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⛤ How I Fell In Love With Crystals ⛤

When I was eight years old, I accompanied my grandmother to Washington state to visit my uncle, who lived out there with his wife at the time. While there, we took a trip up to Mount Rainier - driving up the windy, fogged-covered roads in an old pick-up truck and stopping for herds of silently moving deer crossing the pavement. There were a couple of stops along the way to admire a small waterfall or nab a photo of the rushing creak water under a bridge. 
But it was up at the top, inside the gift shop, that I found something that spoke to me.
There was a large bin of gemstones, each of them available for about $0.25. I remember digging through pieces of jagged chunks of amethyst and quartz until my tiny child fingers wrapped around the perfect one.


Like pulling the sword from the stone, I was meant to have this particular piece of quartz. Rounded and cloudy at the end, with a sharp pyramid tip, it was exactly the kind of quartz crystal you'd expect to see at the end of a magic wand o…

So you want to teach yourself Japanese? Part One

I took a year of Japanese in university - and in that year of intense study and group projects I had mastered hiragana, katakana, and some Kanji. I was doing well. Then the class was over and I no longer had an opportunity to use what I had learned.

90% of my fluency went up in smoke.

One of my 2019 goals is to re-learn all that Japanese fluency that I lost. I'm pretty much starting from scratch, so if you're also interested in teaching yourself Japanese, I invite you to come along on this journey with me.

Materials:

GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, 2nd Edition
GENKI: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese, Workbook
JapanesePod101 and their Youtube Channel
Memrise.com - Japanese
DuoLingo App - Japanese
Essential Japanese - but ONLY for the audio CD

I also have a variety of handouts, practice sheets, and some flash cards from my old university class. I will strive to provide links to those resources as I'm able to locate them! 

げんきですね〜
I found this fun graphi…

Dear Readers, I feel like a fraud.

Dear Readers,

It's been a rough week.

Actually, it's been a really rough month and a half.

I haven't been unemployed this long in years. And the last time I didn't have a job and a structured routine, I was in a really dark place. My mental health was at an all time low back then and I used to think about suicide, or just giving up, a lot.

I feel like I've been slipping back into that head-space again. And I'm not sure how to stop it.

Being unemployed and stuck at home can give you a lot to think about and reflect on what you want out of your life. It can also make it really easy to spiral down into bad habits - like drinking every night, bingeing Netflix and ignoring all the dishes piling up, and eating microwave popcorn instead of real food for three nights in a row.

It's been a few days since I've showered, too.

So much of my stress lately is tied up in job hunting. Do you know how difficult it is just to get an interview when you only have a few ye…

February Faves: Lipstick, Youtube, and All Things Holographic

1. Lipstick

I randomly acquired six new tubes of lipstick this month. Here's the thing: I don't normally wear lipstick. Like, at all. So this is new territory for me. In order to learn a little bit more about lipstick in general, I decided to give this video from Safiya Nygaard a go....

Not only did I learn some fascinating new information to satisfy my inner historian, I may be on my way to becoming a lipstick fiend.





2. Middle Grade and Young Adult Science Fiction

If I can count on the Goodwill book section for anything, it is for a plethora of old science fiction titles, but I'm always ecstatic to come across those written for a Middle Grade or YA audience. These are the two I picked up recently, Crater of Mystery from Tom Swift and Bot Wars by J.V. Kade.



3.  Holographic Nail Polish

I have Cristine from Simply Nailogical to thank for this one, but I've been loving all things holographic lately, particularly nail polish. These are my two current faves:



4. Warriyo & V…

One Item Three Ways: Leopard Trench Edition

Sometimes, I think Ellen and I might be cut from the same cloth - the same faux fur leopard cloth, that is! Sarcasm In Heels posted her favorite ways to wear a leopard coat a while back and since I also own one, I thought I'd do my take on three fun ways to wear this item: winter/spring edition!


1. With pastels or floral:

I've always been a sap for mixing prints and leopard is no exception. The bold feline print plays nicely with these pastel pink stripes. A neutral bag and black shoes keep the focus right where you want it.


2. With a work dress:

Who says leopard print can't go to work with you? As Ellen so nicely demonstrated with her turtleneck/pencil skirt combo, a printed trench also looks fabulous with a neutral work dress, like this navy blue one.

3. With a 'splash' of color:

A cream tank and khaki shorts keep the outfit otherwise neutral, but the pop of color with the jewelry, shoes and bag liven the whole thing up!


😸😸😸😸😸😸😸

What do you think of these …

Mental Illness and the Workplace

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people from discrimination at work and in public places and programs. It was signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush so it's quite a recent piece of legislature. It's benefit is that it's also the most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation in that it prohibits discrimination and is supposed to guarantee that people with disabilities have the same opportunities in life.

Much like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA is the "equal opportunity" law for those of us with disabilities, physical or mental or otherwise.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission backs up this info.

So what does this all mean, actually?

Well, it means that your employer cannot harass or discriminate against you for having a mental health condition. They are not allowed to fire you, reject you for a job or promotion, or force you to take leave based on your mental health.

However, an empl…

Five More Unpopular Opinions

If you don't remember my last unpopular opinions post (read it here), I shared five of my opinions that are potentially unconventional or controversial and I'm back to do it again! So, here are five more:


1. Ariana Grande is overrated.

2. Valentine's Day is a cheap, consumerist excuse to pretend your relationship is more wonderful that it really is.

3. Pop Psychology isn't funny or cute, it pushes tired, old, and gendered stereotypes....

4. To - do lists are useless and pointless.

5. Millennial pink is a hideous shade. Rose gold is superior.


Agree? Disagree? Come fight me in the comments!

I Should Have Read That Book - A Book Tag

Good morning!

While I wasn't tagged for this one, I spotted the "I Should Have Read That Book" tag over on The Hels Project and couldn't resist. A huge thanks to the creator of this tag, Beth from Books Nest, this was a lot of fun and I hope you all enjoy! 

I tag: anyone who wants to partake! No pressure. ;)

🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮|🕮
Rules:
Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
Answer the questions below
Tag 10 others to take part
ENJOY THE TAG! The QuestionsA book that a certain friend is always telling you to readI can't even count the number of times I was told to read Harry Potter. True facts: I've never read a single Harry Potter book. I think I missed the wave when they were first published and just never caught onto the hype...
A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it upAmerican Gods, by Neil Gaiman. I have no idea why.
A book in a series …

Wardrobe Essentials for the Working Class Minnesota Girl

Minnesota is one of those states that experiences the extremes of each climate - sweltering summers, wet and muddy springs, frigid winters, and crisp autumns. So those of us working and living in Minnesota have learned the fine art of balancing a work appropriate wardrobe that also takes into consideration the weather.

This post contains affiliate links - if you make a purchase using one of the links, I make a small commission at no extra charge to you**


Your Winter Work Look:


My recommendation is to layer up - but to keep your outfit from looking bulky, pair slim fitting pants and a fitted button-down with an oversized and cozy sweater. If your office tends to hover around 40° like mine does, keep a cute scarf handy as well.

Unless you have a car or take a bus that drops you at the door of your workplace, you will likely have to clomp through a bit of snow - a warm pair of winter boots in a neutral color like black or brown are life savers!

You Will Need:


Slim Black TrousersA Button D…

How I Fail At "Adulting" Even Though I'm 31!

Inspired by this post from Sian Katherine, I thought it would be really interesting to examine the ways in which I, a thirty-one year old human being, utterly fail at being an #adult. In recognizing that we all have different abilities based on our cognitive understandings, physical and mental health, and socio-economic privileges, keep in mind that this is all in good fun, based on my own personal experiences, and that there is no one true way to 'adult'.



1. I do not possess a driver's license. When many of my sixteen year old peers were out getting their permits and indulging in six hours of behind-the-wheel training, I was quaking with anxiety and pretty much putting it off entirely. I first got my learner's permit when I was 18 and even though I did some actual driving, never pursued getting my license.

I'm 31, and I've only recently acquired my learner's permit again after at least a decade of no driving.


2. I have never mastered the art of curling my ha…

~ The Deep Questions ~ Tag

So I pulled this questionnaire off tumblr from user fuckyeahsurveys. So let's dive deep into some of our personal feelings and beliefs on a variety of thought-inducing questions.


Deep Questions 1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someones eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel?Oh, this is a tricky one. Eye contact is painfully uncomfortable for me anyhow but I would have to say it's more difficult when someone is telling me their feelings. Being on the receiving end of something like that makes me feel kind of powerless and at their mercy. If it was the other way around, I'd have control of the conversation and would be more confident. I think.
2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. WHY were you angry? Do you still feel the same way?The last time I was really angry happened quite recently, actually. I was met with a barrage of insults and personal attacks late at night, many …

Five Unpopular Opinions

You know what's great about opinions? We all have 'em! So here are a few of mine. Feel free to agree or disagree and tell me if you have any particular opinions often considered "unpopular"! 


1. Pineapple is the best pizza topping. Fight me.

2. Chocolate is disgusting.

3. Gender reveal parties are outdated and need to stop. 

4. The "Instagram Model Eyebrow" is hideous. (You know what I'm talking about.) 

5. Drinking milk over the age of, like, five should be unacceptable.

~5 Facts About Me Tag~

I was tagged by the lovely Geraldine, so here goes: 5 Facts About Me! 


1. I have written three books.
The catch - I've only finished and self-published one of them and I'm honestly so embarrassed that it exists, that I never give anyone the Amazon link to it. But since I'm dusting off my writing chops again and trying to complete a rough draft this year, I'll oblige. Be warned - it's old and definitely NOT my best work!

Anything But Monochrome for Amazon Kindle


2. I speak a bit of Japanese and Korean.

I took a year of Japanese in university and absolutely fell in love with the language. The syntax! The morpheme structure! Three writing systems! I was happy to take on the challenge - I'm a Linguist at heart after all. And Japan is one of those places I've always wanted to visit.

When I began watching K-dramas, I was blown away by how beautiful Seoul and the Korean countryside is, and had to add that to my bucket list as well. I've been learning Korean on…