Monday, April 25, 2011

And I'm Freeee, Free Fallin'

I made it out somehow alive!
I may have felt like I couldn't breathe, I may have not been able to hear correctly for an hour afterwards, and I may look slightly ridiculous in my video. But I went skydiving and I can't wait to do it again!

I'm super glad that I shelled out the extra money for a video which you can feel free to watch!  The screen's a little small but it's better than nothing. If we're friends on Facebook I posted a whole album with all of the pictures that I got. One more thing checked off the life list, I'm on a roll since starting grad school. 

What. A. Thrill. Just wanted to let you all know I was alive!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hippity Hoppity Easter Came Today!

I hate spending holidays away from home, and this is the second Easter I haven't spent with my family. However, I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon with a bunch of friends from my grad program, and even go on an Easter egg hunt! Who said grad school students are young at heart? 

Blessed and thankful to have wonderful friends and Mr. Charming in my life to spend special days with. And I'm maybe more just as equally excited about breaking out my Lilly, seersucker and white to bring my wardrobe up to speed with this lovely spring weather! 

Matching, and not on purpose!

MEG, EES & me with our eggs

HESA Orphan Easter celebration 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peace. Love. Earth.

Happy Earth Day! There are many reasons to celebrate this occasion, and being the liberal Earth lover that I am...I'm going to spread the good word. After taking AP Environmental Science my senior year of high school and learning extensively about the Earth, how horribly we treat it, and all about global warming (which is happening, don't try and deny it), my eyes were opened to becoming more environmentally conscious. Then my mother also got a little crazy with recycling literally every thing possible in my house...sometimes it can be a bit much, but I know it's all for good reasons.

While I know I could do a much better job I really try to always recycle, take reusable bags to the grocery store, turn off the lights and walk when possible. 

So here are some little ways that you can get a little greener, and some of my favorites!

First, I love my reusable Starbucks mug, it's blue & zebra print (couldn't find a picture) and if you take a reusable mug to Starbucks today they'll give you coffee FOR FREE!! 

Since I'm also a huge water drinker, I can't forget to mention my Tervis Tumbler that I use everyday. I also have one with a flamingo and a smaller one with a tropical fish. Couldn't live without em. Grab one of these and stop using plastic bottles!

Using reusable bags is even more fun when they're stylish! Lilly Pulitzer makes them, Vera Bradley makes them, you can buy them at almost any grocery store. I quite a few that are super cute, I always get compliments on them. A great idea is giving gifts inside of a reusable bag--because then you're also not using a gift bag that might get thrown away. I've got this cute little bag, thanks to my Mom...

I also include this tagline in the bottom of my emails, although I'm guilty of printing quite a few lately.

P Go Green! Print this email only when necessary.

What do you do to be green? Or what do you hope to start doing? We've got one Earth, and I'd like it to still be beautiful for when I one day (very long from now) have children and grandchildren so they can enjoy it too!

ps. I'm going sky diving tomorrow, so if I suddenly stop posting...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day Seven, Thrill Chasers

Day seven - A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with

KC and I for her "Generations" birthday celebration last fall
(Yes, I did wear a cardigan to complete my 70's hippie look)

So I've only known this girl since last fall but I'd have to say she's becoming the person that I do (or will eventually do) the most crazy things with! KC is always up for something exciting, and we've decided we share that in common. She was one of the girls I went to NOLA with for Mardi Gras and next Saturday we'll be going sky diving together. Yes, you heard me correctly!!

After NOLA we kept thinking about all of the other great holidays we wanted to celebrate like St. Pat's in Ireland, New Years in NYC, etc. We've decided we can form a little crew called the celebration chasers. We'll also be spending the summer relatively close as while I'll be at TCU she'll be just across town at Southern Methodist University. I'm sure we'll find plenty to get into together in Texas. After this spring I'll already have knocked two things off of the life list with her, let's see how many more we can rack up!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Sweet It Is

I must say that I really appreciate the lengths that people are willing to go to show how much they care. I almost must say that knowing the effort put into a surprise is sometimes better than just the surprise itself. After the long and stressful schedule I had last week, Mr. Charming decided he would do something super sweet and give me a surprise when I got down to see him on Friday.

One thing that we like to do together is get cupcakes. We both have a sweet tooth and like to go to Cupcake in Columbia, and now also Neapolitan in Augusta, to enjoy yummy treats together. Knowing how much I adore cupcakes, this was the sweetest idea.

However, I must say I had a few giggles after I saw my initial surprise, and got to hear the background story on all of the work that went into these sweet treats. A few things that Mr. Charming learned about baking:

1. You cannot buy "cupcake" mix, boxes of regular cake mix is what you should look for in the grocery store. But luckily nice old ladies that see you distraught in the baking aisle will assist you.

2. Don't fill up the cupcake papers in the baking tin all the way to the top. They will overflow and become big giant monster cupcakes.

3. You must wait for cupcakes to cool before icing them, do not frost as soon as they come out of the oven.

However, after trial and error Mr. Charming was able to get four decent cupcakes. After adding mountains of icing (cream cheese & oreo--yum!) and some sprinkles, the end result was definitely worth a day of baking casualties. 

After enjoying this surprise together we had a great action packed weekend. We headed to Atlanta for the Braves vs. Phillies game which was a blast despite the Braves getting destroyed, yikes. On Sunday we went to the last round of the Master's which was super exciting. I was sad you can't take pictures inside the course, it was absolutely pristine, and we saw Tiger! 

All in all it was a sweet weekend with a sweet boy. I'm thinking we'll have to do some trade off's, I'll teach him how to operate the kitchen and he can explain economics and politics to me. Fair enough!

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day Six, Laughter

Day six - A picture that makes you laugh

Ok, so I know I've really been bad with this photo thing. But last week I literally barely had time to sleep. I realized most days that I forgot to eat something until late in the afternoon. We'll just say that I still have yet to learn not to procrastinate...

Anyways a picture that makes me laugh! While this picture isn't super silly, or candid of a great single moment I always get a great smile when I see it. This is a picture of me and the girls I worked with when I traveled for Tri Sigma last year (aka the Wolfpack). We went down to Greenville, NC for a week of our training where we stayed at our Gamma Beta's chapter house at East Carolina University. This was taken when we were out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant one night, we just had the most fun together during training always being silly and goofy, and that is a night that always makes me think back and laugh!

If any Wolfpack ladies are reading...Adriannnnnnn!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beignets, Beads & Bourbon Street

With no further adieu I shall tell my tales of a Mardi Gras (MG) spent in NOLA, now that it's been about a month since the trip! First off, I was super excited about this adventure as it's something I've always wanted to do and have had on my life list for a while. I really want to experience all holidays and major events in the cities that are famous for their celebrations. My friend KC, who also went on the trip, has this desire as well. We could be called the celebration chasers!

Anyways back to my main story. I traveled to NOLA with four of my girlfriends from my grad program as well as two of KC's friends from undergrad. We left bright and early the day before MG, and to our surprise my Garmin let us get to the Big Easy about three hours before GoogleMaps told us we would get there. I'm starting to distrust that site. Before we could get there we had to drive through two of the worst states I've ever had to drive through. I apologize if you're from Alabama or Mississippi.

The first adventure was definitely driving through downtown New Orleans, and passing over Bourbon St. on the afternoon before MG. My nerves were out the roof but luckily I had a great co-pilot, AE directing the way. After we made our way through we got to Hotel Monteleone which was absolutely gorgeous and a treat in itself! We got fun writstbands to wear during MG so that they could easily identify sweet!

You could feel the energy on the streets when we got there, we could view Bourbon St. from our hotel room, we were just blocks away! After getting ready we mixed some drinks, hello open container laws, and headed down to join the crowds. We found ourselves immediately covered in beads. And no, you do not have to show your goodies to get beads at MG. We collected quite a few all together sans flashing nasty old men lining the street with cameras.

We got famous but deadly hand grenades, sang karaoke at The Cat's Meow, and grabbed some good NOLA food for dinner. This is where we had our first experience with the cuisine. We had been very excited for po' boys, but we had a little let down. Though I know it's not authentic we had experienced po' boys at other places in our lifetimes and we always remembered the signature remolaude sauce that came along with it. KC ordered one, got no sauce. When she asked for sauce they told us there was no sauce, we were rather befuzzled on how there could be nosauce and go a little worked up. It was a sore subject for the rest of the trip.

Later that night we stumbled upon a little pizzeria and realized we absolutely needed some pizza. This little place was phenomenal. We talked about it the rest of the trip. Dreamed about it too. And the best thing was we always just randomly stumbled back upon it. If only they'd deliver to SC.

Woke up MG morning and headed down to St. Charles to watch the Zulu parade. Half of us went to Mother's Restaurant for some breakfast, and I had one of the best breakfast sandwiches of my life. Crawfish etoufee omelets are now also a fave! After bringing sustenance back to the group we watched the parade, got many beads and other goodies thrown. It was an absolute blast. One of my favorite things was that all of the little kids had these fun ladders with special seats built on the top so that they could view the parade.

We departed for Bourbon St. and went straight to Huge Ass Beers. This was a special trip for me. My friend MBW has a huge ass beer cup at her house that I always use when I'm there, and it's been my personal mission since I drank from it to go there some day and get it for myself. I had finally fulfilled my mission and was as happy as could be.

That evening was a blast! Naturally, we got more beads. I even got a really fun inflatable goblet you can put a cup in, fondly named the "Barcadi Gras." We walked through the streets, visited many establishments, but spent a lot of time at Howl at the Moon. This place was a piano bar and was so much fun! They let us come up and sing and dance for many songs. I finally requested "God Bless the USA" which was a hit and got the entire place standing and singing along with us. Brought tears to my eyes.

We ended the night at Cafe Du Monde with their famous beignets and coffee...yum! This was somewhere else I had wanted to go for quite a while, and was also excited to fulfill this destiny. The beignets were heavenly, the place was charming, although the atmosphere wasn't so much at around midnight on MG.  No worries, we went back twice during the trip.

Wednesday was spent exploring the French Quarter, seeing the Riverwalk, trying Pinkberry, and shopping in the French Market. Before we left for dinner we went to the Carousel Bar in our hotel. It was so cool, the seats and bar top actually rotated around the bar! We had a great seafood dinner that night and then enjoyed delicious desserts at Emeril Lagasse's NOLA.

Thursday morning we grabbed breakfast (a heavenly croissant sandwich) and then got on the road back to Columbia. It was definitely a long ride home but a great feeling of what we'd just experienced!

So the top things I learned through MG in the Big Easy...
Red beans & rice can cure anything
No more than three hand grenades in a night
You can get beads by being classy
You will not get remolaude on your po' boy unless you ask for it
Pinkberry is more expensive and not as good as Yoghut
If you eat beignets late night at Cafe Du Monde, shenangins will ensue, and you will begin fluently speaking French and often referring to the Muzzy tapes from our childhood...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30 Days of Pictures: Day Five, The Dub

Day five - A picture of something you love

I could find tons of great pictures to show you all around UNCW's campus, but I know I'm supposed to try and stick with only one picture per day. I just can't help but show it off! A place so special that I took for granted, and now wish everyday that I could go back. I'll be heading there in two weeks and I can't wait to visit campus and see all of the changes and growth since I've been there. I know I'll always feel at home when I step back onto that campus!