Life Itself.

“Education is not preparation for life;  education is life itself.” -John Dewey

I’m an unabashed proponent of education, despite the governmental flaws in the system I’ve personally been through.  Today, though, I’m not going to rant about the education system;  I’m going to give it a bit of credit.

Since my earliest days, my mom has joked that I’m going to be a student eternally.  So far, I’ve continued continuing my education, so she’s been pretty spot-on;  haven’t been quite sold on grad school just yet, but we’ll see.

Nowadays, it seems that every other person (especialy of the next few generations beneath me, though I don’t want to stereotype them all) thinks that people are better off without a formal education.  Years ago, it was the image of the street-smart greaser;  now, it’s the gangsta who can get all his answers on the internet.


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A “real” education saves you from looking like an idiot—it teaches you the difference between affect and effect and their there and they’re.

A “real” education gives you a chance in the horrendous job market that America seems to be stuck in (if you can get the loans paid off, that is).

A “real” education is the modern equivalent of the American Dream.  It’s what minorities have fought for for decades, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

I’m not saying that every student needs to be as gung-ho as myself, nor does everyone need a PhD (not every needs a college degree, for crying out loud.  Vocational-technical programs are every bit as important, if not more so, whatever society may seem to say.

So go thank a teacher.  Thank Mom and Dad for putting you through school.  Take a moment to be grateful for your education;  there are people throughout history and throughout the modern world who would kill for it.

Why I’m Okay with Being a Lifestyle Blog

Since the start of TO&E, I’ve looked into blogging advice every once in awhile—whether I pointedly seek it out or something pops up in my Pinterest feed, there’s some amazing stuff out there!  But one point comes up time and time again that I cannot bring myself to agree with:

“Find your niche!”

To hear some of this advice, it’s as if you find your niche and all is instantaneously right in the world:  you’ll have monstrous numbers of readers, unlimited followers, and all the support system in the world.

According to this theory, a general “lifestyle” blog is practically a curse for your site.  You won’t draw in loyal readers, you won’t have your “tribe,” and life will generally suck.


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But you know what?  I love my generic pseudo-niche.  I love that I can write about my life, and whatever happens to be going on in it at that moment.  Being in college narrows it down a bit, and probably makes it more relatable to prospective readers, given my target audience being generally college-aged.

I love the community of other lifestyle bloggers,  of other college bloggers.  I love the opportunities that are offered to me because I’m not limited by some specifc niche.  I love the freedom to write something serious one week, then elaborate how much I love squirrels the next.

Monthly Goals Collab: September

Angela and Jazmine, of The Clutter Box and Fairy Lights & Dreams, respectively, came up with the brilliance of a Monthly Goal Collaboration, and I’m thrilled to be joining them and the other bloggers yet again this month! 

September’s post is a bit delayed after a string of health problems, computer problems, and general back to school stress, but here goes!

Looking back on August:

Some high points:  

  • My internship has turned into a real job!  Apparently they just couldn’t bear to give me up.🙂
  • I’m slowly getting more comfortable with Hootsuite and Facebook’s scheduler in getting social media posts set.
  • I’ve successfully returned to year 3 at Gettysburg and into my rather interesting array of classes.
  • My sister is starting high school beautifully and actually enjoying some of it.
  • I got to read quite a few books (hoping to get a compilation post up soon regarding some of my recommendations!) before being hit with the semester’s reading load.

Needs improvement:

  • Friends.  I really need to make some new ones here at Gburg.  Sure, I have plenty of “let’s grab dinner [once per month or so] and catch up” friends, but I need to some friends that are close enough that we don’t need that catching up every few weeks—we already knew.  Who knew making friends in college is so difficult once you’re a junior??
  • My health needs to improve.  Not that that’s simple, by any means, but it would make pretty much everything else easier….That will mean appointments, that will mean tests, that will mean, likely, even more stress along the way.  To fix it though?  So worth it.
  • Going largely off the former, my blogging has fallen to the wayside, especially with school starting on top of it.  Will do better this month!

And so, some goals for September:


Get involved.

“Jules, you do too much already,” I hear you warn concernedly.  I know.  But I really need to renew my commitment to my current clubs, especially those that I rarely–if ever—make time for.

Health efforts.

I’ve already explained the importance of this one;  I haven’t worked out the specifics, but I’m pretty darn determined.


Get at least one post up per week.  Schedule social media.  Post on Instagram.  I’ve got this.

So…here’s hoping the gals of this collab can keep my motivation high! Feel free to let me know if you have any tips!

“I thought you were nuts, but you’re really really really nuts….”

“You’re so annoying you pitiful old man.  I’d like to help you but I don’t
know if I can.  I thought you were nuts, but you’re really really really nuts….”  —Nuts, Adventure Time

While I was working at the College Bookstore last summer, I was given a large pile of peanuts in-shell—obviously, the vegan needed the protein! Over time, they got to the point that they weren’t bad, but they just weren’t fresh anymore.  So, they became squirrel food.

The Gettysburg squirrels are fearless and absolutely adorable.  Whether they’re scurrying across the sidewalk or carrying a slice of pizza in their wake, the squirrels are a staple of GBC.

So, when I went to the Seminary for this summer, I had a pile of peanuts in tow.  Throwing a handful under the tree outside my window, I whiled away the hours watching the little fluffy tails scamper around.

Eventually, one specific squirrel decided to take this relationship a step further.  One morning I awoke to the sound of movement.  Wasn’t I surprised when it turned out to be a little furry friend tapping on the window!


Slowly but surely, this became a ritual:  Kennedy the squirrel coming to the window to wake me each morning, my giving him a few peanuts as a thank you.


He soon showed a preference for stopping by when I had music playing, especially Taylor Swift!


One day, while I was at work, Kennedy decided to take matters into his own hands.  He had chewed a little hole in the plastic that surrounded the air conditioner, taped over with a pile of duct tape—that day, he decided to crawl through it, knocking things off the table as he went.


Somehow, he got in and out by himself, before I got home.  Of course, I checked excessively.  My mom had a whole rant from me as I stood in a panic.  She sent me to a restaurant downtown to calm down, with a pile of peanuts waiting in the center of the room, across from the webcam, waiting just in case I’d missed something.

Upon coming home, the peanuts were in place and the webcam’s footage didn’t show any furry visitors.  In fact, Kennedy began avoiding the window.  I put peanuts at a farther distance, just in case.  But he was still my favorite little visitor!



August Goals Collab!

Angela and Jazmine, of The Clutter Box and Fairy Lights & Dreams, respectively, came up with the brilliance of a Monthly Goal Collaboration, and I’m thrilled to be joining them and the other blogger s yet again this month!

Looking back on July:
Some high points:  
  • I scheduled a decent number of social media posts for TO&E, Hanging in There, and HC @ Gettysburg.
  • I successfully moved into my housing for the remainder of my internship.
  • I found myself spending time with friends outside of my apartment!
  • I’ve worked more at networking with my fellow bloggers.

Needs improvement:  

  • I began reading at a great pace, but it slowed down as the month progressed.
  • I still haven’t been blogging at the frequency I’d like to be.

So, looking forward:  some monthly goals!

Pick up on reading

I’m going to finish at least four books before school starts again.

Update TO&E

I’m going to blog more frequently and keep up the social media pages!

Get a schedule for the fall.

I’m currently lacking a list of classes for the fall.  Need to fix that.

Get Rachem ready for high school.

As much as I like to deny it, my little sister is starting high school later this month.  The least I can do is help her prepare.

Spend time with my family.

I’ll be home for a few weeks this month, so I plan to make the most of it!

Finish my internship with flying colors.

There are just a few more days of work and a single essay keeping me from being finished.  Time flies!

So…here’s hoping the gals of this collab can keep my motivation high! Feel free to let me know if you have any tips!

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Vegan Cooking with Jules: Peach Muffins

*I received this item for free or at
a discounted rate in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are 100% my own and completely honest.*


I have a friend who works for a local fruit company.  When he sent me home with half a bag of peaches the other day, I was ecstatic.  Free fresh fruit (try saying that five times fast!)??

The same day, I was thrilled to receive a new silicone muffin pan from Keliwa.

I texted my mom—what should I make in my new pan?  After hearing about this and my peaches, she suggested what, in retrospect, should have been the obvious answer:  peach muffins, of course!

So, like any good internet user, I headed to Pinterest.  I quickly fell upon Multi-Testing Mommy‘s recipe and was psyched to try it out.

The changes I made to MTM’s recipe were subtle, and primarily due to my wanting to use ingredients I had on hand.  With egg replacer, applesauce (and a touch of water) instead of milk, and unskinned peaches, these were absolutely amazing.


A friend inquired as to how the muffins turned out.  My response pretty much says it all.


In short, the pan worked perfectly and the muffins were to die for.  What more could a girl ask for?