Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah

This past weekend, my family celebrated one big evening of Hanukkah fun! There were latkes, presents, the traditional lighting of the menorah, of course, and what Hanukkah celebration would be complete without a few rounds of latke bingo? That's right, latke bingo.

I received way too many wonderful presents to name, but what was even better was getting to spend some time just laughing with my family. Plus, I was reminded again just how much I love holiday shopping. Seriously, buying presents for other people is my favorite, and now I can say that I've officially experienced and survived day-before-Christmas shopping.

Oh, and happy 18th birthday to my little brother. You're not so little anymore. Can't wait to celebrate with you tonight!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bo-oy-friend is coming to town!

Boyfriend comes to town tomorrow...TOMORROW!

The best part is that he's mine all mine allllll the way through New Year's Day! We haven't spent this much time together all at once since I still lived in good 'ol Columbia, so-- needless to say-- I'm excited!

In true Sara fashion, I want to make the most of what's left of the holidays by doing fun, wintery things (and just regular fun things) while Boyfriend is here. Just a few ideas:
  • Look at Christmas lights...lots and lots of Christmas lights
  • Go on a Starbucks date for caramel apple spices
  • Exchange Chrismukkah presents-- yippee!
  • Go to Zenna for Happy Hour Sushi, aka the best thing ever
  • See "Like Crazy" and "Sherlock Holmes"
  • Walk around totally Christmas-fied places in Dallas (or two or three or four)
  • Go out for New Year's Eve-- sparkly outfit required
  • Enjoy every second of being together
Getting to see you twice in two weeks? I'm so spoiled. :)

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Different, Yet the Same

    So, I've been a college graduate for almost a week now and it feels...weird. To be honest, I don't feel like I graduated. I just feel like I'm on a normal winter break and that I'll be going back to school in just about a month.

    Nevertheless, I got my grades-- it was my best semester ever!-- and I'll be receiving my diploma in the mail in about eight weeks.

    Now that I'm an independent, experienced woman of the world (ha), it's time to really buckle down on job searching, which is turning out to be a lot harder than I expected. At least I have a great job to keep me busy in the meantime.

    Even though I'm a college graduate, there are no major changes to report. I can tell, however, that some big changes are coming up in the near future, and that's super exciting and totally terrifying all at once.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Bucket List

    51. Go to a Mizzou Homecoming
    52. Take an amazing tropical vacation
    53. See Maroon 5 in concert
    54. Go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
    55. Send out a family holiday card each year once I'm married (the dogs will be included)
    56. Live in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, or New York for some amount of time
    57. Master the art of making kugel and matzah ball soup
    58. Adopt a child
    59. See the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert
    60. Watch "Funny Girl"
    61. Decorate a Christmas tree
    62. Have family photos around my home and change them often (yes, I realize this means I have to get family photos taken-- that's the goal)
    63. Blog at least 4 times per week
    64. Give only homemade holiday gifts
    65. Compete on a game show
    66. Join a book club
    65. Learn how to make sushi
    66. Go back to Seattle
    67. Set foot on every continent (maybe not Antarctica...)
    68. Go to the Holocaust museum in D.C.
    69. Be self-employed
    70. Go to a movie premiere

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Pomp and Circumstance

    This past weekend,
    I graduated
    and he graduated.

    What an exciting, terrifying, eventful, important, surreal, and wonderful whirlwind of a weekend.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Coming up for air

    Just coming up for air for a second from good ol' Finalsland. Lucky for me, it's my last finals week ever.

    That's right, graduation is just two days (aka two finals and a paper) away. Lots to do before Thursday, but seeing Boyfriend that day, my grandparents on Friday, celebrating with my family, jetting off to Missouri for Boyfriend's graduation, and celebrating some more makes everything better.

    Bring it on for the last time.

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    On Repeat

    "Domino"- Jessie J


    "Paradise"- Coldplay


    "Sparks Fly"- Taylor Swift


    "Heartbeat"- The Fray


    "Without You"- David Guetta feat. Usher


    "Nothing"- The Script


    "A Thousand Perri"- Christina Perri


    "Brighter Than The Sun"- Colbie Caillat

    Sunday, December 4, 2011

    One of these days...

    • I'll wear real clothes instead of Nike shorts and yoga pants.
    • I'll make an actual shopping list instead of going to the store every time I need one individual item.
    • I'll wake up before 11am on the weekend.
    • I won't have to spend all day Sunday inside doing homework because I will have managed my time better during the week.
    • I'll realize my gas tank is on empty before I'm rushing to get to school/work in the morning.
    • I'll stop being so (creepily) fascinated by other people's proposal/engagement/wedding pictures.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    December Daybook

    It's finally December, and I'm so excited for the most wonderful time of the year!

    As always, join in the Daybook fun here.

    FOR TODAY
    Outside my window...
    is a cool, slightly cloudy day.

    I am thinking...
    about how quickly December arrived. Where has this semester (and year) gone?!

    I am thankful...
    for so many exciting things coming up in the next two months.

    From the learning rooms...
    is busy with finals and graduation just a few weeks away. In the next few weeks, I have a Spanish presentation, two papers, and three tests, but that diploma will make it all worth it!

    In the kitchen...
    are a whole lot of leftovers from a delicious Thanksgiving.

    I am wearing...
    black Aerie yoga pants, a turquoise t-shirt, my gray Phi Mu semi formal fleece, and my new tennis shoes!

    I am creating...
    this blog? Sure.

    I am going...
    to see Boyfriend in just 14 days!

    I am wondering...
    if when I'll hear back from the job I interviewed for on Monday.

    I am reading...
    nothing at the moment. With school wrapping up, there's just no time to read for fun. I'm looking forward to that after graduation.

    I am hoping...
    that all of my finals go well.

    I am looking forward to...
    having Boyfriend all to myself from Christmas to New Year's. We never get to spend that much time together!

    I am hearing...
    chit chat of other people in the hallway.

    Around the house...
    is chilly. My dad doesn't want to switch the heat on yet.

    I am pondering...
    what I'm going to give as holiday, birthday, and anniversary gifts in the next two months.

    One of my favorite things...
    is this time of year. It is the most wonderful, after all. :)

    A few plans for the rest of the week:
    Class this afternoon, dinner with Chelsea, a good night's sleep tonight, work tomorrow, a homework-filled-but-hopefully-relaxing weekend

    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
    I'm hoping to add to this collection of Magic Tree pictures this holiday season.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    London Calling

    London, Day 4
    On our fourth day in London, we ventured outside the city and toured Windsor Castle, visited Stonehenge, and spent some time in Bath. I was so excited to get out of the city and see sites that not everyone gets to enjoy on a typical trip to London. The nerd that's obsessed with the royal family in me couldn't wait to see Windsor Castle, which has been the home of the sovereign for over 900 years, and the Jane Austen fanatic in me could not have been more thrilled to be touring Bath. Seeing Stonehenge was just an eerie experience all together. The tour was wonderful, and I encourage everyone to take in these sights if you ever have the opportunity.

    Day 5
    Our fifth day was a typical rainy day in London. We actually were very lucky because, besides this day, it did not rain at all- something totally unheard of for London Town. We spent the day getting lost in Harrods, which is amazing, by the way, and ventured out that night to see the city lit up and alive. We even got to see the set of the final Harry Potter premiere in Trafalgar Square immediately after the event!

    Day 6
    Our last day in London was spent exploring Covent Garden and Camden Market and taking in numerous sights, including St. Paul's Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, Millennium Bridge, London Bridge, and everything else we happened to stumble upon. The next day, we headed to Heathrow and boarded a flight back to the good ol' Lone Star State.

    Looking back on my trip to London, I can easily say that it was one of my favorite vacations ever. As I've said before, I just had the feeling that I belonged there, and I know that I'll make it back there someday. Until then, London will be calling.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Wish List Wednesday

    With the holidays just around the corner, I got to thinking about my own holiday wish list.

    Birchbox
    I've heard about Birchbox from a number of people, and it just sounds too good to be true. Each month, the recipient receives 4 to 5 high-end beauty products in the mail, and, over time, surveys will allow you to customize your box to fit your preferences. A box in the mail every month for a year? It's the gift that keeps on giving!












    An E-Reader
    I'm still not 100% sure that I want an E-Reader, but I like the concept of them. At this point, I just don't know enough about them to make an informed decision. Kindle vs. Nook? What model? No clue.

    A Massage/Spa Day
    Or not even a whole day, just a treatment or two would be fabulous. The stress of this semester is really kicking my butt, and a little post-graduation pampering would be wonderful.

    Accessories
    There are about a million pieces of jewelry, bags, and accessories I have my eye on, and- let's be honest- I see something new I want every time I'm online. Maybe I'll dedicate next week's WLW to all-things accessories.

    A Laptop Sleeve
    I desperately need a new one. Maybe this one, or this one (in Suzani, Safari Sunset, or Barcelona)?












    Books and Journals
    I'm on the hunt for the perfect journal to take to Israel with me. I think this one, this one, or this one- or something similar- would do very nicely. I have a small wish list of books I want to read on the Barnes & Noble website. This list is far from complete, and I'm always on the hunt for new reads, so throw any suggestions my way! Also, how cute would one of these books be for an anniversary gift?












    Spirited Drinkware
    This may sound like a weird request, but I really want spirited drinkware to commemorate my college experience. I already have a Phi Mu mug and shot glass and a UNT shot glass, so I still need a UNT mug and a Mizzou mug and shot glass. Can't wait to display them in my house one day. :)

    Clothing and Shoes
    Of course, I always want clothing and shoes, but that will have to be a post (or two) all on its own.

    Philosophy Body Products
    I've been wanting to try the Philosophy products for a while, but I could never justify splurging when my Dove body wash and TRESemme work just fine. I think I'm most curious about the bath, shower, lotion, and moisturizing products.












    Nail Polish
    I've decided that I'm going to become a nail polish snob, and I'm totally okay with it. Here are just a few of the colors I'm currently lusting after.
    From OPI: French Quarter for Your Thoughts (currently on my toes!), The "IT" Color, Pink Before You Leap, Get in the Expresso Lane
    From Essie: Playa del Platinum, Red-y Set Ex, Miami Nice, Limited Addiction












    Hmmm, I guess that's all I've got for right now. Check out my past WLWs here.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Coming up!

    Six days from now... I'll be picking up my best friend Jill from the airport.

    One week from now... I'll be on the way to Houston with Jill and reunited with my best friend who is getting MARRIED.

    Eight days from now... I will be standing next to my best friend as she marries the love of her life.

    13 days from now... I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving/my mom's birthday with my family.

    5 weeks from now... I'll be graduating from college and enjoying every second of being with Boyfriend and my family.

    5 weeks and 1 day from now... I'll be in Missouri proudly watching Boyfriend graduate from college.

    7 weeks from now... I'll **hopefully** be spending a few days in Missouri (celebrating 35 months and New Year's) with Boyfriend.

    8 weeks and 1 day from now... I'll be on my way to New York to spend a little time with my family.

    8 weeks and 3 days from now... I'll be on my way to Israel.

    11 weeks and 3 days from now... Boyfriend and I will be together for 3 wonderful years.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Brain Dump

    Head on over to {long distance loving} and enter {AV}'s amazing Lilly Pulitzer giveaway. For real, do it.

    I need to talk about Pinterest for a second. Guys, I'm obsessed. Seriously, I spend way too much time on there pretending like I'm actually going to use all of the amazing ideas, style tips, recipes, etc. on there to make my life better, more adorable, more organized, healthier, etc. The stuff I find on there is amazing and makes me want to improve myself. And makes me feel a little less crazy because I'm obviously not the only girl out there who has a board dedicated to my wedding when I'm not even engaged yet. Click on the Pinterest logo on the right to follow my boards!

    I am in total holiday mode. Starbucks holiday drinks (and cups), boots, sweaters, plans to visit Boyfriend for New Year's (which obviously means a trip to The Magic Tree), and Christmas music galore make this Jewish girl a happy girl. I love this time of year. Know what I also love? Shopping for holiday (and birthday and anniversary) gifts. In the next two months, I have a lot of gifts to give- my mom's, brother's, and sister's birthdays, Chrismukkah, and Boyfriend's and my 3 year anniversary- which means a lot of shopping is about to take place. :)

    I have a bunch of centerpieces to make this weekend for my best friend's upcoming wedding. I'm kind of freaking out. Crafty isn't exactly my middle name.

    Job searching is a lot more time consuming than I thought. So is shopping for interview clothes. Guess that's what I get for wearing Nike shorts and yoga pants all of the time.

    Since I'm going to Israel in January (like my subtlety?), there are a few things I need to get: A baseball cap (not my best look, but I'll attempt to find something halfway decent), new jeans, another pair of yoga pants (like I need another pair...), new sneakers (the pair I wear now are from freshman year of high school- yikes), and a journal (I'm so excited to go shopping for a journal, you don't even know). A lot of this post has to do with shopping hmmmm.

    Speaking of journal shopping, I stopped into Barnes & Noble yesterday to pick up a copy of Lord Jim for class (yuck) and was reminded once again just how much I LOVE B&N. Seriously, I could spend hours just wandering around in there. I happened to pick up Jaycee Dugard's book off of the new release table and ended up reading the first couple chapters. I've never felt so physically sick after reading a book in my life. What a horrible thing to happen to a young, innocent girl. I do think I want to read the book in its entirety, though. Anyway, once my life settles down a little bit, I want to grab a pumpkin spice latte and spend an entire afternoon getting lost in Barnes & Noble. Ahhhhh. Also, I'm compiling a list of all the books I want to read once I graduate and actually have free time to read for pleasure. If you have any suggestions, send them my way.

    Speaking of graduating, I graduate in exactly 5 weeks and 2 days. Holy moly.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    November Daybook

    Join in the Daybook fun here.

    FOR TODAY
    Outside my window...
    is a humid, warm-ish, November night. What happened to the cold weather we've had the past few days? Bring it back!

    I am thinking...
    about a lot of stuff. Exciting, scary, confusing stuff.

    I am thankful...
    for people in my life who can snap me back to reality when I'm being just a tad bit ridiculous/overly analytical.

    From the learning rooms...
    is CRAZY busy! I had a British lit. test on Thursday, and I have two tests and two papers due on Tuesday, and another paper due on Thursday. Sheesh.

    In the kitchen...
    is where I am right now. Sitting at the kitchen table to do my homework keeps me from falling asleep...which is what I'd really rather be doing right now.

    I am wearing...
    navy and white plaid pajama pants and a gold Mizzou t-shirt.

    I am creating...
    a paper for my British lit. class? Good enough.

    I am going...
    to Israel in January! It's official, and I couldn't be more excited!!!

    I am wondering...
    about where I'm going to end up. Exciting and scary things, I tell you!

    I am reading...
    Lord Jim for class. Blech.

    I am hoping...
    that I manage to get some sleep tonight and tomorrow night.

    I am looking forward to...
    going to Houston to stand next to my best friend as she marries the love of her life in less than two weeks!!!

    I am hearing...
    the clicking of my keyboard and my parents watching TV in the other room.

    Around the house...
    is a little chilly. Perfect fleece blanket temperature!

    I am pondering...
    so much.

    One of my favorite things...
    is a good conversation with Boyfriend. I miss that guy a lot.

    A few plans for the rest of the week:
    work tomorrow, study tomorrow night, Hell Day on Tuesday, work Wednesday, school Thursday, and so on...

    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
    One of my favorite pictures of us, and it's featured in our Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder story on {long distance loving}. Check it out if you haven't already!

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    To be recited at my wedding

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with the passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seem to lose
    With my lost saints- and I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life!- and, if God choose,
    I shall love thee better after death.

    "Sonnet 43" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    One of these days...

    • my room will be clean.
    • all of my laundry will be done.
    • I'll finish blogging about London.
    • I'll go to bed before midnight.
    • all of my clothes will be folded and put away.
    • my checkbook will be balanced.
    • I won't snooze my alarm clock 5 times before getting up.
    • I will do all of my homework before 10pm the night before it's due.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    October Daybook

    Join in the Daybook fun here!

    FOR TODAY
    Outside my window...
    is a beautiful, clear, cool morning. Fall is finally here!

    I am thinking...
    about all of the exciting things coming up in the next two months.

    I am thankful...
    for so much. I'm lucky!

    From the learning rooms...
    isn't overly busy at the moment. Round 2 of tests and papers begins next week, though.

    In the kitchen...
    is nothing at the moment. I think I'll go toast myself a bagel and add some schmear.

    I am wearing...
    gray Mizzou baggy sweats and a black Mizzou Homecoming t-shirt. Working from home calls for comfy clothes. :)

    I am creating...
    blogs for work, I guess.

    I am going...
    to Houston in a month to see my best friend marry the love of her life!

    I am wondering...
    what exactly my future holds.

    I am reading...
    Tennyson's "In Memoriam" for my British Literature class.

    I am hoping...
    that I receive a little direction in my job search sooner rather than later.

    I am looking forward to...
    this weekend to relax, get caught up, and sleep in a little bit.

    I am hearing...
    "Will & Grace" on TV.

    Around the house...
    is quiet and comfortable.

    I am pondering...
    nothing really, at the moment.

    One of my favorite things...
    is catching up with friends.

    A few plans for the rest of the week:
    work today, dinner with the family tonight, school tomorrow, dinner with mom tomorrow night, and work on Friday

    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
    Let's! Go! Rangers!

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Bucket List*

    1. Go to Rome (Venice, Florence, and Tuscany, too, if possible)
    2. Go to Israel
    3. Go to Greece (specifically Athens and Santorini)
    4. Go back to London
    5. Read all of Jane Austen's novels
    6. Be happily married
    7. Be published in a magazine
    8. Go to Prague
    9. Swim with dolphins
    10. Go parasailing
    11. Color my hair (or at least get highlights)
    12. See the Grand Canyon
    13. Go back to Washington D.C.
    14. See a show on Broadway
    15. Have a family
    16. Live in a foreign country for an extended amount of time
    17. Adopt a dog
    18. Learn to play piano
    19. Make a wish in the Trevi Fountain
    20. Become a good cook
    21. Learn how to ski
    22. Go snorkeling
    23. Take a ballroom dancing class
    24. Do a cleanse
    25. Fly in a helicopter
    26. See the Great Pyramids
    27. Tour a concentration camp
    28. Compile a cookbook of my favorite recipes
    29. Enter my writing in a competition
    30. Go to Australia
    31. Go to Mardi Gras
    32. Enjoy a sunrise
    33. Take up photography
    34. Be comfortable with conversational Spanish
    35. Take an all-girls trip to Vegas
    36. Become a wine connoisseur
    37. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
    38. Donate blood
    39. Have high tea
    40. Have 200 followers of my blog
    41. Fully fund the education of each of my children
    42. Take up yoga
    43. Experience New Year's Eve in Times Square
    44. Try escargot
    45. Experience true Black Friday shopping
    46. Take my kids to SeaWorld
    47. Move out of Texas
    48. Have a picnic at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, MO
    49. Go to a game in the World Series, Superbowl, NBA Championship, or the Stanley Cup Finals
    50. See Michael Buble in concert
    That's all I've got right now. Stay tuned for more!

    *The above list is in no particular order.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Mr. and Mrs. Smith

    Move over, Brangelina. There's a new, wayyyy hotter Mr. and Mrs. Smith in town! (Or in Missouri, but whatever...)

    Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Missouri to witness one of my favorite couples tie the knot. Alex and Harrison got married at her grandmother's house in a beautiful garden-set wedding. The ceremony was so heartfelt and reflective of them as a couple, and the reception was a party. Everyone was on their feet, dancing, drinking, and having a great time- just the way it should be!

    I'm pretty much a crybaby 24/7. A happy sentiment, a sweet card, a touching story- cue the waterworks. Surprisingly, however, I haven't cried very much at the weddings I've been to in the past. That was not the case during Harry and Alex's wedding, though. When Alex walked down the aisle (looking stunning, might I add), when Harry burst into tears when he saw her, and when Harry and his mom shared a dance, I lost it. I'm so, so happy for this wonderful pair, and I wish them all the happiness in the world.


    An awesome rehearsal dinner + a beautiful wedding + reconnecting with so many friends + lots of love + spending the entire weekend with Boyfriend (wonderful, as always) = an amazingly perfect weekend, and I really couldn't ask for anything more.
    Boyfriend in a tux? Yes, please!

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    September Daybook

    Join in the Daybook fun here.

    FOR TODAY
    Outside my window...
    is a windy, cool, and slightly humid day. It's supposed to rain at some point, and we desperately need it here in the Lone Star State, so bring it on!

    I am thinking...
    about these two tests that I have this afternoon. Doing this is a nice little study break!

    I am thankful...
    for caffeine. Sometimes Most of the time, a yummy cup of coffee is just necessary.

    From the learning rooms...
    is busy. I have class at 11, a test at 2, and another test and a paper due at 3:30. Hello, Senior Year.

    In the kitchen...
    I'm at the library, so no kitchen!

    I am wearing...
    gray Nike shorts, a blackout game Mizzou tee, a black and pink Phi Mu track jacket, and my Phi Mu flippy floppys. Surprise, surprise.

    I am creating...
    a paper, I guess? Good enough.

    I am going...
    to Missouri one week from tomorrow!!!

    I am wondering...
    how I'll do on my tests later. I always get so nervous.

    I am reading...
    nothing for pleasure at the moment. I finally finished The Help, and it was SO good! Read it. For real.

    I am hoping...
    that I do well on my tests. Maybe if I say it enough it will come true.

    I am looking forward to...
    seeing Boyfriend in just over a week!!!

    I am hearing...
    other students in the library doing the same thing I am (messing around on the Internet when there's actually work to be done...).

    Around the house...
    is normal. I have seriously got to get my room under control, though.

    I am pondering...
    just random things. Nothing really in particular.

    One of my favorite things...
    are great conversations with Boyfriend. I just like him a whooooooole bunch!

    A few plans for the rest of the week:
    Survive today (and do well, hopefully), get a good night's sleep tonight, work tomorrow, get ahead for work/study for a test/write a paper/do laundry/get everything together to go out of town/etc.

    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
      Can't wait to see this face! :)

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Scaryexciting

    I'm officially a senior in college, and in three months from today, I'll be walking across that stage in my cap and gown and receiving my (empty) diploma (cover).

    As far as school goes, I'm more than ready to be done. Let's just say that I've been suffering from a case of good ol' Senioritis for a while now.

    The truth is: Yes, I'm ready to be done with school, and I'm ready to be out in the real world- I think. But after graduation weekend, I have no specific plans for literally the first time in my life.

    Job, living situation, travel, relationship, a possible move, income, social life, etc., etc.- It's all a big fat question mark! And that, Folks, is pretty freaking terrifying. But it's also pretty awesome and exciting.

    At what other point in my life will I be able to fully choose a direction and throw myself towards it, praying it works out, but knowing I'll be okay if it doesn't? Never.

    At what other point will I be able to have that cliche young, clueless, fresh-faced-and-wanting-to-see-the-world adventure? Never.

    I have no plans and not a clue as to what I'm going to do after graduation, but I do have big hopes. And that is super scaryexciting.

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    Found myself in a city near Piccadilly

    London, Day 3

    Each and every day we spent in London was jam packed with activities. We did not want to waste a second, and, as a result, we were BUSY!

    We spent our third day in London taking in the sights on The London Eye, riding around on our tour bus, and at the Tower of London.

    I loved The London Eye! I was a little skeptical about it at first just because it seems like such an obvious "tourist trap," but, after riding it, I really believe that it's worth the time and money. Each vessel on this nontraditional ferris wheel holds between 20 and 25 people, and it's literally impossible to stand in a spot where you don't have a great view. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it's easy to see for miles and enjoy the greatest view in all of London. I'd highly recommend it.

    After getting off The Eye and walking around the Westminster area again- I had to say hi to Benny Boy and the abbey, of course- we jumped back on the bus and made our way to the Tower of London. While doing research for this trip, I quickly learned that the Tower is the most popular tourist attraction in London, and, therefore, a unanimous must-see. I had high hopes, but I have to admit that I was disappointed. I enjoyed parts, especially learning about the lineage of the royal family, but much of the Tower was dull and not what I expected at all.

    That being said, I'm glad that we took the time to see it since it is such a historically-rich and popular attraction. While we were at the Tower, we waited in line for an hour to see The Crown Jewels, and I'm so happy we did. They were beyond amazing, and my favorite part of the day by far! I wish photos were allowed inside the vault because everything was to-die-for, and I couldn't believe that I was seeing crowns and jewels that have been used by the royal family for hundreds of years and still continue to be used today. If you're ever in London, The Crown Jewels are a must-see.

    Stay tuned for Day 4, and check out my bucket list, Day 1, and Day 2.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Counting down

    4 weeks from now... I'll be in Missouri, celebrating the marriage of a wonderful couple, and enjoying every moment with Boyfriend.

    7 weeks from now... I'll have been working at my job for a full year.

    11 weeks from now... I'll be in Houston, standing next to my best friend as she marries the love of her life, and enjoying every moment of being reunited with my best friends and beautiful sisters.

    15 weeks from now... I'll be graduating from college. Friday, December 16 at 7:00pm to be exact. Woah.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Woah.

    I begin my last semester of college in approximately 10 hours. Whoa dang.

    When did that happen?

    A little less than 4 months until I walk across that stage, get my diploma (well, empty diploma cover), and get a big girl life.

    Times are a changin'.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Wish List Wednesday

    I'm missing my beautiful Phi Mu sisters a lot. They just finished an incredibly successful work week and formal recruitment and welcomed hΦMe 83 new fabulous phis!!!

    I couldn't be prouder to be a Phi Mu through and through. In honor of my sisters, I'm dedicating this week's Wish List Wednesday to all things fabulously Phi Mu that caught my eye on Carnation Collection.

    2014742008552000200998201194200495201380201081200708201163201323PV30198W201079201322201444200476

    LIOB

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Woke up in London yesterday

    London, Day 2

    Our second day in London (which was technically our first full day there) was probably my favorite day of the entire trip. After sleeping for a ridiculous amount of hours, we woke up refreshed and so excited to get out and see the city.

    That morning, like each other morning we were there, we started our day with breakfast in the hotel lounge, complete with all the stinky cheese we could have ever wanted. It was wonderful!

    After breakfast, we hopped on our double decker tour bus and headed towards the heart of the city. We drove through Trafalgar Square, which is obviously a shrine to Phi Mu, complete with regal lion statues and a huge quatrefoil-shaped fountain. We decided to get off the bus on Downing Street and proceeded to walk around, passing the Prime Minister's residence and the Horse Guard Calvalry, and finally made our way to the Churchill War Rooms. Although the Churchill War Rooms aren't one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, I had heard many good things about it, and I enjoyed the tour very much. Remaining true to how it was during WWII, the war rooms give an informative and interesting look back to England's role during the war under Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

    After we left the war rooms, we began to make our way towards Westminster Abbey. On the way, we passed the British Supreme Court and decided to go inside once we found out that tours were free. We were able to go into each of the three functioning court rooms and were even able to sit in the chairs of the chief justices.

    Then, we finally made our way to Westminster Abbey. This was one of the things I was most looking forward to on our trip, and I was just in awe of the abbey's beauty and grandeur. I wish photos were allowed inside because it is so breathtakingly beautiful and ornate, and so much detail is given to everything. From the tombs of past royalty, to the vaulted ceilings, to the hand carved walls, and everything in between, no detail is too small, and nothing is insignificant. It's so apparent just how much thought was put into the tombs of these nobles. I literally had to catch my breath when we came across the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer and the monuments dedicated to William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and so many other literary figures.

    As if it has to be said, just being in the place where William and Kate were married only a few months before was just incredible. I can't even describe it. I stood in the place where she walked down the aisle and became the future queen of England. There are no words. And, of course, I ate up the special exhibit of their wedding photographs located in a chamber of the abbey. The amount of history that has taken place there is so overwhelming. I loved everything about Westminster Abbey, and I know I will make it back there someday. It was my favorite part of our trip, hands down.

    When we left the Abbey (although, I could have stayed there all day), we walked around near Parliament and Big Ben before walking down to the Thames to take a river cruise. The cruise was part of our bus tour (Big Bus, FYI), so we were able to jump on and off wherever we wanted to. We rode the boat all the way down the Thames and were able to get some fantastic views of the London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge, which is tied with Benny Boy as my second favorite spot in London. Needless to say, it was incredible.

    After the tour, we jumped back on the bus and made our way back to our hotel. We found a wonderful pub nearby and enjoyed a relaxing dinner before calling it a night. Our first full day in London was quite a success.

    Stay tuned for Day 3, and check out my bucket list and Day 1.

    August Daybook

    FOR TODAY
    Outside my window...
    is a dark, humid, hot evening.

    I am thinking...
    about nothing and a lot all at once. Mostly, I'm just content.

    I am thankful...
    for a lot: a healthy, happy relationship, a supportive family, never-ending opportunities, wonderful friends, and the list goes on and on.

    From the learning rooms...
    is pretty quiet this week. I finished up my summer class last week, and I'm just enjoying the week and a half of down time I have left before I begin my senior year of college.

    In the kitchen...
    is a stack of sticky bowls and spoons leftover from an ice-cream extravaganza.

    I am wearing...
    black and light pink Nike shorts, a turquoise t-shirt from a college apartment complex, my white Stella Fossil watch, and no makeup. Oh, the simplicity of summer.

    I am creating...
    a vision in my head of the perfect bridal shower for my best friend. I'm going to start a board on Pinterest. Speaking of which, I'm obsessed! If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you're missing out. Let me know if you want an invite!

    I am going...
    to work tomorrow morning. Bring it on, Monday!

    I am wondering...
    when I'll have time to sit down and finish reading The Help. I'm so close to being done!

    I am reading...
    The Help. I didn't plan my answer to the above question very well, obviously.

    I am hoping...
    this semester flies by. Graduation, here I come!

    I am looking forward to...
    starting school, believe it or not. I'm ready for a new routine, and I'm actually excited about a few of my classes.

    I am hearing...
    the click-clacks of fingers typing on a keyboard...or keyboards. We're all sitting around on our computers- such quality family time.

    Around the house...
    is status quo. Nothing new to report, but that's not always a bad thing.

    I am pondering...
    how I'm going to deal with a few things that are coming up in the near future. I really need to get the ball rolling and figure out what I'm going to do.

    One of my favorite things...
    is a night filled with good food, good friends, and good conversation, which is exactly what I got last night.

    A few plans for the rest of the week:
    Work, going out, seeing a few friends before everyone heads back to school...

    Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
    As I said above: Good food, good friends, and good conversation.
    IMG_5050
    Join in the Daybook fun here
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