My joy list – source of happiness in bleak days.

two girls standing in top of the mountain with raised hands

Hello, dear readers!¬†As you may know, it’s currently an exam time for me which means that I am very stressed out. And, as you may know, it is so easy to focus on all the negative stuff in your life when you are stressed out. I caught myself putting myself down a lot, having a negative body image, worrying about relationships, losing belief that I could get in my dream school, feeling like I have lost my direction once again… You get the point. So today I decided to do something that might count as an act of self-care – writing down all the things that bring me joy. The reason, why I decided to share this with you is because I am encouraging you to do the same, especially if you are in some kind of routine right now or have been feeling down for a while. Do not skip the small things because every little thing matters. Let’s do this exercise together and try to come up with as many things as you can! So here are all the things that bring me joy in life.

  1. Rainy summer days. (Nothing compares to that refreshing feeling when it’s very sultry outside and finally it slowly starts to rain.)
  2. That moment when I can slowly enjoy a cup of coffee in my favorite coffee shop.
  3. Buying new books and notebooks.
  4. Morning routine in which I have at least 30 minutes to read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
  5. My cats. (They don’t live with me right now but I visit them now and then, and their purring just warms up my heart.)
  6. Writing in any form. (Wheather it’s a journaling, writing and essay or continuing my novel, writing makes my mind feel clearer and I feel more calm after writing for a while.)
  7. Taking a warm bath. (Preferably with essential oils.)
  8. Listening to empowering music.
  9. Taking a nap.
  10. Reading inspiring books. (For example, “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso, “Witch” by Lisa Lister and “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegy.)
  11. The smell of freshly mown grass.
  12. Enjoying a glass of wine after hard and exhausting day.
  13. Art journaling.
  14. Spontaneous road trips.
  15. Italian cusine.
  16. Exercising.
  17. Dancing.
  18. Watching movies.
  19. Painting.
  20. The smell of lilacs.
  21. Changing the colour of my hair.
  22. Buying new make up.
  23. Getting ready for special occasions.
  24. Going to concerts of musicians that I love.
  25. Getting tattoos.
  26. Trying out new dishes.
  27. Learning new languages.
  28. Riding a bike.
  29. Cold beer.
  30. Getting a manicure.

Those are all the things I can come up with right now but even just writing this list made me feel a lot better about myself and my life. It’s not all that sad and grey as it seemed just a little while ago. Even if it feels like that, those moments will pass. How many things could you come up with? And how many of them you had in common with me? Share in the comments below! ūüôā Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

Heartfelt advice for confused students on choosing the right career path.

Smiling brunette, holding a disposable cup.

Hello, dear readers!¬†If you are a student just like me, you know what time of the year it is right now. An exam time. And for those of us, who are graduating this year it might be even more stressful, if we have no plans for the future. I was in the same boat just few months ago. Most of my life I thought that I will pursue music studies and there’s no way that could ever change but it did. I know, situations like these might be scary but I’m here to tell you – it’s okay. You don’t have to have it all figured out at the age of fifteen, eighteen or even soon after that. Some people get their Bachelor’s degree only in their thirties or forties and it’s fine. If you don’t want to continue your studies in current path or have no path at all, here’s what you can do.

  1. Take a risk and apply for that study programme that caught your eye, even though you might have very little or no experience with it at all.¬†When I started looking for new opportunities, I stumbled across writing. In January I applied through several similar study programmes in different UK schools though UCAS: Creative & professional writing, Screenwriting and Creative writing. I had no idea, which one of those is the right one for me, I just knew that writing is what interests me the most. Three months later I had received offers, made my choices and now everything is in process. If you want to apply for university in UK, too, it’s not too late. There will still be a chance to do it this summer when UCAS opens “Clearing”. Read more about it here:¬†https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/no-offers-learn-how-clearing-works
  2. Take a year off to gain some work experience. If you are too confused about your future right now and scared to make the wrong choice career-wise, there is also an opportunity to take a year or few off to work.
  3. Volunteer abroad. Do you want to see the world while doing something useful and gain valuable experience? If so, volunteering abroad might be the right choice for you. There are a lot of options to work with elderly people, wildlife, animals and much more. Some volunteer  programs costs nothing but some do. Find more about it here: https://www.projectsabroad.org and https://www.gooverseas.com/volunteer-abroad
  4. Travel the world for free or cheap.¬†If you have an adventurous spirit, you might want to travel the world. “But how?” You may ask. “That is too expensive!” The truth is – it doesn’t have to be. The internet is full of resources about how to travel the world for free or cheap. You really don’t have to break the bank to see your favorite places. Here are some resources about that:¬†https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/the-ultimate-guide-to-traveling-when-you-have-no-money/¬†,¬†https://www.skyscanner.net/news/20-money-saving-travel-tips-and-secrets

That’s all that I have to share with you today. Yes, my blog posts are kind of short because of the lack of time to spend writing but I’m still happy that I’m doing so well with being devoted to Dolls Have Hearts even with a small amount of time. I will see you next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 life hacks that will make your student life better.

Three brunette schoolgirls in uniforms, in front of a blackboard

Hello, dear readers!¬†If you’re still in high school or university, it is quite tough time. Balancing healthy lifestyle, good grades, social life and trying to stay sane meanwhile is quite a struggle, so I decided to share some life hacks that have made my life as a student easier.

  1. The “secret” sauce.¬†Are you one of those people, who likes rich dressing on their salad and always buying high calories sauces in the store? I used to be that person until my mum shared the simplest salad dressing with me. Next time you have some salad leaves and tomatoes, add sauce that it made from oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard. I’m not going to note proportions here because some people like their sauce more sour, some more spicy, some sweeter. Just throw it in a cup, mix it up and voila! Now you have a delicious sauce. Besides – you probably already have all the ingredients needed in your house.
  2. Bullet journal – a key to being more productive.¬†I know, you’re probably thinking that you are already productive enough or/and can remember everything that you need to get done during the day without even writing it down. I thought the same way just one year ago until I came across quite a few amazing youtubers, who have talked about productivity and bullet journaling, and that inspired me to improve my life by creating my own bullet journal. I used to hate planning it the past because planners seemed too small and boring to me but the best thing about bullet journal is – you can adjust it to your needs. You can add not only daily but also weekly, monthly and quarterly logs, habit tracker, quarterly goal section, lists of movies to watch, books to read and way more. Just go to Pinterest¬†and look up some ideas.
  3. If you need to learn a new topic in a short amount of time, type: “*insert topic here* filetype: ppt” (for a Power Point presentation) .¬†I’m surprised that I found about this just few days ago. Thankfully, exams are still ahead of me, so this might actually be a real life saver.
  4. Clean out your closet of the clothes that don’t fit anymore, don’t go together with anything, are worn out or simply don’t make you happy anymore.¬†Trust me, this will decrease your chances of being late to a lecture by 85% . Yes, I am talking to you, girls, cause I used to be one of these people, who could decide what to wear in the morning because it seemed like nothing looks good on me. Invest some time and clean out your closet.
  5. If you have a laptop, stop paying for cable TV. Since I started living on my own, which was four years ago, I stopped using TV. Why pay extra, if you can save some money and choose what you want to watch and when do you want to do it?

That’s all for today’s post. One more thing that I would like to share – there is a little less than a month left until I all of my exams and I’m graduating and the second half of June. Currently it is last week before exams start, so I’m quite busy with rehearsals, lessons and homework. That is the reason why my last post are not as long as they used to be but also it kind of inspired me to write this post. Afterall, I am going to be a student at least for three more years but I love to sharing small, pleasant things along the way. Hopefully next week won’t be as busy for me, so I will try to get back to writing lengthy blog posts. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 comedy movies to binge watch during lazy self care days.

Girl with one hand in a popcorn bowl and with another one, holding tv remote

Hello, dear readers!¬†I have had four days off from school in a row and just today I realized that it’s actually Wednesday not Monday and it’s time to publish a blog post… which I haven’t written yet. But don’t worry – I won’t leave you empty-handed. 2018 is the year when I have gotten consistent with blogging, so I’m not going to break the habit now. On a random note – vegetarianism and consistent blogging are actually two habits that I have adapted this year incredibly successfully without a single slip. Congrats to me! Back to topic – as this is one of those lazy days for me today, I decided to share 5 movies that I could watch all over and over again, if I had some spare time. (These won’t be put into any particular order because I can’t pick just one favorite movie.) Let’s dive in!

1. Easy a (2008) .

Emma Stone, holding a piece of paper and biting her lipThis was definitely one of my favorites for the longest time, I remember watching this movie in my early teens and absolutely loving it. I couldn’t stop fangirling about Emma Stone and the movie plot never got boring to me.

2. Obvious child (2014) .

Woman with black hair and brown eyes, looking up

Comedy/drama which I truly enjoyed because it stood out between a lot other movies in this genre. It’s silly, sweet and relatable at the same time. Sometimes you meet love at the weirdest time of your life and that’s alright. If you are not into clich√© romance movies but something more out of the box, this one’s for you.

3. The other woman (2014) .  

Three blonde, young women in dresses

Here’s something for all the ladies out there, who just got dumped, cheated on, lied to etc. I know that it sucks to be in a situation like this but there is not a day that movie with Cameron Diaz in it can’t make better. I’m serious!

4. The matchbreaker (2016) .  

Guy and a girl with brown hair and brown eyes

If cute and even a little cheesy romantic comedies are your thing, you will love “The matchbreaker”. I already love the idea of the movie but the fact that Christina Grimmie is starring in this one, makes it at least 5 times better. R.I.P. to this beautiful soul, she will never be forgotten.

5. Bad teacher (2011) .  

Blonde woman with sunglasses, with her legs put on the table                   

From all the movies on this list, I could really relate to this one the most.¬†Not because I would be the kind of girl, who is falling for nerds or saving up to get breast implants but simply because… I was a teacher. Maybe not for a really long time period of time but six months was enough to get a taste of that. If I would keep working that type of job any longer, I would probably become just like Elizabeth (starring Cameron Diaz). And that’s another great movie with Cameron Diaz – her latest movies never fail to make me laugh, so I hope that you will like them just as much as I do.

So that is it for today’s movie list. At first I wanted to throw in some dramas and thrillers, too but then realized that for some people they might be too nerve-wrecking to call that an appropriate part of self-care. Because of that I will probably create a separate post, listing top 5 of my favorite dramas and/or thrillers. So, look forward to that! Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts when I’ll publish longer and more in-depth post! Have a nice week!

Disclaimer: all the pictures used in this post have been taken from the internet, I don’t own rights to them.

Love, Porcelain Doll.

It’s time to stop self victimization.

Blonde woman with flawless makeup black and white photo

Hello, dear readers! Today I wanted to talk about topic that is very familiar to me and might be familiar to you, too. We all had out ups and downs in life but a lot of us have so very serious downfalls. Maybe we were depressed, maybe our parents divorced when we were just kids, maybe we were heavily bullied at school, maybe we had a romantic relationship that shattered into pieces, leaving us vulnerable, sad and… helpless. I have faced three of the four situations I just mentioned and it is harsh. However, for example, after you graduate from the school you were bullied in, the scars still remain. That happened to me and it was ruining my life without me even realizing it. It is normal to be upset about some unpleasant experience in the past but dwelling on it too long actually prevents you from making the most of your life. Recently I caught myself in this state, too and, as they say, admitting that something is wrong is already the first step towards change.

Here are some common signs that you might be self victimizing, too. 

  • You think that everyone else is doing better in life that you are.
  • You feel like everyone and everything is against you, that you are meant to fail.
  • You are constantly putting yourself down.
  • You expect to receive sympathy from others and, when you don’t, it upsets you.
  • You blame other people and circumstances for your failures.
  • You feel powerless when it comes to changing anything in your life.
  • You refuse to consider other points of view when talking about your problems.
  • You keep reliving bad past memories that made you feel like a victim.
  • You think that everyone is trying to hurt you on purpose.

Important thing to know about self victimization is that it’s not always about manipulating others and/or seeking attention. For some of us it is a coping mechanism. There are things in our lives that doesn’t always have an explanation. For example, if you got bullied at school, mostly likely it had nothing to do with who you are. It had something to do with your bullies back then but you didn’t realize at the moment, blamed it on unlucky coincidence. Later, when next bad events happened, at some point you slowly started falling into a mindset that “nothing good ever happens to you and trouble follows you everywhere”. Thoughts like these seem innocent at first but they have huge power over your behaviour. If you constantly tell yourself that bad things are happening to you and there’s nothing you can do to make them better, that’s it – you are officially stuck. Negative thoughts have paralyzed you and you are sinking deeper and deeper into the swamp of self victimization.

When did I realize that I am self victimizing?¬† Only after several years, spent participating in guitar contests I’ve came to a realization that the main thing that is holding me back from success is my own damn mind. When I was a little kid, I used to love participating in contests. I often got first place and luck followed me everywhere. However, at some point later in my life I lost all belief in myself, all confidence and depression took over my life. I can’t tell exactly what caused it, maybe all the bad life experiences put together did that. I felt terrified, weak and helpless on stage. No matter, how much time I spent preparing, I still kept failing. After some time I realized that problem is not in what I do and it’s not in others either. The problem is the way I think. I listened too much to my former guitar teacher back then, who never cared about my progress and often talked about me, having second place syndrome. From the outside I acted like what he said had no impact me but it did.

When it this year’s guitar contest was near, I almost felt sick.¬†I didn’t want to show up at all because all the bad memories kept hunting me… until something clicked. I realized that I am tired of feeling like crap, feeling like I’m not enough and everyone else will always be better than me. Of course, you can’t stop negative thoughts in a blink of an eye but you can catch yourself in the moment and snap out of it. In this situation you can easily use 5 second rule of Mel Robins (read more about it here:¬†https://melrobbins.com/the-5-second-rule/ ) . Just count from 5 to 1 slowly and imagine that when you get to 1, your mind will be free from all the negative and destructive thoughts you just had. Does that seem silly to you? At first I thought the same until I actually tried it. Stop those negative thoughts here and now. I know that at the moment you might feel like you have no control over your life but you have. Just keep telling yourself that things will get better, you deserve success and push all the negative thoughts out of your head. You can be just as successful as anyone else. We have equal shot at getting what we want. So what differs you from others and why don’t still have the thing you want? Your mindset. Every action starts in our head. Just think about it; human is way more powerful than you think.

So that is all I wanted to share.¬†Today is the day when we start making the most of our lives. Today is the day we claim back our power. Just because something bad happened to us in the past, doesn’t mean we are less worthy and deserve less happiness. Take a deep breath, count from 5 to 1 and take an action – big or small – to change your live at thiis very moment. You can do it, I believe in you.

 

Love, Porcelain Doll.

4 reasons why I stopped using Tumblr.

Computer, coffee cup, plant and a pen

Hello, dear readers!¬†I have finally rediscovered a way to write my blog posts faster and in time. A cup of coffee really does wonders. Anyways, today I wanted to talk about Tumblr – every teenager’s (ages 11 to 16) favorite social media platform. At least it was that way when I was about thirteen years old. I guess, it was not only a good way, how to socialize with peers but also a way to appear cooler than you actually are because you had a “blog”. Even if that blog consisted only from stuff that was reblogged from other people and had nothing to do with your life. I have to admit that I was such a Tumblr junkie back in the day. I used to spend a lot of time on it when I was depressed and confused about teen problems. At the time when Tumblr was full of fandom accounts, grunge blogs and similar stuff instead of porn bots, it was a place where to hide and feel like you actually matter. Once I actually had a blog with 500+ followers there and no, I didn’t post anything original there at all. However, time passed. After trying to create several different blogs on Tumblr, my obsession finally died at the age of 17. I tried going back to it again, hoping that it will love it as much as I used to but the feeling is gone. Maybe that is since I created Dolls Have Hearts and started treating it seriously. So enough of the intro for this post, here are my three reason why I stopped using Tumblr.

  1. It is full of¬† porn bots. God forbid, if you don’t turn “safe search” on. And even if you do that, there is still is a chance that they will follow you.¬†All it takes is to reblog few fitspo pictures of attractive women and porn bots are coming for you.¬†Do you know, how annoying it is that one fifth of your followers are bots? They’re just increasing the number of your followers but, of course not interacting at all. Sadly there’s no way to keep them away from this blogging platform, so keeping a blog there would mean clearing out the follower list every now and then just to block bots.
  2. The temptation to reblog content instead of making it myself is huge. No other blogging platform advertises reposting content as much as Tumblr does. You can literally have your own blog by just mindlessly reblogging and never speaking your own mind. In my option the main purpose of having a blog is to make a change in the world. Even if only ten people read your post and only four of them comment, it still counts. That is why I am keeping up Dolls Have Hearts. I know that I might not grow my follower count here as fast as I could on Tumblr but my followers here are truly genuine, want to interract, care about what I post and come here because of my opinion not some pretty pictures I have reblogged.
  3. There are rarely any blogs, who¬† post quality written content.¬†Don’t get me wrong, I really like quality photography but I would like to see someone on Tumblr, who actually wants to inspire and inform people, and make the world a better place. There was an age when I used to enjoy Tumblr but right now I just feel like it is filled with confused teenagers, who are obsessed with different music bands and… I’m just not one of them. Not anymore.
  4. Post scheduling and staying active was hard.¬†I noticed a while ago that the most popular blogs on Tumblr are popular because they are always active, not because they are posting quality stuff. I don’t want to be glued to my computer screen 24/7 and there are so many things I want to accomplish in life without worrying about losing my followers meanwhile. Having a blog on WordPress allows me to do just that. I can easily post one lengthy quality post every week at the same time and keep my readers interested.

I could go on and on about reasons why I quit Tumblr but I will end this here. In my opinion, if you are serious blogger, who wants to get your own voice out there, don’t use Tumblr. It’s not worth it. (Unless you are a fashion blogger, I guess. I don’t know for sure because I don’t fall into that category.) Don’t be fooled by pretty themes and widgets.

That is all I have to share with you today. I can see that not only my follower list but also my e-mail subscriber list has been growing slowly but surely. Thank you all for reading and liking my posts, and interacting with me. You can’t even imagine, how much that means to me. I know that Dolls With Hearts are currently quite a small crowd but every sign of appreciation from you makes me smile. My blog would never be the way it is without each and every one of you. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

The true reason why you might feel stuck in a rut at the job you love.

Asian girl with brown hair, smelling pink roses

Hello, dear readers!¬†Few years I was obsessed with the idea that I really want to learn more about psychology. No, not to learn in a professional way but just to understand myself and other people more. One of the things I remember very well reading about was motivation. More specifically, what is needed to keep us going. There were two main components – inner motivation and outer motivation. Inner motivation is the kind that makes you do something because you simply love it and want to become better at it. Outer motivation is something that we get from the world or people around us. It might be a paycheck, it might appreciation etc. In order to function properly, we need both of these motivation levels around the same level. If we lack one or the other, noticeable changes start to happen. Why am I writing about all of this? Because¬†I noticed these changes happening in my own life but I didn’t know, how to explain it properly. That was until just few days ago when I picked up a book by Dale Carnegie, called “How to win friends and influence people”. First part of the book is called “Fundamental techniques in handling people”. The second principle of this part is “Give honest and sincere appreciation”. That’s when it hit me.

A sudden realization came over me: it’s shocking, how often we either confuse appreciation with flattery or forget about appreciation at all.¬†I bet all of you more or less are familiar with the situation in which, if you do something bad or make a mistake, you get criticized (often way more than you should be) but when you do something good, no one says a word. I have faced this situation quite often since early childhood. When I was little and did something good for my parents, I rarely received true appreciation. It was either nothing or a simple “thank you”. Of course, I didn’t expect fireworks and medals but… could they at least be proud of me, be happy about me? Once I asked my mum, why isn’t she happy that I, for example, helped around the house without anyone asking me to and did she even notice. And she simply told me: “It’s great that you did that but I really don’t know what you expected. It is self-evident when a person does a good thing.” Now let’s take a completely opposite situation. I did something bad. Maybe told my parents that I will be studying while they’re away but sneaked out of the house to visit my best friend instead and got caught later. Do you think they were as calm as when I did something good? Not at all. Such a small “sin” caused a huge argument and there were times when one of my parents or even both of them didn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Those are just childhood events but… there definitely was something wrong with them.

Let’s take another example! Let’s fast forward about 7 years later when I had been studying in musical school for few years.¬†When I was a little kid, I often got praised for doing something very well in my guitar lessons. However, when “the crazy teenager age” came, things started to change. I started to have my own opinion about how I should play and how I shouldn’t play, what I liked and what I didn’t. That was when the conflicts started and I got scolded when I didn’t succeed but when I finally did something well, it was barely noticed, if at all. Those were just two examples from my own life but they can be applied to a person in every age group. The point is – we all feel the need to appreciated. Don’t confused it with flatter though. Flattery is insincere but appreciation is sincere. We need appreciation to move forward and keep doing great things. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, there are two types of motivation – inner and outer. Let’s say you have inner motivation, you are learning, how to paint and you love it. However, no matter, how much you try to “get your work” out there, no one really seems to care. They don’t buy your paintings, they don’t compliment them, all they do is take a look and leave. How would you feel? Well, maybe you wouldn’t care for the first day or week but later… You start to feel like you are not good at what you’re doing, there is no progress… So what’s the point of continuing to do this thing at all? You are left with two options then – you can give up or you can keep struggling. What I am trying to say with all of this?

Appreciation is important for everyone.¬†If you see that someone has done something good, don’t hesitate to let them know. Sometimes it is incredibly hard to notice the results of your work yourself and sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try, no one will appreciate it anyways. So don’t hesitate to express honest appreciation. It could change someone’s day, maybe even week or month. American philosopher John Dewey has said the deepest urge in human nature is a desire to be important. Appreciation makes us feel that way. So, go ahead and¬†someone’s day today!

Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.