Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review

365 days of adventures, mishaps, laughs, tears, fun, challenges, and changes have flashed by yet again. I've made some great memories over the last year and grew as a person. Here are some highlights and lessons learned from 2014.

  • Taught Spanish at an elementary's after school program
  • Finished my sophomore year of college
  • Finally got an iPhone
  • Studied abroad in Costa Rica
  • Met lots of new people from around the world
  • First vacation with friends
  • Moved into first apartment
  • Saw Karmin in concert
  • Went to the state fair with my mom and sister
  • We The Kings Concert
  • Had a great Christmas 

I've become happier and able to manage my depression, more mature, and more aware of the world around me.

I am grateful for the opportunity to study abroad, my elementary schoolers I teach, friends, and family.

My best memories of the year are when lessons go well, Costa Rica, and going to a We the Kings concert. I've loved them for 7 years and finally getting to see them live was magical.

Lessons I learned this year are don't judge people, I'm stronger and more capable than I give myself credit for, and to be content with what I have.

What did your 2014 look like?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Free New Year's Wallpapers

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015. Get ready to take on the challenges, the adventures, the fun, the changes, and the drama of 2015 with these iPhone wallpapers.

Happy New Year's week.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

5 Favorite Christmas Gifts

This Christmas was so much fun!! I had a great time at all of my family gatherings, plus the parties with friends were a blast, too. I got lots of stuff on my Christmas list so here are 5 of my favorite gifts.

Scarf from Earthbound
I love walking around Earthbound, but I rarely buy anything from the store just because it's different from my usual style. Luckily for me, my brother stopped in and picked me up this awesome scarf.

Cannon Camera
I haven't bought a new camera in years and I didn't realize how bad it was until I was on vacation this summer and my camera ran so slow that all the moments were gone by the time it finally took the picture and half of them turned out blurry. This PowerShot ELPH 150 is AMAZING. If anyone needs a new camera, I would definitely recommend it! I took it on a family walk and got some absolutely gorgeous shots.

Frozen CD
After singing all of the songs as we watched the movie, my little brother put this under the tree for me. I love listening to CDs in my car and of course I enjoyed really belting out "Let It Go."

Jewelry Organizer
I have a bit of an obsession with jewelry. I have so many pieces and I was cramming them all in to a makeup box because that's what I had available to me. It was starting to overflow this fall, so this was one of the items on the top of my wish list. I'm so happy with this and now I have room to grow my collection of even more.

Kitchen Supplies
Being an adult is hard! I moved into an apartment this year which means it's also my first time cooking for every meal away from home. There are some items in the kitchen that I just took for granted until they were no longer available to me. My mom  wrapped up some new silverware and measuring cups for me, while my grandma gifted me some hot pads, a knife set, veggie peeler, and a cheese cutter. Now my kitchen is set.

What are your favorite gifts from this Christmas?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

6 Easy Ways to Decorate for Christmas

It's Christmas Eve!! Being at my mom's house gives me tons of ideas for holiday decorating since she's the queen of decor. These are some of my favorites.

1. Pinecones. If you have access to evergreen trees, this makes for a wonderful FREE way to decorate. You can make them even more festive by putting sparkles on them.

2. Greenery Arrangement. My mom made this herself and it looks absolutely amazing. It's so great for the holidays with the the evergreen branches, candy canes, ribbon, and the cute signs.

3. Sleighs with ribbon, antique skates, jingle bells, greenery, and a cute sign. I just love these and you can keep them up all winter.

4. Poinsettias. These flowers add a traditional holiday touch to the table set up. Plus they're just gorgeous!

5. A sparkly canvas with a holiday quote, pinecones, garland, and over-sized ornaments. So pretty and festive!

6. White and silver Christmas ornaments. They make the tree look so simple and clean, but still in the holiday spirit.

How do you decorate for the holidays?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Free Holiday Wallpapers

Yesterday I spent some time designing holiday themed wallpapers for my desktop, so today I'm sharing four of my favorites. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Walk Down el Paso de los Recuerdos

This summer I Spent 6 weeks studying abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica at la Universidad Nacional. I did an intensive language program through ISEP. I had so much fun, learned lots, and felt really inspired by all the nature, people, and lifestyle there - Pura Vida!

I visited Monte de la Cruz several times. It was one of my favorite places. It's super close to San Rafael de Heredia (where I lived), inexpensive, and just beautiful. There's lots of space to hike and explore the woods and the most amazing lookout point of el valle central.

Another place I loved was La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It's a huge area that houses lots of wildlife, has walkways through the forest, and of course waterfalls.

We visited a shop that makes and sells hand painted carretera art work. It was so cool to see people painting these beautiful pieces and how these intricate works of art slowly come together.

I planned a trip to Volcan Poas with help from my host mom for me and some of my friends there. We got there just in time to see the volcano before the clouds covered it up, hiked all over, visited the lake, and had a fun hike down the mountain.

Of course, we also hit the beach since half of us were from the midwest and we had a few beach lovers from the coast, too. We did a weekend trip to the Carribean side and visited Cahuita and Puerto Viejo.

Another really cool part of my time in Costa Rica is that I was there during the World Cup so I got to experience all of the craziness of a winning team in a country that loves soccer.

Have you ever studied abroad or been to Costa Rica? What was your experience like?