March Playlist

Music is great, isn’t it?  I love how I can either just lose myself to the lyrics of a really good song, be inspired by one, or just let it play in the background while I’m doing something else entirely.  It makes my days more enjoyable and can pick me up out of a bad mood.

The last few months have brought a few new good songs into my life, as well as enjoying some classics, so here’s the list of songs I played very often during the month of March.

march playlist

Glowing in the Dark – The Girl and the Dreamcatcher

This song came out at the end of January this year, but I hadn’t found it until late last month.  Needless to say, it’s amazing!  It’s definitely a song that sticks to you.  I also love the video.. it’s definitely not what you’d expect the song to be about, but it works.  Besides, Ryan and Dove are the most adorable couple ever.

If This Is It – Huey Lewis and the News

I first heard this on the radio while riding with my mom.  She told me how she liked this song and I thought it was pretty cool.  It took me a while to remember to go online and check it out, but I eventually did and I might’ve played this on repeat a few times…

Against All Odds – Phil Collins

I love this version as well as Darren Criss’ cover of it on Glee, so I’ve been listening to both over the past month.  But, of course, there’s nothing like the original.

Genie In A Bottle – Dove Cameron

This shouldn’t be a surprise, after my review of the song here on the blog and all.  It’s been stuck in my head for over a week now and I honestly don’t mind.  It’s an upbeat, fun song that will have me dancing to only the music playing in my head.  Oh, and the video is cool too.

Sweet Goodbye – Holes and Hearts

Definitely a sad song, but a good one.  I recently started listening to Holes and Hearts again and forgot just how much I enjoyed this song.  I think it’s probably my favorite out of all their songs.

Flawless – MercyMe

I think this is a good song considering Easter has just passed.  This video is just amazing, as is the song.  It’s a great reminder of what a sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Drift – Emily Osment

This song comes from the movie Cyberbully.  If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you do.  It’s a great movie and this song will definitely stick to you once you see the movie.

Always – Atlantic Starr

A childhood favorite of mine.  I remember this one playing nice and loud in the car when I was a kid and singing along to it.  I had actually forgotten about it until recently hearing it on the radio so what do I do?  Download it off iTunes of course!

If You Say So – Lea Michele

Another amazing song from Lea Michele about her late love, Cory Monteith.  This song definitely hits the feels hard, especially if you were a Glee fan.

Written in the Stars – The Girl and the Dreamcatcher

The first single of Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan (under their band name, that is).  I’ll admit at first I wasn’t a fan of the song, but after some time I really started to like it.  Eventually it was stuck in my head and I had no choice but to get it on my Spotify playlist.

 

So, there you have it.  My top tracks from my playlist this month.  I apologize in advance if any of these hit a sore spot in the feels, but that’s the beauty of music I guess… it can make us feel emotions real hard.  I hope you enjoy and take a listen to some of the songs!

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Remembering the Ones We’ve Lost

It seems weird posting this on Easter, but I feel like I have to.

The holidays, though joyous occasions, are hard for some people.  Like it or not, it’s likely that most of us, if not all, have lost a loved one around the holidays.  With a holiday like Easter, which has no set date, the holiday can also occur the same date we lost a loved one .  Today is such a holiday for my family.

We lost a real close personal friend three years ago today, Darcy.  Actually, he was real close to our family because the man nearly became my step-dad when I was a child.  Even after, he was like a second father to me, or just a really goofy uncle (despite the fact I have a lot of those…).

His death was very unexpected to us.  I can still remember my uncle calling me that night and telling me he was gone.  That shock was just unreal and I almost didn’t know what to do.  I don’t think I actually believed it until my friend, Darcy’s nephew, showed up at our door because he had to get away from his house with everything going on.

That threw me for a loop the next day, because I was in the middle of filming a music video for a school project that was loosely based off the subject of losing a loved one.  I wasn’t sure whether or not to continue the project.  My mom helped me with that dilemma – she told me to do it in honor of Darcy.

So I did.  Not only for Darcy, but for everyone we’ve ever lost in our lives.  I can’ speak for my entire family because they’ve lost more people than I have, but for the few I know of I made sure to give a special place in the video (as well as my best friend’s).

This video isn’t just for those that my best friend and I have lost, it’s for everyone.  Everyone has lost someone in their life, and this is a way to honor/remember them.

Speaking as a film critic, I know it’s not the best video… if I were to do it again there’d be some changes, but overall the video would stay the same.  Just a few shots would be changed, and at this point in time a few more names would have to be added… unfortunately.

Anyway, I don’t mean to bring down anyone’s day, but I think it’s also important to just remember those who can’t spend the holidays with us anymore.

In any case, Happy Easter everyone and I hope you’re all home with your families enjoying the day and that you’re actually reading this on Monday! ;)

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Books vs. eBooks

The great bookworm debate.

books vs ebooks

It’s actually a good one, and one that’s hard for me to choose a side on.

I grew up reading physical books, as most of us did.  Out of all the different books I’ve read during my (almost) 25 years, my best memory of reading physical books was waiting for the newest Harry Potter book to be released and actually holding those treasures in my hands.

Pros of Physical Books:
  • If you spill something on it, it’s usually still readable.
  • Marking a spot is easy with placing a sticky note/tab on the page.
  • You can sell or donate a book if you no longer want it on your shelf.
  • You can let your friends borrow your books.
  • People will know you’re actually reading (who does that?).
  • You can buy discounted/bargain/used books.
  • Reading a real book relaxes you more than reading an e-book.
Cons of Physical Books:
  • They’re heavy (which really stinks when traveling or moving).
  • A store or library might not have the book you want available.
  • They take up space in your home.
  • The book can fall apart if damaged or just really old.
  • You can’t read in the dark (without a book light).
Pros of Kindle/Nook Books:
  • You can fit thousands of books onto the device and bring them anywhere.
  • It’s easier to eat or do something else with your hands while reading.
  • E-books tend to be cheaper than physical books.
  • You can get an e-book the second it’s released (no more waiting outside in the cold!)
  • People don’t know what you’re reading (which is really good for guilty pleasure books).
  • You can adjust the text size (no need to buy large print books!)
  • You can easily read in the dark (not that you should…)
Cons of Kindle/Nook Books:
  • If the e-reader gets wet, you lose everything (unless you buy another e-reader).
  • You can’t lend them out to anyone (or not very easily, at least).
  • It’s not good for your eyes to be fixed on a screen for a long time.
  • Reading on an e-reader isn’t as relaxing (the screen can actually make it harder to sleep).
  • It’s not as easy to mark a spot that you want to go back to later.

So there are obvious pros and cons to both ways of reading – it really all comes down to personal preference.

While in most cases an e-reader is probably more practical, I have still found it more satisfying to read a physical book.  I also find it easier to remain focused on a physical book than my Nook.  So I guess when it comes down to it, I’m on the physical book side of this debate.

That said, nothing can replace that cozy feeling of curling up with a book and a hot cup of tea.

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Anna and the French Kiss [book review]

As it turns out, being forced to go to boarding school in Paris isn’t all that bad.

anna and the french kiss

I’m going to admit right now that the main reason I picked up this book is because of it’s setting – Paris, France.  Also known as one of my dream destinations, but I’ll take reading about it  until I actually do get to visit.

This story is about a Georgia girl, Anna, who is forced to spend her senior year at an American boarding school.  Of course, unlike any other girl her age, she’s not happy with this decision.  And why would she be?  She all alone in France and she doesn’t even speak French!  Even though while reading you’re thinking, ‘why isn’t this girl more excited to be in Paris?’ you also understand where her feelings of doubt come from.  Anna is a very relatable character and you definitely become attached to her and the friends she meets while attending this new school.

Which brings us to St. Clair.  You can’t help but swoon over this fictional guy!  His entire demeanor is enough to make girls everywhere fall in love with him!  And the British accent helps, of course.  He immediately attaches himself to Anna, quickly becoming her best friend at this new school as he helps her to get out of her comfort zone and explore what Paris has to offer.  Aside from his lovable personality, Stephanie Perkins has made him a more realistic character for girls to fall in love with.  Yes, he’s gorgeous, but he’s also not your cliché tall and built young man.  In fact, St. Clair is short, which is something he doesn’t quite like about himself, but he’s learned to deal with it.  Perkins gets that not every guy has to be over 6 feet tall and that was more of a reason I loved St. Clair.

So what’s the problem with Anna and St. Clair’s friendship?  Well, St. Clair has a girlfriend.  As if we didn’t see that coming.  Of course Anna’s new, attractive friend is taken.  But that doesn’t stop her from starting to have romantic feelings towards him.  And is it possible St. Clair is starting to feel the same way?

Anna and the French Kiss is a great young-adult romance that will have you gushing like the fan-girl you are.  There’s the obvious romance, the building and downfall of friendships, parents that you love and ones you hate, and despite some of the characters’ not-so-smart choices, you can’t help but love them!

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Genie In A Bottle – Dove Cameron [song review]

While us Disney Descendants fans are impatiently sitting on the sidelines waiting for the release of Return to the Isle of the Lost (May 2016) and Descendants 2 (2017), we were gifted with a brand new music video that was Descendants themed.  One of the movie’s stars, Dove Cameron who plays Mal, covered Christina Aguilera’s 1999 song, “Genie in a Bottle.”

I can honestly hear the haters saying that it’s nowhere as good as the original, but I’ll agree to disagree on that one.  I think Dove Cameron’s new version of the song was done well.  Of course it’s not going to be the same as the original – each artist is different and will put their own spin on the same song.

There are plenty of reasons I like this song, and video.  As a Descendants fan I’m going to like any type of media that is mildly related to the franchise, so seeing Mal back in action was great.  Also, I think the song fits perfectly to the Descendants franchise – I mean, it is about the next generation of our favorite fairly tales which could include Aladdin.  While we didn’t exactly see the face of Jordan (Genie’s daughter), we saw her lurking in the shadows during the video as Mal rocked out in the lamp.

The song itself I liked, of course.  I think I might actually like it a little more than the original done by Christina Aguilera only because of the faster tempo.  I’m one of those people who prefers a little more upbeat music, so this was perfect for a listener like me.  And I’m not even going to point out the differences in their voices, both girls made the song work for them and their vocal range.  To say that one is worse than the other is like comparing the climbing skills of a monkey and a fish – you just can’t do it.

As for the naysayers who will go off saying there shouldn’t have been a remake, well, it happens with all the great songs.  It’s been 17 years since Christina’s version came out, so there’s a whole new generation of artists and listeners out there, and I personally think it’s cool to see how a new artist will put their own spin on and older song.

So once again, I say that I think Dove Cameron did this song justice.  Yes, it’s different, but if we wanted it to be the exact same song, we would’ve had Christina Aguilera do it again.

What do you think of Dove Cameron’s take on the song?

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Safe

We’re always doing what we can to stay safe – locking our doors, keeping pepper spray on hand, going on walks with a buddy… the list goes on.  The scary thing is, no matter what we do to protect ourselves, we don’t always see things coming and we can’t always stop them.

Safe under His wings

I find comfort in knowing that I have God on my side, and not matter what Satan tries to throw at me, I can count on God to protect me.

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” – Psalm 46:1

There have been times in my life when, yes, I was physically harmed, but the accidents could have turned out much worse had God not been protecting me.  After all, who has a fifty pound baby crib fall on them and only ends up with a slight concussion?  Probably not many people.  Then again, I don’t imagine that happens all that often.

It might not even be physical harm, but emotional or spiritual.  God can lead me away from a situation where I’d end up with a broken heart (and it wouldn’t be the first time He’s done that).  He can provide strength when my mind is starting to get filled with doubts – doubts that I’ll ever get my dream job, or get married, or move to a better town.  

Even when others turn their back on me, God won’t.  He’s promised to never leave us or forsake us.  That’s the best thing about Him – He doesn’t lie.  People do.  That’s why when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what others think or say about me because I know who I am in God’s eyes.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

Under His watch, I know I’m safe.

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Sending a Friend Away

Friends come and go… but some of them get great opportunities to travel abroad for an internship.

One such friend of mine found out he was accepted for an internship at ORTV (Overseas Radio and Television) in Taiwan and will be leaving probably sometime this summer.  However, he needs a little help getting there… literally.

He set up a gofundme page to help pay for his ticket to get to Taiwan that is running until May.  As much as I don’t want him to go because I’ll miss him, this is a great opportunity for him and I know it’s something he wants to do.  And I know he appreciates any help that he gets to get there.

It’s not easy to get a job in communications where we live, so we take what we can get… even if it’s on the other side of the world.  I mean, I personally wouldn’t do that (unless it was in England), but there are those who love to travel and experience living in new places.

On that note, anyone who also wants to pray for my friend is very welcome to do so.  Just to keep him safe and that if this is God’s plan for him that everything will work out accordingly.

I’ll keep up a link on my sidebar to his gofundme page until he is finished with it.

Thanks for dropping by and reading, and wish my friend good luck on his new adventure!

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5 Mistakes I Made During My College Years

Admitting we made a mistake is one of the hardest things we can do.  It’s right up there with giving a sincere apology.  As humans we tend to be proud creatures and we hate admitting we were wrong about something.  But the thing is, humility is good for your soul… literally.

So I’m taking a step down and admitting that I made a few mistakes with my college experience – ones that if I could go back and change, I’d do it.  I can tell you right now I made more than five mistakes over my college years, but five is all your getting (don’t worry, they’re the major ones).

5 mistakes i made during my college years

5 Mistakes I Made During My College Years

1.) Not getting involved.

Getting involved with clubs and sports at school is huge for meeting new people and making connections.  I did not do this well, let me tell you that.  I always blame my shy nature for not putting myself out there and it’s really not a good quality of mine.  It’s something I know I need to work on.  I did try a few times though.  My first year at my recent school I signed up for the film club, the only problem was there were never any actual meetings.  Then the following year it picked back up, but at a time I wasn’t able to attend.  As for sports, I haven’t played on a team sport since I was 13, so that was definitely out.

2.) Not living on campus.

This one is still something I don’t regret too much, but I wish I tried it at least for one year.  From what I heard the dorms at my school weren’t great.  I mean, they weren’t terrible, but not something spectacular either.  I just wish I had gotten to experience rolling out of bed at 8am and going to class in my sweats (not that I’d really do that, but I would’ve liked the option to).

3.) Not applying for scholarships.

This is probably one of my bigger mistakes because… student loans.  I did get one scholarship from my guidance counselor in high school that I had no idea about until I saw it on my semester bill, so that was a nice surprise.  And I can’t complain too much, I did get some good pell grants throughout my college years.  It would just be nice if I had a lower amount of loans to pay back (or none at all).

4.) Not doing more internships.

Especially since I was a Communication major – internships are super important for anyone going into that field.  I only did one during my final semester and I’ll be honest, it was only okay.  It wasn’t great and I honestly didn’t learn much from it.  And it’s hard to find an internship program that will accept recent graduates along with current students.

5.) Being complacent about classes.

You know, the general-education classes that you have to take, but really aren’t necessary for your degree.  I honestly didn’t worry too much about my grades in those courses, as long as I passed with a B-, but if I had cared a little more I would’ve had a better GPA.  I actually missed being able to wear gold cords at graduation by 0.05 points… that freakin’ close!  Oh well, I still got a 3.5 GPA for my Communication courses and made the Communication National Honor Society… so I still got cords, just not gold ones.

And that’s it – those are my five major mistakes/regrets from my college years.  One that I’d like to mention as a bonus one is that I wish I had tried harder to take a study abroad course.  There were a few spring break/two week courses that I was interested in, but didn’t try for them because I knew I most likely wouldn’t be able to come up with the money for traveling.

So for those of you in college, don’t make these same mistakes.  For those who have already gone to college I just have one question for you:

Is there anything you regret not doing during your college years?

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Thawing Out My Productivity

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s 76º outside today and it’s pure bliss!

thawing out productivity

I know that it’s only March 9th and winter doesn’t actually end for another few weeks, but if we could have nice temperatures from now on, I’ll be one happy gal.  I’m not saying it needs to stay in the 70s, just like the 50s (at the very least) so that I can thaw out from the past two months of winter.

So as I’m sitting here typing away I’m realizing just how much the weather has an affect on me – my attitude, productiveness, ambition and overall mood.  The weather actually plays a huge role in these areas, and probably not just for me.  I’m guessing that the weather really impacts a lot of people (depending on what they like).

I’m not a winter person at all.  I hate the cold and I hate the ice and snow.  If it’s below 50º outside during the day I’m just about useless.  I don’t want to do anything other than stay inside and watch television or play video games.  I don’t even like being productive if it’s cold outside.  It’s not that I don’t want to do things, I just don’t have the drive because my body knows it’s cold.  I’m pretty sure that’s the reason my will to blog has been practically non-existent in the last two months.  The only excuse I have for actually blogging during winter last year was because I was in college and needed something to do during my breaks between classes.

But yesterday my entire outlook on life changed because the temperature went into the low 60s. Now I want to do things again.  I want to blog, look for jobs, read, take photos, edit videos… all that fun stuff.  Last night as I drifted off to sleep I was trying to figure out if I should start a vlog series for orangeowldiaries because I miss setting up my camera and talking to it (well, y’all).  When it’s nice outside I don’t mind being busy all day long, even if it’s doing chores.  I just just have more energy when the weather is warmer.

This has really taught me one thing… I’m not made to stay in New England for the rest of my life (Lord willing).  I can’t take feeling how I do each winter with not wanting to do anything with my life.  I’d much rather be where it’s warmer during the winter months, even if it does get down to the 40s, I can handle that.  I just can’t handle freezing temps and below along with the mess of snow and ice.  I’m just thanking God that He listened to my prayers about having a milder winter this year because this winter was nothing like the last one (hello, it was 70º on Christmas!)

So here’s to an early and productive spring!

How does the weather affect you?  Do you like the cold or can you not stand it?

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Faith To Fall Back On

Life will knock us down… multiple times and in many different ways.  The best way to get through it is to just stand up, shake off the dust and press on, but it’s not always easy.

At first it’s easier to just stay on the ground where you are.  You might get upset and cry or you might be the type of person that gets angry and punches or kicks a wall.  Once you finally pull yourself back up it’s not long before you’re knocked down again and this time you have a little more resilience, but not much.  Soon you might find yourself getting frustrated and ready to give up.  That’s the easier thing to do, right?

But some of us are able to pull ourselves back up each and every time.  I’m not saying it’s easy to do – it takes effort to keep at it when you’re knocked down constantly.

Life will knock us down in a lot of ways – sicknesses, deaths, loss of relationships with others, rejection… the list goes on.

Personally, I’m dealing with rejection in the employment field.

It’s easy for my first thought to be ‘why did I even bother getting this degree if no one will hire me?’ each time I’ve been rejected.  That thought will usually sit there until I’m in tears and thinking that I just wasted five and a half years of my life and a lot of money getting that education.  The thought becomes more personal when I see my former classmates getting the same positions I’ve been applying for at different companies, like I’m the one who’s not good enough for these jobs even though I have the same education as them.

As the months after graduation have gone by, I’ve seen a good share of rejection.  Some of it I know is because of the distance and availability situations, which don’t bother me as much (at least I know I would’ve gotten the job had circumstances been different).  I’m happy to say I’ve gotten better at handling the rejection situations during the start of this new year.

This past week brought on a double rejection for two different positions at the same company that I know I had enough experience for and felt confident that I’d be hired to one of them.  After the rejection, my thoughts started in the direction of ‘why did I bother…?’ ( you know, that sob story), but then I stopped myself.  Another thought came to my head, and it was much more comforting than the first one.

‘That’s obviously not where God wants you right now.  He’s got something out there that’s perfect for you… and in His time.’

Only a few minutes after getting rejected from a company I’d love to work for, I was already okay with it.  If it was meant for me to be there, God would’ve allowed it.  Just like He would’ve allowed me to get any of the other number of jobs I’ve applied for in the past year – if He had wanted me there.  Obviously that wasn’t His plan, and I’m okay with it now.

It’s relieving to know that I can rely on God’s plan for my life to unfold, as long as I’m doing my part in obeying Him and at least trying by applying to these jobs.  Why I’m not getting anything yet, I don’t know.  It could be that the right one hasn’t opened up yet or maybe I’m not in the right place (as in town/state) for God to open up that door.

So yeah, rejection is hard, but it’s a lot easier to get over knowing that the Lord has a plan for me.

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