Wow, it's been too long!

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Graduate school was a lot more complicated that I thought it would be. I thought I would have all of this time to spend for myself, or at least be able to be more flexible about my time, and it turns out that I was totally wrong. My first semester of graduate school was rough. Very rough. As in, I ended up going to counseling - rough. I'll try to talk more about that one later though. Point is, it's been a while and my poor blog started to collect dust as you all still kept checking in. It amazes me that I was even collecting page views in the past couple months.  Fortunately, the holidays are here and I have time to blog and give a wrap-up of the first semester of graduate school. I'm one step closer to becoming a school psychologist!

The past couple of months have been very eventful! A lot of drama, sweat, tears... but there were definitely some good moments with family and friends. I finally got the car of my dreams, thanks to my awesome parents, and I scored a few A's in my classes. For the first time ever, I got a 100 on an exam and I think I am really starting to narrow my thesis now!

Now that I have acknowledged that my blog has been collecting dust - I have an idea to prevent this from happening. Last week, my mom posted on Facebook an all-call for friends and family to send her their favorite nonfiction Christian literature. My mom has said for years that she wishes she would read more, and I think she is really wanting to read some of those nonfiction Christian classics like Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis).  I decide that this may be a spark for an idea for me and my blogging.  I have read all of the "greats" for the most part in the world of fiction, but I could use some good nonfiction in my life. I think I am going to make a list of books, using some of my mom's nonfiction list, and some books from the psychology shelves. Maybe start an online book club? My mom is pretty excited about her own list and wants to find others to read with her- definitely not a bad idea.

Cheesy webcam photo! I'm still a real person!

30 Adventures For My Wanderlust

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I am no doubt a dreamer who is always looking for my next big adventure. In one of my recent talks with Kyle, I realized that maybe my life goals are a big too... crazy? The one that really got him frazzled is my idea to hike the Mountains-to-Sea Trail here in good ol' North Carolina.

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks for roughly a thousand miles. Currently only half of the MtS Trail is actually on a trail and the other half follows back roads. Currently there are plans to move the trail from the back roads to trails. I love the idea of hiking the entire trek. Fortunately for me, I live within thirty minutes of the first section of the MtS Trail, so I am just being teased to do my first overnight hike in my own back yard on the MtS Trail.

But is this crazy? Hiking a thousand miles in the back country of North Carolina. Possibly, but people hike the Applachian Trail and they survive. I think that it is important to dream big. If you don't dream big, then how can you think of all of the small things to do along the way? With my trip to Washington D.C. and Myrtle Beach recently, I am already thinking about a road trip through the South during the winter to make my way to southern Louisiana (to spend time with family there). Once I've covered the South, it's only right that I dream to travel the rest of the United States and beyond. I'm feeling a bucket list coming together.... !



  1.  Visit all 50 of the United States
  2. Travel via train, luggage and all. 
  3. Spend the night in London 
  4. Go camping in the Grand Canyon
  5. Hike the Mountains to Sea Trail
  6. Hike the North Carolina portion of the Appalachian Trail 
  7. Take a ride down the famous Route 66
  8. Climb a mountain side
  9. See the ball drop in Times Square
  10. Have Breakfast at Tiffany's 
  11. Go to Disney World
  12. Ride the tallest roller coaster in the world
    (Kinga Ka @ Six Flag Great Adventure in New Jersey)
  13. Visit Washington D.C.  Visit DC again! 
  14. See a magic show in Las Vegas
  15. Visit Mount Rushmore
  16. Enjoy the views at Yosemite National Park
  17. Hike Wave Canyon in Arizona
  18. Lay at the four corners of the US
  19. Go to "South of the Border" in SC 
  20. Walk behind a Waterfall
  21. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
  22. See the Northern Lights
  23. Have Coffee in Paris
  24. Travel First Class on an Airplane
  25. Visit the Wonders of the World
  26. Visit all Seven Continents! 
  27. Stroll down Abbey Road
  28. Spend the night in a Castle (like a true princess)
  29. Do the Walk of Fame in Hollywood
  30. Find a "World's Largest" Attraction 


This is just a sample of some things that I've had on my mind to do! If you are interested in checking out more adventurous things that I'm thinking about, stay tuned for a permanent page appearing on my blog with my continuous list AND check out my Pinterest board dedicated to travel! 


4 Things They Don't Tell You About Graduate School

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This week has been a big week for me! I have just finished my first week of classes as a graduate student. I moved into my new apartment with my boyfriend, who is also a graduate student at Western Carolina, and jumped right into classes on Monday. It's been an overwhelming week, but I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life. In honor of this new beginning, I want to share with you a few things that I've learned in just this first week. A lot of information has been thrown at me about what I should expect to accomplish as a graduate student, but there are definitely some things that others have "forgotten" to tell me that I've kind of starting seeing with my own eyes.



1. It's a full-time commitment. 

While I was a student in my undergrad preparing for graduate, many of my friends told me things like "I wish I was going to graduate school like you. I'm not ready to get a real job. I want to stay in school." Well, sorry to break it to you, but being in graduate school is a real job, or at least feels like it. You wake up at 6 a.m. to go to class for 8 a.m., your courses are 2-3 hours long each, add on time to do your Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant/Graduate Assistant work, and spending your "break" time between and after those things to complete your assignments, case studies, research, assessments, working on your thesis... By 10 p.m. you are ready to hit the bed and start all over again the next day.




2. You're going to feel like a fake. 

Don't let this get to your head. At some point you are going to start having thoughts that you must have been accepted by accident and that all of your peers appear more competent than you. The reality is that you are all feeling this way and it's actually normal to be overwhelmed. It's also okay to answer a question with saying in a fancy way that you don't know; "I'm not sure if I know what you mean. Can you clarify?" or even "I'm don't think I'm familiar with that topic." Ask questions when you don't understand and you will come out feeling like you belonged the whole time.



3. Networking is vital.

Advice. Assistance. Support. Friendship. Opportunity. These are all things you are going to need not only in grad school, but in life. Being in a grad school program is difficult and building relationships with other people is what is going to get your through it. Positive and resourceful people are valuable, especially when you are working on a 50+ page document that will make or break you.


4. Your Master's degree may not be enough.  

I have personally taken the route to be a part of a S.S.P. program (Specialist in School Psychology), which is understood to be a step higher than a Master's in School Psych AND I am a part of a program that upholds the National Association of School Psychologist's (NASP) standards. I decided to take this route because many school psychologists with a Master's degree can't find jobs, or they are being overlooked by others with higher degrees. This goes to show that you really need to closely look at the program you are selecting and deciding which fits your goals the best. You may realize on your way to completing your Master's that you need to look into furthering your education to a doctoral level. Be familiar with the realistic truth that you may not find your dream job without a Ph.D.





Side note:  Let's forgive me for my love of memes and lack of my own photos... mostly because my camera is in my glove box of my car... which has been taken back to campus and I'm at home. This is the joy of sharing a car with someone on a different schedule than me.

Blogger Update: Where Did I Go?!

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Hey ya'll! It has been a whirlwind of stress and trouble since I last sat down to even think about blogging. For the record, I did not forgot about this blog, but I did not give this blog time to be a part of my routine. In the past month, I've moved out of my apartment, went on a fishing hiatus, left my job, went to the beach, and resettled into my family home. I'm looking forward to moving into a new apartment with my boyfriend next month and starting classes for my S.S.P. Needless to say, a lot has been going on for me and did I mention that I'll be in a wedding next week? You betcha. MOH for one of the greatest friends I have ever had and being a part of her special day as she marries one of the greatest guys I've had the pleasure of meeting. They are a match made in the heart of the South. I'll definitely be posting a bit on a wedding topic! 

Other than staying busy, I've also found myself learning some life lessons. I'll admit, I have been in the dumps the past two days, but it's nothing that a bit of blogging can't fix. I'm back! And *drum roll please*.... I got a makeover today! By... *bigger drum roll* ... Ricardo Costales!! His team is great, especially Travis! Ricardo Costales is a National Makeup Artist for Lancome and will doing makeup for models at Fashion Week in New York (which starts Sept. 10, FYI).   I learned a couple things about makeup and skin care today, particularly for those of us with oily skin. I'll have to jot those down today before I forget then and queue a post about the experience on this blog. Check out my makeup on point.

Picture taken by my Samsung Galaxy S5. Makeup by National Makeup Artist Ricardo Costales and his team member, Travis.

I'm STUCK!

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I have just been completely stuck right now. I have been racking my head with ideas of what I want to blog about and create a schedule from those ideas, like sharing something I learn from Psychology on Mondays or only writing personal posts on Sundays. I'll figure it out eventually. Until then, I'll remain stuck in the mud. 

On the bright side, NCIS was added to Netflix and I am so excited that I can finally finish this show! I've watched a huge portion of it but I stopped watching it due to my inability to find it on TV and being busy every evening. If it wasn't for Hulu, I would never be able to watch Supernatural or Pretty Little Liars. God bless Netflix and Hulu.

Political Reflection: Why can't I just be for America?

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For those who know me personally, you know that I am keeping tabs on the announcements for candidates running for president in 2016. I am one of those people who not only love politics, but I love citizenship and I feel like it is part of my American duty to this country to be aware of current affairs. I'm sure not everyone agrees with me, and honestly, I didn't even agree with myself until I voted in my first presidential election. 

Somewhere in the middle of undergraduate experience, I battled hard trying to decide where I lied on the political spectrum. Was I a Democrat? Republican? Libertarian? Green? Tea Party? Jeffersonian? (Jefferson is my favorite president, for the record.) I just couldn't figure it out for the longest time. Part of me wanted to stay connected to my grassroots, how I was raised and what I expected my parents to anticipate from me, and then part of me wanted to fit in with the "college crowd," which is mostly liberal. The 2012 presidential election was my first election that I could vote in and as it drew nearer, I felt more at crisis with myself of what party I identified with and where I wanted to stand on the issues. The closer to the election, the more I felt like I had to take a stance and commit myself to it for life. However, not before long, I realized that maybe it was best that I didn't try to commit myself to any one party. In the end, an epiphany came to me as to why I couldn't commit - I just wanted to be for America.

My college years was a great experience for me to develop my perceptions of life in a more political view. By practicing my citizenship through volunteer work, maintaining awareness of current national news and international affairs, and doing more research on the issues that matter most to me, I realized where I fit in on the political spectrum and also that not one candidate will ever fit MY platform. This is something that I think many people need to realize. As much as you love a politician/political party, it is likely that you'll disagree on at least one key issue and agree with other stances. 

According to the iSideWith Quiz (http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz), I side mostly with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I did not side with any Republicans and any of the big issues that are important to me. However, this was a huge lack of education questions, which is one of the more important issues to me. Regardless, these political quizzes are kind of interesting to take. I am usually surprised by where they place me. I consider myself to be socially moderate and economically liberal. Where do you stand? 





5 Things I Learned from Working with Children

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This past week has just flown by. I imagined  myself having more time to blog, craft, and cook... and then I started summer camp. In the past few years, I have worked with children in many different scenarios, including over-night residential camps, youth development programming, after school programs, volunteering for an organization that serviced students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and now I am a part of my first summer day camp!

I have worked for the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau since its founding last October. From September until May, the Club provided an after school program for community youth to enjoy and I served as the Middle School Program Leader for the majority of that time. A week ago, we started our summer camp and I am continuing to be the primary middle school go-to person. This past week has been quite an experience and I am reminded every day why I enjoy working with children.

Since I have been absolutely failing with blogging, I am working tonight to write some posts and have them set to post on various days throughout the next couple weeks. I actually have some down time tonight! So without further ado, I would like to share some of the things I have learned from working with children as a dedication to my first week of summer day camp!

Enjoy this photo of me being pied in the face by some kids (:

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that this is just my opinion and most of my experience is with kids between ages 10 and 15. I would love to hear from others about what they have learned from fun times with kids!


1. How to be strict in a nice voice.
I recently went through a staff training with our new Exec. Director at BGCP and one of the things that really stuck out to me was his way of addressing misbehavior to a kid. Instead of yelling at them or raising your voice, use your quietest voice. Basically, you should learn in the case of an emergency or prevention one from occurring. I tie together that quietness with my calmest, coolest, collective tone and from my experience, they are more likely to just say "yes ma'am" and correct the behavior than be defiant or talk back.

2. Kids are smarter than you think. 
This should really be a "Nuff Said" but I have watched many fellow staff members say things in front of kids that they thought would go over their little heads, but they will at the least pick up your emotional stability from your words if they don't keen in on what you are really talking about. It's like they have a sixth sense of always knowing what you really meant to say. I've also witnessed fellow staff members treat their kids as though they are developmentally 3 years younger than they really are; this is such a big mistake. If you treat them as though they are "dumb," they will either be angered by it or use it to get away with "dumb mistakes," a.k.a. misbehavior you have to forgive because you didn't want to teach them appropriate behavior beforehand.

3. Some of the worse scenarios in your eyes may just be the highlight of their week. Kids are resilient!
The great thing about kids is that they are resilient. Of course you don't want to ever put a child in danger, but "it will be okay." I once took a group of rowdy high school girls on a mountain biking trip through Dupont State Forest. An hour into the trip, I found myself with one girl with the worst case of asthma I have ever seen to this day and another with a sprained ankle. The majority of the gorup had already had their fill and was complaining of how tired and dehydrated they were (they sucked down their water fast). While trying to get ourselves back to our starting point, it also started pouring rain. I had about 15 soaked, tired, irritated girls and a couple with injuries and a ill-equipped first aid kit. I couldn't even phone back to camp to call for assistance because I had no signal! DISASTER. But at the end of the week, I overheard the girls bragging to the rest of the camp at a lunch about how awesome their mountain biking trip was and how much fun they had, even the girl with the sprained ankle. I was amazed, but it just goes to show that as long as you keep your cool and stay flexible, it will be okay and they won't hate you. I wouldn't depend on their resiliency though.

4. They love routine. They won't admit to it, but they want it and need it. 
Reliability is important for this one! If you can't be reliable and stick to the routine, you're going to lose them to their own vices, i.e. arguing with each other. Chuckie will "accidentally" push Dill into the dirt and Phil is stop being Lill's friend over a spot on the rug. Working with children will grant you with the ability to problem-solve like a pro, but you don't want to waste time solving these problems when you could be having fun with your kids. Routine is key.

5. Have fun!
If you're not having fun, then you're not doing it right. It's just that simple. If you are having fun, then they will have fun. That's all kids really want is to have fun, but if fun is not happening... then something is wrong. Not having fun and can't figure out what to do? Don't be afraid to call for assistance or ask someone with great kid experience. As much experience that I have had with kids, I still find myself in no-fun predicaments and need to call upon someone wiser with kids to figure out what to do. Having fun is essential!


So what's the next crafty project?

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I recently posted about how I was painting a cooler... I'll be honest, it's really not quite done. I cannot decide on what to do with one of the sides. The background color is there but my creative flows are running dry as far as what to do with that cooler. Instead of haggling myself completely finish, I am going to start prepping for my next project: an Altered Book!

I have an old book from when I was in my first Latin class. I'm thinking that it will be great for altering since it is a sturdy hard-back and the pages are stitched into the binding. I came across an awesome blog titled Go Make Something  with some great advice and tips for prepping a book for altering. The link to the post that I used will be at the end.  I am totally stoked about my first altered book! I have already started ripping out pages with a ruler.

Now to go back to the cooler.... This is my pledge to finish it in the near future. I'll need to post some updated pictures of it, just to prove that I actually did paint it, haha! Sorry, everyone, for my lack of flow. I just can't force creativity. 

By the way, Ecce Romani means "Look, Romans!" Not that exciting, right?






Back from Washington DC!

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I feel like it has been a century since I have found time to sit at my computer, but this time away from everything was definitely worth it. The past week has been filled with travel and fun adventures with my boyfriend and I cannot wait to start posting about what I learned on this trip and my favorite parts. Last Wednesday, Kyle and I headed out of the mountains of North Carolina to spend the night in Greensboro, then leaving on Thursday morning to make our way all the way to Washington DC. We spent three full days in DC (so five days and four nights technically) and had an amazing time.  Here are some of the highlights of our adventure!

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Federal Triangle, Washington DC 
I made a Peacock friend! I didn't want to get too close to him but he was definitely willing for me to hang out beside him for a good twenty minutes. I probably took 50 up-close photos of his feathers and stances.

National Zoo
Woodley Park, Washington DC

In this US Holocaust Museum, there is an awesome memorial inside that features all of the camps with candles underneath their names so that you can light a candle to pay respects.

US Holocaust Museum, Washington DC

Rotunda
Arlington National Cemetery

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Washington DC

John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame
Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Arlington National Cemetery


Lincoln Memorial
Washington DC
Throw what you know! Alpha Gamma Delta

Washington Monument
Washington DC
Union Station
Washington DC
Supreme Court
Washington DC
The US Capitol looked like a hot mess on its dome. Like majority of DC, it is going through repairs. The Mall is tore up and the Grant Memorial is completely covered. So I did not take any pictures of  a memorial that you couldn't see or how ugly the Mall was with its construction.

US Capitol Building
Washington DC
The Museum of Natural History
Washington DC


Taking a picture with good ol' Andrew Jackson. My 2nd favorite president after Thomas Jefferson. The awesome part of our Capitol tour was that it was a private tour, thanks to Congressman Mark Meadows, and we were able to enter the Capitol through the underground tunnels that connect the Capitol to the House offices. The tunnels also connect between various other important buildings in DC.

US Capitol Building
Washington DC
The Museum of American History
Washington DC
Kyle's dad works for the EPA as a scientist / researcher so we naturally had to take a picture with the EPA building DC.

Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Triangle, Washington DC





First try doing this type of pictures and wanted to give it a shot on this beautiful memorial. This is by far one of my favorites and it was awesome to here on D-Day.

Wold War II Memorial
Washington DC







200 miles of No Internet Service- What!?

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Living in the mountains is a great experience, but you come across some stranger problems. For instance, when the power or internet goes out, then it's likely that it's happening to everyone within an hour of you too. Today was one of those days. The internet had went out as soon as I got online to check Facebook, brainstorm a blog post, look at cooler ideas... and I was immediately kicked off. After checking around with neighbors and friends, it turns out that the internet had been out for other towns in the WNC area west of Asheville and I ever heard word from a sorority sister that she was out of internet in GA. The lesson learned here is... Storms in the mountains are the real deal. They may not be very intense, but they sure will take out an entire region from having internet. A silly thing to complain about, really, but it amazed me how far this problem reached.

3 Salsas to Spice Up Your Sunday

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Sometimes being a 20-something fresh out of college leaves you with a predicament of not knowing how to function in the real world. If I go out on Thirsty Thursday, can I still blend in with the college crowd? Is it okay for me to wear a t-shirt and sweatpants every day? How do I eat without declining balance on my student card? These are questions that secretly run through our young minds. Luckily for me, I made the leap of leaving the dorm life and transitioning into the "real world" the summer before my Junior  year of college. I moved into an apartment with three other roommates, got a job that actually didn't involve greasy food and paid a few quarters more than minimum wage, and started learning how to actually make edible food. One of the things that I learned to make was a few different variations of salsas. On Sundays, I typically don't feel like making anything crazy so I munch on salsa most of the day. Here are a couple of salsa recipes for the other salsa lovers in this world! Enjoy!

Meag's Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients: 
1 can of sweet yellow corn (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cans of Rotel (I like Mild with the green chilies but it's up to you! Don't drain the Rotel)
Handful of Cilantro (diced)
1 tablespoon of Cumin
Squeezed lime juice for 1 lime
(Just a tablespoon of lime juice is fine if you don't have any limes around)
Mix all ingredients into one big bowl and you're good to go!
Meag's Corn and Black Bean Salsa! Made some fresh today for my lazy Sunday on a rain day. It's so good that I'll actually eat the leftovers as a "side" with grilled chicken for lunch the next day or top a little on a salad.

Smooth Mild Salsa

You'll need a blender for this one.
Ingredients: 
2 large can of diced tomatoes 
2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoon of cumin
Handful of Cilantro to top off the blender

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend! 
Pretty simple, right? It's smooth and hits the spot. Sometimes we'll add diced onion to it, but it's up to you. I prefer it without, but Kyle loves it. 


Cool Buzz (for the sour cream lovers!)

You'll need blender for this one too. 
Ingredients: 
1 16 oz. tub of sour cream
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of dark chili powder
1 whole chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon of the chipotle pepper sauce from it's can 

Blend away until it looks smooth! Okay, I'll admit, when you hear "salsa," you're thinking tomatoes need to be in there somewhere, right? Maybe this is cheating, but you'll definitely try to replace your traditional salsa with this one when you're feeling that creamy vibe. Don't be deceived by the hotness you're adding in because the sour cream will really tone it down and make it irresistible. 


Cooler In Progress!

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First, I want to show that progress and ideas that I have for this cooler that I am fixing up. As I mentioned in my previous post, I ruined this cooler a year ago by just not doing it justice. Here is the progress I have made on it!



Front Side! The plan to add "Or Bust" below NC and I'm still brainstorming what to do with some of the empty space. There definitely needs to be some touch-ups on this but I'm trying to wait until the end to make touch-ups on this, just in case! 

Pearled border that I'm working on - One idea is to do something Alpha Gam related and the other is to make it Western Carolina related. We'll see where this actually goes. 
Back Side! If you look at the ratchet pictures, you realize that I kept the back the same. This tank was actually not painted by me but by one of my favorite sisters, Jen, who is obviously talented and awesome. I still want to keep the tank and the American Flag idea but redo the blue/stars border and add "Back to Back World War Champs" around the tank. 

This border idea is road trip inspired and I plan to put in a few of the highways that we'll be traveling on our way to DC. The black and white are for the US/State highways and the red and blue are for the interstates. The green side is planned to be a road trip bucket list. 


So as we can see, I still have a lot of work cut out for me, but I am doing it the right way and adding layers of mod podge as I go and letting everything dry completely between layers and touch-ups. I'm really liking the color combinations. I'm still thinking of ideas for the lid. I definitely want to put mine and Kyle's names on the top. Right now, I'm thinking about combining the Blue Ridge Parkway skyline with the DC skyline in some variation with our names. I am really excited to see how this comes out.

Eek! Cooler Repair & Busy Schedule

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I have been filled with tons of ideas for my blog and no time to put them out there... I am so sorry to those of you who have been checking in. I actually really appreciate all of the views that I have seen pop up and new followers despite my lack of posting. Ya'll are amazing.  I've been thinking about putting some photos of my recent crafting to catch up!

So about a year ago, I decided that I wanted to paint a cooler. For some people that probably seems like a crazy, weird idea. Why would anyone want to paint a cooler?? Let's be honest. I am a Greek woman and it is my Greek right to be able to paint whatever I please and make it look fabulous. For others, this is the best idea anyone came up with and you're probably a crafter like me. So anyways, I started to paint a cooler last summer and it was a disaster... I painted it, then realized I couldn't put beer in it because I had my sorority letters on it and according to my chapter's by-laws, we cannot associated alcohol with our letters (don't wear letters and drink kind-of-deal) and that would include having a cooler with my letters and then filling it with beer at tailgate. So that was one flaw I didn't think about. The next was I did not use a good sealant. If you are a crafter or enjoy painting coolers or paddles or whatever, it is important to have a good product to seal your work of art. I used mod podge. Specifically like 6 layers of it. It did not work and when the handle of the cooler was shifted down and hit the sides I had painted, the paint chipped completely. It started to look tacky and awful. All of my designs were ruined. I tried to fix some spots that I had painted black with some black spray paint... it got worse. So now that I have told you how awful it worked out, let me show you some pictures of what I am.... (so for the low quality, I took these with my Galaxy S5)





You see all of that black? Yeah, that's me using spray paint thinking I could just "cover it" problems and flaws and redo and use it like a primer... what was I thinking!?

 This week I made the goal to redo, repair, and get this cooler ready to go to my Washington DC trip next week! It's a big goal but luckily I am off work the rest of the week and next week and my trip is not until Wednesday. This cooler needs to be finished and with coats of whatever I am sealing it down with by Monday so that it can be completely dried and re-coated if needed in time for the trip. I would really like to take a cooler on my trip. So the past couple of days and the next few days, I have/will be working on doing this cooler justice and doing it without cheesy shortcuts... and making it look pretty darn good. I have already sanded it out, put a new primer down, and started repainted it. So far, so good. I'll post some in progress pictures tomorrow with a better camera. 

Geocaching!

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My favorite pass-time and how I feed my wanderlust.... Geocaching. When I first mention it, people are usually confused and just kind of nod their heads and pretend to know what I am talking about. Every so often, someone will ask me what it is though and my reaction always sounds like I am trying to sell a new cult to them. Geocaching is one of the many loves of my life.

The simplest way to describe geocaching is to call it a real-life, outdoor treasure hunt. Using GPS coordinates, the concept is to find a hidden container, called a geocache or cache somewhere out in the world. Caches are typically well-hidden containers re-purposed for geocaching by their owners. I've found geocaches that were tupperware bins, ammo boxes, film containers, even magnets. They are all a little bit unique. To find these items, the coordinates of its location, the size of the object, difficulty level for finding it, difficulty of the terrain, and a clever hint are usually provided by the cache-owner to help out with finding it. Once you find your first one, it's addicting. 

To get by, I usually a cell phone app on my Samsung Galaxy S5 called Geocaching Intro. I also used this app on my previous phone, Droid 4. It will work on any smart phone, I believe. I hope to get a handheld GPS navigator someday, but my phone has been great as long as I get signal. I've been in very few places that I don't get signal, but I also study the map of its location and review the hints before going out to find it. Just in case my signal goes out, I can still usually find the cache based on info other people leave in the app and the hints. 

So the adventure begins! Yesterday Kyle and I went geocaching for a little bit before our friend came into town from Hendersonville. We live in Cullowhee, NC and decided to go toward Cherokee. I've around found all of the caches in Dillsboro and many in Sylva and Cullowhee area. The only few I haven't gotten to are ones that either were missing (owner had to go back and replace them or decide to take them off the app), involved climbing (found out there is a path around though so I'll be back!), and involved hiking (been working on the trail each weekend so I'll make it to that point eventually but that part is actually closed for maintenance right now). 

On the way to Cherokee was a cache on this cable swinging bridge. At first we were totally sketched out by the sign of "Max 4 people" but we dared to go on it. The fun part about geocaching is that many times people hide caches in really cool places that you would have never known were there until you look for the geocache. This is only about 20 minutes from where I live, driven by it multiple times, and this was the first time I noticed the bridge. 


Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC 

Cable Bridge
Near Cherokee, NC
Me and Kyle!
I tend to look ratchet on days I know I'm going geocaching. 

So what does the cache look like? Guess you'll have to find out for yourselves if you ever come out this way! I'm pretty good at not taking pictures of exactly where the cache is located so that others can find it on their own. This one was a little tough, especially being distracted by the fact the bridge moves with every step. Once our friend came into town, we convinced him to go out toward Cherokee with us and we had some fun in Cherokee. I had poor signal for geocaching but we did go to Mingo Falls, where another geocache is located!

Mingo Falls
Cherokee, NC

Phew, a great fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club yesterday!

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Yesterday was our first big fundraiser at the Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau. I have been a part of the staff since it's founding and opening day, and it has been a big learning experience to be a part of a new Boys and Girls Club. It has definitely not been easy, but I'm glad that I've stuck it through. The fundraiser was a spaghetti dinner and it was a success. I was going to be happy settling for breaking even as long as we got some community exposure, but we definitely went beyond breaking even and received a lot of support. The biggest hit of the fundraiser, other than the food, was the kids having a chance to pie their program leaders in the face. Some of us had well over 10 pies in the face. Many of our kids finally got their chance to get back at us for every time we asked them to stop running, pick up their trash, and to stop bickering with each other. I definitely felt their wrath after there was enough cool whip in my face to suffocate. Needless to say, it was a great time and I'm glad the kids had a blast pieing us.
My "before" Shot!

Staff and our board president after being pied by the kids! My boyfriend, Kyle, works with me too! 

Planning to go to DC!

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The past week has been a rough week at work, but the weekend is finally here! And I can now relax and think about what will be happening in exactly 20 days... Washington DC! That's right. My mom gifted my boyfriend and I with four nights in the Nation's capitol as a graduation gift and I'll be experiencing one of my favorite cities with my best friend and boyfriend, Kyle. I am excited to be going on this trip with him. Whenever I get a chance, I try to work on our plan of what we will see and how we are going to try to see everything in just a few short days. Luckily the metro and hotel part is covered. My mom already got us two SmartTrip metro/bus cards that are re-loadable and she has already put some money on them. I have a book from Fodor's with a lot of great information about all of the difference attractions in DC. This is going to be a great experience. Though I have been to DC before, it is going to be so much different now that I'm an adult, planning my own way around, and with Kyle. Kyle has just graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He will be going to graduate school with me in the Fall and be pursuing a Master's in American History, so this DC trip is going to be something he'll love! Now that I know we will be going on this trip, I've been scanning for blogs for travel tips and itineraries people had made for themselves during their own visit to DC. It's going to be a challenge to try to see everything, but I think we got this covered.

A Night Downtown

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A few days ago, I bought a Sony Alpha a6000 and so far, I am loving it. I'll admit, it is definitely confusing at first since I was so used to the Canon Rebel that my old job used to have for me. (I was a Sports Reporter for a newspaper). However, it is definitely a good change. This little mirrorless camera seems to be great for me since I just wanted a good quality camera for every day photos. I also bought this because I will be going to Washington DC in.... 23 days!  I wanted to be sure to get great photos this time around since I have very few good photos from previous times I've been to DC.

Here's a photo of downtown Sylva, NC that I took tonight. I decided to go for a walk downtown and I was pleased to see how the AI settings worked at night. I plan on seeing many of the monuments in DC during the day AND at night, and night photos have always came out crappy in my experience.

Also, now that I'm going to start doing this blogging thing, I decide to join Bloglovin so I can find others to follow and so others can find me!

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Downtown Sylva, NC
May 12, 2015

Another chapter begins!

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Last Saturday was my graduation at Western Carolina University! I am excited to say that I now have a degree in Psychology and I will be pursuing School Psychology in my graduate studies at WCU. The past four years was a blast and I am excited to be starting a new chapter of my life: being an adult.

And with that, I have decided to start a new blog. I've always had this account on blogger, but never actually used it. I've always have ideas of what to do on here, but never followed through. I've decided to change that now that I have a little more time on my hands (and a new camera!) and start a "lifestyle" blog. Some of the ideas that I've wanted to blog about are my travels, adventures geocaching, recipes that I've tried/created, fun times with my boyfriend, and maybe even some crafting tutorials/ideas by me. 

Western Carolina University - Alumni Tower
May 11, 2015