Monday, February 23, 2015

Motivational Monday

I have been the absolute worst blogger the past week and I hope you will forgive me. I had a huge midterm to study for last week and now I have 2 papers due Friday and I was just too exhausted to do anything this weekend; you ever have those days?

Anyway I am going to do my best to not go MIA this week, and worst comes to worst I am on spring break next week and will be blogging from Florida! Now then, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I really like this quote. On Pinterest it was attributed to John Green, but as his most recent video reminds us (tangent: I DIED watching that video. Watched it like 3 times and laughed my ass off oh gosh) a lot of things get attributed to him that he never actually said. So I Googled it and he did not say this either; an author named Hafiz did.

Whoever said it, it is a fantastic model to live by. It is so easy to get bogged down by the negatives and to find ourselves doing things because we feel like we should rather than because it is really what is best for us. But as cliche as it is, we really do only get one go at this. Better to spend our lives doing what we love and with the people who genuinely make us happy than to waste it doing what we believe others expect of us.

When you find something that stirs your passion and makes you glad to be alive, be it a person, a hobby, a career path, or just a really fantastic book, you keep that thing close to you, no matter what anyone else says. There is too much negativity in the world not to hold on to the things that make you truly happy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Motivational Monday

I love inspiring and motivational quotes. I have a whole folder on my computer of these that I found on Pinterest and elsewhere, and I thought they would make a good way for us all to start the week, so I'm planning to share one every Monday from now on.

This one is one of my favorites. Maybe it is the English major in me talking, but there is just something about thinking of my life as a story in a book that always makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. Many of my beloved characters have survived worse, so surely I can survive whatever life sees fit to throw at me. Plot twists and hardships fuel character development and make sure that we are strong enough to handle whatever the next chapter brings

When life throws something at you that you can't change, just yell plot twist and move on. The chapter is published; it can't be unwritten. And the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist is a protag learns and grows from their live's plot twists; antagonists dwell on them and turn bitter.

Be the protagonist you were always meant to be. Don't let the plot twists steer you off course from your happy ending!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

5 Things I've Learned from 5 Years with Joe

Seeing how it is Valentines Day and love is in the air and all that, I thought I would do a post sharing some important things I've learned about love and relationships in my 5 amazing years (so far!) with Joe.  I feel like there are a million and one posts out there about all the lessons we learn from bad relationships, but there is I think a shortage of posts on lessons learned from successful healthy relationships. So that is what I'll be chatting about today!

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

This year my bestie and I are doing a 2015 Reading Challenge together and I thought I would share it with all of you in case any of you were interested in trying it out for yourself! We found it online so I take no credit for the challenge list itself, though we have made a few minor changes to a few of the items.

I'm planning to update my progress probably at the end of every month, but I wanted to get this out here so anyone who wanted to could start!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Currently Reading: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I picked this book up at Barnes and Noble last month and it instantly moved to the top of my February TBR list. One of the reviews on the back describes it as "what the Bible would be like if it had been written by women" and lets be honest, how could I not take it home with a description like that? I have a huge soft spot for rewrites that seek to reintroduce women's perspectives, as they are so often erased, and the Bible is a huge example of men erasing the stories of women to suit their own narratives.

The story is narrated by Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph. Dinah, as I understand it, is briefly referenced in the Bible and thus we can assume she was a real person, but very little is known about her, as is typical of the women in Biblical tales. According to her narration, in the Bible "there is a passage that seems to say I was raped and continues with the bloody tale of how my honor was avenged." I expect she will elaborate on this later on, but I have not made it that far yet. Basically the book is an imagining of the women of her family's lives, a telling of the stories that the men who wrote the Bible did not deem worthy of telling. So far the story is has focused on her mother and aunts and their lives as Jacob's wives.

So far I am really enjoying this book. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that I actually recognize some of the Biblical references. I don't really do the religion thing so religious references sometimes make a wooshing sound as they fly over my head. It is rather shameful for an English major if I'm being honest. I keep meaning to read some of the stories just for their literary merit, but I always get bored. So far, however, I have found this book anything but boring. Maybe after reading it I will be able to get myself to trudge through some of the Bible itself, but I doubt I will ever do so with the same enthusiasm I have for this re-imagining of biblical women's lives.

Monday, February 9, 2015

5 Reasons You Should Definitely Study Abroad

A few summers ago I spent 4 weeks studying abroad in Turkey and it was without a doubt one of the greatest things I have ever done. I know a lot of people go back and forth about study abroad, so I thought I would share 5 reasons why you should definitely choose to do it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

President's Ball 2015 ♥

Every February my university holds a big party called President's Ball. It is basically college prom except less expensive and everyone just wears clothes they already own because we're all broke ass college students. It is something I look forward to ever year. This was mine and Joe's fourth President's Ball together and we had a blast!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February TBR Shelfie

As you know from my February Goals Post, I want to read at least 2 not-for-class books this month. Not a particularly ambitious goal, I know, especially for someone who loves to read as much as I do. But my majors are extraordinarily reading intensive so sometimes it's hard to want to sit down and read on my down time. Anyway I thought I'd share a quick shelfie of the books I hope to finish this month.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I'm already about a chapter into this book and I'm absolutely smitten. 

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

This book was in my winter break Barnes and Noble haul and I had hoped to read all of the books I bought by the end of the break. This is the only one of the books I didn't make it to before the semester started up. I've read such great reviews, so I'm excited to finally read it for myself!

Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them? And what books are on your February TBR shelf?

Monday, February 2, 2015

February Goals ♥

I really cannot believe it is February already! Hopefully the rest of this semester goes by as quickly as the first month did!

My goals for January went well enough. Did not quite manage to post 3 times every single week, but I stayed fairly consistent all the same I think. Still have yet to start my Youtube channel as things got a little crazier at the beginning of the semester than I had expected. Okay actually looking at my January goals post they did not go well at all. The only thing I can say I really accomplished was getting my research proposal submitted in time. But I mean if I had to pick one goal to have worked out it would have been that one. I also did yoga at minimum twice every week, so that's not so bad!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Monthly Faves: January

I can't believe it is February already! Time goes by so much faster when I'm back in school and spending 5 days of the week waiting for the weekend. I always love reading these posts on other blogs, so I've finally made a point to remember to post one of my own. Here are some of my faves over the last month.

I'm planning to do full reviews for a few of the products mentioned in this post in the future, but I won't be reviewing anything today. This is just a list post of what I've been loving this month. If there's anything in particular you'd like me to do a full review of let me know in the comments and I'll try to make it happen!

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