4 Ways To Be More Social

I am a shy introvert. This means that I not only prefer being alone, but even with other people I find myself to be quite reserved. I mentioned before about my lack of social charisma, but I've found that just because I'm not charismatic does not mean that I can't be successfully social.

I've tried my fair share of tricks to try and get out of my comfort zone and talk to people. Here are some tricks that I've found can be useful in forcing yourself to be more social.

Ask a question

Asking a question is a great way to approach someone in an indirect way. It's a lot less intimidating than simply walking up and introducing yourself. The other night, I was at a party with a friend. She walked up to some random people and asked them which type of popcorn was the best type. They responded and then ended up starting a conversation with us. It's an easy way to start up a conversation that does not seem super direct and is a very "low-risk" situation if you get nervous (like I do) about talking to someone.

Join a recreational class that you don't know other people in

I always like socializing in an activity format. This means that there's something other to do besides just talking to people. This might mean an exercise class, a cooking class, a painting class, whatever fits your own interests. The good thing about the class is that them being there means that they might already have a common interest, you both picked the class after all. Additionally, it's nice to have something to do or something to talk about. You can ask people about what to do next in the activity, if they've done it before, bond over how difficult (or not) the activity is, and so on. Moreover, if you don't find anyone you click with much, then no worries, at least you got something out of it.

Enter existing conversations

Here's a confession. I eavesdrop. I always listen in on other people's conversations and it's so fun. However, I've found that you can turn eavesdropping from creepy to social by entering the conversation. You can say something like "I couldn't help but over hear _____, but...." to enter a new conversation. All it takes is a little confidence and self motivation to step out of your comfort zone to do so.

Initiate a meetup or conversation.

Once you get past the hellos and small talk, again seeing the person you clicked with might not happen. Sure, you can get great at meeting new people, but forming friendships need more time. As a result, don't be afraid to reach out. Invite someone to get coffee, grab lunch, or just send a "hi" to initiate conversation. With texting and social media, it's easier to casually ask people to social events with minimal effort. While this is something that I tend to be nervous to do (aka me worrying if I seem to clingy) I love when people invite me to things. suggesting that people will appreciate you reaching out more than you think. Don't overthink it.

Netflix is bringing back rom-coms and making some new ones (to add to the list of classics that we've watched over and over again) and I am ALL FOR IT. I love a good rom-com, they're kind of my guilty pleasure for movies. As a result, I find myself searching for some new great ones and revisiting the classics all the time.

Here are a few rom coms that I love (aka have seen multiple times and still enjoy) that you will too.

one + two. Princess Diaries and Princess Diaries 2

what they're about
The Princess Diaries movies (and books) are about San Franciscan teenager Mia Thermopolis discovering that she is actually a princess of a small European country, Genovia. The first movie goes through the shock and discovery of her being a princess and the guidance from her grandmother, Clarice in the process. The second movie brings Mia to Genovia a few years later when she discovers that in order to be crowned Queen, she must marry. Mia has to rush to try and find a husband while dealing with the news that someone else is trying to steal the crown. 

why i liked them
Princess Diaries was one of those movies that I watched a long time ago when I was younger and it's still just as good now. Whenever I watch the movies, it's like I have that nostalgia for those iconic moments (mattress surfing, the makeover scene, the foot pop) which is super enjoyable, but I still feel engaged in every minute each time I watch it. Honestly the Princess Diaries is less about the romantic part, I'm not sure if it really classifies as a rom-com but hey there's romance in there, it's really about like getting to know and love Mia because she's a pretty awesome character. 

three. 13 Going on 30

what it's about
13 year old Jenna Rink wants to fit in with the popular girls and date the hot popular guy. She reads a magazine about being thirty, flirty, and thriving, and enamored with the idea of being thirty, wishes that she would too be thirty, flirty and thriving - and her wish comes true. Jenna wakes up to be thirty years old, friends with the popular girl at school, dating a hockey player, and in her dream job at Poise Magazine. The movie follows Jenna's realizations as a thirteen year old trying to discover what it's like being an adult. 

why i liked it
13 Going on 30 is really funny, there's a lot of great humor moments with Jenna discovering things about being an adult and not being 13 anymore that really makes the movie. 

four. 10 Things I Hate About You

what it's about
10 Things I Hate About You follows the story of Kat Stratford, a rebellious teenager who refuses to date. On the other hand, Kat's sister, Bianca, really wants to date, but their father says that Bianca cannot date until Kat does. Cameron James, a new kid at school that is crushing on Bianca, comes up with a plan to set Kat up with bad boy Patrick Verona so that he can date Bianca. 

why i liked it
One of the things that I like about 10 Things I Hate About You is that the main character, Kat, isn't your typical rom-com lead. Kat isn't the clumsy and quirky girl that leads a lot of rom-coms, but she's still super likeable. There's fantastic chemistry between Kat and Patrick (Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger) and it will make you laugh, cry, and smile. 

five. All The Boys I've Loved Before

what it's about
All The Boys I've Loved Before is about teenager Lara Jean, who writes letters to her crushes (aka all the boys she has ever loved) when they are so overwhelmingly powerful that she needs just needs to express her feelings. One day, the letters get sent out to all five of the boys: Peter, childhood friend and popular guy at school, John Ambrose McClaren from model UN, Kenny, who she went to camp with, Lucas, the boy she went to homecoming with, and Josh, her older sister's boyfriend. The movie (and book! it was based on a book) follows Lara Jean as she deals with the chaos from the letters coming out. 

why i liked it
Before All the Boys I Loved Before came out, I heard a lot of buzz and excitement over having an Asian lead in a rom-com, which also came with a lot of excitement from the all-Asian cast of Crazy Rich Asians. While I think that it's fantastic to have Lara Condor, an Asian actress, as the lead, it wasn't just the fact that there was an Asian lead that drew me to this movie, it was the movie itself as well. I thought the trailer was so well done, it gave away enough about the movie to me that I was compelled and also left a lot unknown. After watching the trailer, all I was thinking was "What's next? What's going to happen with the letters?" And the movie delivered. It was cute and enjoyable, all you need in a good rom-com. However, I noticed some parts of the movie that could have been confusing if you didn't read the book. I did, but there were some things touched on that weren't really fleshed out that seemed awkward to me if you didn't know the context from the book.

Honorable mentions:

27 Dresses

27 Dresses is pretty enjoyable and a fun movie to watch. I think I've seen it maybe twice, so I liked it enough to watch it again, but it's an honorable mention because I just didn't find it as touching as some of the other movies above.

Clueless

One of the classics for a reason. However, the only reason why it's an honorable mention is because it makes me a little uncomfortable that Josh is Cher's ex-stepbrother. Aside from that, it's a great movie.

The Proposal

The Proposal is super cute and funny. It wasn't the kind of movie that I've watched over and over like some of the previously mentioned movies, but it's sweet and definitely worth a watch.



The food I eat isn't really that healthy. I am aware of it and I know that it is something that has to change. However, I'm not the kind of person that wants to adhere to a specific diet or rules, I just want to try and have general healthy eating habits.

As a result, I decided to try tracking what I eat for a week. My initial mentality would be that by tracking myself, I would be more inclined to eat better food so that I would be able to record that food, kind of like an extra motivation. I noticed that when I did an exercise log when I tried bullet journaling, I was more inclined to exercise so that I would be able to fill up my log in my journal, so I was hoping that tracking my food consumption would do something similar: encourage healthy eating habits.

However, while I had my own motivations, I was curious as to what other people thought regarding tracking food consumption.

According to Bon Appetit's healthyish, keeping a food log can make you more mindful of your food intake, potentially double a person's weight loss, understand what's making you feel the way that you feel, and just have a bit more accountability in what you eat.

Read more: Healthyish - How to Keep a Food Journal Without Losing Your Mind

In order to track my eating habits, I didn't quite know where to start. Should I just write down everything that I ate and leave it at that? Or did I need to record all the nutrition facts of everything? Should I make an excel document? A general list?

Overwhelmed, I realized that there was an easier solution. There are apps for literally anything nowadays, so I turned to the app store and found the app, Lifesum, that can track your diet. Because I'm cheap and I didn't pay for the full capabilities, I had a very limited view of what I was eating. I could mostly only see the calorie consumption, but I couldn't really see the breakdowns of what was in what I ate (aka how much fiber, saturated vs. unsaturated fats, sodium, etc.) so it was slightly limited.

what I realized throughout the week

On the first day, I also found myself surprised that I ate more than the recommended calorie consumption. The app generate a recommended calorie consumption, I'm assuming it's based off of your age, height, and weight, and mine suggested 1727 daily calories. On the first day of the week, I ate 2093 calories, which was quite a bit over the suggested amount. That really surprised me because generally when I go out to eat with people, people tell me that I didn't eat a lot and I often eat the least out of the group.

I Tracked What I Ate for a Week
The Lifesum app

Granted, it could be that there were difficulties tracking the calories, but nevertheless I felt more aware of how much food I was putting into my body because I found myself making an effort to eat a little bit less the next day. Moreover, I felt more motivated to exercise, mostly because when you exercise I a) get to document it, which makes me feel good about myself, and b) the app increases the amount of calories that you should eat (because you burned some), thus allowing myself to feel better about eating more.
penne with basil, tomato sauce, and ricotta

As a result, I felt like I was hyper-aware of my calorie consumption. I probably wasn't even looking much at how healthy the food I was eating was, I felt myself really zoning in on calories only, which isn't what I intended to occur in this experience. While it was good that I was becoming more aware of the possibilities of overeating and taking measures to prevent it, it felt wrong that I was focusing so much on calories when there were so many other indicators of a healthy diet.

However, the good thing was that in order to cut back on calories, I found myself actively avoiding having extra sweets such as sugary drinks and ice cream.

During the week, I was craving ice cream, but I didn't eat it because I didn't want to have to document the ice cream, thus increasing my calorie count. Therefore it was beneficial in discouraging unhealthy eating and indulgent treats.

On the other hand, a downside would also be that I felt a little confused regarding the calories. There were some days that the app stated that I had already overeaten, but I still found myself to be hungry. I'm not sure if it's because I was simply used to overeating, but I usually use a rule of thumb that if I'm hungry, I should eat. I think that it may be due to the types of food that I was eating rather than the amount. There are some kinds of food that keep you full longer (protein, complex carbohydrates) and some that you can burn faster (simple sugars) and I think that is something that I didn't really take into account much throughout the week.

issues that I encountered

On the first day, I realized that it was quite difficult to accurately track the exact amount of calories. I had gone out for breakfast with some friends, meaning that I had eaten something that I did not know the exact nutrition facts for. It was also difficult to gauge the exact amount of food that I had consumed. Yes, I had eaten 3 pancakes, but the size of those pancakes were relative. How many grams or ounces had I eaten? I wasn't really sure.

personal pizza topped with sausage and basil
Another problem that I encountered while recording what I ate was that it was difficult to pinpoint the extra calories by sauces, seasoning, and other additional aspects, especially for restaurant food. For example, I could record that I ate grilled chicken, but I didn't know exactly what was on the chicken because I didn't have the nutrition facts from the restaurant. As a result, the tracking that I did in terms of the calorie, protein, fat, and carb intake, is not the most reliable, but rather it is simply an estimate.

Additionally, I found that the app was a little deceiving. The Lifesum app gives each of your meals and the things that you eat a rating. Because I have the free version of the app, I do not know what goes into that rating.

The app ranked my breakfast of chocolate chip cakes as the best rating. I'm not sure if it's because the calorie amount was right or it thought that chocolate chip pancakes were healthy, but surely they're not very healthy. I knew that when I ate them and I was expecting the app to be mad at me for eating something so indulgent, which is why I was so confused by the rating. I noticed that issue pop up more times throughout the week, but I'm not going to go too in depth with that because this isn't a post about the app, but rather the process of tracking what I ate.

Lastly, it was difficult to really gauge how many calories I had burned. I usually just clicked the full body workout option when the app asked me to describe my workout, but a problem was that the only way to track it would be through how long your workout was. I couldn't document if it was cardio, strength training, high intensity, low intensity, and other indicators.

the takeaway

smoothie
I've done quite a few "lifestyle challenges" on this blog before and one of the most difficult things of them is often getting into the habit. This was the problem when I tried bullet journaling and meditating. However, this habit of tracking my food was one of the easiest changes. I found myself easily remembering to track my food and I even looked forward to it, especially when I ate food that was healthy. Even after the week was over, I still found myself itching to note down what I ate. It easily became a habit.

I think that what I realized is that a healthy diet is quite complex. It's a difficult balance of eating the right amount of protein, carbs, and fats, as well as eating the right kinds of protein, carbs, and fats, along with the calories as a whole. I wish that while I was tracking the app I could become more aware of more specific things like fiber consumption and complex carbohydrates vs. simple ones, because I think that those are also important indicators of a healthy diet.

should you track what you eat?

I think that it is a very personal decision. Going into this, I didn't want to be the kind of person that became obsessive about calories and dieting, which is why I was a little nervous about beginning to track my diet. I never want to be that kind of person. I enjoy eating, I am not looking to lose any weight, and I am frankly uninterested in dieting. However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to eat healthier for my own body's sake.

Self care is more than just putting on a face mask and lighting candles, it's about taking proper care of your mind and body – and what you eat affects your body. 

As a result, I think that I am gaining a new appreciation for having a food log and may even continue using one. It provided me with some interesting realizations and a new outlook on food tracking. For example, I learned that I am overeating, which is something that I hadn't even realized before. I felt more motivated to exercise, which is always a good thing. I was more aware of the kinds of food that I was eating and felt excited to eat healthier with the extra incentive of getting to record it with pride.

Throughout this week, I have definitely seen the benefits of tracking your food consumption. 

I think that it is worth giving a try if you are interested in the following and take it with a grain of salt. I've had quite a few issues throughout the week that indicate that there can be some issues with the app and the tracking method that you use, I think you just have to be aware of that. While the app might not think that chocolate chip pancakes probably aren't the healthiest eating option, I am aware of that and I understand that. As a result, it's important to also be aware that there are many indicators of the health of certain foods beyond just the calories.

At the end of the day, if you choose to track what you eat, it is not impossible to feel the benefits and discover a newfound mindfulness of what you eat. You just have to understand that the data does not define you and also be aware that the data is an estimate, not the end-all be-all.






It's August, which means that school is starting pretty soon. I'm in that mode right now where it's like I know that I'm heading back to school but it hasn't really set in yet, but I keep trying to prepare myself for going to school by telling myself all these things that I intend to do when I get there.

However, it had always just been in my mind, some things popping up and fading away like afterthoughts. The other day, I was listening to Spotify when an ad came on. It was an ad for post its and it stated that you're more likely to get things done if you write them down. As a result, I decided that it was about time that I put those ideas on paper. These are my new school year resolutions.

Related: Why You NEED New School Year Resolutions

01 | start being fearlessly me.

One of the things that I tend to do is choose to do all the things that other people are doing in a desire to fit in. This school year, I intend to try and do things because I want to. I need to stop waiting around to take cues from other people and start paving my own path. This might mean that I stand beside my own principles even if they are different from others' or it might mean that I stop being embarrassed of things that I think others will perceive negative.

02 | take more initiative.

I thought about writing this as "be more assertive" but that can be construed as negative. This relates to #1 in a sense that I want to take more initiate and assert myself as me more, but I want to not only be able to act like myself and be myself, but I also want to be able to be unafraid to assert my own opinions and my own rules.

03 | get involved more. 

I'm lazy. I'm a lazy person. I don't like getting involved, I like to do the things that I'm already comfortable in. This new school year, I intend to get more involved - whether that means in general activities, academics, social life, I intend to start getting out and taking more action.

04 | be more social.

One of the things that I feel that I am terrible at is being social. One of my friends mentioned that we're (meaning me and her) are kind of homebodies. We like to be at home, relax, be comfortable, and spend a lot of time by ourselves, as we're both introverts. There's nothing wrong with that, but I feel that this leads me to being very insecure about my social abilities. I can't tell you how many times I've said things and immediately after I've thought "Wow that was terrible I hate myself" or how many times that I've felt awkward socializing with people. I want to start shedding that awkwardness and learning to be more comfortable being social.

05 | take advantage of my own education.

Even though we complain about it, everyone at school is there for a reason. I definitely feel like I take education for granted and I want to stop doing that. It's about time that I appreciate the fact that I can have an education and take advantage of all the benefits. This means that I intend to be more active in class and not let myself slack (aka skip classes and get lazy on assignments). I understand that this may be a little optimistic as I'm probably still going to slack sometimes (you need some balance!) but I want to have that reminder in my head for those times that I am beginning to get lazy.

06 | take proper care of myself.

Along with taking advantage of my own education, I have to make sure that I don't let my education burn myself out. I want to start exercising more often and do some yoga as a nice refresher from all the school stuff. I guess that I just want to remind myself that a part of not taking my education for granted would also be not taking myself for granted. There are ways that I put myself first in a lot of ways, which I've mentioned a lot through self care blog posts, but there are still more ways that I can care for my body and my mind.

What are your new school year resolutions?

You know those clothes in your closet that you never really wear but whenever you get rid of your clothes you always look at it and say "these aren't bad" and keep them anyways? I have a lot of those kinds of clothes. They're like the clothes that don't quite fit your style anymore so you don't wear them on a day to day basis, but they're pretty nice clothes anyways that you feel like you might wear sometime.

Recently, I've been tidying up according to Marie Kondo's book, the life-changing magic of tidying up. Her philosophy is to get rid of anything that no longer sparks joy. However, I've been having a tough time letting go of a lot of my things, thinking that maybe if I keep them, now that I remember having them, they may spark joy. So I decided to put that to the test and wear these items of clothing for a week to see if they're even worth keeping around.

Read more: I Followed Marie Kondo's KonMari Method to Tidy Up My Closet And This is What Happened

But let's be clear, the description for these types of clothes is long and awkward, so from now on throughout the post, I will be calling these "maybe keep" clothes. 

A couple of months ago, I had an idea to do a post on me wearing my least loved clothes from my closet for a week, aka doing head to toe items that I didn't really like wearing anymore but I still kept around, but I just felt so uncomfortable and not like myself. I felt like my past self, which discounted a lot of my confidence because I have grown and changed since I last wore those outfits. As a result, I'm going to be pairing them with clothes that I know that I do like, because I want to pair it realistically the way that I would if I decided to keep them. This means that I will probably have one "maybe keep" item per outfit.

To judge each item, I have a few methods of criteria for assessment:

1) Do I feel confident in it?
For me, confidence is key for what I wear. One of the main reasons why I'm so invested in fashion is because it has the power to make or break my day because it can have such a big impact on my mood and mindset. As a result, I want to only wear clothes that I feel good in and that make me feel confident.

Related: Why Does Fashion Matter?

2) Would I wear it again? Can I find other outfit possibilities for this item or does it only fit with this specific outfit?
Practicality is important for what I wear. There are some things in my closet that I absolutely love, but I rarely ever wear them. I want to have clothes that I can wear in different capacities, that I can style in different forms, and that can be worn more than once.

3) Lastly, will I keep this item?
Based off of the first two answers, I will decide the ultimate question that I am trying to answer: is it worth keeping or is it time to say goodbye to these items?

Day One




"Maybe keep" item: White lace top from Abercrombie (similar)

On the first day, I assessed this white lace top. It's from Abercrombie, which is a pretty good indicator of how long I've had it considering I got it during the elementary school to middle school Abercrombie phase that I think a lot of people had. I styled it first with a pair of paperbag pants (aka something trendy now that I'm super into) and then changed later into a pair of jeans. 

Do I feel confident in it?
I felt pretty confident in it. I felt a bit more confident in the first outfit with the paper bag pants, mostly because I love wearing that kind of pants. It surely did not make me as confident as some of the other items in my closet, an indicator of why I don't really wear it, but I still feel quite confident in it.

Would I wear it again?
I think that I would wear this top again. It's pretty easy to wear since it's just white. It's very easy to style and looks pretty timeless.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I think that I will. I can't say that I'm going to wear it all the time, but I do think that I should not get rid of it because I will wear it every now and then and I still feel pretty good in it. 

Day Two



"Maybe keep" items: Striped skirt from Marshalls (similar) and black mock neck top from Topshop (similar)
"Already love" items: watch from Daniel Wellington, necklace from Charming Charlie (similar), espadrilles from Alpagaratus (Spanish company, don't have the same color of these shoes) (similar)

Do I feel confident in it?
I didn't feel bad in this outfit, but I didn't feel spectacular in it either. When I put it on, I remembered why I don't really wear this skirt. I generally like to put my skirts at around the waist area. When I put it at the waist area, the skirt is very short to the point that I just feel uncomfortable. It just feels like the skirt is designed to be worn more at the hip area because then it would be a better length. As a result, I felt a little uncomfortable wearing it because I felt like I needed to keep pulling it down.

Would I wear it again?
I feel like I would not wear it again. For me, my main concern was less about the look of the skirt, because it really looks pretty decent, but just the comfort of wearing it. I don't want to have to wear something that I feel like I have to keep worrying about pulling down. It's just not really that practical for my needs.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I do not think that I will keep this skirt. It's just a little too short for my liking. 

Day Three


"Maybe keep" item: Plaid flannel from American Eagle
"Already love" items: watch from Daniel Wellington, scrunchie from Francesca's, leggings from Aerie, sneakers from Adidas

Do I feel confident in it?
I felt okay wearing this, I just felt rather content in terms of my confidence. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel amazing either. However, the shirt is very comfortable, which made me feel a little bit better in it.

Would I wear it again?
I think that I would wear it again. It is very comfortable, which is the main reason why I wanted to give this shirt a second chance. It's the fact that the shirt looks pretty decent and feels comfy which makes it worth wearing again and adds extra practicality.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I think that I will keep this shirt. It's the kind of thing that is as comfortable as pajamas but looks good enough to wear out on a lazy day and I can still feel generally content in terms of my confidence and I think that those kinds of pieces still serve purpose in having.

Day Four




The main reason why I don't really like this romper is because I feel like the fit isn't that great. It's a little bit baggy, which is why I wear it with the belt. It's not so obvious that it looks awkwardly baggy, for example, it looks fine in the picture, but in real life the shape just isn't quite right. 

"Maybe keep" item: Romper from Forever 21 (similar)

Do I feel confident in it?
I felt decently confident in this romper. It's not really the kind of outfit that I'm excited to wear, but upon revisiting it I wouldn't say that I'm not confident when I wear it. There are things that I feel more confident in, but I wouldn't say that I feel bad in it either.

Would I wear it again?
I think that I would. It's pretty comfortable because it is kind of baggy and it looks pretty okay on me, despite my initial thoughts of it being too baggy.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I'm still on the fence about this item, but I'm leaning towards yes. This romper may not be my favorite item in my closet, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't wear it and that I won't wear it. It's something that I still feel pretty good in, so to me it's worth keeping around.

Day Five


"Maybe keep" item: Bow top from Forever 21 (couldn't find a similar)

Do I feel confident in it?
I feel like the main reason that I don't really wear this top anymore is because it just doesn't fit my personal style anymore. I think that the top looks lovely and it was in fact one of my favorite shirts a few years ago. Looking at this photo, I think that this top looks great. It made me second guess why I didn't really wear it anymore. However, when I finally put it on to wear out, I just felt that it wasn't me. I guess that it wasn't that I did not feel confident in it, I felt okay in it. It just didn't feel right.

Would I wear it again?
I am not sure if I would wear it again. It just doesn't feel quite like me when I wear it. It can match with clothes in my wardrobe and I could style it in other ways, I just don't know if I want to.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I am very much on the fence for this. It is a gorgeous top and I like it, but it just doesn't really fit my personal style anymore. Per the Marie Kondo theory, I should let go of it because it served its purpose. It brought me joy then and it has done its job. However, I just feel bad getting rid of it because it is nice and I do like it. 

Day Six




"Maybe keep" items: Blue cardigan from Old Navy (similar), fruit dress from Aritzia (similar)

I remember when I first got this dress, I loved it. I was obsessed with the print of it and was so excited to wear it. However, I don't really wear it much anymore. I think that a large part of it is because I a) don't really have occasions to wear this and b) the skirt is a little short. 

Do I feel confident in them?
I feel relatively confident in it. I don't feel as confident in it as I did when I first bought it, I remember I was so happy when I first got it, but I don't necessarily feel bad in it either. I definitely feel more comfortable and like myself in it when I wear it with the sweater as opposed to just the dress on its own because I feel very exposed without the sweater. Therefore I do feel more confident in the cardigan, giving some brownie points to it.

Would I wear them again?
I'm not sure if I would keep the dress. The main reason that I don't wear it a lot in the first place is still true now. I just don't have occasions for me to wear it at. It also feels a little short, which I already mentioned being a reason for me being unsure about keeping it. As for the cardigan, I think that I would wear it again. Cardigans are so easy to match with things and are super practical for staying warm and comfortable.

Lastly, will I keep these items?
I am still unsure about the dress. The thing is that I do really like the look of it, but it's missing that practicality element. As for the cardigan, I think that I will keep it. I do like that it's a bit longer of a cardigan because I'm definitely into long cardigans now and I think that the reason that I stopped wearing it was because I was getting really into chunky knit cardigans at the time. However, this cardigan is a lot less bulky and warm and I think it could really come into use when the weather is a bit more in-between, like spring or fall. 

Day Seven



"Maybe keep" item: striped crop top from Forever 21 (similar)

I think that the main reason why I haven't really worn this top is because I haven't really been that comfortable in crop tops until recently, especially fitted ones. I generally like wearing more flowy crop tops, but this one is a bit more out of my comfort zone and I didn't like how it hitched up

Do I feel confident in it?
When I put this outfit on, I actually felt so confident and so good. Like seriously, I loved wearing this. I felt awesome. There's no doubt about it, I feel confident in this.

Would I wear it again?
I think that I would wear this top again, definitely with this outfit. I think the problem with this top is that it's a crop top and while I can wear it with high waisted jeans, it still shows a strip of skin that I don't really like/feel comfortable showing, so I can only wear it with super high waisted bottoms. I think that if I can find a maxi skirt, this top would look sooooo good with one.

Lastly, will I keep this item?
I think that it's worth keeping around, even if I only ever wear it with these pants, because I just felt really confident in this outfit. I'm only now becoming more comfortable in crop tops, so maybe I will become more comfortable wearing this in the future. 

What's the takeaway?

Fit your old clothes with your new clothes. Wearing all old clothes will make you feel like your old self, disrupting some of your confidence. You are growing and changing, so it only makes sense that your style would change as well to indicate that.

Just like the way that we change, a bit of the things that you liked in the past can still be liked in the present, as long as you find a way to merge it with your new lifestyle. It's like finding an old candle jar and repurposing it to become something else. It wouldn't look the exactly the same as it did before, but it is something a little bit different to fit your new needs. 

It's worth trying on old clothes that you're considering getting rid of because you can understand how they make you feel. 

There are some clothes that I thought that I might want to keep, but the second I tried them on, I realized that there was absolutely no way that I wanted to keep it. I tried on a pair of low waisted jeans that at first I thought I would keep, but then I realized that I hate low waisted jeans now. On the other hand, I tried on some things and I wondered why I never wore them because I find that I do like them today. However, you'll never know until you put those clothes on. 

People make a big deal out of first impressions making a big impact. With the rise of online dating and the role of social media in our relationships, the way that you describe yourself and present yourself can make a huge difference on whether or not people swipe right or left on you, whether it's in a romantic capacity or platonic manner.

The other day, I was talking to a potential new friend, Erin*. I had just met her and I was in the stage when I was trying to assess whether or not we would get along. We haven't met in person yet, so all our interactions were online. I noticed that as we were chatting, we did a lot of the typical "dating profile" type things. We mentioned our hobbies, our favorite television shows, our favorite musical artists. We were stating a lot of facts, throwing them out there to see if one would strike conversation over some commonality.

And I guess that it makes sense. You see if you like someone based off of common interests. Online, I connect with a lot of people with a shared interest in blogging. It's a great way to get a conversation going and eventually a friendship.

However, it got me thinking. While we were stating all those facts, I remember thinking that the fact that she likes Shawn Mendes' music wasn't going to make or break whether I was friends with her or not. If she liked a television show that I didn't like, that wouldn't necessarily mean that we wouldn't get along.

It occurred to me that the people that we describe ourselves to be in the "dating profile" or fun fact style probably won't make or break situations of whether or not two people will get along. 

About a week ago, I stumbled upon clips from the British television show, Love Island. I don't actually watch the show because I am American and thus cannot watch it, but I found the few clips that I saw to be quite entertaining because they were full of drama. One statement that stood out to me was that a lot of people were saying things like "Laura's 100% my type on paper." It seemed like a way to justify going after someone, but to me I felt like that didn't really guarantee that they would actually get along because it seemed that a lot of them didn't really hit it off that well despite being each other's types.

Whether it's friendships or romantic relationships, I started getting curious regarding whether getting along on paper will really result in a strong relationship. 

So on paper, am I even compatible with my friends? 

One of my friends, Alexa*, is probably not that much like me. Her fashion taste is edgier than mine, consisting of crop tops, boots, fishnet tights, and lipsticks, while I opt for peter pan collars, stripes, and embroidered clothing. She likes cartoons and YouTube gaming videos. I like baking videos and drama-filled television. She likes different music than I do. She eats healthy and tries all the foods while I eat less healthy and am more selective with what I eat. She has lots of gorgeous plants while I killed the air plants that she gave me for my birthday. While our appearances in terms of our style may not match and some of the fun facts that we state about ourselves might not align, we somehow still get along. 

Granted, there are some similarities in the things we like as well. We both like calligraphy and we both have an appreciation for musical theatre. However, in terms of the factual "on paper" ways to describe ourselves, it doesn't look like we're really checking a lot of boxes. 

But when I think about it, we have a similar sense of humor. We're both nerdy and we like to have long intellectual conversations about the strangest things.

Something about our personalities, although I feel like I can't really translate it into words, just works.

On the other hand, I have another friend that I've known since we were in preschool, Olivia*. Olivia and I are slightly more similar on paper than Alexa and I would be. Olivia and I both play (we did at the time, I guess now it's played in past tense) the piano. We have more similar sense of style. We both liked drawing, but just as a hobby, nothing crazy serious. We work on paper and in real life. 

I guess that what I'm getting at is that there are some friendships that can be full of factual similarities and other friendships that can be full of factual differences, but both can work. 

However, if I had solely judged them based off of who they are on paper, perhaps I would have become friends with Olivia, but maybe I wouldn't have become friends with Alexa. Imagine if it was like on Tinder. Based off of what was presented before me, perhaps I would have swiped left on Alexa without ever giving her a chance and seeing that somehow we fit in real life even though there are so many differences.

Related: Why You Should Spend Time With People Outside Your Social Circle

So beyond the factual things that make up who we are on paper, I think that often we use the people that we are on paper in social media. We present forward who we think we are and how we want people to see us. It's kind of like when people ask you for fun facts about yourself in those awkward icebreakers, you're not going to say the boring stuff, you're going to say the kind of things that you think people will be interested in and will present you in the best light.

Erin and I added each other on social media and I scrolled through her Instagram, trying to figure out the kind of person that she is and whether or not she might become a friend. Her Instagram wasn't much like mine, but the style of photos and captions did remind me of the Instagram of a close friend that I already have, Tanya*. So would that mean that we would get along? I guess that I don't really know. Maybe, but also maybe not. I won't know until I meet her in real life and see how her personality truly is.

People mention not online-stalking someone that you're romantically interested in because you might end up making assumptions about them or building this expectation of the kind of person that they will be before you meet them. And I see that. I can't tell the kind of person that Erin is from her social media or the kind of person she presents herself to be on paper.

Sure, I could make the assumption that because her social media is in a similar style to Tanya's, that would mean that we would be friends. However, I think that the things that make Tanya and I friends aren't the things that are on her social media. It's not her hobbies or fashion sense. It's the way that I feel comfortable talking to her about a lot of things that I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone else about. I don't know why I feel that way, I just do. Like my friendship with Alexa, I can't always translate that into words.

To me, I think that relationships (any kind of relationship) is more than just the first impressions, the facts, and the facades. A lot of it plays into personality, the dynamic of the relationship, and the connection that you feel that you might not exactly be able to describe.

Don't close yourself off to potential friendships, romantic relationships, and general relationships because at first glance you don't see an instant click. I feel like now we are becoming more superficial than ever in our relationships and it's time to stop letting first impressions drive your overall opinion of people.

Give it time and take the time to get to know people and see past what's on paper. 

I am beginning to make an active effort to stop trying to let a first impression dictate how I view someone. I am trying to avoid looking up people on social media in order to stop that from shaping my assumptions regarding who they are and I am trying to see people for who they truly are, not on paper, not on a dating profile, and not from who they are on social media. I wouldn't want someone to judge me based off of just one quick encounter, so why should I do the same?

At the end of the day, all I'm looking for is connections and meaningful relationships with people. And I hope that I can find that by being more open-minded and looking beneath the surface.


*names changed for privacy



I Followed Marie Kondo's KonMari Method to Clean My Closet and This is What Happened

My room is a mess. People always meet me and think that I'm super organized. They see that my things for school are well planned and tidy. They see that I'm on time for things. They see that I use a calendar. However, one thing in my life that is a complete mess and I think will always be one will be the cleanliness of my room.

In November, I published a blog post called I Tried Spending 5 Minutes Every Night to Tidy Up for a Week based off of Gretchen Rubin's advice. In fact, it even got shared by Gretchen Rubin herself. In that post, there is a very realistic and true before photo of my room. From the post, I saw some comments: "What a disaster of a room." and "I'd never let it get to point A in the first place!" And yeah, my room is a mess. I can attest to that. This is why I'm going to try and change that by tidying up.

I am in no way the kind of person that can maintain a clean room. 

I know some friends that say that they can't even study unless their room is clean, which is something so foreign to me. What is more foreign is the way that Marie Kondo describes her interest in tidying up. For me, I just don't have the same interest as her and it is something that I cannot fully understand, which is clearly represented by the mess that my room has.

However, I need to go one step at a time and cannot expect myself to transform into a tidying queen like Marie Kondo overnight, which is why I'm starting with my closet. Baby steps right?

I think that the main reason that I do not get rid of things is because I a) think that I might need them in the future, b) feel bad getting rid of them because I spent money purchasing these things that are still in very good condition and c) want to do more with my things than just throwing them out.

getting started

Getting started was where I immediately was unwilling to cooperate with Marie Kondo's methods. One of the things that she mentioned was to "place every item of clothing in the house on the floor." My sister had done the KonMari method a couple of months ago and I witnessed the mess that she made when she dumped her entire wardrobe on the floor. It was then and there that I realized that I probably have a ton of clothes. I actually said, "Whoa, you have a lot of clothes. Does this mean that I have this many clothes?"

With the carnage of her tidying in mind, I decided that I would opt out of dumping all of my clothes on the floor and instead I would simply adhere to the discarding process, but instead of taking everything out at once, I would just go section by section.

However, I didn't completely deviate from the KonMari method, I used her famous "does it spark joy?" selection criterion for deciding whether or not to get rid of or keep a piece.

Similar: I Wore the Clothes I Own But Rarely Wear For a Week

So I went through all of my clothes based off of the clothing type. I went through tee shirts, sorted them, and discarded all of the ones that didn't spark joy anymore. Then I went through sweaters. And pants, and dresses, and so on until I had sorted through my entire closet. I did the same with the general clutter in my closet. I had a lot of old jewelry and clothes that had fallen off the hangers that were just taking up room in my closet and making it look really cluttered.

While I was hesitant to get rid of a lot of my clothes, the "spark joy" method was actually a really great way of looking at things. 

It was a good reminder that items can be temporary and once they have served their purpose (sparking joy at the moment), there is no harm in saying farewell to them. It helped me get rid of so many clothes, like so many (a giant garbage bag + more worth of clothing).

hanging clothes

My closet is pretty long, which means that there's lots of space for hanging clothes. This means that the majority of my wardrobe is hanging.

One of the things that really tripped me up was the idea to "arrange your clothes so that they rise to the right" with "heavy items on the left side of the closet and light items on the right". I was a little confused by this. In the book it mentions something about it making you feel calmer. However, I am not the kind of person that likes change. The order of the clothes in my closet have been carefully crafted and adhered to for the past few years, so when I changed up the order, it really threw me for a loop.

Everything just felt wrong, out of place. 

Maybe I was simply unwilling to accept change, but looking at my closet, it really didn't make me feel any happier or calmer. It just felt odd. I sat there, thinking about how if I kept ignoring what the Konmari method said, was I really following it? A specific quote from the beginning of the book kept ringing out: "Don't change the method to suit your personality."

And it made me wonder. In order to be tidy and happy and experience the "life-changing magic of tidying up" would have to follow the book to a T? 

I couldn't help but feeling like I was looking at this book like a bible, like it was simply commands that I needed to mindlessly follow in order to achieve a promise of a happy and tidy life. And I didn't want to feel like I was just doing things because the book told me to. So I made the executive decision to return the order of my clothes to the way that they originally were. The second that everything returned to normal, I felt at ease. This was the way that things were meant to be, at least that's the way that I felt. And who am I to deny my own feelings?

folding clothes

So after my hanging clothes had been sorted through, organized and eventually reorganized (or un-organized?), I needed to get to the rest of my clothes, which were all of the clothes in the drawers.

the vertical position folding method
The main thing that the Konmari method says about folding clothes is that a) it's preferable to hanging up clothes, b) you shouldn't pile or stack things on top of each other, but rather put everything in a vertical position so your clothes are standing up instead of sitting on top of each other.

The idea of putting everything in a vertical position sounded like a really good idea to me. Whenever I go in my drawers, everything always comes unfolded whenever I dig down to the bottom to get something. I could already see it, having my clothes vertical would mean no more digging to the bottom.

When I started folding my clothes and putting them in the vertical position, I was shocked to how much space I actually cleared. In fact, I managed to fit what used to be 4 drawers of clothing into slightly over 2 drawers. I think that it was partially because I had discarded a lot of my clothes, but I also think that the vertical method allowed me to pack more clothes into one drawer. The clothes were folded more tightly because they weren't coming undone whenever I reached in and they could really get nice and snug.

My drawers were looking neater than ever and when I went to grab a shirt, I didn't mess up the entire drawer in the process. It definitely felt like a victory. 

On top of that, since I had so much extra room in my drawers, I managed to put some containers holding jewelry and nail polish into my drawers. They had previously been on top of my drawers, but since I had the room, I could use it to store other things besides my clothes. It was a double win.

On the other hand, once I got to the underwear drawer, I was starting to feel a little skeptical. The KonMari method suggests that you don't ball up your socks, but rather fold them exactly the same way that you would fold clothing: fold it normally and then put it in vertical storage. And that confused me. I was thinking that if I didn't ball up my socks, wouldn't they separate and I would end up losing a lot of my socks?

I was very skeptical and almost 90% sure that I wouldn't like that method, but I decided to give it a try anyway. 

However, when I started getting a few pairs of socks into the drawer, I realized that it actually worked. 

the sock drawer with the KonMari folding method
With the vertical storage, the clothes were packed so tightly that the socks stayed in pairs perfectly. In addition, unlike stacking clothing, I wouldn't disrupt any of the socks to the point that they would lose their partner. I guess that if you don't have to dig through your drawers, the socks won't get pushed around to the point that they would separate from their match.

Moreover, just like with the clothing, the folding method shrunk down the amount of room that the socks took up. At first, my socks were just lying around taking up the majority of the drawer, but after folding them, they took up less than two-thirds of the drawer. It really helped me to save room, which I found to be absolutely amazing.

the takeaway

I Followed Marie Kondo's KonMari Method to Clean My Closet and This is What Happened

I did see a difference between the before and after. Before, my clothes were folded so poorly that they kept coming undone, which took up more space and consequently made it difficult to open and close drawers because they were overflowing. I managed to clear most of the clutter effectively using the "spark joy" method and made room for things that mattered more to me.

My favorite thing about the Konmari method is absolutely the folding method. I was blown away by how well-organized, functional, and compact the vertical folding method was. It made me rethink what I had been doing before. Every time I go to pull something out of the drawer, it blows my mind again that the drawer can still be perfectly tidy even after I've removed something.

I am still feeling a little skeptical over having to adhere to the KonMari method to a T. I think that there are some things in this book that I just don't like doing, whereas there are also some points that are very valid and worth giving a try, like the folding method. I guess that my takeaway is that there's no harm in trying them out and if you don't like them, no harm either.

bonus video!

Want to see the visual results and changes more in depth? I made an IGTV video that accompanies this post that goes into depth of the actual tidying process.

Click here for the bonus video. 
I'd like to interrupt your usual scheduling of Bloomly posts with something a little different - an outfit post! I usually don't do outfit posts, but I took these photos while I was in Lisbon and I LOVE them and I want to share them, is that too much of a crime? 

Looking at these photos, I was thinking, what do people do with all those cute photos that they take of themselves if they're not a blogger? I don't really post that often on my personal Instagram because I feel like it's obnoxious to post so many photos, especially my travel ones, because I feel like people only follow me because they know me in real life, not because they genuinely like my photos. 

I think that a really interesting thing about blogging is that people look at your content because they're genuinely interested in it. I do a lot of posts on the Bloomly on things meant to help you, posts that are applicable to your life. However, I want to also be able to include posts about me and things that go on in my life, and that's what this post is. I'm excited about these photos and I want to share them. I'm no fashion blogger, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't get to share outfits and looks that I love. So if you're interested, go ahead and read. And if you're not, that's okay too. 


So these photos were all taken while I was exploring Lisbon, Portugal with my sister, which is the main reason why I like these photos so much, not only did I have a cute outfit, but I had the gorgeous backdrop of the city of Lisbon. 


We were looking for some pink walls to take photos in front of. We ended up finding so many viable options (so Instagrammable!) and this wall above ended up being the best one. There were two Instagram goals: get a photo in front of some famous Portuguese tiles and a photo in front of a pink wall and they were both easily completed!


Some context behind the photo above, it's a bit of a cheat, it was taken on a different day from all the other photos, in fact it was taken in an entirely different country! I took the photo above while in Seville, Spain, and I included it because it's another photo that I wanted to share with you all, (I mean seriously, the flowers and the tile bench are so cute!).

I'm wearing the exact same outfit because yes, I am an outfit repeater. (cue "Lizzie Mcguire, you are an outfit repeater!") But guess what? Outfit repeating paid off because I got another cute photo in this outfit :)



So a little bit about what I'm wearing, I'm wearing this white off the shoulder top and these striped paper bag style pants. I love off the shoulder tops, but they are actually kind of uncomfortable. However, I think that the way that it makes me feel when I wear this kind of top is worth a little discomfort. I feel so good and confident when I wear this top and it just put me in a generally good mood. I paired this top with a choker, just to kind of fill up all that neck space. 

On top of that, I love these pants because they're comfortable and make me feel super stylish. They're high waisted, which is my favorite kind of pants, and they're really lightweight and good for the warmer weather. They're kind of like stylish summer sweatpants. 

The rest of the outfit is pretty conventional and less about fashion and more about function. The shoes are comfortable, they're comfort sandals. There's a little more about the comfort and the style of these shoes in my style spotlight post on comfort sandals. They were good for walking around and also good for the warmer weather. The watch can be fashion and function, on the trip it really served as function. I was trying to limit my phone usage while out to save battery (while we were in Lisbon we had a scare where we needed to catch the train early in the morning for a day trip to Sintra and our phones didn't charge overnight!) so I found myself relying more and more on my watch to check the time rather than my phone. 


The photo above is actually another cheat! While it was taken in Lisbon, it was actually taken in front of a food truck rather than real Portuguese tiles. I got some weird looks and I posed in front of the side of a food truck, but it paid off because the photo actually turned out pretty great. 



What I'm Wearing

Top: Forever 21 // Pants: Forever 21 // Choker: Forever 21
Watch: Daniel Wellington // Shoes: DSW, Kork Ease Brand (Similar)