Fall To Do List <3

I’m so excited for Fall. Like SO excited.  I decided to put together a list of things I want to make sure I do so I can fully enjoy the season and I just got Photoshop(!!!) so I used this opportunity to test it out!  Yay learning!  What activities are you looking forward to this Fall?  Or do you wish Summer would last a little longer?

Fall To Do List

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Kristin

Life Lately: Unpacking & Room Progress (It’s a Process)

I am still not unpacked from when I moved at the end of May and it’s really been driving me quickly insane.  I just don’t have the time to devote to unpacking, sorting and cleaning because my new commute only allots me enough time to eat dinner, maybe watch a BookTube video or two, shower and then go to sleep in preparation for the next day.  This past weekend, being the 4th of July, I found myself with two whole days to fully devote to cleaning and organizing.  I’ve donated about 8 bags of clothing (7 on purpose and one full of all of my work dresses, cardigans and leggings by accident – quite the traumatic experience but I digress), and I sorted through 23 boxes of books, while also moving the ones I barely touch out of my room which were left behind when I initially moved out.  I could not be happier with my weekend progress.  My closet is completely organized, my drawers have never looked so good and I have two beautiful (but not yet completed) bookshelves so I wanted to share some progress photos of what I’ve accomplished so far!  Hopefully your motivating comments will inspire me to finish so I can relax comfortably in my room very soon!  And if you have any organizing tips, I would love to hear them!

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Kristin

Life Lately: I Moved and Stuff!

There’s no place like home <3  Seriously.  As I mentioned in my Mid-Year Resolution post, I decided to move home for the next year or so while I focus on planning for the future.  I was really stressed out and unhappy at my apartment after dealing with a slew of bad roommates (to the point where I would sometimes not even go to my apartment for an entire month just to avoid the situation).  I never thought that being at my apartment could be more stressful than being at my full time job so clearly, a change was needed.  Now I get to bound around barefoot in my spacious house which is a simple pleasure that I now realize I took for granted. I’m still adjusting to my new commuting schedule- this is my first week and I have to leave my house at 6:45 as opposed to 8:20 so yeah, I’m functioning at less than full Kristin capacity- but I’m confident that I’ll get into the groove of it after a few weeks (hence the reduced amount of blog posts this week).  AND I HAVE SO MUCH READING TIME AND IT’S GREAT!  I’m on a train that’s much cleaner and quieter and full of less outwardly insane people than I would encounter daily on the NYC subway.  And I get a seat.  It’s p awesome.

Speaking of operating at full Kristin, I already feel so much better since I got the heck out of that place.  Granted, I have SO MUCH cleaning to do because I can’t even actually sleep in my own bed at this point (I have a lot of stuff [books / clothes / etc.] you guys) but I’m just in a place I adore and I’m surrounded by people I love.  And I bought that new book everyone’s talking about, The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, so I feel like once I read that I’ll be able to cull all of my collections and minimalize the amount of possessions I own so I’m only holding on to what truly makes me happy.  And I’ve been keeping so on top of news and blogs and other things that I had really fallen completely out of touch with.  I still haven’t resumed my previously overactive nature on Twitter, but it’s a process.  I’ve been planning like mad and I have so many amazing things that I want to share with you all and new weekly columns I’m adding to my blog and I really believe that everything is going to be just wonderful <3  Especially once I unpack and I can find the books I want to read because right now it’s whatever is in the closest vicinity to me.

I hope you’re all doing wonderfully and if there’s something that’s making you unhappy, please make the moves to change it no matter how difficult it may seem!

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P.S. I went to a wedding last weekend, spent more money than anyone ever should on hair that didn’t even last an entire day but several people told me I looked like Taylor Swift so I’m counting it as a win.

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Kristin

5 Simple Mid-Year Resolutions

A few months ago I began wondering if people would be more likely to stick to their New Year’s Resolutions if New Years took place during a month with warmer weather.  While I haven’t completely fallen off track (I’ve really been doing fantastically when it comes to my 2015 reading goals!), I have let some of the big ones fall by the wayside.  For instance, while I am creating more in a sense (you may have seen some of my recent BookTube videos), I do feel like I have periods where I’m slacking on blogging and since writing has always been my passion I want to make more of an effort to create and share more original content.  As much as I LOVE doing 5 Fandom Friday and Waiting on Wednesday, I hate feeling obligated to do them or that my blog is just an outlet to produce content for the sake of producing content.  I’ve written some recent posts that I’m really proud of – particularly on relationships, and I want to write more posts along those lines.  It can be scary to get really personal on the internet, but I always find that my most heartfelt posts, whether positive or negative, garner the best responses and remind me of the reason I started doing all this in the first place.  So here are some of Spring resolutions!

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1) Blogging: Write an in-depth post at least once every 1-2 weeks.  I’ve seen so many book bloggers and vloggers create TBR jars and while I love the look of them, I never made one for myself because I’m usually very specific about what I want to read next.  That’s why I decided to create a TBB (To Be Blogged) jar!  My jar is full of post ideas, topics, and memories that will take more thought and help me get back into the swing of things.  I also created a TBA (To Be Art) jar for Andrew so we can plan to have some creative nights together<3

Resolution: Be more thoughtful about posting what I want to, get more personal when writing posts and utilize my TBB jar!

2) Healthy Living: I’m going back to the days where I would start every morning with a glass of lemon water.  I’ve done it sporadically this year, but I want to incorporate it into my routine once again.  I’ve been hydrating better these days but now I always end up feeling dizzy if I don’t drink enough water by the evening.  I think if I start my day with a tall glass of water I’ll be more likely to remember throughout the day.  I also have to give myself credit because I have a standing desk at work and I have been utilizing it to no end.  I stand for the majority of my day every day and I walk in place and even do knee raises since no one can see me!  I think I might look like the crazy exercising woman from The IT Crowd but I’m totally okay with that!  I also walk roughly 2 miles after work every single day which has made me feel so much better about myself.  I feel like I was becoming a blob during the winter and I just generally feel more energized and good about myself since I’ve been able to start walking again.  Anyone who loves dessert as passionately as I do, really needs to get as much exercise as possible.

Resolution: Drink more water and incorporate more physical activity into my daily routine.

3) Planning for the ~Future~:  I’ve had lots of life things happening lately and after living with the worst roommate of all time, I somehow ended up with yet another one.  When your living situation is more stressful than your 9-5 job, you know there’s an issue.  I’m just not happy at my apartment and that’s why I need to make a change.  It was a really tough decision, but I’m going to be moving back home where I’ll be able to save the max amount of money until Andrew and I get married and we find a house together<3

Resolution: Save as much money as possible and be happy with my living situation.
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4) Reading:  I’ve been doing so well with my reading goals for this year and I’m also happy with the number of book reviews I’ve been writing!  It’s always been really therapeutic for me to write about my book feelings so I can reference them in the future and I love seeing everyone’s responses and comments!  I’m also LOVING BookTube.  I don’t even care how many people actually watch my videos because I have SO MUCH FUN filming them.  It’s so wonderful to be able to love something so much.  It might be because it’s still “new” in a sense and I don’t feel any obligations.  I just post what I want, when I want and it’s totally freeing and awesome!  So my reading goal is basically just to keep on truckin’.

Resolution: Keep up the great work Kristin! *pats self on back*

5) Staying in Touch:  In the past year or so I’ve gotten bad at staying in touch with people whether it’s online or via text or even in person.  I constantly find myself being busy and even when I see something small that reminds me of a friend I’m likely to think “oh I’ll text them later because I’m busy right now!” and then, I don’t.  I’ve also been tweeting WAY less frequently.  My family would always make fun of me for never being seen without my phone in hand but now, it’s not uncommon for me to go a few days at a time without checking twitter or instagram.  It’s weird.  And then when I do check, sometimes I don’t even feel like I have anything worthwhile to contribute because I’ve been away for so long.  I almost feel like an old person that’s like “what do I do on here?!”  On the one hand I do really love that I’m more present in real life and I’ve been enjoying that more but every time I sign online I do get that ping of sadness and I feel like “omg I’ve been missing out.”

Resolution: Make more of an effort to reach out to people in the moment and get better about checking Twitter!

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Life Lately: NYC Adventures with Sincerely Sara

Last weekend Sara of Sincerely Sara and I met up for a full day of fun on the first day of the season that was actually worthy of spring.  We grabbed crepes from Viva La Crepe (both of us opted for nutella & strawberry) and then walked over to The Strand where I put a slight lift on my No Spend April but I limited myself to just 3 books (which was especially difficult since we kept trading recommendations).  Then we met up with Andrew who took this lovely photo of us in front of a cherry blossom tree<3  We also got to see the newly unveiled street art of the giant baby Hulk in front of an American flag made up of distorted logos and ads which hit the corner of Bowery and Houston just one day prior.

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We walked to Morgenstern’s for ice cream cones (I had pistachio green tea, Andrew had salted caramel pretzel and Sara had mango), and then backtracked down 2nd Avenue where we made a quick stop at Toy Tokyo.  Sara picked up so Funko Pop figures for her brothers and herself, and I grabbed some Sailor Moon charms and a Funko vinyl of Trixie Lulamoon (the wizard pony on MLP).  We ended our day at Phyiscal Graffitea where Andrew and I had the most refreshing iced Moroccan Mint tea, and Sara had chocolate iced tea which we sipped while chatting about photography and past art exhibits in the New York area.  We also saw this beautiful Converse sneaker along our travels.  Overall, we had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to plan another trip together!  Sara is absolutely lovely in person and if you haven’t read her blog you can check it out here.  I personally love her outfits inspired by Once Upon a Time and classic literature, as well as her own outfit of the day posts and book reviews!

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Life Lately: The Final Days Of Winter

A couple of weekends ago Andrew, Carolyn and I met in Union Square to watch Melissa’s Kung Fu demonstration and belatedly celebrate Chinese New Year.  It was so much fun watching Melissa and her classmates perform (especially when they used weapons)!  It almost made me want to start practicing again.  I was enrolled in Kung Fu from kindergarten (because of my love of the Power Rangers) until 10th grade and I was one stripe away from earning my black belt before I quit in favor of wanting to spend more time with my friends.  Before the performance we watched people dressed as the three dragons dance around and accept donations for the hope of good fortune in 2015.  I particularly love the candid photo Andrew captured of us girls laughing together.

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After the demonstration we headed to one of my favorite eateries called Grey Dog.  It’s mostly frequented by NYU students but the food is delicious!  I ordered my favorite meal from there which is a Breakfast Quesadilla and Andrew and I sprung for a cocktail each.  I got the Vanilla Almond Chai Toddy and he ordered (but oh-so-graciously traded with me) a Hot Buttered Cider which was similar to Butterbeer.

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I never thought I would said this but winter is FINALLY winding down.  This past February was one of the coldest on record in NYC in YEARS and we were bombarded with snow more often than anyone who lives here was hoping for.  Granted, I guess it can be pretty or whatever, but enough is enough.  Also, Andrew looks dashing in his Sherlock-esque coat and scarf.  He ventured outside with me during one of the aforementioned storms so I could take a good photo of my book in the snow.

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Lately I’ve been collaborating with my good friend Melissa Grey (who also happens to be the author of The Girl at Midnight) and Andrew to create nail art tutorials based on book covers for YouTube.  Melissa is very talented and patient in her planning and application and watching her process has actually made me feel capable of recreating her designs on my own.  I even ordered my own nail art kit!  You can watch our first video for A Darker Shade of Magic here.  There are plenty more to come and I’m so excited to share them!

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Because of the cold weather and snow, I’ve spent the majority of my free time indoors reading, watching movies and playing video games.  Andrew and I went to GameStop together on Valentine’s Day and he bought me Majora’s Mask for 3DS and I bought him the new Ducktales game for Wii U.  He’s beaten his but I have yet to have the time to begin mine!  We have been playing Super Smash Bros. together on Wii U and that’s been a blast.  My favorite character to play as is Rosalina.  Also, our Amiibo addiction is still in full force.

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Since I’ve been inside so much, I haven’t been eating as healthy as I should.  Now that spring is on its way I’m ready to ditch some of the junk food (minus Ben & Jerry’s, Cadbury mini eggs, cupcakes and the occasional macaron because obviously) and start eating more fruits and veggies.

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I’ve also decided to start taking advantage of more of the events that NYC has to offer!  It’s so easy to let work and extracurricular work (blog, YouTube, etc) get in the way of going out and experiencing things and I’m determined to participate more, especially since the weather is becoming more bearable.  Last week I attended The Winner’s Crime event at McNally Jackson where author Marie Rutkoski met with Sara Rees Brennan for a discussion about Kestrel and Arin’s next installment.  The Winner’s Crime book is gorgeous and there’s a map(!) inside.  I am so excited to have my copy personalized by Marie herself.  If you haven’t heard of The Winner’s Trilogy, you an read my review of the first book in the series, The Winner’s Curse.  I also attended The Orphan Queen launch party at Books of Wonder with Andrew and Melissa.  The authors at this event included Jodi Meadows, C.J. Redwine, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Joy N. Hensley.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring my copy of Cynthia’s latest book but I believe she’ll be back for the mega signing during the New York City Teen Author Festival.  I also got to meet Alexa and Rachel for the first time IRL and they were so sweet!  I can’t wait to see them both at future events.

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Swoonworthy Home Decor + Baked By The Other Melissa

I am in love with Melissa’s apartment.  When I see how crafty she was and what she was able to make work on a reasonable budget, it makes me want to get my own place immediately.  On New Years Eve, Mel invited Andrew and I over and I got to take photos of some of my favorite areas of her decor since it was less crowded than her birthday party.  We were also in for a huge treat because we got to be taste testers in her new obsession with French pastries.  You can read about some of the fancy foods she’s prepared in her Baked by the Other Melissa column.  Everything was so delicious but my favorite were the baked rose petals.  She also has a darling little bunny named Teela who hopped around us when she wasn’t being shy.

Some other New Years festivities included 1) champagne (obviously!) 2) Melissa forcing us into watching Magic Mike, not once, but twice, because she’s in love with Alcide from True Blood, 3) making Andrew watch RoboCop in full for the his first time, and 4) after the ball dropped, slaying some zombies in Left 4 Dead.

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On Living With the Worst Roommate / Human Of All Time

Yesterday was supposed to be the day that I would be released from the stresses of living with the worst roommate ever. After months of not being able to sleep due to various issues involving her, avoiding my apartment because of the awful messes this girl constantly leaves in her wake, and countless phone calls with ConEd who came very close to turning off our electric after my other roommate and I found out she had been taking money from us every month and not paying our bill, I kept telling myself that it would only be a few more days. A few more days. A few more days.

My other roommate who is technically our landlord and the leaseholder informed her in November that she had to be out of our apartment by January 1st. He even extended her move out date to January 25th because of the holidays and yet she just decided that she would stay until February 1st. She swore that she had movers coming and would be out of our lives forever at 8AM Sunday morning. I woke up at 8AM on the dot on because I was seriously considering drinking champagne to toast the fact that I would never have to see or communicate with her again for the rest of her life. Alas, today is February 2nd and she is still not completely moved out.

If you’re wondering what led us to this point, I’m going to start listing some of the unbelievable things out here. Brace yourself.

It all started with her cat. Our apartment is on the second floor of a building and unfortunately our common area doesn’t have any windows so in the summer it gets pretty hot. She would lock her cat out of her room when she would leave for work in the morning so he was forced to stay and almost suffocate in the living room for hours on end. It was supremely inhumane. I believe this is why her cat would constantly bite me and try to get into my room when I arrived home. There were a few nights where I couldn’t even bring myself to eat dinner because I knew that if I opened my door I would get bitten and it would be a whole production to attempt to get back inside without him sneaking it and running under my bed where I couldn’t reach him (consequently, there were also plenty of nights where the cat didn’t have food and Andrew would feed him because she would have gone on vacation and just expected the cat to be fine). I wouldn’t necessarily have minded if the cat came in my room if she had taken care of him at all. She never brushed him so the moment he came within a foot of anything it would be covered in cat hair. After several hour long roommate meetings we finally convinced her to leave her door open so the cat could breathe during the day. I would also try to talk to her about the cat biting me and any guests I would have over and her response would be “oh that’s so weird” and “oh that’s probably my fault because I thought it was cute when he bit people as a kitten.”

Our second cat issue is that she tried to keep the cat litter in the bathroom and again, with no windows and an owner who clearly has no idea how to take care of a pet, it would smell disgusting. Our landlord had our kitchen redone and the workers constantly complained to her about the smell. We were also supposed to have our bathroom redone but our landlord said she wouldn’t do it while our other roommate was there because of what a mess she is. We battled and battled about her moving the cat litter into her room and she would agree but then as soon as the meeting ended she would go in her room and when we would confront her about it via text she would say things like “oh I decided not to move it because I don’t have enough space.” Finally, my other roommates girlfriend took matters into her own hands and moved it for us because we were all just so fed up.

The next ongoing issue we tried to tackle was the case of the missing silverware and our attempts to clean our dishes when the sink was perpetually full of hers. In addition to leaving the cat alone while she was at work, there would be many nights where she wouldn’t come home until after midnight, if at all. The next nights she would claim that she couldn’t do her dishes because she has narcolepsy and she gets really tired after being out until 3AM and then working until 6PM the next day. I’ve never heard of a form of narcolepsy that allows a person to go out drinking all night, function the next day at work, and only hit when you get home the next night. Also, this girl’s room is a black hole for anything and everything. I’ve seen clutter before but I’m honestly not even sure how she would navigate to her bed across the room when she would arrive home. There were several nights where we had to eat salad with spoons because she would hoard all the silverware in her room and it would be impossible to find. There’s also a difference been messy and dirty. She falls into the latter category. Upon her “moving out” we found a plate of fries, a hummus container, open bottles of alcohol and coffee grinds all over her floor. I’ve never seen anything so gross in my life. I would post a photo of it but I’m honestly just so embarrassed that this is what was going on in the room right next to mine.

But the icing on the cake was when we found a final notice from ConEd threatening to turn off our electric the day after New Year’s because she hadn’t been paying our bill. Not only had we been giving her money every month, but she had also been charging us for the late charges and interest accrued while she wasn’t making any payments. This was right before Christmas (which as everyone knows is my favorite time of the year), and I had just signed a contract to take over as a host of a YouTube channel. A thing that electric is necessary for. Talk about stressful. We weren’t even able to switch the account over after telling ConEd that she was in the process of being evicted because we had to be able to prove that we didn’t live there while she did. I had to knock on her door every day begging her to call them and try to sort it out and let me know what happens immediately. Her responses would constantly be “I was on hold forever so I just hung up,” or “I’ll try to email them tomorrow or something.” When my other roommate and I took it upon ourselves to call, we were given a full payment history of the account. She opened her account when she moved in in March, and didn’t make any payment until June. On top of that, she also had $400 of debt from a previous address in 2012 that she never paid for which was tacked on to our bill. When she FINALLY sent ConEd an email it began with her complaining about their security because we had been able to obtain a copy of the statement. She also “didn’t appreciate us going behind her back” and calling. I have no idea how her mind works. It took about 3 weeks to finally sort out and I don’t think I’ve ever had less sleep in my life.

Then in January, we found out via LinkedIn that she was no longer employed. She posted a long winded status update about hating a toilet paper bandit in her old office. On LinkedIn. That professional website. One would think that having a full month of time to clean your dishes, get organized and pack to move would be enough but apparently not. She decided to wait until January 31st at 9pm to start packing (and she tried to blame her friend for showing up late). From inside my room I heard her friend ask if she was only bringing some stuff the next morning. My roommate said “no, there are movers coming at 8AM,” and her friend replied “Yeah, MOVERS. Not packers.”

Anyway, February 1st rolls around and she leaves the apartment with the movers around 10AM after promising to be out by 8AM. I’m supposed to have been spending the day cleaning and getting ready to move my stuff into her old room so our new roommate could move in, but our living room is still full of her stuff, her room is the dirtiest mess I’ve ever seen and her cat is still roaming around the apartment. She comes back around noon to finish cleaning. At 2:45 I texted her asking for an update on when she would be gone since I have to work the next day and I’ve already wasted about 7 hours sitting around waiting to clean and move. No answer, as always. Then at 4 she knocks on my door, hysterical crying because she can’t find her cat. Andrew and I searched the entire apartment and he went outside and walked around the neighborhood to try to find him while I consoled her. In retrospect, I am very upset with myself for still trying to be the bigger person and offering her help.

Next, she finds the cat and schedules her car to come and get her and the rest of her junk. When we go back into the common area after she’s left there are 4 garbage bags and a ton of her stuff. Our sink is still full of her dishes and her cabinet is still full of food and everything that belongs to the cat is still out. I text her at 7 and tell her that the garbage goes out tonight and if I don’t hear from her by 9PM it’s all being placed outside. By 8:40 there’s still no answer so I send a reminder text. Then it comes “Hey, I meant to text you guys earlier, I need to make another trip for my stuff on the one side of the living room. The black bags by the door are trash.” So now I’m basically fuming. She’s lived with us for months and she’s had entire 31 days to clean and take care of her garbage but she’s leaving it up to us to handle. I shouldn’t have been surprised since she never once took out the garbage or the recycling while she lived in the apartment so why should her departure be any different?

Thanks to her total lack of motivation to do anything ever, I now have to schedule cleaning and attempting to move all my stuff on the few nights I have after working full time when I’m not required to film videos for my second full time job. Our new roommate cannot move in until I’m moved and once again it’s just exceptionally inconvenient for everyone except the one person who has tons of time on her hands. It angers me beyond belief that she probably enjoyed laying in bed and marathoning television shows (and deleting things no one else had watched yet) while making everyone’s lives difficult. It’s one of those situations where she thinks she’s right all the time and everyone else is wrong. I would hear her complain about the HR person at her job all the time because she thought it was ridiculous she would get in trouble for being late. It’s like she lives in a dream world of some sort.

After receiving her text that I would have to possibly see her for yet another day, I completely lost it. I said all of the things to her via text that I’ve wanted to say for months. Now that I’ve semi come down from the rage I was experiencing yesterday, I am still glad that I got everything out. If she had ever accepted fault or acted like she cared the slightest bit about even stealing our money, I wouldn’t have done it. But as I stated, she lives in a dream world and I feel that although she’ll continue to do so, I feel more at peace knowing that I pointed out her flaws because hopefully something will resonate and the poor souls she lives with next may be spared. I have never in my life been so mean to another human being and I hope no one ever drives me to that point again but I wouldn’t change a single word of what I said if I had the chance to do it over. I’m writing this post in the hopes that once this is all out there I can let go. If I get home tonight and her belongings are still crowding my common room I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. But until then, I’ll keep trying to breathe evenly and stay calm knowing that once she’s gone she will be gone for good and I will never have to see her face again as long as I live

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How I’ve Been Upgrading to Kristin 2.0 Through General Life Overhauls

I haven’t written one of these in a while because I’ve been SO busy but I’m really quite happy right now and I feel like sharing some of the reasons why.  I’ve been doing some major life overhauls and it’s really been helping me.

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Fashion

In 2014 I started a complete revamp of my wardrobe and I couldn’t be more excited about my recent apparel acquisitions.  My wardrobe had fallen into a serious rut that seemed more like one big advertisement than an expression of who I am. It felt like I was letting my interests overtake my physical appearance as well as my identity.  I still like the same things entertainment-wise, but I’m realizing more and more that who I am and what I like have no correlation to the items I wear that make me feel good about myself.

I’ve been culling my closet (moving played a big part in this because I needed to downsize my wardrobe), and stocking up on basics, statement necklaces, and the kinds of cute sweaters I used to don during my college years except with a slightly more sophisticated edge to them. I’ve even purchased a few pairs of jeans (which I’ve worn more than once!), and today I ordered a pair of sneakers which I haven’t done since high school.  Wardrobe purging and rebuilding is good for the soul.

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Entertainment

While I love comics and action films and all that stuff, I also like a lot of “girly” things too.  Being considered a “geek girl,” especially one who frequents the internet, had made me feel a combination of things.  While I enjoyed being part of a supportive geek community which seemed like something that had been absent during the rest of my life, I’ve began questioning just how supportive the community really is.

Is a community where I feel pressured to see and read every single thing that comes out for reasons other than pure enjoyment something I need in my life?  I don’t think so.  People online are so quick to jump down anyone’s throat if they make a mistake.  There’s a difference between correcting someone for their own benefit than for waiting for the opportunity for someone to screw up just so you CAN correct them.  I think the latter of these people need to spend some time outdoors, disconnected from the internet without the privilege of the anonymity of the internet.  People question how much you REALLY like something which I think is the most ridiculous concept.

For a while, I’ve also felt like I couldn’t share some of my other interests because I’ve been pigeonholed into this limiting “geek” category.  I don’t get as many likes on photos or favorites on tweets if I’m posting something that isn’t comics related and that had made me feel self conscious about my other interests.  It’s even a little dehumanizing in some ways.  I’m not a billboard for comics and I shouldn’t feel pressured into posting what I know will please the most people.  Now that I’m getting older, I’ve done a whole bunch of things which made me realize that I couldn’t care less what other people think, I’m going to be posting a broader scope of the things that make me happy.  I think the major turning point for me was NYCC 2013 for many reasons (just ask Giovanni because I think he witnessed my transformation most closely).  Since I’ve completely stopped caring about reading what every person in my Twitter feed is tweeting, I’ve been able to spend more time doing the things I really enjoy and I almost can’t believe how long it’s been since the last time I felt really stressed out.

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Social Media

In 2014 I culled my Facebook friend list.  This has made Facebook a much more enjoyable place and I no longer have to worry that some random person will post some weird thing on my wall and one of my family members might see.  Admittedly, I still don’t use Facebook all that much since it really is my least favorite social media site, but I’m going to be doing the same thing to my Twitter feed (possibly even today)!  I want to be excited about reading what my friends are up to without having to see someone else’s thousand RT’s of other accounts.  Melissa, Betty, Giovanni and I had a long talk about it last night and they convinced me that I should stop following people I don’t want to follow because I feel bad.

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8 Ways I’ve Been Making Myself Happy Lately

1) Spending the bulk of my free time with people who I love that don’t dwell on and complain about the most trivial of things (i.e., a faceless internet bro’s offensive comment on a [insert social media site / blog here]).

2) Reading all the YA books I can get my hands on during every free minute I find within the day.  I’ve also been writing more YA reviews which makes me feel so good afterward (which is probably also due to the adorable rating system Andrew created for me).  I love reading and chatting about books and going book shopping but my reading focus drastically decreased when I constantly had my phone sitting next to me so I could stop and check it every time I heard it vibrate.

3) Getting into new-to-me TV shows that have become rather addicting (i.e., Pretty Little Liars, The Carrie Diaries, Gilmore Girls, The 100, etc).  I really want to start the Pretty Little Liars book series too.  There’s already 16 books but I feel like I would fly through them.

4) Buying only the single issue comics that I absolutely know I’ll read immediately.  This has freed up a TON of space and has allowed me to actually save money.  I’ve even been buying some of the things I want to read but know I won’t get to weekly in trade which looks better on my bookshelf anyway.

5) I’ve been watching SO MANY BookTube vlogs.  Like every morning.  And catching up on old ones I’ve missed out on until now.  I’ve even been thinking about infusing my YouTube channel with some book vids, especially since everyone is always asking me to do a bookshelf tour!

6) Baking desserts with more of an intention of them tasting delicious than looking cool and being geeky themed.  I still love themed things, but I’ve been honing my baking skills with things like this amazing chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.  Now that I have my pink KitchenAid mixer I just want to bake all the things!  And it’s also awesome that Melissa has gotten so into baking lately too because I have someone to talk to about it!

7) Reading more health-centric articles and finding a skincare regimen that fits my needs.  Also, watching makeup tutorials and reading beauty blogs.

8) Pinterest.  I’ve officially traded tumblr for Pinterest.  It’s so much more organized, full of helpful ideas, and it isn’t cluttered with general negativity.  And it’s a much better system for cataloging images.

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Before I confuse everyone into thinking that I’m completely giving up my geek interests, that’s not at all the case.  I’m just going to be offering up a wider range of my interests online.  Will I still post about Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Bat family and Star Wars? Absolutely! I’m just going to be more open to sharing the other aspects of my life that make me who I am so those posts will be found alongside beauty, books, and fashion things.  I’m also going to continue dressing in a way that makes me feel more confident and happy about the way I look.

Lastly, please do not be offended if I unfollow you on Twitter during my social media cull.  I’m already dreading the messages asking me why which I received when I de-cluttered my Facebook friends list.

Bloglovin ♥ Twitter ♥ Instagram ♥ YouTube ♥ Goodreads ♥ Pinterest

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Thanksgiving Recap

Since I wasn’t able to create a pre-Thanksgiving blog post due to all of the BEAUTIFUL design updates 801red recently made to my site, I thought now would be a good time to take the opportunity to recap my holiday and give thanks for the people and aspects of my life that I love most.  I think it’s important to constantly be in the habit of expressing gratitude throughout the years instead of just recognizing those things on that one designated day.  First and foremost, I am incredibly grateful for my family, my amazing boyfriend and my best friends.  It’s the people we spend the most time with that truly enrich our lives and I realize how lucky I am to have been blessed with such wonderful people.  I would be a completely less happy person if it weren’t for them.
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This year has been very transitory for me.  I met Andrew, I moved into my friend Taylor’s apartment in New York City (less trains YAY!), and I got a new job.  Since I’ve moved I’ve been able to focus so much more of my energy on doing the things that make me happy.  My stress levels have reduced beyond belief which is due to not having to drive anymore (I HATE driving with a fiery passion), and working in a place where I feel like I belong and my work is appreciated.

There are so many more little things that I’m grateful for each day but these three are the major sources of my happiness.  So now, on to Thanksgiving! (Below is my OMG IT’S SNOWING FACE during our train ride back to Long Island.)

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This year I basically celebrated Thanksgiving twice.  On the actual holiday Andrew and I spent the day with his family (and I got to wear my new fall foliage top from ModCloth!) which is always so much fun!  He’s one of five so there is never a dull moment in his household and each member of his family has a different specific interest so they’re all really fascinating to converse with!  We watched the Thanksgiving day parade for a little while and I fell completely in love with the winter Pikachu float.  SO adorable. Look at that hat and those cheeks!!

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I’m a vegetarian and people always assume that means I can’t eat anything on Thanksgiving, but you can see a photo of my FULL plate of food below.  So many delicious side dishes!  For dinner I always make a sweet potato casserole that basically should be dessert because it tastes like cake.  This year I also tried out a new dessert recipe out for these amazing chocolate peanut butter brownies from the Seriously Delish cookbook.  It’s a layer of brownies with a peanut butter filling and a milk chocolate ganache topping with mini peanut butter cups.  It’s so rich but totally yummy!
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The next day we left Andrew’s and headed back to my house to see my parents and my brother.  Both sets of my grandparents joined us for leftovers and one of my aunts came over for dessert so since we behaved like Hobbits, we’re referring to it as our Second Thanksgiving.  It’s still strange not seeing my family every single day (even though I talk to my mom on the phone almost every night!), so I really love getting the opportunity to go home and spend time with them when I can.  After dinner, my newly-married-best-friend-since-first-grade, Amanda, and her husband Brian came over for drinks and to catch up in general.  We had so much fun but by the time they left we were EXHAUSTED.  Overall, it was one of the best Thanksgiving’s and Second Thanksgiving’s I can ever remember!

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So, that’s pretty much it.  Thanksgiving YAY!  How was your holiday?  What are you thankful for?
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