Friday, November 21, 2014

Oh it's all just so normal.

Yesterday I was standing in our living room when I noticed someone on the sim. Strangers wandering through is not really uncommon, but I usually take a look anyway if they're on our parcel. What I saw was the cutest dog running around! She came up to our back porch, so I went out to say hi.

Hi Puppy!

I've played around with a lot of peoples' RP in Second Life over the years. I like emoting, I always have, and if it's part of your RP that you are a kid or a slave or a stripper, I'll treat you as such as much as I can. [It can be hard at times to gauge how in character someone is if you don't know them.] But this was my first time RPing a bit with someone who was just a regular domestic animal! I pet her on the head and shook her paw. It was fun! She was actually very very polite in her OOC voice and didn't stay around that long. She did ask if we would ever consider a family pet, but honestly, I don't think that we would. Of course, I never thought we'd have kids either, so you never know, I guess. :)

Tonight, my sis asked if I wanted to go to dinner with them. I like food, so of course I said yes. She took us to...a kinda sketchy McDonalds.

I don't know about this place, y'all.

For some reason, the menu was not in English. So basically, we just had to order and hope for the best!

I'll have a McNifica, por favor.

Also, Payton made a friend. Pretty sure that's not appropriate McDonalds behavior.

No, Payton, No!

We got our food and I got shamed for my eating choices. LOL!! I couldn't help it! I was super hungry and also had NO IDEA what I was ordering!

Don't shame me for my eating habits!!

After we ate, we ran around the neighborhood and finally found ourselves at this outdoor patio bar. Naturally, we are a party EVERYWHERE we go.

Party Time!

Yes, I totally got a souvenir t-shirt while we were there.

After we partied with the family, Aldwyn and I went home for our nightly cuddle and chat. I even got him to put on pajamas! :-D

Nighttime Talks

Next week we're having our family Thanksgiving dinner, so the girls and I will have to think this weekend of what dish to make so we can forget to take it over for dinner, just like Abby and I did last year! *laughs*

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Payton Forgot How To Ferris Wheel

I DJed a birthday party for my great-great-niece Livvy tonight. It was a circus theme, hence my outfit from my last blogpost. The party was super fun as it usually is when we're all together.

Livvy's Party - Group

Livvy's Party - Group 2

Livvy's Party - The Birthday Girl

Livvy's Party - Lolita and Takeo

Livvy's Party - Aldwyn, Abby and me

But, the best part of the entire night for me was when we decided to ride the ferris wheel! Everyone took their places in the cars and got ready to go.

Um. Except Payton forgot how to ferris wheel.

Livvy's Party - Payton Forgot How To Ferris Wheel

I laughed until I cried! Crazy girl. LOL!

I'm deliberately keeping myself up a little late tonight because tomorrow night I'm DJing for an anniversary party but it's a late night party. I'm usually getting ready to head off to bed at that time. But hey, it's a weekend and I'm not an old woman. I can do it! :-p

hmm... I really should go back in world and blog something, but I think I'm going to go play Dragon Age. After Origin had Dragon Age: Origins in their "On The House" deal thingy a while back, I remembered that at some point, I bought the ultimate edition on Steam. So I figured out how to move it from Steam to Origin [so I wouldn't lose my character] and I've been playing off and on for the past few days. I'm still pretty much in love with Alistair. I blazed through it in 3 days to get to the ending, but now I'm going back and playing another character so I can take my time and do things I didn't bother with before since I was just basically trying to get to the end real fast. In my haste to get to the end, and in my whole "let me add mods in the middle of the game" thing, by the end, everyone was confused on whether I was a guy or a girl and Morrigan thought I could give her a child, making me scream at the screen, "I HAVE A VAGINA."

Still managed to knock her up, though. I dunno.

Anyway! That's it for now!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You Deserve A Spotlight

Are you someone who likes the spotlight? If you asked me that question, I'd probably say no, but... I don't know. I think I kinda do.

You Deserve A Spotlight

I think all bloggers do, to an extent. We take our pictures for others to see and hope that our words reach out to someone somewhere. I like DJing because it means I get to share music I like and kind of keep a captive audience if I speak. And let's face it, I always speak. *laughs* What can I say. I love to perform and I love public speaking. I'm also highly competitive, as my family can tell you from our game nights! So yes... shine that spotlight on me!

I'm actually DJing for a couple of private parties this weekend for the first time in forever. I miss doing it more often in SL but I can't really commit to a regular set anywhere, unfortunately. I wish that I could. If anyone has a club in SL and needs a sporadic DJ who plays country and top 40 and will probably bring her kids along, hey, I'm your girl! LOL!!

Anyway, it's SUPER cold here tonight [I'm not ready for this winter life] so it's time to go get into bed and cuddle up with blankets!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Bare Faced Challenge

So someone started a bare faced challenge somewhere. I guess this is a RL thing? But several avatars are doing it and tagging others to do it, too. I haven't been tagged and I wasn't going to do it at all. I am quite attached to my eyelashes and my liner and my lip glosses! I really didn't want to take a pic without all of that because it's not really me. Heck, I'm more likely to show my friends a no makeup RL pic than I am to show one of my avatar.

But Abby asked me tonight if I was going to do it. I said no, and she said that I should because I'm pretty no matter what. Well... the more I thought about it, the more I decided to just do it.

The Bare Faced Challenge

I feel like my avatar looks INSANELY tired! LOL! I need some coffee and mascara, stat!

Actually, this whole thing reminds me of a girl I went to college with. She always wore a lot of black eyeliner and mascara. Still does, by the looks of her Facebook pics. But once in a while she wouldn't wear any and everyone would be asking if she were okay and if she felt sick. I feel like asking my avatar if she needs to go to the doctor!

So anyway, that's my avatar. No bells and whistles, no Photoshop, no super fancy lighting and filters. I'm not tagging anyone to do it. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

With experience comes opinions.

The girls have been talking about starting a blog together for a while now. Not just fashion, but just chatting and showing stuff they like. I am totally supportive of this because it means I have another blog to read! :) So as we were talking, I started thinking of people out there who might want to start a blog but aren't really sure where to start. It was easy enough for me when I started this one. I just...started talking. I was bored, I had an idea, and I just went for it. I never even thought anyone would READ it, much less stick around for years with my babbling. :-p But that was a different time in SL blogging. There were many SL blogs where people talked about their lives and about things they did in SL and stuff like that. Now it's mostly fashion, and if it's not fashion, it's tech blogs. I miss all of the personal blogs.

I digress. :) I enjoy fashion blogging and showing things that I like as much as I enjoy my personal blog. But a lot of people who start blogs really don't get a lot of advice when starting out. So let me break some stuff down for you. It's just random advice, take it however you'd like.

1. Feeds are important, but not at first. It's good to be on feeds. You get a little more exposure that way and if you're applying to blog for some events/stores, it's inevitable that they will ask what feeds you're on. But most feeds have a pretty strict rule about not accepting blogs that haven't been active for at least 3 months. Some want you to have been active for 6 months. Don't be discouraged, it's just the way things are. A lot of people make a blog and forget it in a week and the feed owner has to go through deleting inactives. If you've been blogging consistently for 3 months, chances are you're sticking around. So how do you get readers? You're going to have to kick it old school. YOU have to market yourself. Post your blog links on Flickr, Plurk, Facebook, and tell your friends. Don't be annoying with it. No one will want to read you if you force yourself upon everyone, but just make your blog posts easily accessible.

2. Be prepared to spend money. Probably a lot of it. Blogging isn't a cheap hobby unless you're blogging nothing but freebies. Don't expect to be showered in cash and prizes just because you opened a blog. I cannot stress this enough - Do NOT expect anyone to give you anything, invite you to blogger preview days, nothing. If they do, as a new blogger, be grateful!!! In fact, even as an old blogger, be grateful if anyone is kind enough to give you things or invite you to events. They don't have to and you can find yourself out of a group as quickly as you found yourself in it.

3. But not all stores/events are worth applying to blog for, even if you like their stuff. I'll just say it. Some store owners and event coordinators have ridiculous blogger rules. They want you to put a big logo on your blog, they want you to do press releases days before an event even if you have nothing to show from that event, they want you to blog every new release within a day of receiving it. Generally, the newer the store or event, the crazier the blogger rules will be. Long time stores are usually like, cool, thanks for blogging this stuff in your own way, I appreciate it. New stores are usually all "OMG WHY DIDN'T YOU BLOG ME WITHIN 22.3 HOURS OF MY NEW RELEASE?!? WHY DIDN'T YOU BLOG ME THE WAY I TOLD YOU TO?!" Some events want you blog within a day of opening and make sure you use 17 items from that event in every post and you better make 5 posts about that event. Unless you have a GREAT deal of time to devote to blogging and/or the ability to put a look and photo together quickly, avoid applying for these stores and events, no matter how much you like what they have. You're better off buying what you want and blogging within your own time frame when they get nuts like that. Because I promise you, you will never blog fast enough or good enough for them.

4. Don't call them sponsors. Just...don't. Unless they are paying you in cash in return for a blog post, or you have some kind of exclusivity contract with them, they are not your sponsors. They are creators who are nice enough to send you things in the hopes that you will blog them. You will see long term bloggers snickering every time someone is crying about their sponsors [because "sponsors" usually have crazy blogger rules], or posting Flickr pics saying that they're "accepting sponsors." Btw, never do that either. That's awful.

5. Use your words. Believe it or not, despite what people will tell you, you will have readers. Not just people who look at your pretty pictures, but readers. Your words make your blog personable. You will keep an audience of people who grow to feel like they know you and that is SO worth it. I have some of the best readers out there who have reached out to me in many ways and I love it!

6. It should always be fun, even if you stress about it sometimes. I won't say that you will never stress about your blog. You will. You'll hurry to blog something before an event is over. You'll compare yourself to every other blogger you see. You'll groan when you finish a picture and realize something didn't rez properly. But it should STILL be fun. You should always enjoy it! It should never feel like a chore, or work, or an obligation. You don't have to blog daily unless that is your personal goal. You should always do it because you love it.

Anyway, there are some tips for you. I'm just one blogger, so really, most of this is just opinions based on experiences that I've had over the past 6 or so years that I've been blogging about SL stuff. Other bloggers might have other thoughts. In fact, I'm sure they do. We're a notoriously opinionated bunch, even if those opinions never actually see the light of day on our blogs.

And just so this is not totally without photos... hey, it's us having movie night! Woo!

Movie night with the family :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

The way you move me, it's crazy

You know, you'd think after over 4 years together [which is a LIFETIME in SL!], Aldwyn and I would be pretty tired of each other. I mean, we go through times where we can barely see each other because our RL schedules go crazy. Some nights, he's really busy doing other things and isn't exactly very exciting in SL. And me? Well... let's just say he did the guys of the grid a HUGE favor by taking me off the market because I'm really kind of annoying in many ways. *laughs*

But ever since our Grand Canyon date night, we've been making sure to make a little more alone time together. We're always happy when we're with our girls or the rest of the family, but we really hadn't made spending time together by ourselves a real priority and that's really something that needed to change. I think we'll need to schedule date nights! Gonna get a babysitter for my crazy girls and see what happens. LOL!

We had movie night with the family tonight, and after we came home and we said goodnight to Birdy, we headed up to our little getaway to hang out and talk before we went to sleep. I'm truly lucky.

The way you move me, it's crazy.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Just Breathe

I've always been a people watcher. I learn more by listening than by talking. I spend a lot of time observing. In SL, much like in RL, we tend to gravitate towards like minded people. Not saying that our friends are exactly like us, but very very rarely will we have close friends who are completely opposite of who we are. When I see people gravitating towards those who habitually cause problems for others, who have no problems trying to turn other people against each other, well... I have to wonder if they are like those people or if they just have really bad luck and choose the wrong people to confide in. I mean, we've all been there, right?

I do think that some people have the ability to change, though. I know that's not an opinion that is shared by many, but it's what I feel. I know I'm not the person I was a year ago. Or two years ago, or five years ago. And I'm okay with that. I wouldn't want to be stagnant and luckily for me, my changes seem to be for the better because I have supportive people around me. I think that's a big deal. If I kept people around me who fed into my worst qualities, I'd be pretty bad off. Because I know my flaws: I can be overly critical. I can be insensitive and cold. If I'm angry, I will find your weak spot and go in for the kill.

Luckily for me, over the past few years I've surrounded myself with people who have softened me up a lot. They've kept me from becoming the kind of person that I wouldn't want to be and helped me become a better me.

Now do I think everyone changes for the better? No. Some people don't. They find others who latch onto their drama and make it worse. And that's pretty sad.

Anyway, it's almost 4am and I'm rambling. :) I'll wake up tomorrow and re-read this and think "What the heck?"

Tonight I was doing a style blog picture while on a skype call that just kind of made me tense. Not the people on the call or anything, but just the topic of conversation. But then I thought, "Just breathe." It's what I tell myself when my anxiety is on high alert. Just breathe. Nothing is that bad. I have people who love me, and the ability to meet more people who might possibly be good for me, too. Just breathe.

Just Breathe

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sure, it's a BUG. But it's pretty!

On the recommendation of one of my lovely readers [Hi Annaluisa!], I headed out to Happy Mood tonight to look for sparkles for our little getaway. Happy Mood has long been one of my favorite places when I remember to go there, but I haven't been in a while. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their stuff!! Everything always makes me want to re-do our parcel. Of course, we have snow coming at the end of the month, so redoing it now would be silly. :) Aldwyn caught up with me there and I guess he's never been, so we walked all over the sim looking at stuff.

While we were there, there were people wandering around, of course. There were two women there all decked out in fantasy type stuff - one was an elf and one was a drow. They looked great! But it led to the following conversation:

Aldwyn: You know those two probably look at us and think, "What freaks, looking NORMAL in SL!"

Me: Right? We're so boring!

*puts on antlers, my flower crown, and a butterfly*

Me: Done.

Aldwyn: You realize you have a huge butterfly on your head, right?

Me: I'm not normal! I'm quirky!

I'm not quirky. LOL!

After we were done looking around [it's too close to tier time for me to actually buy much], we headed back home. I took my antlers off, but I dunno, guys. I think the butterfly might have to stay.

Sure, it's a BUG. But it's pretty!

Luckily for me, he thinks I'm cute no matter what I'm wearing, so we're all good!

Speaking of the island, I'm going to have a parcel opening up within the next week. The people who rent my largest parcel need to downsize, so I'll be splitting it in half. It'll still be pretty generously sized and just over 1400 prims, so if you or anyone you know is looking for residential land that isn't all decorated and fancy, talk to me in world. :) We can be neighbors! I'll have more info after I actually do the land work and all that.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy to see you

After almost 5 long days away, my honey came home to me tonight.

Happy To See You

When we were on vacation, we spent a night in a special secret place hidden near the caves. We both enjoyed ourselves so much, when we got home we thought it would be a great idea to make a little adult place on our parcel where we could spend some time together without having to actually go anywhere when the girls are in bed. While he was away, I decided to set up an area to surprise him with when he got back.. It's not really perfect and if you look at it from the outside, it's a big ol' mess. But when we're inside, it's actually really pretty. It's not quite finished yet, but pretty much is. Does anyone make little candles for water that float around? Well, not Linden water, but like...prim water. I have some little candles right now but they don't move around and I'd like them to move around.

I'm actually looking for some very specific sparkles, too, but I have nooo idea who makes them or if they're even still in SL. They're like...kind of gold? And particles, but not fluffy particles. If I can ever find an old picture of somewhere that had them, I'll show it and maybe someone can help me out.

But for now, it's bedtime. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Dia de los Muertos

Today is November 1st, so that also means it is Dia de los Muertos. I find that a lot of people kind of think of it as Halloween 2: Sugar Skull Boogaloo. And yes, there are skulls, but it's not just a day to dress up again. On this day, you think about those who have died, pray for them, and celebrate their lives.

Although we are partying tonight, I wanted to take some time to remember those I have lost.

Dia De Los Muertos

I don't make it out to Renee's garden as often as I did in the months after her passing. I don't know why, really. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. It's not as if she, and all the people I have lost in my life, are ever very far from my mind. But it was nice to have a few moments there in the garden, just to think.

The party starts in about 30 minutes, so I better get back in world to get ready. ♥

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Laid Back and Lazy

Quiet night for us tonight. We are part of the big Trick or Treat extravaganza and so instead of being in the house, Aldwyn and I ran up to the little gazebo area on the other side of the bridge to set up camp for the evening.

Laid Back And Lazy

We are going trick or treating tomorrow night with the family, I believe. We only had one little group show up tonight, but with so many houses on the list, and a lot of them have bigger Halloween setups, I don't doubt that people are taking their time and exploring. I know we will be!

I've been yawning in Al's ear for the past hour, so it's bedtime for me!

Señora, she's a sensation!

After a whole day of not seeing each other, most of the family went out last night for a little Halloween fun! First we hit up Halloween Town. It's pretty cute, although there is not tons to do there if you're not shopping. But we did hit up the haunted house and the place had several rooms that were dedicated to different scary movies, like Paranormal Activity, The Shining, The Blair Witch Project, and... Beetlejuice!

Jump In the Line

Payton has actually never seen the movie! So we're definitely putting that on our list for movies to watch with the family.

Before we left Halloween Town, we wanted to get a picture in front of the sign. But for some reason, when it became apparent that we were getting into photo position, this girl decided she needed to be in the photo, too. And also this guy was flying around on a flaming broom. But hey, the more the merrier, right? Just know that the girl hanging from the balloon [which is a freebie there at Halloween Town] and the guy on fire are NOT part of the family.

At Halloween Town

We went to another place afterwards, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it. It was SUPER ridiculously laggy, too. So we decided to head on over to the Linden Halloween tour. I have done it before, but it's definitely worth a few ridethroughs because there is much to see and it's all SO well done.

Spooky House

I don't know when they are going to take it down, if they take it down, but you HAVE to go to it. Just make sure that you do everything the notecard tells you to do, like putting on advanced lighting and using the region light setting, so that you get the best experience. I have not gone through it without doing that so I can't tell you if it sucks if you don't. I really should go through just using my normal settings to see what it looks like.

In fact... okay, hang on.


Nope. You need advanced lighting on. The place uses materials and without them on, it doesn't look as good. If you can't run advanced lighting, just make sure you use the region's light setting because in a bright light without materials, you just don't get the total spooky experience.

Today, I have to finish up our front porch because tomorrow, the trick or treating starts! There are 40 or so homes that have signed up to do it and pretty sure most of them will be way more haunted and stuff than ours. *laughs* But that's okay, I'm not competing. I just want the kids to get some candy. Speaking of which...I better go get some candy to give out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Believe We'll Be Okay

Heading back home today. :( I am going to miss starting my SL day out at the coffee shop.

One more coffee

This really has been just the best week I've had in SL in a long time. Just being here has helped in so many ways. How could I possibly be down or out of sorts when I could just hang out here in such a beautiful place?

Grand Canyon -1

Grand Canyon -2

I definitely think that this trip has bonded us more as a family. Not that we're not close as it is, but this was definitely a chance for us to be more of a family.

Grand Canyon - 5

Grand Canyon - 4

Grand Canyon - 6

If you're in the family community, I really urge you to do things like this with your family. In fact, you can even rent out this location! [Contact my sis, Lolita Oleander, by notecard if you're interested in making a reservation. You can read and see some pics here for more info.] But there are other places you can go for vacations in SL, too. Cruises, beaches, winter places, etc. These experiences make your family stronger.

I know for me, lately I'd been feeling very disconnected from ... well, my SL self. Believe me, I love my kids and I love my husband and I love our family and the SLife we have. But sometimes the pressures of owning the island and dealing with rents and everything gets to me. Sometimes, blogging gets to me. Feeling like I'm not particularly good at anything that I do in SL gets to me. And I know how "Poor little rich girl" that sounds. Believe me, I know. But doing this refreshed my eyes and my heart. It was lovely to get to spend time with the kids and play games and all of that. Aldwyn and I even were able to have a fantastic alone night that wasn't just us standing in the house while we do other things. That was really nice, so I definitely think we need to make "date nights" more of a priority, at least a couple of times a month. And having my family middle name me definitely was the cherry on my vacation cake!

So I've packed up our bags. I took down the photos in our room. The only thing left to do now is take another look around and then head home.

Well... as soon as they kick me out. :)

No No No No No

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Last Dance

The last day of our amazing vacation. :(

We had formal family dance tonight. It was fun, but also just a little sad because we all knew what it signified.

Family Dance - Group

Family Dance - Aldwyn and me

Family Dance - Group Side

A couple of months ago, I started to think that I wanted a middle name. In the family community, the kids are usually middle named by their parents. They might have already chosen one for themselves while they didn't have family, but it means something to have your parents do it. I wanted a middle name, but we don't have parents, so I thought asking the family to do it for me would be the best thing. But I wanted to do it at the right time, you know? Then this past week I thought, you know what, the dance would be the BEST time because we'd pretty much all be together and it would definitely end the vacation [for me] on a great note. So I asked.

[21:53] Second Life: Alicia Chenaux-Zanzibar is now known as Alicia Noelle Zanzibar.

Of course, I had to fight to not be Alicia Felicia, but in the end, they chose well. :)

Tomorrow we pack our bags and head back to Bluebonnet. I am going to miss this vacation so much!! It was such an incredible experience, and I am going to miss logging in and the family just being right there. I miss home, but... wahhhh. *laughs* I will have my end of vacation thoughts and pics tomorrow. Goodnight!