HEROIN

her-o-in (herōən) noun. a highly addictive analgesic drug derived from morphine, often used illicitly as a narcotic producing euphoria.

 

Say it out loud. Now say it even louder. HEROIN. This is what has been taking our friends, parents, children, cousins, siblings, and acquaintances away from us. Changing them until we can no longer recognize the person that they are anymore. Heroin does not have to affect you directly in order for it to affect you. I have witnessed and heard stories time and time again of this family disease tearing people apart in every aspect; people I grew up with and people I know of. Whether having known someone who has passed, someone who may still fight to this day, family members who will struggle with, “What more could I have done/possibly do?”, even just being someone who watches from the outside looking in wanting answers: THIS IS A DESTRUCTIVE POISON. No matter which direction this disease hits you, you are not and never have to be alone.

 

“This book will not stop the heroin epidemic. As I write, as you read, in the days that follow, the heroin epidemic will not slow down just because I wrote this and you read it; that is not my intention with this book. What I do hope this book does, is comfort the collateral damaged of the disease of addiction: the families and the loved ones. The ones who, with clear eyes, watch their child, husband or wife, sibling, cousin, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, friend, neighbor, or co-worker slip away.”

-Alicia Cook (Heroin is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me)

 

I first discovered Alicia Cook on Amazon in 2016. I am a huge fan of poetry and come April, Nation Poetry Month, I was looking for a new book. I stumbled upon Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook, a book filled with poems written as a cassette tape with sides A and B. Each poem contains a song at the bottom and I instantly fell in love with her writing. The feelings she was able to capture and pour onto her readers was something I had yet to experience from a poetry book. On a whim I searched her on Instagram and found her page (@thealiciacook). I learned more about Alicia and story behind her writing. The book I happened to “stumble upon” from Amazon led me to something I could never imagine.

 

 

When I was younger and more naïve, anytime I heard of someone trying drugs or being addicted to drugs was–in my opinion–a scumbag, a junkie, loser. Who I am now is so beyond ashamed of the person I was then. I took the easy route like a lot of people. I did not know what I was talking about. I did not care to research, to look a little deeper into those who became addicted or why they tried drugs in the first place. So I placed the blame solely on the addicts. I urge you all to put away your ignorance and educate yourselves more on addiction and what it can do to not just one person, but their entire family. I believe this is why I discovered Alicia. Opening not just my mind, but my heart to another way of thinking, caring, and feeling.

 

Just recently Alicia released a book, Heroin is the Worst Thing to Ever Happen to Me, a collection of her essays. I could have read this entire book in one sitting but I chose not to. I do not want the stories and essays I read to fade as soon as possible. I want to feel each and every story as if it were my own because I believe that is the only way we can get ourselves to an understanding that THIS DRUG DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE.

What does an addict look like? Like you and I do. People may believe it is all how a child is raised, it’s from their environment growing up, it’s from….stop right there. There has been a couple times since learning more about the affects addiction where I have wanted to take Alicia’s book and shove it in the face of people. I want them to read what it takes to be an addict, because in this book you won’t find the answer. Instead, you’ll find true stories of sorrow, suffering. Hopefully you’ll come out more educated and more empathetic than when you entered.

 

You might be asking yourself, “Why does Alicia Cook write essays/books, reach out to the public/schools on this topic?”. Unfortunately Alicia lost her cousin Jessica in 2006 from addiction. This was tough on everyone who cared for her (as you can learn in her book). She reaches out to families across the nation to let them know they aren’t alone. She reaches out to schools to inform kids on what a drug can do to you. Her voice is loud and strong, she is heard and is helping to make a difference through this horrible epidemic. I feel in my heart it is this woman’s purpose in life.

 

 

“In 2015, 25,000 people in the United States overdosed on drugs and died. Never in recorded history has narcotics killed so many Americans in a single year. According to New York Magazine, the drug-induced death toll was so staggering, it helped reduce life expectancy in the United States for the first time since 1993.”

 

I am very sad at this statistic. I am even more sad just having recently lost a classmate. I have known people passing away from this drug–this poison–each passing hitting closer and closer to home. It’s still shocking and scary seeing people from your childhood lose themselves to addiction. We initially want to place the blame on anything we can in that moment. “It was the parents, it was their friends, so and so didn’t help them..” it could go on and on. It’s important to realize it is no one’s fault. Grieve with your entire being if you have to, but please avoid pointing fingers. The questions might never seize. You will continue to ask yourself, “Why?”. Nothing will ever make it easier and the pain sure as hell will never fully dissipate but it’s important at those times to lean on the one you love. They will help give you strength. I hope anyone who is still fighting for a loved one or anyone who feels they need to ‘give up’ on a loved one knows they are not alone in your pain and suffering. My heart truly goes out to all affected by this disease. Let’s all push our ignorance aside, open our hearts, educate ourselves, and come together to make a difference for this epidemic. It starts with a small voice and large ambition to make a change. Let us help BE that change.

Outfit Inspo; Beatrice Prior

​”I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.”

Today’s outfit inspiration is from Divergent: Beatirce (Tris) Prior. Although she chooses Dauntless, she finds out she is in fact Divergent. What does it mean to be Divergent? Factions have been set in place in the new world. Abnegation=selfless, Dauntless=brave, Erudite=smart, Candor=honest, + Amity=kindness. Being Divergent means being all of the above. No wonder she’s an inspiration.

Today I wear Divergent theme for self reminder to be all of these things. Never set yourself up to be just one and never be afraid to show you are all 5.

I noticed all I have been wearing lately are boyfriend jeans so I switched it up today and went with skinny jeans. The look I wanted to achieve would be that of Dauntless (all black everythang). I could have paired this outfit with a leather jacket to complete it, and my Doc’s. I’ve been favoring the Doc’s lately so i went with my studded, platform sneakers.

Go out there guys and be Divergent!





Dauntless T ×from FYE

Ripped skinny jeans ×from Marshall’ s

Studded black platform sneakers (Jeffery Campbell) ×from Amazon

Divergent book ×from Marshall’s

Outfit Inspo; James Dean

​Good morning friends! Today I channeled my inner James Dean as you can see 😎 I was going for the comfortable, tomboy rebel look. How do we think I did? For the longest time I only wore these jeans with sneakers. That is a problem seeing as I cannot wear sneakers to work. So this past Thursday was the first time I ever thought to try my Doc’s with them + I’m so glad I did. I stepped out of my comfort zone (my sneakers) and went bold with a boot.

Normally the top I would pair with these would be cropped, but of course no crop tops at work! My next idea was a bodysuit. What’s my thought process? If I were to wear a baggy shirt with baggy boyfriend jeans I would look severely homeless, unless that baggy top was cropped. It would be able to show my stomach and therefore break up all the bagginess! So since we already explained no crop tops aloud I went with a tight fitting top to show my shape with my high waisted boyfriend jeans.

 I just recently started Into the Water by Paula Hawkins today! If you read and enjoyed The Girl on The Train, you all need to pick this book up asap. I am 10p pages in and like Paula Hawkins did before..I’m hooked. The question I get asked most from reading is, “How do you finish a book so fast?” When the question should really be, “How are there SO many authors that know how to right damn good books?” I give all my credit to them, the authors. They are the reason I get sucked into these worlds that it’s simply impossible to close the book. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on Paula Hawkins next thriller and well, here it is. I can not wait to share my thoughts on this goodie!

Black bodysuit ×from Rainbow

High waisted boyfriend jeans (Lucky Brand) ×from Marshall

Doc Marten’s ×from Journeys

Black oversized sweater ×from H&M

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins ×from preordered Amazon

Outfit Inspo; Louisa Clark

​It’s FriYAY! Thankful that the weekend is here (even though imo, 3 day weekends should be mandatory). However, working does give me the chance to dress up (I live in sweats at home) and who doesn’t like playing dress up!?

Today’s outfit inspiration is from the one and only–Louisa Clark! Her crazy, quirky outfits are just one of the things I love most about her. Have you all heard Jojo Moyes is coming out with a final book to this story? Gah! I actually shrieked when I found out. Time to wait patiently like a good little bookworm!

 
I love pairing colors with straight up black or white. For me, I knew it was going to rain + be chilly so I decided to base my outfit around my yellow (not) rain boots! I chose my go to sweater because it truly encompasses everything a sweater should be. From there I decided I did not want to wear jeans because I was in them allll week long, so I looked in my tights draw. I pulled out the red and realized I might end up looking like a walking McDonald’s add so ding! ding! ding! Blue was the winner! Choosing a dress was easy, I’ve been waiting to wear this bad boy since I bought it a couple months ago. And lastly I moved to accessories. I was looking for hints of blue to bring out the rights and I loved how the slight hint of red pulled it all together!

Remember my fashionistas: be bold and never be afraid to dress how you like!

Necklace ×from a local flea market

Sweater, dress + boots (Lucky Brand) ×from TJMAXX/Marshalls

Tights (Steve Madden) ×from Cohoes

Paperback copy of Me Before You ×from Amazon!

The F Word

Author: Liza Palmer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Review:

 

I had such a blast reading this book. No, you aren’t sensing sarcasm! I continued to laugh out loud because Olivia Morten’s character is purely hysterical. It’s not all fun and games in Olivia’s world  though, she has recently been struggling with her past after creating a new life for herself over the past 10 years. Why is this happening to Olivia? Could it be the run in with her high school nemesis/crush? Or is this something more internal?…

 

The was this book was written was so easy to read. So fluent and relatable, it’s no wonder it only took me one day to complete it. I had two favorite characters in this book; Olivia and Ben. Olivia, because she’s not only funny, she struggles internally but in time fixes herself. The experiences she was dealt, along with being so traumatized from them created this person who was not truly herself because she did not love her WHOLE self, present and past. It’s ultimately funny that Ben is the one to kind of awaken her change seeing as he was quite cruel to her in high school. I love that this story is of changing and growing, finding yourself and being comfortable with who you are now; but also accepting who you were, not hiding and running from it.

 

What I think would have made this good story great, would have been some more time spent with high school Olivia and Ben. Although we are taken on a couple flash back rides, I feel having more insight to who they were in their teens and why they were the way they were to each other would have been very nice for the readers to have.

 

I quite liked that this story had a moral. I enjoyed the topics talked about and the relationships that Liza created between the characters. I wouldn’t really call a specific group out to read this book. If you are an adult looking for an easy and quick, fun read..look no further! Liza Palmer has your next read.

The Night She Won Miss America

Author: Michael Callahan

Rating:

Review:

 

“A young woman is swept up in the glamour and excitement of chasing the title of Miss America 1950–only to vanish the night she wins.”

 

This work of genius is inspired by a true story. It’s no surprise the book starts off with suspicion that 80 year old Jane Proctor is in fact Miss America 1950, Betty Jane Welch. Let’s take you back to 1949 when Betty’s mother cooked her lemon cake. She knew this meant one thing, what was going on? Betty’s mother was the reason she entered the Delaware pageant. There’s no way she would win, she was just appeasing her mother. Until she won Miss Delaware and was sent off to Atlantic City. As every pageant thus far, all of the ladies are anxiously waiting for the night they all meet their escorts for their time here in AC. When the night comes, Miss Delaware meet her escort, the charming and beautiful– Mr. John Griffin McAllister…from here the story begins with a penny and a wish. What events actually unfolded  the night Betty Jane Welch was crowned Miss America 1950?

 

This story had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I had no choice but to finish this book in 2 sittings, it literally gave me no other option. Michael Callahan takes us through–what must have been–such a ride for Betty. Although based on a true story, characters and (some) events are all fictional. Bette Cooper, who the story is based on, has never spoken about what happened that night in 1937 with escort Lou Off. She has spoken with many reporters who knock on her door looking to gain some insight by simply telling them, “There is no Miss America here.” It’s interesting enough to me, the actual mystery still hasn’t been solved.

 

My favorite character from this book is most definitely Betty’s roommate during the pageant, Catherine (Ciji) Moore Miss Rhode Island. Okay, maybe I’m being a little bit biased because LIL RHODY is my hometown! No, honestly I loved her character so much more than all the rest. Her personality being blunt and always willing to lend a helping hand to Betty no matter how serious the situation is truly admiring to me. Thanks to Michael Callahan for portraying the RI girl correctly!  😉

 

I urge anyone ages 16-older for this book. It gets very, VERY dark at times so I know at least for me, if I were any younger I might not be able to handle this read–even at age 18. Good luck putting this suspenseful novel down!

The Last Anniversary

Author: Liane Moriarty

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Review:

 

Another great story from Liane Moriarty. I’ll tell you, with every book I read of hers I just wish to read it for the first time again. I have read a lot of reviews on this book saying it wasn’t their favorite by Moriarty. I couldn’t disagree more. I think her books are equally brilliant and I can not wait to start another!

 

Like Big Little Lies and Three Wishes, this book is told from multiple POV. It always strikes me as fascinating how Liane can create such full of life characters and not just for a couple in one book. No. She goes into such detail with every character written that you truly believe you know these people and are apart of their lives.

 

The Munro Baby Mystery. What is that all about? Well Alice and Jack Munro live on Scribbly Gum Island with the Doughty family. In the 1930’s, sisters Connie and Rose Doughty head over to their neighbors (Alice and Jack) for a cup of tea. Only when they arrive something is askew. There are drops of blood on the kitchen floor, the kettle is still on the stove, freshly made marble cake on the table, and a baby in the crib upstairs. Where are Alice and Jack? No where to found. This book is completely based around the Munro Baby Mystery and the where Connie, Rose, and baby Enigma are now in their lives (as old ladies)!

 

As always with Moriarty’s books, you won’t go very long without laughing out loud. You’ll be on edge the entire time trying to solve the mystery on your own, and in the end you’ll find the twist is nothing you could have guessed. Is Liane’s writing so predictable from it’s unpredictability? One could say so. I suggest this book be read by YOU! Yes, you! You’ll be glad you did in the end.