‘A’ for ‘a glos life’: peer review #3

for my 3rd and final peer review I will be looking at the blog by Granton of A Glos Life. From just looking at his blog’s appearance and scrolling through his posts I can tell that he has a very personal feeling to his blog, and his posts feel as though they are written directly to us as the reader. His posts are mostly journal-like entries, which I definitely find fitting to his title in the upper left corner “Granton’s Journal”

That being said, I find myself being confused by the multiple titles/names of the blog. The URL is “agloslife.com” — what does that mean? and then there are two separate titles once we get to the blog “Granton’s Journal” (upper left) as well as “A Day in My Life” (centre). I would suggest trying to pick one, or try to think of a new one that encompasses all three — and therefore the overall message of the blog!

for example! try thinking of what is being presented with each post. While the posts on Granton’s blog are a lot more casual and laid back, I would suggest thinking of some of the points made in THIS article from HAPGOOD.

By thinking of the acronyms CRAAP or RADCAB (either all or just selected letters), I think the overall message of “A Glos Life” could be condensed and therefore made more clear.

For example: R for ‘Revelevence” — what is relevant about each post? and what about it will make people want to stick around and read the whole thing?

Another one is D for “Detail” — especially with a lot of posts on Granton’s blog being narrative retelling of events, I would suggest adding details to make them more immersive, as well as thinking of what details do and don’t need to be included. While talking a lot about the vast variety of good and bad food one had while on vacation would definitely be interesting to readers — the possibly long and uncomfortable wait for the bathroom afterwards may not be! (let me make it be clear that this is not an example from Granton’s blog! just a weird example I made up in my mind!) — you can then see how this ties into relevancy! and that this will also help to keep readers interested in each post that is put out!

images courtesy of hapgood

For the most part I can tell that Granton’s blog would cater to people his age. Although, I think it would be cool to try and branch out to try and reach a broader audience. Try and make posts that anyone would feel tempted to click on and read — that way more people will come to your blog and more people will come back hoping for more interesting content.

And while this doesn’t exactly connect to audience, on a design note I would suggest changing the order on the side bar. Rather than having ‘most recent posts’ and ‘archives’ first, I would suggest having ‘categories’ and ‘tags’ be the first thing — that way they’re easier for people (like me!) viewing the site to see.

But in the end I found myself really enjoying the honest voice throughout Granton’s posts, and will definitely be checking out his blog again — just like you (yes, you reading this) should!

you can check out Granton’s blog — here!

Peer Review #3

For my third peer review I have been assigned Magali’s blog. The first thing I did was visit her “about me” page to get a better sense what Magali and her blog is about. As soon as I hit the link, there is a header picture of her holding a camera and taking a picture, which made me immediately assume she is a photographer or photography is one of her interests. It also made me guess that her blog might be focused on her photography. Here is the image I am referring to:

Image taken from Magali’s blog.

After reading her “about me” I got a better idea about her blog and her interests. Magali mentions what One More Klick (her blog name) features, “One More Klick features a blend of photography, the outdoors, and travel”. The way Magali has her header on the top of her blog laid out, is simple and effective. It allows the viewer to choose what they specifically want to see. One More Klick is also a catchy name because while your clicking through her blog, the name of her blog makes you want to click on something else to see more of her “story”. The reason I mentioned the word story, is because she Magali has a slogan on her front page that says “every klick has a story”.

While hopping from post to post and reading Magali’s “about me” page, I have got the sense that she is adventurous and a great photographer. Her visuals are very intriguing and captures my attention. That is probably because I love photography and travelling.

I would thinking that Magali’s suggested audience would be people who are just curious to know about her adventures and maybe visit some of the places she has visited. I can see locals as well as people from other places visiting her blog. The ages probably would range from 18-40. The intended audience group would most likely be people that have similar interests to Magali and her blog, and that would be travelling, photography, and the outdoors.

Couple suggestions I have for Magali’s blog would be to have her social media linked to the icons. Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis mentions in Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, “Mainstream social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are used by members of the far-right to spread extreme messaging to large numbers of people and to seed topics for journalists”. I would suggest Magali having social media platforms linked to her blog, especially Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. The reason I think YouTube would be good for her to have is because when she goes to the places she visits, she could video the sites she visits or upload interviews with local people. Another suggestion I have is to add all the images she has uploaded on her blog to her gallery section. When I click there, there were not any images, and knowing that photography is a major area to her blog, that would be essential.

Overall, I enjoyed visiting and exploring Magali’s blog. I loved her photographs she has captured and I am looking forward to seeing more!

You can visit Magali’s blog, One More Klick, here.

Drop

This week in class we’ve been talking about the final presentations. It’s weird to think that the semester is almost over, but its a good feeling. Even though I’m not presenting in front of the panel, I still myself getting anxious as we near the end of the course.

Accepting Change: Meet Bean

this is bean

I heard a little bell around 3 A.M.

I walked into my kitchen and was greeted by my new furry friend. 

On March 11th, I was sick in bed and was sleeping away. My phone started to ring and it was my mom, who I obviously had to answer.

She texted me a photo of a 7 month old tabby cat that needed a new home. “Bean” was the name. 

She asked me if I thought she was “cute.” I said “yes,” thinking it was just a casual question. 

“Should we get her?” was the next. 

I was very hesitant about the decision and cried for several hours later next to our cat, Scarlett.

Almost 3 years ago, I lost my beautiful cat, Rainbow. We had her since I was 2 years old and she was our absolute pride  and joy, the best television watching pal, and had so much love to give everyone.

During our time with Rainbow, we also got another cat, Scarlett.

Rainbow always made sure to show Scar who the boss is. Scarlett is a less affectionate cat but jumped right on my lap when I had to say my last goodbye to Rainbow.

Since then, Scarlett and I have become closer. We formed a bond when I came back from New York and I was very scared to let another cat come into our life. 

I was afraid to let my memory of Rainbow fade and have a new “replacement” of her. 

I came home after a long Tuesday and was about to meet Bean for the first time.

My life changed for the good.

What was once hesitation is now pure happiness. 

I learned that Rainbow will never be replaced and I am blessed to have those memories with her to hold on to forever. To reflect back on. Those will never change.

Only a week later, Bean has acted like a therapy cat to me. Between her cuddles, noises, excitement to see me… she gives me so much that I was missing.

I am writing this in the middle of the night just filled with love. In fact, I am currently refereeing a fight Scarlett is trying to start with Bean.

All of the hard times I face and tough days, she helps heal them. Pet’s really do cure all.

Scarlett is not a fan of Bean (yet) and it has been very hard to accept. 

I know the time will come when they get used to each other.

But for now, I appreciate both of their love.

And for the first time…

I am thankful for this change. 

Featured Image Reference: @BlueBittyMoon on weheartit

The post Accepting Change: Meet Bean appeared first on Starlight Adventures.

NYE

A new start in a new city, a new year, new everything. Time went by way too fast in 2018, it didn’t feel like new years eve. New years eve always felt so important and big to me, but that added the pressure to make sure it was perfect. Trying too hard to make something perfect never works out. This was the first year I just went with the flow and planned nothing until the night before. I had an amazing night.

Every year I thought way too hard for the resolution of the year and I promised myself that this year I wouldn’t decide on anything, or else nothing will actually happen. I just promised to go with the flow and have a good year. What happens happens. I went through way too much change within the past year and this night was about celebrating going through all this change. Celebrating the good that happened and overcoming the bad.

We found our way to a house party filled with strangers, but ended up being our best friends for the night. The lights, the music, the people, it was a great atmosphere. Everyone was so lively I couldn’t stop talking to people. I love that about here, people are open and friendly to conversation. I was having too much fun I didn’t even bother with the “perfect” countdown. That was the whole idea this year, no pressure, just go with the flow. I met incredible people, and even made conversation with someone about Bali.

I had my girls and we were all happy, I didn’t want the night to end. It’s still so hard to believe that 2018 is over and now we’re in 2019 and it’s almost the end of the semester. It actually makes me feel quite sad that time is moving a bit too fast. Yet makes me realize how much I’m experiencing here for it to move this fast, it’s exciting.

What do you want to be remembered for?

About a year ago I came across a girl on YouTube named Claire Wineland. She was 21 year old girl with cystic fibrosis who documented the ups and downs of her journey living with this disease on YouTube. I watched a couple of her videos and thought that she was an incredible girl, but didn’t keep up with her past those couple of videos. Then, in September of 2018, I heard she had died one week after receiving her long awaited lung transplant. In sad situations like these where life doesn’t make sense or seem fair, I tend to try and forget about the story to save myself from heartbreak. However recently, I came across Claire again amongst my recommended videos on YouTube. Her video was a part of a series called My Last Days produced by Justin Baldoni. Justin created this series to find out and share the unique perspectives of life from people who are dying. A more detailed description of his series can be found here.

I watched Claire’s episode, Meet Claire, Finding Beauty in the Sadness, and what she said brought me to full blown tears, “you don’t need to know you’re dying to start living.” Something so simple that essentially everyone knows, but so many people forget to put into practice; myself included. We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we often forget what a gift each day truly is; that each day is a new opportunity for us to make a positive impact in the world.

Hearing Claire say this lead me to reflect on what I want to be remembered for during this little life of mine. The fact of the matter is, we all have an expiration date and none of us know when it is. So I asked myself, “if I die tomorrow, what will I be remembered for?” I can only hope that I will be remembered for how I made others feel. In my 23 years of life, I hope I’ve made the people I’ve crossed paths with feel as though they are loved for exactly who they are and that they are innately deserving of love and belonging. I also hope I’m remembered for actively spreading and practicing kindness, as that is a daily goal of mine. Claire said that we have no control over when we die, however we do have control over creating a life that we’re proud of, and at this point, I will say that I am proud of my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t have room for improvement though because I always will! I feel as though we tell ourselves that we’ll have time to create this life we’ll be proud of someday. We tell ourselves that we’ll start doing things when we have the money and time. But how do we know we will have this time? Since Claire new roughly when her expiry date was (which not many of us do), it was obvious through the way she spoke how much she saw every day as a gift and was actively making the most out of every second she’d been given.

What if we all lived like we were dying tomorrow, like Claire did? What would you do differently? How would you treat others differently? I know this is a short blog this week, but really, it all boils down to one question: what do you want to be remembered for?

Rest in peace, Claire Wineland. Thank you for dedicating your life to serving others and teaching me how to treat every day as the gift it truly is. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Image from: AARC

If you would like to donate or find out more about Claire’s Place Foundation, you can check out the website here.

Marketing

Process post #10

After guest speaker Darren Barefoot, from Capulet Communications spoke about the different marketing strategies, their experience, it opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on marketing. Especially after reading Internet Trends Report 2018 by Marry Meeker , the rise in social media use and internet in marketing is so fast paste, different strategies need to be used to truly be authentic.

After the small interactive exercise in class, where we had to call out the random words on the papers displayed, each title had a story and a creative marketing strategy. It caught my attention, especially realizing that marketing can be far more fun and creative than i thought. With the intense competition, the repetitive marketing tools and methods, it is important to think out of the box. As Darren Barefoot mentioned “safe is risky and risky is safe”, something I will stick to from now on. People are looking for an edge and uniqueness in everything. Something “cool” or “uncool” that makes it cool. An emotional touch, or good for the community and the world. This gets the attention. Not that i would only do good for attention, it only makes marketing more meaningful.

Brainstorming possible ideas, nothing came to my head. Marketing a blog is not that simple, creativity can take time and the process of implementing the strategy may take even more time.

My google analytics

Process post #9

My insights and google analytics for my blog is so helpful in understanding where I am going with my online self, and allows me to generate future goals and ideas. When I started Seas to hills, I had no clue where it was going, who my online self was, and that I must admit, I am still figuring it out. Either way, the fact that I even got views makes me so happy and motivated with my blog to continue it.

My audience: 
So far my demographics remain in Canada and surprisingly USA, which got me wondering as i have no relatives or friends living there. In Canada my blog was viewed within BC, Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, as expected. I did not expect people from New York or Dallas to be viewing it however. I have several views from Holland, Indonesia and Australia thanks to my friends scattered around the world. My bounce rate is much lower in Canada, at 50%. Most of my audience were in the 18-25 age range, as I wished for. Also, a greater male viewing, which shocked me as I felt my content wouldn’t interest many male viewers.

Device used:
A greater amount viewed my blog through desktop, as personally I would too. The phone screen adjusts the site layout however does not give the full experience. This gives me more ideas to focus on improving the phone layout and desktop view.

This is a great start for me as I started from scratch, no idea, no clear vision but a growing one. Only knowing that I wanted to blog and am motivated. With the right marketing, target audience, unique touch to my blog, and of course ads, its a start.

Lynn Canyon

After a heavy waffle breakfast, we decided to burn it off on a mini hike. My friend and i took advantage of the beautiful day, sunshine, clear skies, as thats how it is here. When the suns out get out, where in Bali i took the sun for granted. It was rather chilly, i was in my blue jeans, not the best hiking fit. It was damn cold though, but once we hit the sun it felt too good. There was no inbetween, either youre too warm or too cold in the shade. 

We had never even been through this trail, or heard of it. Everyone seemed prepared, we just went with the flow. The best way to go honestly. We walked through the trees, the greenery, nothing im used to. We were amazed we were even living in the moment, walking through such a magical trail i never imagined myself being in. Its funny. 

I loved it, the fresh nature aroma, the air is so fresh it’s actually easier to breathe. We followed the small crowd of people to the water, where we probably spent an hour taking it all in. Appreciating. The water was crystal clear, cold, and all i wanted was to jump in. It was a craving, i havent been swimming or in a body of water since moving here. Back home, swimming was an everyday thing. We skipped stones, well tried at least. Sat and soaked in as much sun on the rocks. 

As we continued our walk to loop back to the start, we realized how much we needed that walk. I needed to get out, get air, destress. I drank the best tasting water from the running stream. The small things like that make me happy. 

Portfolio Entry #8

I have decided to put a pause on new entries for my portfolio and instead, will be going back to some of the people that I have already spoken to and follow up with them and get an update as to where they’re currently at. I was able to speak to Miguel last week to see whats been up with him and here’s what he had to say.

Since the last time we’ve spoke, how have your goals been coming along?

I’ve been able to build a good amount of strength since then. But in terms of my diet, it has still been a bit of a challenge for me. It’s pretty difficult to discipline myself to choose healthier options and is something I’m still working on.

What does your general training split look like per week?

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, I usually do a full body training routine. Every other day I would focus primarily on single muscle groups.

Do you currently take any supplements to help your performance in the gym?

Yes, just pre-workout and protein.

Have you experienced any obstacles that may have slowed you down in being able to achieve your goals that you have set?

The main obstacle that I face at the moment would have to be my form. At the moment, I’m trying to improve my form to prevent any injuries opposed to increasing the weight in my workouts.

If someone wanted to get started on their own fitness goals, but didn’t know how or where to start, what advice would you give them?

I say just go in to the gym and do it and try to get past the self-consciousness.

Peer Review #3: Danny’s Music Blog

For this week’s peer review, I will be reviewing Danny’s Music Blog.

Initial Thoughts:

By scrolling through his blog on the home page, I was able to tell through a quick glance that the concept or theme of his website revolved around music. From a branding perspective, Danny’s website somewhat does present a brand that represents him, which does come in correlation with being able to strategize some sort of business avenue for his brand. What I mean by this is that because there are many blogs and websites that talk about music already, it raises the question as to how is Danny’s website different from all the other ones? or how can Danny make his brand unique and stand out in front of others?

One suggestion that was made in his site’s second peer review was to make his blog more personalized, which I think is a great way to be able to address the general challenge of being able to differentiate your own work from others and make it stand out to the point where your consumers will keep wanting to see more. Although Danny has already addressed the suggestion from the second peer review to elaborate more on why he chose music or why music is important to him in his “About” page on one of his process posts, I do think that the entire post would be more appropriate and suits his about page perfectly.

I really like the idea of his weekly playlists that he shares every week and how he gives a description of how the music in the specific playlists reflects his mood. I think it would be cool if something similar was done in his “Quick Reviews” posts by providing his personal thoughts on each album he talks about, and perhaps a reason why a particular song from an album may be his favourite.

Lastly, a minor change that could be made is to hide your PUB 201 work from your homepage, that way your PUB 201 posts don’t overrun your main blog posts. A simple plugin I would suggest using that can do that for you is called “WP Hide Post.”

As someone who enjoys music himself and can’t go anywhere without it, I really look forward to seeing what else Danny has in store for his blog. Want to check out his blog yourself? click here!

Changing your makeup for Summer

Change your makeup like you change your style for every season. Sometimes people don’t remember to change how they do their makeup for each season. I’m not saying to change it for fall, winter, spring and summer. I’m saying that if you have a makeup routine for the winter climate, you’re going to need to change it for the summer climate. Here are some tips on how to make the change easy.

  1. Don’t use as much face makeup. This is important because people may load up on the foundation, concealer and powder during the winter time because they can and there is no chance it will sweat off. Now that we are moving into the warm weather, wearing that much face makeup can be dangerous because it is super easy for it to sweat off. My advice would be to either use a BB cream so it is a lighter product that you are putting on your face or to just use concealer on your face. I suggest using these products because it is less stuff on your face and if it is super-hot ,you don’t have a lot of product sinking into your pores.
  2. Also I would suggest on using a serum instead of a moisturizer. I would use serum because personally, I find it less thick then moisturizer and it makes you look dewier then what you would naturally look like.
  3. A lot of people probably think I would suggest changing your normal makeup to waterproof makeup. I WOULD NOT! I personally hate waterproof makeup and I would never suggest it just because I feel like it never comes off. Obviously if you feel like it is necessary to wear makeup if you are going swimming or just hanging out by the beach then you do you. I would honestly just say to go out without makeup if you are confident enough.
  4. Sunscreen before putting on makeup or make sure your face products have SPF in them.

I know I don’t have a lot tips but these are the main ones that I think are the most important. Hope you guys have learnt something and decide to change up your makeup routine for spring/summer.

Thank you for reading!

xx

Peer Review #3

STYLExVeronica

I have gotten the privilege of reviewing Veronica’s blog ‘Veronicaaarstad’. At first glance, I can tell that this blog is a fashion blog and more so catered towards girls. I get that vibe because of the colours used on the home page (pinks & white).

It is very easy to navigate around because there are tabs for everything and you can easily find her posts when you go onto a page. I really enjoy how the about me page is simple but you still learn a lot about her. You get to understand why she decided to make this her blog and how she became interested in this topic.

I really like how her socials are linked at the very top and they are bolded so it is super easy to notice them and want to click on them. The home page of the site definitely makes me more inclined to want to read more because everything is so well put together and it is all organized super nicely.

She has put her site together very nicely because I feel like right when you click into the site, you know exactly what you are about to read because of the design of it. I would say she has made a brand for herself because the whole idea of her blog is reviewing jewellery from Stella and dot. If a jewellery brand was to find her blog they would be super interested to see if she would want to review their product. If I was super interested in Stella and dot jewellery I would definitely keep up with this blog to see all the new products, new trends and what she thinks of the product.

I also really like how she included multiple pictures in her posts because I think it is important for her to show the reader the product she is testing out. Some of the pictures in each post are Veronica wearing the product, one thing I would like to see more of, are pictures of her wearing more of the products because then the viewer can see what the product looks like on someone. To me, I find this very important because people like to see someone wearing a product in day to day life and not just on a model from the website. If they see it in action, then they get a real idea of how it would look on them and then they might be more inclined to buying the product.

Another thing I think Veronica should do is have ads on her blog. I think this is a good idea because she could get jewellers and fashion designers to have their ads appear on her page.

To conclude I really enjoyed browsing Veronica’s page and definitely think you guys should check it out!

Thank you for reading!!

xx

Process Post 10 – Transmedia Integration

We had a wonderful guest speaker in class this week, Darren Barefoot, from the company, Capulet Communications. His talk on multichannel marketing and transmedia integration inspired me to reflect on the various media and channels I promote and growThe Kindness Lifestyle on as a brand, which is not many, and how I can continue to grow my brand past the completion of this course. Currently, I promote my blog posts on my Facebook account, and that is all. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I’m not one to keep track of followers and analytics, however for the sake of this post I will pretend I do and consider what I would conduct in order to grow The Kindness Lifestyle as a brand through transmedia integration.

As we’ve discussed in class, as well as discovered through my own experiences, it’s evident that one of the dominant “channels” used to promote websites, ads, companies, etc. is social media. Specifically, there are a few superior ones which include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube. Of these five, I currently have two for my own personal use; Facebook and Snapchat. According to Hootsuite, as of 2019 the world’s population is 7.676 billion, and of those people, 3.484 billion are active social media users. Considering this, my first plan of action would be to create accounts on each of these social media platforms under The Kindness Lifestyle. Although this would be stepping out of my comfort zone, I would also make a YouTube channel where I would discuss the topics that I write about in my blog. Marketers have said that video has become more powerful than text as it’s more memorable, probably because it appears more personal to the viewer. Having a YouTube channel would be a way to grab another audience’s attention and direct them towards my blog, but also a way to grow my brand as a whole.

However, Darren Barefoot also discussed the notion of “heartbeats and remarkables” when it comes to marketing, and social media was considered a heartbeat. He described “heartbeats” as the basics of marketing that all companies and brands have such as email lists, websites, and social media. Remarkables on the other hand are the exceptional marketing tactics that catch the consumers’ eye; some of them include PR stunts, gimmicks, pop-up events, and unique fundraising mechanisms, to name a few. An example of a remarkable marketing tactic can be found here. Relating back to my website and brand, an effective way to draw people’s attention to The Kindness Lifestyle could be creating an original remarkable. It’s evident that social media isn’t enough to promote a brand these days as everyone has it; it’s simply a necessity, or heartbeat, in the marketing world at this point. However, I was curious if it would be more effective to conduct a remarkable marketing stunt when you have a significant following, or conduct it despite a significant following as a way to make people curious enough to search your brand and see what it’s all about. When considering this, maybe I should take Darren Barefoot’s advice of “safe is risky and risky is safe” in the marketing world.

What I Learned As A Teenager

On September 2nd of 2018, I had to say goodbye to my teenage years and hello to my twenties. I personally feel like my teenage years ended when my mom cancelled my Seventeen Magazine subscription. It was a weird feeling to not have my age end with “teen” anymore. It feels bittersweet. I also find it weird that this is the decade I will have to truly become an adult. I have no idea what these years will hold but that makes me excited. I may move across the country, land my dream career, could potentially get married, see my friends have kids, and all things in between. Yikes.

I would say I have had the “typical” teenage experience. I experienced a lot of “firsts” from first “date” to first “heartbreak” (lol), skipped school to go to McDonalds, went on midnight drives and adventures with friends, sent those risky texts, had a room full of J-14 posters, went through a black eyeliner phase, spent summers at the lake and in my backyard with my best friends, turned the legal drinking age, had a Twitter fan account for various celebrities (which I have been forced to use because Twitter locked me out of my original account), and just truly lived my best life.

It has definitely been years of exploring, loving, and learning. One thing I am proud of is through all of this transition is that I have not lost myself. Being a teenager can be a really hard and a confusing experience. You don’t really know yourself and are trying to find out while juggling life.

I can proudly say I am still the Taylor Swift Loving, Concert Obsessed, Lost and Insecure, Sushi and Starbucks Loving, basic white girl you all know! I have dreams of living in a big city with my dream job and having a lowkey Hannah Montana life raising a family in the countryside. I want to open my own agency and potentially start my own magazine. I never would have thought my love for all things pop culture could lead me to this whole field. I hope to travel the world doing what I love and continue to live my best life. I hope one day I make an impact on someone’s life for the better.

Now, on a serious note, I decided to make this post to reflect on what I have learned and experienced through the years of being a teenager. Whenever I post something, I hope it helps someone in someway.

I hope you take something away from this post that could benefit you, help you from not making the same mistakes I have, blackmail me, realize you are not alone, anything.

Now, I present you the journey I have experienced as a quirky and relatable teen!

Take A Chance On Life

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Something I have learned is to give everything a try, even if it may turn out really bad.

I regret skipping out on a job interview when I was 15 because I was too nervous to go. I could have started gaining experience and breaking out of my shell earlier on, but my mental health is alwaysgoing to be more important. Thankfully I have come around and am not afraid of taking chances.

I wish I didn’t care SO much about what people thought about me growing up. I would not want to wear certain things, dye my hair, and many other things because I thought people would secretly think it was weird.

Here is my first story: I decided to be a wild pre-teen and add blonde streaks to my hair in the 6th grade. People definitely thought it was weird, even telling me it looked like “Halloween.” I kept that hair till grade 9. I think people were just so used to seeing me as the same person all their life that me doing something drastic threw them all off. I also used to have a unibrow, that someone “kindly” pointed out to me in elementary. I tried to fix it myself in my mom’s bathroom and ended up shaving off half my eyebrow before my softball windup party. Honestly, I am blessed with the thick Italian gene brows that people strive for these days, so I should have embraced it. It wasn’t until last summer that I truly realized I need to put MYSELF first. Wear the clothes you want, cut your hair, love who you love, and all the things.

I am so thankful that I got over my freshman year of university shy self and joined a sorority sophomore year. It has brought me a community of support and I do not think I would be enjoying the whole university and life as an adult experience without them. I am currently very content in where my life is at right now. I am happy I can say that.

I am so for the whole “shooting your shot” mentality when it comes to dating and anything. I mean… it has failed for me every time I have tried but it is still worth a try! Slide in their DMs, ask for their number, apply to that job, just do it! I see all of this as, what is the worst that can happen? Rejection sucks but the sooner you try the quicker you can get over it and move onto the next. You will learn if you are wasting time that you could be putting into something better.

Balancing The Obstacles

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I have dealt with a lot growing up. Some things I am not comfortable sharing. One thing I have learned is to take a step back and pinpointing what is important.

One ongoing obstacle that I am slowly feeling ready to open up about is my problem with my body and eating. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a hard time loving the way I looked and allowing myself to eat certain things. It is still something I deal with today, but I have learned it is okay and will take time to find a balance. It was hard discovering social media at such an early age and seeing all of these perceptions of what the expected body is and the look you need to have. Social media has changed the perception of my body. It is really hard to look past all of it and love who I am, but I make sure to remember I am doing the best I can and not feeling too guilty about how I may not be “living up to the idea image.”

Balancing my studies and social life has been awkward. I definitely found myself living a more social life this past fall semester and having my grades slip. I have such FOMO and do not want to remember my university years missing out on things I won’t be able to do in a few years because I have to do a reading. This upcoming year, I am going to make sure I find a balance and use my planner efficiently. I will find ways to allow myself to have a social life but making sure I maybe do a page or so of an essay before then. I blame my high school for making me a major procrastinator.

I think it is hard to help people find a balance, because we all have our own priorities. Knowing what is important in your life and letting yourself be wild can take time to balance. Education and mental health is important.

Take Risks, live in the moment (“My parents live in Ohio.” I had to), set goals, and take control of your life.

The One Where I Cried In A Club

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Now, probably the most *tea* filled part of this post and adventure during my teenage years that I just needed to add because it was just… so dramatic.

A little disclaimer- You know I love you, but I kindly ask you to not message me questioning who these stories are about. (If you know, please do not leak it HAHA). Although part of what I do is producing content on the internet, I do have a private life and a lot that I do not share. You know I am always down for a conspiracy, but I share what I feel comfortable with and have (hopefully) moved on from the situations and would not like to relive them. But, as always, I have a lot of saved tea to spill for some future endeavours… so I will share all eventually (in detail), but for now, this is the only cup filled.

Inspired by one of my favourite content creators, Katy Bellotte, she wrote a post on her blog thekatyproject.com titled Almost-Lovers, and it basically talked about all of the boys she has had “things” with that could have potentially been lovers, but of course, has ended the same as they all do. Ghosting, second choices, ignoring you at parties, and all things inbetween. Every person has left us with a moment they cannot take away. After recently listening to her podcast (Thick & Thin), I have decided to share the first time I truly felt a “heartbreak.” A.k.a I discovered I do have a heart and can feel things. Crazy!

Well, this is not the story I am telling (mainly because I forgot why) but in the first grade something happened with my “crush” and all I remember is laying on my parents bed, faced up at the ceiling, and aching inside. I really wish I knew why but that was the first time I FELT heartbreak. How random. ANYWAYS, this is my more grown up story of the time I cried in the club over someone who I thought felt the same way I did. (Narrator- we still do not know if they did, but that is besides the point. At the time, I assume THEY DID NOT).

A month or so before I was literally the “I don’t know why I’m crying in the club right now” meme, I met someone who I instantly felt a connection to. I ignored the feeling at first because I haven’t experienced that feeling in years. Since then, I still haven’t. It wasn’t until a few people came up to me a week later telling me they noticed it too and asked me about it.

I do not trust anyone these days. Even the thought of them being interested was not enough to make me BRAVE and talk to them more. Little did I know what was going to happen in the months to follow.

I pushed the feeling aside and ignored it. I was not going to go through another ninth grade dance watching my crush sway with my friend to “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 and having a single tear roll down my cheek. CLASSIC. My best friend still makes fun of me for it TO THIS DAY and we decided to make a playlist of all the songs I have cried to. (You’re Welcome.).

ANYWAYS.

My friends event was coming up and I was really excited to see everyone again and go out. The day before, this person messaged me asking if I was busy that day. I will never forget seeing “ This person is typing…” for the first time since we met and feeling like I was in some Taylor Swift song.

Of course I was busy that day, so I told them but we had a plan to meet up later on and just say hello. 

I was not comfortable going out alone, so my friend was going to come with me but got sick and did not stay long at the club and at this point I was already drinking and there was no way I could have gone.

I was messaging them throughout the night and it was going really well. But, here is the downfall: When I was in the club, I told them I couldn’t leave because I was, well, not functioning, and did not want to leave my friends. They were trying to find ways to see me but ultimately it was just not going to happen. I could feel something coming.

All I remember reading was “Okay. Whatever.” and I was SHOOK. It felt like everything that could have potentially happened was destroyed and they had given up on me. I thought I ruined something that could have grown.

My friend that was with me messaging them was like, “are you okay?”. I say “yes”, as tears are streaming down my face. If I have learned anything these years it is that I have MASTERED hiding my crying. There have been so many times I have been in the car or in public bawling and no one notices. Maybe no one cares about me but I like to think I mastered the art of hiding my emotions.

Through the loud music, people dancing, friends giving me the classic “You are so much better! He’s not worth it” pep talks, I felt an overwhelming about of emotions I have never experienced.

It was later when I got home (after finally finding a taxi. @Vancouver, why is it so hard?) I realized it was the beginning of what was going to be a new found feeling I have never experienced before.

I sat on my bathroom floor like the dramatic teenager I was and cried to “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift. Random song selections, I know. I laugh at it now but at the time I was so sad! Tragic.

I ultimately got up and continued to live my best life because I had to go to work in a few hours. But since that moment, I have seen this person here and there. The feelings are not as strong, but something has stayed consistent and has worn off. I have seen people in between these times, but I have not found anything close to the feeling I found. And that is okay. I looked at this as being thankful I even found a feeling worth holding onto and know it is out there somewhere.

So moral of the story is: Feelings are weird and I am not a fan. I have definitely grown a lot since that moment and thank this summer for giving me the time to realize my worth and learn. The Emily at that moment thought this was the end of something special, but today I know there is so much more to experience and it is not worth the tears. I can now say I will not settle or fight for anything I feel is not reciprocated. I know love is out there and time has been my bff.

Even though this was a dramatic experience with an awkward ending (a story for another day), I thank this person for helping me realize my worth and discover this feeling. As Katy said:

“He or she was not just a failed attempt at what you will eventually have with someone else. Every potential relationship is either love, or a lesson. Don’t look at it any other way.”

Like, Realizing Things

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I guess ultimately I can say that it is WILD how nothing truly matters.

Everything I cried about, was worried for, and thought I would never get over, eventually wore off. I think I have just become numb to everything that used to bother me and I am kind of glad.

Of course, there are some things I do need to worry about. I will worry about them when the time comes and continue to just live in the now.

Life is hard. Being a teenager was hard. Trying to find your place in this world and living instead of just existing has taken some time but I am happy with where I am at.

A Special Note

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I just wanted to say thank you to my family, friends, sisters, mentors, teachers, and everyone who has played a part in getting me to where I am today. I am so lucky!

I Am Left With This

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  • I am a firm believer of dress like you are okay with that outfit being your ghost outfit for the rest of your life
  • Elle Woods is my queen
  • Appreciate your family
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • School work is not worth the cost of your family
  • It is okay not to know what you want to do in life
  • Order your favorite dessert
  • Send that text
  • Be unapologetically yourself
  • Quality over quantity
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can grow with and conquer life with
  • Give everyone a chance
  • I will be on a reality show one day
  • Be confident
  • LIVE
  • Spend all your money on concert tickets
  • Remind people how much you care for them

In my 20’s, I am not letting anything hold me back. I am taking this time to be unapologetically myself and live the best life I can for me.

*All photos are my own*

The post What I Learned As A Teenager appeared first on Starlight Adventures.

Process Post 9 – Data Trails

As, Suzanne Norman (2015) reflects, “so much for the data trap.” In the Bezosphere of 2019, data governs decisions, policies and movements, but as everyday web civilians, what does our trail mean? How do we contribute to analytics, and as such, how does our online behavior dictate what we see, what is created and how, as bloggers, we design, re-design and promote what we post and share?

In the past month, Google Analytics has shown that ReRouted has had 28 users, 63 sessions, 28.57% bounce rate and an average of 5 minutes and 58 seconds spent on the site. This bounce rate is considerable, particularly now, as it’s significance was discussed in tutorial, and I hope to believe its due to my content and not just family members and friends reading a couple pages of this blog. The average length of a session seems to match the length of a post or two. So, it makes sense having these two analytics do ‘well’ in terms of an amature blog.

As noted by the Pod Academy (2016), our blissful lack of awareness in leaving breadcrumbs of ourselves online is something we’re not entirely aware of, and unlike brick and mortar libraries and bookstores, what we touch is counted, assessed and re-presented to us as marketing chameleons. Our blogs then, become digital shapeshifters; responding to what is required in order to elicit activity and move users towards content that generates data we like to see. The question is, does Google utilize analytics as a kind resource for bloggers and developers alike, or is it a self-serving service that gives them access to ours, as well as our readers’ information? Moreover, does this matter?

Here, Brian Mac Namee (2016) suggests that yes, we leave data trails everywhere we go, but this is the world we live in, and like other things we have come to accept, we must forge ahead and understand that there are consequences of convenience. Further, he argues that data trails do not equate to a dystopian now, but rather, these are algorithm breakthroughs that are exciting from the perspective of science. On Apparel, Venkat Viswanathan (2017) agrees, but from a consumer perspective; we are leaving an identifiable residue of activity that teaches us about consumption, impulsivity and behavior. Is this ethical? I’m not certain I am the right person to suggest either side of the fence, but in living within a digital world that targets my interests, shares my data and influences what I see, I offer my implied consent.

This begs the question; are we aware of what we are contributing to; this murky pool of data? If we apply the concept of implied consent, can our understanding suggest to the omnipotent social creators like Google, that we accept all ramifications of dropping data behind us for the collection and interpretation of others? Alternatively, what factors jeopardize implied consent, such as age, ability, demographic, disability, etc? Do people really know what they’re getting themselves into, and if they do, is it too late for them to wash the trail behind them?

Is our information public? This question has been of contentious debate, which you can read about here, but in consideration of our understanding of the Internet as a public space, we should, as we would in a mall or library, be aware that our activity is not private. Education and awareness is fundamental in providing society the tools, or at least the knowledge, that our actions are observable, and while less pervasive, our purchases have always been recorded. So, are Google and Amazon the culprits of this contention, or is it capitalism in general? We are quick to blame technology, but like a race to the finish, we’re always pointing fingers at whomever crosses the line first.

is anything free anymore?: process post #9

in creating my infographic for our most recent mini-assignment, I came to a conundrum and was being told I would have to pay in order to save my image. The things is, when I went onto the website to make my infographic I was told the site was free, but there was a premium option. Although, seeing as I don’t have any foreseeable plans to make more infographics in the future, I wasn’t interested in paying for premium. Although, when time came to try and save my infographic that I had just spend hours upon hours making — all it was allowing me to do was “publish” it. which meant I could “save” my infographic, but only to the section of my profile titled “my designs”. I was not able to download the image or share it with others, unless I was to pay for one of their premium programs.

images are screen grabs from the Venngage site

luckily I thought of a loophole for myself, which was taking a screen grab of the infographic, even though that kills the quality of the image — I was desperate and needed to get the mini assignment finished.

Although, this then got me thinking about whether or not anything is really free anymore. I know that technically it never has been with ads, but it seems to me almost everything requires a subscription these days. For example, I signed up for a Vimeo account the other day so I could upload a video I made for my top 2018 movies blog post. Although little did I know, one has to pay to be able to upload more than 500mb of data a week. That being said said, it was necessary for me to use Vimeo over Youtube, because I knew that if I posted it on youtube my video would get flagged for copyright immediately. (because of the music)

Vimeo premium options

Although, if you have been on youtube in the past couple years you would know that not even that site is completely free anymore. There is now the option for youtube premium — which I am promptly asked if I want to upgrade to, every time I accidentally close the app when i’m watching a video my phone. This is because youtube premium will supposedly let me continue the video once the app is closed. Along with other features like no ads, access to youtube original shows, and music. And, along with youtube premium there are now exclusive channels that you can pay $5 a month for that give you extra content from some of your favourite youtubers. The $5 is not a whole lot of money, but it’s interesting to see the way free entertainment from youtubers has evolved. And while ad-free youtube sounds good, is it really worth $11.99 a month?

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To me it is interesting to see the way the internet is evolving, especially when it comes to what is free and what is not free. I remember being 13 years old and on Facebook when there was a rumour going around that we would soon have to pay to use it. 13 year old Emma was terrified. I also remember a time when there weren’t ads on instagram, which is pretty crazy to think now. But in the end, it’s true that people are bothered by ads and it seems that some — even most — would pay some extra cash just to get rid of them. would you?


15 Things that I am grateful for

  1. I am grateful that I am breathing.
  2. I am grateful that I have a healthy and functional body that allows me to do whatever I’d like.
  3. I am grateful that I have a roof over my head.
  4. I am grateful for dance and everything that it has helped bring into my life.
  5. I am grateful for my mother and everything that she has done for me.
  6. I am grateful that I have enough money in my bank account to never starve.
  7. I am grateful that I have friends in my life that support and understand me no matter what. They make me feel belonged and loved. (If you know you know)
  8. I am grateful that I am living my dance dream at the moment. Being a part of the 247 fam has brought me nothing but joy.
  9. I am grateful for all the resources that I have access to for my learning in life.
  10. I am grateful for the city I live in, a place full of opportunities. I am exactly where I need to be at this moment.
  11. I am grateful for the sunshinewalking into the sunshine
  12. I am grateful for all the ‘mistakes’ ‘failures’ that I’ve ever encountered, and how they have led me to where and who I am today.
  13. I am grateful for every connection that I’ve made living this life, even the ones that I no longer hold onto. Every single person has contributed to my growth in some sharp or form.
  14. I am grateful that I am overwhelmed at the moment. That means I am being challenged, and I am powerful enough to push through. Because the universe only hands me what I can handle.
  15. I am grateful for this moment, right now.

The post 15 Things that I am grateful for appeared first on Heyy, Jessie.