Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blog Friends Are the Best // 13 Things Project Revealed

A couple weeks ago, I had what may very well have been the most exciting Monday of my life.  And, I mean, I've had some pretty exciting Mondays.  I think one time I stopped and bought myself a coffee on the way to school on a Monday.  My birthday's probably fallen on a Monday at least twice, and for sure once because I rememver it. Also, sometimes we get Mondays off of school for President's Day or Memorial Day or some other national holiday and it's really chill and we go bowling or sleep in or something, which is fun.  BUT this Monday was even better than any of those Mondays, because of 1) a great, exciting interview and 2) Carolyn emailed me with one of the best ideas I have ever heard of. 

The great, exciting interview was with the summer camp I've always loved (and have now been offered a job at, yay!) but it's totally irrelevant as far as this post is concerned, so we'll talk about that another time.  What I'm concerned about is the project that Carolyn and I are working on, the one that I jerkishly alluded to without explaning in last Friday's post and that I'm now openly posting about.

Here's the game plan: each of use writes a list of thirteen tasks for the other person to do.  We trade, we do the things, we document it on our blogs and on Instagram and everywhere else and hashtag it #thirteenthingsproject.  The idea comes from a book that Carolyn's read and that I'm working on someday reading, Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.  She says it's amazing and that you should read it - check it out and we can be book reading buddies!

Starting today, Carolyn and I are going to work on completing the lists that we made for each other.  Here's what I'll be up to:

1. Go to a cafe or restaurant you've wanted to go too but haven't been yet.
2. Buy a packet of your favourite sweets and share them with your mum and/or dad.
3.  Write a letter to someone.  Send it to them.
4. Wear your hair in a different way from what you've ever done before.
5. Go for a long walk while listening to this playlist (it can be in any order you want!)
Allie note: I decided not to include the playlist in this post, but I can tell you that it's great and that if you want it, I'm willing to share!
6.  Buy a white t-shirt. Tie dye the t-shirt.  Wear the t-shirt.
7. Let someone borrow your copy of a book that means a lot to you. 
8.  Document your day in photographs.
9. Eat Nutella out the jar with a spoon.
10.  Get a set of sticky notes and write motivational/positive quotes, lyrics and thoughts on them.  Stick them in random places to make someone's day better.
11. Eat some ice cream while watching your favourite Harry Potter movie.
12. Make a CD/Playlist/Mixtape (if you want to be old school) of songs that mean a lot to you.  Give it to someone that means a lot to you.
13.  Watch The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, it's one of my favourite movies.

Yes, Caroly, yes!  Because now I have to watch The Goblet of Fire while eating chocolate brownie ice cream and I have to go to that super fancy restaurant I've been eyeing and I have to eat Nutella out of the jar (because otherwise, I would never do that ever, duh) (sarcasm). I honestly can't wait, and I am still so excited about this idea and the fact that I get to do it with Carolyn!

You can read her list for me here - she's got some fun stuff lined up for me!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Because I Believe in Procrastination // What I've Been Reading

Hi, hello!  I hope you're enjoying your Sunday.  I don't know what it is about Sunday afternoons, but I've come to really love them.  Actually, I think I do know what it is - it probably has something to do with the fact that they're largely spent under piles of blankets, reading a book with a mug of hot water in hand.  You feel me?  I want you to love Sundays, too, but I can't give you free books over the internet. Sorry.  Don't leave, though - what about the next best thing?  Here's my reading list from the past couple of weeks.  I've come across some great words from people who think and write in a way that makes me happy (and humble) to be a blogger.

One Thing All Christians Should Stop Saying }

P.S.  I found out about Marfa via the Skimm.  If you're not signed up, I highly recommend it! 

{ I am Charlie, I am Ahmed, and I am Millions of Muslim Women }

P.S. Not ready to stop reading yet? Click here, here, and here.

Linking up with Nicole from Treasure Tromp, so if you click here, guess what? That's right, more blog posts!

Friday, January 23, 2015

I Miss You! Can We Talk? // What's On My Mind

Hey, guys!  I feel like it's been a while. I've missed you! Did you do something different with your hair? Your face? No? Okay, I guess it hasn't actually been that long.

In this blog and in real life, I tend to try to stay away from talking about personal stuff.  It's just never been something that's easy for me at all; I think that I either have some kind of weird, deep-seeded trust issues, or I'm genuinely allergic to serious conversations.  (Because, look, here I go making jokes while I'm supposed to be serious.  I'm sorry.)  I mean, I'm not a psychiatrist or anything, but I feel like those are definite possibilities.  (In other news, I like oxymorons and apparently I'm full-blown addicted to parenthesis.)  I've got a couple friends who know quite a bit and my mom knows me inside and out, but other than that, I keep a lot to myself.  I don't mind it, usually; in fact, I prefer it.  I process things internally - usually if I put enough miles on my shoes or ink in my notebook, I can either find a solution for a tough situation or come to peace with it, whichever the case may be.  I know what works for me.

And then, this. I've been following Whitney's blog ever since I decided that I was into that sort of thing, and I've always appreciated how open she is about just about everything.  I mean, I'm sure there's stuff that she keeps to herself and that you don't know her whole entire life from clicking on that time-sucking "previous posts" button over and over again for eternity (not like I would know), but she's a whole heck of a lot more open than I am.  She talks about her relationships and stuff she struggles with, and she does it well.  Her most recent post, (here, in case you missed it the first time) is her heart poured out about her new boyfriend and huge life changes, and I have to admit that it made me a tiny bit jealous.  Maybe I want to tell you all about the stuff that's going on with me, too! 

So, here goes.  Whitney, thanks a lot for this and you should probably go into sales or hypnosis or something because look at you making me do something that I'm not sure I want to without even trying.  Without further ado or, really, my informed consent, what's been on my mind lately. 

// How proud I am of my little sister. I feel like such an old person saying this, but she has grown up so, so much lately.  It makes me cry a little, but in a good way.  Like, tears of "wow, my little sister is growing up and I love the person she is."  She's so mature about staying out of those stupid, dramatic middle school situations that twelve year old girls sometimes find themselves in.  She's found this crazy self-discipline that she probably didn't even know she had in her - she's learning to limit her own TV time and taking care of herself, and it's really cool.  S'proud.

// Maroon 5 concert. I'm headed there in juuuust under two months, and I am beyond excited!  I can't wait to wear a cool concert outfit and belt every single song.  That is all.

// Huge life decisions.  As in, I just got offered a job at the camp that I've loved since I first stayed there in middle school.  I have the chance to work there all summer, getting to know kids and working with other people my age who are really excited about serving God.  Pros? Obviously.  The environment would be incredible, I'll make a little bit of money, and I'll learn how to not be at home before I'm not at home all the time.  Cons?  Being gone almost the entire summer before I leave for college.  It's a tough one, folks.  I think I know what I'll do, but for now, praying.  Thank goodness that I don't have to make big decisions on my own!

// Sadie Hawkins dance, in my khaki pants.  Being a high school girl comes with being forced to either ask a boy to a dance or go it alone, annually.  In our school, it comes in the form of Sadie Hawkins.  That's less than three weeks, and I'm still working on that decision between asking a boy to the dance or going it alone.  To be honest, both sound pretty fun, so there's no wrong answer, right? Tell my brain that, please, and do a better job of convincing it than I currently am. ( Also, if you'd like to provide Google with a few good ideas about how to ask someone to Sadie's, that'd be great.  Because I look for ideas on Google every year and I've yet to find any help on that front.)

// More huge life decisions, as in college.  More accurately, as in next year, because I'm not convinced that college is what I want to do.  I've heard that it's really hard to do school once you've been out for a while, but I'm willing to give it a try.  If anyone hears about any cool missions opportunities anywhere, hit me up - this one's still in progress. Preferrably Africa.

// How can I sleep more?  High school psychology wins the prize for second best salesman. (after Whitney, duh)  A few days of Power Point presentations was enough to convince me that I need to start getting more sleep right now.  Did you know that not sleeping makes you fat, ugly, and more likely to die young?  That even though your body can learn how to function on less sleep, most people need over eight hours every night to function at their best?  That when you get tired in the afternoon or when you're bored, that's because you're sleep deprived, not because of your big lunch or a lack of exciting things happening? I didn't, either, and now I am thoroughly convinced that I have got to start sleeping more.  Starting now. Bye.

// Food.  Because, when is it not?  Food like cheese waffles and white chocolate brownies and chocolate cheesecake Oreo cookies. (There might be a food post idea in that . . . there almost definitely is.  Because I have discovered amazing things and I want you to have them in your life.) Also, healthy foods to balance that out.  Like almond milk, which I don't like but am trying really hard to.  And almond butter, which is definitely a million times tastier.

// I have a secret that I can't tell you about so I'm just going to do this, which is such a jerk move. 
I will tell you that it's a project, and that it's coming to the blog eventually, and that it's really cool. 

I am glad we had that talk.  Like I said, I've missed you!

What's up with you lately? Any major life decisions made, delicious food eaten, or secrets to be really vague about?  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

But We Can Still Be Friends, Right? // Job Searching in GIFS

I will never, ever, EVER judge an unemployed person for as long as I live.

Ever.  And before you yell at me for being a terrible person for judging unemployed people, well, just know that I might actually agree with you.

 I'd hear those statistics about all of the unemployed people in our country and think "Well, why don't they just go get one!  Just go walk into some business establishment that has employees and demand a job!"  And then I smugly thought it was that easy, because, duh, almost every business establishment has employees and anyone can handle McDonald's.

Rest assured that I now realize that, no, there is not a perfectly-suited job for everyone who is willing and able to look for one.  Also, I'm not confident that McDonalds would be that easy, because you have to work quickly and be nice to the customers and you're probably not allowed to just stick your head under the McFlurry machine whenever. That's why I did not apply there.

You see, I've been trying to get a job, as in an entry-level, minimum wage paying job.  Apparently, it's a lot harder that you'd think. I know.

 I'm pretty sure that I've applied for every single position that falls under those qualifications within a ten-mile radius of my house, and I've yet to find myself somewhere to work.  I mean, if all of my prospective jobs had panned out, I'd  be simultaneously making sandwiches (at multiple locations of several different sandwich shops) and filing papers with my hands while answering a customer's questions over the phone, restocking shelves, ringing up a purchase at a cash register, and making a face on an ice cream cone with sprinkles.  The people that I've listed as references would be inundated with calls and emails to the point that they'd have to ask me to please, please stop listing them.  But they're not, and I'm not.  I'm actually just sitting at a computer, writing about it.  If only I had some kind of hobby that could turn into a job with enough time and effort . . .

Honestly, it's getting a little frustrating, but I guess I'm probably learning a life lesson or something.  Something along the lines of "getting a job is hard," or, better yet, "don't unnecessarily become unemployed." Also, "check to make sure that a store hires people under age eighteen before filling out an entire application and driving there to drop it off," and "make sure you save your online application before you shut down your computer." That's a good one.  That one's very important.

Recently, I got kind of desperate and called a family friend of ours who runs a Coldstone Creamery to ask how I was supposed to get hired. (Note to self: next time, ask advice from an older, wiser person long before desperation happens.)  According to her, I have to a) not be crazy and not have crazy parents b) come to work when I say I'm going to, and c) not steal their money.  Which should have been reassuring, because I feel like I meet those of those requirements as long as my mom doesn't ruin it for me.  Just kidding, Mom! Great, I just lost a reader.  But hearing that list also created a little, tiiiiny bit of self-doubt for me.  That's why I'm not getting a job, isn't it? I've been coming off as a crazy teenager who likes to steal money and skip work to spend time with her crazy parents.  How did this happen?  That's not what I was going for.  I've been trying really hard not to exude "crazy money stealer" or anything slightly related. 

I mean, I don't know.  It's possible. 

The bottom line is that I've learned a lot about being an adult these last couple weeks, most of which boils down to the fact that it's a lot harder than it looks.  So, good job, adults.  I'm more impressed with you now.  You all deserve presents.

I'll buy you all something nice once I get a job. Until then . . .

Let the job search continue!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Currently // The Best of Pinterest

The first Monday of Christmas break is kind of like those first few hours with the family members that you only see once every 5 years.  At the initial meeting, I'm never really sure how to act or what to do.  We haven't seen each other in a while. You mean, I don't have to get ready yet? Or ever?!? Isn't there something I should be studying for or items I should be desperately throwing in my backpack?   As we spend more time with each other, it all starts to come back. Ohhh, this is what a day off is like.  I get to choose my own activities and have snacks whenever I want.  And finally, I decide that I actually really like this weird new experience.  You mean I can make breakfast and read for as long as I want WITHOUT PUTTING ON REAL CLOTHES and stay out later than ten (but, let's be honest, that will happen on like two nights because I am elderly.) Yes, it's true, and all that free time is fantastic!  I generally find myself baking a looooot of pastry items, reading an average of a book every two days, going into DIY overdrive, and spending a little extra time trying new outfits and make up tricks.  Basically, I get to remember what I really like to do and Pinterest throws up on my life.  (No, Pre-Calc, that doesn't include you.  I know we spend a lot of time together, but I can't actually stand you.)  We're almost done with Christmas break, and I've still got long, long list of things that I can't wait to do.

| Arm knit everything!  I've made a scarf, but according to Pinterest you can also arm knit sweater blankets (YES PLEASE) and headbands and anything else that can be made out of yarn, and I'm going to knit them all.  Yes, you can come hang out and knit with me.  It's going to be so cool.

(It took me quite a few tutorials to find one that really clearly explained arm knitting - this one was the best!)

| These DIY bows and gift wrap stamping tutorials made wrapping Christmas a much more fun (yes, that's possible) and much longer process.  I love, love, love wrapping Christmas presents - I've always spent hours making them as beautiful (or, in my little brother's case, difficult to unwrap) as possible.  I got high tech this year and used Pinterest to up my game, and I am so glad that I did: DIY gift bows and the coolest way to wrap presents. 

| Thank you, Pinterest, for helping me look put together.  All I had to do was type the words "duck boots outift" into the search bar, and you made sure that I'd have enough options to be able to wear my new boots ever day, forever.  I appreciate that.  I wore this to see Wicked the other night - who knew I could dress those boots up? Not me! Thank goodness for Pinterest.
| Obviously, holidays = delicious food, and plenty of it.  Food to eat at home, food to take to a party, food to give as gifts, food to feed your dog because sometimes kitchen experiments go horribly, horribly wrong.  I used this brownie guide to make the perfect brownies for my friends' Christmas presents, and I know I'll be using it a lot in the future. Maybe daily.  There are a lot of brownie variations there.

Image via Handle The Heat

| I'm getting a poncho.  It's decided.  When I was little, I thought ponchos were the coolest things ever (because hello, they were.) There was a poncho for my American girl doll that came with a matching one for me, and to own that set was my best and brightest dream.  I'm not sure if I ever told anyone with money about that, but for one reason or another, I never had a poncho. My doll never had a poncho. I'd say that it's about time. 

| My English teacher is a saint because she provides hot drinks and cookies for us every single class period during the winter.  I've been looking forward to this part of the year and scouring the interned for the perfect mug since I saw last year's AP English class walking into her room with their own mugs and happy, expectant faces.  I think I've finally found it - it's simple and so fun!  Half of the mug becomes a chalkboard ready to be redecorated for whatever the day calls for.  I can't wait. 

Image via: Pretty Handy Girl

| All I eat is soup when it's cold outside.  That's not true.  I eat a lot of soup when it's cold outside.  I'll make a big pot at the beginning of the week and store it in the fridge with a threatening note on top so that I can take to school for my lunch every day without having to worry about someone else eating it.  I think 30 soup recipes is enough to get me through the winter, right? (That's a hint, Michigan.  By the time I've gone through my 30 soups, I'd like it to be at least a balmy 45 degrees.  Please?) In the meantime, here's this.

Image via Joyful Healthy Eats
I have some extra chalkboard paint left over from my mug, so I'm off to find anything else that I can justify turning into a mini chalkboard.  Notebooks?  Pencil cups? The refrigerator?  My phone? Stay tuned; things are getting interesting!


What do you do when you have time off?  Have you tried any of these yet? Do any of them catch your eye?

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