3 Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

After watching CNN's news coverage for a few hours last night, I suddenly became very anxious about the current conditions in Texas. Living in Washington DC puts residents in this strange position where you're weirdly detached from the country while at the center of our country's legislation.

When natural disasters like this hit, I think a lot of us can be guilty of becoming so overwhelmed with the news being reported that we feel as if there is nothing we can do, so we use that feeling as an excuse to do nothing. While it's true that I cannot directly help in any way, I think we're all capable of pitching in a little bit to a larger collective cause.

The problem is, what causes are worth helping with? After spending some hours watching more news coverage, talking to my sister who currently lives in Texas, and considering the limitations my readers may face in an effort to help, I came up with three ways to donate to help victims of Hurricane Harvey no matter your situation.

Look What You Made Me Do: Twenty Something Edition

Unless you are one of those people who pays zero attention to pop culture, you may not know that Taylor Swift released her long awaited new music this past week. After three years of silence from one of the most talked about celebrities, we all witnessed what may be the beginning of Taylor's not giving a fuck era. And I'm 100% here for it.

If you step back and look at everything as objectively as possible, Taylor Swift is very much a celebrity who is picked apart for doing all the normal twenty something things. Casual dating, occasional lying, trying hard as hell to look professional when her life is really a mess, and overall figuring herself out. I am by no means a super fan, but I also am not a person who hates someone for dating a ton of people and profiting off of those relationships. Hell, maybe I'd do the same thing if anyone would pay attention.

Taking Taylor Swift's new single and comparing it to all the things 20 somethings are guilty of doing because of their age.
Her new single is unlike any of her previous music, and love it or hate it, it's full of references to all the scandals that have been attached to her in the past three years. As your typical twenty something, I too am guilty of uttering the phrase, "look what you made me do," while blaming someone for something I definitely played a part in.

Because Taylor's new single has been stuck in my head all weekend, I thought I'd write a post to highlight all the shit being in my twenties has made me do. The good, the bad, and the pieces I'm still trying to figure out.

The Ultimate College Shopping List for Freshmen Year

The summer before my freshmen year of college was very hectic for me. As a Type A personality, I must have read every college dorm packing list available, searching for one that listed every possible item I could have needed once moved into my freshmen year dorm. What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that I would be placed in a triple dorm, meaning three girls in one very tiny room, or how many items my school provided for students.

In an effort to save you some money when it comes to college shopping, I've broken down this shopping list into categories, followed by must haves and nonessentials, aka nice to haves. Depending on which university you attend, you may or may not need the items in the nonessentials category.

College dorm shopping doesn't have to be expensive, which is why I created this complete list for college dorm shopping for freshmen year.

If you want to know my personal must have items, you can click here to read my top 10 items for freshmen year. I've also written about 10 things you probably won't need in your college dorm, you can find that post by clicking here.

For more college advice, scroll to the bottom of this post for some of my most popular college posts about how to save money on textbooks, lessons I learned my freshmen year and the best way to study last minute for an exam!

5 Reasons to Cut Your Cable

I can still remember the day I cut my cable. I was sitting at the receptionist desk of my old job, having recently given my notice, staring at my bank account wondering why I was being charged twenty dollars extra each month. After a very annoying call with Comcast I realized they had increased my price, with absolutely no notice.

My anger got the best of me which led to me not only cutting my cable but internet as well, and within a few minutes I had cut ties with the only provider that serviced my area. I bussed home convinced that I would figure out a way around my new circumstance, which is what led me to this post today.

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Learn how to save money each month and live without cable, all without having to miss out on your favorite shows.

Cable is too fucking expensive. Yeah, I said it. Sure it's nice to not have to download anything or really think about what you wanna watch, but I refuse to pay that much money for a service that I really only use like 10% of. Think about it, how many channels do you actually watch? Probably like 5-10, leaving you with possibly hundreds of useless ones you don't even need!

This reason, along with the increased price, led me to cut my cable overnight. As an avid tv watcher I had to figure out something fast, I mean, I am the type of girl who eat, sleeps, breathes television. Below are the things I turned to that have helped me say goodbye to cable permanently, all while keeping up with my tv shows and saving a ton of money along the way.

Three Years in the City

I'm beginning to write this post with no real direction, kind of like how Michael Scott starts a sentence. Thanks to Facebook's On This Day feature, I remembered that this weekend marked three years in Washington DC for me, an anniversary I would have surely been angry had I forgotten it.

My journey on the east coast has been nothing like I imagined it would be, because to be honest, I had very few expectations when I boarded my flight three years ago. I've told my story a few times so I'll keep it short today, after two months of living at home postgrad I decided to donate all of my belongings, accept an offer for grad school, and move to Washington DC all in the matter of three weeks. Yes, including finding housing, finding the money to make it all happen, and figuring out what the hell I was gonna do for money when I arrived.

To be perfectly honest, my first year and a half here was total crap. A combination of lack of friends, social support, money, and feeling of belonging. 2016 was the year I broke down, for many reasons that all seemed to pile up at once. The winter of 2016 I forced myself to make a decision, give up and go back home where things would be simpler, or pick myself up off the floor (literally) and force myself to go out and enjoy the city I had dreamed of for a decade. I chose the latter.

The Best Thrift Stores in Washington, DC

Thrift shopping is like gambling except you always leave a winner. Or maybe that's just my perspective, because my first 30 minutes in a casino was hands down the most disappointing experience of my life.

No I wasn't expecting to be richer, but I at least wanted to have a little fun. Thirty minutes at MGM Casino and I decided I would rather spend my money on a new outfit than playing a game that made absolutely no sense to me. If you live in or are visiting Washington DC, you might have noticed the serious lack of thrift stores.

Love to thrift shop but don't know where the best thrift shops in Washington DC are? Click to read the best 5 thrift shops in Washington DC

Growing up in California meant I was never too far from a Goodwill or Salvation Army, but metro accessible thrift shops are super hard to find. Three years later and I've finally found thrift shops that a) are easy to get to without a car and b) always end with me leaving with a bag full of clothes. Most of the thrift shops on the list I've visited myself personally, but one is a recommendation from a friend who always looks like she just walked out of a magazine, so I'll trust her recommendation.

How to Stop Self Sabotaging

This week at work I had a realization that made me wonder why I hadn't thought of this before. Quick briefer, I'm a therapist, sorta. Technically I am, but I'm unlicensed, which means I'm in the process of earning my hours to be able to qualify to sit for the licensing exam.

I've completed my master's program and been trained in how to sit with everyday people and talk about the stuff that makes them feel like they are living anything less than a happy life. Thankfully I knew what I wanted to do from a young age, and maybe at one point I'll write about what actually led me to choose to study psychology and counseling.

But back to what I was saying, I had a realization. After a tough session with one of my regular clients, I found myself feeling really frustrated about how the hour had went. I was frustrated and they were feeling defeated, all because they were self-sabotaging in their everyday life.

Here's the thing, people base their worth, their ability to accomplish things, and how others will respond to them on past experiences. Meaning if others always praised you, you will most likely grow up to believe that your efforts will be recognized and good things will happen to you. On the flip side, those who have faced rejection from a young age have a worldview that tells them that hard work doesn't always mean rewards, people will never fully accept them, and that some things aren't worth trying for.

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Are you guilty of sabotaging yourself because you fear what might happen? Read for the six steps I work through with my clients to help them achieve their full potential.

In the case of my tough session, I was frustrated that my client couldn't see both her potential and the ability for her to advocate for herself. This is a clear example of me being a bad therapist though. Why? Well I wasn't taking into account her worldview, which means I was pushing my beliefs of how fair the world is on her.

If you're someone who routinely tells yourself there's no point in trying, nobody will care, or that other's will mock/hate/laugh at what you create, keep reading to find alternate ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone one step at time.

Lessons I Learned at 24

Birthday posts generally call for what you learned that year, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but I didn't write one for year 23. The reason is simple, I was either a) miserable or b) too busy pulling myself out of that misery to sit down and write a post.

I think one day I'll sit down and reflect on that year, but today I want to focus on what I learned the year I was 24, that weird year where you're not in your early twenties anymore but you cant brag about having stuff figured out as if you were in your mid to late twenties. As in between as this age was, I picked up some new knowledge and experiences that I will 100% be keeping in mind for this upcoming year.

Who says we stop learning as we get older? Click to read the 10 life lessons I learned at 24, from friendships to my body image.

Although I'm turning 25 this year, I firmly believe the lessons below are applicable regardless of your age, and the earlier the better, right? Keep reading for the 10 lessons I learned at twenty four and how they can help you make the most of life no matter your age.

5 Ideas for Celebrating Your One Year Anniversary

Hello you reading this. You might have clicked this post looking for ways to celebrate your one year marriage anniversary. First of all, super happy for you! Seriously, congrats for finding someone willing to love you at your it's laundry day and I'm wearing swim bottoms for underwear worst. Here's the thing though, this post is aimed at one year dating anniversaries, so you're kind of too far ahead of the game for this one.

If you still are looking for some sweet ideas, then totally keep reading. Also, if you wanna drop some of your wise dating advice in the comments below, I think we'd all love to know how you manage to not break up with your significant other when you catch them cutting their toenails on the couch. Just my problem? Okay, never mind.

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How to celebrate your one year dating anniversary whether you're low on cash or creativity.

So a quick background, this coming weekend is my anniversary, which is kind of a big deal because we've been arguing since the day we met. Seriously ya'll, I'm pretty sure the first thing I ever said to my boyfriend was a snarky remark about where in the bar he was standing. Obviously he was instantly smitten.

Because I like to make a big deal out of little things, like where people stand in bars, we are celebrating our one year anniversary. If you're in need of ideas of how to celebrate one year of putting up with each other's quirks and movie preferences, keep reading!

Why I Hated Every Minute of Earning My Masters

Masters degrees. Or should I call them the new bachelors? Whatever you think of them, they're gaining popularity each year. I remember my senior year of college and learning that most of my friends were suddenly interested in earning another degree. Here I was under the impression that we were all going to move home and look for jobs.

When I graduated college many of my friends enrolled in a masters program to avoid the real world, ie, applying to those jobs we had been dreading. Two months at home led me to have to make a choice, live with my mom who enjoys orange juice with pulp (ew no) or move away once again and continue my education. Sure I had the option to just move away and get a job, but to be honest, I was scared.

I could have spent months or years working in a job that would have given me some sort of experience, and in a way I did do that, but my ultimate end goal has always been to be a therapist. And you just can't be a therapist without a masters. So I did the only thing I thought I could do, I entered a masters programs (and I got a job or two along the way).

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Here's the thing though, I fucking hated every minute of it, and that's putting it lightly. It wasn't the coursework that made me incredibly unhappy, it was the entire process. The campus, the requirements on my time, and the nagging feeling that kept telling me how much I was missing out on because of constant coursework.

The reasons why I was so unhappy during my time as a graduate student, and why I'm glad I earned my masters anyways.

Before I started my masters I did what I always do, Googled searched like a mofo to find what other people thought of their schools, their programs, and the process as a whole. What I found led me to believe I was making the right decision, and even though I don't regret it, I cant sit here and tell you I'd want to do it again. So let's talk about it, the reasons why I hated every minute of earning my masters. 

I have so many emotions I don't even know where to begin. It also doesn't help that I took my exit exam just yesterday so I'm really riding that it's-finally-over wave. I'll start with the smallest thing, the lack of community.