Thursday, April 9, 2015

G-G-Good News, Folks

I'm taking this blog to a whole new level!

Not right this second, so don't expect any drastic changes. They aren't going to happen right before your eyes. Although that would be nifty. And it would be pretty cool for readership. I could send out an email each day that said "Come Check Out What I Changed Today!". Cool, glad I'm not the only one that thinks that's an awesome publicity stunt.

Anyway, I'm just letting you know that BECAUSE of these big, awesome, exciting, mind blowing changes, I might not be updating as much as possible. Which, really hasn't been that much, but that's one of those changes I'm talking about!

I'm participating in #50WorkDays over at, which has been beyond awesome and I'm only four days in. Is it weird that I get super excited about marketing and building a brand? It's not homework to me it's FUNWORK.

Really, I'm writing this long ass post because I have to share something funny with you. I was bouncing around domain name ideas (that might be another change, not sure!) with my friend. I kept coming back to using the word "biblio", and I love the way alliterations sound, so we were trying to use a b-word in front of it.

My friend tossed out "Bitchin' Biblio(phile)". Not bad.

So as with all bright ideas, I Googled it to see if someone else had taken the idea already. And Google decided to be helpful by providing the following suggestion.

Yes, Google, thanks for correcting me. You've now tainted this name for me and I no longer want to use it.

So thanks for that. Back to the drawing board for me.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To Dream Or Not To Freak The Hell Out

Two nights ago I had a crazy dream.

In my dream I woke up, but I couldn't move. And I realized that there were people in my apartment, but they weren't exactly people. I don't know how to really explain them other than they looked human but weren't.

Somehow I knew that these people lived in my apartment during the night, but I wasn't supposed to know. I knew that it was extremely dangerous to know that they existed, and if they found out that I knew they would kill me.

So I lay in my bed, watching these people walk around my room, so terrified that I couldn't fall back asleep, but also terrified because if my brain woke up any more, I knew I'd start to move and they'd kill me.


Needless to say, I wasn't very thrilled with dream. My friend suggested I look up what the dream meant. So I Googled dreaming about sleep paralysis. Then I fell down the Google rabbit hole a bit and ended up looking at sleep paralysis itself.

Oh Google, you foul, foul beast.

Turns out that, according to Google at least, sleep paralysis can cause hallucinations. Many people hear voices, see unwanted people in their rooms, experience someone sitting on their chest.

Yeah, that doesn't make me feel any better.

It's not a fun experience, but because I'm wired the way I am, I'm curious to hear other people's experiences.

So, anyone ever had an experience with sleep paralysis?


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Photo Taken From Goodreads
Book: Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)
Author: Jenny Lawson
Series: No

Well. I'll keep this review short and sweet.

A-FUCKING-mazing. If you do not read this book, you will die a thousand horrible deaths.

That's it, that's all the feelings I can express for this book in written word.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Life Slumps And Liquor (minus the liquor)

So this week has been shit.

Well, I mean, I'm still pretty lucky. I'm alive and healthy (kinda) and all, but I'm still going to complain about life. Can we just agree that it's our right as humans?

I started the week sick, so Monday was a write-off. And anyone who knows me knows that Monday is my busiest day at work. So come Tuesday, I had more work than I could handle and I still probably should have stayed home. Which means that by Wednesday my work had snowballed and I was crushed.

On top of the work snowball, I've been stuck in a rut lately. I feel blah, I look blah, everything is blaaaahhhh.

Add this together and this week has made me feel very unsure about my happiness. I've been in this loop of realizing that I'm not happy with the way I'm spending my time (hello, I should be a published author by now ;).

The point of all this is that my friend gave me a good piece of advice She told me to make a list of things that I want to do to make myself feel better and to get me out of this slump. So Thursday, that is what I did. Below is the list.

  • Get hair cut
  • Get a mani/pedi
  • Figure out glasses/contacts (which I want to wear)
  • Go for a massage
  • Try acupuncture
  • Make gym schedule
    • Don't bail on it for an entire month
  • Organize closet
    • Get rid of unused clothes
    • Get pants hemmed (bought these before christmas, still not done)
  • Buy two new shirts (until Summer)
  • Redecorate bedroom
    • Get new blinds
    • Get side tables
  • Redecorate living room
    • Get new blinds
    • Get some snazzy pillows
    • Rearrange furniture
  • Pay off credit card
  • Build savings account
  • Do taxes
  • Greek Texan date with Alana
  • Set a writing schedule

Since I created the list, I've already crossed off two things. It feels kind of nice to prioritize things. Some of the list is necessary (aka boring) but make you feel accomplished after you get them out of the way.

I'll add to the list if I think of any others. And feel free to share your thoughts/lists!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: A Study In Silks

Alright. After reflecting on my last post, I decided to try posting my book reviews here and see how that goes! If not, I'll rethink bringing back my other blog and doing them exclusively there. Obviously these won't be in the same format, but they might evolve that way. By all means, share your critiques.

Novel: A Study In Silks
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
Series: Yes

So I finished A Study In Silks last night, and right off the bat, I am quite disappointed.

I loved the cover of this book, loved the idea of the book, but ultimately I found it confusing. Which I am sad about because I'm not a steampunk fan, but I picked this one up hoping it would help me transition into the genre. 

Alas, it was not meant to be. I found the characters hard to grasp. I don't know if it was because it was told from multiple view points, but I didn't get a sense of WHO they were. Not a single one. And they all seemed really weak, like they couldn't stand behind their decisions - especially Tobias near the end.

I also felt like I had come in through the middle of the book and had missed all relationship building between the characters. And some "relationship building" throughout the book was needed. Two people falling in love within a week without barely speaking to each other? Come on.

Two big questions that still plague my mind:
  • How did Nick know where to find Evelina?
  • Is there really a point to having Sherlock Holmes in the story?

I really wanted to like this series, but I don't know if I will be continuing on with it or not.

Have you read it? What did you think?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Motivation Frustration

I'm a little...deflated this week.

I have a notebook (the black Moleskine Evernote) that I keep all my blog ideas in. From what widgets I should add, to idea posts, to things I need to think about updating. The problem I am finding is that no matter how much I write in that notebook, I don't seem to be doing very much of it.

I will admit that part of the reason is because I'm a little torn. I have this blog, and a book review blog that I previously ran on wordpress but didn't end up keeping up with (lack of motivation all in itself). The book review blog was fun and I thought it was a great idea, but I started it on a whim and couldn't keep up. The issue I had with it is that it is very limiting. I can't necessarily start posting about the soaps I made last week.

With this blog, I have a lot more free reign. I can post whatever the hell I choose to share (like my lack of motivation!) and it's a great way to let the creative juices flow. The downside to this blog is, I don't have a clear focus of where I want it to go. What is the point of this blog?

So my lack of motivation comes from not knowing where to start. Do I continue this blog, or switch back to my review blog? And if I continue with this blog, what is my plan for it?

All great questions that I need to seriously start thinking about. I should start working more on this and less on watching Grey's Anatomy.

Has anyone struggled with this conundrum when they first started out?


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This Week's Addiction

I am the very first to admit that I tend to become obsessed with things very easily. From paper, to shoes, to bands to fashion, if I find something I love I can spend a good two weeks Googling/ purchasing / fantasizing about it.

So this week I thought I would share my current addiction, which even I admit is a weird one: Planners.

That's right, planners. I've been watching videos, following blogs, looking up different planners on the internet. Anything I can do to look at a planner, I am doing. Thankfully I know myself well enough to stay away from any stores that sell planners right now.

I currently have two planners; one for work and one for personal. Both are moleskine. My work one is a bright yellow graph notebook (which I can not find at Chapters anymore except in black) and one is the Evernote notebook. I love the moleskine, although I am starting to wonder if I could find something a little better.

Since this addiction has started, I've seen a lot of people with Filofax types of planners, and I am wondering if that might be a bit better. The moleskine is great for having at work, but I often find my personal one gets left out. I've started to wonder if it would be easier to combine them into one, which I would prefer a ring binder for.

So, those of you have a planner addiction, which types of binders/notebooks do you tend to gravitate towards? And how do you set them up?


Thursday, January 29, 2015

How To Better Myself In 2015 - Part 2

It took me a bit to figure out my next couple of goals for 2015. Part 1 of this post included the two major goals I've had for quite a while, so I had to dig a little deeper to figure out what exactly I wanted from this year.

3) Improve My Skills
Now, this is a very broad goal but overall I would like to improve some skills that I have. Most of them are work related and involve taking a class. All of them will probably involve buying a book because I have a bit of an addiction. Regardless, at the end of 2015 I would like to be able to say that "This year I improved on _____ by doing/taking _____."

4) Maintain a Blog
Am I the only one that finds it funny that I am posting this goal on a blog? Yes? Well I can handle that. Since about 2011 I've started and stopped blogs, but my goal this year is to keep one running for the entire year. It doesn't have to make money, it doesn't have to be good and it doesn't need to have any followers. But I want to prove to myself that I CAN keep a blog going.

Bonus points: I will master time management and discipline. And by master I mean learn some at all.

5) Work On a Hobby
Right now my hobbies include reading and playing xbox. Although reading is not a waste of time, it doesn't take much effort from me. I want to do something creative with my hands. A couple of months ago I took up soap making, which seems to be a pretty big hit with the people I've given the soap to. And I love it. It's fun to stand around the kitchen mixing things and seeing different concoctions come together. Soap will probably be the hobby I focus on. My next step is to learn the cold soap processing method, but I'm having a hard time finding a course close to me.

So, this is what my 2015 (hopefully) has in store for me. And yes, I am aware they aren't SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) but I am working on that. The first goal of all these goals was to decide on my top goals (yes that sentence was on purpose). So now that I have that out of the way, let's focus on a great 2015!

Gosh I am way to cheery sometimes.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Damn Fine Words Contest Entry

The Damn Fine Words contest is as follows: Explain why writing is important to your business success and you could win a scholarship for their February course.

So, here it goes. No pressure or anything!

Right now it would help me with my current job. I'm at the beginning of my marketing career and I'm hungry for skills. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for the next 60 years of my life, and everything inside of me points to writing. The first step is to learn the basics of copywriting so I can lay a foundation for future success. I'd be able to write those monthly newsletters, update the company blog, without second guessing if what I am writing is good enough.

After scouring the internet for weeks, I came upon Damn Fine Words and realized how well suited it is to the writing goals I want to accomplish and the issues I want to fix. I immediately wrote a list of the top things I always have an issue with when writing.

1) Writing On Command - When the boss says "I need an article written by the end of the week," how do I create a routine to ensure it gets written? I can't afford to spend two days staring at a blank screen. 

2) Using Specific Voices - How do I figure out the voice of a certain brand? And when I do, how do I make sure my writing is in line with that voice?

3) Focusing On A Target - Okay, so he's a 40 year old man but how does that help me write to his needs? I want to be able to dive deeper into the market.

4) Engaging Headlines - This is one of my biggest struggles. I have a hard time figuring out what would get people to open an email or read my blog posts. Do I use "10 Tricks to..." or "How-To..." or "Free Bananas with....". I'm always unsure what the best approach is, and considering it's the first impression, I want to get it right. 

Just looking at what Damn Fine Words has to offer gave me motivation to look further into the future because it made me feel like I could actually write for a living. Heck, I started thinking up business names while lying in bed the night after I read the syllabus. 

One of my goals for 2015 is to figure out everything I need to start going freelance. I've already looked up the how-to's and needs of running my own business, but I don't feel comfortable enough with my skills to charge people for my time. Personally, I need that little piece of validation that confirms for me (and clients, if they ask) that I know what I'm talking about.

Damn Fine Words would give me the confidence and know-how to get my ass in gear. I'd walk away from the course ready to get my hands dirty with real life clients. And in terms of personal growth, I think it would be an amazing step forward for where I want to go with my life. 


Ps. If you've never heard of Damn Fine Words or Men With Pens, check them out! Beyond their advice, their web design is killer :) 

Friday, January 16, 2015

How To Better Myself In 2015 - Part 1

As promised, I have dug into the depths of my soul and pulled out some goals I would like to accomplish this year. I had a hard time narrowing them down, but I think most of them are just subcategories of major ones (is that cheating?). Below are the first 2. I ramble a lot so I figured I'd split them up. (Also I didn't plan this well enough so my other goals aren't fully flushed out ;) 

1. Write More
From an early age, when people asked me to define myself, the word that always came out of my mouth was "writer". I'm a words person. Every day I have ideas spinning around in my head that never make it to paper, or ideas that make it to paper but never get finished. My goal this year is to write as much as I possibly can. This will probably include building a schedule since I suck at discipline.

Fun fact: Contributing to this goal is the phrase "You promised me a published piece of work before I die" that my father casually throws at me when I haven't written in awhile.

2. Take better care of myself
This falls into two main categories: health and stress management. Both are huge factors in me maintaining a certain level of happiness (which has been a bit off lately).

The health side gets broken down into two main subcategories: eat better and exercise regularly. I'm sure you hear this from a lot of people, but I'm working towards it. Mostly I'm just lazy so I sit on the couch and I eat fastfood (like how much of North America?). I've already joined a gym. Check. I have a best friend/personal trainer making me go. Check. Now all I have to do is starting eating better, which does kind of happen after you start exercising. You start to WANT to eat the salad instead of the fries. Eating better, for me, comes down to planning. I am a horrible on-the-spot chef, so I need to plan my meals to make sure I know what I have.

The stress management part of all of this will be hard for me. I am the first person to admit that I am high strung. I like routine and I like plans and when shit doesn't go according to plan it stresses me out. Then I stress out about stressing out because stressing out about stressing out is stupid. On and on. I also don't know how to say no to people, which adds unnecessary stress to myself. The solutions here: learning to stand up for myself and learning meditation.

So those are the first two goals. I guess because they were the first to make themselves known, I'll consider them the most important. 

Stay tuned next week for part 2. And feel free to post your goals as we go! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's a New Year Already?

Holy bejesus, it's been two months since I posted! Well almost. I guess just over a month. But really, who other than me was keeping track.

So like every human being when the dawn of a new year shows over the cusp of the horizon, I panic and think about how much time I've wasted doing absolutely NOTHING. Except sit on the couch and read, which I actually don't mind. But in the overall grand scheme of things, that only helps me accomplish one or two of my goals.

I've decided to take the next couple of weeks and write out a mindmap of what I want to accomplish this year. Then I will break it down into edible chunks. Then I will eat all of those chunks until I am a better, chunkier person. One of those chunks will be what I want to do with this blog.

What are the chunks you guys will be trying to force feed yourself this year? Do they revolve around health, skills, family, fun, friends?

I challenge you to write down 5 of your top goals for 2015. I challenge you to achieve them. I challenge you to track your progress so you can look back and go "Shit, I really did that?!". Go write them down!

Next week I'll share with you my top 5 goals. Let's see if I can achieve them.

Oh, look at that, a possible reason to keep a blog!