Sunday, October 23, 2016

||On Looking Back and Moving Forward||

I've always seen myself as the girl I've never wanted to be.
The Fat girl.
The Unpopular girl with no friends.
The Not-Very-Good-at-Sports girl.
The Weird Girl.
The Ugly girl.
The Unloved Girl.

Me in 2007
I've been the girl that makes sure that my clothes are loose enough that no one can see any roll or bulge.
I've been the girl who is constantly worrying that people won't like me because I have bad skin and have always and even now is constantly struggling with weight gain and loss.
I've been the depressed girl who struggled with suicidal thoughts in high school.
I've been that girl who looks at herself in the mirror and puts herself down.

"No one will ever love someone as fat and ugly as you!"
"Why do I even bother trying my best when my best is clearly not good enough?!?!"

It's not that I've never tried to do better, to lose weight, it's just hard for me when all I hear and see and feel because of the world is "you're not good enough!"  

Life has been a constant struggle.
Until Now.

Sure, I still struggle with many of these things-thankfully the depression is not as bad-but as I've gotten older, I realized that it's silly to let others around determine how I should feel, how I should look, how I should act.
I am not who I am determined on other people's decisions, words, or ideas.



I am defined by how I act in this world through the way I act, thanks to my parents raising me well.
I am defined through my manners from a mother who homeschooled me and taught me to behave, to respect my elders, and to make decent conversations with people of all shapes, colors, statuses, and rank.
I am defined by the way that I dress, by reserving the most intimate parts of my body for special eyes only-that have yet to come-and to respect my body through dressing modestly.
I am defined by how I work to keep healthy, not constantly worrying about my weight, but by accepting the fact that I am a bigger gal, and while I could be smaller if I wished, I can get there without worrying that I am going about it in an unhealthy way, but instead, encouraging myself and those around me to never give up.
I am defined by how I look by taking care of myself, even when doing the basic things in life, like washing my face.
I am defined in my beauty because I know that God made me this way, and that He defines who I am in my life.  I may not be the perfect, Proverbs 31 Woman, but dang it, I'm going to strive to be the best that I can be according to who I am, letting my inner beauty shine in more than layers of makeup.
I am defined because of my faith.  Without the Sacraments, without Christ, without Mass and prayers and Confession, and everything else that goes with it, my faith would be gone.

I may not love that my thighs jiggle, but I do love that I have beautiful, athletic calves and long legs from my parents.
I may not love that I am bigger than I want to be, but I love that I have lost weight that I am proud of losing, because I did it through my own goals and by my own strength.
I may not love that I have crazy insane hair at times, but I love that it curls in ways that no curling iron will ever get right.
I may not love that I make mistakes I am not proud of, but I love that I have priests that I can go to confession and pour out my sins, my regrets, and feel like a weight has been lifted.

Me Today in 2016
I love that I am not defined by the standards of this world, and I am ready and willing to move on.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

||On Fall Favorites 2016||

Hello Everyone!
I know it's been wayyy to long since I last posted, but with classes and extracurriculars, 
I feel like I never have time for anything else!
Now that it is finally fall break, I've decided to finally make my list of my fall favorites!

1. Apples
Photo: Kim Jaeckel
There's not much more to say than "yum!" when describing the crunchy epitome of fall (next to crunchy leaves and sweaters).  
There's also great times had when going out to pick some in an apple orchard.  
Orange Pippin has created a list of orchard by state, which you can check out here!

2. Leaves

Photo: asphotos via VSCO

There's nothing better than beautiful leaves in the fall, especially if they're colorful and crunchy.  My friends think I'm really weird when walking to class and I look purposefully for that perfect crunchy leaf.  I'm perfectly okay with that, because in truth, I am looking for that perfect cruncher of a leaf.

3. Sweaters
©Carissima Keatley
There is nothing more comforting on a cold gloomy day than pulling on a cozy, soft sweater.  Gap came out with a new Chunky Pointelle Sweater this year that is absolutely fabulous, cute, and deliciously warm & cozy.
My favorite color is Oatmeal Heather (photo above), but there are many other colors available. I realllly want them all, but I'm going to have to pace myself (even through they're a great price)...
Check them out here!

4. Tea (Apple Cinnamon & Perfect Peach)
These teas are my absolute favorites this year! My friend Ashlyn, the biggest tea drinker I've ever met (thank goodness), hooked me on Bigelow's Perfect Peach last spring. My aunt sent me a care package last year that had the Cinnamon Apple Spice from Celestial Seasonings, and I have become hooked. In fact, my roommates and friends make fun of me for having so much tea-I have around 15 boxes of tea on average in my dorm room.
Pinkies Up!
Buy the Perfect Peach here, and the Cinnamon Apple here

or check out your local grocers!

5. Friendships
©Carissima Keatley
Autumn is the time when coming back to school and seeing your friends who live some thousands of miles from you again makes that summer sort of bearable. It's also a time to look back at your current year and feel so amazingly grateful for all of the friends you have made.  As I sit here, I can think of so many people who are my friends of old & of new. There are the friendships who, although we've had some tough times, have worked through our problems to reconnect even stronger than before. I am so grateful for all of my friendships in words I will never be able to fully write or speak out.

6. Autumn Spotify Playlist

Spotify is a great thing to have, and since I love music so much, I've created a special Fall Break playlist featuring some old and new favorites, including some of John Paul White's (formerly of The Civil Wars) new solo pieces, some old & new Ray LaMontagne, as well as some other favorites. 

Listen here!

7. Coffee
Photo: New England Coffee
Coffee. It is the thing that keeps college students alive, the golden-brown nectar of the gods. My roomies and I have about 3 bags of coffee in our room at all times, and New England Coffee's Cinnamon Hazelnut and French Vanilla are our top favorites. They also pair extremely well with Coffee-Mate creamers, which come in small bottles perfect for a mini-fridge! Drink it up here!

8. myDanielGlass Glass Water Bottle
©Carissima Keatley
As far as water bottles go, I've had my struggles.  I hate the way that they smell after you've put things such as fruit in them, and how unsightly many of the can be. However, when I discovered DanielGlass Glass Water Bottles, my thoughts about drinking water changed completely.  My friend Monica, a recent graduate of my school and author of, recommended it on an Instagram post.  
These bottles are stylish, functional, and a great, BPA-free alternative to plastic bottles!
Check them out here!

9. Perfume
Vera Wang has been one of my favorite designers of all times, and I had her Princess perfume when I was young.  Now that I'm a bit older, I decided to find a scent that was a bit less sweet and more ladylike.  
Lo and behold, Vera Wang Embrace in Marigold and Gardenia is the perfect blend of melon, soft musks, marigold and gardenia that lingers but is not overpowering.
This perfume can be found here.

10. Lipstick
There's something iconic about a red lip, from Marilyn Monroe to Zooey Deschanel, and there is nothing like MAC Cosmetics' Russian Red Lipstick.  I have been wearing this color for about 8 years now, and even though the price is high for many people, I do have to say that MAC's lipsticks last a really long time-if I wear it at least 5 days a week, I usually only go through 1-2 tubes per year (and always apply with a lip brush!). 
This perfect red gives you that pop of color on a great, dreary day, and looks good on just about every skin tone!
Buy it here.

Comment below on what you love most about Fall!