A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

“Why, darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you.” A Farewell To Arms

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Just last night I finished A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway, and I am relieved to have finished!

The book moved very slowly, going between scenes at the war and at the hospital with the main characters lover. While the book went into great detail about the settings and the landscapes, there was very little character development or interesting dialogue between characters. Because of this the main character, Frederic Henry, really didn’t seem to come alive at all in my mind.

I was not expecting the understated style in the beginning. While there is nothing wrong with that style, the way Hemingway used it made it difficult to develop an idea of the characters and tone. In the first half of the novel some of the most exciting scenes to me were when the main character became wounded and a few of the events from while he was at the hospital. But these exciting scenes were few and far between.

It wasn’t until that last third of the novel that I felt excited by what was happening in the book. When Henry and the Italian army began to retreat and when Henry ran away to see his lover is when I felt the most emotion coming off the page. It was during these scenes that Hemingway described the feelings of war and love best.

Unfortunately that wasn’t enough. The end of the book continued showing emotions similar to earlier scenes, but the end was too understated to be satisfying. What’s worse is that the edition I bought included other endings that Hemingway had written, and I would have preferred that any of those be the actual ending than what really was.

The only thing more disappointing than the ending? The characters and dialogue. Catherine, Henry’s lover, was unbearable, her childishness being more annoying then charming. The dialogue was clogged with characters speaking without any indication of who was speaking, making it confusing. The way the characters spoke didn’t help either. Frederic Henry and Catherine never had a conversation outside of telling each other they loved one another, making it difficult to have a deeper understanding or empathy for their relationship.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my ideas? Do you still want to read it after seeing my personal review? Join me and let’s explore the world of A Farewell To Arms!

When To Pack – Packing Part 3

I pack certain things in a certain way, but when do I pack all of this??? In the final part of my packing series, I’m going to look at how I slowly collect things then pack them all at once!

About one week before I leave on any trip, I look at which clothes and items I want to take on my trip. This is so I can make a list to ensure that the clothes I want to take are clean and that the things I want to take are ready to go. In the case that anything doesn’t seem ready to pack…

few days before I leave I wash the clothes I want to take and make sure the things I want and need to take are ready to go. For example, I make sure I have enough toothpaste and soap for the length of the trip. If I do, great! If not, I run to the store to get what I need and everything is still great!

It isn’t until the day before  I leave that I actually start packing. Today I’m very fortunate because I do not need to go to work or run errands, so I can spend the whole day taking my time to pack. This is especially easy since I have done the things above, having already decided and preparing what I want to pack far in advance. While I’m almost done packing the majority of things today, there are some things that’ll have to wait until tomorrow…

This is because the day of the trip is usually when I pack my toiletries. This is because I use my face wash and toothpaste when I get up in the morning. And since I don’t have to be at the airport until tomorrow evening, I want to take the chance to shower and get cleaned up before leaving on my adventure! So while I’ll have some last minute packing, it won’t be very much at all or very difficult if I make a list of all the toiletries I’m going to pack.

When do you pack for a trip? The night before you leave? An hour before you leave? How long does it take for you to unpack once you get home??? Join me and discuss the kind of packer and traveler you are!

Click here for Packing Part 2.

Click here for Packing Part 1.

How To Pack – Packing Part 2

In my previous post I talked about what I am packing for my six week trip to Chile. Today, I’m excited to share my favorite tips and tricks for how to pack certain items!

Packing Cubes

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Packing cubes are an absolute LIFESAVER! I love them so much! Whether I am going away for weeks or a weekend these making organizing, packing, and unpacking my suitcase a thousand times easier. For my upcoming trip to Chile I am packing a lot of bulky, winter clothing. These packing cubes have helped compress the bulkier sweaters while keeping them looking nice so I can pack other clothes and toiletries. I have room for everything I need and it is organized so once I arrive to my destination it is easy to unpack and settle in.

Pill Box

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Personally, when i think of a pill box I usually think of my grandparents taking their medication. But I have learned that it has an even better use for travelers! I didn’t get my ears pierced until college, but since then I have learned that pill boxes are amazing for packing earrings. Each pair or two can have their own compartment, and it is easy to fit some necklaces and rings in the compartments as well. I love this because I know where I’m putting my earrings when I take them off, and I know that the lids will keep them safe inside.

Backpack, Carry On, or Checked Baggage

This is probably one of the most important strategies I use. Depending on the size of an item and when I’ll be using it after I arrive, I put an item in my backpack, my carry on, or my checked baggage. For example, I always put a sweater and a book in my backpack or purse so I have easy access to those things during my flight. For my carry on that goes in the overhead storage bin I put something I may need immediately once I arrive to my destination or that I can’t go without for long. These are items like pajamas, clean underwear, and medication.  Finally, my checked baggage has the majority of my things such as my wardrobe, large liquid toiletries, and things I may not need until I have settled in to my destination. Another strategy for checked baggage is to fill it with items that are a little easier to replace. One example of this are my hair styling tools. I love my hair straightener and would be devastated if it became lost with my checked baggage. But my blow dryer can be easily replaced once I arrive, so I packed it with my checked baggage suitcase.

What are some strategies you use to pack your things? Do you fold things a certain way? Pack like colors with one another? Please share and let’s think about the best way for each of us to pack!

 

What To Pack – Packing Part 1

Hello Friends!

I have some exciting news! I LEAVE FOR CHILE IN 3 DAYS! That’s right. It’s time to get everything together for my big trip!

I wanted to commemorate my pre-departure excitement by talking about packing! When I was thinking of this post I started looking at Pinterest and other blog posts about packing. A lot of the things I saw were very specific – which style of clothes to pack and how many of each item. While I don’t want to write about what I am packing specifically, I do want to write about the strategies I used to decide what to put in my luggage!

Mix & Match

The one strategy that anyone should use while packing whether they are packing for 6 weeks or 6 days is to bring clothes that you can mix and match! This will make deciding on an outfit each day easier. For each shirt I’m packing I have two or three cardigans to wear with it and three or four pairs of pants that match a shirt! This will make it easy to plan outfits the day before or throw something on in the morning. And since I’ll be in Chile for 6 weeks I can wear a variety of outfits without repeating the same one more than twice!

Layers

Another strategy that ties in with the idea of mixing and matching is to pack clothes that are easy to wear as layers! For example, I am taking many cardigans and pullovers that are easy and cute to wear with a button down or long sleeve shirt. This is especially important to me since I am traveling to a place where it is winter right now. But even on spring break or summer vacation when I’m going somewhere warm, I try to pack a cardigan that matches with the other clothes I packed.

The Right Amount

It’s important to have the right amount of clothes for your trip as well as the right amount of toiletries! While I was researching for this post, the idea of packing toiletries or buying them at your destination seemed like a commonly debated topic. But for me, I prefer to pack my toiletries before I leave on any trip. This is so I have my favorite products and the right amount for the length of my trip. Again, I’m going to be abroad for 6 weeks so I want some products that I know work for me (such as shampoo), so I went ahead and bought some brand new toiletries as to not run out while I’m away. I may not be able to buy my favorite brand in Chile, and it will make me comfortable and remind me of home too!

What are some rules you have for packing? Is there something you always take or leave at home? Join me as we look at how we prepare before we explore the world!

The Person You Are Currently Grateful For – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

As of late, the person I am the most grateful for is my Dad! There has been a lot going on the last few weeks that has made me especially grateful for having a dad like him in my life.

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A picture of Dad and me on family vacation in Key West. Aren’t my dad and I cute?!

My dad is always there for me. In one of my last posts I talked about how my car broke down and how my family was there to help me out of a bad situation. My dad dropped everything to drive two hours to where my car was broken down, drive my car another hour to my apartment, then spent the whole next day trying to fix the problem himself! My dad has always been there to help me when I need it, even if it is difficult for him, and I am super grateful for that.

My dad has also been extremely supportive of me. When I told him I wanted to go to Chile, he supported me in wanting to go and travel the world. When I told him I wanted to go to graduate school, he supported me in wanting to go and further my education. My path has been a little different from my family’s. Both my parents served or are serving in the military and my sister just entered active duty, while I have never desired to join the military. In response to this, my dad supports me. He tells me that I should follow my passions and do what makes me happy. And I am so, so grateful for that.

He has done more than these things, too. He has always been making me laugh, teaching me about cars and finances (sometimes against my will), and showing me how to help others. And for that, I am grateful.

Who are you currently grateful for? A family member? A friend? A stranger even? Join me and let’s explore how these people have made an impact on our lives.

A Way You Relax – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

For me to relax there are a few things I need!

The first thing I need is a relaxing space. Usually this is in my bedroom or in my living room. I feel the most relaxed at home so it is always a relief to come back to my apartment at the end of the day after going to school and work.

Then depending on my mood I hang out with my roommates or go to my room to decompress. It’s hard to say what part of my mood is the deciding factor for this, because sometimes laughing and talking with my roommates is the perfect antidote for a bad day. But there are other times, probably when I’m particularly anxious or overwhelmed, that I would rather be by myself for an hour or so to just play on my phone or watch Netflix.

The third ingredient for me to relax is something to take my mind off my day! Even if I had a great day, sometimes it’s nice to escape the world for a little while through a book, a good TV show, or maybe even some cooking! This break is especially important after a busy day of school and work to give my mind a rest before doing any homework or studying I may have that night.

What are some essential elements you need to relax? A video game? Blogging? Exercising? Join me and let’s explore our favorite ways to relax!

What Do You Need? – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

When people are talking, they tend to overuse the word “need” in place of the word “want.” I know I tend to do this when I speak, saying things like “I need a piece of that cake!”

While I am very well off and am not in an urgent need of much, there are a couple things I think I need…

need to get on a better sleep schedule! Basically the whole month of June I haven’t been going to bed or waking up at the same time each day. I have also done a bad job of winding down before I go to bed. This is aggravating because I usually end up sleeping in until who knows when and staying in my pj’s all day. My work and class schedule doesn’t help either because I work in the evenings and my astronomy class is after work. I need to practice a better sleep schedule and better sleep habits so I know when I’m going to bed, when I’m going to wake up, and that I’m going to be rested for the day.

need to practice my Spanish! Believe it or not I leave for Chile in less than 10 days. (I am mostly saying that to myself, haha!) This means that I will be eating, breathing, working, and living in a country where they only speak Spanish. I need to prepare for that by studying the language and by practicing using it so when I arrive there I am not completely hopeless. The last thing I want is to be completing dependent on someone who can speak English to me and seeming rude and unaware. I want to be able to hold conversations and understand what is going on around me, and for that to happen I need to practice Spanish!

I also need to eat a healthy diet! This can hard for a college student because some days I don’t feel like cooking, some days I eat three pieces of pizza and a Coca Cola (like yesterday…), and some days when I eat because I’m bored. This isn’t healthy for my body and I want to treat it with the utmost respect. While I am trying to do this by having salad and sweet potatoes for my meals this week, I still feel tempted by soda and sweet treats. Despite this, I need to resist that temptation so I can have a healthy mind and body to live life to the fullest!

What is something you need? Do you need to run an errand? Do you need to do something for yourself? Let’s explore what we need to do to make ourselves better people and the world a better place!

What Motivates You? – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

Whether I’m studying, exercising, doing crafts, or even blogging I always think of why I started!

I start something because I believe I can do it successfully and enjoy doing it too! Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that I have to do for school or for work. But just because I have to do it doesn’t mean I’m not motivated to do it well.

When I start something, I always envision myself being proud of what I created at the end. I am ultimately motivated by making something that I can be proud of. And I know that if I do my best and am proud of the product that others will be too.

What motivates you? Is it yourself, your family, or a goal you ultimately hope to achieve? Let’s explore what motivates us to do our best!

An Exceptional Skill You Posses – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

What is an exceptional skill I posses?

Kindness.

While I have not always been kind to myself, I have always made it a priority to be kind to others.

I lend a helping hand to others when I can. I offer a friendly smile and lend an ear when I can. I listen to listen, I don’t listen to reply. I ask questions and talk to others with the intention of making them feel happy. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I also try to show kindness through my actions. Holding doors open, cleaning up after myself, I believe that even small gestures can make a difference.

What is your exceptional skill? Let’s explore what makes us all special!

 

An Area To Grow In – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

This concept is basically the antithesis of my last post! Haha! So instead of discussing traits and habits I want to kick to the curb, I’ll be talking about habits I want to pick up!

Cooking

I would love to have more time to cook! It’s hard to cook during the school year since I work in the evenings and have a lot to study, but I try to make time for it once or twice a week. So far my favorite things to prepare for the week are pretty simple: salads, homemade dressings, fruits, and veggies. But I would like to try cooking chicken or fish and making sauces to go on top! I want to try cooking different dishes to expand my skills and have fun!

Exercise

Now, I’m not that interested in high intensity workouts or building a large amount of muscle. But I would love to learn more about different exercises so I can do more than one workout when I go to the gym! I enjoy the time I spend exercising and want to keep my body in good shape for my health, so I might as well have fun doing it! I need to spend some time looking at magazines and online to find different activities outside of weight machines and cardio.

Language

Whether it’s English, Spanish, or something new I would love to learn more! Studying for the GRE I have learned a lot of new words, and I still look up words for Spanish often even though I am confident holding conversations.  I really enjoy that there is still more to learn in languages that I feel comfortable with! I’d also love to learn a new language. I have forgotten a lot of German since I studied it in high school and I would love to learn it again. And even though it isn’t used anymore, I think Latin is fascinating. And don’t even get me started on the history of languages… who knows, maybe I’m meant to be a linguist???

What is an area you want to grow in? Is it a skill you want to learn, or a more personal trait you wish to develop? Join me and let’s explore how we can grow!