(Un)productive Sundays

I’ve spent so much time not blogging this year that it feels weird to write again. I’m getting used to it, so if my blog posts are rough, I apologize. I want to get back in the swing of writing like this, but it may take me some time.

Tons of people think of Sundays as a day of rest, enjoyment, the day to spend time with your family or friends. I know that at home, lots of people are spending their Sunday at the Bacon Festival (yes it’s a thing, and yes I’m sad I’m not there).

Other people (my family and I included) always used Sundays to catch up on work that we were too tired to do during the week. This summer, I’m living back at college and am completely away from my family for this first summer. I never realized how different summer is at college than during the school year. During the school year, I spend the entire day at the library, studying and preparing for the next week. I’m only taking one class this summer, and it doesn’t require that much preparation. I’ve spent today reading and watching Netflix intermittently (I’m currently obsessed with the Carrie Diaries– because what 20 year old doesn’t wish she were a fabulous 17 year old again?). I know days like this- days without to-do lists miles long- don’t come very often. And I am sincerely taking advantage of it.

I could be more productive today, or I could not. The choice is all mine.

How are you spending your Sunday? Productively?

Here’s a pretty picture to make your Sunday better. I use this widget called Momentum on my Google Chrome browser (download it here), and it gives me a different scenic picture of a location from around the world each day. I woke up to a picture similar to this, from Hallstatt Village, Austria. Doesn’t it make you just want to hop on a plane and go there? One day I will.

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P.S. I haven’t figured out how to space out my text in my blog so it doesn’t look like a very long paragraph. If you have any ideas on how to do that, I’m all ears.

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A Temporary Hiatus

I have been trying for every day this week to write a new blog post, but we have been very busy getting ready for sorority recruitment and with the start of classes, I just have not had the energy nor brain power to properly blog. 

Now that Formal Recruitment has started, I will not be writing any new blog posts. Once recruitment is over and life gets back to normal, then blogs will resume with a great vivacity and flavor! 

So…this temporary hiatus starts…NOW! 

 

Here’s a video of cats yawning in the meantime: 

Those Manhattan Memories

So…I haven’t blogged in a looooooooooong time. No excuses. I just haven’t.

I’ve traveled so much in these past 3 weeks! To Michigan and back, then to Pennsylvania, then to New York City, then to Alexandria. Finally I will be home for two weeks. This will be the first time all summer that I’ve stayed in one place for longer than 6 days.

I am getting tired of living out of my suitcase.. I love traveling, but when you’re somewhere different all summer, it gets very tiring. I’m excited to go back to college in 24 days so I can just be in one stable place for a while.

 

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A random building I took a picture of…

BUT DID I MENTION I WENT TO NEW YORK CITY? It has always been my dream to live in NYC, and my parents always tell me, “Oh, you won’t like it if you actually go there.”

Well, I’ve visited New York, and I am in love.

My dad was on a business trip in New Jersey, so my mom I got approximately 16 hours in the city, spread between two days. We didn’t get to do that many tourist-y things, I mean, we didn’t visit the Statue of Liberty or the Brooklyn Bridge or even the Empire State Building. But we walked A LOT! I think we walked 10 miles in those 16 hours. Boy, were my legs sore the next couple of days.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Times Square- it was always so full of people! But Central Park was drop dead gorgeous, and I really enjoyed walking down Madison Ave and Park Ave.

We didn’t really buy anything in New York…nothing from the expensive shops, just a couple of purposeful tacky souvenirs. Oh, and food. Yes, we bought a lot of food.

 

The number one lesson I learned from New York? If it’s from a French bakery, it’s going to be good.

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Pret a Manger has such delicious cookies fresh from the oven!

On our first day, we stopped at Pret a Manger for a quick snack- and this little place has everything. All of their food is made that day and at the end of the day what doesn’t sell goes to feed the homeless. And there are dozens of these cafes all around Manhattan.

Au Bon Pain was our stop for brunch once we got off the bus from New Jersey. I will forever and always love a good chocolate croissant and iced tea-lemonade. My sole regret is that I only had one!

We went to Francois Payard Bakery for lunch. Oh, if I could eat their bread forever I would be perfectly content to gain weight! The pretzel roll sandwich my mom and I both had was the best meal we ate in New York.

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Pretzel roll turkey sandwich from Francois Payard

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Sea Salt Caramel Macaron yummm

Did I mention their macarons are the best in the world? It’s a little difficult to find macarons in Virginia, but in New York, there were so many stores that sold them! We even found some on a food cart walking through Greeley Square Park. Greeley Square hosts a culinary pop-up  market with dozens of food carts for a couple of months throughout the year called Broadway Bites. Delicious little bites, those were.

Our last moments in New York were spent in the theater- I finally got to see a true Broadway show, Newsies!!! The show was sold out, but we waited in the ‘cancelled ticket’ line, and got in! Six rows from the stage. It was an unbelievable performance, full of dancing (yay!) and singing (yay!) and true New York delight (triple yay!). 

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Finally, a real Broadway playbill.

One of my true regrets is that I didn’t get enough pictures of New York. I mean, of course I didn’t want to look like a tourist, but I do wish I had captured more of my favorite memories.

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Two thumbs up for Snapchat pictures?

 

But really, who needs to capture those memories when I’m going to be living there someday? 🙂

 

 

When the Suitcase is Half Full

I have a love/hate relationship with packing. I love organizing everything (read: cramming as much stuff as possible into the 5 bags I’ve allowed myself), but I hate leaving places. There’s this romantic side of me that loves to just throw caution to the wind and go, but then there’s the nostalgic side that feels afraid and nervous to leave.

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Spring Break has ended, so I’m packing up to go back to school. I wouldn’t say I was ready to leave at all (how could one ever be ready to leave their home, even if they know they’re coming back soon?), but I knew it had to be done. Alas, aren’t there colleges online these days?

I love my college, I really do, however, it just feels good to be at home. It’s amazing being at home. There are less responsibilities, your own room (and couch), your pets, and an easiness of living that is missing in college (at least in my opinion). I’m spoiled for being an only child, and I get that not everyone feels this way, but no one can deny that it isn’t just a tad sad leaving your family for an extended period of time.

I may be a little too attached to my house and family, but I know I’m coming back to that house and them. There may be a day where I know I won’t return to that house, and one day they won’t be there. This may be morbid, but it’s reality. Instead of packing up belongings, I’ll have to be packing up memories, so that when the suitcase is half full of the great things that passed there, so can my head.

 

Anyways, Spring Break is over, and back to the grind of college. This week long break was definitely what I needed to be more focused for the remaining two months of college. I’m ready to show those professor’s who’s boss!

If you’re still on Spring Break or your break is just beginning, relish it. Count the laughs, not the arguments. Being at home may be stressful for some of you, but remember: one day you won’t have these moments anymore, so cherish them while they last.

 

What did I miss last night?

It’s Monday morning, you wake up, read the headlines and think, “Oh no..Did I miss the Oscars last night?”

You did.

But don’t worry, because I’m here to tell you all about what you missed while you were out with friends, watching Netflix, or (God forbid) sleeping.

Now I don’t normally watch award shows. This is the first year that I’ve watched the Oscars in entirety. I never had the time nor attention span to watch it before, but since I’m on Spring Break I figured I could sit still for five hours and devote myself to the some shudder inducing outfits and horribly dry jokes.

 

Who hosted? Ellen Degeneres. And she did a good job at that. Some may critique her for little gimmicks, like ordering pizza and handing it out to stars in attendance in the middle of the show, or showing up on stage at one part in Glinda the Good Witch’s costume from The Wizard of Oz. But she was funny, light hearted, and helped carry the show smoothly.

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Which film won the most awards? Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, won 7 Academy Awards. I’ve never seen it, so I can’t really tell you if it deserved it or not, but the Academy certainly thought so.

Best Speeches? Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto gave acceptance speeches that showed that they were truly individual characters not created by Hollywood.

 Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Female Actor, and she was probably the happiest person on that stage that night. 

Jared Leto won Best Supporting Male Actor…and his speech was the best of the night, in my opinion…so you’ll just have to see it to understand. 

Strangest Speech? Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech for winning Best Actor was just…puzzling. My father surmised that he looked like Joel Osteen (surprisingly accurate depiction). His speech was a huge endorsement of himself…his role model is himself, ten years in the future. Okay Matthew, that’s a humble statement.

Best film? 12 Years a Slave won the most prestigious award of the night, the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

And easiest predicted win? Let It Go from Frozen won Best Original Song, thanks to Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez. Their acceptance speech was the absolute cutest; they made it rhyme! But anyone could have guessed from the amount of Let It Go covers on Youtube that it would win.

(By the way, here and here are my favorite covers!)

 

Overall, it wasn’t a bad first awards show to watch, there were some great performances, like Pink’s rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, to selfies with Ellen

 (Ellen loves to take selfies and tweet them)

And Cate Blanchett’s tongue in cheek highlight on women in movies (hint, watch at 2:00)

 

Watching the Oscars wasn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday night. It was certainly better than doing homework, I’ll say for sure.

What was your favorite part of the Oscars?

 

* P.S. I really wish I knew how to put the videos directly into this blog instead of simply just having the link to them…so if you know how to do that, help!!! 

 

Manic Monday

If your weekend was crazy and your week doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better, I’m right there with you. I’m sorry for my lack of blogging lately, and I want to say that I’ll be blogging more, but as of right now it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. So for now, you’re just going to get short blurbs throughout the next couple of weeks of something I thought was really thought provoking or inspiring, instead of spewing my thoughts directly to you.

So, if you’re having a hard time plowing through a pile of work on this particularly difficult and trying Monday, hopefully Mr. Fitzgerald can help you get it done.

Fitzgerald quote

Happy Monday, y’all.

(For the song that inspired this post’s title, click here)

Glory to the Jacket

If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you know that the Olympics are happening…right now.

If you have been paying attention, you would have noticed the amazing jackets that Nike designed for Team USA. I love these jackets, I mean, they aren’t that fancy. A puffer zip up in navy or silver, with the Olympic Team USA patch on the front and USA on the back. It’s nothing special.

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But it represents a lot. It signifies the hard work these athletes put in to make it to these Olympics. It’s a patriotic symbol, these athletes represent our country. It tugs on my heart, you guys…

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Did you know that you can buy these jackets?? Yes, it is possible. For $450, you can purchase the same jacket worn by the Olympic team. Nike created the Nike Aeroloft Summit 800 jacket to “keep the cold at bay”. The description even mentions “Plus, the embroidery offers a patriotic look.” Understatement of the year.

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Okay, so it isn’t exactly the same. Some of the stitching is a different color, but the premise still holds true. I don’t know who would pay $450 for an Olympic jacket…but is it wrong to buy it?

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I would feel weird buying a jacket like this that I didn’t earn. I know it’s a novelty item, one that would be so cool to have, but it feels like cheating to me. If you could just buy an Olympic jacket, then why would you even try to go to the Olympics in the first place? (I’m kidding on this point, the ultimate glory of having gone to the Olympics would be enough to satisfy for a lifetime.) 

The prestige that follows after once going to the Olympics is nothing short of amazing. Maybe it’s just me, but in my opinion the Olympic jacket represents you and what you did to get there, so that just buying it discounts all the hard work someone put into their journey. It makes the jacket less unique. I get it, Nike wants to make money. But, is it worth it?

What are your thoughts? If you had unlimited money, would you buy this jacket?