On Inspiration, and an Amazing Spoken Poem

I am the most easily inspired person I know.

Which is a good thing and a bad thing, I guess, because you realistically can’t do it all.

Videos, a life story, quotes (I love these, I actually collect quotes), statistics, hearing about something someone did somewhere, even the cheesiest inspirational advice you’ve ever heard– it all gets me super excited to go work hard, push myself and/or change the world! And don’t even get me started on motivational speeches. Continue reading

Summer 2015 Bucket List

Today is my first day of summer vacation! Woooooo! You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to say that!

To kick it off, I thought I’d share the summer to-do list that’s been accumulating in one of my notebooks. In no particular order, here’s what I want to do in the next couple of months: Continue reading

Bites of Joy

Have you ever bitten into a little ball of delicious happiness?

If not, you’d better run over to Trader Joe’s right now, and ask for a box of Chocolate Coconut Almonds. A few weeks ago my mom brought a little plastic container of these chocolate balls home, and since then we’ve always had a stock in our cabinet.

If you shop at Trader Joe’s, you’ll know these little morsels are dangerous the second you see them. Continue reading

Of Monsters and Men

Oh my goodness, everyone! I have so much to write about and not enought time to write it! Oh well… Summer’s almost here!

Today I wanted to make you all aware of the excitement that will be taking place on this Tuesday, June 9th! 

Drumroll please…. Of Monsters and Men are releasing their second album, Beneath the Skin!!!

For those of you who have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain.

Back in 2011, some band from Iceland released their first album, My Head is an Animal. And some radio station in Seattle called the End started playing a song from it, called Little Talks. And then, some little girl told her dad to get her mom that album for Mother’s Day, because the mom really liked that song.

One sunny almost-summer day, the mom was playing the album on the house stereo, and the little girl, who was sitting on the backyard patio, caught these words: “the forest that once was green, was colored black by those killing machines…” And she was hooked.

I hadn’t ever heard such a good song that so gracefully told a story. I love mythology, and the song has something of a folklore feel to it that I was attracted to. It was also the first time I really got into listening to music.

For the next three months, I listened to that album every. Single. Day. I loved it. Correction: I do love it. That was the first album I completely memorized. When one song finished, I could begin the next before the song even started. I knew every word.
I still know almost the whole thing, but of course after a while I started listening to other artists and sort of forgot about OMAM for a little bit.

But now they are releasing a new album and it’s going to be AMAZING! So far, they’ve released four songs from it that I know of. I’ve linked them all below. My favorite is Empire.

The other excitement is that I’m going to see OMAM live this August! Yay! I was lucky enough to see them in December of 2013, but they were part of a nine-band concert, so the focus wasn’t so much on them. This time, though, it’s going to be all OMAM all the time. I can’t wait!

Enought about me, now… More about the music!

OMAM has a distinct style. They’re an indie/alternative band. Their songs range from pump-up sing-a-longs to calming, put-me-to-sleep melodies. They are very catchy (I find) and easy to sing to. Like I mentioned before, a lot of their songs tell stories. So once you listen to them a few times and start to really pay attention to the lyrics, you are rewarded with a beautifully told and sung story. A story which which is told in a way that leaves it up to interpretation, making the song a sort of personal experience.

If you’ve never heard their music, I strongly, strongly suggest you listen to their album (soon to be albums!), and basically fall in love with them like I did. If you have heard their songs, then don’t forget to get super pumped for Tuesday! And regardless of wether you’ve even heard of Of Monsters and Men or not, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Links to the latest releases:*

Crystals

Empire

Hunger 

I of the Storm

*As usual, I recommend you don’t watch the video when you listen to the song, at least at first, because associating something visual with the song right away can ruin your own understanding of it. These videos are all just lyric ones with people dancing, but just listen first. Then if you want to watch later.

Image credit: http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/filters/guests/131726

Shadows

One sunny day we
Look at the ground,
Where our shadows
Lay, black and plain
And they say clearly,
Without any sound,
Can’t you see we
Are all the same?

I wrote this poem a couple years ago, in eighth grade. I was sorting through a bunch of my old school papers about a month and a half ago, when I stumbled across this written on a post-it note stuck in my writing journal from that year. Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with my eighth grade self. I had to look the poem up first to make sure I actually wrote it. (Don’t worry, I did.) 😉

What do think it means? Do you like it? Share in the comments down below, I love hearing your feedback!

-Emma

Life is too Short to Look at the Negatives

The other day my mom said to me, “Emma, I really appreciate your positivity.”

Six simple words that made my day. We don’t think about it too much, but we give a lot of worthless compliments. Ok, maybe not worthless, but definitely not lasting, and not meaningful. 

“I like your hair.” “Your shirt’s really cute.” “Nice backpack.” That’s all fine and good. The recipient will smile for a minute or two, on the high that comes from praise.

But what if we gave lasting compliments? If we actively tried to find something we like about a person? Not their appearance, but the actual person. You can change your appearance easily enough, but traits, or characteristics? Sort of difficult to switch up. And when compliments come from someone you respect, it’s just icing on the cake.

I don’t mean “actively” as in try to find something interesting about everyone you know and tell them, because we all know that the gift will lose it’s genuinity if it’s forced.

I mean the next time you notice something about a person that you like, just let them* know that you appreciate it. You won’t just make their day, you’ll make a positive impact on them, maybe for the rest of their life.

My mom gave me that compliment on Saturday, and I still remember it. I responded with the title of this post.

And she said, “If you take that to heart, it will bring you far.”

* I know it’s supposed to be he/she, not them or their, but that just doesn’t flow. Sorry to all the grammar obsessors who flinched when they read that.

Image credit: http://likesuccess.com/115868

I Gurt, You Gurt, We all Gurt for Yogurt!

The other week when my grandma was in town, she and my mom brought home this new kind of special yogurt that my grandma said is amazing (I think they got it at Whole Foods). It was coconut flavored with shredded coconut mixed in. 

 

this is the lemon one. (obviously.)

 
The company is Noosa, named after Noosa, Australia, where the company is located. I just took a peek at the nutrition facts for one of these things, and it’s got a lot of fat and a ton of protein in each serving, exactly what I look for in yogurt! 

I’m sort of lactose-intolerant, so I didn’t try it right then, but a few days later, I had to try a bite of that coconut.

 

the flavors currently in my fridge.

 
And the best part about this new treat? It may as well have been dessert. It was so good. I also tried the lemon. I’m not normally a big fan of lemon flavoring, but this was delicious. 

Bottom line: get Noosa Yoghurt. You won’t regret it.

Check back next Monday to satisfy your appetite!*

  
So… Obviously I’m not posting as much as I’d like. It’s going to be like this at least the next couple weeks, because next Friday I have an AP exam that I really need to study for. So I’m going to go for shorter posts so I can hopefully post more often than I have been.

*I know for most of you it’s not Monday anymore, but it is for me, so this food or thought is on time! 😉

Goodbye San Juan

On Wednesday, I fell in love. A little bit. I was sitting on a deck overlooking a marina filled with boats of all sizes. The sun’s warmth and the delicious halibut burger digesting in my stomach made it impossible for me to move. Next to me my sister was reading something on her phone, probably off the FIFA app. Across the marina from us was a picturesque hotel, fronted with three stories of balconies and the words “Hotel de Haro” painted in caps just under the eaves. Looking down the deck (or does it count as a wharf?) there’s the awning of the cafe we ate at, a sign that says “Laundry at the Wharf– Change machine” (so I guess it does count as a wharf) and another reading “Roche Harbor Sportswear”. Beyond that was a tree-covered hill, a fluffy white cloud peaking from behind it like a mountain top and the beautiful blue sky.

The view from our table.

The view from our table.

That morning I’d woken up to bright sunshine and glass-like waters of a tiny inlet of the Pacific Ocean. I’d made pancakes and a smoothie for breakfast, read the lovely comments and likes from you all on my last post, and gone for a run. Originally I was going to stick to the roads since I had pretty much no idea where I was in relation to anything else, but as I reached the end of our winding lane and started on the faster road (not really busier, since there weren’t really any cars on that one either), I decided to do an about-face. I didn’t much fancy the idea of running on the narrow, 25 mph, sidewalk-less road that ran through the grasslands on the face of a hill. It would feel too much like I was a flamingo in the desert– quite obviously out of place and impossible to miss. Continue reading