Hi Friends! March is here and springtime is on its way! I just wanted to start by reminding you all that life is wonderful, beautiful, and worth celebrating!
I think it's safe to say that I've learned a few things in the short time I've been living on my own and going to school, (don't worry mom and dad) and lately I've been thinking a lot about one subject in particular: happiness.
Happiness seems like such a simple concept to grasp doesn't it? Yet, sometimes it seems so far out of our reach. When life throws you a curve-ball, being happy often comes in last on your list of things to worry about. Believe me, we've all been there. But more importantly, we've all made it through there.
One of my favorite quotes goes like this, "Tough times don't last. Tough people do." Pretty accurate right? But for the purpose of this post, I think an acceptable revision of that quote could go something like this, "Tough times don't last. HAPPY people do."
Circumstances can definitely make life unhappy, but a big part of unhappiness comes from our own thinking, behaviors and habits.
With that in mind, I decided to share some daily thoughts/habits that I've found increase my level of happiness. I'm no expert, but I've seen a lot of unhappy people and I've even been an unhappy person myself. The key is to simplify. Life is complicated sometimes, but our attitude about life doesn't have to be. So, here ya go....
5 Ways to be Simply Happy
1.) Surround yourself with happy people. It becomes a lot harder to be happier if you let yourself be dragged down by negative voices. The people/things we surround ourselves with affect our way of thinking and living. Try replacing those negative voices with positive influences, and watch yourself become a positive influence to others because of it!
2.) Look for the good! I know I say that in basically every single post but I think it's so, so important. If you can't find at least one good thing in the world then you either live in a scary place or you aren't looking hard enough. (but probably the latter).
3.) Show kindness and gratitude. Smile at someone. Give a compliment. You never know the impact you can have on someone's day just by being friendly. Usually when you make someone else happy you'll be happy too. Also, saying thank you to someone or telling someone that you appreciate them is a great way to make others, and yourself, happier. Be grateful even for the little things in life. Example: *I am grateful for Peanut Butter because without it there would be no Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and the world would be a sad place.*
4.) Stop comparing yourself to others. (I should have put this one first, but here it is, comin' in hot at #4.) Remember, "comparison is the thief of joy." BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE! I wish I could tell each and every one of you how awesome you are because I don't think you hear it enough. But it's true. It doesn't matter what everyone else has or doesn't have, is or isn't. What matters is WHO YOU ARE and WHO YOU ARE BECOMING. You are special and don't need to be like anybody else. BE TRUE, BE YOU!
5.) Laugh. How weird would the world be without laughter? If I'm having a particularly hard day, I've found that one of the best ways to improve my happiness is to LAUGH. Tell a joke, watch a funny video, hang out with friends, get in a tickle fight, WHATEVER. Laughter can be the best medicine and cure your case of the blues.
I am a firm believer that everyone can achieve happiness, regardless of circumstance. The world shouldn't control our happiness. We should. If you find yourself feeling unhappy with your life, day, family, job, or whatever it may be, I challenge you to take a step back and simplify. Maybe even implement some of these 5 easy habits into your routine.
Do More Than Just Exist.
Simply Be HAPPY.
Wow I am officially a college student! Like, what is life right now.
Life is new and crazy and wonderful, that's what life is.
I haven't posted in a while, but in my defense I moved into my apartment last week and I've been pretty busy getting everything ready for school. But I'm back now to keep y'all in the loop with all of the new adventures I have playing volleyball here at DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY. And in case you were wondering, yes I am still tall and blonde and awkward. And yes, I am still the Queen of embarrassing myself in public. On the daily. More like the 'hourly' actually. (You thought I'd grow out of that? Yeah, me too.)
The first day of school was not what I expected at all. My math class lasted a solid 15 minutes and my Professor said, "okay get out now." when he excused us. So I had an extra hour to waste before my next class even started. Score. That's how almost all of my classes went. It was awesome. I was home by noon and had the rest of the day to just do whatever (and watch the Bachelor). I know the rest of the semester isn't going to be like that, but it was the best first day of school ever. Except for one thing...
So if I could describe the first day of school in one word, that word would most definitely be ....silent. I'm not even joking. Literally nobody said a word besides the teacher. And that didn't really fly with me because I'm a talkative person, in case you hadn't noticed. It was the weirdest thing to be in a room with 50 other kids and all you could hear was people breathing. I didn't say a single thing in any of my classes because I was afraid of what would happen if I broke the silence. It was totally yikes. So just a little disclaimer about college: Don't expect to meet all these new people and make all these new friends on the first day. Or the second. And probably not the first week either. But maybe you're braver than I am and that's awesome. Speak up! Or else you'll probably just be sitting there twiddling your thumbs and listening to the clock tick.
Anyways, college rocks and I'm just over here loving life in sunny St. George.
See ya next week!
Thanks for stopping by,
I'm graduating high school on Friday. I repeat...I'M GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL ON FRIDAY! And since I'm leaving early, I get to skip the actual graduation ceremony where for two hours kids who did well in school get to address the kids who didn't do so well in school, and *blah blah blah, throw your cap in the air because life has officially begun!*
..Just kidding I'll be back for Graduation because it's really one of those milestones in your life that you just shouldn't miss out on no matter how boring it may seem.
I can't believe that my time as a high school student is over. In less than a month I'll be studying and playing volleyball at Dixie State University. WHAAAAT?! It seems like just yesterday I was a little 7th grader whose biggest fear was P.E. class and not owning a pair of gauchos like all the rest of the cool kids did.
If only life was that simple...
Now we're all worried about how to pay for college, what to major in, how to separate laundry, and wondering how many packages of Roman Noodles and Mac-N-Cheese we can eat without gaining the "Freshman 15." *And if you're not to this point yet just wait..don't deny it. This is your life now.*
But amongst all of the change happening in my life, I decided it's time for my last list of advice concerning high school. Looking back, these are the things I discovered most useful in my down-hill descent towards early-graduation. I hope these life lessons will help you through your last bit of your high school career , the rest of your high school career, or your future high school career.
In your entire life, you can probably count your true friends on one hand-maybe even one finger. Those are the friends you need to cherish. I wouldn't trade one of them for a hundred of the other kind. I think I'd rather be completely alone than with a bunch of people who aren't real..people who are just passing time. PICK GOOD FRIENDS. I know I have.
2.) Making eye-contact with the principal while trying to ditch an assembly is the equivalent of making eye-contact with kindergartners as you drive past their lemonade stand. Don't do it. *Also, take the music hall...no one ever guards that one.*
3.) You will attend the same high school for three years and still not know half the people in it. Say hi to people. Be a friend. Don't just awkwardly avoid the people you pass in the hallway.
4.) Never park in the teacher parking lot or you'll suffer death by Mr. Binks.
5.) Watch out for the drinking fountain nozzle that is turned the wrong way. No matter how many times the janitor fixes it, someone always breaks it again. Make sure it's where it should be before you try to get a drink. Otherwise you'll end up with water all down the front of your pants.
6.) Upsetting the Seniors at the spirit bowl results in the most legendary moment in Spirit Bowl history! Seniors make sure you bring your A-game. *Long live the Juniors of 2015*
7.) Lesson #7 is super important: LET PEOPLE BE HAPPY, DANG IT! And more importantly, be happy FOR them.
8.) "Comparison is the thief of joy." Learn this lesson. ENGRAVE it in your mind. I know high school is a sea of comparison. But once you accept that comparing yourself to others in a waste of time...you'll be so much happier. BE TRUE, BE YOU.
9.) Apologize. To anyone you've ever wronged. Say you're sorry, no matter how long ago it was. Get over your ego and be the bigger person. Maybe all someone needed was an "I'm sorry."
Now, all of those things are important obviously. But it wasn't until just recently that I realized the very most important lesson of all.
Let's face it: we get caught up in things. New phones, new clothes, nice cars, cool songs. It's all new, new, new, new, new, gimme, gimme, gimme. And what happens when the NEWEST new thing comes out? We push all of those other things to the side and totally forget about them. Maybe it's an old phone, or maybe it's something bigger. What if it was a friend you pushed away? A family member? A tradition? A beautiful memory? All because you wanted to hold in your hands the newest, best, thing.
We get caught up in the crazy flow of the world and forget about what's really important. Sometimes life changes so fast, we get carried along without a backwards glance at where we were before. We celebrate the change, the fun, and the newness. What about where we came from? What about old friends, late nights, and good talks? What about LIFE? Doesn't that deserve to be celebrated too? All of the things that make us who we are...they're engraved into our very souls.
What would life be if it wasn't remembered or celebrated?
I know you've all been asked the question, "What if you were handed a book about your life? Would you skip to the end?"
Well, truth is that there should be no "what if." Your life is a book. A story that you create, cherish, and share with others. And in the past, in answer to that question, I would've probably said yes. I would skip to the end.
The high school years have caused me to rethink my answer...
I realized that I would be way too busy re-reading all of my favorite chapters to worry about if I end up being successful, or whether or not someone from One Direction falls in love with me.
And so, these last few weeks of high school have been spent reminiscing all of my favorite moments, good and bad. I am essentially "re-reading." I am getting way sentimental and weirded out about how fast it's gone by. I feel like it's well deserved. Aren't the little moments that make up our lives important enough to be remembered and held close to our hearts?
A good friend of mine recently made the comment, "The future is exciting for you because you have it all figured out..I'm still feeling my way through the dark." First of all, I just want to make it clear that no one ever has their future all planned out. Not even me. I may have the next 4 years down, but after that.....zip. Zilch. I got nothin'. Enjoy being young and don't worry about trying to grow up so fast. There will be plenty of time for that later.
Anyway, for those of you who feel unprepared, anxious, or afraid about the future... this final piece of advice is for you. Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide probably helped you out a lot, but this one is going to SAVE YOU:
THANKS FOR ALL THE MEMORIES.
STAY GOLD, SPRINGVILLE.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means in between stuffing your face with pumpkin pie and conjuring up ways you can make it through the holidays without getting a food baby, it's time to give thanks for the multiple of blessings in our lives. We're pretty good about being grateful for the basic things in life - family, food, health, etc - but sometimes we overlook all the things that make life totally AWESOME. You know, like a hot shower after a long day. Or the basket of bread your waiter brings to you that spoils your dinner but you don't even care because it's basically FREE. All I'm trying to say is this: there are so many random things to be grateful for every single day. It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving for you to have an attitude of gratitude. Read on to see a list of things we are all so thankful for, but don't always realize. Feel free to add your own in the comments!
Random things we are all thankful for:
We all have random things that just make our days better. It's hard to imagine our lives without some of these things, so why not be grateful for them?
Thanks for stopping by, friends!
I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with food, family, friends, fun, and fabulous turkey!
Have a great week! XOXO
To all of my fellow pumpkin-carvers, candy-lovers, fall-fanatics, and Halloween-ers (yep, that's a word) THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER, HALLOWEEN IS TOMORROW!!! So I hope you're all as excited as I am to get your Monster-Mash on.
But first, take a look at the do's and don'ts of trick-or-treating. This is something I consider myself an expert on, and I do not take the art of trick-or-treating lightly. My time for trick-or-treating has come and gone, but I am excited to share my secrets of success with you guys. You're welcome...
You now know all of the secrets to being a successful trick-or-treater. You are on a quest for multiple cavities worth of sugar, so GO ALL OUT! Have fun, dress up, and GO.GET.THAT.CANDY.
*ALSO, I had a lot of questions on how I did my Halloween costume. It was really easy and really cute, so for those who need a fun last-minute idea, here's how I did it.
May your weekend be filled with candy, good food, and good memories.
Hi friends! HAPPY END OF TERM!
As teenagers, sometimes it feels like we get the shaft in life. We work the majority of minimum wage jobs, we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other, we feel like we don't have enough freedom, we are up to our ears in homework, and everyday we deal with the constant struggle of coming up with the perfect Instagram caption. UGH.
Bottom line: life as a teenager is hard sometimes.
But amongst all of the hard times, you can bet there are some pretty rockin' good times too. Like the Friday night football games, the dances, the Sonic-runs, and the date you just nailed with someone you thought was totally out of your league.
Some people have the idea in their heads that our generation will be the death of humanity. And I know we've all heard our parents lecture us about how easy we have it because they had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. I'd like to see them try to survive the school parking lot, get to class before the bell, send a text without looking, and cram in some last minute studying..all at the same time. BOOM.
Being a teenager is not easy. Try walking by a group of giggling girls in the hallway and NOT automatically think they are laughing about you. (I don't know why, but it is impossible.)
I'm just here to give a round of applause to all of the teenagers out there, because I don't think that happens enough. We are not just some spoiled generation of technology addicts, (and if you are like that then stop making a bad name for the rest of us) WE ARE THE FUTURE! We will be teachers, soldiers, scientists, doctors, athletes, heck one of us will probably discover the cure to cancer! So be PROUD of who you are and who you can become.
THE WORLD IS OURS PEOPLE! Literally ours. So let's make it a successful, safe, loving, fun, and FREAKING AWESOME one. 👊🏼
And to all of the teenagers out there.. Keep up the good work.😊
Thanks for stopping by! XOXO
GUYS. It's been a month since I've blogged, but no worries because I'm back and big things are happening.
I've never felt qualified to give advice on anything unrelated to high school. Politics? No. Fashion? Not even. Music? Possibly. But I think I've got a pretty good handle on the whole "surviving as a teenager in the zombie apocalyptic place we call high school."
(But I also take the advice my fortune cookie gives me..so yeah. You can decide for yourself.)
Anyways, it has recently been brought to my attention the fact that while there are many rules of high school to abide by, there are also countless other UNWRITTEN rules of high school that you also have to abide by. So how do you keep it all straight? What is a written rule vs an unwritten rule? Well my friends, I give you...the definition.
*Unwritten rule: A rule, usually concerning social behavior, which is known by all but spoken by none.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, WHAT ARE THESE AFOREMENTIONED RULES?! You're in luck though because after discussing with some of my fellow classmates... I give to you...
THE UNWRITTEN RULES OF HIGH SCHOOL *may be partial to SHS*
Rule #1: YOU DO NOT TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE. Why do you think it's called that? Walk around it kiddos, walk around.
#2: Seniors get to stand on the fence at the football games, not juniors, not sophomores...SENIORS. Wait your turn.
#3: The speed limit may or may not be 25 mph on the road in front of the school. But during lunch you better be going AT LEAST 30 if you don't want hungry teenagers to start illegally passing you.
#4: While walking through the hallways, a nod of the head counts as a wave.
#5: You do not ask people younger than you to dances unless you are exclusively dating them. Think of how many senior girls sit at home because the boys all asked sophomores to prom....evil.
#6: After class, do not go 'in' the 'out' door. FOLLOW THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC! Don't try to cram your way through the door going the wrong way.
#7: Wearing headphones is code for: Don't talk to me.
#8: It is in no way, shape, or form necessary to passionately hug or kiss your significant other outside of the classroom door right before class. It's only an hour and a half, i promise you will make it. And by clogging up the doorway with your "love" you are only making everyone else late.
#9: "THE WALL." You know what I'm talking about: that wall of friends walking down the hall who just can't stand not walking by each other. Awkwardly, you try and maneuver around them, but you can't get by so you continue to awkwardly follow right behind them. DON'T BE A PART OF THE WALL.
#10: Spit your gum in the trash. Those of you who stick it in the drinking fountain...WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?! SWALLOW IT IF YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION BUT FOR THE LOVE DON'T STICK IT IN THE DRINKING FOUNTAIN!
#11: Don't just blurt whatever's on your mind out in class. It's very distracting and it gets old after a while.
#12: When winter comes and you can't see the parking lines, DO NOT BOX PEOPLE IN. Feel free to park diagonally, horizontally, or right in the middle, but please don't park behind someone who is already behind another car.
#13: If you are going to cross the street, please walk at a brisk pace. While you are taking your sweet time, others are late for school and backed clear the heck up by the Art's Park. *if you are not going to go fast, at least attempt the awkward half-jog across the street that provides the illusion that you are moving quickly.*
Well everyone, those are basic unwritten rules of high school. Love them, learn them, live by them, OBEY THEM. They are an essential part of survival.
Have a great week!
It's been a while since I've posted, so I hope things are going well in your busy lives just like they are in mine!
School is in full swing, (crying) and I know first hand how hard it can be to stay on top of everything. Sometimes it feels like life is throwing all it's got at ya! Above all, the most stressful part of a students life is knowing that the dreaded thing we call "Monday" is fast approaching. I know how you feel. You feel like Monday JUST happened, and there's NO WAY it can be happening again so soon. You feel like the long-awaited weekend is really just a time machine to Monday. You're thinking to yourself, "maybe if I just stay here in bed, Monday will leave me alone." Well, here's my advice to you: SNAP OUT OF IT! You do not need to fear Monday! Everybody gets overwhelmed at some point in their life, (including me) so I am here to share some useful tips on how to manage the stress of having a long, eventful week looming ahead of you. And yes, even how to survive the day-that-shall-not-be-named (aka Monday).
Here's what you've all been waiting for:
HOW TO SURVIVE UNTIL THE WEEKEND
1. THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION: don't get discouraged! If you do, then you have already failed for the week.
2. Keep a planner. I know it sounds way lame, but it has totally been my savior these past couple of years. If you just CAN'T bring yourself to break out a planner in front of your friends, use your phone for a reminder.
3. Try and finish your homework before the weekend. Don't save it all for Sunday night. You will have no motivation and your brain will probably explode.
4. Related to #3...if you want to be really awesome, do your homework on the day it's assigned. I know this is an unheard of concept for some of you, but it is possible. And a lot easier because then the information is still fresh in your brain.
5. Get a good night's sleep. Especially at the beginning of the week. It will help you have more energy throughout the day. (and if you don't procrastinate your homework until Sunday night, then you won't have to cram until 3 am and you'll get plenty of sleep. See how this is all connecting?)
6. EAT BREAKFAST! Food is great. Probably high on the list of top 10 greatest things EVER. So why deprive your body of it? I've heard all of the excuses as to why people skip breakfast. I understand. I am someone who can't eat early in the morning without getting sick, so for those of you who are like me here is some additional advice. Eat in the car. Or, bring an easy breakfast to school and eat it during class. Have some type of food in the morning to give you energy.
7. Give your body time to wake up. If you're one of those kids who rolls straight out of bed, into the car, and shows up at school looking like a zombie (you know who you are) then you'll most likely feel like a zombie the rest of the day. Wake up 5 minutes earlier than normal to give yourself time to get ready and be alert. It makes the day so much easier, trust me.
8. Last but not least, LOOK FOR THE GOOD! If you have a good attitude throughout the week (especially on MONDAY) and look for the positive things about each day then it will be easier to convince yourself that the week days don't ALL suck. For example, I have awesome lunch group on Monday, and Wednesday. Therefore, I do not completely hate Monday or Wednesday. Give it a try, it will work wonders.
I hope that this post will help make the week more enjoyable, and if nothing else, at least help you to SURVIVE until the weekend.
May your week be filled with good food, good friends, good laughs and good football.
Senior year is finally here!
..I repeat: SENIOR YEAR IS FINALLY HERE!
Which means that my Senior season of Volleyball has officially arrived! I've said it before, and I'll say it again...WHERE DOES THE TIME GO PEOPLE?!
I just wanted to share a little bit about my volleyball team and just have an appreciation moment for how awesome these girls all are. (*and by "share" i really mean "brag" because they are the BOMB*)
It is so, so rare to be able to put a group of teenage girls together and have them all be friends. And not just like nice-to-your-face-but-not-actually-nice-friends. We're all so different, but we're able to accept our differences and get along despite them. We genuinely like each other, and even spend time together outside of they gym. CRAZY, I know.
Here's a brief introduction to the girls on the team:
There's Carmen, who always helps me with my homework. Cass, who makes everything about volleyball look easy. Tiana has so much energy. Kaitlynn and Nicole can jump a gajillion feet in the air. Savannah is somehow positive and intense at the same time. Ana has the BEST legs I've ever seen. Tyree is amazing at literally every position. I'm pretty sure Erika has never said a mean thing to anyone EVER. Courtney is so kind and graceful. And then there's Ashlyn and Hannah, we like them because they are spunky and can freestyle rap. Any questions?
We had a team retreat this past week and spent the night in a cabin up Fairview Canyon. On our hike the next morning, our coaches gave us some time to think about teamwork. They asked us each to define the word teamwork, and then work together to come up with a solid definition that included everyone's ideas. We all agreed that teamwork is all about trust, positivity, and being there for each other. Team work is a term that everyone is familiar with, but not always capable of. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop not a group of individuals, but a single unit. I challenge you to think about your own definition of team work. And if you're on a team, what can you do to strengthen your bond with your teammates?
I am so lucky to have the opportunity to play on a team that is so driven, focused and fun. They make going to practice everyday and trying to do homework on the bleachers at a game totally worth it. So, shout out to my team (assuming that they're reading this..they better be) for always having my back, laughing at my lame jokes, telling embarrassing stories for hours, and for being some of the best friends I've ever had.
I can't wait to see what we accomplish this year!
Thanks for stopping by, friends.
Okay, so this post is dedicated to all the bookworms out there! I absolutely LOVE finding a new and exciting book so today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite reads from this summer (and just some of the must-reads I've come across). And I've even categorized them for ya😘
FAVORITE SUMMER READS(in no particular order☺️
For those who like the Sci-Fi stuff
For the Realistic-Fictioners (yep that's a word)
Books That Are Just DANG Good
I could probably go on for days about all of the awesome books there are.. But I think you get the picture! Seriously, reading is such an amazing thing! It's a chance to go on a special adventure, and travel to a different world without ever having to leave home. I've said this before, but it's like a freaking MOVIE INSIDE YOUR HEAD. How cool is that?!
I just love sharing my passion of reading with others, and I hope this list gives you some good ideas of what book to pick up next! And if you want to share a favorite book of yours with me just comment the title and author. I'd love to read some new ones!
Thanks for stopping by, friends. And happy reading!
Welcome! I'm Amanda. Lover of music, family, sports, FOOD, and fitness. I firmly believe that a little kindness goes a long way and that everyone has something of value to share with the world. I can tell we're gonna be friends.