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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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April 2017 Recap

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With April at a close, I thought I’d do a little recap on it. I’m thinking about doing this every month. But I haven’t decided yet.

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So, to start, I did my very first craft show this month! It was very long, and I was super tired by the end. But it was fun, spending time with my mom (you can find her blog here, she’s a crafter). I basically designed an whole line for my bottle cap things. I sold two buttons to a sweet little toddler!

Also, I got my first commission buttons done! It was cool! Therewere six of them; Koro-sensei, Karma, and Nagisa from Assassination Classroom and three of her own characters. It took longer than I would have liked, but I got them done! She loved them, and I’m so happy that she did!

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I colored my hair for the first time in a while!! I did it cyan and fuchsia, and then covered over that with aqua blue (you can go read my hair color review here).

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I celebrated 10 months with my boyfriend! He’s the first guy I’ve been with this long! I love him so much, and I’m so glad that we’re together. Sure, we have our ups and downs. But he’s sweet, loving and supportive, and just – so much more!

I changed my username on Instagram to match my business name, and I also started up a Facebook page and an Etsy store! If you want to check those out, links below!!

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Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pastelbottlerocket/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pastelbottlerocket/

Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/PastelBottleRocket

Also, my boyfriend and I played Little Nightmares the day it came out – it was trippy. But it was also a cool little game (might do a review)! If you don’t know what Little Nightmares is, you can watch the trailer here.

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Also, in April, I started really advertising more! Plus, this is two months since I started my blog! It’s so exciting!! I also reached ten blog posts, and fifteen followers last month! I’m hoping to really raise that up in the months to come.

The last few weeks were crammed with finals, but I got out of school the third of this month! So now it’s time to get crackin’ on my blog and business! I’m super excited!

Annnddd…yeah, that about sums up my April!

How was your April? Was it productive?

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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Ion Color Brilliance Review

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I’m kind of a hair dye addict. If you read my post “Ten Things to Know About Me,” then you will know I have had my hair a lot of colours. Which means I have used plenty of different hair color brands. From L’Oreal Paris to Manic Panic to Splat; there have been a lot.

Quite recently, I colored my hair again. It’s the first time in a while since I’ve done my hair unnatural colours.

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I’m loving it so far, but this was the first I’ve used Ion Color Brilliance. The two colours I chose were Fuchsia (from the Brights collection), and Cyan (from the Neon Brights collection). IMG_20170414_161318 (1)IMG_20170414_161315

I was very glad to find that both colours were ammonia free, after bleaching my hair, more destructive chemicals like that was the last thing my hair needed. On top of that, the dye smelled lovely. – Not something I’d want to smell all the time, but it was definitely better than a lot of other brands.

One thing I dislike, though, is that the color comes in small tubes. I didn’t do the entirety of my head in blue, but what I did do took two tubes – which gets expensive. Luckily, I got the Buy One Get One 50% Off sale at Sally’s Beauty Supply – totaling up to $8.98 (plus I was shopping in Delaware, so no sales tax!!).

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Another thing I disliked was that it covered well – on most of it. So I’m happy with that. However, there are spots that are a green-brown blonde. Some I know is fault to needing to strip the last of the black out of my hair. But most of it is in the top layer, and I know I saturated it with dye. On top of that, my mother went over it a day or two later with half tube I had left!

It didn’t really help..

Also, there is the fact that the fuchsia is already fading pale after two washings. Maybe part of that is my fault for not using color stay shampoo (I usually use Color Preserve by Pantene, or Color Me Happy by Herbal Essence). I know to expect the color to not be as rich after a wash or two. But it’s washed out more than I thought it would.

For using it for the first time, I’m satisfied. However, Ion Color Brilliance will not be on the top of my “Brands to Buy” list.

~

[I’m editing about a week after I wrote this originally]

By now I’ve had my hair dyed for about a week. While it originally seemed like the colour wouldn’t rapidly fade, it has. The cyan is now more blonde than blue and the fuchsia is now peach, pink and lavender. I was not expecting this.

I am definitely not using Ion again.

~

What’s your favourite hair color brand? What’s the worse You’ve used?

Thanks for Reading!

~Amber

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They Lied About Writing Books

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Whoever said writing a book was easy, lied; lied to me, lied to you – lied to whoever else they told. It isn’t simple one, two, three – you know the story beginning, middle, end before you write. Nothing in life is that simple. If that was case, editing would be null and void. You’d know every aspect, start to finish, and have it just the way you want.

Nothing is ever that simple. So don’t let them fool you into thinking it is.

I suppose you can sit down and write randomly – just whatever your mind screams at you to throw on the Word doc. That’s what I’ve always done. Maybe that’s why writing a book is just a dream. One thousand unfinished stories, and a small internet following. But nothing I can send to the publishers.

I envy authors who can pump out a book a year. It’s practice, I guess. Or maybe they are just that creative. Who knows, right? But I’m the worst kind of writer – the kind that only writes in spurts. I get really creative the first few days, and then –

Nothing.

Twenties pages into a book, with characters I love but a story plot that goes nowhere. I’ve been trying to word vomit, lately. Do what all the internet seems to have known ages before anybody else – write and then edit. Get the whole damn thing done, and then go back and try to fix things.

I’m not sure it actually helps.

I live for spending hours rereading, only to put down a few words here or there.

Yeah – whoever decided writing was an easy job, is an idiot. Writers should be getting paid the thousands brain and heart surgeons are. I mean, they’re at least taught the stuff, right? But what about me? What about us? The writers of the world? We can’t be taught a world that doesn’t exist. We can’t observe people that have come from our minds.

So, why then are they paid the lowest? Unless you hit it big like J.K Rowling or Stephenie Meyers, you best be working elsewhere. Also – you better hope to God that your adaption is good in the first place. Too many books have been butchered that way – just look at InkHeart. Such a good book, such an awful movie. I haven’t seen enough of If I Stay, to draw any real conclusions about it yet. But I know I don’t like the person who plays Adam…

 

Still –

I doubt I’ll ever have to worry about that though. I can’t hardly get a chapter out of any given thing. It’s a tragedy in my mind. But the motivation, the story – it comes and goes. Those who’ve read my story starts, say that they can see them on store shelves or as movies. I guess I can too, in a way. I can picture the actors who play my beloveds. The ones who will never play them, because their story is just pages and pages of blank, whiteness in a Word document.

I know they’re there, and they beg to be written. But I just can’t seem to pull their story from the air, the way most people can. So many people can be pitched a theme, and in minutes have a story. A full one.

I could give you the beginning, and the end, and little blits of what happens in the middle. But don’t ask for the full story. Don’t ask for conversations. Don’t ask for me to describe to you each and every eye movement. Each and every every little thing that my mind envisions.

Don’t expect that.

Because I never seem to finish anything.

Even if I wrote a book with a word a page, and the entire book only wrote out a paragraph. I bet I still wouldn’t be able to finish it. I would change my mind a thousand times, or would get half way through and quit.

What story can you tell in a paragraph?

 

Her eyes found the sky, and then his, and then the ocean’s horizon. Warm hands holding each other tightly, their toes buried in the sand

 

Yeah, no – never mind. Screw that.

You can’t tell a story in a paragraph. Nothing profound anyway. Then again, I guess it doesn’t really have to be profound. It just has to – say something. Like all those six word stories – most either rip out your heart, or rip out your nerves. It all depends where you find them. I can’t even make a good one of those. I’m always one word under, or one word over. Or it’s just idiotic.

He gripped her hand tightly. But 

He gripped her hand. It wasn’t hers.

He

 

Okay, I’m going to stop now. I was close, but – no cigar.

“Almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades…

 

I don’t really know what else they say. They’re all kind of weird.

 

See what I mean? I can’t seem to pull any coherent story out of the air. Even six words. Maybe when I was younger. When I was a freshman in high school, it seemed the stories would just materialize. But now I can barely sculpt them.

So yes – whoever said that writing a book was easy, lied.

They lied very, very hard.

 

Thanks for Reading,

Amber

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Inspirational Quotes

In recent years, it’s become like – the attack of the inspirational quotes. They are kind of everywhere. They are all over Pinterest; you can find them on the nearest teeshirts, mugs, notebooks — but they also kind of rule my life. Yes, some of actually work. There are soooo many quotes that have really impacted me, and actually made me want to do shit. I can’t explain what it is – no matter how cheesy they are – I just love them!
I know some people think they’re terrible and awful and what have you, but I thought I’d share a few of my favourites today! Maybe they’ll also inspire you too!

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It was so difficult narrowing these down, so I chose the ones that still resonate the most with me. Words are powerful things, and they can wake you up and make you realize things that you hadn’t before. These have been my source of get-up-and-go for years. Without them, I probably literally wouldn’t have done anything.

Even if they’re cheesy – they do their job, to motivate you. To get you to get up and go. If these don’t work for you, go and look up quotes that do. It’s a life changer, I swear.

What’re some of your favourite motivational quotes? What ones do you dislike the most?

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

 

 

 

 

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My Rainy Day Tunes!

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We all have those days where it just – bleh. It’s grey outside, it’s miserable. The whole world is just lazy and slow. Yes, there’s peace in the rain; curling up with a good book with something nice to drink and listening to the rain. (Yes, I’m that cliche!) But there’s also chaos – like going to work or school in wee hours of the miserable morning.

On those kinds of days, I prefer to have a calm, s l o w e r music set. Before I had Spotify on my phone, I’d listen to the Let Go album by Avril Lavigne when I was driving to school. It’s kind of a slower album, kind of depressing – but just perfect for a rainy morning drive.

We all have our own music for this kind of day, but here’s my rainy day playlist (just a warning, my music tastes are a jumble of everything, lol) —

 

 

  1. Complicated Avril Lavigne
  2. Save Myself Ed Sheeran
  3. And Still Reba McEntire
  4. This Town – Niall Horan
  5. Closer The Chainsmokers (feat. Halsey)
  6. Better Together Jack Johnson
  7. Control Halsey
  8. The Book of Love Gavin James
  9. I’m With You Avril Lavigne
  10. It Didn’t Look Like Alcohol Rebecca Lynn Howard
  11. Bring on the Rain  – Jo Dee Messina
  12. If I Were A Boy – Beyonce
  13. Paint It Black – Andy Black
  14. When the Children Cry – White Lion
  15. Roots and Branches  – This Wild Life
  16. Murder Backwards – Wind In Sails
  17. More Than Words – Ryo Natoyama
  18. I Want to Write You a Song – One Direction
  19. Merry Go Round of Life – Yoshihiro Koseki (Joe Hisaishi for Guitar Solo)
  20. Hello – Adele

 

As I said, my music taste is a mashup of everything, lol Maybe this playlist will be calming to you too on rainy days – maybe not. But these are my rainy day tunes!

 

Share your rainy day playlist below!

 

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

 

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Why Failure Can Be a Good Thing

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When I ran across the prompt that inspired this post, it said to talk about a time that I failed. And I will be talking about failure, but failure in a different way. Failure is many different things to many different people. You and I are no exceptions to that.

Yes. We probably share the common notion of failure. However, we all feel failure – whether in that way, or in our own personal failures.

I’m going to be talking about a personal failure. One that happened quite recently.

You see, I was a full time college student. I had four classes, 15 credits and was a Game Design and Simulation major.

At first I was fine, I was ready to go. I was ready to tackle my classes with motivation and a clear mind and rock them. I was the only girl in my two major specific classes, so I – of course – wanted to be as good as the boys. But it wasn’t long before I fell behind. I promised myself over and over that I’d catch up – and I tried to. I would be lying if I said I was anywhere near it.

 

I just — couldn’t do it.

 

I’d had a mental break down before, due to stress from college. But a semester off fixed that, and this past autumn I was more than ready for the hustle and bustle that came with school. But once this spring semester started – well that was a whole other ordeal.

As the classes slipped by, and the assignments came and went, I fell more and more behind. Spring break came and went by in a flash, and I soon realized there was no hope in sight. I’ve never failed or dropped out of a class before. Only one time, in high school, when I dropped AP statistics. But never in college. Though, this time –

 

I did.

 

After weeks and weeks of compiling stress. After weeks and weeks of just hoping I’d be able to catch up – I made the decision. I talked to my mom – since my parents pay for my schooling – and she convinced me fully. I was gonna withdraw from the two classes and switch my major. It was only shortly before that I discovered my version of success. Only shortly before, I’d decided I wanted to make pins and buttons and cosplay at conventions for the rest of my life.

I had never known before what I wanted, and one day I had this epiphany and I never wanted to look back. So, slowly, I began to enjoy my classes less and less – along with just flat out not being able to catch up.

But this path way was entirely new and scary…and felt like giving up. I’m not usually the type for that. I normally try and muscle through it. Convince myself that I can – I did that with Statistics, Biology and Video Production. And I did that a lot in high school – more than I’d like to admit (I was a lazy high schooler, and had the worst senioritis, lol).

But to me, dropping those classes felt like the worst thing in the world. I was giving up, and that was awful. I’d let some classes get the best of me. I’d failed. So much money (about $700 in total) down the drain. But I hadn’t had the issues at first, though they didn’t take to happen. Maybe I knew all along that Game Design wasn’t for me. But – damn it all! – I was going to try.

I’d had a plan – and the timeline still follows for me graduating in the fall. But it wasn’t according to my original plan. But isn’t that just the way life works? But I’m happier this way – two classes,not as stressed. Psychology and Photography (and ironically the exact class I need for my new major) are easy peasy, for the most part.

By far, this is one of the things that brought me the biggest feeling of failure – and I almost didn’t graduate high school, because I skimped on my English stuff (brought my grade up by the end of the semester, though)! But something about dropping those classes, admitting defeat – it just struck a chord with me. I felt like I let down, not only myself, but my parents and my boyfriend as well.

It’s hasn’t been very long since I dropped, but that feeling of failure still lies with me. Even though my stress levels have dropped tremendously, and I’m working to start a business. It’s just one of those little failures, that probably end up helping you in the end.

As I said, failure is different for many people. Some people would have been like “whatever, it’s just a class.” Others probably wouldn’t have done it. But this is just one of my own little failures. Although, it is a good thing.

 

What’s something you feel you’ve failed in recently? Tell us below.

 

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

 

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10 Things to Know About Me

Since I’m just starting out, I feel like we should get a little personal here. I don’t know you, you don’t know me. So I thought I’d introduce myself a little. Not to mention probably in the most cliche way possible –

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  1.    I’m a 20 year old college student, who is graduating in the Autumn!

I’m going for Visual Communications! Come December, I’ll have an Associate of Applied Science. I had three different majors before I decided to go for VisCom – General Studies, Simulation and Game Design and Graphic Design.

I was never really happy
with any of them.

In General Studies, I didn’t know what I wanted. I wanted to make comics, and tried my best to scrounge together classes based on that. In Graphic Design, I had a thought one day that I didn’t want to make posters and billboards for the rest of my life. Game Design is the latest, and I just wasn’t happy with it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, and it was difficult and frustrating. I couldn’t force myself to class any more, eventually dropping two of them.

  1.      I’m a total internet addict.

        I love the internet. Some of the people can be assholes, but you get that anywhere. Virtual or not. It also opens up so many possibilities! You meet so many amazing people, as well, that you never would have met otherwise. It brings more jobs to a dwindling job market, and supplies people with ideas and hobbies. And it’s just – I dunno, I love it!

I basically just live on the internet, lol

  1.      I Do Comics!

        Comics are one of my passions! I’ve been doing comics for a few years, and what I originally tried to go to school for (as previously stated). I love reading them and drawing them, and love all you can do with them. I think they’re just a wonderful story telling form!

        You can find my comics here – https://tapastic.com/Tea_Again

        Teagan Williams is the main alias I use when I make things!

  1.      I Have Other Social Medias!

        I’m not a Social Media Queen, but I do enjoy using social media. Mostly, it’s Instagram. But I also like using Twitter. It’s a nice way to keep up with celebrities and other artists from around the world! Those are my main two, SnapChat is more for personal use rather than business.

You Can Follow Me Here – https://www.instagram.com/pastelbottlerocket/ 

And Here – https://twitter.com/PstlBttlRkt

  1.      I Adore Music!

        I was in band for seven years of my schooling – concert band, marching band, jazz band, stand band. I was also in choir from sophomore to senior year – my entire has revolved around music since forever. In college, I haven’t really taken any music classes, but I tend to keep up with new music from my favourite bands and artists.

        Like Divide – the new Ed Sheeran Album. Or Dirty Laundry and Last Young Renegade the new singles by All Time Low. So, even though I’m not playing it anymore, I always play music in my day to day.

Music has brought so many amazing people and experiences into my life. I don’t know what I’d do without.

  1. I’m a hair dye addict!

I’ve been colouring my hair since I was young. I’ve had my hair every colour except grey, yellow, orange and white! I love having my hair a bunch of different colours, and being bright and all! It’s such a big part of who I was, and who I am. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do it lately, since I’m trying to hunt down a job x..x

  1.      I’m a super nerd!

Anime, comic books, video games, YouTubers – those are basically mah thang. I love the culture, and all things that have come from it. They’re all really brilliant and cool and cons are so much fun (though I’ve only ever been to one!). Cosplaying is also really fun, and you meet a lot of  really awesome people!

  1.      Creativity is kind of my thang.

I’ve always been creative, all my life. My mother is an artist, my dad is really creative. And, basically, everybody in my extended family is creative as well. I love creating things

  1.      My mind is always buzzing!

It is very rare that my mind ever shuts the hell up. Seriously, it’s always somewhere else. I mean, it makes focusing hard sometimes. But it helps with creative ventures!

  1.      I’m Super Excited About Thing New Venture!

        I had a blog before, and found it therapeutic but never really had a coherent thing to write about. Also, I didn’t really know what I wanted out of life. I was lost. Now I know what I want, and get to share this adventure with you all! I’ve never tried to start a business before, or sell things I’ve designed – so this is new territory for me. But I’m super stoked about it, and hoping to learn more as time goes on!

I know that this is a little cheesy, but I thought I’d tell you a little about myself!

I really hope you follow me, and come along on this journey with me!

Tell me below if you feel me on anything! Lol

Thanks for Reading!

~ Amber

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How to Design Buttons!

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Button badges come in all shapes and sizes. Every person who makes them, designs them in different ways. I’m no different when it comes to that. I haven’t gotten a chance to actually make any yet, but my punch will be coming in soon! Anyway – I’ve been using a template I got offline.

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I found this diagram to help explain a little better.

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  1. My button maker is 2.25″, so I found a template that size. I use MediBang Paint Pro to draw and design in. So I put the template into MediBang, and made it the size of my workspace.

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2. I drew a grey circle where the 2.25″ face will be. I do that so I don’t design outside of the lines. Anyway, I always start with a solid background colour on a separate layer.

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3. If I want a gradient type thing, I take a pale colour in the same colour family as my background and the watercolour brush on the same layer. I want the center to be the lightest, so I press harder here and blend as I go out.

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4. On top of that, on a new layer, I do lineart of the design I want using the pen brush. Here, I’m making a Sailor Moon button.

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5. The next thing I do, is the flat colours. Here, it’s only the gold of the tiara and the red of the gem.

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6. Using the Airbrush tool, on the same layer as the flat colour, I choose a medium colour for the accents. After, on the same layer, I choose an even lighter colour for the highlights.

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7. Lastly, I add in text! MediBang is a little hard to use for this, since the options for text are in Japanese. Along with the fact that it takes a second to give you a preview. But it works well enough!

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And so we have a finished button!

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I know it isn’t the best tutorial, it’s the first I’ve ever made. But that’s the basic gist of how I’ve been designing buttons!!

Check out my store HERE!

Thanks for Reading!

Amber

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