Chipping away at the 48!

I really thought I’d be further along, but as of today, I still have 45 peaks to climb before I reach my goal of hiking all of the 48 4000 footer mountains of New Hampshire. My love for the outdoors started when I was a child and my love for hiking started during a career counseling session in 2010 when I met an unemployed man in his mid-forties who was completely deflated and never thought he’d return to work. It was his passion for hiking and serving as a hike coach for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society that kept him afloat during that challenging life transition, and it was that same passion that shined through during our conversation that drew me in.

Although the main purpose of our counseling sessions was for me to assess his current situation and help put a plan of action into place, we were always drawn back to the topic of hiking. Somewhere along the line our relationship morphed from counselor/client to client/student and eventually we became friends and he began sharing hiking resources and coaching me as he did with his team. Eventually he took me on my first hike, which I should add was not a 4000 footer, but a great place to start, the Welch and Dickie Mountain Loop Trail. Here I am on my first peak! No proper attire or gear, but I made it and was completely entranced by the view.

Welch Dickie

After our trip to Welch/Dickie, my friend realized I had caught the hiking bug and went into super coach mode. He shared an abundance of resources with me and I figured I would pay it forward to you. Below you will find a link to the 48 4000 footers in NH, access to dedicated mountain weather forecasts for more than 11300 major summits, and tips for hiking in all kinds of weather.

http://4000footers.com/nh.shtml

http://www.mountain-forecast.com/

http://www.bigskyfishing.com/hiking-gear/hiking-clothing.shtm

Following that first hike, my friend suggested I invest in a good pair of hiking boots, proper clothing, and some gear so off we went to REI, Reading, MA. REI is a great place for all of that stuff plus they have a great rewards program and offer all types of “how to” classes and adventure trips.

That summer, I not only reached the summit of my first 4000 footer, Cannon Mountain, I also climbed my first ladder, which scared the hell out of me. Check these out:

Cannon Ladder

Cannon Mountain

I have since climbed the summits of Mt. Tecumseh:

Mt Tecumseh

and Mt. Pierce

Mt. Pierce

If you’re the least bit curious about hiking the 48 4000 footers of New Hampshire, check out this inspiring video of a man who did it in 30 days for a great cause:

No matter what your activity level is, there are hikes of all levels that mostly everyone can enjoy. One of my favorite places to take a stroll and is great for those with a sedentary lifestyle is the Carlisle State Forest, also known as Great Brook Farm State Park.  My others are the Middlesex Fells Reservation which is spread over 2,575 acres and stretches across five towns north of Boston and the Blue Hills Reservation which stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph. The “Blues” is a great place to prepare for your first 4000 footer!

My plans for this summer and fall include:

Carter Dome

Carter Dome.jpg

Mount Lafayette loop with Mount Lincoln

Mount Lincoln

Mount Lafayette

Next year I hope to pick up the pace and reach a lot more summits in my quest to chip away at the 48! Otherwise, at the rate I’m presently going, it will take me over a decade and I’m not so sure my knees will hold out!

Hope you enjoyed my blog and learned a few things about the 48 4000 footers of New Hampshire!

Check out Barefoot Theory for some great tips:

https://bearfoottheory.com/hiking-101-tips-for-beginners/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariana Grande

Write about something I like, the assignment says. The first thing that pops into my mind is Ariana Grande. I am absolutely obsessed. She is so beautiful and such a good example for young women everywhere.

Truly, everywhere. She is global. Plus, she has 110 million instagram followers. She has a far reach and is using it to spread love and hope.

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Aside from her message, her music is powerful. I should say that her music is powerful to me. It has had a profound impact on my life

I think music listeners can be split into two groups. Those who listen to whatever is on and not form an opinion on it; and those who hear music and decide for themselves if they enjoy it or not.

Most of my friends fall in the second category. They spend a lot of time researching music and creating playlists on spotify. They spend a lot of money going to concerts seeing their favorite artists in person.

Is it really a personal thing, or is some music unanimously enjoyable? And if so, what makes it that way?

Ariana Grande is an artist that I believe falls into that category; the unconditionally loved one. Friday night I was with a group of my friends and turned on one of her songs. This is a group of people that mostly listen to alternative music that one would not typically hear on the radio. We often get into discussions about pop music, me being a big fan, and them having their nose up in the air about it. That being said, when I turned on Ariana Grande everyone started grooving.

So, I can’t help but wonder, were my friends enjoying the music because I forced it on them, and I, too, was dancing? Or was it because the sound of Ariana Grande songs really is that good?

Then again, there are people in the world who dont like Ariana Grande, and maybe even hate her. But is that because they are just stuck to their stubborn I-hate-pop-music attitude, or they truly just do not like the sound.

What do you think? Do you like Ariana Grande? If yes, why? If no, why? What is your opinion on pop music? Is it just a catchy sound that music producers know makes our brains happy, or are we resonating with something in the music? I am eager to hear your response!

xxoo Amory

The super catchy song that my friends were grooving to: here

Ariana Grande fan website: here

For the American Man by the American Man

Overview

The Clem Report (https://theclemreport.wordpress.com/) is an entertainment blog written by Justin Clemenza. This blog was first started in January of 2013 and unfortunately has had its last post on November of 2015. It has not seen any new articles recently not because Justin has chosen to stop blogging, but because he has become a full time blogger for Barstool Sports and I assume does not have time for both. The purpose of this blog is to talk about sports, pop culture, and random internet news. Justin writes this blog for the American man because he says “That’s what I am, and that’s who I care about”.

clem

Analysis

Layout:

The main layout of The Clem Report is a two column blog with a gray and black background. The background colors are very subtle and definitely make the pictures and the color of the title of each blog stand out much more. The left column is the smaller of the two, and its main purpose is to give the reader an easy way to navigate around the blog. It consists of a link to follow him on twitter as well as a categories drop down bar which lets you sort the content by categories that it is tagged in. The left column also contains a recent articles part, which lists about 6 links that give a brief description and will take you right to recent articles. Finally the left column has links that break down each month’s worth of blog posts.

The right column (the bigger of the two) is the feed of all the blogs. It is in chronological order with the newest blogs on top. The header for each new blog post is in red. This makes each title stand out, and makes it very easy for the reader to see where each new blog starts. The blog is in WordPress so it is very similar to our class blog. After each title there is usually some sort of visual that goes with the topic along with his actual writing. This blog also talks about music very often, so there are many times links and videos to provide the viewer access to the music he is talking about. Finally the footer of these blogs are very simple. They all say to follow @TheClemReport which is the Twitter handle for this blog. Also there is a share this section with buttons that easily allow viewers to share this blog on Facebook, Twitter, email, WordPress, Reddit, or to print this blog out.

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Content:

The content of the blog as I stated before is very orientated to be aimed at male readers. He writes a lot about sports, food, music, and funny videos he finds on the internet. All of his posts contain some kind of picture or visual that adds to the blog. They are usually funny and play off of the topic; however they are rarely ever taken by the blogger but from the internet. Videos are also used a lot, mainly for the music blogs so one can hear what song he is describing. His titles are usually witty and catchy, trying to catch the reader’s attention with a joke.

 

There is no about the author section, but at the top of the page there are also tabs that allow the viewer to access different types of content on this blog. The first tab is home which takes you to the page I just described with all his written blogs. The second tab is called “15 Second Food Reviews” and this will bring you to another part of the site where he has short videos of him reviewing different snack and foods. The third tab is called podcast where he viewers can listen to him talk about topics that matter to him. Sort of like a blog that is spoken not written. Finally, the last blog takes viewers to a site where they can contact him and leave suggestions that they have for the blog.

For audience interaction this blog asks the fans to vote a lot. For example one blog asks his audience if they like the song “Ignition Remix” better than the song “YEAH!”. He had his fans vote and he then tallied the results to see what his viewer’s opinions were. As I said before this blog has a lot of social media sharing buttons, and he doesn’t ask people to subscribe to the blog but he asks to follow the blog on Twitter.

Conclusion

The blog does a good job at using catchy titles to portray interesting topics to its target audience. Of course this blog is no longer around, but at the time it did a great job at using current events and news. This blog related to the typical man very well and for that reason Justin Clemenza is now working for Barstool Sports (Probably the most looked at and influential blog right now). However, I would change the colors. Even though the content of the blog is very good, the appearance is very drab and could be a lot more appealing.

 

A Sport Like No Other

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports right now in America. It originated in England in the 1820’s and is played worldwide with a lot of notoriety almost everywhere except the USA. This is in large part because of America’s extremely popular National Football League. However, rugby and football do not share as much in common as one might think.

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I started playing rugby my freshman year in college and quickly fell in love the complexity of the game. Every time someone finds out I play rugby, they almost always ask “That’s the one that is like football without pads?” While true that rugby shares many aspects with football like tackling, running with the ball, kicking the ball between field goal posts, and trying to get to the end of one side of the field to score, it is not the only sport it relates to. In rugby the game is continuous for two 40 minute half’s. There is no stoppage in play after tackles, only when there is a penalty or someone runs out of bounds. Also there is no blocking in rugby like football, and you can only pass laterally or backwards, which is very difficult. After playing football and baseball all throughout my childhood I am so used to throwing over my shoulder that I still haven’t mastered a great rugby pass in the four years I have been playing.

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The flow of rugby actually shares many characteristics with soccer. Both games are constant movement, and require a lot of stamina. The strategy of each sport is similar where you want to pass a lot to create a gap in the defense for one of your teammates to exploit. Another similarity between the two is that every player on the field must be able to contribute to every aspect of the game. In football the lineman rarely ever touch the ball, while in rugby every player can run the ball and tackle.

Rugby is a very unique sport that many American’s are never introduced to because of its popularity here in the U.S. It is not a sport where an individual can takeover like basketball, because it requires a tremendous amount of teamwork and discipline. I would encourage you all to try it at least once in our life or see how it is played.

If you want to see a video of a rugby game being played click here

If you want to read all the official rules of rugby click here

Analysis: One Brilliant Blog

Overview: 

Bookwraiths (https://bookwraiths.com/) Is a blog dedicated to fantasy, sci-fi, and graphic novels through reviews! The author is a man by the name of Wendell who grew up on classic comics and books. He is not only an avid reader but a lover of sports and online gaming. Wendell is happily married with children, living in the U.S.

bookwr

Analysis:  

Layout-  

The layout contains a header and a footer along with the use of darker colors such as blues, greys, and black. The background is a grey, chain-like image and the blogs themselves have a white background. The header contains an image of a man on horseback. Its dark and eerie, really grabbing your attention. “Books! Where are the great books?” Is the tag line. Directly under the image is a menu that lists out “Book Reviews”, “Comic Reviews”, “Author Spotlights”, and more.  

The most recent posts are shown first on the featured page. Listing the title and author of “said topic”, genre, series, publisher, length, and rating, along with an image shown even before you start to read the article. The body of the page contains the posts, located on the right hand side. Multiple paragraphs with an image along with it. To the left are widgets such as social medias, tweets, popular posts, and blogs worth your time. This blog gives you easy access to exactly what you are looking for! 

bookwraiths.com

Content- 

One of the widgets is titled “Popular Posts” , allowing viewers to see the most popular topics on the blog. The top posts on Bookwraiths are listed as follows:  

  • The Longest Fantasy Series  
  • Overlooked Fantasy Series  
  • Best Reads Of 2016 
  • Best Standalone Fantasy Novels (Updated) 

The Longest Fantasy Series was actually posted in 2014! I’ve read the article and #25 was the only book I had read from that list. I thought with my love of books that there would have been more I had known. So far, this blog has introduced me to many titles I had never heard of before, opening up my reading options! 41 bloggers liked this post whereas only 20 liked Overlooked Fantasy Series, posted in 2013. I think time definitely has something to do with that.

Each one of Bookwraiths blog posts has an interesting topic, with a featured image and multiple images along with the actual post.  

Each post ends with possible social medias to share the post on and related articles as well. Other bloggers are also more than welcome to make their comments underneath all of that.

Conclusion- 

Bookwraiths Is a well written blog for anyone who likes to read.  

The blogs layout is easy to navigate, and is very informative. The viewer has no problem finding exactly what they are looking for, especially with the tabs such as book review, written along the top. Each post is appealing to the eye. I love how a cover of each book is posted alongside the review and even where to buy the book in some cases. The blog titles are fun and draw the readers right in! I wish there was more to say on the origins of the blog and about the author. I love hearing when and how something came to be. There’s plenty of book action going on and I would suggest this blog to any lover of books.

indiguestauthor

Enter If You Dare: Maze Runner Series

James Dashner captures the extremes of our fragile society in The Maze Runner series. He paints a picture in our minds of this unearthly dystopian society that leaves us wanting more. A society filled with mistrust and misguided teens put in countless positions where only the fittest will survive. It’s survival of the fittest at its finest and I loved it!

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The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, The Kill Order, and The Fever Code constantly keep us on our toes. I loved every second of this adventure. I easily fell in love with the characters and came to strongly dislike a few as well. Newt was the most intriguing to me, his personality and way with words winning me over. Teresa on the other hand drove me crazy. Dashner will not only make you smile with the bonds of friendship that form between the characters but also tear your heart out as you discover some of your favorite characters are not immune to the disease destroying their world.

We learn about the Flare and what is left of the world in the first two novels and then we start to discover the pasts of specific characters and what led them into the hands of WICKED in the prequels. The third book in the series, The Death Cure is sure to make you cry. *cough* *cough* page 250 *cough*. This series gave me a rollercoaster of emotions. You undoubtedly become a member of the glade community and feel as though you are transported into the dystopia yourself.

I was ecstatic to receive my autographed copy of The Fever Code the day it was released. I am a sucker for a good book. Sitting outside, a nice beverage in one hand, a Dashner novel in the other and I am set for life. I am sad to see the series come to an end but with the films on production I am extremely excited to watch it all play out on the big screen.

Here is a video of the author talking a little bit about his book!

Here is a wicked awesome website that will really connect you to the world of the maze.

http://www.wckdisgood.com/

From Business Suit to a Bathing Suit

As a young college girl seeking new opportunities, I would just LOVE to be able to drop everything I’m doing this second to travel the world. Doesn’t it sound amazing to live in a bikini all day and not worry about anything except where your traveling to next? Sounds good to me! But a girl can dream…right!? This is me in Mexico, wishing I was still knee deep in turquoise water!FullSizeRender

Anyways, after some exploring on the web, I came across a really awesome blog about a young woman who has decided to throw every aspect of her professional life in the garbage and decided to travel for a living. The Blonde Abroad is a blog written by a young California girl named Kiersten. Like many, she was taught that she needed an education, a high paying job, to get married and have kids to live a full and prosperous life. But not long after graduating from college with Honors and accepting a position at a popular financial firm in LA did she discover that this wasn’t what she wanted to do. Since then, Kiersten has traveled to over 50 countries, volunteered her time in undeveloped countries, and is now living the life that makes her heart happy. To make this blog a young womans’ dream come true, Kiersten also blogs about fashion, photography and travel tips from her experiences. Check her incredibly awesome blog out HERE!

The blog caught my eye not only because of my deep love and passion for traveling and seeing the world, but also because of it’s unique layout. It’s bold, creative and to the point. She wrote the posts in a. way that has very limited information on them, but also gives you, the reader, the option to read more about what she is talking about if you choose too. The title of the Blog which is A Blonde Abroad should make someone think twice about it. Once you open the blog, a pink backdrop appears with a slideshow of videos and pictures from her trips appear. The layout of her information tabs make it easy to navigate and find information. She offers both blogs and vlogs (Video Blogs) from her travels, which I think makes it more interesting and gives people an option if they don’t like to sit and read. Her “about me” page is short and sweet for people not wanting to know her life story, but she does give the option to read her full story down below.  All pictures and videos taken are from her, not from a different source which makes the reader feel more connected and intrigued! If your traveling on a budget, she’s got a tab for that! Or if you want to learn more about volunteering in undeveloped countries, she can help with that! She covers many different topics ranging from food, to fashion, and festivals and a little of everything else that falls in between.

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She has a layout of 6 different tabs at the top of the blog. One for Destinations, Travel Tips, Activities,  Interests, Shop and FAQ’s! After clicking on a tab, it directs you to another page on her blog that gives a little information about each thing. The graphics used on the posts are interactive, meaning they look like their calculating numbers when showing you where she has visited in her travels! My favorite part about this blog is the “Popular Articles” section on the homepage. Check out a few of my favorites below!

  • If you need some assistance on what to pack in a carry on bag,  Click HERE
  •  Looking for some guidance on where to travel in your 20’s?? Click HERE 
  • Want to travel the world or book a vacation and don’t have anyone to go with? No worries, travel Solo! Heres some of the Safest Places to travel as a solo female

As a whole, she seems to really encourage her readers to share her stories and experiences, but also take them in for themselves. The blog gives the opportunity to share the posts and articles on various social media platforms, and also gives the opportunity to e-mail just incase! I feel as if this blog is more of a read-only blog, and not to share. I wish I had known about this blog earlier because it gives so many tips on how to budget, pack and also safety steps to take when traveling alone. She has created a tab on the blog that shares the sites her work has been featured in, including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure and Forbes! Check the rest of her Press features out HERE. 

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I normally don’t care too much about the author, but her story is unique in a way that makes me envy who she is, but in a good way. I feel like as a young woman, she stands for a lot and she also stands for the young women who are told on the daily that they need a degree to be anything in this world. Not only is she proving that theory wrong, but she does it in such a way that makes it seem normal. After all the violence and terror in the world, reading this blog gives me comfort in knowing that I am a woman and I can do what so many men do as a living, travel the world and be safe at the same time. She has proved that even after quitting her job at a prestigious Finance company after graduating college with honors, she is still a successful female making a living on her own. This blog means more to me the just a travel blog, it shows me that I can’t be defined by a single piece of paper or any amount of money a job position can offer. Do what makes the heart happy, or else you’ll be stuck doing something that doesn’t pay yourself back. Do what you love, and love what you do! 

As a blog, it does very well at giving insight on what to look for when planning a vacation and some ideas of what to do while on the trip! I think this blog would be great to incorporate into a business program and show it to both young men and women equally. You don’t have to be female to travel solo and enjoy what the beautiful world has to offer, but it might be more fun to show everyone how successful a young woman can actually be! If there was something this blog could do better, it would be to promote the work and articles better, as I have never seen them shared on social media. The only reason I knew about this blog was because I googled Top Blogs about Travel, and this was the third on the list!

I look forward to taking her tips and putting them to use one day soon! Catch you at the beach!