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: 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?
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!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Love the way you lie.

Yes, this post title is also a Rihanna/Eminem song, but no, that's not what I'm referring to. Instead, I'm referring to the way Dr. Cal Lightman lies in his fabulous television show, Lie to Me. My old roommate turned me on to the series last year, and I just started watching it this semester on Netflix Instant Watch. (What would I do without this marvelous little piece of entertainment technology?)

Photo via Pinterest.

Lie to Me is focused around "deception expert" Cal Lightman, a.k.a. a human lie detector, and his team as they solve cases around Washington D.C. and the world. Sometimes they work with the FBI or local police departments, but sometimes they just butt in where they're not really wanted (until they use their genius skills to crack the case, that is).

I was planning on writing a recap post after I finished Season 2 with some of my favorite episodes. Instead, I got on Netflix some time last week and noticed there was an entire new season available to watch instantly! I can't wait until I finish three seasons to let you in on this little secret, so I'll just share my favorite episodes up until now (Season 2, Episode 16). Enjoy!
Season 1, Episode 12: Blinded

I totally called who the copycat rapist was in this episode, but I think the SVU-like qualities easily make it one of my favorite episodes.

Season 2, Episode 1: The Core of It

Erika Christensen, split personalities, the murder of a prostitute.... Again, more similarities to SVU and more fun for me!

Season 2, Episode 11: Beat the Devil

This episode involves a psychopathic college student who is dangerously handsome and (almost) cleverer than Lightman.

And now I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the series, before you run off to start watching on your own:

"Good chess players think five moves ahead."
"Great chess players think one move ahead, but it's always the right move."

Happy Birthday, Kiki!

Yup, it's midnight, which means my Diamond Sister, Kiki, is turning 22! (Wow, she's getting old! Ha.) As a birthday gift, I wanted to dedicate a special blog to her. I know Kiki loves my blog, so hopefully she'll love this post the most. :)

A Diamond Sister is a "pledge mom/daughter" in Alpha Delta Pi. Kiki became my Diamond Sister after I joined ADPi my sophomore year, and she has been the best "mom" a girl could ever ask for! She's beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, funny and ambitious - what more could a daughter ask for in a role model? So happy birthday, Mama Kiki! I hope your 22nd birthday is your best yet!

Here's a quick look at our friendship over the years:

Back to the beginning....
On the "Sweet Tarts" Dance Marathon team together our freshman year at Mizzou!
Wittle babies!
 At my initiation brunch sophomore year,
after Kiki helped initiate me into Alpha Delta Pi!

 We got to celebrate Tap Day together our junior year.
(With the columns in the background, of course.)

 Celebrating Preference Day during our senior year of formal recruitment!
It's been an unforgettable college experience with her.

Happy Birthday, Kiki! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love like crazy.

So, I usually don't post things that have no other purpose than to inspire (do I?), but this song came on the radio this morning around 4:43 when I was getting dressed for work, and it's been stuck in my head all morning now. I'm not a huge country fan, but sometimes you do have to appreciate the lyrics.

Photo via Pinterest

Be a best friend, tell the truth
And overuse "I love you."
Go to work, do your best,
Don't outsmart your common sense.
Never let your prayin' knees get lazy
And love like crazy.
- Lee Brice
"Love Like Crazy"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

72 Days at Mizzou.

Photo via Pinterest

1. It's been a while since I've written a post about my
impending graduation and subsequent limited time at Mizzou.

2. I bought my cap and gown for graduation today. Eek!

3. With only 72 days left, I don't anticipate I'll accomplish
much more during my undergraduate experience.

Due to these three items, I decided it was time to write a nostalgic piece about my time at the University of Missouri. I don't know if you can be nostalgic about something that isn't actually over yet, but I'm going to do it. So there. This will be mostly photos that represent my most memorable and/or proudest moments here at Mizzou. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Speak with conviction.

I anticipate I will be sharing many things from my Advanced Writing capstone in the Missouri School of Journalism this semester because my professor shares the most amazing things with us, including this little gem about a cultural language tic. Enjoy!

I personally like the typographical version better, but here is the live performance if you're interested:

Anticipation seven months in the making.

I finally pre-ordered my copy of Sing You Home in paperback today!
(It's available for 50 percent off today only on the Barnes & Noble website.) 

Photo via
The book is scheduled to ship October 18, which seemed way too far away until I remembered I've been waiting for this book since it came out in hardcover seven months ago! I suffered this excruciating wait last year, too, with House Rules, but it's worth it to me. Not only do I love reading Jodi Picoult's novels, but I like to own them. I have quite a little collection, and to keep them all matching, it's necessary for me to wait for the paperback version each time. Plus, I just don't really enjoy reading hardcover books.

Jodi Picoult has written 18 novels in the past 20 years (and a play and a graphic novel - neither of which I have read), and I have read 17 of them. When I get my hands on Sing You Home in a few weeks, I will have read every single one.

I first discovered the masterful writing of Picoult during my sophomore year of high school. I was an insatiable little reader back then, and I often borrowed books from my mom. During this particular year, she had copies of both Plain Truth and My Sister's Keeper. (The latter has since become one of Picoult's best-known novels. It has also been adapted for film, but I still haven't seen the movie for fear I'll be disappointed.) After that, I was hooked.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Education makes a difference.

Welp, I started my Teach for America application on Wednesday during my office hours. One of my good friends is the campus campaign coordinator for the program here at Mizzou, and she has been talking it up! I even met with her higher-up earlier this week to discuss the program. I'm not sure where this path is going to lead me yet, but I discovered this amazing video along the way and wanted to share it with you.