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March 20, 2014

Weekly Update

photo credit: ginnerobot via photopin cc
It is finals week.

I am currently writing this in between cram sessions for my next test and binge sessions from my cupboard.

My mind is stuck in an endless cycle: sleep, eat, work, study, sleep, eat, work, study.......it goes on and on, with tests splattered haphazardly in between.  In this week, the hands down craziest time of the quarter, it is hard to think about much else.  Its hard to get your mind off the next thing on your five page to-do list, or how late you have to stay up in order to shove all of the endless information into your tired brain.

Its weird to think that people, myself included, can make it through this whole week without truly enjoying it.  We spend a whole five days (at least) studying, eating, studying some more, and occasionally sleeping.

We are spending all of our time concentrating on these tests that simply end up as a number on a sheet of paper.  A number that, in no way shape or form, defines us.  We were not created to ace a class, or get an A on a paper. And yet, we have grown up our whole lives in an education system that teaches us that we will only be truly worthy if we get good grades in high school, go to a good college, and graduate with a good GPA.

While this does kind of suck, obviously we will always have some level of concern with our grade on the finals.

Wouldn't it be nice  if we could just let the stress and anxieties of finals week go? We could forget about the pressure behind the exams and, while still studying for them, take time to enjoy the beauty of this world we live in.

In practice of this idea, I present to you some things to do to relieve a little bit of stress and enjoy this beautiful week.  Whether you are studying for finals or not, use these little tidbits to brighten up your day and bring some joy into your life!

 photo credit: jenny downing via photopin cc 
Listen to music!

Particularly, this playlist. Every song on it is worthy of blasting. If you want to be extra daring, dance around the room to it.

If you're feeling a little more mellow, put on Josh Garrel's Pandora station and I promise you'll be a happy camper.

photo credit: Jason A. Samfield via photopin cc

Go sit on a patch of grass and read a book.  Do it.  You can't not enjoy life while doing this.

 photo credit: John Wiseman via photopin cc

Do some simple yoga moves.  Practice your breathing, curl up in child's pose for a little bit, rest in downward dog to get your blood flowing to your brain.  These things will calm you down and relieve some of the built up stress.

When in doubt, watch a funny TV show or your favorite childhood movie.  Sometimes you just need something that doesn't require much thought after you've been studying for hours on end.  The movie Frozen should do the trick :)

Hopefully you can do some of these things throughout your week to relieve some of the stress and just take a breather.  Just remember, your success in school doesn't define you!


photo credit: ginnerobot via photopin cc

March 11, 2014

DIY: Pom-Pom Garland

I am quite a fan of polka dots.  In fact, I am wearing a jacket right now that is polka dotted (not sure thats a word, but let's all just agree that it is).  Along with my current attire, my bedding, backpack, and multiple other wardrobe pieces are all covered in this lovely pattern.  I would probably consider myself slightly obsessed.

While the project today isn't actually about polka dots, it does involve pom-poms, which are round and kind of look like polka dots when you hang them up...so I say they count :) 

You will need:

-a pom pom maker (I bought a two pack at Michaels for around $8)
-yarn of your choice
-embroidery floss or bakers twine 
-a large needle

The pom-pom makers do come with instructions, but they are slightly confusing.  So, I thought I would include how to use them in this tutorial.  You will first start wrapping your yarn around one of the arms, starting on the end connected to the base and working out. 

After you have done the first arm, bring it back to the base and start wrapping your yarn around the second arm. Once finished, bring this one back in as well.

Next you are going to start snipping.  Run your scissors along the middle groove, cutting all of the yarn in half. Once you have cut all the way through, take a long piece of yarn and tie it so it fits in the groove. Make sure you pull it as tight as possible, and do a few extra knots to secure it.  

Once you have tied the string around the cut yarn,  pull out the arms and disconnect the two pieces. Inside will be a pom-pom! Fluff it up a bit and cut off all the longer strings hanging out.  Cool, huh? 

Next you are going to take your embroidery floss or bakers twine and string it through the pom-poms. The trick is to feel around in the pom pom to see where the string that holds it together is.  You need to get your needle through that. Its pretty easy once you try it out and do it once or twice.  

You can use a needle with an eye big enough for your string to fit through. I actually cheated and used a bobby pin because I didn't have a big enough needle (shhh, don't tell anyone). 

 The last step is to simply hang it up!

Hope you guys enjoyed this DIY!  

This week is 'dead week' at my school, aptly named because by the end of the week everyone is a zombie.  Its the week before finals and teachers try to cram all of the remaining projects and work in, which is not the most fun thing I have experienced.  Wish me luck! 

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