2015 Goals – Progress Report

Well, now that we are officially halfway through the year, I think it’s time to take another look at my 2015 Goals List and see how much, or little, progress I have made.  I can tell you right now that I haven’t made too much progress with it.  Of course I’m a bit disappointed that I haven’t been more proactive in getting these goals done, but at the same time, some of the goals are ones that take some time.  In any case, let’s take a look at my progress!

2015 goals progress

1 // Graduate from collegeCompleted May 16th.

As you all know from my post, Class of 2015… We Did It!, I graduated from college after a long 5 1/2 years of blood, sweat, hand cramps, and tears (and yes, all these occurred).

2 // Get a job in the field I loveIn progress.

Though I am currently working as a freelance/contract videographer for the same company I interned with my last semester, I can’t say it’s my dream job.  Though freelancing is a part of it, I was thinking more sports/wedding freelance while also working in a television studio – that my friends, is my dream.  So I’m applying to the local stations and praying that God will lead me to right one.

3 // Eat somewhat healthierNot complete.

It’s hard to say if I can really complete this one or not.  Let’s just say life is a little hectic right now and I don’t think I can really get focused on this one until after the move in September… but I guess even just adding a few more fruits and veggies into my diet would count, right?

4 // Complete another Goodreads Challenge In progress.

I’m slowly, but surely getting there.  I wanted to read at least one book per month, but you know, life happened and I got of track.  But now that I have some extra free time I’m hoping to make it up and maybe even complete this one sooner than I planned.

5 // Get into the habit of journal writingIn progress.

I have an app called Day One for my Macbook and iPhone that acts as a journal.  While I don’t write daily, or even weekly, I get into these spurts of writing in that journal.  However, this past weekend has been an eye opener to me that I really need to start a journal and I will be making this a regular habit in my life.

6 // Do a home study on at least one book of the BibleIn progress.

I just started a Bible study on the book of James and after just two lessons I know it’s going to be a good one.  I knew this one wasn’t going to happen until after I was done with college… so I can expect this to be done sometime this summer.

7 // Donate money to an organization/causeNot complete.

I really need to research where I want to donate some money to… not that I need to do that much research – it’s more like, just pick a place!  Ha!

8 // Mail a handwritten letter to someoneCompleted June 6th.

I actually did this one!  I sent a handwritten letter to my best friend a few weeks ago and she told me she really loved it.  Oh, and get this… she got it on the day known as National Best Friend Day!  How perfect!

9 // Start a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly feature on my blogIn progress.

I’d categorize this as “in progress” because I do have the Blogger Love posts I participate in each Friday, however I am still hoping to implement my own original feature on this blog by the end of the year.

 

So, that’s it.  I guess I’m not doing as bad, considering some of the tasks do take some time to complete.  Of course as some happen I will update in a post.  And you can bet there will be one at the end of the year to see how I did as well as set some new goals for the new year.

On another note, I crossed off an item on my 25 Before 25 list!  I got another piercing on my right ear!

By the way, did you know you can already buy 2016 calendars/planners?  I just saw some at Barnes and Noble the other day and I found it funny – I mean, it’s still six months away!

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5 Smartphone Apps That Lost Their Appeal

We all know that smartphone apps aren’t always successful, and sometimes they’re ones that are popular in the beginning and somewhere along the line they seem to lose their appeal and are soon forgotten.  Some aren’t necessarily forgotten, but they end up just sitting on your phone wasting storage space until you decide to clean out your phone.

5 apps that lost their appeal

There are a few apps that came to mind as I saw them mentioned in some Facebook posts a while back.  These are apps I used to love and are now gone from my phone either because they are a waste of my time or just don’t have the same appeal they had when they first came out.

Foursquare

Checking in at every single location I went to in 2011-12 and collecting badges was what I was all about back when I got my first iPod Touch and iPhone 4s.  There was no feeling like ousting someone as the major of a place!  I don’t know when I lost my taste for the app, but I’m glad I did because I heard the changes are enough to make people leave the app.

Keek

Making 36-second vlogs was something I enjoyed doing.  It gave people a quick glimpse into my life, but since it came out around the same time as Vine it never got too popular, even though some celebrities often used the app.  After getting too many spam followers, I closed my account and no longer use it.

Path

If you remember this app, then you were probably one of the people who got it as soon as it hit the App Store.  Path was a cool way to update your status and sync it to Facebook and Twitter.  It featured updates where you could tell your friends when you woke up, what you were listening to at the moment, and other updates that are probably on Facebook now.  I only knew a few people that actually used this app, but died out pretty quickly in popularity.  My last update was probably sometime in 2011.

Angry Birds

I realize this is still a popular franchise, but the ‘Angry Birds Fever’ is long gone.  I re-downloaded the app a few days ago only to delete it once more because I just got bored with it.

Words With Friends

Again, it’s probably still popular in the App Store, but for me personally the game has lost it’s appeal.  I’d say the reason being that I always had to wait a week for my opponents to take their turn, or they would just let the game expire.  Once I got down to one consistent opponent I just didn’t see the point in playing the game anymore.  (But if anyone wants to play me, I will gladly add to my phone again!)

It’s sad to see that some of our favorite apps eventually lose their appeal, but nothing lasts forever right?  I mean, look what happened to MySpace.  I guess everything has its season… even iPhone apps.

Which of your favorite apps have lost their appeal?

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Friday Five: Blogger Love v.23

My summary of the week… ugh!  It wasn’t all bad, it was just, weird.  You know when you have your week planned out, but then it doesn’t got according to plan?  That’s exactly what happened to me this week.  It was nothing like I had thought it’d be.  Then add in a 13-hour headache on Tuesday… that was terrible.  Oh, and the kitchen flooding on Wednesday and having our floor torn up yesterday.  Now we have dehumidifiers and fans blowing in the affected rooms to dry out everything underneath so we don’t get mold.

Yeah, it’s been a heck of a week.

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  1. My 10 tips for taking better instagram pictures by milk bubble tea.  These are some really good tips for those of us who want to spruce up our Instagram pages a bit!
  2. How to Make New Friends as an Adult by Oddly Lovely.  I know I shared a similar post in my earlier Friday Fives, but it’s always good to have some tips (new or old) to make friends as an adult.  We know how hard it can be to make friends at times, especially when you take school out of the equation!
  3. 8 Ways to Become a Better Writer by Kate the (Almost) Great.  Just 8 straight-to-the-point ways that might help improve your writing.
  4. Slang Words I CANNOT STAND by Sage the Blog.  I could probably think of half-a-dozen more to add to this list… but Sage definitely pointed out the bigger ones here.  Kids today and their slang…
  5. 7 Ways to Keep Your Ideas Organized by Blog Brighter.  For those of us who aren’t the most organized people on the planet.  I’m personally a fan of Evernote and using a trusty old notebook and pen to keep my ideas organized.

All the Joys - Blogger Love

So there’s my five favorite posts of the week and I think y’all should go and give them a look.

As always,  don’t forget to check out the host of Blogger Love, Meagan on All The Joys and give her some blogger love as well!

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When God Closes Doors

There are plenty of times in life when a door will close, and yes, another one opens.  However, we don’t always see this at the time.  Sometimes we dwell on what we didn’t get and just take the next door that opens without realizing that the first door was closed for a reason.  Think about it, if the first door hadn’t closed you never would’ve gone through the second one.

when God closes doors

The first time I recall this happening in my life was in 8th grade, when I had applied to two alternative high schools in the area because I did not want to go to my town’s regular high school.  One of the schools I applied to was a regional high school where students from surrounding towns could be accepted into the Agricultural Science and Technology program.  The other was another regional school run by the state, which happened to be in my hometown, and was a voc-tech high school where there were twelve different vocational programs a student could choose from to spend their high school years in.

Of course, I had really wanted the first school… though now I’m not sure why.  But when I got a wait list letter from them, I was upset.  Luckily, I had gotten into the voc-tech school so I didn’t have to attend my town’s high school.  It wasn’t until I was really getting excited about going to the voc-tech school that I received another letter from the first school again saying that a spot had opened up and I could have it.  I didn’t take it though, and ended up spending the next four years at the voc-tech school.  If I hadn’t gone, I would not currently have the crazy, weird friendship I have with my best-friend and I would not be friends with a few of the other people I met there.

So, God closing that door really worked out well.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11

A similar situation happened three years ago when I applied to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting for video and radio production, but though I was accepted to the school, my loan application didn’t go through.  A few months later, after applying two days before the deadline, I was accepted to a state university, from which I graduated just last month.  Now, if I had not gone to that university I would not have met a few of the great classmates I had, my amazing professor/advisor and I would not have worked in the school’s TV studio where I learned so much about television production.

Again, that was God at work when I was denied that loan for the broadcasting school, but it took me quite some time to see this.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

In the past year or so, I have gotten better at remembering that He is in control and is guiding my path.  And now, as I am currently looking for a job and as my mom and I are making a decision about where we should move, remembering that God has it in His hands has taken a ton of stress off our shoulders.  God has always kept us on the right path and shut the wrong doors that were hanging ajar so we would not stray from His plans.

Why would He stop now?

When were some times in your life where one door closed and another opened?  Did it work out better for you?

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7 Things I Love About Summer

Here it is, the final installment of my “7 Things I Love About the Seasons” series.  I enjoyed listing what I love about each season this past year – so without further ado, here’s my list for summer!

seven things I love about summer

1. Vacation time!

Even though I will no longer have the summer vacations from school, I still see summer as the prime time to take a vacation, as do most people.  But I wouldn’t object to a winter vacation to escape the cold.

2. Longer days.

Even though I can be a night owl, I enjoy the daylight hours more.  It’s warmer and there’s more you can do in the daylight than at night.  Plus it’s a good way to save on electricity by using natural light in the house (if you can).

3. Swimming.

Whether it be at a lake or a pool, I have always loved being in the water during the summer.  Though I don’t nearly go swimming as often as I used to I still enjoy it.  Once I get in the water, you can’t get me out!

4. Amusement Parks.

Again, I don’t go to amusement parks as often as I used to, but there’s so much fun to be had when you go with a group of friends or some close family members.  I personally love the water rides… go figure!

5. Camping.

Though I’m not huge on camping, I still enjoy going with my dad and stepmom every year.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to this year.  Even though I crave sleeping in my own bed and taking a real shower (not those gross campsite ones), I can’t deny that it’s peaceful to get away from everything for a few days.

6. S’mores.

There’s just something about making s’mores over a campfire that just ties up the summer experience nicely.

7. Cookouts.

Some of my favorite summer memories are the cookouts my mom and I used to go to and host over the years.  My personal favorites were the 4th of July cookouts at the nearby lakes we used to go to when I was young.

the other installments of the 7 Things I Love About the Seasons series

Fall | Winter | Spring

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7 Places to Visit in Vermont

What happens in Vermont, stays in Vermont… but nothing ever happens in Vermont.

7 places to visit in vermont

Well, not exactly.  Some things happen in Vermont, but they are definitely worth mentioning.

Last week my mom and I visited northern Vermont for the second time.  Our first trip was last August for three days before I started my final year of college.  We stayed for nearly a week this time and we were able to do much more… especially walking!

So that saying up top is somewhat true, there really isn’t much to do in parts of Vermont.  Driving up to the Burlington/Stowe area the only sights are cows, farms, silos, trees and more cows.  However, once there, there are quite a few places that are worth visiting… in fact, if you’re ever in the Burlington/Stowe area you have to visit these places!

 

Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Vermont is all about that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream… and they should be!  It was born in Vermont and still is still based there.  Though you can find Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shops all around, the factory located in Waterbury is a must visit so you can take the factory tour and try a sample of the flavor of the day!

The Tiny Acorn

the tiny acorn

If you’re a fan of small, local businesses then The Tiny Acorn is definitely a shop you have to visit in Vermont.  It’s location in Waterbury is right near the Green Mountain Coffee headquarters, so grab yourself a coffee and browse around this store to find a gift for someone back home!  I sure did!

Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory

lake champlain chocolates

Calling all chocolate lovers!  If you ever get the chance to go to Burlington, VT, you need to make sure you find the chocolate factory – and don’t worry, no kids have been harmed here.  You get to learn all about the company’s history and how their chocolate is made.

Church Street Marketplace

Imagine Diagon Alley, but more modern.  That’s Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, VT.  With a good selection of shops, both local and franchised, as well as restaurants, this is definitely a hot-spot when visiting Vermont.  Keep your eyes open though, there are some hidden shops that have a lot of great stuff that just might be what you’re looking for!

Barnes & Noble

barnes and noble bookstore

I know, I know… there are Barnes & Noble stores everywhere, but this is the first one I’ve ever been to that has two floors!  I don’t know how many two-floor Barnes & Noble’s are out there, but if you are a true bookworm, you won’t pass up this store.

Depot Street Malt Shop

depot street malt shop

Of course there are tons of good, recognized restaurants in Vermont, but there are a few that are local only and catch your eye.  One that caught my eye last year was the Depot Street Malt Shop in Stowe.  It’s styled like a classic 50’s diner and offers some classic items from that time, including egg creams!

Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

vermont teddy bear factory

Ever want to see the behind-the-scenes of how a stuffed animal is made?  Well, you can do just that with the one and only Vermont Teddy Bear company at their factory in Shelburne.  It was very cool to learn how the company started in 1981 and how the VT Teddy Bear evolved into what it is today.  You can also learn some neat secrets about the bears made in this factory.

 

Have you ever been to Vermont?  What are some of your favorite things to do there?

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The Friday Five: Blogger Love v.22

Well, like last year, I really enjoyed my time in Vermont.  This time, I was a little more happy to come back home, even if only for the familiarity.  I definitely enjoy the atmosphere in Vermont more than I do my own home state (or at least hometown).  At the same time, I’m happy to get back into my normal routine.

fridayfive22

  1. 5 Conversations You Need Your BFF For by Life, Love & Coffee Stains.  There are just some things you can only talk to your best friend about.
  2. 29 is a frightening age… at least, it is to me by Tabitha at Arbitrary Scrawling.  An open, real post about fears one has when getting older.
  3. when being a blogger isn’t fun anymore… by a hundred tiny wishes.  Another open, real post about losing the will to blog and how Tabitha is going to fight off the Blogger’s Block before it hits.
  4. 5 Ways to Fill Your Blog With Original & Copyright Free Images by Young & Twenty.  Jennifer gives a few ways to keep your blog images copyright free.
  5. 19 Bible Verses on Anxiety & Stress by coming up roses.  Nineteen verses to remember in times of stress that God is in control and we can cast our cares to Him.

All the Joys - Blogger Love

So there’s my five favorite posts of the week and I think y’all should go and give them a look.

As always,  don’t forget to check out the host of Blogger Love, Meagan on All The Joys and give her some blogger love as well!

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How Can Anyone NOT Love Ed Sheeran?

Seriously, how can you not?

I’m not saying you have to be a fan of Ed Sheeran and his music (I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be…), but you cannot deny this man is a wonderful human being who shows just how much he loves his fans.

For example, this video went up on June 14th, just two days ago, where he was just minding his own business walking through a mall when he heard someone singing his wildly popular song, Thinking Out Loud.  Being, well, Ed Sheeran, he detours toward the performance and walks right up on stage to sing with the girl.

It’s the small, kind things people do that make someone’s day.  Whether someone is the target of the public eye, (like Ed Sheeran and other celebrities), or not, it doesn’t take much to reach out and do something like singing with someone to bring a smile (and tears) to their face.

But it does help if it’s the actual artist who goes up and sings their song with the fan.

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Wait… I’m An Adult?!

As a kid, the thought of becoming an adult seemed like it would be more of a… transformation.  Like, one day I would wake up as an adult and just know everything an adult is supposed to know.  Oh, and that I would be a lawyer who was happily married, have kids and I always imagined myself to be a few inches taller than I currently am.

However, becoming an adult is nothing like that at all.

becoming an adult

First things first, the transition into adulthood is just that – a transition.  There’s no wrapping up in a cocoon for a few months or years then breaking out as a full-fledged adult.  There are just changes we go through each year that brings out more mature (well, sometimes) and before we even realize it, we’re adults.  Looking back it’s always a shock to realize that this or that happened ‘x’ many years ago.

(As in, I graduated high school 6 years ago… what? How is that even possible?)

Since there was no magical transformation into adulthood, I can honestly say that I don’t feel too much different than I did at the end of high school (other than having bills to pay each month).  I’m still very imaginative and creative and I still have my best friend from high school in my life, and I’m thankful for each of these.  But I know the reason that there has not been a huge difference is because I am still living at home with my mom as I’ve been in college for the past 5 1/2 years.

There’s also the fact I’m not married and have no children, but I’m actually grateful for that at this point in my life.

Kids always say that they cannot wait to grow up so that they’ll have all this freedom, but then they become adults and just want to be kids again.  It’s funny how that works out.  The one thing I know for sure is that when I have my own children, I’ll be sure to tell them to enjoy their childhood while they can.

being an adult is the dumbest thing I have ever done

So, becoming an adult is nothing like I had imagined as a kid.

I guess the way to put it is that I’m still just getting the hang of adulthood.

Then again, aren’t we all?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Adult Visions.”

What’s On My Macbook Dock?

Since I have previously shared a post called My Essential iPhone Apps, I thought I’d take a moment to share the apps that I use on my MacBook Pro on a regular basis.  Of course, there are the irrelevant ones such as Finder, Calendar and System Preferences that I won’t bother to list down below… but they are there.

Ravenclaw macbook pro background

As you can see, my Ravenclaw pride shows just about everywhere.  I’ve had this background for over a year now, and I’m honestly not planning on changing it anytime soon.  Anyway, here are my Mac Apps, from left to right.

  • Safari & Firefox – Though by default I use Safari to do all my web browsing, I often use Firefox when it comes to my job so that I can easily do my work without having to log into different Gmail accounts and whatnot on Safari.
  • iTunes – Pretty self-explanatory.  This is where I keep my thousand or so songs stored and listen to music while I blog and such on my computer.
  • Final Cut Pro X – The primary tool in my job – editing video content.  Though some have their criticism about it because of it’s similarity to iMovie after the 2013 update from FCP7 to FCPX, I still like it once I took the time to get used to the changes.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC – Since many jobs require using Adobe, I downloaded this app to familiarize myself with it.  Honestly though, most editing software is basically the same, so there is nothing that is totally different… other than the layout and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC – It took me years to finally get myself Photoshop and learn how to navigate it!  I primarily used PicMonkey and its predecessor Picnik for photo editing, but now I can’t function without using Photoshop – especially now that I use it for editing my blog photos!

photoshop screenshot

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 – I don’t use this app as much anymore, but once in a while I still use it.
  • iPhoto – Only once in a while I have to use iPhoto to transfer video files from my JVC camera to my external hard drive.  Otherwise, it just sits there.
  • Evernote – I used this all the time back in the start of my last year of college for taking notes in my Psychology class.  I still use it to keep track of notes for my blog and other ideas I might have, but it doesn’t get the same amount of usage as it did nearly a year ago.
  • Word for Mac – Where I write pretty much all my stories and fan-fiction stories.  Oh, and I guess I use it to keep my resume updated and to write cover letters, ha.
  • TweetDeck – My essential app for using Twitter on the computer.  I don’t care to use the web version and since the App Store doesn’t have Echofan for the Mac… I use this.  I really like that I can have separate columns to keep track of my timelines and notifications all at once (picture below).

TweetDeck screenshot

  • QuickTime Player – I don’t actually use this too often.  Only when I feel like watching my past videos that are stored on my many flash drives.
  • Skype – Again, not an app that I use too often.  I’ve used it to chat with a friend of mine who lives in Arizona and I’ve tried to connect with some other friends, but they’re never available when I am.
  • Notes – For quick notes, I use this over Evernote.  But let’s face it, Evernote is much more efficient and should be preinstalled on Macs instead of this one.
  • Dropbox – This app has saved my life numerous times… for school purposes anyway.  But I still store quite a bit in my dropbox, which frees up space on my Mac’s hard drive.
  • Day One – A journaling app that I use sporadically.  I’m trying to get into regular journaling, and for me typing is much easier than handwriting.  There’s also an iPhone version that you can sync up to so I can journal on the go!
  • Sunrise Calendar – I literally just downloaded this to try to get some organization into my life.  I’m not sure how well this will work out, but only time will tell.

What apps do you use regularly on your computer?  Are they similar to mine, or do you have different ones you prefer to use?

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The Friday Five: Blogger Love v.21

It’s been a good week here in my corner of the world.  I finished my time working on a really cool project, which I will share with you all when I am allowed to do so… and I got to cross off an item from my 25 Before 25 list already!  And if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you’ll know that I’m currently in Vermont enjoying the cows and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

It’s safe to say I had a great week and I know this weekend will be great as well!

blogger love

  1. Why Blogging Is Different Than Journal Writing, guest post by Sheryl on ember grey.  A lot of us say that our blogs are our personal journals, but there really is quite the contrast between blogging and keeping a personal, private journal.
  2. Combating Blogger’s Block by the Fairy Princess Diaries.  She makes a good point in saying, “how can you get blogger’s block if you’re writing about your own life?”  But in a friendly way, she offers up some ways to beat blogger’s block before it even happens!
  3. The Art of Making Friends As An Adult by the Nectar Collective.  Let’s face it, after high school and college making friends becomes a lot more difficult… so these are some good tips to put yourself out there and make friends as an adult.
  4. Confessions of a Guest Blogger by Kerri guest posting on Oddly Lovely.  I love this one because I think we can all relate, even those of us who have yet to guest post somewhere!
  5. Documenting Dreams by Haven Way.  I personally think it’s good to document goals because it gives me (and probably others) more incentive to actually make progress on those goals.

All the Joys - Blogger Love

So there’s my five favorite posts of the week and I think y’all should go and give them a look.

As always,  don’t forget to check out the host of Blogger Love, Meagan on All The Joys and give her some blogger love as well!

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currently // june

It’s about that time of the month to let you all know what’s going on in my life right now.  For one thing, Vermont is right around the corner!  I’ve been wanting to go back since last summer when my mom and I went for only three days… this time we’re going for five.

currently june blog

Loving: my new ear piercing!

Excited: to be escaping to Vermont for a few days! But no worries, I’ll still be around on the blog!

Thinking: “Why am I writing this blog post now?  I should be packing!”

Anticipating: a certain premiere party in August…

Drinking: tea. lots and lots of tea.

Dreaming: of moving to a new town.

Wearing: yoga capri pants, loose tee and socks. it’s a laundry day.

Wish-listing: a megaphone.  Don’t ask why, I just want one.

Current Song on Repeat: Gloria (Glee Cast version)

 

What are you up to currently?

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