National Sibling Day

Hello, World.

You may be aware that today is national sibling day, but if not, well, it is. I thought I would share some photos of my sister and I as well as a few thoughts about the benefits of having an amazing sibling. Tomorrow is my final day of classes before Spring Break, and that means I get to see my sister soon! I’m SO excited.

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30599_123724397638093_4030956_n 526688_446910085319521_183681472_n 536328_505221152821747_240014249_n 603959_585688548108340_1201222341_n 1010924_623406277669900_1663887004_n My sister, Brie, is six years my senior, and the age difference was pretty hard while I was growing up. However, once I got into middle school, we started getting a lot closer, and I realized that it’s super helpful to have an older sister because she has experiences she can share with you, and she is someone you can talk to when no one else would understand. My sister always offers me incredible advice, and is there to catch me when I’m hurt by my friends, heartbroken, or just plain pissed off at something. My sister and I are pretty much opposites, but I think that’s the beauty of sisters…it doesn’t matter how different you are, at the end of the day, you have someone who will love you unconditionally. I feel so blessed to have such a caring, daring, inspiring sister, and I thank the lord everyday that he gave me her. She’s absolutely hilarious, and she pushes me to not be so uptight, and she also reminds me that people suck and to let the bad ones go. Growing up, she was someone I could lean on, look to for help, and aspire to be like. I will never thank her enough for doing my hair, teaching me how to do my makeup well, and helping me figure out what style even means. Honestly, when I was nominated for homecoming queen in high school she would drive to my house everyday the entire week before just to curl my hair and help me get ready because she did an ombre on my hair, and I had no clue how to properly style one. She’s the absolute best, and has the biggest heart. So, if you have a sibling, feel blessed because you know that you’ll always have someone!

Best,
Callie Leigh

Mint & Dots

Hello, World.

Today is my “homework until I die” day. I have two papers due this upcoming week, and a ton reading, and interviews, and life. It’s a little hectic to say the least, but I feel productive. Although, I definitely need to do laundry today. Our dryer hasn’t worked the last week in my residence hall, so I haven’t been able to do laundry, but I’m hoping to make the trek to someone else’s hall to get my laundry done because I’m getting low on essentials. Anyway, Andee and I went to a great brunch today, and took some photos, so I thought I would share!
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wearing- top: J Crew // cardigan: J Crew Factory // jeans: Lucky Brand // necklace: Francesca’s ImageImageAndee’s wearing- basically all Francesca’s :)

What are your plans today?

Truly,
Callie Leigh

 

Judgment Day

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Hello, World.

The other night I was curled up with a cup of tea, listening to the Mumford and Sons Pandora station, and perusing Pinterest. I know there a lot of people who use Pinterest, and I know there are a lot of people who don’t, but seriously, if you ever need a little inspiration or words of wisdom about anything (and I do mean anything) you should really think about opening a new window (after you finish reading this, of course), and browsing the pages and pages of…stuff on that site.

Anyway, while going through the quotes page, I stumbled across a little gem that read, “Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” At first I read this quote, then kept scrolling, but about ten seconds later, I was scrolling back up, re-reading the seventeen or so words beautifully written by John Green (naturally).

Initially, a bunch of people rushed into my mind. People that I could easily show this quote to, and say, “you shouldn’t judge me.” But then, as I continued to stare at the quote, I started thinking about the people I’ve thought things about before actually knowing them. Judgment is part of everyday life, and even though we learn to “not judge a book by its cover” when we’re little, I’m pretty sure everyone eventually learns that is just an ideal. Honestly, we make presumptions about people within five minutes of knowing them. Actually, we make presumptions about people within five seconds of just seeing them. Just take a moment to think about the people who hadn’t even spoken to you, but that you had ‘all figured out’ right away. You may look at someone wearing expensive clothing, chatting on his or her iPhone, and think that he or she is a pretentious person that can’t possibly be compassionate. You may see someone who you deem unattractive, and assume he or she is just an idiot who doesn’t deserve your time. Sure, these are nasty assumptions, but human nature has a funny way of putting a dark spin on our immediate reactions to people.

People can say that they never judge people, and they’re the kindest being in the world besides Mother Teresa, but maybe those people just aren’t very vocal about their judgments because judgmental thoughts cross their mind at some point, some how, some way. The thoughts may not even be considered judgmental, maybe they seem more like ‘observations,’ but let’s get real; that’s just a culturally sensitive way of admitting to thinking judgmental things. While I admit that I judge people, and that it is wrong, I feel people probably think I judge others a lot more than I actually do. For years, I’ve battled what I call “the disinterested face syndrome.” With this ailment, I often come across aloof or disinterested in people, especially because I don’t really have a super inviting face. Usually, though, I am interested in people, I just take a while to warm up (maybe because I’m an introvert?).

Since I’m not the friendliest person right away—unless I’m completely alone and am forced to be outgoing—a lot of people assume I dislike them or just don’t care to get to know them. These assumptions are judgments, and they are things that people think about me, but aren’t how I actually am. It is a little ironic, though, because if I meet someone who is reserved or closed off toward me, I assume the same thing. Judgments exist in a vicious cycle, where people judge each other, one judgment gets vocalized, and the other person judges again even more harshly.

I’ve made silent judgments that have turned out to be completely untrue once I got to know someone, but that’s the thing: you have to try to get to know someone in order to be proven wrong. I’ve encountered a lot of people who make an assumption about someone, and then don’t care to get to know that person because they’ve already made up their mind. This isn’t fair, though, because people really should be more open minded, and have a desire to get to know new people. Everyone, including me, should aspire to live a life that is as close to judgment-free as possible. To borrow a quote from Sarah Dessen, the next time you meet someone, “Don’t think or judge, just listen.”

What are your thoughts on judgment? How can we become less judgmental?

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Before I Kick the Bucket

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Hello, World.

I’ve mentioned on here many times that I am a huge advocate of journaling, but what I haven’t mentioned is how much I love reading through my journals after they’ve been written. I love reading my thoughts about a given situation, person, event, etc., and seeing if my opinion or thoughts have changed. I also love reading through the development of friendships and relationships. The past year has been especially awesome because so many new people have entered my life, and I wrote about almost every single one—the day I met them, the moments we shared, the thoughts I had about whether or not we would be friends, what they meant to me when I wrote about them and what they mean to me now. It’s like watching your life on playback, reliving days you wish you could actually relive, and reading about moments when you were really hurt or upset. One thing I found while going through my journal was a list entitled, “My Bucket List.” I wrote it last summer before I left for school, probably while watching Vampire Diaries, thinking my life was utterly uneventful, and deciding I should do a series of exciting things before I “kick the bucket.” As I was reading through the list, I realized everything on it is a thing I’ve either accomplished within the last year, or still really want to do. But, of course, I have a few additions to the list that have been influenced by events or people from this year. So, here’s my Bucket List 2.0 (my original list with the new additions).

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My Bucket List (as of Summer 2012):

–Marry my best friend/soul mate after I graduate college

–Publish a novel before I’m 30

–Meet someone who inspires me (Sarah Dessen)

–Forgive those who have wronged me

–Love myself each and every day

–Do something crazy, and completely outside my comfort zone

–Overcome a fear

–Be more relaxed

–Befriend someone I do not like

Give someone a second chance

–Get more into music

–Learn to play an instrument (ideally: piano, realistically: guitar)

–Gradate Saint Mary’s with a high GPA

–Go to a top law school

–Help the world

–Be honest even when it’s hard

–Read as many books as possible

–Find love that makes me forget bad things happen, and that I can trust fully each and every day

Summer 2013 additions:

–Learn to surf

–Journal everyday so that I never forget all the little things

–Live on the East Coast for at least 2 years at some point in my life

–Fly First Class

–Go to Ireland, Italy, Greece, France, Bali, and basically every other place I can

–Own a coffee shop

–Win the Undo It Script Contest before I graduate

–Write something that means something to someone

–Become a great photographer

–Be more creative everyday

–Have a really fun, but serious career

–Go paddle boarding

–Learn the dance from Perks of Being a Wallflower with someone, and do it in the middle of a club

–Go to an Irish Pub

–Learn to accept that not everyone is going to like me

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If you could write down all the things you wanted to do before you die, what would be on your list? Are you close to accomplishing your biggest aspirations? If not, you should get up and just…do.

Truly,

Callie Leigh

DIY: Adventures to go on Journal

Hello, World.

Today I would like to talk about projects and crafting. I’ve been fairly bored this summer, which is unfortunate. So, as an attempt to make myself not so bored, I’ve decided to start working on projects. I’ve been reading regularly, but sometimes reading just doesn’t sound like most active pastimes. One of the projects I’m currently working on is an “adventures to go on” journal to give my friend when I see him in August. I got the idea from a Pinterest pin that was a simple journal page that said, “Adventures to go on” and had a list of various activities. I decided it would be awesome if I could make my own list, and then bring those activities to life by making a journal page dedicated to each activity and make a little collage and then write something about the activity.  I’m actually really enjoying making the journal, and I’ve found so many cute pictures and ideas on Pinterest. It’s also been fun because I’ve been going through magazines and cutting some pictures out! I forgot how much fun making collages could be. So, if you want to make an “Adventures to go on book,” here’s what you’ll need:

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1)   A journal, lined or unlined depending on preference.

2)   Magazines (I’ve been using pottery barn, Us weekly, and other home or outdoorsy magazines)

3)   Glue

4)   Scissors

5)   Paper of varying colors

6)   Gel pen, sharpie, whatever suits your writing needs

Here’s a sample page! I chose to show a “bonfire on the beach” adventure because this is something I’ve always wanted to do, and the idea of it is just so romantic.

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This is a fairly inexpensive project, and you can make it for either yourself or someone close to you (i.e., a best friend, a boyfriend, a finance, a spouse). I got my journal for under $10 at Barnes and Noble, but it serves the purpose I need it to, and it looks really clean and nice. Also, you can get colored paper in bulk at a lot of craft stores, and I’m sure everyone has a few magazines lying around. If not, you can always get pictures from Pinterest or online and print them out, and there is nothing wrong with black and write photos if you don’t have a colored printer! Color can be added by paper in the backgrounds or by using a colored pen. I hope you enjoy this project if you attempt it, and have a lovely rest of your Saturday!

Truly,

Callie Leigh

Father’s Day Traditions

Hello, World.

As many of you know, today is Father’s Day, so make sure you give your father (or mother if she’s played both roles) a little extra love today. Since I was a little girl, Father’s Day has been “dad’s day,” which usually entails a large brunch (always eggs benedict because my whole family adores it), golfing or yard work, time in the mountains, some gifts so my sister and I can show our love, and lots of hugs and reminiscing. It’s funny because as a society we have set days where we are supposed to show extra love for the people in our lives, whether it is Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, whatever, but don’t we love these people just as much any other day? Sure, on these days we give them all of our attention, putting down our phones, stepping away from the computer or TV, and just spending quality time with someone who has helped shape our being, but my philosophy is that we should show people we care each and everyday we see them, or at least when life isn’t completely overwhelming.

Father’s Day, however, has consistently been a day when I can tell my dad, someone who really doesn’t receive praise very well, how much he means to me, how much he’s shaped who I am today, and how amazing and funny he is! My sister and I, while wrapping his presents, started laughing because I said I wasn’t sure what to write on his card, and she replied by simply saying, “oh, it doesn’t matter. You know he’ll read it and nod before going, ‘oh thank you!’ in this really exasperated voice.” I had to laugh because what my sister said was so true. No matter what we write on the card, my dad will just nod and say, “Oh thank you!” Even if we wrote, as my sister said, “your breath smells stinky and so do you.” Although that’s not very loving, so maybe I’ll save that for another day.

Holiday traditions, no matter what holiday, are something I’ve loved since I could understand what they were. There’s something about knowing that for one day you’re going to be with your family, just enjoying each other and realizing the immense love you have in your life. Even if you think your family is crazy, and holidays are basically blurs of laughs, stories, yelling, or crying (or it all), that it’ll all be okay as soon as you sit down to play Taboo or Clue in the evening. At least that’s how it is with my family.

What are your holiday traditions? And don’t forget to give whichever parent has played dad for you some love!

Truly,

Callie Leigh 

Distance makes the heart grow fonder

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One thing I discussed a few posts back was the unsettling feeling that something major changes when someone returns to their hometown after being away at college. The change can be internal or external (or, in some cases, both), existent or nonexistent, but regardless, there is a feeling that something is different. Personally, I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but I think maybe just the experience of going away to school, meeting people from all over, and becoming more myself has made being back home feel a little… off, like something is missing.

Something that is physically missing from my life at the moment is my boyfriend, Mitchell. He lives in Hawaii, and he’s spending the summer there, which is difficult. I will admit: I’m absolutely terrible with long distance anything. I don’t usually believe in long distance relationships, and I personally have never really seen the point of them if they are going to last more than a few months. However, I have a friend who is currently doing long-distance with her boyfriend, who she met in Germany, and they’re making long-distance seem like a breeze (which it probably isn’t a breeze everyday, but they give me hope that it can work). I also recently realized that my two best friends are currently in long distance relationships, and are both really happy. Apparently, distance isn’t so bad!

But anyway, when I first got home, I ran into the friend dating a German, and she asked me how Mitchell and I were doing and if I missed him, the usual questions. I told her I missed him, and she replied with something like, “I wouldn’t recommend the distance thing, but we do things for the people we love.” I figured this summed it up better than I currently can. The thing is, once in college, people have to remember you spend nine months on campus and three at home, working somewhere, interning, etc. So, while summers apart may be less than ideal, I have to remind myself daily that it’s only three months before I get to spend another nine with Mitchell. I also have to remind myself that confidence in the relationship makes the distance easier to handle. People who are doing long distance cannot have lukewarm feelings; otherwise it’ll basically implode before either person makes a trip to visit the other.

Long-distance, in my opinion, can only work if both people are really committed to one another, and have expressed that neither person is going anywhere. If you’re confident in the relationship, it’s much more likely that you won’t be calling the person 24/7 to make sure they’re not cheating, make sure they still love you, etc. While I may joke about Mitchell falling in love with an island girl while he’s home, I know that he’s loyal and trustworthy, and that at the end of the day, he’ll be getting off a plane in Sacramento August 10th to spend a week with me before we head back to Saint Mary’s.

Even relationships where both people are in the same city at all times require effort, care, and a little something extra. But the difference with these relationships and those that have distance (and I mean literal distance) between two people is that the people in the same city can walk down a street holding hands, go on a date whenever they want, and hug or kiss goodnight, while people who are long distance can only express these gestures in words. One of the first movies Mitchell and I ever watched was Going the Distance with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Haven’t seen it? You should! It’s about two people who meet in a common city and end up one opposite ends of the country, but attempt to maintain their relationship. So, while Mitchell and I have only 3 months apart, maybe that movie foreshadowed what we would go through during those months apart. And while it may be hard, if two people truly care for one another, they’ll make distance work somehow, some way.

Truly,

Callie Leigh