17 things i learned being 17

On November 15th, I turned 18. That is INSANE to me. I am officially an adult. This past year has been all about growing and learning for me. I have definitely changed as a person, friend, writer, blogger, and student. Not only did I get my license, but I also started my first official job, finished my college applications (and even got some acceptances back already), and so much more. I know that I will continue to grow everyday, but I wanted to do this post so that you guys can hear some of my advice (no matter what age).

  1. take care of your body.
  2. do what makes YOU happy
  3. it’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out
  4. crying does not make you weak!!
  5. not everyone is meant to stay in your life
  6. be kind to everyone
  7. mistakes are okay
  8. don’t be afraid to show people you care
  9. write everyday
  10. you can say “no” without making up excuses
  11. get off of your phone sometimes
  12. don’t be so negative all the time
  13. don’t let the little things bother you
  14. embrace the future, don’t let it scare you
  15. you are the only one who can make things happen for yourself
  16. stay humble
  17. you are doing just fine

Each of these little lessons/reminders have helped me live a less anxious and happier life. I struggled a lot at the beginning of the year with anxiety and stress, but these tips were really useful. I hope you keep these in mind, and I hope they help you out!

xo, Jessica

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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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change | journal excerpts

Change has always been a good thing to me. I have embraced it with open arms every time. I can not even imagine a life where I am stuck with the same routine day after day. I do not want to sit behind a desk and watch my life pass me by. I want a career where I can explore different paths daily and have new adventures. I’m not sure where life will take me just yet, but I hope that it will bring me to change. Because change is the only constant that I want in my life.

//

I keep telling myself that my life won’t really start until I’m older. When I have a real job, and I’m living on my own. But life is short. And I don’t know how long I’ve got. So what am I waiting for? 17 years of precious time have gone by. It is time to go out and make something of myself. Live a little more. While I still can.

//

Her eyes lit up when she talked about it. She was so passionate about the art she created, and she couldn’t get her mind off of it. The happiness she felt when a paintbrush was in her hand was enough to make anyone smile.

– jess

notes from my journal

i stared up at the white, wispy clouds. the sky was a beautiful shade of ocean blue. you sat beside me and took in all my features. all my imperfections. i turned to look back at your emerald eyes and smiled. we were surrounded by the world, yet you still told me i was the most beautiful sight. i never felt as full and happy as i did in that moment. you handed my all your thoughts wrapped in a neat bow while i let out my deepest secrets in an explosion. we were total opposites. but when you said those 3 words, i knew that opposites really do attract.

i fall in love with the idea i create of people, rather than who they truly are. i have too much faith in people and in love. i am definitely a romantic. i try so hard to make relationships work, expecting people to change. i get my hopes up and end up disappointed every. single. time. it also makes it so much harder to get over someone. i only want to believe they are good-hearted, rather than face reality. but i would always choose to be full of hope than completely hopeless. because maybe true love really does exist.

you don’t have to have it all figured out. in fact, you shouldn’t. life is messy. life is unpredictable. things don’t ever go according to plan. just embrace every moment with a positive mind and see where the world takes you. the universe always has a plan.

you finally told me everything i always wanted to hear, but i realized it didn’t matter. i’m not the same person as a year ago. i know who i am and what i want. it just isn’t you anymore. and i’m sorry to myself that it took so long to realize my worth. but i’m okay now. i finally got the closure i needed so desperately and i can move on with my life. it truly is freeing to feel this way. i can finally be happy and be myself again.

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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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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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a new beginning…

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, but it was definitely a much needed break. Here’s why-

It’s time for a fresh start. I’ve been posting every 3 days on this blog for the past few months, until I realized my content is boring and not my style. I want to write. My posts have been nothing but generic topics on things that I am not even interested in.

Almost a year back, I wrote a post similar to this one. Basically, I just want to write posts based on topics that I find interesting.

 I went through all of my old posts and made a lot of them private (I could not bear to get rid of them completely) in order to regain some control. The focus of my blog is and always will be my thoughts. This will be in the form of poetry, discussions, mood boards, etc. I will continue to post my book reviews, music recommendations, but there will be no more fashion and beauty. That category will be eliminated. I grew, I changed. It is not something I focus as much time on anymore, and not something I want to write about. This does not mean that I no longer love it, I’ve just changed my writing style. 

I changed my blog theme in order to have this new beginning, and I edited the categories to more relevant ones.

I will be featuring more pieces that I love from artists I find intriguing, and I will be writing more in-depth posts. I will also only be posting once a week, maybe more if I am in the mood. There will be no schedule, however; I don’t want the posts I write to feel forced.

I hope this change is a positive one, and that you will stick around. 

Lots of love,
Jess

Bad Habits To Break

We all have our own bad habits. Mine, for example, is biting my nails. I always try so hard to stop. Today, I wanted to share 5 bad habits that you might do, and why/how to stop it. I am definitely guilty of most of these, but I think they would help us all become better people if we learned to stop them!

  1. Snacking on junk food when bored: I know we all do this. You’re watching Netflix or doing your homework, and before you know it, you are three bags of chips and two cookies deep. The constant junk food snacking is really bad for you. You lose sight of the body’s natural reaction to hunger, and eventually this overeating can lead to chronic diseases. Remind yourself that you are not hungry, and wait until you can hear your stomach grumbling before you pick up a quick snack. Or, just switch to healthier foods, like fruits and veggies.
  2. Not accepting compliments: Ok, you might be a little confused by this, but hear me out. Do you ever have conversations that go like this:
    Person: Wow, your makeup looks so good!
    You: No it doesn’t. I really don’t like it.
    or
    Person: I love your shirt!
    You: Oh, I just got it at Marshall’s, it was really cheap.
    Why don’t we ever just say thank you? I, personally, feel super awkward when someone gives me a compliment, because it makes me feel like I’m in the spotlight. However, I think we all deserve to be in that spotlight sometimes, and should allow ourselves to feel good about the compliment. Just say ”thank you”- its okay!
  3. Skipping breakfast: I know you’ve heard it before- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But this really is true! It is easy to just make a quick breakfast of cereal, toast, oatmeal, eggs, etc. in the morning, so don’t skip it. It will help your metabolism get a quick start in the mornings, and it can make you feel more awake. People who eat breakfast in the morning generally perform better at school or work. Just give it a try.
  4. Going on phone right before going to sleep: This one is really important. Going on your phone before bed can affect your sleep. It makes it so much harder for your brain to shut off, because the light makes it think it should be awake. Eventually, this long term sleep delay can mess with your bodies systems. Instead, try reading a book before bed, meditating, or doing some yoga. It really will improve your sleep.
  5. Constant negativity/anger: It’s okay to be upset sometimes, but it should not take over your life. Allow yourself to let go of all the pent up angry emotions you are feeling. It will help lead to a happier and more positive life. According to some studies done, reducing the anger-induced stress from your life can improve your immune system, lower blood sugar, and even ease chronic pain. Before you get upset over something, think about how much it will affect you in a few weeks. If it won’t be important, don’t get angry.

Are you guilty of any of these? Which ones?

XO, Jessica

Twenty Things That Make Me Happy

This year, one of my biggest goals is being happier. The past few years of my life have consisted of me complaining and feeling down, so this is one attempt to change that. I think listing the things that make you happy and you are grateful for shows us how much the world has to offer.

  1. Sunsets- I can stare at them for hours
  2. The Ocean- I love the forceful waves and the constant change
  3. Puppies- who doesn’t love them?
  4. Books- I can see/travel the world from my room
  5. Sunflowers- I think they are so pretty and they’re yellow (my favorite color)
  6. Poetry- Very raw and relatable; puts life into words
  7. Thunderstorms- something about them makes me really, really happy
  8. Stars- I love to stare up at the sky at night and see them twinkling above
  9. Driving- having my license has been a huge benefit
  10. Long Walks- My absolute favorite way to spend time
  11. Music- I wouldn’t be able to live without it
  12. Blogging- It changed my life
  13. Autumn- My favorite season ever
  14. Twitter- I learned a lot from the people on there
  15. Track and Field- I love being on the team and running for fun
  16. Mozzarella sticks- I have a huge obsession
  17. Candles- Make me feel so cozy
  18. Blankets- On cold nights, I love to be wrapped up in one
  19. Baths- Key to a relaxing night
  20. Family and Friends- My biggest supporters and the reason I am alive

What are some things that make you happy? Comment down below 🙂

XO, Jessica

(Late) Spring Cleaning

Yes, spring began almost a month ago now, but it’s never too late to do some cleaning up! I went through and de-cluttered a lot of my room a few weekends ago, so I thought I would give you some guidelines for cleaning up your own!

Clothing

First, I go through my closet and take out all my clothes. My floor basically disappears for a few hours, but that is okay! I make 3 piles- keep, throw out, and donate.

If there are some clothes you haven’t worn in over 6 months, donate them. Trust me, this will make your closet look much neater. I know it can be hard to part ways with some of your favorite pieces, but what is the point of keeping something you don’t wear if someone else could get use out of it?

There are some clothes that I find have stains I can’t get out, holes, or are just too worn out to even donate, so I toss ’em. And of course, the clothes I still wear and love, I keep.

Desk

I am guilty of hoarding all my old school notes and papers, letters I get, notebooks, books, etc. They just sit on top of my desk and never get any use, though. Those old papers I mentioned before, I try to go through them and recycle it if I know I won’t be needing it. Of course, it may be necessary to keep some important documents, but I doubt you need those receipts from three months ago anymore.

I also organize the drawers and boxes on my desk, because all my sticky notes, cables, and pencils tend to get super messy. I return whatever I know is in the wrong place, and make the items appear to look better.

I also sift through my pens, markers, and pencils and test each one to see if it still works. You know the drill- if it doesn’t, toss it.

Makeup

This is one category I often forget. Go through your makeup and throw out anything old and expired or emptied. If there are products you have only used once sitting in your drawer, see if any friends want them. Unfortunately, you can not donate these, so throw them out if left unwanted!

Clean your makeup brushes as well. If you are anything like me, you probably haven’t done that in a while.

Computer and Phone

At least twice a year, I go through all the documents on my laptop and delete things that I no longer use. I find that there are applications that I accidentally downloaded, pictures I saved but don’t need, and old papers I can delete. It will even give you more storage!

I also go through my phone and delete apps I don’t use, and messages I don’t need. Also, I delete pictures that just take up space (screenshots, not memories).

Finally, I back up my phone to my laptop, and my laptop to my external hard drive.

Re-Decorating

The last step to my spring cleaning is redecorating and rearranging. Back in middle school, this was more of a monthly thing, but now it has become seasonal. I sometimes change out my comforter to match the warm weather, and I add new plants or picture frames. This step is all up to you.

For the final touches, I dust down all surfaces, vacuum the whole floor, and make my bed. My room (and my life) feel less cluttered.

Xo, Jessica