Image Slider

Update + 4 Random Things

| On
July 28, 2015
Hi friends! Well that was an unplanned little break in there! Long story short, I've been having computer issues which have been a big pain. But thankfully, my computer's back in action so I am too! Sooo, I just wanted to update y'all on things going on in my life!

1 / I have been spending lots of time in Scripture and it's so wonderful. There's a new app from Proverbs 31 Ministries called First 5 that I really love. In the app, you can set an alarm and then as soon as it goes off in the morning, it prompts you to read through a short scripture reading and devotional. It makes for such an easy starting point to get some Bible reading in every day. I'm going to write a post about my favorite Bible/faith apps soon but for now, y'all should check it out!

2 / I really want to get a hedgehog this fall. I know, I might be crazy. But seriously guys, I've been thinking about this for ages and I just want a little prickly friend. Plus, you can't say no to this. It's just a little tricky to have a pet when I'll be back and forth between Florida (college) and North Carolina (home).

3 / I've decided that stamp collecting isn't just for weird old men. In case you don't believe me, just look at these beautiful coastal bird stamps for postcards. Or these, these or these. Also: did you know you can get stamps mailed to you? Anyone else think that's weird?

4 / I've been loving the global marketplaces that instagram has been featuring. When I was in Provence, France, my favorite thing was always to go to the market every morning. Like the colors and the smells of fresh bread and produce was the happiest way to start off your day! The Souks Market in Marrakesh, Morocco was my favorite!

Alright. There's your daily dose of randomness! I'll be back with some normal posts soon, I promise. Stick around ;)

A Simple Method to Fall Asleep Faster

| On
July 23, 2015
Lately, I've been testing out a different sleep cycle called biphasic sleeping, which, like it sounds, refers to sleeping in two sections a day instead of one long chunk during the night. To do this, I sleep about 4.5 hours during the night (usually 2am-6:30am) and then take a 60-90 minute nap in the afternoon around 2 or 3pm. Supposedly, according to mostly anecdotal evidence, this can make you feel just as rested as if you were sleeping eight hours during the night, even though it only adds up to six hours (or less!) a day. 

I'm going to talk about this little experiment more in the future, once I've been at it for a little longer. But for now I want to talk about a cool method I've learned to help you fall asleep faster. Before I started this experiment, I was more in the habit of watching Netflix or noodling around on Bloglovin' until I got sleepy (which is horrible, I know). 

So I'm not used to laying around, waiting to fall asleep. I started to get in that irritating mental state where you try to hard to fall asleep that you never get sleepy. You know what I mean? So naturally, I took to the all-knowing google to look for ways to fall asleep faster so I don't have to wait through that waiting period. 

And I found out about 4-7-8 breathing. 

There's a medical doctor from Harvard named Dr. Andrew Weil who developed this technique and he calls it "a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system." And the awesome thing? It's super super easy.

That's all there is to it! Dr. Weil claims that if you practice two sets of four breaths every day for two months, you should be able to fall asleep in around a minute. While I'm skeptical of that, it definitely helps me relax whether I'm stressed or just trying to fall asleep. 

Have you every tried 4-7-8 breathing? 

Goal-Getters / July Check-in

| On
July 15, 2015
Two weeks ago, at the beginning of July, I made a few goals for the month with the plan to check in midway through. So here we are!

Welp. This is why I thought this check-in would be a good idea. I haven't forgotten about my goals, per se, I've just not done a stellar job of achieving them. Sad face. Let's look at my goals a little more closely and I'll update you as to how they're all going!

+ Read four books. I did finish one book and it was a long one--The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair. I'm about eighty pages into the next one, so I've fallen a little bit behind, but it's all good. I'd rather enjoy the books I am reading instead of picking short, easy reads. Any recommendations for the next book?

+ Maintain good study habits with my class. Yeah, I'm doing okay with this one. I've been keeping up and getting good grades, but what I really would like is to be a little ahead of schedule so I can relax a little. That would be so much nicer! New goal: finish every assignment/quiz/whatever at least one day before it's due.

+ Exercise at least three times a week consistently. Nope. Didn't happen. Not consistently or even really at all. I have been doing better about just living a more active life; I've been biking to work and the grocery store and the bank and taking nice walks on the beach. New goal: exercise five times before the end of the month.

+ Develop an hour's worth of material for kickboxing. Not quite, but I'm on my way there! I've started choreographing a few new songs. I'm hoping to hold a just-for-fun class for friends soon and I'll get to try some new stuff out then!

What are your goals this month?

Curated / 18

| On
July 10, 2015

This week was for wrapping up my time with H, taking long walks on the beach and picnics in the forest. It's been unseasonably chilly here on Lake Michigan and that doesn't make for great beach days! So I've been working a lot, trying to get everything at the ice cream shop to run as smoothly as possible and studying economics all the time. I've also been sort of under the weather this week, just tired with a baby cold. I'm hoping for some sun soon so I can relax on the beach! How was your week?

Y'all know by now that I have crazy music tastes so I can just jump right into it right? Lately, I've been jamming to....50s music (and early 60s). Yes. Just listen.

Okay, so I know I'm the one who took this picture, but I still can't get over the fact that this is a place that not only exists in the world, but that I got to be there. It was a crazy gorgeous scene. Find more on my instagram! (Zugspitze, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, German Alps)

How's your week been? Share your favorite links or music below!

Call Me Sassafras

Long-Distance Love: Prompts for Writing Letters

| On
July 08, 2015

In case you've noticed by brief absence this last week, I've been offline more than usual since my boyfriend H came to visit me in Michigan from where we both live in North Carolina. As a little bit of background, H and I started dating in high school (our sophomore year) after he spent months annoying me in French class. But after high school, he stayed to go to school in NC while I moved to Florida, spending my summers traveling or in Michigan.

So obviously, we don't see each other too often. A few times during the school year. Christmas. The month of May. That's pretty much it.

Sometimes it's hard. It's really really hard. I'm a naturally terrible communicator and that doesn't make LDRs easy. But over the years, we've found ways of making it work. One of which is letter-writing. We both love getting special little token gifts, and letters fill that for us. It's old-fashioned and sort of silly, but it's so exciting to open the mailbox and get something from hundreds of miles away.

But sometimes, it's hard to know what to write about. We already text all the time and talk on the phone and FaceTime, so it's not as if we don't know what's going on in each other's lives. Going off that, I've been coming up with a list of prompts to use for writing letters to a long-distance love--or even family or friends if you tweak them a little.

  1. Recall a fun or happy memory in as much detail as possible. Don't forget that little moments can be some of the best memories.
  2. Share a dream for the future.
  3. Tell your SO about something you saw or experienced recently that made you think of them. 
  4. Reminisce on your first date or the first time you met.
  5. List a few quirks about your SO that you love or funny mannerisms that you miss. 
  6. Plan a date for the next time you're together.
  7. Write an acrostic poem using their name as the lines.
  8. Send an old-school selfie. Take a picture of yourself and print it out and mail it!
  9. If you both speak another language, write a short letter in that language and make them work a little to read about how much you love them.
  10. Talk about a vacation you would like to take or a destination to visit with them.
  11. List a few ways your SO makes you proud.
  12. Tell your SO about where you live if they've never visited.
  13. Send a list of songs as an old-fashioned mixtape! If you're really ambitious, you could mail a CD or usb drive with songs on it or just a url to a playlist online.
  14. Draw them a doodle.
  15. List a few things your SO does for you that you appreciate.
  16. Recall a childhood memory or story they may not have heard before.
  17. Describe your SO using only three words and explain why you chose those words.
  18. Make a list of things you need your SO for (i.e. I need H to help me get things off the top shelf at the grocery store.)
  19. Write a silly haiku. (Remember--it's three lines with five, seven, and five syllables, respectively.)
  20. Write as many reasons as you can why you love them.

Have any others to add? Are you a letter-writer?

On Blogging: Why I Will Never Shut Down My Comments

| On
July 03, 2015

Over the last couple months, there's been an....odd trend in the blog world: turning off comments. When I first heard of this, that people were intentionally taking away the comments sections of their blogs, I was totally baffled. For me, comments are the most important indicator of my blog's success.

But after reading a ton of articles that bloggers have written on the topic, I think I'm starting to understand what thoughts are swirling around in those bloggers' brains. But I still don't agree.

From what I can tell, the reasons for shutting down comments sections are that they're an unnecessary use of a blogger's time (to read, moderate and respond), that the quality of comments these days makes them less than worthwhile, and it directs people to respond on social media. Here's why I feel differently:

1. Reading, replying and moderating comments is a waste of a blogger's time. 

For me, it just comes down to what your goal in blogging is. For me, it's a way to express myself and my thoughts and connect with people interested in similar things. It's a very weird, odd sort of community. Yes, I understand that commenting and replying to comments takes a ton of time (like half as much time as actually blogging!), but I think it's very worthwhile. For me, the comments sections are where I meet people and build relationships and connections with people reading my blog. 

2. The quality of comments nowadays makes them undeserving of the time it takes to respond and read.

Sometimes this is true. I see it even more on bigger blogs--you know, those comments where someone just types, 'Love this! Check out my blog at!! xoxo'. Those comments are a waste of time. But I truly believe that when you take the time to read and thoughtfully respond to comments or when you invite real opinions on your blog posts, you'll get comments that actually further the community on your blog. I treasure people who write those paragraph-long comments--those are so worth my time. And by responding thoughtfully, I invite more of those types of comments in the future.

3. It's more important that people communicate via social media.

I get that this is an attempt to get people to follow you in more places and so I can respect that if having x thousand twitter followers is your goal...but it's not mine. I might be a little bit anti-social media on occasion, but I'd rather the conversation stick right here, where it started. It makes way more sense to me to have the comments about a post sitting right under that post, not on a totally different website. Because then if someone reads a post of mine and wants to talk about it...they really have no easy way of finding the other people who have something to say about it. It wouldn't be a real dialogue.

And this is just what I think. Different kinds of blogs do things different ways and I'm sure that for some blogs, shutting down the comments just makes sense. But to me, I'd rather build the friendships and conversations right here. 

This post was inspired my Allyssa Barnes' look at the comment section debate. Read more on her blog and then chime in below!

Goal-Getters / July

| On
July 01, 2015

In the past on this blog, I've tried writing out my goals both weekly and monthly and neither of them worked out quite right for me. So new plan: I'd like to try setting goals at the beginning of the month like usual, but then instead of going a whole month on those goals (and--let's be honest--forgetting what most of them were by the end of the month), I'm planning on doing a check-in on my goals halfway through the month.

Sound like a good plan? If you'd like to join in with me, leave your links below and I can check out your goals and support you in them. :)

+ Read four books. WOW this one is crazy ambitious for me. Four books! One month! I'm part of the reading program for adults at my local public library and if I can read six books (I've already read two) by the end of July, I can be entered in a drawing for a Kindle. And really…I kind of doubt that there will be that many entries so I feel like I definitely have a decent chance of winning if I can enter.

+ Maintain good study habits with my class! I'm taking an online Agricultural Economics course over the next month and a half, just to get it out of the way. It's a little bit tricky to stay on task when it's online because there are no lectures to attend or office hours or whatnot. It's all up to me to stay on track!

+ Exercise at least three times a week consistently. I've still got maybe seven pounds left of my Freshman Fifteen (it's totally a real thing) that I'm working on, but it's tricky to get in exercise when I'm not part of a gym here in Michigan since I'm only here for the summer. That means my options are pretty much bodyweight exercise or running, neither of which I'm too fond of.

+ Develop at least another hour's worth of material for kickboxing class. Starting in August, I'll be teaching a class every single week! I really want to keep things fresh for my participants so we're not doing the same routines every week but I'm not the best at writing new routines quickly. That's why I want to plan ahead and get plenty prepared this summer!

I think that's plenty for now! So in two weeks or so, we'll check back in and see how I'm doing on all of these!

What are your goals for the summer?

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature