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Give Your Brain a Work Out!

One thing I love about summer is that your reading (which I hope you do over this season!) is YOUR choice. Not your professor’s. There’s no long winded chapters on the biology of the eye (that was me last quarter) or the history of the Mayan culture (no, we’re not going to die at the end of this year). Now, of course there is the exception of summer school, which I mentioned yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep that summer mentality of leisurely reading.

Summer can be a great time of multitasking in the RIGHT way. For example, you can sit poolside and read. Or take a bubble bath and read. Or stay up late at night in bed and read. Okay, I’m seriously sounding like an overfed bookworm but my point is that you can RELAX and read. There’s no deadlines on chapters. It’s your pace and no, there is no quiz. Although you probably remember the details of your favorite novel better than some of the facts of your fall classes I’ll bet. We have a natural affinity and remembrance of the books we love because we connect with them personally.

When we read what we love, we’re happy. It’s blissful. Life stands still for a while and it bends our minds in new ways. I always feel like I’m getting a great workout when I read. I’m a little hesitant picking up a new book (especially if I’m rusty and haven’t read anything other than a textbook in awhile) but once I get warmed up, I can’t stop. You can almost feel your brain getting stronger with new ideas, new perspectives, and a restored imagination. And the more we do it, the better it gets.

I hope you’ll pick up some books that you’ve been eye-spying all school year. (Fifty Shades of Grey anyone?) Just kidding—although a friend did give me that book. We’ll see if I pick it up out of sheer curiosity. Here’s some other books that I’m checking out:

1. Lisa Bloom’s Swagger: I’m reading it now and my jaw drops at every page with some of the astounding facts Lisa shares. This is a book that I want to recommend to every parent, especially to those of sons. Expertly written.

2. Mika Brzezinski’s Knowing Your Value: I really want to make the most out of my internships this summer and I know this book will be a great guide.

3. My own book: I’ve got to finish up this editing fiddle faddle and sent it to press! This is the most important book to me this summer. It’s high time I finish what I started and share what I’ve learned!

What will you be reading this summer?

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Get an A+ This Summer…But No Class

Hi everyone! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back “home” on the home page. A lot has happened in the past few weeks:

1. I got through finals week and suddenly (although not so suddenly) I am already a senior in college. And as I prepare for the final step of my college career, I watched my boyfriend go through his last step by turning the tassel this past weekend. I’m pretending his next step (Columbia Law School) isn’t going to be taken for a long time, even though it’s less than two months away.

2. I had an incredibly relaxing weekend with my parents in Vegas (a little bit of a paradox for those of you who have a different connotation of Vegas). In my family we’re not in to the gambling or partying (although I did gamble a whopping two dollars since I’m not officially 21!) so Vegas is more of a poolside weekend getaway for us. We saw O at the Bellagio which I have been dying to see (it was fantastic!) and it was the perfect escape.

3. Summer plans: I have three internships. I will be working for Disney three days in the Photo and New Media Department—I can’t believe I’ve already been there over 5 and ½ months. Also, I am so thrilled to announce that I will be learning from the incredibly talented Lisa Bloom this summer about book promotion as we advocate her recent bestseller, Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools, Mass Joblessness, and Thug Culture. Last but not least, I’m also doing a virtual internship with Kristi Blicharski regarding motivational speaking blogging, two of my true passions. I think this is going to be a period in my life of great discovery. Which brings me to my next point.

Summer is always a turning point in our lives. We meet new people, we go new places, and most importantly, we get new ideas. If we use our time wisely that is. Rather than cook like vegetables on our couches, I hope that you’ll use this free time you have (what a blessing!) to be brilliantly inspired rather than bored or burning at the beach all day e’ry day.

Of course, use this time to relax. I can’t say much after having spent the past three days doing nothing but swim, sip pina coladas, and sightsee. But sit with your thoughts as well. Your summer can be a turning point in your life if you let it. For once you have time to think about topics other than biochemistry or English literature. You can think about what YOU want to think about.

Just because you’re not earning a grade this summer (well, I take that back—maybe you’re in summer school), it doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t be working hard for what you want out of your life. Get an A+ this summer on setting, planning, and achieving your goals. Rather than stagnate in the summer heat, take those steps that will get you on the sunny side.

Feel free to share your Sunny Summer Plans here!

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

What Would Julie Andrews Do?

Last night I got a voicemail…it was impeccably rude—there was hardly an ounce of niceness to it. Very uncalled for, too. I almost took Twitter but then I was reminded…what would Julie Andrews do? My favorite actress of all time, with one of the most beautiful voices in history, and an even more beautiful spirit, would take the higher road. She is one of my heroes and I’ve admired her for as long as I can remember.

She is one of those people that has a natural grace about it. It’s not forced, it’s not contrived—it’s just…so effervescently there. She is humble, yet confident. Light hearted yet sincere. Thoughtful yet fun (Who could forget Mary Poppins singing “Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious”?)

I’ve grown up with Julie Andrews in my heart. My mom and I used to do a tap dance performance to “A Spoonful of Sugar” and when I competed in pageants my talent was, “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music. I’ve always loved her and always will. It would be my dream to meet her someday.

Who inspires you in your life to be a better person? It doesn’t have to be an actor or a singer—it can be a family member, an athlete, or a teacher. I think it’s important that we constantly look for the best in people and try to apply those qualities to our own lives. Happiness is sure to ensue if we’re living more like our heroes.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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