Today I’m back with a recap of my October favorites. Hope you enjoy!
I finished my bid day video! It took a long time to go through and edit, but I’m really pleased with the final product. I also made a video all about what’s in my backpack. I love watching those and had fun filming it.
I’m also doing a lot more hands-on work with my job in football and I’m trying to create more videos for our Twitter feed. This one is one of my favorites, if you want to check it out!
Songs I’m loving…
This playlist is definitely all over the place, but hey, I never claimed to be a DJ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It’s definitely based off of Charlie Puth’s new song, How Long. I saw him open for Shawn Mendes this August and I’ve been kind of obsessed ever since.
Side note: I can’t wait for Taylor Swift’s album to drop this week (Friday)!! I’m a huge fan and I’m loving her new music.
1: As the weather drops, I’ve been dressing a lot nicer! It’s so easy to throw on a t-shirt and shorts for class but the cooler weather forces me into sweaters and jeans. I’m planning out more style posts so look forward to those on the blog soon!
2: I signed up for a half marathon…(!!) I’ve been loving my running class and the feeling I get after accomplishing a run, so I wanted to sign up for a race that would give me something to work towards. I even scheduled my classes around this for next semester so I’ll have time during the day to train. I’m excited but definitely nervous!
3: For my latest design project, I redesigned a record album cover for when Nirvana performed at the University of Kansas before they really ‘made it big.’ At first, I was so opposed to this project and couldn’t tell you one Nirvana song from another. I’m still not a huge fan, but I definitely have a newfound appreciation for their music after this project.
I’m so ready for October and to be done with September. I’ve planned out my classes for next semester already and truthfully, I’m feeling ready for next year.
1: I finished my first design projects of the semester! I’m looking forward to sharing more of my work on my blog as I finish my projects. Subtle plug…if you’re a designer too, follow me on Behance!
My first project is a type poster advertising Rio’s Carnival. We were only allowed to use type, color and scale in the design.
The second project is a re-branding of London Heathrow’s airport. When making the logo, we could only use the airport code — LHR — using only one font. This was my first project in my type design class and it was definitely interesting to struggle through using Adobe Illustrator.
Right now, we’re working on an album cover in one class and a magazine spread in the other class. I can’t wait to share the final results.
2: Speaking of next year, I just signed a lease for living in a house for my senior year. It’s crazy to think about senior year already, but I’m excited to be living out of my sorority house. This will be the first time I’ve had my own room again since high school, and I’m already thinking about decorating.
3: I wrote a new blog post this week: September | Hannah’s Book Club. Let me know if you liked it — I enjoyed writing it and would love to write more book reviews (maybe a little more comprehensive next time).
4: As the weather finally gets cooler, I’m looking forward to breaking out fall styles. I’m loving this moto jacket and the idea of styling it, but truthfully, if it’s not a shade of blue or red, it probably won’t match my closet…
This sweater is definitely up my alley and looks so cozy. This bomber jacket (in navy, of course) would be a fun addition to my closet for the fall too. It’s a little edgy and certainly different from my typical preppy style, but I think I could create some interesting outfits with it.
As September wraps up, I’m recapping all the books that I’ve read through August and September! I like having the option of a library book by my bed to read at night or in between classes instead of just scrolling through my phone. Just having it available makes me so much more inclined to read the book. Growing up, I was always a huge reader and I’m glad I’ve been able to keep that up through college.
Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen – ★★ (2 stars)
Clearly this month I’ve been inspired by traveling! I didn’t like the main character, Keira, from the start. She came off as whiny and selfish…and stayed that way til the last few pages. While I liked the descriptions of Paris, Keira got in the way and her self-centered attitude made me frustrated with her actions. The writing was also very basic—but to be fair, when it’s written from the mind of a selfish 18-year-old, there’s not much you can do. I would have liked to see it written from both Keira and Levi’s perspectives.
From Goodreads: Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.
Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.
She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch—★★★☆ (3.5 stars)
I loved this book! It’s definitely more of a summery read. I’ve also been studying some basic Italian, so it was fun to read the Italian words scattered throughout and actually understand them. Love and Gelato does a good job of intertwining the story with the history and culture of Italy. Lina was an enjoyable character to follow along with and the format of the book – Lina’s story with her mother’s journal entries – was an interesting twist.
From Goodreads: “I made the wrong choice.”
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – ★★★ (3 stars)
I read Speak by Anderson back in middle school, and I remember not understanding the main plot points, but re-reading it in high school and fully understanding the point of the whole book. Wintergirls is similar, focusing on a very tough topic of eating disorders, but in a lot more graphic way. This book was extremely well-written and sensitive to the topic; however, I did find it hard to read at different times. I read it only in short bursts and was glad when I was done. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the topic, even though I did find the book interesting.
From Goodreads: “Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
The Breakdown by B.A. Paris – ★★★★ (4 stars)
This makes me laugh a little to include this book, because while I enjoy this kind of thrillers, this is exactly my mom’s kind of book! Anything murder-mystery is totally up her alley. I read this on the plane coming home and it kept my attention the entire time. There were times that I was getting very frustrated with the main character seemingly going crazy. I came up with a really interesting theory along the way that even had my mom convinced at one point, but the ending totally surprised me! The thing I like about thrillers is not being able to predict the ending at all, and this one really stood out.
From Goodreads: If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard – ★★★★ (4 stars)
I just finished this book and I’m so intrigued by what will happen next. Sara Shepard wrote Pretty Little Liars too, which I’ve been wanting to watch but honestly, I think it’d scare me too much. I remember trying to read the first chapter of the first book when I was sleeping over at my cousin’s house in middle school (maybe younger!) and I couldn’t handle it. This book is scary in a sense as well, but I’ve grown out of it a bit since being 12! Although it is based in high school and can seem immature at times, it’s a fun read and keeps up the suspense. I’m glad it’s a series and drags out the plot so I can get the full story on every character.
From Goodreads: I had a life anyone would kill for.
Then someone did.
The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does–an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.
Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me–to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, care-free daughter when she hugs my parents goodnight? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?
Thanks for reading!
(Also, as I’m typing this I realized that Hannah’s Book Club—HBC—is my monogram, so it’s meant to be!)
Today I’m back with a recap of my month of August favorites. I’d like to start doing these monthly, so let me know if you’re liking this style of post!
I finished my August video! This sums up all the fun things that happened in August (seeing Shawn Mendes, the eclipse, birthdays, etc). I finally reached 30 subscribers as well! It sounds like such a small amount to some people, but I love watching those numbers rise and see that people are actually enjoying my videos. I also have a bid day video finished and planned out, but I’m waiting on a few things so that should be up soon!
Products I’m loving…
1: I’ve been using this serum by the Ordinary for my blemishes daily at night and I’m obsessed with it! This is the kind of product that I bought on a whim and now I tell all my friends to try it. (Especially when my roommates see me putting it on at night and give me weird looks, but hey, that’s a different story…) If you’ve tried the Glossier Super Pure serum at all, I’ve heard it’s an exact dupe. If you compare the ingredients they’re pretty much spot on, so I’d definitely recommend the $6 Ordinary version (you get more product too) over the $28 Glossier version.
2: I live by my calendar and to-do list, so having a planner that combines both is perfect for me! I’ve been using the daily/monthly Day Designer for Target/Blue Sky planner for two years now and I’m so glad they continued the line. I think if they didn’t have this option, I might have to switch to the full sized Day Designer, but as of now, my college budget thanks me for getting the Target option! I got the smaller version this year and there have already been days I’ve regretted not getting the larger size, but the thickness and weight of the planner just aren’t doable for me to carry around every day. I love the rest of the line and I’ve considered picking up the wall calendar too.
3: I wrote about this Hydroflask water bottle way back in 2015, with a now-deleted ‘college essentials’ post, and I’m still obsessed. My old version of this water bottle had so many dings and dents in it from constantly dropping it while walking to class and the insulation finally cracked. I repurchased it within the week and absolutely love my new one. I have the size and cap linked, but my color (bright red) isn’t available online so I’d check sports stores in your area if you want one. I got mine at Dick’s Sporting Goods. (P.S. The cute dog sticker is available for sale on my Redbubble!)
Recap into my life
1: I’m back at school and in the full swing of things, so I have that on my mind over my blog, unfortunately! However, I have a ton of post and video ideas, just not a lot of time to work on them. I’ve been going straight from class to work to dinner to more homework and some days there’s just too much in my brain to sit down and film or write a productive post!
2: I lost someone pretty special to me recently and it’s been hard dealing with it, but I’m very lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and family. I just wanted to write a quick thank you to those who have reached out and made sure I’m feeling okay.
3: I’ve been working on a quick project for one of my graphic design classes and I’ve loving this illustration style. Our assignment was to do an event poster in a major city without using any words, so I did Carnival in Rio and illustrated a Samba dancer. I think it turned out pretty well!
4: I’ve been on a total Youtube watch kick (essentially trying to catch up on watching my entire Youtube watch later playlist that I didn’t watch this summer). I love reading other girls’ blogs too and would love to read more college bloggers/watch more college Youtubers, so definitely send your recommendations my way.
I am so excited to see the solar eclipse this next Monday, August 21st. Once I learned early this summer that Kansas City was going to be in the complete path of totality, I started researching how to view it safely. Here are my tips for viewing the solar eclipse without burning your eyes!
Where to watch
I’ll be on campus the day of the eclipse because it’s the first day of school, but my campus will have several viewing events! A good way to find local eclipse viewing parties in your area is to go on Facebook and search ‘your city eclipse viewing party.’ Just by searching ‘Kansas City eclipse viewing party,’ I found two events right away! Some of the events require payment to get in and require you to purchase the glasses.
I would recommend that you attend an event so you know when to remove your glasses. During the two minutes of complete totality, you’ll remove your solar glasses and watch the sun. However, if you just plan to view it on your own, you may miss it or accidentally end up burning your eyes.
If you’re looking to not pay and find glasses near you easily, then a great place to look is your nearest college campus. My school is hosting two events with different departments that I know of, and I’m sure there’s several more happening! If you happen to be a local reader of my blog, here’s the event I’ll be attending put on by my design department. I’d love to see you there!
Where to find the glasses
The most important part of viewing the solar eclipse safely is having the protective glasses on. Warby Parker, an eyeglasses and sunglasses company, is giving away the eclipse glasses for free. Here’s a list of all the Warby Parker locations near you. It was so easy to stop in and pick up my glasses. (It was so funny to try them on and take pictures- you seriously can’t see a thing with them!)
If you don’t have a Warby Parker location by you, you can look at your local library. There are also several glasses listed on Amazon–just make sure you read the reviews to make sure you get a safe pair. Do not try to make your own or just wear plain sunglasses, or you could literally go blind! I would advise getting a pair of glasses for viewing the eclipse beforehand, so you don’t have to worry about a viewing party running out of them.
Other Viewing Essentials
The complete eclipse will last for up to three hours, so plan on getting there fairly early before the eclipse instead of just showing up when the total eclipse is supposed to occur. Complete totality lasts for only two minutes, so you’ll want to be in the right position and ready to view it right when it happens. Since it’ll happen for so long, why not bring some snacks? I found some fun recipes, but you can always go with the prepackaged classics as well. If you’re feeling creative, this galaxy bark would be a delicious addition to any viewing party. Sun Chips, Moon Pies and Milky Ways are also fun ways to keep the space theme going.
A lawn chair would also be a good thing to have handy while you’re waiting for the eclipse to begin. If you want to try your hand at solar eclipse photography, a camera is also an option. Here’s an article about how to photograph it– but be warned, if you’re not advanced at knowing your camera’s settings already then I’d advise you just sit back and watch. You could miss it so easily, and unless you start traveling across the world to view other eclipses, then it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. I plan on taking on a video throughout the day and of my reaction to it, but I don’t want to miss the moment.
1: On Wednesday, I went to the Sporting KC Open Cup quarterfinal against the San Jose Earthquakes. My roommate Jordan and I went to the two qualifying rounds before the quarterfinal and we knew we had to go to every round they kept advancing in! For a little background, the US Open Cup is the oldest soccer tournament in US history. It ended in penalty kicks (after a double overtime) and was so exciting to watch! If you’re a soccer fan, this last save is a must-watch.
2: I’ve been coming up with more video ideas for my Youtube channel. I recently posted this video with my tips for sorority recruitment, and it’s been doing so well considering my lack of subscribers! On that note…I would love if you subscribed to my channel to see more upcoming videos!
3: Speaking of sorority recruitment, that’s next week for my school! Instead of recruiting this year though, I’m working at my internship with my school’s football department. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember (I attended my first game under the age of one…thanks Mom and Dad for instilling this in me so early!!) so it’s still kind of a surreal experience to be able to be working for the team that I love. I’m working during fall camp, which means I get to attend practices and take photos in the morning, then in the afternoon I help with graphics.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this, it’s definitely to be open when considering your future job! Last year I was pretty convinced that when I graduated, I’d want to be an art director at an agency last year, and now I’m feeling very passionate about working in sports. My major has allowed me so many opportunities so far and I’m excited to see what this year brings with my job, especially with football season coming up!
4: I’m a bit late to the game here, but have you seen Macklemore’s latest music video? I’m loving the song and the message behind the video.
It’s finally Friday! When I’ll be back in school, I won’t have Friday classes, which will make them so much sweeter. I never really appreciated the beauty of the weekend until I started working a full-time internship though!
1) I shot this outfit this weekend, along with a few others, and they’ll be on the blog soon! I’m experimenting with different ways to edit my photos to fit the warm, summery look.
2) I just bought these new tennis shoes and I’ve been loving them for casual wear. I can’t find the exact pair I have (navy with white stripes) but this is the exact style!
5) There’s going to be a solar eclipse on August 21st that’ll pass right through Kansas City and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it! Does anyone have any tips for watching/photographing the eclipse?
Warrior’s Best Friend pairs veterans with service dogs completely free of charge. All veterans that receive a service dog have some form of PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI) from their service. From Warrior’s Best Friend’s website:
Medical studies prove that service dogs can help speed up a soldier’s recovery, both physically and emotionally. And unlike other treatments, service canines provide a lifetime of assistance and companionship. Carefully vetted rescue canines go through a rigorous training process and get a new lease on life as a partner for a deserving wounded warrior. Unfortunately, many of our country’s warriors have to wait years to receive a service dog.
Most service dogs cost an average of $20,000, making it near impossible for most people needing a service animal to have access to one. Typically, service dogs are also specific types of breeds that are bred from a very young age to train as a working dog. Unlike other service dog organizations, all the dogs that Warrior’s Best Friend obtains for training are adopted from local shelters. The only requirements? The dogs have to be within 9 months to a year and a half old, and a certain height and weight to be able to perform certain tasks.
Warrior’s Best Friend is currently training 6 dogs but they hope to expand to be able to train even more and help more veterans. After the dogs are trained, veterans go to Liberty, Missouri, to spend 9 days with the dogs. The trainers at Warrior’s Best Friend pair the veterans with the dogs based on personality and the best match.
Every single expense—training the dogs, feeding the dogs, veterinarian care, the veterans staying in Liberty, and the first month of dog food—is all covered by Warrior’s Best Friend.
Warrior’s Best Friend receives money largely from sponsors in the community. For example, Home Depot donated a lot of the materials to help them rebuild their new facilities, but they still rely heavily on donations to keep their organization going. Upfront, the cost of training each dog is about $10,000. Insurance or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs doesn’t typically cover the cost of a PTSD service dog. What isn’t covered by corporate sponsors or donations is personally covered by the organization’s founder, Joe Jeffers.
The dogs all live in this barn. More often than not, they’re trained outside, but there’s a training area on the top floor of the barn if needed for colder days. The main trainer also lives upstairs in case something happens overnight in which the dogs are needed. There’s a gated area outside for personal one-on-one training as well.
Above is Andrew, who is being trained to be a therapy dog. He’ll be able to be a support dog in counseling centers, doctor’s offices, or other places that would be helpful to have a therapy dog there for calming people down. (He currently has kennel cough—a common sickness dogs get when they’re first obtained from shelters—so he’s separate from the other dogs downstairs.)
Below is a video of Depot being trained. During their training sessions, the dogs are often exposed to shopping centers, sporting events, concerts, etc so they aren’t distracted by crowds, which is one of the biggest triggers for people with PTSD or TBI. The dogs are taught 25 commands in total, some of them demonstrated below.
From the article in the Kansas City Star:
“Almost every one of these veterans who comes through the program has wives, moms, dads, kids, and it dramatically changes their lives, too,” Jeffers said. “The gratification comes from once you see your first dog placed with a soldier. That’s where the passion comes to do this. There wouldn’t be any other reason to do it.”
I’m so grateful to everyone that helped me raise money for them and I’m happy that I was able to visit this incredible organization and see the amazing work that they’re doing! I was able to donate $700 to them. If you want to donate, you can do so through here.
I started up my second semester of my sophomore year this week. I can already tell it won’t be an easy semester but I’m excited to get started on some projects, especially for design. I’m planning on sharing more of my design projects on my blog instead of my portfolio this year, so stay tuned for those!
I shared my 10 minute college makeup routine on the blog this week and made a Youtube video of it! I’m planning on making more Youtube videos, so I’d love if you subscribed.
My Fitbit is one of my most favorite Christmas presents that I’ve been utilizing regularly. However, this article about how having a friend to keep you accountable is better than a tracking device is so true! I did the BBG with my friend last year and it definitely helped us encourage each other and get in a routine.
I’m selling these shirts to benefit Warrior’s Best Friend. It’s an organization near me that provides service dogs to soldiers with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries at no cost. They also adopt the dogs from local shelters to train them, which is very unique to many service dog organizations. Even if you don’t want to purchase a shirt (they’re a reference to Kansas basketball), there’s a button to donate as well.
Every year I hear people talking about their New Year’s resolutions, but I never hear people talking about them in terms of goal-planning. Instead of setting resolutions that you’ll most likely forget about by February, set goals instead! Goals that are achievable, trackable, and have a timeline or set schedule are ones that tend to be more effective. I’m a competitive person, so if I were to pick any of these goals below (especially exercise) then I’d definitely enlist a friend to help keep me accountable!
I know that almost everyone puts exercise on their New Year’s resolution list, so I had to include this one! This is perfect for the person that doesn’t know where to start or doesn’t want to head to the gym in busy January.
Nike Training Club is my favorite app to use for workout plans that are fast and effective. I tend to get bored with long reps of several workouts, but this uses short, quick bursts of repetition instead. This workout includes a warm-up and cool-down as well, so it’s perfect for the beginner that doesn’t know how to compile the ‘perfect workout routine.’
They even have bodyweight workouts if you don’t have any equipment. It’s a free app that you can take literally anywhere. I’ve been using it for a few years now and still return to it when I’m in an exercise rut.
Improve a skill
Whether it’s something creative or something technical, working on improving a skill is a goal that’s definitely attainable and trackable. Personally, I plan on doing something that’s creative every day. Whether it’s hand-lettering, sketching, or photography, I’m going to put it all in one sketchbook so I can look back and see my progress throughout the year.
Doing a 365 project can seem daunting, so even if you minimized it to doing 2 creative things weekly, there’s still enough material to track progress. Be sure to document your skill to see your improvement at the end of the year!
I’m the worst at drinking water, but once I got a Hydroflask for my birthday it helped me start the habit of regular hydration. I think that buying a cute water bottle- especially one that keeps your water cold for 24 hours -is one of the most effective ways to start drinking water regularly.
I carry this water bottle around with me at school and don’t have any other cups in my bedroom, so refilling this is a must! A S’well water bottle is a super trendy option if you’re wanting to go for function and fashion.
If you need an extra reminder, the app Plant Nanny has a virtual plant that either grows or dies depending on how much water you drink. It’s essentially a water tracker but seeing your plant die adds some extra guilt and motivation to keep drinking.
The holiday season spurs a mentality of giving back, but this is something that can absolutely last all year long! There are so many ways to give back in your community with an organization that you love.
If you’re in college, there’s most likely an organization at your campus that facilitates volunteer coordination around your community. My sorority requires volunteer hours (which I love), so this semester I volunteered as a kindergarten soccer coach with my college town’s Parks and Rec department. In the past, I also volunteered as a dog-walker with the Lawrence Humane Society, which was an easy way to give back.
There are so many options around your community to give back! If you Google for a cause that you’re passionate about, then add your location, you’re sure to find results for nonprofits or organizations that would love your help.