All posts filed under: Lifestyle

Fast Fashion & “The True Cost”

The True Cost is one of those documentaries that everyone should watch, and then tell their friends and family to see too. I discovered the film after a friend told me it was necessary viewing, and I’m so grateful for her insistence. In order to be conscientious consumers, it’s imperative that we know where our clothes come from, who’s making it, and how they’re being treated. The True Cost examines the human rights, labor rights, and environmental impact of the garment industry, focusing on the horrific practices of fast fashion in particular. It’s also important to note that with women making up the majority of garment workers across the globe, this topic is a feminist issue as well. Before watching The True Cost I admittedly shopped at places like Zara and H&M because they offered affordable, cute clothing. But such low prices are the first sign that something is not ethically produced. Now I not only shop less (why do we need so much stuff?) but I buy second-hand and search for brands that are known to treat their employees well and embrace sustainable practices. Compared …

26 Goals for My 26th Year

For the past couple of years I’ve done a post on my birthday (last year’s was 25 of my favorite things/feelings, and the year before was 24 lessons I’ve learned in 24 years). Although I’m not the type of person who cares too much about birthdays, I’ve enjoyed doing these posts because they provide me with the opportunity to reflect on my life thus far and give some thought to the future. It feels like just yesterday that I wrote that post for my 24th birthday, but it’s been two years! Does anyone else feel like time seems to move faster the older you get? Anyways, this year I decided my birthday list would be 26 things I’d like to do/accomplish in my 26th year. Let me know in the comment section below what some of your hopes for this year are! 1. Run a 5k without stopping (graduate school has made me out-of-shape and lazy) 2. See New York City for the first time 3. Have one of my essays published on an online publication 4. Have one of my essays published …

Migraine Madness

A few months ago I wrote a post on my horrifying experience while taking a migraine medication. Now, I’ve decided to write a brief, somewhat cathartic post on migraines in general. I suffer from severe chronic migraines and have for most of my life. What’s extremely frustrating about being a migraine sufferer is the fact that “migraine” is a term in popular culture that’s synonymous with “headaches.” But migraines aren’t just headaches. My migraines have sent me to the hospital and multiple MRI scanners. I’ve had half of my body go numb, forgotten how to speak, and thrown up more times than I care to think about. Migraines can impair my vision and impede my ability to think clearly. Because of my migraines I’ve had a variety of neurologists throughout my life and each have provided me with medications and vitamin regimens, but nothing seems to do away with them entirely. My migraines hurt me more days than not. My chronic migraines are a disease, despite what society-at-large may think, and I’m tired of suffering. While this blog …

Calling All Vegans!

If you’re vegan and use YouTube as a resource for recipes and information, please reach out to me! I’m preparing to present on Veganism & YouTube at the Pop Culture Association and American Culture Association national conference in San Diego this April, and am looking for insight from vegans who include YouTube as part of their online community. If that’s you, please respond to the following questions using the contact form below. Be sure to include your name, age, gender (man, woman, or gender non-conforming), location, and how long you have been vegan. If you were vegetarian before becoming vegan, be sure to include the number of years you were vegetarian before transitioning. Did watching a YouTuber or specific YouTube video influence your decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle? If so, what YouTube channels in particular? How often do you consume vegan material on YouTube? What channels do you watch and why? What sort of content are these YouTubers providing for you (i.e. recipes, lifestyle tips, animal cruelty information)? What other materials do you credit to influencing and …

Watch Abha Dawesar’s TED Talk: “Life in the ‘Digital Now'”

I don’t often watch or listen to TED Talks, but when I happen across one while endlessly scrolling online or listening to NPR – like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” – they always seem to emerge at the perfect time in my life. And I love novelist Abha Dawesar’s “Life in the ‘Digital Now,’” not only because she’s brilliant and speaks to so much about our digital lives that I’ve been trying to grasp, but her talk came into my life at the exact moment I needed it. I’m currently taking an entertainment business class at USC about digital technology and the entertainment industry. For the most part I thoroughly enjoy the course, but I wasn’t prepared for all of the focus on futurism and our likely destinies as tech-obsessed individuals and societies. Taking this class has made me realize that talk of a hyper-technological reality is personally anxiety inducing. And visions of a world filled with AR, VR, and AI are absolutely terrifying. I may be typing this blog post using WordPress on my laptop, and I …

Positive Change as an Individual

In these socially and politically tumultuous times, I think it’s important to reflect on what we can do as individuals to contribute to the greater good. While significant change is enacted by policy-making, progress within one’s lifestyle and personal relationship to society as a whole is also essential in creating change. Below is a work-in-progress list of ways I think an individual can create positive change. While I’m sharing this on Catch-all, it’s also a personal reminder of the many ways I can use my individual power for good. This list will always be evolving, so please comment below with any suggestions you may have. Ask more questions! Think critically, engage with new ideas, listen to your peers, confront your own problematic assumptions, and always look beyond the surface level Cultivate a community of friends and family who hold you accountable for your actions and words Support businesses owned by immigrants, women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, etc. Support the work of diverse journalists, artists, authors, and filmmakers, etc. Question the status-quo Avoid fast fashion and …

UPDATED: Resistance Resources

With one day left until the inauguration, I wanted to share relevant resources for taking part in resisting this administration and regressive policy development in general. Below are a few online sources that I’ve found useful; please share any additional resources you know of in the comment section below. Michael Skolnik’s MOVEMENT TO OPPOSE TRUMP email newsletter The Indivisible Guide Downloadable action planner from Esther Loopstra Peace & nonviolence resources from Stand Together Against Trump The consumer app Boycott Trump Stay Woke’s Resistance Manual Hillary campaigners Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh’s newsletter, Signal Boost Feminist community action group Solidarity Sundays DAILY ACTION texts from Laura Moser The Town Hall Project’s Resistance Near Me *ADDITIONAL RESOURCE UPDATE* Women’s March 10 Actions 100 Days Civil Rights lawyer Lisa Bloom’s podcast, BloomCast: The Voice of the Resistance The Resistance Calendar

Side-Effect Nightmares

This is a topic I’ve been considering writing about for some time, but it never felt right. Yet now, for some reason it does, so here we go… About two and a half years ago I started a medication I’m going to refer to as Relief* for my severe migraines (*I’m unsure about the legal ramifications of actually discussing my experience on a specific medication, so I’m leaving out the drug’s name). At the time my headaches were hindering my ability to do things – focus, think clearly, get out of bed – and as a result affecting my day-to-day life adversely. So when my neurologist suggested a daily medication, I decided to go for it because I needed a solution. The day before I started Relief I went to a coffee shop with my boyfriend and we reviewed the extensive information provided with the medication. The potential side effects were intense, but I kind of glossed over them because I didn’t think they’d actually affect me. Maybe it was due to years and years of being conditioned by ads …

VEGAN COOKING: My Two Favorite Chefs/Bloggers

If you’ve been following my blog within the past year, you may know that I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan and am loving my new lifestyle. My ability to make this transition is in large part thanks to my sister, who opened my eyes to this compassionate way of living, but I also have the internet to thank. YouTube, in particular, with its surplus of vegan-related content, has played an immeasurable role in the success and sustainability of my transformation. Before becoming vegan, I seriously disliked cooking. I found the process to be somewhat boring and almost a waste of time, especially considering how convenient, affordable, and addictive greasy foods are. But when I began bringing more variety into my diet (because not eating meat and dairy actually means you try more new foods), cooking became fun and challenging in the best kind of way. My newly found enthusiasm for cooking is largely thanks to the blog and YouTube channel, hot for food, along with co-creator Lauren Toyota’s personal channel, Lauren in Real Life. And recently, I discovered another vegan blog and …

My Advice for Incoming Grad Students

After completing my first year of graduate school, I jotted down a list of things I had learned and wished I knew before starting my program. While each graduate student’s experience can be astronomically different from the next’s (depending on one’s school, program, and their tendencies as a student) there are a few pieces of advice that I think are somewhat universal when it comes to surviving graduate school, and more importantly, retaining your happiness and wellbeing in the process. 1. Having great time management skills is necessary for getting through your program… Time management isn’t just a good school skill, it’s a necessary life skill. In order to make it through your masters program you must understand your priorities for every day, week, month, semester, and year. How each individual deals best with organizing their time varies person to person, but for a good starting point check out About Education’s list of general tips for time management in graduate school. 2. Practicing self-care is crucial… A few months ago I posted about practicing self-care, which I think is important no matter what stage of your life you are in. …