Launching a New Website (Psst! I want your submissions)

I’ve recently embarked on a new endeavor with the creation of a website called The MillĂ©naire. The project relies entirely upon the stories of individuals in their late teens, 20s and early 30s (i.e. young adults).

I would love to have your contribution. The more diverse the range of voices and experiences, the better. All submissions can be sent to themillenaire@gmail.com. You are free to submit anonymously, but for all of you fellow bloggers, this is also a great way to get your name and your own website out there. If you so choose, I will provide links to your blog/website and other social media information at the end of your entry.

To get a better sense of the mission of this project, here is the “About” page:

Meaning “millenial” in French, the MillĂ©naire is a place for camaraderie amongst young adults. We have our own sets of struggles and hardships that are often clouded by this need to portray our lives as perfect through social media, in front of acquaintances and even with our close friends.

In seeing the constant status updates and pictures that feign the seemingly perfect lives of others, we feel worse and worse about our own difficulties when, in truth, those around us may be experiencing similar feelings. We just don’t talk about it.

The MillĂ©naire is an experiment: It’s a place to build empathy between young adults and tell the stories we might not always want to talk about. My hope is that sharing our own experiences will not only help us embrace the ups and downs of our own lives, but help others as well.

Entries should be written primarily in a personal narrative format. E.g. “I felt like this
 I experienced that
 This or that thing happened to me
 ”

Posts can be as short or long as needed to tell your story.

Questions to get your ideas flowing:

  • What is the hardest aspect of being a young adult?
  • What’s the best part?
  • How do you usually occupy your day? (Be honest or silly here if needed; it’s okay to admit you surf the internet for hours or watch SpongeBob everyday).
  • Do you feel pressured to be at a certain point in your life, and you’re not there yet? (e.g. married or long-term relationship, stable career, “dream job,” house).
  • How did you handle a situation you weren’t expecting/ready for? (e.g. failure, job loss, pregnancy, death, illness, loss of friendship, break-up).
  • Do you feel like you still have opportunities on the horizon, or that they have already passed because you are now “grown up”?
  • Have you picked up any hobbies or new talents in your late teens, 20’s, 30’s? Things you had not learned in your childhood, but have always aspired to do.
  • Are you afraid of being “ordinary”?
  • What’s an obstacle you overcame and how did it help you? 

 

Thanks everyone, and happy writing.

 

Alyssa

 

 

Advertisements

I’m Thankful for Messing up the Pumpkin Pie

In light of the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to make a short list of things I am really, deeply grateful for.

(In no particular order)

My mom and grandmother for somehow making me laugh even though I messed up our only Thanksgiving dessert this year. Thank you both for still eating it and for being so sweet.

IMG_1039

(Psst..the crust on the bottom didn’t cook all the way, so it still looks pretty).

IMG_1050

IMG_1044

My amazing family. We have our ups and downs, but we all genuinely love each other and put each other’s happiness above anything else. We’re threaded together so intricately nothing could ever pull us apart.

IMG_0032 (1)

My fiancĂ©, Brayden. I think about how lucky I am every day. I get to be with someone who loves me unconditionally–who just makes life so much fun. He’s like a bright shining star, filling this world with vibrance and color. Two weeks after we started dating, I knew I wanted to be with him forever. No question about it. That’s the level of his awesomeness.

IMG_0063 (2)

Books and podcasts. They refresh my ideas, knowledge and ways of thinking. They encourage me to keep questioning what’s happened in the past, what’s going on right now, and what might occur in the future. They teach me to keep my mind and heart open.

Current favorite books: Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy

Current favorite podcasts: Intersection and Reply All

My education: for opening up my world in ways I never imagined possible.

My freedom. I’ve thought about this one quite a lot lately, especially amidst so much oppression within the refugee crises and across the world. We may take for granted the little freedoms we have every day, but if I lost any of them, I feel like I might go crazy. Where I live, I am able to speak my mind, protest what I do not believe in, or change jobs and move to a new place (theoretically). I can choose who to love and who to marry (and when). I can build my own life the way I want to build it, and I do not have to fear for my life the moment I step out the door. So many people around the world lack these liberties, and to be able to sympathize with and understand others, I try my best to be grateful for the freedoms we’re able to enjoy.

This beautiful earth. Let’s do everything we can to protect it.

And of course, every single person who reads and supports this blog. You give meaning and life to something that means a great deal to me.

Thank you.

Creative Blogger Award

It’s another cloudy, cool day in Arizona. It looks like we’ve finally decided to get with the program and adapt to the fall weather. I’ve got my pumpkin pie latte from Dutch Bros., a cinnamon spice candle lit and a plushy crocheted blanket. Everything is in order, and life feels perfectly peaceful.

I know, I know, it’s super basic of me to like pumpkin spice drinks. I don’t care. I genuinely love pumpkin and I will milk this season for all it’s worth.

So, the lovely Alanna over at Alanna Bakes nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award quite a while back (yay, thank you!). What sweet, creative and unique ideas you can find on her blog. Check out her Flowerpot Bread post here.

Creative Blogger Award

The rules of the Creative Blogger Award:

⭐ Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their page

⭐ Share five facts about yourself

⭐ Nominate up to 10 other bloggers and provide links to their pages

The Facts:

1. I love to draw cartoons. I used to get in trouble for not paying attention in class because I was doodling some weird comic strip.

2. I won an award at a film festival in California for a music video I made in high school with my best friend, Sarah. The director of the event had found my video through a student filmmakers’ site and asked if he could enter it into the competition. It was held like two days later, so I had no way to go, but I got the award in the mail!

3. I love all dogs with smushed faces. They make me go EEEEP!!! and generally melt into a giant puddle of love. They are so dang adorable. Here are some mega cute puppies for your enjoyment.

instagram.com/cupcake_puginstagram.com/cupcake_pug

4. I love anime. I’m mostly interested in dramas with very character-driven stories. Clannad, Kanon, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Toradora! are a few of my favorites.

5. Mundane fact: I absolutely cannot go to sleep without a cup of water next to the bed and the sheets pulled over my shoulders. Just a weird thing I can’t get over.

My nominations for the Creative Blogger Award are as follows:

Natascha’s Palace

Smiling Notes

OUT OF THE WOODWORK

Jane’s Patisserie

Ariel’s Cute Blog

You are all amazing in your own ways. ❀

Sights, Tastes & Magic in Seattle (And How I Got Engaged to My Best Friend)

My trip to Seattle was perfect in every way. Side by side with Brayden, we dove into the world of the Emerald City.

We walked along Elliot Bay and the waterfront of the Puget Sound, tried every morsel that caught our interest at Pike Place and sipped coffee and hot chocolate with a gorgeous window view of the water. We learned about the history of Seattle: how someone spilled a can of highly flammable glue, causing the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 that destroyed an entire city and how the citizens of this lumber-industry town came together to rebuild it. We learned about the Native American tribes that inhabited this land before us and how the city of Seattle came to be named after the Duwamish chief, Seathl.

We tried foods like freshly caught king salmon, truffles (the most expensive food in the world), samosas, shots of pickle juice, Chinese medicinal tea, crumpets, clam chowder and salmon burgers. And of course, we couldn’t pass up a hot bowl of Beecher’s mac n’ cheese made with their famous flagship cheese.

At midnight, we stopped for a drink in Capitol Hill, a district teeming with an exuberant nightlife culture.

A ferry took us from the harbor of Seattle to Bainbridge Island, where we rode bikes up and down the winding slopes of the densely forested island, taking in the crispness of the open air and the vibrant autumn colors of sienna, gold, mahogany and deep red on the trees.

At the Seattle Center, we went on an otherworldly trip through the spellbinding glass art at the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit.

By the end of the trip we were exhausted, but we’d had the absolute time of our lives. Unaware of what was to happen next, Brayden led me to the pier where all of the boats sat nestled in the harbor, small flickering lights gently gleaming from within them. The lights of the city and the Seattle Great Wheel shone in the backdrop like twinkling stars. It was just the two of us, and in that moment, everything else seemed to stop.

It was here that Brayden pulled out a little box, got down on one knee and asked me to be with him forever. I said yes (would it have gone any other way?). I would say yes to him a million times. He is the love of my life. It still feels as though I’m in a dream sometimes. That’s the only way I can describe the feeling of the moment and the feeling I still have now. A beautiful, magical, unbelievable dream. I will never get over how amazing he is.

So, it’s quite safe to say that our trip was an amazing adventure. I learned so many new things, tried so many new foods, saw so many new sights and went from calling by boyfriend my boyfriend, to calling him my fiancĂ©. 

Boats docked in Elliot Bay
Boats docked in Elliot Bay
IMG_8978

Rachel the Pig
Rachel the Pig
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
Freshly caught fish for sale
Freshly caught fish for sale
IMG_8988

Pike Place
Pike Place
IMG_8994

IMG_9002

My favorite dork
My favorite dork
IMG_9005

Pioneer Square Totem Pole
Pioneer Square Totem Pole
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Tribute to Chief Seathl
Tribute to Chief Seathl
IMG_9025

IMG_9026

IMG_9027

Locally grown vegetables and fruits at the market
Locally grown vegetables and fruits at the market
IMG_9031

Some awesome, jazzy musicians
Some awesome, jazzy musicians
IMG_9035

The historic gum wall in Post Alley under Pike Place
The Gum Wall in Post Alley under Pike Place
IMG_9046

IMG_9055

A view of Seattle from the water
A view of the city from the water
IMG_9074

IMG_9076

Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island
Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit
Chihuly Garden and Glass

Bike Riding, Farmers Markets, Pumpkin Crafts & Beautiful Weather

I’m sitting in one of my go-to spots, ChopShop Co., enjoying an açaĂ­ bowl. The pleasant notes of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” dance around the shop as patrons walk in and out, letting a flood of sunlight pour in with each cling of the opening door. The floors at ChopShop are a rustic pale wood, with iron shelves along the perimeters, the walls made of brick with an accent wall of deep grey.

This has been one of my favorite weekends in a while. It was so wonderful in every way. Because the weather here in Arizona is finally starting to cool down, Brayden and I got to go on a date we’d been wanting to go on for a while now.

On Saturday morning, we stepped out of our home, where the crisp morning dew and the rain from the night before still lingered on blades of grass, large droplets on our cars, and puddles in the street. The night before, we had rode around on our bikes at dusk looking for frogs near the water. I picked up every single one we found, with the exception of a particularly big froggy dude. (Psst, I really love frogs! I had way too much fun searching for them).

Back to Saturday though, our plan was to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and cloudy skies we had so been hoping for. We live right against a park called the “Greenbelt” that spans from north Tempe to north Scottsdale in a long, thin stretch. The bike paths in the park take you anywhere you want to go, provided you’re going a significant way north/south. We also live just a few miles from Old Town Scottsdale, the lively, cultural district of South Scottsdale. We ended up riding our bikes along the pathways of the beautiful, lush green park to catch the Old Town Farmers Market.

At the Farmers Market, we sampled tons of different locally grown/made foods. Side note: I’m really proud of Brayden for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying some things I know he normally wouldn’t want to try. We picked up some organic Jonagold apples to make an apple pie with some time soon. (We have a rad, homemade apple pie recipe I’ll definitely be sharing!)

Brayden holding an apple at the market
Brayden holding an apple at the market.

IMG_6920

After we had finished walking around the market, we sat down for breakfast at a place called the Daily Dose, where I got a ridiculously delicious plate of Nutella french toast (um, yes PLEASE).

Spending this time with my best friend and favorite guy in the whole world, exploring outside in this gorgeous weather–it really struck me with a deep sense of gratitude for what I have. Even though it can be easy to continuously want more and more things, I’m so thankful for the things that are already in my life.

To top it all off, we just had to complete our autumn day with a pumpkin-related craft. We picked up a few pumpkins from the grocery store and spent the rest of the daytime painting them. Brayden painted a “Goomba” face from Super Mario. It’s so adorable.

Brayden's Goomba pumpkin and my mini
Brayden’s Goomba pumpkin and my mini “Day of the Dead” and gold pumpkins.

And here’s where I end up at this current moment, sitting in ChopShop on a Sunday morning, awaiting Thursday when Brayden and I fly to Seattle for our four-year anniversary. I. Can’t. Wait. ❀

xo