Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Leave the Comparisions Behind

Today's post is going to be a little different from normal. Usually I stick to topics like recipes, how-tos, and books. Partly because those are areas that I absolutely love, and I would be doing those things even if I didn't have a blog to share those interests with you. But partly, I always stick to those areas because they feel safe. I feel as if I know how to write about those topics, and I don't know if I can write about other areas.

Still, today I am going to try. Because a wonderful group of women called #fireworkpeople has a blog tour going on right now. This group is made up of women who have big dreams and who encourage each other. That's something I want to be a part of, so for that reason I'm participating in the blog tour today.

So, even though writing this feels a bit odd for me and I'm going to have to think for a while before hitting the publish button on this post, here it goes.

You know how there are people on facebook or your social media outlet of choice whose posts always seem exciting and who make you just a little bit (or maybe a lot) envious?

I think that at the moment, I might be one of those people.

Right now, I'm living in France and teaching English in two elementary schools in a small French town. The town has a beautiful river going through the center of it, and all of the houses have red roofs made of clay tiles. Each Tuesday morning, my town has a small open-air market with vegetables, fruits, and cheese. If you were to draw a picture of the ideal small French town that couldn't possibly be real, it would look a lot like the one that I teach in.

Basically, I'm currently living the dream of quite a lot of Francophiles (minus the ones who want to be living in Paris).


There's always a but, isn't there.

But, the thing is that I still compare myself to other people.

I am doing exactly what I want to do at this point in my life. I want to be in France. I want to teach English. I want to work with elementary students.

Before I left, I spent some time talking with a friend, and I realized that almost all of my friends are currently working on getting their master's. By the time that I get back, most of them will be either finished or halfway through. And I won't.

Sitting at the table talking, even though I knew that I was about to leave to do exactly what I wanted to do more than anything else, I still felt left behind everyone else.

I felt as if what I had chosen to do wasn't good enough compared to what they were doing.

Which is just absurd.

If we compare ourselves to everyone else, we will never be satisfied with what we have.

It's so easy to forget that life is not a list of tasks to complete and then check off. And even if it were, we wouldn't all have the same tasks on our lists.

Chances are that while you feel down because you are comparing yourself to someone else, another person is looking at you and feeling envious as well. No one comes out well in this cycle.

We should always celebrate the accomplishments and triumphs of our friends, but we shouldn't let that little bit of envy creep in to mar the celebration. Not only does that create resentment in the friendship, but it also keeps us from recognizing the good in our own lives.

Leave the comparisions behind.

Live your own life. Whatever that looks like for you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Treats and Tricks

Since I'm in France right now, there isn't much Halloween going on right now. Although there may be small celebrations happening throughout the month of October, it isn't a custom here. Today during my English classes, I taught the children a little bit about celebrating Halloween in the United States. They seemed to enjoy the idea. Some of them even tried to convince their teacher that they should celebrate Halloween at the school. I think that those children really just wanted to go around asking for candy. Which I completely understand.

Although I will not be decorating or baking for Halloween this year, I have found some awesome ideas on other blogs that I'd love to share with you today.

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies with Burnt Butter Icing- Cranberries make everything better, and the burnt butter icing sounds absolutely delicious.

Candy Dipped Pretzel Rods - Pretzel rods are a good combination of sweet plus salty. They work for any occasion with just a few color changes. A jar full of orange and black pretzel rods would be perfect for a Halloween event.

Witch Hat Cookies - These witch hat cookies involve icing, oreos, and hershey's kisses. They seem super simple to make, but still seem impressive to serve.

Halloween Mummy Cupcakes - It isn't a party with cupcakes. Why not mummy cupcakes?

Halloween Cake Pops - My cake pops never look this good. Obviously, the only solution is to practice and eat all the ones that don't turn out right.

Glittered Pumpkin Centerpiece - Carving a pumpkin is fun, but putting glitter on a pumpkin seems like just as much fun.

DIY Halloween Trick or Treat Bags - With a free printable. If I were throwing a Halloween party, I would send everyone home with these bags filled with a little bit of candy.

Cobweb Halloween Wreath - You know that cobweb stuff that people use to decorate their fireplaces and front porches like a spider's web. Turns out that you can make a spooky wreath with it as well. That stuff sticks to anything, so the process seems easy.

Do you have any awesome Halloween inspired ideas? Share them in the comments below.


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