#Blogtober14, Day 31: The Finale

I DID IT!

Button from HeleneinBetween and TheDailyTay, with edits by me for this post.

A post everyday in October, 31 posts in all.  Suck it, haters (me) for thinking I couldn’t follow through (I’m actually surprised).

I’d like to thank the world, for giving me things to rant about and allowing me to post such weird tangents, like yesterday’s “Halloween like a basic white girl,” my autumn bucket list, or last week’s rant on careers vs. having a life.  Or, my personal favorites, the list of things I’d like to flip the bird to (Part II), showing off some new pants I got, or talking about absolutely nothing, like I did here, here, and here.

I’d also like to thank other beauty and lifestyle bloggers for looking so perfect and gorgeous and inspiring me to want to be like you, and try my hand at beauty reviews.  And also inspiring me to try this super expensive shampoo that has sort of changed my life, or the bareMinerals foundation which as made my face less gross and pimple-y.  And for also being the motivation to sit in a chair in a store and have someone tell me how to make myself prettier, which was a blow to the self-esteem but ultimately gave me some great beauty tips.

Big shout-out to my own personal need for growth and approval (and again, for lifestyle/beauty gurus for appearing so g-d damn perfect, and inspiring), which helped me look deeper into my own soul and live to improve myself.  Otherwise, I never would have increased my own work productivity, been able to share how I manage my money, stay healthy, or learned to really focus in on some lazy beauty hacks, or just lazy life hacks in general.  Or have tried to improve my own blogging abilities through more organization, like I shared here.

Or just allowing me to provide motivation when I felt like I needed some too, like I did here, and here again.

Also, special thanks to this blog for being a platform where I can just talk about things that are important to me: like mental illness stigma in the world, as well as my own struggles and tips.  And to pay tribute to a big part of my life, like my time as an active member of my sorority.

And also for allowing me to keep record of the cool things that happen in my life, like reliving college homecomings in the past, my most recent trip back to school as a new alum for homecoming, my first trip to Chicago to say goodbye to my best friend, and then the second trip back to visit my other best friend, including getting to cross some things off my bucket list, like seeing a few of my idols on stage for the first time.   Or even teaching something I like, like how to knit.

And for just allowing me to explore this weird world of online type and share my experience, like I did here with a quick blogging tutorial.

Either way, it’s been a fun ride this month, and I look forward to continuing on.  Probably not everyday, but at least a few times per week.

Thanks for reading, and enduring my bad jokes.  Which was probably actually a major treat for you, because, let’s be real, I’m hilarious (and really good at subtle self-promotion).  So actually, you’re welcome.

And I’m humble.

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Halloween like a Basic

Last night I had some thoughts so I thought I’d share them with you.  I apologize in advance.

HOW TO HALLOWEEN LIKE A BASIC WHITE GIRL:

1.  Start planning your costume(s) the day after Halloween the year before.  Pick which of your besties you are going to dress up with, and then forget your really great idea you came up with while having hangover brunch until the following August.  Decide you hate that idea and forgot about the costumes again.
Around September, start quietly obsessing over your next costume idea.  Tentatively ask what everyone is being, but avoid giving away your own idea because then they’ll just copy, and you obviously want to be original. 
DIY your “main” costume, because that one will be the best.  And then don’t forget to make sure you still have that oversized button up from last year, so you can go as Risky Business for one of the nights of Halloweek at the bar.  And then you still have that red bandana from the last date party, so you can totally go as Rosie the Riveter for another night.  On October 23rd, you find yourself on Google.  Do they sell Princess Elsa costumes in adult sizes? But like a sexy Princess Elsa?
Yeah, you’ve got this down.
Plan for your backup options: little black dress with cat ears, your old sexy cop outfit, or a sexy nerd.  You still have suspenders somewhere.
2. Go to a pumpkin patch with your best friends and your cutest outfit.  Don’t forget to take a picture holding a pumpkin, or standing next to a barn.  Double points if you go to a corn maze, and take pictures while wearing plaid or a cute scarf.  Triple points if you go on a hay ride, or apple picking.  You have the cutest sweater for apple picking.
3.  Carve a pumpkin.  Make sure it’s something cute and whimsical and worthy of an Insta with a quirky title.
Nailed it.
(Spoiler: That is my actual pumpkin from my Instagram last night after I blogged about being over Halloween.  I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a tutorial, because I’m clearly an expert at basic Halloweens.)
4. Your PSL consumption increases dramatically.  And if you don’t know what a PSL is… then how do you even?
5.  Start controlling your food intake around October 25th.  You want to make sure you look amazing in your costume.  Last until about 8pm, when you find the Halloween candy stash at your friend’s house.  I mean, candy corn sucks but it’s so festive, right?
6. Go out every night of the week leading up to October 31st. If you’re super hardcore, start the weekend before.  Someone is having a Zombie Bar Crawl, right?!

By the time real Halloween rolls around, you’re so sleep deprived and habitually hungover that psyching yourself up put on your good costume feels like so much work.  

Let’s be real, the true scariest costume of the week is your hungover/last night’s make up look you wear to class that week.  Ain’t nobody got time to wash off the hooker eyeliner from your sexy cop outfit the night before.  Plus, your teased hair makes the best next-day voluminous messy bun.
7.  Binge eat 1/2 priced Halloween candy for breakfast on November 1st, while thinking about next year’s costume.  It’ll be so much better than this year.

(I’m sorry.)

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Things I’d Like to Flip the Bird to, Part II

So I may have dropped the ball on Day 29 of #Blogtober14.  I worked, then did CSAC stuff, and life is hard so please don’t hate me.

(She says to all of her loyal followers, AKA like all 12 of you who read this.  HEY GUYYYYS!!)
And because I am devoid of original thought, and today was a b*tch, I am feeling annoyed.  I did a list like this a few months ago, and it was fun to write, so here is the second installment:
I present:

Things I’d Like to Flip the Bird to, Part II

1. My cold.  F*ck you. I just wanted to sleep last night but you had to keep me awake and uncomfortable by making my sinuses go bizerk.  And then you forced me into taking too much cold medicine, which made me honestly question my sobriety level at work today.  I hate you.
2.  The computer system at my gym.  Because apparently, when it gets to be the busiest time of the night, AKA 4:30pm-6:30pm, the server can’t keep up with all of the computers at all of the gyms in our time zone, so the server crashes and we can’t check anyone in or access any accounts.  Which really blows when someone calls me to fix up their bill, which gives me commission (AKA– what I can trade for Chipotle) and I can’t access their account because the computers are down, so I can’t get the commission.  Which means no burritos for Kelsey.  F*ck you.
3.  Halloween.  I’m just not into it this year.  I don’t want to dress up for work on Friday, I don’t want to see anymore Halloween candy, or “How to DIY your own Halloween” bullsh*t.  I’m over it.  Bring on Thanksgiving.
4.  My frozen macaroni and cheese I had for dinner.  It sucked and now I’m pissed.  Such a tease.
5.  My laundry again.  For not doing itself.  Still bitter.
6.  My social life, for not existing.  Three jobs has me busy, but going to Bloomington, and then Chicago last weekend has just really made me miss my friends so much.  Who knew you’d get so attached to other sacks of human that would make you miss them so much?
7.  This list.  It sucked.  I’m sorry this post sucks.  If my brain were an iPhone, it’d be flashing “less than 20%” at me.  I apologize. 
As you were.  Nothing to see here.

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Organizational Tips to Increase Productivity

I’m not the tidiest person, neither in the physical world nor my mental world.

I would like to imagine Kelseyland looks something like the Spongebob Squarepants fine dining episode where all the tiny Spongebobs inside his brain freak out, but with tiny Kelseys instead and there are like 3 slightly more sane tiny Kelseys running around behind them with brooms trying to clean up after them, screaming “Guys, stop it! It’ll be okay!”

With also more pink, glitter, spilled cups of coffee and random bobby pins thrown around on the floor.  Probably.

Forgetting an assignment was due until the day of class, or accidentally misplacing an important document was not uncommon for me in college, and is still a bad habit I am trying to work on today. I am queen of the to-do list, and then promptly forgetting I made said list, or meticulously copying things down into a planner, and then leaving my planner in the car during an important meeting.

Some habits are harder to break than others.

However, I have learned, especially since my life has switched from having a library or a designated “work space” during school, to working from home now, that there are a few key things that can increase productivity when you feel overwhelmed.

And, as I’ve learned the past few months, that all starts with getting organized.

1.  Designate a workspace.

This one is tricky, because if you are like me at the moment, you may not have a standing workspace.  It is my current dream to have a home office space– or even just a desk– that I can set up camp at whenever I need to do CSAC stuff.

If you can, designate a spot that is for work only.  Do not take breaks, watch TV, browse the internet, or do non-work things here.  Let your mind associate this spot as a “It’s time to get sh*t done” space, and ride that wave.  Step away from the spot when you need a break, so when you come back, your mind is wiped fresh and you go right back to getting things done.

Keep this space clear and stocked full of everything you need do your thing.  Keeping it cute is a must, but don’t let the style overpower the actual function of the space either.

2. If you don’t have a specific workspace, create one via the “desk-in-a-bag”


This is my current life hack.  My most-used workspace is my bed, because it is the only place in my Mother’s house that I feel like I am away from everything (her, the animals) and able to concentrate.  This is less than ideal because I do a lot of other things in my bed too, like watch TV, browse the internet, read… basically everything I said not to do in #1.  If I can, I will also use the kitchen table, the floor, a table at Panera bread, or anything else to get things done, but usually it’s my bed.  Sometimes you gotta get crafty.
I have learned to work around this constant change by keeping anything and everything I’ve ever needed for my work in one bag that I can tote with me to wherever I need.  I love my work bag, a black monogramed, convertible tote from a ThirtyOne party I hosted last year (which, for some reason, I cannot find online anywhere! Sorry!!).  It’s the perfect size for me to carry my laptop, chargers, my planner, my notebook, the accordion folder I keep documents in, pens, pencils, stapler, envelopes, stamps, post-its, and anything else I might need.  I keep it pretty stocked with my usual supplies, so that I can set up a desk at wherever I need one.
AKA, your adult back-pack.

3. Keep it clean

Avoid clutter wherever you are working.  Keeping your space organized will cut down on time used for searching for things, and (if you’re like me) cut down on the time where your brain feels like it’s fried and you’re so overwhelmed by everything around you that you can’t think and you just end up clutching the sides of your face in anguish.
Invest in de-cluttering strategies.  I’m a big fan of accordion folders, plastic organizing containers, websites like DropBox to organize virtual storage, and cute little pencil bags to hold things.  If everything has a place, you’ll be more likely to put it back in those places and keep your mind cleared.
And, as always, Pinterest is an amazing resource for DIY hacks to organize everything.  You should definitely go look at mine (subtle self promotion, eh?), because lately desks and office spaces have been an obsession of mine.  Check the “Future Home” section for sure. 

4. Write it all down– before, during, AND after work!

If you are a pen and paper kind of person (like me), or even a tech junkie who prefers the latest app, get into the habit of recording everything.  Pick a go-to notebook or app, and stick with it.
Before you start working, set up whatever note-taking tool you desire, and keep it handy.  
Create a to-do list before you start, and decide what you are going to get done.  But don’t let the list go far, because chances are you’ll come up with new tasks, or new ideas while you’re working.  Then, reevaluate the list when you’re done.  Transfer items to a planner, if applicable, or to a calendar app on your phone. 
Pro Tip: If you are able, copy important things, like syllabus dates if you’re a student, calendars for work, schedules, etc, and not only transfer those dates into your planner of choice, but also stick the actual hard copies all same place in your planner, or other organizational space of choice.  Keeping them all in one place (like… say your desk-in-a-bag!) makes them easy to grab and double check things.
The key is to make sure everything important is recorded in the same place, so you always know where to check back to if need be.  Learn to reference this spot before and after work to make sure you’re not forgetting anything– like your 60-point nutritional assessment project that you forgot about until 1am on the last day of Fall Break, and pulled an all-nighter to finish it, and then drive 5 hours back to school to go to class.  But I’m not talking from experience or anything.
The more organized you are, the more quickly you can get things done, and the sooner you can take a nap (or browse Bloglovin’).  It’s a win-win either way.

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Monday Motivation

Woke up with a cold, and an overwhelming to-do list for the week.

Oh well.

On my way home from Chicago this weekend, I was listening to a podcast called Ear Biscuits hosted by Rhett and Link, a Youtube duo.  They interviewed Shay Carl, who is known one of the first major Youtubers and daily vloggers to pioneer Youtube as career.  They touched on how he and his family, whom he films daily, always seem to have such a positive attitude and just seem happy all the time– ya know, aside from the fact that Shay himself is editing all these clips, so we are only really seeing them as he wants us to, but everything that we see shows a very happy, healthy and just a loving family.

In regards to that, he said something that really resonated with me.  He said that there are many days that he wakes up in a bad mood and just really doesn’t want to put on a happy face or smile for the camera.  But (at the time of filming the podcast, which was about a year ago, I believe) it’s almost become an exercise for him to begin his day, where he will take a deep breath, smile, and then turn the camera and start his video, which has become something that actually really makes him feel better in real life.

The physical act of telling himself “Okay, I am going to be in a good mood now,” and smiling, forcing a happy cadence to his voice changes his attitude.  When the camera turns off after filming that clip, he genuinely does feel better, almost like he is forcing a good mood on himself.

There is a reason we have “positive affirmations” and morning exercises to compliment ourselves.  The physical act of smiling can release hormones in our body to improve mood.  To a point, a bad mood is a state of mind, not a death sentence for the day.

“Jessica’s Daily Affirmations” via Youtube.  

If you wake up with the idea that the day is going to suck, that the week is going to suck, everything is horrible, then you’ll probably have a bad day.

But, if you tell yourself “Today is going to be a good day”, who knows how you can turn your day around.

Today, I feel like my head is full of cotton, and my face says “I made some questionable choices this weekend,” but that doesn’t mean my entire night at work has to be awful.

And even if it is, find the humor in that, because 9 times of out of 10, a hard day or moment can make others’ laugh.  How else do you think I can force all my friends to think I’m funny?  It’s not that I really am, it’s just that I am an awkward-moment magnet, so shouldn’t someone else benefit from my humiliation?

Choose to have a good day or a good week.  Don’t be afraid of your to-do list, tackle it head on with a smile, even if you don’t feel like it.  Do it for long enough, and maybe the smile will become genuine.

Happy Monday, friends.

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