She's Charming

A Lifestyle Blog

TRAVEL RITUALS TO MAKE TRAVEL A BREEZE

One thing I find irrationally annoying in life is waiting for checked baggage at the airport.  If I’m returning, I just want to get home.  If I’m arriving, I just want to get going.  Milling around a clanking, crowded baggage carousel is the least appealing thing I can imagine after a day of travel.

By now I’ve flown enough to know that, for me, a few things can make the whole process less obnoxious.  I actually like airports, and I could stare out that little oval window to the earth below for hours on end, but the in-between parts of airline travel get old fast.  So, some tricks I like:

 

PACK LIGHT

Thus avoiding the aforementioned, pesky waiting for bags problem.  I can pretty comfortably fit a week’s worth of packing into an average sized backpack, plus a larger purse or messenger bag.  Clothes can always be mix-matched and even washed while I’m away.  So worth it, both mentally and economically, if it means no checked bag.

 

CHECK IN ONLINE

No checked bag then means no reason to see the gate agent on the day of travel.  I can check in online the night before (usually the airline will send an email notification prompting you to do just that), print my boarding passes, and head straight to security upon entering the airport. In other words, one less line to stand in.

 

BRING YOUR WATER BOTTLE

Maybe you can’t bring liquids through security, but you can certainly fill up an empty water bottle on the other side! Plenty of airports now have filling stations for just this purpose – a lot more environmentally-friendly and a lot less expensive than buying countless water bottles to get me through the travel day.

 

PACK SOME SNACKS

Thanks to travel delays, I have often found myself rushing from one flight to the next when I planned on having plenty of layover time to buy some food.  I like bringing  a big bag of almonds and a few granola bars, that way I have variety and something to snack on while I’m away, too.

 

WEAR A SCARF

Wearing a good scarf means a) looking cute, while b) carrying a portable pillow/blanket wherever you go.  Just find one that’s wide enough to wrap around your shoulders and you can keep warm or ball it up and rest your head. Maybe wear two scarves and then you can do both at once . . .

What do your travel rituals look like?


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SEATTLE TASTE: LA COCINA OAXAQUEÑA

We’ve having beautiful weather here in the Pacific Northwest, and that always gets me out looking for a Mexican restaurant with outdoor seating and hot salsa. La Cocina Oaxaqueña is just over I-5 into Capitol Hill and is perfect for these 80-degree days we’re having!

These are just a few of the things that makes La Cocina Oaxaqueña wonderful:

  • Outdoor Seating – Soak up that Seattle sun!
  • Handmade Tortillas – From a seat at the bar, you can watch as the tortillas are pressed and cooked right in front of you. It’s mouth-watering.
  • Freshly Fried Tortilla Chips – Always served fresh and perfectly salted.
  • Salsa Bar – A bounty of different salsas are at your disposal. Help yourself! It’s the perfect complement to those fresh chips.
  • Authentic Cuisine – With roots in the Oaxaca region of Mexico, the food is vibrant, fresh, and absolutely delicious. Come hungry; you won’t want to stop eating!

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RECIPE: SLOW COOKER MULLED CIDER

I have a confession for you: I really dislike Halloween. The effort of combing through thrift stores for a creative ensemble that I will wear all of a few hours, walking up to strangers doorsteps, and the sugar overdoses of Halloweens past. It’s all a recipe for my least favorite holiday. So this Halloween my guy and I decided to stay in and watch scary movies and make spiked apple cider. Now, that’s an evening I can get behind. Join us tonight or any of these chilly autumn nights!

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Feel free to modify any of these ingredients depending on your taste! 

  • 1 gallon Apple Cider
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 hibiscus tea bags
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 Tb. juniper berries
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into slices
  • 1 apple, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • Optional: Cinnamon whisky such as Fireball

 

WHAT YOU’LL DO

  1. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cover.
  2. Turn the slow cooker on high heat and cook for 3-4 hours, until the color has darkened and the fruit is soft. Remove the tea bags and serve hot.

Recipe and photo from A Spicey Perspective


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TUESDAY UNDER $10: QUIRKY MOTHER’S DAY CARDS

I know we’re on a card kick over here at She’s Charming, but I’ll say it again: cards are such an inexpensive, quirky, fun way to brighten someone’s day.

When I give a card, my goal is that they will love it so much they won’t ever want to throw it away. And who deserves a cute card more than your mother? This year, I am aiming to send cards on time.

Mother’s Day is May 11th (that’s six days away, my friends), so get on it and give that wonderful woman a fun Mother’s Day surprise.


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Living Room: How To Style A Pouf

Poufs have always been one of those decorating mysteries that I couldn’t quite understand. Are they necessary or are they just nice? Does a living room ever really need one?

 

Well, I suppose a room never needs to have a pouf, but over the years I’ve really discovered that they can easily add that extra something to a living space. Plus a pouf or two can serve has extra seating or as an extra table, but can easily be stowed away in a corner so they don’t get caught under foot. In fact, the more I write about these guys, the more convinced I am that my small inner-city apartment could benefit from one!

 

Here are a few different ways you can use a pouf in your decor:

1. FOR A POP OF COLOR

2. FOR A FUN PATTERN

3. FOR TEXTURE

4. FOR CALMING COLOR CONSISTENCY


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HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL AFTER A CATCALL?

I am slightly embarrassed by how easily I can be affected by another person’s words. Last Friday night, one of my closest friends and I were walking to Target to do some shopping. We had walked at most 100 yards from campus when someone honked at us and yelled profanities from their open car window. Although it was jarring and uncomfortable, it was a situation I was all too familiar with. We continued on our way and remained unhindered in our mission to acquire goods — after all, who could ever keep me from my precious Target? Without really reflecting on the event, I simply pushed it aside and moved on with my life.

 

The next day at dinner time, I passed a friend of mine in the campus dining hall. He looked at me and then said, out loud, “shawty got a fat ass.”I was shocked, embarrassed, and filled with shame. I looked around to our mutual friends for support, but everyone remained still and then turned away as if nothing had happened.

 

Regardless of their intention, I felt exposed, embarrassed, and I wanted to retreat from the world. These small events had snowballed to morph a confident, driven, fiery feminist into an insecure and scared young woman. I believe that it isn’t the specific words spoken that have the greatest affect on me, but the overarching message that I am an object of pleasure to these strangers. They have assumed the right to objectify me and assert their power from their moving vehicle.

 

These small events add up over time and can take a huge toll on the way a woman views herself in relation to men and the greater society at large. Being constantly caught in this power struggle can be destructive to self-esteem and could cause lasting damage.

 

How should we make sense of these events?

When catcalling first became a regular event in my life, I thought that it was my fault for dressing particularly provocative or revealing too much skin. However, I began to notice that it did not make a difference whether I was bundled head to toe for a Spokane winter, or in a California summer sundress. I have heard many people blame young women for the actions of men and it never fails to infuriate me. My winter coat and boots amply cover 97% of my body, yet I was still becoming an object of men’s critiques as I crossed the street. Obviously, covering up any particularly sexual body parts does not ward off unwanted attention.

 

If it isn’t my fault, then whose fault is it? Yes, each perpetrator makes an individual decision whether to call out to the woman on the street. However, the issue is bigger than just one or two jerks. If catcalling is a widespread phenomenon, then the issue must be altogether widespread. We must examine the culture at large. What about our current cultural state makes men feel the need to assert dominance over women they do not even know.

 

For whatever reason, many men have claimed the streets as their own. They can walk safely, knowing that the majority of their time they will go unbothered. I know that as a young woman, to be out late at night, regardless of my destination, could mean trouble for me. I have experienced very unsafe situations in my own life and have heard many stories of other young women becoming victims to violence at night. I believe that the daytime catcalling phenomenon is an extension of this street dominance. It is crazy to me that not only should I avoid walking alone at night, but that I cannot walk alone in the daytime without the possibility of feeling unsafe. But how is this remedied? It comes down to a necessary cultural shift. With discussion of the negative effects of catcalling and how it really feels from a female perspective, there lies the possibility of understanding the implications of the catcall. What may seem like a harmless compliment could be just another remark by a strange man that causes discomfort and adds to the list of street grievances. Women speaking out and telling their stories will help people grasp a handle on what needs to change in our street culture.

 

If you are a man that has engaged in this behavior, please know that what you might perceive as complimentary could be doing just the opposite. One remark that turns a woman into an object for your pleasure could change the entire trajectory of her day, week, or month. There is no way to know how many people in her life are also failing to recognize her as a person with thoughts, feelings, and fears. Please consider this. Huffington Post contributor Mike Reynolds clearly outlines the impact of catcalling from a male perspective in this article. If you are having a hard time really grasping what catcalling is and why it is considered harassment, take a looksy.

 

If you are a woman that has experienced some of these cruel words, please know that you are not weak for letting these things get you down.Please don’t trap these feelings inside. I have struggled with feeling helpless, insecure, angry, downtrodden, pathetic, and confused as to why strangers could have such a great effect on me. I believe that it is natural to get stuck in a mindset that you have no control in the situation and that “these things just happen…men are pigs…boys will be boys.” However, I would challenge you to have conversations about your experiences with the people around you. Encourage your male friends to rise above what is culturally acceptable, perhaps leading them to intervene when they witness inappropriate behavior in the future. I believe that this is an appropriate way to fight the catcall. Instead of shouting back at the stranger in the car and reacting in some reassertion of power, go home and write a blog post (what I did) or mention to a friend how it made you feel, and work through the emotional effects in order to minimize the damage that might incur.

 

Above all, recognize that your value is not contingent on how you are seen by strangers on the street. Your body and spirit are yours alone and deserve to be respected by those around you. No one has the right to take your safety and self-respect away, and I hope that in the future, we can all find strength in these situations and truly make a difference in our world.


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DIY: DESTROY YOUR DENIM

If I’m being honest, I thought destroyed denim was going to be a phase. Clearly I stand corrected because those ripped skinny jeans are still hanging around with a vengeance. A few months back I even started looking into buying a pair, but I was never quite satisfied with the hole placement or the degree of destruction.

 

So, I decided to finally take things into my own hands. There are plenty of DIYs out there for you to follow, and I’m here as proof that you too can do it yourself. Have some fun (maybe host a denim destruction party!) and create your own perfectly destroyed jeans.

Before and After:

 

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Decor Crush: White Subway Tile

From the kitchen to the bathroom, white tile brings freshness to any room. I’ve really been gravitating toward clean lines and simple design, which can be subtly brought into a room through some white subway tile. It’s has an industrial look, yet when it’s paired with softer elements, it creates a dynamic and interesting decor experience.

As soon as I own a house, I’m adding these babies in somewhere!


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A VISUAL ODE TO AUTUMN

We’re already to November, and I feel like we haven’t properly paid homage to fall. I am a fall person through-and-through; my wardrobe consists of almost solely of scarves and boots, I like my coffee with pumpkin, and my evenings to be based around cozy fires.

I’m here to celebrate fall today through my favorite medium: images. Grab a warm blanket and curl up with a hot beverage. It may be cliche, but only in the best way.


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TUESDAY UNDER $10: GARLANDS

As I slowly decorate our apartment, one of the largest problems I’ve faced is how to fill a big, empty wall on a budget. All I want to do is buy some big, gorgeous piece of artwork (obviously expensive), or a clump of small framed pieces. But with each individual piece and all the frames, wall clusters can add up, too. 

 

That’s why I was so excited to see these adorable paper garlands, all for $10 or less! I love that these can gracefully fill up quite a bit of dead wall space. They are delicate enough to not attract too much attention, but intricate enough to add just the perfect amount of taste to any wall.


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