Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Things I Love...and Things I Miss

Hello friends! It seems like forever since I last "touched base" with the blog, and now that I have a full hour to kill on campus, it's about time I do!

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I just wanted to mention that my precious friend, Katie, will be doing a surprise guest blog post in honor of my GOLDEN birthday (turning 22 on the 22nd!) tomorrow!!! I have maintained a patient demeanor which if you know me AT ALL, you know this has been incredibly difficult while awaiting my Birthday, the opening of my gifts all stacked in the corner awaiting the actual day and her special post! I am terrified and excited all at the same time - Katie knows me probably better than just about anyone, so who knows what she'll say about me in her blog, but I know that I'll love it, and so will you! Love and miss you lots, Katie!!

Now, onto the main event...here is the August edition of Things I'm Loving Now and the first ever "Things I'm Missing Now"

Things I'm Loving Now...

1. My Big Girl Purchases

As I mentioned here, the transition from being a collegian to a young professional is an investment. Beyond some formal dresses and the occasional splurge at Alter'd State, the most I spent on my day-to-day clothes was the $25 I would drop on a pair of Norts every now and then. It has been quite the shift from wearing oversized T's which, by the way - that trend has yet to hit Iowa....here's hoping I can be a trend setter because I refuse to wear fitted T-shirts....and Norts to "Snappy Casual" and Business Professional. But the good news? I. LOVE. IT. I love putting on heels and a pencil skirt, and as much as I would give my left arm to be at UT another 4 years I love standing out as a Young Professional or "YP" as Hillary calls us in a sea of college students! Beyond the clothing I mentioned in my previous post, I've made some investments in the area of "accessories" as well...

Over the summer, I purchased my very first pair of real-life designer sunglasses, and I could not be more pleased! I got a beautiful pair of tortoise shell RayBans, and they are perfect. I have been past the I-keep-losing-my-sunglasses phase for quite a while, and was stuck in the my-cheap-sunglasses-break-for-no-reason phase, so enough was enough! And off to Sunglasses Hut I went. I made Sees come with me, and together we picked out my fabulous RayBans and over a month later, still no regrets! 
Next in line is my outstanding computer. After training in Memphis, it became abundantly clear to me that my good ole white 13" MacBook from 2008 just wasn't going to cut it this year. So with the help of my rockstar Apple employee cousin, Nathan, I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchased the new 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display and oh. my. pixels. it is extraordinary. I have never spent so much money on one single item, but I am so incredibly pleased! Every time I watch a movie or Netflix or something I am just blown away by the quality, and I can't believe I was even considering lugging around my heavy ole 13" fingerprinted mess! Shout-out to Nathan for helping me pick this beauty out!! 
And last, but certainly not least, on the recent purchases list, is my new Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay. Yall....this is a beast of an eyeshadow palette, and I am official obsessed. Maddy (a fellow LDC) taught me all about this baby at training, and I've been hooked ever since. I love it. The end. 

2. Iowa Sunsets and Sunrises

This weekend, Hillary and I made two trips to Des Moines, which is about a 45 minute drive. We headed down on Saturday afternoon to meet up with our AOII consultant friend, Sarah - Hi, Sarah!! We Miss you!!! - and hit Jordan Creek mall for Chickfila for lunch (see below), some shopping, and Cheesecake Factory for dinner!! Oh. My. Yum = the theme of the day. That, however, is not the point of this "Thing I'm Loving Now!" That evening when we were making the drive home, we were so blessed to see the most spectacular sunset! Seeing it first hand gave a whole new meaning to Jason Aldean's "Fly Over States." No filters or effects needed on these babies...just plain gorgeous.  

The next morning, I took Hillary to the Des Moines airport dark-and-early at 4 am for her 6 am flight. While the whole hour drive there was pitch black, the way home for me was nothing short of amazing. Below is the progression of the sunrise on my way home...I just couldn't help but feel so small as I watched the sun peak over all the corn fields...again, no filters...just Jesus. Incredible isn't it!?

3. My Partner, Hillary

This girl....She keeps me sane. Mostly because she is just as much of a crazy lady as I am. I had told some of the Greek women here at ISU that I couldn't remember the exact moment that I knew I wanted Hillary as my partner, but that one day it just clicked, and I knew we were meant to be. *yes, I realize how creepy that sounds...get over it* Hillary quickly told everyone that SHE remembered...all fourteen of us LDCs were crammed into the upstairs kitchenette at KDHQ making lunch one day at training, and Hillary - the clutz she is - spilled a bag of Lays Potato chips all over the counter. As she turned around to pick the chips off the floor, I proceeded to eat all of the chips off the counter. Those of you who know me well are by no means surprised by this. Hillary, however, was quite surprised and just burst out laughing. I, of course, joined her, and so began our Siamese twin-dom. In the first few days here in Iowa when all I wanted to do was go home to my mommy, Hillary was always there to make me laugh, and still is! Love you, Hilly! Right now, she's on the road at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and I am so sad to be without her. For the past two weeks we have been attached at the hip, and usually matching, now I'm going it alone, but I know she's doing great things in Missouri! She felt so bad for leaving me alone for my birthday that she left a note for me to open every day of the week! Isn't she just a sweetheart?! 

4. Corn. Fed. Men. 

This is totally inappropriate....but there are many beautiful men in Iowa....Leslie, I know you're reading this....have no fear. I am maintaining an incredibly professional distance. But just cause you're on a diet doesn't mean you can't browse the menu...and drool a bit...right?! ;-)

...Things I'm Missing Now

1. My Friends and Family

I think the pictures speak for themselves....these are some pretty phenomenal people...

2. Football Season and the Color ORANGE!

 Everyone is gearing up for football season here...meanwhile, I'm dying a little bit inside. Red and Yellow just aren't Orange and White. Plus, this stadium is no where near the size of Neyland. AND....These women wear TSHIRTS to games. TSHIRTS I TELL YOU! While this may not seem like a big deal to you Big 12, Big 10, or ACC people...THIS IS A BIG DEAL! I want to wear sundresses and ORANGE! I look terrible in red and this yellow color just does not go well with my hair. I am learning to love Iowa and I'll yell "Go Cyclones!" with the best of 'em, but yall....this just aint the SEC. I want my checkboard and cowboy boots on game day, and that's just not looking like it's in the Big 12 forecast....well...maybe the cowboy boots...it is Iowa after all ;-)

3. Chickfila

Daily. And I do mean daily, I crave Chickfila. I swear all the women living in this sorority house with me think I'm an addict. Most of them have not even eaten Chickfila. moment of silence for this horrid and terrifying fact Tonight at dinner, they actually rolled their eyes at me when I said Chickfila was in the Top 5 things I miss most from home....yall....they rolled their eyes! They just don't understand. They have yet to experience the wonder that occurs when breaded chicken connects with peanut oil and is then placed between two buttered buns....*sigh*.....I've had a lot of time to think about this you see. It was literally heaven when I got my Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Waffle Fries with Chickfila Sauce and a Diet Lemonade on Saturday. I wasn't really even hungry, but you better believe I savored every. last. bite. 

4. Southern Accents

 They think it's cute when we say "yall" here. Which I think is cute. Hillary has started to say "you guys" and it is nothing short of a disappointment. still love you hilly I never thought I'd say that I genuinely miss the twang that comes from being raised in the South, but it's true. Every time someone says "pop" instead of "coke," I miss home....

So that's that! Up next....Katie's Golden Birthday Guest Post!! I can't wait to read it and I hope you're as excited as I am!!!

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