If I Were an Animal…

If I were an animal, it would be hard to honestly say which one I would be. I think that I would be a combination of a lot of animals, actually.

First of all, I’d be a horse, because they are strong and proud. While I am not physically or emotionally strong, mentally, I am strong. I am a fighter. I keep going, even when I don’t know where to go. With God as my guidance and strength, I can (metaphorically) move even the tallest of mountains. I am also proud of who I am, and the woman that God is creating me to be. I don’t give up without a fight, and I am beautiful, inside and out, just like all horses are. Perhaps this is why they are my favorite animals.

Second, I would be a cat. I am small, like most cats are, and I am also naturally curious. I like to explore the world around me and investigate things that I haven’t previously known about. I always have to know the “why” behind something, and I don’t stop looking or questioning until I am satisfied with the answer. I also really like to sleep. 🙂

Finally, I would be a dog. Dogs are loyal and kind, and will make good companions for life, and I believe that is the case with me, as well. I am a loyal and compassionate friend, and I will never leave your side. Once I am committed to someone, I am in it for the long haul, for better or for worse. I will tell you the truth in love, but I will also do my best to be kind about it.

So what kind of animal would I be? That’s hard to say. But I would hope to be a combination of some of the best kinds of animals in the world…

Why I Cosplay

You’ve seen them before: the people dressed up in strange outfits, running around town, or in schools, etc. It’s not Halloween, in fact, it’s the middle of the year, and yet a small group of people really enjoys doing this on a fairly regular basis. This is the group known as: the cos-players. Cosplay literally means: costume-play, and it is exactly that. People dress up in costumes to emulate their favorite characters from video games, TV shows, anime, movies, and more. Typically, these people go to conventions, purchase memorabilia from many different categories they like, and then go home and post pictures of their cosplay online. If you think it’s strange, you’re not alone. I did, too. In fact, for the longest time, I hated anime, cosplay, and everything to do with it. Though perhaps that was because people used to cosplay in school, which is what annoyed me more than anything. However, after I met my husband, he introduced me to the world of anime and cosplay, and now I love it, and probably won’t stop doing it until I’m in my fifties or sixties. Here’s why:

It Helps Me Get Out of My Shell

As you know by now, I am a very introverted person. I can fake extroversion for the sake of work, but I need time to relax, unwind, do my own thing, and be myself. I need room to express myself in ways that I can’t when I am at work. Therefore, cosplay helps get me out of my shell a little bit. By dressing up as a character that I like, I am able to show others around me the things that I enjoy, and have a little bit of fun while doing it. Plus, it helps me to find others with a common interest. Since my husband and I go to anime conventions and comic-cons on a yearly basis, it is nice to be able to see people of a similar mindset, dressed up in their wide variety of outfits. Plus, if I meet someone who likes my outfit, or if I like theirs, we can strike up a conversation, talk about each character that the other is emulating, and maybe even make some new friends.

It Gets Me Out of My Comfort Zone

Another reason why I like cosplay is because it challenges me and gets me out of my comfort zone. When I was in high school, I wouldn’t have been caught dead cos-playing. Now, though, it’s something that I really enjoy. I definitely feel a bit nervous walking down the street every time that I am headed to the convention, especially with all the people that are not going to the convention, but who are walking by or driving down the same road. I can feel their eyes staring at me, I wonder what they think, and I start to worry that they are silently judging me, especially since I am in my twenties and am still enjoying stuff like this. Whatever, let them judge. If they don’t like it, that’s their prerogative. I don’t dress up inappropriately in any manner, and I don’t emulate anyone violent, so I feel that what I am doing is just a unique, interesting way to have some fun.

It Allows Me to Be Creative

When I am coming up with my cosplay outfits, I go all-out. I don’t just go for the “cheap” version of the outfit by throwing together things that I have around the house. I usually start with eBay or similar sites to see if I can find the full outfit of what I am looking for. If I can’t, then I set to work figuring out how I can make the outfit look like the thing I am trying to emulate, while also making it my own. This year, I am going as the Cheshire Cat from the original Alice in Wonderland. Therefore, I have spent over a year putting together all the different pieces of the outfit, but it is now complete. The comic-con that my husband and I are going to is in June, and I am beyond excited to show off this outfit, maybe take a few pictures with people, and see what others think of it. This will also have been my most creative cos-play thus far, though next year’s will be even more complicated, as it will require actually making the majority of it. Next year, I will be going as Koro-Sensei from Assassination Classroom, which should be pretty challenging.

Here’s what this year’s Cheshire Cat cosplay is composed of:

Hot Topic Shirt
Via hottopic.com
Cheshire Cat Skirt
Via Rock City Skirts @ Etsy.Com
Pawstar
Via Pawstar @ Etsy.com
Dream Fluffs
I actually had these made to go around my ankles, instead of my wrists. Via Dream Fluffs @ Etsy.com
Pawstar 2
Via Pawstar @ Etsy.com
AJs
The pink is significantly lighter than everything else, but I can make it work. I may just use a fabric marker on it to darken it, if necessary. Via AJs @ Amazon.com
shoes
Via halloweencostumes.com

Finally, I am trying to decide if I want to do makeup or not for this outfit. At the very least, I will paint my nose and paint on some whiskers, but I don’t know if I want to do more or not. I wear purple glasses, so anything else might be overkill. But here are a few of the makeup options that I am thinking of so far:

cheshire cat makeup

 

Cat Makeup

I am more of a simple girl, so I think that I would be more comfortable doing the makeup like the second picture, but with a pink/purple nose instead. However, I do think that it would be fun to try and go all-out with the makeup from the first picture. I really can’t decide. I have until July to figure it out, so I guess we shall see what my husband thinks I should do when that time comes.

Well everyone, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning more about why I like Cos-playing, and hope that you may be adventurous enough to try it yourself. It really is quite fun! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them my way!

My Pursuit of Happiness

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

True happiness has always been something that has seemed to elude me, except for fleeting moments of bliss. That being said, there are things and people in my life that continue to make me happy. For starters, Christ makes me completely happy. He is my one true rock and source of life. To him be the glory and power forever, amen! Next, of course, is my wonderful husband. As long as we are together, I know I am loved and protected, and life is good. He is another amazing source of happiness and strength for me. Finally, my kitty, Saber. She makes me happy when I come through the door after work, because she is bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and wanting to see me and play with me! She also likes to curl up on my lap and sleep there while I watch TV on my days off. Whose heart wouldn’t melt over that?

Of course, while all of these things make me completely happy, there are also areas of life that I have been unhappy. I have felt like I have wanted to make a difference for so long, and instead, felt as though I was simply moving from one meaningless task to another. However, finally, finally, I am moving into a position that will allow me to make a difference. It will be a subtle, behind-the-scenes difference, but that’s just fine with me, because I know that what I will be doing is actually important, and actually helps people get the care they need.

I have also felt like, due to my long work hours, I have been neglecting to spend time with the people that I care about. This will not be an issue any longer, and thus, will make me happier, as I can continue to cultivate these relationships and show people how much I really do care.

Finally, I don’t have to worry about getting screamed at by customers anymore, or put into stressful situations that could impact everyone in the company. This job is a desk job, a cubicle job, on a computer, editing documents, and that is exactly the way that I like it. It’s what I’m good at, it’s something I’m passionate about, and something that I could definitely see myself doing for years to come. Only seven more days til I start. I can’t wait! I’m so excited! This, then, as well as continuing to bond with Christ, my husband, and my kitty cat, is my pursuit of happiness, and I am glad that I am on this path. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank-You Etiquette

Thank-You’s are a big part of our society. They help us to remain polite, kind, caring people who genuinely appreciate the things that others do for us. Without saying “thank you” to someone for the things they’ve done, we might come across as rude or ungrateful. However, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all type of thank-you that is appropriate in all scenarios. The type of thank-you you choose will largely depend on a number of factors including: who the subject of thanks is, what they did for you, how well you know them, and where they live. Here’s a look at some of the etiquette behind the various types of thank-yous, and when you should use them all.

Verbal Thank-Yous

This type of thank-you is my method of choice. When someone gives me a gift, if they are right there with me to watch me open the gift, then I say “thank you” in the moment. Once I have thanked the person, I believe that should be enough. They have been thanked for the gift and can see that I appreciate it. Typically, I don’t follow this type of thank-you up with a thank-you card, because I believe a card is not necessary in this situation. They already know I said “thank you,” there shouldn’t be a reason to say it again. Unfortunately, I do know a few people who demand thank-you cards and sometimes even thank-you phone calls after being verbally thanked. I do it, but it’s a bit annoying, as it feels like they’re looking for me to grovel, at this point.

Text Message Thank-Yous

Text message thank-yous are appropriate when you were either: given a gift in person but had to leave right away and weren’t able to open it right then and there, or when the person had you go pick up the gift from somewhere, and wasn’t able to see you open it. That being said, this type of thank-you should only be used with immediate family members or friends, and should also depend greatly on the type of gift that was given. If it is something small, then a text message thank-you is appropriate. However, if it is a large item, or something very meaningful or quite expensive, a thank-you phone call or even a card would be a better method of thanking the gift giver.

Phone Call Thank-Yous

Sometimes, the best type of thank-you is a phone call. These should be used in the event that a family member who is either significantly older than you or who isn’t part of your immediate family, drops off a gift or sends one to you, regardless of item type or value. This type of thank-you is also appropriate if the giver lives in another city, state, or country. Then they can hear you express your thanks right there on the phone, and you can also have a meaningful conversation with them.

Email Thank-Yous

I feel as though email thank-yous are extremely formal, and the only time they should really be used is when you are thanking someone for a service they have provided for you, an event that they hosted, or something along those lines. For example, after a job interview, you should immediately send a thank-you via email to all those who interviewed you (if you are able to obtain their email addresses). You should also send a email thank-you to event coordinators, photographers, cake decorators, customer service representatives who did an amazing job (this would typically be if you had live-chatted with that person), etc.

Thank-You Cards

Here’s the big one: the thank-you card. I always feel weird writing thank-you cards, because I never really know what to say, especially if the person that I am writing to gave me a gift that is meant for a specific purpose. I mean, how do you write a thank-you card for someone who gave you a toaster? While I am grateful for the toaster, I feel like my thank-you message would sound something like: “Thank you for the toaster. I am going to use it to make toast…” You don’t say! That’s what toasters do! So how does one write a thank-you card in this scenario? Generally, I say “Dear X, Thank you so much for the toaster! I really appreciate it. It is certainly something that [Insert Spouse’s Name] and I have been needing for a long time, and we will definitely get a lot of use out of it. Thank you also for coming to our wedding (or whatever other event it may be). It was nice to see you there. Love and blessings, Bythnia.” Now, if the person wasn’t able to make it to the event, I will write the same message, but will leave out the part about their being at the event. I may change the line to something more suitable, or I may leave it out entirely. It depends on the person to whom I am writing, and the reason why they couldn’t come to the event in question.

As for when to write thank-you cards, these should be used whenever you have thrown a big event, like a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower, etc. When there are a lot of people and a lot of gifts involved, the event is generally seen as a “formal” event, even when it is relaxed. You may get a lot of people from out of town coming exclusively for your event, so it is important to let them know that you appreciate them. This is the only situation in which I believe you should still send a thank-you card, even after giving a verbal thank you. It’s just seen as a common courtesy. However, if you have not thrown a big party/event, and have received a gift for a birthday, or for Christmas, or just because, then I don’t believe a thank-you card should be necessary unless you want to send one.

Hopefully, after reading this guide, you now have a better sense of the etiquette behind each type of thank you, and can understand when certain scenarios merit one of the aforementioned types of thank-yous. I also hope this guide takes a little bit of stress off of you when preparing thank-yous, and that you will be able to express your gratitude in a way that is appropriate for the giver of the gift or provider of the service in relation to the situation. If you have any questions, leave a comment for me!

 

Things I Need to Get Better at

via Daily Prompt: Better

I am all about improving myself. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I am starting this new job in about a week. I wanted to do something that actually related to my career aspirations, goals, and skills. Of course, I also wanted more time to spend with my family, and the hours offered by that job definitely afford me that time. Therefore, I am over the moon and extremely ecstatic about the job! That being said, there are still other things I need to get better at in my personal life, and I am hoping that you, the readers, will walk this journey with me just as God does, and help me grow just as he does.

1. Spending More Time with Friends

I feel bad because I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my friends, whether that is through texting, talking on the phone, or even physically going out to spend time with them. Granted, I try to make an effort, but often, with my work schedule at my current employer, I am either working when they want to plan things, or I get off work so late every night of the week that I just want to relax on the weekends. This new job should be able to help me to do that, because I’ll only be working 8-5 on the weekdays, and not at all on the weekends.

2. Sending Out Cards

I’ve never really been much of a card sender. That’s ironic, because I am a letter writer, or at least, I try to be. However, I have one friend (a former co-worker) who had to move back to Florida, and she has been sending me cards for various things over the past few months. It really inspired me to start sending everyone cards when I hear about their life events. Whether the event merits a sympathy card, thinking of you card, congratulations card, etc. I want to send them out. I also want my husband and I to start sending Christmas cards out to people. I think small gestures like this really serve to show people you care, especially when there are people in your life that you care about deeply, but don’t always get the chance to see them or spend time with them.

3. Spacing the Laundry Out Over the Week

This one isn’t necessarily my fault. I often have to put off doing the laundry until a day off because of my work schedule at my current employer. However, now with this new job starting, I can at least do a load or even half a load when I get off work each day. Between my husband and I, we produce a lot of laundry throughout the week. I often joke about the meme that says, “with the amount of laundry I do each week, I’m starting to wonder if more than two people live here.” But it shouldn’t be nearly as much of a chore now with my work schedule, so I can do it more often.

4. Reading the Bible

This last one is extremely important to me. I feel like sometimes, my time with God gets neglected, because of how busy or tired that I am. So sometimes, weeks or even months go by without me opening the Bible at all. I don’t like that. I desperately need that time with God, and I crave it, especially when I’m saturated by the world all day long. When I don’t get to spend time with God, I often feel sad, and I feel distanced from him. Another perk of this new job is that I will be able to go to church every Sunday, so no more missing church services. And, I can either read the Bible before or after work, or even just devote some time on a Saturday and/or Sunday to do it. I believe this will strengthen my relationship with God even more, and thus will help me to grow deeper in my faith.

These are just a few of the things that I want to get better at. I am praying that God will help me with each of these. Will you, the readers, also help remind me to do these things, especially if you see me posting about them? Thank you all!

 

Another Invention Idea: Lane Bryant for Small People

This post is one that is coming out of a bit of aggravation/frustration over the last few days. As you may know from one of my previous posts, I got the job that I applied for, and am starting in 13 days. Since I am finally leaving the company that I am at that requires uniforms, I have been going a bit crazy trying to find cute, yet professional outfits that I can wear to this new job. Their atmosphere appears to be business casual, but I still want to look professional.

So, yesterday I started shopping for nice blouses/shirts/blazers/shoes, and I was pretty unsuccessful. First, I went to ShopKo. With how tiny I am, I typically wear a size 2 in dress pants, but I can sometimes be a 3, 4, or 5, depending on whether the designer used even or odd numbering, and depending on the style of the pants. ShopKo had one size two pair of pants, and I couldn’t even get them on. They had no size 4s, so the next biggest size they had from a 2 was a 6. I didn’t even bother trying on a 6, because I knew it would be way too big for me. However, after a bit of perusing, I did manage to find a nice blouse that I can wear to work. It was three-piece, all connected blouse: with a white shirt as the base, a green shrug attached to it, and a nice blue and green scarf attached to that. It looks really nice, and it was marked down from $47 to $17, so I got it, knowing that I was getting a great deal.

When I tried on their (ShopKo’s) shoes, none of the professional flats that I liked fit me properly. Normally, I am a size 9 in shoes, but in dress shoes, I can be an 8, 8 1/2, or 9, just depending on the design of the shoe and whether they run small, large, or true-to-size. Well, the 9s were huge on me, the 8 1/2s were still slipping off the back of my heel, and the 8s were too tight in the toes. Not enjoyable at all. So, after purchasing the shirt, I left ShopKo and went to Target.

Target had two pairs of pants in size 4 that I was willing to try on. The first pair had legs that dragged on the ground, and I knew I would have to hem them, which I don’t have time, desire, or ability to. The second pair had the same issue, but it wasn’t as bad, so I was willing to get them. That was, until I looked at the back of the pants. Despite being black, they were very see-through–to the point that you could tell I was wearing white panties. Needless to say, those would not work for professional purposes. Then, target had one pair of shoes in an 8 that would have worked, but I just didn’t think they would be comfortable long-term, so I just bought some household items that I needed, and then left.

Finally, I made one last stop: Fred Meyer. I was hoping that they would have something that would work for me. Well, the shoes were a complete disappointment. They had no ballet flats whatsoever, and nothing that looked professional, so that was a bust. I then ventured over to their women’s clothing department, and looked for pants. The smallest size they had there was 6, even in the junior’s department. Annoyed and frustrated at this point, I just left.

I have thus come to a conclusion. Stores like Lane Bryant exist exclusively for plus-size women, so why can’t there be a similar store exclusively for petite women? A store that only sold clothes sizes 0-6 would be great. That way, we could still get clothes that looked nice on us, there would be an abundance of styles and sizes to choose from, and we wouldn’t have to worry about the issues I ran into yesterday. However, fashion designers must not recognize that anything smaller than a 6 exists, so that’s frustrating. Maybe one day someone will come up with a Lane Bryant for petite women. We can only hope.

Panicked: Another Nightmare, Because My Body Hates Me

via Daily Prompt: Panicked

My body isn’t normal. Or if it is, no one has told me that this particular thing it does is normal. When I am overheating under the covers at night, rather than just me waking up sweating or overly warm, my body decides to give me nightmares to let me know that I am overheating. This often results in some pretty terrifying nightmares.

I don’t remember the one that I had last night in its entirety. All I know is that there were people discussing different things, and I was there, and then someone said, “she hasn’t seen hell yet,” and then I woke up terrified. Weird, I know, but that’s all I can remember of the dream. Of course, I am panicked a little bit every time I have dreams like these, because they seem so realistic. Even when I realize that I am back home in my bed, it takes me a few minutes to calm down, and it is hard to get back to sleep….maybe I should try some Melatonin, or something.

Update on the Job Front

Well guys, I got the job! I’m so happy right now! I will be starting the new job on the 17th. While I certainly obtained many valuable experiences during my time at my current job, I am glad to be moving on from my current company, and onto the new one. The new one boasts higher pay, allows me to do something I’m passionate about, is guaranteed M-F 8-5, and even lets me wear whatever I want to, as long as it looks professional! I’m so excited! Words cannot even begin to express how happy I am right now! Of course, I’ll be posting more blog posts in the next few days/weeks, but I just wanted to update everyone about this!

Avid: Things That I Really Love

via Daily Prompt: Avid

I am an avid lover of many, many things. Rather than write separate blog posts about them, I thought I’d share each of the things that I enjoy here.

#1. Anime

Yes, I am a huge fan of anime. I also love cosplaying, but that is a separate post for another time. Anyway, here’s an overview of some of my favorite animes:

Clannad & Clannad: After Story

If you want an anime that is filled with moments that will make you laugh, reminisce, relate to the characters, and bawl like a baby, then this is definitely the one for you. It follows the story of Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa as their relationship develops from friendship, to dating, to marriage. Nagisa is sick all the time, so she and Tomoya have to deal with that and make the best of it. This is a story of love, happiness, school adventures, and sadness all rolled into one. I won’t give anything away, but you definitely need to check this out. In my opinion, this is one of the best animes of all time.

ItaKiss

ItaKiss

ItaKiss, often known as “Itazura Na Kiss” (translates to “Mischevious Kiss” in English), is probably my second favorite anime of all time. This is also a love story, but unlike Clannad, it’s a romantic comedy, rather than a dramatic comedy. The main character, Kotoko, is a bit of a klutz, and she is desperately trying to impress her fellow classmate, Naoki Irie, who happens to be the smartest kid in the class. At first, Naoki (almost always referred to in the series as “Irie-kun”) finds Kotoko annoying, and dismisses her advances altogether. In fact, he’s the character you love to hate, as he can be downright mean to her at times. However, as time progresses, he learns to love her, and it becomes a very cute, very sweet story.

Sword Art Online

SAO

Of course, you can’t forget Sword Art Online. I’ve watched both seasons so far, and I absolutely love it! It’s a combination of The Matrix, The Hunger Games, and many other interesting movies. It’s a futuristic show about a video game that traps players inside of it, and they have to fight to the death to make their way out of it. There’s just one catch: if you die in the game, you die in real life. Can protagonists Kirito and Asuna make it out alive? You’ll have to watch this epic anime to find out.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the best action/sci-fi animes of its time. First, it borrows from The Matrix, but it is a lot more than that. Cybernetic bodies are becoming more and more prominent, and it is getting to a point where it’s hard to tell who’s the human and who’s the cyborg. The Major (Motoko Kusanagi), is the most prominent character in the show, and she is a member of a classified police force known as Section 8. She goes on top secret missions, collects research, and more. In general, the show is fast-paced and gripping. Definitely a must-watch for all action and sci-fi fans!

#2. Horses

The second thing that I am an avid fan of is horses. Specifically, Arabian horses. I think that they are absolutely the most beautiful horse breed around. I would love to own one some day. As if that’s not enough, I collect Breyer Horses, and I have all kinds of books and movies about horses. Heck, I even like to play horse video games.

#3. Photography

I love photography! Everything about it. I’m an amateur, but I hope to be a professional one day. I’m working on honing my skills, and I feel like I’m getting better all the time. Now to just get a professional camera.

#4. House M.D. and The Office

These are two shows that I could binge-watch all over again. First, you’ve got House M.D., the brilliant, yet extremely unorthodox doctor. No one will fire him, because he’s the best diagnostician in the state of New Jersey. This show is a drama, with lots of romance and emotional moments. If you want a show that is extremely relatable and will make you laugh and cry, often in the same episode, then this is the best show for you.

Motorcycle Details
Seen on allwallpapersfree.blogspot.com

The Office is also an amazing show. This is by far one of my favorites, and I actually watched it before House. I bought the whole series of The Office on DVD, it’s that good. of course, I plan to buy House on DVD/Blu-Ray as well, but that’ll come a bit later. As for the office, it’s a sit-com/drama about life in an office building. You follow the lives of Pam, Angela, Oscar, Kevin, Dwight, Meredith, Phyllis, Stanley, and many others, along with their eccentric boss: Michael Scott. While the show can be inappropriate at times, it is quite funny, and just the thing to watch if you’ve got nothing planned on a weekend, if you want something good to watch, or if you’re looking to watch something while you’re at home sick. Dwight Schrute is by far the best character in the show, though it is the chemistry between Jim and Pam that really makes the show, at least in my opinion.

Dwight Schrute

These are just a few of the things that I am an avid lover of. Who knows? I may post another “avid” post later on.

 

 

Gray Skies Can’t Ruin My Day

via Daily Prompt: Gray

Where I live, the skies are gray quite often. Fortunately, there isn’t really anything going on right now that can cause those skies to ruin my day. I’ve been spending time with friends and family, celebrating different fun events and occasions over the course of this month, and even interviewing for a few jobs. I actually just interviewed for one today that seems extremely promising. In fact, they’re having me come back tomorrow, and I will get to interview with their CEO, who operates out of their location in my city, so I’m hoping that I get offered the job. It would be something that I would really enjoy, the pay is exactly what I had hoped for, there are benefits, paid vacation, major holidays off, and they’re very family-oriented, which is exactly what I’m looking for. They seem like an awesome place to work. I’m super excited, and I hope that I get the job. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Fingers crossed that I get it! Is it wishful thinking to hope that I get offered the job on the spot? Probably. They said I probably won’t know for about two weeks until they’ve made their decision, but whether the answer is yes or no, they’ll for sure tell me either way. The interviewer and I had a great conversation today, and it was actually quite fun talking to her. I hope I make as good an impression on the CEO tomorrow, if not better than I already did with the primary interviewer today. Wish me luck!

So in short, the skies may be gray, but in my world, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, life is good, and nothing can get me down! I’ll post updates tomorrow, hopefully, if time permits.