The Satisfaction of Planning

What is it about the start of a new year or school year where the planners are displayed at every endcap in target that makes you lose track of the reason you are actually there? For me, I always buy a planner that is supposed to last two years, but once the new school year comes around I’m drawn to Home Goods’ “Back to School” collection where the desk organization supplies are all pretty and neat. Maybe it is just me, but the planners take up a whole side of the store; big ones that are monthly, small ones that are monthly/daily, and a whole shelf and a half more of endless patterned options that you didn’t know you needed. Seriously though, I can’t say no to a new planner for back to school.

This years’ choice of planner is a simple, perfect bind (an actual type of book bind), navy blue, planner that says “stay the course” with a boat wheel above it in metallic gold. It even has one of those stretchy pieces of fabric to keep it closed and the pages protected. Despite the cute design, I picked it because of the monthly overview and each week is broken down so that I can see each, individual day.

Planning is something I usually do 110% or not at all. The beginning of a busy school year is where I’m at my full force of planning. I don’t know why I end up losing my so-called planning spirit because there is something to be said about opening it up and seeing exactly what you have planned for each day. Even on my busiest days where it looks like I have time for nothing but work or schoolwork I am able to see that there is time that I can spend doing something for myself. I like to see my homework all written out so that I can check it off when I finish an assignment, and once I’m done seeing an empty list on my day is so satisfying.

I think that a lot of people either don’t want to plan because it can seem like a lot of work and overwhelming. Also, it can feel like you aren’t enjoying the moments that life has to offer. Some people might say that they have nothing to put on a calendar so why even bother. Don’t get me wrong, planning can feel like you’re wishing time away when you open it up to months down the road to add a vacation or appointment to the schedule, but for me, having a plan lets me get things done which opens up more time for myself, friends, and family later on.

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The famous Phoebe Buffay “pla” quote

Now, I wish I had the actual time and the money to create my own planner or buy a massive one with countless stickers to use as a key for what I’m doing each day but I just don’t. I wish that I had that much in me to plan, but the satisfaction for me is lost when I overdo it. The number one reason that I plan is to make sure that I’m on some sort of track for my goals. If I want to reach some type of goal or be successful I try to plan and make goals in my planner which keeps me a little bit accountable because when I open up my planner each day I see that note to myself to keep going.

If you don’t have a planner or you don’t even know where to start, take a trip to your local Target and buy one that fits your personality, or simply search Pinterest for easy ideas. There is no right or wrong way for planning, so go crazy or simply write down a goal. Whatever you do, make it your own.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

 

 

 

The Coffee Shop Hop

Wow! I simply cannot believe that I have been home for two months now. The time sure does fly by quickly. Since my last post I have been trying to be more of a “doer” and less of a watcher. The easiest way for me to be this doer type was to look to the things that inspired me in life. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I have quite the obsession with coffee, and now that I have been working at my local Starbucks for about a month I have become even more of a “coffee connoisseur.”

With that in mind, I decided that one way for me to get to know the city that is just 20 minutes away from my house was to spend more time there. The best way I knew to do this was look at all the attractions it offered. With one google search I noticed the numerous coffee shops in and surround Grand Rapids. It was then that I got the idea to try as many of these coffee shops as I possibly could this summer.

After buying a cheap journal, writing a list of coffee shops on the west side of the state, and telling my closest friends about my idea, I was ready to go. Since creating this journal I have been to a handful of the coffee shops on my list and I still have so many left. At each coffee shop I give the journal to the friend that accompanies me (I’ve yet to go alone yet) and they fill out an entry describing what they like or dislike about the visit.

So far, I’ve had a ton of fun going on these mini adventures that are within driving distance from my house. This has been a good way to stregthen some relationships with old friends and new ones, as well as giving me a space to work on homework for my summer classes. In reality, I know that I won’t be able to finish my list, but the idea of trying new places and different kinds of coffee is so fun.

If you want to be a doer for the rest of your summer, look to your favorite things for inspiration. Below are some pictures of or at the coffee shops that I’ve tried. Here’s to a summer filled with good coffee and better friends!

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

**Disclaimer: I have seen other people do this in my area, so when I thought of the idea I did look back to some of the places they went**

 

Sweet Summertime

The trees are full, the sun is out, and the bees are buzzing. The air is warm, the flowers are blooming, and everyone seems to have an extra “pep in their step”. It’s summer!

This seems to be the time of the year that everyone dreams of. Warm nights spent by the lake, the nightly routine of roasting marshmellows over campfires, weekend festivals, concerts, and so much more. As we say hello to the summer sun there is so much to do, for instance, hanging out with friends, cleaning up the yard, attending graduation parties, and working that dreaded summer job to pay for school.

With all the crazy excitement of seeing the friends I’ve missed, making money once again, trying to regain my summer “glow”, and soon start my summer classes it can feel like I have no time for anything and that I can slowly see my summer passing before my eyes. Now, I know what you may be thinking: “Krystal, you’ve had extra time off becasue you’ve been out of school for almost a month and what do you do anyway??.” Well, let me tell you that summer isn’t all fun and games anymore, and I am sure that every adult to read this would laugh and say “Welcome to the rest of your life!”

As of now I have been working two jobs, cleaning my aunt’s house along with random babysitting on the side, and trying to hangout with my family and friends as often as I can. I won’t lie and say that I haven’t been overwhelmed, because I have. With two jobs that don’t give me a consistent schedule (which is not their faults), friends who also work and have their own lives, and family who seem to hangout whenever you work, my life can sometimes seem like it is all over the place.

All these thoughts have been constantly running through my mind this past week, so I have completely decided to take my life day by day. This doesn’t mean that I don’t look to the future because this girl needs to have some things planned out; it’s just who I am. I decided that each full day off from work I will try to catch up with a friend or my family or maybe I will hide out and watch Netflix all day. My life is way to short to drown in something that doesn’t make me even the slightest bit happy and a teeny bit sane. I’ve also decided to try new things, places, and adventures to enjoy the free time that I do have this summer.

Even when life can seem like an endless, repetative movie where you seem to work the same job every day, for me, it is important to make the most of it all. You never know when your last day will come, and although that seems super morbid, we often see too many who leave us unexpectedly. So, let’s make the most of every “bad” day, every great day, and all the in betweens. Don’t be afraid to drop something or someone who doens’t make or bring you a little bit of happiness each day, and don’t be afraid to be utterly and completely yourself. Do something for yourself and someone else every day. Overall, just find your happy and follow it.

Here’s to a summer full of love, happiness, adventure, and the people who help you achieve all three!

“Nights when we kept dancing, changing all our plans, and making every day a holiday” -Onerepublic

Sincerely,

Krystal, with a K

Drop Everything and Go

The kind of person that I strive to be is the kind that can have a fixed schedule and follow their daily routines, yet if given the chance I would drop everything and find that next adventure. A couple of weeks ago, I was this person.

As I am sure many of you have been annoyed by or noticed, I am obsessed with not only country music, but also singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett. I had the chance to see him when he performed alongside another favorite of mine, Brett Eldrege, in 2015 for the Suits and Boots Tour. It was from then on that I decided I love country music and especially Thomas Rhett.

When Rhett announced his first ever headline tour in September I decided that I had to go. My roommate and I joked about it for months saying even though we have no money and the tickets are way out of our price range we will make it work. We continued to blast our favorite songs by him in my car and live like we were about to go to Thomas Rhett when he finally came back to Michigan.

When February (the month of the concert) rolled around we still had no tickets and whenever we looked at the prices they got more and more expensive. Our dreams of jamming in person to his new album were slowly being derailed, but never the less, I kept looking. For some reason I knew that this would happen, I just had to figure out how.

Fast forward to the night before the concert. My best friend knows me so well that when someone posted on his university facebook page about selling tickets he sent the post to me. When I told him to ask this girl about the tickets he thought I was crazy but he still contacted the girl. As it turns out, my roommate and I got the tickets, and we bought them about $100 less than they were being sold for online!

Excited doesn’t even begin to describe what we felt that day. We went to all our classes that Thursday in anticipation of the concert at night. After my last class we quickly grabbed what we needed and made our way to Saginaw for the first night of the Home Team Tour.

Once we got to the venue, we still couldn’t believe we had gotten the tickets and that we were actually there. After we found our seats at the very back of the floor in the small arena, our hearts were racing. A little bit into the concert the people sitting around us got up, left, and never came back, so my roommate and I were alone in a row that should have been filled with people.

The opening acts were great, but from the moment Thomas Rhett came out on that stage we were jumping up and down, dancing all around, and breathless from screaming the lyrics to our favorite songs. We were having a blast, and I really kept thinking that my life couldn’t get better than this. Oh boy, how I was wrong!

Not even 45 minutes into a night filled with pure joy, Thomas Rhett moved from the stage to a small square stage at end of the arena. We were literally less than 2 feet from him. These seats that were originally out of our price range, then were considered to be “bad” floor seats, eventually turning into front row tickets. My heart was so full, and I realized that life is all about the moments that ignite a fire in your soul.

The moral of this long, drawn out story is that sometimes it’s okay to be crazy and drop everything for something that makes your heart beat so fast you feel like you might die of happiness. Take chances and go see your favorite artist in concert, or drop everything to go visit the people you love. No matter what makes you happy, it’s okay to forget your worries and responsibilites for a while and fill your heart to the brim.

Sincerely,

Krystal, With a K

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Where I Am

I feel like I should let anyone who reads my blog know where I am at in case they wonder why I haven’t posted too frequently lately.

I am currently going into my fifth week of my second semester as a college freshman. I have made a step towards where I want to go in this crazy life by choosing a major that I believe will suit me best throughout all that I want to do. The major I chose is called Integrative Public Relations or IPR. It is a big fancy title for someone who doesn’t want to spend their life as strictly a journalist or someone in only public relations. The degree requires a lot of communication, broadcasting, journalism types of classes and more. I am not sure if I will minor in anything, yet their is always a possibility to minor in something to aid with my major.

The classes that I am taking this semester are still mostly classes that the univeristy requires I have to graduate. Although it may sound as though the required classes are still easier, you are wrong. I got to choose some of them in hopes that they were a double wammy and count towards my major. My current class schedule is a lot of writing. I have an English class where we write a lot of research type papers, a writing for the mass media which is exactly what it sounds like, a journalism class where we discuss controversial issues then write, and a class about enviornmental science that shouldn’t need writing but my luck we have papers due. My only saving grace is that my macroeconomics class is a boring, regular, lecture based class where you take notes then quizzes.

Basically, I am writing a lot. Aside from my classes I write for my university’s online magazine, called Grand Central Magazine, where I write for the Student Lifestyle section. The stories are about what is going on around campus, and is out of my comfort zone of writing. I interview people, and my writing is like a regular feature story you would read online.

Along with Grand Central, I just applied to write for the Odyssey at Central Michigan University. The Odyssey is something that I am sure most people have read, and it is more like a blog. My first post has just been uploaded, and the stories I have started writing are my style and I am enjoying it a lot. I really hope it works out.

So, that is where I am at mostly. My spring break is coming up in the next month so I really hope I have time to write before then beause I do have some great ideas. I am sorry if I don’t update more, not that too many people read this. If you want, check out my articles on the other sites, they are different than what I write here, but I know that they will be great to help me get to where I am going in life.

-Krystal, With a K

P.s. It would mean so much to me if ya’ll checked out my first post on the Odyssey!

 

New Year, New Goals!

Every New Year my goals tend to be the same whether that includes losing some weight, trying to overall be healthier, be a better friend/sibling/daughter, or any other New Year’s resolution that most people have. This year I have found myself in the same list of resolutions. Since going to college I have put on a little bit of the so-called “Freshman 15”, so of course being healhtier and losing weight is on my list. Also, since I will return to school I want to be a better person to those I love or maybe don’t even know.

I know that it is already January 4th, but resolutions can begin at any time as long as you start them and consciously try to make a change.

I am sick of looking at the same list and feeling trapped in the couple things I don’t always feel are easy to change. When I looked at the items on my list this year, I decided that I need some new goals. Of course I took to Pinterest where there are so many resolution ideas that I am above overwhelmed.

Instead of following one blogger’s specific list or taking a pin and trying to copy it completely, I decided to take goals that seemed to fit into my lifestyle. The goals that I found and put into a single list will, for the most part, confuse you, so let me explain.

In the end my list sounds a little like this:

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Drink more water (preferably amount needed in a day)
  3. Excersize more regularly
  4. Don’t always say the first thing that comes to your mind when talking to others
  5. Be conscious in what you put in your body
  6. Take more time to get to know myself
  7. Be more open-minded
  8. Spread more love
  9. Study more consistenly
  10. Choose happiness

Okay, so that was a lengthy list, and the thought of me finishing them all 100% isn’t completely likely. What is great about all of the goals I have are that they fit into what my previous goals were. By sleeping more, excercising more regularly, thinking about what I eat, and drinking more water I will get closer to the weight I want and being overall healthier. The remainding goals fit into becoming a better person.

Now, you may be thinking that I contradicted my whole entry because my goals are broken down versions of my original goals. I’m telling you, THAT IS THE POINT. By breaking down my goals into more in depth ways to make myself better, I have a place to start!

I hope that this entry helps you to break down your goals that seem impossible. Remember that you have 365 days (okay a little less than that now) to try and make some changes. You will fail, and thats the beauty of New Year’s goals or any goals: you have a fresh start every day that you wake up.

Go kick butt, and prove to the world and the year 2017 that your goals weren’t useless! Goodluck!

-Krystal, With a K

 

 

 

(My) 2016 in Review

Hello all! I hope that everybody enjoyed their holidays, and that they got everything they wished for! As for me, I got my wisdom teeth out three days before Christmas, so I spent the holiday in pain although I was surrouned by my favorite people; my family.

As with every year, once you make it to Christmas, the rest of the days fly by and it isn’t too long before everyone is boasting about how 2017 will be their year. I like to take the last few days of the year to chill out, enjoy my family and friends, and reflect on the year I had. Originally, I planned to get this out before the end of the year, but my procrastination got the better half of me.

I have been through and done a lot this past year, so I thought I would write an entry about things I have learned and where I hope the lessons will lead me.

I want to first say that I went into 2016 feeling better than ever because I knew I was only a couple months away from finishing high school. It was a little bittersweet for me at the time and looking back on it because everything I did was most likely the last of it. I tried not to wish away the year, but honestly the last months of highschool flew by. By the time May hit (graduation month) I had such a busy schedule. I went to my cousin’s wedding out of town, watched my dad retire from 30 years of military service (it’s a huge deal), and then attend my own graduation, and my graduation party. I had a really busy last month of high school. I was sad to see it go, yet I was hopeful for what my future held.

Once June hit I was working 2 jobs, planning vacations and beach days, and trying to spend every last waking moment with the people I love. It was a busy summer to say the least. I blogged about most of my trips, so I won’t bore you with those details again. I loved summer. I really had to manage time between my family, friends, and work while gearinng up for college. As the last days of summer began to wind down, I started to get emotional. It was the first time that I was going to have to work for the relationships that I wanted to keep, and it was very difficult for me at some points to even say goodbye. In the end, I had to leave no mater what, so I had to say my goodbyes while trying my best to stay in touch.

By the end of August I was moved into Central Michigan University. The first week before classes began I attended CMU’s “Leadership Safari”. It was a great way for me to meet many new people, learn a lot of leadership skills, and get aquainted with my new home. It began with early mornings, long days, and even later nights. My first semster was all about new beginnigs while learning the “ways” of college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but I met some awesome people who helped me along the way. At the end of the semester, it was weird to say goodbye to people that I had spent almost everyday with to come home to old friends.

Christams vacation was the end to my year. I think that I have spent most of my time on the couch, doing nothing. I stayed in touch with some friends but not all. I definitley made some mistakes this year that I am not proud of, yet there is a new beginning after each new day to make things right and make a change. As with each new day there are new years to make new mistakes and chances to grow from them.

2016 was a really big year for me. It was filled with ups and downs like most years. I am confident entering 2017, and I am hopeful for what the year will hold for me and my loved ones. Cheers to 2016; hello 2017!

-Krystal, With a K

Holiday Daze

It has been well over a month since my last post. Originally, I had some drafts to publish, but time has gotten the best of me and they are still sitting in my drafts folder. I have just finished my first semester of college, so I have been very busy lately. Unfortunately for me, I have been so busy that I have had little time to do any of my usual Christmas activities. I have yet to shop for any gifts, watch too many Christmas movies, or bake cookies. I got to put up the tree when I was home for Thanksgiving, but that’s about it.

I decided that, since I have 3 weeks off from school, I’m going to have the best Christmas break yet. I’ve decided to compile a list of things to do that can keep you busy (or not) this holiday break.

  1. Netflix marathon: We all know that finals have taken over this past 2 weeks (or more), so take some time to breath and catch up on your shows. Now, I’m supposed to get my wisdom teeth out during my break, so I will have tons of time for this.
  2. Christmas movies marathon: I don’t know about you, but since I have been at college I have had no time to watch any Christmas specials or movies. Grab some friends and watch the classics (or not) and get into the holiday spirit.
  3. COOKIES: Maybe during or before the Christmas movie marathon bake some holiday treats to share or not to share.
  4. Sledding: I don’t care how old you are, I think that sledding will put a smile on your face. Grab your friends or family and go ride that hill.
  5. Ice skating: If your town is anything like mine then there is an ice rink. Take advantage of this and go at least once, even if you aren’t the best, the memories are.
  6. Skiing/Snowboarding: If you know how to then definitely go to your favorite hills his break because once the next semester hits it will be harder for you to make time for this fun sport.

Overall, whatever you do, remember that it’s that special time of year where you are fortunate enough to be with family and friends. Take advantage of the time you have with everyone, and praise the good Lord for what you’ve got.

Happy holidays,

Krystal, With a K

 

My Fall Favorites

I am your average “Typical White Girl” when it comes to fall.  It is, hands-down, my favorite season. Something about the changing colors and smells drive me crazy (in a good way). I thought that I would kick off fall with a “My Favorites post”.

One fall favorite is Starbuck’s pumpkin spiced latte (duh!). I get cravings for this drink all year round, so in the early days of September when they release the drink I go crazy. Although I spend most falls days getting this coffee, I do (usually) wait until the first official day of fall to get this. Waiting for it is my personal way of celebrating the first day to my favorite time of the year.

My next fall favorite is apple orchards in general. One, the cute pictures you get, two, the fresh apples, and three, it is a thing I have always done with my family. I love to spend the afternoon finding different kinds of apples to bring home, or finding the perfect apples since they are all in the peak season. You can’t forget the fresh apple cider and  donuts that come from apple orchards. A personal favorite of my dad’s at apple orchards are the apple flavored tap beers.

Another favorite is the pumpkin patch. This is something that has been an extended family tradition for as long as I can remember. On my dad’s side of the family (for the most part) all of the cousins, aunts, and uncles get together and go to the pumpkin patch to get the perfect pumpkins and of course more cider and dounuts. We spend the afternoon doing the hay ride, corn maze, and at the pumpkin patch we go to there is a petting zoo and pumpkin themed games. When we leave the patch we go to one of our homes all together and have a cook out, and we carve our pumpkins together. It truly is a great time, and I am so thankful to have these memories from growing up.

I can’t forget about my love for flannels. I have a flannel in almost every color, and this is great because I find a use for about anything. I think that is enough explanation because duh, FLANNELS!

Also, football comes back in the fall. I am a huge fan of football, both college and pro. Going to football games or even watching football is a great way to be with family or friends. Going to football games in the fall is so great.

Lastly, I LOVE Thanksgiving! I know that I skipped over Halloween (which don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween but skipping to Thanksgiving seems fitting), but I really love this holiday. I love decorating the kitchen table with pretty dishes and matching placemats. My favorite thing about this holiday is that it kicks off the season where I see my family the most, which my family (including extended) is a huge part of my life. I love learning things I didn’t know about my family whether that be recipe or the stories of my parents’ childhood. The food is also a perk to this holiday.

As you can tell, I love fall. This is the time to celebrate change for being good and not scary awful. I saw a quote from someone I follow on instagram a couple weeks back, “Fall is a good reminder that change can be beautiful”. I think this really hit me because we are all so afraid of change, yet look at all the things I previously listed that come with the change of the season.

If you enjoy any of my favorites, or you think that I would enjoy one of your favorites let me know!

-Krystal, with a K

Dear Seniors

Dear Seniors,

Welcome to the best year of high school. You are finally at the front of the student section, leading the cheers and owning the crowd. You are finally on the homestretch of high school! You’re the veterans that are waiting to leave their marks on the school who all of the underclassmen envy. As you prepare for the future don’t forget to enjoy the year. I know you can’t wait to be done and be away from “the high school drama”, but neither can anyone else. Everything is your last, so savor it. Don’t forget to bask in the glory of senior year; you’re the big guys on campus now! 

The year starts off with football season, which really flies by, so go to every game and lose your voice every time. Go to the homecoming dance and have the time of your life. Dance like nobody is watching, and take time to appreciate the high school budgeted dance decorations. With the end of football season comes Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family’s presence and answer the questions about your future that everyone asks. Listen to their advice even if it has nothing to do with your future because someday it might. After your first break you only have to survive a couple more weeks until Christmas break which seems like forever, but suffer through it because after winter break ends so does your motivation for school. Christmas vacation is the largest break for months so savor every moment. Go sledding with friends, watch your favorite movies, make new traditions, and relax. When you ring in the new year you wonder how it’s “actually the year that you’re  graduating”. Fast forward to the middle of second trimester when you think you are dying. You are wishing for a snowstorm to close school for the rest of the year before graduation, yet nothing comes. You’re in a rut, but push through. Go to your Winterfest. Play the sports you love and thank God every day for the opportunity to do it. It’s most likely your last time competitively playing the sport you have loved since you were six, so play each game like it’s your last. Give it your all. Once you’re through finals you’ve made it to the homestretch of third trimester. It’s all becoming more real. Your cap and gowns come in. By this time you have already picked your path for the preceding year, yet there are a million questions still to be answered. Spring break rolls around and you’re all of a sudden on top of the world. The high of spring break continues even once you’re back at school, and you’re down to your last month. The last month is done in the blink of an eye. Between planning your graduation parties, practicing your graduation walk, taking your finals, cleaning out your lockers, and everything else that comes up in this important month, it feels like you’re drowning in excitement. Finally, the night of graduation comes and you’re heart in beating out of your chest as you shake a hand and grab your diploma. It’s finally you who is throwing their hats in the air, grasping for air because you’re speechless. This is one of the first big moments of your life, and you’re living it. From there you feel like a million bucks because it’s your night and everyone wants their picture with the graduate. You leave there to go to your “All Night Party”, and while contemplating how lame it could be you end up with this overwhelming feeling of joy for the people you just hung out with for 12 hours or more and might never see again. Just like that, it’s done. No more waking up at 6am to go to the same classes every day at the same time. No more sitting at the same lunch table with the same people everyday. No more taking classes that someone else made you take. No more a lot of things that disappear once high school is over. It’s over.

I guess what I am trying to say is enjoy it all, every single part of it. Don’t question whether or not you’re going to stay home or go watch your friends at Senior Night; just go. Don’t wonder who will be at Winterfest; get a group of people and just go. Spend time with all your friends and family because after this year everything will change. Do all the things your parents and older siblings tell you to do because “you will miss it”, for in the end they are right. Senior year without a doubt goes by fast and you really don’t notice until it is gone. Don’t take it for granted. It’s your turn to live in the spotlight, so go do it. Be the typical high school senior who has senioritis worse than the flu. Enjoy it because you have the rest of your life to have adult responsibilities, and this year is about you.

–Krystal, With a K