Friday, August 15, 2014

Fun Links on Friday (YouTube Edition), 8/15

I have always been someone who has wanted to travel.  For the most part, my desire to travel has been for work, to uncover the stories of people that live in areas that are not mine.  I wanted to report stories of the good and bad because like I have previously discussed, I truly believe that people have the right to know whats going on in this world.  For some reason, the desire to travel was never so strong just for pleasure, but as I have grown older that desire has really been so strong inside of me.  

I don't know, as a younger child I have always wanted to visit Hawaii but that was the only place I really dreamed of going to, but now that has changed.  I literally want to visit so many places that at times, people ask me where I would want to visit and I literally have no answer.  That is why I have so much passion for travel all of a sudden.  Now you never know, this could change, but I would be happy if it didn't.  

Fast forward to now, there really is no time for me to travel unless it was to be for work.  I am busy with things and lets just face it, there's barely even time for me to do some of the things I love around here anymore!  Needless to say, I love to live vicariously through the lives of some of my favorite bloggers/vloggers.  

People underestimate the power of these people.  There is something to be said about taking a camera around the world with you and filming your every move.  Forget about the fact that the act itself is actually very hard work (perhaps not forget about it but lets just put it aside for a second) but it actually could be very dangerous in a place that you are not familiar with.  Who knows how the locals are going to react to people filming the intimate details of their everyday life.  And yes, I know that normally locals are used to tourists taking photos, but not everyone is the same everywhere and we must keep that in mind.  

I think I can speak for myself and (maybe) almost everyone here at the Jersey Shore that there is more than a plethora of people taking photo of the weird shit that happens here every single day.  

While this is true, I have come to appreciate some vloggers that get up-close and personal with the places they visit and chose to put on display some of the most interesting cultural aspects of their destinations.  They aren't just walking up to a famous bridge in the area and taking photos, they are getting in there, talking to locals and showing us viewers the meaning behind whats actually going on.  In my opinion, vloggers like this are the ones that understand that we want to learn just as much as they want learn, and I appreciate them for that.

With no further adieu, I want to introduce you to Essiebuttonvlogs and Funforlouis.  Recently I have been living for these vlogs.  There has been nothing I have been more excited for than these videos that show up in my subscriptions almost everyday.  That's another thing about these vloggers!  They don't know where they are going to have the next bit of internet, but they always find enough time to get their videos and blog posts up and thats the best thing ever!


Essiebuttonvlogs is awesome.  This is a channel that belongs to a girl named Estee who also has a popular beauty channel on youtube called Essiebutton.  I'm sure you have heard of her.  She runs the channel and uploads with her boyfriend Aslan that she actually met online and feel in love with.  So adorable, I know.  She is originally from Canada, but moved to London to live with her boyfriend and they have been there for a while.  

They always go on fantastic trips and Aslan is known to plan them meticulously.  This is what I love about him though!  There is always meaning and knowledge behind whatever the duo is doing.  I love to listen to their perspective on things and the further explanation of culture just lights up the entire video.  It's nice to know something about a place you've never been that you can share with someone else the next day and I definitely have Estee and Aslan to thank for that.

Even if Aslan and Essie are just in London going to the latest 'Car Boot Sale' or visiting exhibits, they are seriously the best to watch.  So easy to listen to and understand, and so fun to learn from!

Aside for the duos 'often' trips in and out of Canada to see Estee's family, they have been almost everywhere imaginable!  I have recently been obsessed with watching their vlogs from Marrakech, Morocco but right now they are roadtripping through ... DENMARK/NORWAY/Scandinavia-ishness.  I know, let's all just sit here and cry.  They are calling their vlogs from the trip #NordicVlogs so people can catch up on their latest antics and weigh in on what they should do while they're there.  I can tell you one thing, I have never wanted to visit Denmark so much in my life.  I wasn't sure of the appeal because I didn't know much about it but now, that opinion has surely changed.  My favorite moment so far was probably in their latest vlog when they reached the Two Seas.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Check it:

Definitely be sure to check out their channel if you want to learn more about some really awesome destinations.  Even if you don't they are hilarious, inspiring and so interesting to watch!


Louis is SO INTERESTING.  Everything about his vlogs just make sense, they seriously give me life.  I know he has been famous for his other channel called 'foodforlouis' where he took the time to eat all of these exotic foods and other weird things.  He no longer does this type of videos but has now gravitated almost exclusively to traveling vlogs.  

Louis posts almost everyday and there is something inspiring about each vlog that he posts.  I don't know what it is about him, perhaps his personality and optimism, but he is just so captivating.  His vlogs tend to be so light-hearted, fun and informational, and there really isn't a vlog that goes by that I don't enjoy.  Right now he is in Rio staying with a family friend with his father and sister.  I think they are going to be visiting other parts of Rio and staying elsewhere but for right now thats where he is.

I think what makes Louis the kind of person that he is, is that he has witnessed, encountered and been through a ton of things in his travels.  Perhaps his extreme skating incident will make your skin crawl.  If that doesn't tickle your fancy (I mean, ....) then you probably will feel his pain right alongside of him as he goes through the heartbreaking process of getting all of his memories back when unfortunately his backpack gets stolen.  

Although there were some bumps in the road for Louis, his channel as a whole is one big amazing party.  At the end of each video he encourages his viewers by saying, 'Peace out, enjoy life, live the adventure.'  I mean, how much more inspirational can that be?  Even the endslate of his videos makes me happy.  I think it perfectly describes what type of person he is: an optimistic wandering nomad.  My favorite Rio vlog of this trip that he is currently on would be the most recently uploaded one, check it:

Although I am certain that there are a ton more YouTubers involved heavily in travel, these two (I guess three technically) right now are really making the inner wanderlust in me come right out.  What traveling vloggers/bloggers do you read and watch?  I would love to know.  Right now im sitting stationary but when it's time to travel, nothing beats being prepared and I think I am on my way.  Let me know in the comments if you watch these YTers and give me some suggestions.  You can tweet them to me if you would like.  Thank you for reading as always.  -Brit.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cooking With Coconut Oil

There has been so much on the internet about cooking with coconut oil and using it as a substitute for several other oils.  I have always been an advocate for just using olive oil for almost everything because it has the best taste and I surely never figured I would give in to COOKING with coconut oil.  The only reason I actually ended up purchasing this coconut oil from Trader Joe's is because I wanted to use it on my skin.  

The way cooking with coconut oil actually happened for me is really simple.  I ran out of olive oil and had nothing else but Pam to use.  For starters I was using a little bit of the Pam but it just wasn't enough and I was mid-cooking already.  I basically ended up going back into the pantry to check for a third time for more olive oil to no avail.  I finally decided to pull out the coconut oil and give it a shot.

I have some sort of stigma against using coconut oil for cooking because I simply can't imagine a sweeter taste with my savory dishes.  For the below dish, I was just making some sauteed zucchini and onions with garlic, salt and pepper.  This is my absolute favorite dish lately, I just cannot get enough!  The simplicity of the dish is perfect and its just so characteristic of summer to be honest.  Also, I love how it's light but savory at the same time.  

Let me just tell you: I ABSOLUTELY HATED COOKING WITH COCONUT OIL.  Maybe I was doing it wrong but the taste was absolutely awful.  The coconut oil taste was super overwhelming and I didn't think it would be.  Like I said, I didn't look up anything when it comes to knowing what you should and shouldn't use when cooking with coconut oil, but I didn't think it was that strict.  For some reason, I just absolutely hated the taste.  I am pretty sure that I have mentioned on here before that I love everything that has to do with coconut.  Coconut is actually one of my favorite flavors for almost everything, so I was anticipating loving this but it just did not cut the mustard.

Do you have any suggestions for what I did wrong here?  Have you ever used coconut oil to cook anything?  Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet, I'd love to know.  -Brit.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gel Manicure #4: Update

Yes, yes it's that time again: Gel Manicure update time!  I know what you're thinking: why are you sporting red nail polish right now?  Well, during my visit to the salon this time I went in knowing exactly what color I wanted.  I literally was dreaming of this gorgeous burnt orange color and I knew for sure that was what I was going to get.  So as I sit there starting to get the manicure looking at the color wheels, I noticed that my color wasn't there!  I was so annoyed because I saw the color for  the past four gel manicures that I went in for but wasn't going to get it because it was still July and I wanted light and fun.  

Needless to say I really wanted the color this time because August just does something to me that it instantly brings on the fall feelings.  Don't get me wrong, I do NOT want to rush summer at all but I just feel like Pumpkins start growing in my mind as soon as August 1st comes along.  Needless to say, I decided to go with this beautiful red color.  At first glance on the color wheel, this color did not look as strong and prominent as it does on the nails.  I still love it, but I wasn't thinking it would be as bold.

What do you guys think?  I'm not mad because normally I don't regret any color that I put on my nails (haha) we all know this about me.  I love painted nails in general.  Of course I'm going to ask you if you've ever gotten a gel manicure?  What do you think of them?  This post is about 5 days after my latest manicure, so if you see growth that's why.  Send me a tweet or leave me a comment!  -Brit.   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fun Link(s) on Friday, 8/8!

Hi crew and happy Friday!  I am so thrilled to share todays link with you.  There's only one but it's a great one because I know I have talked about craving something from this brand before.  It is Herschel!  Guys, I don't know if you remember me mentioning how I really wanted a Herschel backpack because I have heard a lot of good things about them.  I also was just loving how adorable they were and how many different styles they came in.  I also think it would be pretty cool if they made something that you could create your own backpack.  Seriously, how amaze would that be?

 Settlement Backpack, Herschel

Do any of you own a Herschel backpack?  I cannot wait to get mine, I will (I'm sure) be showing you guys some posts including the backpack just so you can see how awesome it is!  Tweet me a picture of yours if you have one, or leave me a comment below!  Thanks for reading as always.  -Brit.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How To Navigate/Survive and What To Expect In A Video Conferencing Interview

Interviewing is stressful in general and I really do mean it.  I happen to enjoy it, but it doesn't mean that it isn't stressful in the first place.  The things that stress me out the most are things like getting myself to the interview, what I'm wearing to the interview and perhaps the fact that my future could be riding on the way I present myself.  The last thing I listed is what freaks me out the least because if there is one thing I know for SURE about interviews, it's that you MUST go in and be confident, show yourself off and be proud of your accomplishments.  Show them who you REALLY are.  

Something that has recently been brought to the forefront of finding a job, getting into a school or the interviewing process as a whole, is Skype or Video Conferencing interviews.  As I don't really have to sit here and explain to you what Skype/Video Conference is, there are a plethora of people who probably have no idea.  More and more employers are reaching out via video as, primarily, a time saver.  It is 100% a viable option for your next interview and there are a couple of things you should know as they continue to rise in popularity.

#1: Stay Calm
I'm so tired of the annoying 'Keep Calm and Carry On' crap.  Honestly, for some reason it is just annoying and overplayed to me.  But really, in these situations, you have to stay calm when you're video chatting for an interview.  Think about it this way, you only have the upper half of your body to show body language, use that to your advantage!  That being said, chances are that your interviewer is going to notice if you're leaning on your arms, crossing them, yawning, rolling your eyes, etc.  Remember, you aren't physically infront of them in the same room, but you and your interviewer are still both able to see each other at all times.  They will read into whatever body language they can see, so make it great!  Feeling a little nervous?  Skip the full business suit and throw on yoga pants on the bottom.  As long as you are looking full on professional up at the top, you are SET TO GO.  You would be surprised to know that this calms you down in the best way.

#2: Scene 1, Act 1
Make sure you set the right scene.  Selecting a background is probably the most important decision you will make.  MAKE SURE that you are finding a section in your house that has (ideally) a plain wall.  This is for a couple of reasons: you want your interviewer to be focused on you, not your outrageous nail polish collection in the background.  Also, your interviewer can take clues from where you decide to perch yourself for the interviewer.  Is she sitting in the kitchen thats nicely cleaned or can you see the mess on the table and dishes stacked in the sink?  Doing your best to find a place in your house with a natural background will make it easy to approach the interview with a clean slate as far as personality and predetermined judgements may go.  (Whether you like these judgements or not).

#3: Sign On & Set Up
Depending upon which video provider your interviewer chooses to use, you will most likely either be sent a username to add to your Skype contacts list so that you can accept the call or you will be sent some type of link.  I cannot stress it enough, make sure that you add the name to your contact list immediately when it is given to you.  If you wait till the last second to add the contact and they are online already waiting for you to start the call, it makes you look extremely unprofessional.  You also look like you are lacking time management.  This brings back those predetermined judgements that we know we don't want, because chances are you were just waiting for the coffee to be done.  In the case of the link, there isn't much you can do to test it days before.  Just click on it about 5 minutes before your scheduled interview and sit in front of your camera waiting for your interviewer.  Nothing looks worse than your camera being open with no one there.  There's a huge chance your interviewer may hang up.  If you're interviewing with HR or management, you can bet that no one has time to waste.  Also note that if things are going wrong on their end, it's not your fault!  Stay relaxed, they may have you hangup and call right back!

#4: Send Out The Warning
Make sure that everyone in your house knows when your interview will be taking place and that you account for any other noises in the house during the time of your interview.  Think about how much it would royally suck to have some of your family members come rampaging through the house and screaming obscene things, or for the neighbor to start up the lawn mower while you're quietly tucked away trying to land a dream job.  NOT GOOD.  Perhaps send out text message reminders 10-15 minutes before if your family is extra forgetful or maybe write it on the family calendar.  Everyone's busy!  Reminders don't hurt.

#5: Some Misc. Tips
At the end of the interview, make sure you ask for the interviewers name/e-mail so you can send out a follow-up.  You want to make sure you're treating this like it's an in person interview.  If you are interviewing with multiple people, ask them all for contact information, this shows interest.  Don't be afraid to express yourself.  Because you aren't PHYSICALLY in the room, you have to make your presence known on the other end, don't be scared to do so.  After all, this is your shot.

Make sure your appearance is up to par.  Do not test any new makeup on the morning or day of your interview and the same rule applies for in person interview makeup, nice and professional.  Be sure to account for the way your lighting will be.  You don't wan to be shining like a disco ball.  Also, pay close attention to your hair.  Last time I checked, you don't really get anywhere with sloppy hair.  Appearance is super important, even though you aren't there.  They can still see you!  Get comfortable where you will be sitting.  It will look terrible if you keep fidgeting and moving around.  Not only are you uncomfortable, but so is your interviewer through the screen.  Turn your phone on silent.  THE LAST thing you need is to get a phone call/text message or the sound of an e-mail coming through.  

Have I missed anything?  How do you prepare for interviews?  Let me know in the comments below.  Also, share your video interviewing experiences with me!  You can send a tweet too!  -Brit.