Every season there are always a handful of new things that I snatch up or old things I find in the depths of my storage space that really deserve a shout out but don't always fit into any one category! Here are the things I've been loving this season!
Lavender Nails: Admittedly, this is a style I've been loving for the majority of the past year – but it's most appropriate for spring! Lavender nails are so pretty yet classy at the same time. My favorites are the lavender shade in this pretty gel set from BMC and this classic OPI one!
Mini Orchids: I've never had much of a green thumb (plants die as soon as I touch them, I swear), but my boyfriend gave me the cutest little mini-orchid for valentine's day and ever since, I have been trying my hardest to keep it alive – so far so good! It has really added so much extra brightness and color to my desk area that I'm thinking about getting a couple more for the rest of the apartment!
Pact App: Like most people, I give up on my New Year's exercise resolutions usually within a couple of weeks of making them. I try to stay active, but when life gets busy, it can be very hard! If there has ever been an app that has motivated me to start working out more, it's this one! Pact is an app that allows users to make a health-related pact (whether that's eating more vegetables or working out 4 times a week) and users will either earn money if they keep their pact but lose money if they don't keep their pact. For me, the idea of losing money for not keeping my pact is actually more of a motivator than earning money for keeping my pact (the amount of money you earn is minimal) but either way, it has effectively motivated me to hit my 10k fitbit step goal regularly!
Dried Mangos: I am obsessed with all tropical fruit but unfortunately for me, living in the Midwest means zero tropical fruit (that's any good at least). Dried mangos have become my lifeline to all things tropical, plus, they make me think I'm eating fruit when in reality, I'm probably eating straight up sugar :P
Harvest Snaps: This is a new discovery for me as I've been trying to replace the junk food in my apartment with healthier munchies. Harvest Snaps are these crunchy little dried snap peas that actually taste way better than the horrible description I just gave – just trust me on this one. I still haven't quite figured out if they're actually any good for you or if they're just "less bad" but given that I have a pretty bad habit of snacking when I'm bored, I've found it safer to have these snacks around rather than potato chips!
Cute Post-Its: Planner addict over here, guys. And what is a must-have for planner obsessed girls? Cute Post-Its. I love decorating my planner with spring inspired colors and cute post-it notes provide both decoration and function :)
Podcast - Here to Make Friends: I've been listening to this podcast nonstop for the past week - it is so addicting! If you're a fan of the Bachelor (sorry not sorry) then this podcast is a 110% must listen. All of the hilarious commentary on this podcast is exactly on point and they do a fantastic job of poking fun yet appreciating the show for exactly what it is.
Coffee Mugs (that declare my love of coffee!): I have always been a little obsessed with buying mugs but recently I've been really into buying mugs that declare my love of coffee directly on the mug. I feel like these mugs have really helped me enjoy my mornings and embrace the fact that, yes, I'm addicted to coffee, and not afraid to admit it! :)
Some of the coffee mugs that are currently on my wish list:
What are your favorite things this spring? I love taking the time to just sit down and appreciate the little things that I love every season – especially when they're re-discoveries! Happiness is really in the little things :)
Thanks for reading! ♥
As cheesy as it sounds, I really feel that learning is one of the greatest joys in life. Even though I'm no longer in school, constant learning is something that I have continued to try and insert into my everyday life. With smart phones and the Internet nowadays, learning resources have become so available and accessible to nearly anyone! I know everyone is busy so it can be hard to think about learning when there are a thousand things to juggle at work - and I totally get it! That's why I do my best to place learning into the little breaks in my life that already exist and thought I'd share some of these strategies with you all today :)
Truth be told, I probably pick up my phone to scroll through Instagram or Snapchat at least once an hour at work. While these are both enjoyable activities, they aren't always the most productive! Instead, I try to open Duolingo every once in a while so that even if I need a short distraction, it's one that is teaching me something new! Duolingo is a language learning app that turns learning a language into short game-like sessions. Currently, most of the languages offered are European languages so I am working on maintaining my Spanish skills while also learning French!
Coursera is an online platform that offers University classes for anyone to take online for free! As one of those kids in school who was always getting FOMO because I couldn't fit "Intro to Cooking" or "Yoga 101" into my class schedule, Coursera is this nerd's dream come true! Most of Coursera's classes are very low pressure and many can even be completed at your own pace - which works perfectly for people like me who have full-time jobs. I'm currently enrolled in Child Nutrition and have loved every minute of it!
Like most people, I love binge-watching TV shows. It'scomforting to have something playing in the background while I'm cooking or doing household chores. Recently, I've gotten into watching documentaries as I'm tidying up my apartment and I feel like I'm learning so much more! Don't get me wrong, there are days when I really just need a Gilmore Girls marathon to lift my spirits, but on the days when my brain is ready for new information, documentaries have really become a great way to learn a little more every day (while getting chores done!). I use Amazon Prime for this because they have a great selection of documentaries to choose from.
I'm pretty sure I've already raved about podcasts in previous posts but they really are a commuter's best friend! Currently, I drive to work, so outside of listening to the radio there's really not a whole lot I can do to keep myself occupied. Podcasts have really come in handy here and I love that there are so many different topics available to podcast listeners. Being the psychology nerd that I am, most of my educational podcasts focus on new psychological research but I've also listened to quite a few language learning podcasts in the past.
5. Other People!
I am lucky enough to work with and meet a lot of talented, and intelligent individuals. As a kid, I always loved hanging out with older kids because they were one step ahead of me and I felt like I learned so much from them! As an adult, I still love learning from people - whether they are older than me or not! As we become adults, everyone becomes an expert in one thing or another and there is always at least one topic or theme where the other person knows more than you! I find this to be such an awesome opportunity to learn from someone else's real world experience - and it's really the best form of learning you can get :)
Is there anyone out there who is as obsessed with learning as I am? I just feel like there is so much out there that I still don't know - it makes me want to go out, grab it, and cram as much of into my brain as I possibly can! Let me know how you fit everyday learning into your life - I'd love to hear from you!
2015 was a year of crazy traveling for me and as someone who does not particularly enjoy being on a plane, I always make sure to bring anything and everything I can think of to distract myself during these flights. Unfortunately for me, sleeping is usually not in the cards so I do my best to keep myself entertained, yet relaxed, so I'm not too jet lagged when I arrive! Since I've developed quite a few strategies to endure long flights - I thought I'd share some of my favorite on-a-plane-self-distraction techniques!
1. Write in a Journal
If you're someone like me who regularly loves to journal, reflecting and writing in a journal is a lovely way to pass time. If journaling isn't a part of your regular routine or if you're looking for additional inspiration, there are fantastic lists of journal prompts out there that can help jumpstart your creative thinking!
2. Doodle or Color
I'm not the best artist in the world, but it's something that I want to continue to improve on. In my everyday life, it can be hard to find times where I can sit down and practice drawing but being on a plane really forces me to focus on things I can do with just pen and paper! Recently, I've been practicing zentangles - a fun form of creative, pattern doodling.
I am obsessed with podcasts. I listen to them nonstop all the time - in the shower, in the car, at work - literally all the time! The great thing about podcasts is the sheer variety of content that is available today - everything from educational language learning podcasts, to not-safe-for-work comedy podcasts - there's bound to be something that strikes your fancy. My personal favorites? Ted Radio Hour & Hidden Brain (both educational and entertaining!).
Okay, yes, audiobooks are kind of along the same line as podcasts but I think what people don't realize is that there are ways to get free audiobooks that you can listen to from your local library! I use an awesome app called Overdrive which allows me to download audiobooks from my library back home directly onto my iPhone. While the selection of audiobooks is still pretty limited in comparison to in-house library books, you really can't beat being able to download free audiobooks straight to your phone.
I love playing time management games so when it's time to hop on a plane, I re-download all of my favorites and try to replay the entire series during the course of my flight! If you're a crazy planner like me, you might enjoy time management games from the "dash" series like Diner Dash and Cooking Dash. Another one of my favorite games - which is a little less stressful to play - is Flow. Plus: if I need to double distract myself, I play games and listen to podcasts at the same time. The multitasking capabilities of our technology nowadays are endless :)
6. Binge TV Shows
This is probably the most common plane entertainment method because who doesn't love a good TV binge if you're already confined to a seat anyway? I have a running list of TV shows that I've been meaning to start watching and I find that starting these shows on a plane is a great way to really get into a show. Since I'm confined to a seat for hours anyway, I can really focus on the plot and get to know the characters without getting distracted. My most recent plane binge was Season 1 of Girls - I'm officially hooked!
If you can really get into a good book, reading is definitely one of the easiest ways to make time pass on a plane. For me, I find that checking out fantasy fiction books helps pass the time more quickly since these plots tend to draw you in and keep you engrossed for longer. Magazines are also great for reading on planes since they are usually quick, but fascinating reads that you can easily toss and not have to haul around with you during your travels.
For me, having puzzles like Sudoku or a Rubik's Cube (mini one I like to bring!) on hand are also an awesome way to keep my mind occupied. Puzzles can easily suck you in as you're trying to figure things out and before you know it, half an hour has passed! While it's nice to have puzzle games on my phone, I find that it can be very therapeutic to have physical puzzle books I can work through. I have a couple of Sudoku books like this one that are easy to carry around and toss when I'm finished!
If you do not already own a portable external battery, get one! These little buggers are very affordable, super easy to carry around, and easily give your phone an extra 1.5-2 charges - and when another charge of your phone means 5 more hours of TV you can watch on a plane, this becomes invaluable! I have this cute little lipstick size battery that has been an absolute life saver when I'm on the go.
Sitting for hours on a cramped plane doesn't have to be painful if you find the best ways to entertain yourself and make the most of your time! What are your strategies for surviving long plane rides? I'd love to hear your thoughts!