The Impulses of a Booklover
By Klancy Hoover
Because I am taking a trip to Scotland over the summer, budgeting has become an important step in my everyday routine. I have to ensure that the funds that I have left aside for the trip are not added to the funds for my student loans or for necessities. Occasionally I will allow myself to splurge a little and purchase something that I really want, but recently I have noticed that “occasionally” has almost become recreational when it comes to buying books. It started with buying multiple sequels to series I hadn’t started yet, convincing myself that the purchases were necessary in case I loved the first book and needed to read the second one. If I’m being honest, though, I had really only bought the sequels to display their pretty covers on my bookshelf.
You see, adding books to my bookshelf makes me inexplicably happy. Some of the books on my bookshelf have been there for years, quietly watching as I slowly began to collect more stories to add to my growing personal library and heart. Whenever I buy a new book, it’s like welcoming a new friend into a community that has shaped me over the years and comforted me whenever I have needed it the most. Now, though, my book buying tendencies have become a bit of a problem. I have recently moved from only purchasing books to also purchasing anything that is remotely book-related. I’ve bought bookish candles, literary teas, multiple book subscription boxes, bookmarks, T-shirts, and even socks. At one point I didn’t have enough storage to keep everything organized, so I also had to buy containers to hold all of my book-related items. It was easy to turn a blind eye to my shopping habits when all of the things I had purchased were hidden away in containers. When it became hard to view the books on my bookshelf, however, I realized that I had a problem.
The problem, I have come to realize, is that I rely on books for emotional support. When my thoughts start to turn against me by questioning everything about myself and my actions, sometimes it feels like a situation is too much to bear. I begin to retreat into myself. My emotions wash over me and pin me into place with their intensity. Through these debilitating moments, I have come to find that books are able to help draw me out of my thoughts by forcing me to focus on something that isn’t related to what I’m worrying about. Books have almost become a lifeline for me, which makes it so much harder to stop myself from acting on impulse whenever I feel the emotional need to reach out for a story and escape. But if I’m going to start taking control of my impulses, I need to find another outlet other than spending money on books.
Learning to step back from my impulse to buy more books has been difficult, as I’m sure that others of you have realized too. It’s hard changing a routine that you’ve become accustomed to, especially when that routine revolves around something you’re passionate about. But even though it may be hard, it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and think about what you’re purchasing. Being cognizant of my spending habits and learning how to manage my impulsivity has added a balance to my day-to-day life that I value greatly. I still allow myself to purchase a book every so often, but I try not to let it be my response to every emotional situation. Books are still a central part of my life. I just try to not let them be a central part of my funds too.
Edited by: Rachael Teelander
Online Grocery Shopping
By Elizabeth Dubos
Disclaimer: This blog post is not being sponsored and these opinions are my own.
Are you a hardworking person who feels like they don’t have the time to go to the grocery store? Traditional grocery stores present issues, such as not being able to get the items on your grocery list, so you must go without those items or go to another grocery store. Or you’re on a particular diet and the grocery store does not sell the products. Consider purchasing your groceries online because it takes about half the time and they arrive in a timely manner. You can shop at 11 am or 11 pm because they do not close like traditional grocery stores do. You would be paying for gas to drive to the grocery store, so why not pay a delivery fee? Online grocery stores offer coupons and discounts too, making your food more affordable. Consider the following list for your online grocery needs.
Omaha Steaks is your online butcher shop. They offer a variety of meats, such as steak, bacon, ham, ribs, pork, roasts, lamb, veal, hot dogs, hamburgers, and more. There’s a variety of seafood to choose from too, such as cod, salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, trout, snapper, haddock, and more. You can add sides, desserts, and beverages to complete your meal. Omaha Steaks offers a custom combos and sales section, so you can save more money on your meals. This is a great option for the holidays too because you can get a complete Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas meal. Plus, if you do not know what to gift someone, then you can purchase Omaha Steaks and have it delivered to their house! To save more money, you can create a free Steaklover Rewards account to start earning points on every purchase; you can redeem your points for free items on future purchases. Your packages will arrive within 7-10 days from the day you place your order. Omaha Steaks offers faster shipping options too.
Schwan’s features foods for all occasions throughout the day. They offer meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, sides, pizzas, snacks, appetizers, ice-cream, and other desserts. Schwan’s food is made with real ingredients and expertly frozen, so when it’s done cooking it has a fresh flavor. Schwan’s offers a LiveSmart category, which offers delicious and healthy meals for anyone whose dieting or wants to add extra nutrition to their daily diet. In addition, they offer a simple auto-reorder option, so customers do not always have to log in and order their groceries. This can be a great option if life becomes too busy and you forget to go grocery shopping. To save more money, you can create a free Schwan’s Rewards account to start earning points on every purchase. You can combine this with AARP Member benefits to save more money. If you purchase food from Schwan’s it will arrive within two days.
Blue Apron offers a variety of meat, fish, and vegetarian recipes, so customers can enjoy their meals. Blue Apron’s food does not contain hormones and uses Non-GMO ingredients. Blue Apron boxes feature easy to follow step-by-step recipe instructions, responsibly-sourced quality ingredients, portioned amounts, and recyclable ice packs to ensure your food stays fresh. Blue Apron boxes start at $7.49 per serving and you can skip or cancel boxes whenever you’d like. After you’ve purchased your Blue Apron box, they will send you an email with tracking information, so that you will know when your food will arrive. The shipping date is determined after you’ve inserted your zip code. The following quote is from Blue Apron’s website, “At the grocery store, it can be hard to tell whether food is high quality and sustainably grown. We are partnering with the foremost sustainability experts to create better standards for growing food and raising animals. This means better outcomes for our environment, guaranteed markets for our farmers and higher quality ingredients for our home chefs.”
Edited by Klancy Hoover
5 Gateway Graphic Novels for Newbies
Written by Amber Appel
Books, television, audiobooks, plays, artwork, and poetry are all examples of different storytelling methods, each with its own strengths. Artwork, for instance, is a visual without words, and books are words without a visual. Graphic novels provide both words and images to convey a story, and because they require less work from the reader, some look down on this story-telling format. But that shouldn’t be so. With both illustrations and words, graphic novels are a fusion that creates something entirely different and worth a try. So for those who have yet to read one, I’ve compiled a shortlist of gateway graphic novels because no one deserves to miss out on amazing stories simply because of the form they take.
Runaways Volume 1: Find Your Way Home
Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrated by: Kris Anka
Number of Volumes: 2+
The Runaways is a group of five superhero teens that discovers that their parents are super villains and decides they must "run away". But all that was a long time ago, before Gert was killed and the team went its separate ways. Now years later, Chase travels back in time to keep Gert from ever being killed but only succeeds in bringing a dying Gert back to his present where he, Nico, Karolina, Molly, and Gert are given a second chance to become the Runaways once more.
These teens are not the most skilled heroes, but that’s kind of the point. They lack the organization of the Teen Titans and brute power of the Avengers. Their strength comes from their familial bond, having lost their families and being the only ones who can understand each other’s pasts. And that’s what resonates most throughout this graphic novel: family. The illustrations are thoughtful and detailed with both the characters and the environments. The colors mimic the lighting of a home, and each setting is given care as if to say that anywhere the Runaways are together is home to them. Not to mention that the Runaways themselves each has such expressive faces that oftentimes it replaces dialogue. Emotion is a big part of this superhero novel, and it stands out.
If you’re curious about novel superpowers like rainbows and dinosaurs and can handle a healthy dose of wholesome friendship, Scooby Doo nostalgia, and LGBTQ inclusion, this is the graphic novel for you.
Moonstruck Volume 1: Magic to Brew
Written by: Grace Ellis
Illustrated by: Shae Beagle
Number of Volumes: 2+
For LGBTQ inclusion and wholesome vibes, nothing will quite melt your heart like Moonstruck’s amorous werewolves. Julie, a werewolf barista, lives in the quaint college town of Blitheton where you’ll find many kinds of monsters and humans living in harmony. The excitement begins while Chet, a centaur that goes by they/them pronouns, is helping Julie prep for her first date with Selena, another attractive werewolf. All seems well, and incredibly adorable, when a shady magician comes to town to stir things up. Now Julie and her friends have a big problem and an even bigger mystery on their hands. Hijinks ensue!
The illustrations alone will make anyone feel as cozy as drinking tea by the window on a drippy day. The colors are all soft and warm, except when they aren't due to magical dangers, and each panel is populated with the fantastical citizens carrying out their own micro-stories that make multiple readings a veritable Easter egg hunt. It’s the graphics that make this book as lovable as it is, as if it were Valentine’s Day every day.
If you’re a fan of fantasy, romance, with a dash of excitement, this graphic novel will warm your heart. Come for the amorous werewolves and stay for Chet, a centaur with a personality reminiscent of Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye . . . It’s amazing.
Written by: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Illustrated by: Leslie Hung
Number of Volumes: 2+
Lottie Pearson is a fashion blogger. She’s always impeccably dressed, stunningly beautiful, and a confident trendsetter, except when her allergies kick in. Then she’s just Snotgirl. Lottie’s gorgeous in public and around her other fashion blogger friends, and a snotty, gross, insecure mess on her own. This is not an unfamiliar concept in storytelling, with a female character being considered “ugly” until she puts on makeup, but this graphic novel quickly proves that it’s more than just a story of vanity and social constructs when there’s a MURDER! Or was there?
Snotgirl has a choppy and unreliable storytelling style that makes it into a psychological thriller. You likely won’t be able to tell what’s real and what’s hallucinated or misremembered by the characters, but that’s all part of the fun. The graphics are a big part of the thrill. It’s as if the frame rate on a movie were drastically lowered, with panels inconsistently skipping ahead in time with little warning. This book also features bold colors, such as Lottie’s green hair, and sparsely detailed backgrounds to add to the surreal tone of the book. The characters are striking and cartoonish in opposition with the scenery to emphasize the (self-)importance of the characters and narrow the story’s perspective.
This book’s got bite and fashion to die for . . . And some characters might do just that. Who knows? I’m not telling. But if fashion, thrills, murder, and snot catch your interest, this graphic novel is for you.
everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too
Written and illustrated by: Jomney Sun
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Number of Volumes: 1
This graphic novel is a bit of an outlier as far as format goes, but it deserves a spot on this list all the same. everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too is a cross between a graphic novel and cartoon strip, with almost every page being a self-contained thought, but together they create an overarching narrative. It is an innocent story of an alien temporarily assigned to Earth to study humans. He spends his time meeting and speaking with Earth’s creatures, of which none are human, and periodically reports to his workaholic supervisors who check up on his progress. Who really could mind a little alien confusion?
Misspellings like the ones in the title and the graphics add to the naively innocent tone of the book. The drawings are simplistic and black and white, with a style that resembles a doodle. It gives the impression that a child drew it. All the objects and animals have kawaii faces, and the lack of color or hues makes every image instantly digestible as if the author wanted to ensure that nothing would obstruct the alien’s observations. Despite the child-like style, this is not a children’s book. The lessons taught by the Earth creatures often apply to a much older demographic who are more likely to ponder existential thoughts. Simply put, I doubt any book that matter-of-factly states that death results in nothingness is meant for a child, regardless of religious belief.
If cute and easy to swallow existential crises are your thing, then this would be the graphic novel for you. I, however, would prefer not to be kept awake at night by talking turtles.
Written by: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrated by: Fiona Staples
Number of Volumes: 9+
This graphic novel series is somehow wholesome and NSFW (Not Safe For Work) at the same time. Saga, at its rocket-ship-tree roots, is a story of a family, and an ill-fated one at that. Alana (on the left) is from the planet Landfall, and Marko (on the right) is from Landfall's only moon, Wreath. The planet and its moon are locked in a vicious war that has been going on for generations and spread throughout the galaxy until every planet has taken a side. Alana and Marko, opposing soldiers, should never have fallen in love, but they did. They married, and now they have Hazel. Hazel, their child, is the omniscient narrator throughout the series. However, Alana and Marko's new family disgusts both species, and each species sends assassins to exterminate them before anyone else finds out. Alana, Marko, Hazel, and allies must brave the cosmos in their rocket-ship tree, evading those that want to destroy them and nurturing their big-hearted family.
Saga’s illustrations are a perfect match for its narrative tone. The style is rugged, much like Alana and Marko’s situation and personalities. The illustrator makes sure to portray everything as realistically as possible and isn’t afraid to make things ugly. Everything about the illustrations is mature, including the most graphic parts of this graphic novel. Furthermore, the panels’ sizes and layout are diverse and always match the pacing of the story. Single-panel pages can mark an impactful moment that needs time to be absorbed, and a multi-paneled page could capture the speed of a fight sequence. The artistic skill at play is incredible.
It’s a space adventure with Star-Wars-level stakes and size, but even though it’s about a family, it is in no way family friendly. It is gory, scandalous, and freely sex-positive, which is great but consequently very graphic. If you are over eighteen and looking for a story that cleverly mixes violence, tenderness, and sex, then this graphic novel is for you. Just let me know when you’re caught up, because I need to discuss the ending of Issue Nine with someone. I have a lot of feelings about it.
Edited by London Koffler
By Elizabeth Dubos
Inspirational quotes are beneficial because they offer motivation, boost your confidence, and can help you during a rough time in your time. You can print them out and place them around your house or apartment. Or you can save it as a background on your smartphone or tablets, making it easier to see wherever you go.
Inspirational quotes help me during a creative block. Right before I start a big graphic design project, I get nervous and doubt my abilities, therefore thrusting myself into a creative block. It feels like my brain is overloading because projects have deadlines. Inspirational quotes have helped boost my confidence and remind me that I have great creative ideas. I printed out inspirational quotes and hung them around my office and kitchen; the two places I spend most of my time. Also, during my creative blocks I spend time on my iPad and phone to escape my computer. I ended up putting inspirational quotes as background on these devices because it helps motivate me to overcome my creative block. Here are some inspirational quotes that will hopefully help you too.
1. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
2. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
3. “There are two ways of spreading light: to be to the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
4. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn
5. “When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett
6. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
7. “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
8. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
9. “Hardships often find ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
10. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
11. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
12. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
13. “No matter how hard times may get, always hold your head up and be strong; show them you’re not as weak as they think you are.” – Unknown
14. “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama
15. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
16. “Free yourself from past mistakes, by forgiving yourself for what you have done or went through. Every day is another chance to start unknown.” – Unknown
17. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt
18. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” ― Lao Tzu
19. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
20. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ― William Faulkner
Edited by: Corinne DiOrio
Video GRWM Eye Shadow Look with BH Cosmetics LOVE IN LONDON Palette, following another Youtuber's tutorial, by Kristi
A Quick Intro to Dream Journals
By Rachael Teelander
Dreams are an easy way to get a look at your, or anyone else’s, psyche. Dream journals are not a new concept, though they’ve been getting a bit more popular in recent years. Keeping a dream journal is not only a way to get an idea of mental health, but also a way to take charge of your dreams yourself. The best way to record a dream in a dream journal is to do so as soon as you wake up. Every detail should be recorded, even ones that might seem trivial, because looking back, it might have a deeper meaning. Psychology Today also suggests writing down your sleeping conditions. When and how long you sleep have a big impact on dreams. The longer you keep a dream journal, the more dreams you will be able to remember.
The act of dreaming in which you are aware that you are dreaming is typically referred to as lucid dreaming. With practice, you can even gain the ability to take control of your dreams. This is done at a small level, though, with even more practice you can learn to take control of most aspects of the dream. Dream journaling is one of the most popular ways to begin to lucid dream. Dream journaling keeps your mind involved more in dreams, instead of letting the memory of your dream fall away as you wake up in the morning. Because dream journaling makes your dream recall stronger, your lucid dreams will become more vivid. Some suggest to write these entries in the present tense, so that when you re-read it, you are able to best put yourself back in the moment again.
Edited by Emily Chance