Your Guide to Quarantine

Hello! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! I know the world feels so crazy and unreal right now. At least for me I have been having a hard time grasping reality and feeling like I’m just existing and not truly living because it’s hard to understand everything that is happening right now. With that, I have been trying to fill my days with fun things to look forward to and accomplish so that I don’t feel like I’m throwing days away or just simply existing. I wanted to share 10 of the things I have been doing the most during these last couple weeks and I hope it inspires you to try something new or rediscover old hobbies:) As stated in the incredible 2006 film, High School Musical ” We’re All in This Together”.

  1. Make Dalgona Coffee (aka TikTok Whipped Coffee)IMG_7132

Yes I am not going to lie, I saw this on TikTok and decided I HAD to try it and it was just as amazing as it looks. The recipe I followed the first time was a little too much caffeine for me so everyday since then I have cut the recipe in half. Here is the recipe I use now.

1TBSP of Instant Coffee (has to be instant coffee, can’t be grounds)

1 TBSP of Granulated Sugar

1 TBSP of Hot Water

Mix with a whisk, hand mixer or milk frother (that’s what we use)

Mix until it is the consistency of slightly melted peanut butter. It takes awhile but it is SO worth it.

Then pour over ice and milk of your choice! We use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk!

    2. At Home Photoshoots 

My sister and I did one of these the other day with a stool, a mirror and a little lamp for Processed with VSCO with e3 presetextra lighting and ended up getting some really cool shots. You can also look on Pinterest for indoor photoshoot ideas and edit the pictures for free in VSCO or even just in photos, there are a ton of free editors you can use! Here’s one of my favorite pics we got, this was taken in my sisters bedroom.

 

 

     3. Try Dirty Pour Painting

This is something I had seen videos on and always wanted to do but I wasn’t really sure how to do it. After watching more and more videos I learned that sometimes it works to use dish soap so I thought I’d give it a shot with some left over paint I had from a project. What I did was fill a cup with a little bit of Dawn Dish Soap andIMG_7485 I then put in my first bit of acrylic paint and I mixed the soap and paint. After that I altered colors and continued layering the paint into the cup WITHOUT mixing. Once I felt I had enough and I actually ended up using too much but it’s all kind of experimental, I tipped the cup onto the canvas upside down. Then lifted the cup and tipped the canvas to spread the paint. The way the soap reacts with the acrylic paint made the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and it took little to no effort.

 

   

 4. Start and Finish a Coloring Book

The other day I ordered a Spiroglyphic Coloring Book you can get them on  Amazon and probably other places but right now you might have to order it online since you might not be able to go out and buy it. IMG_7488This coloring book is super unique though, I don’t even know if I would consider it a coloring book since you typically only use one color per picture but it is a great way to practice patience and keep yourself occupied. The day I got it I spent 6 hours doing 3 pictures but it was so worth it. I encourage you to find a coloring book you have or get a new one and try to color as many pages as possible during this quarantine.

 

 

     5. Bake Something (literally anything)

This feels like kind of a given but it really is a great way to pass some time! It also is a great time to experiment with recipes you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had time to. I highly recommend going on Pinterest and looking up fun recipes or even just buying  a box mix of some sort the next time you are at the grocery store picking up essentials. It also is so satisfying to eat something you baked or cooked yourself so I highly recommend doing this!

     6. Repurpose Old Clothes 

My new obsession is tie dye bleaching shirts and sweatshirts. This can be done with clothes you already have or you can order a sweatshirt on amazon for under $10 and bleach that! Darker colors work best for bleach tie dying but I tried a light green the other day and it still turned out well. PLEASE be careful if you are using bleach, use gloves and dilute the bleach with 1 part water to every 1 part bleach. You can spiral your shirt or tie it how ever you want (this is exactly like wrapping a shirt to tie dye). My recommendations are to use less bleach than you think and put it into a squirt or spray bottle of some sort so you have more control over where the bleach is going. Let it soak up the bleach for 8-10 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Immediately put it in the wash ALONE and wash it and dry it as usual! Again be super careful with bleach, don’t wear anything you don’t want to get bleach on because it works super quickly!

 

     7. Bike Ride/Walks

If you have family or roommates around invite them along on a walk or bike ride. It is so important to still be getting fresh air during this time. I know you can’t do all the things you used to be able to do but if it’s safe for you to step outside your house, take a walk around the neighborhood or bike to a mural or something in your town so you have a destination, it makes it more exciting. I try to go for a walk everyday and if I don’t I at least sit outside for a little bit if it’s nice enough out! Step outside, take a deep breath, I promise, it’ll feel so good!

     8. Movie Night 

Another one that can be even more enjoyable if you have family members you are living with or roommates but also fun alone! Plan a movie night. I have been trying not to watch too much during the day but I do save my nights to binge shows or watch a new movie. My watchlist so far includes Frozen 2, The Society (show but HIGHLY recommend), Moulin Rouge, Tiger King (also a show, I’m sure you’ve heard of it), What Happened to Monday?, Knives Out, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. These are new movies and old movies to me but I have enjoyed everything I have watched so far. It’s fun to go back and watch movies you used to love and to look up new ones that interest you!

      9. Redo Your Playlists

I did this the other day and WOW it took me a while to do it but it was so worth it. I use Apple Music (controversial I know) but I put new images as the covers of each playlist, added music to playlists, changed the titles of some of them etc. It was so fun and now it is super refreshing to look at. Just an idea of something to pass the time and switch things up a bit!

 

     10. Make TikToks 

Not even embarrassed by this. It’s an incredible way to pass time, REALLY time flies when you’re watching them or making them and the possibilities are endless. You can learn the dances, make sketches, jump on a trend, make your own trend, there are so many things you can do and you never even have to make it public. Although you can keep them private, making them public can be fun because everyone has a chance to be on the “For You Page” so anyone can see your video not just your followers which is super fun because then people you don’t even know hype you up in the comments and it overall is a really fun time.

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve Learned in 20 Years

My birthday is coming up in February and I have been really struggling with the idea of being 20. I know that technically is still very young but time really seems to be flying and sometimes I forget that I am actually an adult. As I am nearing exiting my teenage years I have been feeling super reflective so I compiled a list of 20 things I’ve learned in 20 years:)

  1. NOTHING is as big of a deal as it seems
  2. At the end of the day you only have yourself
  3. Taking care of yourself should be top priority
  4. Grades do not matter in the grand scheme of things
  5. Where you are and the pace you’re moving is okay
  6. The best way to make someones day is remind them that you love them:)
  7. A good cry is always nice. Eventually the tears will stop and you’ll feel better
  8. It’s okay not to like what other people love
  9. Sisters are a built in best friend
  10. Believing in a higher power will change your life
  11. People that want to be in your life will make an effort
  12. Singing and dancing relieves so much stress (even if you aren’t talented)
  13. Appreciate what others can offer that you can’t but don’t let that effect you
  14. Allow yourself to get mad and upset with the knowledge that you won’t feel that way forever
  15. If you think you should cut your own bangs…you shouldn’t
  16. EVERY person in your life has been and is there for a reason
  17. Surround yourself with people that bring out the best version of yourself
  18. Walking around Target pretty much solves everything
  19. Forgiveness is key
  20. TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS

I know that last one is especially cheesy but it is so, so true. Some of these lessons were learned over time and hard times and others were just things I didn’t realize I had learned until I looked back on the last 20 years. Hope you enjoyed reading through some of the very important lessons I have learned:)

 

XOXO

-Etta Grace

Mistakes and Friendships

This post may be more on the personal side so there is your warning if you don’t want to continue reading. I am an open book as many people who know me could tell you and sometimes thats a blessing and a curse. I’m hoping in this case it’s a blessing.

This post is about the crazy thing called “friendship”. I find it so wild to look back at how I made friends as a child, everything was just so much easier. You could walk up to anyone and ask if they wanted to be your friend and 9/10 times they’d say yes. I had the best friends growing up. The chances that they are reading this are slim but if they ever do, “hey guys”. Life seemed so simple, and so did our friendships. Fights were over small things and never amounted to much. Things were very centered on forgive and forget and life just went on, I learned the hard way that as you get older, that’s not how things work. It’s sad that as time passes there are people you drift away from whether that is intentional or not. I know there are several people I wish I had made more of an effort to keep in my life but I try and continue to look ahead and not dwell on the past. Throughout middle school I had a solid friend group for a little bit but that turned quite fast and to make a long story short, I spent 3 months of 8th grade eating lunch in the bathroom, not only the fault of my friends but also me being self conscious and dramatic.  As middle school came to an end I made the absolute best friends and we had the most fun. Although there was always lots of drama, we were always hanging out and having a good time. As high school came our friends merged with another middle school friends giving us upwards of a 40 person friend group. This is where I started to fall back. I was very self conscious and anxious and I just wanted people to like me. Unfortunately a lot of the anxiety led to me not hanging out with everybody very often so no one really had a chance to get to know me. I still had my best friends from middle school but they were good at being social and I unfortunately was not. Fast forward to the beginning of senior year, I made the most amazing friend. We had been in the same friend group but never really talked until senior year. We immediately became inseparable. We did everything together. I had found someone who was just like me at the time and that felt so relieving. I always had someone I knew would come over and talk or go get a bundt cake with me. Unfortunately I messed that friendship up really bad right before going into freshman year and that ruined me. Luckily I knew that a fresh start in college was going to be my ticket. I became very close with my roommates (shoutout to you 3, love and miss you) and along with them, I met the most outstanding person. We spent literally every day together and if we weren’t hanging out, we were face timing. I clung to that friendship so tightly because I knew that I was going to mess it up somehow. 8 months later, I did, and I knew I would. I tend to have a way of messing things up BUT that is why I am writing this today. I have lost so many people that I loved so deeply and still love, all because of stupid things I have done. I have come to realize in the past year that the only person you have forever, is yourself. There were so many underlying things that I didn’t even know I was ignoring that it made it hard for me to be the friend that I truly wanted to be for these people, forever. I spend days wishing I hadn’t messed up so much but that’s not going to get me anywhere. I want nothing more than the best for anyone I’ve ever been friends with and hopefully after all of the things I’ve messed up, I’ve learned all there is to know about being the best friend I can be.

 

This “story” for lack of a better term is not to make people feel bad for me in any way. Through all of the things I have talked about, I have had constant amazing people and I still receive so much love from them. I am very happy right now and look forward to continuing to make new friendships and challenge myself to be the best version of myself so I can bring out the best in others!

Thanks for reading!

-Etta Grace

The Extroverted Introvert

I’ve known the words extrovert and introvert for several years now but never felt like I was entirely one or the other. One day I heard someone using the terms, extroverted introvert, and introverted extrovert. I figured I probably fit into one of those categories. Recently I decided to actually look into which of the categories I fell under and came to the conclusion that I am an extroverted introvert. In simple terms it means that I like to be alone, a lot. I have a hard time being in social events for long periods of time and I prefer to hang out in smaller groups of people. That’s more of the introverted side. The extroverted side does show occasionally when I do want to go out and hang with friends or go to a party. I will have a good time when I am out but having that time to myself is crucial for an extroverted introvert to stay sane and comfortable. I wish I had known that I was an extroverted introvert in middle school. I didn’t always want to go and hang out with everyone and go to football games with a bunch of people and I always figured I was just a loner. I wouldn’t want to hang out with people not because of them but just because I wanted to stay home and that feeling made me feel like something was wrong with me. Now that I know that a ton of the people think like I do I feel so much better. I like going out even more now because I’ve learned to respect my social environments while also looking forward to the time I’ll get to spend alone later. I sometimes still envy extroverted people but thats just not who I am and I need to learn to stop trying to force myself to be one. I have a ton of respect for introverts, extroverts and every mix and combination and I encourage you to figure out what you are and embrace it in every way.

-Etta Grace

Negative Attitudes

After a long discussion with my parents about something near and dear to my heart they gave me their final answer…no. Obviously no one likes the word no but this answer frustrated me more than anything. I had been having a great day and then this just put me in the worst mood. I immediately began giving my parents the silent treatment and being super angry and slamming doors and being very passive aggressive. I then had to go to dance team but at this point all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and sleep. I had no motivation to try at practice and all I could think about was being sad and upset with my parents. I kept saying to myself that I hate my parents and that I wish I could move away from them. My head was so wrapped around this one small thing that happened in my day that I couldn’t focus on what I was supposed to be doing. Coaches and teachers have always told me to leave whatever is happening at the door. I have always had the hardest time with that. It is a hard task to forget what just happened and focus on what you should be. About half way through practice after dancing my heart out I realized I wasn’t as upset as I was before. I was still frustrated at my parents but I realized I didn’t hate THEM I just didn’t like their decision. Somehow, whether it was because I distracted myself with dance or I just tried really hard to leave it at the door, I managed to end practice dancing the hardest I ever have. When I was with my parents again after practice I was talking and laughing with them and not ignoring them. Shuting people out because you’re mad at them doesn’t get you anywhere and that is something I really discovered today which is sad because I’m a teenager and I wish I had known that earlier but thats okay because I know it now and that’s all that matters.  It made me realize that if I let these little negative things in my life take over my entire attitude I’m going to end up leading a very negative life. It also made me realize how much I love dance because it can take my mind off of whatever is bothering me and I can let my anger out by hitting movements sharper and things like that. I’m sure there are parts of every sport that will relieve stress. I challenge you to stop and think next time you’re upset with someone to stop and think “Is being upset with this person really worth ruining my entire day?”  Also you should tell your parents you love them because I can’t imagine if something had happened to them and the last thing that happened was me ignoring them and wishing they weren’t my parents. That’s what I learned today and thought I would share:)

-Etta Grace

Assumptions

So I was babysitting tonight and was told by one of the innocent 6 year old girls that she now has not 1, not 2, but 3 boyfriends!!! And one of them is her cousin…it brought me back to the days in preschool when every boy I played with on the playground was my boyfriend, except for the one that throwing rocks at me well maybe I thought he was my boyfriend too? Who knows? Anyway I was reminded of childhood and how we assumed that people liked us and wanted to play with us. I find that one of my biggest struggles nowadays is assuming that people don’t like me. I think a lot of people struggle with this too. Whether it’s when someone doesn’t text us back right away we assume they hate us or jumping to the conclusion that the reason you didn’t get a tweet from everyone in your school on your birthday is because no one likes you. We all went through a stage in our lives when we could walk up to any kid on the playground and say “hey wanna be friends” and then immediately you started playing. Now that we’re older it takes us so long to develop friendships with people and even once we do we find it hard to believe that you both want to be friends with each other. I’m kind of just assuming that other people feel this way too but I could be completely wrong. It’s sad that we suddenly got scared of asking people straight up to play with us. We started caring what other people might think of us and finding the perfect friend group has become a necessity. Some of us are too scared to even ask to join someone at their lunch table due to fear of rejection but I bet the majority of people would love for you to sit with them. Why don’t we try assuming that people like us unless they tell us otherwise? Why don’t we ask the “popular” girl to hang out sometime? We fear the word no but if you never ask that’s what the answer will always be.

-Etta Grace

The Thought Beneath It All

I used to love to write as a child. The occasional story or poem here and there but I could really be myself on the blog my dad helped me start when I was 8. I had cool posts about inventions I wanted to create in the future and how my first experience skiing was. Beyond that my young brain didn’t know much else. As years went on I became distracted from my writing. I slowly began to walk away from something that I had always loved to do because I was too occupied hanging out with friends or watching Netflix. I don’t know if anyone will actually read my new blog but I’m happy that I’m getting back into something I have always loved so whether you’re my grandma reading this or someone I have never talked to I thank you for taking the time to share my love for reading and writing with me and I encourage you to start your own blog even if it’s just for yourself. This blog will serve as my way to talk about the things I am experiencing as a 16 year old living in Minnesota along with my stories about my growing faith in God. My writing usually starts on one path and ends up on a completely different one but please bear with me as we find the destination of my writing together:)

-Etta Grace