Reflecting on 2018 Goals & Setting 2019 Goals

December 28, 2018

As I pondered the goals I wished to set for this upcoming year and reflected on my resolutions for 2018 that I created around this time last year, I thought it might be interesting to evaluate my 2018 goals and analyze which techniques worked and which did not in hopes of creating more achievable resolutions for 2019. The image below is of my new year's resolutions for 2018.

Best Memories of 2018

December 26, 2018

Books I Read in 2018 (for pleasure)

December 24, 2018

1. The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown

I absolutely loved The Boys in the Boat. The story alone is absolutely incredible, and the author does a beautiful job capturing the story and delivering it to the reader in a truly meaningful way. 

2. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

This novel I actually finished in a single day, partly because it was a fairly easy read but also because it was incredibly engaging.

3. Ape House, by Sarah Gruen

Read my review HERE.

4. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Read my review HERE.

5. The Diary of Anne Frank

I have always wanted to read the dairy of Anne Frank and finally got around to it this summer. It is fascinating to learn about what life was like for Anne, a young Jewish girl, living in secret at the time of World War II. While it is an absolutely incredible read not only because you learn so much about what the war was actually like from a perspective of a young Jewish girl but also because Anne has such a strong personality and her love for writing truly shows in her diary, it is somewhat difficult to read, especially toward the end, because we know of her eventual capture and terrible death.

6. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sanchez

This novel is very similar to one mentioned below, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. A young adult novel, it explores themes of self-identity and what it means to grow up as a Mexican-American.

7. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is one of my all time favorite authors. I highly recommend reading this novel as well as his others, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

8. Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann

Let the Great World Spin was another incredible read. Set in New York City in 1974, McCann's novel is multi-narrative that beautifully weaves together stories from disparate characters and captures both the beauty and ugliness of NYC life in the 1970's.

9. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is a must read young adult novel focused on a teenage girl split between two separate worlds. Grappling with the death of her friend who was killed from police brutality, Thomas meaningfully paints a powerful narrative that delves into systemic racism and promotes youth activism. 

10. Shattered Secrets, by Karen Harper

I actually picked this book up at a flea market for only a couple of dollars. While it was not one of my favorites, it was an easy, enjoyable read. 

New York City, Fall 2018

November 18, 2018 New York, NY, USA

For the first three days of Thanksgiving break, my mom and I took the train up to New York City to see my cousins who were visiting the city from London. As always, we had a wonderful time dining at unique and authentic restaurants, drooling over all of the beautiful clothing at Saks on Fifth Avenue and obsessing over all of the Christmas decorations in Lord and Taylor, and admiring the stunning artwork in New York City's famous museums. This trip was especially special not only because it was spent with family, but also because it snowed during our stay in the city. I had never experienced a snowfall in the New York, so it was very exciting for me to see the beauty of the city as the snowflakes fell from the white skies.

Currently: End of Exams, Thanksgiving Break, & NYC

November 16, 2018

Exams are over, time for break!

It has been quite a long time since I have sat down to write a blog post. I have been extremely busy at school not only with a very difficult course load this fall, but also because since I attend a boarding school, it can be very difficult to find time to write since I often feel pressure to constantly work on my academics. I am beyond excited, though, that I have officially finished exams and am now on Thanksgiving break! I have been waiting so long for break so I can simply relax, spend time with my family, and pursue some of the hobbies that I am not able to at school. I have really missed blogging, and cannot wait to write lots of blog post over my break.

MoMA, New York City

August 21, 2018 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, USA

Banyan Tree, Mayakoba | Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

August 1, 2018 Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juárez KM 298 Riviera Maya, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico

How To Travel At Home

July 1, 2018

As a lover of travel, it can be a bit difficult during the summertime to push aside one's longing for adventure of foreign places during a time in which certain circumstances, whether they be relating to financial, health, or personal issues, are prohibiting you from fulfilling your strong desire to see the world.  

Maybe you won't be able to go backpacking across Europe like you dreamed of for your summer 2018 or to the Bahamas with your best friend, but you can still take advantage of the liberties of the summertime to explore new places (they'll just have to be a little closer than Europe) and take part in various adventures.

Here are a few things you can do.

Read This When You've Been Sitting in Bed Watching Netflix All Day

June 25, 2018

So, you've been sitting in bed watching Netflix all day.
Or maybe you've been watching an endless number of youtube videos.
Or you've been sitting for hours on your phone scrolling aimlessly through Instagram.

No matter what platform you may be so willingly granting your time and undivided attention to,

and ask yourself...

A Book Review: Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

June 17, 2018

Though I only just posted a book review about a week ago, I couldn't help but post yet another one to share with you all the magnificent book I just recently finished, Water for Elephants. This novel was written by the same author of the novel I appraised in my latest book review, entitled Ape House, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to have a go at Water for Elephants.

I can undoubtedly say that Water for Elephants will go down as one of my favorite reads of all time. This was one of those rare reads that had me glued to each page and caused me to lose track of all time when I delved into its glorious story.

A Book Review: Ape House, by Sara Gruen

June 10, 2018

I can confidently assure you that if you have a love for or are interested in our very close cousins, the bonobos, you will thoroughly enjoy reading this novel. Gruen delves deeply into the relationships between ape and human, expressing the beauty and wonders of these fascinating creatures and demonstrating how very similar to us they truly are (not just because we share close to 99% of the same DNA). 

7 Tips to Finish the School Year Strong

May 13, 2018

1. Study outdoors.

Because it is now mid-may and the temperatures (at least where I live) are mostly in the eighties, the trees and flowers have all bloomed, the birds are constantly chirping, and overall the outdoors just feels more vibrant and full of life, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain motivation to study when it is so beautiful outside. I know that at least for me, when it is a nice day outside and I'm sitting inside studying, it's easy to feel kind of gross and dull, and as though the day is being wasted. To counter this feeling, I highly recommend studying outside! I've only recently started doing this and I can assure you that it has had such a positive influence on my ability to focus and my overall mood.

Cumberland Island, Georgia

March 23, 2018 Cumberland Island, Georgia, USA

Yesterday my mom and I took a short forty-five minute drive from Aemilia Island, Florida, to the small town of St. Mary's, Georgia, where we were to board a ferry and embark on our journey to Cumberland Island. Having lived in southern Georgia as a girl, my mom had always dreamed of visiting this beautiful island, but had never had the chance to go. Now, many years later, she finally was able to fulfill her wish. 

Cumberland Island is known for it's big and beautiful protected beaches and dunes, Dungeness ruins which are the remains of a grand and exquisite mansion built by Thomas Carnegie, and its wide variety of wildlife. The natural beauty of this island was so pure and inspiring, and my mom and I feel certain that this will not be our last visit to Cumberland.

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

February 6, 2018

If you know me personally, follow me on Instagram, or have seen my other blog posts, you probably know that I absolutely love photography. To me, photographs are such a beautiful way to capture memories. They are artifacts of the past, never changing and always accessible. And, as the title clearly expresses, I truly believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, as so much emotion and meaning can be shared through photos. For the past five weeks while taking a narrative photography class, I have really started to view photography not just as a way to capture candid shots, but to share important messages and tell stories. I hope you enjoying seeing the photographs I took while in my class.

Project 1: Inspired By
For this project, we selected a photographer and captured a photo inspired by their work. I selected photographer Brandon Stanton, in specific, his project entitled Humans of New York.

New York City, Winter 2018

January 19, 2018 New York, NY, USA

The towering skyscrapers, bright lights, colorful graffiti, and authentic restaurants are all only a part of what makes New York City such an incredible city. In this post I am going to be sharing a few of my favorite photos from the four day trip my mom and I took to the city. 

Petite Lou Lou Crepe Shop

January 9, 2018

The past snow day, my mom and I stopped in at this super cute cafe to enjoy a nice brunch. Not only was the food to die for, but the decor and theme of this restaurant was so adorable and chic that I just had to share my photographs with you. 

How To Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

January 1, 2018

1. Declutter - will help you to focus more on what is important.

2. Less social media will stop you from comparing yourself to other people & less stressed.

3. Upbeat music - will make you feel happier, will reduce stress, and will make you feel more outgoing.

4. Plan more - will help you to stay organized.

5. Make goals visible - will constantly remind you of your goals.

6. Write down the why,  how, & what - will motivate and inspire you to achieve your goals.

7. Break down into monthly, weekly, daily goals - will provide specific, measurable goals that will help you to attain the bigger goals.

8. Don't be hard on yourself - being hard on yourself will discourage you & you will lose motivation.

9. Keep a journal just for goals - will help you to stay organized & will also motivate you every time you look through it.

10. Reward yourself - will make you feel accomplished & will motivate you to continue working towards your goals.