Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Holiday Book Swap 2013

Like I mentioned in my last post, I just got my box from my Librarian in our latest book swap.  The winter book swap started just a couple of weeks after the fall one, and I had to sign up for it.  The requirements: send at least three books (one must be winter/Christmas themed), at least 2 treats (one winter/Christmas themed), and at least 1 extra goodie. The deadline to ship everything out was the end of December but I was able to get my bookworm's box out last week (I of course had to go to the PO on one of the busiest shipping days of the year).

My books - I also got a digital copy of Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith
My treats - never had a GooGoo cluster before.
My goodies all wrapped up neatly
And unwrapped!
This box couldn't have come at a better time. The past few days have been extremely busy for us at work and extremely stressful. It's also like a nice pre-Christmas gift.  The Eyre Affair sounds really interesting but I'll probably read Soulless first to get some background of that universe before I read the next book in the author's Finishing School series (which I didn't realize took place in the same universe as the Parasol Protectorate series until I finished Etiquette & Espionage).

I love all my extra goodies, especially the ornaments. I already have a nice collection of Christmas decorations and these will be a great addition to it.  The headband is super cute and will be great for covering my ears when I head off to work in the morning (I don't have a hood on my coat).

And so my last swap of the year is over. Can't wait for new ones next year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Breaking Out Of Reader's Block

Since I just got my box for the most recent book swap, I thought it was the perfect time to post this up.  For several months now, I've been fighting a rather bad case of reader's block. I usually have a few books checked out from the library at all times on top of all the unread books that I personally own.  But, when I get a new stack of books, I suddenly find myself completely disinterested in reading them.  It's been really frustrating. And it's not like I haven't been reading but it's been mostly other blogs or fanfiction.  I've been determined to break out of this for the past month or so and I thought I would share my approach of trying to break out of a reader's block.

First off, I've gone back to reading during my breaks at work. For the past few months, I would just use my breaks as a time to doze off a bit (sometimes almost falling asleep for real).  I read Dracula solely at work - it's surprising how much reading you can get done in a short amount of time.  Since becoming a senior at work, I really only get to read during my lunch but better than nothing.

I've mostly chosen books which I think would be quick reads. A lot of those have been young adult or juvenile fiction: the reading is usually less complicated and the plot moves along faster (especially those geared toward kids) so they usually get finished pretty quick.

I like to read 2-3 books at the same time.  One that I bring with me to work and one that I read before going to bed.  It's a way to go through my stack of unreads faster, as well as possibly find a book that I can't put down.  And sometimes you just want to take a break from what you're currently reading for something new.

I've been using Goodreads to keep track of what I've read - it's a good way to keep count for my goal in my Project Day Zero list. I sometimes forget to add books to my 'currently reading' shelf and just add them when I've finished them.  Based off the dates of when I've added books to my account, I've read 6 books since November 15, and currently reading 3 books. It feels good to have actually finished something rather than losing interest halfway through and not finishing it.

Some other observations and musings:

-I've been trying to find new authors to read and have been having a difficult time (on my own). I usually find new others mostly through book swaps. I will judge a book by it's cover and whenever I go look at the scifi/fantasy section at bookstores, all I see are covers that could belong to romance driven books. Not interested.

- I've started to read a new series: The Last Apprentice (also known as the Wardstone Chronicles) by Joseph Delaney.  The movie Seventh Son is loosely based off it and I wanted to see what the books were like. I've read the first two books in the series, and comparing what I currently know to the trailer, 'loosely' is definitely the word for this adaption (still looking forward to seeing it). I feel rather 'meh' about the protagonist, but his mother is really interesting and hope we learn more on who and what she is.  I can't pinpoint how I feel about the character Alice but it will be interesting to see what her fate will be. I've already got the next three books from the library, and placed the next 3 after that on hold.

-I mostly read fantasy and scifi, but fantasy has been the dominant genre in my reading for a while and I'm craving for some good scifi stories. I really need to start reading some of the classics: Dune and Neuromancer are the ones I'm thinking of tackling first.

I'm always on the look out for new stuff to read, so tell me some of your favorites books or authors to check out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fall 2013 Mix CD Swap

Over on the BPAL forum, we recently had the next round of the Mix CD swap. I missed Round 4, so I was excited when the sign ups opened for this round. I always find a couple of new artists that I like which helps me expand my own music collection. I feel that my collection is rather limited though it seems I'm always listening to something; this is probably because I prefer to buy CDs rather than MP3s but rarely buy anything new. It also probably doesn't help that I mostly keep up with more Asian artists rather than American artists.

For this swap, we usually are split into groups of 3 or 4. I was in a group of 3 and got 3 CDs in total.

Monday, December 2, 2013

O Tannenbaum

We decorated our christmas tree last night. My one sister didn't get to join in because she had to go back to Portland Friday night and I unfortuna tely had a closing shift. My parents decided to go with the smaller tree this year (we use fake trees); I much prefer the bigger one. But it still looks nice and that's what matters.

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#2014BloggerChallenge

Lately, I've been trying to think of ways add more content to my blog and went on the search for a blogging challenge.  I found a lot of writing challenges (mostly dealing with creative writing) but that wasn't really what I was looking for.  I discovered the #2014BloggerChallenge while browsing through Twitter (thanks to Amicia Rai) and it aligned more with what I wanted to go for.

The challenge was created by Gaby of AnotherGirlyBlog.  The idea is to write two posts a month based on the prompts sent to us before hand. The posts for the challenge would go up during the 1st and 3rd week of the month so there's plenty of time to think and write. It doesn't matter what kind of blog you run - the topics are there to inspire and give you the push to write things you wouldn't normally write about.

If you would like to join in on the fun, all you need to do is email your name, blog URL, and email to anothergirlyblg@gmail.com. You can also take a look at the original post about the challenge here.

I'm really looking forward to receiving the first prompts. I will have been blogging for two years at the start of the new year and it would be nice to see my blog grow a bit. Can't wait to start!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

6 Month Update

So, next week it will be about six months since I started my new List.  Decided to do an update on how I'm progressing on that and post it up early.

The successes:
  • Only use cash for a month (besides paying bills)
    • I was very happy that this goal went very well. I now am in the habit of using cash for most of my transactions.
  • Support a Kickstarter project
    • I have supported 2 successfully backed projects: Angry Cat Plush and Oracle Playing Cards.     
  • Buy a new pair of glasses
    • The pair I used to have were literally falling apart, and so I was forced to go to the eye doctor, which was probably a good thing since I hadn't seen the eye doctor for at least 3 years. I quite like my new pair and I also got contacts again.
  • Make a twitter account
    • I hardly ever use it but I made an account (@oflifeandlists).
  • Participate in a swap
    • It's great to get back into swapping. Two swaps have been completed and am currently involved in two more.
  • Have a budget binder/journal my spending
    • This could probably go under 'ongoing' as well; I did very good of writing down my transactions the first month, but have been very lazy about it the past couple of months.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

13 Nights of Halloween Swap Pt. 3

Day 9: Training is going alright at work, but the meeting we had to discuss the holidays at work (the busiest time for us) is freaking me out a bit. So not prepared.
 
Look at how pretty my mask is! Can't wait to find an excuse to wear it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

13 Nights of Halloween Swap Pt. 2

Day 4: Was extremely tired after getting only 3 hours of sleep before going to work (I went to see Walk the Moon with my sister since she didn't want to go alone - a good show but didn't get home til about 12:30 before having to work at 5:30).

It is actually very relaxing to hit this thing

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

13 Nights of Halloween Swap Pt. 1

Since I've started visiting the BPAL forum again, I've also gotten back into swapping. There's a sub-forum for circular swapping and I tend to spend a lot of time there.  Part of the fun of doing swaps is the stalking and planning of what you want to get your swappee.  This was a one-on-one mystery match swap (you send to one person, another person would be sending to you). We had to send our swappee's box at the end of September, but we didn't start opening until the 21st.  I got my boxes on the 30th so they were taunting me just sitting there for a while.

Day 1: I was very good and waited until after work to open my goodies. I didn't actually open my boxes up until the 21st so I was floored that both boxes were brimming with packages to open.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Season to Knit

Nothing interesting has been going on.  One of the seniors at work just left and 3 people at work have talked to me about going for the position. My parents and sister think I should go for it, but I'm really not happy about the idea.  True, higher pay and the experience would look good on a resume, but I really have no desire for the job (it actually gives me some anxiety). I said I would consider it, but it's been two weeks and no one has said anything about interviews so my interest is dwindling even further.

When the weather starts cooling down, my love to knit comes back full force. I got some lace yarn from a penpal recently and decided to brush up my skills with a quick project.  The first pattern I chose did not work out - not entirely sure whether if it was the needles i was using or an issue of gaug, but after 4 attempts and getting no where, I stopped. I'm planning on going back to that pattern but using the recommended yarn instead.  The pattern I'm currently doing is the Easy Lace Stole by Arlene's World of Lace using Knit Picks Shadow lace yarn in Juniper.  It's simpler than the first pattern I chose - a repeat of 4 rows with the right side rows being a repetition of a set of stitches across. Very easy to memorize and easy to figure out which row you need to do if you've forgotten.
What I've knitted so far - started 2 days ago
Close up of pattern
The pattern called for 61 stitches but you could modify it depending on how wide you wanted it. I went with 49 stitches (7 repetitions of the pattern) so it's more of a scarf instead of a stole.  I probably should have gone for smaller needles (I'm using size 6 though it might have looked better with 3 or 4) but we'll see how to looks after I block it. I'm kind of anxious to get this finished, since I know this will look better once it's blocked (the pattern will be more obvious, too).

The most annoying thing was winding the skein into a ball. It took over an hour. Granted, the skein was a little over 400 yards of yarn, but I've forgotten what a pain it was to hand wind. I've been having skeins winded for me at yarn stores so it's been a while since I've done it for myself.

Anybody doing any fun projects?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Product Love September 2013

It's now officially fall! Winter is my favorite season, but fall is a close second.  I really love fall weather where it's still nice and sunny but there's a definite chill in the air.  We had a few days of really nice weather, but it's already been super rainy here (damn you Pacific Northwest).

Since becoming active again on the BPAL forum, my love and addiction to BPAL has been reignited.  I'm so grateful that I got 2 of the Dragon*Con exclusives.  It's also got me going through my current collection and finally doing a lot of testing of what I have (so far, the general catalogue scents I've tried do not work for me).  I got my Lilith decants and plan on getting a bottle of Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending (it's the perfect replica of Flowerbomb).
Current collection

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kuretake Envelope Template ~ Western Style

If you love pens and stationery (and everything that goes with them), you definitely need to check out JetPens.  This has become one of my favorite places to buy from, as I have a deep love for fun writing instruments (especially pens from Japan).  I finally caved and bought my first Kuretake template for a western style envelope. Since I've gotten back into letter writing, I thought that this would come in handy in the future.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cataloging


I'm finally getting around to cataloging what BPAL imps I have. I've only been meaning to do this for about 3 years or so.  Right now, this doesn't include the imps of LE scents I have (I'm almost positive I have over 100 imps in total).  Right now, I'm just working on the one page, but everything will be further organized into the category each scent is from and alphabetized.  I have very few bottles that aren't LE and doing this is forcing me to finally test out everything I have. I generally have a good idea of what works for me and what are death notes, but this will really solidify that knowledge.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Pair of Peaches

Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs had exclusive scents for Dragon*Con, all featuring peach which is a favorite of mine. I was extremely lucky in getting two thanks to a lovely forumite (I debated getting all five oils, plus the bath oil but restrained myself - not sure if I'm happy about that).


 
Peach II
Notes: White peach, tangerine, champagne grapes

In the bottle: It smells like one of my favorite ramune candy, I kid you not

On skin wet: A good word to describe this scent - bubbly.  The notes blend very nicely together, though it seems that tangerine is the star at the moment.

On skin dry: It's actually rather aquatic. Still sweet and fruity, but less effervescent.

Other: Stays strong for about 1.5-2 hours before becoming rather subtle. Very aquatic towards the end.


 
Peach V
Notes: White peach, white tea, honey, and neroli

In the bottle: A sweet honeyed tea. It is gorgeous.

On skin wet: I can definitely detect the Lab's honey note playing with the neroli, with the peach in the background giving it a sweet edge.

On skin dry: The peach gets bolder and what I think is the tea note becomes a bit more noticeable (my first time with the Lab's white tea note). Has the slightest herbal tinge to it.

Other: A much more full body scent than Peach II. All the notes compliment the peach nicely and is very balanced once dried.

I'm very happy with both scents, though Peach V is definitely the real star. I will definitely have to hunt down extra bottles of it. I really wish I'd gone for a whole set, as I would love to see how different the golden and Georgia peaches are to the white.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cash Only

I was very determined, to help me get back on track with my budget, to use only cash for this month. There is of course some bills that needed to be paid online but I really wanted to use cash for any other transactions. For the most part, I was successful and if you're curious, please read on for my thoughts on how things went.

Monday, August 12, 2013

mirukuma giveaway

I also want to mention the giveaway Mirukuma is having.  The giveaway is in celebration of the new Closet Child Value Packs (available until Aug 17th).  There are some really fantastic items in this giveaway, so take look!

Mirukuma Shop and Service Review

A few weeks ago, I was looking around the internet for Paris Kids, and stumbled upon the Mirukuma livejournal and after a little more searching, the website. Kat who runs it is a student in Japan and besides running the shop with instock items, she also offers a shopping service.  This was at the end of July and I decided to do one last splurge before cutting myself off for August.  One the stores she can get to was SWIMMER and after some browsing on their site, decided to be good and just go with the Alice wallet they had; I also wanted to buy an older Angelic Pretty bracelet and really adorable SWIMMER skeleton brooch she up in the shop.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Product Love July 2013

I love watching monthly favorite videos on Youtube and seeing what people think of various items, and I thought I would start doing a favorites post here, which I will call Product Love.  Since I actually got to use and try out a few new things this past month, I thought this would be a good start.

First, The Face Shop's bubble maker. The purpose of a bubble maker (or foaming net) is to create a thicker lather from your face cleanser than you would otherwise. You wet the net, place your cleanser on it, rub your palms together to creat the foam and then squeeze it out. This is probably the best beauty tool I've ever bought.  It produces a very thick foam, and a little bit of cleanser goes a long way.
 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Just a quick post

Look forward to better quality pictures on my blog. I'm now the proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3.  It's actually a belated graduation gift from my parents. I had decided I wanted a new camera but had my heart set on getting a film camera. However, I later decided that since it's extremely difficult to get film developed now a days, I would go with a digital one but could never decide which one I wanted.  Now, 3 years later, I have my camera and I'm very happy with it.

And if anyone is interested, I'm finally using Pinterest. I had actually created an account a few months ago, but never really got into it until now. Check out what I have if you're curious and let me know if you have one.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Vacation 2013

After a fantastic week roadtripping with friends, I'm now back home.  Alex is trying to get settled in LA and I'm adjusting back to being home. 

Last week was pretty awesome.  The drive down to LA wasn't that bad besides the typical idiots on the road and having to deal with equally dumb pedestrians, especially in San Francisco. Including the incredibly hot weather, those would be the only negatives of the trip.  Was far too busy talking, laughing, and shopping to focus on the little things.

The first day on the road we stopped in Portland to visit Powell's Bookstore and Voodoo Donuts.  I highly recommend that everyone must try at least one of their donuts (especially their cake donuts).  They have a couple of locations and after driving around in circles, made it to the one outside of downtown which thankfully did not have a line going out the door and we were lucky enough to see a wedding.  We stopped at Ashland for the night and had a quick bite to eat from the diner (service far from great but excellent food) before crashing.

 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Project 10 Pan Update

I've been wanting to get this post up for while, but have never been happy with it (this is re-write #4). It's been over a year since I started my lip gloss Project 10 Pan and thought I would share my thoughts on how things been going.

One, I have yet to finish up a gloss. Not that that is surprising - I tend to wear lip gloss on my days off since I prefer to wear lip balm at work.  I also went through my collection and got rid of a bunch of my older glosses and others that just didn't grab my eye anymore.  I think I might have cut my collection in half.  I'm considering doing another purge but holding off at the moment.  Going through my collection, I realized that I don't have many high end brand glosses - a couple from Buxom but that's it really.  I really want to save a little and buy myself one or two Guerlain KissKiss gloss.  Any recommendations on high end glosses?

One thing that this challenge has instilled in me is that I'm always thinking about what I do have in my collection whenever I was looking at a new gloss.  I've also found that if I did pick up a gloss to buy, I usually would put it back since I would interest in it. This change in my spending and thinking about my collection is what I really wanted to come out of this endeavor.

I ended up wearing lip balm more often than gloss and tried out a few different ones: Maybelline Baby Lips in Quenched, Burt's Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter, EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Strawberry Sorbet, and Smith's Rosebud Salve.  Of the four, I like the salve the best.  Baby Lips has the type of finish I like to wear under lipsticks but I didn't find it that moisturizing.  The other two I find to have a more waxy texture which I'm not the biggest fan of - I feel I have to put a lot on to feel like I'm wearing anything.

Lip gloss I wore the most: Rimmel London Stay Glossy in Always Lovely. I really love these lip glosses, especially to layer.  Slick and moisturizing. I also really like Timless Allure when I want a darker lip.
Products I liked to use most when layering: MAC's Viva Glam Gaga and Pixi Beauty Magic Tink Tint. I love trying out different combinations and since I have quite a few pink lip glosses, these are very good bases for experimenting with. I especially like to use the Gaga lipstick (also my favorite MAC lipstick so far) since it can really change depending on what lip gloss I use.

I think I'm going to stop this Project 10 Pan, mostly because it'll never be finished and I think it's safe to say I've moved on from my lip gloss addiction.  I'm focused on trying to use up my samples that have been collecting from my Glossyboxes. I try to keep my beauty collection under control for the most part but I would like to do a 'real' attempt at Project 10 Pan in the future.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Nice Cup of Tea

My friend Alex is moving down to LA at the end of the month and he wanted to get a group of friends to go have tea one more time before he left.  I've never had a chance to go to the previous times tea had been planned so I was very excited and had high expectations since everyone who had gone just raved about their food.

 
 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Obsessively playing this



Coasterville. I play this game way too much.  I resisted playing games on FB for forever and just recently started playing this a couple of months ago.  I love simulation games like this and this is the game I play the most on FB.  It's not the prettiest park (I definitely need to reorganize it) and completing quests is my major thing to do.  I just wish more of my friends played!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The New List

Start Date: 5/19/2013
End Date: 2/14/2016

Travel and Events

Go a classic car show
Go on a flash light tour of Winchester House
See at least one play
See at least one opera
See at least one musical
See at least one ballet
Go see a roller derby meet
Attend LOJ Masquerade
Go to the Disney family museum
Go to Vegas
Go to a film or music festival
Go to a new convention
Attend an auction
Attend a Will Call
Go to IMATS

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Project Review

I recently got sick a couple of weeks ago and am just about over it, and finally getting the motivation to blog again, I discovered that I passed my end date for the List.  April 28.  And I have to say, I'm a little surprised and kind of disappointed in myself for not getting more done.  And yet, it's very interesting to go back and look at what I had written down as my goals.

When I made this List, I had just recently finished college and had just gotten a new job after searching for a few months.  Looking at the List, a lot of my goals involve money: trips or buying things and I think that shows where I was at that point. I was finally back in a job and earning money, with a main goal of saving up for a car but still had a bit of spending money.  I realized that several of the items I put on the List were not going to happen but the point of the List is not to see how doable the goals are, but that you write down what you really want to try and accomplish and do your best to do just that.

I also realize that I was kind of lazy.  The List was never that far from my mind but there were several times through out this, that I got very low and just had no motivation (for anything really). I know the reason behind these low points was my job. I've come to a certain way of thinking about my job and it's ultimately still a goal to find a new one, but it's a bit hard when I know I'm secure in my position as well as it's been difficult to find anything.

I plan on making a new list in the next couple of days and I'm pretty sure it's going to be rather different - I have different goals and trying to move on towards a new chapter in my life.  But I'm excited for another go at this and look forward to what I'm going to accomplish next.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sakura-Con 2013

So yes, I'm still alive. I'm really being awful with my blogging - school just sort of drains my energy to do anything.  But, I'm not doing spring quarter (yay!) and not sure if I'm going to continue with bookkeeping.  I am, however, planning on taking online makeup classes for certification which I'm really excited about.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ask Me Anything

So, I see a lot of 'ask me a question' posts on my Tumblr dash, and since I'm stuck in bed sick, I thought I would take the first one I say today and answer all the questions and post them here.  I actually have a 10 Pan Project Update post in the works but don't have the energy to really focus on it (I'll try to get that up in the next week or so).


Snow White: Do you consider yourself pretty? Name the part of your body you think is the most beautiful!
After I put my ‘face’ on, yes. I think my eyes are my best quality.
Cinderella: What is your shoe size?
9.5 or 10 depending on the shoe
Sleeping Beauty: How many hours do you sleep each night?
On the days I work, 5-6 hours; on my days off, 8 or more
Little Red Riding Hood: What is your favourite food?
I love food and will give a general answer: meat

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Glossybox: December 2012

So I haven't written up about my Glossyboxes for a while since the past few boxes just haven't been that interesting.  However, December's box was the best box I've gotten to date so I thought I would do a write up. It's a very generous box which is only fitting since it's the holiday box.


Madurai Jasmine & Mogra Bath and Shower Oil by Forest Essentials. I've been curious about bath oils for a while but have never bought one thinking it would be a pain to deal with.  This came sealed thankfully as it seemed to have spilled a bit inside the wrapping (how I have no idea).  It's quite a powerful scent but very nice (those who are big fans of jasmine would be happy with this).  I haven't tried it yet as I don't have any jasmine scented body products (and I don't want various fragrances to clash).  I would like to try the body wash in this scent as well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's 2013! We've made it to another year and I'm hoping that it's a good one. I usually don't do much celebration wise; I ended up with a migraine and couldn't go over to hang out with friends. Christmas decorations were taken down a couple of days ago which always makes me sad. Tomorrow is the start of Winter Quarter which I hope goes well since I'm only taking two classes.

Does anybody have any resolutions for 2013? I gave up on making resolutions a couple of years ago but I've decided to try to do some this year:

Keeping this blog going: About halfway through Fall Quarter, I totally ignored my blog.  Was too busy keeping up with my classes and wasn't doing too much that would be interesting to write up on.  So I'm quite determined to keep writing on a regular basis (ha!) even with school and such.  I've decided to stop doing In Review posts mostly because I don't do much for long periods of time and because I feel I complain too much on those posts. My blog is a year old and I'm hoping to make it a little more put together.

Be more optimistic: I'm a rather pessimistic person. It's hard to look on the bright side of things when all the negative is right in your face and it doesn't look like things are going to change soon.  So, I'm trying to think of ways to be more positive. Be it in quotes, funny videos, or anything else I can think of. If you have any suggestions, please give them to me!

I'm turning 25 this year, and I'm kind of determined to make some big changes. If things go well, I'll be done with school by fall, will hopefully have a new job, and my biggest goal is to be able to move out.  Good luck to everyone! I hope 2013 is starting off well for you all.