Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it

So today I just wanted to write about something that has really inspired me lately: believing in yourself.
I was watching a video the other day (one of the Shaytards video, if anyone watches YouTube videos - you should check them out if you don't! They are a great family who vlogs their daily life) and Shay was saying how important self-belief is. It basically breaks down to this: if you are trying to achieve something but you think to yourself "Oh, I could never do that" then you never will. If you are giving up right as you begin something, then you will never get far enough to actually achieve it. You have to stay positive and keep telling yourself that you will be successful, and that all of your hard work will pay off in the long run. People like Bill Gates and J.K. Rowling did not become extremely successful by constantly putting themselves down and not believing in themselves; at some point they had to have said to themselves "You know what, I am going to work as hard as I can and make  myself become successful." I guarantee you they didn't just sit around and wait for their success - they went out and achieved it themselves, with the help of self-belief and positive thinking.
 I know all of this sounds so cheesy, but the power of positive energy and thinking is extremely important to success. Your mind is a very powerful thing, and can oftentimes be the only thing holding you back. In many cases, you are the person who limits yourself the most with self-doubt, and the belief that you truly cannot do something. If you want to be a doctor, then great, go for it! If that isn't your cup of tea and you would rather be an artist, hats off to you! Just make sure you don't doubt yourself, and constantly put yourself down. When you tell yourself that you can't do something you instantly put a road block in your mind, and in your life. With thoughts like that, you won't be able to achieve anything because you will start to truly believe you can't. Your negative thoughts eventually turn into your beliefs, so if you keep limiting yourself with "I cannot's" then you will never achieve "I did's." You have to act as if you know  what you are trying to achieve is going to come true. However, just because you unabashedly believe you will succeed, doesn't mean there won't be any hardships. The road to success isn't a smooth one, but the power of positivity helps make it a little bit easier.
The well known saying "never say never" (ugh, insert Justin Bieber reference here) is known throughout the world because of its truth; you will truly not learn the outcome of all the "what if's" if you say "never" to all of them. Who knows what you could achieve if you stopped doubting yourself?
I think the reason why this stuck with me so much is because I will be starting college soon, and I'm anxious about my future and what I will do with my life. I still don't have a solid plan about what I want to study, major in, or even make a career out of. It's also exciting, though, because I feel as though I am finally beginning my life, and I want to have a positive start. I am one of those people who can't be negative all the time or I will give myself a heart attack! I am much more productive when I am surrounded with positivity, and I think that is true about most people. Allowing yourself to be positive and have a great outlook on life truly goes a long way. Positive energy attracts positive energy when it comes to the ways of the world, so it is a great practice to always look on the brighter side of things.

What do you think about self-belief? Have you ever struggled with it?

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Favorite Books Lately

Hey guys!
So as some of you might know, I have an obsession with reading. Okay, maybe even a slight addiction. I go through books like crazy, and tend to just buy books when my friends and I go shopping; they get bags of clothes, and I get bags of books. If I could have a job as a professional reader, I would be the happiest person on the planet...
Anyway, I have been wanting to do more posts about reading and the books that I'm currently reading and/or enjoying, so I thought now would be the perfect time since I have fallen in love with quite a few new books (don't worry, Harry Potter, you will always be my favorite - bad joke, I know).

I am a huge fan of reading actual physical books, and I refuse to get an e-reader of any sort (I might regret saying this in the future, as I might get one for college textbooks, but that will be for strictly academic purposes only...I hope).

So this series is a spinoff from Richelle Mead's other series, Vampire Academy, and I know some of you might be thinking "seriously, vampires?" but trust me on this one, these series are so much more than the lives of vampires. They are written so well and have such great character developments that all of the characters feel like real people. The issues that they face are not strictly about love, but rather loyalty and the question of whether the truths that you have grown up with are always completely right or not. There is romance in the books, of course, but it isn't the stereotypical "oh my gosh I have just met you and now we are soul-mates" kind of love, but the fact that sometimes you can't deny it when chemistry is just there between people, and that some people are worth breaking the rules for.
The series is primarily about an alchemist (a human who knows about vampires and helps them cover up their existence) who has to pose as a high school student along with another group of vampires in order to protect the newly found princess from rebels who wish to hurt her. Sydney, the alchemist, is a very practical person who hates vampires, but is slowly starting to become close friends with her little "family", and begins to question where her loyalty should truly lie.
I can't get enough of Richelle Mead's books, and I could go on and on about how much I love this series and her other one, so just at least give this series a try, because trust me, you will love it!

Before I decided to read this book, I had been seeing it for so long and heard a lot of positive reviews of it. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games and more books like it, so I decided to give this one a try, and was pleasantly surprised about how much I ended up liking it. I wasn't sure if I would like it as much as The Hunger Games, but I really did! The book was written really well, and has a great plot.
It is about a sleepy beach town in California that suddenly has an invisible dome around it, and when this dome appears, all of the adults and teenagers aged 14 and over disappear. The town is left with a bunch of kids struggling to survive through power struggles, the emergence of mysterious powers, and mutating animals. It sounds absolutely crazy, but it was a really great book! I will definitely be reading the series.

I absolutely love this book, and series. This is the third one in The Lunar Chronicles, which is basically a modern take on classic fairy tales, like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and in the third book, Rapunzel. However, all of the portrayals of the "princesses" meet in various ways and all end up fighting for the same cause, which is basically overthrowing an evil queen (go figure since it's based on classic fairy tales). This book is so wonderfully round - it is filled with humor, sadness, adventure, and even a little romance that balances out so well. Each of the characters are so interesting and they are all tied together in the most ingenious ways. The books are also connected really well, which I was worried about since each one has a different main character.
I cannot wait for the fourth book in the series!

This book, and the whole Selection  series, is so good. The whole premise behind the story is very similar to the television show, The Bachelor; however, these girls are vying for the heart of the Prince of their country. This has been the way princes have found their princesses in their nation, and now it is time for Prince Maxon to have his own Selection to find his wife, since ultimately the decision is his.
 The main character is named America, and she didn't even want to sign up for the Selection in the first place, (girls across the nation have to apply to be a part of the selection, and then the king "randomly" chooses who is to be a part) because she doesn't want to be a princess. She is a number six on the "social scale", with the royals being a one, the king's guard two, and so on and so forth until number eight which is basically way below the poverty line. Throughout the series she has mixed feelings about Maxon because she is finding it difficult getting over her previous love. She also wants to see changes in her country, and is seen as very controversial due to her courage to speak out against the way things are run in public events.
It is a dystopian  story along with a love story that explains the aftermath of a horrible war and how their nation came to be. This nation, however, is still corrupt and has many rebels trying to harm the royal family in order to claim the power for themselves.
Overall, it is one of the best series I have read and loved so much in a little while, and it is a very big emotional roller coaster! The characters are so believable, and surprisingly, the whole series is not, in fact, about love and romance. There is a lot of questions about society, the way the law works, and why sometimes change is really for the better. I could not recommend this book more!

I have heard a lot about this book, so finally I broke down and read it. I was afraid it would be really similar to Before I Fall, (which I did not like at all despite it being quite popular and well received), but boy was I wrong. I ended up finishing this in about three hours because I could. Not. Put. It. Down.
The book is about a girl who is in a car accident while in the car with her family, but she is the only survivor. Her body is in a coma, but her mind is very awake, and she is in a ghost like state because she is able to walk around and listen to all of her loved ones, but they cannot see her. In order to escape this state, she has to decide whether or not she wants to wake up and continue living without her parents and little brother, or if she wants to join them in death. I found myself being so sucked into her life and love of her family and friends, that I could see such a great ending with either choice she made. If she decided to live, she would have a bright future filled with the remaining family she had, and wonderful friends who loved her very much. However if she decided to die, she would be with her parents and little brother whom she loves very much, and would be at peace and would not have to go through the pain of losing them.
I laughed and cried while reading this, but oh my gosh was it good. I honestly was not expecting the book to be so great, but it more than exceeded my expectations! They are coming out with a movie based on the book, which I'm excited but nervous to see, since the movies are never as great as the books.

Well, that's it for my favorite books as of late! I'm always open to suggestions, so if you have any good recommendations, just leave a comment! :)

What are some of your favorite books lately?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a great day!  :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dorm Room Inspiration

Hey guys!
I have written a couple of posts in the past couple of days, but saved them as drafts, as I just want to let them kind of...stew, for lack of a better term! So today I thought I would share with you guys how I'm hoping my dorm room will turn out! I move in on September 19th, so I want to get a bit of an early start on getting decorations and all of the necessary items sorted out.

I would love  to find a tapestry or something like this to hang in my room since we can't paint or anything. It's so pretty and would definitely personalize my dorm a lot more!

I also love the idea of hanging lights and pretty fabric over your bed! This would make it seem so much more cozy and home-y.

 These little photos hanging off of fairy lights are so cute! I love how it looks at night.

 This is such a great idea! I really want to break out of my shell in college and have the time of my life, and this would definitely force me to do it! The little bucket on the side is so adorable, too.

The birds flying along the lights are so cool as well - I love bird silhouettes!

I love how clean yet boho this looks! I absolutely love dream catchers and really want to put one up in my dorm, so something like this would be perfect! I think I might do something similar by my desk. And it would be cool to put pictures in the shape of my home state!

This is basically exactly how my dorm is going to be set up, with my bed being lofted and my desk underneath it in order to save as much room as possible. This room just looks so cozy and home-y! I would really like for my dorm to look like this.

How cool are these lights?! I have seen this DIY project on Pinterest and I am definitely going to give this a try. If it's a success, then you will be seeing it in a future post! However, if not, then in the pile of "DIY's From Pinterest That Didn't Work" it will go.

I also like the simplicity of these two - it kind of reminds me of snow and rain. They would also be a really classy way of using fairy lights, and not just look like strands of lights strung around everywhere!

 My mom made a couple of these for our house, and they are so pretty! I would love to have these in my room (even though I'm not 21 yet, but I mean wine bottles are classy right?) to remind me of home. I might be able to use Mason Jars, too!

Ahhhhhh if only I had the room for a bookshelf like this in my future dorm's going to be super weird not having all of my books with me! I have about three or four book shelves in my room (by now I'm having to stack them in random places because I'm running out of room) so I'll have to be picky about the ones I take with me to college!

Well, there you have it! I would be extremely happy if my dorm room turned out like any of these pictures, and I'm hoping that they do! I'm on the hunt for the perfect decorations >:)

What kind of decor do you like?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day!