31/12/2015

Reflecting on 2015


First of all we can all agree I've been a crappy blogger. It wasn't meant to be this way but it's like I jinxed myself by saying I was going to commit. I made than post and my blog because a wasteland. I just completely fell out of love with blogging. I wasn't interested in fashion blogging or vlogging anymore. It's like that Essena Oneill video about social media got to me or something. Over the past two years I had slowly been falling behind on my instagram feed and tumblr dashboard. To contextualise things I was pretty obsessed with instagram. I was one of those people who would scroll back in time until I found a post I had hearted from hours ago. I fell out of love partly because I was working full time so keeping up took a backseat and also it didn't give me the same rush as it used to on instagram. With tumblr it was depressing. I used tumblr as my online newsfeed. That's where I found out about social issues and problems happening around the world but that just got so depressing. Call me shallow but sometimes I just wanna see pretty pictures of the ocean and quotes that inspire me. I believe there should be way to group the blogs you follow and create separate dashboards for these groups. GET ON IT KARP. I type this like David Karp reads my blog or cares about my opinion on his multimillion dollar website.

Looking back on my goals for 2015 I did achieve one: I got a DSLR. I also got a lomography camera in October but that is another matter. Did I reach my goal of reading 15 books in 2015? Nope but I did read 7 books. 7 is better than none so I'm going to pat myself on the back for that. I could've done a lot better but I want to read at least 8 books in 2016! (I would say 16 but I'm trying to not put so much pressure on myself).
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Blogging Goals for 2016

1. Keep at it! 2016 will mark two years in the blogging world for insidesai. Active or not I'm going to count it as two years.

2. Try prompts. When experiencing writers block or lack of inspiration maybe giving up that control and using a prompt will help keep me consistent and unleash some creativity. Who knows! 

3. Post at least once a month. Keeping it real, once a month will give me time to create beautiful images or create interesting content.

Life Goals for 2016

1. Get a job! I quit my job two weeks ago and now I'm kind of floating... Part of me wants to find a part time job and give myself time to dedicate to my blog even though it usually doesn't work that way. In the past the blogging job path started with blogging while having a full time job, slowly building up readers, getting sponsorships then transitioning to full time blogging when the income flow was substantial enough. But who says I have to follow the path of those before me?

2. Get modified more. This is dependent on getting a job (a job with chill managers who would allow facial piercings) and my ability to save but I have been itching to get pierced or tattooed for months now. I only got tattooed twice in 2015 and that sucked so I gotta get back to it. I love body modification and I need more love in my life.

3. Shift this weight. I have been trying on and off to get rid of excess weight on my body since I started university. I started university in 2009. *sharp inhale* I know what I need to do, eat healthy food and move my body for 30 minutes a day every day. I think I can get on top of the eating part and if I can integrate daily yoga practice and go to the gym twice a week I can make it.

If you were a reader and I've disappointed you with my lack of posts, I'm sorry. I will try better in 2016. I hope everyone has a great year in 2016.

01/06/2015

Music Monday: You get what you give


To make up for the lack of blogging last week I'm doing two this week. Does it balance out my karma? Am I starting off June on the right foot? To try and trick myself out of my constant funk I've been listening to this 90's gem of a song. New Radicals. My memories of this song are entirely random... I know this song from the Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed movie. Bear with me here. It was used during a scene at end of the second act where the gang is down and out and in a hideout and Fred finds this picture of the gang when they were younger and reminisces about happier times *enter flashback and this song* and it gets them pumped and they defeat the monster so clearly this song works.


You've got the music in you. Don't let go.
You've got the music in you. One dance left.
This world is gonna pull through. Don't give up.
You've got a reason to live. Can't forget.
We only get what we give.

Don't let go, I feel the music in you.
Fly high, What's real can't die.
You only get what you give.
You're gonna get what you give (don't give up).
Just don't be afraid to live. 
I want to get "don't give up" and "don't be afraid to live" tattooed onto me. Yes I am guilty of wanting cliche script tattoos but if the constant reminders help my psyche then why not? It's just such an upbeat song saying things I really need to hear. I know that artists do jump on the inspirational song bandwagon like Like Katy Perry's Roar (I'm not saying it's a bad song, I love that song in all it's generic-ness). But this works so much better for me. I've been listening to it constantly on spotify on my commute to work. It gets me in a good frame of mind. I feel like Kimmy Schmidt and I just gotta get myself through small increments of the day and suddenly I've made it through the whole day. This song helps me through. Little moments I love in this song include when you hear the whisper of "fly" during the bridge and the secondary "mine" when he's holding the note for a very long time. I like noticing little stuff like that. Is this song giving you major flashbacks to your life in the 90s? What are your favourite uplifting songs?

22/05/2015

Experiments

Took my 700D out for a test...

15/05/2015

How to be alone

"If you are at first lonely, be patient..."

I was reading Katie's post about her experiences as an independent introvert who struggles between feeling content in her solitude and feeling lonely and it reminded me of my own. At 24 I have accepted my solitude. I am alone, a lot and I like working at my own pace. I like the quiet. I like being totally weird without anybody judging me. I like being a homebody. But after a while I'll slip into negative spaces. If I go too long without speaking to my friends I get lonely and my mind starts to turn against me. I have a few friends (online friends) but I still crave that group of weirdos who get me. Something that gets me through that time when I can't speak to anyone is watching this video. Andrea Dorfman nails down how amazing it can be to be alone. Her spoken word is just beautiful.

"Society is afraid of alone though, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements..."

Perfect. I'm sure there are some lonely hearts but to conflate all people who are alone with the lonely is wrong. Some people have lots of friends and still feel lonely while others are perfectly happy being alone. You can't judge from the outside. You just have to focus on how you feel. There's a scene in the 90s film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion where the title characters are talking about how they never felt like their lives were bad until they started to compare it to others interpretation of success and had to deal with outside judgement and that's how I feel. I might find myself feeling down or lonely 20% of the time but the 80% I'm cool with it. As long as there is more positive feelings towards my loner status that it's all good. Alone isn't inherently bad but loneliness is. I think loneliness breaks the heart and kills the soul. If you are feeling lonely then I hope you find people that you can trust soon, in the mean time there is always this video.

13/05/2015

???


I didn't mean to go a week without posting. I said I was back and that I would be blogging 3 - 4 times a week but my mental health has taken a turn for the worse so this blog took a back seat. I've been feeling a little stressed out by the nature of blogging, the overwhelming increase of advice posts, the constant churning out of content and dedication needed to get ahead. I have come to the decision that I will be posting on here once a week on Fridays. I have one post coming for Friday about being alone. In the meantime you can check out my instagram if you want to keep up with my 365 challenge (the only online thing I have been able to keep up with right now). I hope you can bare with me while I try to find balance and peace.

04/05/2015

Music Monday: Happy



Oh Marina, you've been writing songs from my soul since I discovered you about four years ago. The Family Jewels is a great album, it included songs like Obsession and Guilty which are my favourite songs. Electra Heart was even better and Happy from her latest album Froot just blew my mind. It's like we were on the same journey. My mental health had down for many years but when I first heard the song it was at the right time in my life. As you can tell with my Music Monday songs, I posted based on what song I relate to most emotionally that week. This is the kind of music I love listening to right before bed. I also recommend you listen to the live acoustic version because it's even better.

My favourite lyrics are the entire song but specifically these:
I found what I'd been looking for in myself. Found a life worth living for someone else.
Never thought that I could be, I could be... Happy, happy.
She figured out how to be happy inside, to be truly happy. Not the fake pretence of togetherness. You get so used to being inside that frame of mind, of being unhappy that happiness seems so far away. You just gotta open yourself up to really being present in life, finding people who you can confide in and believing in something more, something bigger than yourself, maybe God, maybe fate, maybe spirituality in general and that's the path to happiness? Maybe. I dunno. Is anyone else a Marina fan? If so tell me your favourite song.

01/05/2015

I'm back!

Yes, hello it's Shari-Ann and I'm going to start blogging again. I took like a month off and decided that I wanted to. While I was gone I invested in my blog, I bought a domain. My blog is now www.insidesai.co.uk, I got a new layout from SkyandStars. My old schedule was Monday: Music Monday where I post a song I've been loving that week or in general. Wednesday: a photography or artistic post. Friday was a personal or general post that isn't creative and Sunday was the day to post a compilation of my 365 challenge (which I'm not 4 weeks behind) and I will try to get back into that routine.

Also I bought a DSLR! Looking forward to my image quality improving! I'm glad to be back. I always wanted this blog to be a visual diary but I also have other interests like film, music, feminism to name a few. Blogging can be both freeing and constricting but I'm happy to be back.

P.S. I made a facebook fan page so if you like my content, take a look and give it a like.

23/03/2015

I'm taking a break

I know you were expecting a Music Monday post today but I just couldn't. I had the post drafted but it was just a title the youtube link. It was this Marina and the Diamonds song if you're interested. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately, I'm working full time while trying to blogging regularly (I know a lot of people do it). It's a juggling act and sometimes I feel like I'm not succeeding at anything. I'm a perfectionist and I don't want to post subpar material just to keep to my schedule so I'm stopping for a little so I can my head together. I'm trying to not be so hard on myself. I know it takes time to find a balance so I'm taking a break.

Find Space
I had last week off it really made me think. I should've been excited to have the time off and focus on blogging but I found myself just procrastinating and it now it's Monday and I have no content. During last week I realised how much happier I was to not be at my job. I've wanted out for so long (I've been working there for over two years) but I didn't have the drive to go out there and really ask for help. I want to use my time off from blogging to focus on finding a new job. One that allows me enough time to blog on the side. Hopefully one day I can monetise my blog and get to the point where a part time/20 hour job role would be a good fit. It seems like 90% of entry level work is part time or zero hours contract and without another source of income I don't want to downgrade from full time. I'm trying to figure it. I'm 24, I'm still young...? I'll get there.

Breathe

Even though it's making me anxious to stop blogging and risk the growth I've made I have to breathe and take a step back. Get into a job that isn't causing so much stress and doesn't feel like a never ending roundabout of menial tasks and frustration. I just gotta keep breathing.

I don't know when I'll be back. In my head I want to give myself til May but I might be back sooner. I know I'll miss it. I don't know if I should still partake in twitter blog chats since I'm on hiatus... I'll still be doing my 365 challenge on instagram. You can also find me on twitter and tumblr and flickr. I hope you all have a nice Easter if you celebrate it or just enjoy the bank holidays! I wanna come back better than ever.

20/03/2015

6 things I'd tell my 16 year old self

Inspired by the #dearme youtube trend/prompt going on right now, I thought I would write a post about what I would tell my former self. First and foremost you're not shy, you're an introvert. You know you can talk to people, you just prefer not to (and it is like 5% crippling anxiety but only 5%). It takes time to develop relationships to get to the types of conversations you want to have: ones about existentialism, depression and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but that's ok. Not everyone is a chatty person. Silence is golden. You know how awesome you can be... you just gotta work on your trust issues. Continue to keep rolling your eyes at people who call you shy, they'll catch up to introversion cause it's about it shoved down their throats via internet articles.

16/03/2015

Music Monday - Turn it Off

I've been a fan of Paramore for a long time. I like rock and roll, I like the energy of the music. I like Hayley, she's cute, quirky, she has awesome ever changing hair. I really believe that Brand New Eyes is Paramore's best album (so far) and it's really nostalgic for me because it came out during my first year of university and whenever I listen to it I get transported back to bus journeys to my classes and what I was feeling and Turn it Off in particular resonates with me. 



I think the song is about how pain is an inevitable part of life. As you live and grow up you experience bad circumstances, people who disappoint you and you end up living a life that is nihilistic and all these experiences suck the hope and innocence out of you and make you a bitter, selfish person. In the chorus she sings about how it's all futile because things are only going to get worse. For the longest time I thought the lyrics were "hit the bottle" not "hit the bottom". Is Hayley saying she's better off dead (alluding to killing herself by jumping) or is she figuratively saying that we need to hit rock bottom, lose everything, purge ourselves of our old mentalities and build ourselves back up with unshakable foundations? I think it's more the former. I could quote the whole song but this is my favourite lyric is:
Seems like it's getting harder to believe in anything, than just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts.
I feel like this all the time. Just apathy and self-centredness. You watch the news and it's an awful world we live in and you wonder "is that all there is?" And you kinda want to just focus on yourself or hide away forever. Hayley wants more, a better perspective, to see goodness in everything including herself but she can't, she's still consumed by all the hurt inflicted upon her so in spite of her desire to be better she just turns it off, shuts everything out because it's too hard to forgive those who hurt her and so the cycle continues. It's a dark song but one of my favourite Paramore songs. Are you a fan of Paramore?

13/03/2015

24 facts about me!


I'm turning 24 in two days so I thought I would share 24 facts about myself:
  1. I survived a pyroclastic volcanic eruption.
  2. I have 11 tattoos right now.
  3. I'm gonna be covered in tattoos.
  4. I only have my septum pierced.
  5. I have a degree in Film and Media Production.
  6. I still live at home.
  7. I am an introvert (INTJ if you're into Myers-Briggs).
  8. My favourite band is Fall Out Boy.
  9. My favourite artist is Marina and the Diamonds.
  10. I can't do a handstand.
  11. Or a cartwheel.
  12. I love my Instagram feed. I could scroll forever.
  13. Tumblr's my second favourite social media but I've been neglecting it recently.
  14. I dislike facebook...
  15. Some of favourite films include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Girl, Interrupted, Donnie Darko, Moulin Rouge and The Craft.
  16. I think 15 is my lucky number.
  17. I have only been to one concert and it was Marina and the Diamonds in 2012.
  18. I like being on trains.
  19. I have only had one pet in my life, a goldfish. I didn't name them.
  20. I feel a strange affinity with the moon.
  21. I MUST live in New York at some point in my life.
  22. I hate when people crack their knuckles.
  23. I hate when people are like "you HAVEN'T see/listen to/heard of [band/song/movie/etc]????" STOP.
  24. I'm glad I chose to do 24 facts because 50 would've been very difficult.

09/03/2015

Introducing Music Monday


Welcome to the first Music Monday! I was spurred on by Jennypurr's week of blog posts on content, it made me really evaluate my content on INSIDEsai. I wanted to figure out what I want to post here and I've come to the decision that I need to expand my content base from just photography, art and fashion so I don't get stuck and post inconsistently. I am also going to be posting on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays. So what is Music Monday? Every Monday I am going to tell you about the song I've been listening the most the last week and why I like it. I use music to mirror my emotions. When I'm sad I listen to sad music. When I'm happy, I listen to upbeat music. When I wanna dance I listen to Ke$ha (waiting for her new album by the way). My first choice for Music Monday is: Christina Aguilera's song Fighter



Watchmojo ranked this as number one in their top 10 girl power songs and I totally agree. It's a great song of empowerment. Released in 2003 it was one of the few pop songs I didn't disregard as my adolescent sclf delved into rock and roll and I still love it now. The gothic aesthetic of the music video and the rock influenced construction of the song helped. It's a song about becoming stronger through the pain of a break up and the betrayal of a love one. It's about not letting the pain inside you, consume you but letting it to fuel your recovery and make you stronger. Make you a fighter not a victim. Like a phoenix being reborn from the ashes Christina's going to rise after her heartbreak and become more resilient. My favourite part is the bridge:
How could this man I thought I knew turn out to be unjust, so cruel?
Could only see the good in you, pretended not to see the truth.
You tried to hide your lies, disguise yourself, through living in denial.
But in the end you'll see: YOU WON'T STOP ME!
I am a fighter and I, I ain't gonna stop! There is no turning back! I’ve had enough!
The last section would make a great affirmation. The lyrics combined with Christina's powerhouse voice makes it so anthemic. I just wanna scream this song until I've made all my dreams come true. It's always hard when the person betraying you or holding you back is yourself but. I feel that Stripped was Christina's best work... I say this even though I have only listened to the singles on that album. To be honest I have only listened to her singles, regardless it is a beautiful song. The music video also has the most beautiful gothic charm to it. Beautiful to watch and listen to. Are you excited to get some insight into my music taste?

05/03/2015

Mental Health: Depression

This is gonna be my most personal post to date. I'm gonna put a trigger warning here.

03/03/2015

Collage in March


Two collages where I try something a little different. I've always wanted to capture the look of paper collages while using a digital medium. What do you think?

27/02/2015

Top 10 blogs

FASHION
Le Happy - Luanna Perez is my favourite personal style blogger. I discovered Lua on lookbook in like 2011 or something back when I had another blog and actually had a lookbook account and she was just grunge perfection. She had her creepers, dip dye hair, velvet leggings and perfect photography. I was just like "wow", to this day, she's the standard I judge other fashion blogs by. She is consistent, she's beautiful and I love her style. If you like grunge, 90's, plaid then you probably know about Lua, let's be real.

Pyrrhics - Where Lua is grunge, casual, every day style inspiration Lynn Nguyen has more high fashion edge to her. She defines transitional style to me meaning that she bounces around different styles like preppy put together looks to gothic beautifulness to casual coolness and she wears them all confidently.

Feral Creature - Eugenie Grey only recently became a blogger but she's blowing me away with her awesome style. She wears a lot of black and white, has an edgy alternative style most days but she can style it up and wear more tailored, dressed up looks.

MINIMALISM
Love Aesthetics - I think Ivania Carpio was one of the first minimalist style bloggers I came across and she's just on a whole other level. It's so clean and crisp and simple. I wish I could emulate her style, just throw myself into black minimalism 100% and just create that capsule wardrobe and never think about clothes again. I go on her blog and everything is just right. Whatever she posts, it just calms me. Her imagery is so simple and focused.

Into Mind - This blog is minimalism galore. The site is run by Anuschka and she posts a lot of guides abour minimalism: An intro to minimalism, 30 day minimalism challenge and many wardrobe perfecting posts. If you need a practical guide to minimalism I recommend this site.

ADVICE
Jenny Purr - I love this blog for advice on blogging and any creative endeavours. Jenny has it locked down and she makes me feel like one day I could become that artist (freelance photographer/collage artist/full time blogger) that I want to be. Her posts are interesting, thought provoking and helpful.

Marc and angel hack life - Marc and Angel post regular general advice lists about things like happiness, relationships and productivity. It's all the advice you ever needed in one place.

PHOTOGRAPHY/ART
A Beautiful Mess - I came across A Beautiful Mess years ago searching for self portrait guides and I came across this post and I was hooked. I think I read all the posts regarding photography consecutively. Now I'm gonna be honest I only really read Elise's photography and scrapbooking posts. The site posts about a lot of different blogging niches like home renovations, recipes, hair and make up tutorials.

Julia Trotti - The photography this girl produces is just breathtaking. Makes me want a Canon Mark III or whatever high end camera she uses. She makes a road trip look like some magical journey into some perfect world. 

Bleaq - This is an inspirational website that posts the work of artists focusing on darker/gothic influenced work. A definite inspiration to me personally. It's like a paired down version of my flickr feed. Pretty much every photographer posted has blown me away.

Who are your favourite bloggers?

23/02/2015

Chromat

Chromat was been blowing up my instagram feed over NYFW and it caught my eye for sure. I honestly do not follow high end designers and I have not fallen in love with a designer since Yeha Leung (and one day she will get her own post) but Beeca McCharen has something that just speaks to me. The structured quality to the pieces, the latex, the leather, I was eye-gasming all over the website. Also their runway show used a variety of sizes including real plus size women and women of colour. Awesome. This is a total fantasy wishlist (and unless you are mega rich I'd say don't pay too much attention to the prices) but ONE DAY I will buy 50% of the website and tailor it to my body.

My favourites from the site include this top. Technically a swimsuit top (and all the swimsuits are awesome) but I am going to view it as a duel item. Versatility is key with expensive purchases. The simple, design with cut outs on the side make the top more intriguing and a basic item of clothing with some style.

This jacket would function as a top for me because the design needs to have centre stage. I love the structured collar with the exposed panels. It does have an exposed zipper which works.

The metal bralet gives me cyborg vibes and I love it. It takes bralets to the next level by adding a futuristic elements. I love that it incorporates metal into the garment because it means that I don't have to wear jewellery.

21/02/2015

19/02/2015

Reading Update #3

I'm not going to lie. I am dragging my feet a little with the last leg of my reading challenge. I have started three of the four books on my list but none of them are captivating me. Not 1984, not Gone Girl nor Creative Confidence. But fear not I am still reading. I'm reading Harry Potter series and I've almost finished the Philosopher's Stone and I am loving it. Here are some things that help me if I'm struggling to get through a book.

Shorten your daily page goal 
If you have a big goal like to read 50 pages a day or one chapter (and the book you're reading has super long chapters) then bring that goal down. You're still progressing regardless of how slow you go. My goal is to read 10 pages a day, every day. Super chill goal and easy to accomplish and that's the point. Lower the bar so you cannot fail.

Read in short bursts throughout the day
I work long shifts and I try to squeeze other things in my personal life so reading for 10 minutes a couple of times a day, like in between breakfast and leaving the house, while commuting to work, on my lunch break and obviously before I go to sleep are ways to get to my reading goal.

Read for pleasure alone
If you have a reading goal or challenge and you cannot progress then switch gears and read a book that really intrigues you and you want to read. I know it sounds obvious and weird to say read something you want but anything to remember your passion for reading.

What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

17/02/2015

Minimalist Offices Inspiration

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(if any of these are incorrectly sourced then let me know!)

Just beautiful, I feel calmer just looking at these clean open spaces. My ideal office space would have white walls, a neutral colour palette of whites, greys, silvers and blacks, lots of windows, two desks, one for my digital production (a desktop computer) and one for physical crafting (a la Austin Kleon's advice) and small wall mounted mood board for extra inspiration. I'm vaguely acquainted with pinterest and I use it mostly to find minimalist spaces and quotes. These are my favourites of the minimalist offices from my pinterest searches. If you have any good minimalism boards recommendations then let me know! I can never have enough.
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