Sierra's View

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Maui Guidebook: Lava Rocks & Snorkeling Cove

I love to travel. I love to explore. I love to document these explorations.
If any of you follow me on InstagramTwitter, and Snapchat (sierrasview), than you definitely have noticed that we have been in Maui, my heaven, for the past 3 and a half weeks (perks of being a teacher, y'all!) and you may have noticed that I love to document. Despite my father's worries of "posting too much" I have loved it here. Even though a tropical storm has overcome us for a large portion of the time, it has not diminished our fun. I am so lucky to have experienced Maui many times in my lifetime that I am starting to feel like I "know" the place (and not feel like such an annoying tourist).
Because of the documentation on my phone and through my videos, I am going to do a few posts of some of our favorite times (sorry, not sorry).
The first week and a half, we had our good friends Carli and Josh join us in Maui. It was so fun to have them here because we got to play "tour guides" for a little bit. They wore us out ;). I always laugh so hard when I am around these two. It's so fun to find good lifelong couple friends.

So, here's your Maui guidebook! Enjoy. 

First up is what I call the "Lava Rock Hike" and one of my favorite snorkeling coves. They are both located in South Kihei passed all of the gorgeous resorts (if you have any extra time, go walk along the beach to see these resorts from the beach. I walk from my parents place in Kihei to the resorts down south and they are seriously unreal. They better be at 500+ dollars a night ;). You follow the road all of the way down and you will come to the snorkeling cove, right next to Steven Tyler's home.  A little south of the snorkeling cove are the lava rocks--the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. A lot of it is closed off now (it wasn't a few years ago) to preserve the area down there and help growth, but you can still walk down and enjoy the gorgeous views and the cool lava rocks.

Favorite picture from the trip hahahahaha

I love to travel. I love to explore. I love to document these explorations.
If any of you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (sierrasview), than you definitely have noticed that we have been in Maui, my heaven, for the past 3 and a half weeks (perks of being a teacher, y'all!) and you may have noticed that I love to document. Despite my father's worries of "posting too much" I have loved it here. Even though a tropical storm has overcome us for a large portion of the time, it has not diminished our fun. I am so lucky to have experienced Maui many times in my lifetime that I am starting to feel like I "know" the place (and not feel like such an annoying tourist).
Because of the documentation on my phone and through my videos, I am going to do a few posts of some of our favorite times (sorry, not sorry).

So, here's your Maui guidebook! Enjoy. 

First up is what I call the "Lava Rock Hike" and one of my favorite snorkeling coves. They are both located in South Kihei passed all of the gorgeous resorts (if you have any extra time, go walk along the beach to see these resorts from the beach. I walk from my parents place in Kihei to the resorts down south and they are seriously unreal. They better be at 500+ dollars a night ;). You follow the road all of the way down and you will come to the snorkeling cove, right next to Steven Tyler's home.  A little south of the snorkeling cove are the lava rocks--the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. A lot of it is closed off now (it wasn't a few years ago) to preserve the area down there and help growth, but you can still walk down and enjoy the gorgeous views and the cool lava rocks.

Maui 2016: Lava Rocks & Snorkeling Cove from Sierra Charlesworth on Vimeo.

Snorkeling Cove post from last year: HERE

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

How We Wore It: Summer Workout!

Aloha! Still in Maui. I know, it's okay to be jealous. :)
July has already been better than June (and I am grateful for that!).

Anytime I get discouraged, I try to look at this picture. The left was last week. The right was back in February. I have noticed a difference in my face, even if it's just a little bit! 

I love this blog collaboration. I love being able to find clothes from my wardrobe making it work! I love seeing what other bloggers find. I love taking the original photo and working it to my advantage. This month is WORKOUT CLOTHES. I put this in all caps because I looooove workout clothes. I would wear them all day everyday if I could (I mean, I do). They are so comfy and stretchy.

My health plan is still going. Not to the same extent that it was back in October, but I am still working on it. I find that I am enjoying working out: whether that's a walk along the beach here in Maui, swimming in the pools, hiking in the mountains in Utah, lifting weight and doing plyometrics at the gym...I find that it something I do because it makes me FEEL better. I know I am not the size I used to be. And that's okay. Not because I am okay with being this size, but because I have accepted that thats where my body is at right now. Since being diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism, anemia and hypoglycemia (I know, right? What else can I have?!), I have struggled with my body and trying to take care of it. I think it is imperative to love our bodies NO MATTER what phase it is in: whether you've lost a ton of weight, gained a ton of weight, just had a baby,'s important to love our bodies and take care of it by being active. I am not a marathon runner. Hell, I can barely run a mile and a half right now. I HATE running. I hated it in high school lacrosse and I hate it now. So I have found other ways to do cardio and to enjoy what I am doing. Do something that you love. So then exercise doesn't become a chore, but rather something that your brain and body crave. I look at these pictures and I hate them. I hate that I hate them. Not because I hate myself, but because I am not where I want to be. I am working though and I am loving the process. And I think that's what is important.
Any who, rant over. Here are some fashion pics.

This background is where it's at. I wish I had this background always to take my pictures! Barefoot because I hate putting shoes on here in sticky Maui.

Literally, all of my workout clothes are from Old Navy or Nike. Boom.

Go check out how these other ladies looked in their workout clothes! 

Deidre from Deidre Emme
Ruth from My Little Nest
Jenn from What You Make It
Kiana from Glitter & Donuts
Alyssa from Pinsent Life
Madeline from CaseyLand
Riley from Riley Jo Blog
Samantha from The Samantha Show
Beverly from What a Day
Brooklyn from Brooklyn Jolley
Amber from Amber Nicole blogs
Erica from Good Job Momma
Shelbie from 365 With RyGuy and I
Kelsi from Lovestrong
Justine from Little Dove
Chelsea from Tessa Marie
Monica from It's All About

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June. Woof.

Aloha! Posting here from Maui! The best place in the world. I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! We spent the evening watching fireworks along the beach. Rough life that we live. ;) If you want to stay updated on my life you can follow on Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat... all SierrasView!!!

It has been 8 days since I've seen my dog and I miss her. I don't even want to know what I'm going to be like with my children.

I was a terrible blogger in June. To be honest, I'm a little confused as to what to write at times. I want to write on this blog on so many occasions. In fact, there are times when I just get on and write, but I do not publish it. It's a difficult line to decide whether I want to be open and honest, or to just be fun and silly. There are times when it is a combination of both. But, I don't want to divulge every single aspect of my life, you know? I'm feeling a little lost as to where I want this blog to go. So, bear with me if this posting is sporadic.

June involved a lot of emotions and physical ailments. I got out of school at the end of May and I got sick my first week of summer. This happens almost every single year since I've been teaching, guys. I think it's my body's way of "shutting down" after the school year, if that makes sense. I was hit pretty hard with a sinus infection while going to teacher meetings (psshhhh teachers' get a full summer off? Nope). I drove out to California to see Tanner, but found myself with a fever on the road trip out. My poor brother in law had to drive the entire way. I headed home two days later because staying in a bachelor pad sounded miserable to me! Ha. So not only did I have to go home early because I was sick, I didn't get to spend as much time with Tanner as I liked. It had been a month and a half of not seeing my husband and it was really challenging. It took, seriously, 10 days for my body to start to feel better. Sinus infections are no joke, people. At this point, I was starting to feel better, so I started working out and hiking and getting my body back into gear. I was so frustrated because I wanted to spend the month of June organizing closets and my yard and my home and focusing on my health. I wanted to work out twice a day and get a project done in my house almost every day. Well, I did my best. I worked out as much as possible and hiked like crazy once I started feel better. My parents came into town for a few days for a wedding and to see their favorite child ;). They helped me redo my entire front yard and it's like a completely different yard!! I was so grateful for their help because I could not keep up with my housework while being a single woman for two months! Haha. At this point, I was a hiking fiend and gym fiend. I spent my days organizing something in my house and getting to those June goals of mine (which, as you can tell, did not include blogging), and swimming! And, of course, to end June, we had to end where we began, right? About a week ago, my sinus infection came back. I'm pissed. So, I'm finally starting to feel better AGAIN, but, yes, June. Blah.


(Note: You will see these things in the video!) 
+Hiked. A lot. I love those Utah Mountains, as you guys know.
+Swam. A lot. Good thing I have such good friends who deal with me laying in the pool when I felt like death. Ha. Mostly with my good friend Candace. She has been such a loving, kind friend to me during that hard month! Celebrated her with a baby shower as well!
+Mom and Dad in town helping redo my yard and enjoying time with them. My yard looks so good!
+Got to celebrate one of my best friends weddings as a bridesmaid for the 11th time. Good thing I'm married, otherwise I would feel like a severe case of 27 dresses.
+Strawberry Days Rodeo in Pleasant Grove. This rodeo is my favorite summer tradition in UT. My father in law is on the committee and it is so much fun!
+Book Club for June: Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. So good!
+Became best friends with my dog. What's new?  I mostly just hung out with my ten year old sister in law and Saylor. I'm cool, I know. Also, Saylor found her twin. So freaky. And fun! They were best friends! Opie is her new, bigger, twin and boyfriend (weird?).
++WENT OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE AND BOUGHT A HIGH WAISTED BIKINI. I know it's not amazing on me, but I don't even care. I did it. I did it, guys.
+Took my Pottermore Ilvermorny American School of Wizardry quiz. I'm a Thunderbird. I'm a Hogwarts Hufflepuff. I'm a thunder puff :)
+Did my first ever 30 day Squat challenge. And actually did it. Every day!!!! Wooooooo. Starting a pushup, squats, abs and plank challenge in July. I know. I'm basically doing crossfit.
+Got to reconnect with my coworkers and Alpine Elementary family for our coworkers bridal shower. So fun. My friend took some beautiful modeling photos while there too. ;)
+Bunco night with ladies from my church and neighborhood. So grateful that I have started to make friends in my neighborhood and ward. I tried really hard to reach out during June since I was a widow.
+Tried to see friends and people who I haven't seen in awhile to reconnect. It was good to see people who I catch up with on social media, but got to actually spend time with them. I loved the good conversations that took place when I am with girl friends.
+Bachelorette. I love Jojo so much. I am going to start doing some snapchat stories, so make sure you are following on Snapchat (@sierrasview). Her blue dress last week. Yes please. So pretty.

+Not finishing as many projects inside and outside my home this summer.
+Getting sick. Twice. Duh. I hate you, sinus infections.
+No husband for two months. Kind of lonely.
+Not working out as much as I had wanted. Boo.

+My Cold Sore. Got my first one ever. What?!
+The back fat that is not disappearing. Don't hate. You know what I mean.

Because I take so many photos (I know, people get so annoyed of me. Deal with it), I made a June movie!!! Enjoy!!!

June 2016 PhotoBook! from Sierra Charlesworth on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


You like my hair and outfit? Literally came from a swim party and my boobs are all blah in a swimsuit. You're welcome. 

Why Not Me?// Mindy Kaling

Genre: Autobiography 

Rating: 4/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

My thoughts: 
We read this book for book club this month. I listened to most of this on audiobook this time simply to change things up. I know Mindy (not like personally) but I loved her in The Office and I currently watch The Mindy Project. I like her. I think she is smart, funny, and normal (as far as celebrity normalcy goes.) It was an interesting discussion this month for book discussion because my friend did not really know Mindy. This book was her first introduction to Mindy and she listened to it on audio. Let me start off by saying that Mindy's voice is annoying. I will be the first one to say that. Needless to say, my friend in book club did not enjoy this novel at all. So, with that being said, I think it's important to know that listening to this rather than reading it may change your idea of the novel and her. In my opinion, you need to be a "fan" of Mindy before reading it. 
Some thoughts regarding this novel: 

1. I love that Mindy debunks the celebrity norms--with her body, her sense of humor, and her background culture. What I enjoy about female comedians , and more specifically, Mindy, is her willingness to make fun of herself and joke about her idiosyncrasies. The chapters and essays in this book definitely reiterated that. 
2.  I LOVED when she talked about confidence in women and that this idea that young women automatically are victims and will have self confidence issues needs to stop. We automatically assume that girls will have confidence issues? Why? Because they are "fragile?" I think it is imperative, like she states (and I love that she brought this up) that we teach our daughters that they are not victims. 
3. My favorite part of the novel is when she talked about the things that keep her up at night--those were all things that I think many of us can relate to. 
4. Her short essays were funny and witty overall. 

I disliked a few of the chapters regarding her ex boyfriend (it had nothing to do with anything--and she didn't explain that relationship and the relevance to her life currently. If you are going to talk about a boy in the past, you need to explain why you are talking about him...just my thoughts.) I also though her commencement speech was annoying. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
"Work hard, know your shirt, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine."

Me Before You/ Jojo Moyes 

Genre: Realistic Fiction 

Rating: 5/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time

My thoughts: 
(note: kind of some spoilers! Ha). 
I truly enjoyed the main character. Lou is feisty, outspoken, unique and quirky. She is willing to open herself to new possibilities and I loved that. I loved the fact that I could not put this novel down. I literally read it in one day. It's a pretty easy read, but it still pulls at your heartstrings. I learned even more about quadriplegia as well.  I am a sucker for a good romantic story. This book completely met those frivolous female needs of mine! I loved that this novel made me think. Even though I personally hated the ending, it made me think what I would do if I were in his position? Would I change my mind for the person I love? Would I want that person to have a free life without me. Even though I wanted him to change his mind, I almost feel like I would do the same thing, interestingly enough. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” 

Landline//Rainbow Rowell 

Genre: Realistic Fiction 

Rating: 3/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My thoughts: 
A few months ago, we read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell for book club and I loved it, so I wanted to see what else she has written. Rainbow's novels are the perfect "by-the-pool" novels. They are pretty easy reads, but not completely childish and ridiculous. She is a great summer-read novelist. With that being said, I did not love this novel (Attachments is by far her best novel!).

I don't really know what to say about this novel. It was good. It was predictable. But that's it. I liked the insightful message fighting for your marriage. Overall, pretty good. Kind of boring. That's it. Haha!

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“Nobody's lives just fit together. Fitting together is something you work at. It's something you make happen - because you love each other.” 

Eleanor and Park//Rainbow Rowell 

Genre: Realistic Fiction (Young Adult)  

Rating: 3/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor. Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My thoughts: 
Besides the insane amount of F words, this book was okay. Normally I don't mind swearing, but this was a little excessive (I would not want my young teen to read this, so it's strange that it's considered young adult). I have seen a plethora of different opinions regarding this novel. Some people have loved it and some people hated it. I was a little in between. I did not devour it like others have stated, but I did not hate it. I did not love the end of the story, but I did enjoy the "realness" of the situation. It was a heavy relationship for teenagers, but Rainbow captured the difficulty and hardships of being a teenager perfectly. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“I'm sorry about yesterday," she said.
He hung on to his straps and shrugged. "Yesterday happens.” 

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Well, it's almost the end of June, which breaks my little teacher heart. 
I have been the worst at blogging, which breaks my little writing heart. Sorry, guys. (Cause I know you are all incredibly distraught. When, really, its just my mom who reads this blog). 
I have been spending A LOT of time with my dog, which I'm not sure if I feel pathetic or awesome because of this fact. Probably a little bit of both, to be honest. 

Here's the thing. T Money has been gone since the end of April selling pest control (Hey, don't hate. It's good money). Which is good for our family for $$$$, but it sucks for my emotional state. It's freaking lonely and hard to not have your significant other around. I don't have any children (except Saylor) or anyone to hang out with (except Saylor). See, people like to make fun of me because I love my dog like my child right now. And I used to get so upset by that, but I have officially accepted it. 

You're right, I DON'T have children. For reasons that only matter to T and me, thank you very much. (Side note: it's nobody else's business when we decide to have children...come on, Utah!). But because of that, my house is so quiet. And Saylor and I have become best friends over the past two months. I am so grateful to have her because it's nice just to hear another set of footprints and other noises in my home. She is always up for any type of activity (hiking, walking, doing yard work, playing outside, cuddling on the couch--see other reasons why you need a dog HERE). 

So, I have accepted that Saylor is my best friend right now. And that's okay. Dogs understand you. They are loyal to their owners. I am an incredibly loyal person and sometimes I feel let down from friends or the people around me because they aren't as loyal as me, which is okay. With Saylor, she is always willing to listen and play and cuddle and hike. What else could you want? Plus, she is crazy smart and is an emotional therapy dog (she loves babies and kids, too!) so, she's pretty much the best. 

I love my t-shirt from Taylor at The Daily Tay. She sells these t shirts for dog charities and I think it's simply the best. It is so comfy!!! You can buy yours on her etsy shop

In other news, we found Saylor's twin but 20 pounds heavier (and a golden doodle instead of a mini aussie doodle). This is my friend's dog, Opie, and he is Saylor in a bigger, male version. They played so well together. I love them. 

I was joking with my friend that I'm going to do a monthly update of my dog, like they do with babies. Just put a sign in front of her "22 months old....loves sticks, playing with kids, and eating grass." Hahahahahahah. I'm not really, guys. But I have to admit, that would be kind of funny. No? Okay. 

Do you have a dog?
What breed? 
What do you love about your dog? 

Friday, June 10, 2016


Yes, I know it is almost halfway through June and I am just telling you about the novels that I read in May. As I stated in my last post, May always tends to be a stressful, difficult time for me and my emotions. Something that I do to relax and escape from stress is read. With that fact, May was a month of reading (although, really, what month isn't these days?). I love to read. I love to listen to audiobooks. A lot of times I will read these novels while listening to audiobooks and BAM, I get done with them so fast!

I like the cover that was on my book much more than the cover of the two people holding hands? That was weird.
Nineteen Minutes// Jodi Picoult

Genre: Realistic Fiction 

Rating: 4 (.5)/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Summary: Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens--until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happened before her very own eyes--or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show--destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

My thoughts: 

For Book Club this month, we read this book. Oh man, where do I even begin?!  I read this book back in 2009 and it is so different reading it now, in 2016, as a teacher. I found that I didn't remember much from what I read seven years ago. This is definitely, in my opinion, one of Jodi Picoult's best novels, if not, her best. Like we discussed at book club, we tend to lump Jodi Picoult into one category of all of her novels being the same. Although I do think that can be true, I, also, do love reading many of her books. Each of her novels has an internal and moral struggle that characters have to go through, and they almost all involve a court case. This specific novel is about a school shooting and all of the people encompassed in it. You read perspectives from the judge, the two lawyers, the boy himself, his mother, the students who were shot, etc. I read this novel in 48 hours and could not put it down. 

Here are my thoughts (yes, I could go on forever regarding this novel. We had such an awesome discussion at book club!) 

1. Sometimes the perpetrator of a heinous crime is the biggest victim of them all. Reading the things that Peter (the shooter) went through sometimes brought me to tears. I have never understood how people can treat others so badly, and the behavior of the bullies in this story was beyond the pale. It was easy to see how he could have been driven to do what he did, even though it was absolutely horrific.

2. High school is hard. I think most of us can look back on our high school days and remember struggling to fit in, remember the cruelty of some kids, and remember thinking that being "popular" meant you'd made it in life. Now, with my adult perspective, I can see how silly much of it was, but I remember that it was very real to me. I wasn't popular, but I did find my niche. I went through my share of teasing, and in the end I think it made me a stronger person, however I never endured anything like what Peter had to endure and I wonder how I would have gotten through something like that.

3. Nobody can judge a situation perfectly equitably. Not even a superior court judge. The storyline of Alex and her daughter showed that quite well, but so did the stories of most of the characters. You can't judge only on face value, or even on actions only. Piccoult did an excellent job of playing Devil's advocate for every single much so, that it is difficult to make up your mind one way or the other.

4. Schools may have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, but in reality, they turn a blind eye to much of it. We discussed in book club, though, do you think that bullying has changed? And how teachers deal with it? In the novel, it spoke a ton about teachers turning a blind eye to this bullying. Do you think that this is the case nowadays  I have experienced this a bit with Bria's schools. I think it is impossible for the teachers and administration to really see what is going on all the time, but I do think that they need to be more aware of who is the bully and who is the victim. It was very sad and even gut wrenching to see how the teachers either didn't want to deal with Peter's situation, half heartedly dealt with it, encouraged it, or punished him right along with the bully. I don't really know what the answer is, but it seems to me there's got to be something better. This part was confusing, saddening, and frustrating to read as a teacher. 

5. Peter's crime shouldn't be blamed on his parents, but they aren't guilt free, either. We can see that Peter's parents did what they thought was best, and they loved him. However, from the time he was born, they constantly compared him to his older brother, who was seemingly perfect. It got to a point that Peter couldn't confide in them about the hurt he was experiencing, because they always asked why he couldn't just be like Joey. And then to have Joey killed tragically a year before Peter's shooting spree didn't help. Both parents eventually admitted to themselves that they would have rather had Peter been killed in the car accident instead of Joey. Wow. I am pretty sure that kind of an attitude is evident to children, no matter how hard you try to hide it. Other mistakes these parents made were writing off Peter's anti social behaviors for normal teenage boy actions, and not really trying to have a relationship with him. Allowing him his privacy, instead of finding out what he was up to and what was going on in his life in a way that showed they truly were interested about him and truly cared. They seemed to be the poster children for loving, but lazy, parenting. (Which really isn't loving, actually).

Likewise, Alex had issues being a mother, and it took a tragic event to help her to reevaluate her priorities and her actions as Josie's mother. I could not stand Alex, the main character. I thought she was annoying and selfish. With that being said, I was happy she recognized her mistakes and worked to be better, but still, much of the damage had already been done. At least it wasn't as bad of a situation as Peter's parents were in, where the damage had all been done and there was no repairing any of it.

6. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the mitigating circumstances are. The law is still the law. Alex dealt with this early in her career as a judge...not agreeing with some laws but still having to uphold them legally (gun control). And of course, Peter and Josie needed to pay for their actions. That is the law. I don't think it could be any different, and of course, I don't excuse Peter for what he did. As the trial showed, there were other kids who were bullied just as much who didn't decide to shoot up the school. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” 

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up// Marie Kondo 

Genre: Self Help 

Rating: 3/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Summary: Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. 

My thoughts: 
 I liked a lot of the ideas that were in this novel, particularly:
1) Keep only the articles of clothing that bring you joy. I love the idea to ask yourself, "Does this bring me joy?" If the answer is no, then throw it away.
2) I loved her idea of separate papers into three distinct piles: currently in use, need for a limited period of time, and must be kept.
3) I thought it was incredibly enlightening when she talked about the two biggest reasons we can't let things go- attachment to the past or fear for the future. I also loved that she talked about tidying things up increases your confidence and decision making. I have seen that aspect in my life numerous times.

I am a very organized person, so tidying does not seem to be a problem for me. But as I was reading this book, I realized that I may not be as organized as I would like. I still have a few closets or areas in my home and life that need to be "cleaned out" and this book was good motivation for me. I did not love her ideas that all of our belongings have a spirit and a life. I felt that was a little extreme, but I understand where she was coming from. Overall, this book had some helpful tips, however, it was not my favorite book. I loved the helpful tips that she gave regarding organizing papers and getting rid of things. I tend to hold on to things like cards, invitations, etc. so this was a good process for me to start thinking about it. It has completely motivated me to start organizing those particular parts of my house! I would recommend this book to someone who needs to deep clean and organize closets and rooms in their environment. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.” 

The Wright Brothers// David McCullough 

Genre: Biography 

Rating: 3/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Summary: David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. 

My thoughts: 
McCullough tells stories about the boys' childhood, their strong relationship with their father and sister, their early attempts at gliders and flying machines, those famous first flights in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and finally of their international fame and travels. 

My favorite stories were about how intelligent and determined the brothers were. They never seemed to give up hope that they would one day solve the problem of human flight. They kept modifying and improving their flying machines, and even after several crashes, the brothers insisted on continuing to fly. They never seemed afraid to go up in the air.

This story was definitely interesting, but it was not my favorite novel of David Mccullough's. There were times that I was quite bored with all of the unneeded information. Overall, very interesting, but can be quite boring at times.  

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“But it isn’t true,” Orville responded emphatically, “to say we had no special advantages . . . the greatest thing in our favor was growing up in a family where there was always much encouragement to intellectual curiosity.” 

The Boy Who Dared// Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Genre: Historical Fiction (Young Adult) 

Rating: 4/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Summary: When 16-year-old Helmuth Hubner listens to the BBC news on an illegal short-wave radio, he quickly discovers Germany is lying to the people. But when he tries to expose the truth with leaflets, he's tried for treason. Sentenced to death and waiting in a jail cell, Helmut's story emerges in a series of flashbacks that show his growth from a naive child caught up in the patriotism of the times to a sensitive and mature young man who thinks for himself

My thoughts: The book flips perspectives from the present to memories Helmuth has leading up to why he is in jail. The voice of the narrator is consistent and gives you a good insight of how Helmuth changes from a little boy to a young adult who can think for himself. This storyline had a different take on this time period. There are numerous books written about this time, but I have never encountered one that had the protagonist belong to the Hitler Youth. The group intrigues him at first and you can easily see why. Hitler puts them on pedalstool, saying they are the new generation needed for the country with shiny boots and sharp uniforms to seal the deal. Through all the dazzle he comes to learn that he really can't go by with doing nothing about the wrongness of what is happening around him. I read this story with my sixth graders and they LOVED it. They were intrigued with the history and intensity of the novel. 

Favorite Quote from the book: 
“There are many reasons for a person to lie, but to have a reason to tell the truth, you must have deep belief. And great courage.” 

The Year of Yes// Shonda Rhimes 

Genre: Autobiography 

Rating: 4/5 stars (see more on GoodReads)

Summary:  With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

My thoughts: 
I had the privilege of reading this novel and listening to it in my car. I loved seeing Shonda's personality in her writing and also in her speaking as she was reading her book. As many of us know, Shonda is writer and creator of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. She writes tv shows that captivate people (at least me!) and I had to know what her autobiography was like.
Yes, the novel was not amazing. There were definite flaws like her rambling on at times. But what I loved the most about this novel was the fact that she was honest and real. She explained her trials, her weaknesses, and what she needed to do in order to fix them. I love reading about people who have been through things and I felt like she was open and honest. She was, also, hilarious! I found myself laughing out loud numerous times. Her novel made you want to sit down with her and have lunch to discuss even more details of her life. (Side note: I wanted to know her baby daddy situation. She's single with three little girls? Divorced? Dad never in picture? Different dads? I wanted her to explain that!).

Favorite Quote from the book: 
"There is no list of rules. There is one rule. The rule is: there are no rules. Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be. Being traditional is not traditional anymore. It’s funny that we still think of it that way. Normalize your lives, people. You don’t want a baby? Don’t have one. I don’t want to get married? I won’t. You want to live alone? Enjoy it. You want to love someone? Love someone. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain. Don’t ever feel less than. When you feel the need to apologize or explain who you are, it means the voice in your head is telling you the wrong story. Wipe the slate clean. And rewrite it. No fairy tales. Be your own narrator. And go for a happy ending. One foot in front of the other. You will make it.”

I've got some good books that I am reading right now!!! I can't wait to share some of my June novels with you. Come find me on GoodReads. Also, come join our book club! I just finished "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling for that book club and it is hilarious. I am intrigued for what that discussion will be like! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

It's Gonna Be MAY.

Hi. It's been awhile.
I don't know about you, but I seriously cannot get over that meme. You know, the one with Justin Timberlake in his lovely 90s white boy afro pretending to sing the N'SYNC song? No? You don't know what I'm talking about? Someone hasn't been on social media in awhile then. Or perhaps you are saying no because you think it's stupid and it's posted every year and it's not funny either way. In that case, we can't be friends. Just kidding. Kind of.

I'm writing this on June 8. More than a week after because I have not had an amazing few weeks, you could say. School got out on May 27th. I had teacher meetings all last week. I found myself with a cold and sore throat during the meetings. I didn't think too much of it. I usually get sick on Memorial Day Weekend because it's right after school gets out and my body, in a way, shuts down. Nevertheless, the sickness continued to get worse. On Friday, I had plans to drive out to California to visit Tanner. I thought my cold had gotten better, so I hopped in the car with my brother in law, and while on the drive there, I got a fever, nauseated and all sorts of fun. I spent those few short moments in California visiting Tanner---mostly coughing and sleeping the entire time. We headed back a day and a half later. I needed to get to a doctor and my illness was getting worse. I was on a twin bed in an apartment with a bunch of other dudes and their girlfriends/wives. It wasn't that fun. Even though I only saw T Money for a few minutes, it was totally worth it. He has been gone for six weeks. Three more weeks, people. We can do this! (I don't know how you military wives do it!). Turns out I have a sinus infection (fun). I tell you this story to let you know that I am on drugs and antibiotics right now.... you have been warned.

May I don't want to sound like a spoiled brat or anything, but May is just kind of a hard month for me. I think it's because it is a stressful month with end of the school year, Tanner was gone for the entire month, and it's a transition into summer.

Don't get me wrong, I kept myself busy (which is probably why I haven't been blogging....). If you follow me on Snapchat (@sierrasview), Instagram, and Twitter, than you will know what's up. Here is our video of May fun!!!

Untitled from Sierra Charlesworth on Vimeo.

Highlights from May: 
-Hiking! Lots of hiking. Hiking up American Fork Canyon, Stewart Falls, and other local trails. We went up to the farm in Oakley and went hiking around there (you will see in the video). It was absolutely beautiful.  The weather was perfect Spring weather and the mountains were all so green and beautiful.
-Hanging out with Saylor (#saylorthepup) A LOT. T Money has been gone for six weeks (three more weeks!!!) so I spend a lot of time with my dog and at my inlays. I bet my in laws are sick of me. I am lonely so I show up...a lot. I have been so out of it that I accidentally left my dog at my in laws TWICE. It's fine, guys.
-swimming, reunited with old friends, riding horses, and living the dream. It was a busy month that was spent with a lot of animals. Ha.
-Had my THIRD hit and run since having, Piper, my car. $500 repair. I'm debating if it's worth it. So annoying.

And, just because I am obsessed with animals, here is a video of many nights of playing with the kittens that Luna and Boo had. I just compiled them because there were far too many. Ha. 


Saturday, May 21, 2016

In Which Nature Heals // Utah Hiking

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

I reposted this post on my social media accounts the other day. I mentioned in my comments on this post about how May can be a difficult time for those who struggle with mental illness. I'm not entirely sure if it's because it's a change of season, there happens to be lots of rain and clouds in this month (seriously! It keeps raining here!) or if it's the fact that it is usually a very busy month with lots of stress with end of the year activities, etc. 

For me, it is imperative that I work out during this time of year. May is very stressful month in the life of a teacher. With end of the year testing, crazy behaviors of students, and end of the year activities, it is a time of constant go-go-go! As many of you know, I have been working out like crazy. I am trying everything in my power to staying healthy by going to the gym, lifting weights and doing cardio. My favorite thing to do for lower impact cardio is to go for hikes. 

Living in Utah means that I can drive up to the mountains in ten minutes and enjoy a beautiful hike with #saylorthepup and friends and family. I have read numerous studies about the positive impacts of hiking. For me, I try everything I can to have a relaxing time on the weekend. Like they say, there is no tired like end-of-year teacher tired (except maybe mom tired ha!).  Some people may not think of hiking as "relaxing", but I assure you, there is something about nature that heals your body physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Some of the most profound experiences that I have ever had have been while hiking and being out in nature. I have also noticed a huge impact on my attitude when I take care of myself. These include taking my vitamins (Raspberry Vitamints are the best!) and other supplements. 

My favorite thing to do to help "unwind" on the weekend is to grab my hiking backpack with all of the essentials and head up into the mountains. Here is a tutorial of what to put in your hiking backpack: 

Cool Mint Vitamints 
Tiger's Milk Protein Bars (Or any other protein bars!) 
Water! Lots and lots of water! 

1. Grab your water!!! (I am recently obsessed with SmartWater. It is a little bit of a problem.) 

 2. Next, add your Raspberry Vitamints! (These are seriously so good and I have noticed a difference for how I feel!). 

3. Combine them! 

4. Grab your tiger's milk protein bars (or other protein bars) and put them in your backpack. 

5. Add your sunglasses, sunscreen, and jacket. Boom! You have your hiking pack! 

 You can find these Centrum Vitamints near the pharmacy section in your local Walmart. 

Here is what I have noticed about nature. It's healing powers are truly incredible. 

-The beauty of the hikes. Right now, everything is so green and luscious (because of all that rain!). The mountains are full of rivers and trees. Simply just being in the mountains with fresh air makes a significant difference. 
-The exercise! Walking and moving and going up hills makes that sweat feel just a little bit better, ya know? 
-Hiking helps with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. It helps clear the mind. 
-Hiking in nature has been proven to positively affect high blood pressure, muscle strength, sleep quality, weight, and cholesterol. 

Continuing the Utah Hiking series...I have posted this hike before, but this is Horsetail Falls. 

And, as always, it allows for a healthier lifestyle. You can enjoy staying healthy with simple solutions like Centrum Gummies and Vitamints. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.