Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY Christmas Bunting

Just before Halloween I kept seeing all these hand made holiday decorations floating around on Pinterest and those pictures inspired me to come up with a few of my own ideas. After mulling it over I finally decided a Christmas bunting would look best and be the easiest project.

I found the string on sale at a boutique on Mackinac Island and bought the holiday paper and stickers at my local Michaels. The first step was picking out the paper and cutting them into strips for the flags. I tried to pick papers that weren't too red so the letters had a chance to stand out and patterns that were small enough not to be distracting.

After cutting the strips I had to cut the flag ends. This ended up being slightly more difficult than I was hoping it would be but Xacto knifes tend to be that way.

Finally I positioned the stickers and taped the flags together over top of the string. I used double stick tape and just positioned it close enough to the top so the flags don't slide around too easily. I'm kind of amazed this project worked and actually got finished for once.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Gift Guide: The Book Lover

- Special bookish mugs. You can find a mug for any kind of book nerd out there. I'd recommend society6, PBS, or any store dedicated to books.

- A signed copy of their favorite book. This obviously depends on what their favorite book and/or author is but a signed copy can make a extra special gift.

- A ticket to a book event with their favorite author. Great for people who love interactive gifts instead of material ones. The National Writers Series holds author events every month or so in Traverse City.  Horizon Books and Brilliant Books (two local bookstores) also hold author events on a regular basis. If you don't live in the area, check out your local bookstores for author events near you.

- A beautiful edition of books they like. Much like the signed book option, there's plenty of beautiful editions of books out there in the world. Check out the absolutely gorgeous editions of these three Bronte novels from Vintage Classics.

- Book related clothing from Out of Print. So they can wear their bookish love with pride.

- Bookish candles.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Christmas Wish List

I wasn't going to make a Christmas list this year since I don't really need anything, but my parents kept asking so I thought I'd make one here.

- Illustrated Harry Potter

- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

- Letters of Note by Shaun Usher

- The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg

- Stove Top Espresso Maker

- This mug

- And/Or this mug

- Tripod for iPhone

- Wood to make my beside table

- Vintage Train Case from Wilson's Antiques (like this one)

- Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan vinyl record

- Kind of Blue by Miles Davis vinyl record

- Moondance by Van Morrison vinyl record

- A Darling Magazine Subscription

There you have it. I keep telling my parents the only thing I really want is the Illustrated Harry Potter, but if I get nothing that's alright too. Being able to spend a day with my family is always the best part of Christmas anyway.

What's on your Christmas list?


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Recent Read: Americanah

I recently finished Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which is now one of, if not the best books I have ever read. Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu who grows up in Nigeria and later moves to America to work and study. Ifemelu's life is full of ups and downs, loves and losses, and a dawning realization that Nigeria may not be the same country she grew up in.

The book is engaging, one of the few pieces of literary fiction I've read this year that has truly captured my attention and kept me reading. Americanah told a story that was relevant to the world at this very moment. The realities of life were not glossed over or romanticize like in other books. Adichie gave social commentary and made sociological observations without ever being boring. She makes observations about food, wealth, health, race, psychology, and capitalism around the world.

There is a whole world that most people don't know about, cultures and communities that outsiders will never be a part of. It's wonderful if you are lucky enough to visit other countries and experience other cultures but often a person can't know or understand unless they are able to hear from an insider's perspective. Adichie's observations about race gives people like me (those who grow up white, with white parents and mostly white classmates) a different perspective. In some ways, as a woman I can empathize with the frustrations of fighting a social system that doesn't treat you fairly but I will never know (or pretend to know) the struggle of being black in America. The two are incomparable.

In America race really is the defining factor. Reading Adichie compare countries such as the US, Nigeria, and England and their relationships with race was really interesting. When you're white, it's so easy to brush race under the rug or not want to talk about it because we have the privilege of not talking about it. We like to live in a delusional world where racism existed in the past and believe that race no longer matters but it does. Just look at the news today and you won't be able to deny that fact. 

Both Ifemelu and Obinze believe that leaving Nigeria will make their lives better. They grew up thinking that countries like America or England will help them prosper and give them more opportunities, but their lives in those countries don't happen the way they imagined. Ifemelu soon realize that the America Obinze grew up dreaming of is not the America that really exists. Like Ifemelu puts it,"It's wonderful but it's not heaven." I took a class in college that primarily focused on dismantling the American dream and I found it fascinating. Immigrants seek our country to make their lives better or live in a safer environment and yet we often treat them like they are worthless. We act like immigrants are burdens we must support but we rarely allow them to legally support themselves.

Americanah taught me about a different kind of life while still being relatable and fascinating. Adichie was able to make observations and support arguments by allowing the reader to view the world from different perspectives. While the book may be a work of fiction it reads almost like a memoir, something where lines are blurred between a story and real life. Americanah is a must read for anyone trying to understand the world today.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gift Guide: The Local

Hey guys! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I don't know about you but I didn't eat enough mashed potatoes this year.

Now that Thanksgiving is over it's time to start talking about Christmas. Here in Traverse City we have a great variety of small businesses from boutiques, book stores, restaurants, and more. Since today is Small Business Saturday, when you're encouraged to shop from your local small businesses, I wanted to highlight gifts that are made in Northern Michigan (mostly right in TC).

- Soaking salts from The Great Lakes Bath + Body or any of the other good smelling body products they offer.

- A gift certificate to see a movie at The State Theater (with enough for popcorn too!)

- A favorite wine or beer from a local winery or brewery.

- Something sweet or savory from Cherry Republic.

- Olive oil from Fustini's for the cook in the family. They also offer cooking classes which I hear are a lot of fun, plus you get to eat the food after it's made.

- M22 clothing and accessories so they can show off their love for Northern Michigan.

- Locally made cold weather accessories from Baabaazuzu.

Have a good weekend and don't forget to shop locally for Small Business Saturday on November 28th!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Understanding Homelessness, A Local Coloring Book

One thing I love most about working at the library is being able to interact with people in the community. All types of people walk through the door and it's been nice connecting with individuals I might not meet otherwise.

Randy Parcher and his girlfriend Laurie Koelsch use the computer lab almost every day. Randy is an artist and he's constantly using the available resources to create new and exciting things. I've been lucky enough to witness his talent first hand and have watched him create some amazing work. Randy's most recent project has been a children's coloring book dedicated to educating people about homelessness. At the moment Randy is trying to raise money using a GoFundMe page to get the books printed and he's hoping to have books to sell within the next couple weeks.

Homelessness is a problem in every city and projects like these can help people better understand those who are on the street. To learn more about Randy and his coloring book check out this article from the local news or Randy's personal website.


Friday, November 20, 2015

November Essentials

Hat: This felt hat from Gap was a Christmas gift from several seasons ago. It's the perfect way to jazz up a dull November ensemble and I love the hunter green color. Find similar hats here.

Boots: You can't go wrong with a pair of booties in November. Mine are Lucky Brand.

Sweater: I found this sweater at a second hand shop in Kalamazoo a few years ago. The fact that it was originally a guy's sweater makes it comfortably oversized. The style isn't exactly perfect but it's great for days I just want to stay home and be warm (which is most days).

Dirty Chai Tea: I love dirty chai lattes so when I saw that Celestial Seasonings came out with new Dirty Chai Tea bags I knew had to try them out. It's not much of a surprise that they're amazing. I'm obsessed, much easier than making the espresso separately and certainly less expensive.

Fingerless Gloves: November has been unusually warm for Northern Michigan (well until yesterday) so my favorite pair of fingerless gloves have worked flawlessly this month. If you live where it's chilly but not too cold these are definitely a necessity.

Poetry: I'm currently reading "You Get So Alone At Times It Just Makes Sense" by Charles Bukowski. I enjoy reading poetry in the colder months and Bukowski is always good when you're feeling angsty.

Lip Balm: I have a confession; I lick my lips too often (as in all the time) so my lips are constantly chapped in the winter. Since chapped lips are never in style I always rely on my favorite Burt's Bee Mango lip balm.

Hand Lotion: Similarly to lip balm, another late fall/winter necessity is Aveda's Hand Relief moisturizing lotion.

What are some of your November essentials?


Monday, November 16, 2015

My Week In Links 4

Hello lovely readers,

First up, my coworker has an awesome blog where she writes about funny things and gives you library recommendations for all occasions. She recently posted this and I just want number four to be an actual thing. Someone make that happen.

If you want a laugh this gets me every time.

Speaking of laughs. I've gotten back into Hark! A Vagrant lately. I love this blog.

How badly do I want this ring

I'm in love with this jumpsuit from Johanna Ortiz. Everything in her Spring/Summer 2016 collection is beautiful. It's collections like this that make me wish I had followed my childhood dreams of being a fashion designer.

I'm on the hunt for simple, classy Christmas decorations like this one. If only I could figure out what the blog says about it...

I've been obsessively watching Tiny House videos for the past week. There's so many different options out there. 

Well hello beautiful glass planters.

Words to live by.

Please please please don't forget this. It's not religion that makes people violent it's violent people. Do not blame all for one group's actions.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Past The Weather

I was at work last night trying to write drafts of blog posts in my head. It was windy and cold yesterday and my brain kept wanting to start off with the weather. What a cliche. You'd think I'd be able to write a better introduction these days than a description of the weather. The weather is something you chat about with strangers to make things less awkward, and granted most people on the internet are strangers, one of these days we need to get past the pesky small talk and jump into the good stuff.

I'm still amazed that I've had this blog for five whole years now. My first blog post was November 5th, 2010 when I was still under the impression that this was a fitness blog. I haven't always been faithful to writing, and I certainly haven't been faithful to writing about fitness. This blog has morphed into something obscure even to me. I never know what I want to write about anymore. Life I guess? Everything. I always tell myself I'm going to blog more. I'll take more pictures and post every day but that never happens. It's okay. I forgive myself but that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up.

When I first started the blog my intention was to keep a daily schedule but I soon ran out of ideas. I lost momentum. I had nothing good to say so instead of saying whatever else there was I didn't say anything at all. Now I realize playing it safe, not writing because I didn't feel like I had a voice, waiting only for those times I thought I could produce something worthwhile was actually the wrong choice. When you wait for inspiration you end up silencing yourself for longer than you think. When it comes to blogging, or really anything in life, I'm no expert, but I do know that creating is like exercise. The best way to achieve success is to keep a routine.

So I can't promise to blog about one aspect of life specifically. I'm also sure there will be a fair share of less than stellar posts along the way, but after five years of blogging maybe it's time to start trying to open up. Maybe we can get past the weather and on to the good stuff.


Monday, November 9, 2015

The One Where I'm Addicted to My Laptop

I don't think I realized how reliant I was on my laptop until it decided to quit working last Monday night. One minute I was blissfully watching Twin Peaks and the next it was giving me error alerts and restarting every five seconds. Not usually a good sign I'd say. It's funny how a piece of technology can become your whole life. On my days off I am on my computer for probably 70% of the day, whether it's watching Netflix, watching YouTube, filming videos, editing, listening to music, writing a blog post, or just checking up on Facebook.

When it happened my first thoughts were, "shit, what do I do now? How soon can I get a new laptop? How can I afford another Macbook? How can I live my life without a computer?" As silly as it sounds, I thought it would be impossible to live without my own computer. I felt a big ball of stress form in my chest and a sense of loss for this object that represented so much of me. I guess I've always become easily attached to objects in my life. In school I was always hated lending out my pens and pencils because they felt too important. If someone forgot (or didn't really forget) to return a pen I would feel sad and occasionally a little angry.

I know now that these feelings are a waste of time and that writing utensils are not actually an extension of my own hand. My laptop is not a physical representation of my personality or sense of self for the last four and a half years, but sometimes it still feels that way. Remember that episode of Boy Meets World when Shawn finds Angela's purse and falls in love with the woman he believes she is by the items he finds inside? Well I've always considered my computer like Angela's purse; holding my private thoughts, my favorite books, music that I love, pictures of my family and friends. The internet may be an open pathway to the rest of the world but I know plenty of people who guard they're computers like a woman would her purse.

Honestly, I feel like this has forced me to really reevaluate my relationship with my Macbook and how dependent I am upon this technology. There are plenty of chores and activities to be done without a computer. In fact most of what I was doing, with the exception of filming/editing my YouTube videos, can be done without one. Once I got past the original feelings of frustration and the "I have nothing to do" thoughts, my mind felt much more free. I could read a book without being sidetracked by an email or blog post. I could concentrate on watching TV or Netflix without browsing the internet at the same time.

Being without my computer has allowed me to be more deliberate with my actions. I have gotten more done around the house in the last week then I have in the last month. I can't just waste hours of my life on the internet. I've had to adjust my daily schedule, especially my morning and night time routine. Now when I head to bed at 11:30 I spend a few minutes reading before falling asleep instead of spending two hours on my laptop.

I'm currently using my parents' Windows desktop. It's been years since I sat in the spare bedroom typing away on this faulty keyboard but it feels nice here. The more days that pass, the more I'm loving the freedom of living a laptop free life. Yes I have my phone, and I get frustrated when I know something would be that much easier on my own computer. I'm still looking to get a new Macbook as soon as possible, but the necessity and urgency I felt has worn off. It's easy to live in denial until you're forced to be without the thing you're addicted to.


P.S. Don't worry this will still be me the minute I get a new computer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Annual Mackinac Island Family Trip

Hey guys,

My family and I took our now annual trip to Mackinac Island a couple weeks ago. It was a beautiful for most of the day until the clouds blew in and the temperatures dropped. When we went last October it wasn't quite so chilly.

Although there were more people on the island this year, we didn't have to worry about fighting crowds or finding quiet paths to walk on. I really do prefer visiting Mackinac in the fall. Despite the weather you can't beat the color and the views.

After a nice walk to visit some of our favorite spots, we all headed back into town for a warm meal and some shopping. Another perk to visiting late in the fall: the sales. Mackinac Island has a surprising number of cute stores with a full stock of items you're likely to find on Etsy; pillows, greeting cards, fancy prints, and so much more. This year I picked up some supplies to make a Christmas bunting for the holiday season. I also ventured into the bookstore and managed to only buy one book. 40% off books will be the death of my bank account. Lastly, I couldn't leave without fudge since you know, I couldn't just buy it downtown Traverse City.

Just before we left the rain started to pour and the boat ride back to Mackinaw City was one of the longest of my life. At one point the boat tipped so far a few children and adults started screaming. Let's just say I've never been happier to be back on land.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Wrap Up

Hi Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I spend the majority of my Saturday reading as I was participating in the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon (if you hadn't already gathered that from the title of this post). This was my first time participating in this particular readathon and I quite liked the short time frame. All of the other readathons that I have done have been week long affairs. I found Dewey's slightly less stressful since there's only so much you can read in a day's time. It was a fun way to spice up a random Saturday and get some reading done.

For those of you who don't know Dewey's starts at the same time all over the globe. Since I'm in the Eastern time zone that meant being up and ready by 8am. Coffee and breakfast were required before jumping into my first book, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I actually started Station Eleven the night before and was on page 40 the next morning.

Station Eleven was the perfect way to start the readathon because the story pulled me in quickly. I was captivated by all that was happening in the book and excited that it lived up to the hype. Station Eleven was this month's pick for the Books and Brewskis book club, so I wanted to use the readathon to catch up before next week. By noon time I was around page 160 (half way through) and felt the sudden urge to set the book down. I wasn't tired of the book just afraid of how quickly I had been reading. When I love a story I tend to drag the book out as much as possible.

Next I picked up Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I had been reading Anne for the last week (or so) and was on page 180 when I started reading on Saturday afternoon. I still haven't actually decided whether I've read Anne before or not. I vaguely remember my mother possibly reading me some of it when I was younger but when I asked her she wasn't 100% positive either. I have quite possibly seen the mini series so many times I'm just remembering all the details from that instead.

Anyway I read Anne until the MSU vs. U of M football game started (GO GREEN!) My intentions were to read during commercial breaks throughout the game but that didn't work out as well as I had hoped. After the football game came the Red Wings game and my sports break ended up being 7 or so hours of non reading time. Oh well, it was a good day either way. I finished Anne of Green Gables Saturday night around 1:30am. Before taking a 3 hour nap I went back for another 20 pages of Station Eleven.

Finally, I woke up at 6:30am Sunday morning to finish out the last hour and a half of the readathon. Since it was early morning and it did take me a while to wake up I only managed to read 30 more pages in Station Eleven. In total I read 335 pages in the 24 hour period. Not bad, but certainly not my best. Next time I won't let sports games get in the way of my reading. Overall it was a very enjoyable Saturday of reading and I can't wait to participate in my next Dewey's Readathon.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Banned Book Week 2015

Hey guys,

Last week was Banned Book Week and I made a video to celebrate. 

The official week may have passed but it's never the wrong time to read a banned or frequently challenged book.

For more information on banned and challenged books in the U.S., visit the American Library Association website or the official Banned Book Week website. Protect your freedom to read!


Friday, October 2, 2015

The Empties

Hello Hello!

To usher in the autumn season, I thought I'd try something new and talk about a few of the beauty products I've used up recently. I know, I know, that's not very fall related now is it? I'll leave the pumpkin and plaid related posts for later.

Let's start with the products I will (or probably already have) purchase again.

First up we have two of my favorite life savers, Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Conditioner. I know I've mentioned my dry scalp in the past, and these products have been a huge help in preventing any flaking or itching. The tea tree in these products really helps clean my scalp without drying it out further.

CeraVe's Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin has been my go-to facial lotion for years now. I've checked out other moisturizers but always go back to using this one.

Aveeno's Active Naturals Daily Moisturizer is a new favorite that I picked up last spring. After trying to find lotions that were more natural and better for my skin while staying on the less expensive side, I finally found Aveeno's natural product line.

One product I haven't used since growing out my hair is L'Oreal's Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray. Since I'm usually too lazy to really do anything with my hair I only really use hairspray on special occasions anymore. I have been meaning to pick up a new can of this though because I do love how well it holds. Plus I can actually stand the smell of this product, which is not always the case for other hairsprays.

The products I will not be repurchasing are all ones I wanted to weed out of my daily routine. As I mentioned above, I have been trying to be more conscious of the type of products I put on or in my body. That mostly involves looking for products enriched with natural compounds rather than chemical ones.

Bath and Body Work's Cashmere Glow Body Cream and Secret Wonderland Shower Gel. I have always been a Bath and Body Works customer, but lately my mind and my body has been unhappy with some of their products. Both their shower gels and their body lotions irritate my skin rather than sooth/moisturize, and I find their scents over the top. I still have some B&BW candles and hand soap that I don't know if I'll be able to give up, but we'll see.

Lastly, Luscious Kisses Hydrating Body Lotion from Victoria's Secret. As far as I can tell they no longer carry this sent. Either way I won't be repurchasing it for pretty much the same reasons as the Bath and Body Works products (they are under the same company).

So there you have it. Now I can finally get rid of all of these empty containers I've had laying around. Time for a serious fall cleaning session.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Planner Stickers

Hello Hello!

As I mentioned in my July Favorites post, I have been loving planner stickers. I've always been drawn to creative outlets like scrapbooking, doodling and other artsy type activities, so it was no real surprise that I quickly became obsessed with planner stickers. They're so pretty. And so useful.

Okay maybe they aren't the greatest idea financially, but they bring me joy and that's what I'm focusing on. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use my planner and design my spreads. It'd be nice if I could afford all the stickers I wanted and make my planner exactly how I like, but that's never going to happen.

Since I love watching videos and looking at pictures of other people's planner spreads I figured it'd be fun to share the type of stickers I tend to buy. Here's a few of my favorite Etsy sticker shops. You can follow the link to each of the shops to find your own planner stickers.

Scribble Prints Co.

Vintage Gypsy Road



Sweet Kawaii Design


You can find a sticker for any type of activity or planner. There's so many variations of stickers available online. Once you jump down the rabbit hole though, there's no going back. Eventually I'd love to start trying to print or design some of my own stickers to save a little money, but for now I'll leave it up to the shop owners.

Have a good day!


Friday, September 11, 2015

Catchin' Up On GetaKloo

Hey Guys,

I haven't posted any videos recently on this blog so I thought it was time to catch up.

Let's begin with my very first book review. I read "Now I See You" by Nicole C. Kear a couple months ago for the Books and Brewskis book club that I'm a part of. I don't know if book reviews are really going to be my thing but I tried.

Next up is a casual Friday Reads video that I had a bunch of fun filming. I'm hoping to make more of these videos in the future.

Last, but not least, my September TBR video.

Hope you enjoy! Feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel, GetaKloo, if you want to see more videos in the future.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Currently Read: Lean In

"There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn in the most important quality a leader can have."

I had put off reading Lean In when it first became popular because at the time I had no job and no prospect of leading anything. I was already depressed and directionless and figured the book would just add to my pile of self pity. I'm glad I waited to read Lean In because I was able to appreciate all of the interesting facts and advice even more now.

Honestly, I was expecting this book to be inapplicable to my life and my career (or lack there of) even at this point in time. I don't currently work in an office job or even have a full time career. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a part time job at my local library. I figured a book about leading a business would have nothing to offer a woman who didn't even know what kind of business she wanted to be a part of. Boy, was I wrong. I finished the book feeling more hopeful for my future than I have felt in quite some time. I didn't feel discouraged or behind, I felt empowered to lean in. I was no longer on the bottom rung of the ladder but on a jungle gym; anywhere I go from here will be a step in the right direction.

Lean In seems to be both loved and hated by many. A large portion of the books criticism evolve around it's narrowed audience but I thought the book did a great job of giving advice for all women (and men) in the business world. Sure there were parts that didn't directly apply to my situation, but I could imagine her advice being useful in the future. I also agree that the book was filled with facts and advice many people have probably heard before. Some of the studies mentioned were straight out of my college courses, but not everyone sees how unbalanced the world is when it comes to gender. It's easy to ignore or deny the biases and contradictions when no one calls attention to them. Even when you do know about them, it's not always easy to change your own way of thinking.

Lean In should be read by everyone in or out of the business world. The knowledge in this book needs to be shared. If we don't call attention to gender inequalities we will never be equal.

- S

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, 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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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