Top Social

May 2020 Wrap-Up!


Photo by negin mrd on Unsplash
I can’t believe May is almost over! May, where have you gone?? You seemed to take so long and yet went by so, so fast! May was another month of staying at home, trying to stay busy, and not go crazy from the fact that I can’t go out! (Even though a lot of people now are going out for fun and to eat, which I don’t really agree with but that’s just my own opinion and I am personally going to try to stay home and social distance as much as possible) My May wasn’t as exciting as April was (and I’m using the term “exciting” very, very loosely!), but hey, I got through it and I can only hope that June is a bit more fun and exciting! But exciting in a good way and probably one that requires me to stay home. (And that I can hopefully be a bit more productive in June, which I totally haven’t been and will discuss later on in this post!) Here’s what I’ve been up to in this fine month of May!

If you haven’t caught up with what I was up to last month, check out my April wrap-up post here!

What I’ve Been Doing in May:

I read 12 books this month! (I’m currently on my 13th!) Okay, I was kind of on a roll this month, when it comes to reading! But again, what other kinds of things do I have to do? (Besides taking pictures of my cat, which I love doing) A bunch of my library borrows came in (e-books, of course, which I read on my phone since I don’t have an e-reader, but it’s better than no library books at all!) so I was busy reading those, plus I’ve been trying to sort through my books, to see which ones I want to keep or give away (and then organize them all!). So some of the books I read this month were rereads of books I had already read, but it was fun to kind of go back and read some of my old favorites and see if those stories still were as great as I thought (some yes, some no).

I started on my minimalism journey and sorted through my DVDs/blu rays! Blog post to come soon! (Fingers crossed!) I know this probably isn’t where most people decide to start decluttering, but I figured, I’m watching so much TV in quarantine right now, why not see what movies I have that I actually want to watch again and keep? It was kind of fun to go through all of my movies, to see what I had, to walk down memory lane (some of my DVDs are so old!), and I even watched a few to determine if I really wanted to keep it or not (which was fun! My taste has changed so much and some of the movies I thought I liked weren’t actually as good as I remembered they were!). While I enjoyed all of the movies I decided to give away, I know I was just keeping them because I “liked” them, not because I was going to watch them again in the near future. If I ever want to watch a certain movie again that I don’t own, I can look for it on streaming services, or to rent, or get from the library! So yay, less clutter!

Have you read my blog post about why I’m trying minimalism? No? *gasp* Well, here's a link so you can read it! 

My mom, sister, and myself sent a super cute care package to my 4 year old niece! Okay, this was super fun! I have a four year old niece who lives with my sister and brother-in-law in California, and back in March my sister, niece, and aunt were supposed to come and visit. And then the virus happened. Boo! It’s hard enough being away from my niece (we live a state away), even with video chatting, so it was extra disappointing when they had to cancel their visit. But my mom, sister, and myself put together the cutest care package for my niece, filled with goodies to keep her occupied (and to buy my sister and brother-in-law some spare time since they’re all stuck at home!). I honestly had so much fun picking out some of the things (I guess I’m still a kid at heart!), plus I was able to include some of my old kids DVDs to share along with her! (Anastasia, Coco, and Annie- I really hope Annie will annoy my brother-in-law! There’s just something about that soundtrack that really annoys dads and that delights me to no end.) Here are some of the magical and colorful things we included:

-A box of Frozen mac and cheese (which really shows that I love my niece because I hate Frozen)
-A Lisa Frank coloring book (because my niece has to know the OG illustrations of one Lisa Frank, seminal 90’s artist!)
-Pearl crayons (I was hoping for glitter crayons, but they didn’t have any, so I thought pearl crayons would be interesting for her to try!)
-My Little Pony Stickers
-A Minnie Mouse Magic towel
-A blue raspberry Push-Pop (because candy!)
-And a pair of heart shaped glasses that I bought years and years ago when I was obsessed with the Veronicas but never wore them.

Photo by That Weird Girl Life. Our care package for my niece! Movies not shown, but we totally included them!
After a Zoom call with my sister and niece, I think it’s safe to say that my niece loved the box! (She immediately put the heart-shaped glasses on and had to go through every page of the coloring book and the My Little Pony stickers) Yay! I’m hoping I can send a part two to her in the mail soon! (It’s also a great way for me to declutter! For some reason, I have lots of trinkets a 4 year old would like. Again, I just think I’m still a kid at heart!)

I've been obsessed with Instagram stories! It’s so weird, because I’ve never really been one for watching anyone's Instagram stories or even posting my own, but one day I saw some cute “This or That” templates and decided to try them out on Instagram. And you guys- I’m hooked! No, I may not be posting that many selfies, but I love exploring all of the filters (I found the horror/weird section and I am OBSESSED! It’s a horror lovers dream and I think all of my selfies will now be made with scary filters!) and posting those cute “This or That’s” (especially Harry Potter themed ones!) or updates with stickers, gifs, and music. So my apologies if I’m posting too much on Insta stories, but it’s been a bright spot in these stay at home months! (Or at least for this month!)

I am loving ASMR soundscapes on Youtube! I may have talked about this before previously on my blog a long time ago, but I have become obsessed with videos of images and animations of pleasant scenarios and lovely, calming sounds aka soundscapes! (It's also a type of ASMR, I think) My favorites right now are the channels Autumn Cozy and Miracle Forest. I love to listen to them when I’m falling asleep (the sound of rain and thunder to me are just so relaxing!), and I love the visuals and scenarios that these YouTubers come up with! Autumn Cozy is more, well, cozy and cute, and Miracle Forest is so creative with her soundscapes and incorporates stories into them! (A lot of them are creepy, which I love! Is it weird I like to fall asleep to creepy sounds? I think that says a lot about me!) Give them a listen! They’re perfect for relaxing or if you want to have some calming background noise or ambiance while you work or read! (My personal favorites from Autumn Cozy is Summer Kitchen Ambiance and Night Greenhouse Ambiance and I love Miracle Forest’s A Night in the Enchanted Forest!)

I’ve got the quarantine blues! Ugh, you guys. Does it seem like quarantine has been going on for eons? Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to stay home and stop the spread, but all of this staying at home has got me really down. And tired! So, so tired. It’s amazing how many naps I take nowadays! It feels like I don’t have any energy, and while I want to go out and do things, for me, it’s scary to go out because I run the risk of bringing something home to my immunocompromised father. (Don’t worry, I always wear a mask when I go out, use hand sanitizer, and then wash my hands when I get back home! I also sanitize everything I bring home.) So even though I should be relishing going out (you know, on essential errands like the grocery store and pharmacy, basically that’s all I go to now), I get very nervous and start freaking out (internally, of course) if people aren’t wearing masks. It’s especially scary to me now that my state is lifting restrictions and restaurants and stores are reopening and lots of people are foregoing wearing masks. I may be overreacting because of my dad (I obviously don’t want him or anyone else in my family to get sick!), but I just worry that people are risking their health and safety just a bit too soon. Plus, I miss my friends! Again, I love my family, but I’m getting a little sick of them. I need some new conversation with people who I love but aren’t related to me!

I’m going through a blogging existential crisis! Remember how I said I was feeling tired and have the quarantine blues? I don’t know if this is the reason why, but I’ve been feeling so unmotivated to do anything regarding blogging lately! My scheduled tweets for promoting blog posts? Haven’t done those in forever! All of those pins I was making for Pinterest and totally killing it? (Well, sort of) Haven’t made a pin in about a week or so. Am I filled with blog ideas and the motivation to write them all and just have killer content? Well, I have blog post ideas, but none of the motivation to actually write them. I’m not sure what’s up with me; if I’m having a blogging existential crisis, or it’s just the quarantine blues coming up and affecting my blogging. But I’m in such a slump that I’m purposely staying away from Twitter (all of those productive bloggers! How dare they flaunt that in my face!) and I haven’t even been replying to blog comments or commenting on other people’s blogs! It’s a problem, you guys! It’s almost like I got burned out from blogging, or the work that comes along with blogging, because to me, the writing is fun, but all of the other stuff is just work. Any ideas of how I can be more productive and put the fun back into blogging? (And all of the other stuff that comes along with blogging? You know, like the scheduling, pictures, pin making, commenting, etc.) Any help is appreciated!

Margot the kitten update! I know, this is the section of blog post you’ve all been waiting for, and it’s my favorite too. Margot is just growing like a sweet, floofy weed and I can’t believe how big she’s gotten! It also makes me kind of sad, too, that I know she’s going to be a grown up cat soon! (Though I know she will make an incredibly beautiful adult cat!) Like I mentioned in last month’s update, Margot loves to be brushed, and her cat brush is not enough. She has to go for my hair brush. You know, my eco-friendly bamboo and boar bristle brush that was way more expensive than her cat brush. So I have to be careful not to leave my brush lying around, or else she’ll start rubbing up against it, just all happy and purring. Okay, and I might brush her with it sometimes. She loves it, I can’t help it! I just want her to make her happy. I’m such a sucker for this cat, you guys, it’s not even funny. And is it bad that I just now realized that her whiskers on each side are two different colors? One side is white, and the other side is black! Torties and their markings are so much fun and unique!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life. Isn't she just so pretty?? Look at those tortie markings and her black and white whiskers! 
Are you following me on Instagram yet? If not, you can follow me here. I promise, I mostly only post pictures of Margot, so you don’t have to worry about seeing my face that often!

Blog Posts I Wrote This Month:

My Perfect Weekend, Post Quarantine: Quarantine Dreamin’
Mental Illness and the Art of Pretending
My Unpopular Harry Potter Opinions
And this post you’re reading now!

And, as per usual, I didn’t write a fifth post. One day I will! Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully. Or is this just wishful thinking? No, I’ll do it one day! I will! But not this month. Maybe in June! (Don’t quote me because it probably won’t happen, let’s be honest!)

And that was my May! Was it boring? Kind of. But did I survive it? Heck yeah! Let’s hope that I can make June an even better month and get over these quarantine blues and this blogging hump! If nothing else, I’m going to force myself to be more active and have some fun! Hopefully that will help! What have you been up to in May? How has quarantine been treating you? How are you keeping busy? Let me know in the comments below! And thank you, as always, for reading!

Stay Weird,
Emily

Pin It!

My Unpopular Harry Potter Opinions

Photo by Rae Tian on Unsplash
Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter series. It’s one of my favorite books series ever, one of my favorite movie series, filled with some of the most iconic and memorable characters ever, and I’m one of those Harry Potter fans that has said on multiple occasions that Harry Potter has changed my life for the better. BUT… just because I love something, doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I love the series, because despite loving all of the characters, they’re all so real, and human, and flawed. J.K. Rowling has created a magical world where despite everything being fantastic and wondrous, it somehow still seems real and raw. I’m not saying that the Harry Potter series itself is flawed, but as much as I love love love the series, there were some things in both the books and movies that I never really agreed with or even kind of liked (mostly the movies, but a few things in the books!). So here, without further ado, are my unpopular Harry Potter opinions, with both the books and the movies!

*Please, no hate, these are just my own personal opinions and again, like I said, I love the books and the movies with all of my heart, and this is in no way bashing them at all. But if you can’t critique something that you love, then what can you critique?? I guess things you hate, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make!*

My Opinions on the Harry Potter Books:

1. Peeves was annoying. I totally get it. Peeves the Poltergeist added even more color and humor and mischief to the Hogwarts castle. But if I were a student at Hogwarts, I would have dreaded going there for fear that he would throw water balloons filled with God knows what at my head all the time! But I did love in Order of the Phoenix how he listened to Fred and George and kept his promise about giving Umbridge hell. It almost made me like him. Almost. But honestly, I was secretly relieved when they left him out of the movies!

2. Why did Fred, Tonks, AND Lupin have to die in the Battle of Hogwarts? (Sorry, spoilers!) Why kill them all??

3. And take away the one connection Harry has to his parents by killing Sirius in Order of the Phoenix? I get it, plot and character growth, but still! To leave another child an orphan (Lupin and Tonk’s son, Teddy)?? C’mon, J.K.!

Giphy
4. And then Hedwig??? J.K. Rowling just might as well have had Harry die and Voldemort live in honor of the prophecy, why don’t you! I know it was supposed to represent Harry’s “loss of innocence/childhood,” but that hurt SO MUCH. Too much, in fact.

5. Why was everyone so mean? From the teachers to the students (especially Snape! How did he get away with literally bullying students like Neville and literally everyone else who was not in Slytherin??), to the students to the other students, everyone was super rude to each other! And what’s up with everyone calling each other by their last name/surname? Is that a British thing? I’ve literally never ever called a person I didn’t like by their last name…

Giphy
6. Also, why did Harry get to name his kids after his family? Did Ginny get no say in the matter? I mean, c’mon, she was the only girl and youngest child in a family of seven kids! Let her name at least one of her children, dammit!

7. And why didn't we get a great epilogue detailing what all the characters were up to after the books ended??? We got some snippets from J.K. Rowling in post Deathly Hallows interviews, but I would have loved to have learned what everyone did after the Battle of Hogwarts dust and rubble had settled! (You know, and the Dark Lord defeated and all!)

8. Snape’s obsession and love for Lily wasn’t romantic- it was creepy! I get that “Always” means a lot to us Harry Potter fans, but there’s a fine line between love and obsession. And Snape was more on the obsessive side than romantic side, let's be honest. Snape himself is a great, complicated character and he loved Lily enough to protect her son, but not be at least a little civil to him? I mean, I know James Potter was a dick to him, but be a grown up, Severus! Geez!

Giphy

My Opinions On the Harry Potter Movies:

9. Ginny had no personality! Why oh why would they do my girl Ginny wrong like this? All of us books fans know that Ginny started out as shy and nervous around Harry (because she was seriously crushing on him), but then she came out her shell and was such a cool, opinionated, and strong character (and Quidditch player!). But in the movies, they really did not do her character justice. Movie Ginny was about as compelling as a dried up leaf (a red one, of course).

Giphy
10. Hermione's Yule Ball dress was not pretty- at all. I get that it was Hermione’s She’s All That walk-down-the-stairs moment, but I really did not care for the dress. I don’t know if it was the ruffled individual pieces with the light to dark pink ombre, or the bustier part, but to me, it was not at all beautiful. I know that it’s now an iconic outfit in the HP series, but to me, it just didn’t hit the mark. Also, it was supposed to be periwinkle! That’s a pretty light blue, in case you didn’t know. (I actually just watched a really interesting video about why they chose pink instead of blue for Hermione’s dress and while I don’t like the dress itself, I get why the filmmakers chose pink instead of blue. You can watch it here)

11. I actually liked Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. I know, this one is a bit controversial. I thought Richard Harris totally had the Dumbledore look and twinkle in his eye, but he lacked that dark edge that Dumbledore later is revealed to have in the books. Michael Gambon, in my opinion, was more versatile and was able to handle more of the darker history and moments of Dumbledore. I don’t know if Richard Harris, great actor as he was (RIP), could have done that as convincingly and as compellingly as Gambon did.

Giphy
12. I liked the Goblet of Fire movie, but they left so much out of it! And instead of putting more of the plot in it, they just added more of the teenage wizard and witch hormones. Which was all quite fun (especially in the books), but not expanding on Barty Crouch and Barty Crouch Jr. (and poor Winky the house-elf??)? No Ludo Bagman?? Why were all of the Beauxbaton students girls and the Drumstrang students were guys? Also, my favorite task of the Triwizard Tournament, the maze, was totally botched. I wanted to see the Sphinx, the blast-ended skrewts, and more. Also, was anyone else creeped out by Moaning Myrtle perving on a naked Harry in the prefects bathroom giant bathtub? I mean, that kind of made me uncomfortable! (I can only imagine how Harry felt!)

13. The movies gave all of Ron’s lines to Hermione, making Ron look more like the fun, foolish friend, when we know in the books, Ron has his smart and clever moments (even if they took Hermione by surprise at times). Justice for Ron!

Gfycat
14. They left so much out of Half-Blood Prince! I loved learned about Voldemort's past, but leaving out Merope and Tom Riddle's "relationship?" Tragic! It would have brought Voldemort's upbringing and feelings towards his family and the fact that his father was *gasp* a Muggle to light and add more depth to his evil character. (I mean, he was conceived while his father was under the spell of a love potion, no wonder the guy is evil!)

15. I wasn’t that bothered by Dumbledore shouting “Harry, did ya put your name in da Goblet of Fiyah??” as everyone else seems to be. That seems to be a big complaint (and joke/meme) in the fan community, but for some reason it never annoyed me that much. Artistic liberties, I suppose!

Tenor

My Thoughts On Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:

16. Just everything in this...just no. Let’s not even go there. I know this is supposedly canon, but I’m pretending it was just a wild fever dream that never happened.

Giphy
And those were my unpopular Harry Potter opinions! Again, don’t get me wrong, I love the books and the movies, but nothing in life is perfect and these were just my humble opinions and thoughts about this magnificent series. Everyone is allowed to agree or disagree about it (our Harry Potter fandom is quite opinionated!) and that’s kind of what I love about the series. We all had different pictures of it in our minds when we first read the books, and then when the movies came out, we saw the story come to life, but maybe not in the exact way we had in our minds. So personally, that’s why I love seeing different artist’s interpretations of the Wizarding World, like Jim Kay and fan art. I like seeing what everyone else had in their minds, whether it be by art or just by their thoughts, because the Harry Potter movies were based on what the people working on the movies had in their minds! And honestly, for every "meh" thing I didn't like about the books or movies, there are about 100 things that I did love about them! The books just prove that nothing is perfect, even if the Harry Potter series is close to perfection.

What are your unpopular Harry Potter opinions? (It's okay, you can tell me. I don't judge!) Are yours the same as mine, or do you totally disagree and have others? Did you want to see more things in the movies (like the giant squid in the lake?) or were there some things you were glad they left out? I’d love to know in the comments below! (But please remember to keep it polite! We can all have our own thoughts and opinions about this amazing series, so be nice, everyone!)

Stay Weird,
Emily

Mental Illness and the Art of Pretending

Photo by Kyle Sudu on Unsplash
In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I have decided to share one of my mental health experiences this month. Writing about mental health can be hard, but I feel it’s worth it to spread awareness and share my story with others, who may have suffered or are suffering with something similar. It’s always good to know you’re not alone with this.

***

When you’re depressed or anxious or are just suffering with your mental health, you become skilled at the art of pretending.

Everything is “fine.” You’re “great.” Nothing "new" is up. Your life is just so boring right now. Nothing new to report. When really it’s the exact opposite. Your life is so hectic. It may all be happening inside your mind: the depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the manic episodes, the obsessive thoughts, but all of that still filters out into your physical life and is taking up so much of your time. It's consuming your life. That's "what's up" with you. You just don’t want to tell anyone about it or admit that it’s even happening. To you or anyone.

You’re a pro at make believe, that everything is normal and that you’re not suffering inside.

But what people don’t know is that you don’t want to bother anyone. Bog them down with your troubles. Burden them with it. Your medication and side effect woes. Your psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist/counselor/doctor appointments. The sleepless nights and sleeping all day. Or the fact that you don't have any help or anyone to talk to. That you're alone in this awfulness. Those feelings that you just can’t escape and so desperately want to. So you pretend that everything is just fine and dandy. It's really not though.

Pretending is an art that you’ve mastered and you have everyone fooled. But deep down you know you want help or someone to just ask you if you’re okay, and for you to just say simply and easily, “yes, yes I do need help,” or “yes, I do want to talk about it.”

For most of my life, I have been one of those people who have pretended. Pretended I was okay, pretended I was fine, pretended my life was so boring that there really was nothing up with me, when really everything up with me was a horrible tornado in my mind, spinning out of control, and causing deep depressions, outbursts of anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, awful compulsions, endless crying, and more. But on the outside, I wanted everything to look as if I was just like everyone else. Someone with a “normal" life, the one I was trying so hard to imitate. I didn’t want to admit that anything was wrong with me. So I lied and pretended.

And I have to admit, I still do at times. I’m afraid to speak up, not just because I don’t want to admit that there’s something wrong with me, but because I don’t know who to talk to about it (besides a mental health professional). Who will understand, who won’t judge me? Who won’t call me crazy? (It’s happened.) It’s a scary thing to admit that you need help or want to talk, but when you finally do get the courage or are desperate enough, who can you turn to talk to or to trust them with your innermost thoughts and feelings? Thoughts and feelings not everyone will understand because they’ve never gone through something even remotely similar? The very idea is terrifying to think that you could tell someone and they wouldn’t understand or get it. (“You do know that’s crazy...right?”- something someone actually said to me once.)

But you know what I’ve learned after years of being silent and trying to be stoic and not be a bother?

People who pretend are strong. They’re trying so hard to keep things to themselves, figure it out on their own, and not burden their family and friends, that they’re suffering even more because of their silence. But that strength will only get you so far until you need help, and then it might be too late. 

But people who ask for help are also strong. Because they have that bravery, and that knowledge to know that it's time to ask for help. That they realize they need help, and they have the strength to seek it out and ask for it, even if they're at the brink of something terrible. And I applaud them for it. (That's called advocating for yourself, people!)

I hope that one day asking for help won’t be so shameful and that you don't have to pretend that you’re okay when you're not okay. (You can always keep things to yourself, of course, because it's your life and it is your choice whether or not you want to tell people what you’re going through. You don’t have to tell any old person, just someone you trust, whether it’s a friend or a mental health professional.) That it’s acceptable to tell the truth. To ask for help. To know that you’re not a burden.

Because you’re not.

And I’m not, either.

Never be ashamed to ask for help, especially professional help. We all deserve to get the help we need, to be able to ask for it, without drama, without judgement, and with compassion. If you need help, and you’ve been pretending, I hope you can find a person you trust, and ask for help if you need to. Or even just someone to talk to. (Though I really would suggest professional help if you're having serious problems. There's only so much a friend can listen to and try to help, so getting professional help is a must, sometimes. And something I definitely encourage for people!)

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and that you know it’s time that you speak up for the help that you need and deserve. Let's do away with pretending and start speaking up for ourselves. Because it's about damn time.

***

I know May is Mental Health Awareness Month and is a great way to remind people of everyone who suffers from mental health and obviously bring awareness to it, but just remember that it doesn’t have to be May for you to speak up and get help. Any month of the year, any day of the year, is the best time for you to ask for help. And I hope you do. To everyone else who may not suffer from any mental health conditions but is friends with someone who has them, please listen. It will mean the world to us if you do.

Have you ever hid your mental illness behind the art of pretending? Have you learned to be more open about it, or do you still keep it quiet? (After all, it's a personal choice whether you want to talk about it or not!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay Weird,
Emily


Pin It!

My Perfect Weekend, Post Quarantine: Quarantine Dreamin'

   Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash
Now, over the past month or so, I’ve thought so much about what I want to do when all of this craziness is over. No more worrying, no more fear, finally being able to be in contact with humans again without trying to understand the muffled words from behind a face mask. Ah, that’s the world I miss. I hate gesturing with my hands so much and waving to let people know that I’m friendly behind my mask. (“Hello, I come in peace! Do you like my floral homemade face mask made from leftover fabric that was definitely not my first choice?”) Life is so unpredictable and scary right now, and I’m doing my best to keep my head above water, and keep my spirits up while I stay at home to keep others safe (it’s really the least we can all do!). So when I was tagged by the delightful Renata Leo over at Buffalo Sauce Everywhere to write about what my first post-quarantine weekend would be like (her original post and idea is brilliant and you should read it! Also, she is wonderful and so is her blog and you should subscribe to her!) this writing/wishing/dreaming experiment came at the perfect time, because I could use a little break to imagine what good things the future will hold, and all of the things I’ll be able to do again! Here’s what my perfect first weekend would be like, after quarantine.

*Please note that I probably wouldn’t do these all in one weekend because I am not Superwoman and scheduling with friends can be a nightmare (how are we all so busy now that we’re all adults??)- but if everything could just work out for once and I had a bottle of Felix Felicis to last me through the weekend, this is what it would be like! And also if I could control the weather and other things that a person physically cannot. I guess that’s what the Felix Felicis is for! But hopefully someday over the course of time, I can do all of these things!

Friday:

Morning: Guess what? It’s a freaking three day weekend! Which starts on Friday! Nice! An out of town friend is in town and we meet up for brunch. Now, I haven’t seen my friend in what is probably years now, and now that everything's back to normal, she can safely fly in for a visit and so we do a much needed catch up session over a delicious and yummy breakfast. I expect much laughing and gossiping and reminiscing about the past will be going on that morning, which is something I am sorely missing right now. Also, at the end I’ll give her the biggest hug because that’s what I missed the most during quarantine: giving my friends hugs. And I’m not usually a hugger!

Afternoon: Now, I’ve been reading all throughout quarantine, but I’m still going to read. Except instead of borrowing books from the library’s online resources, I’m actually going to go to the library! Physically go to the library! Meaning I get to step inside, wave hi and smile to the librarians (no face masks on us, baby!), see what new releases they have (including movies, because I’m all about saving that coin), and see what fresh, unread books are on hold just for me. I’d have just a lovely afternoon of looking at the books, people watching as they read, study, or use the computers (and with that one older gentleman who always naps in the armchair), and enjoy that soft, safe, comforting murmur and atmosphere that the library always holds. (I really miss my local library, you guys!)

Night: Friday night means it’s time to go out to dinner! Finally! I’ve missed going out to restaurants (like a kid, I still think places like Olive Garden are quite fancy and are a treat), so I’d love to take my family to an Italian restaurant in the outdoor mall close to us (which is such a stupid idea, because I live in the desert, who would build an outdoor mall in the desert? Sigh.). We binge on pasta and other yummy Italian food, and walk around the mall for a bit, just window shopping and seeing the stores all lit up and full of people, shopping like it’s Christmas. I, of course, will need to stop at Barnes & Noble to look at all of the books (and make mental notes of new releases I can check out from the library) and their Harry Potter section. And because this is my perfect weekend I just might buy myself a little HP souvenir to add to my collection! (It’s post-quarantine, treat yo self, right??) And after walking around, we stop for gelato (to go with the Italian theme) and because it’s the perfect weekend, my cookies and cream gelato does NOT trigger my IBS. Wuhoo!

Saturday:

Morning: Up somewhat early this morning, and I enjoy a leisurely breakfast while I check the news and social media on my phone. This morning will be spent walking around the park (in this scenario the weather is pleasant, not hot and gross like it is currently). Lots of other people are out walking, with kids playing on the playground (it’s not roped off anymore), people are walking dogs and running on the grass, and no one is worried about staying six feet apart. It’s utterly delightful and relaxing and refreshing, to be out in the open and not have a care in the world. Just the sun on my face, a nice cool breeze, and the perfect soundtrack of songs thumping through my earbuds as I walk. (Also, I’m not at all out of breath and am not sweating profusely)

Afternoon: I don’t know about you, but going to the movies for me is such an exciting time for me. I don’t go that often, but there’s nothing I love more than going to the theater during a hot afternoon to escape the heat, and cool off in the theater’s freezing cold A/C, and disappear into a film. I’ve missed going to the movies so much these past months (especially since I have a few theater gift cards burning a whole in my purse!), so that’s what Saturday’s afternoon activity will be! Hopefully there will be a new horror movie out that just has “EMILY” written all over it (supernatural with ghosts and/or demons, hopefully based on a true story, lots of scares, but an excellent story-line). People rarely go see scary movies with me, but during this perfect weekend, I’ve found a friend who’s game and we get popcorn, drinks, and snacks, and have the whole theater to ourselves so we can chat and scream during the movie and not bother a soul. Also, the movie is a modern horror masterpiece. This weekend is amazing!

Night: Now, tonight’s the night to party! During quarantine, my sister and I have been desperate to see friends and just have fun, so tonight we’ve invited all of our friends over for a get together. We’ll get pizza or make dinner (meaning my sister will make it, since I can just toast, well, toast. I’m really good at it), and have everyone bring over a different dessert or side. We’ll gab, laugh, watch funny clips off of YouTube, play games, and most likely there will be some drinking involved (for everyone else, not me, because I have the palate of a five year old and think booze tastes “yucky”). It’ll be fun to let loose, see good friends, and catch up on everything we missed while all of us were in our own little bubbles. The party will last late into the night, but not too late, since some of my friends are in relationships and have kids now, so responsibilities. But the night was a success and everyone goes home happy, full of good food, and tired from all of the fun times that were had. (But me doubly because I’m an introvert and human interaction drains me.) And also we all hug multiple times because we missed each other so much and can’t say goodbye so we do it all over and over again and I’ve missed human contact for so long- who am I??? Look what social distancing has done to me!

Sunday:

Morning: After last night’s ruckus, I think a morning of sleeping in is much needed! (I also need to recharge my introvert battery!) After a good night’s rest, I awaken to my cat Margot being sweet and cuddly (which she usually is not. At least not when I wake up!). Breakfast is something simple and sweet like pain au chocolat (have you had the frozen kind that you bake from Trader Joe’s? They are the next best thing to fresh chocolate croissants! Also, I miss going to Trader Joe’s!) or a fresh bagel from that one bagel shop near us that supposedly gets their water from New York. I don’t know if they’re telling the truth, but their bagels are so good that I’ll believe anything they tell me!

Afternoon: My afternoon will be totally lazy! I’ll read a new book I got from the library yesterday, maybe doze off for a little bit (Margot at my feet, of course. Which in reality she does not do. Damn her for being an independent kitten!), and then later video chat with my sister, niece, and brother-in-law. My niece will entertain my family with chatter about her favorite cartoon characters at the moment (thank god she’s not obsessed with Frozen anymore. I’m ready for Elsa to head to the guillotine, to be honest. Do they have guillotines in Arendelle? Because they should!) and show off her coloring and writing skills to us (my niece is incredibly smart and I’m not just saying that because I’m her aunt. Okay, I may be biased, but she’s also super cute as well as smart. Just sayin’.) Then later I’ll play with Margot because we finally moved the TV stand to reveal all of the cat toys the cats have knocked under it. It’s a miracle!

Night: After a very relaxing day, I think I deserve to have a very relaxing self-care night! I’ll treat myself to some fancy at home skin care treatments (scrubs, masks, those under eye patches that are supposed to help with dark under circles but never do but you do them anyway because they’re cooling and feel nice). Feeling refreshed and my face nice and squeaky clean and shiny (in a good way), I’ll settle down to watch something on Netflix (you know, once I finally put my glasses back on). Just pure, utter relaxation, knowing that tomorrow may be Monday, but it won’t be another Monday stuck inside. I can go out if I want, do things, see people, interact and smile at them, and not be afraid that they could be harboring something dark and deadly that could hurt the people I love. Because that’s over with, and we’re back to normal. Well, whatever “normal” is now. I go to bed, my sheets all clean and nice, my pillow fluffy, my blankets warm, and fall asleep to the sound of pattering rain with a dash or two of thunder and lightning (yes, in my perfect weekend it is raining and while I can’t make that happen, it could be a lucky coincidence of weather! It. Could. HAPPEN!).

And that was my perfect weekend! Or how I imagine it could be, post-quarantine. Is it anything grand? No. I could have said I’d be taking a first class ticket to London and spending my time there, but I thought I’d be a tad bit more realistic. I think the thing I love about the imagining of this perfect weekend is how normal everything I do in it is. It’s not out of the ordinary, but I still have that freedom to do whatever I want. To go out or stay home, I have that choice! I can’t wait to have that choice again soon. (As I’m sure everyone else does too!)

But for now, I’m staying inside, washing my hands, and thanking all of the essential workers who are keeping our lives running by putting themselves on the front lines. I hope that one day we can all have our perfect weekend after all of this chaos, because I believe that we all truly deserve it after what we’ve all been through (but healthcare workers should all be treated to a tropical vacation, all expenses paid, in my opinion!).

Also, I would like to tag the following amazing bloggers to take part in this wonderful creative writing experiment (but only if they want to!):


And if you'd like to do this wonderful tag of imagining the perfect weekend, post quarantine, feel free to do so, but remember to mention the very talented Renata Leo over at Buffalo Sauce Everywhere as the original creator of this great idea! 

Thanks for reading my perfect, yet mundane, weekend after quarantine! Thinking of all of these fun things to do was such a lift to my spirits and was sorely needed. What does your perfect weekend look like after all of this ends? What would you do, who would you see, where would you go? If I could have squeezed a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I definitely would have! (I mean, it’s a shorter flight to Florida than it is to England!) Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


Pin It!

April 2020 Wrap-Up!

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
I don’t know about you, but I think my April has been slightly better than March was last month! I’ve gotten more used to staying at home and not really seeing people and communicating via video chat, phone calls, and texts more. While I really do miss seeing my friends (I would give anything to give them a big ol’ hug and gossip with them!) and kind of want to escape from my family at times (even though I know that I can’t. Remember when you could just leave whenever you wanted to? Sigh!), quarantine hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been keeping busy (as I will explain below) with blogging stuff and with real life stuff. I mean, what else can I do while I stay at home? (Please stay at home, everyone, if you can!) So enjoy my newly reclusive life and what I did this month! It’s not very exciting but hey, it’s what I did!

If you haven’t caught up with what I was up to last month, check out my March wrap-up post here!

What I've Been Doing In April:

I binge-watched so many TV shows and movies! Thanks to staying at home to keep this nasty virus at bay, I’ve been doing my part by bogging down the internet and streaming sooo many TV shows and movies! I watched all three seasons of The Good Place on Netflix with my family (sooo good! But when are they adding season 4?? I neeeed to see it!), Little Fires Everywhere (which was amazing. Also, Kerry Washington is perfection), a few horror movies (including A Tale of Two Sisters, which was so well done that I can't believe I hadn't seen it before!), and some classics I had never seen before (Blade Runner, meh. The Shawshank Redemption, great.) If nothing else, all of this free time and access to lots of streaming services is not really giving me any excuse to not not watch all of these movies and TV shows I’ve had on my Netflix list for forever. Now is the time to watch!

I worked hard on my Pinterest pins! Last month I decided to really up my Pinterest game by making a new pin every single day. (I know that's easier for some bloggers, but I'm not that creative!) And my Pinterest impressions have actually grown! I went from maybe getting close to 10k impressions to now almost 100k! And I even skip some days and don’t make a pin, which I know is bad, but sometimes I need a break (am I the only one who thinks making a pin is hard? I mean, some pins are easier to make than others!). I’m not sure what the magic combination of making pins is yet (is it mostly the pin image itself? The subject matter? Is it the time you post? Is it the keywords and hashtags you use?), because I’ve worked really hard on some pins, and they get almost no action, and some of the ones I barely work on get so many impressions! (Also, I’m not using Tailwind, I’m just manually pinning at this point) I’m flummoxed, but it’s been a great way for me to experiment with pin designs, to really see what works, and to stretch my (non-existent) graphic design skills! (Thank god for Canva!)

I finally got my Google Analytics to work! Oh man, am I a bad blogger! You’d think after blogging for 5+ years (yes, I’ve been doing this for a while now!), I’d be better at it. Nope! I could not for the life of me figure out why my Google Analytics wasn’t working (though the basic stats were working on my blog…?) but I finally got it to somehow work! (I’m really not very tech-savvy. My focus is on the writing, not the coding! Coding is scary!) Yay! Now I can have a better understanding of my blog’s analytics! Sort of. Check in with me again next month, haha.

I’ve started on my minimalist journey and have been researching sustainable (and affordable) clothing lines! If you didn’t catch one of my latest blog posts, you can read it here or down below in the Blog Posts I Wrote This Month section at the end. But I’m super excited to start decluttering and documenting it here on my blog. Plus, I’ve been doing research on sustainable clothing brands for the future, and seeing what’s affordable (to me). It’s amazing how expensive sustainable clothes are, but it makes sense when you factor in safe places of work for workers, fair wages for them, and real, quality materials (not synthetic!) that goes into the clothing. It’s a whole new world and I’m loving learning all about it!

I tried to make Cauldron Cakes from Harry Potter for the blog- but they didn’t come out quite as planned! You know how sometimes you get a great idea for your blog and you’re like “yes! This will make a brilliant post!” and you get so excited and eager to do it? Because usually I struggle with what to write, what I feel passionate about talking about and if it will connect with readers, but I thought I had this idea in the bag. It wasn’t just a typical blog post, it was one of my old school DIY “let’s try to make this recipe” inspired by something that I love. In this case, Cauldron Cakes from Harry Potter! But it didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted them to. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted delicious, but my decorations skills were not Pinterest- or blog-worthy. I shudder at the thought of posting them on Pinterest and being all, “check out my recipe! I know what I’m doing!” HA. But I’m just taking this as my first attempt, and hopefully on my second attempt (let’s be honest, my third), I can post an even better (looking) version of them on here! (By the way, I made them out of a brownie mix, since I don’t like chocolate cake. Yes, I’m strange, and yes, they were really yummy. Suck it, chocolate cake!). But please don't laugh at my first attempt, because trust me, I tried! But I know what I'm going to do differently on my second (or third) attempt and will definitely explain what went wrong in my first attempt! (Because a lot did!)

They're definitely not how I wanted them to look, but they tasted quite yummy! But not good enough to serve on the trolley on the Hogwarts Express yet!
I read 11 books this month! Though sadly, none of them were quite winners. I feel very accomplished that I read so many books (because I obviously have the time!), but I didn’t really read any that really grabbed me and sucked me in. The best book I think I probably read this month was The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall, about her long (and certainly complicated) relationship with Ted Bundy. I first learned about her story from the Netflix movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile with Zac Efron and Lily Collins (which was excellent, by the way), and her account of what happened on her end was so heart-breaking. You don’t often hear about serial killers from a partner’s perspective, so it was incredibly interesting and disturbing and I really felt for Elizabeth and her daughter even more so than after I watched the movie. If you’re into true crime and want a different perspective of the pain it causes not just its victims (though I would call Elizabeth a victim of Ted), I’d give the book a read.

I found my first white hair! (On my head!) After a few years of just having a few random white eyebrow hairs (aging is weird, you guys), I finally found one. A white hair on my head, hidden amongst my own normal brown hair. I was appalled! I blame the stress of this awful and chaotic time! At least I’m still young at heart, even though my body is obviously trying to tell me otherwise! But on the plus side, my hair is growing ever longer still (I guess that’s one plus from not being able to get your hair cut) and my ponytail is almost at 5 inches! I’m looking into a hair donation program where you only need to donate 8 inches of hair, so I’m well on my way to donating my hair for a good cause! Plus, I’ve never had long hair before, really, so it’s kind of fun to be able to flip it around and put it up! (Just girly things!)

Margot the kitten update time! And now here is my favorite section of these wrap-up posts! Margot the kitten is doing very well, and she’s over 6 pounds now! 6 pounds, 10 ounces to be exact (probably more by now!). My big girl! She loves sleeping on chairs, and now that I’m not keeping her in my room at night (for fear that my sister’s cat will attack her. My sister’s cat is a bit of bully), Margot has now been sleeping on the couch, which I’m trying not to take personally (okay, I’m kind of taking it personally…). Since she’s a long haired cat, our little routine is that I brush her every night before I go to bed, which she loves, and now she’s been letting me brush her tummy, which is oh so adorable! It’s been getting a bit hot here though, and Margot is not loving the heat, and has been spending a lot of her time catnapping while it’s really warm during the day. And it seems like the only time I can get a good picture of her is when she’s sleeping and staying still! I’d just love to take a picture of her when she’s awake but she’s always moving!

The only times I can really get a good picture of her is when she's asleep. Sigh. But she's so cute when she awake and moving!

Blog Posts I Wrote This Month:

13 of the Most Rad Foods from the 90’s/2000’s!
Why I’m Trying to be a Minimalist
The Let’s Stay at Home 2020 Reading Challenge!
And this post that you’re reading now!

Of course, I didn’t manage writing five blog posts like I wanted to this month (and the month before this one, and the month before that!), but I’m blaming it on my Cauldron Cakes not being blog-worthy ready yet! That would have been my fourth post for this month, and then this blog post would have been my fifth. Oh well. Sometimes life just doesn’t work out that way! That seems to be the theme of 2020, anyway!

I hope you enjoyed my April wrap-up, and if you have any recommendations for things to watch or read, or if you know of a somewhat affordable sustainable clothing brands, please let me know in the comments! I have nothing but time on my hands and plenty of time to watch, read, and research! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you’re all staying safe and sane!

Stay Weird,
Emily


Pin It!

The Let's Stay At Home 2020 Reading Challenge!

Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash
Oh, 2020. You certainly have not turned out to be exactly what we were hoping for! For a lot of you, staying at home and being in self-quarantine/isolation is now the new norm, thanks to that novel V-word I don’t even want to say (it doesn’t deserve to have its name said! It’s already being said enough already!). And while you can fill your time with work (if you can, from home), cleaning, watching every movie and TV show known to man, and Zoom-ing with your family, friends, and now doctors (isn’t it weird when you now have appointments aka video chats with your doctor?? Like, what is life??), why not take this time to just stay at home (obviously) and read all of those books that you’ve been meaning to?

I know what you’re thinking: I’m already a reader! Why do I need a reading challenge? Well, what else do you have to do??? (I saw with the utmost respect and love!) The main goal of this reading challenge is to take advantage of the time you have now that we’re staying at home (and if you’re not, please stay at home as much as you can!), and take the time to read those books you’ve been meaning to, or ones you never thought you would! Let’s get a little adventurous while we’re bored, take a break from watching endless TV, and travel to new worlds, meet new characters, and (re)discover old books sitting on our shelves that we always meant to read, but never did. Because now is the time! Because we have the time! So let’s stay at home and read! (Also, an ideal date night for myself, FYI. With or without a date!)

I have graciously and creatively (if I do say so myself) created a fun list of categories to spark some ideas and inspiration for various books for you to read! You know you have a lot of books in your to be read list, and at least five of them will fit into these categories, I bet, so if you need the motivation to start reading those books you’ve always meant to read, then this list is for you! Not only will you be getting lots of reading done, but you’ll also be accomplishing that task that you’ve always been meaning to do: read those books you always said you would but never did! (Yet!)

Looking for more book-centric posts by me? Check out this list of posts I've written about all things bookish here!

The Let's Stay At Home 2020 Reading Challenge:

*A book you’ve had on your shelf for over a year (or two or three...) that you’ve been meaning to read but never did (the dustiest one! You know the one!).

*A book with a strong female heroine who kicks butt and saves the world (because who runs the world? Girls!).

*A classic children’s book you’ve always meant to read but never did (if it entertained children in the past, it could entertain your inner child still!).

*A best selling book that everyone else has read but you never did (just to see what all the fuss was about!).

*A young adult novel where a young couple fall in love but there’s something wrong with at least one of them that’s keeping them from being together (oh, teenagers!).

*A full series or trilogy of books (I know you can do it! And think how accomplished you’ll feel afterwards! But be sure it’s a finished trilogy or series or else the waiting for the next book will be excruciating!).

*A book from your teenage years that you were obsessed with (reread it and see if it’s still life-changing! Or just plain old cringey now. You were so different then!).

*A classic romance novel with old fashioned language to get enveloped in (why don’t people talk like that anymore?? Man, online dating and texting is lame! Mr. Darcy would never send Elizabeth Darcy an eggplant emoji!).

*A historical fiction novel that will transport you to another time and place (because it’s the closest we have to time travel. For now…).

*That one thriller that no one can shut up about currently (and that has been or will most likely be made into a movie. It’s inevitable.).

*A book that was made into a movie that you saw, but never read the book (it’s time to find out if the book is always better!).

*A tell all celebrity autobiography (it’s okay to read one every now and again! And you know you want that celeb dirt!).

*A book from your childhood to remind you of more simple, happy times (and by this I mean chapter books, no picture books! Let’s not get lazy!).

*A fantasy novel that will take you to another world with other beings and creatures that you could never have even dreamed of (but some authors definitely could and then wrote about them!).

*A nonfiction book that will make you sit back and think of the world in a completely different way (even better if it opens your mind to causes and histories of people and events that you had no idea about before!).

*A spooky book that has always creeped you out and prevented you from reading it- but now is the time to read it! (It can’t be any scarier than what’s happening in the world right now!)

*A book that you could never get into, but want to give it one last chance (you never know, you may love it this time! Or not…).

*A fun, light chick lit romance book that you always wanted to read, but were too embarrassed to have people see you read it (who cares! You’re inside! No one cares about how cute the cover looks!).

*A mystery that you don’t know the ending to (this is important) and will (hopefully) make your jaw drop when the killer is revealed (“It was HIM?? Nooooo!” Or it could turn out to be terribly predictable. The fun is that you don't know!)

*And a book you were supposed to read in school but never did (pick one that sounds interesting to you and remember, you don’t have to write a report about it afterwards!)

Bonus Non-Reading But Still Bookish Activities:

*Rearrange your books on your shelves! You can arrange by color (rainbow!), or go alphabetical, or however else you’d love to arrange your books! Go for pretty or functional, or both! Add some cute decor or lights (or both!) to make it look extra bookish!

*Go through old books and see if there are any you want to pass along or donate (a book you didn’t care for that much could be someone else’s next great read!)

*Set up some of your books for an Instagram photo session! Add in cute props and theme it by color, series, or subject! (Bonus points if you get your pet in the picture!)

And these are 20 suggestions of (very specific) categories of books to read! See if you can check them all off the list or even just a few of them! You never know, you could discover a genre of book that you loved that you never would have tried if you weren’t prompted! And see if you can unclutter (and dust) your shelves (physical or digital) by checking a few of these items off of the list, and better yet, see if you were missing out on some incredible reads that were just waiting around for you to read them!

Remember to, of course, use your local library (online resources at your local libraries are amazing! If you have a library card and a tablet or a phone, you can read ebooks for free!), audiobooks, ebooks, and your own books that you have piled up on your bedside table (or wherever you’ve put them throughout the house) to help you complete the challenge. I know you can do it! (You know, only if you want to. Like, if you want to pass the time by reading. If not, that’s cool. It’s just an idea. Just a suggestion. Whatevs.)

And also, you’re welcome for all the random book prompts! I had such a great time coming up with them (and yes, I looked at my own to be read list for inspiration!). I was going to add in book suggestions, but I figured my own reading choices may be a bit too niche, but if you need any suggestions, just feel free to ask! And let me know if you end up doing the challenge or using one of my prompts to read a book! I’m not going to create a hashtag or anything, but I’d love to know if my list helped get you to cross a few books off of your to be read list! (But also, if you think of a cute hashtag, let me know and maybe we can start a trend!)

Also, remember: not only are you getting some much needed reading done, you’re also doing the world a great service by staying at home! So for that, thank you so much!

Let me know what you think of my suggestions for reading prompts and if any of them make you think of a book you’ve been meaning to read! (I know I relate to at least 10 on this list!)

Happy reading, weirdos!

Stay Weird (and safe),
Emily


Pin It!

Why I'm Trying to Be A Minimalist

Photo by James Hollingworth on Unsplash
I never thought I’d be the one who’d want to try minimalism. When I first heard about Marie Kondo and her book, I thought it was all pretty silly. I didn’t need any less things! I loved all of my things! They all serve a purpose; you know, even if it’s all thrown in my dresser drawers and closet! (To be fair, I did recently read The Magic of Tidying Up in preparation for this, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Though I did glean some of her information that I liked from it!) But after a lot of soul searching and reading and watching a lot about tiny homes (I kind of went through a phase. Will get to that in a couple of paragraphs!), I kind of started to change my tune. I started to think: Do I really need all of these things that I have?

My whole life has been spent wanting things. I always thought things would make me happy. I would obsess over certain items, like a piece of clothing or a knick-knack, and could think of nothing else until I bought it. (I mean, sometimes waiting for something to come in the mail does give you a pretty good high from the anticipation!) And then...I’d lose interest in it when I finally got whatever it was. It was almost like the idea of the object or product really made me happy. But once I got it and reality set it… did it really make me that happy?

For some reason a while back, I started watching those reality shows about tiny homes. I just found them so cute and quaint! (Your own little tiny English cottage you can design in any way you liked! Sorry, that’s my Anglophile side coming out!) I loved the idea of tiny houses being environmentally friendly, as well. Plus, I liked that everything you needed was right in there. It amazed me that people could just have the basics, they all fit perfectly in their little house (no need for an attic, basement, or to rent a storage space!), and still live life in a totally fulfilled way. That made me start thinking about all of my things. Would they all have a purpose in a tiny house? Would I have room for all of them, even? And then the other questions started rolling in: do I really need all of these things? Are they a waste of money and space? And are these things really making me happy?

After reading Julie’s blog, Dark Blue Journal, where she blogs stupendously about minimalism and environmentalism, and also Marion’s wonderful and helpful blog, House of Kesar, where she also blogs about minimalism (she even wrote an ebook about it!), I got pretty inspired. Both blogs talk about how minimalism can help you, not just with your material goods, but with your life. And that makes so much sense to me. You can't do much with a cluttered mind (or at least I can’t!), but what if your space is cluttered or full of useless things? You can’t concentrate and find out what things really mean to you, if you’re so bogged down by all the things. And not just the physical things. The other important things, like who you are, what you want out of life, how you want your life to be. Those are the things I’m really hoping to get a grasp of through minimalism. I want to find a purpose and a way forward to the positive future in my life, and I’m hoping I can gain some insights to that through minimalism.

But I’m also hoping for a few other things I can learn through my minimalism journey:
  • I want to be less cluttered, in material goods and in my own life (and in my head!).
  • I want to be less materialistic and really think about my purchases before I buy them.
  • I also want to be thankful for what I do have and learn about what I can live without.
  • I’m hoping I can save some money by not being so obsessed with things (shiny, shiny things!), and put that money towards where I want to be in life.
  • And lastly, I also want to help the environment and lower my carbon footprint. Thanks to Julie’s blog, I’ve really been taking a better look at how our planet is progressing, and how I can do my part to help keep this beautiful earth healthy for as long as we can.
I love that both Julie and Marion stress in their writings that minimalism isn’t one size fits all. Minimalism is as individual as the person who uses it. Some people swear by having a capsule wardrobe with only X amount of clothing pieces in it. Others are for capsule wardrobes that are sectioned off into all four seasons. Some people are into minimalism for the streamlined efficiency of it, and others really want to help the environment by seriously cutting down on the extra material goods. Either way, people are getting good and positive results from cutting back on material things (and cutting back on unnecessary things in their own lives!), that I really want to see if it can help me, too.

After this experiment, I may turn out to be a minimalist. But I may not. Or I could land somewhere in the middle! (Man, I’m always a “medium” no matter what situation I’m in! Clothes, height, attractiveness. Ugh) Minimalism isn't for everyone, but I want to see if it’s for me, or if at least the principles can help me figure out what things really mean in my life. I’m really hoping I can be at least a tiny bit minimalistic and make some positive changes in my life! I want to have less to live more! (That’s a cute minimalistic saying, right? I feel like I saved that to a Pinterest board one time. Okay, you got me, I totally have a Minimalism Pinterest board now. For inspiration, okay??)

So stay tuned on this blog while I update you on what things I’m going through (wardrobe/clothes, trinkets, jewelry, books and media, digital, and more)- physically and emotionally. I honestly don’t know where this journey is going to take me, or what I’m going to get started on (clothes? Books? Trinkets? Ahhh I don’t know!), but I’m excited to go on this ride and see what happens!

Let me know in the comments about what YOU think of minimalism? Are you a fan or not? Let me know why or if you’ve tried it! I’m curious to see what people think and if you have any tips for me!
Stay Weird,
Emily


Pin It!

Throwback: 13 of the Most Rad Foods From the 90's/2000's!

Photo by Sarah Takforyan on Unsplash
I don’t know about you, but right now in life seems like a good time for a trip down memory lane!

Remember when Trix cereal was still shaped like fruit? Those were the days! Sometimes I miss being a 90’s kid. Not necessarily for the 90’s component of fashion or trends (we don’t need the Bedazzler to make a comeback), but for those carefree times of being a kid. When all you did was go to school, then play and eat and drink all the sugariest snacks known to mankind while watching Saturday morning cartoons! The 90’s were just really a special, glucose and corn syrup-centric time, and an artificially colored world, without all of these fancy-schmancy organic and all natural snacks for kids now. (Which is wonderful, but let’s not forget to treat the little ones to candy or sugary snacks every once in a while so they know what taste is!) And yes, while the 90’s have had a resurgence (French Toast Crunch is back and so are scrunchies and mom jeans, and apparently Dunkaroos??? Which I honestly don’t remember ever eating, but I must have, right?? Then what kind of 90's kid was I??), some of these foods I’m going to list have gone away and are probably never coming back! I am literally still in mourning over some of these snacks. Especially the last one. Bring it back to the U.S., Coca-Cola! I know you still sell it in other parts of the world! I know it…

So 90’s kids (and other young whippersnappers!), please enjoy this total nostalgia trip of 90’s kid’s food!

Also, disclaimer: I know some of these foods are still available in stores even now, but to me, they really encompass the taste of my childhood in the 90’s, so I apologize for them not being 90’s exclusive! But even if they still make them today, their essence is still oh so 90’s/2000’s.

If you haven’t read my latest throwback post about my favorite toys from the 90’s/2000’s, click here to read it! It’s a total blast from the past!

Fruit By the Foot and Fruit Roll Ups


Yes, you can still buy these, but they definitely don’t have the same feel and nostalgia as they used to when we were kids. Trust me. But the big question as a kid was: were you more a Fruit By the Foot kid, or a Fruit Roll Up kid? I personally loved Fruit Roll Ups. You got to unroll them, plus, a lot of them had multi-flavored and multi-colored parts (for that fun tie-dye effect!), and you could punch out different shapes! (My favorite were the ones that were pizza shaped, and you could punch out all the toppings/slices, to make a fruity pizza sticky snack that was possibly even more unhealthy than actually pizza) So much more fun than just unrolling a sticky Fruit by the Foot that probably wasn’t even an actual foot in length! Lame! (I’d still eat it if given the chance though!)

Fruit Gushers


Oh man, Fruit Gushers were so awesome! They were fruit snacks, but with some weird, liquid-y corn syrup flavoring in the middle. Did they gush when bit into them? No. Did they all stick together when you tried to take one out of the pack? Well, yes. And no, they didn’t turn your head into different fruits like in the commercial, but honestly, that was terrifying, so I’m glad they didn’t. But talk about currency in the cafeteria! If you had one of these in your lunchbox, your mom was super cool!

Lunchables


Oh, Lunchables. How I lusted after you! Back when I was younger, they only had the turkey and cheese with crackers kind, but that didn’t matter. The fact that you could put your own little lunch together and it came with a drink and dessert? It was the perfect meal! You were basically a gourmet chef when putting your lunch together! Then they branched out into Lunchables pizzas (which you ate cold, so eww) and Lunchables nachos (again, cheese that you can heat up? Yuck), but that siren call of a drink and a dessert while you masterfully prepare your own lunch was such a siren call to a kid and such a status symbol in the school cafeteria!

Handisnacks


Okay, I know this one is gross, but hear me out. I used to love these things! (Which is ironic because I hate most processed cheese products now). Whether it was the little cracker breadsticks with the cheese dip or the crackers and the red stick to spread the cheese-like concoction on the crackers that came in those little divided clear plastic containers, I found these oh so yummy! I literally used to ration the cheese spread so I could eat that last. I know, I know. I’m disgusted just at the memory, but that’s how good I thought they were! I saw that they still sell them at the store and I was tempted to try one for old time’s sake, but maybe it’s just better to leave some memories- and tastes- in the past.

Otterpops

If you didn’t have Otterpops in the summertime, did you even do summer right as a kid? I have no idea why their little mascots were otters, but I loved how they had cute punny names (“Little Orphan Orange” for the orange one though everyone went after the blue raspberry flavor, let’s be honest) and there was nothing better than cooling down on a hot day with one of these sugary frozen ice pops. Sure, the knockoffs were pretty good too, but nothing could beat the real Otterpops! (Not an ad, just a fan!)

Amazing Fruit Gummy Bears


We all know Haribo and Black Forest gummy bears (and other shapes they produce) are the kings of gummies, but do you remember Amazing Fruit Gummy Bears? Because I do! They came in a blue rectangular bag and had the cutest gummy bear mascots! Were they the best gummy bears out there? I honestly don’t remember, but they were so iconic for the times that I kind of wish they would come back so I could taste them and see if they were really as good as I thought they were! (Though no one is coming for Haribo!)

Hi-C Ecto Cooler Juice Boxes


For some reason, this flavor of juice box was so, so popular. And for a good reason. It obviously came out when Ghostbusters or Ghostbusters 2 came out (because it had Slimer on the box and also the Ecto thing in the name), but this flavor really stuck around for a long while after the movies were released. And I can see why: it was so delicious! It was a citrus-y orange flavor that was so addicting, that you just had to have it with your lunch at school. I remember sucking these boxes dry and being so sad when all of the juice was gone. I actually used to blow into the empty juice box and then squeeze it to pretend like I was putting on Ecto Cooler flavored perfume. Yes, I was a weird kid and am still a weird person.

Creme Savers

You guys. Creme Savers! Do any of you remember these??? They were hard candies that were either orange creme or strawberry creme flavored and they tasted so, so good! Literally the perfect mix of creamy and fruitiness! Plus, the swirl design on them was so much fun. They were like a younger, hipper butterscotch hard candy for the youth, and I loved them for it, so watching them be discontinued was like a knife in my young gut. Can we start a petition to bring them back, please??

EZ Squirt Colored Ketchup


There was this time back in the late 90’s/2000’s where some corporate exec thought they knew exactly what kids wanted and thought, “what if we took something normal colored...and changed it to a DIFFERENT color???” And guess what? They were right! Kids like me where super into it...until they actually got it and then had to eat it. I remember wanting the EZ Squirt Colored Ketchup so badly and then when I actually got it (purple, of course), I was so weirded out by it! It tasted exactly the same but the fact that it was purple (and I think it also came in blue and maybe green...?) was just so...icky! It just goes to show that kids think they know what they want and then when they actually get it… they change their minds real fast! (Also, does anyone else remember colored sunscreen? It would be blue or purple and then when you rubbed it onto your skin the color would vanish! We really loved different colored things in the 90’s/2000’s!)

3-D Doritos


What with personal computers and the internet and the new millennium being all the rage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, 3-D was also big! We had 3-D animated movies like Pixar and video games now had 3-D, not 2-D graphic designs. So why not take a flat, practically two dimensional boring chip and make it...3-D?? And that’s exactly what Doritos did! Pretty much a puff (aka the 3-D part) with three sides to represent a Dorito chip, these came in plastic canisters (sooo much cooler and more high tech than a bag!) for easy snackage (I mean, you’re always on AOL so you need a snack that’s handy and quick to eat while you ask A/S/L in chatrooms). Did these taste better than regular Doritos? No, but the shape made them novel and made us feel like we were in the future! And that was kind of all that mattered back in the day!

Orbitz


My questions for this drink are: Why? How? Who? What gave you the right? And why did we think this was so cool? Now we all know boba with its tapioca balls is a pretty popping (no pun intended) drink. But Orbitz was on a whole other level! It must have been because of the nearing year 2000, where we imagined either the world was going to end or technology was going to be so advanced that it was going to affect our food and drink. Enter, Orbitz! The weirdest, most random drink ever known to man. It was basically a fruit flavored drink, non-carbonated, with these odd, small floating colored balls inside. It pretty much looked like a drinkable lava lamp (which did have a resurgence in the 90’s/2000’s!). They were the hippest thing when they came out and I remember someone let me have a sip of theirs, and it was honestly the most confusing thing I’ve ever tasted. All I can think of is that we thought it was kind of space-y and futuristic, and this being the new millennium, we were all for it! Not surprisingly though, it was discontinued. I guess it’s just boba for us millennials now!

Berry Berry Kix


You guys, I really miss this cereal! Every time I go to the cereal aisle at the store and see the regular Kix cereal, I always remember Berry Berry Kix. Not only did it taste yummy and berry-ish, but the berry cereal was just colored Kix all stuck together to look like a group of berries! So adorable! Kix is an okay cereal, a bit boring and plain, but Berry Berry Kix really elevated that mild flavor with some sweet tartness that was just perfection. Am I starting multiple petitions now to bring some of these foods back?

Fruitopia


And I saved the best for last. If I were to wish anything on this list to come back it would be Fruitopia. In case you never had the pleasure or honor to delight in these delicious drinks (if so, I feel so, so sad for you), they were made by Coca-Cola and were fruit flavored beverages packed with Vitamin C (aka the easiest vitamin to put into any food or drink) and they were so so so so good! I seriously cannot tell you how yummy these drinks were! They came in so many different flavors, but my favorite one was green. Which after doing much research, I figured out that that flavor was called Kiwiberry Ruckus. These drinks were so popular back in the day, that they had vending machines of it everywhere! I remember visiting Disneyland and getting a Fruitopia drink! I remember visiting a farm somewhere in Amish country and stumbling upon a Fruitopia vending machine! I remember there’s even a shot in the movie Independence Day in the very beginning where you can actually see a Fruitopia vending machine! (Seriously, look out for it next time you watch that American 4th of July classic!) I was so sad when these drinks were discontinued back in 2003, but I heard a rumor that they still sell them somewhere in Asia, and one day, I want to find out if that’s true. Because these drinks need to come back and I know I was joking about petitions, but I will literally make one and have people sign it and send it off to Coca-Cola to make this happen! Who’s with me??

The best flavor EVER! Don't at me.
Those were just some of my favorite foods, snacks, and drinks from the 90’s and 2000’s! I know I probably missed a bunch of them, but these were the ones that stood out most in my mind and reminded me most of my childhood. Ah, I wish I could go back and eat and drink these foods without that knowledge of what all of the ingredients are doing to my insides. Those truly were the days!

Let me know what foods from your childhood were your favorites or if you recognized or liked any of the foods on my list! And what classic 90’s foods/snacks/drinks did I miss?? Also, should I do a part two list?? Because as I was looking for the images for all of these foods, I came across so many more foods from back in the day that I could have included! Oh, the memories!

Stay Weird,
Emily

Pin It!