Summer To Do List

I was thinking about how fast summer was going by a few days ago. And I had this crazy notion I wasn’t living up to my full summer potential. Like I had been sitting in my apartment listlessly watching the hours drag by…and I knew that wasn’t true. I wanted to write down some things to do before summer ended, and also highlight the things I had already done. So this is my summer done/to do list. This summer has already been spectacular and I feel incredibly blessed to be living in such a fantastic city with a great community of friends.

Summer DONE list:

  1. Hung out with out of town friends. I love having people visit me and my city.
  2. Gone to the beach. Riis beach to be exact, which leads to my next item…
  3. Fulfilled my odd and freakishly stalker-like ambition of eating at all of the Ample Hills locationsI would freely describe myself as an Ample Hills addict. Hands down my favorite ice cream in the city.
  4. Waited in line and scored awesome seats for Shakespeare in the ParkI had never done this before.
  5. Did a crazy two-nights-sleeping-on-the-streets-experience to buy cancelation line tickets to HAMILTONWas it worth it? YES. Have I been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since I was in the room where it happened? DOUBLE YES.
  6. Lounged in Governor’s Island hammock groveSeriously, what’s better than a hammock?
  7. Scored tickets to the Brooklyn Pop Up Dinner. Second year in a row attending, and I’m still just as mesmerized by the sea of white and glorious table decorations.
  8. Attended a summer outdoor wedding. (Congrats again, Erin & Jon.)
  9. Camped out in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the 4th of July fireworks. My #1 favorite park in NYC.
  10. Went to multiple summer BBQs. Prospect Park is so close, and we’re definitely taking advantage of that.
  11. Learned new things at the Secret Science Club. Like how did I not realize there were FEASTING black holes and FASTING black holes? #terrifying.
  12. Gotten crafty with my community group. I have been so blessed by Liberty Church.
  13. Painted a mural in Bay Ridge. This one happened at the very start of summer, but I’m including it because I’m all about volunteering.
  14. Rode Jane’s Carrousel. Have wanted to do this ever since I moved here and just hadn’t gotten around to doing it.
  15. Gone on a city wide scavenger hunt. Sponsored by Open House New York. We didn’t get anywhere close to the top three teams, but we had a ton of fun.

Rest of Summer to-do list

  1. Visit two new beaches. I’ve got my eyes on you, Fire Island.
  2. Go to the Museum of Ice Cream. I mean, could I really NOT go to this??
  3. Go on some actual rides at Coney Island. I hear some roller coasters calling my name.
  4. Try two new ice cream places. You may have sensed that I really like ice cream. I haven’t been to Odd Fellows or that new Magnum NYC pop-up.
  5. Find a new summer jam. I’ve been looking forward to Relient K’s new release: Air For Free, as well as NEEDTOBREATHE’s Hard Love.
  6. Attend one of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! summer concerts. Again, located in my backyard, Prospect Park.
  7. Catch one of the Broadway in Bryant Park series. Free broadway? Yes, duh.
  8. Visit the Mo Willems exhibit at the New York Historical Society. I love his picture books. And so many of them are set in the city!
  9. Visit the Cooper Hewitt and see their pixar exhibit. Haven’t been to this museum yet, and it looks amazing.

This isn’t everything, but it’s a start. What about you? What exciting things have you already done this summer? Any ice cream recommendations?

Hello, 2015!

10299922_10152448988573386_4155779792611196313_nI can’t believe how fast 2014 flew by. It’s been quite a year. When I think of all the things I’ve done, all the obstacles I’ve faced, and all the places/friends I’ve visited, it’s overwhelming.Through all the ups and downs I’ve always felt immensely blessed. God has truly seen me through one heck of a year. Here are just some highlights from 2014.

January:

  • I traveled to Europe for a study abroad trip and visited Budapest, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and London. I absolutely loved my time in these cities and long to go back.

February:

  • My beloved Abuelo passed away. I can’t begin to describe how much his love and support shaped my life. His influence is so present in his children and grandchildren and I strive to have a faith as strong as his.

March:

April

  • Said goodbye to my sister who moved to Japan to teach English. Funny to see that out of the two of us she would be the one to move to another country. But I’m so proud of her and how much she’s challenged herself and grown.

May

  • Successfully finished writing/editing my novel, passed my defense, and then graduated with my master’s degree in Professional Writing.
  • Moved out of my apartment in Oklahoma and said goodbye to my roommate of 2 years.
  • Also said goodbye to the longest place I’ve ever lived: Oklahoma with 6.5 years.

June

  • Moved to Indianapolis, IN.
  • Started my second publishing internship with Pearson. (I also interned with them last summer) It was great to return and work as a Project Editor Intern.

July

  • Had one of my Buzzfeed posts promoted to the FRONT PAGE of their website: 18 Quirky Literary Items You Can Buy On Etsy.
  • Said goodbye to my childhood pet lizard, Kevin, a Blue Tongue Skink. We were tight for 12 years and I was sad to see him go, but I rehomed him because of my uncertain job/living status.

August

  • Moved to BROOKLYN, NY.
  • Started volunteering for the Floating Library, a pop-up literary and public space exhibition. I helped launch their Twitter/Instagram pages. I met so many awesome people during my first few months in NYC because of this experience.
  • Joined a fabulous new Church, Liberty Church, started setting down roots, and embraced a new community.
  • Had a second Buzzfeed post promoted to their front page: 16 Gloriously Zany Temporary Tattoos.

October

  • Started a temp job as a Video Assistant for Pearson. It was awesome to be working with the video team again.

November

  • I scored a ticket for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and got to be on the show.
  • Met Neil Gaiman. He was as delightful in person as he is on twitter.
  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma for Thanksgiving – saw all of my extended family, well, all that were in the country.

December

  • Traveled to Texas/Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family.

This year has been one for the books. I can’t believe how blessed I am. I had so many wonderful opportunities to see old friends and make new ones. I also traveled SO much this year and that was awesome. It was also a hard year with lots of goodbyes and tough decisions.

I’d probably say the most drastic/biggest change this year was my decision to pack up everything I could carry in my sedan and drive across the country to move to New York. But as tough as that decision was, it’s honestly been one of the best and I’m so excited to see what 2015 brings in this new city.

Here’s to the new year!

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Life in the Big Apple

As you may have gathered from my post title, I am writing this from NEW YORK CITY.

I did it!

I know, I know. I’ve been saying for YEARS that I’d move to NYC, but I’m not sure how many people thought I was actually serious. (I’m actually not sure how serious I was at some points.)

But I decided after grad school it was time to take the plunge. So I sold all my furniture and my car and got some roommates and moved to Brooklyn.

And it already feels like home. I love this city.

But I’ve been playing a game with myself. Kind of keeping a mental tally of things to check off that are quintessential New York.

  1. I’ve seen rats on the subway
  2. I’ve seen clearly DISEASED rats on the subway (nothing like a good ol’ flesh disease to brighten your commute)
  3. I’ve accidentally missed my stop because I was too involved in my book
  4. I’ve had to plan an alternate route home because there was construction on my line
  5. I’ve run into someone I knew in NYC (seriously, how cool is that? NYC is huge!)
  6. I’ve eaten some NYC favs: Momofuku, Junior’s, Shake Shack, Roberta’s…
  7. I’ve spent hours roaming Central Park
  8. I’ve successfully given directions on how to transfer to another line on the metro
  9. I’ve seen multiple film productions on the street/metro
  10. I’ve had a shared connection with a complete stranger on the metro

But I’m excited for this new venture and all the changes it will bring. There’s so much to explore. And, of course, I’ll be updating here with my adventures and misadventures.

View from Brooklyn Bridge Park of the Manhattan Skyline

A Short Summary of My New York City Trip

I got the opportunity to travel to New York City last week and it was definitely one of the highlights of my year! I’ve dreamed of visiting for YEARS. So when I joined my school’s Magazine Interest Group and heard they were taking a trip to visit magazine companies in NYC, you can bet I jumped on that band wagon.

It was a whirlwind of site-seeing, magazines, food, and culture. I had an absolute blast. The magazines we visited: Departures, Real Simple, Brides,  Lucky, Harper’s Bazaar, and Sports Illustrated.

I wandered the city, seeing as much as I could with the precious amounts of daylight each day. My feet definitely hurt at the end of the day. But it was worth it. So worth it.

These are some of the photos I snagged during my 4 day trip. Hope you enjoy!

NYC Skyline

 

 

 

One of the first things I did: The Empire State Building. The view was absolutely fabulous. I could have spent hours there.
Atop the Empire State Building

 

 

 

 

 

Such a glorious view. Every angle was interesting. I loved this little viewfinder, patiently waiting to show off the view.

Times Square

 

 

 

 

And I (of course) went to Times Square my first night. How could I resist? It’s one of the first things people think of when they picture NYC. And it most certainly did not disappoint. Especially loved all of the Hunger Games!

The Subway

 

 

 

 

I loved the subway. So many people each going their own way. And contrary to popular belief, I did not run into any mean New Yorkers. Everyone I stopped to ask questions or directions was nice.

 

 

Time Inc.

 

 

Time Inc. One of the major buildings that hosted some of the magazines we visited! It was absolutely amazing to talk with these editors and assistants and hear about how magazines worked and their advice for people wanting to break into this industry.

 

NYC Streets

 

 

 

I couldn’t get enough of the streetscapes. So much movement and color. There was always something interesting going on.

Delicious Food

 

 

 

 

 

My first meal in NYC: Le Pain Quotidien – a french bakery/cafe. I had a Grilled Chicken & Mozzarella di Bufala Tartine and it was absolutely delicious.

Shake Shack

 

 

 

 

 

Another fabulous meal: a burger, fries, and shake from the Shake Shack. Basically the east coast version of In-N-Out Burger (one of my all time favorites.)

2 Bros. Pizza

 

 

 

 

And NYC is famous for having these little hole-in-the-wall $1 pizza slice places. These are THE GREATEST. Probably one of the best deals of NYC. If you have a dollar, you have pizza. AND they’re open late. Double score.The Strand BookstoreGrand Central Station The Chrysler Building  Standing outside of the NYC Public LibraryThe Original Winnie the PoohWhere The Wild Things AreCentral Park Foliage Beautiful Trees in Central ParkCentral Park      

   Sailing in Central Park     The Met

Guggenheim MuseumGoodbye, NYC...I'll be back soon!  

 

 

We also visited The Strand, the largest independent bookstore in NYC. So many aisles of books! They boast over 18 miles of books.

 

 

 

 

 

And how could I NOT visit Grand Central Station? They were celebrating their centennial! So that was pretty neat as well.

 

 

 

 

 

I also stopped by the Chrysler Building. I’m a big fan of art deco, but unfortunately it was closed. My friend told me it had gone bankrupt, so I don’t know what is going to become of it…

 

 

 

 

 

Me on the New York Public Library steps. Whenever I travel to new cities I always try to visit either a library or a bookstore. I can’t help but gravitate towards book-oriented places.

 

 

 

And the NYC public library was running this FANTASTIC exhibit: The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter that featured so many timeless classics and new favorites. This is the original Winnie the Pooh.

 

 

 

 

Inside a playful Where the Wild Things Are cut-out. One of my all time favorite children’s books. Their exhibit was excellent because it had elements for adults and children.

 

 

 

 

I walked through Central Park for a few hours. The fall colors were BEAUTIFUL. I Could not get enough of that fall color hue. It was a lovely day. I could have easily spent my whole day there if I didn’t have other things I wanted to see.

 

 

 

 

BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW COULD YOU EVER GET TIRED OF THIS? I was having a heyday taking all of these pictures.

 

 

 

 

Central Park is huge, expansive and beautiful. I thought I had been walking for miles and I felt like I had gone so far. But when I looked at my phone’s map, I realized I hadn’t even gone a mile.

 

 

 

 

 

They had remote-controlled sailboats and they were fun to watch. I absolutely love this picture. The contrast of dark and light and the darker hues of the reds and oranges in the background. Love.

 

 

 

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a few hours. It was also SUPER VAST. And I’ll admit that I got lost trying to make my way out. And, fun fact: when I got back home, I saw an article that said Psy (Gangnam Style) had visited the Met the SAME EVENING I was there! How crazy is that?!

 

 

The last place I visited on my free day was the Guggenheim Museum. I’ve seen this building in various movies/places for years. So when I saw they had pay-what-you-want hours from 5:45-7:45pm every Saturday, I had to go. Such a cool piece of architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

 

 

One of my last views of the city. The taxi ride to the airport. I was sad to say goodbye, but I know I’ll be back soon.