Bookworm

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Hello and happy Friday to you all!!!

I had an exciting week and, I’m happy to say I sold my mug I mentioned a few blog posts ago! It is sold and I’d like to add more mugs into my shop in the future. Can’t believe it’s already gone and it sold much faster than I would’ve imagined! You just never know. 🙂

It seems I have continued on with another black and white outfit?! I really love this outfit because it has a studious look to it.

Okay, maybe the book is what’s contributing to that vibe. 😉

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I’m not using this book as a prop, either! 😉 I’m actually deep into the book now and I have to say, it is one of the best military books I have ever read. I love military books so that says a lot.

No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle for Fallujah is very in-depth and detailed, yet reads very easily to where you understand what’s going on and feel like you’re part of the action. For anyone interested in learning more about the conflict in Iraq, I highly recommend it. I can’t put this book down, and I find myself pushing the limits of when I should go to sleep just to keep reading! 🙂 I managed to get this in hard cover, which is a rare edition apparently. Score!

Being in high school when this was going on in 2004/2005, I didn’t truly take the time to understand what was happening. I’d see coverage on the news, or I’d cut out articles and pictures from the newspaper since I was curious about it. Still, I think I was too young to really understand, and I have learned so much about it from reading this book!

I was in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet program for 3 years in high school and many of my cadet friends went on to graduate high school and join the military, eventually going overseas. I pursued a different career path, but I still have a big interest in military stuff and feel the desire to know what goes on abroad, since I know many people who have served.

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Since I’ve been reading it, it’s brought back memories of 2004 and how I spent two weeks of my summer at Lemoore Naval Air Station as a cadet, learning about Naval aircraft. I basically just watched the servicemen and servicewomen at work, and they showed us how they worked on fighter jets, which was so cool and an experience I’ll never forget!

Aside from the fighter jet awesomeness, one thing I’ve always remembered was something that was said to me by a U.S. Marine while I was there. Myself and a few other cadets were standing around in the hangar, and this Marine was asking us questions. Everyone was chiming in with their responses except me (I was a super shy sixteen-year-old, by the way). I basically just nodded in silent agreement with everyone else.

Afterwards, he pulled me aside and asked me, “Why do you let others speak for you?”

Yikes. I didn’t have an answer for that, and he was asking with general curiosity and not in an admonishing tone, either. If I remember correctly, I just sort of shrugged, wide-eyed, like a deer in headlights.

“You should speak up for yourself,” he told me. His tone was firm but he softened it a bit with a small smile before walking away and going about his business. I knew he was genuinely trying to be helpful and not critical, because he could have easily called me out on it in front of everyone, but this was away from the group.

Well, that was thirteen years ago and I STILL think about his comment from time-to-time! Sometimes I still struggle to speak up when needed, but I’m way better at it now. No lie, I will think of his words on occasion and it’s like a reminder to me. I have no idea who he was or what may have happened to him, considering it was 2004 and a lot of Marines were being sent over to Iraq. Seriously though, whoever you were, THANK YOU! 🙂 Words I’ll never forget!

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I know this post somehow transitioned from an outfit post to a book review to an inspirational story, but it happens, LOL.

I don’t typically wear stripes but I really like the whole black-and-white look with my new, dark green skater skirt from Amazon! I have ordered so many in different colors, haha!

Enjoy your weekend! ❤

 

 

Super Exciting News!

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So hard to control my excitement right now!!!

Quick recap: My Etsy shop, PinkBopp, is a jewelry-centered shop where I make statement rings and necklaces. However, as of today, I’ve officially expanded my shop to include coffee mugs and – soon – greeting cards featuring my artwork!

I’m ridiculously happy about this because I’m finally getting my artwork out there! I’ve always wanted to showcase my art in a unique way, I just never really sat down to figure out how. I have my BFA in Graphic Design/Illustration, and I feel like I’m finally utilizing it to its true creative potential in my own little way!

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Watermark not included on the actual mug! 😉

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I love the fact that it’s two-toned! Pink is definitely the color I use most in my work, so I’m happy it was an option.

I’d like to take a moment to make a shout-out to Zazzle! If you’ve ever wanted to print your own custom mugs, greeting cards, business cards, clothing, accessories, you name it, for a very decent price, then Zazzle is your place to go! It’s seriously my new best friend, haha! It’s a very user-friendly website and makes it simple to get your artwork out there, or to print anything custom. I seriously am so thankful I discovered the website and now have them as a production partner on Etsy!

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Can you tell how excited I am? LOL!

Have a Fantastic Thursday! ❤

 

 

10 Life Lessons!

Usually I do outfit posts because they’re fun, but today I wanted to set aside some time to talk about life lessons I’ve learned so far, and just maybe it can help someone out there who happens to stumble upon this post! ❤

First off, everyone is different, but these life lessons are just written from the heart and based on personal experience. Hope you enjoy!

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#1. Don’t ever feel bad about how you choose to express yourself to the world!

As long as you aren’t harming others or doing something illegal obviously, the way you choose to express yourself is your own unique choice and you should embrace it! Whether it be through art, makeup, fashion, blogging, etc. – that’s your choice of self-expression and what makes you happy.

I dress for myself, but I do appreciate it when people come up to me and say that I “brightened their day.” If I make someone smile, then I feel extra happy, and spreading happiness is what I aspire to do in this life, as well as helping others.

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#2. Bring your ideas to life, even if you think it might “fail”!

This is super important. For the longest time, I let my Etsy shop idea just sit in my head. Finally last year, I decided to put a few rings in my shop. I now have nearly 30 items in my shop! I already knew that my style of jewelry wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I did it because I simply wanted to share my designs.

I haven’t made too many sales, but just knowing a handful of women have my rings in their jewelry collection is enough to make me infinitely happy! I refuse to give up. 🙂 Also, you only fail if you don’t try at all.

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#3. Take things one day at a time!

I can be impatient and want to see results immediately, which simply doesn’t happen most of the time. I think it’s best to remember that things can change super quickly, and a lot of the time, it happens out of nowhere. You never know if the stepping stones you are taking are about to lead to something big!

#4. Don’t let the negativity of others or inner-negativity bring you down!

Staying positive in a world that seems to constantly find ways to knock you down is an uphill battle. It used to be really hard for me to fight off my inner doubts and the occasional unkind words of others. Eventually though, I started to appreciate myself and all of my quirks, and I’m way more relaxed now! I can be really awkward and I used to dislike it and view it negatively, but now I find my awkwardness to be endearing and I own it! It’s what makes me who I am. There’s only one you!

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#5. It takes time for self-improvement!

We all have our own struggles, and getting through them starts from within. Make sure you want to improve yourself for you and that you genuinely want to. I always want to be a better person each day, so I do my best to take action daily in being the best version of myself. Of course, we all have our bad days! Cut yourself some slack. 😉

#6. Don’t be afraid of taking some risks!

For the longest time, I was deathly afraid of driving on the freeway. A lot of people saw this as no big deal, but for me, it was like…

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Slowly, I’d try taking the freeway just for a mile or so and then get off on the nearest exit. Then, I’d go for a few miles. Next thing you know, I’m effortlessly maneuvering the lanes in my Challenger like it was no big deal, and I now use the freeway daily! I even drove 20 miles out of town earlier this week, which I felt really proud of. However big or small, don’t be afraid to take some risks!

#7. Also, don’t be afraid to fall in love!

This may sound silly, but it really applies to me. As someone who has spent the majority of my life single and felt most comfortable that way, it can be super scary when someone comes along that you have intense feelings for. Yes, it makes me happy, but it’s also scary for me because I embrace solitude so much. People assume I’m a social butterfly because I like to go out and do things and I spend time with friends and go to events, but I’m very  introverted and enjoy time by myself as well. So, letting someone into my little world can be a challenge for me, as well as trust. However, fear holds us back. 🙂 It’s okay if it doesn’t work out! Sometimes we’re only meant to be with someone for a certain amount of time to learn from each other, so it’s still a positive experience either way! Don’t be afraid to share how you feel…very important lesson. ❤

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves.” – Thomas Merton

#8. Make sure to surround yourself with people who embrace you, and you embrace them!

I’m not saying to only surround yourself with people who agree with you, by the way! Some of the most enlightening friendships/guys I have gone out with were very different from me in their way of thinking. I learned so much, not only about them, but about myself. It also helped me discover a path to self-improvement. Having like-minded friends is a great thing, but it’s also good to meet people who challenge you and you see a different perspective outside of your own, because it helps you grow. That being said, always stay true to yourself, of course! Embrace the differences, and embrace each other!

#9. Be enthusiastic to try new things!

I’m not a good cook. Finally, I decided I wanted to change that! I started off simple, like making an easy Spanish appetizer, and it turned out really good! I like to experiment with new meal ideas, and so far, I’ve liked what I’ve made. I’m really glad I gave it a try, and proved to myself that I can indeed make some good food. Trying new things gives us more experience and helps us discover our potential.

#10. Appreciate what you have at this very moment!

Friends, family, your significant other, the coffee you’re currently drinking, your job – everything! We never know when things will take an unexpected turn, and even if you’re going through a rough patch, there is somebody somewhere else who has it even worse than you do. I will ask myself: if I were to be gone tomorrow, am I happy with where my friends and family relationships are right now? Are they in good standing? Also, let go of grudges and forgive more easily. It’s good for the soul, and for everyone. ❤

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I hope you enjoyed these life lessons! I hope it inspires you in some way. Have a happy Wednesday! ❤

 

 

 

 

Art Overload!

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Exciting news!!!

My dream came true, and I was given the opportunity to display my jewelry in a store! It’s being displayed at a patio furniture store called The Patio Place here in my city. I feel super fortunate to have been given the chance to do this!

It was a fun new experience for me, because I had to come up with my own consignment agreement (which I had no clue what that was), and after lots of research, I came up with my own, and myself and the owner signed off on it.

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And here it is in the store! Words can’t express how exciting this is to me…I’ve always wanted my jewelry displayed somewhere! ❤ It really goes to show that if you believe in yourself and work hard, it pays off sometimes unexpectedly!

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As you can see, I had to mark the occasion with one big, cheesy smile and a thumbs up! Hahaha! 😀

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Moving along to other artsy things, I came across sheets of wood in my garage. I found a square one, which I plan to paint either a beach or mountain scene on it, but this sliver of a wood piece I drew a silhouette of the Taj Mahal on. Not bad for my first try at painting on wood, I think! I just need better brushes.

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Another piece of art I did recently was this. I feel most comfortable using Prisma color pencils, and they’re my favorite medium. I love blending and layering color upon color. This is “Sunset Over Madera County.” It appears as a pretty scenic view of a sunset, but for me it’s a personal piece with a lot of symbolism, meant as my own expression of inner closure towards someone very dear to me. Heartbreak, basically. 😛 That’s the beauty of art, isn’t it? It can appear so simple to an onlooker, yet have a deeper meaning to the artist. ❤ I tend to struggle to express my emotions at times, but art allows me to.

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I love this quote and wanted to share it! 

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! ❤ I always feel great when I create a lot of artwork. I can’t imagine my life without it. Whatever your passion in life is – go for it! It makes a huge difference in our well being, I can promise you that. Have a great Wednesday!

 

 

The Beauty of Gratitude

 

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Inspired by some other blog posts I’ve read today, I wanted to write my own post about gratitude. ❤

I think we all get caught up in our own mental-checklist of where we expect to be in life, what should or shouldn’t happen, and the typical expectations we set for ourselves. It’s good to have our own personal checklist because it helps to set and achieve goals, but we also need to stop and embrace what we currently have and be grateful for it, regardless of how behind or ahead we are on our journey.

So just a reminder to be thankful for the things you have – anything from the air in your lungs to your car, your job, the people in your life, etc! ❤

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Learning From Failure

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I’ll try to convey this post as silver-lining-inspiration. Yeah, that’s what I’ll call it! 😉

We’ve all been there: trying to do everything correctly, keeping everything smooth sailing, and then we trip and fall flat on our face. Whether it be an external issue beyond our control or whatever doubt-whispering demons we may have in our head that derail our peace of mind, we fall down.

It can be heartbreaking, and perspective-shifting.

No matter how hard we try to be perfect, we can’t be. There will always come a time when our vulnerabilities take over and we slip. Mistakes are made, things are said. The damage may be repairable–then again, sometimes it isn’t.

Where do we go from here? I think by default, we try our best not to feel the pain we are going through. However, sometimes it is best to allow ourselves to feel it, to understand it, and to tell ourselves it’s okay to feel it. The human experience is a fragile one with many trials and errors, and sometimes there is no understanding it.

With every failure comes the opportunity to learn something new about ourselves–to improve in some way and move forward with a newfound self-understanding. ❤

Keep Smiling! 🙂

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Fall in Love…With Yourself

Feeling rather inspired on this beautiful Monday morning, I wanted to take the time to write a motivational blog post!

The topic at hand? Owning your individuality, self-expression, and falling in love with yourself (in a non-conceited, healthy way of course).

I know it’s a worn-out subject by now, but it really is something that is still a struggle for people out there, and was for me at one point.

Marching to the beat of your own drum can be an obstacle. It almost seems like, if you choose to think outside the box, whether it be an idea, a belief, a clothing style, a hairstyle, whatever the case, there are people who think it is okay to treat you like you’re sub-human for trying something outside of the norm.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve gotten discreet Facebook messages from anonymous people over the years, telling me they essentially dislike my style/hair/makeup/whatever. Years ago, I’d be totally devastated and feel bad about myself, all at the hands of these anonymous keyboard warriors.

Now? If I get any negative feedback, whether it be from random people or a rejection letter from a job offer, I feel empowered. It makes me feel good to know that I have way thicker skin than I used to, and I use any negative energy that’s thrown my way to turn me into an even stronger person.

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People only have power over you if you allow them to. When we learn to love ourselves (very hard to do, given we are painfully aware of our own flaws and shortcomings), that self-love creates a foundation that isn’t so easily shaken once we solidify it. When things start crumbling apart, will our self-constructed foundation continue to keep us stable? If it’s strong enough, it will.

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No matter how hard you try to be the best at everything, it will still not always be enough for people, and quite honestly, it’s an impossible task to begin with. Know your capabilities, know what you have to offer, know your quirks, know your positive attributes, and own them. At times, we try to be what someone else wants. The most liberating thing we can do for ourselves, is accept that we can’t be everything. We can only be ourselves, and we are all so unique that there will never be a duplicate version of ourselves.

We each bring something unique to the dinner table of life. Someone at that dinner table might eventually notice you and love you for all that you are. Still, even if you leave the dinner table alone, your own love for yourself will always suffice and be enough.

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“The world is a pretty dark, depressing place. I realized my place in it is to bring as much joy as possible to myself and others by dressing in a ridiculous and extreme way.” – Hester Sunshine

So to anyone reading: don’t be afraid to express yourself in whatever individual way you choose: your own ideas you’ve been too scared to bring to life, your own beliefs that you’re worried will alienate you, or the crazy hat you love wearing but feel hesitant to do so out of fear of what someone else might think.