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!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weddings and Marriage

There is a show on TLC called Little Couple Big World, which is one of my favorite shows on that channel.

I was watching one of the more recent episodes, where Jeremy, one of the children, was planning his wedding, and then got married.

Also watching another TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, got me into the wedding mode. One of the older daughters wedding was aired recently, and another is engaged, about to be married in a few days.

That got me to remembering when my oldest brother got married, and having me as the bridesmaid (and the only bridesmaid for that wedding).

My mom made my dress entirely by hand. Well, not technically by hand. She used a sewing machine. But it was still hand made.

It also reminded me of my sister's wedding almost a year later.

I really want to get married someday, and to the right guy. I know he's not going to be perfect, and that's perfectly fine with me. No one is perfect. We will never be.

I have been looking on Pinterest for wedding ideas (no, I'm not engaged yet, never know when it'll happen!), and have found some great stuff already. I think I may have even found the dress I want!

I am not thinking only about weddings, I do have a life, but I would love to be able to plan my own wedding someday, and marry the guy I love, whoever that may be!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Hard Times in Life

This past weekend, I found out a close friend of mine is not doing well. It came as a real shock, as the last time I saw him, he seemed to be doing well. And that wasn't that long ago.

I have been friends with him, his wife, and his son for many, many years. I met the husband and wife at least seventeen years ago, maybe more, and then they had their son almost sixteen years ago.

So this is going to be a very hard time for both me, and them. They are like family to me, and it hurts to see them going through something like this.

I was asked if I could help out with some household chores, which I will be doing soon. I know what it's like having a parent who's sick, so I know what they are going through, and I don't mind helping them out.

When I visited the wife the other day, she had called her husband to see how he was doing, and I got to talk to him for a few minutes. He was worried about everything at home, and how his husband, son, and dog were doing.

It broke my heart to hear him so worried like this. And that he is in a condition like this. Not just his worried state, but his physical health.

This just goes to show how precious life is, and not to take anything for granted. Life is precious, and can change in a second.

Nothing stays the same, and no one lives forever. Not here on Earth. So tell those you love how you feel, and remember what they have done for you.

So, to my neighbor friends, I will be there for you through anything that happens, now and always. You have made such a huge impact on my life, and I am so thankful that we have become friends over these past many years.

Thank you for all that you have done, and for being such amazing friends.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Presents

Well, it's nearly that time of year again.

Time for the annual Operation Christmas Child shoebox present collection.

I heard about this organization a few years ago, and wanted to donate some presents, but kept missing the collection dates until last year.

Last year I was able to give two shoebox presents, one for a boy and one for a girl. I don't know where they went to, but I was happy to have been able to make two children very happy over the holidays.

If you don't know what Operation Christmas Child is, it is an organization that collects presents for young children, which are shoeboxes filled with toys and necessities, and then ships and gives them out all over the world.

You can check out more information on their website here.

It is an amazing thing, OCC. I am so glad I was able to participate last year, and hope to do so again this year.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Introvert...It's Not A Bad Thing To Be

I recently saw and read this article online, where a woman talks about being an introvert, and gives tips for others who know introverts.

I am an intovert myself, and I love seeing articles like this.

Being an introvert is NOT a bad thing. It does not mean we are snobby, or selfish, or anything of the sort. We just don't feel comfortable in the spotlight, nor do we feel comfortable talking a lot.

A major tip I have for people who know introverts, is to NOT force/ask them to change. They will shy away even more from social things, and from people.

If they have something to say, they will say it, and on their own terms, not because someone makes them, or wants them to.

I prefer writing/typing/texting to speaking, not because I don't like people, but because it's easier for me to organize my thoughts, and I can have more time to think about what I want to say.

I love writing, photography, and arts and crafts.

I would rather stay at home, reading, watching tv, listening to music, than go to a bar, a big party, or anything with a bunch of people.

I have a small group of friends that I hang out with often, and that I can trust. I prefer one-on-one or small group interactions to big groups.

Public speaking scares the crap out of me.

I am fine with being an introvert, although there are times when I wish I was more outgoing.

It's articles like the one I included in this post that actually make me feel good about being an introvert. People understand what we go through, and that extroverts need to understand that being quiet isn't such a bad thing.

Do not try to change introverts, as we won't want to change. Unless it is done on our own terms. Even if we do change, we will ALWAYS be introverts at heart, and that's ok.

So please, be more accepting and understanding of us introverts, and don't try and change us. We are pretty happy the way we are.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Want to Play the Violin Again

Every time I hear violins playing, it reminds me of my elementary school orchestra days, playing the violin, and it makes me want to play again.

It also reminds me of when my sister used to play in her elementary school days. One time she showed me how to play a few notes, and when I played them, she wanted to show our parents that I could play them.

I played the violin in fourth and fifth grades, and quit after that. I am now regretting that decision, as I absolutely love the sound of violins, and really, really, really miss playing.

I still have the violin I played, but it is too small for me now. I have checked out prices for a full size violin (which is the right size for me), and they seem to be decently priced, so I will hopefully be getting a new one soon (key word *hopefully*!)

It has been quite a long time since I last played, so I will be really rusty playing the violin again, but I know I will get the hang of it again.

I just hope I'll play more often than I did in elementary school!!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

15 Things About Me

One of my favorite artists, Jonathan Antoine (runner up on Britain's Got Talent), recently posted a list of 15 things about him, that he thought we'd like to know about him (which you can read here, if you want). That inspired me to do the same thing.

So, here goes my list of 15 things I thought I'd like you guys to know about me.

  1. I prefer animals to people. I don't hate people or anything. I'm just a shy person by nature, and animals aren't as judgmental.
  2. I LOVE photography! I usually take photos of nature, but I will take pictures of other things as well.
  3. I have NEVER moved in my life. I have lived in the same house, on the same block, in the same neighborhood, in the same town, in the same state, since I was born. Someday, though, I would love to live on a farm, and also live in a foreign country for a year.
  4. I am more of a country girl than a city girl, even though I've lived in a city my whole life.
  5. I love baseball and hockey.
  6. I also really love words, and writing.
  7. There are several things I want to be: a baker (which I am currently working towards), a photographer, a special education teacher, and an author.
  8. Science and art were my favorite subjects in school.
  9. I have never been outside of the U.S. before, but I came close to the U.S./Canada border several years ago.
  10. My favorite artist is Andrea Bocelli.
  11. My favorite animal is the horse.
  12. I love spicy food.
  13. For some odd reason, I love making lists. I don't know why.
  14. I do NOT like cold weather. At all.
  15. For a while now, I have been a home body. I'm not big on going out, but I have no objections to going to events. If it interests me.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fun Weekend

This weekend was pretty busy for me.

Saturday was my ten year high school reunion. It was at a restaurant called Bar Louie. I have been to the one near me, and they have good food. It's a really nice place.

There was a pretty good turnout for the reunion. I went to it with a friend of mine, and a few other friends were there too.

One classmate actually remembered me, even though we didn't really have a lot of classes together. It felt good that she actually remembered me, and wanted to say hi.

Then on Sunday, I went to a local fall fest with a friend. I have gone to it a few other times, and it is pretty fun.

I always try and get a pumpkin there, every time I go. This year, I did get one. Although, they only had small ones this time (not the really tiny ones, just smaller ones than usual). That's ok. I'm happy that I got a pumpkin.

Every year, they have someone dress up as a scarecrow, there are crafts for kids to do, snacks, and this year, they had the local pool's new mascots there, walking around and greeting everyone. I even got a picture with them, which was cool!

I was tired after the reunion (I didn't get home until a little after midnight), so I was a little sleepy while at the fall fest, but I still had a great time.

I really enjoyed this weekend, although it will be a while before I have a weekend like this again. I need time to wind down after all this.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and that this coming week is just as enjoyable.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Fall Bucket List

Well, it is officially Fall.

So, I have decided to make a bucket list of things I want to do this fall. And here they are.

  • Make and drink hot chocolate
  • Go to the local fall fest
  • Go to my high school reunion
  • Paint/carve a pumpkin
  • Make at least one pumpkin pie
  • Go on a hay ride
  • Do a Harry Potter movie marathon
  • Make s'mores
  • Roast pumpkin seeds
  • Take photos in a pile of leaves
  • Start on sweater for dad
  • Make some gloves
  • Make some scarves
  • Make some hats
  • Collect fall leaves and make a collage
  • Donate to local food bank
  • Make homemade apple pie
  • Plant flower/vegetable seeds for the spring
This is what I was able to think of for now. I'm sure I will be adding more at some point.

I am actually going to be doing one of these tomorrow; I am going to my high school reunion with a few friends, and am looking forward to it.

So, what is on your bucket list for the fall season?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Honoring the Service Animals of 9/11

This past Thursday, I went over to a neighbor's house for their dog and cat toy craft. It was in honor of the animals that helped find people after the 9/11 attacks. They had invited me last week, and I am so glad I went.

We made:

Dog and cat fleece beds. This one is for a dog. I had told my neighbor that I had always wanted to make one of these, and she let me take a couple home for my cats. I put this in one of their favorite spots, and my cats absolutely LOVE them!!

Cat cork toys, which we could decorate with pipe cleaners, feathers, and ribbon if we wanted.

Braided rope dog toys, which are made out of old t-shirts.

Catnip sachets, made with pieces of fabric, string, catnip, and cotton balls.
These were all very easy to make, and I plan to make more someday. These are for shelter pets, who I was very happy to make these toys for.
I got a hug out of this, from my neighbor's son, when I left to go home (he wasn't even asked or told to do this; he did it of his own accord!). Which was really nice.
I hope we can do this again sometime, as I really enjoyed the day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thirteen Years Since 9/11

it has been thirteen years since the terrorist attacks.

Even though I wasn't directly affected by the attacks (I didn't have any friends or family members in the area when the attacks happened), I was stunned by what had happened.

I remember being in first period World History my sophomore year of high school. A boy in my class had come in late, and said that the first tower had been hit.

I had been running late that morning, so I wasn't able to listen to the news, so I wasn't sure if it was true.

During second period Spanish, my teacher went online to find out whether or not it was true, and when she said it was, I was stunned.

My 4/5 period geometry teacher let us watch the news during the whole class period, and I was horrified by what I saw.

To those who were directly affected by these attacks, I pray that you can see the good in each day, and that there are those who truly care for you, and love you.

You are not alone. There are so many people around the world who stand with you on this day, and every day. Please take comfort in that.

I know it hurts, but try to live every day to the fullest, and know that if you lost a loved one that day, they are in a better place, where nothing can ever hurt them anymore, and that they would want you to keep going.

Of course I wish these attacks NEVER happened, that it shouldn't take a tragedy like this to bring people together, but it just goes to show how strong a nation can be under these kinds of situations.

We will not be brought down, we will not forget, we are a strong nation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finding Vivian Maier

Yesterday, I went with a group of other women. through a Meetup group, to go see Finding Vivian Maier in theaters.

I am major photography nut, so this was a perfect thing to see.

Finding Vivian Maier is about a woman, Vivian Maier, who worked as a nanny, and secretly took over 100,000 photos of everyday life.

Most of her photos were never printed until after her death in 2009. A man had found her film in an auction sale, and decided to make that a project of his.

It was very interesting to hear about Vivian Maier. A man I volunteer with had told me about this film a while ago, but I couldn't remember what the title of the movie was.

When I saw this event on Meetup, I knew I just had to go to it. And I was very happy I did.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Supporting Someone Who is Grieving

In lieu of the death of Robin Williams, I have decided to write a post about some suggestions as to how you can help/support someone who is grieving.

I have been wanting to write about this for a while, but Robin Williams' death has motivated me to actually do the post.

Also, I have gone through my own experiences with grieving, the closest of which was my mom's death.

So, here are some of my suggestions.

  1. Don't force the person to do anything they don't want to do. They are grieving, and may not want to go out, or talk for a while. If you tell them to go out, or do something, while they are still grieving, they may shrink away from you, or the situation.
  2. Do NOT tell the person to "get over it." They never will. This is probably the WORST thing you can say to someone who is grieving. Never, ever say it. EVER.
  3. Do invite them to something, even if you know/think they'll decline. It'll make them feel like you care about them, and that they were being thought of.
  4. Do not force them to talk about what they are going through. But do listen, truly listen, for when/if they do want to talk about it. They just need someone to be there for them.
  5. Don't tell them you know what they are going through. The grieving process is different for each person, so you don't know how they are going through it. You may know what it is like to lose someone, but you do not know their pain.
  6. Give them hugs as often as you can. Hugs seriously help.
  7. Help them with everyday things, like chores, shopping, cleaning, etc. If they are willing to let you take them up/help them with these things. You do not need to force yourself on them, but do let them know you are willing to help out however you can.
  8. Give them some space if necessary. Sometimes it is best to give the person who is grieving some space. They are going through a very tough time, and need to adjust to a new "normal." They may not want to be around people, so don't overstep it.
  9. Call, email, or text them, to let them know you are thinking of them. Getting an encouraging email, call, or text also helps a lot, when going through the grieving process.
That is all that came to mind, but I'm sure there may be other things you can do to help someone who is grieving. I hope this list helps in some way!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

10-Year High School Reunion

I can't believe my ten year high school reunion is coming up next month. How is that even possible?!?!

These past ten years went by so fast. Quite a few things have happened in that time, some good, some bad.

But, I wouldn't change that for anything.

To be honest, I didn't really enjoy high school. I didn't do well in my classes, I was really shy, I didn't do any sports, clubs, or activities. I didn't go to any sporting events.

Although I did go to dances throughout my high school career. They weren't too bad, but not too great either. At least I was with my friends at the dances, though.

There is no venue as of yet, but I really want to go to the reunion, which is on September 27th.

On September 26th, there is going to be a Homecoming football game, which I am planning on going to, hopefully with some friends.

There is also going to be a pre-reunion party for the class of 2004, but there is no set venue for that either.

I am slowly starting to get excited for this reunion. Some of my friends I haven't seen since graduation, and I hope I get to see them next month.

I can't wait for September 26th and 27th to get here!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mourning Robin Williams

It was announced last week, as many of you may have heard, that Robin Williams died from an apparent suicide.

I was extremely shocked to hear that he was dealing with depression, as he seemed so cheerful, happy.

He was one of my favorite actors, as he was very funny, talented, and just an all-around amazing man, and I wish I could have met him.

I think my favorite movie with him in it would have to be Jumanji, although he was great in all the movies he starred in.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and he will be dearly missed.

R.I.P. Robin!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Back to School Time

Well, it's that time again. Getting ready for school.

Last week I went to school to pay for my fall tuition, and to get my school book.

I am taking a class called culinary math, on Monday mornings. Math is my worst subject, and I am not looking forward to taking it. But, it is a required class, so I figured I would get it out of the way as soon as possible.

I skimmed through the book a few times, and I will definitely be needing help with this class. There's a lot of fraction and decimal work, and this form of math truly confuses me.

One of my brothers is very good with numbers, so I will definitely be going to him a lot this coming semester.

So, we'll see how this class goes.

Monday, August 4, 2014

I Still Want to Be a Special Education Teacher

Even after all this time, I still want to be a special education teacher. I tried going for my special education degree in 2005, but I wasn't doing well in my classes, so I switched to a different degree.

Yet, I'm still feeling drawn to special education.

There are a few things stopping me from really going for it again. One is that I am an extremely shy person, and hate talking in front of a group of people.

I really want to get over that, though, as I hate being so shy. It prevents me from doing some things that I really want to do.

Another reason, is that I have a learning disability, and don't do well in classes without a lot of help.

My worst subject is math, so I am not looking forward to that aspect of schooling, both in going for my degree, and in teaching. But, I'll figure out how to work with it.

For awhile, I have been looking at ideas on Pinterest, for teaching stuff. There is a lot of great ideas on there, for teaching. It makes me even more determined to become a special education teacher.

Hopefully, if I do decide to try again, it will work out better than the last time. I don't want to fail again.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New Friendships

When I started volunteering in the library's children's area in May/June, there was a temporary summer reading program librarian who was hired for the summer.

Her name was Dianne (the same name as me, just a slight difference in the spelling), which I thought was kind of funny, but cool.

We instantly hit it off. Our personalities are pretty different. She is outgoing, and I am shy.

Now that summer is just about over, she is leaving on Thursday, as the summer reading program is over.

Last week, she had given me a card and some jewelry she made herself, after I had given her a note saying how much I truly appreciated getting to know and talk to her over the summer.

What's great about that is that she remembered my favorite color, purple, and incorporated it into the jewelry. I absolutely love them (a necklace and a pair of earrings), and was touched that she did that for me.

I am going to miss seeing her at the library, but we had exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, so we can stay in touch. Which I hope we can do for many, many years to come.

Dianne has helped me come out of my shell a little, which is something I wanted to do.

Seeing and talking with her over the summer has made volunteering much more enjoyable this year, and I hope to be able to see her in the future as well.

So, thank you Dianne, for all that you have done. You have no idea the impact you have made on me! You are the best, and I wish you all the best in the future!!

Monday, July 28, 2014



Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Resolutions

I just wrote a post on my Wordpress blog on this. Here is the link to my post.

Monday, July 21, 2014

By Being Yourself


Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun-Filled Weekend

Last weekend, I had gone on vacation with a few friends, as there was a festival going on.

It was so much fun!!

There were a lot of games, food, music, and rides. I checked out some of everything.

One of the games they had was the goldfish ping pong game. In their game, if you got five ping pong balls in bowls, you could get a hermit crab instead of the fish. That's what I decided to do when I played.

Besides going to the festival, I went swimming a few times with my friends, and just hung out a bit.

The day we were going back home, my friends did a Christmas in July celebration. They didn't tell me they were going to do that, so I didn't get anything for them, and I wasn't expecting to get anything myself.

But, I got three different presents, which really surprised me.

I got four different sizes of knitting needles (two sizes of which I already had), some yarn, and a baking book.

I am really into knitting and baking, so I was (and am) very happy with what I got.

The friend that gave me the knitting stuff said that if I wanted to, she could take me to the store to exchange what I didn't want or need for something I did want or need.

I decided to exchange the needle sizes I already had for ones I wanted/needed.

She also got me more yarn, some sewing needles (for sewing in the ends of the yarn for when a project is finished), and a bottle of lavender and vanilla scented lotion.

All in all, I had a wonderful time with my friends!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Words Are Free


Monday, July 7, 2014

Craft Circle With Friends

Earlier this week, I went to a craft circle at a friend's house. Besides my friend and I, one other person was there.

I had a good time, and I'm glad I went.

We decorated and ate cookies, ate pizza, and worked a bit on our individual projects.

With my project, a shawl, I hadn't worked on it in over a year, so I forgot how to do the stitch pattern used for the shawl, but was able to figure it out after a few minutes, which I'm really happy about.

All in all, it was a good day, and I'm glad my friend invited me. I love doing crafts, so this was perfect for me.

Do For One What You Wish You Could Do For Everyone


Monday, June 30, 2014

Your Life Has Purpose


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Motivation Wall/Board

Pinterest has inspired me to make my own motivation/inspiration wall/board. I'm hoping to make one this summer, or the fall by the latest. It's a great idea, as I can see my goals/wishes and be more willing to do the things that I need/want to do.

I created a motivation board on Pinterest for such things, which you can check out here, if you like.

The things I am planning on putting on my wall/board are about exercising more (by taking up yoga, Pilates, and/or Zumba, walking more, bike riding, swimming, and/or other exercises), getting my room cleaned up and walls painted, getting a job, inspirational quotes, and maybe a few other things.

Hopefully friends (and family!) will help me in this process as well, in actually getting my motivational things done. Here's to motivation/inspiration!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Kindness


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Movie Outing

Well, yesterday I decided to go see The Fault in Our Stars.

Oh. My. Gosh.

So sad, so moving, so beautiful. Definitely a tear-jerker of a movie.

If you decide to go see this movie, be prepared to cry quite a bit. Bring some tissue with you.

If you don't know what it is about, it is about two teenagers, a boy and a girl, who have cancer, and are trying to live life to the fullest with the time they have. They travel halfway around the world to have some questions answered, they go through the pain of sickness and of loss.

I haven't read the book before seeing the movie (yeah, yeah, I know we're "supposed to read the book first, but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy, and I really wanted to see the movie), so I was a little unprepared for how it would go.

I may wait awhile before reading the book, though, as I'm still kind of on an emotional high right now.

But I will definitely read it, as I am curious as to how the book differs to the movie.

Movies like this really make me realize what's most important in life: family and friends, love, living every moment to the fullest.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Only Trust Someone Who...


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Movie With a Friend: Maleficent

Friday afternon, I went to see Maleficent with a friend of mine. I had posted a status update, asking if anyone wanted to go see it with me, and she had said she wanted to. So during the week before we saw the movie, we made plans for the movie.

It was awesome!!!!

I would highly recommend it to others to watch.

If you don't know what Maleficent is about, here is a description of it from IMDB:

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well. Written by Walt Disney Pictures

So, go see it in theaters if you can, or check it out from the library/Netflix if you can't.

Monday, June 9, 2014

What Makes You Different Makes You Beautiful


Monday, June 2, 2014

Stand Fully in Your Power


Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Goings-On This Past Week

A few things happened this week, including today.

Last Sunday, I got a new phone, as my old was quit working altogether. I am loving my new phone, an LG Optimus L90. It is a little bigger than my last phone, has more memory, and is pretty cool.

It has a front-facing camera, and a back-facing one, I can finally use Instagram again, which I couldn't get on my last phone.

Monday was Memorial Day, but we didn't do anything special. Just relaxed at home. Which is fine with me (and my family).

Tuesday was my first day volunteering in the children's department at the library. I loved volunteering with them last summer, and wanted to do so again. So when I was asked by the volunteer director if I wanted to do so again over the summer, I jumped at the chance.

I helped decorate the area for the summer reading program (the theme this year is Fizz Boom Bang, a science related theme).

I now volunteer at the library five days a week, Monday Through Friday, 2 hours each day. Mondays and Wednesdays, I clean discs from 12-2 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays I helped out in the children's area, doing whatever they need done from 2-4 pm, and Fridays I deliver library materials to patrons who can't come in to the library for whatever reason, from 9-11 am.

I absolutely love what I am doing, and am so grateful for being given these opportunities. The people are super nice, which makes volunteering all the more enjoyable.

Today, I went to the local Day in Our Village event, that happens every year on the first Sunday in June. There are several booths offering their services, there is food, music, and entertainment for everyone. I had a really good time, even though it was hot and humid out.

Well, that's pretty much it so far. More to come soon!

Monday, May 26, 2014

I'm Human


Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Got a New Phone Today!!!

For about a week or so, I had been having problems charging my previous phone, and then it stopped working altogether the other day.

When I told my dad, he told me he would take me to the phone store this weekend, to get it checked out.

Well, in the end, I had gotten a new phone. It is an LG optimus L90. It's a really nihing is thatce phone, and I know I am going to really like it.

The bad thing is that I lost all my contacts, and my photos. At least I had uploaded most of my photos before this.

I asked my friends and family to send me their info, and have already heard from a few of them.

What I love is that I can use Instagram on this phone, which I couldn't with the previous phone.

So far, I am very happy with my new phone, and now that T-Mobile did away with contracts, I'm not bound to this phone if I don't like it in the end, or need to get a new phone after a while.

I got a puprle phone cover along with the phone (purple is my favorite color!), which is great!

Hopefully, no more issues!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Meetup #6: Journaling Session: Healing and Resolution

I went to my sixth Meetup event this month, at the local library.

It was a writing/journaling event, where we would write about things that happened in our past, and how we felt then/how we feel now.

There were two other people there, besides me, the host and one other participant (both women as well). It went well, and I enjoyed it.

We talked about our fears, bad things that happened in our lives, and failures that we've gone through, and how we dealt with it.

It was nice talking about these things, as I've had a few rough patches in the last few years, and wanted to talk about it. This journaling meetup event was the perfect thing for me. I love writing, so being able to write about what I've gone through, and what I was feeling was perfect. It was a wonderful experience for me.

Meetup #5: Giving Artfully Charity Crafting Night 2

I went to another Giving Artfully Charity Crafting Night this month.

I had a great time being with some really nice people, making things for charity, and enjoying some good snacks.

I made some baby booties, which came out really well. It took me a few tries to get it right, but I got it in the end.

Here are some pictures of the booties I made.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wake Up Every Morning


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Two Years of Volunteering at the Library

It has been two years since I started volunteering at the local library here, and I have really enjoyed it.

I can't believe it's been that long already. Time just flew by.

I volunteer three days a week; Mondays and Wednesdays I clean discs, and Fridays I deliver library materials to homebound patrons, who aren't able to come in for whatever reason (mainly because of a disability or illness).

I have been doing the disc cleaning since August, and the home delivery service since May 2012. I remember starting out both like it was yesterday.

Yesterday was the library's Volunteer Appreciation Reception, which I did go to. It was nice seeing all the people who volunteer, and the trustees/other library employees there.

Here's to many more years of volunteering!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Grades Have Been Posted

The grades for spring semester classes have been posted, and...

I got a B in my Intro to Baking/Pastry class. I am very happy with that!!

The other students in the class made it more enjoyable to be in this class. Although, I am glad the semester is over, as it means I don't have to get up early.

I am not a morning person, so getting up between six and seven a.m. was hard for me. The class started at 8:30 a.m. and it was a five hour class.

But, it was actually kind of fun, as I love hands on classes like this. We made different desserts for the school's cafe and bakery, which were really good.

Plus, people have commented on how they really liked the dessert, which made taking this class worth it.

So, I am very happy with how things are going, in accordance with my degree. I am really enjoying/loving it!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

You Aren't Wealthy Until You Have Something Money Can't Buy


Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Favorite Memories of My Mom

Since today is Mother's Day, and since my mom isn't physically here anymore, I would post a few of my favorite memories I have of my mom.

Going out to eat with just her. We usually went to TGI Friday's, which is my favorite restauarant.

Celebrating her 30th wedding anniversary with the family. We went to Lake Geneva for the celebration. I remember the day before my parents left (us kids were going up later as a surprise for my mom, which my dad planned), my mom and I went out to eat at TGI Friday's, and got to talking about the anniversary. I almost let it slip that us kids were going, but caught myself in time.

Convincing my mom to let me get two dresses that I absolutely loved, while out shopping for prom dresses (I went to prom my senior year of high school, but these dresses were bought during my junior year). One was a strapless dress with a shawl (which I decided to wear to prom), and the other was a strap-y, sleeveless dress, that I wore to a choir concert (I was in the school choir) and another school dance (it was either a morp or one of the other, bigger dances). Both dresses were blue in color.

Early morning talks. About nothing and everything in particular.

Going swimming with her during the summertime.

Going to girl scouting events with her as one of the leaders.

Her chaperoning a school field trip to the Shedd Aquarium, from either Kindergarten or first grade.

Her staying overnight with me in the children's hospital, while doctors ran tests to see if I had epilepsy. This was over twenty years ago, and I still remember it. Not clearly, but it's still a good memory I have of my mom.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day: A Day I Am Not looking Forward To

Mother's Day is on Sunday, and I am not looking forward to it.


Because my mom isn't here with us anymore.

She died in November of 2010. So Mother's Day has been kind of a sad day for my family and I since then.

On Sunday, we are going to the cemetary, to visit my mom's grave, and then order out at Portillo's.

Other than that, we're not doing anything else. At least, nothing special. And to be honest, that is fine with me. I don't really feel like doing much of anything for Mother's Day.

I miss you very much mom, and wish you were still here. Life isn't as enjoyable without you here. I love you!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ignorance About Disabilities

I recently read about a mother who got really angry when someone made a comment about her three-year-old son, who has Down Syndrome, calling him "ugly."

She regularly posts photos of her son on Instagram, which is where the comment was made.

I saw a picture of the boy, and I must say, he is ADORABLE!!

So, I don't see why anyone would call someone ugly, and that they would do that hidden behind an online community name.

Seriously people. The child is NOT ugly. He is a human being, just like you, and doesn't know that he is different.

He is beautiful, smart, awesome...I can just go on, and I don't even know the boy, or his family.

So please, do not made rude comments about people who are different from you, especially people with disabilities.

They just want to be accepted, loved, cared for/about. They cannot change who they are, and would not change for anyone or anything.

Just be kind.

Being a Good Mother


Friday, May 2, 2014

A Gift

For about two years now, I have been volunteering with the local library, delivering materials to those who can't come in to the library for whatever reason (mainly health-related).

I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity, as the patrons on my rout have shown me how much the really appreciate what I do.

The latest one was today, when one of the patrons had done this to the tag on her return bag:

It feels awesome to know that people think of me that way. It makes me feel like I am actually doing some good in the world, spreading a little joy and happiness in peoples' lives, even if just for a little while.

Volunteering is probably the best thing that has happened to me lately. I have met some amazing people I probably would not have met otherwise, who are really nice, caring people, who appreciate what I am doing for them.

All of this is a gift as well. So, to the woman who left this little note, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! It is much appreciated.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Heaven is For Real

Yesterday after school, I went to go see Heaven is for Real at the theater.

The book was really good, so I thought I would see the movie, and how they were able to interpret the story.

Let me just say, it was a great movie!! It made me cry several times, and it showed a realistic view of life, and everything that a family would go through in life.

If you don't know, Heaven is For Real is based on a true story, about a family who went through very hard times, where the father was a pastor and was facing rough times with his church, is in a freak accident playing softball, and then his and his wife's young son, who was four at the time of this event, had to go in for surgery because of a burst appendix.

During the surgery, Colton, the boy, left his body and visited Heaven, although he did not die. It was a very difficult thing for the father to accept and then to explain to others, when Colton described this to him. But he accepted it as true, and truly believed that his son visited Heaven and saw Jesus.

Heaven is For Real was/is a very touching, moving book, and now movie. I highly recommend both.

Monday, April 28, 2014

All Animals Seek Love


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Meetup #4: Lunch at Delia's Kitchen

Today was Meetup #4 for me: brunch at a local restaurant called Delia's Kitchen.

I had never been there before, so I figured I would check it out by going to this Meetup.

Seven other women went to this brunch meetup, and they were all very nice, although much more talkative than I was. But, I enjoyed myself nontheless.

I had Belgian waffles and bacon, and it was very good! I will definitely be going here again.

I am so glad I went, as I have been wanting to go to Delia's Kitchen for ages. I live only a few blocks away, yet I've never been. This meetup event was a very good excuse for me to get out, and to go here.

The next Meetup event I plan on going to is Giving Artfully Charity Crafting Night on May 7th. I enjoyed the craft night last time, and look forward to the next one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Fun

Well, Easter is over now. The day went by fast, although I really enjoyed it.

The day started out with church at 9:30 am. On the way there, I saw a little girl wearing a bunny ears headband. I have one of my own, and love it.

Around 12:30 pm, my dad and I left go drive over to my sister's place, to celebrate with her and her family.

My niece and nephew were both very happy to see us, and to get their Easter baskets. We had an Easter dinner (ham, asparagus, potatoes, and sauerkraut), my niece and nephew had an Easter egg hunt (I was asked to hide the eggs again, which I don't mind doing), we had dessert (French silk pie), and then just relaxed awhile.

During that time, a friend of my niece, and her little sister had come over to play for a while.

The sweetest thing that happened was that the younger sister (who I think was about three years old) kept sitting next to me, even sitting right up close to me a couple times.

That made me feel really good, as it showed me that the girl trusted me enough to want to sit next to me, and to like me. We have never met before, so I was a little surprised by that, but I didn't mind at all. She was such a sweetheart!

Her older sister was also very nice to me, but she was really talkative. That's not a bad thing exactly, but seeing./hearing a six-year-old (I think that's how old she is) talk that much is...interesting. In a good way.

Prior to Easter, I had boiled eggs on Friday, to dye them later. That is one thing I will NEVER get tired of doing. Ever.

Saturday, I dyed the eggs, which came out really well, and made a bunny cake. It wasn't the greatest, but it came out better than expected, which I am happy about.

I had never made a bunny cake before, so I didn't really know what to expect, but it was a neat experience.

I have seen recipes for bunny cakes on several occasions, and have been wanting to make one for a while, and I finally got the chance to make it for the weekend.

Here are some pictures of the fun.

French Silk Pie...Yummy!!

                                                 The garage of the LEGO Simpsons House

The LEGO Simpson House, in progress

In progress

The Easter Bunny cake I made for Easter

Happy Easter!! These are magnetic color cubes that I got for my birthday, from a neighbor family.

Dyeing eggs for Easter

I had to change to these cups, as the other ones didn't work as well.

Hard-boiling the eggs so I can dye them for Easter.

All the eggs are dyed!
I hope everyone who celebrates it, had a wonderful Easter!