Reader of Month: “The Life of Twin”

Hello everyone! 

Here I present to you the second installation of Reader of the Month. This month, an author going as Lou, wrote about her thoughts on being a twin. A great writer I already knew Lou was, will blow you away with her utterly relatable dissection of common misconceptions, and outlooks of living life with another half. Comment down below to support Lou and her wonderfully written piece!

~The Legally Brunette Continue reading

Lemon Bars and Nonchalant Chaos

        If you couldn’t tell by the featured image, chaos is my middle name. Whether I’m the cause of it, in the middle of it, or cleaning up after it, it always seems to be a noun closely associated with my name. My mom and I call them, “LL Mishaps.” It combines our initials, and the skill we have perfected the art of: mishap-ing. So instead of dwelling over an embarrassing moment walking repeatedly into the wrong class, spilling a Greek salad into a fire pit, and other instances alike, we just put it into the lengthy collection of some of our finest and most amusing LL Mishaps. It’s just a good way to remember to keep life light. 

        Over the weekend, I caught up with a good friend of mine who I haven’t seen in awhile. Naturally, we decided that the best use of our afternoon was binge watching The Office, making a mess out of a baking project, and then taking artsy pictures of it afterwards. And the result? This blog post I give you now. Our messy baking project actually turned out to be a hit! We decided to make lemon curd bars. Now, if you slightly cringed when you heard the word “curd” in the title, I don’t blame you. But this isn’t the chunky remnance of expired milk we have all encountered. But you have to trust me! I am certain that these lemon bars will find their way to your heart one way or another. So, shall we?

The recipe I used comes from the New York Times cooking app, that has bailed my mom and I out of countless last-minute dinner party meal scenarios, and introduced us to a lot of new foods and cooking techniques. I really liked this recipe, because it was very sweet, but used very little sugar as not to overpower the natural tartness of the lemons. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
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Travel Log: European Adventures!

Hello, hello, hello, everyone!

        I hope you all had wonderful holidays and very happy new year! Well, I’ve decided to start off the year with nothing really special. That’s right! You heard from the one and only Legally Brunette, 2017 is starting off with a nothing-really-special blog post. A few months ago, right around the beginning of September on my Note to Self: Back to School post, I promised you that I would eventually post about my vague European travels over the summer. Well, that eventually is turning into right about now! Yes, over the summer, I visited Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful all three cities were. They had so much history, and defining characteristics, none followed the standard definition of “beauty.”My vacation was certainly one that falls under the “trip of a lifetime category.”

        I feel so lucky that I was able to have this experience. Travel and exploration of the world is privilege. One that, unfortunately, is often taken for granted. I think that sometimes we trap ourselves in a bubble. Within our homes, cities or countries, even. Whether those bubbles be filled with the same religious beliefs, political beliefs, race or gender, we thrive off  of our natural cliquish Neanderthal instincts.

        I live in house, with a roof over my head, food on my kitchen table, fresh water running from my tap, and heat blowing from my radiators. My basic needs are filled. I am fortunate enough, not only to have those basic needs filled, but to be able to explore, and learn and grow through travel. Traveling the world, and gaining new perspectives is vital. In the United States, those impoverished are hidden the shadows to ensure that kids and families like mine can maintain peace within our bubbles. So we don’t think outside of our bubbles. So we don’t understand outside of our bubbles. In the U.S.and many other developed parts of the world, it’s utterly inconceivable that a girl wouldn’t be educated because of her gender. But for the rest of the world? The rest of the 60 million uneducated girls? It isn’t inconceivable, it’s just a fact.

        Poverty is something I admittedly have been very blind to. I only saw three cities while I was there, but just those three cities alone revealed the throbbing crisis of poverty, just itching to be noticed.  In Europe, several times, I saw a mother sprawled out on a blanket, holding her child, feeding them the scraps of food they had collected over night behind a dumpster.You don’t need to travel across an ocean to find new perspectives. Walk around your neighborhood, your town, your country! You can’t buy perspectives. They come into your life for a reason. Just trust that they will be found when they’re meant to be found. Again, I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I was to be able to explore Europe for the first time, and I can’t wait to travel again! Below are a few (Who are we kidding? There are like 70+!) photographs from my trip. Be sure to comment below telling about some of your past and/or prospective future travels, what you think of this blog post, and what actions you’ll take to gain new perspectives from all around the world. Keep on traveling, and keep on popping the bubble! Continue reading

Gift Wrapping Ideas: 101

Yes: it’s official. Declared by the Legally Brunette herself (the biggest procrastinator ever): the Christmas Season has arrived. And when the Christmas season arrives, eye-intoxicating light displays arrive. And when eye-intoxicating light displays arrive, ominous packages arrive. And when ominous packages arrive-well, that can only mean one thing: gift wrap, baby. I actually took it upon myself to do a little research on the history of wrapping paper. According to Hallmark, the current gift-wrapping industry has been credited to a snowy winter day in the midst of a ravenous Christmas season in 1917 at a local Hall Brothers’ store in Kansas City, when a dire situation erupted. All of a sudden, the little local yokel Hall Brothers’ had run out of red, green, white, and holly tissue paper that was then the popular form of wrapping gifts. Later, the French started exporting fine envelope lining to Hallmark’s manufacturing plant, and then promptly placed on a display case for 10 cents a sheet. Soon, these sheets were vanishing off of shelves- just like that! Going up to 25 cents the next year, they sold out again! Thus, the gift-wrapping industry was born. Well today, nearly a century later, little old me will be publishing a blog post on some not-so-average gift wrapping ideas for you to try out. This season, I wanted to start inching myself away from sloppy tape jobs, and sub-par scissor handling skills to the more meaningful side of gift wrapping. So, without further-ado, I present to you: Not half bad gift wrapping by The Legally Brunette!


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Reader of the Month: “The Effects of Moving”

Hello everyone! 

Welcome back! It’s been awhile, but I’ve been working very hard on some recent projects I’ve been preparing for the blog. This post today is a very special one- one in which I want to bring you (the readers) along the journey of writing, editing, and publishing a blog post. Since I started this blog way back in, what was it? March? I’ve been bringing up a lot of my own opinions about various topics facing our world today-yet as our world continues to grow and diversify, so do opinions. So, I thought, as my blog starts to grow and diversify, so should its content. When reading and receiving various comments, and gaining lots of positive feedback, many readers enjoyed talking about their perspectives and opinions on some of the topics I was posting about. I was originally planning on starting the “Reader of the Month” program in the New Year, but I just couldn’t wait! Every month I will be accepting a piece of writing or artwork from a reader who wants to submit, and publish it. It all got started one dark, bone-chilling night (melodramatic, I know, right?) down in my basement with a group of friends, and we just started talking. That was it. We just kept going on and on about different experiences we’ve had, how they’ve shaped our lives, and that was it. That dark, bone-chilling night sparked this very blog-post, one that I hope will inspire many of you to form opinions, and spread them to all who will listen! Okay, I really should stop blabbering on and get to the blog post. This month’s reader of the month is none other than one of those friends, going under the name, Echo. Echo, a new student in class with me this year, will be sharing her story entitled, “The Effects of Moving.”  Continue reading

Dear Diary: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Dear Diary,                                                                                                           Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

        Today was-well, for a serious lack of better words: a haze of, “Are you kidding me?” Everything

that happened today seemed like I was just watching yet another classic tale of how stereotypically

we can all act when in an environment where we are seemingly given a free pass to act

stereotypical. Let me rephrase that into the format of literally, today. I woke up, the day starting

out nothing more than your average Wednesday. How is it that I know every parental-

manipulation tactic in the book for staying up late, but when the morning comes, I want nothing

more to dramatically flop on my bed and stare at me eyelids? The weather certainly was having

one of those mornings too: Bone-chilling rain with a side of mushy, slip-prone sleet. As I

reluctantly trudged out the door, my wet, archless feet stomping down on the backs of my shoes,

and all the way to my neighbor’s house. My eyes slowly tilted downwards, and locked with the

menacing smirk of my phone’s time display. After a short cursing-fest, I quickened my pace and

nearly sprained my thumb while pounding my neighbor’s doorbell. Oh- and, Diary? If you were

wondering, yes, my shoes did indeed get tied once and for all. Finally, bulked-up binders in hand

and temperamental attitude at the ready, I went about my morning doing the thing I do best: Continue reading

The Fault of ‘Manning Up’

        So ladies, we’ve heard this word “feminism” kicking around for awhile- at least most of us have. Ideas such as the equitable balance between men and women in a household. Equal pay for equal work. Even making history-sorry, I mean herstory- by nearly electing the first woman president this year (Oy! It still hurts to say “nearly.”). But really, for most of my lifetime, at least, since I can remember, women have played an increasingly dominant and powerful role in our society. The notion of feminism has edged away from what it once was, a radical idea that a woman could be treated the same way as a man, the term feminist now being an adjective many women are proud to plaster on their self-résumés. Despite the fact that we women climbing aboard the equality train, the group that seems to have lingered a tad too long on the quiet car and missed their stop, are men.

Let me ask you something, whether you are male or female: What does ‘being a man’ mean to you? Does it mean muscular, and toned? Or intelligent, and crisp? Does it mean washboard abs, or perfectly-gelled hair? Does it mean kind, humble, or athletic? Or, in most realities, is being a man your only source of happiness? The ways we define the roles men play in our lives widely varies among every person. And no way of defining that role is necessarily wrong. But often when I hear the words, “Man up!” or, “Show them who’s the man” all the way to, “Who wears the pants in the family?!” it makes me wonder what people really mean by that, especially now that the definitions of ‘being a man’ so greatly vary nowadays. Those phrases have always gone along the lines of needing men to become more tough, or to harden their outer shell. You see, I don’t believe the true measure of a man is how tough their proverbial shell of armor is that blocks their feelings and emotions from the rest of the world. Feelings and emotions simply don’t have gender roles. They are for everyone. I believe the first step to becoming a man is to let that shell of armor go, and that is unfortunately where some men fall short. This idea of ‘Manning up’ and sayings alike, are so ingrained in peoples’ heads, women included, that a man showing real emotion is almost unthinkable in society today. Because of these little knick-knack sayings, we have shaped not only the way men see themselves, but how women see men. 

        Earlier, I was talking about this new uprising of female power all over the world. A revolution, I guess you might call it. As women have been joining forces through this newfound fight for equality, some men seem to be utterly confused, as if they have gotten away with living in a 20th century euphoria, and have just been awakened by everything they though they knew, suddenly backwards. We are living in a world today unlike anyone would have ever imagined. Women, of all people, are fighting. Not with their fists, but with their words.  Women are rolling up their sleeves and going to work! We are demanding equality. If that doesn’t go against everything we thought we knew since the beginning of time, then I don’t know what does. But remember, just 50 years ago, it was still an unspoken social policy that women should play this very delicate housewife role. Respect for women in the workplace, and respect for women in general is a new idea that many people, including women, are still uncomfortable with. So, does a ‘being a man’ mean having respect for women, to you? Does it mean not being afraid to share emotions and feelings? Does it mean having the will to stand up against people uncomfortable with change? This is yet another example of our rapidly diversifying world. Men and women are changing, in very different ways. Women are still fighting for the same rights men are granted, and most likely will be for quite a while. Men are changing their ‘measure of a man’, and what it means to be one. We have a lot of social construction to do, and we are just breaking ground. To me, the thrill of change is exhilarating, and I am lucky enough to be watching occur it all around me. So, let’s be apart of it! Let’s redefine what ‘manning up’ means! I challenge both men and women to speak up. In order to be a more perfect union, we need to be united under a more perfect union. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and let me know in the comments section below what you thought of this post, and what you are doing to defy the rigid gender norms cast upon our very world today. This is our country. We’ve been through the ringer, no doubt, but what we sometimes forget about going through the ringer, is that we come out of it. 

~The Legally Brunette

 

Brunette’s Book Club: The Memory of Things (Not Exclusive To Brunettes!)

 Can you believe it? After nearly 5 long, glorious months, the Brunette has returned with her Book Club. That is right, I have spent hours scrutinizing every inch of the  Barnes & Noble book racks in search of a book that combines a little bit of cliche romance, and a message you carry with you well after you have read the last page. And, I think I’ve found the perfect one. I don’t know about you, but I feel like authors have recently been shifting their romantic appeal towards real love stories. Love stories that don’t look like they’ve been ripped from the hands of Hollywood and slapped onto a few pages. I like a good love story with meaning, and depth. Also, one that simply isn’t perfect. One where both characters grow as a result of bettering each other. It’s a tall order, believe me. But the idea of ‘unconditional love’ is different among everyone. Love is no longer portrayed as a one-size-fits-all standard, and to me, The Memory Of Things perfectly encapsulates the idea of discovering imperfection and beauty in times of crisis and healing. 


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The POWER of Quiet

Hey everyone,

This week I want to talk about something that that has dragged its feet behind me ever since I could talk. It was something that, at the time, I didn’t realize was so powerful. The comment that summarized my report cards, what scared me away from talking, negotiating, screaming until the hurt couldn’t possibly hurt anymore. It was what kept me from own life. That is, until I found it. It was my voice.


“Speak up!”

“I’m sorry, what was that?”

“Huh?”

“If only you weren’t so shy…”

“Sorry honey, my hearing at this age ain’t too sharp.”

“Say that again.”

“You’re a bright girl, but…”

“Wait, what?!”

“If only you were more like her.”

“You’re not loud enough.”


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