It has been a rough few days in my household. After my cheerful blog post on Tuesday, things went downhill. My mom got really sick & went to Urgent Care which turned into an emergency room visit. She used to be a nurse so sickness rarely affects her unbelievable threshold for discomfort & illness. I knew the pain was serious when she sought treatment from a doctor. Approximately fourteen hours later, all tests had come back negative, and my very tired parents were back home. I was worried sick about what the illness might be, but nothing major appears to be wrong. My mom is strong & healthy, and I have no doubt she’s going to make a speedy recovery. I swear she is a living, breathing superwoman. The day she got sick, she bought groceries & dinner despite the pain. After everything was unloaded from the car, she said the following to me: “Here’s the food. Please fill this container with dish soap. I’m going to Urgent Care. I’ll be back.” If you think that sounds nonchalant, you are correct. She might as well have said “I’m going to the nail salon. I’ll be back.” I want to be her when I grow up! 💪🏻
In the midst of being concerned for my mom, I received a distressing email early Wednesday morning from YouTube. According to their new standards, I am no longer eligible for their YouTube Partner Program. This means I lose out on making money from my videos as well as helpful features such as creating my own thumbnails & scheduling upload times. I wouldn’t still be a YouTuber if money was my main motivation, but what little I do make helps me to continue creating content. It is so motivating to watch my monthly income increase month by month thanks to increased viewership & support. Right now the news feels like a punch to the gut, but I refuse to let this stop me. I am here to stay for as long as I feel inspired to make videos. If you want to support my channel, thank you from the bottom of my heart! <3
The cherry on top of this emotionally draining week is a bit more humorous. Thanks to the amount of clothing I have jammed into my teeny tiny closet, the right pole flange (look it up) broke. I had to remove one of my hanging shelf organizers on the other side of the closet, no easy task when you’re angry & tired, and make space for some of the clothes about to fall to the floor. Just what I needed to cheer me up! 🙄
I’ve been a busy bee working on Artmas, Blogmas, & Vlogmas these past few days. I’m working at my retail job almost every day for the next two weeks so the time to get ahead is running out. I’m trying to think happy thoughts to keep my mind off of the impending insanity. First of all, I’m seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi tonight with my family. FINALLY!! Second of all, I have a funny story to tell about my neighbor:
A few days ago, I was standing at the kitchen sink looking through the window at the backyard (let’s pretend I wasn’t simultaneously looking and wishing for snow that will never fall). Out of nowhere, a medieval-looking tool moved into view above the fence and slowly made its way to a frond on the nearest palm tree. Against such precise motions, the poor frond never stood a chance. The tool disappeared from view only to reappear and cut down another frond. This seems like a good time to mention that the palm tree is in my family’s backyard. It would’ve made more sense if any of the frond victims had been hanging over the other side of the fence, but they weren’t. I know there is a certain amount of give and take between neighbors, but that sort of action seems so childish. Oh well! It gave me a good laugh. 😂
The Autumnal Equinox is here, and I have already felt and seen the change of seasons: cooler temperatures, storm clouds, & wind. The past few years have been extremely disappointing due to uncommon humidity and a drought so I am more than ready for a genuine fall. I’m a November baby so this season runs through my veins; I need all things Autumn like I need oxygen to breathe. I have a cozy pile of books ready to go for October; there are some exciting movies premiering soon; and my family is finally taking a vacation. Things are looking golden for my favorite time of year!
📚 A Book You Chose For the Cover – The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi
I found this gem in my local library’s teeny tiny used bookstore. The bright yellow bird against a blue background hooked me, and the murder mystery synopsis reeled me in. I’m trying my best not to build expectations, but I really hope this book is as good as I want it to be.
📚 A Book With a Reputation for Being Un-Put-Down-Able – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this book. Some people have said it’s one of their favorite books/duologies ever written. Of course I’m going to start with the first book, but I am optimistic that I will be purchasing book two very soon.
📚 A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been But Would Like to Visit – The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Fun fact: I am dying to visit Egypt!! Egyptology is one of my favorite subjects to learn about.
📚 A Book You’ve Already Read – The Rook by Steven James
The Patrick Bowers Files series is AMAZING. To be fair, I’ve only read the first two books, but how could it possibly go downhill from there?? I would actually like to read a few of the books in this series in 2017, but I’m setting the bar low so I don’t get too stressed. I want these reading challenges to remain fun!
📚 A Juicy Memoir – In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett
DUH! Who wouldn’t want to read behind-the-scenes stories about The Carol Burnett Show?!
📚 A Book About Books or Reading – Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett
This book is part of one of my favorite cozy mystery series. It has been on my shelf for a few years, and it’s about time I got around to reading it. Fun Fact: The main character’s cat is named Miss Marple. How cute is that?!
📚 A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid – The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
I rarely read and enjoy contemporary books outside of the mystery genre, but I’m willing to give this book a chance since it revolves around books.
📚 A Book You Don’t Want to Admit You’re Dying to Read – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I’m not embarrassed about this book. It’s just weird to admit that I’ve never read such a beloved series. My aunt was kind enough to give me the first book for my birthday so I will definitely be reading it this year.
📚 A Book in the Backlist of a New Favorite Author – Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
I received all of the books Tessa Afshar has published thus far as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. I don’t want to set myself up for failure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I finish all of them before January 1, 2018.
📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste – As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers
My friend Gabby recommended the Mark of the Lion series years ago, and I finally got around to reading books one and two in 2015. The experience was so unbelievably mind blowing that I had to take a break. There is no longer a good excuse so I need to pick up book three NOW.
📚 A Book You Were Excited to Borrow or Buy But Haven’t Read Yet – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I am on pins and needles waiting to read this book. I’m going to watch the movie with my brother first since that’s what I did with Gone Girl. I realize that sounds like reader sacrilege, but I’m not your average bibliophile. Watching the movie first or liking it better doesn’t bother me. ;)
📚 A Book About a Subject or Topic You Already Love – Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
I haven’t actually seen the musical yet, but I am obsessed with the story and soundtrack. I liked The Wizard of Oz growing up but fell out of love with it for a period of time. Listening to the Wicked soundtrack every day has made me fall back in love with Oz, and I am ready to read the story that started it all. I am on page 32 and loving it so far. 💚
I feel like a bear who hibernated through the spookiest month of the year and awakened just in time for the holiday season. I am currently watching Christmas movies on Hallmark whilst enjoying open windows & a cool Autumn breeze. Allow me to elaborate on where I’ve been. I had a cold for two weeks in September; when it went away, I thought my illness quota for the year was fulfilled. WRONG!! A little over one week later, the flu took me by the throat and refused to let go for a few weeks. A lingering cough wrecked my throat and made it really hard to talk. Of course that has no effect on a blogger, but it sure does put a damper on Youtube productivity. I still have a little bit of a cough, which is annoying beyond verbal description, but I am healthier and more energized than I was last month. I have a few more updates for you so keep on reading.
• I turned twenty-three on November 5th. Physically, I don’t look my age thanks to Baby Face Syndrome, but I am right on track mentally; I spend most of my time stressing about adult decisions and responsibilities. Growing up is awesome! 😭 In all seriousness, I had a fantastic birthday. I watched Christmas movies in the morning, ate Greek food with my family in the afternoon, visited Barnes & Noble in the evening (I may or may not have walked out with 2 books), & watched Impractical Jokers with my brother before bed. Not a bad day! 😊
• Allow me to introduce you to my new obsession: zoo live cams! For people who can’t afford frequent trips to the zoo, live videos of eight different animals are available on the San Diego Zoo website. Go ahead! Give in to your curiosity and take a peek! Hint: They are more active during the day, tigers excluded.
• I’m almost done with the 2016 Reading Challenge. I only have two more categories to complete. I will be posting a detailed update soon; in the meantime you can follow my Pinterest board and see all the books I’ve been reading.
• I reached 100 subscribers on Youtube!! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far. I can’t wait to see what else the future holds. If you aren’t already subscribed, follow the link & hit the red button to become a member of my Youtube family and receive notifications every time I upload videos.
My channel is lifestyle just like this blog so I’m positive you will enjoy the content. Subscriptions are free and only require a Google account, Gmail included. I would really appreciate your support! Blogging brings me so much fulfillment as a writer, and Youtube is the whipped cream on top of a creativity sundae. 😄
• Fear not fellow Christmas enthusiasts! Artmas & Blogmas are already on my radar and officially in production. Due to my retail job, I might be a little more absent than usual this year, but I will be posting come hell or high water. Sit back, relax, & take a trip down memory lane to mentally prepare.
You might be thinking “I don’t hold a position of power. How can I be effective and help eradicate prejudice?” You can talk and keep the conversation going in a civil manner. You can also take action. That doesn’t mean becoming a one-person revolution. It can be as simple as looking someone in the eyes and smiling. I want to share a story with you that furthers my point. Read until the end and keep an open mind. :)
Thank you NikkieTutorials for sharing! Why is Natasha Howell’s story important? The tragedies that have taken place are heartbreaking, and our reactions dictate the future. Reacting in anger and causing a divide changes nothing. If each and every one of us does our part to treat people with kindness, those small puzzle pieces will create a chain reaction and fit together to create something big. Perhaps I’m a bit naive, but I truly believe the people who care about unity outnumber those who allow prejudice to affect their attitude. You might be one person in a big world, but it is better to make a difference in at least one person’s life rather than stand by and do nothing at all.
🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍 🌏 🌎 🌍
I want to share a video that was posted on Facebook today. It made me cry, but it also made me happy and hopeful. You might know Candace Payne as “Chewbacca Mom.” In this moment, it doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is regarding her claim to fame. What matters is that she continues to use her newfound platform to make people smile.
First of all, I am not a gamer so I realize that this rant is laughable to those who have mastered the gaming arts. Second, I don’t care. I have actually played Kingdom Hearts twice in the past. I beat it with help the first time, and I did not finish the whole game the second time around due to my family’s big move. I am determined to complete the game by myself. That is proving to be way more difficult than I expected. After a year of on and off attempts, I finally beat the Wonderland trickmaster last week and moved on to the Deep Jungle. Tarzan is my favorite animated Disney movie so I was pumped to get started. My balloon was immediately popped when I met a nemesis from my KH past: THE VINES!! I cannot for the life of me swing from vine to vine for more than one minute, and I’m starting to resent Hippo’s Lagoon because that’s all I ever see due to the number of times I fall. I know my lack of experience is a large part of the problem, but I also think the controls for this game are infuriating. Perhaps that’s a defensive statement, but I have a little evidence to back it up. My brother, who is a gamer, tried to play it and had to walk away. He said the controls are different from other games, and he doesn’t understand why. I don’t understand the details, but I do trust his judgement because he’s been playing video games since he was a little boy. Why is this rant important? It isn’t. Just now I attempted to advance in the game and failed miserably. The vines were once again my undoing, and I wanted to blog with fresh anger burning within me. Hopefully someone somewhere can commiserate with me. I can’t be the only who hates KH now that I actually play it!!
• A1: California did not get the memo that fall has begun. Although it is finally starting to cool down, there is a chance of eighty degree temperatures this week. NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! I will cheat on the west coast and move to the east coast if the sun rears its ugly head. Clouds and chill all day everyday for this girl!
• A3: When the air starts to get chilly, I immediately reach for my Milani “Exotic Berries” quad. These colors not only blend well with each other but also with other eyeshadows. I am not sure about other eye colors, but this quad does wonders for green eyes.
• A4: My USC sweatshirt from Forever 21. I wore this hoodie so much in college, students made jokes when I showed up wearing something else. Very funny! No, I did not attend USC. Growing up, I was influenced by family friends. FIGHT ON TROJANS!!
• A10: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. First of all this song screams fall/Halloween. Second, I don’t know of any other songs that are specifically about fall. Third, after Halloween I listen to nothing but Christmas music.
Fun Fact: My dance class did a tribute dance to “Thriller” the year that MJ passed away. We wore old clothes and messy makeup. It was a fun way to deal with sad circumstances.
• A13: I am not really a fan of Halloween, but if I were to pick Halloween movies to watch, I can handle “Hocus Pocus”, “The Addams Family”, “Addams Family Values”, and “Halloween” (Original and New version). However, my favorite fall movie is “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.” It is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women.”
• A15: Me and my dad are both November babies so my family always comes up with fun stuff to celebrate both birthdays. Another great memory is my time as a dancer in the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Auditions usually took place in September, and rehearsals lasted until the shows at the end of November.
I waited three years for November 5, 2015. I can finally say “I’m feeling 22!!!” If you are unsure of what I’m referring to, listen to this:
” I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!”
Follow along as I take you through my day: My best friend Gabby bombarded me with texts at 7am, wishing me “Happy Birthday!” and gifting me with Tom Hiddleston and Johnny Depp gifs. HAHAHA!!! I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t. I decided to make myself some homemade salted caramel coffee. My mug didn’t fit under the Keurig so I removed the bottom container. That was a big mistake because it catches excess liquid. When I poured in the water, the excess had nowhere to go but all over the counter. Fun times! Unfortunately, the coffee did not taste as great as my expectations. Next, I spent some time checking my social media accounts, blogging, and watching “Criminal Minds.” I published a very special art project that took three months to complete; I made collages to represent my top 6 favorite TV and movie couples. Check it out: Can’t Help Falling in Love
Due to my early morning start, I fell asleep on the couch around 11am. I was awakened one hour later by my mom wishing me “Happy birthday!” and encouraging me to open my presents. I received seasons 6 and 7 of “Little House on the Prairie” and the complete series of “The Nanny.” Yes, yes, and YES. I ate pancit for lunch and relaxed until 4pm. My family went to “Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill” for dinner. I had an 8oz sirloin and macaroni & cheese; wings and rolls were also involved. From there, we went to an Ontario Reign vs San Diego Gulls hockey game. The Gulls are the Anaheim Ducks minor league team so I was cheering for them; unfortunately they lost 4-1. The game wasn’t the most exciting thing I have ever experienced, but we didn’t pay full price thanks to Groupon so I guess it was kind of a win. I ended the night with Ben & Jerry’s “Americone Dream” ice cream and “The Carol Burnett Show.” Not a bad day! My family is also planning a belated-birthday trip to the zoo very soon. I will be vlogging so subscribe to my Youtube channel and keep an eye out for that video within the next 2 months. :)
So far, I haven’t had any “One Year Older Epiphanies.” I don’t feel one year older, but that has a lot to do with the fact that I still look twelve. In the next year of my life, I want to continue working hard and expanding my blogs and Youtube channel. Having outlets for my voice and creativity means the world to me. Thank you to each and every one of you who have chosen to subscribe and follow along with me; it means a lot to me that you care about what I write. Also, I can’t believe our little blog family is 11 members away from 200. What an amazing gift!!
I hope you enjoyed my birthday recap. Don’t forget that Christmas is coming! Artmas (on my Art Blog) starts in 38 days, and Blogmas will begin in 25 days. You don’t want to miss it!
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Three months ago this blog post was 75% complete and well on its way to being published. Despite my August deadline, I was feeling uninspired and decided to walk away for reflection. I missed the opportunity to connect this post to August, “Romance Awareness Month”, but I would much rather publish content I am proud of than meet deadlines for the sake of being clever. That being said, allow me to set the stage for this project that has been a labor of love (HA!). Back in April, I made two collages of Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley from “Anne of Green Gables” in honor of Jonathan Crombie. When I found out August was “Romance Awareness Month” (who knew?!!), I immediately put my Photoshop skills to work and made collages for my favorite TV and movie couples. This project is near and dear to my heart. The couples I have chosen are fictional, but their stories inspire me because they have substance. Personally, I am not fond of glorifying the physicality of relationships. Less is more! I recently watched the BBC miniseries “North & South” for the first time. The main characters do not interact romantically until the last few minutes of the series, and yet I felt tension and passion throughout; I did not need to see more in order to empathize. It was absolutely brilliant! I strongly believe purity and subtlety go a long way, much further than graphic details. We should all have high standards and use the term “love” with caution. Go ahead and call me a “hopeless romantic”; I accept that label with open arms. :)
Jim Halpert: “Not enough for me? You are everything.”
I could name specific episodes, but I wont because there is at least one Jim and Pam moment in every episode. The list would go on and on and on!! Instead, I recommend that you take the time to watch the entire show. It is hilarious so time well spent.
Captain Frederick Wentworth: “I imagined myself indifferent to her but I was only angry and resentful. Too late… too late I began to understand myself and her. Never have I met her equal in good sense or sweetness of character. She’s perfection itself. I’ve never loved any but her.”
Mr. Darcy: “Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain, and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment. I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.”