FLYING KITES

The time has come for me to finally come out of hibernation.
It has been so beautiful here in the midwest. There's been lots of playing outside for this family.

My kids have been so bored with regular learning activities, so it was about time to come up with a craft for them to make. I decided on a super easy kite - and I used stuff we already had around the house for this craft - bonus!


Here's what you'll need -
White Construction Paper
Paint + Paint Brushes
1 Paper Towel Tube
Scissors
String


So -
Have the kids paint, whatever they wish, on white construction paper.
While they are painting - Cut the paper towel tube equally. I cut our tube into 6 pieces, leaving 3 small pieces for each of them - then, they painted on those as well.




Take the white construction paper and cut out any shape - We used a diamond shape.
Poke holes in the paper and each piece of tube. I just used the scissors for this, poking one hole through each tube - if you think it needs more than one, go for it.
Finally, pull string through each item. Make sure to tie each off before moving to the next hole.




These kites were a simple craft, but I wanted to share it because the kids loved it.
Well, they love anything that has to do with painting!
We went to the park to attempt to fly these kits and failed.
It wasn't that windy out today, but the kids ran around and made the best of it!
We'll be saving these for a more windy day!


xxo




BEING ORGANIZED

You're probably wondering what being organized has to do with motherhood or real life - I might be wondering the same thing if I was you, so let me tell you.
Being organized has made me a better person.

It's allowed me to be a better mother, girlfriend, friend, etc.
- & I know that sounds a little silly, but it's the truth.




Suffering from anxiety is a pain. It's very easy for me to feel anxious during the day. A simple thing such as being rushed or feeling 'too busy' can trigger my anxiety. Last year, I lived in a world of chaos - yes, my life looked simple but the truth is that it was a complete mess. I wasn't well organized - I would go weeks, sometimes months without checking anything off of my 'to-do list' and adding more to the end of it. Most days were hard to fall asleep and painful to wake up to.

So -
I made a decision this year to stop this madness. I needed to feel better. I needed to solve this problem. I made the decision to get help and learn how to live with my anxiety.
Organizing my life is how I've done just that.

I laid everything out in the open. I had to write it all down - my problems and how to fix each of them, a lot of paper was used for this by the way.. & it's taken me a couple of months to get it down, but my life is well organized now. I haven't been happier throughout the day then I am now. Of course, things aren't perfect. I'm not perfect and my life is still far from where I wish it would be. There are days that are still bad, and there are days that I'm sad - but the thing that is better than before, how I generally feel about my life. I go to sleep with more reassurance than I ever have and I wake up not dreading a long list of things I need to get done.

I use a simple system to help me, seriously it's really simple.
Let me share a piece of it with you.




Make Lists


This probably seems obvious, because it's usually on every 'how to be organized' post you read.
- & that's because it works.
I make a list for everything. It might be because I love planning and making lists, but it really helps me out. I sit down every end of the month and make a monthly 'to-do list', then I write everything out on a big calendar so the whole family knows what we need to do/get done each month. Then, every Sunday I sit down and write a weekly 'to-do list' - Every morning I start my day off by writing a daily 'to-do list' based off of that weekly list I made on Sunday night. I know it seems extreme, but like I said it's because I personally enjoy planning and making all of these lists - and well, they did change my life for the better. I haven't even put off doctor appointments like I usually do, which helps me be less stressed when the next school year comes around.
If you aren't into making a lot of lists, like myself, just start with a simple weekly 'to-do list' - or even a monthly list.


Routine


Having a routine helps me as a mother and for myself.
I think having a routine helps me stay on track for the day. It helps the whole family stay organized by letting us know what we need to accomplish for the day and when to do it.
I set up a morning and nightly routine for me. I make sure to spend my mornings and nights clearing my head and think about all the good things right now in my life. Then, I set up our days for my family. We have a good routine right now, and they know it well.
- & sometimes there are days when our routine is off schedule, which is okay. The important thing to remember is sticking with the routine the majority of the time will help, even if there are a few days that aren't in sync with the rest.


Take a Break


Taking a break throughout the day helps - A LOT.
This is a little hard with 3 kids running around and constantly needing my attention, but there are moments where I can just sit down to get on my phone, watch a quick episode on Netflix, or read - so that's what I do in these moments when my kids are happily playing together. I take time for me so I don't completely go insane.
It's important to know that you don't need to get everything done in the first couple of hours you are awake. You have a whole day to accomplish things. It's okay not to check everything off on your list right away. Take a break every once in awhile. This will help you stay motivated and not get burnt out so easily with your daily work load.




Set Reasonable Goals


Know your limits and write your lists with goals that are attainable.
It makes a difference.
You're just one person and you can't change your whole life in just one day. Remember that it will take time to get organized and fix any problems that you may have. Don't try to fix your whole life in one day, or even one month. Spread the things you need to get done out, so you can handle each one well. It will get done - as long as you stay on track, everything will fall into place.



This is the system that has helped me stay on track this year.
All of these steps help me get everything on my lists done. The lists help me stay organized and each step help me manage my time with obligations, family, and keeping myself happy.
- & after a couple of months, I'm a lot happier placing this system into my everyday life.
I'm now a better person.

So -
Here's to being organized and having a happier me, which helps my family have a happier home.
Join me and share how you stay organized and how it helps your everyday life.
Inspire through your own words.


xxo

MY FIRST CON // PLANET COMICCON 2015

So -
For those of you that don't know, I'm a huge comic fan.
Actually - We are a huge comic fan family.




I never grew up reading comics. I watched cartoons, but I was never too crazy about superheroes while I was a kid. My boyfriend was the one who introduced me to the world of superheroes and the many villains that come along with them. At first, I was only interested a little - I grew to love Wolverine and Iron Man, mainly because of my love for the movies. If some story caught my eye, I never went out to buy comics - I would just have him tell me all about it.

Now -
We collect comics for fun. We buy a handful of comics weekly, it's a lot of fun.
His collection is a lot bigger than mine, but I'm getting there. I don't know everything about every comic, but that's what makes it so fun. I get to go back and read all the different story lines of each character I fall in love with - and right now, I'm all about DC comics for some reason. I've been grabbing a lot of comics on Flash, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Suicide Squad - all thanks to the TV shows that I have grown to love.




After binge watching the first 2 seasons of Arrow, thank you Netflix - I remembered that there was a comic con in Kansas City, so I looked it up.. & I was so excited because Stephen Amell was planning to attend - and the whole line up looked amazing! That's when I decided what I wanted for my birthday - comic con tickets.

So - let's talk about my first con.
We went to Planet Comic Con back in March. Kansas City is not the biggest city, it's definitely not as big as other places that host cons, but for my first ever con it felt huge.




I was really excited.
Well, I was excited ever since we bought our tickets in January.
We only went for one day - Sunday. Like I said, I was excited to see that Stephen Amell - who plays Oliver Queen on Arrow - was going to be there, only on Sunday. It was crazy busy downtown, but so awesome to see people walking around with his shirts on! The whole time I was thinking - wow all these people live around me, why aren't we friends? My first con felt like a place where - people with so many differences, all belonged together - and I think that's why I really had a lot of fun.




When it was finally opened, I felt a little overwhelmed trying to decide where to look first. There is so much to look at - so many amazing artists, and so many comic bins to go through! Comics are pretty cheap at cons also, and when you dig through the bins you can find some legit comics. My boyfriend ended up buying a whole box because they were that cheap, pretty awesome!




After walking around for awhile, it was time to watch my first panel.
I went to go see Robbie Amell, who plays Firestorm on The Flash. I got there a little early in order to find a good seat, which was a good idea because his panel was held in a smaller room. I did notice that there were a lot of VIP seating right in the front center, that's something I need to remember for next year while buying passes.

It was pretty cool to watch a panel live. I'm so used to watching them on YouTube only. I didn't ask a question or anything - but I think it's awesome that he spent the whole time answering audience questions and interacting with his fans that way. It felt very genuine and unscripted - something I've never seen because I'm used to seeing interviews edited on YouTube or TV.
Robbie Amell was adorable in person. I'm a new fan of his thanks to The Flash - but he's definitely going to be a huge star.




Now - it was time to meet Stephen Amell, ahhhh!

If I'm being honest - this was such a pain, especially as a person who suffers with anxiety - the whole photo op section was completely disorganized that I almost wanted to forget about the whole thing. If I were to complain about one thing, this would be it. I wish the whole photo op section, and not even just for Stephen Amell, but for every celebrity was more organized with signs - there were no signs, just tape on the floor! The tickets didn't have what booth you were supposed to go to, it was all so annoying. I stood in line for 2 hours, it was crazy.. but so worth it - because hello, I met Stephen Amell! It was one of the coolest experiences for me.

Also, when we got home and showed the kids our picture with 'Green Arrow' the first thing they asked was, "Where is The Flash?" - Haha they are not impressed, sorry Arrow.




Stephen Amell's panel was right after his photo op - it actually ran late so we had to rush to the grand ballroom to watch it. The room was awesome, it's funny to say that because you're probably like why does that matter - but it does, the lights were green and it was just awesome.

Stephen Amell is as charming as he seems on TV or whenever you see him in interviews. I really enjoyed his panel, I would've preferred a different moderator - but Stephen was nice to stay a couple minutes longer to answer a couple more questions. He's a real stand up guy.




Afterwards - we browsed while we headed out.
But - it was time to bid farewell to comic con.
It was one of the best days I've had in a long time.

Next year - I plan on going at least 2 days. It was a mistake to go just one day, because there is so much to see and do. Planet Comic Con is well organized - minus the photo op area, but that was a different company - their program was well written with clear maps to every panel, with location and time. I was very impressed with them.

If you are wondering if this is a kid friendly event - I think it is for some families, but as for mine - not yet. There is a lot of people walking around not paying attention to where they are stepping, that it's not an event I'm comfortable with taking my kids to. Once they are older, around the age of 10+ then it will be perfect for all of us!

So - here's to next year!


xxo


LEARNING AT HOME DIARIES // WEEK 2

Welcome.
This series is my open diary about trying to teach my children at home.
I'll share all our learning activities - whether they fail or are a huge success.
Some of these activities are made up - Some of these activities are adapted from Pinterest finds.
Come join us.




I've been a complete slacker lately.
We've been in between colds and just plain lazy days here, so that has led to a lot of simple and basic learning activities. We haven't done anything fun or exciting since the last time I wrote.
- BUT.. I am determined to tackle some fun stuff this week, even if I am off to a slow start so far.


Monday - April 13, 2015


Monday is the busiest day of the week for me.
So - I kept our learning activities simple and basic for at least one more day.
We are practicing our numbers. We practiced using our flashcards, up to the number 20, that I made - which is both easy and cheap! Along with that, the children practiced counting using their fingers and blocks, we took a look at how each number looks individually, and I took some time to show them how each number is written. As of right now, we are focusing on our numbers up to 20 - mainly 1-10.
I told ya - nothing too exciting here on a Monday.




Tuesday - April 14, 2015


My little one is having a more difficult time remembering numbers out of order, but my daughter has it down. She can count to 20 easily, without flashcards, and remember her numbers out of order. I probably shouldn't be too concerned with their differences though, my son has another year at home and my daughter will be in Kindergarten next year.
My son is sick today - so as he naps, we are doing some work just focused on her.
We did everything we did yesterday, but instead of me showing her how each number is written - she practiced writing her own. Then - I made a little sheet with pizzas on it for her to practice counting and identifying her numbers on.
She loves to learn and that makes me so happy - She's a fast learner, very opposite of her older sister, so it's a real treat to see how learning satisfies her and makes her genuinely happy.




Wednesday - April 15, 2015


Today, we spent some more time on the basics - We did everything we have done the past 2 days.
Good news, kind of, I found something fun on Pinterest last night - here.
A number hunt! I thought it was such a cute idea, and perfect for my little ones. I didn't print anything off the internet for ours - I just made one, and I decided to make it a little more simpler since we are only focusing on numbers up to 20. The kids really enjoyed it. My daughter found each number fairly easily. I noticed that my son did well up until he reached past 10 - but that's something, he's starting to remember his numbers slowly but surely!
After our lesson - The kids felt like coloring, so I asked them what their favorite number was and they decorated them. It really is such a treat to watch them grow up.




Thursday - April 16, 2015


I was doing so well.. until today.
Our schedules were a little out of whack today, I had a haircut to do so the kids ended up spending some time with their grandma at the park and came home to nap. So, for today our learning activities were spent on family time. Tomorrow is a new day though - and I'm determined to end our week with a fun little game for us to play!


Friday - April 17, 2015


We made it to the end of the week - and we actually did some fun activities this week, score!
Today, we reviewed everything that we learned this week with our flashcards and a writing activity.
To add something fun to our day - I found this game on Pinterest, here.
My kids love matching games - We have several of them that they play daily, so I knew that they would love this matching numbers game.. & I was right! They loved it!
I made my own cards. I used plain, white computer paper and used some stickers to make them. I was a little worried that you could see through them, but the kids couldn't tell so it wasn't a problem. They aren't very durable though - I'll probably make some new ones using construction paper.
We'll definitely be playing this game again! I think I'll make some for our letters also.




xxo


I LOVE YOU, SINCERIOUSLY



Here is my story.
I'm a very moody person. I was a very emotional person growing up - I was always on this rollercoaster of emotions. Some days I was happy, a lot of days I was sad, and some days I was really angry.. & then I was fine, life felt ok.

I had this pain inside of me - for as long as I could remember, it had always been there.
It hurt a lot - some days more than other days.
There were some days where I thought about killing myself. I researched suicide, all the ways I could hurt myself - especially the ones that were quick and easy. I was obsessed with suicide - I was obsessed with trying to solve the problem of making this pain stop.

I felt so alone - yet I was surrounded by hundreds of people.
As I entered high school - alcohol and drugs were my escape. I drank and tried everything in order to numb this pain I had. Most nights it helped, but at the end of the day I was still all alone and so, so sad. I realized - maybe I can never really escape this pain.. Maybe it will always be inside of me.

I thought this was all normal.
I thought that I was just a normal teenager who was learning how to grow up and deal with all my emotions, and all of this was totally normal. So, I just continued to do what I knew I could do - every time I drank or took a drug there was this slight relief I felt. This relief was released that made me feel like a better person for punishing myself. It was enough to help me go on to the next day.

I went on, feeling completely different from everyone around me.
Everyone I knew had problems just like I did.. but they didn't seem to last as long as the pain lasted for me. It was frustrating. I didn't want to feel weird and I didn't want to feel different. I spent most of my life being surrounded by people who never really knew me. I spent most of my life being someone I didn't even truly know, because with this pain inside of me - all I knew was a girl who was obsessed with trying to make the pain go away.
I felt worthless living a life like this.
I was different and I didn't know why.

As I grew up and entered adulthood - I realized that the pain and all those feelings weren't just because I was just a regular teenager. These feelings were something more - and that nagging emotion of depression still sat with me every night and woke up with me every morning right by my side again. I was miserable. All I wanted was to change my life, wake up happy - but all I felt was sad and lonely.. So sad that I couldn't even get through simple tasks like cleaning my room.

I was 24 years old when I finally spoke up.
It took me 24 years to finally get help.. & it was the toughest thing I have ever done.
How could I admit that something was wrong with me? When all my life I have tried to fit in and try to feel like I was normal - I didn't want to admit that I was different.

I had to sit there and admit that I've been having all these feelings all my life and feeling like this doctor, who just met me, was judging me for having all these weird feelings.
It was rough.
I never knew that feeling constantly anxious wasn't normal.
I never knew that feeling worthless every now and then wasn't normal.
I never knew I could feel truly happy without something having a hold on my heart to remind me that I'm actually really sad.
At the end of our conversation, the doctor put everything down and told me he was proud of me - I got through the toughest part and I admitted that I needed help before anything worse happened to me.

I took medication for a couple of months, but I decided that even though it helped I didn't need it.
All the words the doctor told me that day was not what really helped me.
The medication was not what really helped me.
The thing that helped me - was speaking up and realizing that I'm not alone after all.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I will suffer from this my whole life.
If I'm supposed to live with this as a part of me for my entire life then I'm going to learn how to cope with it forever.
.. & it's been tough.
I am now 25 years old - and although it's a struggle everyday, I feel a lot better than I did a year ago.
Everyday I feel anxious - there is always a feeling inside of me that something bad is going to happen. I make list after list in order to control my anxiety. I also clean, a lot - I'm a hard person to live with. I try to do as many things as I can that keep me happy, like read. It helps with feeling worthless and depressed.
I am still learning how to deal with this disease.
Everyday is a new challenge.
The important thing I've learned from the past 24 years of my life is that I'm the one that can be in control - not my disease.
.. & that is my story.

I'm so passionate about helping others who suffer from any mental illness. I'm so passionate about sharing my own story in hopes that it will help that teenager I once was, that 20 year old I once was, anyone - even if it's just one person.
I know there might be someone out there right now reading this and wondering why they feel different - wondering where to go or who to turn to.. & I want you to know that you really are not alone. You will never be alone. There are people who care about you and love you.

I love you, sinceriously.
You are not alone.
I hope you trust that.




I want to thank Stephen Amell for bringing awareness to all mental health.
Mental health is scary to talk about - many people don't understand it. It should be talked about more.. & as I read comments on Stephen's Facebook page - I was truly touched at how proud people spoke about their own story. It was an amazing feeling to see so much passion about spreading awareness for every person out there who suffers from a mental illness.

Please check out the two amazing organizations Stephen Amell chose for his Sinceriously campaign.
Stand For The Silent
Paws & Stripes

Join me and leave a comment of your own story.
Inspire through your own words.

xxo


LEARNING AT HOME DIARIES // WEEK 1

Welcome.
This series is my open diary about trying to teach my children at home.
I'll share all our learning activities - whether they fail or are a huge success.
Some of these activities are made up - Some of these activities are adapted from Pinterest finds.
Come join us.


 
I'm not a very patient person.
I've found that it's easier to find activities for my children to do, such as painting, building blocks, sorting items, etc. instead of teaching them in a more standard way. So - now that the weather is starting to warm up outside I'm trying to find fun learning activities outside.

 
Monday - March 9, 2015


We are starting off with something simple.
Hopscotch.
For the past couple of weeks we have been focusing on our letters - recognizing, writing, and capitalization of each letter. So, I decided to put letters where the numbers are usually placed in hopscotch. The children will recite each letter, whether it's lower cased or upper cased, before hopping to the square(s). If they get the letter wrong - they simply start over. For a Monday after daylight savings time - it seems appropriate. We are getting some fresh air and exercising while practicing our letters.
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday - March 10, 2015


Yesterday's hopscotch activity was a success.
The kids did a great job at identifying the capitalization of each letter - they understand the difference between a lower cased letter and an upper cased letter. Now - We still need to work on identifying each letter. So, that is the plan for today.
We'll be heading outside again for this activity. I'm going to pull out the play dough - I'll write letters along the sidewalk so the kids can roll up the play dough in order to build each letter.
Hopefully this is a fun new way for them to see each letter.




Wednesday - March 11, 2015


I have come to the conclusion that children love anything that has to do with play dough.
Our activity yesterday was a huge success with the kids. They were calm and didn't get bored - which usually happens after awhile with these kids.
Today - We kept it simple.
The kids practiced writing their letters with chalk outside - and our hopscotch was still going strong, so we practiced with that activity again. The kids wanted to build more letters with play dough again, so we did that also. Tomorrow - we'll find a new activity, but for today it was nice to see them so confident while practicing their letters.




Thursday - March 12, 2015


Today, I plan on doing an activity a bit more fun for the kids.
They've been enjoying our special activities this whole week, but since the week is almost over I thought I would find a fun game for us to play. I saw this idea on Pinterest this morning, here.
So - we are going to play BINGO with our letters!
We'll play a few rounds and head outside to work on the other activities from earlier this week as well - those activities have seemed to really help the kids with all their letters.


Friday - March 13, 2015


To wrap up our week of letter learning - we're going to practice writing them with a fun activity.
I saw this idea on Pinterest, here.
I wrote each letter out in lines on construction paper. The kids are going to take their q-tips, dipped in paint, and trace over each letter. I think it'll help them with letter recognition a little bit more, as well as learning how to write each letter - both upper cased and lower cased.. & these kids love anything that has to do with paint!




xxo


THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS



Forgiving others is easy for me.
I'm naturally a very forgiving person - everything from the little things to the big things.
I guess it's because I've made so many mistakes in my own life that I believe everyone deserves a second chance - whether it's a small mistake or a big one. I'm certainly not perfect so how could I not forgive someone else for making a mistake, when I would hope they'd do the same for me?

Now - learning to forgive myself is the thing I have yet to figure out.
I just don't know how to forgive myself for the mistakes I've made.
Owning up to my mistakes and dealing with all my problems is something I understand - but forgiving myself for these things is a different story.

After I graduated high school - I spent a lot of time dreaming of my past.
I hated myself. I was disgusted with myself.
I let myself slack off my last 2 years of high school. I was a pretty good student, but once Junior year came around (the most important year) I just stopped caring. My logic was - There is no money for me to go to a college I like so why even try anymore? I made bad decisions and became lazy. I steered my own life into a different direction.
..& that was something I could never get over.

I became obsessed with the 'what ifs' - I was angry.
At that moment - I never thought I could forgive myself for what I saw as ruining my life.

My anxiety takes control when it comes to all my mistakes.
It takes over everything - I don't even have control of my own feelings.
Once I become obsessed with a mistake I have made - I analyze everything that I did wrong, what I could've done differently, and why I even made the mistake in the first place.
It's a horrible process.

I lived in a daydream of my past for a long time.
It finally came down to letting go of it all - all the anger and pain.
I realized that I was allowing this mistake in my life control everything going on in my present, and it broke my heart.. that is what I finally learned the power of forgiveness.

Forgiving yourself is such a powerful feeling.
It's not the same feeling as forgiving others - It's not the same as just letting go and moving on.
It's like shutting that door behind you shut and opening up the door in front of you.
Your mind becomes clear and you're able to embrace the present.

I don't understand why it's so easy for us to forgive others and not forgive ourselves.
We are a lot harder on ourselves than others - We expect the best from ourselves, but we are flawed and make mistakes just like everyone else. It's important to forgive ourselves just as we forgive others.

There are many things in my life I have yet to forgive myself for.
I still have a lot of learning to do, but I understand the power of forgiveness and I hope that's a good enough start for now.


Join me and leave a comment about a time you forgave yourself. Inspire through your own words.


xxo


OWNING MY MISTAKES

There are many things that I have learned while in my twenties.
Most of these things I have learned from making many, many mistakes.
Well, that really is the most important thing I have learned - How to own up to my own mistakes.

I really thought that my teenage years would be where I made all my mistakes.
I thought that once I graduated high school that things would automatically get better.
I thought that being an adult - life would get easier.
I was wrong.

I'm 25 years old and I've made more mistakes than I ever did as a 16 year old. Instead of making the mistake of drinking and getting drunk - I make the mistake of ignoring my student loans.
Why didn't anyone ever tell me this was how adulthood would be?!
I don't want to be responsible - I just want to go back to worrying about which boy I like and not all these bills and having food in my fridge.

I make mistakes within my mistake.
I never think about the long term situation.
At the moment - I never see it as a mistake.

Last year, I made a lot of mistakes.
.. & now I'm left to deal with all of them, and it has not been fun. It's been horrible.
I was living in this dream world - far, far away from reality. In this world, I thought all my problems would get fixed on their own - or the time would never come when I would actually have to deal with them. Who was I to think that March would never come? I was wrong on so many levels.

If this was me a year ago - well I would tell you to buy some ice cream and pop in The Fault In Our Stars and have a good cry.. Well I'm not going to tell you that because it's not what I have done.
It's so cliché to write this - but I'm going to because I believe it and it's what has helped me..
We can either make mistakes and let them break us - or we can make mistakes and take control of them ourselves in order to fix our problems. Stressing out and crying about our problems may help for a day - but it doesn't solve anything. It takes a whole day away from you, when you could've been taking that day to actually solve your problem.

It's up to you - We're in charge of our own actions.
None of us are perfect - even Leslie Knope made mistakes.

I know that I am the only one in charge of my actions and I can't run forever.
We shouldn't want to run forever.
We should want to make our lives better, and dealing with our problems will make it better. I'm a lot happier even when the consequences from my mistakes haven't been that great.

I'm not going to throw my problems in the closet anymore.
I'm not going to sweep them under the rug.
I'm not going to hoard them around the house.
I'm going to throw them all away for good.
It won't happen in one day.
Our problems won't all be solved after a couple of weeks - but I'm going to learn from each mistake and deal with all my own problems.. even if I continue to make them.
I hope you sweep those problems out from around the house and throw them away with me.

Join me and share your own story of how you learned to deal with your own mistakes. Inspire through your own words.


xxo


ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.




All The Bright Places.
"The story of a boy called Finch and a girl named Violet"
All The Bright Places follows two teenagers, Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, who just so happened to be thinking about death at the top of their school bell tower on the same day. It's a beautiful story about love, and living life in order to find the importance it contains.

This review is really special to me. This story truly touched my heart.
It has taken me awhile to actually sit down to write all my feelings out, but I finally have. I hope you enjoy my thoughts and share your own with me.




All The Bright Places - Book Review

"Let me ask you something. Do you think there's such a thing as a perfect day?"
"What?"
"A perfect day. Start to finish. When nothing terrible or sad or ordinary happens. Do you think it's possible?"
"I don't know."
"Have you ever had one?"
"No."
"I've never had one either, but I'm looking for it."

Theodore Finch and Violet Markey.
The story between these two characters is so brutally honest and rich - and there is just something so special about seeing their relationship grow throughout the book. We first meet these characters on the ledge of their school's bell tower contemplating life and death, and what it all means. It was surprisingly perfect the way Finch, an outcast at school, talked Violet, a beautiful popular girl, off that ledge. In those first few chapters you realize that this story is going to be about more than just love.. & it was.

"You make me feel gold, flowing"





Finch is the outcast of the school - he is also referred to as Theodore 'Freak' - right from the beginning you can see how obsessed he is with trying to find this perfect way of leaving the world. It's obvious that he is battling some kind of mental illness, but in a way it feels as if he's in denial throughout the whole book - but the special thing about it all is that he's trying to latch onto things to keep him, from what he refers to as 'awake' - and as soon as he meets Violet you can tell, that this girl might just be enough to keep him from falling 'asleep' again.

Violet Markey is a beautiful and popular girl at their school - on the outside she could seem like she is holding her life together after her sister's death, but on the inside we can tell that it's the complete opposite. She spends every day counting down the days until 'freedom' when she finally graduates high school.

So - we have two completely different people who met in unlikely manner and find themselves falling deeply in love with each other by the end of this book. A boy who is teaching a girl to live after facing death and a girl giving a boy a reason to live while trying to run away from death.

"You make me lovely, and it's so lovely to be lovely to the one I love..."





I haven't felt so connected to a character as I felt to Finch.
There was no glamourizing or shaming throughout this book. The story was very honest and real - not only with the relationship between Finch and Violet, but with every character - especially Finch. Every feeling Finch felt, from his thoughts to his actions, felt very real to me. I felt like I was reading my own story of how I sometimes felt in high school. He felt different, he felt alone - even at times when he was surrounded by someone he loved, and he felt labeled. He felt like he had to belong even when he shouldn't have felt that way.

"If that blue could stay for ever; if that hole could remain for ever."
There was nothing to make him last.

This story dealt with both life and death, beautifully.
Seeing how Violet finds a way to live again - the way each wandering served a certain purpose to both life and death was really special.

Sadly, the book dealt with death just as much as it dealt with Violet finding a life to live again.
The crying was the worst part about this story.
After reading Finch's death - I didn't sleep all night. I was so angry. I was so upset. I wanted to keep rewriting it in my mind that he wouldn't die. It was just so real and way too sad.
I wanted to see another chapter with his name at the beginning.
I wanted him to find his way back home.

"He's not nowhere. He's not dead. He just found that other world."

After being angry for about a day - I picked the book back up and finished reading the story.
I was surprisingly happy with what I found.
I can't really put the ending into words, but it was something special. Even when Finch was gone, he still found a way for Violet to continue to live.

"I'll never forgive you for leaving me. I just wish you could forgive me. You saved my life. Why couldn't I save yours?"


RATING:

5 out of 5 stars




I don't think I can express more of how beautiful this story was.
I know everyone who follows me knows how passionate I am about spreading awareness for mental illness. There is so much stigma around mental illness, especially suicide - there are many things people don't understand. There are things that are hard to explain because it's simply, just so different for everyone who suffers from a mental illness.

It's important to know that no matter how weird and different you feel - you are never alone.
You can read all about my own story here.
Don't be afraid to speak up - throughout the book we can see that Finch never wanted to speak up because when he tried that once, it only resulted into something negative - but there were parts in the story where we could see that he really wanted to be comfortable speaking up without being judged again. Don't ever stop trying - find that person, find that hotline, and speak up.
There's always hope out there.

Join me and leave a comment about your thoughts on the book. Tell us your story. Inspire through your own words.

xxo