{TOP 5} IF I WERE RICH…

Dear Reader,

I’ve never been filthy rich, but I’ve always liked to think that I’d be pretty good at it. And since entering college, I’ve realized how much there is out there that I have no hopes of buying. Don’t get me wrong–I’m fortunate enough to afford things like college, and I work hard for my money at school and in the summer, but with sites like Pinterest and Wanelo, it’s hard for a girl not to dream.

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So here are five things that I really wish I had the money to buy:

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The Barisieur

This product is an alarm clock that wakes you up with a fresh cup of coffee. Genius, right? Whereas I have to wake up every day to the obnoxious “alarm” sound on my iPhone (and even still, I often sleep through it), I could wake up to the smell of coffee. Plus, it would prohibit me from sleeping in because I obviously wouldn’t want my coffee to get cold!

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Desk Treadmill

I probably spend over 5 hours every day on the computer–some days way more. I mean, between schoolwork, writing, my blog, my journal (which is on my Google drive) and then things like YouTube and Pinterest, this laptop gets a lot of use. But if I had this desk, I swear I’d be so in shape. Maybe $950 isn’t so pricey after all…

(Just kidding, I’m still broke)

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A Bus

Okay this one doesn’t have a link because I have no idea how to even go about buying a bus, but I have always wanted to buy an old school bus, take out some of the seats and pimp it out, and then just drive across the country with really cool people. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll make this dream a reality (but probably not because paying for the gas alone would wipe out my bank account).

 

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The Right Arm

Yes, I know how lazy I am, but this would come in so handy! (Is that a pun?) It’s  $100 though and I don’t even have an iPad of my own, so this won’t be in my virtual shopping cart any time soon.

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Sheepskin Beanbag

And the most expensive thing I found a price for: a sheepskin beanbag (it’s $1,200 you guys). If only I had that kind of money to blow. I’d watch netflix on the iPad for hours before bed, sleep all night on this thing, wake up to a delicious cup of coffee, spend the day getting well over the recommended 10,000 steps while simultaneously completely all of my work, and then my sister and I would tour the country on a tricked out bus.

If only I were rich.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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(Bonus): Backyard Roller Coaster

Alright, I don’t care that I’m almost 19 and don’t even have a backyard to put this in–you have to admit that this is pretty cool.

THE FOLLOWING MAKES ME HAPPY

Dear Reader,

I’ve recently been going through my “favorites” on Youtube and, let me tell you, there are some hidden gems in there that I have completely forgotten about. So, I thought I’d share some videos that either have me laughing out loud or smiling at my screen like an idiot.

NEW GIRL REMIX

This is an act of genius that definitely deserves more views, but, all jokes aside, this might be my new favorite song.

WISDOM TEETH ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE

If you think you’re a hot mess, I promise you, this video will give you some much-needed perspective.

WALK THE MOON – SHUT UP AND DANCE (MOVIE DANCE COMPILATION)

Perfection.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION – LOVE HAS NO LABELS

I just think this is really important and heartwarming to watch. This is what I like to see.

YANIS MARSHALL CHOREOGRAPHY

I mean it’s three incredible guys killing a routine to a Beyonce medley. In heels. What’s not to love?

ALAN ANDERSEN

I don’t know why it’s named this but it’s a dad calling out every person who slips on this ice as they come around this corner. And it’s hilarious.

GOPRO HERO4: THE ADVENTURE OF LIFE IN 4K

Honestly, I could spend all day watching GoPro videos. But this one is just amazing.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed, and I hope your days are treating you well. Let me know if there are any awesome videos out there that I’m missing.

YouTube makes me happy.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. 🙂

18 IMPORTANT THINGS TO LEARN FROM PARISIANS

Dear Reader,

I finished the book How to be Parisian Wherever You Are a few months ago (I actually wrote a blog post about it, as it was the second book I finished for the empty shelf challenge), and I promised a follow up entry. Because it’s just. That. Good.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tips that these four fascinating, Parisienne women gave:

  • Wear a black bra under your white blouse, like two notes on a sheet of music.
  • Don’t follow trends. (Trends follow you.)
  • Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.
  • Make it look easy. Everything you do should seem effortless and graceful.
  • A Parisienne never hires a babysitter who is pretty, always finding the less attractive one to be far more competent.
  • If you believe that tears are a vibrant sign of you vulnerability, think again. Forget the notion that they are heart-wrenching in any way. Crying is not a weapon, it’s little more than noise and needlessly wasted energy.
  • Your look should always leave one thing left undone–the devil is in the details.
  • You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.
  • Never wear you glasses, especially if you’re nearsighted. That way you won’t have to acknowledge people you know. You’ll have that aloof look, the one that seduces men (but annoys women because they see right through you).
  • When meeting someone for the first time, never say, “What a pleasure,” but rather “What a pleasure to meet you.” (You never know what the future might hold).
  • A Parisienne always has a good reason to be sitting on a bench (Like when she wants to read a book and be seen reading a book)
  • She is alarmingly honest and answers “terribly” when asked how she’s doing.
  • Beauty in France is epidermal–nobody cares that much about makeup, it’s what’s underneath that matters.
  • The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.
  • It’s her personality that sparkles like nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.
  • Age should never be an excuse to go to bed early.
  • Too much cleavage leaves too little to the imagination. It’s like serving dessert before anyone has even touched their appetizer. It tries too hard, shows its hand too quickly, and betrays a certain lack of self-confidence. Like a girl who talks so incessantly there’s nothing left to ask.
  • Be your own knight in shining armor.

And then my favorite sentence in the whole book: She concludes that you can indeed by orphaned by a fantasy and feel abandoned by a perfect stranger.

Sincerely,

Sammy

SONGS WORTH SHARING

Dear Reader,

If you don’t already know, every Thursday I upload a weekly update, if you will. And at the end of those posts, I list some of the music I’ve been listening to during that week.

But this week I realized that I listened to a lot of music. So I decided to just dedicate an entirely separate post to everything I’ve been listening to, separated into three parts: Oldies, Car Songs, and Honorable Mention. Enjoy.

Oldies

It began with Billy Joel. I was listening to a sad playlist made by someone else on Spotify, when the song And So It Goes comes on. I recognized it from covers I had heard, but never realized Billy Joel sang it–I had really only known him for Piano Man and For The Longest Time. 

After listening to his most popular hits and falling in love with Vienna and She’s Always a Woman to Me, I became sad that music really isn’t the same as it once was–something adults always seem to babble on about as it goes in through one ear and right out the other.

But maybe they’re right.

So I made a playlist of my favorite songs from a time before I was born, which include:

  • Sweet Pea by Tommy Roe
  • Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police
  • Love the One You’re With by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Car Songs

I love to sing, but I’m well aware that not everyone enjoys listening to my voice as much as, say, the original artist. And, being at college, I’m never really alone in a car, driving around, singing at the top of my lungs–which is something I really miss. So you can best believe that I took full advantage of the car when I went home this weekend. These are the songs that I was shamelessly jamming to:

  • I’m Alive by Michael Franti
  • Notice Me by Alexa Rae Joel
  • Sugar, This is Gospel by Fall Out Boy vs. Panic at the Disco
  • Finding Something to Do by Hellogoodbye
  • Oh Cecelia (Breaking my Heart) by The Vamps feat. Shawn Mendes
  • Honey I’m Good by Andy Grammer

Honorable Mention

Yes, this song gets it’s own category. It is that. Good. 

This is a cover of Take Me To Church–a song that was dead to me. I heard it, loved it, watched the music video, got goosebumps, learned it on the piano, belted it when I was home alone. It was on playlists of mine for months, and then I was over it.

But This. Cover. Not only did The Melodores revive this song, they straight up killed it again. In a good way. These metaphors aren’t really working, are they?

Anyway, LISTEN TO THIS COVER. Watch Dan pour his heart and soul into this song and I dare you to listen to the original without enunciating “sharpen your knife” in your head like they do.

Yep, it was a good week in music for me, and it ended up being a good week all around.

Funny how those are related.

Sincerely,

Sammy

NEW FAVORITE BLOGS

Dear Reader,

This is just kind of a quick update, but I follow so many people on here and I have so many favorites that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. And a lot of times when I’m busy, I’ll just post something and get off the computer and go to class or something–not checking back for days sometimes.

Because of this, I miss a lot of what people write on here, which is kind of a bummer! Because then I’ll go and try to catch up, but I feel creepy binge-reading peoples’ blogs sometimes. Even though I’m sure they probably wouldn’t mind.

Anyway, today I have a ton of time on my hands, so I’m going to go through and follow my favorites by email as well. I’ve never taken advantage of this before–I’ve only used it for my friend Ashley and one of my all-time favorites since the beginning, Natalie.

But the reason why I’m writing this is because I’m pretty sure when you follow someone this way, even if you’ve been following them for a while, they get a notification saying “Sammy has followed you,” or whatever. And I don’t want them thinking I ever unfollowed them or I just for the first time checked them out or anything. I don’t know, I’m probably just being overly cautious or something. I just don’t want any confusion or hard feelings or anything to become of this.

Anyway, I just thought I’d make a quick PSA in case anyone wanted to know. Comment any blogs you want me to check out, too–even your own! I have a ridiculous amount of time on my hands today (as you’ll understand in next week’s update, if you care to know), so it seems I’ll be spending a lot of time on this website.

I might as well explore a bit.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Becca, so when I write that post (fingers crossed for this weekend), I’ll be sharing 15 of my favorite blogs! So look for that, if you’re interested, I guess. 🙂

NEW FAVORITE YOUTUBER: THE CLAIRITY PROJECT

Dear Reader,

This is not the kind of post I was going to make today, but after discovering Claire, I had to.

was planning on posting either another book review (I’ve finished both Warm Bodies and How to be Parisian Wherever You Are for the Empty Shelf challenge!) or my favorite albums from 2014. And then I was thinking of even doing a rant about quotes that turn infamous, but then I found Claire.

I don’t know who knows (I feel like I mention it all the time), but I’m writing a novel. And in that novel I have a character with cystic fibrosis, so, obviously I need to research it. I think it is so important to get everything right because it’s real. It’s not just a way to manipulate a story or tug on a reader’s heartstrings. My character is a girl whose personality develops much further than this diagnosis.

So, in the midst of my research, I came across this video: Perks of Going to the Hospital

Claire immediately starts off her video with a burst of energy and then babbles excitingly about all the cool things they have at the hospital–like every kind of junk food you can imagine, nurses who are obligated to your vent sessions, and so much free time to read.

So, I decided to explore her channel for a bit. It’s fairly new, 3 months old, but I’m obsessed. I’ve been watching her reviews of “Red Band Society,” a TV show on FOX that I love. It’s so interesting to hear her opinions on it, though–especially those about Dash, the cystic fibrosis patient on the show.

But the thing is, yes I find all of her videos fascinating because I’m learning so much more about the life of someone with CF, but that’s not why she’s my favorite. She’s an inspiration, but not because she’s happy despite it all. She’s an inspiration because she’s happy. And funny. And smart. And she makes amazing YouTube videos that I’ve been binge-watching.

She’s setting out to break down the barriers that people tend to have with people who are sick. Many people with CF are isolated (especially from others with the same disease) because their immune systems are weaker and there are so many infections that can spread, but she wants those connections. And I truly relate to that desire.

Well anyway, I just wanted to share her and her channel like I share any other book, song, music group, YouTube video, etc. that I adore.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Song of the moment is Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. For some reason, this song has been on repeat for days for me, but it’s so good. 

PPS. All of the aforementioned posts will be coming soon! (If anyone wanted to know)

{TOP 5} ARTISTS TO LISTEN TO THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Dear Reader,

Happy December! I’ve been listening to Christmas music for about a month now, but I’m so excited that it’s finally acceptable to be festive! So to show how excited I am, I was going to list my top 10 Christmas songs. But as I was creating this list, I realized that it was all songs from about five different artists. So, here are the artists that I’m listening to on repeat this holiday season.

The Barenaked Ladies

My family is in love with The Barenaked Ladies. Kind of a weird sentence for those who’ve never heard of the musical group before, but their album, Barenaked for the Holidays is always the first album playing throughout our household come December. My personal favorites would have to be Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings (with Sarah McLachlan)Snowmen, and Do They Know it’s Christmas. The whole album is great, though.

Michael Buble

Another favorite at my house is Michael Buble. He was actually the first person I saw in concert–fun fact–and he was amazing, as always. His whole album, Christmas, is awesome, but my favorites would have to be Jingle Bells (feat. The Puppini Sisters) and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. My absolute, all-time favorite Christmas song, though, is actually with The Barenaked Ladies and  Michael Buble: Elf’s Lament. If nothing else, do yourself a favor and listen to this song; it’s hilarious and wonderful.

Straight No Chaser

This group would also go under the hilarious and wonderful category. They actually have a few Christmas albums: Holiday Spirits, Christmas Cheers, and Under the Influence: Holiday Edition. My favorite songs for the pure entertainment of the lyrics would probably be The Christmas Can-Can, The 12 Days of Christmas, Who Spiked the Eggnog, and, of course, Nutcracker. Their new song with Kristen Bell, Text Me Merry Christmas, is great, too, but my absolute favorite is definitely You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. I’m a sucker for those low notes.

Pentatonix

Pentatonix is like Straight No Chaser because they’re both acapella groups, but they’re definitely unique. They came out with “PTXmas” first and they’re now out with “That’s Christmas To Me.” It was so hard to come up with a favorite for them, but I’d have to say Carol of the Bells, Mary, Did You Know?, and their original, That’s Christmas To Me. While you’re checking them out, though, definitely look at their other stuff. They’re fantastic.

The Piano Guys

Last but not least I had to include The Piano Guys. Sometimes I opt for the instrumental Christmas tunes over the overplayed All I Want For Christmas is You-type tunes for the holidays. Their version of Carol of the Bells is amazing, of course, but their cover of Angels We Have Heard on High is spectacular.

Well there’s my list! Let me know if there are any other artists or albums I should look out for this holiday season.

It feels like Christmas already. 🙂

Sincerely,

Sammy

WATCH. THIS. VIDEO.

Dear Reader,

I was on tumblr the other day and I found this video. It’s has almost 7 million views so there’s a good chance you’ve seen it, but it’s fifteen minutes long so there’s a good chance you haven’t.

We all know why the viral videos always last a minute or two–people don’t have the patience or the time to sit at their computer for more than even four minutes sometimes. But I promise you: if you watch this video you won’t be disappointed. It’s hilarious, but it’s always important.

So, please, enjoy:

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Surprise throwback song!

21 PICTURES I NEED ON MY WALL

Hello Reader,

In one of my last posts, Happy List, I mentioned that I love beautiful pictures. I wouldn’t consider photography to be a hobby of mine, but I would love to be able to capture life as perfectly as these people have. So, here are 21 pictures that I need to have on my walls. Pictures that scream adventure, serve as reminders, or are just simply beautiful captures.

ADVENTURE

A1

I look at this picture and I imagine a couple or best friends or siblings–preparing for the trip by grabbing all the warmest blankets and fluffiest pillows and creating the perfect road playlists. Driving along beautiful roads, only interrupting their conversation when the best songs come up. Finally reaching their destination, jumping out of the car, stretching and making the most embarrassing involuntary noises, setting up everything in the back, and just taking in the view, one deep breath of cool air at a time.

A2

The perfect vacation spot–kept secret in order to be saved for the most daring and most deserving. A hidden gem.

A3

Doesn’t this seem magical? I’d love to spend a day lost on the other side of this gate.

A4

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures. I found it a while back and it quickly became an obsession. It’s so simple and clear, but makes me long for open air and freedom and further inspires me to venture into this world. This is what I see when I think of wanderlust.

A5

I’m immediately transported when I see this picture. I feel the slight ache in my biceps as I pull the paddle slowly through the heavy water. I carefully reach over and run my fingers through the icy stream. I listen to the birds as they sing to each other. I’m in paradise.

A6

Another road trip picture. Just a reminder that beauty is everywhere and it’s true when they say it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. A good reminder to slow down and look around every once in a while. Pay attention.

BEAUTIFUL CAPTURES

B1

Elephants are my favorite animal and this picture was taken at just the right time to show all the beauty.

B2

A true laugh and a yellow umbrella.
B3

Just some harmless PDA that captures true affection and love. Another good reminder that adventures are best shared with loved ones.
B4

Balloons being released by the Eiffel Tower. Love the angle, love the color, love all the messages you can choose to associate with it.
B5

On my bucket list. Not only do I want to visit all of these places and take in all of their beauty, but I want to take stupid-cute pictures and just smile and laugh all the way around the world.

B6

Few things are better than a good belly laugh. And adorable children.

QUOTES

Q1

Everywhere.
Q2

Admittedly a lame picture/quote but I kind of love this. Let people hate you or try to beat you or bring you down, it doesn’t matter. Be you. Be nothing less than fabulous. Always.
Q3

I’m a firm believer that we play a huge part in who we become–it’s not all based on society and how we’re raised. I believe people can change, they just have to decide who they want to become first. And then become it. Also: elephant.

Q4

Friendly reminder that you only live once without the annoying acronym. Also, wild and precious are perfect descriptions of life. Let’s live, shall we?

Q5

Map + Adventure. How could I not have this on my wall?

PLACES

R1

San Francisco: the city I fell in love with because of The Princess Diaries. This love has only grown since.

R2

The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a hotel where giraffes just occasionally pop their heads in. Going on the wall to remind me to make it over to Kenya sometime soon.

R5

Glethoom: the town with no roads. Guests can rent “whisper boats” that are electronic and noiseless and will take passengers around the area. Added bonus to being super cool: no car pollution and tons of trees. If anything I’ve got to go to breathe such pure air.

R6Last but not least: elephants. Specifically in Thailand at a Four Seasons resort, where these beautiful creatures just roam around and can interact with guests. You know, casually.

So there you have it! I guess it’s kind of weird to put so many pictures on my wall that 1) don’t have me in them, 2) are of places I’ve never been to and random people I’ve never met and 3) aren’t even my own. But these photos make me happy, so on the wall they will go. And maybe someday I’ll take pictures beautiful enough for me to display like this.

Until then, these 21 (not to mention all the others) will do just fine.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Please tell me you’ve heard of Timeflies. If yes, congratulations on being in the know of one of today’s greatest artists. If no, welcome. Do yourself a favor and check them out. My favorite is Time of your Life, but their new album is just as good as their takes on popular songs.

Why I Love Maps

Dear Reader,

I love maps. They’re informational and inspiring and easy to get the hang of. If you use them correctly you can get anywhere you want in this world, and if you use them incorrectly you might just find the adventure you’ve been waiting for. After all, sometimes mistakes are just blessings in disguise.

When I was in eighth grade I had this history teacher, Mr. Hamann, who would give us map tests. These tests served many different purposes, as he pointed out to us at the beginning of the school year. Of course, they were a part of the curriculum, and they did teach us good study habits and test-preparation skills, but these map tests meant so much more than that.

Mr. Hamann told us that when he was a boy, his father would take his family on road trips where the children would sit in the front seat of the car with a map in their hands and he would ask them, “where do you want to go?”

And they got to decide.

If they could navigate to their destination of choice, that’s where they got to go. Ever since then, maps became so much more magical to me; just living off the belief that if I know how to get there, I can go anywhere in this world.

And I’m not talking about money. I know that I can’t just hop around the world, going from place to place, living different lives in New York City and Paris and London. I know that my money would eventually run out (very soon, actually), and I’d be stuck in Ohio for many years to come, but there’s this idea that keeps me hanging on.

If I research it and spend my money wisely and really know where I’m going and what I want to do when I get there and what experiences I need to have before forcing myself to come back home, I could go to Thailand or Luxembourg or Jamaica and really see the world. I could really go anywhere if I wanted to, I just couldn’t go everywhere. Not financially, really. Not yet.

But it’s more than that. Sure, maps show you the big picture and help you navigate across the globe and help you gain a truer perspective of your surroundings, but you can also zoom in. Maps can show you the hidden gems that are in spitting distance! And they can show you how to get there.

And, as the saying goes, it’s not always about the destination. It’s about the journey.

So I love maps. They’re instruction guides just as much as they are reminders of what’s out there and what’s around us. And I’m looking forward to hanging one right above my bed in my college dorm, against my roommates request (sorry Jaden), to inspire me every day. One look will remind me what’s out there and will motivate me to do what I need to do to get there.

And I will get there. One day. I’ll get out of this place and I’ll see the world. Until then, I leave you with this quote (if you know where it came from please let me know!!) that perfectly sums up all of my feelings about this subject.

“Please understand, I have been waiting to leave ever since I figured out there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go.”

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Maps by The Front Bottoms is my current obsession in the music realm and obviously relates to what I’ve been trying to say for the past twenty minutes.