Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Listening to: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Mood: Excited!

Hey friends!

So, I realize it's been a hugely long time since I've posted anything substantial on here and I'm not going to start promising to provide regular lengthy updates on my life, but I have big news!

Brad and I got engaged on Sunday!

We've been together for a little over 3 years now (isn't that crazy?!). One of Brad's favorite pranks to play on me used to be fake proposing. I've been fake-proposed to so many times I can't even count them all. Over Thanksgiving weekend, he kept texting me saying he was going to propose on Monday and asking if I was ready for it. I just laughed it off, thinking he was joking as always. I even said, "When you actually propose to me, I'm going to think it's another joke."

On Sunday, we had plans to go see a movie with Brad's friend Jon and his wife. I was a bit under the weather, but on the way home Brad suggested we stop at a park we went to on our first date as a belated anniversary celebration. I agreed but rather adamantly insisted we only stay for a few minutes because it was cold out and I wasn't feeling well. We ended up getting out of the car and going out on this little bridge over a dam and just stood there for a little bit.

He tried to get me to go over by a lighted gazebo, but I refused to move any further from the car. After a few minutes, he went, "If I was smart, I'd propose to you right now. Like this," and then he got down on one knee. I rolled my eyes and laughed - I totally thought he was joking until he took out the ring! And then I couldn't stop smiling and saying yes and asking if he was serious.

It was basically the most adorable/romantic moment of my life. I'm so happy! Seriously. I still can't believe it. We're planning for a 2 year engagement so I have time to find a job after I graduate (also, I graduate in 2 weeks. Isn't this insane? Seriously. I started this blog when I was a senior in high school and now I'm an engaged college graduate, basically) and we can figure out where we want to live and have plenty of time for planning.

I thought those of you who still check in here might appreciate the update! :)

I'll keep posting as major life events happen, and hopefully someday I'll have time to blog consistently again.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

So, it's been a while

Hey friends!!!

So, I'm pretty sure it's been at least one year (maybe even multiple years?) since I've updated this. Because I'm a horrible person. Just kidding. I'm actually not a bad person at all. I just got busy and started a book blog and started writing for a website and am preparing for graduation and...you know....life.


What's new, you may ask? I'm tempted to answer "nothing" because I feel like my life is just a monotonous blur of work-school-work-sleep-repeat with occasional lovely interruptions like hanging out with my boyfriend or visiting my family.

In reality, I'm sure so much has changed. I just looked back at my last post, and it was in January. So I guess it hasn't been as long as I thought. When I last posted, I listed my new years resolutions. If you need a refresher, my three big goals for 2013 were to:

1.) Eat less junk and exercise more.
2.) Be assertive.
3.) Answer when opportunity knocks.

I honestly forgot I even made any resolutions, but I'm pleased to report that I somehow ended up following through (mostly) with them! I've drastically cut down my junk food intake. I still eat more than I know is healthy, but I'm still working on it. I no longer eat fast food several times a week. I eat more veggies and pay more attention to my caloric intake and output. I don't exactly exercise a whole lot more, but I am a bit more active. I park further away when I go to stores and on campus, and I'm taking a yoga class. So that's pretty nice!

I also amped up my assertion level. I'm still not quite as confident and my backbone isn't always as strong as I'd like to be, but I'm doing a pretty good job of standing up for myself when I need to and taking charge of situations. I've got a leadership position with a club at school, so I think that's helping a lot. I have to keep other people on track and answer questions and troubleshoot problems, so I really have to be sure about what I'm doing and saying and not be afraid to tell people off when they're slacking off or whatever.

I've also taken a few cool new opportunities. Shortly after my last blog post, I started writing for a website called The Daily Quirk. I get to do book reviews and feature-y articles. I even get to interview authors and stuff. It's pretty much the best thing ever. I love it. I've also started networking at the company that I would ideally like to work at someday. I'm still taking baby steps, but I'm pretty sure if I keep working as hard as I do, I could land my dream job. It really helps that one of my classes this semester is pretty much having us assemble all of our things to apply for our dream job (which doesn't quite make the most sense as the class is Technical and Scientific Writing, but since it's really useful stuff we're doing instead, I'm not complaining).

As I've mentioned many times before, I've also started my own book blog (which you can find here or here). I'm working on getting an actual domain name and hopefully customizing it so it's unique and fun and something people want to read. I don't have many followers at the moment, but I'm hoping the more I write, the more my readership will grow.

Mostly, even though I always think my life is boring, things are pretty exciting. My boyfriend and I moved to a new apartment and our cats are adorable and I'm too busy being happy with my life to remember how much I've actually got going on.

I hope the last 10 months have been good for you all, too! Please fill me in on anything I've missed in the comments. I'm hoping to get back in the habit of posting here occasionally, but if you miss me too much, visit my book blog. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Location: Couch
Listening to: The Princess Bride

This past year has brought a lot of changes to my life. Some were really great, others not so much. Looking back, the one thing I can conclude is that I am an extremely blessed girl. I have been given so many fantastic opportunities, and I have so many wonderful and loving people in my life.

I've got a number of resolutions this year. I don't remember what my resolutions last year were (I think I made a post about them, but I'm too lazy to look for it), so if I made any, I'm pretty sure I didn't stick to them.

I want this year to be different, because there are some big changes I want and need to make in my life.

1.) Less junk food, more exercise. I think this is most peoples go-to resolution, but it's something I really want and need to do. My diet was terrible this year and I wasn't nearly as active as I should have been, so I've gained weight and am probably not as healthy as I should be at this point in my life. I really want to fix that. It's not so much about what I look like or what other people see when they look at me. I want to know that I'm healthy and that I'm doing good things for my body. I want to feel confident and proud of my lifestyle instead of buying pints of Ben & Jerry's when I know I'll be home alone for a while and eating it all in one sitting. Eating lots of junk is bad. Waiting  to eat lots of junk until you know no one will see you do it is a problem.

2.) Be! Assertive! B-E ASSERTIVE! One of the best things about me is also one of my greatest weaknesses: I always want to make other people happy. I want to make other people happy SO MUCH that I completely ignore how what they want will affect my own happiness. Generally, I'm proud of this fact. But in some situations, wanting to make other people happy makes you a doormat. After a while, people know you'll just go along with whatever they suggest and they begin walking all over you. And then you just get really unhappy. But it's a vicious cycle and it's hard to break. So, this year, I'm going to stand up for myself more. I'm going to find a good balance of trying to make other people happy and trying to make myself happy. Sometimes it's okay to be selfish, especially about big and important things.

3.) Answer when opportunity knocks. As those of you who've been with me the entire time I've had this blog know, I suffer from anxiety. It's not constant and I've got it pretty much under control, but there are times where I let my anxiety dictate my decisions. Sometimes opportunities come up that seem incredible, but I scare myself out of taking them. This year, I want to actually live life. I don't want to stay at home because I'm afraid that the other people my friends are hanging out with won't like me. I don't want to cancel trips to visit my friends because I'm worried that something on my trip will go wrong. I don't want to life my life in a self-inflicted bubble. I want to go and do things and have fun and live!

That's pretty much my plan for the new year. I love that each new year gives you a fresh start. It's always exciting to think about all of the great things that could happen in the next twelve months.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? What were they this year? If you don't, why not? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, December 17, 2012


Location(s): Work/home
Listening to: Sports Center (or some ESPN type sports show thing)

It isn't often that I trot out my personal beliefs and rant about controversial things on here. In fact, I don't think I've ever done that before. But today I read some things that really made my blood boil, and I believe that using your voice is one of the best ways to bring about change. You may not all agree with me, and I completely understand that. I just hope you respect my beliefs, and if you don't, hopefully we can have a civil conversation about out differences.

Anyway, in case you haven't heard, on Saturday a gay Marine proposed to his partner at the White House. This lovely, adorable, happy story has blown up the internet. Until recently, individuals involved in the U.S. military weren't allowed to be openly gay. And, as many are aware, most states in the U.S. don't allow gay marriage, but the Supreme Court will be hearing cases about the legality of gay marriage and many states are starting to recognize marriage between two men or two women in addition to "traditional" marriage. So it's kind of a wonderful thing that these two men were allowed to express their love openly without any fear of persecution through their jobs or their government.

I hadn't heard about this story until ten minutes ago when a friend shared this photo on Facebook. The photo was originally posted on a group, and, being the curious individual that I am, I decided to read the comments to see what people thought.

What I saw made my heart literally hurt. There was so much negativity. People were ranting that being gay is morally wrong and that these two men will rot in hell. They were saying that God doesn't approve of these men loving each other and that it's wrong that the United States is beginning to legally recognize gay marriage. They were saying that the Marine who proposed had no business being involved in the military, and that he was obviously not a good person because he "chose to be" gay.

I'm not a very religious person, but I was raised in a religious household. Personally, I believe that God doesn't care what love looks like. I think he just wants people to find love and embrace it. I think he would understand that we're born the way we're born. In fact, I know he does. He makes us people we are.

I also strongly disagree with the argument that, because the Bible describes marriage as between a man and a woman, that is the only way it can be. Marriage was around long before Christianity as the religion we know it as today. Pagans who knew nothing of the god that Christians worship celebrated marriage long before the New Testament existed.

If we all followed the Bible to the letter, fathers would be able to sell their wives and daughters like property. Incest would be okay. Eating certain foods that we now eat  all the time would be forbidden.

Especially with all of the tragedy the world has experienced lately, it really upset me to see people being so hateful about something that is supposed to be a happy and beautiful time. Marriage, no matter what religion it is in or what the beliefs are of the people getting married, is a wonderful thing. Knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with someone and loving them so much you never want to spend a day without them is a rare thing. We should be happy for anyone who finds that kind of love.

I think now, more than ever, we need to bite back our negativity and show our love instead. The world is a dark and scary place, but there is still beauty. There is still love. We need to remember that the people we share this world with are also people - not animals, not inanimate objects, but people with thoughts and feelings and lives outside of our own. When we disagree with something, there are ways we can express ourselves and our opinions without being harsh and negative.

Whether or not you believe that gay marriage (or being gay in general) is right, I hope you can still find the happiness in the love stories shared by people who identify themselves as gay. I hope you see that we are all human, and we need to respect and support each other if we ever want to heal this broken world.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fact: Nice Things Make Me Cry

Location: Work
Listening to: Nothing

Fact: Hearing/reading about people who do extraordinary nice things for complete strangers without any expectation of something in return makes me get teary.

It's easy to forget that nice people still exist. It seems like everyone is motivated by what they can gain by doing things for other people. It seems rare to actually see someone do something nice for someone else just because they want to be nice.

I love seeing things about people who randomly pay for a stranger's meal without them knowing or help a family buy something for their kids, just because they want to. It seriously makes me cry to be reminded that wonderful, kind, loving people still exist, and they want to help others just because they feel like it, or someone else helped them once.

Have you ever heard of Pay It Forward? It's a book/movie about a little boy who is given a class assignment (I think, it's been a while since I've read it) to do something nice for someone else and then tell the class about it. When he did his random act of kindness, he asked the person he helped to pay it forward and help someone else.

This is such an amazing principle. Think of how wonderful the world would be if everyone helped each other and didn't expect to gain anything, but just asked the person to pay it forward and help out someone else.

So, I've got a challenge for you. Try to do something really nice for someone. Don't ask for anything in return, just ask them to pay it forward. The less you know the person you help, the more exciting it will be. And then let me know about your experience! Or, if you've ever helped someone or someone has helped you, tell me about it! I love these stor

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dear Readers; I Am Dead




So, I don't know if you guys saw the latest post on my book blog,* but I found out some really exciting news the other day. I know it's really stupid to swear and it's a display of a poor vocabulary, but honestly, my first thought when I heard was, "HOLY EFFING EFF!!! THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE!!! AHHHH!!!!"

And then I died of excitement.

Why, you may ask? Well, HarperCollins has a website dedicated to books for young adults. It's called Epic Reads. They have all kinds of giveaways, book clubs, and a ton of other nerdy goodness. It's pretty much like Facebook for people aged 12-25 who prefer books over people. Which is amazing.

Well, they sent out a message via social networks earlier last week saying that they were looking for some folks who hasn't read a number of dystopian and paranormal series that they publish who would be willing to read the series in a fairly short time period and blog about their reading experience.

So I filled out the application (which included a question about how you thought the world would end. My belief: chaos followed by giant, benevolent penguins who will save us all) and made a rather silly video and then sat around and completely forgot that I even applied.

On Saturday, I just happened to check my GMail account (which I hardly ever use except for my blogs and when I sign up for things from stores and such) and I had this e-mail that I nearly deleted because it looked like junk.

Only, at the last second, I realized it was from the Epic Reads people.

And they were telling me that I was selected to review one of their series (the Full Moon series by Ellen Schreiber)!

Over 400 people applied to do this, and they only selected 14 (two for each series). So pretty much, I will be blogging on a super cool website through an actual publishing company where hopefully a lot of people will read my reviews and find my blogs and perhaps lead to a job opportunity as a book reviewer and thus fulfilling my life's dream.

You can see why this is pretty much the most exciting thing of my life. And I had to share it with you all!! And now I have to go read a book for school, which should be fun and exciting. But I'll post again soon! Don't you worry! And it won't even be about my book blog next time!

*I almost typed "boob blog," which would have been awkward. And also, sorry for only talking about my book blog here anymore. I'm just really excited about it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SEO, yo!

Location: Couch
Listening to: Aladdin ::D

So, I was looking at my stats for this blog (because it amazes me that I continue to get views even though I post erratically at best) and I made a surprising discovery:

The #1 search term that leads people to my blog is "bear party." Or other things about bears having parties. Probably because of my bear party post.

(Also, I just searched that to see for myself what comes up. Good news: my blog post officially makes it on the first page of Google search results. Bad news: the rest of it is porn....)

It's funny how using certain tags can get people to read what you're writing. I never would have expected the fact that I mentioned the words "bear party" to bring people to my blog (although, now I'm kind of concerned about what they were looking for when they found this....)

Do you guys use the label function on your blogs? Do you find that some of your tags bring in more views than others?

For anyone who does use the labels/tags (or who might start using them after reading this), I've got a tip for you! I learned today that SEO (search engine optimization) programs will write you off if you tag too much. You should really only tag things that are mentioned a lot.

Like, if you were writing about a Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk, "cancer" or "breast cancer" are phrases that would probably bring in a lot of hits. But you'd be better off to tag it as the specific breast cancer walk you are talking about. The more specific, the better.

If you use a lot of general terms, or throw in tags you know will bring in a lot of hits just to draw traffic, SEO programs will think you aren't being accurate and they'll pretty much ignore your tags.

Just a tip! I hope you're all doing well and getting excited for the holiday season (or winter, if you don't celebrate any winter holidays).

If you've got a free second, please check out my new book review blog! I'd really appreciate some feedback and followers over there! Let me know what you think!