Friday, September 27, 2013

Gossip: Fact or Hallway Fiction?

While I'm not so much into it anymore, when I was in middle school, I was absolutely obsessed with gossip. I stuffed my binders with teen magazines about all my favorite singers, actors, and actresses at the time. Although I probably should have been stuffing them with schoolwork instead or PopStar and Astro Girl magazines. I would read, and reread these magazines all the time, and more often then not, believe every word that I read. Even what color to paint my nails, and who I do and don't get along with based on my star-sign. Unfortunately, yes, I'm serious. I was obsessed with all the little puzzles and personality tests, and even more so.. what my favorite stars are up to. But not only was I obsessed with the celeb gossip, but I loved hearing about the crazy rumors about my classmates. I loved to hear things, and pass it along.. even adding on to the story at times. Gossip is really fun, and rumors do make for interesting, entertaining conversations. However.. sometimes it's better not to get to involved with gossip and rumors.

The main thing to watch with gossip is that it isn't always 100% true, and it may not even be true at all. While sometimes pieces and parts might be true, someone may twisted things around, or added their own bits and pieces, to spice up the story a bit. And when you weren't directly involved it can be hard to tell what is real and what isn't. Many rumors may not even be true at all, and could have just been someones assumptions based on something they saw, or even heard them say. Sometimes they even get made up completely out of the blue, possibly by someone that wants to ruin someones reputation or hurt someone. It's nearly impossible to tell what is true, and what is just fiction. As a general rule of thumb, it's best to be iffy about even the most believable gossip unless it's confirmed by all of people involved. 

While gossip can be a great source of entertainment, and is relatively harmless, it can also get way out of hand, and really hurt somebody. Some gossip may just be an irritation or an annoyance to the person  involve, they may even joke around with it. But sometimes a rumor could spring up, and grow to the point that it ruins someone's reputation, and causes anxiety and depression to the person involved, whether it's true or not. If a piece of gossip sounds like it might hurt someone, get them in trouble, or ruin their reputation, DO NOT PARTICIPATE, even if you don't like the person. Even if you despise someone, it's no reason to try to ruin their life. Besides, why waste your lunch time talking about someone you don't like? And if you don't know the person, aside from their name maybe, don't let gossip affect how you treat them. Because what you heard may not be true at all, and even if it is, it doesn't mean that the person is a bad person... they may even want to change that part of themselves. And remember, even if something is true, think of how you'd feel if people spread your secrets around the school.. same with people saying horrible untrue things about you. 

In all honesty, it's best to avoid getting to involved with rumors, especially when it comes to rumors about people you go to school or work with. You may even want to refrain a little bit from rumors that go around about celebrities or internet stars. Just don't believe everything you read about them is true, and avoid adding to it. But when it comes to people that you work with or go to school with, it's best not to take part in it. Of course it really is easy to be drawn in, nobody is perfect. But just because you hear something from your friends, it doesn't mean that you need to pass it on or even 100% believe it. And if you hear something bad about someone, do NOT talk about it and feed into it. You never know how much it could hurt them. I know that this can be hard, especially if you already don't like the person, but it's better to change the subject, or stay out of the conversation completely. 

No matter what age you are, there will always be gossip. From middle school, to high school, to college, and even into your work place. I've even heard TEACHERS gossiping before. There is no getting away from it, and it cam be really tempting to take part and even add in your own bits of information. However, you never know whats really true and what isn't, or how it could affect the person involved. I can tell you personally that having rumors spread about you hurts. Things that you trusted someone with getting spread throughout the school.. or someone making something up about you that isn't true. 

Remember, nobody is perfect. And even if you do gossip a lot, that doesn't make you a bad person.. but it is best to not get to involved with it. Or treat someone different because of it. Because you never truly know what is fact, and what is hallway fiction. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcoming Fall

Over the last couple of weeks, the temperature has dropped dramatically where I live. But then again where I live it can be nearly 90 degrees one day, then freezing the next. Welcome to Ohio! Anyways, today is the day that we officially say goodbye to summer, and hello to fall. Goodbye bathing suits, hello sweaters and scarves, and let's not forget the yummy apple cider and warm beverages! And who can forget the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves and all of those festive fall decorations?! Those fun fall holidays are just around the corner, Halloween, Thanksgiving! And let's not forget my birthday is in the fall! LOL!

Fall is most definitely a fun time of year, but I'm going to be honest.. while I love fall, I also hate it at the same time. Only because I know that it means that winter is coming, and I don't exactly look to pleasantly on the cold. It's easy for me to transition from winter to spring.. and I tend to do so WAY to early... when there is still snow in the forecast. But it's really hard for me to transition from warm weather to colder weather, and I tend to do that really late... like around Valentines Day. Not smart considering how I walked to school everyday.. LOL! But despite the cold weather approaching, I still really do love the fall. 

If you tend to look at fall and think, crap, winter is coming like I do at times, try to think about the things you like about fall. Whether is be fall fashion, or even just the colors of he leaves. I like to think of all of the fun fall festivities. The festivals, the holidays, and my the fact that I was born in the fall. I also like the special treats that become available in the fall like apple cider, and baked goods. Then comes the fun of Halloween, and then all of the good food on Thanksgiving! Then the nerd in me likes the fact that a new expansion pack for The Sims 3 typically comes in the fall. I also just love looking at all of the leaves and the trees. I even like the extra rain... well at night anyways. It's really relaxing to read a book or fall asleep too. 

There is good in every season.. even winter. And let's face it. We can't change the seasons or skip a season we don't like, so it's best to make the most of it. Enjoy your favorite things about the current season.. even if you'd prefer to do so indoors. Perhaps that excuse to stay indoors and read a book or watch a movie could be a positive! I always love my simming and reading time. Fall seems like such a relaxing and crazy season to me. Through all the craziness of the holidays and celebrations, and when I was in high school all of the school events.. there where those calm fall afternoons, and the relaxing fall nights to unwind to at the end of the day. 

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2001

Today is the 12th anniversary of the worst attack on American soil since pearl harbor. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3000 people died when hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania after the brave passengers fought back against the hijackers. What started off as a normal Tuesday morning turned to tragedy which changed the country forever. Thousands lost their loved ones; parents, grandparents, friends, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives... Their lives changed most of all. So many memories that could have been made were lost, because of the acts of pure evil that took place on that day.

While my memory of September 11th is vague because I was so young at the time, I will never forget that day. I remember that I was in second grade, and my 8th birthday was a little over a month away. I don't remember what exactly what we were working on at the time, but I remember our teacher pulling as all into a corner, telling us that we were on lockdown. She then went on to tell us that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. Being only 7 years old, I thought, whats the big deal? Planes crash all the time right? At the time, I didn't understand the concept of war or terrorists, or even understand that someone would do something like this out of evil. I remember being upset that day that we couldn't go out and play for recess, even though it was sunny out. I lost some playtime... but that was nothing compared to the thousands who lost there lives, and the families that lost their loved ones. I went home that day to see images of the burning Twin Towers on the news. My parents then explained to me that this wasn't an accident, it was something that terrorists did on purpose. 

I had no understanding of why anyone would do something like that. Why would someone attack the United States? How can someone hate this wonderful country so much? I had no idea that there was so much evil in the world. To this day I still don't understand why anyone could have so much hate in their heart as to do something like this. But I do know this, there is a lot of evil in the world. But then through the evil, there is also good in the world. September 11 was a tragedy, but it did not weaken our spirit. That day showed us how cruel the world could be, but it also showed the good in us. All of the good that the first responders did to save as many people as they could from the World Trade Center, and all of the people who came together to help one another to get through the tragic events of that day. Through all the tragedy, when everyone came together, it made us stronger.  

That year for my 8th birthday in October we had been planning for me to go on a plane ride. As I had always wanted to fly when I was younger. To look down at the world below me, looking at all the little buildings and the people that look like ants. But because of the events of 9/11 all flights were grounded, so I couldn't go on the plane ride. I was really bummed, but after knowing about the plane crashes, I understood why. I honestly didn't really want to go on a plane after learning about the crashes anyways. I would have much preferred to do something... less scary at the time. 

2 years ago for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 my school did two remembrance ceremonies for those who died that day. One for the students, and one for the community. For the student ceremony I remember that they asked each of us to make a drawing of our thoughts on that day to put on a post and put in the ground outside. We also given a list of a few of the people who died on 9/11, and were asked to incorporate there name somewhere on the drawing. The list also gave the ages of the people who died that day. On my list I saw that one of the victims was a 7-year-old boy. My first thought was, that that is way to young to die. He'll never get to make all of those great memories that come along with growing up. He won't get to go to middle school, high school, prom, graduation, college, get a job, get married, and have a family. As all those thoughts went through my head it hit me... we were the exact same age. 

On most days of the year I wake up having absolutely no clue as to what the date is. Only significant dates stand out in my head that it is in fact, that date. September 11th should never have been one of those days where I wake up, well aware of the significance of that day. I often wonder what it was like to wake up that day before the attacks happened and not see any significance to the day. I imagine it felt like it did that morning when I headed off to school, or the year before that when I probably didn't even know it was even September. Sometimes I see the twin towers in older TV shows and it gives me this eery feeling. Like this one episode of Full House where Stephanie built the New York skyline out of blocks, and the twin towers were there plain as day. A small scene that holds a lot more significance now then it did when that was probably first aired. At that time, it just seemed like an everyday thing. 

As I was writing this, several planes flew over my house, and it gives me this weird feeling.... It's an eery feeling, mixed with a sense that we have begun to move forward. We will never forget September 11th, but it won't hold us back. We will stand strong and keep pushing forward. 

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Proud To Be An American
United We Stand

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"You Will Be Presenting This to the Class..."

As a nerdy girl, I sort of liked it when I was able to choose a topic, or do something creative with something we did in class in a project. Of course at the same time my lazy side wasn't so pleased that it meant more work would have to go into this project then reading a fun book or playing The Sims 3. To make matters worse my procrastinator side would always often come out, and I'd dump all the work on myself the night before the project is due. But overall, I did enjoy some projects, unless I completely did not like the given topic. My favorite school projects were the ones where I was able to choose my own topic, and state my opinion on it. I just love to state my opinion, especially on things I feel strongly about. I even liked putting my own spin on a book we read in english, or even looking more into a certain scientific or historical topic. Why am I such a nerd? LOL. After getting over my laziness I was typically able to come up with something I was proud to turn in. But the thing was... no matter how proud I was of the work I did, or how much I wanted to state my opinion to everyone, I'd always get this churning feeling in my stomach whenever we were told that we had to present our project to the class. I got nervous just reading out loud from my seat!! I didn't even really like to even give a brief summary of what I did, let alone a full presentation or speech. 

There were times when I was actually quite exciting to state my opinion to the class. That was... until it was my day to present. I'd always avoid being the first person to present as much as possible, and I'd often try to go at the very last if I can. And I'd always hope that my presentation gets pushed into the next day. That feeling in my stomach would just not stop, my mind would be racing. I'd be so relieved when the bell rang and there was no time for my presentation, even though I knew it would be the next day. I could check over my powerpoint again to make sure I have everything right, and think more about what I want to say. But in all honestly... the biggest relief came once I actually went through with the presentation and got it done. To tell the truth, I don't think that giving my presentation at the VERY end was the best idea. Because that just allowed for the speech anxiety to build up more and more, rather then just getting it done and over with. But I really did not want to be the first person to go either,  and seeing other people do it before me did help to give me a little more confidence. If you can, I recommend  trying to give your speech or presentation somewhere in the middle. This way you can see a few other presentations before your own, but keep the anxiety from building up more and more as the days progress. 

My senior year I decided I really wanted to improve my public speaking skills, knowing that I'd more then likely need to give some kind of presentation later in life, so I took a speech class, and actually did really well in that class. Of course it helped having an awesome teacher for that class who let us have fun with our speeches. He even let us turn a few of them into a performance and add in some humor. Adding a little humor can really help out, as it makes you feel people are laughing with you, and not at you. It also helps to lighten up the mood a lot. However, before throwing in a few laughs you may want to make sure it's okay with your teacher first... and that humor would be appropriate for the topic. You'll also want to avoid overkilling your speech with humor if its meant to be persuasive. Some types of presentations may even call for a small bit of acting or performing. Small changes in tone of voice, facial expressions, and even body language can go a long way. You could even try using fun or funny voices, if its okay with the teacher, but do be careful with this, as some teachers really don't like this. When in doubt.. ask first. Also, if you are shy reading out loud, you could even try using voice changes when reading. Not only does it make it slightly more fun, but it can also get the class more engaged in what your reading. 

Another small thing you can do to improve your confidence for giving a speech is to dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Personally for me, I like to wear more dressy clothes when I give a speech. For me the dressy clothing just makes me feel slightly more prepared, and little more professional. I typically prefer dressier looking clothes as my everyday wear anyways, but it does help to give me a slight boost to my confidence. However, I know this is certainly not the case for everyone. If you are not comfortable wearing dress clothes for a speech, and it isn't specified that you have to, then by all means don't. Wear something that you feel comfortable in, whether that be jeans and a t-shirt, or even sweat pants! I personally prefer to look nice, just because looking nice gives me an instant mood boost. But for some comfort may be a bigger priority. :)

The most important thing when giving a presentation is to BE PREPARED! Look over your visual aids (power points, posters, ect.) and make sure you have all your information correct, and you have it how you want it to look. Create notes or notecards to help you along with your speech in advance and go over them as often as you can, and make sure they are all in order before you give your speech or presentation. It may also help to highlight the most important points in your notes. You'll also want to practice giving the presentation outside of class. You could practice by giving the presentation for friends and family, in the mirror, or even just in front of some teddy bears. As many speeches have a time requirement, you'll also want to practice timing yourself to see if you need to make it longer or shorter by adding or removing information. Don't try to memorize an entire presentation word for word, as trying to do it the exact same way each time will only make you more nervous. 

If you have a cold or your voice is all funny because you are sick the day of your speech, be sure to drink plenty of water before giving your speech (and all the time because water is good for you) to help clear your throat a bit. You may also want to let the class and the teacher know that your voice isn't at its best. That way they'll know why your voice might crack, or why you may need to speak softer. Teachers often look for volume when it comes to speeches, and if they know that you need to speak softer because you are sick they will likely be more understanding of that. 

Giving a speech doesn't have to be as scary as it may seem. Just be prepared, and relax while your giving your speech. Eating a good breakfast may also help the stomach rumbling. Try looking over peoples heads, rather then into their eyes if it helps, but avoid looking down or at the ceiling. Go up their and give it your very best. Even try to have a little fun if you can. Not giving your speech is not an option without a huge hit to your grade. So it's best to just give the presentation. Any grade you get will be better then a zero for not doing it. 

What do you like to do to boost your confidence before a speech/ presentation?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bad Girl Gone Good

When I was in high school, I absolutely loved receiving my report cards and interims. I couldn't wait until my mom got home so that I could show her my A's and B's... and the occasional C, which are all considered to be great in my house. I often made the second honor roll (all A's and B's), and I even made the first honor roll (all A's) once in my senior year. It felt great to get these grades, and make my parents, and myself proud. The money and other treats I received for getting good grades also felt pretty good as well, LOL! But just the overall feeling of accomplishment was a great treat all on its own. It felt amazing to graduate with a 3.8 GPA, and to be in the top 20 of my class. It also felt amazing to not have something to try to hide...

I wasn't always the good student that I was in high school. In fact, in middle school, I was the exact opposite of a good student. I was a teacher's pest, if that's what you want to call it. I was failing most of my classes. In fact, I was actually held back a year in 6th grade, and I was in question to be held back in my second year of 6th grade and in 7th grade. I just didn't care, and at the time, I thought that it made me all big and bad to have such terrible grades. Along with constantly getting detentions (and skipping them at times). I even got suspended in 7th grade. My bad grades, combined with my horrendous behavior, made me feel like some "bad girl". I thought that it made me cool, which was all I really wanted at the time, as I was being bullied in middle school. I was completely different person back then. I was a little brat that thought she was all big and bad, when I most certainly wasn't.

I got a rush off of showing off my detention notifications reports card full of Fs around the middle school. "LOL, look! I got a detention! HAHA I'm failing everything!" I would run around the school saying, thinking I was impressing people by acting like a dumb brat, when really it only gave them something else to laugh at. But while I got a rush out of it at school, it was a whole other story when I got home. I'd often hide my report cards and detention slips in my locker so my mom couldn't find them. I'd avoid letting her know about my grades or my behavior as much as I could. In fact, I'd even make up stories of things she'd want to hear about my life at school so she wouldn't know the truth. I knew she'd find out about my grades eventually, but I still hid it for as long as I could. But I knew that if she found out about how I acted at school, that she would be really upset. 

I'd eventually end up showing my mom my F filled report cards, or just telling her when I couldn't hide it anymore (when the unavoidable parent-teacher conference would pop up). I would receive some form of punishment, such as not being able to watch my favorite shows, earlier bedtime, ect. And my mom was actually kind of lenient on my punishments, as I was still allowed to attend some school activities, play with my DS, and even have my phone (sometimes taken away), and play outside. But I'd NEVER tell her about my behavior, or the fact that I was being bullied. But eventually I could not hide that anymore either. My parents eventually found out how I really acted, and how my situation at school really was through several parent-teacher conferences, and calls from the school. My mom actually cried when she found all of these things out... But I still continued this behavior and flunking every class though my whole time at the middle school. 

It wasn't until 8th grade, when high school started at my school, that I decided to cut this stupid girl act. I was tired of seeing my parents upset all the time, and having to hide my report cards. I was tired of being yelled at by my teachers, and always being in trouble. I was tired of having to wonder.. what privilege am I losing this report card? Being a bad girl was not going to make me popular in high school. And some of the things that I said and did in middle school would have gotten me my butt kicked in high school, especially as a little 8th grader. I decided then that I needed to get my grades up and start to at least do my school work. I needed to stop reacting to bullies by being a bully back and cursing at them or calling them a name back. I needed to do what the teachers told me to do, and not talk back or be a teacher's pest. I needed to change for the better. My bad grades and actions weren't going to get me anywhere but in more trouble. 

It wasn't easy to change my actions at first. For me it wasn't so much a matter of getting my grades up, as all I really had to do was start doing my homework and turning it in, and that alone brought my grades up to A's, B's, and C's. But changing how I acted in class and how I reacted to negative comments was really hard. I really had to bite my lip at times so that I wouldn't cuss at someone or say something to get me in trouble, or punched in the face. To make matters even worse, the fact that I stopped reacting caused people to intensify the bullying. Trying as hard as possible to get a reaction out of me. But I decided to stay strong and just try to ignore it the best I could. And after a while, the rude and  hurtful comments went down a lot. Sure there were still some dumb comments that lasted through graduation, but it was nothing like before, and as high school progressed, I even made a few friends that made it seem a lot less harsh.

The combination of being on my best behavior, and trying my best in school made my life both in school and at home a lot more pleasant. I no longer felt like my parents and teachers were out to get me or to bring me down. At school I got along much better with my teachers, and even enjoyed being in some of their classes. At home I enjoyed not having my parents all over my back, and the increase in privileges that I had. Getting a computer in my room, and having no parent enforced bedtime was certainly really nice. Not trying to be a bad girl made my life a whole lot easier, especially when I wasn't sitting in detention, in the principal's office, or coming home to see my displeased parents sitting on the couch with some kind of lecture. 

I am not afraid to admit that everything that I did back in middle school, all the excessive cussing, the failing school, the disrespectful things I did, I did for attention. I wanted people to react to this "bad girl." And it certainly drew attention, but not the kind of attention that I wanted. The way I acted gave people a reason to make fun of me. Nobody thought that it was cool, and certainly nobody felt sorry for me. I was taking a bad situation and making it worse. I pity that middle school girl now, and I sometimes have a hard time believing that girl was me.

Changing for the better doesn't mean that you have to be perfect, or a goodie two shoes all time time. I am certainly NOT a goodie two shoes all the time, and I even still break some of the rules and goof off a bit when no one is watching. Gotta have some fun right?! LOL! But I do know when a little rule breaking or goofy-ness crosses the line, and I know not to take it to far. I do the things that I'm supposed to, and thats certainly what matters most. Sure I stayed up past 1:00 am on a school night, and then took a nap in study hall or in my least favorite class sometimes. But I still got the work done. There's no reason that you have to be a perfect angel... because come on, nobody is perfect, even if they may seem like it. Just be careful not to cross the line. You don't need to be straight A student either, just put in the effort and try your best. And if anything.. think of how nice it would be to not have to worry about having your phone or computer taken away. Or getting into even worse trouble... 

I don't know where I would have ended up had I not decided to straighten myself out, but I certainly wouldn't have graduated with a 3.8 GPA, not would I have probably even graduated. I probably wouldn't even be blogging right now. If any of you out there are constantly failing and getting into trouble like I was, pick yourself up. You are much better then what you think. You can go far if you just straighten up, even just a little bit. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

You Are Talented

Whether you believe it or not, you are talented. Everyone is talented in some way, but whether they choose to actually use those skills, or even recognize them as a talent, is up to them. We all have a skill at something, whether it be an athletic, creative, performing, academic, social, or any other skill. Being good at a certain video game or even having great organizational skills can be considered a talent or skill. We may not all have the crazy amazing skills that people that go on shows such as America's Got Talent or other talent related shows on TV, but we all have something we are good at, and we should most certainly be proud of these skills and use them the best we can. Some talents can really benefit ourselves and others in some way. We may even be able to use these skills to land a job or make money. Some skills may be purely for leisure, but that certainly doesn't make them not important, or that they couldn't be productive!

Think about it; think of something that you typically do better in than your friends or family, or something that they don't do at all. Perhaps you do really well with art, and you are really good at drawing or painting. Maybe you do very well in a sport and the team knows that you could lead them to victory. Maybe you do better in a certain subject in school than most of your classmates, and maybe they come to you for help with that class, or with staying organized. You might be a great writer, and you are great with poetry or story telling. Perhaps you find that you get many compliments on you're hair, outfit, or make-up and your good with style. You might even be great with people, public speaking, or with giving advice. You might even be good at signing, acting, or playing a musical instrument. Maybe you have great strategy when playing video games, and your good at finding hidden things within the game. Whatever it may be, when you think of it, you most likely do better in something than most people around you.

I personally find that most my skills are creative type of skills such as writing, story telling, drawing, and even graphic art. I also find that I am pretty good with public speaking, and even a bit of acting. I also found that through playing The Sims 3 that I am good with interior design and creating nice looking homes and rooms. I'm also really good with style related things and putting looks together, and even making cheap products work sometimes. But for the longest time I didn't see these as being all that special, or even as talents or skills. I just saw them as things that I did naturally and liked to do. Just because they weren't a skill I could take on a show like America's Got Talent or even into the school talent show. Nor could I be the star of a high school sports team, I probably couldn't even make the team with my poor athletic skills. LOL! However, over time I found that while there will always be people that are better than me at sports, singing, or stand up comedy, that I have a skill that not everyone has. Sure there will always be people who are even better at what I do than me, but rather then comparing myself to them, it should give me something to strive for.

Whatever your skill is, or what your good at, I suggest trying to find a way to put your talents to good use. Whether it be in a way to benefit others, or to benefit yourself through making money or pure enjoyment. If you are good at art, use your art skills as much as you can and use it as a way to express yourself, and even decorate your room with your own artwork. You could even sell your work if you wish and make a little extra cash, or enter it in an art show, but that is completely optional. If you like art I may also suggest taking an art class. If your school has any classes or activities that relate to your skills or interests, I would suggest signing up for them so that you could use your skills in new ways, and meet people who have the same interests. This is a great way to make potential new friends, while working on your special skills. Or if you prefer, you can choose to these things just for yourself and take it up as a hobby and a pass time. As long as you are using your skills in a way that doesn't harm yourself or others, then go for it! If you enjoy doing something, you may even want to consider going to school for it and trying to make it into a career. 

The internet is a great place to put your talents and skills to use. If you like to write, you could start a blog and post anything you wish whether it be a beauty and lifestyle blog like mine, your take on news stories, or even your own fictional stories or poetry. Blogs are a great, free way, of publishing your work. You can also use blogs to show off your artwork or photography! YouTube is also a great way of sharing your talents, skills, and creativity with the world. Make tutorials on something you like to do whether it be beauty, DIY's, computer stuff, or anything you like. If you are a gamer you could make Let's Plays and show people new ways to play the game. If you're into science you could post videos of your experiments. If you like to sing you could post singing videos. If you like to create story lines or act, you could act on skits and put them on YouTube. You never know how far posting something online could take you. And even if you don't make it big time, your blogs or videos may just help someone out, inspire others, or really make someone's day. Plus it gives you a way to express yourself!

NEVER let ANYONE tell you that your talents are talents, or that your skills aren't important. If it makes you happy, and it's important to you, that's all that should matter. I personally have been told by some members of my family, that writing and blogging aren't important or that it's not an important skill. They feel that if I'm not making money off of it, it's not certified by a degree, or something like what you can find on the talent shows on TV, that it's not important or relevant. That is most certainly not true, but it can be a major let down when people don't support you. There will also always be people who will try to bring you down in any way by trying to tell you that you aren't good at what you do, or that anyone could do that. I find that a lot of times that hate comments come from jealousy. Or people who say that what you do is really easy or irrelevant typically don't do it themselves, so who are they to judge on it? If it's important to you, and you believe in yourself, than that's all that matters. If it makes you happy, go for it!

Believe in yourself. Never let anyone tell you are anything less then what you are, or that you aren't capable of the best. If you are dedicated to something, and you have passion, you will find joy in what you are doing. Just whatever you do.. never let a great skill that you have go to waste. 

What are you talented at? 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Angelic Designs: Seamless Backgrounds Tutorial

When it comes to my own personal webpages, I like to create my own backgrounds for them to add a personal touch. I like to make backgrounds that flow nicely on the page without any seams or lines in them, as they just look more professional and put together. However, I used to only know how to do this using vertical and horizontal stripes. Striped backgrounds are cute, but I found that this was all I was making, and I wanted to make something a little more elegant. I always wondered how people could have a design that just flowed from tile to tile and connected so well. So I decided to play around with GIMP to unlock the secret to making flowing, continuous webpage backgrounds. I mean there just had to be an easier way than just having a great eye and great precision, and doing it by hand. Through playing around with gimp a bit, I unlocked the secret to amazing backgrounds. A magic, make seamless filter!

In this video I'll show you two slightly different methods to making a flowing background. They are really both the same concept, but one is more for single objects, and one is more for flowing, connected pieces. You can use whichever you prefer. You can even combine the two ways if you wish. However, I personally like to make my backgrounds a little simple and not to busy so it won't distract from the webpage. 

Step- By- Step Instructions:

1. Open GIMP, and create a new file by clicking File>New, and choose the image size you want. I personally prefer to work with a 300x300 pixel square tile for this. You can choose what size you prefer to use. However larger sizes may look to large on the page, and may even create issues with uploading due to larger file sizes. After specifying your image size click OK and a new window will open with your blank image.

2. Create your design using the method you'd like.
Method 1: Centered Design- Decide what you want your largest brush size to be. Make sure that it is a bit smaller than the image you are working with and place it in the center of the image. You may also add other designs around it to make it your own, but make sure these designs don't come to close the the edges. You'll want to leave a good amount of blank space.

  • If the largest brush you use is to large, the designs will overlap or look faded after you add the make seamless filter.
Method 2: Flowing Design- I prefer to use some lighter, more delicate looking brushes such as glitters for this, but you can make what you wish. Brush size doesn't matter as much in this case, and you can use larger brushes, even if it goes over the edge of the image. Try to avoid making some areas to dark or bold to make the design flow better.
  • You can combine these two methods if you wish by first creating your lighter, flowing design, and then placing a bolder element in the center of the image. 

3. If you were working in multiple layers, make sure you flatten the image by right clicking on a layer and selecting flatten image. The filter won't work right if you don't do this, as the filter will only be applied to the selected layer not the whole image. One your image is flattened click on filters>map>make seamless. This will make the image flow better when tiled.
  • With method 1 you will most definitely notice that the filter leaves the center image, and takes parts of it and places it in the corners of the image. These areas will connect perfectly when tiled. With method two, you may notice some parts of the design fade a bit, i personally feel this looks great on some flowing designs if there is no real patten to it. You may also notice this with large designs on method one. The fading is how it blends images together without seam lines. 
4. Test how it looks before uploading it! Click on filters>map>tiled and make the image size a multiple of the original tile. For example with a 300x300 pixel tile, make the tiled image 600x600 pixels, then take a look at your tiled image. This will give you an idea of how it'll look on your webpage. 

5. If you are happy with your design and you're ready to use it, go to file>export. (Only click save if you intend to work on it later, as save will only allow you to save it as a GIMP file which can not be uploaded as a background.) Select the location on your computer in which you wish to save it, then name it as you wish. Check what file format you can upload as your background, and save it in that format. 

6. Upload it to your webpage! Don't forget to take a look at how it looks on your website. 

FTC Disclaimer: I am not affiliated or being endorsed by any of the companies mentioned in this post. I am not being paid to write this post. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Product Review: NYC Skin Matching Foundation

As I have mentioned a few times in the past, I am really tight with my money. I don't typically like to spend a whole lot on one product. Typically I can't see myself buying a product that costs more then $5.00, if it's for only one color or product. However, with a few past purchases I have found that spending more even just a little more money to get a good drugstore brand is worth it. I found this with my two current favorite Maybelline mascaras, where the quality was significantly better than off brand, cheaper, products. I have also found that trying to penny pinch on make-up and buying the cheapest thing you could find could be more of a waste of money than saving money, when those couple dollars could have went towards a higher quality product. Sadly, with my NYC Skin Matching Foundation, this was one of those cases. 

Before I start to tell you why I don't like this product, I have to let you know that I am not trying to bash  New York Colors in any way. They do have some decent products that are perfect for someone on a budget, or that can't afford more expensive make-up. This foundation just did not work well for me, but it may work for others. 

I bought this product primarily because I was running low on the liquid foundation that I had, and I needed to get a new one. Me not particularly wanting to spend a whole lot of money on foundation, I went for the one of the cheapest things that was available in the make-up section, and picked up NYC's Skin Matching Foundation for about $3.00. Not that bad of a price really, but I found that when I went to use it, it did not work at all for me. As I tried applying this product with my fingers it felt really gritty, as if I was rubbing mud on my face kind of. It felt like as I was trying to blend it into my skin, it was coming off in little beads. It did not blend well at all, and the product itself just felt really cheap. I also had a few issues with the packaging itself and getting the product out of the tube, but that maybe have just been me. Sometimes I would squeeze it a little and nothing would come out, than I would squeeze just a little more and product would get everywhere and make a mess. 

Another thing I found with this product that goes along with the gritty feeling and beading off, is that when I would go to apply other products once I got somewhat blended, sometimes it would get gritty and feel like its coming off when I went over it with powder or blush, just from the brush I was using. I did try applying this foundation with a brush a few times, but that didn't work much better for me. I also felt I had to be really careful with blush, as it seemed to make the blush a little to dark. I was able to get some satisfactory looks out of this product sometimes, but never what I was really going for. It also appeared to go on much darker on some days than others and just not look right. I can't say it's the worst product I ever tried. It didn't burn and cause instant (literal instant) breakouts. And yes, I did have that experience with a product once, not fun. :S

All in all, I just didn't like this product much. But I only paid $3.00 for it so I can't complain to much. Perhaps next time I'll look for something a little more expensive and it may work much better. I would not recommend this foundation, but that doesn't mean you can't get it if you want to try it. This is only my experience with this product. If you have used this product, love it or hate it, let me know what you think of it. If you enjoy it, is there a better way to apply it? NYC is still a good brand, and I enjoy some of their products, especially their low priced nail polish, it's just this product I ran into issues with. 

*FTC Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money, I did not get this product for free. I am not being paid for this review. All opinions are 100% honest,and are my own. This is not meant as a bashing review, I am simply sharing my opinion on this product. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back To School: Do Your Summer Homework

I know this is probably the last thing that many of you want to think about at this point, anything related to school. Not to mention, the not so fun part of school... anything that involves work, especially the dreaded summer homework. Who in their right mind decides to assign homework over summer vacation?! Do they not know that we actually do have lives, and we want to go places and enjoy our summer? I graduated high school and I still hate the idea of doing homework over the summer. However, if you are assigned work over the summer, sadly it has to get done. And if you choose not to do it, you could suffer a huge blow to your grade, and get in some sort of trouble. Not a good way to start off the year, or a good impression to give your teacher so early. So really the best thing you can do is do it, and do it before the summer ends. 

The only time I ever really had homework over the summer was the summer before grade 10, and all I had to do was read one book. It was suggested that we took notes, but we didn't have to. We didn't have to write anything. It wasn't even that long of a book, yet I was complaining. Just because the book was not one I'd typically read, and I was being forced to do it. Some teachers will assign a lot more than reading a 209 page book, with the suggestion of taking notes. Sometimes you'll have to keep journals of what's going on, answer questions, do other projects, or anything they choose. Some teachers may also do online assignments to see if you really are working throughout the summer, theres really no waiting until the last minute on that one. But no matter how big or small the assignment is, it sucks that it's taking from your summer, and that you have to do school work when your not even in school. It's really the last thing that you want to think about. 

Me being a huge procrastinator, I decided to wait until the last few weeks before school started to start reading the book. So between back to school shopping, getting my supplies together, and picking my outfit for the first day of school, I was reading that book. Luckily for me the book was short enough that I was able to do a few other things in between, but the fact that school was coming close caused a lot of stress for me. Had the book been longer or I had to actually write anything down or answer questions, I wouldn't have had any free time or been able to get done at all. And the worst part of putting off a summer assignment is the fact that, it just hangs over your head and nags at you the whole summer until you get it done. The later you get into the summer without starting your assignment, the naggier it gets, and it can cut into you having a good time. Who really wants to deal with their own brain nagging at them about homework when they are trying to enjoy a day at the pool?

Waiting until the last minute to do anything is never really the best idea. It creates a lot of stress, and then makes you feel as if you need to rush. When you rush, you don't always do your best on your assignments. I know that some teachers may not be the pickiest about summer assignments, and they may just want to see that you put effort into it. However some may be a little more picky, and you will likely have some kind of test or quiz over it. Even if the test or quiz isn't going to be a huge grade, it would still suck to start off the year with a lesser test score. 

If you haven't already, you may want to start on your summer assignments now. That way you will still have plenty of time before school starts again in August or September depending on your school. Then you don't have to try to do it all at once. You can read a chapter or two from your summer reading book and do any written part that goes along with that each night, until you get done. Starting now will also allow you the opportunity to take a day or two off from it to do other fun things. Of course you can also choose to do a lot more each night and get it done even sooner, then not have to worry about it the last few weeks of summer while you go back to school shopping and do other end of summer activities. Just don't choose to wait until the very end of summer. It really kills the fun part of back to school, and anything fun you may want to do at that time if you wait. 

Having the time to only do a little at a time is probably the best part of starting early. It allows you time to get out and enjoy the summer, while still getting a little work done. If you start to feel stressed, you can also walk away from it for a bit and not have to worry about time as much. I also suggest doing these assignments during a time when your feeling bored and can't seem to find anything else to do, which happens to me a lot in the summer, LOL. Stuck inside on a rainy day? Friends away on vacation? Nothing else to do and nothing on TV? Work on your assignments. It's not the most exciting solution to boredom, but it does help to ease the nagging feeling. I noticed that the nagging feeling  that I should be reading my summer book came up a lot when I was sitting there doing nothing, or trying to look for videos on the weird part of YouTube for some sort of amusement. "Why are you just sitting here doing nothing?! Read your book!" 

If you have other friends in the same class with the same assignment, you could possibly work together on it. Then you can spend some time with friends while your at it, and it can help to make it seem a little more fun. It also gives you a way to share what you think with others and get other opinions or ideas that you didn't think of as you go to do any written assignments. Working with friends and having some laughs can really help to relieve some of the drag on the assignment. And afterwards, you can all go out and do something fun together!

If you like reading your own books during the summer, I would suggest making the next book you read be your summer reading book. Sure it's probably not going to be a book of your interest, but it would be best to get it out of the way before you go on to your next pleasure read. You can also read it along with your pleasure reads. Read a little bit of the not-so-fun school book, and do what you need to do. Then reward yourself by relaxing with a book you love. If you aren't a reader, you can (and should) give yourself a small reward in other ways. Perhaps with a cookie or other treat after you get your work for the day done. You may also want to wait until you finish it completely and reward yourself with something slightly bigger. Perhaps you can buy yourself that new bathing suite or dress you wanted, or maybe that new beauty product you think may be nice. Or maybe you could treat yourself to your favorite restaurant after you finish. The satisfaction of getting the assignment off your shoulders and not having to worry about it also makes for a great reward. 

Getting assigned homework to do over the summer is never exactly fun, and summer homework is not something we exactly get excited to get started on. But unfortunately it has to get done if we want to get the best grade we can and give the teacher a good first impression of us. It's best to start on it early so we can have plenty of time to work on it, and still have plenty of free time. It also helps to get it done early and get rid of that nagging feeling that you should be working on your homework so that it doesn't spoil your whole summer. It's better to enjoy the last couple weeks before school homework free. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Girls Only: Talking To Mom... And Dad

Disclaimer: This post is intended for GIRLS. I am not a professional, and most of my advice comes from personal experience as well as knowledge I have gained from other sources. 

There are some things that are not easy to tell your parents. From the tiny things such as feeding your veggies to the dog as a kid, or getting in trouble in class and having to turn a card, or whatever that teacher chooses as discipline in elementary school, to the more serious things such as problems in school or other issues that you may be having (this is something I'll discuss in another post). We can often predict our parents reactions to certain things, and it keeps us from wanting to say anything. We often think that either they will be mad or disappointed, or even worse? They will smother us with that "oh my baby!" stuff, so embarrassing! However, there comes a point in every girls life, or should i say every teens life, when we will need to talk to our parents about, well, growing up. There's really no avoiding it, unless you really want to buy all of your feminine products on your own as you grow up. And really, they're going to figure it out anyways at some point, because puberty is a well known fact of life. They know about when to expect it, and what to expect. There's really no point in trying to hide it. 

When I first started going through puberty, I was really afraid to talk to my mom about any of it at first. I knew how she was going to react. "My baby girl is growing up!" and a tight hug. Something I found really uncomfortable when I was eleven/ twelve years old. The thought gave me chills, and I did not, and still don't, like to feel smothered. A few things my mom sort of figured out on her own just by looking at me such as the need for bras, and needing to start shaving, and that was an easy conversation to get into. However when it came to, my monthly friend, that is another story entirely. I didn't end up telling my mom that I got it until my second period. I just threw out messed up panties (ew, but it happens), and hid my used pads, which were pre-bought for when I did start, at the bottom of the trash can and covered them with tissues. However, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to keep hiding it forever, especially once I ran out of pads and needed a new pack. So I decided to tell her when I got my second period. And let me tell you, telling her was a relief. 

She did get into that "my baby" thing, but it wasn't nearly as bad as imagined. She didn't go on for hours and hours with it, but did allow me to talk about it without being smothered. Telling her also allowed for me to give a good reason as to why I'm moody from PMS or why I don't feel like doing much because of cramps later on. It also made for some interesting conversation with my mom about growing up. Plus it felt much better not having to try to hide it, and knowing that I could easily tell her when I needed a new pack of feminine products. She never brought it up around other family or friends, or in public. Shopping for bras, pads, tampons, and other products was no bigger deal then shopping for groceries for me with my mom.

While I did tell my mom by the time I had my second period, I didn't tell my dad until I was thirteen or fourteen, and I only did because I absolutely had to. I found it easier to talk to my mom, and other females about it, simply because they were women as well and knew what it was all about. But I really did not want to talk to my dad about it, and I wanted to avoid telling him as much as I possibly could. But then one weekend when it was his weekend to have me over, my monthly friend paid a visit, and I no pads or tampons with me, and he of course, being a guy, didn't have any in the apartment. So I had no other choice but to tell him, and being thirteen/ fourteen and highly self conscious, it seemed like a huge deal to me. I thought for sure he would do or say something embarrassing about it. I didn't want to be seen buying pads with my dad, and letting the whole world know that, yes I am a girl and I hit puberty. I thought everyone was going to be looking at me at the store with my dad, and that he would make some kind of scene. But I knew that if I didn't tell him, it would end up in a yucky mess. (ew again!) 

Again, looking back on it, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. He didn't even get into the "my little girl" thing. He was actually really understanding of it, and he knew that this was going to happen at some point. He did slightly tease me for it, probably because I was making it to be a bigger deal then it really was, but it was nothing major. He just joked about dancing down the aisles with the pack of pads because I was afraid to be seen buying them, but he didn't do it, LOL. All in all though, it wasn't a huge deal. Most people wouldn't have even seen me pick them up, and if they did, they really wouldn't think anything of it. Think about it; do you typically notice someone going to buy hygiene products, or anything else for the matter? And if you do, how much thought do you really put into it? Probably none. How likely are you to see a stranger from the store again? Not very likely. 

Now back to telling your parents... More then likely, if you are able to, you most likely will want to talk to you mother first, since she's been through it as well and can help you with it best. But if your mom isn't around for any reason, or if you are in an emergency situation, you may need to tell your dad first (or at another time in my case). Either way he'll know at some point, once you reach a certain age he'll know by default, even if he doesn't say anything. But knowing that you can't hide it, and really shouldn't try to hide it, you have to find a way to tell them that makes you feel comfortable. You may feel comfortable using one way on one parent, and another on the other. You may want to tell them each in the same way, or even sit them down and tell them at the same time. It's really up to you and what makes you feel comfortable. You don't have to say it at your family reunion or at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for your whole family to know, nor will your parents likely bring it up in any social situation. It'll be between you and them, and I'm sure that if you ask, they'll reassure you of that.

Here are just a few ways to start the conversation with your parents (please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments)

Be upfront:
"Mom (Dad), I think I _________" (Fill in the blank with: started my period, need a bra, ect.)
"Mom (Dad) I need some ______" (Bras, pads, ect.) 
"Mom (Dad) guess what?! ...."

Casually bring it up: 
"So today I have been thinking that it may be time for us to go shopping for ______ (bras, pads, ect.)
"Mom (Dad) I have tell you something..."
"So as you know, I am getting into/ closer to my teen years, and I'm growing up and...."

Work it into conversation:
How was your day? "It was pretty good, I (small summary of the day), and I also ______ (started my period/ got thinking that I may need some bras.)
Start a conversation with your mom about her life growing up and then work it into the conversation

Leave a note or send a text: if you don't feel comfortable saying it, you can write it down for them to read.

After telling your mom or dad. They will generally allow you to ask questions. Your mom may even share her period stories with you and give you advice. The subject will stay between you and your parents, and honestly you won't even need to talk about it often, unless you have questions or concerns. And don't be afraid to ask! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

R.I.P Talia Castellano

I just got the sad, sad word, that Talia Castellano, passed away this morning, at 11:22 a.m. Talia was, and always will be, truly an inspiration to many through her courage, strength, and positive attitude. Even with everything that she was going through with her cancer, Talia always wore a smile. She didn't let her cancer bring her down. She enjoyed spending time with her friends, and living life to the fullest. I am very much saddened to see such a strong, beautiful, sweet, inspirational, amazing, young girl go, but at the same time I know that she is now out of pain and in a better place. I know that, from reading the updates on her official Facebook that the last few weeks especially have not at all been easy for her, and that she had been in constant pain. She had been battling cancer since early 2007, going into remission in 2008, to have it come back stronger in 2010. Talia fought a long battle, and her strength has inspired many. 

I often complain about my life, and I find it hard to get over the stupid little things that happen. But I have to kick myself when I think of Talia. She enjoyed every day or her life to the fullest, and always wore a smile, even with her cancer, and knowing the reality of her situation. She wasn't sad about the fact that she knew death could be a reality, instead she enjoyed the rest of her days and kept fighting, and kept smiling. She could truly brighten anyone's day with her smile, and her positive attitude on life, and her situation. She took it all in stride, even her adorable bald head. "Make-up IS my wig." As she would say, as she proudly walked around with her bald head. Talia was so pretty, that didn't need a wig. And honestly, she didn't need make-up either, but it made her so happy and she was a terrific make-up artist!

If you haven't already, you should check out Taliajoy18's YouTube channel. Not only is she just simply adorable and can really light up ones day, but she is also a great make-up artist. I wish that I was that amazing at make-up, and she was only 13. Actually she was even younger when she started with make-up! Her YouTube channel brought her so much joy, and also brought joy to many others all over the world. It allowed Talia to share what she loved and her journey with the world. And so much good came back to her. The support from her loving fans, and all of the amazing opportunities that she truly deserved. 

In my opinion, although Talia lost her fight with cancer, she did not lose the war. She fought and fought, and inspired, until the very end. She showed the world that, no matter what your situation, there is always a reason to be happy. She inspired people who may be battling cancer, or even other types of hardship, that you can always find some light in the darkness. She kept her sprits high, which helped to keep her family and friends' spirits high. Talia's passing should not be seen as a defeat, as she still inspired and made a positive impact on so many people. Try to think of Talia's passing as more of a way of setting her free. Free from all of the pain she's been in, and all of the hardships she has faced so strongly. She is free from suffering now. I like to think that Talia is living out her dreams of being a make-up artist in the clouds. 

No matter what your beliefs, please send Talia, her family, and her friends your kind thoughts and prayers as they go through through this hard time. Let us all believe that Talia is happy wherever she is, and wish her and her family the best and give them the support they need in this time. We will always remember Talia, and the joy that she brought to everyone that knew her or watched her videos. 

Rest In Peace, Talia Castellano. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Make-Up Nightmare

In middle school when I first started getting into make-up, my mom gave me a few basic make-up tips. Although she isn't big into make-up, nor did she ever really wear it or even particularly liked me getting into make-up, she did let me start wearing it. She told me that it was best that I stay as natural as possible with all of my products and not go to dramatic, wash it off at the end of the day to avoid break-outs, and most importantly make sure my foundations and blushes aren't to heavy for my fair skin tone. I didn't listen to most of this. I did wash off my make-up, but I always (and still do) go for really colorful and dramatic eyeshadows and looks, but I enjoy doing this and it's in my tastes. This has never seemed to be a big deal to me, as I like to be creative with my make-up. But I really wish I has listened to her on matching my foundation to my skin, OMG, I wish I had listened!

Of course in middle school when I was just beginning in make-up, I was no where near perfect (still no where near it) or even good at putting on make-up. I didn't even know what eyeshadow primer was, so the color I put on my eyelids would either fade or crease later on. Note that I didn't even know how to create a look really, but just slap on a color or two with the sponge applicator that comes with it. I wouldn't wear eyeliner for the longest time for the fear of poking myself in the eye, and when I first started wearing it, I never knew how to apply it. This probably all had to do with the fact that I just had no experience what-so-ever with make-up, and didn't have much guidance. I was new to make-up, and this is probably typical of a young teen getting into make-up. None of these tiny little beauty fails can even come close to one of the biggest make-up fail that anyone could ever have made. A "what the HELL was I thinking, just OMG, NO" kind of fail. A one-time fail that haunted me for the rest of the school year.

I have fair, light skin, and I always hated it. Trying to get a tan in the sun seemed to do nothing for me, especially with my twelve/ thirteen year old self wanting quick, dramatic results. I would more likely get a sunburn then a suntan. Just another thing that wore on my already low self-esteem in middle school. My skin tone was one of the many things I wanted to change about myself. I thought that darker skin among other things would have made people accept me, and make me not an outcast. This lead me to making a make-up fail that would lead to even more bullying, and names, that would last through the end of my 6th grade year. However, it's best to look back on this with humor, rather then with remorse of my middle school years. 

One day my mom gave me a foundation pallet with 3 different tones; a light one better for my skin tone, a mid tone that may have made a good bronzer, and a dark, dark color for people with much darker skin. My mom told me that the dark wouldn't work for me, but I decided one night to go into the bathroom and play around with the pallet and a few other products. One of the first things I did was swatch the dark color on my skin to see how it looked, it had pretty good coverage, and at the time I thought the color looked just amazing, so I applied it all over my face. "OMG, I found something that can make me look tan," I thought. Looking in the mirror, I thought it looked great. I finally had darker skin. Thinking it looked great, and absolutely amazing, I decided to wear this look to school the next day. I thought everyone would think it was pretty, or even not recognize me and think I was some pretty new student. LOL, WHAT?! I was not a very smart child, haha. But when I got to school, I realized that this was the biggest beauty fail I have ever made in my life.

Not only did I put on a foundation that was way to dark for my skin, but I didn't even bother to blend it down my neck, or place it anywhere else, so it looked like a mask. The other kids were quick to point it out and laugh at it. I also then found out that the color looked orange on my skin rather than tan. The name "Oompa Loompa" quickly piled on to my long list of nicknames, and had Jersey Shore had been out at the time, I probably would have been called Snooki. I ran home that day and washed all the make-up off my face, and never made that mistake again. But the taunts and names lasted until the end of my 6th grade year, and into 7th grade. More then likely, even if I wasn't already a bullying target in my school, I would have still have gotten some mean comments, just probably not as many. It may even be easier for me to laugh at this rather than remembering it as a make-up nightmare.  

Bad middle school memories aside, I did learn an important beauty lesson. Pick the right colors for your skin tone, and match your foundation to your skin tone, not the one you want. It'll look much nicer if it matches up to your skin tone. Slightly darker colors are for bronzer and low-lighting, not for all over foundation. And, it's super important to blend your foundation down your neck, and not end it at the bottom of your chin. We all have to learn somehow, don't we? 

Almost all of us make beauty bloopers at some point in our life, especially when we're young. We just need to learn to look back on them and laugh, and learn from our mistakes. Usually they won't end up in bullying, this was just because of my already bad situation. They may get a few comments if they are major but not always. Sometimes people may not even notice, or remember what happened back in middle school, as they probably did the same things. Even my big fail seemed to have been forgotten by the time we all moved to the high school in 8th grade as I started getting better and better with make-up. 

What are some of your beauty fails? 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Angelic Designs: Basic Banner Tutorial

I have always wanted to create my own banner to use on my blog, and on other social networking sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and others. However... in the past, I always had a hard time getting it to fit correctly into the template. It would either be to small and I couldn't align it, or it would be to large and parts would get chopped off, or shrinking it would make my details hard to see. I could never get it to be the perfect size to where it fit just how I like it, that is.. until it hit me; why not look up the correct pixel size for what I'm making it for? That way it fits perfectly into the template, and there would be as much distortion or alignment issues, as it will align how it should be. This, I found to be the key to making a great looking banner that won't get chopped up or distorted, as well as anything else I may be designing. 

This video won't show the fancy fun stuff I did for my banner, but it'll give you a basic idea. I'll get into more fun stuff soon! The banner design you make is all up to you, as it should represent you. :)

Step- By- Step Instructions:

1. Finding the right size! This is the most important step. On blogger you can find out how wide your banner is supposed to be by going into your blogs layout, and selecting header. Before you upload your image it will tell you how many pixels wide it should be, and will give the the option to shrink to fit (I would still select this option when uploading to be sure your image still won't get cut off)
  • The width of your banner will vary depending on your template, some may also specify a certain height. If you are unsure of what size you need, you may be able to find it on google, especially with popular sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The website may also specify the resolution when you go to upload it.
2. Open GIMP, or whichever program you prefer and create a new file. Do this be clicking File>New. In the dialog box that comes up, type in the pixel specification (make sure you setting your size in pixels), then click OK. A new window will open with your blank banner. 

3. From this point how you edit your banner is really up to you. Play with colors, gradients, brushes, text... whatever you like. Your banner is all about you!

4. *Optional* If you want your banner to have rounded corners, you will need to first flatten the image. To flatten the image right click on a layer and select flatten image. All of your layers will be merged into one layer.  Then click on filters>decor>round corners then specify what you want in the dialog box and hit okay. A new window will open with your new image.
  • From here you can play around with whether you want to keep the background color and shadow or not. To delete then right click on the layer they are in and select delete layer. 
(Note: rounded corners may change your pixel size a bit if you choose to keep the shadow, this is why I would still select shrink to fit on blogger. They may also not look right on all sites.) 

5. When you are done and ready to save it to upload it to your blog, or view it as a picture, go to File>Export (not save, this will only allow you to save it as a GIMP file. But if you wish to save it and work on it later, then use save), and select the location where you want to save it to and name it as you'd like. You can also change the file type from here. Many websites prefer JPEG or jpg files. Then open it from where you saved it and take a look. 

6. Upload it to your blog or website. Follow the steps on the website, and be sure to check it out to see it you like how it looks!

FTC Disclaimer: I am not affiliated or being endorsed by any of the companies mentioned in this post. I am not being paid to write this post. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

They Like You... But... You Don't Like Them That Way...

We all know how nerve wrecking it can be to tell someone that we have a crush on them, or that we like them as more then a friend. I for one could never find the courage to tell a guy that I like him, because I'm so afraid of getting hurt, and because of general shyness. It's a huge risk to tell someone how you feel, because you're really putting your feelings on the line, and if it turns out they don't feel the same way, you'll feel absolutely crushed. So when it's reversed on you, and someone is telling you that they like you, the last thing you want to do is hurt their feelings, even if you don't like them in that way. And if that person is a friend, it can be even harder, because you don't want to lose the friendship. In any case, you just might not want to feel as if you're being mean to them, as you know that it must have taken them a lot to tell you that. It may seem like it's easiest to stretch the truth and say "I like you, but I'm not ready for a relationship right now", rather then just saying "I'm sorry, I don't like you like that". This way you don't have to date them, but you don't hurt their feelings. But believe me, it's much better just to be straight up and tell them the truth. 

You may be flattered that someone likes you, along with not wanting to hurt them, but if you don't like them back, and you really can't see yourself being in a relationship (or being happy in a relationship) with them it's best to just tell them the truth. Sure it's nice to have someone like you, but if they think that they may have a chance and they start getting flirty, things can get really uncomfortable really quick. Thinking you feel the same way, they might be flirty with you, waiting for that day you are ready for a relationship to come. They won't know that it's making you uncomfortable if you keep flirting back, or unless you tell them that you don't like them like that. If they think you like them, they'll think that you like it, and they'll keep persisting with it, having no idea of how creeped out or uncomfortable you may be. No matter how flattered you are, if you don't like them back, and they keep flirting, flattery can turn to resentment towards them, and wanting nothing more then to avoid them. This certainly would not help out the friendship you had with them before. I learned that the hard way.

I am not perfect, and I have gotten myself into this mess before. During my sophomore year of high school I became good friends with this one guy from my school (although it's not his real name, let's just call him George). I had talked to him a few times when I was in 8th grade, but never really all that much until I got into 10th grade. George had always seemed to be really nice, and he was super friendly. It was nice to have a guy friend to talk to, especially with him being a really good listener. It was also nice to be able to talk to a guy that I knew in real life that wasn't a jerk like most of the guys at my school. It was all good, until... I found out that he liked me as more then a friend, but I didn't like him in that way. Nor was I really ready for a relationship, as it was pretty soon after my break-up from my 2-year online "relationship" with Charlie. However, I for sure did not handle it the right way at all. A combination of feeling a bit flattered that a boy liked me, not wanting to hurt his feelings, and not wanting to lose a friend took over me, and I told him I liked him too, but I wasn't ready to date anyone because of what happened with Charlie. So he told me he'd be there when I was ready, and from there... the conversations got uncomfortable and uneasy for me.

The fact that I didn't tell him straight up that I didn't like him in that way, and only liked him as a friend made him feel as if he had a chance, even though he didn't really have much of one. He started to get a little more flirty, and I went along with it most of the time because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I tried to avoid the flirty conversations as much as possible by talking about school, teachers, or anything else, but it would always come back up. It got to the point where every time he would text me I would sigh, and sometimes not answer it and find an excuse later. And although all of our flirting was over the phone and through text, never at school or anywhere face to face, it got to the point where just being around him made me uncomfortable. He was a senior that year, and I couldn't wait for him to graduate so I wouldn't have to see him anymore, and that's when we began to lose contact. He wasn't a bad guy at all, but his flirting really bothered me and drove me away from him. Had I just told him that I only liked as a friend from the beginning, if he was as nice as he seemed to be, he may have laid off and accepted it, and maybe we would still be good friends. I really regret the fact that I didn't just tell him, as I could have saved myself the discomfort and regret, and him the time and effort. 

So as hard as it may be, it's always better to tell the truth. It'll save both of you a lot of time, and emotions in the long run. It will hurt their feelings, but there's no avoiding that. It would hurt them even more if they found out that you never actually felt the same way. You don't have to be mean and nasty about it, just tell them that they are a great friend, and you do care about them and want to be their friend, but you don't want a relationship with them. Keep in mind that if they're a friend they may have the same worry about ruining the friendship. If they truly do value your friendship they should understand it, but they may need some space for a while. It may even be best to keep a little distance for a while so that they can get over you. It may sting a little, and it may even sting a bit to see them get over you and find someone else, but it's for the best. Both of you would be much happier with that, rather then trying to make something you don't want work. 

The other person may not always be able to accept that you just want to be friends, and can't settle for friendship. If this is the case, it's best for both of you that you end the friendship. Trying to keep a friendship with someone that only wants more will only hurt both of you. They may also keep trying to get you to like them, and won't stop flirting, even if you tell them to stop. You may even find that arguments come easily, and fights are constant. It's hard to keep a friendship when fights are coming almost daily. If you can't agree to be friends, and only friends, it may not even be worth it trying to save the friendship. 

If you tell the other person to leave you alone and they won't, or if they start threatening you, you need to tell someone. If they won't stop texting or calling, don't answer them. Block them on any social networking sites you're on so they can't message you. If they keep persisting, tell someone you trust so that they can help you. If they physically follow you around, roam around your home, threaten to harm you in any way, this is a serious matter that needs to be reported to law enforcement immediately. Don't wait until it's to late. Hopefully, and more then likely, it will never come to that, and the other person will lay off, even if they are hurt or mad they'll get over it. But there are some really bad, and creepy people out there. Never get into a relationship because of a threat. If they are willing to hurt you for any reason, they aren't the kind of person you want to have anything to do with. 

Yes, telling someone you don't feel the same way about them is hard. You know it'll hurt them and break their heart, and that it could mean losing a friend, but it'll be best for both of you. It might even save your friendship before you get driven away by unwanted flirting, and it'll save their heart in the long run. You don't wanna get into a relationship that you hope from the beginning won't last. You can't keep it going forever, and you don't wanna wait until they break up with you, or do the exact opposite... :S Yeah.. perhaps telling the truth form the beginning would be better. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Super Quick Update: Angelic Glitter's New Look

If any of you have been reading my blog since I started in back on New Year's Day, you may have noticed my blog change it's look quite a few times. I like to change things up often on my blog and keep things looking cute. Typically I would not post an update when I change up my blog, as before my changes were primarily just a change in fonts, colors, and backgrounds, that would take me maybe an hour to do. But this time, I put a little more time (like, the whole day) into it and decided to design my own header and background. It was certainly a challenge to get them just how I wanted, but it was really rewarding, and also kind of fun. I love how it turned out! I also played around with some different templates, as I kept the same template the last few times I changed my blog, but I didn't design the basic layout as I don't know how to make templates. I may make a few more minor edits to the template over the next few days, but nothing to major. :) 

ALSO! As I was creating my header and background, I was thinking that maybe I could make some basic tutorials on how I make some things in GIMP and upload them to my YouTube Channel, along with beauty videos. Please leave a comment if you'd be interesting in them! I hope you all enjoy the new look. :)

-XOXO, Sadie