Road Trip Part 2

Moved back into college today. Crazy exciting to see everyone and all my beautiful friends and brothers/sisters in Christ. Classes start tomorrow which is crazy to think, but it will be awesome to get back to a routine.

However, I never finished up with the fabulous road trip I took to visit my best friend from high school! Partly because I was waiting for her to send me some pictures she took. Aurley is an avid photographer and is one of the many reasons I adore her.

So after riding up, I met up with Aurley and her roommate Claire and saw their room and got dinner at their student union. It was so great chatting, comparing colleges, catching up and picking up right where  we left off. We even watched Sweeney Todd and drank tea. Presh.

We woke up bright and early the next day, looked outside, and saw it was pouring rain and grey. Great. So in order to brighten this awful day, we went to Cracker Barrel and Tim Horton's (this was my first ever trip to Tim Ho's!). Then we went bowling (which we were the youngest there by AT LEAST 50 years). Fun fact: Aurley wants to join a bowling league.

 So we walk outside and, like magic, it is sunny and dry. Aurley and I then took a tour of Allegheny's beautiful campus. It is very rustic and colonial, which is awesome to see. Alas, it was then time for me to depart and drive home - but not without a stop at Starbucks first. This was my trip in a nutshell. If you want to know more about Aurley, you can visit her Twitter or Flickr.


A Bit of Reflection

When I created this blog, I never imagined I would have so much self discovery. For instance, blogging is something I have grown to love. It eases my mind and helps me relax. Yet I have learned how truly indecisive I am. I go back and forth every day on my blog layout, picture size, and the direction I should take my blog. Should I make it more of a fashion blog? Or just continue on my lifestyle track?

See? I am so indecisive its unreal. But it is amazing seeing the transformation.

Thats all for my little rant. I am off to watch Mona Lisa Smile...again. Such a good movie. I cannot believe I just watched it for the first time the other day.


Fair Trade Review: Women's Bean Project Salsa

So one of the presents I gave my Mom for Christmas was some Salsa mix! When she was pregnant with me she always craved salsa, so salsa in my house is definitely sentimental. Plus I am a huge advocate of fair trade, so finding fair trade salsa mix made my day!

The Women's Bean Project is an organization that "strives to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by helping women discover their talents and develop skills by offering job readiness training opportunities". They are awesome. They sell a bunch of different food mixes ranging from dips to breads to cookies. They also sell coffee/tea and jewelry.

However, what I think is most interesting is that they are not hiring women to make/sell products, but they are selling products to hire women. In short, WBP:
  • Meets basic needs and removes barriers to employment by paying a wage and facilitating support services
  • Offers life skills that enhance a woman's ability to govern her own life
  • Arranges services that increase employ-ability such as GED and computer classes
  • Provide hands-on training in the fundamental job readiness skills required by entry-level employers

I wanted to make a salsa fresca with some fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro. About half the mix can be  mixed with 1lb of tomatoes, which I think is pretty impressive. After cutting everything up and mixing the ingredients with the mix, I let it sit for roughly 2 hours to let all the flavors mesh.

I am pretty impressed with the mix, but honestly I think the 1lb/half pack ratio is off. I did not really taste a whole lot of mix. There is also a recipe given where you blend canned tomatoes, jalepenos, onion and the mix that I would like to try (with organic tomatoes!). I am curious if the mix is better with canned ingredients compared to fresh.

Are you a fan of mixes like this? Any recommendations I should try? Also if you love salsa, what is your favorite brand/kind?


Craft Time: Artsy Art

So today I was feeling particularly artsy. Some days I want to create something useful for my dorm or something I can wear, but others I just want to create something for the sake of art. Just something lovely, appealing to the eye and something I just look at and sigh. So I created this lovely piece of work. 

All you need is:
  • Colored card stock
  • An old book you ca rip pages out
  • Tissue paper of your choice
  • A button
  • A candle
  • Crafting glue
I first began by burning the edges of the paper to create that nice vintage looking effect. If you have never done this before, just have a wet cloth handy and make sure you burn the edges slowly, making sure the fire does not spread to the whole sheet of paper. Next I just glued my book paper to the card stock.

I then took tissue paper and cut circular pieces that would make the flower you see below. I also crumpled the tissue paper in order to make sure the paper had some height and dimension.

I then sewed the pieces of tissue paper together and then sewed on the button. I did not use glue because I wanted to keep the flower as light and airy as possible and did not want to weigh it down any more with glue.

I then glued the flower onto the top of the paper, and for a little touch took another sheet I burned and cut out a stem and flower. I did not really want the stem and flower to stand out, so the book on book paper turned out to be perfect for the effect I wanted.

Hope you enjoy my little art project. I am off to listen to some Vitamin String Quartet and chat with some friends!


Day Tripper Part 1

I love road trips. I would hands down take a road trip over any flight/train/boat any day. There is just something so magnificent about a road trip, especially one done alone. I have time to think, jam out and just be peaceful for a long period of time, which in short, is a huge blessing.

So these past two days I have been out and about visiting one of my best friends from high school at Allegheny college. It is about 1 1/2 hours from the city, so the perfect distance for a small road trip, but nothing too extreme. My drive consisted of a huge Sheetz cup of Diet Coke and Mat Kearney/Dia Framton/Feist and a GPS with a British accent.

All of this artwork that I photographed is actually a huge mural alongside the highway made by Allegheny students, completely out of road signs. I was completely memorized by this fabulous piece of art, the size as well as the creativity. Ideas for a miniature DIY perhaps?

Also what is not pictured is a huge "garden" of over sized flowers made of road signs. I just about died at the cuteness.

More details on the trip, as well as more fabulous pictures (the next post will be photographs taken by Aurley) will be posted shortly! 


Christmas is Officially Over

We took down all the Christmas decorations today. I almost cried. That is the one thing I absolutely hate about winter. All the magic and joy of Christmas eventually has to disappear which is just sad in general.   I wish every season had as great of a holiday as Christmas. Well besides this awful task of tearing down Christmas decorations, I had a self portrait session and packed for a fabulous day trip to visit my friend at her college! Expect a blog post soon!

Is Christmas your favorite holiday? If not, what is?


Funday Sunday

I absolutely love Sundays. Hands down one of my favorite days of the week. They are always the perfect combination of busyness and relaxation. I see family and friends, yet I have a ton of time to myself to veg out and watch endless hours of TLC or Food Network.

This Sunday I met up with a friend from college who lives near me and we headed to her church in inner city Pittsburgh. Now this church is  a very charismatic, non-denominational and multi-racial church in comparison to my very traditional, Presbyterian and 99 percent Caucasian church. However despite the differences I never really felt like I fit into my church's worship style, so I was beyond excited to give this new church a try. My beautiful friend Dani even burned me a Lecrae CD (a non-cheesy and legitimately talented christian rapper - check him out). 

Well in short, church was awesome, inspiring and uplifting. I met a ton of Dani's awesome friends and praised God in the most vibrant way I think I have ever praised. Plus the sermon was great. Eye opening, practical, yet very much biblical. I just felt so welcome and loved by so many of the people there. All in all, quality morning. 

We then headed over to Pamela's Diner, a Pittsburgh icon that if you come to the city, you must visit. Seriously, I crave it when I am at college. The pancakes here are very much crepe like and are chock full of strawberries or blueberries and a delicious sugary syrup. Plus the diner itself is so cute and 50s sock hop-esque. 

To top off the already fantastic day, since we got to Pamela's around 2ish, we did not have to wait in the typical Sunday brunch line. You have no idea how much this made my day. My impatience did not have to even bother today.

Well that was my Sunday in a nutshell. A tad different then the usual, but it still followed the usual church/brunch routine. Do you have any Sunday routines? Or awesome churches or places you go for breakfast or brunch? 

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A Bundle of Thoughts

Can we just talk about how fabulous Robert Downey Jr. is? Well he is. I had a beautiful night out and about with my Dad, fulfilling my Chipotle fix and watching Sherlock Holmes 2. Witty, hilarious and just an overall good time. Plus the fact I was filled up on Chipotle before made it so much better.

Ahh I am so excited. I finally received my Skinit laptop decal in the mail! My school gives us our computers and puts the most hideous decal on the front. So in my small stint of rebellion, I bought this fabulous and adorable vintage decal that I absolutely love. I cannot wait to head back to school to show it off. I love decals, especially one's for macs (this one is my favorite). Do you have any awesome decals for your computers or ipods?

Today I did some filming for the admissions department at my old high school.  This was the first time I have been back at school, and let me tell you it was so strange. But I had such a good time seeing old friends and teachers, as well as filming a huge group of middle school kids about why they love their school. Let me tell you, middle schoolers have such a sass factor - it is hilarious. I by no means miss my school, but it was nice seeing how it has both changed and stayed the same.

Fun fact: it finally snowed here for one of the first times all winter. It took till mid-January, but I finally got a winter wonderland. I am off to go be a little kid and frolic in it. 


My Semester: A Review

First semester of freshman year is officially completed. Wow. I am in awe of not only how fast it went, but how much I changed. I realized the meaning of true friendships, what it means to be a true woman of God and how many blessings God has given me in my life. So in honor of the new year and my moving on from first semester, here are some highlights:

  • The blessing of having an awesome room-mate
  • Such room-mate threw me a surprise birthday party
  • Various sheetz/salvation army/walmart runs
  • Marketing/seeing the success of the Deas Vail concert
  • Finding a fantastic church
  • My radio show every week
  • The beautiful weather and lack of snow
  • Rushing and Pledge (hopefully - I see when I get back to school)
  • Campus worship
  • Late night talks
  • Meeting fabulous friends at other colleges\
  • Concerts (Mat Kearney and Dashboard Confessional)
  • Christmas parties, Christmas cheer, Christmas Christmas Christmas
  • Movie Nights during breaks


I am part of the obsession

Obsessions are not just a fad, but accepted culture in our lives. So many of my friends and peers are the most incredible Harry Potter fans or Twilight fans. However, for me its something different. There is this little thing called the Hunger Games. It is becoming a huge fad, but if you have not heard of it here is the link. Read all three of the books last summer in a span of three days. Oh yeah, I get it done.
I even became a part of the fan club and everything. Also I legitimately have had dreams where I was Katniss. Pathetic? Maybe. Acceptable? Probably not. Do I care? No.

Well that is all lovelies. I am off to drink some coffee and read the Hunger Games trilogy...again. I suggest you read it so we can discuss.  Like a book club...but no criticism. More like book praise.

The pictures are from the midnight premiere. Yes some of my sorority sisters did dress up. Be jealous.

Craft Day

I have been doing some major crafting today. I am obsessed with those fabulous hair flowers that you see all over pinterest. They are easy, fun to make, and complete any outfit.

If you want tutorials for the above, follow me on pinterest. I have a ton of flowers bookmarked that all have great instructional tutorials. One of my favorite creations of the day is this ribbon flower.

It was so much fun to make and so easy. Now I did not follow an exact tutorial, but here are the general instructions:

You will need:
  • Ribbon (make sure you have around a full spool)
  • A flat circular surface (I use felt adhesive rounds from Laliberi)
  • Buttons
  • Glue (I used some hot glue)
You first take your ribbon and glue the end to the center of the round, with the decorative side down (if there is a difference between the two sides). Once glued, take your ribbon and fold it over, securing it in a loop with only a small dab of glue in order to keep the loop. You then continue with this same motion, but by angling the ribbon in order to create the circle.

Once you find the flower to be acceptable, take a button (or I used a few) and just arrange and glue. 

Bam. There you go. A cute ribbon flower that can make you feel like you are 8 years old again. Perfect for anything from a tea party to a summers day.

Well I am going to go back to my cup of jo and some more crafting. Any cute flower crafts you would like to share? Just shoot me a comment!


Photoshoot and Exploring

Well what a beautiful few days its been since being home for break. Hardly any snow, a ton of sun, and a Dance Moms marathon (The premiere is tonight - SO EXCITED). In short, it has been an extremely quality break, but definitely long. I cannot wait to head back to school for my second semester of freshman year. It is hard to believe first semester is already over. Well here is a glimpse into one of my most recent days of break, aka a photo shoot in downtown Pittsburgh.

I got an awesome lunch with my high school friend Grace at a cute Chinese restaurant in Squirrel Hill (which as awesome Bubble tea). In honor of our Chinese/Bubble tea experience, the first picture featured is of course, a classic asian pose.

From there we strutted around Oakland and I showed her a ton of my favorite places around the Pitt campus. For a January day, Pittsburgh was seriously gorgeous. 

I cannot wait for more winter beak adventures, hopefully with some more college friends. Keep you updated! Have a fabulous rest of the week lovelies.