Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas in Columbus

I've been a Columbus native for 21 years now. That means I have had 21 holiday seasons to experience and discover the best activities for Christmas in Columbus. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of every Christmas activity in the city, below are my tried and true favorites.
Here is my mom, my cousin, and myself at the Wildlights. We have a
tradition where we wear crowns each year.
  1. Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo. Each year at Christmas the entire zoo is adorned with millions of Christmas lights. It is really neat to stroll the zoo at night, as you can enjoy the splendor of the Christmas displays and see the animals at the same time (especially the nocturnal ones)! I recommend spacing out the indoor exhibits as a way to warm up and getting a tasty cider or hot chocolate for on the go. Don't forget the indoor carousel!
  2. BalletMet's The Nutcracker. Each year, BalletMet performs The Nutcracker at the Ohio Theatre. The Nutcracker is a ballet that everyone can enjoy, as the performance is filled with awe inspiring sets, costumes, and tricks. It is truly a visual ballet, so it can be enjoyed just about everywhere in the theater if you want to save on tickets. 
  3. Franklin Park Conservatory. The Conservatory during the holidays is beautiful, with gorgeous poinsettia displays, gingerbread houses, and a fairy tale train display. Most weekends have different choirs singing carols and other fun activities. 
  4. Christmas shopping at Easton Town Center. While this isn't necessarily a holiday exclusive activity, Easton is really beautiful around the holidays. They have gorgeous Christmas lights and decor around the entire mall and sometimes there are performers in the various plazas. Warning: it will be crowded. But you have to brave the Christmas crowds at least once!
*Note: bonus points if you do any of these while wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. I just bought two new ones. Maybe a post on those later? I wish everyone a relaxing, yet fulfilling holiday season.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday season must do activities


December truly ushers in the arrival of the holiday season. Am I crazy in thinking that the difference between November 30th and December 1st is truly magical? Suddenly the sights, sounds, and scents of the holiday season are everywhere. Taking the time to remember all of the lovely things to do around this time of year really gets me in the Christmas spirit. Below are some things to get excited for this month!
  • Decorate the tree
  • Shop for the perfect gifts
  • Wear ugly sweaters
  • Burn winter candles
  • Drive around and look at Christmas lights
  • Sing Christmas carols with friends
  • Watch Christmas movies (both the bad and the good)
  • Attend holiday parties and gift exchanges
  • Wrap presents 
  • Greet others with a special holiday smile 
  • Bake Christmas cookies
... and so much more! For some reason I am really in the holiday spirit this year and ready to truly savor every part of this month. I know that I am just aching to bring out the ugly Christmas sweaters already! Luckily December is here and the festivities are now beginning. 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Sitdown

I have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. Sunday evenings, especially, are this strange paradox of relaxation and stress. Sundays always feel slow and lackadaisical, yet there is a sense of panic as Monday as so close. Regardless, I like to take the time to sit down and reflect each Sunday night. What better way to do that than blog?!

Goals for the week:

  • Drink more tea 
  • Drink less coffee
  • Appreciate every day beauty 
  • Practice capturing every day beauty
  • Take more deep breaths and count to 10 
  • Stretch every day 
  • Get more sleep 

Another goal is to continue to write in this 5 year question a day style journal every day. I love this because it doesn't take much time, but it allows you to record your year in a unique way. Some questions are simple while others are quite thought provoking. Tonight's question was "Waking up was ________." I said delightful because I woke up next to my lovely boyfriend, but also painful because I had a terrible sore throat. 

With that, I am going to finish up some items and to go to sleep so that I can wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yes, Please

I'm a harsh critic, but I'm knowing for liking things that I say aren't good. That is exactly what happened here with Amy Poehler's recently released memoirs, Yes Please. This book disappointed me a little bit, but I still enjoyed it. I love Amy Poehler, so I think that may have clouded my judgement. I love her so much, that I completed this in 2 days (on top of class, work, student orgs, sorority, etc). The highlights of this book are when she inserts her honest wisdom, sprinkled with her down to earth humor. Below, are my 2 favorite quotes from the book: 
  • "It's called yes please because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Do you want to be left alone? Yes please." 
  • "I love saying yes and I love saying please. Saying yes doesn't mean I don't know how to say no, and saying please doesn't mean I am waiting for permission. Yes please sounds powerful and concise. It's a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman." 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Lipstick stain on my coffee kinda gal

 Happy Monday! This Monday morning called for a little caffeine kick from Starbucks. Having a Starbucks in my office building is both a blessing and a curse. 
As strange as it sounds, I've come to love the inevitable lipstick stains on my coffee cup. This morning I realized that I'm just a lipstick stain on my coffee cup kinda gal. All I need to tackle this Monday is a cup of coffee and a tube of lipstick.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Coffee in Columbus - Stauf's Coffee Roasters

I. Love. Coffee. Shops. The environment, the music, the people, the food, and oh yeah... the coffee. I find that I am most productive in coffee shops for everything from doing homework, to writing, to reading, to just figuring my life out. What's more, is that Columbus has been called an underrated city for coffee, having high quality brews all over town. 

I will admit, I'm not too picky of a coffee connoisseur. I'll often choose a flavored latte or add tons of cream and sugar to my coffee. Regardless, because of the frequency with which I visit coffee shops - I think that I have a pretty good say as to what makes a shop itself great. Because of this, I want to start reviewing coffee shops that I visit in a series called "Coffee in Columbus." 

First up is Stauf's Coffee Roasters! I chose this as my spot to catch up on emails and do some writing today because it perfectly encompasses that cozy coffee shop vibe on a rainy day. Settled in the heart of charming Grandview, Stauf's is the perfect spot to post up and get down to work. The crowd here is always friendly, which I find is an underrated characteristic in coffee shops. I love meeting interesting people or scanning the room to look up and find a kind smile! As someone who comes to coffee shops to get work done, I like that they have tons of outlets for people like me that forget to charge their laptops before they come. 

Now if I tell you what I ordered, you have to promise not to cringe... I got an iced pumpkin spice latte (iced because it was kind of warm inside and I had on a big, cozy sweater). It was definitely the best pumpkin spice latte I have ever had! I don't typically order anything pumpkin spice at Starbucks or Crimson Cup because it is so overwhelmingly sweet. This was the perfect combination of a deep espresso flavor and just a hint of syrup that actually tasted pretty natural. I love watching each barista make their drinks, because it is obvious that they care about the quality of each individual beverage. The only complaint I have is that you do have to park on the street, but the spots are really big so for those of us who are terrible at parallel parking like me, it isn't too bad! Seriously, give Stauf's a try! 

Here is a shot of their menu. I didn't get any of my beverage because it wasn't too pretty in it's plain plastic cup. So charming! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Midterm Elections Matter!

This year, only 40% of registered voters in Columbus turned out to the polls to vote in yesterday's midterm election. I know, I know - midterm elections don't seem as exciting as the presidential ones that happen every four years. However, I'm here to tell you that midterm elections matter! Below are a few reasons why:
  1. You get a sticker. It is the perfect compliment to any election day outfit. 
  2. Statewide ballot issues are the ones that affect your every day life. Federal issues are sure glamorous, but state issues are often some of the most visible. During these midterms, states determined what you can smoke and how much you can earn. Important stuff, guys!
  3. These elections determine who represents you on both the state and national level. These people are your voice! By not voting, you are letting other people talk for you. 
  4. Because less people vote, your voice matters even more. Some of these elections are won by only a few votes. 
If you voted - congrats! If not, now is your time to declare yesterday's election the last time that you don't vote. Young people are consistently the smallest group of voters, yet the decisions that are being made will affect us the most.

Next election cycle, I urge you to make a day of it. Reward yourself to a new election day outfit (red, white, and blue to match your sticker), make some patriotic election day goodies the night before, or even meet your friends out for an election day drink as you watch the results roll in!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The long anticpated 1989 album

I declare today, October 27, a national holiday. Today, Taylor Swift finally released her long awaited album following Red, which was released 2 (seemingly long) years ago. I have made a tradition of counting down the days until Taylor's albums are released, starting from Fearless when I was a sophomore in high school. Each album release, I tear open the CDcase (er, now I feverishly refresh iTunes, but same difference) and immediately devour each now song. Her niche has become writing from personal experience, the lyrics being eloquent words from an unfiltered diary, causing girls like me to feel as though she is singing straight to them. Now, a review of my favorite songs on the eagerly-anticipated 1984:

Also, the album art for 1889 + the Insta teasers were perfect! 
1. Wildest Dreams - by far my favorite song on the album. Some have said this is too inspired by Lana Del Ray, but the message and tone of this song just take my away in a way that none of the other do. "Say you'll remember me, standing in a nice dress, starting at the sunset babe. Red lips and rosy cheeks, say you'll remember me even if it's just in your wildest dreams."

2. Blank Space - a favorite of many, this song makes me want to dance and makes me love Taylor even more as she is tongue and cheek about her reputation of dating men and then writing songs about them. I can't pick a favorite lyric from this one, because it is a love song and a break up song and a personal song all in one.

3.Style - I know that this is going to be my go to car singing jam. "Cause you got that James Dean day dream look in your eye and I got that red lip classic thing that you like. And when we go crashing down, we come back every time. Cause we never go out of style, we never go out of style."

Of course, I love pretty much every song on this album, but I'll save the full break down to a late night phone call with my best friend. It is Taylor Swift's world and we are all just living in it. Now, I just have to decide which 1989 tour date I'm going to attend. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Autumn is great, BUT...

Don't get me wrong. I looove the fall. The weather, the outfits, the food, the changing foliage... However, there is something that is inherently sad about fall to me. Each time I find myself truly loving the fall, I get a little bit sad. Because at least in Ohio, it is the most short lived season. The distinctively brisk air only lasts for a few weeks! The beautiful leaves will shortly turn brown and fall to the ground, leaving the trees naked and sad. And "sweater weather," is on the rapid path to "Antarctica chic." Regardless, I am doing my best to live in the moment and love what is going on around me. Below is a pic that I snapped on campus. It seemed to encompass that "autumn feeling" well - both the happiness and the tiny bit of sadness.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Red hot crush - flirting with fire!

This weekend, my sorority hosted a "date party" in downtown Columbus at Viva. The theme was "Red Hot Crush - Flirting with Fire" so all of the ladies and our dates had to incorporate red into our outfits! I wore a red dress that I bought at Von Maur towards the end of September for this event, but other women were creative with red lipstick, red accessories, and even some sassy red pumps. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture that captures my dress very well, but it had cap sleeves and a flirty lace peekaboo under the bust. Since it drizzled on and off all day, I chose to wear my hair natural so that it could withstand the elements. I love both of these pictures (despite closed eyes in one and only showing a profile in the other) because I think they capture the genuine joy of the evening. 

Date parties are some of my favorite Greek events. It is kind of like you get to experience high school homecoming dances all over again! Getting dressed up with your sisters, dancing without a care, and spending time with someone special - what could be better? This date party was especially nice because it allowed Chris and I to celebrate our one year and four month anniversary. We don't generally celebrate "monthaversaries," but it was nice that this event fell on that day. 



Of course, the weekend has to come to an end and the week will roll in slowly with the chaos that it brings. Thank goodness weekends exist to remind us that life is about having fun with the people you love. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The very beginning...

I really love reading lifestyle blogs. The pleasure I got from viewing these blogs got me to thinking... Why don't I take time in my own life to appreciate the beauty of day to day living? Beautiful brunch tables, shopping trips at the mall, a walk around the block, making a small breakfast, and even winding down for the day are all such beautiful activities.

This blog is intended to help me take advantage of the beautiful world around me by capturing those moments. While providing a way for me to reminisce on the little (and the big) things, I hope that others will also enjoy the content by this blog as well.

I intend to write about any notable activities, events, and moments in my life. Additionally, I am passionate about current events and social justice issues. This will give me a place to record my thoughts and share my perspective with others.

So if you wish, follow me on the journey through my twenties. It will be a time of change, a time of growth, and a time of discovery.

Lovingly yours,

Heather

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