Monday, July 25, 2016

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts #25

WOW I can't even remember the last time I wrote one of these posts (actually I just checked, it was in May, whoops). I hope everyone is surviving through Summer ok (I'm trying).

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Any income earned goes towards feeding my turtle and paying for a place to live :P

1. I've been going through a weird book-blogger problem lately. For the first time in quite awhile, I'm getting a LOT of reading done (I'm usually a slow reader, so this is important) - but now that I'm getting so much reading done I'm not feeling inspired to write book reviews. And it's not because I'm not enjoying the books (I am), I just want to spend more time reading them than I want to spend writing about them. On one hand I feel like I should write about them, but on the other hand I've always told myself that I wouldn't push anything blog related unless I really wanted to do it (because I don't want to get #bloggerburnout and all that). I'm lame.

2. On that note, I just finished reading My Best Friend's Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix, who I think is becoming one of my favorite authors. Last year I read Horrorstor, which I loved (I reviewed it here, because I clearly wasn't in a writing funk at the time). But you know how when you read one book by an author, and you're like, "do I really love this author, or do I just like this one book?" That's what I was wondering right before starting My Best Friend's Exorcism, because let's face it, the plot sounds hokey. And, I was kinda hokey (set in the 80's, teenagers, the occult, yeah ok) but in a really fun and enjoyable way. Loved this book! Anyway, I'm going to try forcing myself to write more about this book soon!

This book also led to me finding this super magical kawaii desu unicorm pentagram necklace on Etsy,
which I strongly desire but am not allowing myself to purchase.

3. My birthday was on the 23rd! I've never liked getting older, but I'll admit having your own special day is fun. Since it was on a Saturday and I work in a performing arts theatre, that meant I had to be at work that day. I didn't mind, though. I have a lot of fun at my job (we were doing a 5 week run of The Little Mermaid!!!), and I work with Andrew and a bunch of my friends! I'm a lucky lady <3 Also one of my friends there shares a birthday with me, so it was double the fun! Andrew is taking me out for birthday dinner + poke-hunting + comic book date this week (the comic shop is right next to a large body of water where I'm told there's tooons of water pokemon! Right now the only water-poke I have is the Squirtle I started with hahah).


4. ...and on that note, I've been pretty hooked on Pokemon Go. I'm not playing it super-hardcore, like I'm not driving to a lake an hour away because someone said there's a Gyarados over there, but I'm still having fun. I like to check in when I'm out and about to see what kind of Pokemon are around (Target is FULL of Pidgeys). The theatre I work at is a Pokestop, and the actors are always throwing down Lure's and I get to collect alllll the Pokeballs, so that's fun. Also I live right by a pond where you can check in to 5 Pokestops just by walking the short path around it, so in the evenings when it cools down Andrew and I like to walk around there a bit when we can.

Which team are you?? I'm really into these silicone team bracelets, and they're only $2.49 =O
I also like that the band is thinner as opposed to the standard 1/2" bands. #VivaLaValor

5. This Thursday my friend is taking me to the fair and we're going to pet baby goats. BABY GOATS, YOU GUYS. I can't wait <3

Bookish (and Not-So Bookish) Thoughts is hosted every Wednesday (even though I suck and never actually post mine on Wednesday) by Bookisly Boisterous <3 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Casual Cosplay Connections: Max Caulfield (Life is Strange)

Last month Danielle and Charlie announced a new blog project they were starting called Casual Cosplay Connections! There's a set theme each month and you have to put together a "casual cosplay" outfit that fits with the theme. The only rule is that everything you use must come from your own closet. What's casual cosplay?! Basically it's when you're wearing an outfit meant to be reminiscent of a character, without being a full on costume of that character. So for example you might just use a few elements from the characters outfit, or maybe just be wearing the same color scheme. Like, an Aquaman casual cosplay might be a pair of green pants, an orange shirt, and maybe some seahorse earrings if you're feeling fancy.

The first theme was video games, so I picked a relatively new favorite, Life is Strange. While the game has supernatural elements, all the characters look and act like your typical high schoolers; so stealing one of their outfits was easy peasy. The protagonist is Max Caulfield! She goes through a few different outfits in the game, but I picked her borrowed "Rachel Amber" outfit, because...well, mostly because I own a red flannel. Not gonna lie.

Max is a photographer and spends a good chunk of the game taking pictures (you also earn achievements for taking pictures hahah), some of them being selfies!!! So I used that as perfect excuse to use my new selfie stick! Which doesn't have the same effect as Max's mirror selfie, but I don't have a full length mirror so here we are. I gotta say, I think selfie sticks get a bad rap. Obviously there are times when it is and isn't ok to use them, but most people seem to think that if you have one then you're just vain and obsessed with taking pictures of yourself! Not true! Last month two of my friends and I had a picnic and one of them brought her selfie stick. We were going for her birthday and she wanted pictures of the three of us. The only other options would have been using the self timer, which doesn't always work well if there's no good spot to perch your phone, or ask some rando walking by to take your picture, which isn't always a reliable option and sometimes not safe. It's nice to be able to take pictures of you and your friends YOURSELF without the pics being super close selfies, because no one has long enough arms. So yeah. A week after that I saw a selfie stick at WalMart for $4, so I bought it :P ANYWAY. Sorry for the rambling. Here's my outfit!

Must work on selfie stick arm holding skills.

Obviously you can't see it here, but my shorts totally have rips in them just like Max's jeans, but my shirt covered them and I didn't realize until I already had the pic on my computer! If my hair was a few inches shorted we'd even have similar haircuts. If you're into those story driven episodic type games, definitely give Life is Strange a try. When I was first playing it, I loved it so much that I wrote this really long post saying so.

Be sure to check out the outfits the other girls came up with! Danielle, Charlie, Ashlee, Kelsey and Mandy all did great :D If you also did a CCC post and I didn't list you, please let me know! I admit I've been so behind on blog reading lately. Next month the theme is 90's cartoons! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July Goals + June Check-In


Kind of embarrassed, but here we go hahah. June's goals:

1. Get better at promoting The Powerpuff Bloggers. SORT OF. I finally made group buttons! See it? On the right? So pretty. Other than that...not really. But, uh, join us?

2. Start looking into wedding locations. NO, BUT I FINALLY STARTED THIS MONTH. Shame on me, sigh. But like I said, I have finally started. Three days ago >_>

3. Read one book I already own. FAILED AGAIN BUT DEFINITELY HAPPENING THIS MONTH. Ugh this is embarrassing. Last month I wrote "As much as I love the library, I think I need to finish reading the books I have checked out now, return them, and then stop checking out books for awhile." and I'm happy to say that I did keep that promise; I haven't checked out anymore books. I spent June reading all my library books and now they're all returned.

Sooo I completed 1 out of 3 goals -_- Let's see what we can accomplish this month?

1. Fix my blog nav-bar. It started misbehaving last week, so I just took it down :( Although since then I've noticed many of the blogs I read don't have one, which never bothered me, so do I really need one? Idk. Even if I don't fix my bar I still need to find another way to easily find categorized posts.

2. Join Hero League in Heroes of the Storm. As much as I love this game, you'd THINK I'd already be in Hero League, but alas, I am not. To do it you need to own at least 14 heroes that are level 5 or higher. I generally rotate between the same 6 or so characters, meaning I don't have enough level 5 characters yet. I'm workin' on it.

3. Start working on another step challenge for The Powerpuff Bloggers. We're all hyped up on Pokemon Go right now, so everyone has been hitting their step goals like crazy, hahah!

All pretty frivolous goals this month. I've been so busy lately...I know if I set up big goals I won't complete them! Plus the month is already half over :P

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

48 Days of Blue - What I Learned

Back in April I wrote about how I'd be participating in 48 Days of Blue, a challenge that took place from April 22 (Earth Day) to June 8th (World Oceans Day). The challenge is about increasing awareness of the role the oceans play on our planet + ways we can all help. There are alot of ways that anyone can help save our oceans, with hardly any (if any at all) sacrifice. I was really excited to learn some new things, and hopefully share the information with others that needed it as well. I tried to document some of the daily prompts as I did them, but I only managed to do it a handful of times (I still did the challenges most days, I just didn't always take pics and things). Now that the challenge has wrapped up I wanted to share some of what I learned!

48 Days of Blue

Skip the Straw - In America we use and throw away an estimated 500 million plastic straws every day, and many of them just end up on the ground or in the water (you know, where they can't be recycled and don't decompose). So this challenge was to not use any straws that day. If you're eating at a restaurant this is easy, just don't unwrap the straw. But if you, like most of us, go to Starbucks (or any other coffee joint of choice) a little too often then you know that makes things a little trickier. Look into getting a reusable straw to bring with you (like this set, also Starbucks sells sets that are really cute!). Better yet, just bring your own cup. The plastic cups they sell at Starbucks are sized to fit their drinks, so just hand them your cup when you order. Dutch Bros (my fav) does this too. I'm sure MOST coffee places do, but tbh I don't branch out much hahah.

48 Days of Blue

Skip the Stream - This challenge was to pay more attention to your water usage. Not letting the water continuously run while you brush your teeth and wash the dishes can save up to 20 gallons of water a day. The average American household uses 400! I'm good at turning it off when I brush my teeth, but sometimes I leave it running a little more than I should when I'm washing the dishes. Doing all your dishes by hand really sucks!

48 Days of Blue

Waste is Whack - This challenge was to keep a list of everything you threw away that day, and at the end of the day note which items (and how) you could have kept them out of the waste stream. My list was a cough drop wrapper, coffee filter, TP roll, and some post-its (this was a slow day for me, so tbh a "normal" day probably has a lot more trash than this). Unfortunately I still have to throw away wrappers and TP rolls, BUT this exercise got me looking at reusable coffee filters. I use paper coffee filters every day, so a reusable one will definitely cut back on waste + save money in the long run! Also, I don't have one, but if you own a Keurig you should SERIOUSLY get a reusable K-Cup coffee filter! Yes, it's a little more work, but plastic K-Cups are SO BAD for the environment - so bad that the creator regrets even making it.

48 Days of Blue

Detox Your Mailbox - On average, we receive 41 pounds of junk mail every year. Almost half of that goes to the landfill unopened. I try to get on "do not mail" lists but a lot of it still comes through anyway?? Any tips on this would be appreciated. Anyway, I do the next best thing and recycle the rest. My apartment doesn't have recycling bins which is SUPER FRUSTRATING to me. But our complex is right next door to a house and they let me use their bin, as long as I don't have too much! Recycling 1 ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, two barrels of oil and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of energy!

48 Days of Blue

Meatless Monday - A vegetarian diet could reduce water consumption by about 58% in the US. You don't have to go full on vegetarian (I need meat, sorry!), but just going meatless one day a week can make a big difference. Since I mostly live off of breads and cheese this is actually pretty easy for me :P On this day I tried a recipe from my Vegetarian friend...which didn't actually work out because I added too much cheese >_>

48 Days of Blue

Unplug for an Hour - According to a Nielsen report, Americans spend 11 hours a day with electronic media. I'm certain I don't spend THAT much time staring at a screen, but I easily spend more time than I should. This challenge was to turn off your phone and "unplug" for an hour (I promise I turned it off right after I took this photo, hahah). At the time I had just gotten Archie, Volume One (I reviewed it here!), so spending an hour without electronics was way too easy.

48 Days of Blue

Ready Set Shower - Did you know that shortening your shower by just two minutes can save about 5 gallons on water??  So obviously this challenge was about shortening your showers. Pictured is a five minute timer I keep in the shower; sometimes it's fun to see if I can beat the clock :P Sometimes I fail, but at least I'm trying? The timer was given to me by some PG&E dudes that came to do some water/energy check on our apartment, but I found the same one online for $3.50.

48 Days of Blue

Ban the Bead -  This was the most eye opening challenge for me. Hundreds of personal care products are filled with tiny plastic (non-recycleable) particles called MICROBEADS. Microbeads are too small to be filtered out of water, so they end up in the ocean, where they get into our sea life, and maybe even end up in your food (this short video explains it really well). There wasn't a super specific "do this" challenge that day, it was more about sharing the information since many people (like me) just don't realize the negative impact these type of products make. That night I did a scan of my bathroom to find how many of my products contained microbeads...which was difficult because most products don't clearly label them as"microbeads." I found 4 items, mostly body scrubs. The only scrub I have that does NOT contain microbeads is St. Ives Oatmeal Body Scrub. I was really surprised to find out toothpaste has microbeads??! So that sucks, hahah. If you want to do the same, check your product labels and look for polyethylene, polypropylene and polymethyl methacrylate.

48 Days of Blue

Bring Your Own Bag - Americans throw away an estimated 100 billion plastic bags each year, and on average bags are only used for 12 minutes before being thrown out. Reduce waste and recycle your plastic bags; a lot of stores have special bins for this exact reason! Or take it a step further and bring your own bags to the store. If you live in the city chances are most places already make you do this! Where I live I think they're trying to ban plastic bags? But currently we still have them so I don't know what's going on with that. Either way, I'm trying to get into the habit or keeping a reusable bag tucked in my purse so I don't have to use plastic ones anymore. I like to collect bags from events I've been to, or of things that I like, that way I'm excited to use them and don't forget them at home :P Some stores even give you discounts for using your own bag!

Even though the challenge is technically over, I highly suggest checking out the 48 Days of Blue website if this interests you. All the challenges and information are still listed there, so you can start your own challenge and maybe even rope a few friends into joining you?!

P.S. - The most popular question/comment I had on all my photos when I posted them on Instagram were about my jellyfish! I named her Jubilee the Jellyfish, and she hails from the Etsy shop, Nothing but a Pigeon :)