Thursday, January 30, 2014

YOU are your problem.

Mark and I have been joking about how this has been me the last month. I am a little precious ball of anxiety, what can I say??
Today I threw a temper tantrum for close to an hour.
I realized later I was throwing this temper tantrum for perhaps the biggest "first world problem" in the entire universe. 
I laughed at myself for like twenty minutes and then I started studying and watching Bridesmaids, as one does.

I think I am gonna leave it at this today.
PS. Mark is the best person in the entire world. You have my permission to gag, but it's true. I cannot wait to post a video that he took of me last night so you guys can see how crazy  I really am and how awesome he is to stay with me!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

let's talk slouchy tees.



Hey guys!
Today we are talking about being lazy but looking good. Like a homeless person who doesn't give a crap.


I've been on the hunt for the perfect slouchy t-shirt. Apparently I identify as "plus" size now because my boobs explode through every t-shirt. TMI? K, whatever. But people don't make a nice slouchy hipster tee for plus sized ladies. They make weird scoop neck stretchy shirts. So I have been on the hunt and I have found three tips that are useful when shopping:

1. Do not buy cotton.
Cotton doesn't "slouch" as well as jersey does. If you buy 100% cotton, it won't hang as slouchy as you are envisioning. When shirt shopping, make sure your shirt has some element of jersey in it. 

2. Buy two sizes bigger than you need
This is pretty obvious. For the slouch, you need to have extra fabric. Buying bigger sizes will give you the extra fabric you need for your shirt to slouch.


3. MENS SECTION
The gray shirt I am wearing is from the mens section at H&M. You guys, it's glorious because not only is it slouchy but it covers my bum because men's torsos are longer.



IN OTHER NEWS:


 Today was the last day as a Ticket Manager for Caine College of the Arts. What a great job it was. I will miss it terribly. I won't miss making minimum wage for a ton of responsibilities.

Logan is one of the most BORING cities in the United States. Statistically proven by me. So to beat the stir crazyness, Mark and I go to Hastings and bum around and never buy anything. It usually ends up with me flipping through a wedding magazine on a chair somewhere waiting for Mark to find something he wants to show me. So here is me, doing that.

 I was hiding from the Bishop in the bathroom at church. I KNOW. I am going to Hell. But I was supposed to have tithing settlement a few weeks ago and forgot annnnnnnnd I am a bad person in general. 

 I am dying over Hallie and Brookyln's friendship. They are six months apart and they LOVE each other. Now that Hallie is talking they have little conversations and it makes my heart BURST. They are facetiming me and I am missing them so much I could just die.



Nikki and I had a big/little date this week and we went to an antique shop in Logan that I have driven past many times in my time here and never been inside. REGRET! SO MUCH REGRET! There was this insanely cool desk that I think about every day. If only it was not $175.00. Haha! But I bought this old window and made a picture holder with it. Well, Nikki mostly did it because I am the worst Sorority girl in the world and can't craft worth crap. 



Annnnnd last but not least, this weekend Mark and I helped Codi with a photography project for one of her classes. I can't wait to see the pictures, Mark looked like a hot rap star in his pictures! I was loving it. I looked like a Lesbian Lorde. I should have made a fake SNL skit. It would have been a hit.

Have a good week everyone!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

The Wedding Bed

Brace yourselves people, we are talking about the hormones that the good Lord gave us today.

A few years ago, Hilarie told me that her Mom had an idea for a book on what to expect on your wedding night because no one seems to want to talk about it! I know that I have had many pep talks with my now married friends or roommates about going back to Anniversary Inn on their wedding nights. I'm not really one to give a pep talk because I have never experienced...that. 
So finally a few years after Hilarie and I talked about this, her mom, Amy Wilcox, published The Wedding Bed! I got my copy this week and it's fairly small and easy to read so I got through it in one sitting. It talked about shaving/waxing, doctors appointments, contraception, lingerie and the actual wedding night. I don't really want to say too much about it for the sake of not wanting to go into dirty details-
-and I don't think I can say anything better than Amy did. If you are getting married or know anybody who is going to be getting married, I would definitely get this book to help to know what to expect! 

Check the Facebook page out HERE
Check the website out HERE to find out where to buy.

Mark's whole house read the book. They were pretty interested. I guess it's informative for men too!
Go grab it! It's a perfect bridal shower gift.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK

Today has been an eye opening day in the social media world and I am ashamed that I have taken part in some of the negative aspects of it.
Today I am thankful for my multicultural literacy class last semester with Fawn Groves, an amazing black and lesbian woman who truly opened my eyes to the ongoing injustice in today's world. I was woken up from my white world thinking we are all being treated equally. I was made a better teacher by coming to terms with the harsh facts. These facts shook my world.  However, the shake turned my skewed perspective into a straight and narrow one. I will try everything I can to honor Martin Luther King's legacy in my classroom by always being mindful of the hidden curriculum I present. Is every race demonstrated in the pictures on my powerpoint presentations? Is my language unassuming? Will my students learn about people that changed history other than the ones we are used to learning? Absolutely. Though it may be small, it could mean the difference between intolerance, what I have seen on social media today, and love.

And that's all I have to say today.




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Friday, January 17, 2014

How To Get Free (& LEGAL!) Music!



Mark showed me this website a few days ago and since then I haven't gotten off of it! It's called

NOISETRADE.

Basically, local bands from all over America put their music up for free download! Let me show you how it works.

The home page of the website looks like this! You can explore their top lists OR you can search bands that are related to your interests.


I love Lorde, so I decided to search her. 

It brings up a screen that has a bunch of albums under "FOR FANS OF LORDE" you can scroll horizontally through this list, there are tons of artists. I avoided any covers though because I wanted to listen to new music. So I picked Mideau!


 Then it takes you to the bands page that looks like this:

Before you download their songs, you can listen to them first by just clicking on the songs. I circled this in purple below.











Then, if you decide you like the music, you can proceed to download it. Above the album cover on the left there is the DOWNLOAD MUSIC button. Click it.

Then this will pop up! Just stick your email and zipcode in there. I have been using this site for a few days and it hasn't sent me any thing else besides the music I requested but you can use a junk email account if you are worried.


It will immediately send you an email that looks like this. Click DOWNLOAD NOW.


It takes you back to noisetrade.com with a pop up that looks like this. Click DOWNLOAD NOW, obviously.



Then it will download into a zip file! Just unzip it and you can add it to iTunes!



Local artists are the way to go. Their music is just better! The possibilities are endless with this site and you will get many hipster points by using it. Isn't that what life is all about? 



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TODAY IS FRIDAY.

I wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming response I got on my last post about my start in Videography. I have a half dozen projects coming up and I am so excited! I am planning some awesome things for these videos, one being a wedding video! I can't believe Ashley is trusting me with that but I am so excited!
I feel like the last two weeks have gone SO fast! I think maybe fast days might be the saving grace of my semester. I have a robotic Alex Trebek teacher for most of my classes and I am 400000% over it. 
Monday we went to Mark's Ward Talent Show. There was a whole lot of Stephen Speak covers going around and one painfully choreographed "What Does The Fox Say" dance. The air was thick with Mormon Young Adults! 
Last night we went to the D.I to get Mark a couch for his room. He had been begging me since August to let him buy one. I have this huge phobia of BED BUGS ever since one of my friends (who shall remain nameless) had a roommate who bought a couch from the DI and their whole apartment was infested with bed bugs for a few months.  It was a HORRIBLE experience for everyone involved. Also, did you know Utah is the state with the highest reported cases of bed bugs? Ew, gross. But finally I talked to a exterminator who told me how to check furniture out for bed bugs and we went and bought a couch. I also bought the cutest picnic basket so I am pretty stoked about that.  
ANYWAY,
Today is Friday. And I am talking about light jeans.
Mark hates dark jeans, I love dark jeans. Because every time I think about light jeans, I literally get horrific flashbacks of this outfit from ninth grade:
I LOOK TERRIBLE. I thought I looked soo cute that day too. So I have never bought light jeans since ninth grade until last week when Mark finally convinced me to just try. I went on Pinterest and got some outfit ideas to make things less scary.





Not so bad, right? So I am wearing my light jeans today! It's an adjustment honestly. I saw myself in the reflection of a building and I was like ughhhhh. But we will get there.
Classy bathroom mirror selfie.


I'm wearing these in black if anyone cares. I wanted to wear my combat boots but I felt that was a little too Kill Bill. 


It's a process.

Happy weekend!


PS my boss told me I look like Taylor Momsen today and it pissed me off cause she is seriously phsyco. 



FINE I WILL GO TANNING UGH 


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Something free you can post on facebook and brag to other people about how cool your life is

Before I began:
 Sometimes I write titles and I am like "Wow, that was really long and excessive. Oh well!" 
Apparently it's a blogging faux pas and I need to stop but I like them SO THERE!!
Ok, moving on.
For Christmas I get one "big" gift, the mother of all gifts. This year I decided to ask for an HD video camera. I absolutely loved videography in High School but when I graduated I no longer had equipment so I was bummed. For once, I didn't have a necessity to ask for for my "gift of all gifts" this Christmas so I chose the HD camera. It is time to stop denying myself what I love to do. Now I have no excuses!
That being said, I need some practice.
So, if you are:
  • Graduating
  • Having a baby
  • In love
  • Greek
  • In a family
  • Loving your roomates
  • In a band
  • ETC/WHATEVER
I would LOVE to shoot a video for you in order to practice. It's hard to explain what this means without showing examples, so here are a few of other's works that I admire and most likely what I will try to strive towards.

Engagement Video from Haughen Creative: 
http://vimeo.com/50637535
Senior-Type Video:
http://vimeo.com/49154226
Other:
http://vimeo.com/58181139
You get the point, it's hard to find the videos of the ideas you have in your head.
But anyway,
Email me at riley.justesen@gmail.com if you are interested!
***If you are getting ready to paint a nursery for an upcoming baby, PLEASE contact me!***

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

[one of the] Weirdest Thing[s] I Have Ever Done. (Sorry Hilarie!)

A few weeks ago I talked about the worst thing I have ever done. My friend Hilarie reminded me that though The Night Of The Mandy K might have been the worst thing i've done, it was definitely not the weirdest. 
Let's talk.
In July of 2010, Mark (not my boyfriend at the time but still my best friend) and Nate (also my best friend) left on their LDS missions. As many know, before a missionary leaves to the area to which they have been called, they enter the Missionary Training Center for different time frames. Another bestie Conor had been there for a few weeks already. I was deeeeeeepppppressssssed. As in stricken dead with grief. Which anyone who knew me then or followed my blog is well aware of. But for those of you that are new, let me tell you I was still at the cry when you wake up, cry all day, cry yourself to sleep point of life. It was pretty low.
So one night Hilarie and I were sad and most of all, we were bored. The last few weeks I had developed a little nugget of an idea that I knew was pretty crazy. I didn't think it would actually happen because I wasn't crazy enough to do it alone but I didn't think anyone else would be  stricken with grief crazy enough to do it with me. However, on this particular night I suggested my plan to Hilarie and she wanted to go for it. So we did.
 A small kink was thrown into our plan, our friend Brakken invited himself on our escapade. But I was leaving back to school the next week so it needed to happen that night. And so it began.
We made the 45 minute drive from Sandy to Provo. I knew where the MTC was, I had delivered a few packages there in the last couple weeks. The parking lot was empty because it was raining pretty hard and it was pretty late. We started by listening to The Killers in my car in the front parking lot and bawling. Just really normal, sane stuff. Then it got interesting. I had casually asked Mark in my last letter what hall they slept in and we guessed it was probably at the back of the building. We started to drive down the back road when we saw the boys building! I'm not sure I planned any further than this. I thought we could maybe leave a note on their window if they slept on the main floor or something. Mostly I think I just wanted to be close to them? I told you, it was a low time. As soon as we saw the building, we saw the security guards car come behind us. I quickly turned my car around to try to get out but he stopped us before we could leave.
"What are you guys doing?"
"Um...I just got lost."  I was racking my brain trying to think of anything I could say that could make it seem like we were accidentally somewhere we were absolutely not supposed to be.
I saw the security guard peek into my back seat so I turned around. Brakken was laying down with his black jacket over his body because he was sleeping, (who could blame him for wanting to be comatose during our Killers cry session) but it totally looked like we were sneaking a missionary out of the MTC!!!
We finally got the guard to realize we were just depressive fan girls that needed a strong dose of Prozac and a time machine to catapult us into 2012. We swore never to tell a soul. Naturally I wrote the boys about it the next week. They all responded differently but with the same tone of "Mayyyyybeeee we won't keep in touch over the next two years..." and backing away slowly.
If you're concerned-
I promise things got a lot more sane in my head after that. Well, after I failed a semester due to the fact that I never went to class because I spent all day watching Dear John on repeat. 
hashtag mormon gurl probz
So there it is. Phew, these blog confessions are becoming a lot easier.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Ten Tips for New Members


I've been wanting to do a blog post like this for a long time. Every semester a new batch of New Members comes in. It's an exciting thing! I have realized throughout my Greek experience how much ONE new member class can change an organization, for bad or good. Here are some things I wish each New Member would know so they have the best Greek experience they can!
1. Get involved!
This is the number one thing that made my Greek experience what it was. I jumped in with both feet one semester after I had been initiated. I have never understood the people that are Greek that have never held a position. One of the largest benefits of being Greek is that it teaches you leadership skills! Take advantage of that. Run for a position, volunteer to be part of a committee. Do anything you can to be involved. Not only will it be extremely beneficial personally but it will be beneficial in your future career life. I also received many scholarships because of my leadership skills that AXO helped me to develop. Even if you cannot hold a position because of grades or something else, you can still be a leader. If a sister needs help setting up an event, go a little early and help her set up! If someone seems overwhelmed, offer to help. There are many ways to get involved and no excuses for not. 
2. Make the effort
One of the things I regret most is not making more of an effort to get to know some of my sisters. I got comfortable with about thirty sisters and so I did not feel the need to really go outside my comfort zone other than the basic "hey! how are ya!" interactions. Make the effort to get to know your sisters. Make a goal to take one sister out for coffee or whatever once a week. It's like $3.00 to you but it could mean the world to a sister that feels like she is not fitting in or who wishes she had more friends. It also will give more meaning to your sorority experience as you will feel like you actually know those who share your letters. 
3. Develop a love for the Greek Community
Another HUGE aspect of Greek life that I cannot emphasize enough. The bottom line about Greek life is if your Greek community fails, your chapter fails. Even if you are the best in your Greek community, that does not matter if your Greek community is struggling. You will gain so much by embracing other Greek organizations and developing a love for them. All of our Ritual's teach the same basic principles. The more hateful you become towards another organization is the more intolerant you become. No one will hire an intolerant person.
4. Develop a love for your organization
This took me a long time to fully understand but I felt like once I learned to love the actual organization of Alpha Chi Omega, I was a better sister. The concept of a Real, Strong, Woman is remarkable. A real woman has so much depth to her. A strong woman can endure any obstacle. Other things that took me a long time to understand, our Ritual, The Symphony, our philanthropy, all of these things are amazing and specific to Alpha Chi Omega and its' sisters. I became so much more emotionally connected to AXO once I developed this understand about the actual organization. 
5. You are always wearing your letters
I can't really explain this much better than T.J Sullivan but I really feel that this is crucially important. Letters are memorable, people in your classes or on campus or at work or WHEREVER will remember that you are involved with Greek life after you wear your letters a few times, dress in pin attire or mention that you are in a Greek organization. So people know that you are Greek and they will look for fault in order to prove the stereotypes they have in their head right. If you come in late to class even if you aren't wearing letters, everyone in that class will assume that all Greek members are late to class and are slackers. This is unfair but it's absolutely the truth. If you cannot handle the responsibility of being the face of any Greek member anywhere, then Greek life is absolutely not for you. 
Some people see this as a huge burden. I took it as an immense opportunity. It made me responsible for every action I took. It made me think twice about not paying attention in class or not being the most kind to someone working on campus. It made me a better person.
*I wish that we smacked all Greek new members in the face with THIS blog post.*
 
6. Appreciate the Hard Times
I had some of the best times of my life in Alpha Chi. I also had some of the worst. Those bad times when I thought my world was ending because I didn't get the position I wanted or because I got frustrated with my committee not helping me or whatever it was actually helped me grow. For example, the fighting that I did with my sisters led me to develop some amazing conflict resolution skills that I actually just used last week. I learned how to be an adult, apologize and move on. Another example is I went to an AXO conference by myself in Texas for a weekend. I bawled in the airport bathroom and in the hotel room because I didn't think I was old enough to fly to a different state all alone. But I did it and I became more independent because of it.
Recognize that hard times are just part of the deal and that they will help mold your unique experience.  
7. Respect Alumni
Another one I didn't understand until I was an alum. As an active member, I would get so frustrated with alum because they had no idea what was going on in the chapter. What I didn't realize is that alum want the best for their chapter. Be genuine with them, hear their concerns and maybe their concerns are valid and they can help give your current chapter problems direction. AXO Beta Xi is lucky to have some amazing alum that have helped us redo our house and made other huge positive changes. If they are involved it means that love your organization and want the best for it. 
8. Be Educated.
I knew that AXO had bylaws because I signed them when I was a new member but that is where my knowledge ended until I was elected Chapter Relations and Standards. I had to pour over those bylaws and know every detail. I was shocked at the things I found because I felt that I was not using AXO to its full potential. There were services that were in the bylaws such as intellectual development had to help me get a tutor for a class I was struggling in, etc. If I had know about these hidden gems in bylaws earlier on, I would have been a lot better off. There were also some things that were being enforced in our chapter that were NOT in the bylaws. For example, they were fining girls for not attending a certain event when it was not in the bylaws. Being educated about your bylaws, each position and your IFC and NPC bylaws will help you to be a more effective and reputable Greek member.
9. Don't Conform.
I'm not sure how to say this without proving certain stereotypes right. But fact is fact. Some people feel that they have to change their personal values in order to be influential in their Greek organization when that is just not correct. The women that were most looked up to in my chapter were the ones that kept their standards yet still were involved. I tried to be like these women. For example, the fact that I don't drink doesn't mean that I couldn't go hang out with my sisters that were at the bar. Just like you wouldn't want to be pressured to change your values, don't pressure your sisters or brothers to change theirs. I have seen women who were once A students be pressured to skip class, stop doing homework, etc. because their sisters were doing those things too. 
This lesson can be applied to so called "trivial" things as well. A woman in my Sorority didn't like wearing makeup, so she didn't! Despite our pleading during formal events. She didn't like it, she didn't wear it! 
Your organization will benefit if you are the truest version of yourself that you can be.
10. Create a Lasting Legacy
One of my sisters I really looked up to as a new member had a goal: Make AXO and the Greek community a better place because she was a member of it. As soon as I heard her goal I did everything I could to leave my Greek community and chapter a better place because I was there. A lot of the time this "big picture" idea was hard to focus on with trivial things getting in the way but I think I was a better Sorority Woman because of keeping a bigger perspective in mind. This could mean researching new ideas to implement such as a new way of grading or even teaching your littles how to uphold your organizations values or just being a good brother or sister. 
Work hard to make your membership mean something. Otherwise it's pointless for you to waste your time.
My Greek experience was one I will never trade for the world. It made me who I am today! It made me more confidant and it led me to meet some amazing people who will forever impact my life. 

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