My Guide to Being Classy


Manners maketh woman. Everyone has their own interpretation of what “classy” is, just as everyone generally has a pretty good idea of what “rude” is. Through my life I have cultivated a hefty mental list of do’s and don’t’s which have helped formulate my view of how to be classy. Is classy related to social standing? No. Is classy being able to afford designer brands and caviar? No. To me, being classy is a mindset. A mindset of elegance, poise, and value. You could be the richest person in the world and be completely classless. And while not everyone is perfect, perhaps you might be able to adopt one or two of these habits to incorporate into your own hefty mental list of do’s and don’t’s.


  • Be well-read
  • Stay up to date on current events
  • Say please, thank you, and excuse me
  • Stop saying sorry
  • Say hello to everyone you work with
  • Don’t overshare
  • Sit up straight
  • Don’t gossip
  • Be respectful of those around you
  • Always bring a housewarming gift to a new place

This was a short post today, but I feel like these points don’t need too much explanation. What makes you feel classy? Leave your comments down below!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Sunday Pep Talk | Keep At It!

 

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As a blogger you will have good days and bad days, popular posts, and posts that flop. It is easy to get discouraged when you have a bad day. But as long as you keep blogging content you like and content you are passionate about, you will see better days ahead. Keep at it!

Remember why you started. Everyone has their ups and downs, and every popular blog started as a newbie blog. Just make sure you are blogging for you, and blogging about what makes you happy.

The views and the likes will come if you are yourself and write content that you care about. You will attract your audience in no time at all.

Good things take time, and progress might be slow, but keep at it, my little bloggers! You are doing great!

Blog Update | October 2018

I tried to pick up my blogging game by creating better content more frequently. The month of October saw a blog post for every day except Saturdays and Mondays for three weeks, but because of this, I feel like I’ve gotten writers burn out. It was cool doing it, but I think in the future I am going to cut back on the number of posts I publish in a month. After all, quality is better than quantity, right? I just wanted to see if I could do it. It was a point I wanted to prove to myself.

Therefore, for the rest of this blog, I will limit my content posts to twice a week. However, I will still keep the Sunday Pep Talks and Words of Wisdom Wednesdays, as those are relatively simple to create but offer some great inspiration and motivation.

In addition to this, I wanted to document my blog progress. In the span of one month, I grew my follower count from 127 to 172. I couldn’t be happier for that! I promised myself that once I hit 500 followers I was going to do a giveaway to show my appreciation for you all, so stay tuned for that.

I’ve been blogging consistently since February and have almost 100 blog posts, almost 200 followers, and have met some amazing people. I hope to continue growing my blog and meeting more likeminded people. I will be posting a blog goals post in the future as well, so stay tuned. If you are looking for blogging ideas, you can create a goal post too, and link me. I’d love to hear about your blogging journeys.

As always, take care, and don’t forget to take those medications!

Bullet Journaling For Beginners

Hello, lovelies!

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent trend that has been sweeping the internet. Bullet Journaling has become quite The Thing within the past five years, and really, does anyone know why something becomes a trend? Usually not. But this is one trend that I totally get and fully stand behind. Bullet journaling can improve your life in the following ways:


  1. It keeps you grounded in the here and now
  2. It ensures you stay on top of all your important tasks
  3. It serves as a life tracker so you can look back and see how far you’ve come
  4. You can keep all your favorite memories in there, just like a personal journal
  5. You can track things like your moods, habits, and productivity
  6. It is a form of creative expression
  7. It is fully customizable so you can make it into whatever you want it to be

Are those enough reasons for you? I could keep going…

Stop Being Afraid Of Mistakes

Maybe you are one of those people who have always wanted to start bullet journaling, but the idea is just too daunting. It can be overwhelming to consider starting a bullet journal. One of the biggest things I had to overcome was my fear of imperfection. I thought that if I were to make a bullet journal, I’d want it to look perfect just like the ones online, and if I were to make a mistake I’d ditch the whole idea.

This is something that you need to overcome. Yes, you will make mistakes in your bullet journal, but it’s not like you’re selling it for money, or presenting it to a king somewhere. Your bullet journal is for you, and a few mistakes are nothing to fret about. When one of your lines wobble, or you accidentally write the wrong day of the week into your calendar, embrace it! Bullet journaling has shown me that it’s ok to make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world. You can just turn the page and start again.

I am the type of person who used to not stick to things. I’d start creative projects and drop them before they were finished. Next month will mark one full year of bullet journaling for me, by far the longest creative endeavor I’ve ever done. Why am I referring to it as a creative endeavor? Because to me that is mostly what I consider my bujo. Yes, it keeps me on track for real life and makes sure I show up where I need to be, but more than that, the important part for me is the creative act of drawing out each of the spreads. It is a way for me to vent my creativity in a productive way.

So where do you begin?

First, choose a journal.

This can be one of the hardest steps! There are so many to choose from. I recommend one of the following journals to start out:

  1. Moleskine
  2. Minimalism Art Journal
  3. Leuchtturm
  4. Lemome
  5. MAMBI Happy Planner

Supplies

Next, you need some stationary supplies. This could be as simple as a single pen. These are some of my favorites:

  1. Marvy Le Plume II Watercolor Markers (I bought these because I couldn’t find the infamous Tombows at my local Michael’s store, they work just as well!)
  2. Crayola Supertips (There is a little bleed-through, but for the price, you can’t beat these)
  3. A cool pen like this sweet cactus pen that wrote so well (RIP cactus pen, I will miss your smooth inky lines)
  4. A ruler to make your straight lines. A small ones is best so you can stick it in the front or back pocket of your journal.
  5. Cute stickers are always a plus for any journal. I buy stickers from many different places, but I’m really fond of Redbubble. You can find just about any sticker you want there!
  6. Washi tape! Is any bullet journal really complete without some washi tape? Washi tape and bullet journals go together like bullets and guns.

Spreads

Next, you have to consider which spreads you’d like to use in your bullet journal. Do you want it to be heavy on the scheduling? More to do with keeping track of all the meds you need to take and all the tasks you have to complete? Or maybe you want to focus on tracking your business progress or writing goals. Whatever your need, there’s a spread for that. And if there isn’t, you can always just make one up!

My go to spreads include:

  1. Monthly Calendar
  2. To-Do List
  3. Monthly Goals
  4. Expense Tracker
  5. Wishlist
  6. Mood Tracker
  7. Habit Tracker
  8. Notes
  9. Reflection

Those are my static spreads, the ones that are always there no matter what. The ones I need to function. I’ll often switch it up though by including some different spreads too, including:

  1. Digital Detox Challenges
  2. Word Trackers
  3. Quote Lists
  4. Blog Trackers
  5. Quote Pages (I throw these in sporadically depending on what I feel I need to focus on for the month)
  6. Travel Planners
  7. Gift Guides
  8. Memory Pages (I often add polaroids here)
  9. Brainstorm Pages
  10. Doodle Pages

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Bullet journaling is essentially a creative way for you to manage your life. You can customize your journal however you would like and really make it your own. Try different things and see what works for you and what doesn’t. And remember, your bullet journal doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be as simple as a journal and a pen. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Just make sure you make it yours.

I’m using the moleskine journal in beige. The cute stickers were found at my local target. And yes, I was impatient and didn’t wait long enough for the ink to dry before color coding my calendar so everything smudged. Oh well! That’s part of the journey of bullet journaling. Not everything is perfect, and that’s ok. I even wobbled the line on the border around my cover page for November. Oops! You can usually just cover mistakes with stickers, but I left it there as a badge of my beautifully flawed human nature.


Do you bullet journal? What are some of your favorite supplies or spreads? Leave your comments down below or link me to your bullet journal posts. I’d love to read them!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Tips to Save More Money

 

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Hello, lovelies! It’s time for another finance post. I thought I would share with you some tips I have discovered during my twenties that have really helped save me some money over the years. If you’d like to see more finance posts, leave a comment down below and I will be sure to write more on this subject.

Without further delay, let’s jump right into it.

Unsubscribe from coupon emails

Out of sight, out of mind. Having those email coupons inundate your inbox can make even the strongest wills break. Just like that old trick of freezing your credit card so you don’t use it, people have gone through very drastic steps to avoid overspending. This is one of the easiest steps to take. If you can’t see the new cool things being released by your favorite brands, you won’t be tempted to break budget and splurge. This goes for clothing stores, amazon, kindle, music releases, etc. Unsubscribing will leave your inbox cleaner, and your mind happily oblivious to the new trends in consumerism.

Cash back only works if you pay off your card each month

It might be really tempting to assume, “oh, well I can just put this on my credit card. I’m getting cash back on all my purchases, after all.” Wrong. Unless you consecutively pay your card down to zero at the end of the month, that cash back is pennies compared to the interest you are being charged by having a balance left on your card, and can actually end up costing you money. You might think you are saving money by using your card more, but unless you are paying it off each month, that money back bribery is costing you more. So you might have $16 of cash back and think, “Alright! I’m getting cash back!” but if you take the time to read your bill, you may find that your monthly interest cost for that month is $32, leaving you paying $16 more. If, however, you are one of those people who is consistent with paying off your card, that cash back is indeed beneficial.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself if you are trying to save money. A lot of people have no idea what’s going on with their finances, or leave the finances up to their partner. While it might be nice not to have to worry about money every second of the day, by avoiding the problem, you are often only making it worse. If you know you are currently having money issues, the only thing there is to do is to look into the problem and find out why. Just like looking under a bandaid at a nasty cut, no one wants to do it, but if you leave it, the problem could become much worse. The first step to correcting your financial troubles is to get control of them, and by control, I mean you should know where every single penny that comes into your pocket is going. You can find out more about creating a budget in my post, How to Budget in Your Twenties.

Cancel subscriptions you don’t really need

Are you one of those people who is subscribed to every internet platform possible? Maybe you have a YoutubeRed account, an 8Tracks account, you are paying for a domain, and Amazon Prime too. Oh, and let’s not forget netflix. All those monthly subscriptions can add up. Ask yourself if you really need to be subscribed to all those things. Sit down and figure out which ones can be eliminated, and then take the steps to cancel those expenses.

Do more home cooking

Eating out can be extremely expensive, especially if it includes alcoholic beverages. This is another category where, if you don’t keep track of your spending, can end up getting out of control fast. You can still enjoy the occasional dinner out (alcoholic beverages included), but another suggestion is to try your hand at more home cooking. By buying discount food items at the store and preparing the food at home, you can end up saving a ton of money. Not only can you make delicious meals to your liking, but you can hone your cooking skills too. There are a ton of youtube videos that discuss buying weekly or monthly groceries for a certain budget, and shows you how to prepare your ingredients if you are unsure how to cook them.

Carpool

Are you and a friend going to the same place? It would be silly to spend two trips worth of gas when you could ride together for one. Switch it up weekly so that the cost of gas is evenly distributed between the group. It’ll give you more time to chat with them, and save you money at the same time. Make sure your friends don’t abuse this system, though, by making you drive every time.

Shop sales

If you do find yourself out at a store, whether for clothes or food, by shopping sales you can end up saving more money than you would think. So you’ve unsubscribed from those clothing store coupons, but you know there’s a sale coming up at the end of the month. Stores usually post sales for major holidays and semi annually. If you are familiar with these schedules, it’s easy to plan your shopping days when you know there will be a sale going on. When you go into the store, be sure to start your shopping trip at the back near the clearance items. This is a great way to find cheaper clothing first, and if you don’t find anything you like, then you can browse the newer collection.

Use coupons

When I was growing up, I remember going to the grocery store with my mother and watching her pull out her divided wallet of coupons. She already had a stack together based on what she knew she would buy, and she handed that over to the cashier. It can be tedious finding coupons, but when you’re really pinched for cash, just remember that this option is always available. It might not save you a ton of money, but if you are doing a big shopping trip, it’s one of those things that can add up to quite a savings.

Avoid late fees

These things are so annoying and they always make me so angry. If you are late paying a bill–or worse, overdraw your account–they charge you a fee. Usually this fee is quite a lot of money, upwards of $30. Now, if you are late paying a bill or overdraw your account, chances are you didn’t have the money to begin with. So what do they do? Charge you more. Luckily I pay enough attention to my account balances and bills that this rarely happens for me, but it can be a pain when it does happen. No one ever expects it, and the additional fee can really throw a wrench in things. Again, the best way to avoid this is to stick to budget and make sure you know where your money is going.

Use your library

The library isn’t just for books. You can find lots of stuff there, including free internet, magazines, movies, and cds. Best of all, a library card is free. If you find yourself short on cash, but still want to enjoy a recreational past time like reading or watching movies, check them out of your library. As long as you return them within the certain amount of time, it’s all free. You can read classics all the way to modern publications if you time it right, and their selection of movies is pretty broad too. If your local library doesn’t have what you are looking for, there are always other branches you can travel to in order to find what you want. I personally love libraries and the quite spaces you can find in the corners amidst the books. It’s great for reading, studying, browsing the internet, or socializing. In fact, most libraries these days double as a community center. You can find cheap or free classes depending on where you live. For example, the Pittsburgh Carnegie library offers free language classes! How cool is that?

Make your morning coffee at home

Starbucks are on every block these days, and it’s so tempting to stop by one on your way to work, but just like everything else, morning coffees can add up. If you are someone who needs the caffeine to function, consider preparing your own coffee at home. By buying in bulk from the grocery store, you can save some extra cash, and it doesn’t take that long to brew a fresh pot or cup. Kurig’s can get expensive, but if you stick to grounds or whole beans, you can use as much or as little as you want, making it last as long as you want too.

Know when to keep or throw away groceries

How many times have you gone to the store, bought kale, spinach, and limes with every intention of using them, but at the end of the month find yourself always throwing them away because they’ve spoiled? This happens more often than I’d like to admit. If you know you really aren’t going to use quickly perishable items, why buy them in the first place? Shop intentionally. If you have a recipe that calls for fresh vegetables, then by all means buy them and use them, but don’t just go through the store picking up things randomly if you have no idea what you’re going to use them for. They’re just going to sit in your fridge until you clean it out and throw them away. Conversely, there are also people who don’t know when to throw their produce or meats away, and end up throwing away perfectly good food. Do some research as to the shelf life of the foods you buy so you can better determine what is spoiled and what isn’t.

Save a small percentage each paycheck

This is one of those points that usually gets a lot of shit thrown at it from people who argue “If I’m broke, do you really think I’m saving anything?” Well you should be! Even if it’s five dollars per pay, over time that builds up to quite a savings. Everyone should have a small savings amount for emergencies so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you can’t pay for something serious like a doctor’s or dentist’s visit. And yes, this might mean that you have to take that money away from an area like “eating out”, but that’s just called prioritizing. As a twenty-something, you should be old enough to know that sometimes you have to forgo the fun things in order to make sure the important things are taken care of.

Skip the gym

Gyms are expensive. You know what’s cheaper? Not going to the gym. There are ways to exercise without one. If you like your cardio, you can go running at a local park. If you’re more on the slower side of things, you can buy a set of weights at someplace as simple as walmart, and while it does cost something to invest in weights, it’ll be a lot cheaper than paying a monthly bill to a gym. And if you are one of those people who like the social aspect of the gym, there are ways around that too. There are plenty of apps these days that allow you to connect with others during your workout challenges. Fitocracy and Sparkpeople are just a couple of the free apps that I have used in the past. You can get motivated, add friends, and share your progress with people just like you. My favorite free forms of working out are doing yoga along with Yoga With Adrienne’s videos on youtube and going walking at my local park.

Thrift or buy used

That song doesn’t lie. It really does cost $50 for a t-shirt depending where you shop. Buying new clothes from the brandname stores can get pricey. One of my favorite stores is Torrid, and I can only afford to shop there sporadically because they are so dang expensive. What alternatives are there? You can check your local thrift stores for gently used clothes, or check sites like ebay. One of my favorite youtubers, Kiera Rose, always posts thrift-haul videos where she shows the super cute clothes she found for two or three dollars at her local thrift stores. If you travel to thrift stores where you know rich people live, you are more likely to find better clothes. I once found a real fur coat by traveling to a thrift store in the Latrobe area, where there is a small population of rich folks. Thrifting can be very time and energy consuming, so I suggest you go when you are in a shopping mood and not looking for anything specific, because you probably won’t find it. But thrifting is good for when you want some new clothes without breaking your budget.

Keep track of donations so you can claim them on your taxes

If you sort through your clothes and end up getting rid of four garbage bags worth of stuff, you can write that off on your taxes. If you get rid of furniture or baby items, you can write that off on your taxes. Of course, we’re talking pennies here, but hey, if you really want to take advantage of your government benefits, this is totally an option. The more you give away, the more you can claim. This also counts for monetary donations for charity.

Turn off electronics you are not using

Again, we are talking pennies, but I wanted to include this one because how many times have you walk out of a room without turning off the light? How many of you leave your chargers plugged into your phone or computer? Even though the cost is marginal, by being vigilant of how much electricity you are using, you can be more conservative with your bills. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth. Take faster showers. These are all things you can do to ensure your apartment bills are at least a few dollars cheaper. I mean, if you really want to be that nit-picky.


That’s it for this post! Do you have any suggestions for saving money? I’d love to hear from you!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Between obsessions

There is a select group of people in the world that have more than hobbies, they have obsessions. Whether it’s playing the violin, collecting old teapots, painting pictures of cats, or learning the ancient art of Shibari, these people focus on a normal hobby so much that they live, eat, sleep, and breathe it. It becomes their passion, their raison d’etre.

There is also a select group of people whose raison d’etre’s change from time to time. These people are called multipotentialites, and you can read more about them in my article, Are You A Multipotentialite?. People whose obsessions change over time tend to look at the world differently. Different than OCD, short for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, living with obsessions is classified more as a rapid learning habit wherein an individual devours everything they can about a certain topic or skill before abandoning it. Like a swarm of locusts that come through and clear a field of all edible vegetation, a person with obsessive hobbies burns through them until there is nothing left to gain, and then move onto something else entirely.

Before going any further, let me explain what this feels like, and how it differs from a normal hobby. Imagine yourself reading through a book. Some statement catches your eye, and in your mind you say, “well, isn’t that interesting. I’d like to know more”. You turn to your internet and begin a search for information that leads you down into a world beneath the surface, a world that few people know about. It doesn’t matter the subject, this fiendish search for knowledge can last anywhere from one month to a year, and culminate in the collection of objects as well as the change of wardrobes, mannerisms, and even personality. For the short amount of time that a person is cocooned amidst this new obsession, it seems almost as though they change into an entirely different person.

Of course, that is an extreme case, which is the primary focus of this article. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing! That’s how we get really interesting people who dress up like pin-up girls, just as one example of many. Those girls spend a part of their life (Or longer, depending on the length of the obsession) researching and duplicating those retro fashion and makeup trends. Not many people can do that. Only someone with a passion for it.

And then, let’s go back to our previous paragraph. So you find something that sparks your interest. You allow it to change your life. You change your wardrobe, your surroundings, your personality. You are not the same person as you were before discovering this totally awesome thing. And then, just as quickly as it seems to have begun, your obsession begins to fade. The novelty begins to wear off and you find yourself becoming bored. There is nothing new to learn. You’ve already performed, to the best of your ability, that which you wanted to duplicate. You are by no means a master at it, but you have reached a level of fulfillment within yourself that leaves you wanting something new, something more. The peak excitement begins to taper off into a valley that often feels very similar to depression. Not a chronic, long lasting depression. This sort of depression, characterized by boredom and discontent, only lasts until you find a new spark of inspiration, wherein a new obsession can grow.

This cycle continues throughout these people’s lives. I myself suffer from this roller coaster of obsessions and depressions. I have never known a time before this phenomenon, and so far I see no end to it. I am currently in a decline from an obsession that lasted for seven or eight months. That obsession was self-improvement. I have no way of knowing when the next obsession will begin. They usually come out of nowhere, unexpectedly. But when I am in the valley between obsessions, it is unbearable. The world seems small and uninteresting. There is a feeling of being outcast, misplaced, unfulfilled. This period of time doesn’t last as long as the obsessions do, usually only a few weeks to a month before something else sparks the passion again.

But oh, it is so unbearable living in the ridges between obsessions.


Can any of you relate to this phenomenon? I’d love to hear your stories!

Take care!