Happy Birthday, Ned! (#264)


The old man turns 11. One year again today, I adopted Eddard Stark Ames but I like to call him Ned for short. He’s not the friendliest but he sure knows how to cuddle. He’s an old man set in his ways but has brought love and affection to my family and me. When I adopted Ned, I wasn’t sure how my parents would react. They weren’t thrilled about the idea but I think they realize how special Ned is. He’s always around to listen and can appreciate a good piece of ham. Looking forward to spending many more birthdays with my cat Ned.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time with my cat
  2. Rainy days inside
  3. Sleeping in
  4. Snow days off from work
  5. Mellow music and rain mixes
  6. Time at the gym
  7. Clean water
  8. My mom for watching Ned all summer
  9. Safe travels
  10. Time to journal and reflect
  11. Talking things out
  12. The feeling after you brush your teeth
  13. A clean apartment
  14. Visiting family in California
  15. Honesty
  16. Time for photography
  17. Nighttime stretches
  18. Gratitude
  19. Warm water with lemon
  20. Making new friends
  21. Having new experiences
  22. The community of bloggers on WordPress
  23. Good directions
  24. Chipotle
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image of the birthday boy

A Fresh Start (#229)

Today, I drove back to UMass. As much as I loved my time in the UK, I’ve been looking forward to this day for quite a while. Fittingly, my supervisor Adam was one of the first people I got to see after arriving which made me happy.

It’s hard to believe I’m in my last year of graduate school. A year away from my degree, a year away from no more homework, a year away from the unknown. There are a lot of changes occurring and I feel the gravity of each of them. I’ll be working with a new staff, in a new area, with new responsibilities and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m grateful for the training and support I receive because without it, I wouldn’t be here.

I am fortunate to continue my education and I’m grateful it will allow me to help people in so many different ways.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Starting over
  2. My new apartment balcony
  3. Getting help unpacking
  4. Ice cream and staff bonding
  5. Walking meditation
  6. Advil and eye drops
  7. Cindy pillows
  8. Eggs for breakfast
  9. Working in OSIL and walking through the RCC saying hi to everyone
  10. Silent heat lightning in the sky
  11. Being back at UMass
  12. Time to journal
  13. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved!
  14. Good song recommendations
  15. The sound of rain on my window
  16. The support from my parents
  17. When I have time to read other blogs
  18. The freedom to choose my destiny
  19. Summer audiobooks
  20. Anything from the grill
  21. New opportunities
  22. Free lunch from work
  23. Morning yoga stretches
  24. Positive people
  25. The here and now
  • As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

  • Featured image of a very foggy view from my apartment. Looking forward to a new year.
  • A Day Well Spent (#150)

    After more than 25,000 steps with my friend Stenie we navigated our way from Brixton to London and had ourselves a fantastic day. We caught up, laughed, enjoyed the sun and did the most American thing ever by getting fish and chips by the London eye. It was marvelous.

    I’ve been doing more research on gratitude and found some really interesting stuff. The science behind “positive psychology” is still evolving but something I’m hoping to incorporate more into the blog going forward. There are leading researchers and experts on gratitude I would love to interview and exchange thoughts with that I’ll post here as well! I would love to make this more interactive because I know for me, Gratitude isn’t just about the individual, it’s about the culmination of feeling.

    With 150 lists now under my belt, I’m feeling motivated with June right around the corner.


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Stenie Simon, one of my best friends
    2. The London bustle and hustle
    3. The sunshine
    4. Getting my steps in
    5. Catching up
    6. Delicious street food
    7. Help from home, using my phone and the Internet has been a struggle here
    8. Learning about different languages
    9. Comfy pillows
    10. Shea 2 friends from my first year at BSU
    11. Clean water
    12. Fresh fruit and vegetable markets
    13. Videos and pictures of my cat
    14. A little direction
    15. The feeling of clean teeth
    16. Just being here in England
    17. My family
    18. Opportunities of all kinds
    19. Going with the flow
    20. Vibrant sunrises and sunsets
    21. Getting involved at BSU
    22. A reminder to be patient
    23. My time in Cambodia
    24. People who volunteer their time
    25. Right here, right now

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

    Featured image of a faraway shot of Big Ben overlooking the Thames (I believe lol).

    Another Gratitude List (#137)


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Finishing my first year of grad school
    2. Everyone that supported me through this process
    3. Countless sunsets
    4. Reflective walks to and from the gym at night
    5. Good music and sharing with others
    6. Good professors
    7. Car rides with Carley
    8. Dream team meetings
    9. Living in Emerson
    10. My supervisor, Adam
    12. My mental health tools still working
    13. My cat, Ned for being my source of happiness
    14. Home cooked meals
    15. Saturday morning soccer games
    16. Finding friends playing indoor in the winter
    17. FaceTimes before bed with my BSU friends
    18. Change!!
    19. I can finally start planning and packing for Europe
    20. New opportunities
    21. Spending time with my family
    22. A DAY OFF
    23. The warmth of the sun
    24. The green returning to the trees
    25. Today and every day


    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


    Featured image of Main street in Siem Reap! It was dry season when we went so the water level was really low but typically it would be higher. 

    May The Fourth Be With You (#132)

    Whether it’s the force from Star Wars that drives you or something religious or more spiritual, I hope you feel that power every day. There’s something bigger than ourselves out there. I hope you feel it with the sun. I hope you feel it with your loved ones. I hope you can use gratitude to identify and celebrate your force every day.

    Also, Star Wars is cool!


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. My cat, Ned, and his antics
    2. Getting stuff done, only two classes remain!
    3. New Music Friday! This was the best one in a while
    4. Good hugs
    5. Determination
    6. People who motivate me
    7. Time at the gym
    8. My middle school jams
    9. Night time stretches
    10. Hand-me-downs from my dad
    11. Healthy habits
    12. Warm days and cold nights
    13. Peanut butter and bananas
    14. My brother, and working towards our goals
    15. Tuesday night soccer
    16. The nighttime breeze
    17. The rain and summer thunderstorms
    18. People who hold the door open for me at awkward distances
    19. Sharing gratitude
    20. Runs with my mom
    21. Waking up to the sunlight
    22. My supervisor, Adam and how much he cares about my success
    23. Talking things out
    24. Sharing laughter
    25. The right here, right now


    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


    Featured image isn’t my own but it’s related to a place where I feel most connected with the Universe. Up high, alone with the mountain breeze and the sun overhead. Serene. At peace. Balanced. 

    Let’s Keep It Going (#124)

    List number 2 of the promised gratitude! This is kinda fun. Can you keep up?


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. New pens
    2. Good group members
    3. Honesty
    4. Good teachers and bad teachers
    5. Learning moments
    6. Clean air and the outdoors
    7. Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority at BSU
    8. My peer Mentors
    9. Rainy days with my cat
    10. Songs you can shake your butt to
    11. People who inspire me
    12. Real Philly Cheesesteaks
    13. Coming home
    14. The sunshine
    15. Frank and Holly
    16. A handy box of tissues
    17. Popcorn, movies, and recliner seats
    18. Sharing gratitude
    19. Stepping outside my comfort zone
    20. My trust in the unknown
    21. Positivity! There isn’t enough of it in this world
    22. A few deep breaths
    23. Self-care
    24. Artistic expression
    25. This very moment

    As always, check out my first blog, 
    25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


    Featured image of the Universe all around us. Again, this picture is not my own but I can certainly appreciate the meaning behind it. 

    Mystery Blogger Award (#116)

    Thank you to my friend gratitude4gratitude for the nomination! Check out his posts, a fellow gratitude blogger with a great outlook on life. Happy to keep the chain going and nominate other new bloggers. Of course, I’m going to infuse my gratitude list for the day as well but thought I would participate in this first.

    What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

    “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

    – Okoto Enigma


    1 – Thank whoever nominated you and include the link to their blog

    2 – Tell your readers three things about yourself

    3 – Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award (I don’t know that many bloggers)

    4 – Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

    5 – Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one

    Three Things You Should Know About Me:

    1. I use gratitude as a way to support my mental health
    2. I’m learning to embrace and celebrate change
    3. I think patience is the key to my best self


    5 Questions I Was Asked To Answer

    1 – Was there a turning point in your life? If so when?

    Entering graduate school was a major change because it forced me to grow up and mature quickly. I am not the same person I was a year ago and it’s both exciting and terrifying thinking about what is still to come.

    2 – What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt?

    I went to Cambodia and learned I had privilege in more ways than I ever thought. I recognize my privilege frequently but going to such a poor country opened my eyes to the work that needs to be done. I’ve learned it is my duty to serve others and give what I can to support people with the greatest gift you can give someone, your time.

    3 – Where are you right this second?

    Sitting in bed, my cat laying next to me, enjoying the sound of rain outside my apartment window in Amherst, Massachusetts. Home of the 5x Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

    4 – What’s the strangest thing you enjoy?

    I crack my joints A LOT and love the feeling of it. I end up sounding like a bowl of snap, crackle, pop cereal after I’m done (kinda) but it’s a good feeling.

    5 – What are you grateful for today?


    Today I’m Grateful For…

    1. Calls from my Mom
    2. Clean water
    3. Clearing my head with exercise
    4. Written notes and letters
    5. Talking things out
    6. When my cat greets me at the door
    7. A couple deep breaths
    8. Comfy pillows
    9. The fact that I only have one more week of class
    10. Holding hands
    11. Crimson memories and living with my best friends
    12. The warmth of the summer sun
    13. Time to organize my music
    14. Days I get to sleep in
    15. Pajama Day
    16. Working as an LCG here at UMass
    17. Morning and nighttime stretches
    18. When my friends cheer me up
    19. Faith in the Universe and signs when I need them
    20. Learning new things
    21. Dancing in the rain
    22. Meaningful lyrics
    23. Summers spent working with my friends at BSU
    24. Rolling down the Shea Durgin Hill
    25. This very moment

    1 Blogger I Want To Nominate

    This is Stef

    A blog with some really imaginative and moving poetry. Worth checking out 🙂

    Your 5 Questions

    1. What are you most proud of?
    2. What’s one thing on your bucket lifetime list?
    3. If you could teleport anywhere in the world instantaneously, where would you go first and why?
    4. What’s something you’re currently working on?
    5. Why did you start writing?

    Please feel free to answer of these questions yourself in the comment section! Would love to hear some replies.

    As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.