Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September: In Review

Is it just me, or did September absolutely fly by? 

- I hosted the Blog Baton

- I participated in my first blogger box exchange and got to know Kaara

- I visited my home, watched an OSU game with my parents, snuggled with my dog, and got my favorite dessert at the little ice cream stand in our town. 

- I tried my hand at making fancy(ish) cocktails. I'm no bartender, but they weren't half bad! 

- I reconnected with several friends from high school, which was absolutely amazing. 

- I started making Christmas decorations. 

- I kept telling myself that I would catch up on Sherlock and start Downton Abbey, but then I just binge-watched The City (judge away) and Archer. Oh, and quickly became obsessed with How to Get Away with Murder. (Can we talk about how hot Paris Geller got!?) 

- I clearly had way too much fun going to shows, happy hours, and exploring restaurants around Columbus. 

I can't wait to see what October has in store! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Old Navy Has My Heart

I remember when I was younger, and Old Navy's women's section was filled with obscenely bright, graphic T-shirts and frumpy office wear. I will never shop here, I told myself. And I didn't, not for a long time. I stuck to H&M and Forever 21, buying strange combinations of oversized sweaters, dresses that were basically skirts, and skirts that were basically bandeaus. (College problems.) Except then I got my first full-time internship, and I realized that I didn't have much to wear to the office. Forever 21 just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I started looking around for where I could get some working girl basics. After picking up a few things from H&M's business section, I stumbled across Old Navy. When did Old Navy get so stylish? I asked myself when I entered the store. Ooo I love that! And that! I can wear this with that! I need these Pixie Pants in every color! 

Back in April, I posted about how I had been approved for my first credit card from Old Navy. I was planning to use the card to pick up a few things for work and school, only charging what I would normally buy with my debit card. I'm excited to say that I've been sticking to this strategy! I've kept a $0 balance on the card, and have been able to use the card's reward points to get a few fun things as well! (Such as that jacket below that I definitely didn't need, but was too cute to pass up.) 

Check out some of my favorites from this Fall's collection!

Jacket, ScarfBoots

Pants, Sweater, Flats

These pants are actually the most comfortable office pants I've ever worn. They feel almost like yoga pants, but no one else in the office has to know that. As much as I want to, I haven't bought them in every color...yet. 

Are you an Old Navy fan? If not, where do you like to get your work clothes?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shake Shake Shake

"Cocktails should be fun, simple, and social." 

This was Eric Plum and Josh Williams' mindset when creating the book, Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. And, wouldn't you know, it's my mindset too. Now that I'm out of undergrad, I've definitely moved away from being happy chasing cheap tequila with a Keystone Light. (Don't judge. I know I'm not alone here.) Long story short, I've been developing a taste for more complicated, fun cocktails. I order them when I'm out with friends, but I haven't known how to make them at home. But, thanks to Shake, that's all changing. 

The book starts with a list of bar basics needed to make almost every recipe, including liquors, mixers, glassware, and tools. It then categorizes the drinks seasonally, just like the last cookbook that I posted about! (I'm thinking a combination of drinks and recipes from these books would be the basis for an amazing dinner party!)

To wrap up the season, Ryan and I chose to make a summery drink wonderfully named Hop, Skip, Go Naked. Just think of a stronger, more lemony Summer Shandy! Stronger thanks to the extra shot of vodka... 

Fiance approved

The pictures in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and the directions are so easy for a beginner like me to follow. I'm definitely looking forward to trying out some other cocktail recipes this fall! With names like The Smog Cutter and The Blackberry Fence Hopper, how could I resist? 

Goodbye Summer, hello Fall!

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are, of course, my own. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thoughts While Watching Master Chef Junior

- Where did these EIGHT TO THIRTEEN year old kids learn to cook like this? 

- I can't even spell half of the ingredients these kids are using. 

- A 12 year old is making sushi. Can I hire him? He can sleep with the rabbits in our backyard. 

- Cactus salad?

Gordon Ramsay - "Are you making your own taco shells?"
Obviously they're making their own taco shells. Don't you make your own taco shells, Gordon? 

- The octopus is exploding. Maybe that's why 9 year olds shouldn't cook octopus. 

- These kids can cook better than me, and the girls have better top knots.

- I can't spell the other half of the ingredients these kids are using.

- Look at this shrimp dish that a 13 year old boy made:

I don't know about the 13 year old boys that you knew, but the ones I knew sure weren't cooking dishes like this. Otherwise I would have gotten married a loooong time ago. (Kidding, kidding.)

"I really like to make French pastries such as French Macaroons or Cream Puffs." - 13 year old Alexander
- Don't talk to me Alexander.

- Some of these kids can't even reach the stove. They have stools. Did they bring their own stools?


If you're a Hulu Plus subscriber, and are in the mood to watch kids 8-13 be better at life than I ever will be, binge watch Master Chef Junior this weekend. Watching Gordon Ramsay trying not to curse in front of these kids is absolutely priceless. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Happens After Gilmore Girls?

For those of us who grew up watching Gilmore Girls, we always knew what was coming next. When I was in middle school, Rory was entering Chilton. Even though I didn't go to private school, Rory prepared me for mean girls, AP classes, and the protocol for inviting your on-the-rocks boyfriend to the 24 hour dance marathon in your hometown. (Did anyone else think it would be weird to have Dean just sit there and watch her dance?) I learned that it was okay to wallow. 

 I was in high school when Rory went to college. I learned how dangerous Spring Break can be (no windows) and that the most exciting, fulfilling relationships, romantic or otherwise, are those that surprise you and push you out of your comfort zone. By not getting back together with Jess when she was in college, Rory taught me that we all make mistakes. Sometimes our "one" doesn't work out like the rest of the world think it's supposed to. 

When Rory graduated college and turned down Logan's proposal, I was surprised, but mostly it made sense. She found a job and was going out into the world on her own. She never needed a man; it was always about her family, then her career, then boys. But here I sit, getting ready to graduate in the spring, not yet having found a full-time job, and engaged. I always knew what the next chapter of my life was going to hold - I just had to look at Rory's journey. The details didn't line up, but I was prepared. I generally knew what was coming. But now? I have no idea. 

Rory influenced me in more ways than I think I even realize. After watching Rory's Dance, I carried a book with me everywhere I went. I wrote for my high school paper. We even had the same undergraduate major. I adored Dorothy Parker. I tried to make as many quippy pop culture references as I could, as fast as possible. I studied hard. I aimed to be strong and independent. 

So, what happens after Gilmore Girls? What does my life look like after Gilmore Girls stops showing me the way? I don't know, but I'm more than okay with that. It's like Rory said at the end of the second-to-last episode, "There are just a lot of things right now in my life that are undecided. And that used to scare me, but now I kind of like the idea that it's just all kind of...wide open."


Friday, September 5, 2014

Never Ever, Like Ever

Do you have those things that you know you will never ever do?

I will never…

…Not scream when I see a spider.

…Willingly go skydiving. ( Although I hate to think about a situation where I’m unwillingly skydiving…)

…Get over the fact that N*SYNC reunited at the MTV VMA’s last year. I’m still holding out for a reunion tour.

…Think that mint and chocolate are a good combination. I think Thin Mints are the grossest Girl Scout cookies. I hate mint chocolate chip ice cream. I can’t stand those chocolate dessert mint things. I like mint things, and I love chocolate things, but never together. Yeah, I know. I’m crazy.

…Use all of the supplies that I’m hoarding in my craft room. My yarn stash is out of control. I’ve acquired so much quilt fabric over this past year. Don’t even get me started on my scrapbook paper collection.

…Be a coffee in the morning type of person. Unless it’s some fancy-shmancy Starbucks drink, I will always choose black tea.

…Feel happy when paying bills. (I always feel happy that I can pay bills. I just don’t feel happy actually doing it.)

…Stop wishing that Gordon Ramsay could be my personal chef.

…Feel like a grown up. I just want to go to live at Disney World.

What will you never do? 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Halfway Around the World

The inspiration behind this post is a little embarrassing. So I'm watching the finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and their time in Paris looked so incredible. They visited Valentino at his house and partied in Versailles - I'd be happy if I just got to visit the Eiffel Tower and have a picnic on the lawn. So here is, if I had money like the Kardashians, a list of places I would love to fly to tomorrow. 

1.) Paris. To visit the Louvre and clip a lock on the Locks of Love bridge. 

2.) New Zealand (aka The Lord of the Rings Trail. ) 

3.) Cozumel, Mexico. We're looking at going here on our honeymoon, so this one might be the closest to reality! 

4.) Ireland. To visit the Motherland. 

5.) The entire western half of the U.S. Earlier this week I talked about how St. Louis was the furthest west I'd ever been. I'm dying to see Mt. Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, and the west coast. 

I could go on for hours. What can I say? I've caught the travel bug! I want to see the world! Where would you travel tomorrow if you could go anywhere? 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Blog Baton

Oh hey there hump day! I'm just dropping by to let you guys know that I'm holding The Blog Baton today! Come follow along with my day on The Blog Baton's Instagram as I do crazy things like head to work at the state health department, attend class, and *fingers crossed* visit my favorite happy hour joint. 

What do you think that guy is looking up at?

Shout out to Melissa for posting about The Blog Baton a while back and introducing me to it - it's been a great account to follow and discover new bloggers! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meet Me In St. Louis

I'm not exaggerating when I say that my best friends live all over the country. Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, Utah - all so far from Ohio. Long weekends are pretty much the best only times for us to get together! This holiday weekend, Ryan and I road tripped to St. Louis to visit one of my bridesmaids and explore the city. I hope you guys are ready for some pictures!

On Friday, we spent about 6 hours on the road. I had my tea, a new fall nail polish, and enough Bo Burnham to keep me awake for hours. (I didn't look this excited/happy/put together when we arrived. Driving is exhausting.)  

On our first day, we visited the original Budweiser beer factory, recently bought out by Anheuser Busch. We went to beer school and learned all about the make-up of the different beers. No joke, this place looked like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, and I was singing the original movie's songs throughout the whole tour. 

See what I mean?

If you're ever in St. Louis, and over 21, this place is a MUST. (And I say over 21 for legal reasons, but mostly because they check your IDs like 700 times before they give you your free samples. But they give you so many samples.) 

Later that day, we visited St. Louis University. OSU was playing at the time, and we spent most of the tour refreshing the score on our iPhones and trying to find a sports bar that was broadcasting the game, without success. But we won! Go Bucks!

The next day, we visited the Arch and walked along the Mississippi River! I didn't know that you could go up in the Arch before this visit! We rode up in the smallest little car, but it was amazing seeing the city from so high up. 

I hate elevators and heights, but it was
so worth it!

Missouri was the furthest west I'd ever been, and I loved getting to walk along the river and think about Huck Finn floating down stream on a barge. 

It was such a fun, fast trip, and it's crazy to think that I was there just yesterday! 

Linking up with Rachael and Lisa