On Fam: A Word I Absolutely Hate

It’s lit, fam. You’re the best, fam. There’s no better fam than my fam. Oh, I’m sure there is and I’m also sure that there’s a better word to describe those we refer to as family. Fam is a word I despise and every time I hear it, I cringe. It’s like hearing styrofoam rub against a cardboard surface, ever, so, slowly, making me shudder and causing the hairs on the back of my neck to rise. Fam strips away the elegant characteristics and harmony of the beautiful painting created by the word family, and transforms them into a disarray of ugly browns and greens.

Being the artistic catastrophe it is, the word is quite a hideous one. It can be understood that in a world drowning in technology and shortcuts to an easier, simpler life, people would want to shorten their speech. But to shorten words that carry importance and value? I don’t think so. Family, as a word, dances with grace and poise over those who know the word well. It makes us feel loved, supported, at home. Fam, on the other hand, is a lump of mystery meat handed to us by the lunch lady at school. Disgusting.

People want to show love and acceptance by those they hold close to them, but calling them fam is throwing them the weak, brittle twig to grasp onto when they’re waist deep in a bottomless pit of quicksand. Calling them fam is being the querulous toddler tugging constantly on his mother’s jacket at the grocery store, whining for his favorite chocolate bar. Calling them fam is being the person that won’t stop asking, “Are we there yet?” on a never-ending road trip. Calling them fam is finishing the bowl of popcorn while watching the big Sunday night football game and not having the “energy” to get up and go get more. Using this word makes a person sound uneducated and lazy because the word itself sounds lackadaisical, aggravating, and straight up ridiculous.

Then again, after a long day at school, when I’m feeling drained, I might turn to the more slothful side of me. When I trudge in through the front door I’ll greet my fam, tell my fam how lit my day was, and then head upstairs to make a dent in my pile of homework. Sounds like a plan? Absolutely not! The people I call family and the people I call friends deserve a more beautiful word, and a beautiful word like family deserves to be used for the people I cherish in life. Our friends and our families mean much more to us than an atrocious three-letter word, so we should use a more righteous word to demonstrate that.

On Fam: A Word I Absolutely Hate

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.

As I sit in the airport and wait for my flight back to Denver, I’d like to reflect on my experience back in our nation’s capital. I am exhausted!! For those of you who didn’t know, I attended Envision’s Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit for five days beginning this past Wednesday.

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.

A lot of people have been asking me how I was able to attend this leadership conference, so I’ll answer that first. Back in 6th or 7th grade, I attended the Junior National Young Leaders’ Conference (JrNYLC) in Washington D.C. Because Envision is tied to the JrNYLC program, I was invited back as an alumni for the leadership summit and inauguration. My mom came with me to D.C. and she was attending the “Parenting the Future” program that was a part of Envision’s program.

When I arrived on Wednesday, I was greeted by Envision staff at the airport and then taken to our hotel which was the Marriott at Wardman Park. It was one of the nicest hotels I’ve EVER stayed at. The desserts we got to have for lunch and dinner were the bomb and the rooms were absolutely wonderful. The other scholars and I got to get to know each other and then we were broken up into our delegations for change, which were smaller groups of students sorted into interest of things like education, medicine, national security, etc. I was in the “Cure for the Future” delegation and we focused on our healthcare system and curing the diseases of today. In our groups, we had to create a solution of some sort to reform the healthcare system or work on creating cures and funding for certain diseases. For those solutions, we had to propose our ideas in an essay and create a short, persuading presentation. Wednesday was a very long and busy day.

Early Thursday morning, we got up and headed to George Mason University to listen to a great lineup of speakers including Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. After a yummy Chick-Fil-A lunch, we got to hear Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai and Malala Yousafzai (via satellite). Their messages were extremely powerful and motivating and it was really moving to be in the presence of such brilliant, successful, and great leaders. The most influential thing I learned that day was from Malala who told us all to never stop dreaming big. Malala also said to never be afraid to fight for what you want. Others won’t fight for you, so you have to take care of yourself. That night we got to go to bed a little earlier, and that was great because Friday was going to be a looooong day.

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.

Inauguration day. My roommate and I had to wake up at 3:30. AHHH! It was so early and everyone was so sleepy. We got up so early because we had to eat breakfast and get on our buses by 4 or 4:30 so we could get the program’s buses as close as possible to the National Mall. The program had made a deal with the Secret Service to get our buses out by 7 am and the ride there was long so it was important to leave early and get there in time! Once we arrived at the National Mall, we had to walk for about a mile. It was still dark as this was happening but as we got closer to our security checkpoint, the sun was rising and we were passing by the Washington Monument as this occurred and it was absolutely stunning. It was definitely a cold morning but it wasn’t so bad that I was wearing like ten jackets. I was bundled up for sure, but I wasn’t a walking marshmallow. Once we got through the tight security checkpoint, we were in the National Mall and got to go to our warming station at the National Natural History Museum.

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.

We had about an hour to explore the museum and refresh and then it was time to head out for the inauguration. At about 10 am, the inaugural ceremony began and it was amazing and so special to be a part of something so monumental and important to American and world history. There wasn’t that much protesting or violence as the inauguration took place and the place was definitely packed! I did attend President Trump’s rally when he came to Colorado and looking back on that, it’s amazing to say that I’ve been in the same place as our president twice. Right after Trump gave his inaugural address, we headed back to our buses and got a chance to rest back at the hotels. A nap was well needed!

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.

The next day, Saturday, we were back at George Mason University to listen to round two of the speakers, which included: General Colin Powell, Spike Lee, Governor Martin O’Malley, Carly Fiorina, and Abby Wambach. All of the speakers had interesting and meaningful things to say, but General Powell’s words stuck with me the most. He said that it’s okay for people to dislike President Trump but it’s not okay to disrespect him. Trump is our president now and people need to accept this and support him. We want him to succeed because we all live in this country. We need to be united. Everything is going to be okay for our country. We just need to trust that what happens will happen for the best. After a wonderful day at George Mason University, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the inaugural gala Envision had planned for us.

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.
General Colin Powell

The gala that night was held at the Air and Space Museum and was opened exclusively to our program. My friends and I got all dressed up and danced the night away. We also got to explore the museum while we were there and it was awesome getting to have an actual dance at a national museum. Because many of the people in my group were having early flights the next morning, we all said our goodbyes that night and went to bed.

Reflecting on My Trip to D.C.
(not my picture; credit to photographer)

And now here we are today on Sunday. I’m chilling at IAD with my mom and we’re waiting for our flight home. I really don’t want to leave D.C. There’s so much history and excitement in the capital of our country all the time, and it’s something I absolutely love. This is definitely not the last time I’ll be in Washington D.C. I hope to be back soon!

A Murder Mystery Night

Last night, a couple of my friends and I plus our moms had a girls night out and went down to Denver for a murder mystery show plus dinner. Here’s a little bit about that.

The show/dinner was called The Dinner Detective and it’s one of the biggest murder mystery dinner companies in the United States. Tickets can be pretty pricey for this show, but deals through Groupon might help bring it down. That’s how my family and our friends bought our tickets.

When you arrive at the place, you have to check in, grab your ticket for dinner, and then create your alias, or your codename. This was really fun because the codename you gave yourself, was what you went by over the course of the night and you developed a character based on your name. After we checked in, we got to take pictures using fake murder weapon props. When waiting for the host to call us into the dining area, hor d’oeuvres were served and the chicken quesidillas with guacamole were my favorite. That might be because I LOVE avocados and guacamole (which are basically the same thing)… As we snacked, everyone was asked to start interrogating everyone and that was pretty fun because

At 6 o’clock, we were all called into the dining room to eat. First came a salad and some bread rolls. The salad had been sitting there for a while so the lettuce and other greens were kind of warm and limp, but the salad still tasted decent. Right before our entrees were served, a man was stabbed and died! Suddenly, several detectives ran in and the case begun.

As the night went on, my friends, our moms, and I had to figure out how the victim died and who killed him. There were a series of clues that came with each break in between our salads, entrees, and dessert. The food was alright, but it definitely could have been better. The carrot cake at the end was probably the best. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

The story behind the murder was exciting and creative and the actors were hard to discern from the rest of the audience, which helped make it more fun and challenging to figure out who did it.

The Dinner Detective was definitely interesting and I enjoyed myself. It was different and it felt great to try something new. The Dinner Detective is one of the highlight shows in Denver, so if you’re visiting or ever looking for something to do when you come to Colorado, come see it!

a murder mystery night



What’s the Craze with Kylie Cosmetics?

The makeup industry noticed a dramatic rise in sales in 2016 and I have a feeling that with all of the up and coming goodies of the makeup world, that’s only going to grow. Kylie Jenner, 19 year old TV personality, designer, and model, joined the makeup industry by starting her own line of cosmetics, Kylie CosKylie Jenner, 19 year old TV personality, designer, and model, joined the makeup industry by starting her own line of cosmetics, Kylie Cosmetics.metics. Immediately after it’s introduction to the world, people, for the most part, were obsessed with her products. So what’s the big deal?

I was really curious with the whole Kylie Cosmetics thing and so for Christmas I asked for some of her lipsticks and some Kyshadow. Clever play on words, am I right?

As of right now, Kylie Cosmetics are only sold online, and most of the time, my family and I hesitate to buy anything online. Going through kyliecosmetics.com was really simple and right after making the purchases, we were notified via email and the package arrived when predicted. Overall, the website was easy to navigate and the service was great.

Onto the actual products themselves. I got the Maliboo lip kit, King K metallic lipstick, and yellow gold creme eyeshadow. As an added bonus during the holiday season, I got a free fuzzy stocking with the Kylie Cosmetics logo on it. It’s super cute! With the lipsticks, the application is SO smooth and they smell amazing. Kylie recommends only applying one coat, and I could agree that one coat is sufficient. The lipsticks stay on really well and I haven’t had any struggles with them getting on my teeth or on my food or even staining my cups and water bottle. That’s a first for me with lipsticks! The lipsticks work best when you first apply a coat of lip liner to your entire lip. I would also recommend putting a layer of chapstick on before you even put on the lip liner. The lipsticks do a great job of keeping your lips hydrated, but it just feels better for me when I apply chapstick. With the creme eyeshadow, the application is also really easy and the color is very pigmented and absolutely gorgeous! It’s still a very pretty, shimmery gold and it too does a great job of staying on.

Kylie CosmeticsKylie Cosmetics

Kylie Cosmetics

After trying out Kylie’s products, I can finally say that I understand why people go crazy for them. They’re really good makeup products! While they might be on the more pricey end of makeup products, I would say that they’re worth the price if you’re wiling to pay. Be careful though, making sure that you don’t purchase fake cosmetics. The prices might be cheaper, but they aren’t the real thing. The best place to purchase them is off of her official website.

Have a good week everyone! 🙂


The Memory Jar

Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was quite a year and there were plenty of ups and downs. Hopefully 2017 will be a better year. Something cool my family did last year was create a memory jar. My sister and I found just a regular, old jar lying around our house and then decorated it, and as the year progressed, we put all kinds of memories in it.

If you want to create your own memory jar, as mentioned above, all you need is:

  • A jar (a larger one will work better)
  • A bunch of small pieces of paper or sticky notes
  • Half of a piece of 8×11 piece of paper cut hotdog style (this is for the outside of your jar)
  • Markers or sharpies to decorate your jar
  • A pen or special marker or even pencil for writing on the slips of paper

Here’s a few tips for your memory jar:

  • Follow through! Actually keep the memory jar going the entire year. My sister did a really good job of keeping our memory jar in order and made sure that memorable events made it into the memory jar.
  • Persuade everyone in your family to add to the jar. It’s more fun when it’s more than one person adding to the jar.
  • Write the month or even day the memory occurred so when you go back and look at all of them, you remember when they happened.
  • Be detailed with your writing so when you go back, you can actually recall them.
  • Add pictures, movie tickets, maps, and other little memorabilias.
  • Don’t open the jar to look at memories until the end of the year!
  • On New Year’s Eve open your memory jar with your family and share everything that happened over the year.

My family did a memory jar for the first time this past year and I could definitely say it’s going to be a New Year’s tradition from now on. I hope you all had a safe, fun night and cheers to 2017! 🙂

The Memory Jar