Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year in Stats

This year marked some big firsts for both me and my blog.  I did my first giveaway.  I got my first sponsor.  I had my first day with 100+ views (November 11).  I had my first month with 1,000+ views (November), followed by my first month with 2,000+ views (December).  This isn't exactly part of my blog's firsts, but I also got my first sale on eBay and my first sale on Etsy.

Day with the most blog views: December 29 (133 views)

Month with the most blog views: December (2,348 views)

Post with the most views: this one

Most popular search keyword: baby panda

At the end of this year, I have a total of 26 followers, compared to the mere 9 followers I had at the beginning of the year.  My blog has been viewed a total of 10,653 times, which is so incredibly mind-blowing.  Thanks to all of you for making my blog a successful endeavor.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Fashion: Summer Clothes in Winter

Since I have a limited cold weather wardrobe, sometimes I like to wear clothes that wouldn't be warm enough alone over a plain colored long-sleeved shirt.  I found the printed top in these pictures in my closet when I went home to visit my family.  My mom bought it for me at a yard sale and put it in my closet to find when I came to visit.  You may notice that I'm back to doing mirror shots.  That seems to be what works best right now.  I also found out that pictures look better if I set the camera to night mode, even when it's not dark.  And I was going to let this part be a surprise, but I changed my mind.  I bought some goodies on eBay yesterday, including a new camera.  It's just like my old one, except red instead of blue and it has 12 megapixels, whereas my old one only has 8.2.  I also bought a tripod and a remote shutter release, which should make taking self-portraits much easier.  The best part is that the camera I bought costs $70 when it's hugely marked down and I won it in an eBay auction for just $20!  I do love a good deal.  I also bought a few other things, but I will let them be a surprise.  So, without any further ado, here's what I wore.


gray shirt: Walmart, pink and black top: from my mom from a yard sale, gray coat: Goodwill, jeans: Sears, boots (they're the purple ones): Goodwill

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bring It On, 2012

When I look back on all of the things I had to deal with in 2011, I feel so ready to take on anything the next year has to throw at me.  It's been a year of huge decisions and lots of challenges, but also one with lots of successes and triumphs.  I had my first blog anniversary and was too busy to even notice it!  But I am so glad to have this blog as a record of everything I've done, and all of the wonderful memories I've been making.

I started out the year 2011 in a wheelchair, with a mysterious leg paralysis that completely baffled the doctors.  Everyone told my parents that they were crazy for not pulling me out of college when I couldn't walk.  But my parents had faith in me.  And I prevailed through the hardships.  I learned how to live my life despite not being able to walk, and then in May I started to have seizures when I went home for Spring Break.  Although my legs mysteriously got better in only a few weeks from when they stopped being entirely paralyzed, my seizures continued.  I ended up having to do a hardship withdrawal from my spring quarter of college courses, because my seizures made it too difficult to attend classes regularly.  I continued to live in the dorms, despite no longer being enrolled in classes and then a while after that my seizures went away just as mysteriously as they had started.  I made some big decisions after that, including the decision to continue living in this city.  It was difficult to find a roommate at first, but I found some girls from my church who I was able to stay with for two months.  I had to couch surf with a friend for a week, and then I found my current roommates through Craigslist.  I also accidentally met my boyfriend through Craigslist when I was trying to make some friends.  I searched and searched for a job.  I managed to get a few interviews but never ended up being hired, except for a vacuum selling scam job that I quit after the first day of training and some Internet research.  And now I have given up on the job search and decided to start a home business, with the help of Etsy.  And that's where I'm at now.

Other things that happened: I was really boy crazy for a while until I finally got my first boyfriend ever, I started wearing makeup, I cut and dyed my hair a few times, I gave myself an industrial piercing then had to remove it after it almost got ripped out when I had a seizure, I wrote some really long and disjointed posts, I started (attempting) to take fashion pictures for my blog, and I started trying to have some sort of structure/schedule for my blog posts

Significant/Interesting Posts from 2011:

the one where I talk about all the weird shows I watched as a kid-contains picture links that no longer work

the one where I try new foods

the one where I talk about the scary seizures I had when I was on Spring Break

the one where I discuss how I'm planning to stay un-homeless

the one where I explain how much I hate being hit on

the one where I first meet G

the one where I decide to make jewelry for a living and give up the job search

So this year has been a whirlwind for me, and not completely in a good way.  But the end of the year has turned out so much better than the beginning, except for the part where I'm actually pretty sick right now.  But I feel completely ready for anything that the next year has to throw at me.  So bring it on, 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Bit of Housekeeping Regarding my New Blog Design

I'm sure most of you noticed that I made some pages at the top of my blog, in an attempt to de-clutter my sidebar.  One of the unforseen problems with this is that I moved all of the blogs I read, which had previously been part of a widget that showed me the latest post on each blog so that I could easily see when they updated, to a page.  So now, in order to see when you guys post new blog posts, I have to actually go through and click each blog to check.  Either that or start using Google Reader, which I've never used.  Part of my OCD is that I am very averse to change.  I like to do things one way all the time.  But I will attempt to use my Google Reader, just because I know your posts will be worth it.  However, I probably won't read your blogs every single day, so that thing I do where I comment on nearly every post will probably not happen quite so much any more.  And for that, I am truly sorry, unless the sheer volume of my comments annoys you, in which case I guess you can go celebrate or something.

Product Review: Sally Hansen Manicure Cleanup Pen

Remember how I have problems when I use dark colored nail polish?  How I tend to get it on my fingers as much as on my actual nails?  Well I discovered this product that seemed like it would be a "miracle solution" to my problem.  It's called the Sally Hansen Manicure Cleanup Pen and to my surprise, it works just like it claims to!  And the best part is that you can pick one up at Rite Aid (probably other places too) for less than $5.  And it comes with two replacement tips as well, which makes it a really amazing value.  Look, here are my results.  You can't tell that I cleaned it up with the Sally Hansen Cleanup Pen, but you'll just have to trust me that I did.

the product

the mess

the results
I cleaned up my entire manicure and pedicure in about two minutes with the Cleanup Pen, and I didn't even mess up the part on my nails at all.  I tried it with the polish still wet and with it dry, and it works great both ways.  If I were you, I would pick one up right now.  I give this product 5 stars out of 5, and I will definitely be buying it again whenever it gets used up, which will probably not be for a while.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

People Like Me!

I even have proof.  Look at this shiny award I won.

Click the award to see the other four winning blogs.  And you should read the "Into Geek" blog too, if you're a geek like me.  You'll love it.

Manicure: Failure Edition

I decided to try a Scotch tape manicure, because it looked pretty cool and also pretty easy.  I did not account for the fact that I hardly even have enough patience to wait for a single-color manicure to dry.  I didn't wait until the nail polish dried all the way before peeling off the Scotch tape, so it didn't turn out very well, and after the left hand turned out so badly, I didn't do the Scotch tape bit on the right hand.

So the verdict is that while the Scotch tape manicure works great for some people, it is not for me.

You say you want to see pictures of the failure?  Your wish is my command.

Just one picture; you can't really see the failure but it's definitely there, trust me

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingerbread House Pictures and Holiday Recap

Here is the picture of the first gingerbread house I ever made.  It looks okay from the front, but not from the sides at all. Notice the only picture I'm sharing is from the front.

My trip to see my family was short, but good.  I got to see my brother and his girlfriend, my parents, my grandparents, my aunt, and my adorable little 6 year old cousins.  I can't believe they're already 6!  They were at my grandparents' house in the pretty dresses they wore for their dance recital.  I got them a story book with Disney princesses and magnets to create scenes, and they absolutely loved it.  We had early Christmas at my parents' house and they gave me some really good smelling candles and my mom got me a cute top and cardigan.  My mom cooked a really delicious pork roast and mashed potatoes and corn.  I raided my old room for a bunch of stuff, including my card-making supplies and some cardigans.  My grandma's Christmas tree is always really pretty, so I took a picture of it.

For actual Christmas, I ate dinner with G's family.  We had lamb and potatoes and peas and brussel sprouts.  G's cousin's girlfriend made a really delicious rum cake.

Both of my Christmases were really great.  I hope you all had a great Christmas too.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Well, kind of.  I'm going home tomorrow to see my family.  My dad and brother are going to come picke me up. It's four hours away and I'm really looking forward to it, because I thought I wouldn't be able to go home this year.  G doesn't have time off work until Friday, and Friday through Sunday, it's supposed to be really bad weather in my hometown, so we weren't going to be able to go.  But then my mom had the idea for my dad to come get me and bring me back before the bad weather hits, so I'm leaving tomorrow and coming back Thursday.  It should be really fun and I'm super excited.  So that's why I won't be posting anything for a few days.  And if you have absolutely nothing else to read because my blog is the only thing you ever have to read (totally impossible scenario, but work with me here), may I direct your attention to the "Blogs I Enjoy" tab at the top of my blog.  If you click that, you will find lots of fantastic reading material that should last you until I get back.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Red Robin Yummm

G and I occasionally go to Red Robin because they have super awesome burgers and fries.  We joined the Red Robin Royalty program and one of the rewards they give you is a free appetizer if you visit within two weeks of registering.  So we went to Red Robin last night and we ordered our free appetizer and our burgers.  We got the Game Day Nachos appetizer and between the two of us, we just barely had room to eat all of the nachos.  And they were delicious.  We then had them wrap up our burgers and fries to go.  So I just want to say that Red Robin is awesome because they gave us what amounted to a free meal.  Yummm indeed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Just Some Stuff

I went to the Ave a few days ago. At night.  Nothing bad happened, so I'm grateful.  That place is sketchy during the day.  Too cold out for the creepy people, I suppose.  Went to Dollar Tree and used the rest of my free money from my bank.  Went to the book store and used up most of the rest of my rebate.  Got G a cool hat.  Also bought myself some jewelry making stuff.  Went to Goodwill and found a pair of jeans that fits me perfectly.  After only trying on 5 pairs!  (Last time, I found three pairs that worked after trying on 30. And even then, I had to settle for ones that were either too long or too big around.)  Also got two cute checkered scarves for under $10 total.  Looked for some heels that I would like enough to actually want to learn to walk in them.  Didn't find any.  Will try Crossroads Trading.  Probably next month though.  Discovered a vintage shop.  They had some pretty cool stuff, but I'm not into vintage.  The prices were too high for me anyway.  But it was fun to browse.  Had coffee with a friend.  She's not a super close friend, but it was nice anyway.  And by coffee, I mean a chai latte.  Hadn't had one for a year, and I love them.  Rode the bus back to G's and we watched Food Network and cuddled.  He loves his new hat.  It was a good day.  But all the interactions with strangers made me tired.  I'm weird like that.  It's like I have a certain level of human interaction I can handle on a given day and after that level has been reached, any additional interaction just makes me exhausted.  But only with people I don't know.  I'm really liking my sentence fragments today.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Third Post in One Day!

I wanted to share with everyone that I just spent $40 on Etsy on jewelry making supplies.  I also changed my Etsy shop name to Honeybee Alley, since that's what got the most votes in my poll.  So pretty soon it will be SERIOUS CRAFTING TIME.  Then SERIOUS LISTING STUFF ON ETSY TIME.  Hopefully followed by SERIOUS MAKING SOME MONEY SO I CAN PAY MY RENT TIME.  So I'll let you guys know when I get my shop filled with lovely things that you can buy.  And I created a special code just for blog readers so you guys can get a 10% discount on your purchases from my shop once it's up and running.  The secret code will be revealed at a future date, so stay tuned.

And for those of you who haven't forgotten I was going to do a Scotch tape manicure and share the results with you.  I did one and it didn't work too great for me, mostly because I have no patience for letting nail polish dry all the way before I pull off the tape.  But I will share pictures of the failure, and of my pretty glittery pedicure that I miraculously did not fail at, next week.

And also, my brother graduated from Marines boot camp today! He posted a picture on Facebook in his uniform and he looks so grown-up!  It's weird. (He's 21.)  And I'm really proud of him.

Facebook Ads: They're Weird

I happen to know that is a fairly normal site.  They offer good deals on restaurants and stuff.  But if I didn't know that and saw this Facebook ad, it would not make me want to the visit the site.

Okay, so the 5 new things to do in Seattle everyday part is pretty cool.  But the picture, while adorable, makes me wonder what sorts of people this site is directed toward.  Is one of the 5 new things to do everday buying a cute little piggy?  Is another buying it two pairs of children's rainboots?  Is the third taking it on a walk through the mud?  I can't wait to see what things number 4 and 5 could be!  (I hope for the cute little piggy's sake, they don't involve bacon.  Yeah, I went there.)  Sometimes I just think the Facebook ad creators take the weirdest picture they can find and slap it on next to the company's name and the least helpful description ever.  And then they go smoke more crack.  (Crack is smoked, right?  After writing that, I'm questioning whether it smoked or injected.  Oh well, I'm leaving it.  Also, can't be bothered to look it up.  I have important things to do!)

Friday Fashion: Fog and Fashion

My camera still sucks.  It was foggy this morning, so I took pictures because it looked really cool.  The pictures do not convey how cool it looked, but here they are anyway.

the pool, locked up during fall and winter
looks like a scene from a scary movie

trees with fog behind them
(trust me, it looked cooler in real life)
Enough of fog. It's time for fashion.  "No shoes on, because I forgot and I don't need them because I'm in the house" edition.

first with my coat (Goodwill)

"this is serious business" face

coat removed; I've had this cardigan for at least 10 years
(don't know where I got it, probably a yard sale)

hand on hip again

hang ten?

Yeah I don't know either
Cardigan: probably from a yard sale (back in the day it was full length and I wore it with the sleeves rolled up and I hated it, now I love it), shirt: Wet Seal (you can't tell in the pictures but there's a stain on it from where I spilled grease during the summer; it was painful because the grease was hot and I don't remember what I was cooking; I still wear it though because it's my only plain colored t-shirt), shorts: Goodwill, leggings: still from Sears (I wear them all the time when I'm not wearing jeans in the winter because it's cold and these are the only leggings I own), socks: Ross (you can't tell but I am wearing socks; they're black knee socks with a red and white plaid pattern; they're rolled down because my calf muscles are too big and when I have them on normally they cut off my circulation (too much hacky sacking I suppose (parenthetical inception(I still haven't seen that movie(Inception))))  I had my hair in a side ponytail because my bangs looked terrible every other way I did my hair.  They're just long enough to tuck behind my ears, but not long enough to stay there for more than 2 seconds.  I'm also rocking a brown smoky eye with e.l.f. eyeshadow, because I recently discovered that brown makes my eyes pop like crazy, but you can't see it in the pictures.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beauty Tips

A while ago I searched the internet for some at-home beauty remedies.  Number one on my list was a face scrub and a lip scrub.  I didn't want to have to go out and buy ingredients; the point was to use stuff I already had in the house.  For a face scrub, the only one I found that I had all the ingredients for was mixing salt with lotion.  I tried it and I was not happy with the results at all.  First of all, my face was broken out so the salt stung like crazy.  Then when I got it all scrubbed and washed off, my skin was so dry.  The lotion was supposed to keep that from happening but it did not work.  So now I use Apricot Scrub from Rite Aid and I am very pleased with it, especially since it costs just a little over $4. 

I did, however, manage to find a super simple lip scrub that works great.  Just take a little bit of granulated sugar (I use brown sugar) and mix it with a little bit of olive oil until it forms a paste consistency.  Then just rub it on your lips (I rub my lips together after putting it on, like when I'm rubbing in my chapstick, just to make sure it gets all the dead skin.  Rinse it off and your lips will be soft and smooth. Put on some chapstick to keep the moisture in and you're good to go.

Another thing that I find works really well is rinsing my hair with a vinegar solution to keep from having dandruff.  I tend to wear a lot of black still (trying not to, but most of what I own is black, so it can't be avoided) so dandruff is especially annoying.  I have tried many different dandruff shampoos and haven't managed to find one that works and that I can afford.  Countless places on the web said to rinse my hair with a mixture of 1 cup warm water and 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar (any kind of vinegar).  So I tried it and it worked, no dandruff at all.  Some people do it every other day, but I do it just twice a week, and it works great.  You don't want to do it too often or it will dry out your hair.

Do you know of any other awesome beauty tips using stuff you already have in the house?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Picture Pile 2: Winter Wonderland

None of these pictures are my own. I have linked them to their sources.

4/365 / Nadyuuusha

World Of Light / Krista Palmu
I love pictures with this type of light.
 what a wonderful world / absolut clutzy

Untitled / allison ☼

There's something about snow that just makes the world seem like a better place.  It's like everything has been covered in glitter and diamonds.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This Has to be Said

I don't like Christmas music, at least not the traditional stuff.  It's probably because my mom plays it constantly both in the house and the car from before Thanksgiving until Christmas, and sometimes afterward.

The only "Christmas music" I like is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.  There's nothing like "What's This?" to put me in the Christmas spirit.

Product Review: Face Mask

I purchased this cucumber face mask in a sample size at Rite Aid for just 99 cents.  There were 3 different types of face masks at prices considerably lower than the other types.  I didn't know if any of them would work, so I purchased a sample size.  At 99 cents, it's not a big waste of money if it doesn't work well, as opposed to paying for the full size and then being unsatisfied with it.  The mask claims that it will clarify and renew your skin.  It is the Freeman "Feeling Beautiful" Facial Peel-Off Mask in Cucumber.

Before applying the face mask, I exfoliated my skin.  I used the apricot scrub that I bought at Rite Aid for under $4.  I am really pleased with how well it works.  It is unscented and has shell fragments as the part that exfoliates.  It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and I will definitely purchase it again in the future.

This is what my skin looks like before applying the mask.  I have bad skin and it's very broken out right now.  Also, exfoliating it makes everything appear redder until it calms back down.  Besides my break-outs, I also get clogged pores so hopefully this mask will help with that.

I would provide during photos but they look the same as the before photos.  The mask is clear.  For some reason I expected it to be green, but it is not.  It smells really nice.  It has a refreshing scent, like a cucumber, so it seems like it's very natural, and not like I'm putting chemicals on my face, which is good.  The main ingredients are cucumber extract, aloe leaf juice, and glycerin.  There are also some chemicals in it, so it isn't completely natural, but it still smells like it is.  The consistency is about what you would expect, sort of gel-like and kind of sticky feeling. After applying it to your face, it makes your face feel cool, like when you put aloe vera gel on a sunburn.  It is a refreshing feeling combined with the refreshing scent.  The mask says to leave it on for 5-10 minutes, or until it gets dry, and then to peel it off and rinse your face.  I have had it on for about 6 minutes now and it's beginning to feel a bit tight and dry, so I'm going to go peel it off.

Okay, so I didn't take an after picture because my skin still looks the same.  I wish that I could convey  with a picture how soft my skin feels now.  The mask peeled off really well.  I rinsed my face and patted it dry like the instructions said.  I would advise you to either avoid getting the mask on your eyebrows to start with or to get some warm water on them before peeling off the mask.  This mask will yank out your hair if you try to pull it off and it is in your hair at all.  This includes the hair on your head.  In my experience with masks, this is pretty common.  If the mask is on your hair at all, put some warm water on the part in your hair before you peel off the mask.  Otherwise you'll pull out some of your hair and it will not be pretty.

Some tips:

Do the mask before you take a shower.  I did it after I showered and then had to get right back in the shower afterward to rinse the mask bits out of my hair.  There wasn't much, but I have OCD.

Your skin will feel so soft after you finish that you will want to keep touching it.  Try your very hardest not to.  The oils from your skin will make your face get oily, which you do not want.

My final thoughts.  The mask claimed to clarify and renew skin.  It did not clear my pores, but my skin does feel refreshed and very soft.  I do plan to purchase it in the full-size but I also plan to keep buying samples of the other types until I find one that clears my pores.  After purchasing the full size, I will continue to use it once a week, because I am so amazed with how soft my skin feels right now.

I guess I should make up some sort of score system, so here it is: Each category can earn a possible 2 points.  0 points is the worst possible score for each category, while 2 points is the best possible score for each category.

fulfills claims: 1 out of 2
scent: 2 out of 2
results: 2 out of 2
would buy again: 2 out of 2

for a final score of 7 out of 8

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dealing with Mean Girls-Part Two

Luckily for me, the mean girls just ignored me in high school.  There were plenty of them too.  I had my small group of friends and everything was pretty good.  In college, I had an interesting experience.  Maybe it's a little bit of an exaggeration to say that I accidentally joined a cult.  See for yourself.  Well, I would have linked to the post about that, but I appear to have deleted that post.  I'll provide a summary of what happened.  I met two girls.  They invited me to have a Bible study with them, but it was basically them asking me questions from stuff in the Bible and telling me that my answers were wrong.  I started going to church with them and hanging out with other people from their church, because they were really nice people.  This was while I was in my wheelchair, so I wouldn't have been able to get out at all if it hadn't been for them bringing me to game and movie nights, which involved having to have two guys carry me up their stairs.  (All of their houses had stairs to the main level.)  The two girls I had met first texted me every day to say "Have a nice day" and to ask me how I was doing.  They brought me groceries so I wouldn't starve to death, since my wheelchair was too wide for the line to get food in the dorms.  They started saying some things that I don't believe, and that it does not say in the Bible.  They twisted the words in the Bible to fit what they were teaching.  The final straw was when we had a Bible study and the campus pastor told us that people will claim that the church was a cult, but rest assured that they are not.  Whoa, major red flags.  So a few days later, I informed the two girls that I would no longer be attending their church.  There were some things that I didn't personally believe.  I made it very clear that I was not saying they were wrong.  I said that I hope we can still be friends, and they said that of course we can.  I sent a private Facebook message to my other friend, Jessica, who I knew they were also having the Bible studies with, as well as another girl who the same thing was happening with.  I explained why I was leaving and told them all of the things that didn't match up with what it says in the Bible.  I also said that at the Bible study we had, they said they aren't a cult, and no other church I have ever been to has felt the need to tell me that.  Jessica agreed with me and also left the church.  She's my best friend now.  The other girl did not agree.  And apparently she told the original girls what happened, because one evening I had to go to the hospital (I don't remember why exactly, but it was an emergency) and after the doctors fixed whatever was wrong, I received a phone call from a very angry one of the two girls.  I told her I was in the hospital.  She started screaming at me and was very mad.  Yes, I did imply in the messages that it was a cult.  No, that was not a good idea and I shouldn't have done it.  But that does not give them the right to call and scream at me when I'm in the hospital.  I hung up on her.  This was quite a while after I sent the Facebook messages and the two original girls, who had claimed we could still be friends, had been ignoring me ever since I told them I was quitting their church.  I would see them on campus and say hi and they would pretend I didn't even exist.  There were about 30 people total from the church who I had become pretty good friends with, and they all turned against me after that.  Sure, I said something I shouldn't have, but that doesn't mean that they get to pretend I'm non-existent.  I apologized and told them that I had overreacted, but they wouldn't hear it.  The worst part was that they had acted like my best friends, but obviously they were faking it.  After that, it takes a lot more for me to trust people, since i've seen how two-faced people can be.  So I don't have very many friends now, but the ones I have are true friends.  And that's what's important.  When it comes to friends, I'll take quality over quantity any day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hair Dye: Failure Edition

I tried to dye my hair back to a color close to natural, which is a light brown, because my roots were starting to grow out.  I have only ever dyed my hair from lighter to darker colors in the past.  From natural to red, and then from red to black which quickly faded to a dark brown.  With my limited hair dye experience, I didn't even think about having to bleach it first.  The result?  It now looks like my hair is growing out from dying it dark brown and my natural hair color is a reddish brown.  It should be really interesting when my actual roots start to grow out; I'll have stripes of three different colors.  Then I'll have to dye it.  But for now, I have convinced myself that it doesn't look too bad, and G agrees.  Now for pictures that don't really show anything!  Have you ever tried to take pictures of the top of your head?  It's harder than it seems.

Before: the bottom part is still this color

After: I didn't take a picture of my roots at first so this picture isn't very helpful for comparison
Also, the lighting is really bad, so my hair looks like it is all the same color, but it's not.
The main reason it looks okay is that there were random streaks of reddish-brown in my hair after I dyed it black, and they're still there and about the same color as my roots, so it doesn't look completely awful.

Lesson learned: Always bleach your hair before going from dark to light.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Achievement Unlocked: Wall Decorated

I finished decorating my wall a few days ago, but i just edited the pictures today.  There's one gap that I'll get a 4 x 6 frame and print something out to put in it.  Other than that, I really like how it turned out.

putting up lights?

the whole thing

this is one of my favorite parts
made this mask for a masquerade ball two years ago

I'm so happy with how this turned out. 
All I did to make the jewelry organizer was wrap the cool paper around the cardboard frame backing and tape it down.  Then I just poked the earrings through the paper and it's heavy duty enough that it didn't rip.  I really like how it looks with the silver frame.  Using a frame is also a great solution because you can hang necklaces on the corners.  You could also get some small hooks from the hardware store and poke them through the cardboard backing and the paper and use them to hang more necklaces, as well as bracelets.  Smaller hooks would work for rings.

I'm very happy with the final result, and it was surprisingly simple to make the jewelry organizer.  They would make great gifts, perhaps with some new earrings.  Just make sure that the paper you use is strong enough that it won't rip, and don't hang really heavy earrings on it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Fashion: My Camera Sucks

So for today's fashion post, I attempted to make snapshots from a video I took, instead of dueling with the 10-second timer on my camera.  The room was poorly lit, so it didn't work out too well.  Also, my camera put a bunch of color noise in the pictures, which I had to remove, so they look even worse.  Anyway, here's what I wore.

purse from Crossroads Trading Co. (thrift store)
the handle is falling apart so I have to get a new one soon

Yellow shirt: Walmart, grey dress: Crossroads Trading Co., brown leggings: Sears, red flats: Crossroads Trading Co.

I love this dress, so much that I have had to sew one of the straps back on once.  It's wonderfully twirly and has a cute bird design.  The flats are my go-to shoes during the summer, and I don't wear them very much during the winter.  They have a satin ribbon bow on the toes and they're red.  I love brightly colored footwear and purses.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Etsy Love: Sew Beastly

Today I would like to share a really great Etsy shop with everyone.  It is called Sew Beastly and the owner is really talented.  I personally think that anyone who can sew is really talented, but this girl goes beyond that.  She makes clutches, purses, and wristlets and they are all amazing.  I love every single one.  She uses some really adorable fabrics to make her items and embellishes them with ruffles and flowers, which are two things I love.  And you need to understand that I am the pickiest person ever when it comes to purses and clutches.  But I am not exaggerating when I say that I love every single item in her shop.  Not just like, love.  The owner also has a very interesting blog which I follow.  And I haven't even told you the best part yet! Look at the following picture:
the best part
For a limited time, she is sending you one of these for free with every order.  And they're all one of a kind.  They're the perfect size for chapstick, coins, or business cards.  And they're so cute that Cuties is the perfect name for them.  So you should all go check out Sew Beastly right now, especially if you aren't done with your Christmas shopping yet.

Large Linen Clutch With Ruffles & Hand-sewn Flower: The Obnoxious One In Chocolate Dream
I'll leave you with this. How freaking adorable is this?!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Picture Pile 1: Baby It's Cold Outside

First off, I'd like to welcome my 24th follower, Baz from The Tragic Whale.  You should really go check out this girl's blog and then follow it.  She's hilarious with plenty of tragic whale stories and fashion advice from mom stories.  She's also really good at sewing awesome stuff.

None of these pictures are my own work.  I just like them, and I have linked them all to their sources. Enjoy them and be inspired.

Surreal Collages by Philipp Igumnov  photography paper collage art

preview 45 Awe Inspiring Landmarks Around The World

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Disclaimer: This post is extremely personal and was hard for me to write.  Please do not judge me.  If you've never been depressed, you don't understand how hard it is.

Throughout my life I have always had different answers for this question. When I was in elementary school, it went from an astronaut to an archaeologist to a paleontologist (I was a geeky kid I say 'was' like I'm not geeky anymore, but I definitely still am).

I don't remember what I wanted to be when I was in middle school, but when I was in high school, I finally thought of the perfect job.  I would be a librarian.  I have loved reading ever since I was 4 years old.  Books were a higher priority than a social life ever was.  (I still don't have much of a social life.)  I could get paid for doing something I enjoyed.  Overly ambitious, I planned out a future in which I had a master's degree in library science.

My mind was made up until I went to college.  Part of it was the realization that libraries and books are becoming taken over by technology.  Part of it was the realization that I would be bored as a librarian.  So then it occurred to me.  I could do the other thing I love. Art.  In my mind this new plan manifested itself and my mind was made up that I would become a graphic designer.

The Universe had other plans.  I couldn't get into any art classes until the last quarter of my freshman year, but that was okay.  It was the one course I was required to take before I could take the entrance exam for the graphic design program.  I was really sick throughout that quarter, as I get from time to time.  I received something like a 2.6 for my grade in the class because of all the class I missed.  Fast forward to the entrance exam.  The exam consisted of three distinct projects and lasted all day.  The problem was that the exam was tailored toward people who are good at 3D design, 2/3 projects were 3D.  I am strictly a 2D designer.  And to make matters worse, one portion of one of the 3D projects involved imagining a bike rental system and sketching out plans.  I cannot draw a bike to save my life.  But I did my very best and I thought that I had nailed the other 2 projects.  One was designing a logo for Doctors without Borders and I can't remember what the other was.  I didn't get my results for 2 or 3 months after, and when I finally did, it came as a simple email telling me not much more than I didn't get in.  The odds were never in my favor.  Only 20 out of 200 people who take the exam get accepted into the 2D design program.  But I had my heart set on getting in. 

It was the first time I had ever really failed at anything.  And I hate to admit it, but I did not take it well at all.  I had been on Prozac for depression ever since my junior year of high school.  I had just reached the point where I was smiling and laughing again on a regular basis, and then the rug got pulled out from under me.  All of my plans fell apart all at once and I didn't know how to handle it.  At the same time, my mother had stopped taking her anxiety medication and everything I did rubbed her the wrong way.  I felt like I couldn't do anything right at all and I would never succeed at anything.  My mom left to get groceries for a while, and at the time the only grocery store around was a 20 minute drive away.  After she left, I got to thinking about everything.  I started overthinking and focusing on all the negative and before I knew it, I thought about how easy it would be to just go in the kitchen, grab a sharp knife from the silverware drawer, stab myself in the chest, and just end it all.  Thankfully I wasn't ready to kill myself but I went into my room and laid down on my bed and shut the door.  I didn't let myself get up off the bed, because I didn't want my mom, dad, and brother to have to deal with having me commit suicide.  My brother had moved out of the house when I started college, so I was the only one home.  I just laid down on my bed and cried my eyes out.  My cell phone rang.  Nobody ever called me.  My mom had got me the cell phone before I left for college so I could keep in touch.  I looked to see who was calling and it was my brother.  He had never called me before.  I picked it up and said hello and it was impossible to hide the fact that I was crying.  He asked me what was wrong and I told him everything, even the part about how I wanted to kill myself.  He had been depressed before so he was empathetic.  He told me everything I needed to hear and made me promise him that I wouldn't do anything stupid.  He drove to my house from Stevenson, and by the time he got there, my mom had gotten home from grocery shopping.  She found me crying on my bed and asked me what was wrong.  I told her everything and then she apologized for flying off the handle so much.  She told me she had stopped taking her medication, which I didn't know before that, and that she didn't realize she was getting angry at me so easily.  She went back on her medication, on a half dose.  My brother took me to his house and we played video games and watched scary movies.  He told me that any time mom and I were butting heads, I could call him and he would get me and we would hang out.

My mom and I started to get along much better and I stopped feeling like I was a complete failure.  My brother and I became best friends and we hung out a lot that summer.  One time, we went to Portland, Oregon and just walked around all day.  We went to Powell's Bookstore, Rocky's Pizza, and Voodoo Donuts.  It was so much fun.  He took me to see at least one movie every month.  He always picked them and I always thought they didn't sound very interesting but went anyway, and I always loved them.  My favorite was Fast and The Furious.  It wasn't the first one in the series; it was like the fourth or something.  After I went back to college, he and his girlfriend moved to an apartment in Portland, Oregon.  We didn't talk as often anymore but every once in a while, he would call me and talk for about an hour about everything going on in his life, and I would share the few things happening in mine.  This month, my best friend, my brother is graduating from Marines Boot Camp.  I couldn't be more proud of him.  He is an inspiration and I really hope that I can go home for the holidays and see him before he gets sent off for the Marines.

I don't know if I'll ever become a graphic designer, and I'm okay with that.  So now if you ask me what I want to be, I'll answer that I want to be happy and successful.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dealing with Mean Girls-Part One

When I was in elementary school, I was friends with every single person in my class of slightly more than 20 children.  I had two friends who I thought of as my best friends, Hannah and Josh.  I wasn't a very social child and I never went over to my friends' houses.  But we played together at recess and we sat next to one another in class.  When I was in 5th grade, I started helping the librarian during lunch time instead of going out and playing with the other children.  I'm not sure why I did this, because one of my fondest memories of elementary school is playing soccer at recess against older kids and always kicking their butts (figuratively, of course.)  I was really good at soccer and liked to play it every chance I could get.  But anyway, the fact is that in 5th grade, I helped out in the library instead of playing.  One other girl helped in the library.  Her name was Shelby.  We became friends.  It is important to note that earlier in the year Hannah and I had promised one another that we would be locker buddies once we started middle school.  In my school, 6th grade was still in elementary school and middle school started in 7th grade.  So we were planning pretty far ahead.  Josh got held back in 5th grade, back in the days before "No Child Left Behind".  Near the end of 6th grade, Shelby asked if I wanted to be her locker buddy once we started middle school.  I told her that I had already promised Hannah, but I would be her locker buddy in 8th grade, if she still wanted me to.  So that was settled, no hard feelings.

7th grade began and Hannah and I were locker buddies.  Life was great for a little bit.  It is important for you to realize that my middle school combined two different elementary schools.  So when 7th grade started, we were going to school with 20 other kids we had never met, besides the 8th graders.  Hannah was really cool until a little bit into our 7th grade school year.  She had been my best friend, so obviously I liked her.  Like me, she was the only girl in her family.  She had three brothers and I had two.  Being the only girl in a family of brothers caused us both to be tomboys.  I liked playing sports and she liked catching snakes.  But in 7th grade everything changed, for her anyway.  She befriended a bunch of kids from the other elementary school that had joined ours.  Before I knew it she was wearing makeup and going to dances.  In elementary school she snuck tee shirts and jeans under her clothes whenever her mother made her wear a dress to school and she would take off the dress when she got to school.  In middle school, she started wearing dresses voluntarily.  All of a sudden, I wasn't cool enough to hang out with anymore.  That was really tough for me, but my mom explained that in middle school, cliques start developing and girls get "catty".  But I made some new friends.  Brooke, Mariah, and Bethany were the outcasts and I didn't exactly fit in with them perfectly, but they accepted me anyway.  After Hannah left my locker to go share a locker with her her new best friend, Shelby left her locker for mine.  We didn't hang out much anymore, but she felt bad for me.  All was well until 8th grade.  Shelby and I shared a locker again.  I had the lower shelf, because I was too short to reach the top shelf.  I bought a magnetic mirror for our locker and I kept it at the height that I could see in it, not that I cared about my appearance.  It was just cool to have a mirror.  Some new friends joined my old group of friends: Jake, Palmer, Levi (who turned out to be pretty much psycho, but dated Bethany for a while), Ashlea (who is my brother's girlfriend's roommate now, but moved to Alaska for high school), and Nicolle.  Nicolle was really cool because she wore guy clothes all the time and didn't care what the "popular" kids said about her.  That year everything was going great until one day Shelby just blew up on me for no reason.  The last comment she made when she was moving all her stuff out of our locker was, "I'll put the mirror down on your level" and she moved the mirror to the very bottom of the door where it was almost touching the floor.  That really hurt.  I didn't do anything at all to deserve it.  To make matters worse, my grandpa had recently died of stomach cancer and I was having trouble dealing with it, which she knew.  My depression started when I was in 8th grade, although I wasn't diagnosed and medicated until my junior year of high school.  I made another friend in 8th grade.  Her name was Amanda and she was really quiet.  The band teacher had me teach her how to play the flute, and I did.  She kept playing in the band through high school and she was really good.  She was the first friend I hung out with at her house.  She's engaged now and getting married next September!  She has been my best female friend and never turned on me like the others I had back then.

Part 2 next week: the later years, high school and college experiences with two-faced females

Today's First Post

Two posts today.  The tale of betrayaal will be posted later today.  I got a 23rd follower.  I think she makes adult films.  Her Google Friend Connect profile links to a porn site.  Welcome anyway to Bangla Choti.

My giveaway is now closed.  The winners are: everyone who entered! Since there were only three entries and four prizes, one person wins two prizes! I used a random number generator and the winners are:
1. First place, winner of two prizes:  lalalalauren!
2. Second place, winner of one prize: the Tsaritsa!
3. Third place, winner of one prize: thinkellen!

Thanks to you three for entering and I'll send you all emails right now to let you know you've won and so you can choose your prize(s).

This was my first giveaway ever and it wasn't the best since the prizes are all things I already had and didn't use.  But since I started the giveaway, I discovered this website which connects companies with bloggers to do giveaways or product reviews or both.  My next giveaway will be through that website and it will be in February.  If it works out smoothly, I plan to start doing at least one giveaway every other month, so you can all look forward to that.  But I will do giveaways more often if anyone is interested in sponsoring them.  More information about that can be found here.

Once again, thank you to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Tale of Betrayal

Do you want to know why I've never been very good at making friends with other females? Coming Monday: a tale full of middle school drama.

And in other news, I discovered that Mario fruit snacks are a thing that exists and now I have some : ) And I found How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.  Also, I found out that G used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that made me very happy because I love that show.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Epiphany 2

Lately it seems like I have been having more epiphanies than days where I dress and shower before 5 pm.  That is not true though.  This is only my second epiphany in the past two weeks, and I have gotten dressed and showered before 5 pm at least 3 times in that same time span.  Anyway, I was being generally unproductive today while trying once more to call DSHS.  I have tried to contact them and failed every day this week, so I wasn't feeling too optimistic, but it needed to be done.  They are so hard to reach because most of the time the automated phone system just hangs up on you when all the operators are busy.  Today was a lucky day where I got put on hold.  I use the term "lucky" very loosely.  After about a half hour of being forced to listen to crackly Christmas music, I talked to an operator.  Long story short, I am being denied medical benefits.  The state does not provide medical help to adults unless they are blind, disabled, or pregnant.  I was chatting on Skype with G at the time and he said I should have told them that I think I might be pregnant. (I'm definitely not pregnant.) I told him that I totally suck at lying, plus it gnaws at my conscience and makes me feel sick to my stomach when I do it.  So I'm screwed if I get sick.  It makes sense that they don't want people just begging the state for help when they're too lazy to work.  I get that, but I have been trying and failing to find a job for at least half of a year now, and I have no experience at anything.  Anyway, I was understandably frustrated by the response from DSHS.  I said a few 4 letter words to G on Skype about how I felt about the situation and then I felt a bit better.

This post is not about DSHS.  It may appear to be, but I assure you that it is not.  It is about me figuring out my life (part 2).  After the annoying phone call, I was perusing blogs on Hellocotton, a girl's only blog community. (No boys allowed. *sticks out tongue*) I clicked on various blogs, followed a couple, and then I found the blog that caused my epiphany.  It wasn't anything the girl said specifically that made me realize what I need to do.  This girl is in her early 20s.  She shops at thrift stores and has an Etsy shop.  Sounds like a slightly older version of me.  The main differences: she's prettier and dyes her hair awesome colors, she can sew, and she's successful.  My thoughts: Oh hai, new role model.  (Note: I don't really think in LOLspeak. It just looks like it to your untrained eye.)  But anyway, there was one particular blog post of hers that caught my eye just a little bit more than all of her other eye-catching posts.   This post is called "3 tips for staying motivated while working from home".   And believe me, this girl knows what's up when it comes to home businesses; I checked out her Etsy shop and she's made nearly 6,000 sales!!!  I read the post, which was super helpful and made me feel motivated to be successful like her.  And then I got to thinking about my own plans.  I realize that my main problem is not being motivated enough to work on any of my home business ideas.  And then I realized why: I have three home business ideas, and I'm trying to do them all at once.  That will never work and will only result in a flaming pile of failure.  So the epiphany I had is that I need to pick just one idea and stick with it, for now anyway.  That way I won't be completely overwhelmed by all of the things I need to do and just end up not doing any of it instead.  When I become successful and confident with that one thing, then maybe I can add one more.  Maybe I'll eventually be doing all three, maybe not.  And that's okay.  I don't need to do EVERYTHING.  So the thrift store reselling and the freelance graphic designing will have to wait.  Maybe forever, who knows?!  I'm not really psychic, even though I claim to be when I make lucky guesses and G asks how I knew what was going to happen.  So at this point in life, I am going to make the very best jewelry I can and sell it on Etsy.  I will put my energy and my heart and soul into it until I become successful.  I will put the other two ideas out of my head and not worry about them.  It is better to do one thing well, than a bunch of things mediocre, or in this case not at all because it's overwhelming.  In closing, I would like to thank Kayla from The Dainty Squid for inadvertently inspiring me.  And that is why she is my new role model, plus she has an awesome fashion style.  So I would love it if you would all go check out her blog.  It's pretty great.  I'm not guaranteeing it will change your life, but I know that it changed mine.  Also, I am completely convinced that it is impossible to be unhappy when you wear bright colors.

My new role model. Just look how awesome she is!
(photo from here)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Fashion: Fashion and Failure

I made a decision: Fridays on my blog will now be Fashion Friday.  I couldn't resist the alliteration.  It's one of my weaknesses.  Some other weaknesses I have are chocolate, zombie movies, flash-based internet games, hats, and hoodies.  Today I wore one of my favorite outfits, complete with my favorite shirt and skirt.  This skirt is the only thing I own with lace on it, and I've been really into lace so it's my favorite at the moment.  I also had a light bulb moment as I was taking ridiculous headless shots of myself in the mirror.  My camera has a feature where you can make snapshots out of video frames!  So instead of the awful headless mirror shots, I can actually have pictures where I pose and have fun, which is the best part in my opinion.  So I attempted that today.  It failed hard.  The concept was great but the planning was not.  I should have cleaned up the room I was shooting in first, which I did not.  I should have also done a few seconds of test video to make sure no objects would be in the way of me while shooting the video.  I did not.  There was a chair in the way.  And the living room, which I do not use much as I am always in my room where it is warmer, was pretty messy because of my roommates and a friend of theirs who is staying with us for a while.  So you get a headless shot today.  But you also get an action shot collage auto-generated by my camera of the failure that was my video attempt.  Also, just know that since I planned on being headless, this was done pre-makeup, since I'm planning to dye my hair later and it would all get washed off in the shower, so I'm waiting to do my makeup after I finish dying my hair.

my favorite skirt, from Hot Topic at 95% off because they were going out of business
it cost me like 75 cents or something insanely awesome like that
not only does it have lace, but there are rounded studs as well and it's delightful for twirling
shirt was a gift, leggings from Sears, boots from Goodwill

my awesome purple boots

so much failure in such a small space, i dare you to view at full size so you can see the
intrusive chair and the clutter, but it's sort of artsy i guess in a hipsterish sort of way
Also, today is G and my 3 month anniversary. No plans for tonight except watching the Seahawks most likely get severely beaten by the Eagles.  (that's football, not bird fighting)  And G passed the final thing to get his master's degree yesterday! I'm so proud of him : )

What you can look forward to next week: hopefully no headless shots, maybe photos from me posing outside of my house somewhere, at least cleaning my house before shooting if not going outside.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rite Aid is Great Part 2

I went back to Rite Aid today and bought a bunch more stuff.  I used up my bank reward card plus $16 of my own money, but I'm super excited about some of these things.  Some of it is boring and functional, but I took a photo of all of it.

cheap brand Kleenex and razors are not the exciting products
also pictured: 3-way adapter so I can actually use my fairy lights, since I am using all of my outlets

The last two products are the ones that have me excited.  Sally Hansen, you are amazing.  I have heard both good and bad reviews of the Sally Hansen nail polish strips, so I decided to finally try them for myself. I purchased all Laced up, because lately I've been pretty into lace things.  I have an idea for a way to do a lace manicure without actually sticking lace on your nails too, but that's for another time.  I plan to do a Scotch tape manicure next, but after that I'll try these out and write a review.

The other product that makes me super excited is called the Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Manicure Clean-up Pen.  I am really excited about this product because I am awful at not polishing my fingers along with my nails, as I mentioned in a post a few days ago. It claims to instantly erase smudges and smears and I intend to test this claim.  I'll try it out when I do my Scotch tape manicure, and I'll review it for you.