https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8MvaAFXVtY
LARP, Travel, Video

I started a YouTube channel!

That’s right, I finally bit the bullet and uploaded my first video to YouTube. :D

It’s just an intro video to start, and some of the editing is awkward because I’m still getting used to talking to a camera and such, but I think it came out pretty well all things considered! Check out the video below:

AND DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE! <3

Lifestyle, LARP, Travel

Goals for 2016

I make mental resolutions every new year, but writing them down kind of solidifies them. This year I want to DO MORE of a lot of things, and I’m on track to do just that.

Pay off my debt: My Gap Year was amazing, but it did put me in some debt. I should be able to pay it off by the end of the 2016, probably even earlier, but I need to be smart about my spending—it’s really hard to pay off a credit card if you keep putting new things on it! (And that interest, ugh.) Especially since I have big plans this year that aren’t exactly cheap (see below) so I need to be frugal with everything else. At the moment I am considering two options: a personal loan, which theoretically should have a lower interest rate than my credit cards and would consolidate the bills, and/or a balance transfer card, which is, yes, another credit card but would have a 0% balance transfer rate and 0% interest for the first year or so. I’m looking into it. If you have suggestions, please let me know!

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Lifestyle, Czech Republic, Florida, Germany, LARP, Philippines, Poland, Travel, United States

2015: My Gap Year of Adventure

When last year was drawing to a close, I did not write a reflection post like I did in 2013 and I’m not entirely sure why. However, I did want to do one this year and can hopefully keep it consecutive with the years going forward. I think that taking time to look back on the year that’s gone by is an important part of looking forward to the new year ahead.

I’m going to start with some notes about 2014, since I did not reflect on it in writing last year and there are factors that affected my 2015 a great deal: 2014 was a year not unlike 2013, full of change—some forced and some of choice—and growth. I ended a relationship that had lasted almost a year, where my partner was emotionally unavailable and subtly mentally abusive. About six months after that, in August, I started a new, much more healthy relationship with my current partner, Rob. But in that same month I was also laid off from my job, after an incredibly rough year at the company. I was, thankfully, offered a few months severance. I also had stock, which I sold, and some savings, so I was okay financially. In September 2014 my great-aunt passed away and while it was a difficult time emotionally, she did leave me a small inheritance.

Thus, with my bank account fairly stable, I ended up being able to take what I refer to as my “Gap Year” from full-time employment. Between August 2014 and November 2015, I was technically unemployed, and this was mostly by choice. I did some freelance work, which coupled with all the aforementioned had enabled me to still live comfortably and afforded me the opportunity to travel without having to worry about taking vacation days. And seize this opportunity, I did! Continue Reading

Apartment, Fashion

Organizing

Remember about a year and a half ago when I said I wanted to do a huge closet purge? Well, it took me forever to get around it because other things came up that distracted me and I’m the worst procrastinator when it comes to cleaning/organizing. But I finally did it! Or, well, at least I got close to finishing it anyway.

I got rid of a total of SIX garbage bags full of clothing that I no longer wear. Most things were very old, no longer fit, or had missing buttons, holes, or stains. My closet feels surprisingly empty now. In fact, I was able to clean out my entire hall closet and let my boyfriend have it to himself. Previously he was hanging some of his clothes in my closet, which was not the most efficient and there was barely any room in there any way. To do so I had to move all my jackets and coats into the back of my main closet but with all the extra room, I still have space! It’s so nice.

I’ve tackled most of the dresser, too. There’s still some things I need to go through, like the pile of clothes on top of my dresser, my lingerie chest (which has my underwear, bras, tights, and socks), my makeup, and my jewelry collection. The latter is kind of spread out all over the apartment right now in random places, so I also need to figure out how I want to store it and purchase whatever things I need for that solution. I am thinking of some clear stacking jewelry drawers for on top of my dresser for the items I wear the most, and then something for inside my closet for the things I don’t wear as often. For makeup, I’ve already cleaned off my vanity the other day but I still need to actually go through my makeup collection and purge things. I’m hoping I have enough things that I could sell to Glambot or something.

Speaking of selling things, I ended up not doing any of those online consignment things… I just had TOO MUCH STUFF to get rid of, and sadly the very easiest way to get rid of everything at once was to load it up into my boyfriend’s car and take it to Goodwill. C’est la vie.

After I’ve cleaned out all of the above, though, I know I will feel so much lighter. I already feel so from just doing the six bags of clothes! I’m not aiming to live any sort of minimalist lifestyle, but I do like the idea of downsizing to things I actually wear and use. There’s no point in keeping things that I no longer gravitate toward as I have grown and my style has evolved, but especially so if they are old (some things I’ve had since high school, why was I keeping it‽), worn out, and no longer fit.

With my hope to move to Europe within the next two years or so, downsizing in this manner is part of the process of preparing for such an endeavor. I don’t want to bring excess things with me!

Hair

I Woke Up Like This: My Curly Hair Care Routine

I get a lot of questions and comments about my hair, mostly from strangers but enough are from friends (hi, Yana!), family, and acquaintances that I realized I should write a blog post about it that I can link them to so I don’t feel like a broken record when I say the same things over and over again. I will start by saying that my hair mostly grows out of my head the way that you see it. (Hence the title of this post, “I woke up like this.”) Key word there, though, is mostly. While I had embraced my natural curl pattern years ago, I was still plagued with frizz, flatness, and dryness when it came to my hair. I had a lot of issues with breakage and split ends. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I switched up my routine and the products I was using and saw a huge, dare I say drastic improvement in the health, growth, and overall condition of my hair. So while I may “wake up like this” on a daily basis, there’s actually a lot of thought and care that goes into my hair and is the reason I’m able to just roll out of bed and go most days.

What I DON’T Do

The main aspects of my haircare these days lies in the things I do not do to it:

  1. I do not use sulfate shampoos. I find them to be overly drying to my already dry hair. I also, therefore, do not use silicone conditioners, since silicones are not water-soluble (except for a special few) and require a harsh sulfate to rinse out.
  2. I very rarely use heat styling tools or hair dryers. Since my hair is naturally curly, I don’t have to curl it. I straighten my hair maybe once a year, if at all. And I hardly ever, if at all, use a hair dryer. When I do use a hair dryer, I do so on a low heat setting and I utilize a diffuser attachment. I also NEVER heat style without a heat protectant.
  3. I do not brush my hair. Seriously, never. I only own one hairbrush, and I use it for brushing out wigs for when I LARP. I do detangle it in the shower with a wide tooth comb when it’s soaked with conditioner, but otherwise nope! I also don’t tease my hair, never ever.
  4. I don’t dry my hair with towels. The fibers on towels catch on individual hairs and pull at them, disrupting the curl pattern and causing frizz. Instead I use old t-shirts to dry my hair with after a shower, and use a scrunching, NOT rubbing, motion to do so.
  5. I’ve never colored my hair with permanent hair dye. I colored my hair once with semi-permanent dye, but it was only the ends to make them purple and pink and it had faded out after a couple months. Even when I did that, I told my hair dresser not to use bleach at all and I was lucky that my hair is light enough to take the colors without the use of it.
  6. I’ve never chemically straightened my hair. I did do a section perm once, to try to get the top layer, or “canopy,” of my hair to curl like the rest of my hair, but it only worked temporarily and I never repeated the process.

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