If you’ve never heard of Plated, be warned: you will absolutely want to try it out after you read this post.
Since being married, I have somewhat struggled in the “dinner-making” department. When I was single, I was totally okay with eggs or cereal for dinner, basically every night. Unfortunately a bowl of cereal might not fill up Michael like it fills me up. So, finding recipes that are filling yet healthy, that don’t take a million years has been a struggle for me!
This is why I think Plated is a total lifesaver. In case you’ve never heard of it, “Plated delivers everything you need to create chef-designed recipes, making it simpler and more fun to cook at home” (from their website). You go online, select the meal you want, and they deliver fresh ingredients to your door along with the recipe card.
Every meal we tried took 40 minutes or less to make, was super healthy, and SO yummy. It was also really fun cooking with Michael! It saves you so much time not only with grocery shopping, but also from scrolling through Pinterest for hours to find a recipe both you and your man will like.
So I definitely encourage you to click this link and try it out! (By clicking that link, you will get 2 free plates with the purchase of 4 plates!) Let me know what you think!
So if you saw Tuesday’s “Beyond the Stars and Stripes” post, you may have realized we have a new face ’round here! I’m so excited to introduce you to Tessa who will be writing and sharing some of her amazing experiences with us. Today’s post is all about getting to know more about her and her wonderful story! Enjoy!
Hi! My name is Tess Venizelos. I was born and raised in sunny Los Angeles. I am 22 years old, a recent graduate, and an aspiring world-changer. I got a dual degree in Peace Studies and French from Chapman University in Orange County. During my college years, I had the privilege of learning about different cultures and development around the world, both through my studies in the classroom and through my experiences traveling.
I started to develop a passion for traveling and for learning about the world in my senior year of high school. It was then that I went on my first major trip outside of the country with a group of eight other students. Our leadership team traveled to Catacamas, Honduras to work in a medical clinic that an alumna from our high school had started. During that trip, my eyes were opened to a world that possessed many different cultures, experiences, and ways of life.
Throughout college, I expanded my knowledge of these different ways of life through learning about international conflicts, social movements, and peace efforts. In my second year of college, I was given the opportunity to travel to Gulu, Uganda for a two-week trip in which I worked with my team to provide medical care to several villages in Northern Uganda as well as work with community and educational institutions. By the time I had gone, Gulu had gained widespread attention for the actions of Joseph Kony in building his army of child soldiers. Gulu was also popular for the efforts of organizations like 31Bits, Krochet Kids International, and Invisible Children in attempting to combat violence through community efforts to rebuild Gulu. Needless to say, my eyes were opened to the personal stories that made a distant conflict in Northern Uganda all the more real to me. My trip to Gulu ignited a passion in me to advocate for the peace and human rights of those around the world who are lacking any part of it.
In my third year, I embarked on a study-abroad trip to Cape Town, South Africa. There, I stretched my knowledge of international development through my studies at the University of Cape Town, but also through my time volunteering in a local township. While teaching a group of junior-high school students English language skills, I was able to gain insight into their lives which taught me how Apartheid in South Africa was still affecting their lives and fostering racial tensions in their communities. The stories I heard from those students in Cape Town re-ignited a passion in me to advocate for peace to be restored in communities around the world.
In my final year of college, I was able to tie in my French studies with my experiences in peace advocacy. In a short excursion to Paris and London, I researched political and social messages displayed through street art. My travels also placed me in Paris shortly after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Dispersed throughout the streets of Paris, and even throughout London, I saw homages paid to those who lost their lives to the attack on Charlie Hebdo, usually with the phrase “Je Suis Charlie”. I also saw provoking paintings and images that challenged society to fight against violence and to restore peace among differences of race, ethnicity, and culture.
All these experiences have led me here, to LOLOMag. No words of mine can express how thrilled I am to have the incredible opportunity to express my passion in writing about culture and the world that is just outside of us. I hope to join you all in this journey of learning a little bit more about this world we live in and about ways that we can advocate for the lives of others around the world and join with them in embracing what makes this beautiful world of ours so exquisitely diverse.
Happy 10 year Anniversary to the Nicole by Nicole Miller line at JCPenney! This line is so amazing because it truly brings runway inspired pieces to your closet at such a feasible price. The prints and silhouettes are feminine and classic, yet still bold and inspiring.
This look I’m sharing with you today is so classic and could totally take you from the office to dinner, whether you’re in your early twenties or mid 30’s. And that’s the beauty of this Nicole by Nicole Miller line at JCP. You will love it, but your mom or mother-in-law will also love it! (And seriously, $50 for a faux leather pant?! Yes please. You cannot beat that).
Over the past 10 years, this collection at JCP has transformed with trends, but throughout the entire collection you will see bold prints and feminine silhouettes – making these outfits perfect both for the office or date night.
What does freedom mean to you? What does living in freedom truly entail? For us Americans, it is a right protected by our U.S. Constitution; it is a principle near and dear to our hearts; it is something that has been fought for us, and something we are continually fighting to secure. But, for many whose eyes are fixed on “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave,” it embodies more of a privilege than a right. So, what does freedom mean for those who get to call it a right rather than a distant ideal?
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word freedom finds its roots in the Old English language. Freedom denotes the “power of self-determination, state of free will; emancipation from slavery, deliverance”. In the 1570s it denoted “possession of particular privileges.” So, what are these privileges? In his address to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1816, John C. Calhoun gave his own meaning to the word freedom, when he affirmed: “It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a higher order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists”.
In order to better understand freedom, it will be helpful to examine another derivative of the word, namely the ancient Greek word, “eleutheria” and its influence in ancient and modern philosophical works. In fact, the ancient Greek philosophers associated freedom with this “eleutheria” which is used to personify freedom with the community and the collective. Some other ancient philosophers, though, understood freedom as the independence of the individual. Plato and Aristotle understood freedom as an interior freedom, reaching “plentitude in the freedom of spirit, which not only guarantees man’s independence in relation to the exterior world, but it also gives him the possibility to develop his real character. Freedom [then] has only one limit, but it is inviolable. It derives from the intrinsic laws of the sprit, which are able to provide truth as well as good”. How have we evolved from equating freedom with the collective to the individual? Is it not the act of attributing freedom to the collective wellbeing of humanity that brings us global politics, international business, humanitarianism, and human rights? In the age of globalization, is not the idea of collectivity and global community an imminent one? Surely, then, by attributing freedom to the collective, to the global, the fight for the freedom of others becomes more pertinent.
Now, Athenian democracy was not perfect, and it did not always advocate for the collective well-being of its citizens. In fact, it excluded the majority of its citizens from being free citizens, namely women, foreigners, and slaves. Athenian government was limited, rather than truly inclusive and equitable. But that leads us precisely to the point. Freedom is not, nor should it be, solely attributed to the political sphere. In fact, freedom becomes distorted when it is attributed to politics, to the rulers, or to the elite.
The various meanings of the word “freedom” then begs the question, “Is freedom relative?” If it is interpreted in the individual sense, it does not do much good for those who do not have it. Alternatively, if it is interpreted in the collective sense, then those who possess freedom are so much more driven to act in such a way as to secure freedom for those who do not have it.
So, what does freedom mean for those who have it in relation to those who do not? For those of us who possess the privilege of freedom, should we be so driven to act any differently? Should we be compelled to fight for the freedom of others around the world, as though the violation of their freedom is a violation of our own?
For me, the answer is simple. I have been given a privilege that not many others get to have or even get to call a right of theirs. I have freedom. I can defend my freedom. I can rest in knowing that my freedom is being secured, not just by my own actions, but by the actions of others. Knowing that, my answer is simple; it is a responsibility to act. My freedom is relative to the freedom of others around the world. My freedom is jeopardized when a child is taken captive and forced into bonded labor or warfare, or when an individual is sold into human trafficking, or when a human being is silenced or made inferior because of their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, or sexual orientation. Enjoying our freedom goes beyond a feeling of mere gratitude; it extends to action, to fighting for the freedom of those who are strangers to the very word and its meaning in their lives.
Nelson Mandela famously said, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” With the freedom we possess, let us not only cast off the chains of those enslaved around the world, but completely destroy each social, political, and economic chain so that the idea and the complete enjoyment of freedom is itself unleashed.
It’s hard to believe that a lot of kids and students and teachers are going back to school today and the topic of “pumpkin spice lattes” has come back into our conversations! Being in Texas heat, I personally find it difficult to transition my wardrobe into fall. It might not be the smartest move to buy a brand new white dress right now, but I can’t bring myself to start stocking up on faux fur vests when its still 97 degrees outside.
I instantly fell in love with this printed dress when I saw it online. It’s one of those “wear now, wear later” pieces, super flattering, and can easily be dressed up or down! I wore it on date night last Friday when it was still pretty hot, but I know I can still wear it as temps start to cool off as well! (Side note – for our date night we had dinner at Saint Ann in Dallas. How adorable is this courtyard and firepit area?!)
I also recently bought these booties and words cannot describe how happy they make me! I love that I could wear them with boyfriend jeans for running errands during the day, or with a dress like I did last weekend for date night!
If you’ve been following me for longer than a few weeks now, you’ve probably gathered that working out and staying active is a big part of my life. I try and work out 5-6 days a week and I love it. The only problem with this though, is showering. I know it’s not good for your hair to wash it everyday, but I’m not one of those girls who “glistens” when they work out. It’s a full-on, nasty, sweat.
Because of this hair-washing dilemma, I was SO happy when I discovered Hair Shots. It’s an on-the-go hair fragrance that comes in tons of amazing scents. (My favorite is either coconut mango or strawberry!)
These bottles are only $11.99 and so easy to just throw in your purse or gym bag. I rarely have time to come home after a work out, shower, fix my hair, and then head out for the day. So, I carry one of these little bottles around in my purse, spray it in my hair after I work out, and go straight to a lunch meeting or errand-running!
I also use Hair Shots after I get out of the shower, either before or after I blow dry my hair. I am all about really expensive shampoos that are good for your hair, but those aren’t always the best-smelling ones. Hair Shots makes your hair smell amazing, but without being too overpowering or conflicting with your perfume! It’s also heat activated, so it will smell even better once you hit the gym or start working up that sweat.
Just wanted to share this new discovery with you in hopes that you love it as much as I do! You can check out their website here and follow them on instagram here!