50 Things I Love Doing

Quite a while back I started following Kylie Bellard after discovering and participating in “a fortnight of self-adoration.”  More recently, Kylie posted “50 things you love to do” and invited readers to make their own list of things they love doing.  I’ve been planning to do my own post ever since then, but I’m just now getting around to it after adding that last few things to my list.  So, here’s my list of 50 things I love doing:

  1. Escaping into a book.
  2. Snuggling my kitties.
  3. Nerding out with friends.
  4. Baking (and sharing goodies with others).
  5. Creating characters.
  6. Writing.
  7. Dressing up.
  8. Sipping coffee while watching the Mindcrack gang on YouTube.
  9. Shopping (for myself and others).
  10. Receiving mail (that isn’t bills or junk).
  11. Taking photos.
  12. Playing with my ball-jointed dolls.
  13. Traveling.
  14. Going to A-Kon and other conventions.
  15. Listening to music.
  16. Browsing for inspiration on tumblr and pinterst.
  17. Looking at the sky.
  18. Seeing a city lit up at night.
  19. Laughing and making others laugh.
  20. Helping people.
  21. Swimming.
  22. Eating good food.
  23. Listening to my friends talk.
  24. Spending time with my twin sister and our mom.
  25. Collecting cute/fun stationery, journals, and pens.
  26. Lighting candles.
  27. Listening to rain, storms, and thunder.
  28. Slipping into my bed made up with fresh, clean sheets.
  29. Daydreaming.
  30. Accomplishing goals.
  31. Dancing.
  32. Trying new teas.
  33. Spending Sundays lounging around in my pajamas.
  34. Cosplaying with friends.
  35. Giving gifts.
  36. Taking baths (especially with lovely LUSH products).
  37. Watching movies.
  38. Wandering around in book stores.
  39. Discovering great new music.
  40. Indulging in nostalgia.
  41. Flipping through magazines.
  42. “Window shopping” online.
  43. Planning future/dream vacations.
  44. Having things to look forward to.
  45. Listening to Welcome to Night Vale.
  46. Adding to my Radical Self Love Bible.
  47. Enjoying the atmosphere of a clean, organized room/house.
  48. Decorating my planner with cute stickers and glittery gel pens.
  49. Imagining the day I can leave my current job.
  50. Finishing something.

So, what do you love doing?  If you’re up for it, trying making your own list of 50 things you love to do.  I’d love to check it out!

A-Kon 26! Kawaii Coven!

So, I haven’t posted in a long time. Blah blah blah, excuses and what-not. Well, I returned home from my annual trip to Dallas for A-Kon a few of weeks ago, and since I’ve been blogging about that every year, I figured now is a good time to get back to blogging.  Here we go!

Thursday: Arrived in Dallas slightly later than anticipated. I blame jerk-ass truckers and road construction! Chantel and I picked up our badges, and then we took off with Liz for our traditional jaunt around Dallas. And by jaunt, I mean we went to LUSH, H-Mart, and to get food. We ate at Mooyah, which I’d heard of but never been to, and their turkey burger and sweet potato fries are delicious, especially when you haven’t eaten a substantial meal all day. Unfortunately, our delays caused us to miss an event we wanted to attend with Liz. Boo. We’ll have to make up for that next year!

This year we had two friends (Sara and D) with us that hadn’t attended/stayed in many years. It was really fun to hang out, and we spent Thursday evening having drinks and snacks, watching Archer, and playing Cards Against Humanity.

Friday: After eating breakfast, having coffee, and getting ready, we headed out with one destination in mind. The DEALER’S ROOM/ARTIST’S ALLEY! Yes, shopping! Also, Liz, Bobii, and D were dressed as the kids from Bob’s Burgers, and they looked great! The only specific item I was on the lookout for was a pink wig for with my witch costume. I hadn’t found one I liked and could afford in advance, so all I had was pink clip-in bangs and was kind of counting on being able to find a wig in the Dealer’s Room. Of course, I got distracted looking at everything else, drifted from the Dealer’s Room to Artist’s Alley, and returned to the room without looking at wigs. But Chantel and I wanted to take our dollies down to the DollAkon room, so we had a snack and ventured back out. And lucky me, in addition to finding a new wig by the awesome La Esperanza Doll Shop in the doll room, I found myself the cutest pink wig in the Dealer’s Room! Success!

There were way more food truck options this year, and we opted for food from Cajun Tailgaters for dinner. I had jambalaya and hush puppies. The jambalaya was super spicy but good, and the hush puppies were delicious!

Friday night was also spent having drinks and snacks, watching HGTV, and playing Super Fight.

Saturday: Cosplay day! Chantel, Liz, Bobii, and I were witches on Saturday. It was fun dressing up again, and while we were in costume, I commissioned LULULIN to do a Cat-icature of me. It turned out so cute, and I can’t wait to get it framed. I also commissioned Haggard Hare to draw a chibi of Saga after seeing how cute the one was that Chantel had done of Rook. Also on Saturday, our friend Dai, who we hadn’t seen in like…four years, came by. She was in town for a concert, but wanted to see us for a bit and check out the con. However, the registration lines had gotten so long, that Liz and I ended up letting Dai and her friend borrow our badges so they could go shop for a bit. So Liz and I hung out in the room for a while, which allowed us to just chit-chat, get the room a bit more organized, and retrieve more ice for the ice chest.

We witches had tickets for the Goblin Market Saturday night as well. The idea is that attendees can trade away intangible things such as eye color, memories, etc, in exchange for various trinkets and baubles, but no money can exchange hands. As the hour approached, we were all a bit iffy (anxiety!) and still hadn’t had dinner. So, we ordered Thai and figured we’d see how we felt after eating a good meal. It was a little after 8 (when the market was supposed to open), and we decided to not chicken out, especially since we’d spent money on the tickets already. I’m so glad we went!

The event took place in an area of the hotel outside of the main event spaces. In line, one of the goblins approached us and got us a bit pumped up for what might await us inside. I was even more excited after that, and that guy’s character was great! We went inside, got our actual tickets (there was a raffle at the end of the market), and made our way upstairs to the increasing volume of music played on a piano. When we arrived on the landing, there was a man and woman playing piano and singing for the entertainment of market attendees. We went into the room on the right first and just sort of looked around until we saw people with little bottles in their hands. Then we saw there was a line from the landing at the top of the stairs into another room on the left. While we waited in line, the lady entertainer saw Bobii dancing along to the music and invited her to dance. When we thought back on what the goblin told us while we were in line, we realized that Bobiii had enjoyed a dance with the devil! Oh my! She was also approached by a goblin wanting recipes, as all of hers had been stolen!

When we made it into the other room, there were two tables set up where people were playing black jack to gamble away memories and such for whatever the goblins were trading. I don’t know black jack and all the seats were filled, so I passed on that. However, on the left there was a counter where two goblins were offering up a taste of whatever sin you might like to try, no strings attached. Intriguing! I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and ended up picking Wrath when it was my turn. Bobii also chose Wrath, Chantel chose Lust, and Liz chose Sloth. Of course, we all had to sample each other’s sins. Wrath was a bit fizzy, sort of like lemon-lime soda, but with a burning feeling as it went down my throat. But, I drank it all and now have the bottle on display on my desk. Upon returning to the room on the right, we figured out that one goblin wanted stories, memories, and other such things in exchange for little glowing vials. One goblin was acting as a sort of fortune teller, though we didn’t linger near her area for long, so I could be wrong. Another goblin was accepting souls in exchange for whatever he deemed worthy as well as dealing in revenge (in the form of little voodoo doll charms). I was ready to offer up my soul and sign a contract for unlimited success doing what I love, but even when Chantel and I offered him a 2-for-1 deal on our twin souls, he chose others with which to make his final deals. Ah well, maybe next year. There was also a performer doing things like lifting a cinder block attached to ropes that were attached to his beard, snapping his hand in some kind of hinged trap, and hammering a nail into his nose. At the end of the evening, the goblins gave away some prizes, and Bobii won a cool carved wooden lamp before we were encouraged to hurry away from the market, for once the market is over and the market truce is no longer in effect, the goblins can keep any stragglers. It was fun, and I would definitely like to do it again next year. And now that we know what it’s all about, we won’t be so apprehensive.

When we went back to the room, we packed up as much of our things as we could, showered, and watched TV for a while before going to sleep.

Sunday: Boo, last day of the con! After checking out of the room and taking our luggage to our cars, we walked around for a while before bidding Bobii and Sara farewell. Then Chantel, Liz, and I went to the food trucks to get lunch. I got a super yummy Everything But the Kitchen Sink pizza from the VIP Pizza truck , and we sat on the floor in the atrium to eat and people-watch. After that, we wandered the Dealer’s Room and Artist’s Alley for a while longer before deciding it was time to start our 6+ hour drive home, so we too parted ways.

All in all, A-Kon was a lot of fun this year. Of course, there are always people that are going to annoy me or things I wish were slightly different, but I think they’ve made things a lot better since the first year the convention was held at the Hilton Anatole. I’m glad I was able to spend time with D and Sara since they hadn’t stayed with us in a long time and even though D had to leave the con early due to a family emergency, and it’s always a good time hanging out with Liz and Bobii, so I can pretty much guarantee that, convention aside, I’ll have fun while I’m there.

We’re already talking about potential Welcome to Night Vale cosplay plans, and I’m already looking forward to another year nerding out with my friends at A-Kon!

Note: Photos used in this post do not all belong to me.  They were taken by myself as well as Liz and Chantel, and were nabbed for use here.  ^_^v

Things I Love Thursday: Dance Party!

Time for another TiLT post!

  • The Internet is Mean.  Also, I encourage everyone to click around on Dan’s channel.  I’ve been watching his videos for many years now, and he’s hilarious as well as thoughtful.
  • Re-watching episodes of Pushing Daisies.
  • Buying delicious jams and instant coffees at the Peddler Show.
  • Welcoming the Good, which is coming to a close tomorrow.  But I’ve saved all the emails so I can revisit them.
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
  • Galavant!  If you like silly musicals, please watch it!  King Richard is the best!
  • Having a little dance party here in my office.
  • Watching Guude, Beef, and Chad play Minecraft CTM maps together.  Speaking of Guude…he has a super contagious, giggly laugh.  So, if you need some cheering up, please click here and let it play for like a minute and a half or so.  I promise you will laugh too!
  • Self Care Saturday.
  • Raspberry lambic and vanilla bean ice-cream float.
  • Property Brothers.
  • Looking at interior design stuff on Pinterest.
  • Snickerdoodle coffee creamer.
  • Pretty smelling new body creams from Alchemic Muse.
  • Watching cartoons (particularly Gravity Falls) while getting ready for work in the morning.
  • Just that it’s Thursday and I can sleep in tomorrow!

What are you grateful for and/or loving this week?

Things I Love Thursday: A Backlog

I’ve been really bad about keeping up with these, so here’s my backlog of loved things.

  • Rain and wind.
  • A Bioluminescent Forest Created with Digital Projection Mapping.
  • Prickly Pear iced tea.
  • Finding a surprise Valentine’s Day package from a friend waiting on the porch when I got home from work today.
  • Cupcakes!
  • The Fall.  Saw this movie for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have watched it three times now.  It is fantastic, and one of my favorites now.
  • Kick-ass new boots.
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.
  • Music: Restart by Sam Smith, A Ghost by Landon Pigg, I Wanna Be Yours by Arctic Monkeys, A Little Death by The Neighbourhood.
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.  You might notice a common thread connecting the movies and TV shows I’ve been listing recently.
  • Getting an awesome deal on a bunch of pretty new jewelry.

What are you loving and/or thankful for this week?

Things to Do When You’re Feeling Down

I’ve been feeling quite down, unmotivated, discouraged, and unhappy with many things recently.  I’ve been saying to myself, “I want to blog/write/etc,” but then I just can’t seem to muster up the energy and desire to actually do it.  But I’m trying to break through all that, and have been thinking about some things I like to do to try to cheer myself up when I’m feeling low.  I thought, why not share my list and maybe help someone else who’s in a similar rut.  So, here we go!

1. Take a nice warm bath or shower, relax, and try to let your tension melt away.  Also, be sure to pamper yourself by slathering on a nice smelling lotion after your bath.  I would highly recommend Fluffy Bunny from Farmhouse Fresh.  It is such a soft, comforting scent, described as “mint-julep, cream and just a hint of lavender”.

2. Listen to some music.  If something soft and soothing would help, go that route.  Perhaps something upbeat and happy will chase the blues away.  Or maybe something loud would allow you to release your stress and frustration.  Press play on whatever moves you, helps you to relax, or makes coping with whatever you’re struggling with a little bit easier.  Some of my favorite happy songs are: Can’t Complain by Relient K, Step With Me by MIKA, Best Day of My Life by American Authors, and Chocolate by The 1975, though there are lots more.

3. Eat your favorite food or whatever will make you feel a little better.  For some, that may mean crunching on a healthy salad.  However, comfort food or a bite of something sweet may be more uplifting or comforting.  This isn’t to say you should run to food and over-indulge as a method of dealing with any issues, but if having a cupcake or a slice of pizza makes you feel a little happier, treat yo self!

4. Watch funny, happy, cheerful shows and movies.  Pick whatever makes you smile, laugh, and let go of some of your worries for a while.  Some of the things I turn to are: Let’s Play videos on YouTube (particularly of the guys from the Mindcrack server), Pushing Daisies, The Wedding Singer, Nacho Libre, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and lots of other movies.  If it’s funny, cute, or has fantasy elements that spark my imagination and inspire me, it usually helps me out of a funk.

5. Snuggle up with a good book.  Choose something positive or uplifting, such as an encouraging self-help book, or a devotional or your Bible (for those who are religious), or just something that lets you explore and get lost in another place and/or time.  Sometimes being able to escape into a book is a great way to relax and forget about whatever is getting you down.  Right now I’m reading: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes.

6. Take a nap or snuggle up in bed or on the couch with your pet.  When I’m sad, there is something so calming about having Sebastian curled up in my lap or Simon stretched out across my chest.  Stroking my kitties’ soft fur and hearing and feeling their rumbling purrs is so comforting.  Whether you have cats, dogs, or some other kind of pet, spending some quality time with an animal is a special kind of joy.

7. Write or journal.  Maybe you like to talk your feelings out on paper, tell stories, draw, or cut-and-paste.  Whatever method or medium suits you, go to it as a way to release creativity, spend time with yourself, and work through whatever might be bothering you.  I like to write stories, keep a prayer journal, and create in my Radical Self Love Bible.

8. Sip a cup of your favorite warm beverage.  What’ll it be?  Coffee, tea, cocoa?  Drinking something warm (perhaps while snuggling with your pet, writing, or reading) always seems to evoke a feeling of being enveloped in a warm hug.

9. Get all dressed up for yourself and treat yourself in whatever way will bring you the most joy!  Eat that chocolate bar you’ve been saving in the pantry, buy yourself that cute pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing, go see that movie you’ve been anticipating.

10. Do something nice for someone else.  Say hi to someone you haven’t talked to in a while or don’t talk to much.  That moment of connecting with someone else may give you a nice boost.  And you never know, maybe your reaching out is just the thing that friend or family member needs right now.  It’s could be like a happiness 2-for-1!  I know it always makes me feel happy when one of my friends contacts me just to say hello.

11. Play a game.  There are so many types of games out there!  Whether you need something to play on your own or have friends to join you, pick up that card game, board game, or video game and get to it!  A solo game may help you calm down or get lost in a different time or place, much like with a book.  And a multi-player game can do the same, with the added benefit of connecting you with other people for some laughs and good times.

12. Visit fun, calming, uplifting, and positive websites.  Don’t visit sites that are going to put you in contact with a bunch of negative crap.  Seek out content that will help you rather than exacerbate your situation.  Here are some nice sites from my bookmarks: Orisinal (a variety of cute little flash games), the quiet place project, Silk – Interactive Generative Art, Cat Bounce (Click it. You know you want to), YouTube (in addition to all the cute animal videos available, might I also suggest the funny content put out by people like crabstickz, danisnotonfire, jacksfilms (especially the Your Grammar Sucks videos), and nigahiga.  There are also so many blogs and sites out there with inspiration and advice regarding creativity, self-love, self-care, happiness, and other things that may help you and your situation.  I can’t name how many lists, blog posts, and pages I have sorted into different categories in my bookmarks so that I can refer to them whenever I need a little pick-me-up or a fresh idea.

13. Get moving!  Go for a walk, do some yoga or pilates, or dance around to your favorite songs.  It feels good to be active! Also, bonus good feelings if you go out for a walk and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!

I know there are so many more things that could probably be added to this list.  I also know that different things work for different people, and I do not intend this to be a one-stop-shop for ideas and ideas or cure-all for any issues or situations anyone is dealing with.  However, I wanted to share some of the things I find helpful or enjoyable when I start to feel down and need to do something to counter those moods.  I hope this post is useful to someone else out there.  And please do share your thoughts and ideas as well.  I’d love to add more happy to my life, so feel free to recommend your favorite happy songs, movies, and shows, and anything else you do to perk up or care for yourself when you start to feel low.