Completely unrealistic and sarcastic expectations for 2013

1. I don't have to worry about my birthday, because Taylor Swift made turning 22 cool. "I don't know about you, but i'm feeling 22..."

2. The picture I get crossing Abbey Road will be perfect and not look awkwardly posed at all.

3. Life in Southern California will be directly relatable to "The O.C." and "Laguna Beach."


One taste and I'm a believer

Something I had been seeing on blogs and Pinterest boards everywhere lately are those Green Monster spinach shakes. At first, I just thought, gross. Until I read the testimonies that they doesn't taste like spinach.

Not that I don't like spinach, but it just doesn't sound appetizing in a blended shake fashion.

BUT, I made my first one today. And I can honestly say that I could drink these every day.

I used a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats:

1 frozen banana, sliced
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 cups baby spinach (more or less; I just put enough in to fill the rest of the blender)

Another perk? I drank this at 9:30 a.m. It is currently 1:45 p.m. and I am just now starting to feel hungry.

Try it. You won't regret it!


2012 // 2013

Sometimes, as I trudge through the busy routine of everyday life, I just get stuck and feel as if the monotony will never end. During these last couple weeks of a relaxed break, though, I was able to see the bigger picture of this past year. So many amazing memories were made, and I truly feel so blessed to have had such a great year.

In JANUARY,  I celebrated my 21st birthday at a concert in Indy with a couple friends.

FEBRUARY, made me an aunt of three wonderful little boys when my newest nephew, Oliver, was born.

I took my first of three trips last year to Vegas in MARCH, my first since turning 21.

MAY was my second trip and full of family bonding, hiking and karaoke. And I got my first tan lines in over a year!

The next 10 weeks of my summer were spent in the land of lighthouses and Kennedys. I interned at the Cape Cod Times until mid-JULY. It was an incredible experience and I loved living by the ocean!

From the end of July into AUGUST, I took a trip across that ocean. My three and half weeks spent in England reporting on the 2012 Summer Olympics was an experience beyond words. Besides getting graphics published in the Chicago Tribune, I got to explore the Tower of London, take some strolls around London and Worcester, and...OH YEAH, watch the USA women win gold from the top of Wembley!

Just a few days after I got back, I began my senior year at Ball State. Crazy.

I started off the holiday season with yet another trip to Vegas in NOVEMBER to spend Thanksgiving with my sister's family in the desert. Then we drove to Phoenix to meet up with my brother's family in Scottsdale, and the rest of my family flew in on the weekend for an early family Christmas.

Just when I thought life had calmed down to end the year, DECEMBER brought good news that ensured 2013 to be just as exciting as 2012. First, my England adventures aren't over! I'm taking a colloquium over the Beatles this semester, and we are visiting Liverpool right after graduation.

And second, I accepted a year-long internship with the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif., beginning in June! I am beyond excited, because California has always been a dream of mine. I had kind of let it start to fizzle, believing that what happens will happen and I was determined to follow opportunity. But then it just happened. And it feels right :)

Just these plans alone get me all riled up for 2013. Between graduation and leaving for the west coast, I know that May will be tough for me. I hate goodbyes. But, I know that everything will be OK.

My other hopes for this year? Just a few simple things:

Read more books, drink more water, pray a little more, complain a little less and just remember to love.

Happy New Year! :)


WHAT I LEARNED: Holidays 2012

1. Brown paper packages tied up with string are wonderful in theory — and in song — but kind of a pain in real life. Not only is this approach time consuming and difficult at times, but annoying to unwrap, too. I just had to do it once, though ;)

2. Santa hats acceptable sleep attire during the Christmas season. Falling off the bed is optional.

3. Sometimes staying in and playing games with the family is the best way to spend the day.

4. Gift cards get stuck in computer disc drives. And not be found for over a month.

5. Blizzards aren't as dramatic as they sound. But now I guess I can technically say that I survived one?