Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 4: Favorite Quote

Day 4: Happiness 

This is something that my mom and I have reminded each other of over the years whenever we need it. It has led us to start emailing each other every night or morning with 5 things that have made us happy that day. Things as little as a morning cup of coffee or as big as an upcoming trip to Paris, there is something every day to smile about, to get out of bed for, to go to sleep thinking of. There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy.

Day 3: Things That Make You Uncomfortable

Day 3: The Story of Crowds

Especially during a week of finals craziness, when I'm a little extra stressed and a little bit more sleep-deprived, crowds can really make me uncomfortable.

Though this is not all the time, for example, I enjoy living in a city, with the normal hustle and bustle, big groups of boisterous people can make me tense up immediately and can get really agitated, especially when someone gets in my way. For example, when walking home from the gym while a zombie-themed pub crawl marches by or at a concert when I'm contentedly listening to music and some tall guys decide that right in front of me is the optimal place for them to stand (I will not, however, tell you whether or not I tried to casually elbow the gentlemen in front of me... really I won't tell you. But, I will tell you that it wasn't my fault... It's an instinct!).

On the one hand, maybe this is a sign that I need to work on going with the flow. I recently read the book Paris in Love, by Eloisa James, and, though I can't find the exact quote, she wrote that sometimes in a big crowd, you need to think of yourself as a fish in a school of other fish. You can remind yourself that you don't need to breathe because you're a fish, and just follow your school through the choppy waters. On the other hand, however, I really do pride myself on my determinedness. Whether it's grocery shopping in a crowded store or listening to a concert, I definitely know what I want.

Other unrelated things that make me uncomfortable include...
     - Touching cheese. I absolutely love to eat it! but I don't like it on my hands.
     - Mismatched socks of different textures.
     - Spiders
     - Talking on the telephone (I'm working on this!)
     - Unwashed hands when they should be washed

Now I want to know... What makes you uncomfortable?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 2: Educate Us

Day 2:  How to Make a Smoothie

The basis of a good smoothie is frozen bananas. These provide the perfect creamy sweetness that is the foundation of this deliciousness. From here, you can go super simple (add some milk (soy, rice, almond or regular) a little vanilla, and voila), fruity and tart (think OJ and raspberries), extra healthy (like spinach), or extra dessert-y (this is where Nutella may come in). Cut your banana up (about one banana per smoothie is a good ratio) and put them in the freezer (don't wait to peel them until they're frozen) at least a day before you want to make your smoothie.

From here you can go a variety of directions, but your main components will be
        - banana
        - liquid: milk, orange juice, coconut water (add some plain yogurt for an extra kick)
        - fruits and vegetables: these can be frozen or fresh

Add liquid gradually until you reach the desired consistency

Here are some favorites...
Banana smoothie: frozen banana, milk, vanilla extract

Green smoothie: frozen banana, plain yogurt, orange juice, berries, fresh spinach

Strawberry banana: frozen banana, fresh or frozen strawberries, milk or orange juice

Extra sweet smoothie: frozen banana, fresh or frozen cantaloupe, soy milk

Make your own combinations and enjoy!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Blog Every Day in May

I'm a little behind on this, but after reading a few of these on different blogs (all inspired by Jenni, on Story of My Life), I am in love with this idea. Jenni came up with a list of 31 topics, one for each day in May. Her idea was that by writing every day, she would encourage herself and fellow bloggers to just write! It doesn't have to be perfect.

So, though I know that I will not actually be able to blog every day (hello 2 days in Hamburg and 4 days in Paris!) I will do my best to write.

Day 1: The Story of Your Life in 250 Words or Less 

Little, bald Isabel (age 1)

Five years at an alternative elementary school provided me with an idyllic childhood: growing up surrounded by creativity, encouragement, and hugs from my friends and teachers; hours spent running through the woods, splashing in streams, catching frogs; devouring books; championing imagination; sitting outside learning to write poetry about nature; never learning to stand silently in a straight line. I endured my awkward preteens through my public middle school, before transferring to a private, all-girls high school in the next town over. It was there that I learned to push myself to do the best that I could, while also experiencing the dissatisfaction that came with a life jam-packed with only academics. The summers, however, were sprinkled with travel experiences--Italy, Canada, the Republic of Georgia--which led me to do my first semester of college abroad in London, and again study in Europe two years later in Copenhagen. It was in through this that I finally began to understand the importance of balance: as much as a loved challenging myself to succeed, true happiness for me comes with the perfect mixture of work and play.

As a lifelong student, I have been shaped by my experiences surrounding school. Because of my childhood, I have always challenged authority, stubbornly refusing to respond to if I didn't feel cared about, refusing to memorize instead of deeply understand; I crave community, feeling most myself when I am around people I love; I feel revitalized by nature and sunlight and the outdoors; I love to read; and I constantly come back to daydreaming about my creative passions. In high school I learned to work hard, to push myself to the brink, because I knew that I could handle it. In college, I finally began to learn that I am made whole by a balance of my passions, a truth that I am still in the process of realizing.