30-Day Blogging Challenge: Day 1

I wrote this 30-day challenge a while back in hope that it would get me going. It’s only taken over a year for me to finally get a crack at it. I thought with the new month here (even though it’s 31 days) I would finally delve into this series. Feel free to join me, let me know if you do! So first day here we go!

About Me:

My name is Mary (duh) I am a recent college grad with a love for the internet (obviously). I like to drink decaf coffee at night time to prepare for bed. I have the greatest cat in the world. I aspire to be a freelance writer and blogger.

I went to college in Frederick, MD and never wanted to leave, so I didn’t. I got a job outside of DC and take a hellish commute every day two times a day, but it’s honestly worth it to live in a place that holds such a big piece of my heart. I’m originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and while that will always be home, it was not a place I wanted to move to post-grad. I love my family and friends back there, but I needed something different, aka I wanted to be closer to Target.

I love Jesus and my friends call me mom, which is the perfect segway into my next point: the suburban soccer mom without the kids.

My Blog: Mary’s Average Adventures

Formally called: Mary’s Completely Average Adventures, later shortened because to be quite frank I forgot about the completely part of it, also it flows better now. When I was leaving for college I wanted to start to better document my life and thoughts and feelings, so here is all of that. I kept it a secret from my friends and family for a good bit, then decided to do a year of daily blogging, which is when I started sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Originally, I planned to literally record the most mundane of adventures; hence the title. However, it morphed into its own niche over the years. From college blogger, to what I would call lifestyle, I’ve blogged about it all.

I have a lot of thoughts about a lot of things and I like to think people care about what I have to say, so it’s all here. I would say 99.9% of my thoughts over the past 4 years are documented right here on this site. Blogging has brought me a community of friends, support, and amazing people that while I have never met them face to face, many have impacted my life significantly.

My blog was created as an outlet for my creativity and thoughts; when it reality it has turned into much more than that.

What brought you to blogging?

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2016 Goal Review

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I know I have a tendency to put the two together, but really that’s annoying long so enjoy the reflection the day before the goals this year!

So basically my goals for 2016 were fewer so I’d be more apt to complete them all, however, that was a bust and I don’t know if I completed any, but here we go anyway:

Take better care of myself- I feel like I am so weird about chemicals that I put on my body, so I need to be more careful about what chemicals I put into my body too. I eat crap. I care but I don’t. I put way too much processed foods in my body and I really do need to be better about it. 

Blog better and often- I want to blog as much as I can as often as I can. I want to be a better blogger. This is the only post besides LNBM that goes up past 7 pm. I want to utilize drafts and just be better with planning. I don’t want to be a daily blogger, but I want to be a frequent blogger. I don’t want to commit to a certain number of days, I just want it to be often. Lesson learned, I need a schedule. Without one, it won’t get done it becomes less of a priority for me because there is no pressure to do it. 

Find an internship- self-explanatory. I want to expand my professional horizons and make sure I know what I want to do. I found three! I worked at the Downtown Frederick Partnership last semester, have one at home over break, and I got one for next semester. 

Give 100% to everything- this ties in with biting off more than I can chew. I want to do a few things but put all of my effort into those few things that way I can give 100% to everything I’m doing. Well, my therapist tells me that I need to learn how to say no, and she’s right. I’m always biting off more than I can chew, it’s a real problem that I have and maybe I will get better at it, and maybe I won’t. 

Create more- I just want to be more creative, make sure I’m always expanding that part of my mind. Nope. Honestly, I would have to say that 2016 has been my least creative year. I’d like to blame it on something but I don’t know what to blame it on. 

Be more open to new ideas and things- I want to try more. I always do the same mundane things and I want to keep all of the new of 2015 going. I am proud to say that the last few months I have been really good at saying yes, and trying new things. They might also be mundane, but at least they’re new mundane. 

A year scrapbook- part of being creative and  part of keeping track of my life. I take so many pictures, I want to do something with them. I want it to be a yearly thing, so I will see how it goes during 2016. Back to the creativity thing, I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year. There is not enough to make a scrapbook out of, which is kind of sad. I guess it happens though. 

So maybe I wasn’t as successful, but I’m really looking to 2017 as a positive year. I think I do better with odd numbers and maybe that’s what I need. An odd year. How’d you do with your goals or resolutions?

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My First Birchbox!

 

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So I’ve been trying to get more into beauty and makeup recently. I also like to get things in the mail, so I thought maybe I should sign up for a subscription box, what’s the worst that could happen? I hate it and cancel. I did my research, and signed up for Birchbox. Birchbox is all sample sized products, however, for someone like me who is allergic to a lot of products and who doesn’t do their makeup everyday this is honestly kind of perfect. I am always using products way past their expiration date so I think that this is really just a great option. Also, if I love the products, I can review them, get points, and then use those points to buy the full priced versions.

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I was actually surprised how pretty the box was itself. However, I later found out that I did not have tissue paper in mine like most people do, so I found that interesting.

If you are interested in Birchbox for yourself use my code!

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These are the contents of my box (individual reviews below). I personally did not recongize any of the brands, however, I don’t have expansive knowledge on these things so I don’t know if they are really big brands.

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This dr. brandt PoreDermabrasion in 0.25oz. The full size is just over 2 oz, which sells for $58, meaning this sample is about $7.25. However, I think this is about one use, maybe I’ll get two out of it.  The purpose of the product is to unclog pores and refine the appearance of them.  It can only be used twice a week max. That detail alone concerns me. However, I did use it. My skin felt softer. I didn’t notice that my pores seemed any smaller though. I would not purchase it though. It was a nice sample, not worth $58.

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This is the LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in Peachy Sheen, which is from the Birchbox brand. It’s ceaseless and waterproof, and it’s definitely both of those things. This is the full size and sells on the website for $10. I would probably purchase this. I really like how it feels and how it lasts. It’s waterproof, however, it didn’t require a lot of effort to take off at the end of the day. I didn’t need an eyelid primer or with this, it’s a great product. Personally, I would probably pick a different color though. (Swatch at the end)

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This is the PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing & Repairing Shampoo. The full-size retails for $22 at 8 oz, the sample is 1 oz, making it worth $2.75. It’s sulfate free and it’s supposed to soften and strengthen your hair. It smells like a hair salon, which is fine by me.  I’ll use it if I go away on any weekend trips, but I wouldn’t purchase it. I like it less than my regular shampoo. There was nothing wrong with it, but also nothing special if I’m being honest.

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This product is the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50. The three-in-one setting spray sets makeup, controls oil and has UV protection. The full-size retails for $28 at 3.4 oz. The sample size is 0.5 oz, making it worth about $4.12. I think I need to use it again before I make a real review. I think I needed to get a better coverage of my face and not walk a mile in 90 degree weather. However, inside it worked great even when I was sweating a little bit. I’ve heard complaints about the smell, it didn’t bother me at all and I’m usually really sensitive to smell.

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This is the last product in my box, and it’s The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in the color Raisin the Roof. This is a full-sized product worth $14.95 for 0.009 oz. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does twist up. I thought that when I swatched it that it was going to be very sheen and a dark shade of pink. However, for me it’s almost like a nude lip as well as pretty matte. I really like this product and I would consider buying it in other shades.

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Here are the swatches in case you were curious, the shade on the left is the LOC and on the right, the PBJ Smoothie Stick.

What are your favorite subscription boxes? Or what did you get in your Birchbox this month?

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Keeping Busy

About this time of year, every year, I have to keep myself busy. I’m not very patient and I hate to wait, so the wait to go back to school every year really gets me, however, my internal body clock is going of saying “PACK!!!” and “YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO DO” but really I have time to pack and I don’t have much to do yet, but everyone else does, so I’m sure that’s singling something inside of me.

Right now. I’m trying to keep very busy. My hours were cut this week so I’m filling it with things I need to get done. For example, I will finally finishing cleaning my room, getting the dreaded haircut, and hopefully go to the beach.  This will be the rest of my summer. I can’t sit still anymore.

This is the bad part about waiting so long to leave. I have SO MUCH TIME. Which is not something I should complain about since usually I complain about not having enough time. My body clock is just freaking out. Everyone is going, my sisters are getting ready to head back to high school (well I guess Juls is starting!!) and my mom is getting ready too but then there’s me who has to wait for one of the biggest experiences of my life to start.  I just hate waiting.

My patience is being tested but I guess that’s a good thing. It’s that time where you just have to fill up all of your time with little things that so it goes a little faster. I don’t like feeling like I’m wishing away time, but I honestly feel like I’m in limbo. I know the next few weeks until I make it to school to see my friends for a weekend will be long. No one will be home, everyone will either be in college or work or school so it’ll be me and work.

What else should I do to fill up my time? Please tell me! I know the first answer should be finish my vacation blog posts…

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Hiding Behind a Keyboard

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There’s so much hate in the world. Like we can be happy, but the world is not happy. Our environment is dying, we are killing our neighbors, kids can’t eat, and people are having a hard time getting an education, it’s sad, so why are we so mean to each other?

People are mean, I know I can be mean. What I don’t understand- and what really gets to me is cyber bullying and hiding behind a keyboard. It seems like people forget what they say online doesn’t have an affect on the people who are on the receiving end of it. I feel like people think that their words venture into cyberspace and have no repercussions, but they do.

Remember when we were kids and our moms would say “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” that goes for more than just what comes out of our mouths but also out of keyboards. People are much more bold when what they want to say is coming out of their keyboards rather than when it comes out of their mouth. I think we need a new saying, if you wouldn’t say it outloud, should you be sharing it over technology?

Things online are shared at the speed of light. If you say something and it gets shared you can lose a lot. Employers look up what you say online, what are they going to think if all you do is bash people and make fun of people? They aren’t going to want to hire someone that’s mean, it wouldn’t be good for company morale and it doesn’t matter if you would never say anything in person it does no good to do it online either.

There are so many opportunities to be kind and caring online. There are so many chances to be the voice of kindness rather than the voice of harshness and cruelty. I don’t understand why so many people use the internet to spread hate. Everyone has the opportunity to send love and kindness to people throughout the whole world so why not do that? Positive messages can get you so much further and help so many more people

Don’t be negative and mean. Don’t comment nasty things on videos or pictures or articles just because there’s a lot of traction- the mean is what stands out the most and you don’t want to be remembered for being mean or be that person that makes someone’s life harder and hurt them. Be the voice of kindness and love.

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Questions You Should Ask Everyone

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I’m the kind of person who loves to ask questions about anything and everything. This good, like for example I know a lot of weird stuff, however, it makes it harder to watch movies with me, ask my friends. I do think asking questions is the best way to get to know someone too, so here’s a list of questions you should ask everyone you meet (okay maybe not everyone).

  1. What’s your favorite book and why? This can be followed up with questions of themes, plots, character developments, and symbolism. If the answer to this is “I don’t read” I’m at a loss for what to say next.
  2. What’s your favorite movie and why? This can have the same follow up questions as above.
  3. What is your opinion on favorite colors? Now this is a very important question because I’m very curious about people’s opinions on favorite colors, not so much their actual favorite color. I mean you can ask to be polite too.
  4. If you had the power to change the world, what would you change? Obviously this shows someone’s character.
  5. What are your hobbies? You can just find out more about the people you meet and get to know. See if you have anything in common, take some chances.
  6. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? Now maybe this is just a me question because of my love of travel, but I think you learn a lot about someone based on their travel tastes and likes.
  7. What’s the best show on Netflix? Keep asking until they say something you haven’t seen so you can add some to your watchlist- you’re welcome.
  8. Where are you from? My mind works in a very geographical way for some reason so I always try and figure out where people are from in comparison from where I am or other people are, see if I know someone from the same town. It also probably goes back to my love of travel as well.
  9. If you could be in whatever reality TV show, what show would you choose? Just a fun one, personally I would choose like one that I made up. I also wouldn’t be in it, I would just produce it. Or maybe I would be on the Bachelor but I would just be one of the people who get off right at the beginning on the first episode but I would make friends with the girl who becomes the bachelorette, so she could pick one of the leftovers for me. See, I have a whole plot for that.
  10. What is your opinion on icebreakers? I ask this because have you ever met a person who liked icebreakers? Nope, at least not that gets excited about the awkwardness of them when they’re brought up.

Feel free to answer these questions in the comments! Also add your own go-to questions you ask people you meet!

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Creating.

I wish I was artistically gifted. Like sitting down and just painting an amazing scene. I can sit down and paint “modern” art. Which really means that I pick colors I think look good together, or if I’m feeling wild, all the colors just in lines or squiggles or whatever because it’s very therapeutic. Those people though who draw or paint or make these amazing pictures I just think it’s great and wish I could do it.

While I’m not artistic I would say that I’m creative. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out ways to create things. Like I love to take pictures, which in my opinion does take a creative mind. I love to color, crochet, paint canvases, paint pottery, blog, I love to create. Being creative is seriously one of my go-tos when I’m stressed. I think being creative, or creating is something that everyone should try and do.

Creating is something that is so important for your mind. We are often forced to use our left brain for school and to make logical decisions (I mean who wants to make logical decisions? Not me, but I have to, thanks for that left brain), I think this also forces us to forget about our creative side. There’s more to being creative than making little art projects and DIY’s. Blogging is being creative. I’ve seen some very creative snapchats, Instagrams, even Facebook posts. I think even just writing down your thoughts and ideas is creative.

I believe that everyone should just try and take some time this week to be creative and see what you can do. Let me know what you like to do to be creative, I’m always looking for more ways to be creative!

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Searching for Inspiration.

While I really want to and I am considering going back to daily blogging- I am really struggling for inspiration and I’m looking for some help or tips or something to just get me through the bloggers rut.

When I was daily blogging I think I shared a lot more, readers knew more what was going on everyday. Lately my posts have been messages about whatever, more advice than anything else. It’s not personal other than passive aggressive messages to  people who hurt me. Like seriously if I was daily blogging you would know the ins and outs of my current study abroad struggles or that I got a new job, but I don’t get very many hours. If I was daily blogging this spot would go back to be my little spot where I share all of my frustrations and excitements but when I don’t blog everyday I feel like I should be doing something of quality, do you know what I mean?

So how do you keep your blogging inspiration? How do you keep it personal and full of quality? Do you get personal? I would say keeping my content of high quality but also personal and I think that’s really hindering any inspiration I might get if that makes sense.

Basically I’m just saying help me.

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