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Oliver

Dear World,

I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite fuzzy creatures on this earth. His name is Oliver. He will

Olive – Exploring

respond to “Olive” or just “O” if you say it nice enough. [He likes to know that there will be treats involved]

My little Olive likes to play with straws [leave one unattended and you are in for some trouble] and laser pointers mostly. He gobbles up attention of any kind. He will follow you from room to room and twine in between your legs if you stand in one place too long.

Olive – In The Sink

Don’t close the bathroom door too fast because he will dart in before you know it, and his tail is last to follow. He will perch on the counter and watch you brush your teeth; don’t mind him if he sits on your lap while you’re on the toilet, he really just wants some behind the ear scratches.

I love him to pieces and I hope you do too.

Look out for more pictures of my little Olive.
~Madison

 

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Three Tips for College Students: How to Balance Work, School, and Life

School, for me, has always been a struggle. I would be studying five different topics at the same time. All taught by different teachers with different teaching styles and methods. It’s always been hard for me to wrap my brain around so many different topics.

Starting college I was determined to get straight “A”s and be better than my “B” average high school self. That determination worked for me for a while. Though after three years of near constant school [including over the summer] my determination is at an all time low.

My goals have shifted from “A”s to include time for my job and my personal life. My education is still important [I don’t want to accrue all this debt for nothing] but I’ve come to find a balance in my work/school/personal life. Working and going to school at the same time has taught me the value of my time.

So I celebration of starting my fourth [and final, yay!] year of college, here are my top three tips for being successful in school.

  1. Study often instead of hard

    I like to study for short periods of time through out my day. I carry my flash cards with me wherever I go. So if I’m waiting for a class to start, or walking somewhere I can review the information from class. If you study often you can avoid cramming before the exam, and you can avoid all the stress that comes with it.

  2. Keep Organized

    Find a system that works for you! There are plenty of options to get organized but the most important factor is to find a system that you will stick with. My two favorites are planners and Google.

    • Planners are great because they are physical. You can write things down in different colors, use sticky notes and highlighters. The sky is the limit when it comes to planner personalization. The biggest downside for me is that they are little books with your life written in the pages. Somehow I always manage to forget my planners at home.
    • Google has some amazing apps that can help you organize your life. I use Google Calendar [literally color coded and everything, I seriously love Calendar], Keep [think digital sticky notes], Gmail, and Drive [docs, sheets, slides, all easily accessible wherever you are]. If you are a person who is always on the go or, like me, forgets things, then Google might be for you.
  3. Focus on your goals

    Recognize that there are only a limited amount of hours in a day and budget your time. First, make time for the necessities [sleeping, eating, exercise] then add everything else [work, school, extracurriculars, etc.]. Don’t forget to set time aside to do something that makes you happy. Find the time to relax and unwind, you won’t regret it.

So that’s it! The three things I have learned in my three short years of college.

Comment below with any study/life tips you would like to share. Is there something I mentioned here that you also do? Something you do instead? Let me know!

If we were having coffee…

I would look down at my steaming cup of cappuccino and brush off my worries like crumbs on the table. Everything is fine, I would say. Maybe then, just for a moment, I could believe it too. 

 

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you that things aren’t always so great. I would smile and laugh so my worry would seem trivial.

I would tell you that my job is good for the most part. Though talking with angry clients really hurts my heart. One bridezilla and I cry my eyes out for the entire day. The burden of the perfect wedding is falling on their shoulders and to them, it seems okay to place it on mine too.

I would tell you that even the thought of going into work on Monday causes my shoulders to tense, my back to ache. Their big day becomes my big day too. Maybe I don’t have thick enough skin for this.

I would look down at my steaming cup of cappuccino and brush off my worries like crumbs on the table. Everything is fine, I would say. Maybe then, just for a moment, I could believe it too.

Casual Friday

-Casual

The summer heat is bearable in the northern California valley where I used to call home.The triple digit degrees are refreshing when you have an air conditioned house to come back to at the end of the day.

The summer heat in Oregon is miserable. (Definitely not what I thought it would be before I moved here) The stifling heat seems to cling wherever you go. There are no cool houses to come home to, there are no air conditioners in Oregon. (and all I want is an air conditioner)

The heat, like the tide, rises and falls.  (oh, how I wish I could feel the cool ocean breezes.)
The heat will bear down with no relief in sight. Then the next week it will be gone, the perfect summer day. The ever changing weather always leaves us guessing.

Gone are the slacks and buttons of the winter months. Visiting for a limited time only are the casual summer khakis. Yes, even in the office. Say goodbye to casual Friday and hello to casual every day.

Oregon State Parks

Oregon has some of the most beautifully preserved state parks and recreation areas.

 

Happy Friday! Enjoy the great #outdoors . This little fella sure is ☺

A post shared by Oregon State Parks (@oregonstateparks) on Aug 4, 2017 at 10:47am PDT

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Here are my top choices of parks to visit this month. Which one should I visit next?

 

More suggestions? Comment below

Marmalade

Meet Marmalade. 13 years old, orange, sleeps a lot.

Today I would like to introduce Marmalade. Everyone, meet Marmalade.

She is beauty ♡ She is grace ♡ She sheds all over the place

A post shared by Madison (@madiharner) on Jun 19, 2017 at 5:06pm PDT

 

We adopted Marm (as she is affectionately called) in June from the Willamette Humane Society in Salem, Oregon. For Carolyn’s 21st birthday Kanoe and I went out to dinner to celebrate with Carolyn. That evening we found ourselves at WHS, because playing with kittens is a great way to celebrate. (right?)

We met many cats and a few newly spayed kittens. Marm, along with a handful of other elderly cats, was separated from the rest in a special  room for those cats that were exposed to “the kitty cold.” Meaning we had to meet everyone else before we could enter the room. The volunteers were happy to help introduce us to everyone there, giving insight on their personalities and preferences.

She was sleeping peacefully in the corner, one of her favorite past times. The volunteers said that she had been found abandoned on the street and an elderly couple had brought her to WHS. Her vibrant orange fur immediately caught our attention. I had always wanted an orange cat. Her fur was soft and she sleepily started purring as soon as she was petted on the head.

Her vibrant orange fur immediately caught my attention. (I had always wanted an orange cat) Her fur was soft and she sleepily started purring as soon as she was petted on the head.

Love at first sight.

One hour, two packets of paperwork, and a cardboard cat carrier later, we emerged from WHS with a new family member in arms. Now Marm sleeps peacefully on the couch or in her “cat cave” under my desk most days. She has spent her first 13 years of life on an adventure and I’m happy that we get to spend the next few years of our life with her.

More about the Willamette Humane Society here.