Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Tuesday

I think the main reason my inner Art Historian just can't not love contemporary art, is because of street art and graffiti.

Speaking of weird and quirky art: Wilhelm Staehle, everyone.

You know you've lived in Florida too long when you look at the pictures in this article and wonder: "How is that weird?"

Woe is you—you've accidentally befriended (or worse, started dating) an artsy type. Never fear! Just for you, I've compiled this versatile list so that you don't get crushed by the incredible weight of your own boredom. How to Enjoy an Art Museum (for the utterly bored)!

You have no idea how excited I got when I saw not one... but TWO of my potential grad schools on this list!

I'm pretty sure this pamphlet is supposed to make me dislike the Girl Scouts and all it did was make me look up where I can buy more cookies and how I can become an assistant troupe leader.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to country hop without breaking the bank

Original Source Unknown

When to buy
Tuesday between 2 and 4 P.M. Eastern time. Why? I have no idea. I first heard this tip from a professor that's been traveling the country and the world for years, put her wisdom into action and what do you know!

My ticket from Orlando to Boston on Expedia was $210 on Tuesday.
And shot up to $290 for the exact same ticket on the exact same flight.

When to fly
This part gets a little more specific and can be split into 2 parts. The cheapest days to be in the air are 

1) Wednesday
2) Tuesday
3) Saturday 

While the most expensive days to fly are Friday and Sunday. So the best way to get the most bang for your plane ticket buck is to plan your trip around these days. 

So now that you've decided to fly from Wednesday to Saturday or Wednesday to Tuesday the next step is what time to fly! Almost without fail the cheapest time for taking off is first thing in the morning. Yes, no one wants to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in an airport at 4 A.M. 

But it sometimes can cut $50-$70 off your total ticket price just by leaving before 10 A.M!!

Student prices and airline specials
One of my favorite airfare websites is StudentUniverse. If you are a student, teacher or under the age of 26 you qualify for certain airline discounts that are all grouped into one neat little website!

But. Don't try and cheat the website. If you enter a birthday over the age of 26 upon purchasing the ticket they will make you provide proof that you are faculty or currently taking classes. 

Clear those cookies
If you're like me, you probably compulsively check flight prices 2, 3 and even 4 times a day to see what happens to the price. Make sure to clear your history, cookies and cache periodically when doing this because occasionally, old search results can prevent you from seeing newer and possibly cheaper ticket prices.

Hands down the most important thing to remember is flexibility. When searching, be sure to click the boxes for flexible travel dates and to search nearby airports. When I went to Italy we flew out of Orlando and into Florence, then out of Rome and into Tampa. Mildly confusing? Yes. Saved almost $200? Also yes.

Good luck fellow explorers!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Girlfriend Club

My favorite memory from Winter break had to be the reunion of the surviving members of the Girlfriend Club! What in the world is the Girlfriend Club, you ask? Well, 2+ years ago, I moved to Orlando and as luck would have it, almost immediately hit it off with and started dating Nick. Through him, I met his awesome friends but for a good while, I was the only female who consistently hung out in their little boys club. Until one magical day (more like over the course of a month, but who's counting) they boys started settling down and bringing other ladies into my life! We started to joke that if they were the boys club, then we should be the Girlfriend Club!

Nick & Annika
Dan and Candice
Kristy & Brian
Colin & Marla

Kristy and I are not only the only surviving members (by break-ups, not by actual lose of life) but we have now become life long friends! She moved to Mississippi for grad school, but recently flew down to Tampa to see her family (and me!!) for the holidays! We got the chance to visit, laugh and thoroughly freak out our boyfriends by changing the name of the Girlfriend Club, to the Future Wifey Club. 

We ate, we drank, we were merry and then I woke up at 6 A.M. to drive back home and work the next morning. Despite my crank attitude for the rest of that long and tired next day, it was well worth it to see one of my favorite people even for just an hour!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter in the Sunshine State

So, the other day Nick and I were having a conversation about apples. Riveting. I know. And he said

"Well Fall is apple picking season, right?"

I responded

"Yea... but it's the end of January. That's not Fall."

So if that doesn't tell you what kind of weather we have had in Florida this "Winter", I don't know what else will besides saying the average temperature for this month was about 73. And as jealous of you northern girls and your adorable sweaters as I am... this is the perfect last full winter to spend in Florida. This time next year I plan on struggling to survive in snow, so for now, I'll enjoy my summer in January and all the wonderful things Florida Winter's have to offer!

Do you know who else likes Florida in Winter? Well, besides your Grandparents, Europeans and Canadians (always wondered where they all went didn't you?).


Manatees flock to the Florida fresh water springs from January until March every year and for the first time, Nick and I went to experience them! Along with every other Orlando local, your Grandparents, the Canadians and Europeans.

There had to be at least 50 of them all up and down the river! Babies and mommies and old manatee alike! Since they are an endangered species, the river is roped off and you aren't allowed to touch or fee them but you can watch them float about for as long as you like!

What neat things does your state have during the winter?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top Tuesday

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Don't try to fast-forward

This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. … they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.

Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? … Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe … life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Something amazing happened today. Besides actually doing my French homework rather than avoiding it and watching almost an entire season of United States of Tara. I downloaded and printed out the first of about 9 grad school applications. Sure they aren't due for about about 10 months and no, it's not trying to fast-forward. It's getting mentally prepared by giving myself plenty of time to potentially freak out about the prospect of uprooting my entire life and moving across the country.


Where will the next year take me and does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about moving from Florida to unknown-state-at-least-500-miles-away?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Birthdays and milestones!

My little 11/11/11 baby is officially 2 months old!

And has officially learned both 'sit' and 'stay'!! Hooray Penny!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back in the swing

Today marked the first day of my last semester as an undergrad! That is, if I can pass French 3. Je ne parle pas bien le fran├žais.... And quite frankly I am utterly terrified of this class. It probably didn't help that my fear made me put off taking it until the very last point that I could because now, not only do I have poor French skills, but I also have a good year since taking my last French class.

So, to try and head this nightmare of a semester off at the pass, I did what I do best.


Thrilling life I lead, I know. But, to be perfectly honest, there are few simple pleasures I love more than a well thought out to-do list and a color coded Google calendar. It makes me feel so much more in control of my life when my desktop looks like this
Suddenly, I'm less stressed out that Penny still isn't house broken. Or that I have the French skills of a 4 year old. Or even that the one time I had a moment to try and clean, the vacuum cleaner decided to spit out more crap than it picked up. And makes me focus on the nicer things throughout my day. Like the fact that my assigned text book for French is Le Petite Prince (yes, the adorable children's book) or how freaking cute this dog is, evil though she maybe.

I'm still coming to terms with how much of a slacker I was last month but this month, I'm well on my way to getting back in the swing of being a productive student, puppy mommy, girlfriend and of course, blogger!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh to be talented AND charming...

Sometimes, I get bored and start browsing through YouTube to find fun new videos and artists. Sometimes, it's a total flop. But every now and then I find a gem like this!

I have seen both these adorable people in concert and I really can't wait to see them again! Ingrid was like getting a concert and stand-up comedy at the same time and Matt... Well he's just plain dreamy. How is it possible for someone to be so talented and so charming at the same time?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

20 New Years Resolutions

  1. Before you status update, Tweet, Tumble or Instagram, pause and say to yourself, “is it entirely necessary that I share this morsel of thought with my entire social network?”and if the answer is not, “yes, I absolutely must,” then step away from the Internet.
  2. Know which candidate you’re going to vote for in the upcoming presidential election, and know why.
  3. Enough with the 14-day juice cleanses. If you want to lose a little weight quickly, eat less and exercise like crazy. If you want to lose a lot of weight slowly, do whatever Jennifer Hudson did.
  4. If you really like the person you’re hooking up with and would like them to be your boyfriend/ girlfriend, find a way to tell them, and hope for the best. If you don’t and wouldn’t, stop.
  5. Find a way to save approximately 300 dollars and spend it on a flight to see a friend or family member who lives far away.
  6. Please stop liking the Kardashians, all of them. It’s not helping anyone, least of all the Kardashians.
  7. Spend less than or equal to the money you earn each month.
  8. Wear clothes that fit you, especially to work.
  9. Call someone on the phone at least once a week, and speak to him or her for at least ten minutes.
  10. Start preparing now to get over the fact that Facebook is probably going to change again in six months. You’re not going to deactivate your account. You don’t know how.
  11. Wait 30 seconds before you look up a fact you can’t remember on your phone, and try to remember it using your brain. This is what the olden days were like.
  12. Replace one terrible reality show you’re currently watching with one wonderful scripted show currently available on television.  Swap suggestion: Real Housewives of Anywhere for HBO’s Enlightened.
  13. Try that food you think you don’t like but have never actually tried, unless it’s brussels sprouts. They really don’t need any more attention.
  14. Cut one person out of your life who you truly do not like and add one person who you truly do. Note: not on Facebook, on Earth.
  15. If you’re still blacking out regularly, you should stop.
  16. Volunteer once over the next 90 days.  You’ll feel really good about it, and probably end up volunteering again over the next 275.
  17.  Tell someone who you love that you love them on a more regular basis. To their face, not in a text.
  18. Back up your entire online life onto an external hard drive, especially your photos.
  19. Crap or get off the pot. This applies to whatever thing you’re not doing that you should just sack up and do already.
  20.  And in the eternal words of Tom Haverford, “TREAT YO SELF!”

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012!

So far, 2012 is off to a great start! After spending a slightly longer night at work than I had expected, I raced to the bar I was meeting Nick at and was exactly 2 minutes late to get my New Years kiss. But we decided to hell with tradition and kissed anyways, just to be sure and start the night off right! One of Nick's best fiends owns a karaoke and sports bar here in Orlando so I got to ring in the year with my favorite people, a mess of free drinks and 4 AM french toast. Which, incase you were wondering, is the best kind of french toast.

What wasn't the best idea however was staying up until 5 AM when I had to get up at 8 and oh, did I mention I lost my car key? But, that part has a happy ending! I woke up early as planned, fully expecting to be calling around town for locksmith quotes and wandered out to Nick's car to check for my key one last time, with minuscule hope of actually succeeding. But, just when all hope was lost I spotted something silver jammed in a corner of the passenger seat and squealed with joy (right as our neighbor walked out of their house and looked at me like I was nuts)! So I bounded up the stairs and excitedly woke Nick up waving my new found prize in his face and ready to drive to Jacksonville!

2012 was off to a fantastic start and being able to pile in the car with Penny and the Boyfriend to go visit my mom made it even better!

After a few hours of terrorizing my mom's poor 14 year old dog, Penny finally passed out right under the Christmas tree. She's the cutest present in the world when she's asleep!