I have had a Tumblr quite a while now. At first, it was a website that I would go on only if I had absolutely nothing else to do and I was just in bed, feeling lazy. Now, it has become a daily part of my life that I am getting more and more addicted to.

Tumblr is a social networking and blogging site. Like Facebook, each member has their own page where they post and share things. Following someone means that all of their posts will show up on your dashboard, which is kind of like a personalized home page different from every other members, because it has a different collection of things.

People write stories and post videos, but Tumblr is mostly filled with a plethora of photos. It is filled with photos of EVERY THING IMAGINABLE. And a lot of GIFs which are a cross between a little video and photo; it’s like a moving picture that has about 5 to 10 frames, generally speaking.

Now, Tumblr is not just somewhere to mindlessly and aimlessly look at photos of cool stuff and read funny little remarks. It’s a place to discover new things. I follow all different kind of blogs, including fan pages to my favorite shows, health blogs, self-improvement blogs, blogs for fashion, blogs for beauty, blogs for cute guys, blogs for bands/artists or music in general, blogs that post photos of animals. I even follow a blog dedicated to cats. But a blog can also just be a compilation of everything that interests the poster. I see a lot of things that I have never seen before and learn cool facts that I had not known about my favorite celebrities, bands, or shows.

One thing I really like about Tumblr is that for me, at least, it is reserved mostly for people that I don’t know. This way, I don’t have to be afraid of posting something people will criticize or annoy me about. Tumblr is sort of like special insight into my mind, and sometimes I would rather the people close to me stay a bit distanced from that.

It is just one of those awesome websites that I can’t live without… No, really, I like it that much. It’s an awesome way to pass the time and find out about cool, new things. If you don’t have one, I really suggest you get one! That is, if you’re not worried about falling into the Tumblr trap like I did and fall in love with it!

Journalism Competition!

Last Friday, 8 out of 10 students from our journalism class went to Cal Lutheran University (where I’m going to college!!!) to attend the TCJEA event which is a very competitive and large journalism competition. There were 15 schools at the event in total and we were the smallest school there hands down. Many other schools had around 20 or even 30 writers with them to compete in all different categories. It was intimidating, yes, but the experience was so awesome that it hardly mattered how small our group was.

We had writers enter almost every category available, including photography, sports writing, feature writing, news writing, and editorial writing. I was in the feature category, and we had such an interesting speaker named Cyrus Nowrasteh wrote and produced a many films including a mini-series titled “The Path to 9/11”. We listened to his story about the controversy over his series and the attempted sabotage of his career by people trying to cover up their mistakes. Then, we had about an hour to write an article on him and submit to be scored against all other works in that category.

Now, Mr. Alvarez is the best journalism teacher I could ever ask for. He has taught me so much – I was a terrible writer when I first stepped into his classroom. Regardless of his immense encouragement and preparation, I was still not confident that I could compete with others in programs much bigger and more well-known than our little “On The Hill” paper. But I was sure that we were a small but mighty force and had a great change of winning awards.

There were so many awards handed out. Each category had 1st through 3rd places and 2 honorable mentions. There were also awards for online newspapers, print newspapers, and overall best team called “sweepstakes”.

In the feature category, there were over 30 students that wrote an article for submission. My fellow feature writer Emmy Addison took a 2nd place in the feature category, and I received an honorable mention! I couldn’t believe it. I was recognized as a top 5 writer in my category. I was ecstatic. Another writer Jack Marcus also received 2nd place in the news writing category. Our online publication of the newspaper took 4th place overall, with is astounding considering it had only been officially up and running for less than a month. Overall in the competition, we placed 4th, receiving an honorable mention in the sweepstakes category.

It is just amazing to me how such a small group of students was able to go to that competition and practically dominate. We really proved to the other schools that even though we may not seem like much, we have an amazing, dedicated, and hardworking group of writers. I am so proud to be a part of this team, and the event was more amazing than I could have imagined. Congrats, journalism class!

Festival of Talent

This Friday was my 3rd and last time performing in the annual Festival of Talent for school. My sophomore and junior years I sang a song with my friend Maddie and this year I sang a song with my friend Serry.

This year, we had a hard time choosing which song to sing, because there were so many good ones that we had in mind. We finally came to the decision of singing a song called “Meant to Be” by Melissa Polinar.

Since I first discovered it, it has been one of my favorite songs and thankfully it fit both of our voices well. We only had a few practices, but it came together really quickly. Music teacher Mr. Boyd was amazing at figuring out the guitar on such short notice and with no tabs (THANK YOU!!).

I usually get extremely nervous about singing in front of a crowd, and I was nervous when I went on stage, but for some reason when I started singing this time my nerves died down. I think it’s just the fact that it was such a bittersweet moment, my last talent show and probably the last time I will be singing in front of people.

There were SO MANY other awesome acts in this show. To start us off we had an amazing robot-like dance by Jack Liu that was just phenomenal. It was so entertaining and it was obvious he spent a lot of time perfecting every move and that he has such a natural talent for dancing. There were a lot of other singing acts and a really awesome piano battle with 2 extremely talented pianists. The acting group the Spud Factory had 2 very cute short films, one that was dedicated to the senior class that was very sweet and thoughtful of them. It was so entertaining and I think that everyone there had an awesome time.

I will definitely miss performing in front of people and seeing all the other talent that the school has to offer. Thankfully, I get to perform one last time at the concert before graduation, my very last hurrah at OVS. I can’t wait to sing with chorus and the most amazing voice coach Mrs. Boyd one last time.

Best Mom Ever

I can seriously say that I have the best mother ever without a doubt in my mind.

She is the kindest person I have ever known. She is kind to every person she comes across. There is not a mean bone in her body.

She is the most loving, accepting, patient and tolerant person. Which are good qualities for her to have, because I was the most difficult, stubborn, and troublesome child to try to control.

She has been a mother to three kids, and still she manages to keep her patience and kindness. She even acts as a mother to those who aren’t her own. It’s amazing how much unconditional love she has for people.

Like most kids, I went through a phase where I thought my parents were terrible, evil people who were trying to ruin my life. But looking back, they did everything for me that I have ever needed. They are selfless and amazing.

I don’t really know how to put into words how much I love my mom. I trust her more than anyone on this planet. And not just because she is my mother by blood. But because she is the person that she is and has the qualities that she has. And the fact that she makes dorky faces at me, and cries whenever I leave for school. And the fact that she spoils me even when we don’t have enough money. And the fact that gives me what I want even when I deserve it.

But, I love her for the things she does on the contrary as well. I love the fact that she tells me the truth, even when it’s not what I want to hear. And the fact that she is always right, even when I wish she wasn’t. And the fact that she is totally embarrassing. And the fact that she fights with me when I deserve it.

I love everything about this woman and I don’t know how I was ever able to take her for granted. I can say she has without a doubt made me the person that I am toady. She supports me, she encourages me, and she guides me without even knowing it. She is the best role model a girl could wish for.

I hope I have been a daughter she can be proud of. And really, I can only hope that I can become half of the person that she is today.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I hope you realize that you are so much more than the hands that feed me and the house that shelters me. You are my inspiration and my best friend. I love you more than words can describe.

Universal Studios!

Today was my first time ever going to Universal Studios. I didn’t know what to expect as we rode the bus there, but I had a lot of fun!

Both of my friends had already been there a time or two before, so they knew where all of the fun stuff was and were happy to show me around.

First, we went on the tour of the stages and sets where many famous movies have been shot. It was really interesting to see how many stages they had and how many interesting sets there were and what it took to create them. When I watch movies, I guess I never really think about the fact that they have to shoot on a set rather than in the real place. We saw outdoor sets from many movies including War of the Worlds, Jaws, Psycho, Desperate Housewives, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Three Amigos, and many more. We rode around in little buses throughout these sets and got to hear a little about each of then. We also saw some cool 3D King Kong preview and car stunts from Tokyo Drift. It was really mind-blowing to see how much goes into these movies!

After that tour, we went on a Simpsons Ride which was really silly, and then we went to the Mummy ride. That one was probably my favorite. It was like a miniature indoor roller coaster. We also went on a Jurassic Park water ride.

Towards the end of our day, we went to a Waterworld show where there was many stunts and tricks done on the water in a performance. There was a lot of action and fire as well. It was a very entertaining show to say the least.

About an hour before we had to leave, we exited the park and went walked through Universal City Walk. There were a lot of shops and we went into a few of them. We got candy from a candy store called Its Sugar, which was really cute inside and they had my favorite candy, chocolate covered gummy bears. We walked around for a little while longer and went into a few Universal gift stores and debated buying dorky souvenirs.

It was such a fun day and I had a really great first time at Universal Studios. I will definitely be going back again sometime soon!


Relay for Life is an extremely amazing event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I have gone to if for the past 2 years, and I was looking forward to this years event. I had been counting down the days to Relay for Life for a while, and I was so excited when it finally came.

In the weeks leading up to RFL, I had been trying to raise money for the cause and needed $100 to participate in the overnight portion. So, I asked all of my family and friends and within just about a week, I raised the money that I needed. Overall, out school team raised $3,210! I thought that was pretty amazing. For that, we received a Bronze Medal award which means that we were a very valuable contributor.

I left early with my friend Evan to help set up our booth on Buena Ventura High School‘s track/football field. We decorated our booth with colorful paper flowers in support of this years “fiesta” theme, due to Cinco de Mayo. We also had a lot of colorful posters and other decorations. We sold these paper flowers, ceramic mugs & bowls, and auctioned off themed baskets including chocolate, beach, spa, and movie themes, in order to raise more money for the American Cancer Society.

At our booth, we had a lot of fun costumes and hats, and all of the students that came to support the cause dressed up in ridiculous outfits including banana suits and Dr. Seuss attire and walked laps. There was live music, fun games, and many cool and informative booths to visit, with anything from face painting to a bike auction.

In last year’s event, a couple who were cancer survivors had their wedding right on the field. It was a very special event and meant a lot to them. This year, sadly, the man’s cancer has returned. Fortunately, he was able to show up at the event with his wife, and it was very inspirational. He was walking around and having a good time. It was great to see all of the support they had from people at the event and I’m so glad they were able to come this year.

After dinner time, and after returning from a Battle of the Bands contest at Thacher school, my friend Wendy and I returned to the track to walk in the night portion of the event. There were a lot less people walking during the night, and it was very tiring. There were only 5 of us, until at about 12 o’clock, another faculty member and her boyfriend showed up to help us out. I think throughout the night, we managed to keep at least 1 member of our team on the track. Wendy and I took naps in hour increments, but it was too cold to actually sleep, and we would get up from time to walk some laps and warm ourselves up.

It was a very great experience. The Luminaria lit up around the track were very inspirational and a reminder that there have been so many people effected by cancer. It kept me walking and helped me realize how lucky I am to not have been effected too harshly by this disease, and also the importance of the support I was giving to this event.

Overall, the event was really great and I am so glad I have had these last 3 years to support a great cause. Hopefully, with all the money raised through all the Relay for Life events, more progress will be made in order to minimize the devastating effects of cancer and help find a cure. I am proud to say that was part of the OVS team. We did such a great job and I hope we continue this effort in the years to come.

Summer… School?

When thinking about the summer, I was always overly excited to graduate, go back home, and spend time with friends and family.

But, recently, those plans have change. I am still graduating, of course, but I am not going back home. Instead, I am staying right here in Ojai and working for OVS‘ summer camp program!

I knew I would need to get a summer job this summer. So, I started looking for many places back by where I live, but not many of them wanted to hire someone just for a few months during summer. My friend had told me that she was planning on staying in Ojai and working for OVS this summer. I figured it would be a really good opportunity and I would also be making a good amount of money.

I am pretty excited about this opportunity! First of all, I love kids and I am excited to work with the younger kids this summer and do fun activities with them.

Secondly, I am happy that I will be around a lot of my friends, since most of them are day students and live around this area anyways.

After I work, I will be able to go home in early August and spend a month at home with no obligations. I can see my friends and family and then, after that, it’s off to college at Cal Lutheran! I am so excited for this summer and for what’s to come after it as well! 🙂

Happy Birthday Evan!

Today, it was one of my best friend Evan’s 18th birthday. He decided to have a get-together with some of his friends at his house. After a riveting ultimate frisbee/disc golf demonstration, my friends and I got picked up and drove to Evan’s house.

His mom cooked us an excellent dinner with tri-tip, kabobs, salad, and delicious tea and lemonade. We all sat around the table and joked around, and were alternating taking turns at doubles ping-pong, which I will admit, got quite intense! There were a bunch of different teams, some of which dominated, and others which hardly got any points. But over all it was very fun, we all got some good laughs out while playing.

After Evan opened his presents and it started to get dark, we moved into the garage for a game of “water pong“. Now, water pong is basically the same as beer pong, which is a popular drinking game, but of course we played it without any alcohol. It’s a fun game to play and we had two teems of four that battled hard. There were some awesome shots made and, like the ping-pong, it got pretty intense.

We all had such a great time and I really couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday. I was sad when it was over and we all had to return to school. But, 39 more days (and believe me, I’m counting) until we graduate and spend the beginning of summer together with time to do whatever we all want! All in all, it was such a great day with friends 🙂

Decisions, Decisions

The past few months have been a game of waiting and then a game of choosing. I applied to 7 colleges, and received acceptances from 5 – Chapman University, California Lutheran University, Sonoma State University, San Jose State University, and UC Merced.

All of these schools seemed like good options to me. A few of them were closer to home than others, and I was just a little unsure if that was something that I wanted or not. I decided against San Jose State and UC Merced for a few different reasons. But there was one college I really wanted to go to, and that was Chapman.

I’ve known many people that have gone to Chapman, and they all love it there. It’s in a great location, the education is great, the campus is beautiful, and the people are extremely nice. The one downfall is that it costs about $58 thousand each year to attend. When I received my acceptance letter, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get financial aid. But I waited, and waited, until my financial aid letter came. And, unfortunately, my fears came true when I was only offered loans as financial aid. I knew that my family wouldn’t be able to afford that much money for 4 years.

Because of my unfortunate incident with that school, I had to look at the rest of my choice. I knew two of them were out, so it was basically a choice between Sonoma State and Cal Lutheran (Located in Thousand Oaks near LA). They both seemed like really great schools, neither of them were too big, and students seemed to really like both of them. Sonoma is much closer to my house. But, Sonoma is a public school with 5 thousand more students than Cal Lutheran. I visited Sonoma in January, and the one thing I noticed and absolutely loved were the dorms. They were like miniature apartments. They are probably the nicest college dorms I have been in. I visited Cal Lutheran just this past week, and although the dorms were not as nice, the campus was very pretty. I talked to a former student of OVS, and she seems to really like the time she has spent there. She said that the teachers were extremely helpful and that the classes are pretty small – the average class size is below 30, while I know Sonoma state has up to a few hundred in certain classes.

Even after I visited both, I still was unsure what I wanted. Sonoma meant I could visit my friends at home and family much more often. Cal Lutheran meant that I could go to LA and visit my friends that live down here, and also I felt like I would get more help with schoolwork if I needed it.

I was having such a hard time deciding that I went to my good friend for help. She knows a lot about college in general, and had a hard time deciding for herself, so I figured I’d ask how she did it and what her advice was. She asked a question that made it really clear for me that I hadn’t thought of; “Where will you thrive?” I thought for a while and realized that in a school of 9,000 people, even thought considered “small” compared to many universities, I felt that Cal Lutheran would really help me learn more and challenge myself to a point where I will succeed and feel extremely accomplished about it. I started to feel like I would get lost at Sonoma and let me responsibilities slip away from me.

So, that night, I called my parents and talked to them about my decision. Since Cal Lutheran gave me $14,000 dollars per year through a scholarship, it ends up costing about the same (though a little bit more) than the public tuition of Sonoma State, which was a great thing to know. Even though my family is well-off financially, my dad is paying for 2 other kids to go to college, and has paid for 4 years of my private education here at OVS.

In no time, I had paid my enrollment fee and housing deposit for California Lutheran University. I have officially decided where I am going to college and have committed! I was so excited that I even treated myself to a Cal Lutheran sweatshirt, something I felt kind of dorky doing but felt it was appropriate for such a major decision in my life.

Honestly, I was a bit nervous that I was making the wrong decision, but now I feel very confident in it. I feel like it is a very strong and welcoming community that I will fit well in. And, of course, if I end up just hating it – which I completely doubt – I can always transfer somewhere else.

In short, I’m just so glad I have made the decision and committed. The next 4 years of my life are set for me now. Even thought I had initially wanted to attend a different school, I am starting to think that this one will be just as good if not better. I’m a bit nervous to start my first year of college but I’m also excited at the same time. I can’t wait to see what this experience brings me.


I will admit, I am one of those people who loves taking photos. Every chance I get I will take a picture of me and my friends doing anything exciting, something good I’m eating, a cool thing I saw while walking down the street, cute animals – really anything that’s remotely interesting. But, to be completely honest, it is not uncommon for those photos to be taken and only looked at once in a great long while, hiding away on my computer of phone.

This is why I am really into a phone application I recently downloaded called Instagram. It’s an awesome app that lets you take photos and edit them with many different filters that make the photos so charming and cute. It is very simple but I’m so into it. And, the best part is that each person using the application has their page that others can follow, kind of like twitter or facebook, where there pictures are posted and people can view them, comment on them, and like them. I was so excited when it came out for Android phones, because in the past, it has only been for iPhones.

Although it may seem to be a little bit boring and sound just like many social networking sites, it’s strictly for pictures. I have found a lot of very fun pictures that people have taken and posted. It’s great because I don’t have to be a master photographer to take a picture that doesn’t look so point-and-shoot like.

Bottom line is, it’s simple and so fun. If anyone out there is like me who likes to take photos, and you don’t want them to waste away, I would highly recommend this app. So many people are using it!