I feel like sledding is underrated. Most of the time, if you ask someone when the last time they went sledding was, they would say when they were a kid/teen. Why is that? Why do we end up taking enjoyable things and neglecting them while we get busier with life.
The reason of why you would want to go sledding is simple, it is fun. Sledding can be a great way to spend time with old friends, reliving old memories on a neighborhood hill or it could be a way to exercise during the snowy weather. Sometimes we all need ways to escape our adult lives, even for a little while. Just find yourself a nice sized hill, not too steep or short. Avoiding an area without trees will make it slightly easier to avoid injury.
My biggest advice is do not get a cheap sled. When it comes to sleds, you usually get what you pay for. Trust me, you do not want a sled to break apart halfway through your adventure. As long as you pack a good coat, some mittens, a pair of thick boots, and a hat, you should be all set.
We all end up neglecting things that we think are enjoyable as a kids.
Things like old hobbies, or just casual fun activities.
We end up losing interest in.
Let's live like we used to.
Yeah, you read that right, it is -50 here in western Wisconsin. The windchill is insane. If you go outside you can get frostbite in less than 5 minutes. Businesses are shutdown everywhere, making every town seem like a ghost town. Even when you are inside, it seems like it is cold. People are calling this the "Sub-pocalypse" and they are not wrong.
Here Are 5 Tips To Stay Warm And Distracted
1. Wear A Hat
From a young age, my mother taught me that you can lose a lot of your body heat through your head. This is why even when you are inside, you can wear a hat to help keep yourself warm. Even when you sleep, this can be a beneficial strategy. Rather than grabbing more blankets, try putting a hat on.
2. Have Some Hot Chocolate (or vegan alternative)
I have always enjoyed sitting down with a nice, full mug of hot chocolate. Now that I am vegan, I have had to switch around my ingredients a little, but it is mostly the same. Here is a great recipe for vegan hot chocolate, I found it earlier this month. A regular cup of tea can also be a great warm drink to keep you going.
3. Distract Yourself
Everyone notices that time seems to go by faster when you are distracted. This can especially be helpful when you have 4 days of temperatures well below zero. My go-to is reading that book I have been wanting to for awhile. Sometimes putting on a movie also helps too, but I would not suggest spending too much time in front of screens. Too much time in front of screens is not only bad for your eyes, but can also give you headaches. Nothing is worse than being cooped up inside with a headache and no way to get fresh air without freezing to death within minutes.
4. Think Warm, Stay Warm
Being able to stay warm is largely in your mind. If you are constantly reminding yourself how cold it is outside, you will no doubt feel colder. Sometimes this can be extremely difficult, but find ways to keep your mind off of it. Planning a trip to Arizona, or the Bahamas, could help you think about the warm weather, and forget about the fringed temperatures here.
5. Think Ahead
As long as you do not need to go into work, you should not have to go anywhere during the dangerously low temperatures. Buy plenty of groceries ahead of time, make sure you will have enough for a few days.
For the month of January, I was challenged with writing daily blog posts. This can be challenging itself, but I also had a 9 day trip to Seattle, WA in the middle of the month. During the month of December, I also was busy developing Travel By Month. Which required daily photos and weekly videos, restaurant reviews, and blog posts.
This means, I have been writing, editing, and posting for two months. Good news is, my ability to create daily creative content has tremendously improved.
While I was gathering daily photos in December, I learned the challenges and stresses that come with having deadlines for creative content. Whether it was dealing with bad weather, or having an extremely packed day. I learned how to roll with the punches and still get the work done.
3 Things I Learned
1. Think Beyond What Is Ahead
I have always been fantastic at keeping on top of my day-to-day schedule, but this is a completely different world. My go to was writing down any ideas I had for blogs or photoshoots right away. There is literally no time for delay. Thinking ahead is an understatement, that is why you need to think beyond what is ahead. If you are running ahead for the day, do not just stop, write another post or pitch some post ideas to yourself. If you are on public transportation, do not just sit there, start writing your post for the day. I really had to use this strategy when I was in Seattle.
2. Time Can Be Your Friend, But Also Kill You
Procrastination is a toxic force that can kill any productive bone in your body. Something that I noticed is having too much "free time" can make you extremely unproductive. When I started, if I had lots of time to write something, I would end up putzing around with it way too long. I had to teach myself how to sit down and get something done, even if I only had a few other things to get done that day.
3. Not Everyone Will Agree With You
Sometimes, I want to live in a world where everything I do is perfect and everyone agrees with my opinion. This never has, and will never happen though. Everything can be improved. Understanding this will make you a better creator. When I posted about my beliefs on Veganism, (post) I was really concerned with how people would take it. Thankfully, everyone was very open and helped me construct a great post. Just because something is not perfect, does not mean you should not post it. Hearing feedback can help you construct something better from the ashes.
Something that really challenged me during my daily content creation was learning to be confident. I have been through a plethora of stressful situations, but at first, it felt like my daily content was targeting all my insecurities. You have to be confident in what you are posting, otherwise, why are you posting it? Learning how to be confident with something you are unsure about is challenging, but worth it. Try finding something in your post that you feel 100% with and keep that in mind as you publish it.
Daily blogging has improved many things about my writing, but none more than my ability to get to the point. I have noticed that many people tend to write with quantity rather than quality. Most of my posts are now written straight and to the point. When I started this month, I thought valuable writing was about quantity. Now I understand that some of the most valuable posts are the shortest ones you will read.
This challenge has shown that I have the ability to learn fast and on the go. It also shows my dedication to improving my work and broadcasts that I am open to constructive criticism. The content within my posts also shows that I am able to create valuable content, regardless of the conditions.
Have you thought about challenging yourself with daily content creation? Try it and see what happens.
This song sparks motivation, creation, and exploration in me. With everything going on with the new year, that is definitely what I needed. It is interesting how certain songs can make you feel more motivated.
El Perro Del Mar - Fight For Life
I stumbled upon this song awhile ago, I did not think much of it at first. I thought it was cool, then added it to my current Spotify playlist. It was not until a few weeks ago, that I had stumbled upon the song again.
Right away, it pulls you in with intense drama. The lyrics start off with "Life underwater, hiding from the rain" This instantly leaves you questioning. I love songs that make people question anything.
I think people tend to cross songs off too quickly, not even giving it a chance. Sometimes I hate the beginning of one song, then I hear the chorus, and immediately changes my mind. Maybe we do not give other things enough of a chance?
As the chorus of "Fight For Life" starts, you can hear the lyrics "Aim to live the will to fight for life." This leaves me with more questions than the first set of lyrics. The beat, in general, has a great bounce. Personally, I feel like songs that have a good beat make you more productive. When you are listening to music while accomplishing tasks, do you accomplish more when listening to songs like this?
What songs inspire you? Let's talk about it.
We should be more conscious about our music choices, especially while we work. It might affect our work more than we realize.
As some of you may know, I am currently in an apprenticeship program called Praxis. At the beginning of the program, they challenged me with setting goals for myself to accomplish through the program. Now I am going to take a deeper look at those goals and see where I am now. Maybe during the program I have changed and no longer agree with my initial goals.
Here were my goals:
This month, I challenged myself with daily blogging. It was a lot of work and I learned a lot about my creating process. I will be making a post later about everything that I learned while daily blogging.
Building confidence was huge for me this month. At first, having to publicly share something every day was very stressful. I was worried about people disagreeing with my views, or telling me that my writing style was awful. Thankfully nothing too traumatic happened. Even when someone did disagree with one of my statements, I was able to grow from it. As I continue to build confidence, I see myself being more willing to share my true thoughts.
During the month of December, I challenged myself to create a travel page called Travel By Month. I was posting daily photos, and had videos, restaurant reviews, and blog posts every week. This kept me focused on taking photos, developing an active page/blog, and connecting with a community. Before, I would have worried about needing to stay focused on one project for that long. Now I know that I can create great content, even when I am under a time crunch. I am excited to see what else happens as I continue to grow vertically.
Develop/Learn new creative skills
As I pushed through daily content creation, I was able to refine my skills, especially photography, writing, and web page development. Writing has been a challenge for me in the past, but now I am confident in writing any topic necessary. I have experienced what it is like needing to gather content in difficult situations. While I was developing Travel By Month, I had many unexpected issues. Either the weather was too cold, or a road closure would cause me to change my plans for the shoot of the day. I learned to roll with the punches. I developed an ability to roll with the punches and still get great photos, videos, or reviews.
I still stand with my original program goals. Next month I will put my big ideas to use, while continuing to stay centered with my work. This will make sure that, by the end of the program, I will have accomplished the goals I have set. I will continue to gain confidence in my content creation and continue to develop my creative skills.
Today I challenged myself with critiquing Typeform's landing page.
Typeform is a data collection tool for professionals.
Here is the link to my video.
Here is the link the Typeform landing page.
Today I am going to be breaking down Hulu's current copywriting formula. Every company has a formula, let's see what Hulu does to promote further sales and growth.
This is Hulu's landing page. The first thing you would be predicted to notice is the statement;
"All Your TV In One Place"
This immediately has you thinking about how convenient it could be. The next line that sticks out to me is the "START YOUR FREE TRIAL." Which prompts people to try out the program. This page also showcases the price and optional add-ons. Every line on this page is a different size/color/font, dictating that you read each line one-by-one. At the top of the page, you can see a bar with the word "NEW" in a bold color at the beginning. This demonstrates that Hulu is constantly updating and evolving.
After clicking on the "Learn More" button at the top of the previous page, it takes you to this page. You are greeted right away by familiar fonts and the bold statement;
"More Than Just Live TV"
This is leading you to believe you could be missing out without Hulu.
We also see a few more details on this page, listing channels, add-ons, devices, and FAQ.
As you scroll down, they showcase the customizable option. They discuss a "hassle free" way to watch TV, without hidden charges or installation appointments. This makes you think that it is as easy as they claim, just remaining a few clicks away from an affordable TV experience. Showing popular channels they offer helps you find something familiar to connect with. When people connect with something, they are instantly more comfortable. People that are comfortable tend to make gutsy decisions, like getting rid of TV and completely switching to Hulu.
Into watching more premium channels? They show you that you can add them to your Hulu experience. Hulu shows you that adding them does not constrict your access, but actually, expands it.
With an unlimited screen add-on option, they show that you have a plethora of device options to watch your favorite shows on. Listing these familiar brands again, makes people feel more comfortable.
Hulu has been a brand that has interested me for awhile. They have found a way to be unique and different from their competition. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have aided in the evolution of the world of entertainment.
Hulu understands that they are redefining how people enjoy TV.
Seattle blew me out of the water, leaving me with memories I will cherish forever. From the people to the fresh breeze, it never disappointed me.
The most prominent thing about Seattle, to me, was how nature is everywhere. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and vines run wild around every corner of the city. When I was walking near the University of Washington campus, I noticed they had fencing to promote the growth of vines. This left a huge impact on me. In most of the other areas I have traveled, vines are torn down and seen as a pest. I am honestly not sure why this is so different in Seattle. It seemed like plants not only could grow easier, but they were also looked after and taken care of. I could not find one place in Seattle that did not have multiple types of plants growing freely.
The public transportation in Seattle is fantastic! Even with the “Seattle Squeeze” in full bloom, I never had an issue getting around without a car. Here is a link in case you are curious what the “Seattle Squeeze” is. You can easily get from one end of the city to the other without any trouble. The most you will ever have to do is wait for a train or bus.
You can take buses to multiple different local mountains. To me, that was pretty impressive. Being able to go from downtown city to mountainous park/forest, to downtown city again, all within a few hours, was incredible.
One of my Lyft drivers told me that Seattle is planning on expanding their SoundLink train system. This was my favorite way to get around the city. It offered a safe, cheap, and quick way to get from one hotspot to another. Seattle currently has one SoundLink track. This train will take you from south-Seattle to mid-Seattle and back. They will be expanding the SoundLink system in 2025. It sounds like they will have a system heading east towards Bellevue, as well as a system further north of Seattle.
The nightlife of Seattle is incredibly active. I went out multiple times to different clubs over the weekend. As soon as you get close to the club zone, it is obvious that you are in a “happening” place. Loud music, long lines, strict dress codes, and tight security are all prominent in this area. If I learned anything from the Seattle nightlife, it is that they do not mess around with underage drinking. All of the clubs had specific areas where you could have a drink, no one under 21 was even allowed to enter the area. In Minneapolis, you get your drink and are able to walk around wherever you want within the club. Here you could not even get in the designated drinking areas without showing your 21+ wristband and ID to the security. Even at the 18+ entrance, they were strict, asking many questions about your ID to make sure it was not fake. I have been to many clubs and have never been questioned about my ID. This is really impressive to me, they are trying to keep people safe and allowing them to have legal fun.
The people of Seattle are total hipsters. Sorry, but it is completely true. Maybe there are some people there that are not, but everyone I met was. This is not a bad thing. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming. Whenever I explained to someone that it was my first time there, they were excited, asked if I liked it so far, and offered advice on places to go. This is how I heard about the club zone and a number of different parks around the city.
Seattle is definitely one of the most interesting places I have visited.
It was not only everything I expected, and was so much more.
Seeking Popularity - Part 1
Lately, I have noticed that this is even more prominent than usual. People, especially teens, are following the constant stream of trends. Whether it is checkered patterns, hipster glasses, or even a brand of leggings. People, in general, are losing their individualism.
Copying rather than creating.
Why do we do this? I believe that as a culture, we not only feed judgment but also support it. Many children/teens are taught that it is important to find your individualism. Learning how to gather your own information, developing unique views and opinions.
When it comes down to it, we tend to push away anyone that seems different. We push away people that have different views/opinions. Unless you grew up in a extremely different environment, we are all subconsciously exposed to this. I was raised around a group of people that were always very welcoming, regardless of your differences. Yet I still had to struggle with not judging people for being different.
Today, I see teens being even more insecure than they were when I was younger. Following trends instead of forming their own styles/opinions. This is a concerning realization for me. I believe that a nation full of followers is weaker than a nation full of creators. Social media might be the cause of this continuing issue. Generation Z is the first generation that is truly growing up submerged in social media. This is not a bad thing, social media is a great way to expose people to different cultures and gain experience.
What can we do to inspire the youth to be unique?
From a young age, we are taught to idolize people that are confident. In a way, this makes those people more powerful. I am not saying that we should not praise people for being confident, but we should put an end to idolizing them. We should be inspiring people to be individuals rather than aspiring to be associated with different cliques.
2019 Is a year for change. Sometimes it may be scary, but why would we not try making our world better? Inspiring people and future generations to gain knowledge that past generations lacked.
I feel as if I am stranded. My flight back to MSP is not until later tonight, leaving me with nothing to do except chill at the SeaTac airport. I tried changing my flight, checking my bag, and even having them hold my bags, but all attempts were unsuccessful. There is nothing else to do besides just give in and deal with it.
I will not be discouraged. Even though I may be stuck inside an airport, it does not mean that all I can do is sit around. I am still in a different city, experiencing the flow of different cultures, and can expose myself to new things.
In times like this, I try to be as productive as possible. There is no point in sitting around and doing nothing. For example; Instead of sitting down with some coffee and falling asleep, I am writing this.
Here are some of my go-to activities
Grab a bite to eat
Get coffee or tea
Video chat an old friend
Write something creative
Take pictures as you walk around
Download some interesting apps and review them
Watch a movie you have been putting off
Look up inspiring quotes
Read/listen to a book
Talk to a friendly stranger and see what you learn about them
Research where you want to travel to next
Edit photos you have taken
Create that blooper video you have been gathering clips for
Learn about the history of the airport you are at
Those are just some of the options you have to make your airport experience more enjoyable. There is plenty to do! If you disagree, maybe you just have a boring, uncreative mind.