This blog post originates from a Twitter rant I posted earlier on today.


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A post weight-loss photo.

The best thing I ever for myself did was take control of my life back in late 2016. I finally lost my weight (I put on 40 pounds during a rather dark period of my life), cleaned up my eating, escaped law school (even after having the blessed opportunity of interning in a Los Angeles law firm, I still had to admit that the legal profession wasn’t for me), worked a creative internship in NYC last fall (I actually started two others internships, but had to quit for personal reasons), started my MMA training, focused on my writing, got a big ol’ tattoo, took the GRE, applied for M.A./M.F.A. programs, and more.

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mental health awarenessRemember my good old semicolon tattoo that I got back in July 2015? 

Well, it’s gone.

Don’t worry, you guys — it’s not like I’m not aware that I’m still mentally ill.  I didn’t wake up yesterday morning and imagine that part of me away or anything. 

It’ll probably always be there with me [because science, and also, poetic metaphor?], and it’ll always play some type of a role in who I am and who I end up becoming.

However, my game plan is to ensure that I always find a way for this painful [and honestly irritating] affliction of mine to contribute my self-betterment.  

I mean, why shouldn’t it?  It’s turned me into someone who fights my butt off every single day of my life — battling my inner demons has become as natural to me as breathing.  That totally sucks in retrospect, but someday, I’m going to be so freaking strong for it! 

I’d consider that a silver lining if I wasn’t such a rose gold loving lady myself. #RoseGoldTrash

But anyways — yes, I’m still proud of myself for pushing forward and always being my own knight in shining armor.  Just because that semicolon is now [very skillfully] covered up (still, shoutout to New Breed Tattoos for giving me the splendid semicolon tattoo that stayed with me for three insane years of my life — my cover-up had everything to do with me craving a different, non-semicolon tattoo, and absolutely nothing to do with the high quality of your guys’ absolutely amazing work), doesn’t mean it’ll ever truly be erased from my person. 

It’s still there [even if it’s buried under a ridiculous amount of ink].  It’ll always be there.


 

rose tattooAnyways, I went and got a cover-up tattoo over my semicolon last night (July 15, 2018). It’s a pretty rad new look, to be completely honest — it’s a highly elegant rose, and it came out beautifully.

I’m pretty sure my tattoo artist (Denny Waldron of Heirloom Tattoo & Piercing) even nailed some good, old school goth vibes in there for me (as requested).  I know I tend to make everything gothilicious in my mind, but seriously — take my word on this one.

My tattoo artist even said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make this rose look really mean for you.”  What more could a little ol’ Queen of Darkness ask for? 

Not much, sir.



So, my standard, tiny, back-of-the-neck semicolon is no more.

Why?

1. Let me go ahead and get the aesthetic-inspired reason straight out of the way — the lack of symmetry at the very top of my spine bugs me, I feel like I wasted that area with a tattoo that could’ve gone literally anywhere else on my body, and it’s a bit too low on my neck for me.  I always imagined myself with a medium to large, elegant something back there that shouted from the rooftops when I put my hair up.  The tiny semicolon just didn’t do that for me.

tattoo shop2. I’ve grown since I got that semicolon tattoo three years ago. And guess what?  That’s perfectly healthy.  There’s a lot of unnecessary pressure to stick by your tattoo forever, but there’s nothing wrong with doing what you need to do to be happy with the ink on your body.

These days, I want a different symbol of strength there to represent me. I want that area of me to represent something more active about my survival story. I am so proud of what the semicolon demonstrated, and I’m even prouder of everyone who resonates with it — it’s a wonderful symbol with a blessed following.

But, for me, personally, it feels like a passive symbol of my strength.

I’m not a defender — I’m a fighter.

I’m active; I dive headfirst into battle.  I wanted something that says, “I am fierce and unrelenting.  Come at me, bro.

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I think a rose says just that. Roses are powerful, courageous, and beautiful. Dare to touch one of these beauties, and you’ll find that their thorns will stab you and have that “lifeblood” gushing out of you in seconds. Roses are so proactive about their survival — and I’ve always dug that about them. Like a rose, I am my own savior.

It’s also important to note that roses thrive in darkness — check out anything Victorian Gothic, or creepy in general, and you’ll probably find the happiest, most gorgeous roses there.  Roses remind me of myself in that way too — those environments are where I feel most at ease, and the most like myself.  I find strength in that dark aesthetic. 

3. My glorious semicolon can go elsewhere on my body! It can even go somewhere where I can see it, and maybe I can even give it those cute little cat ears! Anytime I feel myself sinking, I can actually see it and remember that I’m a sentence that could’ve ended on numerous occasions, but didn’t. It’s my favorite punctuation mark anyways (writers are geeky, deal with it).  I definitely have plans to get it re-inked onto my body someday — in a different location.

4. I want my neck to scream that I am bold, edgy, fierce, and elegant — all at once. I’m tired of people asking me about my semicolon every single time I so much as put my hair in ponytail — because just in case they don’t know what it is, I have to explain it to them.  And right there, I lose that privacy about who I am and what I come from.  

I want the tattoo on my neck, at the very top of my spine, the backbone to my very being, to shout something fundamental for me so that I don’t have to state it later on: “I may be tiny, but do not mess with me — I have thorns. If you choose to make an enemy of me, you will feel their wrath.” 

5. I need my affinity for darkness, something so deeply seeded in me and so crucial in the essence of who I am, to live with me forever. I want people to look at me and say, “I bet that chick lives and dies by black lace and magical realism.” 

That obsession with dark aesthetics is a fundamental part of me as a writer, a fighter, and a visual artist — I want it visible on the surface.  Through becoming a full-fledged grown-up, age, life, and death; I want that dark part of me unmistakably loud and clear


Project semicolon is and always will be precious to me. It was there for me when I needed it the most, and it’s been a real source of strength and support for me in a world that all too frequently leaves me feeling lost and alone.

I will always be loyal to it (even if, for some reason, I re-tatt it onto my body like I said I might). Just because it doesn’t roar loudly enough for me doesn’t mean it doesn’t live with me.

Remember, guys — don’t be a full stop when you can be a semicolon instead.

Trust me, I know how tough it is out there. I know there’s something in some of us that makes it just about impossible to go on sometimes. I get that.

But also, periods are so final and dreary — be a sophisticated, pompous semicolon instead. The world and I will be so glad you did. ♥️

 


Donate to Project Semicolon HERE until August 31, 2018!

 

As you may or may not know, I recently rebranded, well… this whole thing.  I switched over the website, the social media handles, the hashtags… all of it!

Changing my hair color to match whatever madness I have brewing inside me was the final shove I needed to admit to myself that it was time for a change. 

I finally put “Amaranthine” to rest, and, in turn, awakened “Blood Spice”.

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Rebranding Instagram post on @QueenBloodSpice, posted on May 4th, 2018. Since posting this, the website address has been switched over to www.bloodspice.com.

The rebranding announcement Instagram post from May 4th says,

“It’s a #newhaircolor! And it’s inspired me to change things up a bit around here. Ami Amaranthine is now a distant memory — I’ve gone the way of #BloodSpice. Life changes, and we change with it; there’s no point resisting that. While the Amaranthine vibes treated me wonderfully, I’ve outgrown them. I’ll always remember them fondly, but now it’s all about Blood Spice. 
The website link will remain the same until further notice (link is in my bio), but I’ll be plastered across here, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook as @QueenBloodSpice
Thank you again to all of my phenomenal #followers, old and new, for the support. Betting on yourself can be hard, but you guys make it so much easier. Xoxoxo. 💘”

The website is no longer under the www.amaranthine.blog address.  It has now been switched over to www.bloodspice.com.  

The inspiration for “Blood Spice” is kind of funny.  I’d mentioned a few days ago that gingers should proudly own the phrase “Pumpkin Spice” to describe themselves.

Understandably, after taking on a red ombre, I was asked if I, myself, was now “Pumpkin Spice”.  I laughed, considered my rather dark red hair, and responded with, “More like Blood Spice.”

And that was it – the angel choir sung, and, just like that, “Blood Spice” was my new direction (yeah, I’m sure the angels totally approve of it).

“Blood Spice” is more than just a hair color – it’s a description of the type of person I am and, in turn, the type of genuine content I want to create for you guys.

“Amaranthine” felt [almost] right when I came up with it – it expressed a type of faded, grunged out feeling in hues of red.  That’s the person I was for a while there.  But even back then, something in me knew it couldn’t last and, sure enough, I grew out of it.  I’m ever grateful to my “Amaranthine” brand and will always remember it fondly, but I finally had to let her go. 

Lately, that feeling of outgrowing my “clothes” has been gnawing at me with added vigor.  I’ve continuously shrugged it off, convinced that rebranding would be “irresponsible” marketing.

rebrand 3But what’s the point of sticking with a brand that you don’t feel any real connection to anymore?  Like, why bother?  I got to the point where I was just going through the movements, ending each Instagram post with a forced “#Amaranthine”, but I was hardly even convincing myself… let alone you guys.  I read this separation between myself and my brand clear as day in my SEO and in my performance stats.

It wasn’t healthy.

Then came “Blood Spice”.  And I just knew it truly captured my love for the dark, for the gothic, while also embracing my inner fieriness

That right there is what I really want to be sharing with you guys.

I stop resisting.  And that, in itself, was truer to my brand than dragging something out that had stopped working months ago.

Why is that?  Well, apparently there’s a little blurb in this website’s “About” section that mentions the actual meaning of my personal brand – it’s not just about all things “Amaranthine”, nor was it ever.

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Taken from the “About” section of this website, www.bloodspice.com.

The “About” section snippet says,

“This blog and its corresponding photography are living and breathing organisms which wholly embrace concepts of unpredictability, explorationshape-shiftingand drastic change… where appropriate.  Still, the primary objectives always remain the same: the pursuits of knowledge and personal growth.”

I wrote that a while back, and I’m so glad I did.  It was the reminder I needed to know that it’s okay for me to grow, and that it’s fine for my brand to adjust accordingly as long as it’s with purpose, necessity, and integrity.

Don’t let anyone tell you that rebranding is “irresponsible” Just do it infrequently, swiftly, cleanly, and clearly – make sure your followers know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and try to wrap up the transition soon after commencing it. 

Once your new and revised brand is made public, everything else you do regarding the shift should follow immediately – this will reduce confusion, maintain follower loyalty, and possibly even increase interest among people previously unaware or uninterested in your brand.

marketing strategyOf course, this doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to switch things up every single time you have a cool idea.

Rebranding should happen very rarely, and only when truly necessary.  Always try to keep things as solid as you can – there’s no need to go changing your usernames, website links, profile pictures, hashtags, etc. every few weeks just because you’re bored.

Your brand is your foundation, your structure.  When it needs to be adjusted, do it quickly and efficiently… without destroying everything you’ve built on it.  Don’t go in there with the power tools unless you’re truly prepared.

Rebranding doesn’t mean you have to scrap everything – it just means that you have to make your changes and move forward.  It’s tough, but it’s worth it. 

When it comes to marketing and to life, don’t dwell on a sunset when you can prepare for your next sunrise instead. 

You got this. 💘

 

Green tea is pretty hyped up these days.  Google “benefits of green tea”, “green tea and weight loss”, “green tea and beauty”, or literally anything else containing the words “green” and “tea” and you’ll find that there’s no shortage of search results. 

Here’s the thing, though: the green tea part of the Internet can be a bit of an… over-hyped echo chamber

amaranthineDon’t get me wrong – green tea is absolutely GLORIOUS.  Drinking it is highly beneficial, and it’s delicious!  But that doesn’t mean drinking green tea for two days will make you drop 15 pounds in under 48 hours, and it certainly doesn’t mean that bathing your dog’s paws in it will make him stop barking all night. 

That’s why, as a near-daily green tea consumer, I’m going to tell you all about how green tea actually changed my life.  There won’t be any mention of fairy god tea leaves or anything miraculous like that, but I’m going to give you guys the legitimate scoop on green tea as I know it.


Here’s why green tea is probably the game changer you didn’t even realize you needed in your life.

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The saga of my MMA fight training continues.

And let me tell you — man, do I love fight training.  It’s been glorious so far, and I’ve enjoyed each new skill I’ve learned, each opportunity to drill the same thing over and over again for the sake of gradual [but sure] improvement, the whole blood/sweat/tears “ordeal”, personal fitness developments, learning new things about the human psych, and feeling better and better about myself along the way. 

Yes, I’m being serious — I really and truly do love all of these things (even the blood/sweat/tears part).

amaranthineBut MMA really is an all-in type of a thing.  I spend most of my day sweaty, frizzy, grungy, and sans makeup.  When I’m not training, I’m at home… being clean, grungy, and sans makeup; I’m not usually looking all that glamorous as I run the Instagram (@EyebrowsandRoses) and this very blog.  There was a time when you could find me spinning content from a cutesy coffee shop, decked out in winged eyeliner, liquid lipstick, and a well-planned outfit, but those days are now a distant memory.

Fight training has affected me, a fashion and beauty blogger, in those very two departments: fashion and beauty.  In fact, when I started training, I kept joking that I was “sacrificing” them to do MMA.  

But now, I realize that what was originally a bunch of [hardly reluctant] “sacrifices” has shape-shifted into a new type of aesthetic altogether.  It’s not sacrifice — it’s change.  (more…)