Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday Favorites

I honestly cannot believe that March is just about over. This month has flown by - I'm hoping that April slows down a little bit, because I could definitely use a bit of a break.

While this weekend won't actually be much of a break, I am really excited for it! I cannot wait for the Silent Disco tonight, and I'm excited for my session at the Inclusive Innovation Summit tomorrow, too. The Summit is actually completely sold out, which is amazing. Hopefully Sunday I'm able to lay low a little!
I thought I'd share this funny picture! Simba and Lily both love to lay in my bed... but Lily is wary of laying too close to the cat! So this was her solution.

This week's favorites...

ONE - Shane West and Mandy Moore Reunite
A Walk to Remember is one of my all-time favorite movies. Mandy Moore got a star on the Walk of Fame this week, and Shane West came out to support her and gave her speech. I love everything about this, and may find the time to squeeze in a re-watch of A Walk to Remember this weekend!

TWO - Schitt's Creek Teaches Slang
Honestly, I love anything related to Schitt's Creek, and these two are hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing - Eugene Levy has such a great, dry sense of humor.

THREE - Venmo Stalking
It's not enough that we stalk people on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - we also have Venmo, too! It feels a little bit like peeking through someone's bank account, but it's all public AND you get to see who they were hanging out with. This is exactly why my Venmo is set to private!

FOUR - Clueless Reunion
I guess this week's post is all about my favorite movies, because this is another! It's fun to watch the cast members reunite and joke around, and so crazy to think that the movie came out 20 years ago - I feel old!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Accessible YOUniverse Updates

I don't want to only share updates on my advocacy work here, but right now, my advocacy work and my life intertwine a lot. It's starting to be a bigger part of my life, and as exciting things happen, I want to be able to share them with all of you.
I mentioned this in Friday's post (here), but last week I got the chance to talk about Accessible YOUniverse and the article that I wrote for Public Source on 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR radio station - you can listen here. This was so exciting for me - it really made me feel like people were starting to hear about what I've been working on. I've done some interviews before, after winning Ms. Wheelchair USA, but a live interview on the radio felt like something else altogether. When it's live, you can't really edit yourself or take too long to think about your words - you have the answer the questions as they come. I was a little bit nervous ahead of time, but it was so much fun! The host made me feel completely at ease, and honestly, the time flew by.

This might sound funny, but I think that the interview was so exciting because it made me feel legitimate, because people were actually hearing about and interested in the work I've been doing! Advocacy work can be challenging because there are so many no's, and it feels a lot like I'm shouting into a void; banging my head against a wall. So whenever people are interested in hearing more about my work, I take it as a really good, positive sign.

The other update is a reminder about the Inclusive Innovation Summit this week! Check out the event link here, and the Facebook link for the All-In Silent Disco here (and read about last year's here). It's Friday at 7 PM at the Children's Museum, and I would love for you all to come! It's an event focused on both inclusion and fun, and that's pretty rare. Accessible YOUniverse will also be holding a session on Saturday at 1:45 PM about going beyond the ADA for full inclusion. The Inclusive Innovation team has been so open to improving their accessibility, and the Summit is such a really such a great event. I hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Spring Dressing

I had a bridal shower to go to this weekend, and I always struggle on what to wear in this kind of weather. It was going to be a little bit warmer, but the temperature was starting off chillier before it warmed up. Not only does that transition make it hard, but I'm also just so tired of my winter clothes.
But I've learned that in situations like this, layers are key, and maxi dresses are always a good idea. There was a time - for a year or two! - that I totally refused to wear maxis. I thought that looked too young, and that I would look like a little kid playing dress up. Now, I basically live in maxis in the spring and fall! I definitely am careful about the kinds that I buy, though - nothing with a pattern that might look too young. I picked up this royal blue maxi recently from Nordstrom and I already know I'll be wearing it a lot this year! (Also, it's on sale until March 2 - I highly recommend!)

And since layering is key when the weather is so all over the place, I couldn't pass up the chance to wear this suede jacket again. I wasn't kidding when I said that I was obsessed with this - I now own it in three colors and have no regrets. It is the perfect layering piece, and it really goes with anything. I feel like it makes my outfits look a little more polished and sophisticated than they would otherwise. It turns a simple maxi dress into a real outfit, you know?

I know you're probably tired of hearing me talk about this jacket, but I don't buy new things weekly (and I don't think that most of you do, either). So when I buy something I love, I do try to wear it in different ways so that it becomes a real staple of my wardrobe.

This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a small commission for any purchases you make.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Toasting to Life with MDA

Last week, I had the honor of making an appearance as Ms. Wheelchair USA at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Toast to Life Gala. MDA is actually an organization that I (and my whole family!) have been involved with since I was a little kid. They raise money for many different types of neuromuscular diseases, SMA being one of them, and have been doing so for years and years.

Dress available here

They used to have telethons, where they'd be on the air all day nationwide raising money (I feel so old explaining telethons!). They had different people featured on the telethon in different cities - some celebrities, some entertainers, and some families affected by nueromuscular diseases. A few times, my family and I got to be interviewed on TV for the telethon, which was SUPER exciting as a little kid! My sister and I also got to be Junior Goodwill Ambassadors for a year, spreading the word about MDA and the great work that they do.

Although I never took part, another big thing that MDA does is hold a summer camp for kids with neuromuscular diseases each year, where they can go without their parents. MDA provides all the volunteers and caregivers. This is a HUGE opportunity for kids who might not otherwise physically be able to get that taste of independence.
So it was really exciting to get to work with MDA again now, as an adult. The gala was a fun way to bring attention to the work that MDA is doing to raise money for research, and for kids and families affected by neuromuscular diseases. It also recognizes the organizations that are helping to raise money - the firefighters have been partnering with MDA for years to help fundraise. The night was hosted by two of WTAE's newscasters, Janelle Hall and Andrew Stockey, who were fantastic. I even got to say hi to my pediatric neurologist, who I haven't seen in a few years! It was a really fun night, and I was so happy to be able to support such an amazing cause.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday Favorites

What a week! This was a very exciting one for me - my first live, on-air interview (more on that below), plus an appearance as Ms. Wheelchair USA at the gala for the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. When we were young, my sister and I were actually on the local MDA telethon a few times, and were Junior Goodwill Ambassadors for a year, so it was nice to be reconnected with the organization!
Quick update on the All-In Silent Disco on March 29th as part of the Inclusive Innovation Summit - the Facebook event page is live here. It's free, going to be so much fun, and I hope that you can join us!

On to the weekly favorites!

ONE - My Interview on 90.5 WESA
The team at 90.5 WESA reached out to me after reading my Public Source article and told me they were interested in having me on the show. This was so cool and I was so excited! I love spreading the message about my advocacy, and the experience of my first-ever live interview was just really amazing.

TWO - 100 Best Podcasts
I go through phases with podcasts... I'll be really into them for a while, and then I'll need a break. But I'm always looking for new ones. I've loved a few on this list (Gilmore Guys, S-Town, the first season of Serial), and am looking forward to trying a few more.

THREE - Stranger Things Season 3 Trailer
I am SO excited for this show to come back! The trailer looks great and I can't wait - July can't come soon enough.

FOUR - New Airpods
These are already on their way to me and will be here sometime next week! I love my Airpods, but have been having some sound quality issues on phone calls (and I'm out of warranty). I have been waiting it out, not wanting to buy a replacement pair until the newest version arrived. I love wireless charging (it's hard for me to plug and unplug the wire for charging) and am looking forward to a longer talk time between charges too!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Social Media Time Outs

Last week, I (along with many, many others) was forced to take a bit of a time-out from Facebook and Instagram because they were down for about a day. I know there were tons of jokes going around about how much people were able to get done without the distractions of social media, and honestly, part of it is true! It's so easy to get sucked into these apps, and spend way more time that you meant to just scrolling and scrolling.
On the whole, I think social media is more of a positive thing than a negative one. I wrote a post about it before (here) - I think social media offers the chance to build and connect with a really amazing community. Especially for people with disabilities, whose voices might not be as heard or welcomed otherwise - social media can be a real democratizer. I've connected with some amazing people, and I've been connected with people - all of whom I would never have "met" if not for social media.

But that's not to say that I don't see the downsides of social media, too. It can fuel the comparison game - when you're mindlessly scrolling and all you see is happy faces and pretty handbags and stylish outfits, it's hard to not compare yourself. That can get unhealthy really quickly! And even though we know that people only post the good things - and we know this because we do it ourselves - it's really easy to lose track of that.

So I think the key to social media, as with all things in life, really, is just balance. Balance that allows us to keep up with our online community, but keeps us from constantly comparing ourselves to everyone in that community. But I know... easier said than done. It's hard to force ourselves to take time off from social media when it can seem like there are new posts every few seconds, and we always feel like we're missing out on something. Finding balance on social media is no easier than finding balance in "real life" - balance is always hard.

All of this to say - may the forced time out from social media last week wasn't such a bad thing!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lipstick Loves

I've always loved makeup - believe me, there are lots of pictures of me in middle school with bright blue eye shadow to prove this. But up until now, I've never really been a lipstick person. When I was testing out makeup in middle and high school, I definitely wore lots of Wet'n'Wild lip gloss and Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers, but even then didn't really reach for real lipsticks. Maybe they felt too grown up to me? I'm not quite sure why, but they just never were my thing.
Recently, though, I've come to appreciate the polish that a coat of lipstick can add to an outfit. Lip gloss is easy and fun, but it doesn't quite make me feel confident the way that lipstick does. I think it's also because I've been taking more pictures now that I ever had before in my life, and I realize how much a simple coat of lipstick can change how a picture looks!

Because I have a Sephora addiction, and am signed up for their two-day Flash shipping, I've started to build up my lipstick collection. Here are a few of my favorites.

Bite Beauty in Chai
This is my go-to daily lipstick. It's a great berry color, but it's not too dark - perfect for a daytime look. It wears really well - it's not necessarily long-wearing, but it wears off in a natural way so you don't get patches on your lips.

Pat McGrath Labs in Obsessed!
This is a very bright orange-red, which is my favorite type of red to wear. I'm usually more of a berry person than a red lip person, but I do love how bright and vibrant this is. This is very, very matte - there's no sheen at all, but it does still go on smoothly.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
This is a classic - I actually bought my first tube of this color in college! As you might be able to tell by the name, this one is kind of a cross between a lipstick and a lip balm. It's subtle and natural, and looks good with anything and on anyone.

Bite Beauty in Virgo
I love this color for a nighttime look - it's definitely a more dramatic statement lip. Unfortunately, this was a limited-edition color, but Tannin (also by Bite), is incredibly similar.

Pat McGrath Labs in Full Panic 
This is one of the only pink lipsticks that I own, and I love how bright it is. I'm not a pale-pink person - I think it just looks weird on me - but this is the perfect, almost fuchsia pink. Like the other Pat McGrath Lipstick, it's almost very matte, but doesn't feel drying.

Click through the widget below to see all of my picks!

This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a small commission from any purchases you make.

Monday, March 18, 2019

On Hearing No

I love being able to share my successes and accomplishments and exciting news here with you - it's so amazing to know that you all are following along and cheering me on. I honestly look forward to sharing exciting things, because I always feel like you are all genuinely happy for me.
But sometimes, I worry that I do a bit of a disservice sharing the happy things, because it makes it sound like my news is all exciting news, all the time. And while I've had my share of fun things to share this year, it's far from the case that my life is always rainbows and sunshine.

It's been amazing to build my platform and expand my reach over the last year or so... but it hasn't always been people reaching out to me and offering to help. Sometimes it has been, and I am so incredibly grateful for those people and those opportunities. But other times, it's been me reaching out to people and basically selling myself - convincing them that I have a story worth listening to, or that I have something important and valuable to share.

Inevitably, people say no (probably more than you would imagine). And while logically I know that it can't always be a yes... that doesn't mean it necessarily makes it any easier to hear. Especially if it's an opportunity I'm really passionate about and can see real potential in - the rejection stings no matter how gently they deliver it. But if I didn't try - if I always waited for people to come to me, so that I would never have to worry about hearing no - I'd also miss out on a lot of opportunities.

While I said hearing no doesn't necessarily get easier, I do think that the more you hear it, the less it affects you personally each time. I've always been an incredibly Type A person - a competitive overachiever. (This will shock exactly no one who knows me in real life.) I like to succeed, and sometimes hearing no can sound like you're being called a failure. No one wants that!

So now, it's not that I'm not disappointed, when I hear a no, but I have learned not to take it as a personal failing. I've come to accept that there's a risk of disappointment that comes with reaching outside of my comfort zone. And there are so many moving parts, so many different reasons why the answer might be no - the timing isn't right, the opportunity isn't quite the right fit... or maybe there just isn't a good reason, and the answer is no anyway.

It's so cliche, but the important part really is what happens next - what comes after the no. I think the best thing to do is to fight back against the no. Sure, allow yourself to be disappointed, but don't let it hold you back. Don't let it affect your confidence or your passion, because if you stop believing in yourself, you will hear no more and more - it's a vicious cycle.

Everyone hears no, even if you only hear about the times they heard yes. But don't let it drag you down. Make sure you remember that there will be more, maybe even better, opportunities in the future, if you just keep going.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday Favorites

I have been looking forward to this particular Friday for a while because Pitt gives us the day off for "spring holiday." I am so excited for sleeping in... and then starting to work on my homework and other things that I haven't had time to get to.

I went to dinner with a friend last night at Spork, and was SO impressed - it's definitely jumped to the top 10 of my Pittsburgh favorite restaurants list. If you decide to try it, I highly recommend the crab souffle - it was delicious!

This week's favorites...

ONE - Best Fake Songs
I would not be able to pick a favorite between the songs on this list. I got so excited reading the titles - there were so many songs that I loved! I actually own a lot of soundtrack CDs, and I have a lot of the songs on this list. My friends and I were obsessed with Zenon - I could probably still sing every lyrics to Supernova Girl.

TWO - Subminimum Wage
This is an issue that I don't think many people know about at all - people with disabilities can actually be paid well below minimum wage. It's a policy that is incredibly outdated, but because it's so little-known, nothing ever changes. Hopefully, this lawsuit (among others) helps to educate about this practice, and helps stop it from continuing, too.

THREE - Lilly Singh on Late Night
I love Lilly Singh's channel on YouTube, and I'm so excited to hear that she's getting a late-night TV show! She'll be the only female late-night network show host, which is a huge deal! I can't wait to watch.

FOUR - Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard
They are just hilarious together, and this video really made me laugh. I love how into it and competitive they get!

FIVE - One Day at a Time
I just finished binging this show a few weeks ago, and I really really hope it's not cancelled for good. It was the perfect mix of funny and heartfelt, and tackled some deep issues without being too "after school special." Fingers are crossed that Lin-Manuel Miranda can use his powers for good and find another home for it somewhere!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

In the Bright Mood

I am having major spring shopping fever. The one good thing about Daylight Savings Time is the extra hour of daylight - that, coupled with the warmer weather we've been having, has made me want to buy all the things for spring.

This is an itch I get every year around this time, if I'm honest. I think it's just that winter starts to feel really long, I start to feel really bored, and doing a little bit of shopping is a harmless way to scratch the itch! I'm definitely being careful and limiting it so that it doesn't get out of control - I don't want shopping to be the ONLY thing that makes me happy. But sometimes, one or two small packages showing up at your door can give you the little jolt of excitement that you need to push through. I think that there are definitely more unhealthy coping mechanisms that a small shopping spree, so I'll go with it.
Top Row: One / Two / Three
Bottom Row: Four / Five / Six
I have a habit of wearing a lot of black and dark colors, especially when I get into a rut. But now, all the bright colors are calling my name! I haven't been able to stop myself from picking up a few brightly colored dresses so that I'm prepared when spring does finally arrive - and I've got a few more on my wish list.

I'm so glad that there are so many options for jewel tones right now. Royal blue is a long-time favorite, but I also love the mustard yellows and teals and darker pinks. I'm not a huge neon color fan, but these darker versions of the bright colors are just my thing.

Check out my picks in the widget below and let me know which is your favorite!

This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a small commission from any purchases you make.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Inclusive Innovation Summit 2019

You may recall me talking about Inclusive Innovation Week last year (this post, and this one). This year, it's coming back as a 3 day summit at the end of the month, and I'm so excited to tell you that Accessible YOUniverse is a sponsor of the Friday night Silent Disco, and will be presenting a session, on Saturday!
Image via
This Silent Disco is back and better than ever after being a huge success last year. This year it will be held at the Children's Museum, and will have the same vibrating backpacks and floor pads that allow people who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing to join in on the fun. People with sensory needs should also feel welcome! Because the music is all controlled through the headphones you wear, you're in total control of the volume, and if it gets overwhelming, you can just take them off and take a break. We had such a fun time last year, and I'm so excited to do it again. Check out event info here!

I'm also really looking forward to the Saturday session that Accessible YOUniverse is holding. We'll be discussing the going beyond the ADA, and really thinking about how to include people with disabilities. I'll share more details as they become available, but it's shaping up to be a really great session. You can find the information for my session here.

My favorite part about the Summit is that they don't just talk the talk - they really put their words into action. They want their event to be as inclusive as possible, so they're providing free on-site childcare and transportation for all attendees. And they will have accessible (ACCESS) vehicles available for people with disabilities, too.

I hope I'll get to see some of you there! You can register here. I'm really looking forward to it!

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Weekend of R&R

This past few weeks have really tested me and my struggle with balance. I touched on it in this post, but it just happened that things in my professional life, personal life, and student life all converged with deadlines at the same time. I'm so excited and happy and proud about the opportunities that I've been given, but it has come with challenges, too. Namely, figuring out how to do everything that I want to do, see my friends, and also sleep.

What I've come to realize is that balance isn't about the day-to-day - it's about the longer term. So I took some time this weekend to try to even things out a bit. My weekend wasn't completely work-free (if it was, there wouldn't be a post for you to read!), but it was much more laid back and relaxed than usual.
I thought it'd be fun to share some of the things I do when I want to relax. Let me know your go-to things when you're in need of a little R and R.

Comfort Viewing
When I want to just chill and turn my mind off, I love watching a tried-and-true movie that I know I love. I don't have to think too hard, and I can just relax and enjoy. For me, my number one is The Devil Wears Prada. I love it and never get tired of seeing it!

Sleeping In
This is probably my absolute favorite thing to do on a relaxing weekend (or any weekend, really). There's nothing better than staying in a nice, warm, snuggly bed. I sleep in and then get up slowly - really enjoy every moment of relaxing in bed! It's the best.

A Little Reading
It's hard for me to find time to read for pleasure during the semester, but I really miss it, so when I want to take some time for myself I love to crack open a (digital) book. I loved Alyssa Mastromonaco's first book about her time working in the Obama White House, so as soon as I saw she had written another book, I knew I had to start reading ASAP.

Some Online Shopping
I realize this may not be the healthiest coping mechanism, but I do think that online shopping is a stress reliever! I have a really hard time finding heels that are comfortable (my ankles have contractures, which means they bend in really easily, and heels make it worse). But these Naturalizer ones are perfect - it's a really low heel, but the pointy toe keeps them from looking too much like a granny shoe!

This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a small commission for any purchases you make.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This Sunday is what I (un)affectionately call "the worst day of the year" because we set the clocks back. I am excited for the extra hour of daylight, but i'm really not excited for the hour of sleep I'm going to lose. There aren't enough hours for sleep as it is!
This has been an exciting week for me on a few different fronts. First, I got my pictures back from the meet-and-greet with Karamo (I talked about it in this post), and I got to relive my excitement from meeting him all over again, which was fun. The other very exciting thing takes us into this week's favorites....

ONE - Accessibility in Pittsburgh
I wrote an article!! This has been in the works for a while now, and I'm so proud and excited that it's out there in the world. I am so appreciative of the reactions so far - it's been overwhelming how interested people seem to be! I'm very hopeful this helps keep accessibility in the cultural conversation moving forward.

TWO - Luke Perry
In college, I discovered Beverly Hills, 90210 reruns on SOAPnet, and was quickly obsessed. I've seen every episode many many times (Donna Martin graduates!) and of course had a huge crush on Dylan McKay/Luke Perry. I started watching Riverdale because he was in it! He passed away after a major stroke earlier this week, and I know I didn't know him, but it does feel weirdly surreal. Every single tribute and story about him talks about what an amazing person he was - he leaves behind a great legacy.

THREE - Second Cured HIV Case
Technically, the scientists are calling it long-term remission, but it's still really amazing. I love to learn about new advances in science and medicine. The potential for curing HIV is huge - this is really exciting.

FOUR - Queer Eye Season 3 Trailer
How could I not include this?! Can't wait to see what the third season brings - I love that the show seems to get deeper and deeper each season.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Drape Front Jacket

We've had a few days lately where I haven't needed to be completely bundled up to go outside for a few minutes. We're slowly inching closer to spring, and I am so excited to be able to spend more time outside and get some fresh air.

I've been wearing lots of drape front jackets recently, and I think they're perfect for this time of year. They add some warmth and layers, and I love what they add to the rest of my outfit - they really take it up a notch. It adds a polish to my look that a cardigan doesn't, and I think it looks a lot more sophisticated (but maybe that's just me). I especially love leather and suede jackets, because of the texture they add to my look (Stacy London always talks about color, texture, pattern, and shine!).

I have to be kind of careful when I'm picking out jackets like this - if I pick anything too restrictive or stiff, it's hard for me to use my arms. I have to look for jackets that aren't too stiff, and this BB Dakota one is the best I've found for me. But I've pulled together a few other options for people who don't need to worry so much about the range of movement of their arms! Check them out in the widget below. I love the color of the maroon/berry one!

This post contains affiliate links; I may earn a small commission from any purchases you make.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Taking On Too Much

I've written a few posts about knowing your limits, and balance, so I felt like in the interests of full disclosure, I needed to write this one, too. This is the flip side of those seemingly wise posts... it's what happens when you are trying to find balance, but aren't always successful.
These past few months have gone by so quickly for me, but mostly because I've been so busy. The class I'm taking this semester is really interesting, but it's also a lot of reading and work. Launching Accessible YOUniverse and trying to get a few events lined up to participate in have taken up any spare time I can find. And as we get closer and closer to July, I feel the countdown clock ticking until the end of my time as Ms. Wheelchair USA. I don't want to waste any of this time, or this opportunity, so I've really been saying yes to as much as I possibly can. And sometimes, I say yes to too much. It results in me writing posts (like this one) at 10:30 on a Saturday night. Or, it can mean I have to skip the Andrew McMahon concert I was really looking forward to, because after I made my to-do list for the weekend I realized there just weren't enough hours in the next two days to do it all!

I am still learning. I'm figuring out how to make time for everything that I'm interested in doing, and how to be okay with saying no to things I want to do but might not have time for. It's easy to say no to something you're not really interested in, but it's a lot harder to say no when it's an opportunity you feel like you might miss forever by turning it down.

At an event about civic engagement hosted by Pitt that I went to last week, the keynote speaker talked about the power of detours. I was hearing this only a few days after the missed concert, so it was especially poignant. Just as I'm still learning about balancing, I'm also still learning that sometimes, things going ways you didn't expect can actually be good. Something that seems like a missed opportunity now can actually just be a detour to something that's even better for you later on. And when I think back to my life a year ago, I definitely would never imaged that I'd be where I am now. There were definitely some detours involved, well off the beaten path, that got me to where I am today.

Especially with social media now, it's so easy for it to seem like everyone has everything figured out. Maybe it even seems like I have it all figured out! But I promise you, I don't, and I don't really think everyone else does, either. We're all learning as we go, and course correcting on our way there. Sometimes we succeed, and sometimes we fail - but as long as we're learning from our experiences, we're still moving ahead.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Being Yourself

Last Friday, I went to the August Wilson Center downtown to hear Karamo Brown (from Queer Eye on Netflix) talk as part of the "TruthSayers" programming they run. I didn't really know what I had signed up for, but I do love Queer Eye and thought that if nothing else, it would be an interesting talk.
It ended up being so much better than I could have guessed. Karamo shared so much - about his life and his experiences, what he learned, and even some fun behind-the-scenes stories of his time filming Queer Eye. A lot of his talk focused on the importance of being yourself, and loving and accepting every part of yourself. It meant a lot to hear him talk about his life, and what it took for him to get to where he is today - it was exactly what I needed to hear, without even realizing it. Launching Accessible YOUniverse is something I'm really excited and passionate about, but it's also overwhelming and scary. So hearing him talk about going after what you want in life and trying to live your dreams really touched a deep nerve.

I was also impressed by how generous and down-to-earth he was! There was an open Q-and-A at the end of his talk, and he kept answering questions until everyone in the line got to answer theirs - well past the scheduled end time. And he went deep with his answers - he spent time considering and answering each one! I felt so lucky to be in the audience.

I felt even luckier, though, when we were invited to the private meet-and-greet after the talk! I had the chance to thank him for always captioning his Instagram videos, so that they're accessible to people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and he complimented me on my jacket! (It's this one, from Shopbop, and currently part of their sale with the code GOBIG19.)

I'm so glad I had the chance to hear him talk, and I can't wait to listen to the podcast he mentioned he was starting. I have tickets to see Jonathan Van Ness later this year when his tour stops here, so maybe I should put meeting all the Fab Five onto my bucket list?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy March! Is anyone else as excited for February to be over as I am? To me, March means spring is coming, which I cannot wait for... even though it's snowing today. March is also shaping up to be a busy and exciting month for me - Accessible YOUniverse will be holding a session at this year's Inclusive Innovation Summit, and I have a few baby/bridal showers to go to!

This week has felt a bit like a whirlwind - it seems like Monday was so long ago, and yet, I don't quite know how it's already Friday! I'm really looking forward to my weekend - I'm hearing Karamo Brown from Netflix's Queer Eye speak tonight, and tomorrow I'm going to a brunch at Federal Galley, which I've been wanting to check out. And then, of course, I have homework to do... but I don't need to think about that yet!

And now, on to this week's favorites
ONE - Babysitter's Club coming to Netflix
I loved this book series, and watched the movie based on them sooo many times growing up. I am excited to see what Netflix does with it - I hope it lives up to my expectations!

TWO - Molly Burke Skydiving
I know I share a lot of Molly's videos, but it's because I really like her personality and her approach to her disability. This video is a great example - definitely check it out.

THREE - Suede Drape Front Jacket
Shopbop is having one of it's annual sales, and I couldn't help picking up a few things. Since I love my leather drape front jacket, I decided to pick up this very similar suede drape-front one in "dark olive." I don't have anything this color, but I love it and I'm excited to rock it with some leather leggings!

FOUR - Selma Blair in Vanity Fair
Selma Blair gave an incredible interview about her recent MS diagnosis, and you should absolutely read it. There are so many great parts to it, but I have to point out her mentioning of the lack of clothing options! She is absolutely right and I am here for more elastic waist options.