Tag Archives: friends

Love the Ones You’re With

In an attempt to live life more like a fisheye lens, with a wider view of the world around me, this week I spent time trying to appreciate and love on the ones around me. This week, I celebrated my friend’s 21st Birthday, caught up with old friends while sitting in the sunshine, had 2 froyo dates, coordinated all of my roommates to eat dinner at the same time and wrote my closests friends some words of encouragement. However, I still wish I could have done more. More for the people that stand by my side, make me laugh, humble me and encourage me. There isn’t enough room on one index card to tell my friends just how much I appreciate them.

On Wednesday I had the privilege of listening to Chris Gragtmans speak as a park of his “Live Your Dreams” tour. One of the things he stressed the most was the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. He projected this quote on the screen:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

This week, taking the time to reflect on my friendships opened my eyes just a little bit wider. I realized just how much uniqueness each of my friends brings to my life and to the lives of others. Honestly, my parents raised me but, my college friends are the ones that helped me grow up. They shared their culture, humor, fashion, hobbies and their lives with me. So much of who I am has been influenced by, like the quote says, the 5 (maybe a few more) people I spend the most time with. I am grateful that these have been incredible influences and have attributed nothing but positive aspects to my life.

Hope I have encouraged you all to reflect on your friendships.

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A Good PenPal

Recently, I have read a lot of blogs about the value of a handwritten letter and how much other bloggers enjoy snail mail. This made me smile because, I too, love a good letter in the mail.I write letters from camp, from school, from home, from abroad…I will write a letter from anywhere and just about to anyone. Am I the only one that thinks that it is kinda of an obligation for a traveler to be able to write a good letter to friends and family back home? I have heard, from both my campers and my friends, the classic, “I just never know what to write about in letters.” This statement is always followed by a chuckle from me because often times, I write multiple page letters. Frankly, the only thing that stops me from continuing to write, is running out of stationery. Check out some of my favorite stationary picks (from the picture above).

Ostrich Hello I Keepsake Floral I Donuts Stationery I Pendleton Native American Note Cards

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Today, I am here to improve the letters of the world by giving some of my own personal and ultra cheesy tips for a solid, well-written and thoughtful note. A letter that will get you your stamps worth.

What your letter could include:

1. A fun and upbeat greeting and introduction

Dear Dallas!

Wow, can you believe how fast time flies. It has been a few weeks since I have heard from you so I wanted to send some love and encouragement your way.

2. A brief summary of what you have been doing recently

The beginning of the semester has been a whirlwind. I have been applying and interviewing for internships, getting adjusted to my school schedule, volunteering at the high school, playing intramural basketball, snowboarding and trying to stay warm. It has been a blast and I am thankful for so many opportunities to stay busy and be with friends.

3. Some things that you are looking forward to in the future

This week we are supposed to get 8 inches of snow. All of my teachers have been warning us to be careful in the weather. EEEEEPPPP! Good thing I just went to the grocery store because I might not be able to drive for a few days. Also, fingers crossed classes with get cancelled so I can snuggle up with the roomies and watch the Olympics.

4. Inquire about their life

Have you been watching the Olympics? I saw that picture that you posted from the circus. It looked really fun….made me want some cotton candy. Also, have you decided what you are doing this summer? I know you were trying to decide and I am sure that you will make the right decision. Also, did I hear a little rumor that you are coming to see me soon? I hope you make a trip up here so maybe you can try snowboarding again. I promise I am a better teacher now.

5. Tell a funny story

Today I had to do a social media presentation on the use of Pinterest. In order to demonstrate its use I had to pull up my own account. I didn’t exactly think this through. As soon as I pulled up my account I realized that my pinterest boards were a tad embarrassing. As soon as the class realized that I had a wedding board entitled “In Need of A Man” the entire class wanted me to open it up. I gave them a quick scroll through but I sweated for the rest of that class out of embarrassment. You would have made so much fun of me if you had of been there.

6. End on a positive and supportive note

Have an awesome week and I hope I get to hear from you soon. Also, tell your roommates hello for me! Loved getting to meet them last time I visited

Love Always,

Hayley

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Welp friends! I hope you found this post helpful and cheesy. If you are stuck inside due to a blizzard like I am then maybe it is a great time to sit down and write a handwritten letter to someone you care about. Remember to get your stamps worth!

What are some fun things you and your penpals like to include in your letters? 

Peace Out-HayUp

Surviving Traveling in Groups

Most of my traveling experience has been with groups. From summer camp to mission trips and cruises, I would like to think I have some experience dealing with large amounts of people for long amounts of time. Some as large as 70 and others as small as 5 but, whether you are cruising, camping, touring or road tripping here are some of my survival tips to make the most of your trip. Also, please enjoy some very old photographs.

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Avoid cliques and engage yourself with others

No, I am not a middle school guidance counselor but, even as I have grown older and traveled in groups this has become a problem. Be friends with everybody, it is so much more rewarding that way. Rotate who you sit with on the bus, who you sit with at the table, who you go exploring with and so on. I have watched and experienced some of the closest friendships grow over the years. I am thankful for the friendships that have formed abroad and then continued when we returned home.

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Patience

This word speaks for itself. Just take a deep breath.

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Respect smaller groups

Raise your hand if you and your friends have ever taken over a mcdonalds. My hand is raised and if I had 12 more hands they would be raised too. As a larger group, it is important to make sure that smaller groups are enjoying their experience just as much as you are. Even if it is a McDonalds. This past trip to Costa Rica we went on a snorkeling excursion. It was my group of 15 and then 2 couples on their honeymoon. I felt bad for the 2 couples, I really did. They are just trying to have a romantic boat ride and they got stuck with 15 college kids. I think we made a pretty good effort to respect them. We let them eat first, get on and off the boat first and we gave them their space. In the end I think they had fun with us but, I could only have imagined the nightmare that excursion could have turned into for them.

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Share and Rotate

I have never experienced a more dramatic shower experience than I did while being a camp counselor. I think they all had themselves convinced that if they didn’t shower 1st they couldn’t shower at all for that day. OR, my personal favorite, if they offered to shower last they might slip by without having to take a shower. Even if you aren’t a group of 7th graders sharing cabin, sharing and rotating who goes first (or last) in the shower is important.

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You do you

This was something that took me a while to learn but, after a long day, it is important that you do what is best for you. Everybody has different needs and routines. If you need cut out on a round of card games a little bit early or you need to take some time alone to read your book, do it.

My youth group friends and I could stay up for hours playing card games. On our last night in Puerto Rico we stayed up almost all night playing games (young and wild and free, right??) That next morning we had to catch an early flight so I had absolutely no sleep and it turned into one miserable day. Even though it was years ago, I have vivid memories of laying on the airport floor with a fever and throwing up outside of a gas station. When I got home that night I was running a fever over 100 degrees. My Mom gave me medicine and put me to bed. Luckily, all I had to was sleep it off and I was fine. I am no doctor but, the only thing I can assume was that my body was so exhausted it just broke down on me. I would never take back any of those memories but, had I not been going home that next day, what would I have done if I was sick in Puerto Rico? It is important to pace ourselves and know our bodies so we can have a great trip, no matter how long the length.

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I hope that you have a great weekend friends! No matter if you are just heading out to dinner or snowboarding with a group, remember some of these tips for having the BEST experience!

Peace out–HayUp

Costa Rica Part Dos: Sarapiqui

Sarapiqui, Costa Rica is the location of my 2nd leg of my trip to costa rica, and probably my favorite. It was a smaller town but offered lots of fun tours and excursions along the sarapiqui river.

La Quinta, Sarapiqui Country Inn and Eco-Lodge (no, not the franchise):

La Quinta is a Country Inn and Eco-lodge that has been nationally certified by the Costa Rican Tourism Board with its Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST).  La Quinta strives to have little, to no negative impact on its immediate environment and that is evident in every aspect of their property. The local owners have spared no expense to ensure that their quaint lodge is held to the highest sustainable standards. Complete with a butterfly garden, river bank, a pond )that serves as a home to 3 caimans), 2 swimming pools, a small farm, beautiful landscapes, a delicious restaurant and housing for both families, couples and large groups, La Quinta was my favorite Eco-Lodge that I stayed at through-out my trip.

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Activities/ Excursions/ Tours:

Finca Corsicana Pineapple Farm: According to their website, they are the largest organic pineapple farm in the world. We went on a tractor ride through their 3,000 acre pineapple farm and even got the treat of seeing a baby sloth with its mother and a family of howler monkeys (we heard them long before we saw them). Every few feet our tour guide would hop off the tractor, pick a pineapple, cut the pineapple with the machete knife he kept in his pocket and then pass it around to all of us. He did this time and time again, fresh pineapple after fresh pineapple. Coming from the girl that cannot afford fresh pineapple and buys it from the can, this pineapple was incredible. At the end of our tractor ride we were greeted with fresh pina colada, a treat so delicious and fresh it can only be further described by a picture.

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White Water Rafting on the Sarapiqui River: I cannot get enough of white water rafting. This was actually my first time and I was glad that I saved my first time for Costa Rica. Before we even got in the raft we were taken to jump off this little ledge. My friends and I had so much fun doing this while the guides took our pictures. The water was refreshing, the sun was out and the rapids were just adventurous enough. Our raft guide, Carlos, really made the experience for us. He kept things fun and adventurous. He would splash us, throw us out of the boat, let us ride on the front of the raft (he called it cowboying), pointed out the wildlife and told us all about himself. Half-way through the trip we stopped for…guess what…a fruit break. Complete with watermelon and pineapple. After our pineapple farm tour the day before I stuck to watermelon.  Even though some of these pictures make it look like I am disgusted, I was actually having a great time.

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Chocolate Tour: Costa Rica is home to the Cacao Tree which produces the beans that are used to make chocolate. This tour was located in the rainforest, where we trecked across one of the longest suspension bridges in Costa Rica. Even though it was raining on this day, there was something surreal about being in the rain forest while it was raining. The cacao beans that we tasted were bitter, bitter, bitter but it was a good feeling knowing that I was eating the kind of chocolate that was actually good for you. We sat in a small gazebo where we were taken through the start to finish process of how chocolate is made. From the cocoa plant to sipping liquid chocolate we tasted every process in between. Even though I still prefer a hershey bar, I enjoyed tasting and learning about this organic chocolate. I even met a friendly couple from Belgium.

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Thanks for reading friends! Part Tres coming soon!

Avoiding Winter-Break Boredom

Christmas festivities are winding down, you have finished an entire netflix series, you are out of money from shopping, you have finally caught up on your sleep, your parents have gone back to work and you are home for 2 more weeks. Oh! And my personal favorite…your parents are threatening that if you don’t get off the couch you are going to have to go through all of your old childhood things (avoid that as long as you can).  Yep! I’ve been there and so have all my friends. My friends from home and I  have gotten pretty creative over the years trying keep ourselves entertained, spend time together and get ourselves out of the house, away from the leftovers. We are here to share our wisdom with you! This is to all the college freshman out there who literally have no idea what to do for another 2 weeks and are missing their friends from school.

Try to make a little extra money because, who can’t use an extra $10? Ask your family, grandparents, aunts, uncles or neighbors if they need some extra help getting things done. Bathe dogs, walk dogs, wash some cars, babysit, do some yard work, polish your dad’s “glory days” trophy collection or just go tap dance downtown. I guess you could say i had the “privilege” of bathing  my sister’s dog and now my gas tank has a few extra gallons in it.

Get outdoors! Try doing all the things you used to love to do as a kid. Rally the gang and ride some bikes, climb a tree, jump on a trampoline, ripstik, play tennis at the park, Rollerblade and take back your neighborhood streets from the new generation of munchkins.

Get creative. I would say that this is our specialty. We have made our own music videos, destroyed the kitchen baking cakes, played board games, dedicated a whole day to crafting for our dorm rooms and even tested out at-home kid’s science experiments. Now is the chance to unleash your weirdness and creativity because once college is over you are gonna be wishing for a random Wednesday to whip out the glue guns with your best friends.

Catch a weekday matinee movie…like I said, when is the next time you are going to be free on a Wednesday  afternoon to catch a cheap movie? Not to mention there are just some great movies out right now.

Explore your town! You are a student now so you get all kinds of discounts! Hit the museums, art galleries, local parks and town landmarks. I’m guessing that your local museum has changed a few exhibits since you went on a middle school field trip there. 

Hope this helps! And if none of these things work you can try starting a blog because I love it and it keeps you busy!

How do you Avoid Winter Break Boredom?

Enchanted Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens is a Wilmington trademark, featuring a 467 year old live oak, walking trails, wildlife, over 100,000 Azaleas and lakes all overlooking the North Carolina Coast. Every weekend from Thanksgiving till Christmas they host, Enchanted Airlie, one of their Christmas traditions and a huge attraction in Wilmington.They covered the gardens in beautiful and colorful Christmas lights and of course hosted Santa for kids to visit. After going there tonight with my parents and our closest family friends I now know why Enchanted Airlie is sold now for the rest of 2013. I give all the credit to my Dad for planning this and buying the tickets. Hopefully this will be a new family tradition. My Dad’s friend that was with us said, “Jack, you have made 2 good decisions in your life, marrying Beth (my mom) and coming to Enchanted Airlie.”

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what have you guys been up to?? Happy Holidays! — HayUp

Hosting Your Broke College Friends For A Weekend

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WHOA BABY as in… Whoa Baby finals are over and I am slowly making my way home for my Christmas break. Just days away from Christmas, New Years and then Costa Rica! I am proud to report that I got straight A’s this semester (Merry Christmas Mom and Dad) and now that finals are over I will have lots of free time to devote to blogging and being present here on the blogosphere.

I had an INCREDIBLE mountain weekend with my friends! I love Boone always, but even more when I have time to enjoy it without the stress of class. We had two big sleepovers and two days that were action packed at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Even though my friends were braced with some not-so-ideal snowboarding conditions they still learned like champions and in the words of my friend Kenzie “Shaun White ain’t got nothin on us.” Here are some of my tips on how to successfully host an awesome snowboarding weekend with your broke college friends. These might be really obvious but they are my fun little way of recapping the weekend.

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1. Check Out Group Rates

We couldn’t get a group rate at the mountain this time because there wasn’t quite enough of us but, we got one with a big group last time and we all saved about 10 or 15 dollars. It is definitely worth giving the resort a call to see if they offer group rates and if you qualify.

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2. Make your own magic

We had all just finished exams so we were all pretty exhausted and spent out on Christmas shopping. Friday night we made our own magic in my apartment. We jammed out to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, played games in my apartment and caught up with each other. As for Saturday night…let’s just say we all headed to bed early. We are college kids…we just need to be together to have fun!

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3. Pack Your Lunch

We saved a ton of money by not buying lunch at the Ski Resort and packing our own. We made a grocery list, divided the items evenly and took a group trip to Wal-Mart…which is always an adventure. Both Saturday and Sunday we took over a little space in the ski lodge and had our own picnic, complete with Christmas cookies. We may have received some dirty looks from the employees but I am thinking they were just eyeing our goodies.

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4. Get an Early Start

Ski Resort tickets can be very expensive, especially on the weekends, so get an early start and get the most out of your day! My friends loved waking up to Christmas music, coffee, my bright and shiny face, waffles and scrambled eggs. We made it to the mountain at quite an impressive hour, beat the crowd and had a FFFFFUUULLLLLLL day seizing the slopes.

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5. Rent Local

This is something that I wish I would have known long ago. Many local ski or snowboarding shops offer rentals which can save you lots of money from renting them from the resort. I have my own gear but my friends were able to get a student discount, faster service and a weekend rental from, First Tracks, a snowboard and ski shop literally seconds from my apartment. I give myself a pat on the back because that was my suggestion.

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For all of the things I can’t describe through my typing i have put together this fun little video that captures some of the highlights from the weekend!

I am still learning how to make videos and i dont have the best software so i apologize for all the glitches

https://vimeo.com/82099767