“Reading 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, but 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! 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂

Also, due to my recent pledge, I am open to book suggestions! Let me know of any good reads you’ve come across recently! 🙂 No photos this time, guess next time I can take some selfies of myself reading these books 🙂 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! 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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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. 🙂 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 🙂 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! 🙂

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

There I go! vrooom vroooom!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

Dad and I at Thanksgiving!

“She had always been a fast driver, even before she could afford a fast car. It was impatience as much as anything: chafing at the fact that she couldn’t actually do anything while driving- except drive” Chico Kidd

Well, after an unplanned two month hiatus, I have returned to my blog! 🙂 I have been slowly chipping away at my Day Zero Project, but have not been very timely in updating my blog. So, prepare yourself for an influx of updates!

In early October, I went home for the weekend. This was a foreign concept to me as I have never really just gone home for the weekend. Being the typical overly involved college student, I rarely had a free weekend in college in which to go home. Then I moved to Indy, and let’s be real, if I didn’t go home for the weekend when it was a 5 hour drive it is safe to say I didn’t when I was 12 hours away either. This made going home just for the weekend special in itself. However, adding to the excitement, I learned how to drive a stick shift!! 

This is one of those things that I have always wanted to learn. Granted when I envisioned being taught I always pictured learning in a truck or an old beat up car, but go big or go home right? (right!) I learned in a semi! No worries, I was driving through one of the fields at home, not on a road 🙂 Big shout out to my dad for teaching me! Like the biggest shout out ever. Like the shout out of ALL shout outs! I have been known to pick-up on things abnormally quick, like when I first started throwing weight/hammer or playing piano, unfortunately, this was not one of those things. Not even close! I consider only killing it three times to be a huge success! Luckily, my dad was really patient. He even provided me with the excuse that it’s harder to drive the semi on softer ground. Isn’t he great?! I just know I would have done better on the highway 😉 I also know that if I had driven on the highway my mom would have had a heart attack so you’ll just have to take my word that I would’ve rocked it 🙂 Below are some super rad photos my brother took of me driving!

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That’s the point of working with one’s hands, you see. It gives the mind something else to do besides worry” Charles Todd

Well, tomorrow I head to Saint Joseph to get all settled in to what will be my new home for the next ?? however many years! I’ve been keeping myself busy while at home in northwest, Iowa. Partially due to the fact that I’ve had these projects in mind for quite some time and finally have some time to work on them, but partially to keep my mind from thinking too much about all the changes that are about to come my way! Here are some things that have kept me busy 🙂

1. Button Headband: My parents went to an estate sale a few months ago and ended up with a whole slew of buttons! All different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles so I figured why not take some of them and make a super stellar headband?!

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2. I also did a few home improvement projects in my room! I started with having Dad help me take down my loft and then repainted the walls. I painted three of the walls grey and the remaining wall white with the intent of stenciling it yellow and grey. Unfortunately the stencil I ordered did not come in time, so next time I am home I know what I will be doing! I also took some old shutters that my grandma gave me the go ahead to take out of an old garage at the farm in northeast Iowa and made a headboard out of them! Big shout out to my brother for helping me to assemble it! When I initially asked him for his engineering advice as to whether or not the way I was thinking of assembling it would work, his response was that I needed to not be so ambitious… after that though it was smooth sailing 🙂002 009 (2) 012

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3. This last project I made for my parents as a combined Mother’s/Father’s Day present! I got the idea from a friend in Indy (shout out to Jay!) who made one for a bridal shower for our great friend Jacqui with one of her engagement photos. I used a photo from my master’s hooding ceremony of my parents and myself and used deco pauge and resin to transfer portions of the photo into bottle caps fastened to a canvas. Big shout out to the guys who let me have their bottle caps so I could make this (you know who you all are!). Took a long time and I think I liked it better before filling the caps with resin, but such is life!! This picture doesn’t do the canvas justice, but because of the shine on the resin it was difficult to get a good photo. Hopefully you get the jist of it anyways 🙂

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“Being crafty is not a hobby, it is a way of life” Unknown

Once again I am a bit behind on blogging about my Day Zero Project. I completed some Pinterest inspired crafts while I was in Indianapolis, which wraps up Complete 10 Pinterest Projects. Yes, I just used the past tense!! I am writing this update from good ol’ northwest Iowa as I left Indy exactly two weeks ago today. Hard to believe that it has been two weeks! Definitely missing some of my Indy peeps already. You know who you are 🙂

When I left Indy on June 30th, I spent a few days with one of my college roommates in Grand Mound, Iowa (shout out to Alyssa!) and helped her with some crafts for her wedding. Was a lot of fun and I can already tell her wedding is going to be b-e-a-u-tiful in October! From there I went to visit another former roommate (shout out to Molly!) in Iowa City. We did some shopping and I got the grand tour of her new house. Yay for being a homeowner!!

Then I spent a day kayaking with an old college buddy before heading to spend the fourth of July and surrounding days with my lovely grandma! My aunt and her two daughters from Minneapolis came down for the 4th as well so I got to spend some quality time with my youngest cousins. Never a dull moment with them around, so fun!

I made the rest of the trek to Northwest Iowa on the 6th, which was a super exciting day as my brother also returned stateside from his adventures from being an appropriate technology developer with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic that day! To say my parents were excited to have us both return home,let alone on the same day, would be an understatement!

This last week has been filled with some fun projects around the farm (which I’ll be updating you on shortly, hopefully!) making up for lost time with my family, and trying to adjust to the fact that my time in Indy is done and that I wont be going back to my apartment there once my visit at home ends. Not quite sure it has hit me yet, but I’m sure it will on Wednesday though! That is my official move day!! I will be making the move to Minnesota and starting my new position at the College of Saint Benedict’s the following Monday!

Enough rambling though, here are the Pinterest inspired projects I worked on while still living in Indianapolis!

1. During the last few months of my time in Indy, my good friend Amy and I were on a streak of going to garage sales. Sometimes we got super stellar deals and sometimes we found nothing, either way we always had a lot of fun and always had experiences that made for great stories! These are corkboards that I bought at one of the garage sales we went to for only $0.75! I covered them with some scraps of fabric that I had laying around and they are going to make a great addition to my new office!

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2. Okay, so this isn’t Pinterest inspired, just a random Bath and Body Works box that I had from a Christmas present. I covered it in some cute fabric and walah I have a little keepsake box! 🙂

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3. This canvas idea actually came from Pinterest! Finally something that actually relates to what this blog post was suppose to be all about! haha!Spent a rainy afternoon punching out hearts. I punched a butt-ton (an actual amount!) out of scrap paper from my scrapbook and fixed them onto this canvas with raised foam stickies to give it some dimension. Turned out pretty good I think!

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4. This last project that was Pinterest inspired I entered into the first annual UIndy cook-off! They are corn-on-the-cob cupcakes and took FIRST PLACE in the Most Original category! They were super fun to make and turned out really well. They are a plain vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting topped with jelly beans and a yellow laffy taffy to resemble an ear of corn with butter! So fun 🙂

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Mad props to you if you made it all the way to the end of this entry! Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it! 🙂 Even though I have completed the 10 projects to meet the requriements to check it off of my Day Zero project list (click the Day Zero tab above for a refresher of my complete list!) I will probably still continue to post updates on the crafts/projects I complete!

“Eat diamonds for breakfast and shine all day!” Unknown

I spent the last two weeks in the glorious state of Iowa. It was a much-needed break from work and school. It was also the first time in twelve months that I made the trek all the way home. I had been back to Iowa for several weddings and to see friends, but never quite made it all the way back to good ol northwest Iowa. As I was siting in the Indianapolis airport waiting for my flight to depart at 6am, it dawned on me that I would have all this free time to work on my Day Zero Project. Of course, most of that free time that I thought I had was spent instead with family and friends doing holiday-esque type activities. However, I was able to work on it a little. I was also able to catch up on my blogging (as you may have noticed with my sudden increase in posts).

I crossed Make Someone Breakfast in Bed off my list over break. Turns out it wasn’t just someone who I made breakfast in bed for but…(drumroll please)… my dad! 🙂 It actually turned into breakfast on the couch as I did not get up early enough to be able to make it while he was still in bed. I’ll just say I had trouble adjusting to the time zone difference or that he just gets up way too early. Either way, at least it was still breakfast time when I awoke so I was able to make it for him. Below are some pictures of the scrumptious breakfast I made for my dad which included bacon, egg, and cheese mcmuffins, banana slices, and a glass of cranberry apple juice. Although I didn’t actually serve him diamonds for breakfast, he seemed to still enjoy it!

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