Tag: blogging

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

dragons loyaltyToday I have been given an award tag by a fellow blogger I have enjoyed following.  She is a teenage blogger named Natalie who blogs about Disney and makeup on her blog Disney Freak with a Bit of Mascara and does a great job with it. You would never know that she is so young by her writing.

She even delights in pointing out the flaws in my favorite Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Frozen. LOL. It’s all in good fun and she does a good job stating her opinion in a thoughtful and coherent way. And she’s always respectful of people who think differently which is a great attribute in a young person (I sound like I’m 150!).

Everyone check out her blog and give her some more followers.

Anyway, she has tagged me and it is a pretty simple one.  Here’s the steps.

1.Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2.Include the award logo.

3.State seven facts about yourself.

4.Nominate a few other bloggers.

As far as facts about myself you guys know everything there is to know about me.  So most of this is a review to my regular readers but I hope you enjoy it.

7 Facts About Me

  1. I have a lazy eye and have had surgery twice to help correct it.  Read here Strabismus
  2. I served my LDS Mission in Indianapolis, Indiana and it was a grueling but incredibly valuable experience.   They are getting a temple this month!!  So excited.
  3. This weekend will be my 10th finish in an open water swim race. (assuming I finish of course).  The last one I finished was Bear Lake Monster Swim
  4. My cousins and I love playing board games especially scrabble, boggle and bingo.
  5. 3 of my cousins closest to me in age have passed away. (That’s a sad fact but true).
  6. I graduated with my MBA in 2008 from University of Phoenix and it was a very proud moment for me.
  7. I’ve never been kissed and I’m 34.  Not ashamed just the way life has worked out. I’m happy with who I am.
  8. Lastly I currently have 2 blogs, a youtube channel, pinterest, periscope, snapchat, twitter, facebook, and more.  It’s madness but I love it!!! :

I always struggle with these kind of tags or nominations because I don’t want people to feel like they have to do it.  They seem kind of like a chain letter but I have fun doing it so hopefully others do as well.

I nominate

Animation Curration- http://theanimationcuration.com/

Swanpride (she’s never done anything like this on her blog but I would be genuinely curious to learn more about her.  Nevertheless check out her great feminist media blog) https://swanpride.wordpress.com/

HopeforHeather who faces a crippling chronic illness but has great strength.  Definitely worth checking out her blog https://hopeforheather.wordpress.com

Veronica’s Cornucopia-  She does the cookie swap I participate in each year and is an awesome blogger and Mom. http://veronicascornucopia.com/

The Simple Things- does a lot of travel and other updates and is a delight to read.  Check out her blog if you are in the mood for a pick-me-up https://jessicarlin.wordpress.com/

There you go.  That’s good for the moment.  Thanks for the nomination and love all of you.  If anyone wants to do the post feel free even if I haven’t nominated you directly.

Hey Friends and Summer Movie Report Card

So sorry I haven’t written in a bit.  I haven’t been feeling great and was a little bit blocked on what to write about.  Sometimes after 7 years of blogging it can be a little tough to think of new topics to write about especially when I have my separate movie blog.  I figured I would just give you a little update on what’s going on in my life like I used to do when I was just starting out the blog.

Summer is slipping by faster than it should and I’ve hardly gotten to the open water at all.  Next week I am going up to Bear Lake to swim a 1/2 mile swim.  It should be a lot of fun and at least I will be in the water for the weekend.

It’s not even that I’ve been that busy I’ve just had an upset stomach and been battling an infection that won’t go away and is very uncomfortable.  I don’t know if it is this infection but I’ve felt low energy lately, like I wish I could sleep all day and do nothing.  Do you ever get that way?

It’s hard feeling so tired because I need to get back into shape.  The whole prospect is completely overwhelming.  After being bedridden for a while last year I’ve had a hard time jumping back into my exercise routine.  I think I am going to try and make little changes and not do anything too drastic. My goal is to focus on eating right and swimming as much as I can.  That should keep it from being too miserable.  Do any of you have any suggestions?

Everything is going well at work.  Like I posted a few weeks ago I am taking a slower strategy- still working very hard but trying to wait on things and make them as perfect as I can instead of rushing.  It seems to be working out quite well.  (The one downside to telecommuting is I’m never 100% sure what people think of me but I feel like it is positive).

I’ve been learning a lot and we have a new giveaway for MagicCool cooling towels you guys should check out. http://gvwy.io/3u8zr6. It would actually really help me out if you did enter and it’s super easy to do.

I’ve had a fun summer watching movies.  As far as new movies here’s the summary:

Minions- cute but not that funny.  C

Terminator Genisys- Arnold is good but that’s about. Makes no sense, bad acting. D+

Me Earl and the Dying Girl- Cute if a bit derivative of other movies and filmmakers B

Inside Out- Completely brilliant. Best movie I’ve seen since Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012  A+

When Marnie was There- Moving exploration of a tween girl with depression and the mystery of the marsh house.  A

Love and Mercy- Ambitious combination of 2 movies about Brian Wilson of Beach Boys.  I liked it but it felt kind of fractured and wedged together.  B-

Jurassic World- Stupid movie but entertaining in spurts. C

San Andreas- Rock can’t save the bad dialogue and special effects I’ve seen before.  D

Tomorrowland- Interesting concept, original idea but episodic in feel, miscast and to be honest kind of boring.  C-

Mad Max Fury Road- Visceral, insane war movie with great battle sequences like I’ve never seen before.  A-

Far From Madding Crowd- Loved 2 leads, beautifully shot, didn’t like Troy segments or actor. A little soapy at times. B-

Pitch Perfect 2- Same plot as original but taken international. Nothing special but I did like the songs and it did make me laugh. B-

Ex-Machina- Very well made AI thriller. I wish I was a little more emotionally connected to characters and ending a little predictable but definitely worth seeing. B+

Age of Adeline- Hated the narration and kind of soapy but charismatic cast saves it. Overall a fine time at the movies.  C

Avengers Age of Ultron- I loved it.  I liked getting my backstory on all the team. Liked they seemed vulnerable, Ultron and the ending was great A+

So that’s the movies for the summer.  Over all, I think last summer was stronger.  I can tell you one thing I am grateful to Mad Max because I am so tired of dopey action movies like Terminator Genisys that don’t give me anything new.  Inside Out is by far my favorite of the summer and year.  It blew me away.

If you are deciding what to spend the big bucks on I would say my As are the best movies of the summer- Inside Out, When Marnie was There, Mad Max Fury Road and Avengers.

What have you liked this summer at the movies? Make sure to check out the movie blog for reviews of almost all these movies

What else is going on…

Well, I have been enjoying Big Brother.  Audrey is the first transgender contestant and she is stunningly beautiful. I would never have known if she hadn’t told us.  Unfortunately, she’s also been a total train wreck in the house but she seems to be squeaking by somehow.  It’s been a lot of fun to watch.  I really like a guy named Johnny Mac who is a dentist from Pennsylvania.  He is so funny.  There is also a poker player named Vanessa who I think could win.  I wish they weren’t doing Battle of the Block again because it makes things very predictable.

Any of you watch it?

I guess that is a good update on things going on.  Let me know what is going on in your life.

1000th Post- First Post Revisited

1000-postsSo it’s here! 1000 posts! Can you believe it? I’ve thought of a lot of different things I could do to celebrate but after sharing my favorite post for 999 I thought I would take a look at my very first post on this blog.

Before I start I will say that I in no means make light of those who are without work and facing the extreme trial of unemployment.  My experience was unique and from the perspective of a young 28 year old girl who finally found a happy spot in her life.

May 12, 2008 I wrote The Freedom of Joblessness.At the time I had been unemployed for 5 months and because I had been so unhappy in my previous job it was not as difficult a time as you might expect.

It was exciting and it felt like I had a renewed lease on life.  I had also just graduated with my MBA in April.  At the time it seemed like I had been set free from a corporate penitentiary and I wanted to blog about it!

“So, this is my first foray into the world of blogging… It is hard to describe my last 6 months but let me just say that I am in the job hunt and I couldn’t be happier. I honestly think I will be a bit sad when I have to go back into the work force”

At my previous job a manager made my life miserable and being free from her influence did so much good for my self confidence and over all happiness.  I think that was a large amount of the freedom I felt.  I said “after a bit of a breakdown last year I needed a change more than anything”…

I then share a quote “I would rather be doing nothing than doing something I hate”

But that sounds so lazy I hear you say. I elaborate

“The thing…is that I haven’t been doing nothing.  When did we get it in our head that the only viable thing for a person to do is work? I have actually been very busy.  In fact, I have been doing things that I actually love that I don’t have time for when I am working including doing some writing, making a cookbook for my mom, and exercising on a regular basis”

I think there is something to that.  Why do we have this assumption that if a person isn’t participating in paid labor they are doing nothing? If I won the lottery and could make it I would quit my job in a heartbeat even though I love my job now.

The amazing thing is about 10 days after this post my Dad asked me to start working managing his rentals.  I did that for about a year working from home.  Before I knew it I was working for Grabber part time.  Then full time and then over to Poler, Now Kobayashi  All working from home!

When I look at everything good in my life including this blog it all started with the tough decision to quit my job.  To place my happiness above all the other factors and go for it. That joy felt freeing and peaceful and it still does and perhaps that’s why I keep blogging.  It was liberating then and it is liberating now!

To 1000 more posts!

My Favorite Post

This my friends is post 999 of this blog, which obviously means my next post will be my 1000th silly thought to all of you.  That’s 7 years of writing my life.  1000 posts! Can you believe it?

I thought long and hard on what to do to commemorate such an achievement and here’s what I’ve decided  This post I am going to share with you my favorite post.  Then for the 1000th I am going to revisit the very first post I ever did called The Freedom of Joblessness.

So out of 1000 posts which one is my favorite? It’s tough.  They are all kind of my babies and I worked very hard on them. But there is one post that was very difficult for me to write.  A post where I took a real risk and probably opened myself up more than any other post (which is saying a lot!).

I didn’t know how people would respond but was overwhelmed by people who told me, mostly privately, that my story was also theirs.

It was a post called Never Fall in Love

In the post I admitted to the world that I have never fallen in love like it is some kind of disease or confession:

“I’m 33 years old. I’ve never been in love.  I’ve never been kissed.  I’ve never had a break up or a heartache.  I’ve never had anything more than a crush from time to time and I honestly do not know why.  I really don’t.”

And there it was out there for the world to see.  For a while I felt a little embarrassed but why? It’s not like I had done something foolish or wrong.  I just hadn’t fallen in love yet.

Worried I would get people trying to make me feel better I implored them to let me work this problem out to its completion.

“Now before I start this line of thought- please, don’t placate me with assurances of my finding the right person and promises in heaven and not loosing hope.  I know such things and I agree but just for a second I want to put a question I’ve asked myself many times out there for all of you-

What if a human being never falls in love?  Can you live a full life and never fall in love?”

That last question is one I am still pondering. We after all believe in eternal families as fundamental to Heavenly Father’s plan. So I don’t know if it is possible to live a full life and never fall in love.  I really don’t.

So what do you do?

“Nothing.  As far as I have been able to figure out you just wait. Yes, you can workout and go to activities, date whenever you can, but none of that is any guarantee of falling in love.  Believe me I know.

You certainly can and must always be hopeful and happy with what you can control but it will probably always be this big part of being human that you don’t completely understand”

But here’s the key that I learned from writing the post.

“I guess the only thing I can say to my fellow love-lorn is that everyone has an ache of some kind…Everyone has regrets and wishes for something they never quite experienced and never enjoyed.  That’s what the atonement is for.

After all, as far as we know, Jesus never fell in love either, so we are in pretty good company”

And then I shared a talk from Dennis E Simmons where he talks about faith and the ‘but if not’ moments of life.  Having hope yet not finding love surely qualifies as such a moment.

At the end of the post I spoke out to those who are struggling and I think it encapsulates well why this blog is powerful at least to me.

“Hang in there! I know I’m not the only person out there who has wondered about this.  Please share your stories”

Through this blog I have been able to see I am not the only person out there.  Whether it is something silly as finding another soul who loves You’ve Got Mail or The Book Thief as much as I do or someone with a history of bullying or someone who loves to swim like I do, it is all so valuable to me.

It makes me feel like my life actually matters to someone and no post shows that more than Never Fall in Love.

What is your favorite post? Have any impacted you or your life?

Survivor Second Chances

survivor second chanceI recently did a post on the current season of Survivor called Survivor 30 Being Annoyed and Abuse.In the post I talked about how mean spirited the season has ended up particularly centering around a woman named Shirin who was verbally assaulted by a fellow castmate named Will in a personal attack that hasn’t been seen on the show before. I was feeling pretty down but found something I could take away from all the conflict.  I realized how I can rationalize doing hurtful things to people because their personality is annoying to me which really isn’t a good reason when you think about it.

So I took something away from it and I am curious to see how it all ends (hope for Mike!).

second chancesLuckily Survivor didn’t leave us all depressed with season 30 for long.  They announced season 31 is going to be called Survivor Second Chances and they are doing something they’ve never done before.  They have nominated 32 players, 16 women, 16 men who have all played the game once before.  Some of these are old time players from seasons 1 and 2 and others are from the current season 31 including Shirin (hurray!).  I’m so excited to see any of these 20 back again but it has been like Christmas for Survivor fans to hear the campaigning and try to decide what people to vote for.

My favorite podcaster over at RHAP has been working overtime to interview as many of the contestants as possible and these are thorough 45 to an hour long interviews which again is like a holiday for fans.  We get to hear all about their original seasons plus what they would do differently.  We can even provide ideas and suggestions for the upcoming season something that has always been impossible (we usually don’t know the cast until it has already filmed!).  So if you are fan of the show it has been a real treat.

To listen to Rob’s interviews go to http://robhasawebsite.com/category/survivor/survivor-second-chance/

The graphic above shows the people I have decided to vote for.  I looked at it as if I was a casting director and what mixture of personalities and types would I want on the show.  That’s why I have some strong personalities like Troyzan and Abi, some thinkers like Spencer and Stephen, some challenge beasts like Terry and Tasha and some who will play with real heart like Kelly and Woo.  The rest are just people that I like a lot and am curious to see what they do.  Whoever gets picked it is going to be a ton of fun to see, as I don’t dislike any of them.

I tried to pick people that I think will be positive while still being competitive.  Even if there are some feisty one’s I think the one’s I picked keep it to the game and know it is all in good fun.  If it is mean like this season and misogynistic I will be very sad. Let’s play hard but have a good time while in the game guys and girls!

Feel free to follow my ballot and vote every day at http://www.cbs.com/shows/survivor/second-chance/

Are any of you voting?  Who do you like?  Please let me know!


On a side note today is my 7 year blogiversary!  That’s 7 years writing my silly thoughts about life.  I should do something more important but I’m saving that for post 1,000 which is 2 posts away. Wow!

500 Channel Subscribers and Next Week


Very excited to tell you that I have 500 subscribers to my channel.  Thank you to any of you that have subscribed.  I really appreciate all the support I have gotten from this blog in so many ways. You have no idea what it has and will continue to mean to me.

Just wanted to let you guys know that I am going to be going on a business trip tomorrow. It’s the first time I will be meeting my boss and coworkers in person and I am really excited (and a little nervous if I’m honest!).  I got new suitcoats so hopefully I will fit right in.

business suitsAnyway, I am not sure how much I will be able to post but I will do my best.  If I go a week to 10 days sorry!  Love you guys and wish me luck.  I am so grateful for this blog that really gave me this job.  It got the ball rolling and has helped me reach my dreams so thank you to all of you!

We will talk next week!!


Just wanted to let you guys know about the milestone in the blog.  I just got my 500th follower.  I can’t believe that 500 people are that interested in my silly thoughts.  I hope that I don’t let you down.  Thank you so much for all the support, and reading or commenting on either of my blogs.

Thanks. On to 500 more!


Nanowrimo Coming Up

nanowrimo1Hey guys!  So Nanowrimo is coming up on Saturday! I have come up with what I think will be a solid concept for my story about a woman who has never fallen in love.  I’m really excited to get writing!

I’m curious for your suggestions about how I can best use the blog while writing? Would you guys like to read little sections?  Would you like if I posted about writing and the process of Nanowrimo?  I only have so much time so I’m not promising anything but I am sure I can pump out a few posts?

I could do different exercises or character sketches to give you an idea of wha tI am writing about (and help me while I’m at it).  Would that be fun for you? Or should I just occasionally post about other things not related to Nanowrimo during November (like Thanksgiving and other events going on).  Maybe you guys don’t have any interest in Nanowrimo and my progress. Let me know!

I’d be curious to know how many of my readers are participating.  Please share.  I’d love to hear about your concepts and genres you will be working in.

Thanks in advance for the support and if anyone is interested in guest posting on either of my blogs I’d love it! Happy Nanowrimo!

Youtuber Confessions

I usually try and keep my youtube channel and this blog separate but since this is just about me and my videos I thought I would share it with all of you.  Thank you so much for all the support.  I couldn’t have gotten this job without all of you reading this blog over 7 years.  Thank you , thank you, thank you

Why Be Online?

Why blog?  Why be online? Why facebook, tweet, chat, instagram and vlog?  Why bother with it all?

Why deal with the online rat race?
Why deal with the online rat race?

I remember when I first started blogging my brother in law couldn’t figure out the appeal.  He’s more of a practical person so putting so much effort into something that was just a hobby and didn’t really create anything to use seemed confusing.  (or at least that’s was my take of what he thought I could be wrong).

Others have thought it was a huge waste of time.  Others embarrassing or ‘brutally honest’.  Some thought I did it for my ego or at the shot of being famous.  I’d be lying if I said there isn’t that momentary reason but that’s not something that will keep me blogging for 6 years.

Why plaster myself all over twitter, facebook, and youtube?

It’s actually kind of a hard question to answer because it changes from day to day.  But here are some of the reasons I have found it great to be active in all things online (in no particular order):

(Also I am the only one in my family that is an active personal content creator. 2 of my sisters do not even have facebook accounts, my parents don’t have active presences online and none of my in-person friends really do outside of facebook and private blogs)

So benefits of being online and some advice-

-To work through my life choices and receive guidance.  I cannot benefit from others experiences and perspectives when I write in my journal but I can in my blog.

– Keep in touch with people I never would have otherwise.  And do relationships sometimes feel a little shallow from facebook? Yes.  Do I prefer one-on-one interaction?  Yes.  But, life is rarely the choice of one great thing vs one horrible thing.  Usually it’s picking from 2 less than perfect options.  Given the choice between updates online from friends and a yearly Christmas card I’ll take the updates online!

– I have a literal social network- This week I am going to Tampa and visiting my friend Kim.  Kim and I were friends in high school but she wasn’t one of my 3 best friends (Amanda, Cay and Meredith).  However, we were friends on facebook and it turns out we totally have the same political beliefs and ideas so we’ve had some great conversations.  I needed a vacation and she was kind enough to invite me.

Last year I visited with my friend Samantha in Seal Beach, CA and we met on twitter.   I have legitimate friends all over the place and the main reason that network of friends exists is because of my internet presence. 2 years ago I visited DC and most of the people I saw I had maintained the friendship because of social networks. Hurray!

– It helps you fine tune your opinions.  Writing movie and book reviews and being challenged on those ideas makes you think more deeply about them and why you are drawn to certain things.  While yes sometimes things should just be enjoyed I find I enjoy them much more now that I have pondered what moves me and why.

– Having an online presence makes you realize that yes there are trolls but for every troll there are a 1,000 wonderful people.  It’s really quite heartening.

– Creating an online presence allows you to manage the content.  Ever read that blog and there are the incredibly idiotic trolls in the comments and you’ve wanted to delete them?  I have and on my blog I can! For the most part if you are thoughtful and interesting I’ll put your thoughts but if you are just calling me a ‘fat #$%%$#’ than no, I will not put that comment.   It’s great to be the one to be in charge.

– Being a content creator allows you to be a missionary of sorts for things you love.  Sometimes that is literally missionary work for my church.  Other times it is just a movie I love or a book that moved me.  Even if I get one other person to read a book they might not have otherwise read that is exciting.

– Developing content teaches you so many useful skills.  I have become a much better writer through blogging than I could have ever been through school classes.  Same thing with video editing and even acting.  Things like removing filler words is a useful skill for everyday conversation. I would not have had the skills to get and attempt my new job if I hadn’t decided to learn as much from both blogging and vlogging over the last 6 years and it never stops.  I have so many new techniques and skills I want to learn.

– It can actually make a difference. I’m a 33 year old single woman from Utah. My life is very small but being a content creator I get to all of the sudden be big.  In the world of blogging I realize I’m still small but think about it.  I get to say to 150-500 people daily that someone living their small life is awesome.  I can tell the kid being bullied, or the big girl she is beautiful, the non-athlete to start swimming, the person to start believing. All of those moments have actually happened many times over 6 years and it is humbling and wonderful. Makes it all worth it.

– It’s honestly a ton of fun.  If creating videos or blog writing becomes a chore than take a step back and give yourself a break.  It should be fun.  It is fun (intermixed with some tough times and venting but even that can be fun).  Even if it is not necessarily fun it should be rewarding. If you start looking at it too clinically and hoping for great numbers and views you will lose enthusiasm very quickly and probably won’t produce good content. Just be yourself and have fun.

– Find your niche.  I started on youtube with box reviews because you have to focus on something and then expand from there. This blog is a little different because I treated it like I was the editor of my own magazine.  What I find interesting I post and some of my favorite posts (Carousel of Progress or the 5 Favorite Films) almost nobody read.  That’s ok. I enjoyed writing them and that’s what matters.

– Realize your ideal audience.  It is very easy to start to focus on the numbers, especially when you have a post that gives things a spike. It’s exciting and feels good to know people are viewing your content.  However, don’t become too focused on it.  I would love to be a fulltime youtuber and blogger and have millions of monthly hits because I think I could make even better content but if you are looking at it through only that dream lens you may discount 100-300 hits and if you think about it that’s a lot of hits.

If you were in a store and had 300 people come in and look around you’d feel great.  Plus, with a core audience who follows your content you can create bonds with them that you can’t do at the fulltime viewership levels.  Some of my favorite youtubers have actually expressed nostalgia for the beginning when they knew the fans and could respond/interact with them.

– Produce content as often and as regularly as you can. Don’t worry about the content being perfect.  Try to make it as high in quality as you can but you are going to look at old posts and cringe.  That’s ok.  You build an audience (small as it may be) by producing content regularly and having good ideas no matter how unattractively wrapped they may be.  People are amazingly forgiving to the hobbyist writer/vlogger if an attempt at quality is being made and the ideas are good.

– In history never was it easier to be a creator.  Authoriship was reserved for the few, reading for the rich, movie-making for the well connected and talented but now anyone with ideas can create, so find out what you like and go for it.  I guarantee you tapping into that part of yourself will be an eye opening experience.

– People criticize nanowrimo because a lot of junk is created they are missing the point.  People are creating stories and when they engage in that process their stories become better, the world becomes better and we all tell better stories.

How’s this for interesting-

Princeton University did a study where they followed the brain activity of 2 people, one telling a story, and the other listening to said story:

“When the woman spoke English, the volunteers understood her story, and their brains synchronized. When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs. By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains.”

So that is why being online is a good idea.  Even in a a 140 character tweet I can tell a story and that story sparks a thought in another person and then our literal brains are enlightened together.  That is awesome.

Is it a waste of time? It can be for sure but I’ve found even talking about silly things like Survivor or a recipe I’ve tried connects me with people that are engaging, funny, and worth the time.

-And finally every once in a while you will produce something truly special. I felt that way about my Heroism and Weight Loss piece.  The idea came to me after my writing conference and I got more excited as I thought about it.  I even tweeted it was going to be epic.  After I wrote it I was so glad I decided to be online back in 2008 because it led me to write that piece. A week or so later I got a message from one of my Survivor chatting buddies and she told me how she had struggled with an eating disorder and my words really meant a lot to her.

It doesn’t get better than that my friends. So go be online and have a blast. Create something great.