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I don’t think I have officially announced this on my blog yet, but since March, I have been hosting my own book club with some of my friends and family. Joining a book club is something I’ve always wanted to do, so being able to moderate one myself is a dream come true! 

The first couple of books we chose to read in my book club were selected through a Facebook poll, and the last two were hand-picked by other members in my club. I have absolutely loved every book I’ve read so far, and am looking forward to telling you about the other books we cover in the future!

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The first book we read in April was The Joy Luck Club, a timeless novel by Amy Tan. The Joy Luck Club is a fantastic, tear-jerking novel centered around themes of family, love, and loss. Four Chinese daughters reflect on their relationships with their individual mothers, and how the somehow strict upbringings they endured shaped them into the women they became. This book also has a movie adaption, which is even more of a tear-jerker than the book. This novel deals with difficult themes of death and loss, as I said, so keep that in mind if those topics are sensitive to you. All in all, this is an absolutely incredible novel, and I would recommend it to all book lovers. 


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Where the Crawdads Sing is the second book selected in our club, and to date, it’s actually one of my favorite novels of all time. This book was actually picked up by Reese Witherspoon for her book club, and currently, she is helping with the production of the movie adaption. This book is an exciting combination of romance, murder mystery, and adventure, and I also love it because the storyline has a heavy emphasis on nature and wildlife. I love stories that center around a strong female lead, and Kya is certainly no exception. In regards to awards, Where the Crawdads Sing topped The New York Times Fiction Bestsellers List of 2019 for 18 non-consecutive weeks, and has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide. 


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The Glass Castle was the most recent book we completed in my book club, and if you haven’t already heard of it, I highly recommend it. Based on a true story, The Glass Castle centers around a young woman named Jeannette Walls and her dysfunctional, singular upbringing in poverty. Jeannette’s parents made me furious at some points, especially her father, but the unique he has for his children is undeniable. This book was exciting, rich, and raw, and I was glued to it from beginning to end. There is also a movie adaption starring Brie Larson and Naomi Watts, and I’m highly looking forward to checking that out too!


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The current book we are reading is A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and it was actually my mother who selected this book for us. You probably know by now that I absolutely adore animals, especially dogs, so this book is going to be perfect for me. The novel essentially follows a dog named Toby and his journeys through reincarnation, all while looking for his purpose as a dog. This kind of content makes me super mushy, so I can already guarantee I’m going to cry at least five times while reading it. This book also has amazing reviews, and was a New York Times bestseller for forty-nine weeks!


Photo credits: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7763.The_Joy_Luck_Club

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Glass_Castle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dog%27s_Purpose_(film)

https://www.aier.org/article/another-stack-books-you-should-read

Coming up next: A Tour of my Bedroom

I have to say, each year, summer seems to be getting a little bit better for me. Summer 2016 was terrible. Summer 2017 was almost worse, but in a different way. And summer 2018 left me completely bored out of mind, with a total of .8 friends to occupy my time with.

This summer, I don’t really have any close friends in my hometown, and I still don’t even have a car, but I feel like I’m at one of the happiest points in my life. There a handful of lifestyle changes I have made, and while I definitely feel productive, I’m also giving myself time to relax and catch up on sleep. I’m also at the healthiest point in my life, now that I’ve incorporated a medium-intensity workout into my daily life.

The program I am using is called Body Boss, and so far, I am on week four of the pre-training program. My mom bought the set on Amazon for $100, and although it may seem like a huge investment, I’m actually amazed with the progress I have made so far. This program is definitely not designed for people seeking a low-intensity workout, and it’s certainly reminding me how out of shape I was before I started. The program we bought also comes with food guides and a smoothie recipe book, which I intend on putting to use in the hotter months.

Having an intensive workout routine is actually a lot more fun than I anticipated it to be. I am excited to to wake up and begin my day with exercise, and now that I’m starting to see results, it just motivates me even more and makes me feel amazing about myself. My energy is improved, my sleep is better, and my overall mood is just happy and productive. I guess it is true that exercising can help beat the blues.

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Some healthy weight-loss progress!

Every year since 2015, I’ve had an actual summer job that a company or business, but this summer is different. I think it’s common for most students to work full-time in the summer and then focus on school in the fall/spring months, but in my case, I actually worked part-time on my campus. I haven’t had easy experiences with working, especially since I don’t have a car and I always have creepy/toxic co-workers, no matter where I am. I decided to pursue dog-sitting as a summer job this year, because I still want to make money, but I’m ready for a break after working formally for seven months at school. It’s a really low-stress situation for me, and even better, I get to spend time with adorable animals that won’t talk back to me or offend me! One of the biggest reasons that I want to pursue a career as a freelance writer is because I do have such a hard time getting along with people and managing my anxiety, so if that sounds like you, it might be a good idea to pursue dog walking as a summer side hustle. I’m also trying to save $1000 of my earnings by the end of August, with the goal that I won’t have to go back to my toxic school job to get by. Especially since there’s a good chance I’ll be weaning of lexapro, and that will be emotionally draining, I don’t need extra negativity in my life.

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Sophie is one of the dogs I walk, and she’s absolutely adorable. Look at that face!

The third way I am keeping myself occupied and productive is with my book club, which I put together myself in March. I love reading, which I’ve stated many times, and I also love being in charge of things and dedicating my time and energy to it. Even if reading isn’t your thing, I recommend finding a niche, club, or activity that you identify with, especially if you’re feeling lonely or bored. I think book clubs are a great way to be social and stimulated, especially in the summer, when you might have the urge to just roll around in bed all day. I’m hoping to find a way to incorporate my book club into this blog, so if you are interested in being a part of that, let me know!


The fourth and final way I am dividing my time is with volunteering, which I would recommend to absolutely everyone. There are so many different fields to volunteer with, and because I love animals, I will be working on a farm/animal shelter this summer. Not only are you keeping yourself busy (and hopefully having fun in the process), you are doing something amazing and positive for your community. I can already say that volunteering has been one of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences of my life, especially since I get to spend it with animals. Volunteering is also very low-stress in regards to commitment, because you generally are able to pick your own hours and regulate the areas in which you would like to dedicate your time.


Those are the top four ways I am beating my summer boredom, making money, and as an introvert, pushing myself to leave the house a few times a week. Like I said, I am really satisfied physically and emotionally with where I am, and I’m so looking forward to continuing this journey of self-love and healthy living. What are you guys’ plans for the summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Coming up next: My Summer 2019 Lookbook