Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Get to Know Me Tag

What is your middle name? 
So sorry, but I'm gonna leave this one unanswered for privacy concerns, ya know. One question in and I'm already skipping! It's not that interesting though, right?

What was your favourite subject at school?
Well, I'm still in school :) But I really seem to enjoy math every year. I don't see myself entering a math-related career in the future but it's something that I truly love. It has come naturally to me for as long as I remember and I've made some pretty amazing memories during math competitions.

What is your favourite drink?
Hmmm... if a smoothie counts I'll say a smoothie, but I view smoothies more as liquid food... Water is definitely what I drink most often, though.

What is your favourite song at the moment? 
Recently I started looking through that thing at the bottom of your Spotify playlists that suggests songs to add to it, and I have found so many good songs. Pandora just isn't doing it for me anymore for some reason. I used to like it but now I feel like I'm skipping or disliking every song (or suffering through it because I'm trying to save up my skips). Oh! Right, favourite song. Uh... Hundred Miles by Yall ft. Gabriela Richardson

What is your favourite food?
Wow. That's hard. I'd say salad but that's cheating, because that's like saying "entrees" or "appetizers". I feel like I should say something simple. Let's go with avocado on toasted rye bread. I probably have that about every other day but it's just so good! Topped with some pumpkin seeds and lemon, oh yesss. Or, if I'm feeling fancy, some strawberries + balsamic vinegar or cucumber + feta + dill. I feel like a chef when I'm making avocado toast sometimes...

What is the last thing you bought?
Some stuff at IKEA! I got a lamp, string lights, a cactus plant, and a glass vase for it.

Favourite book of all time?
Hm, it's hard to choose one because I feel like a lot of the books that I really really enjoyed reading wouldn't be as appealing to me now that I'm older. But I have to pick one so let's say Eleanor and Park. That book was amazing.

Favourite Colour? 
Mint, but I don't feel strongly about that, I just like pretty colors!

Do you have any pets?
No, but we just got an Amazon Echo and sometimes it feels like a pet.

Favourite Perfume?
I don't really wear perfume, but when I do ("I don't always drink beer, but when I do..." I'm sorry that just popped into my head) it's the Pink Fresh & Clean body mist.

Favourite Holiday? 
I'm not sure if this question is asking me to pick my favorite vacation that I have been on or to describe my dream vacation, or- wait a second, what if they're talking about holidays as in Christmas? This is too confusing! All of the blogs I've seen that have done this tag answered with vacations so I'll just go with that. My favorite vacation would be one of the cruises we've been on. I don't think I could pick one but they have all been absolutely thrilling experiences and they're the most recent so they're freshest in my memory.

Are you married? 

Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?
Yes, and I have no idea. My parents traveled a ton when I was little, but I don't remember any of it and I don't think they could possibly count either, especially when you count layovers in airports.

Do you speak any other language?
Lithuanian fluently and Spanish decently (I take it in school).

How many siblings do you have?
One totally awesome little brother. (That's not even sarcastic, he can be annoying sometimes but he is so smart and creative that it amazes me.)

What is your favourite shop?:
I've never really been "shopping" as an outing, but I love going to IKEA and West Elm when my parents go.

Favourite restaurant?: 
My family doesn't go out to eat that often, so this is hard. When we're traveling, there's this place called Protein Bar that's a favorite, although I doubt if you could even call that a restaurant, really. But it's so cool, they've got delicious healthy food and a really nice "atmosphere". One time though, we were in Washington D.C. and we went there every single day that I got so sick of it I could barely even think about eating any more of it. So there's a lesson for you - everything in moderation! We went this weekend when we were in Chicago and it was great, so it's all good now.

When was the last time you cried?:
I probably cry more than the average person, but I couldn't remember the last time. Maybe a week ago?

Favourite Blog?
I read a lot, so I'll pick two. My favorite general blog is Miss Zali, and my favorite food blog is Green Kitchen Stories. I feel like those are the two main categories of blogs that I read, and they're very different, so there you go :)

Favourite Movie?
Interstellar. Listening to the soundtrack gives me chilllls man. I don't know if the effect is the same if you haven't seen the movie but here is my favorite song from the soundtrack, Cornfield Chase.

Favourite TV show? 
Shark Tank! I can't get enough of that show. Why is it so fascinating?? My favorite shark is Robert Herjavec because he seems like the most sensible and nice shark, but of course the show wouldn't be the same if any of them weren't there. I'd love to hear what other people think, who is your favorite shark?

PC or Mac?

What phone do you have? 
iPhone 5C

How tall are you? 

Can you cook? 
Heck yes! Just kidding, I don't want to sound stuck-up, but yes. I love to cook and do it a lot!

Thank you so much for reading, these were really fun questions to answer! I hope they were at least mildly interesting to read, haha. I tag anyone who wants to do it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Coconutty Grape Banana Smoothie

There's something so special about breakfast. I mean, every meal is amazing, because, you know, cooking and food, but... breakfast.

My morning routine used to be incredibly dull and monotonous. I would wake up for school as late as I possibly could without showing up to school tardy. I'd slither out of bed, eyes half-shut, and pour myself a bowl of cereal to eat while watching the morning news with my dad. Then rush upstairs to get dressed, throw my backpack together, brush my teeth, and hop into the car.

When we got a NutriBullet and I started developing an interest in healthy eating, I entered the wide world of breakfasts through the simple smoothies that I started out with. Today, eating cereal every day seems crazy, and so boring! Why would you want to, when you can make smoothies, smoothie bowls, granola, pancakes, baked oats/other grains, all sorts of porridges, chia pudding, muffins, cookies, mueslis, mug cakes, etc.? It never ends!
Somehow, this whole healthy food thing makes you more mindful of other aspects of your life, and my mornings have changed in ways beyond what I eat. I try to eat outside when I can, to put my phone away, leave the TV off, read a magazine instead. Sometimes I go for a run or do some yoga. And sometimes I just sleep in with the window open, cuddled up in my blankets. But what matters is that I make an effort to savor this quiet time of the day, and it has made such a difference.

The way I spend my morning sets the tone for the rest of my day, and I hope this yummy smoothie recipe inspires you to take it slow in your mornings (when you have the chance)!

Coconutty Banana Grape Smoothie
serves one
310 calories

1 banana
60g green seedless grapes
110g plain Greek yogurt
100g Silk unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbsp (6g) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp (10g) chia seeds (optional)

1. Peel and slice the banana, then place the slices on a sheet of parchment paper. Put the grapes on the same sheet and pop them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.

2. When the fruit is frozen, combine all of it with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

3. Enjoy right away, it'll be nice and cold!
Note: If you use chia seeds, put them in a little cup and stir them together with a little bit of water (about a 1/4 cup, but it doesn't really matter, you can just eye it and then add some more if the seeds look too solid). While you're working on the rest of the smoothie, they will form a gel that is easier to digest and therefore more nutritious than dry seeds!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to Make an Animated Doodle Gif

Hello everyone! How has life been? It's been quite wonderful here these past few days. Summer has brought loads of free time and with that comes slow breakfasts outside, movies with friends, bike rides to the gym with my family, a new recipe for dinner each night... I love it. I know, however, that the school year will come eventually, but right now I'm just going to push that out of my mind and enjoy this life!

Today I have a post that I'm super proud of - I cluttered up my desktop with 60 screenshots for this so I really hope it's helpful, haha!

I'll be showing you how you can use Photoshop to make a super cool little gif like the one above. And if you don't have Photoshop, at the end I've included some useful links for other way to make a gif, so no one gets left out! :) 

Let's get started!

Step 1 / Find a photo that you want to use and open it up in Photoshop. Use ctrl/cmd + o for a shortcut!
Step 2 / To make a gif, we're going to use the timeline window. Go to Window > Timeline
Step 3 / This little panel will appear at the bottom of your screen. Go ahead and click "Create Frame Animation" and your view will change:

Step 4 / Next we'll head on over to the layers panel. It should be at the bottom right of your screen. Right now your photo is set as the background layer, so click on the lock to make it a regular layer.
Step 5 / Create one new layer and one new group. Select your two layers using cmd + click or ctrl + click. Drag them onto the group, then release.
Step 6 / Select the empty layer and draw a design on it.
Step 7 / Close up that group by clicking on the little arrow next to it. Then go ahead and drag that group onto the "new layer" icon to make a copy of it.
Step 8 / Create a new layer in that group and draw a new design on it, using the layer below it as a guide. You'll see how my writing is doubled up in the photo, that's fine! Because...
Step 9 / We're going to delete that layer! "Layer 1" Once you've done that, close up the group and repeat the process. Drag it onto the "new layer" icon to make a copy, then open it up and create a new layer inside it.
Step 10 / Repeat as many times as you like. You can add more layers for more complicated designs, just be careful about which layer you delete! It may not always be the bottommost one. You can always undo if you make a mistake :)

Step 11 / Once you're done, close up all of your folders. Use the ctrl + e or cmd + e shortcut to merge the layers of each group into one. Click on a group, use the shortcut, click on the next group, etc. until you're done.
Step 12 / You're ready to start putting these images together into a gif! Click the icon at the top right of the timeline window, then select "Make Frames From Layers". 

Step 13 / All of your images are now transferred into the timeline as frames. Next, click that menu again, but this time click "Select All Frames".
Step 14 / Head down to your frames and make some adjustments. The first thing you'll want to do is change the timing. Click on the time on one of the frames and change it, then click the play button to test it out. Then click "Once" at the bottom and change the setting to "Forever" so that it repeats over and over. 
Step 15 / Go to File > Export > Save for Web and change up the settings to suit your liking. I usually change the image size because the photos are so big and I don't need a gif that gigantic. 

Step 16 / Share with all of your friends so that they can see how cool and artsy you are :)

photoshop alternatives

If you don't have Photoshop never fear! If you use Gimp (which is very similar to Photoshop and free!) there is a tutorial that can help you. Or you can also use any program you want and follow the instructions in this post, just save your frames separately and then use this website called gifmaker.me to put them together into a gif! I used this website a ton with my old blog because I didn't have Photoshop and it was super easy to use.

There are so many fun possibilities with gifs! I'd love to see what you make, so send me an e-mail or link to a post :) Have fun!

Also, to finish out this post, I wanted to mention that I recently got a PO box for pen palling! I only have one pen pal right now and I'd love to have more, so if any of you are interested just shoot me an e-mail at hibeanau@gmail.com. Or if you just want to be e-mail blogging buddies I'm looking for those as well, hehe :)

Have a beautiful day everyone!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

What's My Personality Type?

In my opinion, the two hardest questions anyone can ask you are:

1. What do you like to do? Nothing makes you ashamed of your lack of hobbies like this question.

2. Describe yourself. Okay, I realize it’s technically not a question (thanks, grammar police!), but it’s still a sentence that prompts some deep thinking.

I don’t know about you but that question just makes me freeze up. Where do I even begin? 

I read a lot of blogs and follow a lot of accounts on Instagram. I’ve noticed a lot of people have a four-letter acronym in their “about” page or in their bio. Something like INFJ, ESTJ, or ISTP. I had no idea what these were so I decided to be a super sleuth and do some investigation.


I learned that these are just a few of the sixteen (!) different personality types created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Meyers. They were inspired by Carl Gustav Jung's work.

Who was he? In the early 20th century, psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung identified two main attitude types:

1. introversion - interested in one's own mental self, reserved, reflective
2. extraversion - enjoy human interaction, enthusiastic, assertive

These are terms that are pretty commonly used these days, as synonyms for shy and social, respectively, but that's not really what Jung meant. His definition was more along the lines of: Where does the person get their mental energy from? From reflection or interaction?

Then he came up with two functions:

1. Perceiving - sensation vs. intuition
2. Judging - thinking vs. feeling

Combining all of those possibilities, he created 8 personality types. Moving on!

Katharine began researching this subject in 1917, and discovered Jung's book on it in 1923. She was like, Cool! This is like what I'm doing! She studied his work for a long time before deciding to put this idea of personality types to practical use. Her daughter helped her with research.

During World War II Katharine and Isabel began creating an indicator (can I just say, how cool is a mother-daughter research team?) to help women getting jobs for the first time figure out what was right for them. They published the handbook in 1944.

Now, there is research that doubts the validity of these personality types, but whether or not this is reliable, it sure seems like fun! So I decided to try it out.


I found this website called 16Personalities that has a free test you can take and tells you all about each personality type. And, bonus: they have super cute illustrations!

The people behind this website have combined the work of Jung, Meyers, and Briggs, and created five different personality aspects, different combinations of which make up the 16 different personality types.

I created this handy dandy little infographic that describes each of these aspects:

In an attempt to be all scientific and fancy, I decided to create a hypothesis. I didn't spend too much time thinking about this, but I looked through the page that lists all of the types and made myself pick one. At first it seemed that none of them were anything like me, but I finally settled on INTJ, or, the "Architect". The little blurb stated "imaginative and strategic thinkers, with a plan for everything". Is that me?

Let's see ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Alright, I'm back. It appears I don't know myself very well! My result was... (drumroll please)

ISFJ-T! The "Defender" (The -T part of that tells me that I'm turbulent rather than assertive, and there can be an ISFJ-A as well as an ISFJ-T.)

I started reading, and I was like, okay, okay, this is interesting... HEY! That's ME! Let me show you the specific passage that got me all excited:

"ISFJ personalities (especially Turbulent ones) are often meticulous to the point of perfectionism, and though they procrastinate, they can always be relied on to get the job done on time."

That's totally me! A perfectionist and a mild procrastinator. I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about these aspects of my personality and this got it exactly right.

"ISFJs need to know when to say no..."
This is something that I know I struggle with.

There were some things that I disagreed with. One is that I am supposedly great at remembering details like names and birthdays. Me? No! I definitely am not good with birthdays, I can only remember those of my family and a few of my friends'.

Another thing I disagreed with was that good career choices for me would be nursing or teaching. Maybe there's some part of me deep down that would be perfect for these jobs, but they're not paths that I have ever considered, even as "maybes".

But, you know what? I'm fine with this evaluation. Why? Because BEYONCE is an ISFJ. (Take that, all other personality types)

So, what do you think of this test? Have you taken it? Let me know what you got! I'm interested to see who else out there is an ISFJ :)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Free Printable July Calendar

Hey everyone! Can you believe the month of June is over? When summer vacation began the days passed by so slowly, and it seemed the season would last forever. But all of a sudden we're at the end of the month, ah!! It's a good reminder to make the most of this free time.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to think about the month and all of the wonderful things that happened during it.

End of the School Year
This year wasn't too tough, but I was definitely ready for it to be over. I finished out the year feeling proud of how I did on my final exams and has a nice relaxing start to the vacation :)

Summer Bucket List
I've always made a loose list of things to do in the summer, but this was the first year that I actually made an official list. I guess you could say I crossed off a bucket list item by making a summer bucket list! I was really proud of how it turned out and hung it up on my wall to remind me to have an AWESOME SUMMER. 

Adobe Creative Cloud
I'd been thinking about getting the Adobe programs for a long time, and I finally went ahead and bought them this month. I saved up some money and got the student plan, which was a really nice discount. I've been playing around with Photoshop and Lightroom mostly, and I've learned a lot!

Oh Wonder
If you haven't heard of Oh Wonder, they're a duo from London and they are soooooo good. I had the opportunity to see them in concert and it was absolutely amazing, and so so loud, haha! I was sitting on this bench seat thing and when I set my phone down next to me it was vibrating from the noise! It was crazy. But the music and the lighting and everything was incredible. I had their songs stuck in my head for a solid week afterwards.

Saw Baby Birds Grow Up
We had a family of birds nesting right above our front door, and since we have a glass door we had the perfect view to watch them grow. One day my mom went outside and they all freaked out and just flew away. They were a little clumsy but they picked it up quite quickly and didn't come back after that. It was a bittersweet moment and we all watched in awe.

Got my Learner's Permit
Aw yeah, this 15 1/2 year old is almost a driver. I've been taking driver's ed this month and I've tried driving in a parking lot twice, but the real learning comes now, I think. Now that I know all of the signs and laws it's time to see if I can put that knowledge to the test in the real world! (Not gonna lie, it's a little scary...)

Ran a 5K
Even just a few months ago if you had told me I would be the person excited to go and run a 5K race I would have told you you were absolutely insane. I hated running. But then I tried the Couch25K program, and to my surprise, finished it! I completely recommend the app, it's perfect for total beginners because it starts out with no more than a minute of continuous running and slowly builds up to 30 minutes. I thought that I wouldn't be able to do Day 1 Week 5, because it jumped from 8 minutes of running to 20 minutes, but I went out and tried it anyways. And when I finished, feeling like I could have kept running if I'd had to, I couldn't believe it! It felt absolutely amazing and after that I realized that I was totally capable of running long distances. 

Started This Blog!
I used to have a blog that I kept up for quite some time, but then school got SO busy and I just couldn't balance both things at the same time. But the idea of starting it up again never left my mind, and I finally did it this month. I hope to continue for a long time :)
So, what were some of the highlights from this month for you? Let's make July even more fantastic! I've made this free calendar that you can print out to plan all of the adventures you're going to have :)

If you're particularly observant you'll notice that the calendar in the pictures looks different from the actual calendar, and that's because right after publishing this post I realized I started the calendar on the wrong day! Honestly I wasn't that surprised. Of course I did that. Well, I fixed it right away and linked to a new version, but the photos will stay the same :)

I really hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Strawberry Picking // Photo Diary

Hello everyone! Remember my summer bucket list? Recently I got to cross something off - strawberry picking!

To be honest, I was afraid that item would never be accomplished because when I called the farm on a Tuesday they said that the strawberry season might be over. I didn't want to get my hopes up so I sort of just accepted it, and figured we could go blueberry picking in July or something

BUT THEN. I called on Thursday (terrible weather Wednesday) and they said it would be open for one last day! It couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was cool and cloudy, and they said they'd be open in the evening, just before the sunset (perfect for photos!).

So I immediately told everyone in my family and we jumped in the car and went!

Okay no, just kidding, it wasn't that exciting and spontaneous, but that sounds better doesn't it?

Before I leave, I have one last thing for you. But I have to warn you. If you're sensitive to extremely cute fruit, you might want to just leave. Read another post. Here's my post from Father's Day with some nice pictures (shameless plug). Otherwise, you may continue (it's after the forest photo):

It's a dancing strawberry!! "Oh boy, oh boy, I am just so excited to go home with you and be made into some yummy yummy bars!"

Alright, that's all the cuteness you get for now. Thank you so much for reading! Have you ever gone strawberry (or other fruit) picking?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Father's Day

Happy father's day to all of the dads out there!

I feel like this holiday hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as it should. I honestly started doubting myself this morning - "What if it's next Sunday? What if they think I'm baking a cake just for the fun of it? But... but two days ago Jimmy Fallon said 'Happy Father's Day'! Was that an old episode...?" I just really thought it'd be mentioned more! To my relief a quick Google search confirmed that I had my dates right. Someone in my family has bought flowers exactly a week early once, so I had reason to worry!

Since cooking has become a new hobby of mine, I've been making cakes for a lot of occasions. For today, I picked this cake that I've had my eye on for a while from The Naked Fig. I LOVE bananas (who doesn't? Okay, some of my friends don't but I'll let that go) and this cake was like 50% bananas so it was perfect. Mine looks a bit different because I used larger cake pans, and I think my coconut sugar must have been darker because my frosting looked brown rather than white, but it tasted great! I thought it was a little bit on the sweet side, but my family disagreed, so I might have just become a little more sensitive to sweetness. I definitely recommend this recipe and the blog!

Ahh... Doesn't that look amazing? I love cakes that look a little bit undone - sauces dripping down the sides, filling oozing out, edges uneven. And that's not just an excuse for my messy cake (the cakes may or may not have fallen apart a bit while I was putting it together, but I persevered!) ;)

As for the card...

A few days ago my little brother brought home a gigantic stack of this grayish-tan paper from school (they send home leftover supplies at the end of the year), so I figured it was about time I started using it. I chose Posca pens because I've been doing everything in those recently - they get absolutely AMAZING vibrant colors.

I only had one shade of brown, and I didn't want to outline everything in black, so I decided to show the boundaries between one area of brown and the next by leaving a little bit of space. I love how it turned out! I added some watercolor to soften out the crispness and brightness of the paint markers.

I reminded my brother of what day it was and he made this adorable card:

He was self-conscious about it, so I had to assure him that it looked fine.
We delivered all of his presents to him and enjoyed the cake. There was a LOT more cake than I thought there would be. When I was making it I was like Oh, wow, this isn't a lot of batter, we can all have a quarter of it! Well, everyone (four people) had some and we haven't even finished half of it!

No matter how much cake there may be though, what I want most is for my dad to know how much we love him. I couldn't live without his patience, guidance, and constant cheerfulness. I'm not going to lie - I got a little bit teary-eyed making the card because I'm the kind of person that will overthink and start crying about how soon I'm leaving for college. But for today, at least, we can forget about that and we can eat cake together.

Beatrice <3