Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Cheesecake Factory

Last night my parents and I went to The Cheesecake Factory, one of my favorite restaurants (although I always get Chicken Madeira) mainly for the namesake dessert. Friday July 30th is National Cheesecake Day and The Cheesecake Factory is offering "Any Slice, Half Price" so go in and get some!

They currently offer(I believe until tomorrow when they switch to Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake) Stefanie's Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake and it is absolutely delicious! It consists of layers of red velvet cake and original cheesecake with cream cheese icing and white chocolate shavings and it was heavenly! Not only did it taste amazing but it helps an amazing cause. 25¢ from the sale of each slice is donated to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, and so far they have raised over $850,000 (according to our waitress). So go in and try some, half price!

Eat, Love, Pray

I just finished the novel, soon to be movie, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert and I LOVED it! I must say if you have not read it yet, go to the nearest bookstore or library and get it asap!
It is about a women's one year journey in Italy, India, and Indonesia. She splits the book according to the three countries and her experiences in them. Each one has something new, compelling, and amazing to offer and honestly made me think about my life and how I could better it.

I CAN'T wait until the movie comes out August 13! I think Julia Roberts will be a great Liz although I hope the movie stays true to the book.

One of my favorite quotes from the book comes from her Guru's teachings, "people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it...."

Sunday, July 25, 2010


One of my favorite designer's is Kensie and is sold at Macy's and Nordstrom. They make many dresses as well as tops and a few bottoms. I have about 8 dresses from the designer as well as a few tops.

This dress is such a class and flattering shape, but the metallic dot pattern and ruffles add some funky detail!

Love the watercolor-like floral with bow and sweetheart neckline!

Great updated LBD, love the ruffles!

While some of their pieces are more trendy and edgy than my style, they also have a "Kensie Pretty" line that debuts many floral patterns and beading work. They also have a "Kensie Girl" line geared towards juniors.

Here are a few of my favorite dresses from Kensie ....

I wore this to my sororities date function (excuse the lei) but I LOVE the color and the fit!

I bought this as my graduation party dress and I love the floral pattern at the bottom and beading along the top!

Although this is not the best picture, I love this sweater dress for the winter. It is super simple and can be dressed up or down. I love to pair it with colored tights for a pop and have worn with heels, uggs, or flats!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Favorite Quotes

Recently I have loved looking at quotes and here are some of my favorites I have found recently.
  • Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't. And believe that everything happens for a reason ... if you get a chance - take it; if it changes your life - let it. Nobody said it would be easy ... they just promised it would be worth it.
  • All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney
  • Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. - Joshua J. Marine
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. -Henry David Thoreau
  • Happiness depends on ourselves.
  • When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there.
On another note, my bus won the Spirit Stick for Bus Olympics!!! (unfortunately, I did not bring my camera so I do not have any pictures!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Teens to Go: Bus Olympics!

For the past two years I have worked at a summer camp in my area, Teens to Go. I am working 5 weeks this year, after I finished my study abroad. For Teens to Go we take our campers to different locations every day including amusement parks, the beach, water parks, and rafting. We switch off every other week between overnights (Rehoboth Beach, 6 Flags New Jersey, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg) and Bus Olympics with the younger kids.

This week is another Bus Olympics and our bus' theme is "Candy vs. Vegetables" full with a 'sweet' rendition to Katy Perry's California Gurls, just think green and leafy and candy coated!

Here are some of my favorite Bus Olympics from the last year including ...

Camp Rock!

I'm on a Bus (with Andy Samburg and T-Pain)
A hilarious spoof of SNL's "I'm on a Boat" written by the above two campers!

And finally the coveted SPIRIT STICK!!!
My buses won 3 out of the 4 Bus Olympics last year (all three pictured above), hopefully Candy vs. Vegetables will start this summer off right too!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Edition

I knew this was coming but today Lilly Pulitzer officially released their Fall 2010 Collection Sneak Peak on Facebook! I am so excited my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, is one of the first four sororities in the collection (others: Delta Delta Delta, Delta Zeta, and Kappa Delta).

Lilly is introducing 6 items for each, including the Original Carry On, Original Tote, Original Wallet, Murfee Scarf, Make-Up Bag and Pencil Case. I have my eye on the tote and wallet!

Supposedly, Lilly will make batches of sorority gear and put it out a few times a year, even repeating sororities with new designs (making the originals even more special). I just heard this from a Lilly sponsored store owner a few months ago though so no promises

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Summer is defiantly my time for guilty television pleasures. Although I have not watched much tv between traveling and am now working about 50 hours a week I do have a few shows I must watch online if I miss it or on demand.

Big Brother
I love reality shows like this, especially anything that CBS does (survivor, Amazing Race) and Big Brother is even worse because it is on 3 times a week. I usually watch on demand afterward with my sister but it always pulls me in!

The Bachelorette
Usually I do not watch "The Bachelor" but I watched last season with Jake and loved Ali so I wanted to see her as the Bachelorette. I have been watching this online, I started in Spain whenever I had some downtime and just wanted to watch tv I would watch this. It's getting down to the wire and can't wait to see who she chooses (I am gunning for Chris).

Top Chef
The one channel I can watch almost anytime is Bravo and Top Chef is defiantly my favorite of the lot. I love all the judges and there are always some characters (this season has two heated enemies), not to mention the amazing food and that it is in D.C. There are always reruns on so its easy to watch whenever.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cute Gift

My grandparents came to visit my family and my grandma brought the cutest things for my sister and I.

Virginia Tech for Me!

Clemson for Julie!

She ordered these baskets from a catalouge, I forgot to ask which one, but apparently a lot of schools offer them. It is a perfect gift for any graduation gift and you can easily add other school parafanial... like shirts, blankets, stickers or dorm room items including snacks, towels, and school supplies!

They are perfect addition to a dorm room for bulky items like shoes/boots, blankets, dvds, whatever! I can't wait to see it in my room next year!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Even though I am back from Europe I wanted to share an item I got while over there, in the airport no less! Airports in Europe are more like high end fashion malls, duty free! And this is a deadly thing for a girl alone in the airport for a few hours! In Nuremberg, Germany I found the cutest jewler Thomas Sabo, who specializes in charms. I had been looking for a fluer-de-leis charm for quite some time and found one here.

The great thing about the charms is their versatility. I got a simple black bracelet to put the charm on but Sabo also offers necklaces, charm bracelets, and more to put the charms on and the great part is the bracelets and necklaces are versitile too, they can adjust to make a shorter or longer for different looks. And of course you can also put them on chains you already own.

Here are some of my favorite charms ...

I am looking into buying some more charms to add to my collection as they are great staples you can easily mix and match to any outfit.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

River House Fun

So after my amazing 5+ weeks in Europe I was lucky enough to have another few days of vacation at my family's river house in Virginia. Unfortunately, I missed all my aunts, uncles, and cousins that come down every 4th of July, but that did mean more time for relaxation after all my traveling and sleeping in hostels.

Here I am on our deck with the beautiful river in the background.

My sisters and I tubing on "The Patriot"

Now I am back home in Maryland for a day to get organized before I start work for 5 weeks straight before school. I am really excited to be back home and work at Teens to Go, a summer camp I have worked at the past 2 summers that takes teens to the beach, amusement parks, lakes, etc. Also, can't wait for tomorrow's World Cup Final, Vamos Espana!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Roaming around Roma

This weekend I visited Roma, Italia someplace I have always wanted to go. We basically had two full days there (Saturday and Sunday) as we arrived late Friday night (after waiting for our planes luggage for 1.5 hours!) and left Monday morning. We stayed in a hostel, pretty nice but overall hostels are not for me and all in all I felt like 2 days was enough to hit all the big sites.

: Vatican City & Trevi Fountain

We ventured towards the Vatican City to see the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Bascilla. Thankfully, I bought tickets to the Vatican ahead of time allowing us to skip the long line and walk right in (highly suggest if you go to Vatican). Everything was really pretty and I especially enjoyed the Sistine Chapel since I took an online Renaissance course that discussed it.
We also randomly ran into S & A and walked many (claustrophobic) stairs to the top of the cupola for a great view of the city.
The trevi fountain was gorgeous, probably my favorite site of Rome. It is in a little alley and surprises you for something so pretty and ornaite to be hiding there. B & I made some wishes (although we later learned we had to throw it over the opposite shoulder, opps!)
After we had dinner with all the Hokies, it was so great to meet up with them in Europe! I had delicious lasagna and S, A & I split a bottle of white wine.

Sunday: Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, & Colosseum

Although the Pantheon was under construction, it was really cool and the inside was covered with beautiful marble. A & I in front of the Pantheon!
B & I of course had to escape the scorching heat with some gelato! I got cream and strawberry flavored, and in Italy, gelato = our lunch!
I have to say I am slightly partial to the Spanish Steps since I did just study in Spain but they were so pretty (love the palm trees). We walked to the top and saw a pretty view, which helped work off the all gelato we ate!
Our last stop of the day was the Colessium, which was huge and absolutely amazing how such a historic and cultural building is still standing in such great shape!
We also explored the gardens with many more ruins and beautiful views of the city. When we left the gardens, we walked out onto the blocked off street overlooking the Colosseum! Overall, I had an amazing time but after 5+ weeks I am ready to go home and see my family and friends and not sleep in a bunk bed. Can't wait to be back in the good old USA!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ROME if you want to...

I am off to Rome for the weekend! My time in Germany has come to an end and I cannot thank my fabulous hosts for their generosity enough! It was just what I needed after 4 weeks in Madrid -- the relaxing countryside filled with sleep and familiar faces! My friend Becky's parents moved to Germany about three months ago when her mom got a job offer out here on an army base.
Now Becky and I head off to Rome, Italia for the weekend where we plan to meet up with some of my fellow Hokies and sorority sisters, Anna and Stefanie. I can't wait to see them and explore the city with three of my favorite people as well as meet all of A & S's new study abroad friends.Ciao Bellas!

New Resolutions

So now that my trip is coming to an end I have realized a lot about myself and what I want in my life. These items are very broad and general but after a stressful semester at school (and more to come) I really think these will help me be happier and better overall!

After walking everywhere around Madrid I realize I thoroughly enjoy it, especially when the weather is nice. It is a great way to exercise, get fresh air, explore, and socialize with friends!

Eat Healthier and Drink More Water
I have definitely been very lax on my eating habits while abroad, but I NEED to try everything! So when I get back I am not going on a diet, instead incorporating more fruits and veggies (especially during the summer when they are delicious) and water. Not only are they good for your health but make you feel lighter, more energetic, and happy!Read
I am a huge tv buff and without a tv now for 5 weeks, I realize a book or magazine, newspaper is a great companion. I tried to read an article in Spanish everyday in Spain and would like to continue the idea (in Spanish and English) at home - starting with my college newspaper.Explore
When we get into our habits there are places and things we tend to stick to. I want to see and do things I wouldn't or have not normally done - who knows I may just find something I love even more.

Speak Spanish
Although my Spanish improved significantly over my month in Spain, I am still not fluent. I want to continue taking classes and practicing outside the classroom so the next time I go to a Spanish speaking country no one will try to speak to me in English!

Have FUN!
No matter what you are doing, you can make it fun!
This is just a short and simple list, there are always more Do you have any mid-year resolutions that will make your life better?