Block Letters in 3 Steps

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Fit Food

 

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I love food. I love anything that has anything to do with food. Whenever I’m feeling down, I make myself a sandwich and automatically feel better. The only problem with food is that I sometimes eat too much and I feel awful. Lately I’ve been watching what I eat to get in shape because I have a dance performance coming up. A lot of people think that eating healthy can be hard which is true but there are a lot of healthy yet delicious foods out there.

The first food that comes to mind are vegetables. Some of you may be thinking “ew vegetables are gross” but that’s only because you don’t eat the good ones. I love carrots personally, but not the small baby carrots. My mom buys the big non-peeled carrots that you have to peel yourself but they taste so much sweeter. My mom also will roast different kinds of veggies such as carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and potatoes (those aren’t really veggies but you get what I mean).

photo by Zach Dischner via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/4587981480

Another kind of healthy food is fruits. I could eat fruits all day honestly. I love to go to Jamba Juice and get a smoothie on a hot day. It’s also fun to make your own smoothie. I’ll put a bunch of random fruit like mangoes, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, or any other berry, then add some plain yogurt, sometimes milk and ice, then blend it all together. You can also add some veggies like kale (I’m not a huge fan but I’m trying to enjoy it), cucumbers, or carrots.

When you’re trying to lose weight or just get back in shape, you have to eat less carbs. You shouldn’t completely cut them out because you need carbs for energy but not too much. Instead of having white bread when making a sandwich, choose a better kind like wheat or ezekiel bread which is a bread made with whole grains and no sugar. Another good carb is oats or oatmeal because they are high in fiber.

The most important thing to avoid is sugar. I know it hurts to say it because sugar is the best thing ever but it is so bad. According to healthplus50.com, oreos are so addicting even more so than cocaine. The reason sugar is so bad for you is because it causes your body to store fat. So pretty much if you eat less sugar, you lose more weight.

Through experience, I have found it very hard to get motivated to go on a diet and lose weight. Currently, my friends and are competing against each other to see who can lose the most weight by the end of the month. So far it’s been helping me make better choices. Another way I get motivated is I look at pictures of fit people. I know that sounds really weird and creepy but it does help. If I see a cookie that I really want I can tell myself “no you’re not gonna eat that so you can look like that one fit girl you saw on Instagram.”

I hoped this helped any of you who want to get into shape and if you are, I wish you the best of luck!

 

One Choice

When I was younger, I loved playing dominos. I would line them up in a really long line or make a cool pattern and when I finished, tap the one domino on the end and watch them all fall down. It was so fun except when I had to put them in place. It took a lot of time a patience just to make a short simple line. If you accidently tapped one domino, they would all fall and you would have to start all over again.

(©Photo by hannaneh710 on flickr)

The most stressful part of high school (for me at least) is thinking about the future. Everything you are learning now, the teachers say, will prepare you for next year. Every decision you make right now will determine which college you get into, which determines your career, which determines how the rest of your life will go. In my Bible study class, we are learning about David when he was a king. He made one bad choice which eventually led to the snowball effect of bad decisions. Just that one single choice led to a huge outcome, like the dominos.

Pathway Home

Pathway Home

Students are asked to do so much in order to get a good education: we have to take x amount of classes and get almost perfect grades, be involved in extracurricular activities and to be sure we are physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure highschoolers are not robots and once and awhile want to take a nap. We are still kids! Half of us can’t even drive. The fact that there are many students that can pull that off really amazes me.

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Today in history we went to the library and were given the yearly lecture about how to graduate from high school and find a good career and go to a good college. I feel like it’s too soon for me  to get ready for college. Why do we have to focus on the future instead of enjoying the present? The present is such a short time and I never enjoy it enough. The present soon becomes the past and eventually the past is forgotten.

The thought of forgetting the past completely scares me so I decided to keep a journal. I will admit that it is hard to write in it daily but I usually try to write in it at least once a week. I write down what happened that week, my feelings towards whatever, etc. It’s really fun to go back and read what you wrote and remember all the good times and even the bad.
FullSizeRender 2hope everyone has good week and a better life. (:

The Nature of Beauty

Dance class has ended and everyone files out. With sore legs and feet, the ballerinas sit down to take off their sweaty, smelly pointe shoes. They untie the delicate ribbons and pull out their foot, practically wet from the sweat. As they take off their padding, blistered and bleeding toes are revealed. Some toes going one direction, some another but all are bright red. A horrible odor fills the room which turns the heads of parents and teachers.

Although the smell and look of a ballerina’s feet are awful, they are the foundation of the beauty that is ballet.

Let’s back up a little to the actual class.

The dancers line up and get ready for the combination. The music starts and with every lift of a leg, that foot is pointed and shaped beautifully like an arch. As they step onto one foot, the other leg lifts and they hold the pose. Their arms fly gracefully with each delicate step.

This beauty doesn’t come naturally. Dancers dance at least five days a week for two or more hours. Perfecting ballet takes a lot of hard work and there are always room for improvement.

We see models in magazines or on social media and think “Wow, they are so pretty and perfect!” but the photographer didn’t snap a picture and leave. They had to try multiple poses and different outfits, then an editor used photoshop to fix the “imperfections.”

Another common beautiful item is a flower. There are so many flowers of different shapes, sizes and colors. In order to get the beautiful flower, a gardner had to take a small seed and plant it in the ground. The seed needs sunlight, water and good soil that has plenty of nutrients to help it grow. Often times those nutrients come from manure which most people find smelly and disgusting. But there are good nutrients in that pile of horrible odors.

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In Siddhartha the main character compares his life to a dress and when a dress becomes old and “gets stains, gets wrinkles, gets worn off at the seams, and starts to show threadbare spots here and there” that it loses its beauty. He says that when things get older, they fade and lose their beauty.

This isn’t always the case.

Consider again a flower, a rose for example.

The rose is a pretty pink color and full of life. The petals are large and plump. As time goes by, it begins to lose that life.

Now the petals are shriveled up and wrinkly. Some may think that that lost of life took away the beauty, but it has really only changed it. It is still beautiful, it just is a different kind of beauty.

Sometimes time make things more beautiful. Sometimes beauty takes a lot of hard and ugly work. Beauty can be seen in so many different ways; it’s impossible to compare it to one thing.

 

Nature’s Unrealistic Wonders

Imagine this:

You have been in a theater rehearsing for a performance for six hours, sweating, panting and running around. Rehearsal just ended. It’s time to go. You grab all your things and as you walk outside for the first time, you can see nothing but fog and a few twinkling streetlights in the distance. Your nose is filled with the moisture in the air. It finally feels like winter.

A couple nights ago, fog drifted down from the sky. It was the first time in so long that I have been in fog. Fog is my favorite thing to be in. Every time I took a breath, I could almost feel the tiny water molecules go into me. I love it.

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Sadly where I live, it never snows and there is rarely fog or rain. So whenever there is fog or rain, I enjoy every second of it. I never realize how much I love and miss it until it comes back for the first time in a while.

Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Speaking of nature, I was on the Internet and I came across pictures of snowflakes zoomed up. They were so beautiful; it looked like someone hand carved them. They were so unrealistic. These were some of my favorites:

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(These pictures are not mine)

Because of the holidays, some of my friends and family have been asking what I want for Christmas. I always immediately say “SUCCULENT NECKLACE” and they sometimes look at me funny.

I found these necklaces on some social media and my heart burst with love. I love love love succulents and the thought of having them in a little necklace, was mind-blowing and wonderful. I couldn’t believe that a living thing could be worn as jewelry. How could something so small be alive?

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As we go through our daily lives, we don’t pay attention to all the little things that are all around us. We are too busy with schoolwork or jobs or any extracurricular activities that we have and we don’t have time to look at snowflakes or succulents. Every once and awhile we need to stop, take a breath, and open our eyes. So much more is happening in the world around us than you think. Try it: notice something new.

 

To Miss or Not to Miss: That is the Question

I started reading a book called The Tale of Holly How by Susan Wittig Albert. So far in the story, the main character, Beatrix Potter, is adding on to her farmhouse and is very excited for it to be finished.

“…she would finally have the farmhouse all to herself. If it was finished, Beatrix thought glumly.”

This quote reminded me of my current situation.

My house is currently being remodeled and it has been for over a year. My family of five is living in a two-bedroom apartment and it sure hasn’t been easy. We’re waiting and waiting and waiting for it to finish but it feels like it never will be done.

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Although living in this small apartment is hard, it isn’t completely unbearable. There has been some progress on the house and we will be able to move back sooner than later. That got me thinking about how the apartment isn’t terrible and that there might be some things that have been nice and that I will miss. This is what I thought of:

What I WILL miss:

  1. Being able to walk from my bedroom to the kitchen in less than 20 steps.
  2. When we clean the apartment, it doesn’t take very long.
  3. Having access to a fitness center.
  4. Being closer to my school.
  5. Walking home from school with my friends. (Most of them live by my apartment)
  6. Sharing a room with my brothers. (I know surprising right? It’s less lonely at night and I feel safe with both of them there.)
  7. Being walking distance from a library.
  8. Having the computer right next to the TV in our living room. (It’s actually pretty convenient)
  9. Getting cozy on my bunk bed (bottom bunk) and read a good book.
  10. The cozy feeling of the small space.

Now of course I had to write what I’m glad to leave behind:

What I WON’T miss:

  1. The suffocating feeling of the small space.
  2. All the weird looks from people walking by.
  3. The loud thumping of our neighbors upstairs.
  4. Having to walk outside to the laundry room to do laundry and having to deal with odd people instead of just staying in your house.
  5. THE PARKING.
  6. Not being able to hear the rain.
  7. The teeny, tiny kitchen.
  8. Not being able to host fun parties or have anyone come over because there is just: No. Space.
  9. How the bathroom is the only place to be alone and have some personal time.
  10. Only two bathrooms.
  11. When someone takes me home for the first time and I have to tell them the very complicating directions to get there.
  12. Being so far away from my dance studio.
  13. Not being able to walk to my favorite mexican restaurant.
  14. The struggles of sleeping in a bunk bed.
  15. Having terrible service and wifi.
  16. Knowing that my house is waiting for the day that we will live there again.
  17. No private backyard where you can run around.
  18. All the dogs and dog waste.
  19. The noisy trash trucks and gardeners that stay for what feels like an eternity.
  20. The parrot a couple buildings down that loves to make wonderful screeching noises that can be heard from a mile away.  

Obviously there are more things I won’t miss than things that I will but I am still very grateful for what I have. Before the remodeling, I was always complaining about how my house isn’t that great and I wish it was bigger and stuff like that but now, I take every negative word back. Living here has made me realize how spoiled and ungrateful I was, especially considering how most of the world suffers from things such as terrorism, poverty and wars and that I shouldn’t be so glum about my living conditions.

When I’m Sick

I really enjoy jokes, any joke really. I laugh at a lot of things but there is nothing I enjoy more than laughing to a good and cheesy joke. I just wanted to show some of my favorites.

*How does a French skeleton say hello? Bone-jour!

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*Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot.

*What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college? Bison.

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*Why were dinosaurs so big? Because Jurassic times call for Jurassic measures.

*What to turtles do on their birthday? They shell-abrate!

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Okay I’ll admit, some of those make me cringe. But you really have to appreciate them. The definition of a pun is a humorous way of using a word or phrase so that more than one meaning is suggested. Someone took the time to think of that and you don’t simply think of witty jokes. You have to really think outside the box and look for a different perspective.

Even the most cheesiest jokes can make me smile during a bad day. I have been sick all weekend and it’s hard to find something amusing. I went on the internet and found all of these jokes and more and they made me chuckle.

I was reminded how horrible being sick is this weekend and I want to share other ways to help lighten your mood that helped me:

  1. Watch a movie. I watched a lot of movies which helped get my mind off my pain. Don’t watch sad or scary movies when you are sick. They are not what your brain needs when your body is not functioning properly.
  2. Listen to music. Any upbeat song helps your negative thoughts leave your mind. My personal favorite band is Twenty One Pilots. They have very good songs and their lyrics are practically poems.
  3. Read a book. If your head isn’t pounding too much and you feel you can focus on what you are reading, then you should definitely read something to get your mind on something else.
  4. Text and/or call friends. Friends are there for you and talking to them can help you feel better. Do NOT talk to them in person because you don’t want to get them sick too.  

 

Learning by Experiences

A Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote the Myth of the Cave. In the myth, there are prisoners that are tied up in a cave so that all they can do is stare at the wall of the cave. The prisoners do not know that behind them there is a fire.In front of the fire, people and animals walk in front of it, but the only thing prisoners see are shadows.

One day a prisoner is released and goes outside for the first time. He finally sees the people and animals that were making the shadows. Overjoyed, he goes back to the cave to tell the other prisoners what he saw, but they don’t believe him.

This myth shows how sometimes when we discover something and we want to share our knowledge with others, people don’t understand or believe you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your ideas and thoughts.

Sometimes for people to understand what you are telling them, they need to have those experiences themselves, just like the one prisoner. He would have never known about the world outside if he never saw it himself. Children learn from experience. You can’t teach a little kid to ride a bike just by telling them how to do it. They have to try it out for themselves.DSC_0469

That goes for anything else. Anytime you want to learn how to do something, you need to do it yourself so you can fully understand how to do it. In my dance classes when we learn a new dance or combination, we practice the steps over and over and over again. The constant repetition of movement creates a muscle memory so eventually you don’t even have to think about it; your body just knows what to do.

Everyone knows the saying “practice makes perfect”, but I believe that we don’t think about it and really understand how true it is. If you regularly practice anything, you will get better at it. Whether it’s cooking or sewing, playing volleyball or soccer, practice truly does make perfect.

 

Getting through Grief

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.”

-Oedipus Rex

What is grief? Most people would say it’s another word for sadness. Well then, what is sadness? The dictionary defines grief as “mental suffering” or in other words emotional pain.

Many different things can cause us grief: failed tests, breakups with boyfriends or girlfriends, disappointed parents or teachers or peers, the list goes on. In my english class while reading Oedipus Rex, a line stood out to me: “The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” I first read this thinking, well this can’t be true. When I had been in grief, it wasn’t my fault. When my friend’s boyfriend broke up with her, it wasn’t her fault. Or when my great-grandma passed away, how could I have done that myself?

The sad truth is that what Sophocles was saying is true. After thinking about it, I finally realized what he meant. It was technically my friend’s fault for her grief when her boyfriend broke up with her. They broke-up because they were not a good enough match; she picked the wrong boy. Obviously, she couldn’t have known that in the beginning, but she also knew that their relationship was not going to last forever.

Although being in grief is horrible, the pain eventually fades. Sometimes time takes care of it but other times we have extra help. For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about. Listening to good music, or doing something you like to do, such as dancing in my case.

"For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about."

“For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about.”

You should also know that you are never alone. There is always someone else who may be in just as much grief as you. My mom always says when we are having a hard time, “There is someone out there who has it worse than us.” For some reason that thought comforts me. It helps me be grateful for what I have and knowing that it could be so much worse. Looking at the little, everyday things helps me realize that I have so much good in my life and that can really lighten my load.

So going to back to what Sophocles said, we decide how our life is going to go. Everything we think, say and do determines what happens to us. Every choice we make affects our life one way or another, so choose wisely.