Thursday, March 24, 2016

What to Do When Dreams Don't Come True

So I'm pretty sure we've all had that experience of getting our hopes up for something, only to be let down when it doesn't work right or live up to what we imagined. Maybe it's thinking a new job will fix everything, or getting out of high school and into college, or getting out of college and into your career.

Honestly, it could even be as simple as finding some perfect piece of clothing, ordering it online, and then it doesn't fit when it comes in. 

In my case, it's been prom. Namely, my prom dress. I was having a dress custom made, and it was going to be perfect. It was just the style I wanted, and it would fit me perfectly, and the color was exactly what I imagined. I loved it. I felt like a princess in it, and so that's how I imagined prom. 

I really built the whole thing up in my mind as being the perfect ball at the end of a Cinderella story. I was going to wear my blue ball gown and my perfectly matching shoes and I was going to match so well with my date. We would take cute Cinderella pictures, and I really would be a princess, if only for the one night, and the whole thing would just be perfect

But with less than two weeks to prom, there was a complication with the dress. So, in a last minute back up plan, we ended up buying a dress, this one pink and definitely not a ballgown. Although I liked the dress we bought, it wasn't my blue Cinderella dress, and I was really still holding onto the hope that we could get it fixed in time. 

Hearing the seamstress say "no time" as she looked at my dress kinda felt a little bit like that moment when the stepmother rips the first piece off Cinderella's dress. I could just feel all my dreams of having that Cinderella moment just crumble. I had put so much into this fantasy in my head that I just couldn't cope with the fact of it not happening. 

And for some strange reason, no fairy godmother showed up to wave a wand and say "bibbidi bobbidi boo" and make all my dreams come true again. Who knows why that didn't happen.

I think I've finally adjusted to the idea of wearing pink instead of blue (what a Cinderella story in reverse, right?), and getting my blue dress fixed and saving it for next year. But since life unfortunately isn't a Disney movie and every wish you make doesn't come true, I think I've come up with a few tips that might make it easier when things like this happen.

  1.  Watch cute animal videos to cheer yourself up. No, just kidding on that one, but doing something else you enjoy isn't a bad idea. 
  2. Wait. I know I'll get to wear my blue dress next year, for my senior prom, and it'll probably be all the more special because I waited for it. Sometimes we just don't get what we want right away, and that's okay. Delayed gratification, and all that.
  3. Change your mental ideal. This thinner pink dress may not be my blue ballgown, but at least I can say it's fitting to wear a pink dress first, if I really want to be like Cinderella. Not to mention the dress has a bit of Downton Abbey style to it, and I love Downton Abbey, so that's always an idea as well. Looking at things from a new perspective can change how you feel about it.
  4. Don't put so much hope in things that won't last. Let's face it, life is going to let us down sometimes. I know when it all boils down to it, this is a dress I'll wear maybe once, and it's not like it's a wedding dress. Will I remember my dress in 50 years? Will I still be upset about it? Maybe, but I honestly doubt it. My time would be better spent worrying about things that will still matter. 
I wrote these mostly thinking about my dress, but they can apply to a lot of other things as well. Have you had a similar experience? What did you do to get through it? Let me know in comments!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pantone Color(s) of the Year

Hey guys!

So this isn't really a very long post, and I'm probably pretty behind in posting this. But, in case you haven't seen the Pantone color of the year for 2016 yet, I'm going to talk about it for a minute!

I'd seen one of the colors listed at the color of the year this year already, but it was honestly only the other day that I realized that there were two colors that had been listed together! The first, the one that I had seen before, is called Rose Quartz, and it's a pastel pink. But the other one is really what caught my eye, and it's called Serenity. It's a cool, pastel sort of blue, almost with a slight purplish tint.

If you can't already tell by my blog design (and by some of my posts), I'm really liking this sort of color pairing at the moment! Not only is it fresh, flowery, and perfectly paired for spring, but it's just such a soft, soothing combination.

Not to mention that it reminds me a bit of some classic fairy tales, namely Cinderella's two dresses and the well-known battle the fairies had between pink and blue dresses in Sleeping Beauty.

Honestly, I'm quite proud of myself for having picked this color scheme for my blog before I knew Pantone had declared their color of the year and validated my decision! Guess I'm a trendsetter, huh?

If you want to read more about the colors and the decision to make them the color(s) of the year for 2016, you can check out the article here.

What do you think of these colors? Will you be incorporating them into your style this year? Let me know in comments!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Minor Technical Difficulties...

Hey guys!

If you have previously subscribed to by blog using the email box in the sidebar, it seems that there may have been some technical difficulties regarding your subscription! The subscription service I use is currently showing no subscribers, although I know some of you have subscribed in the past.

I think the problem may have been caused by some changes I made to my blog and the accounts associated with it, so if you have not been receiving email updates like usual, I apologize! Subscribing again will probably solve the issue. And if you have been receiving normal updates, please let me know, so I can tell if it's just a glitch on my end.

And if you haven't already subscribed, why not? Go ahead and use the link in the sidebar to stay updated on all of my latest posts!

Thanks for your support!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Blogging and Design

Hey guys! So I had planned to write a lot more this week, but it turns out I was rather busy with blogging... just not necessarily my blog!

I ended up helping two of my good friends, Raveena and Isabelle, (who are coincidentally both also flute players!) set up and design blogs of their own this week. It made me incredibly happy to know that I inspired them in some small way and was able to help them achieve something they wanted to do.

I have always wanted to inspire people, and even something as small as Raveena messaging me and saying that my blog made her decide to finally start one of her own, well, that's a great feeling.

Not to mention I have so much fun designing my website and theirs! The design might just be my favorite part of having a blog, and I've even considered being a web designer as a career. At least now I've got more to add to a portfolio, am I right?

If you want to check out their blogs and support them, that would be fantastic, both for me and for them! I'll post the links below so you can check them out. I may even have them do guest posts sometime here, who knows!

And to you out there, if you want to start a blog, what's stopping you? If it's not knowing how to set up and design your blog, you can start by asking for help here. I'm definitely not charging now since I'm certainly not a professional, and I can't promise results will be as good with other hosting websites. But you know, it's a start, right? Right...

Anyway, check out their blogs below!

(Also, thanks to because I used a lot of her free graphics on both blogs and they're amazing!)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My Favorite Drugstore Beauty Products!

I reviewed some new Ulta products last week, but today I'm planning to tell you about all of my favorite drugstore beauty products, since I know some of us are on a budget and maybe can't afford to go spend $50 or more on one eyeshadow pallet. However, when I opened up my makeup bag to work on this post, I realized I had quite a few products to tell you about, so you might want to grab the popcorn and settle in for a long one!

While I'm calling these "drugstore" products, I actually bought most of them at Target. I'm not sure whether you would consider that a drugstore, but you can probably get most (if not all) of these products at your local convenience store. And if I'm not mistaken, most (if not all) of them were $10 or less! (Also just a heads up, this post is not sponsored in any way!)

So first off, I'll start with the elf makeup brushes. Besides the Ulta brushes I reviewed in my last post, most of the brushes I use are from elf. I have two professional eyeshadow brushes, one professional blending eye brush, the flat foundation brush, and the professional total face brush (not pictured below. It's really big and fluffy and I don't use it very often). I think most of these brushes were actually $3 or under, and I've never had a problem with any of them. I use them on almost a daily basis, and I really like them. And as a bonus, elf products are all animal cruelty free, now including their brushes!

Moving on to the Almay smart shade foundation because it does a really good job of adjusting to your individual skin tone. With marching band, my summer tans really come and go, and it's nice not to have to have multiple foundations for different times of the year. This is more of a sheer coverage foundation, which I like as well because I don't like feeling like I have makeup caked onto my face.

Next I'll tell you about the elf shimmer lip glosses I have. I actually got these in a set of 10 and gave most of them away to my friends (who also said they really liked them), but I did keep a few for myself. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I've seen these exact ones again, but if you do spot them, they're really nice. My two favorites are a bright berry pink color, and another that's more of a nude peachy color.

I really like elf for affordable makeup, but probably one of my favorite things from them is the elf smudge pot. It's a cream eyeshadow that works just as well as an eyeshadow base or as a stand alone color. I have it in the color Cruisin' Chic, which is a warm, shimmery brown and it's just so pretty. It looks just as good on if you have brown eyes or blue eyes, or probably any color in between. You can apply it with a sponge-type applicator or even just your finger, but be warned: if you use your finger you'll probably need makeup remover to get it off because this stuff lasts all day.

One of my other favorite things from is the elf shimmering facial whip. It's a small tube of liquid highlighter, and it comes in a few colors. I have it in the color lilac petal, and it's a nice, natural sort of pink. Highlighter can really add a nice finishing touch, and with this product a little goes a long way. It blends out well and gives you nice, glowing skin.

The next product is still fairly new to me, but so far I've really liked it. It's NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker. So far, this has been a good liquid liner pen, and it really does have a very skinny tip, which is nice if you're afraid of messing up or getting your eyeliner too heavy, like I am.

One other product I use almost every day is my Maybelline liquid concealer. I think I got this as part of their "Fit Me!" line, but it works just fine with other foundations. Again, with this product, I've found a little goes a long way and it blends nicely, so I really like using it for my concealer.

Another new product (and I do mean new, I only got this a few days ago), is a NYX lipstick. I'm not entirely sure what line it's from, but the color I bought is called Tea Rose, and it's a really lovely pink. The product itself has sort of a balmy texture and it feels like it's nourishing to your lips. Plus, I think it smells nice, which is good when the product is sitting right under your nose all day.

My current favorite mascara is Maybelline Full 'N Soft mascara, and I usually get it in waterproof (mostly so I can wear it in marching band and not sweat it off). I think this mascara makes my eyelashes look really nice, but my favorite thing about it is that it doesn't make my eyelashes feel stiff or crunchy. It really annoys me when mascara makes my lashes feel stiff, so it's nice that this one doesn't.

Last but not least, I'll include my two current favorite Pure Ice nail polishes. These two were part of the limited edition Fairy Tale Forest collection, and I bought them around New Years, so hopefully they're still around. If you've taken a look around my blog, you know I love fairy tales, and you know I love the colors blue and pink, so these are just perfect for me. The pink is called "True Love's Kiss," and the blue (my absolute favorite, I'm wearing it right now!) is called "Prince Charming." The collection had a lot of really pretty colors, but these are the two I bought and I'm really liking them!

So there you guys go! Those are some of my favorite affordable beauty products, most of which I think I payed less than $10 for! Have you tried any of these products? Did you like them as much as I did? Let me know what you think in comments!

Products Mentioned
Elf makeup brushes
Almay Smart Shade foundation
Elf shimmer lip glosses
Elf smudge pot (Cruisin' Chic)
Elf Shimmering Facial Whip
NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker
Maybelline concealer
NYX lipstick (Tea Rose)
Maybelline Full 'N Soft mascara
Pure Ice nail polish 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Secrets of a Straight A Student

So part of the reason I didn't post much last week is because I had a bit of a breakdown when some of my teachers put in zeros for work that I had done or hadn't had time to make up yet, which dropped my grades down to a D and an F.

And when you've always been a straight-A student like me, seeing the letter D, or, heaven forbid, the letter F on your grades is downright terrifying. Dreams of perfect grades and a stellar GPA go flying out the window, you wonder how low your class rank will drop, you wonder what all those colleges who have been pestering you will think of you now.

Thankfully, I did all of the work and my teachers put the grades in, and I'm back to A's. But this just goes to show that it can be really stressful trying to maintain all A's in school, and it can be really scary when something you're used to and take pride in suddenly isn't there anymore.

I'm not calling this post a list of study tips, because it's not. If I'm telling the truth, I don't study as much as people might think I do, and I don't study as much as other people may have to. And that's okay.

I also don't slack off all the time. I don't skip class every day, or sleep through every lesson, or never turn in my homework. That said, I may slack off from time to time. I'll text in class sometimes, or read a book, and yes, I have fallen asleep once or twice. I may get my homework done at the very last minute, but hey, I get it done.

Honestly, I think the biggest secret to doing well in school is knowing what works for you.

I know when I need to be in class, I know when I need to pay attention, I know when I need to review the material at home. I know when I need to ask for help. Knowing how you learn best is much more important than following any sort of list of study rules you can find on the internet.

This kind of goes back to my last lifestyle post as well. Just like being healthy means doing what's best for you, so does being a successful student. And the two can really be linked as well. If you're studying so much that you never have time to have fun and you're completely stressed out about school, that's not good for your brain or your grades.

Unfortunately, keeping good grades really can just boil down to doing the work. Which, I know, is super boring. There's a lot of things I would rather do than my homework. Even just right now, I'm writing a blog post instead of doing my homework. But I know that eventually I will get it done. And yes, there's other things to think about like test scores and essays and projects and all of that, but really, just doing your assignments makes a big difference.

Going along with that, you actually have to be able to find your assignments when they're due. Now, I'm not perfectly organized by any means, but if your backpack looks more like a garbage dump than notes and homework, you might want to clean that up a bit. It won't help to do the assignment if you lose it in a black hole before you can turn it in.

The other big part of maintaining good grades is being motivated to make good grades. If you really just don't care if you barely pass, then you're probably going to barely pass. I know that personally, I'm motivated by my success. When I do well at something (e.g., keeping straight A's this far), then I'm a lot more motivated to keep doing well (e.g., keeping straight A's until I graduate).

That said, there's internal motivators like what I just described, and there's external motivators. These may include money for getting good grades, or getting into the college you want, or getting the job you want, etc, etc, etc. Different people may be motivated by different things, and that's okay too.

I wish I could give you some secret tip that would instantly make you a top student, if you're a student at all. I just wish there was a tip that existed that would do that.

So, in summary, here's a few tips for how I keep my grades up in school.

  1. Know what works best for you. Know how much you need to study, and what ways you need to study. 
  2. Don't stress yourself out. Prolonged stress hurts your performance in school.
  3. Do the work. You can't expect to just pull an A out of a hat, you actually have to earn it by completing your assignments. 
  4. Stay reasonably organized. You don't want to lose papers before you turn them in.
  5. Find what motivates you, and stay motivated to succeed. 
If you're a student (or were), how do you study for school? Do you have any tips for maintaining good grades? Let me know in comments!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

ULTA Beauty Haul!

Hello readers! So this is pretty much the first post I've done on beauty and makeup and things of that nature, so let me know how it goes! Also, this isn't sponsored; I purchased the products myself, and all of the opinions are my own.

If you live near me, you would know that the weather last weekend was fantastic. You would also know that anytime the weather is fantastic and it's a weekend, it's a great time to go hang out at the local outdoor mall. So, of course, I grabbed a friend and that's what we did.

While we were there, I dragged this same friend into Ulta, since there were a few things I had been meaning to buy anyway. But lo and behold, if I don't see "Free Gift!" sitting right in front of me when I walk in. All you had to do was spend $20 on Ulta products to get a makeup bag full of more Ulta products. So, of course, I spent $20 on some Ulta products.

Basically, I ended up getting two matte lip creams, mascara, a blush/highlighter palette, an eyeshadow palette, primer, a double-ended eyeliner, an eyebrow pencil, three brushes, nail polish, and eye makeup remover wipes, plus a cute makeup bag. I did try almost all of these products, so I can give you an idea of what they're like.

I'll start with the primer. This came in a small black tube that just says "Professional Flawless Prime." So, I was a little surprised when it came out looking a bit like guacamole. But have no fear, my friends, it's not made out of avocados; it's just color-correcting. I don't usually use primer, so I'm probably not the best judge, but I thought this product did a decent job of smoothing out pores and reducing redness.

Moving on to the brushes. The free gift came with three brushes; a blush brush and two eyeshadow brushes, one "large" and one "small." I was excited to see the blush brush because I have one from Ulta that I got in a different free gift before, and I really like it. It's soft and a good size for me. Both of the eyeshadow brushes were smaller than what I normally use, but I thought they were soft and worked fairly well anyway.

Speaking of blush, I'll move on to the blush/highlighter palette. This came in the colors "Apricot blush" and "yellow diamond highlighter." The blush has a bit of an orange-y tint, so I'm not sure it would work best with my skin tone, but it might work well for you. I like the highlighter color, but I wish it was a little bit more pigmented on the skin.

Now for the eyeshadow palette. The packaging on this was adorable, covered in little purple watercolor flowers. I really loved the colors inside (I'll include an extra picture for you), but I was a little disappointed with the pigmentation and fall out. I didn't think it was quite as good as the other Ulta eyeshadows I have. Still, I'll probably use it because the colors are just so pretty.

I'm going to go ahead and combine the eyeliner and the eyebrow pencil. The eyeliner is a shimmery white on one end, and a dark brown on the other. As far as pencil eyeliners go, I liked this one because the colors and the pigmentation were nice. I had been wanting to buy an eyebrow pencil, and I really liked this one. The color (warm brown) worked well for me, and I liked the little brush on the other end.

I normally don't use Ulta mascara, and I wasn't extremely impressed with the last one I had. Not that it was bad, because it wasn't, it just didn't beat my favorite. So the mascara they included was a bit of a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure it'll top my favorite mascara (more on that soon!), and I don't know how prices compare, but it did do a pretty good job, in my opinion.

So, with all of this eye makeup they give you, it was nice of them to include some eye makeup remover wipes. These were pretty small, only big enough for your eyes, and I didn't like them as much as my normal makeup remover. That said, they did do a good job of removing my eye makeup. Which is what really matters, I suppose.

Moving on to the nail polish. The color is called "Lilac-ing You," and it's a soft, pinky-purple color that I really like. I haven't actually tried this one yet, but it's a nice spring color, and I'm looking forward to using it.

Lastly, there's the two matte lip creams. One of these, in "Artistic," I bought myself. It's a nice pink that's good for spring, and I liked the product itself. The other one, in "Allusive," came in the free gift. I thought it was a bit strange that they would include this color, with everything else looking so perfect for spring. It's more of a dark, purple-tinted berry color. It's a nice color, but better suited to fall and winter than spring and summer.

Lastly, there's the makeup bag everything came in. As you can see, t's a light, pinkish purple with a leafy cutout pattern, and has a wrist strap on the zipper. I liked the bag a lot, especially for spring.

So there you guys go! I know it's a bit of a long post, and it's something different, so thanks for making it this far! Have you tried any of these products? What's your favorite makeup for spring? Let me know in comments!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

It's March! Yay! Not only does that mean my birthday and spring break are coming, it means spring itself is coming soon. Since, among other things, that means more produce will soon be in season and that summer (aka swimsuit season) is coming soon after that, a lot of people are probably setting some goals. Many of those goals may have to do with eating healthier or getting in shape.

And along the line of goal-setting, if you set a New Year's resolution this year, let me encourage you for a moment and just say that you got this. And if you're still hanging on to that goal, congrats! Most of us would be burnt out by now.

That's the problem with some of these goals. If we do it only for the reward (for example, looking what we consider "good" in that prom dress or that swimsuit), then we will burn out.

Other people may not worry about what they look like as much, and they'll say "I just want to be healthy!" And that's great! Being healthy is, of course, a good thing. Let's just all keep in mind that being healthy is not starving ourselves, or making ourselves miserable, or obsessing over exercise. It may not even mean losing weight.

I'm not here to tell you how to live a "healthy" lifestyle. don't think there is one standard of a healthy lifestyle that is the same for every person.

Some people may need to lose weight, but other people may need to gain weight. Some people who are too busy may need to cut back, but other people may need to find something to do to give themselves purpose. Some people who have high blood sugar probably shouldn't eat that gigantic piece of chocolate cake, no matter how delicious it looks. But on the other hand, if you have low blood sugar... maybe that cake isn't so bad.

I believe you should do what makes you happy. But not only that, because you also have to consider instant or delayed gratification. For example, I know that gigantic piece of chocolate cake will probably make me happy while I'm eating it, but not later on when I have a stomachache from eating too much.

Basically, if what you eat or the way you live makes you feel bad about yourself, then it probably isn't that healthy after all.

People tend to forget about mental health and only think about their physical health. But really, mental health can be just as important. A healthy lifestyle shouldn't make you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed.

I think to be healthy you need to stick to what is right for you. Which also means that you need to know what is right for you- whether it's your morals, your mental state, your temptations, your medical concerns, whatever. Going through life feeling guilty, confused, or sick isn't healthy either.

If eating certain foods and exercising a certain way is what's right for you, then great! Do that. But if it's not, then that's fine too. Do what's best for you instead. Being healthy means doing what is best for your body, your mind, and even your soul.

What's your idea of a healthy lifestyle? Let me know below! And don't forget to send in Q&A questions for some upcoming posts!