The Tea Experiment / #1

I am starting something called "The Tea Experiment," in which I drink teas hot and iced, local and worldwide, bottled and boxed. I've been trying to find the right tea for me, and although one will never be enough - I thought this would be a super fun subject for me to blog about. Periodically, I will blog and instagram about several different teas and let you know my opinions on them. If you have any other questions, let me know. Maybe there's a tea you've been wanting to try but you need just a little advice.

This was the best tea EVER. I have to call the cafe to find out where they get it!

Tea is an interesting concept because you never know what you're gonna get. Iced tea is now served at almost every restaurant and fast food chain, and bottled iced tea is at every gas station and grocery store. There's such a variety of hot tea in the tea section, too. Some are aimed to be healthy, some to taste good. And it's funny because sometimes...what you're getting isn't even real tea.

So with all of that put aside, it's quite complicated for me to tell you where I stand with tea. I've had almost every brand of tea you can imagine - and I would say I like most of them, regardless of the ingredients. STILL. Every tea is unique, so, when you ask me "do you want tea?," that can mean absolutely anything. I've always felt tea has had a lot of stereotypes attached to it too, which is hilarious.


For me, tea is one of those things I can only have at the right moment. I don't drink hot tea every chance I get, I just prefer not to. But I still like always having some type of tea in the house because it's a healthy and revitalizing way to start the day!

As of today, I am starting my 14 day teatox by Your Tea! I will let you guys know the results in two weeks. I'm not trying to lose weight or anything, but it's a nice way for me to start the 2014-2015 school year. I've been really stressed lately because this transition is killing me. I don't know where I'm at right now, so it's been hard for me. I'm just excited to get going! (I can't really even explain what I'm feeling into words.)

The tea has a lot of chinese ingredients in it I've never heard before, so I was a tad suspicious. I looked them all up online, and they are okay to consume and have AMAZING benefits for your immune system and fight all kinds of disease. That sure excited me! The taste is a tad bitter and has a kick to it, but with a shot of honey and a squeeze of lemon, it's totally fine. I already feel better and I've only had one cup! The teatox comes in 14 / 28 day packs. It has had a lot of good reviews, and there's a variety of types of tea on their site.

I bought a vervain tea and a schizandra berry green tea yesterday and I'm excited to let you guys know how it is! I'm on a quest for tea, and I will never rest!

With all that said, I will let you know how the overall teatox went! You can purchase the TinyTeatox by Your Tea here.



Nintendo Nerdiness








The other day, I bought my brothers 3DS off of him for an incredibly cheap price. I've been wanting one for a while but never really felt like spending 200 dollars on it. So, naturally, I customized it with a super cute case and some games I've been wanting to play. (pictured right)


I am so happy about this purchase. I finally get to play ACNL and express my love of video games more! But...wait, theres more!


I also purchased Super Mario underwear from Target. And yeah, I'm posting them on the internet. I was just walking by, not really planning on purchasing anything and then I saw a pair of super mario underwear and thought, "For some apparent reason, I need this." (I love expressing myself, my passions, hobbies, interests and everything in between via things like clothes and such. Hehe!) I never really grew up with Nintendo, mostly because the main console I used when I was young was the PS1. However, the moment I discovered the Super Mario universe...I loved it.















And lastly, my favorite Super Mario-themed item: earrings! The thing I love about these earrings is they look so fancy, yet if you look closely, it's just Peach kissing Mario. They go with basically every outfit and make me feel so adorkable! These earrings are from Hybrid Moments Designs on Etsy. It's run by an artsy woman named Jen that makes custom jewelry. From punk disney earrings, to pokemon earrings, to Super Mario earrings! The possibilities are endless. You can check them all out here. And now through September 30th, you can get 10% off any order with the code LOVEIT10, just for being a reader of my blog!

Now...I apologize for exploding with nerdiness. I have to go play ACNL now.

Why I Blog

Sometimes I ask myself, "Why do I have a blog?"

And I know the answer right away.

Writing is something I've always had to do. I have this compulsive need to write things down and if I don't have a blog, I might never do it. I need to have it on a clear, concise platform (like a blog) in order for me to really get it out. For me to express myself, I suppose. Although I can't fully 100% express myself through a blog, and you will never be able to find out who I am by reading my blog, it's great for me. I love writing about my feelings, I love interviewing people I admire, and I love reviewing products and such.

Yet lately, I've been trying to professionalize my blog a bit more. Whenever I apply for something, whether it be a writing gig or a part time job, I send them my blog. People are always asking for samples of writing and I have plenty here that I am not ashamed to show you. Yet my blog has never been "themed" or organized into a "website." I blog about all sorts of things: my beliefs on random subjects, poetry, recipes, DIY, reviews, interviews, and so on.

And I'm not going to change that. Here's why. I am always going to be myself and blog about whatever I feel like blogging about. My blog has always been for me. I appreciate all the readers 100% but I'm not going to try to fit a mold just to gain more readers or to appeal to jobs. Let's face it. While my bookshelf is organized, I, as a person, am not. I am not themed. I am not organized into a fit stereotypical human being, so why should my blog be? My blog is unique, just like I am, and I hope you enjoy it. Or hate it. Because that means I'm doing something right.

The Wand Chooses The Wizard: DIY

Everybody, I made a wand!
Cool action shot. Photo credit: My chin


*silence*

Well. For anyone that actually cares, I made a wand with an idea I saw on pinterest and thought I would share it with you guys. Why? Because whether you get your wand from alivans, universal, the warnerbros site, or etsy...they are quite expensive. And 90% of the time they're just a replica of someone else's wand. Why would I want a replica of Hermiones wand? I mean, it won't work as well. The wand does choose the wizard...

I've always wanted a wand but never wanted to spend $30 bucks on it. It's great for HP conventions and events, which I will be going to for the rest of forever, so...yeah...

I've never been really good at arts and crafts but always liked the idea of doing things yourself. Making a wand is really easy, and even if you mess up, it's okay! Every wand is different, even Voldemort and Harry's wand.

This is what you need:
Chopsticks.
Paint / paintbrush.
A glue gun.

That's IT. In terms of paint, you can use spray paint (works better) or use acrylic paint. Whatever is around the house should work. I recommend shades of brown, gold, and burgundy. And of course black.



Now HERE'S WHAT YA DO, MUGGLES AND WIZARDS ALIKE.

1. Using the glue gun, add interesting layers to your wand. While some are completely straight lines, some are curvy. Some have twists and turns. Some have bumps and ripples. Some are one color while some have different shades. Do whatever feels right for you. Let it dry.

2. Paint over the glue gun wand masterpiece with paint of your choosing! Dry.

3. Wow, there's really not even a third step because it's that simple.

Lumos.

Lavender Love


Wearing my lavender floral sunglasses from @kandishopcom. I love the shades of purple on this pair, if you know me by now you know I adore lavender! You can purchase your own pair here.

Quinn Popcorn: Microwave Popcorn Reinvented

I wouldn't consider myself a huge popcorn person. The only popcorn I actually like is movie theatre popcorn. It's apart of the movie theatre experience, the calories are 100% worth it, and I don't care that it's fake buttery goodness that may cause digestive problems later on. I also like popcorn from cute little popcorn shops; there was this one I went to in Sandusky when I was younger and I would get the salt and vinegar flavored kind.

But microwaveable popcorn never did anything for me. I don't care what brand it is. They all claim on the package it tastes like movie theatre popcorn, but we all know that's not even close to true. I've tried to add seasoning, salt, and more butter, but that only made it taste worst. So...I guess I never bothered with microwaveable popcorn.

Until Quinn Popcorn came along. I saw it at some of my local grocery stores, eyeing me from the bottom shelf with it's cute packaging. Yet I kept on thinking to myself, "You're not going to like it. It's microwaveable popcorn." I was so wrong.

Quinn Popcorn isn't your average organic health food. It has all natural ingredients, but it doesn't need to hide behind the fact that it's so good for you because it tastes simply amazing. (and that's coming from the girl who barely likes popcorn) The popcorn organic and non-GMO. The butter is actually butter, not "butter flavoring." And the sunflower oil doesn't have any weird chemicals in it. That's really all there is to it!

The thing that really made me adore Quinn Popcorn is you get to be apart of the popcorn making process. One of their slogans is "microwave popcorn reinvented" and there's a reason for that. You don't just pop a bag in the microwave. You get to actually see each individual kernel blossom into a beautiful piece of popcorn because the bag is thin and a tad see through, AND you get to add the ingredients after popping. My boyfriend and I had tons of fun with this.


Here's what you do!

Step 1: Pop the popcorn. There's not really a set time, as with any popcorn bag because every microwave is different. Just listen!

Step 2: Pour the sunflower oil on the bag and shake it up.

Step 3: Pour the 2nd bag on, which depending on the flavor of your popcorn is, can be butter, sea salt, cheddar, etc!

Step 4: Eat it. Or something like that.




If you like microwaveable popcorn, you'll love this. If you don't, you still will. You can find Quinn Popcorn at your local grocery store or purchase online at quinnpopcorn.com!

Don't Force Your Experiences Onto Anyone (including yourself)

You've heard "don't shove your beliefs down my throat" and "stop pushing your beliefs on me!" So what does "don't force your experiences onto anyone" mean?

It all started when it was a slow day at work and I was talking to one of my coworkers about life. We were sharing our beliefs on typical subjects: religion, politics, love and life. I love seeing other peoples perspectives on things whether I agree with it or not; and she had a rather negative one. Her parents got a divorce when she was ten. The only relationships she was ever in ended in bad break-ups. Because of this she was going on about how she doesn't believe in love and that people can't be together forever. I tried to explain to her that she is very young and shouldn't make such a negative assumption based on her two high school relationships. Not everyone is right for each other. But that doesn't mean you should give up entirely on love.

I think it's important to remember that what happens on the outside cannot bother you on the inside if you don't let it. Outside forces are something that will try to destroy your life. You have to stay strong and realize who you are and what you believe in and stick by it regardless of your experiences.

Psychologists need to stop saying that people "turn out bad" or "turn out good" (like humans are fricking cupcakes) because of their childhood circumstances. This is something I will forever disagree with because I know several individuals who were abused, grew up with drug addicts and alcoholics  etc, that are successful and happy. I also know several individuals who grew up in great homes who are now not in such a great place.

What I'm trying to say here, is you can't define the human race. No opinion is universal or 100% certain and experiences are something that are 90% of the time out of our control. We make the choice to do things, but we never know how it will turn out.

You shouldn't push your beliefs OR experiences onto somebody. My coworker may not believe in love, and that's okay. But I KNOW love is real and I know it can last forever. I've always believed that and I am now living it.

/// Yet most of all, it's vital to not force your experiences onto yourself. Something bad happened to you? That doesn't define you. That doesn't mean you're this or that. It just happened to you. How you handle your experiences is what defines you, not the experience itself. 

I think it's brave and inspiring to stick by who you are and your beliefs no matter what happens to you. Whether they be positive or negative, popular or unpopular, big or small...

You are not a cupcake. You are a HUMAN BEING.

"Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." -Game of Thrones

Ethereal Interviews: JULY 2014 x TYLER FEDER

I am happy to announce that Ethereal Interviews is back this summer! I had a lot of fun doing this last year because I got to dive into the depths of the unknown. Ethereal interviews is to see how genuine souls see the world differently, and how immaculately beautiful that is. For those who don't know, I interview those who I believe are true to themselves in some way or another. For July 2014, I interviewed Tyler Feder. She is a freelance illustrator, comedy writer, and all-around-creative-super-awesome-person. The moment I set eyes on one of her illustrations, I thought, "I need to hang this all around my future apartment." You can check out her art here.


1. Your art makes me feel happy just by looking at it. It's so unique and cute and, I can't really think of any adjectives that fit your art because it's really just that great. What do YOU feel like in the process of creating?
Wow, what a compliment!  When I'm working on a piece of art, I vary between frenzied excitement (more common) and a hypnotic-like zen state (the kind where I look at the clock and all of a sudden it's 1 AM).  It depends on what I'm making and what I'm watching on Netflix at the time.
2. You have gained so much success already, but you are still staying true to yourself which is something I definitely admire. You are always expressing yourself, and I just adore it! Why do you think it's important to "be yourself" at all costs?
As an anxious and introverted gal, the concept of "being yourself" is something I have really struggled with over the years.  I think I have finally just started to feel comfortable with myself, but the road is still long and bumpy.  When it comes to art, I would so much rather have a positive response to an illustration that really reflects who I am than something I made simply because it was on-trend.  I've met so many kind and wonderful people through my art, and the relationships are all the more genuine because they stemmed from posting such personal illustrations.
3. I love your love for NBC comedy. Although The Office doesn't produce any new episodes, I find myself rewatching on Netflix a bit too much. What NBC comedy character do you connect with the most and why?
I know every liberal, bespectacled yuppie girl says she identifies with Liz Lemon, but I really identify with Liz Lemon.  The obsession with food, the exasperation, the creative job, the plentiful embarrassing moments, the plaid shirts... it's all me!

4. Tina Fey once said, "You can tell how smart a person is by what they laugh at." I love this quote. You can tell a lot about a person by what they find funny, not just intelligence. For you, do you feel like comedy writing takes a lot of thought or is something that just happens? 
Comedy writing takes SO much thought!  Writing is the thing I procrastinate the most on because it takes so much brainpower to churn out jokes and I am a giant perfectionist.  My Second City writing group and I are working on a show proposal right now, and each sketch is like a diamond, something shiny that comes about from tons and tons of pressure.


5. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? What does that mean to you?
I've never been particularly religious or spiritual, but I do believe in bashert (pronounced buh-SHAIRT) which is a Yiddish word my family uses a lot.  It means serendipity, or destiny, or fate.  My mom and dad were 10 and a half years apart and met on the coldest night of 1985 at an event that neither of them wanted to attend, and yet they turned out to be perfect for each other.  That's bashert.  I make wishes on 11:11 and get emotionally invested in fortune cookie fortunes.  I think life feels more special and exciting if you believe in bashert.


6. What is something that you are very passionate about that a lot of people don't know about?
I'm left-handed and sometimes I get very preachy about how everything in the world is made for right-handed people even though lefties make up 10% of the world's population.


7. Who is your favorite disney princess and why?
Growing up, my favorite princess was always Jasmine, because she was sassy and confident and her coloring ever-so-slightly resembled mine, but these days I am WAY into Mulan.  Can you name a more badass Disney character than Mulan? ... That's what I thought.  (Also her eyebrows are amazing.)
8. I see you live in Chicago! I love that city. What do you think of Chicago and why? Is it the place you would call home?
I've spent nearly all of my life in and around Chicago, so it is definitely the city that feels most like home to me.  I love it so much.  The trails along Lake Michigan are the most magical places for jogging, the el is manageable, the comedy scene is incredible, and obviously the food is great (although I prefer New York pizza... shhh!).  Garrett's caramel-and-cheese Chicago Mix popcorn is objectively one of the most delicious things in the whole world.
9. Thank you for taking the time to answering these questions. What is a word of advice you would like to offer to readers?
It's okay to laugh at the hard stuff.