Posted in Music

Feel-Good Songs

Good evening ladies and gents,

Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of down – which is strange as I have no valid reason (that I can think of) as to why I should be feeling so.I’ll just blame it on these darn teenage years and the whole not-finding-a-sense-of-purpose yet for now. Sigh.

Anywhooosee, the sun’s coming back out here in ole sunny California and that makes me feel a tad bit better. In addition to pulling out those sundresses I’ve been storing away in the cabinets since winter, it’s time to pull out those ultimate feel-good songs!! (Yes, I understand I can always listen to these songs in whatever weather, but let’s face it – some songs are just 1000% better when you’re riding in your car with the windows down and the sun glaring in your face.)

Now, I can’t guarantee these songs will satisfy your musical cravings as we all have different taste, but these are feel-good songs that never fail to make me smile and jump around (no matter how low I’m feeling). This list compiles of mostly pop, indie, folk-ish, some country songs.. so if this isn’t your type – it’s cool. You can open your ears and give these songs a quick listen (the lyrics are especially great in Growing Up by Macklemore ft. Ed Sheeran in my opinion). If you’re absolutely grounded to your soul or R&B or metal or something, that’s cool too. Those genres are great as well! Just skip over this post and scroll down to my other ones. 😉 #shamelesspromoting

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So without further ado…

Totally feel-good songs I’ve compiled:

✨ Crazy Beautiful – Andy Grammer

✨ Play That Song – Train

✨ Crazy 4 U – R5

✨ Ready or Not – Bridgit Mendler

✨ Stand By Me – Ben E. King

✨ Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira

✨ Perfect Strangers – Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper

✨ Like a Champion – Selena Gomez 

✨ Jump then Fall – Taylor Swift

✨ Santeria – Sublime

✨ I Want the Sky – Lucy Schwartz 

✨ Mountain and Sea – Ingrid Micaelson

✨ Blow Away – A Fine Frenzy 

✨ Love Today – MIKA

✨ Heartbeat – Carrie Underwood

✨ Growing Up – Macklemore ft. Ed Sheeran

✨ I Just Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble 

✨ You Make Me Smile – Uncle Kracker

✨ Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson

✨ Better Together – Jack Johnson

✨ Where You Wanna Be – Charles William

Hopes to smooth sailing the rest of this month. And if not, go with the flow. Peace out.

 

Elyssa

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Posted in Life Lessons Learned

Waiting and Waiting…

Hey cupcakes!

So about two weeks ago, in my most recent blog post, you might’ve remembered me mentioning a little something about the 3 most important P’s when it comes to your creative life; the Personal Passion Projects. But with a constant on-the-go life we all have, it’s hard to make time out of school and/or work and house chores to do stuff you actually reallllyyyy like.

Basically all my life up until 8th grade, I never realized how much you can get done during the week . I had always spent my weeks waiting for Friday, for the weekend, for a break, for some kind of “perfect” time to do my hobbies and carry out projects. However, in reality, when the time does come, there is no extraordinary magic that suddenly makes you do what you’ve wanted to do. That power is all in your hands. I end up carrying out the same boring old routine I do just about any other day. (Yes, I’m aware time isn’t the only problem as self-motivation is a big factor as well. Note: motivation lasts a good five seconds only, so when you think of it, you should just will yourself to stand up and go do it.)

Around last year or so, I stumbled upon some poems and inspiring words that kind of opened up my eyes. (I have included the few that I could find below!) Additionally, I began realizing how much time I was just going to continue to lose as years go by. Waiting for the “perfect” time wasn’t gonna help when my hourglass was getting bigger and bigger, and time was falling through more and more, faster and faster. My parents are always saying how being a student is the best time in life as you have so much possibility ahead of you and of course – time. “You’re only obligated to study and eat. And that food, you don’t even have to make,” my dad would say. I used to roll my eyes and think it was just one of those parents-reminiscing-about-their-childhood things, and never really took the advice to heart. Then one day, I just kind of opened my ears a bit and realized, Things don’t get easier so I had to appreciate and make good use of the time I had now.

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With that, I realized how you can be very productive – even if it’s just a little bit – if you just knew how to manage your time and priorities better. So here are some limited but fun bits I’ve picked up along the early but ongoing journey and wanted to offer. Maybe you knew these already, and will just roll you eyes as you go along this. Maybe this is something you’ve just realized too. Whatever place you’re at, I hope you pick up at least one new thing. After all, no matter how good or bad, no string of words are the exact same.

  1. “A little project a day keeps the blues away.” Planning is everything. Don’t you dare argue with me (well, you can if you want because I do want to see your perspective), but seriously – keeping to-do lists and bullets are SO MUCH more helpful than keeping it all up in your head. I have a massive weekly planner that I plan my week in. And now, what I’ve recently been doing, is not just planning out my boring old schedule of what times to do homework, but adding ONE project to focus on each week. One week it can be a painting, another a shirt. T8e1b3cc7e22ce85293d798f1ff965362
  2. Avoid yourself from time-eaters!!! I have a major problem with this one because, hey I’m a teenager who lives in a culture that lives off of social media and I’m too weak to not follow the crowd. But I’m working on it. Time-eaters include social media, gaming apps, your phone basically. So many times, I find myself unconsciously opening up an app that I don’t even have to check on. I just do because I’m so used to it. And trust me, it takes a lot of time out of your day. Countless of times, after doing homework, I find myself taking a “5 minute” break that eventually turns into 45 MINUTES to AN HOUR! I’m not exaggerating! It’s a serious problem. I have absolutely NOTHING to do on there, but my fingers just instinctively continue scrolling and scrolling. If you can successfully, get away from these monsters, you’ll find yourself having more time in your hands than you can imagine.
  3. Make a priority booklet / list! I’ll go waaay more into detail with this another post, but these are so helpful! I’ve just recently made a “Priority Booklet” where I write all the things I must get done before drifting off to Possibility land. (Yes, be a dreamer, but be realistic. I don’t want to see dishes rotting in the sink because you’re so lost in your project. If only we had little housekeeping fairies, huh?) Anyway, I have a list of things I should check off for maintaining Mental Health, Social Health, Environmental Health, and more that helps me keep in tune with myself, and thus, actually boosting my performance on projects.

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    From one of my favorite poets, Erin Hanson

So, now with all these little notes I’ve picked up so far, I will continue to motivate myself to act upon these as well. On a final note, in regards to the PPP’s, I will be writing more directly about that on another upcoming blog post. If you would like to help boost inspiration for projects, feel free to click back a post. 😉

Elyssa

Posted in Activities, Lifestyle, Personal

Mood Boards

Hey lovelies!

How are you all doing today? I hope great, but if not, don’t you worry. We all have those days. 🙂

I used to be the type of person who waits for the weekend to finally be able to carry out the projects I’ve been wanting to do because school was always in the way. For most my life, I was stuck in this mindset that just because I had school for 6 hours every day meant my whole day was taken away. Meaning my whole schedule can be nothing but school, homework, eat, sleep. However, after starting this blog with the whole purpose of “making every day worth living” and “enjoying the 24/7,” I’ve finally start doing more of my hobbies during the weekdays too! When you’re trying to do personal passion projects (the PPP) on a weekday basis, meaning adding on to all the school work / work-work you already have, you must learn to be really efficient with your time (something I have yet to master 😋). I know for me — the thing that takes the longest when working on projects isn’t the actual ‘doing’ part of it, but more the planning and conjuring up a plan or idea. And it definitely doesn’t help when you’re having a creativity block too! 😬

Today, I want to share a really fun, easy, and inexpensive project to do that can help the inspiration flow whenever you’re having a creativity block. What I like to do is make a mood board to help me keep my focus on whatever project it is that I’m doing and to maintain my original vision since it often times sway and alter as I work on it. Mood boards can be used for individual projects and/or as a whole general inspiration board for an individual. I have (and am still working on) a general inspiration mood board over my desk and just finished a mood board for a recent room design project.

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My mood board for my recent project: Dream Bedroom. Here, I included paint chips, cute textiles, and ideal furniture picks from catalogs to create a visual for my room plan.

Here’s how to make your own mood board:

  1. Gather old magazines you’re willing to cut up! (Magazines that are more related to your favorite hobbies, activities, or project are even better! Ex: travel, fashion, home decor)
  2. Cut out anything that you like that has to do with your project or just inspires you.
  3. Feel free to also use paint chips (can be found at Lowes or Home Depot) to establish a color scheme! Handwritten notes or quotes you like are great inspiration-boosters too!
  4. Arrange them on a board (can be a large piece of construction paper or a bulletin board or a piece of cardboard – anything you desire! You can directly put it on a wall over your desk or something but I personally don’t recommend that as it’s not so convenient when you want to move it around.)
  5. Glue / tape them into place and boom – you’re done!

Honestly, how cool is that? You get instant inspiration and it’s a fantastic way to upcycle! And the best part is – you can always continue adding on more pieces that inspire you whenever you see them. You can even add your own pictures!

My mood board is never complete! Whenever I go somewhere new, I always keep my eye out for little fragments of inspiration here and there through menus, brochures, catalogs, etc.! This past week was my Spring Break (finally!) and I was able to go to several different cultural attractions. I’m definitely getting inspired by the great diversity of culture we have here in the U.S. and am trying to play it into my upcoming jewelry designs somehow! (I’ll keep you updated on that another week) 😉

SO a lot of pictures and lil pics are definitely going on there soon! 😀

ALSO – I found a really helpful site, http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design/mood-boards-812470  that offers awesome tips and hacks to keep in mind when creating your own mood board so give that a look if you’re interested in the project! 🙂

Anyways, have fun with your mood board and talk to you next time. Have a lovely and productive rest-of-the-day!

Elyssa

Posted in holidays

Happy National Siblings Day

Hey lovelies!

Guess what? Today happens to be #nationalsiblingsday!

I have a sister who is younger than me by 18 months only so we get along very swell! We spend a lot of time together for siblings and many adults and friends are surprised at how close we are and how well we get along. (Although, we do have our occasional fights of why-didn’t-you-clean-your-side-of-the-room?! every now and then.) I love my sister as she’s always there to support me in everything that I do (and I mean EVERYTHING) and never minds helping me color a Spanish assignment when I’m drowning under 4 assignments that night. 😉 This goes out to you, Buddy!

Despite our great relationship, I am guilty of taking my sister for granted countless of times and overlooking the blessing I got of having a sibling. So on this special occasion, make sure to make some time out of your day and show your siblings some extra love! Here are some quick, but sweet ways to tell your sibling you care – despite that fight about who gets the last cookie you guys had this morning!

♡ Write a nice message about why you love them on a sticky note and surprise them by putting it somewhere they look frequently (the fridge, bedroom dresser, mirror, etc.)

♡ Verbally tell them a random compliment. (Trust me, they’ll give you that bizarred are-you-feelin’-okay face at first, but they love it deep inside!)

♡ Give them a random hug. Or hugs! Both are absolutely perfect!

♡ Pour them a glass of juice.

♡ Tell them a reealllyyy good joke.

♡ Buy them a pack of candy on your run to the store.

♡ There are countless of small random acts of kindness you can make that will seem small to you but can make someone’s day at the meantime. And this goes out to everybody – not just siblings!

Anyway, now that I’ve given you a list of how to show your appreciation towards your siblings, I’ll throw in a lil’ bonus for you too! 😉 While you’re lucky enough to have these people stuck with you, might as well take advantage of it, am I right?

Here’s a list of all the awesome advantageous activities you can do exclusively with your siblings (that don’t work quite as well if you’re an only child – sorry!):

  1. Form a band! (It’s totally not uncool. Have you seen The Jackson 5, R5, and The Atomics?)
  2. Which leads us to… Make a music video
  3. Build an obstacle course
  4. Have a super dramatic photoshoot
  5. Have a super fun photoshoot
  6. Form a sports team (this would be totally awesome if you have like 7 siblings!!)
  7. And hey! Hide and seek is all the more better!
  8. Team games such as Capture the Flag and Relay Races are a MUST!
  9. Recreate old photos (this one’s my personal all-time fave!)

And if you’re an only child – don’t feel too blue. Hey there are some perks on your side too! 😀 You can still do some of these activities with your friends (who could count as your siblings).

Though siblings can be pain-in-the-butts at times, we’re family. Our roots stick together. Let’s appreciate each other more often.

Elyssa ✨

P.s. Yes, you are now officially reading from a bicycling-blogger. Woot woot!

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Good evening friends,

Just recently, my parents surprised me by ordering me a brand new yellow Huffy bike and I am genuinely so excited! As ashamed as I am to admit this, I have never learned how to ride a bike throughout my lengthy 15 years on this planet! My short-lived tricycling-and-about-to-be-bicycling career only lasted from around 2008 to 2011, as I never got on a bike after that (for no known reason to this day). And even throughout those years, I barely rode a bike as it was. Most of my cousins and friends are able to ride a bike and I’ve always envied that. How amazing it must feel to just pedal forward with no care for the world while having a nice, cool breeze blow through your hair amidst this. “There’s some sense of freedom to the activity,” one of my cousins comments. I know I can start learning how to drive pretty soon and that should top biking any day according to several folks, but biking has always been a priority over the overrated driving for me.

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Starting it young and fresh in the game. Check out how trendy my plastic ride was.

Word goes around that it is more difficult to learn to ride a bike when you’re older as you think about it more. While when you’re younger, you just do it. You may fall and get a lil’ boo-boo, but after that, you’re all set and good. So many times, I wanted to quit, thinking ‘ah, I’ll never learn how to ride this thing.’ But people have also said once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget it.

SO I decided, ‘Let’s just get hurt once and get it over with! C’mon Elyssa! You can do it!’ I took this new challenge on me to learn how to balance on this machinery over the past weekend. Did I succeed? Heck no. Mostly because I was too scared of all the possibilities of falling down that I probably spent 40 minutes out of the hour just getting on and off and on and off the bike.

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Ah, moving on to a real tricycle. My face evidently displays that sense of freedom I mentioned earlier.

But I plan on successfully riding a bike all on my own within this week or at most by spring break. No one’s really forcing me to do it – but I just feel that if I can get on this bike and ride it, even for just 2 minutes (by myself and without my dad walking beside me), I will make little-me super proud. I will achieve my ultimate 8-year old dream. That, and learning how to juggle and dive but one at a time, Elyssa. Slow your roll – (Which I do too much of on a bike…)

Anyway, after telling you my shameful little secret and concluding that I still can’t ride a bike as of now, you may be wondering, what was the point of this post? Well, I just want to encourage you…

Go do something you’ve always wanted to do, no matter how old you were when that lil’ dream was born. You’ll make your younger self super uber proud. (I know 8-year old me’s probably going like “Wow! Who’s that super cool girl falling off the bike??”)

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Would you look at that? The last recorded data of me on a bike (or tricycle technically).

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to do that Hoedown Throwdown from the Hannah Montana movie.. or learn how to juggle a soccer ball with your knees.. or play the guitar (which by the way, was also another one of my ultimate dreams from back in 2nd grade and in which I learned how to play just the past summer!!!)

Do it. If not now, then when? I know life gets in the way, with homework, work in general, house chores, so many to-do’s.. but we’ve only got one life. And my plan is to do as much things that I possibly can do as I can! Plus, a few spared minutes couldn’t hurt, right?

Speaking of which, I got to go work on my science project now, because like I said earlier, “if not now, then when?”

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Me cheesin’ on my new bike yesterday. (Notice how my feet are placed cautiously on the ground as I’m too scared to place my steady and balanced state in the hands of two wheels.)

Goodbye! Feel free to leave a comment below about your goals – and keep me updated!

P.s. I’ll keep you updated on my biking process! 😉 Hopefully, the next time I post, you’ll be reading words directly from a bicycling-blogger. Woohoo!

Posted in Lifestyle

Indoors Glamping Experience

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-9-59-31-pmGood evening friends, ✨

This weekend’s been filled with rain where I live so we couldn’t go outdoors a lot. And even when we do, let’s just say we come back with soaked pants sticking onto our skin. Not that great a feeling. Anyway, I had my cousins over this weekend though, and we managed to have a fantastic  day nonetheless… going Indoors Glamping! (Get it – like camping, but glamorous??)

I’ve actually seen this activity online, like Pinterest and YouTube and stuff, quite a few times and have been meaning to try it out. I finally got the chance to do so this weekend! From our trial, I’ve learned that it was a little more difficult than it looked due to not having a ceiling hook, haha! 😬

The whole setting up took us around 2 hours or more since we had to try several different methods to keep it from collapsing. (Collapse / failure count: 4!!)  We tried various methods that involved waaayyy too much twine and disappointment and that are waaaayy too complicated to even try to explain. Sigh.

But hey, if you’re willing to puncture a small hole in your ceiling, this should come along much smoother.

Despite the few bumps along the road, this was totally fabulous and I definitely recommend this for those lazy Sundays. 😉 We ended up with a stable “tent” (for a few hours only haha!) and decorated it with lights, streamers and loads of fluffy pillows and stuffed animals. Then, we spent our day reading, playing games such as puzzles and Cadoo, and simply enjoying each other’s company.

I’d give this experience rating an honest: ★★★ (simply because those two hours really wasted our time, haha!)

I truly do recommend it nonetheless! To make your own “tent,” grab some bed sheets (patterned or colorful preferred for an enhanced magical time!) and work with the situation going on in your room. (I honestly don’t know how I can tell you the exact steps to making this since even I tried different methods.) But the end result should be the sheets hanging above you in a tent-like, teepee-like kinda shape. Decorate however to your loving. You can basically do anything in it; puzzles, read, coloring books, eat, boardgames, movies on your tablet… [✬✬ Challenge!: Try staying offline to enhance the “camping” feel. Take a break from your social medias. It can wait. Plus, this is a great time to get back to those old-fashioned activities!] If you’re those not-easily-convinced people, you’re probably wondering, why waste the time and hassle to build a bed-sheet tent when we can just do all this WITHOUT a tent??

You got a point there.

But like my dad always says, “it’s the feeling” that makes the difference. So if you’ve got absolutely nothing to do that weekend, you can suddenly change that boring “wasted day”to “fun fun fun” in your planner! Hehe.

I’ve changed your mind now, haven’t I? 😉

Anyways, I wish you an extraordinary rest-of-the-night and hopefully maybe, this helped clear one of your “no-plans” days?

Elyssa ✨

 

 

Posted in Crossing the River Again

Organization Tips + Tricks

Hi friends! How are you?

One challenge that constantly reoccurs in my daily life is organizing my stuff in an effective way. Things can get quite messy from a handful of activities; from crafting to just simply doing your homework! (Or at least for me, with all those rulers and textbooks and paper and pens sprawled across my desk!) However, throughout my 15 years of life, I’ve managed to pick up a few helpful tactics to tackle this tedious and often overwhelming challenge.

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An actual picture of me trying to clean out a cabinet April 2016. Not even a joke.

When this challenge first came up (meaning my mom stopped cleaning up after myself haha), I would simply put my things back to where they came from. I would have a cabinet for any random craft-related materials and a general drawer for just miscellaneous things in my room and maybe throw a few posters in the corner of my closet. And that worked perfectly fine.

Until more and more things began piling up as I bought new clothes or crafts supplies or etc. Adding the new items in wasn’t as easy as pie. Because then I would see how messy the cabinet is and then dig everything out and try to put everything back in, but “neater.”And throwing things out isn’t an option for me either because I need EVERYTHING! (call me a hoarder but…)

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An example of the cabinet we all love so much, but often take advantage of (oops); the “throw-it-all-in” cabinet.

Since then, I’ve tried and experimented with various different organization hacks and systems that now make my home, or at least my cleaning days, lovelier. I am an absolute big fan of up-cycling so I love finding things I’m not using around the house and remodeling it for organization! One trick I love doing is using toilet paper tubes and lining them in a small box. This allows you to store a bunch of small items in a box, without having them mix and mingle around.

Storing items on walls is the one of the greatest ideas since notebooks in my opinion! From bedrooms to workspaces, storing things on walls is definitely a space clearer! In my bedroom, I have a necklace rack and school supplies pouch hanging on my wall, which leaves much space for other knick-knacks on my drawer tops! Some awesome ideas for storing supplies on walls in a decorative way can be found in the picture below!

If you don’t have a lot of things with up-cycling potential lying around the house, then I highly recommend IKEA and Bath, Bed, & Beyond for a wide variety of versatile storages in all different styles and sizes.

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Photo Shetler 2007 CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 ©

Now that the hard part’s out of the way, I can tackle this chore in a more creative way! Adding stickers and decorative items can definitely spice up organizers from ew to oooh in no time! I ABSOLUTELY love covering my boxes with different printed patterns and pretty paper to match the different themes of my rooms. You can have a whole different mood in an instant! I love making things versatile so when I’m covering an item, I tend to cover one side a pattern and the other side, a totally different one! That way, I have a variety if I ever get bored and want to change things up!

When it comes to labelling, I highly recommend buying chalkboard paint (can be found at Target or Daiso – $1.50) for if you ever want to change the content in the storage, while keeping it cute! The bottle is pretty small but definitely contains a LOT! (I’ve already painted a whole wooden board AND still have 3/4 paint left!)

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This may look like just a display pedestal but it is actually a storage box once you lift the tabletop also. The side shown on the left is for when I’m feeling a little more fun and inspired! And when I gotta keep my head in the game, I tone it down to a simpler matte gold to help me focus on getting those to-do’s done!
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My current, very handy and effective organizer!

Of course, even after having developed a nice organization system, this challenge still continues to pop up every other week. (That’s right – it’s never officially finished. Sigh.) It’s definitely much easier though, with a categorized arrangement! It’s just finding the motivation to clean after large piles have been created of every different sort of category that is difficult! My tip (that I really need to stick by myself) is just to try and put back your stuff daily. You might be tired then and think, ‘Oy, just one more day leaving it out wouldn’t hurt’ but trust me, it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run! (I tend to leave my materials out and just wait until the end of the week to put it back, but I always regret it once the weekend rolls in.) Anyways, I sincerely hope this helped you out a bit! If you already knew / do all this, then niiiice! High five!

Until next time!

Elyssa 🙂