I’m Back!

Well it looks like I ended up taking a month-long blogging hiatus. It’s been a bit of a crazy month to say the least.

I’ve settled into the school routine again. It always takes me awhile but it feels real now. Having two midterms (can they even call them that?) in a day made it real.

I’m excited to get back to the regular type of programming and all the topics I like to write about (health, food, running, respecting your body, confidence, etc., etc….), but for now I thought I would include some highlights from the past month.

I went to a leadership conference for my sorority in Atlanta with some of my favorite ladies. I learned so much about my own leadership style, how I relate to others, and how to create programs that are enriching and fun! It was an awesome experience!

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I’ve been loving spin classes lately and that’s how I’ve been getting a lot of my exercise lately. It’s been nice not having running goals since it’s been allowing me to pursue other ways that I like to move!

I donated blood for the first time! Honestly the worst part was when they did a finger prick to find out if my iron levels were okay. I mean it’s not exactly comfortable having someone stick a needle in your arm to look for a vein but it’s not that bad! Giving blood made me so thankful that I am in good enough health to do so. I’m at a healthy weight and have good iron levels which isn’t something I’ve always been able to say.

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My friend is back from being abroad and it makes me super happy (she probably will eventually read this, so hey Claire). It has meant lots of lunch dates and catching up. She also agrees to go to social events with me in matching athletic clothing and tolerates my weird antics. That’s true friendship!

I’ve been drinking lots of tea and coffee lately. It hasn’t been horribly cold here in Virginia but once as it hits 50 degrees or lower, it’s hot coffee and hot tea all the way over here.

I read 5 books in January! The Last Anniversary and The Husband’s Secret (Liane Moriarty), Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov), 50 Children (Steven Pressman), and Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel). My favorite among these was Like Water for Chocolate. I love mystical realism and a lot of the magical elements in this book surrounded cooking so it was delightful for many different reasons!

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I’m currently reading Kane & Abel (Jeffrey Archer) and The Secret History (Donna Tartt). I’m always open to book suggestions!

I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. I judge myself for it but hey it’s some great drama!

I’ve been cooking a lot more for myself this semester. Funny story, I usually post my breakfasts/meals I cook on Snapchat and a lot of my friends enjoy seeing them I guess? I think it’s because our dining hall food isn’t that great so anything homemade/slightly aesthetically pleasing seems amazing by comparison.

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Old picture, but basically same breakfast I eat half the time

Well that’s about all from me for now! I hate to disappear off the face of the planet for so long, so I’m hoping to get to more regularly scheduled blogging, but I make no promises!

Wishing you a happy Monday!

Peanut butter in oatmeal, yes or no?

Last book you read?

Do you wear athletic clothes in social settings? about 75% of the time…

Self-Care Tips & Links

Hey there and happy Friday! It’s my last Friday of break and it’s bittersweet. I’m excited to head back to school and start a new semester but I’m also sad not to have as much free time to just relax. I love having a schedule and structured days, but I think it’s good to change things up every once in awhile if it means some important relaxation time.

Today, I have self-care on the brain. I first heard the term self-care about 6-8 months ago. I thought at first it was some kinda hippy-feel-good-vibey thing. Silly me to jump to conclusions!

I’ve learned that self-care is actually more about taking care of yourself rather than being burned out all. the. time. It means taking a minute or an hour to pause: to watch Netflix, go on a walk, bake something delicious, journal, pray, etc. In a world where there’s a lot of bragplaining about how busy everyone is, self-care is desperately needed. I think we’re meant for more than mechanically just getting by and always feeling exhausted.

Here are three things I’ve learned about self-care:

It’s not something to feel guilty about. Taking 20 minutes of every day to write in a journal, read a book, or watch an episode of your favorite T.V. show isn’t unproductive. It’s rejuvenating. It’s necessary to prevent yourself from burning out. And sometimes you’ll only need 10 minutes a day to do this, other days you’ll need 3 hours because the day has gone poorly. Either is okay.

You need to figure out what self-care is to you, because it’s probably going to be different for you than your neighbor. For me, I always feel way more centered and peaceful when I take some time to pray, journal, and read God’s Word. I don’t do this every day, but it’s something I at least make an effort to do. I also feel rejuvenated and refreshed when I go on a run, read a good book, or color. For some of my friends, it means doing yoga, or playing an instrument, or watching the Bachelor, or getting a pedicure. Whatever it is, don’t feel ashamed for taking a break from the things you have to do to take a few to care for your soul. Everyone must rest.

Sometimes you don’t have time for even 10 minutes to yourself. But there are small things you can do. For example, let’s say you have a commute that you have to do on top of a crazy busy day that is filled from morning to evening. Use that commute to listen to a favorite playlist of your favorite songs, or an audiobook. Have to rush out the door early and mornings are rough? Buy some good coffee to make for yourself. Small things can make a positive impact on your day.

I’ve found some really great links from around the inter webs that are filled with some great tips and tricks for practicing self-care. Check them out!

DIY Self-Care Box!!! (LOVE this idea)

Reading a good book is self-care!

That’s all for today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of self-care and rest!

How do you practice self-care? 

Read any good books lately?

Favorite snack (I need inspiration!)?

Books to Read in 2017

Hello and hope you had a Merry Christmas! Mine was lovely and I enjoyed some wonderful time with family, received some wonderful and thoughtful gifts, and enjoyed some wonderful food and delicious desserts. I’m currently wearing one of my gifts, aka the most comfortable sweatshirt/fleece ever. I want to live in this thing 🙂

I’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts lately about goals for the New Year. One of my goals in this next year is to read more. Reading is one of those hobbies I’ve had forever, but in the past few years I haven’t been doing much of it. Between reading for school, the busy-ness that is college, and all the other things that have been going on in life, reading just fell to the back burner. I started reading again over summer, and then over this winter break. So, long story short (see what I did there?), 2017 is the year I am planning on getting back to reading!

I’m thinking of doing the 2017 Reading Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I love that it isn’t based on number of books but on reading goals.

Here area few of my picks that I’m excited to read this next year!

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. A bunch of my friends and I will be reading this and discussing in January, so this is first on the list!

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Emma by Jane Austen. I’ve picked this book up and started reading it and never finished, so it’s time to close the loop.

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I keep hearing about this book, it’s a classic, time for me to read!

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Yes Please! by Amy Poehler. Amy Poehler is hilarious, and it’s about time for me to read a biography again.

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’ve heard some amazing things about this book, my mom highly recommends it, and she has some good taste in books so I can’t wait!

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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I read a short passage of this when I was studying for my AP English exam back during my senior year. I was really intrigued by it, so I think reading the whole thing should be really fun!

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The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. This book is about two Israeli scientists who founded the study of behavioral economics. I’ve seen it recommended on many different lists, and I love a good friendship/academic true-story mashup!

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Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel. I saw this pop up on Pinterest and it sparked my interest with the cover. It’s the story of a woman who lands a job doing admissions at an exclusive prep school, and dealing with the kids and parents who desperately want to go there. Looks like a fun read!

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt. A thriller, mixing secret societies and ancient history; seems like a page-turner!

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Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. I’ve seen the musical Cats and it’s really great, and really strange all at the same time. It’s based on this book of poems, and I’ve never read an entire book of poetry, so this seems like a good first choice!

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What do you want to read in 2017?

Favorite books?

Any book suggestions?