Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Am Woman; Hear Me Roar.


I need feminism.

The other night, I had a conversation with a young, 20 year old man. I’d like to make it clear right off the bat that he isn’t a misogynist, a creep or an asshole- he is simply uneducated. He didn’t understand why I considered myself a feminist (& had a rather generalized view on the whole thing).

“Why wouldn’t you be about human rights? Men suffer just as much as women do!”

I was offended! I believe in equality for all people, & constantly get involved in different organizations. How could he generalize me? 
I tried explaining how being a feminist does not mean I’m against human rights. I told him how we are not man hating, unshaven warriors with cropped hair. That is a stereotype & we are not shaped by the same mold. I tried explaining how far feminism has come, & how far we still have to go. 
But I didn’t approach him the right way. I went in already assuming he would dismiss me, & tried to get as many words to fit into one, high pitched breath. Once he saw I was heated, he quickly dismissed me as an irrationally emotional woman. The exact, shitty stereotype I was looking to avoid. 

Men need feminism. 

Later that same night, while in the presence of a young feminist, another guy decided to start a round of ‘would you rather’. Without thinking, he opened with “Would you rather get raped, or blah blah blah*). It wasn’t ok, it wasn’t funny. But not only did the guy not see our point of view, his girlfriend defended him! She ‘didn’t see what the big deal’ was. “People joke about rape all the time. You shouldn’t be so sensitive.” It was more than I could fathom. How could a fellow woman not see our point of view?

Young women need feminism. 

My young feminist ally couldn’t comprehend the events of the night. It was more ignorance than we could handle. I tried to console her by saying that we can’t take their ignorance personally, “it’s their problem”. But even as the words left my lips, I didn’t believe them true. If I stand back & do nothing, how can I complain? She had every right to get heated. I and every right to feel offended. We had every right to be mad. This wasn’t ok. 
Frustrated, I talked to my younger brother. Would you believe me if I told you he didn’t know I considered myself a feminist? He wondered how I could be a feminist & be so feminine. Though I’ve had so many talks with my mother on feminism, & women in the media- we had excluded my brother every time. Why? We need male feminists. So I opened up the conversation. I explained, he listened, we both learned through educated conversation.
& in that moment, I realized my previous approach had been all wrong. I don’t need to yell to get my point across. I don’t need to talk down to anyone. But you’d better believe, I will be educating people on feminism & I will be telling my truth. Because dammit…

We all need feminism.

This is where we need your help, my dear readers. 
Let’s open up the conversation not only with our sisters, but with the men in our life too. We’re going to share our stories on why we need feminism, & we want to share yours.

I’ll even start with my own story. 

Submission guidelines:

Can you think of a time you needed feminism? 
(submissions wanted from both women & men)

Maybe it was that day that you were called a bitch. Or that time you embraced your sexuality, & were wrongfully labeled a slut. Raise your hand if you're tired of the words "girl" & "pussy" being used as derogatory terms. How infuriating is it when you get passionate over something & someone has the cojones to assume you’re on your period? Let’s put those middle fingers up to those who grab-ass & cross the line. Um, excusez-moi I don’t remember giving you permission to invade my personal space. 
No story is too heavy or too small. We’re not here to judge, or compete on who’s been discriminated against the hardest. We’re here to share all of your stories. Discrimination (even in the smallest forms) is never ok. 

You can send your stories to projectchula@gmail.com or loveelliebelle@gmail.com 
Stories will be featured over at Project Chula
If you’d like to remain anonymous, just let us know in the email. (pinky promise, we will always maintain confidentiality.)
If you’re a woman (or man!) of few words, you can still reach out to us! Tweet us with the hashtag #chulasneedfeminism & let’s get this conversation going. @projectchula @loveelliebelle (or you can reach us on any of our social media sites.)

Love, 
Elliebelle.



*I can’t say that I remember anything past “rape”. (I may have seen red)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bee Mine?

Happy Valentines day lovelies!
I had a whole bunch of posts planned for valentines day (single or not- I love, love) but my immune system had other plans. I've been sick as can be for most of this new year & this past week has been no exception. So even though high fevers wouldn't let me do any makeup tutorials, I made these little valentines for you. Wether you're a cynic, a chemist*, or a romantic- I hope you'll find a postcard for you. Just right click & save. Feel free to print or share these as you please- the only rule is: don't take credit for them.
I hope your Valentines is filled with love, happiness & all the chocolate you can eat. & to all my fellow single ladies- don't pout. Celebrate all the love that surrounds you (even if it's not necessarily romantic), & most importantly- love yourself most of all. (& don't forget the silver lining: candy will be on sale tomorrow!) 
Love, 
Elle.


*The chemistry inspired valentines are dedicated to my chemist best friend, love you biff!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013: In Retrospect.










Am I the only one who let out a sigh of relief when the clock struck 12? 
To be completely honest, 2013 was tough. By the time it ended the weight of the year felt so heavy on my soul that I was beyond ready to let it go. (I also know a new calendar year doesn't quite erase or fix anything-that part is solely up to me.) But regardless of the struggles I faced this past year, I'm thankful for all the lessons. 
I believe that even the challenging moments are beautiful. Every second that I'm lucky enough to walk this earth, no matter how dark, is wonderful.
Of course, it wouldn't be fair of me to say the year was only full of trials- there were a lot of fun moments too. I made new friends, reconnected with old ones, & lost a few along the way. I danced & I sung & I let my heart guide me towards new adventures- a few of which I'm sharing with you. 
I'm so thankful for these moments; for the inside jokes & untold stories that they hold. & for the lovely people in these frames- thank you for making these memories so special. 
I lived as fully as I could, & now I'm letting it go. I'll take with me only the memories I've made & the lessons I've learned. 
So here's to 2014. To plenty of new adventures. To chasing stars, drinking champagne, dancing 'till dawn, & most importantly- to happiness

With love, 
-Elle

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PSL: Pumpkin Spiced Love

A girl that loves pumpkin spice lattes? Ok, I get it - I'm about to be a huge cliche*. Some of you might be rolling your eyes reading this, thinking I'm one of those girls. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with loving something delicious, & I'm thinking maybe my guy friends just don't get it. 

Either way, this is happening.

I'm a coffee person. Of course, I'd much rather say I'm a hopoutofbedwithasmileperson, but I take my happiness in a cup, dark roasted. That being said, a few weeks ago I found myself making a morning & afternoon stop at Starbucks. Coincidentally, that was the day I realized I absolutely need to start making my coffee at home. I love you Starbucks, but I love my bank account more. 

So for you my darlings, I share not one, but TWO pumpkin spice recipes. A syrup, & a creamer. 
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspooon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a pot, bring your water to a boil. While you're waiting, go ahead & measure out your spices. It took me a little trial & error to get the spices just right, so feel free to adjust them to your taste. 
Once your water is boiling, add sugar, spices & vanilla. Stir until dissolved (2 minutes or so). Once your sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. (Don't keep boiling, this will make the syrup too thick). 
Perfect PSL's at home? Awesome. Just steam some milk, add a shot or 2 of espresso (I use a small stovetop espresso maker) & about 2 tbsp of syrup. 
1 1/2 cup skim milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspooon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine all your spices, milks, & vanilla in a mason jar (I'm using a 16 oz jar but an 8 oz will be just fine)
Now go ahead, shake it like a polaroid picture. ;)
The creamer is a little easier to make, but still so yummy! If I don't have enough time in the morning to make a latte (i.e, make espresso, steam milk etc..) I just add some creamer to my coffee & go. 
Wether you choose creamer or syrup is completely up to you, but I can promise that they're both easy, yummy, & way cheaper than a daily starbucks fix.
Enjoy!


*Confession time, there are pumpkin spice eggos in my freezer & pumpkin spice english muffins in my pantry. Maybe I'm already a huge cliche...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Red, White, & Blueberry Spritzer

Though its the unofficial halfway point of summertime, to me 4th of July is when summer finally starts to pick up. July in a NJ beach town is heaven, &  I can fully predict that I will spend the rest of my summer as a beach bum- enjoying all the freedom the sun has to offer. 

Of course, the best way to celebrate freedom, summer & sunshine is with a drink in hand. & this blueberry rum spritzer is the perfect drink to take you from Fourth of July weekend through the rest of the summer. 



Blueberry Rum Spritzer:
(to fill one, 16oz mason jar)

3/4 cup Cranberry juice
1/2 cup seltzer
3 tbs blueberry syrup (see below for recipe)
3 oz (2 shots) of rum (I'm using a light, mango rum)
blueberries for garnish (optional)


Shake well & serve over ice. 

The blueberry syrup is not only my favorite part of the drink, but my new favorite thing to drizzle on everything. So far i've added it to my lemonades, pancakes, yogurt & favorite ice cream. Yup, it's that good. 
Blueberry Syrup:
1.5 cup light brown sugar
1 cup + 1 handful fresh blueberries
1 cup water
1 lime


Add your sugar, berries, & water to a saucepan & bring to a boil.
Once it's boiling, add the juice of 1 lime & lower the heat. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes. 
 An added bonus; it smells incredible. 
Once you're done you can strain it, but I chose to save the berries. 1 batch should make enough syrup to fill a 16oz mason jar.