Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Musical Monday (ft. Bryan Greenberg)

I feel like I say this every other post lately, but senior year is just the craziest thing. Usually there's kind of an easing in period for school, but this year it feels like we just jumped right in and got started! Between schoolwork, student senate, college applications, and dance, I definitely have a full plate. But that doesn't mean I don't have time to have a little fun with friends too!

Monday night, Megan and I went to go see Bryan Greenberg play at a local club. You might not know him as a singer, but you'd probably recognize him as Jake from One Tree Hill or as Ben on How to Make it in America , or from movies like Prime, The Perfect Score, or Friends with Benefits

But if you don't know his music, get on that, because this guy is amazing. 

I also went to see him last year, and it was one of the best shows I'd been to in a long time. So, when he announced a few acoustic shows in the area, I knew I had to go. The venue was the upstairs lounge on a restaurant in the city, and such a neat place. The walls were covered in murals, and the low stage made for a really intimate, personal experience.

Opening and accompanying Bryan was a girl named Julia Sinclair. Check her out too, because this girl has a voice of gold. She played some originals and also did a cover of JT's "My Love" that definitely gave the original a run for its money. Bryan played a few of his own songs, and they did a few together.

Here's a few pics of the night:

I was lucky enough to be given Bryan's pick after his set was over-
a pretty nice momento to come home with!

Have a fabulous day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago Today

How often is it that you remember a particular moment from a particular day, many years in the past? Most people couldn't tell you what they ate for breakfast two days ago, but ask so many Americans what they were doing 10 years ago today, and you will surely get a story.

It was just the second week of school, and only a few days after my eighth birthday. I was sitting in Mrs. S' second grade classroom, gazing out the window while we reviewed spelling words, when the phone rang. The tone in my teacher's voice changed from a cheery "Hello?" to one of saddened shock in an instant. I knew something was up. As I looked out the window my gaze rested on a parked car. "Maybe there was a car accident," I thought. It was the most terrible thing my eight year old brain could think of. My curious little mind was anxious to learn  what was going on, but the day progressed as normal. I eventually forgot all about the phone call and went about my day. 

Later, my best friends and I were on the playground at recess when a familiar looking woman approached me. She introduced herself as the teacher of our school's gifted program, and informed me that my mother had come to pick me up early. This sounded odd to me, as my mother was not one to surprise us like that, but nonetheless I headed back into the school to pack up my bag. I walked to the office and was greeted by my mother and the guidance counselor and, among them, several other parents. They explained to me that a news station had erroneously reported that my school district was closing early, and that I would not be leaving early after all. This news left me confused. Why would the news even think we were closing early? My mind went back to the phone call and my thoughts regarding it. Maybe it was a car accident, and maybe someone in school was involved. I began to grow anxious.

Finally, the end of the day came. As we drove home, my mother told my brother Matt, a fourth grader, and I, of the events of that day. She explained that a bad passenger on a plane had taken control of what the pilot was supposed to do in what was called a hijacking, and that the plane had crashed into some very important buildings. I was thoroughly confused. Why would someone who didn't know how to fly a plane try to fly one? Why did the pilot let them?

Ten years later, I now hold a much better understanding of what happened on that fateful day in 2001. America was viciously and horrifically attacked in the hopes of eradicating the freedoms and ideals that we have shared in the past, and will continue to share proudly with the world. Through the tragic loss of thousands, and the chaos endured by those who survived, the attackers believed that they could beat down and ruin America. It is part of what makes me so proud of my country to be able to say that these evil people were not successful. In the wake of great sorrow and tragedy, Americans banded together in a time of patriotism and pride for the great nation that they call home.

If today you are remembering the life of a loved one lost on 9/11, I would like to share my condolences. The brave fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and friends who lost their lives that day are remembered fondly not only by those who knew them, but by an entire country, as we mourn this solemn day.

As tragedy rages on in the background, Lady Liberty stands tall, as a symbol of  America's undying freedom and strength to persevere through even the most horrific and devastating of events.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Crazy, Random, Unexpected 18th Birthday!


What a week it has been! School just started Tuesday, and senior year is already off to a super busy start! I've already had my first officers meeting for student government, planned our informational meeting, and hung up posters, I'm moving full speed ahead on college apps, and I'm back to dance full time with seven classes a week!

But the most exciting day of this week had to be Thursday, my 18th birthday! I knew it would be a day to remember, but I never just how unexpected a birthday it would turn out to be...

On Wednesday night I set the alarm on my phone for 5:00 AM and went to bed as usual. Before it was officially even my birthday, my phone beeped and buzzed with messages telling me whenever someone wrote on my Facebook wall or sent me a happy birthday text. I didn't know if getting so many texts would affect my alarm going off for some reason, so I decided to set my regular alarm clock too, just to be safe.

On Thursday morning I woke up and, just I thought, the alarm on my phone did not go off! But the interesting thing was, my alarm clock hadn't gone off either. I quickly looked and my phone and panicked. It was 6:00, a whole hour later than my usual morning routine began! As I put down my phone, I noticed something strange: my alarm clock wasn't even on. I checked the wall; it was plugged in just fine. I was confused, but didn't have time to dawdle- I wanted to look special for my birthday! As I opened my bedroom door, I was greeted by parents in the hallway, who informed me that power in the entire house was out. Oh great, I thought. What a wonderful start to my birthday. Even though I knew I wouldn't be able to dry my hair, I needed a shower. In my pitch dark bathroom, I proceeded to shower, wash my face and hair, and clean my cartilage piercing, with every indication that I would just have to rough it and go to school. I forged on getting ready, even doing my makeup by candlelight!

It wasn't until after I'd finished my makeup that we got a call letting us know that, due to flooding in the cafeteria and power outages, there would be no school. I was getting more and more disappointed by the minute. It was my 18th birthday, and it looked as if I would be spending it sitting at home without electricity! Finally, around 7:30, the electric came back on. Our basement had flooded too, but at least now the sump pump could do it's job and get the house dry!

What started out as a text of "Help me escape boredom on my birthday!" to a friend turned into plans with three of my besties for a day trip to our local mall (It's one of the biggest in the country, and you really need the day to get all your favorite stores in!). While I waited to be picked up, I finished up styling my hair and put on the outfit I had specifically picked out for this special day:
My shirt is by Junk Food and says "Little Miss Birthday" :) 
When my friends arrived, I was greeted at the door with a sweet card and this lovely cake, baked for me by me bestie Elana!
The 4 of us have started a little tradition of surprising each other with cakes on each of our birthdays!
Before we left, we decided to all get a picture together
From left: Lisa, Megan, Me, and Elana!
Finally, ignoring warnings of closed roads and advice to avoid unnecessary travel, the four of us piled into Lisa's car and set off to the mall!

We hit all our fave stores and found some really great stuff! 

We also had some fab photo ops throughout the day...
Just hanging out with Justin for a while...

The MapQuest iPhone app saved us on the way home!
Once I got, dinner was just about ready. In my family, we each get to choose what we want for dinner on our birthday, and it is always followed by homemade cake and ice cream! I loved that the whole family sat down and ate together, since all of our busy schedules don't always allow for it. After dinner, it was time to get ready for dance. I started back on Wednesday, but Thursday was my first ballet class in over a month and it went great!

This year was probably one of the best birthdays I have ever had. What started out as a bleak looking day turned into a great time with my absolute best friends, who I love more than anything, and some quality time with my family! 

If my birthday was any indication of things to come, 
18 is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I Wore: First Day of School!

Today was my first day of senior year!
Here's what I wore for my last first day of high school:

Tunic- Target
Belt- Forever 21
Jeggings- Target
Flip Flops- Old Navy

Jewelry: Pearl earrings, silver ball earrings, sailor's knot bracelet, silver Coach ring

Holiday Weekend Haul!

It's official, laides- Summer is over! My school district always goes back the day after Labor Day, so the long weekend has always marked the true end of summer for me. Mom and I did a little shopping over the past few days, and I must say I got some pretty good deals- just thought I'd share some of them with you all! Enjoy!

Damask Print Tunic- $15 at Target
Wearing this for my first day of school tomorrow!

Basic black leggings- $8 at Target
I LIVE in these in the fall and winter!

Slatkin & Co. Cinnamon Sugared Donut 3-Wick Candle- 
$10 (on sale 2 for $20) at Bath and Body Works
This smells exactly like a box of Krispy Kreme donuts! 
Too bad they're not around here anymore.

Ralph by Ralph Lauren Holiday Box Set- $65 at Macy's
I decided it was finally time for "big girl perfume" and as soon as I smelled this, I fell in love- so fresh and clean smelling! And how cute is that packaging!?

Nike Dri-Fit Golf Cap- $9 at Marshall's
I love that the material of this cap wicks away sweat but still looks like cotton!

Hope your holiday weekend was a great one!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Accent VLOG!

The accent vlog, also known as the accent tag, is probably something you've been seeing a lot of lately. It's been all around both YouTube and a bunch of blogs that I read. I think it's so interesting to hear how other people talk and see how where they live has affected their speech, and I've been watching a bunch of them lately. I decided to join in on the fun, so here is my accent vlog!

Here's the instructions!

First, say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Then, Answer these questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that have an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing to you use to change the TV channel?

Like I said in the video, I don't think I've shared with all of you where I'm from or where I live, and while I don't intend to do that, I think it'd be fun to see what you think based on the way that I talk, so 
after watching the video, leave a comment telling me where you think I'm from from hearing my voice!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School: My Morning Routine

Back to school is such a hectic time, and one of my biggest struggles with going back is getting back on a normal sleep schedule. After months of long, late summer nights, shifting back to getting up early can seem like a monumental task. One of the best ways to combat this, and really just to be more organized and efficient all year, is to create and follow a routine for your morning. For me, this really cuts down the time it takes to get ready since pretty much every step is already planned out for me, and I can go from one thing to the other without having to put too much thought into it.

Here's a glimpse into my typical morning routine:
  • 5:00- Wake Up
  • Shower
  • Throw on some cozy clothes
  • Do my makeup, with my hair wrapped in a towel
  • Catch up on blogs, email, youtube, etc. (usually while I'm doing my makeup...)
  • Blow dry and style hair
  • Eat breakfast
  • Put on my outfit for the day
  • Accessorize
  • 6:50 Collect my phone, iPod, house key, wallet, lip product for the day, etc.
  • Double check that my backpack is organized and ready for the day
  • Take my lunch out of the fridge
  • Make tea, coffee, etc., or grab a water bottle
  • 7:15 Hop in the car and drive to school!

Of course, this routine varies depending on what time I get up and if I have any additional tasks to accomplish in the morning, but this is generally what I end up doing.

The most important thing about creating a morning routine is finding a pattern that makes the most out of your time and helps you to feel calm, prepared, and ready to start your day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School: What's in my Backpack?

It's hard to believe, but my senior year of high school begins in just over two weeks! I know so many of you are also about to go back, or have just started, so I figured I'd better get my butt in gear and get started with some back to school videos. My plan is to start with this general overview of what I take to school with me, then go into specifics, so here is part 1 of my back to school series, all about
What's in my Backpack!

Correction: It's the Deluxe backpack, not the Super Deluxe. Sorry about that!

In the video, I mentioned my "How-To: Preppy Monogrammed Binder Cover" post- definitely go check that out if you're looking to spice up your binders a little bit this school year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rain is a Good Thing

If we're talking weather, I have one word to describe the past couple weeks: crazy! Almost every day starts out warm and sunny, and by afternoon it turns into some of the loudest, most intense thunderstorms I've ever heard. They go late into the night and, while growing up near a fire station left me with the ability to sleep through even the loudest noises, the super bright lightning is not exactly soothing.

While I actually do love thunderstorms, the recent downpours only emphasized a BIG problem for me: I have no rain boots! While I LOVE my Duck shoes, they are definitely more of a 'It's wet/ icy outside but not necessarily raining/ snowing' shoe rather than a 'It's raining cats and dogs/ snowing wildly' shoe.
Part of the reason I bought Duck shoes to begin with was because of the issue that I've had with rain boots for a super long time now:

They don't fit over my calves!

Now, I promise you all I do not have cankles! However, 12 years of dance has left me with some hefty leg muscles, and nothing seemed to want to cover them.

I searched high and low. I checked Target, Marshall's, TJ Maxx, 2 different DSWs, and several other stores quite regularly, hoping I would find something that fit my legs normally without having to buy the boots super big. But, alas, I found nothing.

I really adore Hunter wellies as they are an absolute classic, and the brand has been approved by HM, Queen Elizabeth II and HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh as the official supplier of waterproof shoes for the royal family. If that's not a sign of great quality, I don't know what is. If they're good enough for the Queen, they'd be good enough for me! 

However, I'd always assumed that I'd have the same issue and that they just wouldn't fit.

Fast forward to this week. I was perusing the Hunter website, and upon seeing the original short boot, this thought came to mind:

Maybe my problem wasn't the fit of the boot, but the height.

So, this weekend, I set out to purchase my new-found perfect boot, and I was quite successful! I went to City Sports, and was pleased to see that they fit my calves perfectly! 

The original short wellies are normally $115, but I happened to receive a coupon in the mail this week from City Sports for 20% off any item, which brought the price down to just over $90! Mom and I decided to split the price 50/50, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase! I am in love with my new wellies, and with the weather lately, I'm sure I'll get a chance to wear them very soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Once again this week I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for
What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that I got a fabulous tan at the beach last week! I am not a fake bake kind of girl, but I love having natural color to my skin!

I'm loving that there is officially less than 3 weeks until school starts! I can't wait to get the ball rolling with senior year and get back on a consistent schedule!

I'm loving that my third set of senior portrait proofs came in and they (finally) look great! I have my favorite picked out and now all we have to do is order- I definitely plan on doing a reveal post when it comes in!

I'm loving my new cartilage piercing! As I mentioned in my vacation post, I'd been thinking about doing it for a while, and decided to just go for it! I knew I wanted to have it done with a needle instead of a gun, and there were quite a few tattoo and piercing shops around, so I shopped around and got it done.
Right after I had it pierced
I'm loving Pinterest so much. Seeing everything and grouping everything into my own categories never fails to inspire me and give me great new ideas! It is definitely a great way to spark your creativity! Check out my profile or let me know if you want an invite!

What are you loving this week?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lunchtime Love: Pita Crisps!

Back to school time is quickly approaching, and one thing that's one my mind? Lunch. I hate school food. Like, would not touch it with a 39-and-one-half foot pole hate. Therefore, I'm always looking for tasty, healthy new options to brown bag take in my tres adorable VB lunchbox to school. 

While perusing this months issue of Seventeen, I came across an idea that looked both tasty AND super do-able for school: toasted pita!

I decided to put my own spin on their idea, so here's my recipe for homemade, healthy pita crisps!

1. Cut one whole pita (I used whole wheat) in half. Put one half away.
2. Cut the other half in half, and then in half again, to make 4 triangles.
3. Since pita is inherently doubled on itself, each of the 4 traingles can be cut on their crease to make 8 single crisps.
4. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. If it isn't Teflon coated, spray it lightly with olive oil.
5. Spray one side of each crisp lightly with olive oil.
6. Lightly sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side of each crisp, leaving out the garlic.
8. Place the crisps four at a time onto the hot frying pan, flipping midway through, until they are golden brown.
9. Serve with a side of salsa and lots of fresh veggies!

Here's one way I ate mine this week:

The great thing about homemade is that you can tailor this recipe to what you like- don't be afraid to mix it up and try all different seasonings and sauces for your crisps!

Happy Lunching!

Annnnd We're Back!

Hello Ladies!

I'm back from vacation and feeling great! It was wonderful to spend lazy days on the beach and spend some QT with the family... getting a fab golden glow didn't hurt either!

Here's a few pics I snapped while we were at the beach:

It was a little overcast when we first got there...

But in the next couple days the sun came out and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!

We did some of our favorite activities like go-carting, shopping, and eating at great restaurants.
One steakhouse had this taxidermied bear- I HAD to get a picture!
While we were there, I also ended up getting my ear pierced again! I'd been thinking about getting my cartilage pierced for a while, so I decided to just got for it, and I'm loving it!

Overall, we had a wonderful vacation! Definitely a great way to end out the summer!

Have a fabulous week!