First Day of Fall

My summer was pretty amazing and I managed to complete most of my bucket list. To continue with that I have carried over a few I can still do in the fall and added some specific for the season. I will admit that I still did quite of show binging on my couch, but I made time for fun as well. Quick Review:

  • Trip to Eastern Shore
  • Going for a hike
  • Water tubing with friends
  • Visit Harry Potter World at the Universal Studios of Hollywood
  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Trip to Virginia Beach
  • Read a decent chunk of my to be read list
  • S’mores!!!
  • Try a new recipe each week
  • July 4th BBQ
  • Finally ride a rollercoaster  (screamed the WHOLE time)

I traveled quite a bit this summer and while I did not cross off everything a few extra things I did included trying new restaurants while visiting Redondo Beach (fell hardcore in love with Pinkberry), mini-golfing at Virginia Beach, trip to Maryland Zoo, and fun couple date nights with friends.

For the fall I am constrained by school and work, but would still like to make time for fun and travel. I recommend taking advantage of events in your area. Look for a Facebook or community page where events are posted. Also, check local farms to see if they’ll be doing events for the fall season. Hopefully, I can still accomplish quite a bit during this busy semester!

  • Try a new recipe each week (send me some!)
  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Day trip to Annapolis
  • Hike the Billy Goat Trail
  • Pick apples
  • Carve Pumpkins
  • Visit family in Connecticut (also apple cider donuts)
  • Mini-Thanksgiving for friends
  • Indoor Glow in the Dark Mini Golf
  • Backyard campfire and s’mores
  • Go to a comedy show

What are you hoping to accomplish this fall? Any recommendations for DC area fun?

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First Day of Summer

Summer is officially upon us and the heat is not holding back. Maryland has a lovely climate that ranges from sweater weather to dripping with sweat within a weak. However, living in Maryland also means getting to eat blue crabs coated in old bay all summer long. This summer I am hoping to venture out of my comfort zone, aka couch and binging shows, to try new adventures.

St. Michaels Crabs

When my boyfriend and I first met we made a list of all the things we would like to do as we were becoming friends. A few things we never managed to do have made their way on to a short bucket list of things I would like to accomplish over the next few months before school starts back up again.

  • Trip to Eastern Shore
  • Going for a hike
  • Water tubing with friends
  • Visit Harry Potter World at the Universal Studios of Hollywood
  • Exercise 3 times a week
  • Trip to Virginia Beach
  • Read a decent chunk of my to be read list
  • S’mores!!!
  • Try a new recipe each week
  • July 4th BBQ
  • Finally ride a rollercoaster

We shall see how this goes, but hopefully well so that I can share these experiences.

Best,

Shannon

 

Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

Buying gifts for guys is way harder than it should be. However, knowing them well can give you a few niche categories to buy from. Whether its buying birthday presents, or in this case a Father’s Day present, the men in my life would likely appreciate a gift found on many cultivated lists, but would prefer something else. Instead I thought back to his favorite things and activities and knew I could find a better gift that way. As a kid I always opted for something handmade or socks, since that was all he asked for. Recently, I have been opting to purchase him a hat from somewhere a visit or to represent my university. Here are my tips and tricks to buying a gift for any man in your life.

Orioles Game

Favorite Hobby

What is his favorite hobby? This one is easy, because there is always something they could want for their hobby. My Dad loves to cook or golf, which means I opt for a new kitchen tool or an addition to his golf bag. My Step-Dad really likes to read and while we have tons of books he still wants more so a gift card or a book are the perfect gift for him. My boyfriend plays a card game called Magic The Gathering, so I’m able to buy him packs of the cards for a present. His dad plays with him, but this year we opted to help him rebuild and revamp his garden in the backyard. These gifts are good if you want to give them something to enjoy by themselves. However, if you want to make it something for you two to enjoy together it is simple to alter them. I bought myself a deck of MTG cards once and played with my boyfriend as a present, I went out to a driving range with my dad, and I got a book for my step-dad and I to both read.

Favorite Entertainment

Entertainment is a good one, because it is something to enjoy as a group, just the two of you, or by themselves. This year my boyfriend and his brother took their dad to an Orioles game, because they love baseball and they were playing the Twins – first game he ever took them to see was Orioles vs. Twins. Sporting events are a solid choice, however if that isn’t their favorite form of entertainment there are some other options. Grab their favorite movie and make dinner in or head out to a restaurant and a movie as a nice night out. Maybe they prefer playing games (video or board), if so pick up a new game and work your way through it together or ask him to teach you how to play. This year a few things I considered were putt putt, bowling, or a trampoline park.

Life Appropriate

Where are they at in their life? Often times you see present lists based on the age someone is, but the point in life they are at is the best indicator for what to buy. Sometimes people need things to relax rather than to be professional or vice versa. Knowing what is going on in the life of the person you are buying for is key to getting a good gift. My dad just got a new apartment, so home goods would be a great gift. Something simple, such as spending time together, can be exactly what a person needs.

Also another tip is to get one bigger present and then wrap smaller presents that contain their favorite candy, food, cheep movie, game, etc. The best thing to do is give yourself a budget and act like your building a gift basket. How can you best capture their favorite things in one basket?

Have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Best,

Shannon

I’m Feeling 22!

I’ve known in the back of my mind that my birthday was coming, but for some reason I wasn’t getting excited or making plans. This may have to do with it being a very stressful semester and having a packed week with my birthday being just one more thing I have to do. It can stink to have your birthday during the week. I had a paper due, a class debate, two 2.5 hour classes, an hour meeting between, and was supposed to be attending a two hour event after all of that. I started to stress about my birthday and think I was going to get stuck alone running between a million things. So I said no to what I could and made plans to head home to spend the night with family and friends for dinner. Last year I sucked it up and sat through class on my 21st birthday and decided this year I wasn’t going to miss out again.


School is important, but I only get to turn 22 once and want to appreciate it. Making that decision also led me to plan trips for the summer. I have been so focused on school and work that I have been forgetting to live my life. You always hear elders say that you only get to be young once and I want to make sure I can look back and know that I appreciated the years when I could. As a result I have made a bucket list for my twenty second year of life!

  1. Take a trip to the beach with family
  2. Visit my best friend in Los Angeles
  3. Visit my best friend in Nashville
  4. Go to Disneyland or world (I’ve never been to either)
  5. Go to Universal for Harry Potter
  6. Work on the book I’ve been writing in my head
  7. Volunteer with a local charity
  8. Live a healthier lifestyle (diet, sleep, and exercise)
  9. Take advantage of moments with others
  10. Get outside more with my puppy

When my boyfriend and I first met we made a big bucket list of all the things we were going to do. As we started checking them off the list we also started dating and more things got added. I stumbled upon it the other day and saw there were a few things we never managed to cross off that I might tackle this year.

What are you hoping to accomplish this year? Any suggestions for my list?

5 Facts About the Blogger

The thing I most dreaded at the beginning of each semester is the awkward ice breakers that professors come up with. As a teaching assistant I never made my students do it and just let them be social on their own terms. However, I can see why they do it (most of my students preferred not to talk) and so here are five facts about me to act as an ice breaker for the beginning of this blog.

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  1. I attended the University of Maryland for my Bachelor’s degree in geography and am currently working on my Master’s in international development policy with a focus in non-profit management and leadership.
  2. I have a love for turtles, which can be represented by the unhealthy amount of turtle knick knacks in my apartment. Also, it helps that my school’s mascot is a diamondback terrapin.
  3. Currently living in the D.C. area and am from Maryland. I’ve lived in Maryland for most of my life and as such have a healthy obsession with our flag.
  4. Reading is my favorite hobby and you can almost always find me with a book. I will admit to getting sucked into books and forgetting the world exists until I reach the final page.
  5. I’m curious what the world has to offer us and plan to share what I find right here.

In my junior level english class our professor had us sit in a semi-circle and the first person said their name, major, and favorite hobby and then the next person had to say everyone before them…I was second to last.

Whats the worst ice breaker you’ve ever had to do? Do you have a favorite?