Hey you! Yes, you. I just want to remind you that you're not alone. We're both on the same journey called life and I want to invite you to walk with me on mine.

I started this blog to embrace, encourage, and educate my readers. You'll find posts about lifestyle, reviews, and my daily musings. I currently work as a high school special education teacher in Chicago and love exploring the city, playing dress up, devouring the news, and of course - writing all about it here.

If you can accept that I am terrible at posing in pictures and occasionally wear sequin Uggs even though I know they are a fashion faux pas, come along. I think everyone can find something here, especially 20 something ladies like myself who are still figuring it out as they go along.

Well, what are you waiting for? Keep reading below if you're interested in learning more about the girl behind the keyboard. :)

Allow me to properly introduce myself. My name is Heather. I graduated last may from Ohio State and am currently a high school special education teacher in Chicago.

In undergrad, I studied political science and history, and I also spent a lot of time studying leadership theory. I was the "do it all girl" - from being the founding sister of a sorority to planning large scale service events. When I wasn't doing that, I became an expert in coffee shops, happy hours, and brunch. In college, I was known as the girl who sometimes wore tutu skirts and never fully grasped the social grace of not talking politics at parties.

Most people seem to understand me a little better when they learn that I was raised by 2 women, my mom and grandma - two spectacular ladies who have never met a stranger and stand their ground no matter what, especially on the principle that pink and glitter are basically a religion. Because of them, it is no surprise that I am a talkative, opinionated, girly girl with a very, very strong affinity to all things sparkly.

For most of my life, my goal was to go to at top-10 law school and be a big time corporate lawyer. Then, I realized that while I may excel as a lawyer, I wouldn't thrive. I'm kind of obsessed with the concept of thriving. In order to thrive, I learned that I need to pay attention to the things that make me the most happy.

I like to write and I like to talk. Building relationships gives me life. Social justice issues and pop culture are what jazz me up the most. And last, but definitely not least - I have an intensely deep love for all things girly.

As I approached graduation, I applied to Teach For America on a whim. I am deeply passionate about social justice and fighting institutionalized injustice in the US. I'm great at public speaking and working with people (read: I love the sound of my own voice and making people listen to me). Before I knew it, I packed my bags, drove my PT Loser to Chicago and became a teacher. Life is funny like that. Do I want to teach forever? Probably not. There is so much wrong with education and I can do so little from the classroom to fix it. I digress. I tend to get on soapboxes...

Speaking of soapboxes - here is what I would yell if I were on top of one: I believe that femininity is empowering! I believe that thriving is essential! I believe there is power in embracing that no one ever has it all together. I believe that knowledge is sexy! I believe that everyone can sparkle!

If you have any questions about me, my life, your life, the world, the universe - drop me a line! Just write sparkleshineheather@gmail.com in the inbox. Collaboration and business requests accepted there as well. Encouraged, actually. Seriously, please talk to me so that I am not doing the internet equivalent of screaming into the Grand Canyon. 

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