Thursday, April 10, 2014

Adventure Time: Dates to Go On With Your Friends


In keeping with my Happiness Project, April's theme is friendship, so I thought it would be nice to come up with a list of friend date/adventures ideas! These can all be done with a best friend, a group of friends, or just someone you want to develop your friendship with, since that's what this month is really about! I hope you enjoy my ideas, I'm definitely doing a lot of these this month!


- Take them up to a mountain or hilltop for a picnic and bring along delicious foods, especially their favorites!
- Go rollerskating. Even if you're not very good, it's super fun and everyone will look adorable and possibly endearingly terrible at skating :)
- Surprise them by inviting them over and presenting them with a delicious home cooked feast.
- Are you musically talented? Have a jam sesh together! Bring your instruments, do warmups, and sing (even if you're bad at it)!
- Have an art date together! Get a piece of paper or cardboard and go crazy with paint, markers, etc.
- Have a reading date. Just bring your favorite books and find a nice spot to read together. This is a great cozy option for rainy days. Cuddling may ensue!
- See a play together. This is a hip take on the classic movie date, and live performances are more fun!
- Get rid of your stuff together. Go through a closet or a room and have the other person help you determine if you need, want, or use each item in the space.
- Have a garage sale together. This one goes hand in hand with the above idea, since you can sell all the stuff you decide to get rid of. Plus, you get extra money for date night!
- Get organized together! This is part three of the series. Once you've cleared out extra space, you can put all the remaining stuff back in ways that make sense. And make it pretty. I'm pretty sure they will appreciate some organizational help if you offer it.
- Sneak up on a rooftop or high place. Bonus points if you (almost) get caught.
- Follow a river together, and see where it goes (until you get tired).
- Go on a night walk together. Whether it's in a neighborhood, a forest, a field, a school, or whatever, go somewhere that won't be dangerous but still exciting. Nighttime walks tend to feel simultaneously mischievous and cathartic. Enjoy the company of another under the moonlight :)
- Teach them a skill you have that they do not. Whether it's skate-boarding, skim-reading, twerking, or pancake-making, if they want to learn, teach them! Giggles are sure to ensue.

Both images found thru tumblr

Monday, April 7, 2014

Who Are You?


     Kind of an important question, isn't it? And the full answer is seldom just your name. Think about it for a moment - who are you really? What do you do, why do you do it, how do you see yourself, how do others see you, what's important to you, where are you going, where have you been, where are you now? How do you feel, how do you look?


     Now think about the fact the the answers to all of those questions are in no way permanent or definite. Reality is not fixed, and the answers you provided could (and may) change within a second! You will never be exactly the person you are in this moment ever again. And is it just me, or is that really cool? 

      Today I'd like you to join me on a little soul-searching activity. Sit down with your notebook for a little while and write about who you are. Tell your story. Answer all the questions above as well as any more that you feel need to be addressed. Maybe a few of these will strike your fancy: What do you believe in? How do you feel about yourself? Who are your friends? Who are your enemies? What are you most afraid of? What is your greatest desire? Your deepest secret? The worst thing you've ever done? The best?

      Flesh out your character of yourself, with all the little nuances and traits in place. It's good to take stock of who and where you are in your life. Doing this exercise can help you realize how you feel about yourself and your life, and understand what things are in place and what's left to figure out. The great thing about life is that there will always be plenty to figure out, so you'll never get bored (or if you are, why is that? See? You have to figure that one out, too)!

      Now that you're done putting yourself on paper, walk back through everything you wrote down. Take mental notes. Notice the loose ends, the things you'd like to change, the things that satisfy and delight you. Write all of these things down too. Draft a little sketch of who you will be in the future, or who you'd like to be. What do you need to do to make this person you? Write about it, draft a step-by-step plan, or just contemplate it for a while. 

      It doesn't matter what you do with these notes after you finish them. You could bookmark them for future reference, seal them up in an envelope and open them in 6 months, a year, three years, or a decade, or simply toss them in the fire and burn them. Either way, you have engaged in some real introspective thought, and that's what's important. Now, go out, and become who you are. Good luck to you. 

Photos both found via tumblr

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happiness Project: April Is the Month of Friendship


My Happiness Project Theme for the month of April is friendship, and I'm so happy (and not just because I get to use a picture from Freaks & Geeks)! Basically, my friends (and potential friends) become my top priority this month, and I'm very excited to have an excuse to hang out with people more often. My goals for the month are:

- Make 3 new friends
- Spend 1 day every weekend with friends
- Spend 4 days a week with friends
- Surprise close friends with gifts
- Go to a different friend’s house 2 times a week
- Join/organize a group 


       I plan on having quite a few adventures as a part of this month's endeavors, and I'll tell the stories at the end of the month when I'm all done! 
       My theme last month was The Law of Attraction, and I did a pretty good job with those goals, though I was not as thorough as I'd like to be. I suspect this month will be more successful since I am already so enthusiastic. We shall see :) I hope everyone has a happy April!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Playlist


Happy April, my friends. Today is April 2nd and it's a bright and breezy day (and also very hectic, there's a strike on at UCSC right now). I hope you all had a productive March and that April is full of spring delights. Here is my playlist and mood board:

April Playlist:

Tennis Court - Lorde

Satellite Mind - Metric

Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones

Cherry Pie - Warrant 

Gold Guns Girls - Metric

Glory and Gore - Lorde

Stadium Love - Metric

Ramble On - Led Zeppelin 

Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard 

Head Will Roll - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Collect Call - Metric

Going to California - Led Zeppelin



In March, I:
Continued dat job hunt, drummed up some money over spring break, aced my finals, continued my Happiness Project, got rid of more STUFF, worked out (yay), got an internship, made a few new friends, hung out with some old ones, went exploring and hiking, made and drew some cool stuff, and had tons of adventures!


In April, I will: 
Keep up the job hunt (oh yes), go geocaching, practice the guitar, go dancing with friends, do many art projects, and hang out with many people. And hopefully have lots of fun!




Monday, March 31, 2014

March Links


Here are a few neat internet places I found for you all to wander to:

I love this illustration by Nicky Roa, it's part of a series he did called "Strange Girls".
This article on Rookie, Thinking About Dying Will Change Your Life, was both funny and insightful.
Apparently in Britain they have Pancake Day? Didn't know that was a thing. Anyway, here's how you make British Pancakes!
This TED Talk about female objectification kind of blew my mind.
Rookie's little feature of beautiful boys, Guys Are Dolls, is just excellent in all ways.
Having more stuff actually makes you miserable, according to this article. I so called it!


One time, at a birthday party, a friend and I decided to take pictures of our other friend eating, joking that we were going to make a tumblr of her eating things. And then we actually did, which is how Karla Eating Things was born!
Another excellent Rookie article (this was a good month for them) about getting rid of toxic "friends" and people who don't make you feel good, was very helpful and excellent.
Elsie's post at A Beautiful Mess about the young industry of blogging was very insightful.
I washed my pillows with the help of this post at A Bowl Full of Lemons. They're so fresh and fluffy now!
Rookie actually published this article about a year ago but it so rad. It's all about dealin' with doubt and it's helped me out a lot in the past, so I thought I'd share.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Giveaway Update


Due to the low amount of entries into my giveaway, I've decided to extend the entry deadline to Friday April 18th! To see the full post and all the goodies I'm giving away, go here!

Here's How to Enter

1. If you follow me either on bloglovin' or through blogger, that counts as one entry (you can find the bloglovin' button to the left of this post, in the sidebar). 

2. Liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or commenting with one thing you'd like to see me write about all count as one entry as well. Let me know what your usernames are on Facebook or Twitter by emailing me at aplleegrl@yahoo.com or commenting here so that I can count these entries. 

3. Promoting me in a post on any social media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc..) counts as 2 entries! Please link to any such post in the comments below or by emailing me at aplleegrl@yahoo.com

4. You must be following me for any of the additional entries to count.  If you aren't following me on either bloglovin' or blogger, then any actions you take to gain additional entries will be null and void. 

Additionally, if you are already following me, please let me know if you are interested in participating in the giveaway. I don't want to enter anyone who doesn't want these goodies!

You can enter the giveaway until Friday, April 18th! After that day, I will pick and announce the winner and I will contact you for your address! Good luck everyone! 

~~~~ Please know that you must be following me on blogger or bloglovin' in order to be entered~~~~


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Salted Caramel Butter Bars


YUM! These bars are probably one of the best things I've made in a while, so they are definitely worth sharing with you all. I made them for a church function as a favor for my mom, and they were gone in 20 minutes! The original recipe, as well as the photos, come from Pip & Ebby. Hallelujah for this recipe!

Ingredients:

4 sticks of butter

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

14 oz. unwrapped caramel candies

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 a teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt


Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F

2. In a large bowl, combine the butter (at room temperature) and powdered and granulated sugar. Beat together with a hand mixer until creamy. Then add 2 tablespoons vanilla and blend in.

3. Gradually add the flour to the mixture, until a soft dough forms.

4. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Bake this for about 20 minutes, until edges are golden. Place the remaining dough in the refrigerator. 

5. Combine the caramels, whipping cream, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for one minute and then stir. If mixture is not smooth, microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth.

6. After crust has baked and cooled for 15 minutes, pour caramel mixture over crust, sprinkling with sea salt. 

7. Take the excess dough from the refrigerator and crumble over the caramel to form the top. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares. Now, enjoy and indulge!