Transitioning to Low-Waste

Have you ever thought of how much plastic you produce? Like seriously. Think about it.

I’ll be honest. I never thought about it until recently. I came across this video talking about zero-waste. I honestly can’t even remember which video was the first I watched because I really just started watching video after video on transitioning your own life to zero waste. Seriously – hours of YouTube

And I started noticing everything I used that was plastic and I was disgusted. In general, I thought my whole life was revolved about as little waste as possible. I’ll take the rest of this food home for leftovers later. But what was I taking those leftovers home in? Styrofoam or plastic most likely. I started noticing that we produce way too much trash for a two-person household. Me and boyfriend would take out multiple bags of trash every other day. Multiple bags of trash. Every other day. [insert horrified face here]

So I’ve been working on my plastic addiction. I’ve been using mason jars a lot more. Boyfriend doesn’t really like the aesthetic, but that’s not really what zero-waste is about. I bought some more but even those come wrapped in plastic from the store. But I guess a little plastic now is better than loads of it throughout the rest of my life, right? And I know people go to thrift stores and buy used jars or re-use jars from pickles and stuff. But unfortunately, my brain is wired a little differently than those awesome people. I thrive on aesthetics. It’s literally my life. What I go to school for. What I want in my career. How I organize at home. You name it. I like things to look nice. It motivates me to keep going with what I’m doing. So, yes, I’m going to buy sets of matching containers because it will help me feel motivated to keep trying. Which is a huge part of this thing for me. Because unfortunately, I live in a very wasteful place. First of all, I live in America. ‘Nuff said, right? #consumerismamerica

I also happen to live in the south in a college town that isn’t a large enough city to have very well organized public transportation. So, we have like one place on the outskirts of town that does recycling. My university just put some recycling cans around campus (not many but it’s a start). Other than that, I’ve only ever seen recycling bins at the entrance to major stores like WalMart. Not to mention my apartment building doesn’t do recycling, so our only option is to drop it off ourselves. I’m quickly learning that zero-waste is almost anti-convenience. If you walk around wherever you do your shopping, just take a look at everything packaged in plastic. Now take away those options. Not much left, huh? Even things packaged in glass with metal tops have that annoying plastic to make sure the top stays on. What’s with that? 

And I don’t want to demonize recycling or anything, because it’s great, but when it comes to plastic, it’s really downcycling. Plastic can only be used so many times, you know. I’m not going to get into that just like I didn’t get into what zero-waste actually is. If you want to know, I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinions. In other words, do it your damn selves

The whole plastic thing really is a bummer and aside from recycling, it affects everything else too. So, if you don’t want to buy plastic, you have to buy things that come in glass, metal, cardboard, or otherwise unpackaged. Do you know how few things actually come like this? I mentioned the plastic on the glass jars. But let’s talk about the fresh produce. I don’t have regular access to a farmer’s market. We have multiple markets that are only available Saturday mornings and some Wednesday mornings. Since I work both of those days, I have a total of two hours a week to actually shop at any of them. Other than that, I have an outdoor kind of farmer’s market but they’re produce is usually pretty hit and miss. So, I usually end up shopping at Whole Foods (which is also my only bulk bin option). 

So to sum up, zero waste isn’t really the most plausible option for me right now. So, I’ll be going as low-waste as I possibly can. And as soon as we move to a more eco-conscious city, we’ll see about zero waste. Byyye.

Transitioning to Low-Waste

How Do I Write…

Who’s old fashioned like me and really likes writing with a pen(cil) and paper? Just me? That’s okay. I know you kids today rely on technology like there’s no tomorrow. Says the 22 year old writing a blog post on her iPad listening to Pandora on her iPhone.

The problem I have with writing that way is it get’s my creative juices flowing a little too well. My brain starts to work faster than my hands. It’s really frustrating to be halfway through a sentence and just suddenly start writing a completely unrelated word. Sometimes I even start one word and it turns into a different word by the end. Then I lose my train of thought.

So, unfortunately, long pieces of writing usually happen through a keyboard. I still use my notebook for excerpts and writing on the go and whatnot. Nothing is more annoying than pulling out your laptop/tablet and getting it all set up just to have time to type a few words before you have to scramble to put it away. And don’t even get me started on the whole mental note concept. Yea, like I’m going to remember 100+ words of a story when I can’t even remember the assignments due today. Besides, when the inspiration hits, sometimes you just gotta write because 100 words can turn into 500 pretty quickly.

But when I do write on my laptop/tablet, I don’t usually have any complaints. I write in Word or Google Docs on my laptop (PC) and Pages and Google Docs on my iPad. Something about writing this way just doesn’t spark my creativity though. I’ll sit in front of a screen for an hour with no clue what to write but once my pen hits the paper, it’s doing something (not always something good, but something is better than nothing). I’ve been considering getting a typewriter though. I think that would be a happy medium, but I’m still questioning whether that’s too hipster. But then again, a hipsters and writers do generally have a lot in common… 

I’ve been toying with the idea of attempting zero/low waste, so producing a bunch of paper doesn’t really fit the bill for that. But if it’s what I have to do, then it’s what I have to do. And that goes for you too. Don’t feel bad for whatever fits you best. If it’s pen and paper like me, start carrying around a notebook and a pen. If it’s typing, then you would probably benefit from a tablet of your choosing. It’s an ivestment of your future, so don’t let anyone shame you into thinking you’ll just be wasting money on something that you’ll only use to play games. I believe in you to be productive. That’s all you need, right? A strangers approval?


How Do I Write…

Already Planning the Next London Trip

Last week, I talked about when I went to London. Something I may not have mentioned: I fell in love. With the city. London is my dream place. I’ve officially added it to my list of life goals to live in London (it wasn’t there before because I believe you should at least visit a place you hope to live beforehand to get a taste). But tragically, I was only there for a few days. Not nearly enough time to properly explore the city (or even a fraction) especially since I was still getting over jetlag and I was sick! But that doesn’t discourage me from loving it or already planning for the next time I visit. 

Next time, I will bring boyfriend. Obviously. I’d like to go in the summer simply because I do surprisingly little traveling in the summer. Usually because I crave cold weather and snow like the freaking abominable snowman and the best way to find those are to go to cold places in the winter. It doesn’t really get cold here in south Louisiana… ever. Which is depressing.

Anyway, I think I’d like to escape the extreme heat and go for a more moderate temperature during the summer next time. But that’s not a deal breaker. Another reason I travel in the winter is because I like it. 

So let’s talk about transportation for a minute. Did you know that they still have ships that take people on super romantic transatlantic journeys right into London? I actually found a specific one that I researched a lot. I showed boyfriend and he said “fuck no, the ocean is scary.” That means maybe, right?

So, yea, it takes significantly longer than a flight (like a week instead of a day…) but you can just add that time onto your vacation, right? And this company will let you bring your pets and can I just say that it is so much safer than the pressurized cargo bay of a plan? But do you really need your pets with you on vacation? 

Well, I was actually researching this mode of transportation for – I don’t know- if we want to move there someday… 

Okay, back to vacation planning. We’ll probably just take a plan like most people. Boring. Hopefully first class so we can get some tiny shred of that comfort and also because boyfriend can’t sleep well on planes and maybe that would help. 

When we get there, I’d prefer to AirBnB with an entire apartment so we can make some snacks and meals and not eat out every single time we’re hungry. Speaking of eating, I’ll probably be pretty flexible with the restrictions I put on myself at home because, vacation, right? I’ll want to get tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. You read that right. It’s a cat cafe. Omgyes. I’ve also made note of a few library bars that sound cool. Otherwise, I’ll probably be okay with most places boyfriend will want. I’ll definitely be planning on getting afternoon tea at least once (also made note of a few options already). 

I’ll drag boyfriend to the things I saw the last time I was there like 221 B Baker street and King’s Cross. We’ll go to markets and museums. We’ll walk up and down the Thames. We’ll watch the changing of the guards even though I’ve heard it’s overrated. We’ll ride the Eye even though I don’t like heights. We’ll be mostly discovering and exploring brand new things together though. Because three days isn’t even enough time to put a dent in London.

Already Planning the Next London Trip

Working with a Medium you Hate

So, last week, I updated you guys with some artwork of my Handsome Squidward guy. Both of those drawings were done in charcoal. I fucking hate charcoal. It’s messy and too dark and hard to erase. And I have to use it constantly. Most art degrees at the school I go to are heavily based on drawing classes. I am in Drawing II and I have two more drawing courses to take for my degree plan. I don’t mind drawing, I actually like drawing on my own terms (preferably in pencil/pen/paint/anything but charcoal). Every drawing class requires drawing in charcoal. I hate it sooo much

When you hate using a medium in your art, you get less motivated to actually work on your art. Now, I recommend everyone to always try new media. But if you’ve already tried it (and gotten used to it – not just trying it out once or twice) and you absolutely hate it, you don’t have you work with it in your personal art. But if you’re in school and you’re taking classes for credits toward a degree, you have less control. 

I cope in a few different ways. First, I complain a lot. I try not to go overboard, but venting usually helps. And hearing other people who feel the same way as you, oh man is that satisfying. Second, I try to get my work in those media done as quickly and in as few sessions as possible. I hate having charcoal under my nails and it only really goes away after you wash your hands a couple times. So, I work in as few sessions as possible so I don’t prolong that experience. Third, just do the work. I’m bad at this one, because I’ll put off finishing a piece until it’s due. But, I don’t recommend this. If you get it done as soon as you can, you don’t have to dread the time you have to work on it later. Lastly, I try to find as many types of charcoal as I can that don’t have the bad effects that I hate. I have to work in charcoal, but they never said what type of charcoal (devious laughter here). I like working with charcoal pencils because it doesn’t get under my nails like compressed charcoal sticks. I don’t mind vine charcoal because it’s not too dark and I can erase it pretty easily unlike compressed charcoal sticks. God I hate compressed charcoal sticks…

Okay, that’s my venting and coping for when you have to work with media that you don’t like. Byyye.

Working with a Medium you Hate

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Review)

Three Dark Crowns is a story set it another world (fantasy) where every generation, three triplets are born to the queen. Each of the sisters have a gift and are separated at a young age to live with other people with the same gift to train and grow said gift. When they come of age, the sisters fight to the death until there is only one of them left standing to claim the throne.

This book was given a 3.9/5.0 on Goodreads and I can understand that rating. First of all, I kept thinking that nothing was happening in the first 50-75% of the book. It wasn’t necessarily boring, but not what you expect out of a book that advertises the premise that three young girls are fighting each other to the death. That being said, I actually quite liked it once I wrapped my head around the fact that I wasn’t going to get a lot of action right away. When the action did pick up, it kept my interest easily. If the first half of the book was a good as the second half, I could see this book getting closer to a 4.5-5.0/5.0 rating. 

Going into this book, I didn’t really do much research because I didn’t want any spoilers. In a way this was great because I didn’t know what to expect other than what the cover said. The bad part of this was that I didn’t know I was reading book one and book two won’t be out until the end of the year. I’m an insanely impatient person when it comes to things like this. I’d rather wait to read the book until the next one is out and just binge read them together. That’s just personal preference though.

The world in this book is unbelievably unique. I loved the premise. I really liked the characters and the ending, too. Without going into too much detail, I can definitely say that I have a favorite of the triplets, but that’s not to say I don’t like the others. They were written really well and completely separate from each other. Which I actually found surprising because there are soooo many of them. It’s one of those books where you get different third-person POV each chapter rotating between the sisters. Each sister has their own world that they live in and you learn all about it without obvious expository storytelling. I think that’s actually part of the reason why it was so slow at the beginning.

Overall, I think I’d give this a 4.0/5.0 rating. 

  • Well written characters
  • Unique & developed world
  • Magic & fantasy is always a plus for me
  • Great plot
  • Kinda slow to the point
  • To a point that isn’t even in this book, but the next one! ):

Yes, I will be re-reading this when One Dark Throne comes out on September 19. Byyye.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Review)

London in Winter 2016

​​Now that I’ve cleared the air about what was wrong about my traveling over the winter break, let’s get to what was so good about it.

First of all, I got to see my parents and siblings. The whole trip was a Christmas present to me, so I didn’t pay a dime. But don’t worry, my mom actually got an insanely good deal on the tickets. Yay mom.

In Europe, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to travel to other places in Europe than traveling from America. So my mom took me and my sister to London for a couple days. I’m realizing now that talking about all this kinda sounds like we have tons of money. But let me state this again for you – my mom got an insanely good deal on my tickets and the tickets to London were also cheaper than you would see going from the states.

Anyway, we also went to a few Christmas markets around Germany and did other stuff. It was all good fun. But obviously I’m going to talk about London here (see title…) because it was the newest thing to me. I’ve been to Christmas markets and all that other stuff before. It was my first time in London. 

It was only three days which is devastatingly short. In those few days, we did a few touristy things. We saw the London Eye and Big Ben. We didn’t do anything other than take pictures and walk by. (Shhh, I’m saving super touristy things like that for next time when I bring boyfriend). 

I dragged them to 221 B Baker street and King’s Cross. 

My sister dragged us to Lush (I’m really no complaining there…) My mom dragged us through the over-crowded Leicester square. We went to the Nickelodeon store and the M&M’s store. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe where we ate and bought the obligatory t-shirt.

We saw the angels in Picadilly Circus, big red busses, telephone boxes, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the Thames. We walked along Southbank and saw a guy blowing bubbles and another guy building sand sculptures. We took the underground a lot and we walked even more.

It was wonderful, but far from perfect. As previously mentioned, boyfriend didn’t come along. So the next post will actually be about planning next time.

London in Winter 2016

What I’ve been working on lately 

Okay so, this is kind of a cheater move here because I actually have posts that I want to write about today… I just don’t really have the time, patience or Motivation to actually write them. So, I’ll just update you all on what I’ve been making lately. 

I’ve been drawing this guy (I call him handsome squidward) for drawing class.

My design professor decided this was good enough to be put on display in the art building.

This was my second design project.

I’ve also been painting for my painting class, drawing more than just handsome squidward for drawing, and working on my third project for design. 

Okay, that’s all folks. Byyye.

What I’ve been working on lately