Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Week In Links 2

Hi guys and gals,

I've been a bad blogger recently and haven't kept up on things for the last couple of weeks. So let's get up to date, shall we?

My brother and his girl friend got engaged last week in Disney World! Disney is one of her favorite places and I had a hunch he would do it there, but none of us actually knew before it happened. We're all pretty damn excited about it though. They're adorable and I love them.

This illustration reminded me of them (source)

I really hope everyone saw this video of Anne Hathaway's lip sync battle with Emily Blunt. So perfect.

In case you haven't seen this either. OMG the excitement!! Like for reals this needs to come out already.

Also, apparently Adam Carolla made a movie about Paul Newman's racing career and it looks super good. What's better than one of Hollywood's finest men and car racing? Well probably a lot of things, but I'll definitely watch this movie.

I'm really late to the party on this one, but I just discovered Casey Neistat (yeah I know I'm behind the times). So I've been watching way too many of his videos lately and they're absolutely inspiring. Talk about someone who has worked hard and is living the dream. Just a reminder to keep doing what you love because you never know what kind of opportunities it will bring.

Saturday was Record Store Day. I picked up the two special releases shown above, but it was surprisingly disappointing this year. My dad and I got to RPM Records at 8:08 am (they opened at 8:00) and by then everything we really wanted was gone. Neither of us thought there would be so many people there right when it opened. I guess now we know for next year.

This is so accurate.

Candles, candles, I want all the candles.

I painted and redecorated my room last week. I'm currently working on a more in depth blog post about it, but there's still a lot of finishing touches that need to be done. I might wait until everything is done before showing it off. (hopefully it won't take too long though)

This pillow would be a perfect addition to the new room.

I also really love this Dirty Dancing poster.

I'm thinking this will be the next mug in my collection. Nothing inspires more confidence than Agent Carter. Know your value ladies and gents. They better be bringing that show back in the fall or else I'm gonna be pissed.

Finally, these because they're too funny not to share.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

I Might Actually Need a Planner

Wow. Last week was busy and productive which felt super good. Last Tuesday I had book club and then my friend and I went out to dinner afterwards. On Thursday my dad, brother, brother's girlfriend, and I all went to see the Red Wings play in Detroit. Even though the Wings' loss was disappointing for my first trip to the Joe, it was still a lot of fun just to be there.

Ever since I figured out my life needed more structure in order for me to actually get stuff done, I've been trying hard to keep a semi scheduled day. There's still plenty of things I need to work on, getting in regular workouts, sticking with a steadier schedule for blogging, being more proactive about searching for a second job, but I finally feel like my life might be moving again.

For the last few months I have been feeling stuck. I think we all feel that way from time to time. We look around and notice that we've been in the same place for the last six months, and what we've been doing doesn't feel like enough anymore. We get bored with the monotony of day to day life. This feeling can drive people in all different directions. It's not an easy battle and there's no one solution.

So I updated my resume and applied for a job. I picked out a new paint color for my room. I bought a couple succulents. I started making my bed every day. I went to book club and talked even though I've never been a talker in group settings. I listened to my favorite new album as many times as I wanted. I told myself that I'm beautiful and confident while striking a power stance in front of the mirror. I didn't let myself get defeated, and when I did have a low day I tried my hardest to have a better day tomorrow.

Spring brings out the best in me. I'm naturally happiest in the summer and fall, but most productive in the spring. Spring always gets my gears moving; thawing out the cold winter stiffness and managing to unlock all that energy I store away during the snowy months. It's still weird for me to be this enthusiastic about living. It's nice to be making goals again, even really big unrealistic ones, and to enjoy planning out my days. I don't expect to be happy all the time, but I am happy for the most part. In a time of new beginnings I'm starting to feel like it's just where I belong.

Mostly throughout high school, but even in college, I kept a planner. I wrote everything down in color-coded fashion and always looked forward to crossing off entries. I've been a list maker and a note taker my whole life. Getting things down on paper was the only way I could keep everything straight, but my life post-college didn't seem conducive for a full time planner. I didn't have enough going on for me to justify even buying a calendar.

I kept telling myself I wanted to be the type of person who needed a planner again. I wanted my life to be busy and for my time to need scheduling, but the only thing this was doing was making me more frustrated. Then about a week ago I realized maybe it's not about waiting for a "real" job or a busier life, it's about getting the most out of my time right now. If I have so many things I want to do, why am I waiting to do them until I have to squeeze them in? Maybe getting a planner will make my life busier just by allowing me to set specific schedules. I know that if I dedicate certain times of the week to work out or film videos I will get them done. I won't be able to put off doing things the same way if I can see it all in front of me. Keeping a schedule in my head can only get me so far.

(planner 1)                                          (planner 2)

I tried to convince myself I could get by with just the calendar on my phone, but putting reminders in your phone isn't the same as physically writing them down. So now I'm on the hunt for a cute but reasonably priced planner. There's so many options in the calendar/planner/organizer category that it's hard to know where to look or what exactly I want. The ones above are from PlumPaperDesigns on Etsy and I think they're my top choice at the moment. I like that I can choose which month to start on and the covers are all really cute.

Feel free to share recommendations or any sources for planners you guys love!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Joining Booktube

I'm very excited to say I made my first book related Youtube video the other day. I made a video last spring talking about makeup and hadn't felt inspired to make another one until now. Since I've purchased quite a few books recently, I  thought, "why not a book haul video?" Personally I love book haul videos. I follow a lot of Booktubers so I've been contemplating making a book related video for a while but never followed through with it... until now.

There are lots of "ums" and "so yeahs" that I hope to decrease in the next video. I figure things can only improve from here, and I'm sure it'll take time for me to develop a good rhythm.

Thank you for watching! Please feel free to like and subscribe and all of that stuff.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The One Where I Do It For A Month

The other day I was thinking about how I never make my bed anymore. My mom always asked my brother and I to make our beds as kids but as we got older she never really enforced those rules. Since I spend the majority of my free time on my bed, properly making it every morning seems useless. It's been years since I've made my bed on a day when I didn't change the sheets.

I read, watch movies, and play on my computer more often than I sleep in my bed. In an attempt to distance other activities from where I sleep and force myself to spend more time outside of my bedroom, I'm going to try to make my bed more often. I do think that making your bed can be a productive way to start the day. Having tidy sheets always made me feel like my room, and my life, was that much cleaner and more organized.

Starting tomorrow morning April 1st, I will be making my bed every day for a month. Ultimately I'm hoping this behavior will spill over and continue happening after April turns into May. We'll see what happens.

Some people say it takes just 21 days to form a habit. That myth has been disproven, but one month seems like the perfect amount of time to try something new. I love challenging myself; so when I decided to try making my bed every day for a month, I immediately started making a list of other behaviors I could try for 30 days.

Those ideas include:

  • Get up at 6:00 am
  • Follow along with an at home yoga video
  • Wear lipstick
  • Not buy any coffee drinks
  • Meditate
  • Eat a homemade dinner (this one seems like it would take the most planning)
  • Post a blog entry
  • Vlog
  • Doodle
  • Take a selfie

That's it for now, but I will try to keep thinking of ideas. These are all habits I'd love to increase in frequency, but I know it's unrealistic to start doing them all at once. Hopefully this monthly challenge idea will help me stagger my habit building. And if I don't complete the challenge, or I give up after the month is over at least I can say I tried.


What's something you would do for a month? What habits are you looking to improve on in your life?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Week In Links

Last week involved a lot of John Green excitements. First of all my P4A version of The Fault In Our Stars arrived on my doorstep! Then I broke down and decided to buy the 10th anniversary edition of Looking for Alaska from my local bookstore. When it first came out I told myself I wasn't going to spend the money on a book I already owned, but it's my favorite John Green book so it happened anyway (whoops).

Finally the Paper Towns movie trailer was released last Thursday. (Can we acknowledge that Nat Wolff should star in every film adaptation of John Green's books? I swear he could fit as Miles, Colin, and Will. Okay that would be a bit overboard, but in my mind it works.)

I've had a mini obsession with Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby lately. I was listening to a bunch of 90's music the other day and just couldn't stop replaying that one. What a classic.

Another favorite recently is Work This Body by Walk The Moon. Mostly because it makes me want to crazy dance whenever it comes on.

I found my new favorite spring outfit inspiration on Pinterest. I love the mixed patterns on the classic style. Wish I looked that effortlessly stylish while riding a bike (or doing anything really).

I've been all about the florals lately. I don't know where it came from since I've never been a flower person. The other day I told my mom I wanted to get some flowers for my room and she just laughed. I always thought they were silly and useless, a complete waste of money, but minds change and that's okay.

Even this wall paper sparked my interest.

I want this to be my future living room; just look at all the books! The room has a lot of color without looking too cluttered, although I would use less pillows and lose the peacock. Plus the big windows help the full space look light and airy. I'm smiling just thinking about it.

This interview/discussion was so good! I could listen to these ladies talk all day. What interesting conversations one could have with these women; I never wanted the video to end. I really admire how they all support and lift each other up. Kind words and kind hearts.

Speaking of admirable women, check out these totally awesome illustrated quotes on feminism from The Nib.

March is Women's History Month, and although it may be coming to a close it's never too late to catch up on amazing women in history and today. The ever inspiring Amy Poehler's Smart Girls has highlighted a few of their favorite women in history, such as Mildred Norman and Anne Frank. They even have inspirational coloring pages you can print off (how cool)!


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cinderella Movie Review

Like I mentioned in my last post, I went to see the new Disney Cinderella movie last Sunday. Besides feeling excited to finally see the movie I was also quite anxious about whether or not it would meet my expectations. Guess what? I had no reason to worry because the movie surpassed anything I had in my head. Cinderella was a beautiful, heart-warming, and fresh movie. A classic for all ages that I can't wait to see it again.

Growing up my family never owned the Disney animated version of Cinderella. We had a copy of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1965 musical that I loved very much (even though I was always bothered by Lesley Ann Warren's voice). I knew all the words to every song and would sing and dance along pretending that I was Cinderella. I also have good memories of watching the premier of the 1997 edition with Brandy and Whitney Houston. Besides those beloved classics, Ever After is one of my favorite movies of all time. So like I said, the new film had a lot to live up to.

Cinderella is a very well known fairy tale. The story has been retold so many different times it's hard to believe people can still come up with something new. Disney did a great job of keeping all the little things we love about the animated version while adding in certain details that made it feel more real. Unlike the animated version where all the characters were very much one dimensional, we finally got to see more of the character's humanity. There's a depth to each character that wasn't there before. I particularly loved the prince's interactions with his father, as well as the stepmother's confession to Ella that illuminated her past and certain feelings about the situation. The audience is finally able to see that the stepmother is not an "evil" person; she has her reasons for being the way she is, even if that doesn't justify her actions.

The film was really well cast and the actors did a phenomenal job. Not only did each person physically fit their role, they personified the little elements of each character that I love. Cate Blanchett killed it as usual. Helena Bonham Carter's quirky self was perfect for the role of fairy godmother. Richard Madden's smile actually made me blush and Lily James lit up as Ella. Even Jaq and Gus Gus were adorable as ever.

Seriously that man is ridiculously handsome with or without facial hair.

The movie itself was absolutely gorgeous from start to finish. From the costuming to the set designs every little detail was accounted for. That is one thing I love about Disney, they are incredibly meticulous about everything they create. The film was infused with a great deal of color without ever feeling overwhelming. Bursts of emerald greens, vibrant pinks, vivid reds and shimmering blues were all tied together with delicate gold details. Ella's dresses were stunning (even the rags). There's nothing more magical than the part when her dress changes from the torn pink one to the big beautiful blue one. Though that skirt definitely looked like it would have been difficult to dance in.

This is now the dress I want for my wedding. I mean seriously it's perfect. I'm so in love.

At it's core Cinderella is a story about love and kindness. The movie was able to highlight love in the familial sense as well as a romantic one. Ella had a beautiful relationship with her parents who taught her that having courage and being kind were the most important things to remember. "Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic." Being kind to other people, even when they're not so kind to you, is a great message. We should all be a little kinder to one another.

Besides being a more serious and at times sad movie, there was still a lot of fun and joy throughout the film. My heart felt a little lighter after leaving the theater. Watching Cinderella always reminds me to have hope in the future because you never know who you'll meet or when things might turn around.

It's hard to explain what the story of Cinderella means to me. Whether it was watching different movie versions of the story as a child or getting the chance to dance the part, the story holds a lot of my most cherished memories. Cinderella was the first ballet I ever attended with my grandma and I can still remember being in total awe of the dancers. Even though I was already taking ballet classes, after that performance I knew I wanted to be one of those girls some day. I was never the best dancer in the company but I really worked hard for that part. That ballet included some of my happiest moments and my greatest friendships. I don't think I will ever watch Cinderella without thinking about that time in my life. It's good to look back on those experiences with a smile, but I'm ready to make new memories to be reminded of every time I watch this movie. Just like the old fairy tale got a fresh update, my life also continues to change and improve.

The stories we hold close when we're young have a way of staying with us forever. Disney has introduced a whole new generation to the magic of Cinderella. Hopefully one that will grow up remembering to have courage and be kind. The new film was everything I could have hoped for and more. A joy-filled celebration of love and magic. Now I can't wait for the upcoming remake of Beauty And The Beast!

Yes I colored this three years ago. Coloring is the bomb and you're never too old for Disney Princess coloring books.