Monday, December 19, 2011

winter break: day seven

i would like to take this seventh day of winter break to let everyone know how thankful i am for my family. because, really, no other group of people makes me laugh as much as they do. no one else makes me feel as comfortable in my own skin as they do. and no one supports me in everything that i do, like they have.

and let's face it--we do a lot of rad things together. like bake and cook dinners and take walks and eat candy and watch movies and stay up late and tell corny jokes and play apples to apples and try new restaurants and play cornhole in the backyard and go bowling. and well, the list just goes on and on and on....

so today, i am thankful. for being born into a hell of a family. for two parents that love me unconditionally. and for two brothers who are my very best friends. 

happy holidays everybody. tis the season.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the 4th, 5th, and 6th day of winter break...

went out to breakfast with some
old friends and some new friends at
one of the diners here in town. it felt 
really good to catch up with everyone over
my favorite meal of the day. and also
to laugh a whole whole lot about
tiny little things no one
else would understand.

made these tasty (and beautiful might
i add) graham cracker treats with my mom!
the recipe was super easy and all you need
are: graham crackers, chocolate to melt, and
crushed candy canes. i just think they're
so cute! and i'm pretty sure i've snacked
on one every day so far..whoops!

managed to work 21 and a half
hours at the theatre. it was a pretty
slow weekend for movies altogether, but
i actually really enjoyed my time spent there.
looking forward to a busier weekend with a 
lot of good movies coming out! maybe i'll
see some of you there? ;)

had some late night sheetz and a movie
(our idiot brother) with mike! we like
to bond over our similar taste in television 
shows, food, and movies. 

and that pretty much sums up my past
three days! just taking it easy, really :)

happy holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the third day of winter break...

mom and i decorated the house for christmas!
we might be a little behind compared to the
rest of the neighborhood...but i'd say
that the place looks pretttyyyy 
classy ;)
celebrated the birthday of the best 
dad in the entiiiiire world! with
presents and cheese dogs and lots
and lots of golf balls!!

celebrated the return of miss carly
norman! oh how i have missed her this past
semester--it's so good to have her back :)
we even ended the night with one of our
traditional hot tub nights; woohoo!!

went to the central dauphin lady rams
game against mcdevitt--they kept the tradition 
alive and made me proud as they ran away with
the victory! they're looking pretty awesome 
this year and it was so much fun cheering on some
of the girls who were on the team with me and
others who i actually helped coach during the 
little lady rams camps!! (crazy, i know. i felt 
so old!!) if you're free tuesday night, you 
should definitely try and make it to their
game vs. trinity at 7:30 at cd and show
some support!! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the second day of winter break...

went shopping with my mom at the mall.
we ate lunch by the big christmas tree
and stalked the table full of old people.
we also bought old man socks and tons of
pittsburgh gear. and we laughed.
a lot.

made italian pretzels for my friends.
and bought cute christmas tins
to put them in. i'm excited
to see their faces when they
open them up. because no one loves
italian pretzels quite like
they do ;)

rode around in my little red
car with my not-so-little dog
in the passenger's seat. because, 
really, he's the best shopping buddy
i'll ever find...he doesn't ever
complain about the music i play...
or if i play a song twice in 
a row...and he gives
wonderful kisses!

ate lasagna with rach.
and her awesome mom and sister. 
and her wonderful boyfriend, virgil.
we were supposed to make it...then we got
sidetracked of course. so we just ate
it instead. and sat around the table
with her mom and sister and talked
about things like where PAM got
its name and what we want
to be when we grow up..

baked yummy brownies with rach and virgil.
okay--i kind of just watched. but still.
double chocolate brownies with
hershey's hugs and hershey's
dark/mint chocolate. ironic
because they both work within
the hershey company ;)

sat at the johnston's house
and talked with ash, her parents,
and steph. they will always feel
like a second set of parents 
to me.

photo cred: rachael miller and myself!
instagram app for iphone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

on the first day of winter break...

so. i'm home for winter break. and i've come to
realize that something i miss oh so very much while
away at school is a very simple thing: the kitchen.
not just being able to open a fridge and see an abundance
of food, but having the ability to cook. or bake. or both.

so. after being home since last evening, i
decided that i needed to take advantage of it all.
thank you so much to the rockstar diaries blog (and beth)
for this wonderful recipe for homemade
apple cinnamon granola!! two words: incredibly
delicious. or: incredibly easy. you take your

rachael and i decided to tackle the recipe
this evening after spending a few hours
catching up with some friends over coffee.
we played our christmas music and sang
along and caught up on our end-of-semester
stories. it was a grand time indeed :)

and here are our masterpieces!

i really want to take advantage of
this nice little winter break of mine;
i want to see as many people as i can,
try as many new things as i can, and never
waste a minute! so far so good.

home is where the heart is.

some appreciation for da burgh...

My last week in Pittsburgh before I left for home, I came to realize that sometimes I don't take enough time to appreciate the wonderful little things about this city. The small things I overlook every the beautiful view from my window each morning and night, the fact that I have so many of my best friends so close each day, or even just the fact that I have the luxury to call any of them up and meet for coffee or dinner. Or how about the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful cities EVER!? I mean seriously, how much luckier can I get? So, this past week, I really took the time to appreciate this wonderful place that I get to live in for these four crazy years of life. Here are a few other things I love about being here:

christmas in the cathedral; they decorate it
so beautifully here. christmas lights everywhere.
christmas trees at every door. and christmas presents
under every tree. not to mention, that they also keep the
fireplaces lit and the whole place smells like freshly burning
wood for the entire day...its wonderful. and by the number of
students you'll see sitting in the common room every day,
you can tell that everyone else appreciates it too :)
dark chocolate kisses at 2 in the morning
with my wonderful friends in the library.
probably the only great thing about finals week
is that everyone is going through it together...meaning
lots of late nights in the library studying. but mostly
just doing anything EXCEPT studying! we're college 
students...that's what we do!
getting to model as "lazy students" for
a friend's project and ordering the most
delicious thing you could find on the coldstone
menu! mmmmmm. enough said.
 having family in the area--this is something
that i definitely don't take advantage of enough...
this past weekend, my dad came to pick me up, and while
he was here, we celebrated my mimi's (and his!) birthday!
we ate at monteray bay at the top of mount washington, and 
had lots and lots of wonderful sea food. it was delicious.
and the view was absolutely outstanding. i couldn't stop looking
out the window...
and here is that wonderful view! i really
want to make it a goal of mine to visit mount
washington more once the weather gets 
really puts into perspective how great this place is.
 trying new restaurants with friends! it
seems like the oakland area is just crawling
with new places to eat lately! and i think that
we're also just discovering a lot of new places--i 
love it! i love trying new places and new foods!
 birthday desserts--for dad and mimi :)
 having awesome spontaneous friends who seem
to be up for just about anything! and very 
generous friends at that! my friend mat took me and 
another friend, ryan, to De Lucas Diner in the Strip District this past Saturday on a whim! (and paid for the entire meal
might i add..what a gentleman!) It was even cooler because 
every saturday the strip district has a huuuge market with tons
of vendors selling yummy food or vintage-y clothes and
lots and lots of steelers gear. I ordered a nutella,
chocolate, and banana crepe. it was wonderful.
finding an apartment with kaylie!!!
it's official--we're going to be the proud 
new, renters..of a cute little apartment
in panther hollow next august! we're super excited
to move in and become roommates and do cool new-roommate
things! be on the lookout for a joint-blog that we'll
be creating, recounting all of our adventures, successes,
and failures of being on a whole new level of adult-ness...
we can't wait to keep you updated on our new adventure!

i also got to enjoy a nice ride home last night with my
dad. it was probably the fastest ride ever, but i had a
great time getting to bond with him :)
it feels good to be home for a few weeks
without any school work to think about!!

and on that note--finals went well and i think i've 
managed to pull all A's and B's this semester! yay!
good luck to all of my friends still in da burgh
studying away and taking tests; you can do it!
hang in there everybody!! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


oh life has been busy lately...
it's that awkward two weeks between thanksgiving and christmas break and it seems as if students everywhere are fighting for tables in the library to cram for finals.

luckily for me, ive really enjoyed all of my classes this semester so studying hasn't been too hard. but otherwise; i've been writing essay after essay, and i've been loving it! and i just love my little table in the cathedral of learning--right next to all of the christmas trees! i do enjoy this time of the year :)

i've enjoyed lots of wonderful friend time this past week/weekend with endless lunch and dinner dates, ice cream outings, christmas parties, and study sessions but i'm definitely ready to spend some time at home.

so here's to wishing everyone a non-stressful finals week! and if you're not taking finals--then here's to wishing you a non-stressful holiday season!

safe travels everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

goodbye for now..


saying 'see ya later' to a rainy 
pittsburgh city today and
hello to my home, my
friends, and my


Monday, November 21, 2011

i love this life.

holy crap blogging world, it's been quite a successful weekend if i do say so myself. probably one of the best weekends i've had here in a while. so i'll sum it up for you since i (and my wonderful, wonderful friends) took oh so many pictures this weekend! yay for friends who bring their cameras everywhere we go!

friday night i crossed off a big event on my bucket list: participating in my first-ever flashmob! Our pledge class had to organize a fellowship event in order to become initiated into APO, so we organized this totally badass flashmob dance! it took place in the towers lobby and it was a pretty big hit if i do say so myself ;)

afterwards, my truly amazing pledge class and i got officially initiated into APO. that's right...i'm now officially a brother! pretty cool huh? i'm excited for next semester already!
 my pledge class! i love each
and every one of them!!
 Steph & myself afterwards
 Me and Kaylie!
Me and Laur!

Saturday, we took advantage of the odd warm weather (definitely not was absolutely gorgeous outside and i enjoyed every second of it and wish for more days like this in fact!!) and the holiday season and ventured downtown! we saw gingerbread houses made by some very talented individuals, beautiful christmas lights, and we heard some very uplifting christmas music sung/played by even more talented people! We also skated around the huuuuugely decorated christmas tree in PPG square and enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at The Diamond (seriously though, huge burgers. so so good). THEN we randomly ran into a thanksgiving/christmas parade! A hundred horses! Or rather, 99 horses and a donkey ;)

 myself. steph. kaylie. kelsey. lauren. maggie.

this picture is so typical ;)

It was a great day. We relaxed during the night and spent lots of time at Dawson, catching up and telling old stories and laughing the night away just like last year. i loved it so so much. really.

Sunday I showed some family-friends around campus and ate at the famous Primanti Bro's...oh how i love sandwiches with cole slaw and french fries on them!!! yum yum yummm! I did some homework and watched the AMA's and wanna hear something awesome? Well, i'm gonna tell you anyway ;)

So my all-time favorite band ever in the entire world is OneRepublic. I'm not exaggerating when i say that i haven't gone a single day without listening to them for the past year. no, i'm so serious right now. sooooo, when i heard that they were playing at the AMA's OF COURSE i was excited! but wait, it gets better. soooo, they sent out this request to their fans: to send in photos of their "Good Life" moment. They would select some photos to use in their AMA performance of their hit, "Good Life." I submitted two photos:
 the first of the trio: myself, ash, and steph;
infront of the big red door of the cathedral of
learning here at pitt from last year when they visited!
and the second: i like to call this one...
art and music..maybe? Here's your 15 minutes 
of fame mom! showing off your awesome sewing skills! ;)

SO ANYWAY! i sent in these two photos....
i literally screamed my lungs out when i saw them on tv. i was so shocked and excited and in awe and well every other amazing emotion that you can feel in a moment like this. it feels so cool to be part of a performance of a band who's music has changed your life; a band who gets you through the ups and downs of every day. really.

you can see the crayon photo at 0:46 seconds behind the drummer (and again at the very end in the upper lefthand corner of the collage) and then you can see the picture of the three of us at 1:04! How cool is that??
Even cooler? Alex was there, sitting third row, and he saw them too!! Super jealous ;)

I finished Sunday up with some homework and got moving on a great Monday of class and friends and even got to spend some quality time with my aunt and my cousin leah. we went thrift store shopping (and laughed a lot might i add!) and had a rather delicious lunch at the cheesecake factory. mmmmm; food coma.

just hangin out with my little buddy...

I'd also like to add, that last thursday, market central treated the students of the pitt campus to our very own thanksgiving meal...and it was superb. yes, the power went out, and yes we did sit in the dark for a good two hours, but it was still awesome. it's the moments where i'm sitting with friends, talking and laughing about absolutely nothing, that i love the most about being here. 

speaking of delicious thanksgiving food...I CAN'T WAIT TO COME HOME TOMORROW!!! i'm excited to see my family and hug my dog and eat lots of food and sleep in my bed and drive a car and work at the movies and SEE movies and have sleepovers with friends and diner trips with my brothers and the list goes on and on and on...ohh the simple things. one more class tomorrow morning and then i've got a long four hour bus ride home and a nice five day break to look forward to!

so here's wishing everyone a blessed
 and happy thanksgiving holiday! :)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

art appreciation

Last weekend Kaylie, Rebecca, and I took an adventure downtown to the Andy Warhol Museum! Rebecca was visiting Kaylie for the night and I had met her a few weeks prior on her last visit, so I was pretty excited to get to hang out with her again. The day was beautiful. Actually, apart from the last two days of rain, it's been absolutely gorgeous here in Pittsburgh. You would never guess that we're exactly at the halfway point of November if you were to walk outside. And the leaves are beautiful!! I love this time of year.

But anyway!...the day was absolutely beautiful, so we got off at a stop downtown and walked over the Andy Warhol Bridge (where this lovely picture above was taken actually) and made our way into the museum. And can I just bring to attention yet another awesome perk of being a Pitt student?: free museum admission! To almost all of the museums here in Pittsburgh actually! There's no photography allowed in the building, but we did manage to sneakily snap this picture in the 'silver cloud room' shhh!!
(it's really a lot cooler than this picture lets on I promise!)
The museum was amazing. And it was even cooler this time because they had an Alex Ross exhibit set up. He's this incredibly talented comic book artist who really redefined the art. If you're more interested, here's his official site: Alex Ross. I would definitely check it out...or if you find yourself in Pittsburgh in the next few weeks, then I really really realllyyy suggest that you check it out. Especially if you're into the Marvel comics and the Avengers and things like that... It reminded me a lot of seeing all those movies with my dad this past summer and other times in the past :)
What was also really cool was the fact that they had a ton of artwork that he had done from when he was like 4 years old! And 11 and 15 and so on...and these really cute action figures that he made out of construction paper. Talk about a talented
here's just a sample of his work.
image by google.

After getting kicked out at closing time (we still had one more floor to see!) we took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked around downtown...I can't wait for this weekend when they get all of the Christmas lights and decorations up. And the ice rink! Ahhhh so exciting. This time of year is just too perfect.

The week is going well; I'm keeping busy and staying productive. Trying to get as much work done now that I can so that I can fully relax during Thanksgiving Break. Talking to Mike and Jim yesterday on the phone has really gotten me excited to see them :)

So, I hope that you all are doing well! That the holiday season isn't stressing you out TOO MUCH just yet. And if it is, just take a second to breathe and realize that everything will work out; it always does :)

image credit: Kaylie!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm feeling restless here in Pittsburgh.
I want to go on an adventure.

I'm currently revising a paper for
class about my road trip this past summer;
I think that has something to do with it.

Or maybe I'm just ready to go home
and stuff myself with turkey and mashed
potatoes and stuffing and cranberries with 
my wonderful family that I miss so much :)


Saturday, November 12, 2011


November is turning out to be a really really great month so far. Not because of a ton of awesome big things that are happening...but because of the small things. The things that you think about right before you fall asleep and you smile, realizing that, "hey, that really just made my day."
So here are a few things that have really just made me happy lately. Things that have been making me realize just how good I've got it...

APO meetings: I always find myself looking forward to Wednesday nights. To the people: to the sense of belonging to a group of such amazing and driven people. To the much laughing.

Random Thursday Activities: This past Thursday, Goop asked me to help him practice giving tours around campus. It was the perfect amount of cold outside and we had a great time. Just making jokes about stupid things and cool ways to remember facts. Not to mention that I learned so much about Pitt that I never knew before! So many more buildings than I thought...  And ending the day in the library.

Razzy: Because who doesn't enjoy frozen yogurt topped with fruit and colorful gummy worms??

Postcards from Hermosa Beach: The best way to start off a long mid-week Wednesday. 

Latenight 'Fuel and Fuddle' with Friends: One of my favorite little restaurants here in Oakland, Fuel and Fuddle has this great deal after 11pm: everything is 50% off. And let me tell you, their brick oven pizzas are THEE best. The 45 minute wait didn't even seem that bad because when you're with people who enjoy life as much as you do, there's never a bad moment.

Three Big Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream Desserts: perfect for six people. so so good. 

Sleeping-In Without Setting An Alarm: one of those little moments that you just don't happen to come by very often anymore ;)

Movies at Dawson: those old movies that everyone (but me of course) has seen but you end up watching anyway. Laughing at all the wrong parts and picking up on every little detail that never made sense anyway. Laughing through all of the sentimental moments...

Saturday Morning Class and Pamela's Afterwards: Having an awesome teacher who looks and sounds eerily similar to Ray Romano; receiving extra credit for attending a super interesting lecture; and then enjoying some coffee with three of my favorite people here at Pitt.

Trips to South Side; The Good Will: Buying big comfy sweaters and basically picking out Daniela's entire wardrobe! Searching the racks and bonding over our hobby of bargain shopping with other people browsing as well...

The Countdown: 10 days til Thanksgiving Break! Home with the family. 

"my teacher asked me what i wanted to be when i grew up. i said happy. she said i didn't understand the question. i said she didn't understand life." 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a happy birthday weekend for my beautiful mother:

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go home to the burg to celebrate my beautiful mom's birthday with her; and I'm so so glad that I did. It was exactly what I needed and I found myself just wanting to stay a few days longer...maybe all the way through Thanksgiving! calls. And teachers like to schedule lots of papers and exams right before (and after for that matter) any sort of break that we have.
But anyway!: it was a great little weekend home. I arrived on the megabus on Friday and my awesome dad picked me up. I spent lots of time with Trey (he was so excited the entire weekend!) and spent the entire weekend with my mom and dad. Friday night we actually went to the mansion where they have the Renaissance Fair every year. We watched the Edgar Allen Poe shows...and All the people stayed in character the entire time and they were all extremely talented individuals. They put on three different stories for us, and it was a very different experience, but a very cool one at that. It sort of brought me back to the days of National History Day! ;)

Saturday I spent most of the day doing some birthday shopping for mom and I also took a trip to one of my favorite places in da burg: Salvo. I love browsing all the racks of clothes and shelves of knick-knacks...just seeing what I can find; the possibility of getting lucky! And I did! I found some awesome clothes there and I'm super excited to wear them!
I also baked a rather delicious (if I do say so myself) birthday cake for my mom! She asked for an angel food cake which I had never made before (super easy...don't let the strange contraption that you have to use fool you!) and told me to choose the topping. I chose cool whip, raspberries, and blackberries. YUMM! We went out to dinner in Hershey that night (again, more yummy food) and then came home to open presents, eat cake, and watch football and hockey. Before I knew it, I was the only one still awake! Mom, Dad, and Trey were all fast asleep on the couch...I guess everyone is just getting a little bit older ;)
Sunday I went to church with my mom and saw how much work they've gotten done on the new church: it's amazing! I feel like I didn't even go to school there for nine years. It's a little sad I guess, but that's all just a part of life...things change but you keep the memories forever :)  Mom and I spent the rest of the day shopping and then we ate lunch at the mall right next to the big Christmas's kind of a tradition of ours now that I love. 

The megabus was late. I got into Pitt two hours later than I was supposed to. But I had good company on the bus so it didn't bother me so much. I got some work done and enjoyed myself. It's nice when you're not in a rush.
This week has proved to be a rather long one. I think it's because I'm just looking forward to Thanksgiving Break so be back with my family and my friends. I've got one school week down and one to go and lots of exams until I head back to the burg on the 22nd. Hopefully that just means the week will go faster ;)
And I'm looking forward to the ice rink being opened up in PPG next weekend! I'll definitely be making plans to head down there (hopefully more than once) and I'm also looking forward to spending the day with my aunts and cousin, Leah, for a day of thrift-store-shopping! One of my favorite past times! It's nice that they have included me in their pre-Thanksgiving tradition :) 
So I've got a good week and a half coming up I'd say and lots of cool things to look forward to. I've temporarily disabled my facebook! So that means more time for blogging and work ;)  And lastlyyyy, I'd like to say that I hope all of my friends in Penn State are staying safe with all of these riots that have broken out around the campus. I don't support the violence, but I hope that you're all staying smart and staying out of it. 

Until next time!
incase you haven't heard...she's 
a "pro" at toilet-papering ;)