Category Archives: Featured

Featured Posts

I’m Moving to New York City to Live (Not Chase) My Dreams

#DailyWings: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” -William Faulkner

Happy June, writers and friends! Wow, has it really been a month (and some change) since my last blog post? A part of me is appalled that I took a month-long hiatus from writing, but the other part of me wants to remind myself that there is a very good reason why I haven’t been around.

Four days ago, I was finally able to make an announcement that I’ve been waiting to make for months. It’s the kind of announcement that is usually made right after a college graduation, when people are moving to new places, taking on summer internships and full-time jobs, and traveling to other countries. Honestly, it was hard for me to keep blogging without being able to share this announcement with you; I felt like keeping it inside was more difficult than not blogging at all.

Thankfully, I’m finally in a good place both emotionally and professionally now where I can share this publicly with you and my friends here on social media.
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Valentine’s Day 2015 Series: 5 Date Ideas You’ve Never Heard Before

Valentine's Day, couples, relationships, romance, love, friendship, friends

#DailyWings: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”  -Dr. Seuss

Valentine’s Day is just two days away, but if you still don’t have any plans set in stone there is still time. The bad news is, all the restaurants are probably already booked for the entire night. The good news is, I’m a huge romantic and like to go out of my way when it comes to surprises for other people.

If you aren’t able to score a dinner reservation or you’re just tired of the same old V-Day traditions, there are other ways to make the day special for both you and your partner. You just need to get creative. Today, I’ve compiled a list of ideas for Valentine’s Day dates that are adventurous and may even seem a little wacky.
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Charlie Hebdo and Journalism in the Marketplace of Ideas

#DailyWings: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” –Eduardo Galeano

I was at work when I learned about what had happened in Paris on January 7. At the office, we have about seven or eight television screens, all of which display breaking news from CNN or sports on a daily basis. I walked past the largest TV during lunch, a napkin and utensils in my hand, when I saw the headline about terrorists on the loose in Paris. People were wounded, even dead.

Why would anyone want to attack the French?” was my initial reaction. Admittedly, I don’t know much about France outside of the stereotypes revealed to me through movies and other media growing up, and unfortunately I don’t follow French news the way I follow Chinese, American and UK news. Even with the underlying knowledge that French people aren’t all alike, I’d always viewed them as being romantic, chic and peaceful foodies.

It wasn’t until later that I learned three masked individuals — later discovered to be Islamists — had attacked the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical Parisian weekly newspaper known for publishing crude, controversial material (mainly about religion and politics). The attacks didn’t stop there. Two days later, terrorists related to the first incident attacked people in a supermarket where many Jewish Parisians live and congregate.
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The SELF Diet Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Spaghetti Piccata

#DailyWings: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz

I am really excited about today’s edition of “The SELF Diet,” mainly because this was the first dish that made me actually love cooking. This dish, a lemon-garlic spaghetti piccata, was inspired by a recipe for “Linguine with Tuna, Capers and Raisins,” which I found on my Epicurious iPhone application (if you thrive in the kitchen and have a smartphone, download this app now). This dish is perfect for potlucks or, better yet, a romantic dinner date at home (think “Lady & the Tramp“). You can either make the pasta before your date arrives, or you can make it together (there’s no better way to bond with someone than to prepare a meal).

Another reason I’ve looked forward to writing this post is that my favorite food, as some of you may be able to guess, is pasta. (I’m a carb fanatic.) Pasta is an excellent “base” food, just like rice or quinoa. You can add almost anything to pasta and it’ll taste delicious. To me, there’s nothing heartier or more delicious than noodles tossed around with some spring vegetables or chunky meat and a creamy sauce.

While today’s recipe is vegetarian, I’ll give you some tips toward the end of the post about how to incorporate meat and other fixings. I created this dish by being adventurous with a single recipe; a single bit will give you a burst of various flavors and textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and herbs to suit your personal tastes; let me know in the comments section if you decide to make this dish and what you did to make it your own!
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What Makes You a Writer

#DailyWings: ““We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.”-Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s been a while. With newspaper articles, magazine stories, research papers and midterm exams swinging at me like cherry bombs every few days, I’m beginning to understand how a juggler must feel. These days, I’m averaging four hours of sleep and barely have time to eat or take a mental breather. Occasionally, I’ll watch an episode of “My Mad Fat Diary” just to remind myself not to go, well, mad. 

I miss writing. To keep myself content, I have written some poetry. Short pieces, portholes for me to displace my strongest emotions.But I miss prose. I miss long-winded sentences that keep going and going until you aren’t quite sure how you got from Point A to Point B but you know you’re in a different place than you were before you started and it feels like a good thing.

It’s true that I crank out two to four stories every week for the town newspaper, and it’s been an incredible training experience so far. But last night, I cracked open my journal for the first time in a month. One month! I couldn’t believe that it had been that long since I actually sat down to write for myself without worrying about making the sentences perfect. I miss making mistakes and letting them be. I miss writing for the love of it.
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When Everything Good Happens

#DailyWings: “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” -Paulo Coelho

A person’s mood is like the waves of an ocean, a cosine graph. It fluctuates in a gradual manner. We all have our bad days, brought forth by a spilled coffee or perhaps traffic. And then there are great days, when everything seems to be falling right into place and we can’t help but smile at the good fortune this world has brought us. 

Lately I’ve been living on a high. Wonderful things have happened, left and right — an editorial internship at Chapel Hill Magazine’s THE WEEKLY, reunion with my closest friends, excellent fall semester grades, beautiful 70 degree weather, a position as Arts & Entertainment Editor for Blue & White magazine, inspiration for poetry, enjoyment of the masterpiece that is “The English Patient”. I can’t help but wonder how I have been able to deserve this good life. (Or rather the past two good months, at the very least!)

After weeks of straight studying for exams that never seem to end and pitching stories and tackling writer’s block, it’s incredible to see what has come out of it all. I feel like I’m moving forward. Then again, it could be that typing this all down will lead to a jinx. *crosses fingers*

To ponder over Paulo Coelho’s words: Last semester, it seemed like nothing was happening. Every day was just about the same, with minor changes such as in pizza toppings or class seating; I didn’t do much about it except keep going. Now that everything has happened all at once, what isnext for me?
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Never Settle For Mediocrity

I had awesome plans for this weekend — a new recipe to try out, the N.C. State Fair, a Hinder concert, a picnic with my CUSA friends. In the end, none of these things made my agenda. Instead, I holed up in my apartment and pored over career assessments and personality tests. Lame, right? 

Certainly, other factors prevented me from going to these events (relatives and friends visited for a day), but I could’ve chosen to do other fun things during my spare time, like go on Franklin Street. I didn’t, because I felt like I deserved to stay home until I figured out what the heck I’m going to do with my life. 

The Myer’s-Briggs Type Indicator (note: my second time around), Strong Interest Inventory and Focus 2 Career Exploration alone took about an hour to fill out. And then, there I was, having filled out three assessments and then some, still without a single clue. My interests are clear: I love writing, psychology and helping others. I actually know what I want to do, it’s just fitting it all in one career that stumps me.

When the assessments failed to serve as my own personal Magic 8 Ball, I resolved to hash out a “life plan” for the next 30 years: what post-college degrees I would get, the potential publications I’d want to write for, the cities that appealed to my lifestyle. Doing this was supposed to make me feel more grounded, but all it did was make me more frantic. The what-ifs automatically began to form, and the big question mark still hung in the air. I felt like a mess. Surely by junior year of college, people should have an inkling of their future!

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