Wednesday, December 28, 2011

March

March

Well you know what March means in college...SPRING BREEEEAAAAAK! Cue crazy beach party scene.

However, being the elderly, sophisticated, seniors that we were (and the fact that we'd had our share of college spring break experiences) a friend and I decided to have a very low key last spring break. I tagged along to Jacksonville with friends who were going to a wedding so I could visit my my old internship pals who were working at the Omni. Then we ended the week in Destin, FL. As I have repeatedly raved...I am OBSESSED with Destin. My high school best friends had spring break there a week later so I was able to pop back over for a day the next week to visit them as well!
Marc and I in Jax!
We might have gone to Destin alone but of course we made friends at Baytowne Warf...
I'll try to act like I wasn't upset that Florida State's spring break was a week too early.. :(


St.Patty's Day- MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!
This may seem like an immature, somewhat alcoholic statement. I am Irish and have red hair so I say...DON'T JUDGE. Tallahassee is one of the BEST places to celebrate St. Pat's. All the bars open at 6am and don't close until 2am the next morning. I started the morning at 6am with a jog to Po' Boys on Pensacola. The day consisted of green beer, eye brow waxing?, drunken class attendance (professors who actually had class that day...seriously what do you expect?), awkward run-ins with EVERY romantic interest I ever had within all 4 years, a potluck at my ghetto abode, somehow ended up in midtown, and ended the night with quite an interesting pledge cab ride home. Oh college.
Here are some pictures from my facebook album entitled, "St.Patty's 2011...20 hour madness." Cute Taylor, no idea why employers aren't jumping to hire you...
Little and I at my potluck
Oh Bullwinkles, of course
Here is yet another lovely video I sent to my mom. Apparently I really loved the fact she got a smart phone, even if it is a Droid...yuck. And is my voice really that screechy and annoying?
video

Phi Mu's annual fundraiser, Grandslam was at the end of the month. Yours truly was co-philanthropy chair, and planning an elimination softball tournament for a bunch of frat boys is much more stressful than you can even begin to imagine! The day was a success though, and we raised over $2,000 for Children's Miracle Network. It was truly a rewarding and huge learning experience! (Plus our baseball tee's were super cute!)
Philanthropy Chairs!

Last Phi Mu Social :(
Socials were one of the highlights of sorority life. Who doesn't love to dress up in crazy themes and have a bar rented out exclusively for your sorority and another fraternity. The last one I was able to attend was the Hunters and Hippies social with ATO at Paradigm. 


I was going to combine March and April but there was just WAY too much going on. Next month is graduation...eeeeeek.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January & February

January
Happy New Year!
I actually managed to stay at home for the entirety of winter break. Old flames were finally put to rest, and I spent New Year's Eve in Georgetown at the waterfront with the old high school gang, drama free. Luckily I spent most of the night with two of my long-time best friends, Andree and Deanna.

2011 meant my LAST semester of college. 
I had a really challenging 9 hours of course credit that stood between me and graduation:
-Professional Selling (joke)
-Senior Seminar and Leadership in Hospitality (still somewhat of a joke) although we did read Danny Meyer's "Setting the Table." If you are a foodie or into leadership, check it out! He tells a truly inspirational success story!
-Strategic Management and Business Policy- (NOT a joke, considering I didn't even fully understand the title of the class) However, I learned lots about company policy, and CEO's, aka learned what my Dad actually does with his life, so I guess that was insightful...

Brittany and Leah also made it back to Tallahassee for a Phi Mu family reunion. The night consisted of breaking Brit's fiance, Dave, into our family antics... and lots and lots of tequila of course.

I was also still working at good 'ol Logan's Roadhouse. Oh the waitressing days filled with such kind-hearted, classy, Tallahassee locals...See the end of this previous post for my thoughts on this fine dining establishment. Yeee Haw!
A server's worst nightmare...


February...why was that the hardest word I've ever had to spell in my adult life?

This was one of my rougher college months.
Things finally hit the fan with the roommate situation. There's only so many drug-induced girl-on-girl ragers and roommate live-in boyfriends I could handle before I decided to move out. Wouldn't you know the only place my lease would transfer me free of charge was the hood of all Tallahassee hoods. Here is video documentation I sent my mom. I'm sure she rested easily knowing this was where I spent my last 4 months of school... woops!
video

video
Excuse the sweat and lack of makeup, yikes. 

On a lighter note, we took a trip to the big apple for Deanna's 22nd birthday which was a blast! 


Also, I worked at the Tallahassee Bridal Expo for the travel agency! Having an internship planning Honeymoons was like, the best thing ever! Another added perk was actually humoring some of the locals who really thought that they could afford a honeymoon in Tahiti...but hey, let them dream I suppose. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Year in Review

First off, a special thanks to the blog goddess Anna for my snazzy new layout!



Not that any of you probably care about MY life, but it does go by fast. It seems like the days blend into the months then years. Before you know it you wake up not even realizing all that you’ve done as time passes by. With the ending of each year I usually find myself generalizing if overall it was a win or a lose.

 I remember thinking 2010 definitely was not one of the most fabulous years of my life. I lost two grandparents within a couple months and it just seemed like there were many around me suffering with tragedy, confusion, or loss. 


Now in a blink of an eye, 2011 has almost come to a close. By now everyone has gotten the gist of my rants of life twists and turns, but I think reflection is important and creates personal appreciation and awareness. The next few posts will be my recollections of 2011 (a bit picture and video heavy I'm afraid), and then maybe I can sum up if this year chalks up to a win. I encourage you all to think about all you’ve overcome and completed within the seemingly short calendar year. If nothing else, it helps set the bar for 2012 that much higher!


Hope everyone is recovering from the holidays and getting ready for NYE! 


XO
Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life's certainties...and lack thereof

My out of control Christmas card list this year has taken precedence over my blogging. Also, one of the FEW benefits of being a customer service phone slave is that we don't have much business in December. AKA I am not sitting at a desk bored out of my mind as much this month. I visited my sorority sister Leah in Knoxville last week, and am going to New Orleans next week. Yay for the holidays, jet-setting, and most of all, not working!
Our last New Orleans trip
Anywho, the topic for today is one of my more recent epiphany's. It's so odd to see everyone's never ending finals tweets and facebook status'. Don't get me wrong, I do NOT miss finals week, or school in general for that matter. But it's funny to think about where you thought you would be a semester removed, compared to where you actually end up. 
I remember getting through my final exams, doing the most minimal amount necessary to pull off a B in the class. I harped on how pointless it all was, and how far I was going to go on my own once I just got that diploma under my belt. 
Most of you who know me, know me. I thought I knew myself. I had every move mapped out when it came to my game plan about the future. However, I quickly found out was the one thing you CAN plan on is your plans not turning out the way you envisioned.  
My Dad is a CEO of a healthcare company. Check him out. I'm not lying- he's kind of a big deal. I've always been pretty business and work oriented in result of that. "Career driven" is a better way to put it perhaps? Now looking back I probably should have known better, considering I focused my business degree in hospitality after I burnt myself out of hotels and restaurants in college. My future career was the only thing I was sure of as that crazed college student in the middle of finals. 


I was beyond certain that upon graduation I would immediately move back to DC, have a lucrative job, be great at it, and love it. I mean who wouldn't be jumping to hire ME?!


Granted, the rest was pretty much up in the air, and of course the specifics weren't ironed out. I didn't know where or what this job would be, but I was confident it would happen. Because I deserved it. Because I'm articulate, intelligent, have a great work ethic, and would be sure to exceed any employer's expectation. I've never had to try very hard at anything in life, especially in the work sense, it pretty much came naturally. I always kept a job in college just because I enjoyed it. 
Now 6 months removed I've discovered that's DEFINITELY NOT the case, and I still have no idea what that imaginary dream job is that I aspire to have so badly to make my life "complete."


Now this isn't meant to be a negative post; at least not completely. Ironically, there are several things that ARE present in my life that I wouldn't have bet my life savings on having 6 months ago.
-A nice place to live and roommates I get along with? pshhh wasn't going to count on that one after several failed attempts in that department.
-Friends I can count on, hang out with , depend on, even after being gone all these years eh I left northern Virginia for a reason, I didn't expect more than a few of my original high school closest friends to be in my life
-Actually being in a healthy relationship, and dare I say it, love? considering my track record in that department, and absolute absence of any form of commitment for the past 4 years I'd go with...NO
If you would have told me any of these things were in my future 6 months ago from a Tallahassee classroom window (possibly still drunk racing through my last final...) I would have laughed out loud at you. So perhaps I'm not out there saving lives, making a difference, or taking the business world by storm...yet. I've realized when you don't attempt to map out your life you can't get let down, and therefore you allow life to surprise you (in a good way). 


So the moral is:
Things aren't going to go according to schedule. Somedays everything will just plain suck. But I think that there is a bigger plan, and every time things don't go your way it's just because something bigger and better is coming in the future. So try not to dwell on the disappointments, and appreciate all that you have that you never even saw coming! That's a much more amazing gift in my opinion.


Well, that's all for today. I'm off to Richmond this Saturday for a tacky holiday sweater birthday party bus bonanza, and then New Orleans next week! I guess the dream job can wait a little bit longer... :)


XO and happy holidays!
Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks!!!!

Today is one of my favorite holidays (besides St. Pat's of course). Family, friends, and tons of food, what could be better?! I mean I could practically eat stuffing and sweet potato casserole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
While most American families have their set yearly tradition, I've realized mine is to not have one. As I look back through the years the food is usually similar, but the setting and the people are forever changing. I don't know if this should be considered kind of sad or actually pretty special. While I'm all about family, traditions, and cooking mass amounts of food all day, it's kind of fun to never know what the following year is going to bring. A life of constants and certainty? Well, that's never really been in the cards for me. 


Some of my more memorable Thanksgivings have been spent:
-in Florida with my grandparents, holiday CD skipping and my grandpa so trashed that he spilled the wine in the mashed potatoes right before he passed it to me...yum....
-at my other grandparents house in New Hampshire secretly awaiting the lobster meal the night after Thanksgiving more than actual Thanksgiving night, and going fishing with my uncle gossiping about family on my grandpa's boat
-at my step-grandparents in Tennessee, riding around on the lake on their pontoon boat feeding the catfish
-cooking and drinking all day with my (ex?) step-dad, starting with mimosas and making the most amazing meal (minus my mom's TOFUrkey..yuck!) with some unintentional bonding along the way
-going to Ted's Montana Grill with my big sister in my sorority and her mom when they adopted me for the day while I was family-less in Tallahassee


and now this year at the fancy shmancy Equinox restuarant in DC, just my mom and I...no cooking, no crazy extended family members, I think it will be actually pretty peaceful for a change


I feel so fortunate to have such special people in my life that have literally opened up their homes and offered to allow us to join in on their family festivities, but it will be nice to have a simple dinner with the one person who I know will never fleet in and out of my life like many of the others throughout the years, my mom. 
It's so easy to complain about all that is wrong in your life. I hate my job. I don't feel good. This person doesn't like me. Things aren't fair. My family is screwed up. I don't know what I want to do with my life.
...Those are my usual go-to's


The reason I love the holiday season is because it puts me back in check, and makes me really think and appreciate all that I do have, and it all so outweighs the bad. 


So here's the things I'm thankful for in 2011...so different than 2010, and I can't even imagine all that 2012 will bring


1. To have such a close relationship with my mom and grandma. Our Europe trip really brought us together this year. It was the trip of a lifetime that most people will never be fortunate enough to experience. My mom and I haven't always had the best relationship through the dreaded teenage years, and now as a young adult she's my sounding board, biggest fan, and I would be so lost without her. 
2. To be back in Northern Virginia. I never thought these words would come, but I really feel like I'm back where I belong. My closest friend in the world and I are back together, and while Florida was a fun 4 year escape, it was never really home. There's something about driving down a familiar street, facing old memories (the good and the bad), and being around people who have known you from the very beginning and still love you anyways. I mean who else will get you huge penguin slippers for your birthday?! On top of that I have roommates who transformed from strangers into friends seemingly overnight, who have opened up their friends and families to me without a second thought. It is nice to be surrounded by such wonderful people on a daily basis. 
3. To have family and friends from a distance. When I'm not working or with people here, I am most likely on the phone. To all my cousins, uncles, best friends, ex-roommates, old friends, college friends, sorority sisters who aren't in my day to day life anymore- I am a better person because all of you are in my life. I love each and every one of you and am so glad that we keep in touch, and love it when we can visit every so often. 
4. Getting my dad back. My Dad took his last sip of alcohol this summer and hasn't looked back. I am so proud of him for sticking with this life commitment, and prioritizing his 4 beautiful children who amaze me more every time I see them. My parents even get along now. Perhaps a little too much, if ya know what I mean. It's a relief to have them on speaking terms after all these years, but the flirting and rekindling old flames is something I could do without!
5. Freedom. No I'm not going to go on some America rant, although America is great! I've learned so many fun facts after my 3-day 8th grade history DC tour ;). But what I mean in this sense is I have the freedom to do so much in my life. I am so lucky to have the financial support of my family along with a full-time job. I have the opportunity to travel, explore, and change career paths as much as I want. So while I'm not always in the most ideal situation which can be frustrating at times, I am so lucky to have the ability to change the parts of my life I'm unhappy with, and not settle for anything less than I feel I deserve and need to live a fulfilling life. 
6. And finally...I guess...sorry I've gotta go here. It still amazes me how things happen. Most of my college friends know me as the most happy, single, never-to-be-tied-down person they know. I never would have thought that I would  end up where I am now. Relationships have aways had a kind of negative connotation to me from past experiences and witnessing the rise and fall of my parent's marriage and second marriage's throughout the years. Putting your faith and trusting someone else is not only scary but seemingly a losing game. Brandon I am thankful for you. If for nothing else, restoring my faith in so many things. We somehow never run out of things to talk about, I am happier when I am with you, and I've never felt so comfortable just being myself. Even if this were to end tomorrow, you are such a special person and I am the most thankful for you being in my life this year. 
So that's that. A very lengthy, sappy, Thanksgiving post. I have nothing else to do while I'm sitting in my office this Turkey Day morning other than halfway watch the parade playing in the background. I am working REALLY hard on not complaining that I am here today and am looking forward to the rest of the afternoon! Eat well and enjoy your family, friends, or whatever Thanksgiving tradition you're taking part in this year!


XO, 
yours truly :)
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Having an off day?

Well world, this has been one of those days. I don't know about all of you, but it's rainy and cold in the district, and everything has just been off today. I blame it all on one thing...I do-not-sleep-in.


In my opinion, sleep is severely overrated. Do you know how much you could be getting accomplished in the morning rather than laying in your bed like a useless dead body?! Hence the reason why me sleeping past 9am NEVER happens. I don't care if I've been up all night, if it's a weekend, or if I have nothing to do the next day. I literally can't make my body sleep in.


This morning for absolutely no reason at all I woke up around 11am which TOTALLY threw off my whole day. I worked at 2pm today (in theory) and had a ton of things I needed to get done before that. So I showered and got ready quickly so I could head to one of my LEAST favorite places on earth to pick up a birthday present for my little brother and sister...Toys R Us. 
While this used to be the most magical place on earth (after Disney World) to me while I was little, I have now come to realize that most Toys R Us' are in sketchy areas and are complete dumps. Do I freaking know what 8 year old boy/girl twins want for their birthdays?! Especially since they already have EVERYTHING possible in the entire universe. Not kidding. 

So clearly I buy this plastic dog Nintendo DS contraption that I saw advertised in TV. It was 50 bucks so no way I was springing for two. Knowing my father this is a huge mistake. I'm sure I will get a phone call when they get it saying they're either fighting over it or don't like it. "WHY WOUDLN'T YOU GET TWO OF THEM!!!" or "THEY ALREADY HAVE THIS!!!" It's really a thankless job. One year I got them all a different stuffed animal from Finding Nemo. One didn't like the turtle one so they returned it for a different character. Then she decided she wanted it back a day later and they couldn't find another one so they had the nerve to call me to send a new one. I wish I could make this stuff up. I'm still somewhat bitter that they were born 3 months early, miraculously 2 days before my birthday. But I love the little tyrants so I always send them something even though it never ends well for my team. 


After this adventure I went to Target to get a gift bag and the cashier lady who was overly joyous and had all of 5 teeth rang up the tissue paper twice. I was too afraid of her to say anything and just paid for it...


Then by the time I got to the Fed-Ex to ship the dumb thing to Georgia and out of my life, it turns out that it would cost another $50 to get it there by Saturday on their birthday. So they will be getting their present on my birthday instead. SORRY.


I had plenty of time to get to work but naturally had no idea how to get there from the hood of Alexandria by the Toys R Us where I was. So after getting lost about 50 times I ended up by my work that was all of 5 miles away 30 minutes later. I stopped by Carribou Coffee to get something to help me survive the next 6 hours at work. They broke out their holiday stuff which brightened my day. For those of you Floridians who don't know...Carribou > Starbucks any day. I tried the new ho ho mint white mocha...DELICIOUS. 

I casually strolled into work right around 2pm with my coffee, oblivious and carefree. I chit chatted with my coworker and dealt with some student travel craziness. As soon as he pulled away it dawned on me that I was supposed to come in an hour early for him so he could leave on a vacation with his wife. I felt like the biggest jerk in the world!!!! 

Anyone who knows me knows this is completely out of my character. I do not miss ANYTHING. And look at me, I just sailed on in an hour late with my coffee and he literally didn't even bring it up. Poor guy. I called him and apologized profusely and luckily it worked out because his wife couldn't leave early anyways. STILL. I am a moron. 

Moral here people:
Things hit the fan when you break your routine and too much sleep isn't a good thing in my life.

Wa.

I know all of you really cared about this annoyingly detailed story about absolutely nothing.

It's my birthday week I do what I want. Like every other week. 
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cheese and Pumpkin Don't Mix

I am going to place sole blame of this whole culianary fiasco on Home and Garden Magazine. While I was working yesterday I cut out a bunch of tasty Halloween recipes that looked promising for last night and the weekend. My roommates and I had already planned on pumpkin carving festivities and I figured we could put the leftover pumpkin to good use. Little to my knowledge, the pumpkin you carve is NOT the same as the pumpkin you bake with. 
We removed the pumpkin gunk.....
And made our own pumpkin puree with "pumpkin spices"...
It looks like such a well thought out meal.. :(
SEE IT LOOKS NORMAL....yet tasted like pumpkin cheesy mush

The boyfriend so politely pointed out that putting something sweet like pumpkin with something savory like mac and cheese will undoubtedly be disgusting...like cheese on whipped cream. WHATEVER.

Then I moved on the focus on these mummy cupcakes that didn't turn out too beautiful either. Since this was becoming a long process my lovely, wonderful, talented boyfriend took over my pumpkin carving project. Of course I was trying to be school spirited and the Florida State logo just happens to be a little tricky. The poor guy definitely dedicated an hour and a half of his life to not screwing up my lovely FS stencil shape.
My challenged mummy cupcakes...clearly this was just not my cooking/baking day 



Corn holders are totally the way to go...
 
 Excuse the sideways pictures...it's me against my work computer and I NEVER win. 

But I'd say he did a pretty darn good job. He and I both knew I would give up after 5 minutes of attempting this carving feat so he's a trooper. :) I might still paint it with some gold glitter eeeeee! Can't wait for Halloween weekend and 3 days off!!!!!!
 

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