“Welcome to New York”

NYE in NYC! What more could a girl ask for?

If there is one thing in life that gets better with age, it’s adventure. I’ve learned that as I grow older and experience more, I’ve begun to value my time and adventures more.

My New York adventure didn’t necessarily begin the way I expected it to, but what fun is an adventure without a bit of challenge?

I found myself sick two days before my good friend, Lindsay and I left for NYC.

We began planning to take a trip to New York for New Years Eve in July. Our literary had us departing the Wednesday after Christmas, the 28th and returning on Monday the second of January.

Wednesday, December 28

Upon arriving in NYC, after blasting Taylor Swift’s iconic song, “Welcome to New York” on our bus ride from Laguardia to the Upper West Side, Lindsay and I dropped our bags and hit Central Park after first grabbing a slice.

Out hostel was located on the Upper West Side right near the red line for the subway, which provided easy access for the majority of the city.

We killed our feet as we made our way across the park to the Upper East Side and down fifth avenue. We then caught our first glimpse fo the Christmas Tree in Rockafeller Plaza. We called it an evening after eating some Mexican Cusine and walked back to out hostel.

We had to stop on the steps of THE MET to harness our inner Serena and Blair. Gossip Girl, anyone? Final thought: THE MET steps are much more crowded than you expect.

When on 5th, stop and get a cup of joe at Ralph’s! Great atmosphere on a cold day!

Thursday, December 29

We were on our feet, even more, Thursday than we were Wednesday. We played up our tourist roles and headed to the Today Show bright and early!

While at the Today Show, we were an option to be on a segment. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out; however, the lovely production assistant who inquired about our pop culture knowledge gave use “Today Show” mugs as a consolation gift!

The early hour also provided for some beautiful, uninterrupted and up close views of the city.

For example, the Rockafeller tree!

We followed up our long morning with brunch before heading back to our hostel for naps.

After our naps, we headed to the Guggenheim, where we were immersed into a modern art feature of grids. Hello graph paper!

We followed up the Guggenheim with some greek dinner then headed to “Holiday Inn,” where we found our inner middle school fangirls watching Corbin Bleu on Broadway!

Friday, December 30

Another day of dead feet awaited us! We started our morning in Times Square and followed it up with some epic window shopping on Fifth Avenue!

We hit up all the Gossip Girl faves; Sacks, Bendel’s and Bergdorf’s. After a quick lunch more shopping commenced, then we headed to Soho for some 10 Below Icecream.

We kept on the orange line after our treat and found ourselves in Brooklyn, where we experienced being cat called and purred at. You experience something new every day, especially in the great city of New York!

On our way back into the city we made our way around some of the famous buildings, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the Flatiron Building. We grabbed some Halal food from a cart on the way back to the hostel before a quick wardrobe, as we had tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center.

Saturday, December 31

We began our Saturday a little later in the morning than the previous few days. After a delicious breakfast at Broadway Begel, we arrived in Times Square around 10:20 a.m. After standing for a while and assessing the situation, we found ourselves in a compacted crowd trying to get into a barricaded area. From that point on, we were on our feet. The official celebration ended around 12:30 a.m. The day was spent standing next to 1 million of our closest friends in Times Square. We saw everything from Joe Jonas’ sound check to Mariah Carey’s epic failure live.

We even made our way onto a big screen!

Although it was A LOT OF STANDING, we made some interesting friends and had a good time. If you ever feel the need to stand in Times Square for 14 hours on New Year’s Eve, we’ve got some advice for you!

Sunday, January 1

After some much-needed sleeping in, we made our way to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was a beautiful mass, which we followed with lunch, some walking on the Upper West Side and a visit to the Natural History Museum.

“Night at the Museum” anyone?

Dum Dum, Gum Gum; my Easter Isand friend made the visit worth it, and the minerals area! So much emotion over calcite!!!

We ended our last night in NYC with the best views of the city at Top of The Rock, which we followed with some late night Cheesy Pizza 🙂

Monday, January 2

Time in one of my new favorite places was drawing near, with an early evening flight upon us. To finish out our time in the city we visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It was a sombeirng experience to end our trip.

This was an event we still cannot decide if you should put it at the beginning or end of your trip. If I remember correctly, we were there for 5 hours and still left feeling like we missed a lot inside the museum section.

On one hand, we suggest you go at the beginning of your trip so you can experience it without the fatigue of your trip falling on your shoulders, yet it was so somber that it felt right to leave the city knowing and feeling a little more of its history.

Final Thoughts

Some wishes: I wish I could have been there longer, yet the amount of time we were there seemed like just the right amount. I wish I was better at journaling my travels and experiences so I could more accurately report on our daily activities, and I wish I would have had the foresight to wear some type of moon/hiking boots during out New Year’s Eve night.

NYC was great! I can’t wait to go back! Maybe even live there for a while, who knows!

 

 

Waiting out Winter

Necklace, Journal and a Treat; OH MY! Winter is half way through! Here are some things that might make the next half easier!

Just like Falling into Fall, I am waiting out winter. I love the season; however, the season doesn’t love me. Between dry skin, cracked lips and the constant struggle between the cold outdoors and the warm indoors; I am just done.

What has made winter worth it? These few things!

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This low-quality image holds some high-quality glam. This beautiful bar, Sea La Vie Necklace from Spartina 449 has been an absolute gem this winter. It goes with anything and is simply simple.

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I got the cutest little “Notes” jot book, I call them that because they’re smaller than notebooks, from a sorority sister for Christmas. It just makes me smile to look at it. Unfortunately, I cannot find it on the Clementine Paper Inc. website, but this journal is second best! Mine is a 4×6 and the journal they have available is a 5×7, the pattern is different but the overall concept is cute and springy enough to help you make it through the next few months!

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The last part to this waiting out winter post is puppy chow! I love puppy chow and always have! I have been making it too much this winter, it could be because I stocked up on Chex when it was on sale! For me, puppy chow is also great as a gluten free treat!

This recipe is from a fifth grade Mother’s day cookbook. Clearly, this is Emily’s mom’s favorite recipe. My mom put in no bake oatmeal cookies, also yummy!

Over the last 10 years of making this recipe, I have come up with some tips and tricks for making it easier!

  1. Cut your stick of margarine into three chunks and put them on the bottom of your microwavable bowl.
  2. In that same bowl pour the 12 oz. of chocolate chips over the margarine then top with the 1 cup of peanut butter.
  3. Heat that mix for about 2 minutes. All the ingredients tend to separate, but stir until smooth.
  4. You can use any kind of hollow cereal, Crispix or Chex work!
  5. Instead of a brown paper bag we’ve always used a really big Tupperware bowl. I like to put the cereal in the bowl then pour in the chocolate peanut butter sauce on top and stir with a big spoon before adding the powdered sugar.
  6. You need more than two cups of powdered sugar! After a gentle coat of powdered sugar you can pour a bunch in and then shake the crap out of the puppy chow (just make sure you have a lid).
  7. It is best enjoyed as breakfast with a glass of cold milk!

An Irish Adventure

Over Thanksgiving break, I was lucky enough to go on an educational adventure of a lifetime. I traveled to Ireland for eight days with K-State’s Agriculture Communications program.

For more specific location details, follow the Instagram photo to Instagram.

I did take many more photos, over 500 if we’re being specific; however, it takes a lot of time to go through 500 photos. I’m sure another post will cover the best of the best images!

Day 1 (Saturday)
We arrived in Shannon early in the morning and made our way to Killarney. On the way to Killarney, we journeyed to the Cliffs of Moher and to the Burren.

 

Day 2 (Sunday)
On our first day in Killarney we went on a sightseeing excursion to the Ring of Kerry. The ring of Kerry provided us with mountains, lakes, ocean and beach views. We stopped at Kerry Woolen Mills to learn, first hand from the owners how wool is spun and produced. Our lunch was a classic fish and chips with an apple pie tartlet at The Blind Piper Pub in Caherdaniel. This tour also provided us with the opportunity to learn about beef production on Ireland’s west coast.


Day 3 (Monday)
We ventured from Killarney to Cork, where we met with a local dairy farmer, Tim O’Leary and his sons. O’Leary is a leader with the Irish Farmer’s Association. Following our visit to O’leary’s farm, we stopped at Blarney Castle. Following a slightly frightening journey to the top of the castle, I kissed the Blarney stone, where the gift of eloquence was supposed to befall me. Still trying to find out if it happened or not. Do my words make more sense? On this jam-packed day, we also had the opportunity to meet with journalism instructors at the Cork Insititute of Technology. After our dinner that evening, O’Leary met us at our hotel to address questions and concerns we had about Irish agriculture.

 

Day 4 (Tuesday)
Out time in Cork was short-lived; however, the journey from Cork to Galway provided us with the opportunity to experience a more substantial and confined beef operation. Shortly after stopping at Billy Nicholson’s beef operation we met with a sheep farmer, where we saw a sheep dog at work and learned more about European Union subsidies that assist Irish farmers. That evening my lovely roommate, Mallory, who hosts a Facebook Live cooking show every Tuesday afternoon, learned how to make Moroccan pizza at 11p.m. in order to keep her 5p.m. time slot in the United States!

 

Day 5 (Wednesday)
On our way to Connemara, also known as the wild area of Ireland, we stopped at a crystal showroom and learned how crystal is made. Before that, we braved the cold to learn about the Connemara Pony Breed and met with the Canavan Family, who specializes in breeding this specific pony. We then made our way to Kylemore Abbey via a scenic route that was not meant for buses. Kylemore Abbey experienced at least three different families before Benedictine Nuns took over the estate. Here I felt as though I was taking part in Downton Abbey!

 

Day 6 (Thursday)
Before departing Galaway to Dublin, we stopped at a beautiful cathedral.followed by followed by another religious stop to Clonmacnoise, a medieval monastery. Once we arrived in Dublin, we briefly toured their city park, where the United States ambassador resides, as well as Ireland’s president. Following our brief tour, we met with the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Journalism, where we learned more about how university in Ireland works. Students in their second year work to maintain a children’s news website CLiC News.

 

Day 7 (Friday)
Our first stop on this full day in Dublin was to Trinity College Library, which is always in a movie! You may recognize it from Harry Potter. While waiting entrance, camera and filming equipment were set up outside. Following Trinity College Library we met with Board Bia, the Irish food board who promotes sales of Irish food both in Ireland and abroad. They also head the Origin Green campaign, focused on environmental sustainability in Irish agriculture. After meeting with Board Bia we met with the Irish Farmers Jornal, which is a once weekly agricultural publication which includes everything from American politics, equipment information, livestock suggestions and even an area for the lonely hearts of Ireland’s farm community. Later we visited the school of Agriculture and Food Science at the University College Dublin, where we learned more about agricultural education, as well as their study abroad partnership with KSU. This evening two of us went out and hit a club, which was situated in one of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses.

 

Day 8 (Saturday)
A visit to Christ Church Cathedral and Guinness Storehouse were the highlights of our last full day in Ireland. Lunch was served at the Brazen Head Pun, Ireland’s oldest pub. We had the afternoon to ourselves, which included a visit to the National Museum of Ireland for me, to see some Bogg Bodies. Boggs are similar to marshy areas, where there is a complete lack of oxygen, which allows bodies or butter in the boggs to stay well preserved. The evening was free as well, which allowed me to eat dinner and pub hop with a Key Club cohort from high school. My friend Katherine spent the fall semester studying at Trinity College away from Notre Dame. It was the perfect way to end the trip!

 

Day 9 (Sunday)
After a long week, we had a long day of traveling to look forward to. After departing our hotel in Dublin around 8a.m., we arrived back in Manhattan around 2a.m. on Monday morning, a full 24 hours of travel!

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Looking forward to sharing more photos…good camera photos!

Books to cozy up to

Between a crazy semester of school, traveling, working out some health kinks and trying to have some semblance of a social life, it’s been hard to actually sit down with a good book.

A couple weekends ago, I finally got into finishing up a good one. I guess it had to be freezing cold with the addition of some loud neighbors to make me get in the mood.

So here are three books, all a little different from the next. One I’ve read recently, one I read each winter and the other is in the works.

The one I’ve read: “The Culture of Fear

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Although it’s named the “Best Book of 1999,” 17 years later and it’s still really good. I love sociology and could probably tack it on as another major, so this book resonated with me. I have always believed that people around me are just too afraid and believe too much of what media tells them. This book solidified these thoughts and more. If you’re looking for something totally different from your normal fiction or memoir style, then pick up this Barry Glassner bestseller about “Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things: crime, drugs, minorities, teen moms, killer kids, mutant microbes, plane crashes, road rage & so much more.”

The one I read each winter: “Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

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It’s probably been a little under a year since I’ve picked this one up, as I usually start reading it in January. This work of fiction begins by young Bee Branch talking about taking a trip to Antartica. It then follows her mother, Bernadette’s relationship with an outsourced personal assistant. As the book progresses we learn more about Bernadette, her anxieties and why she disappears. If you’re looking for a good audiobook, this one does the trick as well…the narrator is great!

The one I’m reading: “White Oleander

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I’m only a third of the way through this book, but I find it hard to put down when I am reading it. Janet Fitch does a wonderful job transporting you to another world. I can already see how the main character, Astrid, is developing as time passes. This is definitely a book I cannot wait to finish now that I have a little more time on my hands! Also, while searching for the image I noticed there is a movie, which came out in 2002. Just another thing to look forward to!

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I’m always looking for good book suggestions!

Oh the weather outside is…cold

When the weather outside is frightful, then it’s time to stock up on the items that make winter a little more delightful!

When the weather outside is frightful, then it’s time to stock up on the items that make winter a little more delightful!

This year it seems as though winter just fell into our hands. Summer was long, fall was short and winter magically appeared.

With the first snow hopefully making an appearance soon, I can only begin to think of the items in my closet and on my vanity that is making this cold weather bearable.

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First Aid!
Last Thanksgiving break I picked up a skincare kit from First Aid Beauty at Sephora. My skin was not tolerating the cold weather well, so I decided to hydrate up. My kit was very similar to this Peace, Joy & Fab Kit; however, I think mine also came with the Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer. I have replaced both the moisturizer and hydrating mist at least twice. Another reason I love these items is that they are travel-friendly and last a long time.

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Yaktrax Cozy Cabin Socks
I got a pair of these for Christmas from my aunt in 2014 and again last year. They are incredibly comfortable and dual-layered. The inside is representative of those fuzzy socks you can get at Target, while the outside is more of a sweater material. The product information also says they are naturally infused with Aloe to moisturize the skin, which makes sense after wearing them. I have these on right now! They’re also on sale right now…two for the price of one!

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Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket
Hello sweet warmth and comfort! I got this at the end of last summer ON SALE! Best purchase ever. It’s light but keeps you warm with the fleece on the inside. I have mine in the gray, it goes with anything. I also love how you can easily layer under and on top of this jacket. If you’re a vest person, Patagonia also makes a Better Sweater Vest.

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These are probably my three favorite winter items thus far. I also couldn’t live without my Bean Boots now that I have them. Let me know if you have any winter favorites or suggestions for keeping your skin hydrated!

 

 

Social butterfly

Setting goals to be more social…on social media.

 

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My lacking Instagram feed.

 

When I was in middle school, I distinctly remember writing a poem about my mother. I titled it “Social Butterfly.”

It went something along the lines of:
Social butterfly
Flying high up in the sky
Making her presence known, to all who stand by

Beyond those three lines, I can’t say I remember much else. However, I do know that my social presence is lacking, whether it be in where I am or what I’m posting on social media.

My Facebook feed is semi-populated; however, it’s full of articles I’ve written. Read what I write here!

Instagram-I’ve posted three times in the last four months.

Twitter-The last thing I remember tweeting was for my job when I was covering an event.

But, if there is one piece of life advice I know about in today’s technological focused world: I need to have a social presence, a strongish social presence that is well represented. So, in order to help up my social presence, I have come up with a plan:

  1. Take 10-20 minutes a week to think about what social interests I believe my friends/followers should be aware of.
  2. Find three stimulating articles or human interest pieces to analyze and share.
  3. Post them with at least 1-2 days between, as to not become too obnoxious.

In time, I feel like this will help me post more on Facebook and Twitter, as well as help my friends/followers broaden their own minds and hopefully think outside of their own boxes.

Instagram, that is another story. I think I need help in that department, coming up with a solid plan. Accepting suggestions!

What do you do to be more social on social media?