Impulse Buys and Moral Dilemmas

the leather DILEMMA

An interesting thing happened to me recently, that I’ve been thinking about for a few days. It led me to this question: When does your personal wants trump your ethics? I’ve been a vegetarian for the last 6 years and, as you can tell from my posts, I’ve started to delve deeper into veganism and ethical purchases on the non-consumable front. My makeup is all cruelty free, my toiletries are mostly eco-friendly, and I don’t really purchase or use items made from animals if I’m aware of it.

However, over the last week Disney announced a new Dooney and Bourke bag, inspired by Disney dogs. I didn’t really care for the color originally, but I loved the pattern and styles of bags. But, being a high-ticket item at $250 and knowing that people were waiting hours to get their hands on them, I filed it away as an item that I wanted and didn’t need.

Continue reading

Confident with the Cash aka Am I an Adult Yet?

What’s changed

Hey guys! So I’m back on this blog to do a little bit of a different post, kind of based off and expanding on the one I made last year about finances. The horrible, ugly, yet fun, and exciting thing that keep us alive everyday. So, if you’d like some background for this post you can check out my long and old one HERE where I talk about how I graduated college debt-free, bought my cars outright, and basically how I was keeping myself afloat after recently moving into my own apartment. 

But now that some time has passed, I’ve experienced a bit more on the financial front (both good and bad), I thought it was time to update with some more recommendations and what I’m doing to ensure that I don’t have to sell all my belongings in order to live. And most of all because I think financial planning is FUN! There, I said it, you can all shame me for the loser that I am. But, luckily having interest and enjoying financial planning is something that helps protect me in the long run. So, let’s start out with some changes that I’ve made the last year. 

Continue reading

Impossible List

The Impossible List

do i practice what i preach?

I wrote a post back in 2015 about my own Impossible List which you can read HERE. Recently I went back to Kansas to visit my family for a week and anytime I travel I suddenly get the urge to DO MORE. I think it’s because a airport is bustling with working people and I spend most of it reading, watching classes, or the like. The idea of moving from place to place, having a schedule of things to do also gets me more motivated.

While I was home I watched a variety of videos on Skillshare which I currently had a free trial for. I watched multiple videos on iphone photography and DSLR photography and suddenly realized I wasn’t learning or implementing anything new into my life. After I returned home I started working harder at advancing in my job and my hobbies.

Continue reading

Curated Closet Board

Curated Closet – Challenge

fast fashion fast

Over the summer I have been participating in a  “Fast Fashion Fast” hosted by youtuber Verena Erin from My Green Closet. During this challenge participants try to avoid purchasing any fast fashion branded clothing, or clothes in general, in favor of more ethically/eco/fair trade brands.

Fast Fashion has major impacts on our world environmentally, economically, and continues to trap garment workers in developing countries into poorly run and dangerous working conditions, some including child labor. For more information you can watch this good documentary called The True Cost on Netflix!

The True Cost

Continue reading

Valley of Mo'ara

Exploring the World of Pandora

Valley of Mo’Ara

I realized this morning that I’ve never posted anything about Pandora either here or on my youtube channel since the land opened at Animal Kingdom. Mostly because everytime I’ve been it’s either incredibly crowded or too rainy to bring my camera. But I’ve come to change all that because I do have a few pictures from this beautiful land that I would love to show you! First of all make sure you guys check out my flickr HERE to see all these beautiful photos in hi-res!

I’d like to give a shoutout to my beautiful friend and roommate Celine who helped open this incredible world to Animal Kingdom. She’s a complete boss and I’m so proud of her. Therefore a lot of these photos are of her in and her homeland.

Valley of Mo'ara 8

 Valley of Mo'ara 7

Valley of Mo'ara 6

Continue reading

Jade Plant

Plant Update: Florida Girl No Match for Florida Heat

Sad news from the garden

So it’s been a few months since I’ve talked about all the plants I planted back in April and not much has gone to plan, but a few new additions have been made. You may remember my post back in April HERE. Most of the plants from that post have came to their end and the ones still alive look like they’re ready to go to the afterlife. Below are the wildflowers and marigolds that I planted. The marigolds look okay and the wildflower was okay the day before these photos, but I feel like their time is nigh. 

Marigolds Wildflowers

It is completely unknown to me whether it’s because they were under/over watered or the florida sun was just too much. Eventually I moved them back on the deck so to have more shade but even that has not stopped their decline. 

Sunflower

However, regardless of that burning sun, the Sunflowers seem to be taking it pretty well, though I’m unsure of how long they will last. I believe at least one of the sprouts has bit the dust.

Continue reading

4th Cover

4th of July – Disney Style

photography vs vlogging

I have to say that between the two I’m not sure which I enjoy more. If you guys didn’t know I still run my youtube channel HERE which you can check out if you’d like. I have a few vlogs up from Disney but recently most of them have been about BOOKS! And when my entire apartment had off for 4th of July I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to take photos, film, or both.

I ended up having to choose just because it was such a hot day filled with shenanigans that I really didn’t want to have to keep switching my lenses. If you didn’t know I only own my kit lens + a 50mm portrait lens and switching them back and forth is a pain and not something I’d like to subject my camera to all day long.

As per usual, I opted for photos! So if you’d like to check out our vlog from that day, make sure to keep an eye on HILLARY’S channel for that video soon.

Getting patriotic

Kayla in front of Spaceship Earth

Hillary Vlogging

CJ & Kayla Spaceship Earth

Continue reading

Self-Deprecation Culture

cocky vs confident vs self-deprecating

I’m modest by nature. A week ago I walked into an interview with my management, completely unprepared and unaware that it was really an interview. I spent 40 minutes answering questions and trying to sell myself as the person that they needed. And I think I did a good job.

At the end of the interview, my manager began to tell me about the line between confident and cocky, and I started to panic internally. “Was I being cocky? Was it my hands? My smile? I just told the truth!” and while all that was happening inside my brain he said “You did great, just amp it up a little, be more confident.” And I fell back, relieved. It was better to be told to be more confident than it was to be told to be more humble.

I think my greatest fear in life, is in fact, coming off as apathetic, cocky, or too self-assured. And it’s not as if I know a lot of people like that in real life, but I’ve spent so much of my time quietly helping people, carefully calculating my additions to conversation that when given the chance to brag it’s unnatural for me.

Continue reading

Comfort Movies

Comfort Movies

anxiety

As I’m writing this, I’m having a bit of an anxious week. About…pretty much everything and anything. I grew up having extreme anxiety, mostly about things that I couldn’t control. Because if I could control them…well I’d fix it!

I quit a lot of social media as a way to be more productive, but if I’m honest a lot had to do with my anxiety. I’d read things that would make me anxious or sad and it would ruin my day, even though there was nothing I could do to fix it.

I don’t have anxiety nearly as bad nowadays but the way I cope is pretty much the same. Anytime that I’m having a particularly bad day, I spend most of my time in bed and tuning out the rest of the world. I will read, design, take many a shower, or my personal favorite: Watch all my favorite movies.

why and how they work

I love seeing movies in theaters. It’s the most in-depth I can get into a story with zero distractions. I can’t be on my phone, I’m shrouded in darkness, speakers blaring. I was transported and there was nothing else I could think about except what was happening on screen. And while watching movies at home doesn’t have the same in-depth effect, it still helps me tremendously.

Having something to focus on for an extended period allows my brain to stop wondering. And watching my favorite movies re-instills their values, hope, and beauty which I had felt I had lost when I was upset. Plus it’s generally a free remedy since I own all my favorite movies on DVD.

So, which movies do I turn to when I’m feeling particularly terrible?

Continue reading

Trader_Joes

When the Universe Talks

Conspiring Design

finding faith…in something

I have never regretted anything in my life. Every wrong turn, every “no”, every disappointment has brought me to where I am. It’s sometimes hard for me to say that I earned anything because while I worked day in and day out, there is always something that turns out in my favor that I had no part in. And I’m not talking about privilege (even though there is some of that).

I’m not religious…at all. And there are times I wish I was. To find comfort in someone beyond myself would be incredible. Some of the most incredible and kind people that I know, take their religion and mold in into goodness. They scream love and I love them. And of course, I also know some religious people, who do the opposite. Who judge, and hate, and are quick to think that the world owes them something because they “follow a religion of love”. But they never seem to get it right.

But even if I sometimes wish I was, I am content that I am. If anything, I think being non-religious has given me the ability to see the world at face value. I think my values align almost more to religion than a lot of people. I don’t smoke, I have never had alcohol, I’m a vegetarian, and I’m fighting my way to make a difference in the environment and my personal life. I try so hard everyday to become a better person and I don’t have a religion to attribute that to.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not spiritual. I feel like I see life in every corner. The sound the wind makes through the trees, the warm sun as I sit by the pool, all the plants filling up our balcony. Long walks through the busy shopping center or the park, the light music of a piano. Even though I don’t believe in God, I still feel the universe standing behind me. An invisible force saying “You’re doing great, you’re kind, you will succeed”.

Everytime I sit quietly during yoga, I feel it telling me that I am on my way. Everytime a child’s face lights up as I make a little bit of magic, I can see life smiling at me. And I can’t help but think the Universe was there for me at all times, but I never noticed it.

F&G

Continue reading