Category Archives: Discoveries

February Discoveries

Because I have been drowning in goodness lately, this month’s Discoveries list is – hopefully – particularly beautiful. I hope you find some gems of wisdom and inspiration and hold them close on this leap year.

Because I am an intern. Kelsey, or “the lion-haired girl,” wrote a beautiful post about the things we do not for money but out of love and the desire to learn and soak up all that we can. It’s heartbreakingly true and ultimately encouraging.

Leap Year Project. Based on a simple premise—that 2012 is the year to leap feetfirst into our big dreams and desires—the site is a network for individuals doing just that. If ever you needed a little push into the scary unknown, have a look.

20 Essential TED talks for Future Leaders. It’s no secret I am a TED talk addict. While I haven’t watched all twenty, I highly recommend Seth Godin’s talk on standing out and Ron Gutman on the hidden power of smiling.

It Gets Better Project. This non-profit organization centers on that simple sentence: “It gets better.” Vloggers from around the world record their messages for bullied youth, particularly LGBT teens.

Things That Change. I love me some Hannah Katy posts. This month, she crafted this memory and brought it to life for us, forcing readers to reconcile with the things that change and things that go unsaid when life splits two people toward opposite places.

It Only Takes A Girl. Started by a highschooler, this video project tells the startling story of girls around the world who are mistreated and missing out on a deserved life.

It is about us. Haley Kristine’s post on Good Women Project invites us to consider the male perspective in taking a leap and entering a relationship.

Colour Lovers. I am beyond addicted to this website. It has tools for creating color palettes for web design, print design, logos, banners, interior decoration, and so much more. And it includes hex codes for corporate brands, too.


January Discoveries

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my Discoveries series, each month I do a roundup of the things I loved most, the beautiful projects and ideas and videos I stumbled upon on this world wide web. January was so so good to me.

“Let It Go” by Eddy. First of all, she’s a rock star. Literally. But on top of that, this music video is a can’t-stop-listening message of empowerment that’s oh so catchy.

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. Anyone who’s ever wanted to start a movement, a project, or give back needs to read this book. I read it in less than 36 hours, and the whole time I felt an itching to get up and make a difference.

Being Young And Making An Impact. This TED video tells the story of Natalie Warne, an 18-year-old who changed the world with a little bit of perseverance and a whole lot of sleepless nights. If you’re young and feeling like you have no voice, this is a must-watch.

John Green’s interview with NPR. Something about audio recordings by NPR get me. They just pull me back to a time when radio was the only means of entertainment. You can hear, in John’s voice, the genuine passion and commitment he has both to writing novels and his fan base. It’s refreshing.

Adam Braun’s Zeitgeist video. When Adam was 24, he founded Pencils of Promise, an organization that has shaped a new way of giving back. If you’re looking for purpose, he will hand it to you and make you do something to change the world.

How About We. This is a just-for-fun dating site that I found a few weeks ago, after someone posted about it on Twitter. Simple concept: post a date by ending the phrase “How about we…”

Simon Sinek‘s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” on TED. This presentation explains why some companies and organizations are more innovative and successful than others. Anyone trying to start something or gain a following should consider their “why.”

You need to know about these ladies. Truly, ya do.

Hannah Johnson of The Scribbles of Girltaristhan nominated me for a blog award. I’m not a huge blog award person. I prefer to write my posts and scribble my little diary-like entries in the folds of notebook pages and type them up for your reading pleasure, but since one) this is the second time I’ve won one and two) I really think Hannah’s awesome and three) I have a lovely lineup of ladies you need to start following, I’m going to partake.

The rules:

  1. In a post on your blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

My seven facts?

  1. I signed up for last night after reading a tweet from @kirasabin about it. And now I’m addicted to looking at profiles of boys I’ll probably never actually consider dating.
  2. For all of you who don’t know me IRL, I’m only 4’11’’. Which is why I instantly loved @eddymusic.
  3. I am a Twitter converter machine. In short, I make my friends join. Beg them, really, by talking too much about people I’ve never seen face-to-face.
  4. I justify my crossword puzzle addiction by saying its brain-stimulating.
  5. My intense love for the NY Giants and ability to make hot wings will probably surprise you.
  6. My name is super Irish, but mostly, I’m Italian. Sadly, I’m only two weeks in to my Italian 101 course.
  7. I believe in the power of the Internet to connect with like-minded individuals whose hearts are wrapped up in the same loves and frustrations as mine. But you already knew that.

Without further ado, my fifteen fabulous bloggers:

Ashley from Writing To Reach You. She understands the concept of “writing to reach you,” and not “writing to tell you super lame stories that drag on forever and rehash all the boring details.”

Katie from Katie Blogs. She has infectious persistence in her work and personal life, and you cannot help but love her for that. She also runs Drop A Love Bomb, which is wicked awesome.

Chelsea from The Diary of a Love Virgin. Diary is the perfect word. Not only do I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to read her posts, but each time I find myself nodding my head. “Yes, this is me. You understand me.”

Hannah from H. Pigeon. She’s an artist with a wonderful insight into life’s little unanswerable questions. She reminds me of myself, turning small personal moments into larger ideas.

Rachel from Encountering Love. She’ll make you feel like you’re sitting in an Adirondack chair on the beach, watching your kid splash ocean water in blue jeans and a white shirt. Sipping tea and having a conversation on a lazy Sunday.

J from Zebra Sounds. Her posts are deeply insightful and economical. They force you to wonder about where you lie on the spectrum of truth she seeks to understand every week.

Karen from Karen Hammons. She turns honest, personal moments into those worth exploring and sharing with the rest of us. And we are just grateful to listen and ponder with her.

Taylor from Confessions of a Dreamer. Between old stories of long ago memories and new recounts of fumbling through this messy life, Taylor does not pretend to tie everything into a bow. She simply seeks to be real and hopes God helps her find the way.

Julianne from Calling All Cool Moms. I cannot help but laugh out loud each time she retells a story about her adventures as a mom with a clever and witty son. She’s honest and refreshing and classy all at once.

Kerry from I’ve Got Roses. She does not hold herself back out of fear, but rather reminds us that knowing how we feel and being unapologetically honest about that is the only way to live in this life.

Mackenzie from Whatever, Gatsby. She is ridiculously cool and hip and super intelligent. Every post is short and sweet and packed with beautiful photos or hilarious stories.

Lauren from Life With Lauren. She keeps it real, relatable, and inspirational. And she’s blogging all over this world wide web about post-grad life.

Ashley from The Shine Project. She’s changing the world, one random (intentional?) act of kindness at a time. And it’s beautifully captured on her blog.

Justine from A New Beginning. Her own lists and life goals will inspire you to drum up a Future You to work towards. And her blog is absolutely beautiful.

Sarah from Starving Artist. When I read her bio, I knew we were secretly BFFs. She’s tumbling about Taylor swift, books, love letters, and activism, among another hundred inspirational and thought-provoking things.

I hope you all love these ladies’ blogs and find at least one that pulls you back to it again and again.

I’ll be back on Monday with my traditional posts, all metaphors and life questions and stories. I promise.

November Discoveries

November, I’ll be honest, was the longest short month of my entire semester. Not because of schoolwork, but because I watched people around me recover from at least five deaths, hold onto wishes and hopes that might not pan out, and just generally feel lonely. I’m hoping to bring them (and you all) a list to cheer your spirits.

Let’s begin.

So Worth Loving. The organization will write that phrase all over your favorite, well-worn t-shirt if you mail it to them. I’ve been a follower since the summer, but just this week they launched their official website and they now have their own merch, so if you’re not ready to give up your favorite item of clothing, you can buy something else.

Figment Fiction Short Story Contest. Figment’s a YA writing community & forum (that my 14-year-old cousin and I fell in love with last December when we decided I needed to work there). The company’s paired up with Seventeen Magazine & Scholastic for a short story contest and you only have to write 500 words. In fact, no exceeding that limit or you’re DQ’ed. I entered and am hoping to be among the top 60 finalists, but obviously if you’re a girl between 13 and 21 you best get your pen and paper and write your heart out for the contest, too.

Kerry’s Victoria Secret post. I am not a VS basher, by any means, and my roommates actually ran in my room asking me to go to VS while I was reading this, but I think it’s something that needs to be said. And I think Kerry’s got a way with words. I’ll preface it with this: you are not a model and we love you for that. You have curves and you should not starve yourself–your body is your fuel.

50 People, One Question – New York. OK, this video’s legit three years old, but I just discovered it and found myself wanting to seek out these individuals and tell them how charming and real and honest they were for the camera. This project asks each stranger the same question: “What do you hope to happen by the end of the day?” The answers are almost as colorful as the beautiful souls on screen.

More Love Letters

12 Days of Love Letter Writing. Hosted by the fabulous More Love Letters, the project’s going on from Monday to December 17. One mini package (or giant, if you all get in on it) of love letters for each recipient will bring some warmth and comfort during this month and I’m giddy over the chance to write a letter for one of the days (so be on the lookout for that, too).

A Year in New York. This video is beautiful and I cannot say anything other than that. If you love the city, you will love tracking through it from the eyes of this filmmaker.

Thank you, I won’t let you down. This post from Danielle LaPorte broke my heart and put it back together. It’s inspired by a clip from an X-Factor audition and the girl in the video just shines with personality, voice, sass and, most of all, gratitude. This is what talent’s all about, guys.

Coming Soon: I’ve developed a super secret list of seven wonderful women who—in 140 characters or less—have taught me a thing or two about life, love and growing up. December’s posts (beginning on Monday) will be dedicated to unveiling each lesson, one at a time, and the woman behind it. Prepare for total inspiration.

October Discoveries

Unlike September, this month I was hit with so so much good. And so many videos for you all. I’m not sure if I just watched more videos or what, but this is a diverse list and it’s multimedia-heavy. What did you discover in October?

George Watsky. My poetry prof showed us this first spoken word poem in class and I instantly loved his style. He speaks out about speech, the ‘green’ movement, growing up as an awkward teenager, and so on in his poems. Here’s ‘S’ for Lisp:

‘Words’ by Everynone. I scanned StartYourNovel‘s Twitter list of 125 literary magazines to find Wags Revue. ‘Words’ tells a story in associations, but you have to pay attention.

bodyheart. I subscribe to LifeByMe’s daily newsletter, so each morning I avidly click through to the homepage to view that day’s feature person. I almost always check the website. On Monday, Amber Kryzs, bodyheart’s founder, was featured. The nonprofit inspires women to love their bodies, to reclaim them, and to remember what they provide.

John Green’s reading of ‘The Fault in Our Stars.’ John Green and his brother have somewhat of a cult following, if you’re not aware of them. He’s a YA author dedicated to writing stories with intelligent, insightful narrators with complex personalities. He live-read his first chapter of his newest book, set to release at the beginning of next year, and posted the video online for others. It will make you laugh out loud, smile hard, and rethink your own life (skip to somewhere around 2:45).

Lorraine’s ‘How To Become Blogger’s Blog of Note‘ post. Admittedly, I read this for its tips, but it’s more indicative of Lorraine’s style that she kept me reading—despite having a typical here’s-what-happened-to-me-verbatim way of blogging. Her post made me laugh and wish desperately that Ryan Gosling might marry me someday.

Landon Austin’s cover of ‘Sparks Fly’ by Taylor Swift. Tay Swift herself tweeted about the video. That’s how I found it. He’s got this cute southern charm thing going on, along with the beautiful cinematography of the video and I found myself watching more of his videos.

Ellen Degeneres did an interview with Parade in which I fell in love with her heart and soul. She will remind you that there is still so much good in the world and the entertainment industry. You just need to know where to look.

750words. In honor of NaNoWriMo, this is for all you writers out there. It tracks how many words you write in a day, gives you points, makes you feel good about it, and lets you compete. Oh, and the pages are printable. This is your new best friend, you future Mark Twains and Edgar Allen Poes of the world.

I also fell in love with cinnamon graham frozen yogurt at Kiwi, but there’s no photograph and I have temporarily eliminated lactose from my diet to test for a suspected sensitivity, so that’s more of a side note than anything. If you find a recipe for it though, send it my way.