Friday, May 30, 2014

Reflection : New Years Resolution 5

New Year, new direction :: 4 steps to make 2014 your best year yet

2014 Resolutions Post

Guys. May has been crazy. With the school year ending, Spring Concerts, and finals all happening around the same time, there's bound to be chaos. I officially ended my Freshman Year today and I can't wait for summer; I have some big goals and 3 months of no stress sounds really nice at this point. 

This month I focused on Literature, and I said that I hoped to complete 4-5 books ... that didn't happen. I finished Gone Girl and I cannot wait for the movie to come out this fall. Gone Girl tells the story of Nick and his wife Amy, who mysteriously goes missing the day of their 5 year anniversary of marriage. The book goes back and forth, speaking from Nick's Point of View and then Amy's, which I ended up really liking because I felt like it gave more depth to the book. I don't want to give too much away, but Nick is set up for his wife's disappearance which causes you to choose a side while you are hearing what Nick is going through, as well as Amy. The author, Gillian Flynn, has 2 other books that are very similar to Gone Girl, which are both on my summer reading list for this summer (It's such a long list - post to come soon!!) 

After finishing that novel late in May, I started A Million Little Ways and am just about to finish it. I cannot wait to share with you what I learned from it. It was an eyeopening novel and a "self discovery" novel in the spectrum of Art. 

This Monday I will be discussing my goals for June, as my resolution is based on the Blog and Writing! 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Phantom of the Opera

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Greenville, SC, with my good friend Margaret for her birthday! There were 6 girls, which made for one crazy (and super fun!) weekend. We shopped downtown, went out to dinner at Grill Marks, saw the Phantom of the Opera at the Greenville Peace Center, and ended the weekend with church and a delicious brunch before making our way back home. 

It was such a memorable Memorial Day weekend, which (sadly) resulted in yesterday being my huge study day! Today marks the first day in Exam Week and I am dreading these next 4 days. These exams count 20% of my grade for each class so there is a lot of stress put on us as students. 

L to R : Harper, Me, Skylar, Mallie, Margaret (Birthday Girl!) and Sally
All of these girls except for Harper will be attending the Governor's School this summer for Voice! I cannot wait! 

Large roots outside the Governor's School Campus 

39 days and counting! 

The Phantom of the Opera was an amazing show. I had never heard the entire cast album or seen the movie, so I was in for a real treat. It was stunning. The music, the cast (read: the boys), the sets, costumes, the chandelier ... everything was on point. Margaret's mom got us amazing seats which added even more to the experience! 

Sunday brunching in our Sunday best. 

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? 


P.S. Please forgive me for the lack of posts. May has been a crazy month, but I promise there will be great things coming to the blog this summer! I have so many great post ideas, and I would love to hear what you want to see! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Masterworks :: Weekend Lookbook

Long time, no talk! 

These past two weeks have been hectic, and they're only going to get more hectic as finals creep up! My computer has been down, limiting the amount of blogging I have been able to do. I've been feeling really guilty that I haven't been posting for you, but I have been brainstorming and I can't wait to see what will come this summer! Let me know if there's anything you want to see this summer on the blog! 

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of completing my last concert as a freshman! It was bittersweet as it was the seniors last concert (lots of tears shed), but I am so glad that I am done with performing for the year. The choral dress is going to the back of my closet and I can't wait to not perform for at least 3 months! 

sw + shn

kmg + shn

jcj + shn

Symphony with Vocal Department in Background

Performing "Alleluia"

Perfoming "O, My Luves Like a Red Red Rose"

Watch us perform "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name"!

You can watch us perform our surprise number here, O Fortuna!

We had the pleasure of debuting a piece that was commissioned personally for our department. Back in March of 2013, myself and 23 other students traveled to Dallas, Texas, for National Choir. While in various clinics, our vocal directors had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Memley, who wrote a piece, O Nata Lux, that was sung by the SATB Choir. We fell in love with his piece so much that we asked him to write the vocal and orchestral score to a poem written by our own Creative Writing department! A recording of the Symphony and Vocal Departments singing/playing will be accessible on the Publisher's website, which is super exciting, and our school will receive compensation for purchases of the song! 

To end the weekend on a fun note, I spent a few hours downtown with one of my close friends, Madison, who was in town for the weekend from Virginia! I can't wait for her to move back so that we can start our Sophomore year together! 

Happy Monday! 


Monday, May 5, 2014

ten favorite things : travel

Happy Monday! (And Happy Cinco de Mayo!)

I hope you had a relaxing weekend and are ready to take this week by storm! Today I am linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Brianna from Endlessly Beloved, to share my 10 Favorite Things about Travel! I thought this was appropriate since I just recently returned home from the trip of a lifetime!

Grab button for Endlessly BeLoved

One :: The Memories // After taking quite a few trips with family and friends, I have come to love the amazing memories I’ve made. I have memories of my brother and I jumping off the dock at my Grandma’s, going to a root beer factory in Milwaukee, learning how to ski in Colorado, singing in Italy … the memories are endless!

Two :: Packing // Packing is some people’s worst nightmares, but I absolutely love plannin out exactly what I am going to wear day by day. (Even though it’s hard to not over pack - I wish I could take my entire closet!) I also love to get a few fun things for the plane or car, especially books and magazines! (Unpacking is the worst. I got back from Italy over two weeks ago and my suitcase is still in my room!)

Three :: Photos // My family has always taken pictures on our vacations, and ever since we purchased our Nikon D3100 I have grown to LOVE taking pictures on vacations. Knowing that the pictures I am taking are high quality and that there really isn’t a limit is so relieving. I love taking pictures of the sights and my family, but I have to make sure I get in some of the pictures! (:

Four :: Education // Even though as a young child, and occasionally to this day,  I hate the endless history that goes into vacationing in these very educational places. But, in the end, I end up really enjoying it and wanting to read more about the people and places I got to learn about. After coming back from Italy, I have wanted to read a few more books about the people and places in Italy, whether it be reading a Non-Fiction book about the specific location, or a realistic fiction that mentions some of the locations and their history!

Five :: Exploring // Going to a new place means you have to go exploring! Even though when my family travels we like to have a set itinerary, I always love exploring around the city. When we went to NYC two summers ago, we decided to eat lunch in Chinatown. It was definitely an experience getting there and walking around, but it was so much fun exploring and being immersed in that culture!

For the last 5 items on this list, I am going to share my five favorite destinations!

Six :: Italy // There was no hesitation in my mind that I had to put Italy on this list. It was such a great experience and very memorable.

Seven :: NC Mountains // Before school started back up this year, my family took a trip with our great friends, the Boyles, to the mountains of North Carolina. We rented a cabin for 2 nights on a very serene hill and explored in the town/tubed down a river while we were there. It was very fun and definitely a great “last hoorah” before school started again!

Eight :: Pennsylvania and New York City // For the past 2 summers, we have taken a road trip to PA to visit our sweet friends in New Hope, Pennsylvania. We got to spend a few days in Philadelphia and New York City, which is always very fun and very (very, very) educational. NYC is probably one of my favorite cities - it’s one of my dreams to live there for a period of time during or after college!

Nine :: Wisconsin // Both my mom and dad are from WI, which means that the majority of their family resides there, so it is always fun to take a plane ride up North to visit them! We stay with my grandparents on the Lake, and visit Madison and Sussex to see other parts of the family. I love getting to catch up with family that we don’t get to see a lot, because it is super pricey to fly to Wisconsin these days!

Ten :: Colorado // Lastly, visiting Colorado is always super fun because it means that we get to go snow skiing! My dad’s brother and his family live in Denver, which is about 2 hours away from Keystone, a fantastic place to ski.

What are some of your favorite things about traveling?


Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday!

I (again) cannot wait for the weekend. I don’t have anything super fun planned, but I can’t wait for another weekend wishing for summer!   I am planning on getting some homework done tonight so that I don’t have to worry about it all on Sunday night, and I want to get out and read this weekend since the weather is so nice.

My sponsor (and mentor) Ashleigh shared this article with our Facebook Group and it really is worth the read for every blogger. The points that Bonnie makes are fantastic - making sure you’re sharing other people’s posts, creating consistent content, the importance of pictures, etc.

Kira showed me Sloane’s adorable blog the other day on the bus ride home and I fell in love. Her pictures are fantastic, her content is on point, and did I mention her perfect Instagram?

Also, go and show my best friend Madison’s blog some love! She just started out and she’s on a role!

I have been a follower of Ashley Brooke’s blog for a while now, (and I am in love with her shop!) and each month I fall in love with the wallpapers. This month is no exception!

FOUR :: Alex and Ani
With Mother’s Day coming up, I am scrambling to find a gift for my awesome mom! Alex and Ani has some great options - I love the monogrammed option (which I want myself!), the hand in hand bangle (perfect for any Mom’s!) and the American Cross is great because my mom is an amazing example for me in my walk with Christ! What would you choose?

I just finished this book by Robin Sloane and I really enjoyed it. It was quite different from what I am used to reading, but I really enjoyed it. This book is the story of a desk clerk at a 24 hour book store in NYC and his journey to help Mr. Penumbra (the owner) save the store. It’s quite a fun and easy read, perfect for summer and calming down at night! I started Gone Girl yesterday and I am IN LOVE. It is so good so far and I am only on page 30.

What links are you loving?


Thursday, May 1, 2014

ITALY : Reflection

Italy Related Posts : Introduction // Verona // Venice // Ravenna // Florence // Rome Day One // Rome Day Two

After six posts filled with pictures of Italy, my mini-series is over and all the pictures (this is a lie ... I probable have 500 more I could share ...) have been shared. I’m so glad that I got to share this experience with you!

I think that the best part about this trip is the everlasting memories I made with 28 other students from a department that I am so lucky to be a part of. It’s such an honor to go to a school where I do something I love everyday - even though some days are really tough. (SOA just got ranked #3 in the state, after Governor’s School!) I don’t think I could ask for a better experience. Honestly, I just can't put it into words. If my sophomore year is my last year at SOA, and I do end up going to the Governor's school for my junior and senior year, what an amazing trip to have in my memory with the department I spent 5 years in. I can't wait to see where the Department goes in the next few years.

With this all being said, it's no question this trip was memorable.
And I’ll never forget …
walking down the roads in Rome with Jamie, laughing about how I had lipstick all over my face because of the swatches I made while at Sephora a few minutes earlier
staying up way too late, laughing so hard my stomach hurt
getting gelato almost every night
that fun Zumba “party” on the walk to the bus
tasting my first Italian pizza
performing outside the Colosseum, at the Pantheon, in the streets of Venice, and more
spending my first Euro
getting locked on the balcony by my friends (shoutout to Kellen and Mariah) in Florence
throwing one too many coins into the Trevi Fountain
running around Rome in the rain, trying to find our restaurant
seeing my friend tear up as we said goodbye to our tour guide on the way home
coming up with plans on how we could stay longer
walking around Venice in my choral dress and seeing the Italians stare

After experiencing Europe, I know that I have to go back. There was so much about it that we just weren’t able to experience and I want to go back and be even more submerged into their culture and way of life. I just want to go back.

If you ever get the chance or are offered a chance to go overseas, take the offer and go. It’s worth the money you’ll spend and the time you’ll prepare getting ready for it. You may second guess yourself - but trust me, you’ll never regret it.
And even if you don’t ever get the chance - you can still make unforgettable memories on unforgettable trips with your best friends.

Travel and have fun.


May : Literature

Even though school is speeding back up with finals on their way, I want to take this month to focus on reading some good books that are somewhat out of my comfort range. I am starting Gone Girl today after I have seen many bloggers say how fantastic it is and how it is worth the read.

I’ve read some great books recently. I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store and enjoyed it, as it was quite different from what I expected and kept me wanting more! I also need to read Allegiant (I know, late to the game, right?!) and there’s a few more that I need to read from suggestions of friends. I want to get as much pleasure reading in before I have to start worrying about Required Summer Reading, because those books usually aren’t the most pleasurable.

I also think it would be great if I could finish four or five books this month. Instead of going on social media after homework, I think it would be awesome if I could just lose myself in a great book, no matter if it’s a super easy or super challenging read.

Do you have any book suggestions for me?


P.S. Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’ve read lately!

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