This Week’s Music: Magical Girl!

Sometimes you need a little more magic in your life. These are some songs I listen to when I want to feel ready to transform and take on the baddies!

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MIRACULOUS LADYBUG THEME! [] Rock Cover

Star vs. the Forces of Evil – The Ballad of Star Butterfly (Song)

Sailor Moon Crystal OST – Moon Prism Power, Make Up!

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Little Witch Academia OP Full – Shiny Ray

X and Y Champion Diantha Remix

Star Vs the Forces of Evil Soundtrack Yard Battle

Steven Universe Soundtrack ♫ – Mirror Match

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Have any suggestions of music or music themes? Leave a comment for me! ❤

 

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How To Thrift

Q: When is thrifting the answer?

A: Thrifting is always the answer.

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Hi nice to meet you, I’m Maia, but you can just consider me your online thrifting expert. I was raised in thrift stores, for real, my mom dressed me in thrifted baby clothes before I could even talk. And from there, thrift stores were always a part of my life, and I’ve been shopping in them ever since I can remember.

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Thrift stores might be kind of intimidating for someone unfamiliar with them, though. There are thousands of random items, loosely organized (if organized at all), and there so SO many weird things (like, super weird). But believe me when I say that you actually can find some cute clothes from thrift stores, you just have to know how to look for them! I’d estimate that around 70% of all my clothing is thrifted:

Every clothing piece (except the shoes in the color photos) of these is thrifted! My most recent YouTube video was even on a big thrift haul where I picked out some new work clothes along with some geeky casual shirts!

So, needless to say, you can find some awesome things at thrift stores. But like I said, there are ways to effectively comb through all the wreckage to find the treasure. And here are my hacks on how to do it!

1. Give Yourself a Plan

This is just a good idea to do when shopping in general. But with thrifting, it’s pretty essential for someone walking into the chaos of a thrift store for the first time to have a plan of action. Even veteran thrifters like myself benefit from knowing the goal of what to buy.

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sneak peak of my spring 2018 board!

 

Recently, I decided to make a Pinterest board for what spring clothes I wanted to get this year and I was amazed at how handy this was when I went thrift store shopping later. I simply downloaded the app on my phone, and when I found a piece I liked, I’d pull up my board to see if the piece went with what I wanted. I was surprised at how many times I used my board as reference for what I wanted, and in the end I was incredibly happy I took the time to make it!

Giving yourself a game plan will help you to stay on track amidst the disarray and will hopefully keep you from impulse buys (which can be very easy when everything is so inexpensive)!

2. Don’t Settle

A mistake I made in my early years of thrifting was settling for clothes that almost fit, that may have had just a little stain or two, or might have had just a bit of torn lace on the side. My advice to you on this is DON’T SETTLE! Thrift stores have literally thousands of articles of clothing, shoes, and handbags, and there’s no reason for you to settle for something that isn’t nice, even if that price tag is ever so tempting. Let me tell you why.

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You’re standing in front of your closet looking at that shirt with that little hole on the side that you bought at the thrift store the other day because it was cheap. “No big deal,” you had told yourself at the time, “I can just cover that up by layering a jacket over it or something. And I can just, like, sew it up later.” But now, that jacket is in the wash. And you don’t have time for a repair job (you didn’t yesterday or the day before that, either). And why pick the shirt with that hole in the side when the one right next to it is hole-less?

Your article of clothing should not depend on her partner for support. She is a strong, independent woman.

I promise you that you’ll find a piece that is in perfectly good condition that you’ll like far better who doesn’t need fixing. Save that fixing time for your hair, honey.

3. You’ve Gotta LOVE It

This sort of goes along with the last point, but honestly, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s free. And why spend money on something you don’t love? When you open your closet, it should be full of things you’re EXCITED to wear – ideally, your closet should be full of “favorites.”

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Even if that sweater is in perfect condition, fits nicely, and the color is fine, but you don’t feel amazing in it, it’s not the one for you, boo. Back to the scenario from earlier, why would you pick something out of your closet that’s just “meh” when a way cuter piece is right next to it? And even if all your cuter things are in the wash, why would you want to leave yourself with a piece you’re just not that into? It’s just not worth it, not even if it’s just $2.00. :/

4. Look Outside Your “Zone”

As I’ve mentioned, thrift stores contain a vast amalgamation of clothes from all different brands. You might already know that a size 4 in one brand could be a size 6 in another and a size 2 in another. So when in a thrift store, if you’re a size 12, go ahead and look outside your size because odds are you’ll find a lot more options for yourself than you think.

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Also, don’t be afraid to search outside your gendered section either. Every single geeky shirt I got (save the pizza one) in my thrift haul video I found via scouring the men’s T-shirt section (and there were plenty of anime shirts there that I didn’t get, specifically there were some Yuri On Ice ones that I spotted!). Employees aren’t perfect, and it can be hard to categorize so many random things, so you might find something out of place or even in its right place that just isn’t where you’d normally think to look!

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Hopefully you can use these tips as a map to point you towards the treasure buried in your local thrift store! No need to be afraid anymore, adventure awaits!

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Do you have any tips/hacks that you use when you go thrifting? Are you new to thrifting, or a seasoned veteran? What are some of your favorite items you’ve found? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below or tag me in a photo (@itsmaiaeden) on instagram or twitter!

Also, be sure to check out my thrift store video on my YouTube channel! See you next time! ❤

Salt Lamp Savvy

Ever seen one of these before? These cool, glowy rock-looking lamps started popping on my feed all over the place last year. At first I thought they were just an “aesthetic” trend, but once my sister got one of these “Himalayan salt lamps” for Christmas this past year, I noticed that there might be more to these than meets the eye.

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image via: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/himalayan-salt-lamp-benefits#section1

Himalayan salt lamps are more than just pretty room decorations. In fact, their name really says literally what they are: big hunks of Himalayan salt carved into lamps for your bedroom. I didn’t even know they were made of real salt until I…found out…how salty they were (don’t question my methods!!).

My curiosity piqued after discovering the saltiness (again, don’t question my methods…), I did a bit of research on these salty decorations and figured I’d share what I found out with you!

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image via: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/himalayan-pink-salt-lamp-benefits/

Himalayan salt lamps are made of – you guessed it – salt. What you might not have guessed are all of the health benefits that come along with it. Salt is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, removes pathogens and even reduces immune system oversensitivity. It’s also great for easier breathing as it loosens mucus to clear up your sinuses…gross, but hey, whatever works. 😛 Apparently, Himalayan salt is even used in some inhalers for asthma relief!

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image via: https://negative-ion-store.myshopify.com/products/himalayan-rock-salt-lamp-natural-air-purifer-negative-ion-producer

One of the biggest benefits these lamps are known for is air purification, and is one of the top reasons that they’re bought in the first place. Salt naturally attracts water vapor in the air, and water vapor will often bring pollutants (think mold and bacteria) along with it. However, when the water vapor makes contact with the heated lamp, the salt traps the pollutants while releasing the water vapor back into the air. As long as the lamp is turned on and stays warm, this cycle will continue.

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image via: https://www.theapollobox.com/product/sku1363/himalayan-salt-lamp

Some more benefits of salt lamps:

  • neutralize electromagnetic radiation that come from TV systems, computers, appliances, etc. (do I sound smart yet?)
  • boost mood and improve sleep from the calming orange glow
  • eases asthma and other allergy symptoms
  • environmentally friendly light source from natural elements and typically use low wattage or are even lit with a candle
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image via: http://polza-vred.su/solevye-lampy-polza-i-vred-prirodnogo-svetilnika/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personally, I just think that these lamps are really pretty and taste really sa– uh, I mean, they’re just great all around. Isn’t it neat to think that a magical-looking lamp is actually really healthy? If you want to pick one up for yourself, here is the top rated (over 10,000 reviews!) Amazon’s choice Himalayan salt lamp at $18.70 (if you want to do a little more shopping around, there are a lot of other lamps at lower prices too!).

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Do you own a Himalayan salt lamp? What kind do you have or like the best? Have you noticed any benefits or do you know of some more that I missed? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment! ❤

This Week’s Music: Rain Mixes

Ready for some rain? I find rain mixes to be highly relaxing and calming, especially for when I need to sleep.

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Have any suggestions of music or music themes? Leave a comment for me! ❤

It’s squishy…so what?

I’m so glad you asked!

You might have seen them popping up more and more…moving from the exclusive online world “to a store near you.” I had only heard of the term “squishies” about a year ago from some extreme collectors who made YouTube videos on them, and not too long after, they really started taking off in a trend not too unlike the slime one a lot of us are familiar with today.

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What’s a “squishy” you might ask? While there’s no exact term that I know of, I would call a squishy a type of stress toy similar to slime, kinetic sand, fidget spinners and cubes, or even a stress ball. They typically come in cute shapes and colors and are often scented as well, and are very popular among collectors.

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Okay, time to come clean… I was actually a bit of a squishy collector for a moment.

Some of my very first YouTube videos were squishy themed, inspired by watching dozens of other YouTubers showing off their collections and making reviews. I eventually discovered that there were even “brand name” squishies, and I learned about the variations in quality as well.

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So why bother writing a blog post about these unusual little toys? Well, I actually found squishies to be extremely relaxing to play with, and, similar to other stress or fidget toys, they helped me relax or focus on what I needed to do. And even though I’m not quite as into these toys as I used to be, I still keep one of my favorites on my desk for a stress reliever when I’m doing work or school assignments.

So, if you’re interested in a quick guide to squishies, keep reading!

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Part 1: Quality

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Trust me when I say that there are high quality squishies and low quality squishies. Seriously. These toys might seem like they’re all the same, but when it comes to quality, there are some major differences.

The first thing most collectors look at is pretty obvious: the squishiness. You can easily tell if a squishy is well made by how well the squishy holds “hand crinkles” (the dents your fingers make in the squishy after squeezing it) and how slowly it rises back to its original shape and size. Most collectors view slow-rising as high quality…these aren’t simple stress balls after all! The goal is to have a very soft and obviously squishable toy. If the squishy barely squishes, it’s just not the best.

Part 2: Scent

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THE FIRST SQUISHIES I EVER GOT SMELLED LIKE ENGINE CLEANER AND IT WAS A BAD TIME HOO BOY.

That gif is my sister and me in my very first squishy video I made…and even though I think her reaction to how it smelled was a little dramatic, I have to admit that the eBay squishy grab bag might not have been the best way to introduce myself to squishies.

Scent also plays into the quality of the squishy, and most squishies are scented in a way that helps add to how relaxing they are (or in some cases, how terrible they are). Some of the most common scents are strawberry, chocolate, and “bread” (though this scent can vary quite a bit). Others just smell “sweet” and I even have one that smells like pineapple.

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Part 3: Where To Buy

Where you buy squishies plays a major role in how good the quality is. As I mentioned, my first squishies I ever bought were from an eBay grab bag and they were all so bad that I ended up using them as deco experiments (which turned out surprisingly well)!

Not to totally throw eBay out of the picture, as I have actually purchased some nicer squishies from the site, but for people just starting out it can be pretty hard to tell which ones are real and which are fakes or dupes of nicer brands.

 

The above images are some examples of dupes (the left) vs. the actual product (the right).

If you don’t want to try your luck with sites like eBay, you can head over to some of my favorite reputable sites that I’ve used to buy my squishies before:

https://www.sillysquishies.com/

https://kawaii4girls.com/

https://squishyparty.com/

These are all known as “brand name” squishy sites that are all of pretty high quality. I’ve personally never bought squishies from in-store shops as most of them seem to be made pretty cheaply, but I will say that brand name squishies can be pretty darn pricey. If quality isn’t your main concern, then I’d say for sure try out eBay or stores like Target or Claire’s if they’re available in your area!

Part 4: Videos!

 

Don’t want to get squishies for yourself? Then videos are the way to go! I binge-watched squishy hauls and reviews before I decided I wanted any. Similar to crafting videos, I find watching squishy videos to be very relaxing and calming. Seeing all the cute styles and bright or pastel colors is always refreshing to me. I often will have a squishy video just playing in the background while I work.

If you’d like to check out some squishy collector YouTubers, then you can click on any of the links below:

TheHollycopter (almost exclusively squishy content with a few other crafty/collector videos mixed in)

grav3yardgirl (wide variety of videos, but she went through a major squishy phase with HUGE squishy haul videos like this one)

Ketchupgiri (another almost exclusively squishy channel, she does a lot of squishy related crafts along with her hauls and reviews)

Me. Surprise! I’ve made a few squishy videos in my day, so if you’d like to check some of them out, you can stop by my channel! And click here to see one of mine that seems to be kinda popular. 🙂

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Have you ever heard of squishies before? What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorites? Be sure to let me know by leaving me a comment!