Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Back-to-School Playlist

  1. "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift. I cannot believe I actually like this song. I'm not a fan of Tay-Tay, but this song grew on me. "'Cause the players gonna play play play play play and the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate baby I'm just gonna shake shake shake shake shake." Gosh dang it, it's just so darn catchy!
  2. "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt. I'm going to need this song to get through precalculus this year. And sociology. And chemistry. And econ. And probably Mandarin. I basically mentioned almost all of my classes. "Many nights we've prayed with no proof anyone could hear. In our heart's a hopeful song we barely understood. Now we are not afraid although we know there's much to fear. We were moving mountains long before we knew we could."
  3. "Everything Else" from Next to Normal. This song totally describes how music feels to me, and my dreams, and... ugh. I just wanna play Natalie so badly! "You play 'til it's perfect, you play 'til you ache, you play 'til the strings or your fingernails break, so you'll rock that recital and get into Yale... 'cause you've got your full-ride and your early admit, so you're done with this school... and you graduate early, you're gone as of May... and you know that it's just a sonata away and you play... and everything else goes away."
  4. "Hanabi" by Ikimono-Gakari. I think I've already expressed my love for this song, but dang. Like, I just really love it. It's just so beautiful. It's not even a sad song, but my eyes always water when I hear it. It's low key inspiring.
  5. "Through Heaven's Eyes" from The Prince of Egypt. Whenever I feel stressed out, this song calms me down, if only for three minutes. "So how can you see what your life is worth or where your value lies? You can never see through the eyes of man. You must look at your life. Look at your life through heaven's eyes... though you never know all the steps, you must learn to join the dance."
  6. "花 (Hana)" (which means "Flower") by ORANGE RANGE. I prefer Goose House's cover, but this song is still like, amazing.
  7. "Crazy in Love" covered by Emeli Sande. Don't get me wrong, Beyonce is pretty perfect, but I love the jazzy spin Emeli puts on it. Don't worry, Bey-- your version will play at my wedding reception.
  8. "Body Rock" by Mamoru Miyano. Oh yeah, I blogged about this one, too. The ultimate study song. Or Friday song.
  9. "February Air - Acoustic Version" by LIGHTS. I can't wait to learn this song on guitar (after I'm done perfecting "Hanabi"). It's just a pretty song to listen to in the afternoon.
  10. "New At This" by Megan and Liz. "I've got a lot of life to live, don't treat me like a little kid, I'm just a little new at this."
  11. "Next to Me" by Emeli Sande. This is another song that helps me work faster. 
  12. "My Pace" by SunSet Swish. "All FAAAAIIIILLLLSSSSS!!!" His voice though.
  13. "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog. "This whole town can slow you down, people takin' the easy way. But I know exactly where I'm going, and I'm getting closer and closer every day! I'm almost there! ...People down here think I'm crazy, but I don't care!"
  14. "Daisy" by Stereo Dive Foundation. This song is perfect to drive home to. Heck, this song is why I never say goodbye! (Itsudatte sou se)
  15. "Theme to Lizzie McGuire" by Angie Jaree. "Sometimes we make it, sometimes we fake it. But we get one step closer each and every day. We'll figure it out on the way."
  16. "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Yes, I've been waiting for September just so I can sing this song. And eat pumpkin spice cupcakes.
  17. "Just Another Day" from Next to Normal. In case you need something to get ready to in the morning.
  18. "Dancing Through Life" from Wicked. "The trouble with schools is, they always try to teach the wrong lesson. Believe me, I've been kicked out of enough of them to know... Life's more painless for the brainless... nothing matters when knowing nothing matters. It's just life, so keep dancing through!"
  19. "Go the Distance (Single)" by Michael Bolton. "A thousand years would be worth the wait. It may take a lifetime, but somehow I'll see it through!"
  20. "Chai Tea Latte" by Angel Taylor. "People might compliment our chocolate and vanilla skin... you've blown my mind in two hour's time, and I'm so weak and unable to picture you with someone other than me. But I guess I have to, 'cause you haven't asked me out on a date to get some chai tea latte..." Does that stuff even taste good? Might have to try it...
  21. "Up We Go" by LIGHTS. Is there an instrumental version available? Because the instruments are the main thing this song has going for it.
  22. "Shake it Out" by Florence + The Machine. "I can never leave the past behind. I can see no way..."
  23. "All I Need to Be" by Fireflight. "Tell me again that I am strong..."
  24. "Ain't it Fun" by Paramore. The perfect song for starting freshman year, be it high school or college. "Where you're from, you might be the one who's running things... so what are you gonna do when the world don't open up around you? What are you gonna do when nobody wants to fool with you?"
  25. "Scramble" by Yui Horie. "Guruguru mawaru!"
Well, time to update your playlist!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Light-skinned Black Girl Problems

  1. "You act so white, it's like I'm blacker than you!" Um, no. No. Just no. I didn't know there was a code of conduct in order to be black.
  2. "What are you mixed with?" Nothing? This is a good question, but don't jump to conclusions. It IS possible to be fully black and have light skin.
  3. "But you don't look black AT ALL!" Would you like for me to show you my new growth? Because I am due for a relaxer touch-up any day now.
  4. "How would you know anything about the hood?" Because not all people who live there are dark-skinned? I don't actually live in the hood, but I have spent so much time in East Cleveland (and other cities like Atlanta and Chicago), you best believe I know as much (or more) about the hood as you do.
  5. "Are you sure you don't want to borrow my SPF 50?" Yes, I am light-skinned. No, I do not burn.
  6. "You look just like Rihanna!" Is this because we're both light-skinned?
  7. "Let me guess. I know what your ethnicity is! 你好! 我是美国人。你是中国人吗?" I know you did not just ask me if I'm Chinese.
  8. "So what if you can't play Tiana in the Disney parks? You could totally play Mulan!" You've got a good point...
  9. "I'm going to come back from Spring Break darker than you!" LOOK, I get it, there are white people darker than me, yeah. Moving on.
  10. "I don't think you're really black." Let me take you on a field trip to the plantation where my great-great-great grandfather was a slave.
  11. "I hear Asian parents have really high expectations." But I'm not... ah, forget it.
  12. "Why is your hair so short?" Because I'm black. Technically, black people (including my sisters) can have long hair, but it is a rare occurrence. Of course I'd be the only girl in my family with the inability to grow hair past shoulder-length.
  13. "Since you're light, you could probably stop getting relaxers." Tell that to my unruly curls.
  14. "If you were a slave, you would be treated very well." That is very comforting.
Those are some things I've faced being a light-skinned black girl! Did I miss anything?

The Broke Girl's Guide to Gettin' Paper!

In this economy, my dream house Pinterest board is nothing but a dream, and will be nothing but a dream for awhile. Especially considering I am going to be a starving artist coming out of college. However, I have found some little ways to save money, earn money, and get freebies. No matter how well off you are, you know you like getting things for free, don't you? Well, join the rest of us.

Here is my guide to saving money now, even if you're still with your parents!

  1. Never, EVER pay full price for clothing. I love shopping at Forever 21, but I am not willing to pay more than twenty dollars for a dress, to be honest. And unless it's this shirt, I'm not buying it unless it's on clearance. Being a fashionista isn't hard when you spend your money wisely!
  2. Thrift store does NOT mean garbage can. I like shopping at Goodwill and the dollar stores. I have actually purchased some of my cutest dresses from Goodwill, but I wouldn't admit it in real life. Actually, I have before. But still! And don't worry if you're spotted in a thrift store-- we all shop there sometimes! Jill Duggar's maid of honor (another Duggar sibling... not a big fan of that family honestly, but somehow I learned about Jill's wedding) even bought the bridesmaid dresses from a thrift store, and they were actually very cute. And nothing screams vintage better than something actually from that era.
  3. Never forget your student or military ID. Discounts, discounts everywhere! Need I say more?
  4. Don't buy books. I've never been big on book buying anyway, but when I became a book reviewer in 2010, I was practically being hired by WaterBrook Multnomah and Thomas Nelson Publishers to read a book and blog about it online. Was I paid? No. But, I mean-- free books!
  5. Volunteer. I am a volunteer at a regional theater in my area, and I get to see multiple musicals and plays this year-- I even get to see Wicked twice! All I have to do is be an usher, and I get to watch the stuff for free. 
  6. Start a little business. This doesn't have to be separate from your home; you can start a photography business, nanny business, cleaning, and like me, cake decorating business. It's a fun way to bring in a little bit of money on the side while doing what you love!
  7. Get a pay raise? Live off of what you were making before and add the rest to your savings account. I learned that on Pinterest.
  8. Make a list of things you buy often. What do you absolutely need? What could you buy a little less often?
  9. Do you own something you never use? Whether it's a violin or textbook, you can make fast money selling it.
  10. Save your lightly used binders. If it can last another year, use it for another year.
  11. The piggy bank works! If you want ice cream, get your change from Mr. Piggy. Don't dip into the twenty.
  12. Ride a bike. No, really. If it's not snowing, you're not sick, and you're going local, leave the car in the driveway and ride there! It saves gas, and it keeps you healthy. No need for a gym membership. Plus, it's relaxing when your calves aren't burning.
  13. If you can, try to have more than one job. I'm not saying work mornings at one job and nights at the other, but I'm saying if you babysit in addition to your fast food job, stick with it. Earn that dough.
  14. Start doing crafts. DIY projects are some of the best things you will ever do with your spare time, and they will save you a lot of money in the future. Crafts are for everyone!
  15. Know what to say no to. My school is going on a trip to Italy, but I want to take driver's ed this year. Obviously, driver's ed is the most logical thing to do. I can travel internationally any time in my life. Driver's ed is something I need to do within these next two years. See my point? Priorities.
  16. Ditch the salon... when you can. I get it; we all need a hair cut every once in a while. But when it comes to nails, facials, etc. you need to just get a Pinterest account and do some stuff yourself.
  17. Naturally infuse your water, and limit intake of soda and other unnatural drinks.
  18. Put ads on your blog or in your YouTube videos. I am not eighteen yet, so I am not sure if it is legal for me to get ads on my blog, but you best believe I will! Get money from any place possible.
  19. Stream music on Spotify or Pandora. I only use iTunes when I have a gift card (or feel like treating myself). Spotify and YouTube are free, so why not?
  20. Buy pocket sized deodorant. Only saves you but a few cents, but it's so dang cute!
  21. Most importantly, KNOW HOW MUCH YOU ARE SPENDING. A cautious spender is a good spender, and someone who may never have trouble paying rent. 
"Make that money; don't let it make you!"