Monday, December 30, 2013

Relax

Today I realized I'm not quite sure what relaxation is. Sure, in the past I've been able to relax but my mind has always been focused on whatever my next task is. It'll be like: "Okay, I can look at pinterest for so long but then I need to do this."

It's possible that I've never quite relaxed because I've always been filled with anxiety about what I have to do later and what I could be doing then instead of just messing around.

Today, I physically couldn't do anything. I didn't want to do anything. I thought something was wrong with me until my dad mentioned that sometimes you just have to relax whether you like it or not. I kept on feeling like I had so much to do while I just laid on the floor for more than an hour. Maybe that's relaxing? I'm still not sure. But what I am sure of, is that I need to relax more and not stress as much. It sounds easy to do, but it'll probably be harder than I think.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Stress For No Reason?

Something I don't understand: the amount of time we are forced to put into dull and uninteresting work just to give ourselves some type of future.

What am I doing with this blog post right now? Procrastinating studying for my finals. Sometimes I wonder why on earth I am forced to take physics. Will I ever be a physicist? Or anything even remotely related to any science of any type?

That answer is one big NO.

Sure, we take courses like math and physics and biology to introduce us to the topic because maybe, just maybe, it'll spark an interest in us for a career later in life. That makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is that once you realize a life of calculus isn't the life for you, there's no way out. Legally, you're required to have X amount of credits in certain subjects. Why must we struggle through a course that will only hurt our self esteem and cause unnecessary stress?

Something else I don't get: the huge emphasis on getting all A's and taking as many AP courses as humanly possible. So what if I get a B in physics? Will that hurt my chances of having a successful career? These days, who knows?

What do you all think of the way our school systems work?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday 2013!

I'd say this year's Black Friday was a success. After eating tons (and I mean tons) of turkey and yummy food, my friend Morgan and I headed out around midnight to the mall. Sooo many people were there; much more than I expected.

American Eagle was 50% their entire store. Needless to say, it was wonderful. We headed to a shoe store and I found the perfect boots. And I mean perfect.



I've been searching for the right pair of boots for the longest time. Every time I think I've found them, there's always a problem. It's always something. In certain cases, they look super cute but they're made super cheap and I know one scratch will ruin the entire pair. That, or they'll just be plain uncomfortable. The other problem is that they'll be expensive and well made, yet there will be a detail about them that I just don't like- the color, a tiny buckle, etc.

These, however, are amazing. I found them at a shoe store called Call It Spring. I never would have gone in there on a normal day yet somehow I found myself drawn in by large, red sale signs and it was also 2:00 in the morning.

The other great thing: they had the pair in my size. I wear a woman's 5. I always have so much trouble finding good shoes in my size. I knew I had to have these the second I saw them.

How'd you all do on Black Friday?  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making Memories: 5 Ways to Preserve Trips

Whenever I go on a trip or do anything fun for that matter, I find that memories fade much too quickly and soon all you're left with is faded thoughts, souvenirs and pictures to prove you ever did something or went somewhere.

So, I've compiled a few of the things I like to do when I go on trips or do something to make the memories last a little longer. 



ONE: Pick a new scent. 
This one sounds a little weird, but when I go on trips, I like to use a lotion that I've never used before on that trip. That way, when I go to use that scent from the trip later, it'll bring back the memories from the vacation. I find it so weird that smells, foods, and songs can bring so many memories flooding back. This definitely helps remember all the great times. 

TWO: Save the little things. 
You know all those little ticket or subway stubs you get? Or the tiny brochures or maps? Or even wristbands? For things like concerts or tours of places on trips, I like to keep the little things you get and put them in the wallet. The next time I'm rummaging through my purse to find my credit card, I'll catch a glimpse of a wristband from a 5k I did and I'll remember everything about it. 

THREE: Take tons of pictures. 
This one is important. When I say tons, I mean tons. You can always delete some later or put them on a flash drive. If you don't take pictures of everything, later you'll look back and think, "Dang, if I only I'd taken a picture of that." I always end up with hundreds if not thousands of pictures from trips. Going back through them a few months or even years later, it's so easy to remember all the fun we had. 

FOUR: Write about it. 
Whether this means writing in a private journal or blogging for all your friends and family to see, write about your favorite memories each day of the trip. Later, you'll love being able to look at your thoughts during your trip. This will really help bring back the good times. 

FIVE: Make a playlist. 
This one is sort of like the "pick a scent" one. Over spring last year, I made a playlist and that's all I listened to as I'd lounge on the sand or take a walk along the water. Now, every time I hear songs from that playlist, I'm reminded of warm beaches and salty air. (p.s. OneRepublic's music makes for a great playlist at the beach.) 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Remember to be Grateful

For the past few days I've been visiting my grandparents in New Jersey. Although it can be slow around here sometimes, I just love listening to their stories. We don't get to visit them often since we have to fly from Atlanta every time, but every time we do visit, I learn so much more about the amazing lives my grandparents lived. 

It's easy to forget to be thankful for what you have. More often than not, I take the fact that I have a loving family with wonderful grandparents for granted. I know not everyone has the support system that I do, and I wish everyone could experience what I do every day. 


With this being said, I think it's important to wake up every morning with a grateful heart and a mind open to any opportunity that could come your way. You never know what could happen, so it should be said that you should always stay thankful for what you have. 

Now that's it's around the holidays, it's easier now more than ever to remember what we're thankful for, especially with the abundance of time we spend with friends and family. 

This Thursday, when we go around the dinner table and say what we're thankful for, I definitely know I'll have something to say. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Exhaustion

Constantly exhausted. That's how I'm starting to feel these days. I don't know if it's the fact that I got into New Jersey via airplane only yesterday (to visit my grandparents) or the fact that school is kicking my butt this year. Whatever it is, I'm getting sick of the feeling. My main problem is that I can't get over the feeling that I have something to do. Everytime I finish one thing, it seems like three new tasks appear out of nowhere. 

Another problem is that I never know how to make time for myself. Right now, we're on thanksgiving break at my school until December 2nd. What's horrible, is that I've planned out a schedule for each day for things I have to do. I have so much going on that I can't even relax over a break! 

What I really need is for someone to tell me that everything will be okay if I don't do this or don't do something as well as I could. That way, I could finally take a break. But, we all know that's not going to happen. 

On a completely random note, isn't this wallpaper in my grandma's house adorable? 


Linking this picture back to what I was saying, while taking it I found that I was so tired that I had a hard time smiling. So naturally I ended up with this half-smile like thing. 



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holidaze

It's that time of they year again. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, everyone and their grandmother is taking part in all the holiday madness, including me. 

I love the holidays; absolutely love them. Everyone is happy, the stores are decked out in red and white and there's something in the air that just gives off a feel-good vibe. 

Personally, I love the so-called "madness" that the holidays bring. Black Friday shopping, spending time with relatives; it's all great. I'll never understand why people complain about stores bringing out their Christmas decorations early. I say the earlier the better. (With certain limitations, of course.) 

Me with Santa when I was about 2 or 3. 

Here are some of my favorite parts of the holidays: 

• Christmas music: Every year, I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving for the sole reason that radio stations start playing Christmas music. (And Black Friday.)

• Black Friday: Shopping with amazing deals. Need I say more? 

• Starbucks holiday drinks: I know; probably the most cliché thing I could say, right? I just love these- especially the gingerbread latte and the peppermint ht chocolate. 

• Shopping for gifts: Besides picking out gifts for my friends and family, wrapping them in creative ways is half the fun! 

• Thanksgiving: Good food, good people, good fun. 

What's your favorite (or least favorite) part of the holidays? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dreaming

We all have our dreams. Some are secret, and some, well not so much. Ask anyone I know and they'll tell you right away that I want to end up somewhere in LA working in the bright lights of Hollywood. 

But I've been thinking lately, and I've realized that I have a second dream that you can say is more on the secret side: I want nothing more than to live on the Upper East Side and spend my days wandering through Kate Spade and J. Crew while attending dinner parties every other night.

Sounds shallow, I know.

Loving this little print of the Upper East Side

After watching Gossip Girl, I fell in love with the New York lifestyle. There's something to it that I just can't get over. I doubt I'll end up in this life. I mean, there's a .0001% chance that that'll happen. It's not necessarily the life I want, but rather a life that looks like it'd be fun to escape to for a weekend every now and then. 

Truthfully, all I want out of life is to end up doing something creative in LA. Whether that's producing, or directing or anything along those lines, that's what I want. 


Focus Part 2

I wrote about staying focused yesterday. I'm writing about it again today. Again and again I find myself coming back to the topic of staying focused. It's not an easy thing to do, I'll tell you that.

FOCUS

Here are some things I do to stay focused:

ONE: Checklists
Checklists are a must in my life. Without them, I'd be completely lost. I don't know what it is, but there is something so fulfilling about checking a box after finishing a task. Truth be told, I make super long checklists just so I can have things to check off. I'll include little things like "organize pens" or "choose tomorrow's outfit."

TWO: Breaks
I have a hard time sitting still and focusing especially when it's something I'd rather not be doing. The important thing is to work hard for a long enough time to make a dent in your work but to make sure you are resting your brain along the way. I always notice how fried my brain gets if I don't take breaks. Some things I like to do that are short but fulfilling: brush my hair, wash my face, browse Pinterest, etc...

THREE: Motivation
I know it sounds silly, but I have a post-note stuck to my wall that says "Goal: Stay Focused." Whenever my mind starts to wander, I look up at my little sticky note and for some reason it gives me that extra push to keep going. Motivation can come from anywhere. A lot of the time, at the bottom of my checklists, I'll write in a reward such as "catch up on Grey's Anatomy" or "online retail therapy."

What do you all do to stay focused?

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Procrastination Post

      To be honest, I do my finest work under stress. My brightest and best moments are around the likes of 1 or perhaps 2 in the morning. It's quite an unfortunate habit because I wake up at 5 and always end up having to do some serious damage control for the bags under my eyes. 

So yes, I procrastinate. I'm procrastinating right now by writing this post. I COULD be doing my physics homework. Or I could be blogging. Obviously, I chose blogging.

Why do I procrastinate? It's a good question that I just don't have the answer to. It could simply be that I don't want to do the task I have to do. I mean, who really likes doing their physics homework? Not me, that's for one.

I don't think my problem is staying focused. Once I get on to a task, I'm unstoppable. It must be starting the task that gets me.

Oh well, back to physics.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Making Time

I find that I can get way in over my head much too easily these days. I'm in a constant state of doing. Between school, homework, and everything else, I always am juggling my schedule to try to fit it all in. If I'm not doing homework, then I'm doing chores. If I'm not doing chores, then I'm taking pictures for the yearbook. If I'm not working on the yearbook, then I'm doing something someone asked me to. 

My other problem is that I also seem to have the inability to say no. If I have two important yearbook deadlines due yet someone on the staff asks me to do something else, I do it anyway. I tell myself I'll just have to make time. Being able to say no is such an important thing. I can't exaggerate it enough.


The quote above from Sid Caesar is something to live by. I always seem to forget that I shouldn't live from goal to goal but rather live for what's in between the goals.

Next time you think you're in over your head, take a step back and look at the enjoyable parts of life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Make it Fun!

Everyone hates school work. Or work in general. You have to stay on top of everything, which isn't necessarily an easy thing to do. So why not make it fun?


1. Lilly Pulitzer iPhone Case
Seriously: Cutest. Case. Ever! How can you not love the adorable pink elephants against the gorgeous blue background? We're on our phones so much these days that cases really do matter. A new case can make you feel like you have a whole new phone.

2. Sticky Notes
Once again, Lilly Pulitzer pulls off the cutest sticky notes. I use these all the time so I can honestly say you can never have too many of these. They're perfect for jotting down ideas and info you need.

3. The Long List by Kate Spade
I love making lists. Check lists help me get everything done that needs to be done. Usually I would make lists on a sticky note, but it'd be nice to have a dedicated notebook just for lists.

4. Lilly Pulitzer Agendas
Yes, I know there is a Lilly trend forming here... but her stuff is too cute! Agendas are the perfect way to stay on task. You can see what your day, week and month is going to look like all in one place. I know you can do this on your phone, but I much rather prefer writing things done on actual paper.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just Breathe

Pick two: sleep, good grades, social life.

It's impossible to pick just two. You want to be able to have all three yet that is just not an option. If you pick grades, you then have to decide whether you want to be the loner in the corner or the person that never sleeps. Pick sleep as one, and you either will do very well in school or very well in the social pool.

Personally, I'd choose good grades and a social life. Friends are important to me. I always have to be doing something no matter what, even if it makes me suffer from a lack of sleep. My weekends are always busy, no doubt. Grades are just as important. Anything less than an A is failing in my book.



It's hard to know that there is nothing I can really do about trying to keep things balanced right now. It's also hard to take a step back and just breathe sometimes.

just breathe

As a junior in high school, it's safe to say I have too much going on in my life than I should. I'm realizing that there is no balance to life because of the constant changes. You can never have a functioning and proportionate balance of sleep, school and friends. The best thing to do is to try and make it work and hope for the best.

So what would you pick?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Never Ending Stress

  


     Here's the thing: high school is stressful. Once you make it through the awful process of freshman year, you hit sophomore year and the workload doubles. Then you make it to your junior year. What you've heard is true: junior year is the hardest year of high school, no doubt. For the first time, the PSAT matters. You have to start looking at colleges. You have to start making decisions about how you want your life to go. It's rather frightening.
     I feel as though I'm in a constant cycle of doing. Doing my homework, doing my laundry, cleaning my room, studying, sending and replying emails. And it doesn't end there. The weekends, though fun, are just as busy. Friday night football, volunteering, meeting up with friends.
     Although everything seems so difficult right now, I know there is so much waiting for me in the future. It's important to remember that everything you do is only helping you work towards the life you want to live.

"The best is yet to come."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cape Cod

     Every summer, my mom takes my sister and I to Cape Cod to visit our cousins. It's a tradition that she's continued since she was a little girl. This morning she took me down to the jetty where she would go fishing with her brother everyday. She showed me the rocks where she would sit and fish and the place where she would cut her bait into pieces.

     These trips make me realize how important family is. I've never thought of family as being unimportant, but seeing everyone together once a year emphasizes the importance of relatives. I love chatting with them and sharing stories. Every summer is better than the next and I'll always remember the times we have while we're on the Cape. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Little Things

You know how there are some things in life that seem so irrelevant compared to everything else going on in our crazy, mixed-up lives? You have to give those little things credit, because, even if you don't realize it, those tiny details can easily make your day. For example, I was flying into LA the other day at nighttime and the view from the small airplane window was absolutely gorgeous. The city lights were breathtaking. It's things like this that keep us going, even if we never notice them. 

The view:


Can I move to LA?

     After spending a full day wandering around LA, I've decided that I must move here. This morning, my dad's friend, who works at Fox Studios, showed us around Fox. We got to go on the sets of shows like New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. It was all very surreal after watching season after season of these shows and then walking where Zooey Deschanel walked. 
      After Fox, we made our way to the heart of Hollywood where another of my dad's friends showed us around a production facility where a lot of promo spots and movie trailers are cut and produced. It was all very cool. 
      So far, this trip has made me realize, to put it simply, that I have a very cool dad, to say the least. The people that I met today were clearly impacted by what they learned from my dad when they worked for him back in the day. It's really amazing to see this side of my what my dad used to do. Anyway, this is me on the set of New Girl: 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Current Obsessions

         Right now, there are a TON of things that I am absolutely in love with:


1. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
I recently purchased this book, and I cannot put it down. It's hands-down one of the most interesting books I have ever read. The authors put an entirely different spin on everything you ever knew (or didn't know) about economics. I highly recommend it; it's that wonderful.

2. Anker iPhone Back-Up Battery
This back-up battery has honestly changed my life. I cannot live without it. It fits so nicely in a small purse that I take it everywhere I go. I never worry about charging my phone anymore. This thing will give your phone a full charge about 6 or 7 times. It's even a flashlight! If you have an iPhone, buy it. Right now.

3. Moleskine Notebooks
These handy-dandy little notebooks are the cutest notebooks to jot down anything in. I have multiple that I use for quickly writing down ideas, writing out goals, and making lists. They're the perfect journal to have around.

4. Penny Skateboards
This one is odd, seeing as I don't know how to skateboard. At all. I don't even own one of these; although I'd like to. They're the daintiest and cutest skateboards I have ever seen. Who knows, maybe I'll be a skating pro if I get one of these?

5. Instax 210 Polaroid
Once again, I don't own one of these, yet I'm OBSESSED. I want to purchase one so badly. The only thing holding me back is the pricey film. Think of it this way in terms of how expensive the film is: every time you take a picture, you're basically ripping up a dollar in the air.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekend Adventures

       A weekend adventure is always the best way to go if you find yourself wanting to travel but not wanting to give up too much time. This past weekend, my dad and I headed up to Gatlinburg.
      We stayed in a really nice hotel, called the Park Vista. It's round and has an amazing view of the mountains. It's in it's own little world up on part of the mountain and is the perfect place to go if you're ever up in Gatlinburg. The view:


       Walking around downtown Gatlinburg, you can find ice cream shops, typical tourist trap t-shirt stores, mini golf, Ripley's Believe it or Not attractions and so on. 
       The best part in my opinion, was Ober Gatlinburg. It's a ski resort in the winter but functions in the summer as an amusement park type place. You take a tram up to the top where you'll find the ski lifts, an alpine slide luging course, an indoor skating rink, and some kiddie rides. The best part of the entire experience to me would be the tram rides up and down the mountain because of the spectacular views: 



      




Saturday, July 13, 2013

Babysitting

         The other day, I was babysitting some kids. The parents said their goodbyes and walked right out the door leaving me with their two kids for the next four hours. As soon as the door closed, the pair silently faced me and I had a mini heart attack. Why? Because the look they were giving me, and they were they were standing proposed that they were about to run about the house wild and not listen to a word I would say. It almost was about to be one of those crazy movie scenes until the older one said, "Can we go to the park?" It was a frightening experience.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Another Problem

           Today I realized something: I have so, so many clothes, yet I fail to ever feel content in the amount of clothing I own. I always feel like I need more. I also feel like I don't own any decent article of clothing. Hence:
           
            I love shopping, it's as simple as that. I always want to be wearing the next new thing. It's normal to get tired of a top once you've had it for a while. But I find myself getting tired of tops after one or two wears. It's really bad. Here's to hoping I learn to save my money for once...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Film-Making Hopeful

           As long as I can remember, I've always wanted to have something to do with Hollywood. When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress or a singer and be on shows like Lizzie McGuire and Hannah Montana. Of course, that was the dream for many little girls back in the days of pink tutus and ballet class.
          When I was a little older, maybe in fourth or fifth grade, I started to want to be behind the scenes of movie magic rather than in the center of all the bright lights. I started making videos in my front yard with the cheap digital camera I had gotten for my birthday that year. My dad told me how he used to work as a producer. A job liked that started to appear more glamorous than something that required red carpet walks every other night. My future was all planned out: Go to UCLA, major in film production, become a director. It all seemed so simple until I realized that you don't step right out of college and onto the next Harry-Potter-type-blockbuster. My dad later told me that he started out in the shipping department of the company and worked his way up.
           Even though my dream seemed to be pushing itself farther and farther away, I still clung onto it for my dear life. Last summer, I spent a lot of time writing a script. I planned out every single component, down to the last shot and who I was going to put in the special thanks part of the credits. Once again, I had a let-down. I had another realization that logistics would be impossible to manage and that my film would never come into existence. I know I'll make it someday though...
          My dream is still relevant. I'm only going into my junior year in high school, so I still have time to plan it all out. *Fingers crossed.*

The Hollywood sign

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm a Shopaholic

             Here's my problem: I love shopping, but I hate handing over the cash. Spending money is something I just really can't stand to do. I always end up wandering through the colorful fabrics of Madewell, J. Crew, and Anthropologie. I torture myself with the thought of ever owning any of those beautiful pieces of clothing. I tease myself by trying them all on, completely ignoring the fact that a t-shirt costs more than a tank of gas.               
             My other problem is that I have an expensive taste. I shop like I'm the daughter of rich upper-east-side socialites. Sure, I end up settling for Target, American Eagle, and occasionally Ann Taylor Loft; yet I can't help but imagine how amazing a closet full of clothing from a place like J. Crew would be. Buy me all of Madewell or J. Crew, and we'll be best friends forever.