Plan With Me – August Layout

I started bullet journaling about 5 years ago but never really got into it much until now. This layout is my own creation, inspired by Pinterest and Youtube. This month, I decided to do my theme in hot air balloons. I’m not a huge fan of going up in them as I have a fear of falling but, I absolutely love the sight of them.

For the calendar, I decided to do a horizontal design. I did each square as 5×5 dotted squares (except for the bottom row). I left two dotted rows open at the top to label Sunday and started my weeks with Monday.

Since doing my July layout, I’ve really loved doing a sleep tracker. It especially helps me track my depression related insomnia so I know when to take melatonin for the next night. On the next page, I did my habit tracker and did it horizontally as well to help with space.

For the next two pages, I have done a gratitude journal and mood tracker. Please ignore my spelling on the gratitude journal. I didn’t realize I had made the spelling error until I was taking pictures for this post. I actually love the gratitude journal because even when I am in a bad mood, I can think of the positive things that day. The mood journal helps me when I track my moods and figure out what things to bring up to my therapist. Mental health is extremely important to me as someone with Persistent depressive disorder.

My weekly layout is very simple and neat. I added clouds and hot air balloons to continue with the theme. I’d love your comments to figure out what I can add to the bottom of the weekly pages! What do you guys like to track during the week.

Want to see how I made my August Layout? Here is my new bullet journal YouTube video. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to see my new posts and subscribe to my Youtube channel!

Apartment DIY: My Marble Coffee Table

In December, I moved into a studio apartment that had a few furniture items in the space left by the previous tenet, aka my best friend that I took the lease over from. One of them was a small coffee table that didn’t fit the space, so I decided to make it over.

Before

I decided to decorate the table with marble stick-on wallpaper, which happens to match my marble counter tops and my desk.

I then used white primer and gold spray paint to paint the legs and the under portion of the table. I used spay paint that was safe for pets, but still smell atrocious, so while it was drying and my apartment was airing out, Manchester and I took a stroll around the neighborhood.

The final product made it perfect for my space and I’m ready to take on the next project for my space!

How I Got My Dream Internship and How You Can Too!

I’m so excited to announce that I got my dream internship with Senator Patty Murray! I got to speak with her years before for her bill Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act or S. 2267. That year, I was still a fashion design major but now, I’m entering my senior year for Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. When I saw that she was accepting application for a remote legislative intern, I jumped on the chance and I got the internship! So how did I do it?

1. Do You Research

Always research the position you are applying for! Why? Because you are going to use the job description and qualifications to your advantage.

2. Make A Master Resume

Your master resume has ALL of your previous and present jobs on it, all of your qualifications, all of your volunteer work and every degree you have. This is the start of your new resume which will be a shorter version than this. The reason you need a master resume is to show you how much you have grown since your first job and what qualifications you have achieved since then. These may or may not match the internship they are looking at, but they can turn into those qualifications.

3. Create a New Resume

When you create your new resume, you use your most recent positions, volunteer work, and education. While your master resume will be more than one page, the resume that you will turn in should only be one page. It should be professional and clean with your name and contact information at the very top. If you are going into a creative field, don’t be afraid to get a little creative to show off your creative skills.

4. Write your Cover Letter

Your cover letter should always expand on your qualifications. Be as specific as possible. What are you learning in school that will help you succeed in this position? What experience do you have from your current position that you can high light in your cover letter? Don’t forget to put your name and contact information at the top. Make sure you have someone read over it as you need to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct and professional. This should also be one page.

5. The Interview

Before you go into the interview, you need to practice your answers. There are lots of example interview questions online and tips you can follow, like how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question. This is another area to brag about yourself and use your cover letter and resume to your advantage. Always have them in front of you during your interview.

You can get your dream internship. It takes hard work and lots of effort. But you are the person that is right for the job and only you can prove that to them! Go out and get that internship that you deserve!

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

It’s been a while since I have posted about the Outlander series, but honestly, these books never get old. If you remember when I wrote my Outlander review, I was rereading the books because of season 5. Although season 5 is over, there is still much we can discuss about Dragonfly in Amber and season 2.

The Beginning

The beginning of Season 2 is radically different than that of the book. Instead of starting with Frank and Claire moving to America, Gabaldon takes us to Inverness, 1968. We are introduced to Roger Wakefield, the son of Reverend Wakefield (whom we met in book 1), and Brianna Randall, the daughter of Claire Randall. I actually like this portion more than in the show because Claire begins to tell Brianna about her biological father, James Alexander Malcom McKenzie Fraser. And then the second part of the book takes us back to the 1740s, France.

Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander)

The Characters

After Outlander, we get to look at Jamie and Claire’s relationship in a different environment. In France, we saw how the Fraser’s lived as aristocrats while trying to stop Prince Charlie for raising his army. Claire is pregnant and Jamie is still recovering from being tortured by Black Jack Randall. Throughout this book we see how fragile their relationship is but also how strong they both are. They deal with loss and betrayal and still come back to each other at the end of the day. While I don’t want to give too much away since there are still folks who haven’t read the books but have watched the series. It still amazing that their love for each other was so profound that Jamie was willing to give it up to save Claire and Brianna.

‘I will find you,’ he whispered in my ear. ‘I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.’ His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me. ‘Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.’

Dragonfly in amber, page 889

5 Other Differences

  1. When the book starts in France, Jamie and Claire were already there, they hadn’t just arrived as the show suggests. Their original plan was to travel to Rome but the King had sent a letter ordering Jamie to Paris.
  2. Claire doesn’t find out from Sandringham that Captain Randall is alive. Jamie and Claire find out together.
  3. Mary Hawkins was traveling with Sandringham and her uncle, Silas Hawkins, when Claire and Mary met. She was not staying with Princess Louise de La Tour.
  4. In the middle of the war, Prince Charles sent Jamie and Claire to visit his grandfather, unlike the show where they were sent before the battle of Prestonpans.
  5.  Rupert died in the church after getting shot in the eye. Claire was unable to successfully remove it as shown in the show.

If you are interested in reading the novels, you can purchase them on Amazon or your local third party book seller. You can also watch the series on STARZ. The first three seasons are featured on Netflix. Don’t forget to get caught up on season 5!

A Win to Protect Abortion Rights

On June 29, 2020, the Supreme Court decided on June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo. In a very close 5-4 vote, the Court voted to uphold the District Court’s judgment that Louisiana Act 620 was unconstitutional because “enforcing the admitting-privileges requirement would drastically reduce the number and geographic distribution of abortion providers, making it impossible for many women to obtain a safe, legal abortion in the State and imposing substantial obstacles on those who could” (June Medical Services, LLC v. Russop. 3). The Supreme Court wrote in their syllabus that part of the District Court’s evidence was the testimony from laypersons and witnesses that the burden of travel would be mostly on poor women (June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo, p. 4). 

Since the decision of Roe v. Wade, conservatives have repeatedly tried to take away abortion rights not because the are pro-life, but because they don’t believe women should have bodily autonomy, even while pregnant. This is evident in the case of Marshae Jones, who was indicted for felony manslaughter in May 2019, after she miscarried due to being shot in the abdomen (“Woman Indicted For Manslaughter After Death of Her Fetus, May Avoid Prosecution”). We are not allowed to have a miscarriage without the fear of prosecution in conservative states like Alabama, where Jones lived. 

While we are still fighting with conservatives on abortion issues, we have won another battle in the fight of reproductive freedom. There is still more work to be done, there will always be more work to be done, but take the moment to celebrate win by drinking a glass of wine. Tomorrow, we are back at it.

In Solidarity!

Top 5 Finds: MaxBone Memorial Day Sale

If you don’t know, I have the cutest corgi in the world and his name is Manchester! He is my perfect drop of heaven and he is the number one reason why I am an affiliate for MaxBone, a luxury pet brand.

In honor of their Memorial Day Weekend Sale (happening now), I have put together a list of our top 5 favorite finds for you to get that cute little bundle of yours!

1. Talon Raincoat – $75

The Talon raincoat is one of MaxBone’s best sellers and comes in three colors: yellow, pink, and olive. It had a snap-off hood, adjustable cuffs, drawstrings and pockets for extra treats. Its paw-fect for a rainy environment like Seattle.

2. MaxBone Life Jacket – $85

Ready to take your pup to Magnuson Dog Park for some fun in Lake Washington? We are and we are looking at MaxBone’s Life Jacket for safe swimming. The jacket features adjustable straps with velcro and buckles to keep your dog safe and secure and it also features reflective stripes for night swims.

3. Yummy Treats – $18

MaxBone recently released three new treats for your pup to try: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Coconut Honey, and Turkey. They are low calorie and perfect for a healthy snack with no wheat, corn, or soy.

4. Pumice Bed – $180

Just like humans, your pup needs a good nights rest! That’s why one of our favorite picks is the pumice bed which features memory foam that forms to your dog’s shape, and has a removable cover for easy washing. Your dog will sleep comfortably after you get this for him.

5. Bond Bow Tie – $50

Last but not least, even your dog needs to look shnazzy every once in while and that’s why he needs the Bond Bow Tie. It’s made of black velvet and will instantly make your dog more distinguished than the other dogs at the dog park.

Don’t wait one more day to pamper your pup. Get on MaxBone now and take part in their Memorial Day sale! Ta-ta for now!

Save 25% on select max-bone products with code HEYSUMMER25.

Southern Belle

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

As a break from the Outlander series, I read the January 2020 Reese’s Book Club pick, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. It is a book about race and white privilege; a book about the labor divide and a semi nuclear family but with two daughters and a “working” mom. Reid writes the book from two points of view but with a third character who is a big part of the story.

The Two Perspectives

Emira is a 25 year old who feels that her job, babysitting for a middle-class white family, is not what an adult should be doing but she loves Briar, the oldest daughter of the Chamberlin’s, the family who hired her. One night, she is asked to pick up Briar and get her out of the house for a little while. She takes her to a grocery store and is immediately accused of kidnapping Briar because she is babysitting while Black. Her perspective on how to handle the situation is not respected because of her employer, Alix Chamberlin.

Alix is the mother of two girls, living a privileged life of a white woman who has her own business. She is trying to write a book, take care of her children, and be a feminist. But her obsession over getting to know Emira gets in the way when she finds out that Emira’s new boyfriend was the boy who “ruined senior year.” In the beginning, I really wanted to like Alix, but as the story progressed, both of the perspectives showed that she was a jealous woman who wanted the days before her children back. Reid writes about these perspectives on Hello Sunshine’s blog.

The Video

Kelley, Emira’s boyfriend, took a video of the incident at the grocery store before they started dating. He wanted her to put it on the internet or send it to news outlets, or use it to sue the store. She however asked that he delete it and never speak of it again after he sent it to her email. I can’t say what I would have done in a situation like this, because I have never been faced with being publicly profiled. However, Emira had every right to decide what she wanted done with it. I liked that she remained calm during the whole exchange and tried to explain to Kelley why she didn’t want to sue or have the video get out, even though all of that was well within her rights.

This story is a great start on the discussion of race, interracial dating, and the division of labor between white women and women of color. It makes you think about situations you may never have been in because of privilege and ones that women of color and people of color face all the time because of their color. And it is also a really fun read. Grab your favorite cup of coffee and a reading buddy and read Such a Fun Age and start a conversation. Share your thoughts with me and check out my review of Outlander.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In honor of Outlander Season 5 coming to STARZ on February 16, I decided to re-read the Outlander series. Personally, I love these books. The romance, the wanting to change the past for the future, and the daring nature of the Scots bring me so much joy. Here is my take on the book and how Season 1 aligns with the story.

The Characters

The character development in the book is much better than in the TV show. Claire has to adapt to something that is virtually impossible in our world. She doesn’t use much of the 20th century language that she is used to in order to keep her time travel a secret as she realizes she is definitely in the 18th century. As the book progresses, you can tell she becomes more comfortable being in the 18th century, possibly because of her love for Jamie. But I also think it’s because she fits in a little bit more because in the book she says that she has found her place with him and a home at Lallybroch.

As far as Jamie goes, there isn’t a lot of character development for him since he isn’t the main character we are obviously watching. But there is a special not to be taken on him that Gabaldon slightly describes. We know Jamie has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD  from all of his experiences at the hand of Randall (who, by the way is a sadist…this is not about him being gay). I believe Jamie noticed how much pleasure Randall gets from hurting people.  It can mess with your psyche to realize that about someone. I think, as the series progresses, this is something to watch about his character and how he handles certain situations because of it.

Jamie’s Treatment of Claire

When reading this book, I looked at some reviews and there were a lot of points about how Jamie whipped Claire, and this should be seen as domestic abuse and had many people put the book down. Obviously, this was not the case at all as domestic abuse isn’t a one-time thing. People who have been through domestic violence can tell you this. The 18th century was misogynistic, to say the least. It was thought that women were only good for breeding and that men should have all the power. The 20th century wasn’t much different, but women were able to have jobs and had the ability to have their own money in a way the 18th century never had.

When you’re looking at what Jamie did from a 21st century lens, you’re completely missing that she is in a different time period that he was raised in. Jamie was raised to that it was the man’s duty to punish not just his children, but also his wife. Compared to other relationships in the book, Jamie treated Claire like a queen after this one mistake.  Which he realized quickly that it was a mistake and made sure he would never lay a hand on her again. It wasn’t a power move like domestic violence really is.

The Ending

It’s important to recognize that in the 1700s, the terms “sadist” and “homosexual”, as well as “heterosexual” didn’t exist. This doesn’t mean that sadists didn’t exist, and we know that there were gay men in that time. People who don’t get through the entire series don’t see that Johnathon Randall didn’t just inflict pain on men, but also women. Sadists take sexual pleasure in inflicting pain on others. This is what people reading the book forget. They see a man who may or may not be attracted to men and think Gabaldon is using homosexuality as an excuse to inflict pain. But it’s not. You haven’t met Lord John yet if you haven’t read the whole series. 

Another thing is the ending shows much more about Claire’s personal struggle with coming through the stones. Her conversation with Father Anslem shows that struggle and she realized that there is no use in struggling anymore because she made her choice for the man she loves. Yes, she loved Frank Randall, that is why she keeps his ring. But her love for Jamie is different. The power of absolution works for her even though she will still have to struggle to find a way to stop Culloden and the slaughtering go the clans.

The TV Show

I love the show, although there are a lot of things that are different about the plot that I dislike, and I know it is because of the drama. 

  1. The conversation with Lord Thomas never happened and Randall never described his sadism to Claire, Dougal did. 
  2. The Watch was never watching over Lallybroch and Jamie didn’t give people back the rent.
  3. Geillis didn’t tell Claire about what time she was from or that it may be possible to go back through the stones, Dougal did.
  4. Angus was a secondary character. He wasn’t part of Dougal’s gang or Rupert’s best friend.
  5. The incident with Black Jack Randall had way more torture involved, which is why I would call Randall a sadist.

There are many more differences and it would take an entirely new post to name them all, but these are the most important ones to me. 

I can’t wait to re-read Dragonfly in Amber next and tell you all about my thoughts and I hope you follow along. Until next time, avid readers!

Shrimp Bruschetta Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 oz shrimp
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 oz shredded Asiago cheese
  • 2 tsp Mirepoix base
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • .6 oz butter
  • 4 oz grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 green onions
  • olive oli
  • salt
  • pepper

Before Cooking

Bring 3 1/2 cups water to boil in a small pot. When using fresh produce, thoroughly rinse and pat dry. and Don’t Forget to WASH your hands

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients
    • thinly slice the tomatoes
    • Trim and thinly slice green onions on an angle. Keep the white and green portions separate
    • mince garlic
    • pat shrimp dry
  2. Making the Bruschetta – In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, white portions of green onions, garlic (to taste), 2 tsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside
  3. Making the Risotto
    • Place a medium pot over medium-high heat (about 7) and add 1 tsp olive oil. Add rice to the hot pot. Stir occasionally until toasted and opaque. (1-2min)
    • Add mirepoix base and 1 cup boiling water from the small pot. Rice should be covered by the water. Stir often until nearly all the water is absorbed.
    • Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir often again, following the instructions above. Repeat the process until the risotto is no longer crunchy. Make sure to taste. (18-20min)
    • Remove from burner. Stir in butter, cheese (reserve about 2 tbsp for garnish), garlic salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cover and set aside.
  4. Cooking the Shrimp
    • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat (about 7). Add shrimp to hot pan and cook undisturbed until seared on one side. (2-3min)
    • Flip and cook until shrimp reaches a minimum internal temp of 145 degrees. (1-2min)
    • Remove from burner and stir in the basil pesto and bruschetta until combined.
  5. Plate the dish with risotto on bottom, topped with bruschetta-shrimp mixture and garnish with cheese and the green portions of the green onions.

Bon Appétit!

Shrimp Bruschetta Risotto plated after cooking