You and Me & Chasing Little G

2015

Final Semester Bucket List Upate

CollegeSabra GilbertComment

Midterms have passed and the semester is winding down. So I guess it's time to share what I have accomplished. 

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1| Climb the Campanile - Simeon and I are planning to do this before the weather turns any worse! So we haven't done it yet but soon.

2| Go the the Hobo Day Parade with Friends - Unfortunately, because of our trip this weekend, we had to miss our final Hobo Day :( But I celebrated from afar and watched videos of the parade so does that count?

3| Enjoy my final Hobo Day Football Game - I did catch a video of a proposal before the game! It was super cute! 

4| Make $200 a month with MPD & this blog to loosen up our budget - This hasn't happened in full yet, but I have booked three jobs in one week! So I'm seeing it start to happen and I'm extremely excited.

5| Follow our new Budget - This is actually going pretty well! We need to be better at tracking it to make sure, but we've been pretty good at knowing what we are able to spend on things and keep it that way.

6| Fill out my Graduation Application - This is the ONLY  one that has for sure happened! My Grad App is in the works and going through! I take my exit exam in a week and then my exit interview! I am so insanely excited!! 

7| Graduate - 50 days!

8| Settle into a Daily Devotional Time - I'm struggling on this. But I'm going to pray and hope to figure this out soon.

Little Life Update

Sabra GilbertComment

Hey everyone!

If you made it over to the new site, congrats! :) I know I'm having some technical difficulties in the switch. But I hope to have them all figured out by the end of the week! :) The bloglovin' feed should be transferred soon and I will be going to past posts and fixing links to each post. Unfortunately I cannot fix all links to pintrest pins. :/  But if you would be ever so kind to repin any of my blog posts that you have loved or used in the past, that would be insanely fantastic. 

Now that all the boo things are done, I'll share some more exciting things!! And by exciting, I mean whats been going on in my life. :) I hope you don't mind a little journal post.

We left town on Thursday. We had a 6 hour car drive! Which we enjoy usually. Road trips are the best: we jam out, have deep conversation, and I get to take a nap. :) And we get all the best junk food. 

Friday was a few hours of homework and getting to sleep in at a hotel. Then we went out to one of the best BBQ places that I have every been too! It threw me for a loop at first when I discovered that the BBQ place with a rating of 9.7 and the best in Kansas City was actually based in a gas station!! A GAS STATION! And it had the parking and room to sit to prove it! Another thing that amazed me when we got there was the incredible line to order food! Seriously, this is a well loved BBQ place! The line was wrapped around all the way to the door and all the seating was taken. Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que is no sit and chill place to eat but it has the best BBQ and fries I have ever tasted.

But seriously. The fries. I would travel 12 hours every day to get that BBQ and fries for dinner every day. If you are ever in Kansas City, you should really try it out! Maybe order out though. But it really is a great atmosphere so maybe you should just eat in! 

Then came Saturday, so while I was stuck in a hotel room transferring this blog all day, Simeon was off being a wonderful human being and winning 1st place for his physics post at a research conference!!  He was then able to be inducted into Sigma Xi, the hosts of the conference. Then he brought me Chick-fil-a for dinner as compensation for not having a car to be able to go anywhere fun. But it was for the best anyway as I got a ton of work done!

Sunday was a crazy day. We had to wake up extra early to check out of the hotel room before going to Simeon's induction ceremony. Then came my favorite part of the entire weekend! THE AQUARIUM! Yes, I am a child when it comes to zoos or aquariums! I run around squealing like a little girl. Ask Simeon, I keep him laughing the entire time. After we went through and has picked our trip souvenir, we went on to check out the World War I monument and museum in Kansas City. It was insanely informative as it not only shared American history but European history as well. And had a very well executed informational video with a trench scene built below you that was incredibly emotional.

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Then it was time for another 6 hour trek! That was my weekend! What did you do?

Tricia from The Adventure List!

Sabra GilbertComment

We have a guest poster today!

Tricia from The Adventure List!

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One day in March, I'm laying on my couch, sicker than a dog, thinking about what was I doing here. A flu bug was sweeping its way through the restaurant where I worked sending co-workers home in waves. That day it chose two other people and me. 

 I am thankful for that flu bug. It is not something you hear people say often. Now, you may think I'm crazy, right? But hey, look where that flu bug prompted me to go.  

West Bay is a Must Visit Beach on Roatan

 That day in March I found myself a new opportunity on the

island of Roatan

off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean. Three weeks later, I was on a plane winging my way to island paradise for a solid month. Sometimes good things come in small packages. Thank you, flu bug. 

My favorite place to relax during my time on Roatan was West Bay. This little village offers a drop dead gorgeous beach with crystal clear water.  

Perfection personified.

  For me to reach West Bay from where I was staying in Sandy Bay, I took a bus, then a water taxi from West End. Sounds complicated and long but really it wasn't. You can take a regular taxi the whole way, but it is a little more pricey. The water taxi is only $3 USD. Plus the view is magnificent. I'd much rather travel with the wind whipping through my hair and sunshine on my face. Taking a

water taxi

was a new experience for me. In West End, they have a specific pier for pick up. Once in West Bay, the drivers will pick up and drop off pretty much anywhere, usually at one of the piers but if they are hanging out, anchored to the beach, they invite you to jump right in. These drivers will not pass up the opportunity for extra passengers and dollars. Every driver I encountered was so friendly and helpful, especially with getting in and out of the boat.

 The first time I went to West Bay, I stood on the pier simply gazing at the water and white sand beach. Stupified that I had found island heaven.

West Bay is a Must Visit Beach on Roatan

 The love affair almost came to an abrupt end when I discovered to utilize one of the many beach lounge chairs in front of the resorts and most restaurants cost a daily fee. Chiding myself to stop being such a cheapskate, I paid the $10 USD fee at

Paradise Beach Resort

. That fee included a few perks, along with the chair. Some of those perks include armed guards that parole the area (more on that in a minute). You get use of the enormous private pool with waterfall feature and a hot tub as well as the bathrooms and shower house. The bartenders will give you the wifi password which is fast free wifi.

 I fell in love with Paradise. It is gorgeous. They have the best lounge chairs on the beach strip. How do I know? I scoped them all out before choosing. Paradise Resort offered thick-padded chairs. Oh, yeah. Nice and comfy.

West Bay is a Must Visit Beach on Roatan

 The resort guards really watch your stuff. Being a solo traveler, I felt completely safe leaving my belongings on my chair while I went into the ocean. Granted I never took more with me than I felt ok with possibly losing to a thief. However, I still did not want to lose what I did bring with me. In all the times I hung out there, I never had anyone mess with my stuff.

 West Bay is an excellent place to snorkel if you are into that sport. Actually, Roatan is well known as a Dive Capital of the World along with Australia. It has the second best reef in the world. People flock here to dive and snorkel. You can do both anywhere around the island. My fellow hostel guests raved about the reef and the fish they saw every Sunday when they went to West Bay.

 Even if you are a scary cat like me, give it a try. I did and will never regret the time I spent swimming with the fish. What a different world it is under the ocean. The fish swim right up to you. Some glow and stand out. Some blend in and surprise you. Thank goodness no sharks surprised me. Sharks are why I don't swim in the ocean. Roatan is the only place I have ventured farther than my knees. The reassurance provided by the extremely clear water allowed me for a change to enjoy the pleasantness of the water that most people don't think twice about.

 If you decide to snorkel, it is not necessary to lug all that gear with you on the plane or cruise ship. There are several places you can rent or borrow equipment. If you are into diving, there are also numerous dive shops where you can get certification and/or take daily dives.

West Bay is a Must Visit Beach on Roatan

Whenever I went to West Bay, I stayed all day. On my last day on the island, my friend and I almost missed the last water taxi. We were so enjoying the refreshing pool after baking in the sun all day that we paid no attention to the time. The beach was practically deserted. The resort workers were waiting for us to leave. There was only one water taxi tied up to the beach. Oops, our mistake. Sorry workers.

Roatan is a popular spot for cruise ships to port. If you happen to take a ship bound for Roatan, make sure to sign up for the West Bay excursion. You will not regret the experience. Sundays are a huge cruise ship day. Most of the resorts have areas roped off especially for cruise ship passengers in order to keep them together and on schedule as I learned from chatting with a lovely group of women travelers.

 If you are a non-cruise ship visitor, take your chances with visiting West Bay on Sundays. Yes, it is crowded; however, the chairs are free. No rental fee. The cruise ship passengers are only there for a short amount of time. So, go early. Stake out your chair. Enjoy watching the people show. Then relax with a deserted beach after they leave.

 After a

month on Roatan

, my word of advice for you is to visit this lovely little gem if you get the chance. Use caution as you would in any foreign country; however, forgo the majority of warnings you may hear about Honduras. Roatan is very different than mainland Honduras. Many Hondurans I spoke to left the mainland for the safety and beauty of the islands.

 Pop over to my blog,

The Adventure List

and follow along. Check out some more of my travels. If you are unsure of how to travel long term or know someone who wants to try it, click on the Traveling Jobs page. It features ways in which people can afford to live the traveling lifestyle.

 Thank you, Sabra, for hosting me today.

Sometimes, Adulting is Hard. Photo Albums Don't have to Be

Sabra GilbertComment

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

One thing that I've learned about being an adult is that there are a lot of things that I took for granted my mom doing for me. She kept things clean that I didn't even know needed to actually be cleaned. She kept, not just her own schedule, but every one's schedule. In her head. The schools, mine, my sister's, my brother's, Dennis', and every single activity that we all did in school. Crazy. She could always manage to get us all ready for a road trip before the last second. I can't even get Simeon and I organized before a trip.

One of those things would be actually printing photos to hang around the house and making photo albums. As can be seen when walking into my apartment, it isn't something that I have fully mastered yet. We have frames hanging on the wall that still have stock photos in them. I haven't even gotten my wedding photos onto Facebook, let alone all printed and into a nice scrapbook.

But that is where Shutterfly steps in! Where I might be failing in the Facebook and scrapbook department, I've been pretty good at using Shutterfly to make cute mugs and, gasp!, photo books!

One thing that I love about the

Shutterfly photobooks

is how easy it is to pick one theme and decorate. With a traditional scrapbook, it can be easy to go off in a million different directions throughout the book without having a cohesive theme. This way, all the design elements are the same within one interface and not scattered around my home.

I have always wanted to scrapbook, but one of the reasons that I haven't gotten into it is that all the elements that go into making a scrapbook can be sooo expensive. You have to buy the stickers, the papers, print the photos, get the right scissors and glue. With all of those things in mind, a nice clean design that gets printed and sent to your door no longer seems as expensive as you originally think it will be.

Not only do I not have to purchase all of these things to complete my scrapbook, but I also don't have to make space to store these items in between the times that I could work on this scrapbook. Simeon and I are college kids on a college budget in a college town. Our apartment is tiny. Like, our apartment completely fits in my parents living room tiny. We already practically trip over everything in our home, if I had totes of scrap booking items, we would loose even more room.

Not only is storage an issue, but while in the process of completing a scrapbook, it also creates a large mess and has to be left out to dry, or just plain to work on. Once again, Simeon and I would loose more space that we just don't have to loose.

On the

Shutterfly

interface, everything is simply stored online. So all I need is my laptop to work on a project that I could finish in a night, or spend the time to design over a month. No mess, No fuss. Just getting it done.

Want to try it out for yourself? Shutterfly is offering a code for 40% off the entire site as well as a free 8x11 calendar for the next year!!

Use code FREE40 until October 25th!

And if I haven't convinced you that Shutterfly Photobooks are better than Scrapbooks, Shutterfly can still print your photos for you as well! Just with joining, you are able to receive

50 FREE 4x6 photos

!!

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This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Make a Writing Playlist

Sabra GilbertComment

I am so excited for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) which starts in just 20 days! If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a month where, if you choose to partiipate, you are supposed to concentrate on writing an entire novel around 50,000 words in a month! There is a site and a competition and everything. It's crazy fun. But obviously, you can't just wake up on November 1st and decide to start your novel on that day.

Well, you could, but it probably wouldn't be that awesome.

Anyway, so I've been trying to work on a novel the last few years (darn school ruining all the fun stuff) and I've decided that while I don't want tos tart from scratch with a new novel, I'm going to use this November to get my novel up to 50,000 words. It is at 11, 965 words at the moment. Which I'm super proud of. So instead of 50,000 words, I'm going for the goal of writing 38,035 words this month.

But even though I've got a little headway on my novel, it is still good to spend the month beforehand  refocusing and prepping for a month of hardcore writing. While there are a lot of other things that I plan on doing to prep (including writing a bunch of blog posts ahead of time so I don't have to worry about other kinds of writing other than novel writing), I thought I would share some more of the fun things that I'm doing to prep for the month ahead.

So I can't write unless I have some kind of noise going on. Usually I let random tv shows on Hulu or Netflix play. Or my favorite movies. But obviously, when you are writing a story, it's hard to just let another story play in the corner of your head. So I choose to play music instead.

So I'm going to help you put together your own playlist of awesomeness for NaNoWriMo!

1| Figure out the feel of your Novel. - What kind of songs give the same type of feels that you are trying to evoke in your novel? Make the majority of your playlist evoke those in you. Mine is filled with failed love songs. Not break up songs, but songs of love lost. That might change through getting farther into my novel or into the second installment. If you are feeling the feeling, it becomes easier to write those feeling authentically.

2| Add a Few Pump up Songs - Sitting and writing for hours on end, even if it is something that you love to do, requires some pump up moments from time to time. It can get boring an dyou are gonna need something to get excited about it all over again.

3| Make it a Few Hours Long - You have a whole month to listen to this playlist. You don't want it to be short and repeatedly listen to the exact same song over and over every day. So make it long enought that you can survive a month of shuffle on this playlist and not hate every song by the end of it.

4| Play it on a Medium that Won't Distract You - I plan on listening to my playlist through headphones from my phone next month. This way it own't be directly on my laptop where I'm trying to write and distract me. Instead I'm using Spotify on my phone so that I can lock my phone but still skip a song if need be on the lock screen. And the Do Not Disturb option on my phone will come in handy too!

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