Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monthly Mantra: March

Welcome to the third month of 2015!  Can you believe we've made it this far already?  I really can't.  There's so much I still haven't done that I had planned to do within the first four months of the year.  The biggest thing is getting my shit together and actually completing one swimsuit.  I have been talking about it for so long but I've been making up excuses as to why I haven't started on it yet.  "I have no time."  "I'm too tired to set up the sewing machine."  "I can't find my measuring tape."  "I need more space."  My list of excuses goes on and on, trust me.

The thing is, the reason behind my excuses is because I'm terrified.  What if it sucks?  What if I can't get the design right?  What if the fit is off?  But mostly, what if it's not as good as everyone else?  There are thousands of people who do the same thing and have the same ideas and dreams that I do.  I'm just making it up as I go and they have so much experience already.  What if mine aren't as amazing as theirs are?  What if I can't live up to that standard?  

All of these things have been holding me back and keeping me from doing something that I've been wanting to do and I can't keep doing that to myself anymore.  I need to stop thinking of everyone else and start thinking about myself, not in a selfish way, but as a way to clear my head and focus my energy on doing the best that I can do, not trying to match or beat someone else.

What has been holding you back?  Who have you been comparing yourself to?  How much happier do you think you'd be if you let those thoughts go?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blogger Rebellion

I saw this notice pop up yesterday as I was getting some blog time in and it kind of pissed me off a little.  I mean, I don't post nude photos of myself or anyone anyway so it wouldn't really affect my previous posts and photos, but still.  The fact that someone is going to try and limit what I do on the internet at all just makes me mad.  It kind of makes me want to post explicit pictures just to show them how I feel.  But, of course, I won't.

I guess it's the same with any type of authority that tries blocking or banning you from doing something - it makes you want to do it even more.  Obviously, I don't take to kindly to being told what I can and cannot do on the internet since I'm STILL getting around the web blocks here at work and streaming YouTube playlists instead of Pandora.  Suck on that, I.T. guys!

Anyway, so because Google and Blogger feel like they have the authority to limit and ban what we post on the internet and on our blogs, I've decided that they can no longer be trusted.  That being said, I'm thinking about switching over to WordPress.  The thing is, I'm freaking out - I've never used WordPress, I'm not used to it, and I have no idea how to even start to do that.  Sooooo...I'll be researching and doing my homework on how to transition to WordPress over the weekend and will also take notes to post up on Tuesday's Tips in case anyone else is thinking about making the switch.

What do you think about Blogger's new "Adult Content" policy?  Do you use WordPress or Blogger?  Know of any helpful sites or posts that could help me transition?  Please HELP!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Makeup Mondays: Excitement for March 2015!

I know, I know.  "A Makeup Monday post on a Wednesday?  When will this bitch get it together?"  I know, right?  But I just HADDDD to because I wasn't able to get around to it over the past two days (work, sickness, soccer games, little league practices, etc.) and I really wanted to share this with you guys because I'm super stoked about it and those who have tried (and love) the Younique products I've been peddling here and there and everywhere will probably be just as excited about it.  Those who have yet to try any of the Younique products...what are you waiting for!?  ANYWAY.

So in my last makeup post a couple weeks ago, I showed you the products I was currently using.  Since then, I have been able to try out the Younique powder foundations and have already replaced my MAC compact for the Younique one because I found that it lasts longer on my face and I'm less oily and shiny at the end of the day than I am with MAC.

I also tried out the Younique lip glosses and LOVE them because they don't melt and move around like all the other brands of lip gloss I've tried.  I'm not really a glossy gal since every other brand tends to melt or move and causes me to break out around my lip area but I have not had that problem at all with Younique.  No pimples or breakouts at all.  Boom!

So, I got word last week that Younique will be introducing FIVE new products in the March catalog - yes, FIVE different products, and no that doesn't include the colors they come in.  How exciting is that!?  Not excited yet?  Wait until I tell you what they are and how awesome they'll be...

In no particular order:

// Stiff Upper Lip Stain - This will be coming in seven different shades and I can't wait to try them all.  One lip product with simple application and all day wear?  YES, PLEASE!

// Beachfront Bronzer - I've been really into highlighting and contouring lately so I'm pretty excited for this!  And for all of you who are freezing your asses off in the states, this would be a great way to add some color to those frozen faces and practice some contouring before summer gets here...

// Splurge Cream Shadow - This is probably the one I'm most excited for because it's so simple to apply and is great for all of us who are always crazy busy and on-the-go.  Just use your fingertip and swipe across your lid!  Or you could buy the brush, your choice.

// Blending Buds - I personally haven't tried this or any of the similar sponges on the market but I'm willing to give it a try and see what the hype is about.  Have you tried these types of blending sponges?

// Shine Eye Makeup Removing Wipes - I'm probably going to get me a couple packs of these since I'm usually too lazy to wash my face before bed.  (Bad beauty blogger, I know!)  It's also great to carry around in your purse just in case you accidentally get a little too heavy with the eyeliner!

So that's the March lineup for Younique!  What do you think?  Would you consider purchasing any of these products?  What is your list of "musts" when looking for new makeup/beauty products?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gratitude > Attitude

Recently I've been realizing how great my life is.  I've been in awe at how far our family has come in the past few months with all the drama, moving, adapting to a different lifestyle and schedule and dealing with the stress of it all.  I'm not at all happy that we had to go through all of that but we're trying to thrive through it all.  I'm not pretending to be enlightened and forgive all the wrongdoings and betrayal that happened to us.  I'm still bitter over it and thinking of it now still brings me to tears, but that's not the point of this post.

The point is, through all of that crap, I've come to realize how truly grateful I am to have people who really care about me in my life.  The ones who I know truly do things from the heart without expecting something in return, who do it out of love and not just for attention.  I am extremely grateful for these special people in my life and I figured that in order to show them just how amazing they are, I'd take a cue from Lisa and write them "thank you" notes.  Okay, more like "thank you" letters, but you get the idea, right?  Right.

With all the chaos we deal with everyday, it's important to take a little time to thank those who helped us along the way.  My kids especially need to realize this because they seem to have more attitude than gratitude lately and so having them write one letter each week to any person they choose will hopefully help them stay grounded (or ungrounded, because grounded is what they will be if they keep up with the attitude).  Plus, it also helps with their spelling, grammar and penmanship so wins across the board.

When I told them about it, they complained (of course).  "Why do we have to do that?"  "It's not even Thanksgiving!"  "I don't know how to spell big words."  All of the complaints and whining and excuses were exactly the reason why they need to do this.  I'm not trying to use it as a punishment, I just want them to understand how lucky they are to have people who care about them, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food to eat every day.  Usually we don't figure this out until we're all grown up and trying to make it on our own so teaching them now will prepare them for their future and I think that's not such a bad idea.

The first week started out a little rough because they're still trying to get used to the whole concept of why they should be thankful for all the people in their lives who care about them, not just thankful for people who took them for ice cream or bought them a toy at the store.  Trace's letter went something like, "Dear Mom, I love my mom.  I like your TV room."  He gets an A for effort but the fact that the thing he likes about me is the TV room at my office (which I don't even own) doesn't really make me feel appreciated.

I'm sure they'll get the hang of it soon and I'm even going to put together a few supplies (cute stationary, washi tape (I'm looking at you, Paper+Cloth), markers, etc. so that they can get more creative with it.

So what do you think about our little family project?  Who are you thankful for?  Would you consider doing this yourself and with your kids?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Outsourcing

 Even though we claim we are, we can't always be the superhero of our blog.  We can't expect to get all our posts up on time all day err'day, have pin-worthy photos in every post, respond to every single comment on every single post within 5 minutes, or create and design every single aspect of our blog all on our own.  Sure, we're still the Beyonce of our blogs but, hey - even Beyonce pays people to do shit for her.

Now if you know me, you know I'm all about saving a few bucks and trying it on my own before I pay anyone else to do it for me, but I still outsource from time to time depending on what I need in order to (a) avoid killing myself in the process, (b) save time and energy that I don't have to begin with and (c) to be sure that I'm happy with the final product and if not, I'll at least have someone else to blame for it.

Some things that I happily pay others to do:  anything that has to do with electricity, cutting my hair, car repairs, and of course, cooking/baking things that I'm too lazy to make myself.  I don't mess with no fuse boxes, turn my car in to the shop when the maintenance light goes on, and order cookies for holidays/birthdays/special occasions from Roxanne Diaz, who does an amazing job every time.  (If you live on Guam and are looking for some custom cookies for an event, you MUST check her out!)

As far as blogging goes, I like to pride myself in coming this far over the past couple years.  I designed my current layout and theme all on my own and had a hell of a time trying to piece it all together so it looked good on the real life internet.  Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Anytime soon?  NO.  I would like a new design for this year, but just the thought of doing it all over is giving me a migraine.  

Now, as we all know, the internet is ginormous but it can seem very small when you're looking for something really specific, especially when it comes to your blog.  There are a lot of freebies out there for you to take advantage of, but there are also some really amazing things that'll cost you a few (sometimes hundreds) bucks.  It's a no-brainer to always look through the free stuff, then the sale stuff before hitting the full-price racks, but when it comes to certain things, you just gotta go ahead and get it while you can.  Here are some splurge-worthy blog things that are worth cracking open that wallet for:

Fonts.  I love me some fonts.  Lately I've been on a brush script font kick and have been scouring the internet for some really good ones.  I found one called Manhattan Darling that I fell in love with so when I saw it came with a few bonus graphics, I just knew I had to have it.

Blog Kits.  This one called The Jasmine Blog Kit is seriously calling my name right now.  Loving the colors and the graphics so much, this might just be the next design for Frikken Duckie.  What do you think?

Graphic Sets.  For those who love creating wallpapers/posters/quotes, I think spending a few bucks on some graphic sets can be worth it.  In addition to my brush script kick, I've also been on a watercolor graphics kick and cannot wait to start purchasing some of the sets by Graphic Box.  Especially the floral ones!

If you're into the whole blog stats/numbers/traffic counting/etc., then by all means, go right ahead and hire an SEO to help you raise your ratings.  Personally, I don't know anything about SEO or traffic counting or any of that other stuff and I don't really care to.  But again, that's just me.  You do you.

So, what do you think about outsourcing?  What have you splurged on for the sake of your blog?  How much are you willing to DIY vs. spending?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Aww, SNAP! [feat. SnapMade]

A while back I was contacted by a company called Snapmade to do a review of their products.  They specialize in customized items such as t-shirts, phone cases, sweaters, coffee mugs, pillows - basically you can customize your whole life with their products!  Anyway.

So I hopped on over to their website right away (because who wouldn't immediately check it out?) and my mind was blown.  I was basically like a kid in a candy store.  Except it was an online candy store.  You get the idea, right?  I went absolutely nuts looking at their product selection and creating designs on EVERYTHING.  I was seriously on their site for days until I finally decided on what I wanted.

I decided to design a baseball tee to support my sexy-ass fiance and his team in the upcoming Guam baseball season.  Their team is called the Smokey's and because I'm so frikken clever, I came up with a genius design which is a take on the Mean Girls quote and shirts that EVERYONE and their mothers have.

And because I'm so frikken clever, my sister and I thought it would be funny to start an apparel company someday called Bitches Love (because we can be pretty bitchy and we love everything) so I added that hashtag to the back of the shirt because, why not?

This shirt has been my favorite since I got it.  The material is so comfy and it's thick enough that I don't have to worry about a leopard-print bra showing through the material and it will get me through the chilly night games but it's also just as comfortable to wear on a regular sunny day on Guam.  My absolute favorite thing about the product itself has to be the fact that it is a digital print.  No screen or vinyl, which means I can wear and wash it as much as I like without worry of it peeling off!

You had to know that the shirt wasn't the only thing I ordered, right?  I also got this AMAZING phone case for my phone too.  I have an iPhone 5c and it is so hard to find phone cases that I like that will actually fit my phone well so I was so stoked to see that Snapmade had custom iphone cases for the 5c!
I had been looking for a cute pineapple case for a while with no luck, so of course I went ahead and made my own.  I used an image I found online a while ago, which is also my phone's background wallpaper, and duplicated it to create a pattern to cover the whole case.  And of course, I went ahead and added my very own #frikkenduckie hashtag to it.  I love how it looks like I just painted it on myself!

So, if you're looking for something really special and unique for that special someone for Valentine's Day, or if you're looking for personalized gifts for any occasion, I suggest you hop on over to Snapmade and take a look.  Even if that special someone is yourself (as if you even need an excuse to treat yo' self).   I mean, when you have free reign over the design of anything, you really can't be disappointed.

P.S.  There's a BOGO50 going on right now so go and steal that deal!  I already know what I'm ordering from them next.  (Hint:  it has something to do with pizza!)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Blog Love

In keeping with the spirit of love for this week, I decided to talk about the importance of Blog Love.  Just like in real life, when you love something you want to talk about it, be about it, and make everyone see how wonderful it is.  And, also like real life, when you love something so much that you start to lose yourself in it, it's probably time to take a step back for a bit and work on yourself.

Sharing a blog post, re-tweeting, pinning images from a post, giving credit to someone who inspired you or even giving a shout-out to a fellow blogger in a post of your own are all great ways to spread some blog love.  Share a little blog love today and put some positivity out there.  You'd be surprised at how much a quick shout-out or tweet of appreciation can affect a person.

Need help?  Check out some of these awesome posts by some amazing bloggers:

I'm so proud of this chick for putting her dream into motion... >>
One day I plan to visit Trinidad & Tobago to hang out with Krystal and NOT talk about work... >>
This gorgeous gal is engaged and getting married on my birthday next year... >>
I always end up wanting everything that she has after reading her reviews... >>
Treat Yo' Self to some of the awesome items on this badass single girl's gift guide... >>

So, what are you waiting for?  Get some of that love going!

P.S. I know this post is two days late but I just had to get it up even if it was late!  That's love.