My Bucket List

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I love goals and having something to work towards and while bucket lists can seem a little morbid, I think they are a great way to think about how you want to spend your time and what you want to have done or experienced in life!  I made a bucket list in 2014 and have since been able to check a few things off!!  So here goes my list of things to do before the day I die…

  1. Have my writing published

  2. Visit all 7 continents

  3. Be part of a TV audience

  4. Go to the Kentucky Derby  2015

  5. Visit New York City

  6. Travel first class

  7. Go to a midnight premiere

  8. Go on a road trip with friends

  9. Participate in a flash mob

  10. Run a marathon

  11. Own an apartment

  12. Own a house

  13. Float on the dead sea

  14. Start a blog 2016

I know I’m going to keep adding to this list as well as cross some things off as life happens but for now here are the 14 things that as of 2014 I want to do before I die.

xo Carolyn

Why I Started Blogging

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For this week I want to take a break from my usual posts and take some time to reflect on why I have decided to give blogging a try.  I know I want to continue growing as a writer and blogger but I also want to remember why I started in the first place.  I believe the desire to have some creative outlet appeared my freshman year of high school.

I had just quit ballet and was not sure where my life was going to take me from there.  Ballet had been my way of escape and release of emotions but started to become too intense and wouldn’t work with my tough high school schedule so I needed to find a something new to put effort into.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I discovered the world of blogging.  I started to scope out the blog posts that I had pinned on Pinterest and my interest was peaked.  At first I thought I wanted to start a blog with someone else.  I wanted to have someone explore this new world with me but soon realized it would be too hard to find someone with both the same passion and availability as me.  This realization put my plans to start a blog on hold.

The summer before senior year I had figured it out.  I started following some truly successful blogs and I began to learn what made those blogs fun to read and explore.  I picked a name and had a plan and am finally putting that plan into action.

I have always harbored a passion for writing but now I can take it to the next level.  I have found a way to write with a purpose and share my thoughts and ideas with others.  This is only the beginning of my journey and I can’t wait to share my journey with everyone and I hope y’all have patience with me as I take the steps to grow as a writer and blogger.

xo Carolyn

Morning Routine

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Morning can be the best time of day for me, or the worst time.  It all depends on what I am able to accomplish.  Most of the time I would consider myself a morning person.  I try not to stay up too late doing homework and instead wake up earlier to get things done.  Most of my mornings go a little something like this…

Wake-up…I normally wake up between 6 and 6:30am.  Generally speaking, the earlier I wake-up, the better my hair ends up looking.

Devotional…I’ve been going through “The One Year New Testament” study which is a great way to start my day.  I always read an encouraging message and am able to start my day with God.

Hair…My hair can be a pain in the butt.  I always shower at night so the hair I wake up with in the morning can be a lost cause.  I have thick, wavy hair that is currently at a length where I can’t leave it down naturally otherwise no matter how much I brush it, it still looks like I left without brushing or doing anything to it.  Most of the time I end up straightening my hair which only takes about 10 minutes.

Makeup…Generally speaking, I go for the natural look.  I’m a firm believer in the power of mascara and lip gloss and leaving the rest up to nature.  I choose to put more work into my hair than my makeup which, until I start waking up earlier, I will have to continue doing.

Get Dressed…I try to pick out my clothes the night before, or at least be thinking about clothes so it isn’t a struggle to pick something out.  Of course I have days where I change my outfit three times and still leave for school not happy with the way I’m dressed, but that’s a topic for another time.

Eat Breakfast…Yes I am one of those people who would say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I do however have a distaste for breakfast foods so eating in the morning can be a struggle.  However it’s hard to go wrong with either a bagel or an english muffin or just a good fruit smoothie.

Leave…I try to be out of the house by 7:15 to beat the traffic getting into school.  I’m fortunate that it’s only about a six minute drive to school.

Mornings can either be the best time of day, or the worst.  There will surely be days when I roll out of bed five minutes before I have to be at my destination but hopefully those days don’t happen as frequently as productive ones.

xo Carolyn

 

Beating Boredom

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As many people would tell you, one of my favorite things to say is, “I’m bored”.  I don’t like sitting around doing nothing, so I always have to be doing something.  A while ago, I compiled a list of things to do when I feel like saying “I’m bored”so I thought it only fitting to share some of those things with others.

1. Bake

I love to make cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and more!  I think baking is one of the best ways to beat boredom because not only are you doing something in the present, but you get to reap the rewards later!  The cookies shown are peanut butter blossom cookies.  You can find the recipe I used here.

2. Read a Book

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Sometimes just sitting down with a fuzzy blanket and warm drink with a great book is enough to beat at least an hour of boredom.  For me, books are always a good go-to when I get bored.

3. Write

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I may be alone in my love of writing but sometimes it pays off to just jot down thoughts or ideas in a real notebook with a real pen or pencil.  I’ve been sporadically keeping a journal for two years as well as other notebooks devoted to things such as lists, poems, stories, etc.  It can also be fun to look back on things you’ve written in the past to see how much your situation and you have changed.

4. Create Something

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I am not the most creative person in the world, but since I started hand lettering and watercolor calligraphy I have discovered the addicting forces they have on a person.  Whether you decide to pick up a paintbrush or crack open an adult coloring book, you are spending time engaging your mind and creating something wonderful.

It is so easy to just turn on Netflix and sit for two hours binge-watching when you feel bored, but it can be much more rewarding to actually make something or do something you will be able to look back on and smile, thinking of the good times that came with actually creating instead of just watching a screen.

xo Carolyn

Staying Cute in the Cold

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In these cold winter months, getting out of bed can be hard enough and what’s harder is mustering up the desire to wear a cute outfit when you know all you are going to be doing is throwing a sweatshirt, jacket, and scarf over top and basically ruining the look.  Trust me, I’ve been there and I have those days where all I want to do is throw on a pair of leggings, a sweatshirt, a jacket and leave.  But I promise it is possible to just put in a little more effort and rock the cold weather look.

The most important thing is to remember to LAYER.  Start with a base shirt and work off that.  I’m wearing a chambray shirt but flannels or any other collard shirt works just as well.  Then add your sweater or sweatshirt.  Keep the collar out of the sweater and you’ve got yourself a super cute layered look!!  Scarves or statement necklaces work really well with this look so have fun accessorizing!

Peacoat’s can also be super cute but keep in mind sometimes they aren’t the warmest option.

Here’s my latest outfit for when the temperatures get low…img_6991

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Peacoat: similar

Scarf: similar

Chambray Shirt: Von Maur

Boots: L. L. Bean

xo Carolyn

Best of 2016

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Many bloggers are doing a similar post this time of year so I decided to hop on board!  There have been many great memories with 2016 and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!  But before looking ahead, let’s take a step back and look at my Bests of 2016.

1. Coffee Shops

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After getting my license, I have been exploring the town through the coffee shops.  My friend and I have been finding the best coffee (and chocolate croissants) in Cleveland.  I can’t wait to see where we end up next.

2. Arizona

Traveling to my favorite childhood vacation spot for spring break was by far one of the best memories I have of 2016.

3. Centre College/Keeneland

I had to throw these two together because it was the same trip down to Kentucky that I experienced both (actually it was the same day!).  My first college tour was to Centre College and I absolutely loved it!  We’ll see where I end up:) Keeneland was also a major highlight.

4. The Lake at Sunset

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The summer of 2016 I discovered the beauty that is Lake Erie.  Maybe this year I’ll wake up early enough to experience sunrise.

5. Hamlet in Kiawah Island

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I had A TON of books to read over the summer but doing it at one of my favorite resorts made it a whole lot easier and more fun too!

6. Watercolor Calligraphy and Hand Lettering

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I discovered the joys of both in 2016 and I hope 2017 brings improvement and more lettering fun!  If you have never tried it, TRY IT!  There are so many great internet resources to help get started.

Trust me, I have had many other “Bests” of 2016 but it would take way too long to go through all the great parts of last year.  After reflecting on 2016, I am getting very excited to see what 2017 brings.  It is going to be hard to top 2016, still I’m anxious to see the new challenges and exciting things ahead.

xo Carolyn

Snow-Day Book Recommendations

It’s beginning to be the time of year where outdoor adventures are decreasing and indoor activities are increasing.  In the colder months, there is nothing better than curling up with a steamy drink and settling into a good book.  I know finding a book worth sitting down and reading for hours at a time can be hard, but I promise it is definitely worth the hunt!  I want to try to help out and share some of my current favorites that are good books to just dive right into.

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

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If you have never read any Grisham novels, you must start now!  A Time to Kill is the perfect book of his to start with.  Grisham focuses on a defense attorney in the south who defends the man who killed the two men who raped his daughter.  I know my description sounds a little heavy but I promise the amazing characters and exciting plot make the book one that will keep you turning pages before you realize you’ve been reading for hours!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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Everyone has heard of Mr. Green’s famous novels Paper TownsThe Fault in Our Stars, and Looking for Alaska, and trust me all of those are good, but for a nice easy snow-day read, I would recommend this book.  The novel centers around a boy who has just been dumped by 19 girls named Katherine and goes on a road trip with his best friend to help get over the devastation.  John Green does not disappoint with his amazing characters and laugh-out-loud moments in the book.  An Abundance of Katherines is very light hearted and easy to read yet still intriguing and enjoyable.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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My cousin recommended this book to me a few summers ago and it lived up to every praise she sang in its name.  I can’t give anything away, but I will say the ending is unexpected and brings a whole new level to the book.  We Were Liars is a true page-turner and a book you don’t want to miss out on.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

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A collection of short stories about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried is quite the book.  I had to read this for an english class and I promise it is not your typical high school english class book.  Filled with truth about the war, Tim O’Brien writes with an honesty and skill to capture the effects of the war in a way you would never expect.  The book is not your typical war novel so even if you have an aversion to war, you can still appreciate the piece of literature.

I realize the majority of the books I have mentioned take place in the summer but I promise it doesn’t matter when you read them, they are still some great novels.  I’ve read most of these more than once and every single time I crack them open I get sucked in and can’t stop reading!  I hope you check out and enjoy some of these fantastic novels!

Commend below some of your favorite books!  I’m always looking for a new book to dive into!

xo Carolyn