Kalea

I talked about cleaning a bit recently and wanted to continue.

I tend to be cluttered and disorganized, but I don't like dirt. Here are some things that I have leanred in-between bits/fits of cleanliness.

Clean a little, often. Spend 10 minutes a day doing it. Pick some stuff up for 5 minutes, get a rag with water/vinegar and wipe down some stuff for the other 5.

Buy big package of cheap terrycloth towels. I think they are usually sold for auto detailing. I got a 60-pack from Amazon and it was a great purchase. It gives you enough towels to do as much cleaning as you need to, without feeling like you need to use each rag until it's completely filthy because you only have a few. They are also nice to have around for cleaning up spills.

  1. Rags are better than paper towels. They let you dig into the grime more.
  2. If you're doing a bathroom, fill the sink with hot water and add your cleaning agent of choice. Dip rag in there, wring it out, then wipe everything down, with strokes going toward the sink. Pull all the dust/grime into the sink. Once you're done with wet wiping everything down, go over it all again with a dry rag.
  3. Don't overdo your cleaning agent. Often times it'll take longer to remove the cleaning agent afterwards than it will to clean it in the first place. Softscrub bleach is one of the worst offenders - only use that in showers/the inside of a toilet, otherwise you're going to spend a lot of time picking up the chalk that's in it.
  4. As far as cleaning agents go, for a general wipedown, vinegar is best, bleach is second best. Don't mix the two, it's a one or the other choice (unless chlorine gas is your thing).
  5. Get an air purifier. Having one will cut the amount of dust that falls in a room by 50-90%. Less dust means things will appear to stay clean longer.
  6. Don't get grossed out. Your skin is made to keep the nasty out of your body. You're probably going to touch a little bit of poop or something at some point. Deal with it, you can wash your hands afterwards. If you can't deal with that, get rubber gloves. You can't go at something half assed trying not to get yourself dirty.

And most importanly don't mix cleaning products! Or don't put bleach in anything.

I have come to the theory that we live in a society of "pretty much clean" and "actually clean." Most people I know fall into the first category.

They look like this:

"Pretty Much Clean" level-

  • you have a dog or cat that goes in and out
  • you have tile floors that are easy to clean
  • you frequently wear shoes inside
  • it's not like you're licking the floor every day so...

"Actually Clean" level-

  • you have no animals or they are inside only
  • you have carpets and other stuff that shows dirt
  • you don't really wear shoes inside. maybe just to run back in if you forgot your purse.
  • your home is sparkling

If you have animals or children running in and out all day, and no white carpets, it's an uphill battle keeping the floors "Actually Clean" and there's no reward.

Kalea

I have dated guys before that are total guitar addicts, they love to play. And unfortunately I have never been able to keep up. One year for my birthday an ex bought me a guitar. It was nice, a 3/4 size, I think it is a Taylor Big Baby, but I am not certain any more.

I came up with the theory that people can be addicted to it. I'm not the only one though, Jade Flood had something simialr for the pedal steel guitar. They are really neat, and once I learn the normal one I might look at learning the pedal steel.

Answer these questions and see how you do.

Salience

  • Have you ever played guitar all day long?
  • Do you spend much free time on guitar?
  • Have you ever felt addicted to guitar?

Tolerance

  • Do you feel you play longer than you should?
  • Do you spend increasing amounts of time on guitar?
  • Do you ever find yourself unable to stop playing?

Mood modification

  • Do you play guitar to forget about real life?
  • Do you play to release stress?
  • Have you played guitar to feel better?

Relapse

  • Are you able to reduce the time you play for?
  • Have others unsuccessfully tried to reduce the time you play?
  • Have you become stressed from not being able to play?

Withdrawal

  • Have you felt bad when unable to play?
  • Have you felt angry when unable to play?
  • Have you become stressed when unable to play? (Repeat question?)

Conflict

  • Have you had fights with others over guitar playing time?
  • Have you neglected others from playing guitar?
  • Have you lied about the time you've spent playing?

Problems

  • Has your playing time caused sleep deprivation?
  • Have you neglected other important activities to play guitar?
  • Do you feel bad after playing for a long time?

People have all sorts of behavioral addictions; gambling, shopping, sex, adrenaline, listening to Nickleback. There's no reason playing guitar would be any different. If someone is neglecting their interpersonal relationships or their responsibilities then it certainly could be an addiction. Their stress outlet can be just as destructive as any other addiction.

Kalea

I have said in the past that I want to learn to read music, not just playa few tabs.

It is not about the need to do something others have done before, nor should learning songs just because whatever reason.

The most important thing is that you should enjoy what you do. However, it does not hurt to take a look at what other ppl have done in the past and/or what artists do these days.

Not sure if I can explain this in a way that makes sense to people who don't want to learn songs, but I'll try anyway: during the past centuries, everything that has been created - be it paintings, music, books, films, photographs, statues, pottery or whatever - all these things always were inspired by the works of others in the past and the present. In fact, famous artists/writers/etc exchanged their views on things quite often, visited each other, met somewhere, had conversations, maybe worked on something together, or simply inspired each other.

Every piece of art is anchored in the past somehow and even if something is very unique, it still uses elements that have been used before.

Look at van Gogh.

Anthon van Rappard - Arbeiders op de steenbakkerij Ruimzicht

His style is quite distinctive, yet he had more or less a teacher (Anthon van Rappard) with whom he exchanged ideas and discussed art for years. Being an autodidact, he pretty much copied the works of others while trying to learn how to paint, impacted mostly by Rembrandt and Frans Hals during his early years. In 1853 he discovered japonism which had a lot of impact on his development as an artist from that point on. In 1886 he went to Paris for two years, being influenced by impressionism and the works of Eugène Delacroix. His works changed over time and helped him develop to become the great painter we know - because he embraced the works of other artists and because he was eager to learn, which really helped him evolve.

You can pick pretty much any artist out there, they all had contact with works of other artists at one time in their life. Especially in music, there are so many influences that not only inspired others to create their own music of similar style but even create new genres, starting something beautiful and unique.

If you want to develop your skills and actually evolve, there is no way around engaging oneself into the works of other artists. Because only by expanding your horizons you will discover new things that will inspire you and shape you which will then enable you to create something great - even if it is just for your own bedroom.

It is ok to say you don't want to deal with what others do, not learn what they have done and pretty much ignore all that, just doing your thing.

That is totally fine.

But sitting in your chamber, doodling around and imagining what the world is like is not the same as actually going out there, meeting people, playing with them, exchanging ideas, inspiring each other, etc.

And no, this is not about creating art like the big guys - it is about an attitude that is less self-centered while still having enough freedom to evolve independently.

In the end, knowing a recipe and understanding it, will help you out so much more when you are trying to create your own stuff. Not because it automatically makes your stuff great, and it also doesn't imply that without that knowledge you would suck hard - not at all. But it gives you more options, simply because you know more ingredients you can play with.

Kalea

So I came to the conclusion that I would like to start wearing heels casually.

In the process of learning to dress better, I've discovered a previously untapped obsession with shoes in general and heels in particular. Which is great, but actually wearing heels in my everyday life has been attracting a lot of comments along the lines of "what are you so dressed up for?" and "you look nice" (subtext: "what are you so dressed up for?")

A couple examples of what I mean: ankle boots with a stacked heel, plain pumps, t-strap pumps, and finally these bootie-ish things. The Nine West ones are exact, the other are approximations of what I have. I tend to wear them with jeans and a sweater or casual blouse, or with tights and a skirt or dress.

I thought the result was appropriate for casual wear (shopping, lunch with friends, movies, general non-work daytime activities). Have I goofed? Or do I just have non-fashion forward acquaintances and need to suck it up?

I do know that shiny, strappy, and super high heels are no-nos for daytime; but I had to learn there any more guidelines like that?

That said, some things I do to help tone it down.

A pointy-toed stiletto shoe is really not daytime-casual appropriate, even if you are rocking "smart casual" they are liable to make you look too dressed up, especially in a dark color. The vince camuto and mod cloth shoes fall into this category. Save those for evenings, where you can pair them with nice jeans or sleek skirts for a nice evening look that is still bar or concert appropriate. Just tone down the rest of your outfit with a shoe like that.

A good, casual day-time heel is going to be 2-3 1/2 inches with a thicker heel (preferably stacked or wedge) and almond-shaped toe. The ankle boots from target are a good example and are absolutely casual, if your friends think you are dressed up wearing those that is their issue!

Compare clarks wessex wyvern with the vince camuto pumps you posted. The clarks have an almond shaped toe instead of pointed, and the heel is thicker overall and also has a much more gradual taper to the bottom, and the sides of the shoe come up slightly higher. This makes it a much more casual shoe.

In addition, it comes in lighter colors which make it even more casual, the "mushroom" being the most casual of the options.

Mary-janes are also a very casual style of heel. Some people don't like them, but personally I have a pair of red suede mary janes similar to these and get loads of compliments in casual situations. Wedge heels have a similar casual overtone.

Kalea

Is it normal for a bride to choose how bridesmaids wear their hair for the wedding ceremony?

No.

It is your head. You are free to do what you want with it.

If a bride is demanding a certain style that can't be achieved without help then I believe the bride should pay for styling.

I understand where the bride is coming from if she doesn't want one girl showing up with an elaborate up do and another with her hair down. It all really depends on the bride's personal vision (ha, most just raid board on pinterest and instagram channels!) and of course the hair lengths of the bridesmaids! If the bride does it like she should the girls should talk among each other, instead of dictate, the girls do what they want at their own expense.

Next she will pick out your underwear.

Kalea

My curls weren't well cared for as a kid, so I resented my waves until now. I guess it's just best to teach care an confidence early on.

When you have a little girl with wavy/curly hair teach her how to care for it properly.

A lot of curly girl self hate just comes from frustration and confusion with our hair. I was never taught basic things about caring for my hair and I know I'm not alone. My mother just handed me a straightening iron. If only I had known much earlier on about going through it with conditioner and a wide toothed comb in the shower, using a diffuser head on the hair dryer, not using a hairbrush on it, etc.

Other tips...It's easy for curly hair to develop mats if it's not tended to well. Find her a hairstylist (when she's older obviously) who knows curly hair and can recommend good products, styles, and techniques. When blow drying curly hair straight, for example, you'll need a straightening balm/cream such as Goldwell or Kiehl's to prevent it from becoming bushy. These simple things make a world of difference.

As someone with very thick, fast growing, wavy-curly hair, a pixie cut or super short was a godsend for me. So that's always an option, if the curls are too frustrating for her to handle.