10 Ways to Beat the Boredom

Social distancing, eh? That’s hard for us social butterflies. And quarantine is even harder!!! Well….unless you have a bajillion homework assignments and a magazine to create…let me just rant here.

The Great Escape -1963

To keep us all from turning into couch potatoes, here’s a list of things to do while you’re stuck at home.

1) Try a new workout routine

Remember all those times you said you wished you had time to workout? Yeah, you remember. Well, now’s that perfect time to start! We all need exercise being cooped up for this long period of time, so let’s get those muscles moving. There are plenty of workout routines you can find online, and even apps and Youtube videos. If you’re like me and need motivation, why not Facetime a friend and be virtual gym partners? There’s your workout and social time in one!

2) Learn a new dance step

Singing in the Rain – 1952

Ever wanted to learn how to dance? Now is a perfect time! If you have siblings or a spouse at home you’ve a a built in dance partner! If not, there are still plenty of dance steps you can learn on your own, and a whole bunch of Youtube tutorials out there! I, for one, have always thought that tap dancing was super cool!

3) Do-It-Yourself Projects

These are so fun, but with all the busy hubbub of life, I find that I rarely have time for them. Pinterest is full of DIY project ideas!

4) Try new recipes

Try making Clara’s Apple Dumplings from Growing Up Wilder!

The kitchen is my favorite place to be while at home! I love trying out new recipes, and especially EATING them! Pinterest is a great place for recipes! I also Google search for recipes a lot when I’m looking for something to use up a specific ingredient. There are also all those delicious recipes from my book Growing Up Wilder to try! Happy searching!

5) Clean out your closet

Who knows what gems you’ll fine? And how much space you’ll have for new clothes afterwards!

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6) Rearrange your furniture

It’s like moving into a whole new house! And you have plenty of time for readjustments and trial arrangements. After that you can start redecorating with your new DIY projects!

7) Try a Bob Ross painting tutorial

These are super fun, and can lead to some awesome bonding time for the whole family! If you don’t have the supplies at home, there’s always Amazon!

8) Get out that scrapbooking kit

If you’re like me, you’ve had these kits sitting around since you were born practically. I guess all homeschooled girls are expected to pick up scrapbooking at some point in their life. My scrapbook became storage holder for random papers, certificates, and homework assignments. #fail

Check out Pinterest for scrapbook ideas!

9) Try new hairstyles

I’ve always wished I was creative with hairstyles, but I’m more like the most boring person you’ve met. It’s basically either just clean or needs a wash for me over here…speaking of which I haven’t brushed it since the start of this quarantine also. 🤫But you can get creative with your lovely locks! There’s plenty of resources out there from hair books to blog posts to Youtube tutorials! Here’s a tutorial for the waterfall braid, a beautiful flowing look I’ve always admired.

10) Call long distance friends

I love Lucy -1951

And finally, when is a better time to catch up with all your long distance buddies! You might even try to do a conference call since all of your schedules have opened up!

Need more things to do? Check out my friend Anika’s blog where she posts her top ten ideas!

Have fun and comment your favorite at-home pastime!

Top Ten Books Every Girl Should Read

Growing up, I was an avid reader. I would read almost anything set in front of me (provided it was clean of course 🙂 ) whether it was in one of my favorite genres or not. I have memories of hiding in my closet, or behind a locked bathroom door so that no one would disturb me while I feasted on my pile of books.

Today, things are a bit different. I’m busier now than I’ve was as a child. Last spring I worked two part-time jobs as a waitress and lifeguard as well as nannied a few days and attended college full time. Somehow it all worked out. This spring I’ve managed to cut out a full workload again, minimizing the jobs but maximizing the classes. With all that, reading just seems to be squeezed out of the picture. Any spare moment I find, I try to devote to my writing or photography. (And believe me, it’s been sparse.) Those days of lazily dreaming through chapters are long gone and sorely envied.

I’ll never have a minute of regret for all those countless hours I spent meeting “new friends” and learning about their beautiful, interesting, mysterious lives. That said, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books for young heroines. Feel free to comment on your favorite or mention one you think I should add to this list!

  1. A Life of Faith Series

I LOVE this series so much! There are five different sets of girls, Millie Keith, Elsie Dinsmore, Violet Travilla, Laylie Colbert, and Kathleen McKenzie. Each series focuses on one of these special girls and is filled with humor and history, but most importantly, important lessons and role models as these girls trust God throughout all their various trials. My favorite two are Millie and Laylie. I even got to interview the author, Kersten Hamilton! 

2. In Grandma’s Attic Series

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Oh my goodness! Where do I start? This series is hilarious!! From pranking her brothers to forging signatures, losing the family buggy…Mabel gets into all kinds of scrapes! This series is set in a 19th century Michigan town. Best of all, it’s a series so you get to watch her grow up. 

3. Anne of Green Gables Series

If you want some enriching reading, here’s a book for you! L. M. Montgomery is a literary master. Her rich descriptions and details along with her richly developed characters set her books apart from others. And who can resist the spirited, lovable, red-headed Anne with an E? My favorite movie version of this film is 1985 series by Kevin Sullivan starring Megan Follows as Anne. There’s even a musical for this book!

4. Caddie Woodlawn

Here’s another lovable young girl! Caddie Woodlawn’s adventures are always so fun, from running around with her Indian friends to playing tricks on her cousin. Her wild, yet soft and compassionate heart, is what draws readers to love her. Also, unknown to many, is a sequel to the book, “Magical Melons” also published as “Caddie Woodlawn’s Family.”

5. Joy Sparton Series

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If you haven’t noticed yet, I love reading about adventurous young girls getting into scrapes, so here’s another one! Joy Sparton and her brother Roy are a couple of PK’s trying to get through their early teen years. I love Joy’s antics, and mostly her beautiful story of learning to live for her Savior. 

6. Little Women

A classic every girl should read! I learned to love all of these girls as if they were my very own sisters. Louisa May Alcott writes in such a personable way that makes you drawn to her characters. Her story is one of love, loyalty, and sisterhood as tears of anger and sadness along with those of joy fill these pages drawing the girls closer together as they walk through life together and apart. My favorite movie version of this book is the 1949 film with June Allyson.

7. An Old Fashion Girl

This book tells the story of Polly, a sweet, timid young girl. It’s really all about character building. You’ll fall in love with Polly as she learns to maneuver through life. Another beautiful story by Louisa May Allcott.

8. Annie Henry: Adventures in the American Revolution  Series

This series can be a bit difficult to find, but definitely worth it. I love all the historical elements bound up in the little series as it tells the story of our little heroine, Anne Henry, growing up with the guidance of her family and particularly her father, the famous Patrick Henry. 

9. Five Little Peppers Series

This is another that might be hard to find, but such a sweet story of five young siblings growing up. There’s not much money in the Pepper house, and each child has to pitch in to help them get by. This is such a fun book to read and awakes your creative mind. 

10. Little House on the Prarie Series

And of course, the classic pioneer story of Laura Ingalls. My favorite part of this book is how Laura included all the detailed descriptions of food. There’s even a Little House cookbook out there! I also love the song lyrics and all the fun illustrations. Don’t forget the TV show with Micheal Landon and Melissa Gilbert. And, if you get a chance, watch the new musical!

Don’t forget to comment on your favorite book(s), and let me know of any you think I should add! Happy reading!

Times Square Unlike other Times

My journey to NYC and back amidst rising concerns from COVID-19.

Times Square, New York

It was possible…but probable?

We took our chances.

My classmates (those who didn’t drop out), adviser, and I attended the College Media Association convention at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, New York City while COVID-19 concerns were still rising. 

The first day was pretty normal other than the smaller than average crowds. We walked several miles exploring the city and got settled in our hotel. 

Pizza shop in NYC.

On the second day, I left the convention early to try to find binoculars for watching a Broadway show. (I packed a couple hours before the trip in the college parking lot by shoving random things I threw in my car in a backpack I emptied. I had midterms and a choir concert the evening I flew out so I didn’t have much trip prep time🤷‍♀️)

Being a small-town girl, I didn’t really think I’d wander NYC alone. But there I was.

The Phantom of the Opera played in Majestic Theatre with some of the coolest effects.

I found a $29 ticket to The Phantom of the Opera at the box office a couple hours before the show and decided to snag that. Before the show, I met a classmate and we grabbed some NY pizza together.

As I left the theater, I found out that all Broadway shows were suspended until April 12th due to COVID-19 concerns. At least I was able to see one show! 

After a group meeting, we decided to finish our stay in NYC. My classmates and I went on a National Geographic tour, rode the wooden escalator up nine flights in Macy’s, then stopped at Junior’s Bakery to grab a cheesecake. We split that in the apartment using dental floss to slice it up and ate it out of the hotel cups. We weren’t able to finish the whole cheesecake that night but it worked out okay because we found a mini-fridge in a side room at the hotel while wandering around in our PJ’s trying to find ice for the ice bucket, our original storage plan. The mini fridge looked like an upgrade so we carried that back to our room. 

New York Public Library

The third day we left for the Museum of Modern Art in the morning, but all the museums were closed in NY for social distancing. We decided to just walk around the city and stopped by the Empire State Building and New York Public Library. Since almost all the convention meetings were canceled, we had to look for other things to do. I was able to attend some sections on photojournalism. 

NYC view from the Staten Island Ferry.

That night we had a group meal at an amazing Asian restaurant. We all got ramen bowls and ginger ice cream. Afterward, we took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and a cool view of NYC.  On the way back to our hotel we grabbed some dollar pizza. 

Stardust Diner on Times Square.

Saturday morning we all slept in late and then went out for a brunch at the Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a cool restaurant where the waitstaff performs Broadway songs. That was quite a fun experience!

Central Park

We walked off our meal in Central Park then got dinner in Chinatown. The streets were getting emptier and more people were using masks. 

Sunday morning we decided it would be best to flee NYC as soon as we could since everything was shutting down. 

As of now, my classmates and I are self-quarantined and working on our school assignments online.

In two weeks we’ll know how much we liked this trip 🙂

 

21 and Here’s what I’ve Done

02/10/20 – Tried not to get sick.

02/11/20 – Got sick anyways.

02/12/20 – Started my birthday in the DMV. Sat next to a flight attendant on the plane ride to Seattle. Watched him eat about a dozen Oreos on a half-hour flight.

Plane ride from Spokane to Seattle

02/13/20 – Realized carrying a laptop and five school books gets pretty heavy, and deodorant is probably still a good idea even if you’re packing light.

Airport in Korea

02/14/20 – Landed in Manila, the Philippines.

Streets of Manilla

02/16/20 – Told my cousin to chuck a roast bird across the room during my grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration. She questioned my sanity. Passed out in the middle of taking pictures.

02/17/20 – Went to a cool restaurant in Antipolo City with some of the cousin gang. Ate fried squid and watched live performers.

Swipe right to hear the live performers.

02/18/20 – Got my hair highlighted for cheap. Realized why it was cheap.

02/20/20 – Rode a pedi cab. Drank coconut juice from the coconut like a real local.

Pedi Cab in Manilla

02/21/20 – Got serenaded by two guys in the restroom. That was weird.

02/22/20 – Had the best sushi in my life. Hung out on the beach.

Beach in Manilla

02/23/20 – Bought deodorant.

02/24/20 – Landed in Korea after a 14 hour flight. Couldn’t feel my ankles due to extreme swelling. I guess I’m old now.

02/25/20 – Home, Sweet Home.

Seattle to Spokane Flight

02/28/20 – Got my hair fixed.

03/01/20 – Helped my friend push her vehicle out of the police parking spot on campus. It wouldn’t shift to reverse. I told her parking there for a minute was a bad idea.

03/02/20 – Bought compression socks for my trip to New York City.

✌️Cheers y’all! I guess this is my travel year.

P.S: I promise more pics of the Philippines to follow 🙂

Hello, World

It’s 8 p.m. and I’m sitting at my table just marking off the 3rd of my 10 item to-do list. The water pump isn’t working so I’m currently quenching myself with LaCroix and waiting for it to feel late enough to hit the sack. And as I wait here, I wonder what drives me. And what am I willing to walk fire for. And what I’m willing to give up.

As time ticks by, bringing closer the arrival of a new year, I think back to my goals, how high I’d set them, and how much I’d hate myself for not finishing up.

But is it the goals

Or is

it

the Moments

Or is it

a

b a l a n c e d

mixture

of

Both

?

To Everything There is a Season

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As I drive out this morning and see the fog for the first time since summer, greeting the arrival of fall, I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1:

For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven.

We don’t know what this new season may hold, but we know Who holds it and can trust everyday and everything to Him because He cares for us. We can endure anything, because He accomplished everything! (Philippians 4:13)

Happy fall!