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August & September 2017 Post Recap!

This month I thought I’d do something a little different. Usually I do recap posts, going down a list of all that happened the month before. But I thought I’d do something different this time. August and September were sparser, more erratic months post wise. I’m still juggling school, work, and extra curriculars.

So I thought, why not create a list of the posts I made those two months? They didn’t follow the schedule really. So it’s kind of an ‘In Case You Missed It” type thing. Giving you a brief run down of the post, in case you didn’t get a chance to read it but want to. Also -since I didn’t do New Video posts, to tell you that I did post one, I figured I might as well add them into too!

August

August 2, 2017 – [New Video] July Favourites!

This was August’s first post; July was the only month I did a favourites video. I kept forgetting to keep track of the stuff I’d want to talk about. So I gave up rather quickly on that.

 

August 4, 2017 – July 2017 Recap

The July recap is, basically, just what you’d expect. July was a lot of fun, though!

 

August 7, 2017 – How to Survive College

As a college veteran – well, working on my last year, at least – I decided to write this. Where I attempt to give useful advice to people, both, already in college and going into it. Maybe it’s useful, maybe it’s not. Who knows, lol

 

August 9, 2017 – Summer Runaways

Anyone who’s been here a while, knows that I enjoy doing 100 word stories based around pictures I’ve taken. This was another one, just for fun!

 

August 9, 2017 –  [New Video] Top 5 Things About College

August was supposed to be themed around school. Since it is the month most people – including myself – went back. So, to go along with that theme, I made a video about my favourite things about college!

 

August 11, 2017 – Top 5 Books from High School

I’m a big book lover, and some of my favourite books came from what we read in school! Some of the things we were made to read in English class were awful. But this list contains ones that stuck with me!

 

August 14, 2017 – #DontStayInSchool

#DontStayInSchool was a video by BoyInABand, talking about how school doesn’t really prepare us for anything. These were my thoughts on it. I thought it was an important video, and wanted to share and get thoughts on it!

 

August 17, 2017 – Announcement!

We’re Live!

Both of these were about me switching to self-hosted, and getting my own website going! I still have a lot of kinks to work out, but I’m super excited to have my own space!

 

August 18, 2017 – School Morning Playlist!

I’m a huge music junkie, and nothing says ‘get up and go’ like a good playlist! Especially on school mornings, sometimes you just need the extra kick!

 

August 22, 2017 – After School Date Ideas!

Dating and going to school can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! I whipped up this list to help you through!

 

August 25, 2017 – College Essentials

 

You’ll need stuff for college – but not necessarily a lot. After a few years of experience, I wrote up a list of – what I found in my experience to be – the essentials.

 

August 28, 2017 – Sun Shower

This was another 100 word story I cooked up – but school themed!

 

September

September 1, 2017 – August 2017 Recap

So, like every other month, I started September off with a monthly recap. Although, very rarely, does it ever actually end up on the first day of the month! So that was satisfying!

 

September 8, 2017 – Writing from the Heart

If you noticed I stopped writing two posts a week, this is the post explaining why.

 

September 15, 2017 – Autumn 2017 Aesthetic Board

Aesthetic boards are fun to do and, since Autumn is acomin’, I thought why not make one for the season?! All the photos are from a free stock photo site!

 

September 20, 2017 – I’m Back + Story Time!

 

This was a video that I did not have an announcement for. But I had a lot of fun making this, and recounting a very embarrassing tale!

 

September 27, 2017 – What’s In My Bag?!

This was another video I didn’t announce. It’s my first time ever doing a ‘what’s in my bag’! I had a lot of fun, and realized I carry too much crap with me!

 

September 29, 2017 – Top 5 (Surprisingly) Good Games for Couples!

My boyfriend and I play a lot of games together. Some I found to be more ‘couplely’ than others. So, if you’re looking for something new to play, check this out!

 

This brings us to the end of September. The month where I started posting once a week, and dyed my hair bright red! It was my first full month of school and work, and I predict it just getting more hectic from here on out.

I know this was a little different, but I hope you liked it all the same!

 

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

I hope you’re enjoying the new site! You can Buy Me a Coffee, and help keep this up and going!

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How I Got My First 1000 Followers (in 4 months of starting)

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I have been blogging for five months but I am, still by no means, an expert on it. What works for me, may not exactly work for you. And that’s fine. Everybody has different ways of doing things.

Still, to think think that more than a handful of people read my posts, is a totally crazy fact to me. When I started back in March, I never thought I would see a four digit follower number. It’s still totally baffling to me, and I cannot thank everyone enough for all the love and support. This really wouldn’t be possible without you all.

I wasn’t really sure what to do to celebrate the milestone. But it was suggested to me that I do this. – Share about how I got to this crazy number. Or do a blog party, which I have no idea how to do (I’ll look it up for future use). I still want to do something big and outlandish. Though, I suppose this is probably the most useful thing I can give you, haha!

To be honest, I feel like I almost need a re-introduction. It’s been a long ride from there to here. But that is another post.

 

When I first started Pastel Bottle Rocket, I was sufficiently a blogging newb. As I said in my YouTube video, I tried it a few times before. However, the blog just never worked for me. On the blog I ran before this, I wasn’t really serious with it. So I never really got anywhere.

When I started PBR up, I was afraid the same thing would happen. And I will admit, the first month and a half was a flop. I wasn’t exactly pushing in traffic. I was disappointed, to say the least. But it was something I enjoyed, and I knew I wanted to pursue it.

 

So, I pushed on.

 

My first mistake was that, I was kind of embarrassed to tell more than a handful of people I had a blog. I wasn’t sure how anyone would react, or if they’d only end up criticizing me in the end. But that first break out of the darkness helped. Putting my blog out there – on my personal Facebook page, the business page I had started for Pastel Bottle Rocket, and on Instagram really helped.

Posting to the social platforms I had been afraid to before, really brought in a new audience. I reached new people, more people. My family is even subscribed through email to my blog, and my mom has her own (which I’m urging her to use more). Having that support of friends and family is really great! You shouldn’t be embarrassed, at all, about your blog. Especially if it’s something you love to do!

 

The biggest change I made, though, was interacting with other bloggers.

 

I started following other bloggers on Instagram and Twitter. I joined Facebook groups for bloggers. I just put it out there that, “Hey! I’m here!!” It was crazy, the change in traffic once I began to do that.

I had read an article by a fellow blogger – one I can’t find now, or remember who it’s by, lol – about how they got their first thousand. They said that they took a little time out of every day to like, follow, and comment on others’ posts in their platform. Once I took up that, everything changed.

I mean, don’t just follow people willy-nilly. Find posts and blogs that interest you! There’s no point in following blogs that you’ll never read, or whose content you don’t like!

Connecting with others is the most important thing you can do to grow your blog. Be loud and proud about all the work you’re putting in!

After every post you’re going to want to make sure to promote it. Anywhere you can! However, advertising on a lot of sites doesn’t guarantee traffic. It’s all about the quality of your posts, and it’s good to engage with your readers.

I’ve been slacking on the advertising and engaging lately, and I have noticed a considerable difference!

(Also, if you’re wondering, yes! I did all of this on a free blog!)

 

I really hope this helps give some of you some insight and helps grow your blogs! I’ll leave some Facebook groups down below for you!

Boss Girl Bloggers

Blogger Insights

Blogging Loving

Blogging 101

Bridging Blogs

Lovely Bloggers

Insta-Fabulous

 

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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My July Bullet Journal Spread!

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I’ve been using a bullet journal since about the middle of May. It took some experimenting, but I finally figured what I liked, and what I wanted. Every month, I lay out my goals, and write down who’s birthdays are that month, and what events are happening.

July is no exception to that rule. But I’ve tried a few different things this month that I really think are going to help!

Before I started writing for July, I did a June recap – which I’ve never done before. I recounted all of the good things that happened, as well as the bad things. I wrote a little memorial paragraph for my friend, Sam, who passed away on the last day of June.

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“PROS

  • Got to reconnect with Kelly
  • Saw Caitlyn again
  • Celebrated One Year with Boyfriend!
  • Promise Rings
  • Hung out with Cristina
  • Insanely reached 800 followers
  • Got 2 orders
  • Made a lot of buttons
  • 80+ FB likes
  • 100+ Twitter followers
  • Got a puppy
  • First Parody Team Lite (PTL) came out
  • Watched Morgan, Caitlyn, Julia, and Scarlett graduate
  • Made Thomas Dinner
  • Andy Baptised
  • Got campaign
  • 400+ IG Followers
  • Liebster Award 2x
  • Mystery Blogger award

CONS

  • Daddy has bulging disk
  • Molly in heat
  • Molly is rough
  • Sam died
  • Sunburn
  • Anxiety spikes
  • SUPER hormonal

Rest in Peace; June 30, 2017

Samantha Sue Marizano

I didn’t know you well, but you were a good friend. You made senior year interesting, and my 3 hour break that one semester a good part of my day. I’ll miss running into you.

 

I think this is a good way to end the month. Going through and recounting all the good and the bad. I helps to kind of consolidate everything that happened into one list. Maybe it’ll help you learn something. Or teach you to look on the bright side!

Next in my bullet journal, I started the month. As I said above, I start every month with a list of goals, notes, events, birthdays, holidays, and appointments.

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This has helped me tremendously! It helps me keep my dates in order, and make sure that I don’t miss anything!

Another new thing I added this month is a list of favourites and posts! I wanted to try and do a Monthly Favourites video every month! Now that you know about my channel, I can tell you!!

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Every month I’ve tried to do a habit tracker. Every month it’s come out different. But, for July’s, I’m really happy with the way it turned out! It’s much more organized, and looks so much nicer.

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Last month I tried to do a cute mood tracker of turtle – it didn’t turn out so hot. But this month, I decided to revamp it! I turned my mood tracker into a dot plot type thing. I like this one a lot more. It’s simpler and easier to use! The top rating is ecstatic and then it goes to meh, before dropping down to sad. being able to rate between them it great!

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One of the new things I’ve tried this month, is a weekly planner. I haven’t really figured out to use it. But I’m determined! We’ll see if I use it next month!

This week is a little longer, because I started on an awkward date.

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Finally, we get to the daily spread! This is always changing for me. I can never figured out which type I want. So I’m still experimenting with those.

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And that’s my bullet journal! It helps me stay organized and keep my stuff in check! It also helps me plan my day. I don’t know how I ever went without one!

I’ve never gone through my spread before, and I’m hoping I did it right!

What do you think? Do you have a bullet journal? What do you do to keep organized?

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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Liebster Award + Mystery Blogger

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So, a few weeks ago I was nominated again by the talented Dedicated Student!

The rules that com with this one is a little different, so this should be interesting!

THE RULES

So if you get nominated for the Liebster Awards you don’t actually have to accept it. However, if you do accept the award you must make a blog post about it, and your blog post should include:

  1. A list of 11 facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions from your nominator.
  3. (According to The Global Aussie) you should also include a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers to keep the awards going and give them 11 questions to answer.

 

FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I just got a new puppy! Her name is Molly!
  2. I made Molly an Instagram, cause Ima big dork like that, lol
  3. The live action Beauty and the Beast is my second favourite movie. I can’t get enough!
  4. I just celebrated one year with my boyfriend on June 13th!!
  5. Naturally, I’m dark blonde.
  6. I prefer big dogs over little dogs.
  7. I’m hoping to make something of myself with my blog.
  8. I have an Instagram specifically for my pin/button business.
  9. I didn’t get my first smartphone until I was 16 or 17.
  10. I’ve never left the USA.
  11. I’ve never owned an iPhone.

 

QUESTIONS FOR ME

  1. What inspires you? A lot of things. From music to family and friends to total strangers.
  2. Are you introverted or extroverted? I’m an intro/extrovert. Meaning I’m mostly introverted, but when I’m around people I’m comfortable with I’m more extroverted.
  3. Who was the first person you told about your blog? I believe it was my friend Paige…
  4. Did you have another blog before this one? What was it about? I did, it was on here as well. It didn’t really have a cohesive theme though, lol I’d originally started it as a creative writing blog.
  5. If you could go anywhere right now where would you go? That’s a hard one…Italy, London, or LA…
  6. If you are not a full-time blogger, what is your current or future career plans? Well, I’m hoping to make my blog my career…here’s hoping!
  7. What kind of student are you? The kind that waits until the last second to do things, lol
  8. Do you prefer a digital or paper planner? If paper, what is your favorite? I prefer paper planners, because I retain more when I write things down by hand. I use a bullet journal and a regular 12-month planner.
  9. Would you change anything about your life? A few things, things that would benefit my family. 
  10. What do you do when you’re not working on blog content? I’m hanging out with my boyfriend, or working on some of my creative stuff.
  11. What’s your all-time favorite Disney movie? Oh, this is hard…recently, the live action Beauty and the Beast. Before Cinderella, since I was little.

 

SNARKY IN THE SUBURBS

Snarky in the Suburbs is definitely one of my favourite blogs. I read more of the Dear Snarky letters, but I like all her content. If you ever need advice that’s unbiased and straight to the point, Dear Snarky is definitely the place to go! Snarky was one of the first blogs I followed when I joined! And has continued to be one of my favourites since! Her blog quirky, hilarious, straight to the point, and definitely worth giving a read.

NOMINEES

  1. In A Messy World
  2. Mila’s Jewelry
  3. Tashnee V. Mavee
  4. Little Mayfly
  5. The Pretty Little Beauty Blog

 

The Mystery Blogger Award!

I was also nominated for this by the lovely Smarts and Sparkles , thank you so much for the nomination!

For those who don’t know, as I didn’t –

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

THE RULES

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

 

THREE THINGS ABOUT ME

  1. I love dogs! (We just got a new puppy, she’s a menace sometimes. But she’s cute.)
  2. I’ve never owned an iPhone.
  3. I regularly watched Kim Possible on YouTube, because I miss that cartoon.

 

QUESTIONS

  1. What’s your favorite topic to write about? In general, I just enjoying being able to write about what I want. No guidelines or specific topics that I need to adhere to. So I don’t really have a specific topic, I just enjoy writing.
  2. What gave you the idea to begin a blog? I wanted to talk about my buttons and pins, but I found a whole other “niche” and I enjoy what I do.
  3. Dogs or cats? Or both? Both but dogs more than cats. (I’m allergic)
  4. What’s a pet peeve of yours? When people lack all common sense. 
  5. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to a beginning blogger? You don’t have to have a niche to start with. Don’t stress over it. Write what you wanna write, and you’ll eventually find your rhythm. Experiment and stretch your writing hands.

 

MY NOMINEES

  1. Snarky in the Suburbs
  2. Sit Back and Just Live
  3. Crafts n Coffee
  4. Adrian Evans Photography
  5. Law of Polish
  6. The Diary of a Part-Time Psychopath
  7. Botox Muffin
  8. A Brash Attitude
  9. Don’t Give a Jam
  10. Doodling Panda

 

QUESTIONS FOR YOU

I’ll give you the same as I had!

  1. What’s your favorite topic to write about?
  2. What gave you the idea to begin a blog?
  3. Dogs or cats? Or both?
  4. What’s a pet peeve of yours?
  5. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to a beginning blogger?

 

MY BEST POSTS

  1. May 2017 Recap
  2. 5 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way
  3. 10 Things to Do On a Rainy Day

 

Thank you again, so much, for nominating me!

 

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Why I Do, What I Do

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Today I wanted to talk about something a little different. A subject I don’t talk about much, but I probably should a lot more.

 

My business. – The namesake of this blog, Pastel Bottle Rocket.

 

Pastel Bottle Rocket is a pin and button business I’m trying to get off of the ground. I have an Etsy, and I’m trying to show it off on Facebook and Instagram. Or wherever I can find, really. Even if it’s hard for me to do. I feel like the niche is so tiny, unless you’re making enamel pins. But button badges and pins (like below) are hard to come across. And they’re cheaper to make!

(Click the pictures to go my Etsy store!)

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I don’t have $250 to spend on a 100 bulk of a pin design that I’m not sure is going to sell. Hence, all of my buttons are made to order. Fresh out of the printer, hand cut and put together by yours truly. It feels more personal that way. And while I haven’t been exactly drumming up business. – Just the one commission I wrote about last week.- making these things is a huge deal to me.

 

I love making buttons and pins.

 

I love getting to design them, and draw them, and put them together. There is nothing more satisfying to me, than to see them pop out of the button maker at the end. It’s so cool to watch and do the whole process for me!

But why buttons and pins? You may ask. That’s a good question. Why, of all crafts, those? I could be making purses, or drawing coloring books (an idea I’m still playing with). So why those? Why pins and buttons?

 

Simple.

 

Because they’re cool. They tell stories. They express so much about a person. You can look at their collection, and see all of their interests laid out. All of the issues they identify with, can be on a button. Or displayed on a pin. A small, yet loud, way of saying, “Here I am world!”

It’s great to see people connecting over them. The joy they get from them. Ivy, the girl I made the buttons for, was so damn happy to get them. And I was overjoyed and honored to have been able to do for her what I did. I drew the characters she could really find, and did her own characters in my style. You get to know the person a little better, just by what they’re asking for.

It’s a great feeling, knowing that the person will cherish them. And that you’ve brought them some joy. I’ve gotten some buttons over the years, and I know exactly who they’re from. One, my favourite, is from my senior year of marching band.

I’d become “Band Mom,” and a lot of the freshman looked up to me. One girl, I called her Princess, gave me note and a button. The button is black with a quarter note, and says band. It and the note still hang on my bedroom wall, three years later. She’s graduating this year – perhaps I’ll pay her back.

But that’s what I mean. Buttons can hold fond memories of things. And they’re good for remembering things that brought us joy in the past. And I’m hoping that, through my pins, I can help people reflect their style. That I can help reflect some inner thoughts, feelings, or attitudes. Or to totally indulge someone’s inner nerd!

So, I may not talk about it much. But my business, button making, is a very near and dear thing to my heart. I changed my major, so I was able to focus more on that. I had an epiphany that that was what I wanted to do. And make buttons and blogging is what I want to do with my life. I’d be very happy to do just that.

Thanks for Reading!

 

~ Amber

I just wanted to tack on the end here that, if anybody is in need of custom buttons, to write me through my contact page! Whether for presents, fundraisers, personal business, have a design in mind but can’t draw – anything, I’d be more than happy to help. And we can discuss designs and pricing, etc!

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What I Learned Doing My First Commission

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Recently, I had my very first commission (which I mentioned Here). I made buttons for the sister of a good friend of my boyfriend’s. For those of you who don’t know what a commission is —

 

com·mis·sion

kəˈmiSHən/

noun

noun: commission; plural noun: commissions; noun: comm.

1.

an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people.

“his commission to redesign the building”

synonyms:
task, employment, job, project, mission, assignment, undertaking; More
an order for something, especially a work of art, to be produced.

“Mozart at last received a commission to write an opera”
a work produced in response to a commission.
archaic
the authority to perform a task or certain duties.

synos:
warrant, license, sanction, authority
“items made under state commission”

2.

a group of people officially charged with a particular function.

“the United Nations High Commission for Refugees”
synonyms:
committee, board, council, panel, directorate, delegation
“an independent commission”

3.

an amount of money, typically a set percentage of the value involved, paid to an agent in a commercial transaction.

“foreign banks may charge a commission”
synonyms:
percentage, brokerage, share, portion, dividend, premium, fee, consideration, bonus;More

 

Simply put – she paid me to make her six buttons. Three of the buttons were fan art from an anime called Assassination Classroom, and the other three were characters of her own.

 

Never having done a commission before, I didn’t know what to do or what to expect. I’d seen lots and lots of people online do them, but I could never get anyone to buy one. It was an interesting experience, and I’m definitely looking forward to doing more in the future (if anybody wants one). I have an Etsy, if you want to see what I have done  – maybe, possibly, order one, or two, or five. But just contact me about requests and pricing (shameless ad, lol).

 

Commissions are definitely a different world.

 

Firstly, I’ve never really had a timeline to do my artwork before. Commissions, you have to try and get done as soon as possible. But also in good quality. Trying to find the balance between was difficult. I wanted it to look as nice as possible. But also not take forever to do.

The quality thing ties into my next point – quality, although it should be, has never really been at the top of my list. I do what I do to get it done. But, with commissions, somebody is buying it.  So you better make it good (my boyfriend and I got annoyed with each other during the button making process, because of this).

Third, you gotta keep up with the buyer. Thomas (my boyfriend) knew her, I didn’t. So he tried to keep her as up to date as he could. But I’d had a craft show to get ready for. And during that process, she thought we forgot about her. We hadn’t – we were just busy. So, open lines of communication are a must. Though, I suppose it’s like that for an custom business.

 

Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, it’ll be easier if I ever have another commission. But the first time was definitely a doosie. I guess it’s always like that the first time though. It ended up being a fun, interesting learning experience! I’m hoping to get more commissions in the future!

 

Have you ever done commissions, or something like that? What did you find was hardest? Tell me below!

 

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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Small Town Dreamer

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I’ve lived in the same town my entire life. It’s a small town, but not the kind where everybody knows everybody. It’s quaint enough though. It’s an old colonial town, and if you look up and down Main Street, you can tell the port town it used to be.

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But they stopped dredging the creek at the turn of the century, and it’s been building up sediment since. So nobody can even ride a kayak through there anymore, when they used to be able to drive large boats through it! Still, it’s a nice little town. I’d be lying if I said it’s quiet though. You have to go 20 minutes out from the centre of town for that. Considering Route 40, a highway, runs right through our town.

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However, small towns like mine are nice to live in. The nearest store isn’t miles away, but the quiet country is just a short drive. It also isn’t like the city, where everything is always loud and moving. And, where I live, I’m lucky enough to have two states within driving distance. I live in Maryland, but have Delaware within a 5 minute drive and Pennsylvania within a 10 – 20 minute drive. Even New Jersey isn’t a long way!

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However, small town living can be difficult to get used to. I know plenty of people who have moved here from the city. They haven’t liked it very much. And it isn’t just because we’re in podunk nowhere. They can’t really explain what it is…

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In the high school I went to, you had a good chance to know – if only by passing – almost every one of the 1,100 students that composed the school’s populus. And, if you knew one person well enough to pass them as a friend, you also knew everybody else they hung out with – older and younger.

Small town living is difficult at times. We don’t really have a lot around here to do – so it’s gets boring. You go to the same parks, drive the same roads, see the same people on the streets – day after day, it’s always the same.

 

And you dream a lot, when you’re from a small town.

 

You dream about tall buildings, towers that soar high into the atmosphere. Or the open prairie plains. Or cities across the world. Somewhere with more substance, with strange faces, and gorgeous culture. Small towns like mine nurture, not only drug addicts, but dreamers. I am one of the latter – a dreamer, a star gazer.

 

I want to make this little town proud.

 

So, sure, small town living isn’t easy. But it isn’t hard, either, and tends to create an easy going lifestyle. Although, it also creates a craving for more – at least on my part. I can’t say that I’ve always loved this town, or that I’m proud to call it my home all the time.

 

But this small town will always be a part of me.

 

Thanks for Reading!

 

~ Amber

[All the pictures were taken by me, on Main Street]

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5 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

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Maybe the title of this sounds cheesy. Or you’re asking yourself why a 20 year old is trying to give you life advice. But I know things. Some I learned the hard way. Either through others, or my own experience.

To start – I’ve never lived the poshest life. I’ve never been most popular. My family has never really had a lot of money, and I only have two close friends.

My world has always revolved around my family, more than anything else. And I don’t find anything wrong with that. I adore my family, and the friends that became, and the boyfriend who wishes to marry into it.

But, as with everyone, life isn’t always gumdrops and butterflies. Sometimes, a storm comes and you’re powerless to do anything. So you just sit there, and wait through the thunder and lightening, and do your best to handle it. These are the lessons that I learned during those black licorice days.

  1. Never take anything for granted.

In life, you are given plenty of things; friends, family, passion, etc. But you never know when those things are going to be taken away. Just because you have something now, doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. So never take the things around you for granted – people included.

  1. Appreciate what you have when you have it.

This is kind of like the first one, but also different. Not only should you not take things for granted, but you should appreciate them. Appreciate your family, your house, your pets – things in life happen, and you never know what’s going to happen.

  1. Always tell people how much they mean to you.

You never know when someone is feeling down or unappreciated or just needs a hug. Sometimes, you don’t know until it’s too late to make it right. So tell the people you love that you do, and always be there for them. You never know when they’re in need a friendly ear the most.

  1. Always be true to yourself.

The people around you will always try and shape you – some for better and others for worse. They’ll want you to be more like them, or more one way than another. But never ever let them have their way. You are your own person. You know who you are, you know how you are and what you want. Never let another person, no matter how important they are to you, try and change these. In the end, you’ll have done nothing but exhausted yourself and be miserable.

It took me a very long time to learn this.

  1. Never let people take you for granted.

This one is still hard for me. I tend to be too nice, and end up doing things I don’t want to. Or fake smiling when I’m around someone I don’t want to be. For me, telling somebody ‘no’ is hard – I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Although, sometimes, they need a little sense knocked into them. So, just as you shouldn’t take anything or anyone for granted, never let anyone take advantage of you.

Sometimes, things can only be learned the hard way. Some people need them to happen the hard, to open up their eyes. Only foolish people close them one they’ve been awakened, but some of us see the world in a new light.

Life sucks sometimes, but there is a lot of beauty in it, too. So just hang in there.

What’re some things you’ve learned the hard way?

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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3 Secrets to Bleached Hair Care

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If you read my last post (Ion Color Brilliance Review), you’ll know I recently colored my hair. And that it is currently fuchsia and cyan, also – that it’s bleached. Now I’m no stranger to bleached hair. I had my hair bleached through most of high school, and my mother made sure I didn’t have ramen noodle hair.

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I knew many a-person who didn’t take very good care of their bleached, ever-colored hair. – And you can always tell that didn’t. Their hair was brittle and straw like, and just down right dry and awful to the touch. Not to mention, it lacked the natural luster. So when they saw and felt mine, then they wondered why my hair was soft and shiny.

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Keeping your hair nice when you bleach and strip it a lot is difficult work. When your hair still has it’s natural oils, and you wash and condition as often as it will allow, then your hair stays nice. It doesn’t require a lot of attention. However, once you’ve done to your hair what I did to mine, you learn to keep it looking nice.

Over the years I’ve used plenty of brands, but there are a three main items and tips I’ve learned to use.

1. Condition

Condition, condition, condition, condition. Conditioning is probably the most important part of taking care of your bleached hair. It moisturizes the strands, and gives back some of the nutrients that you’ve taken away with the bleaching. It will also aid in giving your hair back it’s shine.

The first day, you aren’t really supposed to wash your hair to give your color time to set.. But when you do, use a color stay shampoo. And then always, always make sure that you condition your hair. The longer the conditioner stays in before you rinse it out, the better.

2. After Shower Care

Leave-In Conditioner

As I said previously conditioner. – Try to keep your hair conditioned. Putting leave-in conditioner in your hair after your shower, will really help you make sure that you keep your hair soft and shiney. If it has added vitamins, that’s even better. This is the stuff I used during high school, Pantene Pro-V, Ultimate 10 BB Creme

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Coconut Oil

I was given a bottle of coconut oil when I ran out of leave-in conditioner. My mom got it from someone, and I knew that I desperately had to keep the steady stream of vitamins in my hair. I had already started to feel the difference in my hair. So I used it, and it worked really well.

This is what I used (and currently have a bottle of sitting in my bathroom cabinet) – Organix Nourishing Coconut Oil
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3. No Heat

After their showers, many people blow dry their hair and/or straighten it. If you want to keep your bleached hair healthy, I would recommend refraining from these activities. The heat from these items causes more damage to your hair. You also run a higher chance of burning your hair, since it is weaker and thinner now.

A lot of my experience comes from my junior/senior years of high school.

For my senior pictures, we had stripped and bleached my hair. I had dyed it bright red, and naturally I have dirty blonde hair. My parents wanted it half way natural looking for the pictures. After we did that, I had straightened it right after my shower. That turned out to be a very bad idea.

My hair wasn’t the same after that. I had lost all of my natural waves, and my hair was just – burnt and destroyed. I ended up cutting it short, and waiting for it to grow out. During that period, I made sure to keep my hair half way healthy and nourished.

I definitely learned the hard way.

These three things have helped me keep my hair soft and shiny over the years (Keeping your hair trimmed when you notice dead ends never hurts either). Keeping your hair nourished is important if you don’t want to be the one everybody says has straw or ramen noodle hair!

If you have any tricks or tips of your own, feel free to drop them below!

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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