3 Things I'm Grateful For Lately

Best way to boost your mood, think of the simple specific things you're grateful for lately.

1.  Cuddle seshes with the dog

 2.  Peppermint Pretzel Slims from Trader Joe's, so good, you must get some of these!!

3.  Birthday celebrations with friends


A note to my education

"So what are some of your hobbies?"

Whether in an interview or a random person I'm meeting for the first time, I was always at a loss on how to answer this question.  What DO I like to do for fun...  I hang out with my friends, my boyfriend, school, the gym, internship, research assistant job and work. 

"No, no, no," they would say.  "Don't you have some kind of hobby you like to do, that you do just do for you."

And I honestly didn't.  I would make something up about liking to try new things...new restaurants, new coffee places, etc., which was true, I like to do try new things but that isn't really a hobby.  And then I would always feel a little bad about myself that I didn't have some kind of hobby; like surfing, photography, knitting, hiking, blogging, yoga.

Now that I'm out of school, and I just have the one job, my life has completely simplified.  I realized why I didn't have a hobby, I was so flipping busy all the time...I really didn't have time for myself. Now that I have a good amount of free time I'm getting to try things I haven't, to read things I never had time for, to learn about myself, to allow my creative side out into the world.  It's made me realize that perhaps my education and all of my activities got in the way of me finding what I actually like to do...just for me.  I'm realizing I have a creative side.  I'm realizing I like blogging and that I like photography.  And most importantly I'm figuring out what makes me, me.

What are your hobbies, besides blogging of course ;) ?


Current Read

Last week I finally finished John Irving's novel Cider House Rules.  It was actually made into a movie in the 90's that was nominated for 7 academy awards and one for best adapted screen play.  Here's a trailer for the movie:

I chose to read this book because I loved Irving's other novel (also made into a movie; Simon Birch) called A Prayer for Owen Meany.  While this one didn't tug at my heart strings quite the same it was definitely another masterpiece.  Irving covers a number of interesting and powerful topics including abortion, duty, guilt, honor, race, and of course love.  The main character, Homer, is impossible not to love, though he made his own mistakes throughout.  I think what I loved most about this novel was the clash between following "your duty" and doing what you want, and ultimately which choice is right.  I felt such an empathy for the characters because so many of the decisions we make in life are not an easy black or white choice.  I would definitely recommend the book to anyone looking for a novel that covers life in a realistic and honest way, with real dynamic characters.  There are no "good" or "bad guys" or "right" and "wrong" decisions, there is just the dynamic complexity that is life.


3 Things I'm Grateful For

Gratitude is such an important tool to boost your happiness, and in line with November, the month of giving thanks...I'm posting 3 things I'm thankful for.

1.  Warm holiday inspired drinks with friends on chilly days

2. Getting cozy in hoodies and blankets

3.  Lots of Christmas decor in all the stores

Writing down 3 things your thankful for everyday for a week is proven to decrease depressive symptoms 6 months down the line.

What are you thankful for these days?


Saying Thanks in November

Is there anything better than meeting up with a friend you haven't seen in awhile?  This is a picture from last Saturday. 

I really took for granted the times when I lived so close to this girl--she was either in the same room or in a room just next to me, over the past four years.  And now I have to get used to life without seeing her for weeks.  It really is true what they say about friendships in college--college is where you make a lot of your life long friends.  I have a different closeness with the friends I made in college than the ones I made in high school, they feel more like family to me.  In line with November, the month of giving thanks, I wanna say that I am really grateful for the friendships I've made, may I always appreciate them the way I do now, when our times together are rare.

What are you all grateful for this November?


Does anyone read anymore?!

At Starbucks in line for a coffee, I got asked for the second time about the book I was reading.  Of the 2 times I've gone to Starbucks to read, I got asked about the book both times.  This probably wouldn't be anything to comment on except for the way I get asked about it.  It's like its an unusal thing for me to be doing...reading a book.  Which makes me think that maybe it is an unusual thing to be doing nowadays.  To be reading a real library book at a coffee shop.  Which just makes me very sad.  I feel like one of those old Grandparents commenting on the misdeeds of the current generation but I feel like reading a real book..not a blog, not a magazine, not your nook, has lost its place in the world of entertainment.  There isn't any feeling like getting lost in a book, by being so excited by the story you feel like you can't read it fast enough, or laughing out loud to the words on the page, or maybe even crying to them, or remembering lines in your head for days or even years to come.  No movie creates the kind of lasting impression that can a book can make.

How do you all feel?  Anyone still make time for a good novel?


It's that time of year again..

We've had the fire going, Christmas music playing and sipping on peppermint mochas throughout the weekend.  It's that time of year again and anyone who knows me, knows how excited I am about Christmas.  In fact on the day the holiday cups came out at Starbucks, I had 2 different friends text me a picture of them and their red cups!  The Christmas bug just runs in my family...my dad, my 2 sisters and I are all just crazy about this season.  There is just something  about this time that really makes you remember what life is really all about...little special moments with loved ones.

So anyway, I'm enjoying Christmas music by the fire tonight...cozied up with the dog, listening to all my favorites.  I challenge you all to a "Finish that Christmas Lyric" competition...winner buys peppermint mochas!


Feel Good Fridays

In Seligman's book Learned Optimism.  He explains of his work with a Life Insurance company called Met Life.   Seligman worked with the CEO to develop a test that would better predict the success of Life Insurance agents...what Seligman added to the test: optimism.  Seligman and the CEO turned out to be right; the more optimistic the agent the better he performed and the longer he stuck around.

Seligman says the recipe for success includes three determinants: aptitude, motivation, and optimism.

Which reminds me of that Disney Channel movie:
"si, se puede...Yes, we can!"

Click here for a brief background on Feel Good Fridays.


Halloweentime at Disneyland

Ah I'm so excited about this post.  My step sister and her kids, my dad, my sister and her fiance (now husband) and I all went to Disneyland last Monday, right before Halloween, and we honestly had THE BEST TIME.  Everything was all dressed up for Halloween and it wasn't very crowded.   If you know anything about Disneyland then you'll know how crowded it was when I tell you the line for Space Mountain was only 25 minutes long!
Here are a few of the pictures I took on my phone.  Feel free to feel jealous because I certainly do when I look back at them.   Take me back Disney!

The Haunted Mansion

What do you mean chipmunks can't color?!?

After this he tried to approach her, which proceeded with her screaming bloody murder and everyone staring.

The bride-to-be and fiance.

Interesting hat choice.


Myla was driving, that is my happy but kinda scared face.

The girls on actual Halloween night


Much Awaited Post and the Maid of Honor Toast

So much to post about and what to start with?  Since the reason I haven't posted for a week was my sister's wedding, the crazy amounts of family visiting and the fact that I was the Maid of Honor, I'll start with something wedding related.

Getting ready for the big day...it took all day!
 We made the bouquets ourselves. Crazy!

Here was my toast.  I ended up not having very much time to go over it on the big day, because I spent most of the time worried about the bride but I ended up saying it exactly how I wanted.  People laughed when I wanted them too, I even made some good improvised comments and I felt like I really got the emotions I was feeling across.  It was such a great day, but it went by way too fast!   I'm so happy for my sister, she looked incredibly happy on her big day.

Maid of Honor Toast:

"When I sat down to right this speech, I thought to myself, “damn I should’ve sat down sooner.”  But in all seriousness when I started to write it turned out to be pretty easy for me to talk about how much I love Jennifer and now Andy.
Jennifer has always played such a special and unique role in my life.  For those of you who don’t know me I am Jen’s younger half sister by 8 years.  We didn’t grow up together but that didn’t stop her from being one of my favorite people in the whole world.  From when I was little, and I cried every summer, all the way home from the airport after dropping her off, to looking forward to our special sister trips, to going to her for advice about pretty much everything…she’s always been someone I’ve looked up to, trusted, and loved.  I was so excited to be her Maid of Honor because I felt like I finally got a chance to give back to her for all that she’s done for me over the years.  I don’t know what I did to get so lucky, but for sisters, Jen you truly are a blessing, a role model, a best friend.

When people asked me how I felt about the wedding, I could honestly tell them that I was extremely excited.  I was excited to see my sister finally have her special day.  I was excited to welcome Andy into my family, I was excited for the promised open bar.  But most of all I was excited to see my sister so absolutely happy.

            Now I understand a lot of you haven’t gotten the pleasure of getting to know Andy and Jen as a couple and I think it can best be summed up by this quote I pretty much found last night on the internet, “Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.”  Jen and Andy are the best kind of couple, they are best friends before anything else.  So here’s to my best friend, who is marrying one of hers.  I wish my sister and her new husband all the love, health, and happiness life has to offer.  Cheers."