#100HappyDays 11-20

With another ten days finished, I am starting to see what people meant when they said they felt happier while doing the #100HappyDays challenge. Follow my other posts from my summer adventures on my Instagram account (link below) and get a play-by-play viewing of my #100HappyDays posts!

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Day 11: Turkey Burgers. Since I am gluten free, there are few foods I get excited for. Turkey burgers are one of them. They were especially delicious in the cast-iron pan, which I am sad I don’t have at school. IMG_1186

Day 12: My niece turned one on July 2nd. This was definitely a perfect picture for my #100HappyDays. I can’t believe she is already one. Time really flies. IMG_1200

Day 13: Fireworks. This was the first year we were not in Boston. We went to the club to watch the fireworks from the golf course and they were really beautiful. IMG_1236

Day 14: My niece. She is always a source of amusement and happiness for me. It never fails to amaze me how intrigued children are by keys and things that are not toys. IMG_1244

Day 15: Movie night. On Saturday nights my niece and nephew watch a movie and it is usually an animated one. We happen to have a lot of Disney movies on VHS at our summer house. My throwback to The Lion King 2 was a fun one. IMG_1246

Day 16: Trouble maker. Like I said, it never fails to amuse me how much children like things like computers. IMG_1259

Day 16: The club near our house saved their fireworks until the 6th of July. We watched them on the water which was a totally surreal experience. IMG_1287

Day 17: Back to childhood. This summer I discovered how calming building lego sets is. My nieces and nephews love it because they get to play with them. This bat cave was actually really awesome. IMG_1342

Day 18: A new Iphone. A few days I ago I dropped my phone and the screen smashed. I was living with a phone wrapped in plastic until my new one arrived. It is quite exciting to not be dealing with my broken screen anymore. IMG_1346

Day 19: Movie night. I am a five year old in disguise. It is obviously an excuse to re-watch The Lego Movie. IMG_1372

Day 20: Scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking and basically anything involving crafts. A few weeks ago I went to Michaels and stocked up on all the basics I would need. Today, I am starting the project in one of the most beautiful spots of our house.

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Summer Necessities and Basics #SummerBloggerChallenge

Since my summer basically consists of playing tennis, writing and reading, my necessities are pretty low. The basics I have in my bag every day and what I use at home are different because I don’t carry my laptop to the courts.  Both are integral parts to my summer. When I first got this prompt weeks ago as part of the #SummerBloggerChallenge my mindset was in a totally different place. I was carrying a bag with my wallet, camera and phone through Europe. Now, my bag is a tennis bag and its contents are quite different than what I typically carry on a daily basis.

My Tennis Bag Contents

My Tennis Bag Contents

A) My tennis racket. My racket has practically become an extension of my arm. I am playing six days a week for three hours at the most and one at the least. I am very active and rely on it.

B) Tennis balls. It’s always good to have a spare set of tennis balls in my bag. I might end up playing a match someone outside of the practices or lessons with the coaches.

C) A spare hat. It gets warm in the Cape. Having a hat in case of an emergency was a trick I learned last year. I rarely wear it but when the weather is brutal it is a great relief from the sun and the hot summer temperatures.

D) Sunscreen. I said it’s hot. I love the Neutrogena spray sunscreen. It is easy to put on and easy to carry. I have a face one also since my skin is pretty sensitive and I don’t think using a spray on my face would do it any good. It is a lifesaver when the sun is beating down on you. The last thing I want is to get sunburned.

E) Wristlet. My Vera Bradley wristlet comes everywhere with me. It has all the basics I would need in an emergency and my keys are attached so I won’t lose them when I move from the courts to the gym or between courts in the clinics.

F) Water bottle. Staying hydrated was always my downfall last year. Now that I have this water bottle from Pink by Victoria’s Secret, it has only been a problem once. They hold more than your regular Poland Spring water bottles, are reusable and it shows my personality.

G) Phone. This is where my entire life lives. I have all my tennis lessons on my ICal. Having it in immediate reach makes it easy when a scheduling question comes up or I need to reach someone about a time change. It also makes me feel better knowing I have a way to contact someone in the rare case I run into car trouble on the ride to or from the club.

My other necessities, which don’t usually go in my tennis bag are my computer so I can write and blog, whatever book I am reading and occasionally the external hard drive with my photos on it. These three things combined with my tennis bag keep me organized and define my summer so far.

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Friendly Reminders Thanks to Summer

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Since this summer has been pretty low key, I’ve had a lot of  free time on my hands. Thanks to this newfound freedom in my schedule, I am finally getting back into things I love to do but never have enough time for and expanding new  interests.  There are also some activities I do purely because they calm me down and happen to bring me back to my childhood.

I forgot how much Pinterest had to offer and the large amount of time you can spend on it.  Pinning and browsing has been a lot of fun. I keep finding cool teacher tips or useful things for my future classroom. I keep finding yummy looking gluten free and non-gluten free recipes. Now, when I click on a suggested board I can be on Pinterest for hours. It’s a bad cycle but the good thing is, I don’t have much else I need to do this summer. At some point I need to try starting another personal statement for graduate school but it’s only July 3rd. Writing for me is a breeze.

I discovered how much of a drag Facebook and technology is. If I have a choice, I usually end up reading, writing, doing something outside, or on Pinterest. I don’t really count Pinterest as technology because it taps into my creative side. I also haven’t been watching much TV.  The only show I am caught up on is Orange Is The New Black.

I am spending a lot of time reading blogs. I discovered a lot of blogs written by teachers (thanks Pinterest!) and the blogs I see from the Her Campus Bloggers are really fun reads. It is a cool way for me to see things differently and get a lot of topics thrown at me in a short time. Reading blogs fall under my summer reading category since I don’t consider it a distraction, but something that adds to my summer.

I have also been very gung-ho on reading. Since our trip to Europe, I have picked up multiple books and finished them at a fast pace. I have always been a fast reader. My most recent book I  read was “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I was probably very late to the game, but I really want to see the movie. I have a strict rule of reading the book first and then watching the movie.

I really can’t complain so far about my summer. I’ve been playing tennis, relaxing and enjoying my time off to the fullest. I am very grateful that college summers start so early. I am expecting some shock once I start working and my summers get shorter. I will cross that bridge when I get to it, for now, I am going to enjoy.

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#100happydays 1-10

After ten days of doing #100HappyDays, I definitely feel happier.  Given everything that has been going on in Israel the past few weeks, happiness only helps. When I started getting more skilled at photography I would see things through a lens. #100HappyDays has been a weird extension of that with my IPhone camera. As I wrote in my blog post yesterday, I will be posting my most recent pictures every ten days. Here are my first ten. Follow them more regularly and other pictures of my summer adventures I post at my Instagram account!

Day 1: Salad with grilled strawberries and pecans. This summer I discovered I do much better with lighter dinners. Our experimentation with  different types have been quite delicious. This was a perfect summer salad. 

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Day 2: A view of the water from the boat. We have become big boaters in the past year. I love the excursions we take and the views are usually really awesome. 

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Day 3: Michaels Scrapbooking Aisle. I love scrapbooking. Like, I am absolutely in love with it. I am finally getting around to making an epic travel scrapbook and obviously a trip to Michaels was necessary. IMG_1137

Day 4: Tea and a book. With all the activity I do, it is nice to just sit back and relax sometimes. In the evenings the light is really beautiful. Chris Bohjalian’s book “The Light in the Ruins” with a cup of tea was a perfect end to my day. 

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Day 5: Taza Chocolate. I LOVE chocolate. I might be a little too obsessed. When we got a shipment I was excited for obvious (and good) reasons. A) It’s kosher. B) It’s gluten free. C) It’s absolutely delicious. 

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Day 6: Trampoline snapshot. Everyone deserves a chance to revert back to childhood for a few minutes every day. When we got our trampoline installed it was obviously a  photo op. 

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Day 7: The tennis court. This is where I spend the most of my day. When it is perfect weather I am in heaven. I feel at home on the court at this point. Absolutely nothing could sour my mood when I am out there. 

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Day 8: My nieces and nephew. I love being an aunt. It’s a bonus that I have some really adorable nieces and nephews. When they match though, it’s just too much cuteness. 

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Day 9: My niece. Like I said, I love my nieces and nephews to death. 

IMG_1172Day 9: The sunset. It was too beautiful to not take a picture of and it put me in a calm place. I felt two pictures for today were necessary. 

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Day 10: Taza Chocolate (vanilla flavored). Chocolate is a vice of mine. A delicious vice.  IMG_1179

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#100happydays

On the first day of summer, I started doing #100happydays. It exploded on my Instagram feed weeks ago and I wanted to see what it was all about. I had initially thought about starting it when we were traveling but decided to wait until I knew I would have time (and the ability) to constantly post pictures.

It seemed like a no-brainer for me. I love Instagram, taking pictures and posting them. This would be a breeze. All I had to do was post my usual summer pictures with a new hashtag? Sounded awesome to me. After 9 days, it has been. It makes me live in the moment and appreciate my life to the fullest. So far, my pictures have been taken with my phone while I’m relaxed and happy. Once or twice I woke up in the morning and think about what my picture could be for the day, but most of the time they are spontaneous and I love that.

I’m glad I started it on the first day of summer. It felt appropriate and I am usually in a much better mood come summer. I am working out more, totally relaxed and embracing what life has to offer. The real reason I started then was so I could have a bench mark for myself. I like starting things when they I am meant to. That is probably why I didn’t sign up to for #100happydays during our trip. It didn’t feel right. When the first day of summer came around, it did.

I am a strong believer in the idea that everything happens at a set time for a specific reason. I also believe that things don’t happen unless they are meant to. On that first day of summer something inside of me clicked and I signed up. So far, #100happydays is a total success. I will be posting the ten most recent images on my blog every ten days, so look out for my first ten tomorrow!

The Crazy World of High School Relationships (3 of 3)

In two earlier posts I talked about struggling with relationships in high school. While this will be the final post in the series, I don’t think it will be the last I talk about this topic. Thinking about it raised more thoughts, questions and reflections I feel are important topics to write about. In the meantime,  I want to finish my shortened saga and share what I took away from it.

After my friends decided to move on school was rough for me. I only came to the following conclusion recently.  My friends didn’t want to hang out with me anymore because I was becoming friendly with other people. I was (eventually)  grateful they pushed out of the group because I realized their friendships were a clique in disguise.  I was never a girl who wanted to be in a clique. I wanted to be friendly or at the very least be comfortable with multiple groups of people.  I think this made them uncomfortable.

Throughout sophomore year, I became friendlier with new people, partially by my own doing and my school’s. Thanks to the flawed tracking system for classes, when I moved up a level in math I was with a whole new group of kids for geometry and chemistry. After a few weeks I became closer with one or two people and eventually became very close friends with one guy in my class.  After the whole debacle with my “friends” he was one of the few people I knew wouldn’t mind sitting with me at lunch. I sat with him and the people he hung out with in the following weeks. They ended up being the people I became good friends with by junior and senior year. They are also the only ones I am still in touch with.

He and I began dating which lasted about 18 months or so. For anyone who knows high school relationships, that is a very long time. Dating him taught me a lot of things: how to love unconditionally, how to ignore what other people say, how to know when I am not happy anymore and how to move on from what was a very painful time in my life. He was not by any means the most understood boy in my grade. Some people found him odd and a lot of people asked me why I was dating him. I learned it really didn’t matter what other people thought. All that mattered was my happiness.

In my first post I mentioned relationships in the general term. This relationship also eventually ended. Going through the relationship made me realize how important high school are. I don’t by any means think they are the only thing that matter in high school, but I do believe teenage girls can learn a lot from them. High school relationships teach girls how to learn their limits, how to deal with heartbreak, how to trust someone else and how to give a part of themselves to someone else.

I am grateful for our relationship for that. I am thankful he and I are still friendly today. The thing I learned by ending the relationship was sometimes two people are better off friends.  This is a very important lesson I still take with me. I won’t lie and say there haven’t been moments that I considered if myself and guys I am very friendly with at school  would be a good couple. The big question I ask myself when it comes into my head is if we are better as friends.  If the answer is yes, I drop it. At this point in my life, given everything I went through in high school, my friends mean so much to me and I would not want to risk losing them. It is also an important thing to be aware of because while everyone is looking for that one special person, good friends are very valuable and sometimes hard to find.

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Social Media Ranking of One Through Six

In today’s modern society, everything is very focused on social media. When I started my blog, I quickly discovered that a Facebook Page, using my Pinterest page and Twitter account would only help me get more views. There are positions for social media in many jobs and even on campus organizations. I am no stranger to social media. I love my Facebook page, I love having a Twitter account and my Instagram account is one I absolutely cannot live without.

I love having a constant connection to my friends in multiple forms and as soon as I discovered Instagram a few summers ago I thought I was in love. When my Instagram account got shut down, I still don’t know why, when we were in London I made a new one. I am now in the process of recreating my Instagram account I had and my onslaught of pictures from our trip helped that happen. I also discovered that there are some other very cool photo apps. I have been making a mental ranking of social media sites in my head with the pros and cons of them for a while now. I don’t think the rankings I made will in any way effect how I use them but it might help me validate why.

1. Instagram – even given my current love-hate relationship with Instagram ever since my original account is not accessible, I still love it. I really like the fact that it is a photo sharing app, I can play with filters and posts can be whatever you want them to be. The photographer in me lives for it.

2. UltraVisual – this is a new app I discovered when my Instagram account crashed in London. You can share pictures, put captions, write on them, play with filters, edit them to your hearts content and you can collaborate on different boards. The boards are all different themes, customized and unique. It is super fun and there are some pretty fantastic photographers on there. It is definitely a new favorite and I plan to explore it a lot more over the summer.

3. Twitter – it keeps me up to date with what is going on in the world and lets me follow different celebrities. It is fun exploring it and while I don’t tweet all the time, it’s a great way for me to get headlines from newspapers and constant updates about happenings in the world.

4. Pinterest – this site has basically everything I would ever need in my life. I love that thumbnails are images and the basis behind it is that anyone can use it for something. I love having different boards and can spend hours pinning teaching tips, photographs and DIY projects. I love it and I will voluntarily spend hours on the site.

5. Facebook – I honestly find it very creepy and I can be a major stalker on there, I will be the first to admit it. While I think it’s fun and a good way to stay updated on what is going on in people’s lives. It is a weird blend of information on people I see daily and people I haven’t seen in years. I used to think it was more fun in high school. Now I get bored by it after a few minutes of browsing.

6. Snapchat – I’ll be honest, I don’t get it. I don’t get the appeal of it. I have one, and I use it maybe every month, but I don’t understand it. I get confused by who is sending mass messages and who isn’t. I might just be clueless about it, but it’s not so easy to understand. I also don’t see the difference between Snapchat and Instagram direct messages.

These six social media apps are the ones I really use. Of course there are others given how modern our society is now  but I really struggle to understand them. I don’t get why Google+ is so big. LinkdIn makes sense but it is very business geared. I guess Tinder counts as social media but I also think it’s a weird way to date and the appeal is clearly lost on me. As a blogger and a college student in today’s age, social media is huge. These sites have become our second way of life and connections to the people in our lives. I have learned to live with them, but I don’t think I will ever come to love every single one of them.

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