Summer Bucket List Update!

Summer is flying by! Why does it feel like winter lasts 10 months and summer is like half of one? Luckily, I’m going by calendar year summer and my summer doesn’t end until September 22. I still have A LOT to do, but I’m chugging along! What are you looking forward to this summer?

  1. Read 5 books
  2. Have a picnic
  3. Visit Longwood Gardens
  4. Travel out of state 5 times
  5. Go to a concert
  6. Go to the beach at least once a month
  7. Reach 1,200 Twitter followers
  8. Reach 6,800 Instagram followers
  9. Reach 2,900 WordPress followers
  10. Reach 650 Facebook likes
  11. Finish my photo album
  12. Meet up with friends at least twice a month
  13. Host a game night
  14. Eat vegan once a week
  15. Go to the gym at least twice a week
  16. Plan a trip for 2 year anniversary
    New Hampshire in September 🙂
  17. Change my hair
  18. Put more money into savings
  19. Make a wreath
  20. Make better choices when it comes to accepting sponsored posts
  21. See fireworks
  22. Watch 10 sunsets
  23. Take a walk with my boyfriend once a week

June Recap

I have a feeling summer is going to fly by before I even get a chance to enjoy it. Did June even happen? Here’s a look at what I did and what I loved:

Favorite show: Riverdale (season 2)

Favorite memory: Spending the day with my boyfriend at a winery.

Favorite place: Sea Isle City, NJ

Favorite meal: We had a date night at a farm to table restaurant where I had an awesome cheese plate and scallops!

Favorite Instagram: Me and Kaya – her first time at the beach!

Favorite Tweet: I made a list of some of the products that have helped me go plastic free!

Favorite book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

Favorite blog post: This post about not wanting kids.

Favorite collaboration: How fun are these socks?!

What was one of your favorite things about June?

6 More Things That Make Me A Happier Person

When you’re in a not-so-great place, it is not easy to find five things that will cheer you up. But as you grow, you begin to add to that list. You find more and more things that help put you in the direction you want to be in. The direction of happiness.

Here are five things that made me a happier person when I was a not so happy person. And here are six things that make me a happier person now that I am in a better place:

  1. Celebrating every little thing
    We accomplish things on a daily basis and those things should be recognized. You and the people you surround yourself should be proud of everything that you work for. So if you got a raise at work, or hit a goal you’ve been working towards, or just got out of bed today – pop a bottle of champagne because you deserve it.
  2. Writing down what I’m grateful for
    Every day I write 10 things I am grateful for in what I call my gratitude journal. Sometimes it’s not easy to come up with 10, sometimes it is. It really makes me reflect on the great things I have in my life.
  3. Picking up an activity that clears your mind
    This should be something you can do alone. Get a coloring book. Read a book. I recently started going to yoga classes, but now I can try and practice that alone at home as well.
  4. Setting achievable and reach goals
    Ever since I started writing down what I want to achieve, I started accomplishing more. It’s easy to accomplish something like “change my hair in the month of January” and I still feel the reward. It’s a little harder to accomplish things like “get a raise at work” but writing it down will get you there.
  5. Letting go of the things I can’t change for people
    I used to feel guilty, a lot, because I’m introverted and often just don’t enjoy going out every weekend or making non stop plans. I am starting to put things into perspective where that’s a part of me that doesn’t need to change and everyone just needs to accept it.
  6. A positive mindset
    It seems so simple, but we go into most things negatively whether we mean to or not. Do you want to be happier this year? Then think happy thoughts as often as you can.

    hc
    photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fox3nova/

The Hookup On: Top 10 Books That Changed My Life

Thanks Sub Soare for nominating me to do this! It’s hard to even think of all the books I’ve read, many of them have actually never made a huge impact on me. Here are ten books that changed my life, kind of in order:

  1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  2. Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  3. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  4. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  5. Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyers (don’t judge me guys!!)
  6. 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  7. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  8. The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
  9. Leftovers by Laura Weiss
  10. How It Ends by Laura Weiss

Of course each book has a very special reason as to why they made the list – but I think it’s more fun not to share 🙂 Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you have any book recommendations!

I’m nominating a few people to do this, but you’re not obligated to 🙂

Ain’t No Party
Single and Southern
Happy Alex
TimelessWheel

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicoleneu1/

Succeeding In Today’s Schools

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hackny/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hackny/

I’ve resisted school ever since I was young. Waking up early only to sit at a desk for hours a day just didn’t make sense to me. I never put in my full effort. Not in middle school, not in high school, and not in college.  I paid attention as little as I needed to to pass the class.  I didn’t fail classes, I didn’t really even get C’s. But I never learned, either.

Everything in the school system is so dependent on grades and test scores rather than actually measuring how much a student is learning.

I don’t understand math, I never have and probably never will at this point.  Yet, I passed all of my classes because I bullshitted enough to get by for the quiz that week or haggled the answer out of my teacher by showing how much I was struggling.  Then we would start a new topic and it just seemed to me that I never had to learn what we were learning before anyway.  It was done and over with – I would never use it again.

The people who succeed, despite the school system failing them, are those who are completely motivated by learning.  They do it on their own time and they love it.  They don’t measure all of their knowledge based off what grades they’re getting in school or what their SAT score was.

I took plenty of classes in college that were appealing to me. I took plenty of classes in college that were poorly taught.  I can only name a few classes where I learned things that benefited my future and myself. The rest, I did the bare minimum and still got an A.  Professors don’t want to fail you, especially for a general education course.  How are we supposed to be interested in every prerequisite class thrown our way? How does anyone learn that way?  In the end, it didn’t really matter how much I actually knew to get my degree.  I got it because I passed my classes and kept my GPA up.

And you won’t get a job without a degree.  You won’t get a job without two years of sociology, psychology, literature, and ethics classes.  You won’t get a job if you don’t fake it till you make it enough in those classes to have a high GPA.

I can’t blame the people who aren’t consistently curious like I am, but the school system is completely failing these people because they are only motivated off of numbers that don’t even measure learning.  It’s not their fault, it’s the fault of those who are telling them that’s all you need to be successful in life – a 95 on a test, a 2300 on the SATs or whatever the SAT’s are scoring as high these days, a 4.0 GPA.

(If I end up being successful) I attribute it all to googling every question that popped into my head and reading articles until I was satisfied.  I attribute it to the countless books I’ve read since I was a kid, for fun and not because I was being forced to.  I attribute it to my 5th grade teacher who got me into creative writing, my 7th grade English teacher who became family, my high school history teachers who loved the world’s past, my New Media professors in college, and the few other random professors who just had a passion for what they were teaching.  The teachers who wanted to teach for our benefit and not their own.