Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Things I'm currently missing

1. Living near the beach
2. Collegiate Greek life
3. Driving a stick shift (although I do love love love my new car)
4. 104.1 which I still believe was the best station of all time
5. College in general
6. Too many people to name

It's weird to be leaving and have no clue the next time I'll be able to come home...oh hey feels like July 2009. Heading south tomorrow with friends from home to spend NYE in the mountains and can't wait. Have a fabulous celebration and don't forget to wear something sparkly!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Two Feet Under

Had a lovely Christmas and hope you all did as well. Guessing Santa doesn't read my blog as I didn't find any of the items from my last post under my tree (or attached to my bedroom) when I awoke on December 25th.

Big trip to NYC has turned into quite an adventure with the the Snowpocalypse in the Northeast that I'm sure the whole US has seen via the media unless you live under a rock.

What was a one night trip has expanded, though it is coming along well as we got to see two shows instead of one. Saw Wicked last night which was really funny and went to the matinĂ©e of Billy Elliot today.

It. Was. Phenomenal.

Makes me wish I had never stopped dancing, the kids (and the adults too!) were such talented dancers and singers. I would have to say it's definitely my favorite Broadway show I've seen thus far. I recommend both shows to anyone and would love to tell you more about them.

We are safe though despite all the snow and a few treacherous taxi rides through snow covered streets. Hoping we can make it back tomorrow although I'm sure Penn Station is going to be a mess with all of the people who have been trying to leave the city since Sunday. Better get back in time to head south for my New Years mountain trip!

Will have pics to document this interesting adventure soon. Stay warm wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Christmas *Wish* List

While I have a to-do list that's a mile high, I felt that it would be much more beneficial entertaining to create a Christmas wish list of items that would be lovely, but that are rather unrealistic. Santa, if you're out there reading my blog please considering the following as rewards for my wonderful behavior and achievements this past year...

1. Carrie Bradshaw's closet from the apartment she bought with Mr. Big in the Sex & the City movies

Could you imagine all of the wonderful things you could put inside of this closet? It would be like having your own personal mini boutique to select from each morning. I will be blown away if I ever have anything that it even an eighth of the size of this dreamy piece of architecture.

2. A Life Fitness Treadmill

I would love to have my own piece of work out equipment so I wouldn't have to venture to the gym. What I'd love even more would be an extra room to put it in. As as I do some dreaming for this wish list I would also love the ability to run past three miles. 

3. Tiffany Atlas Dome Watch

Watch in 18k gold with 76 diamonds, white mother-of-pearl dial and white alligator strap. Size small, 31 mm case, quartz movement, water resistant to 50 meters/164 feet (5 bars), Swiss-made, carat total weight .29.

4.  A house at Wrightsville Beach

5.  Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Pumps in Coral

They remind me of the shoes Carrie got in the first SATC movie, but I love the color and the darling crystals!

6. A date with Ashton Kutcher

...or Corey Monteith (thanks to my friend LV for the suggestion, I'm not sure why I didn't think of him!)

A girl can dream right? That's why it's called a wish list, unless you'd like to become my sponsor? If interested, please contact me directly for my mailing address.

Proud to be Greek

OK so the insomnia is really getting to me. Just stumbled upon this news story on Twitter and had to share, I guess at least with anyone who actually reads this blog.

I really dislike how so much media attention on Fraternity and Sorority life is typically negative and so I really enjoy to highlight the many positive things that come out of the Greek world. Especially like to share this one as it's representing a Greek chapter at a school in South Carolina.

Take a read for yourself, Fraternity Brothers Help Rescue Assault Victim, Baby

Beats on Repeat

Have been listening to these songs like they're going out of style. Can't. Get. Them. Out. Of. My. Head.
Also can't sleep due to staying in bed until 12:30pm today. Winter break is rough.

Kanye West "Runaway"
This beat is so damn catchy. The entire "My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy" album is great. Love the ballet dancers in this video too. I've been listening to this one a lot cranked up in the car forgetting that I'm a preppy white girl.

Duffy "Warwick Avenue"
Super bluesy, try to check out the official video on YouTube.

Train "Marry Me"
I could get lost forever inside of this one, put this on repeat and stare at your ceiling for a good half hour and I promise you'll be less stressed. Add a glass of wine and add the possibility of becoming nostalgic about past loves.

Katy Perry "Firework"
I. Love. This. Song. 1. It's catchy 2. It's bold 3. It makes you just want to go out, be yourself and do big things. The video is awesome and I really like it in light of bringing awareness to everyone's special personalities in the midst of the bullying in current news.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Windy City

While many think that the Chicago is nicknamed the "Windy City" mainly for weather reasons, I learned this weekend that you may be wrong. Don't get me wrong, that city sure was freakin' windy, but I've been to plenty of cities and let me tell you when you have so many big buildings everywhere wind tunnels are naturally going to occur. I got a little bit of story from my friend MMR, but feel free to read further about where this famous nickname is derived from.

My journey to Chicago began on Friday and I got to experience two new airports. Philadelphia will be placed on my list of least desirable airports. This rating comes from having to go out on the tarmac to get on a shuttle bus which was the transportation between terminals. Get it together Philly. Secondly, no Starbucks. Or Caribou, or any other coffee place that I enjoy. I was going to check out Au Bon Pain which I'm sure would have been lovely, however I couldn't be tempted by the plethora of pastries I saw all over that store.

O'Hare however will be placed in the top five favorite airports. Starbucks everywhere. Besides that there are lots of fun Chicago shops, I liked the layout and flow of traffic. One thing that did whomp was the lack of electric outlets, but I made it work.

Upon arriving I was picked up from the airport by my friend MMR and we were then sitting in wretched traffic off to the city! MHF was already waiting for us at the hotel, Inn of Chicago, which was too cute and in a great location. After TNF's arrival we were ready to start the weekend, and get some food because we all realized we didn't eat on Friday.

We had dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe which was so yummy! I believe someone mentioned it's by the same owners at the Cheesecake Factory? This would explain similar design inside. The food was absolutely delicious, and so was the sangria. They have a ton of desserts and many that are "baked to order" so you order with your dinner so they're baked up fresh while you eat! We enjoyed some delicious beignets with yummy dipping sauces.

MHF & I with our yummy cocktails!

After catching up and sharing a good evening of stories and food we were exhausted and off to bed for a big day of Chicago fun.

Saturday naturally began with a trip to Starbucks which was conveniently located right next to our hotel. Four coffees later we were on our way to Millennium Park. It was beautiful with snow on the ground, a great place for picture taking.

I got to see the Cloud Gate, more fondly recognized as the big silver bean. For years I've seen many pictures of friends at this Chicago landmark and was as excited as a child on Christmas for this part of the trip! We definitely took many pictures with it to capture the memory.

It was a little cold so we didn't venture to the ice skating rink but looked on as others graciously glided and completely wiped out on the ice.

Afterwards we spent the rest of the day shopping on Michigan Ave. "The Magnificent Mile." I'll be honest that I was in a bit of shopaholic shock, but was able to contain myself. The Forever 21 was absolutely glorious, it was two stories and definitely the largest one I've been in. Their Christmas window displays were awesome and I'm sad I didn't snap any pics.

The Victoria's Secret was phenomenal as well and I really enjoyed this in the PINK section.

There were many other fun sights to see, especially the Macy's windows on State St.,  as we walked around and shopped on Michigan Ave.!

After walking (and shopping!) up an appetite, it was time for some lunch and we headed to Pizzeria Uno, where we enjoyed some authentic Chicago pizza and left our mark on the wall in the back room. It was so yummy!! What else was yummy was the Goose Island 312 on tap. I really do enjoy a good beer with my pizza.

During lunch we made some game plans for the rest of the day, headed out for some more shopping and then went back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. We went to the House of Blues for dinner and then stayed for the Ingram Hill & Sister Hazel concert. While we weren't die hard fans like 95% of the crowd we still very much enjoyed the show and got to meet the lead singer of Ingram Hill when retrieving our coats at the end of the evening.

After heading out to a few nighttime establishments and being a crowd favorite while indulging in some festive karaoke to "All I Want For Christmas" we called it a night.

Sunday was spent at Water Tower Place, with lunch at Mity Nice Grill and naturally some more shopping. There were some great decorations inside the mall that I loved!

After seven levels of stores our feet were hurting and we headed to one of our last stops of the day, the Ghiradelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain. They had tons of delicious ice creams, chocolate treats & hot chocolates. A Sea Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate was just what I needed to thaw out from the bitter temperatures and was super yummy!

Unfortunately it was then time for our weekend to end and we said goodbye and headed off to our planes, trains and automobiles to make our journeys back home. I am so glad that we were able to spend a weekend together enjoying each other's company and catching up. It's crazy to go from talking almost 24/7 with a group of friends (even if it was for work) and then being separated with many states between. We caught up right where we left off and I have a feeling it will always be that way for us. I am so thankful for these fabulous women I can call best friends during this holiday season, and that we had the means to visit in person. While I don't know the next time we'll all be together again, I look forward to spending more time with TNF at Tri Sigma's Officer Academy in GA this January!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Southern Maryland got a nice frosting of snow beginning this morning and well into the afternoon. It's the first decent snow for the year, and it was lovely to see all of the pine trees with snow on them--that's my absolute favorite snow sight!

Took Myrtle out for the snow in the first time as well, luckily everything went smoothly although we did see many people skid off the roads, eek! Luckily this snow and cold weather is slowly getting me ready to leave for Chicago tomorrow. I hope I don't freeze to death out there. I love winter and the snow but dang I hate being cold. I don't think these pictures nearly do any justice to the some of the great scenes I saw driving home from Annapolis, but enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Introducing Myrtle the Murano

In November of 2003 I turned the milestone age of 16. On my actual birthday I was in Houston, TX on a trip with my church youth group, so we celebrated my birthday the weekend before. This was a special birthday for many reasons. One of which was that I finally joined the rest of the world and got a cellphone. I was the proud owner of a Nokia brick phone, but it had a color screen, and I was the first of my friends to have that feature!

Second was that I also became proud owner of my own car. When I opened the card from my godparents, there was a key inside. At first I was confused (let's be honest sometimes I'm not the brightest), but after putting two and two together I realized it was for a car. While it wasn't new, they were passing down their car to me and Maybell, a '93 Mazda MX6 entered my life.

It was an interesting transition to both get my license and try and learn how to drive a stick shift, but I picked up on it quickly and was driving all over. While she had a small backseat and just two doors, I didn't often drive too many other people, but I quickly learned to love to drive her.

Over the years we had many ups and downs together. The first time I drove her to high school I left the headlights on, and this would be the first of many jump starts. I got my first traffic ticket (and unfortunately many others) while driving my little red beauty. I never (knock on wood) got into any accidents besides a fender bender with my BFF leaving high school, and also accidentally scraping by a friends car backing out of a driveway.

We went on many road trips together. Many to Ocean City, Maryland and of course countless trips back and forth to Wilmington while I was in school. She went to Clemson at least once every year I was in school to visit KMK, and additionally to JMU and Pittsburgh to visit my other two best friends. She's been to Florida to my grandparents house and she's been to the Mabel Lee Walton House, Tri Sigma's National Headquarters. She's gotten stuck driven in the grass, on gravel, on dirt roads, and in cities. She's been to countless beaches in different cities, and has had many different passengers. She's definitely seen me at my worst, and I've also received great news while driving her. She's been through crazy weather including storms, flooding, hurricanes and snow storms.

Maybell in the Dec. 2009 DC snow storm

I'd have to say a favorite memory of her is from the summer after sophomore year in college. My radio/CD player was broken and I had the Timbaland "Shock Value" CD stuck inside of it. Unfortunately I also couldn't control the volume knob unless I hit the radio super hard and then sometimes it would budge. This proved for an interesting story because my air conditioning was also broken for the month of July. In Wilmington in the summer I had no choice but to ride with the windows down, and my hardcore non-edited rap music blaring.

While she's been so very good to me, it was time to move on. With all of the traveling and moving I've done in the past five years, and plenty of it I know is to come, I needed something a bit more spacious. I've been in love with Nissan Muranos for years and have been talking about getting a new car sometime this year. After voicing these wishes with my parents they helped me to find and buy a 2007 Murano, who I have now fondly named Myrtle. This is my first big purchase in adulthood, it was scary and exciting at the same time.

Pictures from the dealership

She's great to drive already and I can't wait for many fun times to come. I can't wait to be able to comfortably drive others, travel without having stuff my car to the brim, and actually fit things in my trunk. Especially with a winter weather warning for tomorrow morning and a trip to the mountains of NC planned, I know the all-wheel drive will definitely come in handy. 

So welcome to Myrtle, she can't wait to meet you all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is the Post that Never Ends!

After an extended hiatus from blogging I have finally regained my sanity and have some time to update. It's been almost an entire month and it has been full of many exciting things. Luckily I took many pictures along the way, so sit back and enjoy a recap of the past month of my life!

I left off on the eve of the release for part 1 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. As usual I attended the midnight showing, which was well worth the lack of sleep which killed during the work the next day! I went out to dinner with some friends from school where we sat next to a table with this awesome Harry Potter cool right?

KC, MG & me waiting for HP!

That weekend I made a surprise trip to Flint, MI where I joined some Tri Sigma staff to install our newest Theta Beta chapter at the University of Michigan Flint. To give a little more background, this is the group of women that I helped to establish as a colony and worked with all of last Spring when I was working for Tri Sigma. It was a wonderful weekend to see (and surprise!) all of the women, their advisors, and other staff members that I hadn't seen in a while. It was a great time to recharge my Sigma battery and I was so proud of all of the hard work those amazing women did to be chartered as a chapter! I'm really mad I forgot to charge my camera battery so had to steal pics from some of the women. 

 With the Beta Tau women from UD Mercy that I worked with last year who came to help initiate the Flint women--these ladies are absolute rockstars!

The collegiate & alumnae initiates of Theta Beta after being officially installed!

After returning from the Midwest I was briefly back in Columbia before heading home to Maryland for the first time since I moved in July. I went home for Thanksgiving and was able to spend time catching up with friends, meeting my newest baby cousin, Lily, and spending additional time with the family during a surprise party for my Uncle's 65th birthday. It was a great few days off to rest up (I took advantage of no alarms and slept 14 hours the first night I was home!) before the crazy end of my first semester. 

KAC, BNS, MBW & me on Thanksgiving Eve

 With my cousin MCD on Thanksgiving-so cute!
KAC, me & MBW before going out in Annapolis

My Uncle looking thrilled as family shared stories about him at his party

Me & the siblings at my Uncle's party--all grown up!

The last two weeks in Columbia were definitely hectic! Between returning from Michigan and my last day of class I was in the process of interviewing for graduate assistantships for the next school year. I'm excited to share that next year I'll be working in USC's Career Center as the GA for GARP & Special Events. GARP is the Graduate Assistant Recruitment Program which is the process where accepted students interview for GA's, which is what I went through last Spring. I'm excited to have this great opportunity to diversify my experiences for next year, and be in the office with a good friend! 

During this process I also was was given the opportunity for a second part time GA for this Spring semester working with the ACE (Academic Centers for Excellence) office. I will be working with Fresh Start which is an Academic Recovery Initiative for students on academic probation with USC. I'm looking forward to switching things up in the Spring although I know it's going to make for a crazy busy semester. 

I got to begin enjoying the Christmas season with SPAliday, our program's holiday program. It was wonderful to be done with school and enjoy the evening with the amazing people from school I've been with this past semester. Additionally we had our Columbia College Student Affairs holiday gathering, with lots of great food, an ornament exchange, and the chance to finally meet spouses and families of my co-workers. 

HESA first-years at SPAliday, love these people!

ER, SS, MG, me & ES at SPAliday, some of my fave ladies!

Naturally a family photo pic with my Spuddy!

Did some holiday cookie baking/decorating (sad I didn't snap a pic of my gingerbread man with a bow tie)

Me, LF & LW at Columbia College's holiday gathering

After leaving Columbia I spent a long weekend at Clemson visiting one of my best friends from UNCW and it was a great weekend of catching up, fast food, and watching the entire first season of Modern Family which I am now obsessed with.

BDF & me getting some festive pics after Sunday brunch in Clemson!

So now here I am with a semester of graduate school under my belt. I feel like I left for Columbia just yesterday and with the blink of an eye it's December. With school and work now finished until January I'm focusing my efforts and energy on submitting materials for a summer internship. I'm applying through NODA (National Orientation Directors Association) and ACUHO-I (Association of College & University Housing Officers International) and hopefully will be able to get a position through one of these organizations.

The next few weeks will be continued to be chock full of more exciting adventures in Chicago, NYC, the NC mountains and Atlanta. I'll hopefully be able to blog a bit more along the way!