Friday, December 19, 2014

Curated Weekly / 6

The best part of this week for me is that I'm HOME! For the first time since August. I have to say, it is quite lovely! I've never appreciated two-ply toilet paper so much. H and I took a little day trip to see some family and Christmas lights and then had a fancy dinner together on Wednesday. It's so good to see him without a deadline so close, you know? The last few times I've seen him, it's only been for the day or for a weekend. But now I've got him for a few weeks!

But unfortunately, today (10:45!!) I have to get my wisdom teeth out and I'm scared out of my pants. I'm not really sure, but I'm guessing I'll be totally out of commission for at least a few days + I'm scared to plan on blogging while on the pain medication. I'd probably just post a selfie of my squirrel cheeks or something and we don't want that. So I'm going to schedule a post for next Tuesday + I doubt I'll really be responding to comments much because I'd probably say something really dumb or be like this girl and be convinced I go to Hogwarts. 

+ Just for fun--pinata inspiration.

A few days ago, I found this amazing folksy Christmas playlist and I've been playing it constantly! It's a great mix of old and new songs done in indie folk style. Also, I love this 50s Christmas playlist that I made a few years ago. Makes me want to dance around the kitchen!

Kind of oddly, I'm loving all sorts of winter imagery (maybe that's not odd). Especially living in Florida these days, I just get such enjoyment out of seeing pictures of snow and trees and classic Christmas scenes! I grew up in Minnesota + I still spend my New Year's in the Midwest, so these pictures feel very familiar to me. 

Also, I'll shamelessly add, that if you enjoy things like that, you can follow me on Pinterest straight from the sidebar.

Also also, for obvious reasons (aka I'll be on pain drugs for the next week), I'm not setting any goals this week. We'll pick up next week!

What's going on with you this week?!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

3 Apps for Beginner Meditation

I'll be honest, meditation freaks me out a little bit. It sort of makes me think of foreign movies with monks chanting and whatnot. And I'll admit, I am not a huge meditating person. I meditate maybe three times a week, if that. So it would seem like I am not the person to be telling you about meditation, but I've started practicing it and I think it's worth a try, even if it feels totally weird at firest. I just want to show you that meditation is easy + doesn't need to be something that only woo-woo hippies and monks and life coaches do. 

I could do a quick google search and I'm sure find many benefits of meditation on all parts of your life, but I'll just tell you my experience. Meditation helps me chill the heck out. I'm not a huge worrier but I do get anxious sometimes (which is actually very different). Meditation is great for calming down if you are a worrier or if you're like me, just a better way of maintaining your peace.

I like to meditate when I get up in the morning, before bed and in the middle of a busy day. It doesn't have to be a long time--I usually only take 5-10 minutes. I really like apps that offer guided meditation because let's be honest, meditation is a really weird concept and it's always helpful to have someone tell you what to do. Here are my favorites:

Stop, Breathe and Think / I especially love this app because before you start, the app asks you to take a moment and assess your emotions--are you concerned, content, distracted? Then it offers meditation tracks based on what you report. The only con of this app is there aren't many different tracks to choose from (maybe 10-15). But it's totally free, so it's still a great option.

Buddhify 2 / This is the only paid app on this list and at $3, I think it's worth it. The cool thing about buddhify is it aims to have you practicing mindfulness throughout your day. You choose from activities like traveling, walking in the city, in nature, and for when you can't sleep (and a bunch more). There are lots of options in this app + it always helps me connect with my day.

Deep Relax / This is not exactly a meditation app because it doesn't offer any sort of voiceover telling you what to do. Instead, it's just natural sounds and white noise that can be used as a background for your meditation. I have a saved mix of crackling fire, rain, waves, quiet frog croaking and a quiet buzz in the background that I use for meditation. This is also great for yoga and falling asleep! I swear I sleep better with rain noise in the background.

Do you meditate?! Do you have any tools that help you incorporate meditation in your daily life?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good Deed: Compliment a Stranger

Every once in awhile, I'll be scrolling around on facebook (i.e. procrastinating) and I'll come across some sweet status from a friend about how someone paid for their Chick-fil-A that day or said something really encouraging. And I love that! I love when someone does something little and it impacts someone's entire day. If you knew you could make someone's day in just a few minutes, wouldn't you do that thing?

And so with that idea, I've come up with a new idea for a sort of miniseries in which we'll talk about + share ideas for little things we can do for people in our lives (or strangers!) that will make everyone a little bit happier. These will be short posts because I want to focus on doing good deeds, not just writing about them.

This week, I challenged myself to compliment a stranger. A month or so ago, I was waiting at a bus stop and this girl walking just stopped and told me my glasses were adorable. And you better believe it made my day! So I made that my goal. Since I live on a college campus, I'm around strangers all the time. But surprisingly, this was way hard. Every time I saw someone and wanted to compliment their eyes or their shirt or whatever, they were either walking right past me or had headphones in or something like that.

Finally, I did. There was a girl sitting across from me on the bus who had oxford shoes on that we covered in gold glitter (I know, I want them). After a few minutes of riding in deliberation, I finally just told her, "Your shoes are really cute." She smiled and said thank you but I have no idea if it meant anything to her. Maybe it didn't, but that's okay. It's a start!

Now it's up to you! Compliment a stranger (or at least a non-friend, non-family person) this week. What other little good deeds can we do to make other people's days better?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Curated Weekly / 5

This week has been an infinite improvement on last week even though finals are starting and I'm still kind of sick. I had my plant science final on Tuesday and I'm not sure I did as well as I wanted to keep my A-. Sad. I also finished a big paper on blueberry breeding and commercial production in Florida and I'm happy to have that finished!

At my college, we get Thursday and Friday off for "reading days" so I've pretty much been studying all day. My church and small group both had Christmas parties on Wednesday night and last night, some friends and I had a late-night pancake party. Yay college. 

But I'm so excited to be heading home to NC in a few days. I miss H and my family and my friends! I still keep up with a couple of my high school friends and I haven't seen some of them since June. Also, H and I have lots of fun dates planned to celebrate our 1000 day anniversary, including a fun little day trip. Can you tell we like any excuse to celebrate?!

+ A gift guide for your ultra-cool, but elegant bff. (I would love half of these things!) [Cup of Jo]
+ 4 beautiful brush fonts. [Noor AlQahtani]
+ Beautiful and festive desktop wallpapers (I love #10, #11 and #15!). [Brit + Co]

Get Together / The Youngbloods

I am sooo close to being done with the semester. I have three more exams and then I'll be home! Unfortunately, I'll be getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday (I'm terrified!) and I'll be pretty out of commission for a good bit of my break. I just hope I'm all up to snuff by Christmas! 

I'm aiming to read at least two books over Christmas break, so my goal this week is to pick out a book to read and start it! Since I know you all have recommendations on what I should read, please leave me some comments! I have hardly been reading since school started so I don't even have much of a list going! 

So! What are you reading (book-wise and blog-wise)? What's going on with you lovely people?

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