Tuesday, January 20, 2015

International Day of Acceptance

Today is the International Day of Acceptance.

What is International Day of Acceptance?

It is:
A day dedicated to social acceptance of disability and to honor the late Annie Hopkins, founder of 3E Love and creator of the International Symbol of Acceptance.
That description is from the Day of Acceptance website.

I love that there is something like this, that brings awareness to disabilities, letting people know that those with disabilities are human beings, just like them, and that they want to be treated with respect, love, and dignity.

I myself have a learning disability, and although it isn't as severe as other disabilities, I do understand, to some extent, of what other people with disabilities go through.

Just remember, if you meet someone with any kind of disability, whether physical, emotional, etc., they don't want to be seen or treated as a disability. They want to be seen as a person. Treat them with respect. Treat them as the person they are.

Happy International Day of Acceptance!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Joni and Friends Retreats 2015

I just found out that this years' Joni and Friends Retreats are now open for registration. I seriously want to go to one, but money is tight, and I don't know if I will be able to go this year.

Joni and Friends Retreats are like summer camps, where people with disabilities, and their families, can go for a week to just relax, unwind, and not think about the stresses in their life.

I really hope I can figure out a way to get the money before everything fills up. These retreats sound like a lot of fun.

I am trying to think of ways to fundraise money for this one retreat, that I really want to go to, which costs $460. It's one of the least expensive ones, but still expensive for me.

I'm not dead set on going this year, because of the cost, but I want to start saving for one of these retreats, as I seriously want to go.

As I am typing on, I am thinking of having bake sales to raise money. I don't know if it'll be quite enough, but it's an idea, and I am willing to give it a try.

Here's to hoping I can volunteer at a retreat someday!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Bucket List for 2015

I have decided to do a bucket list for the whole year, instead of just for one season.

  • Make a snowman in the winter
  • Get a job
  • Learn to decorate cakes
  • Work on book I want to publish
  • Plant/grow a garden
  • Make sweater for dad
  • Buy a full-sized violin for myself
  • Learn to make one new dish a week/month
  • Volunteer at the local animal shelter
  • Clean up my bedroom, and keep it clean
  • Paint my bedroom walls
  • Make at least one flower crown
  • Volunteer at a Joni & Friends Retreat
  • Become certified in CPR/First Aid
  • Make a rainbow cake
  • Learn to sew
  • Go on a weekend trip by myself
  • Find new places in town to visit
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Have a picnic in the park with friends
  • Go bowling
  • Take one photo a day for one year
  • Tie dye shirts/other articles of clothing
  • Go paintballing
  • See the Bean in person
  • Make homemade mac and cheese
  • Fill eggs with paint and toss them at a canvas
  • Put positive notes in a public area
  • Visit Brookfield Zoo
  • Go to the local Farmer's Market
  • Make s'mores
  • Go to garage sales/estate sales
  • Relearn Spanish
  • Go sledding in winter
  • Make/drink egg nog
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Go ice skating
  • Make bread from scratch
  • Get my picture taken with Santa in winter
  • Participate in the annual winter fest
  • Skpe with someone
  • Go to thrift shops each month
  • Get my driver's license
  • Make a pinata
  • Start drinking tea regularly
  • Visit Navy Pier
  • Visit the Adler Planetarium
  • Visit the Museum of Science and Industry
  • Make a YouTube video
  • Make care packages for the homeless
  • Have a friend sleep over at my place
  • Go for a bike ride with friends
  • Go to Glendale Heights Fest with friends
  • Have a movie night with friends
  • Have a girls' night in/out with friends
  • Read A Christmas Carol
  • Go horseback riding
  • Eat at Atlas Kafe
  • Eat at Mama Thai
  • Go mini golfing with friends and/or family
  • Build something at Build-a-Bear
  • Start my own garden
  • Go swimming at least twice during the summer
  • Dye eggs for Easter
  • Finger paint
  • Blow bubbles on a really cold day, to make frozen bubbles
  • Visit the Morton Arboretum
  • Hang out on Lake Michigan with friends
  • Learn how to French braid
  • Have a hot fudge sundae
  • Try snowboarding
  • Visit the Shedd Aquarium
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Jump off the diving board (I'm afraid of heights, and even diving boards scare me)
  • Make paper snowflakes (something I haven't done since I was in elementary school)
  • Go on a shopping spree
  • Take pictures in a photo booth
  • Visit the Chicago Botanic Gardens
  • Go to Six Flags for a day
  • Own at least one knitting loom
This is all I can think of at this time, but I'm sure I'll think of more as time goes on.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Goal I REALLY Want To Start...And Keep...

Is to exercise five days a week, and to eat healthier.

I have been wanting to for ages, but I just never did anything about it. So, I am hoping that 2015 will be the year for better health for me.

I am asking friends to help me become more accountable for what I do and eat, so I can get this goal going. Officially. And keep it going.

I really want to take up Zumba, yoga, and maybe Pilates. They have interested me for quite some time, but I never really did anything with them yet. I am thinking I may do one, one day, another a different day, and so on. Maybe.

There are a few exercise centers within a few blocks of my house, that I am thinking of checking out, if I decide to go to one on a regular basis.

Exercise isn't one of my favorite things, but I have checked out videos on Zumba, yoga, and Pilates, and they seem to make exercising a lot more fun, and enjoyable. So, hopefully I will be more willing to get moving more often this year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2015 Resolutions

I always make New Year's Resolutions, yet I never keep them. Ever.

Excpet one. Where I drink less soda. That was made about 10 years ago, at least. Since then, I have seldom had any soda (maybe six or seven in all). Before then, I drank it kind of regularly.

So that resolution was a success.

For the new year, I am planning on making resolutions yet again. Hopefully I can actually stick to them.

So, here goes my list of resolutions.

  • Exercise 4 to 5 days a week (Pilates, yoga, some for of cardio, whatever)
  • Cut down junk food consumption by about half
  • Eat one healthier meal a day
  • Cut down electronic use to one to two hours a day
  • Get room cleaned up, and keep it cleaned
  • Get at least a C in my classes
  • Get a job (as soon as possible), and put at least half of money earned from each paycheck in my savings account
  • Get started (and work on) book I want to have published
  • Be more conscious of where I put my possessions, so I don't forget where they are, or lose them
  • Contact my friends in some form (email, text, call, etc.) twice a week
  • Do something once a month, that is out of my comfort zone
  • Take out no more than ten items a week from the library (I tend to take out 30 to 40 items at once, and it gets crazy, so I need to work on taking out less than that)
  • Take at least 10 pictures everyday, of something that catches my eye
  • Bake something at least twice a month
That is all I can think of at this time. Although, I think this is good enough for me. I don't want to overdo it. Are you making any resolutions? I hope you can stick with them through the year!!! I hope I can!!!

Happy New Year to you all!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Joy

Wow, I can't believe Christmas is over already. It went by way too fast. I wish I could go back in time and relive the day!!! I enjoyed it so much!!

My dad, brothers and I went to my sister's on Christmas Day. I had a great time there.

My sister made this chocolate peppermint fudge this year, and it was REALLY good!!! I love chocolate, and peppermint, so I love it when she makes things like this.

As far as presents go, I am very happy with what I got. I didn't get everything on my list, but that is just fine with me. What I got is good with me.

I got several movies (Divergent, Brave, The Fault in Our Stars, Toy Story, The Princess and the Frog, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which came with a mockingjay pin), a few CDs (Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield, Tenore by Jonathan Antoine, and 21 by Adele), a couple baking cookbooks (The Big Book of Cakes and The Big Book of Cupcakes, both by Betty Crocker), and a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man bobble.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is my favorite Ghostbusters character, so I was very happy to have gotten a bobble of him!

All in all, Christmas was great this year.

For those who celebrated, I hope Christmas was very good to you this year. If not, I pray that 2015 goes better for you.

Now, on to the New Year celebrations!

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Holiday Thankfulness

I know people usually do thankfulness lists on Thanksgiving, but I got lazy and didn't do one then. So, I've decided to do one for Christmas and December.

Here goes my thankfulness list:

  1. Having a warm house to live in.
  2. Having a warm bed to sleep in.
  3. Having food to eat every day.
  4. Having clean water to use every day.
  5. My family.
  6. My friends.
  7. Living close enough to restaurants and shops where I can walk to them if I want to.
  8. Having multiple ways to keep in contact with people.
  9. Listening to my favorite music, over and over. And over. And over.
  10. Blogging/writing.
  11. All the pets I've had in my life, including my current pets.
  12. Having clean clothes every day.
  13. Being able to get back to near normal after experiencing the loss of a loved one.
  14. Being able to get a good education, and doing well in school.
  15. Having friends that truly care about me and my well-being.
  16. Teachers that truly care about their students, and their success in school.
  17. Doing things that I truly enjoy (baking, photography, writing, etc.).
  18. Knitting or crocheting something, and giving it to someone in need.
  19. Watching my favorite movies many, many times, and never getting tired of them.
  20. Reading my favorite books many, many times, and never getting tired of them.
  21. Going to the movies with friends or family. Or by myself if there is something only I want to see.
  22. Going to restaurants with friends or family.
  23. Being able to pull up my GPA in school, and getting acknowledged for it.
  24. Taking time for myself, to rest, read, listen to music, or whatever else I want to do.
  25. Spending the holidays with my family.
  26. Living in a neighborhood where everyone is supportive of each other.
  27. Having more good days than bad.
  28. Trying something new and really enjoying it.
  29. Being able to pay for a lot of the things I need/want, whenever I need/want them.
  30. Laughing so much/so hard that I cry.
  31. Celebrating milestones/accomplishments/etc.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas...

And a happy New Year!!

I can't belive Christmas is here already. The year went by way too fast. But, it was a wonderful year, and I am happy with the way it went.

For those who celebrate, I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, and New Year. I hope that your year was amazing, and that 2015 is just as amazing for you.

If 2014 wasn't a good year, my heart goes out to you, and I pray that 2015 goes better for you and your family.

Tonight, my brothers get off work early, so we are going to have a pizza dinner, and then open presents. Tomorrow, we are going to my sister's, to have another Christmas dinner, and open more presents.

I am really looking forward to seeing my sister and her family. I love seeing my niece and nephew!

Apart from the presents from family, I got a few presents from a neighbor family I am friends with. They gave me a picture keepsake box, chocolate covered marshmallows (I already had some and they are addicting!!!), a pair of socks, a Christmas tree shaped tea light candle with a few red glittery tea light candles, a copy of March of the Penguins, a 10-pack of blank notecards (decorated on the front with cupcakes...which is SOOO me!!!), and a Christmas card.

I also got a Christmas card from another friend of mine, which was nice.

Again, I wish you a very merry, safe Christmas and New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pentatonix and The Piano Guys

I was chatting with a friend yesterday, and she had mentioned The Piano Guys, and their music.

I had heard about them before, but never really listened to their music before. But, I decided to check them out on YouTube, and...THEY. ARE. AMAZING!!!!

I could NOT stop listening to their songs!!

Another group popped up, that I had heard of before, but never listened to: Pentatonix.

I wasn't sure if I would like their music, as I hadn't heard of them until recently. Although, they have been around for a few years now.

But, I decided to check them out on YouTube as well, and they are also amazing!! Again, I couldn't stop listening to their songs, as they are amazing!! Yes, I know I am using a lot of exclamation points, but they are that good :D

Both groups have their own unique, awesome talents, and I am SO glad I decided to give them a try. And that a friend mentioned them to me.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Birthday Weekend

Well, today I turned another year older.

How did that happen?

I had a very enjoyable birthday weekend. On Friday, I my dad and I put up the Christmas tree. We didn't decorate it, just put it up. I love putting the tree and other decorations up for Christmas, and love it when that coincides with my birthday!

Yesterday, my dad and I decorated the tree and windows in our house. It all came out really nicely, and I am looking forward to Christmas this year.

Also, a neighbor friend treated me to a hair cut and highlights at one of the local salons in town. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get it all done, but the cut and highlights came out well, and was worth the time.

Then, my friend took me to a local Italian restaurant for dessert. I got an ice cream dessert, with three flavors (I chose lemon, strawberry, and chocolate), and my friend had tiramisu. It was really good!!

Then, later in the evening, we went to a Christmas concert at a local church. It was very good!! There was a big reference to Star Wars in the second half of the show, where they sang a couple songs to the Star Wars tune, and a few children from the Youth Choir dressed up as characters from the movies, and pretended to fight with light sabers.

It was a very good, enjoyable day, making me feel special on my special day.

Today, my actual birthday, I just relaxed at home. And did homework. I know that's not usually a good way to spend a birthday, but it's due tomorrow, and I have been procrastinating in doing the work. So I need to do it today.

Oh, I can't forget the very sweet card my dad gave me today! I love the cards he gives me for my day.

All in all, I am one happy birthday girl!!