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Why My New Year's Resolution Is My New Life Mantra


I usually don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. Whenever I try to keep them throughout the year, I feel like I'm just setting myself up for disaster. What with thinking up a truly idealistic goal ("I'm going to be fluent in Italian by the end of the year!") and then telling people all about it (next year in December- Them: so how is your Italian going? Me: Er… spaghetti? Linguine? Minestrone…? Mozzareeeeellaaaa…sticks? Uh, ciao, gotta run!), it just never seems to work out for me. I either give up or just lose interest. Maybe I don’t pick the right goal for me or maybe I just can’t get motivated enough to go through with it. But this year, I have an actual goal in mind that could really change my life for the better. Because even though I titled this my New Year’s resolution, this is goal I actually thought up a few months ago and have decided to not only make it my new goal for 2020, but my new mantra for life.

But let me rewind and go back to when this whole journey started.

I’ve been pretty meek and shy all my life. A natural introvert. Believe it or not, I was more outspoken and angry back when I was younger, but as my self-esteem got worse, I become more quiet and docile. I let people control me and make decisions for me. From friends to boyfriends to doctors, it was just easier that way and I felt like people liked me more because I was so agreeable. Did it make me a doormat? Heck yes. Have people ever taken advantage of that? Oh yes. Oh yes yes yes. (Boy, do I have some stories!)

I’ve also always been the natural go between for people. For my family and friends in fights, I’d be the one they’d tell their side of the story to me, complain about the other person, when the whole time I’d just be screaming in my head, “just go tell them and work it out yourselves and leave me out of it!!” But instead I’d just smile and nod and tell them I understood. I didn’t want to be that person that they were complaining about to someone else. Like I said, it was just easier this way instead of saying what I really felt.

I’ve even let myself be walked over. I always try my best to be kind and polite, but as lovely as that is, I never get to say what I feel or sometimes I’m too afraid to be confrontational. From people like family and friends to authority figures like doctors, I never really questioned what they told me, how they told me things, what treatments/medications to do/take. And if I tried to speak up to a doctor (which was rare!), they’d (usually) listen, but then dismiss my suggestions because they were the doctors and knew best. (I’m not saying all doctors and medical professionals are like this, but I’ve run into a lot of them over the years!)

Well, something put me over the edge this year- 2019. (This is where the story truly begins!) It started last year (2018) at a trip to a new dentist (my old dentist was good, and while usually nice, made me feel bad about my teeth. Let me preface this by saying I have bad teeth, from genetics and medications, so I do take care of my teeth, but unfortunately due to the things mentioned, they aren’t in the best shape. So I feel like I shouldn’t be shamed for the hand that was dealt to me, but this dentist and his associates made me feel like it was my fault). I decided to leave my old dentist and try a new one that was less expensive and was leased in a super store that I shall not name, but the brand is huge and all over the world and starts with a “W” and ends in “mart.” (That’s all the hints I’m giving you. I’m sorry for making it such a puzzler for you!)

I looked up the dental office and they had pretty good reviews online, so I set up an appointment, had my appointment where they were super nice and even understood why I was so anxious. Plus, they didn’t shame me for having bad teeth! (This was a revelation to me!) Afterwards, they said they had a plan where I could pay for two cleanings plus x-rays for a flat fee. Altogether it was $40 less than one visit and x-ray at my old dental office so I was pretty excited. Basically I had already paid for both cleanings, had one done, and now just had to wait six months for my next. (Plus, I didn’t have any cavities!)

My next appointment was supposed to be in February of this year, 2019, and I’ll be honest, I lost my reminder card (ironic) and forgot about it. (Strangely, they didn’t call me to remind me of my appointment or call when I missed my appointment. Warning sign!) When I did remember (a month or two later), I called and apologized and asked if I could get a new appointment. The lady said they were under construction, but she would add my name to the list to call when they were done renovating. I thanked her and hoped they’d call soon since I was overdue for my cleaning. (See, I take care of my teeth, dentists reading this!)

Guess what? I didn’t hear back from them! I called again, a month or so later, and asked, “Hi! I still need to get my teeth cleaned! Are you guys still under construction?” The answer was a yes and they’d again add me to the list to call when they were done with construction. Okay. Fine. I can wait. And I did.

Finally, I was sick of the back and forth of phone calls and waiting. I went down to my local super store that shall not be named (should we just call it Voldemort at this point?) and went to the dental office to actually talk to someone in person (how assertive of me! Who is she??). I talked to a nice woman at the desk, who said that they were still under construction and it was taking a while because after each change, since they were renting from, er, Voldemort, they had to get Voldemort’s approval (which I can imagine is very hard to do). I said I understood and again, was put on a list of people to call so I could get an appointment.

As I patiently waited (because I trusted them and thought that’s what I was supposed to do and always did), I got more and more frustrated. Getting my teeth cleaned fills me with anxiety and I just wanted to get this over with! I tried calling again, but just got a voicemail message. I left several messages of my own, but no one ever called me back. Then one day I checked their website and it was gone. Vanished. Poof.  (Black magic from Voldemort?) My normally nice and understanding self was suddenly very worried and upset that I had been duped and cheated (which I had been!).

I went down to Voldemort and checked in at the dental office. Lo and behold, it, much like its website, was gone! I asked a Voldemort employee, a very helpful person (or a Death Eater?) what happened, and they said that the dental office just disappeared one night. I was brave and asked to speak to a manager to get more information, and all they said was to either contact Voldemort corporate (haha, Voldemort’s gone corporate!) or contact the Better Business Bureau. That was it.

This pushed me over the edge. I know a few hundred dollars may not seem like a lot to many people, but to me, it’s a lot, and guess what? I want my money back! Now the old Emily would have just given up and thought, “well, that’s just my life, I guess.” But no. Not this time.

Which brings me to my new year’s resolution aka my new life mantra: no more bulls*t or take no sh*t. Take your pick. I like them both.

With this new mantra and way of life, no longer am I going to be meek and compliant. I am going to speak up if I have a problem, and continue to speak up until my problem is resolved. I am going to stand up for myself. I need to be an advocate for myself and protect myself. You know, in the nicest possible way that I can while also being productive and moving things along. That goes without saying.

I’m not saying that I’m going to be mean and to be the “let me talk to the manager” mom meme. (You know that one I’m talking about!) While I was also taught to be polite, I was also taught to be nice. I think kindness is so important in this world where everyone is busy and everyone forgets how much a nice interaction can just make a person’s day. So I always try to be nice no matter what. Just because I’m in an argument or in a misunderstanding, doesn’t mean I have to treat the other person badly or viciously, even if the other person is being rude. (I don’t know their life or what they’re going through) Kill them with kindness, but take no sh*t. (Is that my new mantra??)

I did end up talking to Voldemort corporate (I still can’t believe He Who Must Not Be Named went corporate. So disappointing!) and I did exactly what my new mantra entailed: I was polite, but I was assertive. I gave the lady my information and the story of what happened. She wasn’t too much help and couldn’t give me an answer or a solution, so I said, “You’ve been super nice and patient with me and I just want to thank you, but is there anyone else in your department or at Voldemort corporate who can help me?” She said that I had probably come to the end of the line for any help from anyone there, and I thanked her and hung up.

See? That wasn’t too bad! I may not have gotten what I wanted, but I am being productive and taking my own advice. No more bullsh*t. I am getting things done (or at least trying) and standing up for myself. Which meant that yes, I filed a complaint against the dental office with the Better Business Bureau and am asking for a full refund. Because I literally have the receipts. BOOM.

And because of my new mantra, I am no longer the go between for my family. Instead of complaining to me or playing telephone between family members or friends, I now say, “I totally get it, but I think you should talk to so-and-so directly and explain it to them so they understand. You two need to TALK to each other and work it out on your own.” Which I’ve said several times to some of my family members who are having tiffs. I am done with being stuck in the middle. I am not neutral anymore, unless I decide to be. I want to keep the peace in my family life, but I also need to keep peace within myself too!

As a normally quiet person who internalizes everything, I know I'm going to need to find that balance between tenacity and niceness. I'm one of those people that usually keeps everything in until it reaches a boiling point and then the lid comes shooting off and everything I've been keeping inside comes out as a vitriolic spew over any poor soul who comes within 10 feet of me (meaning my family). But I know that this is the right path for me, and soon I will come to find that balance of assertiveness and kindness. It will just take a lot of practice but I’m ready to work on it!

Because like I said before, this is more than just not taking any more bullsh*t. It’s about not being taken advantage of, tricked, or walked over. I can’t wait for things to be magically fixed, I have to fix them myself and be productive. It’s about standing up for myself and being my own advocate- whether it’s for my health, my money, or just my own person. I am going to speak up for myself, be strong, and fix what was wrong and get what’s right. If other people can do it, than so can I! And if nothing else, I have to try to get what I need and what I want, because I deserve it! (Take that, low self-esteem!) And it’s not just a resolution: it’s a new way of life and a change of character. And a good one, at that.

So look out world! Emily in 2020 (and for the rest of the years to come) is ready to get sh*t done and figured out and she will not go down without a fight! (Seriously, I’m not letting go of this dental fiasco. I’m in it and ready!) A very polite fight, because I still believe everyone should be treated with kindness. Unless they really truly deserve, in which case then I will go in on them with my vitriolic spew! Other than that though, I’ll be that great mix of boss babe and Mother Theresa.

And that is my New Year’s resolution goal for 2020 AND my new life mantra! What do you think of my new mantra? Which mantra do you like best? No more bullsh*t, take no sh*t, or kill them with kindness but take no sh*t? I think I’m leaning towards the last one! Wish me luck on my new journey! Also, do you do New Year’s resolutions or goals? Let me know if you do or don’t!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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The Mystery Blogger Award


I am so honored to be nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award! I love doing blogging tags, sharing fun, deep, and sometimes silly information about myself, and then nominating other bloggers to carry on the blog tag and keep it going! It’s a wonderful way to connect with bloggers and help others discover some of my favorite blogs/bloggers! I also think the mission statement of the Mystery Blogger Award is so lovely and beautiful: read the next section to see why!

One of my favorite bloggers (and friends) Julie of Dark Blue Journal nominated me and I couldn’t be more excited! Julie is a fantastic blogger and writer who writes about the environment and sustainability, minimalism (she has inspired me to cut down on material goods and I am currently getting rid of so many things I was randomly holding on to), and real life issues. Whatever post you click on on Dark Blue Journal, I can guarantee you will learn something new and be swept up in Julie’s informative but very personal writing. She’s truly talented and a very wonderful person to boot. Please check out her blog and tell her Emily says hi! Thank you so much, Julie!

What Is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was created by Okoto Enigma as a way to award blogs that hadn’t been discovered yet and as a way to give them some much needed recognition!

“'Mystery Blogger Award'” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion."
– Okoto Enigma

Three Facts About Me!

1. I had my thyroid removed when I was around 18 or 19. I had Grave’s Disease (isn’t that an awful name for a disease? Grave’s disease), which is hyperthyroidism, and my thyroid turned into a goiter! (Meaning it became swollen and became enormous! Like sticking out of my throat enormous!) I had the options to either a) see if the medicine I was taking would make it go down (which it might not), b) take a radioactive pill to “kill” the thyroid, or c) remove it. I obviously decided to remove it and am now on synthetic thyroid hormones for life! Plus I have a cool neck scar now. (Scars are sexy on girls, too, not just guys!)

2. I don’t like apes. I am terrified of them! Maybe it’s because they’re so close to humans, or that I watched an old movie back in the day where a chimpanzee had a GUN, or the fact that a baboon roared at me through the Plexiglas at the zoo (it could honestly be all three of these things now that I think about it), but they really scare me. They’re the one groups of animals that really freaks me out. Spiders? Whatever. Snakes? Cool. Apes? NOPE. I can’t even think about watching any of the Planet of the Apes movies! Literally nightmare fuel. I mean, I want the orangutans to stay safe in the rain forest and keep their natural habitat, and I will support their cause, but I don’t want to meet or see them! Ever.

3. The coolest place I’ve ever been to is Egypt! My sister was studying there years, so my family decided to visit her there! It was probably the most different place I’ve ever been to in my life and really gave me that itch to want to travel more. I mean, how can you not after seeing the Sphinx and the Pyramids??? So far, I’ve only been to three other countries, but Egypt is by far the most historical and amazing place I’ve been to so far! So culturally different and fascinating than any other place I’ve been to.

Julie's Questions

1. What are your thoughts about the paranormal?
Despite never having had any paranormal experiences, I think I’m a believer! Or at least, I want to be. I’d like to believe that there is some sort of life after death. I think in a way we all do. It’s a comforting feeling to know that our loved ones are somewhere safe and lovely, but as far as ghosts, I don’t know where they fit in with that. Are they in a sort of purgatory before the afterlife? Are they just echoes of the past? And if there is an afterlife, does that make things in certain religions like angels and demons are real? (I mean, I grew up Catholic, so the idea of this is terrifying to me) If nothing else, I love anything paranormal because I love ghosts stories and anything that sends fun shivers down my spine. But in the future I’d love to stay in a haunted hotel and see for myself if I have any experiences!

2. Do you think humans will overcome the climate problems, and why?
This is such a tough question! In short, I think we will be able to combat some of the problems, but not totally. What we’ve done to the planet has been going on for so long, and we’ve done so much damage, with only minimal signs of stopping. People nowadays love convenience, and with that convenience brings plastic, more new things being produced, which adds to more pollution. I think the way young people are rallying together to protest and change the climate problems is so empowering. They are the ones who are going to have to deal with this in the future, so it really is their problem and they want change. But the older generations are going to have to change too, and that includes people my age, not just people my parents’ age as well. But I want to be hopeful for the future because I don’t want our beautiful earth to end up like the one in Wall-E where it’s filled with trash and we’re all just floating on a giant space cruise ship waiting for it be to habitable again.

3. What’s a story that really stuck with you?
I don’t know if I have a certain story that’s always stuck with me, as strange as that sounds. The one that I always think about is my mom’s, which I won’t share, since it’s her story to share and not mine. But her whole life has been a struggle, but she has persevered, always putting her family first, being completely selfless, but never losing that wonderful sense of kindness and thoughtfulness that she shares with everyone. The fact that her life hasn’t jaded her and she still has hope in other people, is so inspirational to me. She is literally my hero. Even though I wish she would stop being so selfless sometimes and start treating herself with some time for herself and some much needed self-care! (Which sometimes we have to force her to do!)

4. What’s your favorite trait about yourself?
My favorite trait… as someone with low-self esteem, this is a hard question to answer! I keep thinking of my worst traits, instead of my favorites. Redirect to the positive, brain! Hmm. I like the fact that I try to be kind. Even if someone is being really rude, I do try to treat the other person respectfully, because honestly, even in the face of an argument or a misunderstanding, there’s no reason to treat another person like trash. We’re all humans and equals and deserve to be treated as such. So I like to kill people with kindness! (But try not to be walked over either)

5. What is your hope for 2020?
My personal hope for 2020 (besides a new president. Hey, this is my blog and I’m allowed to have my own left-leaning opinion!) is for my blog and my life to flourish. I’ve been dealing with mental health issues all my life, and I really want to push myself to get out of my (un)comfortable comfort zone (people with anxiety know what I’m talking about!) and get my life started, whether with my blog, or with a job or some other purpose that fulfills me IRL. I guess I’m secretly hoping I can be a blogger and have it all that way, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up about that. But you never know what the new year holds! 2020!

Nominees!

Britt from Alternatively Speaking
Camila from Plaid and Sugar
Fran from Frantasmagoria
Anne from Rooting Branches
Daisy from The Dee Who Lived
Eleanor from Mxrshmallow Queen
Marie from Single Vegas Girl
Steph from Sometimes I Write
Kayleigh Zara from Kayleigh Zaraa

(Of course, my nominees have no obligation to do this tag if they’ve already done it or just aren’t into doing tags on their blogs. Just know that I nominated you all because I think so highly of each and every one of you and your respective blogs! But either way, whether they do the tag or not, please check out their blogs and subscribe! Each and every one of these bloggers has some amazing content that I know you’ll love!)

Questions for My Nominees

1. What is your favorite way to relax?
2. What is (one of) the most thoughtful thing someone has done for you?
3. If you could time travel, when would you most like to visit? And why?
4. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
5. What is the most ridiculous fact that you know?

Rules

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
2. List the rules.
3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
9. Share a link to your best post(s)

Best Post!

This is such a personal post for me. Over the years, I’ve been wanting to be more honest about my struggles with mental health in order to be a mental health advocate, but for some reason, this post was not only so difficult for me to write, but also for me to share. But the positive responses I got back from other readers, made me realize that it was the right decision because I learned that I wasn’t the only one who suffers from this! While I don’t want anyone else to go through the same horrible thoughts and feelings that I have, it was reassuring to know that other people understood and we could all come together to commiserate but to also support one another.

That was my response to the Mystery Blogger Award! Much thanks again to Julie for nominating me! This tag was so much fun to write and I love the message behind it: this award is for bloggers who haven’t been discovered and/or deserve recognition! Though I did include some bigger name bloggers in my nominees, I believe that every blogger deserves even more praise and recognition for all of the hard work we put into our blogs, no matter how big or small of a blogger you are. So if you haven’t checked out any of the nominees I named, please do because I can promise you that you’ll LOVE their blogs!

What did you think of my tag/nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award? Have you ever been nominated/done the tag? What question of Julie’s or one of mine would you most like to answer? Let me know in the comments! (And your answer, of course!)

Stay Weird,
Emily


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Things To Do For Your Blog When You Just Don't Feel Like Writing That Blog Post


We’ve all been there. (I’m currently there right now!) Sometimes you just don’t want to work on a new blog post. (I know! That’s just something a blogger never wants to admit!) Maybe you’re lacking creativity, maybe you’re lacking the passion to write something interesting (because we all know it’s hard to fake enthusiasm, especially when you’re writing a post on your own blog!), or maybe you just came back from a cruise and are recovering from a cold you undoubtedly caught from being on a giant ship with over 4,000 people and their various germs (that one was totally about me. I blame small children and their sticky hands that have to touch every surface they can get their hands on. But other than that it was a fun cruise!).

But never fear! I have a few ideas that might be able to help you out! If you’re not exactly in the mood to write a blog post, there are other things that you can do for your blog, just so you’re still feeling productive and you’re still actively working on your blog (because it’s not just all about the blog posts, as we all know!). These tips will (hopefully!) help give you some ideas on how to refresh your blog and also maybe give you the time to come up with some new blog ideas by NOT thinking about trying to write a blog post. Because sometimes that actually works! But in the meantime, if you’re still struggling with writing a blog post, here are a few ways to still be productive and get some blogger sh*t done!

1. Fix Your Links

Broken links are no fun and not great for your blog either! (They can impact SEO and make for a bad user experience, obviously) But there are tons of free websites to help check out what links still work on your site (just Google it!) so you can fix them or delete them to make for a better, more professional appearing blog experience for your readers.

2. Write a New Bio

Whether it’s the mini bio on the front of your blog (you know, the one under that super cute picture of you!), or a longer one, we can all do for a fresh bio every now and again. Tell your readers a little bit about you, what your blog is about (especially if your interests or the niche of your blog or your interests have changed), and maybe a fun fact about you. (Are you a big anime reader? Disney fan? Avid collector and reader of books? Let your readers know!)

3. Write a New About Me Page

Your About Me page is like your bio, just obviously longer and more to do with your blog. You’re letting your readers know who you are, why you’re blogging, and what you’re blogging about (and why they should be reading your blog!). Let them know about you and your blog (again, especially if your blog niche or interests have changed, in a clear and engaging way- and obviously filled with your sparkling personality!). Let them know the real you and the mission statement about your blog. And don’t forget to include your e-mail address or some sort of contact form in case your readers or even a company wants to get in touch (PR packages? Um, yes please!).

4. Take a New Profile Picture

Photoshoot time! I’ve had the same blog profile picture for forever, and have not bothered to change it. #1: because I’m lazy, and #2: because I’m very un-photogenic and this was an adequate picture of myself. But even I know that you have to mix it up every now and again! So slap on some make-up (if that’s your thing. If not, work that fresh face!) and take some new photos! (Or if you’re very lucky, have someone else take them for you. That must be nice to have that trust in someone…)

5. Take New Pictures for Old Blog Posts

I am not the best photographer. There, I said it. I don’t own my own fancy camera, I just use my phone (and way before that, my iPod touch. Yes, I cringed while I typed that). My photo skills (and phone cameras in general) have gotten better over the years, but I still look back at my old photos in old posts and feel my body cringe with humiliation. So if your photo skills have improved, try your hand (again) at flat lays or other photos! It’s a great way to spruce up an old blog post and make it (seem) new again. Plus, you get to show off how far you’ve come since an iPod touch (again, that was me). And just a head’s up: there’s no shame in using stock images! Don’t let any other blogger tell you otherwise! You think those header photos are ones that I’ve taken? Pfft! Don’t make me laugh!

6. Remake Your Blog Headers

If you’re like me at all, I like my blog headers to have the same format. That’s not true for all bloggers, but for me, I like the consistency. But other bloggers are different, and that’s fine too. Though we could all use a (blog) spruce up every now and again, so why not your blog headers too? I used to make my old ones on Picmonkey (back when it was free) and I had NO idea what I was doing! I look back and sigh with embarrassment and maybe that’s how you feel too. So go ahead and get those artistic skills I know you have going by using some new photos to make new and fancy blog headers, with either your photos, stock photos (again, they’re very useful and professional looking!), and/or graphics. You’ll be amazed how fresh it’ll make your blog look! Especially if you’re changing themes or layouts too. Canva is a great free graphic source creator that I highly recommend, so give that a try if you haven’t already!

7. Revamp or Remake Your Pinterest Graphics

I’m still getting used to making Pinterest graphics on Canva, and let me tell you, I don’t have the best eye for design. But each time I make a new graphic for Pinterest, I’d like to think I’m getting better at it (slowly). So if you’re like me and are still learning and improving (I keep looking at other pins on Pinterest and think, “Ugh, why can’t I make thaaaat?” I can seriously see why some big time bloggers hire people to make their graphics!), or if you’ve already learned and improved, feel free to go back and redo some of your Pinterest graphics. You probably have an idea of what makes people click, so replace your old ones and make some eye-catching new ones to post on Pinterest to get people clicking on your pins!

8. Rework Those Tags/Labels to Make Sorting Your Blog Posts Easier for Your Readers

Tags (or labels) can be so important for helping your readers find a certain post. When I redid my blog, I really wanted to have a simple system consisting of just three tags (adventure, mental health, and real life) to divide my blog. But then once I started to post new blog posts, I remembered my old blog posts (I guess life isn’t so simple, is it?). So I made an archive tag. But that didn’t seem to be enough! So now I have around eight tags just so help sort out my posts and make it easier to group them together for others to read. Tags are great sources for your, but make sure your posts have the proper tags and aren’t mislabeled. Look over your posts and your tags, and delete or create new tags to best suit your blog!

9. Work on Making a Blogging Schedule

Whether you post once a week, twice a week, or every single day (how do you have time to do anything else, you superhuman??), we all know a blogging schedule can really help. From what days to post, to WHAT you post, a schedule can be your guide to arranging and rearranging the flow of your blog. Some people even have a schedule for when they post/promote on social media (see below for more on that)! Whether you use your phone, planner, or bullet journal, make sure you have your blogging posts in there so you know what to post and when! It’ll help you out in the long run and then your readers will know when to expect a new blog post.

10. Schedule Tweets or Posts for Your Blog

Ugh, scheduling tweets. The bane of my existence! I don’t know why this is such a pain for me, but I hate scheduling tweets promoting my blog posts. How do I sell my blog posts while also being entertaining and hook the audience but not run out of characters? But there is no doubt that scheduling tweets for blog posts (or for some other people, other social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram) can be a great way to grab people’s attention and bring traffic to your blog, without having to post right that minute. I personally use the free version of Buffer, which allows you to set up 10 tweets at a time (4 going out per day, which I think is a great amount to grab people’s attention but not bog down someone’s Twitter timeline). Hootsuite also has the same plan, and I’ve heard Tweetdeck is also popular. Scheduling tweets is an excellent way to get your blog out there, but without tweeting in real time (it’s like a crockpot. Set it and forget it!). I usually check and update my Buffer queue every night to keep the tweets running!

11. Update or Rework Old Content

Like I said earlier about taking some new blogging photos to revamp your blog, working on your old content can be a great way to update your blog. Fix any old links, reformat your text (it’s so much nicer if everything on your blog matches!), and update any old information. You could even, if you want to, take an old blog post and give it a new spin. It’s completely up to you, but that can really give new life (and views) to a years old post (because that was then and this is now and you’re a different person now!). Give it a try and see if it helps!

12. Comment on Other People’s Blogs

I know what you’re thinking: “I already comment on other people’s blogs! How is that going to help me?” Well, just listen to my reasoning and see if it makes any sense (it does in my head): I find so much inspiration in just reading other bloggers' posts. From the creativity that comes with a well-written and interesting post, to the way their enthusiasm jumps out through my laptop screen, I can’t help but be swept up in their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and perspectives. It gives me that hope in myself that I can do that too. It actually sometimes gets my mind in gear, thinking of ideas, what I could write on a similar subject, what kind of personal spin I could put on it. I’m not saying to copy other bloggers, but to gain inspiration and enthusiasm from their engaging writing I would say is highly encouraged! And very helpful, if I do say so myself. So check out other’s blogs, leave them a comment on their great post, and start thinking. You never know when a great idea may come, so jot it down, and if you’re inspired by it, start writing that blog post right away! It could be a really good one! (But again, just for the record's sake: do not copy other bloggers ideas! Be inspired by their writing, but DO NOT COPY!)

Phew! Those were just a few ideas I had about some productive things to do for your blog instead of writing a blog post! I hope they were helpful and encouraged you to freshen up your blog and maybe, just maybe, bring you a little bit of inspiration to write that blog post you know you have to get around to writing eventually (which you can totally do and don’t let your pesky brain tell you otherwise!). As for me, this list has reminded me that I am long due to totally revamp my blog and spruce it up, so I should take my own advice and get on that! You know, after I've watched a couple of episodes of the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I still have that cold, remember!

Have you ever been in that blogging rut where you know you should write a blog post but you just don’t want to? If so, what things did you do to get around it? Did you do some of the things that I recommended, or did you do something else? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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Unboxing: Cherry Wallis & Geek Gear's Curation of Magical Curiosities CHRISTMAS Box


It’s the most wonderful time of the year… meaning my Curation of Magical Curiosities Christmas box from Cherry Wallis and Geek Gear finally came! If you haven’t seen my first review/unboxing of Cherry’s first collab with Geek Gear, you can read it here. But for Cherry and Geek Gear’s second collab, they did a Christmas edition of the Curation of Magical Curiosities box and I couldn’t be more thrilled! What’s better than Harry Potter at any time? Harry Potter at Christmas time!

Before we begin, for those of you who may not know, Cherry Wallis is a British YouTuber who focuses on all things Harry Potter (and who I adore so you should go subscribe to her!) and Geek Gear is a British based subscription box company who has a fan-based (not official) Wizardry Box. Cherry and Geek Gear teamed up to do the first one time box of Curation of Magical Curiosities box back in late August/early September, and right after I received my box (and posted my review!), Cherry announced that she would be doing another Curation of Magical Curiosities box, but this time it was Christmas themed! So I just knew I had to get it. (Treat yo self, right??)

Cherry and Geek Gear offered it in a classic sized box with seven items in it or a Maxima box with eleven items in it, but both still very magical. I decided on the Maxima box (again, treat yo self and also an early Christmas present to myself!). I’ve been trying my hardest not to see any spoilers until I opened my own box (which is very difficult because people in England always get theirs first, and Cherry did her own unboxing of the Christmas edition on her channel, so it was torture NOT to watch), but the owl post finally delivered it this week and I am ready to share my thoughts and excitement about the box!

*FYI, I bought this box with my own money, so all opinions and thoughts about it are my own. And still would be even if this box or any other subscription box was gifted to me. Ahem, subscription box companies!*

**Also, I again apologize for my photography skills. There’s only so much my phone plus a photo editing app can do!**

First, the box came in wrapping and I, of course, was very excited to see the Royal Mail sign on it. It’s official! It came from England! My anglophile/Harry Potter heart was aflutter!


And then came the box itself! It looked just like the first one, except for a giant Christmas bow on top. Plus, it came with a poster tube along with it in the bag. I vaguely remember Cherry tweeting saying that one of the items didn’t arrive on time, and that makes me wonder if that’s why the tube wasn’t in the box. (Or if it just didn't fit! Most likely that it didn't fit.) But what could be in said box and tube?? Let’s open and see!




The first thing I saw when I opened the box was a bunch of Christmas colored “wiggly worms,” as Cherry calls them, along with what looks to be a card wishing Neville a Happy Christmas (I always love the British way of saying “Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas!”). So cute!


On the back of the Christmas card for Neville, there was a note from Cherry:

“Dear Friend,

‘I couldn’t risk sending Hedwig. Ever since the World Cup the Ministry’s been intercepting more and more owls and she’s too easily recognised.' - Sirius

That reminds me, did you feed the owl upon arrival? It’s quite cold this winter and it’s flown quite the journey to get to you.

I can’t believe the festive season has arrived, it’s the most wonderful time of year don’t you think?

This year has been filled with such magic, and our community is thriving. Our Wizarding World has some of the most incredible, passionate, and kindhearted wizards and witches within it, and I’d like to say a huge thank you for all of your support with the Curation of Magical Curiosities this year.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a very magical New Year!

Always,
Cherry”

How sweet! Cherry is such a sweetheart and so sincere and lovely! I know she puts her heart and soul and all of her creative juices into these boxes, so I know I can expect nothing but the best from her! I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

After lifting up Neville’s Christmas card, I got to see the box. So many packages of various sizes and lots of wiggly worms!


I picked up this small package first, which I thought was adorable. I loved the designs on the box, with the flying keys, snitches, stars, and snowflakes! But to my great surprise was what was in the box!


It was a flying key ornament! I’ve been dying to do my own little Harry Potter themed Christmas tree and have been collecting ornaments for it for a few years now, but have been wanting a flying key to put on it! I even bought a key ornament to make my own flying key, but now I have an official one! And I love how it even has the Deathly Hallows set into the top! What a great little way of making it even more Harry Potter-esque! And of course, Cherry would have included a flying key, since she loves them so much! They’re honestly one of my favorite images from the books/movies, too.


After a great start to the box, I moved on to the next little package. I loved the design of this one as well. It looked like just a simple box that an owl might deliver, brown and covered with string. I thought it was a cute touch to have the Owl Post stamp on the top, too! But I was even more thrilled to see what was inside!



It was Neville’s Remembrall! This must have gone with his Christmas card! In case you’ve forgotten, Neville received this from his Gran in the first book/movie, and the Remembrall glows red if you’ve forgotten something. Mine is clear, thank goodness, so I haven’t forgotten anything important just now, but the design and quality, even though it’s plastic, is just so amazing!



Next up was a pin! If you don’t have a pin in a Harry Potter subscription box, is it really a Harry Potter subscription box? This one was so cute! It’s a Christmas wreath, with the Hogwarts “H” on top, a lightning bolt dangling in the middle, and a snitch at the bottom. Plus, they have little faux House colored jewels on it and in the green of the wreath, there’s a Deathly Hallows symbol, plus glasses, snitches, stars, and lightning bolts. It’s so festive and jolly! I know Cherry loves her pins and I’m sure she’s thrilled to add this to her collection, just as I am! She designed it with Amelia, who you can find over on Instagram as @Amelia_B83.


Another box I picked up was a checkered box with a crown on it. Hmm. I was genuinely confused to see what could be on the inside until I opened it. Duh! Of course!


It was a queen chess piece from Wizard’s chess! Now the crown makes sense! I’ve never been a chess fan, but I loved in the first book how Ron teaches Harry how to play the pretty violent Wizard version of chess, and we all remember in the first movie how appalled Hermione is when she sees Ron and Harry playing it during Christmas time. (“Hermione: That’s totally barbaric!” Ron: “That’s Wizard’s chess!” The detail on the queen is pristine and so defined. I’m very impressed by how quality it looks! Wow, I honestly can’t wait to display this piece, (Wizard’s) chess fan or not. (Also, I like how worried she looks. Literally me as a chess piece.)


After the queen chess piece, I saw a pretty giant wrapped present. Ooh! I was intrigued! What was inside? It seemed pretty soft…


It was a Molly Weasley-inspired scarf! It’s nice and long and has the perfect 70’s colored yarn that just screams “Molly Weasley made this!” Thankfully, the 70’s colors translate well to autumnal colors, with the orange, darker reds, and very dark green. I honestly was really surprised and pleased at how nice and authentic this piece is. I can’t wait to add it to my scarf collection and finally get to wear it when it cools off here! (It’s still not that cold out here in the desert.)


The next item was wrapped in bubble wrap, so I had a pretty good hunch it was going to be a bit fragile. And when I unwrapped the bubble wrap, the most pretty decorated box was awaiting me. Could it be Yule Ball themed with those colors and two dancers at the bottom?


Yes, it was! And not only that, it was a clear glass pumpkin juice bottle, inspired from the fourth film! With a blue bottom and a silver snowflake on the side, this bottle looks like it was just picked up by a student after a night at the Yule Ball! I even love how the pumpkin stopper on top comes off! If you’ve been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Universal Studios, you’ll have seen very similar bottles like this at their Yule Ball set up, and I’m sure Cherry was inspired by it. I absolutely love the item and the craftsmanship of it is just off the charts!



Could it get better than the Yule Ball version of a bottle of pumpkin juice? Possibly! The next box probably has my favorite design out of all of the packages included in this entire box. It looks like a package wrapped up in brown paper, but with white holly leaves and red berries decorating the paper. With tied printed string and a tag that says “Happy Christmas, Harry!” and “Happy Christmas, Ron!” on it, I was absolutely dying to know what was inside if it was for both of them.



It was a set of gloves! One blue with an “H” on it for Harry, and the other maroon with an “R” on it for Ron! Inspired by the famous sweaters that Molly Weasley makes for all of her children (including her surrogate son Harry), I now have the cutest pair of mismatched best friend gloves! Too cute! Also, my style has always been a bit on the quirky side, so having two mismatched gloves isn’t so far off for me (no wonder I’m a Ravenclaw!).


The next item I saw was a Chudley Cannon pennant! Chudley Cannons is Ron’s favorite Quidditch team that seems to always lose their matches, but Ron loves them anyway. I remember in the books Ron’s bedroom at home is decorated all orange in honor of Chudley Cannons, which seemed to clash with his ginger hair. But I can see Ron hanging this pennant up next to his bed in the Gryffindor dormitory! So original and a great display piece!


I then saw a rather long and shiny/glittery envelope (which was super hard to take a picture of, so forgive me for not having one) and inside was an invitation to the Yule Ball!




Both sides of it are utterly gorgeous, with shiny gold foiling designs and the prettiest blue color, and it then opens up to reveal details about the Yule Ball, including the date, what to wear, etc. According to Cherry it was designed by Danny from MuggleMagicDIY. What a gorgeous replica! I feel like I’ve been invited to the Ball myself and now have to find a date. Um. Awkward. I now know how Harry felt trying to ask Cho, getting rejected, and then trying to find another date. I think maybe I’ll just go with some gal friends and focus on what dress robes I’ll wear!

The poster at the very bottom of the box that I had to literally turn the box upside down to get (worth it!), was of a lovely painting of a Howler (if you can call a Howler lovely), painted by Miss Cherry Wallis herself! In the first Curation of Magical Curiosities box, she painted a very pretty picture of a Mandrake, which I love, and this Howler print is no exception. I can’t wait to put it up for all to see!


And for the last item (sad!), I finally picked up the poster tube to see what was inside. And lo and behold, it was in fact a poster! For the Yule Ball!


Created by the same person who designed the Yule Ball invitation, Danny from MuggleMagicDIY, this poster is so gorgeous, I’m honestly in shock! It was hard to take a picture of, since I had to use items to prop it open, or else it would keep curling, haha. But it described what would happen at each stroke of the hour, such as “At the First Wand Stroke, Lead Your Partner to the Dance Floor” and “At the Fourth Wand Stroke, Witch and Wizard of the Ball Will Be Announced.” So creative and beautiful! I also liked how at the bottom is said “Strictly Dress to Impress. See Professor McGonagall for details.” Danny really hit it out of the park with this one! I honestly can’t wait to frame this one. Actually, I think I have a lot of framing to do in my future from these boxes!

And last but not least, the cheat sheet with all the information about the items by Cherry!






All in all, the Christmas edition of Curation of Magical Curiosities Maxima version had eleven items and I honestly was so impressed by each and every one of them! They were all so Christmas-y and winter-y! Cherry outdid herself once again! It’s going to be so hard for me to pick which one I loved the most, because I loved each and every one of them in their own way. I definitely loved the glass Yule Ball pumpkin juice bottle. So beautiful! But I also loved the flying key ornament (again, perfect for my mini Harry Potter Christmas tree!), the Remembrall, the Harry and Ron gloves, and the Yule Ball poster. Okay, basically, I just love them all! And I'm not going to lie, I'm going to keep ALL of these amazing packages the items came in! I just love the designs, I can't throw them out! Cherry has such great taste that I knew her boxes would be fantastic and they’re basically the only Harry Potter subscription boxes I buy (unless a Harry Potter subscription box would like to send me a free box or two in exchange for an honest review. Ahem…).




That was my unboxing and review of Cherry Wallis and Geek Gear’s Curation of Magical Curiosities Christmas edition Harry Potter box! It really got me in the mood for the upcoming holiday season and I really, really hope she ends up doing another box! What did you think of all of the fun trinkets that were inside?? Which one was your favorite? And let me know if you watch Cherry Wallis and have bought one of her boxes before! I’d love to know!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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My Struggles with Low Self-Esteem


I know this may come as a shock to you, but I am not the brimming, over the top, bubbly person that you may think I am. (Shocking, right??) I’m not particularly outgoing, or even that tenacious. I’ve always been rather shy (unless it’s around people I know very, very well) and an introvert, but one thing that’s really gotten in my way lately has been my self-esteem. And by self-esteem, I don’t mean that I have great confidence in myself, a la Sister Maria from The Sound of Music (is my musical nerd side showing? But seriously, it’s a classic!). No, what I mean is that I have low, poor self-esteem.

I knew this was something I should write about when I was in a group therapy session recently (I try, you guys, I really do). The counselor asked us to write down three names and to assign a monetary value to those people: one person you greatly admired and respected, yourself, and a person you hate. I gave the person I admired the value of a million dollars (I’m quite generous). And I gave the person I hate the value of $50 (he was a d*ck). And I gave myself the value of $250. The counselor was shocked I gave myself such a low value. I replied, “well, I’m $200 more expensive than a person with a really fancy degree and thinks he’s the sh*t, so I think I’m doing okay.” But, honestly, seeing my low value on paper got me thinking that maybe this is something I should address. Finally.

I always kind of knew this was a problem, but for some reason, it’s gotten really bad these last few years. Which is quite ironic, because as a kid, you literally have no inhibitions. I was definitely like that as a kid. I was outgoing (at least to my family and friends), and when I was in middle school, I was so dramatic that I was convinced I was going to be an actress (I was also obsessed with Entertainment Weekly magazine at the time, so that didn’t help either). But as I got older, my mental health wasn’t the best, and as we all know, depression has never been known as a confidence booster. My self-esteem took a hit, but it wasn’t quite as much at an all time low as it is now. Why is that?

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Way Less Entertaining Than the Book Series)

I think it’s just a series of unfortunate events, honestly. From dating a guy who was a bit too honest in his eagerness to try to “help” me by pointing out all of what I haven’t achieved yet, as if I didn’t see these flaws in myself every single damn day of my life (we broke up, don’t worry), my mental health getting better then randomly getting worse, failed job interviews, losing a job, not being able to find a job, etc. All of these things by themselves probably wouldn’t be too bad, but add them all together and then throw in some things on top of those events that come along with them (still living at home, I never got my college degree, not earning enough money…), well, even I have to see how that can be a big blow to my confidence and self-esteem.

Thanks to these events, they’ve all had a negative impact on me and the way I view myself. I’m no longer that little kid who dreams of being an actress (I never would have made it past the first casting call for any part, let’s be honest. I can barely remember anything unless it’s an old TV commercial jingle), but someone who doesn’t believe in themselves. And that’s an important part of being a human being. Sure, you may not be quite as confident as that one friend (everyone always has that one friend) who can talk their way into a job at NASA while only ever majoring in liberal arts, but you should be able to know that you’re capable.

But I don’t know if I am. And I also don’t really believe it.

What My Self-Esteem Tells Me and Makes Me Believe

Now I don’t know if I can ever sit through a job interview again. My very first job interview, I peed my pants right before I went in. I was so nervous that I had to pee, like right this second, and I started peeing even before I could get my pants off in the bathroom stall. Thank god I was wearing black pants and they (hopefully) didn’t notice. It’s a funny story in retrospect, but also a glaring observation of how severe my anxiety was because of said interview. Oh, and I didn’t get the job. Or the job after that. Which makes me even more anxious now to look for a job and that dreaded job interview that comes with it.

And I worry that I will never find a job without a college degree. Even though school has always been a very anxiety provoking part of my life, I couldn’t even make it through online courses without my anxiety overpowering me. I also feel uneducated and stupid for not having a degree, as well. Some people put so much value on where you went to school and what you majored in, that I’m ashamed to say that I couldn’t even manage a few simple courses without having a breakdown.

My mental health has always been very up and down as well. From being on different medications for most of my life, going to therapist to psychologist to psychiatrist, my life has been a series of dark depressive or anxious attacks. Who’s to say it will ever go away? And along with my mental health issues, my anxiety triggers a gut reaction, resulting in IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, making it very hard to find a job that would make it easy for be to have full access to a bathroom whenever I need it. Which is why I usually only have stay at home jobs for most of my life. Am I even capable enough of having a job?

And once, in one of the most embarrassing instances of my life, when I was severely depressed and not working, at a party, a friend of a friend asked what I did. I replied in what I hoped was a fun and flippant way, “Oh, right now I’m helping my mom baby-sit.” (Which I was doing at the time) But he persisted. “No, but what do you do?” I was flabbergasted and grasped for an answer. “I’m...I’m...I’m...” I stammered. “I’m taking some time off for my health,” I finally managed to say. He seemed really confused and eventually walked away. I had never felt more ashamed and pathetic.

But the most prominent question that pops in my head is: do I deserve to have anything good happen to me?

And my answer is always: no. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve to have anything. I deserve to have nothing.

Because when you have low-self esteem, you feel like you’re meant to be rejected. That you deserve it. Of course it’s your fault. You’re doing something wrong. You did this to yourself. And everyone can see it.

The job interviewers didn’t give me the job because they knew I wasn’t capable enough. I could barely get through the job interview without shaking violently and having my brain turn to mush when they asked me their questions.

I’m stupid for not having a college degree. Dumber people than me have degrees. I just couldn’t do it because I let my anxiety take over. I wasn’t capable enough to handle it. And everyone judges me for being too stupid to have one.

And why would I even think my mental health would get better? This is the card I’ve been dealt. My gut issues are never getting better. Medications don’t help. The doctors say it stems from my anxiety, and my anxiety stems from gut issues. It’s a vicious circle. Why even dream about getting a normal job? I’m not normal. Not at all.

And Here's What My Low Self-Esteem Makes Me Do

So instead of being rejected, I avoid. I wanted to start a new career years ago, but then when I found out I had to have a college degree plus a master’s, I balked and stopped.

I looked into getting a part-time job, but once I saw the application and realized I would have to do a job interview, I froze. I panicked. I closed my laptop and forgot about it.

My mental health and gut? Well, how could I ever manage anything with that? With frequent, painful trips to the bathroom at inconvenient times? How could I hold a job down with that? I couldn’t, I can’t.

These are all things (and more) that was my low self-esteem says to me. It reminds me of it daily, my weaknesses, my lack of accomplishments, even my lack of trying. It teams up with my depression and anxiety, making me feel blue and irritable that I’m wasting time, not doing anything, for fear of rejection. That everyone can see I’m inadequate, even more than I do.

It’s even the main reason I don’t share anything about my blog with my family or friends. I’m afraid they’ll look at my blog, think my writing isn’t good, or critique it, and say I’m wasting my time. They’ll ask if they really think I can do this as a job, and wouldn’t it be better to have a real job and just keep this a hobby? Or, did I really spend money on this? What a bad investment, especially if your blog never makes any money. What a waste of effort, time, and money.

Low self-esteem is an awful, degrading feeling to have. To have your own mind say you aren’t worth anything, that you don’t deserve anything. All of this just from a combination of bad experiences. Why can’t I just bounce back like other people do? Why do I have to be like this?

But There Is Help. And Hope. (Plus Some Tips!)

And the thing is: I don’t have to be. I’ve talked about this at length with my therapist (I’m under care guys, it’s okay) that this may be the way my brain has rewired from all of these negative thoughts and negative inner voice (in a way, my brain is stuck in a very negative rut), but I can change it. That there are ways to change how I think and feel about myself.

I can stop that negative self talk. That negative inner ear that tells me I’m pathetic, that I’ll never amount to anything, that I don’t deserve any accomplishments, that all I’ll ever be is just a rejected human being.

That I can switch the narrative on that negative voice, turning, “I don’t deserve anything”, to “I deserve something good.” Or “I’ll never find a job that’s right for me,” to “I can find a job that fits most of my needs.” Try taking a negative statement and putting that positive spin on it. It’s amazing how that switch from negative to positive can completely change your view on yourself and what you’re capable of (because we are all capable, no matter what your brain tries to tell you!). It’s realistic and simple, but also, kind of hopeful. And that’s something usually missing with low self-esteem. That hope that you used to have.

I can also start treating myself as a friend aka self-compassion. I’m not at all as harsh to my friends as I am to myself. I’d actually never even talk to someone I hate like the way I talk to myself (not even the $50 guy!). Instead of judging myself, I can try to understand and comfort myself. Remind myself that we’re human and that we’re not all perfect. It’s what I would do for a friend, and shouldn’t I treat myself with that same love and compassion? (You would think, right?)

Another way I’ve heard is to list positive things about yourself. They don’t have to be super specific or important. You could just write “I’m super good at playing Monopoly and usually win!” (which is not an example from my life) or “I love to read and pride myself on how many books I’ve read this year!” (now that is an example from my life). It’s the little things that remind us we’re more than what we think we are not. 

Also, positive affirmations are always another good idea as well. Your own specific ones or even the ones you see all over Pinterest. You can stick them around your room or places you can see them for an added boost of positivity. They can be as sappy or as unsentimental as you want. Just make sure they're positive!

But the one thing that is really helpful is to give yourself small challenges and goals, to push yourself and prove to yourself that you are worthy and you deserve good things in life. I’m slowly trying to do that, by looking for jobs that would suit my needs, go and see my friends more (aka positive- and fun- influences) and trying to be more confident (even though I don’t feel like it. Fake it till you make it!). Don’t push yourself all at once, work up to it, but with each tiny accomplishment, you’ll feel that low self-esteem start to lift away a little bit. Little by little, it does get better (or so I hear).

To (Finally) Wrap It Up (aka Thank You For Reading This Insanely Long Post)

It will take time to rewire your brain from the negative to the positive, but I feel like it’s worth it. It’s the journey I’m currently on and I hope will help with my mental health, my future, and my life. Because deep down, I know that I don’t want to have this low self-esteem. I want to be happy, healthy, and free of the negativity that’s pushing me down and keeping me under. I want to succeed and live and find my self-worth. But I can only do that if I try. And I’m willing to do that. And I hope you are too, if you struggle with low self-esteem. Because you are capable. And you deserve to be happy.

This was my really honest story of my struggles with low self-esteem. This was really hard for me to open up about, so thank you for reading, and I hope some of you may understand what I’m going through. It was, not surprisingly, difficult for me to write, to be so sincere and honest and share such a big and embarrassing and tough part of my life. Mostly because I feel like people would judge me for it and think I'm pathetic (there's that low self-esteem again rearing its ugly head again!). But I hope in a way sharing my struggles will help someone else, and my journey to loving myself and finding my self-worth and believing in myself will in a way hold me accountable for my actions and my negative-hopefully-turned-positive thoughts. I’m worthy of feeling whole, happy, and deserving, and so are you.

*If you’re suffering from low self-esteem, I suggest you see a professional to help with it, as sometimes therapies like CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) or even some medications can help (since low self-esteem can cause or lead to depression). If not, please surround yourself with caring and supportive individuals who will help you. Sending you all my love!*

Stay Weird,
Emily

I got some of my tips for helping with low self-esteem from these sites:
PsychAlive
NHS UK
Also from my therapist, but she doesn't have a link. Thanks, girl!



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73 Vogue Style Questions Tag


I think everyone has seen those Vogue 73 Questions with celebrities on YouTube before. It usually involves a celebrity being followed around their house or some other very fancy place they’re staying (“oh this? I’m just renting this 6 bedroom, 8 bath mansion while I’m filming!”), answering questions to someone behind the camera. You can tell it’s totally scripted (“I randomly had this plate of cookies for you that I baked from scratch right before you came. Here, have one!”), but it’s also super fun to watch and get an inside look at some random or deep questions (usually random) about the celebrity themselves. But guess what! Someone made a BLOGGER version of the Vogue series so now we can answer random or deep questions too! Take that, Taylor Swift and Blake Lively!

I have to admit that I’ve always wanted to do this blogger version of the 73 Questions tag and I was so delighted when Steph over at Sometimes I Write tagged me! Thank you, Steph! Dreams do come true! So now just imagine me being asked questions and followed by a camera in my big mansion in LA aka my small home in the next state over from California and about a million times less glamorous. But still just as much fun! (Hopefully!) Here we go!

73 Vogue Style Questions Tag

1. What Is Your Usual Starbucks Order?
I actually don’t like coffee or tea! (I know, I’m a monster!) So I usually go for a soy hot chocolate or a plain lemonade! Sweetened, of course.

2. What does your workstation look like right now?
Hahahaha, what work station? I currently don’t have one, and just try to find places to work when I can, which sometimes means just putting a pillow on my lap so my laptop doesn’t burn my crotch. You’re welcome for the imagery.

3. All-time favorite food?
Waffles.

4. Favorite author?
I will read whatever Libba Bray writes. She is a genius! She could write something so obscure and abstract, and it would still be so meaningful and hilarious. I love her.

5. What do you think of open relationships?
They may work for some people, but not for me.

6. Favorite video game?
I don’t play video games, unfortunately. They’ve never really caught my interest.

7. Guilty pleasure treat?
Anything sweet! Chocolate, candies, pastries. I love them all and I should not be eating as many of them as I do.

8. Favorite film?
Don’t make me choose! If I had to pick one, I’d say Atonement. I think it’s beautifully written (very true to the book), wonderfully acted, gorgeously shot, and makes me sob every damn time at the end. It’s just perfect.

9. Favorite book?
You know I can’t answer this one, right? Right???

10. Twitter or Instagram?
I love them both, just for different reasons. Twitter is lovely for communication, but sometimes you just want the fun aesthetics of looking at pretty pictures on Instagram.

11. Desktop or laptop?
Laptop.

12. Best advice you’ve ever received?
Not directly towards me but from Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”

13. What project are you working on right now?
Just my blog! And possibly a small writing project if I get up enough nerve!

14. Favorite color?
Green.

15. Did you get good grades at school?
In everything but math! Aka my nemesis.

16. Dream job?
Honestly, being a full time blogger would be lovely! But I’d settle for writer. Or a job that helps people in some way. Basically I’m still trying to figure things out!

17. Played any sports?
Dear god, no. But I did do dance. Ballet, jazz, Scottish Highland dance (don’t ask).

18. Do you have a degree?
I don’t.. I know, I seem so smart, you’d think I’d have a PhD in everything! (That was sarcasm, by the way)

19. Nationality?
American! But my heart belongs to England.

20. What is your favorite kind of blog post to do?
I love writing about personal experiences or things I’m really passionate about. Something that I enjoy writing and hopefully other people will enjoy reading!

21. What do you like to collect?
I don’t really collect too many things (except for books and Harry Potter things), but I love Russian nesting dolls. I have only two at the moment, but I wish I had more! I love the stories they tell.

22. Describe yourself in three words
Quirky, nice, passionate.

23. If you were a rapper what would your rapper name be?
E-dubz. I’ve known the answer to this question for years now.

24. Who was the last person you dmed?
My friend Matt. Hi, Matt!

25. What’s on the top of your wishlist right now?
A kitten. I really, really want an itty-bitty, teeny-tiny kitten to love and snuggle.

26. Hogwarts house?
Ravenclaw! And our mascot is an eagle, NOT a raven, thank you very much.

27. How many tattoos do you have?
Just one. Well, it’s three small stars from the American versions of the Harry Potter books, but I think it counts as one!

28. What are you most grateful for this year?
My family being happy and healthy again. We had a rough year last year!

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?
I had a fun girls night with my gal pals last week. It was so much fun and so nice to see everyone because we’ve all gotten so busy lately!

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?
Hmm! I went out to lunch and then had a nice nap. That counts, right??

31. What’s the best thing ever?
Cats! The animal, not the musical.

32. Favorite season?
Autumn/fall!

33. Favorite holiday?
Halloween, of course!

34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?
I love Jo March from Little Women. She was strong, determined, but very human, and everything I wanted to be growing up (and still want to be). Plus, I had a major girl crush on Winona Ryder in the 90’s version of the movie when I was younger!

35. Do you like surprises?
Not usually. They usually make me a bit anxious and upset, to be honest. I need a little bit of preparation before one, which kind of defeats the purpose!

36. What’s the biggest surprise you ever got?
My sister threw me a surprise party a few years ago and I recovered quickly and it was so nice to see all of my family and friends there to celebrate my birthday.

37. What’s a surprise that’s made you cry?
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a surprise that’s made me cry! I guess that’s something to look forward to in the future…? Maybe?

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given anyone?
I helped arrange a surprise party for my mom with my sisters and my dad. Just to see my mom cry because she was so delighted and shocked to see her family and friends throw a party for her really made me so happy we could do for her, because she deserves it and more.

39. Do you like muffins?
Um, yes. I like ALL the muffins.

40. Do you cook often?
Very, very rarely.

41. What’s your favorite dessert?

I love a good apple pie!

42. Is there a dessert you don’t like?
Despite loving most chocolate items, I do not like chocolate cake. Try to figure that one out, because I certainly can’t.

43. Cake or pie?
Why are you making me choose? Why? Why??? I can’t. You monster.

44. What’s your least favorite food?
Cottage cheese. I just can’t.

45. What’s your favorite condiment?
Ketchup! Or ranch dressing. I know, I’m very American.

46. It’s 4 am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?
Probably a cookie or some candy. There’s nothing like chocolate to lull you back to sleep!

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?
An Introduction to the Paranormal: From Ghosts to Demons. I know way too much about the paranormal, without actually experiencing anything paranormal in my life.

48. Best animated film?
This is such a tough question! How can I answer?? But I love Inside Out. I think it’s just brilliant and beautiful.

49. What had a guy done or said to impress you?
Compared me to Tina Fey. Best compliment I’ve ever received. EVER.

50. The best thing to do on a first date?
Do something you both like! And something where you can actually have a conversation and get to know one another. Seeing a movie is nice, but sitting next to someone you don't really know for an hour and 30 minutes is a little awkward.

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?
Being pretentious. Total turn off and I can’t ignore it anymore like I used to!

52. What’s the funniest pick up line a guy can use on a girl?
I’m not one for pick up lines. Maybe if he had something to say about a book I’m reading! That would be adorably bookish. And then I knew he’d like to read, so bonus!

53. Best comic book character?
I’m not really into comic books, but I do like Spider-man and Batman. I know, Marvel vs. DC. I at least know that much.

54. What are three things that are always in your handbag?
Wallet, lip gloss, and my phone.

55. Favorite drink?
I don’t drink alcohol, but I do love me a Dr. Pepper. A cute old drug store cashier man once called it “nectar of the gods” when I was buying a bottle. It really made me laugh.

56. If you could play a historical character who would it be?
Growing up Catholic, Joan of Arc was such a cool female figure to me. I’m not religious now, but I do love how strong she was and the conviction she had towards her beliefs in her religion and her country. Plus, I’d get to wear armor! (Though I wouldn’t mind a scene where she’s wearing a fancy historically accurate dress, just for funsies.)

57. Kittens or puppies?
Sorry puppies, but kittens are my everything.

58. Favorite sushi roll?

I’m not a sushi/fish person. I don’t even like the fish-less kind!

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?
I rarely use lipstick. I usually use a tinted lip balm or gloss for that added moisture plus color.

60. What kind of foundation do you use?
I don’t usually use too much makeup (adult acne. Damn hormones!), but I have a really nice Clinique foundation I use on special occasions, when I know it’s worth it to break out afterwards.

61. Blow-dry or air dry?
Air dry!

62. Who is your fashion icon?
I’m not sure I have one. I feel like my fashion is a strange mix of simple, classic French fashion, mixed with Molly Weasley from Harry Potter. It’s weird, but I like it.

63. Favorite Disney character?
Aaggh, this is a hard one! But I do love Stitch. I love that Experiment 626 so, so much.

64. What are you doing tomorrow?
As I’m writing this, hopefully Christmas shopping! I want to get my list done so I can fully enjoy December without stressing!

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?
For some reason it was Bowfinger with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy. I don’t know why, maybe because I was watching it with my family and we were all in a great mood that night, but we were all howling and crying with laughter during it.

66. A movie that made you cry?
Atonement, as mentioned above. Every. Single. Time.

67. If you could sing a duet with someone who would it be?
Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys. If I had the voice, which I don’t!

68. If your life was a song what would the title be?
“Bless Her, She Tried.” It’s also something I want inscribed on my tombstone (among other things!)

69. What’s your favorite animal?

I love elephants! It’s one of my dreams to befriend one one day. Sounds weird, but when you think about it, it’s really not. Elephants are very smart and think of us like puppies! (Don’t burst my dream bubble, please!)

70. Favorite illustrator?
I love Mary Grandpre, the illustrator of the American Harry Potter book editions. I love her style. It brought such a magical quality to the HP books, and really shaped the way I’ve always viewed the books from the first time I read them.

71. The person you want to have coffee with?
Michelle Obama. She’s incredibly inspirational and smart, and I feel like we’d have both a serious and fun conversation.

72. What’s the country you wish to visit?
I’ve already been to England, but I’d love to go again! But if I were to visit a country I’d never been before, I’d love to visit Australia or Japan.

73. Best way to decompress?
Simple: read!

And that was my 73 Vogue Style Questions Tag! I can't believe I got to do it! Finally! I feel so special. So for this tag, I'm tagging some of my favorite bloggers to do the tag, if they would like to do it or haven't done it before (no pressure and I'm sorry if I've tagged you if you've already done this!):

Elissa Renee @ Welcome to My Thoughts

*By the way, check out these amazing bloggers and subscribe to their blogs! They all put out amazing and different content that I know you'll love!*

Let me know what you thought of the tag and my answers down in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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