Tuesday, July 29, 2014

OOTD: Summer Florals | Style Sessions Link Up With Style Elxir

     Oh my goodness, it's been so hot where I live. It feels like the sun burns my skin and it's just yucky, sticky weather. I love summer because you can relax a bit and hang out with friends, but there's nothing like the cool weather of fall and spring or being bundled up in cold weather in the winter.

     Today's outfit is a surprising one for me. I love the look of skirts and dresses, yet I rarely wear them. I guess it's the tomboy side in me. I just prefer shorts or jeans/jeggings/leggings because you can run around in them and you don't have to worry about a skirt flying up from windy weather. However, I love the outfit I put together here. Not only is it cute and girly, it's super comfortable. The soft fabrics makes it easy to move in. The belt isn't too constricting and defines my waist nicely, and the skirt isn't too short or too long, so it still flatters my shorter frame.

     I'm wearing a simple gray cami that you can practically find anywhere. It's so soft and I've had it for years, but I've hardly worn it. The belt is from Forever 21, I bought it a while ago. My skirt is a vintage floral skirt, and I finished off the outfit with some nude flats. For accessories, I only wore a star necklace I got from Target.

That one weird/silly pose...

I hope you enjoyed my OOTD! Thanks for reading and I'll see you tomorrow lovelies!

Annie ♥

Monday, July 28, 2014

Motivational Monday: Ambition

     Hello lovelies, welcome back to Motivational Monday! I stopped doing these for a while because honestly, I didn't feel like I was in a position to write about motivational things, but now I'm ready to get back on it. This week I want to talk about ambition. At the beginning of this month, I feel like something changed in me. All of a sudden, I was motivated to go through with being consistent with this blog and restart my YouTube channel and to just work hard. And in turn, that has affected my view on what I see as important in my life.

     Writing has always been something I'm passionate about and doing this blog is challenging and difficult, but fun and rewarding as well. I feel pressure from myself to create quality content every day. I'm not going to write short, crappy, blog posts; I'm going to do my best all the time. I want my blog posts to be passionate and as honest as possible.

     Making YouTube videos is also important to me and I've been making plans to film more videos and to be more consistent with that as well. In fact, this week, so much is going on in terms of filming so be on the lookout for stuff coming up in the next month (fingers crossed!)! YouTube has been something I've done on and off for years, but now I want to upload more consistently about things I'm passionate about, which is singing, fashion, beauty, etc. I don't want to limit my channel or place it into a single category. I want it to have a mixture of videos, with the common thread being that every video is something I'm proud of uploading and is about something I love.

     School is one of my top priorities and I always make a goal to do well in school and I usually do, but I always want to improve. In this upcoming school year, I really feel like I'm going to be able to do my best with this new ambition. I really want to get straight As, so I'm really hoping I can do it. I always lose motivation somewhere along the way, but with the roll I've been on lately, I believe in myself more this time around.

     And the last thing that I've been motivated to do lately is to eat healthier and exercise more. I don't even know how I got into it and how I've been able to keep up with it. I find myself making smoothies and making healthy sandwiches (I'll admit, I'm craving french fries/carne asada fries right now though). And I'm constantly looking up new workouts and healthy recipes, as well as following healthy accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Suddenly, I found myself immersed into a healthier lifestyle without even trying too hard. All of this has motivated me to do everything I've been putting off and gradually, I've been accomplishing things and I'm so proud of myself.

     For years, I slowly became a chronic procrastinator. It probably started around 8th grade and then got worse from there. It got to the point where I was constantly stressed out from being behind on everything, but at the same I craved it. It was like I wanted that rush of having to try to finish everything in what felt like an impossibly small amount of time. And sometimes I succeeded, and sometimes I failed. I don't know if anyone can relate, but that's personally how I felt. Every time afterwards though, I always felt horrible and I wanted to change but I couldn't, or wouldn't. This habit continued into my first year of college and it definitely didn't help that I went out all the time (read more about my first year of college here), but thankfully I still survived that year grades-wise. But all of sudden, over this summer, I feel like I've changed and I'm really happy about it. Because that means I'll probably be less stressed and more efficient now. I have a desire to do things immediately instead of putting it off. I'm making goals and actually making progress on them. By the end of this week, I will have blogged successfully for a whole month, which is the longest I've ever done this consistently. It also helps that I give myself the weekends off because before I wanted to blog 7 days a week, but that was definitely impossible and probably would've been so stressful.

     So that's a little bit of what's been going on and a part of my backstory. I think the main reason why I'm so motivated right now with blogging has to do with the fact that I feel like there are actual people reading my blog. It gives that boost of determination to blog because I feel like I have a real reason to do it, like what I write matters. Of course, at the end of the day, I blog because I like it and it shouldn't matter what other people think.

     Ambition is important. Without it, you can't get anywhere. You can make all the plans in the world, but you'll accomplish nothing without ambition. Sometimes I find the best way to get things done is to not think about it, especially if it's a tedious chore. Just turn your emotions off and do what you have to do and I find that really helps with finishing tasks. But what is important about ambition is that it gives you the power to do so much. And the best part is that we've always had this power, we just haven't decided to use it yet.

     So I hope you enjoyed this post about ambition and maybe this'll motivate you to finally do what you've been putting off or to find that ambition to start moving towards all the goal you may have created. I'm so excited with what I've been able to accomplish in the last month and I hope I can keep this up! I believe we all have the ability to accomplish anything, so just do it. :) I'll see you all tomorrow!

Annie ♥

Friday, July 25, 2014

Life is short.

     Hello lovelies. Today I wanted to come to you all with a more serious post. I haven't done one of these in a while, a post where I share my thoughts. Even though I love talking about music, fashion, food, etc., I still like to think of my blog as a place where I can think things out and share what I've learned through the experiences in my life.

     Earlier this week, someone across the street from where I live was killed. The city where I live was all over the news with talk of 3 crime scenes and 2 bodies. I remember this day as blurred, confusing, and a little crazy, even though it's only been a few days since it happened.

     It was the middle of the afternoon. It seemed like a normal summer day, the heat slowly creeping into the house as the heat wave cued the mercury in the thermostat to rise to the triple digits. As I scrolled through Facebook on my laptop, I read someone's status and their friends' comments and realized there was a shooting in my city.

     Shootings are "normal" in my city. I see my friends post about hearing gunshots in the neighborhood like it's a regular thing. I've heard they send criminals from other cities to ours because who knows why. Fights and mini riots in the streets were normal when I was in high school. One day, my partner in Spanish class was taken away by the cops because of a drug bust at my school. Once, I was walking after school and I could feel some sort of a tension in the air. Call it instinct, a sixth sense, or maybe it was a familiar feeling. I started speed walking while hearing a group of people yelling, "Yeah, let's f*** them up!" Right after I crossed the street away from those people, a fight broke out in the road in front of everyone, blocking all the traffic and putting everything to a halt. I'm probably making where I live sound horrible. It kind of is, but at the same time, it's not. I know it could be a lot worse, so I have to be thankful for that.

     After I read the status on Facebook, I saw that my city was on the news and that there were two crime scenes and a body. I paid attention, but there was no sense of alarm or fear. It was just something typical that would happen where I lived and it would be sorted out soon, I thought to myself. Little did I know what was coming.

     The next thing I knew, my mom came inside to tell me that there were cops, police dogs, and news vans on our street. I was so confused. What was going on? The news continued to update but there weren't any details as to what had happened on my street. A knock at the door. I looked through the peephole and saw a cop. My dad walked slowly to the door, which prompted pounding. The police proceeded to question my mom and dad, but of course we didn't know anything. My dad had been at work all day and I, my mom, and brother didn't leave the house. Besides, we didn't know that family across the street. I continued to ask my parents what had happened. They said the police told them nothing. Eventually, they put our street on the news and said that this was the 3rd crime scene. Later on, I found out there was another shooting and there was a dead body in that house across the street. A dead body. Someone died. Died. I didn't know the family, but a part of me wanted to cry. To think that someone in such close proximity was killed and I didn't even hear a gunshot. What was I doing? Just watching TV and checking social media. While someone died. I couldn't help but wonder, what if I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time? What if I had been outside when that happened? Would I have been in danger? Could something have happened to me? Probably not, but I think that just goes to show how important timing is.

     When nighttime came, my mom came into my room to say our area was on the news again and that the coroner was coming. I asked if we could see outside. So we went into the garage and looked through the window. There wasn't much to see but I felt a sudden sadness and chills to think the body would have to pass our house to get to the coroner's van.

     This isn't the first time I've thought of/seen dead bodies. I've been to a few funerals, all of them when I was much younger. I watch crime shows all the time. But this was different. This was close, distance-wise. This was real. This was a murder, a double homicide.

     In the last few days, I've gone through a lot of emotions. I felt sad for the family. I felt scared. I don't feel safe in my house because of the what if...they come back? Which I'm sure he/they/whoever it is won't. But I find myself feeling on edge. I feel shocked that something happened so, so close by. I feel worried. I feel somewhat anxious. I don't know how to explain it. I know this has nothing to do with me. I don't know the family, I didn't see or hear anything, I know next to nothing about how it all happened. But a part of me wishes I could talk it out with someone.

     And the realization hit me like a ton of bricks on that day. Life is short. Nothing probably would've happened to me if I was outside, but what if. What if I saw the shooter heading towards that house and he saw me? And what if he decided I was a witness and needed to get rid of me? Thankfully, I was inside, but this what if nags in particular. Because life is short. You never know when it's going to end. What if your tomorrow never comes? Then you'll only be left with today and all the yesterdays. Are you satisfied with those yesterdays? Are you satisfied with today?

     I tend to think of life as an hourglass. We all have an hourglass full of sand. But we don't know how much sand we were given. Some of us get a year, some of us get 10 years, and some of us are blessed with 100 years of that sand. Every grain of sand, well you can think of it as every second or minute of your life, aka time. If we let the sand fall through without doing anything, we're wasting it. And of course, there's no returns, redoes, exchanges, or extra sand. What you get is what you get. But if we make the most of it, that sand isn't being wasted. And when we run out, it'll be okay. Because you made the most of that sand. None of us have an unlimited amount of sand; it'll all fall through to the bottom eventually. Do you know how much sand you have left? No? Then make the most of every grain you have, because you'll never know if that's your last.

     This week has been a little rough on me, but it came out with a good realization of what I already knew. It's another push to do more with my life and to stay ambitious. Even though the sadness, shock, and fear still lingers, I know it'll pass in time. It makes me more thankful to be alive and to appreciate what I have. And it gives me more motivation to do as much as I can. I believe the About Me section of my blog talks about my ambitions, but basically, I want to succeed at everything I put my mind to. No one's good at everything, but I just want to succeed at the things I'm the most passionate about and try the hardest at. I hope you enjoyed today's post and that maybe it was a little inspiring. If you get anything out of this, just remember to cherish the sand in your hourglass and make the most out of your life. I think you might be surprised at what you can accomplish. Thank you for reading and I hope you're all doing well.

Annie ♥

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekly Playlist: Cody Simpson, Afrojack, & more + I'm Making Music Again!

     Hello lovelies! On this week's playlist, I've got a few artists and songs to mention as well as my own announcement. So let's get started.

     The first artist I'm going to mention is Cody Simpson. I think Cody Simpson is a pretty good artist. He's got a good voice as well as some nice looks. A couple of songs that have been on repeat for me are "Back To You" and "Summertime of Our Lives." I could literally listen to "Summertime of Our Lives" forever, it's such a cute song. Overall, I really like Cody Simpson and I can't wait to see what other music he'll release.

     The next artist I want to talk about is Afrojack. I don't know much about him but after hearing his single, "Ten Feet Tall," a few times, it grew on me and I can't get it out of my head. He seems to have recently gained some attention with this song since it's played a lot on mainstream radio and I really like this song now. It has a catchy beat and hook, so go have a listen to it and see if you like it.

     A random song that I discovered recently makes me love the indie station I have on Pandora even more now. When this song came on, I literally stopped what I was doing for a moment to listen to it. I love everything about this song and I definitely recommend listening to it. It's called "Butterfly" by Bassnectar. I honestly think it's one of those songs that kind of give you an eargasm. It has an eerie, haunting tone at first, but then the beat kicks in and it sounds amazing. Go check it out!

     And now for my own announcement, eek! I haven't done this for a long time, but I'm finally getting back into it again! I have a new cover up on YouTube, it's Lemonade by Jeremy Passion. Definitely one of those oldies but goodies, I think one of my friends told me to cover this song 2 or 3 years ago and now I'm finally doing it, haha. Please watch it and share it with your friends and family if you like it, it's only a click away below!

     I haven't done a cover in nearly 10 months and I miss it so much. I was actually a little nervous about uploading since I haven't done it in so long, but I'm happy I did it and that I'm making covers again. For this summer, you can hopefully expect videos out every Saturday. Once school starts, I hope I can continue uploading, but it's definitely going to be a little hard, what with academics, clubs, work (fingers crossed on that!), this blog, etc. Plus, doing a cover is more difficult than blogging for me because I have to learn the lyrics and chords and I'm an amateur guitarist, so it takes me a little while. I'm also a perfectionist so I have to practice until it's perfect. But otherwise, I really want to get back into making videos again on my YouTube channel. Also, I plan on recording fashion and beauty videos again as well so be on the lookout for that! To see my channel, click on the YouTube link at the top of my blog, or click here!

     As you can probably tell from my latest posts, I'm trying really hard to get to work on getting back into shape, make music, keep up with this blog, and lots of other things. I can only hope I'll grow in support on this blog and YouTube channel, that I can keep up with the new habits I've formed, and that I can accomplish the goals I've set for myself. Thank you so much for reading and I'll see you lovelies tomorrow! :)

Annie ♥