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The Blogger Recognition Award


About The Award

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It aims to help bloggers’ get their work recognized by and promoted to other bloggers. As with any award, there are some rules for nominees –

* Thank the blogger who nominated you for the nomination and link to their blog.

* Write a blog post on your site displaying the award that describes why you started your blog

* Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers

* Nominate and notify 15 more bloggers

So here it goes! I’m incredibly honored to have been nominated by Julie over at Dark Blue Journal. She’s a fantastic blogger who writes about minimalism, the environment, and real life. She is such a talented writer and her posts are always so well researched and writes in such a real and beautiful way. If you’re not already reading her blog, you need to! Plus, she's super sweet and just a lovely person all around!

What Brought Me to Blogging:

I have to admit, I started blogging because I was curious and bored and needed an outlet for my thoughts. My blog has been through many forms before it eventually became That Weird Girl Life (first it was a bucket list blog, then a travel blog. I don’t even travel that much! What was I thinking?? Who would read a travel blog from someone who doesn’t GO ANYWHERE???), but I’m happy on what I’m focusing on now- mental health, the occasional adventure (again, when do I travel??), and real life things. I love being able to write about what I want to write and finding other people who can relate to what I’ve gone through or who just enjoy what random things I scribble out. It’s honestly such a joy and an incredible creative outlet. If only I could do this for a living! (*Crosses fingers and hopes a genie grants her wish*)

Advice for New Bloggers:

I have a few suggestions:

#1. Do it because you love it. If you end up making money through it, great, but don’t forget the real reason why you wanted to blog in the first place. Whether is was to have an outlet to speak your mind, write about a passion, or advocate, never let go of that.

#2: Your blog will never be perfect. It will always be in a constant state of change, just like you, as you learn and grow. So don’t think you have to know the exact plan for your blog is before you start. Just start it, or you never will! Blogs change and grow, for the better. You will find your niche (or be a crazy niche-less blogger like me!), your passion, your voice, you’ll take or find better photographs, make better graphics, promote your blog better. It just takes time and experience. So don’t be afraid- just start and go for it!

My Nominations:

(In no particular order, because I admire each and every one of these people and their blogs! Also, I apologize if you've been nominated before or don't want to do the tag! Just know I tagged you because I think highly of you all! 💙)

1. The Dee Who Lived: Daisy is such a great blogger and the embodiment of a Hufflepuff! (I bet she’s a great finder, too!) If you’re a Harry Potter fan, or just a fan of good blogs, you’ll love her! (Plus, she has a Youtube channel, too)

2. Frantasmorgia: Frantasmorgia has a fran-tastic (I know, I’m sorry) blog where she writes about true crime and other spooky and creepy things. It’s so different from so many other blogs out there, so if you’re in the mood for something bone-chilling, you need to check out her blog.

3. Nicole San Miguel: If you need a travel and lifestyle blog to read, Nicole’s is great! She writes about her journeys and adventures traveling and has some great product reviews. Also, her travel pictures are gorgeous!

4. Zombie Goddess Beauty: Cassie is a jack of all trades. She’s a blogger and a fantastic artist/graphic designer and has her own Etsy shop. She writes about everything from beauty, art, Wicca, and geeky stuff!

5. Chimmyville: Kim, also known as Kimmy or Chimmykins), is a lifestyle blogger who writes about just everything! Her posts are so real and relatable. Trust me, you’ll love her and her blog! (Also, she’s a fellow Ravenclaw!)

6. Black Pistachio: Athina is not only a lifestyle blogger, but she also blogs about beauty and mental health. She writes about a little bit of everything but has some really well written posts about a variety of very real and important subjects. If you haven’t read her blog yet, you need to!

7. In the Flux: Payton is the blogger behind the blog In the Flux, a lifestyle blog. She also writes about mental health, along with other posts to help improve yourself. Her blog is so underrated, so I highly suggest you check it out!

8. Rooting Branches: Anne is a lifestyle blogger who writes about mental health, beauty, books, and food. Her writing is honest and real and her blog, Rooting Branches, has a little bit for everyone, including some short stories to read!

9. Mxrshmallow Queen: Eleanor is a blogger whose blog is filled with color and cuteness, realness and honesty. She’s a lifestyle blogger who doesn’t shy away from what’s real and what matters. She’s also a Youtuber, so check her out there!

10. The Little Dismaid: Arielle is a not only a Disney, lifestyle, and mental health blogger, but she’s also an author too! She knows the ins and outs of Disney World and its parks, and her blog is a Disney fan’s dream!

11. Single Vegas Girl: If you’re single and on a dating app, you NEED to read Marie’s blog. From horrible and hilarious online dating profiles to awkward dates, her blog is hilarious and gets real about the modern world of dating. Plus, she also writes about her travels abroad too!

12. La La's Book Reviews: Lauren over at Lala’s Book Reviews is your one stop shop for all things Y.A. books! From reviews, to book suggestions, new releases, and book tags (plus some bookish unboxing posts! Love those!), her blog is perfect for book lovers, whether you love Y.A. or not! (But you know you do!)

13. Aoibhneas Travels: Katie is hilarious and knows how to make a travel blog her own. From reviewing NYC street foods to exploring haunted places, she’ll give you the real deal on everything you need to know about where she’s exploring (and what she’s eating!)

14. Sometimes I Write: Steph is a fairly new blogger, but I love her writing style already! She wrote a really awesome post about how being active on social media doesn’t mean that you’re unhappy, which was so thought provoking. Give her a follow and tell her to keep on blogging!

15. Miss Blogs-A-Bit: Miss Blogs-A-Bit’s blog is literally about whatever she wants to blog a bit about! From the brilliant post about not wanting to have children (and to stop asking her about it, which I completely related to), to travel and lifestyle (trip to the biggest Lush store, anyone?), she’s a blogger you need to be subscribed to!

And there you have it! That was my post dedicated to the Blogger Recognition Award! I'm so honored that Julie nominated me! I hope someone on my list of nominations keeps this tag going, because I'd love to read their tags. So if I tagged you, let me know if you did the tag, because I want to read and comment! And let me know if you've ever been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award or any other blogger award. I'd love to know what your thoughts on blogger awards/tags are!

Stay Weird,
Emily

Small Ways to Support Your Fellow Bloggers


I’m not an expert blogger, by any means. Not at all. But some things I have noticed about blogging (besides it being fun!), is the blogging community. Your family and friends may be supportive of your blog, but you will find no one more supportive of your blog than a fellow blogger. The blogging community as a whole is so encouraging, kind, and uplifting. We’re all here to blog: to share our ideas, thoughts, stories, and more and the special part of our community is that we all are encouraging each other to create more content, promote it, and succeed. It’s honestly such a beautiful thing, and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t participate in it as much as I should have when I first started blogging. Now that I’m in it more, I can’t believe I ever thought I would have the support I needed to keep writing my blog or even find anyone who would want to read it, without being part of the blogging community! (I had to learn the hard way that people just don’t “discover” your blog, haha)

I’ve compiled a list of little ways to support your fellow bloggers. Yes, these are small ideas, but even the tiniest little thing can mean so much to a blogger. A shoutout, a tag on Twitter, or even a simple comment on your blog can help promote it, let more people see it and get more views, but most importantly, be the biggest sign of encouragement to keep doing what you love (which is blogging. We’re all on the same page, right?)

So to the whole blogging community who have opened their arms to me, thank you for being so supportive, sweet, and encouraging. No matter the niche, I’ve found all of the bloggers I’ve met to be the nicest and sweetest people ever. I just wish we didn’t live all around the world and could meet up and just say hello and just have a compliment battle about our blogs. This post is for you, fellow bloggers!
  • Retweet your fellow blogger’s blog posts- it’s such a little thing, but it helps other people who may not see your blog take notice of it. It’s also a little stamp of approval too. A kind of “I wouldn’t retweet this if I personally didn’t like it or wasn’t interested in it” thing.
  • Engage with your fellow bloggers- you never know what conversations or even friendships you might strike up with just a comment on someone’s blog or tweet!
  • Find and enjoy your blogging niche community. And if you don’t have a niche (like me), enjoy the WHOLE blogging community and discover LOTS of new blogs and bloggers!
  • Follow Fridays! If you don’t know what Follow Fridays are, it’s where you tag bloggers you love and think other people should discover and follow on Twitter, using the hashtag #FF or #followfriday. I don’t do this as often as I should, but it’s really such an honor to have someone tag you! Plus, it’s another great way to gain more followers and discover new bloggers and their blogs!
  • Follow blogging retweet accounts and engage in Comment/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Bloglovin’/Wordpress/Pinterest etc. follow threads on Twitter. Numbers aren’t everything but they can really help a blogger succeed. If you want more followers on your blog or on your social media accounts, blogging retweet follow threads or other blogger’s similar Twitter threads are the way to do it.
  • Buy and support bloggers’ products and promote them on social media and your blog. Lots of bloggers are artists, writers, and more and sell their wares online. If you love an item of theirs, promote it and tag them so others can discover their blog/store/products!
  • Join a bloggers collab Pinterest board. This can be a great one to promote your blog and help promote others’ blogs as well. And it’s a fun way to engage with other bloggers about similar shared interests and blogs too!
  • Pin your fellow bloggers blogs on Pinterest- more exposure for your fellow blogger! Plus, now you’ll have their blog pinned on one of your Pinterest board so you’ll always have it (I hate it when I lose a good blog post I just read!)
  • Comment on people’s blogs! So simple and obvious, but it means so much, honestly. Actually read the blog post and give your opinion, thoughts, and feedback. And don’t just do it for the comment back (come on, people) but because you liked the post or it genuinely interested you or taught you something.
  • Be positive and encouraging! Blogging is a great hobby (and for some lucky people, a career. I’m super jelly), but it takes effort and sometimes you get burnout or start to doubt yourself. Sometimes the only people who understand this are other bloggers, so be there for each other when they’re struggling, offer ideas, and motivate them. And if they are feeling great about their blogging and content, congratulate them and encourage them to keep on doing an amazing job! It’s all part of being in the community. You support each other through the good AND the bad.
Don’t worry if you don’t or can’t do all of these. I try to do as much as I can, but you can’t comment on all the blogs! Just do what you can, and support your lovely fellow bloggers. You know they’d do the same for you!

Fellow bloggers, what are some ways you support your fellow bloggers? I know my list is missing a lot, but these are the ones I thought of. I’d love to know the ones that you use! Let me know in the comments!


Stay Weird,
Emily


How Much I Share About My Mental Health On My Blog?


I always wonder what I should be sharing online. Do I need to share my whole life, like some people do? Or do I remain a tad vague, only giving out a few things, peppered here or there, giving me an air of mystery? (Am I an international spy who poses as someone trying to make it as a blogger? Kind of a lame cover, but you’ll never know, not even if you read my blog and try to uncover all the clues I may or may not have been sprinkling throughout it all these years…)

I admire the people who can open up and talk about their lives without shame. And not only that, but make great blog posts about it. Turn their experiences or mistakes into a lesson that helps us all, in relatable and entertaining ways. But the ones I truly, truly admire, are the ones who can do that with their mental health experiences. To turn something that may have been been very traumatic, troubling, and horrible into something that others can relate to, identify with, learn from, and educate others. I think that is so commendable and incredibly valuable to everyone in the mental health community. But...

In Carrie Bradshaw voice while typing on her laptop and gazing out the window: That makes me wonder: as much as I want to be a mental health advocate, how much of my mental health experience should I share online?

I love reading other people’s mental health blogs. The fact that they can be so open about their issues is inspiring and admirable, and something I want to do. Eventually. Maybe. Because I’m not sure if I’m there yet. Or if I ever will be.

You might have noticed that I’ve shared a few of my experience on my blog here. That I have OCD, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, and oh, the list goes on and on! (Or seems to anyway) I’ve also shared my experiences with going to numerous mental health professionals over the years, EMDR therapy, a letter to my younger self about having mental health, and so on (click here to find all these posts on my mental health tag!). But I’ve been holding back. There are some things that are easy to talk about with mental health, and other things… not so much.

So where do I go from here? Do I open up like the brave mental health advocate bloggers I read or do I keep tiptoeing around the big issues and write about what I find easy(ish) to talk about?

I think the answer can be both. I think there are some things that I may never want to talk about on my blog. Some things may be just too painful to recount or even admit. But there are of course some things I want to share and hopefully will be willing to share one day. I’ve mentioned having OCD and panic disorder, but I haven’t really talked about my years long battle with emetophobia (aka the fear of vomiting). Nor have I talked about my short stint with agoraphobia (now THAT was fun. I’m kidding. It was awful. Duh). But I want to. I really do.

And maybe I can some day. But I might have to work up to it first. Slowly, but I think I can get there. And I have to think that being a mental health advocate isn’t just about sharing the nitty gritty of their experiences with mental health. It’s about opening up the conversation, breaking down that taboo, and reminding people that it’s way more common than we think. And we should be TALKING about it, not keeping it all inside like I’ve been doing my entire life.

So, in my own, vague way, I hope that my stories that I share are helping and opening up that communication with others, and that in the future, I can be even more open and therefore help more people who may be struggling with the very same things I too once struggled with.

But not so open that you immediately think upon reading my blog, “GIRL, shut it down, Emily! Shut down this Pandora’s box of crazy!” Because no one really wants to go THAT deep into someone’s brain, right?? Especially my brain. No one wants to Inception this large clump of gray matter, trust me.

I think a combination of where I am now with blogging about my mental health and being more open about it (but not being completely open, because honestly, there are just some things I probably will never share with anyone except for a close friend, family member, or a mental health professional) and meeting between the two will be a perfect mix of things I can share and hopefully inspire others with similar mental health issues to speak up and talk about their issues.

Let’s just hope I can get the courage to get there soon! But for now, I’ll share with you what I can and maybe, just maybe, they might help someone. 💜

*But please note, just because I may be sharing certain things about my own mental health issues, doesn’t mean you have to. Sharing your own mental health experiences is up to you. If you want to open up, great. If not, that’s entirely your decision. Some people are happier not talking about it and only sharing it with certain, select people. Either of these choices are perfectly normal and okay. You do what’s comfortable and healthy for you!


For people who talk or blog about mental health issues, how honest and open are you with your experiences? Do you share everything, or only select things? Or do you keep it all to yourself? (You have that right! It’s not anyone’s business unless you want it to be!) Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


Throwback: Pop Music from the 90's/2000's I Loved As a Kid!


Do you ever feel like things were much more simple when you were a child? The world wasn’t so harsh, it wasn’t so complicated, you didn’t have to adult like you do now. You could just play outside, or with one of your many toys (if you were still into toys then. I mean, if you were a tween, you stuffed your Beanie Babies, Barbies, and stuffed animals in the closet and tried to act as cool as a teenager as you could around your friends), fight with your sibling over who got to go online (you know, if your mom or dad didn’t have to use the phone), or play some music on your ultra cool state of the art fun colored cd player in your room as you drink a Fruitopia (do you remember Fruitopia? I miss those drinks so much! Especially the green one! Bring it back!) and eat some bagel bites. And you know what kind of music ruled the world in the late 90’s, early 2000’s? No, not punk or rock: POP. Pop ruled the world. Or, at least my world.

So I present to you, some pop music from the 90’s/2000’s that I loved and obviously shaped me into the wonderful, strong, beautiful, and socially awkward woman I am today! So blame them for the mess I am, not me.

And yes, I will be listening to these musician’s/artist’s songs while I write their little blurbs. You know, just to get in the nostalgic mood of my youth. Not because I still like them or anything. They’re guilty pleasures, not my actual taste in music. (You’re seeing right through my lie, aren’t you? Dang it!)

Backstreet Boys


“Backstreet’s back, all right!” Dun dun nun nun nun dun dun dun dun… (You know you were doing that with me in your head!) Ugh, these five boys. The flashy, baggy clothes and the questionable facial hair. They were just the bad boys of the boy bands. They had no qualms with being a little nasty and adult (but kept it roughly PG for obvious radio play). I had their first album self-titled album, and let me tell you, I played it on REPEAT (and it was an enhanced CD. Do you remember those? If you put it in your disc drive on your computer you could play little special features. Mine was just a clip of a music video so it was pretty disappointing). And then when their second album “Millennium” came out (so perfectly titled, because in 1999 we were ALL obsessed with the 2000’s and what the future and Y2K would bring!), WHOA. My friends and I were just amazed. That album brought us the beauty that is “I Want it That Way” (“you are….my fiiiiirrreeee….”, “Larger than Life,” “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely” (SO heartbreaking and moving). To me, they peaked there, but I think it’s nice that they’ve reunited (“Oh my god, we’re back again!” Sorry. I had to) and are having a good time making music together. It makes my little millennial heart happy. Oh, and like all boy band fans, my friend and all had our favorites. Mine was Nick. That blonde hair, parted right down the middle. Mmm. 90’s perfection.


N’Sync


N’Sync. They were pretty much Backstreet Boys’ little brother. Slammin’ and iconic songs though, and actually my favorite of all the boy bands. In fact, they were the first concert I ever went to. It was a magical night in the nosebleeds, where I could barely see them through my mom’s friend’s binoculars. So magical. My very favorite album of theirs was the “No Strings Attached” album, which I must have played a billion times (though their first album was still really good. “Tearing Up My Heart” is still so catchy and “I Want You Back” still gets me singing along to it!). “Bye Bye Bye,” “It’s Gonna Be Me,” “Just Got Paid” (which I still think of everytime I get paid), and “Digital Getdown” (remember how dirty we thought that song was?? I mean, it was, but looking back now, I’m just thinking about how unsexy dial up internet really was). But let’s try to forget that oddness and awkwardness that was their third album “Pop.” My friend even got me one of the marionette dolls of Justin Timberlake (I wanted Lance, but my friend couldn’t find a Lance one. So sad. My favorite and ultimate crush was Lance for so, so long. I know, I know. But we didn’t know back then, now did we???), that they sold around the time “No String Attached” was released. I should have treasured it and kept it in the box, but I was too tempted to play with it and check if it was actually wearing underwear (it was. Black boxers). I wish N'Sync would be like the Backstreet Boys and reunite, but that Timberlake fellow seems adamant not to. C’mon, Justin, do it for the fans! (And for the rest of the band, I don’t think they’re quite as busy as you at the moment.)

B*Witched


Oh, B*Witched. These ladies were my GIRLS! I loved them so, so much! From the first moment I heard “C’est La Vie” I was hooked. “Rollercoaster” was also amazing, and “Blame It On the Weatherman” was so sad and beautiful to my 9 year old self. I also loved that they were Irish, with their cool accent, that they wore all jean outfits (SO cool!), and each had their own emblems (cat, shamrock, a B, and a star, I think?). I had the official B*Witched book, written by the girls (I think I may still have it somewhere!), and was one of the first to buy their second album “Awake and Breathe” (not as good as the first, but still had some good songs on there. “Jessie Hold On” is a fun Irish-Western diddy) at the store the day it was released. I was so happy a few years ago when I learned that they had had a reunion, released a CD, and went on tour! I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but I loved listening to their new music and watching all the stuff they had Youtube, like the British TV reunion documentary they put out (so much drama! Me-OW!). B*Witched will always have a special place in my heart and I still listen to their music when I’m feeling nostalgic and happy.

Aaron Carter


I guess I had a thing for blue-eyed, blonde, singing brothers, okay?? If you thought I loved Nick Carter and Lance Bass, then you had NO idea how I felt for Aaron Carter. I was literally in love with him. I had his albums, posters, everything. I was convinced I was going to marry him (sad, but true). When I listened to his songs, I pictured me as his love interest and believed it. Sigh. I remember watching that Lizzie Maguire episode where he kissed Hilary Duff and feeling that knife of betrayal in my heart. That first heartbreak...I’ll remember it always. (Do you guys remember that Aaron Carter/Hilary Duff/Lindsay Lohan love triangle that happened? So stupid but so riveting at the time!) His music wasn’t the greatest (he pretty much sounded like he was talk singing- I do NOT want to call it rapping- on his first albums) but you have to admit, his version of “I Want Candy,” “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” “That’s How I Beat Shaq,” and honestly, so many more were really fun to listen to then. Now...now, not so much. But it was fun when it was happening! And that’s all that really matters, right? (I’m cringing really hard right now thinking about the fact that I liked his music. It must have been pubescent hormones or something)

Spice Girls


B*Witched may have been my favorite girl group ever, but the Spice Girls were my first experience with girl groups and they. Were. EVERYTHING. Everyone loved the Spice Girls and they dominated the world. Not only was their music incredible, from crazy fun bops about female empowerment but their outfits were iconic (who else could bring platform shoes back? No one but the Girls!) and their personalities were just SO fun and spunky. And nothing was cooler than having a British accent in my youth. So fancy. So exotic! And of course you had to have a favorite Spice Girl. Were you a Baby? Ginger? Sporty? Scary? Posh? I never had one I truly identified with (I loved them all) but I was always Posh or Sporty, probably because I was a brunette and my friends always picked their favorites before me. But it’s amazing how one simple song (remember how we used to giggle at “2 Become 1”? Heehee, it was about DOING IT. Teehee) can take you back. I was in the pharmacy the other day and “Spice Up Your Life” came on and I literally remembered every single world and wanted to start “slam it to the left” cause I was having a good time remembering how much fun it was to feel so young and free and just filled with joy and hope and girl power. And then I picked up my birth control and got back to adulthood. Sigh.

And the Spice Girls movie, Spice World? Don’t even get me started. I think it’s a masterpiece of satire and surrealism, so don’t come after it saying it’s a bad movie. I will come for you.

Destiny's Child


Are you even a real Destiny’s Child fan if you don’t even remember that they originally had FOUR members in the group? Ugh, you call yourself a fan! (I’m kidding!) But the trio of Beyonce, Michelle, and Kelly were so cool, in their matching-but-not-matching outfits, their super cool dance moves, and such catchy songs like the female empowering “Survivor” (with the awesome music video set on a jungle island where they literally had to SURVIVE), “Say My Name” (such a bop!), and of course, they gave the world the song and the phrase “Bootylicious.” Looking back, it’s weird that we didn’t see Beyonce for the star she was going to be, because obviously she got the most lines in the songs and all the runs and it seemed like Michelle and Kelly were just providing backing vocals, but hey, what did we know then? But honestly, when Beyonce played the Super Bowl and Kelly and Michelle came popping out of the stage during “Bootylicious,” I popped out of my seat and rejoiced at the reunion. The girl were back! If only for part of one song. But it was enough to appease my childhood self.

Mandy Moore
"Candy"


Okay, I’m not slamming Mandy Moore, but honestly, she kind of only has one good song, in my opinion, and that’s Candy. My friend had Mandy’s first CD and we would replay Candy over and over and over again. Remember me talking about those enhanced CDs? Well, Mandy’s first one was enhanced too and included the music video to Candy which is ICONIC and something my friend and I watched over and over again, like the song. But seriously, starting out the video in that lime green Volkswagen bug (sooo trendy and cool at the time!), those tank tops with the thin straps, the hair up in spiky sections, wearing her portable CD player like a crossbody bag??? Mandy was the epitome of 2000’s chic. And that song! So addicting, in a sickeningly sweet way that just makes you want to sing along in your room with your friends at a sleepover, hairbrushes in hand like microphones. If that song doesn’t take you back, I don’t know what will.

Aqua
"Barbie Girl"


Guys, this song. This song when it hit the airwaves and my school, was THE song. We didn’t know why this random band we had never heard of decided to write a song about being a Barbie Girl but it was catchy and we LOVED it. It was also slightly naughty with lyrics like “you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere,” which is exactly what we did with Barbies, but to an actual Barbie girl?? Scandalous! And the music video was so odd and the bald guy playing Ken was so creepy yet we watched it on repeat. Recesses were filled with the voices of girls singing “life in plastic, it’s fantastic!” on the playground equipment. Random one hit wonders like this always seem to make a certain time feel so special, as if it just stops a moment in time to make you really remember it. And thanks to this song, I distinctly remember bonding with my girl classmates over this inane, strange, and odd song by a band I never heard from again. Now come on, Barbie, let’s go party! (Ah ah ah yeah!)

Britney Spears 


And at last we have the princess of pop. Britney Spears was just so cool. Was her voice the greatest? Not at all. But were her songs, her dance moves, and her outfits on point in every possible way? Hell yes. From “...Baby One More Time” to “Lucky” to “Toxic” (and one of my personal favorites “Born to Make You Happy”) and so many more, Britney was everywhere, grabbing attention good and bad (remember when our parents thought she was so provocative and racy? Times were so much more innocent then when you look at today’s music. Like a school girl outfit could ever compete with whatever pop or rap diva is wearing nowadays. No one even bats an eye now!), and making waves while she did it. Every girl wanted to be her and every guy wanted to...umm...well, you know. (And remember when she and Justin Timberlake dated?? They were such a power couple! Dressing in matching all denim?? Talk about couple goals, guys. Celebs try these days with their significant others, but they truly can’t compare to the originals) But through all of her struggles and her not so great choice in men (coughkevinfederlinecough), she came out stronger (“than yesterday! Now it’s nothing but my way! My loneliness ain’t killing me no more… I, I’m stroooonger!” Sorry, I had to. It’s such a good song!) than ever. Even if you weren’t her biggest fan (I love her, but I’m not super into her), her music probably shaped your childhood and tweenage years without you even knowing it. And we will always love her for it. Keep on keeping on, Britney you queen!


And those were some of the groups and singers in the 90’s/2000’s that I loved as kid! Or tween. Whatever you want to call me at an awkward elementary/middle school age. Because trust me, I was awkward. I had such a fun time strolling down memory lane while listening to these songs, so I’m sorry if I rambled but the memories kept tumbling out! Who was your favorite pop group or singer you listened to as a kid? Do you still listen to their music or does it make you cringe now? (Like Aaron Carter now does for me. Eek) Let me know!

Stay Weird,
Emily



International U.K. Snacks Taste Test!


Oh goodness. The time has come. I’ve been waiting for this moment for, well, since the last time I did a taste test, which happens to be about almost 3 years ago! After I went to England in 2016, I brought back a bunch of British candy to try, and oh my was it a fun experience! (You can read about my previous British candy taste test here!) I love the UK, I love candy and chocolate, what could be better than this?? I’ve been wanting to do another taste test for a while, and I think now is the perfect time. With the generous donation from Paul on my Ko-fi (thank you, Paul! You’re the best!) and finding the incredible U.K. snack box from SnackCrate (not sponsored, but if they if they want to sponsor me… send me an e-mail, SnackCrate!), I now have a whole bunch of British snacks (well, they’re mostly candy) to try! While the SnackCrate U.K. box sent me lots of things I haven’t tasted yet, it did send me a few candy bars I have tried before (see above link if you want to read what I thought of them), so I’m excluding the Lion bar, Crunchie bar, Flake bar, Maltesers (soooo delicous! And they sell them in the US now!!), and Double Decker bar since I know what they taste like (but that’s not going to stop me from eating them despite not reviewing them).

And I know, it’s U.K. foods again, but c’mon, guys. You should know by now that I’m a die hard Anglophile so it’s totally obvious I’m going to review my favorite country/kingdom’s food. So don’t think this is the last time I’m doing a British food taste test! But if you have any ideas for other countries’ snacks, candies, or foods I should try, let me know in the comments!

Now, let’s try some British snacks!!!

*Fun Fact! You know what’s not a good idea to order in the middle of summer with triple digit heat? A snack box filled with mostly chocolate items! I completely forgot about that until my SnackCrate box arrived. Thank god for the fridge, but sadly most of the candy bars are no longer in their natural shape. Oh well. I’ll try to remember that for next time!*


Toffee Crisp


What Is It/What’s In It? A candy bar with toffee, crisped rice, and milk chocolate.
How Does It Taste? Suuuper toffee-ish! It almost tasted like it had some wafers in it, but that might have just been the crisped rice and the fact that it was such a thick candy bar. But it was incredibly sweet, and as much as I like chocolate, it was much too sweet and toffee tasting for me (I’m not really a toffee person, to be honest).
Would I Eat It Again? Most likely not. Sorry toffee fans! (More for you!)


Wham Original


What Is It/What’s In It? Raspberry flavor (or flavour, if you’re a Brit) chew bar with sour crystals
How Does It Taste? Hmm. It seems to be a raspberry flavored taffy, with some “sour crystals” thrown in occasionally. Not the best tasting taffy I’ve ever had, it’s even kind of weak in flavor and seems to have a rather chemically taste along with its raspberry taste and the crystals don’t really add much. I think I’ll stick with my Laffy Taffy for now.
Would I Eat It Again? Not likely. But I love the idea!


Millions


What Is It/What’s In It? Vitmo flavoured chewy sweet made with the secret Vimto flavor (or flavour). What is a secret Vitmo flavor???
How Does It Taste? It’s a bunch of teeny-tiny purple balls, and when you first chew them you’d swear that its gum- but it’s NOT. It’s actually very chewy candy, but despite having grape, black currant, and raspberry flavors in it (I checked the ingredients list), it still kind of tastes like bubble gum, with a slightly stronger grape flavor. So weird, but I kind of liked it, not going to lie!
Would I Eat It Again? I’m not the biggest fan of chewy candies (when I want something sweet, I usually go for something chocolate), but I was pleasantly surprised by Millions. I just wished it had more of a grape, black currant, and raspberry flavor and less of a bubble gum one.


Curly Wurly


What Is It/What’s In It? Milk chocolate (bar? It’s kind of flat, thin, and ruler shaped) with caramel center (or centre, as it says on the wrapper). But upon opening it, despite it melting slightly in the box, the candy bar is in a swirly pattern! Pretty neat!
How Does It Taste? This literally tastes like a less chewy, stick to your teeth version of Milk Duds! Which I have to say is a plus, since I hate having to unstick Milk Duds from between my teeth (some people like that, but I already fear the dentist, so I don’t need another reason for them to criticize my teeth). But honestly, I thought this was delicious, and I’m not even the biggest fan of just chocolate and caramel. I’m definitely going to have to share this one with my mom, since she’s the biggest caramel fan in the world.
Would I Eat It Again? Probably! Plus, I love the swirly design of the candy bar. So unique and fun! And it explains the name Curly Wurly (took me a while, but I got there!).


Boost


What Is It/What’s In It? Milk chocolate bar with caramel and biscuit energy (What does that mean??? “Biscuit energy??”)
How Does It Taste? Like deliciousness wrapped in yumminess. It tastes like a British version of a Twix bar, which I LOVE. Chocolate, caramel, and cookies/biscuits? Just a perfect combination. Though I’m not sure what this “biscuit energy” is…? Does this biscuit have protein powder in it or something? Or are they just trying to sell it off as a candy/energy bar? Either way, next time I’m in the UK I’m going to buy them because it’s one of the best things I’ve tasted out of the box so far!
Would I Eat It Again? See above last sentence = yes, yes, a hundred times yes!


Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations with Jelly Popping Candy


What Is It/What’s In It? A milk chocolate bar with jelly popping candy in it. Guys, I’m scared.
How Does It Taste? At first, it tasted like regular Cadbury chocolate, but then I bit into a jelly popping candy and all of a sudden I couldn't taste the chocolate anymore, just some chewy, jelly like candy that I just kept chewing and chewing and chewing… I didn’t get any of the popping sensation, but I really don’t want to take another bite, haha. I’m not a fan of things like fruit flavored candy and chocolate together and this was like eating a chocolate bar with gummy bears in it. I can see how a little kid would love this though!
Would I Eat It Again? Definitely not!!


Walkers Cheese and Onion Chips


What Is It/What’s In It? Potato chips (aka crisps) flavored with cheese and onion (duh)
How Does It Taste? Very similar to Lay’s sour cream and onion chips (my personal favorite. Well, that tied with cheddar sour cream and onion Ruffles. So yummy!), but with almost more of a stronger bite. Like, it tastes heartier than sour cream and onion chips. It’s as if sour cream and onion chips are something you serve at a kid’s birthday party, but when adults are partying, they’re putting out cheese and onion chips. I’m truly digging it.
Would I Eat It Again? For sure! I love them and the States need these ASAP.


Tango Orange Original



What Is It/What’s In It? I think it’s basically just an orange soda, with bubbles and everything. Pretty simple.
How Does It Taste? You guys, this drink was good. Like, really, really good. I was expecting something super heavy and artificial tasting like Orange Crush, but this Tango drink was more like Orangina, but without the pulp (or bits, as I think the British call them). Very light, with a nice natural orange flavor. It was so refreshing, especially on a hot summer day, and I’m actually feeling very sad right now as I sip these last few sips.
Would I Eat- Or Rather, Drink- It Again? Yes! I wish I had a six pack of these because I’d totally have this again!


So that was me trying U.K. snacks from SnackCrate! What did you think of the selection they sent me? I wish they had sent me more snacks, as in less chocolate and candy and more savory and different things, but all of the items were still fun to try! If I were to try snacks/candy from another foreign place, which country’s foods should I try next??

Stay Weird,
Emily

Thank you again to Paul for his generous donation on Ko-fi that supported this blog post! If you would like to support That Weird Girl Life, please feel free to check out my Ko-fi page and buy me a coffee! Every coffee goes back towards making fun blog posts like these. Whether you donate or not, thank you for reading! It means the world to me.<3 div="">

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My First Year With My Cat, D.W.!


It has been exactly almost a year to the day since I adopted my cat, D.W.! I can’t believe it- time has gone by so fast! She’s been such a source of joy, love, and frankly, some annoyance (let’s be honest here), but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

A few months before I adopted D.W. last year, my cat of 14 years, Harriet, had passed away. Even though my family adopted her as a family pet, Harriet chose me and she was my cat and I was her person, so losing her was just devastating. I honestly didn’t think I would get a cat for a long, long time after her death. So it was incredibly surprising that D.W. came into my life not long after and I have to admit, having a new kitty to care for really helped me process and get through Harriet’s passing.

I initially saw a kitten on Facebook from a person I knew who took in rescue cats and kittens and thought instantly, “That’s my cat!” The kitten was the sweetest looking thing, white with grey and black spots. I just had to meet her. So I arranged to see her over at this lady’s house, where she has a whole KITTEN ROOM. I repeat: SHE HAS A KITTEN ROOM. She opened the door and a flood of kittens rushed out and stampeded down the hall. Trust me, it was the cutest sight you’ve ever seen in your life. It’s what I imagine my version of heaven to look like. Just a bunch of kittens racing towards me. Sigh.

But when I got there, the adorable kitten I wanted to see, was so shy that she avoided me! I got to hold her at one point (she was so tiny!), but other than that, I didn’t see her at all. I figured she might come around eventually, so I decided to check out the other, less shy kittens in the meantime. There was this one kitten who was all white, a lot like Harriet as a kitten, who was being silly and rolling around the floor. I thought it was cute so I snapped a few pictures along with some of the other kittens too.

I tried to play with a few of the other kittens, when I heard a cute little “mew.” I was sitting on the couch and turned to my left where I saw that little white kitten jump on the couch and walk over towards me. She (they confirmed she was a girl) was so curious and sweet, trying to sniff me and kept kitten-mewing at me for attention. She was purring like crazy and did this numerous times and I just couldn’t help it: I completely forgot about the other shy kitten that I initially wanted and I fell in love with this rambunctious white kitten. It was like she chose me and knew that this was meant to be. And it was.

In July, I got to take her home (she was so tiny! You forget how tiny kittens are when you first get them!) and she’s been such a fun and loving part of my family ever since. She’s certainly livened up the house and is so entertaining to watch and play with. I’m so lucky to have her and can’t imagine having any other cat but her. So in honor of this big one year anniversary, I wanted to list some fun facts, trivia, and mini stories about this silly kitten, now cat. Here we go!
  • Before she came home, I tried to think of a cute name for her. Names are a big deal for a new pet! Do I go with a Harry Potter name? Luna, for Luna Lovegood? Something more Harry Potter-obscure for the purists like me, like Winky? (That poor house elf that cruelly got left out of the movies. And pretty much just had a cruel life, in general. The injustice of it all!) But then it hit me: my favorite TV show from when I was a kid: Arthur! Not the name Arthur, but the name of his little sister, D.W.! (Which stands for Dora Winifred, by the way) D.W. is just a precocious, sassy, and annoying character of a little girl, that I thought the name was perfect. And boy, was it perfect! Because my D.W. is just as sassy, precocious, and annoying as her namesake!
PBS
  • D.W. came home with a crusty nose, an eye infection, and ear mites! Yuck! Do you know how gross ear mites are?? My vet let me look at them under the microscope. I wanted to say “how dare you for living in my kitten’s ears!” I also learned she hates medicine of any kind and going to the vet and will do anything it takes to avoid the thermometer up the butt. I have to say, I don’t blame her...
  • She absolutely loves to nurse and knead on her soft blanket but when she was a kitten she tried to nurse on my neck! She ended up giving me a hickey that way! I literally had a hickey on my neck given to me by a tiny baby feline. So weird. And awkward to explain: “No, no, my cat gave me this. Yes, I know that sounds wrong…”
  • She loves loves loves her big sister Violet (aka my mom’s cat). D.W. wants to play or cuddle with her all the time. Violet can only stand a little bit of it before she nopes outta there. But it is super cute to see them cuddling together!
  • D.W. loves to meet new people and show off. She instantly wants to be friends with everyone and will make a big deal of playing and trying to scratch the furniture or join everyone at the table if we’re eating there.
  • Loves to be a typical cat. Knocking things off of my shelves or dresser is her favorite thing. Especially in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep. (Good thing she’s cute…)
  • Loves to eat but doesn’t like kitty treats (oddly enough). If you leave a glass of anything liquid out, she’ll stick her face in and try to either taste it or drink it. Other things she has tried to drink: Dr. Pepper, V8 juice, and juice with Miralax in it (don’t ask).
  • Wants to see the great outdoors aka escape outside. Whether it’s the front yard, backyard, or even the garage, she’s escaped and I’ve spent many minutes frantically scrambling after her, heart racing. Maybe it’s time for a harness and a leash?
  • Will jump up on the bed in the morning and cuddle with me, right when I know I need to get up. I think she knows I can’t resist a few kitty cuddles, even if that means I’m going to be late. Adorable, but annoying.
  • She will let me rub her tummy. Which is a big deal, because I love all cat bellies and always feel the urge to bury my face in their floofy tummies. Which is usually a death sentence, but not with D.W.
  • Is basically just an overgrown kitten. She still loves to play, cuddle, and nap, and just has the sweetest disposition. Sometimes. Usually.
All that being said, I feel like the luckiest human in the world for getting to have this great, sweet, slightly overweight (I call her a hefty honey), stubborn, quirky, loyal, and adorable kitten now cat in my life. She’s brought me so much happiness and love. I can’t wait to see what the next year is like and what adventures we’ll have next!

And in honor of her one year anniversary with me, I’ve included a before and after picture of her. On the left is the day I first got her, last year in 2018, and on the right is a couple of days ago.

That Weird Girl Life
Look how much she’s grown! My heart can’t take it!

Thank you for reading this probably overly long post about my cat! I love her to bits, so I just can’t help it! Do you have any pets? What was your first year with them like? Any fun stories? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily

A Brief History Of My Blog, That Weird Girl Life


You may not know this, but my blog, in one form or another, has been around for a while. Years, in fact. I believe I first started my blog back in 2014. That’s five years I’ve had this blog! But just because it’s now known as That Weird Girl Life, doesn’t mean that it started that way. It actually started as my bucket list blog (which I think I creatively titled Emily’s Bucket List BlogSo unique and original!)

Sadly, I no longer has this very long list of my 2014 bucket list (because, trust me, it was very 2014!), but I do remember some of the random items I had on my list:

  • Befriend an elephant (I’ve always loved elephants and not only did I want to meet one, I always wanted to have a special connection with one)
  • Meet Benedict Cumberbatch (again, this was 2014 and I was very into Sherlock and had finally understood the attractiveness after seeing him on the show)
  • Visit various places around the world but mostly Europe (England, Scotland- to find the Loch Ness Monster, of course, and to go to France and stay in a French chateau. Of. Course)

Some were way more likely and plausible to happen, others, not so much. It was fun to put more accessible and easy items on the list, like tie dye for the first time, watch all eight Harry Potter movies in one day, and bake cookies in the car during the summer (all of which I did!), but after seeing my gigantic list of things I’ll probably never accomplish in my life, my blog then shifted into another form: travel blog (another new title for my blog! This one was just as unique and lovely: Emily Ann Travels. I’m cringing just at the thought)

A travel blog seemed like a more grown up and less silly, but at the same time, having a silly bucket list blog where I could actually do some things, like tie dying and baking cookies in the hot car, seems like it would have been like something I could actually accomplish, especially since I didn’t even have the money to travel at the time! But my family had taken a few trips, and I thought, well, why not make my blog into a cosmopolitan and hip travel blog? No one cares about a silly bucket list and me meeting Benedict Cumberbatch (which I would never even do by the way. I have never met a celebrity before and because I’m so shy and awkward, I can only imagine how horrible that meeting would go. I think it’s just best if I just see celebs in movies, on TV, or from a distance). But travel? That’s where it was at!

But after a trip to Las Vegas with my family and Universal Studios in Florida with my sister (to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney World, obviously), I really didn’t do any other traveling. At all. So what was I do to with my blog now?

After taking a bit of a break, in 2016 I came back full force! I revamped my blog and made it: That Weird Girl Life (mostly because I was desperate for a name and wanted to embrace my weirdness and it was the first thing that popped in my head and it just kind of stuck). I decided to focus on books, adventures, and life. This is when my blog really started to get a little bit of attention (and by attention, I mean that I put effort into social media and trying to put my blog out there). I got to review books from authors who contacted me and sent me their books (which was such a fun and cool experience!) and I was writing book recommendations, lists, and reviews. I was writing about the odd trips and adventures I had (I got to go to England- though I didn’t go to Scotland and find Nessie, and France-nor did I stay in a French chateau) and visit the Exorcist steps in Georgetown, Washington DC- I’m a huge horror fan, so this was a must!), and was just writing about anything I was interested in general! Books, Harry Potter, horror movies and books, and I even started opening up a little about my mental health (but not too much). It was such a fun time for me. I felt like my creative juices were flowing, I was engaged on social media, promoting my blog, connecting with others, and just kind of living my best life. Was I earning money from it? Not really. But I was inspired by the bloggers who were and aspired to be just like them. Then, something just kind of stopped working for me.

In 2017, at the end of the year, around Thanksgiving, my laptop died. I was trying to blog and be consistent with posting, but once my laptop went to electronics heaven, I had to stop. Something else was brewing, too. I had dealt with mental illness for most of my life, and I felt like something wasn’t right. It was almost like the moment my laptop died, something was confirmed. I was depressed again.

I stopped blogging entirely. Even when I got a new laptop, I just couldn’t. The words wouldn’t come and I didn’t have the passion to do it. I even stopped reading books (this was how I knew I was depressed. If I’m not reading, something is seriously wrong). I just couldn’t. Thankfully though, in 2018, I started seeing a new therapist and went on a new antidepressant, which helped so much. So much so that, in April of this year (2019, if you are reading this in the future. Hello from the past!), I opened up my laptop, logged onto my blog, and started to write again. Which now leads us to my blog’s current version: That Weird Girl Life 2.0 aka a fresh start.

With this new transformation of my blog, comes the best part: the honesty of it. I’ve become determined to be more open about my struggles with mental illness, in the hopes of lessening the shame that comes with mental health, and the years and years I’ve felt that shame hold me down. I want to become an advocate for mental health awareness and hopefully inspire others to speak out so we can lessen this taboo and learn to talk about it more openly.

And the second best part? I’m just going to have fun with it! I’m going to write about what I want, SEO and blog traffic be damned, and just hope that I reach an audience who will enjoy reading it as much as I love writing it. Because I’m a weirdo who likes writing about the weird things I love and I just can’t help it. I hope you’ll follow along on this new version of the blog with me. It’ll be a grand adventure for all of us and hopefully an enjoyingly (not a real word but it works here so forgive me) weird read for you.

I hope you enjoyed this what was meant to be a brief history of my blog, but turned into a rather long history of my blog. Thank you for reading That Weird Girl Life and for all of your support, whether it’s been through the years, or just starting now. Either way, I appreciate it.

Stay Weird,
Emily