“Storm”

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This is a piece of artwork that I created recently that was inspired by a recent dream I experienced involving movement and energy. I don’t always post my artwork on here but some of my readers were curious about my artistic endeavors as well! I hope you enjoy!

xo Mandy

Media Mondays: Apple Watch Pre-Order/Release First Impressions!

Lately, there’s quite a lot of hype surrounding the release of the first generation Apple Watch, as Apple enthusiasts await the next supposedly life-changing product the company has in store. I have been using apple products (not devotedly, but often enough), and I have neither swayed for or against this product thus far. The interest in the smart watch, despite some consumers’ understanding, had occurred several years before the Apple Watch’s release without any meaningful success. This is one of the first instances when a smart watch is being released and consumers are actually itching to get their hands on it. But then again, it is Apple.

Maybe if I were more interested in wearing watches (which I’m clearly not), this would be a more fascinating product, but often I use my phone as my timekeeper so I don’t see a use of having a smart watch (YET) in my life. I feel as if the smart watch would be redundant, as I often have my phone in my hand, which basically holds the same capabilities. I could imagine it would prove to be more useful in a business setting than as a leisure-based purchase.

First and foremost, the product is a smart watch, which means the look and feel of the design are just as important as the advanced functions in the decision of Apple-Watch-logo-main1whether the product is worth the price tag. Aesthetically it is a sleek, sophisticated piece. I especially appreciate the fact that Apple released it with wristband variations to satisfy a larger audience. A metal band on a watch can be rather uncomfortable (pinching, hair grabbing and all that fun stuff that metal bands like to do), so having an option of a more casual, smooth band is essential.

A new feature that consumers might find interesting about this watch is the fitness tracker. It’s not always convenient to be carrying around your phone to record your fitness throughout the day (and especially during a workout!), so for those who find themselves constantly on the go, it may be beneficial to try this watch. As days go by and you record your activities, it encourages you to exceed apple-watch-activity-ringsyour goals by organizing your routine systematically so that you can access it and determine how long you’ve been sitting, standing, and moving throughout the day, pushing you to stay active.  I personally tend to record my fitness in the Notes app (it’s easily accessible and quick) on my phone which simply records but does not organize or interpret the information. I could imagine it would be motivating to have my workouts organized by time, activity, etc. and have explored several apps that claim to have such features, but have later realized that I personally do not need to have an advanced functioning workout organizing app. When it comes down to it, as long as I know which days I’ve completed my workouts and what machines I used on what weights, I’m perfectly able to make fitness goals on my own. I guess it’s just a matter of preference. I’m just not in desperate need of all the bells and whistles.

This watch carries many of the features that an iPhone already has, including but not limited to your synced calendar, on the go music, siri, navigationnotifications, local weather updates (or the weather updates in Cupertino if that’s what you’re feeling like checking), etc., with the addition of an “intimate” (yes, “intimate” is the word that was used, which seemed needlessly creepy) tap on the wrist that lets you know you have new content ready for viewing. I enjoy the fact that Apple is moving forward into new technologies and leading the way to bigger and better things, but I’m going to hold off on splurging for a first generation Smart Watch until I know what is in store down the line. For those of you who decide to make the purchase, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this technological trailblazer. Is this product mainly for the consumer that tends to forget their phone on a regular basis, but still manages to always remember their watch? Is this product for the Apple-hungry (that actually made me laugh because if I weren’t referring to the company, it would still make sense.), technology fein who wants to be able to see their calendar on multiple screens for reiteration of the fact that today’s leg day and they have a meeting at 5? Or is this a product that could convince even a skeptical realist like myself that it’s well worth the payout?

Would the Apple Watch be useful to you?

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Media Monday: 5 Things We Should Stop Doing on Social Media (IMMEDIATELY)

For today’s Media Monday post, I’d like to discuss a few things that I see from time to time on social media that are gag worthy in a number of ways. Often my generation is called the “Social Media Generation”, because we live our lives not only offline, but online as well, which sometimes also leads to pretty rough consequences. As a 21 year old with quite the brain full of experience with digital media, I’d like to outline to my readers and non-readers alike the things I have seen online through social media networks that need to end…like….yesterday.

1. Following others on social media to gain their following, and then unfollowing them to reduce the number of people you’re following while maintaining their….followership? I know that was confusing, but bear with me. Here’s an example. The other day, a brand that I really like (not gonna throw them under the bus here, so I’ll leave it at that!) decided that I was worth a follow on Instagram. Me being as excited as I was about their mutual appreciation (and my realization that they had an Instagram, which I hadn’t known prior or I would’ve followed them already!), I clicked the follow button. Big mistake. As soon as I did, they unfollowed. *Sigh* AND THEN MY LIFE WAS OVER. No, but I was annoyed. Why follow me to get me to follow you, only to unfollow me? This also happens in blog support groups (this phrase makes us sound like we’re all addicts. Which we are. Writing addicts.), which I’ve come to realize. Another blogger and I will decide to follow each other to support each other’s blog and writing endeavors LIKE ADULTS and then, like magic, my followers app says, “Hey, this blogger’s a sucker. You lost another one” and I continue to roll my eyes for all eternity. Let’s just not do this anymore. Don’t be shady online, kids. Oh and have a good unfollower app because some people don’t like to play nice with others.

2. Copying blog posts like a bad blogger-sport. Look here, mister (clearly I’m bringing out the big guns). I work hard for my posts. They don’t always come easy to me. They can be a jumbled mess sometimes. I’m not always inspired. I’ve got school work everywhere I turn and, that thought in itself, can destroy my motivation. But you know what? I persevere. I get it done. I plan, I outline, I motivate, I drink lots of coffee, and I put the work in writing. It doesn’t matter if you wrote my blog post letter by letter, word by word, or just copied my cleverly created title that I thought of in the midst of a sugar-induced burst of creativity. From the moment you do this, you’re dead to me. We all have our battles. The fuse to make that bomb-a** post on YOUR OWN BLOG in YOUR OWN VOICE is in your hands, not mine.

I punned so hard on that one. My apologies.

3. Spamming for support. When it’s a known fact that it’s annoying and ineffective. For all of us. And the worst part is I can’t even bring a pitchfork and riot in front of your house because ALL I KNOW IS THE STUPID WEBSITE YOU WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE ABOUT. And no, I refuse to check out what your spam is raving about. I’ll pitchfork riot from across the street. I’m not giving you the satisfaction of this annoyance.

Spammer: “Great post! Let me tell you about this new seo–”

Me: “No.”

Spammer: “seo tool tha–”

Me: “I SAID NO. Can you stop? Thanks.”

Spammer: “……seo tool that–”

Me: “THIS IS MY HOME. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If my blog had blinds right now, and a front door, I’d be closing both RIGHT NOW. In your face. Hard.”

Don’t be THAT GUY, the blogger that only cares about their own content. Read blogs to engage in discussion, not to spread your butter all over everyone else’s bread. That sounds creepy, but you know what I mean. I hope.

4. Airing out our dirty laundry on social media. I think we’re all just a little bit guilty of this one, but it’s just horrible. We go on social media and point fingers at others (usually anonymously to most, the subject known to few) to an audience of hundreds, let them all know that we’re fuming on our side of the screen, maybe muster up some support and maybe even some fingers being pointed in our direction, but for what? Does it make us feel any better, to tell everyone at the same time that we are mad? Or hurt? Definitely not. If anything, it fuels the frustration. Why tell a bunch of strangers your list of grievances? There’s nothing they can tell you that can make your complaints go away, other than the typical “you alright?” response and the even less engaging, “feel better” reply. Get a diary, make a friend that doesn’t mind you scream-venting in their face, or take up paintball. Take all that weird, fiery energy and use it in a way that doesn’t make the whole internet groan.

5. Shaming others for their bodies in the safety of our homes and under the shield of online anonymity. If you’ve ever taken a moment to browse a sensation on any of these social media sites (celebrities, musicians, etc.), you’ll realize that at least a handful of the comments are directed towards their bodies. “You’re fat”, “you fat cow”, “eat a cheeseburger”, the list goes on. You’re not any cooler for putting someone else down, you know that right? We all know that the people who comment these things would never have that lack of a heart to say the hurtful things they say online to the subject in person. And if they do, well, that’s sick and disgusting and they need to be parented all over again, or maybe they need a parent that’s going to teach them the right way to treat people. Let’s make the internet more positive. If you don’t have something overwhelmingly heartfelt or positive or encouraging to say, zip your lips. Save your positive comment for someone else who you think deserves it. Having a bad attitude is never in style, not even in the digital world. The world would be a better place if people bothered to be….dare I say NICE to each other.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday, and if you liked this post, share, comment, subscribe, and like! Remember, the humor is all in good fun, but I do mean what I say about the internet doing some spring cleaning. Some changes should definitely be made in the digital social-sphere.

What are some other things you believe people should stop doing on social media?

Leave a comment below!

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You Are Loved

People will tell you that you should never base your self-worth on those that surround you, because there will be times when they will let you down and times they will take a shot at your feelings due to their own circumstances, and your first assumption will be that it is because YOU are not worth their time, or YOU are not worth their effort. It’s difficult to not let how others treat you affect the way you perceive yourself. Recent events have let those kinds of destructive thoughts creep into my own head, which I had persistently blocked for a very long time. I began thinking that I wasn’t worth the time, the effort, the sacrifice, the love, the respect, and the understanding it takes to be in a relationship, a friendship, anything. The issue is that the negative forces in our lives take so much of a toll on us personally that they end up overwhelming the positive forces, and I can’t believe that I didn’t acknowledge this when it happened in my own life recently. I know that I am worth so much more than I have been given credit for in the past. I am not my unhappy experiences, my failures, my pain, my sadness, my inabilities, my projected worth…I am so much more.

That is why I believe that you are good enough, too. You may have had a horrible day, week, even year. But you know what? Things are going to get better, for both you and I. I may not even know you, but I can tell you that you can’t base your perception of YOUR worth on how people treat you. People are selfish and sometimes they don’t even mean to be. But they can be, and sometimes they are. Who’s to say that the way they conduct their lives and treat others reflects how you should be treated and how much you’re worth as an individual? You’re not a toy that they can just play with when they’ve got a moment to spare, and then put on the shelf. You’re not their pet, relying on them for the quality of your own life. You are a person with feelings, ambitions, vulnerabilities in combination with strengths. You’re unique in all aspects of your life and there will never be someone just like you, someone rich in the qualities that you possess in the exact same way. So you know what? Ditch the negative people, the hurtful memories, the times you’ve fallen on your face so hard you thought you’d never get back up, the underestimations people have of you, the disappointment people in their own lives that has somehow been projected upon your own life… Forget how people have made you feel. You’re incredible, and you deserve to be happy. Don’t let anyone take that happiness, that ability to feel alive and love yourself and the world around you, away from you. You deserve to be happy, fulfilled, and excited about your life, and those who don’t agree, don’t deserve to be a part of YOU.

You’re incredible, and no matter who you are, where you are, how people have hurt you in the past, what you think you’re worth, if I know you or not, you deserve to be happy and you are loved. Tremendously, genuinely, honestly, respectfully…

You are loved.

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Makeup of the Day: Peachy Keen!

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Today, I did a very simple, clean makeup look. I wasn’t feeling like going all out with colors but the natural glow of my skin this morning gave me an idea to go for more peachy tones. I don’t usually go for pinks/peaches just because I generally like to pack a punch, but today was an early morning class and I thought this look would carry through the day well. I started off by applying a sunscreen on my skin. I have oily/combination skin so I generally like to use sunscreens that don’t add an excessive amount of oil. On a regular basis, I like to use Olay sunscreen because it feels light, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave my makeup feeling cakey (worst feeling ever). During the time that it’s DSC_0082absorbing, I usually brush my teeth and my hair to make sure that, in the process of applying my makeup, I’m not removing the sunscreen. After it’s absorbed well, I start with my Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in #200. The color is fairly light for me, but to ensure that it matches my skin on a day to day basis, I like to add some warm bronzer (In this case, I used the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic) lightly on top to blend the color more effectively. I like to use my makeup sponge to dab the foundation underneath my eyes gently, as well as on the eyelid and area underneath my brow. However, I don’t use the makeup sponge much on other areas of my face just because I feel like it’s pretty difficult to clean and tends to soak up a great deal of foundation whenever I use it. It’s generally only used for touch ups and details. Then I used my Elf blush in “Pink Passion” on the tops of my cheeks to illuminate my skin. I don’t worry so much about my cheeks looking abnormally pink, because the next step allows me to make it more natural looking. I take my Covergirl “Translucent Light” powder and dab it across my cheeks and along my skin with a large powder brush to set the foundation and blend the blush into a more natural, rosy color. After I’ve set my makeup, I used just a touch of Clinique’s “Almost Peach” eyeshadow and dabbed this glittery, subtle pink just underneath my brows to illuminate my brow bones. The final step of this look was applying my new lipgloss from Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth series in “Rich Raisin” very lightly, applying one even coat and blotting the excess.

I hope you guys enjoyed this step by step makeup of the day look, and if you have any suggestions on other posts that you’d like me to do, please do not hesitate to contact me! I love hearing from you guys! If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share and comment. Your support is always appreciated. Thank you! 🙂

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Media Mondays: Cinderella to….Tinderella?

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Let’s try something a little different, shall we?

Introduction to “Media Mondays”!

Media is something that reaches our lives in a multitude of ways and contributes to our impression of the world around us. It introduces us to new concepts, cultural differences, passions, and so much more. As a Digital Media major, it’s a topic I am incredibly head-over-heels passionate about and I’d like to inject that passion into my writing more often. I love writing about makeup and other girly things, don’t get me wrong, but I have so many different passions and I feel that it is essential to incorporate all of my interests, instead of focusing on tutorials and reviews like I have lately! I will continue to do these kinds of posts, though, from time to time because I do admit it keeps me in touch with my feminine side! Haha.

With that being said, I’d like to try something a little different. Lately I’ve gotten some feedback that some of my readers really miss my Sassy Saturdays format and would like to see more of it in the future, so really, who am I to refuse? I love doing casual posts for you guys, and I love when you guys give me positive feedback! On Mondays, from this moment moving forward, I’d like to talk about media that has caught my eye recently, whether it’s a newly released flick, a cd worth noting, an app I’ve grown unhealthily addicted to, and so on, but in that format. So casual posts about media that’s worth spotlighting. As a side note, too, I will inform you if the post is sponsored or not, but generally speaking, I only sponsor concepts/apps/products that I personally believe in, and if it is a sponsored post, it won’t be included in Media Mondays. Media Mondays are strictly for me to gather my own thoughts.

 

WARNING: Here is a little side note for those who get offended by sexualized language or anything like that. You might want to stop reading at this point. The language that people on Tinder use isn’t all that clean and I want to keep this review as honest as possible. You have been warned. Turn back now before things get ugly. And weird. Mostly weird.

 


 

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I’m going to jump right into this. Several people requested I do a type of “review” for an app that has recently grown exponentially in terms of popularity among the young adult community and college campuses everywhere: the infamous “Tinder” application. As a newly confirmed singleton, I initially Tinder3cringed at the idea but, through my clenched teeth and willpower to give you guys what you want because I love you, I decided to give it a chance for you guys (and of course for some laughs of my own). And let me just take a moment to say that this is not a dating app. Sure, it’s classified as one in the app store, but let it be known that dating isn’t part of the Tinder community’s primary agenda. Without sugar coating it, it’s a “hookup” app. The app finds people that fit the age preferences that you set as well as the distance preferences, and I kept mine very local and close to my age range. I’m going to be honest here. The app is pretty superficial. I mean, you swipe right if you think they’re cute (let’s be honest, you never get much from reading the bios, other than lots of “420 blaze it” references), andTinder1 swipe left if they remind you of your dad or family in general…. Or look like a creep. Or their one posted photo looks like a stock photo. Or all of the above. Simple as that.  And then you wait until they swipe right on you, if they do. If they do decide to grace you with their presence, then you can chat. It makes the whole thing feel pretty passive and impersonal. Included in this post are several chats that I have experienced with my “matches” made in heaven. In order to preserve their anonymity and save them from the embarrassment that they projected onto themselves by sending me conversations that were worth mentioning (and even more so worth denying that they ever Tinder2said, if asked), I’m going to block out names, pictures, and other identifying information and leave just the creepy, and hilarious, solicitations.The pictures I included are actual conversations that I’ve had on Tinder. So there are several kinds of people that use this app. There are the ones that lead into conversation with funny banter that had me laughing out loud when I read their pickup lines, there are the one’s that dive right in to the heart of the matter, asking for sexual favors and the like, there are the defensive ones that get hot and bothered five seconds after messaging with no immediate reply, there are the ones that want to tell you fun facts and then bail, and there are those who intend to create the most Tinder6boring, tedious conversation known to man with a complete stranger and see how long they can keep them engaging in painful smalltalk. And then there’s a select handful of people on there that do actually want something meaningful. After days of hardcore intense research, I’ve come to the conclusion that this app is just not for me (surprise, surprise). Personally, I’m not down for hooking up and I know for sure that, because of that reason, online dating just wouldn’t work for me. I need to feel conversational and intellectual Tinder8chemistry before I even consider dating someone, and there’s really not either of those things on here. But it was an interesting experience and there are no regrets on my end. If you’re looking for something less serious or you just want to meet some crazies and you have a few free moments to do so, go ahead and download the app, take it for a spin. It’s free on the app store, too, so there’s really no loss in trying it. I’m actually glad someone requested this just so I could see what all the fuss was about.

So here’s how it stacks up in my book:

  • Usefulness: 2/10 – I don’t see it having any use in my life other than for entertainment.
  • Entertainment: 8/10 – It’s funny, I’ll give it that. I met some pretty hilarious people on here, and even the weird ones had me laughing.
  • Overall Score: 5/10 – I wasn’t impressed with the app. Interesting, new concept, but it’s just not my thing.

If there are any other applications or any other types of media that you guys would like me to give a chance and review, you can send them to any of the following links:

I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to continuing on with Media Mondays in the future! Thank you for taking the time to continually read, subscribe, and share my work. It means a lot to me.

Have a wonderful (hopefully enlightened) day, and let me know about your experiences Tindering in the comments below!

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Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

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I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasing then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless. Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

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