Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Story Prompt | Wonderland

This place is real. I didn't think it existed. It was like I was stuck in a dream. I had never seen anything so beautiful. The five of us just stood there for a few minutes not believing our eyes. Blankets of soft green grass cascaded around pools of spring water. Tall trees created hallways of shadows throughout the surrounding forest. This place was more than I ever imagined. We had come so far already that I didn't think we would ever look back. I know we can make a new life here. We all know we needed to escape our  past and prepare for a new future. I know we'll be safe here. No one will ever know we are here, and no one can hurt us. Who knows what this wonderland will do for us; but one thing is for sure, it has to be better than what we had before.

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Journal Prompt | What Qualities Do You Admire In Others?

It always seemed when I was growing up that my friends never got a long with each other. Every time I would introduce a friend to one another, they would end up hating each other. On separate occasions both of them would come up to me and explain to me why they didn't like the other and begin listing off the reasons why I should stop being their friend. I always thought that was so strange. Every time I would think they would get along, it would backfire horribly and it never went well. I never understood why that always happened.

For one reason or another, it happened a lot. I admit I did end up choosing some unhealthy friends at one point, which was pretty hard to give up on, because at one point they were, in fact, my friends. I decided years ago that I want to see people for who they are. I want to see people for how they present themselves. I want to look and search for the good in people because I know it exists in everyone.

Confidence has been something that I always struggled with during high school and sometimes even now. I was drawn to the people that were beaming with pride and radiated warmth. They embraced their personal style and owned their opinions. I admire the people that can speak freely and open all the while showing respect for others' opinions and views. I've always been attracted to people that are sure of themselves and aren't afraid to show it.  

The people that have a sense for adventure are probably some of the funnest ones to be around. They are some of the happiest people I know. It takes a special kind of person to be a true adventurer. Someone whose willing to go with the flow and try new things. I learn so much from those kinds of people, simply by talking to them and listening to their stories.

There's something that's a little more difficult to teach people, and that's selflessness. It's one of those characteristics that is not only an action but a feeling. I think finding someone who defines being self less is a person that takes the time to understand you, listen to you and take a genuine interest. We all make mistakes, they don't hold it against you. When you need to talk, they listen. When you need help, they're there for you. A selfless person is also a very loving person.

I admire the people that can express themselves. Even now after I finish writing this, I see that I look for these qualities in friends, but I also want these qualities for myself. I aim every day to be loving, confident, bold yet care-free. I think life is far to hard to take on by yourself, and that's why we all have friends in the first place. Find the friends that make you the best version of yourself. What you are and who you are will attract what you get.

Thanks For Reading,
Love Nick

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Every Day + Basic Rock Climbing Packing List

Rock climbing is physically challenge and equally mentally challenging. It's you and only you against yourself. You can easily spend hours in a canyon with your friends; and with that much time passing by, you'll want to make sure you're prepared for anything that could come your way. Here is my list of things to pack for an a day trip of rock climbing.
  • Climbing Shoes
  • Harness
  • Rope
  • Rope Bag/Tarp (to keep the rope clean)
  • Helmet
  • Chalk
  • Chalk Bag
  • Quick Draws
  • Headlamp + extra batteries
  • Locking Caribiners
  • Belay Device (ATC, grigri, etc...)
  • Belay Glasses (optional)
  • Gloves (optional, garden gloves work great to belay)
  • Rock/Boudlering Brush (optional)

Once your gear is packed and zipped up, there's also a few other things you should consider bringing! Climbing can be pretty rough on your hands, especially for beginners. I recommend bringing...

  • Nail Clippers (these will save your life, trust me)
  • Nail file
  • Tweezers
  • Hand Salve
  • Hair Ties (don't climb with your hair down, trust me on that one too)
  • Sunscreen + Bug Repellent (helpful)
  • Antiseptic/Cleansing Wipes
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toilet Paper
  • Pocket Knife
  • A Mini First Aid Kit is always a good idea too!

What you wear isn't a big deal, you can climb in something form fitting or a little more relaxed as well, it's whatever you're comfortable with!

  • Yoga pants/pants you can move in
  • T-Shirts or Tank Tops
  • Sports Bra
  • Snap back (warmer weather) or Beanie (colder weather)
  • Light jacket
  • Rain poncho (emergency)
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Warm socks + regular shoes
  • Bandana (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)

Thanks For Reading
Love, Nick

Utah has some of the best rock climbing in the world, and Moab is one of those special places! Every year we gather up our friends and go climbing, hiking and exploring. Check out our most recent adventure!

Are you pretty new to this stuff? Don't worry I explain the very basics of climbing in this post...

I'm willing to bet that I love the outdoors more than you ;) But seriously, camping is one my favorite things to do. Check out my first ever viral blog post about the ins and outs of the beautiful woods!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Traveling Diaries | A Girl's Night in Park City

Park City is best known for the incredible skiing, bringing people and celebrities from all around the world to this snowy haven. Although winter season is most popular here, the summers are full of adventures and amusement; So, it only seemed necessary to get away from home to celebrate my two friends tying the knot at this nearby city! The wedding is only a couple weeks away and a bachelorette party was in order to give the bride some relief from the stress. We would start the weekend trip off with dinner, but I wanted to get there a little earlier to explore the town. 

My friend Natalie and I took the beautifully scenic drive through rolling hills encased around green mountains. We headed first to the famous downtown streets. So many restaurants, bars, shops, sculptures, art galleries, jewelry stores, museums and historic landmarks are lined up a long a stretch of slanting road. Even though Park City is the busiest during snow season, friends and families were still buzzing away in the bright sun, crossing from street to street deep in conversation. My favorite gallery was the Fatali Gallery & Museum. Fatali, also known as the Light Hunter, uses all natural lighting, a dark room and the same camera he's used for over 30 years. His work is stunningly beautiful, intimate and very romantic. We also went to the Mangelsen Art Gallery as well as Gallery MAR. We discovered all sorts of beautiful, artwork, pottery and photography at each gallery. We found a jewelry store crafting rings, bracelets, necklaces and brooches with gorgeous stones and gems, as well as showcasing an $80,000 six foot slab of amethyst geode towering over us, glimmering in the sunlight at the entrance of the store.

It was time to head to dinner to meet up with the girls. Some of us were friends and some of us were strangers, but by the end of the night we all had so much fun, we weren't afraid to be silly with each other. We played games, ate cake and cookies, made toasts, sang, danced and swapped hilarious stories. I'm so excited for my friends to be getting married! We had breakfast together the next day before we parted ways. It's good to open yourself up to new things, new experiences and new people. I personally love meeting new people and discovering who they are! We all agreed that another Girl's Trip needs to happen in the future, so who knows where we'll go next!

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick

A weekend with the entire group was well worth the time! Combining both women and men, we packed a fun weekend with the gang in sin city!

Our annual camping/climbing/jeeping/dirtbiking (ok, you get the picture) trip to one of the greatest places on earth!

I'm a summer baby, so I need to get a lot of Vitamin Sea during the hot months. I was ecstatic to go with a fun group of people, but had no idea it would exceed all my expectations...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Books I've Read | The Catcher In The Rye

Why did you pick this book to read?
I have heard and seen this book on a lot of "must read" book lists. I had no idea what the book was about, but I know there was a good reason to mark it as a classic. Sometimes I like knowing nothing about a book before I read it, that way as I read, everything is new to me.

Summarize the plot without giving away the ending.
The book follows Holden Caulfield, a 17-year-old kid that had just been kicked out of Pencey Prep. The scene is set right before Christmas break and he decides to split from school early to stay in New York, because he knows he'd be going home to a disappointed family. Holden was a very strange character to me at first. He struggled with a lot of depression and self doubt; but on the flip side he's negative, hypocritical and doesn't have a lot of social skills. The entire book takes place over the span of a few days. He calls up friends, converses with strangers and only has a few days to figure out how he's going to tell his parents that he yet again, flunked out of school.

How was your experience reading the book? Were you sad, happy, angry? Was it slow or engaging?
It's written exactly how you would imagine a 17 year old would write. Throughout the story I kept getting so frustrated with Holden! He felt like a little brother to me, sometimes I wanted to slap him and other moments I'd want to hug him. It depicts perfectly how weird and difficult growing up can be. You've got a lot to figure out during your teenage years and it's not always easy. I think the book kept a fairly steady pace, but it took me a couple chapters to get into it.

Who was your favorite character?
Phoebe. Hands down. Phoebe is the most perfect little sister anyone could ask for. She probably had the least amount of words, but she (in my opinion) is the most important character. She may in some way saved Holden's life. She was smart and quick witted. She loved all things that made her happy and looked at the positive in every day. She was a huge support for Holden, probably the most support that he ever had from anyone.

Do you have a favorite passage or quote?
"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - Mr. Antolini quoting Wilhelm Stekel

Was the ending satisfying?
Very much so. Near the last chapters, I couldn't put the book down. The ending was perfect. I actually couldn't stop smiling while I was reading the end. It gives a good message. Since Holden was the writer, he ended it the way he would, not with some fancy wording, but his own way. The flow was continuous throughout the book and it was great. I'm SO glad I read this book!

Do you like the title for the book? Would you change it?
The title is perfect. I captures the entire book in a single phrase. You have no idea why the title is the title throughout the entire book. It isn't until the last few chapters that you figure out the origin of it.

What was the book's central question and how was it answered?
It's hard to pinpoint a "central" question, because the whole book was multiple questions. Holden had no idea where he was going or what he wanted to do. He had been kicked out of school, didn't get good grades, didn't really play nice with people or really know how keep/make friends, he didn't have a whole lot going for him. He thought about leaving and starting somewhere new, but he was only trying to run away.

What was the theme or overall meaning you got from the book?
You follow Holden through that moment that everyone has/will experience where you have to decide to let go of being a child and start making those tough adult decisions that are going to project you forward in your life. Holden is like a protector of innocence. He has seen many things in the past and analyzes a lot of people reactions and emotions. He wants what all of us want, for things to be simple, but that won't ever be the case. You don't have to be ready, but you do have to brave enough to take a leap of faith.

Would you recommend this book? 
Absolutely. Everyone should read this book, especially young adults. It does take place in the 1950s, so readers can get a glimpse of what life could've been like back then; but, more importantly it shares the message that every kid needs to hear.

Have you read this book? What did you think?
What should I read next?

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Adulting 101 | 30 Ways To Make Money

  1. Find A New Job
  2. Donate Plasma
  3. Garage sale
  4. Sell Items on Ebay
  5. Buy back clothes
  6. Babysit/Nanny
  7. Pet Sitter
  8. Walk Dogs
  9. Become A Driver
  10. AirBnB Your Place
  11. 'Cash Back' and Rebate Apps
  12. Sell Your Stock Photos Online
  13. Buyback Books
  14. Buyback Movies
  15. Buyback Music
  16. Clean Homes for Neighbors
  17. Rake Leaves/Shovel Snow for Neighbors
  18. Lawn Work for Neighbors
  19. Freelance Writing
  20. Start A Blog
  21. Become A Coach
  22. Become A Tutor
  23. Make Crafts/Jewlery/Art to Sell
  24. Run Errands for People
  25. Wash Cars
  26. Play Music at Weddings
  27. Sell Old Electronics
  28. Sell Your Hair
  29. Sell Old Gold N' Silver
  30. Side Job Selling Products/MLMs

Everyone needs a little encouragement and reminders on different ways to save money!

There are multiple ways for you to pinch pennies to help save money. The best way to start saving is at the very beginning when you walk into that store. Check out my tips on how to save big bucks on great deals!

Are you a big procrastinator? Let them give you some ideas and practices that you can use to help you make the most out of your day. Just like everything, it'll take time and consistency to really make it habit.