I have loved Michelle Obama's style since I first saw her on TV campaigning with Barack. She has such an effortless style and always looks appropriate for whatever situation she finds herself in. I also love her down-to-Earth attitude that she has held on to even thought her husband is considered to be the most powerful man in the world.
So, when HGTV announced that they would continue their Christmas at the White House special this year I was very much looking forward to seeing how The First Lady would infuse her great style into the decorations. And then, when she announced the theme as "Simple Gifts" I knew it was going to be great. And boy is it ever! From what I saw on the special the White House looks amazing!
The annual White House gingerbread house goes above and beyond this year! It has holes cut into the facade and rooms in the house were meticulously created, complete with electricity! There is even a tiny Bo out front. Too cute!
Needless to say I would love to visit the White House at Christmas time. It looks like it is such a magical place at this time of year! I can't imagine what it is like living in the space and getting to enjoy it every day.
Again with the month long absence from the blog. Ugh! I have become the worst blogger lately!
But...not to worry...school is over and so I have more time. For a bit. A little under one month to be exact.
On the school front, I have successfully completed my first semester of graduate school with flying colors! All A's for me! One of my papers even landed on a list of the best in the class in my International Development Education class! If any of you out there want to read a paper about Child Soldier's just let me know. What....no one? Yeah, that's what I thought.
One positive of an ever changing school schedule is an ever changing work schedule. My new work schedule now includes two days that allow me to sleep in until a whopping 7am! It is so sad that I consider 7am sleeping in these days. Oh how I wish for the days as an undergrad. Sleeping until noon, going to the elementary art methods class (yes, we made paper mache puppets in that class, don't judge me) at 1pm, and then lounging around and doing nothing for the rest of the day. Oh to be young again!
Oh yeah and big news! I was officially nominated for the Peace Corps! All that is in my way is the medical and legal clearances. Woo hoo! I am on my way. My recruiter said that I might not know where I'm going until two months before I leave. Scary but exciting at the same time!
I'll try to keep it going here on the ol' blog. Remember last month when I promised that same thing. This time will be different. Really.
At Florida State we are lucky enough to have a beautiful lakefront park that is free for student use, the FSU Reservation. Or, as the cool kids call it, The Rez.
The park is great and there are so many activities students can do for FREE!
You know us college kids love the word FREE!
Since starting grad. school, my friends and I have made it a habit to go kayaking as much as possible, usually every weekend. It is the perfect thing for getting some relaxation in. Leisurely paddling through the water and pushing all the work and reading that needs to be done out of your mind is the best!
One part of the lake is full of cypress trees and the water flows through them like a road.
So beautiful and quiet.
The best part is when you stop paddling and just float, lean back, and enjoy the sun.
If you've never gone kayaking I highly recommend it! So relaxing and a great work out to boot!
I recently saw The Choir on my On Demand menu and was curios. What choir? Who's choir?
Well it's Gareth Malone's choir and the show is great!
Gareth Malone is a choir master that travels England and creates choirs from nothing. He turns these groups of people into amazing choirs within only a few months. In the episodes I have seen so far, he creates a boys choir at a school that is obsessed with sports and a community choir in a down and out town that needs something to bring them together.
The show touches on some individual stories within the choirs and is very touching. It is amazing to see what he does with these seemingly ordinary people that never ever thought of singing.
My life is plugging along. And that is all. Plugging. Work. School. Work. School
There is some sprinkling of fun during the weekend but that is in between writing papers and creating PowerPoint presentations. Exciting and riveting right? Didn't think so.
I have done some fun things lately. And by lately I mean within the last month. 'Cause remember that whole I vow to post more thing.... yeah it's not really happening.
Help! Grad. school is swallowing my life!
Now...some fun things....
I saw The Town. Great movie! Boston bank robbers says it all. Ben Affleck stars in it and he wrote and directed it. He did a great job! By the end of the movie you are rooting for the bad guys. Pretty funny too, even if it wasn't meant to be.
I also saw The Social Network. Another pretty good one. Although, it does make Mark Zuckerberg (creator of Facebook) look like a completely egotistical jerk. He pretty much abandons his best friend and business partner and follows the money. Not nice, Mark, not nice at all.
Last weekend was the Experience Asia Festival here in Tallahassee. Basically, I go for the food! I hadn't had Indian food in a very, very long time so I was definitely excited to get my hands on some chicken tika masala and naan bread. It was glorious! I could probably eat chicken tika all day everyday and never get tired of it.
I registered for spring semester and am excited to only have class one day a week! Woo hoo! I can now (in January) come home from work and not have to rush back out to go to class three days a week. Much less hectic! I like it! And, bonus, I can start going to the gym more. I was going everyday until school took over my life.
Super exciting is the fact that Florida State is playing some great football this year! And, to top it off, the Gators LOST! TWICE! As you know, a Florida State fan roots for anyone playing the Gators.
Ok, for real this time, I promise to post more. Maybe. We'll see.
So we just won't talk about the fact that I took a big 'ol giant break from blogging.
I am back and I missed writing so I am excited to get back at it.
So, since I last graced you with my presence I have of course come back from NYC.
I so wish I had still been in New York this whole time!
Sadly I have not. I have started grad. school!
And I landed a full time job! Hence the world's longest bloggy break.
Needless to say my life has been a little crazy and busy!
I am really loving grad. school so far. I'm working towards my degree in the international education development field. Basically we are learning to save the world one child at a time. My degree will eventually include a 2-year stint in the Peace Corps. As a matter of fact I turned in my application for the Peace Corps last week! Exciting!
So...what's the big, new, exciting, development in my life? Netflix.
That's how not so exciting my life has been lately.
We (the 'rents and I) recently broke down and bought a Wii.
We love it!
I am eyeing this.
I'm patiently waiting on a good sale.
We all know how I love a good deal!
But, back to Netflix. You can watch movies instantly on your t.v. through your Wii!
I love it! The instant movies come free with whichever subscription you paid for. They aren't new releases but there is still a pretty good selection.
So, you can still watch movies while your waiting on the snail mail.
This was first in my queue.
I really enjoyed it. I watched it win all those awards at the Oscars and I wondered what all the hype was about. I understand now. The movie is very suspenseful and
keeps your interest the whole time.
I never felt myself getting bored. I also really liked the way it was filmed. Some parts of the movie were filmed with handheld cameras which gave it a really cool feel. Even if you're not a fan of war movies youshould check this one out.
Can I start this post by saying....OMG I haven't blogged in almost a month! Bad blogger! I would say I have a good reason for this but I don't. I can't even make up a good one.
Lately I have spent an inordinate amount of time in the deep South. Last weekend I spent a great weekend with a bunch of great ladies at our favorite horse ranch in Georgia. And, the weekend before I spent in South Carolina at the NASCAR race in Darlington.
Along the way I saw a billboard after my own heart. This road sign simply stated: "Country Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'" Amen sister, amen! I have no idea what was being advertised but this slogan shall stay with me forever. It will now be my sole excuse for eating all the Southern food I would like.
That brought up all the other Southern words to live by. For example, "Bless your heart." To the un-expecting Yankee this seems like a lovely sympathetic term. In reality it is never a good thing. For those not familiar, "Bless your heart" is something you don't want to hear said about you. This phrase is what we polite southern belles say when we really want to say something very un-lady like. A soccer mom steals your parking spot at the mall? You reply, "Bless her heart." Your boyfriend thinks that a vacuum cleaner is a great birthday gift? Your friends respond, "Bless his heart." You see, we actually mean the complete opposite.
And now, courtesy of eHow.com, a tutorial on how to use Southern phrases.
Things You'll Need:
"Butter my butt, and call me a biscuit!" It's a clear way to say you are knocked out of your britches with a new tidbit of knowledge.
"It made me as ill as a hornet." You were so mad, you just didn't know what to do.
WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY AND CAN'T SAY ANYTHING NICE
"Bless her/his heart."
"My cow died last night, so I don't need your bull."
"I do declare."
"Well, shut my mouth."
"She's resting in peace in the marble orchard." (You can add "Bless her heart.")
"He's fixin' to meet his Maker."
STUPID, UGLY AND CLUMSY PEOPLE (there must be a lot around here because there are many ways to imply such things) Since we don't usually call people stupid, ugly and clumsy - follow each of these phrases with, "Bless his/her heart"
"He looks like something the dog's been keeping under the porch."
I have always been intrigued by old Florida. I'm a Floridian (born and raised) and I love the magic that Florida holds for non-Floridians. The promise of endless sunshine, gorgeous beaches, the happiest place on Earth (Disney World, of course!).
But, there is a forgotten piece of old Florida that out ranks all of this for me. Just north of Tampa on US 19 sits a relic of Florida that is still standing tall. Weeki Wachee Springs is slice of nostalgia that has been preserved for future generations. Hailed as the world's only city of live mermaids, it beckons tourists away from the all mighty mouse. It promises them a wonderful, if not gimmicky, show full of magic and sights beyond belief. Since 1946 tourists have been coming to Weeki Wachee to marvel at the beautiful mermaids that seem to effortlessly dance without the need for air in the crystal clear spring. A spectacle and a must see for sure!
The draw of old Florida and the magic of such a place is what drew me into my current read, Swim to Me. The book tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who leaves her home in the Bronx for the sunny promise of Florida. After her father walks out on her family, she feels as though she must get out and make a better life for herself. Weeki Wachee seems like the perfect place to do just that after visiting the park on a family vacation the year before. She auditions at Weeki Wachee and gets the job. Now, how will she deal with her new found stardom and what will happen when her family suddenly reunites in a most feared twist of fate? This book is not the most substantial book but it is a good read none the less. I would recommend this for a long drive or a day at the beach. It left me with dreams of old Florida and I am now planning a trip to Weeki Wachee as soon as possible!