to show everyone at home that it still exists.
NOLA-Bus Ride
Like a true college student on a budget, I took the bus from the airport to meet Tiffany.
NOLA-Wings
I came to a new state, so obviously I had to eat like the locals. Here is my dinner from a wing place.
NOLA-Breakfast
Our hostel (yes, we stayed in a hostel) provided pancake mix and a grill for breakfast, so naturally we couldn’t turn that down!
NOLA-Streetcars
The streetcar stop was right outside our hostel, so we ended up taking that all the way down to Bourbon Street.
NOLA-Bourbon St
Here’s proof that we did end up on Bourbon Street. (That’s what it says underneath all the Mardi Gras beads)
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I loved seeing the typical New Orleans architecture.

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NOLA-Beignets
This was one of the foods I had to try! It’s a beignet, which is basically a doughnut without a hole covered in powdered sugar. So good!
NOLA-Cafe Du Monde
By chance, we ended up at the original Cafe Du Monde, which was pretty cool! We did have to wait in a pretty long line though, but it was worth it.
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Lots of cool artists displaying their works in a little square we found off Bourbon Street.
NOLA-Typewriter Poems
This guy had a full on typewriter to write the poems with! I wish I had gotten a poem…
NOLA-Gumbo Festival
Apparently there’s always something happening in New Orleans. This weekend that something was a Gumbo Festival! They had live bands and lots of food!
NOLA-Gumbo
Here’s my first tasting of Gumbo! I’m not a fan of sea food, so this one had chicken and sausage in it, which was delicious!
NOLA-Coronation or Wedding?
At Tiffany’s college, they had homecoming events, so we went to the crowning of the homecoming king and queen.¬†It was ridiculously formal, and we both felt like we were at a wedding!

NOLA-Rav and Tiff at Coronation

I will say that traveling across the country for the weekend is hard. There was so much time spent traveling, especially because I had a layover on the flight there and back. It was totally worth it though! I had a great time catching up with Tiffany, and I loved exploring New Orleans with her!

I hoped you enjoyed looking at the pictures from New Orleans!

-Raveen

S’mores Cookies?

This weekend I decided to do some baking to take a break from homework. (Going into college I knew I was going to have lots of homework, but I didn’t realize how much of that homework is just READING. I love to read SO MUCH… but not textbooks…) Anyways, I needed a break from¬†mind numbing textbook garble, so my brother and I took to Pinterest and tried to baked S’mores cookies!

Just a heads up- Pinterest recipes can be disappointing. They always look so easy yet professionally made, but let me tell you that the majority of human beings are not capable of making something that perfect. This is what the recipe said the cookies would look like:

smores-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies-3aImage courtesy of this lovely website

Unfortunately, this is not what our end product looked like. I’m just going to share pictures of our process, but if you want to attempt this recipe yourself then go ahead and click here for the recipe.

First we started out with the standard steps for cookie dough: mixing dry ingredients together, then mixing wet ingredients together. Those were eventually combined to create cookie dough! YUM.

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Things started to get interesting with this step. We got out our s’mores ingredients…SmoresCookies-Ingredients

… and attempted to make a s’mores/cookie creation. This is the last step where things went according to the recipe. After this¬†picture was taken, everything went downhill.
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As you can see, this is gigantic! I basically had to form walls with the cookie dough in order to completely cover the s’more…SmoresCookies-Assembly2

… and of course, I ran out of cookie dough. So the last cookie had a floor, ceiling, and two walls. (You know the recipe has turned out wrong when you start comparing it to a house…)
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Here is the finished product! These are massive cookies, first of all! It’s crazy they didn’t end up all over the bottom of the oven! Second of all, I think they look a little different from the example picture… What do you think? ūüôā
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P.S.- In case you still thought this was a successful baking attempt just look at the little mishap we had. Poor chocolate chips:

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-Raveen
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Current Obsessions: Audio Edition

¬†Hello everyone and welcome back to another installment of this lovely blog! So I’ve been obsessed with a few things these past few weeks, and they all fall under the “audio” category which is a random coincidence. (By the way, obsessed IS the right word because once I like a song or something I won’t listen to anything else for weeks!)

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So the first thing I’m obsessed with is a podcast! This is not a new podcast, in fact it was recently named the number one downloaded podcast ever, so I’m a little late to this party. But anyways, it’s called Serial. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, whether you’ve actually listened to it or not.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a podcast looking back¬†at a¬†(real life!) murder case from 1999. A high school senior, Hae Min Lee, was allegedly killed in ’99 by her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, but he claimed he was innocent. Even to this day, after about 15 years in jail, he refuses to give up his innocence.¬†So the podcast tries to answer the question, “If Adnan Syed didn’t kill Hae Min Lee, then who did?”

I don’t want to give too much away, so instead I will say that this podcast really makes you think. I’ve finished episodes convinced of one thing, but after listening to the next I’ll question everything all over again! IT IS VERY ADDICTING.

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The next item on my list is an album called Badlands by Halsey. I first heard Halsey’s song “New Americana” on the radio a while ago. I loved that song, but I never really looked into her other songs. Recently I asked one of my friends for a good music recommendation and her response was “Halsey!” So I downloaded her only (*sob*) album on Spotify, and I haven’t been able to listen to anything else since! (BTW, I’m listening to it right now… :))

Her music is described as “indie” and that definitely falls into what type of music I listen to. (I love alternative music too like Imagine Dragons, Lorde, and Twenty One Pilots.) I just have to warn you that her music isn’t for everyone. She does swear in a few of her songs and she references religion multiple times, so if that is not for you then try the other three artists I listed.

The last¬†item on my list is a little more complicated. So my dad got a record player for his birthday a few months ago and I recently started using it. We haven’t bought any new records, so I’ve just been playing ones from my parents collection… pretty old stuff (I love you mom!) like the “Grease” soundtrack, The Police, and Madonna.

I do like listening to the records, but for some reason I like watching them better. The whole concept of a record baffles me. I still don’t understand how a piece of plastic with some grooves in it makes music play! Anyway, I know it sounds weird, but I think I’m more obsessed with¬†watching the record play than actually listening to it, as shown in the video I took. (The song playing is “Walking in Your Footsteps” by the Police. I love the opening of this song!)

That’s it for today’s post! Let me know what kind of stuff you’re listening to right now, I’m always open to new recommendations!

-Raveen

DIY Marbled Stationary

Hey guys!

You should know up front that I’m addicted to Pinterest. No joke, I’m on that site too much! The up side¬†about being addicted to Pinterest is that I see tons of cool DIYs that I HAVE to try, like this super cool stationary project!

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This is one of the coolest DIY’s that I’ve tried by far! I LOVE the different marble patterns that each card gets. So here’s how to do this project yourself!

First you need to gather all of your supplies. This includes:

  • shaving cream
  • food coloring (preferably¬†liquid, but gel can work)
  • blank stationary
  • a ruler
  • pencil or toothpick
  • spatula (not pictured)
  • pan big enough for stationary (not pictured)

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Next, you need to fill the pan with a good amount of shaving cream. It should be enough to fit the dimensions of the paper you will be marbling.

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I took this amount and mixed it up to get one fluid pan of shaving cream. Now you need to add some food coloring to get the marbling pattern going!

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I only added a couple of drops of the blue food coloring, then I took the spatula and gave it a few swirls. You don’t want to mix too much or the marbling will go away and you’ll just be left with blue colored shaving cream.

Now it’s time to dip the card in the shaving cream mixture!

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I didn’t do this, but I recommend putting masking tape around the perimeter of the backside of the card, otherwise the shaving cream will go over and stain the back edges of the white paper.

Push the card down and make sure all the card is touching the shaving cream, or you will be left with white spaces.

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Peel the card out of the pan and lay it down on top of newspaper (shaving cream and food coloring WILL stain). Don’t worry if the marble pattern doesn’t look very good because after you take your ruler and use it to scrape the shaving cream off of the card the real pattern will reveal itself!

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To dye the envelopes, put masking tape over the areas you want to stay white. (TIP: Press the tape on your arm/leg/fabric to make it less sticky so that it doesn’t rip the paper when you take it off the stationary.) Repeat the steps from dying the card and it should look something like this:

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Here are my finished results:

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I continued to mix in new colors and make new patterns for each card that I did. I also made sets, so the cards had matching envelopes.

It’s a pretty easy DIY to follow, but it is time consuming. Let me know in the comments if you try these and share a picture of your completed masterpiece if you do!

Welcome Aboard!

Hello!

My name is Raveen and I’m a California native, born and raised. Instead of talking¬†about myself (I did that enough when I was writing essays for college applications!), I thought I would share my bucket list with you guys. In my opinion, this is a great way to get to know someone beyond the surface level. So here is everything that I have come up with so far that I want to do in my existence, in no particular order:

  • travel the world
  • experience culture around the world
  • ride an elephant
  • visit an elephant sanctuary (I’m not obsessed with elephants, I swear!)
  • go on a volunteer trip across seas
  • read 1984 by George Orwell
  • learn how to speak, read & write Punjabi (language spoken in the state of Punjab, India)
  • go on a cruise
  • learn how to play the trumpet (I’ve already checked off the clarinet and saxophone)
  • go on a spontaneous (road) trip
  • go to Coachella
  • graduate from college
  • attend a live TED talk
  • go skydiving
  • read a book by Oliver Sacks
  • start a blog

Now you know a little bit about my ambitions in life! Let me know in the comments if you have anything similar on your bucket list or if you have something completely different you want to share!