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Weekly Wishes #12: pushups + not being dead + bagels

| On
August 25, 2013
Hey! Announcement! I’m trying to get together enough benjamins (that’s coolspeak for money, y’all) so I can get me a yearlong Passionfruit subscription. If you’re thinking about getting any sort of blog redesign (header, social media buttons, or anything else!), consider me your girl! I’ll even give you $10 off any package until September 1st with code ‘prettyblogsftw’. Help me get my passionfruit! Truly appreciated, guys. Anyways….


weekly wishes12

Hey all. It’s 4am on Monday, you know what that means! It means I can't sleep so why not blog! Yayz. Anyways, today, I’m linking up with The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. The Weekly Wishes is where we all can share our posts about goals, challenges, and wishes for the week! 

Last week, I wished for a few things and was somewhat successful. Here's a recap in order of how successful I was: Firstly, I wished to not die in my first week of school. I passed this one with flying colors! I mean, it wasn't fun and my brain might be dead, but I'm still kickin' y'all! Secondly, I needed to contact teachers about tutoring. I did this! And I already have one student to tutor basically weekly. So that's good!

And thirdly, I made a goal to exercise more which I just horribly flopped on. I did maybe, uh, twenty pushups? And I speedwalked to class. That's about it. I definitely think I underestimated how crazy school would be. But I've got a pickup soccer game scheduled for tonight so it'll be nice to dust off my cleats and kick some balls! (Sorry, I just love saying that--not classy, I know.)

I'm also doing something new--linking up with Erika for Grad-itude, a link up about being grateful! Hers is on Wednesday but it made sense to group it together with my weekly wishes. Here are three things I'm grateful for right now.

The boyfriend, H. He's been really nice to me the last couple of days. I mean, he always is, but he's just been extra nice, and I really appreciate it, especially since I've been stressed about school, which I'm not usually.

My biology class! It's tough, but I am really really loving it. The first day, I had to go catch roly-polies (that's right, the bugs), and I was SO not happy, but it's definitely one of my favorite classes! I really feel like I'm absorbing a lot of information and that just feels splendid.

A busy day by myself and with friends on Saturday. I had been feeling really funky on Friday night so Saturday morning I treated myself to Manhattan Bagel for breakfast, by myself, which I love, followed by Barnes & Noble (erhmagerd, berks!!) and shopping at a little consignment shop near me. Then I had frozen yogurt with an older friend and we talked about her trip to Israel. How awesome, right?! Then H and I wrapped up the day by grabbing the best barbecue ever and watching New Girl.


So it actually was a pretty good week, now that I think about it in that way. Here are my goals for this coming week:

  • Be proactive about getting schoolwork done, aka not at the last minute.

  • Keep things tidy. And I mean this both mentally and literally. My room and house needs to be clean so I can be productive but I also need to keep my mind tidy so I'm not worrying about unnecessary things.

I'm just sticking to two goals this week but I think that will be challenging enough!

Now head on over to The Nectar Collective and join the Weekly Wish link up.

What do you wish for this week? What are you grateful for?

august music recommendations

| On
August 25, 2013

My music recommendations for August:

I just made this mix about a week ago for tidying up my room and I am loving it! This (for the most part) is my favorite 80s ish music. Let me tell you, I am a sucker for anything Billy Joel. The first song I learned on the piano that I still remember was "Piano Man" and I still play it once in a while. Later on, I learned "Vienna". Both great songs and they hold a lot of memories.

Also, listen to the lyrics on "You Can Call Me Al"--slightly silly but still deep.

Do you have any songs that specifically hold memories for you? What are you listening to this week? Give me some music recommendations!

Catching My Eye 11: igloos + mushrooms + no pants

| On
August 22, 2013
Oh man guys. School is getting to me already and I've only had three days. I drank my first cup of coffee, EVER last night. I hate caffeine so much but I just had to. Sigh. So just a heads up, that I won't be posting 7-8 times a week like I have the last few months, but it'll be at least 4-5. I'll be here y'all!

Now for my favorite links of the week:

♥The igloo hotel in Kakslauttanen, Finland. Get up close and personal with the northern lights. Yes, please!

Built from a special thermal glass the temperature inside the igloo always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C. Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and luxury beds. On every evening a hot sauna and a refreshing ice hole are waiting for you.

Eight things I learned from 50 naked people. (And no, not me, the author)

♥This awesome video of what women have looked like through the centuries.

♥Super cool pictures of bioluminescence in action

♥Jasmine shares fall television shows you should be watching.

The awkward years project:

Remember the years between being a cute kid to the awesome person you are today? I'm talking about your awkward years. I want to share a collection of people sharing their most awkward years and show how great of people they turned out to be. To all of you who are struggling out there, and those that love before & after portraits, this project is for you!

♥Goodreads's list of Movers & Shakers every month always brings me some of my favorite new reads.

♥Kayte makes it easy with seven tips for travelers.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

♥My favorite tumblr for travel pictures: Exquisite-planet.

Lena Dunham's awesome response to her no-pants critics. #thightstillidie
♥You might have missed: Love your brain: a new series ♥ Easy peasy ways to make your blog prettier in 5 minutes ♥ How to refrain from verbally stabbing customer service reps

What are you loving this week? Leave me some links!

Easy peasy ways to make your blog prettier in 5 minutes

| On
August 20, 2013
I may not be an expert on blogging, but I do know a thing or two about what makes a blog pretty. It annoys me so much to see a blog with fantastic content, but an awful design--most people won't give your words a chance if your layout isn't aesthetically pleasing! It's sad, but true. Here's how you can easily make your blog prettier without buying a whole new design.

1. Make all your photos the width of your text column. This isn't hard. Use high-quality pictures when possible and resize them in Photoshop or at Picmonkey (free/no registration). This goes miles to make your blog look more professional, and it's super easy! This also applies to your widget. You can alternate sizes but make sure your edges aren't jarring.

2. Please clean up your sidebar. You don't need to have a widget for everything, you just don't. A bio, categories and ads (if applicable) should be your basics and you probably don't need much more.

3. A note about backgrounds and fonts. Please make your background, or at least the part behind the words white. Make your words black or very dark. Please don't use cursive. That's so not okay. Also, don't make big blobby chunks of words; no one wants to read that. Tough love, you don't want your blog to read like a textbook. As a rule of thumb, keep paragraphs to six lines or under.

4. Make your social media buttons match your color scheme. Well first off, have a color scheme. If you don't know how to make social media buttons, have any designer make them, I guarantee they'll be under ten dollars. I'll make them for a buck each. (design) The ones with the brand colors are just not pretty and aren't doing you any good at making your blog look put together. It's the honest truth.

What do you think keeps a blog looking clean and pretty?

Weekly Wishes #11: cacti + baby steps + design

| On
August 18, 2013
weekly wishes

Hey all. It's Monday, you know what that means! Today, I'm linking up with The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. The Weekly Wishes is where we all can share our posts about goals, challenges, and wishes for the week! Is this the prettiest picture ever or what? I love bright things.

Last week, I wished for a few things and was pretty successful! I worked pretty hard to get my body on a good sleep schedule. My lights weren't always out by 10:30 but I slowly but surely moved from falling asleep at 3 am to 11:30 pm. Baby steps. I also did lots of cleaning and unpacked everything from the summer! Yayz! I also sort of randomly got a futon from my sister so I cleaned a lot to make room for that. I scheduled out this whole week to help me get through the craziness but still have time for this little lovely munchkin of a blog. I've got some exciting posts coming up--especially a guest post from Stacey over at Grace Believer.

This week, I did a lot of design work which was really exciting for me! Most recently, I did a big design for Caitlyn at ChemGradBoom. It was really fun for me to make a really cute, but chemistry-themed design--check it out! I'm really loving that I can do something that satisfies me while making a little money! If you're in the market for some new digs for your blog, noodle on over to my design page.

But despite all that fun, school starts tomorrow. Cue the conflicting emotions. I'm excited to see friends and learn stuff and all but I'm not excited to get up early and die slowly under the mountain of work.

But anyways, here are my wishes:

  • Not die. This should be easy, but I'm seriously skeptical. 

  • Exercise! Now that I'm home and settled in, it's time to start working out again. Anyone have any great home workouts they like to do?

  • Contact teachers about recommending me as a tutor. Simple enough. I'm a tutor who needs a job, they need tutors.

Now head on over to The Nectar Collective and join the Weekly Wish link up.

What are you wishing for this week? Any recommended workouts for me this week? I'm thinking Blogilates maybe...

Three Must-Read Memoirs

| On
August 15, 2013
This is a post I originally shared at The Nectar Collective. Today I'm linking it up to Book Chat over at the Tangerine.

Today, I’m super excited to share with y’all some of my favorite nonfiction books. Now, don’t get scared! These aren’t textbooks you struggled through in school or anything of the sort. These are just memoirs, biographies and stories. I like reading nonfiction because true books remind me of reading blogs. I get a little peek into someone’s life that is way different from mine and sometimes that can really be entertaining or thought-provoking. Most nonfiction books that I like fall into three categories: slightly nerdy, moving or funny. Today I’m going to introduce you to one of each.

The Slightly Nerdy: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman in the South in the mid-1900s when she developed cancer and underwent treatment at John Hopkins Medical Center. She passed away but unknown to her–or her struggling family–her cells were being grown and sold around the world. The book follows the family more than the science aspect as Skloot introduces us to Henrietta’s family and their lives. This true story touches on themes of crime and racism as Henrietta’s daughter comes to terms with deceit and injustice since Henrietta’s cells change the world but her own daughter can’t even afford healthcare.

Quote: “She’s the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can’t we get health insurance?” –Deborah, Henrietta’s daughter

Why You’ll Love It: It’s just enough science that you feel like you’re learning a little, but enough crime and drama that you won’t want to put it down. Rebecca Skloot makes her characters so real that you’ll really feel like you know them by the end of the book.


The Moving MemoirBeautiful Boy by David Sheff

Called a “fiercely candid memoir,” Beautiful Boy traces Sheff’s journey dealing with his son Nic’s transformation from a joyful, athletic, good-natured, and kind Honors Student to an out-of-control delinquent addicted to crystal meth.

Quote: “I’m not sure if I know any ‘functional’ families, if functional means a family without difficult times and members who don’t have a full range of problems.”

Why You’ll Love It: This book is sad, but I also couldn’t stop reading. He balances out the heart-breaking moments with stories that make you love Nic. In the first few pages, Sheff shows you just how great his son is and how he the addiction devastated him. I will never read this book again but I truly believe everyone should read it. Definite trigger warning though, if you couldn't gather that.


The Witty Tale: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

If you like humor, you have got to read David Sedaris’ books (I’ve heard Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls is hilarious as well). In this book, Sedaris tells a series of short stories from his life on all sorts of topics ranging from bull fights and learning French to family bands. It will make you laugh all along the way.

Quote: “I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself. Why refer to lady crack pipe or good sir dishrag when these things could never live up to all that their sex implied?” –On Learning French.

Why You’ll Love It: It’s hilarious. What more reason do you need? Plus every chapter’s a different story so you can flip open to a random chapter, read for fifteen minutes, get yourself a good laugh and be on your merry way. If you can, find the audiobook at your library--it's hilarious in his voice!

What about you? Have you read any of these books? Do you like reading memoirs?

Catching My Eye 10.

| On
August 07, 2013
Would you make me very very happy and take my survey? I promise, it's super short, 9 questions. And most of the questions are multiple choice, a few you have to fill in a word. I will love you forever! 

Today has been so long guys. Now that I'm done nannying (summer job), I have like zero motivation to get up in the mornings. Today I didn't get up until 10:45--how pathetic is that? Getting up late just makes me feel miserable all day. And then we had work acquaintances come by for the afternoon and I get really anxious and grumpy when I have to socialize with strangers for that long so I retreated to my bedroom for a nap until work. So it's been a bit of a blah day.  I have officially uploaded my Gatsby dinner party pictures though! So I super double cross-my-heart promise they'll be up tomorrow!

The best of the interwebs:


♥The fact that this place (Lake Lucerne, Switzerland) is actually a real place. Gahhh I wanna go there.

The first quote I fell in love with as a youngster. Thank you, sweet home Alabama.

♥Old but oh-so-cute. --Sweet Home Alabama

♥Anabela from Fieldguided makes friendship bracelets in the color palettes of favorite photos. Who even thinks of that?? Anyways, they're super cool.

♥Make an iPhone tripod out of a toy dinosaur. Um yes please?? Can someone please get crafty and make this for me?


♥This amazing portfolio of photos by Kevin Russ.

♥This year I hosted a Great Gatsby themed dinner party. Next year, I'm planning on hosting a shark week premiere party! Here are 31 Must-Haves and tips to make it epic.

♥Want to travel for free? Think about a volunteer tour.

♥Maybe someday iPhones will have autogrammar in addition to autocorrect.

♥You might have missed: July in Favorites The Good and Bad of Living in Alaska [guest post] ♥ How a History Major Became a Biology Rockstar [guest post] Sponsor CMS in August.

What have you been loving this week? Which of these links did you think was the coolest?

Weekly Wishes #9

| On
August 05, 2013

Hey all. Today, I'm linking up with The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes. The Weekly Wishes is where we all can share our posts about goals, challenges, and wishes for the week! Last week, I had quite a few goals! Here's how I did.

  • Get through my Bloglovin' feed? Ah no. But I did make significant progress! I'm just barely under two hundred!

  • Get a new sponsor?? Nope, not this week. I do have a super awesome guest post coming up from Crystal at The Happy Type and I'm so excited to share! If you ever want to guest post/sponsor CMS, check out the sponsor page.

  • Brainstorm topics for the first week of school posts? Yessirree sure did! Get excited!

  • Make progress on school reading and college apps? Yep! I started my apps and am just waiting to hear back from my counselor before I finish!

I'm finding that my goals are just too vague so it's hard to really make progress. So I'm making a goal to make my goals more concrete (yes, my goals involve goal-making).

Now, for this week's wishes:

  • Keep on truckin' through my Bloglovin' feed! I'd like in <100 ideally. Work on it a little bit everyday!

  • Try to comment more on blogs! Make at least one thoughtful comment everyday--more is great!

  • Plan two posts and write out one for the first week of school.

  • Go home!! By this time next week, I'll be home in Charlotte! I get to see the boy eeeeeeeeee.

Now head on over to The Nectar Collective and join the Weekly Wish link up.

What were your wishes this week? If you have a blog, tweet me, or comment to motivate me and help me reach my wishes!

troubles will be gone [playlist]

| On
August 03, 2013
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July in Favorites

| On
August 02, 2013

Things I love about me + why that's not arrogant
5 more things I'm not ashamed of (but probably should be)
Three Must-Read Memoirs
Where'd You Go, Bernadette [book review]
Marie Curie, karate chopping stereotypes.
Funky Mood? Not for Long.
The Good and Bad of Living in Alaska [guest post]

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Beautiful Boy by David Sheff.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye. Not done with this one, so that might be cheating but it's great so far!

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Amanda makes super cute geometric jean shorts with a bleach pen and raspberry-rosemary sorbet. FancyHands shows a really doable way to live richly and avoid regret. Melyssa shares the experience of getting and dealing with her first negative commenter. Sarah introduces me to Jes the Militant Baker. I found Emily's pretty and natural blog, Growing Wild Ginger. Mary shares her thoughts on the Trayvon Martin case. Kelsey shares some super duper cute patterned things! Crystal works out at home.

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I Want You to Want Me / Cheap Trick
Somartider / Gyllentider
Thrift Shop [electro-swing cover] / Postmodern Jukebox/Macklemore
I Would Walk 500 Miles / The Proclaimers
Jackie Wilson Said / Van Morrison
Hey Willy / Shannon and the Clams
Guaranteed / Eddie Vedder

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What were your favorite things this month?

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