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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Oh my goodness. I was just nominated for another blogger award! This time it’s the Sunshine Blogger Award and honestly, it’s really touching that Beth (see below in Gratitude and Appreciation) thought of me to nominate and acknowledge me as a blogger worth thinking of and sharing to others. I’m truly honored and feel very lucky to be a part of this great community. But onto the tag! I’m quite ready to answer some questions about blogging, myself, and everything in between, and make up some questions myself! (Get ready those who were tagged!) Here it goes!

The Rules
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site
  • List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site
  • Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions
  • Notify the nominees about their nominations
Gratitude And Appreciation:

Such a big thank you to Beth over at The Black Ant Blog for nominating me for this award! I’m very honored because Beth is a fantastic blogger, who writes so passionately about a variety of real subjects, like health and mental health in such a positive and informative way. If you haven’t checked out her blog already, it’s definitely worth adding to your blog reading list! Thank you again, Beth!

The Questions I Should Answer:

1. When did you start blogging? What kick-started you?
I started blogging five years ago! My blog has been through many phases: a bucket list blog, a travel blog, the first version of That Weird Girl Life, and now it’s in its second (and even better, if I say so myself) phase of That Weird Girl Life. I started blogging because I wanted to have an outlet to write about what I was interested in, and in a weird way to push myself out of my comfort zone (aka having a bucket list blog and/or travel blog that didn’t play out because I RARELY travel- though I’d really like to travel more if I could). But in a way, this version of my blog is still pushing me out of my comfort zone: though it’s doing this by having me open up about my mental health and hopefully helping other people by sharing my stories!

2. Best friend in primary school? Do you still keep in touch?
I had several best friends in primary school (I know, so popular!), but I haven’t really kept in touch with too many. I’m friends with them on Facebook, but I do have one or two I still keep in contact with and consider my best friends, though they live out of state and don’t see each other as much as we used to. Ugh, adulthood!

3. Desert, Tropics or 4 Seasons? You can live anywhere in the world!
I live in the desert, and while the tropics may be fun to visit, I’m going to have to say four seasons! I would love to have an actual autumn, with red and yellow falling leaves, and that crisp, cold weather where you can actually wear sweaters and other comfy and cute fall clothing. Here, it’s almost October and everyone is still wearing shorts.

4. Do your friends and family know about your blogging?
Hmm. I actually don’t talk about my blog with my family or friends! I don’t know if I’m afraid they’ll read it and judge me or what, but I tend to be very open and honest on my blog, regarding mental health, and I am not like that in real life. So in a way, I’m keeping my blog a secret and just sharing it with my internet friends. I hope I can be brave enough to tell more people about it in the future and discuss writing it, because I love blogging and I’m so proud of my blog, but for now, I’m too shy to say anything.

5. Where would you love to go on holiday just with your 3-4 best friends?
Oooh a girls trip! If we had unlimited cash, I would say some big city like Los Angeles or New York and really go for the whole big city experience. Stay in a nice hotel, spend the day sightseeing, shopping, and having fun. Then at night, dress up and go out for some fun shows, enjoy a fancy dinner, and see what the nightlife is like and have some late night adventures. Basically, the theme would be “treat yo selves!” and we would just go all out.

6. Where is the most exotic place you have ever lived?
Well, not to brag, but I have only lived in one general vicinity for my entire life. I’ve only lived in one state, Arizona, in the United States, and that’s it! But in the perfect world, I would love to live in England (if you could call that exotic. But from where I live that’s super exotic!).

7. If there was one vegetable or fruit that you had to include in every single meal (for life), what would it be?
Ooh, I love all types of fruit (not so much vegetables, which is odd for a vegetarian, but hi, ME!), so I may pick something like an orange (delicious and wards off scurvy!) or a nice crisp green apple. Would they go with the meal? Probably not, but I’d find them delicious anyway!

8. You have a farm: horses or alpacas? Why?
Alpacas, because horses scare me. I’m sorry, but I don’t trust a giant quadruped that can sense your fear. It’s suspicious, I’m telling you! Also, have you seen a baby alpaca? Too cute! I’d pick a baby alpaca over a baby horse any day! (Sorry, baby horses!)

9. Do you play music in the background while writing? What type of music?
I actually prefer silence when I write! I know that sounds incredibly strange, but if I listen to music, I end up getting distracted by the lyrics, and if I listen to classical music or movie scores, I get swept away in the musical emotion and start daydreaming. So it’s much easier for me to stay focused if there is just absolutely nothing at all playing in the background.

10. How do you use social media?
Probably not as well as I should be! I love going on Instagram and Twitter (not so much Facebook anymore) to see what’s going on with friends, the world, and the blogging community. I try to use Twitter and Pinterest to promote my blog, but I usually just use Instagram for fun (though I will promote my blog on there every so often, not going to lie!). And as fun as social media is, I’m really trying to cut back. I’ve noticed that the constant comparisons and the onslaught of information can be bad for my mental health so I really do try to take short, frequent social media breaks, even though that may be “bad” for my blog. But my mental health has to come first!

11. Three random facts:
  • I don’t like being the center of attention, so no surprise parties, please!
  • My all time favorite band are the Arctic Monkeys (give them a listen, they are amazing)
  • I love entering contests for some reason. Do I ever win them? No. But do I get a little thrill thinking I could actually win it even though the odds are stacked against me? Heck yes I do.
*Bonus Question!*

(Let’s make this an even twelve! I think Beth added an extra question so I’m going to answer it because it’s a good one!)

12. If you have written a book – what is it? If not, what would you write about? Does it have a title yet?
I have not written a book, but I’ve always thought writing one would be such a great accomplishment. As an avid reader, to actually write something that other people will read and enjoy, just like I’ve read and enjoyed so many books, is probably an amazing feeling. And the fact that you wrote a complete story, with a narrative, characters, made of thousands and thousands of words, is truly astonishing to me. But if I ever did write a book, as a fan of all things spooky, I would definitely write a horror novel!

My Nominations:

(And bloggers, I apologize if you've been nominated before or if this isn't your jam, so please don't feel like you have to do the tag unless you want to. I just wanted to nominate you because I admire all of your blogs and hope more people will discover all of your content! But if you do decide to do the tag, please let me know because I'd love to read it!)

1. Julie- Darkbluejournal

2. Steph- Sometimes I Write

3. Deandra- The Black Princess Diaries 

4. Sean- Authentically Average

5. Kirsty- Love Popcorn

6. Delta Elaina Ariana Deathstorm- The Dead Books

7. Kaili- Entertainingly Nerdy

8. Meagan- Quibbles and Scribbles

9. Arielle- The Little Dismaid 

10. Eleanor- Mxrshmallow Queen

11. Kayleigh- Kayleigh Zara

11 Questions I Want My Nominations to Answer:

1. How has blogging positively impacted your life?
2. When do you like to blog: morning, afternoon, or night?
3. What is the one food you refuse to eat?
4. If aliens came to earth, what would you first show them that you think is cool?
5. If you could switch places with one person for the day, who would it be?
6. What is your favorite social media medium and why?
7. What’s your perfect type of vacation: sight-seeing or relaxing?
8. If you could travel back (or forward!) in time, when and where would you want to visit?
9. What is your least favorite thing about blogging?
10. Three cutest animals: go!
11. If you could spend the whole day doing something you love, what would it be?

That was my post for the Sunshine Blogger Award! It was really fun to answer and I had such a great time coming up with the questions, haha. I hope they weren’t too quirky, but hey, that’s me! Have you been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award? If not, what questions would you come up with to ask?

Stay Weird,

Learning to Embrace My Dark Under Eye Circles

Dark circles. Bags. Under eye circles. Whatever you call ‘em, I got ‘em. I’ve had them ever since I was a baby, and they’ve been here to stay ever since (I was a very tired looking baby). And they aren’t just dark. They are actual deep crevices under my eyes as well. My glasses usually hide them, but I know they’re there. Oh, I know they’re there.

Now, under eye circles in and of themselves aren’t bad. Some people have dark under eye circles due to illness, lack of sleep, or just genetics (so dark circles on someone may be a sign that something is off, so if you don’t normally have them, please get yourself checked out, just in case!). I myself fall under that “genetics” category (thanks, mom and dad!). But the worst thing about having under eye circles is that they are so noticeable and everyone always points them out to you (in a concerned way, of course):

“Are you feeling okay?”

“You look really tired!”

“You need to get more sleep!”

“Concealer would really help with those!”

All super helpful, except I’m a) feeling just fine, b) am sleeping 8+ hours a night and, c) concealer is not strong enough to cover these babies.

But the worst actually is:

Person: “Wow, you look really nice! You looked really tired yesterday.”

Me: “That’s because I’m wearing makeup today…”

My under eye circles never really started bothering me until I became depressed when I was around twelve. Before that, I barely noticed them. I was healthy, sleeping well, and mentally stable. But once I turned twelve, I stopped sleeping, ate less, and was just generally not in a good way. The lack of sleep and nutrients caused my eye circles to turn even darker and that’s when people started commenting. I got more and more self-conscious until the day I finally realized how bad they were.

I was around thirteen at the orthodontist getting my braces tightened (ah, the joys of being a young teen) and my orthodontist had my file with him. I had forgotten that when you first get braces, they take some pictures of your face, from the front and both sides, just for a frame of reference for your face and jaw line. My doctor jokingly showed me mine, and said he could sell these to a tabloid magazine one day when I became rich and famous (hardy har har). But I didn’t find it funny because I saw my photos. I remembered the medical assistant who took the photos said I didn’t have to smile in the pictures, so I didn’t. But what I saw when I looked at the photos was an unsmiling twelve year old, with under eye circles so dark, it looked like I had been punched in both eyes. In fact, the first thing that crossed my mind was that it looked like a mug shot of a drug addict who hadn’t slept in a week.

I was so shocked and embarrassed. That was me? That was what I looked like? I’ve been walking around this world, walking past people, looking like this? It was then that I became obsessed with trying to get rid of my dark circles.

I somehow convinced my mother to let me start wearing makeup, or at least start using some sort of concealer or foundation. She let me buy this weird foundation stick that you were supposed to put under your eyes to try to reflect some light under your eyes and lessen your dark circles. Didn’t help, but I tried the best that I could.

Later, when I was older and feeling less depressed, my eye circles grew less dark, but were still prominent. I was so embarrassed by them. The thought of my pictures from the orthodontist haunted me. I wanted to look bright and happy, not depressed and sad. I started wearing foundation from a compact as a teen, putting it under my eyes. It didn’t do much, but it was a start. I then graduated to concealer AND foundation, and that’s where I stayed for a long, long time.

I was so embarrassed for anyone to see me without makeup. It started to become part of my identity. I didn’t like the way I looked without it. The concealer helped lighten my dark under eye circles, the foundation smoothed my skin, and the eyeliner and mascara made my eyes look bigger. I wanted to look like the best version of myself, which meant no under eye circles and no imperfections (minus the occasional pimple or two. I’m human, okay?). I even thought that people treated me more nicely when I was wearing makeup. That’s how convinced I was that I needed to wear makeup.

It didn’t help that there’s been such a boom in the beauty industry lately. Full face makeup, caking and baking concealer onto your face, with bronzer, highligher, the whole shebang covering your entire face, made me see my imperfections even more. Though the people who were doing this to their faces were probably covering up their own imperfections (maybe even some dark under eye circles…? Gasp! God forbid!).

But then came the turning point. About a year or two ago, I developed cystic acne. For those who don’t know, adult acne is real and it is awful. You thought you were done with acne during puberty? Uh-uh! It’s back to haunt you in your better and more emotionally stable years! My acne was so bad that every time I put on makeup, it made my cystic acne even worse. And for those who don’t know, the more you touch and bother cystic acne, the worse it gets (and the bigger it gets too!). And cystic acne HURTS. My face was so bad that I did the unthinkable: I stopped wearing makeup entirely.

I know. It went against everything I had done for years. But my acne was so bad that I couldn’t help it. My makeup routine dried up until I was only using acne face wash and an acne safe moisturizer since I was drying out my face so much. I was embarrassed to go out without makeup, but at this point, I was even more embarrassed of the giant cysts that were popping up on my forehead and cheeks. I didn’t want people to even look at me. I was in my late 20’s and I had acne. I felt like such a loser.

As my face slowly started clearing up, thanks to trial and error of face care and finally a trip to the dermatologist (why did it take me so long to go??), I suddenly realized that I hadn’t really been wearing makeup. My daily makeup routine had boiled down to just acne safe moisturizer and a bit of sunscreen. I should have been shocked until I realized that I didn’t care that I was walking around without makeup. My face was clearer now and I was actually proud to show it off. Nothing artificial on my face, not even under my eyes!

I don’t know if it was my adult acne, the fact that I’m older now, or the fact I just don’t care what other people think, but I realized that my under eye circles are NORMAL. I was born with them. I have them. They are a part of face and I can’t change that. So why am I trying to change something I literally can’t?

The beauty world has a product for everything you hate about your face. Cover your imperfections: zits, acne, acne scars, discoloration, wrinkles. I’ve tried and seen so many items, home remedies, and even procedures for getting rid of dark circles and the bags under your eyes. It makes me so aware and insecure of my own under eye circles and makes me wonder, “why is everyone so desperate for me to get rid of them, if I was born with them?” Are they an imperfection or just natural?

I’ve decided to embrace my under eye circles. They’re a part of me, and completely natural. Do I wish I sometimes looked like someone else who doesn’t have those deep, dark crevices circling my under eyes? Of course! But no matter what concealer I use, I can’t hide their darkness and the deepness of them too. It’s my face, and I need to love it, dark eye circles, acne scars (thanks for that, cystic acne!), and all. No amount of makeup can make me forget that I have them, so why even use it?

Thanks to developing acne later in life, I’m now taking even better care of my skin than I ever have. I’m keeping it clean, exfoliated, and moisturized. I’m taking pride in my skin and face, and usually just wear moisturizer and sunscreen in my day to day life. If I want to wear makeup for special occasions, I only wear a light bb cream, mascara, a bit of eyeshadow, and use an eyebrow pencil to fill out my brows. Simple and natural. For me, makeup should be all about enhancing your natural beauty, not about hiding and changing it.

So I’m wearing my bare face and under eye circles proudly. Is my skin perfect? Hell no! Will it ever be? I’m gonna go with another hell no since your skin just basically gets worse the older you get (yay nature and the passage of time!). But am I embracing it and working it? Hell yes! (With not too much filtering of selfies, might I add. Also, smearing Vaseline over your phone’s camera just doesn’t work the same way it did back in Old Hollywood)

So if you see me out and about, I hope you think my dark circles suit me, because they aren’t going anywhere. And frankly, I don’t want them to. If I ever have to cover them up for any reason (weddings, other special events where you are not in charge of your makeup look), you know it won’t be for long. These dark semi-circles are ready to shine and be in the spotlight! And for once, I finally don’t mind.

*NOTE: If you love the way you look and just love wearing makeup, go for it! This isn’t at all to shame anyone who wears makeup because they just love wearing makeup. You do you, but I hope that you can feel confident all dolled up as much as you do when you’re also all dressed down. Face wise, that is.*

Do you have dark circles? Do you cover them up or do you let them see the world? (Haha) Do you have any "imperfections" that you embrace? Also, do you think the beauty world is trying to make us feel bad for having “imperfections?” Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,

Review: Cherry Wallis' Curation of Magical Curiosities Box

In case you didn’t know and have never read my blog before, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. And while I am not a big collector of Harry Potter things, I do have my fair share of knick knacks from the series. Books, Pop Funkos (or is it Funko Pops?), movie merchandise/replicas... I have a few HP memorabilia. I’ve also been trying to be more minimalistic too (and save money in the process too!), lately, so I’m trying to cut back on the tchotchkes. But I have a guilty pleasure of watching subscription box unboxing videos on Youtube. And one of my favorite Youtubers, Cherry Wallis, is a massive Harry Potter fan (she has the most amazing replica collection!) and does a lot of Harry Potter subscription box unboxing videos. I am obsessed. All of the amazing trinkets that come out of the boxes are so creative and cool (mostly small business/fan made!), and I get a vicarious thrill watching her unbox all of these amazing items.

So when I heard that she was going to be collaborating with Geek Gear, a subscription box that has a Wizardry box, on her own one time Harry Potter inspired box, called the Curation of Magical Curiosities, I just knew I had to get it! Cherry has such amazing taste when it comes to these things, plus she’s a fantastic artist who has an excellent eye for design. She knows good quality AND great Harry Potter things when she sees them. Girl knows her stuff. So I knew this box was going to be AMAZING.

I ended up ordering the box the day orders opened, and the boxes were sent out near the end of August, but I didn’t end up getting mine until September 4th. Apparently, Geek Gear and Cherry weren’t expecting it to be such a big hit and were overwhelmed with all the orders! Good for them! So while I was happy for them and their success with the boxes, I was dying to get mine. It was so hard to avoid spoilers when people (like Cherry herself) were doing unboxing videos of the box online and I really, really, really wanted to watch them and see what was in the box! But thankfully, I avoided spoilers and now my box is HERE and I’m ready to give my excited (yet honest) review of the box.

*SPOILERS AHEAD! And apologies for my substandard photography skills*

This box has seven items in it, each based on each year of Hogwarts that Harry attended. Let’s begin!

The box came all wrapped up in a dark plastic bag and of course as an Anglophile I was delighted to see that it was from England via the Royal Mail (me = dork).

I then unwrapped it and saw the beauty of the box! I loved all of the details on front! It made it look so magical and like it was delivered by an owl! (Albeit a slow owl, like Errol, since mine was so late. You can’t blame the poor bird, he’s so old). 

The first thing I saw when I opened it was a handwritten looking note from Cherry. I think it was her handwriting, it was so pretty and such a cute message too. It definitely made me more excited to see what was in the box!

The note from Cherry said:

“I hope this letter finds you well, and that the owl that delivered it arrived safely.

I also hope that this box didn’t end up in the wrong hands, as I will likely get into trouble for exposing our kind to the muggle world…

If you’re reading this, I wanted to say a big thank you for all of your support with the Curation of Magical Curiosities.”

Always, Cherry

PS. By the way, the bird bites.”

Cute throwback to Sirius in the postscript!

And notice this cute layer of flying keys and lightning bolt tissue paper underneath! How sweet is that? I’m so saving that for something! (Because seriously, how can you throw that away??)

The next thing I saw were a bunch of loose paper packaging (or “wiggly worms,” as Cherry might say), but they weren’t just plain brown colored, there were also GOLD wiggly worms! What an adorable touch! It made the box look a lot more special and exclusive.

The first thing I took out of the box was this cute pin, of three pumpkin juice bottles with snowflakes on them, with “The Yule Ball,” written underneath. I love how sparkly they are and the details on them are just amazing. Seriously, I would never have in a million years thought of something this cute and creative.

The next thing I randomly grabbed was this box decorated like the Herbology green room. Um, this packaging, you guys! So well designed and the colors! It’s like Professor Sprout designed it herself! How can whatever was inside compete with the awesomeness that is this box? 

And then I opened it. And a freaking Mimbulus mibletonia plant was inside! What????? I was NOT expecting that! The details on it are insane! It looks so much like the one in the movie that Neville has that I was expecting it to shoot out some goo. The Mimbulus mibletonia looks so quality that I swear it looks like a licensed item. I honestly can’t believe it how good this item is. I’m still in shock.

After being a little shell-shocked, I moved on to what was hiding in the gold wiggly worms. It was something wrapped in brown paper and string! So very wizarding world! I honestly had the thought “This looks like how the Sorcerer's Stone is wrapped in the movie,” but I brushed that right out of my head because of course it wasn’t. Was it?

But it was!! I was gobsmacked! I now have my very own Sorcerer’s Stone! (Or Philosopher's Stone, all depending on where you are. You know us Americans just want to be different from everyone else in the world. If we’re not removing U’s from letters, we’re changing book names to our liking) It looks more like how I imagined it in my head when I first read the book. Less choppy and roughly cut like the first movie, but more smooth and jewel-esque as I had first pictured it. I wish I could wrap it back up as prettily as they had, so I could feel like it’s more secure. The Sorcerer’s Stone is very precious, I just can’t have it lying around!

There was another box, small, blue and long, that said “Memory Vial”. Oh my goodness. On the very top of the box it has a small illustration of the pensieve, and on the side of the box it said “This exquisitely crafted vial bottle will hold your closest memories for many years to come.” Oh, yes. Yes yes YES!

It was, in fact, a legit memory vial, a la Dumbledore and Snape! The glass bottle itself is a beautiful shape, with a lovely looking stopper. I can just imagine some dreamy, cloudy memory floating in there, just waiting to be poured into the pensieve. And silly me didn’t even noticed that it came with stickers to put on your vial, so you can label your memory! (Which I forgot to photograph, but trust me, the label stickers are gorgeous!) So so so brilliant!

After calming down after the memory vial, I saw the next item. It was Time-Turning Tea, a passionfruit infused tea. Unfortunately, I don’t like tea (does this mean I can’t live in England ever? Please don’t say that), but it sounds really pleasant and I know my older sister who LOVES tea will gladly drink this for me and give me her review. It honestly makes me wish I liked tea, because it does sound quite delicious.

The next item I saw was a brown envelope, sealed with an interesting looking sticker. Inside were some pages from Advanced Potion Making! The recipe on the first page was “Draught of Living Death", and the rest of the pages had the rest of the recipe, along with scribbles and runes drawn on (perhaps drawn by the Half-Blood Prince himself?). The amount of detail and thought gone into this item is just mind-boggling! I love having a little piece of a Hogwarts textbook. Can we get some Hogwarts, A History pages next??

Under that was a large print, the last of our seven items, and to my great surprise, it was a lovely illustration of a baby mandrake! And not only that, but it was drawn by Cherry! I knew she was a great artist, but this was such a great way to incorporate her talent into the box! Not only is it a great quality print, the illustration is just spot on and portrays a chunky, grumpy baby mandrake perfectly! (I personally love mandrakes and feel like every Harry Potter fan who has a child should do at least one photoshoot of their child as a mandrake in a pot) It was a fantastic way to end the box, honestly.

Underneath THAT, was the cheat sheet, hand written again in what I think is Cherry’s writing, describing each of the items, Cherry’s stories of them, who or what small business made them, and what year they correspond with. Year One, was the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone. Year Two was the Mandrake artwork. Year Three was of course, the Time Turning Tea. Year Four was the Yule Ball pin. Year Five was the Mimbulus mimbletonia plant. Year Six was the Draught of the Living Death pages from Advanced Potion Making and Year Seven was the memory vial.

All in all, I have to say this was such a strong and magical box! I loved every single one of these items and found the quality and artistry in each and everyone one of them so amazing! Cherry and Geek Gear honestly could not have done a better job, with the presentation, the creativity and uniqueness of the items. You can tell Cherry put her heart and soul into this and as a fan I just want to say that I am so proud of her! I am more than impressed and just wished the box had been endless, like Hermione’s purse. Just more and more magical items coming out, nonstop. Thinking about it, I really don't know if I could pick a favorite? I mean, I kind of love having the Sorcerer's Stone. But the memory vial?? And the pin?? Okay, I can't pick. I love it all!!!!

I would of course buy another box from Geek Gear/Cherry again, despite trying to cut back on both collecting things AND spending money, but if it’s got Cherry’s name on it, you know it’s going to be good. And speaking of that, today, the day that I am posting this blog, she apparently is coming out with something magical and Christmas-y coming out for pre-order! So if you’re interested in something Harry Potter related that Cherry has to due with, please check out her Twitter and her Youtube channel, since she’ll be making the announcement there today! I know I will most likely be signing up!

What did you think of Cherry’s Curation of Magical Curiosities box? I was so impressed by it that I honestly can’t get over it. Which item was your favorite?? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay Weird,

7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hello, everyone! It’s another week which means another blog post! After last week’s rather sad post about losing my cat, I thought I’d try to brighten up my blog by posting a fun post all about me! (How narcissistic, but very fun for me to write!) Therefore, I present to you, seven facts you might not know about me- but after reading my post, will therefore know. Please use this information wisely and for good, never for evil. I’m trusting you!

I was tagged by Delta over at The Dead Books. She is an author, blogger, and all around fantastic person, so please check her out and send her some love.

Now, onto the facts aka or, rather, useless pieces of information that are about me! But honestly, it was super fun to write and really lifted my spirits. So I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

#1: I Love Elephants
It may have been because my mom introduced to the Babar the elephant books when I was very little, but ever since then, I’ve always loved elephants. There’s just something about these incredibly wrinkly, gentle intelligent giants with trunks that steal my heart. Plus, baby elephants are the cutest baby animals ever (have you seen that video of the baby elephant stepping on it’s trunk? Ridiculously cute!), and I heard a study that said that elephants view us the way we aka humans view dogs: they think we’re cute! Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard? It’s been a goal in my life for years to meet and befriend an elephant because I feel like I have a special connection with them. I hope I can get to meet one one day! (And that it’ll like me. Can you imagine if I finally got to meet an elephant and it tried to kill me? I’d probably die laughing from the irony. Like, literally. Because being trampled by an elephant is no joke.)

#2: I’m Really Interested in the Paranormal, But I’ve Never Seen a Ghost (I want to though! Or do I…?)
It started when I first discovered the paranormal section in the kids section at the library and from then on, I was hooked. I was reading ghost stories, Goosebumps books, and then later, horror movies and those ghost hunting reality shows. I was obsessed! (And still am!) I have a whole spooky bucket list of creepy places I’d like to visit (like haunted hotels, asylums, cemeteries, etc.) and see if I can experience anything or even ghost hunt a little! But as much as I’d love to see a ghost and find out if they’re real, I’m a little afraid of what I may encounter if I do actually encounter one. Would I freeze? Actually function and try to take a picture? Or try to communicate? Okay, let’s be honest, I’d probably just black out. But what a fun story it would be!

#3: I Love the Smell of Coffee but Absolutely Hate the Taste.
It makes coffee dates at Starbucks and coffee shops very awkward:

Date: “What are you going to get?”

Me: “Er, water.”

Date: “That’s it?”

Me: “Um, maybe a muffin?”

Date: “Do you not like coffee?”

Me: “Uh, not really.”

Date: “Then why did we meet here???”

Me: “Because that’s what people do when they meet a person for a date that they met off of an app!!!”

Story of my life.

#4: I’d Much Rather Shop Online for Clothes Than Go Actual Clothes Shopping in a Store
It’s easier for me to see how it looks on the model posing in it online, plus I don’t have the patience to go through racks and racks of clothes and then try things and then get frustrated that I don’t like anything. I’m very picky about the clothes I like and trying on clothes is one of the most exhausting things in the world! And don’t get me started on trying on jeans! (Bane of my existence!)

#5: I Absolutely Love the Rain
The sound of it, the smell of it, the cloudy gray skies that come with it. Ah, it’s just magical. Maybe it’s because I live in the desert where we don’t get a lot of rain, but when it rains it always feel like a wonderful day. I know that’s the opposite for most people, but having a day off where it’s raining, and you can cuddle up on the couch with a book, a snack, something to drink, and a pet by your feet while listening to the rain, is the loveliest day I can think of. And I’m such a horror fan that thunder and lightning makes me happy too!

#6: I Feel Like My Heart and Soul Belong in England
I blame it all on Harry Potter. I was hooked on England from the moment I read those books. That country must be magical if that’s where Hogwarts is and the author who wrote those books lives. For years, I had to have everything with a Union Jack, red telephone booth, or Big Ben on it or shaped like one of them. I loved anything that had to do with British history, like the Tudors and Queen Elizabeth. I just grew to love it more and more, with all of it’s rich history, historical landmarks, the royals, and the fact that it rained there all the time (see above) and was so rich with greenery. When I finally got to go a few years ago, it felt like coming home. Sort of. One of my biggest dreams is that I first either win or inherit a bonkers amount of money, buy a nice flat in London, and then buy an adorable, old English cottage in the countryside somewhere in England, where it’s beautiful and green and looks like it came out of a storybook. But sadly, I never play the lottery and have no distant rich relatives that are on their deathbeds and have put me in their will. Sigh.

#7. I Hate Bananas
There. I said it. I KNOW everyone loves them. I KNOW they’re very healthy and a great substitute for baking. I KNOW being vegetarian and even vegan means that you HAVE to LOVE bananas. But I honestly can’t stand them. They don’t taste that great, and I hate their texture. Mushy and stringy from where the peel came away. I mean, it’s cool that they have their own natural case, like oranges, but at least oranges are tasty! But who seriously saw a banana turn black and though “hmm… let’s see what we could do with this..." and then saved it and turned it into a BREAD instead of THROWING IT OUT like you do with most other fruits that turn BLACK??? Sorry, I'm just very passionate about my dislike of bananas. I mean, they look super cute, but are otherwise a very gross fruit.

So what did you think of my seven facts you didn’t know about me? Does anyone else love the smell of coffee but dislike the taste? I’d love to know if there are more people like me out there! (Should we form a support group?) Let me know in the comments what you think about the post!

Stay Weird,

Remembering My Cat, D.W.

This is one of those posts I was never hoping to write. At least not for another 10+ years. No one wants to lose their pet. It’s heart-breaking to put down a pet when they're pushing 12 years old, or even 15, like a lot of cats are. But I had to put my cat down recently. And she was only a year old. This is going to be a heart-breaking post to write, but I want to do it because I would like to share my experience, and remember all the wonderful things about my cat. My sweet, spunky, and crazy cat D.W.

July 2018 vs July 2019. Look at that glow up! That Weird Girl Life
It was only a month or so ago that I wrote a blog post about having D.W. for a full year. It was a really fun post to write, plus I got to share the cutest before and after picture of her and myself (see above). From kitten to full grown cat, D.W. (in my humble opinion) was always beautiful. Pretty, short white fur, green eyes, and the pinkest nose and paw pads (aka toe beans). I got her when she was teeny-tiny, just a little white floof, but from the moment I saw her, she stole my heart.

The very first day I got my floof! That Weird Girl Life
She grew quickly and so did her attitude. She was headstrong and inquisitive from the beginning, and all she wanted to do was either cuddle or play. She was the welcome cat in our home, always there to usher a visitor into the house (or try to escape out the front door and sometimes the backdoor, if the occasion arose) and introduce herself (whether the person liked it or not). She was mischievous and it seemed like a trait she would never grow out of.

The very start of D.W.'s bathroom fixation. That Weird Girl Life
But a few weeks ago, D.W. started acting strangely. I know this sounds weird, but I could tell she wasn’t acting like herself. She was distancing herself from me, staying in my room less, and staying away from me. She planted herself in my parents room and wouldn’t budge off the floor. It hurt, but I thought maybe she was angry at me for something (you know how cats can be). But at one point I told my sister: “it’s like she doesn’t love me anymore.” D.W. was my cat, she always cuddled with me, my room was her room, and I was her person. I kept asking my family if they thought she was sick, and they just told me the weather was probably too hot for her. But after a day of just sitting there and not moving, even my parents had to conclude she was not herself. I made an appointment with the vet the next day and took her in.

The night before the vet appointment, I remember picking D.W. up off my parent’s floor and taking her into my room and into my bed with me. I didn’t know what the news would be from the vet, and I just wanted to spend time with her. I was scared. I was hoping it was just a cold, but she looked so...sad. And defeated. I cuddled with her as best as I could and tried to just enjoy her presence, her breathing, her furry warm body against mine, but after a while she jumped down and left my room. I tried not to think of it as a bad sign, but I couldn't help but think that it was.

At the vet’s the next day, the news was not good. The vet tech immediately took a look at D.W. and said, “this is one sick cat.” Her gums, ears, and skin were extremely pale. They weighed her and she had lost two pounds in a month, which is a lot for a cat. The vet tech took her temperature rectally, which D.W. always hated, but this time she didn’t even flinch. I knew something was really, really wrong then. The vet came in and said she was extremely dehydrated and they needed to run an IV and a blood panel. When the blood panel finally came back, the results were bad: D.W. was deathly anemic. Her levels should have been at a 30. They were at a 4. The vet told us we needed to get her to an animal hospital as soon as possible, or think about putting her down, because without a blood transfusion, she wouldn’t survive.

I, thankfully, had my dad accompany me that day, so he drove to the animal hospital while I tried to talk to D.W. and not freak out. At the vet’s office, the vet had asked if she had eaten anything toxic. A plant, a food, chemicals. I couldn’t think of a plant in our house that was toxic, a random food she may have eaten, and my family is so careful with cleaning products, we won’t even let the cats walk on the floor after we’ve mopped, just in case. I was wracking my brain, thinking I had let something bad happen to my cat, when we got to the animal hospital.

Everyone at the animal hospital was so nice, and it was set up little an actual hospital, just on a much smaller scale. I filled out some forms, and they took D.W. back to start an IV. I was trying not to cry (okay, I was sobbing), calling my mom and sister, updating them, and having bad flashbacks to when my own dad was in the hospital last year, when my whole family thought we were going to lose him. All I kept thinking was “this is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening.”

Eventually, they called myself and my dad into an exam room. A very nice vet met us back there and introduced herself. She explained a little bit about D.W.’s anemia and how severe it was. We talked about how D.W. essentially wasn’t making enough blood to survive, and this could mean a variety of things. They could do a blood panel to test for certain types of cancer, even a bone marrow biopsy. She suggested a blood transfusion, but explained that cat blood transfusions are complicated. You have to match blood types, etc. and it would help, but they needed to find the underlying issue. Was it something toxic she ingested? Was it cancer? Or something else entirely? She explained that they could do all the testing here, but for her to stay over night to be tested would range from $2,500 to $3,000. Just for that first night. I was shocked. I immediately started crying. I didn’t want the vet to think I didn’t want to treat D.W., but I explained that I really didn’t have the money, and if I had the money, of course I would spend it all on her to make her feel better. But I didn’t want to torture her with tests. You can’t explain to your pet that you’re having people hurt them to save their life. The vet was so sweet and started tearing up herself, when she said that the really interesting thing about being in veterinary medicine was that humane euthanasia is a viable option. She said it in a very understanding way, perhaps knowing the way things were starting to go.

I told her I loved my cat so much and that I had only had her for a year. That I didn’t even realize something was wrong until a few days ago. The vet reassured me that cats are excellent at hiding how they are feeling when they’re sick, so sometimes, it may be too late to do anything, and that I shouldn’t blame myself. She then gave my dad and myself some time to think about our options and left the room. I immediately started crying again, while my dad muttered something about “this was not how I was imagining things to go today…” Same, Dad. Same.

My dad and I talked and we eventually agreed that we couldn’t put her through all these invasive tests. It wasn’t fair to D.W., and I would probably lose all of my savings in the process. And the thing the vet and my dad pointed out was, even if we did find out what was wrong with D.W., what if we just ended up putting her to sleep after all of this testing? She was already suffering so much, and I didn’t want her to suffer even more. I made the hardest decision ever to put her to sleep.

They let me hold her for as long as I wanted before. She was wrapped in a blanket, wet with saline from the IV, and smelled like rubbing alcohol. Her eyes were glassy as she looked out around her, but when I would say her name, her tail would wag. She still remembered me. I let my dad hold her, and as I was handing her to him, she pooped. Oh, that girl. Mischievous until the end. I held her again after that, just rocking her back and forth and thanking her for being my cat. She looked so miserable, it was like she was a shadow of the cat she was. But she was still mine and I didn’t want to let her go. But I knew I had to.

The vet finally came back in and asked if we were ready. I nodded and she let me hold D.W. in her blanket. D.W. already had an IV port in her paw, so the vet was able to administer the syringes into the port directly. The first syringe was a numbing agent, and the second was to stop her heartbeat. I got to say my goodbyes and I love you’s, as D.W. slipped away. Once they took her body away and the vet said she was sorry and left the room, I started crying hysterically. My dad awkwardly patted me on the back as only a father can do, as I cried my heart out. My little girl was gone. She was only a year old and now I didn’t have her anymore. She was just...gone.

I left with a little clay ornament of her paw prints, a remembrance I knew I wanted once I had decided on letting her go. I kept looking at it on the ride home, tracing her paw indentations, and remembering when she was alive and with me, just a few minutes ago.

I don’t remember much of that day, except that I kept crying and my chest hurt. And I kept crying for the next few days. The tears eventually went away, but that ache in my chest wouldn’t go away. Sometimes it's still there and it’s been weeks.

I keep looking for her, especially in those first few days. I’d spot something white out of the corner of my eye, thinking it was D.W., but of course it wasn’t. Sleeping was awful without her. She would usually join me for early morning cuddles and to wake up alone was gut-wrenching. I still sleep with her favorite blanket, the one she used to knead and nurse on, just as a reminder of her.

The days are now getting easier, but I still miss her so much. She wasn’t supposed to be gone this quickly. When I first got her, she was supposed to be my ride or die cat. Just like my cat Harriet before her, who I had had since she was a kitten, and had to put her down after 14 years together last year. Putting two cats down that I had loved so much in two years is so painful. I hope no one has to go through that like I did.

The pain is easing each day and that awful day that I just recounted is being been slowly replaced by the happy memories I had with her. I know I only had her for a year, but that lively white cat changed my life. She was bright, sweet, and silly. Everyone in my family loved her and was charmed by her.

So to end this long, sad post on a happier note, here are some happy memories I have of D.W.:
  • She loved it when my sister would offer her cream cheese. Every time my sister had a bagel with cream cheese, D.W. would be over by her in a second, her pink nose twitching, readying for a bit of cream cheese. It was the sweetest thing ever. And then D.W. would, of course, try to go back for seconds.
  • Her purr was so loud! She would only really purr when she was kneading, but it was still the most comforting sound in the world and would warm my heart when I heard it.
  • She loved to visit people in the bathroom. Whether it was me showering or just using the bathroom, she would wait outside the bathroom door and meow until I let her in. It was like she just wanted to have some company and how dare I shut her out of the room I was in?
  • One of D.W.’s favorite spots was behind the TV in the TV cupboard. She would jump up and then hide behind the TV, taking catnaps in the evening while we watched a movie. I’m not saying I closed the cupboard doors on her a few times (accidentally, of course), but I’m also not saying I haven’t (I remembered very quickly and let her out, don’t worry!).
  • She was always trying to escape! Either through the front door, or the back door, but the countless times I had raced around the backyard with my heart in my throat, would always scare me to death! After I had captured her, I would march her inside and hug and berate her for terrifying me like that. Before she was starting to feel sick, I was thinking about getting her a leash and harness, just to see if she’d enjoy the great outdoors in a more civilized manner. Plus, she would have looked super cute in a harness.
  • She was such a faithful and loyal snuggler. She would sit with me on the couch when I was reading and at night, she’d always say goodnight and cuddle with me, before sleeping somewhere else for most of the night. But she would always, always cuddle with me in the mornings while I slept. Sometimes at my feet, usually at my side, and occasionally right by my head. We have some very sweet pictures of her resting with me while I sleep. I look awful and she looks adorable.
That belly though! That Weird Girl Life
  • D.W. loved everyone. From my family, my friends, to friends of the family, and random people doing work on the house, she was friendly and playful and wanted to make everyone feel at home. Whether it was showing off by playing or scratching the furniture, or snuggling up right next to them, she was the perfect little furry welcoming committee anyone could have asked for.
D.W. with her best friend Violet. That Weird Girl Life
  • Everyone who has met her has a D.W. story. She was goofy, silly, and lovely and always made a (usually) great impression on everyone she met. She was just perfect that way. And to me, perfect in every way.
No matter what, even though she’s gone, she will always be my cat. I was so happy to have her, even if it was only for a year, and what a year that was, full of memories and adorable pictures I will cherish forever. I know she loved me, and I hope, I truly do, that she knew I loved her more than I could ever express. I’ll always love my baby girl and I will never ever forget her.

The very last picture I ever took of D.W. That Weird Girl Life
Thank you for letting me ramble about D.W. and thank you if you read this entire post. I just wanted to have a piece of her on my blog, since this is my blog about my life, and she was such a big part of it. I wish you all could have met her, but I hope you feel like you knew her a little after reading this post and my previous one about her. If you have a pet, hug them close and remember how lucky you are to have them in your life and for them to have you in their life. Do it for me, and for D.W.

Stay Weird,

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,

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,

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,

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. 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.)


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., 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

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.

"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,