Quote of the Month:

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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mornings With Lucas

As many of you know, Lucas is what is called an "inside/outside" dog. He lives outside, but is allowed inside to play every now and then. He also has his own bed in the house where he sleeps at night. Dogs, like humans, often have the urge to "go" in the mornings right after waking up. Many people who let their dogs in at night know that letting the dog out is a main priority in the morning if you don't want an extra puddle to up clean up first thing in the morning.

Lucas is a strange one when it comes to morning routines. Unlike most dogs, his first urge in the morning isn't "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!" It's more like "BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!". Lucas lives for his food.

Chris doesn't mind getting up early to feed Lucas when he decides it's breakfast time, be it 6 am or 8 am. I, on the other hand, enjoy staying in bed until at least 7 am before I'll give into his incessant head shaking (with those floppy ears, head shaking is extremely loud in the morning). As you also may know, Chris is a fireman and isn't always home every morning. Lucas knows that we react differently to his waking us up. On mornings when Chris is home, Lucas will wake up at 6 am, shake his head and then run over to the door and wait for Chris to get up and let him outside for breakfast. On mornings when Chris isn't home, Lucas will usually stay in bed until I decide to get up. On work days that's usually 7 am, and on some off days, it can be anywhere from 7 to 8:30 am.

This morning, however, was different. Lucas, foregoing his usual rule of waiting for me to wake up on my own, decided he really wanted outside at 6:30 am. He woke up, shook his head, and I told him to go back to bed. Which he reluctantly did, but he kept making random noises the whole time not letting me fall back into a deep sleep. About 15 minutes later he got up again and came over to my side of the bed to wake me up. He was very persistent and as soon as he realized my eyes were open he ran over to the bedroom door. I figured he probably actually had to go to the bathroom for once, and was being a good boy and telling me about it as opposed to relieving himself by the closet door (again).

So I got out of bed, pulled on my robe and opened the door. He ran down the stairs full speed and went right to the back door, which only encouraged my thought that he just really needed to go. So I walked quickly down the stairs, unlocked the door and he ran out.... only to turn right around and look up at me expectantly. He just wanted food. He thought he won until I closed the door in his face and walked back up stairs. I figured he could wait another 15 minutes or so until I was ready to wake up.

When he saw me coming down the stairs again he got very excited (BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!). So I walked over to the back door, opened it and grabbed his food bowl. Walked back through the house to the garage, scooped some food in his bowl and walked back into the house. He saw me coming out of the garage and got so excited he went to go run around the backyard in exultation (he lives for food). Since he had run out of sight of the back door, I decided to tease him and I hid from sight instead of going to the back door right away with his food. He ran back to the back door expecting me to be there and looked through the glass trying to find me. He looked left, right, up, and down. Then he ran to the other side of the house to look through the window over where my desk is to see if I was there. Then back to the back door, then back to the window. I could barely contain my laughter as he did this a few more times. I finally felt bad and let him have his breakfast, which he ate very politely with minimum drool.

Lucas is such a strange dog, but I love him.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Being a Photographer

Being a photographer is a learning process. You don't just wake up one day, decide go buy a fancy camera and call yourself a photographer. Sure, you could do that, and quite a lot a people do, but it takes a lot of time and practice to become a good photographer.

I have referred to myself as a "professional" photographer for the last year or so, but that doesn't mean that I know everything about photography. There are always new techniques and new technology to learn. Photography itself can be taught (point camera at target, push shutter button) but seeing is much harder to master. Every photographer has her/his own way of shooting- be it a certain angle the fancy, a certain lens, etc. As Garry Winogrand once said, "You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter."

I was actually given a great opportunity today to learn from a photographer that I consider to be a better photographer than me. Luis Carranza of LC Photography. He has been in the business longer and has much more experience and knowledge about equipment than I do. He found my ad on Craigslist offering my photographic services and wrote me an e-mail asking if I would like to assist him with a wedding he was shooting today. He said he would need help with some minor shooting and with lighting. I have never worked with any sort of lighting on my own. When I worked at The Picture People the studio lighting was set a certain way and I never had to adjust anything- not a great learning experience in that aspect. I really wanted to help him, but I didn't want to burden him with my inexperience. I let him know that I had pretty much zero experience with lighting, but he said it would be no problem and I agreed to help him.

It was such a great experience for me getting to basically shadow him for the first part of the festivities. I even arrived quite a bit earlier than he had asked me to and he gave me a rundown of all his equipment and how it worked. He explained how a lot of the lighting worked and taught me a bit about the lenses he had. Throughout the day I assisted him by helping switch out lenses, holding lights for photos, and carrying camera equipment; in the evening I helped by taking candid photos of the guests at the reception while he took the more important shots. He gave me lots of tips and tricks for lighting and just for photography in general! He did pay me for helping him today, but I feel like I got the better half of the deal! I got to see how a "real" wedding photographer works- which is something I've never actually seen before. I've never been to a wedding with a hired photographer, so I've never actually seen how others do it. He was a really great guy and gave me much advice on how to shoot, on lighting, and how to expand my business. I can't wait to see the results of today's shoot!

I only hope that I helped him as much as he helped me today.

Today was a small stepping stone on my way to becoming a better photographer. I've gained much knowledge, but I still have a lot to learn. I see many conventions and workshops in my future. Being a photographer is a never ending cycle of learning and I plan on continuing and expanding my education... the only thing standing in my way is money :P

A

P.S. Hey look! An actual blog post! :O

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Celebrities and Body Image

The world is a screwed up place.

People expect celebrities to be perfect examples of what the human race should look like. Thin, but not too thin. Buff, but not too buff. I'm not a celebrity stalker. I don't watch shows like TMZ or read tabloids, but, like most people, I hear quite a bit about the lives of celebrities; I see their images everywhere. When I'm standing in line at the check out there are magazines there with just a tid-bit of information there about what's going on the world of famous people on their covers. You see pictures of celebs that are "too fat!" or "too thin!" and it makes me wonder, who are you to judge these people? Why should I care if someone I don't even know is a little pudgy?

A while back I liked Sally Hansen on Facebook (I really like their nail polish). I hadn't really paid any attention to their posts until they posted up a picture of Ashley Tisdale and I got a glance on the comments.


A ton of the comments were crap about how she's too skinny. I love how people will judge other people about being too fat and then, once they lose the weight, berate them for being too skinny. A few people went as far as to say "she looks like she needs a cheeseburger." Seriously? In this photo she looks the same size, if not bigger, than I am. There aren't ribs or any other bones visible. She isn't a stick figure. The way I see it, people are simply jealous. 

I was about to say "hypothetically", but we'll just go with any random celebrity. A picture is taken of them at a not so flattering angle. The whole world then starts to point out how they're too fat and should lose weight because they're setting a bad example for children. That celebrity then starts to feel super self-conscious and the only way to feel better about themselves is to start losing weight. People keep claiming they're too fat until there is hardly anything left of them. Then comes the "Oh! Now she's too skinny! What a bad example for our children! We don't want them to think they have to be that thin!". 

And that seems to be the trend lately. Sure, there are a few celebs who really could "use a cheeseburger," but most of the time when I see people bagging on celebs is because they're normal sized. I'm not talking about the distorted "normal" that most people talk about now (that's for another blog post), I'm talking people who are actually in shape and taking care of their bodies. Nowadays if a celebrity is at all skinny, people seem to think they're too skinny. 

These comments make me so angry. People are so obsessed with body image, and a lot of the time so unhappy with their own, that they take it out on people they don't even know. Before you judge someone for looking a certain way, look at yourself and the way you take care of your own body.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I Get to Have my Cake and DRINK it Too!

This is not your grandma's vodka.

Vodka has changed; it's not just vodka anymore. There are so many crazy flavors! The craziest has got to be the new line by Smirnoff (yes, I know other brands have similar ones) which includes Iced Cake, Fluffed Marshmallow, Kissed Caramel, Whipped Cream and Root Beer Float. If you haven't tried these, I know what you might be thinking, "Eww! Vodka that tastes like cake?!" It is crazy to think about, but yes, it tastes like cake.

I was giving out samples of Smirnoff Iced Cake for my sampling job at Albertsons and I have tried it before, so I knew it tasted just like cake. I got a lot of people giving me crazy looks when I offered them cake flavored vodka. I assured them it wasn't as weird as it sounded and they tried it, and they all loved it. It's crazy to think about drinking cake, but it's totally delicious.

My recipe for "Upside Down Cake"
This is how I was told to mix the drink for work, and it's totally bomb:
Equal parts pineapple juice, orange juice, and Smirnoff Iced Cake.
To see the official recipe from Smirnoff, go here.


No joke, this stuff tastes just like an upside down pineapple cake. And I know it still sounds weird to be drinking cake, but trust me; this is amazing. I've had the cake and the whipped (yes whipped like whipped cream) one and they are both awesome flavors. If you're curious about what to mix with the whipped vodka, you can't go wrong with some orange juice! People describe the flavor as a 50-50 Bar (for those of you, like myself, who have never had a 50-50 Bar, orange sherbet ice cream is a good example of taste too).

I haven't tried the caramel, root beer float or the marshmallow, but I'm very excited to do so. Also very glad their website has drink recipes- otherwise I would totally be at a loss for what to mix them with! If these weren't so awesome, I would no be writing a blog about them. I tried my first Upside Down Cake last night and it was oh so good. Next on the list to try: Kissed Caramel.

These are so ingenious! Vodka will never be the same.

Ash



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles

From the makers:
Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles are proven to improve the way you feel in heels. The unique design helps prevent foot aches and pains caused by high heels two inches and higher. Plus, the ultra-soft gel arch shifts pressure off the ball of your foot while providing guaranteed all-day comfort.

On first look:
I've seen these before and I actually have some regular Dr. Scholl's For Her inserts that I use in my work shoes. I use them at work (where I have to stand for 4+ hours at a time) and I've worn them to Disneyland multiple times and I have to say, I love these things! I've been to Disneyland without any inserts in my shoes, and by the end of the day, my feet and back were always killing me. I tried out Dr. Scholl's, and now I"m always "gellin". Back to the High Heel Insoles, I was very interested in trying them because I'd had so much luck with the regular ones.


After using the product:
Wow. That's all I have to say. The shoes you see above are my newest shoes. I bought them near the end of last quarter to wear while presenting my senior project. I didn't have any inserts in them when I presented; I couldn't wait to get out of these shoes at the end of the day. They're super cute, but they're not very comfy after a while. I've been going around town looking for a job and I've been wearing these shoes. When I opened my Sunkissed Voxbox and saw them I was very excited to try them out! They work like a charm! I actually felt like I wasn't even wearing heels. No joke. I had to keep looking down at my feet to remind myself I was wearing my cute shoes. I don't know how they do it- maybe it's the arch support- but my feet felt uber comfortable. I thought it might wear off after a while, but I wore them for practically half the day and my feet were still okay (just for comparison, my senior presentation seminar was only like 3 hours).

Tips for use:
The size says it's Women's (sizes 6-10), but if you have a larger foot, like myself, it's a bit more tricky to get it in the shoe just right. The shoes above are size 9 1/2 and if I put the insole all the way to the back of the heel, the cushiony purple part at the toe doesn't really go where it's supposed to (ball of foot), so if you have larger feet, it's better to put the cushiony part where it's supposed to go and not worry about extra space at the heel. The middle part is more comfortable this way as well.

Verdict:
These things are amazing. Period. If you have shoes you love that just aren't that comfy, these are what you need.

If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles you can visit their website at www.drscholls.com/.


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles from Influenster through the Sunkissed VoxBox Program!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics

Another review from my Influenster vox box:

From the makers:
Goody’s NEW Ouchless Ribbon Elastics offer you a unique hair tie to personalize your ponytail. As beautiful as ribbons but soft and stretchy too, these hair ties are “knot” your average elastic. New Ribbon Elastics are both comfortable and fashionable, plus look great in your hair or on your wrist.


On first look:
They're cute! I've heard of these before (not necessarily the Goody brand), and I've wanted to try them out. The packaging is functional. It comes with five! And the colors are quite pretty.

After using the product:
They're awesome! It does take some getting used to to get them in your hair (hold one end, pull the other through). They look really pretty though. Definitely more stylish than an ordinary pony tail. This is the first hairstyle (see photo below) I've done using the new ribbon elastics and I'm actually wearing one on my wrist right now! They really are pretty and they're stretchy- which is great. I know they're called ribbon elastics but I was worried they were just a bit of ribbon and was concerned as to how they would work, but they're so stretchy! And, this one on my wrist, not cutting off my circulation! I do keep mistaking it for my watch just because it's on the wrist I usually wear my watch on, but that doesn't subtract points :P


Verdict:
Please use them.They're pretty and functional.

If you'd like to find out more about them, please visit Goody.com.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics from Influenster through the Sunkissed VoxBox Program!

Thank God For Small Miracles (and the UPS Store)

I got fired from The Picture People back in mid May. They loved me, but my sales average just wasn't high enough. Corporate made them fire me.

In a way, it was kind of a good thing. I now had a ton of time to focus on writing my senior paper (and I needed it). Chris assured me that I didn't have to worry about paying any bills until I was able to get a job again, so I wasn't completely stressed about it, but I don't like getting things for free (unless it comes in a voxbox of course (; ) and I hate not being able to really help out financially. Yeah, I can clean the house to my heart's desire, but I'm slowly running out of money. I did wait until the end of the quarter to start looking, because ohmygosh did I need that extra time to write my paper! Things were getting pretty tight as far as money goes, but today, something awesome happened.

I got up, did my morning routine and then got all dressed up in one of my best "I'm-going-to-get-a-job-today" outfits and headed out to the banks! I had picked up an application at Kern School Federal Credit Union two days ago, and the lady said that they do on the spot interviews if they're slow. So I showed up today and INTERVIEW! Boom. Confidence totally boosted. I decided to go to Chase Bank as well since I'd already filled out an app, and I got to talk to the assistant manager there which is always good. Then, on my way home I passed a UPS Store and something just screamed at me "Go in there!". I had extra resumes in my car with me, so I decided to go see if they're hiring or not.

When I walked in with my resume and introduced myself I heard someone in the back say "Today is your lucky day!" They interviewed me on the spot there as well! I really did feel lucky! I wasn't expecting much, but they were very interested in my Digital Arts degree from BC. The interview went well and they asked me to send over a portfolio of my work from BC. I went straight home to get things sorted and sent them an e-mail. For the rest of the day, (this all happened around 12:00) I kept bugging Chris (jokingly, "Chris, make the UPS guys call me!"). I really wasn't expecting anything so soon, but at 6:00 I got a phone call....

I start Monday! It feels just like Christmas! I know I shouldn't get too excited about it yet, but, I totally am. I had to go buy a black polo shirt to wear, so I made Chris go with me to Kohls and I am now ready for Monday (at least physically). Chris treated me to Starbucks, and now here I am trying to keep myself from bouncing up and down by typing this (:

And all I can think is "Thank you God!" Today was just a random decision to go out, and a completely random decision to walk into the UPS Store. Hooray! Haha, I can't wait for Monday!

A

In case you were wondering, this is the face I've been making all day (:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!}

Yep, it's that time of year again! Influenster has deemed me worthy of another voxbox! Yay! This time around I received the Sunkissed Voxbox. It came with quite a few goodies in it. For those of you who don't know, Influenster is an awesome website that you can sign up for and every now and then they send out voxboxes full of goodies for you to try out for free. I know what you're thinking, what's the catch? The thing is, there is none. I've been in the Influenster program for over a year now, and I have not had to pay anything into it. They send you out products to try, you tell them what you think about them. The end!

Well, this time, the Sunkissed Voxbox came with Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} (along with a few other things).

From the makers:
24-hour hydration and a splash of sheer color. This all-in-one skin perfecter, sunscreen, and tinted moisturizer evens tone and refreshes dullness, for flawless looking skin (available in two shades: fair/light and light/medium).
Retails at $12.99

My review:
So far I like it! I don't generally like wearing any sort of foundation or cover-up on my face just because I tend to touch it a lot haha, but I think I could live with this. I received the fair/light one... because I'm fair/light :P The first thing I noticed was the scent. It smells divine (and for those who know me, my actually being able to smell it is a big thing). I've had it on for a little over and hour now and there have been no negative side-effects! Yay! My skin feels quite moisturized and as for the tint, I like it because it doesn't completely cover me up. It helps to smooth flaws but doesn't try to mask them; I don't feel like I'm wearing a ton of crap on my face. The only problem with that is that just recently I had to go blow my nose and forgot I was wearing it and wiped a lot of it off my nose haha. But on the bright side, you can't hardly tell! Because it's a tint! Not a foundation! Yes!


Above is my "before and after". The before picture is a little blurry, sorry. It's very subtle, but there is a difference. I tried to stand in the same place to get the same lighting and everything. I've got some acne going on on my forehead, and the BB Cream definitely helped make that less noticeable. And the best part about all this is that it has SPF 15! It refreshes, brightens, evens tone, hydrates, smoothes, and protects! So far I'm liking this stuff, I just have to remember not to touch my face :P

After make-up (:
You can find out more about Olay Fresh Effects at their website here and you can also purchase it from Amazon.com. And thanks to Influenster for giving me this product to try for free!

Friday, June 21, 2013

How Are You?

America is different from other countries in a lot of ways. One of them being the way we greet each other.

I work for Advantage Sales and Marketing once in a while giving out samples of alcohol at Albertsons stores. To get customers attention I say hi or hello and I get a few different reactions. Sometimes people will nod at me, sometimes they'll say hi back, but a lot of times they say, "How are you?" and then just keep walking without really waiting for a response. I always try to answer with something they won't expect like "I'm doing fantastic!" as opposed to the typical, "I'm good. How are you?" and then of course throw in a, "Would you like to try some wine?". 

I find it strange that this has become so common a phenomenon. Why ask someone how they are and then take off without expecting a response? According to eDiplomat.com, in America, when someone asks how you are, this is not a request for information about your well-being; it is simply a pleasantry.They obviously don't care how I am, and yet they ask it. This is not the same in every culture though. In many cultures, if someone was to walk by you and ask how you are and then continue walking without waiting for a response they would be seen as "uncaring", "superficial" or even "rude". In other cultures, when someone inquires as to how you are they actually care and expect a response -  one more so than "good". 

Even though this is a common greeting in America, I've never found myself saying it in this way before. When I do greet people at work I do sometimes ask, "how are you?" but I'm actually hoping to get a response and perhaps further the conversation as I serve them. 

I've been looking on some websites, such as eDiplomat, and looking over their suggestions for doing business with Americans. Apparently we are very informal, like firm handshakes, don't really care how you're doing, like to have our smiles returned, and we're uncomfortable with silence. Huh. 

There's lots of interesting info on that website for many different countries. Other countries actual care how you're doing, haha. Even before I started doing this research I was noticing how strange it was for people to be greeting me with, "how are you?". 

We Americans are so odd... 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Art Of Parking

Needless to say, parking on campus is a pain. Sometimes you do get lucky and find a spot that is nearby your class, though most times you have to park at least a mile away from you class and, because you were hunting for a closer one, you are now late because you took too long looking and because you have to walk too far. There are a few tricks that I've learned throughout my college career for finding a good parking spot. They aren't 100%, but 9 times out of 10 I won't have to walk very far! Here are some tips and tricks:

  1. Roll down your windows and turn off your music! Not every car that is leaving will have their reverse lights on right away. By rolling down your windows and eliminating other noises you will be able to hear a person starting up their car a row away!
  2. Arrive when other classes are getting out. Chances are, if you arrive too near to your own class's start time, all of your other classmates will have gotten the prime parking spots. By timing your arrival with the end of the class ahead of yours, you're bound to catch other students leaving campus!
  3. Make "just one more round". Listen to your gut! Making that one last round around the parking lot might be your saving grace (or saving feet if you're wearing high heels).
  4. Don't go with the crowd. If you're driving behind a long line of cars that are also looking for a place to park, most likely they're going to get the parking spots that are coming out ahead of you. If there is a place to turn, do so, so you aren't following other hunters.
  5. Be cooperative. Your fellow hunters are just as desperate as you are. If you come across a parking spot, or someone backing out of one, at the same time as another hunter, work things out considerately. Chances are there might be a spot opening up nearby and you can both get spots if you work together! (Yes, this has happened to me).
  6. Keep your cool. I know it can be stressful at times, but you need to keep a clear head on your shoulders. You might get too busy yelling at someone to notice the guy backing out right behind you. (No, this has not happened to me :P). I tend to keep my temper down by talking to myself in a British/Irish accent. This isn't for everyone, but it works for me!
Okay, so there you have it! My top 6 tricks to hunting down a parking spot! I know it can be annoying and stressful at times, but you've got to be tactful about it! Oh, and one more just in case even these tips leave you stressed out:

Arrive early to campus. Park in the first (most likely far off) spot you find and just walk the mile to class. Walking is good for you and gives you lots of time to think!

Good luck everyone! I know the quarter just ended, but some people are going to summer school! Keep these in mind as you hunt for a parking spot!

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, June 7, 2013

Having Babies

Yes, having children is something that I desperately want in the future (a long time from now). I'll admit it, when I see someone who is close to my age and pregnant, I get a little jealous.I want that. I can't wait.. but I can wait.

If working at the Picture People taught me anything, it's that I want to wait until I'm ready to have babies before I start having them. Every once in a while we'd have a young couple come in for maternity pictures or newborn pictures and I would have that twinge of jealousy. Then I would see that they're not in a very good place financially and my "baby fever" would magically disappear. It's the couples that have a baby doll stroller instead of an actual one that really catch my eye and make me think, "I want better for my children". I can't wait to have children, but I can wait until I have enough money to be able to get the best for my children.


What brings about this blog post is of course baby fever or a little bit of jealously at least. Three of my younger cousins are pregnant right now and, mind you, I'm only 23. Three sisters- the third one just recently came out. It makes me jealous to know that they're pregnant, that they are experiencing something I want. But then I think about everything else- they're all under 23 years old, they're not married, who knows if they're financially stable or not, and, to my knowledge, none of them were expecting to get pregnant. None of these are circumstances under which I'd want to have a baby.

Am I still jealous? A little bit. Though it also makes me wonder how this happens. Not just to my cousins, but teenagers in general. Why are teen pregnancy rates so high? I've been with my boyfriend for three years now and, knock on wood, I haven't once had a "pregnancy scare". Are people just going at it with a "it could never happen to me" attitude, or is it an education thing? Surely sex ed classes are still offered in high school? Heck, I think they're even offered in middle school! The main thing it comes down to is protection! Protection! Protection! Be smart about it. If you're going to take part in adult activities, then you need to be mature enough to make adult decisions about precaution. "Accidents" do happen, but they're less likely to happen if you use your brain first.

Well, this started out with a little bit of baby fever, and ended with a little bit of rant. What it really comes down to I think is maturity. I would say that, mentally, I'm ready to have a baby; however, I'm mature enough to know that I am in no way ready to have a baby right now.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Which is Scarier?

Simply put, I enjoy art. I enjoy art that makes you think. Because I enjoy art, I "liked" a page on Facebook a while back: Artist-A-Day. They're a very cool website that puts up photos from a new artist everyday. A few days ago they put up some sculptures by the artist Ted Lawson. He has some very neat pieces but my favorite one is called "Eve". It's a series of eight statues of the same woman at a different stage of body mass. Depending on where you start looking, the woman either starts out as an extremely over-thin woman and progresses to a disturbingly fat one, or the opposite.


Aside form looking at the art, I enjoy reading the comments other people make. One woman's comment-referring to the two polar opposites-really stood out to me "I don't know which one is scarier!" And it's true, both are quite scary to look at. On one hand "Eve" is crazy thin and certainly starving. On the other, "Eve" is a monstrously fat.

Looking at both of these statues, I find neither one of them attractive. And personally, I see the fatter one as the scarier one. In most cases being thin to that extreme is not a choice; it's not something that can be controlled- you simply don't have enough food and are starving. However, being that obese is one's own doing. Maybe she didn't make the mental decision to be that fat, but she allowed herself to become that immense and I think that is the scarier of the two. Someone who is starving because they don't have access to food can't just decide to start eating, but someone who has plenty access to food can decide to start eating better.This actually makes me think of the movie "Wall-E".

I really enjoyed Wall-E, though I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about it. It's a great kids movie, but it's also thought provoking for adults and at times I do feel like that's where our society is heading. Along with Wall-E there's the movie "Idiocracy," but that's a whole different blog post.

You can see more photos of Lawson's "Eve" and other works at www.TedLawson.com.
And please, tell me, which do you think is scarier?

A


Friday, April 12, 2013

Finding Time

When I first started writing this blog over a year ago I was afraid that I would either run out of "interesting" things to write or forget about it entirely. I didn't want to be one of those bloggers whose only recent blog posts were posts apologizing for not posting. I did pretty well in the beginning; there were a couple of months where I was just too busy, or had nothing new to share. Though here I am. I've had a total of 7 real content-filled posts (not that Wordless Wednesday's don't have real content!) for this year. That's 7 posts for a little over three months- not exactly keeping with it.

I don't want this to be a "Sorry for not updating my blog" post-
So I'll make this post into an update.

Hi! How have you all been? I've been doing great. Living with the boyfriend, still attending CSUB, still working at The Picture People. I'm loving life right now, though I do wish my job paid better/had better hours. Other than that, things are going fantastically. I've had a few photo gigs and I'm loving living closer to everything (especially friends). I do sometimes miss living on the farm and being right next door to my Grandparents, but I'm adjusting well to city life.

Chris and I celebrated our three year anniversary by taking a trip to Paso/Avila. We had a spa day with wine in Paso, then stayed in a romantic inn in Avila. It was amazing. I love him so much and I'm so happy to have him in my life. The future, in that regard, is looking bright!

I'm not going to promise to write more often, as I might fail like I've been doing the past few months haha, but I will try. It's not that I haven't had any ideas of what to write about, it's mostly been I've been too busy- I know, that's a common excuse among blog writers. I'll try to keep (the few of) you who actually read my blog updated :P

For now, I'm just checking in.

A


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Anniversary That Almost Never Was

March 24th. In one week's time, Chris and I will have been together for three years.

This is a huge deal considering we almost didn't make it. Two months ago I scrubbed the date from my phone's calendar. I thought it would be a day I would end up despising and probably crying on, but now I look forward to it with joy. There are so many things that I thought I'd never do again. Like go to Santa Barbara.

Chris and I went to Santa Barbara last weekend and I had a blast. We spent part of the day in Camarillo and then headed out to Santa Barbara for a date. We went to, what I like to call, our restaurant, Endless Summer Bar-Cafe. And as we were looking for a parking spot I started thinking about how really amazing it was. I had written off Santa Barbara; convinced myself I would never go back there, and there I was. With him. I just got a huge smile on my face. All that I was convinced I'd lost was back. I think that's when it really sunk in.

We ate at the cafe, walked to the break water, then went to this amazing park. It was so beautiful, but don't ask me to remember the name, because I haven't been able to yet, haha. (Hey, Google is my best friend- Elings Park). It had four different levels. The first was dedicated to BMX, the second was baseball fields, and the third was soccer fields. The fourth level is a beautiful area with tables, an amphitheater, and various benches strewn throughout. It was so beautifully landscaped! Near the end of our walk we found a nice grassy spot in the sun and just laid down in it (check out my best friend Google's map of it here!).

Bangs and wind don't really mix well... lol
I hadn't realized how much I missed Santa Barbara, but it really wouldn't be the same without him. In eight days I will have been with the love of my life for 3 years (give or take a month and a half). This anniversary is special. Not only because it's our first 3 year anniversary ;P but because this is the one that almost didn't happen. I treasure every day that I get to hold him in my arms. He's the best thing that's ever been mine.

I love you Chris Vega. Always and forever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day

I didn't do much for Valentine's Day this year. I got to spend time with my Valentine, but I didn't make him make a big deal out of it like I did last year. Might of had something to do with the fact that I was working and then going to school all day this year.

I did make him give me a present though: my key to his house (:

I've decided that from now on, if I want a present of sorts from Chris, I'll just let him know what he's supposed to give me. He said that works for him, so I have to think up ideas for next year, haha.

Anywho. This post, though it is so titled as "Valentine's Day," is actually about the day after Valentine's Day. I was working at Walmart doing my demo for Windows 8 and I saw that all the Valentine's Day candy was on sale. And really, how can you resist candy that is on sale? I decided to get a tub of Valentine Corn. Yeah, it's just like Candy Corn around the Halloween, only colored pink for Valentine's Day!


The next day, as I was munching on Valentine Corn and packing up my things to move to Chris's house, I noticed one of the pieces was deformed. How disappointing.


But as I took a closer look, this piece of corn amazed me by how perfectly deformed it was. What a coincidence that this piece of corn should have been made into Valentine Corn, for it was perfectly heart shaped on the bottom!


Just goes to prove that first impressions can be deceiving! I thought this was an ugly piece of Valentine Corn that just happened into my bucket, but it was a actually quite beautiful... for a piece of candy corn haha

Yes, that piece of corn made my day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Turn of Events

Janurary was quite possibly one of the worst months I've ever had.

My heart was broken, my grandpa had a stroke (twice), I killed a dog with my car, and to top it off, I failed a midterm by completely forgetting about it. What a great way to start a new year. A friend on Twitter told me, after one of the many times I tweeted a complaint about 2013, "Don't condemn it just yet. This is just overflow from 2012, the shittiest year ever. Keep your chin up!" I didn't think she could possibly be right, but February has taken an unexpected turn of events.

My heart has been mended. No, I suppose that's not right. It's evolved. I grew up a lot in January (more on that later). I was single for a month, and I enjoyed it, or I at least tried to; there were times when the mask of confidence and happiness would fall off and I would be left crying. Then Chris asked me to forgive him. Yes, we're back together again. Yes, we're moving in together. Attempting for this weekend actually. I know a lot of people have told me taking him back is the wrong thing to do, but how can I not give him another chance? He makes me happy. Period.

My grandpa is doing okay for the time being. He's home, he's walking, and he's smiling. We still have him. I don't know for how long, but he's here. His memory does tend to lapse sometimes and he doesn't remember me or where he's at, but for the most part he's doing pretty good... at the moment.


My car has been taped together (courtesy of my dad and brother) and I never saw the dog again. As for the final, I have yet to talk to my professor about it; I'm not sure if it would do any good. "Excuse me professor, I failed the exam because I forgot about it and didn't study at all, would you mind giving me another go at it?" I don't see that happening, but who knows. Maybe she'll help me out a bit if I tell her about my crummy January.

As for my New Year Resolution, it has also evolved. My goal was to move out in January. As you can probably tell, that hasn't happened yet. With all that's happened though, I'm okay with that. I've also taken up a 2nd job. Two jobs, school, and all the crap that's happened in the last month. I'm okay with the fact that  the big move hasn't happened yet. But as I said earlier. It is going to happen. I'm moving in with Chris (hopefully this weekend if I'm not too busy). February is not that far off from January, and heck, it's a lot farther than 2014 which is the deadline, so I think I've done pretty well so far (:

Here's to hoping that the 2012 runoff is finished and I'll be able to move forward in my life.

A

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Palmolive® Fresh Infusions™

So, I received another VoxBox from Influenster.com recently. This time they sent me three bottles of Palmolive dish soap. This is a new line of soap that they've recently introduced:

"Just like the best recipes, the freshest scents & elegant simplicity are what inspire us in the kitchen. Taking cues from nature, we created inviting, naturally inspired fragrance blends - and combined them with the sparkling clean you've always trusted from Palmolive® dish liquid. Infuse your kitchen with freshness."


I personally loved the scent of the Ginger White Tea one (it's fruity and fresh). And it is tough on grease! Washes dishes well and doesn't leave your hands dried out. I have one I need to give away! If you're interested in trying out this soap let me know and I'll let you have it! And sorry, but I'm keeping the Ginger White Tea for myself (; you can have your choice of the other two!

Final Thoughts:
Really love the bottles. It's great at cleaning dishes and smells fantastic. Will definitely be buying this in the future... as soon as my bottles run out (:

If you want to try out this awesome new Palmolive soap for yourself, you can find it in stores at Walmart! (Where else right?) And if you want to know a bit more about it, you can visit the Palmolive website here. And if you're still not convinced, you can see more reviews at Influenster.com.

Disclaimer: I received free samples of Palmolive® Fresh Infusions™ from Influenster through the Palmolive® Fresh Infusions™ Program!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Death of a Dog

I killed a dog last night.

I was driving home from school. On east bound 58 going 65 mph. There was no time to stop. No time to swerve or switch lanes. He just walked out right in front of my car. I saw him walk past the car in front of me on the right lane and all too late realized that he wasn't going to walk fast enough to make it past mine. I hit him dead center.

What happened next was complete shock. It all happened in slow motion. I saw the dog walking casually across the freeway. I quickly checked my mirrors to see if I had any chance at all to avoid it. I hit the dog.

It was a big dog. My front bumper was broken. I heard something dragging and for a gruesome second thought it was the dog. I pulled to the side of the road and that's when the "oh my god. oh my god. oh my god"s started happening. Then came the sobs and the thoughts "should I call 911?" Then I thought no, they don't show up for roadkill. I convinced myself to get out of my car and go check the front... just to make sure there wasn't a dog stuck to the front of my car. Nope, bumper just destroyed. Then I dared myself to look behind me.

It was dark; all I could see was the silhouette of the dog whenever a car passed. I called my mom. "Mom, I just hit a dog." Crying the whole time, I told her my bumper was broken. She asked where I was, and I couldn't think straight exactly. I had to walk back to the sign over the freeway. By the dog's body. I walked a little ways and saw the Mt. Vernon sign. I took a look at the dog. When a car passed, I could have swore I saw it breathing...

My mom told me to get back into my car where it was safe (I was on the left side of the freeway on a bridge after-all  and wait until they got there. I cried and cried. What if I just killed someone's baby? What if it is still alive? Laying there in the road suffering.

My parents pulled up and when my dad got to me he hugged me as I bawled into his jacket. I told him it was still alive and he told me it wasn't when they passed it. I came to one of two conclusions- it was actually dead, or my dad was trying to make me feel better.

My mom drove me home, and when I got there I cuddled and petted my dog Champ for a good long while.

And all the hysterical side of me could think "This is all Chris' fault." I got out of class early today; if he hadn't of broken up with me I would be at Prime Cut right now, not driving home.

So far 2013 is one of the worst years of my life.

A

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


A Little Bit Of Closure

Tomorrow will be one week since Chris broke up with me. And this time I feel safe saying it like that. He broke up with me. The last time this happened a year and a half ago, I half way felt like it was a mutual decision. This is our second break up and I think that's what makes this time so much easier... of course in some ways it makes it harder.

It made it harder in the beginning because last time he took me back. Part of me kept thinking "he'll change his mind! He'll realize again that he does need me." And it made it easier because after we got back together last time I made the mental decision to not get back together with him if he broke my heart again.

The biggest thing that makes this time so much easier is because he finally admitted that I loved him more than he did. I have always felt like that throughout these three years, but I thought it was just my silly subconsciousness trying to make me feel insecure. After I got home that day we had a text message conversation and I finally told him it doesn't make sense. You can't say that you love me and that I am good enough for you and then say you don't see a future with me. That's when he told me that he didn't love me as much as I love him. That's what has helped me move on- what gave me my closure.

The first time he broke up with me I cried for 2 weeks straight. This time I was done crying over him on day 3. He crushed me on Thursday and by Saturday I was out of tears. This doesn't mean I'm fine, it just means that I feel like a black hole. There are no more tears left. Why waste tears on a man who doesn't want me? Who never needed me.

Friday night was probably the best post-break up night ever. I got a hair cut, bought a new dress, shoes, and belt. Then went out dancing at The Padre with two of my good friends, Alyssa and Rachel. We danced the night away until around midnight when the song "Single Ladies" by Beyonce came on. "If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it". And then it hit me like a brick wall. He should have put a ring on it. We went back to Alyssa's house and had a good long cry and when I woke up Saturday morning I was done crying.

I still get moments where I'll see something or remember something that reminds me about plans I had with him, and then remember that I'll never get to do them. It does make me sad, but I know that eventually I'll be better off without him.

And even with all that's been said, it's true, ignorance is bliss, and I still love him, and a part of me wishes I never went to his house that day. That none of this ever happened.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of my friends who've given a kind word or hug to me throughout all of this. The thought did run through my mind to just cut everyone off. All of our friends. I didn't want to see him, so I thought cutting all of you out would be a solution, but I love you guys too and right now I need all the friends I can get.

So thank you, for just being there when he wasn't.

A

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Facebook Official

Yesterday a friend of mine said nothing is official until it is "Facebook Official". Well today I officially changed my status to "single".

It's happened again. My heart is broken. Again. My future is shattered. Again. But this time it doesn't hurt as bad. I think it's because this time I know it's really over. There is nothing I can say to make him change his mind. I love him. He loves me. I just love him more. It's the whole, "you did nothing wrong, " "I still love you," "you are good enough" but "I don't see a future with you" thing.

I'm heart broken. Everything reminds me of him. Heck, even my phone reminds me of him. I can't go and throw out everything that reminds me of him because I can't throw out my phone. I can't throw out my camera. I can't throw out my laptop. I can't throw out my jacket. Wow. I just realized I'm wearing his shirt right now as a pajama top. And the weird part is that I have no desire to take it off. I have so many conflicting emotions right now. I want to hate him... I think part of me actually does this time. I want to go to his house and watch Archer together. I want to hold him in my arms. I want to throw things at him. 

I want to cry in front of him.

I want him to feel as bad as I do.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I got to his house after work. I could just sense it. Then came the talk. I tried so hard to be strong and not to cry. Part of me just wanted to gather my things up and then go downstairs and watch tv together like I had planned earlier. He was my best friend.

I guess my future is a blank slate once more. I can cross off marrying Chris. I can cross off having Chris' children. I can cross off proving to Chris that marriages can actually last.

One part of me feels free... another part of me feels lost.... the lost part seems to be winning right now. I know what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but I never saw this coming. I never got a chance to fight. The only thing I could do was accept it. Hug him one last time and cry myself home in my car.

I guess the best thing for me to do now is focus on finding out who I really am. Then finding someone who can really love me... or just go out and party it up and enjoy being single again... Can I do that? I've never wanted anyone but him. Ever. He is all my firsts. And I wanted him to be all my lasts.

"Almost three years." That's what I told my friend at work today when she asked how long my boyfriend and I had been together. "Almost three years".

I can either think of this as an awful start to 2013 or a second chance... Right now I just feel like crap.

A


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Thousand Thirteen

2013.
A new year... again.

How was your first day in the new year? Was it any different from days you've spent in 2012? Do you feel any different? Did you make resolutions? Are they going to fail?... Don't they usually fail?

How will you make this year different from the last? I've heard a few "resolutions" from friends this year. For some it's losing weight, for others buying a car. All very good resolutions. But what makes the first of the year such a milestone? Why couldn't these goals have been made months ago?


For many, the first of the year feels like a clean slate; a way to start over. And in a way, it is. It's a psychological beginning. True, most resolutions fail- like saying you'll never eat ice cream again. Yeah, like that's going to happen- and that's why it's best to take baby steps. Making a resolution to "lose weight" is doomed to fail. There is no set goal. Nothing to push you forward towards your goal, because you're not quite sure what it is. You might have an idea of what it is, but "lose weight" is so open. It could be 10 pounds or 50 pounds. Who's to say when you've accomplished losing weight?

My new year's resolution is to move out of my parent's home. That by itself would be a fail. When is the big question there. I could move out in December of 2013. By the first statement, that would be a win. Though it's much closer to being a fail. One of my goals of this year is to move out of my parent's home in January. This year. 2013. It's going to be a tough one; I've lived in their house my entire life. I might have to get a 2nd job to help support myself, but this is the month! I believe in making realistic resolutions.

This one seems pretty realistic to me. Maybe I should give myself another month. Make the goal February, but if I do that, what's to stop me from next month saying, "just one more month, better make it March"? And that is how resolutions get out of control. It is kinda... scary to think about. But maybe that's not the right adjective... Different. Most everyone fears change. I am going to embrace it... or at least try to haha.

Wish me luck on completing my New Year Resolution: Move out of my parent's home by the end of January. And good luck to everyone else who made a resolution this year! I really hope it works out for you! Make a change for the better this year.

Yes I'm going to kick myself if this fails, but I'm going to give it my all. Just got to find the right place for the right price!

On a side note... goal #2:  Go skydiving (:

A
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