Wednesday, December 28, 2011



Let me start off by saying I am, by no means, a minimalist. As I have said in past posts, after being with Andrew and reading other people's blogs and seeing how minimalistic so many people are - my eyes have been opened and I am MUCH more aware of how much "stuff" I accumulate. I hardly ever buy brand new things now, I try not to get as attached to material things as I used to, etc.

I have been home for winter break now for a couple weeks, and it is killing me. I love my family, don't get me wrong! But MY GOD. There is SO MUCH stuff in our house! I don't even know where any of it came from. I don't know where any of it goes. I don't know whose stuff it is. I just don't know! It doesn't help that I have my clean laundry in my hamper, heaps of stuff from when I went to Andrew's family's house out of town, and have all my Christmas gifts, blah, blah, blah. It's too much. How the heck did I get this much stuff?! Trust me, I know I have lots of clothes and I know I should get rid of some... but geez I didn't know I brought this much home with me! I don't ever lose things; and I've lost at least three things since I've been home! Bahhh!!! I hate it. I'm overwhelmed.

So I have decided that when I "grow up" and get a big girl job and have a big girl house/ apartment, I am going to get rid of as much stuff as I can. And I am going to make a great effort to being as minimalistic as possible. I need to. I can't have it any other way! I do not NEED so much crap! I've always been one to keep stuff "just in case", so this goal is going to be difficult... at first. But after this trip home, I have realized how much I have and how much I don't need. (Yes, Andrew [and everyone else] you can hold me to this! Gotta crack down on me!)

Luckily I'm not as materialistic as other people I know. And I know it could always be worse. And I know I'm lucky to have the privilege to have "stuff". But come onnnnn, it's just not necessary! Kind of ironic timing I'm saying this as the holidays have just ended too... Media and society is constantly promoting "MORE! MORE! BETTER! STUFF!" and everyone feels like they have to "keep up with the Joneses".... And it's sickening. It really is. We don't need all that crap because we end up getting bored with it in a short period of time anyway!

I was visiting a friend yesterday, and she has three kids. Her house was swamped with toys. Everywhere. It was crazy! I've never ever seen that many toys. And the kids are totally just going to get bored of those toys and want more, etc. It's a vicious cycle. We've progressed as a society that we constantly need something to keep us happy. Yet most little tots I know are completely content playing with tupperware, silverware, and basic kitchen utensils. Why do we need to buy them 94859485 kinds of different gadgets and toys!? They just don't need all that!

Like I said, I am not perfect either. But I am so much more conscious of what I have now... And I'm glad. And I am going to get better! I'm usually not one to make New Year's resolutions, but I think I am going to subconsciously make a goal to A. get rid of unnecessary crap I don't need and B. not get/ purchase more unnecessary crap and be happy with what I do have! Simplicity and minimalism makes for a much happier and less stressful life. Then we can have more time to enjoy the people and moments we share each day, and enjoy the present time instead of stuff.

(all pictures source: pinterest)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grad School... Eek!

Ahhh It's all happening so quickly!!! Well, not really. I've known about grad school for quite some time now. I'm just now finally starting to finish up the application processes! I've filled out my application for UMKC (University of Missouri-Kansas City), just have to mail my Webster application, sent the transcripts to both schools, and will get the letters of reference once the spring semester starts!

I'm scared. Excited. Anxious. Hopeful. Doubtful. Proud. All sorts of mixed feelings are taking over! I can tell you one thing is for sure: I am NOT ready for the GRE. Ugh. I know I should be positive about it, but seriously, me + tests = disaster. It's been like that since I came out the womb! :P Ha, but really... I have been studying here and there, and I know I should definitely be doing more of it. But it all comes down to when I get to the test: I know what I know, I can do my best, and that's all I can do!

I am going to research some more schools in The Cities to see if I could possibly go there (just to have a plan B in case KC doesn't work!), and I think I'll apply to the WSU program too. Might as well, right? I'm just scared SOMEthing won't work out and I won't be prepared, then I'll go into a state of helplessness or depression...something not good. So I figure it's better to prepare for that instead of winging it. :)

But let's all keep our fingers crossed that UMKC and/or Webster work out!

Then I have to find a job and such... But we'll cross that bridge when we get there! Haha, I'm taking baby steps.

All I can say is that I really just want to get my bajillion dollars of debt paid off before die so I can go travel... All that debt is such a burden to carry everyday... Ugh. Sometimes I wish I would've gone to school part time or just paid out of pocket so I wouldn't have to deal with all this. Oh well. Live and learn, right? :/

I must keep remembering this! (source: Pinterest)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Sing Off!

Hi lovelies!

So... I don't have a tv in my apartment. Well, we have one. But there is no tv programming, cable, or anything. Lots of people have their shows they CAN'T miss and have to watch every week or whatever, but I don't have that! It's quite nice though, thanks to Andrew for opening my horizons to life without tv. ;) Haha. But I will say, there are times where I miss being able to turn on Univision or Disney channel as background entertainment while I eat or cook or something. When my sister Emilie and I lived at home, we always had shows we watched regularly with our dad. It was always a good bonding thing for us. But, as time has gone on, and we all get busy- we haven't really been able to have our "tv bonding" moments.

When I went home last though, Dad was telling me about The Sing Off and showing me some Youtube videos of the groups from this season. So I made it my winter break goal to watch the whole season online, so when I go home for the holidays- we can catch up and bond over the groups we loved or hated! It's the little things in life, right? :)

And so here I am, ready to RAVE about The Sing Off in its third season! In case you don't know about it or haven't heard it, it's a competitive show to decide what acapella group is the strongest. My family and I LOVE acapella singing. It's completely natural, not instruments, etc. I love this. This season (and maybe other ones, but I can't remember!) the judges are Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman, and my absolutely new favorite: Sara Bareilles. They are awesome, and basically the best judges out of all the other singing shows. Not like I'm biased or anything... ;)

But seriously. I love this show. And it's one you can put on as the background and not have to watch super intensely (even though I usually end up doing it anyway!) There are different themes for each week: hip-hop, 60's, superstars, etc. They're all great, and super entertaining! And I would just like to say, if you have free time or interest in a new show to watch with FANTASTIC singing- you should watch this show! Which sounds like I'm an advertisement... But I want everyone to feel the excitement and happiness I feel when I watch/ listen to it! :D

Here are a few of my favorite songs they did... Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

To Me

Today was my first day off of work, studying, and basically anything productive- in a long time. I picked up lots of extra hours at work this week and ended my last fall semester as an undergraduate... I figured I was due for a lazy day! I was hoping to sleep in with not setting an alarm... It didn't work very well though. I woke up at 8, 9, and 11:30. I was too hungry to try and keep sleeping more anyway. But I'll go to bed early tonight and all will be well!

My parents sent me a package of Christmas decorations (and a lovely card!) today, so I put up all the decorations... they're so pretty! It really gets my spirits up, especially since it's hard being away from home through the holiday season. I also got an adorable homemade card from Andrew, so that was a wonderful start to my day! :)

I've been lounging in sweat pants, am going to have some baked veggies for dinner, and have been catching up on some TV shows online (and my pinning on Pinterest too, of course :P)

But after today, it's crunch time: I have to finish my grad school applications and UBER study for the GRE (which I'm taking on January 5th... What?!) I've started reading a new book and journaling as much as possible too. I'm hoping to get some hours at Taco John's over winter break as well, just to get some extra money to make up for the lack of hours I'll have at Chartwells.

I'm so happy because the Spanish class I need to finish my major and minor is offered in the summer! Yes, yes, yes! This means next semester will be less stressful for me too. That was a huge relief for me to find out this week :D

I'm anxious, yet excited, for the future will bring for me. But for now, I'm going to enjoy my un-productive evening while it lasts! I think it's good for everyone to have days or nights like this once in a while. It's hard to do with such a fast paced, multi tasking based society though. So make sure you remember your own happiness and sanity, at least once in a while. ;) I know I have to remind myself of that quite often!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How Does An Atheist Celebrate Christmas?

Greetings friends and followers of the lovely Alisha! My name is Kayla, I blog over at Adventures of a Suburban Hippie. Lisha, my lovely best friend, has kindly asked me to write this guest post, and I'm so excited...I have spent the past week brainstorming the perfect post :)

First, a little bit of background information on me! My name is Kayla, I'm 22 and I live in Alabama. I'm getting (almost done with!) my degree in Biophysical Anthropology, and I will be going straight through to get my masters in Library Science. My dream job is to work as a librarian for the government, either at the Smithsonian or for NASA. I'm a long-term, strict vegetarian and, as my blog title suggests, very eco-conscious. I'm an introvert, but a very happy and optimistic one. I also am an atheist. A strong atheist, in fact. 

(Lucy, the Australopithecus. This is the stuff I study. I'm proud of my heritage!)

Guess what my favorite holiday is? Not Earth Day, but...Christmas! I adore everything about Christmas. While nothing will ever beat the Christmases of my youth, living in Hawaii and surfing on all holidays, I still adore it. The trees, the decorations, the smells, the pure sense of joy. I am even starting to like Christmas music again, after it was ruined for me by years of working retail in high school. 

This seems to astound Christians, the idea of an atheist celebrating Christmas. Many of them interject, asking if I call it Krismas or X-Mas (no, it's called Christmas), how I can celebrate a Christian holiday unless I'm secretly a wannabe Christian (it's not a Christian holiday), or, my favorite, if I'm just so materialistic that I celebrate a holiday for the sole purpose of giving and receiving gifts.

Christmas is not a Christian holiday, and I'm not at all bothered that the word "Christ" is in it, though I do roll my eyes when people say "Keep Christ in Christmas." The winter solstice occurs on December 22nd every year, with the sun reaching it's low point in the sky and staying there for three days. The winter solstice, along with the summer solstice and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes were common times for religious and cultural celebrations for many cultures, parts of which have shaped our present day way of celebrating.

The Norse Pagans are responsible for yuletide carols and greetings.

Wiccans came up with wreaths and decorating with holly.

Here's a big shout out to the Druids for coming up with kisses under the mistletoe ;)
Thor, Odin and St. Nicholas are all credited with bringing presents in the night.

Sleipnir, Odin's 8 legged horse, started the tradition of hooves on the rooftop.

The summary? Just because Jesus contributed the name of the celebration does not mean that only believers may celebrate. In fact, if we were tallying, the Norse gods (woot woot, I'm very proud of being Scandinavian!) contributed the most to our modern celebrations! 

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It means cozy sweaters and homemade hot chocolate. It means gathering my large family in one place for the sole purpose of spending time together. It means eating a lot of delicious food. It means exchanging thought-out gifts. It means Christmas trees, Christmas smells, family traditions. 

Of all of the above, the traditions are the most meaningful. Every year, we have lefse (a type of Scandinavian bread) with our Christmas Eve dinner. We gather to open presents. For the 23rd time in my life, I'll get a special pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve. Every morning of December, I open my advent calendar to eat a piece of chocolate. 

This time of the year fills me with so much love and joy. May you all have a beautiful, god-less, heathen, merry time this month <3

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Her ♥

I love this. So much.

You may not be her first, her last, or her only. 
She loved before, she may love again.
But if she loves you now, what else matters?
She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the
two of you may never be perfect together but
if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, 
and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold
onto her and give her the most you can. She may not 
be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give 
you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart.
So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and 
dont expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes 
you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and 
miss her when she's not there.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prepare yourselves!

Since it's now the holiday season, I thought it'd be a great idea to have my best friend Kayla share a guest post with us sometime this week! So prepare yourselves for that. ;) I asked her to write about atheism and Christmas, so I'm really excited for it!

I will definitely be talking more about my thoughts and feelings about the holiday season as well, whether you agree or not, I'm going to say whatever I'm thinking.... Hence the point of this blog anyway, right?

I'm still waiting for snow to come... It just doesn't feel like holiday season without snow! I'm a true Minnesotan because I LOVE snow! I also left all my Christmas decorations at home, so I'm not going to be  in the full spirit while I'm here working over break... Oh well. Only 20 more days til I'm home, 21 more days til I see Andrew, and only 23 more days til I get to celebrate with my family! Time will most definitely fly by, I'm sure of it.

My goal this season is to attempt to make vegan eggnog. Why not, right? :D

:) Stay tuned, lovely readers!