Mom | Everything I Am, I Owe To You


To my momma… I don’t know what I would do without you. I don’t know where I would be right now if you hadn’t been such an amazing mother for me as a little girl. You’re one of the strongest women I know and your perseverance and fun, creative nature continue to inspire me every day. From growing up with your home daycare business almost all of my life, I definitely feel ahead of the game when it comes to children (especially since my first two real jobs basically revolved around them. For better or for worse…). I felt extra qualified as a babysitter and know that having children is more than just cute faces and silly games. You’ve shown me how to nurture and care for others, how to bring out the best in them to help them learn and grow. I can understand how little minds work and […]

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Dad | Everything I Am, I Owe To You


To my dad on the day after Father’s Day… I am so, so lucky to have such an amazing father! Dad, Daddy, Father, etc all have slightly different connotations, but you fit all of them. You’re the fun dad grilling steaks and playing basketball with the family. You’re the daddy a little girl could count on and look up to. You’re the strong father keeping our lives together and tackling the hard subjects with us when we just want to give up.   You would play Barbies with me even though now you often tell me how much you hated it. You may not have liked it, but you dealt with it anyway (albeit unenthusiastically 😉 ) just to spend the time with me. You forced me to face my fears. From throwing me off the edge of the pool to pushing me down the hill on a bike to making […]

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Mid-Year Check-In | Finding Happiness

Mid-Year Check-In

You guys, life is good. My (completely unplanned) focus word for 2017 is joy, but the year certainly didn’t start out that way. I didn’t make a new year’s resolution. I had never done focus words before and, frankly, I didn’t really understand them. I didn’t set out to start any new hobbies or change something about myself or anything (other than starting a gratitude journal, read that story here). But, life had other ideas for me. About a month into the new year, I had an epiphany ( 😉 ). I had spent the first few weeks of semester (so early to mid-January) in a constant state of anger and annoyance. I had zero patience, was tense all of the time, wasn’t sleeping, and could have been set off by any little thing. I’m still not entirely sure why I was like that, but it was not a good […]

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Mid-Year Check-In | Finding Gratitude

Finding Gratitude

I don’t think I’ve shared this online yet, but on January 1 of this year, I started a gratitude journal. Now, I may have some success faking it as a writer ( 😉 ), but I’m definitely not a journaler. Frankly, I’m lazy, never know what to say, and feel silly writing whatever I decide should be written down. Despite that, I wanted to tackle this journal idea. I had gotten a new notebook for Christmas and there is so much opportunity in a book of blank pages! It’s now been 163 days into the year and I have kept a gratitude entry for every single one of them. The goal was to work on finding something to be thankful for in every day, no matter how small. I don’t know what I was hoping to get out of that, if anything, but my big life epiphany came not too […]

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Your New Zero-Effort Breakfast

Your New Zero-Effort Breakfast

I have to get up for work at 5:30 every morning and, though I’m a self-proclaimed morning person, I like my morning routine to be as easy as possible. Since I’m a mess in the kitchen (especially when I’m half-asleep and running late), I was so excited to try out this recipe for make-ahead fruit and yogurt parfaits from Iowa Girl Eats! These easy parfaits have 4 base ingredients, but a ton of options to make it your own. They’ve made my mornings so much smoother and breakfast is super quick and painless, not to mention yummy! So, today I’m sharing her recipe as well as some different ideas for how to make it your own.     Find the full, original recipe with pictures and measurements on IGE here!   Why? Not only are these parfaits super easy to put together (duh), but all you need to do in […]

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500 Words On Saying Yes To Life

say yes to life

I’m sure you all have noticed that recently I’ve been really into discussing what it means to truly live– not just go through the motions, but to really live life to the fullest. Doing more than simply existing is important to me and I make it a big focus of mine. Ever since I completely turned around my outlook on life and became one of those annoying always-optimistic, life-is-so-beautiful people, I’ve tried to make a conscious effort to put life first. Obviously school and work are top priorities, but you can’t let them consume you. They do not define you and they are not your entire life. If you ask me to dinner, I will always say yes and make time for you. If you want a Netflix night, I will usually stop what I’m doing early and watch. I value sleep and also prioritize getting enough of it, but […]

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An Open Letter To Educators Everywhere

To Educators Everywhere

Happy *early* national teacher appreciation day! I’m so excited this day is finally here (or at least it will be finally here tomorrow). I have been looking forward to writing this post for months because I’ve been so fortunate to have had such incredible educators throughout my life. I know that they don’t always get the acknowledgement or even the “thank you” they rightfully deserve, so today’s post is for all of the educators out there putting in the hours, teaching kids from nursery school to grad school, and shaping our future as a result!   Dear educators everywhere,   We are forever indebted to you. You go out of your way and above and beyond for every single one of your students to make sure they can learn how they learn best. The extra time and effort you put into making learning both effective and enjoyable for everyone does […]

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SSB Takes D.C. | Weekend Recap

SSB Takes D.C.

This past weekend, the majority of the solar spring break team caravanned up to my house in Maryland to attend the National March for Science in Washington, D.C. We had such a fun time adventuring and such an empowering experience at the march, so today I’m finally sharing our weekend with you!   If you have no interest in how cute we are as a team ( 😉 ) , you can scroll further down to read about the why behind the march and what we can do now that it’s over!   Friday Night We all met up Friday evening to pack into two cars and drive the five hours up to my house. It wasn’t too long of a drive, but I’m still counting it as a road trip because I love the excitement of being in a full car heading off to adventure. Just being with *almost* […]

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7 Big School Myths: Debunked

Big School Myths_ Debunked

Spring has brought out all of the college tour groups! I know decision deadlines for you high school seniors are coming up fast; if you’re on the fence about attending a larger university because of all of the stereotypes surrounding them, I want to take today to let you know that they aren’t all true. I absolutely love going to a bigger school (read why here) and knew I wanted attend one despite any stigma surrounding state universities. Needless to say, it was probably one of the best decisions of my life (no exaggeration). Here’s hoping the following 7 things will help lead you to your second home!   1. You’re just a number. This is probably the big school stereotype that frustrates me the most. Even with tens of thousands of other students, you are still a person and your university will recognize that. Faculty, staff, peers, employers, and the […]

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13 Things We Need To Tell Each Other More Often

Things We Need To Tell Each Other More Often

At the end of the day, we have nothing if we don’t have each other. The foundation of being humans, at least in my eyes, is the connections and bonds formed between us. Any kind of relationship takes work; I think the following thirteen statements are some of the most simple yet powerful ways to strengthen and maintain those relationships. They’re words that I believe all of us could agree would completely make our day if we heard just one of them from just one person. You have to put in effort, but your inner circle should be worth it. It’s up to us to make society a happier place to be. We’re in this life together, so please don’t let the people most important to you fade away.   1. I care about you. Simple one to start out with, right? Obviously we know how important the people in […]

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