Category Archives: random

Ten Minutes of Weather Talk


I’m sneaking away from working on spreadsheets and calling students and assembling tutor training binders for this: ten minutes to type then hit publish. Ready, Set Go.

Of course now that I am actually sitting down to put the thoughts (that have been swimming around in my head) into a post on the interweb, I can’t seem to remember what it is I want to say.

So… I’ll talk about the weather. It’s a safe topic.

A cold front has hit… finally Winter has made her appearance. Last week it was mid-60s one day, and sleet and slushy snow the next night. And tomorrow, that wintry mix is in the forecast again. Color me happy.

I’ve never claimed to be a cold-weather lover, but something about it is comforting to me. The past few nights I’ve gotten home from work, changed into pajama pants and some cozy, over-sized t-shirt, heated up a mug of vanilla soy milk, and jumped in bed to read. Nerd alert. But at least the cold weather gives me an excuse to get into bed before 10:00 and get all cozy and warmed up 🙂 With snow on the ground outside, that’s even more of an excuse for me to make some soup recipe I pinned months ago, put on fuzzy socks, and read another book on my Nook.

It’s funny because I think my love for colder temperatures has only recently started- and I blame San Francisco. Yes, I have yet to blog about my trip and post a ridiculous amount of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge & Bay area, please forgive me. 

Although I was unprepared for the cold temperatures that I experienced while there, I came to enjoy the cold chill that hit my face as I walked out on the city streets. I came to look forward to bundling up in a scarf and my vest (that was a life-saver & warmer!). I came to anticipate the icy cold wind before even stepping outdoors. And of course I grew to love having an afternoon coffee break in Starbucks, just so I could have a few minutes of warmth 😉

I know I complained about the cold San Francisco temperatures while there, but I honestly miss them. I miss walking down busy city streets trying to get from Point A to Point B, hands in my pockets saying warm. I miss the city lifestyle and the little escapes from the cold on every corner.

One minute left to write. I shouldn’t have looked at the time because now my fingers are going to type faster than my brain can come up with the words and form coherent sentences and thoughts.

I said all of that about the cold weather and city to say this: I miss city life in the Winter. In cities you walk most everywhere and it’s great exercise and it keeps you somewhat warm. In cities there are coffee shops and cafes on every corner, waiting to be entered. In cities there are so many people who are waiting to be met- who knows who they could be?

As I anticipate the even colder temperatures and the wintry mix tomorrow, I’ll be daydreaming about San Francisco and city life in the Winter.

I can’t believe I just admitted to that.

Oh well, time’s up.


Hey Guess What


It’s “Hey Guess What” time, also known as “I’m too busy to write a blog post about my California adventures and upload all of those photos, so instead I’m going to tell you about my crazy life lately.”

Betcha didn’t know what you were getting into when you decided to read this post, right? 😉

Without further adieu, hey guess what-


– this North Carolina girl has been California-sick since returning home. I miss the warmer weather, the people I met, the languages, culture, and the city-life. Never thought I would say I missed the city!

– I’m over halfway through with Anna Karenina! I’ve been reading it off and on since August, but lately I’ve been reading a few chapters every night on my Nook. Surprisingly, I’m really enjoying it!

– I’m currently tutoring a GED Writing student. Actually, I’m currently blogging while he writes an essay, but technically I’m still tutoring.

– I started watching Downton Abbey last night! The first episode was alright… I’m curious to see what happens next though and figure out what all of the hype is about! 😉

– Cream soda is probably one of my favorite simple splurges at Foster’s Market. I usually stick with water at restaurants, but Boylan‘s Cream Soda gets me every time!  (Foster’s has an amazing pastries/candy selection so sometimes I’m tempted by those things as well!)

– This week (and last for that matter) have been super hectic at work. We’ve been intaking/testing new students, having new tutor orientations, and gearing up for tutor training next week which is a whole other ordeal! I’m working nearly 11 hours each day, and will be so glad when things slow back down!

– There’s a Dirty Girl 5K coming to the area, and I’m hoping to sign up! Any local chicas want to be on my team?

– I got up early and worked out yesterday. Despite the fact that I thought I was going to pass out (too much tabata on an empty stomach. Oops?), I had so much energy throughout the day and slept so well last night!

– Tuesday was a great day overall. I woke up early and got a great start to my day by working out, cooked breakfast & lunch, made it to work early, tested some new students, got a latte with a friend, tutored my student, started a new online Bible study, and was in bed by 11. Wohoo!

– My GED student just got confused on how to determine when to use “it’s” and “its” and I had to Google it. And I’m a Linguistics major. Fail.

– Don’t ya hate how life can get so busy and you can’t seem to make time for friends? I do. That’s why I’m glad some friends from college were in my neck of the woods Friday night- I met them for dinner and we talked for hours!

– My cousin and I have been going to church together for a few weeks on Saturday evenings. I prefer going on Saturdays, and it’s been nice hanging out with him outside of family get togethers. We spent 30 minutes in the parking lot talking about life! (And for the record, that’s a record- the most he’s talked to me in years!)

– I have been having the craziest dreams lately- one night it was about someone I’ve talked to but haven’t met in person, and last night I had a dream I was pregnant. It was sooo crazy… it felt so real! I don’t know where these dreams have been coming from but I wish they didn’t seem so real!

– I’ve been emailing a friend from Australia who I met in LA and it’s fun finding out about life “Down Under!” I’m definitely going to be vacationing there in the future.

– AWOLNATION is going to be in Raleigh in March. Anyone want to go to the concert with me?!

– Speaking of vacations, I’m already looking forward to spring break this year. Hopefully I can take a little trip! 🙂

– The past four nights I have debated whether I should read, blog, or watch Netflix before bed. Clearly, blogging has taken the backseat :/

– Apparently snow is in the forecast for my area tomorrow night? That’s just according to twitter and word of

mouth, so I’m not sure how reliable that is!

– Sauteed garlic, kale & chickpeas are a new favorite combo for me. So quick, easy & tasty!

– Um, a GED student showed up for class at 7:56 and class ends at 8:00. Crazy.

– I’m counting down the minutes until I can leave work and go home. My bed (and vanilla soy milk) is calling my name. And of course there’s still the inner debate between watching Netflix or reading Anna Karenina… what would you choose?


I promise a San Francisco blog post in the next few days! 🙂


Friday Favorites



Favorite article of the week, BY FAR! This article made me smile, laugh, & cry a few tears. 26 Moments that Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year. A few favorites- #2, #10 (SO sweet!!!), #11, #14, #15, #19, #21 (I watched the video. And cried. Hellooo hormones.) #23, #25. Ok, I actually love them all! Which ones are your favorites?

Super simple Poor Man’s Toffee recipe. I made it and could not stop eating it. Uh oh?

Check out what Relevant Recommends over the Christmas holiday/break!

Who wants to read about Duke basketball when you can read an article about Duke football getting ready for the Belk Bowl December 27th!? I’m SO excited. Although I’m not going, I will be cheering them on from wherever I watch!

The 50 Best Literary Insults are great. My favorites are:

     “He liked fishing and seemed to take pride in being able to like such a stupid occupation.” (Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy)

 “I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result.” (The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde)

 “If your brains were dynamite there wouldn’t be enough to blow your hat off.” (Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut).

Speaking of books, I definitely tend to judge books by their covers. If it’s not eye-catching, I probably won’t pick it up. One little 6 year old judged books by their covers and tried to guess what classic novels were about. Super cute. Some of her guesses are actually close!

A few favorite local Durham gifts from! I definitely approve of their choices 😉

Just for your information: 12 Facts about guns and mass shootings in the US.

I discovered the blog of one of the founders of Krochet Kids, Kohl. That’s one (of many) non-profits I would love to work for!

The best cities for coffee lovers. There are 10 cities listed worldwide that provide some of the “best brews.” I especially would love to go to Addis Ababa and take part in a coffee ceremony!

How to determine if your Ugly Christmas sweater is ugly enough from USA Today. Definitely re-pinning this! I have an ugly Christmas sweater that classifies as epic, but I haven’t gotten a chance to wear it this year! 😮 Do you have an ugly/tacky Christmas sweater?

From an AmeriCorps Alumni: 7 Tips for Better Storytelling. I really like this post and think these tips are something important for telling the story of your organization!

How to dress a cut when you don’t have a bandaid:15654_10152344583015366_1346641574_n

Last week on NBC’s Rock Center, children’s book author Mary Pope Osborne talked about her main goal being to encourage children to read. And her Magic Tree House books have definitely engaged more children into picking up a book and reading, as they live vicariously through main characters Annie & Jack. Anyone who encourages youth to read is a friend of mine! 🙂 #literacy

Have you been wondering what the most looked up words of 2012 were? I know I have 😉 Wonder no more, as USA Today provides answers. Capitalism? Socialism? It’s all a bunch of malarky!

Did you see that Chicago University received a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones Jr? Doesn’t sound familiar? Maybe Henry’s nickname Indiana Jones does.

20 Going on 80 has an adorable downloadable desktop background! Her inspiration was a pair of shoes- how neat?




Finding Your Way


I started this blog post on Monday and have yet to finish or post it, so here goes:

Monday marked a year since I started this blog. My first post was simple and straightforward.

Entitled Finding My Way, I hoped to entice fellow bloggers and friends to keep up with my life post-college. I kept things personal at first… talking about family… birthdays… plans for the new year, etc. And then they morphed into “let me show you this part of Durham” or “here’s what I made for lunch”  and “look at pictures from my trips” posts. Then it got to the point where I wanted to reach out to a bigger audience, yet didn’t have blog content that was alluring enough. Now it’s at the “I blog for me” stage.

I can’t say that I’m proud about what the past year has held for my blog, but I’m content. Sure, my blog will never have 100+ views daily, nor will any of my posts be featured on the Freshly Pressed page, and I’ve come to accept that. My blog design isn’t as appealing as I want it to be, but it does the trick. My posts aren’t as regular as I want them to be, but that’s ok.

Let’s just pretend like this is a “Year in Review” type post, ok? A few of my personal favorite posts from the past year:

December 12: Nana’s Point of View


Spinach Pancakes

Homeschool Dance Off <yeah, I went there>

Life in the Peruvian Mountains <I miss those mountains>

Ten Reasons I’m Excited about DISNEY WORLD

Animal Kingdom                           Epcot                                 Disney’s Hollywood Studios                          Magic Kingdom

American Tobacco Campus <one of my most-viewed posts!>

What Would You Do? <in these awkward situations>

Wannabe Runner

The Art of Bus Riding in Lima

Things I Can’t Put on my Resume  <but oh, if I could…>

Durham Dates (part 1) (part 2)  <I have still yet to go on any of these dates… come on dudes!>

I Fell in Love with Swimming

How I Learned Spanish

Summer, Day 1

Wedding Weekend <SUCH a fun weekend!>


On Donating

One of Durham’s Best Kept Secrets <I dare you to read it!>

Fireworks <they’re magical!>

My Favorite Things about the Durham Bulls

On Alcohol

Dad and Sam <my student read his first book!!!!>

The Wreck

The Visitation

NC State Fair 2012

Month of Thanks

Children’s Hospitals

A Year Ago Today <graduation!>

A year has passed and I’m still trying to find my way in this world. It’s hard being a 20-something in a world that tells you to “do this” and “be that” when all I want to do is listen to God and follow His plans for my life.

Are you going to stick around for another year of me trying to find my way? 

Screen shot 2012-12-15 at 8.46.48 PM

my one year blogiversary was 12-10-12

A Sunday Breakfast


How do you spend your Sunday mornings?

A third of the people I know stay curled up in bed for as long as possible, getting up only to feed the loud organ that is their stomach. Another third of them are up early, studying, working out, and starting to tackle long to-do lists. The last third is those friends who are up and out the door, heading to church first thing.

This morning I planned on being in that first group of people (I went to church last night), despite the fact that I have quite a few things to do today. When I got a phone call from my mom around 8:30 asking if I wanted to go to breakfast, I quickly responded with a “yes!”


I hopped out of bed, brushed my teeth, washed my hair, put on some makeup & clothes, and was ready in under 13minutes. Definitely a new PR.

15 minutes later, my parents and I were being seated in Cracker Barrel.

When I go anywhere, I’m always super observant. I pay attention to my surroundings…the people around me, the conversations going on, where the nearest door is. Is that weird? 

This morning was no different. I scanned the tables nearby, trying to figure out people’s stories… Are they mad at each other or do they just need coffee? Gosh, those kids need to be disciplined. Are they here on a breakfast date? Oh, I wonder if that couple has a son my age. That’s rude- those people reading the paper while they eat together. Why did that person get that tattoo?! I’m weird, I know.

My parents and I made smalltalk as we waited for our food. We dreamed up family vacation for 2013. Talked about plans for my brother’s 18th birthday next weekend. Our food finally came, and we prayed for it.

As we munched on our country breakfasts and continued to bring up conversation topics, I noticed an older woman being seated at the table next to us. She had on a black sweatsuit, and I expected that she was waiting on her husband who was surely parking the car. Minutes passed, she ordered, and nobody showed up. Here this older woman was, sitting alone drinking coffee at a restaurant on a Sunday morning. I immediately wanted to go sit with her and talk to her.

What was her story? Is she a Sunday morning regular? Why was she alone?

She sipped her coffee and kept her eyes down, except for looking up to greet the occasional waiter inquiring about how she was. She must come here often. She never pulled out a cell phone, newspaper, book, or planner. She sat there alone, patiently waiting for her food. I noticed she wore no rings on her left hand, or her right hand for that matter.

When her food arrived, she immediately started eating. “It’s very good, thank you” she answered her waiter.

I watched her, perhaps looking rude, but I couldn’t help but wonder.

If she’s something like me, she probably likes going places alone. But a public place on a busy Sunday morning in December?

Why is she alone? Where is her family? Does she even have a family?

This woman could have been having the time of her life for all I know, but my heart broke for her. No one should have to have a Sunday breakfast alone. No one should have to sit there, eyes down, as people pass by.

There really is no moral or point to this story, other than that I felt bad for this woman… I wanted to sit with her and buy her breakfast. Sure, it could be the “Christmas spirit” that got ahold of me, or it could be my heart for people. It could be my over-curious nature that questioned all these things about this woman. I don’t know what it was, but this Sunday breakfast sure got me thinking. And it made me more mindful of others, especially during this holiday season.

How was your Sunday breakfast?

A Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Worker


Most days I whine about everything at work being mundane, when really, that’s far from the truth. Some days are more exciting than others, but really, none of my job is mundane. Sure, the calling potential students and explaining in detail everything we offer… that gets old, but everything else that goes on is quite interesting.

Here’s an inside glance at what went on a few Thursdays ago at the center.

9:00ish AM- person on shift comes to unlock building, start coffee, turn on lights, etc. If I’m on shift I’m here by 8:40, otherwise it’s more like 9:15.

9:25 – students and tutors slowly start filtering in. I open my work and personal emails and check my calendar. Not too much on the agenda yet, but I’m sure stuff will come up.

9:50 – ESOL students make their way in from the cold, all bundled up and smiling. “Good morning teacher!” they chime as they walk past me, despite the fact that I’m not their teacher. Those three words make me smile. I reply, “good morning!” and walk back into my office. Read the rest of this entry

Month of Thanks


All month I’ve been keeping a running list of things I’m thankful for… however small, silly, random they may be. It’s been a good exercise and I think I’m going to keep it up throughout the coming months. That way, whenever I feel I have something to complain about I can just look at all the little things I’m thankful for.

1- For a new picture for the monthly calendar in the office! And the ability/opportunity to participate in webinars and learn all sorts of things as an AmeriCorps member.

2- Thankful for running water, even if it is super cold at work when I wash my hands.

3- Thankful for dogs whom I love dearly,  and the fact that dogs know how to get back home! [they ran away. Post on it’s way 😉 ] Also thankful for my married friends whom I love and have so much fun with although I don’t get to see them often!

4- Time change and an “extra” hour of sleep. And caramel macchiatos. Read the rest of this entry

On Blogging


Well, I’ve hit the proverbial blogging wall.

I feel like my life isn’t interesting enough, like I haven’t traveled enough places, like I don’t have anything worth sharing, like I’m not cool enough to blog… and that’s why I haven’t blogged much lately.

It’s not that I haven’t had time because let’s face it, I have definitely had time. Instead of getting into bed at night at 9:30pm with fresh chocolate chip cookies, a cup of milk, and something to watch on Netflix, there are numerous other things I could be doing… like working out, cleaning my bathroom cabinet out, studying for the GRE, finishing Anna Karenina, but you know… sometimes there’s nothing better than this grandma being in bed at 9:30pm.

I just feel like whatever I have to say about anything isn’t important, and won’t be read.

I could blog about Durham but my posts are never quite as exciting as other Durham/foodie bloggers. I could blog about my mundane days at work and getting hit on by awkward volunteers and tutoring. I could blog about the boring recipes I’ve made lately using mainly sweet potatoes, mushrooms, butternut squash, and spinach. I could blog about my “everyday outfits” but that’s mainly just skinny jeans, boots, tshirts, cardigans and scarves, so nothing special there.

Basically, I’ve run out of things to blog about. Unless the lame everyday is appealing to you? Read the rest of this entry