Sunday, May 30, 2010

Guest Post 2! Give it love!

What I Learned this past Christmas

First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeffrey, and I blog over at I travel a lot and this is just one of the many terrible stories that all seemed to happen to me over the course of three months.

Like so many this past Christmas, I was trying to make my way all the way across the country in order to celebrate with my family. I live in CA, they live in NC so, of course, the burden falls on me to do the travelling. Unfortunately, I have terrible flying Karma. Which is why I was so surprised when I had managed to book a flight through Orbitz for relatively cheap.


I received a phone call the morning of the flight letting me know that my flight had been delayed 2 hours. So naturally since it was a red-eye flight, I hunkered down for another hour of sleep. Naturally, when I arrived at the airport at the time that the flight should have taken off, it was taking off. It turns out the flight had not been delayed.


Now, I had to depend upon the mercy of US Air and my wrath at Orbitz. While I waited in line to see about another flight, I was on hold with Orbitz. When I finally got in touch with Orbitz, I explained to them what had happened at what mess they had gotten me into. Naturally, they claimed no responsibility and the woman actually told me "I'm sorry sir, but this is in God's hands now," and hung up. By this point, I was starting to get really cranky.


They finally booked me on standby for a United Air flight with a connector to Charlotte, and I was so grateful I didn't think to ask what my standby number was. The flight was a few hours away so I got a sandwich and waited. When they finally began boarding, I was standing next to a man who asked me if I had a ticket. I said "No, I'm on standby." He asked me what my number is. I didn't know so I went to find out. Turns out, I was number 16! I was NEVER going to get on this flight at that jerk at the kiosk new it!


Sure it sounds like a great deal, for some reason, to be able to choose from more flights and get your miles points or whatever. However, when it comes to United and US airways working together, they suck! Because US Air had given me a ticket to United, I know had to go through United to get a new ticket. Well United wouldn't do anything for me so I had to go back to US Air. If you know the San Francisco Airport, the United and US Air terminals aren't even in the same building. So I had to walk between the two about 4 or 5 times. Finally, this lovely woman took pity on me and managed to find me a flight at 11:00AM to Charlotte with a layover in Denver.


Well, I managed to get to Denver, and I went to check in to my flight. It was here that I discovered that they had booked me for the right flight, just on the wrong day. In fact, the flight that they had booked me on had left 24 hours ago. You know how after midnight, it turns into a new day? Well, this is a foreign concept to United or US Air or whoever I was dealing with at this point.


Naturally, the flight from Denver to Charlotte was full and so was every other Denver to Charlotte for the next 72 hours! They put me on standby for every flight until I got on one. For the flight that night at 1AM, I was number 6. Remembering the lesson from earlier, I was prepared for a prolonged visit in Denver. Everything in the airport was closed except the bathrooms and all I had with me was a bottle of wine and some sourdough bread that I had brought for my mother. Luckily the wine had a screw top instead of a cork. Needless to say, I found a dark corner of the airport, hunkered down and began to find solace in the 2004 cabernet that had cost me 38 dollars.


Halfway through the cabernet, I heard my name over the loudspeakers. I was so thrilled that I did the quintessential no-no of the airport. I left everything I own unprotected. Luckily, nothing happened with that. I managed to get a seat on the flight and it was 1st class! I packed up everything and boarded the plane. It wasn't until I was seated that I discovered that my wine was missing. Oh well, I was so happy to be on a plane for home, I didn't even care I was sitting next to a man reading "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin.

So there it is over 24 hours after I should have been landing in Charlotte, NC, I finally landed. Naturally, on my way back, the drama was just as bad, but that's a story for another time.

Friday, May 28, 2010

So tomorrow...

I'm going to see Glee live in concert at Radio City Music Hall.... eeeeeee!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can I just say...

I love all my new blog followers! I will delve into your blogs when my mom isn't in town.


New Zealand Message Board


I will have my dream kitchen someday....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can you say perfect afternoon?

I woke up around ten thirty, went to the gym and then went to fifth ave. with my mom (who is in town). My boyfriend gave me $200 to but something fun for myself before he left for a summer internship in CA. I spent half on a silver ring that says "I love you" at Tiffany's. We went to the original Tiffany's ala breakfast at Tiffany's and browsed all the big diamonds and beautiful stuff. Really fun. Then we went next door to Trump Tower for some iced teas. Apparently Trump like to roam the lobby and talk to people, according to the barista. Next we stopped at Pret a Manger (hello London memories!) and I got a corned beef sandwich (my favorite!). We walked through Times Square for a while and went to Rockefeller Center.

Then I had to return for math class...

Who are you anyway?

I want to know! I have a small influx of subscribers and I want to know what you're about. What is your story? We blog because to some extent we like to write about ourselves. I'll start by writing my story and in the comments I want to hear the story of you! Or maybe you can link up to the story of you on your blog. If you decide to do a "Story of Me" post I wouldn't mind you linking my blog in it ;) Everyone has a story.

The Story of Me.

I was born in Arcadia, CA in 1986. My parents brought me home to my older brother (who hated me) and when I was 3 we packed up and moved to Eugene, OR. This is where I grew up and it is where my spirit and part of my soul will always remain. I attended a special immersion school where I was in Spanish for one half of the day and English the second. When we got to middle school and high school my Spanish Immersion friends and I still had special classes no one else could take together that were in Spanish. As a result I am fluent in Spanish and have a loving Familia of friends that have grown up with me and will always be in my life. Oh the stories I could tell. In High School I was involved in Spanish Immersion as well as a special school that was on the campus of my regular high school called International High School and it followed International Baccalaureate curriculum. I will always be grateful that my parents pushed me so hard.

I grew up in the country, outside of Eugene by 15 minutes. My parents are Angelenos and had no farm experience but we did have a horse named Brandy. My brother and I and all our neighborhood friends had a blast digging mud baths and playing capture the flag on my parents 5 acres.

When I left for college I was terrified. With Spanish Immersion I had never had to make new friends really. I mean I did make new friends but I always had my SI buddies around. I left for Chapman University and almost came right back home. I ended up staying in Orange County and am so glad I did. I started as an art major:
But changed to Communications. The above is not my finest example but the only thing I can find a picture of. I was actually a photography person. I loved it but it wasn't my passion. No one thought of me as the artsy type and this made me resent the hipster faux artsy types whose art I really hated (and so did my professors). I had a piece selected to be in a gallery show and then I hung up my art hat.

In the summer of 2007 I did an internship in London through my school. I was coming off the worst semester of my life and thought it would be awful (the sources of my misery were also going). I ended up living with some amazing girls and had the most incredible summer. I learned so much about myself and was completely rejuvenated. I will never forget those girls. They are like sisters now.

When I came back I wanted an internship. I started working for the Democratic Party of Orange County and found a new passion. I met more amazing people and got to see Obama speak 3 times and meet him once (he is INCREDIBLY nice and handsome). This is also where I met my boyfriend but we didn't start dating for a while.

I also went and saw the Spice Girls in Las Vegas. Life changing.

I got this weird idea to join the Peace Corps. I think I did it just to see if I could get in. I did. I was assigned to Ukraine. I was terrified. I spent the summer after graduation working on various campaigns as a campaign manager and then 4 days before I left for Oregon and about 2 weeks before I left for Ukraine my now boyfriend spilled the beans on his feelings for me... and changed everything. I went to Ukraine as planned (after he spent $500 to visit me in Oregon before leaving) and came home 10 days later. I couldn't be gone 2 years. I came back and was hired by a legislator to be his field representative. I went to swanky parties, council meetings and on tours of various businesses. I loved meeting new people but hated a lot of other things about it. Like that his district was in Compton... after a year and some interesting parting words (whole 'nother story) I was accepted into Columbia University's Teacher's College and am currently pursuing a masters. I have never been so passionate and sure that I'm doing what I need to do with my life. I'm in a great relationship and attending a prestigious school for a subject that I am totally in love with. I have big goals in life. I want to write at least one book and be awarded for my teaching. I want to travel the world. I want to open my own bakery/flower shop. I love my life and I've never been afraid to take chances. If I want something I just go out and get it. I never have been one to sit around dreaming of what could be or what I could be doing. Ladies and gents what you wish to do and wish to be is yours for the taking. Nothing is stopping you but you.

That is my story. I hope its not too boring.


Monday, May 24, 2010

My Love.

I'm going to be mushy and tell you about my boyfriend and why he is so amazing. Men- this is your example. He's not perfect... but he's perfect for me.

1) He says "I love you" like ten times a day and likes to give "hug ambushes"
2) He supports me no matter what and tells me he is proud of me. He always makes sure I have what I need and is always thinking of me. Like one time he was studying at the business school and they were giving away free stuff for an event and he brought me a Diet Coke because it had a heart on it and he knows I love it.
3) We can talk about anything. Nothing is off limits and there is no judging. "if it makes you happy..." is our motto.
4) When I get frustrated that my apartment is messy and start cleaning, if he is over he almost always says "just sit down and relax".
5) I know I can trust him 100%
6) He takes time to get to know my family.
7) He is super duper smart and driven. He is in law school.
8) He indulges my silly pleasures like getting silhouette's drawn at Disneyland and watching funny animal videos. One time while he was studying he called me and told me I needed to get on youtube right away and watch a video he found. It was of a puppy trying to climb stairs.
9) On the night Barack Obama was elected we were both ELATED and full of joy. It was the night we had waited two years for and worked so hard for. Yet in California my boyfriend held me and we cried in silence over the passage of prop 8.
10) I can wear sweatpants and a ponytail everyday if I want and it doesn't matter.
11) His first big gift to me was a necklace from Tiffany's.
12) He calls me everyday before bed if we aren't together. Even if he was just at my place.
13) He calls me "his lovely". I love it.
14) He sends me texts randomly just to say "I love you" "I miss you" etc.
15) I can be myself around him.
I could continue but I would be writing forever. This is for you boo.

Bloggy Friends

This is a new networking tool to find new blogs (I think)

The Bronx Zoo

Can we talk about how cute this is?
Go here. Seriously. It is only $15. The baby lion cubs are to die for. The main attraction? The gorillas. They have the most insane gorilla exhibit I have ever seen and me and the boyfriend DIED. I took literally almost 300 pictures. What is so great about the sanctuary is that they charge an extra $3 for it but at the end you get to choose a place in Africa or the United States where all $3 will be donated to help gorillas or local people. I chose to have my money donated to local jobs in the Congo. Enjoy a gorilla feast for the eyes-

mama. She puked in her hands and ate it like five times. Gross. We also saw he have sex with papa...
Funniest face ever?
So relaxed...
Fishing for apples... the little girl was precious. She would sit at the edge and then cross her arms and protect herself from the splashes.
Amazing photo courtesy of my boyfriend
Thanks for an awesome day Bronx Zoo

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First Guest Post!!!

I am SO excited to start this series of guest posts about travel. I've been reading some great stories from people and can't wait to share!! First up we have a story about traveling to the Australian Outback! This post was originally posted on a blog dedicated to travel throughout Australia- please go visit for more fun adventure! Without further ado; enjoy!

Down the Road

While traveling about the Australian Outback, I became rather use to seeing this exact scenery over and over for days on end. The vast, relatively untouched landscape is literally broken only by the stretches of road which allow you to traverse the natural wonder. The isolation from most things man made is a welcome break and a unique experience; however, I found it also raised some interesting problems. Namely, these were how to obtain food and fuel as well as accommodation for when the never-ending expanse of bitumen (aka blacktop) became too much.

Luckily, truckstops appeared on the horizon just often enough to keep the petrol tank full and the engines running. These oases not only offered overpriced food-items (such as $5 ice creams that were a welcome expense in the dry heat), but also, random "tourist attractions" to attract your business. While the attractions were unnecessary--let's be honest, where else am I going to take my business?--they were surprisingly entertaining after hours spent sweatin' it out in the vehicle while driving in a perfectly straight line. For instance, I clearly enjoyed this little beauty..."look, I'm a 'Buffa-roo,' too!"

Fuel and food taken care of, nailing down a place to sleep at night became priority numero uno, but the options were rather limited. A few of the truckstops offered overpriced one-night camping, but a better option was available for adventurous souls. The better option I'm speaking of was of course roadside camping. As well as being free and legal in most places, "bush camping" offered amazing views of the setting and rising sun, AND no chance of being annoyed by pesky neighbors at the next campsite over.

I did learn a few things from my adventures in roadside camping. Primarily, while you won't need to worry about the noise from passing cars, you should in fact be prepared for the occasional road train to thunder past. Don't worry though, you'll likely just mistake the experience for a minor earthquake and slip quickly back to sleep. Similarly, don't bother with bug spray as the mozzies aren't too annoying in the Outback; rather, invest in good lightweight, long-sleeve shirt and pants, and a fly net because those blasted flies are hell. I'm not talking your run-of-the-mill, American housefly. No, no, no, the Australian Outback offers disgustingly persistent "sticky flies;" so named for their intense desire to adhere themselves to any mucosal membrane, or in their absence, anything moist. It's awful...seriously. Also worth taking along are the following items:

-Reliable hand-cranked torch (erm, flashlight). Because I imagine there would be nothing worse than a 100% pitch black potty break at 2am.

-Shovel and biodegradable toilet paper because a potty break at 2am without a shovel and tp would be worse than a 100% pitch black potty break mistake

-Well-stocked first aid kit just in case.

-A comfortable sleeping bag and padded mat, or if you're less adventurous, an easy-to-pitch tent.

-Extra food, water, fuel, just in case...again :)

Along with things that should definitely be taken along, there are a few things to just not bother with at all. Actually, only two come to mind. Firstly, don't bother pulling your mobile phone out of the vehicle, you won't get reception, and you won't need it as an alarm as the sun will wake you up early. Don't kill your battery for nothing. Secondly, don't--AND I REPEAT...DON'T--watch "Wolf Creek" before you head out on this adventure. It will only mess with your head.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

So excited...

My new series of travel blog posts starts tomorrow! Our story comes from an awesome adventurer and a warm place... stay tuned for tomorrow!

In the mean time I went to Boston last week overnight. Here are some do's and don'ts
*spend some time getting to know the transportation system there. Cabs are spendy and things are usually pretty close. Subway it up. Or walk, it's a beautiful city.
*walk the Freedom Trail. You'll probably run into a lot of school kids but everything worth seeing is along the trail. Leave some time for exploring the North End and little Italy. Nice stuff.
*Take a commuter train to Salem and spend the afternoon basking in the history and touristy goodness. A very fun adventure and a short, cheap train ride away.
*Stay slightly outside the city.. its cheaper and there are a lot of ways to get into the city.
*eat some chowda. I had some great clam chowder at Union Oyster House... oldest restaurant in America.
*chat up the locals. They love their city and talk and talk and talk.

*take cabs... geesh.
*act like you're too good to play the tourist. That is what's fun about Boston and there is so much rich history... I got so lost in it all.
*come thinking Bostonians are rude people... they are really nice!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A few faves and upcoming goodies.

I am so bad at remembering to do this regularly... but I decided I would compile a list of things that I like and recommend. I've tried a lot of different beauty products from everything from acne to perfume. I always like to see what works for other people so I thought I would post mine.
Clinique is always the way to go. I have a motto to never buy drug store foundation... my skin deserves better and cheap stuff just flat out looks worse. I have never been disappointed in clinique but my favorite has to be Even Better (super fit is good too). It really does make your skin look better over time! And clinique always lasts forever. Worth the extra money (and SPF).-
Even Better Makeup SPF15
for face lotion I also go to clinique- I have combination skin that is sensitive and acne prone. Their Dramatically Different face GEL is perfect. My skin is hydrated, glowing and does not get oily or break out. The regular lotion is too heavy for me. A tube of the gel is only like $12. Moisture surge is also good. Again people... invest in your skin, clinique does skin so well.
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel in Tube
For lips, I hate lipstick but still want a little color. Clinique has a great and timeless color that is a hybrid lipstick/gloss... it goes on smooth and looks perfect on literally everyone. Like you've eaten berries... dont be afraid of the name Black Honey... its not dark or heavy. It comes in a tube too but this consistency is so good...
Almost Lipstick
For eyeliner I use Almay intense i-color liner for blue eyes. It has a little bit of sparkle and goes on nicely. The price is also great. I use this product almost everyday as a basic liner and it has lasted me a long time and holds up well. I really like that its not too intense but really compliments my eyes. Smashbox makes a really pretty cream eyeliner is a pretty chestnut brown color that looks sensational with blue eyes.. I don't own it though cause its a little pricey.
For eye shadow I use a variation of cover girl shadows and clinique. I have a smokey eye kit from clinique and I use the Country Woods 4 color kit from Cover Girl for a pretty glowy, natural look. I layer it over my absolute favorite eye shadow Laura Mercier metallic creme eye color in a tube- Platimun color. Its actually a gold toned shadow and it goes on really pretty. I spread it lash to brow and then layer some darker shadow in my crease.... very pretty and great for summer.
For mascara I usually use clinique- any kind you're looking for is good, long pretty lashes is a nice and natural look but my favorite is High Impact in brown black. I like a more natural look so this is great stuff in brown/black. They have a new one called High Lengths that I will probably buy next.
High Impact Mascara
I bought some cheap Rimmel mascara at target the other day and surprisingly I really like it. The brush separates lashes really nicely but I find that it rubs of under my eyes sometimes which I don't like. Make-up needs to stay put. Other wise it looks pretty.
For blush I have two that I like. One is a good cream blush that looks much more natural than a powder and clinique makes a great one. So does Laura Mercier but Clinique is cheaper. I like all the colors but especially the peachy one.
Blushwear Cream Stick
Right now I'm using a powder that has a little shine. Its called hot mama but its a little too pink for me. I can only use a tiny bit. The packaging is darling but for the price I'll buy the clinique next time.
theBalm Hot Mama Shadow & Blush All-in-One
For a bronzer I use and really like Benefit's Hoola powder. Its not orangy or sparkly and it is very subtle. It gives the face just a small hint of color.
One thing I love about Sephora is their brand. I only buy fun stuff from their brand but I love their mini nail polishes. They are cheap and come in fun colors to experiment with. My favorite though is their glow powder in Rose. It comes in other colors but this one offers a really nice subtle glow. I sweep it around my eyes and high on my cheeks. It looks so lovely.
Harmony Trio Bronzer
One great thing I use to highlight the bottom on my eye (lid and tear duct) is benefit's guilded liner. I can't find a picture but its basically just a highlighting stick.

These are the make-up products I use regularly. I have some other stuff that I use for going out but this is my day to day routine. I like a natural glowing look and these products provide me with what I want. Now hit Sephora and explore!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Travel... the best part of the year.

Alright so I'm going to introduce a new chapter of this blog that I hope will continue to grow. Travel is one of my favorite things and I like to do it as much as possible. I have a lot of travel planned for this summer and really can't wait for the journey to begin. I've been planning all this since February. Because I have a decent amount of experience planning travel on a budget I will do some blog posts about this and the best way to take a vacation without spending too much. My first tips will be:
1. Never jump on the first deal you see unless you have experience with a certain city and know something is an outrageous deal. Google search deals and search the travel websites for where you're going. A lot of places offer package deals and websites like allow you to bid on rooms and you can save a LOT of money. This allows you to either stay in a hotel for cheaper or stay in a nicer hotel for the a better price. Spend some time searching.
2. Buy the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada. This is a great book to get if you want to travel across America. It provides a lot of inspiration for small town stops and must see attractions. They also make this book for the entire world but I don't have it. I bought the USA one for my road trip.
3. Create a budget and decide what kind of trip you can realistically afford. Maybe just a day trip to the beach with some friends is in your budget but that doesn't mean you can't make it awesome. Use to find the best places to eat, research museums in the area, take your camera and have fun.

What I hope to convey is how important getting away is. You learn so much about yourself when you're dropped into a new place and I'm always amazed at how different places are. I will be doing another post about my road trip soon but I will share the locations and where I'll be traveling this summer:
May 13/14 Boston, short spa trip (!) to rejuvenate before summer session.

July 2-5 Portland, Or for some time with old friends.

July 5-7 (tentative) Seattle, WA to visit grandparents with family.

July 7-22 Eugene, OR to spend time at home with my parents and old friends. There is no places like Eugene in the summertime!

July 22- July 31 Los Angeles CA to visit friends, family and my boyfriend before my road trip. Side trip planned for July 23-25 to Las Vegas, NV for my friends birthday.

July 31- August 18 ROAD TRIP! We'll start in Scottsdale, AZ and spend August 1st exploring AZ. We will then travel to White Sands National Monument in NM, San Antonio for 2 days, New Orleans for 2 days, Vicksburg MS for 1 day, Memphis TN for 2 days, Little Rock AK for 1 day, Sayre, OK for one day, Santa Fe NM for 2 days, the Grand Canyon for 1 day then back to Scottsdale. The next day I'll fly back to LA for a quick visit and then its back to NYC for the next school year. I can't wait!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coming to Terms...

i die for this duckling.
This blog is decidedly going to be about me now. And that does not mean enslaving myself to recording weight loss attempts... makes me avoid it like the plague. I will update major milestones but for now I just want to post things that are fun... girly things, travel stuff, fashion stuff and teaching stuff. I want this blog to be a jumble of my recommendations for every person and my ideas for things. I feel happy about this. Here is my start-

I love art, I've been moved to tears by a painting.
I am not sure I like the East Coast very much, people are so different.
I miss the South even though I've only been twice.
I am not arrogant, but I know I am very smart.
I am highly opinionated.
I value people over everything else.
I live for new experiences and travel is my greatest joy.
My goals in life are really really big... but I'm excited to say that I'm on the right path. This is NOT a blog about a girl with big dreams who never goes out and achieves them.
I am in love with my boyfriend in a wonderful and comfortable way.
I would not have believed you a few years ago if you had told me I would be getting a masters at 23 and at an Ivy League school.
Life can change so fast. I've learned to be prepared.
I love vintage and have had an obsession with antiques since childhood. It is my dream to someday have a house that combines modern and antique. I think it makes a whimsical aesthetic.
I love animals of all sorts but have a special affinity for these (especially babies)- gorillas, ducks, dogs, bears and meerkats. I also love my domestic feline Stephen. The San Diego Zoo is paradise.
I would love for you to read my blog and cheer me on. :)

This is the funniest picture I've ever seen. He was begging a zoo keeper for jelly treats.
and this one...
and of course baby Frank...