Looking Forward

Yesterday was totally crazy. I moved out of my house and began living on the streets. (Just kidding, I"m living on couches for now!) It was great to see my parents but the visit was too short. I'm luckily able to go back home to Atlanta for a few days sporadically throughout the next two weeks before moving into my new apartment. These next couple of weeks should fly by! School starts up soon, but before that I have to move into my new place, help with orientation for the new interns in our department, help shoot the women's soccer intro video (I'll be sure to share!), and then prepare to be in class for 9 hours a day and then work 5 more! YIKES. I'll be busy but I am so so so excited!

Reading // Since I won't have a TV during my time couch hopping, I'm really looking forward to getting some reading done! I bought The Vacationers at Barnes and Noble the other day at a friend's recommendation and I'm excited to get started with it. (Reading 30 books is one of my goals on my 101 in 1001 list!)

Opening Ceremony // I am SO EXCITED because the Olympics officially begin on Friday!! I love the Olympics and every two years when they come around I stop everything and only watch the games. During Sochi, I even watched events in class! I had 4 pulled up on my computer, one on my iPad, and one on my iPhone! Ha! Some call it an obsession... I call it... Well, I guess it is an obsession. ;)

Weekly Recap

What a week. It started off with an unintentional all-nighter Saturday night, which happened to be the night right before my first 13 hour shift at work! Talk about not ideal. I also really started to pack up my things from my house for my parents to take back to Atlanta when they come on Friday, which just makes me so nostalgic! Even though there are some really bad memories associated with my house, I really am going to miss living there.

Aside from all of that, it was 100 degrees every day this past week so I spent a lot of time inside and watching Netflix! I'm finishing up Friends again and have slowly started to incorporate more and more Grey's Anatomy back into my routine.

I cannot believe that in just a few short days it will be August! This summer was long at times but mostly has just flown by! Nothing like some cheap Mexican food and a large margarita to make me feel better about the passing of time!

Gilmore Girls // The trailer for the new Netflix installment of Gilmore Girls was released this week! Although I'm not the most intense GG fan (Rory annoys me, okay) I am excited for "A Year in the Life." Mostly I'm excited to see who Rory will end up with (if anyone we've already been introduced to, I'm hoping for Logan) and Lorelai and Luke's most-likely wedding. I can't wait to get my coffee and leftover pumpkin pie and settle in to watch this!

Chelsea Clinton over the Years // I love photo galleries like this (and really can't wait to see one of Sasha and Malia soon!). I truly cannot imagine growing up in the public eye like this. Being the president's daughter (or son) is probably an incredibly hard and overlooked role... I mean, even as a young child your every move is scrutinized by the press!

Nighttime Skin Care Routine // Something I've been really trying to get better at this year is a nighttime routine. I used to just wipe off my makeup with a Neutrogena makeup removing face wipe and get in bed and call it a day! Now I at least use a facial cleansing wash, eye makeup remover, and moisturizer. I bought toner today at Target and I'm excited to try it out too.

Bachelorette Recap : Week 9

Monday night was the much anticipated fantasy suite dates on The Bachelorette. Unfortunately, instead of getting to laugh at the jokes made about spending the night together, ABC left us last week with a huge cliffhanger: was Luke going home? Is true love dead? I need to know.

The episode started off where it left off. Jojo was in the middle of a panic attack about sending beautiful and emotionally stable Luke home, in favor of keeping mundane Chase (I'm kidding, I love you) and two ex-professional athletes. Much to my dismay, Jojo still chose to send Luke home and we were forced to watch the saddest, most heart-wrenching break up ever. Jojo seemed incredibly upset with her own decision, while Luke was trying to figure out where he went wrong. He kept repeating how this wasn't supposed to happen, and he didn't know how to react because they were meant to be together. At this point, it was seven minutes into the episode and I was crying actual, real tears. True love doesn't exist!! (Then again, if Luke is the Bachelor, SIGN ME UP Y'ALL!!)

After a commercial break where I opted for two more cupcakes and another slice of pie (sometimes all you can do is eat your feelings), we join Jojo and the dudes in Thailand. She seems to have totally forgotten Luke, um how, and is excited about spending the night with two decent humans, and Robby.

Most fantasy suite dates, before the actual fantasy suite, are totally boring. They're usually spent walking around the town and awkwardly interacting with locals. Robby and Jojo's date is no different. They walk around for a little bit before a thunderstorm hits (symbolism), so they go and get pedicures. This is Robby's second on-camera pedicure this season. That's all.

Once again they talk about his ex-girlfriend and it's super repetitive. At dinner, Robby shows up wearing pants, which is amazing considering it's probably a gazillion degrees where they are, not to mention the humidity. Dinner is boring again, and Robby "turns on the charm" by showing Jojo a note that his dad had slipped into the back pocket of his (skinny) jeans following their hometown date. It talks about how he can just see Robby's love for Jojo, and it's really obvious that Robby wrote it himself. He accepts the fantasy suite card, and the next morning we see them again with like six plates of uneaten food on the bed with them. Bye Felicias.

Jordan's date is next. He and Jojo are going hiking to a temple, and honestly, throughout this entire date I can only think about two things: I would look so sweaty and gross if I were on this date, and God bless the dedicated camera men, producers, sound people, and more that hiked this mountain while carrying their huge equipment. I can barely carry a 10 pound camera 100 feet to my car, so I can't even imagine what they went through. When Jordan and Jojo reach the temple, I realize that they can't be affectionate because this is a religious site. I kind of like this, because for once, it gives the pair a chance to actually talk about things. Unfortunately, their conversation is boring and I lose focus.

Dinner with Jordan is actually kind of cool. Jojo grills him about his future and he starts slipping up until he takes note of that and says exactly what Jojo wants to hear: he's waiting to plan his future around her. OK. Naturally he gets the fantasy suite card, because Jojo has literally wanted to give it to him since night one. Their suite is so much nicer than the bedroom shack Robby got. Also, Jordan is totally ripped and I won't lie, looks reaaaallly good. Like, HELLO JORDAN.

Chase is last, and I wonder if he knows he's third, or if it's kept secret, or maybe he even went first and they edited it to be last. I don't know! Of the three left, I like Chase the most. He seems to be the most "real" and in it for the right reasons. (AKA no ex-girlfriend drama like both Robby and Jordan have.) Like the other two, he and Jojo walk around, make friends with a monkey, and swim in the ocean. I love him.

While getting ready (playing in the sand) for dinner, Robby shows up at Jojo's hotel! GET OUT, ROBBY. GET. OUT. Then again, I feel like whenever the producers tell you to go hang out in the sand for a while, you're in danger.

I don't really remember what happened during the dinner portion of Chase's date, but I do know that he gets the fantasy suite card and accepts. (Duh.) When they get upstairs, Chase tells Jojo the three magic words that she really wants to hear: I love you. All of a sudden, the vibe changes and Jojo takes a break and goes outside for some fresh air. She comes back, and Chase sets down his champagne. She tells him that she has decided to send him home. He picks his drink back up and chugs it. Same. He refreshingly calls Jojo out on her crap, saying that he put himself out there and that she shouldn't have given him the fantasy suite card if she was just going to send him home. It's nice to hear someone treat her honestly. Plus, this was a crap move on Jojo's part.

Side note: Chase totally had the joke of the season. When he was going outside to get in the van and go back who knows where, he cracks a beer open, gets in the car, and asks the driver, "Oh, is this the fantasy suite?" It's hilarious.

The next day, Jordan and Robby show up to the rose ceremony and tell Chris Harrison (at his contractually obligated appearance) that they love her. Jojo shows up and the pair immediately know that Chase has been sent home... Or has he? Chase walks into the rose ceremony to apologize to Jojo about the way he acted (boo, she deserved it) but I know or hope that he did it to clear his conscious and not hers.

Next week is the three hour "live" event. Hopefully Chris Harrison will try and force a live wedding on Jojo and whichever retired athlete she chooses to spend her life with. See you then!

Europe MUST SEE List

I feel so lucky that I have been able to travel around Europe for most of my life. My first-ever international trip was to Ireland when I was 10 months old, and I recently studied abroad in Austria and got to see so much of Eastern Europe that everyone overlooks. I've pretty much seen it all, and the parts that I haven't seen yet I hope I will see soon!

If you're planning on going to Europe, here is a round up of my MUST SEE cities (especially in your twenties!):

London, England // London is one of my all-time favorite cities in the world. I would move there tomorrow if I had the funds! London is rich in history and culture but is an easy adjustment to those traveling from the States. Plus, there are an amazing amount of day trips from London! (Some suggestions: Warner Bro's Harry Potter Experience (!!), Highclere Castle (from Downton Abbey), and Oxford College)

Paris, France // Paris is, of course, one of those cities you will always want to visit in your life. I've been as a child, as a 20 year old, and I know I will take my own young family someday. If you are able to, I cannot recommend going to Paris in your twenties enough. You can still do all of the sightseeing, but some of my favorite memories from Paris are nights when I bought a baguette, a block of brie, and some salami and I ate it underneath the Eiffel Tower while drinking cheap wine and watching it sparkle. (My parents would never have done that!)

Venice, Italy // The great news about Venice is that you can definitely see it in a day, or you can spread things out and make a trip of it (there are tons of day trips to more Italian islands, as well as more inland locations like Verona!). Like Paris, some of the best memories I have involve a cheap carton of wine (literally... 1 euro!) and hanging my feet over the edge of the canal and talking about life.

Munich, Germany // I'm partial to all of Germany, but Munich is absolutely my favorite German city. The region of Bavaria is so incredibly beautiful and Munich is the hub for all of that! Neuschwanstein Castle, Berchtesgaden, etc. It's all so beautiful! Plus, the nightlife in Munich is amazing, and there are a ton of seasonal festivals to go to.

Salzburg, Austria // Even though it could be a day (or two) trip from Munich, Salzburg deserves it's own spot on this list. First of all, it's where I studied abroad. (I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a "different" place to study!!) Second, the Sound of Music was filmed there. Not only is it nestled up in the foothills of the Alps (gorgeous mountains every where you turn), but everywhere you look you can recreate a part of the movie! It actually gets pretty annoying when tourists do this - but I'll admit it... I did it too. Many times.

Bratislava, Slovakia // One of the things that I loved about studying abroad in Austria is it's central location. So many Eastern European countries are a 3 or 4 hour train ride away, making it so easy to explore a part of the continent that is often overlooked. Bratislava is one of those places. It's actually sort of a suburb of Vienna, Austria, so it could also be a very easy day trip! Bratislava has a TON of history and culture, and fun fact, most of the "Prague Spring" during the downfall of the Soviet Union/Czechoslovakia happened in Bratislava, not Prague! (It's also on the Euro, which means you don't have to change currency like you would if you were going to Prague.)

Budapest, Hungary // Budapest is becoming a more and more popular location and I totally understand why. It's pretty inexpensive to go to, has a ton of culture and history, and an amazing nightlife. They're known for their "ruin pubs" AKA bars in rundown warehouses and destroyed buildings. It sounds creepy, but it's actually so cool. Another thing Budapest is known for are the hot baths! These are fun to go to and people watch!

Krakow, Poland // Poland was also high up on my "favorite places I visited" list. The country is so beautiful and also an inexpensive location. One of the reasons I liked Poland so much is the history. I had the chance to go on a tour to Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps. It was an incredibly emotionally heavy day, but I truly think that everyone needs to visit the camps at least once in their life if they are able. There are a gazillion reasons why I would recommend Poland to someone, but that is definitely #1.

Athens, Greece // I'm obsessed with Greece! I went twice while I was traveling and it was beautiful both times. Greece has the most interesting history, and Athens is packed full of it. If you're going while abroad, take your international student ID and you will get free entry to almost all of the archeological sites (the one exception being the Olympic Stadium - but don't let that discourage you from going... I literally cried real tears when I was there). If you're not a student, there are still tons of ticket packages you can get, too! The best part about Greece by FAR though, is the food! Greek food is incredible and amazing and I literally ate so much when I was there that I'm pretty sure I put on a few pounds. No regrets though!! I hiked it mostly off when I visited the Acropolis 7 times (3 to see the Parthenon, the rest to watch the sunset from the hill!). PRO TIP: Wake up extra early and be the first person at the Acropolis! Your pictures will be SO MUCH BETTER without as many tourists photobombing!

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Prague, Czech Republic; Florence, Italy; Santorini, Greece; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, the Netherlands

There are so many more cities that I could recommend to you, but these nine really are amazing. Please do not hesitate to ask me if you need hostel recommendations or any advice you need for backpacking Europe!

Are there any cities that you would definitely add to this list?

My Life is Rosy

I had so much fun with my last attempt at fashion blogging that I thought I would give it another go! I actually have a few more outfit shoots planned for August, so maybe this will be a regular thing on the blog! I still couldn't stop giggling though, so the bloopers are literally hilarious.

I picked up this flirty floral number from Nordstrom Rack (love this similar option) when I was home for the 4th of July. From the length to the sleeves to the way it photographs... I can't get enough!

I'm also obsessed with these shoes from Old Navy (these are old, similar option here). I know they will be my go-to summer to fall transition shoes!

I truly felt like a model with the wind blowing my hair... I just need to work on my posing! Haha!

Mug Monday

Good Monday Morning everyone! I have a lot of things on my plate these next few weeks including moving out of my house, bouncing around couches/corners of living rooms for the next few nights, and then within the span of 5 days moving into my new apartment and beginning my final semester of college. I know I mention it a lot but it's so scary to think about!

With everything going on, it's been pretty hard to stay positive. Plans fell through, people went back on their words, I called my mom SOBBING about how I was going to have to live in my car for two weeks... and then, after all of that, I sat down, made a few phone calls, and got stuff done. I have places to stay and generous friends letting me take up some of their space for a few nights at a time.

Sometimes it can really feel like the world is against you, but I virtually pinky-promise you that you CAN do anything you set your mind to, just keep going for it! Have a great Monday!

Looking Forward

I have a feeling that these next few weeks are going to go by pretty fast. (At least, I hope they do!) After I move out on Friday, I bounce around couches for the next few nights (10 to be exact) before I can move into my new apartment. I hate that I have to do this, but living arrangements fell through so I am extra thankful to my wonderful friends for allowing me to stay on their couches and floors! I owe them all Starbucks or something ;)

I went on a walk yesterday down at the canal park and ended up exploring a little bit. This path went down really close to the water and ended up being really buggy so I turned around and went back to the main, paved path, but hopefully when cooler temperatures come along I can walk along this lower path further!

Party Time // My roommate and I are actually having a party tonight before she moves out tomorrow! It's going to be so much fun, kind of like the last hoorah for our current house and the last time we will ever live together.

Closet Clean Out // I'm doing a lot of my packing this week so when my parents come over on Friday we can do it all as quickly as possible (and also so we will have time for them to take me to dinner.... ;)). This means that while I binge watch friends I'll be able to purge my closet of things that NO LONGER FIT. I'm oddly sentimental when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I'm really lacking space and hangers for all of my clothes!

Weekly Recap

This week was a good one. My work schedule was finalized, I went on a date (insert side eye emoji here), and the internet was full of good, old fashioned, petty celebrity drama. YES PLEASE. (Side note and #shamelessplug: follow me on Twitter @vtorimoore for memes and gifs and other good things, plus my reaction to all sorts of celebrity drama.) I have to know... are y'all Team Kimye or Taylor? I'm definitely Team Kimye but can't WAIT to hear Taylor's new album about this!

I also woke up at 3:00 this morning to snag a beautiful Ralph Lauren topper from the Nordstrom Sale. I'm glad I got it, but promised myself to have a Nordstrom card for next year's sale! What did y'all get from the sale?

High School Musical: Bad Lip Reading // I love Bad Lip Reading videos. The NFL ones always have me laughing. This High School Musical is no exception... I was literally crying from laughing so hard! There were so many great moments that just caused me to laugh out loud. I also love how it's a whole new story line. If you need a funny pick-me-up, look no further.

Avocado Chicken Salad // I'm always looking for healthier lunch options that are really filling (AKA full of protein). This upcoming semester I'll be in class for 9 hours before heading to work 3 times a week for another 5, and I won't really have time to eat a lot of long meals. This looks like such a good one that I can make a single serving of and eat plain or on lettuce if I have any! (P.S. if you know of any yummy lunchbox recipes please let me know!)

17 Maps // I loooove maps. I find them so interesting. (Fun fact: I was almost a geography minor back in the day!) I have a map of the USA, a scratch-off map of the world, and two globes. This Buzzfeed post is so interesting to read! I learned a lot about the way countries look and why they are the size that they are... 10/10 would recommend this article to a friend.

Bachelorette Recap : Week 8

Usually I love hometowns on the Bachelor/Bachelorette, but this episode was so underwhelming. I don't even think I truly paid attention for the first like hour until Robby started yelling? Anyway, let's recap it.

The episode starts out in Chase's hometown of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. It's beautiful. (Side note: I looked it up and Highlands Ranch is only an hour and a half from Breckenridge... Chase, call me.) They start the date on a cliff overlooking the beautiful countryside. They're talking about Chase's parent's messy divorce while drinking heavily from a thermos. Now I don't know for sure, but I don't think it's actually hot chocolate in there. Chase brings her back to his bachelor pad and his dad comes over. The conversations are pretty generic, and it ends with his dad telling him not to mess the relationship up like he did with Chase's mom. After his dad leaves, the couple go over to Chase's mom's house for dinner and drinks (but mostly drinks). More generic conversations go on about how Chase and his sister can't say "I love you" to people and it seems very healthy. Chase's mom is super cool and fun though, and eats dinner in her track suit, so he has that going for him. At the end of the date, he finally tells Jojo that he's falling in love with her.

Next, we head off to Jordan's hometown. Jordan and Jojo spend some time walking around the halls of Jordan's high school. Why. He admits to Jojo that he never had a high school girlfriend, and I'm pretty sure it's because he had many girlfriends. But also after seeing his high school football pictures, maybe it's true what he's saying. Jordan tells Jojo that Aaron doesn't need to be a topic of conversation at dinner, so naturally, it's all they talk about. When they get to Jordan's parents house for dinner, I can't help but LOL at the two empty chairs at the table. Nice touch, ABC. Jordan's mom tells Jojo that she calls Jordan her "spicy child" because he is the perfect combination of spicy and well behaved. It literally makes no sense. As they leave dinner, Jordan tells Jojo that he is falling in love with her, and, more rationally than I have been giving her credit for, Jojo starts crying and tells him that she's really nervous that it wouldn't be forever if they ended up together. He reassures her, but I think she is still doubting him a little bit. (Too much to end up together IMO.)

The third family we have the pleasure of meeting is Robby's. I used to be so about him, but in the past few weeks I have really grown to dislike him. I don't trust him at all, and even after all of the rumors I'm upset with Jojo for not seeing it! Anyway, the two of them go to a restaurant and she asks a question that is really important: "You broke up with your girlfriend of 3 years like 4 months ago, and you're already in love with me. What is going on?" and he smoothly replies, "Why would I be thinking about her when I have you?" It's annoying. Go away, Robby. They go over to his parents house for dinner and his dad introduces himself to Jojo as "coach." Ew! There are like 10 family members over for dinner and it bothers me a little until I realize that that would totally be me if I made it to Hometowns. When Robby and his mom talk, she grossly caresses his thigh and tells him that people are spreading mean (true) rumors about why he came on the show. He freaks out a little and goes to tell Jojo, who eats up everything that he says before kissing (side note: the camera is awkwardly close and it's really uncomfortable) and forgetting everything that just happened! I have a lot of beef with Robby over this whole thing, and Jojo should, too. The guys on the show aren't cast really until the beginning of March, but he definitely applied for the show before breaking up with his girlfriend. No matter if the relationship was over nine months before it actually ended, he definitely knew that going on the show was a possibility.

Our last hometown date is with Luke. I looked up Burnet, Texas and it is literally in the dead center of Texas with nothing else around it. It kind of freaks me out because I know that I could never ever live there, ever. They drive down a literal dirt road to Luke's house and there are a ton of cars there. It turns out that Luke invited the entire population of Burnet to come to his house and meet Jojo. Oh, okay. Bold strategy. Jojo seems to really like it but I think she wishes that it had been a little more intimate. Luke and his dad go off to talk and I don't think there was a dry eye in any house in America. His dad just gushes over how proud he is of Luke and thankful of the service he provided for his country and it's really nice. I don't even think they really talked about Jojo, but I was too busy crying literal tears. Speaking of literal tears, it only increases from here. Luke and Jojo start riding off into the sunset on horses. While the couch he leads them to faces away from the sunset, the scene is really beautiful and I'm only getting more and more obsessed with Luke. He leads her down a candle lit path to a heart made of rose petals and just pulls at the heart strings of every girl in America. He tells her, "The friends and family that you met today each have a part of my heart. They have made me who I am. And now you, you have my heart." I'm not kidding you guys, I literally burst into tears. <3333

It's time for the rose ceremony now, which takes place in an airplane hangar. Kind of a weird setting, but I dig it. The guys all walk in, looking like they stepped out of a fancy menswear catalogue, and then Jojo arrives. Y'all, she looks gooooood. That blue gown is my favorite so far of all the ones she has worn this season. Before it gets started, Jojo tells the camera, "I think I have to say goodbye to Luke," and I literally stop breathing. Like, don't you dare, Jojo. Don't you dare!! Luke senses this and asks if he can talk to her and she says, "yes please." They step outside of the hangar and he finally tells her that he loves her. This is apparently a huge game changer for Jojo, and she quickly spirals into a huge anxiety attack. I get it girl, I'd be freaking out too. And then all of a sudden, three dreaded words appear on my TV screen. "To be continued." HONESTLY.

Luckily they're kind of making it up for us by having two episodes next week, but really it doesn't help anything at all. Monday is the much anticipated Fantasy Suites date and Tuesday is Men Tell All. It'll be interesting seeing Chad again, and I can't wait! See you all then!

Behind the Blog

When I asked for post feedback, a lot of people told me that they loved getting to know the person behind the screen! While I feel like I definitely am pretty transparent with who I am, I do find it difficult to just share random facts about myself! I found this behind the blog post and felt inspired to make my own! Here we go...

Name // Tori! (But hopefully you got that from the URL/title of my blog!)

Age // 21, almost 22 in November!

Nationality // I am a proud American.

Occupation // I go to school full time at the University of South Carolina, but I also work part-time at my local Ronald McDonald House, and have an internship with the in-house production department at USC, Gamecock Productions.

How I Take My Coffee // Pretty strong, with flavored creamer (or regular half-and-half if I'm at a coffee shop) and two splendas! I only have one cup a day unless I'm really busy, so I drink it while I watch the morning news or catch up on blogs.

Favorite Food // Top three: Mexican food of any kind (literally), pineapple pizza, lasagna.

Favorite TV Show // Parks and Recreation, hands down.

Favorite Movie // Harry Potter series aside, either Legally Blonde or 10 Things I Hate About You.

Favorite Book // To Kill a Mockingbird.

Favorite Posts to Write // I love writing Bachelor/Bachelorette recaps and anything involving food.

Hardest Posts to Write // Weekly Recaps. I read so many articles and watch so many videos each week, but so so many of them are politically charged and I just don't want to share them on this space! That's why sometimes I'll have as little as two or as many as six or more, it just depends on what's happening in the world around us!

What I Get Most Frustrated About While Blogging // Lack of followers. I have a lot of interaction on my page and my readers are very engaged with me and what I'm writing about, but I don't have the physical numbers to prove it to myself.

Where I Find Inspiration // All around me! My life is pretty dramatic and hilarious so that definitely helps me come up with content. I also love going back into the archives of some of my favorite blogs (really!! I'm talking like 2011-2012). Pinterest is also a source of inspiration for me!

My Favorite Bloggers // I love Carly, Julia, and Rosie, each for different things! I feel like I can really relate to Carly, I love Julia's style, and Rosie's travels are just so unreal. (Plus, who doesn't want to live in London like her?!)

Guilty Pleasure // Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I'm obsessed with them you guys. I follow most of them on Instagram, Kim on Snapchat and Twitter, and I even play her game still from time to time!

In the Car... // You can find me rapping along with Drake, crying with Adele, filming a music video with Taylor, or putting on a one-man rendition of Les Mis or Hamilton.

Favorite Place // So far, my favorite places of all that I've visited is Greece! I've been to Athens and Santorini. I love the food and the people and just the overall atmosphere of the country! Not to mention, the history (and current political events!) is on fleek. ;)

Mountains or Beach? // MOUNTAINS! All the way! I've been skiing with my dad every year since I was 3 years old! I think this will be the first year I'm not going (assuming I get an actual big girl job!).

If I won the Mega Millions Lottery... // I would donate some of my winnings to the Ronald McDonald House, buy a gate at Williams-Brice Stadium (our football stadium) named after me, and then spend the rest traveling the world!

Language Barriers // I speak a little bit of German! I used to speak a lot more (AKA when I lived in Austria for 4 months) but I've had little to no practice with it since coming back!

Is that all? // That's all for now, folks! I really enjoyed doing this and it actually came pretty easily when I sat down and just focused on getting it done. If there's anything else you want to know about me leave me a comment down below!

Being a Better Friend

As I grow older, the one thing that becomes increasingly apparent is how hard friendships are. Back in high school, you were most likely friends with the people you were friends with because you had some, if not all, of your classes together. But then you all moved away for college and grew apart. Then the cycle repeats: friends in college, new class schedule/transfers/graduations, and you grow apart from your friends again.

Now obviously, I still have friends from high school and I still have friends from my first few years of college, and I'm sure you do, too. But overall, friendships are incredibly difficult to maintain. You will grow away from people you once considered close and people that you didn't consider at all will become your best friends. Hey, that's just the way that it goes.

When I look back on my friendships that didn't make it, a few things come to mind as to why they ended like they did: communication (or lack thereof), validation, and effort.

Communication | Perhaps the hardest of the three, communication is definitely the most difficult part in any relationship. Raise your hand if you've ever felt intimidated when you had to send a text to a friend, and were unsure of how they might respond? (Yeah, same. Red flag.) Or when you felt like your words were being heard, but you weren't actually being listened to? (Same, again! Red. Flag.) I'm no master of communication, and I'm definitely learning as I go along, but good communication is key. Something I have learned along the way that has significantly improved my communication skills with the people in my life is learning to use "I feel" statements in difficult conversations. It's so easy to be in a fight with a friend or roommate and say, "Well YOU never unload the dishwasher and I've done it every week for the past few months and I'm tired of that kind of attitude!" When you could say instead, "I just feel like I'm doing a majority of the chores, and it would be nice if we could all chip in around the house sometimes." Automatically it becomes a less aggressive statement, and no blame has been placed on one person in particular.

Validation | In a world where people (hello, me) judge their worth on how many Instagram likes they get, in-person validation from trusted friends matter so much more. (Heck, even comments from friends on said-Instagram posts go a long way in my book!) I recently was in a situation where I had to make a choice of keeping toxic friends in my life, or letting them go, and the thing that made my decision so much easier was when I realized that they never said anything positive about me, but expected me to praise them daily. Um, HELLO. Don't expect to receive if you don't give! Now that those friends aren't in my life anymore, I find myself surrounded by genuine friends who jump up and down with me when something positive happens, who read this blog every day (hi guys), and who - most importantly - help me pick myself back up when I'm feeling incredibly low. I guess, in short, love on your friends with every opportunity that you get. It is so so so important.

Effort | This is probably what I struggle with the most when it comes to friendships. For a while this past year, I really felt like I was the only one putting effort into almost all of my friendships. I would text first, make the plans, etc. I was obviously so excited for the friendship that I didn't even realize just how burnt out I felt from it. A few times after making plans and having this friend cancel on me at the last minute, I took a step back and looked at it. This relationship was so toxic. I was putting in 100% and getting 0% in return. That's not friendship, it hurts and makes you feel horrible about yourself when you did nothing wrong in the first place! If you want to be friends with someone, commit to the relationship and put just as much effort into it as you would want returned to you. If your effort isn't returned, then maybe it's time to move on. It sucks, and it's the worst feeling in the world, but a one-sided relationship with one person just isn't worth the stress.

Now, I'm not a relationship expert. I'm learning and growing as I move on from these toxic friendships. I would be nothing without the people I'm lucky enough to call my friends, and I hope you feel the same way about yours!

Mug Monday

Good Monday morning you guys! Time for some coffee.

Has anyone else started to count their blessings recently? With everything going on in the would around us I've really felt just so grateful for the way my life is and everything that I have.

Have a great Monday, and don't forget to hug your loved ones extra tight today.

Looking Forward

This next week is exciting for me because my work schedule has been finalized and I can start getting used to what my real hours will look like. I don't mind sleeping over at RMH but I miss my own bed!!

Moving Out // As of yesterday, I have two weeks left in my current house! I'm starting to pack things up this weekend. I used to be really upset about the fact that I was leaving my house, but I'm starting to get so excited about my new apartment! I'm looking forward to having a gym and a pool right out of my building. (No really, I'm in Building 1 so it's literally right there!) PLUS, it will be cheaper to run AC! Our house has really bad insulation so we simply can't afford to run the AC as often as necessary. (It's been over 100 degrees every day here in South Carolina recently... Ugh!) I turn it off when I sleep over at work and I came home Wednesday to a temperature of 90 degrees INSIDE! No thanks!

Back to School Shopping // I love the end of July and beginning of August because it's a great time to stock up on new clothes and school supplies! Unfortunately, I'm old, and school supplies are not necessary anymore for me, but the clothes part I can still enjoy! I'm trying to grow a more "professional" wardrobe, which is tricky because for me means something that looks good on camera! (Harder than it sounds, especially when stripes are a trend!)

 Free Weekends // Now that my days consist of more than just Grey's Anatomy, I look forward to the weekend more and more! Last weekend I had my ultimate staycation, so this weekend is going to be all business. (And fun, don't worry!) I'm going to try and generate much more content for the blog based off the amazing feedback I got from you! So if you have an idea for a collaboration post or a guest post or anything else you think I might be interested in, shoot me an email!

Weekly Recap

Oh man, what a week. TGIF! This week actually flew by for me. I spent most of my nights (literally) at the Ronald McDonald House, which was pretty fun because I got to bond that much more with the families staying here! And I learned that I am SUCH a bad cook! My job involves cooking dinner for the families and most of the time that just means heating up donated dinners (lasagnas, BBQ, etc.) but on Tuesday night I had to cook grits (for Brinner!) and it was so bad. I burned the entire batch of them and had to throw the whole pot out... Oops!

Last night was one of my good friend's 21st birthday parties! I love getting together to celebrate close friends! She loves everything pink and glitzy, so for dinner we went to a martini and fondue restaurant in Columbia before going out to the bars downtown. It was so much fun - though I'm definitely feeling the aftermath of all the chocolate fondue I consumed! ;)

Spaghetti Serving Size // You guys... this is so important. I definitely struggle when cooking pasta because I never know how to measure serving sizes properly! It's too funny that the answer has been in my kitchen drawer all this time! Definitely using this next time I cook pasta.

Team USA Girls // The first time I watched this video I had goosebumps all over my arms and legs. I think it's sooo good! Nothing quite like some good ol' girl power, am I right? I am a total dork about the Olympics. I literally cannot get enough of them. (I'm watching the trials while writing this!) I'm counting down the days until the Opening Ceremony in RIO!

Jennifer Aniston: For the Record // Guys... I love Jennifer Aniston and this essay made me love her so much more! I love how she is taking matters into her own hand and addressing untrue rumors. I don't understand tabloids and paparazzi and I honestly don't think I ever will. As someone who is studying to be a journalist they really just piss me off, since the #1 thing we are taught in school is to be honest in everything that we do!

Team USA Rise Up // Okay, two Team USA videos this week.... I cried like a baby watching this one!! The Olympics are the ultimate stage where athletes from literally all over show off their strengths, and subsequently, their weaknesses. You're tired and sore and nervous and so incredibly excited to be there. I cannot even imagine. I always say that if I ever won a gold medal I would be on the ground SOBBING.

Bachelorette Recap : Week 7

This week's episode mostly made up for 1) the absolute most boring episode in the world two weeks earlier and 2) the fact that there was once again a two week gap between episodes! Granted, I wasn't planning on watching it on the 4th to begin with (hello, fireworks) but I was still feeling sad without my weekly dose of man tears and drama galore.

(I watched this week's episode at the RMH where I work, so I couldn't drink my usual glass of wine! Instead I had one of these cupcakes - there's alcohol in the icing which makes them basically just for me since so many of the mamas here are breast feeding! It's no Cabernet, but it works, right?)

This episode started off with the guys talking about the previous rose ceremony, where Jojo walked out and unfortunately both Alex and James T. stuck around for another week. Chris Harrison walks in casually and announces that there will be three one-on-one dates this week, sans roses, and one group date (aka a three-on-one). Alex is the only one remaining that hasn't gotten a one-on-one date yet, so to no one's surprise, his name is on the date card! Almost immediately the other guys in the house point out that he can't complain to them anymore and it's really awkward and tense.

On the one-on-one, Jojo and Alex drive out to the Argentinean countryside to ride horses. The car ride is incredibly long and even more incredibly awkward. I can't stop giggling to myself because it's just so. awkward. Jojo tells the camera that she's really excited to get to know Alex in a more comfortable setting where the pressures are all gone. Amazingly, ABC doesn't show Jojo during this interview, but instead punching Alex in the face with Pringles. It was hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing! So far this date has been nothing but a major cringe fest.

Back in Buenos Aries, the rest of the boy band are getting on a rickety bus that honestly looks like it could break down at any minute. Jordan is holding a beer bottle (classic). THEN, TO MY DELIGHT AND SURPRISE, Chase starts beat boxing and the guys perform a rap!! Now I'm assuming this wasn't free styled and was totally planned, but still. I'm in love. (Any other fans of Chase out there?!)

Jojo and Alex finally arrive at the destination and the Gauchos make Alex change into an outfit that seriously resembles Lord Farquaad from Shrek. They mount their horses and take off. This date is so cringe worthy!! The entire time, Alex tells the camera that this is amazing, the best day of his life, he has never felt better. He says that his relationship with Jojo is growing in exactly the right direction and that he knows his feelings are validated.

After awkwardly snuggling over a horse (poor horse), the pair go back to a lodge type thing where Alex tells Jojo that he is in love with her. Now, I'm no relationship expert, but when you tell a girl that you love her and her eyes don't immediately light up with joy, you're in trouble. Sure enough, Jojo awkwardly explains to Alex that she's just not excited about him (ouch) and that it wouldn't be fair to keep him around. I literally can't stop grimacing. It's like a train wreck. I cannot, for the life of me, look away. Alex can, though, and doesn't even look Jojo in the eye as she says goodbye to him. Pure TV gold right there.

The next one-on-one date goes to Jordan. Duh. Jojo has always had the hots for him. This was another LOL moment for me, because Jordan exclaimed his pleasure about getting the date, and the rest of the guys were like, "Oh. Ok. Great." It was amazing.

Jordan leaves for his one-on-one wearing shorts and a red v-neck t-shirt similar to the one Chad ripped on Evan. Man, those were the days. But actually, I'm pretty sure it's late Fall/Winter in Argentina, so all around, a bold outfit choice by Jordan. The pair fly to wine country (where was this budget when they were in Nemacolin?!) and the activity on the date is (ba ba da dummmm!) smashing grapes with their feet. I've always wanted to do this, so I am a little jealous of them. It looks like it's a ton of fun. But then another cringe fest occurs for me when they dip the wine glasses in the bucket and drink their nasty feet grape juice!! Gross!! I don't know where y'all's feet have been!

Luckily, they don't only have that to drink, for when they go to get in the impeccably placed hot tub, they have actual glasses of wine in their hands. Thank goodness. I actually enjoyed this conversation. I felt like it was a very real glimpse into the life of Jordan Rodgers. Jojo asks that, if she, hypothetically, maybe, were to come meets Jordan's family, who would be there? He tells her in a really roundabout way that everyone except Aaron would be in attendance because he and Aaron barely talk and have little to no contact with each other. I found this to be very, very interesting but I'm serious you guys, it made me like Jordan more. I still don't completely trust him, but I have less beef with him now.

Back at the house, the group date card arrives. Chase, Robby, and James T. have the joy of going on the three-on-one date, while Luke wins the coveted one-on-one. However, luckily for the three of them, there is a rose up for grab on the group date, and none on the one-on-one.

It was "raining" for the group date, so the foursome end up hanging out in Jojo's hotel suite. They stuff their faces with greasy food (literally, if you're James), play truth or dare (which involved Robby stripping down to his extra-tight undies), and a scandalous sounding head massage session for Chase.

The one-on-one time with Jojo was pretty boring. She double-checked with Robby that he was ready to be engaged (seeing as he just broke up with his girlfriend of 3 years in DECEMBER), and he assured her that he was. I didn't believe him. Nobody can get over someone that quickly. (Although she's moved on too, apparently, and is dating Chad. Hilarious plot twist that I didn't know I needed until I got.) Chase said, in Chase language, that he loved Jojo. AKA he told her that he wanted to spend forever with her. Awe. So sweet!! I love him, you guys. And James T... Poor guy. He asked her why his relationship with her was less physical than with the other guys. She told him, "You have every quality that I WOULD want in a future husband." Poor James. He's so sweet but so definitely in the friend zone. For some reason, Robby got the rose and got to spend more one-on-one time with Jojo. I was really confused by this decision, but hey. To each their own.

Luke's one-on-one date with Jojo was very classic "them." Very outdoorsy, very hands on. It honestly looked fun. They rode more horses (this time with no outfits) and then did a clay shoot. I would have been horrible at the latter. The whole time, Luke is telling the cameras how if he and Jojo were to get together and be engaged, this is the life she would live on his family ranch in Texas. *swoon.* The rest of the date was pretty non-eventful because all they did was make out, and hey, I don't blame her!!

Luke arrives back at the ranch and delivers some bad news: there isn't going to be a rose ceremony that evening. James T. and Chase look bewildered and overwhelmed with so many different emotions. No wait, that's just James. Chase apparently doesn't have emotions because his face stays exactly the same. LOL.

At the rose ceremony, it goes pretty much as expected. Luke and Jordan get their roses, meaning that three men already get to take Jojo home to meet their families. Chase ends up getting the last rose. Jojo walks out with James T. and my heart burst into a bazillion pieces. She and him both start crying about how lucky they are to have met one another and he wishes her well and she just keeps crying and I'm 99% positive all of America was crying, too. I really feel like these were the only real emotions expressed this entire season.

Next week are hometown visits which are sure to be interesting! See you then.

I Want to Hear from YOU

This week I began to move all of my calendar information from my paper agenda to Google Calendar. I've always loved the online calendar but with various assignments and papers and projects to keep track of for different classes, it wasn't very practical. However, now that I'm in one class all day (literally) and have specific work shifts, it's much more useful.

I started to input all of my post ideas and when I wanted to publish them into the calendar and began thinking that this would be the perfect time to hear back from YOU! I threw myself 100% into blogging at the beginning of the summer, so now at the end of July it will be my second full month actually posting every day and trying to engage with readers and have fun doing something that I have always loved to do.

So... Tell me! What are the posts that you have enjoyed reading the most? Any that you think I should stop for good? Are there any topics that you would like me to write about? Let me know!! I'm all ears! 

The Ultimate Staycation

Staycations are great because they're the perfect, low-budget alternative to going on an actual vacation. I love taking time off from the "real world" and focusing on myself for a little bit. Even by not going anywhere just unplugging I feel so much better and more energized. Here's how to have the best staycation ever:

Sleep in // This is one of my biggest issues. Even on days when I have nothing on the calendar, I still find myself walking up around 8:00 or 8:30. Don't get me wrong, I love getting up earlier and having time for breakfast and lunch and dinner, but I also love sleep and never get as much as I should! Having a comfortable bed is definitely key to this step. I've recently found myself eying new bedding and I love Crane and Canopy's options. They're great because they're affordable, but still made from quality material.

Unplug for a bit // Unplugging is hard in general, but I find it incredibly hard on a staycation. But even just turing your phone on "do not disturb" for a while and going on a walk is a great way to clear your head. Or even choosing to read a book instead of watching Netflix makes a large difference in my mood. Something about natural light and not staring at a screen all day.

Treat Yo'self // I started my latest staycation with a giant cinnamon roll (from the Cinnamon Roll Deli I mentioned on Saturday!) and ended it with a pizza from Papa John's. I'm usually pretty strict about my diet and what I eat, but hey! I was on vacation! Calories don't count when you're on vacation, everybody knows that!

Pamper // Use this time to pamper yourself in ways you don't usually get to. For me, this is a 30 minute long shower where I actually shave my legs. Usually I take a short 10-15 minute long shower (15 minutes is on the longer side for me) so the extra time in the shower is really nice. I also take this time to actually paint my nails, as opposed to just touching them up with the same color I'm already wearing.

Snuggle up in bed // And then, after a long day of doing nothing and treating yourself, snuggle up in bed with a book and a glass of wine. (Or drink of your choice.) Once again, I find myself admiring Crane and Canopy. A clean and fluffy duvet goes a long way in my book! Anything that I can comfortably curl up in with my book is the way to go. I love this set in particular:

It reminds me of an actual beachside resort hotel! I love the reversible sides, too. White duvets make me pretty nervous so this blue pattern is the perfect compromise. 

I had a great time relaxing this weekend and treating myself to a mini stay-cation. What do you do on your staycation?

Mug Monday

Happy Monday! This is going to be a long but good week. 

(image via tumblr)

With everything going on in the world, I feel like this is such an important reminder. Be unfailingly kind to everyone that you come across. Judge no one and be kind to everyone. Smile more and most importantly, treat your neighbor like you would like to be treated.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Looking Forward

After a busy busy week I'm looking forward to the weekend to relax! I'm letting myself have a little "stay-cation" today (aka not getting out of bed and just watching Netflix and probably ordering a pizza for dinner... it truly is an exciting life that I live) before having to go back to work Sunday night!

Aside from work I don't really have a lot going on this next week!

Kelsey's birthday // One of my closest friends is turning 21 on Thursday! I didn't really know Kelsey before February, but we both worked for MSNBC while they were in Columbia for the primaries and since we worked so much we became fast friends! Now if I go a day without talking to her it feels totally weird. She's a total diva so I know her birthday will be an amazing celebration for her!

Cinnamon Roll Deli // I saw a flyer for this Cinnamon Roll Deli in Columbia and umm I think I might have to give it a try. I mean. I love cinnamon rolls so what's not to love about a place where I can get multiple flavors of delicious and warm ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls?! I'll let you know what I think ;)

Week 5 // I'm starting week five of the Kayla Itsines BBG program this week! They're incredibly hard but I have already noticed a difference in the way my body looks and the way I feel about myself. For the first time EVER I'm excited to wear a swimsuit in public!

I hope you have an amazing weekend! See you on the flip side (AKA Monday).

Weekly Recap

I had a great week. I spent the 4th of July back home in Atlanta, where I went to the neighborhood pool party before picking up my sister from the airport. Then we went to dinner with my cousins and my grandpa, which is always interesting. My grandpa is almost 91 so he really enjoys when we can all get together. (Side note: earlier in the week my mom pulled out my Great Uncle's diary from when he was a prisoner of war during WWII and it's so interesting to read!!)

On Tuesday we had planned to go up to the lake, but it ended up storming almost all day. We saw Finding Dory instead and it was sooo cute!! Seriously, if you haven't seen it, it's worth it! I laughed out loud several times.

After driving back Tuesday night (and listening to Hamilton on repeat), I started work on Wednesday! It was a long day, compared to laying around and watching Netflix in bed, so I was totally exhausted when I got home. I can already tell that this job will be tiring as can be, but will be so rewarding in the end.

Bridget Jones Baby // I love Bridget Jones Diary. (Something about lack of boyfriends and singing alone to "All By Myself" while drinking wine really resonates with me...) I actually really didn't want to watch this movie when my mom requested it on Mother's Day, afraid that it would be another boring Pride and Prejudice re-make... BUT NOW I LOVE IT! Netflix actually took it off (booooo) so I haven't seen the sequel yet, but I can't wait to see the third and final movie! #DefinitelyDarcy

Strawberry and Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken // This salad looks soo good! Although I'm not actively a salad person (aka if I'm at a restaurant other than Panera I will definitely order something else) I'm trying to get more into them. They're yummy and healthy and low calorie. This salad in particular looks so good! I'm down for anything with strawberries and avocado.

Unfortunately with a busy week after a holiday weekend, I didn't get to spend as much time on the Internet as I usually do, so these were the only two links I actually wanted to share with y'all! Hopefully next week as things settle down I'll be able to engage better and share more.

Recruitment Advice

Sorority recruitment is a terrifying, nerve-wracking experience. You're constantly on edge and wondering how your next conversation is going to go, whether the houses will like you or not, and hoping that the house you like the most likes you back.

For me, recruitment was especially hard because of how homesick I was. I was in a new environment, knew absolutely nobody, and just wanted to go home. But I didn't. I got up and did my hair and make up and put on a smile, tried to enjoy myself, and ended up having a great recruitment experience which lead to joining a sorority and meeting amazing women from all over the country.

While everyone's recruitment experience is wildly different, here is some advice I can give you to make it the best experience possible for you.

This is a picture from one of the first rounds of recruitment for me! I'm on the far left of my Pi Chi. It was too funny looking at all of these pictures.

Stay calm // Trust me, freaking out will not help you. Every girl (even those who look extremely calm) are freaking out on the inside. All of the girls are in a new place, nobody knows what to expect, you're not alone in those feelings. And trust me when I say that the girls inside the house waiting for you are just as nervous as you are! Take a deep breath, smile, and stay calm!

Speak loudly // Speaking loud enough so the girls can hear what you have to say is key. I practically shouted the entire two weeks of rush (my school does it long and drawn out) when I was going through, but I didn't realize how important it was until my first time rushing someone as a sophomore! If I can't hear what you're saying, it makes me feel like you're disinterested and don't want to be in my house. I would much rather hear you the first time around instead of spending some of our precious time together asking you to repeat things.

Keep an open mind // Since I went to an out of state school, I knew almost nothing about the "reputations" of the houses. I'm glad I had no idea about the "popular opinions" because it made it more about me. I wasn't chasing a certain set of letters, I wasn't holding back my love for a certain house because I didn't know what people (who probably didn't know the truth themselves) were saying. I know so many girls who "letter chased" during rush and ended up only being kept by the "bottom tier houses" (which is another stupid concept, in my opinion) and then dropped out of the entire process. Remind yourself why you're going through recruitment: for lifelong friendships and opportunities, to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Not for a certain few Greek letters. (And if you're only going through it for the letters, I seriously recommend rethinking that.)

Trust the process // Getting dropped from a house that you loved sucks. There's no other way to put it, it really just stinks. But the process is the process for a reason. Even though the rounds are short, 9 times out of 10 you will end up in the house that you're meant to end up in, and if not...

Stick with it // Stick with it at the beginning, but you can always drop out of your sorority before initiation. Greek life isn't for everybody, and that's the honest truth. But as long as you're not initiated into an organization you can rush again! Just remember to do it with the right intentions. (I have a friend from high school who didn't enjoy her rush experience, and ended up getting a snap bid (a "bid" to join the sorority after bid day). She wasn't sure she wanted to go, but I told her to give it a chance. After a few weeks she loved it and then ended up serving as president for a term! You never know what might happen.)

A final few things to remember... Sororities are different everywhere so don't compare a friend's experience at another school to your own. And, if all else goes wrong, pizza will always be there for you! This picture was taken after a long day of recruitment in the South Carolina summer - 95% humidity and 100 degrees outside and having to look happy about it!

Are you planning on going through recruitment at your school? I want to hear all about it!

Cantina 76

Introducing one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Columbia: Cantina 76. This trendy and local Mexican restaurant is perfect for girls night, a first date (or any date, really), or for dinner when your parents are in town.

Start out with one of the best options on the menu: a tres hombres. Cantina has the best guac and salsa and queso combination of any restaurant I've been too. I literally lick the guac bowl clean ;) It's THAT good.

It's understood when going with friends that the trio is non-negotiable. We have to have one. 

Next up and equally as non-negotiable... Margaritas. *Insert heart eyes emoji here.* Cantina has been voted "Best Margarita" in Columbia for the past several years. Try one and you'll understand why. This is the Prickly Pear margarita and it's to die for. Honorable mentions include the original, strawberry basil, and the Texas. Go between 4:30 and 7 for Happy Hour ($1 off all drinks), or on Wednesday for $2 regular margaritas.

And now for the real reason we're all here: the tacos. Cantina tacos are literally to die for. They're all incredible, and you can't go wrong with any combination. Pictured above are the Peruvian shrimp and two buffalo chicken (my personal favorite).

The perfect combination of spicy fried chicken and cool cheese. Yum. My mouth is watering just looking at it. Honorable mentions for tacos include the fish taco, the BBQ brisket taco, and the chicken teriyaki. 

There are two locations of Cantina 76 in Columbia, one on Divine Street and one on Main Street, just a few blocks from the South Carolina State House (a perfect location for Happy Hour, if you ask me). And, excitingly, Cantina 76 is coming to Greenville! If you're ever in Columbia (or soon to be Greenville) make plans to eat at Cantina for lunch or dinner. Have a taco for me, you won't regret it!

July Goals

I'll admit it... I did a horrible job at keeping my June goals. I got into somewhat of a daily routine (wake up, work out, watch Netflix, eat, go to sleep), I was nowhere close to meeting my step goal at all, I barely journaled. I did, however, pitch my story idea! It was approved but then decided by my boss to incorporate it into a larger project. So that was a bit of a let down, but oh well. Can't change it now! Hopefully July will be a better and more productive month.

Settle into a new job routine // I begin orientation for my new job this week! I'm ready to start that routine and begin to plan for the semester. (Mostly figuring out how I can get to most of the football games - ha!)
Finish Grey's Anatomy // I know, I know... this is a lame goal but I'm obsessed! I want to finish the Netflix seasons so I can watch it in real time!
Actually downsize my closet // I have so many clothes and tshirts that I barely wear anymore but for some reason I just can't bear to part with them! I really need to go through my things and decide what I need, what I don't need, and what I should donate to the local Goodwill.
Read before bed // I've been trying to read Gone with the Wind since my birthday in November. I did great over winter break, but as the semester started up I stopped reading as much until eventually I just didn't read at all. I should definitely pick up the book instead of watching TV before going to bed!

There you have it - those are my July goals! What do you hope to accomplish this month?

Looking Forward: 101 in 1001

Inspired by Mackenzie Horan, from Design Darling, I've decided to make a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. These next few years are bound to be pretty exciting for me, so why not document it?

Start Date: July 2, 2016
End Date: March 30, 2019


001. Graduate college
002. Take a makeup class/ get my makeup professionally done
003. Create a practical budget
004. Find a philanthropy I'm passionate about
005. Reconnect with my favorite high school teachers
006. Get my very own dog
007. Stretch every day for a month
008. Successfully run a half-marathon
009. Clean out my closet (for real this time)
010. Invest in a "big girl bag"
011. Save up for a Mac desktop computer
012. Find a kickboxing gym that I like
013. Back up all of my important files and pictures
014. Wipe my laptop hard drive
015. Go one month without personal spending
016. Volunteer at a food bank
017. Read for 30 minutes before bed every night for a month
018. Pay it forward somewhere
019. Invest in five wardrobe pieces
020. Learn to meditate 

TRAVEL (0/21)

021. Move to a new city (not Columbia, not Atlanta)
022. Take a trip to South Africa
023. Visit the Grand Canyon
024. Take a trip with my mom
025. Go to San Francisco
026. Take an official tour of somewhere I've already been
027. Make travel guides of the places I've been
028. Come home for the holidays
029. Take a road trip
030. See Mount Rushmore
031. Visit New York in the summertime
032. Ski Patagonia
033. Cruise from South America to Antarctica
034. Go to the new addition (Diagon Alley) of Harry Potter World
035. See the Northern Lights
036. Hike the Incan Trail
037. Take a Gone With the Wind tour in Atlanta
038. Experience Las Vegas
039. Take a trip with just Tracy
040. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley
041. Go to the Kentucky Derby


042. Get a "big girl job"
043. Move my portfolio/reel to the new blog
044. Start a savings plan
045. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails
046. Learn photoshop
047. Begin freelance writing for an online publication
048. Make business cards
049. Get new headshots taken
050. Send my reel to 10 different news stations
051. Re-do my wardrobe
052. Be invited to be a guest speaker somewhere
053. Set up a savings account
054. Save $20 for every goal crossed off
055. Figure out how to work Google Analytics


056. Send Tracy a care package
057. Have my mom teach me how to sew
058. Write 20 handwritten letters to friends
059. Make a family cookbook
060. Cook a three course meal for my mom and dad
061. Take everyone in my immediate family to dinner
062. Give 5 "just because" gifts
063. Attend the wedding of a close friend
064. Be in the wedding party of a close friend
065. Make my grandma's famous eggnog
066. Find a workout class to do with friends
067. Go to Disney World with friends


068. Watch all of the Star Wars movies
069. Go to an NBA game
070. Watch the sunrise over mountains
071. Watch the sunrise over a beach
072. Watch the sunrise in a foreign country
073. See the Nutcracker
074. Pick up my flute again
075. Read 30 new books
076. Learn to bake Macarons
077. Take swing dance lessons with a significant other
078. Knit a scarf (and then some)
079. Make brownies from scratch
080. Join a book club
081. Go to a fashion show 
082. Learn to play poker
083. Take a cooking class
084. Watch all "Best Picture" nominees
085. Attend a TED Talk
086. Catch up (or finish) Downton Abbey
087. Read 10 autobiographies
088. Watch 20 documentaries
089. Have a picnic
090. Go berry picking in the summer
091. Go apple picking in the fall
092. Learn to fold a fitted sheet
093. Master a signature cocktail
094. Master a signature meal
095. Learn to drive stick
096. Attend a black tie event
097. Do an outdoor yoga class
098. Cook every day for a month
099. Take a SoulCycle class
100. See 3 new Broadway shows
101. Learn calligraphy 

Weekly Recap

It's been an interesting and long week for me. I've watched a lot of Netflix. I'm kind of grossed out with myself so I'm making a vow to be more active. It's incredibly hot outside, but I would rather go outside and sweat than continue to be a couch potato for the rest of the summer. (And sweating more will encourage me to drink more water, right?)

I also got a job this week for the rest of the summer and the school year. It's with the local Ronald McDonald House, which is the philanthropy for my sorority so I'm extra excited about it, although, I'm sure my couch will miss me severely while I'm gone. ;)

I'm going home on Sunday for the 4th of July, and my sister is getting home from South Africa on Monday! I can't wait, I miss being able to talk to her at all hours of the day! Usually I do a post on Saturdays called "Looking Forward," but tomorrow's post is a little different. Don't forget to check it out!

4-7-8 Sleep // I've had such a hard time falling asleep recently. I already do a modified version of this which includes breathing in for eight and out for eight, but this is actually proven to work. This is something that once memorized, I'm sure it's second nature! I'll try it and let you know what I think ;)

Bill on Bill // Legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed away last week. This is an article from 2002 written by Mr. Cunningham. I found it really interesting to read. He talks about how he got into photography and then fashion photography. I can only imagine what it would have been like to be photographed by him.

Behind the Blog: Tori Moore // If you've ever wanted to get to know more about me, check out this post in a series by Chronicling Home. I always love posts like this because I'm super nosy about other peoples lives ;) I love this series and have really enjoyed getting to know other bloggers!

Performance at the Lincoln Memorial // I haven't been to Washington D.C. since I was 8 years old so I don't remember a lot about it, but I do remember the Lincoln Memorial. I mean, it's huge and amazing and stoic and powerful. This performance of the National Anthem at the Memorial is the perfect, perfect thing to get you in the mood for the 4th of July coming up!

Patriotic Desserts for the Fourth // I bookmarked so many of these! They all look amazing. When I think of the 4th of July, I think of hotdogs, ice cold coke, watermelon, and brightly colored red, white, and blue desserts. From pies to cakes to brownies to chocolate bark, it's all SO good. I'm definitely trying one of these recipes so I'll let you know how it goes!