β€œReading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms” – Angela Carter

I have loved reading since I was a little girl. One of my favorite days at school was getting the packets for book orders. Something about circling alllll the books I wanted my parents to buy me so I could read was just so satisfying. I rarely ended up even getting any of them, just circling them and noting which book I would next check out of the library gave me a thrill. One time, I was lucky enough to convince my parents to let me sign up for The Boxcar Children book-club. I would receive 4-5 books of the series every month. Of course they would only last me about a week or so and then I would have to wait another 3 weeks until the next books in the series came in the mail. The suspense of waiting until the next few came nearly killed me every month. It never once occurred to me that if I didn’t read them all in the first three days that I wouldn’t have to wait as long. Plus, where would the fun have been in that?!

During my college years, I didn’t get to read as much for enjoyment as my reading time was consumed by endless nursing textbooks. As I was brainstorming for my Day Zero Project, I wanted to incorporate reading for fun back into my life so I set a goal of reading an averages of at least one book a month. This turns out to be a minimum of 33 books over the entire 1001 days. 33 books doesn’t seem like a lot, butΒ I knew as I was working towards my Master’s Degree that I would have readings for classes that I’d have to complete and I didn’t want to set unrealistic goals. Now that I have completed my Master’s Degree and have settled into my new position here, I once again have found the time for leisure reading.

I recently joined a reading challenge with some fellow student affairs professionals in which I pledged #52in52 meaning I will ready 52 books this year! πŸ™‚ Sound crazy? maybe a little, but there are so many great books that I want to read. I feel as though joining in this challenge will help me stay diligent in my daily readings! This pledge will also help ensure I get all 33 books completed for my Day Zero Project.

Recently I have completed books 1-3! I take notes as I read them to help me remember what I read and also because I am going to put together handouts to use at staff meetings with my Resident Assistants πŸ™‚ Yay for additional professional development opportunities for my staff!

1. The Civility Solution: What to do when people are rude by P.M. Forni. ~ I had read The Civility Solution with my former RD staff at UIndy and enjoyed it so thought I would read another one of his books.

2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown ~ I am attending the ACPA conference in Indianapolis this year and Brene Brown is one of the keynote speakers! Plan on reading her other books before the conference as well πŸ™‚ She is amazing! Highly recommended!!

3.Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg ~ Was given this book by a coworker who is an all around great lady! She is very empowering and totally great at what she does. This book will be especially great to bring to my RA staff!

Once I have these said handouts compiled I will upload them to this post (pending I can figure out how!) so you read what I learned and maybe be inspired to pick one of them up yourself! I’m a big fan of lending people books so be sure to let me know if you would like to borrow one πŸ™‚

Also, due to my recent pledge, I am open to book suggestions! Let me know of any good reads you’ve come across recently! πŸ™‚Β No photos this time, guess next time I can take some selfies of myself reading these books πŸ™‚ Haha probably not though!

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“The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.” Brian Tracy

This post will take us back to Christmas! As I reflect on what a lovely holiday season it was, I am reminded how blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends!Β I gave only homemade gifts for Christmas this year. I enjoyed the anticipation of giving each gift that I experienced while I was making each one equally as much as I enjoyed watching loved ones open them.

Although none of the gifts I made are extravagant, they were made with love πŸ™‚ I would like to publicly thank my dear mom for helping me, as without her help, I would not have finished my gifts on time. There is just something about the projects I discover on Pinterest that make them look a lot simpler than they actually are. You’d think after all the Pinterest inspired DIY projects I have completed that I would have figured this out by now. Maybe next time πŸ™‚

Check out the pictures to see what each family member received!

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jenna

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Jeremy

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad

Rice Heating Pad given to Dad. I also went in on a fishing themed gift with my siblings. I bought some fancy hot dogs for grilling when Dad and Mom go fishing. Jy got a mosquito re-pellant and Ja contributed a gift card for chicken livers and a license!

Rice Heat Pad for myself :)

Rice Heat Pad for myself πŸ™‚

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Mason Jar Glass filled with drink mixes. Given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Crayon Art Quote with a quote Grandpa used to say, given to Jenna

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Tile Coasters, given to Jeremy

Canvas Quote given to Mom

Canvas Quote given to Mom

I also made a blanket and a crayon art quote for a friend, but I forgot to take pictures of them! So will have to add an update if/when I remember to take a picture of them.

These gifts are nice, but of course, my presence was clearly the best gift of all πŸ™‚ Hope that your holiday season was filled with joy and you were able to spend it with your loved ones!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Once again, I find myself behind in updating everyone on the progress I have recently made towards completing my Day Zero Project. I think as part of my new years’ resolutions I am going to make a conscious effort to set aside a little time bi-weekly to ensure my blog is up-to-date! We shall see how long this resolution lasts πŸ™‚

This post is going to take us all the way back to Thanksgiving day! My Aunt and Uncle who live in St. Paul hosted Thanksgiving for my mom’s side of the family. Now that I call Minnesota my home, this was perfect for me as it meant considerably less travel time. It also meant that I had to deep clean my apartment as my parents stayed with me for the weekend. It was definitely nice to have company and to have family to go do things with (or drag them to!)

My parents happened to arrive on their anniversary. Being the #1 daughter that I am, I took them out for dinner at Zaffiros, a little place known for its thin crust pizza, to celebrate. It was a good evening. I may have lost some brownie points the next morning when I made them wake up at 6:30 to go with me to a Turkey Trot! This fits into my Day Zero Project as preparation for Running a 5K. I had hoped to run the 5k, but since I registered so late the 5k was full, so instead I ran the 2 mile ‘race’. The thrower in me felt lucky to only have to run 2. πŸ™‚ I ended up getting 3rd (keep in mind nearly everyone ran the 5k) with a time of 18.26. Definitely not an Olympic qualifying time by any means, but for me, I was pretty happy and content with it. Not to shabby for my first race and next up is a full 5K!

Since it was 22 degrees out when I was running, I was more than ready to get to a warm location when it was over. I’m not sure why I just used the cold weather as an excuse as I’m pretty sure it could have been a beautiful day and my favorite part would still have been when it was over πŸ™‚ What can I say? I’ll forever be a thrower at heart. Thanks mom and dad for tagging along and for the awesome photos. Who knew I could make running look so good?!

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro's

Anniversary Dinner at Zaffiro’s

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Wishbone 2 mile Run!

Getting my run on! :)

Getting my run on! πŸ™‚

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!