I, we, survivor, friend and confidante

First off, I apologize for not posting in the past few weeks. I’ve been bombarded with schoolwork, real work and job apps, as well as the responsibilities that accompany my position as senior co-chair of PREPARE – the student-led Policy Group on Rape Education, Prevention and Response at Wake Forest University.

Today we began the selection of 2015 Facilitators — a class who will be specifically trained to present rape education programs to incoming students during Orientation. In the fourth and final year of my involvement, I sat across the table from and interviewed 25 of 51 first-year students and sophomores. Applicants talked candidly about their interests and posed thoughtful and innovative ideas to raise awareness and education efforts on campus.

Most notably, some candidates discussed the way in which support systems like PREPARE and the SAFE Office had already come in handy for themselves and for their friends. In other words, these students have been at Wake Forest for a minimum of two months and a maximum of 11 months and have already encountered incidents of sexual assault or rape either firsthand or through a friend confiding his or her experience.

Let that soak in.

As I listened and took notes, I felt tears fill my eyes. The voices of various applicants began to blend together, forming a voice that both haunts and motivates me. It is the voice of survivors. It is the voice of friends who feel other’s pain as their own. You see, I am thankful that the resources PREPARE shared at Orientation provided needed support for students. But for those tears, for the reason I feel absolutely obligated to write this right now — it is because of the sobering reality that so many men and women have or will experience sexual assault or rape in their lifetimes.

To me, this means two things. First off, that survivors are not alone. Second off, that we must do more in terms of prevention. I don’t have the answers. But I want to start the discussion. Because this voice — of I, of we, survivor, friend, confidante, advocate — needs to be heard. And there are people here who want to listen.

If you or a friend need support or advice about an incident of sexual assault or rape, please call PREPARE Student Advocates at 336.671.7075. It is completely confidential and available 27/7. You may say as much or as little as you like or meet in person. The SAFE Office is also completely confidential and available 24/7 at 336.758.5285. 

Just don’t say it

Because some things are better left unsaid (and can come off as judgmental/body shaming/rude)…


1. “Do you want kids?”: I’ve been asked this question by adults and peers alike, in formal and informal settings. Quite frankly, it’s intrusive. Plus there is NO pleasing the asker — trust me. “Yes” is met with: “Well, what about your career?” “No” is met with: “So you don’t want to get married?” And “Maybe” is met with: “Well, you should probably start thinking about it. You’re in your twenties now.” #Cringe. I can’t predict the future. Leave me and my possibly unborn children alone!

2. “Are you on a diet?”: Here’s the truth: I am ordering the salmon because I like it, not because I’m on a diet. And I was also planning on ordering dessert, so the last thing I want to think about is the D word. Why do some people feel the need to comment and question on what their friends eat? Dissecting other’s eating habits is no fun. Like Regina said (not really), “Karen, you can’t just ask someone if they’re on a diet.” – Mean Girls. 

Photo from thoughtcatalog.com.

Photo from thoughtcatalog.com.

3. “I don’t think I got your message?”: As much as we (I) complain about the iPhone, you (I) gotta admit that it does what it’s supposed to do 99% of the time. That means that the iMessage I sent you that you claim to have not received you actually did receive…and then blatantly ignored. C’mon, I see you opening my Snapchats. Let’s not blame Apple for our social shortcomings. If you’re too busy to talk, just tell the truth… whether it be to my face or through iMessage.

4. “Did you get a job?”: This question is time sensitive…it’s on every single college senior’s mind right now. Here’s how it works: Said job, when obtained, will happily be announced via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Said job, when not obtained, will be drowned in at least one carton of Ben & Jerry’s. So save yourself an awkward and possibly emotional run in by not asking this question in public unless you already know the answer is “Yes!”

4 more uses for your bronzer

Every face is better off with a little glow. But helping me not look like a vampire is only one of the reasons why bronzer is a staple in my beauty arsenal. Would you believe me if I told you that bronzer is actually capable of SO much more?

Think outside the box (er — I mean, compact?) and give these bronzer innovations a try!

Photo from ashleythefashionguru.blogspot.com.

Photo from ashleythefashionguru.blogspot.com.

1. Eyeshadow: Don’t lug both a bronzer and an eyeshadow palette on your next trip. If you use a bronzer with shimmer, like MAC Mineralize SkinFinish in Gold Deposit, it’ll look great as an eyeshadow too. There’s even a few different shades of gold so you can layer. Just bring your eyeshadow brushes with you!

2. Eyeliner: If you use a matte bronzer in a deep brown color (like Too Faced Chocolate Soleil), it can double as a brown eyeliner — ideal for women with blonder skin and lashes. Run an eyeliner brush under warm water and then dip it into your compact.

Photo from glamour.com.

Photo from glamour.com.

3. A Push-up Bra: Contouring for boobs — basically. Rub a fluffy, chubby brush covered in bronzer all over your cleavage. Focus the bronzer on the space in between each breast. Creating shadows makes then seem bigger and your cleavage darker. A favorite trick of mine. Selena Gomez does it well above.

4. Bronzing Body Lotion: Loose bronzer powder mixed with any lotion gives you homemade tinted moisturizer. Trublend Minerals Bronzer by CoverGirl sprinkled on top of a handful of Olay Total Effects Body Lotion = the perfect recipe. Yay for your body looking instantly tanner without paying oodles for St. Tropez!

Mario’s make-a the pizz-a

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It ain’t called Mario’s Big Pizza for nothin’. At this Italian pizzeria, all slices are cut from 24″ pies: gigantic, fairly thin crust and smothered in tangy tomato sauce and cheese. Mario’s does a Northerner proud.

Plus they have two locations in Winston-Salem… so why not?

I've only ever had the plain because I'm a just-cheese kind of gal.

I’ve only ever had the plain because I’m a just-cheese kind of gal.

1066 Hanes Mall Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 768-0057

2205 Cloverdale Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 602-1410

#TBT: Trattoria Monti, Rome

Didn’t think ricotta ravioli could be any more delicious? Same.

Uova da Raviolo.

Uova da Raviolo.

But then, three months ago, I tried the Egg Yolk Raviolo at Trattoria Monti in Monti, Rome. Literally a pasta dough doughnut plump with oozy eggs and cheese. I can almost taste it now.

Trattoria Monti. Via di San Vito, 13/A, 00185 Roma, Italy.

Read me on Gritstyle.com! #HumbleBrag

I am thrilled to announce that I am the newest (and first!) Beauty Contributor for Gritstyle.com — musings, beauty, life & style. 

Go there now!

Go there now!

What does this mean? It means, that for the next few months, we’ll be delving into delicious beauty treats. Well, I’ll test products over a period of four to eight weeks, keep a daily beauty journal and then write candidly about my experiences. Those reviews will be posted in the Beauty section on Gristyle.com. You’ll read ‘em and tell me what you think.

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a dream gig. I am so excited and thankful to Alex & B at Gritstyle for this opportunity! My first article went live on Monday: A Sleek Black Tube & a Sexy Red Wand.

And then my boyfriend and I went to Bad Daddy’s. Again.

Basic burger topped with House Made Mustard, Ketchup, House Made American Cheese, Bad Daddy’s Pickles, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. $10.25

Basic burger topped with House Made mustard, ketchup, House Made American cheese, Bad Daddy’s pickles, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. $10.25

And ate this massive BD All American Burger dripping with House Made mustard, ketchup and American cheese. Again. 

Sandwich of the week: Dioli’s Italian Market

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Rotisserie turkey, Swiss, red onion, tomato, arugula, and Pesto mayo on Foccacia Bread. $6.95.

I could eat the Fresh Rotisserie Turkey Sandwich from Dioli’s for lunch every day. And probably dinner, too.

Dioli’s Italian Market. 2898 Reynolda Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.