Friday, April 28, 2017

All Are Welcome Here

While out volunteering recently, I noticed that quite a few homes had lawn signs out, saying "All Are Welcome Here." Both sides had colorful backgrounds, with one side having that saying, and the other having a picture of the United States.

I wondered where they got them from, so I Googled it, and found a website you can order them from (if you want to check it out, the information is HERE).

With everything that has been going on lately, it's sad to see that we have to resort to things like this, where we don't know if someone is going to be accepting or not, kind or not, human or not.

But, it's nice to know that there are still people who care about others, no matter who they are. I hope to be able to get signs like this one soon, to show my support for others. That I care.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

30 Ways to Focus on Self-Care

I recently saw this article on Pinterest, and thought I would share it.

The 30 ways to focus on self-care are these:
  1. Read a new book
  2. Diffuse essential oils
  3. Take a walk
  4. Take an epsom salt bath
  5. Light a candle
  6. Make a homemade body care item
  7. Write in a journal
  8. Practice yoga
  9. Listen to your favorite music item
  10. Drink a green smoothie
  11. Make and apply a face mask
  12. Go to bed early
  13. Make a homemade meal
  14. Organize your closet
  15. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee
  16. Doodle or color in a coloring book
  17. Walk somewhere new
  18. Cozy up in a blanket
  19. Buy yourself flowers
  20. Listen to your favorite podcast
  21. Take pictures in nature
  22. Turn your phone off for a few hours
  23. Declutter your workspace
  24. Go through a stretching routine
  25. Give yourself a manicure
  26. Scroll through Pinterest
  27. Try a new way to break a sweat
  28. Lay in the sunshine
  29. Have a solo dance party
  30. Pray
It doesn't hurt to put yourself first on occasion, and taking care of yourself. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of, or help, others. Be kind to yourself; you deserve it!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Recipe: Eggless Cookie Dough

Yes, I am posting another recipe. The first time I tried this, I instantly fell in love with it. It is SOOOOO GOOD!!!!

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix everything together, and enjoy!

So easy, so simple, yet so very good. If you try it out, let me know how you like it!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What is Operation Christmas Child?

A few years ago, I happened to pass by a local church that had a sign up, saying that they were a collection site for Operation Christmas Child. I went online to see what that was all about, and absolutely loved the idea of what they do.

So, what is Operaion Christmas Child?

Basically, it is a Christian organization, where people can pack shoeboxes with items for children, who may not otherwise get anything, for Christmas.

Items like school supplies, toys, clothes, and more.

I was able to pack and send two boxes (one for a boy, and one for a girl) a couple years ago, but haven't been able to do it since, because I had limited money. Now that I have a job, I hope to be able to pack and send many more in the future.

You can pack and send boxes at any time during the year, but there is an annual collection week in November every year, and you can check online to see where the nearest collection spot is.

This is a great organization, and an amazing thing you can do for those in need. If you are able, and would like to do something for those who aren't as fortunate as you, please try and pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. You will feel great about helping others in need, and many times, those who receive a box go on to become successful, and they in turn help others.

Do good for others, and good will come to you!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Recipe: Top Ramen Salad

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes!!! The first time I tried it was probably about 7 or 8 years ago, when my sister made it for a birthday celebration she was having for one of her children.

For the salad:
2 (3 oz) packages chicken flavored ramen noodles, broken into pieces, seasoning packets reserved
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 (16 oz.) package coleslaw mix
3 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, and almonds onto a baking sheet.
  2. Bake noodles, sunflower seeds, and almonds in the preheated oven until fragrant and toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine coleslaw mix and green onions in a large bowl. Pour cooled noodle mixture over the top.
  4. Whisk olive oil, reserved ramen seasoning packets, vinegar, sugar, and black pepper together in a bowl until dressing is smooth. Pour dressing over coleslaw and toss to coat.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Joni and Friends Family Retreats

A few years ago, I heard about Joni and Friends Retreats (you can find more information HERE, if you are interested to learn about the organization) through a friend, and, when I learned about what it is, have been wanting to volunteer at a retreat ever since.

These retreats give those with disabilities five days of fun, faith, and friends, and can help them escape from the stresses of life for a while.

Giving them a space to have fun, to be themselves, to forget their troubles for a while, to make new friends...sounds like something I would love to be a part of

I have been wanting to go very much, but I couldn't go because of money issues. Hopefully next year I will be able to go on a retreat. They sound like soooo much fun!!!

The closest one to much, which I would love to go to, is in Michigan. But, these retreats are kind of expensive ($300 plus, on up to over $1,000 for some of them), so I have to wait to go (which stinks; I so want to go on one!!!). But, I think with what these retreats offer, it is worth the money, and the wait.

I am a very shy person, and I would love to be more outgoing, so something like these retreats would definitely help me with that, while I get to be a part of something much greater than me.

That is what makes life worth living. Helping people out. People who will in turn help others, and so on.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

My To Be Read List

I absolutely love to read, although I haven't done much reading lately, with work, school, and volunteering.

Here is my list of books I would like to read:

  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle PaigeOr
  • The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
  • Yellow Brick War by Daniell Paige
  • The End of Oz by Danielle Paige
  • Voice of Gods by Eleanor Herman
  • Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
  • Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman
  • Queen of Ashes by Eleanor Herman
  • Reign of Serpents by Eleanor Herman
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
  • Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
  • Firstlife by Gena Showalter
  • Lifeblood by Gena Showalter
  • Shibumi by Travanian
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
  • Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
  • Lamb by Christopher Moore
  • The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
  • Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
  • Second Life by S.J. Watson
  • See Jane Run by Joy Fielding
  • Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • Dying to Be Me: My Journey From Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  • Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
  • Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcsen
  • The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
  • The Shack by William P. Young
  • Boosypants by Tina Fey
  • Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Christine by Stephen King
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • The Second Sex by Simone Beauvoir
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  • Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  • The World According to Garp by John Irving
  • A Visit from the Good Squad
  • Look at Me by Jennifer Egan
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges
  • #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
  • The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World by Michaela Chung
  • Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  • It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken by Greg Behrendt, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
  • Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • It's Not Like a Secret by Miss Sugiura
  • Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco
  • A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl
  • The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lillian Rivera
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  • The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
  • After the Fall by Kate Hart
  • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • Love Yourself: A 10 Step Guide to Becoming the Best Version of Yourself by Alyse from Raw Alignment 
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • We Can Be Mended by Veronica Roth
  • Black Moon by Romina Russell
  • Zodiac by Romina Russell
  • Lost in London by The City Works
  • Creative Cat by David Sinden
  • Pies, Fries, and Ice Cream
  • The Gender Game by Bella Forrest
  • The Gender Secret by Bella Forrest
  • It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort
  • Who Says You Can't? You Do by Daniel Chidiac
  • Dare to Be Kind by Lizzie Velazquez 
  • Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
  • Inhuman by Kat Falls
  • The Rose Diaries: The Weaving of The Fates by Natalia La Fey
There are more books I'm sure I would like to read, but this is a long enough list for this post!! I don't want it to go on for ages.

What is on your To Be Read (TBR) list?

Friday, April 21, 2017

10 Steps to Self-Esteem

I saw this on B You Magazine's Instagram account and loved it. I don't have very much self-esteem, so this helps (yes, I know the magazine is geared towards girls quite a bit younger than me, but this is a really good magazine, and can be for pretty much anyone!).

The ten steps are:
  1. Know yourself.
  2. Understand what makes you feel great.
  3. Recognize things that get you down.
  4. Set goals to achieve what you want.
  5. Develop trusting friendships that make you feel good.
  6. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  7. Stand up for your beliefs & values.
  8. Help someone else.
  9. Take responsibility for your own actions.
  10. Take good care of yourself.
These are really good steps, and I would be very willing to work on these. I never really had all that much self-esteem growing up, and I really want to work on that.

I want to be the vest version of myself, that I can be, so any help/tips are always welcome.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Favorite Songs

I have always loved music, so I figured I would share my favorite songs.
  • You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban
  • The Prayer
  • Because We Believe by Andrea Bocelli
  • Go Where Love Goes by Andrea Bocelli
  • When a Child is Born by Andrea Bocelli
  • Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks
  • Everything by Michael Buble
  • Mary, Did You Know
  • Hundred More Years by Francesca Battistelli
  • Free to Be Me by Francesca Battistelli
  • Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
  • When You Believe (from the movie The Prince of Egypt) by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
  • Through Heaven's Eyes (from The Prince of Egypt) by Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
  • Single by Natasha Bedingfield
  • God Bless Us Everyone by Andrea Bocelli
  • I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
  • Ho Hey by The Lumineers
As you can see, the songs are from several different musical artists and genres.

These are my favorite so far, but once I hear more songs, I will definitely add more to this list.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Monthly Goals

For a while now, I have been thinking about what I want my monthly goals to be.

Here is what I came up with so far:
  • Save most of money from my paychecks (this one is going well so far!!)
  • Exercise 4-5 days a week (yoga, walking, cardio, bike riding, etc.)
  • Try incorporating healthier meals each day
  • Put things away when I am not using them
  • Contact my friends one to two times a week (call, text, email, etc.)
  • Donate/get rid of 5 things I don't need/want anymore
  • Drink more/enough water each day
  • Spend one hour a day, at most, online
  • Spend 1 hour, at least, outside
  • Spend, at most, 1 hour by myself to recharge, a day
  • Read three chapters of a book a day
What are your monthly goals? How are they going so far?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Learning How to Play the Ukulele

I recently got a ukulele, and am now teaching myself how to play it.

I have always loved string instruments, and I actually played the violin for a couple years in elementary school, as well as taking a beginning guitar class in high school (I still have the violin and guitar, though the violin is too small for me now, and I haven't touched the guitar since I took the class).

For a little while now, I had been interested in learning to play the ukulele, but since I didn't have the money for an instrument or lessons, I couldn't really do anything about it. Now that I have both (I got a job in February), I can now learn to play on my own time.

My ukulele, and the accessories it came with.
My work (a library) has a couple ukuleles for people to check out, and they can learn how to play. That is what got me interested in getting my own ukulele, and learning to play.
I am really looking forward to getting good at playing, and getting comfortable playing in front of others. It was one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind, and it is fun to do!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Health Goals

Now that I have my fitness goals down, here are my health goals.
  • Stay well hydrated every day
  • Start, and keep up, a regular essential oils routine
  • Eat half as much junk/unhealthy foods
  • Eat twice as much healthy(ier) foods
  • Learn how to cook, and try out, one new recipe a week
  • Get down to a healthy weight, and maintain it
  • Get clear, healthy skin, and keep up a skincare routine that works for me
  • Find out a haircare routine that works for me, that will get my hair in a better condition
  • Go to bed between 11 pm and midnight each night
  • Wake up (and get up) by 9 am each morning (7 am on Fridays)
  • Meditate on a regular basis
  • Do yoga each night to help me fall asleep
  • Clean my bedroom up for a healthier sleeping environment
  • Spend 30 minutes to 1 hour alone each day, to recharge
  • Spend 30 minutes to 1 hour in a park
  • Read 30 minutes a day
  • Journal at least twice a week 
  • Try drinking tea for 30 days 
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter 
I will most likely add more to this list at some point, but this is what I have now. What are your health goals?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Fitness Goals

For a very long time now, I have been wanting to get into better shape. I have been thinking about what I want to do, to help me with that, and this is what I have decided on.
  • Find out/know my limits when I first start out
  • Lose around 40 pounds with regular exercise and diet
  • To try a running routine for 30 days
  • To take up yoga 3 to 4 times a week
  • Walk for 30 minutes 4 days a week
  • Bike at least once a week, for up to 30 minutes
  • Work up to being able to do up to 50 pushups at once
  • Work up to being able to do a one minute plank
  • Jump rope at least once a week for 10-20 minutes each time
  • Work up to being able to do 25 sit-ups at once
  • Rollerblade once a week
  • Swim once or twice a month
I won't do all of these at once, but I think this is a good start for me at this time. I just need to find the motivation to actually get started, and to keep, a fitness routine, as I just can't bring myself to actually start/have a regular routine.

Hopefully I can start soon, as I really want to be healthier.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

15 of My Favorite Feelings

I saw a YouTuber post a video recently, on her favorite feelings. At first I thought it was kind of an unusual thing to post about, but once I watched the video, I liked the idea of it.

Here are 15 of my favorite feelings:
  1. The warmth of the sun
  2. An unexpected, but altogether welcome, compliment
  3. Doing better than I thought I would on something I was very nervous about
  4. Something I made being enjoyed by others
  5. A comfy, warm bed during on cold nights
  6. A warm drink on a cold day/night
  7. A cool drink on a warm/hot day/night
  8. A good laugh
  9. Hearing my favorite songs/music
  10. Visiting new places, and seeing new things
  11. FInding out I can do something I thought I couldn't do
  12. Seeing and talking to friends I haven't seen/talked to in a while
  13. Spending time with animals
  14. When someone tells me they were thinking of me, and wondering how I was doing
  15. Enjoying a day/night out with friends, family
What would be on your list of 15 favorite feelings?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Poem: Not by Erin Hanson

I saw a post of this on Facebook, and loved it. I figured it would share it on here as well.
You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the color of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
you are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You're the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you've cried,
You're the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you're all alone,
You're the places that you've been to,
And the one that you call home,
You're the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You're the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You're made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you're not.
Remember, everyone, including you, is beautiful in their own right, now matter what their name is, how they look, who they are. More people need to see their beauty, and their worth. No one should be made to feel like they don't matter. Like they aren't beautiful. Like they aren't worthy.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

3 Things I'd Like to Try Before Year's End

There are many things I would like to do/try this year, but I have decided to focus on three at this time (or, at least, I would like to focus on these).
  1. Learn how to play the ukulele.
    For a little while now, I have been wanting to play the ukulele. A co-worker of mine goes to a ukulele group thing on Thursday evenings at a local restaurant, playing songs on the ukulele. I have always loved music and instruments, especially stringed instruments. So, hopefully, I can go to these ukulele meet-ups on Thursdays, once I get decent enough.
  2. Learn how to sew.
    For a long time, I have been wanting to learn how to sew, but never got the opportunity to.really learn how to. I want to be able to know how to fix/patch up clothes if I need to, and to be able to make my own clothes and other items. My mom was able to make my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding, and my sister has made several different items, that are very impressive. It makes me want to learn for myself, so I hope to be able to do that sometime this year.
  3. Write a book (or at least start one).
    I love to write, and have had the idea of writing a book for quite some time now. I just haven't had any inspiration for a story yet. I really want to have at least one published book in my life, and to have people enjoy it.
What are three things you would like to try this year?

I know this was only supposed to be three things, but I just thought of one more thing I would like to try this year, which is:
  • Running/jogging
    Normally, I hate to run, but I've seen and heard about how many people love the benefits of running. So, I have been thinking about trying a running/jogging routine at some point this year. I am trying to get myself into better shape, so I am willing to try running, at least for a little while.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Tough Time in My Life

Everybody goes through a tough time in their life, at some point. I have definitely gone through my share of mine.

The toughest time in my life was the last 5 or so weeks of my mom's life, her death, and about 6 or so months after her death.

It was really, really hard to see her so sick, and not able to really do anything. A few weeks after she first went into the hospital, she actually started to slowly improve, so we though we were going to be able to take her home at some point.

That was not to be, though. A week or so later, she took a turn for the worst, and just went downhill from there.

I hated seeing here like that; so sick, and not being able to take care of herself.

When we knew she was going to die, I went to the hospital's chapel, because I was so overwhelmed with the whole thing. We had spend so much time at the hospital with my mom, and it was taking a toll on me. On all of us.

For at least six months or so, after my mom died, I cried at night, and knowing my mom wasn't physically there to comfort me made it worse. I took some time off of school, so I could

Surprisingly, after almost a year, I was ready to go back to school, but I had to wait about a year and a half to go back, for financial reasons.

I had several dreams about her, almost all of them good, making me wish I could tell my mom about these dreams. Now, I seldom get dreams about my mom, which I miss.

These days, I am doing much better. I am still in school, I now have a job, and I am volunteering. I just wish my mom was around to witness these things. But, I know she would be proud of all that I have accomplished so far.

I miss and love you very much, mom!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My 5 Year Plan

I have been thinking about where I want to be in my life, in the next five years. There are a lot of things I would like to do, and I am trying to get at least some of those done as soon as I can.

So, here is my five year plan:
  • To finish my baking degree
  • To get/start my photography degree
  • To get my bedroom cleaned up and redecorated
  • To move out of my parents' house
  • Have a regular exercise routine
  • Have a healthier/better eating habit
  • To be in a healthy, loving relationship
  • Learn Spanish fluently
  • To at least start writing a book
  • To become a little more outgoing
  • Learn to play the ukulele
  • Re-learn how to play the violin
  • Learn Italian fluently (or at least semi-fluently)
  • Learn sign language (ASL) fluently (or at least semi-fluently)
  • Get my vision re-checked
  • Save up for, and buy, a good DSLR camera
  • Adopt a dog
  • Become proficient in cake decorating
  • Learn how to apply makeup
  • Learn how to sew
  • Learn to love myself (yes, I really want to do this)

Monday, April 10, 2017

100 Things To Do When You Are Bored

If you are bored, and can't think of anything to do, here is a list of 100 ideas, of things to do when you are bored.
  1. Play a board or card game
  2. Visit a museum
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Go for a bike ride
  5. Doodle/draw/paint
  6. Take a long, warm bath
  7. Bake a cake
  8. Bake cookies
  9. Bake brownies
  10. Cook something
  11. Learn a new language
  12. Be a tourist in your own city/town
  13. Fly a kite
  14. Write a story
  15. Garden
  16. Play with your pet(s)
  17. Have a movie day/night
  18. Have a spa day
  19. Practice yoga
  20. Read a book
  21. Call a friend or family member you haven't seen/talked to in a while
  22. Go to a local concert/festival
  23. Visit the local Farmer's Market
  24. Go on a picnic at the local park (or in the living room if it's too bad outside)
  25. Make a collage
  26. Make a vision board
  27. Go bowling
  28. Visit a theme park
  29. Go garage-saling
  30. Go to a thrift store
  31. Learn how to play an instrument
  32. Make melted crayon art
  33. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  34. Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  35. Volunteer at a local library
  36. Volunteer at a hospital
  37. Find other local places to volunteer at
  38. Put a puzzle together
  39. Color in a coloring book
  40. Redecorate your bedroom
  41. Do a crossword puzzle
  42. Have a movie marathon
  43. Write poetry
  44. Write a story
  45. Write a letter to your past or future self
  46. Draw with sidewalk chalk (you are never too old for this!!)
  47. Go roller blading
  48. Binge watch a TV series
  49. Write/create your own song(s)
  50. Make a bucket list
  51. Check out a new-to-you restaurant
  52. Learn how to sew
  53. Bake a loaf of homemade bread
  54. Learn how to juggle
  55. Make a 101 in 1,00l Days list, and try to complete as many of those things as possible
  56. Play a sport
  57. Donate any items you don't need or want anymore (that are in good condition)
  58. Meditate
  59. If you don't know how already, learn how to apply makeup
  60. Try a new hairstyle
  61. Spend the day at a library, and check out things that interest you
  62. Learn how to tie a tie
  63. Sign up for a class at your local community center
  64. Stage a photo shoot
  65. Join a MeetUp group (
  66. Make and give gifts to friends, family
  67. Go on a picnic
  68. Learn about bullet journaling and try it out
  69. Try a different hair color
  70. Visit a new city
  71. Put your physical pictures in frames, scrapbooks, or albums
  72. Do a random act of kindness for someone
  73. Try out a science experiment
  74. Look at the stars, and try and find a constellation
  75. Build a blanket/pillow fort
  76. Visit a zoo
  77. If you have a dog, walk your dog
  78. Watch a sunrise
  79. Watch a sunset
  80. Try skateboarding
  81. Tie dye clothing
  82. Visit an aquarium
  83. Visit a science museum
  84. Try origami
  85. Try archery
  86. Attend a cooking class
  87. Make a homemade pizza
  88. Learn finger knitting (look it up; it really is a thing!!)
  89. If you have kids, go on a daddy/daughter, mother/son, daddy/son, mother/daughter date(s)
  90. See a play
  91. Have a water gun fight
  92. Have a water balloon fight
  93. Make a smoothie
  94. Decorate a pair of white shoes
  95. Learn self defense
  96. Dance to your favorite music/song(s)
  97. Host a barbecue
  98. Go mini golfing
  99. Host a game night with friends
  100. Make homemade lemonade

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Things That Make Me Happy

There are lots of things that make me happy, and I figured I would share what those are.

  • Books
  • Journaling/writing/blogging
  • Baking
  • Feel-good movies
  • Warm weather
  • Rain on a warm day
  • Hugs from loved ones
  • My favorite music
  • Taking pictures
  • My favorite foods
  • Relaxing out on the front porch, or in the yard, on a warm, sunny day
  • Playing the violin
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Bike riding
  • Pets (playing with them, cuddling with them, petting them, etc.)
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • A very comfy bed
  • Cheesecake (I LOVE cheesecake!!!)
  • The sound of rain (and the smell after a rain)
  • Butterflies
  • Hot chocolate during cold weather days
  • Ice cream on a warm/hot day
  • A good laugh
  • Having people to love
  • Making awesome memories with family and friends
  • Making s'mores
  • Going swimming on a hot day
  • Learning something new
  • Being able to buy things that I want and need, with my own money
  • Making lists (yes, making lists makes me happy!!)
  • Taking an accidental pictures that turns out really good
  • Going somewhere new, and having a good time
  • Being warm on a cool/cold day/night
  • Being cool on a warm/hot day/night
  • Eggless chocolate chip cookie dough (seriously, this stuff is SOOOO good!!!)
  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Being in nature
  • Being alive
  • Being me
  • And many, many more!!
What makes you happy?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

3 Wishes

I have been thinking about all the things I would like to do in my lifetime, and these are the three that I would most like to happen (although I know the first won't happen in this lifetime).
  1. To get to see and talk to my mom again.
    My mom died in 2010, and it was very hard on me. We didn't have the best of relationships, but I did love her very much, and hated seeing her so sick, and in the hospital, the last 5 weeks of her life. I did get to say goodbye to her, but I did not want to let her go. I really want to be able to be with her again, one more time.
  2. To have a job/career that I will love, and not really feel like 'work.'
    I have a few passions: writing, baking, and photography. I am currently going for my baking degree, and hope to get more degrees in all three friends in the future.
  3. To travel the world.
    I have never been outside of the U.S. before, and would really love to travel all around, outside as well as in the U.S. There is a lot that the world has to offer, and I want to see and experience as much of it as I can, while I can.
There is much, much, MUCH more that I would love to be able to do, but these are my top three. I hope to be able to enjoy more things in my life, and to have the best life I can possibly make for myself.

Even though this is a three wishes post, I have decided to add one more, because it's something that I really, really, really want:
  • To get married, and start a family of my own.
    I want to get married to someone who loves me for all of me, who won't hurt or try to change me, and who I love very much, who I will love for who he is. I would also love to have children, either biologically, or through adoption.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Enough

I am linking up with Kate Motaung, for this week's Five Minute Friday.

This week's FMF is: Enough

You are enough
You are beautiful enough
You are smart enough
You are loved enough
You are worthy enough
You are talented enough
Is it really so hard to see your worth?
Your beauty?
Your strengths?
Is it so hard to see the worth,
the beauty,
the strength in others?
Everyone has a right
to be who they are,
and does not need to change
for anyone or anything.
Their life, as well as your own,
is worth it,
is enough.
You are more than what other people think of you.
You are the way you are for a reason,
and nothing can change that.
You have always been enough,
and will always be enough.
You do not have to be perfect,
to be enough.
No material possession
determines your worth.
You are worthy of this life,
and this life is worth it.

My Fears

Everyone has fears, even if they don't want to admit it.

I have three big fiears:
  • Death (my biggest fear)
  • Heights, and
  • Spiders
I know, spiders aren't the worst thing to be afraid of, but they creep me out. I won't scream, or freak out if I see one, but I will NOT hold one.

Heights, I have been afraid of pretty much forever. When I went to Montana with my family for a wedding, we had driven partway up a mountain, and had got out to check out the view. I was seriously scared being up that high.

Death, I never seriously thought about, until my maternal grandpa died in 1999. Seeing him like that in the casket, really scared me, and I have been very afraid of death since then.

I am starting to come to terms with death, and accepting it as a part of life, but I will probably always have some fear of it.

Another 'fear' of mine is not finding someone to spend the rest of my life with, and having a family with. I really want to be a wife and a mother, and as I get older, it doesn't seem like it will be happening anytime soon. I'm not in too much of a hurry, but I would really like to be in a loving relationship at some point.

I am also afraid of public speaking, of speaking in front of people. I definitely do NOT like being the center of attention, of being in the spotlight. I always think of what others may say, think, or do when I speak, and I always get stage fright when I have to speak.

I do try to calm myself, and try not too think too much into it, but it doesn't really help. I always get scared, and my mind goes blank when I get up in front of people. I do want to work on this, and become more comfortable in speaking, but it may take a while for that to happen.

These fears are not preventing me, for the most part, of living my life. I still do things that I enjoy, and try not to worry too much about what may happen. I don't want to miss out on life, and want to enjoy it to the fullest.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

10 Things I Cannot Live Without

If I had to choose ten things I couldn't live without they would be:
  1. Books
    I love to read, because I can get lost in a book, and travel to different places, without having to go very far. It helps me to de-stress, which is awesome.
  2. Music
    Music also helps me to de-stress, and I can get lost in it as well.
  3. Notebooks and pens
    I also love to write. As I am a very shy person, writing helps me to better get my point across, and I can be creative in what I want to say.
  4. Blogging
    I know blogging is basically writing, but I had to include it here.
  5. Baking supplies
    I absolutely LOVE to bake, and am almost finished with my baking degree.
  6. Digital/DSLR cameras
    Yet another passion of mine. I am always on the lookout for photo opportunities, and many things catch my eye.
  7. Puzzles
    This is another thing that helps me to de-stress after a long day/week.
  8. Blankets
    I love blankets, and I am one of those people that prefer to be covered when I sleep. I don't know why.
  9. Knitting and crocheting supplies
    Another de-stresser. I love making things, and I always look forward to the finished product.
  10. Chocolate
    Obviously!! I LOVE chocolate, and can't see myself being able to live without it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Movies I Would Like to See

Because I am busy with work, school, homework, and volunteering, I don't feel up to doing much sometimes, but when I do feel like doing something, it's just to watch a movie, or go on the internet.

Here are the movies I would like to see:

  • Logan
  • Power Rangers
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • La La Land
  • The Shack
  • The Great Wall
  • Rock Dog
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village
  • The Girl on the Train
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Cars 3
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Boss Baby
  • Born in China
  • The Case for Christ
  • Sing
  • Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
  • Fences
  • Jackie
  • Moonlight
  • A Monster Calls
  • Storks
  • Free State of Jones
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
  • The Huntsman: Winter's War
  • The Boss
  • Miracles From Heaven
  • The Fountain
  • Risen
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  • American Sniper
  • Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
  • Spectre
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Lady in the Van
  • A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velazquez Story
  • He Named Me Malala
  • The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
What is on your list of movies to watch?

There will definitely be other movies I would like to see, but this is it so far.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Death and Life

We don't get to choose our time. Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered. Your time is short.
That is a line from the movie Doctor Strange, said by the character The Ancient One.

And it is definitely true. We do not get to decide our time. We do not get to live forever, no matter how hard we try.

The first death I experienced (and that I remember) was my maternal grandpa's death in 1999 (I was 13 then). It really scared me, and made me start thinking about my own life. It made me very, very afraid of death.

I know that we can't live forever, and I am trying to come to terms with my own mortality. I am partway there, in accepting it, and I want to make the most of this life while I can.

At this point in my life, I am afraid that after I die, that that is it. That I won't exist anymore.

I know some people don't believe in God, and heaven, and all that. I respect their reasonings, but I myself am not so against the idea of there being something more than this life, more than this world.

I don't think I am afraid of death itself, just that it causes so much pain and suffering, and that I have no absolute proof that I will not stop 'existing' after death. That my sould would be in a better place.

People have told me, as well as me reading, that if you have a dream about someone who has died, that means they are telling you that they are ok, and not to worry or to be sad. I have had several dreams about my mom after she died, all but one being a good dream. It made me feel good, because she was doing good in the dreams, but sad as well, because my mom wasn't alive anymore for me to tell her about the dreams.

I don't constantly think about life and death, about mortality, and all that, but every once in a while, something will remind me of it, and make me think about the future, and what it holds.

Hopefully, at some point in my life, I will be fully accepting of death, including my own. I don't want to be so afraid of death, and what it brings, that I forget to live a full, meaningful life now. I don't want to miss out on all that life has to offer.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Benefits of Volunteering

For almost five years now, I have been volunteering at my local library, delivering library materials to those who can't make it to the library (due to disability, illness, etc.). It was one of the best things I decided to do, during what was, at that time, the worst time in my life.

I was going through a very tough time, and after a while, needed something to occupy my mind. Originally, I had wanted to volunteer in the children's area at the library, but when the library held a new volunteer meeting, they suggested I do the home delivery program (I did get to volunteer in the children's area after starting that, though).

I wasn't sure I really wanted to do the home delivery program, as I didn't have a license, but they said that was fine. There were (and are) three other people who are the main delivery people for the library.

After almost five years, I am so thankful that I did get to do the home delivery program. I met some really nice people, it brought me out of my shell a little (I am normally a very introverted and shy person), and I am doing something that I really enjoy.

On many occasions, some of the people I deliver materials to have said that they really appreciate what I (and the others) do for them, which makes me feel really good.

By volunteering your time, you get to help other people (and animals), and you get a rewarding feeling of your work, a sense of purpose and belonging. Volunteering may be free, but what you get in return far outweighs money. Your service definitely does not go unnoticed.

Volunteering actually helps raise your mood, you get to do what you love, you meet some amazing people, and you are doing some amazing work for your community. It really is one of the best things you can do!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

My Favorites of Spring

It is finally spring, so I thought I would post my favorite things about spring.

  1. Flowers and trees blooming
  2. The weather getting warmer/nicer
  3. The Farmer's Market starting up again
  4. Not having wear winter clothing
  5. A light breeze blowing
  6. All the different colors coming out in nature
  7. Going on walks
  8. Relaxing out on the front porch
  9. Relaxing in the yard
  10. Finally being able to start a garden
  11. Being able to ride my bike again
  12. Fresh fruits and veggies (that are in season)
  13. Days staying lighter longer
  14. Dying eggs for Easter (and Easter itself)
  15. Being able to open windows during the day (and night) when the weather is warm
  16. Pasta salad
  17. Picnics
  18. Exercising outside
  19. Seeing butterflies
  20. S'mores
  21. The all-around beauty that is spring

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I Am Finally a Working Girl (Again)!!!

I recently started working at my local library, as a shelving aide. Basically, I sort the materials that have been returned, shelve materials that are checked in, and pull materials that are on hold for patrons.

The library is within walking distance, which is really nice. I work three days a week, for about 15 hours each week.

One of the children's librarians, who I am friends with, had been suggesting I apply at the library, and would remind me about handing in an application. I had finally handed one in, around mid-January, but wasn't really expecting to hear anything about it, as I didn't hear anything the other times I applied.

But, I was very shocked when I was asked to come in for an interview, and even more shocked when I got a call saying that I got the job. The day I got the call saying I was hired, I was pretty much on cloud nine, I was so happy!!!

While working in the children's area one day, a little boy waved at me while I was shelving books. It made me feel good knowing kids (at least, some kids) were comfortable enough to interact with the staff. He was such a sweetheart!!

I have been volunteering there for almost 5 years now, so I am pretty familiar with some of the goings on at the library. I still get to volunteer, with the homebound delivery program, which is nice. I didn't want to give it up.

Since my mom worked at the library for a long time, I already knew a lot of the staff there, before I started working, which has greatly helped me with my job.

Hopefully this job lasts a lot longer than my last one (which it seems like it will), and that I will be happy with it (I am very happy with it so far!!).

It feels really good to be able to work again, especially at a place I love going to. The people are nice, the hours are good (and the pay!!). I'm just very happy right now!!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Since this week is spring break for me, I decided to go see Beauty and the Beast at my local movie theater yesterday.

I didn't really know what to think before the movie started, but I wanted to keep an open mind about the movie, and wait until the end to form an opinion on it. I must say, though, that I am very impressed with the movie. It exceeded my expectations.

The costumes, the set, the acting, the music, the all was very superbly done!!

I absolutely loved Belle's yellow dress, and how they made up Beast to look. And the ending. That was beautifully done!! I especially loved how Belle stood up for herself when Gaston was trying to get her attention, and her hand in marriage, as well as when she was with the Beast.

I would definitely watch this movie again, and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about seeing it.

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Spring Bucket List

Now that I have a job, I am more inclined to want to do more fun things, that I am able to pay for myself. Here is my spring bucket list.

  • Get my driving permit
  • Practice driving
  • Get bedroom cleaned up
  • Buy a violin
  • Buy a ukulele
  • Buy a laptop
  • Bike at least once a week
  • Go to the Farmer's Market
  • Fill a sketchbook
  • Start a garden
  • Dye Easter eggs
  • Go bowling
  • Try jogging
  • Donate unwanted items
  • Host a game night
  • Bake something once a week
  • Take nature photography walks
  • Make and eat a homemade pizza
  • Try a new recipe each week
  • Go on a picnic
  • Buy new clothes
  • Redecorate bedroom
  • Practice cake decorating skills
  • Knit or crochet a sweater for my dad
  • Eat out at least one new-to-me restaurant
  • Visit the local Hemingway Birthplace
  • Paint something on canvas
  • Put puzzles together
  • Bake at least one loaf of bread
  • Start an essential oils routine
  • Buy exercise clothes
  • Start a regular exercise routine
  • Re-learn Spanish
  • Learn ASL
  • Make a vision board
  • Learn Italian
  • Learn how to take better pictures
  • Make flowerr crowns
  • Eat from local ice cream shops
  • Publish at least one video on YouTube
  • Learn how to sew
  • Make and fly a kite
  • Host a potluck
  • Visit a free museum
  • Try eating healthier more regularly
  • Become certified in First Aid/CPR
  • Try drinking tea on a regular basis
  • Take up meditation
  • Take up yoga
  • Learn how to apply makeup
I may add more to this list in the future, but this is all I can think of so far. What is on your spring bucket list?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Life Bucket List, Continued

More places I would like to go, things I would like to do, and more.

The Chocolate Bar in Houston, Texas
Serenbe, Georgia
Canton, Mississippi
Milton, Delaware
Boone, North Carolina
Abilene, Kansas
Creede, Colorado
War Eagle, Arkansas
Shipshewana, Indiana
Guildford, Connecticut
Capitola, California
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Davis, Oklahoma
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Berlin, Maryland
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Sitka, Alaska
Hood River, Oregon
Paia, Hawaii
Damascus, Virginia
Shelburne, Vermont
Frederick, Maryland
Grand Haven, Michigan
Cedar Key, Florida
Marietta, Ohio
Healdsburg, California
Franklin, Tennessee
Keene, New Hampshire
Corning, New York
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Pella, Iowa
Galena, Illinois
Archery Tag (saw this on Pinterest)
Get a tattoo that means something to me
See The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker in person
Bar Harbor, Maine
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Lindsborg, Kansas
Mount Carroll, Illinois
Sandpoint, Idaho
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Dahlonega, Georgia
St. Augustine, Florida
Smyrna, Delaware
Chester, Connecticut
Durango, Colorado
Pacific Grove, California
Harrison, Arkansas
Bisbee, Arizona
Seward, Alaska
Fairhope, Alabama
Fill shoebox presents each year, as a family, for Operation Christmas Child
El Caminito, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentine
Lombard Street, San Francisco
Umbrella Sky Project, Agueda, Portugal
Brouwersgracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
Bregagh Road, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland
Cherry Blossom Avenue, Bonn, Germany
Qiyi Street Chongron Alley, Lijiang, China
Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia, Spain
Chefchaouen, Morocco
Korankei Valley, Toyota, Aichi, Japan

Friday, February 10, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Safe

Wow, it has been a loooong time since I did Five Minute Friday. I actually kind of miss it.

This week's FMF is: Safe

In a world that has become a very dangerous place to be, it seems like safe places to stay are becoming rare.

We need a place where we know we can relax, where we can be ourselves, without worrying if we will be attacked or judged.

Why is it so hard to let people live their lives, without fearing them? Most of the time, people just want to go about their lives, without having to constantly look over their shoulder, wondering if the safety of their home, job, or community will be shattered.

Having a safe place to just be, is the best way for people to feel comfortable, to feel like they belong. To feel human.

Safety needs to be more common in today's world. If people were kinder, more understanding, more accepting of others, the world would be much safer. A little kindness goes a long way.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

50 Things About Me

I decided to do a get-to-know-me post, so you

  1. I am the youngest of five; I have three brothers and 1 sister.
  2. I had a birthmark removed from my neck when I was 18.
  3. I am very shy and introverted, but once I get to know someone, and they want to be friends with me, I can be very outgoing.
  4. I have never been outside of the U.S. before, although I got close to the U.S./Canada border when I went to Montana.
  5. I love to bake (mainly sweets/desserts), and am going to school for my baking/pastry degree.
  6. I also love photography, and hope to get my photography degree someday.
  7. Another passion of mine is writing, and I would love to write at least one book in my life.
  8. I have an iris coloboma in my right eye (the iris, and in my case, the pupil as well, didn't form properly, so my vision isn't that great in my right eye).
  9. My favorite animals are horses, dogs, cats, and polar bears.
  10. I love things that glow in the dark.
  11. I am majorly afraid of heights.
  12. I bullet journal.
  13. I never really liked school all that much until I got to college.
  14. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan.
  15. My musical taste is pretty varied. My favorite artists are Andrea Bocelli (opera/pop), Francesca Battistelli (Christian), Garth Brooks (country), Imagine Dragons, Josh Groban, Celtic Woman (Irish), Celtic Thunder (Irish) and Pentatonix.
  16. My favorite color is purple.
  17. As a kid, I loved mushrooms. I'm not a big fan of them now, but I will eat them.
  18. I love chocolate. A lot!!!
  19. My favorite food is pasta.
  20. My favorite cuisines are Italian, Mexican and some Indian.
  21. I am a major night owl.
  22. I volunteer at my local library, delivering library materials to those who can't physically come to the library for whatever reason (disability, illness, pregnancy, etc.).
  23. I have lived in a city my whole life, but I prefer country living.
  24. I have lived in the same house since I was born.
  25. I prefer warm weather over cold.
  26. I love stickers.
  27. I love to make lists.
  28. I love thrift stores (there are at least 3 different thrift stores near me).
  29. My favorite TV shows are Once Upon a Time, Hawaii Five-O (the remake), Bonanza and Gilmore Girls.
  30. I love spicy foods.
  31. I love linguistics.
  32. I am obsessed with brimmed hats.
  33. My favorite baker is Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss.
  34. I love teddy bears.
  35. I prefer long hair to short.
  36. I love puzzles.
  37. I love cheesecake.
  38. I have a heart for children, and would love to adopt one day (as well as have bio children as well).
  39. I took up knitting during a very difficult time in my life, and have been knitting ever since.
  40. I also took up crocheting as well, and enjoy both crafts very much.
  41. I am a very sensitive person, so I tend to take things personally, even when something is not meant to be personal/mean/etc. (although I am doing better with that, as I haven't been hurt by as much stuff as I used to).
  42. I also am a very emotional person, so when I see someone hurt or upset, it affects me emotionally.
  43. I played the violin in elementary school, and plan to play again someday.
  44. I love candles.
  45. I am a Hufflepuff/Pukwudgie (from the American school Ilvermorny)
  46. I love rainy days.
  47. I have been journaling since I was in sixth grade.
  48. I had a hermit crab for a couple years, named Sebastian.
  49. I love flannel.
  50. I prefer animated movies over live action, but I will watch both.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Word for 2017 Is...

I have heard of people having a 'word' for the upcoming year, and talking about why they chose that word.
For 2017, I have chosen the word RESPONSIBLE.

I feel like that is the perfect word for me to work towards, as I think I can do more that what I am currently doing, to be more responsible for myself.

Many of the choices I have made in the past, aren't the wisest choices I have made to being as independent as I possibly can, and I want to work on that.

So, for 2017 (and beyond), I want to work on being more responsible for:

  • My health. I am not taking very good care of myself, physically, emotionally, and mentally. And I really, really, really want to do better. There are several activities that I love to do (bike riding, swimming, yoga, even playing on playgrounds), and there are lots of food that I love, that I would be willing to have on a regular basis, that is good for me. Another health-related thing I would like to work on is my posture. For many years now, I have been slouching a lot, and it affects how I feel physically, emotionally and mentally. And it just does not look good. I want to be able to stand/sit up straight, without it being uncomfortable, and something I do not want to do; something I have to actually think about doing.
  • How I spend my time. I don't have a job yet, and only volunteer once a week, so most of my free time is spent either on the Internet, watching a movie, reading, listening to music, or just sitting at home. The only thing I do that gets me out of the house is volunteering on Friday mornings. I would love to go out more often, to do more things out of the house, so I'm not doing nothing all day.
  • My work ethic. There are some things in the work force that make me very uncomfortable, and unwilling to do, and I want to work on that. One is talking to people. I am a very shy person most of the time, and am only comfortable talking around friends and family. I would love to be able to be comfortable in a work environment, and not have to worry about little things. I would love to have a job that I will love, that I will be comfortable doing, and that the employer would be proud of having me as an employee.
  • My financial situation. Since I don't have a job yet, the only way I get money is from my dad once a week. I don't always spend/save my money wisely, and I would like to work on that a lot more. I have been thinking that, once I get a job, I will put one third of my checks into my savings account, one third will be for donating, and one third will be used for spending on whatever I want/need right away.
  • My possessions. I don't always take care of my things, and they end up getting torn, ripped, broken, or otherwise destroyed. And I have wrecked a few things that I loved, which I feel really bad about. Hopefully I can do better, and put things where they belong when I am done with them, so I can keep them as long as possible. I would also like to be more aware of where I put my possessions, as I sometimes forget where I put them, and it can take me a long time to find them.
  • My actions, thoughts and emotions. I am one of those very sensitive people, so I tend to take things personally, even when it's not meant to be personal. Although, I have gotten better at not taking things every single thing personally, over the last several years, but I still want to work on it. I also want to work on not thinking negatively, about myself, or others. I would just like to be more positive, more happy in the things I do, think, and feel, and to bring as little negativity into my life as possible.