Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Wrap Up

I never really know what to do with summer. Even in elementary school, summer was appealing until school actually let out, where the prospect of endless days off started to become monotonous and boring, not to mention uncomfortably muggy. Summer's always appealing when finals are in full swing and snow turns to ugly slush, but once it's here, I'm satisfied with just a few days of ocean, peaches, and summer carnivals and ready to move onto the excitement of back-to-school.
Summer, just like the start of any new season or event, also means that I'm frantically making a list of all the things I want to accomplish, from taking old clothes down to the donation center to blog sprucing-up. I have to say, in retrospect, I did do a lot this summer, even if not all of my projects got finished. 
  • I baked cupcakes and peach bundt cake, which, while it wasn't as much as I wanted to bake, was more than I thought I'd get to with ovens and hot summer days not being a great combination. I've worked out using my fancy frosting tips a little better, and even ventured into real vanilla beans. Crazy.
  • Met my aunt and cousins for our annual picnic, which is always a fun afternoon!
  • Went to the carnival, which is conveniently located at the end of my block. It's such a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening, plus, I totally rocked at darts and ended up with a Domo-kun.
  • My sister and I spent the day together in Shadyside, where I finally got to take her to Kawaii Gifts - the store that made her eraser obsession explode even more. We don't get to see each other often, so having the afternoon to ourselves was lovely.
  • The Boy and I went to my friend Kelsey's wedding up at Glade's Pike Winery. It was such a lovely venue and ceremony, and it was great to catch up with some old friends
  • Speaking of old friends, my elementary school bestie and I did some catching up with what is now coming to be a biannual date xD. It's just kind of happened that way, but it's good to see her amongst both of our busy schedules despite only living about 40 minutes away. Psht, life.
  • Dan and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary this summer, as well as his birthday!
  • We also finally got to take our vacation to Universal Studios, mainly to run around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was such a blast and great to get away for the weekend. 
  • Lucky, his appendix waited until the week after vacation to decide it needed to come out. 
  • I went with my Dad's side of the family to our vacation spot in Ft. Lauderdale for a few days - vacations all over the place this summer!
  • I got word that I'd be one of four #30Lists ambassadors for this September's round of 30 Days of Lists!
  • There have been plenty of girls' nights and Sheetz runs with April, Jessie, Kallie, and Stevie B. Always loved!
  • And somehow in all of this, I managed to more or less clean out my iTunes library, which has been needing it. I always put this off, so I'm pretty proud of how far along I've gotten.
Now I'm just waiting to go home to the perpetually overcast skies. I'll take it.Reads.
A day off! Finally!This mug never fails to crack me up.

Honestly, the past four months have looked a lot like those last three pictures. Lots of pjs, coffee, and books. I'm in dire need of a change of scenery, a change of pace, and an energizing new start (plus, all of my favorite things happen in the fall!). Can't wait for cooler weather and the adventures to come! Not to mention, I'll feel like I'll be getting back to real life.
How was your summer? Are you glad it's almost over, or trying to hang on to the last few weeks?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things I Like Thursday

( source )

♥ Can we talk about how much free stuff one gets by attending any university function? After Sunday's orientation, I now own a tote bag, a luggage tag, a highlighter, a t-shirt, a planner, a stress paw, a neon green pen, a calendar, Costco solicitations, and that's not including all of the free food involved. Colleges and those marketing to poor university students really know how to reel us in.

♥ I met my partner for Ashley's Big Blogger Little Blogger program, and it's Jenn of Creatively Crafty Jenn! She's such a sweetheart and it's been nice to have someone to bounce blogging concerns and ideas off of, not to mention it's been awesome just chatting! I can't wait to hopefully put some of these tweaks to the blog in action soon :)

♥ I'm just lucky to have had a relatively painless first week back to school. I'm still getting used to the new schedule and just the general feel of being not only in a new program, but an entirely new place with entirely new people. It's just a whole lotta new at the same time, and until I get back on my organized and color-coded feet, it feels a bit strange. But my education classes seem awesome, the people seem great, and I'm excited to finally get started!

little loves
♥ meeting people in your program at orientations  - hooray! ♥ Tesla (The Oatmeal comic, I'm looking at you in particular for making me snort out loud every time) ♥ peach margaritas ♥ how one burrito always yields enough for two meals ♥ I woke up super early on Tuesday and work out. It felt great, I left great, I feel great ♥ fresh highlighters ♥ sitting in Barnes & Noble and quietly reading ♥ having someone to go to orientation with (also, it's been ages since Randi and I had seen each other!)

What are you loving lately?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

30 Days of Lists Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the 30 Days of Lists giveaway is...


The girls at #30Lists will get in touch with you Monique, to get you signed up!

Congratulations, and a big thank you to all of you guys who have entered, both here and on the other ambassador's blogs! If you didn't win and are still looking to join us this September, you can still register by clicking below.

Can't wait to see all of your lovely lists!

*I do get a small compensation if you register for 30 Days of Lists via the link above, but I wouldn't promote something I don't love whole-heartedly and I think you'll love it too!**

Monday, August 27, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.15

big wheel of fun
( source )

estival adj. [ˈestəvəl]: of or occurring in summer (via)

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series where I share the joys of being an English major and language lover with a useful new vocabulary word or definition that keeps popping up lately. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Words of Wisdom

( source )

"Whatever you are, be a good one." - Abraham Lincoln
Here's hoping you have a lovely week ahead of you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Great School Bag Hunt

I go through school bags like it's nobody's business. Within 3 years of university, I broke a heavy-duty backpack and wore through the straps and bottom of my oversized tote bag (I have a hunch that being a commuter student and having to cart around a whole day's worth of supplies has something to do with these swift deaths). With classes starting in a little less than 2 weeks, it's probably time that I start thinking about how I'm going to get my books and laptop to class. But I haven't been procrastinating, believe it or not! No, no, no, I've been on this for a few months now, and have been putting off writing this post because, frankly, I just can't find a bag that meets what I'm looking for!

Maybe I'm just being picky, but my bags need to do a certain something, especially if I'm going to invest in one for the long run! What exactly am I looking for in this Superman of a bag?
  • Sturdy - it needs to be able to hold up to massive college textbooks and a laptop
  • Protective - since my laptop will be a frequent tagalong, some kind of padding to keep things protected is a must
  • Straps - I'll be carrying this around for a good chunk of the day, so it needs more than just two small handles - a cross-body strap would be a nice touch
  • No laptop sleeves! - cute as they are, I need to be able to take my wallet, notebooks, pens, etc. and I'd like to not have to bring a purse as well - the roomier the better
  • Potential to double as a work brief - I'm willing to invest in a nice (leather?) bag if I can get some years on it at a future job down the line

School/Work Bags

And so now I turn to you! While these bags are quite snazzy, they're not really college gal friendly. What do you use to carry all your school/work necessities? Do you have one of these bags above; how's it working out for you?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Things I Like Thursday

( source )

Of course chaos breaks loose when things need to start coming together for a new endeavor. School starts next week and I'm already presented with a scheduling conflict that I pray gets resolved soon (but stay calm, Kristin, it's out of your hands now and you have a plan B). And Mum broke her foot last week, which has meant a little extra planning and coordination on my end. My car needs some significant work done on top of it all, and of course it all hits at once! But never fear, there's still loads to be thankful for amidst the seeming overload.

♥ Thank goodness Mum's ok. Logistically getting around is tough - a townhouse isn't ideal for crutches - but I'm just thankful her injury isn't something major, rather just something that requires time and rest.

♥ I also have the most wonderful Boy who does everything from go to off the wall family events with me, to bringing me cupcakes and milkshakes on his way home from work. And he also sings The Backstreet Boys to me. I'm one lucky girl. edit: After I typed this, I woke up, drove Mum to work, and came back expecting Dan to have already left also. Nope, his car is still sitting in the driveway; he took his half day in the morning to see me when I stopped back :)

♥ The Avengers gag reel ruined anything productive that might've gotten done this week xD I'm sure you've seen it for the brief period of time that it floated around the internet in various capacities, but just scour Tumblr for gifs galore.

♥ The Boy and I had dinner last night with his relatives who were in for a visit from Scotland! It's always great to see them and his side of the family, and they're hilarious to boot.

little loves
♥ chatting with mum ♥ craftsman style houses in Washington state ♥ donuts with sprinkles on them ♥ Die Antwoord - I blame the Boy and his radar for amazing beats ♥ eyeing up delicious scone recipes ♥ caramel colored nail polish ♥ a shelf full of good books ♥ having someone around who knows anything about cars at all - I've got "it has wheels" covered but that's about it 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

30 Days of Lists Giveaway

I'm a little behind here, as my fellow ambassadors already have their giveaways in full swing, but I finally got a chance to sit down and get this posted for you all amidst the chaos of "the week before school and they already are making my schedule a nightmare" (Why always me!?). 
30 Days of Lists is only a few days away and if you're still on the fence about registering, you're in luck! The lovely creators of the project are letting me grant someone free registration for next month's listing extravaganza!
Just leave a comment below with your email address and you'll be entered to win!

You'll have until midnight (EST) on Sunday, August 26th to enter!
But if you can't contain yourself you can go ahead and just sign up by clicking below! (Exclamation points for everyone!)
Hope to see you in September!

Monday, August 20, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.14

Laguna Beach

undulate v. [uhn-dyuh-leyt]: to move in a wave-like motion; to rise and fall in pitch (of a sound); adj. [-ing] to have a wavy form or surface (via)

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series where I share the joys of being an English major and language lover with a useful new vocabulary word or definition that keeps popping up lately. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ft. Lauderdale Vacation

I love the ocean, just not the sun, heat, sand, and sunburn that comes with it. Perhaps I should check out a different ocean (also note: I don't recall having this grudge with the Pacific, hmm...)

Ft. Lauderdale
Ft. Lauderdale
Full of breezy palm trees, black cherry Fresca, cruises down the canals, Checkers stops for seasoned fries, parasailing and boating adventures, neon sundresses, morning sunrise coffee traditions of watching boats on the horizon.

The viewPhoto
PhotoCheckers loot!
Jungle Queen with PaMe and sis
Sunrise coffee traditionNow I'm just waiting to go home to the perpetually overcast skies. I'll take it.
Do you have a vacation spot that you frequent?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Kawaii Giveaway is...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be contacting you shortly so keep your eyes peeled for an email at the address you used to enter with :) Congratulations, Sonya!

Thank you everyone for participating and making this giveaway such a huge success!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things I Like Thursday

Windows in Flame
( source )

Happy Thursday! I'm feeling like a broken record lately, but I always hate this time of year. Summer is almost over, which is fine by me, but isn't quite yet, so I'm here, waiting for school to start, doing not much more than dreaming up grand plans for the cooler weather, fitting in as many hours at my job while I still can, and just praying that autumn comes soon.

I've got a lot of little projects to finish up - I'm helping Mum with some business cards, trying to make some toys for Reiley since she keeps slobbering on hers to death, and trying to get last minute things together for classes. I just feel impatient!

♥ Guys! I'm so excited about this, you have no idea. This week, I wore a sweater - TWICE! Okay, so it's still almost 80 degrees, but with the overcast skies, rain, and breeze, it's started to feel a lot like fall. Maybe I'm pushing it, but wearing a sweater was such a promising feeling that now I'm starting to get antsy for cooler weather, hot cider, and crisp leaves. I'm a simple girl.

♥ While I may not love working extra hours as they happen, I'm sure going to love my paycheck next week. Hey, Christmas is coming...

LOST has captured my heart again. It's such a well written character drama and I'm finding myself so invested in the humanity and soul of these characters that I can't help but be moved. Not to mention seeing the cast interact off-camera always warms my heart. I love seeing a group of people who are laughs and smiles, which probably explains why I'm even more adamant about being best friends with Matthew Fox. Or "Foxy", apparently xD

♥ Reading everyone's comments about what they look forward to about the back-to-school season has been so much fun! You all have reminded me of some of the best parts of this time of year, from highlighters to taking pictures of your kids on the first day of school! Not only that, but I'm so honored at the turnout. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

little loves
♥ celebrating the Boy's birthday! ♥ my dream house, I totally found it. Too bad there's a contingent offer and I'm in no position to buy a house right now... ♥ old mix CDs ♥ pink sweatpants ♥ perusing the #30Lists hashtag on twitter and Instagram ♥Dharma initiative workout shirts ♥ mimicking our favorite characters from LOST ♥ short bobs ♥ the liberating feeling of cleaning without regret ♥ back to school shopping ♥ the prospect of moving (gasp!) ♥ BBC's The Hollow Crown
What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Your Friendly #30Lists Reminder

As I'm sure you've heard by now, my favorite project in the world - 30 Days of Lists - is in the midst of pre-registration and myself, as well as the other sponsors and lovely ambassadors, are trying to contain our excitement for the start of listing festivities in a little under three weeks (but that doesn't mean you have to start listing right away! The blog will be open for a full year, for all of you procrastinators :D You won't want to put it off though!)
Why sign up? - how about a list!
  • Daily list prompts
  • A special listing-related DIY
  • If we can reach 300 followers by the end of September, we'll be giving away Photoshop Elements 10 and you'll be automatically entered to win! Right now though, registering enters you to win a set of 3 Keri Smith books!
  • Alexandra Rae Design has provided some great printables for the challenge!
  • And an extremely creative an active community all over the web to share your lists with!
If you haven't signed up yet, you still have time! Pre-registration ends tonight, August 14th at midnight PT. I promise it's the most fun and fulfilling $8 you'll ever spend!

You can register for #30Lists above, or pop by the website, peruse the Flickr pool, or follow #30Lists on Twitter if you're still not convinced ^_~ Remember, list prompts and the forum is exclusive, so make sure you sign up to be in on all the listing, printables, and giveaways!
**All the opinions here are my own, however if you do register for 30 Days of Lists via the link above, I will be compensated as an affiliate. I wouldn't promote something I don't love whole-heartedly and I think you'll love it too!**

Monday, August 13, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.13

katabasis (catabasis) n. [kuh-tab-uh-sis]: a descent or downward movement; the decline of a disease; a retreat, esp. military; also the epic convention of the Hero's trip to the Underworld (via

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series where I share the joys of being an English major and language lover with a useful new vocabulary word or definition that keeps popping up lately. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!