Moving To The Big Leagues

After a few hours, my blog has officially moved over to wordpress.org and has its own domain name! I am very excited about the possibilities to come from this move. For those who follow me, you can find my blog at emilyslifelessons.com now! Bear with me as I adjust images and details awry on the site! See you on the flip side!

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Weekly Pinterest Loves

Two weeks ago I got an idea to do a weekly post on Pins I liked from the Her Campus Bloggers Network Pinterest board. I kind of dropped the ball  last Friday so here are the ones I found last week (that I forgot to post) and some I found this week!

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Random Ones I Loved: 

http://coffeebeansandhighheels.weebly.com/organization/my-planner-erin-condren-splurge from Coffee Beans and High Heels. I am a total freak about organizing and I have accepted the fact I will need to use a planner this coming year. Between my four school clubs and student teaching, it will be the one thing keeping me sane. This is great inspiration for me!

http://coffeebeansandhighheels.weebly.com/randomness/my-summer-essentials from Coffee Beans and High Heels. I am also taking part in the #SummerBloggerChallenge and her take on the prompt was unexpected but really inspirational. I agree with most of this list.

Beauty: 

http://sartorialspice.com/2014/06/25/june-2014-julep-box/ from Satorial Spice. Seeing her review of the Julep box was such a happy coincidence! I have been contemplating ordering one and trying it for a while. This review encouraged me to try the free first box.

Lifestyle: 

http://alellzey.blogspot.com/2014/06/five-ways-to-relax-after-work.html from Because I Said So. This totally speaks to my mood everyday when I get home from class. I’m sure I will be utilizing some or all of these tips once the school year starts and I fall back into my crazy busy schedule.

http://thesls.blogspot.com/2014/07/6-reasons-i-deleted-you-from-facebook.html?showComment=1404313628641 from The Student’s Lifestyle. I love this post. This is a constant debate for me: to delete or not to delete. Her reasons for deleting were 100% spot on!

Food: 

http://www.mynewestaddiction.com/2014/05/chocolate-peanut-butter-smoothie-recipe.html from My Newest Addiction. This looks AWESOME. I can’t eat peanut butter but I can imagine alternative nut butters that would totally work. A hazelnut butter and chocolate smoothie is basically Nutella in liquid form.

http://keepingupwithcourtney.weebly.com/food/eating-healthy-while-dining-out-part-i-tips-from-a-waitress from Keeping Up With Courtney Lynn. This is a constant struggle. My friends at school love eating out for birthdays or just to take a break from cooking. I am worried about how it would work while gluten free, kosher and picky but her amazing advice helps.

Technology/Blogging: 

http://mediajunkiejungle.com/2014/07/02/how-do-you-know-if-you-are-a-successful-blogger/ from Media Junkie Jungle. Preach. Since I started blogging there is always a part of me that questions if I am successful and giving people things they want to read. I’m glad to know I am not the only one and her definition of a successful blogger is great.

http://www.colormebrave.com/2014/06/free-stock-photos.html from Color Me Brave. The hardest part is definitely picking pictures if I don’t have any that work. This list is a lifesaver.

Health: 

http://www.thepreppyscientist.com/2014/07/infused-water-recipes.html from The Preppy Scientist. This summer I have been experimenting with homemade flavored water and sports drinks. I am definitely trying some of these!

 

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Writing 101: Writing off Prompts to Create Blogs

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2While I was traveling, I read about a course called Writing 101 from the Daily Post. Since I was new to blogging and the course was advertised as a way to create a writing habit and generate  more content, I signed up. Once it began and the prompts and twists were released, they looked a lot like the prompts I was given in my fiction classes. I love writing, especially creative writing, but it took time for me to link creative and non-fiction writing to make a blog post.

The fact that you don’t need to publicize them all, can mix and match the prompts and twists and you can make the prompts whatever you want keeps me entertained. Since it’s a lot of free writing I can stretch my creative writing muscles. A lot of the posts don’t make it past my Scrivener document but some of the very good ones or posts I feel relate to what I write about get published. Throughout the course I’ve found ways to twist a lot of them into blog posts that work for my page. There are even some free write ones I published because I liked how they came out.

I don’t know if the Writing 101 program really helped me develop a blogging habit. It has done one thing though: given me a lot of content. I’m generating a lot of writing in one week. In contrast to when I started blogging and I only had one or two posts a week, now I never have a shortage. I have multiple drafts waiting to be published and a lot of ideas in the works. Writing 101 also showed me I don’t necessarily like working off set prompts. A lot of my stronger posts come from inspirations I pull from conversations or things I read.

However, there is something really nice about having a common community. All the writers who are doing it occasionally post their responses and will inspire me or move me to write in a new style. While I think the advertising for Writing 101 was slightly off in what it actually achieves, I am grateful for doing it and love all the new and interesting content I am developing. I also am thankful to see I haven’t totally lost my ability to write fiction.

Here’s To Summer! #SummerBloggerChallenge

This summer, along with my usual blog posts, I will post some summer themed ones! I am joining a bunch of other amazing bloggers in the #SummerBloggerChallenge hosted by Charlotte, blogger for Velvet and Vinyls. I am very excited to share these amazing topics with you and I would definitely suggest checking out some of the other bloggers who are taking part in it!

Since today is the first official day of summer, I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish.  Aside from playing tennis, working out and really enjoying my summer, which I have already talked about a few times on here, there are other goals. Tennis and fitness are the big ones for me but by now they have become part of my routine. I started thinking about things I can do that are outside of my routine, unique or would push my comfortable limits.

  • Do some cool DIY projects. I have a whole list on Pinterest I haven’t had the time to do but this summer I really want to find the time. I think I still have two un-opened Darby Smart boxes and if my memory serves me right, they were both really awesome.
  • Finally sort through pictures. I have thousands of pictures from this past semester alone. Between my photography independent study and the trip we took at the end of May, there are so many pictures I need to sort through more carefully. I want to get some printed and put them on my walls. What better time than the summer?
  • Write more fiction. I feel like I beat a dead horse when I say this every summer. I love writing fiction but I can never bring myself to actually sit down and just write. Now that I am in the habit of sitting down to write for my blog, it might actually happen but I think I’ll still need to give myself that extra little push to generate fiction.
  • Make a travel scrapbook. Since we went to Japan, I have been collecting memorabilia from places we have travelled in the hopes of making this grand and awesome scrapbook of our trips. It’s not unreasonable. I discovered it is actually a lot of fun to scrapbook and I become very calm when doing it.  I am a little more motivated to do it this summer than I was in the past. Now I just need to research if there is an AC Moore or Michaels near me.
  • Detach from my devices.  This is always a major struggle for me, and a subject of a blog post in the near future. I really want to push myself to keep my devices away from me for a whole day and enjoy doing things that doesn’t involve my phone or computer. The scenery and life on the Cape is so calming and slow paced, but when I am on my phone I am the opposite. I want to challenge myself to see if I can get into the slow paced lifestyle, at least for one day.
  • Learn to love the beach (maybe). I have never been a fan of the beach. I don’t remember liking it as a child, and I really dislike it now. However, the beaches in Cape Cod are really beautiful. The sand is a perfect texture and it is usually slightly cooler with the breeze. I don’t know if it’s the sand on my wet feet or when it gets everywhere that bothers me most. I have never enjoyed going into the water, getting wet then relaxing on the sand, but I love walking at the beach and taking pictures.  I would like to learn to love it. Maybe this summer will be the year.
  • Read more. I always forget how much I love reading during the school year. As soon as I pick up the first book that is not required, I fall back in love with reading. I want to discover new books and spend time with them this summer. I want to read blogs and get into the habit of picking up a book for a little bit (even when I am totally swamped with work come the fall).
  • Start #100HappyDays. I have seen so many friends do it and I’ve been seriously meaning to for a while now. I feel like this is quickly becoming my go-to excuse but I couldn’t find the time to start it while I was traveling.  Starting on the first day of summer feels exceptionally appropriate and I can’t wait to see the impact it has on me as a person. It will probably also be the subject of many blog posts.
  • Start graduate school applications. I am always a fan of getting ahead on work. This next year is going to be a massive whirlwind of job applications, graduate school applications, interviews and more! Whatever I can start now will only help me come November when first deadlines are approaching.

I don’t think any of these goals are totally unattainable. I also have a feeling if I succeed in doing some of these I will ultimately avoid being on my device all the time. A lot of these are creatively geared and I love projects. One larger goal for this summer is to get my right brain working more than my left. Here’s to hoping and to a productive and creative summer!

embrace once in a lifetime sunsets like this...

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Weekly Pinterest Loves

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Earlier this week, I joined the Her Campus Blogger Network Pinterest board. It has been so much fun. It’s like my Pinterest experience has gotten much more creative and the scope has widened. Seeing all the different articles the fantastic bloggers post is nearly impossible with just our Facebook page. With the Pinterest board I can see them much easier and can sort through what they are writing about.

I have seen some bloggers in the network do weekly posts talking about posts they loved that week and things along those lines. I have been interested in starting a similar thing myself but the combination of my trip through Europe and settling back into a summer routine, I am just getting around to it now. When I joined the Pinterest board, I got a good idea. I would post pins I love and try and get one from each “category” so to speak: fitness and health, technology, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and a random one I really liked. Here are the five I found today for my first of what will hopefully be many weekly posts with great articles!

Technology: This week’s pick comes from Briana Luca, blogger for Royally Pink! This list is a huge help and I am definitely going to check these apps out!

http://royallypink.blogspot.com/2014/06/best-apps-for-bloggers.html

Lifestyle: This week’s post comes from Flashnotes.com and was pinned by Fashion Trends 101! These hacks for Starbucks drinks are awesome!

http://blog.flashnotes.com/lifestyle/20-secret-starbucks-drinks-didnt-know-order/

Fitness and Health: This week’s pick comes from Strength and Sunshine. I can totally relate to these sentiments!

http://strengthandsunshine.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/my-health-story-part-2-good-riddance-gluten/

Beauty: This pick is from Slashed Beauty. I am always in the market for new makeup!

http://www.slashedbeauty.com/review-nyc-city-samba-collection-summer-2014/

Random: Another post from Flashnotes.com! These types of articles is what I am all for! College is tough but this article gives great tips on how to manage your freshman year! Thanks Fashion Trends 101 for this pin!

http://blog.flashnotes.com/student-resources/meet-new-people-freshmen-year/

Should We Walk or Take A Cab?

“I think we should take a cab back to the hotel.”

“Why? It will take at least five minutes longer than just walking. Also,I get so nauseous in the cabs. It’s like the cabbies here don’t know how to drive. They start, stop, then repeat. It’s horrible. We are walking.”

“If we walk we are going to get lost. We have no clue where we are, and all the street signs are in Greek. Do you know Greek? I sure don’t.”

“We won’t get lost. We have a map, our phones and I actually have a good sense of direction. We’ll be fine. Let’s just walk back to the hotel. It only took us 10 minutes coming here.”

“Yeah? you seem really sure about that. I think we should just take a cab. It will be less confusing and it’s really warm out already.”

“You forget that these cab drivers don’t know english. I don’t know how you expect to tell them where to go.”

“Show them the map, everyone understands maps.”

“You’re kidding, right? If they can understand a map with english writing from the hotel, then we can understand Greek symbols and names that match up with the map. It won’t be that hard and I won’t get nauseous.”

“Fine, you win. Tell us where to go then. Right or left?”

“Right, we came from the left when we were coming here so we make a right. Deductive reasoning, see? This won’t be so hard.”

“Whatever you say. Let’s go and see where it takes us.”

“Hmm, I don’t remember this store, or that one.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to take a cab?”

“We’re walking. Let’s try going left.”

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Scrivener As A Blogging Tool

I started using Microsoft Word in sixth grade when I started getting serious research papers. I would write my research on index cards, outline the paper on Word and then write it. I stuck with Word through high school and through college. I have multiple folders with Word Documents dating back to high school, maybe even earlier. My mom, however, has been a huge fan of Scrivener since I can remember. She uses it for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, notes on lectures she listens to, for her course she took on eating psychology and to organize materials for her website and blog. She has been encouraging me to try it and insisting I would love it.

I kept going back to Word, a program I was familiar with and had mastered to the point that I liked using it. Yes, I like using Word. While we were chatting over a meal this vacation, I mentioned that I keep all my posts in one Word document and work on them there. It was a system that was working and I really enjoyed it. She insisted again, after months of saying nothing, to try Scrivener.

Finally, yesterday, while spending our day relaxing on the porch of our room I installed it on my MacBook Air. It just shows you how much I actually use it if I didn’t move it over when I got my new computer months ago. Now that I am using it, I actually regret not listening to my mom earlier . I already feel slightly more organized about what I have going on and can sort through my posts. I don’t need to scroll through pages and pages of posts to see if there is one I haven’t posted yet. I can put my ideas in one section, unpublished posts or drafts in another and then published posts in another with the date.

I can have pages with things that go into each post, pages to make note of the individual pages on my blog, just making these lists of what this wonderful application can do makes me giddy. I don’t know why I didn’t listen to her earlier. I am writing my blog posts in Scrivener now and I am excited to learn all about it’s capacities it has. I might even organize my pieces of writing into Scrivener posts over the summer and work on getting rid of some files on my computer. I might even start writing more once I learn how to use this application to it’s fullest as a writing tool.

For now, I am going to milk it for all it’s worth with my blog posts. I am so excited about it I wanted to share it with the world and tell everyone about it’s usefulness. I also might be very behind on the times and one of the last people to know this, if that is the case, I am just glad I discovered it. A+ Scivener, you made a great application.

 

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