Some Thoughts on Being Freshly Pressed

While I run the risk of this sounding like an award’s speech, I have to thank Krista and the team of WordPress Editors. Thank you for reading and selecting a piece that I thought only a handful of people would read and introducing it to a much larger audience.

An audience who has shared their stories and sent their support, which is another thing entirely to be grateful for. You’ve given me courage, strength, and acceptance. Which are some of the most extraordinary gifts to give, particularly through the internet. So, thank you readers.

When I first started this blog, I agonized over which platform to start from–Blogger or WordPress? It seems to be the eternal question of today’s blogger. What ultimately made WordPress my home were elements like the Freshly Pressed page that so clearly showed a blogging community eager to support and challenge one another.

Talking with many of you in the comments has been a pleasure and though I am still sifting through everything I have been looking at many of your blogs and have found some lovely writers and new friends to follow. This is the unexpected joy of being Freshly Pressed: to discover the people who have discovered you.

The past few days have been a riot of emotions. Shock. Elation. Pride. Grief. Gratitude. And fear.

Fear of letting you down, you new readers. Like most humans, I’m a mix of shallow and deep. The Joan Didion review is deeper and darker waters than I have swam–at least publicly–in a long time.  I suppose, the central fear is disappointing many of you when I splash into shallower territory.

For me, I love writing about books and movies and, recently, beauty products. I have a B.A. in creative writing and literature and a M.A. in film studies, so that’s what stokes the fires of the first two topics on that list. As for the beauty products, I have never stopped being the little girl playing with Mom’s lipstick. I try to shuffle all three things into the regular lineup for variety, but some weeks are heavier on one topic than others.

This blog has always been a tad spastic. Or what I’ve affectionately termed Writer’s ADD. The more complicated answer is that I write about whatever speaks to me or makes me happy in the moment. I think for many of us this is true: we write about whatever helps us handle our stress in our daily lives. Whether it’s cathartic non-fiction or haiku or photography. WordPress is our escape and our happy place.

These are the things that bring me little nuggets of joy. So whether you’re stopping in for a moment or joining in for the long haul,  I hope in reading about my misadventures you enjoy yourselves as well.

Again, thank you all for listening!

I’m All Out of Puns

For this post, I’d really like your help, dear reader.

You see I’m all out of puns, quips, and wit.  Where else would I turn but to the internet for aid?

In all seriousness, I’d like to create a stronger rating system for when I review books, movies, and beauty products. I’ve been using a standard 1-5 bubbles, one being the lowest and five being the highest. The bubbles, of course, hearkening back to the bubble in bubblewrappedblog.

image respectfully borrowed from

I named this blog after the fun, “poppable” nature of reviews, so I’d like each of the numbers to have a pop-friendly pun or name attached that reflects how much I enjoyed a product.  For instance, 5 bubbles could be popping perfection. I’m not married to that though.

So let the bubble/pop puns fly! Let me know what your ideas are down below in the comments.

I’m leaving you with this majestic picture for inspiration. Enjoy!

My standards are high.

This Blog is Slow on Purpose

As I was poking around my WordPress dashboard this morning, I discovered a button in the settings that was not there before. It read, “Fight for Net Neutrality.” For WordPress users, you can enable a protest button on your blog that simulates the slow loading times we would experience if Net Neutrality were to be extinguished.

So if my blog is being slow, please don’t leave.

It’s being slow because I’m protesting against what the internet would look like if cable companies get their way. This issue may seem vastly boring and unimportant but if you want to keep streaming cat videos and read BuzzFeed in peace like the rest of us, then protecting Net Neutrality is vital.

Here’s a man who can explain the situation with much more wit and humor, John Oliver.

This post from Free Press also breaks down the situation quite nicely.

The FCC will be taking opinions from the public and there is still time to sign protests or make phone calls. At the end of 2014, the FCC will make their decision on how to classify the internet as either an “information service” or a “telecommunication service” and that very dull sounding distinction could change how Americans use the internet for the worse.

Companies like Netflix or WordPress would have to pay not only TimeWarner but Verizon and other internet providers excessive sums in order to have fast internet speeds for their websites. Which in turn will likely force these websites to jack up their prices for consumers.

I love this little blog. It’s my outlet, my small corner of the internet, and the people I interact with here give me the warm fuzzies. And I get to do all of this for free.

If Net Neutrality ends many blogs like yours and mine may cease to exist, because there may come a time where WordPress has to start charging us free bloggers money in order to keep up with cable companies demands. And it wouldn’t just be happening here, but across all internet sites.  Scary stuff.

If you want to put a stop to this, please share information with your friends, family, or readers. You can click on the link on this blog that will appear underneath that bedamned circle of loading torment in order to sign a petition to protect Net Neutrality.

Whether you’re an American reader or an international reader, thank you for bearing with me on my faux-slow blog. I hope you understand why I’m concerned about this issue and passionate about Net Neutrality.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, so please comment down below with your two cents.

My Best Friend is a Nutcase; You’re Gunna Love Her

Have you ever met someone who is so full of charisma that you’re afraid they might burst? I have and her name is Dara Cameron.

When I first met Dara she was wearing some Daisy Duke level jean shorts, a crocheted halter top, and some suede ankle booties all of which made her look like this tall, voluptuous, hippy goddess. Her long auburn hair was stacked haphazardly into a bun, her amber eyes were framed by thick cat-eye liner, and God-almighty was she loud. She scared the crap out of me.

I was intimidated by how authentic and confident this woman was. We were both in a new place, having moved out to California to get our Master’s in film studies, but she seemed utterly at home in her new locale as if she’d been practicing to live in Orange County her whole life. She said something when a group of us film scholars met up for coffee (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, but I’ll guarantee you it was funny) and I realized this beautiful, hilarious human was going to be my best friend.

Navigating the aisles of Ikea.

Navigating the aisles of Ikea.

Two years later this is an undeniable fact. We have gone to tarot card readings together. We have traveled abroad together. We have shared many a dressing room. I have gone to see some of her first stand-up routines. And she has learned to understand me when I get so excited or upset that I reach a pitch most humans can’t comprehend. I’m truly blessed to count this girl among my best friends.

Dara and I at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: she wore a wig and called herself Liz French just for giggles.

Dara and I at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: she wore a wig and called herself Liz French just for giggles.

And now, you lucky devils, you get a chance to meet Dara yourselves.

Ever the gypsy at heart, Dara is embarking upon a cross-country journey where she will reenact famous movie scenes and watch the favorite films of strangers in return for some quality couch surfing. Naturally, the proper medium to catalogue this endeavor is a blog. Enter, MoxiePixieRealGirl: A Gypsy’s Guide to Film, Fantasies, and the Open Road.

The most fascinating thing for me is how she’s approaching the interactive nature of this trip. She’s hosting polls on her site so you can have a say in what zany thing she does next.  Her first stop is Washington D.C. and some of the poll options were “Frolic through the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pond  like the reunion of Jenny and Forrest” from Forrest Gump and grab some drinks at the bar that St. Elmo’s Fire was based on.

She’s basically living out a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, cinema style.  And it’s all  going to work because she’s Dara Cameron, one of the most charismatic people on the planet.

So why am I telling you all this? Not only is Dara a gifted writer with a natural wit and a strong knowledge of film–which are both reasons enough to tune into her blog–she also needs your help for this adventure to begin.

In order to pay for gas, food, and the occasional lodging Dara has launched a KickStarter page.  If you’re intrigued enough by what I’ve written here, please go check out her KickStarter, or at least her blog.

Link to her kickstarter page.

Link to her super awesome blog

Dara just set up her KickStarter page today and has already got $90.00 to her end goal of $500. I realize that donating money to a girl you’ve never met might sound a tad nutty but if you’re in the mood for a vicarious adventure then this is the girl you should back.

I hope you get a kick out of this chick as much as I do!

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

Honesty is the best policy according to folk wisdom, so let’s talk policies. Of blogging that is. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and the Bookish is about all our blogging confessions. I remember doing my book confessions when I first started doing Top Ten Tuesday posts (check that post out here), so I decided to focus this week’s meme on my blogging habits. These tips, tricks, and tidbits are all fairly basic, but hopefully they help you figure out some of your own blogging habits. Nothing fuels my own self reflection like having someone else spell their own out. Or that could just be me. Anywho, let’s get into my blogging confessions…

  1. This blog is having a bit of an identity crisis. I suppose it always has. I’ve called it my writer’s ADD where I talk about whatever crosses my mind, because a lot of things do. Ultimately this blog has become about reviewing things. Be it books, movies, or beauty products. But finding the balance between talking about these interests is still something I’m working on.
  2. I used to have a travel blog on Blogger for when I was studying abroad in Cambridge, England.
  3. About 90% of the photos I take for this blog are done using my iPhone 4s.
  4. Titles are one of the hardest parts about writing. In any medium, really. And figuring out what to name each post is so tricky. I get really stressed out when trying to come up with a catchy title and probably always will.
  5. I usually force myself to do laundry or run the dishwasher while blogging. Otherwise I get lackadaisical with my chores and “forget.”
  6. When blogging there are usually several tabs open in my browser: Facebook, WordPress, and an empty Google tab so I can look up prices of items or check my spelling.
  7. Since my blog has slanted more towards the beauty aspect of late, I try to post a beauty review and then a movie or book review to balance things out. It’s more for my peace of mind than anything else, so that I feel like all my interests are touched upon. Sometimes the ideas for a blog just flow so easily and I can have several posts in a week. Other times it seems like it’s pulling teeth to get one thing down right.
  8. List posts are my absolute favorite. Which is why I’m such a fan of Top Ten Tuesday or my monthly beauty favorites posts.
  9. When I first started blogging I would write my entire post out in Microsoft Word first and then copy + paste everything into the WordPress post box. I’m not sure why I did that. Maybe because I’ve always done my writing in Word for school. But now I just type and edit everything in my WordPress Dashboard.
  10. I recently purchased some business cards for the blog from Vistaprint when they were running one of their specials. I get asked a lot for the name of my blog when I mention in passing that I write. Now I have an easy way to get people connected to my reviews. So I’d highly recommend doing something similar for any blogger out there.

Not exactly Earth shattering info here but these are my blogging quirks at their finest. I hope you enjoyed my blogging confessions!

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award


Wohoo! First the Liebster Award and now The Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Thank you so much to GretaLinBeauty for nominating me for this. Writing this blog has been satisfying in large part because of the interactions I have with other bloggers, and GretaLinBeauty is an excellent example of that camaraderie. She’s always inviting and entertaining and has a genuine love of her subject matter. It has been a pleasure to explore the world of beauty blogging with her and she gives truly wonderful recommendations.

The Rules

  1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you
  2. List the rules and display the award
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4.  Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated
  5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

7 Random Facts About Me…

  1. I collect rubber ducks. The weird ones that are dressed like Dracula or a Vegas card dealer. A small number of them currently reside above the molding of my bathroom window.
  2. I’ve traveled to nine countries thus far: England, Scotland, France, Italy, Monaco, Malta, South Korea, Canada, and the Bahamas.
  3. One of my bucket list items is to write a book.
  4. My favorite painting is The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.
  5. I love to bake, but am not that in to cooking.
  6. In high school I wrote a play that got produced at a theater company back home in St. Louis.
  7. When I was in middle school I took horseback riding lessons and I miss it like crazy.

In terms of nominations, I tried to give different nominations from the Liebster Award post (and those ladies are still worth checking out, so peek at that post here). I’ve also seen different versions of this post popping up on some equally inspiring blogs where the rules state seven nomination instead of fifteen, so I’m going with that because I like the symmetry of seven facts with seven nominations.

The Very Inspiring Nominees

Annie’s Cooking Lab: This is one of the first blogs I started following when I joined WordPress. I love her beautiful photos of appetizing recipes and she inspires me to try new things in the kitchen. The “lab” in the title is also a reference to her dog, Boomer. Adorable!

HappilyEveRose: I love what this woman does with nail polish. She really makes it art. She inspires me to play with (minor) nail art of my own, and I think any blog that inspires you to do something nice for yourself deserves to be recognized!

Listful Thinking: You need to be following this blog. Tagging Listful Thinking is almost too easy because she is already quite popular. But I couldn’t not include her because the humorous lens that she sees the world through is utterly inspiring to me. Her posts bring a smile to my face.

Dadicus Grinch: A family oriented blogger with heart and humor.  His writing makes you feel as if he is a longtime friend sharing stories around the table. And there’s always inspiration in tales of parenthood even if you’re not ready to be a parent.

Legally Redhead: A paralegal with a passion for horror movies, video games, and beauty. She also posts about the small beauties of life and is so earnest in her writing. Legally Redhead inspires me to see the amazing things in the everyday, so you should celebrate her too!

Thy Critic Man: I write about a lot of things here on bubblewrappedblog, but Thy Critic Man always reminds me of my first love–reviewing movies. He’s got such a stellar sense of humor and is always ready to engage with his readers. Any movie from horror to classics to chick flicks can and will be discussed. He inspires me to always return to that first love and you’ll fall for his writing too.

Red, White & Bitchy: This blog is run by two sassy females with raucous personalities. They’re raunchy and hilarious and they know their shit. The focus is mostly on beauty and lifestyle, but there is always something inspiring about their writing, even if it’s an inspiration to laugh.

These people all inspire me in some way and I hope you’ve found someone new to inspire you. Thanks for reading and enjoy!


The Liebster Award

Oh my goodness, I’ve been nominated!



The Liebster Award recognizes up-and-coming bloggers with 500 followers or less. I always love looking at others’ nominations because it introduces me to some amazing blogs and lets me get to know some bloggers better. So I hope you enjoy getting to know some of the lovely ladies listed below.

The Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to the nominee before you.
  3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated who also have 500 subscribers or less.
  4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.


I was nominated by the darling GretaLinBeauty. Her tagline is, “A university student who devotes herself to beauty <3.” Even if you’re not a big beauty reader, you should check her out. Her writing is informative and charming and she has an inviting quality to her writing that makes you feel like life-long friends.

Here are the answers to the questions GretaLinBeauty asked me…

Name one of your holy grail beauty drugstore products.

Definitely would have to be my L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base. That’s a long title for a little pot of magic. This stuff gives you an airbrushed look, and you can wear it alone or under foundation. When I take pictures with the base on alone, my skin looks photoshopped smooth.

Name one of your holy grail high-end products.

My Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Adore You. A lovely shimmery color that leaves my lips feeling wonderful. It’s worth the $15. I know there are more expensive lipsticks out there, but for me, $15 on a lipstick is a commitment. But for you, Clinique, I’m willing.

If you can only wear one makeup product on your face, what is it?

That would be my Magic Perfecting Base from the first question. If I feel like my face looks good, the rest is just icing on the cake.

Red lip or nude lip?

Ow! Ow! Oh, the pain of having to choose between my two favorite lip colors! *Sigh* But if I had to pick, I would say a nude lip. Red in it’s crimson glory is more for special occasions for me. But nudes I wear almost every day.

What is your favorite summer clothing item?

I have a pair of Sam & Libby leopard print gladiator sandals that I got last year from Target. I’m looking forward to wearing those this summer.

What is your favorite perfume?

Hands down, Glow by JLo. This has been my go-to scent since it came out. It’s clean, lightly floral, and feminine. None of her other variations on the original have been as good, so it’s classic all the way for me!

Makeup product that you use the most?

Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara. I’ve got a lot of makeup loves but this baby is in nearly every makeup look I do.

Matte skin or dewy skin?

I prefer matte. My skin is naturally on the oily side, so dewy skin makes me think I need a blotter.

Full coverage foundation or light coverage?

Can I cheat and say middle range coverage? I like something heavier than light but lighter than full. I don’t want to look too bare or too caked on.

Matte eyelids or shimmery?

Shimmery. I can’t help myself. My inner magpie is too strong.


I’ve often described my blog as a bit of writer’s ADD. I cover whatever amuses me most at the time, which is a mix of movies, books, and makeup. Occasionally I’ll rant a bit on some topic, so thank you all for indulging me when that happens. Anywho, the ladies listed below reflect that variety of interests, and they’re all worth your time. So check them out pronto!

(I apologize you guys have been nominated before. I tried to do some reconnaissance beforehand, but if you’ve already been given a Liebster Award then just know that you’re still awesome enough to get it a second or third time.)

Music Moving Forward: She talks about a little bit of everything and knows her stuff! It’s always good to meet someone in the blogger community that seems to also suffer from writer’s ADD, but all of her writing is solid, no matter the subject.

BOOKS BAKING AND BLOGGING: The title says it all. Her pictures for her food posts look mindbogglingly delicious. I’ve only been following her for a short amount of time, but I am definitely inspired!

AnxiouslyBold: More beauty, food, and fun! She’s also working on a 365 day photo challenge, so check out her challenge pieces for sure.

Razzle*Dazzle: Lovely product reviews and tutorials. I imagine her blog will catch on rather quickly.

HappilyEveRose:  Nail art for days! She has crazy artistic skills; I still can’t get her adorable Captain America nails out of my mind. Such nail envy!

Books, Tea & Me: Such a lovely book blogger. I first discovered her as a fellow Top Ten Tuesday poster. Her consistent book reviews have kept me on her site well beyond Tuesday posts.

Ruby Bastille: Another gal I got into because of Top Ten Tuesday. One of my other favorite features of her blog is the weekly quotes. I’m a quote junkie and she’s an enabler.

The Lit Bitch: Love her book reviews. Especially as a romance reader. Such fun insight and who doesn’t love that snappy title?

Get Your Inner Beauty On: I also recently started following this blog, and she covers a wide variety of topics. Everything I’ve read on her site is so lively; she’s another blogger that I feel like I know based on how she writes.

An Avid Reader; A Wannabe Writer: The only blog on this list from blogspot. Her rating system is so concise and really helpful when she reviews books. She also covers a lot of ground.

Ok, so here are my ten questions. Can’t wait to read what you ladies have to say!

  1. What is your favorite piece of art?
  2. If you could go back to school for another degree (or a first one), what would it be?
  3. What is your favorite sweet treat?
  4. Name the #1 song you’ve been listening to lately.
  5. Are there any books that you regret reading?
  6. What’s the #1 beauty product you would recommend to others?
  7. What was the last movie that made you cry?
  8. Do you have any tattoos? 
  9. Hulu or Netflix?
  10. What is your spirit animal? 

Thank you so much for reading and thank you again to GretaLinBeauty for nominating me!