A new year has begun, 2015 is here to stay (until next year). By this time, you may be sick of hearing other’s new years resolutions, possibly already slacking with your “get in shape” goal and what not. Don’t worry, this isn’t a post that’ll make you want to gouge your eyes out (hopefully) with resolutions and what not so read on good reader, read on.
It seems as we get older, time moves rapidly and years pass by within a blink of the eye. If you think about it, every day is just another day where the sun rises and sets over the Earth, life begins and ends. But come January 1st, we as humans view a new year as a new beginning. Most of us see it as a reset, a fresh start and so we begin again, continuing life with a refreshed approach to each year hoping it ends up better than the last. (Unless of course you had one kick-ass previous year and it may seem impossible to achieve a much better year, right on!)
Most people make lists of goals to reach throughout the year and let’s be honest, they end up being half assed or forgotten. Why? Half the time it’s a lack of motivation, we lose ambition or just end up getting too busy with other things. Life happens and that’s okay.
So what can we do to ensure we have a good year and achieve goals? How does one approach a new year ‘hitting the ground running’?
Don’t plan for anything other than self-growth, prune out the negative, and say yes more often.
Now I’m not saying to not have goals, goals are great to have, but don’t go in telling yourself “Oh I want to do this, I want to do that”, go in saying “I will do this. I will do that”. What you do with your life is completely determined by you and your approach.
Something that I’m still learning is not everything will go as planned. You can spend hours, days, weeks, months, years planning for something and come the time of it actually happening, it will most likely not go exactly as planned. It’s fine for you to have some form of a plan, a basic outline per-say, but go into things with an open mind and heart, ready for change as it will happen.
There are no promises of tomorrow so you should only live now. Challenge yourself and open your eyes. This Earth is enormous, there is so much to learn from, each person you meet can teach you something about yourself and help you better understand who you are. Even if you think you have yourself figured out, you don’t. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Approach every day as a learning experience. Every stranger, every person, life form or anything you may come to face that day can help you grow. Self-growth and your health are two things you should always strive for every day.
With the people you meet, there will be those that are negative. You know the type I mean, they have a negative outlook on life or they can walk into a room and practically suck out all of the positive energy. These are people can bring you down and in ways, hold you back from going further in life.
Some negative people will come and go, some linger. You determine who you allow into your life and it is up to you to prune out those who can impact you negatively. We all have someone in our lives that we’re thinking of right now and saying, “yep, they’re the negative person in my life and I don’t need them”. If that’s the case, then you sir/madam have a person you don’t need to associate yourself with anymore and thus, should prune the wilting flowers from your tree so new blossoms can grow.
If there is a person in your life that brings you down, if you distance yourself from them my guess is you’ll feel happier and the negativity that was there because of them is gone. If it isn’t, then the negativity is within yourself and that’s something you need to figure out.
Now there are many factors that can contribute to stunting your self-growth. I feel that most people allow their fears to be one of these factors. Fear can keep a person from doing so many amazing and life changing things. Some people allow the societal structure to keep them from realizing they can go and do whatever they want at any given moment. (Granted, I at times can be one of said people). The world is all around and everything it has to offer is available to you no matter your position.
Stop distracting yourself with technology or petty things within your life. Say yes to new things. If there’s something you haven’t tried or done yet that someone offers up or the universe presents to you, say yes to it rather fearing the unknown and saying no. You will not know what can come of new things without giving it a chance. Say yes.
I know that sometimes the fear is a matter of change, some people don’t like change – I get that. But sorry, it’s inevitable (unless you lock yourself in a room until you die – please don’t do that, that’s not good. Get out there, you’ve got this). Change is going to happen. We all hit puberty, we all learn new things, we all have to make decisions whether big or small, we all have to face death of loved ones and eventually death of ourselves in time. Change is all around us. Everything that we do directly and indirectly effects the universe and ours lives, changing paths, changing life in ways we don’t even realize.
If you’re someone who’s allowing the fear of change to prevent you from doing amazing things, you can continue to cower in your corner or tell yourself, “you know what, no, shut up fear, this is my life and I’m going to live it” then stand up, and charge at change with your head held high and allow yourself to embrace the change. Either way, it’s happening. Why not approach change with open arms and learn more about yourself through the change? It may be scary, but in the end you’ll look back and be happy you allowed change to happen naturally.
As Mark Twain said, “20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did…” Why live a life of regret when you can decide what actions you take for yourself right now?
2015 will be a year of growth, learning, kick-assery, and overcoming fears. You are going to achieve great things, say yes to new, and learn more about yourself throughout the year. Believe in yourself and keep the above in mind and you can make everyday truly your own.
The cold that’s occurring here is awfully, well, cold, but I absolutely love when it snows around this time of year. I’m currently visiting family back home in New Jersey and within the first few days of being here, there was a light snowfall. Of course, my ass was out bright and early snapping some photos and these are a few, enjoy!
These photos were taken with my Canon Rebel T3i and edited on my phone with Afterlight.
I’m someone who tends to stick to the same routine and usage of products but lately I’ve been forcing myself to stray from the routine and try new things. And thus, I have accumulated a little list of products that I’ve recently started using and some things that I just always really like and enjoy.
I’m very particular about my skin being as I’ve had acne for over 14 years and it’s the one of the main things I’m really self conscious about. It’s very rare for me to use different products on my skin being as I always fear having bad reactions or it worsening my skins condition. But, here are a few products I’ve been using and are finding to be my favorites.
https://www.innateskin.com/shop – Use the coupon code “pirate20” for 20% off your first purchase
One day I was tweeting about how I was fed up with acne and this company, Innate Skin, tweeted to me saying that it could be a deficiency in vitamins and offered to give me a sample of their product to see if it helped at all. Now, I’ve tried almost everything (except Accutane) and none of it seemed to work, or perhaps I wasn’t aware and taking or doing things properly, and so I said to myself, why not try it? And so they sent me a couple months supply and included a mask that they were still working on and said to just let them know how I liked it. Once I got the vitamin packs, I was honestly a bit nervous to try them but figured, eh what the hell, and stuck to taking them consistently every morning with my breakfast for a few months to see how it would affect my skin. Over time, I noticed that most if any breakouts were either from hormonal changes from my period or stress mainly. I feel like taking these vitamins, mixed with using my Clarasonic Mia and Lush’s Grease Lightning are the perfect mix (along with some relaxation to reduce stress and clean eating) for my skin to finally become clear and less aggravating. If you’re fed up with acne and want to give this a shot, I say definitely go for it because it could help you tremendously but be aware that everyone may have different results, some extremely good, and some not noticeable. If you do want to try, be sure to use the coupon code “pirate20” to get 20% off of your first purchase!
https://www.innateskin.com/product/mudmask/ – Use the coupon code “pirate20” for 20% off your first purchase
Along with trying out the vitamin packs, they send a sample of this mask that they were testing and asked for me to give them my opinion to help them better the product in any way. I was extremely weary of any type of face mask being as most irritated my skin, broke me out, or dried out my skin which ultimately lead to breaks outs as well. But one night I decided to try it out and oh. my. goodness. It’s a natural feeling mask being as you have to stir it since its infused with vitamins and oils that are good for your skin. It smells similar to a cleanser I’ve used before from Lush, Herbalism so the scent doesn’t bother me – it’s not a bad scent at all, kind of like a green, lavender but not lavender scent if that makes any sense (I’m sorry but I’m awful at describing smells hah). Once I mixed it up, I lathered it onto my skin and it felt so soft and soothing on my skin, I immediately fell in love. It didn’t irritate my skin while it was on at all and to me, that gave it +50 yes pts to me. After about 20 minutes (they say somewhere between 15-30 minutes) I splashed some water on my face and rubbed my skin in a circular motion and rinsed the mask off while doing so. Now it does feel oily, but it’s a good type of oily feel. After rinsing, I patted my face very lightly and massaged the remaining oils onto my face. My skin felt so soft and just incredible. That next morning is where the love was solidified. My skin looked so clear aside from a tiny few scars and even they looked good! I never would do this, but that day, I only dabbed on a tiny bit of concealer, powder and went on about my day feeling really freaking good. Now they say to use this mask 1-3 times a week; I haven’t done that being as I only had a bit and really wanted to save this for special occasions. Since then, I’ve used the mask at night whenever my skin was really bad and needed some serious love and care and nights before big events or special occasions (before VidCon for example which is a Video Conference where I see a lot of my online friends, meet viewers, and am around a lot of people). If I could only have one mask ever in my life, this would be the one I choose. The way it makes my skin feel and look is something I haven’t seen before. Granted, I haven’t tried every mask under the sun, but I do know my skin tends to be very sensitive and this mask makes my face sing with joy. Honestly, try it. It may do some serious wonders for your skin as I feel it does to mine.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have the worst under eye dark circles or bags, but some days when I barely sleep (if at all), my under eyes can definitely show it. This is a product I impulse purchased and am so glad I did. It has a lovely metal ball tip that you use to cool down any puffiness and feels extremely soothing when putting on. I’ve used about 6-10 little tubes of this and the days I don’t use it, I feel like my under eyes look like hell.
Depression is hard to simply explain. Depression is something that casts a dark cloud that will block any view that may be ahead. It will consume your mind, your each breath and drain you of any energy you once had. Depression throws you down a deep dark tunnel with no food, water, barely any air to breathe and closes off the only exit with a mountain of darkness leaving you no escape. It will have you feeling as though you’re the only person on an island far from civilization. And I’m not talking some sweet get-away island. I’m talking a place where it’s constantly cold, dark, rainy and horrid.
Living with depression is something that I wish no one ever had to do. As someone who lives with it, I know how hard each day can be. For years, I have had no drive, no vision of anything in my life. I have absolutely no clue what may be before me for this cloud has consumed me and doesn’t allow me to see ahead. And once you slip into this dark hole, it’s hard to hold yourself up, and extremely hard to come completely out of it. There are days, there will always be days, that are good where you can laugh and smile but then there are days that are awful leaving you curled up in your bed wanting to die.
When you see others happy and out living, you can’t understand why you feel so drained and weighed down, unable to get up, move, and be happy too. Laughing at little things is a difficult without faking it. Genuinely smiling from happiness seems foreign and it’s not something you choose. Sure, you can tell yourself to be happy and smile but with depression inside, everything, every thought, every breathe, you’re hearing things that tell you otherwise. “You’re pathetic, there’s nothing good about you, no one really loves you, why are you even breathing…”
On long trips, I know I tend to think of all the possibilities and need for options when it comes to clothes and anything under the sun that I may need. You know, if I’m going away for a month, I may need an to pack 10 outfits, a couple dresses, every shoe for every possible occasion, a variety of bathing suits and purses, some groceries, books, an ironing board, a disco ball (you want to be able to bring the party anywhere you go, right?), my dog…
But truly, do I actually need that stuff? If I’m going away for 2-4 weeks, I at max need 7 shirts, and 2-4 bottoms (1-2 jeans, 1-2 shorts/skirt/whichever else) and perhaps one fancy occasion outfit. If I were going somewhere where the weathers a bit unpredictable, bring a light jacket or something easy to layer.
Minimal is key when packing and traveling and remember laundry is a thing and you can always buy necessities once you reach your destination.
I may have forgotten that on my last trip and packed a giant suitcase that was well over 60lbs (50lbs is the weight limit with most if not all airlines when flying). Yep, I know, too damn much. Once I got to my destination, I realized I packed way too much and immediately wanted to send a whole suitcase back. Now I’m just straying from what I had originally set out to write.
Pack less, carry more. When traveling, it’s always best to pack the minimal amount you can but carry with you all of your adventures, growth, lessons, and all that comes with your time traveling. And I’m not talking about souvenirs (if anything, save your money; don’t spend so much money on something you can probably make at home with the thought process of “oh but it’s from here”).
While traveling, you can learn so much about the world around you; different cultures, more about yourself, grow as a person with things you’ve learned from strangers or through scenarios you had to face. Perhaps your travels may just be to a hotel and the beach just outside, but even there, you’ll explore, mentally or physically, and you can learn so much about yourself.
Carry that with you in a way that doesn’t weigh you down but instead makes you stronger and holds you up.
Just within my first two weeks of staying in LA with my boyfriend and friends, I learned so much and could feel that there was so much more that I could carry with me for the rest of my life. Things about myself, things about the world, anything and everything I learned throughout my trip, I shall carry with me for the rest of my life in a way that will help me as a person.
Thus, along my trip, I realized that I should have packed less and carried more.
After staying in LA for a month, Ty Moss, Adorian Deck, and I drove up to San Francisco and stayed there for about a week. It was a lovely time filled with great experiences and adventures. Here are some of the photos I took along the way! (Any photo of Ty and I was taken by Adorian)
During my stay in California, a lot went on within the small time there. Drunk VidCon nights, staying in different places, spending time with different people, exploring new places, visiting old ones, all of which I had an amazing time and have now some beautiful memories. I figured I’d share some of the random miscellaneous photos I took and they’re pretty random, enjoy :D
In July, I stayed in Los Angeles, California for a month. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had thus far in my life. Living there helped opened my eyes to a lot of things I was aware of before but not fully understanding.
Everywhere on this Earth is absolutely beautiful, we all just need to pay attention to it all. Above are some photos I took from a day I spent Hiking with some amazing people. Now I’m not sure if you know this, but I’m an incredibly lazy person, but that day we went on a hike up Eaton Canyon which was a fun adventurous time, then decided to hike up the Wisdom Tree to watch the sun set over the city. This is, sadly, a big deal to me. There was a point in time where I thought to myself, “Nah, I should just sit and do some work on the computer, I can’t hike up to the Wisdom Tree after just hiking Eaton Canyon”, but my friends convinced me otherwise and I did it. The Wisdom Tree hike wasn’t long, but it was extremely steep, narrow, and difficult but I managed to get up to the top and boy was that view worth every drop of sweat and blisters. Absolutely stunning.
Below are some more photos that I took on another hike up near the HollyWood sign (from the Observatory)
Love is a truly beautiful thing. There are so many types of love, it grows in so many different ways, hits you at the most random times, and swoops you off your feet in a matter of seconds. Here’s a beautiful story of a time I encountered my first love while on a vacation with my parents and family. Let me tell you the story of my first love.
The oceans mist brushed across my face as the wind picked up, blowing my hair wildly. My fingers wrapped around the bannister of the hotel balcony as I gazed out toward the ocean. I’m finally here. An escape from reality and time to just be me. No responsibilities, no worries. The sun was beginning to set due west, casting a gorgeous light across the sandy beaches and ocean beyond. Relaxation mode, engage.
In the distance, I could hear skateboards heading in my direction. I looked over to see two boys skating towards the park, a distance away to my left. One of them glanced up, catching my eye and slowed down as he came near the balcony. I was only up a tiny distance from the street, being on the first floor, so we had a clear view of one another. He smiled up at me as the second boy slowed down, following the firsts gaze up at me. They walked passed with their boards in hand toward the park and both smiled up to me. I blushed, smiling back, then looked back towards the ocean as they passed. A breeze picked up, giving me a chill and I returned inside my families hotel room. My parents were unpacking and getting ready for a night out with the rest of our family that were staying at the hotel with us. This was the one time throughout the year we all were able to get together, the one time