Author Archives: Nat Marie

31 and Trying New Things

31 and Trying New Things
Trying New Things

I turned 31 last Thursday and as always, I did some reflection on what I have done. Last year, I felt like I did nothing. But, in actuality, I’ve come a very long way. I moved out of my childhood home, I had a kid, and through all the sleep deprivation and the ungodly amounts of caffeine I’ve consumed, I survived. Am I cured? No, but I’m in a better place now than I was exactly 10 years ago1. I am in a constant state of finding my happy and discovering my abilities. I became not afraid to try new things2.

All in all, I’m a lot stronger than I perceive myself.

With that being said, I’ve decided that I needed to go back to my roots as a writer. I was always reminded to keep writing, and for several years, barring my blog, I just couldn’t. It’s hard to write on paper these days because my hands tend to get pained more often than not (even typing can be painful), but talking about passions and finding what I love to do, this is it. Creating is my happy.

I’ve gone through some ideas in my head and dug one out and I want to share it with everyone today. I’ve always wanted to try new things when it came to writing. I’ve done short stories, I’ve tried novels, I’ve even dabbled in writing plays (I enjoy writing plays by the way). But I have never tried writing an e-book, which seems to be all the rage.

But…what would it be on? I mean, I’m not a one-niche person. I write about games, life, and blogging. Then a light bulb went over my head. Oh, hi, BLOGGING! It’s something I have a passion for, and it’s something that a lot of people are curious about. In the interest of “Operation Try New Things”, I am happy to announce…

Don't Chase the Money

What was my inspiration?

I was part of a Facebook group that initially started out as a great place for bloggers to connect, but I quickly realized that some of the bloggers there have only been blogging for a few months and was already asking how to monetize their blog. It was almost as if they were doing this not because they love to blog, but because they’re looking for a quick buck. Let’s face it; we’re all looking for a quick (legal) buck. However, as someone who has been a blogger for 12 years, and who has gotten paid to blog, it was not easy. This is from an honest…okay, almost fucking brutal point of view. Let’s just get a few things out of the way.

  1. If you feel the need to clutch your pearls and feel light-headed while reading swear words, then you might not like this e-book.
  2. If you’re looking for me to say that monetizing your blog is as easy as right-swiping a cutie on Tinder, that ain’t happening here either.
  3. However, if you are new to the game, and/or want to read something in my voice and point #1 does not steer you away, then you might like this. I’d say “love”, but that’d be pushing it as it’s my first e-book.

Oh, by the way…it’s not done yet. As I’m horrible at deadlines, and because I’ll be moving house soon, it’ll be at least May before it’s released. However, I know people like seeing progress, and there is some progress.

If you want to join me on my journey for trying new things, subscribe to me! Not only will it make me feel good, but it would also serve as motivation to keep my eye on the prize so to speak.

PS: My birthday was lax and I had cake. That is all.

  1. Chronic pain notwithstanding
  2. Unless it’s new foods, just gimme chicken, thanks

The Non-Niche Blogger: Yes, there is such a thing

The Non-Niche Blogger: Yes, there is such a thing
The Non-Niche Blogger

Edit:I just realized that the subscription wasn’t sending out the welcome emails like I thought. I’m still a nubbiscuit at Mailchimp! It should be fixed now!

A fact about this non-niche blogger: when I first started blogging, I had no direction. Not even kidding; I blogged more often, but it wasn’t about anything in particular. Now, while I do blog about anything within reason, there is some kind of focus. No, I don’t necessarily just post about parenthood. No, I don’t necessarily just post about how to find your happy. No, I don’t necessarily just post about gaming (although I keep most of that on another blog). I am a woman of many interests, and while I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of main topics in comparison to its predecessors, I still haven’t quite gotten it right.

And I’m actually okay with that.

Angie, a good friend of mine for umpteen years1, started a link-up a couple of years ago called Nix Niches. The true lifestyle blogger population was dwindling, and she started the link-up in hopes to connect with other lifestyle bloggers who chose not to niche themselves. Due to life happening, it has been put on hold. More often than not, through groups or otherwise, I’ve found more people who are fashion bloggers than those who don’t mind spilling their hearts about real-life things. Not that fashion isn’t real life, but…

What is comes down to is passion. If that means being non-niche, so be it.

If you have a passion for something, it comes more naturally. I love blogging, however, I don’t have a passion for just one topic. I happen to have a passion for a couple. “But…brands like niches!” And yes, they probably do. But not having a particular niche can open you up to more opportunities. You can still make it work for you. Don’t feel that you have to fall into just one.

With that being said, I’ve decided to start a group that targets the non-niche blogger. It is simply called The Non Niche Blogger. Who would benefit from this group?

  • Those who enjoy blogging about more than one topic. Does this mean that niche bloggers are banned? Not at all!
  • Those who need that moral support. Here, I hope that people will ask for advice and engage with each other to help make each other grow as a blogger.
  • Those who want to share what they do…without being pressured into like-for-likes.Like-for-likes don’t particularly work. We want to connect with other bloggers either on a personal level or a business partnership level. To achieve this, engagement with other bloggers is imperative. If you’re looking for quality engagement rather than just a number, this is for you.

What is the price of this? Zilch. You simply just need to sign up to the group. You will get access to the group, which is on Facebook, and you’ll get a digest e-mail bi-monthly. I am also looking for a couple of admins to help make this group kick so much ass that the asses won’t feel themselves for months.

Okay, that joke was bad and I should feel bad. I kinda do.

By the way...
By the way, if you like what I write, why not consider subscribing to me? You get monthly digest emails and maybe some random free stuff in the future! Feel free to follow me on social media as well!
  1. Over 10 years, she was one of my first friends through blogging

Why I always tip my waitstaff

Why I always tip my waitstaff
tipping waitstaff

Here is why I always tip my waitstaff, regardless of how my service is. But first, let me tell you a small story about what happened to me when I was 16. I went to a restaurant with an ex of mine1, along with a friend of his. I was surrounded by guy jokes for those two hours, but since I’m not very girly by any means myself, I didn’t mind it much. The waiter who helped us was, admittedly, not the best when it came to customer service. I don’t know if he had a bad day or something, but he wasn’t on his customer service A-game so to speak. As punishment, my ex and his friend decided to stiff him. I opposed the idea and told them to give him something. They didn’t listen, and as they walked out, I walked behind him, took out the tip and gave it to the waiter in secret.

My ex never knew about this. Or maybe he does now if he’s lurking around on this site, but highly unlikely.

Some people always talk about how underpaid they are, but they probably have never worked a job as part of waitstaff.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, tipped wage is $2.13. This is the minimum that a restaurant can pay, provided that the total tips they get total up to $30. Now there are state-to-state scenarios. However, the old adage of waitstaff living off their tips isn’t entirely false. If they’re not on their A-game, they get less tips, and thus less wiggle room for the essentials. If they’re awesome, they get more tips, and thus more wiggle room for the essentials. In other words, there’s a special place in hell for people who stiff them.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why someone would stiff a waiter or waitress.

  1. They weren’t on their customer service A-game. This is a common reason. They were probably having a bad day, under stress, etc. We’re all human with human feelings. Does it mean that they should bring it to work? No, but it does happen sometimes. We don’t know their story.
  2. You catch them doing something…erm…not so nice with your food. This doesn’t happen often, or at least you don’t know what goes on behind the kitchen doors. Those stories about snot ending up in your Egg Foo Young do happen, although it’s more kitchen staff than waitstaff, and they shouldn’t be blamed for that. If you feel that your food’s been tampered with, you do have a right to bring it up.
  3. The diner’s broke.…Then why the fuck are you eating out then? I’m sure that you can afford a few extra dollars to help out someone who probably can’t afford to eat out at all.

If you have ever worked into food service, then you know that it can be a thankless job at times. Don’t add on to their stress.

  1. There is a reason why he’s an ex, and that’s another story for another day

Valentine’s Day: Why not the other 364 days?

Valentine’s Day: Why not the other 364 days?

My thoughts about Valentine’s Day dramatically changed between now and many moons ago, when I was more cynical and bitter. Hell, I even wrote prose about it. It wasn’t until I met someone who the holiday was intended for (or so I thought) that things started to change.

Every year, I wore black. I even censored the holiday (V-***) on anything I wrote before this site. As far as I was concerned, February 14th did not exist. Okay, it did, just not for the same reasons. When I was in high school, it drove me nuts to see everyone with balloons and teddy bears and chocolate. It seemed like everyone (but me, of course) was hooked up. This day, as opposed to the other 364(5) days, I felt completely and utterly alone.

I felt alone, but in actuality, I really wasn’t.

Every year, my mom would buy us something for Valentine’s Day. It was usually a balloon and some chocolate. I would come home from school and find it on my bed. It made me smile, but at the same time it frustrated me. Why couldn’t that be from a guy?1

As I got older, however, it made me think: Valentine’s Day is for someone who you love. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a significant other (unless you want to get laid). But what about the other 364 days? Why stop with the chocolates on February 15th? Sometimes the best gifts are on every other day. I know that the best gift I’ve gotten was on July 28th…

Valentine doesn’t mean someone you love romantically. It means someone who you can stand to be around. If it ends up being romantically, then that’s just a bonus. By this logic, I have at least two Valentines.

And for once, I’m okay with actually saying V-Day.

  1. This was during a time where I was confused about my sexuality. I would’ve been open to gifts of both genders

Clutter, Clutter, Clutter: my eventual adventure

Clutter, Clutter, Clutter: my eventual adventure

For the past few months, I’ve noticed myself get increasingly distraught by clutter. It’s not mild annoyances either; I’ve found myself cleaning after every single donut that I make at work, getting rid of any spilled fondant or sprinkles…even if there wasn’t any to begin with. Even on the games I play, the amount of crap that I have in my character’s inventory is overwhelming.

I’ll just throw this out here right now: I am a pack-rat. I feel that I can’t throw certain things away right away1 because there must be some use to it, right? After looking through my PC’s clutter, I’ve decided that some of it has to go.

my clutter

(Yes, that was just a piece of my clutter back when I was living in New York. Most of this I left back only because I was already packing heavy when I moved to California)

Cleaning out my PC

My dorky half upgraded his computer last year to something exceedingly monstrous (he does a lot of video editing and streaming) and gave me his old rig. His old computer is pretty powerful still for what I do on it. However, because of the year it was built, the hard drive only had 250 gigs. For a typical blogger who maybe surfs the net and maybe some light photo editing for their blogs, this is more than enough. However, for me, all of this space was gone even after deleting all of the stuff that was his (after backing it up, that is!), and now I’ve resorted to using external hard drives to install games on. Not really an ideal situation.

So what I decided to do was invest in another internal hard drive. This one is 1 terabyte (about 4 times as large as the old one), and this is going to be my gaming hard drive. All of my games would exclusively go on this one. For non-gamers, you may think that these games can’t possibly be this large. Oh, but they are. Final Fantasy 14 alone is about 20 gigs. Another game I play is over 30 gigs. All of my Sims 2/3/4 expansions, custom content, and other goodies? Let’s not go there, especially since the more custom content you add, the bigger that monster is.

Once that’s done, I should have about 100 gigs on that main hard drive, and I would keep my programs on there for photo editing and the like. Everything else would go on an external. Then there are the things that are outdated. I’ve thought about keeping them around for a bit, but these things are ancient. What I might do is have them on an external drive that I don’t plan on using much because of sentimental value.

De-clutter my apartment

I did a mass purge last year before Thanksgiving. Despite this mass purge, it’s still a work in progress. We have a lot of clothes. Rydia outgrew a lot of them, so I have them in plastic bags and we’re going to get them washed and donated out. I have clothes in that batch that my mom said to keep around in case I lost weight. There is no way in hell I foresee myself losing enough weight to get into a size 12 again, so those gotta go too. Basically, if it doesn’t fit, it’s gone.

We also have a lot of appliances. Don’t ask why we keep them around, but we have a coffee maker that had nothing wrong with it, but I got a Keurig instead. I’m not sure what to do with the old coffee maker since there’s nothing wrong with it, so if anyone have any ideas, let me know!

As someone who likes to keep things, this is going to be a long process. But I did admit that I have a problem, so there’s that, right?

  1. Other than the daily trash, that is