Dec 30, 2016

Here's to the New Year

2016 has been an amazing year or growth, learning for me, and contrary to most everyone else I actually thought 2016 was an amazing year. I'm a very different person than I was a year ago, and I'm so grateful for the work that the Lord has done in me this year and am excited to see what He has in store for me in 2017.

Usually when this time of year comes around I write up a small New Years resolution list and a few weeks into the year I think of a ton of things I wish I had done and usually come up with several 365 projects. But this year I'm ahead of the game and have been thinking about these things all month long. Here's a few things I'm doing in preparation for the New Year.

1. Writing a letter to myself to open this time next year. This is something I did for myself a couple of years ago but I forgot this year. I really enjoyed doing this so I've decided to write one again this year. My favorite part of this is remembering where I was at life during the time of writing the letter and seeing what sort of things were important in my life at the time.

2. Put together a New Years resolution. This one doesn't need much of an explanation. I usually put together a list each year then forget about it for several months, so I don't know how productive it actually is for me. But I was looking over my list for 2016 a few days ago, even though I had kinda completely forgot about it, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had actually (unintentionally) done a good number of them. I thought it was neat to see several of them that I don't remember being something I didn't do be something that's part of my normal life now. Here's a few of my resolutions for 2017:
            • Read at least 12 books
            • Blog regularly (at least once a week)
            • Learn photography
            • Spend less time on electronics
            • Write more... Like daily

3. I've been so behind with blogging my costumes so I've been getting pictures and posting about all the costumes I made this year but never posted about. I finally got pictures, but now I have to do the hard part and write up the blog posts to go with them...

4. I'm going to start a 365 project for 2017! Like I said already, I usually come up with an idea for this a few weeks or months into the new year, but this time I'm prepared. I want to take a photo a day for every day in 2017. I'll be posting them on my personal Instagram, @thetianaolivia.

So here's to the new year.

And to new adventures.

Bring it on, 2017.

Dec 1, 2016

November Favorites 2016 | Kelly Clarkson, Titanic, and Studio C!

November Favorites!

-Chris Mann's album Constellations. I started listening to this durring NaNoWriMo, and I had listened to a few of his songs before (I saw him in Phantom of the Opera when they were in Seattle last year, but I hadn't listened to any of his music before then) but this November I couldn't stop listening to him. His stuff sounds the best when listening with headphones, just FYI.

-Kelly Clarkson's Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. I'm kinda obsessed with it this year.

-Twinkle lights in my bedroom, though they don't actually twinkle.

-Titanic. Alina and I watched it for the first time and for some reason that neither of us can identify, we're both kind of obsessed. Going into it I had expected it to be kind of... awful. And there were parts that were, but as a whole it was really well put together (plus we saw a ton of actors we knew from other shows). I still can't get over the colors and how sharp the close up shots were...

-Donwton Abbey. I finally started watching, like more than an episode here and there, and I'm so completely obsessed. The setting, the characters, the stories (for the most part), and the costumes. The COSTUMES. It's so beautifully put together. I'm in the middle of the last season and I don't want it to be over.

-Meeting the cast of Sudio C. Yep. That was pretty awesome. I had no idea what to say to them, which didn't really matter since I didn't end up having an opportunity to really say anything (we were rushed through pretty quickly); just seeing them in person was awesome. But seriously, what do you say to the people who inspire you and have filled your life with so much laughter?

-My Moleskin notebook/bullet journal. I finally took the plunge (and by plunge I mean a little dip into a tiny puddle) and bought a Moleskin notebook and have started bullet journaling! Even though I'm horrible at actually keeping up with it, I've really been enjoying it and it's helpful to have a place to keep all of my thoughts and to do lists.

-Lady Gray Tea. I think I technically discovered this in October, but I didn't start really drinking it until this month. I like tea, but I'm very picky about what flavors I drink. I discovered this one and it's one of my favorites!

-Going through old photo's and video's. So I'm really bad about getting pictures and video's off of my camera's and when I do they usually end up in a folder marked as "To Be Sorted" and sit there for... forever. I finally started going through some of those folders from the last 3-ish years and have found some interesting things in there.

-Thanksgiving and Black Friday; can't skip over these two. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and Black Friday is always amazing. I got lot's of good deals this year, but my favorite was the Prismacolor markers I scored for $3 a piece. Now to learn how to use them properly...

-I finished NaNoWriMo (YAY!) with a word count of 52,172 words, but I failed my attempt at 70,000. I wasn't happy with my writing and it was a struggle just to hit 50k, but I'll probably try for 70k again next year.

-We "adopted" a new kitty! By adopted I mean we found her wandering around in our yard and got her to come inside and want to keep her for all eternity (she's so CUTE!). It was clear that she hadn't eaten well in a while and was/is very sick (some sort of eye infection and has a runny nose, and she was underfed). We've been taking care of her and she looks so much better then when we first found her. Still no sign of her actual owners, if she has any. Oh, and we named her Lady Shadow because she shadow's Kokopelli (our other cat, in case anyone doesn't know that) and the neighbor cat, and also because she black. And fluffy. So fluffy! And cute. Did I mention how cute she was?

Nov 3, 2016

NaNoWriMo - the Month of Writing and Madness

It's November, which means it's NaNoWriMo time! This year is my 4th time participating and like the crazy person I am, I decided to not just write 50k works but 70k. Ideally all before Thanksgiving. Oh, and I barely plotted my novel.

What's wrong with me?

On top of NaNoWriMo madness I also have to fit normal things into my life like work, my costuming, music practice, etc...

How does one get through the month of November, you might ask. Well, lots of tea (and/or hot chocolate and coffee), lots of music, and a very competitive nature.

Alina and I are both very competitive, especially when it comes to NaNoWriMo and each other. She didn't originally want to write 70k words, but since I'm doing it, she decided she had to otherwise she'd be left in the dust.

We have a tradition (unintentionally) that I finish my word goal for the month first but she ends with a slightly higher word count then me. At this point it looks like we'll be keeping this tradition.

A few tips from a NaNoWriMo veteran:
  • Winning is a choice. If you want to win, you'll find a way of writing 50k words. It's as simple as that.
  • Find your ideal writing place/time. I've found that I really enjoy writing on my laptop at Starbucks or alone at night. For some reason writing in the evening when it's dark out is more motivating for me.
  • Participate in lots of writing sprints! Set a time limit (I like short 15 minute sprints) and then write! Don't let yourself stop typing, don't even think about what you're typing. Just type. I have a group on Facebook with a bunch of friends and we do writing sprints together and give encouragement and advice. If you don't know anyone who's participating in NaNo there's a writing sprint section on the forums!
  • Have fun! Your writing may be awful, you may be running out of plot, you may be out of coffee, you may be at your wits end, but the most important part is to have fun! Keep plowing through and at the end of the month you will be feeling so accomplished, I promise!

May 29, 2016

Day Trip to Ocean Shores

For my moms birthday we took a day trip down to Ocean Shores to visit the real ocean, with real sand on the beach. It was a 4-5 hour drive so we made a day of it and packed lunch/dinner/snacks for the day. We made a few other stops  throughout the day for lunch, and for dinner we stopped at a park.

On the way home we took the ferry into Seattle, which provided a great opportunity to photograph the city at dusk. Since I'm still new to photography my dad was giving me lots of tips on where to keep my ISO and shutter speed. I think I'm finally starting to understand how all that fun stuff works! :)