Monday, September 30, 2013

A Quick Catch Up

I literally have not logged in to Blogger since September 12th, and I feel kind of ashamed about it. The last few weeks have been nothing short of crazy, but I do know that tons has happened in my life since then.

A mini synopsis.

|| one ||
We drove to North Carolina for my brother's Parent's Weekend to watch my Hokies beat ECU! I learned that I certainly cannot pretend I'm in college anymore. This 25 year old body does not recover like a 21 year old body.

|| two ||
All flights are booked for Family Reunion 2013. I can happily say that eight days from today I will happily be lounging by the pool with some of my favorite babes in the world.

|| three ||
My future roomie and I finally started the great apartment hunt. Even through the pouring rain (and a few scary finds), we have made a dent in the apartment market and have a better idea of what we're looking for. Hopefully a lease will be signed before the holidays!

|| four ||
Speaking of apartment hunting, I've started collecting ideas for our future abode. I have a really hard time not picking up little knick knacks when I'm out, but starting October 1, I may just not be able to help myself!

|| five ||
Who else is obsessed with The Blacklist? Oh my word, I am 100% addicted! Fall TV is the best, but I'm starting to have way too many things to keep track of.. Thank goodness PLL doesn't come back until January!

What have you been up to since I've been gone!?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tropical Tuesday: Dune Buggy in the Desert?

Thursday on our tropical vacation, Dad, Corbin and I headed out bright and early for a long ride to Cap Cana from our resort. We piled into that open air van again (I was prepared this time with extra water, some bagels from breakfast, and a fully charged camera), and headed out for the long journey.

Now, there was one huge significant difference between our first open air journey, and this one. When we went zip lining, most of the roads were back roads. Yes, they were uneven, but totally manageable. This time, we were on main roads. I learned one fact: The Dominicans are HUGE fans of speed bumps. These open air vans have no shocks. Nada. Literally were airborne, butts landed HARD on unpadded seats. It was not a pleasant experience. Luckily, by the time we were on our way home, we were so exhausted that we didn't care anymore.


After about an hour and a half drive, we arrived in Cap Cana. There were first world amenities, and no spiders in the bathroom. I'd say that is a win-win situation. We went through a brief safety and instruction course (in English, Spanish, French, and Italian), and headed out to pick our buggys.

It was a blessing in disguise that the morning started out pretty cloudy. None of us had applied sunscreen, and so the shade was a much needed relief.

The boys were obviously so excited to be there so early.

Once we headed out on the buggys (Corbin and I in one, Dad in the other), we learned that Corbin should have remembered his sunglasses. We were driving through sand and dirt, and at one point, I looked over at Corbin driving and there were literally sandcastles on his eyelashes. I don't even know how he was driving because even with my oversized diva glasses, I could barely keep my eyes open.


After a few miles, we arrived at the most beautiful beach in the entire world. Water crystal clear, and the whitest sand I've ever seen.

We were allotted about a half hour to swim, and enjoy the beach. We had a snack, some water, and were ready to hit the road again! This time, we drove from the beach to this beautiful cave. On the way, we loved seeing cell phone towers disguised as palm trees. Around New York, those tricky cell phone companies try to disguise them as pine trees.

We arrived at our second destination, Hoya Azul.

After a short hike, we emerged in a cave with a swimming hole. The water was so blue. You could see the entire way to the bottom, which was 41 feet deep. The water was freezing, but after the sun had come out, and I was covered in sweat and dirt, jumping into that icy cold water felt incredible.

Normally, I am not even close to being happy about swimming in non-manmade bodies of water, but this trip was full of exceptions. I knew I would be miserable sitting in my wet bathing suit the entire way back to the meeting spot, and then again the whole way back to the resort, but I didn't care. When else was I going to be swimming in a gorgeous place like this? Corbin and I even broke out our 90's waterproof disposable camera and snapped some fun shots under the water. I can't wait to get those developed...

After much swimming time, we hiked back to our buggys and drove back to the main part of Cap Cana. They were selling American snacks and bottled water, and I can't remember the last time I was more excited to eat a bag of goldfish.

The ride back to the resort was just as bumpy as the ride there, but like I said, we were so exhausted that we couldn't be bothered with the bumps. We got back to the resort mid-afternoon, had a quick lunch after meeting up with Mom, and then headed to the pool for the rest of the day to nap and enjoy our last 36 hours of sunshine.

If you are ever in Punta Cana, I highly recommend Cap Cana tours. Honestly, it was one of the most incredible days of my life, and I would absolutely do it again if I had the choice!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Miscellany Monday.

lowercase letters

I have been all over the board this last week. There are so many things going on at work, at home, and all I want to do is get through this week so I can peacefully enjoy Chick Fil A and Jimmy Johns this weekend while watching my Hokies take on ECU!

|| one ||
I am in desperate need of something easy and fun to make for the tailgate this weekend. Momma is making crock pot mac and cheese, but Pinterest is letting me down with new ideas for dessert. There will be a pig pickin' at my brother's frat house, so I really need some cute cookies that are effortless. And maroon and orange. Suggestions are appreciated!

|| two ||
I finally bought myself my promotion present (one of those exceptions in "No Spend September"), and am in love! I hope that it stays sunny all week(end) so I can sport my new sunnies!

|| three ||
After some stressful (but interesting) days at work, sometimes there is nothing better than coming home and finding some hilarious E-Cards online.

|| four ||
I was in Times Square last night for the first time in YEARS. It certainly was not as crowded on a Sunday night and walking around was great. I had forgotten how magical the lights are, and how NYC really is the city that never sleeps. I'm making a new NYC bucket list to visit all of the super touristy spots that I try to avoid on my trips in.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday.

This week has definitely been a roller coaster, but I can certainly think of 5 fantastic things to share with you on this freezing Friday morning (other than the frost on the ground...)

|| one ||
I finally got my promotion! Letter is signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered! I am so excited to see where this takes me, and what opportunities follow!

|| two ||
On my off-day yesterday, I started binge watching Chicago Fire. I had watched an episode on the plane on the way home from Punta Cana and instantly fell in love. I had forgotten about it until yesterday afternoon, and now I'm afraid that for the next few weeks, I'll be glued to the OnDemand Menu catching up!

|| three ||
The Zac Brown Band was incredible on Sunday night. Absolutely incredible. Their harmonies and their energy made the show unstoppable. The entertainment factor was boosted even higher when they played Enter Sandman. I think that it's a sign of a fantastic football season ahead (we wont mention the score on Saturday night...)

|| four ||
I'm excitedly planning festivities for my trip to North Carolina next weekend! Gameday outfit has been purchased, and now I need some fabulous tailgate recipes, cute accessories, and a liver that will hopefully not let me down. It has been almost two years since I've seen my Hokies play live, and I cannot wait to see friends and family at the game!

|| five ||
The temperatures have dropped (and so has the humidity, thank God), and I'm SO excited to break out the riding boots and chunky sweaters soon! I'm sure it is only a matter of time before I'm longing for Callahan Shorts and flip flops, but for now, all I can think about is a cashmere sweater, my Frye boots, and a piping hot Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Link up with April and share your favorite things from this week!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday!

A few co-workers and I decided to make September a month of savings. We've all got an issue buying way too many clothes, and not putting nearly enough in our savings. In honor of "No Spend September," here are all of the things that I am currently lusting over.

This duvet cover. So clean, and crisp! I'm obsessed!

Found this gem from Marley Lilly this morning. I think it has Christmas gift written all over it (right, Ma?)

I am in desperate need of a new "fall" bag, and this one just screams perfection. It's $378 price tag, not so much.
These Frye "Regina" flats. The last few years I have struggled to find black flats that fit and wear well. After all of the luck I had with my Frye boots last year, I would LOVE to invest in a pair of these flat shoes.

What is on your wishlist this fall!?

Monday, September 2, 2013

No Spend September.

I spend entirely too much money.
I buy my $5 Starbucks drink more than necessary. I get bored with my homemade lunch and go on stretches buying $7 Au Bon Pain sandwiches. I use work as an excuse to buy entirely too many clothes. I go to Target and buy everything BUT what is on my list. It all adds up pretty quickly.

With a move from the 'rents house inevitable within the next 6 months, I need to get my life together. I mean, I'm 25 years old. I need to control my spending on unnecessary things. I bring to you, No Spend September.

I've seen other bloggers participating in "No Shop September" but I think that my food/coffee buying trumps my shopping habits for sure. If I'm going to go all out, I might as well limit all spending!

| the rules and exceptions |
|| Coffee from HOME || There is no need to buy Starbucks multiple times per week. If an emergency occurs (falling asleep at work), I'll use the change in my wallet to buy an iced coffee. No more $5 lattes.

|| ONE outfit every other week for work || I can't completely cut off spending on clothes because my job does depend on me wearing the latest and greatest. Limiting my budget to $75 per outfit. That is way less than what I'm currently spending on clothes.

|| Window shopping only || Working in a mall, it is oh so tempting to pop into a different store each day on my break to see what the new items are. Working in an upscale mall, it is unfortunate that such stores include Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Brooks Brothers... We're not talking Forever 21. I like to get out of the store on my break, so I'll be sure to leave my wallet in my bag and just look.

And most importantly...
|| No Unnecessary Spending || I can do my own nails -- I don't need a mani/pedi every other week. When I go to Target, I only need to buy the essentials. Those books, those flats, and all those sports bras are really excessive.

| The Reward |
I will be putting all of the money that I would normally spend in a month in my savings account. I am really anxious to see what I spend on essentials every month. With the money that I'm going to be saving, I'll be able to start purchasing things for the (future) new apartment!

No Spend September.
Who is with me!?