The One With The Book Every Girl Should Read

It’s not a secret that the role of women is changing in our society.  It’s also not a secret that the role of women has been constantly changing since the beginning of time.  As a “millennial” I have always struggled with finding my place in the world.  What type of girl am I supposed to be? Strong? Smart? Funny? Pretty? Being a girl has become an endless maze that has no end.  The one thing that can help one cope with such a daunting life sentence is camaraderie.  Finding someone who gets it, and no gets it better than Gloria Steinem.  In My Life on the Road, Gloria teaches us all how to deal with the task of being a strong, self-sufficient woman.  She is absolutely amazing and unabashedly honest.  They things I’ve learned from this book are things that I’ll pass on to every single person I meet (if they’ll listen).  Gloria is like you cool aunt how has amazing adventures and always provides you with the profound advice that you need.  This book is absolutely perfect, from dedication to end, and I hope that it brings others the same joy it brought me. Thank you Gloria for teaching me that the path will not always be easy, but the journey will always be an adventure.  makers-women-who-make-america-gloria-steinem

20 Reasons The Great Gatsby Is The Best Novel Ever

101 Books

You guys know I love The Great Gatsby. It’s my favorite novel, and it currently sits #1 out of the 76 novels I’ve read during this project so far.

But I haven’t talked about the novel in a really long time, like two weeks maybe. So I thought I’d break down why Gatsby is so awesome in a fun Friday listicle.

Let’s go! So why is The Great Gatsby the greatest novel ever?

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The one where my heart is full…

Merry Christmas lovelies! I hope that everyone has had the happiest of holidays.  This year, Christmas snuck up on me. Because of my crazy schedule before the holiday, I never had a chance to fully prepare for the festivities.  Despite that, this Christmas was one of the best yet.  It was beautiful in its simplicity.  My family didn’t go all out this year (we are saving up for a graduation trip!) and it was absolutely blissful.  Instead of worrying about what type of gift I was giving/receiving, I was able to focus on creating memories with those I love most.  My grandma, mama and I worked to bake all the Christmas goodies for my entire family of 16! It was exhausting, but in a good way.  It gave us time to step away from the hustle and bustle of the world and just focus on the kitchen.  My grandmother is getting older and sadly she is not able to participate as much as she used too. This makes the time that I spend with here so much more special.  It is amazing to see the way her eyes still twinkle when she thinks about Christmas activities. It was truly wonderful to get to spend the entire day with the two women that have modeled me into the woman I am.  I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them and I hope that everyone is blessed enough to have someone like that in their life. So as the holidays come to an end, I hope that everyone has the opportunity to reflect on the blessings of the past year.  It is so easy to get caught up into the business of the world, but do not forget to get caught up in the little things in life.  I hope everyone has the merriest of Christmases, whether it was spent with family or watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story.

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The one where I thank my Christmas Tree…

I have always been the type of person that wants to skip Thanksgiving, for the sole reason of putting up my Christmas tree earlier. This year I have been feeling a little down around which is a rare and unwelcome feeling.  Today that feeling changed, and it was thanks to a simple little plant.  There is something about a Christmas tree that just makes you feel better.  I honestly believe that a person cannot be angry when looking at them. (someone should conduct a study) The lights and the ornaments have a way to welcoming feelings of renewal and nostalgia.  The tree represents all of the new memories that will be made this year.  The ornaments represent the feelings and traditions of days past.  It always takes me double the amount of time to place the ornaments on the tree.  This is because my mother and I sit and talk about the history of each ornament.  We talk about where it came from, who gave it to us, and why do we love it so much.  So this holiday season I am going to thank my Christmas Tree. Not because I really like foliage, but because I really like what it represents.  Christmas trees represent the best part of the best time of year, and that is something that deserves thanks.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

XOXO, Alaina

The one where I list the books that changed my life…

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a veracious reader.  I am always the girl with a book in her hand. It can be an academic book or the latest book in the Divergent series.  My favorite way to spend my time is with a large cup of coffee and a large book  Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix just as much as the next college student, but books are responsible for making me into the person I am.  All that being said, I decided to list out the top 10 books that inspired me.  It’s a difficult task to mull down the thing you love most, but I think I’m up to the challenge.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This book is a must read for any functioning member of the human race! It encompasses human empathy and the importance of doing what is right when everything else is wrong.
  2. A Tree Grow In Brooklyn by Betty Smith: I LOVE THIS BOOK! When reading it I felt like I was Francie.  She is a girl trying to take on the world, who just happens to love reading.
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I am obsessed with the Roaring 20s and no one does the Roaring 20s better than F. Scott Fitzgerald.  This book is perfect and anyone with a pulse should read it.
  4. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien: This is the book that influenced my career path.  This book engulfs the reader into the terrors of the Vietnam War, all the while expressing raw human emotion.
  5. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: The series is the best series in the entire world. It is so important for people to enter into a world of magic.  Reality can be pretty overwhelming sometimes and Hogwarts is always there to welcome you home.
  6. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann: This book is the ultimate beach read! It has everything to you need drugs, sex, alcohol, and backstabbing.  This book is a roller coaster ride into the 1960s, and it’s one that I never wanted to end.
  7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: I am obsessed with Gillian Flynn.  Her writing is absolutely amazing and always keeps you up at night.  Amy Dunne is the ultimate character and her “Cool Girl” monologue is the perfect description of what life is like for millennial girls.
  8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: This is where my true love for reading began.  I remember getting this book at my Scholastic Book Fair.  I remember staying up past my bed time to finish reading this beautiful coming of age novel. Also there are dogs in the book and I’m a sucker for dogs.
  9. Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke: This book is perfect for anyone that is feeling lost in their Christianity.  Last year I was experiencing a slump in my personal life. I wanted to change something, so I started with my relationship with God.  After reading this I felt like a new person and have been rebuilding my relationship with God ever since.
  10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed: I read this book over my Summer vacation. It completely calmed me.  I was, and still am, feeling some despair about the end of college.  I am constantly wondering if I am making the right choice about my future.  This book told me that it’s okay to not know all the answers and just live your life.

xoxo, Alaina

The one where I sing the end of the semester blues…

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.  I have stolen the Little Engine that Could’s mantra as I reach the end of this hellish semester.  It literally seems like I haven’t had a moment to myself since August.  Even as I am typing this I have three other tabs open with assignments and educational articles.  One thing I have come to realize during this holiday time, is how grateful I am for this experience.  College has been on the most exciting things to happen to me.  It is also not a privilege that is afforded to every person. As I try to finish this semester strong, I hope to set a little time for myself. (even if it is only binge watching SVU for a couple of hours) So as this semester comes to an end and the holiday season begins, let us all try to remember what matter most in life.  Take a moment for yourself.  Take a moment for your family.  Take a moment for your friends and take a moment to appreciate all the good that is still left in the world.

xoxo, Alaina