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Up-and-coming Fashion Line: Cleo Madison

To start this post off, this is something brand new to me. I have never in my life critiqued any article of clothing, and when I was approached by the CEO of Cleo Madison, Elizabeth Morgan, to check out her clothing and write a post, I was a little nervous, but of course said yes, because it is good to get out of your comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary.

A little about the company, Cleo Madison is a modest fashion line created by Elizabeth Morgan and her husband Adam, who live Utah. Elizabeth always had a rough time trying to find modest clothing, even modest clothes that were fashionable. So she started her own fashion line, not only for herself, but for other women who are also looking for fashionable modest clothes.

The Aspen Floral Hoodie is the number one article clothing I saw and knew that I had just to try it out. And trust me, I made the right choice, because it is perfect. It is light enough for the spring time and the summer. And oddly enough, it kept me warm outside as the snow fell all around this sleepy city in Alaska, but don’t recommend wearing the hoodie in 20 degree weather. The hoodie has a floral pattern on the front, with the sides, back, arms, and top part of the hood with a gray shade. There’s even a hidden floral piece on the inner part of the hood, making it even more interesting. There’s a slight type of front of pouch where you place your hands, the only thing is its not a full one. The entire hoodie screams vintage inspired, because it seems as though it would be able to fit most of anyone’s wardrobe.

I certainly recommend this hoodie, heck, I even recommend the rest of the fashion line to everyone. And with Christmas coming up in a month, the clothes will be perfect for your daughter, niece, or even for yourself as a present. If you want to check out where to find this hoodie, follow the link below and you’ll be able to not only see it, but also check out the other articles of clothes.

Cleo Madison

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The Friend That Doesn’t Go Away: Dealing With Depression

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For years I fought it, I tried so hard, yet I had lost numerous times, more than I count actually. But then, I began to become friends with it, became friends with her. Well, we are more than an acquaintance but less than friends, so we are somewhere in the middle when it comes to our unhealthy relationship. Who is this friend, you ask, her name is Depression.

Depression has been with me since I can remember, she was first introduced to my mind at the age of 10 years old when I was constantly being bullied by classmates and feeling like a tiny little microorganism under a microscope that didn’t matter to the rest of the world. She was basically my monster, at least at that time she was a monster to me.

As I got older, she stuck around and somehow maneuvered herself into the position as an acquaintance. And we began a turmoil of a relationship that I would never want to put on my worst enemy (don’t have any enemies, but you see my point) through the gut-wrenching relationship I had gone through with my depression. And at times it was extremely bad that I found myself on the other end of things, and it was not pretty. I can honestly that I feel sorry for my mom, for my therapist, and for the friends who witnessed the scars and the aftermath of the crap I had done; but I am truly grateful that they were there for everything that I was enduring.

Although most of my life, depression was that monster that hid in my mind and tied me to my bed most mornings, made me scared and anxious to go to school the next day, or to even speak to another person; somehow, I had managed to become friends with the monster in my head. And to be honest, it was a scary thing to commit to, but I knew that I wanted to be friends with her instead of having her as an enemy. Trust me it was the right thing to do.

Coming to the conclusion of being friends with depression, it is still a rather awkward situation. Why? Because she is not like most people’s depression. She doesn’t come in episodes, she is actually there every day, every moment of every day. Some days she is heightened, other days she just chills out in the back of my mind making paper mache masks for some masquerade ball that she will never attend due to my social anxiety keeping her company. Nevertheless, she is there. And as I write this post, she is more heightened this time, and all I can think of doing is just lay in bed with Sherlock on Netflix, drowning out my horrid thoughts until she decides to calm down once more.  And that is perfectly fine because I know that my depression is trying to cope with certain things, trying to compartmentalize every aspect of my mind and the scene around me.

Having a friend like depression there with me every day of my life is something that I feel like would never have happened if I hadn’t gotten the help I needed with a therapist and having the support from family and friends, but I am glad to have my friend, depression, there with me, because she has brought so many creative poems, stories, and songs, even if she didn’t mean to bring any harm.

**If you are dealing with depression, or know anyone who is dealing with depression, please see a therapist, or call the national suicide hotline: 1.800.273.8255

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Before The Sun Rises(Poem)

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It doesn’t matter how bright the moon shines,
you still linger,
linger in my memories,
desperately trying to drown me.

My only sorrow is that I have yet to
make a friend out of you,
and I don’t know what to do,
I need to know how to make amends
with the monsters in my head,
before the sun rises for another day.

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Book Club: November

The leaves have fallen off the trees, and now they have become decomposed carcasses crunching beneath our feet awaiting for the first snow fall to occur. For the month of November I wanted to take everyone back in time to the late 1880’s in Paris, France; where the Eiffel Tower is being erected, and the bond between two people from different classes fall in love.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin is a beautifully written novel that takes place in Paris, France in the 1880’s, during the time that the Eiffel Tower is being built. During this time a young Scottish widow named Caitriona Wallace, and a French engineer named Émile Nouguier meet on a hot air balloon; a moment where anything is possible. However, as soon as they touch the ground, it is revealed that they are from two completely different classes and backgrounds. Caitriona who is having a slight problem with her finances is being told that she must chaperone with two Scottish charges, and this does not settle well with her. Émile having come from a very wealthy bourgeois family, whom are forcing him to choose a suitable wife and take over the family’s business. With these two people from different world’s come together, they must figure out what their love is worth, because everything seems to be against them and the love that they have for each other.

This novel is ideal for the beginning of winter time across the world, especially when you are all huddled inside your homes as the snow begins to fall outside the window, and as the steam from the hot mugs swirls around as you read the novel. The novel has something for everyone, from the Eiffel Tower being erected for the history buffs, to the romance between two people for those who are hopeless romantics.

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The Safe Haven: Where Social Anxiety Cannot Reach Us

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Away from the civilized society, away from the sounds of the bustling city streets, and cars honking continuously, away from the mass crowds of human souls; this is where those like us with anxiety retreat. We retreat into our own habitat, into our homes, locked away, or out into nature where no one can reach us, and where all of our anxieties have disappeared for the time being. It is something that we have been known to do.

It is hard to determine what actually causes anxiety because for each person it is different. It can be caused by traumatic childhood memories, or it could be just a part of their personality. Mine is more along the lines of being part of my personality, and also part of what I had gone through while growing up in a town that looked down on me. And to this day, my anxiety can get pretty rough, but there are days where I can handle it very well, then there are days where I cannot handle it.

For those who do not live with social anxiety (which is what I have), here is an example of a situation in my everyday life: I am at a function (book reading, work, or even a get-together with co-workers, etc.) and on the outside, I seem happy and cheery, however, my voice slightly shakes just as my hands, and my mind is racing a thousand miles an hour, trying to look for an exit. Sometimes those around me, who know about this, will check on me and will say something to calm my anxiety or just make me laugh. And I am grateful for when they do that. However, there are times where I cannot handle it and there are times where even someone with good intentions will be unable to calm me down. Another example: At work, the phones are constantly ringing, and I talk to a lot of people throughout the day. While on the outside I seem okay, and somewhat normal, on the inside my heart is racing, and the thought of answering the phone makes my chest tighten.

On the days where I or anyone else out there that also lives with anxiety gets to the point of being unable to handle our anxiety, we retreat. In the first paragraph, I had described that we retreat to our homes or into nature, and that is very much true. Like everything else in life, everyone is different, and how and where we retreat will be completely different. One person will retreat into nature and just go camping for a few days, another will just stay inside on a weekend and not talk to anyone.

I have done both of these, however, for the most part, I end up staying at home, where I can stay in bed or chill out in a different part of the house with a puzzle, a book, movie, or music. I will wear my pajamas, dance like a fool, or just focus on a puzzle for hours, enjoying the silence, enjoying the fact that my anxiety has been put to sleep, at least until I venture outside and be surrounded by a lot of people. Throughout the years I have learned to manage my anxiety, and sometimes it does get the best of me, however, I have learned to embrace the chaotic part of my mind that makes me want to turn on my heels and run for the hills, thus making my life with social anxiety somewhat easier.

Do you have social anxiety? Do you have a different type of anxiety? If so, how do you cope with it? How do you retreat?

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It Starts With Us: Parents Talking to Their Children to Stop Bullying

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“You’re not thin enough”, “You look weird”, “Why are you even here? You should die”, these phrases are just a few of the phrases that are being thrown around in the schoolyards, in the classrooms, and I kid you not, at work as well. And believe it or not, there are even some worse phrases that will not be mentioned in this post. Why? Because they are horrifying and should never be said to another human being, or any being for that matter.

Now, I am not a parent, well, I am a fur-mama, but I do not have any human children at the moment. However, I do have nieces and nephews, and they are the light of my world, and right now they are very young, very impressionable, and can sense when things are not right. And I know that they are the perfect target for bullying. Hell, every child, teenager, and adult is a perfect target for being bullied. I know this. I’ve lived through most of my life of being bullied. Bullied by classmates, by teachers (yes, that does happen), and even bullied by co-workers, and it is not something I would want another person to endure.

Recently, I found out that a friend of mine’s son was bullied. Bullied to the point that he was sent to the hospital with a broken nose, several broken ribs, and bruises all up and down his body. Do you know how angry this made his father feel? How his mother felt? Hell, when I heard what happened I got so mad to the point that I nearly broke a counter. Yes, I got that mad. But where does this anger get placed? On the school system? Absolutely, the school is responsible for the children while they are at school, and under their supervision. On the children themselves? Of course, they are supposed to know what is right from wrong. On ourselves? Yes, a million times yes it is, the anger should weigh heavily on us adults. Why should we be angry with ourselves? Because we are the adults here, we are supposed to show our children how to behave, how to treat one another and to show them that they are not supposed to bully and assault others. As the adults we are supposed to set an example for them, to show them that two beings can be in the same room without violating the other. We are not supposed to set a bad example to them about how to start a fight, how to mistreat a girl or a boy. We are the adults here, it is our job.

Yes, there are pep rallies every year in most schools that bring awareness to the subject at hand, but do they really make an impact? No, not really. Growing up I went to several of those rallies, and do you know what still occurred. The bullying still occurred. Don’t get me wrong, I think the rallies are great, but they do not actually do much help when it comes to telling children to stop bullying, to stop assaulting their classmates, or anyone they meet in life.

It all starts at home, with the parents. As parents, we are supposed to set examples, good examples of how to treat others, and it is the way you mistreat others, say unkind and horrible things about another person is what the children are seeing more of. I know this to be true. I know a lady who is in her early 40’s and she treats others like crap, she mistreats them, bullies them, steals their energy, and makes others feel like garbage. And time and time again her children have witnessed this, and time and time again I have to remind her that they are watching her every move, every word that she says, and they are more than likely going to mimic her as they grow up. And that is what happens. Children mimic their parents, they mimic the way we talk to each other, how we treat each other. And if they are seeing that we are mistreating each other, then they are going to assume that it is completely normal, that it is okay to bully and assault each other.

So, parents this on us. We need to be setting a good example for the children, and show them how two human beings can get along, and show them how to treat others. Have a long conversation, or two, or three. It doesn’t matter how many conversations you have with your children, the only thing that does matter is that you talk with them and that you set yourself as a good example. Because if we don’t do anything about this, then more and more boys and girls will end up in hospitals due to broken ribs, led to anorexia or bulimia, or even led to the final blow of a gun from being bullied.

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My Brand New Poetry Book

Good morning everyone! I wanted to apologize for not writing a whole lot, this month has been very hectic due to work, studying for my Master’s, and working on the release of this new poetry book.

Today my brand new poetry book, Hearts of Glass, has been released by my amazing publisher, Middle Island Press. I have been working with the publishing press for the past couple of years, and they are truly amazing. They have given me the opportunity to release my poems out to all of you, and it had always been a dream of mine. I truly cannot thank then enough for letting me see my dream become a reality.

Hearts of Glass is poetry book that dives into the reality of the affairs of the heat. Showcasing just how fragile our hearts are, showcasing when we fall in love, out of love, and endure the most hurtful heartbreaks. And everyone can relate to many of the poems.

You can get your copy of my new poetry book on Amazon, and soon it will be available in select stores around the world.