Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it

So today I just wanted to write about something that has really inspired me lately: believing in yourself.
I was watching a video the other day (one of the Shaytards video, if anyone watches YouTube videos - you should check them out if you don't! They are a great family who vlogs their daily life) and Shay was saying how important self-belief is. It basically breaks down to this: if you are trying to achieve something but you think to yourself "Oh, I could never do that" then you never will. If you are giving up right as you begin something, then you will never get far enough to actually achieve it. You have to stay positive and keep telling yourself that you will be successful, and that all of your hard work will pay off in the long run. People like Bill Gates and J.K. Rowling did not become extremely successful by constantly putting themselves down and not believing in themselves; at some point they had to have said to themselves "You know what, I am going to work as hard as I can and make  myself become successful." I guarantee you they didn't just sit around and wait for their success - they went out and achieved it themselves, with the help of self-belief and positive thinking.
 I know all of this sounds so cheesy, but the power of positive energy and thinking is extremely important to success. Your mind is a very powerful thing, and can oftentimes be the only thing holding you back. In many cases, you are the person who limits yourself the most with self-doubt, and the belief that you truly cannot do something. If you want to be a doctor, then great, go for it! If that isn't your cup of tea and you would rather be an artist, hats off to you! Just make sure you don't doubt yourself, and constantly put yourself down. When you tell yourself that you can't do something you instantly put a road block in your mind, and in your life. With thoughts like that, you won't be able to achieve anything because you will start to truly believe you can't. Your negative thoughts eventually turn into your beliefs, so if you keep limiting yourself with "I cannot's" then you will never achieve "I did's." You have to act as if you know  what you are trying to achieve is going to come true. However, just because you unabashedly believe you will succeed, doesn't mean there won't be any hardships. The road to success isn't a smooth one, but the power of positivity helps make it a little bit easier.
The well known saying "never say never" (ugh, insert Justin Bieber reference here) is known throughout the world because of its truth; you will truly not learn the outcome of all the "what if's" if you say "never" to all of them. Who knows what you could achieve if you stopped doubting yourself?
I think the reason why this stuck with me so much is because I will be starting college soon, and I'm anxious about my future and what I will do with my life. I still don't have a solid plan about what I want to study, major in, or even make a career out of. It's also exciting, though, because I feel as though I am finally beginning my life, and I want to have a positive start. I am one of those people who can't be negative all the time or I will give myself a heart attack! I am much more productive when I am surrounded with positivity, and I think that is true about most people. Allowing yourself to be positive and have a great outlook on life truly goes a long way. Positive energy attracts positive energy when it comes to the ways of the world, so it is a great practice to always look on the brighter side of things.

What do you think about self-belief? Have you ever struggled with it?

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Favorite Books Lately

Hey guys!
So as some of you might know, I have an obsession with reading. Okay, maybe even a slight addiction. I go through books like crazy, and tend to just buy books when my friends and I go shopping; they get bags of clothes, and I get bags of books. If I could have a job as a professional reader, I would be the happiest person on the planet...
Anyway, I have been wanting to do more posts about reading and the books that I'm currently reading and/or enjoying, so I thought now would be the perfect time since I have fallen in love with quite a few new books (don't worry, Harry Potter, you will always be my favorite - bad joke, I know).

I am a huge fan of reading actual physical books, and I refuse to get an e-reader of any sort (I might regret saying this in the future, as I might get one for college textbooks, but that will be for strictly academic purposes only...I hope).

So this series is a spinoff from Richelle Mead's other series, Vampire Academy, and I know some of you might be thinking "seriously, vampires?" but trust me on this one, these series are so much more than the lives of vampires. They are written so well and have such great character developments that all of the characters feel like real people. The issues that they face are not strictly about love, but rather loyalty and the question of whether the truths that you have grown up with are always completely right or not. There is romance in the books, of course, but it isn't the stereotypical "oh my gosh I have just met you and now we are soul-mates" kind of love, but the fact that sometimes you can't deny it when chemistry is just there between people, and that some people are worth breaking the rules for.
The series is primarily about an alchemist (a human who knows about vampires and helps them cover up their existence) who has to pose as a high school student along with another group of vampires in order to protect the newly found princess from rebels who wish to hurt her. Sydney, the alchemist, is a very practical person who hates vampires, but is slowly starting to become close friends with her little "family", and begins to question where her loyalty should truly lie.
I can't get enough of Richelle Mead's books, and I could go on and on about how much I love this series and her other one, so just at least give this series a try, because trust me, you will love it!

Before I decided to read this book, I had been seeing it for so long and heard a lot of positive reviews of it. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games and more books like it, so I decided to give this one a try, and was pleasantly surprised about how much I ended up liking it. I wasn't sure if I would like it as much as The Hunger Games, but I really did! The book was written really well, and has a great plot.
It is about a sleepy beach town in California that suddenly has an invisible dome around it, and when this dome appears, all of the adults and teenagers aged 14 and over disappear. The town is left with a bunch of kids struggling to survive through power struggles, the emergence of mysterious powers, and mutating animals. It sounds absolutely crazy, but it was a really great book! I will definitely be reading the series.

I absolutely love this book, and series. This is the third one in The Lunar Chronicles, which is basically a modern take on classic fairy tales, like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and in the third book, Rapunzel. However, all of the portrayals of the "princesses" meet in various ways and all end up fighting for the same cause, which is basically overthrowing an evil queen (go figure since it's based on classic fairy tales). This book is so wonderfully round - it is filled with humor, sadness, adventure, and even a little romance that balances out so well. Each of the characters are so interesting and they are all tied together in the most ingenious ways. The books are also connected really well, which I was worried about since each one has a different main character.
I cannot wait for the fourth book in the series!

This book, and the whole Selection  series, is so good. The whole premise behind the story is very similar to the television show, The Bachelor; however, these girls are vying for the heart of the Prince of their country. This has been the way princes have found their princesses in their nation, and now it is time for Prince Maxon to have his own Selection to find his wife, since ultimately the decision is his.
 The main character is named America, and she didn't even want to sign up for the Selection in the first place, (girls across the nation have to apply to be a part of the selection, and then the king "randomly" chooses who is to be a part) because she doesn't want to be a princess. She is a number six on the "social scale", with the royals being a one, the king's guard two, and so on and so forth until number eight which is basically way below the poverty line. Throughout the series she has mixed feelings about Maxon because she is finding it difficult getting over her previous love. She also wants to see changes in her country, and is seen as very controversial due to her courage to speak out against the way things are run in public events.
It is a dystopian  story along with a love story that explains the aftermath of a horrible war and how their nation came to be. This nation, however, is still corrupt and has many rebels trying to harm the royal family in order to claim the power for themselves.
Overall, it is one of the best series I have read and loved so much in a little while, and it is a very big emotional roller coaster! The characters are so believable, and surprisingly, the whole series is not, in fact, about love and romance. There is a lot of questions about society, the way the law works, and why sometimes change is really for the better. I could not recommend this book more!

I have heard a lot about this book, so finally I broke down and read it. I was afraid it would be really similar to Before I Fall, (which I did not like at all despite it being quite popular and well received), but boy was I wrong. I ended up finishing this in about three hours because I could. Not. Put. It. Down.
The book is about a girl who is in a car accident while in the car with her family, but she is the only survivor. Her body is in a coma, but her mind is very awake, and she is in a ghost like state because she is able to walk around and listen to all of her loved ones, but they cannot see her. In order to escape this state, she has to decide whether or not she wants to wake up and continue living without her parents and little brother, or if she wants to join them in death. I found myself being so sucked into her life and love of her family and friends, that I could see such a great ending with either choice she made. If she decided to live, she would have a bright future filled with the remaining family she had, and wonderful friends who loved her very much. However if she decided to die, she would be with her parents and little brother whom she loves very much, and would be at peace and would not have to go through the pain of losing them.
I laughed and cried while reading this, but oh my gosh was it good. I honestly was not expecting the book to be so great, but it more than exceeded my expectations! They are coming out with a movie based on the book, which I'm excited but nervous to see, since the movies are never as great as the books.

Well, that's it for my favorite books as of late! I'm always open to suggestions, so if you have any good recommendations, just leave a comment! :)

What are some of your favorite books lately?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a great day!  :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dorm Room Inspiration

Hey guys!
I have written a couple of posts in the past couple of days, but saved them as drafts, as I just want to let them kind of...stew, for lack of a better term! So today I thought I would share with you guys how I'm hoping my dorm room will turn out! I move in on September 19th, so I want to get a bit of an early start on getting decorations and all of the necessary items sorted out.

I would love  to find a tapestry or something like this to hang in my room since we can't paint or anything. It's so pretty and would definitely personalize my dorm a lot more!

I also love the idea of hanging lights and pretty fabric over your bed! This would make it seem so much more cozy and home-y.

 These little photos hanging off of fairy lights are so cute! I love how it looks at night.

 This is such a great idea! I really want to break out of my shell in college and have the time of my life, and this would definitely force me to do it! The little bucket on the side is so adorable, too.

The birds flying along the lights are so cool as well - I love bird silhouettes!

I love how clean yet boho this looks! I absolutely love dream catchers and really want to put one up in my dorm, so something like this would be perfect! I think I might do something similar by my desk. And it would be cool to put pictures in the shape of my home state!

This is basically exactly how my dorm is going to be set up, with my bed being lofted and my desk underneath it in order to save as much room as possible. This room just looks so cozy and home-y! I would really like for my dorm to look like this.

How cool are these lights?! I have seen this DIY project on Pinterest and I am definitely going to give this a try. If it's a success, then you will be seeing it in a future post! However, if not, then in the pile of "DIY's From Pinterest That Didn't Work" it will go.

I also like the simplicity of these two - it kind of reminds me of snow and rain. They would also be a really classy way of using fairy lights, and not just look like strands of lights strung around everywhere!

 My mom made a couple of these for our house, and they are so pretty! I would love to have these in my room (even though I'm not 21 yet, but I mean wine bottles are classy right?) to remind me of home. I might be able to use Mason Jars, too!

Ahhhhhh if only I had the room for a bookshelf like this in my future dorm's going to be super weird not having all of my books with me! I have about three or four book shelves in my room (by now I'm having to stack them in random places because I'm running out of room) so I'll have to be picky about the ones I take with me to college!

Well, there you have it! I would be extremely happy if my dorm room turned out like any of these pictures, and I'm hoping that they do! I'm on the hunt for the perfect decorations >:)

What kind of decor do you like?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Boscia B.B. Cream

Hey guys!
So I have been using the Dr. Jart water infused BB cream for over a year now, and I have bought several tubes of it. However, this last time when I was about out, I decided to try a different BB cream for a couple of different reasons: my skin has been kind of dull lately, and I have noticed a couple of little red bumps on my face that have showed up recently. While I have loved this BB cream for a long time, I think my skin just needed to switch things up.
Because of this, I decided to sample a couple of BB creams, and finally decided on the one from Boscia (I didn't know this brand is pronounced like bow- (as in hair bow) shuh, and had been pronouncing it like boss-kia this whole time, hahaha oops). There's a higher SPF in the BB cream from Dr. Jart so I think that might've contributed to the little red bumps, because my skin is suuuper  sensitive and I always get rashes from regular sunscreen, so I have to wear baby sunscreen. Talk about embarrassing. Anyway, I have noticed that I have fewer red bumps now that I've been using the Boscia BB cream for a little while.

So far, I have really been loving this! It makes my skin look really glowy, which is perfect for summer. It does have a slight shimmer in it, so if you don't like that, I wouldn't recommend it for you. I have dry, sensitive skin, and so far (knock on wood) this hasn't given me a rash or broke me out. I love that it has SPF 27, because I have pale skin that does not take well to the sun when unprotected (we're talking like beet red sunburns if I don't wear sunscreen). My skin has also felt really soft, and honestly feels better once I have worn this all day. It's supposed to make your skin feel great, and so far it has. I am a huge fan!

It also matches my skin really well, and blends in easily. It lasts all day, even after a full day of work! I really love it, and think I've found my new favorite BB cream for the summer. It hasn't gotten super hot yet where I live, so we'll see how it stands with the weather, but it does get pretty warm where I work (my parents' baker) so I think it'll do just fine.

Do you use a BB cream? If so, what's your favorite one?

Thank you so much for reading and have a great day! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I Learned From High School

It is official. I have graduated from high school!!!

Me (left) and two of my best friends
I can't believe it's over and that I'm going to be going off to college at the end of September. Honestly, I really don't feel any different, just happy! I am completely stress free now since finals are over - being stress free is pretty great! If any of you guys still have finals going on, keep studying and it'll all be over soon, and you'll be able to enjoy the summer! :)
In this post, I want to talk about all the great and wonderful life lessons (ha yeah right) that I learned from good ol' high school, and not just graduation, since there really isn't a whole lot to talk about.

1. Following the crowd just means you're not leading yourself. I know this is something that is said a lot, but it is very true: always  be yourself. It's no fun trying to be someone you're not in order to fit in with everyone else. Not having the latest and greatest technology, not liking the newest pop songs, not having brand name clothes that still smell like the factory they were made in, or not being caught up on the latest trends is fine. You should be more concerned with who you are, and what you truly like instead. Like country music, vintage collectables, and have clothes that aren't designer? Great! Just as long as you are being true to who you are, carry on living your life the way you want to.

2. Being a "cool" kid is not the most important thing in life, and won't even matter after high school. I don't know about other schools, but the "popular" kids at my high school were the party-ers who went out every weekend, drank, and did drugs. I wish I was over-exaggerating, but I'm not. Most of them were extremely rude and hated everyone (including their "best friends") and believed that everyone loved them. In reality, they were not well liked (surprise, surprise) and had very few true friends. So, again, be the person you want to be, and find friends who truly care about you.

3. People will change, for better or worse. It is inevitable that change will happen in high school, both physically and mentally. Some of these changes are good, and in other cases, bad. Sometimes, changes aren't really good or bad - they can just mean that you are going down a different path then someone else, which is sad, but does happen. It doesn't necessarily mean that one person is better than the other, it just means that you are becoming different people who don't really fit into each other's lives anymore.

4. Having a solid group of friends is very important. It's really nice to have a group of people whom you can depend on if anything ever happens. If you have an awful day you can vent to them about it, or if you aren't feeling safe, you have people to go to in order to solve the problem. I've always been very close with my family in addition to having a great group of friends, so it's nice being able to get advice from them, but I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a close relationship with theirs, so a group of close friends is even more important.

5. Your parents do actually know what they're talking about sometimes. I know sometimes it's hard to believe, but this is, in fact, true, and sometimes they can relate to your problems. They, too, went through high school so they have had much of the same experience as you. I always go to my parents for advice since they've lived much longer than me and have a lot of wise words to offer, and it usually helps me figure out tough situations. Sometimes the advice your friends give isn't as good, because they're basing it off of hypothetical experience - they haven't always gone through the situation you are asking advice about. Because of this, advice from your parents can be particularly helpful. But don't get me wrong, advice from your friends can be great as well.

6. Find something that you love to do. With the stress of school, friends, and just life in general, it really helps to find something that you love to do in order to relax - whether it's a sport (I was on the swim team all throughout high school), art, writing (I also did a lot of this), reading (huge fan of this)...there's plenty of options. I found that having something you love that you can throw yourself into helps keep you sane so you aren't drowning in stress. It also helps you to find other people who are interested in the same thing, and enables you to connect with them.

7. Having an incredible love life is not the most important thing in the world. I know, I know, at this age it can be hard not to want love and an incredible relationship, but do not make it your only goal. I knew people like this in high school and they often ended up miserable because they're whole life was centered around finding a significant other. Do not, I repeat, do not think that your happiness is centered around finding someone to be in a relationship with, or finding someone to fall madly in love with and have some epic love story. You are the only person who can make yourself happy! Don't let your happiness depend on someone else because you will not end up very happy, or it will take a long time to get there. As cheesy as it sounds, allow yourself some time to get to know yourself and realize who you are, separate from other people.

8. Not everyone is going to like you, and you're not going to like everyone. This is completely okay, and a natural fact of life. It would be impossible to get along with every single person you encounter, and to like all of them. Sometimes you meet people who you simply do not like; when you do come across these people just nod your head and walk away. I'm not a confrontational person (I loath confrontation and try to avoid it at all costs), so I have found that it is easier just to focus on the people who you do get along with, and just spend time with them. However, sometimes it is hard to avoid people you don't like, so you have to find someway to coexist with them. This has happened with me, and I'm sure most everyone has been in this situation, and when this does happen just try your best to act "professional" and, if possible, try to avoid talking to them. If you have to, just think of them as any other person, and disregard your feelings toward them and try to work together. It is easier said then done, but in the end it will all work out.

9. Try to be the bigger person in arguments, and simply walk away. This can be really hard in some cases, but it is, a lot of the time, the best option. When dealing with a bully or someone you simply have conflict with, just realize that you don't want to lower yourself to their level and say things that you wouldn't if you were calm. This is a great trait to have for your whole life, so why not start in high school.

10. The saying "what Suzie says about Sally says more about Suzie then it does Sally" is very true. I really hate drama, and having it in my life, so I tried to avoid the whole gossip and rumor mill in high school. It makes life a lot easier, and you find better friends this way. I knew a lot of girls that were "best friends" but would then go and talk about each other like crazy behind each other's backs. This said a lot about what kind of person each girl was (and still is), because it showed just how petty and rude they are. So, once you make friends, it's usually best not to talk about them behind their backs, or anyone for that matter. It doesn't matter if you know them well or not, it is always a horrible thing to start rumors about other people.

11. Be comfortable in your own skin, love yourself, and be true to who you are, no matter what anyone says. Bullies are cowards and are more often than not, very insecure about themselves. Don't let anyone make you feel less about yourself, because the only opinion that needs to matter to you, is yours. My dad has always told me this, which has really helped me to not care (as much) what other people think. Yes, it is very hard sometimes not  to care about what other people think, but always try to stay true to yourself and what you like. You shouldn't ever have to change for other people; the people who truly care for you won't care who you are, because they'll love you just the same. And never be afraid to be yourself! Fitting in is over-rated, and the most interesting people are never clones of other people. Remember that there is only one you, so be the best you possible, and be proud no matter your ethnicity, sexual orientation, financial situation, and all sorts of other factors: BE YOU.

Thank you so much for reading; I hope you have a great rest of your day! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May Favorites!

Hey guys!

I'm sorry it's been a couple weeks since I've posted, but I have been super busy as always. It's the end of the school year (my last day was yesterday!) and it's senior year so I have been crazy busy with finals and graduation requirements! I have graduation on Friday, so these last couple weeks were the final stretch and I had to be focused on school. I was so stressed out, but now I am super relaxed haha it's a complete 180! Now I'm just really excited for graduation and this summer :)

Even though I was really busy in May, I did actually have a lot of favorites that I managed to spare time to get. A lot of that has to do with Prom since I needed a couple of make-up products, and luckily I ended up loving a lot of them!

 This lip balm has been a life saver! My lips usually get dry around this time of year, and I tend to pick at them when I'm stressed, so they were in pretty bad shape but this little guy fixed them really quickly! I put it on any time of the day, but I always try and put it on at night so I wake up with nice, soft lips. And it smells really nice! I love both lemon and vanilla so this is perfect for me.

 This has also been really useful! With my lips being dry and flaky, I have used this quite a bit. I like to use it especially before I wear lipstick so it goes on really smoothly. It also smells great and tastes really yummy! I have always loved bubblegum (when I was little I always chose the bubblegum flavored medicine haha) so this is right up my alley!

 Okay, so I had been using the Almay eye make-up remover, but it burns my eyes really badly - sometimes they would even be red after I used the product, so I decided I should probably switch to a different one. I went into Sephora and they suggested I get a cream eye make-up remover, so I got this one! It has a lot of other benefits as well, like moisturizing under your eyes, and it works really well. It takes off all of my make-up, even mascara, without any mess and leaves my eyes feeling amazing! I love it so much.

 So I had been running extremely low of my usual concealer (the Make Up Forever HD concealer) so I decided to go in and get another tube of it, but they were out of my shade. Since I was basically out, I needed to get some that day so I decided to give this one a try since people have said that it works just as well as the Make Up Forever one. Plus, Tarte uses great ingredients and doesn't test on animals! This product works great and conceals really well! The only thing is that it isn't matte so you have to use a good finishing powder so your face doesn't look oily, but I always use powder to set my make-up anyway, so that really doesn't bother me. Overall, this is such a great product and my new favorite concealer!

 I got this lipstick for Prom since I needed a more nude color, so I picked this up in the shade "Angelic Nude." I ended up reallllly loving it! It looks so pretty on because it looks really similar to my natural lip color, so it just adds a little subtle pop to my lips. The formula is also so great! It hydrates my lips instead of dehydrating them like a lot of lipsticks. It really melts into the skin and feels so great, and it doesn't sink into the little fine lines on lips so you don't look crazy by the end of the night. You do have to reapply it every couple of hours which doesn't bother me because my lips feel so great while wearing it! It is seriously just like really pretty chapstick.
 Here's a swatch of the color.

 I ran out of my previous setting powder, and I had really been wanting a translucent one so I decided to give this a try. I have heard great things about it and I really love it! It sets my concealer under my eyes so well. I love how it makes my skin look after I apply it, and it has made my morning routine a lot faster! My skin also feels so soft after I use this.

 I also got this brush to apply the powder with since I didn't have a big, fluffy Kabuki brush. It's super soft and I love it! It works really well for putting on powder.

Alright, that's it for my favorites! What did you love in May?

 Thank you guys so much for reading and I hope you have a great day! (:

Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Alba Botanica Good and Clean Cleanser

Hey guys!
So about a month ago I was looking for a new facial cleanser because I became really unhappy with the one I had from Burts Bees. I really love Burts Bees, but they changed a lot of their formulas, and my face wash was just not working anymore. My pores felt really clogged, and my face just wasn't getting clean. So, I went to Target with no product in mind really, and this one caught my eye.

I had never heard of this brand before, but I looked it up and saw that a lot of people love it, and specifically, this face wash. They don't test on animals, and they use natural ingredients that still allows this product to gently cleanse sensitive skin which is exactly what I needed. I really wanted something that would cleanse my face and leave my pores feeling nice and clean, but isn't too harsh that would cause my skin to break out into a rash. I love my skin, but boy do I have to be extra careful with it! Even sunscreen gives me rashes, which can be quite annoying in the summer.
This face wash smells ah-mazing as well, and really leaves my skin feeling refreshed! I use it once a day when I take my shower in the late afternoon/night, and then I follow up with my F.A.B. face lotion. I only wash my face once a day because it is super sensitive and pretty dry, so I really don't need to in the mornings - I just put on some lotion and BB cream and I'm good to go. I have noticed that since I've been using this product, my skin has been glowing in the mornings, and it has fixed all of the issues my previous face wash caused. I am very pleased with this product, and I definitely recommend it for all skin types! It has become my new favorite facial cleanser.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great rest of your day! (: