Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Goal-Getters / July

In the past on this blog, I've tried writing out my goals both weekly and monthly and neither of them worked out quite right for me. So new plan: I'd like to try setting goals at the beginning of the month like usual, but then instead of going a whole month on those goals (and--let's be honest--forgetting what most of them were by the end of the month), I'm planning on doing a check-in on my goals halfway through the month.

Sound like a good plan? If you'd like to join in with me, leave your links below and I can check out your goals and support you in them. :)

+ Read four books. WOW this one is crazy ambitious for me. Four books! One month! I'm part of the reading program for adults at my local public library and if I can read six books (I've already read two) by the end of July, I can be entered in a drawing for a Kindle. And really…I kind of doubt that there will be that many entries so I feel like I definitely have a decent chance of winning if I can enter.

+ Maintain good study habits with my class! I'm taking an online Agricultural Economics course over the next month and a half, just to get it out of the way. It's a little bit tricky to stay on task when it's online because there are no lectures to attend or office hours or whatnot. It's all up to me to stay on track!

+ Exercise at least three times a week consistently. I've still got maybe seven pounds left of my Freshman Fifteen (it's totally a real thing) that I'm working on, but it's tricky to get in exercise when I'm not part of a gym here in Michigan since I'm only here for the summer. That means my options are pretty much bodyweight exercise or running, neither of which I'm too fond of.

+ Develop at least another hour's worth of material for kickboxing class. Starting in August, I'll be teaching a class every single week! I really want to keep things fresh for my participants so we're not doing the same routines every week but I'm not the best at writing new routines quickly. That's why I want to plan ahead and get plenty prepared this summer!

I think that's plenty for now! So in two weeks or so, we'll check back in and see how I'm doing on all of these!

What are your goals for the summer?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Curated Weekly / 17

I have to admit, it feels really good to be getting back in the swing of blogging. I really have missed blogging and all of you. If you're a new reader or a lurker or even just an old friend, please leave a little comment or tweet at me and say hi! If you have a blog of your own, feel free to leave a link and I'll check it out!

This week has been really nice! I've just been relaxing and getting lots of exercise in. I gained like five or ten pounds over the course of the school year and while a lot of it was muscle, some of it was definitely from late-night Nutella snacking. I've been lifting a lot as usual, but also trying to get better about incorporating running and biking into my routine for some cardio.

I've got a really busy summer ahead of me! Lots of work (managing my ice cream shop!), studying (I'm getting certified as a group fitness instructor / taking an economics class online) and exercise (because the Freshman Fifteen is real).

What's going on in your life?

I've been listening to a whoooole lot of Grateful Dead lately. They're the perfect mix of rock and folk and I just love it. My all-time favorite song is "Friend of the Devil" (links are Youtube)--it's the kind of song I can just listen to over and over and over. I also really love the Grace Potter cover of it. Seriously one of the most beautiful songs ever.

Also, just sort of a funny story: a few weeks ago, I ran a 5K and I had on an 8tracks playlist with really strong beats while I ran. You know, dubstep/rap and whatnot to get me going. Well, about a half mile before I got to the finish line, the playlist ended and flipped to the next playlist that I had favorited. Which was....hawaiian folk music. And I didn't want to stop running because I wanted to finish in a decent time, so I just listening to super calming John Cruz music while trying to pump out the last half mile. So that was fun.

Lately I've been studying to take my ACE exam to get certified as a Group Fitness Instructor (I passed!! Hooray!). And who knew, there is SO. much. information to learn before you can get certified. I have two textbooks full of information on anatomy and kinesiology and nutrition and teaching group fitness classes so I pretty much just have had my nose in them for awhile.

I did start one book last week that is super interesting, though I'm not too deep into it. It's called Stiff and it's basically about cadavers used for medical purposes and all that. Yeah, y'all knew I was weird, but it's official now. And there's another book I've been meaning to read called Beyond the Body Farm. You can read the whole description but it's basically all about the intersection of science and forensics and that's super interesting to me.

This gorgeous shot from The Jungalow. Isn't is dreamy? Find more inspiration on my Pinterest.

What's going on in your life these days?!

Call Me Sassafras

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recently Read

Well I haven't written one of these in approximately forever! Really though, it's because my reading habit has seriously struggled in the last year or so. But thankfully, with all the traveling that I've been doing lately, I've had tons of time in planes or cars to sit around and read. Yay for that!

The 13.5 Lives of Captain Bluebear

This totally isn't a new book to me and it's actually a children's book even though it's 700+ pages. I read it for the first time when I was 11 or 12 and I make a point to reread it every two or three years just because I love it so much. 

The book details the life of a blue bear (surprise, his name is Bluebear) through a make-believe world. It's really just such a weird, crazy imaginative book and it's plain delightful to read. It's full of stories about pirates who are six inches tall, living inside a giant's brain, a town inside a tornado and the city of Atlantis. I can't recommend this book enough!

Obviously, 5/5 stars. Read it.

Find it on Goodreads.

Shopaholic to the Stars

Total chick lit, I know. So this book is part of a series about Becky Bloomwood Brandon, a usually lovable shopaholic and all the antics she gets herself into. Usually, I love these books. They're easy to read, they're usually pretty funny and Becky is a fun character. I even really liked the movie, even though it was admittedly sort of dumb.

And this book wasn't really so bad, it just has a terrible ending (I won't spoil it!). Also Becky, is just selfish and childish throughout the whole book, and it's really hard to read a long book if you don't like the protagonist. But I still loved the earlier books so much that I'm holding out faith that the next one will be good.

My Rating: 2/5 stars.

That's all I've got for today! I'm working on another fun book (about cadavers! Totally not joking.) so hopefully I can do another one of these posts soon.

What have you been reading? Any all-time favorites that I need to read?

Monday, June 22, 2015

4 Things I Learned From Two Weeks Without a Laptop

A few weeks ago, I unintentionally went two weeks without using a computer. Two. Whole. Weeks. And then I did it again, without even really trying!

I'm really still in awe of myself.

I love my computer. I always have. When I was eight or nine and my family had first gotten a computer, I remember my parents limited my computer time to maybe fifteen minutes a day. But as soon as my parents left me alone, I'd always run to the computer to get a little more time in (sorry Mom!) to go feed my Neopets or play Zoo Tycoon or whatever it is eight-year-olds do on the computer. 

I've just always been amazed by the internet and just how freaking much there is out there. From my Zoo Tycoon-playing days until now, I've never been the type to voluntarily give up my computer. So I think you might now understand just how amazing it is that I went two weeks without my computer without even really trying. 

Really, it was a weird experience. Here are a few things I took away:

1. We aren't really as reliant on some technology as we think. I thought I would just die to be without Netflix on a big screen (compared to my phone) and without updating my music and whatnot. But (surprise!) I was just fine. I suppose, we all knew that all along, but it's funny how we can convince ourselves that we need things.

2. While technology isn't bad, it can be cheap replacement for real relationships and fun. I'm sure it's no surprise that it was rewarding to spend a little more time with my boyfriend H and with family, but I was more surprised that I actually ended up having more fun. In the past, whenever I've had free time, my go to "fun" pastime was watching Netflix or noodling around on the Internet. 

You know what else is just as fun, or dare I say...more fun? Reading. Jogging. Organizing. Trying weird makeup looks on yourself. Cooking. 

I tend not to do these things because they're the species of fun that's a little more effort, but they really are more satisfying in the end than just mindlessly lounging in front of some Law and Order.

3. Social media really doesn't make you happier. Duh, I know. But there really is something to be said about the way social media makes us compare ourselves to others and worry about things that don't matter. Even though I had been having a great time with friends and family, as soon as I started checking social media more often (though I had been somewhat through my phone) those compare-y thoughts wiggled back into my brain and it seemed like everyone else was having a better summer than me already.

4. Reading the newspaper is just better than reading the news online. It just is. 

Also: doing sudokus is a whole new level of nerdy fun.

What do you think? Could you go without your computer? 

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