Two Weeks Notice

1.26.2012

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{me, laura & mary caroline}
I've been back at school for two weeks now, but it seems more like two months.

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{me, merl, margaret & grace}
On the first night back, a big group gathered at Baby A's, a local Mexican restaurant, to celebrate Tori's 19th birthday.

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{lauren, coley, joe & i}
This gathering also conveniently served as an occasion to reunite after five long weeks apart. Nearly everyone headed to the Avicii concert following dinner, but with my 8am the next morning, I figured I'd be better off without a raging dubstep concert the night before.

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That Thursday, the Fijis held a bar tab downtown, and since syllabus week was still in full swing, almost everyone was able to make it out, making it an especially fun affair.

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Friday night was another birthday bash; I can't help but feel like I attend at least one per week. The cause for celebration this evening was Miss Ashley Davison. Do you recall this evening from early last summer? She was a stranger to me at that point as our honorary out-of-town guest from Louisiana whom Alexandra wanted to introduce to some fellow future Longhorns. And here we were only seven months later, celebrating her birthday together as if we'd all been friends for a lifetime.

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{lauren and i...her BOD debut!}
She hosted her soirée at what is now one of my favorite Austin spots--Maria Maria. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was just as swell. The masses started coming in around ten for salsa dancing. I couldn't help but reminisce on senior year memories since we frequented Taco Milagro in Houston to do the same.

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{alexandra, sarah, kelly and i}
My Memorial girls

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{coley, tori, me & spence}
My school week is much more demanding than last semester, with my classes beginning at 8 and 10 am, unlike last semester when I began some days after noon. Despite my new life as an early bird, I've managed to satisfy the little social butterfly in me a couple nights a week.

And yes, I do actually go to class, but if you're still not convinced, here's your photographic proof:
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{me, leigh, whitney, mimi, katie & katie}
Kappa hosted a chapter retreat at the nearby Alamo Drafthouse--a chain of dine-in movie theatres here in Austin.

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{katie, nicole, lolly, me & mimi}
We reserved our own theatre which hosted what they called "The 00s Sing-Along", playing music videos on the screen of everything from Eminem to Britney to Destiny's Child.

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{elizabeth, olivia, me, julie, kate, peyton & jen in the back}
It was the perfect entertainment for 160 sorority girls looking to get the weekend started on the right foot.

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{blakely, me, claire & connor}
In fact, it was so much fun that several of us didn't want to see the night end, so we joined the rest of our friends downtown.

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{john and i}
Already prepared for a big night out on Saturday, I was intent on designating Friday as my night in to catch up on rest. It only took a shower, a very persuasive neighbor and a deserted 2A to convince me otherwise, and before I knew it I was at the SAE late night and later feasting on Ken's Donuts until four in the morning.

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{taylor, anna & I}
Saturday night was Fiji Marshals--a theme which welcomed for a wide assortment of costumes including miu mius, cowboy boots, Mexican ponchos, moustaches, and border patrol gear, which you'll see is what I opted for.

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Several of Merl's high school senior friends came, as many of them await their fate as possible future Longhorns in the coming weeks.

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{merl, kat & i}
And last but not least, here I am with my big and my bestie. I know my social agenda may be a bore, so I promise I'll get back to blogging about my true loves like fashion, music, and more soon. But, for the time being, I thought this might explain my blogging absence. Though I can't promise a complete cease to my personal life recap posts, since this next month is chalked full of exciting events like Fiji Studio 54, my birthday, Monmouth and the Drake & Nicki Minaj concert. So, bring on the nasty heart-shaped candies and the Valentine's Day cheers and tears. I'm ready for February to be here!

Guilty Pleasure

1.22.2012

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{the dream sequence from next week's 100th episode of Gossip Girl}
Ever since last week's Gossip Girl, I've had this song by Zee Avi on repeat.


I look forward to seeing what tonight's episode has in store music-wise, but even more so, I'm anxiously awaiting the preview for the 100th episode next week which the producers promised will be "the biggest episode since the pilot." This series--with the vibrant color it puts on the screen, the characters' witty banter, and attractive actors--truly is the ultimate guilty pleasure that makes up for at least some of the Monday blues.

Sprinkles

1.21.2012

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Over the break, I collected a few odds and ends for my bedroom, jewelry accessories, and footwear. So, before I left it some of it behind for an undetermined amount of time, I wanted to capture these items and share them with all of you in addition to being a little keepsake reminder of home while I'm gone.

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First is the stacks of magazines layered across the wooden chest that sits at the foot of my bed, holding scrapbooks, old birthday cards, and other paper memories. The latest Elle with Reese Witherspoon gracing the cover kept me occupied on my flight home from Colorado.

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My sister Erin surprised me with this thoughtful gift on Christmas Eve to commemorate our adventure in the city together. It's a book cleverly highlighting NYC's 20 best sights with cute pop-ups and colorful illustrations.

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Colorful jewels, among many things, are one of my weaknesses. Displaying them on my jewelry rack is sometimes even more appealing than draping them around my neck, proving they're probably just as impractical as they are pretty. Nevertheless, I always have been and always will be an advocate for adding the occasional statement piece to your jewelry collection; they'll be your hero on days when you feel like your closet's a style-sucking black hole and the inevitable thought--"I have nothing to wear"--crosses your mind yet again.

One of my favorite stocking stuffers this year were these elastic hair ties that are known for not pulling on all of us girls' sensitive scalps, but instead gently hugging your hair.

And my new favorite mascara--the Chanel Inimitable Intense for nights out when a little more glam is in order.

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Another weakness, which is far more practical, is nude shoes in all shapes and sizes. I received my lovely leopard loafers from my sister Lindsay for Christmas, these tall but surprisingly comfortable wedges from my mom and dad, and I invested in another pair of the Tory Burch Miller sandals after several summers of wear and tear finally got to my white pair.

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A lapse in common sense caused me to brave the madness of Anthro the week of Christmas for some last minute gift shopping. While weaving through the crowds and waiting in line, I stumbled upon this in the sale pile and couldn't resist such a nifty template for outfit planning. Can't say I'll actually use it all that often (or ever really), but it dresses my desk rather nicely.

So there you have it--the small things sprinkled throughout my room that add just enough personal flavor. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

"It was Nice Meeting You"

1.18.2012

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I've reverted to my early high school ways by completely overcommitting myself this semester. I've tacked on four hours to my course load as well as trying to tackle a part-time nanny job, and I've discovered that 24 hours in a day simply won't do. So, as I juggle classes and the kiddos as well as deliberating how to allow myself some room to breathe, I've had little time to wrap up my Skiji post series. But, here's the final chapter at last!

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After a couple nights spent in the town, we decided to take it easy at our condos where large groups could easily gather. Plus, I'm sure the Breckenridge locals were hardly upset that the obnoxious Texas college kids had abandoned their nightlife scene.

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pledge brothers Lyles, Graham & Holden

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Lauren, Tori, me, Ashley and William (oh, and Graham throwin' up his horns in the back, in typical frat boy fashion)

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Laura and I bundled up waiting for the shuttle after returning our skis

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{merl & anna}
We ventured into town on our last night with a big group dinner at Quandary Grille for good American fare and fun.

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Dillon the ladies man with Jaclyn, Sarah, Allie and Nancy

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{elise, kanada, laura & madison}

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{kanada, me, lolly & mayms}

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{claire & rye}
It was back to the condos after dinner.

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Toto and I with the Robertson bros

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The boys enjoyed all their male bonding time...

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as did the girls.

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And probably the most fun of all, were the times we all spent together. I am so thankful I made the last minute decision to tag along on this trip as I gained so much--a little more experience on the slopes, one last hurrah before the stresses of school, and a multitude of new friendships and building on old ones.

And now, in only a few days, I've already readjusted to life back in Austin. My life had become dull without roomie chats, hummus and daily greetings from the house moms. Though I will say, I couldn't be happier it's already Friday's Eve as the weekend is already calling my name!

I've Got the Whole World in My Hands

1.15.2012

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As much as I adore my Canon Rebel camera, the fact of the matter is it's a lug to carry around. So, when I'm running low on energy and/or motivation, I always have my handy dandy iPhone to fall back on. Fortunately, my recent upgrade to the 4S has allowed me to have a pretty decent camera with me at all times. (Yes, my phone is with me at all times. My parents can testify to that claim.) Much of the memories of my break are contained in the photo log on my phone. And, as you'll note--for better or for worse--many of them are selfies. For whatever reason, they really never get old and sending pictures of oneself has embarrassingly become a common mode of communication amongst my age group. So, as I tuck myself into my bed at home one last night before I head back to Hardin, here's my Christmas break told through muploads (that is, mobile uploads, for those of you that are Facebook foreigners). Here's to a splendid second semester!

To Ski or Not to Ski

Photobucket{me, taylor, and mayms}
Since I was a newcomer to skiing at the late age of fifteen, it's never really been my area of expertise. With that being said, I was surprised to find myself on the mountain just about every day, with the exception of one due to extreme temperatures and a snow storm. Though I can't say I conquered any double black diamond runs (or any blacks at all for that matter!), I did make my way down quite a few greens and blues with only a couple of tumbles the whole week. And in my book, that's quite a skiing success.

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Finding a group of friends on your level is crucial to the art of skiing. Luckily, Merl and I were about on par with one another along with this group from day one:

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me, Mayms, Merl, Anna and Taylor

And this one from day two:
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Anna, Merl, Taylor, Laura, and me

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{photo c/o Madison Deal}
Most of the boys were pro skiers, scaling down all the blacks with ease.

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We ate lunch on the mountains every day, which is usually a total rip-off but also completely necessary after a day full of carrying around ski gear and racing down the mountain. We even took a guilt-free candy bar break during the first day to warm up indoors and refuel for later.

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Laura and I about to get on the Colorado Super Lift up to Peak 8

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We spent a good part of the first day on the bus before we finally got our bearings around the mountain.

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By day two, we figured out we could ski in and ski out of our lodge.

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The views were breathtaking and the snow was better than we had anticipated from all the rumors of icy slopes. But, I think we were all glad to stow away our puff daddy ski jackets for awhile and return to mild Texas weather. More on the remainder of the week's night life to come!