INFINITY DREAMS AWARD

Dear Reader,

The other day I was nominated by Nysha for an award (thanks again, girl!) that I haven’t seen around yet, which got me very excited. Even more than that, this award is about dreams and ambitions, and anyone who knows me knows that I have had some crazy ones in the past. I’d like to think they’re more refined now (I no longer aspire to be a lounge singer in England or a truck driver for a year), but I still try to live by this age-old sentiment:

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Anyway, I think that’s enough of my rambling. Let’s get onto what this award is!

The rules are:

  • link back to the blogger who nominated you
  • list 7 dreams
  • nominate other bloggers

The dreams:

Travel the world with my sister and document our journey via video and blog posts and travel journals. Collect stories and memories and knowledge through experience on the way.

Publish a book. The “old fashioned” way. No kindle or ebook publications will suffice when I go to check off this goal. I want to see my thoughts come alive on paper and I want to search through bookstores just to see my name in print again. I want these stories I’ve created to be told, and I want to have hard evidence of that achievement on my bookshelf when I’m older.

Learn to play the accordion. It’s going to happen, people. Mark my words.

Live in New York City. Maybe a few stories above a frozen yogurt place or a small bakery or an antique store or something. (This is how I’ve always imagined it). Have my own spot at Central Park where I can be frequently found. Be able to see all of my favorite musicals and plays on Broadway (and off). Go to the Tony Awards. This one really encompasses a lot of the other dreams I have, and I guess that’s just because New York is the place where I see these dreams coming true.

Travel to Thailand and swim with elephants. This has been a dream of mine since the day, maybe three years ago, that I found out it was possible (via Pinterest). It’s been #1 on my buck list ever since.

Run a Half-Marathon. Considering I haven’t even ran a 5k yet, this one is nothing more than a dream at the moment, but one day it will happen. I’m thinking the Princess half marathon in Disney World.

Cook Thanksgiving Dinner. This one may seem weird, but it is a dream of mine to one day be surrounded by a group of people I love. I don’t know how many of these people I’ve already met, but I see myself spending all day cooking with them, enjoying each other’s company and having a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

The nominations: 

The Old Fellow Goes Running

Britta Bottle

The Happy Lifeaholic 

Lisa Tiller

Thinking Out Loud

Mary’s Average Adventures

Sparkle and Shine

FAMTAQ

Girl in Between

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Happy Canada Day everyone 🙂

One-Hit Wonders

Dear Reader,

Have you ever been in one of those moods where all you want to do is listen to music but nothing you have is working? It’s all the same old sounds. It’s all much too familiar. You’re in desperate need for new music but everything you listen to is unsatisfying.

Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling lately.

So I’ve been looking into my “one-hit wonders.” You know, the artists that you listen to but only know one of their songs? It may not even be their most popular. I remember back when I was introduced by Flaws by Bastille. I LOVED the song. I would listen to it on repeat and sing it in the shower. Then, I decided to look into some more of their work. I found Pompeii and Daniel in the Den and Weight of Living. And now they’re one of my favorite groups.

Not all groups are like that, though. Some have a hit single for a reason. But it still doesn’t hurt to look into in the hopes that you’ll find a new favorite.

So I know I haven’t written in a while, but why make a post full of excuses when I could, instead, share some good music?

The Lighthouse and the Whaler – Pioneers

The Stationary Set – WKNDS

Halsey – Ghost

Zee Avi – Concrete Wall

Ghostbird – Toy Soldier

Sara Jackson-Holman – Cellophane

Sincerely,

Sammy

Help Me Get Out of this Slump

Dear Reader,

Have you ever had SO much to do that, instead of tackling the list, you procrastinate or sleep, hoping the problem will fix itself? Well, that is me currently.

I HATE it when I get in these moods. I haven’t felt like doing anything for the past few days and everything that I do force myself to do is done half-heartedly. Even reading. I find myself zoning out on every page, just wishing I could go to sleep. But then I’ll sleep, only to awake an hour or two later, mad that I wasted more of my day and not feeling any more rested.

And I’ve been meaning to make a new post, but I haven’t committed to any of my ideas. I’ve been particularly irritable lately, so I was going to make a list of my most annoying pet peeves, but I decided that would worsen my mood. So then I thought I would make a list of things that make me happy, so I could boost it back up, but I can’t really think of anything that’s worth mentioning. And then yesterday I got a haircut that I am loving, so I was going to write about how I love change and how this is the new me, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a new me. I mean, I have all the same bad habits that I used to. I just want this to be a new me.

So here I am, writing this pointless and poorly-written post, asking for help I guess. All I’ve been doing is eating and sleeping and zoning out and just being fatigued. And I’m sure it’s because my two back-to-back trips just drained me, physically and emotionally, but I hate feeling like this. So please, if you have advice, I’d love to hear it.

What do you do when you need to feel, just, better?

Sincerely,

Sammy

The Liebster Award

Dear Reader,

I’m very surprised and honored to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster award by the wonderful Becca. I had never heard of this award before but it is used to help spread the word of newer and less known blogs and to highlight our favorite bloggers. So thank you so much, Becca, for this nomination! Here are the rules:

You must link back to the person who nominated you.

You must answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you.

You must list 11 random/fun facts about yourself.

You must pick 11 nominees with under 200 followers to answer your questions.

You cannot nominate the person who nominated you.

You must let the people you nominate know they have been nominated.


BECCA’S QUESTIONS

1) What is one thing you love about yourself?

I would like to think that I have good manners, which is something I admire in other people as well. So I like that it is an instinct for me to say please and thank you and excuse me and I’m sorry, even though it seems like this should be automatic for everyone.

2) Are you a cat person or a dog person?

I love dogs. I am the person who will be in the corner cuddling with the dog when all of my friends are on the couch, socializing. And I will own either a corgi, a golden retriever, or a Bernese mountain dog when I’m older.

3) What’s your favourite genre of TV/movies?

Well I love disney movies; Tangled, Mulan, Finding Nemo, Brother Bear, UP, Hercules, you name it. It’s always a good time to watch a disney movie, in my opinion. Other than that, I mostly opt for comedies or romantic comedies. I think these are best to watch with people because even though I can be self-conscience of my laugh sometimes, I find it interesting to see what makes others laugh and what doesn’t. And it’s nice to share a laugh with someone.

4) What sort of blogs do you like to follow?

Well I haven’t even been blogging for a month yet, so I follow back anyone who follows me or even likes or comments on my posts. I just need enough bloggers on my homepage to see what I like to see and what I don’t. Other than that, I like following beauty blogs and travel blogs and writing blogs.

5) What is your dream job/career?

Honestly, making YouTube into a career would be a dream come true for me. YouTubers travel the world with their best friends and make videos and go on adventures and get paid for it. I would love to be able to do that full-time, especially if I had someone like my sister as a partner to do it with me.

6) What is one country/city you would love to visit?

One of the items on my bucket list is to go to Thailand and swim with elephants. Ever since I found out that I could do this (from Pinterest), I’ve decided I need to go. Plus, Thailand’s beauty and culture is enough to make me want to go anyways.

7) If you had to eat just one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I could honestly eat pasta for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. Last summer I used to eat spaghetti every single day for lunch. Plus, if I had to eat it for the rest of my life, I could switch between chicken alfredo and penne pasta and spaghetti and meatballs and it’d just be perfect. Other than that, my favorite treat is Pepperidge Farm’s cream filled chocolate hazelnut Pirouettes. So good.

8) What is your guilty pleasure?!

Okay this is extremely cliché, but I can spend countless hours watching entire seasons of America’s Next Top Model. It’s just so good! I don’t even think of DVRing it and coming back later, I just stay inside the whole day, indulged in their dramatic, glamorous lives, wishing I could be a model.

9) Who is your celebrity crush?

Ewan McGregor. Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies and my all-time favorite musical movie and Ewan McGregor is perfection in it. His voice makes me swoon. But the story breaks my heart.

10) Do you have any hobbies other than blogging?

I played soccer for over 10 years before quitting to play tennis my senior year, which I’ll be continuing in college. I’ll also continue playing the cello, which I’ve been playing for eight years. I’m also in the process of writing a novel and I try to read a lot as well. That and nannying is what my summer consists of.

11) What’s your favourite makeup/cosmetics brand?

I hardly wear anything besides mascara, but my favorite is by Benefit.


MY RANDOM FACTS:

1. I am turning 18 during my freshman year of college and won’t turn 21 until my senior year. It’ll be September, but I’m still pretty young for my grade.

2. I have a completed state quarter collection and am currently collecting mugs.

3. I have a scar on my nose from when I was in first grade. I was riding my bike on the sidewalk the day before picture day and my brother threw a stick at me. It got stuck in the spokes and landed face-first on the pavement, scraping my nose and chin. It healed pretty well except for the dot that remains on the bridge of my nose.

4. I also have two freckles in identical places behind my ears. This caused my cousin to think I was a witch when I was in fourth grade.

5. When I was in fifth grade, I was playing basketball with my brother and he checked the ball to me. But he bounced it too hard and it hit me in the mouth, chipping my front tooth. I have yet to get it fixed.

6. I hate feet–even my own! I have a scar on the pinky toe of my left foot that tingles sometimes and if I can’t stop thinking about it, I’ll have to go put on socks or shoes or just sit on it because it makes me feel weird. And other people’s feet are just gross. And smelly.

7. I’m obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes. I’ve read most of the collections and I just love the perfect mixture of childish humor and thought-provking comments that it has. Whenever I come across fan fiction that takes place when Calvin is old and grown up (and often married to Suzy), it moves me to tears.

8. My favorite game is Would You Rather. I love thinking of weird questions and debating them and it’s interesting to see the thought process of others and how it differs.

9. I used to tell people I couldn’t pick a favorite color because I thought it would make the other colors feel bad (I was little), but, really, my favorite color is blue. And it always has been.

10. I love the rain and I love thunderstorms. I find them soothing and love feeling like the world is getting a good cleaning. The sound of thunder and rain puts me to sleep.

11. The majority of my mother’s side of my family lives in Canada, where she was born and raised. But despite being half-Canadian, I’m not a dual citizen (yet).


MY NOMINATIONS:

This part is pretty self-explanatory. Here are 11 blogs I think you should definitely check out and I have my favorite post of theirs linked when you click their name. Enjoy reading! 🙂

PINK AND PASSIONS – SOUNDTRACKS. MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS.

COZY, ROSY & SWEET –  GIVE SUPPORT NOT ADVICE

DID SOMEONE SAY COFFEE? – THAT AWKWARD FIRST POST

CALL ME NORMAL –  MY PROBLEM IS:

LOL FOR MY TEEN YEARS – DO IT LIKE A GIRL

CHLOE – RANT – HAPPINESS

A NOTE FROM SOPHIE – POINTLESS TRIP TO IRELAND

QUEEN SAM THE ANNOYED – THIS IS WHY YOU’RE IMPORTANT

I HAVE A FEZ ON MY HEAD – RECENT MOMENTS OF HAPPINESS

A PRETTY THOUGHT – LOOKS I LOVE – I saw that you’ve been recently nominated, so I understand if you don’t want to make another post so soon, but I thought I’d nominate you anyways because I’ve been loving your blog. 🙂

LOVE AND SPARKLES – MAKE THIS YEAR COUNT


MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? 

2. Who are you closest to?

3. What is something that people don’t know about you that you wish they did?

4. What song do you claim to hate but will find yourself singing when you’re in the car? 

5. Are you a morning person or night owl? 

6. What is the best gift you’ve ever been given?

7. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? 

8. Do you collect anything? If you don’t, what do you wish you collected? 

9. If you could live in a different time period, which would you pick?

10. What is your happy place? (Real or in your head)

11. What is the longest you’ve gone without sleep?

Sorry if those are bad questions or boring answers, but I guess that’s it! Thanks again to Becca for the nomination! Everyone reading this should at least click the link to check out her blog–it’s awesome! http://beckinablog.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Sammy

My Week in San Antonio

Dear Reader,

This year, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to San Antonio, Texas, for FCCLA’s National Leadership Conference. For those of you who don’t know, FCCLA stands for Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America and is open to any student enrolled in a Family and Consumer Science class. Because I took a teaching professions class this year, I joined FCCLA and participated in a STAR event at the regional, state, and national competitions.

So, last Saturday, I left my hometown for the Detroit airport, flew into Atlanta, Georgia, and then connected to a flight arriving in San Antonio, Texas. We ended up getting to the hotel at around 3AM because of some scheduling issues involving our shuttle, but the next morning we got up around 8 and traveled to New Braunfels to visit the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, which has been voted the World’s Best Waterpark for 16 years in a row. Needless to say, it was amazing. I mostly just went in the lazy river, rode the master blaster, and sat in an inner tube in the falls, but it was such a fun day.

I was so happy that we finally landed that I felt obliged to take a selfie.

I was so happy when we finally landed that I felt obliged to take a selfie.

The view from our room on the 19th floor.

The view from our room on the 19th floor.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center--where most of our meetings took place.

The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center–where most of our meetings took place.

On Monday I presented my STAR event, which was in the category of nutrition and wellness, but because I think it would be pretty boring to read about, I’ll skip through the details. Basically I just helped my family lose weight and presented it to three judges who looked extremely bored and uninterested, no matter how excited or passionate I tried to seem. So I thought I did awful, but, as we found out on Thursday, I received a gold (the highest) rating. So I guess I just got myself worked up for nothing, which seems to happen to me a lot.

The rest of the day was spent at the mall and roaming around the cities with the new people I met, and we ate dinner that night on the river.

A nice eating area in the center of the mall.

A nice eating area in the center of the mall.

An old friend, Colleen, and I reconnected on this trip and ventured off, forgetting that we would have no one to take a picture of us so we opted for yet another selfie.

An old friend, Colleen, and I reconnected on this trip and ventured off, forgetting that we would have no one to take a picture of us so we opted for yet another selfie.

Where we ate dinner on the river on Monday night.

Where we ate dinner on the river on Monday night.

The next morning I went to an 8AM seminar about texting and driving, which truly opened my eyes. I think the #ItCanWait campaign is so important and am enforcing it with everyone I can. Distracted driving is dangerous and texting behind the wheel is just not a risk worth taking.

Afterwards, I helped my friends prepare for their presentation and went sight-seeing with some people from the group. We also hung out on the 5th floor roof that day and sat in big, comfy couches that overlooked the city.

The sitting area on the 5th floor roof.

The sitting area on the 5th floor roof.

The view from our 5th floor roof.

The view from the 5th floor roof.

On Wednesday morning we had another seminar to go to, this one was about fundraising, and walked around some exhibits. Afterwards we spent the day at the Six Flags in San Antonio, where I discovered that I love roller coasters. Despite the fact that I live about an hour from Cedar Point, I’ve only been there twice–and neither times were particularly spectacular. Six Flags, though, was awesome. Who would’ve known that I’m an adrenaline junkie?

By the time Thursday came around, everyone was exhausted. Luckily, our only obligations were the awards ceremony, closing sessions, and the gala–all of which were more fun than I had anticipated and a good way to end the week.

I reconnected with an old friend from soccer, Brissa, and made new friends, Lily and Ryan, while on this trip.

I reconnected with an old friend from soccer, Brissa, and made new friends, Lily and Ryan, while on this trip. This is us right before we left for the gala.

The view from our 5th floor roof at night.

The view from the 5th floor roof at night.

Then on Friday we drove to the San Antonio airport, flew to Chicago, had a two-and-a-half-hour layover, landed in Detroit around 10, and got back to our school by 11. So I got home, showered, unpacked, repacked, caught up with my sister, and left for my friend’s at 1:30 in the morning only to leave less than four hours later for Indiana.

But that’s another adventure.

Sincerely,

Sammy

 

How Do You Write With a View?

Dear reader,
I departed from Detroit’s airport about an hour ago and I have been in the air ever since, wondering what I should write about.
At first I thought I would write about why I hate taking pictures. Or why my self confidence is so low. But I decided that, ultimately, that wasn’t a good idea because it would be pointless and negative and it would probably be better to write an entry like that once I’ve changed. But I’m not ready for that yet.
Then Macklemore’s “10,000 hours” started playing through my headphones and I heard my favorite line: the greats aren’t great because at birth they could paint. They greats are great because they paint a lot.” This line was enough to inspire a spark inside me and I prepared to write when I looked outside.
We were just beneath the clouds, close enough to the ground that I could see the buildings and the cars clearly, but far enough away that everything looked fake. It was as if everything was a set piece on a child’s intricate playtable. It was hard to believe that everything was lifelike and real. It was hard to believe there were actual people living in these items. Driving their cars around. Sitting on their front porches. Going about their daily lives as unique individuals, just like everyone else.
So I started to write about that. About how I love flying. How I love noticing these people and realizing they have their own story. And how some of the people I see in the airport are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
But after a few minutes of writing, I looked up again and what I saw was breathtaking. Everything was completely white for a few moments. I could see the wing but the entire plane was covered in a strong, white mist. And then we emerged. All of a sudden we were above the clouds–what looked like puffy cotton balls from my windowseat. The sky was different shades of blue and there was a soft pink in the far distance. I tried to take a picture but, of course, my iPhone and the dirty window can’t recreate the beautiful sight I had in front of me for a few moments.
Which brings me back to my question: how do you write with such a view? I couldn’t look away for a good 5 minutes and that was only because I decided to desperately jot down my fleeting thoughts. I agree that views like this create wonderful inspirations, but I wouldn’t have been able to write more than 100 words, even if I wanted to.
But why would I want to? I knew the view would only be there momentarily, so I looked out into it and lost myself. I lost my train of thought and I forgot I was using a public form of transportation. I was alone with my thoughts, and I just had to trust myself to remember them after the moments passed.
So I don’t know what the point of this entry is either. And because I’m typing this on my phone, I don’t know what it’ll look like on my blog. But I feel like I need to leave you, the reader, with something. So maybe don’t feel the need to capture everything. Or maybe just look up and outside every once in a while. Our earth is truly beautiful, as are our lives. And sometimes all it takes to see it is a few moments with a bird’s eye view.
Sincerely,
Sammy

Summer is a Long Weekend and July is Saturday

Dear Reader,

In a metaphorical sense, this is spot on. June is Friday; maybe you have a half-day of school or maybe you’re entirely free the whole day. Either way, you’re easing into things. You’re planning for the best weekend (summer) of your life. Or maybe you’re ditching all plans and starting with a bang–full-throttle. Then August is Sunday; you’re recovering. You can still go out and have fun, but in the back of your mind you know you have to get ready to go back to school. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s the distant future. After all, it’s Saturday morning and I don’t have a care in the world. I do, however, have a full day ahead of me.

So, I’m ditching my bowl of frosted flakes and early-morning cartoons, getting out of my gently-worn recliner, and grabbing my notebook. Oh yeah, I’m going all-in on this metaphor. And I’m making a July Bucket List.

I am obsessed with bucket lists. I’m obsessed with lists in general, I actually make several a week, and bucket lists give my to-dos the most dramatic deadline ever. I’m also awful with deadlines, and I’m awful with following through after saying something is going to be different. But I’m committing with you, dear reader, as my witness. And it’s going to be unbelievably shameful if I don’t stick to my word this time (so let’s hope this works).

So without further ado, and in no particular order, my July Bucket List:

  1. travel out of the state (I’m leaving on Saturday for Texas, so yes, I’m starting with something that is inevitable. It’s kind of like how I start each daily to-do list with “wake up.” It gets things off to a good start)
  2. deliver cupcakes to friends
  3. get bikini-body confidence–I’ve never been confident in a bathing suit before in my entire life, and I plan to change that
  4. take a picture every day
  5. watch the sunrise–just once out of the whole month of July; I think that’s doable
  6. explore my hometown
  7. chill on a rooftop 
  8. learn how to make sushi
  9. ride a rollercoaster
  10. post 16 entries on blog (one every other day)
  11. volunteer
  12. go to the farmer’s market
  13. learn how to juggle
  14. read 5 books
  15. chinese fire drill–this is one of my favorite things in the world
  16. write the first chapter of my novel
  17. silly string someone
  18. give Jaden her birthday present (it’s seven months late)
  19. go to a water park
  20. finish a sudoku puzzle a day (I’ve been neglecting my calendar)
  21. run a mile everyday for a week 
  22. pull a prank 
  23. finish Sherlock 
  24. finish The Fault in our Stars
  25. finish Looking for Alaska (I’m on the last episode of the third season of Sherlock and I have maybe 50-75 pages of TFIOS and LFA but I’m just really bad at finishing things. I don’t know why.)

Well, I have 29 days to complete 25 items from this list. I think that’s reasonable. Especially since some of them are so stupid, they’ll take minutes to complete. And I’ll obviously be updating my progress on this blog, so let’s hope I stick to my word. Or this will be embarrassing for everyone.

Secondhand embarrassment is real.

Sincerely,

Sammy

What’s To Come

Dear Reader,

June is coming to a close much too soon, and the move-in date of August 21st is approaching much too quickly. But that’s how most summers go, isn’t it? Still, June is leaving me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

Now, it wasn’t all bad. I mean, I graduated and started this blog–two things that I suppose can be considered accomplishments. But I’m still unhappy with what hasn’t happened. I’ve been neglecting my summer reading list and my workout routine, I’ve missed out on some great opportunities, and I feel like I’m wasting most of my days away. I work four days a week from 8-4 in addition to the shifts I pick up as a dishwasher/waitress through the week, but even the rare times I find myself at home, I’m normally hiding away in my room and being unproductive.

But July is going to be different. July is going to be awesome. I already have two trips planned and I have so many ideas for this blog that I’m excited to try out. I think I’m going to try some DIYs and maybe a few Day-in-the-Life posts in order to motivate me to make the most of the precious days I have left before I leave most of my family and friends for college. Then maybe in August I’ll try posting every day, as opposed to the every-other-day approach I’ve been taking. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The point is, I have a plan for what’s to come–which is enough for now.

The summer’s not over yet.

Sincerely,

Sammy

I'm in the process of writing mine.

I’m in the process of writing mine.