all things bright and beautiful

life is a maze, and love is a riddle

Peppermint lavender herbal tea, amaretto and chambray macarons. #100happydays #day19

Old Habits Die Hard

Growing up in the little town of Webster, NY was….boring. I know a lot of people starting in their early 20s begin to appreciate their childhood and *gasp* dare I say…miss it? Well, not me. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because it really wasn’t all that bad, but now that I’ve had a taste of freedom and adulthood, I wouldn’t go back for an extended period of time. I’m actually home right now, and I find that every time I come home on break I regress back into those childhood/teenage years. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

One of the worst (…best…) habits I had in high school was going to Webster Plaza with my best friend, starting at Barnes and Noble, and literally taking the full day to browse the whole plaza and end up at Kohls. The route was something like….

Barnes and Noble- Dick’s- Famous Footwear- Target- Old Navy- TJmaxx- Sally’s- Claires- Coldstone- Ulta- Joann Fabric’s- PetSmart- Bed Bath and Beyond- Kohls. 

I realize now as I write down all those store names that we were crazy and that is a whollllllle lot of shopping. But honestly, it’s the only thing to do in Webster! So when my parents yell at me for my shopping addiction, I always think to myself…it was a necessary measure to maintain sanity in this little town… 

I’m back in Webster for spring break, which is a week long. I have 3 more days of break, and I have already been to the plaza 3 times. Today, I had to run some errands at the post office and the bank, then decided to take a spin around the plaza for fun. Here are a few things I picked up!

This is my third bento box. I’ve had two before (all from TJMaxx) that didn’t work out too well because they were hinged, which made cleaning it up too messy. I grabbed this one because the two white flaps on either side come up to release the lid, kind of like a lock-n-lock. I also really need to start bringing my lunch to class with me, because getting lunch on campus is time-consuming and way too expensive! Due to midterms last week, I ate out for lunch every day, averaging about $8 per lunch…that’s $40 spent on unhealthy overpriced junk food!

I also picked out this little nail polish set by Ellen Tracy. It’s really rare for me to get sets of nail polish because I rarely like all of the colors in the set, but I like all of these! I tried on the muddy purple/gray color, second in from the left. I love this neutral muddy color! Better wear it before spring comes and all the pastels and brights come back into season…

The rest of the things I got from TJMaxx were just essentials: a tank top, Nike headband, and black ribbed leggings (because I no longer wear real pants…only leggings and jeggings…).

And of course I stopped by Claire’s for their 10 for 10 sale because secretly I’m still 5 years old and a sucker for all things pink and sparkly. They always ask me “do you know how the sale works?” and I’m always think to my self Bish, please. I keep you all in business. 

That’s all for now!

Peace, love, and sparkly things,

xh

A Perfectly Normal Day.

Life has been good this school year. Freshman year was great, sophomore year was awful, and now junior year has been the best year thus far. I would even go as far as to say that this past summer (which I continue to rave about) was the best time of my entire life. It’s a pity because I blogged most during my sophomore year, less during my freshman year, and the least this year. Well, I’ve got half a semester left of junior year, so it’s not too late to make up for lost time!

My life in a nutshell, as of March 13th, 2014.

I should mention that today is my 21st birthday. A perk or downside (depending on how you look at it) of having a birthday over spring break is that you don’t get to celebrate with your friends, and I’m not exactly having the stereotypical 21st birthday. Indeed, I am 100% sober and sentient. This morning, I woke up to a phone call from Alan who wished me a happy birthday. Then I went along my merry way, made myself some breakfast and tea, surfed the internet, online shopped, vlogged, and ended up here on tumblr. Perfectly normal day, you see? 

Enough birthday talk. On with the life update!

Last semester was pretty great. I’m living with my best friends which is fun, despite a few hiccups here and there that usually have to do with peoples’ varying opinions and definitions of the word “neat” or “clean.” I’ve come to love Cleveland more and more as I’ve been venturing into fine dining, the most hipster coffee shops, and the quaintest of boutiques. It’s a relief that I’ve come to like it, since I will most likely be spending another year post-graduation in Cleveland. I’m planning on applying to the Masters of Engineering and Management program at Case and getting my Master’s degree. Then I’ll work for an engineering company or apply to medical school. Who knows? 

This summer, I will be working for Zimmer in Warsaw, Indiana. While it will undoubtably be less fast-paced than Milwaukee, I plan on enjoying it fully nonetheless. Perhaps I’ll finally be the full-blown health freak I’ve always aspired to be. Every time I ask a current resident of Warsaw what it’s like, I’ve gotten the response “well…there’s a ton of places to run…” so perhaps I’ll finally learn to love running. 

That’s all for now, 

Peace, love, and sobriety, 

Helen

Inner Conflicts

So I was reading my old blog touchtheskiesx.wordpress.com and really enjoying reminiscing on old times when I realized that a few years from now, I will have no recollection of my thoughts and ideas and fears at this present moment because I haven’t bothered to write them down. There’s something so freakishly interesting about reading my old blog from 2010 because it doesn’t feel like the writing is mine— it almost feels like I’m reading about someone else’s life. As I read the words on the page, I try to put myself in the shoes of the writer (young Helen), and imagine what it was like to stress about finding a prom date, take seven (SEVEN?! Wow I was insane) AP exams in one week, and apply to college. It goes to show how much has changed in a span of a few short years. Now, I have new ideas, fears, and feelings.

I’ve been pretty terrible at blogging lately though, but for good reasons. Life has been so enjoyable…that I haven’t really stopped to write about it. Just enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose. I’ll have a few days off this week because of Spring Break, so I’ll finish the update later. 

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xh

I guess you could say I have kissable cheeks…and amazing friends #100happydays

Resolutions,

Usually, I post a year-end reflection before the new year, and a new year resolution post after the new year. Well, neither of those have happened yet, but it’s not too late to make resolutions!

1) Run a 10K. I did one last year, but was ill-prepared for it. It wasn’t so bad after all, but I wasn’t running competitively. To be honest…I think a normal sized person probably could have been briskly walking next to me…

2) Blog more. This makes my resolution list every single year, and I’ve failed again and again. THIS IS MY YEAR. I’ll try to be more open and honest, objective and vulnerable, and start posting random thoughts. No more “oh, I should blog about that!” moments in the shower that I ignore and let pass. This year, I plan to blog about EVERYTHING. 

3) Apply to medical school. This is a huge internal conflict that I’ll blog about (see? I’m starting on #2 already!). In short, the fear of failing is preventing me from giving medical school a shot, and I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready to make sacrifices in the timing of my personal life (marriage, family, kids) in favor of a career I’ve been working for all my life. More on this during a later post.

4) Learn to manage stress. All throughout high school and my first year of college, I was all about the go-go-go life. Seven AP classes, 5 presidencies of extracurriculars, volunteering at the hospital, and tennis? No problem. Overloading classes, picking up three minors, applying to internships, partying like it’s my job, while pulling a 4.0? I ain’t even mad. 

But come sophomore year, I’ve become more and more prone to stress with each semester. In some ways, it’s good because it keeps me humble and reminds me that it’s by God’s grace that I haven’t gone insane yet. On the other hand, it makes me lethargic, prone to getting sick, lose sleep, and it affects my relationships. Thankfully, I’ve met someone who keeps me grounded and accepts me for the worry-wart that I am. #Blessed.

This year, I’m going to try to 1) reduce my stress by lifting my worries to Christ and learning to share my burdens 2) stop thinking so far into the future, and stop being such a pessimist, and 3) do more yoga, quiet times, and meditation. Just generally be more…..zen.

 

5) Learn to love independence. 

It’s funny because when my friends describe me, the most common term I hear is “independent” (“short” is a close second). I know I AM independent, but sometimes I feel as though it’s a result of my personality and upbringing— it’s just the way I am. But being independent is not the same thing as loving independence. Sure, I love making my own decisions and being self sufficient, but I also love constantly seeing my boyfriend, making dinner together, working on homework side by side, and exploring Cleveland with him. I realize it’s all a part of falling in love, but now there’s a certain degree of codependence that scares me. I love the stability and feeling of having someone to always talk to, confide in, and share my life with. That’s all going to change in May when he graduates. I’m dreading the fall semester when I return to the campus that we shared so many great memories at alone. This year, I resolve to embrace this period of separation. To use it as a time of self-improvement, God-seeking, and of course…a huge health kick. 

6) Continue to be healthy! Drinking tea, making healthy choices when I go out to eat, not confusing boredom with hunger, etc. I’ve been doing pretty well with this, but some new resolutions: 

- Drink coffee black

- Make my own green juice with my juicer (instead of buying the store-made stuff that costs the equivalent of liquid gold practically. Ok, not really…but it’s really expensive!) 

- Do a pre-shower work out, every time. Even a couple calf raises or crunches will do!

- Start running during the school year. I am a total fair-weather runner (I don’t even do treadmills!) which really limits the amount of running I can do during the year. I need to just suck it up and get out there!

7) Manage my finances better.

I am absolutely TERRIBLE with money. The first step to improvement is admission, right? This year, I’m going to be much more wary of my finances and savings, and take these steps to saving money:

- Shop at Giant Eagle and Aldi’s instead of Whole foods and Trader Joe’s. 

- Make my own coffee instead of visiting Starbucks twice a day

- Packing lunch instead of eating out every day

- No more impulsive shopping. If there’s a sale online, put the items in the cart and wait 2 days. Then decide whether I really want it or not. If the items are gone, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be anyway!

- Planning dinners ahead of time and making grocery lists. 

8) Keep crafting! Knitting, painting, scrapbooking, etc. It’s stress relieving…unless I’m doing it to procrastinate. 

9) Be more patient and kind. More understanding and forgiving. I know I have a sharp tongue and have a hard time controlling it. I hope to be better at seeing all perspectives and being more gentle this year!

That’s all for now. 

Peace, love, and resolutions,

Helen 

Winter break

Winter break is a time to…

  • Clean up my laptop desktop, which is starting to look like a jungle
  • COFFEE it up with EVERYONE. 
  • Try all those recipes I’ve pinned to Pinterest this semester
  • Craftcraftcraft for my future grandlittle 
  • Start a new series (just started Game of Thrones and I’m still trying to figure out what all they hype is about…)
  • Read like crazy— not a week into break yet, and I’ve finished 4 Emily Giffin books 
  • Play tetris (guilty pleasure…)
  • Pilates and Yoga everyday…and hope it keeps up when school starts again
  • Look for new planners and journals to fill in the new year
  • Regret not blogging more this year
  • Clean up my iPhoto and prepare my annual new years blog post
  • Exhaust the internet of cat pictures
  • Drink so much green tea that I start peeing green
  • Update my resume…and finally make that leap to a double sided resume because it won’t all fit one one page anymore
  • Knit a hat (I literally sat in one position for 3 hours knitting a hat.)

Peace, love, and relaxation,

Helen

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb. 11:1

10 Things

Oh my…the inner struggles of a lazy blogger. All my good intentions gone to waste. I’ve found that I blog more when life is boring, and much less when there’s actually things to blog about. My last post was written during my last week of work in Milwaukee. Since then…

1) Caught up with friends from high school. We always pick up right where we left off, as if we’d never been apart. It’s always comforting to be able to go home and see familiar faces. 

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2) Recorded and posted me and Krista’s annual cover video for wetheyearbookies, a youtube account we created back in high school when she first started learning guitar. 

3) Bought new shoes, crossing my fingers and hoping that my health kick would continue once I got back to campus. I’ve been doing alright…I’m definitely much more lazy about working out, but I think i’ve been doing alright in terms of eating healthy! Still being a health snob, I guess. image

4) Baked a cake with daddy! I don’t like sweets— the sponge cake my dad makes is one of the only cakes I’ll eat.  

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5) Moved into my apartment on campus! UNPACKING TOOK FOREVER. Room tour to come once I finish decorating!image

6) Moved in with my best friends! 

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7) Spent time with my little! I’m obsessed with my little. UGH I CAN’T EVEN CONTAIN MY LOVE FOR HER. 

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My little has the best bikini bod ever. #jealous

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8) Got crafty.image

9) Bought new tea cups, tea, and strainer! Also started blending my own teaimage

10) Made mini mint-colored cupcakes!image

Cheers to a new school year!

Peace, love, and sprinkles,

Helen

Onward and upward, my friends

Onward and upward, my friends