Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Monday, December 31, 2012

My Mother's Eulogy

"This is my mother. -Hopefully- I loved her. Put me in the ground."

Ah, inside jokes. You know a joke is good when, after a few years, you can bring it up again and it still brings tears to your mother's eyes from laughing too hard. On Christmas, my sister, mom and I were standing in the kitchen, and the funeral for the school shooting was on the news. My mom got to talking about how she wants to be buried. She doesn't want a huge funeral, or for us to spend a lot a money or time on it. She just wants us to say "This is my mother." Hopefully, "I loved her". And then to be stuck in the ground. The way she said it, however, was "This is my mother. -Hopefully- I loved her. Put me in the ground." And of course my sister and I being who we are took her quite literally. I could go on and try to explain how funny it was, but that's what makes inside jokes so special isn't it?

This is just another one to add to the list of things that makes my mother cry (from laughing). There are a few things we can bring up or say with a funny voice (my precious...) that will leave her in tears. Inside jokes are what makes a family. Those little things that no one else will get... or will get, but just won't be that outstanding to them. Laughter (and sometimes tears) help keep a family together. A family who laughs a lot, loves a lot.

My sister and I aren't the closest, but when it comes to inside jokes, we can crack em like no other. My poor mom, it's like a tag team. Add in my brother and my mom stands no chance. You might think it's mean of us to gang up on my mom and make her cry, but when they're tears of joy- as long as she's not driving like that one time- she thanks us for it later :P

A

P.S.
I've not forgotten about my blog, I've just been too lazy to write out my ideas :P

Two Thousand Twelve

This year has been quite the year for me. It started out with a New Year's Post and is ending with a New Year's Post. I didn't succeed with all the goals I set out for myself this year, but I think I did pretty good. I did kind of move out- I lived in Santa Barbara for about 2 months or so. It was really great. I loved the freedom. The plan was to not move back in to my parent's home, but job hunting just didn't work out as I'd planned. This year has been full of ups and downs, just as I'm sure everyone's has been. I've learned a lot about myself and grown so much.

Highlights of 2012:

  • Moved out (kinda)
  • Got a job that I love (definitely)
  • Bought myself a new laptop (as opposed to someone buying it for me)
  • Bought my first smart phone!
  • Photographed a wedding
  • Photographed food for an online menu
  • Built a website for my photography
  • Got my first credit card
  • Swam in the ocean!!
  • Whitened my teeth
  • Went to Disneyland! (Woot woot!)
  • Survived my first year at CSUB

And, I'm still with the love of my life.

If you had met me a few years ago, you would have seen me as a shy girl who wasn't sure exactly where she was going in life. When I was interviewing for The Picture People, the manager, Jared, actually asked me, on a scale of 1 to 10, how outgoing are you? That is what really got me thinking about it. As I said in my post about The Art of Being Shy, I told him probably an 8, though ask me a couple of years ago and I probably would have said a 2.

I love my new job. I've grown a lot just being there. Not just as a photographer, but as a person. When I first started working there I was super nervous about messing up. This was different from all the other photography work I've done so far. People were coming there and expecting me to do my best. There wasn't any "Hey, I'm new to this, let's negotiate price." It was all "We're coming here and expecting quality work, you better dish it out." I am so much more confident talking to people and taking their photos now. I feel like I can do anything!... mostly :P

I love who I am today (except for the being sick part of course- throwing up is no fun). Moving out is still one of my goals. C'mon 2013! I think I will probably need another job however if I plan on moving out by January.

I don't like to think about it as "I've changed"; I like to think about it as "I've grown up."

Happy New Year!

A

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Christmas Wish

Dear Family,

I know being in such as large family like ours, it can be pretty impossible to like everyone. Not everyone gets along with everybody. That's just the way the world works. This Christmas, my wish is for us to get together and be civil with one another.

I know it's difficult, but sometimes we have to think beyond ourselves. Firstly, think of Grandma and Grandpa (Goldie and Gilbert that is). What a great Christmas present it would be to them to have everyone there for Christmas this year. We hate to think it, but you never know when their last Christmas will be... Wouldn't it be great to have everyone gather around the table this year? To let them know we're still a family?

Second, think of your children and the example you set for them. Think of how great it would be to show them that, even though you might not get along very well, you can still have a wonderful holiday. I know it's easier sometimes to just say whatever is on your mind- no matter who it hurts, but wouldn't you rather spend a day that is all about love and forgiveness, loving and forgiving?

I was there on Thanksgiving this year. The table was tense, and there were things said that shouldn't have been. It was nice having the few that were there there, but the feeling just wasn't quite right.

A lot has been said and done on all sides- that much is true. But this Christmas, if we could all just think before we speak, put aside our differences, and be there for the ones we love, we could really pull this off. This post is not meant to make anyone mad or point fingers at anyone- it is just a girl's plea to her family to be civil to one another this year. Come to Christmas with a smile on your face, and think of others before yourself. If everyone can do this, then no one will have to have a bad holiday this year.

Please family.
I love all of you. If not for me, do it for Goldie and Gilbert. We might not be able to love each other unconditionally, but you have to believe that they do. I hope this message comes across the way I mean it to.

Merry (Almost) Christmas,

A

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Art of Being Shy

Any shy person could tell you how difficult it is to be shy… or I suppose anyone who used to be shy could tell ya. Haha. It’s not easy. In order to be shy, you have to be able to maneuver around anything that might draw attention to you. You have to be super stealthy.

How do I know this? Because I used to be shy of course! When I first starting going out with Chris two and a half years ago, I was super shy. Okay, maybe not super shy, but I was shy enough to be socially awkward and not know what to do with myself in large groups of people. When you’re shy, the best thing you can do is find a corner and sit in it- be a wallflower.

So how does one master the art of being shy? Like so: walk silently. If no one hears your footsteps, they won’t notice you and try to make conversation- you can slip by undetected. When in a strange house, never make any noise when opening: doors, cabinets, drawers, etc. If you can’t find something (say in the kitchen), don’t ask someone about it! Just open all the cabinets as quietly as possible until you find it. Why quietly? Because you don’t know if that someone whose kitchen you’re looking in wants you snooping about trying to find things in their kitchen!

Don’t make eye contact with people. Making eye contact will only encourage people to try to talk with you. If you want something, don’t just simply ask for it, ignore it at all costs and wait for it to be offered to you- then silently say, “yes please,” and take it with a “thank you.” If it isn’t offered to you, you’re tough out of luck.

So basically, if you’re shy, you have to be quiet- in all things you do. Because you never know what the wrong sounds might be. What if you make a joke, and no one thinks it’s funny? What if someone says a joke and you don’t get it?! If you’re shy, you’re already quiet so no one will notice if you laugh quietly- they won’t assume you didn't get it.

My life was so much harder when I was shy. I can now talk to people- even random strangers! I did so today in Sears! There was a lady looking at sweater-dresses and I started up a conversation with her. I started the conversation with her. It’s very exciting when you notice a change in yourself like that. One of the things I was asked in my interview at the Picture People was how I would rate myself on the shyàoutgoing scale. He seemed surprised when I said probably 8- but I used to be like a 2.

One thing that I remember the most about my shy self was my first (?) trip to Santa Barbara. I was meeting a lot of Chris’ friends and Kyle (one of the most outgoing guys ever) introduced himself to me. I said hi and he asked “You’re shy aren’t you?” Tell me, how exactly is a shy person supposed to answer  that question? Lol. “Yes I’m shy” but in order to say that you have to not be shy, which would make the answer false! I just kinda smiled with a slightly confused/startled look on my face and nodded.

Guys, don’t expect an answer if you ask a shy person if they’re shy!  Ask me that question now and you’ll get an answer, but it won’t be a yes! So happy to be where I am now in my life.

A

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

End Of The Quarter, And No Stress?

When I signed up for classes this quarter, I expected it to be even worse than last quarter.

I'm taking two classes with Professor Hegde- that means at least two big projects for this quarter. I was expecting the worst. At the end of last quarter I was about ready to pull my hair out (see my To-Do List and A Sigh Of Relief). I don't know what is different this quarter. I have the two projects, and another for my ag class. I had two research papers due for Hegde's classes as well, and not once I have felt overly stressed this quarter.

I'm not sure why that is. Have I just accepted that there's no point for me to worry about it? It will get done when it's done. Or maybe it's because I have a stress relieving job...? I love working at The Picture People! I'm always smiling when I'm there. Always dancing. Always laughing. I enjoy my time there so much that even after an eight hour shift, I'm not ready to leave.

And to make things even better, yesterday's shift they put me in room 1. That means I get to take pictures! I had three sessions that morning. Two criers and one roller, but I got some good shots anyway! They seemed happy with them, so that's all I was worried about.

I don't know what I would do without this job. I thought that maybe it would make me more stressed- taking time away from writing my papers, but it hasn't. I look forward to my shifts there. So far I haven't been stressed, and I have only one more big paper that I still need to work on.... I just need to find the motivation to do so. Man I wish I was done with school. Work is so much easier. Once you go home for the day, you don't have any homework. Only 3 more quarters! Cross your fingers for me that they go swiftly!

A

P.S. Happy post number 100! Who would have thought my blog would go this far? Definitely not me!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sexy VS Skanky

Over the summer, Chris and I were walking down State Street in Santa Barbara when we saw this girl and guy walking towards us. He was wearing saggy jeans and a long white t-shirt. She wearing a "cowgirl" outfit. Her skirt was up to here, and down to there, and her shirt was up to here and down to there as well.  Oh, and don't forget her hokey cowgirl hat and pigtails. --Okay, so just now I decided to try a google a picture of a "skanky cowgirl" for reference... I suggest you don't do that... unless your safe search is on!-- I made a comment to Chris that the two of them were an odd combination to see walking down the street together. This brought up a conversation with him about sexy vs skanky girls.

I pointed out that she was quite skanky. He asked me why she had to be "skanky" and not "sexy"? His point of view on sexy/skanky is that it's all about the girl's attitude. In my opinion, a girl can be as confident as she wants to be, but if she's wearing something skanky, she's skanky. Period. The reason I bring this up is because of the fact that last night was Halloween (aka dress as a slut night).

Halloween. The one day out of the year where girls feel the need to dress up in as little as possible. To take a quote from the movie Mean Girls "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it." That, my friends, is only half way true. They'll still say things, just not to your face.

I was sitting in the hallway before class with my friend Eric. There were a few costume clad women that walked by us and we were rating them on the slutty/skanky scale. I told him the story about the cowgirl in SB and he said there was nothing skanky about her... then I told him it was during the day, which changed his opinion. He was imagining her walking down the street at night, but the day changed his opinion completely.

I also talked with my friend Ashley (yes, there are two of us) and Chris was there as well. I presented my argument about the skanky cowgirl and the overly slutty lingerie clad women that we at the bar that night. She agreed with me that there are some costumes/outfits that no girl can wear without being slutty, but both her and Eric agreed that it has something to do with the girl's attitude as well. There is obviously a fine line between sexy and skanky. Where do you think it lies?

There is also this really cool "show" that Cosmopolitan is doing right now called Sexy vs Skanky. They look at different outfit styles and things and explain why a certain look is sexy or skanky. I agree with a lot of what they say!

This year, I think I did well with my costume. Sexy not skanky. Right?





Friday, October 19, 2012

Go... To.... Sleep!

You know that feeling you get when you're lying in bed and you can't go to sleep? How completely frustrating it is? Sometimes it feels so frustrating that you feel like you want to cry, but you know that won't do any good. Want to amp it up a bit? There is someone lying in bed next to you. Asleep.

I'm experiencing that right now. I'm exhausted, I'm tired; I laid down in bed to sleep, and I laid there listening to Chris snore... for I don't know how long. I finally decided to get up- because really, what is the point in lying in bed awake- and come down stairs to stare at my computer screen for a while. Then I thought, well I haven't written a real blog post in a while, why not rant a bit about how I can't sleep? Sounds good to me!

So here I am. On the verge of crying because I can't sleep, while my boyfriend and his dog are upstairs sound asleep in their beds. Would it be rude of me to wake him up and ask him to stay up with me just because I can't shut my brain off? And it's not that I'm thinking of anything in particular; it's just a whole bunch of jumbled mess. I'm thinking about how the day played out, what I'm going to do tomorrow, how he takes up 90% of the bed...

Bah! This is just random ramblings- what this blog was made for I guess. I really want to go upstairs and wake him up right now... but I don't want to interrupt his sleep- when you can't sleep, you know how precious sleep is.

I need a hug.

A

Sunday, October 14, 2012

EBOOST® Natural Energy

From the makers:
EBOOST is a boost that does more. It’s a mood boost, focus boost, immunity boost, natural boost, a no-crash boost. EBOOST uses real ingredients, stuff you’ve heard of like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Green Tea, Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid. And the stuff you might not have heard of: Quercetin, 5-HTP, Resveratrol, Huperzine-A — it’s all good too. What could be sweeter than that? Well, we even sweeten our product with Stevia, a plant, not a chemical.


On first look:
Sounds great! I do like the orange flavored things. I would love to be able to mix something in my water to make it taste great, boost my energy and my immune system. The packaging is nice. It tells you exactly how to mix it up. Bright orange package makes it difficult to lose!

After using the product:
Yuck! Yuck! and Yuck! The package says to mix it with eight ounces of water. I poured 8 oz of water into a glass and then poured the contents of the package into the glass. It made a really cool fizz. If you're going to use this, make sure your glass/bottle is not completely full, otherwise you'll have a mess on your hands. This stuff expands. The smell was pleasant enough- you can't go wrong with orange. After thoroughly mixing it up I decided to give it a taste test. This stuff tasted awful! The orange taste was way overpowering. I attempted to make it better by diluting it with more water, but it was still disgusting. I can't attest to it's boosting abilities as I was unable to drink the product.

Verdict:
Unless you really like orange flavoring, don't waste your money.

If you'd like to test your luck, or maybe a different flavor, just visit their website at Eboost.com

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of EBOOST® Natural Energy from Influenster through the Naturals VoxBox Program!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Influenster and VoxBoxes

So, as I'm sure you know by the last few posts of mine, I participate on a website called Influenster.com. This post is just to let you know a bit more about it. I found out about Influenster about a year ago from my cousin Laurie. She also writes a blog, you can visit it at The Average Family. Influenster is a very neat website that sends out VoxBoxes full of goodies to influential people around the country. They all have different themes. My first one I participated in was the Holdiay VoxBox which was a really cool winter themed version in December 2011. The next one I received was the Love VoxBox for Valentine's Day 2012 and the final one was the recent Naturals VoxBox which was about all natural products.

The "goodies" in these VoxBoxes are really neat. It's a bunch of seemingly random objects, but in a way they all go together. The best part, it's all free. You get these items sent to you in the mail in a box (hence the name VoxBox) and all you have to do is use them! After using the products for a month or so all you have to do is go to their website and fill out a short (and yes it's actually short) survey about what you thought. You tell them what you liked, what you didn't like, and everything in between.

Some of my favorite products that I've received are a Venus and Olay Rasor (Love), the LypSyl lip balm (Naturals),  imPRESS Press-on manicure (Holiday), a GIANT bar of Ghirardelli milk chocolate (Love), and plenty of other things. If you enjoy receiving new free things to try out, then I suggest you look into Influenster. Let me know and I will send you an invite (as they don't have open enrollment at the moment). It's a great way to try out new things and I love receiving packages in the mail (especially when they have Influenster stamped on the front of them!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer™

From the makers:
Created with pure Swedish beeswax, organic shea butter and vitamins A and E for long-lasting, deep-penetrating moisture and lip care protection. LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer™ helps moisturize, soften and protect your lips naturally. The unique one-hand slide allows for quick application. And, the oversize application tip ensures this ultra- light formula spreads evenly for better lip coverage.

LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer™

On first look:
Love the packaging! Instead of the normal twist to push the stick up, there is a cute little bee (can bees be cute?) on the side of the tube that you push up towards the top of the tube. As you push it up, more of the stick becomes visible. It has a very pleasant minty smell. The two main ingredients are mineral oil and petrolatum. I've heard a lot of people saying petroleum is not a good ingredient for lip balm. We'll see. It's also a very good sized tube- .10 ounces

After using the product:
To put it on, you push the little bee up to expose the balm. The minty smell is pleasant and leaves a slight tingling sensation on your lips (also pleasant). There is no taste, which is a good thing, because if it tasted as good as it smells, then I might end up eating it or something lol. The minty smell does go away after a while- I'm assuming because my nose gets used to it, but the moisturizing feeling doesn't. It lasts for multiple hours. I like to put it on right before I go to bed because when I wake in the morning my lips feel so soft and kissable. Skittles also approves of this product as she has attempted to steal the tube from me multiple times.

Verdict:
Definitely a good buy. "Long lasting" moisture indeed.

If you'd like to get to know LypSyl a bit better, head on over to their website at LypSylHome.com.
And again, this was another awesome product I received from Influenster.com

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer™ from Influenster through the Naturals VoxBox Program!

The Original™ Dish Drying Mat

This next review is dedicated to The Original. Which just so happens to be a dish drying mat. If you'd like to learn more about them, you can visit their website at The-original-co.com.


On first look:
The packaging is nice; show's you all the different ways you can use it. It's very soft and feels quite durable. It's got a nice ring on it so it can be hung up somewhere for storage. The packaging says  it's super absorbent, and can hold 4 times it's weight in water; this thing is pretty light, so we'll see how well that works. And for cleaning, it's machine washable! Can't beat that!

After using the product:
I love it. It really is super absorbent! I usually use just a regular towel to place my dishes on after drying, and that thing gets so skanky looking (and smelling) after a few uses. The Dish Drying Mat is fantastic. My counter was not soaked after placing the dishes on it, and it was very easy to just toss it into the washing machine. I didn't really need to toss it in there, but I wanted to test out its durability. Washed it, dried it, and it's still super soft. I wish my pillow was made out of microfiber...

Verdict:
This thing absorbs great, looks great, and can double as a pillow. Definitely look into one of these if you dry your dishes on the counter.


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of The Original™ Dish Drying Mat from Influenster through the Naturals VoxBox Program!

CleanWell Natural Hand Sanitizer Wipes

As I warned you all, I'm going to be posting reviews of products that I received in my Naturals Voxbox from  Influenster.com. This first one is dedicated to CleanWell Natural Hand Santizer Wipes.


On first look:
The packaging is nice. Very clean looking in design. It is all natural, so the natural color for it to be is green (yes, points there from me ;P). What I love about all of the products in this voxbox is their naturalness. These wips are alcohol free so that means no burning sensation if you've got a cut on your hand somewhere! It also says it has a moisturizing formula, which will hopefully be nice and it's not tested on animals. Win.

After using the product:
The first thing I noticed was the smell. I received the Citrus Herb scented wipe. I don't know how to describe the smell to you, but it was not pleasant. Holding the wipe away from my face (though it does say it's for your hands and face) I rubbed it all over my hands. My hands did feel nice and clean afterwards, and the wipes are definitely moisturizing, but like all things that don't smell good, had to be washed off after a couple of minutes. As far as moisturizing and sanitizing go I give it an A+, but that doesn't do any good if you can't stand the smell :/

Verdict:
Possibly yes, in a different scent.

You can find out more about CleanWell at their website CleanWellToday.com!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of CleanWell Natural Hand Santizer Wipes from Influenster through the Naturals VoxBox Program!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

CitiKitty: Potty-Training Skittles

Call me a fool, or call me brilliant, but I am going to potty-train my cat! I was browsing Groupon one day a couple weeks ago and I came across a cat training kit. CitiKitty is a program for your cat to learn how to do her business in the toilet. I thought, "That sounds great! No more having to clean the litter box!" It was on sale for $15 I believe, and to order it online from their website would cost $30, so why not give it a try right? What's $15 for never having to clean a litter box again?

It is a weekly process. Week 1: you put the litter box in the bathroom to get your cat used to going in that room. Week 2: you put the seat cover on the toilet and take away the litter box. Week 3: you punch out the center ring, creating  a tiny hole in the middle of the "litter box". For the next two weeks you punch out the next ring, making the hole bigger and bigger until your kitty doesn't even miss the litter.


So far Skittles in on "week 2". Her litter box sits atop the toilet; I put it on there yesterday. The directions say to sprinkle some cat nip on top of the seat to make your cat want to go up there, so I did, and then I called her over. She jumped up there, sniffed about, and then decided to roll in it because it smelled so good. She hadn't even used it yet and I had a mess to clean up. Silly cat!  I have since decided not to put anymore catnip around the toilet. I want her to think that's where she's supposed to pee, not where she's supposed to play. Well that happened yesterday afternoon, and then I went to an interview and class and got home around 11 o'clock P.M.



The bad news: I didn't find anything in her new litter location. The good news: I haven't found anything anywhere else in the house.

When I woke up this morning there was still nothing in her litter box. I'm really hoping she hasn't found a corner in the house to go to the bathroom, but I haven't found, nor smelt, anything yet. I occupied the bathroom for about 15 minutes this morning taking a shower and when I walked out there was poo on the floor in the hallway. Just my luck that when she decides she needs to go, I'm in the bathroom. Darn cat. 

It's day two, and so far all she's pooped on is the floor. Really hoping she'll use the seat soon otherwise this will be a failed experiment. I'll keep you guys updated- because I'm sure you're all very interested in my cat's bathroom habits :P Wish me (and her) luck!

A

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"That's Gay"

I was driving home the other day and I saw something on the back of the car in front of me that upset me for some reason. In the dust on the back of that car, someone had written "I'm gay". It was clearly meant as an insult to that person. When someone says something is gay it is meant in a negative way. Just like saying something is "oakie" is meant in a negative way (which I always took as an insult because my family is from Oklahoma).

I don't know why it upset me; you hear people saying "that's gay" all the time. I never really took to the phrase myself, but it's quite common to hear. Seeing it on the back of that car really got me thinking about the gay community and how far they've come, and how far they still have to go.

I won't lie, I used to be what is referred to as a "homophobe". When I was younger I was completely against the gay lifestyle and anyone who chose to live that way. I referred to them as "walking sins". It was just the way I was raised and the community I grew up in. Being gay was not a good thing in my eyes. It was during my freshman year of college that I really opened up my eyes to the truth. They are just people like you and me. I started seeing all the hate that was pushed in their direction. I am not a hateful person and I made a mental decision to not be a part of that hate anymore. One of the main things that helped me see proper was a poem my professor had us read: "How to Watch Your Brother Die" by Micheal Lassell. Please read it; it is a wonderful poem.

I am a Christian, and a lot of people say that the bible says it is a sin to be gay, but that is for God to decide. The way I see it, God is about love, and I don't think He'd appreciate me going around and hating people just because of who they decide to love.

It is one of the things that I am proud of myself for. I'm not proud that I used to be filled with so much hate, but I am proud that I was able to see the error in my ways and make a change. I know quite a few gay/lesbian people now, and I am proud to call them friends. Not to sound too much like a hippie, but I hope one day the rest of the world can see the error in themselves and a new era of love and happiness can arise.

Edit:
Added a poll (at the top left) for responses to this post. I want to know your thoughts.

Naturals VoxBox

I received another Influenster VoxBox this month! Influenster sends out boxes of goodies to people to try out and then give feedback about.  This month's box is the Naturals VoxBox. It is all about all natural things. The Naturals VoxBox came with the following items:

  • The Original Dish Drying Matt - $4.99
  • LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer - $2.87
  • EBOOST - $28 for a box of 20
  • CleanWell Individual Hand Santizing Wipes - $29.99 for 50 pouches
  • GEODEO - $5.99 for 2.3 oz stick
  • NECTRESSE - $3.99 for 40 serving
  • Country Life Maxi-Hair Maximized - $17.99 for 60 tablets
Here is a video of the unveiling:



I have tried out a few of the items since I opened the box and will be posting review posts shortly. Please bare with me! lol

If you'd like to get in on the awesomeness, just go to Influenster.com and sign up! It's completely free; I've received three boxes thus far, and I haven't spent a dime. It's a great way to learn about new products and have fun at the same time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tried posting this earlier today. The photo wouldn't upload on my slow internet -.- You shall all have to wait until I get home tonight to see it. Sorry for the inconvenience. Just wanted to post this so you know I didn't forget (:

9:34 pm -- Now for the wordless part!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Subconscious Fears

I am afraid of the dentist.

When I was younger, I had a monster of a dentist. My parents weren't too big on dental hygiene, so, needless to say, my teeth were pretty gross. My parents would occasionally make us brush our teeth, but the only time they really made us was right before going to the dentist (because that did a lot of good). I didn't have clean teeth; I had multiple (20+) cavities. I had to visit the dentist a lot. You might think, well, that was your own fault, if you took care of your teeth, you wouldn't have to go so often, and you wouldn't have such a bad view of the dentist. Well, I would agree with you, except for the fact that my dentist (and his staff) were pure evil.

I was scared. They wouldn't let my mom come into the back with me. Ever.  I remember the one event in particular. Once, I had to get my front baby tooth pulled because my adult tooth was coming in wrong. I was all set up with the gear- my mouth pried and propped open with metal objects and blue plastic. It's a scary set up. I was crying and one of the assistants came up to me and instead of telling me it's going to be okay and to calm down, she put her hand over my mouth, pressed down on the uncomfortable contraption, and told me to "shut up!" My sister and I always told my mom that the dentist is scary, and that we don't want to go back; they're not nice. My mom always thought we were just being kids until I told her what happened that last time. We never went back.

So, going back to the topic of this post, I am now what I believe to be subconsciously afraid of the dentist. I'm at a new dentist now, obviously, and I haven't had cavities in forever (I learned my lesson finally). Last year though, I had one cavity, my first in I don't know how long. I thought, no big deal. I'm an adult now. I can go to the dentist just fine. That's what I thought. I sat in the chair and as soon as the lady started putting the numbing agent in my mouth I started, what I can only guess is, hyperventilating. Tears formed in my eyes and I started breathing very quickly- gasping for air. It didn't hurt at all, I just got scared for some reason. She asked if I was alright, and I apologized to her, because there was absolutely nothing to be getting upset about. As the dentist was working on my cavity, I had to sit there and focus on staying calm and keeping my breathing even.

Have you ever experienced anything like this? Where you're afraid of something, but you feel pretty silly for being so? I have never had a huge problem with this dentist, but I started freaking out for no reason. I can only guess that I have a subconscious fear of the dentist working on my mouth. I can go in for cleanings no problem, but mention cavities and I'm about ready to cry. You can bet that when I have kids, they will have clean mouths!

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Own Little Slice of Italy

As a lot of you probably already know, I had my first experience with food photography last week. I got another bite off of my ad on Craigslist! Dupree, the owner of Slice of Italy called me up to do some photos for his restaurant. They are going to start doing online ordering and needed pictures of their menu items. I was more than happy to help- I let them know it was my first time doing food, and they were okay with that. It was a really fun experience!

Slice of Italy has been open for about two years now. They serve all sorts of Italian food- the basics (pizza and pasta), but they also have delicious appetizers (mozzarella sticks, calamari, etc.) , sandwiches, chicken, lasagna, calzones, salads, and don't even get me started on the desserts! I had heard of this restaurant before he contacted me, but I've never eaten there before. The staff was extremely nice and, to my knowledge, didn't mind being photographed at all (: I got the honor of eating the lasagna after shooting it. It was BOMB. I will definitely be returning there when I'm "off duty".


The chefs were making the food just for the photos, so there was a lot of food just waiting to be eaten. When I was all done for the day, they loaded me up and I took dinner home to Chris' roommates and my family. Everyone loved it!

I can only hope that I did their food justice. I remember telling the chef "You're the artist here; I'm just photographing your work." And he really is an artist. The food looked soooo good. We did a few different shots of each item. I took picture of the food in the kitchen and then on a table we decorated. I know... I need to work on my decorating skills... but I'm a photographer, not an interior decorator! Haha, I don't really think it looked that bad. And as for the photography, I think it looks quite good for my first time. After he called me I did so much research. Hopefully it shows! You can see a few of them here at my new website.

To wrap it up, the food is delicious, the staff are fantastic, and the owner is great. And now my stomach is growling from staring at that picture of lasagna for too long...

If you are craving Italian food, I highly recommend Slice of Italy!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Magic of Photoshop

It's amazing what one can do to a photograph using a computer nowadays. Photo-manipulation has come so far since the days of film. Take this photo for example. This is the original, a picture of the bride of the wedding I was shooting last week. It was taken in relatively low light right before sunset. It's not that bad of a picture, but just look at what it can look like with minimal editing:

Before/Original
After/"Enhanced"
As Chris would say, I "enhanced" the photo using curves and the channel mixer, changing the levels, and the brightness/contrast. Just minimal changes and it already looks that much better. Not only can Photoshop "enhance" photos, but you can also add filters and use actions. Here are a two different options for this photo:

Black and White
"Sun Kissed"

In the first, I took away the color. In the second, I boosted it. Which is your favorite? There is also the other version featured in yesterday's Wordless Wednesday. That one has more "fantastical" colors- obviously she doesn't have purple skin, but it makes the picture pretty anyway. It's really easy to find actions for Photoshop. Just Google "Free Photoshop Actions" and tada! You can get lists of them! I got the "Sun Kissed" action from this website and the action used on yesterday's WW can be found here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

P.S.

I was thinking about this before I went to bed last night, but I was too tired to open my computer back up and type it out... I wanted to thank everyone for reading my blog in the past year.
Thank you, even if you only look at the pictures.
Thank you, even if you've only read one post.
Thank you, even if you only skim through the posts.
Thank you, even if you only accidentally clicked on my blog link.
Thank you, even if you deny that you read my blog.
Thank you, even if you lie about reading my blog.
I've really appreciated all the support from all my friends and family... and even some people I've never even met. This has been an interesting journey and I'm glad I could share it with all of you. Trust me, whenever I see one new page view I totally get excited. Do me a favor, let me know if you read this one (or skimmed it, whatever :P). Leave me a comment here, in the chat box to the left, or even on facebook!

Much love to everyone,

A

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Blog

Wow, so it's officially been a year since my first post on this blog. I remember when I first started going out with Chris he kept telling me I should start a blog, and I kept telling him no, my life is not exciting enough to write about, but here, I've been writing for a year. I'm not saying my life has been interesting enough to write about, but at least I stuck to it! :P I never thought it would last this long... Funny how one bored day can lead to a year of memories recorded online.

A lot has happened in a year. I've had multiple jobs, I've moved out (okay, so I've moved back in, but it's only for while until I get a job!) and in with my boyfriend over the summer, I've had my heart broken and repaired, I've made new friends, and I've just had my first "professional, professional" photography gig. I had two first yesterday: I photographed a wedding. Not only a wedding, a Sikh wedding! It was so much fun!... and I got paid for it! Thank you God for having me put an ad on Craigslist. It was just a random idea; I put it up Tuesday afternoon, and Tuesday night, right before dinner I got a phone call!


It was such a great experience for me and I'm still working on the photos (taking a break to write this of course). I feel like I've finally got my foot in the door to the job I love. I'm not saying I could make a living off of photography- though how great would that be?- but it has always been one of my passions. I've always loved taking photographs of everything. And, as you can probably tell from this blog, writing is also one of my passions. Writing, like photography, is a way of expressing yourself. This blog has been a great tool for me to express my feelings and vent when I'm annoyed or overly stressed (sorry if you had to suffer through those :P).

But anyway. Happy birthday In The Ash Grove, and here's to another year full of stories and photos.

A

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coming Home to the Frying Pan

Yes, I'm back in Bakersfield. Yes, I know the plan was to stay in Santa Barbara till the end of August. Yes, I miss being able to go outside without melting...

I have been sooooo spoiled this summer! No heat, the beach, a pool, a jacuzzi... It's been so nice! Then I came back to Bakersfield. The first thing that greeted me was the heat. I miss being able to drive around with my windows down and not be drenched in sweat. On the drive home I resorted to rolling both windows down, opening the vents, tilting the sunroof open and taking my shirt off (sorry guys, I still had my bra on), and I was still hot and sweating. Yuck! I guess I forgot just how hot Bakersfield can be! It's a pain in the butt to drive anywhere here. At least for me it is- the AC in my car doesn't work.

So far it's been okay. I haven't had to be outside for much, but it really sucks! I want to be outside with the animals I missed, but it's too hot to even stand outside in the shade. I really feel bad for them. When I got home Wednesday, Champ didn't even run up to the gate. He waited for me to park the car by the house before coming over to say hi real quickly then run back to his shady spot.

Last night there was a concert of sorts at The Market Place. My parents were there with some friends and they invited me over. I was at Chris' cool house so it only took me 10 minutes to get there, but it's like my car radiates heat or something, lol. It's actually hotter in my car than it is outside. It was uncomfortably warm when I got there, so I got some ice cream from Baskin Robins. That was the only way it was tolerable. Once the ice cream was gone, so was I! Just a short 25 minute drive in the oven and I was back home in my air conditioned house.

In my last post I believe I wrote something about missing the hot summer... I lied! I've only been back a few days and I want to go back to Santa Barbara already! Haha, this is worse than I remember. I miss be spoiled...

A

Friday, August 3, 2012

Feeling Homesick

Don't get me wrong, I have been loving my summer in Santa Barbara. I love the cool 70 degree weather, the living (basically) on my own, the people, the beach, and not having anyone telling me what to do. This is the first time I've moved out of my parent's home, and I am greatly enjoying it... but I miss Bakersfield.

I actually miss the hot summer! I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss all my animals. I didn't realize how homesick I was feeling until I went home to Bakersfield last weekend. I was talking to friends and I realized that I didn't know a lot about what has been going on in their lives. My friend Ashley (#2 ;P) is officially engaged. I expressed my surprise, to which she responded, "well you've been in Santa Barbara." My cat was crying the entire time I was home and wanting me to pet her. Every time she heard my bedroom door open she came running down the hallway. My dog ran up to me with his tail wagging and stayed by me the entire time I was outside. And there are so many new animals on the farm- there are goats I haven't met, and a cute new german shepherd mix pup. I miss living out on the farm. Yeah, it's nice to be able to dress up and wear my cute shoes, but I miss dressing down and getting dirty once in a while.

Last week I helped Chris' dad do some yard work and I enjoyed it. I hadn't realized how much I missed doing manual labor. Yeah, I'm sure I complained when I had to do it at home, but it's nice to do something with your hands once in a while.

I'm excited because I get to go back next week. I have an interview on Thursday at Stockdale Veterinary Hospital. The plan is to leave Wednesday and to stay until Friday. I wish I could stay through the weekend, but I've got work on Saturday. No complaints though! Money is money! I am definitely going to spend more time at home this trip though because I do miss my animals. Yes, family, I miss you too of course, but my furries need me :P I'm really hoping I get this job (or an even better one) because the sooner I start working, the sooner I move back to Bakersfield to all my friends, family, and furries. I'll still miss them, because the goal is to not move back into my parent's home, but I'll be able to drive to see them whenever I want! I'll probably have to move back in with them when I first get back, but as soon as I have enough money from my new job I will be out and about!

It will be like having a new beginning all over again. 2012 has held so many new things for me, and it just keeps getting better.

With <3
A

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

click for larger

A Day of Firsts

For me, it's not hard to find something new to experience... because I actually haven't experience a whole lot. Chris and I went to Los Angeles the other day, and we did a bunch of new things (for me). We went to Hollywood and I got to see the star walk, and all the other neat things there. We also went to the Santa Monica pier and I got to ride the ferris wheel! And while, yes, that day was full of firsts, it is not the main story today. While we were on our way to the pier, we saw a bike rental place and I told Chris that I've always wanted to rent a two person tandem bike. I asked him if he'd ride one with me and he said yes, but not here because it was too busy with people. So I asked him where and his mistake was answering Santa Barbara (:

We were only in LA for the day and we drove back to SB that night. The next morning when we woke up, Chris asked me, "what do you want to do today." At first I didn't have any good ideas- I was tired from the events of the day before. I got up and took a shower, brushed me teeth- all the normal things one does in the morning and then it hit me! Chris agreed to rent a bike with me in SB... and we're in SB...! While he was in the shower, I started doing research on bike rental places. I found only one place that rented tandem bikes: Wheel Fun Rentals. When Chris got out of the shower, I showed him what I was scheming and he immediately wished he'd never opened his mouth lol. There were two things I've always wanted to do: ride a tandem bike with my boyfriend, or ride a surrey. Chris convinced me to get the surrey. I've always wanted to rent a bike/surrey when I was younger, but my parents have always said they're too expensive ):

Anyway, we ended up renting the surrey so that I could have a place to put my camera, and so that it would be easier to talk with him (as opposed to yelling towards him, because you know he's gonna wanna be in the front :P) Also, the second hour was free, can't beat that! I had a blast! We went up and down the bike path by the beach and stopped to take pictures every now and then. We saw a couple on the side of the road taking pictures of themselves on their bike so we stopped and exchanged cameras :P Here's what we got out of it:

click for larger (:
Chris had told me that we were going to go somewhere that was a surprise after our surrey ride. I was so excited-out from the ride I actually forgot. I thought we were walking back to the car, but we ended up going to the Kalyra wine tasting room. This would be First #2. I have never been wine tasting before! I am not an expert on wine, but it was fun sitting there and trying to make out the different tastes they say you're supposed to be able to taste haha. Chris actually ended up buying like 5 bottles of wine, and sweet ones too. He's always said he doesn't like sweet wine, but I guess yesterday changed his opinion :P The bartender was really nice, and he wasn't at all annoyed at our novice-ness to wine tasting. I actually got a buzz out of it too. We tasted maybe around 10 different wines. Tasted, meaning the glasses weren't full. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though. A couple of weeks ago I got buzzed off of one beer at a bowling alley...

The third first of the day happened at lunch afterwards.We went to Enterprise Fish Co. I was still feeling sophisticated after the wine tasting, so I ordered us two glasses of wine to go with our lunch. I have never before ordered wine at a restaurant. Third number three. What I loved about this whole day, is that everything was within walking distance. We drove to Santa Barbara, but we walked to the bike rental shop, the winery, and the restaurant. The fourth and final first of the day was muscles. And no, i'm not saying this was the first day I've ever seen a big hunky guy, I'm saying it's the first day I ate a muscle. You know, those things that come out of the ocean. So weird! Haha. Not bad tasting, but weird. They came in a delicious pasta with calamari and shrimp (:


The rest of the day was spent doing things I've already done before, but it was still really great. We hung out with Bryan for a little while, and then with Amanda. We ended the day with Archer and a kiss goodnight (:

A



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

That Big Blue Scary Thing

I finally had my first experience swimming in the ocean!

I've been in the ocean before at Pismo Beach. When we were younger, my sister and I had boogie boards and we would go in up to our chests and ride the boards back, but I never actually swam in it. I can't remember the last time (before this story) that I actually had my head under the water in the ocean. Chris took me out to Campus Point at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday when he got home from Bakersfield. We parked at the campus and walked out to the beach carrying our boogie boards. Chris is the expert (compared to me ;P) when it comes to the ocean. It was quite windy and Chris deemed the water unsuitable for boogie boards.

We spent around half an hour or so just relaxing and sitting in the sand. I took this time as an opportunity to attempt to get a tan- it's looking quite nice if I do say so myself :P Then Chris went out on the rocks at Campus Point. I wish I had a picture to show you what it looks like exactly, but I didn't bring my camera, for obvious reasons (sand... water... etc...) This is the best picture I could find on Google that shows the rock structure:
The rocks in the lower left hand side are the rocks we jumped off of.
We've been here once before, about a year ago. It was high tide when we went out on the rocks and the water was hitting very hard. I remember being too scared to jump off the rocks then, and Chris told me it was okay because the water was very strong that day, but when we went out Thursday, it was was low tide and the water was perfect for jumping. As I was saying, Chris went out to the rocks and jumped off a few times, all the while I was sitting there hoping he didn't kill himself. Hey! It looked scary to me!

After about 10 minutes or so I put on some sun block and joined him. You start by walking across the big rock touching the shore. This picture must've been taken at high tide, because you can walk all the way to what appears to be the second rock in this picture. The only time you actually have to get into the water when you cross is when you want to get to what appears to be the third rock in this picture. The water between the rocks there is about waist high and coming in from both directions... and cold! It's not extremely difficult to keep your balance, but I remember grabbing onto Chris multiple times. Once you finally dunk your body in the water, you do warm up, so you're not freezing the entire time. Though you are cold until you finally decide to do so!

Then comes the climb onto the "third" rock. It's more like a couple of steps than a climb, but it can be slippery! Once you get up there you walk to the left, wait for a wave, and jump into the ocean. Sounds easy right? Just jump into that big thing that can take you wherever it wants to, like into those rocks... oh! and not to mention any of its inhabitants that might be lurking invisible under the water. Sounds like fun! Well, I put my trust in Chris. He jumped in first and then told me when to jump. I was so surprised that I jumped the first time he told me to, lol. He said he was surprised too! Right where you jump in, the water is shallow enough to stand on your tippy-toes. Yay! But then comes the swim back.
Another high tide picture.

I was breathing hard the entire time... because I was scared haha. You can swim all the way up to the shore or you can swim back between the rocks to jump again. We just swam around until I got a bit more comfortable. I ended up jumping off the rock two more times that day and I'm so glad I did! Now I can tell people I've swam in the ocean!... because I have... and it was scary, lol. I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without Chris. If he wasn't there, there would be no way I would be getting in that water!

I learned that the ocean isn't that scary, how to determine if you should swim over or under waves, and that I can probably trust Chris with my life. I always feel so safe with him (:

What was the best part about that experience you ask? I'd probably have to say the shower. It felt soooooo good to get all the salty water and seaweed off of me!

-A

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Trouble With Getting Carded

As most of you know, I just had my 22nd birthday on June 24th. Yay! I've been over 21 for a whole year now! Of course that doesn't change the fact that that people still mistake me for 16 year old. I get carded every single time I go to buy any kind of alcohol, so I always have my card out and ready. I've never had a problem in Bakersfield; they ask for my card, I hand it over, they check the birth date, and I'm free to buy whatever beverage I please. It's much more difficult in Santa Barbara.

Chris and I had just finished playing tennis and tossing a couple of frisbees around with his cousin Bryan and his wife, Denise. The sun was shining, everyone was having a good time. The only thing that could make the day any better was getting a burrito at Free Birds, having a nice cold beer, and watching Archer (awesome show!). We said bye to Denise and Bryan and we headed off for a liquor store. Here's where the fun comes in:

I decided to treat Chris and buy the beer.I took the case to the front. Guy asks for my ID- I already have it out and ready. He looks at the card, he looks at me, he looks at the card. He asks, "Is this fake?" Obviously, no, it's not fake and I tell him so. He asks me when my birthday is. I tell him June 24th 1990. I just turned 22! He takes my card over to a machine and comes back and says "The machine says your card is fake." Really? I mean really? How much realer can a real ID get? I said "I don't know why it would say that. I got it from the DMV." By this time I'm getting just a little bit annoyed. I tell him "If you don't want to sell it to me I can go somewhere else" and I start putting back the candy bar I had grabbed. Then he says hold on, he needs to call someone. After appearing to be on the phone for a minute or so, he comes back and asks me what the address is on the card and I tell him flat out what it is, adding on that I just moved to Santa Barbara. He still looks reluctant but finally, lets me buy the beer.
Does this really look like the face of girl who would use a fake ID? I think not :P
All that for a 12 pack! I wouldn't have thought this blog worthy except for the fact that I had a similar dream last night... I had a dream that I was trying to buy alcohol and the chick at the register wouldn't let me buy it because she thought my ID was fake. She was actually telling me that she was going to keep my driver license and I had to go to the DMV and come back with another one to prove that it wasn't fake. I woke up so pissed off! Never have I ever had so much trouble lol. And why the heck did his fancy machine say my card was a fake? Hmm... I think he has a faulty machine- might want to get that looked at.

The day ended well though. I had my boyfriend, my beer, my burrito and my Archer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Whitening Power of Crest

Okay, so I knew my teeth weren't the whitest, but I didn't know they were that bad. Not until I started telling people I was using Crest White Strips and they said things like "good!" and "it's about time!"... which didn't make me feel very good about myself :/ I knew they weren't super white, but I didn't think they were super yellow either. I guess no one ever had the courage to say anything to me. Chris even admitted that my teeth didn't look that good, and all I could think was, "how could you go out with someone who has disgusting teeth?" I guess I'm glad they all waited to tell me until I was actually doing something about it...
BeforeAfter
Well there are my results! I used Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid. I think they look much better, but I think they could still be whiter. The product was very simple to use, I put them on once a day for 14 days for 30 minutes and let them do their job. They stayed in place very well and didn't even have a bad taste to them at all! My gums did get a little sore while in use, but they've stopped hurting since I stopped using the strips. The pain was bearable, more annoying than anything else. I would definitely recommend this product to others who are looking to whiten their teeth.

I definitely feel more confident about smiling now. Next step is to get them straightened! My top teeth aren't that crooked (at least I don't think so, but I guess that doesn't mean anything), but my bottom ones are; my bottom teeth grew in too fast for my baby teeth and became crowded. At least they don't show when I smile! But then again, I really don't want braces... anyone have the lowdown on invisalign?

Wordless Wednesday


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Driving in Goleta

Look out people! Driver from Bakersfield coming through!

There are quite a few differences between Bakersfield and Goleta. One of the big differences I have observed is the speed limits! I can just be minding my own business, driving down the road, and I'll notice that I'm passing everyone up. Then I realize I'm going 50 mph and slow down. It's so weird! If you drive 50 mph in Bakersfield, you're going slow and other drivers will get pissed off at you. It's just automatic for me when I'm driving; I cruise at 50/55 all the time in Bakersfield.

In Goleta/Santa Barbara most of the speed limits are 25-45. There are rarely any places where you can drive over 45 mph (legally). The one big exception is the 101 freeway. I have a feeling people living there LOVE the freeway. Why? Because that's the only place I'm driving too slow. The speed limit is 65. I drive 65. Practically everyone passes me up on the freeway. For this reason, I have learned to take the freeway whenever possible, of course it is nice to just cruise around and explore sometimes (which I've been doing a lot this past week).


I've actually been avoiding the freeway for the most part and taking the regular roads so that I can get more familiar with the area. I'm in Bakersfield right now for my birthday weekend, and I'm thinking about getting my bike fixed up and taking it back with me. Another difference about Goleta? There are people on bikes everywhere. You have to be very careful when you're driving. This is probably another reason why the speed limits are so low; they don't want you running over bikers!

Other than being lucky about not getting a speeding ticket yet, Goleta has been great! I am loving the weather! I arrived on Sunday and on Monday I checked my Google Homepage and noticed the weather was still set up for Bakersfield. I changed it to show Goleta as well. This made me especially happy to be in Goleta (:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Big Decisions and Big Changes

Chris just left. He's on his way to Santa Barbara. He's been planning on moving back there since before the day we started going out two years ago. I always thought of it as being a sad day. This guy that I love, then liked, was going to move away, and I would hardly get to see him in person, if at all. I would try to be happy for him, because he really didn't like it in Bakersfield, and I would smile and tell him I'll miss him, but I knew there would be some tears eventually.

My whole outlook on him moving changed about a month and a half ago when he first brought up the idea of me moving with him. Wow. We've been dating for over two years now, and his house is like my second home, so it wouldn't be that big of a change, but it's going to be a whole different city. I'm not going to lie, it's a little scary. Not only am I making the decision to move in with him, I'm making the decision to move cities. Away from all of my friends and my family. I know I have friends there, and I'm sure I'll make new ones, but it's just such a big change.

I've lived in Bakersfield my entire life. The biggest change I've made since living here was getting a small tattoo on my back! I know I'll be okay, but I also know I won't be able to sleep at all Saturday night. I would have gone with him today, but I have to work on Saturday, so I'll be moving away on Sunday. It sounds so sad to say "moving away" haha. I hear all my friends making plans for this summer, and it saddens me to know I won't get to be a part of them. You all have to come visit me in Santa Barbara! (or else).

But it's not all sad stuff! I'm taking a big step with my boyfriend and we're moving in together. That makes me very happy. I'm also going to be able to get to know his family better! I know he loves them all very much (: Right now all I have to worry about is getting a job, and I'm really not too worried about it. I've already applied to a few places, and I've got a list of more places to look into. I've had a interview already... which I don't think went that great, but by Sunday I'll be living in Santa Barbara and I'm sure it'll be easier once I'm not 2.5 hours away (:

This is the biggest decision of my life so far, and I know I'm making the right one. I'm sure I'll come back to Bako once in a while, and I'm coming back for the fall quarter, so it's not like I'm leaving for good. I'll miss you all.

Farewell.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Sigh of Relief

I did it! I made it through the last week of the quarter! Now only finals are left, and I'm not really worried about those haha. I probably should be, at least a little, but I'll stress about those when it gets closer :P

I have crossed nearly everything off of my previous list. All that is left is the accounting project, however my part of that has been done since Sunday- I'm just waiting on the other girls in my group. I have a few remedial homework assignments, but for the most part my list is manageable. I have two finals on Wednesday and my ag final is a take home, so nothing really to stress about there!

When I'm feeling stressed about school work, the best thing I can do is make a list. It allows me to figure out what needs to be done and just focus on one thing at a time. When I think about all the work that needs to be done (I have a ten page paper, and a two page paper, and a four page paper to do! How am I going to get all of this done?!?), I tend to get a little bit stressed out. Making lists helps my workload feel more manageable, and being able to cross an item off the list is so relieving. Instead of thinking of things in bulk, I think about them by themselves (I have a ten page paper). This allows me to focus and work my way through one project at a time. This always helps. Always.

Next time you're feeling overwhelmed with school or work, just make a list of what you have to do and focus on one thing at a time. It will help you to know exactly what you need to get done, get it done more efficiently, and helps relieve unsightly stress! I'm a huge procrastinator, so I know how it feels when everything piles up on you (see my to-do list). Making lists is my number one piece of advice for destressing at the end of the quarter. What's yours?

On another happy note, I'm loving my new camera (: Thank you babe. Have I mentioned how much you rock lately?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Crossing It Off The List

Cue the loudest, girliest squeel ever.

Okay, so, last week I was bored in class so I started making a "want" list. Well, two lists actually. An "I can afford" list, and a "not gonna happen anytime soon" list. In the latter there were little things like hair flowers, mascara, and nail polish. The shorter, more expensive list contained items like a new laptop, a smart phone, and an "awesome" camera. I never dreamed that I would be crossing something off that so soon!

On Thursday I had an interview at BevMo! in Santa Barbara. I invited Chris to go with me; I thought it would be a fun day trip, and I know he appreciated the weather there. We got to visit with his mom for a bit and his cousin- it was a real good time! I don't know how well the interview went.... but I should find out in the next few days if I'm getting a second one! Anyway, we got there around 11, interview was at 1 and we left around 2-2:30 ish. On the ride home, Chris decided to make a pit stop in Oxnard.

We stopped at a uniform store and Chris bought some awesome boots for work and then we went to Fry's and Best Buy and Chris gave me the biggest surprise. After being extremely dissatisfied with the customer service at Best Buy, Chris bought me a camera at Fry's. And not just any camera, an awesome one! This is where the girly squeel comes in ;) He was going to buy me the Canon Rebel t2i, but it was out of stock at Fry's and we ended up going home with the t3i.

I never expected this. All I can say is I have the most awesome boyfriend in the world (: He said he was going to buy it while I was at the interview, but this was surprise enough anyway I think, because I never saw it coming :P I had my suspicions when he actually picked up the SD card and carried it over to the cameras, but I wasn't about to get my hopes up. Turns out I was right. I am now on the way to being a "professional" photographer :P

So many doors have opened, and now all I need is a better laptop that is faster, has more memory, and has Photoshop CS6 so I can edit the RAW photos my awesome camera can take... Hey! My birthday is in 23 days! Maybe I should put my list on here... Haha, anyway! Thank you so so much Chris. I didn't think you could do it, but your rating on the awesome scale just went up that much higher (: I love you, I love you, I love you.

So yeah, Ashley Amick Photography just got awesomer as well. So if you every want me to take some photos for you (with my new awesome camera) just let me know!

Friday, May 25, 2012

My "To-Do" List

So this quarter has been truly overwhelming, but there's good news! Only 3 weeks left!... and there's bad news... there's only three weeks left. I have so much to do in so little time! And technically there are only 2 weeks left as the last week is finals... I have organized my duties by class:

Accounting: Project, weekly homework

Energy and Technology: 2 page paper, 2 page paper, 10 page paper

Economics: 4 page paper, 2 page paper, project.

Yeah. That's right. I got to cross one off the list today (: And I'm nearly done with my portion of the accounting project! And I thought I had everything under control for the end of the quarter. Ha! Just yesterday in class I found out about the 4 page paper due, and today I go to do my homework for my energy class and it turns out there are two two page papers due for the one assignment (which he has seen fit to change into two now). I just don't get these professors!

And on top of everything, finals are coming up AND I have to find a job in Santa Barbara (I'll explain later). Where am I going to find any time to do anything?

Why am I taking the time to rant on my blog if I'm so busy you ask? Well because I need to. I need to take breaks between scratching my brain out and attempting to rub it onto the computer screen. This quarter is going to be the death of me, and I know it! I just need to take deep breaths and take this one paper/project at a time. I know I'm going to finish them; I have to finish them. This has just not been my quarter. I knew there was a reason I hated non-art classes...

I want to go back to BC and take graphic design classes. Boo!

Okay. Meltdown over. Time to get back to business. Tomorrow I am only leaving my bedroom for food and bathroom breaks. I have to get this crap done! I can do this! I can do this. I can do this.... right?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Day In My Life

ADay.org made history on May 15th this year. They orchestrated a worldwide photographic event. Photographers, or really just anyone with a camera, took pictures of their everyday lives and uploaded them to to the website. People from all over the world, from all walks of life photographed what they do and see everyday. May 15th has been recorded by millions of images. I chose to do mine in black and white... because it felt right.

This is a day of my life. May 15th, 2012:

Where I go to class at.
One of the goat babies.
What greets me when I get home.
Homework: an everyday occurance.
Every Tuesday/Thursday in econ!
Right before I go to bed.
Crossing the street to go home.
Another goat baby.
My commute to school.
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