Monday, March 28

10 little reminders, part 4

welcome to part 4 of my series, 10 little reminders!

7. don't compare yourself to others. everyone is great in their own ways. if you're always comparing yourself to others, you will never be happy. there will always be someone who has more, who has accomplished more, or who looks better. also, when you compare yourself to someone else, you probably focus on their unique gifts. you probably don't have all the same gifts, but you probably have some of your own that you are forgetting about. embrace your own strengths. even with common measures, the only valid comparison can really be with yourself: are you getting better over time? charles bukowski said, "my contest is only with myself."

8. don't hold grudges. if a situation is already bad, it doesn’t get any better when we keep being unkind to each other. holding a grudge never really helps; it just hurts you and people around you. especially when it's over silly things. i've been in a few situations myself where at the moment i felt like i could never forgive a person. usually i've had to give myself about a year to have the courage to forgive the other person, and i think that is okay, although ideally it would be quicker. sometimes it takes a while to realize that what happened between you and another person was silly and not worth ruining a friendship over. forgiving someone feels great both for you and for the other person. when i forgive someone, i feel like a "big weight has been lifted" off my mind/heart/everything!

stay tuned for part 5, the final part of the series, next monday!

Wednesday, March 23

elizabeth taylor


rest in peace, elizabeth taylor.


Monday, March 21

10 little reminders, part 3

welcome to part 3 of my series, 10 little reminders!

5. everything will always be okay in the end. i've had days where i have been so sad, all i wanted to do was cry all day. especially over the past few years with money, i have experienced times when i thought "this is it... i can't go on." it sounds ridiculous, but i have really felt that way! yet everything has always turned out okay in the end. everything works out. i want to remind myself that even if i had a tough day or if my situation seems terrible at the moment, everything will work out. "sunshine after the rain" type deal, hehe. i want to remind myself to not get so worked up, thinking things won't get better. they can, they will, they have. in fact, they pretty much always have.

6. not everyone is going to like you, and it's okay. you can be one of the nicest, kindest people and there will still be people who don't like you. why? i have no idea. maybe they don't really know you but are judging a bad first impression. maybe they're jealous of something you have going for you. maybe they're someone who was attached to an old you, and they don't like some ways you've changed. in any case, i want to remind myself to not get upset if someone doesn't like me. i want to focus on just being the best me possible, not letting any haters get to me.

stay tuned for part 4 next monday!

Friday, March 18

nasty gal

photos from nasty gal

Tuesday, March 15

america's beauty show

yesterday i attended the america's beauty show here in chicago. it was my first time attending this event, and i had an amazing time! 

my morning started out with me taking the train all the way down to chinatown at 7:30 am. we were given a swag bag upon arrival. the student conference started at 8:30 am. ted gibson (ted has styled people such as angelina jolie, mila kunis, and zoe saldana) talked, along with yolly ten koppel (famed educator from the netherlands). there was a little fashion show, in which some students from my campus took part, and they got to walk on stage with the models they did hair on; it was great!

after the conference we were able to start walking around to all the exhibitors! i ventured off on my own. i really enjoyed watching tigi's stage and paul mitchell's stage. i tried out the shellac, no chip manicure in black! i love it! it's so shiny and pretty. 

here is some video i captured at the tigi stage. i love the hairstyles! 

at the modern salon booth, you could text in to enter a chi flatiron giveaway. i was lucky and won one! before i came to claim my prize i chatted a little with brig van osten, the season 3 winner of bravo's "shear genius." she even autographed my magazine! she was sweet and gave me some good advice. 

can't wait for america's beauty show 2012!

Monday, March 14

10 little reminders, part 2

welcome to part 2 of my new series, 10 little reminders! here's a link to part 1 from last monday.

3. stay organized and keep up with your home. it makes me feel great when my home smells good and is organized! when my apartment is cluttered, i feel cluttered. one thing i've learned and i'm still trying to do is to maintain my apartment after i clean it. usually after i spend a whole weekend cleaning, i wonder later in the week, "how is it getting this messy again already?" i think it's good when everything has it's own place. it sure makes finding something way easier. it also makes visits from friends more enjoyable because you don't have to spend as much time before they come over frantically cleaning and putting stuff away. it's always worth it to just spend those 10 little minutes each day during the week to maintain everything! also, i've recently cut down on how much stuff i own, and that helps. i used to hang onto everything, but now i only keep what i truly want. when you have less stuff, it's easier to keep it organized. 

4. don't just be kind to others, be kind to yourself. a lot of times other people have expectations about what you should do. they may have ideas or ambitions about your career, friends, or relationships. i've gone places with people or done things for them because i wanted to be nice. but after a certain point if fulfilling everyone else's demands on your time is wearing you out or putting you in a bad mood or limiting your progress on your own goals, then i think it's important to remember that you should be nice to yourself too. sometimes i think being kind to yourself means kindly letting others know you can't help them at the moment.

stay tuned for part 3 next monday, march 21st!

Saturday, March 12

don't forget!

daylight savings time is march 13 (tomorrow), at 2 am! "spring forward" one hour! 

i am so excited! i love how the days are becoming longer again. daylight savings time always seems to emphasize that because it stays bright a whole hour later in the evening.

Tuesday, March 8

giveaway winner is...

the winner of the poetry book giveaway is...


congratulations! please e-mail me (jlkirsch [at] your address so i can mail you your prize!

thank you everyone who entered the book giveaway! if you didn't win but you're interested in purchasing the book, you can buy a copy here! the book is also fully available to read online.

Monday, March 7

10 little reminders, part 1

welcome to my new feature here at midnight black! this is going to be a 5-part series that will run every monday for the next month. i'm only 22 years old, but there are already things i've noticed over time that i know make me feel a lot happier and better about myself... if i can remember them. the problem is that a lot of these tips are based on cliches and really common phrases, so they're easy to forget or not take seriously. this series is a list of 10 little reminders that help keep me on track. i hope you all enjoy!

1. surround yourself with positive people. i think it's really valuable to have positive people in your life. i've had a lot of people in my life who always seem to be stuck in the negative. even though i am positive most of the time, it starts to wear me down when a friend or family member has nothing good to say. it's sad when you think of a friend and their good qualities are not what sticks out to you; instead you just think of the negativity they carry. i feel i've been steering clear of people that are stuck in the negative and surrounding myself with more positive people, and it makes me a lot happier. in the future i want to remember to surround myself with positivity, and even if it's hard, allow myself to let go of sources of negativity

2. it's never to early (or late) to start doing what you love. if there is something you love to do, i would say don't let ideas like "i'm too young" or "i'm too old" stop you from doing it. when i started doing photography, i had to make a conscious decision that i wasn't going to wait around for some "special moment." i just had to work with what i had and learn along the way. i've loved photography ever since i was a teenager. i used a simple point-and-shoot and would take pictures of anything and everything. later i got my own dslr camera and came along for a friend's modeling photo shoot, which fueled my interest even more. at college, i thought a lot about how i wanted to be a photographer someday. someday... then i thought to myself, why should i wait until someday in the future? why not now? so i set up a photoshoot with a girl from a near-by school who was into modeling. i was nervous to meet her and take her picture, especially because i'm a pretty shy person, but the photoshoot turned out amazing! i got lots of great images and from then on i was so inspired! the next couple of years i took more and more pictures of people for their modeling portfolios. the word spread that i was taking pictures, and last year i did two weddings and lots of senior portraits! i started making a business out of it! i love it, and i'm really glad i just decided to go out there and do it. i didn't have the fanciest camera or the best equipment, but that didn't stop me. if there is something you are passionate about, i really encourage you to just start now!

stay tuned for part 2 next monday!

*don't forget to enter my giveaway! winner will be drawn tomorrow!*

Tuesday, March 1

book giveaway!

today my darling boyfriend released his poetry book! i'm so happy for him. it is a really unusual poetry book because all the lines are from his instant messenger history. some of the lines are even from conversations the two of us had together when i was in high school. also, all the lines are set in bold helvetica, all caps, so it's almost like an art book more than a poetry book. for a taste, you can view some (or all) of the poems on the website. and...he was kind enough to give me a copy to give away!

anyone can enter! all you have to do for your chance to win a copy of the book is just leave a comment below. i will choose a random winner next tuesday!