Thursday, April 30, 2015

Unbroken Book Talk

I am ecstatic to be joining The Life of Bon for her monthly book club! Several months ago when she was planning the club for 2015 she had said she wanted to have co-hosts for the books. I emailed her saying I was interested if she had any open slots- and she did!

This month we read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, the biography of Louis Zamerini who became an Olympic runner then turned soldier in WWII...

Want to read more and join in? Hop on over to Bonnie's blog to participate in our book talk on Unbroken!

Friday, April 24, 2015

What I Loved This Week Vol. 7

And another Friday has arrived. Hooray for the weekend! Here's some blog posts for you to check out while you relax the next couple of days:

In the Blogosphere:

- As always, the Snark Squad has Segue Magic where we talked about our favorite fictional siblings.

- Over the weekend, Amber and Cassie emailed me about a new Instagram project they're working on - and I was so excited about it! Amber officially announced it here on her blog on Wednesday! (And no, you don't need a blog to participate. Just Instagram!)

- The fantastic Nadine from East & Blog has started a new project! She now has a brand new blog that focuses on blogging and how to improve. I'm so excited for it because she's always given the best advice and had the best tips and tricks of the trade. You can check it out here. (Wednesday there was a great one on podcasts!)

- On the Write Practice, they compared writing to giving birth. Now... I have no idea what it's like to give birth. But, they did a great comparison and from my limited knowledge, it's pretty accurate. They also wrote about story structure and when it's okay to go away from the 3-act format.

- Paul Angone wrote this lovely prayer for all 20-somethings that really helped me to feel better about life. At least for a moment. I still have a little less than a year and a half of my 20s - so it still applies to me! (Also - his book is now in stores!)

- Brittany at Pine and Palmettos wrote about how eloping is underrated. ALL OF THE APPLAUSE! I love a good wedding, but I also can see why eloping is a great idea too.

- Chelsea of The Girl Who Loved to Write About Life talked about how dogs make your life better this week. WHICH IS 100% TRUE.

And... I'm ridiculously behind on watching YouTube videos this week. I'll have a ton for next week!

BUT, I do have the one I filmed for today I think you'll want to see. ;-)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Vlog

Lately, I've been consumed with Vlog Every Day April. (VEDA) I feel like all I do is record, edit, and post videos lately. But I love it! I've been participating with VEDA for a few years now, and Kirstie and I ran it for WeBlogWeVlog this past year. We then took on Vlogmas - and ever since then I've been adicted.

(If you're looking for the Unbroken book talk with Bonnie... we were both WAY ahead of the game and thought it was this week, but it's next week. So come back a week from today!)

Today, I want to share with you five reasons why I think other bloggers should join me on the vlogging train. Don't quit blogging if that's what you love - I have no intentions of stopping my writing. But you have to admit, adding video is pretty awesome once you get started.

I made a video about it (because... duh) but below I'll write a quick re-cap of what I said.

1) You Get to Know People on Another Level

You can absolutely get to know people through their blogs. They post pictures, write about their lives, and sometimes you can really "hear" their voice. With vlogging - you ACTUALLY hear their voice. When you see someone's face and see and hear how they talk, you get to know them on another level.

2) The Community is Awesome

There are tons of communities you can join if you want a place to plug in. Kirstie and I lead WeBlogWeVlog, Amber and Annie do the Speak Up Link Up on the first Friday of the month, and the Snark Squad is now doing #seguemagicsaturdays.

Speak Up
Snark Squad

3) It's not as Complicated and Expensive as You Think

People feel as though they need fancy cameras and editing equipment. WRONG! Lately, I've been using my iPad and my phone exclusively for filming. Sometimes I use my point and shoot camera too.

For editing? I use Windows Movie Maker (it came with my laptop, and it's not crazy fancy, but gets the job done) and the free iMovie app on my iPad. (There's a full app for $5.) That's all you need and they're really easy to use.

4) It Stretches Your Creativity

There's so much you can do with video , so it's fun to see the different ideas you can come up with for your topics to make it fun and entertaining.

5) You can Vlog About Basically Anything

Book Tube and beauty videos are HUGE! But there's a ton of other stuff you can do too. Whatever you're interested in, you can vlog about it. In fact, I'm obssessed with this new channel that's dedicated to Disney. Or maybe you can do comedy or sketches or a web series or something educational or music...

So, there you go. Have you thought about vlogging? If you've thought about it but never taken the plunge, what's stopping you? Do you vlog? If you do, what are some of your suggestions to newbies?

Friday, April 17, 2015

What I Loved This Week Vol. 6

It's Friday!!!!! I feel like I get more excited for Friday every single week. I just love Fridays.

Anyways, here's what I have read/watched this week which I think you all might enjoy for some wasting time on the Internet over the weekend.

In the Blogosphere:

- In honor of equal pay day, Taylor from The Daily Tay, wrote a post about the things women can do better than men. It made me laugh out loud and want to yell "AMEN!"

- Pastor Mark wrote this great post on grace and how life is messy.

- Colin Wright turned 30 this week, and I just hope by the time July of next year rolls around I'm in the same place as he is because right now I'm already wanting to cry because I'll be turning 29. \

- Gina compared writing to baking cookies and it was perfect. And I want cookies now.

On the YouTubes:

- Sweeny made a fantastic video about failure on Saturday and it was ridiculously awesome.

- Taylor from It's Radish Time, made a lovely little video about winter and spring and it's metaphors for life.

- If you watch Kristina Horner and/or her web series "Job Hunters" you'll LOVE this official "Dancing on Rianbows" music video!

- There's a brand new collab channel all dedicated to Disney and it's the best thing ever. They only have one video so far... but I'm stoked.

What have you been reading/watching lately? Should I include any other forms of social media (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) in my weekly shoutouts?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Haven't Forgotten You, I Promise

Oh VEDA - how you take over my life. Filming, editing, watching, commenting, the cycle never seems to end. Even when I do have time to blog, my blog ideas end up going into ideas for videos. Sorry about that blog, I don't mean to neglect you. Soon, April will be over and I'll get back to writing for real.

Although, I have noticed a couple of you have hopped over to my YouTube channel to watch my daily videos. Thanks so much! If you want to catch up on what I've been doing all month, click here.

See? Even my Instagram knows VEDA has taken over my life. Even at Starbucks!
In the meantime, here's a quick "currently" post to let you know what I'm up to and that I haven't died.

Watching: Other than all of the YouTube videos, I just finished the 7th season of Mad Men on Netflix and have moved onto The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (hilarious!) and going back to the first season of Reign which I still haven't finished. Oh the drama!

Listening:  I'm still ridiculously addicted to Tyler Oakley's podcast, Psychobabble. It's just so funny! When I'm not listening to that though, I'm jamming out to my typical showtunes, Glee covers, Ed Sheeran, and Hozier.

Wondering:  What's going to happen in the next few months. The preschool where I'm working officially announced they weren't going to be doing a summer program like we were last year. While, I'm always on the job hunt, it's a little more desperate now. If you're in the Chicago area and have any job leads, hook me up!

Eating:  Chocolate covered raisins. My family gets them from this local candy store and I'm totally addicted. On the flip side, I also have been eating a ton of salads and fruit for lunch at work. Something about spring time which makes me crave healthier foods. I'll get over soon I'm sure.

Battling:  A cough/cold/allergies. I'm in the phase where I can't go five minutes without hacking up a lung. It'll be gone after 3 or so months.

Reading: Too many books. JUST KIDDING! There's no such thing as reading too many books. Right now I'm in the middle of Reading Lolita in Tehran,  just started The Diamond Conspiracy, and just about to being Unbroken. Speaking of Unbroken, it's Bonnie's book club pick for April, and a week from tomorrow I'll be co-hosting the discussion with her! It's not too late to start reading and join us!

Drinking:  Lately my Starbucks drink of choice has been the Youthberry tea. It's sooooo good. Although, now that it's getting warmer I'm going to have to switch over to an iced drink. One of my favorites iced is a vanilla chai latte with a shot of espresso. AMAZING.

Looking Forward to:  NERDCON! What? You haven't heard of NerdCon? It's a new convention focused on the art of storytelling starting up this year and it'll be taking place in October in Minneapolis. I was somehow able to convince my friend to join me and I can't wait! I know it's 6 months away, but it'll be so awesome! You can learn more by clicking here.  They're already 1/2 sold out so you should get your tickets soon. If you're going too let me know so we can hang out!

What's going on in your lives? I'd love to hear!

Friday, April 10, 2015

What I Loved This Week Vol. 5

I completely forgot how much time VEDA takes up. (You can watch all of my videos here!) I'm not even organizing it or really "officially" doing VEDA with all of the topics and meeting new people and stuff. I'm just doing my own videos and watching the people I normally subscribe to. Except SO MANY people I normally subscribe to are doing VEDA too - which means I'm watching way more YouTube than is probably healthy.

That's a long way of saying I'm ridiculously behind on reading and writing blogs. Sorry!

Here are a few things I was able to catch though this week:

In the Blogosphere:

- Gina from This Is Not Your Blog wrote this piece about "Why is it Always About Women and Girls" and just... all of the applause.

- Angie over at Jhu'lie adopted a pet rat! I'm not one for rats, BUT, this one is pretty gosh darn cute and I'm a sucker for people showing off their pets.

- Amanda from Musical Poem talked about realizing you've become an adult and I resonated with it so much!

- Nadine from East & Blog, wrote about things she should have learned in college but didn't. It speaks to me on a spiritual level.

- Amber from Mr. Thomas and Me wrote a beautiful piece about insecurity. 

On the YouTubes:

- As always, my friend Laura and I did our weekly videos to each other. I talked about my new phone. She talked about baseball.

- Have you heard Darren Criss is going to be headlining in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway? He did an interview with about getting ready and it makes me want to go to NYC to see it SO BADLY.

- So, I recently subscribed to this guy Wyatt on YouTube and I couldn't stop squeeing and smiling like an idiot (my mom I'm pretty sure thought I was crazy) because his dog is JUST SO ADORABLE I CAN'T EVEN HANDLE IT.

- Karina did her response to the Self-Worth challenge and it was wonderful.

- Laura from My Bloggy Vloggy Life, did an EPIC video of dancing to songs from the 80s for VEDA this week!

What did you all read and watch this week?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

What I Loved This Week Vol. 4

Happy Saturday!

Because of the Speak Up! link up, I decided to post my "What I Loved" a day late. Is that okay? Good. Because that's just how it's going to be.


In the Blogosphere:

-The Write Practice shared 29 Quotes about becoming a better writer. I particularly loved the one from Neil Gaiman. (That man is a genius. Frankly, I'd read his grocery lists. NAME THAT REFERECNE!) Although all of them are pretty brilliant. They also wrote about why you should write about the worst experience of your life.

- Brittany over at Pines and Palmettos wrote this AMAZING piece about "Why Are Christians so Scared?" It's exactly on point.

- Amber over at Mr. Thomas and me I felt was writing my thoughts about writing this week. With doubts and being in a writing funk and not knowing where to go. It's wonderful.

- Paul at All Groan Up released his book trailer and it's perfect!

- Karina over at Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad has been doing a series where she watches ALL of the Disney animated movies in order of when they were released and posts it every Wednesday. Basically, it's amazing and magical. This week she covered Tangled. 

On the YouTubes:

- I'm participating in Vlog Every Day April! (VEDA) You can watch my daily videos by checking out my playlist.

- My friend Amanda posted her response to the self-worth challenge and it was wonderful.

- Anyone feel like they're failing at the whole "networking for your job thing?" Yeah, me too. The YouTube channel "How to Adult" did an AWESOME video on how to network. 

- My friend Karina (who is the same one with the Disney movies) is doing a series where she writes letters to each month and the one she had for March was just lovely. As all of her videos are.

- Stephen went to Rome in March! Here is is video of the Colosseum and I'm totally jealous.

- The Vlog Brothers posted this awesome song that was made out of a debate they had over Batman. It's brilliant.

- Carrie Hope Fletcher recently recommended some YouTube channels and I checked out I Read Books in Nightclubs (because... obviously. That name!) and his most recent video is about theatre and what you shouldn't do when you're in the audience and he READ MY MIND because I was thinking THE SAME THING recently when I went to see Beauty and the Beast and he's my new favorite person.

- Carrie Hope Fletcher also interviewed James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) AND visited the Hogwarts Express! How awesome is that? And can I go? PLEASE?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Speak Up! | Celebrate

Blessed Good Friday everyone! It's time to link up with Amber and Annie for the Speak Up! link up! The first Friday of the month we film a video about the designated topic and link it up on Amber's blog or Annie's blog we film a video about the designated topic and link it up on Amber's blog or Annie's blog. 

If you're looking for my weekly "What I Loved This Week" post - I'll have it up tomorrow. ;-)

In the meantime- let's celebrate!

As I mentioned in my video, I'm participating in Vlog Every Day April! (VEDA) If you want to follow along, click here, and you'll find videos every day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When the Answer is No

I'm no stranger to rejection.

From job interviews, to auditions, to relationships, writing pitches, to nearly everything else, I know what it's like when you are told "no." It's not something I enjoy. But who does? No one enjoys rejection. If anything, we want to be the one saying "no" instead of the other way around.

It's the fear of rejection which prevents me from taking more chances. Applying for more jobs, asking more guys out, etc. I've known the feeling enough to know I don't want to experience it anymore.

But that's not how life works. We have to continue to put ourselves out there to get what we want. That's what the world tells us. We need to know what we want and go for it, no matter how many times the answer is "no" because if we just give up there will never be a "yes." So, we pick ourselves up from the ground and we try again.

If I were a good blogger, this would be the time I would share with you ten tips for handling rejection.

But we all know, I'm not a good blogger.

And frankly - I don't know how to handle rejection.

I try to tell myself that I never really cared anyway so when the rejection comes, it's not as hard of a blow. But that never works. I mope around and sometimes cry for a couple of days. I replay the incident over and over again in my mind and notice every single detail of what I had done wrong. Then, it makes me think of all of the other times I had failed in the past and how I should have known this was going to happen. Then, I remove any evidence of the incident. Hiding pictures, songs, applications, etc. It's like a breakup. I tell people I don't want to talk about it and then all I do is vent about the situation.

Then, one day, almost like magic, it doesn't hurt anymore.

I'm not entirely sure how this happens or when it does. But eventually, the day comes. Sometimes it's only a day or two later. Sometimes it's months later. It all depends on how hard the blow was. But it does come.

That's really how I handle it. I remember that eventually, it won't hurt anymore. Even if I don't know how or when, eventually it won't hurt anymore.

The sting fades away and I can look at the pictures again. Listen to the songs. Put out more applications. Go on more auditions.

Because somewhere down the line, among all of the "nos", there is bound to be a "yes."

Also - I'm participating in Vlog Everyday April! You can watch my videos here.