Friday, October 28, 2011

Guiltiest of the Guilty Pleasures

We’ve all got ‘em. Here’s to wiping away the guilt, not the pleasure.

Exfoliating (purple) gloves

That’s right, I exfoliate, and I like it. This is one of the many blessings I got out of my mission. At first my companions were hesitant, but they eventually came around and joined in on the fun.

Facebook. No explanation needed.

Coco Butter
Who doesn’t love the feel of soft hands?

I’ve been told sarcasm is “the lowest form of wit”

It’s not the lowest form of wit.

Eating raw cookie dough

Skinny ties and fitted suits

Another thing from the mission. England, I’m in debt to you forever.

Hitting snooze about 5 times before I actually get up

I set my alarm clock early, just for the pleasure.

Turning on the A.C./ceiling fan and sleeping under heavy blankets
SO cozy.

Long, hot showers

I can’t help it. Clean AND soothing.

Beating roommates to the shower in the morning

Only way to start a day.

There you have it. Don’t judge me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

how to: make the man of your DREAMS fall for you

Let's face it, I'm an experienced dater. Throughout my years, I've accumulated certain nuggets of knowledge that have proven to produce results:

Make him do everything first. Don't let him know that you're interested. You don't want to freak him out.

Get his phone number from an obscure friend or off of facebook, and then text him and make him guess who you are. This will make him see that you are mysterious, and fun.

Refer to a mutual memory that he actually may not remember, but that was so significant to you that you wrote about it in your journal. This will bring you both happiness, for he will remember a great event, and also be in complete awe of how great your memory is.

Do his dishes, or help him fold laundry. This will show him both how domestic and how unselfish and giving you are.

Change your profile picture, so that you are both artsy and a gorgeous babe. He will  see your creative talent and beauty, and his feelings for you will change instantly.

Wear lots of make up, so that you look more like a Disney princess than yourself. Men go for big eyes and white smiles.

Bake him goodies. It's pretty probable that he likes food, so he'll probably like you too.

Make sure that your social network profile (you must have one, by the way) is such that it shows how popular and happy you are. When he sees you with all  your friends, he'll realize how much he wants to be one himself.

Ignore him sometimes. Also known as "playing Hard-to-Get," this will make him realize just how MUCH he needs you in his life. This includes:
  • Not responding to texts for at least 30 minutes
  • Sitting by him in class but not talking to him
  • Writing on his friend's walls, but not his
Be sporty/grungy. He will be so impressed by your apparent athleticism, that he'll dream about asking you out and playing basketball for eternity.  Additionally, he'll love that you are comfortable enough with yourself to be unpresentable in public.

Laugh extra loud. Make sure that you're animated. Bite your lip, twirl your hair, use your hands, you know, the normal batting-eyelashes type of stuff. He'll be hooked.

Remember where you run into him. Then go back there on similar days and watch that same area. Maybe you'll see him again. And then he'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you have in common.

If a song is playing that he knows and you don't, listen for a couple choruses, and then mumble-sing the vowels of the words so that he thinks you know the song. Music is huge. If you know songs, instant coolness in his book.

Research his favorite things. Then bring them up in a casual conversation. Once again, he'll be surprised at how much you have in common, and not creeped out at all.

But in all honesty, the best words come from Oscar Wilde:
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."

[Edit: This is sarcasm. Some may work, but the logic behind them is seriously lacking sometimes...]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Striving and Thriving, Not Just Surviving.

Title adopted and adapted from a phrase by Brenda Burr.

Surviving  (verb): Continue to live or exist, esp. in spite of danger or hardship.
Striving (verb): Make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
Thriving (verb): (of a child, animal, or plant) Grow or develop well or vigorously: "the new baby thrived".

Yup, this is me.

I am wearing a super cute dress with a ruler and a pencil on it, and yes, my hair is in super tight and fountain-y pigtails (Go, Mom!). No wonder, with the denim jumper, little plaid collar and cuffs, and patent leather shoes, I have chosen to become a teacher.

School has been a part of me since before I can remember (for example, this photo). I absolutely loved learning. As the teacher explained our next task, I would sit with bated breath on the literal edge of my seat, ready to jump up and down in celebration. In retrospect, it's a miracle that I rarely fell out of my seat (or that my male peers never pulled my seat out from under me).

I was seriously hungry for knowledge. When I was three or four, my grandma decided to teach me some math. I soaked it in, my eyes wide open (I must have thought that eye width had a direct correlation with the amount of information I could take in). She taught me simple addition.  "Okay, what's next?" She taught me borrowing. "Okay, what's next?"

Of course, school was a bit harder than learning simple mathematical computations and tricks from my grandma. When I was about nine years old, I learned that there was a thing called "being smart." The idea was completely new to me. My world began to change -- scores mattered. My fellow students were constantly comparing their scores on their spelling tests, math homework, essays, journal writings...

By the time I was in high school, my perspective and attitude had altered so that grades were my priority. Of course, I'd still spout out facts to my friends. But they'd just laugh at me, saying something how "only I would care about/know something so random." This continued on through my first two years of college. When it came to school, grades were the most important, and learning was second.

Scratch that. When it came to life, grades were the most important. I became so caught up in making sure that I was matching others' expectations, that I wasn't even creating my own.

So often, we focus on achieving goals of status rather than goals of progress.
Forget about obtaining wisdom, forget about growth.

My friends, that is so unbelievably wrong.

In the long run it is the growth, knowledge, and wisdom we achieve that enlarges our souls and prepares us for eternity, not the marks on college transcripts. ...
Learning with the Spirit is not confined to classrooms or preparation for school examinations. It applies to everything we do in life and every place we do it—at home, at work, and at church.
An education is not limited to formal study. Lifelong learning can increase our ability to appreciate and relish the workings and beauty of the world around us. - Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Learning and Latter-Day Saints"

We should be seeking to become better friends, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, mothers, and fathers. We should be seeking out our talents and then using them. We should be taking in breaths of the crisp fall air, relishing the crunch of leaves, and smiling when we can feel the warmth of the sun. We should be enjoying the journey.

We really should be striving and thriving, not just surviving.

Let us remember not only the importance but the absolute joy of learning, so that we, too, can sit on the edge of our seats, with bated breath and eyes wide open, smiling and saying, "Okay, what's next?"