Friday, July 29, 2016

Vlog: FLAMINGO ATTACK!!! Cape Cod 2016 (July 21-24, 2016)

On today's vlog, I take you along on our annual trip to Cape Cod! We spend a lot of time floating in the water because it was an absolutely gorgeous weekend. We had these awesome floaties including my favorite - a flamingo that we collectively named Maurice. (Maurice liked to sneak up on people and attack them. :P) Aside from a gnarly sunburn from floating in the water and the laying in the sun for far too long, it was a fantastic weekend and we were super sad to leave. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Elephant Awareness Month 2016 Schedule!

Summer is flyyyyying by (as it does every year) and it's making me super anxious to know that in a matter of weeks we will be back in the thick of yet another academic year. (Which always makes me wonder - how do people who don't work in a school system think about the year? I still think of the year running September-August, as I have since I was 5 years old.) But coming towards the end of the summer means coming up on August, aka ELEPHANT AWARENESS MONTH! I'm going to be doing a few Elephant themed posts throughout the month on both my blog and YouTube channel, and I thought to kick off the excitement with my posting schedule so you don't miss out on anything!

Tuesday, August 2nd 
(Blog) Elephant Awareness Month Book Club Selection

Friday, August 12th World Elephant Day! 
(YouTube) Three Awesome Elephant Conservation Organizations

Tuesday, August 16th 
(Blog) My Favorite Elephant Videos & Facts

Friday, August 26th 
(YouTube) My Elephant Collection

Tuesday, August 30th 
(Blog) Elephant Awareness Month Book Club Review

I won't get into too much detail on what these posts will entail (though you can get the gist of these posts through the titles - haha!) but there will be a post either here or over on my YouTube channel at least once a week to celebrate the awesomeness of elephants! I'm excited to celebrate this month with you all and I'm looking forward to sharing these posts with you! <3

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Links {#24}

I don't have a ton of links for you this month because - let's be honest - it is HARD to look at the internet lately. I don't know if it's because of national and world events getting shared regularly (which, while tough to read, it is a positive thing that they're being brought to light and discussed), the fact that the U.S. Presidential is REALLY picking up speed, or some other reason, it seems that every time I click onto Twitter or Facebook or anywhere online that I can really find the links I share with you all I either want to cry my heart out or roll my eyes until they get stuck in the back of my head. #yikes Anywho, I sifted through and found a few gems that I really enjoyed and felt was appropriate to share with everyone!
Game of Thrones Beginner's Guide

WARNING: GoT SPOILERS (but I think that's pretty obvious)

Brett shared this on my wall and it is hilarious! This is a quick rundown of the plot of Game of Thrones through Season 5 (there's a tiny bit of Season 6 but not a ton) which is awesome in itself but to make it even better - IT'S NARRATED BY SAMUEL L. JACKSON which we all know makes literally everything 150 times better. If you're a fan (or new to the show and do not care about spoilers) I would highly suggest you check out this video.
Gotta GO! Virtual 2K/5K/10K Race

I 100% found this as a result of Google Ads totally understanding my click and search habits. :P This is a Virtual Race that combines the sport of running with the Pokémon GO! craze which is absolutely genius on the race company's part! The idea is you go for a run to hatch some of your Pokémon GO! eggs (hence the distance options) and at the end of the race you get a cool new Pokemon AND a shiny new Pokéball medal. What's not to love?

July 22 groundbreaking for new high school

It turns out that my high school alma mater is getting a brand new building (and really, a brand new school all together)! While some people may be upset by the news that their high school is getting replaced, I'm pretty stoked about this. Good ol' Dover High desparately needs a facelift - both in and out - and I'm very excited that future DHS students will get to enjoy this environment!

This link is both awesome and slightly terrifying. Awesome that Ireland is super aware of how terrible of a position our country is potentially in, and terrifying that this could potentially need be an option for some people in our country. You guys.... I'm so nervous about where this Presidential season is going to take us. Fingers crossed for the best.... #YIKES!

Michelle Obama's Speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

While I'm not the biggest Hillary fan in the world (#feeltheBern), you can't deny how moving Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC was last night. It's a long video, but I highly suggest you give this a watch. 

"Today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters - and all our sons and daughters - now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States. So, don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on Earth."

What links have you been loving lately?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Vlog: WE FOUND A BODY ...of water {July 11-17, 2016}

Hey everyone! So I'm trying something new... I will be changing my YouTube upload schedule from Mondays and Wednesdays to uploading on Fridays only with the occasional bonus video whenever I feel like I can fit one in! I'm also going to start sharing my videos here on the blog each week! I have been trying to keep the sidebar updated with my latest videos, but why not put them in a post for you all? So in addition to my usual Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule, you will get a video on Friday as well! Woohoo!

This week I'm sharing a vlog! Brett and I take the pups on a hot summer walk, play a bit of Pokemon GO, and get some ice cream to cool off. I also take a trip up to NH for the Midnight Owl 15K (see my review here), which you can see some clips GoPro clips of in this video. I hope you enjoy! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Race Review: Midnight Owl 15K + Marathon Training Update!

Saturday night my parents and I ran the Midnight Owl 15K in North Conway, NH! This was a different kind of race called a prediction run. The idea is that you can start running at any time after 9:30PM, but you have to be one of the first to cross the finish line AFTER midnight in order to be considered one of the winners. Oh, and you're not allowed to carry any sort of timing device on you, which includes watched, phones, or ANYTHING that displays the time (which basically means you're running with your thoughts and that's pretty much it). Pretty awesome if you ask me! Because we were running at night we were required to wear

It was a really unique experience running without having any idea what time it was or what my pace was. Luckily there were mile markers so atlas I had some sort of sense of where I was along the course but other than those I was (literally and figuratively) in the dark! There weren't even clocks at the finish so I had absolutely no idea what my time was! I only knew what time I left (10:21:03pm) and I made a general guess of how long before I crossed before the alarm went off for midnight (I made a guess of 6 or 7 minutes... granted I had no idea how close we were to midnight until AFTER the alarm for midnight went off and I had already been stretching out after finishing!) but we weren't informed of what time we crossed the finish line until two days ago when the race coordinators emailed the results.

(I finished 6 minutes and 5 seconds before midnight - not bad for guessing!)

Though I finished before midnight, I'm pretty happy with my time! I did the calculations - my total time was 1:32:52, giving me a 9:59 pace! That's pretty excellent for me and I am very happy. It's always good to gauge performance in a race situation and I always forget that when I'm in training. This just proves it! I'm looking forward to race day in October even more now!

What I Loved

I really loved the whole concept of a prediction run. I've never heard of it until my dad introduced this race to me and it is so unique. I don't know if there are any more races like this in my area but I would love to do another one in the future!

I also really loved that the field size was really small. There were 93 total runners in this field which I'm pretty sure is the smallest race field I've ever participated in. Small race fields give races a really awesome sense of camaraderie that you can't really feel at a big-name-bigger-attendence-race.

Lastly, the volunteers at this race were awesome. At the start, each water stop, and the finish line they were cheering for us, chatting us up, and all around making the race environment really positive and fun. And it's awesome they could get so many volunteers to come out and wait around in the dark (and probably getting eaten by mosquitos!) while all 93 crazy people took their time crossing the finish line.

What I Didn't Love

While I know there wasn't any timing allowed at this race (as it basically defeats the purpose), I really wish there was chip timing of some kind or at least a hidden clock accessible somewhere after you cross the finish line. I was dying to know what my overall time was because I felt like I had a really great run (which I did). It's not a huge draw back, though, because they end up sending you your times via email, you just have to wait a bit longer to know what your results are.

The BIG thing that I didn't love was that there didn't seem to be anyone sweeping the course to ensure runner safety. We were (of course) running in the dark, in a fairly wooded area, and many of us were going out on the course alone or in very small groups. Also - due to the rules - you don't have a phone on you so there wouldn't really be able to contact anyone if you got hurt or lost. There definitely weren't bikes sweeping the course and it didn't seem like there was a car sweeping the course, so being super careful while I was covering several miles completely alone and in the dark was at the front of my mind. It would have made me feel a lot more at ease if I knew there would be volunteers checking on the course!

The Swag!

Race swag was a really soft cotton t-shirt and a finishers medal that doubles as a bottle opener! Definitely one of the coolest medals I've gotten so far! It would have been even better if the yellow lettering and moon on the medal glowed in the dark! Maybe next year. ;)
Overall I really loved this race. It could have been even better if we had the peace of mind of course sweepers but even without them this was definitely a really well-run race, especially for an organization that *isn't* a race company. I would absolutely love to run this race again next year and would recommend it to anyone that is looking to try something a bit different for a race!

Marathon Training Update

I know I've mentioned off-hand in a few posts that I'm marathon training but I'm not sure if I've let you all know what marathon I'm training for! I am training for the Green Mountain Marathon that will be in South Hero, VT on October 9th! It's a very affordable marathon ($55!), fairly flat (despite the name), with a beautiful out-and-back course along Lake Champlain! 

It's sure to be a really scenic marathon with the lake views AND the Vermont foliage in early October is going to be even more gorgeous. I'm sure I'll be snapping pics and taking video the whole way through! (Until, you know, mile 22 when my legs are basically dead.) 

Training has been going wonderfully this time around. I'm hitting my runs, making time for lifts and stretching, and feeling really great about progress! I truly think most of this success in training so far has been attributed to having a training partner. I have never trained with a partner and I'm so happy my friend Danielle are making plans to run together at least once a week! She's also training for an October marathon (I believe her race day is a week after mine) so it is perfect timing for us. 

I hope to continue this consistency throughout the summer and the craziness that is September in HigherEd and hit my time goal (yes, I have a time goal this time around!) of a sub-5 hour marathon. My time for the Maine Marathon last October was 5:08:24, so I think this is a totally achievable goal as long as I keep working hard! I'll keep you all periodically updated on my training process and of course be sure to tell you all about my experience in South Hero this fall!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Current Planner Favorites

It's been a bit since I've posted a planner blog post. Most of my planner updates have lived exclusively on my YouTube channel and I've honestly have kind of forgotten to dedicate a blog post to this hobby of mine! I thought I'd share a quick update of a few of my current planner favorites with you all and give you a quick peak into what my current planning set up is like!

Current Favorite...

...Planner (Filofax Original in Flouro Pink)

I bought myself the Flouro Pink Original for Christmas and I finally moved into it in March. I've been LOVING it ever since I moved it. I don't know - there's definitely something about the Original that is just so simple and perfect for what I need. There aren't too many pockets tempting me to overload it with decorations, the solid color and smooth cover has a kind of no-muss-no-fuss feel to it which is so needed in my crazy life, and it is made so well. I'm a big fan and I don't see me moving out any time soon.

...Planner Size (A5)

I'm still very much an A5 girl. I really wish I was partial to another size because A5s do get a bit cumbersome to carry around, but everything else feels so cramped. I have this beautiful black Kate Spade Wellesley that I'm dying to use but I don't want to make it into my everyday planner because I know it will just be too small. A5s give me a enough room to write, make spreads that are easy to glance down at while at my work desk, and to carry around documents (letters, bills, forms, etc) as needed. The personal size doesn't allow that. Perhaps someday I'll move back into a smaller size but for now I'm still loving the A5 size!

...Pen (Black Pilot G2 .5)

I've gotten a bit more simple with the pen I tend to reach for when I'm planning. While I'm still color coding with .7s, the Pilot G2 .5s in black are what I'm using to create layouts, make changes, and to take notes throughout my planner. I'm loving keeping things a bit more simple these days!

...Paper (Dot Grid)

Dot grid paper is HUGE in the Bullet Journal community and I'm a recent big fan of it. I have always loved grid paper, but the subtlety of the dots make line creation much easier and allows you to create a much more simple and clean look to your layouts! I've found this website which allows you to create your own dot grid paper (and other paper formats!) and print it for free. Definitely check it out if you're planning on a budget like me!

...Planning Style (Bullet Journaling/DIY)

I love the freedom that both a binder/ring bound planning system and the bullet journal system gives your planning style, so I decided to combine them! This style of planning has been fantastic for me because I can literally change EVERYTHING at any moment. Granted, you do have to be fairly confident with your artistic abilities and I wouldn't recommend this approach to anyone who might consider themselves an absolute perfectionist who can't look past mistakes because - trust me - you will make mistakes. However if you think this is something you'd be interested in trying out, see my planner update video above and check out my other plan with me videos on my YouTube channel to see my updates each month.

...Layout (Monthly)

While I can never *solely* use a monthly spread, monthlies are pages I just can't plan without. They're what allow me to future plan and look back and see what I have accomplished. I love planning bigger projects out on a monthly spread as it keeps me motivated throughout the entire month, and as the month comes to a close I can feel good about what items I've checked off the list. I don't think I could plan without a full month spread!

...Thing to Track

I've actually been adopting the habit tracker (something typically found in the bullet journal community) lately! It's fun to sit down and see how much time I'm taking to do the things I actually WANT to do. If I'm not doing yoga or making art all that often (both things I want to make time for in my life!), it will show me on the habit tracker and I'll make an effort to make time for it. It's a really cool way to keep yourself accountable for not only the things you *have* to do, but also the things you *want* to do as well.

What are your current planner favorites?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Desk & Bookshelf Tour!

Today on my YouTube channel I shared a Desk & Bookshelf Tour! I LOVE watching these videos on YouTube. I truly believe a desk says a lot about someone's creative side, and bookshelves always seem to be a unique look into someone's personality and interests. What are the items that are heavily featured? Where are they arranged on the desk/bookshelf? How are their books or photos or art supplies organized? It can all tell a story about someone without that person really having to say anything. So I decided to share my own! I hope you all enjoy! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SAPro: Year One in Review

July 7, 2015: Snapchat from my first day!

Thursday was my *official* one year anniversary at Mount Holyoke! I can't believe how quickly a year has gone by and I can't believe how at home I feel on campus after only 12 months. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the experience I had in my first year. I had an excellent staff that had my back and became close friends of mine, I had absolutely incredible students who amazed me at every turn, and I became part of one of the most welcoming communities I've ever been a part of. I have learned so much this past year from my students, colleagues, and surroundings that I feel like a completely different professional and person than I was when I began last July. I'm so happy that I've had the opportunity to laugh, think, be challenged by my colleagues and especially my students, and to grow.

I took a bit of a chance on Mount Holyoke when I accepted the job in May 2015. The position wasn't *exactly* what I was looking for, but the staff and students I interacted with during my interview were (and are) people I knew I wanted to be around. So I took the plunge and accepted the job and it paid off. I have met some of the most incredible people and students and have learned so much from everyone I've encountered on this campus. I take a look at the photo collage above and I can't help but to feel overwhelming happiness for all of the experiences this job has afforded me. I gambled a bit on Mount Holyoke but I feel like I hit the jackpot with my first job as an #SApro. I can't wait to head into my second year at Mount Holyoke and see what will be thrown at me next!

July 7, 2016: Celebrating my one year workiversary with my amazing staff!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 2016 Goals

The New England humidity of mid-summer has reared its ugly head here in MA recently and while I'm a huge fan of hot weather, it's making me want to do nothing else but lay in front of a fan!  I am super excited it is July, though. Brett and I have already had a fun weekend filled with a Weezer/Panic! At the Disco concert and a visit to New Hampshire for Fourth of July Weekend. I'm currently importing all of the footage from last week to post a vlog up tomorrow of all the festivities and there's a solid hour and 20 minutes to sift through - that's how you know it was a good weekend! This week has also been packed with visits with both new and old friends which is always so fun! We have so much more planned for July and I'm SO looking forward to it! :)

A lot of my goals for July are similar to the ones I had for June. I really like most of what I had set for June and thought I could stick with a similar mindset for a busy but fun month ahead! It doesn't make for a very interesting blog post, I guess, but at least I'm working toward something, right? :P

Read at least 3 books - Summer is the best time of year to read and I've really loved taking advantage of my slower schedule to pick up a book and explore new titles. I would love to read and finish at least three books again this month!                  

Get up to half marathon distance in my marathon training - I'm doing pretty well and continuing to be pretty consistent in my marathon training so far this summer. What's even better - I now have a training buddy! It's made a world of difference to have someone that will keep you accountable and that you don't want to skip out on. She is also running an October marathon so we are aiming to do our long runs together each weekend. I'm sure we'll reach 13.1 by the end of the month!

Continue meatless weekdays - I really enjoyed doing this (more about this in my June update below) and hope to stick to this as closely as possible through July!

I will be giving you an update on how these went next month!
Click "read more" to get an update on how my June goals went!