Austin City Limits

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Graffiti Park- Austin, TX

Graffiti Park- Austin, TX

One month ago my friends and I took the trip of the year to Austin, Texas for the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival.

We listened to artists such as Daughter, Ben Howard, Vance Joy, Hozier and the Weeknd just to name a few.  The event was held at Austin’s Zilker Park.

Because we are very poor college students, the five of us decided to snag the one-day $100 pass for the festival rather than the three-day $250 ticket. We also tried to seek the cheapest lodging as possible for the weekend.  Even though we traveled with a tight wallet, we surely did not miss out on the ultimate Austin experience!

We ended up finding a community campground on a married couple’s property through Air BNB.  This campground was $27 a person for the entire weekend.  What a steal! There were outdoor showers, an outhouse, a community outdoor kitchen AND the campsite was located on a patch of land right off the popular South Congress Street…couldn’t ask for more, right?!

My friends and I lucked out that this festival landed on our school’s fall break.  We left Friday morning.  Since our day-pass was for Sunday, we had most of Friday and Saturday to explore the city.  We were able to visit the state Capitol, roam 6th street, picnic on Lady Bird Lake and stuff our faces with Austin’s incredible eats.

The concert was definitely worth every penny.  The atmosphere itself was worth it even if one wasn’t the most die-hard fan for the artists that day.  There were about 11 stages that surrounded the park to host the 30 artists that performed.  The park had a beautiful view of the city skyline and tons of props for photos.  I cannot forget to mention the food trucks and electronic wristbands!!! It was so fun running around the park without a purse and not having to worry about losing my credit cards.  Before the weekend, I was able to upload my information to my wristband to use it as a form of payment at the park.  How convenient!

All in all, it was a great weekend with four great friends.  We survived little sleep, spiders in the outhouse, hippies, 47 mosquito bites and losing one of our members at the concert.  It was a weekend for the books.

Bonne fête

  I, for sure, am a lover of birthdays.  I love the feeling of giving a thoughtful gift that they will never forget! However, being in a sorority at a large university, I get overwhelmed by the amount of birthdays that occur in a week.  If I had a bottomless bank account and excessive amounts of free time, I would without-a-doubt invest in picture-perfect birthday accessories, such as the most adorable cards from Rifle Paper Company or Sugar Paper Los Angeles.

To save a pretty penny from going birthday-wild, I had to come up with a cheaper but still extravagant alternative.  For my birthday, I love love LOVE handmade cards.  Knowing this, it helped me come up with the idea of a massive birthday card.  For my friends’ birthdays, I buy a large poster board from Hobby Lobby, Walmart or Michaels and fold it in half.

In the photo above, I created a card for my sorority “Little” for her birthday on September 11th.  I painted “Bonne fête” which means “Celebrate!” in French.  I decorated the card with paint in a pretty floral design inspired by Rifle Paper Company.

Another card I have made in the past was for my friend’s high-school graduation.  He was continuing his education and bowling career at Webber International University.  For his card, I folded the poster board in half and cut the board in the shape of a bowling pin.

I must say these cards look magnificent sitting next to the other store-bought Hallmarks.  Or at least I like to think so.

Home is where the Heart is

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One of the best ways to step out in this world is with your heart on your sleeve…literally.  I fell in love with these graphic tees last fall when Kansas City pride took over the Earth.  “Blue October” took the city by storm when the Royals made the World Series.  Every KC native bought their favorite colors of Charlie Hustle Shop Tees and Sandlot Goods.  Products made in Kansas City became the biggest trend, and biggest fashion statement.

My favorite part about this shirt is the community and fellowship it creates.  When I walk around campus, I love hearing a “go Royals” exclaimed when passing by other Kansas-Citians.  In Stillwater, Oklahoma it is the perfect connecter among myself and other KC kiddos.  It also works as a conversation starter about my hometown with kids from across the map.  This gray piece of cotton has served as an incredible networking tool and never fails to embrace me with a little piece of home.

Here at school I found home in my sorority Kappa Alpha Theta.   I believe that since I found this home I have been changed for the better.  I found friends like Britton that encourage me each day and believe in me more than I believe in myself.  They make me more confident to be myself and pursue the things I love.  My successes are their successes and vice versa. The picture above is of my roommate (Britton) and I slightly matching on the way to church.  We bond greatly over our love for clothes, art, making our beds, adventure and Europe.  We both look forward to our experiences studying abroad  in Madrid and France.

The Lord has lead me on a path, and I have left my heart in various locations along the way.  Mine is scattered among my hometown and family of Kansas City, my friendships in Stillwater and the adventure and opportunity that awaits in Madrid.  I have come to realize that home is not a physical location for me.  It is the relationships and adventure created in each one.  

Words of Wisdom

This photo displays the top of the dresser in our room. We like to spruce up our gray room with pretty hand-picked wildflowers we find near campus!

IMG_3663EDITIMG_3658EDITIMG_3660EDITSometimes we all need some words of wisdom– especially in college when we are running on little sleep and lacking motivation to get the important stuff done.

Here in my sorority bedroom my roommates and I have a little hand-made white-board on an easel propped up on the dresser.  We keep a marker nearby so any one of us can change what the board has to say.

This week the board says “Be Awesome.”

We started repeating this phrase after watching Kid President’s motivational video on YouTube.  If you have not seen it, go watch A Pep Talk from Kid President to You right now!

My roommate wrote this on the board specifically for me.

Last week I endured a devastating accident.  Around 4:00am I somehow managed to roll off my top bunk in my sleep.  During my fall I slammed into the dresser below and landed head-first on the floor.  In order to save my head and neck from breaking, my reflexes kicked in and I tried springing myself up off the floor.  During that process, I snapped both bones in my left wrist.  I also lost all ability to move my left hand and fingers.  I ended up having surgery (my biggest fear) to get pins in my arm to straighten the bones that were sticking out of my arm and hopefully regain movement in my hand.

“Be Awesome” is a reminder to me to turn this negative into positive. I keep feeling sorry for myself for not being able to button my own pants, type with two hands or hold a plate and scoop food onto it.  I complain about my pain medicine making me sick and making me too drowsy to make it through the day.  I get angry at how little sleep I am getting and the back pain I am getting from this sling.  I am frustrated I cannot shower as easily and put my own hair in a ponytail.  Though my constant exasperation, I feel guilty for feeling this way.  I keep forgetting how lucky I am that my injury wasn’t worse.  I could have broken my neck, had severe brain damage or more.  I have to remind myself that there are people fighting battles far more intense than my temporary one.

Kid President quotes Robert Frost’s infamous line “Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the road less traveled by.” Then Kid President retaliates, “And it HURT man! Rocks! Thorns! Glass! My pants broke! Not cool, Robert Frost.”  However, he proceeds to acknowledge that if there were two roads, he wanted the road that lead to awesome.

Here in a year I will laugh when saying “Remember that time…”  and forget how much I actually appreciate my left wrist.  I have come to the realization that God placed me on this temporary path of rocks, thorns and glass to enlighten me of my power to make any situation awesome.

In the meantime, I will be awesome while eating my calcium enriched foods- and typing with one hand.

When Life Hands you Lemons..

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homemade lemonade in mason jars to make it fun and festive

We added frozen strawberries, raspberries and blackberries for color and flavor!

Drumroll please, for the most summery day of the year! A dear friend of mine and I decided to take a quick break out of a hectic day of being a college student.  The perfect excuse? National Lemonade Day! In order to be conscious of the infamous freshman fifteen, or how we like to say this year, the sophomore sixteen, we decided to spare the time, money and calories of a restaurant lemonade by making our own festive drinks!

This lemonade “tea-party” was close to free, because we found all necessary materials laying around our sorority house.  We found Crystal-Light zero calorie lemonade packets, mason jars, frozen fruit and cute straws to brighten up the typical yellow drink. We also managed to scrounge up some pretty pink-and-white striped napkins left over from Bid Day which were the perfect complement.

Sipping on these cute homemade-drinks on the porch felt so much more special than going out, purchasing a drink and finishing it on the car ride home.  I was able to enjoy sitting on the porch, seeing good friends coming in and out of the house and engage in good conversation with my good friend Britton. I felt more energetic and excited about the rest of the day because of this little unknown holiday called National Lemonade Day.

***(If you happen to be out and about and have sufficient time to spend on a porch, I highly recommend Chik-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade!

****(National Lemonade Day is August 20th of every year!)

***** Check out Real Simple for more lemonade recipes!