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Monthly Recap: March 2017

Monthly Recap: March 2017

Monthly Recaps

I’ve noticed that my favorite bloggers are also the ones that do monthy recaps! I treasure the insight into their lives and the going ons behind the blog. And since I’m never up-to-date in real time, I decided to do the same thing! Enjoy!

What I Was Up to This Month:

This month I started the dogwood photography challenge! I’ve also been thinking a lot more about what I want my blog to grow into and how I can implement that. In the realm of my everyday life, I saw a lot of new movies and worked on creative projects.

Where I Went:

I stayed in Lubbock for the whole month-for the last time. How bitter sweet. However, I also spent a day hiking in Caprock Canyon with Henry and Juno.


1. Hiking with Juno

This month was the first time we brought Juno on a long hike with us and she did phenomenal. It was so much more fun having a puppy with us for some reason! She was so excited that everything was 10x more exciting and cute. We’re planning on taking her with us on a longer camping trip to Colorado in May! 

2. Prolific!

I felt very engaged with my blog this month. Not only did I write a lot of posts, I worked on my photography, and I also did a lot of behind the scenes research on increasing readership and branding yourself.

3. Podcasts

I feel like February and March have changed my life. I’ve started driving with a podcast on instead of music and I absolutely love it! I don’t know how to fully depart how much happiness these podcasts give me everyday-just know that I’ve subscribed to 12 the past few months.


1. Work

This has been under challenges a lot recently. Being a waitress is no dream job guys. I can’t wait to not be scraping by. Or having intense neck pain from carrying trays.


This month was all about really figuring out what my blog is. Specifically, what niche it falls under and how to write for whichever audience my niche falls into. I invested in an ebook that explains how to take your blog to the next level in terms of monthly views. However, it’s given me a bit of mid-life blogging crisis over what my blog even is! What is my focus? The Peace Corps? China? Photography? The US?

I need some help figuring this one out! So since you guys read the blog–it would be so much help to me if you could describe my blog to me in one sentence in the comments. Or maybe you’re confused too but want to hear more on a specific topic-let me know that too!

Most Popular Post:

Am I a Hippie? And 14 Signs You Might Be One Too – I finally came to terms that I’m a hippie. Here are 14 tell-tale signs that you might be one too. For hippies in denial.

Other Posts:

10 Reasons You Should Visit New Mexico– New Mexico is all kind of gorgeousness. Which is why I think anyone should make this less-traveled state a must destination.

Happy International Women’s Day – I celebrate being a woman and why we still need feminism.

Spying on Hummingbirds: 11 Photos of these New Mexican Beauties – I <3 hummingbirds. And I really love these photos I got of them dancing around the hummingbird feeder.

Booze Cruisin in Cancun – All the March Spring Breakers had me reflecting on Cancun, a popular spring break destination. One of me and Caroline’s favorite days was a booze cruise where we drank a lot of alcohol and soaked up the gorgeous views!

How to Ace Your Peace Corps Application – The Internet seems to be lacking lots of Peace Corps information-besides from the Peace Corps website itself. Which has given me quite a few post ideas! Number one was rocking the Peace Corps application! Especially since it’s changed in the past few years.

Dogwood Photography Challenge: Weeks 1-4 – This post is extremely embarrassing to me and also something I’m proud of. I know my photography has a lot of work to get it to the next level but I’m also really proud that I’m doing this challenge and forcing myself to grow!

Most Popular Photo on Instagram:

Stock this one up to another reason you should visit New Mexico.

What I Listened to this Month:

Technically this dropped on the 31st which isn’t exactly a song I’ve been listening to all month. But it’s freaking Kendrick Lamar and I’m so f$(*ing excited.

And watch the video too.

But another good find this month has to be the winner of the NPR tiny desk concert, Tank and the Bangas.

What I Watched this Month:

The Oscar win for Best Picture (if you didn’t know already since the Oscar drama!), Moonlight is a spectacular movie. I cannot overstate how phenomenal it is and how moving. I’m still thinking about elements of this movie weeks later and it raised issues that I think popular culture skims over. The movie’s roots as a play are shown through chapters and the use of stage light, which I found gorgeous and a brilliant way of telling a story. I also like that this movie raises important issues, such as the crack epidemic, being gay and black, and racial issues, all while telling a straightforward story that has a happy ending.  It makes the whole story more relatable and easy to follow while still shining the light on segments of our society which are underrepresented in media.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, Peele’s Get Out is awesome. Yeah it’s a horror movie, but also hilarious and light. Peele manages to incorporate micro-aggressions against black people which are hyperbolized to tell this horror movie with a twist. It’s fantastic and very enjoyable.

Favorite Recipe:

For date night with Henry, instead of eating out and spending a lot of money, we’ve been cooking in at home! I know this doesn’t sound very date night-y if you cook at home every night, so we try and make something special these nights. Hence, we add in seafood! I’m pescetarian but I don’t often eat seafood much. It’s expensive for one and I find there are plenty of veggie only recipes. However, it’s really nice to shake it up and make a nice pasta with shrimp already cooked for you and seasoned at the store. We buy a fancy wine or beer and then we go out and do something–see Beauty and the Beast for instance. We’ve made a few fettuccine recipes and I’ve found that it’s really all about getting the sauce right. Luckily, this recipe was delicious, easy, and quick to make. Especially if you like spicy, cajun shrimp fettuccine can’t be beat!

What I Read this Month:

At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell.

This book was  a hard one and consumed my whole month. I don’t know much about philosophy to be sure and I could really feel it in this book. It was challenging to even grasp the ideas these myriad philosophers were putting forward. However hard this book was, I enjoyed it and learned a lot. Bakewell follows the great existentialist thinkers who inspired a movement. You learn the roots of the existentialism in Heidegger and Husserl’s phenomenology and their different philosophical perspectives. Then, you see new ideas form in Camus, Monty-Perleau, Beauvoire, and Sartre and their affect on the world. If you’re already overwhelmed you are in the same position as me. I had no idea phenomenology was even a word and to be honest did not know the first thing about existentialism. I wouldn’t let that put you off. However, it is a difficult book and very dense. If you’re good at working through that material, it’s very well written and exciting to read. If you want something a little bit lighter, I would skip.

Coming up in April:

Lots of things! Me and some friends are going up to Dallas for a concert the beginning of April. Read–I cant’ wait. The restaurant is closed for Easter-hallelujah for a day off on the weekend. And my cousin is getting married at the end of April in Austin. This month is sure to breeze by. I can’t wait–especially as things in life seem to be happening again.


Go listen to Kendrick now!

About the author

I got my first taste of long-term travel when I took a gap year before beginning college. I lived and worked in Australia in one of the most transformative years of my life. Like many others, I caught the wanderlust bug and now I'm always busy adding to my bucketlist. Besides traveling, I'm into hiking and photography. I'm currently finishing up my senior year in college and planning my next big adventure!


  1. Jess
    April 9, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I don’t know what your blog is either, but I enjoy reading it! I started reading it as research for study abroad in China ( your Huangshan article inspired me to hike it. It was so incredible! So glad I went.) I’m continuing to read about your life as I’m interested in what well travelled and well educated women do with their lives.

    • Phyllis
      April 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks for commenting–that’s actually really helpful (believe it or not). I saw your comment a few days ago and did that thing where I replied in my head but didn’t actually type it out so sorry about that… But anyway where did you study abroad in China?? And I’m glad you went to Huangshan!!! I’ve really never seen anything else like it! 🙂

  2. Jess
    April 12, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I’m actually studying in China now. I’m in Nanjing. I have the least linear study abroad experience of anyone I know. I went to university, graduated with a Bachelor, Honours and Masters degree, worked as a military historian for 2 years, then worked as a middle school Japanese and Music teacher in Australia for 3 years before deciding to quit my job and go learn Chinese as an older student.
    Hence why I’m so keen on what other people do with their lives – I’ve no clue what I’m doing with mine!

    I’m so glad I went to Huangshan too. We stayed on top of the mountain, and we’re lucky enough to see the sunrise! Perfectly timed.

    • Phyllis
      April 13, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Well I think it takes a while for us all to figure it out! That sounds awesome though 🙂

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