Quotes That Inspire Me, Pt. 1

Quotes That Inspire Me, Pt. 1

Hi there, everyone! ❀ I hope that you’re doing well. πŸ™‚ Today, I will be talking about some of my recent favorite quotes!! Because I’m always browsing Pinterest for inspirational quotes, I have acquired a lot of favorites over the years! For this post, I have chosen five that are very relevant for my life right now, and I’ll also talk a little about why I love them so much. Let’s jump right into this!

My Top 5 Current Favorite Quotes

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Throughout September and into October, as well, I have been working really hard on changing different negative behaviors that have become too prevalent in my life. From impatient responses to judging others, there are different ways I feel and act about things and circumstances without realizing how it’s impacting my life. If I can get myself into the habit of thinking before I respond, then I won’t make as many bad mistakes as I do now. Tracking my progress, both the highs and lows, really helps me to keep going, which is why I bring it up on my blog from time to time. πŸ™‚ I’m thinking about doing my Making the Change posts again, but I’m not sure yet. I probably will!

Let life surprise you.

Are you like me, in that you want things to go according to plan, and when things change, whether for better or worse, it really messes you up? I struggle with this all the time. It could be about my school work, or the blogging plan I made for myself. If something gets changed, or added or moved, I get really disoriented and oftentimes upset about it. The reason this quote speaks to me is because I want to do a better job of letting life surprise me! Most things don’t go exactly according to plan. I desire to accept the little changes πŸ™‚

Be nice first.

If I can get into a better habit of taking the plunge and being nice to people I meet first – whether I say hi to the person behind me in line, or I compliment the waitress’ hair – I could really beat my social anxiety in leaps and bounds! It’s definitely something to work on, and quotes like the one above really help me to stay motivated!

If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.

I always find myself getting in over my head about all sorts of things. I keep my room too tidy. I keep my blog schedule too tight. I spend too much time organizing pictures. I become over-dedicated to all sorts of things, to the point where I don’t even like the thing I was dedicated to anymore, haha! It’s a sad existence. So, the moral of the story is, yes, I would love to have a clean room, and a blogging schedule and organized folders of pictures, but they tend to cost me my peace. By working on a bit at a time, and finding joy in the length of time it takes me to become inspired, or feel well enough to clean up, etc, is what I need to work on.

His will. His way. My faith.

This is a quote that someone based off of Jeremiah 29:11, which is an absolutely beautiful and comforting verse, and I love this quote, too! I am happiest in life when I’m trusting in His will and following His plans for my life. Whenever I try to step aside from the path He has ordained for me, I am always disappointed. It’s not like something bad happens to me if I make a bad choice, or something; the Lord isn’t like that. I just end up feeling down, almost like I can just see that He had something greater planned for me, but I chose to go somewhere else. After an experience like that, I’m always more than ready to return to following Him again! ❀

So, those are my favorite quotes! I had so much fun finding those five and talking about them. Let me know in the comments below:

Which of those quotes was YOUR favorite?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

My Language-Learning Journey

My Language-Learning Journey

Hello guys! I hope that you’re having an absolutely beautiful day. πŸ™‚ It has been quite a while since I talked about language learning (except for in practically every single Little Accomplishments, haha), so for today, that’s what I have written about! I’ve touched on this in the past, but it was one of the very first blog posts on my blog (haha), so I will expound on that post, go back a bit further, talk more about the present, stuff like that. If you’re interested, especially if you are learning or would like to learn a new language yourself, I’m sure that you will enjoy today’s post!

Exclusive English Speaker: My Childhood

Like many Americans, I grew up in a household that spoke only English. The only other languages I heard were fragments of conversations out in public, as well as the infrequent use of a foreign phrase, which really doesn’t count. As a whole, I had very minimal exposure to any language but English from the time I was a baby.

That is, any spoken language.

Do you know what ASL is?

American Sign Language and Learning New “Words”

When my little brother was a baby, and I was three to four years old, my mom discovered the world of baby signs. It is very much like American Sign Language (ASL), but only includes the basic signs babies and young children would want and need to use the most. She began using some signs to communicate better with Joshua, such as “more,” “eat,” and “drink,” and I was captivated. It was like this secret hand language that only my family knew, and while I can’t remember when exactly my fascination first began – maybe the first few times Joshua signed back? – but I quite quickly found it to be a lot of fun.

It wasn’t long before I’d learned to count to 10, sign off the alphabet, and express basic feelings and emotions, and my interest in this unspoken language has never gone away. ❀

The Art of ASL

Over the years, my family and I have learned so many signs. I have never sat down and attempted to list all the ones I know, as that would be quite a feat, but I’d say … maybe two hundred?? I have no idea. Anyway, I wanted to add to this post that ASL isn’t just a silent way of communicating; in my opinion, it is also a beautiful form of art.

Back when I was maybe eight or nine, I remember watching my mom sign along to a song we were listening to in the car at the time. I thought that this was the coolest thing EVER! It’s basically like dancing along to a songΒ with your hands – I mean, tell me, isn’t that insanely cool?! In the years that followed, I have signed along to songs I know the lyrics to, and also looked up signs to be able to do it more fully. It is an absolutely amazing experience, and absolutely free of charge, as well!

If for no other reason, I find that ASL comes extremely in handy when I need to ask my mom or brother something wordlessly. This can either be when I’m eating, or halfway across the room, or I have to be quiet for some reason. However, if I try to spell something in ASL, or use a complicated sign that only I know, it can get confusing really quickly, haha!! Still, they know all the main signs, so communicating simple things isn’t a big deal.

Taking A Second Language For School

My love for American Sign Language almost carried over into my education in 8th grade. The spring that I finished 7th grade, my mom told me I would need to take a second language as one of my subjects the following fall. So, I thought, “Oh, that’s cool! I’ll just take ASL.” Turns out, that’s not an official language you can learn and get academic credit; they just teach and approve spoken languages. lol I was extremely disappointed, though.

That summer, I checked out a French language course from the library and proceeded to teach myself the basics. I already knew that my mom wanted me to learn Spanish for school, not French, as it made more sense for where we live (little did we know it would make more sense for my future, too, haha), but I decided to go ahead and learn a bit of French, as well, as it’s a beautiful language and, at the time, I despised Spanish. I thought, why learn a language if it doesn’t look cool or sound pretty? I mean, what’s the point? xD

Ohh, younger me. There are so many points.

However, I didn’t enter 8th grade hating learning Spanish and barely living through the lessons. I didn’t keep up with French and secretly dedicate more time to that than my studies of the language I was actually required to learn. You know what happened?

My Introduction to Spanish

In 2013, I became friends with a family in our neighborhood whose parents only spoke Spanish. Over the course of the next few weeks that summer, I went from wanting nothing to do with the language, to needing to know as much as my friend could tell me so I could have short conversations with her family.

Looking back, I first thought that this immersion experience was a wonderful coincidence. I dropped French like it was hot (lol) and began learning Spanish that fall with ease. Getting to talk to someone who spoke the language and them understanding what I said when I spoke was (and still is!) one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, knowing another language and being able to communicate in a different way is an invigorating experience for me.

At the beginning of 2017, when I almost simultaneously found the app Memrise and learned of the Lord’s plans for me and Guatemala, I corrected my observation and acknowledged the fact that His hand has been at work in my life for years. ❀

Meet Maggie: Aspiring Polyglot, and Servant of The Lord

To some, it may appear that I simply love learning new languages – and I do. But that’s not the whole of it.

Someone greater than I can comprehend has ordained this for me. He has a purpose for my life that I can only begin to imagine. Every second is vital, and this time of waiting is not meant to be wasted.

I love learning Spanish because He has placed the passion in my heart. I love Guatemala because of where He has lead my thoughts, hopes, and dreams. It blesses me exceedingly to be able to do my part, and watch Him do the rest. ❀

Now, before I go, I’d like to cover two more things in this post: what languages I know and how much of each (estimated, haha), and the resources I’ve used for learning Spanish over the years. Let’s get into this!

The Languages I Know

{in order of fluency}

English – I have been speaking English my whole life, and there are now few words I don’t know. My only drawback is that because I read so much as a child, I “taught” myself to pronounce different words a certain way, which ended up being the wrong way. I occasionally misstep on how a word is said, and I get sooo embarrassed, haha! I’m an ace at punctuation, and I’m quite the expert at grammar, but the grouping terms (adverbs, participles, etc.) are way beyond me.

Spanish – For the past four years, I have been teaching myself Spanish with various digital resources (listed below). It has not been a consistent process – I’ve taken time off when I grew weary or lost interest in the program I was currently using – but it has been a great journey as a whole. I know all of the basics by heart, am quite good at tenses, and could probably hold a pretty decent conversation with a native speaker, although I haven’t gotten to do that in a while.

American Sign Language (ASL) – I’ve been learning signs since I was four years old, and while I couldn’t hold a real conversation with a deaf person, they would get a pretty good idea of what I was trying to convey, lol.

Portuguese (Brazil) – I have been teaching myself the basics for the past few months. It’s exciting when I’m able to catch on to the similarities of this language and Spanish, but I’m taking it slowly because I fear I will mix up the two languages in my head, and I don’t want to do that.

French – For the last couple of years, I have acquired the knowledge of basic phrases and some. It won’t get me very far, but I’m fine with it for now.

Dutch – I went through a phase back in ’14 where I read a lot of books by an author who was from the Netherlands, and I quickly fell in love with the country and its language. I took a few lessons on an app on my phone and learned the basics, but that was it, and my understanding is quite dusty by now.

4 Language-Learning Courses / Apps
That I Have Used

  • Instant Immersion. This is a complete course you can buy on Amazon for less than $100, but I would not recommend it. The information is good, yet the setup is poor; the man and woman speaking the phrases make unnerving facial expressions; and I actually doubt the legitimacy of some of the words and sentences now. It was a nice introduction for me, but please, get something else.
  • Fluencia. This is an online course that has different package deals (you pay for how long you intend on learning the language), and while I used this website, I was really happy with what I learned! I love the setup, the voices and phrases they chose, and the review sessions were amazing. The main thing I learned that has proved extremely helpful now was tenses. I’m so thankful for what it taught me! However, when I wanted to take a break from learning after nearly a four-month streak, my mom went to cancel our subscription, and they basically said because we weren’t going to be paying them money anymore, they terminated my account, which made me lose all my progress. DON’T GIVE THESE GREEDY PEOPLE ANY MONEY! I was planning on returning to using Fluencia after my break, but then I saw how awful the people behind it were! Please, invest in other language-learning software!
  • DuoLingo. This is a fan-favorite for people wanting to quickly pick up a language, as it’s free and the courses are pretty thorough, but I honestly think it could be better in so many ways. The woman’s voice they chose for the Spanish course is very monotone and puts me to sleep. Also, there are too many phrases that were irrelevant. For example, I’M NOT GOING TO USE “I AM A POTATO” IN REAL LIFE. xD As a whole, I did enjoy it for a while, but now I know that there are better options for me. If you want to try out DuoLingo for yourself, go for it. If you already love it, that’s awesome! Personally, I don’t enjoy it now, but to each his own.
  • Memrise. You guys have heard me rave about this, but if you want to hear me get all excited about it again, I highly recommend that you get Memrise! It is the best one I’ve tried so far, all the best features are free, and there are so many languages to choose from. Please, if you have an Apple or Android phone, or if you’re interested in doing it on your PC (they have an online version, which is also free! – not sponsored!), definitely try it out!

That’s all for today, guys! (And at almost 2k words, I should certainly hope so, lol.) Let me know in the comments below:

What language/s are YOU learning?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Fall OOTD #2 – Earth Tones/Casual

Fall OOTD #2 – Earth Tones/Casual

Hey guys! I hope that you’re having a fantastic day! ❀ I am very happy to bring you my second Outfit Of The Day post on this fine Tuesday! I had a blast having the pictures taken for the first one I did (which you can check out here). My mom was the awesome photographer behind that one, and this one, as well! She’s really good at it, and I’m thankful that she agreed to do this for me. πŸ™‚

This fall OOTD holds special meaning for me; I wore it for the first time last year when I met my favorite music band, Leeland! I assembled the outfit just for that day, which is why it makes me think fondly of them every time I wear it now.

So, let’s look at the outfit!

We took these pictures while visiting one of our favorite libraries a few weekends ago. It was finally beginning to feel like fall outside, which is what prompted me to wear this outfit that day, haha!

If you read my first outfit post, then you probably remember seeing those Nikes featured on that one, as well. I have attempted to wear the rest of this outfit paired with my pair of light gray Keds in the past, but they really hurt my heels, so I decided to wear my comfy shoes that day, instead. #mypoorfeet

Also, this is what happens when you’re trying to figure out which is your best side, while also battling the sunlight …

I don’t even remember making that face, but my mom obviously caught it on camera, haha! Below is my response when I realized how squinty I was making my eyes –

I’m not the most photogenic person, but I do love to laugh, haha

While my first OOTD is my favorite 2017 fall ensemble, today’s outfit was my top pick from 2016! I found all of the pieces that created it over the course of that year, and I feel so confident and happy in it. Some of the items took me on a scavenger hunt to find, and others, I simply stumbled upon. As a whole, I love it, and definitely look forward to wearing it in the fall months!

Let’s look at where I got everything!

Kimono CardiganThrifted. I was so stoked when I spotted this on the shirts rack at one of our favorite thrift stores! I couldn’t believe my luck; I never find things like this while thrifting, and this one makes me so happy. It is so light and airy (and very pretty!), and the material doesn’t make my skin bothered at all. (Woop!)

Tank TopKohl’s. Finding this one took a while; I tried on four other tan/white tank tops at our local Kohl’s before choosing it! I needed a light tan shirt to go with the kimono cardigan, and I was very happy when I found this one. Although it is a bit tighter than I would prefer, I only wear it with the other shirt. The material is very soft, and I appreciate that it isn’t see-through like many other shirts of its kind!

NecklaceFamous Footwear. I bet you didn’t see that coming, haha! The same day that I bought the Keds mentioned previously in the post, I spotted a jewelry rack to the left of the front counter. I used all the money on me at the time to purchase it, and I don’t regret it! I love the golden leaf, little amber/pearl beads, and the gold-colored tassel. It’s a perfect fit for this outfit!

Jean ShortsThrifted. I have never been more in love with a pair of jean shorts before – and they’re Faded Glory, no less. They fit me perfectly, go with everything, and I’ll be very sad they day they’re too worn to wear. If I could buy a few more pairs, I totally would!

Shoulder PurseThrifted. I wear this purse with many of my outfits, as it goes with practically everything I own! It’s the perfect size and has just the right amount of compartments and pockets for me. I love it!

SunglassesKohl’s. Before I got this pair earlier this year, I was struggling to find a pair that didn’t squeeze just behind my ears, or make me look like a bug-eyed fly. The struggle was real, lol! But these were made for me, I’m sure of it – they fit me so well, have a cute floral design on the inside of the arms, and do their job, too; 100% UV protection. haha

ShoesFamous Footwear. They’re extremely comfortable, breathable, and go with everything!

As a bonus for the end of this post, I took a selfie of myself in this outfit:

Thank you so much for reading, guys!! This may be my last OOTD for a while; I’ll have to see what else I can put together. I hope that you’re all doing well!

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx