Bachelorette Recap : Week 6

Is it just me, or was this week's episode of The Bachelorette incredibly boring?! My goodness. 

The episode started off with Jojo exploring the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have always wanted to go to Argentina, so I'm pretty jealous. Like usual, she's talking about how she can't wait to find love and how her decisions are super important. And like usual for the guys, they yell out, "HOLA JOJO!" randomly in the middle of a park.

They walk into a fancy hotel and immediately all start commenting on how fancy it is. Honestly, ABC should rent out one of the giant rooms in a hostel for an episode. Now THAT would be hilarious. The first date card arrives and it very forwardly says, "Wells, Kiss me." Because apparently you can make it to week six of this show without having kissed your potential fiancee. (Who you will be getting engaged to in FOUR WEEKS.)

I've always been a big fan of Wells. I find him funny and approachable, but I'm really nervous about this date. Watching him interact with Jojo is incredibly awkward. Like week one awkward. Get it together, Wells. The date is in this weird hands-on art warehouse slash dance club. Both of them are talking about how they're waiting for the big kiss making all of the attempts SO AWKWARD. Wells finally makes the move when they're done awkwardly rolling around in water.

At dinner, Wells and Jojo almost get into an argument of sorts over passion in relationships. Honestly this date is so awkward and I'm ready for it to be over. Which is good, because soon, it is! Jojo doesn't give Wells the rose, making this the first time I've seen someone go home after a one-on-one date. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit!

After saying goodbye to Wells and crying a little bit in the streets of Argentina, Jojo returns to the art warehouse slash dance club ALONE. It's amazing. She's just standing there and crying. But despite all of that, she looks AMAZING. That jacket, y'all. The dress. Everything. Werk it, girl.

The group date is next, and it's clear that Jojo has a type. The Clones (Robby, Jordan, Luke, and Alex I guess) plus James T. are invited to literally go on a walk with Jojo around a cool, art neighborhood. They end up playing a game of "pick up soccer" with a bunch of locals who speak no english. James T. is telling the camera that he's so insecure, he just really loves Jojo, blah blah blah. The locals make a bet with the guys on the date: whoever makes the penalty kick gets to kiss the girl. James T. once again addresses the camera, saying that there's no way he'll win the kiss. Making it clear to everyone that he's going to win the contest. He does! And gives Jojo the most un-dramatic kiss ever. I don't know about y'all, but if I were James T. I would have dipped her down and spun her around and then kissed her.

The cocktail portion of the date is also pretty basic. James T. is concerned that Jordan isn't there for the right reasons (which everyone has thought from the start honestly), but Jojo has always loved Jordan so she asks him and gives him a quick vocabulary lesson. "Entitled? I don't even know what that means but I'm not entitled." LOL. Then we're treated to one of the most awkward confrontations ever. Honestly, I study a lot of group communication settings and Jordan could have handled it many ways and did it all wrong. But none of it matters because neither of them gets the group rose, which goes to Luke instead.

For the first time ever, there is a second two-on-one date. It's between Chase and Derek. Refresher: Derek called Chase (and others) out last week for being mean girls. It was hilarious and awkward and pretty irrelevant. It's an awkward dance class date where Jojo is saucily tango dancing between the two men. Did anyone else notice that Chase (supposedly the "good guy") was wearing a white shirt, while "bad guy" Derek was wearing black? This date is super awkward and I hated watching every single minute of it.

Honestly, I don't remember what happened for the rest of the date. They went to a fancy dinner and walked in like Jojo was some sort of high end call girl about to be shared between two guy best friends. The conversations were so boring at this point that I didn't pay attention to them and used the opportunity to refill my wine. (Sorry.) I think it went something like this:

Jojo: I like you more than you like me.
Chase: What!!!!! No!!!!!
Jojo: I really liked the way you opened up to me. Will you accept this rose?

Derek was sent home and cried and I laughed. Two glasses of wine deep. Oops. ;)

Was there even a cocktail party this episode? I seriously do not remember there being one.

Enter rose ceremony. The usuals all get a rose and it comes down to Alex and James T, who is nervously sweating through his suit. Alex also looks gross and sick this episode, so I don't know what was up with him. Suddenly - Jojo dramatically says, "I'm sorry" and runs a la Cinderella down the front stairs of the palace. She talks to Chris Harrison for a little bit and then comes back inside sans-rose. I'm honestly rooting for her to send both of them home. I'm not sure how James T. is even still in the running, and Alex is just a bratty mean girl at this point. Much to my dismay, this doesn't happen, instead Chris Harrison re-enters the room with two roses. Yay! They both get one. Alex is mad because he "didn't beat" James, and James is just excited to still be here.

Hometowns are right around the corner so I'm really excited for the next few weeks. The preview for next week looks like a full-fledged attack against Jordan so it should at least be entertaining to watch Jojo proceed.

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

I mentioned at the end of last week that I've felt constantly hungry for a while, despite trying to eat healthier and eating tons of protein at meals. Ironically, I feel most full after I replace a meal with a protein smoothie. I usually drink a protein smoothie in the morning before working out (replacing breakfast) or instead of lunch after working out. I haven't figured out which one I prefer just yet.

I used to poke fun at people who replaced meals with protein shakes until I became one of them, and now I see what the hype is all about! I love love love the combo I have created and it keeps me full just as long as a regular meal does! The big issue with a lot of protein shakes is that they can be quite a lot of calories, but after working out I would much rather drink a healthy, protein-packed fruit smoothies than waste those extra calories on something worse for me. (And trust me, I'm a big fan of pizza and tacos, but there's a time and place for everything.)

Another great thing about protein shakes is how customizable they are! You can make chocolate shakes, fruit shakes, peanut butter shakes, and more! The options are endless.

What you need:
1 banana (124 cals.)
1 cup strawberries (54 cals.)
3/4 cup peaches (38 cals.)
1 scoop protein powder (I use vanilla flavor) (130 cals.)
1 tbsp chia seeds (60 cals.)

Making the whole thing around 400 cals, which is a lot, but it's worth it to me.

For the most part, these are the recommended serving sizes. I usually just do frozen fruit, except for the bananas. If I have a fresh mango, I'll sub in half of one for the peaches. Bananas are a lot of calories (so if I'm running out of extra calories I'll only do half), but they're packed full of "good carbs" and potassium that you need before and after working out, so it's worth it I promise.

Chia seeds are a superfood that help the body stay hydrated and helps YOU kick cravings. They're full of fiber and protein and help you stay full longer. The recommended serving size of chia seeds is 3 tablespoons, but I only do one because I love eating and don't want to stay full for too long!

There are protein powders that have less calories than the one I use, but I'm trying to use the one that I have until I buy more. I'm all ears for recommendations! After everything is in, I fill the cup with water until most of the fruit is covered.

I seriously drink this smoothie several times per week, and can see myself taking this on the go as a working adult! Don't you think people look much more "chic" when they're drinking their food instead of stuffing a bagel in their face? (KIDDING, I love bagels, but I have to justify this in some way!)

Do you drink protein shakes? What do you put in yours?

See Summer Better with Warby Parker

Sunglasses are an essential during summer. I literally can't leave the house without them or my eyes will water and burn all day long. And good sunglasses make all the difference in the world. I'm a big fan of the $10 ones from Target, but I'm beginning to think it's time for a better pair to invest in.

Enter Warby Parker. They reached out to me to help them introduce their See Summer Better sunglass collection, and I jumped on the opportunity to try on a few pairs myself. I love love love them.

(Dress: H&M, Shoes: Old Navy)

These are the Ellison frames. Of the five I ordered to try on at home, they're definitely my favorite! They're such a classic design and shape and can go with any outfit, whether it's more casual or dressy.

Side note, I felt totally awkward taking these pictures!! How do you style blogs do it?! I could NOT stop giggling the entire time, and people walking down the street could NOT stop staring! Ha!

The See Summer Better collection features 14 new sunglasses designs in a variety of different shapes and summers, creating a customizable selection for every type of person. Here are some more of my favorite designs from their lookbook:

I just want to go to the beach after looking through these images!! I'm definitely inspired to live up the next few months of summer. 

Warby Parker is a great place to shop for glasses of any kind. For every pair bought, one is donated to a child in need. (Which is SO cool and makes me admire the company even more.) You can also try on the glasses at home before committing to them (with free shipping both ways!). Use the hashtag #WARBYHOMETRYON to get feedback from the style team to find the perfect pair for you!

With summer officially in full swing, see it better with Warby Parker!

Mug Monday

Good morning, and happy Monday! In the spirit of girl power following last week's Mug Monday...

(Image via Positively Positive)

At some point today, get a pen and a piece of paper, and write this down. Keep it somewhere you can always reference it when you're feeling down. Read it, memorize it, believe it. Have a great day!

Looking Forward

Is anyone else slightly freaking out over the fact that when this next week ends it will be JULY?! Where the heck did June go? I have mixed feelings about this new month. I'm excited because it means I'm one month closer to my last semester of college, and nervous because it means I'm one month closer to my last semester of college!! I had also planned to do a lot of things (weekend trips, hikes, lake days, etc.) this summer and now I just don't think I'll have enough time. Oops! We can blame Grey's Anatomy and Gossip Girl for that one ;)

(Has anyone else read this book? I loved it. I read it in one sitting! Okay, two I guess: in the sun and then in the shade when I recovered from my burn.)

Miss South Carolina // Tonight is the Miss South Carolina finals. I posted last week that is was starting, and after a long week of hard work it's almost over. A lot of girls I know from school are competing which is very exciting! I'm working the pageant tonight so I'm really excited to see the behind the scenes production!

4th of July // I'm going home to Atlanta this year for the 4th of July. Last year I was abroad so I'm really excited to go to the neighborhood pool party and watch fireworks with my family. Plus my sister gets home from South Africa the morning of so it will be nice to see her, too.

That's all I really have going on this week! July will be a busier month so cheers to that. Have a great weekend!

Weekly Recap

This week was pretty much a nonevent for me. I went to a free concert on Wednesday night, saw the Miss South Carolina prelims on Thursday, and now it's Friday! I got this cool tshirt on Monday and proceeded to take about 100 selfies with pizza! Haha! I'm glad no one was around to watch. ;)

I also started Grey's Anatomy on Tuesday... And I'm hooked! I'm already halfway through season two... this is dangerous. Are you watching any good shows that I should know about? I'm all about it. Please let me know!

9-Year-Old Wedding Photographer // Regina Wyllie is a nine year old photographer. Nine years old!! Reading through this BuzzFeed post I was so impressed with all of these pictures! Especially the one with the couple in front of the sunset... Amazing. I hope that we get to see more of her work as she grows up!

Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After // It's no secret that I love The Bachelor/Bachelorette... but I laughed out loud at this announcement. I can't wait to see how this series goes. I knew Lauren B. was going to win Ben's season (mostly because it was spoiled for me one fateful morning at 5 AM... thanks, Sophie) because of the way he looked at her. I really think it's love, y'all! But they're so boring and don't really talk about anything when they're together so I can't see this being particularly entertaining, but I'll definitely watch it.

Toddler Gets Excited When He Sees Food // This video is so cute!! It's been circulating around Facebook for a few days but if you haven't watched it yet, now is the time! All I really have to say about this video is... same here.

Healthy and Filling Snacks // I don't know what's up recently, but I feel like I am constantly hungry. I'm on a pretty strict diet right now (despite what the above picture looks like) and I try to eat a lot of protein at meals to tide me over, but recently it just hasn't been working. I'll have to try out these snacks, but in the mean time... do you have any suggestions? I'm all ears!

Bachelorette Recap : Week 5

Two weeks without The Bachelorette was too long. My Monday night had no purpose, no popcorn, no drama, and the worst of all, no wine. Needless to say, when 8:00 rolled around (finally) this Monday, I popped my popcorn, grabbed my Ben and Jerry's (just finished Tonight Dough - it's my favorite flavor!!), poured myself a large glass of the cheapest Cabernet I could find, and settled in.

As always, the previews made this week's episode look way more dramatic than it actually was. The previous episode ended with our good friend Chad, wandering the woods looking for Alex. Meanwhile, back at the house, Wells is leading the men in a funeral of sorts, where they scatter Chad's leftover protein powder into the wind. I won't lie, I laughed out loud at this scene. Wells is so funny and the protein powder on top of everything else was hilarious. 10/10, Bachelorette producers.

Chad arrives at the house and the whole ordeal is a nonevent. I'm honestly not even sure why Chad came back to the house, except for being driven there by the producers. All he did was say more Chad-like things, tease Jordan a little bit more, and not apologize. Evan then pipes up, asking if Chad had his wallet on him because he still owed him a new shirt. Let it go, Evan. (By the way, someone set up a GoFundMe page to buy Evan a new shirt. If you feel so called as to donate, you can do so here.) Chad walks out the door, gets on a plane, and heads to Paradise. Bachelor in Paradise, that is.

The cocktail party that night was exactly the same as every other cocktail party that has ever been shown on the Bachelorette. Guys competed for Jojo's attention in whatever way they saw fit: giant blow up bubble things, telling her they loved her, reading her a poorly written poem, etc. Finally, the Rose Ceremony time comes. (As a refresher, Alex, Jordan, and Luke all three already have roses. Two weeks is too long, ABC.) This week we said goodbye to Daniel the Canadian and James F. who read the poem. The only thing that upset me about this decision was how long it took to actually happen.

Never fear, the episode is less than halfway over! Next stop... Uruguay! Where it's... Winter!

Jordan gets the first date card, and I am surprised that it took this long. Jojo has clearly liked Jordan the most from the start. When Jordan's name is read off the card, everyone stays silent. The girls at least pretended to be happy for each other. The date was on a yacht to an island with seals. Jordan touches his hair a lot. Jordan naturally gets the rose, even after avoiding some tough questions about his ex-girlfriend. (Who Jojo knows. Hm.) More importantly, there is ~drama~ brewing back at the hotel.

Vinny is giving everyone haircuts (when Jordan, who desperately needs one, isn't there) and the guys find a tabloid magazine (conveniently placed there by a producer) with an article about Jojo and her ex-boyfriend Chad. We were first introduced to Chad in Ben's season, when he sends her flowers and writes her a nice little note. Now he's claiming that she is only there for the fame. Even if that's not completely true, being the Bachelorette comes with a nice little paycheck. Regardless, the men are upset. Here's my tiny violin.

Jojo comes back and tells the cameras, "I've never been happier. I'm so happy." And they say, "Are you sure?" and show her the magazine. She cries, yells out that she hates him!, and has a conversation with the boys, telling them that there's no reason for them to be worried. This was another nonevent that looked huge and dramatic in the previews. (I hope whoever makes them is paid very well.)

The group date is everyone except Jordan and Robby. (Who is clearly not the most intelligent, because he tells Jordan how nervous he is about not getting a date. Robby. Chill.) The date is sand surfing, which honestly sounds horrible. Sand gets everywhere and makes you so uncomfortable. BUT. The softest sand I have ever felt was on a sand dune, however it still got everywhere and wasn't fun to try and wash off. The sand surfing is cut short by rain, which probably makes the sand stick even more!! The cocktail party is more boring than the actual sand date. Alex is a mean girl and decides that now Chad is gone, his new target is Derek. It works out though, because Derek gets the rose and is here for at least another week.

Robby's one on one date starts out with Jojo playing with a stray dog. On a beach in Uruguay. Jojo... Don't please. Literally nothing happens during this date except for them jumping off a cliff. I'm too scared to do that because nothing terrifies me more than the thought of a shark waiting down there for me, but I also don't have producers and camera men following me around making sure that stuff won't happen. They go to dinner, and Robby starts telling a really serious story about how his childhood best friend died in a car accident. It's really deep and sad. And he ends it by telling Jojo something very bold: he is in love with her. Robby, that's great, and I'm sure you are, seeing as how this is your first ever one on one date with Jojo!!! (This really stressed me out honestly.)

The Rose Ceremony night starts out with Derek confronting the Mean Girls of the house: Jordan, Alex, Chase, and Robby. 1/2 of them don't care because they already have roses, Chase asks Derek why he cares since he (Derek) also has a rose, and Alex declares to the camera that Derek is now public enemy #1. All this says to me is that Alex is the new Chad.

Jojo cancels the pre-Rose Ceremony cocktail party by saying (via Chris Harrison) that her decisions are final. We say goodbye to Evan (finally), Grant the fireman, and Vinny with the Horrible Haircut.

The previews for next week and the end of the season almost look too good to be true. (Probably because they are.) Will Jojo walk away without love? Does she pull a Ben and love two guys? What's up with her walking out during a Rose Ceremony? Only time will tell. See you next week.

Best Grilled Cheese EVER

Grilled cheese sandwiches have been a staple of my diet for as long as I can remember. My mom taught me to make them by the time I was like eight years old and I've been a fan ever since. They're so easy, delicious, and a great comfort food. A rainy day with grilled cheese and tomato soup? Get a good book in my hand and sign me up.

This grilled cheese in particular is so good. SO GOOD!

Start out with your basics: bread, cheese and butter. The secret ingredient is... drum roll please... mayonnaise! I love mayonnaise and I get the kind made with olive oil. It makes a serious difference! I've had grilled cheese sandwiches without mayo and they're just not as ooey-gooey-delicious as the ones with them.

The second secret step is to lightly toast the bread before starting! You don't want it to be like actual toast, but lightly toasted so that the bread is a little bit rough. It really helps spreading butter!

Mmmm. Butter. I'm clearly very good at spreading it evenly too. Ha! Go ahead and build it like a regular grilled cheese, but don't forget the mayo on the inside! A little bit goes a long way but it really makes all the difference in the world!

On medium heat, cook the sandwich until the sides are golden brown. It shouldn't be so hot that you can't touch it and check the coloring! The sandwich above... Yes please.

You know you're done when you can lift up the four corners of the sandwich and see the melted cheese. Again, it shouldn't be so hot that you can't touch it! Medium heat is key.

The age old question... How do you cut your grilled cheese? For some reason I have always cut it diagonally, and my mom always cuts hers straight down the middle!

To. Die. For. Seriously, taking these pictures was miserable! I couldn't wait to die right in and start eating it.

And when I did, it was worth it.

Confidence Boosters

You know those days where everything is going wrong, and you don't even like looking at yourself in the mirror? Those days are the worst. I'm a firm believer that confidence is one of the most important traits that someone can have. How can we expect others to love us and be confident in who we are, if we can't do it ourselves?

Everyone has those days where confidence are lacking. But here me when I tell you that there are a few sure fire ways to get back in the business of loving yourself and every aspect of who you are.

Brush your hair // I looooove brushing my hair. In fact, it stresses me out when people don't brush their hair. I get that some hair types can't brush their hair, but this is an instant way to calm me down when I'm upset, and one of the few times I'm excited to have thin, straight hair. It always feels so smooth and shiny and soft and clean. Mmmm I love it.

Put on a clean outfit // Raise your hand if you tend to sit around in dirty tshirts and running shorts all summer long... *oops.* Even during the school year, let me tell you, there is no better way to feel amazing about yourself than by putting on a clean outfit. (Even if it is just another tshirt and running shorts.)

Do your makeup // I've really been on a makeup kick recently. Even though I don't really leave the house all that often in the summer (working from home, not to mention it's 100 degrees outside almost every day), it still feels nice to have a "face" on. And that way, I'm prepared if I ever do leave the house! It's amazing what a bright color of lipstick can do to my confidence.

Listen to music // When I was really feeling down and out this past semester, I found a great playlist on Spotify called "Confidence Boost." A lot of the songs are just so fun to sing along with in the car or dance to down the street while walking to class.

Mug Monday

Happy Monday everyone. While you're alarm might have gone off too soon, and instead of getting up and ready you're reading this post (no judgement here though, because same), it's not too late to have a wonderful day!

(via tumblr)

I've always loved this quote/illustration. It is SO true! Just because someone is successful does not make your accomplishments or successes any less important! I know it's hard not to compare yourself to the amazing people in your life, but take it from me, comparison really will get you nowhere! You are successful and wonderful!

Let's lift each other up on this early Monday morning!

Looking Forward

This week was really good! I babysat towards the end of it which gave me a reason to actually get out of the house, aside from visiting one of my favorite local coffee shops. While nothing all that exciting happened, projects developed and there's a lot on the horizon for TM. And lots of things to look forward to this week!

Miss South Carolina Pageant // The Miss South Carolina America Organization pageant is this week! I'm really excited for a couple of reasons: one of my good friends Sophie is competing (going to see her compete in talent on Thursday!), and I'm working with the local Fox station here during the live broadcast! Two birds with one stone for sure! Everyone wish her luck!!! GOOD LUCK SOPHIE.

Bachelorette Returns // I'm SO excited because my Monday nights will finally have a purpose again. Just kidding, Monday's are fine, but a week between episodes was ONE WEEK TOO MANY. (P.S. You can read my week 3/4 recap here and my week 2 recap here.) Stay tuned for the recap of this week's episode on Thursday!

My Roommate Comes Home // My roommate is a super talented and amazing artist, which is all fun and games until she leaves for a two week long art conservatory in Asheville! I've been living alone for the past week and it's been really hard. She works most days during the week but it's still nice to just have another body around, ya know? This weekend is the half-way point thank goodness!

Posts for This Week // I'm always excited to post on this blog, but i'm especially excited for this week! Lots of fun posts coming up, like another Mug Monday (WAY more popular than I had anticipated but I'm glad people like it!) and a recipe for the gooiest, cheesiest, best grilled cheese. Stay tuned!!

Have a wonderful weekend, see you on Monday!

Weekly Recap

This week was really fun for me. I went to some post-season baseball games (something I had never done before and may never get to do again), got a haircut which always feels so good, and joined some sweet blogging networks which makes everything much more fun. Here's what I found interesting this week:

72 New Emojis // I love emojis! They're so cute and can be the perfect substitute for words sometimes. Personal favorites of mine include the eye rolling emoji, side eye emoji, and the blonde flip hair emoji. Love. Them. I'm so excited for the new emojis to come out! Personally, I can't wait for the avocado, the face palm and the shrug.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Sonnet // I've been a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's work for quite some time now. I saw In The Heights back in the day when it was on Broadway and I'm still obsessed with it! Hamilton is, of course, amazing too. Instead of an acceptance speech for one of his many Tony Awards, he read a sonnet. "And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Perfect.

17 Pasta Recipes for When You're Trying to be Healthy // I love pasta. I love carbs. Ever since I've been trying to eat healthier I literally dream about carbs. Zoodles are fun and trendy but they just don't fill me up and they will never (read: NEVER) replace actual noodles. EVER.

O.J.: Made in America // I started watching this series last night and it's really good! I always enjoy 30 for 30 stories, and this was no exception. The documentary crew does a really, really good job of telling this story.

Chris Singleton // Last year, when the shooting in Charleston happened, I couldn't believe it. It was so close to home. I was abroad, but Charleston was consuming my entire heart. Chris Singleton was the first family member of a victim to offer his forgiveness. It's incredible, even I haven't done that just yet. This is a really, really long Sports Illustrated article but it is so well written and worth it. But if you don't have time, the video at the top is amazing too.

Re-Energize Your Day

Life is tough sometimes. Days can feel incredibly long, and no matter how hard you try, sometimes it just feels like the world is rooting against you and it can be very hard to get back up and keep going. I've found that this summer especially I've been having problems finding motivation in regular things and that sometimes my days just need a little burst of energy before I'm able to re-focus on the task at hand.

Go on a walk // If you need a little break, take a walk. Shut down your computer and turn on some music and just walk around the block or for five minutes until you feel less weighed down. I did this during finals week this past semester and it really helped! Not only was I able to refocus on my accounting book (which is really hard to focus on if you know what I mean), but I got some exercise in, too!

Take a break // If it's raining and you can't go on a walk, take a break. Refill your water bottle or stretch or do something that doesn't involve staring at a screen or looking at a book. Even close your eyes for a few minutes (but don't take a nap, you'll never recover!).

Slowly drink a glass of cold water // Water is truly amazing because of all of its side effects. You can always find me with my camelback water bottle in tow, but when I'm feeling really stressed out or frustrated with something I put the water bottle away and fill up a tall glass of new water. As I drink it, I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths and then get back to work.

Change locations // I always feel more productive in a different setting. Something about people looking at me and expecting me to be using my time wisely really helps. I love studying and working in coffee shops or libraries. Plus, it's an actual table and chair as opposed to my couch or my bed.

Drip On Main

As much as I love Starbucks, there's just something about local coffee shops that I can't get over. The cool atmosphere, the local people, the "secret"-ness of it. I love every single part.

One of my favorite local coffee shops is Drip. There are two locations in Columbia: one on Main Street and the other in Five Points (this is the main location). I like to go to the one on Main Street. The location is right across the street from an apartment complex that many of my friends live in, and if I get my coffee to go the South Carolina State House is only a few blocks away!


Drip specializes in "pour over" coffee, which basically means that each cup of coffee is unique and made especially for you. Unlike other coffee houses, there's no large pot of coffee waiting!

While coffee is definitely their focus, Drip also serves homemade lemonade along with other drinks. The lemonade is especially delicious on days that reach 100 degrees! Famously Hot Columbia, SC indeed!

Y'all know I can't go anywhere without trying the food... The turkey and brie sandwich from Drip is amazing!! I have tried to re-create it at home many, many times but nothing beats the original!

I've been going to Drip a lot recently just to get out of my house. An iced coffee and some time outside to work on projects is just what I need to get my head back in the game.

Do you drink at local coffee shops? What's your favorite?

Movie Watch List

I love watching movies but I feel like I hardly have time during the school year. Hopefully now that the summer is here and I have more time on my hands, I will be able to watch all of the movies that have on my growing list. 

I was actually able to watch a lot of the movies on my list as I was coming back from Oman. You would be surprised how many movies you can watch (and how undistracted you can be!) during not just one, but TWO nine hour flights.

The Finest Hours // I actually bought this book a couple of months ago at Target and haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but I've been dying to see the movie! I live for these types of movies - where I'm on the edge of my seat the whole time, leaning forward and urging the actors through the screen to move faster. PLUS (and this is always a bonus), Chris Pine is super good looking! ;)

Joy // When Joy first came out, I was a bit skeptical. A movie about a woman who sells vacuums? How good can it really be? And after hearing a few mixed reviews, I figured that I might as well see it at some point! Hopefully I'll be able to find it online or at Red Box.

Race // I love movies like this too!! I'm a big sports fan and I love sports dramas. (We Are Marshall, Radio, Remember the Titans just to name a few.) Plus, I'm literally obsessed with the Olympics so this movie combines three of my absolute favorite things. I've actually wanted to see this movie for a very long time so I'm excited that I actually have time to watch it now!

The 33 // I was in the tenth grade when the miners got trapped in Chile. I vividly remember watching the rescue in my fourth period AP European History class! This movie didn't get very good reviews, but since I remember it happening I really want to see how they interpreted it on the big screen.

Room // Another movie at the top of my list. After watching Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay interact at the Oscars, I've been dying to see this movie. It was actually on my flights to and from Oman, but I never watched it because I was convinced I would cry! Probably nothing more embarrassing than crying over a movie while you're trapped on a plane! 

What movies have you seen recently? Have you seen any of these? 

Mug Monday

Is it just me, or does it get harder to get up on Mondays as the summer goes on? Something about lying around all day in bed is just so tempting...

I've decided to start a little Monday tradition here on the blog: Mug Monday. Something that you can read while drinking your coffee and starting your day, or while delaying actually getting up and starting your morning. (I won't judge.)

(via tumblr)

You can do anything you put your mind to today! Don't let anybody try and knock you down! And if they succeed, then get back up and prove them wrong. You rock.

Enjoy your coffee. And hey! When today is over, just think: only four more days until Friday.

Looking Forward

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you're enjoying the weekend. As this week ends and a new one begins, I'm looking forward to...

Super Regionals // The Gamecocks made it to the super regionals this year in baseball! It's very exciting because last year we didn't even make it to the post season. I have the opportunity to work the game on Monday if necessary (even though I'm hoping we'll win Saturday and Sunday) and I'm so excited. This series is especially fun because we're playing my mom's alma mater, Oklahoma State! House divided, indeed. ;)

Curling up with a good book // I just bought Me Before You at Target this past week (it was on sale!) and I'm really excited to read it. I love going to movies, but at this exact time in my life I just can't afford to go very often. I'm really excited to read this book and then see the movie. I love doing this in general because I like to see the differences between the two.

Starting the Kayla Itsines BBG workout // As I posted earlier, one of my goals for this summer is to get in shape! My friend Kelsey bought the BBG guide and after seeing her progress, stalking social media, and overall just trying to make a lifestyle change, I decided to give it a try. I've done a few of the workouts with Kelsey and they are hard. But hopefully the transformation will be worth it.

Have a great weekend! What is your week looking like?

Weekly Recap

What a week. This summer has been a little bit of a struggle. It's been really hard to find a routine, and my internship has been a little less intense than I thought it would be. I tend to spend a lot of my days re-watching Gossip Girl while on my computer. Here's what I found interesting this week:

Chipotle Is Worse Than McDonald's // I've never been one to really care about these fast food articles because I don't eat at fast food restaurants all that often. Supersized didn't really bother me (and turned out to be fake anyway), but this study did make me a little upset! AND it was funded by my own university! Personally, I feel betrayed, but I will most likely continue to eat my chicken burrito bowls like nothing has changed.

Grace VanderWaal // Y'all. This girl. She's amazing. She's definitely something special. And the fact that she's 12 years old?! I certainly feel unaccomplished now. If you haven't watched this... Now is the time. You'll only be hearing more about her, start now so you won't have to catch up later!

Depression Is Real // This blog post from Olivia Caridi hits home. She wrote about her post-Bachelor depression on her blog and it was really insightful and well-written. Even though I was unsure about her during the show, I've really enjoyed watching her after the show! She has turned into an even more positive and confident women. Not to mention, her demo reel is serious goals! (My broadcast friends and I talk about it all the time haha!)

56 Priceless Chad Quotes from This Season of The Bachelorette // It's no secret that I love The Bachelor/Bachelorette. (You can read my recaps here.) Chad was this season's villain... for good reason. He is scary. I don't know if he's actually insane or if the producers manipulated him... but my money is on the former. Jojo even admitted that watching him this season has been scary. Spoiler alert: he was sent home on Wednesday night, and was very upset. Who knows when he'll really be gone for good, but for now: the 56 best Chad quotes.

How to Travel Alone // I love Vogue for it's fashion (the Met Gala is an event that I track religiously every year), but I love how it's becoming more versatile. I love this article on traveling alone! When I studied abroad, I spent our 2 week long spring vacation traveling by myself. I went from Austria to Zagreb, Croatia, then to Athens, Greece, up to Lake Como and Milan, Italy and then back home. I had a blast. Traveling alone is the best way to really get in touch with yourself. It's definitely not as scary as people think it is!

Bachelorette Recap : Week 3 and 4

Y'all. These two episodes. UNREAL. I was screaming and laughing and I had goosebumps and basically everything about it was textbook reality TV... and I loved every second of it. Let's get started.

The first episode of the two night special starts out how I expect fraternity houses look on a Sunday morning: guys are passed out everywhere, cups are half empty and just thrown wherever, it's a mess.

The first date card comes and to my surprise, Chase gets it. I'm really really surprised that Jordan hasn't been asked on a one-on-one date yet. The card says "let's get physical" and I can only imagine what this means.

When Chase shows up for the date, it's in front of a yoga studio. Jojo tells him that she's always wanted to get into yoga but never has, which is something that Jojo and I have in common. This date is cute but pretty weird, and gets really physical really fast. I guess that's what the card meant, but I don't think Jojo knew what she was getting into. After watching this date go on, yoga is something that I still won't be getting into, unless a guy with a perfect body and chiseled abs is doing it with me. And maybe not even then.

Back at the house, the group date card arrives. I'm really sad that Robby isn't on it, because he's super cute. (Hey Robby, if you ever read this, just know that I'm available.)

The group date escalates really quickly and the guys have to talk about really personal things, not only in front of Jojo, but in front of each other and an audience of strangers, oh yeah, and the millions of viewers at home. James F says it best: mom, turn off the TV. Ha! Evan is surprisingly the most confident of all of them, and decides to insinuate that Chad is on steroids. Probably the most courageous thing anyone has ever done on The Bachelorette.

To summarize this group date: Chad sucks, I need to find someone to love me like Alex hates Chad, Evan somehow got the group rose, Chad asked Jojo if she was serious, Jojo called him out on being rude and left. Great TV.

The final one-on-one date of the episode is with James T. It's pretty much everything I would want in a date: goofy period dancing, a cute old lady, and then a what-looks-like-green-screen-actual-location for the "alone time" portion. Jojo is worried that James T. is just a really good friend, but then he tells her how he used to be bullied, and then sings her a song that he wrote for her. So like, yeah. Same. Jojo took him out of the friendzone and gave him the rose. Does anyone actually ever go home on a one-on-one date?

To end episode one of our two night marathon, Evan confronts Chris Harrison about Chad. Chad gets really upset and starts talking about how he's going to rip off people's arms and legs and throw them in the pool. You know, normal people reactions.

Tuesday's episode starts with the pool party, and it actually does look really fun. They're goofing off and drinking and just having a good time. Not to mention that Jojo's bod is killer. Nothing really happens at the pool party, but after Jojo leaves Chad confronts Derek, who handles the confrontation amazingly well. I would have been shaking in my boots.

Unfortunately (but maybe fortunately) for us, Chad is not eliminated at the rose ceremony. Ali, Nick, and Christian. I had really liked Christian and Ali, mostly for playing peacekeeper for Chad.

Jojo gathers the men around and tells them to pack their bags because they're leaving LA and going to.... the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania! Seriously. Of all the places to pack up and go? But they seem excited about it and their "cabin" (five star luxury hotel) is really nice so like, same.

The guys soon find out that there's only one one-on-one date and a group date, which means that the third date is the highly anticipated two-on-one date. I say a quick prayer that it's Alex vs. Chad on this date.

Luke gets the one-on-one date, and Jojo makes him chop wood for their hot tub, and I'm oddly into it. As the date goes on, we learn about Luke's experience in the Army. As it turns out, he's just like every Nicholas Spark's male hero rolled into one guy. After telling Jojo that his best friend and older brother figure was killed in action, he gets the rose (duh) and Jojo leads him to another surprise... a concert! Only this time it's not just the two of them dancing alone while a band awkwardly plays, they're dancing on a stage in front of the band in front of an audience of strangers! This is weird.

Back at the house, the group date card arrives. Everyone is on it except Chad and Alex. This is honestly a dream come true.

The group date is at the Steelers stadium, AKA Jordan gets to shine. It's a football challenge, which is super fun for the athletic guys like Robby and Chase and Derek, and not so much for the smaller ones like Evan (who ends up with a bloody nose) and James T. (who has to get stitches after an elbow to the face). The team with the most points gets the night with Jojo. Jordan literally cannot lose in this situation, as he is deemed starting quarterback for BOTH teams. Obviously, the losing team is really upset as they leave the stadium defeated. Nothing exciting at all happens during the night part of the group date, except for Jordan getting the rose after "opening up," AKA explaining nothing further but repeating the same things in different ways. Hopefully there's a lot more depth to the conversations than what the producers choose to show.

FINALLY, the two-on-one arrives. Chad and Alex both pack their bags and then two things happen: Chad tells Jordan that after the show is over, he's going to find his house and beat him up, and then they all sit in 30 seconds of complete silence before the doorbell finally rings. I wasn't even there and it put my social anxiety through the roof.

This date is about nature. They go on a hike to a secluded river and waterfall scene. Honestly, Alex looks good and rugged. His shirt color is really nice. Jojo talks to him first, and asks him about Chad. After saying that he'd rather not, Jojo pushes him further and eventually he opens up and tells her about the threats and the situation with Jordan this morning. Then Jojo talks to Chad. She kind of throws Alex under the bus a little by telling Chad all that he said, but then gains back my respect by calling Chad immature and saying that resorting to violence isn't something that she likes at all. At this point I'm 100% that Chad is going home and Alex wins, but then Jojo starts crying about how Chad's mom just died six months ago and how he's hurting on the inside. That is such a horrible situation, but c'mon Jojo. C'mon.

Alex ends up getting the rose after Jojo took some alone time to think. (Side note: during this time we learned that Chad really likes milk and Alex does not.) She doesn't want to be with Chad when he doesn't get a rose, so she breaks up with him in front of Alex. He stalks off into the forest while Alex and Jojo go back to a cabin somewhere not too far away. The producers take away his suitcase and the guys at the house celebrate with Fireball shots and party poppers. Same.

It's 9:58 and I'm getting anxious. How is this episode going to end?! And then it happens. Better than I could ever imagine. We follow Chad, as the sun is setting, through the woods. We're not sure where he's going, but we hear his voice over saying things like "is this real," "I can't believe this," "she's going to regret this," and the whole time I'm thinking, "Oh my god he's going to the cabin where Alex and Jojo are. I can't wait." BUT something better happens: he knocks on the door of the cabin/hotel where the other guys are. And the episode ends with Derek's panicked voice, "Chad is knocking on the door right now."

Then the screen fades to black and all we see is, "to be continued." Oh my god, ABC. And, to top it off, it's TWO WEEKS before the next episode! How am I supposed to go that long with such a cliffhanger of an ending?! And THREE "to be continued" episodes in a row?!

I can't wait.

Pineapple Salsa

Salsa is one of my all-time favorite foods. I love all kinds of salsa, but my favorite kind for warm summer days is fruit-based salsa. It's so light and refreshing, and feels way healthier! (Not to say that regular salsa is unhealthy... I'm pretty sure any food that involves fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice is pretty healthy.)

What's better than salsa in the summer? Salsa that you can make yourself. Am I right when I say that food tastes better once you finish cutting everything up, measuring it out, and stirring it all together? A job well done with a sweet and spicy reward.

This pineapple salsa is ridiculously easy to make. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you.

Honestly, the hardest part about this whole entire recipe is cutting the pineapple. Who knew that you had to twist off the crown? I definitely didn't, and I struggled with it (ha!), but I'm a little weaker than the average person. No more skipping arm day for me!

What you need:
1/2 whole pineapple (about 2 cups)
1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1 jumbo jalepeƱo
1/2 large red onion
1/2 large bunch of cilantro
juice from 1 lime

Chop everything up and combine them in a large bowl. Let it "rest" for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator so all of the flavors can mix together. Then enjoy!

In the afternoon, I enjoyed mine with "homemade" tortilla chips. Another easy option: preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, cut tortillas (I used taco sized flour tortillas) three times into 6ths, spread them out on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spray the chips again, sprinkle them with salt, and then bake for about 5 or so minutes until they're crispy and golden-brown. SO easy to make and SO yummy to eat!

And then because I couldn't get enough, I put it on the grilled chicken I had for dinner. And then again today, I put it on a black been burger.

Y'all. This salsa. You won't regret making it.