Currently…

Loving… having some extra time with my husband. Because he works for the school district, he gets 3-day weekends every week in the summers!

Eating… Breyer’s Gelato Indulgences in tiramisu. Oh. My. Word. These should be sins. I knew the second I saw the ad, I’d have to buy it as soon as I found it and I can tell you for sure that this container will not last long. You know how last week I talked about making a healthy version of tiramisu with cinnamon and Greek yogurt? Yeah, well, this is approximately 92401298301923 times less healthy. Oh, well!

Learning… do not send an email angry. REPEAT: DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL ANGRY. Valuable words of wisdom here, folks. But DO write when you’re angry. Write to whomever you want to write about and say whatever you want to say. Get it out of your system and don’t hold back. You’ll feel worlds better. But? Once you’re done, close it, forget about it, and get on with your life. Life’s too much fun for that silliness.

Playing… Guild Wars 2! This is really the only MMORPG that L and I play, and I absolutely love it. Plus, it’s not a monthly subscription.

Anticipating… CHICAGO!! It’s just a short trip that may or may not have enough time for too much exploration but I have brunch plans with this lovely lady and this is my first time visiting there. (Okay, my family went once when I was like, 4, but all I remember is the American Girl Doll museum/factory/whatever and it doesn’t count.)

Trying… to be the best me I can be. There are definitely hiccups, but I fortunately have an amazing, loving, and kind husband who fortunately puts up with my crap when I mess up. =]

Celebrating… L’s graduation! He finished his undergrad classes in, like, March and was able to take off a semester but he walked at his commencement ceremony on Sunday! I’m so proud of this handsome guy.

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Wanting… my own personal chef? Is that too much to ask? I’m stuck on like, the same 5 meals/snacks for myself and one of them may or may not be ice cream and I have got to challenge myself to branch out and try new recipes!  Any recommendations?

So. How’s your life going, currently? What’s new?

 

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Listed Tuesdays: 5 Ways I’ve Changed Because of My Wedding.

Hey, everyone! Today’s post is a link-up with the lovely Erica Jaquiline! Every Tuesday, she does a “Listed Tuesdays” link-up and I’d love to get into the habit of participating each week!

So, here’s my list: 5 Ways I’ve Changed Because of My Wedding!

1. I’ve become more flexible and level-headed.

I’m aware that, for the majority of my life, I’ve been the high-strung, inflexible girl who stresses out easily. However, throughout the wedding planning process (and especially the wedding day), I had to practice being calm and patient almost constantly. Being zen was a choice I had to make every moment during the wedding (particularly during the post-ceremony family shots? Ugh, those can be a nightmare, am I right?). Even during the honeymoon, with all the flights, confusing navigation, language barriers, and packing it would have been easy to lose my cool. To be honest, I think all that practice has really stuck with me since the wedding in my day-to-day life, and I try to consciously choose chill and calm as often as possible.

2. I’ve become more grateful.

My wedding was as wonderful as it was because I had so much help getting everything put together, planned, and set up. Sure, it was amazing just because it was my wedding day, but I feel so humbled by all the generous people (friends as well as family) who really went above and beyond just to do what they could to help. Whether it was absolutely stunning paintings done especially for me by my sister-in-law, Erin (see below!!) or getting the reception hall set up or contributing financially towards the wedding, I feel so blessed my the generosity and kindness of the people in my life.

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3. I love more.

Between cards and video messages and bridesmaids and new family and conversations and hugs, I’ve grown to know just how much more love I’m surrounded by than I thought. This, in turn, has made me feel more full of love than ever, and I feel like I try to speak and act on it more in my day to day life.

4. I spend less.

Uhhhh…. duh? Like, for real. I can’t jump at every impulse or promo code or flash sale anymore. Part of me misses this, most of me knows this is for the best (okay, all of me knows it’s for the best), especially since it’s been an issue for me in the past. That’s a whole other post for me to write. Maybe. Bottom line – it’s uncomfortable to have a joint account and share a budget, but it’s so good for you.

5. I more strongly advocate staying true to yourself.

Planning and envisioning a wedding involved a lot of soul-searching and pondering what’s really important to me and coming to understand what really isn’t so important to me. We wanted a first look. Many people thought that was crazy, but we knew it’d be important to us. I didn’t want to wear a blusher going down the aisle. I wanted dancing – no question (no way was I giving up my daddy-daughter dance opportunity!). All being said and done, I’m so happy with the way things turned out, but it took a lot of courage for me to be conscientious and self-aware enough to be able to discern what felt true to myself/ourselves and not get caught up in things “because they’re tradition” or because I felt it was expected of me. A handful of my friends are also planning weddings right now, and this has generally been my main piece of advice for them.

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Go check out Erica Jaquiline’s Listed Tuesdays and participate yourself! (I know I’m getting this post up late, so maybe ponder about a list for you to write about next week!)

Erica Jacquline

Last Unmarried Blog Update!

All of me loves all of you

This will officially be my last post as an unmarried woman (what? ahhhhh!).  The wedding is on Sunday, in 2 days and this week has blown by.  I mean, I guess that’s obvious, but seriously. Fortunately, I am not a hectic whirlwind of a girl; I am doing super well and am really calm and chill. All of the big decisions have been made and all the little things to worry about have been delegated.  All I have to worry about is moving all my things to L’s apartment, which is still pretty inconvenient because of how far he lives from me. My room looks like a tornado ran through it due to my cleaning/sorting/packing, but it has to get worse before it gets better, I guess.

Currently, my sister and I are curled up on the couch in front of a lovely fire in the fire place, perfecting the details of the ceremony programs and talking about our feelings in regards to varying fonts and I’m really happy. Tomorrow is full of really boring errands and then picking up some of my favorite ladies at the airport. From that point on, I get my best friend that I never get to see with me 24/7 and it’s going to be heavenly. I’m so excited!

I know I’ve done Wednesday Things for the majority of this past semester, but this lovely lady does a variation of that for posting updates on her blog, which she titles “Currently” and describes her current feelings and thoughts, etc. I think it’s a great idea, and I’m going to start doing them myself. =]  So, here we go…

Currently…

Loving… moving! Namely, finally going through all my crap and paring down all my belongings. Seriously, I own way too much.

Thinking about all my last-minute little errands, phone calls, and things to finish up in the (zero) time I have left until the ceremony.

Reading… Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you probably know that I absolutely love audio books. 50% of my time is (unfortunately) spent driving in my car and thanks to audio books, I’ve gone through up to five or six books in one month! I anticipate that this will change after I get back from the wedding because I won’t have a school, job, or boyfriend’s house to drive to (hurray for working online!). I’m looking forward to this, because I think I’ll actually be able to get through the tons of physical books I own that I have yet to read. (Bonus: the audio version of Ready Player One is read by Whil Wheaton!)

Watching… youtube. Honestly, I’ve just been going through Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter videos because all of the shows I’m behind on are ones I watch with L, and we just haven’t seen enough of each other in, like, ever to actually stay up to date on all of them. So, when I’m at my place and/or just by myself, I just watch their episodes on YouTube.

Anticipating…  my wedding. Duh. AND seeing my lovely lady friends who are coming into town to stand up next to me for my big day! Also, I recently realized a wonderful thing that I am very excited for: on the day of, I have no time schedule to which I must conform. Aside from making sure that I’m happily hidden away once people actually start arriving, the entire day does not happen without me or my say-so. Literally. This is the ONE day in my life that I get when this happens. This has also been one of the most comforting things for me.

10 Things College Has Taught Me (Wednesday Things)

(Today’s Wednesday Things post comes to you in the form of actual blog content! Yay!)

Yesterday, I turned in my final exams for my entire undergrad education and then my Momma and I booked it on the road to Pennsylvania, where I get to hang with a best friend (and go shopping with her, naturally), see some family, and actually meet the lovely lady I’ve been writing for online in person! So far it’s been a wonderful getaway right before the wedding, and when I get home for this weekend, I walk in my graduation commencement ceremony on Saturday!

Appropriately, here is a list of things I’ve learned throughout college:

  1. I have learned just about every in and out there is to know about doing research, and I am really darn good at it, too.
  2. It’s not just something people say – it actually is all who you know.
  3. I’m a serial Rick Roller. It’s my favorite, and that’s about as crazy as I get. The worst it gets for anyone is that some one feels a little bit dumb. This year, a girl somehow got a hold of the list address through which to email every single undergrad student in the entire university, and when people “reply-all”-ed we learned that we could all communicate to each other like some big, university-wide forum. Some people got angry, the better people enjoyed the heck out of it. Some one even copy+pasted the entire text of War and Peace. I Rick Rolled the entire undergraduate class and also spammed everyone with some doge/shibe memes. I may be getting my bachelor’s degree, but my participation in this event is also an accomplishment I am uber proud of during my high school career. I even got recognized in the school paper’s list of the best emails of what I affectionately call “the OU email fiasco of 2014.” Good times.
  4. A very personal and important thing I learned is that I could have walked back into being a voice performance major when I transferred to Oakland if I wanted to. (Read this post to find out why this is a very big deal). My fear and anxiety distorted my perception so significantly, and I am back to owning myself and skills more than ever.
  5. I made the right choice by transferring back home. I originally started at Grove City College in Grove City, PA as a voice major but changed everything and came back home after one semester. I’ve always known that I don’t regret starting here (a list of what I learned in my time here is a whole post for it’s own day), but every time I come back and visit for a few days I’ve always felt like I’m in some alternate dimension where I stayed, and part of me has always wondered “what if.” Even though this trip out here has been wonderful, it’s been the first trip that has left me certain that I made the right choice by coming home.
  6. It’s okay to have friends that aren’t super close. My best friends have always some how ended up living very far from me, and that can really suck when, say, you’re engaged and can’t have a proper bachelorette party because all your girls are in separate states or when you just want some one to hang out with in sweatpants and each doing your own thing. But this is okay, because I’ve learned that I have a lot of great, not-super-close friends in my life and how to reach out to them to spend time together. It may sometimes mean leaving my comfort zone (omg: one-on-one conversations?!) but it almost always pays off, even if it’s just because it was something different than sitting around at home. College has definitely taught me how to utilize and enjoy this dimension of socialization.
  7. College is seriously so much harder than high school. I mean, duh, and we all already knew this going into it, but in high school the biggest single assignment I had was a 10-page paper that we spent all semester on and wrote in segments. In college, I’ve had to write multiple 20+-page assignments in a week or less, and especially in one night thanks to procrastination.
  8. Ask for things. There have been so many times that I or my mother have gotten something just because we’ve asked. Like, real things. Like jobs and discounts and opportunities. For example, I got my new favorite writing gig because I shot the website’s contact email asking if she could use any help. Especially in situations where asking for/about something involves have nothing to lose, I say ask.
  9. There are more important things than whichever test or school assignment you’re killing yourself to try and get a 4.0 through. Your GPA, especially in college, is not worth being bad to your body, mind, or spirit. Mistreating yourself by getting zero sleep, refusing every offer of socialization, chugging 5-hour energies (which are to high school students what Monster energy drinks were to high schoolers in my time), and never allowing yourself any down time is so not worth it.
  10. Being busy is not cool, nor is life a competition about who is busiest. Seriously – “busy” should not be a response to “How are you?” Have you noticed how people turn conversations into competitions about who’s busier than the other? Being super busy should not be a life goal. Enjoy your downtime – it’s good for you.

Wednesday Things

Nelson Mandela

1. Tonight, I get to sing Carmina Burana with some amazing people at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. If you’re sitting there thinking you have no idea what Carmina Burana is, you actually do. It’s where this is from – it’s actually the first and last movement of Carmina Burana. You know that song. It’s not something I have to do, but I’ve been rehearsing with people all year and when am I ever going to get the chance to sing this like, ever again in my life?

2. Okay, okay, here’s the big news this week: I quit my job. I know, I know, I have three jobs, but the main source of my income has been from waitressing, which I absolutely hate. So I quit. The bottom line was that there is just too much wonderful in my life right now that I am being held back from enjoying or really immersing myself in because I had this dark cloud of work hanging over my head. Also, I wasn’t planning to work in April anyway, really; I knew I’d be crazy busy and basically unavailable for an actual work schedule anyway. This is only a good thing for me right now, and I’m really committed to making sure that my next job is a day job (so I can be on the same schedule as my soon-t0-be-husband), that’s not retail or waitressing and is somehow related to my degree (Wellness and Personal Development/Health and Wellness).  Besides, it’ll be so great to be able to come home to a fresh start after the honeymoon.

3. Don’t even make me get started on the dang snowfall in April. I don’t care if we did break our most-snow-ever winter record, I was not a happy girl about it. Get your stuff together, Mitten State.

4. Countdown update:  I walk for graduation is 10 days and the wedding is in 18! I’m officially in giddy freakout mode, which also consists of not caring one single bit about the remaining paper/exams I have for my classes.

5. Next week, I’m taking a road trip with my Momma to PA to spend a couple of my last single days with my best friend Sandra at my old school and also finally meet Liz from My Subscription Addiction, for whom I review/write. I’m really excited about both of those things, and it’ll be great to have some girl time before the wedding with a friend I never see, especially since I’m not able to really have a bachelorette party because all my girls are scattered in different states.

6. My new mantra is one that my new internet friend, Rachel, tweeted: “Life is too fabulous to be sad.” Seriously, I need that on a shirt or bracelet or something!

I know that’s short, but I now have to go get ready for the performance tonight/actually do my homework later!

Wednesday Things

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1. Our wedding guest book arrived!! I know I mentioned that I second-guessed it for a hot second in last week’s Wednesday post, but now that I have it in my hands, I couldn’t be any happier. I’m so excited to read the things everyone I love has written in it after the wedding.

2. Today has not been a day when the universe has been nice to me. I slept through my alarm (for the second day in a row), realized I forgot my wallet at home only AFTER I ate out for lunch, went to the wrong meeting place for a group project and didn’t realize it for an hour, got cussed out for walking into the grocery store (what?), and was then honked at and given the finger for safely and legally getting into the lane for a Michigan left (I had signaled, then braked, and then merged into the left-turn lane, all while monitoring my mirrors like a good citizen. I have no idea what this guy was angry about).

3. Today I had my last choir rehearsal ever. Probably for ever ever. My director said the sweetest thing to me after specially recognizing the graduating seniors; he said “what a neat opportunity you gave to me by auditioning and joining Chorale this year.” Although I’m slightly terrified at the fact that, in a little less than a month (WHAT?) I’ll be graduated and will likely never get the chance to sing with a group of people ever again, and almost definitely will never get the chance to sing with such a wonderful group of people who are just so dang good at what they do. You can say whatever you like about what you’re going to miss when you graduate, but the connection and belonging you gain by being in an amazing choir with a director who is the most enthusiastic and loving person I have ever met is something that will break your heart when you leave. Even though I’ve only been in Chorale for this past year, I’ve learned so much about who I am, who I want to be, who I can be, and what I value through the process.

4. Some of you know I write for MySubscriptionAddiction, a company that reviews subscription boxes. Because of the fact that boxes are only mailed out monthly (or bi-monthly, or quarterly), it’s taken some time to get a good number of boxes sent my way even though I’ve been employed for a couple months. Things have really gotten going this month, and I just have to say that this is one of the neatest opportunities I’ve had. I’m loving it. It’s also so much fun to try new things! I mean, sometimes I get clothes or high-end beauty products, and sometimes I get a box of Japanese action figures? All in all, though, it’s awesome.

5. Did you know that Audible lets you return audio books for 365 days after the purchase date? You can only return like, two online and then you have to call their customer service for the rest, but it’s so easy and they don’t even bug you about it. They might ask why you’re returning them, and you can literally say “just ’cause.” Guess who has 6 new books at once to listen to! This gal!

6. Can we just talk about how my fiancee actually researched relationship-related books and asked for us to get them to read together to prep for married life? On his own? It’s like he’s some sort of rare mythical beast or something. What guy does that? A great one, that’s for sure.

7. Does anyone else find it hard to feed yourself for real when you’re all by yourself? My parents have been out of town and, with it just being me here, I’m living off of cereal and grocery-store sushi even though I make great things when I’m cooking for someone else, too. You’d think I’d rather make something yummy and not have to share it when I’m on my own. Is this just me?

8. It’s just about the most fun ever to get the mail when there’s a couple cute RSVP cards awaiting your arrival every day.

9. I’m debating what I should do with all of my extraneous belongings like books and clothes and such. I’ve been thinking about making some sort of online store via facebook, or maybe setting up an Amazon seller’s page or something. Basically, a virtual garage sale. Do any of you have any experience doing something like this? Any brilliant ideas for me?

 

 

Ways to Feel Better Instantly

The past 9 months has been a whole lot more on my plate at once than I’ve had to deal with, probably, than ever before. Two deaths, my dad losing his job (and starting to work for himself!), getting engaged, planning a wedding, finishing university, and trying to cope with the fact that my life will look completely different in two months. I am 100% uncertain regarding just about every important aspect of life in the next year; I don’t know where I’ll be living, where I’ll be working, what I’ll be doing, how often I’ll see my mom, what I will be able to afford, etc. In addition to all this, my personality definitely makes it easy for me to get caught up in stress about the future. This is why I decided to flesh out a list of ways I know that I can start to feel better instantly. If there’s ever been a time I need a list like this, it’s right now!

  1. Close out of all of you tabs on the computer, and actually shut it down/restart it.
    I know I’m not the only one who tends to keep tabs open on their laptop because I plan to read or make some sort of use of it in the future. Having a cluttered computer without actually shutting down or restarting it for a few days just begins to feel like being in a cluttered room. Clearing off my computer makes me feel like I can breathe a little bit better, and go about the things I actually need to do on my computer with more organization.
  2. Clear out your inbox.
    No, seriously. How many emails are in your inbox? How many have you already handled? How many are spam? I just looove going through all my emails and mass-deleting useless ones, or unsubscribing from newsletters or subscription emails. On top of all of that, I couldn’t survive if I didn’t label and archive my emails. If my school sends me an email about graduation, I read it, label it, and archive it. Same with important emails from anything else (especially online shopping receipts and such). Archiving in folders means I know exactly where to look for it later, if I ever need to reference it. It’s like deleting everything without having to worry about losing it.
  3. Clean your room.
    Just do it. Start by putting everything all in once place – a chair, bed, the middle of the floor, etc. Play music. I end up reaching a state of flow at some point and just go until I know I’ve either finished or made some significant progress.
  4. Just do one thing. Then do another.
    Mail that letter. Answer that email. Make that call. Set up that appointment. Doing one thing will help you feel like doing the next thing, and soon enough you feel like you’ve been at least marginally productive.
  5. Chocolate! 
    This is self-explanatory. Treat yourself. Be nice to yourself.
  6. Write it out.
    Here I am, doing just that. Whether it’s a blog post, a journal entry, a letter to a friend, or a list of some kind, getting it put down on paper helps you separate yourself from and organize the things buzzing around your brain.
  7. Hug someone
    This one is science, peole. Oxytocin is released in your blood stream when you hug or shake/hold hands with someone for more than 6 seconds.
  8. Look at baby things.
    Watch youtube videos or browse pictures of baby animals and baby people. This is science, too. Don’t pretend you don’t love doing this.
  9. Stretch.
    Whether you do yoga or just need to stretch out a bit, it feels amazing. Put down your phone, take your eyes off of your computer, step away from the to-do list, and just stretch. There’s no way to doubt that this will make you feel better right away.
  10. Work out.
    It’s okay if it’s just going on a walk! You don’t need to go spend an hour at the gym to gain benefits (both physically and emotionally) from exercising your body. Getting up and going on a short walk outside is worlds better for your sore back than pain killers or further resting. (Also science.)
  11. Look at pretty things
    The specific way I tap into this is browsing and curating my Inspiration Board on Pinterest.
  12. Remember that there are more important things.
    Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that there are more important things than killing yourself over not getting 100% on a school project, or being 15 minutes early to everything. Cut yourself a little slack once in a while, and remember that there are people who love you no matter what. That you’re not going hungry. That you are smart, capable, and special.

If you’ve been feeling like you really need a pick-me-up (who hasn’t at some point during this ridiculous winter?), hopefully some of these ideas help, or at least get you thinking about what makes you feel better.

What kinds of things always seem to brighten your day?

Guys I had a really bad day... I found out that one of my friends got hit by a car and died. I was crying like CRAZY in my first class and everyone stared at me. He was so nice and funny. I'll miss him. And on top of that I have a massive headache, I don't feel well, and I failed two quizzes... I'm so sad :'(