How to Make Friends in Your 20’s

I have such a fun post for y’all today!

Remember Jess? You know, my uber cool friend who somehow still likes me despite my homebody grandma personality? She also wrote here before about Treating Your Self, which if you’re not doing already you need to start Immediately!

Also to answer the wedding questions, no we don’t have a date (but possibly our venue so it’s tbd very soon, eek!) also no I haven’t looked at dresses or caterers or wedding favors or anything else you want to ask me about. Wedding planning is awesome and fun but choosing is hard. First world problems yo….

Anyway, without further ado, take it away Jess!

How to make friends in 20s

Hey Everyone!
It’s been a while since I have written for Kelsey, and to be honest, she asked me to do this in August but I’m such a procrastinator that I didn’t get it done…hence the reason I will never be a real blogger. But anyways, since you’ve last heard from me (a year ago) I have gone from traveling job that had me hopping place to place, to permanent job at an amazing hospital in Seattle, WA. I could not be happier with my decision to land in this city, even with it being so far away from my New England home. Which is what brings us to today’s topic: tips for making new friends in your 20s and beyond.  This can be a hard thing to do, but it is possible, and hopefully this will help!

Disclaimer: I am an extrovert, and kind of pride myself on bringing introverts out of their shells when I can. So if you are an extrovert, these will be tips on how to work it, and for all you introverts, hopefully this will help you feel more comfortable out of your shell.

Focus on your interests

By the time you are 24, most people know what things they are interested in whether it be fitness, reading, outdoor adventures, board games, computer games, dancing, and general debauchery. You at least have an idea of what makes you happy and like to do. And if you like it, I can guarantee that there is someone else out there who likes those things too.  So do your research online, talk about the things you like to do with coworkers, if you see someone doing something you like, go talk to them (if they give you a weird look, who cares, you are just being friendly) Also, I highly recommend the website meetup.com for groups that get together to do said interests.

Say yes

This is my number one go to rule. It’s the most proven (personally at least) way to meet cool people and form amazing friendships. If you get an invitation that sounds interesting, just say yes. Whether it be an invite to a party full of people you may not know, out to a drink with someone you’ve only had a few conversations with before, or for a walk on a nice day (or in the rain too!) just say yes.
Simple right? ( the answer is YES!)

Be yourself

How do you expect to make authentic friendships if you aren’t being your authentic self? This is also a simple one.

Get out there!

Go! Out of your house! Grab someone and go somewhere, or go by yourself. Sit at the bar, eavesdrop and butt into interesting conversations (you know you are listening anyways). Go for a walk or run and stop to pet someone’s dog, social interaction is important. Even if these random encounters don’t go anywhere, they will get you more comfortable with talking to people, I’m looking at you introverts! Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, set a goal for even 1 time a week to get out of the house and do something social.

Use Connections

A friend of a friend could be your next BFF and you just don’t even know it yet. If there’s someone who you think you would hit it off with, don’t be afraid to use you connections, personal or digital, to reach out. I mean come on, I know you are Facebook and Instagram stalking them anyways.

Routine

Did you make a new friend that you want to make sure sticks around? Make dates, see each other, plan things, and then use each other to make even more awesome friends!

Give Zero Craps

Not to be rude here, which I am also not saying you should be, but seriously, the less you stress about what you are doing, or what you look like or are perceived as to other people, the easier it will be to complete any of the other steps. Know that you as you are right now, is an Awesome person, and go share that with the world. If you meet someone and they don’t see it, then it’s their loss.

So those are the general rules, I have been using these a lot recently, and have formed an amazing variety and strong groups of friends in Seattle, in just 7 months. So take the plunge, get yourself out there, and surround yourself with people as amazing as you!

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Instagram Check-in

Happy Monday my Beautiful Lovelies!

I cannot believe that we are almost half way through October!

With that, that means my Instagram challenge is half over as well, what! It’s been awesome so far. I honestly thought I’d be the only one using the hashtag so the fact that there a re a few others that are sitting with me just makes my day. I also want to remind y’all that you can use the hashtag for any of your photos. I created the prompt but you don’t have to stick to it. Anything Fall, October, or Awesome can be added to the collection!

With that I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite posts that have been using the hashtag #Blondetober

Blondetober Schedule

 

 

I have to kick it off with Skylar’s donut photo. Seriously donuts are my fave and the fact that she nailed it with the tank as well. I want the tank top and I most certainly want the donut!

#DonutWorryBeHappy

Donut worry, be happy. It’s Friday!

A photo posted by @sky_starbuck on Oct 9, 2015 at 8:54am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsNext up is one of my favorite people who’s joinin in all the way from Seattle! Hi Jess! She posted one of the most epic-ly Fall photos. Even though I was born in Seattle, I don’t really remember it so I love seeing her photos of all the beautiful things. #Leaves

  All the, fall things. #blondetober #leaves #rainydayz #soseattle #fall #october #newshoes #coffee #basic @kelsnsher   A photo posted by Jess Horan (@jess_livin3) on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:51am PDT

Next up is Rachel with her gorgeous view of Chinatown in London. I love the lanterns and the sky. Really I just love the entire composition of this photo. #FallIntoOctober

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The next one is obvious for so many reasons (Boston pride!). I actually almost made the challenge hashtag this one, but ended up sticking with the blondetober theme. Jen has been such a great friend and has checked in with me seriously every day of the challenge. She’s awesome.

#BasicIsBest

Try to look more tourist-y than me today. JUST TRY! #basicisbest #blondetober

A photo posted by Jen / 500 Days of Engagement (@500daysofengagement) on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:39am PDT

And finally I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug my own photos for the challenge. I was feelin my inner basic one day and snapped this pic. Y’all….I almost have 100 likes on this photo which may be nothing to some, but when you average 30-40 little hearts, getting 100 is kinda a big deal. Then again, 100 hearts on Instagram isn’t exactly life-changing so in the grand scheme of things isn’t anything….

But hey, make my day and get me to 100. Please and thank you.

#Blondetober

So with that I’ll just ask that you join in my Instagram challenge with me! It’s been so fun thus far, and if anything has been a good reminder for me to actually post something on Instagram. Remember, you can tag any of your photos, it’s all about friendship and support of one another.

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Blonde-tober Instagram Challenge

Goin up!…..On a Wednesday.

Yup we’re turning things up here on The Blonder Side.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this summer about certain directions I want to take my blog. I’ve been writing now for, gosh, 2 plus years and it’s about time I re-evaluate a few things.

A big theme behind my blog (and the title) is finding the humor in life. Searching for anything that can brighten a situation, celebrate the beauty in every day, and find that unique thing in you and your life that makes you special. The Blonder Side of Life is all about finding the laughter in life and celebrating the beauty that is you.

Blondetober Schedule

With that in mind, I’ve got a fun Instagram challenge for you for October!

There will be a prompt for every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it verbatim. I encourage you to use your creativity and see what happens. I can pretty much guarantee that your photos will be way awesome if they mean something to you.

So here’s the prompt for the month. I suggest saving it to your phone so you have it on hand to refer to. The group hashtag is #Blondetober

Blondetober Title

Make sure to also hop around the hashtag and interact with the fellow Instagrammers. The best way to make friends is to be a friend. I feel like that’s cross-stitched into a pillow somewhere.

And seriously, come play with me otherwise I may just go into a downward spiral and start a riot in the streets, you never know. So let’s avoid all that uncomfortableness for everyone and just join me for Blondetober.

*Disclaimer, you don’t have to be blonde to participate, just fun. If you find this challenge offensive to brunettes, you’re probably not fun anyway. 😉

Are you gonna join me?

Would you at least spread the word for me?

If you would, save it on Bloglovin for me here! Please and thank you 🙂

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Making Dinner An Unplugged Zone

I love dinner.

Actually if I’m being quit honest breakfast is my favorite meal. But being the only early bird in this relationship, I eat breakfast alone (and extremely early) and make dinner for two.

JB is the easiest person on the entire planet to cook for so it really makes me job a cinch. What we’re both guilty of however, is eating “together” but on our phones. Ick. How lame is that.

I know we’re not alone though. You see it at every restaurant you go to. People sitting around a table with their phones out and barely talking. (teenagers I’m lookin at you!)

Billion Dinners challenge

Growing up, my Mom always made a point of us all sitting down as a family for dinner. It’s where we talked about our days, joked and teased one another, and created those family bonds that have seen us through the many years and miles we’ve put between us as we’ve gotten older.

Having that same dynamic in my family now (even if it is only the two of us) is super important me. which is why I’ve teamed up with Billion Family Dinners for the #billiondinners challenge.

I challenge you to make dinner a priority and to really live in the present with whomever makes up your family. It can be your actual family, husband, kids, etc or your roommates, friends, neighbors, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re making it a meaningful time.

The Key? Being Unplugged!

Unplugged as in put your cell phone down, turn off Netflix and really be in the moment and connect with those around you. I promise it’s worth it. Don’t believe me? Watch this video all about the benefits of eating a family dinner together!

Join the #Billiondinners Challenge!

Billion Family Dinners has made it even easier to track our dinners as well. Simply download the FREE app, and start tracking! Then the goal is to complete 10 meals in 2 weeks! Totally doable no? The best part is that the one lucky person who completes the challenge will win a $20 gift card to the grocery tore of their choice!** Just make sure you’re tagging me when sharing your meals! (@blonderside Twitter @kelsnsher Instagram)

What do you have to do?

  • Follow Billion Dinners on Twitter and Instagram (oh and me too!)
  • Download the free app (available for Android and iphone)
  • Sit down to 10 unplugged meals (doesn’t have to be just dinner!) in the next 2 weeks and tag me @blonderside and @dinnercall along with the hashtag #billiondinners
  • **If you want to win you must tag me in your tweets and instas!**

You can also find them on Pinterest and Facebook.

Also it’s Fall so that means lots of cozy meals meant to be shared. Chili and cornbread anyone?

So whatcha think? You think you can have 10 family meals unplugged in the next two weeks?

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Bookish Side of Life: August

We made it through the summer!

I don’t know about you, but I drastically cut down on my screen time so I feel very accomplished. I managed to read 19/20 books for my summer goal (I know, 1 short how lame right?), but I still can’t believe that I’ve read 69/100 books for the year.

I realize how lame it is to host a challenge and come up 1 short. I blame my crazy work hours over the summer, but I still managed to read 19 books while working 60 hour weeks so I’m not too upset about that. PLUS! I drastically cut down on my screen time with what little free-time I had so summer challenge accomplished!

I also wanted to thank everyone who stayed with me all summer. I had some grand dreams about this link-up and the reaches it could make before my job took over my life and I felt like I was merely treading blog-water and just keeping my head above water. I can’t say what the Fall will bring, but I am excited to make a few renovations around here.

But enough about my delusions, let’s get to the books!

What I Read August

Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet 2 stars. The fact that this book is about Mermaids I gave it 2 stars because how cool would that be! But unless you enjoy reading conscious streams of thought then this book isn’t for you. It actually felt like three separate books all narrated by the same ADD mind of the main character Deb…..I was happy to be done with it.

Tomorrow and Tomorow by Thomas Sweterlitsch 3 stars. Really good concept, but I had a hard time following it. With any book set in the future, the author can take lots of liberties with how that world looks and functions. This one was kind of hard to understand for me though. Part Inception, part Mind F. If you can follow along though you’ll be rewarded with a deep sinister plot if that’s your thang.

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran 5 stars. I’m a huge fan of anything within the realm of possible and since this is based off a true story, obviously it’s possible. I also went through a phase when I was younger when all I read was Native captures stories. I think it always amazes me what the strength of will can get people through. Also, I imagine what I would have done in that situation and would I have survived it myself. And older book, but definitely a great read!

The Promised World by Lida Tucker 5 stars. BEST book I’ve read this month by far! It kept me guessing the entire time, trying to figure out the dark secret from her past. I will admit the ending was a bit, “Done, then end” with not quite the resolution I would have wanted, but that hardly took away from the great writing throughout. Highly recommend if you like drama with a reveal.

Now it’s time for you to link-up below! Give me all the brutally honest reviews!

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Bookish Side of Life: July

Whew, we ‘ve now made it two whole months putting reading above electronics. Unless you’ve been reading electronically, but it still counts. 😉

This month my numbers are slightly down. Partly due to my intense work hours and partly due to picking some heavier tomes. Nevertheless, my numbers for the Bookish Side of Life Summer Book Challenge are now sitting at 14/20 and my yearly goal is 64/100

What I Read July

If I Stay by Gayle Foreman 3 stars. Being completely honest, I picked up this book because there were a ga-jillion (actual number) copies of this book at my library and I knew there’s a movie and I was swayed. It was ok. Real potential with the point of view, but the story wasn’t all that original besides that. Good read though, just nothing spectacular.

World War Z by Max Brooks 5 stars! I hate zombies and everything related to zombies whether it be movies, shows, or books. NO thank you. I have nightmares from just reading about them, no joke. It’s just gross. This book however, focused on how the world would actually respond to a zombie crisis and very little on the actual chomping of faces by the zombies. If you remember I love fake history books, and this one did not disappoint. Read it, just don’t watch the movie….shudder…..

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter 2 stars. This is a best seller but I’m not entirely sure why….Who comes up with the criteria? It’s a total chicken and egg scenario in my opinion. Someones tells me it’s a best seller so I read it and supposedly it becomes a best seller because people are reading it? Total sham with this book. If you like reading about really depressing characters in a really disgusting and grody type of way then this book is for you. If you don’t enjoy the feeling of finishing a book and wanting to take a shower, then I’d steer clear.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by 4 stars. I don’t remember who recommended this book to me but I’m really glad I listened. It’s a cute story that’s an easy read. You also know it’s a good book when the very first page pulls you in and you finish it in a day. Granted that day was a Sunday and I was worn out from the day before so I spent all day reading, but still. Cute read, I recommend it.

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner 4 stars. After attempting to read All The Light We Cannot See (and not finishing it) I needed something light and breezy. I really enjoyed Weiner’s last book I read so thought this would be a good read, and it was. Easy to read with characters that keep you entertained, it was the perfect palate cleanser. The teenage daughter frustrated you like any adolescent would, and the Mom was over sensitive in that relatable yet infuriating way that keeps you reading. Also, it makes me want to write a book. Go read it to find out why.

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Bookish Side of Life: June

Welcome to the first link-up/check-in/report for my Summer Book Challenge the Bookish Side of Life. Make sure to grab the button in my sidebar and link up your book report posts at the end of the post!

After June, my count is 7/20 for my summer goal, and 57/100 for my yearly goal. Pretty stoked I actually got that much reading done. Netflix was only turned on Maaaaaaybe once a day and that was usually on in the background as I did my freelance work. I never was solely focused on Netflix though which I count as a victory!

Books I Read June

What I Read:

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham 1 star. Am I the only one to not get this book? I’ve always been a fan if somewhat uncomfortable with her work, but after reading this book I’m seriously questioning that fandom. More power to her for doing her thing, but through her stories I came away with a sense of annoyance and felt like she was whining and creating most of her own problems….also she was one headache of a child. Props to her even though I didn’t enjoy her book.

The World of Ice & Fire by George R. R. Martin A Billion stars!! I’ve taken my nerdom to new levels by reading not only a history textbook, but a history textbook about a completely fictional world. No shame though, I was entranced by this book from start to finish. I should mention history has always been one of my favorite subjects and whether fictional or not, I enjoy the subterfuge of royal families and seeing how rivalries and dynasties transform and develop over generations. If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll love this text which gives tons of context to current characters and explains their actions centuries in the making.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner 4 stars. I can’t say I relate to the whole addiction thing. Except sugar, but that’s not really the same I guess. Anyway, I found this book really intriguing with how a person can change so quickly from something that seems so easy and simple. A Doctor’s prescription. It’ll suck you in until the end.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng 4 stars. So good! It really made me think about how so many people can only know a few parts of our lives and it’s rare that someone knows all of it. Secrets and hidden selves. Go get this book now.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett 5 stars. This is actually a re-read, I know. I haven’t had a single minute to get to the library so I started reading one of my favorite books again. 5 stars is too little.

Gray Mountain by John Grisham 3 stars. John Grisham my favorite author, what happened with this book? No seriously, what actually happened in this book? A whole lotta nothing. There were lawyers, big cases, bad guys, and the little guy, but no conclusion. Say what now? That’s J.G.’s whole schtick! Also, call me sexist if you want, but he’s always had male protagonists and this time he had a female leading the legal charge and it left me feelin weird. She consisted of trying to avoid the main conflict, pining for New York, and wanting to sleep with both male characters introduced…..not cool bro. There’s more to women than that. Call me what you want, but I just really think he’s better at writing male characters and his female one was kind of offensive anyway. Breaks my heart to say it, but Grisham my friend, you need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Last Single Woman in America by Cindy Guidry 2 stars. This reminded me a lot of the Blogess’s book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Very rambly and not connected in the slightest, crazy strings of thoughts. I slogged through the mind of Jenny, but couldn’t quite get my brain to focus through Cindy’s. Just not my thing, but I will admit she is very witty and good with words. Check it out if you like rando.

So there ya have it. My reads for June! It’s quite a bit less than both my May and April book count, but working 70 hour weeks really cuts into my reading time unfortunately, whomp whomp.

Now be sure to grab the button and linkup below so I can get more books to add to my Goodreads list! (P.s. want to receive an email reminder before next month’s linkup? Just click here and enter your email. I promise that’s the only thing I’ll use it for, scout’s honor!)

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