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This week’s college admissions scandal has upset and sickened many, especially those who personally know the struggle for both students and parents to not only get accepted into, but to afford a college education. Yet, no one is surprised by the corruption and injustice, because we all know there is plenty of that in every corner of the world.

The most painfully ironic aspect of this story is that prosecutors say this group of 33 parents who allegedly paid millions in bribes to get their kids into top colleges were told to cover up their money as donations to “disadvantaged youth.”

How a year of no’s helped her to find who she really is as a musician .

The Shea Rose of 2013 was known for her soulful rap-meets-rock sound, a big Afro and killer heels. Her stage clothes usually included large shoulders and a leather harness, as if they were her armor equipping her for the tough image-focused industry of music. She performed at events such as the Boston Music Awards and the first annual Outside the Box festival. CoverGirl, the Boston Globe and a cover story in the “Improper Bostonian” painted her as a fearless rising star.

But that fearless, “Rock ‘n Rose” (as she named one of her early singles) was only one side. “There was no record label executive or manager telling me how to produce my music, how to look, how to dress, how to present myself publicly as a recording artist,” said Rose, “but in my mind I definitely had an agenda.” …

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Hortensia Handmade employs women in Peru who hand-knit every piece with alpaca wool.

It’s always a shock how quickly “holiday season” comes around, as if stores start promotions a day earlier every year. And if Christmas music before Thanksgiving isn’t enough, advertisers and media tell you to start your shopping early.

The first week of December gives enough buffer time to finish Thanksgiving leftovers, acclimate to the dropping temperatures and drum up a couple lists for gifts to give and gifts you want. Maybe you’ve even seen some lights around the city and put up your Christmas tree.

If you aren’t an earlier-bird shopper, but prefer to call yourself an efficient shopper like myself, it’s always good to have a couple stores on your itinerary you know will have something for the majority of your friends and family. …


Jennifer Ortakales

Journalist and fashion writer who loves telling people’s stories, on a quest to find beauty in everything.

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