personal

Resolution Reflections

Looking back on the resolutions I made in 2016, they’re… wishy-washy at best. I can’t really blame myself for wanting to be gentle, since 2015 was a year that I had spent recovering from 2014!

However, my 2016 was mostly good. I made tangible progress toward finishing my history degree. (If I keep up my momentum, the latest that I will be completely done would be after Fall ’18- FINALLY.) Beefy and I celebrated the marriage of two longtime friends, along with the nuptials of his nephew. We took the longest trip that we’ve ever embarked on together, which was also my first time on an airplane. California was wonderful; I achieved my childhood dream of visiting Disneyland and we got to experience BlizzCon, which was both mine and Jake’s first convention. While we may not attend the actual convention again, we plan on returning to Cali to visit with our Reciprocity guild mates, who have become an eclectic second family for us both.

So this year, I want to set some actual goals.

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Continue reading “Resolution Reflections”

personal

First trip to Disneyland

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Disneyland was everything I expected and more. I absolutely reveled in the atmosphere; it sounds cheesy, but “Disney Magic” is legitimate. Even Jake, who leans a bit stoic than I am, got swept up in the energy. Since we were at the park in early November aka off-season, a few of the rides were closed. I was a little sad I didn’t get to go on the Jungle Cruise but hey, we were already planning on going back. (Hello, Star Wars Land in 2017!) I know that holidays mean more crowds, but someday I must experience Disneyland’s Halloween and Christmas celebrations. The park was just beginning to add some of the Christmas decor during our stay and it was beautiful.

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“What’s this?”

Hands down, my favourite thing we did was watch the Frozen live show at California Adventure. The interactive stage was breathtaking and the actors, wow, they had some chops! Anna was adorable and Elsa’s singing gave me the chills in the best way. We also got to do a meet and greet with Arendelle’s Royalty and Elsa told me what an honour it that I chose to wear a shirt with her on it. It’s dorky to admit, but I was a little tongue tied when I met the actresses because Frozen means a lot to me, but they were both perfectly sweet. (I resonate with Elsa and her attempts to “conceal, don’t feel”. I may not have her ice powers but I know what it’s like to walk on eggshells and pretend that everything’s alright when it isn’t.)

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Lol @ the watermark. Don’t worry, we’re gonna buy the actual picture. 😉

We rode Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (I beat Jake!), Flik’s Flyers, the Haunted Mansion, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train (LOL, whatever, the scented gingerbread was bomb), both King Arthur and King Triton’s Carousels, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roaders, Monsters Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!, Pirates of the Caribbean, Silly Symphony Swings, and Star Tours. Doing the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean with our WoW guild mate, Baybdoll and her husband made those two rides extra special. We were also able to pick up lunch with them at the French Market Restaurant before they split off for more adventurous rides. (The French dip sandwich = fantastic, by the way.)

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Don’t forget your Dole Whip from the Enchanted Tiki Room as well! It’s ICONIC.

What was adorable was how the staff would take notice of my “First Visit” button and become more interactive with me. One of the attendants for Pirates teased me about the shirt I was wearing. (It had the Death Star with the quote “When you wish upon a star…”) Roz from the Monsters Inc ride singled me out, “Hey, girl in row two – NICE EARS.” (I wore glittery Minnie ears the entire trip.)

I got to meet Oswald, Pluto, Anna, Elsa, and BOBA FETT. When I saw Boba, I gasped SO loudly that his attendant quipped, “Wow, to suck all the oxygen out of the room!” (Boba, along with some other Star Wars characters are in a separate building called the Launch Bay, which is designed like it’s a shuttle bay straight out of the movie.) Little touches like that really made the experience all the better.

I’ve already told Jake that this experience made me want to eventually get an annual pass whenever I start teaching. Disney life, happy wife AM I RIGHT?!

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Oswald was the first character I met, right as we entered DCA. 🙂
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Pluto gives the best hugs.
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I met a notorious Bounty Hunter and lived!
personal

Life Lately

hbeebuzz

Hi, yes, I suck with the blogging thing! Between full-time classes, a renewed interest in WoW, and being super lazy I have not updated since August. Here’s what’s been going on in my world since then.

In September, I turned 28. Umm guys, when did I get so close to 30? I do not fear ageing but last time I checked I was like, 22?! For my birthday, Jake planned a board game night with our good friends Ashlea and Sparkie and invited my high school bestie, Cynthia, to join us as a secret. That totally made my birthday! Our game night ended up being a fantastic time and I’m glad that everyone got along so well. I was the winner of one extremely hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity that ended with everyone else in a second-place tie. I was also surprised with a custom Commander Shepard cake that tasted heavenly (it was chocolate with chocolate ganache and a hidden sea-salt caramel layer) and a t-shirt quilt made out of some of my favourite sorority shirts.

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Commander Shepard cake with the Normandy SR2. Goes well with the Star Wars theme, yeah? 😛
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Delta Zeta quilt from my Mom. Such a touching present.

Later in the month, Jake and I visited Addison’s Oktoberfest with Ashlea and Sparkie. Beer remains disgusting in every form but hey, they were sponsored by Coca Cola so I got me a Diet Coke. Winky face. The fair foods were delicious (foot long bratwurst on a stick, anyone?) and we all purchased some artisan goods. Sparkie got this really intricate ink pen that looks like a dagger and we bought some soy candles for home.

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Best friends! (Some of the best scratch made sarsparilla I’ve tasted is in that Moscow mule cup.)

My Delta Zeta chapter, Iota Psi, was reinstated at UTA, so a bunch of alumnae got together to celebrate Bid Day with the new members. I finally got a cliche big-little picture with my adopted biggie!

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Me and Takara are much the same person, lol. I love her to death!
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Look at all those Dee Zees and friends! Do you see me? 0:)

Early October brought Jake’s 28th birthday. By his wishes, it was a low-key family day that started with breakfast doughnuts from his mom and ended with the biggest chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. I wasted a lot of time playing the Fallout 4 Nuka World expansion in anticipation of Disneyland. (HA!) While I hadn’t been keeping up with a solid gym routine, I managed to hit a non-scale victory of fitting back into 36″ band bras and American Eagle jeans. Happy dance! Also together, we celebrated the wedding of Jake’s nephew, John and his bride Karlei. The venue was gorgeous and it was really sweet seeing his dad and step-mom, Suzanne, dancing to every song. Who knew his dad had moves?!

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I love that they went with a cupcake table verses a more traditional tiered cake.
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Jake and his daddy. They look a lot alike.

Early November meant our trip to Anaheim for BlizzCon and Disneyland was finally a reality. I have a TON of say about both events so they will have their own blog entry. Expect that Soon(TM), along with a post of suggestions to make BlizzCon easier on people who suffer from extreme anxiety. Until then, I leave y’all with a non-descript Disney picture!

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Minnie ears and gigantic grins for the win!
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Currently Obsessed

¡Hola, muchachos! May has come and gone in what felt like a flash. (Seriously, can life have a pause button?!) But overall, it was a pretty good month, once I kicked my cold for good. Modern medicine, I love you.

Jake and I booked our BlizzCon hotel, so the trip to Anaheim is feeling more “real”. The total cost ended up being a steal of a deal because we booked through a site that specializes in reselling non-refundable hotel bookings. Not all hotels allow the transfer of guest information, but one of our three choices did and we ended up saving about $100 overall! Hello, that’s the price of a Disneyland ticket! #Win

As part of our “getting shit together” movement, we joined a gym! During the month, I lost 5lbs the healthy way, through logging my meals/macros and exercising. While it’s a battle not to obsess over the numbers on the scale and fighting the urge to heavily restrict, I’m proud of not letting my issues consume me.

I also signed up for Fall classes and ended up going in a direction that that surprised everyone. (Eep!) I’m sticking with my History major and Education minor. After some soul searching, I realized that I’d be happiest teaching in a field that I’ve had a lifelong passion for. I admit that it’d be awesome to work in the management side of eSports, but I was never completely sold on going the communications route. I’ll be taking 3 online classes through my university and 2 online classes through my community college. I didn’t want to go the entirely online route because I love History lecture courses, but since I registered late, most of the classes left were early morning. Womp, womp.

To go along with this monthly recap, I thought I’d mention some of the things I’ve been obsessed with during May.

currentlyobsessed-mayOld Navy’s Rockstar High Rise Skinnies

As I’m in between sizes and continuing to lose weight, cheap jeans are my friend. I typically dislike Old Navy’s denim, but these skinny jeans are both comfortable and flattering. AND THEY’RE LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO NOT HAVE TO SEARCH FOR THE EVER-ELUSIVE TALL INSEAM. Glory hallelujah! I like the high rise as it camouflages the belly and the destressed detailing is fun. (OMG, don’t judge, I’m forever stuck in 2007 with my love of ripped jeans.)

Origin’s Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask

I received a dreaded foil sample (hiss) of this mask in my May Sephora Play! box. I normally toss foil samples because I loathe them, but my love for the brand AND face masks made me try it. Hoo boy, I’m glad I did because it was love at first application. After the 10 minutes of having a grey face, my skin was left soft, smooth, and with minimized pores. I can see why this baby has a cult following!

Lilly Pulitzer’s “Out to Sea” print

Um yes hello, y’all know I’m obsessed with Lilly. And this print? It’s my personal favourite of the current collection. It’s like, Red Right Return’s pastel spiritual sister and I want everything! As I’m NOT a lottery winner or Ladies Who Lunch wealthy, everything isn’t going to happen but I did buy the Ali t-shirt dress. Me gusta.

Mantra Bands

I accidentally stumbled upon this brand while creeping on Instagram (#SorryNotSorry) and I love everything about these bracelets. I love positive affirmations and dainty jewellery, so it’s like the bracelets were made for me. Ha! The “Fearless” bracelet is my personal favourite because 1) it reminds me of old school Taylor Swift and 2) I tell myself to fearlessly chase whatever makes me happy because happiness is my number one goal in life.

World of Warcraft

GUESS WHO’S BACK? Yuuuup! Since Jake and I were lonely Alliance-side and the game is best played socially, we applied to Reciprocity during their open recruitment. I had an itch to return to my Horde roots and I thought it’d be cool possibly joining a guild where I already had made some Twitter friend connections with. Happily, we were accepted and we have been having a good time in our new guild. It’s nice to once again have the feeling of WANTING to log in and play, rather than signing in because I feel like I “have” to. It’s doubly nice to be in a casual raiding guild because the pressure of always being “on” makes me feel anxious and leads to me no longer having fun with the game. (That’s not saying that I don’t try in raid settings, but it’s lovely to not have to be constantly worried about being benched because I underperformed on a fight.)

mental health

Binge. Restrict. Repeat.

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I have an eating disorder.

Not many people know this. How could they? I am not the typical face of an eating disorder. The smallest I have ever been with my 5’10” frame was a size 10 at 150lbs.

I am overweight. Most of my life I have been. In Kindergarten, I would chug a Coca Cola every day before heading to class. Throughout elementary school, I would curl up with party sized bags of potato chips and graze while reading. Performing in sports was awkward because of my hypermobility, so I would skip physical activity in favour of more sedentary hobbies. I knew I was taller and larger framed than my classmates, but even in the face of some teasing, this did not really bother me. Yet.

In middle school, I became acutely aware that I was different than my peers. I was larger, I took up more space. I had a reoccurring dream of grabbing the fat from my thighs and throwing it against walls. Being the odd one out led me to seek comfort in snacking and the Internet. On Neopets, I was a petite half-Vietnamese teenager who role played in a Sailor Moon guild. In real life, I was a hefty white girl barely squeezing into a size 13 jean while I would hear my sister and mother moan about how fat they were while they picked at their food. Why were their appetites so bird-like while I could crush a super sized McDonalds meal and still be hungry? Why was I different? Thus, the cycle of binge-restrict-binge was born at the tender age of thirteen.

My metabolism is shitty from this lifetime of shame. I put on weight easily, but losing it is a struggle.

The lowest I have weighed as an adult was ~160lbs in 2013 after recovery from a laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrium from my uterus left me bedridden and without an appetite for several weeks. I restricted for a year after to vainly try to remain at that weight but ultimately I ended up back around around 240lbs due to a combination of an antidepressant that did not work for me and my typical source of comfort during tough times: food. I hated myself for gaining back the weight and then some. Once again, I was Heather the fat ass, even though I tried to “own” it outwardly.

Now, I currently weigh 199lbs through a combination of exercise and logging everything I eat. It has been a slow, imperfect process, but I am happy to be making progress the legitimate way. By changing my lifestyle rather than crash dieting. I stopped buying my “comfort” foods to binge on. Instead, I seek comfort through my friends, family, and Jake. Food is not the enemy, but it is also not my best friend. I do NOT need to inhale junk food on a bad day. I DO need a balanced diet to survive.

I will never have a normal relationship with food, but I hope that I can continue to make positive strives.

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Snip snip!

Three years ago, I chopped my hair into a “long” pixie cut to remove what was left of my colour-processed hair. (I did this right before Sorority recruitment! Can’t say I would recommend doing something so dramatically impulsive before a big event where you have to put your best face forward, but that’s how I roll.)

That pixie cut looked like shit on me. Even though it was the easiest hair maintenance I’ve ever dealt with, I hated it. And real talk y’all, pixie cuts are hell to grow out because of the varying lengths of the layers involved. There was a point in time I wore a lot of hats and tiny ponytails to hide my honest-to-God mullet. 0/10. I guess all that combined kind of intimidated me into avoiding salons while my hair grew, heh.

But something in me snapped. While I loved the aesthetic of my two-and-a-half foot long hair, it became more work than it was worth. I was tired of its heaviness. How I had to sleep in a pony tail / braid or I would wake up with gigantic knots even while using a silk pillowcase. The awful way that I easily overheated because my hair was not only long, but incredibly thick. Spending hella money on shampoo and conditioner because omg, so much hair. Blowdrying became a lengthy ordeal that made me go “nah, better not” to showering. (Gross!!!) It was time for a change.

One of my style icons, Lauren Conrad, traded her lengthy locks for a more manageable lob and I kind of fell in love. Long bobs are feminine, polished, and you still have enough length to put your hair up for the gym. Like Coco Chanel once said, “a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”, and well, I found that apropos with me heading back to UTA under my new major while embarking on a lifestyle change*.
(*That’s a whole ‘nother post!)

Pre-Chop
Bye, bye bun!
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My virgin hair was long and healthy enough to donate, which made me happy.
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Voilà! My hair grows fairly quickly, so I feel like it’ll be a nice length by BlizzCon.
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Life Lately

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My school semester is winding to a close and I admit, I am pretty darn happy about that. This semester back at community college ended up being beneficial to my mental health and restored my confidence in continuing to move onward toward finally earning my degree. Plus, I made Dean’s List. Ayyy. My outstanding debt to my four-year university has been paid off and I filed the FAFSA, so I will be starting on classes pertaining to my major in the fall. I am excited, a little nervous, but mostly I am ready to kick some major butt and cross that stage.

Soon after my final exams are over, Jake and I will be spending a week in North Padre. We have not been down to the coast since 2013, so to say I am ecstatic is an understatement! I have had the Cold From Hell™ pretty much the entire month, so some R&R is just what the doctor ordered. Uh, maybe not since I am on prednisone, but semantics! The beach in our backyard. Schlitterbahn. FRESH SEAFOOD. Can it be May already?!

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Selfie at ze wedding. (I am on SO MUCH COLD MEDICATION in this picture, LOL.) I wish FB didn’t ruin the quality of our group shot with the bride and groom! 😦

Our long-time friends Jeremy and Leslie tied the knot earlier in the month. Their love story is adorable; they were friends in the second grade who lost touch and reconnected via MySpace! Their wedding itself was absolutely beautiful with little touches of their personalities sprinkled throughout it. When I say that, I mean their guestbook was a Guardians of the Galaxy movie poster, Leslie walked down the aisle to the Imperial March, their wedding topper was a personalized Katamari, and each of their favourite gaming background songs set the mood during dinner. #GeekChic

The biggest travel news as of late though… we are going to BlizzCon in Anaheim, CA this November! While I was not able to secure tickets during the official sale, an incredibly kind friend resold a pair to me at face value. (They know who they are and they are getting the BIGGEST hug!) This leads me to put my Serious Face: if you did not get tickets and are still looking for some, please do not turn to eBay. In other circumstances I am a huge proponent of eBay, but ticket scalpers are the scum of the earth. Please do not support them fucking the system. LFBlizzCon or people in the WoW Twitter community are a much better option. Play it smart, sweetie pies, I do not want to see anyone get burned.

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The last time we *almost* went to BlizzCon was 2008! This trip has been a long time coming.

To those who are not hip to the gaming world, BlizzCon is the annual convention wholly dedicated to Activision Blizzard’s games. Jake and I have a storied past with Blizzard games; he grew up playing WarCraft II and roped me into World of Warcraft back in late 2005. We spent many a late night prior to living together on Vent chatting while playing WoW. The Burning Crusade is wrapped up in our Senior year of high school memories and the beginnings of college. Wrath of the Lich King soothed the pain of me dropping out of school to work full time and him dealing with the 24/7 care of his double amputee great-grandmother. (Heavy shit for a nineteen year old!) Cataclysm brought new challenges as we began to live together for the first time while pushing the envelop in raiding. Mists of Pandaria let us feel okay with raiding casually. I may no longer be an active Death Knight blogger, but I will always have mad love for the game and I cannot wait to meet the friends that I have made along the way! Plus, we are spending two days in Disneyland. That does not hurt in the least. 😉