Friday, May 31, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 151

I found a new account to subscribe to on YouTube! Bored Shorts TV. They record children acting out a scene and then have adults mouth what they're saying. Just watch, you'll get it, and laugh your head off.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

The Cave Singers - Swim Club

Thursday, May 30, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 150

In June of 2010, a photographer spotted Keanu Reeves sitting on a park bench eating a sandwich. In one shot, Keanu looks devastated and dejected for no apparent reason, but the picture went viral, and Sad Keanu was born.

I wanted to copypasta the whole story of 'Me and Sad Keanu' from Mashable here, but it's too long, so I've attached a few hilarious pictures for you.

Alexis Madrigal took Sad Keanu to the grocery store to see if he wanted some fruit.

He then took Sad Keanu on a trip to find something else to make him happy.

He suggested that Sad Keanu hang out in a garden.

He said that Sad Keanu should stop and smell the flowers.

But Sad Keanu was so, so sad. He couldn't even get out of bed.

How did the rest of Sad Keanu's day go? Did he ever find something to make him happy? Find out here!

Song of the Day - TBT

A couple of years ago, in the spring, I was seeing a guy who introduced me to The OC. We watched the first season together, but then we broke up. It was totally okay and I wasn't too mad, because I'm grateful he introduced me to one of my favorite shows.

I LOVE The OC. I love the Cohen parents, Seth Cohen (like, a lot), Alex Kelly, and Marissa Cooper, but only a little.
This song played during the last episode of the first season. It was the perfect song for the clip, and this song always reminds me of that part in the season, full of romance and new beginnings.

Finley Quae - Dice

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 149

I think it's about time for some more funny cat pictures!

Still need more?! Check out my first set of funny cat pictures!

Song of the Day

This song was featured in this video by Casey Neistat, one of my favorite videos by him. It's a cool song. Jam on!

Koudlam - See You All

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 148

This is the lovely introduction to The Feather Room. Oh how I love Anis Mojgani's writing.

If there is a room inside of me
with your name written in it
the language it is written is a lovely one.

One of figs and birds
and beaches the color of butter.
The walls blue, and at least one of them
made from nothing but windows
Another has shelves of speckled stones.
The light pours across the floors
and the trees outside
burn with song.

Song of the Day - Covers

As you might know, I'm obsessed with Lana Del Rey. I think she is flawless and her music is so dreamy and sultry. This Hannes Fischer Radio Edit is amazing, take a listen.

Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness

Monday, May 27, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 147

Check out How To Be Well-Traveled, Part I.

How To Be Well-Traveled, Part II
By Yann Rousselot

Now you have established yourself as a well-traveled kid, it's time to push on. Teenhood beckons. Keep in mind: when things get ugly, you can always move to another country. The great thing about being a teenager is reinventing yourself, and the great thing about being a nomadic teenager is you won't have the shadow of personal history or long-term friends to remind you of who you used to be. You can be anything you want: a snowflake, an astronaut, even a writer. Be a Goth, be a Rapper, better yet, be a Rebel because that is the absolute best way to make new friends in the teenverse.

Change school systems, fail, go back a year, feel completely outsmarted by kids two years younger than you. Be home-schooled. Watch your siblings excel. Watch your siblings cry from the pressure of academic achievement. Watch your mother cry from the pressure of expat parenthood. Watch your father drink single-malt whiskey that comes in bottles that come in wooden boxes.

Remember there are so many more deserving people than you who have reached stratospheres of suffering you cannot begin to understand. You've seen them, live and uncut. Stop complaining.

Hit puberty in an African country so recently post-conflict that there are landmines and buried weapon caches peppering the fields only a few miles from the city limits. Change school systems. Evolve, adapt and adopt the in-language. Make friends with exapt brats that hail from the four corners but feel like locals in a small town you all grew up in together. Hunt lizards, wrestle the dog, play Super Nintendo and scream like a banshee when the power cuts and you have to start over. Bike around the city on scorched, yielding tarmac. Be grounded by your furious, un-cool Mom for biking out into the streets downtown at night where 'white children are kidnapped all the time.' Bribe the night guard so he lets you sneak out to a house party where you binge on candy and soda and slow dance to Boys 2 Men. Smoke a cigarette. Play Spin the Bottle. French kiss a beautiful cafe-au-lait girl with a birthmark on her face and feel elated when she says, 'You're very good at this,' in Portuguese. Watch her little face recede as you leave for the airport a few weeks later, waving stoically. Never see her again.

Keeping a stoic face as you meltdown inside is a skill you will be able to use time and time again. Treasure and cultivate it.

Go to boarding school. Meet the children of industrial tycoons, former presidents and European gentry. Feel and act filthy rich even though you are not and this school is costing your parents their retirement dreams. Go off the deep end. Start smoking rollies. Start smoking hashish and saying yes to everything. Skip your classes chronically. Drink Tequila one night till you fall over and break your tailbone. Start wearing t-shirts with the word 'Fuck' on them. Have a damn good time, overspend and learn to motocross. Try to have sex. Try harder. Develop a reputation as the crazy, reckless kid who'll go for any double-dare. Ask for trouble. Get it. Get beaten up. Get shot with an air rifle, a paintball and a slingshot. Experience the true meaning of the phrase, 'what goes around, comes around.' Laugh about it hysterically, a real-world learning experience.

Get thrown out of boarding school, still a virgin, but cured of that ridiculous assumption that you somehow deserve to be happy just because you are you. You have to work for it, just like everyone else.

Move into a tiny house in a small Northern European town near a mountain range where everyone is blond. Share bedrooms with your snoring siblings as the money is 'tight' right now. Learn that culture shock goes both ways. Hate your passport country. Hate your other passport country which you visit during the holidays. Hate your parents. Hate your siblings. Try to kill yourself, but not really, it's just a phase. Develop a mean streak and a mocking laugh. See your mother cry as you are arrested for bringing a knife to school - it was just a joke, but the other kids didn't find it funny. Have a mental breakdown, you earned it. Vow to change.

Move to a densely-populated Asian megalopolis. Inhale the miasma of sweat, spices and unfiltered diesel fumes and smile. It's your first day on this continent. You are home. Wipe the slate clean with bleach and acetone.

Watch your parents settle into a contented middle-age relationship and feel like a perfectly normal family unit. Excel at school, even at mathematics, the foreign language that always eluded you. Have a girlfriend you don't really like, but at least you aren't a virgin anymore. Learn to make the best of what you have. Learn to make Biryani. Learn that your life truly has been a privilege. Feel privileged. Take a graduation trip to a trendy beach resort in Asia with the best friends of your life and have the best time of your life. Feel special. Watch 'The Beach' and feel completely unoriginal.

Repatriate to your passport country to begin the grownup life and start to feel like the past 18 years were a vivid fever dream. Your BFFs are now green dots in a Gchat list but your door is forever open to them and there will always be a spare room or sofa-bed for you on the other side of the world. Polish your global-nomad anecdotes, but don't brag -- it's a fine line. Make new, long-lasting friends and maybe even fall in love. Begin to unearth the actual person under the shape-shifting surface of your persona. Discover that there are worse things than being unoriginal. For example, thinking yourself too original to connect with the people around you. Come to terms with the fact that, now that you are well-traveled, you'll have to learn to be well-adjusted, and that, my friend, is the tricky part.

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

I was late on the Pitch Perfect bandwagon and didn't see the movie until months after it was popular. I loved it, along with every other girl on Earth, and soon became obsessed with 'the cup song.'

Anna Kendrick - Cups

Sunday, May 26, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 146

I moved into my new apartment today! Eek! I was so excited to move. As much as I loved my old house, I needed a change. Check out some pictures from my new casa!

This is the living room. Well, the whole place is basically a big living room. I live in a one-bedroom apartment. Ryan and I went dumpster smuggling one day this weekend and found a bunch of free things, such as the red couch! Don't worry, we vacuumed and Febreezed it before we sat down on it.

Here is my tiny, tiny kitchen! I love it so much though. It's just so small and cute. And yes, I do have Christmas lights in my kitchen.

My mom found this perfect kitchen table at Love, Inc in Burlington last year, and Ryan found four really great kitchen chairs in a dumpster by his apartment! What a steal...literally.

Here is the view from the bedroom door. This chair looks like it belongs in an old folk's home, but it's from my neighbor who was giving it away. It's incredibly comfortable. I'm keeping it forever, until I live in an old folk's home. The door behind it leads into a tiny bathroom.

This is my bedroom! The space is twice as big as the picture, but there isn't anything too special about it except for two closets.

That black headboard above? Yeah, Ryan also found that in a dumpster.

This is my first time living in an apartment, alone! I lived in an apartment in Dublin, but I also had three roommates who had their own rooms, so that doesn't count. I love having my own space where I don't hear noisy roommates or dogs barking constantly. 

Simba and I love it here so much, and we'd love to have guests over! I currently have 13 chairs in my house, which means I could basically have a party, but I don't have that many friends. So, if you're one of my close friends, come visit me! I'll make you tea and let you play with Simba.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 145

Things that make me happy, Part III
Be sure to check out Part I and Part II!

Guinness. I only drink it because it reminds me of Dublin.

Pretty knock-off Lilly Pulitzer earrings from Etsy.

Online ads that know exactly what I'm doing.

The 'Hey Girl' meme

I was looking through the pictures on my phone and found this gem.

Cute kitten pictures

Friday, May 24, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 144

While I loved living in my little white house on Starin Road, it was time for me to move to a new place. Here are some pictures of the JAK house (which was named that because of the three women who lived there - Jamie, Abby, and Kelsey. Clever, huh?).

This is my room! I lived on the second floor overlooking Starin Road.

This was the coolest room I've ever lived in. I loved the angled walls.

Pardon the mess. I was packing up and suddenly decided I should take pictures of the inside of my house.

Silly Simba loved laying in the bathroom.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

I'm not a fan of Rihanna's music at all...except for this song. I love this song. I suggest you give it a listen. It's not like any of Rihanna's other, more popular music. It's slower, sad, and very sultry. I also suggest skipping ahead to :35 to avoid the weird beginning. 

And apparently in Havana, Cuba, it's cold enough to wear a long skirt but hot enough to wear a bikini top. Ohh, RiRi, your fashion sense is out of this world.

Rihanna - Stay

Thursday, May 23, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 143

I have a cat. An orange one.

His name is Simba.

He has fully contributed to me becoming a crazy cat lady. But he is my sunshine and the light of my life.

Here are some pictures from when Simba was just a baby.

Song of the Day - TBT

I couldn't resist. This song was all the rage when I was in high school, and it's still a favorite of mine.

Eagle-Eye Cherry - Save Tonight

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 142

Here is another great poem by Anis Mojgani, taken from The Feather Room. I think this piece is lovely and romantic. It makes me want to move to Antarctica.


I loved a girl who moved to Antarctica.
She writes me sometimes.
She tells me about the naked beasts that are there
and the orchards that grow under the snow,
how the fruit tastes sweeter after digging it out of ice.
Her hands freeze from the digging
but the fruit tastes sweeter.
She writes,
Did you know
there is a fish here called the Ice Fish? They don't have any red blood
so nothing to carry the oxygen around.
They have clear blood and you can see right through their scales.
At the start of winter, Antarctica's ice expands
40,000 square miles a day -- did you know that?
And that there is a breed of small white snow deer
that bury themselves in the banks at the volcano's base,
and in the morning, crow to the light?
I would like to keep one here with me.
The red igloo she sleeps in
is shared with three others.
They sleep in bunks.
The inside walls are of old polished wood she tells me,
like her grandfather's house in San Francisco.
She keeps a plant in the kitchen
and drinks cups of tea all day long,
writing by the small window.
The penguins here play a game similar to bowling
where a bunch of them stand in a group
and one of them slides down the hill at the others
to see how many he can knock over.
This is very funny to watch.
She likes it there all right.
There are many times though, when she is lonely.
She says there is a part of her
that claws in how heavy alone she at times becomes.
I am lonely sometimes.
It's like an ocean of black oil
and the part of me that is all that I was before
is a white stone
sinking slowly in the ocean.
I don't really know what I am anymore.
What am I doing?
I miss the afternoon.
It is only ever morning or night here.
There are evenings when the beasts howl so much
that the loneliness goes away.
But other nights where the howls only cause her to sink more.
She misses her animals back home.
She writes lists,
lists of anything--
the names of past pets.
The places she wants to see before she dies.
All the streets she has lived on.
She stays up late
smoking cigarettes,
writing letters to nobody.
The ones she sends to me
I keep inside a fireproof box.
I mail gloves and scarves to her,
hold blankets like horses,
and board planes for clear water.

Song of the Day

If you were to ask me what I've been listening to the past few weeks, it would be this song. On repeat.

Adrian Lux - Teenage Crime

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 141

Graduation was on Saturday. I woke up around 9 to cars honking and graduates laughing as they strolled past my house. I sat with Simba, creeping on my peers out the window that faces Starin Road.

To be honest, I was a little sad seeing graduates walk to the Fieldhouse with their robes flowing behind them, their tassles on their caps blowing in the wind. I'm a senior, I could have been in that graduating class if I really wanted to, but I changed my major and minor about a million times, I studied abroad for a semester, and I also took some silly classes that had no relation to my major, including Ballet and Spanish. I really could have graduated on time, but I'm glad I'm not. I'm happy I'm taking a victory lap. I'm not ready to get into the real world yet!

This article is in honor of how I'd love to stay in college for the rest of my life.

1. Gossiping. I'm sure a year ago people would have really cared if you had heard the latest, juicy gossip about a fellow classmate. I'm sure you would have relished the moment if you had been the one to bring the breaking news that the high school quarterback was actually into the other jocks. But you're in college now and the first rule of college is that no one gives a sack who does what. Stop gossiping and get back to studying, slag!

2. Relying on your parents to fix simple issues. One of the incredible things about college is that you're now 18 or older, and the law treats you as such. Calling your parents, begging them to talk to a professor about your 'totally undeserved' failing grade, or to call university housing to file a complaint about an obnoxious roommate will just get you a few chuckles. If I had a dollar for every time a parent called me at my job to complain on behalf of their little Timmy or Sarah, I'd have a whole new wardrobe courtesy of Burberry. Mmkay?

3. Going home every weekend. During freshman year, I thought it would be an awesome idea to go home and visit my significant other every single weekend. There will be times that you miss your parents, your BF/GF, or your cat, and will want to rush home to see them every chance you get. Don't.

4. Expecting you and your roommate to be BFFs. This is a common mistake most freshmen make, myself included. I expected my freshman roommate and I to go to the gym together and get wasted at parties together and just be best pals forever. Well, I was wrong, and there is a 75 percent chance that you'll be wrong, too. Halfway through the year when all your goldfish go missing and your roommate sneaks a ball python into your room, you'll be whispering to yourself, 'I hate this guy.' It happens, babies.

5. Being close-minded. People are gay. People wear strange hats and rainbow tights that you just won't understand. People will have breakdowns in front of you. People will vomit on or  near you. If you come to college with the mentality that you're a special little snowflake, and that your way is the only way that matters, you're in for a rude awakening.

6. Obsessing about the Freshman 15. It seems to me that as soon as people enter college, they fall victim to the fear of becoming super far. Sure, some people do gain weight once they enter college. Too much beer and McDonald's and not enough carrots are the perfect storm for an epic gut. However, hitting up the gym six days a week and ignoring the pizza bar based just on your fear of the Freshman 15 is silly. The dining hall's pizza is disgustingly greasy, and as far as I can remember, absolutely delicious.

7. Treating college like a giant party. This is the part where I stand on my soapbox and preach. Listen, you and your parents don't pay a ton of money for your college for you to get obliterated on Mike's Hard Lemonade every night. If you realize you're going out four of the seven days of the week, you need to reevaluate your life. You're here to learn something, and I hope you learn something other than numerous sex positions and the fact that you have an intolerance to tequila. You don't need a degree for that.

Speaking of staying in college forever (well, at least for this summer), I'm interning with Career & Leadership Development this summer. I decided to stay in Whitewater this summer, and when Laura asked me to work this summer, I happily obliged. My office moved, too! I'm now IN Career & Leadership Development. I'm pretty excited, but I think I'm more excited about the fact that I get two computer screens.

Song of the Day - Covers

This was originally produced in 1964, sung by Cy Grant, and many covers have been made of it. This one is my favorite.

Michael Buble - Feeling Good

Monday, May 20, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 140

This is pure gold. For anyone who has trouble washing their cat, watch this. It all makes sense.

Song of the Day - Music Video Mondays

This music video is so darn cute. The singers are in suspenders jumping on Pogo sticks, riding on old fashioned bikes with fruit in their baskets, sitting in trees playing music, and then doing a bunch of other fun activities. How hip. Do they remind you of the Beatles, or is it just me?

Paper Lions - Travelling

Sunday, May 19, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 139

When I was packing away those books from yesterday, I found this one, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, written by Katie Couric. I bought this one last summer, too, in Mackinaw City. I like how there are different sections, such as about happiness, hard work, mentors and commitment. This passage stuck out to me, and reminded me of my mentor, which I wrote about at the bottom of this post.

Open the Door and Let the Light In
By Billy Joel

     I started taking piano lessons at the age of five, and I loved it. I loved music, singing, and playing the piano. In 1964, when I was fourteen, I joined a band. It was the same time the Beatles came out. I saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show and had an epiphany: That's what I want to do.
     The trouble was, I had no idea how to do it, or whether it was even possible.
     The grew up in a blue-collar town called Hicksville, Long Island, which was basically a junction on the Long Island Rail Road line between the North Shore and the South Shore in Nassau County. It was close to Levittown, a big postwar housing development where all the GIs bought homes. They could put forty dollars down and buy a house.
     People in my town didn't become movie stars or musicians. they went into the service, or they got jobs working in defense industries or whatever work they could find locally. I didn't know anyone who was in the entertainment industry. The other guys in my band had plans to go to college or work or into the service. Nobody had a plan to continue as a musician, so I had no one I could talk to, and I was a bit stymied.
     My mother knew I loved music and she was very supportive of my efforts in the band, but she was concerned I wouldn't be able to make a living. Most parents would be. Being a musician is kind of like walking on a high wire without a safety net. If you fall, there's nowhere to land except the hard ground.
     But my chorus teacher, Chuck Arnold, changed everything for me.
     It was my sophomore year. I used to cut class to go to the auditorium and play the big grand piano they had on the stage. The auditorium was rarely used--just for assemblies and theatrical productions--so I pretty much had it to myself.
     Little did I know that Mr. Arnold, teaching nearby, overheard me playing the piano.
     Now, I was kind of faking the pieces I was playing. I took lessons from age five to about sixteen, but I didn't really know how to read music very well. I was playing by ear. I would fake Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Chopin on the piano for my own amusement.
     It beat the crap out of going to class.
     One day, Chuck Arnold opened the door and poked his head in when I was playing.
     'You know, I'm supposed to report you for cutting class, but I gotta tell you, your piano playing is a sign of great talent,' he said.
     He told me I wasn't really playing the pieces correctly, but he knew I was getting the essence of them just by ear. I guess there's a certain degree of difficulty in doing that.
     At first, I thanked him for not reporting me. But then I told him I really wanted to be able to make a life in music, however, other than becoming a teacher, I didn't know how to do it.
     He told me I should seriously consider becoming a professional musician.
     This was a eureka moment because no adult had ever said anything like that to me. I had a great deal of respect for this teacher. He really knew his stuff. I took that advice to heart and made the decision right at that moment: 'That's what I'm going to do.'
     Prior to that, I had only been given bad advice: 'Don't go there,' or 'You'll never make it. You'll get your head lopped off. You'll fail, and you'l fall.' There were thousands of naysayers, but that one piece of advice, that once adviser, opened the door and let the light in. It changed my life.
     I dedicated my first album to Chuck Arnold.
     He now lives in Colorado, but we had a reunion of sorts back in 1989. On my album Storm Front there's a song called 'Leningrad.' I needed a Russian chorus to sing a Russian melody, so I contacted Chuck Arnold and asked him if he would consider directing a choral piece with the high school chorus. He agreed to, and brought them to a recording studio in New York City. They are on the recording of 'Leningrad.'
     I'm not sure if I ever told Chuck Arnold how important he was to me. I don't know that I ever put it in so many words. I might have said 'Thanks for the advice' back in the day, but I don't know if he really understands how much that advice meant to me.
     Today, if a young person asked for my advice, I would say, 'Follow your dream.' It's really the advice Mr. Arnold gave to me. If you don't follow your passion, you're not living the life the way you should. As difficult and impossible the odds may seem, if you're not doing what you love, you're wasting your time.
     I have a job that I love and really haven't worked a day in my life because of it. There's a great deal of effort that goes into it, of course. It's not easy.
     But the love gets you through.

When I was in 8th grade, one of my favorite school years, I had this awesome writing teacher, Mrs. Geyso. She was bubbly and funny and just the right amount of hyper. She collected pens of all sorts. She was my favorite teacher, my mentor, and what Chuck Arnold was to Billy Joel, but of course, I didn't know it at the time.

Mrs. Geyso had us write a couple of pages in our journals each week. She would read them, or not, if you didn't want her to. I always had her read my entries.

The amount of pages we had to write wasn't much, maybe five or ten pages. But I always wrote more. I would write up to 20 pages or more each week! They would be pointless writings, of course. Nothing life-changing. They were silly. Just observations, dreams, and ideas. I never thought anything would come of it. I enjoyed writing, but I was only 14, I mean, like there was no way I was actually good at writing!

During one of the parent-teacher-student conferences during my 8th grade year, my parents and I sat down with all of my teachers in one of the empty classrooms. My science teacher, Mr. Gesteland, was there, and my reading teacher, Mrs. Henry, was there, along with others. They all went over how I was doing in each of their classes, and when it was Mrs. Geyso's turn, she presented my colorful journal and told my parents I had a talent for writing. I had a talent!

Her comment changed everything I thought about who I was and why I loved to write. My favorite teacher told me I had a talent?! Well that must be true, then! I looked up to Mrs. Geyso so much. She made writing seem so fun and easy. From then on, I kept a journal. I have dozens of journals sitting on the shelf at my parent's house getting dusty. I look back at them from time to time, and I always laugh at what my former self had to say about life back then.

My Chuck Arnold was Mrs. Geyso. I remember that conference almost a decade later and can still feel the empowerment and encouragement from my teachers and parents. I have her to thank for my passion for writing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 138

The worst thing that happened to me this weekend was coincidentally the best thing that happened. 

The internet at my place went out last night. It's a long story (okay, it's not, but I'm just too lazy to explain the situation) but basically, I've never felt so lost and alone in my life (this may be an exaggeration). The first thing I do when I wake up is turn on my computer, and the last thing I do before I go to bed is turn off my computer. Call me obsessed with technology, a nerd, anti-social, whatever you want, I don't care. But do know that I manage four blogs, three Twitter accounts, three Facebook accounts, and two Pinterest accounts.

Anyway, as I was bawling my eyes out because I couldn't use my laptop to its fullest potential, I started packing up some of my stuff (I'm block away). I started in one corner of the room and packed up my books first, when I came across this thin poetry book.

I bought this book last summer. As you might know, Anis Mojgani is my favorite poet. Here is one of his poems.

At Eight

the hummingbirds buried themselves in my belly my eyes swallowed up the evening a swarm in the hazy sunlight of dusk buzzing silently bringing the bones of their beaks out the bushes in the backyard our house was made of wood but stood on bricks standing on the back steps I saw myths or gods childhood or all three taking shape together from the green feathers carving figure eights inside the sunset a million wing beats the blood kept rushing from knees to feet to skull like a secret I stood on the stairs too fragile to move screen door held open by little fingers all but my heart had forgotten how to breathe I was water turned solid the sun on the other side of the trees undressed itself brightly into the approaching night its flocks of fingers beckoned

Friday, May 17, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 137

Thanks, Mashable, for this awesome article about a little girl who stole some sticks from Yosemite park and then wrote a cute letter about it. My favorite part? 'Please put them in nature.'

A Yosemite Junior Ranger took a couple sticks from the national park - a no-no, according to park policy - but remedied the situation by mailing a letter to the park rangers that included the swiped sticks. One of the park rangers shared the letter on Reddit with the caption, 'I am a ranger in Yosemite National Park and receive many letters from visitors. This is my favorite.'

The ranger said that he had been in touch with the girl's parents by email. He also plans to take photographs of the sticks at various places around the park and ask the adorably honest little girl to spot them.

Life lesson: Stealing is okay if you return what was stolen and write a really cute letter.

Song of the Day - Friday Favorites

This is the first song I heard by The Format and after I listened to it, I knew they were a great band. Give it a listen. It's peppy and cute and the perfect song to welcome summer, even though the meaning of the lyrics mean something else :)

The Format - She Doesn't Get It

Thursday, May 16, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 136

I found this yesterday and let me tell you, this kid is the cutest kid ever. Of COURSE he would be on Ellen. He's a mini Bruno Mars as well as Ellen's boyfriend. Adorable.

Song of the Day - TBT

Bill Withers - Lovely Day

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fun Facts About Yours Truly

I thought it would be fun to do a post about five things you might not have known about me! Like? Dislike? Tell me what you think!

1. I have an obsession with cereal. I eat cereal more than any normal human being should. My favorite cereals are Cinnamon Life, Special K with strawberries, Reese's Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Honey Bunches of Oats. The worst days are when I run out of cereal. So if you see me and I'm cranky, it's probably because I don't have any more cereal and therefore have nothing to eat when I get home from classes.

2. Ice cream is my favorite desert. I would take a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream or Mackinac Island Fudge over a piece of rich peanut butter swirl pie at a fancy restaurant any day.

I don't understand why some people are jealous when other people have to get their tonsils out and then get to eat ice cream for a week. You ALL have the power in the world to eat ice cream for a week too, AND your tonsils are just fine. 

3. I'm Native American. I'm not lying! My mom's ancestors were Native American, mostly from the Choctaw and Cherokee tribes. My Indian name is Lazy Bones.

The first time I found out that I was Native American was when I was applying for college. My dad told me to mark my ethnicity as American Indian, because it was the truth, but mostly because it increased my chances of being accepted into college.

4. I only applied at UW-Whitewater. Well, okay, this one is a lie, because I did apply at UW-Madison, only because my dad and older sister are huge Bucky fans and they both thought I should go there, but I had my heart set on UW-Whitewater. (Why? It was close to home, only 45 minutes away, it had a great elementary education program, and it was the perfect size for my hermit self) I got my acceptance letter around Thanksgiving of my senior year of college, and by then I could care less about if UW-Madison wanted me or not.

5. My birthday is Christmas Eve. Pretty cool, huh? I always liked it. Christmas is my favorite holiday, so having my birthday a day before was the best thing ever. When I was growing up and when birthday parties were still cool, my mom made sure to throw me a birthday party a few weeks before my actual birthday, which I really appreciated. Then my close family would have a small party for me on my actual birthday.

My family would never get my presents mixed up, except for one time a few years ago when my mom mistakenly wrapped my birthday present with the Christmas presents, so I ended up not getting any presents on my birthday that year. Wah, wah. I sound like such a brat. #firstworldproblems

Here's a picture of my cute self Christmas many years ago, with my older sisters Cary and Beth.

365 Days of Happy - Day 135

I clicked on this article via Thought Catalog's Twitter because, let's face it, I'm not the most confident person. Is is that easy to be confident, in 7 simple steps? I thought. So I clicked. And it's become one of my favorite articles to date.

7 Steps To Being More Confident
By Ben Branstetter

1. Love Yourself. There's no liar bigger than your own mirror, your own scale, your own bank account. The numbers do not lie; where the mistrust comes is between the number and your eyes, your retina, your brain. Your lost illusion that these things can give you happiness, self-worth, and the love life you deserve should die off in a cape of sustained arrogance. Recognize your own accomplishments. Treat yourself like you want others to treat you.

2. Fund yourself. Take help when necessary, but realize what is necessary. Get off your family's cell phone plan. Buy your own drinks. Tithe to the Church of Savings. Don't simply prepare for the worst; act like it had already happened. Demand more from your work and relish in a job which demands more of you. Plan long. Keep leftovers. Pack a lunch.

3. Prepare yourself. Pick up jumper cables, a credit report, extra batteries, distilled water, antifreeze, he number of a free clinic, a money clip in your glove compartment, a list of jobs to apply for, renter's insurance, good friends, canned soup, a Costco membership, toilet paper in bulk, condoms, a coupon book, board games, candles, a lengthy novel, directions to the nearest ER, and an extra pair of underwear.

4. Treat yourself. Know what you want and fight for it. What you want is not to stare at your Newsfeed and think of quips to your ex's latest hobby. What you want is not watching House of Cards until Kevin Spacey is strangling you in your dreams (unless that's your thing). What you want is outside. What you want requires earning the respect of others, perhaps even people you do not respect. What you want is currently being guarded by a million rude bosses and lazy co-workers and douchebag friends who just want to smoke weed and watch Charlies Ramsey be auto-tuned. Go get it and love it. Only be disappointed if it came easy.

5. Work yourself. Ignore the sweat on your brow, the wrinkle in your brain, the synapses of annoyances being fired off like artillery shells. Work is good. Work leads to fun. Work smothers the feeling you should be doing something else instead of nothing because you are doing something. Do it because you need to. Do it because you can't stand owing anyone money. Do it because the relief of standing on your own foundation is second only to resting afterwards.

6. Teach yourself. You will forget reading this. You will forget the next thread on Reddit or the latest news article telling you someone did something in Syria and it's bad. Take notes. The mere action of translating the world through your own eyes forces them a tad deeper into your mind. Keep a journal when watching the new, when visiting museums, when talking to the mechanic. Knowledge does not seep into you; it is water and you are oil. Do not emulsify yourself from the world.

7. Better yourself. Go running. Floss. Drink more water. Take vitamins. Buy food that does not come in a box. Do push-ups. Wake up at an AM hour. Do not sleep away your weekends. Stop Googling that spot on your arm. Read books. Learn an instrument. Think of others. Stop blaming other people. Stop blaming yourself. Turn your strengths against your weaknesses. Turn your hatred of every missed word or tarnished day into the next. Do not merely need to do better; actually do better.