Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cats ≥ Cardigans

The first month of the new year is drawing to a close and I am both ecstatic and forlorn. I am beyond excited to continue experiencing and enjoying every minute of 2015, but I am also quite sad that one month is already done and gone. January has gone by so quickly!

As January ends the view of examinations and finals becomes a little bit clearer. The home stretch for my sophomore year is beginning, and I'm already registering for junior year. Thus, I have begun hunkering down and studying for my courses a record 4 months ahead of when I began last time.

 The last thing one wants when it comes to studying for hours is to be uncomfortable. Sitting on a hard, wooden desk chair and looking through pages and pages of Biology notes is hard enough, but the added irritation of a belt or form fitting shirt just makes it unbearable. I am, however, strongly opposed to sweat pants unless I am sleeping, so my alternative to sweats is usually a skirt and cotton tights. Tights are like my second skin, and I feel so at home in them. Is that strange? Probably.

Anyhow, back to the title of this post. I get on tangents a lot, don't I?

 Cardigans are second in my mind only to the beloved tights. I love the comfort of an over-sized cardigan when I am cuddling up to read a chapter of my AP US History textbook.  But tights and cardigans are both second to cats. Oh how I love a good ol' cat. I adore their little toes.

So, essentially, a pair of tights, a cardigan and a cat are all I need in life. I'm pretty easy to please. 

What I'm Wearing

Cardigan : Forever 21
Skirt : H&M
Tank Top : My Mom's
Tights : Target 
Necklace : Amazon.com
Cat : Mother Nature/ Mama Cat

Have a great week!

Emily xx

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Uses for a Secret Compartment

Whilst perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across a DIY for creating a book with a secret compartment. I had nothing better to do that night, so I went sifting through the heaps of discarded books that sit in my basement for one that I would not feel guilty about cutting up. I found one entitled "Hunting Small Game Animals," which my dad must have bought twenty something years ago, who's 6x9 dimensions seemed perfect for my project.

 X-Acto knife in hand, I began cutting equal sized rectangles from the center of the pages (which, may I add, took a very long time because I had to cut about an inch down in total). After successfully carving out the secret compartment, I wrapped the covers up in wrapping paper to conceal the title of the book. I also added some designs around the borders of the pages. 

This book reminds me of something you would see in a mystery movie.There are so many things one can place in it's secret compartment, and then you can just stick it on your bookshelf to conceal them even further. I can imagine the lead heroine of some film using something sneaky like this, and even though I am not a covert spy, I still like the idea of using this to stash things away. 
Here's what I might be putting in my hollow book...

My phone. I even made a little slit for the charger! I know this isn't very secret, but it keeps the cord from getting all tangled up on things.

Bracelets, bobby pins and rings. Why bother spending money on a jewelry box when you can use something unique like a hollow book?!

Pictures and keepsakes. Keep your close memories somewhere hidden where they will never get lost. If you wanted to be extra fancy, you could get a book that has something to do with your memories and hollow that out!

Valuables. This is probably the most obvious use. You can throw money, jewels, passports etc. in the compartment, and then place the book on a shelf with all your other, normal books. 

Pens, pencils and spare keys. Instead of cluttering your desk with pencil holders put your utensils in a book that looks like it would belong there. You could also discretely place a book like this outside your door with a spare key inside for if you ever get locked out. (maybe make the compartment a little more subtle if you do this!)

Cat treats.  My cats are presumably the only ones who do this, but if I leave treats out on the table or something they will claw at the bag until it's open! Now I can just hide them in here, haha! 
(ft. Jazzy who though she was going to get treats)

Things you want to hide from your family.  In my case, chocolate. 

Emily xx

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Quotes I've Lived by in 2014

As January 1st rolls around we are all left to reminisce on the good and, quite honestly, the bad that has happened in 2014. The times we laughed so hard our sides hurt, and the times we cried so hard we could hardly see. Everything we have experienced in 2014 makes us who we are, so even if this year was absolute crap for you, without it you wouldn't be you.

Personally, 2014 didn't treat me too well. I'm not saying it totally sucked; I created oodles of wonderful memories with my beautiful, unparalleled friends and family. I went to bed with a smile on my face more often than not. I laughed. I went on vacation, and when I got back to school I did fantastic and ended first semester with a 4.1. But a few short months really put a damper on my whole year. During the summer I went through a tough phase of emotions regarding who I wanted to be when I was older. I was very interested in Youtube and Youtubers at the time, and I had it set in my mind that if I wasn't as successful as them, or as my peers, I was a failure. I thought having a large audience supporting you was all you needed in life. Looking back on this now, I feel entirely arrogant and ignorant. There are billions of people on our Earth, some of whom are starving, who haven't a care in the world about how known they are.

Now, after realizing my ignorance, I only aspire to do something with my life that makes me proud. I just want to be content, and get to a point where I am confident enough cease comparing myself with others. I don't care how many likes I get, or how many followers I accumulate. I want to travel and see the world. I want to have a loving family, with a roof over my head, and friends who I can call in the middle of the night. I want to love my career, or my studies, and come home everyday with a smile on my face. I want to be happy, and I want to spread happiness like sunbeams.
  That is what I want for 2015, and for the future in general: to radiate positivity because my body is overflowing with it.

In order to get to this point of realization, I relied very heavily on the words of others. Whatever they said I took to heart. I would spend HOURS searching Google, Tumblr and Pinterest for inspirational quotes that I hoped would pull me out of the rut I was stuck in for months. I would save every one I came across to my computer, so now I have a huge gallery of inspiration for when I am down. I believe this act of obsessively saving quotes is what saved me from becoming depressed. Words possess a special  power that can meld minds more powerfully than anything else in existence. These magic phrases pulled me back onto my feet and set my mind in the right direction.

So, in an attempt help you start off your new year with a positive mindset, I re-wrote some of my favorite quotes with my calligraphy pen, took pictures, and inserted them below (be warned that I only got my calligraphy pen a few months ago, so I'm not very good... but I tried!). I based my new mindset almost entirely on the quotes I am sharing below, so I hope they help you create yours. I lived by these sayings in 2014, and plan to again in 2015.

I hope these quotes make you smile and think. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could all start off the new year with a fresh outlook on the world, one of optimism and acceptance? What a wonderful planet this would become.

Here's to a Happy New Year!

After writing all these quotes 3 or 4 times (I messed up a lot!), my hand got a bit tired and my paper started to run thin. So, I will just type a few more good'uns below! xx

"Don't compare your chapter one to someone else's chapter twenty."

"Worrying won't stop that bad stuff for happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good."

"Be a thunderstorm"

"In a gentle way you can shake the world."

"Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody."

"Don't let anyone rent a space in your head unless they're a good tenant."

"Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy."

"We don't have to do it all."

"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms."

See you next year. Thanks for everything.
Emily xx