I'm sure by now that some of you reading this know my news, but I'm going to announce it again for those that don't know.
An essay I submitted to an upcoming Chicken Soup book has been accepted for publication. The book is called "Chicken Soup: Thanks to My Mom" and the story is called "Quadruple Love". It is due out in March 2015.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is one of the first series I've read that really got me into reading, aside from Harry Potter of course. I think it was just the idea that the stories submitted into the books weren't fiction in the slightest, they were about real and ordinary every day people so it made each category easy to relate to.
I think the stories and the book series helped spur my love of writing and wanting to become a published novelist, but of course I had some major help from my 6th grade Writing Workshop teacher. Although, it does make me cringe thinking about my past writings and the fact that she had to read and grade all of them. -shivers-
The books also help give budding writings a chance to try and obtain an accomplishment, have a piece published. Okay, maybe not everyone is a writer and they just feel that their story connects with a book topic. These books provide an amazing platform for everyone.
I've been submitting stories to this book series for a while now and the fact that I was chosen out of thousands of applications makes me feel special, not just because I want to be writer, but because they saw something special in my story and my words.
This book series has a wide range of topics so I'm sure anyone would be able to find something to relate to.
I love wearing boots. They can bring any casual wear up to being nice or dressy-nice. I have what you would say a collection of boots. Over the years, sometimes, it gets hard for me to get rid of a few pairs of them for various reasons. I remember I was a little sad when I had to give up my first pair. I had owned and worn them from the eighth grade up until my sophomore year of college.
I actually end up naming my boots. Some of them I named myself and some of them other people have named for me. The names are as follows:
-These Boots Are Made for Walking boots
-Pirate Boots II
-Stormy Grey Boots
I've never had all eight of these boots at one time and I would switch out the boots I would wear depending on the color of the shoe and the season.
With it being winter, it is time to bring out your colorful sweaters, scarves, knitted hats, gloves, and jackets and shoes. Leg warmers and arm warmers are making a comeback. If you don't own any you can make a simple and easy pair out of old socks.
Colorful and patterned tights/tights with a design are big right now as well, especially if you wear them shorts, skirts, or jeans with holes in them so the pattern peeks through. Yes, you can wear tights or leggins under jeans. Even though no one can see them, they keep your legs warm through the bitterly cold temperature.
Word of warning though, leggings are only to be worn in place of pants if you are wearing a long enough skirt, dress, or tunic. Leggins are not pants.
Knitted hats or bean hats have always been a staple for winter wear. You can find them at most clothing stores or if you know how to knit, you can easily whip up a hat in a variety of colors and styles that would make people ask you where you got it. Scarves are a must have as well. These days there are various types but a popular scarf this year is the hooded scarf. You can wear it around your head to protect yours ears from the cold and then pull it down to have it worn casually around your neck.
Don't put away your colorful sweaters too quickly. Even though Christmas is over, pattered and designed sweaters are a must have during the winter season. They can easily bring up the look of a regular pair of jeans. Plus, if you have a sweater tunic, they would look great with both tights/leggins or pants.
Finally, with jackets, really any jacket will do. Pea-coats are great for women to give them that feminine look. What is also big are faux-fur trims on the jacket like a hood or even faux-fur vests. It adds a classic sleek style to your look and you won't be harming animals in the process.
Don't forget these tips to bring up your winter fashion.
So, Wednesday January 21st was my first day volunteering at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. It is only about 10 mins away from my apartment so the drive was very easy.
I worked from 10am-1pm. While first arriving I told the guest services desk that I was volunteering with Facilities. Judging by the response I heard over a walkie-talkie, they were surprised that there was a volunteer. I wasn't sure if this was because they don't get many volunteers for Facilities or they weren't told they were going to have a volunteer help today. I went to check if my volunteer badge was created yet. It wasn't so I kept my id on me just in case.
The first thing I did was pick up trash from behind the visitor center and clean up trash, leaves, and branches from the parking lot behind the visitors center. Working outside wasn't too bad. It was only a bit nippy. When I was brought outside to help with that the job was almost finished so it didn't take me too long to complete it.
Then, I went to the cafe area where the Facilities worker, named Verna, was painting the walls with her two children. By the time i arrived the job was almost complete so i didn't do much except dab a few spots. I helped clean up their supplies and swept the floor.
Afterwards, I was supposed to go with Verna and Susan, Verna's co-worker, to the WOW Children's Garden but their golf cart only fit two people so I waited at the cafe for them to drive down and then come back to get me. At this point, i was a little bit disappointed because I was expecting to be doing a lot more work. The time it took them to go down to the WOW Children's Garden and then back was about 30-45 mins. At this point I was bored so I decided to look around the cafe.
The cafe area is currently under renovations and closed for the winter season. It is planned to re-open in April. I thought it was a nice face with plenty of seating in the building itself and with outside seating for the warmer months. Ironically enough, I noticed decorative items in the cafe from Kirkland's. For those of you that don't know I work at a Kirkland's. I'm so used to seeing the items in the store that now I recognize them used as decoration for other places.
So after the long wait I am driven in a golf cart to the WOW Children's Garden and I walk into the classroom. My assignment there was to clean the baseboards but like the first two assignments I had, the job was pretty much almost done. I spent the last 45 mins of my volunteer hours for the day cleaning the last few base boards and trying not to choke on the cleaning spray fumes that the heat and a/c was blowing back into my face.
At the end of the day, my first volunteer day wasn't good and yet wasn't bad. It was okay. I think I just expected there would be more for me to do. There were times when Susan and Verna would stop to wonder what they would have me do until someone over the radio would ask for their help with something. I might have not had a lot to do because I was there in the middle of the week and it was over cast and pretty cool outside. Apparently, the garden gets more visitors during the warmer months which doesn't surprise me.
I'm volunteering again on Saturday in the library and depending on how that works out I may just stick to volunteering in the library and for other special events that the garden may need help with. Aside from enjoying being with the people I worked with and knowing I helped complete tasks faster for the crew I worked with, I couldn't help but feel like I wasted a little bit of my time. Plus, seeing as today was my day off from work halfway it made me wish I didn't offer to help today and just stay in my apartment all day and just relax.
In the long run, though, i am glad i volunteered. I love the garden, i love the atmosphere, and I just like helping people. Hopefully it gets a bit better the more I volunteer.
A trend that I have recently gotten into is ear cuff. They are your standard earrings but have a clip or cuff where you can fasten to a higher part of your ear. There is still a general post at the bottom so you can fasten the earring in your usual ear lobe piercing.
I don't remember how I got into this trend but I am in love with it. It adds an edge to standard earrings. For a while now I've been going back and forth on getting my cartridge pierced and with the cuff I'm able to see what it would look like if I did actually get it pierced.
There are various types of ear cuffs and in numerous different styles. Stores like Claire's and Icing by Clarie's sells these items at a decent price. I suggest though you don't get your ear pierced at any of those two stores.
Aside from a general cuff like this:
there are also chains:
This trend in jewelry also makes a big fashion statement on red carpets. Though they are usually worn during the summer, ear cuffs can edge up any outfit.
Which style of ear cuff would you wear?
Well today is January 6th 2015. I started this post on January 1st 2015 but I got very busy with a few good things happening (thank you to my strong beliefs in karma and the bunny bunny chant) that i now got around to finish this post.
2014, looking back it had its peaks and valleys. Near the end it was definitely filled with valleys (anyone who is my friend on FB would know) and then the last day was a very very high peak. The seasonal job I had acquired for the holidays turned into a permanent part time job and let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air when I was told.
For those of you that don't know or didn't remember, i set a list of goals for 2014. They were not my resolutions but they were my goals and/or my plans. This way if I didn't finish something that i had planned to do or had as a goal i wouldn't feel as bad as if i were breaking a resolution. So, here is my list from 2014.
**Items in bold or with a date are goals/plants that have been completed
Goals/Plans for 2014:
-Practice Tarot more
-Continue to think positively
-Use my roller skates more
-Walk the loop once a week
-Use my phone less
-Write in my journal at least once a week
-Write handwritten letters and send them 2/14/2014 and 5/30/2014
-Become more spiritual
-Release Cassie & Nikki
-Read an hour a day
-Write an hour a day
-Get rid of the toxins in my life
-Get a job (11/21/14)/get a job after graduation 5/6/2014 (summer internship)/get my own place (8/8/14)
-Find someone special 1/1/2014 -- 5/20/2014
-Let go of a few choice memories from the past
-Slow down; stop and smell the roses
-Record and post more YouTube videos/Make a web series 1/10/2014
-Make a wish box
-Eat at a new restaurant 4/14/2014
-Watch a sunset (7/2014)
-Watch a sunrise
-Find and buy clow cards 1/2/2014
-Drink more water
-Make ice cream from scratch 1/22/2014
-Find a new creative outlet 1/6/2014
Now that 2015 is here, i am ready for some more changes to my life. More positive changes. Use 2015 to take a leap of faith, make a decision without thinking too much about it, or do the one thing you've been putting off for years.
Below is my list of goals and plans for 2015. Some of these are somewhat serious ones and other are for my entertainment or maybe even your entrainment. Like last year, check back to this post or wait until my update posts where I will share what I've accomplished from this list. I may even make posts on things I want to add to this list. The items completed will be in bold and will have a date next to it stating the day the task was finished.
Goals/Plans for 2015:
-Get ears pierced again, either in lobes or cartilage
-Travel to a new state
-Travel to a new city
-Write and send more handwritten notes/letters
-Complete a journal
-Gather more information/Research teaching English abroad opportunities in South Korea and/or other countries.
-Get more writing published
-Enter writing contests
-Compose a new song
-Release an EP -- self recorded works too
-Beat Digimon World
-Create/Use a 2015 good moments jar
-Update my stories on FF.Net more often
-Release Cassie & Nikki
-Keep off the weight i lost
-Continue to eat healthier
-Become more spiritual
-Push myself out of my comfort zone
-Dye my hair
-Learn a new language
-Make 1,000 origami cranes
-Learn a new skill
-Explore Norfolk/Newport News
-Reopen my Etsy store
-Use/update Jsisters4 youtube/facebook more
I hope everyone had a great 2014, and here's some best wishes for 2015.
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman