10 of my favorite things

10 of my favorite things

IMG_9739.JPGI realized a few days ago that most of my posts had been strictly outfits which are fine, but it doesn’t give you all the opportunity to get to know me! I’m a pretty fun person if you ask me. JK, I’m kind of boring, but that’s fine too.

1. The way warm coffee tastes on a cool fall morning. Or just any morning. Or just coffee…mainly just coffee. Waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee reminds me of being at my grandparent’s house, and that’s really special to me.

2. Taylor Swift….I mean, it wouldn’t be a favorites post without my girl T. Swift?! If you’re ever so lucky to know me in person (sarcasm…a whole lot of sarcasm) then you know that I’m literally obsessed. If you don’t know me in person, then you’re lucky.
3. MY DOG! How could I not include her?! She’s my absolute favorite thing in the entire world.
4. Nice, genuine people. Something I’ve encountered a lot of recently is people thinking that they’re too cool to be nice. News flash, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. You’re not too cool so stop acting like you are.
5. Vegan desserts. If you didn’t know, I’ve been vegan for a little over a year now, and vegan desserts are the way to my heart. I guess vegan anything. Ohhhhh like the Rueben from Chicago Diner. Yum. Now I want that and want to go to Chicago just for a sandwich. This is so bad.
6. Instagram. This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, and I feel so bad including this as one of my favorites but it really really is. You can find anything you want on Instagram.
7. Anything fashion related. I’ve always loved fashion and putting together outfits but never really thought I could do anything with it, until recently.
8. My family. My mom is going to be shocked with she reads this one, believe me. But it’s true. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them, especially my mom. She’s my biggest supporter AND biggest critic. She’s going to tell me how it is and whip someone’s butt into shape if they’re rude.
9. Traveling. I love everything about traveling from packing, flying, and being somewhere. A lot of people hate and dread flying, but I love it! I also love a good city (i.e., New York) and finding a new place that I love and new people. I am such a city girl at heart so really anywhere besides St. Louis is good.  But, ya girl knows how to sit her butt on a beach for a week if that’s possible.
10. Receiving mail/packages. There’s nothing better than coming home to a card, letter or package waiting for you. This could be why I like online shopping so much, and that’s an issue.

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England.

England.

England,
You’ve been nothing short of a dream. At the beginning of this trip, three weeks felt like such a long time to be away from home during winter break. It seemed like a lifetime, and it didn’t look like my return date was in the future but honestly, three weeks flew by. I kept getting asked what my favorite part was, but I don’t think I have a favorite part. Every day could constitute as a favorite moment because every minute, every second was so new to me. New people, new places, new foods (that I loved but clearly my face decided otherwise), and new memories. All of the people I met in the last three weeks were all so kind.

The first night in the pub was interesting, to say the least…but that wasn’t the only exciting moment, something always kept me on my toes. Mad Friday was indeed mad. Old Trafford was fun and different. Unlike anything, I’d seen or been to before. New Year’s Eve/Day was just an experience within itself. But, even the days where we didn’t do anything, I liked those as well. It gave me the opportunity not to be a “tourist” and just slow down and live instead of being constantly going.

London, York, Lincoln, Cleethorpes, Beverley, Hull, Manchester. Every place is something new, yet they all have a cohesive feel. They somehow feel cozy with the dated buildings that are most certainly older than the United States. I didn’t go to one place and not like it. Why? It was new. I saw everything with a fresh pair of eyes, so caught up taking every moment in. Every turn was something new. On one side of the street you can have modern looking buildings, and on the other side, you can have the dated buildings like I said. I wish I could have captured everything with a camera, but that’s not something you can capture. The camera doesn’t see it how you do, it doesn’t pick up on the little details that catch your eyes, it doesn’t capture the feel of the location, and it only can get so much in the frame.

But I can’t thank Jakes family enough for making me feel like I was apart of the family. Always asking me how I was, if I needed anything, etc. I didn’t feel left out. I was a part of the family during the short three weeks. I wasn’t with my family during the holidays, and I missed that, but I experienced new things. New places. Holidays in different countries.

So, with all of that said. I miss it so much already even though I’ve only been home for a week. It’s safe to say that I’ll be returning sometime in the near future.

Week one video

Week two video

Week three video
I also can’t stop thinking about an Indian/chips with curry sauce/mince pies.

Why Alpha Omicron Pi?

Why Alpha Omicron Pi?

With initiation coming up and being installed as a chapter, I’ve been asking myself and others have been asking us, why Alpha Omicron Pi? For many of us, our stories are different on why we joined but at the end of the day, we all have the same core values which lead us to this amazing chapter of ours.

For those who don’t know (which I’m sure isn’t many) I was supposed to go to Ole Miss and I even wrote a post called “Dear Ole Miss” (you should check it out) in which I proclaimed my love for a school I wasn’t at. It was as if I was proclaiming my love for a boy who didn’t want me back, but much more difficult than that. During the summer leading up to freshman year, I was getting my recommendation letters for different chapters at Ole Miss and I had a few in mind that I loved and one that I would have died for. Long story short, I didn’t end up at Ole Miss, obviously. For me, I went through formal recruitment twice. My freshman year (the first time through formal recruitment) I liked a few sororities and when it came to preference night, I dropped. I didn’t get asked back to the houses which I preferred but I was asked back to an amazing chapter but it wasn’t one where I felt at home. So like I said, I dropped. I went through freshman year after losing my grandma really confused on what I was even doing. I wasn’t making the friends I thought I would have been making at Ole Miss, I wasn’t having the sorority life like I thought I would have had, I didn’t have anything going according to my plan. That scared me.

For me, I went through formal recruitment twice. My freshman year (the first time through formal recruitment) I liked a few sororities and when it came to preference night, I dropped. I didn’t get asked back to the houses which I preferred but I was asked back to an amazing chapter but it wasn’t one where I felt at home. So like I said, I dropped. I went through freshman year after losing my grandma really confused on what I was even doing. I wasn’t making the friends I thought I would have been making at Ole Miss, I wasn’t having the sorority life like I thought I would have had, I didn’t have anything going according to my plan. That scared me. Freshman year was coming to a close, I wasn’t talking to the guy who I would have done anything for, he didn’t even know if he was coming back to the US and when he did, I wasn’t the first to know (plot twist, we are together now). I had the continuous feeling of I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I was trying and nothing was coming out of it. I was at one of my worst places I’ve been (and there have been a few of those) and I couldn’t tell anybody. I didn’t have friends who i trusted enough, I didn’t feel like I could talk to my mom about it because it would have come back to her not having a mom anymore, I couldn’t talk to the one person I wanted to talk to the most and that was really difficult for me. I got in a relationship that I probably. I shouldn’t have. I was happy but my heart wasn’t in it and I feel terrible for that. I strung it out just to feel something and I shouldn’t have. I lost the people I called friends for that year and school ended.

Summer ended and sophomore year was upon us. Once again, I felt like I wasn’t where I was supposed to be but I decided to give recruitment another try. It had to work this time. Weeeelllll it didn’t. I went through, dropped on pref day again but something did happen. I went to a meeting for some sorority called Alpha Omicron Pi, I had heard of it but I didn’t know anything other than a few people I know at Ole Miss are in it. I went and learned more about it and realized why nothing had worked out before. I realized that their values truly do line up with mine, I felt like I could be myself for once. I didn’t have to put on a different face when in my meetings. Bid day came, I received my bid and when we started to learn more about the chapter, things really started to make sense for me. My grandma’s favorite favorite favorite bird AND baseball team were cardinals, our color is cardinal red. My grandmas’ favorite flower was a rose, our flower is a rose. Things like that started to happen and I started to learn more that really just made sense. Things clicked and it was almost like I had an “ah ha”moment. While this year still might not be the best, I know that I have over 100 sisters that I could count on. When I joined Alpha Omicron Pi, I didn’t realize what I would actually be receiving when I joined. Yeah, I have a few t-shirts, I’ve done some pretty cool things with my sisters. My favorite being Yell Like Hell when even though we didn’t win, or place, the ENTIRE room (I’m not talking about 100 people, probably close to 1,500 people) chanted “AOII” over and over again. But I’d do without all of that just to be a founding member of the Delta Gamma chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi with my amazing sisters who are so talented, so genuine, so funny and just willing to do anything for each and every one of us.

Alpha Omicron Pi is home. It’s the girls. It’s the experiences. It’s the values. It’s the leadership opportunities. It’s everything that you’d want when you’re away from home. Alpha Omicron Pi is home to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Black&White.

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[verb kuh n-flikt; noun kon-flikt]
verb (used without object)
1. to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance,or in opposition; clash:

 

I love concrete answers. I love when somebody can answer a question with a simple yes or no. I think for me I like that because it means that person feels so strongly about their answer and that doesn’t lead to any confusion for either party.

I think gray areas often lead to a lot of confusion which can lead to a lot of disappointments. Often I find that when things tend to be more in the gray spectrum, I end up more disappointed than I would have if the answer was a simple no. I so often find myself getting my hopes up that when things do end up being gray, I assume that it’s a yes. So then in my head, I don’t even really think of the possibility that it could be no. Even if I do think to myself “okay this probably won’t happen” I still tell myself that its going to happen. But when things are so clear and they are black or white, it’s easy to know how to feel. You don’t often find yourself feeling conflicted when you have a definite answer bemuse the answer is right there for you. You often don’t have much deciding to do when it’s given to you. But life isn’t like that. We live in the gray moments and those moments make us who we are and they define us.

Life is gray. Life is feeling conflicted a lot of the time and trying to not let it consume you because if you let it, you’ll end up crazy.The feeling of being conflicted can chew you up and spit you right out. I live in a perpetual state of “what if”. What if this happened? What if that happened? What if? That’s how I am. I’m always questioning how things would be if something had been different but that’s not the way to live. But what do you do when both of your options seem right? What do you do when something you’ve waited for forever finally happens but you don’t know what to do?

Even if the answer is so clear of what to do, it can still cause a feeling of being conflicted. It’s when both things are so right and you want both but you can’t have both. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. You can’t have two things.  You can’t always have your cake and eat it too. It’s like when someone tells you that a person is bad for you but you want it anyways. Life throws curve balls at you that you never thought would happen but we don’t have the option to stop that from happening. We have to be prepared for everything and anything to happen. Life is so unpredictable. Life is gray.

You Are In Love.

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*This has been sitting in my drafts for over 80 days and I needed to post it because it was bothering me just sitting there with all of the unsaid words*

I think for many of us there comes a time when we realize we are in love. Maybe not everybody thinks this way but I think for a lot of people, there’s a certain point where you realize “holy shit I’m in love”. It’s weird.

Love is crazy and it can really chew you up and spit you right back out if you aren’t careful. But unfortunately, I think the “safe” love is often the most boring kind of love. Sometimes the best love comes from circumstances that are unusual. Sometimes the most intense and pure love is from something that’s the most unexpected. I think the best love often comes from someone we don’t really see ourselves with, or the people we try to push away but they keep coming back. Sometimes it happens to be the people you once thought were annoying and wanted nothing to do with…until you finally meet them.

For me, I think I really realized I was in love was when I booked a plane ticket a few short hours before the plane left. If any of you know me, you know that I’m not crazy adventurous and I like to do what I know and stick to that. I don’t typically do the unexpected. Except for that day. But even then I hadn’t realized I was in love. I didn’t realized it until I was listening to my music on the plane, when You Are In Love (by the one and only T. Swift because who else would I really be listening to) came on. I didn’t think anything of it until the song ended and I had to keep playing it over and over until it really hit me. I realized that I felt so in love. I realized in that moment that I don’t want to let go of what I have until I absolutely have to. I knew that what I was feeling was so valid at that moment.

Sometimes the best kind of love happens to be when the circumstances aren’t the most ideal. It’s when you realize you can’t run to that person. You can’t call them or talk to them because theres a 6 hour time difference. You can’t talk to them because quite frankly, they don’t know if they are coming back. It’s the nights where all you want to do is talk to that person but you can’t.  Wondering if you’re ever going to see them again. My mom claims that I’m too picky and too selective but that’s only because they aren’t you.

 

Dear High School Seniors.

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I was in the same position you’re in now a year ago. I remember feeling like I was stuck in high school and I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. I was SO excited for college that I started to no longer live in the moment of senior year. I mentally was not there. But my advise for you is to truly take in every single moment you have left in the next two months. This is the last month in the comfort of your town you grew up in. In a few months you will all be going to different schools and it will be a new experience for everyone. You won’t see your best friends everyday, but you’ll make new best friends. You won’t see your family everyday, so take in the moments you have with them.

Live in the moment, even if it’s just for the next month. Prom is coming up. Don’t fall victim to thinking it will be a fairytale because something could go wrong. You can’t let that ruin your prom day. Yeah, maybe every guy you asked to prom said no so you take your best friend who is a year younger than you. That’s OKAY. I took my best friend and I’m so glad I did because I had so much fun with her. Graduation is coming up and it’s a really weird feeling to walk across that stage and accept your diploma. You did it. You survived high school. But don’t run from high school while you’re still there.

If I could, I would love to go back to high school even if it’s just for a week. That’s a week in my hometown, surrounded by my best friends. That’s a week of high school sports and high school activities. That’s a week of spending time with your family and a week of home cooked meals.

This month will go by extremely extremely fast and it’s so easy to feel like you’re past high school but let me tell you, you’re not. Live in the moment. Live in high school for the amount of time you have left. I spent most of my senior year thinking I was basically in college and I regret it. I regret it because while I could have been living in the moment with my friends, family, MY DOG, I wasn’t. I was too busy planning my dorm room, picking my orientation date, planning on meeting all of these new friends that I had been talking to since October.

Go to all of the high school parties you can because parties are so much different in college. Cheer on your high school teams a couple of more times while you can. Take in the sound of the lockers and the sound of all the people crammed into the hallway by the marketing department and the math department because eventually you won’t hear those sounds again. You won’t hear your best friend since kindergartens voice in the crowd of people anymore. You won’t hear those people anymore. You won’t hear the USA chant anymore. Enjoy being able to go home for lunch because I’d give anything to go home for lunch-even if it’s for 20 minutes. (I really wish I could tell you that the school food gets better but it doesn’t. It’s gross and if you’re like me, you’ll avoid the dining hall at all costs so truly, enjoy going home for lunch or going out to eat with your friends for lunch).

Live in the moment now because your last time being surrounded by people you’ve been in school with since you were 5 ends at graduation. Graduation is the last place your entire class will be together. After graduation, you have the opportunity to become whoever you want so live in the moment as who you are now, not who you want to be in college. Because even when you come back to high school to visit, it will all be different.

Mean Girls.

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I, just like many of you, have encountered a few mean girls so far. Whether it be girls you know, or girls you don’t know, girls can be mean.

I began to take what the girls were saying to me and thinking that they were true. Their thoughts about me had become my thoughts about me. They thought I was ugly, I thought I was ugly. They thought what I wore was dumb, I thought what I wore was dumb. From the outside looking in one might not get how the thoughts and opinions of someone else can soon turn to be your own thoughts and opinions but surprisingly enough, it’s quite simple. If someone was telling you that you were ugly surely you would begin to believe even a little bit of it, or second guess yourself at one point or another.

What people don’t realize is how your words can make someone feel. Someone’s words can make it feel like your entire world is collapsing because they are that mean. Someone can make you feel like you’re dying inside because they are that mean. But I think the meanest girls are the one who feel the need to attack others in a group setting.

These are the girls who feel like they are powerless on their own but so powerful in a group. These are the girls who are the most scared. These girls freak out and don’t know how to react when you stand up for yourself. They don’t want to think that others are strong individuals on their own. They don’t want to think that someone can stand up for themselves because lets be honest, they don’t know how to stand up for themselves. These are the girls that are the most petty.

These girls are the ones that are too scared to say something directly to you in a solo setting but they can say everything ONLY in a group setting. These girls feel like they need others to back them up when they are being mean or when they are wrong. It’s the girls who feel like they have to say things in a group setting because without that setting, they really are very weak individuals. These are the girls that get upset over a dress. Yes, a dress.  It’s the girls who can make college feel like middle school. These are the worst girls. These are the girls who will go nowhere in life because they need back up from their “friends” to confront somebody about problems they have. These girls are the girls who need to have a problem with someone at all times. I’m the girl they have a problem with. It’s me one week and a different girl the next week. But when it’s the week that it’s me that they have a problem with, the other girl is their “best friend”. I think these girls truly will fail in life because you won’t always be in a group when difficult situations rise.. These girls don’t know how to act  in difficult situations because remember- without their group, they are nothing.

But to the girls who were mean to me and who bullied me, thank you. I actually am thanking you and I never ever thought I would say that. Thank you for teaching me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought and that I am worth so much more than what yours words say about me because quite frankly, your words don’t dictate my self worth. I dictate my self worth and I am strong.

Because of you, I’ve learned that if you speak up for what you believe in, you can make a difference. I’ve learned that a girl from Saint Louis, Missouri can make a difference. I’ve learned that actions hurt, but words can hurt a lot worse.