Self-Quarantine Diaries No. 02


A few weeks ago, I shared a few reflections on my first week in quarantine due to COVID-19. I had been furloughed by work, started my first experiences with online classes, and started a puzzle. Well, a month later, a lot has changed.

To begin, I went back to work in a very limited sense. My work is only fulfilling curbside orders or ship-to-home orders for books. The biggest focus is having us rearrange the entire store and deep clean everything. I returned to work on Tuesday, and I legitimately could barely walk by the end of my shift. I had moved bookshelves, loads of books, and laughed with my coworkers again. I know I am incredibly blessed to be back at work.

Which leads me to my next change: I am giving back to my community. With the stimulus check and returning to work, I have some extra money to provide to my community. I have shopped a few small businesses, ordered contactless delivery food, and donated to food banks. My donations are nothing huge, but I know the difference a small act can make. I encourage you, if you can, to look around your home and see if you can help in any way you can. Perhaps it’s staying within your home.

Before quarantine, I bought two puzzles with the idea that I would have an abundance of time. I didn’t even finish one puzzle. My brain could not focus on the puzzle for extended periods of time, and I grew frustrated. I quickly fell into binge watching shows. Within a month, I watched a season and a half of This Is Us, all of Girl Meets World, and five seasons of New Girl. I can confidently say I will have New Girl finished by the middle of next week at the latest.

I have not been able to focus on reading in any capacity. As I scroll through Twitter and Instagram, I know many other readers are feeling the same way. Reading is usually an escape for me, but, after a full day of terrifying news and online classes, I simply cannot focus enough to start a new book. I did manage to finish Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden.

It was a light enough book for me that I could easily sit down and read it in bigger chunks. I loved the focus of the humanitarian work, but I did get irritated by the main character not believing in the importance of baking. Let me know if you would like to see a full review here on the blog about this book.

As far as school goes, I officially was late to one of my Zoom classes since my professor changed the time, and I forgot about it. I have definitely gotten less motivated throughout the month to actually do my work in a consistent manner. A few of my professors have even stopped posting consistently which does not help my procrastination. I can feel the drain of online classes every day from my classmates, professors, and myself. I have three weeks left, so I can only hope to find motivation somewhere.

Realistically, I am feeling the drain of quarantine on my spirits. I try my best to check in with my friends and family with video chats or texts. As well all know at this point, it’s not the same. I know I have to do my part, though, to stay home as much as possible for those around me. I am doing all that I can to practice my part in this whole system.

How have you been doing during COVID-19? What does quarantine look like from where you are? Let me know in the comments!



february 2019 goal update // losing track of time and refocusing priorities

I’m pretty sure February was my month of saying, “I’ll do that later.”

I started my second semester of my second year at college! February challenged me to motivate myself to put effort into assignments, get into a steady routine for my habits, and prioritize my work-school-social lives. Blogging definitely got left behind on that train. I tried to keep my Instagram stories updated weekly since I didn’t have time to sit down and write a blog post. March will definitely be similar, so be prepared for another month hiatus! *silently cries in corner from lack of blogging*

Despite my crazy schedules, I did stick to most of my goals pretty well compared to how I would have done past semesters. Let’s jump right into the updating!

workout twice a week

I have indeed been working out twice a week, easily! My class schedule has about a three-hour time gap on Mondays and Wednesdays from my last daytime class before my night classes start. During this time, I head to the gym for about a 45-minute elliptical workout. On Wednesdays, I go with a friend and catch up with her while we buddy workout. Going with a buddy has definitely pushed me to keep working out multiple times a week. I definitely recommend finding someone you trust to go with to the gym to start if you are feeling hesitant or nervous!

Most Sundays I will take time to do either a group yoga class on-campus or follow along to a YouTube video at home. If you are just beginning and want to see if you’ll like yoga, I definitely recommend following Yoga With Adriene on YouTube!

I’m hoping in March to expand my workouts to try out some of the other gym equipment besides ellipticals. If you have any tips or videos or ideas where I should start, comment below!

read the Bible

I’m going to be completely honest: I did not read the Bible everyday. I did, however, manage to read at least once if not twice a week a devotional from Little Faith Blog‘s Little Bible Plan or a devotional from the YouVersion Bible app. I definitely want to do better in March, but I’m still proud of how much I did read in February. In past years, I would barely pick up the Bible (if at all) during the school year.

In March, I am going to try and do the Little Bible Plan again as well as a devotional on the YouVersion app that the middle school ministry at my church is doing in a series right now, and hopefully get some of the girls from the small group I lead to join in!

read 40 books

In February, I read 2 books! I read American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel) and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, both books for my literature classes. I have a lot of books to read in March, including The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and a few others. Audiobooks will definitely also be added in my April monthly post! If you want to see more about which books I’m currently reading, make sure to add me on Goodreads!

write a 35k word story

I have no idea when this will become a priority on my goal list, but February was not the month. March probably won’t be the month either despite spring break. I still want to write a 35,000 word story in 2019, but I think I may have to wait until summer because of how many reading assignments I have for this semester.

establish an emergency fund

My emergency fund is not where I want it to be right now, but I am hoping to hit the minimum amount by mid-March. I’m only a few dollars away right now. I forgot about paying to send in taxes and then had to pay some other unexpected bills. I’m excited to be able to check this goal as complete next month, though!

follow a financial plan

I have still been following the 50-20-30 plan pretty well. My goal from January to spend more on cooking and less on eating out has been going well. I tend to eat out maybe once a week, if that. I tend to like cooking my meals ahead (meal prepping for the win!) and have flexibility with the flavors. If you follow me on Instagram, I shared a grocery haul in February (Look under the ‘Living’ highlight.) I usually find I have money left over from eating out less each week to help bump up next week’s budget!

gratitude journal

Just like my writing goal, my gratitude journal is non-existent. I have been thinking about maybe creating a board somewhere in my room for me to write small notes of gratitude on to see each day. I will keep you updated on this goal!

buy less Starbucks

I adapted my goal in January from buying less Starbucks to downsizing the size of my drinks. In February, I definitely only bought grande drinks! I did not go less by any means. I have a school schedule where my first class is at 8 am, and my work schedule lately has me being in at 7 am. My need for caffeine has only grown stronger, but I am slowly trying to get my body used to drinking more water for energy instead of the dehydrating caffeine. I usually find myself wanting Starbucks when I’m tired (aka dehydrated) instead of reaching for water.

complain less

I did not keep mental track of this goal very well in February. I think I did find myself complaining a few times, but I also tried on giving other people a positive twist on their complaints. I mainly complained on Wednesdays when I worked out with my friend since I always feel stressed from school. I want to bring this back to the forefront of my mind again in March.

Now onto the part where I forgot to keep track of different reading challenges:

a year of epic reads

I honestly have no idea what the monthly challenge for February was and I cannot find it anywhere. I also can’t seem to find the monthly challenge for March anywhere. If anyone has like a master list of the monthly challenges, please send it my way!

beat the backlist

The two books I read in February are both backlist titles, but alas I forgot to add them to the house challenges for points. I will definitely be reading backlist titles in March as well, so I will be adding in all the titles for this month!

popsugar reading challenge

I think I need to print out or put the list in my bullet journal because I can’t keep track of the prompts. I don’t see the two books I read in February fitting any of the prompts, so I will say I didn’t do any of them this month.

Sorry for the kind of dry post, but I wanted to give you an update as to how I am doing! I’m hoping to do a bit more in March, so keep an eye on my Instagram (@themisscharleyblog + @themisscharley) for updates. I can’t guarantee getting another post up in March, but I will try my hardest!

I am also adding a goal for Lent: eat no desserts/sweets! I have found myself eating way too many sweets lately, and I think Lent is the perfect time to turn to healthier choices!

Thank you for reading all the way to the end! 1000 gold stars for you!

How are your 2019 goals coming? Have you had to restart any of them? Do you give anything up for Lent? Give me tips for March!

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juggling school, work, and life in a new way // college life update

I am finishing up the third week of college, but it feels like I’m still in the first week whirlwind. Life has been filled with endless amounts of homework (even a group project already!), friends wanting to meet-up and talk about life (without multitasking doing homework), and early morning work shifts.

With my schedule changing each day from morning to night classes, I haven’t figured out a good study and sleep schedule. My general education classes were available only in the afternoon.  As an education major, I needed to complete certain classes before I could apply to the college of education at my university. Those classes were only offered in the morning on alternate days from my gen ed credits.

To break down how most education programs work, the basic idea is that within each university is a separate, specific “college” that majors are within. Imagine an umbrella and all the similar majors are under the same umbrella. For my major I have to apply in order to stand under the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) umbrella even though I already applied to be in my university. The application at each university to get into the College of Education changes based on numerous requirements. My application process is a little easier now that I’m a transfer student (let me know if you want a post about being a transfer student!). In a few years, I will have to take some more tests (PRAXIS) and apply to become a student teacher. By then I should have a portfolio of essays, InTASC standards lessons, lesson plans, etc. to hand to a future employer.

I am about to submit my application to the COEHS, which means I then have to wait to hear if I am in the program or not. Then more classes will be open for me to take and finish my degree. Balancing between filling out my application and keeping up with my homework, readings, and group projects has been a little difficult. I can feel like I’m on the verge of being on track. 

Around all of this craziness, I am working a little more than double the amount of hours I worked last year with the same amount of credits. While my job isn’t difficult and I truly enjoy it, thinking about the homework (and Netflix shows) waiting for me at home has made me feel a little more stressed. I am always going somewhere and doing something. When friends when to sit down and catch up, I want to do homework with them.

I have always struggled being social during the school year since I feel the need to be on track with my homework or ahead. This year I am trying to change this mentality. I haven’t been able to make any big chances since schedules simply don’t match up sometimes, but I am trying to stay reading books, watching movies and TV shows, and following on social media.

I know I haven’t been able to post a lot on here, but make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter if you want a sneak peek into my day-to-day life.

Miss Charley (2)

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The Week of Mondays + More // life update

I really wanted to get this blog back on its feet this summer and be ahead with scheduling, but life got me like:

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At the beginning of July, I went through a bit of an existential crisis with figuring out how to pay for college, working during the school year, etc. Basically, college is wrecking my mental state already, and it’s only July.

The second week of July I went on vacation which was nice but packing and prepping was a NIGHTMARE with stress running through my veins. I did not take too many pictures this year at Lifest since I wanted to enjoy more time away from the phone with my family and friends. I did take this one photo though:

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In between the rain clouds, I picked up my annual TWLOHA purchase. This year I decided to grab the rain jacket. I have never gotten more use out of a new purchase than I did from this coat within 48 hours.

I struggled to catch up from the lack of sleep during Lifest the next week since I helped out with my church’s vacation Bible school in the evenings after work and then Saturday morning (and then a closing shift at work). Catch up on sleep on the Sunday off I had, you say? Well, that would have been great except I went to the church carnival, an acoustic set, and a bonfire.

Oh, and then I worked every day except Wednesday this past week. And my next two weeks will be 40-hour work weeks (as a part-timer). Needless to say, I may not be updating the blog/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook much since yesterday (Thursday) started eight straight days of eight-hour days. Honestly, I can’t even see a time for me to catch up on reading for my Sarah Dessen Summer reading challenge.

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August is almost here which means I need to start getting ready (even more) for college and prepping for seeing my bank account drop like crazy thanks to those textbooks and tuition fees. Plus, my reading list is going to be a little less steep for August unlike the optimistic list I held this month. But I’ll (hopefully) be making that a post in August! Keep an eye out for fun stuff sporadically sprinkled in the next few weeks.

What was your July like? Was it as crazy as mine? What are you excited to do/happen in August? Let me know in the comments!

Miss Charley (2)Find me on social media!