holidays for one (ways to make the season merry and bright alone)


Due to COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, many people will be spending the holidays alone this year. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for the rest of us), or some other wintry holiday, here are some ways you can make it feel festive inside to celebrate the wintertime.

  1. Warm beverages: I try to make this a daily ritual for myself and myself alone. A nice warm cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider, chai, or any other deliciousness can make you feel cozied up and festive. It’s cold outside, so warm up inside with something hot. It’s a lovely bit of self care that I think everyone should indulge in daily, but it’s up to you.
  2. Fire: One of the best ways to feel cozy during winter is to bring fire into your home (safely). A fireplace isn’t practical for everyone, but if you’ve got one, start it up! Otherwise, maybe you can have a bonfire outside with some blankets. Or, the easiest way to get fire (and my favorite way) is to light a candle or seven! Always make sure to monitor your candles and put them in safe places, but a hot cocoa and cream or peppermint bark scented candle makes me feel instantly more holiday.
  3. Scented things: Soap. Room sprays. Wallflowers. Potpourri. Incense. Anything that smells like those traditional wintertime scents, bring it on! Here are the best ones in my opinion: cinnamon, teakwood, clove, apple, peppermint, and cedar. You can pick what’s right for you (and be careful if you’re sensitive to certain fragrances).
  4. Lighting: Those harsh white lights that are almost blue? They hurt my eyes. It’s great for focus during the day, but at night, not so much. Switching your bedroom and living room lights to those warm yellow bulbs can make a big difference in the cozy feeling of your home. Adding lamps and a heavy dose of string lights to your space can also change the vibes instantly, along with candles (of course). Something about being surrounded by warm lighting makes me super joyful.
  5. Music: Just about any kind of music can be holiday-ed up. If you’re trying to get work done, YouTube has some 24/7 live feeds of lo-fi music in any scenario, be it lo-fi christmas, lo-fi coffee shop, lo-fi study… I bet you can find something. Not a lo-fi fan? Warm, festive classical music like cello or piano gives me a classy and cozy vibe. Some people like christmas rap, holiday blues, or even traditional celtic carols (my favorite). I even made a playlist of anti-Christmas songs. If you’d like to see that, follow me on my moodboard Instagram so you don’t miss when that post goes live. I’ve already posted some anti-Christmas* films.
  6. Movies: What’s the holiday season without holiday films? Maybe you’re super traditional with movies like Miracle on 34th Street or A Christmas Carol. Or, maybe you go for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Grinch. You might even be one of those “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” people — I’ve only just recently been convinced, so I still feel a little resistance to the idea, but knock yourself out. And again, go to my moodboard Instagram for some anti-Christmas films.
  7. Decorations: Don’t get me wrong, I know this is obvious. But the decoration process can be daunting, especially if you’re used to trimming the tree and the mantelpiece and lighting the candles with your family and friends. Turn on some jams, light a candle or two, or put on a movie, and get decorating! Whatever decorations you like. You could even craft some of your own with a family member or friend on Zoom! My sister and I made some sweet crafts out of socks, glue dots, buttons, ribbons, and all the fun crafty stuff. Try a DIY snowman or decorate a yule log.
  8. Reminisce: My mom suggested this one — look over old holiday photos! You can use Google Photos to piece together a memory book that you can mail out to loved ones later. Or, you can pull out the old photo books, scan images, and post them on Facebook for a good time in the comments. Even if you can’t have a gathering now, you can remember the old times. Maybe call some family and ask them for their favorite holiday memories… write them all down and share the document.
  9. Get festive in the kitchen: Who doesn’t love a warm soup and hearty homemade bread? Ask your great aunt if she’d be willing to part with a recipe or two. As with Thanksgiving, you might not be able to enjoy the recipes your relatives always bring, but you can recreate the same flavors at home! Hop on a live and ask for instructions in real time (just make sure you do your shopping beforehand). Maybe try something new. Plus, making some festive dishes and putting them in Tupperware for later is a great way to meal prep without feeling like it’s too much work!
  10. Cozy up: Invest in nice sweats, thick blankets, a heavy coat and boots for winter walks, knit socks/hats/scarves/gloves, and maybe a rug or some wool sweaters. Flannel is also an excellent choice. You’re going to be home anyway, so why not make yourself as comfortable as possible?
  11. Try handmade gifts: This year, your gifts might not be so traditional. I read on the news that hand sanitizer and masks are popular presents! If you’re going to order gifts online, try to get them from Etsy shops or your favorite small businesses. Or, pick up tins for homemade candies, wrap handmade ornaments in craft paper and twine, and get painting on cardstock to send to loved ones. Become a subscriber to get a list of 10 gift ideas for a pandemic.

Well, there are 11 holiday hacks for one! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and remember, you’re never alone. ❤

*Note, I don’t have anything against Christmas. I just know that it’s not the only holiday people celebrate this time of year, and it’s nice to include those people in festive posts!

—ellynn ❤

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10 new year journal prompts.


2021 is almost upon us. Egads! The goal-setting fever I usually have has decided to be extra quiet this year, and I think it’s because I feel lost in a sea of pandemic-y election-y first-year-of-college-y mess. I decided to come up with some deep journal prompts to open up a dialogue for how I want the new year to go. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you don’t feel like going crazy in 2021, but feel free to use these prompts if you are so inclined. Happy journaling.

  1. What do you need more of? What about the things you don’t need? Most of the time, we use the new year to think about what we want to add to our lives. It’s a great idea, and it’s definitely important. But what about things we need to get rid of? Maybe you’ve let someone treat you like a doormat this year, or you’ve blamed yourself for something you shouldn’t have. Do some deep thinking about what you want to get rid of and what you want to add.
  2. How are you going to take control in the new year? Lately, life has felt entirely out of our control. However, there are still so many things we can control. We can control when we wake up, our routines, the foods we eat, the way we treat people, the enthusiasm we put into our projects, the media we consume… Make a list of things you can control, and claim the things you feel most confident in. Stick to those when the going gets tough.
  3. What have you accomplished this year? No, really! You have done so much this year, and you probably haven’t even glanced at it. What goals did you set last year? Did you accomplish those things? I bet you at least made progress. I bet you absolutely crushed some projects. Before you even think about setting new goals, think about what you’ve already done, and celebrate that! Find a way to reward yourself for all your successes.
  4. What did you learn about the world and yourself? What do you still need to learn? We’ve spent more time with ourselves than usual, and we’ve definitely paid more attention to the world around us (if you’ve been on social media at all). You’ve probably gained a lot of new insights about yourself and the world. What did you learn? And do you still have questions about yourself? About society? Make a commitment to find out the answers.
  5. What are your top priorities for the next year? Prioritizing can be really difficult. Everyone’s coming at you with requests and distractions and needs. What do you care about? What are your life goals? Don’t think about what everyone else needs or wants from you. Don’t let your life become a pizza that you were gonna eat, but you gave a slice to everyone who asked for one, and now you don’t get any pizza. Decide the slices you want first, and then figure out how much you can give to others. It’s not selfish — it’s self care. Your life is yours. What do you want to do with your time?
  6. Who do you want to be? How will you be that person? I love this one because it means I create a whole persona for 2021 me. 2021 me will be generous and kind to others. 2021 me feels passionate and motivated every day. 2021 me wakes up at 8 a.m. with a smile on my face. 2021 does skin care and drinks enough water. Who is 2021 you? And the important part…. How are you gonna become 2021 you? Give yourself definitive actions you can take to get from this version of you to the “new” you. It’s like a creative project, but it helps you improve your life and get closer to your goals.
  7. How can you create something to look forward to in the new year? I know we’ve all lost things this year. We had trips planned, events to attend, and people to see. We had stuff to do! But there are still ways you can add excitement and anticipation to your year, so think about what those things might be. Pencil them in your 2021 calendar and get excited NOW.
  8. Name one habit you’ll change, one new thing you’ll learn, and one way you’ll bring joy into your life. These sort of feed into all the previous ones, but if you can boil it down to three main things for the entire year, you’re in the clear. Too often, we set ten million different goals, and it’s so overwhelming that we don’t devote time to any of them. Choose three. For example: This year, I will do yoga before I watch Netflix, I will learn how to crochet, and I will bring joy to my life by having a dance party during my mid-afternoon Zoom break. See?
  9. How can you eliminate stress from work, school, your home, or your technology? The fun part! Scrub your inbox. Delegate tasks. Clear your desk. Deep clean your house. Invest in a better planning system. Join a study group. Ask for help. Quit things. Unfollow people. Curate your life to be stressless!
  10. In what ways will you practice self care? How? Asking “how” might seem a little redundant, but I promise, it’s necessary. Someone might answer, “I’ll take more baths.” Okay… sure. But how? How are you going to physically carve out time to take a relaxing bath more often? Will you take on one less project, one less meeting, one less volunteer hour? Will you take the time to make your bathroom feel like a spa room? Will you purchase some yummy rose bubble bath and a lifetime supply of face masks? Seriously define your self care. That is the only way you will actually do it.

Remember, these prompts are just to help you start thinking about any resolutions you might make. Your final goals are up to you. The best goals come from honest reflection and deep thought. Happy goal-setting!

—ellynn ❤

i am a vegetable and college is stew


College soup. I’m in it, my friends are in it, my enemies are in it, and my professors, to some extent, are also in it. We are flavoring some kind of knowledge stew. Marinating.

You’d be lying if you said college didn’t change you. Sure, maybe it made your already-perfect self better. But I don’t think so. College takes you, whatever kind of vegetable you are, and throws you into a pot.

You are a broccoli. In the stew are broccoli like you. In the stew are also carrots, cauliflower, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and I don’t know, maybe some beef or pasta. You’re tossed in the same water and stock. You’re all coated with the same herbs as your neighbor, but you are a broccoli, for chrissakes.

You got up and left your little broccoli family, your broccoli school, your broccoli neighborhood. You left your broccoli friends and broccoli job. Now you’re just a part of the stew.

Stewing. Stewing can be a lot of things. Stewing is:

  1. Floating in the stew, trying to figure out what you’re floating in
  2. Trying to bump next to other broccoli
  3. Getting caught on a carrot or a potato and deciding that maybe you’d like to be a carrot or a potato
  4. Constantly forgetting that you were a vegetable before you got stuck in the stew
  5. Tossing in other flavors — maybe if you just added enough rosemary or sage, it would taste more like the kind of stew you like

You might decide that you don’t like the flavors you’re absorbing. Maybe, you hate them so much that you jump into freezing cold water and try to get uncooked. Maybe, you just completely leave the stew and come back to your broccoli home, pretending it never happened.

Or you decide you like the stew very much. The stew wouldn’t be the same without you and all the other vegetables and other foods that swim with you. The flavors are all unique and perfect just the way they are, and you’re so excited to be marinating in it.

Finally, you break free from the stew for a while. You meet your broccoli family and friends again. They greet you, because you look great! You look cooked! But they hug you, and they realize… ew. You smell like a green bean. And is that… ew! Tomato! And they push you back out because you’re just another one of the stewies now. You don’t belong with the broccoli anymore.

But hey, even though your broccoli family doesn’t support you, there are other broccoli in the stew going through the same thing. And besides, you have cauliflower and carrots and pasta to help you through it! They’re great, too.

You’re not gonna forget that you were a broccoli, but you’re not gonna become a green bean. You’re just part of the stew now, and you will create more and more stew as you grow.

-ellynn ❤

wednesday, october 21st


Sleep refused to let go of me that morning. I was six minutes late to my nine a.m. How I stumbled through grammar review and summarizing techniques was beyond me.

I then descended from my comfortable, dangerous bed — because it had claws on the bad days, and it did not let me go. I did not quite understand how I had gotten to the floor, but I stood there nonetheless, and I let my feet guide me to the window.

A thick fog coated the trees rolling over the hills before me. Some of them had already turned, fiery reds and oranges you can’t capture in crayon scribbles or brushstrokes. And I knew it was going to rain.

So I donned my thick green sweater and walked to the coffee shop, the sound of the espresso machine and the scent of fresh brew holding me up. I don’t remember what I ordered, only that the barista seemed flustered because they were all out of cardboard sleeves.

I let the hot cup burn the palms of my hands; it was warm and I felt cold, I felt nothing. I held the door for a man who had some pep in his step, and he said “I hope you have a great day,” and I nodded once with a bob of my head, and I stepped back out into the fog.

The walk back to my room might have been the longest walk of my life, but it wasn’t so bad, because I had company in the elevator. A quiet girl silently acknowledged me, absorbed in her music, and I wanted to ask her how she’d dyed her hair rainbow colors, but I didn’t think it polite to ask. I told her “I hope you have a great day,” and she nodded once with a bob of her head, and I stepped out of the elevator.

My legs brought me to the door, to the room, to the soft bean bag chair on the floor. It didn’t take much time to decide what music to play — something loud and female and punk, something beautiful. I collapsed into the chair. Thirty minutes. You’re allowed thirty minutes to feel.

That was when the rain started. It rose up over the music, so much so that I put my coffee down to open the window. I scooted everything over so I could sit on the windowsill, staring out at the tiny figurines that were cars and buildings and people, and I took in everything the day had been so far. Everything the day before had been.

The words of the song seemed to taunt me, but I wasn’t upset because they were so familiar to my heart that morning. I wondered what he was thinking. I wondered why he had lied to me, why he hadn’t done it sooner.

And then it was time for my group discussion, so I finished my coffee and crept off the windowsill and sat down at my desk to discuss racism and self-determination and performance activists. I’m sure I said something of value, but I don’t know, because my head was under water.

(Modeled after Toward Amnesia by Sarah Van Arsdale)

-ellynn ❤

media consumption and health


For those who’ve been following me for a while, you might know that I’m mid-way through my first semester of university. My primary area of study is in mass media and communication, and lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking on the kind of media I consume and how it affects me.

Every part of my education is completely online. Yes, I’m living on campus, but I’m going through posted video lectures, PDF readings, zoom discussions, and countless links every single day. I never realized how much of my education up to this point had been through face-to-face interaction.

I’m an independent learner. I like to take home information, sit with it, analyze it, and come back having understood it. From there, I can work with it and answer questions about it. I find it strange, though, that I’m struggling to do that same thing when all of my work is online. I feel that now, the only way I learn is by internalizing all of the media my professors and instructors throw at me. When you’re taking 15-17 credit hours, that can be quite a lot dumped on you.

Some of the positives, though, outweigh the negatives. Because my courses are loosely related, I’m able to link topics like identity to leadership practices and media studies. A documentary I watched for my American Identities class helped me communicate in a discussion led on sexual assault awareness. Online/synchronous learning allows you to do something we don’t have time for in physical classes: I can absorb the information, reflect on it, and apply it to the rest of my knowledge.

Every day, we’re spinning a web of the media we consume. How we feel about the information in our minds shapes how we perceive the world. If I only read my Twitter feed, my world will be all about Donald Trump (if you looked at Twitter right now). If I only watch Ratched on Netflix, my world will be spooky and badass.

But something I haven’t been doing, and something a lot of my fellow students aren’t doing, is stepping back from the media. How much can you consume before it becomes your whole world? Am I going to return for winter break, only to lecture everyone on how to diagnose a conflict and conjugate French verbs in imparfait?

There’s something to be said for academic immersion. I cannot relay how grateful I am to be in an environment where everyone’s priority is on learning and becoming better versions of themselves. My friends have big dreams, and they want to make the universe better, and I have so much respect for nearly every person I meet here. But we are not just our studies.

Social media targets mental health in such a positive way right now. It’s great! You can find any number of resources for hotlines, or how to practice non-fluffy self care, or mindfulness activities. What’s missing from the conversation is how the best course of action regarding mental, emotional, and dare I say physical needs is to rest. It might sound silly, but resting is the one thing we overlook when we ask, “how do I feel better?”

Current society (in broad terms, yes) prioritizes doing. Doing anything. So when faced with an issue regarding our health, our first reaction is probably, “what can I do?”

Listen well: there is nothing you have to do. Humans are so bad at intuitive healing these days. Honestly, sit down, feel your body, listen to your mind, let your emotions sit. Slow down. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is my body saying I need? How can I manage that right now?
  2. Are there thoughts in my head? Is there a way I can organize them?
  3. What am I feeling?
  4. Why am I feeling this way?
  5. Is there something wrong?
  6. Am I just fine, and this is a check-in?
  7. Have my habits changed lately? Is this positive or negative change?

If you don’t think you’ll answer these questions without biased, consult someone close to you. Often, the people who love us are the people who notice the most minor changes in demeanor. Maybe they’ll have something to offer about concerns or triumphs in your life.

Give yourself respect and love in trying times. Remember that it’s okay to feel kinda crappy. It’s okay to have things to celebrate, too. Allow yourself to feel and just exist, because you are human, and that’s all you can do sometimes. Much love.

-ellynn ❤

what they’ll tell you


They’ll tell you that your music taste is weird.

They’ll tell you that your jokes aren’t funny and you shouldn’t try comedy.

They’ll tell you that you’re studying the wrong thing, it’s not going to make you any money, and you should just quit now.

They’ll tell you that you should drink your coffee with cream and sugar like everybody else. Or, better yet, drink tea instead.

They’ll tell you that you can’t do everything alone (but they won’t offer to help).

They’ll tell you to keep your head up and smile because society should listen better.

They’ll tell you society won’t listen better.

They’ll make up all sorts of excuses for why they couldn’t come to your birthday party, to your wedding, to your baby shower.

They’ll tell your grave they liked you well enough.

They’ll tell you that every decision you made up until they stepped in was awful — the pits— and then take credit for your uprising.

They’ll beat books over your head.

They’ll undermine your intelligence but take your ideas.

They’ll dismiss the beautiful as strange and never understand the sense of awe that life brings.

They’ll take your sweatshirt and complain about being hot while you freeze over.

They’ll burn bridges and beg for you to rebuild it, because, well, you lit the match. They saw you do it.

They’ll…

Enough about them. What will you do?

college so far


College is…

-sitting at your laptop, surfing pinterest and listening to Hozier, with the diffuser on, and the sun shines in just the right place that it hits your face and makes you feel loved

-waking up before your roommates and making coffee, trying not to wake them up

-laying on the floor and talking about the psychological effects of brilliant movies

-eavesdropping and randomly interjecting when you hear someone say something you relate to

-naruto running/moonwalking/crawling down the hallway

-every seven seconds, searching your bag to make sure you have your key, your id, et. cetera

-your hallmates asking you to do things because you’re tall

-having way to much fun with a spin broom

-there’s a crack on the bottom of the shower and the people underneath you are probably gonna report a leak

-wondering where on earth to find a fork in the dining halls

-reading poetry while the lull of the dryers helps you focus

-casually meeting the eyes of strangers and holding the gaze for just a bit longer than usual, then acting like you were just out of focus for a minute

-making friends from the slightest congruence, like, appreciating their fleetwood mac shirt

-knowing who your people on based on the music they play

-being annoyed at people who don’t obey the social distancing requirements

-everyone watches the office?

-naps. college kids take so many naps.

-asking someone their name, saying “okay cool!” and immediately forgetting it when they walk away (but it’s okay, because they probably forgot it too)

-everyone asking you to join their club???

That’s it for now. I’m thinking I’ll mostly blog about college, now that I’m here. See you soon.

—ellynn ❤

cultural diversity from someone whose culture makes no sense


Recently, I watched a Ted Talk called How Culture Drives Behaviours with Julien S. Bourrelle. Julien discusses how in different countries, people behave differently. They display different types of affection, facial expressions, activities, etcetera.

It got me thinking, you know, what is the midwestern culture? I’ve lived in the Kansas City area all my life. Surely I should know what my own culture is, right?

A simple Google search told me that aspects of culture are as follows: symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts. I’m going to break down each aspect and describe to you what exactly my culture is, and what I can take from it.

Symbols:

-Nonverbal symbols: are gestures. Midwestern Americans greet each other by a high five with friends, a hug with loved ones, and a handshake for business-like encounters. I typically flash a peace sign, or give a little fist bump. I’m not really one for physical contact, which is usually off-putting for my fellow friends and family.

-A prominent American symbol: is the American flag. Duh. And often, in American schools, you’ll stand every morning, put your hand over your heart, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Every morning. For me, this action has always been too militaristic and strange to wrap my head around, so I sit down. (Not to disrespect the Armed Forces, but because it’s weird.)

-Certain religious symbols: are common to the U.S., mainly the cross, or the crescent moon, or the star of David. You might also see a pentacle or five-pointed star with a circle around it, or any other number of religious markings. I can only imagine how alarming it would be to arrive here from, say, Morocco, where the primary religion is Islam.

Language

-The American attitude: is this: “If you don’t speak English, I’m offended.” Now, I hate that, but it’s true. I swore to learn at least two other languages before I graduated college. So far, I’m 1 down, 1 in progress. But many Americans never learn anything but English. The only place I’ve encountered such diversity is Disneyworld, where you could hear anything from Mandarin Chinese to Portuguese to Arabic. I’ve never understood why America is so set on speaking English, which came from… England. And why did we omit the English accent? America, you’re dumb.

Norms

Noise: Are you in public? Then you really should be quiet. Unless you see someone you know personally, in which case, it’s totally acceptable to go, “Ohmygosh, hiii!!!!!!” But if your child is too loud, you should do something about that. But not too loudly. However, it’s fine to mow your lawn at 6 a.m. Yes, a.m. and p.m. Because we like being confused. Anyway, you can be loud at a concert and at bars, but only certain concerts and bars. And if you’re at a restaurant where they aren’t playing music so loud you can’t hear yourself, you may only speak in mime. Got it?

Laws: There is only one: move to the right side of the street, the stairs, the road, politics—imeanwhat?

Table Manners: Elbows on the table are usually considered poor behavior, but everyone does it anyway. Don’t talk with your mouth full, but everyone does it anyway. Eat too much food, feel terrible afterward, but everyone does it anyway. Oh yeah, and when you’re done with your meal, crumple up your used paper napkin and toss it into your plate. (But always pass dishes to the RIGHT.)

Sexuality: All forms of sex are wildly appreciated and accepted, but NEVER TALK ABOUT IT. NEVER. Don’t mention sex in the classroom (except to explain what parts do what), don’t mention it with your family, don’t talk about it with your friends, don’t read about it, don’t even THINK about it. Unless you’re watching television. But you better not be a virgin in your 20s??? Because then you’re a prude???

Values

Body Image: Be skinny. No, not that skinny, because you don’t want to look like you have anorexia. It’s okay if you have anorexia, but just don’t look like you do. Look a twinge above it. Your ideal weight is hungry. Oh, but that’s only if you’re a girl. Because no one wants a man to look like a stick! Men must have MUSCLES. They must be INTIMIDATING and STRONG. Being weak makes you less masculine. But also, you should be sensitive. However, on social media, we’ll use #thickthighssavelives and market our clothing brands as plus-sized (though sizes only go up to 10).

-Productivity: Basically, always be doing shit. 25/8, do stuff, all the time, and post that you’re doing stuff, and tell your neighbor you’re doing stuff, and train your kids to be involved in 8 sports and be president of the student council and write three books by the time they’re twelve and meal prep like a bawse (even though meal prepping can take more time when you spend hours making pretty boxes to post on pinterest). BUT make time for those leisure photos at the beach! Have cookouts so you can show off all the money you spent on the perfectly manicured lawn that your dog will destroy.

-Money: Be so rich that you can afford a Tesla, which will make you feel better because it’s environmentally friendly, even though the electricity that charges your gas-free car probably uses natural gases anyway! Own at least three gaming consoles, never play any of them. Use #blessed when you post about the new Coach purse you bought with a credit card today. Be in GALLONS of debt but pretend you’re thriving. Buy “gluten free apples.”

-Education: You must get a college degree, and your entire middle and high school careers must be focused on getting a perfect ACT score. Take all advanced classes, be in the NHS and the SAC and the NRA — wait, is that the right acronym? — because if you don’t, you’ll never be on the dean’s list at Oxford and you’ll fail and you won’t make enough money to buy that expensive car and that house in Hollywood Hills and you’ll fail your parents and your children and you won’t hate your job enough to stay just financially stable enough to be trusted to have an insurmountable pile of debt that you’ll pawn off onto your children when you die from a heart attack that nobody knew you would have because you claimed to only eat things that came from God’s green earth #savetheturtles. Or something.

Artifacts

-Phone: The only acceptable device is the iPhone that came out this week. It it came out a month ago, it’s trash. It’s disgusting. But we’ll continue to make fun of you for buying the new iPhone because it looks dumb. You can’t win.

-Car: Like I said, Tesla. Or really anything that makes you look like you probably have a private jet to go with that, too.

-Food: Avocado toast! $7 Creme brulee latte with almond milk, but wait, don’t use almond milk, it’s bad for the environment! Coconut milk? No, there’s too much fat. Fat is bad. Use cashew milk. But make it yourself, because you don’t know if those are sustainably sourced cashews. Are you sure those coffee beans didn’t come from slavery? Fast food is the devil! Eat it really fast in your car, alone. Tell no one. Say you’re gluten free to make yourself more interesting at parties.

DISCLAIMER: This is SATIRE! I know I get a little joke-y on this blog, but rarely this much. So please take this with the teensy-tiniest grain of salt possible. I could rant about U.S. capitalism and glorification principles all day long. I hope you enjoyed. Please share this with that one angry uncle who always complains about the far left — it would quite honestly make my day.

— ellynn ❤

dark academia in real life


If you’re on Pinterest or Tumblr, you have probably seen the “dark academia” aesthetic. I came across a few posts, and I realized that DA is something I’ve been a part of for my whole life. I’d like to explain with a list (because lists are just a part of this blog, and you know it).

  • Reading Alice in Wonderland, deciding I didn’t like the ending, and writing my own where Absolem convinces Hatter to jump through a portal and visit Alice instead
  • Filling notebooks with stickers, receipts, little scraps of pretty fabric or flowers, and any thought that pops into my head
  • Making a cup of tea or coffee when something doesn’t feel right
  • Always focusing better when it’s raining or gloomy outside
  • Loving long walks and picnics
  • Craving second-hand bookstores and thrift shops because I like to imagine the lives of the people who owned the things I purchase there
  • Keeping movie tickets, programs, concert bracelets, and railway cards in a lockbox to preserve the memories
  • A shelf of photo albums from my childhood
  • Late-night research about psychology, ancient architecture, or what it would be like to live in 18th-century London
  • Smiling at animals and calling them beautiful
  • Hearing “mystery of love” by Sufjan Stevens and realizing it’s an anthem for life
  • Planning anything and everything, down to the last detail, but always changing something someone else planned because it’s creative expression
  • My favorite color is dark forest/army green, and most of my room is denim, green, gray, and cozy brown
  • Giving each of my plants names, and some of them represent my friends, so if they aren’t doing well I check on the friend
  • Doing nothing on road trips but listening to classical music and staring out the window
  • Owning more jackets than any other item of clothing
  • Preferring to walk or bike rather than drive
  • Hating crowded places, but liking to watch crowds from a distance to see how other people interact
  • Keeping a frantic, giant mountain of different ideas in my notes app (but very well organized)
  • Hiding polaroids and small objects I find on nature walks in bags and jacket pockets, not finding them till later
  • Owning far too many pens, but organizing them by type… ordering refills of the ones I like
  • Insisting on visiting a city strip mall just so I can examine the Japanese paper in that one stationery store, holding a freshly-purchased notebook to my cheek because the pages are so soft
  • Learning better when I hear something out loud, rather than see or touch it
  • Spending hours staring out my window while clouds gather in the sky and a storm pours over the world
  • Watching the entire Harry Potter series every fall, making some of the foods they have in the Great Hall
  • Feeling guilty about keeping books I love because other people should read them, too
  • Highlighting quotes I love in “Looking for Alaska,” specifically the quote that says “NEVER USE A HIGHLIGHTER IN MY BOOKS!”

I’m going to stop here… but I think I’ll do a part 2 later because I really enjoyed making this list! Comment any dark academia things you do in your life and why you like it. 🙂

–ellynn ❤