Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photo a Day: May (Round 2)

I shared the first half of my pictures from Fat Mum Slim's #photoadayMay challenge earlier this month. Now that the month is over, it's time for round two:

Here are a few quick explanations for the photos that need it:


Happy almost-weekend everyone! I wanted to take this opportunity to do a little housekeeping on the blog, namely to share my latest Book Chat link-up, introduce my new Twitter account and promote a giveaway.

First, my weekly Book Chat link-up with Sweet Green Tangerine. Today's topic is Favorite Female of Fiction, so I'm reusing this old post from my 30-Day Book Challenge. I also wanted to share the adorable button Jessica made for this week's Book Chat. Click on it to check out the other posts in the link-up:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Historic Santa Fe Plaza.

I promised you pictures of my "tourist" excursion to the Plaza on Memorial Day, and here they are. As I've said before, I don't mind if you pin my photographs as long as you link them back to this specific post and not my blog home page. Thanks. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 14

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's topic: What's the funniest thing that even happened to you while traveling? This can either be an actually funny story, or something that was terrible at the time but is funny when you look back now. (Thanks to Jessica at Sweet Green Tangerine for the topic idea!) As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

I'll have to admit, I had to text my sister last night to ask if she could remember any funny stories from our family vacations because I was completely blank. Luckily, she had a good one for me. My mom was a central part of this story, so I wanted to ask her permission first, but of course she's living the expat life in Switzerland right now, so by the time this all happened she was already in bed. This afternoon, she told me it was fine to identify her in the story as long as I made it sound funny. Well, I promise to try:

It was Thanksgiving 2001, only a few short months after 9/11. My mom, brother and I were flying to Pennsylvania to meet my sister and dad for Thanksgiving with some of our extended family. Of course, security was very strict around this time, and rightly so ... or at least we thought. Another family on our flight did not agree.

My mom and I had been randomly selected to have our carry-on baggage searched at the gate, along with several other passengers. In front of us in line was an older redheaded woman and her 20-something, platinum-blonde daughter. (Of course I remember their hair colors; is that something that is ingrained as important information in all young girls?) The daughter was whining about how she didn't want the gate attendant to touch her underwear, and the mom was going on and on to anyone who would listen about how ridiculous the whole thing was, and how violated her daughter felt. Unfortunately, she then decided my mother was the right audience for her very loud and very abrasive venting session. After a while, my mom said very politely, "Well, at least it's better than the alternative." The other woman looked at her with something between horror and indignation and answered, "Oh no! I certainly don't think so." Even at 11 years old, I was thinking, "Hmm, so you'd rather get blown to bits than have a TSA agent touch your tighty-whities?"

Anyway, you would think this woman would have realized my mother was not sympathetic to her point of view, but that wasn't the case. She continued to complain about the indecency of it all, and how traumatized her poor daughter was about the whole thing. (Mind you, I'm pretty sure this daughter was at least college-aged, though my young age could have made her seem older.) My mom finally smiled and said, "Your daughter must lead a very small life."

Well, that was it. The woman started yelling at her, telling her "well if that's what you think, you can just get out of line, no one wants you here..." and the dad turned around to glare at us as well. I'm sure my brother had no idea what was going on—he was only 8 and was probably distracted by something shiny on the floor—but I remember looking away uncomfortably and seeing a man sitting in the waiting area. He smiled, looked at us, and said, "Thank you." We didn't get out of line; the lady got the hint and stopped complaining, and no one punched us (which the dad appeared to be contemplating). And Mom, I don't know if you saw or heard that other man, but I'm pretty sure every other person at that gate was grateful to you for getting that woman to finally shut up.

And that's it! At the time it was uncomfortable, and there was a 30-second window where I was afraid I was going to see my mother get assaulted, but today it is a very funny story to tell. And whenever I overhear someone complaining loudly (and obnoxiously) in a public place, I like to turn to my mother and say, "She must lead a very small life." And we both crack up.

So, Mom, what do you think? Is my 11-year-old memory accurate?

Next week's topic is pretty easy and casts a wide net of possibilities: Share an old trip. This can be anything: A domestic or international trip. A long or short trip. A trip you took last year or a trip you took when you were 9. You can share pictures, tell us a story or two, or do both. Have fun with it!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Three-day weekend minutia.

My three-day weekend, according to my Instagram pictures:

Saturday highlights: I made my first trip to the Southside branch of the Santa Fe Public Library, which was the only one I hadn't yet visited. It is so nice: big, lots of windows, plenty of comfy seating, few visitors and a beautiful children's room. Unfortunately, it's also the farthest out of the way. Of course. I also visited a French cafe at the fashion outlets that a family friend had recommended. The food was too expensive for me ($12 for quiche? I don't think so), but I could afford a pastry and an iced vanilla latte. Yum! I also hit up a couple stores at the outlets to take advantage of the Memorial Day sales. My favorite purchase? A BCBG dress I thought was on sale for $29 but rang up as only $15. Score! Overall, I biked 18 miles to visit all these places. I thought I would be super-sore the next day, but I'm pleasantly still unaffected! Maybe I'm getting my cycling legs.

Sunday highlights: I spent the morning watching Law & Order and working on graduation presents (sorry I'm so late, Mizzou friends!), then I headed down to Albuquerque for a minor-league baseball game in the evening. The Isotopes won, 11-9, and there were fireworks after. I also got a pretty sweet picture with Homer Simpson:

I actually wasn't allowed to watch The Simpsons growing up, but now I've met Homer! :)

Monday highlights: Today was reserved for more Law & Order (I'm on season two of the original show) and more graduation-present progress. I also biked down to the Plaza in the afternoon to take some pictures. I really haven't taken many real pictures with my camera in Santa Fe, and I figured a holiday was the perfect opportunity to blend in with all the camera-toting tourists. Check back Wednesday for those pictures; I don't want to make this post too long. :)

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Did you get to celebrate our soldiers with a day off from work today? And, of course, thank you to all the men and women who have served our country, whether in the military or otherwise!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Book Challenge: Week 4

Photo via Alexandru Jigovan

Current scoreboard:
  1. Nova @ My Seryniti —80
  2. Heather @ A Cupcake Love Affair —75
  3. Sarah @ Books, Jeans, and Awesome — 70
  4. Cristina @ Bonjour, Je M'appelle Cristina — 70
  5. Momma Sunshine @ Cross-Stitching Diva —65
  6. Stacey @ Stacey's Daze — 60
  7. Jessica @ Sweet Green Tangerine —50
  8. Jen @ Grown in Southern Ground — 50
  9. Joslin @ Joslin as Mrs. Williams —45
  10. Erinn @ It's the Journey — 40
  11. Megan @ Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (host) — 40
  12. Amy @ Delightful Witticisms — 35
  13. Jessica @ Eternally Enlisted — 35
  14. Abby S. on Goodreads — 35
  15. Pinar @ Pinuccia's World of Books — 35
  16. Jenna @ Cannery Row Reads — 25
  17. Becky Ingle — 20
  18. Darlene @ Darlene's Book Nook — 20
  19. Hannah — 20
  20. Lindsay @ Lindsay in Progress —15
  21. Book Dragon @ Book Dragon's Lair — 15 
  22. Amanda @ Amanda's Weekly Zen — 15
  23. Rebecca @ Garrulous and Bookish —15
  24. Sarah @ The Roaring Twenties — 10
  25. Katrina @ Elements of Fun — 10
  26. Patty @ Pitter from Patty — 10
  27. Jessica @ Random Thoughts — 5 
  28. Erin J. on Goodreads — 5
  29. Amanda @ Words From My Heart — 0
  30. Amanda @ Down to Sanity — 0
  31. Kevin @ The Blog of the System — 0
  32. Tina @ Like Ordinary Life — 0
  33. Caroline @ Carenpants — 0
  34. Michelle @ The True Book Addict — 0
  35. Angie @ Angels are Kids and Furkids — 0
  36. Gabs @ Novel Ideas — 0
  37. Jennifer S. — 0
  38. Jo @ In Which We Start Anew — 0
  39. Laura Swan — 0

Happy birthday, blog!

Cupcake via Hummingbird Bakery

One year ago today, I bit the bullet and published my first blog post on Blogger. Back then, the blog name was "Work in Progress," and my url was missing my middle initial. I had a brown background with little birdies flying across the top of the page, and I really didn't think the blog would last further than my summer travels. It's now a year later, and look how far we've come!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Birthday cuteness, round two.

I know, I know. My sister and I are adorable. But we were even more adorable in 1992? (looks like Mom waited a while to label these photos). And again, look how Abby (right, giggling at the thought of being an only child again) delights in making me (left, seemingly attempting to strangle myself) suffer.

My dad e-mailed me this photo just a few minutes ago—I'm assuming because he saw my post earlier today—so you can thank him for the opportunity to be exposed to this cuteness. :) Happy birthday again, Abby! And happy weekend to all my lovely readers.

My sister, my friend.

Today is a very special day. Twenty-four years ago on May 25, my wonderful older sister was born! We are less than two years apart, so we have (almost) always been very close. The best thing about our relationship is that despite our age and the fact that we did so many of the same sports and activities in high school, we were never competitive. She was always very supportive of me and I of her. So here's to you, Abby. I love you! :)

I wish I had some pictures of us in our youth gallivanting about with our adorable blonde bowl cuts and Amish prairie dresses, but alas, the pictures I can glean from Facebook will have to do:

Edited to add: My dad saw this post and e-mailed me some pictures of us in our younger days; check them out here.

She taught me how to read (many years before this picture was taken, obviously) ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just throw it in the bag.

Jessica over at Lovely Undergrad did a lovely post the other day on what's in her purse, and I thought that would be a fun and quick post to share with y'all. In fact, this is the picture I took the other day when I couldn't find my camera cord and so posted about my new image policy instead. This is what I took out of my purse after a regular weekday at the office:

Book of the moment: The Catcher in the Rye. I usually have two books in my purse just in case, but I had finished We Need to Talk About Kevin that day at lunch and already returned it to the library.

Bike commute essentials: Gloves for windy days (my hands sometimes get chilly in the morning) and sunglasses to protect my eyes from pesky bugs.

The necessities: My wallet, which my sister got me a few years ago for Christmas and I absolutely adore. In addition to the cute colors, it says "I love you" in several different languages. My keys and garage-door opener to get in and out of my apartment, a pack of gum and, of course, the ubiquitous chapstick.

My planner, Moleskin notebook and a nice pen.

For emergencies: Two Band-Aids in case I get blisters and a hair elastic for days I think I can wear my hair down and then realize: Who am I kidding? I hate having hair in my face.

And finally, I still have some Rwandan francs that I took out of my wallet but haven't exchanged yet. The bills are just hanging out in my purse's inside pocket.

What's in your bag? If you've ever done a post like this (or plan to do one), please leave your link in the comments so I can check it out!

Edited to add: I found a "what's in your bag" link-up on May 25 and decided to join in on the fun. Check out Glitter and Gloss to see the other entries!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 13

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's topic: What’s the longest continuous vacation you’ve ever been on? What was hard about it? What did you like? How did you pack? As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

I already talked about packing for a long trip in my second Travel Tuesday post, but it was my very first link-up so many of you might not have seen it. I'll re-summarize my packing tips here, but check out the old post for my complete packing list for a 24-day overseas trip and more detailed advice:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Patting myself on the back.

I went to Hobby Lobby tonight, and I only bought the two items on my list. Even with this staring me in the face:

I was completely surrounded. And I love The Paper Studio's Stickabilities collection.

I did pick up a few different sets of stickers and walk through the aisles with them, but ultimately I put them back. Aren't you proud of me? I sure am.

What's your shopping weakness? Are there any stores you can't visit without buying way more than you planned?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Summer Book Challenge: Week 3

Image via Mo Riza on Flickr

Here is where everyone stands after the third week of the challenge:
  1. Jen @ Grown in Southern Ground — 50
  2. Heather @ A Cupcake Love Affair — 45
  3. Pinar @ Pinuccia's World of Books — 35
  4. Amy @ Delightful Witticisms — 35
  5. Erinn @ It's the Journey — 30
  6. Megan @ Semi-Charmed Kind of Life (host) — 30
  7. Jessica @ Sweet Green Tangerine — 25
  8. Stacey @ Stacey's Daze — 25
  9. Jenna @ Cannery Row Reads —25
  10. Abby S. on Goodreads — 25
  11. Sarah @ Books, Jeans, and Awesome — 25
  12. Becky Ingle — 20
  13. Momma Sunshine @ Cross-Stitching Diva — 15
  14. Rebecca @ Garrulous and Bookish —15
  15. Nova @ My Seryniti — 15
  16. Amanda @ Amanda's Weekly Zen — 15
  17. Katrina @ Elements of Fun — 10
  18. Joslin @ Joslin as Mrs. Williams — 10
  19. Patty @ Pitter from Patty — 10 
  20. Erin J. on Goodreads — 5
  21. Jo @ In Which We Start Anew — 0
  22. Jessica @ Eternally Enlisted — 0
  23. Laura Swan — 0
  24. Angie @ Angels are Kids and Furkids — 0
  25. Jennifer S. — 0
  26. Lindsay @ Lindsay in Progress — 0
  27. Darlene @ Darlene's Book Nook — 0
  28. Gabs @ Novel Ideas — 0

Weekend minutia.

I attempted to take more of my own photos today, but unfortunately my life isn't very exciting. So I mostly photographed books and food. Here's a quick recap of my Saturday:

Breakfast: A homemade breakfast burrito and Texas Turtle coffee on the deck finishing The Catcher in the Rye. I even wore a strapless top in an attempt to get some color, but my skin only knows two colors: white and red. 

Lunch: A venti Java chip frappuccino at Starbucks and Beasts, which I started and finished while I was there. The purse was a gift from my boyfriend after he went to Ghana last summer.

Working off all that food: This bike path runs along the riverbed and gives me a very convenient route to pretty much all my regular places: libraries, coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.

Dinner: Whole Foods had beef patties on sale for $1 yesterday, so I picked up two for guacamole burgers! I don't really measure when I cook, but here's a basic approximation of my recipe:

1 avocado, mashed
1 jalapeno
1/2 small tomato
1/8 onion
Cayenne pepper
Lime juice

I lightly toasted a piece of bread, spread 1/4 of the guacamole on it (the recipe above makes one small Tupperware worth—sorry, I told you I don't measure!), then added a cooked burger and 1/8 cup of shredded mozzarella. I put the whole thing in the toaster oven to melt the cheese, and voila! Easy guacamole burger. And if I can make it, you know it's easy. :)

What did you do this weekend? If you did any reading this week, be sure to check back in tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 p.m. EST for the third Semi-Charmed Book Challenge check-in!

Friday, May 18, 2012

New policy on images.

Photo via Photography King on Flickr

I decided I'm going to start being more responsible about the images I use on my blog. This means (a) taking more of my own photos and (b) being more careful about copyright and proper attribution. I have always provided sources for the images used on this blog, but sometimes that's only to Pinterest, and not everyone links their pins to the image's original source.

For example, tonight I logged onto Pinterest and searched "camera" for a nice photo for this post. I found a ton of great images, but the first photo I traced from Pinterest to its original source—and the second—was not available for my (legal) use. Then I remembered the Creative Commons search engine I use at work, and I finally found the image you see above. Instead of the fifteen seconds it would have taken me to embed the first image from Pinterest, it took me more than six minutes to find this one. But I feel better about myself, and that's what counts, right?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It is about the bike.

Did you know this month is National Bike Month? Well, now you do! And in honor of Bike to Work Week this week (Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18), I thought I would share with you some things I've learned since becoming a bike commuter in February. This will mostly be behaviors I've noticed on the road between drivers and cyclists, so take note in order to make the roads as safe as possible for all the commuting cyclists on Friday, whether you're on a bike or in a car. Of course, this post will be illustrated with beautiful biking pictures from Pinterest as my contribution to The Vintage Apple's Oh How Pinteresting Wednesday link-up.

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

1. If you have a stop sign and I don't, please do not stop and wave me across the road. That's just confusing. It's especially annoying when I'm already obviously stopped with my feet on the ground. In the time it takes me to get pedaling again and cross the road, you could already be past me. Plus, you have the right of way. Take it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 12

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's topic is a throwback: What’s the best school field trip you ever went on as a kid? As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

As I've mentioned before in this link-up, my central California hometown was within day-trip distance of some pretty cool places. Hence, I got to go on some pretty neat field trips. The best, however, was when I was in sixth grade: My class went to The Tech Museum in San Jose, and it was awesome. (Granted, I couldn't remember the name of the museum and had to post a plea for help on Facebook. Ah, the beauty of crowd-sourced information. Big shout-out to Jessica for identifying it!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo A Day: May

I was planning to join {a little dash of ash}'s Instagram link-up today to share the first half of my #photoadayMay pictures, then she announced this morning that she is no longer doing it. :( But you get to see my photos anyway; lucky you!

Like last time, most of these photos are pretty self-explanatory. Here are a few quick explanations for the photos that need it:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Book Challenge: Week 2

Is it really already time for the second Semi-Charmed Summer 2012 Book Challenge check-in? Yikes. That means it's time for the very first scoreboard! Things were kind of hectic last week with people leaving their scores on different posts, so hopefully I got everyone. Starting today, please only leave your weekly check-in score in a comment on the corresponding check-in post to avoid confusion. If you think you checked in last week, and I don't have you, please leave a comment for both weeks. If you didn't check in last week or just joined the challenge, feel free to include all books you've read since May 1 on this check-in. Thanks. :)

Now, on to the scoreboard! We currently have two bloggers battling it out for first place:

Happy Mother's Day!

This post is dedicated to my beautiful, intelligent, cosmopolitan mother. She passed down many of her wonderful genes to me, and she has also taught me a lot of valuable lessons, but the two biggest things she gave me are my passion for exploration and knowledge. Growing up, my mother always said she would not let school get in the way of her children's education, hence her willingness to pull us out of school to go on some pretty fabulous trips. She can also often be heard saying, "Good enough is never good enough," which has instilled in me an insatiable quest for knowledge and a curiosity about the world. Of course, my love of reading also comes from my mother. So thanks for everything, Mom! I love you!

Just for fun, here are a few pictures of us on those fabulous trips I mentioned. Unfortunately, I only have pictures from the last few years on my computer, or there would be a lot more!

Hiking in Kauai (January 2010). I know, I know: What a flattering picture of us. :)
At my first NHL game: the Chicago Blackhawks (December 2009).
Hiking in Yosemite, too many times to count (but I think this was summer 2010).
Mom supporting me at the Mizzou '39 banquet in Columbia (February 2011).
On Alcatraz Island during spring break (April 2011).
Mom met me in Kigali, Rwanda, at the end of my study abroad program (July 2011).
And then we traveled to Amboseli National Park, Kenya, for a safari (July 2011).
Here we are with some Maasai dancers at the safari lodge (July 2011).
And finally, these are all her kiddies in Sonoma (December 2010). Happy Mother's Day from all of us, Mom!
P.S. — Don't forget to check back in an hour for the second Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge check-in! Yes, my mom is participating. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday's Fancies: Week 12

This week's Friday's Fancies theme from {av} was just too good to pass up. I'm sure I'm one of a gajillion people who are crushing on coral today, but I used it anyway. It wasn't hard to find inspiration, either, considering how much coral I already had on my Pinterest. Here are some of my favorite finds. Enjoy!

Left column: dress / blazer / dress / watch
Right column: outfit / shorts + clutch / flat / skirt

What color are you crushing on this summer?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What I learned from Les Miserables.

Jessica hosted a very creative Book Chat today over at her blog, Sweet Green Tangerine. She challenged us to create a musical playlist based on a book, which I think is an awesome idea. I was having trouble thinking of an appropriate to book to use when I finally realized my favorite story is already a musical! So I'm going to put a little spin on this prompt (hope you don't mind, Jessica!) and share with you some life lessons presented in the music of Les Miserables. Enjoy!

Image via Bunthorne's

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Playlist: Childhood Alternative

Remember those posts I start and then never finish? This is one of them. I've been meaning to share with you my ultimate 90s rock-alternative playlist since I posted my first playlist back in January, but just hadn't gotten around to doing it. Finally, two things happened that convinced me to finally sit my butt down and finish this post: 1) I found this playlist on Spotify, which Thought Catalog called "The Best 90s Playlist Ever, Ever," and 2) I won an iTunes gift card from a giveaway at The Lovely Mist! Well, I did a little analysis of the 317 songs on the Spotify playlist, and this is what I determined:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Week 11

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! This week's topic is traveling with kids. How do you feel about it? If you're a parent, how do you decide what trips your kids get to go on? If you're not yet a parent, at what age do you think you'll start taking your kids on vacation with you? As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

I'll be honest, I don't have much of value to write this week. Like I said last week, traveling with small children is just something I've always wondered about. I am aware that I am not a parent, so any observations made during this post are purely hypothetical. Perhaps when I have children of my own, I will feel differently, but I do have some pretty basic views on traveling with children.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Summer Book Challenge: Week 1

Welcome to the very first check-in post for the Semi-Charmed Summer 2012 Book Challenge! I will (hopefully) post these every Sunday promptly at noon MST (11 a.m. PST, 1 p.m. CST and 2 p.m. EST). When you comment with your current total, please format your comment like so to help me keep track:

20: Read a book that is set in a place you've never been but want to visit. — The Red Tent, Anita Diamant (336 pages)


I planned to read House of the Dawn for my book-in-one-day on Friday when I was traveling, but after I landed I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my dad and we didn't get home until after midnight. I still had about 60 pages of the book left, and it's less than 200 pages, so I can't even move it to another category. Boo. At least it counted for some of the other book challenges I'm doing this year. I'm hoping to check at least two more books off the list this coming week.

Also, I've had some participants ask me some very good questions regarding the rules since I first posted the challenge. Here are some points of clarification (I've also updated the challenge page to reflect these):
  • For the first category, the book must be from the U.S. World Book Night list, not the U.K. one.
  • For the "read a book in one day," it must be one calendar day.
  • For the trilogy, you can read any set of three consecutive books in a series. It could be a flat-out trilogy or it could be books #1-3, #2-4, #3-5, etc., of a series with more than three books.
  • Audiobooks are fine for any category, as long as the print version of the book meets the page requirements.
Let me know if you have any other questions regarding the rules so we can make sure we're all on the same page when choosing our books.

Please leave your comment before midnight on Monday. If you forget to check in one week, no worries! Just catch yourself up on the next week's check-in. I will also post the most up-to-date scoreboard with each check-in post, starting next week. Good luck!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Check this out: Workday.Weekend

The lovely Sarah over at Workday.Weekend wrote a color consultation post today featuring my yellow pencil skirt! Remember when I asked for advice on what to wear with it a few weeks ago? Well, Sarah came up with three different outfits for me. Plus, she wrote me a super-sweet introduction that makes me sound way more interesting than I actually am! Check it out, and while you're at it, poke around her site a little. It's great!

Friday, May 4, 2012

What goes through my mind in the security line.

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm (hopefully) on a plane to Oakland right now (ah, the beauty of scheduled posts), but after boarding a plane two weeks ago for the first time in months (seriously, I think I set a personal record for keeping my feet on the ground) and jetting off again today, I had some airport-related thoughts I wanted to share with you.

There are those who are savvy travelers, and those who are not. Now, I like to think of myself as a savvy traveler, but I'm sure I make mistakes, too. There are some mistakes I do not make, though. For example, I know how to use a kiosk to self-check-in and how to get through the security line quickly. I also know which types of people to avoid. Here's my basic pre-boarding procedure:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The frugal student.

So, I realize I'm not a college student anymore, but I was for seven semesters, and I was a very frugal one at that. I was the girl with Excel spreadsheets of every expense and income, categorized and sorted by month. Oh, you did that, too? Glad I'm not the only one. (Ha!) Today, I thought I'd share some money-saving tips I learned as a student, and maybe later I'll do a post-grad edition.

I wish this had been my college budget! | Source: via Sandra on Pinterest 

Full disclosure: I was blessed to have parents who were willing to cover my rent and to attend a school that thought I deserved a lot of scholarships, so I'll admit: I don't know what it's like to pay my own tuition. I'm sure these tips will not be adequate for those who find themselves facing thousands of dollars of bills each month. However, these tips did help me comfortably pay for my travel costs, sorority expenses, entertainment, books and clothes during college, so hopefully you'll find at least some useful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rabbit, rabbit!

Is it seriously May? I know everyone's been saying that today ... but really. How is 2012 one-third of the way over already? As usual, here's my monthly recap for Semi-Charmed Kind of Life(If my post title doesn't make sense to you, see my explanation here. And by the way, Abby beat me this morning. Sigh....)

My five most popular posts of April:

  1. Semi-Charmed Summer 2012 Book Challenge — April 15 (Starts today! It's not too late to join.)
  2. I Heart My City: Columbia, Mo. — April 25
  3. Travel Tuesday: Week 9 — April 24
  4. Newest Discovery: Pocket — April 28
  5. Summer 2012 Book Challenge: The Preliminary List — April 22
Other notable posts:

And finally, talk about a great start to the month! Baxtron {Life} is hosting a massive link-up that will expose your blog on four different sites, plus there's a giveaway involved! With Starbucks and free ad space—who could turn that down? Get the details here:

Travel Tuesday: Week 10

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday! In honor of National Park Week (which ended Sunday), this week's topic is: Which is your favorite national park? What parks have you always wanted to visit? What are your favorite activities to do in a national park? As always, you are free to write about anything travel-related; don't feel obligated to answer my prompt. And, of course, don't forget to link up below!

Travel Tuesday

My favorite national park is, without a doubt, Yosemite. I mentioned it a little last week, so this week I wanted to share some photos from when I climbed Half Dome two summers again. It was also No. 43 on my to-do list. (I added it after I had already made the climb, but hey, it was something I had always wanted to do! So I wanted to cross it off my list.)

This is Half Dome! Pretty cool, huh?