Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things for my apartment.

Note: I wrote this post on October 26, intending to add more items to the list before I published it, but that hasn't happened thus far. So, I'm publishing it now! With a quick addition at the bottom.

I recently made a list of things I can't wait to have when I live in an apartment and not in a totally-fun-but-slightly-restrictive sorority house. Since then, I've thought of several more items I'm itching to purchase/enjoy. Enjoy part two of the series:

Source: wanelo.com via Mallory on Pinterest

A coffee maker! Luckily, we have decent coffee at my sorority house, but it is unfortunately not out yet when I leave for work at 4:50 a.m. When I have my own coffee maker, I can caffeinate myself whenever I need/want! And though I might need to stop by Starbucks once a week or so for a delicious peppermint mocha, having my own coffee maker will drastically cut down on my spending.

Source: bhg.com via Anna on Pinterest

I can't wait to have my own bathroom. Well, I'll probably still share with a roommate or two, but it will be glorious to have a medicine cabinet and not be limited to a little metal cubby under the sink with 20 other girls' stuff. I'll be able to store my toothbrush upright instead of in a travel toothbrush holder, and I won't have to carry my less-than-daily cosmetic products back and forth from my room! It really is the little things in life.

Source: etsy.com via Linnea on Pinterest

I can finally buy wine! Of course, campus and sorority rules prevented me from having wine in my room up until this point, but I'm probably more excited about the possibility of adorable wine stoppers (see above) than I am about the wine itself.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Newest discovery: Goodreads.

This isn't exactly a "new" discovery; I just haven't had time to post about it yet. But a few months ago, I discovered a joyous little website/smartphone app called Goodreads. And I love it. Plus, I unwrapped a beautiful new Kindle on Christmas Eve, and I can't wait to start downloading books that I've found through the great recommendations on Goodreads. (I currently have 78 books on my "to-read" shelf, and it just keeps growing!)


Goodreads allows me to track every book I've ever read (or that I can remember reading, at least) and rate them on a five-star scale. I can also mark my favorite genres and authors, and Goodreads will generate recommended lists for me. My favorite part is looking at my friends' lists for ideas, but I only have about six friends on Goodreads right now. So join me! It's quick, easy and free. (And I'm there, of course.) See you soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What I'm reading: Blogs.

I know I've mentioned my Google Reader a lot, but I really am truly obsessed. I currently subscribe to 92 different blogs, ranging from travel blogs to family blogs to blogs by Greek chapters at my (former) university. When my semester ended, I had over 600 unread posts in my Reader. The last few weeks of the semester were absolutely crazy, and then I had family visiting for graduation, so there wasn't much time to lie around in bed and peruse my favorite blogs. Now, I've been home for three days and have gotten that number down to 411. (Whether that's impressive or frightening, I'm not sure.) Today, I bring you my best of blogs from my Google Reader. Hopefully you'll find a site or two that you enjoy!

That's why it's called the present.

One of my favorite sayings/puns is: "Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." Well, Christmas Day is definitely a gift all on its own, but it also comes with lots of cool presents!


My family traditionally opens all our presents on Christmas Eve, and then Santa Claus comes overnight so we have stockings to demolish on Christmas morning before Mass. Even though I know Christmas isn't really about the presents (remember that guy named Jesus?), I'm excited to unwrap my goodies tonight! (And see if everyone else likes the presents I got them, of course.)

What are your gift traditions for the holidays?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Travel finds: Unusual hotels.

While perusing my Google Reader today, I stumbled upon this awesome slideshow of weird hotels compiled by Budget Travel. The amazingly weird hotels included one in Bolivia made completely out of salt, a colorful retro hotel close to home in San Luis Obispo and - perhaps weirdest of all - a hotel in France with rooms that will make you feel like a hamster. Despite the wide array of choices, I was able to narrow it down to a couple favorites that I would actually love to stay in one day:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The best four years of your life.

If you read my blog post from yesterday, you know I'm a little sad about graduating from college and leaving Columbia (and all my friends) behind. While writing that post, I was reminded of my commencement speech from high school.

Yes, this is actually a picture of me, not a Pinterest picture. Shocker!

I really didn't want to speak at my graduation at first; I really didn't think I had anything to say that the audience hadn't already heard at each of their previous children's graduation ceremonies. I definitely knew I didn't want to give the typical recap speech of high school: highlighting the best moments, listing my class' athletic and academic accomplishments, and telling inside jokes that the majority of my 139 classmates would have understood.

Instead, I wanted to do something different. I'm from a fairly small town, where most of my classmates had gone to school together since kindergarten, you knew pretty much everyone's name, and many of my friends had the same teachers their parents had had years ago. I wanted to remind everyone that regardless of whether they had enjoyed high school or not, there is always something better waiting up ahead. To steal a line from the romantic comedy Just Friends, I don't think anyone should be "the girl [or boy] who peaked in high school." So this is the speech I gave, and I hope I accomplished my goal:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The end of an era.

Time's up! 

I've had plenty of time this semester to think about graduation (and what comes after). I've remembered the good times, written countless cover letters during my job search, finally figured out my plan for next year and spent as much time as possible with friends. I had a countdown to graduation on my phone, a Facebook album titled "The End of an Era" for this semester's pictures (hence the post title), and my cap and gown has been sitting in my room since October 5.

But it didn't really hit me until it was too late to change my mind.

I've known for a while that I was on track to graduate a semester early. In fact, I started taking the minimum number of credits per semester when I realized I could have graduated a year early if I wanted. (I didn't.)

My friends (especially my younger ones) constantly asked me why I wasn't staying until May. I always told them it just wouldn't work; I already had two majors and, like I said, I was already taking the minimum course load. I guess I could have picked up a minor along the way, but by the time I realized how much I would really miss Mizzou, I felt it was too late. Everyone was expecting me to graduate in December, and I thought I was ready to leave.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The conversation.

I saw this video on one of the many travel blogs I read, the Everything Everywhere travel blog by Gary. He called it: "The conversation everyone has before they go on a big trip."


Now, you don't have watch the whole thing. 1) It's a little weird, and 2) you pretty much get the picture after the first 30 seconds or so. But, watching this video made me realize how lucky I am that my parents have never discouraged me from traveling somewhere. Even this past summer, when I decided I wanted to study abroad in Africa, the closest I got to discouragement was this:
Mom: "As a person, I think that is so cool that you're going to Rwanda. But as a parent, I wonder why out of all the study abroad options, that's the one you had to pick."
So yeah, I'm pretty lucky. But the video also reminded me of a conversation I had about my parents' attitude toward my travels while I was in Rwanda. In fact, I wrote about this experience for a radio commentary for my Advanced Writing class. I was waiting until the commentary was available online so I could link to it, but that hasn't happened yet. So, I'm going to go ahead and share this video now, and I'll include the link to my commentary when I can.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Favorite purchase: Infinity scarves.

Remember when I really want this scarf from the Gap, but I just couldn't justify the $30 price tag? Well, thanks to a combination of sales and an awesome coupon, I was able to score even better scarves from Express this weekend for the low, low price of $26. (That's two scarves for $26, which originally rang up for almost $80. Genius.)

I already wore one yesterday and the other today. I love them so much! And I don't have to worry about the ends awkwardly sticking out of my jacket or anything like that. The first one was metallic silver:

Sheer Lurex Infinity Scarf, Express, $29.90

I couldn't find the second scarf I bought on the Express website (maybe it's already sold out?), so you get a lovely picture of me wearing it at dinner with some friends. It's a floral print with little butterflies and some subtle metallic touches (that's me on the far right, by the way):

Scarf, Express, $34.90

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bulldog traditions: University of Georgia.

My brother and I on the UGA campus.

"You yell 'Go Bulldogs,' and then you bark," my brother told us.

"Like, really bark?" I asked. "Ruff ruff or ark ark?"

"Megan, you sound like a seal." (This from my sister.)

We were trying to learn the University of Georgia student chants and cheers before the football game on Saturday, and all Michael could tell us was that we had to bark like bulldogs. Well, let me tell you, during Georgia's 19-10 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, we perfected that bark. And it was more of an "hoo hoo hoo," but in a deep canine-like voice, if that makes any sense.

After learning to be a Georgia football fan, of course I wanted to learn about the other traditions and/or superstitions around campus. When we returned to Athens after Thanksgiving to drop Michael back off at school, we took another tour of the campus.

First, Michael showed me this arch, which is rumored to be cursed. If you walk under the arch, you won't graduate in four years. Well, I was arrogant enough to walk under it because I'm not graduating in four years, so ha! I beat that system. Michael says he hasn't walked under it yet.


After the arch, we visited the bell tower. After the game the previous Saturday, there had been a huge line, so I figured I would just wait until our return trip to participate in this particular campus tradition. Unfortunately (as you can see in the below picture), the rope was tied up so I couldn't ring it. :( But I did get to read about the history of the tower on a nearby plaque, which is included in the below caption.

Originally used to call students to classes, chapel services, and special events, the University of Georgia chapel bell was cast by George Holbrook of Medway, Massachusetts in 1835. The bell's arrival on campus is shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have replaced an earlier bell between 1903 and 1911. Now primarily used to toll Georgia football victories, the chapel bell has weathered stolen clappers, rivalries, and a brief career as a World War II air raid "siren." The bell has been housed in its present location since circa 1913. The tower and bell restoration were completed in August 2008.

Note: I have recently added a new goal to my "bucket list": to visit 100 college campuses (#21). It's fun stories like these that make me so interested in visiting universities, so I hope I am able to share many more posts like this in the future as I complete this new item on my list!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Update on the great unknown.

For those of you who read my "Heading off into the great unknown" post, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Well, after five weeks of submitting job applications, I got an email on Monday from an editor who wanted to set up an interview. Mere hours after the phone interview on Wednesday, I got another phone call offering me the position - an online internship with Outside magazine in Santa Fe beginning in January.

I am so excited for many reasons, including: 1) Outside is a great magazine, which I've been reading for about a year and have even mentioned in my blog several times. 2) The internship will use my skill set perfectly and allow me to develop new skills before I search for a more permanent position next summer. And of course, 3) I actually know what I'm doing after graduation, and that is a huge relief.

When I look back on it, even though I felt like I was floundering sometimes with the ambiguous online career site application processes and my lack of journalistic summer internships, writing this blog is the first time I've realized it only took me five weeks to find a position that was a good match. So, in contrast to my previous duck picture, here is how I feel now, happily on my way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Back to the South.

Every year at Thanksgiving, I am fortunate to be able to visit my grandparents in North Carolina. This year, that tradition was preceded by a quick trip to Athens to visit my baby brother at school.

We left Athens on Sunday morning the day after the Georgia-Kentucky game for the five-hour drive to my grandparents' mountain house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I used to call it cabin, but apparently this doesn't qualify as a "cabin" for some people (including my grandparents):

So ... I guess this isn't a cabin?


Our time at the mountain house was filled with card games, board games and four Redbox movies. It was a relaxing few days with a gorgeous view!

The siblings! The river is only a short walk from the house, with a cute
little gazebo near the bank.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My first SEC game.

As you might know, the University of Missouri recently moved to the Southeastern Conference. This means beginning in 2012, my school will be playing my brother's school, the University of Georgia, in the SEC East. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend my first Georgia game, which is also the second-to-last football game during which Georgia can be my favorite SEC team (because of course, beginning next season I'll have to root for my Tigers).

My sister, dad and I all flew into Atlanta on Friday night and drove out to Athens to start our Thanksgiving Break. (The school is much further from Atlanta than I had previously thought - almost 80 miles instead of a mere 45 minutes.) We picked my brother up bright and early the next day (bright and early for a college freshman, that is) and headed to Waffle House for breakfast. Kickoff was scheduled for 12:20, and we made it into the stadium only a few minutes late.

My brother, Michael, headed off to the student section while Abby, Dad and I headed up to our seats in the nosebleed section ... on level 600. I had heard Missouri would have to do a $40 million renovation to our stadium to be in the SEC, but I wasn't sure what that would entail. Now I'm wondering, maybe that entails building our stadium a few levels higher? These seats were insanely high. The stadium also seats well over 92,000 people, so I'm sure the seats have to built that high just to fit around the field. When my dad sent his girlfriend a picture of the field from our seats and joked about how awesome our view was, she texted back:

"Yeah, you and the Goodyear blimp."

As you can see from our view, my dad's girlfriend was pretty accurate.

I loved the pretty autumn colors outside the stadium.

I'm happy to say Georgia won, 19-10, despite the few obnoxious Kentucky fans that were heckling the crowd in our section and periodically announcing the score of the Kentucky basketball game, in which the Wildcats were faring a little better (wrong sport!). The game ended just in time for me to follow the Missouri vs. Texas Tech game on my phone while we went to dinner (more about that later), and I was able to watch our victorious end back at the hotel! We also watched Oregon lose to USC, so those few games combined with Oklahoma State's loss the night before made for one heck of a college football weekend and a great start to Thanksgiving break!

Unfortunately, we didn't quite leave ourselves enough time in the morning to attend an actual tailgate outside the stadium, so I can't cross that off my list yet. But, I can cross attending an SEC football game off #20. Whoop!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out of Africa.

It seems that ever since I left Africa almost four months ago, I haven't actually been able to leave. I am constantly reminded of my time there, and today has been no exception.

First (warning: self-promotion coming up), I attended a reception for the finalists of Mizzou's study abroad photo contest, where I discovered one of my submissions had won the $100 first-place prize in the "Cross-Cultural Moments" category:

 The winning photo was of me and my roommate Kiela swimming with some local boys in Lake Kivu,
located on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The boys broke into the
"Soulja Boy" song and dance at one point, which was quite amusing.

Then, as I logged onto Facebook tonight, this story (shared by my Rwandan friend Emmanuel), was the first post on my news feed. I mentioned during my trip to Rwanda that the movie Hotel Rwanda is inaccurate and portrays Paul Rusesabagina in a falsely flattering light. This article is a revised version of an earlier post, updated due to the human rights prize Rusesabagina was awarded by the Lantos Foundation yesterday. I don't really have a comment on the post one way or another, I just wanted to share.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Around the United States in five minutes.

This is the coolest video I have seen in a long, long time. Photographer Brian DeFrees created this timelapse video using pictures taken at automatic intervals from inside his car as he drove around 32 states, from New York to California to South Dakota and back to New York again.


Click here to read the full story (and see another gorgeous timelapse video of places DeFrees stopped along the way, including less cars and more sunsets) by Outside online editor Joe Spring.

P.S. - I really want to download that song now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are you having a bad day?

I love Pinterest. As my friend Caroline likes to say, "All I do is pin, pin, pin no matter what...." One of my boards is called Just to See You Smile, and it mostly consists of cute baby animal pictures that I like to repin to save for a rainy day. If this is one of your rainy days, take a look below. I hope it makes your day a little better. :)

Travel finds: United States.

I follow quite a few travel blogs on my Google Reader (22 as of right now, but the list is constantly growing). A few weeks ago, National Geographic Traveler posted a list of 10 fun, free tours available in the U.S. That post inspired me, and I've been collecting a list of other interesting American tours I've happened upon since then (mostly through my Google Reader). Here's a short list of some of my finds:

Photo via Pinterest.

Tour an Olympic Training Center in California.

Visit the world's only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Tennessee.

Stroll through the Pedway in Chicago.
Play at The New Museum in New York City.
Drive from San Diego to Sonoma on the California Missions Trail.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Does this mean Missouri is Southern?

I woke up this morning to a text telling me the event I was supposed to attend at 4 p.m. had to be rescheduled "due to the press conference at 4:30."

What press conference? I thought. I assumed it probably had something to do with Mizzou's much-anticipated move to the Southeastern Conference, but why hadn't I heard anything about it before now?

Well, within 30 minutes, I had four different emails conveying the same message:

MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton
invites you to join
Athletic Director Mike Alden,
University of Florida President Bernie Machen
and
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive

For a celebration and news conference
on the occasion of the
University of Missouri’s
admission to the
Southeastern Conference

Sunday, November 6, 4:30 p.m.
MU Student Center

One was from the chancellor himself, one from Greek Life, one from the Student Recreation Complex where I work and one from the Mizzou Alumni Association.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Waiting for Christmas lights....

I'm usually not one to get into the Christmas hype before Black Friday, but today I found some videos from last Christmas on my computer. In my hometown, there's a house two streets down from me that connects all its Christmas lights to a local radio station. And the lights dance to the music! Isn't that neat? Do any houses near you do this? I chose this particular video because, as you'll hear my sister announce excitedly in the beginning, we like this song a lot (not alot). :) 

(The video is a little long, but it gets really exciting around 2:20. If you can't spare three minutes to watch the entire thing, at least skip to there and watch it to the end.)

Warning: Video contains bright lights and rapid movement.

video

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11.11.11

I've been grading International Exams for over an hour straight now (it's an ADPi thing), and I needed a little break. So naturally, I visited Facebook to help distract me, and I found this:


I'm pretty sure I've been "attending" this event since about 2008, so it's weird to think it's actually happening next week. (Also, why is it happening at 11:10? Does Facebook not allow events to start on odd minutes? Hmm....)

I'm a little bit of an 11:11 nut, I'll admit it. My boyfriend and I frequently text each other smiley faces at 11:11 (which is especially fun because we're in different time zones), and any time I see a clock at 11:11, I'm that girl who stops and yells out, "It's 11:11! Everyone make a wish!"

So let's just say I'll be making some pretty epic wishes next Friday. Happy early 11.11.11, everyone! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Remembering Rwanda.

When I studied abroad in Rwanda this past summer, my program created a Facebook group that included all the Mizzou students, as well as our colleagues from Nigeria, Burundi and Rwanda. Since the program ended in late July, many students have used the group to share interesting articles, videos or upcoming events that pertain to our study of the genocide. Today, someone posted a link to "Singing Praises of Rwanda," a short essay on the current state of Rwanda written by a resident of Kampala, Uganda.

Although the entire piece offers compelling praise for the major economic and social strides Rwanda has made since the genocide, this part in particular inspired a wave of nostalgia:
"The drive to the border town of Gisenyi through Ruhengeri is an experience every visitor to Rwanda needs, if only to dispel the notion that all these good things are just limited to Kigali. The road is excellent and with specially paved pedestrian sidewalks, the towns are clean and Gisenyi is undergoing great transformation with old building being brought down and a new town plan being implemented. The peace and quiet at the Serena Lake Kivu is incomparable to any get-away for a tired mind."
In case you forgot (or weren't around for the early stages of my blog), here's a little reminder of how gorgeous Gisenyi and Lake Kivu were:

Sunset at Lake Kivu. We stayed at a small convent right on the shore of this gorgeous lake.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is right across the water. 

More sunset.

 The next morning.


How did I get so lucky?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leggings as pants.

I have a confession to make: I am wearing leggings as pants today. Eek!!! I know, I know. I've historically expressed strong opposition to the trend. In fact, I still don't like it. But today, I just really wanted to wear some comfy leggings with my rainboots. (These rainboots are so tight around my calves, by the way, that I have to wear leggings or jeggings to even get them on.) I searched my closet for an appropriately long shirt to cover my derriere in said leggings, and I found a slouchy American Apparel shirt that's two sizes too big. Bingo!

 American Apparel pullover
I'm pretty sure this is the exact pullover I'm wearing. Color and all.
It was a gift from my sorority, or I would know for sure.

Unfortunately, "big" doesn't necessarily translate to "long." After some more searching and debating whether wearing a long coat would be overkill for today's weather (it would), I just left the house. In leggings. Worn as pants. With a shirt that barely hung lower than my hips. Oh the horror.

It made me feel slightly better that one out of every three girls I saw on my way across campus was sporting a similar look, but not better enough. Because of course, girls at Mizzou (and elsewhere) do plenty of things that I wouldn't, and I can't let that be an excuse to look ridiculous. But today it was justification enough, so here I am in the Student Center, sipping a smoothie, doing my office hours, wearing leggings as pants.

Come make fun of me.

So I won't ever do it again.

H&M sweater
Just FYI: This is the type of thing I usually consider acceptable to wear with leggings

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things for my apartment.

I feel like I've been blogging about my friend Kiki a lot lately, but what can I say? She's a big part of my life. So, she inspired this post in two ways:
  1. She came to my room to cuddle briefly tonight.
  2. She bought candles at Marshalls when we went shopping last weekend.
Now let me explain what these two things have in common.
  1. I live in a twin bed. Which also happens to be a top bunk. Which makes cuddling with two grown women a little difficult.
  2. I live in a sorority house. Which means candles are prohibited.
So, that leads me to the topic of this post: Things I can't wait to have when I live in an apartment! Here's the short list for now:

Source: None via Megan on Pinterest

A double bed (at least!). I have always lived in a twin. My sister and brother (who is three years younger, mind you) both had double or queen-sized beds in high school, but I - the middle child - slept in a broken old-top-half-of-our-bunk-bed-from-1997 twin until my mom sold the house last month to move to Switzerland.
(Don't even get me started on my mild-to-severe middle child syndrome. It's quite traumatic.)

Source: mycottageofbliss.blogspot.com via Megan on Pinterest

Pretty candles! These are especially gorgeous for autumn.
Somewhere to cook. I currently have access to a microwave, but no oven. This isn't to say I actually can cook, but I'd like to have the option. Or at least be able to broil my leftover French fries in the oven instead of microwaving them to a soggy temperature. Yuck.
Source: None via Nicole on Pinterest

Great art! I'm limited right now to hanging decorations from the wooden strip around my room, and I'm also limited to hanging things that are light enough to be held up with 3M adhesive. I just can't wait to put some nails in the wall! The Creed of Alpha Delta Pi will be the first thing to be framed and hung.

I'm sure I will think of many more material things to look forward to as graduation approaches, but that's all for now!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Newest discovery: Polyvore.

As you might have just read, I discovered Polyvore today and decided to play around a little. I started by designing an outfit I would actually wear, but then I got distracted by changing the price setting to "> $1000" and seeing what I could find. Enjoy!
This is the first outfit I designed on Polyvore, and I think it is pretty adorable if I do say so myself. In fact, I have similar boots and jeans already, which I often wear together. I love cable-knit sweaters (hint, hint - Christmas is quickly approaching), and I especially liked the navy and gold bangles. Pumpkin patch, anyone?


Above is an extremely expensive outfit that I would actually wear (if you removed the last two - or three - digits from every price tag). My favorite part: The long-sleeved T-shirt costs almost $2,000. It. Is. A. T. Shirt.

After creating an expensive outfit that I liked, I decided to see what hideous things people actually pay four figures for. Above are some of the not-so-lovely gems I discovered.

Do you use Polyvore? What are some of your favorite creations?

Lattes and scarves and boots, oh my!

I just love fall. (Haven't you heard?) One of my favorite things about fall is the scarves! I was planning to grow my scarf collection a little this season, so I went to the mall with my friend Kiki on Sunday to shop around. (Also, Express was having a sweater sale. Sweaters are another thing I love about fall.) During our excursion, I found the perfect scarf at Gap. Unfortunately, it was $30. Thirty. Dollars. Is that a lot? I thought it was! (But let's face it, I've never bought a pair of jeans for more than $40, so I have some pretty low standards when it comes to the price of fashion.) I went online to find a picture to share with you, and the scarf was already sold out! Geez. So I did a Google search and found this image on Polyvore:

Scarf, sold out, The Gap.

I have a feeling Polyvore is another one of those really popular sites I just didn't know about yet (like Etsy). But anyway, underneath this picture were several outfit suggestions using the scarf. I was immediately drawn to the boots in this particular outfit:


Outfit via Polyvore.

I've been looking for black riding boots for quite some time now. I have some slouchy black Steve Madden boots that I love, but I wanted something a little more professional-looking. Although there are a plethora of black riding boots out there, few fall within my price range (see above) and are of good enough quality to last a few years. I clicked on the boots out of curiosity, and sure enough, they were $148.95 at Nordstrom. Through clicking on some "suggested" boots in the website's sidebar, I found this pair pretty quickly:
They are only a little cheaper than the first pair, but they don't have a buckle and are 1/2 an inch longer up the leg (I like tall boots). I sent the link to a few friends on Facebook to see if they approved, and then I really wanted them. But I didn't quite want them $119.95 worth. So, what did I do? Asked Mom for a little early Christmas present, of course. And she said yes! So the boots are ordered, and all I need to do is give them back to Mom in December so she can wrap them up. Good deal, right?

Now if only Dad would shell out $30 for a scarf this weekend....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quidditch players wanted!

I was poking around on Outside Online today, the online counterpart to the adventure/fitness monthly magazine Outside, and I found this great opportunity. If only I were going to be in New York on Oct. 29, I would definitely stop by Central Park and try to catch a Snitch in my mouth.
Photographer: Courtesy of Pioneer Library Stream
Without pasting the entire article, here's my favorite part:
If you're an athletic muggle, male or female, come show us your best. It will not be easy. You'll be asked to perform push-ups, run suicide sprints, and throw a medium-sized rubber ball into a trash can far away, all while holding a regulation broomstick between your legs. But the rewards could be immense. Top snitches will be offered the chance to bring glory to the OMPIQWCT at the 100-team World Cup finals on Randall's Island, November 12-13. 
Come. Be great!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heading off into the great unknown.

I finally submitted a job application today! Actually, I submitted four. (For those of you keeping track at home, I now only have 58 days left until graduation.) Part of me had been waiting because many of the positions I found were looking to be filled immediately, but another part of me had been putting it off because I was kind of hoping I wouldn't get a job in January and could travel around Europe for a few months before I had to join the daily grind.

(Of course, that isn't to say the latter won't happen. Submitting a cover letter and resume in no way guarantees me a job, or even an interview, so Mom might need to prepare to house me in Switzerland for a few weeks next spring when I run through all my savings on a cross-continent European trip.)

But regardless of what happens, I finally took that first step. I applied for a researcher position at a very prestigious national travel magazine (a.k.a. highly selective), a web editor position at another well-known travel publication and an assistant editor position for a Chicago-based local media company. I also submitted a general inquiry to a media company with luxury city magazines from coast to coast.

With all my cover letters and resumes floating around in cyberspace, and many more to circulate in the next month or so, this picture pretty much sums up how I feel. Plus, it makes me smile:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why is everyone getting married?

In the recent past, one of my peers made a comment somewhat like this:

"I'm at the age where it's no longer scandalous
when my friends get married or have children."

Well, it might no longer be scandalous, but I'm still often surprised. I'm only 21 years old! And I don't have a degree in hand yet! I understand every relationship is different, though, so I try not to make snap judgements. There are definitely young, engaged couples I know who I think will have a long and happy marriage. And besides, who needs my approval to get married anyway? No one. (Except maybe my little brother. He'll definitely need my permission.)

Anyway, this weekend was host to many engagements (apparently Mizzou Homecoming makes for a pretty unforgettable proposal), so I had marriage on my mind. Then I got on Pinterest and saw this photo on my home page, so I just had to share it with you:


What an adorable idea, right? (I'm guessing that's Lindsay in the front. She's probably upset her proposal photos won't be very flattering.) And that's pretty much all I had to say. Good luck and congratulations to everyone who got engaged this weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

It only happens once in 100 years.


This past weekend, Mizzou celebrated its Centennial Homecoming. Although the term "first homecoming" is debatable, the University of Missouri is widely recognized as the founder of homecoming, dating back to when the athletic director invited alumni home to Mizzou for the Missouri-Kansas football game in 1911. Without getting too scholarly here, I will acknowledge the opposing faction that claims Mizzou was not the first. An Associated Press story published last month said, in part:
Tigers faithful have spent decades claiming former Missouri football coach and athletic director Chester Brewer's invitation for graduates to “come home” was the start of the tradition. School leaders know better — and are now more vocal in dispelling a well-worn myth whose adherents included Brewer himself.
“We try to be a little more careful about it,” said Missouri Alumni Association executive director Todd McCubbin, whose organization used to promote the school's homecoming as “the first and finest.”
The Oct. 15 game vs. Iowa State, preceded by a week's worth of activities, is now simply the school's centennial celebration.
“Certainly, our graduates feel like we're the first,” he said. “Sometimes perception is reality.”
So basically, what I'm saying is I'll still claim Mizzou as the originator of Homecoming. And we're still recognized as the largest student-run homecoming in the nation!

This is what Greektown looks like the night before Homecoming! (Right outside the ADPi house.)

Go Tigers! Moving on ...

Maybe that's why she left.

I don't know what it is about my sorority house, but country music was on in the bathroom at 4:45 a.m. again this morning. This time, it made me think about my previous post that posed the question, Would you rather date someone horribly vain or wildly insecure? I picked horribly vain, and my thoughts when I heard this song confirmed that decision.

Photo via Pinterest.

Do you remember
the day I turned to you and said
I didn't like the way he was lookin' at you?
yeah
How he made you laugh
you just couldn't get what I was sayin'
it was my imagination

So do you believe me now?
I guess I really wasn't that crazy
and I knew what I was talkin' about
Everytime the sun goes down
he's the one that's holdin' you baby
yeah me I'm missin' you way 'cross town
so do you believe me now?

After listening to these first two verses, I just couldn't help but think if he hadn't been so concerned about the other man in the first place, she might not have ever left. She might not have even noticed this other man fancied her, or she might not have been pushed over the edge by his insecure tendencies, or maybe they never would have had problems if he didn't focus on potential problems that weren't even tangible yet.

So yeah, I think I'd rather date someone horribly vain. At least I could fight fire with fire and brag on myself all the time, instead of needing to constantly reassure him and go out of my way to make sure I didn't do anything to make him question our relationship.

If you didn't answer last time, what's your answer now? Who would you rather date?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keep calm and M-I-Z Z-O-U

With all the Homecoming craziness this week, I just want to say one thing:

Photo via Pinterest.

Newest discovery: Etsy.

As I was perusing my Google Reader yesterday, I found several posts that mentioned "Etsy." I was curious, so I asked a friend what this "Etsy" was, and she showed me immediately. It seems I was one of only a few people on Blogspot who hadn't discovered this adorable shopping site yet, but I almost wish I hadn't. To introduce me to Etsy, my friend suggested I search things like "Mizzou" and "Alpha Delta Pi." Good thing I'm saving up for graduation in December, or I'd be expecting several packages over the next few weeks. On the other hand, it's given me several ideas for decorations I can make myself for my apartment next year.

Here are some of my favorite finds:

$12.50 from bandaprints - Possible graduation present? Hmm....

 $25.00 from LilyGene - When I live in Carolina one day, I will have this on my wall.

$19 from LilSeeds - I love the Harry Potter one!

$15 from daintyhippo - I don't know how I thought to search for "book coasters," but I did,
and this was my favorite result.

$10 from BlackBaroque - I have a strange obsession with turtles, and I also love books.

There are a million other things I could have included, but I'll save those for later. Etsy away!