Monday, April 27, 2015

The Thing About Being a Full-Time Student with a Blog

It seems like I've been doing a lot of these kinds of posts lately, huh? Well, instead of just apologizing about it and giving you guys a sneak peek at what I've been up to lately, here are some sucky things about being a full-time student with a serious blog: 

+ School has to come first. 
Okay, so it doesn't necessarily, but unless you're making a steady income from your blog, it'll be the first thing to take a back burner when school gets busy. 

+ Your editorial calendar gets screwed up. 
If you keep an editorial calendar like I do, then you know that you have posts lined up. Because you're a full time student and can't blog when school picks up, your posts get backed up and sometimes trashed altogether if it's time sensitive. (Although please do not do this if you are working with a brand--try your best to get your post on time if you agreed on a specific timeline.)

+ You feel a little helpless.
Well, I do at least. I have all these ideas and really have been working on the blog more behind the scenes in the past few days, but you guys haven't seen much of it unless you follow me on social media. 

+ Some people may stop reading your blog as a result. 
People who are faithful blog readers expect posts on certain days, and if you go too long without delivering, well then say bye to those readers, because they may get fed up with you and just leave. I feel anxious every day that I'm not able to post because I get scared that people may feel that way. I know that people always say that your true readers will stay and all that, but let's face it--if your blog is a business (or you want it to be) you need to have people always looking at your stuff and engaging with it. If you have faithful readers that engage with your posts (when I say engage I mean comment, share, engage with affiliate links), then that is great! You must have really created a community surrounding your blog. :]

Basically, all of these reasons surround school and are fears of mine. I really do love this blog and put in tons of effort into it. I'm always thinking about what to do next with the blog but with me paying for school more than what I'm making with this blog at the moment school has to come first. Especially since I'm so close to being done (woo 7 more months!). 

So where are my full-time students at? What sucks the most about being a student & a blogger at the same time?

Chau for now

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Getting My Cardio on at a Yoga Studio #FaBloggersMixx

So recently I posted my workout story and how I've started being more active thanks to ClassPass. Not only have I been more motivated to be active lately, but I have been wanting to collaborate with more local businesses and people as well. 

With that, I met Kalila, who is an instructor at Mixx Yoga in Newport Beach and is now a good friend of mine. I talked with her about hosting an event with her studio for bloggers and the #FaBloggersMixx was born!

Mixx Yoga is not your typical yoga studio. They incorporate cardio into their yoga classes, which allows for people to get a full workout of improving flexibility and balance as well as getting their heart rate pumping and improving your endurance and stamina. And it's cool because it is run by all women! The founder, Mitra Hooshmand, is a neuroscientist that discovered her love for fitness and so Mixx Yoga was founded! 

All photos done by the lovely Golden Hope Studios!

Fabletics also sponsored the event because all the trainers at the studio that day were certified Fabletics Masters.  We got some Fabletics socks, cute hair ties (I lost one of them already, sad day), a coupon for a free pair of Fabletics pants, and a gift card from Mixx Yoga.

I have never taken a yoga class before, so this one was my first. I knew that it wasn't your typical yoga class, so although it was very intense, it was still great.

There were about 15 of us bloggers there and I think we can safely say that we got our butts kicked by the yoga - cardio - yoga - cardio - yoga workout! It was relaxing yet very exhausting. It was a great experience though and I am excited to go back again when school gets out!

It was a great time to meet and mingle with all these bloggers, none of whom I had met before so it was great! I also decided that I really enjoy being active and that I will for sure be returning to Mixx Yoga for classes in the future! Although they incorporate cardio into their standard classes, they also have yoga classes without the cardio. I'll probably try those classes next.

Another great thing about this event: I got to meet some great girls from the Her Campus Blogger Network! This is a network that I have been a part of for the past 2 years now so I am glad to finally have met some of the girls in this group! I'm hoping to have more events with them soon :]

So with this post I am saying these things if you think it's tl;dr (that term is #gamergfprobs):

1. GO TO MIXX YOGA. If you want to try working out but want to try something different, I guarantee you Mixx Yoga will be different. And guys, don't be intimidated by all the women in these photos. There are definitely men that take classes here too; there just weren't any male bloggers in attendance here.

2. Network and meet people! It is honestly my favorite thing to do. Whether you are a blogger or a neuroscientist, get out and meet people in your field, or just meet people in general! You never know where unlikely connections may lead you. Trust me.

Okay. I know this was a long and photo heavy post, but I hope you are inspired either to work out, go to Mixx, or to go network. Or all 3. Even better.

Mixx Yoga's Social Media:

Have you ever done yoga? What are some poses that you think I should learn? I really want to regain my flexibility!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Mixx Yoga. I hosted a blogger event at their studio with their help & with the help of Fabletics. All opinions are my own.
Chau for now

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gamer Girlfriend Probs: Meet the Boyfriend

So I have talked about gaming on this blog a few times now and I have been talking about the boyfriend on here since the beginning. I never formally introduced him to the blog, although I've talked about him so many times. I figured that I would introduce him today, but mostly in the aspect of him as a gamer so you can get a feel for the type of gamer he is. & if you or your significant other play any of the games he plays too, comment or email me your gamertag so that he can connect with you/them! 

Without further ado, here's Darell, my boyfriend gamer talking about himself as a gamer! (Warning: He mentions tons of old school and new school games so if you don't know what it is, look it up! Don't worry there are 1 or 2 games where I have no idea what he's talking about either :)

My name is Darell. I'm 22, and I've been gaming since I was 5 or 6. 

I play a lot of games; back in high school I was really into Call of Duty/Halo I was an avid FPS player. (first person shooter). Now I play mostly strategy games like League of Legends. I do however play other genres which aren't as mainstream as others. I love city builder games like Cities: Skyline, episodic adventure games like Telltale Games/Life is Strange, and other tycoon games like Prison Architect/Roller Coaster Tycoon (I used to fight with my mom over playing RCT, we both would hog one computer back in the early 2000s). 

As far as getting how I got into video games, I don't know if "got into" is the right question to ask, video games felt like they were always there in my life. My dad bought me a Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, and my cousin bought me Starcraft Broodwar for the PC on my 7th birthday, so those were simple steps that brought me to where I'm at. I always remember hanging out with cousins and playing games, whether it was Super Mario World on the SNES or Super Smash Bros on the N64 as time moved on. During family parties once all of us kids were tired from playing hide-n-seek/tag (1990's) or when we it would get too cold outside we would all huddle inside a room and play games. There were usually around 8 of us rotating 4 controllers. We were always competitive, which still translates to how we play games today.

Of course, every gamer has their favorite games that they love and usually don't ever get tired of playing. This is a hard one for me as there are SOOO many games out there; it's like naming the best films. 

I'll have to name my top 5 favorite games in no particular order: 
- League of Legends - which i've probably spent the most time on revolutionized eSports and put competitive PC gaming on the map 
- Starcraft Broodwar - I believe this is the game that trailblazed eSports (electronic spots/competitive gaming) / PC gaming as a whole
- Halo 3 - this game brings back major nostalgia for me and a lot of good memories. 
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - oh man this game deserves all the hype it gets, this is the game of the decade for the N64, any fantasy/adventure player alive has/should have beaten this game at least once. 
- I typed another game out but definitely had to delete it and put Super Smash Bros on this list, the ultimate party game, i've been playing this game with family for years. 
- Some honorable mentions include: Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim, Goldeneye, Dynasty Warriors (the game Kriselle and I played together when we first started dating) :D

It sounds crazy and unconventional, but landing a job in the gaming industry is definitely a goal I'd love to achieve. They say if you have a job you love, then you never work a day in your life again. I am not sure what I would want to do; different companies excel in different things. I would love to work along the lines of eSports videography/photography whether that means I'll be camera operator, event photographer, live interviewer, something along the likes of that. There are many companies that do awesome projects like that; ESL (eSports League) and Riot Games are two examples. I wouldn't find working for myself or start up companies like Counter-Logic Gaming (CLG) or Team Solo Mid (TSM).

And since this series is called "Gamer Girlfriend Probs," gaming has obviously had an impact on my relationship with Kriselle. Gaming, like anything, has it's pros/cons on relationships. If the two don't share the love for gaming then it's mostly cons, but Kriselle has been stepping it up to see my side of the spectrum lately which I appreciate. Sometimes it's good that we don't share common interests so that I can show her what I love and explain a multitude of things that may not make sense at all for her. 

And the last thing that I want to say for anyone who might be in a similar situation as ours (especially if you don't game but your boyfriend does): My number one tip is, BE OPEN. 

Okay having a gamer bf may be annoying sometimes but there is A LOT to learn about gaming and A LOT of potential in this industry. The video game industry makes more money than Hollywood and the music industry combined. There are tons of things to do with video games, whether it's playing the video games themselves, going to conventions (PAX, E3, etc). eSports events (Riot LCS, The Internationals), LAN parties, viewing parties at bars, arenas, even Buffalo Wild Wings etc. There's always something buzzin' if you keep your eyes and ears open. 

Another tip is TRY. Just pick up a game and play, if you don't like what you're playing then try something else. Like movies there's seriously a game for everyone. 

I hope that you were able to learn something, anything about gaming and I hope that if you read Kriselle's blog a lot that now you have a better understanding of who I am and why I really love what I do. Like I said she is starting to get interested in it which I appreciate from her and I'm also not just being lazy and ignoring her (as much as I used to, hehe) for the game like when we were younger. Gaming may seem like a phase for some, but if the guy in your life is anything like me, that might not be the case. So just be open and check out video games, you never know you just might like it! 

Chau for now

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Posted Inspiration with Heart & Lips + A GIVEAWAY!

Words of Affirmation is my love language. I love when people say nice things to me, but I love even more having visual reminders up where I can see them. 

I was sent two beautiful prints from Heart & Lips, a cute little shop that specializes in inspirational prints based on Bible verses. The owner, Taneka, personally prayed over the different prints she has and felt that the two she sent me were best for me to have. 

The first print says "I found the one my heart loves" and the verse it comes from is Song of Songs 3:4. If you aren't familiar with the print, Song of Songs, or Songs of Solomon as it's also called, is the book in the Bible that talks all about the love between a man and a woman as they prepare to be married. 

Although I am not yet married or even engaged, I like this print because I will be bluntly honest & say that I like to think that yes, I have found the one that my heart loves. I feel like people even in the most committed relationships don't proudly say this enough until they're engaged, which I do understand--I mean that person can still walk out on you at any point especially if you don't have a ring on your finger. But then again I feel like that can happen at any point in a relationship, even at the marriage level unfortunately, so if you feel like you have the guts to do so, then don't be afraid to say it--"I found the one my heart loves." 

This second print I was gifted says "You are altogether beautiful," and the print is inspired by Song of Solomon 4:9. I like this reminder because the way I look and how I feel about myself is something that I have been struggling with for as long as I can remember. I don't struggle with it as much anymore but there are days when I feel horrible at myself and a print like this is just what I need to encourage and remind me of my worth. 

Now if you're wondering why these aren't on my walls, it's because I'm moving out of my dorm in a month so I would rather just wait to put these on my new apartment's walls rather than put them up only to take them down one month later :] 

So onto the good stuff: 

I've partnered with Heart & Lips to giveaway not just one, not just two, but FOUR PRINTS for FOUR LUCKY WINNERS!

That's right, 4 people will each get to win one of these sweet and lovely prints to display in their homes. These make great gifts as well, which is why I also have a discount code for 15% off your purchase with the code GIVEHOPE if you can't wait to get your hands on these. 

So the prints we are giving away are one of each of the prints that I have plus two more. One of them says "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" and the other starts off with the phrase "I am like an olive tree.

The giveaway will run until midnight on April 17th, so next Friday right at midnight PST! This giveaway is open internationally so everyone has a chance to win! 

Check out Heart & Lips on all social media: Facebook || Twitter || Instagram || Pinterest

God bless & good luck ♥

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Chau for now

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Then They Will See The Glory of the Lord

Download this quote here.
I actually didn't intend on writing a Good Friday or even Easter post. I just felt like everyone else was doing posts for it so it wasn't necessary for me to do so. 

But then I decided to open up my Bible and do the She Reads Truth Good Friday devotion for today. 

Every time I read the story about Jesus' death on the cross and reflect on all the ways I have sinned and failed, which is the reason He is on the cross to begin with, I can't help but break down in tears. We are imperfect people who have put the most perfect person in the universe on the cross because of our selfishness. 

But then I remember that shame isn't of the Lord and I am thankful that I have been redeemed. My only hope is for God to use my sin and brokenness to illuminate His perfect love and grace that he has shown us as humankind. 

To explain the quote above, it is found in a song that we have been singing for choir this year called "Your God Will Come." Here are the lyrics to that portion of the song:
"Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a dear, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Then they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. For your God will come, yes your God will come." 
I think that specific line is very much relevant today because eventually the whole world will see and be in awe of God's glory that is displayed through Jesus' death on the cross. They will see that He will come. And He always does.

So today I ask that you take a few moments to reflect on what Good Friday stands for and what happened today long ago. I hope that you don't feel shame today but that you feel the love and peace that comes from Christ alone.

Chau for now

Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's That Time of Year...

Can I be honest with you? I'm tired and I'm stressed. I am 6 weeks away from being done with school for the semester and am realizing that I have taken on much more than I thought I could handle. 

All I can focus on is graduating in December, Darell leaving for Australia soon, and ways that I can grow this blog exponentially. I have so many ideas in my head that I can't wait to share with you all, but with all the homework and projects I have for school blogging usually takes a seat on the back burner and I normally knock out when I should be writing. 

I need some encouragement more than anything. This blog is my baby and I love it but I feel like it's being neglected and that I am not growing and that I am in fact declining. (I don't know for sure if my blog is declining or not but that's how I feel). And it's because of this feeling that sometimes I wish I could just quit school and focus on this full time. However, I am less than a year from being finished so I figure that I might as well just stick it out until then. I hope that summer will be good for me in really propelling this blog to where I want it to go. 

So I am sorry for the inconsistency in my posting, guys. Until mid-May it may be this way but trust me, there are some GREAT things coming up for this blog and I cannot wait to share them with you. I hope that you still like me enough to stick around. 

Who else needs to get their life together? Got any tips for a full time student who wishes blogging was their full time job? Please give me some tips if you got any!
Chau for now