I Spent My Spring Break Soaking Up Family Time And Much Needed Relaxation

I Spent My Spring Break Soaking Up Family Time And Much Needed Relaxation

Just the tale of my spring break at home.
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Who doesn't look forward to Spring Break? A whole week you do not have to think of school and can just give your mind a break. Whether you are heading to the beach or back home, everyone looks forward to the week-long break. I know I was.

I was heading home for break and honestly, I was excited about it. Just a week of sleep in my own bed, cuddling with my dog and having zero responsibilities.

That excitement was matched with a touch of jealousy, only for a short while. Seeing how sunny it was and everyone enjoying the 80-degree weather while the snow falls in southern Indiana. That was the worst honestly, the snow was quite a Debbie Downer.

I wanted to keep myself busy over break so I made some goals. Number 1, clean out my closet because half those clothes I have not worn in over a year. Number 2, read at least one of the books from the stack in my room. And number 3, work out like crazy because summer is right around the corner.

Being home is somewhat boring only because my family is all at work or school and I'm just sitting at home staring at my dog.

Monday I spent the day sleeping in, running errands like going to the store and bank, going to the gym and tanning. for dinner, I was finally home to go to Bunco with my aunts. Bunco is this dinner we do once a month with all the women in my family. We go out to eat and then get coffee after. This is one of my favorite traditions in my family and I was so happy I got to attend.

Tuesday was quite a lazy day. I stayed in my pajamas all day. I finished painting our family travel map. So far we have nine more states to visit. I caught dinner with a few friends that were in town.

Wednesday I told myself I couldn't be lazy again even though I felt super sick. I slept in a little, went to the gym and bank again because my tax refund came (YAY). One perk of being home is getting to see my little sister's lacrosse games, which she had Wednesday.

Thursday was the day I was most looking forward to because my mom was taking the day off to spend the day with me! We spent the day going to our favorite coffee shop and shopping. She also took me to see a movie I have been dying to see, "The Greatest Showman." It was so good and we both loved it. I was so excited because I finally wasn't home by myself.

Friday was the day I had to run all the errands I had but off during the week. I got my nails done, went to the gym and went tanning. Later Friday night I went and hung out with some friends from high school.

Saturday I drove up to Indianapolis with my mom and some family friends to watch my sister play lacrosse. It was freezing cold, windy and even rained a little but I knew this was the last game I was going to see her play before summer league started. They won both games and are now undeafetted, 5-0! I even made it home in time to see my friends that came back from there spring break trips and got to hear all there stories before we left Sunday.

Being home for a week was honestly really nice. Of course, I do wish I would have been somewhere warmer or that it would have been warmer at home. It was relaxing to have no schedule and just doing things as I please. It was also nice to get to see a few of my sisters game while I was home because I will miss so many.

All in all, spring break 2018 maybe not as memorable as other but still relaxing and nice.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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40 Things To Do During Summer Vacation

Because we all know four months without college friends or classes is WAY too long.
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It's been less than a week since finals wrapped up at the University of Minnesota, and I, among many of my other friends, are already lost on things to do. Since January, our entire schedules have been filled with homework and studying. The new freedom summer brings provides endless time (in between our summer job shifts, of course) for new activities and things you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to do during the school year. Below is a list of 40 different activities to keep you entertained during your break and to ensure you make the most of your summer.


1. Learn a new language.

I highly recommend starting with Duolingo. It's an app that provides free language tutoring through a series of activities and exercises. It offers a wide variety of languages such as Spanish, German, Greek, Swahili, among many others.

2. Volunteer.

There's an endless amount of volunteering opportunities offered throughout every major city in the country. For example, many hospitals will accept volunteers, as well as organizations in Minnesota such as Feed, My Starving Children, or the Ronald McDonald House. Most positions only require an application but be sure to check for minimum requirements such as age or experience.

3. Read a book.

Go to a library and wander until you find a book you think you'll like. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

4. Watch a TED talk.

This is one of my favorite hobbies any time of the year. TED is a nonprofit organization that shares short, approximately 15-minute videos ranging from science to business to global issues. There's a topic out there for everyone.

5. Start a garden.

Even if you don't have any outdoor space, succulents and cacti are very low maintenance and still add a little "green" to your indoor space.

6. Go camping.

Whether it's at a campground or in your backyard, enjoy the technology-free time with your family or friends.

7. Paint.

If you're not an artistic person, go to the store, buy a set of Crayola watercolors, and just paint.

8. Take an online course.

Coursera and edX both supply free online courses from top universities such as Yale, MIT, and Harvard. If you're trying to further your understanding of a particular topic such as physics or biology, I suggest starting with these websites.

9. Bake brownies or cookies.

Most stores stock up on the prepared cookie or brownie mixes, but if you have the time and ingredients, try making them from scratch.

10. Fly a kite.

Kites are available on Amazon for $10-$15, and instruction videos are available on YouTube to help you get started.

11. Play board games.

Life and Scrabble are my go-to's.

12. Make a scrapbook of old memories.

If you have the time and a little extra money, I promise the end-product will be worthwhile.

13. Start a journal.

You don't have to go buy the fancy Moleskin journals or buy an expensive one from Barnes and Noble, a simple notebook will do the trick. Write down your thoughts and document your summer.

14. Go to the beach.

Enjoy the sunshine, but don't forget sunscreen!

15. Go fishing.

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and one of them is most likely within driving distance. Take the time on a nice, calm morning, and go fishing.

16. Binge-watch a TV show on Netflix.

"The Office," "Friends," "New Girl," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Grey's Anatomy" are good places to start.

17. Start a bucket list and cross off one item every week.

The items added don't have to be spectacular and nearly unattainable, they can be little things, too. In other words, I'm not expecting you to go skydiving, swim with sharks, and go on a cruise all in one month.

18. Learn to rock climb.

Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing are available depending on your level of comfort and experience. Remember to take every safety precaution and have fun.

19. Catch up with an old friend over coffee.

Call the friend you haven't seen in three years and ask to catch up over coffee. You never know how much their life has changed since last speaking with you.

20. Have a picnic.

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, and juice, and find a nice spot with a view. Maybe bring a book for a post-picnic activity.

21. Meditate or do yoga.

If you're unexperienced in both of these activities, many YouTube channels provide instructional videos. I'll post a link to one of my favorite YouTube yoga instructors here.

22. Learn a new instrument.

Whether it's piano, guitar, or even this $7.49 recorder from Amazon, try something new.

23. Discover new music.

Spotify and Pandora are great music platforms to discover different songs and artists. Keep checking your local venues and maybe attend a concert if possible.

24. Complete a puzzle.

You can buy puzzles online for around $10-$15. However, thrift stores and stores like Goodwill often sell them for less than $5.

25. Visit a museum.

The Science Museum of Minnesota and Minneapolis Institute of Art are two of the post popular museums in Minnesota. If you check their websites and other internet sources such as Groupon, you might be able to find a discount for admission.

26. Go to a comedy show.

I'm unaware of good comedy events around the country, but if you ever find yourself in downtown Minneapolis, check out Brave New Workshop.

27. Build a card tower.

If you're unsure how to do so, here is a link to instructions.

28. Reorganize and redecorate your room.

If you'd like a change in your life, try redecorating or reorganizing your room. Donate old clothes, books, or furniture no longer in use.

29. Marathon the entire Harry Potter series.

I challenge you to do this back-to-back with each movie, but I also realize that is 19 hours and 39 minutes of watching movies, not including snack or bathroom breaks.

30. Play with a pet.

It doesn't have to be your own. For a real adventure, check out the nearest animal shelter.

31. Start a blog.

Wordpress and Weebly are two online blogging websites that I highly suggest. Although it takes awhile to become accustomed to the platform, these websites are great because they're entirely customizable to the type of blog you wish to create.

32. Go for a bike ride.

Whether it's along the river or out on back roads, go for a ride.

33. Teach yourself how to juggle.

This might be easier said than done, but some videos on YouTube might be useful.

34. Take a bubble bath.

Some bubble bath or a bath bomb, music, and a good book will have you relaxed almost instantly.

35. Go to a farmer's market.

Support the farmers in your community and try buying local. With a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and flowers, there's something for everyone. The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis is open Thursday's from 6am-6pm, while the Lyndale Market is open daily from 6am-1pm.


36. Exercise.

Go for a walk. Run. Bike. Do yoga. Play soccer. Just get up, and get moving.

37. Become a tourist in your own city.

Pretend you're from out of state and only have a limited amount of time to explore your city. Take yourself and your friends or family to the must-see places around town.

38. Color.

Adult coloring books have become an increasingly popular trend. Available online, Barnes and Noble, and Target, they're easily accessible. You can buy a book, some colored pencils or pens, and enjoy the relaxing day.

39. Spend time with your family and friends.

Whether it's a movie day or going out on a walk, put away your phone or laptop for a day and appreciate the people standing around you.

40. Enjoy all the time you have not worrying about studying or homework.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Pizzio // Unsplash

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How To Bloom This Spring

Embrace the season of growth

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I've always said that spring is my favorite season. Life is full of seasons. Happy seasons, sprinkled with some somber ones. Some difficult seasons, and seasons of love. But through every season of life, there is always something beautiful. Usually in the darkest of seasons, a season of light follows soon behind. And so, through every cold day, I'd feel the darkness in my bones. It would lie heavily on my spirit. I was never too worried, however. Because I knew that the world would soon allow the brightness of spring to illuminate my world and allow joy to find itself once again.

So, I'd like to talk about what spring means to me. Aside from the tangible manifestation of spring—whether it be the flowers, or the buds popping through, or perhaps longer days, and vibrant energy—it's the idea of spring that I personally associate with so greatly.

Spring is all about finding light after darkness. It's about poking your head through the earth even if there's a layer of snow covering the ground. It's about taking that first step toward of a journey of growth.

I always talk about this one particular type of day. The very first spring day. And I'm not talking about the calendar day. But it's first day where you don't have to wear a jacket, and all you want to do is be outside. It is a weight lifted from your spirit, and it is permission to feel the sunlight seep into your pores. The beautiful weather can dictate your growth. It can inspire you to change with the season, to jut out of your darkness and to bloom.

So this spring, allow the beauty of the flowers and the trees, the songs of the birds, and the long, wonderful days of sunlight to foster some growth. Choose to go outside, spend time with people you care about. Allow yourself to listen to what you need. When you take off your jacket this spring, take off any negativity from your life along with it. Free yourself of impurity and pressure in an effort to release into a state of liberation. Spring is the time for rebirth. Ask yourself this spring: What would you like to change? What would you like to do? But most of all, ask yourself what would make you happy. Take this spring to bloom into a better version of yourself. Allow yourself to fall deeply in love this season.

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