December 30, 2017

2018 Goals

2018! The new year! I’m mostly excited for it because it means I get to start a new planner. Other than that, years are nothing more than a form of measurement to me. I’ve had a bad relationship with them in the past, but here I am, ready to face yet another year on planet Earth. In order to motivate and push myself, I’ve created a short list of goals that I hope to accomplish in 2018. If you’re wondering why these aren’t resolutions, you can check out this post to learn more about why I ditched making resolutions.


number one

Grow they/them/wear into a successful and well-known blog, reaching all types of people around the world and developing a community of LGBTQ+ folk. I hope to be able to start making money from it this year, but of course, that will come in time, with lots of hard work.

number two

Re-teach myself to draw! This year I stopped drawing altogether. Despite wanting to pick it back up, the most I've drawn in the past month are a couple doodles. I realized that the best way to go about it would be to start over, teaching myself to draw from the very basics.

number three

Read at least 12 books. My hope is always to read as much as possible, but mental illness tends to get in the way of that, so I'm trying for the minimum of a book a month.

number four

Discover and explore new music! For some reason it's so difficult for me to keep up with even the couple of artists I absolutely love. However, I do want to expand my horizons and listen to a bunch of new stuff this year!

number five

Expand my social circle. Like, actually make some friends. That would be good, I think. Now that my confidence is rising, I feel like being social is something that I can actually start doing more.

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That's it- just a short, basic list. I don't want to overwhelm myself, as I have done in the past.  I feel good about my ability to be able to accomplish everything on my list, and I look forward to progressing as a creator and a person in the year to come.

What is your biggest goal for 2018? I'd love to know!

December 25, 2017

Feeling Grateful

 
 
I’m writing this early on a quiet Christmas Eve morning. My room is illuminated in fairy lights. My dog is snoozing in his bed. Like a kid, I’m too excited to go back to sleep, and I’ve been awake since 5am.

This year brings a lot of firsts, for me, and for my family. It’s the first year I’m celebrating Christmas with my girlfriend, Ruth. In fact, our 6 month anniversary was on the winter solstice. Luckily, I’ll be able to visit her and her family tonight so I can share in their Christmas Eve traditions a little bit. I look forward to giving Ruth her gifts, eating her mom’s homemade cannolis, and most importantly, just being with her and feeling accepted, like a part of her family.

It’s the first year of my brother and his girlfriend living together, so their apartment is decked out in cool lumberjack plaid Christmas decor. They have the cutest fat tree, and loads of presents beneath it. Although they have many places to visit this Christmas, I hope they find some time just for themselves.

It’s the first year of my dad living with his girlfriend, as well. He moved into her house back in the summer and together they’ve only been flourishing. With his abundant handyman skills, he’s been able to work on the house, and together they have made it theirs. Believe it or not, I’m excited to see their new front door when I go visit today.

It’s the first year of my mom’s sobriety, and I couldn’t be more proud. Though she’s struggled in the past with it, I know for a fact that she is serious about taking back control of her life. She’s been spending her nights cross-stitching instead of drinking. We’ve been crafting together, Christmas shopping together, and we’ve even talked about opening a small business together. She is my best friend, and I admire and look up to her strength, beauty, and creativity.

It’s the first year, in a long time, that I feel so happy and so grateful for all that I have in my life. No, I’m not entirely content with every aspect of my life. I have many flaws and mental illness that tries its hardest to hold me back. But this year has been a year of growth for me. It’s my first Christmas being out as non-binary to (nearly all of) my family, and it’s the first year with my new name. I’m genuinely happy, even when depression and anxiety push their way in. I’m discovering the tools I need to deal with different situations, and because of that I’m able to start making a life that I can be proud of.

I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that I have in my life. I’m grateful for the growth I continue to go through. I’m grateful for everything that’s led me to this moment, typing this out as I consider catching a few more hours of sleep before two days full of Christmas celebrations.

Remember to acknowledge the things you are grateful for. Tell the people you love that you love them. Stay humble and present in each moment. If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful one. If you celebrate another holiday, I hope it’s filled with love and happiness for you. If you don’t celebrate any holidays, quietly celebrate all the great things in your life, even if they are few. Be kind to yourself and to others.

Merry Christmas

~Emerson

December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas + Christmastime Video


Merry Christmas, friends who celebrate! It is actually Christmas Eve but that's when the celebrating begins anyway. I am so excited to hang out with friends and family and eat lots of tasty food and share gifts. This year is going to be busy, as I have an extra house to go to this year (my girlfriend's), but I'm looking forward to celebrating with everybdoy.

To wind down Blogmas, today I thought I would share a video that shows you how I spent this year's Christmastime, leading up to the big celebration. I wrapped lots of gifts, did copious amount of Christmas shopping, saw some beautiful Christmas lights and worked hard on blogging for 25 days in a row. I hope you enjoy it and have a very merry Christmas!

December 23, 2017

2017 Holiday Lookbook

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Can you believe it!? All the prep for Christmas is finally coming to a head, and I am so excited. Before I start opening presents and playing board games with my family, I want to share with you my holiday lookbook, featuring all the outfits I plan to wear this holiday. I hope you enjoy them and get some holiday fashion inspiration.

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Christmas Eve



For my Christmas Eve outfit I'm going for something cozy yet dressed up. I'll be going to both my dad's house and then my girlfriend's house before finally ending up at home. I decided to wear the t-shirt dress that I've written about on this blog before, paired with my green tights and brown booties. I'm also adding a homemade long tassel necklace that I forgot to show here.


Christmas Day


Since I'm spending Christmas day at home, I'm opting for a super cozy and festive outfit. I'm pairing a simple green shirt with my fair isle leggings. I won't need shoes, but I have an inkling that my mom is getting me some new slippers for Christmas. These are hers, by the way, as I don't own any.


New Year's Eve - Party


Although I'll be spending actual New Year's Eve at home, my girlfriend and I are going to a dance party a few days before the New Year. I'm not sure about wearing my booties yet, but they definitely make the outfit fancier. I'm sticking with black and red as my color scheme and might add some weird makeup.


New Year's Eve - At Home


I'll be watching the ball drop at home, and for that I want to be very comfortable and relaxed. While I feel like this outfit could double as a workout outfit, it is surprisingly cute.


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That concludes my little holiday lookbook for this year! Having my outfits planned out is so nice because now I don't have to worry about what I'm going to wear to each event. With two posts left, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and spend lots of time with your friends and family.


December 22, 2017

Fuck Resolutions, Make Goals Instead

This year was my most progressive year, even if it was slow going. This year is the first year that I'm actually looking forward to the next year because I feel like I can own up to the past. For once, the potential of the future doesn't seem out of reach. It doesn't seem like some distant thing that I can never tackle. Depression who??

I am stronger than I've ever been. I know exactly who I am and I love myself. In fact, I remind myself daily that I love myself. Even when I am too exhausted to get out of bed or so unmotivated that I can't even check up on Animal Crossing, I eventually manage to pull myself out of that and continue living. It is thanks to proper medication, spiritual growth, strong relationships and creative drive. Because of those things, 2017 truly felt like the year that I started living my life. Sure it took about 25 years to get there, but at least I finally got there.

2018 is going to be a year of hard work and good payoff. Why? Because I'm not making resolutions. I'm making goals. 


As far as I’m concerned, New Year’s resolutions are a bunch of bullshit. Year after year we make them only to break them and then feel bad about ourselves. Sure, our intentions are good, but they aren’t meaningful or even real. 

For example, you might make the resolution to lose weight. Why? Maybe because you think you need to lose weight, and the ads on TV are making it tempting to sign up for the gym. Plus, everyone keeps telling you that the new year is a new start, blah blah blah.

If you don’t choose to make a real change, you aren’t going to follow through. If you aren’t mentally, or even spiritually prepared, your resolutions will fail. And you know it! Because when is the last time anyone has actually ever stuck with their resolutions??

Goals are different. Goals are intentional and powerful. Making a goal is like making a pact with yourself saying that you are going to get something done, or at the very least try really hard. Except when you make silly, unreasonable ones, goals can always be accomplished with hard work, persistence, and drive. 

So set your intentions for the year. Make your goals. Make reasonable goals. Make goals that put a smile on your face at the thought of them being completed. Make sure the steps to get those goals completed are ones you can take. If your goal is to lose weight, it is because you want to, not because you think you have to. And if your goal is really to lose weight, start now! While the new year is a new start, so is every single day, and every single moment. Your life is yours and you don’t have to wait for the clock to strike midnight to make things happen. You can do that right now!

December 21, 2017

Easy Embroidery Hoop Wall Art DIY


This is the first full year that my dad has lived with his girlfriend. To commemorate that, I wanted to create and give them something special that they could add to their home decor. My mind instantly went to the single wooden embroidery hoop I’ve been hoarding for years. Saving it for the perfect project, I knew its time had come.

While I love embroidery hoop wall art, my embroidery skills are subpar. Maybe one day I will have the patience to embroider something beautiful, but for now paint is my best friend. Using only a few simple supplies, I was able to put together a piece that I think they will love. With only a few days left until Christmas, I wanted to share this easy, personalized DIY with you.


Materials:

-embroidery hoop
-paint
-fabric
-felt
-scissors
-glue
-paint brush

Starting off, I painted the outer circle of the embroidery hoop white. While this step is optional, I think the white will fit better with the recipient’s decor. Feel free to paint it any color you like, or leave it with the natural wood. Only the outer circle needs to be painted because the inner circle won't be shown once it's completed.


After tracing the outer circle on the fabric, I got to work creating the design. Using a computer font as reference, I free-handed the lettering in pencil. If free-handing isn't your forte, I suggest using a fabric-safe transfer paper.


Next, I began painting. I used a dark purple, simply because it is Marie's favorite color. Make sure to pick a color that will contrast well against the fabric. I recommend going with a simple pattern or solid color fabric so that the design stands out. You could also use fabric paint, but because the fabric won't be washed, acrylic paint works well, too.


Once the design is dry, it's time to cut it out of the fabric. Make sure to add about an inch when cutting. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be enough to fold over the inner circle.


Finally, lay the fabric over the inner circle and push the outer circle into place. Then tighten the top and stretch the fabric evenly so that the design sits tightly in between the hoops. You can also take this time to add any embellishemnts to the design. I added a little faux pearl over the "i" to give it a more sophisticated look.


The last step is to simply fold the extra fabric over the back, gluing it down so that it doesn't show in the front. You can also cut a circle of felt to place over the back for a finishing touch. And you're done!


I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY. Even if you aren't great at painting, you can use stencils or stamps to create the design. A clean old t-shirt would also work well as a fabric if you don't have any. I love this project because it can easily be personalized to whoever it's for. I can't wait to give mine to my dad and his girlfriend. It matches perfectly to their home decor.

December 20, 2017

Recent Thrift Finds #1

As I was wracking my brain for decent post ideas to finish up this Blogmas with, I thought I could show you the neat thrift finds I've acquired recently. This is definitely going to become a series on here because I love thrifting and sharing my finds. To kick it off, I have three cool things that came to a total of only $3.25! Let's go!



First, I found this gorgeous brooch at a new antique store in town. I was originally going to add it to the gift I made my mom, but decided it's not quite her style when I was putting it all together. Luckily, I think it might fit perfectly with my own style. It is a great statement piece that I look forward to wearing as I venture into the world of accessories. Although it didn't come with a pin back, I can easily attach one, as I used to make jewelry and pins.



Next up we have this Forever 21 shirt that I got for literally a quarter. It is not wintry in the slightest, but I think it will get some good use come summertime. The print is big and fun, reminiscent of a bathing suit. I was originally going to give it to my sister, but after trying it on I think I might have to keep it, hehe.



Finally I have this adorably perfect little curio cabinet. It can hang on the wall and is made with a gorgeous dark wood. As soon as I saw it in the store I imagined putting my nature collection in it. I love that it has glass in front of it, and I am so pumped to hang it up on my wall, as soon as I find the perfect place. 

Those are my most recent thrift finds! I'm in love with them, and excited to go thrifting again once the holiday season is over. I plan on collecting a nice thrifted wardrobe and some bits for my room.

December 19, 2017

Tips For Minimizing Holiday Shopping Anxiety

As fun as Christmas shopping is, it can also be really stressful, especially now in the final week before Christmas. For people with anxiety, such as myself, sometimes even the thought of walking around a packed mall can be overwhelming. While I am bursting with Christmas spirit, the stress and anxiety of Christmas shopping has kept me up many nights and at one point had me nearly shaking after a day of rushing around stores and panicking about money. Having faced the difficulty myself, I created this list of tips and tricks to help you minimize anxiety during the Christmas shopping rush.


Go in with a Plan


Planning is something that keeps me productive and organized in everyday life. Treat Christmas shopping the same way. Make a list of gifts you plan on buying, the amount of money you can spend, and where you’ll need to go to get each item. Having a plan gives you a place to start and a place to fall back on if you get overwhelmed. Refer back to your lists and tweak your plans whenever needed.

Know Your Limits


You know yourself better than anyone else does, so listen to your intuition. Give yourself reasonable tasks so that you can avoid getting overwhelmed. If possible, avoid things that might make you feel extra anxious or crummy, and know when to and when not to push yourself.

Avoid the Crowds


To stay out of the hectic rush of the mall, go shopping during off-hours, like weekdays. Shopping online is a good way to avoid crowds, but some things are just better bought in stores. Don’t save your shopping until the weekend before Christmas when tons of people are doing just that.

Treat Yourself


Buy something for yourself while you’re out and about! It could be something you’ve wanted all year, like a new makeup product or tech gadget. Or maybe go with something that will help you wind down later, like some tea and a bath bomb. Take yourself out to lunch because you deserve it. If not, a handy drink can be the perfect thing to help calm you as you make your way through the isles. A frappuccino or iced coffee is my personal favorite.



End Your Day Right


Give yourself time to relax at the end of a long day. The present wrapping can wait a few hours while you take a hot bath or even a nap. Instead of replaying the hectic day in your head, read a magazine or unwind with some mobile games.

Take Your Meds


While it is super important not to skip your meds at any time during the year, knowing that something will likely give you anxiety is even more of a reason to make sure you take them. If you take a medication for short term anxiety relief, make sure to bring a couple with you during the day, and don’t feel bad if you end up needing to take one. Your mental health is so important, and you don’t need anxiety charging in and ruining your Christmas spirit.

Give Thoughtful Gifts


Remember that despite Christmas being a Hallmark holiday, the best presents truly do come from the heart. When you get something for someone that you know they will like, there’s not that worry of being unsure if they will like their gift or not. Listen to people throughout the year so that you know what they have their eyes on. Putting lots of thought and effort into picking out or making a gift will show through when it is unwrapped. If you’re short on money, give one really thoughtful gift over a bunch of smaller, less personal ones.


Those are just a handful of tips that I wish I had followed myself from the start of my holiday shopping. I hope they can help you, or at the very least give you some ideas to ways you can keep your anxiety under control during this time of year. Also, read plenty of other tips to find out what will best work for you. Many more people than you think are dealing with things like anxiety. It is important that we help each other out.

What is your best tip for minimizing anxiety during the Christmas shopping rush?

December 18, 2017

Layered Up // OOTD


This weekend was an interesting and busy one. Two full days of shopping ending in a drive through the park to look at Christmas lights. I wish I could say it didn't end with anxiety and exhaustion, but eventually those things managed to creep in. Regardless, it was a fun weekend that I'm grateful to have spent with my family and lovely girlfriend.


Saturday's outfit was inspired by this iconic look from my childhood. I layered necklaces with an infinity scarf to make the accessories slightly more appropriate for an adult. To continue the layered look, I threw on a black and white shirt over a t-shirt dress and added some black leggings. It was a successfully warm outfit, perfect for walking in the cold to and from stores. 


I hope your weekend was wonderful and festive. Christmas is literally a week away and I am far from prepared. I've got presents to finish making, a few to pick up in the store and tons to wrap. Not to mention it is the final week of Blogmas! 

Happy Monday!

December 17, 2017

5 Things on My Christmas Wishlist

Christmas is slowly creeping up upon us, and I feel like I still need to do so many Christmas things! One of those things is putting together a little Christmas wishlist. Thus, I'm making this post. Although I don't expect to receive most of these items, as I didn't ask for much, they are all things I wish I could buy myself right now. Maybe I'll get lucky and a few will be under the tree.

 
Redbelle -  Swatch - $50
 I am so in love with the design of this watch. Ugh. Between the sleek yet fun design, the font of the numbers, and the color, this is one of the most perfect watches I've ever seen. 



Contrast Stripe Raglan Sleeve Hooded Sweatshirt - Shein - $18
The contrasting textures are what gets me here. I've recently discovered a love of the color camel. Paired with black and white stripes is so nice and a touch boyish, which I always appreciate.


Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Extraterrestrial - NYX - $7.49

This is such a pretty and bold line of lip creams. Though they all look great, I'm partial to this dark grey-green shade. I think it could really add a punch to the right outfit.



The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Liang - $16.60

I've been getting more into non-fiction, and this book sounds really neat. I'm the kind of person that thrives off being alone, so I'm really interested in this author's take on the subject.


Melodrama - Lorde - $11.88

Yes, I'm one of those people who still buys CD's because how else am I going to listen to good music in my car? Lorde's newest album is a favorite of mine. It's rare that you come across an album made of purely amazing songs.

There you have it! Five things on my Christmas wishlist this year. Although my online wishlists are much longer, I'm not one to ask for much. I prefer giving gifts over receiving them.  

What is the number one thing on your wishlist?


December 16, 2017

4 Great Dollar Store Stocking Stuffers



I feel like you can always find some really great things at the dollar store, and the holidays are no exception. It’s essentially stocking stuffer paradise, but not all dollar store items are created equal. In order to help you navigate through the labyrinth that is the dollar store, I’ve created a handy guide of items worth picking up for a buck. These four items in particular are always great, and don’t scream “I bought this at the dollar store”. 


Candles

 



Dollar Tree has always been my go-to place for buying candles, both scented and unscented for my spiritual practice. I’ve recently been seeing a couple new lines that are very Home Goods-eque. Quality varies greatly with dollar store candles, however. I found an incredible scented one but brought it home only for it to have the subtlest of scents. Other candles, however, like the vanilla pillar candle from Dollar Tree, burns slow and strong. In my opinion, they are worth trying out for a dollar, and are great for those who are short on cash.


Candy & Snacks

 



As long as the expiration date hasn’t passed, you can’t go wrong with candy or snacks. I found some neat varieties of Mike and Ike’s that I haven’t seen elsewhere, as well as many other interesting sweets. Usually dollar stores carry well-known candy brands, since candy is cheap enough.

Books

 


Buying books at the dollar store sounds like a bad idea, I know. But don’t knock it until you’ve browsed your dollar store’s book section. All three of these books I’ve found at dollar stores! Goodreads is your best friend here, because books are very hit or miss at the dollar store. Luckily, you can usually pick out which ones are lame just by looking at the covers.

Calendars

 



Calendars are everywhere this time of year, so picking one up at the dollar store is a great decision. Better than those $20 ones you get at kiosks in the mall. Unless you are going for a specific brand or show, check out your local dollar store. I found this adorable Tinkerbell calendar for my mom. The illustrations are sketchy and cute, making this a great pick.

Other Great Things to Consider


  • Toys, like Hot Wheels, Barbie and other name brand items.
  • Notebooks and pens for the stationary fanatic in your life.
  • Makeup, believe it or not. Sometimes you can find true gems.
  • Craft supplies, whether conventional or not.


Between the various different stores and chains, you’re bound to find something for everyone on your Christmas list. I hope this could give you some stocking stuffer ideas, and happy shopping!



What is the one thing you always go to the dollar store for?

December 15, 2017

Pretty New Specs



Glasses are the most underrated accessory because for so many people, including myself, they are absolutely vital to everyday life. They are something you usually don’t think twice about as you reach for them on your bedside table each morning. Because we need them to see, style sometimes becomes irrelevant. That’s what I found, at least, as I settled for years on frames I had purchased in haste because my previous ones had split down the middle like Harry Potter’s.

Not only was I tired of seeing myself in a pair of glasses that I had no choice in wearing, but my sight had gotten worse. I needed a change, and finally after months of hesitation, I ordered myself some glasses online. A few days ago they came in the mail. These are them.

Pair #1


Pair #2


I ordered these lovely babies from Firmoo, a site I see continuously on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet. For the mere investment of $20 (free shipping and BOGO), I took the plunge and bought myself two new pairs of glasses. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the pink ones, though I think they both look pretty awesome. As far as quality goes, they’re working great so far. Even if they don’t last, which I’m really hoping they do, they were inexpensive enough that I won’t be too heartbroken.

I’m super happy with my new glasses. Obviously. That’s why I wanted to make a little post about them, to show them off. They are different from what I’m used to, in both size and color, but I love how unique they are, and I feel like the pink ones could become my signature glasses. Now I can see better and look more stylish.



Which pair do you like better?