First Day of Summer Celebration – Summer Bucket List

First Day of Summer Celebration – Summer Bucket List

Living
It’s finally here! My 4th favorite day of the year after Christmas, Halloween, and my birthday. It’s the first official day of summer and nearly the longest day of sunlight (which actually happens on the 24th). To celebrate the first day of my favorite season, I compiled a bucket list of 50 summer activities to enjoy in the sunshine (and the occasional rain) this year, complete with a free downloadable checklist pdf for easy printing and marking off. I know I’m hoping to check a few of these off my list this week! Happy 1st Day of Summer! ~ Download FREE printable here ~ Spend a long weekend on the coast Go canoeing Fly a kite Eat a lobster roll Go sailing Watch a movie at the drive-in Have a…
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Music, Writing, and Inspiration – My Noveling Trinity

Music, Writing, and Inspiration – My Noveling Trinity

Writing
One of my favorite things to do when working on a novel or other lengthy writing project is to create a playlist or “soundtrack” for the novel. It can help me get into the main character’s head or capture the feeling or mood of a story. This is especially helpful when I’m writing out in public. I’ll plop down in a coffee shop with my laptop, plug in my earbuds, and be transported into the world I am creating. The playlist comes in handy again later after I’ve stepped away to come back with fresh eyes. I’ll pull it up and listen to it on repeat in the revision stage of writing, as I am now with Too Far Gone, to get things just right. With this story, it’s important…
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5 Friday Favorites – Fantastic Fathers Edition

5 Friday Favorites – Fantastic Fathers Edition

Living
Happy Friday, everyone! It’s nice to be back celebrating my favorite day of the week. With Father’s Day only two days away, this week we’ll be honoring those people in our lives who have played a fatherly role, whether they be our biological fathers or not. I know I was happy being Daddy’s Little Tomboy growing up, but role models come in lots of forms, from mentors to step-fathers to single mothers. Often times, we get so distracted by all the multitasking and things we do in life that we fail to take the time to really connect on an important day like Father’s Day. We pick a gift and card and check the item off our To-Do list. Instead (or in addition), I propose this year we really take…
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Wednesday Wisdom – Gratitude

Wednesday Wisdom – Gratitude

Living, Teaching, Traveling, Writing
Phew! This blogging thing bends my brain and captivates my attention in ways I’m not used to! My goal is to share thoughtful, quality posts consistently on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday basis, and though I am working hard to do so, I can’t seem to keep my days straight. It’s like being in my classroom in Connecticut on M/W/F and continually telling my students I’ll see them on T/Th (which I frequently do) when I teach in Massachusetts on those days. But so far I just haven’t quite gotten it down. So, we’ll consider yesterday a bonus post (hooray!), and today we’ll do something light and fun. I’ve been feeling really lucky to be working full time this summer on something I’m passionate about, so I want to take a moment to…
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Touted Travel – Wells, Maine

Touted Travel – Wells, Maine

Living, Traveling
There is nowhere quite like Maine in the summer. The snow’s melted away and left in its wake vibrant green mountains and a plethora of rivers and lakes for the hiking or canoeing connoisseur. However, summer beach lovers have just as much reason to visit our most north-easterly state. With over 6,000 islands and more than 3,500 miles of crooked coastline, there are numerous coves, harbors, and beaches for the sandy-souled visitor to enjoy, not to mention a multitude of adorable coastal towns! Even better news is that the beaches of Southern Maine are actually more accessible than one might think. While Maine does seem quite far away, the drive from New York City to York Beach is less than 5 hours, and from Boston, it’s only an hour and…
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Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Writing
Wow! I feel extremely honored to have been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award! This is particularly meaningful because it is an award for hard work and dedication to a blog, awarded by someone who knows just how much work it really entails, another blogger. How did I get the award? I was nominated by World of Nabeeda. I would like to thank her for this honor and recognition. Please swing by and visit her wonderful blog as well. [caption id="attachment_275" align="alignnone" width="214"] Blogger Recognition Award[/caption] How did my blog start? Writing has always been one of my first loves, though I had only dabbled in blogging until recently. I’d been wanting to create a place where I could share my thoughts and ideas and just exercise that writing muscle,…
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5 Friday Favorites – Fabulous Female Edition

5 Friday Favorites – Fabulous Female Edition

Living
Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of my favorite day of the week, I’m starting a new feature called 5 Friday Favorites. Some days, like today, that feature will have its own theme, and other times it will just be a collection of my favorite discoveries of the week or things I am thankful for. This week, the theme only seemed fitting: 5 Fabulous Females! So, without further ado, I present them to you:   Wonder Woman - so many amazing things about this movie. For starters, it’s about time, right?!? I was born in the late 70s, so I don’t remember the series when it originally aired, but I absolutely remember watching the reruns faithfully in the 80s and wearing that ridiculous plastic costume with the creepy mask. The return…
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7 Ways to Celebrate Milestone Birthdays

7 Ways to Celebrate Milestone Birthdays

Living
It’s been said that the people we meet in high school or college will be our friends for life. This rings true for a lot of us. An interesting, yet not unexpected, phenomenon that happens in these situations is that a lot of life’s milestones and celebrations seem to happen in waves, from engagements to marriages to births and so on. Our friends group often becomes stronger and more closely knit as we experience and help each other through these things together. Another of life’s celebrations that seems to follow this trend is milestone birthdays. Whether it be 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th or beyond, we all get to experience them together. This is currently the case with my husband and I. We’ve both had the occasion to celebrate a milestone…
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Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

Ultimate Road Trip Playlist

Living, Traveling
Happy Friday Everyone! It’s the start of the first weekend in June. To celebrate, I’ve put together the Ultimate 50-Song Road Trip Playlist for your summer adventures and driving dance parties. This themed playlist has something for everyone, from indie to reggae, pop to hip-hop, and classics to country, to get your weekend started off right. Am I missing your favorite drive-themed song? Let me know in the comments! Happy and safe motoring! https://open.spotify.com/user/129247063/playlist/2uI9BSXM5tJD1uyB2PhV4m Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root Ramble On - Train Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf Road Trippin’ - Red Hot Chili Peppers Cruise - Florida Georgia Line Getaway - Hudson Moore Take the Long Way - Po’ Girl Life Is a Highway - Tom Cochrane Run Devil Run - Crowder Come with Me Now…
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Artistic Influence and Inspiration

Artistic Influence and Inspiration

Living, Writing
Growing up in San Diego, I thought I understood heat. Aside from the towns sprinkling the coast, Southern California is little more than a desert, after all. In July, August, and September, temps could easily top 100 degrees. In high school, we’d be dismissed early for heat days rather than snow days if temperatures were predicted over 90. Despite all that, it wasn’t until I visited my grandparents in Florida for July and August one summer that I truly experienced heat. The dry heat of San Diego was nothing compared to the thick humidity that soaked into my lungs after stepping out of the air conditioned airport in Orlando. And yet somehow, my cousin and I, desperate for that summer glow, would tug on our bathing suits and lay out on…
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