Mamma Mia Match & Tea Day

I want to say it started with the new movie Mamma Mia 2 coming out, but it probably started with the pants. A while ago, I was helping my mom shop at one of her favorite stores and couldn’t keep my eyes off a certain pair of fun, vibrant pants. After trying them on, I realized my mom had also spotted them. We both loved these pants.

Is it okay to buy the same pants as your mom? My mom has always been young at heart, but had my style officially aged a couple decades? Were we both going to buy and wear the same pants? Spoiler alert, yes! Not only that, hell, we were going to both wear them on a mother-daughter day outing. And what else is there to do but go see the new Mamma Mia sequel that’s all about these mom-daughter relationships! Why not, we’re both just crazy enough to do it.

So this isn’t a film review, but the movie is pretty great – better than I expected. My parents, both theater majors, raised me to love musicals. I don’t think you have to love musicals to like this movie – the cast is great, it’s all Abba songs, which are great, and it’s just a lot of fun!

After the movie, I took my mom to a tea shop in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, called Potpourri of Silk. I knew my mom would love it, and it was really nice! We shared a pot of hibiscus green tea and caught each other up on all the gossip in our lives.

Since we were in the area, we decided to walk around the area to explore all the shops. Bishop Arts seems to have something new every time I’m out there! They have a new adventure store, AJ Vagabonds that I fell in love with, as well as another new coffee stop, Serve.

Of course, with the Texas heat, we didn’t stay out too long but it was a great afternoon! We got a couple of looks in our matching outfits, but that kind of just made it better. As I grow older, I’m realizing I have no shame – thanks, mom!

Rest, Remember, Relax, Reflect

As I approach my blog’s one year anniversary, I’ve decided to take a week-long break from blogging, social media, and even -gasp- adventure. I think R&R is super important, and I think R&R&R&R is something I’m in very much need of. I want to take this break for the classic rest and relaxation, but I also want to spend much of it reflecting and remembering my previous year of experiences.

A lot of the time, I find myself thinking of the future. Planning and researching and wondering, “What next?” It’s been so much fun tackling things on my bucket list and making new goals. But I also think I haven’t had too much time for a breath and I definitely haven’t taken an entire week off!

As I’m about to take my first week off (I’ll miss you guys!), I’ll tell you five ways I’ll be spending it. Instead of the planning, scheduling, list-making, writing, picture-taking, etc, here are my main goals for this upcoming break:

  1. Being Lazy in Bed
    I’m not super into TV, but there are a couple of shows I love keeping up with. I don’t like having the pressure of a weekly show, but I know there’s a couple of seasons on Netflix I’ve been meaning to mindlessly binge.
    There’s also definitely some reading I need to catch up on! I’ve been so busy this year I had to adjust my yearly goal from fifty to thirty, but I’m excited to lounge around and enjoy one of my favorite hobbies that doesn’t make me go, go, go.
  2. Cleaning, Tidying
    I just did a huge clean-out of everything in my house, which was a major two-week undertaking, so I’m glad I can spend some time in my space doing the smaller chores I enjoy. I’m talking a couple of dishes here, a load of laundry there, maybe even some light sweeping.
    I really love cleaning, but also just the simple tidying up (like making the bed). Having a clean home puts my mind at ease. And when I need to meditate on things, I find this easiest to do when my hands are mindlessly busy.
  3. Doing “Nothing” with Those I Care About
    As a pretty social creature, I don’t want to completely shut myself off from those I care about. I just think I want to spend time doing more of “nothing” than having a real activity. I’m always interested in trying new things or creating unique get-togethers, but for this week I want to try and not chase having the new experience.
    They can join me on my couch! Or we can have a meal at a dumb chain restuarant – haha! Board games are always a classic. Anything that’s old and familiar and doesn’t require any plan.
  4. Projects that Have Been on Hold
    I am so big into DIYing and making stuff, but I have put a lot of stuff on hold recently. My creative endeavors list is massive as other projects take my interest or traveling has taken my time. I have at least three items on this list that I’ve promised to make for other people – haha!
    I’m so excited to get a chance to be creative in this hands-on way. Art has always meant a lot to me, so I’m ready to get my watercolors out, get the supplies I’ve bought months ago for certain projects, and spend some time making stuff.
  5. Hiking just for Me
    Recently a lot of my local hikes have been at new places so I can explore new trails. Don’t get me wrong, this has been such a fun experience and it’s great discovering new places to love. But because I’ve been pushing myself to find the new and share it with an audience, I haven’t been able to make it to my favorite local trails. I can’t promise I won’t take any pictures while on these hikes – I just love nature and photography – but I’m going only for me this time and that’s what makes the difference. I can’t wait to see my old favorites!
  • See you guys in a week!
  • Hosting Shark Week

    Welcome to Shark Week!

    Let me start by saying, obviously, I love sharks. Like most kids, I was terrified of them when I was little – I even used to be scared a shark would somehow make it through the facet into my bathtub (haha). But somewhere along the way, I started learning about them and now I’m pretty much just awestruck by them.

    One of the items on my bucket list is to host Shark Week with one of my best friends Giselle, so I figured why wait for Discovery Channel to ask me, I’ll just do it on my own. (Side note: this year Shark Week is celebrating the Dirty 30!) My Instagram has been taken over this week to help me host, so make sure you don’t miss all the hosting details!

    To start things off right, we decided to join sharks in their natural habitat – water! Living in Dallas means we are not near an ocean, but we couldn’t let that stop us. While swimming in the pool, I thought about the way a shark swims. Most propel themselves through the water with their tail, using their fins for balance only. This method does not work as well for humans.

    Next, we wanted to discover a shark’s eating habits, so we went fishing! For the most part, sharks are “opportunistic” hunters, meaning they take what they can get. Some sharks (tiger sharks) are known to eat anything, but for the most part sharks are looking for marine life to munch on. We used a fishing pole instead of our jaws, obviously!

    Sharks also take what is known as an exploratory bite. This bite means sharks take a quick test bite to check on what they’re trying to eat. Sometimes surfers can look like seals to a shark, so they’ll take a bite to see if they’ve found the prey they want. Listen, sharks do not want humans; it’s just that sometimes their solitary bite is big enough to do serious damage.

    Does anyone remember taking a “keyboard” class in school? It was required when I was a kid so we could learn typing. Basically it was playing a whole lot of a game called Typershark. (You type the words on the sharks’ bodies so they don’t attack your diver.) It was so fun! Also made me realize my current computer isn’t that great. I need a new processor and my U key sticks – that’s what I’m blaming for my low WPM anyway (ha)!

    In the ocean, sharks are typically ten times faster than humans. When hunting, they can show bursts of speed of up to 40 mph! This speed isn’t necessary for trying to attack divers; it enables them to travel the entire ocean. They may have their favorite spots, but sharks can swim from the Atlantic to the Pacific and still be “home.”

    Luckily, host Giselle works in the medical profession so our next activity was easy to accomplish – donating blood! Sharks and blood are synonymous – we may all have heard at some point that sharks can smell one drop of blood in an olympic swimming pool.

    But even better than blood – sharks can smell and interpret chemicals. They can literally smell fear because of the chemical process that releases glucose into your bloodstream when you’re afraid. That’s freaking awesome!

    I hope we all learned new great things about sharks! And go ahead and try some of these shark “activities” and let me know how it goes. Shark week has only just begun, so until next time!

    Inspired to Thrift

    My visit to the small town of Jefferson, TX inspired an addictive habit to pop back up: my need to shop. Luckily now my shopaholic syndrome is balanced by a head for budgeting and a mantra of spending on experiences – but thrifting let’s me get away with everthing.

    I never spend a lot of money and the hunt for treasures is always a good time.

    The last couple of years, I’ve been very into thrifting for homewares and furniture. Ever since I started traveling, I’m all about thrifting clothes. I want to go a lot of different places and not have on the same outfit (like some weird cartoon character). I also want to be able to say I got my whole outfit for under twenty bucks. Ah, the pride of a bargain.

    While in Jefferson, I was on the lookout for a simple vase, but of course I came away with some clothes instead. One of the shops had a special rack sale where everything was fifty cents. I got two floral tops and some jeans I’m working on DIYing. The thrifting in Jefferson was pretty great!

    That is the other thing – thrifting offers you an opportunity to try some DIY projects. I’ve been able to accomplish top trends just by making it myself with a cheap foundation. Vintage denim is perfect for making into high-waisted shorts and you can add embroidery to almost any plain shirt for a cool effect.

    I could go on and on, but here’s some quick tips to end it.

    1. Look through everything! Especially the men’s section, where some might stay away – lots of great denim, coats, and graphic tees to be found.
    2. Have some general ideas or inspo before you go so you can have a keener eye on what you’re looking for. (But don’t get set on something too specific!)
    3. Be patient. Sometimes when I’m in too much of a rush, I get frustrated. There will be days when you look for an hour and find nothing. Luckily, just looking can be fun for me!
    4. Bring hand sanitizer. Sometimes things feel pretty grimy, and a lot of the home goods haven’t been touched in ages.

    Sweet Tooth Hotel

    There’s a new trend in pop art that promotes interaction and temporary installations – that will then last forever through social media. These pop-ups are appearing allover. The main purpose? Get people to take pictures in the art and then post it to their followers.

    Dallas is following this trend by opening the “Sweet Tooth Hotel,” an art installation that will only be up and running a few months – so get get your pictures while you still can! This “hotel” features six rooms inspired by candy (ringpops, macroons, etc) and created by local Dallas artists (Built by Bender, Shamsy, etc).

    After a brief introduction about what you could touch – everything pretty much – they encourage you to explore. Mainly, you’re encouraged to take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. It’s basically a creative space filled with bright color imagery and fun props to serve as the perfect setting for a sweet photo shoot. It’s kind of genius in an age where social media is an engine for self-promotion.

    My own experience visiting this art installation was a lot of fun. You pay for an hour of time to snap as many photos as you can in all the rooms, getting as creative as you can – and for me, trying not to feel awkward as other guests wait for their own turn. You’re climbing in a bathtub, lounging on the bed, stepping out from a fridge, spinning next to neon signs, and trying to make sure no one’s in your mirror shot.

    The time went quick, but it was kind of exhilarating. There’s something about a timed “museum” that makes you capture as many photos and poses as you possibly can. You don’t know what you’ll end up using, but the need to hold on to the temporary imagery is important. This art won’t last forever – except for those pictures you keep.

    What you post then becomes part of the art too. Even me writing this blog and sharing it to Instagram – it’s all become art in a completely new way. Modern art is becoming more and more interactive. I hope it’s still making people think. Then again, maybe I’m thinking too much about it. Ha!

    All in all, me and my friend Jenna had lot of fun seeing the candy-inspired art and getting a few great profile pics!

    Why I Hike (Anywhere I Can)

    This Saturday is National Trails Day! I’ll be busy with a friend’s wedding, so I’m hoping to get in my hiking before the weekend arrives. Hiking has become very important to me, so I wanted to share my most personal hiking thoughts.

    1. My body got me here.

    As most of us probably have at some point, I’ve struggled a lot with what my body can and can’t do. Regardless of whatever insecurities I may feel, I always have a moment of being so proud of what my body can do. The elevation I can climb, the miles I can push through, and the weather I can survive. All thanks to my body!

    2. Does (blank) really matter?

    Hiking is extremely meditative for me. It’s where I tend to start working through a lot of the problems I deal with. I’ve never been able to sit and work toward a solution. It’s only when my body takes over that I can get to a place where my mind is free to work on all that deep stuff going on subconsciously.

    3. I can work on that connection.

    Similarly to personal problems I work on, I also find me thinking a lot about the relationships in my life. Hiking always makes me optimistic so I begin to think of what I can do to better a friendship, a connection, etc. The solitude of nature has a way of making you appreciate the connections I’ve made and all the wonderful people who surround me in life. I’m thankful for the opportunities to work on showing my loved ones what they mean to me.

    4. A perfect check mark for my list.

    I find myself almost constantly needing to be productive. A lot of times I can stretch myself too thin or take too many stressors on my plate. Hiking is one of the only things in my life that feels completely for me and yet doesn’t give me the guilt of not “getting stuff done.” It’s good for me mentally and physically so it’s almost like having a few check marks rolled into one (especially when the thinking time helps me solve a problem).

    5. Life has beauty to it.

    The main thing about getting outdoors – anywhere that may be – is there’s always something visually beautiful to offer. Even in the winter, even in a small park, even on populated paved trails, there’s always something interesting to discover. I’ve always been a naturally curious sort, but being in nature reminds me how wonderful life can be. Things completely unrelated to you are growing, are struggling, and existing.

    Do you suppose she’s a Wildflower (Festival)?

    A suburb directly north of Dallas, Richardson has some pretty cool events now and again. The Wildflower Festival is definitely one of them. I grew up going to the festival almost every year, but it’s only now in adulthood that I really appreciate it.

    Wildflower is an Arts & Music Festival, celebrating local artisans and inviting major musicians to their stages. For old times’ sake, me and my best friends from high school decided to hit up the event as legal drinking aged citizens.

    Right away there was an adorable little netted tent full of butterflies. Giselle and I tried to get as many as possible to land on us, so of course we had trouble attracting even one.

    Next up there was face painting (unfortunately only for kids) and a fun, colorful photo op stop. They had insect wings, fun sunglasses, and best of all pop guitars available. Painted guitars are a major thing at Wildflower, seeing as it perfectly blends art and instrument. They even have a whole selection of painted electric guitars up for auction to support local charities.

    Some of my friends headed to the big stage where classic bands like Starship and Kool & the Gang were playing, but I wanted to check out the aisles of shopping booths they had. Each booth was from local boutiques or craftsmen where you could purchase stuff like handmade jewelry or cool wall art made from threads. I bought a pair of cute beagle socks!

    Then it was time for festival food! Being a vegetarian, I can’t always chow down at events like these, but luckily for me they have something called the Tornado Potato. Basically that is just a fresh cut and cooked potato that’s been fried. We lost a lot of great fries that day – the tower was way too big – but still it was fun to eat and very delicious!

    Full on fries (and honestly, booze) it was time to head to the main stage to check out one of my favorite bands while I was in high school – Spoon! By that time it was fully dark, so they put on a great outdoor show with their lighting effects and booming sound.

    I can’t always make it every year, seeing as it’s only one weekend, but I was glad to make it this year. It’s basically tradition with my friends!