Friday Favorites Makes a Comeback!

Hey guys! I know, I’ve been slacking on the Friday Favorites posts, but here I am, and they’re back.

(Found on Pinterest)

It’s been almost a month since Bonnaroo and I am still having withdrawals. I just can’t readjust to regular life, whatever that means? I just wanna follow where ever the road takes me. Where the sunshine lights the way, and when it rains? You just dance in it.

In the meantime, I got real hooked on reading the Bonnaroo Missed Connections posts. (And look! Some of them actually worked!)

This kid, (my awesome brother) turned 22 yesterday! Celebrated with a delicious dinner at Jasmine’s, fun times. And now it’s back to the beach this weekend. Fingers crossed for some sunshine at some point!

Last weekend I made my return to the world of 5Ks. So what if it was in a tropical depression, untimed, and not my prettiest run? It was enough to kick back in that competitive spirit I’d kind of lost touch with. This has been a good running week for me, I’ll get my groove back eventually. Yesterday morning, cotton candy skies greeted me good morning on my pre-work run and I can’t really ask for more.

Got tickets to see Kinky Boots in NYC next week. Excited for a trip to the city, time with old friends, and some good ole explorin’!

Oh, did I tell y’all I got a guitar?! This is going to be a long journey, but the dream’s still alive. (My sound still hurts my own ears right now, but I’ll get there – eventually!)

It’s no new thing that one day I will make my way to Glastonbury, but you have to see how awesome this video is. Could that stage hold any more talent?! Gah.

Oh, and if you hadn’t noticed I’ve given Meg Says & this blog Mugs Life face lifts, and I’m pretty excited! They’re long overdue.

Look how awesome my house-mate is. Like, beyond awesome. She knows me so well. And not just because these are cool presents, but because they’re so sweet! AND she made that stationery herself! On her friends letterpress in California! Seriously, so cool. Living with her is probably my favorite thing about Tallahassee.

One more thing? Don’t forget about the kindness of strangers. It’s always there. You’re always .2 seconds a way from making a new friend, some new connection. Heck. Dustin at Pep Boys took $10 off my oil change yesterday just because we engaged in conversation. Made my day, and helped me out. Plus it was just a reminder of how much the universe balances out.

November Nostalgia – Part One

It’s November, and Novembers are always hard. The emotional roller coaster I take myself on during this month each year of my life is just out of control. I always have a love/hate relationship with my birth month. I put so much internal pressure on myself, magnifying all the details of my life, expecting to make some kind of miraculous changes that will make where I am in life at this time, alright. It doesn’t matter if the month before I was perfectly fine with the way things were. Yeah, yeah I’m a little crazy sometimes, did you not notice that yet? I’ve gotten better about this over time. I don’t even know what city I’ll be in on my birthday this year, but that doesn’t matter. Last year, even though I wasn’t really up to it, (I got a speeding ticket driving back to my hometown the night before and was a little bitter about it, you could say) I went and hung out at a local bar in town where everyone kind of has a mini-reunion the night before Thanksgiving. It’s kind of like this weird conglomeration of all the stages of life in one evening. So many people. I could see across the room a boy I’d written pages upon pages of letters to years before. He got married a long time ago, and most of the time I secretly wish all those letters got thrown away soon after they were read. If they were read. Two of my guy friends unexpectedly lifted me up on their shoulders and broke out into a crowd sing-along of happy birthday, which made my cheeks feel like they were on fire but I love them for anyways. Flirtatious conversations ensued by the pinball machine, but I’m not eighteen anymore, and these fleeting moments don’t really hold much weight. I took bathroom breaks with a girl I’d been friends with since seventh grade, where she told me stories about someone she’d rather not see there (and of course filled me on her perfect fit jeans and lip gloss that was a must buy.) She bought me a drink and we wandered around until I found one of my best friends. Elated to see him but an uncertain emptiness still lingering in the pit of my stomach. The kind that comes when you know you’re on the verge of making bad decisions, but convince yourself your old enough to know better why complicate things anymore than they already are. Practicing teaching myself to just say no when people tried to drag me to an after party I knew I’d get stuck at and be wide awake at four am wishing I were in my own bed. It’s probably one of the more adult decisions I’d made in a long time, as pathetic as that sounds, consciously avoiding time old ridiculous disaster. I thought I’d spend time with an old friend I thought things were patched over with, but she’s notoriously flaky and unreliable and no such meeting occurred. A boy I used to pine over kept putting himself in my path all evening, chatting like we were old friends, discussing a break up, complete awkwardness as set-in as I ran out of responses to this unusual conversation. It was like all the dead end adventures of my life decided to come back and  haunt me. Of course all my friends disappeared, and I’m sitting at a high top table with my little brother and his friends who are planning their next move of the night. After a brief run in with another old ghost, and an unsettling conversation I knew it was time to call it a night. So, that was how my twenty-fourth year kicked off. It wasn’t really a bad start, it just took me off guard at the time.

Happy Birthday, Friend!

It is definitely a season of birthdays. Yesterday marked one of my oldest friend’s 25th. Charlie and I met at Sunday School of First Baptist Church when we were just in pre-school. We grew up together and eventually we moved to a neighborhood down the street. Somewhere along the way a core group of four of us who’d been friends since kindergarten coined ourselves as the pirate club, and it stuck. Too many days to count were spent hanging out at his house, exploring in the backyard, going on canoeing adventures, night time golf cart rides, climbing trees – all the good stuff. We’d play ping-pong (well, the guys liked to play death pong and I would just photograph those moments, ha.) We’d head over to Ocala to wander around, eat at Moe’s and hang out doing nothing. We watched a katrillion basketball games together. Night swims til we were all shriveled up, or the guys would practice with their scuba gear which was always a laugh. He let me watch Degrassi on his big screen TV and would sometimes pretend to be interested to humor me. There are plenty of things we don’t see eye to eye on – everything from politics to our favorite college football teams, which allowed room for plenty of heated “discussions,” – still our friendship thrived nonetheless. This guy was always on the ready for a spontaneous adventure, no matter the day or time. And a lot of times I got to select the soundtrack for these outings. The memories aren’t full of just good times, but the harder moments of life that you don’t see coming either.  Those are some of the standout memories I have, the rough days when we’re reminded just how short life really is. The deep conversations about life, and growing up, the future. After several years of being spread out over states during college, and some of post-college life, the entire pirate crew is back in Florida again. Charlie lives in Tampa with his wife now, so it’s nice that we’re all in the same state again even if we’re overdue for a reunion. Here’s to the start of a wonderful year for a wonderful friend!

And for fun, here are a few photos from over the years!
Twenty years ago, the first day of kindergarten!
Playground fun in high school.
A kindergarten reunion at a bonfire, with Paul!

Graduation!
Pirates for life! (summer before going away to college.)
Pirates reunited in North Carolina at Charlie and Mia’s engagement party!
Giving us a campus tour of Wake Forrest (senior year.)

Orlando Weekend Fun (Part Uno!)

(I don’t know what WordPress’s problem is, but it screwed up this post twice and deleted most of my photos and captions so I’m getting burnt out and the descriptions probably aren’t as great this time around.)
Ahh! I can’t believe I hadn’t shared any photos from my Orlando weekend extravaganza with you all, yet! As you know, my Orlando weekends are up there in my top favorites of anything. Not just because there’s so much activity, downtown is one of my dearest spots of Florida, and I always have a ton of fun but also because some of greatest hearts I know reside in this great little city. I always leave wishing I had a machine that could freeze my weekend and make each minute last a little longer. I’m going to try and be mindful, and remember that every body who reads this blog doesn’t necessarily want to see every single photo I took to document the weekend, (or else we’d be Facebook friends, or maybe Instagram (cupcakesandfireworks) ?) so I’ll try and keep it on the shorter side.
Friday night (after the worst drive on the interstate to Orlando ever, including the most ridiculous rain I’d ever driven in,) we went to a get together, celebrating some October birthdays that the boys dubbed “Real Housewives of Apopka,” (which I would say is pretty accurate.) Met some cool people, drank some good beer, heard some great stories (seriously great stories.) Also, met my new hero Chris who was participating in a 100mile bike ride that Sunday, as a training ride for the Iron Man competition. We chatted training for a few minutes, but seriously – so inspiring! Also, a party-goer gave us a mixed CD to jam out to on the ride home. That was pretty awesome too!
20121023-105652.jpgOctober birthday crew in their crowns.

20121023-105738.jpg

classic

20121023-105708.jpg

so handsome!

Tony playing bartender (but really!)

20121023-110234.jpg

20121023-110210.jpg

Reunited, and it feels so right.
Saturday morning we made some breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee.) Then got ready for the day. Ashley came over, and then we made a pit-stop and headed to Gatti’s place downtown. We hung out for a little bit,(read: started drinking before noon,) took the house tour, watched some ESPN game day, then we embarked upon the pretty little scenic stroll to Lake Eola. JD was sure the parade was at one, we walked around checked out some booths, got a little sweaty then we ran into some people who were like no way it’s at 4 silly! So, we took a little scenic walk back to the house, dropping off one crew member at the barber shop on the way. It worked out because we just chilled in the air conditioning, ate some pizza, watched some football, had some great conversation, recharged and then headed out again. I finally got to go to Stardust (this awesome bar I’ve heard about all these years, and never experienced until then,) where we hung out a little longer, played some pool (I took pictures,) and then picked a spot across the street to watch the parade. It was super fun because we ran into sooo many people we knew. I don’t get to go to Orlando that often, so it’s extra exciting when I can see so many people who make my day in one place! The parade was a blast.

Lake Eola
Snapped this one on our first walk downtown.

Animated conversation obviously, in their matching Chubbies.

A little intermission

New Ohio friends, it was their 5 year wedding anniversary! (They were in town before they set off on a cruise the next morning!)

Ashley’s like a pool shark, and Tony was playing model.

Group shot at Stardust.

Look who we found! Note that Orin does not have a scar from our NYE incident, and he doesn’t hate me. And I hadn’t seen JD’s old roommate Frank since they moved!

20121023-105912.jpg

They had a good spot to watch the parade and eat their ice cream cones.

20121023-105808.jpg

Had to document this because everytime I look at it, it cracks me up!

20121023-115558.jpg

20121023-115521.jpg

20121023-105829.jpg

My favorite float!

so cute!

20121023-110125.jpg

The cool radio station in middle school.

Full of parade swag to take home to their son, since everyone gave Gatti like nine million things.

20121023-115646.jpg

20121023-110058.jpg

20121023-110024.jpg

Ashley and I were backseat buddies on the ride to Publix.

Pretty sky in the parking lot on our Publix run.
After the parade we went back to the boy’s place, ate JD’s awesome pulled chicken sandwiches, and watched some football. Like I said some of these were Ohioans, so we watched the Ohio State game (which they won.) And I wasn’t subjected to our ugly FSU loss, though I did hear and see the painful updates.
The funny thing about the weekend, is that I had just been telling my mom one of my favorite parts of being in Orlando is that I’m around people who have similar thought processes. We get each other, we want some of the same stuff out of life, have similar views on politics and equality rights. I was just saying that the atmosphere makes me so happy even if I’m not having some deep heart to heart. The funny part about it is that it was a great balance of both, I did get to have some deeper conversations, and the entirety of the weekend just filled my heart up with a new zest for life. If it had been waning at all, the battery life just charged right up. (Of course everybody always tries to talk me into moving, and I am so so tempted.)
Be on the lookout for Orlando Weekend Fun Part Dos, which will feature corn maze fun!

Happppy Birthday, Mandy!

Alright, as if you haven’t been able to tell yet I have a bit (understatement) of an obsession with my fabulous sisters, and today we’re celebrating another one’s birthday! One of my sweetest, dearest, favorite friends is turning 25 today! I’m wishing a Happy Happy Birthday to Mandy! If you’ve been keeping up, you know that I’ve been blessed with some pretty awesome roommates over the years (Lizzi in London, Camille in the annex,) but my first sister roommate was Mandy. We moved into the house together our sophomore year, and lived there again our junior year. (Plus, you could just go ahead and consider her Camille and I’s third roommate senior year.) As I’ve mentioned before, I am quite aware I was not the easiest person to live with. I’m kind of messy, can have some pretty intense mood swings, she might have had to listen to “Tracks of my Tears,” “Piano Man,” and “Tiny Dancer” about three thousand times, and never gave me too much of a hard time about my enthusiasm for Kyle XY. Junior year fall was a “little” stressful with my unexpected term serving on exec. and the constant knocks on our door at three olock in the morning to tell me that the kitchen was having electrical problems, they couldn’t get ice out of the machine, or  oops locked out can you call the locksmith? (I’m telling you, when these random requests stop life’s normalcy feels weird for a while.) This girl is amazing though, she’s smart and funny and has one of the kindest hearts you’ll ever know! She’s a loyal friend, and she sticks by through thick and thin. We have been through so much together, and I have been so unbelievably blessed by our friendship. (I am super super excited because she’s coming to town in two weeks for homecoming YES!) I have countless memories with this girl. Some of the things that come to the forefront of my mind pretty quickly are our old days in the house, it felt like summer camp all the time. We built blanket forts in our room, and would stay up all hours whispering about endless things from our bunk beds until one of us fell asleep. We watched ridiculous amounts of Nancy Grace and news coverage on bizarre events. We tutored at Grace Mission together, and took our mentees on little outings. We road tripped to the beach and Thomasville. She’s the one who’d call the cops when my phone gets stolen in the middle of the night, or brings me crackers at four am when I’m complaining from the other side of the room that I feel like death from our cinnamon drinks. I think about the excitement of her engagement, or the night she asked me to be her MOH. Screaming through a scary haunted house, the katrillion number of times we got ready for events together – always ready to throw on a crazy costume. What’s crazy to think is that we’ve been friends for about six years now, and the amount of bonding we’ve packed into that time. I’m wishing this special person a very happy birthday and year full of great things to come!

One of our first roomie pics!

Pre-littles for all of us 🙂

Oh you know, we just had Stacia help us make matching lady bug dresses, haha.

Omgsh, such a fun night – Jacki’s Waltz and epic evening at Chubbies. Also the night we jumped in the fountain and I drowned that poor phone.

Winter Formal Sophomore  year!

Spring Break in the Keys sophomore year.

Tiffany and Gary’s wedding!

Jacki’s wedding in St.Augustine

This one was on our door’s bulletin board for a while

Girl’s beach weekend

Pier Park in Panama City

GREEK meet and greet 🙂

Mandy’s 21st purple Princess 🙂

Another favorite…some random biker bar in Oveido, getting invited to birthday parties…

Oh just filling in on phones at the hotel pre-Carly’s wedding

Rachel’s waltzzz

Oh a fave moment…just chatting on the phone at the Inn Between.

Camille’s waltz!

Toga time!

Beth’s Tutu 22 Waltz

Our awesome shirts we borrowed from Eryn, haha

Rockstar social, hence the ridiculous outfits…

Senior year semi-formal

Island exploring adventure on the cruise

Senior year spring break cruise with our new FSU almuni friend at Senor Frogs.

Shelby’s waltz!

We were sad it was our last social!

Senior bar crawl night!

Spring Formal senior year! (Our last one :()

Senior banquet night

Our last night before graduation, hanging out at the Inn Between…

Finally riding the electric golf cart, bucket list check haha

Rehearsal dinner night!

Beautiful bride on her wedding day! (I was honored to be her maid of honor.)

Deb ball fun!

Reunited for a little summer visit!

Hanging out in the back room at Water Works on a fall visit

Girls weekend last spring!

Throwback Thursday: Reflecting on Another Awesome Roomie Birthday

Hello, hello and Happy Thursday to all of you! It would seem that it’s that time again. You got it: Throwback Thursday! This week, I’d like to dedicate the post to another one of my dear sorority sisters, Camille. We lived in the annex together senior year, and then actually again in the fall of 2010 she took me in when I moved back to Tallahassee. I know I am not the easiest person to live with, but she put up with me for a good while. We have shared so many great times together over the years, and been shoulders for each other in the not so great times either. I love to think about different adventures we had (I’d really like to go get milkshakes and watch E! News with her right now,) and the simple times together that happen when you’re comfortable with someone and can just chill doing nothing and still enjoy it. There’s a certain kind of bond that develops when you sleep across the room from someone and whisper late into the dark. Camille is one of the kindest most genuine people I know. She’s fierce and strong and loyal. She just celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday on Monday and my oh my, I know I am simply blessed to not only have this girl in my life, but to be able to call her a friend.

Okay, so my eyes are closed but this is probably one of our first photos together.

Recruitment 2007.

Sisterhood retreat Macon, GA 2007.

Winter Formal group photo fall semester 2007.

Tiffany’s bridal shower group photo spring 2008.

Tiffany’s wedding! Probably with some wine on the dance floor.

Tailgating

Lizzi’s Pretty in Pink Waltz!

Rachel’s Mad Hatter Waltz

Camille’s Waltz!

Julie’s Rainboots Waltz! (It was a season for waltzes..)

Junior year Grandslam Tournament!

Jacki and Jared’s Wedding in St.Augustine (summer 2009)

Being tourists during the wedding weekend, at a quat fountain!

First social of Senior Year, Around the World.

Hannah’s Hannah Montanna waltz!

Winter time Happy Hour with Camille and Casey at Paradigm.

Light the Night Walk Senior Year.

Spring Break 2012 – cruise fun

On the island

Senor Frogs

Staying up for Shelby to turn 21, we got a little sleepy

slotsssss, cruise casino

Sisterhood bonding at the roller rink

Senior year formal

Senior pub crawl

Mandy’s Bachelorette Party at Stetson’s

After the reception at Mandy and John’s wedding (we’ve been to a lot of weddings together too, obviously. Weddings and Waltzes…)

Reunited back in Tally!

Camille’s 23rd Birthday!

Clemson game 2010.

Tailgating at Kappa Sig.

Boat time last summer, so good to be reunited. It needs to happen again soon!

Throwback Thursday: Friend Appreciation Post

Hola, good morning everyone. I’m thinking for today I’d like to make a little appreciation post of one of my dearest friends Lizzi! She celebrated her 25th birthday last Saturday (kicked it off right at the Obama event in Tampa.) I have been blessed in so many ways by our friendship over the years. There’s something to be said for the friends we make on the cusp of our teens, and who hang on in the tumultuous years of our early twenties. These are crazy times for sure. We met in the fall of my freshman year (her sophomore) at FSU. We were in the same pledge class in Phi Mu. We were in the same sorority family (B&B yeah!,) and our big sisters were friends, but we grew our own tight knit friendship over the years. We were roomies in London, and there’s no one else I would have rather spent that summer abroad with. We served on exec together my junior (her senior year.) She lived across the hall from Mandy and I in the house. Her parents lived in Winter Springs while we were in college, so we were close enough for little visits on holiday breaks from school (she’s the one who introduced me to Chiptole before it made its arrival in Tally!) Sometimes we went to church together. We watched results come in for the 2008 election together in the stadium. We’ve attended weddings together, had some of the best nights out, and best nights in. Our friendship transcended that weird stage post-college. I was lucky enough to get some “extra” time with her as she stayed in Tallahasssee for law school. I got to know her awesome boyfriend Drew. She shared yummy recipes, we had pool days, and book talks, and chick flick watches. We had countless Panera dates, and girly froyo meet-ups where she was always a good voice of reason. We are always able to share fully and honestly whether it be in really great seasons, or the less so ones. (She would calmly listen on days I was edgy with desperation in rough patches, and counsel with good advice. She’d share entertaining anecdotes to make me laugh. She’s a wonderful shoulder when I burst into ugly tears.) She is one of my favorite sister-friends and I am just so proud to know her. Lizzi may only be two months older than me, but I have always looked up to, and admired her. She sets and meets these incredible goals, she has such a positive outlook on life, she’s funny and smart and pretty. She’s so encouraging and seeing all the things she accomplishes is a motivator and inspiration to me in itself (like her running, etc.) So cheers to my amazing friend Lizzi! And now here’s a little trip down memory lane with a few photos, (since she’s made other appearances on photo posts here I’ll try and share some different ones):


Grey’s Anatomy
crew!

Car ride over to the reveal!

Big sis reveal ’07, (we were sooo excited to get our littles!)

I think this was on the way to a 007 social, post pomping party.

Blackout game tailgating at Phi Tau, Fall ’07.

Black out game fall ’07.

Repeat, but it’s a favorite!

Parent’s weekend banquet fall 2007.



Fall Semester, Phi Tau party – November 2007.

At our founder’s college on the sisterhood retreat in Macon.

Pow Wow ’07!

Christmas ’07!

Formal ’07!

Grandslam Philanthropy ’08!

Before seeing Hairspray at the West End!

Quatting it up at Tower Bridge!

And again at a phone booth.

We found Ty Pennington in a pub!

Pre-Spamalot!

At the Peter Pan statue 🙂 summer 08.

Our fave – Revolution Vodka Bar.

This one was in the study abroad catalog for a few semesters. (Also, ABBA was our go to playlist for getting ready that summer.)


Alternated with the Across the Universe soundtrack. We were probably a bit delirious on the crazzzzy long bus ride to Scotland!

Jumping pic in Scotland (she’s REALLY good at these!)

Castle where Maid of Honor was filmed!

Stonehenge

Nessie!

Our fave tour guide!

Oh this was an entertaining experience getting up there in Trafalgar square for this “sir fidel” shot!

Our home tube station.

Clock and Seal banquet!

We liked to endure the rainy FB games, together!

Her 21st birthday waltz!

Awaiting election results!

Relay for Life – in the tent in a rainy patch.

At Mandy’s wedding summer 2010!

Gasparilla Parade last year.

Grad party!

With hopefully a million more great times to come in the future! She’s living in Tampa now, so I obviously need to make some Central FL visits, and I can’t wait for them to come up for some games – eek!