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Feigning Some Foreign Fun


I’m starting to get the summer season itch. With friends in England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, and the Bahamas, I’m wishing that I was off to some foreign getaway myself. And yet, I am in my home—day in, day out, dating my laptop and pretending my backyard is a beach. I find this as an opportunity to be thankful, though—I finally have the time to finish my book and I am really enjoying my internship. And I’m trying to remind myself that I already went to Washington D.C. and Colorado this year. I’ve got to keep looking at the sunny side up!

Even so, I thought I’d offer some Sunny Suggestions to feign some foreign fun. You may not be able to fly across the country but you can fly across your mind. Maybe?

1. Find a stone in your backyard and kiss it: Blarney at its best.

2. Go to the store and buy some gelato: Just like you got if off a stand in Rome.

3. Go scuba diving in your pool: Don’t laugh, I’ve actually done it.

4. Buy an elaborate hat: Just like you bought it at Harrod’s in England. You’ll be ready for a British tea in no time, chap.

5. Make homemade pasta for dinner: Done right, in the Italian way. And thankfully it’s only for a day so you’ll still be able to fit in your skinny jeans by the end of the summer.

6. Go to the tanning salon: Oceanside luxury vs. five minute bake? Who needs the pina coladas and the smell of sunscreen when you can just hop in and hop out?

7. Visit Las Vegas: A cute version of the Eiffel Tower minus your fear of heights from the real thing.

8. Swim with dolphins: They have inflatables right down the street.

9. Have a Latin salsa night: They sell Jose Cuervo at the grocery store. Can’t promise that we can get you a Latin Lover but just watch something with Antonio Banderas in it and we’re good to go.

10. Ride a camel: Find a Ringling Brothers Circus.

I’m sorry for my slightly cynical mood. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed (maybe the wrong side of the country?) I’m just dying to explore a bit! It’s been years since I’ve been on a family vacation to a foreign destination. But this is just something to hope for rather than whine about and I hope you’ve found my suggestions mildly comical (perhaps even inspirational) if you’ve got home fever like myself.

Happy travels friends, wherever you are!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook


The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Going the Distance?

You know I normally don’t delve too much into my personal life but I think the occasion is warranted because I want to do a little study on happiness—regarding long distance relationships. I have friends who are in long distance relationships with one being in California and the other being on the east coast. These are the people who keep Skype in business. And I’m about to join the club—for two months. My boyfriend is leaving for England to study at Cambridge. I can tell you right now, I’m not all that happy—although I’m happy for him.

I’m interested to see how this will go. I’ve learned about long distance relationships in my psychology of intimate relationships course and they didn’t exactly give us the best news. There are two common myths—“absence makes the heart grow fonder” and “out of sight, out of mind.” So which was is true? Unfortunately it’s the latter. Studies have shown that long distance relationships take much more effort in time and energy, lead to a greater likelihood of jealousy or affairs, and less intimacy due to a lack of physical contact. It doesn’t look like the odds are in my favor.

But being the Sunny Girl that I am, I’m going to give this my best shot. We’ve been together over a year now and I’m not about to let the Atlantic Ocean be the Titanic of our relationship. Besides, as people keep telling me, I have better teeth anyway! I think we’ll be just fine. But still, I’m going to miss him so much. I’ll let you know how my two month experiment goes—I think we can go the distance.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Take the Pledge Today!

I’m all about getting into contact with friends…but please don’t do it while you drive. Yesterday was the perfect reminder of that. My dad was driving to a jobsite and the woman behind him was just rambling away on her cell phone when suddenly she rear-ended my dad’s truck at full speed. Both her airbags went off and her car was crushed like a Coke can. The woman had no collision insurance so she has simply lost her car. My dad’s solid truck was practically untouched but the woman’s car wasn’t the only thing that was damaged—she was.

A car crash is no light matter. Knock on wood, I’ve never been in one and the potential of it always crosses my mind whenever I get into my car. I’ve lost a family member to a car crash—in fact I never met him—but I’ll never forget the legacy of that crash. And so to preserve our happiness, I’m asking you to take the utmost caution whenever you get into a car—whether you’re driving or not.

Please take the following pledge with me:

1. I won’t drive under the influence and I won’t get in the car if the driver is under the influence.

2. I won’t talk on my cell phone unless it’s hands-free.

3. I won’t text and drive.

4. I will put my phone away from me while driving so that I won’t be tempted.

5. I will seek help if I need it. If I don’t have a ride because my driver is under the influence or I am under the influence, I will call a taxi or a friend for help.

Please take the pledge by leaving your name in a comment. More than anything, I want you to be safe. Ad I want you to feel happy while driving—so that you don’t have to experience the fear and shock of an accident that could be fatal.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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