Mixed Tape Tuesday

Just four weeks until I'm in England! So how about... Modern Brit hits

1. Lights - Ellie Goulding

2. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction (Yep, I went there)

3. Glad You Came - The Wanted (Part British, part Irish...it counts)

4. Domino - Jessie J

5. Shake It Out - Florence + the Machine

Want more? // British Playlist // British Female Faves


Looking beyond 'the 317'

It is no secret that when I graduate, I intend on leaving the Midwest. I love my home and the people there, don't get me wrong. In fact, I like to think that I have come to appreciate it even more over the past couple of years. But, I have always had more planned.

The 317 area code may be it for a lot of the people I grew up with, and there is nothing wrong with that. I actually kind of envy them. They know their true happiness is in their hometown familiarity with the sweet embrace of family, friends and memories. But I know that if I tried to conform to that, I wouldn't be truly happy.

I am a firm believer that you create happiness where you are. It is not a specific destination or circumstance. But at the same time, I think you have to recognize on a personal  level where your greatest chance of happiness is. And it doesn't stay in one place. I often say I could end up in the Midwest down the road, but I know that, for me, I won't just stay in the beginning.

The only thing is, how do I know where to start?

17-year-old me would have answered without hesitation: California. Duh. San Francisco stole my heart and San Diego drew me in with it's near perfect weather 365 days a year. LA had a certain allure that I still don't know if I ever want to give a try. But the west coast was such a lovely place, with ocean and hills and so many possibilities.

Fast forward to this summer, and I am 3,652 miles away (via Route 6) from Long Beach, California. As far as the east coast goes, I had only been to Florida, Maryland, bits of Virginia and Delaware and a distant memory of New York City. But now I am six weeks deep on Cape Cod, a place that seems like it only exists in 'Dawson's Creek.' I still haven't decided if I could live here long term, but it is definitely in the running. And with great cities like Boston and Providence so close, it is a pretty good location. If only it wouldn't be a ghost town in the off-season...

Anyways, I digress. I guess what I'm saying is...I have a under a year before I have to get a real job and embrace the 'real world.' And I love so many parts of so many places that I just don't know where to begin my journey. Pacific Northwest, southwest, east coast...there are just too many possibilities for a girl with chronic indecisiveness.

I guess that's when you have to follow opportunity. And so the waiting game begins.


Celebrating eight years of aunthood

Granted, since then, two others have joined the ranks of that little stud pictured with me. But that is my oldest nephew, Caleb. And today, he celebrates his 8th birthday in probably the coolest way possible: spending the day at LegoLand California.

Now, we've been to LegoLand in Chicago, and it was pretty cool, but LegoLand California is supposed to be the Ryan Gosling of all LegoLands. (Or whatever equivalent you may prefer.)

It has a water park. 'Nuff said.

Anyways, my sister wrote a super adorable post about how Caleb has grown this past year, and I am just the proudest aunt ever.

But I am also the proudest sister ever. (Yes, this is about to get a little mushy.)

Some people hear 'teen mom' and you just see that look in their eye, whether it be pity or judgment or whatever. It has started to fade in recent years, but eight years ago still had its fair share.

But my sister shattered every stereotype there could be. I am overwhelmed in college as it is, but she was a full-time mother at the same time. She has accomplished so much and grown up immensely by just shy of 25 years old.

More than I will in the next few years, I am sure.

She still dreams big and goes for what she wants, but never at Caleb's expense. If anything, she is now dreaming big for him.

She has raised an incredible little boy at one of the most difficult stages as a young adult. And I couldn't be more proud of her :)


So What Wednesday

So what if I have fallen head-over-heels in love with this little ol' store called Trader Joe's. I know, it is basically the hipster of all stores, but gosh hipsters just eat the best food, don't they? Imagine my immense joy when I found five different flavors of hummus for half the price and one hundred times the quality than, say, Meijer. I have a happy shelf full of Greek yogurt, fresh spinach, goat cheese and almonds that didn't make my credit card statement cry.

So what if I have become so attached to a certain 8tracks station that I get legitimately angry when I run out of my permitted number of plays in an eight-hour period of time. 19 and crazy. I don't know what it is, but it just has the country magic that gets me through the work day.

So what if I get routinely "harassed" by a certain Dunkin' Donuts employee whenever I go in now. "Do you need a carrier today?" No, young sir, I don't need a tray for my one coffee and a bagel, but thanks for trying to be funny. Except, it does make me laugh. So it's OK.

So what if it is a struggle to even make it into work at 10 a.m. Sorry, but I'm just a night person. That's a hard habit to change.


Mixed Tape Tuesday

I don't know why, but summer is just a little better with some country music: Country summer picks

1. Drunk on You - Luke Bryan

2. American Honey - Lady Antebellum

3. Honey Bee - Blake Shelton

4. Wild at Heart - Gloriana

5. Strawberry Wine - Deana Carter

Want more? // I'm a little drunk on you, & high on summer time // Country BBQ Radio


That moment when you are called out for not being from Massachusetts

So first, a little back story. I'm sure you have noticed from my Twitter/Facebook/Instagram feeds that my Dunkin' Donuts coffee addiction has gotten slightly out of control. They are on almost every street corner here and when it comes to self control..I just... I just can't. OK? Literally my favorite coffee. Clearly my standards aren't terribly high.

Anyways, one day when I was ordering and paying, the guy was just like 'So where are you from?' And I just answer casually, but in my head, I'm just like 'WHAT GAVE IT AWAY?!' Were they just so attentive to my debit card that they know my bank doesn't exist out here? Do I have some kind of an accent? What was it?!

So tonight when I'm picking up some coffee for myself and a couple coworkers - because yes, we journalists need caffeine even on the night shift - the guy that called me out was there, as per usual when I go on the night shift. So this time, after I as for a drink carrier, I see him chuckle. And so I ask, 'How did you even know I wasn't from here?' His answer? 'You called it a carrier instead of a tray.'

Oh...my bad? Who knew it could be such a simple thing.

But then I learned about more red flags at work.

When it comes to accents, it's not that I have one that makes me stick out, but rather the fact that I don't have one. And the ever-so-popular debate of "pop" or "soda?" They laugh at me for saying "pop." They seriously think it is funny. Well, I think it's funny that they used to say "tonic" instead of "soda."

And then there is the whole rotary nonsense. I just say, "Well, we call them roundabouts." (Unless you're my GPS, where they are traffic circles.) But I'm about to drop this argument. While they are essentially the same thing, the ones out here are just a whole different experience. We might as well just let them have the different name and consider them two different things. Really, some of the "rotaries" are downright terrifying. Most have no lines and what appears to be no rules. People just do whatever they want. I mean, come on. This just isn't safe.

And just for fun, here are few other "Yankee terms" my extended family that lives outside of Boston told me about. (And this family is originally from Alabama, so I'm sure they had similar experiences, too.)

water fountains = bubblers
shopping carts = carriages
ice cream sprinkles = Jimmies

And direct quote from him: "And the minute you call it the wrong thing, the room goes silent, the theme for Gunsmoke magically begins playing, and tumbleweed will roll through the place."

So needless to say, I am just going to stick out like a sore thumb. And you know what, who even cares. Hoosier pride, ladies and gentleman.


Flighty Friday

I don't know if it is the fact that I am stir-crazy in the office or some weird effect from my morning dose of caffeine and headache medicine, but mind is just everywhere today. Enjoy these bits of complete randomness.

It is taking so much personal restraint not to just break out in "Starships" at my desk. It is stuck in my head real good. (Just like that grammar I just used is...real good.)

Is it Friday yet? Oh, wait... (Yeah, that happened.)

What would I be doing if I were in Indiana right now? Besides sweating bullets...

Another thing about "Starships" is that now whenever I hear the word "beach," regardless of the context, my head automatically sings "each, let's go get away..." and it's all downhill from there. Not sure if I'm completely mad about it, but man, I'm sure it will get old eventually.

HOLY SINUS HEADACHE. At least six hours until quittin' time. I just can't. #dying

That moment when someone uses the phrase 'TGIF,' and you have the sudden urge to watch 'Boy Meets World.'

RT @erinmallorylong: Remember when life was as simple as asking "a/s/l"?

"I agree that Linda is rather self-absorbed, and I can only imagine what the guests may be thinking when my sister vows to love and to hold until death do you part. Again." - From a question submitted to Annie's Mailbox, about someone's sister on their fifth-ish marriage.

"Once past toilet training, you cannot really count on others asking you whether you need to go to the bathroom. So it is indeed necessary for you to take charge by deciding when and finding out where." - An excerpt from an answer of the advice column called Miss Manners (real life? yes) where someone asked how to excuse their self to use the "the facilities" when meeting with a client.



So while I'm busy with research and homework and things, I just have to share the latest accessory to my procrastination.

LIVE PUPPY CAM. Basically the greatest find ever.


Real life called. It needs me back for a bit.

I will get to blogging about my mom's trip out here soon. And maybe some other fun things.

But first I have real life to attend to. Online class work and Olympics research deadlines are starting to catch up with me. Good thing it's rainy on the Cape. It makes camping out inside a coffee shop a little less pitiful.


Mixed Tape Tuesday

In honor of the Tony Awards that took place Sunday: Broadway musical favorites

1. Defying Gravity - Wicked

2. Another Day - RENT

3. You Can't Stop the Beat - Hairspray

4. Cell Block Tango - Chicago

5. Chip On My Shoulder - Legally Blonde: The Musical

Want more? // Broadway Showtunes Radio // Hit Me Up On Broadway


Cool stories from the Cape

Though I am a journalism major and should pay major attention to the news all the time, to be honest I slack a bit. But I always notice that when I'm on internship, I pay a lot more attention.

[I know. Duh, right?]

But, this time around is a little different. The Cape Cod Times is a medium-size paper and produces a lot of local content. More than I've seen at other papers their size. Which is actually really awesome.

There's a lot of people from the Cape doing awesome things that I never would have guessed.

Like high school senior Mary Anne Marcondes, whose anti-bullying photo campaign has earned her a finalist spot in the Artists Wanted reception in New York City.

Or Lily Mae Harrington, an 18-year-old from the Cape who is on the upcoming season of 'The Glee Project.'

Then there is Chris Lambton, who was a 'Bachelorette' contestant that married a 'Bachelor' contestant and now they have an HGTV show titled 'Going Yard.' Did you get all that?

In 2010, Siobhan Magnus made it to the final 10 in 'American Idol' before being eliminated.

And then there's the newest star: the Cape Cod Bear. This fella apparently swam across the canal, and has since traipsed all through the Cape, all the way to Provincetown.

Needless to say, there is always something or someone interesting gracing the pages of this lovely newspaper. I'm pretty happy to be here, poor nightlife and all ;)


And a tradition was born

At a time when I had so many other things I should be doing — cleaning, sleeping, homework, planning my mom's trip to the Cape — you know, little things, I spent my time like this instead...

It started as just four of us, then grew a bit more. And then we decided we should just make Google+ Hangout a Thursday night tradition this summer. So I can guarantee there will probably be more people next week.

So despite it being 1:35 a.m. and I actually have things I have to do before I sleep, clearly, it was worth it.

Who says you can't have fun with friends 1,000 miles away?

I hope you enjoy that jank PicStitch treatment I spent a whopping 30 seconds on. ;)


You win some, you lose some

I guess no matter where you go there will be things you really love about a place, and then some things that just make you want to scream why.

For instance, I love so many things about my home state of Indiana. My family and friends, the country back roads, the small but progressive downtown of Indy, Indians games, sunsets over cornfields, blah blah blah. But I never fail to question all things good when it is 98 degrees and 99.9% humidity.

Enter Cape Cod. I was initially enamored with the landscape. I am used to one thing, and one thing only. Flat expanses of crops/grass/trees. But out here, you have green hills and rugged rock jetties and ocean. Just so much to look at.

And then there was the weather. Average summer highs are upper 70s, lower 80s from what I've found. That is without the awful humidity I'm accustomed to, so it's even better. Sure, it has been kind "cold" by summer standards lately, but as I'm told, "that's just springtime on the Cape." And I tell you, that is just fine with me.

Then there is the certain charm of all the little villages of Cape Cod, with adorable little shops that will keep you entertained for the good part of the afternoon. The quaintness almost borders on annoying, but not quite.

So what could possibly wrong?

Well, when you're a night person like me, it's the matter of boredom. Everything closes ridiculously early out here. And I think this statement is highlighted best by one fact: bars close at 1 a.m. Now, I'm not one big for going out, but I come from a place where bars are open until at least 3 a.m. But if the official nightlife is closing down that early, I figure you get the picture about how early everything else is closed. 

Come on Cape League baseball. Your beginning will be the one thing to save my evenings!


Mixed Tape Tuesday

So they say that one of the secrets to keeping momentum behind blogging regularly is to have weekly 'columns.' So professional. Mine may not be followed to that kind of extent, but if it keeps me on a blog schedule, then who cares?

That said, I present to you 'Mixed Tape Tuesdays.' I was having some summer nostalgia the other day of being eight years old, boom box at the ready for when that one song came on the radio so that I could record it onto a mixed tape. Cool times. Anyways, that's how this idea was born. And I am pretty eclectic when it comes to...well, everything...but especially music. So here goes.

Here's what is at the top of my playlists this week: '80s tunes that make you move

1. I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Whitney Houston ('87)

2. Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson ('87)

3. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen ('80)

4. Flashdance...What A Feeling - Irene Cara ('83)

5. Footloose - Kenny Loggins ('84)

Want more? // 80s Cardio Radio // Greatest Dance/Jam of 80s // Greatest Dance/Jam of 80s Part II


Rain? Ain't a thing.

So despite a steady run of low 50s and rain today — all day — my intern friend Emily and I still did are best to make the best of an adventure in Chatham. But, half the fun about that town is it's beautiful beaches and lighthouse, so clearly we will have to go back with the weather is less depressing. You could barely see the ocean. And the lighthouse wasn't open for tours.

Regardless, we still had a good time checking out the shops on main street. And I have to say, people out here really take their antiques seriously. Most people only deal in the big ticket items. Luckily on the way back along 6A we found a good ol' "antique" store that is half antiques, half thrift so that things are, ya know, affordable. We also hit up a glass studio. On the downside, we missed the demonstration period of them actually blowing glass, but we did find some cute little dish things to buy. Everything was surprisingly a decent price.

The antique store had some good finds, too. An old wooden crate, some "vintage" pearl necklaces. And we snagged a couple cool prints from a couple other stores. It was hard to choose just one from the fun African prints and the beautiful Massachusetts locations. But in the end, I was happy with my loot.

(I also took a couple adventures last week to Boston and Providence, but more on those later!)



You know, that's one of the things I love about summer. I have more time to actually think about stuff other than school and work. And I've had lots of ideas lately! So if I can keep this drive going, you will have a lot more coming your way :)