Saturday, August 29, 2015

I Wish My Brain Had a Shut Off Switch

Do you ever wish your brain had an off and on switch?


It's too often 11:30pm hits and my thoughts go into overdrive. All of the sudden I have a million ideas floating around and the more I try to relax the bigger the to-do list becomes. I tend to be a very anxious person in general. When my thoughts are telling me I have a long list of tasks to finish and I'm not working on any of them, on my anxiety levels go through the roof. Suddenly sitting in bed becomes a nightmare.

The minute I thought about trying to sleep last night it was like a chorus of bells went off in my head. Think of the sound your phone makes when you get multiple alerts at once... it's kind of like that.

Alerts that said, "You never worked out today you should probably do some crunches right now. Look at that pile of clothes still sitting in your chair, you never got that done today. How do you create social media icons for your blog? Maybe you should look into that tonight. Could you create custom icons? You should look up how to use photoshop. When are you going to finally sort through all your old clothes in the basement? You really need to get rid of everything you own. What do you want your online brand to be? You should really stop putting off writing that blog post. You still need to learn HTML. What do you want to do with your life? What are your goals?"

As the minutes tick by my thoughts change from the mental to-do list to far fetched desires until the downward spiral reaches self doubt and worry. It looks like this, "I wish I had money. I wish I could be a travel/fashion/bookish person who had sponsors and a life full of adventures. I wonder how much a fancy camera would cost... and a new computer... and a new car? I need money to travel. How do travel vloggers even get started? I'm never going to be a good blogger. What if I never get to do the things I want to do? What if no one ever watches my Youtube videos and I fail at this whole thing? What if I'm never able to move out of my parents house? What if I never find something I'm good at and can make money off of? What if I never find my dream job?"

Logically, I know the best thing to do is try to let it go and worry about all those ideas the next day. It's better to get a full nights sleep and attack the list in the morning. Negativity and self doubt aside, I try to only focus on the check list of tasks to finish. Realistically the tasks my brain conjures up at night are all better left for day time hours anyway. I'm not really accomplishing much by half-assing a work out at 1am. What makes me more anxious is that I seem to always forget or ignore these ultra important ideas until 11:30pm the next night. The next day goes by and the same tasks are usually left undone.

Of course there are certain nights my brain seems to have a harder time than others. Nights like last night where at 3:30am I'm still up tossing and turning. I just wish there was an easy way to turn my thoughts off and on as I please.

-S

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BooktubeAThon Wrap Up Video

Hello Hello,

All my blog posts have been videos lately. Sorry if that's not what you want to see. I promise I have some actual written posts planned for the near future.


Links to all the books mentioned are in the video description.

-S

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

July 2015 Reading Wrap Up

Hey Guys,

A new video is up on my Youtube channel where I talk about all the books I read in the month of July.


Hope you are all having a fantastic day!

-S

Friday, August 7, 2015

Currently Reading: Into The WIld


"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." - Chris McCandless

The above quote comes from a letter McCandless addressed to Ronald Franz, an acquaintance from his time in Salton City. The passage seems to sum up the ideology and driving force behind McCandless's great adventure. Although his words lead me to believe he saw the world in black and white, you can't help but long for that adventurous spirit and hope that one day maybe you too can see the world as he once saw it.

-S

Thursday, August 6, 2015

July Favorites 2015

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable month of July. My month was packed with Cherry Festival, extra shifts at work, my birthday, wine tasting, and even some relaxing at the beach. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. I can't believe the month is already over.

Here's a few of my favorite things from July.


- It Cosmetics CC Cream: I've been using the CC cream for a while now as my regular foundation and absolutely love it. I originally bought the light color but it turned out to be a little dark on me so I bought the fair. Now that I have a bit of a tan from the summer sun however I've been mixing the two together to create my perfect color. I usually use my fingers to apply the cream which glides on smoothly and never leaves any streaks or weird spots. The CC cream provides even coverage and doesn't show pores like the bareMinerals liquid foundation did for me. It's also one of the best smelling makeup products I've ever used.

- Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Tone: Earlier this year I was looking to boost my skin care regimen and decided to pick up the Mario Badescu Glycolic Adic Toner. I don't use this product every night because it can be a little harsh, but every other night works well for my skin. My face always feels so much more clean after using this toner, especially in the summer months when I've been sweating in my makeup all day.

- Mask of Magnaminty from Lush: My parents and I stopped at Lush in Grand Rapids a few months ago and I've been using this mask regularly ever since. The minty smell of the product makes me feel fresh and reinvigorated. The mask is pretty gentle and feels great on my face. It's not as messy as I thought it would be either. I like putting on the mask 10-15 minutes before I take a shower so then I can just wash it off when I'm in there.


- J Crew Tank: Another item I previously mentioned purchasing in Grand Rapids was an slightly off white tank from J Crew. I have been loving this tank top and have worn it a lot this month. The top itself is incredibly comfortable while the detailed front and silk back makes it look dressier than it feels. Pairing this tank with jeans makes me feel more put together than a regular t-shirt.


- Planner and Planner Stickers: This planner is my life now. I've had it for three months and have noticed a significant increase in my productivity over that time. It's nice having a way to organize blog post schedules and filming ideas. Of course there are days I don't follow what I have written or just completely forget to schedule anything, but I'm getting better. I also love the fact that my planner serves as both a functional and creative outlet. That's definitely my favorite combination. Now I just need to stop buying stickers because this planner was supposed to help me save money not spend it all.


- The Newsroom: I picked up the first season of The Newsroom at the start of this month. I'd heard great things about the show and had been meaning to watch it for years. My dad and I watched the first episode together and neither of us could wait to watch episode two. Unfortunately my dad stopped watching after the third episode because he was angry with the show's political stance, so I continued on alone. I'm now in the middle of season two and wishing the show lasted longer than three seasons. I love the people, subject matter, and just everything about The Newsroom.

- Audiobooks/Overdrive: Audiobooks are the best aren't they? I mean really you can listen to them anywhere or while doing almost anything. Whether it's baking, cleaning, or riding a bike an audiobook is the perfect companion to any task. I feel like I've spent most of the month listening to one book or another. Overdrive is an app that allows you to check out audiobooks and ebooks through your local library. Since I'm broke borrowing books fits into my budget much better than buying them. You can even listen to the books right in your web browser now, no downloading necessary.



- Middlesex: This is definitely my favorite book I finished in July and has joined the ranks as one of my favorite books of all time. I didn't know much about this story before starting other than the fact that the main character was a hermaphrodite. No expectations is the best way to approach a novel; I was completely blown away. All those emotions I kept waiting to feel for The Virgin Suicides came to me when reading Middlesex. Eugenides writing in this book was brilliant. The way he created this story reminded me of an intricately woven sweater or a perfectly folded origami creation.

- Jen Campbell: Jen Campbell is an author, bookseller, and Youtuber who makes videos talking about all the bookish things. She's great. I love the type of videos she creates and trust her book recommendations completely. Jen also seems like a wonderful person. If only I lived in England and could be friends with all the nice British booktubers (they seem like a cool crowd). Anyway, if you haven't heard of Jen, you should most definitely check out her videos.

Alright, that's it.

-S

What are your favorites from the month of July?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What A Weekend

This weekend was a bit of a blur. Saturday and Sunday could not have been more different. Really I don't have a whole lot to say. There's much more to show you. 


Saturday started out with sandwiches from The Cheese Shanty in Leland. If you're ever in Northern Michigan it's a must visit (you have to come during the warmer months though because this places closes right down when temperatures start to drop).


Wednesday was my brother's birthday but we were all busy with work so we spent Saturday celebrating together.



My brother requested a beach day so we drove out to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to lay in the sun and play in the waves. It was the perfect day. Enough breeze to keep you from burning up in the sun, but hot enough to be comfortable in bathing suits. The water was even warm!


Not a bad view.


We parked by a really beautiful forest. I was mesmerized by the trees' perfect alignment and relatively clear forest floor.


Then Sunday came and so did one of the biggest storms I can ever remember having in this area.


The picture above was the only photo I took on Sunday while we were driving around after the majority of the storm hit checking on places around town. We turned down this road and discovered that tree blocking our path. The roots were so deep it brought up the entire sidewalk. Huge trees came down all around the city causing lots of damage. Most of the area lost power and some houses were severely damaged. Luckily I don't believe anyone was seriously injured due to the storm.








The rest of these photos were taken during a walk around my neighborhood Monday morning. All you could hear around town Monday were chainsaws and beeping trucks. I'm incredibly thankful that the least we had to worry about was the power outage at my house. Our power was back on early Monday morning, but in some parts of the city they don't think the power will be back on until Thursday.






This house looked like it suffered the most damage in my neighborhood. The entire garage was crushed under that tree but the little bird house next to it was completely unscathed. Conditions are even worse in Glen Arbor, Empire, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore area. It's sad to think of all the beautiful old trees that were lost on Sunday and of all the people who no longer have homes to go to now. I'm sure it will be a long time before everything is back in order.

Like I said, Saturday and Sunday could not have been more different. It's a little ironic that I spent so much of Saturday admiring the trees and finding myself amazed at how many are in the area. I was just sitting down Sunday to write a whole post about our beach day and the beauty of nature in Northern Michigan (trees being the main focus) when the storm rolled in. Just a reminder to take the time to admire what nature has to offer you before it's gone. You never know what's around the corner.

-S

P. S. Here's a picture I saw on the M22 Facebook Page of the storm coming in.