Hello, 2018! ♡ (◠‿◠✿) ♡ (and good-freaking-bye to 2017).

2017 was quite an intense journey (for all of us, I assume): one filled with ups, downs, twists, turns, bouts of hysterical laughing and crying (mostly crying), bursts of rage swelling in my chest, and then finally, a sense of peacefulness that arrives after the storm. This year was the year in which an awful man continued to reign over our country (many were hoping that he-who-must-not-be-named would get impeached but he has not, despite his antics.. sigh), bombings/shootings/ plane crashes took place, girls and guys alike did crazy things to their eyebrows (did anyone else cringe because of the wavy eyebrow trend that flooded through the realms of Instagram?), brightly-colored and rainbow-esque food became increasingly popular (unicorn/mermaid toast, the unicorn frappuccino, unicorn lattes, etc), and so on. This trend of colorfulness served as a juxtaposition to what was going on in the news due to our government. People turned to silly, more trivial things such as eyebrows and food and fashion to distract themselves from our sad reality. In a lot of ways, I did the same, feeling it was easier to focus on minuscule aspects of life as opposed to taking in the bigger picture. The bigger picture never ceases to overwhelm me, reminding me that I have little control, and cannot do much to change the world– that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, though. After all, the quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” exists for a reason.

As New Year’s Eve approached, I was reminded of how much I utterly despise New Year’s. My hatred for this holiday is quite simple. I hate it because… 1.) people make fraudulent resolutions that they never adhere to 2.) New Year’s Eve all-night celebrations leave individuals feeling exhausted and drained (how am I supposed to start my new year when I’m feeling like complete shit after partying?) and 3.) at such parties, the excessive amounts of booze that people sip on inevitably kills brain cells that they cannot afford to lose. As a result, I refuse to take part in such frivolous celebrations, preferring to sit comfortably on my couch in pajamas, a mug of tea in hand and my cat plopped on my lap, snoring away to his heart’s content.

I watched the ball in Times Square drop on live television out of pure habit but I did not, by any means, enjoy it. When people hysterically cheered, I yawned, reminding myself that I should not cling to this illusion of January 1st being a new beginning because if one truly wants a new beginning, they can seize it in any second of any minute of any hour of any day, not having to wait an entire 365 days just to make a list of resolutions that include goals such as losing weight and saving money. Keep in mind that I’m saying this based on my own experience as well the experiences of the friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances that I have interacted with during the 18 years that I have lived on this spinning, green-and-blue planet.

Your personal experiences might be different than mine. That’s okay, too. I am only sharing my thoughts because maybe out there, there is a person that can relate to my feelings. And if that person happens to be reading this, I want them to know that it is more than okay to hate New Year’s even if your friends love it and love to party and drink and throw confetti in the air without any cares in the world. It is more than okay. You are not alone.

Thank you for reading that long introduction and sticking around. You’re a real one. I’m sending you all my warmth and love and cuddles. Can you feel it? Even if you can’t, please pretend that you can. It’ll make things easier for the both of us. (ꈍᴗꈍ) ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ Okay, now it’s time to get down to business!!! Even though the year was filled to the brim with hardships and salty tears, I want to touch upon five incredible moments that I experienced in 2017 that undoubtedly made the year a little more tolerable and bearable. Here are these five moments (not in chronological order):

1.) Celebrating my 18th Birthday and Becoming an Adult! I love being 18 because that means that I can legally get tattoos but it has other perks, too, of course. 🙂

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2.) Graduating from the Hell Called High School and Celebrating that Victory with a Garden Party! I do not miss high school one bit and I never intend on going back. College has proven to be less daunting.

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3.) Spending a Wholesome Day at the Beach during the Summertime, Being Reminded that Sunshine and Ocean Waves are Sometimes the Best Cure for a Bad Case of Summertime Sadness. Italian gelato bought on the boardwalk also proves to help. 

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4.) Getting to See My Mom, Lana del Rey, in Concert! Yes, I did cry when I saw her perform. Yes, it did feel surreal. It was a “pinch-me-am-I-dreaming?” type of moment. 

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5.) Simultaneously Celebrating My Brother’s Birthday and Halloween whilst Dressed Like a Human Rainbow! Walking down the streets of New York City in my attire was a little scary but I had never felt more colorful and radiant in my life. 

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I hope that you all had some positive moments in 2017 that made it a better year for you. And if you did not possess such moments, then I hope that you’ll be able to create them in 2018. Create the future that you long for by envisioning it, staying optimistic, and manifesting it when the time comes. Never fail to believe in your own witchy powers. Everyone has them, including you. 

 

 

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My First Self-Published Poetry Collection: LADY OF THE COSMOS ⭐️ 🌟 💫

Hey there, darlings! If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I recently self-published my first collection of poetry, titled “Lady of the Cosmos.” It has always been my dream to publish my work and I finally got around to doing so this summer after returning from Paris. Inside this book, you can find a collection of free-verse poetry written by an angsty and passionate teenage girl (a.k.a. me, haha) over the course of her adolescent years. The topics of the writing include childhood, growing up, love, heartache, eating disorders, self-love and acceptance, learning how to embrace a dysfunctional family, and hope for future years. The poems are segregated into eight sections, depending on their theme– each of the sections is named after one of the planets in our solar system. The planets remind us that we are all ultimately interconnected and composed of tiny, magical molecules of stardust, making each and every one of us ladies or men of the cosmos, capable of accomplishing anything and overcoming any struggle– big or small. And as ladies and men of the cosmos, it is our duty to find beauty and pixie dust even in the dark because a glimmer of light and a glimpse of a rainbow can be found where it is least expected. 

Many of you may not know that I have been writing ever since I could hold a pencil in my  tiny, kindergartener hand. I started with writing fantasy stories, but when I discovered poetry in middle school, everything that I had ever learned about writing was challenged. Upon being introduced to Edgar Allen Poe by my English teacher, I was immediately drawn to his dark tones and alluring rhyme scheme. I wished I could produce a piece of work as original as his, which ultimately motivated me to try writing poetry of my own. Like all writers, I wrote about what I knew and about what I had yet to know. During this process of exploration, I commenced reading the work of other poets, including classics, such as Sylvia Plath, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Charles Bukowski. Not to mention, I immersed myself in the works of contemporary poets such as Lang Leav and Michael Faudet, who most prominently spark my creativity today.

As a compliment to my book, I have created a poetry Instagram account. For the past weeks, I have been using the account to document my poetry and creative writing along with digital art that I find inspiring (screenshots of this account can be found in the collage above). I try my best to post multiple times throughout the day, so feel free to follow me if you’d like to see glimpses of  pieces from the poetry collection. I am also working on a second poetry collection, so I will be using this account to announce the release date. 😃 🌈 💜 The name of the account is @littleponderings. 

If you would like to support me as well as the Lulu Online Self-Publishing Company, this link will lead you to a page, where you can purchase my book: http://www.lulu.com/shop/abby-staniek/lady-of-the-cosmos/hardcover/product-23265109.html

If you happen to buy the book and read it, it would mean the world to me if you could write a review about it and post it on the website. I would love to know how you feel about my work. Thank you so much for the support and for reading this post! I hope everyone is having a whimsical time during this month of August. ✨ 

 

My Trip to the City of Love!

Hello, people of the interwebs! I haven’t posted anything on my blog in what seems like forever, but I’m finally making a comeback with a blog post about my trip to Paris. Below, you can find the highlights of each day that I spent there, outfit details for each day, as well as snapshots of what I saw, the vegan noms that I ate, and the pretty views of the city of love. I hope you all are having a wonderful, adventure-filled summer and I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed making it! ❤ ❤ ❤

Day 1: June 27, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • arriving to Paris with my mom and brother.
  • dropping off baggages at hotel.
  • commuting to the center of Paris via uber.
  • finding our way to the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower/ taking pictures/ enjoying citrus popsicles on the park bench.
  • buying tickets and going up to the tippy top of the Eiffel Tower in the rain! (the rain made the experience all the more memorable).
  • having dinner at Brasserie Lola, which is a vegan restaurant located about 21 minutes walking-distance from the tower–> I ordered a vegan croque monsieur, my brother ordered a veggie burger, and my mom ordered the club sandwich. We were all very satisfied with our meals; they refueled us after the exhausting yet exciting day we had endured. 

Outfit Details:

  • Zara black-and-white checkered, off-the-shoulder dress
  • Zara silver sandals
  • Zara purse
  • Zara headband
  • thrifted choker and necklace

 

Day 2: June 28, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • going to the Musée National du Moyen Age (National Museum of Modern Age), which consisted of impressive medieval memorabilia such as stained glass windows, statues, and patterned tapestries.
  • standing in line and being able to go inside the Notre Dame Cathedral Tower
  • having lunch at Le Grenier de Notre Dame (casual vegan restaurant near the Notre Dame) –> the place had cute outdoor seating and I ordered falafel patties with a side of salad.
  • after lunch, we took a walk along the River Seine and snapped polaroid pictures.
  • during our walk, we spontaneously stumbled upon Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore and we explored its insides thoroughly–> it was filled with both new and vintage books as well as the scent of wood and espresso. I ended up purchasing three books and the cashier stamped the first pages of the books with an official Shakespeare & Co. stamp. The books were titled: Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke, and Hangry by Samantha Jayne, Love Poems by Carol Ann Duffy, and the Collected Poems by Vladimir Nabokov. I recommend all of them especially if you are a poetry fanatic like I am! 
  • before going back to the hotel, we stopped by the Crêperie du Cloître for mango, strawberry, and passionfruit sorbet. 

Outfit Details:

  • J. Crew pink checkered blouse
  • Zara white lace skirt
  • Zara floral lightweight jacket
  • H & M earrings
  • Forever 21 pom-pom choker
  • Zara purse
  • Zara sandals

Day 3: June 29, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • visiting the Louvre (world’s largest museum and home to the beautiful Mona Lisa). It took us about 3 hours to explore the majority of the museum, but it would have taken longer if we wanted to see and experience its entirety.
  • we had lunch at a pizzeria nearby the museum and ordered a veggie pizza and a side of fries. The veggies that topped the pizza included zucchini, artichoke, red peppers, red onions, mushrooms, and different seasonings. The pizza in France, in my opinion, is more satiating than it is in the States. In addition to that, it possesses a homemade-ey taste.
  • for dessert, we enjoyed European candy bought at the nearest deli.
  • then, we searched for an authentic barber’s shop because Daniel was in desperate need of a haircut.
  • after the barber’s shop, we returned to the hotel and changed for our evening plan, which was to go to the Moulin Rouge (the infamous and glamorous Parisian nightclub) to see a show that involved singing, dancing, and larger-than-life costumes that sparkled and glittered in the dark.

Outfit Details for the First Portion of the Day:

  • Zara knit blouse
  • Zara black poofy skirt
  • H & M polka-dotted sweater/ jacket

Outfit Details for the Moulin Rouge:

  • vintage turquoise dress (a gift from my dear family friend, Marta Regulski)
  • Skinny Dip London rainbow purse (a Christmas gift from my sweet brother, Daniel)
  • H & M silver heels 

Day 4: June 30, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • we woke up earlier than usual to catch a shuttle bus to Disneyland Paris from the Orly Airport.
  • when we arrived to the park, it was raining cats and dogs, so we were forced to spend some time inside the souvenir shops in an effort to shield ourselves from the rain.
  • we had lunch at a restaurant that was designed to look like an old Western town in which cowboys resided. We order fries and salads because there weren’t a lot of vegan options on their menu unfortunately.
  • when the sunshine came out and pleasantly surprised us, we began to take advantage of the rides, including the teacups, which is my all-time favorite.
  • when the all-familiar feeling of hunger kicked in again, we popped into an Italian bistro that was inspired by the Lady and the Tramp. I ordered pasta with tomato sauce and garlic bread, which proved to be yummier than the fries and salad I had eaten earlier.
  • upon leaving the bistro, the three of us ran into a Disney parade with almost every Disney character you could think of, from classics like Sleeping Beauty to more modern movies such as Frozen. The characters waved to their fans and danced, uplifting the moods of every person in the park, especially the moods of the little ones, who ended up squealing and running up to the dressed-up creatures, trying to hug them. :’)
  • at the end of the day, I munched on the best cotton candy I had ever eaten in my life (it tasted like sweet, fluffy clouds) and roamed around the park for the last time until my family and I decided it was time to return to the hotel.

Outfit Details:

  • Lazy Oaf rainbow dress
  • Lazy Oaf rainbow sweater
  • Zara lime sneakers
  • Minnie Mouse pink ears (purchased at the park)
  • Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore tote bag 

Day 5: July 1, 2017

Highlights of the Day: 

  • we SHOPPED SHOPPED SHOPPED until we DROPPED DROPPED DROPPED along the Champs-Élysées. Stores that I went into included: Swarovski, Sephora, Mac, H & M, Zara. I bought a heart-shaped necklace and earrings to match at Swarovski, the Peach palette from Sephora, and a few articles of clothing from Zara and H & M that made a lovely addition to my wardrobe.
  • we ate lunch at a little café that intersected the Champs-Élysées. I ordered a plate of steamed vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, broccoli, red pepper, carrots, and asparagus) and a serving of pasta with pesto, topped with slivered almonds. The man that served us the food had kind eyes and spoke to us about Trump and how the world seems to be falling apart because of him. We bonded with him over that matter and climate change, causing us to feel even closer to him. It’s a small world after all. 
  • later, we bought tickets and climbed up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe (one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l’Étoile. Did you know: it was the largest triumphal arch in the world, until Kim II Sung, the dictator of North Korea, built the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang in 1982), where we could see and admire the gorgeous view of the city of love. From above, I spotted houses, buildings, and even the Eiffel Tower, which shined when the sunlight cast its warm rays against it.

Outfit Details:

  • Forever 21 denim jacket (I ironed on patches and stuck pins into it)
  • Zara polka-dot top (I really like polka-dots if you haven’t already noticed lol ^_^)
  • Lazy Oaf watermelon dungarees

Day 6: July 2, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • visiting the Catacombs (underground ossuaries which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of the ancient Mines of the Paris tunnel network)–> it was quite a spooky experience!
  • lunch is not featured below because I forgot to take a good pic, but I ate a taco bowl, chips, and guacamole at the Indiana Café.
  • we shopped in little cute boutiques but did not buy much as a result of the high prices.
  • we went to the Centre Pompidou (it houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Public Information Library), a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe; and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research)–> the artwork that we saw was both beautiful and thought-provoking–> a lot of pieces were potent in bright colors, which appealed to me immensely as my favorite color is rainbow. 😀
  • had dinner at Hank Vegan Burger, where I had the best vegan burger of my entire life! I ordered the “Tata Monique,” which was a veggie burger with tomato basil sauce and black olives (sauce tomato et basilic avec olives noises émincées), whereas my brother ordered the “L’Allumé,” which was a veggie burger with BBQ sauce, red peppers, and yellow jalapeños (goût fumé, poivrons rouges, et jaunts marinés).
  • went to Abraxas Tattoo to get my first professional tattoo done–> one of a pink-and-blue baby unicorn. It is meant to symbolize the beauty and magic in life, reminding me not to take myself too seriously and to allow my creativity to blossom and flourish to its fullest.

Outfit Details:

  • Zara polka-dot top
  • H & M hot pink trousers
  • H & M polka-dotted sweater/ jacket
  • Zara purse

Day 7: July 3, 2017

Highlights of the Day:

  • going on a tour of the River Seine with Bateaux Mouches–> it was the perfect way to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Conciergerie, the Musée d’Orsay from a distance. These monuments form the true richness of Paris’ heritage and by observing them from the angle of a boat, I was able to attain a different perspective of the city.
  • after the tour, we walked to the carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower because my inner child was dying to ride it! I chose to sit on a peculiar, unconventional ostrich, which made the ride all the more fun
  • the three of us went back to Brasserie Lola for a late lunch/ dinner (the restaurant that we visited on the first day). The dishes we ordered included pad thai and a mushroom risotto dish.
  • we wandered the streets of Paris one last time, finding a quirky crystal shop and stationary shop.
  • in the evening, we returned to the hotel to pack our bags and catch our flight back to the U.S. the next morning. 😥 

Outfit Details:

  • Topshop green, cropped top 
  • H & M skirt
  • Zara yellow jacket
  • Zara sandals 
  • thrifted sunglasses

 

 

COME TO THE NYC FEMINIST ZINEFEST!

The NYC Feminist Zinefest is taking place this weekend at Barnard College on Sunday, March 5th from 12 pm to 6pm. This event is open to all ages and is absolutely free of charge for the public! 🙂 I’ll be tabling there along with a lot of other amazing artists and zine-makers. I’ll be selling three of my most recent zines along with stickers– the front covers of  my zines are located above for your viewing. For those who may not know, zines are little printed booklets filled with original writing and illustrations. Swing by to show your support for the zine community and to pick up a few zines! They are usually small in size, which means that you can read them when on the go– during your morning commute or when walking from class to class at school. Hope to see you there! 💋✌️

Address of Barnard College:

3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Outfit Look: Bit by the Lovebug on Valentine’s Day ❤ ❤ ❤

Outfit Details:

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J.Crew Blouse

Topshop Skirt

American Apparel Polka-Dot Tights

Forever 21 Pom Pom Earrings

Forever 21 Heart Choker

Dollar Store Heart Head Bopper

Dollar Store Heart-Shaped Wand