The Thrill of The Chase

I’ve always liked contests. The rush you get from putting your name in a hat and waiting ever so impatiently for your name to be called. I remember one day when I was in middle school I cut out all the giveaway forms from my J-14 magazine and glued them to index cards for my mother to mail. I cut out tons of them and filled out each line. I remember getting excited when gimmicky fake car keys came in the mail, and I’d ask my parents if we could see if we won a new car.

I loved entering raffles and holding onto my ticket with great expectations. I remember in elementary school at our fall festival I played the moonwalk game (is that just a southern game?) and won a 2-liter of orange soda. I was pretty darn proud of that orange soda. Last summer my friend Julia found a dollar on the street so we bought a lottery ticket. We lost, but it was still fun to imagine our dollar turning into a million. Or just $2. Last summer I also entered all sorts of Broadway contests that I never won (but my friends did, so it all worked out).

I think I love contests so much not because of the prize, but because of the hope, the thrill. Waiting is not a chore with contests; it’s a gift. The time between entering a contest and when the announce the winners is a great time. The thing is, even if I win, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s all over. There’s no more guessing, there’s no more hoping. It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain – once you’re there, going back down seems pointless (to me anyways, obviously if you love hiking it’s probably still fun). I lose this hope not just in contests, but in other areas in my life. When I finally meet up with someone. When I finally get the job I wanted. When I finally finish that class.

I love the thrill of the chase, but I always yearn for the next opportunity, the next big thing. I’m a doer, a never sit still-er. I will never be happy with waiting around. I will constantly enter contests and play the moonwalk game. Okay, I won’t play the moonwalk game, because I not entirely certain if that’s a thing anymore. I also won’t gamble because my roommates all say that I’d go millions in debt, to which I concur. But maybe I wasn’t meant to be content. Maybe there’s so much more for me out there. There’s more than a 2-liter of orange soda and some free earrings from Instagram (although I appreciate both). So I’ll continue the chase and enjoy the thrill, because maybe some people aren’t meant to stop.

 

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Mini Quirky Giveaway!

It’s time for Quirking It Out’s first giveaway – a mini giveaway for my quirky friends and readers! I recently won an Instagram contest and was inspired to start my own giveaway to share the love with you – my friends, whether IRL or virtual. I’m holding a “mini” giveaway because I’m a broke college student, but still want to show love to my readers. I also know that this giveaway might only have two entrants – my friend Courtney (shoutout to this boss friend) and my mom – and that’s okay! However, for every 20 people entered (if we get above 20), I’ll add another surprise to the giveaway, so share with your friends. Or don’t – live your life.

The giveaway includes some heart lollipops, Victoria’s Secret Mints, some nice Katy Perry fake eyelashes (ooh lala, such beauty, much eyes), and a mini journal saying “LOVED” and a tiny Bible verse. Like I said, it’s a mini giveaway, but I hope it will make the winner smile!

This giveaway opens 2/22/16 at 12am and ends 2/29/16 at 12am. It is open to US residents over the age of 18 with a mailing address in the US. It is not affiliated with Instagram, Victoria’s Secret, Katy Perry, or Jesus. This is not sponsored. There will be one winner who I will announce on Twitter, Instagram, and here.

There are a few ways to enter:

  1. Follow me on Twitter @CelinaTTolbert and like the giveaway tweet
  2. Follow me on Instagram @CelinaTTolbert and like the giveaway image
  3. Follow me on WordPress (and comment below with your blog URL)
  4. Tweet about this giveaway and tag me @CelinaTTolbert
  5. Tag friends on my Instagram giveaway image (Please tag friends only once, and no celebrity/spam tags)

You can do one of these or all of them; the more you do, the more chances you have to win! A winner will be randomly picked after the giveaway is closed and will be announced within 24 hours.

A Pet Boyfriend?

Last year I told my mother that I needed to get another allergy test, as I thought I had developed a bunny allergy (yes, I know how sad this is, I LOVE bunnies). Turns out that in addition to my old allergy diagnosis of cats and dust, I was now allergic to mold, grass, DOGS, and BUNNIES…and also the hay that bunnies eat. So I’m basically allergic to any fluffy animal and the outside world.

This was crushing to hear, as I am a passionate animal lover. If you know me, you know my favorite pig is named Esther and that I love my cats at home even though they make my eyes itchy. I even struggled to pick a photo for this post because of how many cute animal pictures there were from which to choose. So when after they scratched my back 100 times and gave me 10 shots in the arm, it was just insult to injury to tell me all of my new allergies.

I was pretty discouraged with the news, but I thought my allergist might have some advice. She was a nice lady who pretended to be interested in my life every year, so I figured she could pretend to care about my sad diagnosis. So here’s our conversation:

Me: Is there anything fluffy I can cuddle with, what kind of pet should I get?

Doctor: A boyfriend?

My Mother: Oh my, no!

 

So now I guess I’m searching for a pet boyfriend? Where do you find those?

Liebster Award Nomination

If you’re involved with the blogging world, you probably know that the Liebster Award is given out to new blogs. Basically the whole point is to discover new blogs and give each other a pat on the back. I was nominated by Jannika (and her two lovely cats!) over at Travel Without Ends, so thank you Jannika! Here are the questions she asked me, along with my nominations and my questions for my nominees!

 

  1. If I die tomorrow, where should I travel today (convince us!)? I have to say Paris! I am moving there for a year in June, so it would crazy for me to say anywhere else. I haven’t been there, but I feel the city of love calling to me, and I think it’s a place everyone should visit at some point. Also, if anyone reading this does visit Paris within the next year or so, reach out to me so we can meet up!
  2. Can you imagine to travel with a pet? I wish I could travel with my pet cat, Cheetah, as he is mischievous and would love the adventure, but taking him from America to Europe would be a bit difficult…also, I’m actually allergic to anything fluffy. However, this doesn’t stop me from wanting to adopt a cat in Paris!
  3. According to you what is the one thing we should do or keep in mind when travelling? Be open to trying crazy new things! Get off the beaten path and be spontaneous – don’t get stuck in a crazy strict itinerary.
  4. What do you always carry with you when travelling (apart from passport)? Some sort of lip product, usually a matte lipstick. I always try to look classy for my destination…although that doesn’t always happen.
  5. Did you ever regret to go on a journey or travel-related adventure? I haven’t regretted both the trips I have and haven’t taken; I think when a trip is meant to be, it’ll happen, and vice versa.
  6. Please give me one sentence that describes what travel means to you. Travel is the freedom to explore and discover new things not only about the world, but also about ourselves.
  7. What was the best food/ drink you tasted ever and where can I find it? The Shortberry Strawcake at Big Gay Ice Cream in NY, NY is delicious and holds lots of sweet memories for me, as I lived directly above the shop for 3 months. It’s a must do if you’re in the city!
  8. Your remedy for feeling lonely on a trip? Ask someone to coffee! If you have friends where you are, ask one of them; if you don’t, ask someone at your hostel or a fellow traveler you meet. Also, don’t stay in your room, go explore!
  9. If you had all the money in the world, how would it change the way you travel? I don’t think it would change that much. I’d probably travel a bit more, and maybe indulge in first class, but other than that, I wouldn’t want to change my traveling that much. Part of traveling is meeting new people and getting out of your comfort zone, which might be a bit hard if you lounge in a 5 star hotel all the time.
  10. Why do you blog? I blog to share my stories/memories/adventures/travels with others. I want to make people laugh and I am grateful that I can do so by doing something I love – writing.
  11. Can you show me your favourite inspirational quote or picture? One of my favorite quotes is from Coco Chanel, saying “The bravest thing you can do is to speak your mind.”

My nominations:

The Au Pair Blog

Ultimate Au Pair

Kallia’s Everyday Talks

The Travel Journal

The Soigne Soul

Gem Hunt

Realweegiemidget

Juggling Mother

Salwakisswani

Sarah’s Musings

eat.love.wear

 

My 11 questions for you:

  1. What inspires you?
  2. If you could visit me in Paris, what is one thing we’d have to do?
  3. What is your biggest goal with your blog?
  4. What is your biggest fear?
  5. Would you rather be wealthy stuck in one place or poor but able to go anywhere?
  6. Donuts or coffee?
  7. Most embarrassing moment?
  8. How do you start your day?
  9. What do you do when you don’t feel like writing?
  10. What’s the absolute best thing to watch on Netflix?
  11. Which of your dreams/goals scares you?

And with that, the Liebster is done! Be sure to tag me in your post so that I can read your answers!

A Change of Clothes

When I was six or seven I went to summer care at the YWCA. I learned how to play mancala and swim to the bottom of the pool. I convinced myself the graveyard visible from the playground had a ghost who wore a hat (it was a nice hat). I made a friend named Greyson or Bailey or something and we both agreed we hated it.

So we came up with a plan to break the monotony – we would get sent home.  We had to come up with a way that would get us sent home without getting us in trouble. We decided the easiest way was to pretend that we had peed our pants. So we did, and were sent to the office of the summer care manager lady. She was very nice to us and called our parents, who picked us up. I think Greyson (Bailey?) and I were able to do this trick one more time before they made us bring a change of clothes with us everyday. By that point we were a good bit through the summer and didn’t feel like fighting it anymore, so we threw in the towel and played another round of mancala.

Now I’m not telling you to pee your pants to get out of summer care, but just hear me out. Going home was the “dream” of my seven year old brain, and I fulfilled it twice, but let a change of clothes stop me from pursuing that “dream” further. That may sound silly, but a lot of us get so close to our dreams and stop short because of something little, something like a change of clothes. Your change of clothes might be money or time or motivation or stress or whatever. But let’s make it a goal to get out of that YWCA building and leave our change of clothes behind (but please wear clothes) so that we can fulfill our dreams – even if that dream is just to go home and drink a juice box.

 

*Just to be clear, I know I was a very naughty child, and I did tell my parents about this…a few months ago.

Hair, Voltaire

They say the more you change your hair, the more issues you have. Another way of putting it, which I learned through my mother who read it online, is that people who change their hair a lot do so because they feel it is one of the only things they can control in their lives. I have changed my hair about 16 times, only including hair color switches and one major cut. Oops.

I don’t know if these theories are true, but I do know that I love changing my hair. If I could I’d get extensions and then switch to a bob the week after. I’ve had red, blue, purple, pink, and bleached ends before. I’ve had red, purple, blonde, brown, and now dark burgundy colored hair. I didn’t do anything with my hair last summer so I spent around $200 to get purple hair in the fall…which turned into fried white blonde. So at this point my hair has about 1/3 recovered and my mother is about 50% less mad.

But can I say, “Hair, Voltaire? I’d rather discuss Voltaire” (hello Princess Diaries!). I change my hair for me, for fun, for la joie de vivre! It’s cool if you don’t like my hair – sometimes don’t like my hair. And that’s life yall. Sometimes my hair reflects a change in my life, sometimes it means I’m bored, sometimes it means absolutely nothing. So yeah, last week I cut my own bangs that I don’t even wear today. C’est la vie!

A German on The Jersey Turnpike

In 2014 I spent the summer working at a camp in New York with staff from all over the world. The camp was about two hours from NYC and was structured so that all staff got a week off in the middle of the summer. Basically they forced us off camp for a week with nowhere to go, so we made the best of it and chose to live it up during our week without evil children. I had made a few really great friends, so a few of us made random last minute plans for the week, starting with a few days in NYC. I planned the week trip with my best friend from Germany, let’s call her Elsa. Our other friend, let’s call her Candy, planned to be with us for the first half of the trip.

So Candy drove us from camp to the city where we had booked a hotel on the edge of Brooklyn (with free parking!) just a few hours ago. We’re great planners. Anyways, we had fun being tourists in the city and hanging on our roof at night looking at Manhattan. We left after two nights for Philadelphia, with our friend Oliver joining this leg of the trip. We were going to drive Candy’s car to the house of someone I connected with on Couchsurfing. However, Candy was a bit under the weather and really needed to sleep in the car. I didn’t have a license, and Oliver only had a NY limited permit. That left Elsa, who had a German license but had never driven in America before. Elsa was very hesitant, as she had only been in the US for a month and was a bit frazzled from being with demon children during that time. But after a bit of convincing, Elsa agreed because Candy was already falling asleep.

So Candy took a nap in the front seat while Oliver and I squeezed into the back among all of the luggage, promising Elsa we’d help her navigate. She was nervous but we promised she’d only have to drive on this one road – The Jersey Turnpike. I mean, we were a bit nervous as well, but we knew the worst outcome would end with us not returning to camp, and in our hearts we accepted that and left it up to fate. Somewhere in Jersey the GPS voice lulled me to sleep, and I was only vaguely conscious when we stopped at a toll. I woke up and Candy soon followed. However, we had unknowingly lied to Elsa, as we made her navigate the way into Philly so we could eat lunch. The lunch was meh. Candy took over driving in Philly and to DC later on. Elsa may or may not have been permanently scarred by this event.

We all lived through this experience and “Elsa” and I are planning to meet up this summer. But no worries, she’ll be taking the train, not driving.

All or Nothing


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With me, it’s all or nothing. Oklahoma anyone? But truly, I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. If I do something, I go all in. I’m pretty sure that if I accidentally stole an orange I’d turn into a full on kleptomaniac. Joking aside, my all or nothing attitude has been both a blessing and a curse (okay, curse is a little dramatic).

In my relationships, I either want to hang out with you all the time, or never. If I don’t see or hear from you for a long time, I’ll forget about you. I don’t say this because I’m callous, but because I’m honestly forgetful; at the same time, I want to give more to the relationships that I can give to. Basically I’d rather hang out with someone who can hang with me everyday over someone who can only hang once every two weeks.

This makes it difficult for me to date, because if I feel “meh” about you on the first date I’ll probably just forget you exist. On the other hand, if I really like you I might come across as clingy…or maybe even a tiny bit creepy. I don’t mean it, I just like to show the people I like that I like them…a lot.

With school, this means I’ll either spend one hour or one week on a project; there’s no in between. I either hate a class or love it. Every professor is my favorite or my least favorite. I’ll either read the whole textbook or none of it.

If I decide I want to do something, I’ll do it or go crazy trying to do so. I’ve wasted hours and hours on study abroad programs, scholarships, schools to transfer into, trips to take, jobs to apply for, projects to audition for, and many more things that never happened. I become obsessed with my next big thing, whether it be a birthday trip to NYC (didn’t happen) or studying abroad in London (also didn’t happen).

But my all or nothing attitude has also served me well. I got my first ever movie “role” (as an extra, not anything fancy guys) through really weird circumstances. I found an article in our paper about the movie filming nearby and decided that I, little freshman in high school Celina, was going to be in this movie. Long story short, I emailed the director and convinced my whole family to drive to the mountains and be extras in a random indie film.

My all or nothing attitude also got me my first paid writing gig, out of school for two weeks my senior year of high school to film, and living in Manhattan last summer. And now my all or nothing-ness has landed me a job right after graduation exactly where I wanted – Paris! So even though my all or nothing life is a bit crazy, crazy can be good. Crazy can be PARIS yall!

So follow your crazy! Feel free to comment below with what that is so we can cheer each other on…and make sure we aren’t too crazy 😉

Some [Crazy] Goals for Paris

Although I am a bit scared for my move to France, I am also extremely excited. I want to make the most of my time abroad (which will be at least one year, but could be extended for who knows how long). So I’ve compiled a list of things (some a bit crazy) to do in Paris!

  • Have someone mistake me as a Parisian and ask me for directions
  • Sneak into the secret parts of the catacombs without dying
  • Go to a wine bar and act snooty
  • Somehow get into crazy exclusive parties/events/clubs
  • Get mistaken for a celebrity
  • Meet some famous people who I don’t know are famous but we become best friends
  • Act in a French movie that gets crazy popular
  • Find a cafe to write in that becomes “my cafe”
  • Dream in French
  • Adopt a cat and name him or her “Bisou”
  • Throw a party
  • Travel around Europe
  • Fall in love – with Paris, a guy, baguettes, who knows?
  • Make amazing friends from all over the world
  • Teach my au pair child Taylor Swift songs
  • Buy and wear a beret
  • Become an actual celebrity in France for something weird, like my new cat Bisou can talk.
  • Sit in a fancy hotel lobby and pretend to wait for someone.
  • Have my family visit me
  • Climb the first half of the Eiffel but also take the elevator to the top
  • Convince my au pair family to name their next child “Talullah”
  • Have a cheese picnic. Just cheese.
  • Go viral for something France-related. Like me falling in the Seine on or something else normal.
  • Become an actual Parisian
  • Stay in Paris forever?

Do you have any other suggestions? Au revoir!

My Roommate Is Not What You Decide She Is

If you’re in college or are a millennial adult, you’ve probably heard of Yik Yak, an anonymous social media app. You can post anything about anything…or anyone. There are very few ways to use it in a way that spreads positive vibes. It’s basically a free for all for cyber bullying and name calling.

Yesterday my roommate was alerted by a friend that someone had called her out on Yik Yak. She was sent a screenshot of an anonymous person insulting her. Luckily it was rather quickly downvoted, leading to its removal. But sadly, this was not an isolated event. Last year a different friend and I were both mentioned in a list of people who were all classified as “thirsty.” For people who don’t know, most people define people who are thirsty as people who are desperate for a relationship/hook up/etc. My friend who was on that list with me is one of the nicest people I know, and she did not deserve this.

It is sad that I now feel the need to defend myself and my friend. I should not have to prove to anyone that I am not something they say I am, or that my friends are humans who deserve respect. My roommate should not have to remind herself that she is beautiful; she should not have to see someone publicly shame her for no reason. My friend on the list with me should not have to wonder who thought she seemed to fit the bill of that attribute. I should not have to get angry about someone insulting my best friends, the most kind and beautiful people I know.

No one should have to stare at a screen wondering why an anonymous person thought they had the right to make someone feel bad about themselves. I shouldn’t have to ask friends if they put me on the list as a joke (because at least if that were true I could have laughed). I want so badly to find the person who wrote these things, to tell them that their words did not go unheard, oh no, they sunk into our skins. They seeped into our brains, into our thought process. Their words made us question our bodies, our clothes, our words.

So to you, anonymous person: I would love to hit you, to yell at you, to trip you in the hallway. But I won’t. Because I’m not like you; I hope I never am. So I hope that your life starts to look up so you don’t have to hide behind a screen and hurt people anymore. I hope you realize the impact of your words and find it in you to feel bad about them. Because my roommate is not what you decide she is.