This has been a stressful homestretch, scattered with the anxiety of finishing group projects by seemingly impossible deadlines and the threat of upcoming exams that I felt mildly unprepared for, regardless of how hard I had studied. But this semester is finally coming to a close, I’m days away from sleeping in my own bed, and I feel my lungs gaining breath again. I feel like, in the last couple of weeks of a semester, I can barely breathe. I can never manage to take a full, deep breath and close my eyes to pure silence, because I know that once I close my eyes, reality will come back to bite me and remind me of what’s next on my list of things to do. But my head is officially clear, and I can begin to focus more on my art and writing again, and await the moment I can leave campus for an entire freakin’ month to go home and see my family and friends. It’s honestly the best treat a college kid could ask for, at least if they have a tight-knit family like I do. I always miss them when I’m away, but still, I definitely do not regret leaving for college because of this……But yes, I just feel good about everything lately and I am ready to come home and do nothing but things I want to do for the next few weeks. It will be glorious. Went on a bit of a tangent there. Moving right along. But yes, things are dandy on my end if you were wondering! 😉 And if not then….well, fine then. Suit yourself.
Anyway, I’ve got some time to blow, and I’d love to get your input on a few things. I’m going to start writing daily again (I hope you’re as excited as I am!!), and would like to know what kinds of articles you would like me to write more of! I write for you guys just as much as I write for myself and I’d like to take some requests and what not for this holiday season. So if you could, take a moment and answer my poll below. Hopefully I can take your requests and write something wonderful for them that we’ll both enjoy! And if you have a specific prompt that you’d like answered in a new blog post, my email is email@example.com! I’m happy to take email requests as well! I even made it easy. The contact form below will allow you to send your requests straight to my inbox. So go ahead, don’t be shy. I want to know what you think!
Hope you’re all having a wonderful last few weeks of your semester and annihilating your finals like I actually sorta did. You’re almost there. I believe in you! And if you’d like some finals inspiration or just want to peel your eyes away your textbooks for a moment or two, go ahead and check out the facebook page, where I post a bunch of relevant things regarding to finals, college, inspirational quotes, recent blog posts, and other stuff that you might enjoy! And I mean….if you love me….it’d be nice…..: facebook.com/mandirito.the.blogger
Do you consider yourself a “professional” blogger? Why or why not? What does that mean to you?
Many define the act of being a professional as “one who receives payment for the work they produce”, but the definition, according to Google, our lovely and highly-reliable search engine, defines “blogging” as “having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful”. I don’t believe that you have to receive your primary source of income from something in order to be leaning more toward profession. Am I skillful? I would like to think so. I’ve been told I’m skillful, and I do consider myself a jack of many trades. I would also go as far as to say that I invest a tremendous chunk of my time and energy toward this particular journey in my life, so I personally do consider my writing and blogging as somewhat of a profession. I feel that, in an idealistic world, there’d be about 10 extra hours each day for me to put forth toward this long-term project and that I would bring in at least some pocket change when I’ve fully established myself, but I know and accept the fact that building that kind of literary empire and being able to create a community among my readers is easier said than done and will take plenty more years to establish. I am in no rush to develop my skills and expand my audience to a more diverse range, nor am I discouraged by the bumps I’ve run into along the way. Writing takes time and patience, just like many of the things we’ve learned to do. Learning a language takes time, riding a bike takes practice. Many of the abilities we possess today were not “second nature” from the start, and I believe that blogging is no different. It takes passion, determination, and the ability to accept failure. Yes, there will be failure at times. In the beginning of this journey, I couldn’t help feeling discouraged by the lack of an audience. I felt like I was writing in an empty room. No feedback. It was me, myself, and I. But I’ve become more skillful at exhibiting my work, about my marketing my abilities, and about growing what I believe to be a little sub-community within the blogging community. I probably spend about 5-6 hours a day working toward improving my writing and my blog, whether through editing, marketing, sharing, or interacting. Even though I consider myself a professional when it comes to my work, I consider this also to be a major pastime. I believe that my love for creating and exploring has brought me to writing and that desire has kept me going strong from the founding of my blog to its current state. I don’t see this as a struggle or a chore. It’s an effective exploration of myself, and regardless of whether I define it as a profession or a pastime, it’s a major chunk of who I am today and the milestones I hope to reach in my future.
I am surrounded by people who only have short-term goals, who only know what they’re going to eat for dinner later on or what supplies they need to get for class this week, which isn’t necessary wrong per se, but what about the future? What about a couple months from now, half a year from now? I don’t want to have just short-term goals, and I don’t even think I can only have short-term goals at this point. I have quite a few projects in the works and they require a lot more planning than I’m actually used to. I would like to share with my lovely readers the achievements I hope to accomplish by the looming closure of the 2014th year (crazy to think we’re so close, right?). When I put the milestones I hope to accomplish in writing or print more like, I have found that I strive much harder to complete them by the deadline, and it inspires me knowing that the people who have been rooting for my success for so long are reading what I hope to make of myself and pushing me to continue to gain experience and grow as a creative individual. If you feel inspired by this idea, by all means, make your own list of 15 accomplishments (or however you feel necessary) and link me to it below! Making goals as a group actually proves to be the most successful method of prioritizing because there is a mutual pressure to perform amongst the participants. It’s like positive peer pressure!
With that being said, here are my 15 goals for the rest of the year!:
3. Restart my Youtube channel and actually keep it going for a while!
4. Achieve at least 100 followers on Youtube. I worked on a Youtube channel for a while but got discouraged when I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to do it. But now, I’m more determined than ever to get back on the horse! When I start again, it will be a bunch of tutorials. Makeup tutorials, Outfit of the Day videos, Makeup of the Day videos, maybe some art tutorials, and whatever else my readers and viewers want to see.
5. Become masterful at Adobe Photoshop 3D. I am amazed by how much you can create in Photoshop and would love to be able to manipulate in 3d as well!
6. Get to 200 followers on Tumblr at the very least. I just created an affiliated Mandirito Tumblr which incorporates all of the things I find important or interesting. It’s more random stuff than anything.
7. Get my writing shared again on a notable website. For a while, I worked for Local Heroes Today (you can read my writing at localheroestoday.com), but I miss the thrill of getting published now that I don’t work there anymore. I would like to reach a more dynamic audience!
8. Sit down and actually learn how to use Reddit. I’ve always wanted to learn but alas, I have yet to get to it. So here’s to Reddit and all that it has to offer!
9. Attempt to get all of my grades to A’s. Currently I have A’s and then one C (Grrrr), but I’m working hard and I’m willing to put in some hours to get the work done right.
10. Try to drink more water. I hate the taste of water and have no desire to drink it, but I know it’s good for me. It’s incredibly conflicting. Why can’t coffee be the thing that’s good for me?
11. Get down to my goal weight. No, I’m not one of those people that wants to look half of my body weight but I do want to get down a few pounds for the sake of being healthy. I’m already cleaning up my diet tremendously, so I doubt this should be an issue by then.
12. Find a job/internship that I am passionate about. I have some potential positions lined up, but I’m waiting for confirmation before I determine anything. Fingers crossed!
13. Start maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. I feel like I never sleep.
14. Learn a chunk of a new language. I’m in the process of learning Spanish but I want to be able to know enough to conversationally speak it.
15. and last but certainly not least, learn how to efficiently expand my online presence!
Do you have a list of goals you would like to finish by the conclusion of this year?
1. Deadlines are etched in stone, signed and sealed. Don’t waste a single breath on making an excuse because most of these professors understand you’re a creative individual, a creative liar especially, and will refrain from giving you the opportunity to cop out. Granted, there will be some professors who will sigh and accept profuse bleeding as a minimally acceptable excuse but I wouldn’t push the limits on this one. They’re gonna say that if the blood wasn’t coming from your eyes or your hands, you could still manage a decent design.
2. Start your projects early. In high school, you probably got away with frequent and conscious procrastination. If you have two weeks available to you, inhale and exhale digital design until you feel like you’re in desperate need of oxygen, submit your assignments before the deadline, and regain breath. It’s all about being punctual and knowing when you need to get work done and when to avoid clicking cat videos. Priorities, people, priorities. Get er’ done.
3. If the work isn’t even believable to you, for the love of god, do not try to dispute the grade. I repeat. ABORT MISSION. Quietly accept that you can’t win this fight and prepare immensely for the next opportunity you have to pack a punch. That infamous question will arise in the midst of that uncomfortable conversation you chose to initiate with your professor, “why did you do this?”, and if you can’t explain your process, you’re a goner if you don’t know how to prove what you did was what was best for the assignment. Make your work not only beautiful but also believable! Remember, convincing yourself of the assignment’s success comes before convincing someone else that your concept reflects thought. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
4. Don’t challenge the strength that is the copyright. Your grade will reflect your originality. Copying another artist’s work, especially as a Digital Media major, is like sinning in church. We’re all artists begging to have our creative voices heard, and the last think we want is to hear our concepts sputtering out of someone else’s distasteful mouth. Who would want to collab with a cheater, anyway? You’d be better off manning the project alone.
5. Be true to your style at the end of the day (note that I said at the end of the day!). It can be hard to let this concept continue to house your mind because all of your Digital Media professors will want to tug your arms in their own direction and essentially leave you with no limbs to fight back from the artistic suppression they want to force upon you. I’m exaggerating, but seriously. You should do what you can to satisfy the standards of the class without sacrificing what makes your work a reflection of who you are! It’s tricky, frustrating, and saddening at times to feel like your work isn’t “A”-worthy at every go, but when you take all the knowledge that they offer you and your own creative spirit and merge them into this crazy artistic powerhouse within your mind, you can do anything. Seriously anything. Screw dreams. Let your art take you on an adventure worth working for!
Do you have any suggestions for all the fantastic Digital Media majors out there?
I don’t know about you but as a busy college student living hours away from the people I have grown close with, I’m taken aback by receiving mail, even summaries from my bank, because receiving mail regularly has always escaped me. A day that I receive anything in that little mailbox of mine is a thrill ride. So when I received my nail jewels that I had ordered what feels like years ago (traveling from China takes longer than I could ever imagine for something so small!) and my Ipsy makeup bag package for October, I was at a loss for words. Pure, radiating joy! Not only was I feeling the love (from myself, as I was the one that had ordered these fabulous things, for myself obviously!), but there’s a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I’m going to have some new colors and products to show off in the coming week. I’ve gotten significantly more interested in exploring makeup, hair treatments, and nail art this year, so my Ipsy subscription allows me to explore my beauty tool options without having to shell out every last dollar in my wallet. It’s actually pretty affordable when you realize how much each product is when you buy them separately. It gives me the chance to essentially try new looks and products “guilt free”, and I have a subscription for a whole year paid off, so I have ten more months of pretty things just itching to get to my mailbox next!
This month, I received 5 products! Yes, 5! I love when they load up my bag like they did this month. My initial thought was to not get too excited because on Instagram, quite a few people were complaining about getting hair and skin products when they had explicitly requested not to. I am one of those people that generally sticks to my ways when it comes to lotions and cleansers, so I agree with not wanting to waste a sample on either one of these categories. When I opened to metallic pink shipping package, there was my beautiful new makeup bag. This makeup bag was much less “cheap looking” than the one from last month (I wasn’t impressed with the bag the products came in last month, but that didn’t hold me back from loving what I received regardless!), and had this really pretty texturized, quilted blue print. I love the color and I love the way the bag feels! I was immediately drawn to the whole look and feel of it.
When I opened the bag, like I said, I had 5 different products to check out. I received a Doll 10 Highlighter, a VolumEyes Mascara Sample, a City Color Be Matte Lipstick, a Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin, and a sample package of Skyn Glacial Cleansing Cloths. In order to give you a full idea of what I received this month, I will review each product individually.
Doll 10 Highlighter
I was extremely excited about this product. I’ve just recently taken up the art of face contouring and am continuing to research it and advance my skills (it’s definitely a process, especially for someone like me who, until recently, knew very little about how to use makeup to its fullest potential). When I opened this, however, I was a bit disheartened by the subtlety of it at first swab. When I brushed my finger across the surface, the pigment was practically invisible. When I contour, I like to be able to see how the makeup changes the look, especially when I highlight. If I’m going to highlight my cheek bones, I want there to be a difference when I apply the makeup or there’s no reason to apply it. When I applied it, although it took several strokes of the palette, it did end up having a pretty, dewey finish. The finished product wasn’t as monumentally great as I thought it would be, but I could see this product coming to good use at some point. It still has a good amount of usage potential. What I also noticed, too, which others may or may not mind, was that the highlighter wasn’t as creamy as I thought it would be. I usually use fairly creamy highlighters but this one is reminiscent of the texture of cream eyeshadow. It’s going to take some getting used to.
This product is a bit on the pricier side (it’s $30 on the website), but if you’d like to try it out for yourself, CLICK HERE.
VolumEyes Mascara Sample
I don’t have a fight to pick with this one. It does its job well. The volume of my eyelashes is much, much brighter and more defined than I thought it would be. I wish this product wasn’t a sample, but regardless, once I run out, I’ll be heading out to the store to give it another go. I’m not as picky about mascaras because as long as they don’t make my eyes feel like they’ve caught on fire every time the crumbs tumble into my eyes, I feel like they’re serving their purpose. That is, if they make me look like minnie mouse. Having a nice pair of thick eyelashes has been a long-time dream of mine, so I don’t protest to trying new products that will give me this effect. VolumEyes is a keeper!
If you’d like to check out this product (DO IT.), CLICK HERE.
City Color Be Matte Lipstick in Cappuccino
Gosh, I wish I loved this lipstick more than I do. Lipstick is my thing. I love trying out new colors, bold shades that contrast with my clothes…A great lipstick can tie together any outfit perfectly. But this lipstick…This shade in particular has become really popular recently, as my sister had mentioned that Kylie Jenner had set off a coffee/nude lip craze. This color is just that. It’s very pretty in the tube, but I’m not sure of how I feel about it when it’s actually on my mouth. The problem is that, when I put my bronzer on, this lipstick makes me look like I legitimately have a nonexistent pucker. Like someone carved a hole where my mouth is supposed to be and left the lips unfinished. My lips are really thin as is…I’m trying to stay open to the idea of wearing a somewhat nude lip, and I will give this one another chance, but part of me wishes that they’d throw in a berry shade instead. Berry is more my scene, or actually red. Red would be exquisite.
Ah, I did not want skin products. At all. On a scale from one to ten on how much I desire to smother myself in new skin creams, 1 being a firm “no” and 10 being a “grabby-handed” yes, I’d be a -5. NEGATIVE. FIVE. I didn’t want skin cream!
Despite my initial disappointment, however, the bottle of this lotion caught my eye immediately. It’s really cute and colorful. I wanted to give it a shot anyway. The smell is airy and light, which I love, and I have to say that it will suffice. If I were guaranteed to get a hand cream, I wouldn’t mind getting this one. I just have too many lotions, scrubs, and creams at home to even bother buying more. Berry lipstick, I still want you in my life.
Recently I had come to the conclusion that I was tired of using a scrub and astringent nightly to manage my skin and remove the makeup aftermath of the day. It burns (because of the condition of my acne), it gets dry, and it’s uncomfortable for at least a few minutes afterwards. I was on the verge of going to Target that afternoon when I received this package. I think it might’ve actually been destiny when I received the Skyn Cloths. They remove 90% of the makeup on their own, which says a lot because when I do makeup, it tends to stick to my skin like cement. These cleansing cloths do a beautiful job of cleaning up my skin and leaving the skin feeling fresh and actually clean. Granted I do still wash my skin with water afterwards because I am paranoid, but this sample was very impressive. It was only a sample, too, but came with a total of 10 cloths, which is a great deal for a sample! Samples, if you’re lucky, have just enough to get the job done once, but I think I’m equipped for the rest of the week! It’ll actually give me enough time to buy some on my own, now that I know what I’m looking for.
If you’d like to try these out, because they’re awesome, CLICK HERE.
I hope you guys enjoyed my review on the Ipsy bag I received for the month of October! If you can, I’d really appreciate if you give me a moment of your time and respond to the poll below.
If you have any other comments, feel more than welcome to comment on this post!
A much needed update. I feel absolutely awful for spending so much time away from writing, but I’d like to tell you guys what’s going on before I continue this journey. This semester, so far, has had be taking an emotional and physical beating. I feel completely drained. I’ve done really well in college so far, gotten generally A’s and B’s up until this point, and now that I’m diving into my major-related classes, I’m working double as hard to keep those A’s and B’s I’ve strived for in the past. And yes, I’ve got ’em currently, but seriously, I’m whipped. So here we go. I am back in the writing game, I’m happy to be back at my blog, and I’m ready to continue this journey with you guys, everyone that’s supported me and cheered me on even when I felt like giving up. This one’s for you for being as awesome as you are.
10 Things I am Grateful for This Week!
1. I have my inspiration back! For the love of God, FINALLY. I have a writing course that I’m taking that drains the creativity right out of me, so having this creativity in my grasp again is a blessing. I feel like writing keeps me going, and if I don’t have the energy to do it, I’m just not the same. So I am thankful for being inspired again!
2. I am thankful that my car is in pristine (working) condition again. You guys weren’t there for the sh*tshow that ensued with my car situation and how every morning felt like a new adventure trying to figure out whether I’d get to class or not on time, or whether I’d be giving another desperate call to AAA. My little beater, Antonio, is officially back in business. Ladies….
3. I have rediscovered my obsession with Civilization 5. Between classes, I’ve been coming back to my apartment and continuing what I believe to be the longest single game I’ve ever played, with 15 cumulative hours played. WTF am I even doing with my life? 20 minutes in real life feels like 2 seconds in Civ 5. I feel like the best conqueror the world has ever seen. I think I’m just gonna take this love a step further and start talking to people in Civ 5 terms and if they know what I mean and can relate to the craze, they’re automatically friends.
Friend: “I had a good time today. We should do this again.”
Me: “How about we make a Public Declaration of Friendship for 15 turns to make it official?”
Friend: “Girl, you took the words right out of my mouth. Might as well open our borders as well, just for old time’s sake.”
4. Ever since I started my subscription with Ipsy, I feel like I’m better equipped to look dashing in every situation and actually feel like I do. I’m learning how to accept using new products that I’ve never seen or heard about before without feeling like I’ve betrayed my regular purchases and am becoming more accustomed to experimenting with new makeup. *Fit Me foundation hysterically crying in the distance* I’m sorry, shhh, it’s not me or Ipsy. It’s you….You just….don’t Fit Me anymore…
5. And finally, last night I got a total of 12 hours of sleep, on accident. Yes, I repeat, on accident. Didn’t even mean to fall asleep, but your girl feel like she’s got rainbows shooting from her eyeballs. Sleep is such a beautiful thing. Every college student in the entire world knows this struggle.
What are you thankful for this week?
Leave a comment below if you love me. And if you don’t? Well, I don’t love you either. The feeling’s mutual, buddy.