2018 goals

I am a huge goal setter. I set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for myself all the time because I like to keep myself motivated with them.  So naturally, I had to create this post because the beginning of 2018 is now upon us. I know 2017 wasn’t the best year for everyone, but that just means we can only go up in 2018. Besides the things that were going on in the world, I changed a lot in 2017. However, I am looking forward to 2018, and I hope to change more than just myself- I want to change the world.

And now, the reason you clicked on this post- my goals!

Say “yes” more

I say no to going out and doing things a lot. I am a homebody, and I need time for myself in order to recharge. I haven’t been spending a lot of times with friends over the past couple of months, especially since I started working. Over winter break, I finally had the rest I needed, and I feel like I am ready to go out again.

Go on more adventures

Like I said before, I stay home a lot. When I do go out, it’s always to the same few places, and I don’t mix it up a lot. This year I am hoping to change that. I want to explore new places in my town and in my state. I want to step out of my comfort zone and see all the different sights there are to see.

Use my film camera more

Over the summer, I bought a film camera, and since then, I have only developed one roll of film. I want to take more pictures and actually use the camera, since I spent a lot of money on it. I want to take the pictures so I can turn them into physical memories. I just need to remember to bring the camera with me.

Spend Less money

I have been a shopaholic my entire life. This is my worst trait in my opinion, because it means when I finally have some money, I impulsively buy way too many things that I don’t even need. If I only follow one resolution, I want it to be this one. Wish me luck (I’m really going to need it for this one).

Read for quality, not quantity

In 2017, I read a total of 65 books. My goal on Goodreads was 50, so I definitely surpassed that. However, I was constantly picking up the shorter books from my TBR in order to finish more books. I don’t want to read like this in 2018, because I don’t want reading to be a competition. Therefore, I set my goal to only 1 book this year so that I can still keep track of what I read, but without the added stress of reaching a goal.

Get organized when it comes to blogging

Way back two years ago, when I first began this blog, I was so organized. I planned out each post, I scheduled them weeks in advance, and had all my pictures taken and ready. Now, I write blog posts in a hurry because I find that I never have time to write them. I want this to change. I want to go back to producing quality content. Hopefully this first post will begin this challenge. I also want to get a routine and a schedule for posting.

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Those are all of my goals for this year. What are some of your resolutions?

xo, jessica

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first q&a !

A few weeks ago I asked you all to ask me some questions for a Q&A, and now I’m here to answer them!

What book(s) made a huge impact on you as a kid and now?

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was The Hunger Games. I was obsessed with it and it was one of the first books that I actually couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I was in 6th or 7th grade when I read it, but I think it would be so interesting to re-read it and see if my opinion has changed at all.

Now, there are way too many books that have had an impact on me. To name a few- To Kill A Mockingbird, The Hate U Give, The Princess Saves Herself in This One.

Has a book ever derailed you and completely changed the course of your life?

No, a book has never completely changed my life. There are definitely books that have changed my mindset or made me see things from a new perspective, but not enough to change my life around.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I am planning on going to college to be a public relations major, so I would like to be something under that field. Possible a publicist or a public relations manager. I also hope to be an author, which would be my ultimate goal in life.

Do you collect anything? If so, what?

I don’t collect anything now, unless books count. When I was younger, I used to collect many random things- rocks, nail polish, etc.

What is your favorite poem and favorite form and why!

I have so many favorite poems. There are honestly too many to choose. One of them is haiku #2 from Madisen Kuhn’s book “Eighteen Years”. I also really love poems by Amanda Lovelace.

I don’t have a favorite poetry form though. I like any style, as long as it is well written. What I look for in poetry is just emotion and an ability to relate to the subject.

If you’d like to answer any of these questions in the comments, feel free to do so! I’d love o know your answers.

Also, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and an amazing holiday season!

See you soon.

xo, jessica

end of the year goals !

I can’t believe it’s already December. This year went by insanely fast but I feel like so much had happened. 2017 was just wild. I am ready to embrace the new year with open arms and see where life takes me.

By the way— my next post is going to be a Q&A so ask me questions on this post if you want!

I have some things left to accomplish by the end of this year still, so here’s to hoping i can complete them all.

  1. Read 65 books- i have already read 63 books, which means I only need to finish 2 more books in about 2 1/2 weeks. I have started multiple books that I have yet to finish, so I should finish at least 2, if not more.
  2. Develop a routine for blogging- I started working a real job back in September, and ever since then, blogging has been extremely difficult. I need to work on setting up a schedule every week so that I don’t fall behind all the time.
  3. Write 35 pages in my journal- I have multiple journals, but I have one that is strictly dedicated to writing poems. I have about 30 pages written in it, but I want to write 5 more. I haven’t done a lot of writing recently, so I want to get around to it.
  4. Finish watching The Carrie Diaries- Yes, this is my third time watching this show, but I can’t get enough. I have less than 1/2 of the second season left, so it shouldn’t take me long to finish.
  5. Start Working Out Again- I haven’t worked out on my own in a really long time. I started fitness in gym class this marking period, so at least I work out a little bit. I really want to get back in shape and actually feel motivated to work out.

little chat + update!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to write a little post updating you on my life and where I’ve been. My last few posts have been very short, generic, and not very personal.

School has made me extremely busy, especially with this being senior year. It is important for me to keep my grades up for this semester since colleges will see these grades. I have finished all of my college applications, but that took up most of my time in the beginning of October.

I also started a new job at the end of September, about a month from today. That has taken up so much of my time. I used to have my weekends free so I would plan and write out all of my posts. Now I work 8 hour shifts and it is hard to manage writing. When I come home, I am usually exhausted and don’t want to do anything. I am trying to work on my time management now that I have a new responsibility, but adjusting to my work schedule is a bit tricky.

Anyways, my new job has also sparked the creativity inside me a bit. I work at Michaels, so I am constantly surrounded by paint, crafts, and washi tape. I have been using my watercolors a lot this month, so maybe I can share some of my art soon.

I also have a new journal with me coming up in a few blog posts, because I know I haven’t done one in FOREVER.

Overall, I have really felt inspired to create, I just haven’t always found the time to share it. Hopefully I will be able to post more frequently soon, and I will be back on my game!

Thank you all for being so patient.

xx, Jess

how to ACTUALLY prevent breakouts

I never really struggled with acne, but I get multiple breakouts a month, which can be so frustrating. They always pop out at the worst times. With the school year starting, stress can be a big factor in the breakouts I get. There are always some things you can do to prevent them, though.

Today, I have 4 tips that have really helped me.

Change your pillow covers often!!
This is a big one for me. Sleeping on the same pillow everyday can cause tons of bacteria and oils to get on your face. If you don’t have multiple pillow covers or time to wash them a lot, I suggest getting 2 facial towels and putting those on your pillows at night. That’s what I do. They are the perfect size to cover my whole towel, and I can easily wash them at the end of the week, without much hassle.

Drink lots of water
An app that might help you with this is Plant Nanny. This app is the reason I started drinking 85 oz a day, and I have seen a huge difference in my skin. Water will keep your skin hydrated, and it will flush out the bad oils. It is definitely a must.

Wash your face everyday (and moisturize)
This is so so important. I have never, in at least a year, gone to bed without taking off my makeup. That is so so so bad for you and I can not stress it enough. Even if you didn’t wear makeup one day, please wash your face. It can make a big difference in your skin. Try to keep up the same routine everyday. Also, make sure you moisturize. Even with oily skin like mine, moisturizing is still important.

Avoid Dairy
This is my last tip, and the biggest one. Dairy causes so many breakouts, at least for me personally. I love dairy, so I could never cut it out of my life completely, but try to limit your daily intake. If you struggle with acne, and you eat a lot of dairy, try cutting down for a few days to see if it helps!

Let me know if you try any of these tips, or if you have tips of your own to share!

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july

This month has been filled with so many new experiences for me. I spent a week at a beach house in North Carolina, which was super relaxing. It also gave me a chance to reflect on the past month. Here are some of my favorite things.

Watching

  1. Gilmore Girls- I decided to finish rewatching this show because I wasn’t in the mood to start something new yet. My love for it was just as strong as the first time, and I am glad I watched it again.
  2. The Silence of the Lambs- This movie is insane. I can’t believe I haven’t watched it earlier. I highly recommend checking it out!
  3. Jaws- Another movie I can’t believe I haven’t watched earlier. It made me slightly terrified of the ocean for a few weeks, but I have recovered.

Reading

  1. Zines- I have been reading so many zines this past month. Zines are mini magazines that are DIY’d and can be on any topic you choose! I have both been making them, as well as buying them! My current favorite shop is Quietly Written on Etsy. My favorite zine is the Write It Down one! It was a great read.
  2. Shatter Me series- I read the first book “Shatter Me” last summer I believe. I kept promising myself that I would finish the series but I didn’t get around to it until now. I just finished the 3rd book and I am so happy I decided to continue it. The second book was my favorite of the three, and I can not wait for the next 3 books to come out.

Listening

  1. Lorde’s Album (Melodrama)- This whole album is absolutely incredible. Lorde’s music is always amazing, and this album is no different. I began listening to it a lot more this month.
  2. H.E.R. (Every Kind of Way)- I was introduced to H.E.R. by my friends and I fell in love. My favorite song at the moment is Every Kind of Way!
  3. Madison Beer (Dead)- This song is SO good. I haven’t listened to Madison Beer much before this song, but I will probably be checking out more now!

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Other

  1. Acrylic Paint- Painting has always been a part of my life in the form of watercolors, but I decided to explore other mediums. My obsession has been acrylic paints this month. I have so much more control with the artwork I create.
  2. Minimalism- I am definitely not considered a minimalist. I am the biggest hoarder ever. I have been reading a lot on the topic, however. I have made an effort to get rid of the unnecessary clutter in my life this month. So far, it’s working!

 

That’s all that I have for my favorites! I hope you check some of them out 🙂 What have your favorites been?

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Camp NaNoWriMo!

I never thought I would actually be saying this, but I’m writing a book! I decided (very last minute) to join Camp NaNoWriMo this year and try to actually start writing. I’ve always wanted to sit down and write a novel, but I never got around to it.

What is Camp NaNoWriMo? If you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), then this is a less strict version of that. Basically, it is a site where you sign up and set a goal of number of words you want to write in July. My goal is only 10k words because I’ve never written an actual novel, and I want to start small. This way I won’t be too hard on myself if I can’t write too often. Plus I am going on vacation on the last week of July, so I don’t think I will be writing much then.

You also get to pick a cabin (or get assigned one) with a group of other campers! Your cabin mates are there to help keep you inspired and motivated. The concept is really adorable, and I am excited to begin!

My novel is still in its beginning stages. I started with one concept on July 1st, and I wrote about 400 words until I decided I wanted to change it completely. So yesterday I wrote an entirely new outline with a plot I like a lot better. I am now at about 500 words, and I plan on writing 1000 today.

I don’t have a synopsis written yet, but that is my next goal.

Here is a small snippet:
At night, she often looked up at the bright, night sky. The twinkle of the scattered stars put her in a trance. Her name was Summer Rhodes, but she never resembled the warmth and sunshine of that season. No, she was more of an Autumn. Her hair was like fire, and it flowed all the way down to her hips. Her eyes were a Caribbean green. She was beautiful. It was the middle of the night, and, as she often did, Summer climbed through the window of her small, 2 bedroom apartment to gaze out at the darkness. The wind was cold against her body, and her arms shivered at the touch of it. Fresh air was what she needed. It slowed her breathing and calmed her heart. Nothing could steady her overflowing thoughts better. 

Let me know what you think down below!
I will post updates every now and then, if I have something to talk about!

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the law of attraction

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a Youtube video about the Law of Attraction.  I was super intrigued by it almost immediately. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the topic, and I thought I would give a bit of an explanation on it here in case you haven’t heard of it!

The law of attraction is a belief that the universe does things for you based on your thoughts. It says that everyone has the ability to “attract” the things they want into their lives. This can range from relationships, finance, and your career.

At first, I was super skeptical of this idea, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It basically goes along with the idea that a positive mindset will bring positive things into your life. Obviously, this is just a theory, and there is no definite proof that it will work for you. However, there are tons of success stories online of people who decided to try it out for themselves.

The same goes for negative energy, though. If your thoughts are very negative, the experiences you have will show that.

Basically, your mindset is super important when it comes to your own well being. I haven’t tried out this idea for myself just yet, but I really want to see if it is beneficial. You will not achieve any of your goals if you don’t think about them and ways to accomplish them. The more you think about something, the more likely you are to do something to get there. If you visualize what you want, it will come.

Have you heard about this theory? If so, have you tried it out?

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Life Update

I’m sitting in bed at 7:52pm, without a single worry right now. It is June 19th, meaning my last day of junior year. These past 10 months were my most stressful and lonely year of my school life. This summer will be a much needed break for my mental health.

So this is where I’m at right now.

I had grades lower than I ever thought I could, and I had a couple of breakdowns. It felt like I was slowly sinking lower and lower into a never ending pit. I was sad a lot of the time. I didn’t want to go out with my friends, so I just sat at home. I didn’t feel like doing anything.

I am finally getting over that. It is a slow process, but I am happier again. Currently, there is a beautiful rainbow outside my window, and I am listening to my favorite songs. This is what a perfect night looks like to me.

I have been drinking more water (75 ounces a day!) and my skin has cleared up a lot. I am also feeling better about my body and building towards my goal by working out daily.

I haven’t been reading as much as I want to be for the past two months. I guess I am in a bit of a slump. But I’ve been doing so much writing. My writing style has changed, and so has my perspective. I have improved drastically compared to my writing from just a couple of months ago.

I have also learned to be more patient, more humble, and more loving. I try to keep my mouth shut rather than arguing in some situations. Some people are just not worth the energy.

I guess that while this school year was tough, I know that I survived, and I only have another 180 days to go. I can do this.

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Interview- Ashley’s Lens!

Yay! I finally have another interview 🙂 This one is with a Youtuber I recently found, whose videos are so incredible and inspiring. Let’s just get into it.
I know you have a Youtube channel (which you can check out here), could you tell everyone what type of videos you post?
Yes I do 🙂 I post stuff about art, photography, film, music, and life. I like to talk about stuff that I know will help people, concerning depression and anxiety, just to be an online friend for some people. But also about more uplifting things like books and my general thoughts on life. From time to time I also sing and post covers or original songs. I try not to be tied down by one specific thing though.
Why did you decide to start a Youtube channel? Where did the idea to make one come from?
I started Youtube because of music, actually. When i was around 12, I never used to watch “Youtubers” back then, but as i started posting (really crappy) singing videos, i soon began to lose interest because the music community on Youtube is extremely cut throat and very demotivating. So I took a 1 year hiatus and fell in love with the youtube community as an audience member and learnt the responsibility, passion and dedication a creator must have – I came back with film, my first “short film” called Letter to September around a year ago (I think, maybe 2). Then, I was into Youtube for the right reasons, and it took me till January 2017 to starting posting every Monday (people that don’t do Youtube will never understand how much commitment that takes)  and now here I am.
You posted a brilliant short film titled “Things We Didn’t Say.” How long did that take you to plan out and write?
Before that film i had been planning another film, more classical than Things We Didn’t Say, with a cast and characters and dialogue. However, I started getting stuck at every crossroad and couldn’t write it as one cohesive thought. Thats when the “incident” that inspired the film happened, right when I had given up on my previous idea. It took me about 2 weeks to write, taking some lines from previous unshared work. It also took about 6 re-writes in those 2 weeks and I tried 4 different sets. It was a short but complex and flowing process, i loved every second of it and can’t wait for the next one.
Where do you get the inspiration for your videos from?
Inspiration can’t be pinned for me, it comes just when I don’t want it to. If I try force it, it never comes. I was feeling rather depressed today for the first time in a while actually, and I went down to the beach because I really needed air and thought I might puke, and sitting there in self misery and disgust I came up with a stellar idea for my next writing project. Inspiration comes from dark places, light places, all over really.
What are some of the challenges of having a Youtube? Has there ever been a time when you wanted to quit?
Ha. Yes and No. Youtube is kind of like all hobbies/jobs. There are parts that you hate and parts that make it all worth it. I used to hate coming up with ideas and that’s what stopped me from uploading often but now I just turn the camera on and talk. Whether it’s cohesive or not – doesn’t matter. If you go into youtube completely committed and completely careless as to what the people want, letting what happens happen but on a regular basis, making sure you do it for you and no one else – there really is no downside. I do it to create things and to keep me healthy.
What is your favorite part about Youtube?
Just with my small subscriber base i have a new family. For example;  I have Mark that always comments an essay about his life, and I love learning about him every week. I have Dylan that always snapchats me. I have Sophie who always comments “YAAS”. I have Lola that always writes three honest lines. and so many more. I’ve made so many cool friends. Unlike school, where you’re forced to make friends with strangers, youtube allows you to connect to people who are just like you.
Are you working on any big projects at the moment that you plan on putting out into the world soon?
numero uno – more classic short films
numero dos – (merchandise… how exciting!)
numero tres – more poetry and monologue films
How do you unwind/relax after a hard day? What are some of your tips for relieving stress?
Going to be honest, I’m not good at relieving stress because I don’t really let anything harsh my mellow. School doesn’t stress me because I don’t think it’s that important in the grand scheme of things, but I still try my best. I just try my best at everything I do. If I try my best, I have nothing to stress about. Even if my best isn’t “up to standard”, I do what I can and I’m happy with that.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years? What do you hope to do in the future?
I hope to be happy, most of all. Living somewhere busy in my own swanky apartment with lots of cats and plants and stuff from Pinterest, you know. But firstly happy, that’s what’s most important to me. I also hope I’ll be creating stuff all the time, and I hope one day I can support my family with my art (as a HAPPY artist).
Finally, if you’re not filming a video, what are you doing?
Napping with my cats: Lilly and Cuddles. Shoutout to the real inspiration for my happiness.
Thank you so much Ashley! It was a pleasure to have you featured on here. You’re responses are amazing, and I hope someone gets some inspiration from them.
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