Tuesday, March 06, 2018

100 posts and 10,000 views!

Just as I've been getting back to blogging, I've noticed something really cool!

The other day, I hit my 100th blog post, and sometime while I was gone you sent me over 10,000 views! I now have over 11,000 views on the blog which I cannot believe. Just gotta keep firing through to get over 15,000 and keep climbing. And, obviously the posts are just going to keep going up.

I want to sincerely thank you all for reading my blog posts, and for sticking with me through some rough times. It's been hard to do anything I like when I'm feeling depressed, but I'm doing my best to keep going.

Once I reach 25,000 views on the blog, I'd like to do a small giveaway of some sort! It might be a while from now, but it's something I'd like to do as long as it's something you're interested in. It could be fun and a good way to get some more attention to this blog...

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know how it's been going, and ask you this:

Of all my blog posts, what one is your favourite? Leave me a comment below to let me know!

- Erika Elise

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Bucket List: Learning to Knit

That's right! It's actually time for a bucket list update!

One of the more subdued items on my bucket list is learning to knit. It may seem old fashioned to some of you, but it's something I've wanted to learn for a long time. I've also tried to learn how to do it multiple times.

My mom has been knitting for as long as I can remember, and I've always loved the feeling of hand-knit scarves, hats, mittens and more. I was only around ten-years-old when I decided I wanted to learn to knit. My mom tried to teach me back then, but it didn't last long. I gave up pretty soon after my ninth or tenth failed attempt.

I've tried to watch videos and read books since, but it just never took. I wasn't trying too hard, but it was always at the back of my head.

Recently, I decided to jump on in and buy a ball of yarn and some knitting needles! I'm only just started, but I think it might work this time. Especially with the encouragement from Matt and his mom (Matt used to knit surprisingly enough), it's feeling more and more achievable.

For now, all I know how to do is cast on. But, it's better than nothing. I'll update you more when I actually get another step added on to this!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Finding an Eye Cream: Reviews.com Best Eye Cream Guide

Hello everyone!

I know it's been a long time since I've been regularly posting, but here we are getting back into the game with a few more recent posts. Today, I'm writing about how to find the best eye cream for you, with information drawn from Reviews.com's Best Eye Cream Guide. In the interest of full disclosure, I was asked to check out this eye cream guide, and to write about it if I felt it was a good resource for my readers. I am not receiving any compensation for this post, and the opinions in this blog, as always, are solely my own.

The team over at Reviews.com tested 404 eye creams using a variety of methods to find the best eye creams for a variety of needs, and made this information available to us as consumers.

For full information on how they made these decisions, I recommend that you check out the full guide by clicking here. If you just want to see what I thought of it, or if you want to read what I thought before heading over, then you're in the right place already.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Support Creative Clever Beautiful

As I've started writing more regularly for the blog again, I found myself asking some questions. Mainly, I was asking myself how this blog is going to be able to support me as a writer.

Google Adsense is cool, but unfortunately, with a custom domain, I am unable to use the regular Google Adsense for Blogger, and I can't access the upgraded version either.

So, I looked to other methods. As of today, I've signed up for Amazon.ca Associates. Now, if you follow a link on this blog to Amazon.ca, you will be supporting me with anything you purchase through that link.

For all you Canadian readers out there, please consider shopping through my Amazon link! It will allow me to keep writing the good stuff here, and help me worry less about the job I'm doing outside of here!

- Erika Elise

Mental Health Journey Continued

As I've discussed many times in the past, I believe in being honest about my struggles in life. I choose to do so because I know that hiding things isn't going to be good for me, and because I know that out there, there are other people, including people younger than me, struggling with similar problems.
I am also inspired to do so by Matt's dad, Chris, who has stood in the face of adversity and fought back through his own honesty about mental health and the awareness he brings with it.
As I revealed on Bell Let's Talk Day this year, I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and I am now taking a few medications for my mental health. The good news is that so far, they seem to be working and improving my life with minimal side effects outside nausea at the beginning, some sleep disturbances, and some mild brain fog. The bad news is that in some ways, these changes are coming too little too late.
What I didn't talk about as much before was the crushing period of depression I was experiencing between the end of December and now. It's finally relenting a bit thanks to my support and medication, but it did some damage that can't really be undone.
Mainly, I missed a lot of school. And, when I say a lot I don't mean a day or two a week. I'm talking about missing every day this semester except for a day or two for the first two or three weeks. Despite my best efforts to keep on track, I was unable to keep up and now, I would be unable to catch up. Not only that, but I am still dealing with that depression, however much lighter it is, and now I'm facing side effects and changing medications often. There has been a lot to consider and figure out.
So, for the second time in my life, I am choosing to leave university.
I may or may not be eligible for a medical withdrawal that would allow me to leave without leaving a bunch of zeros on my academic record, but frankly, at this time that is the least of my concerns. I will figure it out later, because my health is more important.
I'm sharing this today so that you can see that even managed mental illness is nowhere close to a picnic in the park, but also that it's okay to make these tough decisions. Not everyone is the same, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
To all of my friends and family who are out there facing their own mental health struggles, I hope you are doing what you can and receiving the help and healthcare you need. No matter what stage you are at, you are worth it and you deserve it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Honesty: On the Topic of Mental Health

Note: Despite having participated in the past, I am not a huge fan of the Bell Let's Talk initiative. The reasons include the corporatization of mental health awareness, and the fact that it's basically a huge commercial for Bell. You can find all sorts of criticisms of Bell Let's Talk with a simple Google search. However, the idea behind it is the important part and that is why I did choose today to share this story and promote some mental health organizations that I do personally support.

It's amazing to think that last year at this time I was actively blogging, and posting on here all the time. It seems like such a foreign time to me, because I've been on a hiatus, followed by a brief period of blogging, followed by a second hiatus, followed by a brief period of blogging, followed by this very long hiatus.

As I've said before, there are so many reasons that I have been away from the blog. So many things have happened since I started school in September, and many of them have not been so great. Matt's dad was in the hospital for a week and it took a toll on everyone in the house, Matt's dad's truck got stolen right before Christmas, there was a strike for the colleges that resulted in Matt missing five weeks of school, our car essentially bit the dust, and as a whole I just wasn't feeling right. Oh, and just two days ago now, Matt's mom fell and broke her arm and her wrist!

Disclaimer: From this point on, I will be talking about serious mental health issues. This may be hard to read or hard to understand for some viewers, and I want to make sure that people are prepared for what is yet to come. Mental health awareness is important, but so is taking care of yourself. Don't feel obligated to keep reading if it's too hard for you.

If you are in crisis, please seek emergency medical care and/or call a mental health hotline. In Ontario, one such option is this: 1-866-531-2600. If you need help finding a hotline near you, please try searching here.

Monday, October 02, 2017

No Notoriety

I know I have not been active lately, and there are multiple reasons for that. However, today's post has nothing to do with that.

Today's post is about Las Vegas. It's about Edmonton. It's about every other terrorist attack that has happened in recent history.

It is beyond time that we stop broadcasting the names and images of serial killers and terrorists. If they have been apprehended, or killed such as the Las Vegas terrorist, we need to start referring to them only as terrorists. This is it.

No more sharing their names. No more calling them "lone wolf".  No more excusing them via "mental illness". No more sharing their graduation photos or family photos. No more talking about "why they did what they did". No more talking about their "good" past. No more attention, no more praise. No notoriety for violent criminals who did nothing important other than end the lives of others. No more standing out or identity for them.

Do not give them the attention they wanted, because this gives validity to what they did.

They are not valid. They are not valuable. They are not worthy.

Share messages of love, the names of those they injure or kill, pictures and stories of those who lost their lives without choice. Those who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Share their aspirations, their lives, their dreams and their accomplishments. Remember, share and love them.

Copy cats don't need any encouragement, and neither do the groups of people who are behind these acts of terrorism. They are not worthy of our time, and I will no longer be giving it to them.

They are disgusting, they are incomprehensible, and they are nothing more than a disappointment.

Don't give them more power. Enough is more than enough.