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My Decade Recap (As Told by Old Facebook Statuses) (List-cember #7)

I have seen a bunch of posts in the last month where people recap their decade, going through the highlights of each year to cringe, reminisce, feel nostalgic and propel themselves forward into this new decade.

When I sat down to do a post of my own, I struggled with what I wanted to share/not share and how I wanted to share it. Then I saw an update from my Facebook page. “On this day 6 years ago…”

That’s when I realized that if there’s anything that can accurately recap the last 10 years, it is my Facebook statuses. 10 years ago, I was ALL ABOUT Facebook statuses. I liked trying to be witty and clever, I liked updating the Facebook universe on things they probably didn’t need to be updated on, and I often posted quotes from my favorite movies and television shows, or just funny one liners from my family and friends.

So, as we close in on 2020, on the 20’s, let’s see what my Facebook has to say about the 10’s.

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2010

I experienced loss.

2010 blue pen

And triumph.

2010 donkey kong

I set goals.

2010 goals

I had road rage.

2010 peds

And I made myself laugh.

2010 witty

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2011

I made a wish

2011 accent 1

I started my first blog when I studied abroad in Australia…

2011 first blog

…where I was able to manifest my wish.

2011 accent 2

I made important cuts

2011 ipod

I asked important questions

2011 robert pins

And I continued to have road rage.

2011 road rage

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2012

I graduated from college

2012 college

I was grateful

2012 camel

I got into hockey

2012 hockey

Like really into hockey

2012 hockey 2

I took my stance on soul patches

2012 soul patches

And yes, I continued to have road rage

2012 driving

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2013

I met Bobby

2013 bobby

I charted a new career path

2013 career

I found a new motto

2013 motto

I questioned my brother’s plan for the zombie apocalypse

2013 zombie

And I got into puns

2013 hammer

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2014

I started this blog

2014 blog

I started my presidential campaign

2014 president

2014 president 2

I beat sinus congestion

2014 sandra

And I climbed Mt. Whitney.

2014 whitney 2

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2015

I decided to start eating healthier

2015 fealth

I stood up to the man

2015 time warner

I got published

2015 writing

And I continued my relationship with puns

2015 whoop ass

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2016

I became a meme

2016 meme

I cooked

2016 dinner

I questioned parenthood

2016 siri

And I lost control

2016 target

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2017

I earned my black belt

2017 karate kim

I splurged

2017 ice cream

I introduced the world to Kevin

2017 kevin

And I got better at laundry

2017 laundry

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2018

I started exercising

2018 gym

I embraced my true self

2018 old lady

And I expressed my true fears

2018 sneeze

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2019

I let everyone know I ran the marathon…

2019 marathon

…and then did nothing else except share my blog posts and spy on people.

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Overall, I’m happy with where I came from and how I used that to get where I am now.

And even though my Facebook statuses are slim, if not completely nonexistent these days, at least I have this blog where I can do everything I was trying to do in those three sentence updates—including make myself laugh. Here’s to another 10 years.

 

My 2019 Rec Roundup (List-cember #5)

Nothing has ever qualified me to tell you what the best books, movies, music, etc., of the year are, but that has never stopped me from giving you what I believe to be a highly educated opinion.

I mean, who needs all the fancy words and validating credentials when I can just tell you, hey, this didn’t suck and I think you should check it out. 

So that’s what I’m here to do today.

Here are all of my top recommendations from 2019, just in case you’re looking for something good to kickoff your 2020.

Books

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Historical Fiction)
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Fiction)
  • For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Fiction)
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (Self Help)
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Mystery/Thriller)
  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Historical Fiction)
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing (Mystery/Thriller)
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens (Fiction)
  • Beautiful on the Outside by Adam Rippon (Memoir)
  • Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness (Memoir)

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Podcasts

  • ESPN 30 for 30
  • Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
  • Dr. Death
  • Duolingo Spanish Podcast
  • The Trypod
  • The Clearing
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno
  • The Dropout
  • How I Built This
  • Homecoming

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Movies

  • Free Solo
  • The Dawn Wall
  • Booksmart
  • Unicorn Store
  • Someone Great
  • Frozen 2
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

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TV Shows

  • Fleabag (Amazon Prime)
  • Single Parents (ABC)
  • The Politician (Netflix)
  • The Act (Hulu)
  • Killing Eve (AMC)
  • Modern Love (Amazon Prime)
  • Dead to Me (Netflix)
  • Euphoria (HBO)
  • Four Weddings & a Funeral (Hulu)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)

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Music

  • Heard it in a Past Life by Maggie Rogers
  • GIRL by Maren Morris
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go by Billie Eilish
  • Daylight by Grace Potter
  • Lover by Taylor Swift
  • Cheap Queen by King Princess
  • The Highwomen by The Highwomen
  • Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent by Lewis Capaldi
  • Free Yourself Up by Lake Street Dive
  • Happiness Begins by Jonas Brothers

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Misc

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Hippeas:  THESE. ARE. SO. GOOD. I truly cannot stress this enough. Their one and only flaw is that they come in relatively small bags UNLESS you want to brave Costco for the monster bags. I personally am not always in the mood to brave Costco, which is why I found…

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…White Cheddar Cheetos Puffs! These are the perfect sister snack to Hippeas and are also delicious. Who knew I had such a thing for white cheddar this year?

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Duolingo: I downloaded this app to learn Spanish and have genuinely loved using it! They are always adding new challenges and new ways to learn and I look forward to going on each day.

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Birkenstocks: I waited a long time and listened to a lot of hype about these before I finally pulled the trigger but I am so glad I did. Believe everything you hear. These are wonderful and I will miss wearing them in the winter months. (find this pair here)

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Old Navy Leggings: I am constantly on the hunt for good leggings that aren’t one million dollars, which according to most retailers, is a big ask. But I bought a pair of leggings from Old Navy early in the year and loved them so much that I bought 4 more pairs. They are so comfortable and just the right amount of thick, AND, most importantly, they have side pockets, which is the real game changer. (find this pair here)


Check out more List-cember posts here. 

10 Places to Buy Winter Clothes that Will Give Back (List-cember #2)

It’s safe to say fall is in full swing, which means the temperatures have dropped, and getting dressed in the morning now consists of tucking and buttoning and layering—and for some, layering and layering and layering.

The cool thing is, there are tons of places you can find those layers, plus accessories, shoes, and other winter survival gear that not only keep you warm, but helps those in need. And is there anything better than finding something cozy and knowing that buying it can help someone else feel cozy too? I think not.

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1) Toms

If you’ve heard of Toms, you might be most familiar with their slip on shoes, but they actually have a great selection of winter boots as well! Each pair you buy donates a pair to someone in need.

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Find this pair here.

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2) Love Your Melon

Initially started solely to provide hats for children with cancer, Love Your Melon now gives 50% of their net profits to support the Love Your Melon Fund, and the nonprofits they support in order to help children and families battling cancer.

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Find this beanie here.

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3) Twice As Warm 

Selling a range of hats, scarves, and gloves, Twice as Warm donates one winter clothing item for each item you purchase.

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Find this scarf here.

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4) Done Good

Done Good is home to tons of companies and products that support a wide variety of causes and charities. You can even search products based on the causes you are passionate about!

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Find this jacket here.

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5) Amazon Smile

We’ve all heard of Amazon and know you can find practically anything you can think of if you scroll long enough, but did you know that if you go to smile.amazon.com you can select a charity and have a portion of every purchase support that charity? You can either browse charities based on specific causes, or search for a specific charity you are passionate about. I currently have the Justin Turner Foundation selected which supports homeless veterans and children battling life-altering illnesses and diseases.

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Find this pair of gloves here.

 

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6) H&M Conscious Collection

H&M guarantees all clothing within the “Conscious Collection” are made of at least 50% sustainable materials. So if you are someone who is passionate about sustainable fashion, a.k.a fashion that is healthier and kinder to the earth, this collection is for you!

hmgoepprod

Find this sweater here.

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7) Roma

Roma’s mission is to “give poverty the boot” and so with every purchase of a pair of boots, they donate a pair to a child in need.

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Find this pair of boots here.

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8) FAZL

FAZL sells tons of cozy socks, hats, mittens and bags, and each purchase helps provide food, shelter, education, and clothing to orphaned children in India.

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Find this pair of socks here.

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9) Happy Blankie

Not only does Happy Blankie match each purchase of a blanket by donating a second one to someone in need, they let you choose who you want that blanket to be donated to. You can choose a sick child in the hospital, a battered women’s shelter, or the child of first responder or military family.

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Find this blanket here.

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10) Tentree

Tentree’s mottos is “buy one, plant ten”, meaning for each item you buy from the Tentree store, ten trees will be planted!

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Find this pair of mittens here.


Check out more List-cember posts here. 

30 Good Things that Happened in November

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) Red Bull announced the winners for its fifth annual Illume Photo contest

Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2019 Finalist

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2) This wheelchair bound man found a new way to hike

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3) This:

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4) USPS launched a website to adopt letters from Santa

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5) This jeopardy contestant showed some love for Alex Trebek

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6) These dogs rescued koalas from the brushfires in Australia

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7) And these women in the Netherlands knit mittens for the koalas

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8) This soccer player did…this

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9) This dog went driving

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10) This man expressed his love for toast

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11) This golfer hugged a fan that cost him a putt

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12) This boy supported his friends

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13) This woman donated hundreds of dolls with prosthetic legs to a local hospital

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14) This girl wrote an incredibly bold Christmas list

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15) This hospital surprised Mrs. Rogers on World Kindness Day

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16) These dad’s took a dance class with their daughters

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17) This man used his car to protect pedestrians

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18) This man played fetch

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19) Nike announced their plan to release a pair of sneakers designed specifically for nurses and doctors working long shifts

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20) This news anchor accidentally mass emailed an entire company that he would be out sick

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21) These cows were found after swimming for miles in the midst of Hurricane Dorian

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22) This dad went above and beyond to feed his daughter

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23) This fourth grade girl collected bottles to raise money for Operation Smile

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24) Charmin released the “forever roll” which contains a month’s worth of toilet paper on one roll

charmin-forever-roll-38039

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25) This girl and her dog let off some steam

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26) This Arkansas teen with autism was recruited to play college basketball

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27) These friends hung out

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28) This college student won a year of free tuition by making this half court shot

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29) These friends continued what started as an accidental Thanksgiving tradition

thanksgiving-wrong-number-text

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30) And this baby got a haircut

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what December brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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31 Good Things that Happened in October

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) This man walked 800 miles to raise awareness for veteran suicide

191009141341-travis-snyder-bridge-super-169

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2) This mom created a custom skateboard for her son

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3) These girl scouts made “bee hotels” to fight the depopulation of bees

bee-hotel

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4) This little guy wrote a note to his coach

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5) Kellogg’s released a limited edition cereal box to help tackle LGBTQ bullying

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6) Michael Jordan opened the first of two clinics to help those with little or no health insurance

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7) This dog got adopted

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8) This group of people jumped into action when they saw their longtime friend had become homeless

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9) This heat seeking drone found a missing boy

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10) This little one hosted a dance class

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11) Former NFL player DeAngelo Williams paid for 500 mammograms to honor his mother who died of breast cancer

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12) This dog (accidentally) helped his owner unlock his car

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13) The city of Las Vegas allowed people to pay for parking tickets with food donations to help people in need during the holidays.

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14) This boy caught an incredible fish

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15) This bus driver saved her third life

hero bus driver

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16) These kids surprised their classmate with toys after he lost everything in a house fire

classmates

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17) The New Jersey Devils had “Kids Day”

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18) This cheerleader jumped off a homecoming float to save a choking boy

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19) Alaska held fat bear week

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20) Lyft launched this program

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21) This veteran got his dogs back

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22) These kids helped the police find a missing elderly woman in their neighborhood

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23) This man showed incredible forgiveness

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24) This girl made a skirt out of rejection letters

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25) This prank was pulled:

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26) This man had “Jesus Saves” printed on his race bib and then had his life saved by a man named…Jesus.

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27) These sisters were reunited after a long school day

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28) And these sisters were reunited after decades

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29) This boy made a wheelchair out of Legos

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30) Poppy got into the Halloween spirit

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31) And then Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake won Halloween

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what November brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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30 Good Things that Happened in September

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) After this boy’s homemade t-shirt caused classmates to bully him, the university made it official college gear

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2) This:

IMG_8051

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3) This senior class had a lot of fun with their ID pictures

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4) This important collaboration took place

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5) These hikers were saved by a message in a bottle

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6) This girl found a way to sneak a snack into her class

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 10.28.27 PM

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7) New research on prosthetic limbs shows progress in allowing patients to feel their knees and feet while they walk

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8) The country of Denmark purchased its final four circus elephants to allow them to retire peacefully

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9) This weight loss journey was recognized for more than its outward progress:

IMG_8052

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10) The finalists for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photography competition were released

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11) This college freshmen made the most of his time:

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12) This man sent hundreds of generators to hurricane victims in the Bahamas

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13) This boy had an Up themed photoshoot for his birthday

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14) This boy used the money his family saved up to go to Disneyland to buy food and water for victims of Hurricane Dorian

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15) This woman turned school buses into tiny homes for the homeless

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 10.34.12 PM

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16) These guys made their way through the airport

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17) This man caught a stranger’s phone when they dropped it on a rollercoaster

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18) Kit Kat announced they are going to forego plastic packaging for paper that you can turn into origami

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 10.35.22 PM

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19) The University of Georgia staged a “pink out” to honor opposing coach’s wife who died of breast cancer

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20) This puppy pulled a prank

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21) This basketball coach declined a raise and donated the money back into the program

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22) This baby rhino lived his best life

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23) This man asked for donations to restock his beer supply and then donated all the money to charity

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24) These activists stopped by Ellen

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25) This group picked up 50 tons of garbage in Southern California

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26) John Legend played the piano with his son

View this post on Instagram

stop everything

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

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27) This blind inventor created a cane that uses Google Maps

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28) This baseball player made the perfect throw

View this post on Instagram

Challenge accepted! 👀

A post shared by MLB ⚾ (@mlb) on

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29) Oreo released its new mystery flavor

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30) And finally, these two friends were reunited

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what October brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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31 Good Things that Happened in August

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) This little boy born without a hand met a soccer player just like him

bump

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2) These vending machines offered free books to children

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3) This little boy sold paintings to help the homeless

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4) This:

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5) This man went the extra mile to help his friend propose

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6) Taylor Swift helped this fan pay her tuition

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7) This camp in Colorado reunited siblings separated in foster care

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8) This girl played the drums

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9) This retiring FBI agent was reunited with an infant he saved 20 years ago

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10) This dog went swimming

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11) This list of wholesome animal content was created

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12) This fallen veteran got a long overdue welcome home

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13) This guy got there juuuuust in time

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14) This boy wore an incredible custom made shirt to his first day of school

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15) This man recorded his journey to losing 42 pounds

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16) These fireman built a path for a woman struggling in a wheelchair

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17) This young Foo Fighters fan stole the show

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18) This three year old sold lemonade to help mom’s in need

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19) This Dad remixed Billie Eilish

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20) A cure for the Ebola virus was found

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21) This man released a video about his recovery

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22) These workers went the extra mile

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23) This school superintendent used his bonus to help high school students apply for college

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24) These “public pantries” were opened up to help fight hunger

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25) This 10 year old ran for fallen heroes

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26) This boy wrote major league baseball player Chris Davis a letter when to help him through a slump

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27) This little girl wanted to be like her dad

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28) This man turned his run into art

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29) This man wrote a thank you note to the neighbors who saved his life

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30) Andy Grammer released this song and video

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31) And this little girl was inspired by an ad featuring a girl that looked like her

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 9.47.11 PM

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what September brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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If You Have Time to Kill, Take These Personality Tests

This past weekend my sister and I dove into the world of personality tests.

While I like to think we know each other pretty well, and we know ourselves even better, you can never really know enough, you know?

Us humans are complicated things, so it’s nice to gain some insight into why we might do the things we do, in the way we do them, at the time we do them. And while therapy is a necessary and wonderful thing, sometimes it’s nice to put entirely too much trust into tests on the Internet and then evaluate your entire life as you sit in your living room watching a baseball game.

So yeah, you could say we had a wild weekend.

If you are looking to learn a little bit more about yourself, or just have 20-30 minutes to kill, give these a try.

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1) Your Love Language

This will teach you about what you consider to be love and how you need it to be expressed/shown to you.

My Result: Quality Time

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Find the test here.

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2) Enneagram Test

This will tell you about your personality and where it fits in to the nine major types.

My result: Type 3, “The Achiever”

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Find the test here.

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3) Enneagram Test with Instinctual Variant

This is a shorter version of the enneagram test that asks you to rate yourself on specific personality traits.

My result: Type 3w2 with a Self Preservation Variant

Find the test here (just below the last one)

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4) The 16 Personalities Test

This is essentially an extension of the enneagram test that measures your personality against 16 different types.

My result: The Advocate (Type INFJ-T)

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Find the test here.

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5) Which Type of Potato are You?

Because, well, don’t you want to know?

My result:

Screen Shot 2019-08-04 at 11.13.11 PM

Find the test here.

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I cannot and will not claim any responsibility for any emotional confusion/identity crises that may result in the taking of these quizzes. I will, however, take full blame for anyone craving potatoes at work today. I’m looking at you, scalloped.

31 Good Things that Happened in July

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in

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1) Gwendolyn Christie submitted herself for an Emmy—and got nominated

gwen

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2) This police department accepted animal shelter donations instead of cash for parking ticket payments

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3) Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s son Charlie made the most of his time at the MLB All Star Game

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4) This South Korean water polo team celebrated their first goal

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5) People in Ethiopia planted over 350 million trees

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6) Netflix announced it will remove all forms of smoking in its original programs rated TV-14 or lower

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7) This man sent a heartfelt text on his wedding day

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8) This girl found a…familiar dog?

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9) Miss Virginia 2019, a biochemist, was crowned after doing a science experiment

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10) This incredible paper airplane took flight

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11) The first trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood came out

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12) The Be My Eyes app allowed volunteers to help the visually impaired

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13) This duet:

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14) These kids wrote their dad an incredible obituary

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15) France started forcing it’s grocery stores to donate their leftover food rather than throw it away

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16) This 12 year old made bow ties for dogs in animal shelters

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17) This man turned a bus stop into a full blown experience

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18) This man caught a wave

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19) These brothers started a candle company and donate some of their profits to the homeless

boys

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20) Lizzo dominated this tiny desk concert

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21) US federal agencies pledged to go paperless by 2022

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22) This dog joined in

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23) New Hampshire passed a bill to offer free period products to students

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24) This carpenter used his life savings to send 33 strangers to college

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25) This Seattle Mariner shortshop made an incredible throw

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26) This dog tried his best to “shake”

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27) This noise sensitive student got a silent standing ovation

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28) This dad was sent on an errand by his daughter

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29) Stranger Things actor Dacre Montgomery shared this inspiration Instagram post

View this post on Instagram

When I was a kid, I was lost. I had a really tough time in school. I was a big kid who loved drama. I never got passing grades, I wasn’t popular or a gifted sports player. Girls were never interested in me. I suffered from anxiety from a young age. I was distracted and I wasn’t focused. But I had a dream, I was lucky – I knew what I wanted to do. And every night I went home and I focused on THAT. I visualised a future where my dreams became a reality. When I was 15 I failed my high school drama exams. When I was 16 I was told I needed to loose weight. When I was 17 I was told I should go to drama school and train. When I was 18 I was fired from my job. When I was in drama school I was told to leave. When I had a DREAM – I was told it wasn’t achievable. Well, you know what…. I lost weight, I went to drama school and I never stopped wanting it, I never stopped being curious. I never let the failures get me down. Because I believed in myself and I never let anyone tell me otherwise. You can do anything you set your mind to. So, go out there and get it!

A post shared by Dacre Montgomery (@dacremontgomery) on

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30) Olympic hopeful, Heptathlete Chari Hawkins, shared some inspirational words

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31) And this cat napped hard

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what August brings!

You can view the last edition of this series here.

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10 Easy Ways to Learn Something New Every Day

If you are like me, you love learning. You love dropping fun facts and (as subtly as possible) saying look what I can do! And while 12 years of grade school might have given us somewhat of a distaste for the long winded, multiple choice kind of learning, these days it doesn’t take much for us to learn something new. Oftentimes it will just find us in the middle of an average day and that little light will go on in our heads saying, hey, I didn’t know that!

Call me a nerd but that is a rush.

I love that feeling so much that I actively try to learn something new every day—as many times a day as possible. Any little tidbit of new information I can find, I grab it and hold on tight, and then wait for the perfect opportunity to say, “did you know…” to my friends and family.

So, if you can relate to any of that, or if you’re just curious what kind of information I’m consuming on a daily basis in an attempt to turn my brain into its own Mary Poppins’ bag, here are 10 easy ways to learn something new every day:

 

1) Subscribe to a podcast

I went on my podcast app and counted, I am subscribed to 32 podcasts. THIRTY-TWO. Is this extreme? Am I an addict? Don’t answer that. I love all of my podcasts and I listen to (not all of) them every day. They cover just about every topic in the book, making it easy and fun to learn about a little bit of everything. Some of my favorites include: Ear Hustle, Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet, and Heavyweight

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2) Click on the Google logo

You know how Google often has those decorative versions of their logo on their homepage? Did you know that if you click on those you can learn about the historical icon or event they are honoring? Talk about easy access to fun facts.

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3) Subscribe to an e-newsletter

There is so much information on the Internet, both good and bad, so it’s nice to have someone else wade through it and give you the highlights. I’ve bounced around between newsletters, trying to find one that best fits what I’m looking for and right now my favorite is Next Draft. An email is sent every weekday after lunch and it is organized into ten bullet points of both important current information and interesting articles you might not have read otherwise.

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4) Watch a documentary (on Netflix, Hulu, or even YouTube)

I know, I know, we all have good intentions when we scroll through and add documentaries to our queues, and we all promise to watch them next time because we’re just not in the mood right now. But I encourage you to take a chance on one when you’re looking for something to watch. There is so much good stuff out there! Some of my favorites include: Evil Genius on Netflix, Three Identical Strangers on Hulu, and You’re Not Allowed to Die Here on YouTube.

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5) Go outside

I know this sounds obvious, but there’s no denying it. Our houses and apartments and dorms are wonderful and cozy and safe but there is so much to see and learn when we get outside! Just the other day a group of friends and I walked out to look at the moon and someone held their hand up and said, “did you know that if you can cup the moon in your right hand it’s a waxing moon and if you can cup it with your left it’s a waning moon.” No, I did not know that. But will I now drop it in any conversation about the moon? You’re damn right I will.

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6) Look up a new recipe

One of my favorite things to do is cook, and I love looking up recipes that I can put together with things I find in my fridge. Lucky for us, the Internet is CHOCK-FULL of recipes thanks to all of the wonderful food bloggers of the world. From breakfasts to desserts to gluten free tea party recipes, there is something for every occasion, just waiting for you to dive in.

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7) Download a language learning app

Learning a new language, or at the very least becoming familiar with key words in another language can be so valuable, both in every day life and when you travel. There are tons of apps out there that can teach you practically any language you can think of. My favorite is Duolingo, because it’s free, easy, and fun to use. Plus, an adorable owl named Duo sends me cute reminders to do my daily Spanish homework and it excites me.

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8) Take a different way home

If you do a lot of driving for work, either as part of your job or just in commuting to and from, try a new route. Turn one street early, or get off on a different exit. Expand that mental map and see where different roads lead, you never know what you’ll find along the way!

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9) Ask questions

Whenever you think to yourself, “I wonder how…” or “what is that?” or “when was..” pursue those answers. I can’t tell you how often I ask a question out loud and then immediately Google it. Even if they are little, seemingly meaningless answers they are something and you never know when you might need that something in the future.

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10) Listen

This doesn’t just call for putting on your listening ears, as my mom would say. This calls for using all of your senses. Put your phone down. Pick your head up. Look around, listen up and interact with the environment around you.