December 31, 2013

InstaLately: Holiday Edition

Thanksgiving Break
L: Charlie loves to get into trouble. // R: Supporting our Buckeyes when they played (and beat) the team up north

December 30, 2013

Where I've Been in 2013

I can't believe there are just two days left of the year. I don't feel like it'll be 2014 on Wednesday. It's like time is moving faster than I can get ready for it. But regardless if I'm ready, the new year is coming, and with it will come many new adventures and milestones and moments I'll not soon forget. But I don't want to welcome the future until I've properly bid farewell to the past. 

2013 has been one for the books. It's been full of memories - good and bad, happy and sad - and I've been to places I never expected to go so soon after Germany. After studying abroad I really got bit hard by the travel bug, and I've tried to indulge my lust for new places as much as I can. However, I'm broke, so most of my adventuring hasn't been too far from home. But as much as I've been exploring my corner of the globe, I've also managed to venture farther away a couple times, too.

This year I have:
- been to four different states. And if this was Europe that would be like four countries.
- checked off six new places in my book, "1000 Places To See Before You Die."
- reached the summit of a giant rock that bares the world's largest bas-relief.
- stood at the southernmost point of the continental United States.
- enjoyed climbing to the top of lighthouses.
- explored one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

I'd say that's not too bad for a broke college student.

December 27, 2013

Resolution Recap

I'm one of those people that makes new year's resolutions every January, and I actually try to keep my resolutions and don't just forget about them by February. Making goals, no matter how big or small, is important, and the beginning of each year is a great starting point for making those goals happen.

With that being said, I did a terrible job at keeping my resolutions for 2013. I almost didn't want to do a recap post like this because I'm kinda embarrassed with how awful I did this year. But for the purposes of humor and light-heartedness, I give you a rundown on the success (or lack thereof) of my 2013 resolutions.

+ Cook. Supposedly cooking was at the top of my priority list being that I'm living in my own apartment. Nope! I barely cooked at all this year. I made spaghetti a handful of times and some chicken dinners, but all in all I totally failed at this resolution. My biggest accomplishment was making glühwein the other night with my mom as my sous chef.

December 26, 2013

Taking Stock Again

Cue everyone making fun of my messed up toes...

Remember this post back in October? Well, being that the end of the year is drawing near I figured now would be a great time to take stock again. Sometimes it's the little things that give us the most joy, ya know?

December 24, 2013


Photo via Instagram // jfreddie

One of my favorite things about holidays are the traditions we have. Whether it's Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, or St Patrick's Day, there is always something we look forward to that we just don't do during the rest of the year. Or if we do, it's really weird and just different.

December 23, 2013

The Thankful Project: Something About Your Significant Other

Today I'm focusing on day 20 of The Thankful Project - "something about your significant other."

When I first read about this project back in October, today was the one day I was most excited to write about. Even though I don't like talking about my relationship much online, Bryan has still been a big part of my life since last summer, and he deserves a little bit of praise in the Blogosphere. We complement each other so well, and I couldn't be more thankful that studying abroad brought us together.

December 20, 2013

4 Ways to Make the Holidays Less Stressful

Holidays are a stressful time. Period. Stress is going to happen, and there's no way to avoid it. It's just how it goes when you have gifts to buy, cookies to bake, and holiday parties to attend. It's a lot to handle in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I believe I know a couple ways to cut down on the stress that the holidays inevitably bring every year. So here are four ways to make the holidays less stressful:

December 19, 2013

Victoria's Secret Wish List

I love Victoria's Secret. I really do. It's one of those brands I can always stand behind because the products are just that good. And one of my most favorite times of the year is when I receive the coming year's swimsuit preview catalogue in the mail. It's one of the most exciting things for me to flip through the magazine and dog-ear everything I want. It's a guilty pleasure really. And in honor of Christmas being just around the corner (and if anyone is feeling especially giving and wants to donate to my personal fund) (or if my mom is still wanting to get me things), I figured I would share a few things that I LOVE.

in Black/White Canvas Stripe $88
(pictured: second from bottom)

December 18, 2013

The Thankful Project: Something You Were Taught

Continuing my way through The Thankful Project in my own little way, today I'm focusing on Day 11's prompt: "something you were taught."

At 22 years old, I've been learning for some time now, and I've been taught many things by many people. But out of all the things I've absorbed throughout the years, there is one lesson, for lack of a better term, that has truly made me the person that I am today. Something that I've been taught that I am oh so grateful for is...

December 16, 2013

Book Review: The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

Sorry this picture isn't like my usual book review photos. Like I said last week, I forgot my camera's battery charger back at college, which is five hours away, and my camera battery died before I got a chance to use it or even get the photos I already had off of it and onto my computer. But once I get the chance I'll be changing this picture to one of my own. For now though, this will have to suffice.

So I actually read and finished this book back in November - maybe five weeks ago - but I just haven't gotten around to reviewing it. School is the main reason, but another reason is that I honestly just didn't care for the book. I'm going to assume must of y'all know what it's about because I'm pretty sure y'all have seen the movie. But for those of you who have possibly never heard of it, here is a brief description. Michael Oher grew up in the ghetto of Memphis but managed to find himself at a wealthy, private, christian, white school. The Tuohy's, particularly Leanne, pretty much saved Michael from the streets. They gave him a place to sleep and basically adopted him. At the same time Michael also began playing football and had a very promising career. And [spoiler alert] he manages to barely graduate high school, to go on to play football for Ole Miss, then to be drafted to the Baltimore Ravens, for whom he still plays today.

December 13, 2013


photo via Instagram // jfreddie

First of all, I just want to say that I am SO IRRITATED with myself right now! I brought my camera home with me, but I forgot to bring its battery charger. And naturally, the battery died basically as soon as I turned on my camera. So annoying! So for the holidays, I'm only going to be able to provide iPhone quality pictures. I apologize, y'all. I had good intentions of taking high-quality photos, but unless I can figure out a way to charge my battery it's just not going to happen. Woe is me, right?

Anyway, as I was checking in with my favorite blogs the other day I came across a post about Christmas trees - specifically how they're decorated. And I started thinking about my own tree and how its evolved over the years.

December 11, 2013

The Thankful Project: A Memory

Remember back in November when I decided to contribute to The Thankful Project and made one whole post before not blogging for almost a month? Well, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not satisfied with sharing just one thing I'm thankful for simply because I missed basically the entire month of November. Honestly, I was really excited about participating in Kenzie's project. Not only did it seem like fun and an easy way to post more consistently, but I also really love Thanksgiving and what it represents. I think we could all show our gratitude a little more often, myself included, and this project is a wonderful way to think about our blessings. 

So with that being said, I'm going to continue with my participation in The Thankful Project even though Thanksgiving is over. Better late than never, right? Plus, it's the holiday season, and everyone is sending out wish lists to family and friends, stressed about buying gifts, and just all around frantic. What better time to show my thankfulness for what I do have rather than lust over what I don't?

Today I'm focusing on day 10's prompt - "a memory."

December 10, 2013

3 Weeks Later...

Photos via Instagram // jfreddie

Y'ALL, IT'S BEEN A MONTH... Yeah, I know. A whole dang month! I'm not going to lie, as soon as I finished my "22" mini-series I got swamped with class and the end of the semester, and I couldn't find the inspiration to blog.