Free Fallin’

Today, I woke up to an odd tingling throughout my body. A tingling that I hadn’t felt for many months. An unpleasant and altogether alarming sensation that bid me to raise my head from my matted and cozy pillow and look to the window and the world beyond. Though my eyes were still heavily crusted with the eye gunk that spoke to my deep sleep, there could be no mistaking what I saw. But, just to make sure, I rubbed my eyes and inched up a bit further off of the bed. Sighing, I plopped back down; yes, there was no mistaking it, I saw autumn.

I pulled the previously discarded covers up to my nose and took a few deep breaths. The chill I had previously experienced seemed to be disappearing, and a new emotion was stewing. Disappointment.

snoopy summer

With the beginning of fall comes a lack of vacations, the end of day trips to the beach, more school reading than is good for your developing eyesight, and a sun that just can’t compare to its glory days of summertime. From the moment that I looked outside through the slightly frosted window pane towards the browning leaves and dark morning sky, I knew that I wasn’t far from bidding my flip flops farewell.

These depressing trees are once again in our future...

These depressing trees are once again in our future…

The colder months have always seemed to fill me with despair (there is a reason this blog was started back in February, I am absolutely miserable during the winter months and I thought that I’d need something to keep me upbeat, positive, and positively engaged with the world). Both the fall and the winter greedily snatch away my afternoon tennis matches, make soaking up some rays a chilly impossibility, and cruelly transform the beautiful trees of the world into nothing more than a pile of grimy sticks with no aesthetic value until covered by the soft white of snow.

I did not ask for this. I never ask for this. In fact, I’ve so far removed myself from the possibility of having another couple months in the cold weather that this seasonal shift has taken me completely by surprise.

That might just be why, though in the throngs of an autumn transformation, I managed to enjoy my first fall since I foolishly longed for the days of snow and silence as a kid.

Those leaves hanging off of the tree sure do look beautiful.

When did smooth jazz become such a delight?

It’s been far too long since I’ve slide into slippers.

I never knew that the color red had so many shades.

Goodness, don’t I look cute in this scarf?

I was so shocked to find fall upon me that I forgot to compile a mental list of why I dislike this season. Instead, I was bombarded by all of the beauty and promise that fall has to offer. While my new-found affinity for this season may be short lived, I’m glad to give autumn one more chance to get into my good graces and search for the wonder behind the weather; provided it never again disrupts my sleep with its chill.

Though this signals an approaching winter, I can still appreciate its beauty while it lasts.

Though this signals an approaching winter, I can still appreciate its beauty while it lasts.

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Minty Fresh

The smell of mint does something to me. It tickles my nose in such a way that I can’t help but smile. I just hear the name, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, mint, mint, mint, and I begin giggling like a school girl. When at restaurants, I load up on those after-dinner mints to a point where it’d be embarrassing to be seen with me. If you looked in my car, you’d be sure to find those dinner mints spilling out of the glove compartment whenever you’d reach inside expecting to grab a napkin. Come the holiday season, I’ll begin applying a peppermint lotion that tempts me to lick it off my fingers, and would certainly succeed if I didn’t have mint whipped cream to add on top of a steamy cup of mint hot chocolate served in a mug decked out with holly leaves (sorry, no mint mug) to distract me.

DSCN1091The other night, in an effort to complete a bucket list item and cook up some tasty and healthy recipes, I made a delicious fettuccine pistachio-mint pesto dish. Can you guess what main ingredient attracted me to this dish?

But while combing the grocery store for ingredients, I still found myself wanting for a small sprig of mint. Finally, I found some mint, but it definitely wasn’t a small sprig; instead, they had a mint plant. A whole plant producing that wonderful smell and delightful taste that has long left me cheerful! Needless to say, I bought it. The whole plant. And now it sits in a pot on our deck, and I find myself making more and more excuses to sit outside, smell my mint, and be happy.

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An Ode to Swimming Pools

Please enjoy this silly little poem about how in love I am with swimming pools.

Swimming pools, oh swimming pools, what to even say?

The way I anticipate your cooling embrace all throughout the day.

It gives me chills to think of you and you light a certain spark.

Especially when I jump in and see your inflatable blow-up shark.

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My affinity for swimming pools runs deeper than an in-ground.

Especially when I noticed all the bugs you’ve sweetly drowned.

Though our time together is brief, I cherish your blue waters,

The only thing you could improve, is if you were filled with otters.

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For the joy you bring to me, swimming pool, I will always yearn,

Even when I must leave you, because your owners have returned.

Comments, Questions, Concerns?

I enjoy posting new additions to my blog, but one thing I adore above all else is viewing other people’s blogs.

I love the opportunity to hear what other people think about issues that I care about. I relish the opportunity to view new pictures and quotes that I never would have been exposed to otherwise. I can’t wait to scroll through the WordPress reader and see how my day will be affected by each blog that I read. And above all, I love letting others know that I appreciate the time they’ve taken to post!

wordpress like buttonThere’s (almost) nothing better than getting an email alert or seeing that little star icon to let you know that someone has liked your post. At least one person out there in the whole wide world took the time out of their day to let you know that they enjoyed something you wrote, and that’s a big freakin’ deal! And providing that same feeling of elation for someone else is just as great a feeling!

How long does it take to like a post? One second? Two seconds? Maybe even half a second! And in that second, you can completely brighten up someone’s day.

wordpress commentAnd the one thing better than a like? A comment! There’s (absolutely) nothing better than getting a request to approve a comment, or seeing that speech bubble icon let you know that someone has so thoroughly enjoyed your post, that they took a whole minute out of their hectic day to think of something unique and special to say! Even if I only put as innocent a comment as, “Wow, your cat is so cute!”, I know it’s made someone’s day, and in turn, that makes my day!

It’s truly better to give than to receive. So don’t be stingy with that “like” or “comment” button, and be sure to share the love and get some happiness coming your way!

Crochet, No Way…

As a young girl, I remember sitting on the couch next to my mom as she crocheted brightly colored afghans. I was the designated string lackey and unwound coils of yarn with faithful precision. She would churn out blankets so quickly (thanks in part to her dedicated string lackey), that our household was never in want of some warm and brightly colored covers.

4 years ago, I began my crocheting journey. I wanted so badly to string together such beautiful creations, that I ran to my nearest Joanne’s and bought all of the blue yarn I could get my hands on, I picked out the shiniest crochet hook I could find, and I examined my mom’s handiwork to get an idea of what pattern I wanted to try my hand at. I was ready. I was set. I was good to go.

4 years later, and I’m a bit more than halfway through crocheting this afghan thanks to a host of unforeseen challenges:

  • My awkward hands took so long to grow accustomed to the necessary movement of the yarn
  • As the blanket grew, it became difficult to move around and continue working
  • Afghans make you warmth, and too much warmth makes you uncomfortable and antsy
  • I never really understood how to keep the edges the same length, so it looks a bit loopy on the sides
  • I vastly underestimated how much string would be needed, and had to continue making trips and spending money for more yarn
  • I overestimated how much I enjoyed crocheting

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IMG_2234To make matters worse, my boyfriend bought me an animal crochet kit as a surprisingly thoughtful birthday gift (while I was on my initial crochet high) whose impossible instructions have only fueled my frustration with this silly art form.

Despite being hidden away in a bag for the past two years, my afghan is out and about once again, and more than ready to be finished! While I’m not too enthused to begin crocheting, I’ve received a sudden outpouring of motivation from wanting to complete just one of my many  projects, and wishing that I wouldn’t have to look at bags and bags of string whenever I pass by my living room.

Sorry, I Can’t Afford to Say Yes…

I’m a yes kind of gal. I enjoy experiencing new opportunities and always being up for anything (within the confines of the law and my morals). When a friend asks about going out to dinner, when someone texts me looking for someone to pal around with at the Orioles game, when my Mom casually suggests we see a show: yes, Yes, YES!

DSCN0474Thanks to this bold mentality I’ve been to see a deaf production of Alice in Wonderland, run a 5K, made strong friendships, helped education people on domestic violence, gone to many Orioles games, splashed around in color at Holi, attended a concert, seen Beauty and the Beast performed live, listened to a lecture by the Dalai Lama, and much much much more (most adventures chronicled here on my blog). I’ve done so much that it’s hard to imagine I’m only 20 years old. I’ve done so much that it’s absolutely inconceivable to me how some people could be limited to experience such exciting events.

Tomorrow I’m going to laser tag, over the weekend I’m going to see Despicable Me 2, and I may even stop by bingo on Saturday. No, I don’t have that much money (especially since I’ve been working two unpaid internships), but I’ve come to realize that money is just money, and if I don’t spend it to give myself enjoyable life experiences with the people that I care about, what good is it. But, sadly, not all college-aged kids can say the same thing, because cost really is a determining factor.

college moneyAs a college student, I see this a lot. Kids are just too tied down paying for food, housing, tuition, books, to say yes to life. One day (hopefully) they will be settled in a career and able to make the kind of money that will let them live out their dreams. As for right now, it’s just sad to watch my friends limit all they could be experiencing due to cost.

If you don’t have money, try living within your means, but don’t forget to have fun. If you do have money, it’s nice to save some, but never forget to use it for what it’s meant for, LIVING!

money marshmellows

Ocean City Dreams

Every year my family takes a trip Ocean City, Maryland to visit my grandparents and have some fun in the sun.

I’m sure you all can guess exactly what comes with the promise of a family vacation:

  • Yelling and screaming over the TV channel
  • My grandparents’ refusal to turn on the air conditioningIMG_2194
  • Losing to my Mom in cards
  • Taking far too many pictures of my cat
  • Wishing my Poppy didn’t wake up the house at 5 in the morning by stirring his coffee
  • Trekking sand around the house all week despite making 1 trip to the ocean
  • Not having enough time to visit the boardwalk because your family is still playing with the cat
  • Sitting in traffic in the church parking lot after a slightly pathetic 4th of July fireworks display

This is the only real vacation I get for the summer. To some people, it may have seem like a wasted trip, more like a test of my patience than an enjoyable time. But, after vacationing with these people for all of my life, I’ve learned to look at things a different way.

So in addition to all of those riveting events, also came:

  • Sleeping in and bumming around watching American Pickers
  • A warmth that thawed me out from the constant stream of air conditioning I’ve grown accustomed to and will forever keep me heated
  • Trying to sabotage my Mom in cards and finding innovative ways to at least beat my DadDSCN0905
  • Taking far too many adorable pictures of my cat
  • Spending quality time with my silly and even more adorable grandparents
  • Relaxing on the beach and gaining a slight tan
  • Always finding room in my stomach to gorge myself with buttery scallo9ps
  • Watching fireworks with my one-of-a-kind family

One of my absolute favorite parts of this trip was getting to take pictures of our adventures. Even though we go every year, I’m always too busy living in the moment to take pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like that’s a great mentality to have, but when you want to share meaningful moments on a blog, pictures are nice too.

I hope you enjoy this!

I hope you enjoy this!

And even though the fireworks weren’t as good as they’ve been in the past, it’s still balls of light, color, and sound exploding into the night sky and occasionally making a smiley face. And that’ll always be worth seeing. When fireworks are involved, how could anyone not look on the bright side? (Pun intended…)

Make Your Bed, Make Your Day

I have vivid memories of being a young child and constantly being nagged to make my bed. I don’t know why it was any concern of my mother’s as to the cleanliness of my room, but she constantly fought with me over the state of my purple flowered sheets and green flowered quilt.

bed sheetsBut now that I’m older, something weird has happened. I simply cannot bare to start my day with an unmade bed.

I love knowing that no matter what happens in the day, I’m off to an organized and predictable start when I wake up and begin folding covers and tucking in edges just how I like. There’s a peace of mind offered by knowing that no matter what the day brings, I at least know I’ve gotten one thing right in making my bed.

Sometimes, mothers are smart ladies.

Shucking Corn and Loving Life

I never expected shucking corn to be one of life’s simple pleasures. But when you’re sitting on your back porch enjoying the light rays of sunshine, watching bunnies and chipmunks dart around in front of you, smiling at the memories of running outside to catch the falling hale so you could water the house plants with the tiny cubes of ice, remembering how you would catch fireflies for your mom and gently carry them back to the same steps you’re sitting on, and smelling the freshly cut grass from your neighbor’s lawn, it’s hard not to fall into happiness.

I never wanted to be out there dealing with errant silk strings and messy corn leaves, but I’m oh so grateful that I did, because I found more life on those steps than I had ever expected.

Project “Lose The Snooze” (Button)

I love this idea! I can’t wait to greet the morning each and every day, and the snooze button only prolongs the beautiful opportunity to wake up to the sun shining. Of course, I say that now, but when I’m laying all curled up in my covers snuggling with my teddy bear, it seems to be a completely different story…

peonut

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If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know it’s no secret that I dislike mornings. Or do mornings dislike me? Honestly, I’m not sure which way it goes – but I do have a love-hate relationship with the snooze button on my alarm. That much I can tell you.

But the Internet says it’s better to try and be a morning person (and who am I to deny the Internet). Some kind folk have put together pointers to make it easier, too!

Greatist does it with humour: Hey, Sleepyhead! How To Be A Morning Person (albeit a post trying to sell their book on the same).

Wikihow’s article made be laugh, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant to… Be A Morning Person – with pictures!

Martha Stewart also chips in with her two breakfast-in-the-mess-hall cents.

One thing they all have in common: lose the snooze button!

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