Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

The Best Atlanta List Ever

In Lifestyle on August 11, 2014 at 12:33 am

The 99 Problems of Atlanta

All of these are so on point. Sometimes it’s terrible being an ATLien. (Should we make that name problem #100?)



Vegans: Help!!

In Lifestyle on May 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I am leaving Monday for my Maymester Study Abroad program (holy shit!!) in which I will be going to Paris, Lourdes, Iona (a small island off the Western coast of Scotland), and Edinburgh. We will be in each city for approximately 4 days. One thing I have been worried about is food. If my stomach is upset or I feel too full, my anxiety is triggered. My anxiety and my stomach go hand-in-hand and obviously I’d really like to minimize any anxious situations that I could avoid while away.


So, as I’ve been eating vegan for these past four months, I’d like to stick to that as best as I can for the trip. I’m not worried about Scotland because there won’t be a language barrier so I will be able to read the menu easily and communicate what I can’t eat to the server. I am worried for my 8 days in France though! What should I look out for on the menus? What should I say to indicate that I am vegan and to get across what I can’t eat? I’m perfectly fine with eating salad with no cheese and dressing on the side most of the time but I don’t even know how to ask for that! Bread doesn’t bother me at all (it probably soothes my stomach more than anything) so I will definitely be eating that in France. Let me also add that I don’t know a lick of French. Sooooo, there’s that issue.


My plan is to pack a ton of Larabars in my checked bag and to make sure I always have a few in my purse just in case. I’m also bring some microwavable rice & quinoa packets that are sooo filling so I can always eat those in the room. I also don’t want to be a hindrance to anyone on the trip. I don’t want to choose where to eat for everyone else just because of my dietary restrictions but oh man, I really need to avoid dairy like the plague, It KILLS my stomach now.



What do you all recommend? Any vegan travellers out there, please help! Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.




Greektown, Chicago

In Lifestyle on April 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm


I have so much to say about these past 24 hours that I don’t even know where to begin. I arrived in Chicago with my mother and sister yesterday morning- I think the plane landed around 8 AM. Our first stop was Lou Mitchell’s for breakfast per the suggestion of my second cousin and let me just say this now: Best. Coffee. Ever. I am a coffeeaholic and have had a cup everyday for 7 years now. I try local coffee shops everywhere I go because I feel that it gives you a good grasp on the culture. Lou Mitchell’s coffee was perfectly bold without ANY bitterness. It felt so incredibly inviting and had the most amazing flavor that cannot be compared to any other roast. 

When you first walk in to Lou Mitchell’s, a heart-shaped basket filled with fresh doughnut holes is (kindly) shoved in your face. It is a traditional Greek gesture to offer something sweet upon arrival, and sweet it was. I definitely cheated on veganism to have a taste. The hospitality did not stop there as the staff was so sweet to us throughout our entire experience.



View from atop the National Hellenic Museum

After a wonderfully huge breakfast we ventured into Greektown. We spent ages at the National Hellenic Museum (half of the time shopping for gifts for family members). Most of the information exhibited includes details on the lives of Greek immigrants and the wins and losses of combining Greek culture with new American life. It was intriguing to my family as we don’t know very much about our transition into America (I believe my great-grandparents immigrated in the early 1900s). At the top of the museum is a rooftop patio with a great view.



Back at the Museum’s shop, I couldn’t stop myself from buying “The Romantic Poetry of Greece: An Anthology” that has each poem in both Greek and English. I can read Greek phonetically but so far I only know the meanings of less than 100 words. One day I do plan to learn the language, though. Something I found odd about the book was that the collection of poems is from 1880-1960, practically a century behind the British literary movement. As we speak of Romantic poets let me add that I found the best quote by Percy Bysshe Shelley at the museum- see picture below. Actually I am very biased. The quote is great to me because if there’s anything you need to know about Greeks it’s that we are full of pride and Shelley only helps reinforce our feelings. 


A lunch in a tiny kaffenion in Greektown, lots of walking, and my first taste of deep dish pizza at Uno’s completed the day. So far this morning I have walked down to Starbucks for a soy latte and enjoyed the sound of rain in the hotel with a great city view. If this isn’t bliss I don’t know what is. Stay tuned for more posts on Chicago and this fabulous hotel we are staying in!



The view from our hotel room and let’s be honest here, can it really get any better than a view of Bloomies?





A VEGAN Greek?!

In Lifestyle on April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm


My mother jumps at the chance to host each holiday at her house for the entire family. We have a huge Greek family so it’s chaotic from start to finish. Eastern Orthodox Easter (we use the Julian calendar) fell on the same day as the Gregorian calendar Easter this year which doesn’t happen often. With this huge holiday comes something that is customary in all Greek traditions: FOOD.

Explaining that I’ve been vegan to my Greek family went something like this:


I decided that I couldn’t pass up the holiday foods and became an omnivore again for the day. I ate τυρóπιτα (Tiropita), directly translated to “cheese pie,” σπανακόπιτα (Spanakopita), “spinach pie,” and even had two bites of lamb παστίτσιο (Pastitsio) which is a pasta dish similar to lasagna but with penne noodles.  And I must say it was all so delicious. 


But alas, I felt absolutely disgusting by the end of the day and I had to down some wine to fight off the guilt. All I wanted by the end of Sunday was Monday to come around so I could eat loads of fruit and greens and get back to feeling healthy again. It’s been 15 weeks of being vegan (a few cheats of cheese or a milk chocolate dessert sparingly) but whenever I eat dairy, something that would have been absolutely fine to my stomach before, I feel like SHIT which I guess is good seeing as those foods are terrible for you anyway.


I’m not going to preach to you the ways of veganism (yet) on here because I understand it is a very difficult transition to make in today’s America. I was lucky enough to have a semester off of school to simply work and focus on me. I wanted to get healthier both physically and mentally. What I will say about veganism is this: I have never felt so healthy, clean, and clear-headed before as I do now. I don’t feel like I can’t move after meals, rather I feel like I have energy to get up and go do something. There are many ways to take the easy route and be an unhealthy vegan so you must work at it constantly. (I say all the time that french fries are vegan so it’s fully possible to be an unhealthy vegan.) You must constantly educate yourself on what nutrients you need and how you plan to get them until you feel you are satisfied with the way you feel. I have changed my focus multiple times throughout this 15-week period and am currently focusing on eating a raw organic vegan diet- AKA raw fruits & veggies- except I still use unsweetened almond milk in my coffee. 🙂


I eat nuts and whole grains (Quinoa is my favorite) but I eat them much less than before. I don’t add any oils or extras to my vegetables- just steamed or baked like they are.  I’ve realized that nothing makes me feel better than fruit. It gives me the carb calories I need for energy and helps produce the serotonin I am constantly lacking, which makes a MUCH happier Callie. I used to calorie-obsess and I’m noticing that I don’t have to torture myself like that anymore. If I’m mainly eating raw, organic fruits & vegetables then I DON’T NEED TO WORRY. It sounds like such a difficult diet to do but to me it is so, so much easier. I no longer feel like it’s necessary to obsess over my calories because the weight will come off. How many raw, organic vegans do you know that are fat? None. So for now I am focusing on feeling healthy and having a little faith that the weight will come off eventually.


I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter Sunday! I’ll leave you with a picture I took of the gorgeous tulips we had as centerpieces.










Travel & Overcoming Fears

In Lifestyle, Thoughts on April 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm



“Greatness is measured by your gifts, not your possessions.”

Who else feels like everything is falling into place when your tea gives you the perfect quote to reflect your day?

In less than one month, I will be in Paris for a short Study Abroad trip with my best friend! It will be my first time traveling out of the country (you really can’t count the Bahamas on an American cruise line as going out of the U.S.) and I can’t even contain my excitement! All I can think is “what will I wear, what will I see, who will I meet?!” OH and what will I eat? Because DUH- Parisian macarons are on the to-do list! My mom brought me this mug back from when her flight had a layover in Paris- so no, she didn’t really see anything that she could tell me about. I feel like I’m venturing so far into unknown territory for me! The trip will bring us to Paris, Lourdes, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Iona (a tiny little island 3 miles by 1.5 off the coast of Scotland).


I’ve always been afraid to travel far because of my anxiety. Sure, I’ve wanted to go places but I couldn’t (and still am having trouble) imagining myself flying over a massive body of water. Not to mention the missing Malaysian flight 370 has certainly added to my fears. What I decided, however, when I chose to go forward with these plans last fall was that I will not allow my fears to control me. I know 100% that the rewards will outweigh the risk and all I can do is chose to be strong. Anxiety has a way of being pushed forward as the biggest priority and I get so sick of it. I choose to not let my anxiety control me on this trip. I will continue to enjoy the moment and be as fearless as I can be. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and if I don’t take it now because of my stupid fears, when will I ever? The more prepared I am, the less scared I feel when adventuring into anything new. So I have been preparing with my psychiatrist for months to find the perfect dose of Lexapro and to also find the perfect drug to knock me the fuck out for the 8 hour flight. Pills are not at all the only answer, though. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the social norms (apparently shorts in Paris is a HUGE no) because hello I do not want to be seen as a tourist that will be an easy target.


I know the ins and outs of Atlanta; I know where to avoid, what to do when homeless people approach you talking nonsense (I act deaf) and what to do when homeless people approach you just wanting to simply tell their story (I always listen- and usually learn a lot). I know my city. I’ve lived in or around Atlanta my entire life and worked in the heart of downtown for almost 6 years. I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of women walking alone at night (why would you ever…) and have done my best to placate the crazies who threaten you for no reason. I understand how to be safe. I don’t know any of that about any of these cities we are going to which scares me- but I know I will be as smart as I can, and I will never leave my friend’s side. Anxiety doesn’t have to take control of your mind if you make smart decisions when trying new things.


So, back to my tea fortune. Common sense, intellect, and a keen instinct to always be cautious will help me enjoy the trip without allowing full-fledged anxiety to take over. Intelligence is one of my greatest gifts. I hope to achieve the level of greatness I want one day because I have this opportunity to expand my knowledge even more. Material possessions will never amount to any level of personal greatness, but your God-given gifts will and you must maximize that potential in order to become the person you wish to be.





Tips From a Makeup Artist That Every Teen and 20-Something Need to Know

In Fashion, Lifestyle on April 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

1. You need moisturizer, and you need it every day. No, it will not make your oily skin oilier. Yes, it will tremendously slow the rate at which you get wrinkles. (And they are coming sooner than you think!)

2. CLEAN. YOUR. BRUSHES. I know it takes time but I can assure you that even spot cleaning them once a week will cut back on the amount of acne you are getting. Think about it- you are essentially storing all of those germs from your acne in your brushes to cover your face in yet again each day. Lovely, isn’t it? Spot cleaning takes SECONDS per brush (if they aren’t covered in gunk from weeks) and makes your makeup look better and your face way less disgusting.

3. Never leave the house without checking that your face makeup is blended into your neck. It’s the first sign of trashy-girl makeup and I can assure you that guys will notice it.

4. If there’s one thing you should splurge on, it’s foundation. Between 60-80% of what we put on to our face is absorbed into the skin in seconds. Cheap, chemical-ridden foundations are doing much more harm than good to your appearance and your body, so please opt for an organic foundation that matches your skin color flawlessly.

5. That leads me to my next point: it is very likely that you may need to buy two foundations to blend to get your best color match. It’s so worth it, and as you get tanner in the summer you can adjust your ratio of the two foundation colors you mix.

6. Cat eyes aren’t made for every eye shape, and that’s okay.

7. A matte finishing powder makes the world of difference in photos.

8. Home remedies (i.e. frozen spoons to de-puff eyes) will hold out much longer than makeup will. Always try and get your best face before applying makeup so you will have less worry when your makeup inevitably wears off hours later.

9. You have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips with the amount of beauty gurus on YouTube. Use them. (Warning: it’s easy to get hooked on the videos so try not to spend too many hours watching them!)

TIP: Try and find a beauty guru with similar coloring as you (skin, eyes, hair) so you can learn what colors work best for you!

10. Don’t let the salespeople from a department store EVER trick you into buying products that you aren’t sure about. I used to work in Lancome and Clinique at Macy’s and let me tell you- it’s all about numbers. Yes, I sincerely tried to find the best products but I also had to meet my sales goal everyday (which was dependent on just how much you spent).

11. Always do your research before buying a product. I KNOW, I know, this is seriously the hardest thing to do sometimes. I can’t tell you the high I experience from finding new products at Sephora that I want to get that very second BUT I try my damnedest to only buy what I have already researched online. It makes the world of difference because A) you can look at everyone’s reviews and learn how the product will wear, the shelf life (vital for liquid liner), and really any other detail you could imagine and B) you can compare it to other products in which you might just find a way better product for half the price. Lastly, if you do your research and can be confident buying a product, you waste so much less money on products that you bought from getting sucked into the packaging allure or the salesperson gimmicks. Ever since I started doing my research on my products before buying, I don’t think there’s a single one that I was unsatisfied with for reasons I didn’t expect (which were clearly not enough of a problem to stop me from buying it in the first place).

12. Never wear red lipstick on a daily basis. Why are you trying so hard?



Hope this helped and please add any tips you’d like to share in the comments!



Anxiety in Teenagers and Young Adults: You’re Not Alone

In Lifestyle, Thoughts on April 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

“Roughly 40 million people have an anxiety disorder in the United States, and the disorder usually manifests by the age of 22. People with anxiety disorders frequently suffer from depression as well.”

Sane Magazine

That’s (approximately) 12.6% of the population, which is a pretty decent amount of people. To the teenagers and young 20-somethings out there suffering: you are not alone. Don’t forget that. Anxiety can be so difficult to talk about because talking about having a mental illness is an added stressor in itself. Mental illness is rampant. You are not a freak, and it is okay to talk openly about your struggles. Please take that to heart.


I can still vividly remember my first panic attack. I was 14 and it was the second week of high school, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick and all around terrified that I was going to die. My mom helped me through it telling me to envision “green meadows” which surprisingly helped. After what seemed like a lifetime of panic I fell back asleep. Needless to say I woke up the next morning rattled and decided to skip school that day. One of my teachers took me aside the next day and told me that I shouldn’t be missing school so early on in the school year, which only added to my growing anxiety because I loathed falling behind in school. From there it slowly spiraled out of control. At age 17 I was dealing with an eating disorder that only one friend knew the depths of and to say that caused anxiety would be an understatement. I had gotten to a point where I was constantly on edge and was having panic attacks almost once a day. I luckily was able to gain back control over my life and my food without any professional help but I am still scarred by the terror I had over eating 30 calories too many in a day and the panic I felt after getting full from a few bites of lima beans.


I could go on, but I’ll stop here. My high school years were plagued with anxiety for every situation you could think of: speaking in front of the class, eating at the lunch table, learning new skills at practice. To say anxiety controlled my everyday life would be an understatement; it controlled my every thought, every second. But things got better. Age (even just 3 years) gives you wisdom about situations that you never knew you could have. Experience opens your mind, allows you to realize that it is okay to be open about having anxiety without feeling vulnerable. So open up, talk about your struggles to good friends and family, remember it is okay, and you are hardly the weirdest person out there- hell, you belong to 12% of the population.


It is a mature thing to be honest about your problems. Always remember this when opening up:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope to help others that have dealt with the issues I have dealt with for over 6 years now. I plan to post much more on this matter but please comment below if you have anything to add or share.



Sunday Funday

In Lifestyle on April 7, 2014 at 11:57 am


I was tipped off about a flash mob that was going to perform in Perimeter mall so naturally I made sure me, my mom, my sister and her boyfriend were going to be there to witness it. They danced to Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us” and it. was. awesome. It was a promotion for Lulu Lemon but regardless the cause, it had a way of exciting everyone. The upbeat dancing mixed with the unexpectedness is so refreshing, like it pumps some life back into you while doing your Sunday shopping. Plus, seeing 70 year old men perform in it too just makes you remember to enjoy life. Old people dancing is so heart-wrenching, isn’t it?


Pictured above are a few of the Godiva treats we just had to pick up (along with $50 more in themed chocolate for Easter) which include cookie dough truffles at top, crème brûlée truffles on bottom, and milk chocolate Easter eggs to the right probably filled with some delicious cream that I can’t remember because I was drooling over the truffle selections.


You can see the shaky video I got of the flash mob here.

On Why I Will Write

In Lifestyle on March 8, 2014 at 12:17 am



In my high school Sophomore Gifted World Literature class our teacher required us to write down the three most important things we want out of a significant other. An odd assignment for a group of nerdy 15-year-olds, I thought, but nevertheless I scribbled down my answer. I don’t even remember if I wrote down three full reasons, but I do remember what number one was. The teacher had us each read a reason aloud and I, being luckily the second to last student in the order we were going in, noticed something as each student shared their deepest desires in others. Most students had the same or shockingly similar answers, none of which I remember to this day, but my answer was different. I realized that my mental issues (which at the time all stemmed from extreme anxiety) caused my answer to be a bit unique. My number one? Understanding. I had never had a serious boyfriend and at that moment I realized all guys I had considered for the part were immensely lacking in the quality of my dreams. All I ever wanted was to be understood, maybe this is why I have decided to be a writer. 



10 Things I want to do with 2014

In Lifestyle on December 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

2013 was hardly my favorite year of my life, actually it was probably the worst behind 2011. And that year had many, many ups to it before the big down as well. This past year was difficult for many reasons: starting then changing and changing again medicines to treat my anxiety, gaining weight, losing motivation for previous interests. I could go on, but to spare myself the discomfort, I’ll stop there.

2014 holds many promises. I’m definitely one for new beginnings.

Without further adieu, here are the ten things I’d like to do with this fresh new year:

1. Set a single goal each month.
2. Work out 3 days a week (minimum).
3. Make more time for pleasure reading.
4. Write down daily/weekly/monthly goals instead of to-do lists.
5. Spend time educating myself on literature and great authors.
6. Meet more people.
7. Wake up at 6 AM regularly.
8. Allow myself to enjoy social time.
9. Plan time for social events.
10. Go on multiple exciting trips. Ones out of the country, too.