Monday, August 6, 2018

11 Random Things

Hi! How is your week going? I've been MIA for the past few weeks for good reason, but I'll tell y'all about it later. In the meantime, I wanted to get a post up featuring some random thoughts that are currently on my mind. Maybe, I'll turn this into a series. Who really knows? Let me know what you think of this bullet point style of a post.
  • At the beginning of June, my dad and I went on a road trip through the Washington national parks. As you can probably imagine, the trip was stunning and breathtaking. I'm still trying to understand the caliber of the national parks we visited as I'm struggling to wrap my head around their beauty and size. I've always known that I love national parks but this trip just proved that I want to visit every national park. I guess I officially have a bucket list now. I'm coming for you, all 58 national parks.
  • I went on a summer program where I kept a journal for a little while. As I look back at what I wrote, my memories come to life and are so much clearer than had I just thought of them. I also found journaling to be a calming activity to do every night. I'd love to continue this tradition by spending ten minutes before bed writing down whatever comes to my head.
  • I really miss the art of the handwritten note. I want to make more of an effort to send my friends handwritten letters this year as I believe handwritten notes demonstrate so much love for someone. I hope this means I'll have a collection of letters, stamps, pens, and other letter writing supplies by the end of the year.
  • I've always known the power of no phones, but I spent a day with two hundred fifty people where no one was on their phone. It was beautiful to see people talking with one another as they waited in line, people turning to each other as answers to their questions, and people having genuine conversations free of distractions.
  • I desperately need to reorganize my closet as my closet has an overwhelming amount of storage but its chopped up in a weird way for the current layout I have. I'd like to take the time to take everything out of my closet and set it up in a way that inspires me to create outfits that excite me. I'm hoping a closet transformation will help me get more into fashion.
  • I haven't sat down and listened to music in almost a year. It's alarming to know I went so long without enjoying the beautiful art of the written word, but I'm happy to be back to basking in the glory of music. I'm planning on creating a playlist for me to get ready to so I can guarantee I'll listen to music more often.
  • I walked into my closet and couldn't remember the last time I used my running shoes. It's frankly quite embarrassing to admit this so I know I need to change this. I'd like to start going on walks with my dog every night during the sunset to allow me to soak up the last few weeks of summer.
  • I've been experimenting with some face products recently. While they're not as natural as I'd prefer them to be, I'm hoping they'll clear up some areas on my skin that I'd prefer to look a little less blemished.
  • I haven't been doing much personal reading in the form of books in the last few years, and its really starting to bother me. I think I'm going to pick up a few books to keep on my nightstand to encourage me to read more.
  • I'd really like to create a proper night routine as I often change up what I do each night before bed. I'm planning on including some time for journaling and reading a book. I'd love to add in time to do some light stretching or back rolling as I know they're both good for you, but I don't want the routine to become too long it doesn't happen.
  • I'm really struggling with how to keep up with blogging as I feel like I am good at blogging for a few weeks and then awful for a few months. I have an evergrowing list of ideas for posts so that's not the problem. I'm thinking connecting with more bloggers will help solve my problem.

Alright, that's it for me. This was really calming so I might end up doing it more often. Tell me your thoughts, favorite party food, whatever's on your mind.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Step Into My Week: Piedmont Park, Ponce City Market & Asheville

The first few weeks of summer have been absolutely amazing. I’ve truly taken advantage of this time off by spending it with friends and doing activities that I enjoy. I’m excited to see where the rest of the summer goes, but, for now,  I’ll catch y’all up on what I’ve been up to the past few weeks.

On the last day of school, my friends, Sylvie and Emma, and I had quite the girls day. We started the day off by listening to some music by our friends before jetting off to our adventures. We decided to get lunch at Bar Taco where we had some great tacos and delicious guacamole. I don’t know what they did to the guac, but it was incredible. 10/10 recommend y’all checkout Bar Taco. We were in the mood for a sweet treat so we decided to drive to Revolution Donuts. The donuts were great. This place has the best vegan and non-vegan donuts in the city. To continue our adventure, we went to Little 5 Points. We explored some of the clothing shops and checked out Criminal Records. Before ending the fun gals adventure, Sylvie and I went to Cinnaholic for cookie dough. They make incredible vegan cookie dough and cinnamon rolls that I completely adore. We might not have eaten the healthiest, but we had tons of fun.

I convinced my sister to go to Piedmont Park for a fun day at the park. We didn’t know the Atlanta Jazz Festival was also happening, so the traffic situation took forever. We ended up parking 7 blocks up from the park because we couldn’t find any closer parking. Anyways, the time we spent at the park was lovely. The Jazz was the perfect backdrop for a chill hangout. We were in the mood for a sweet treat so we stopped by Revolution Donuts for cinnamon rolls. They were great, per usual. To end our day, we went to Oakland Cemetery to see Golden Hour. Golden Hour was a 10-day art installation where 13 artists created art that represented golden hour. We didn’t get to see much of it as it started to pour 20 minutes into our visit, but the part we saw was incredible. I cannot wait to see future installations at Oakland.

My dad, sister, and I decided to check out the Old 4th Ward festival. We saw several cute succulent shops, so we ended up buying a plant. The succulent has the cutest planter with a cow at the base of the planter. My dad and I, on the way, we’re talking about how he wanted a sandwich from the food truck, so we were surprised to see the truck at the festival. We also listened to some great music at the festival. We then decided to pop over to Ponce City Market. I was sad to see that my favorite bao bun place has officially closed, but I decided to try the hot dog place that took its place. The veggie dog was alright, but not worth the long wait.

I visited my friend, Isabelle, who just got her wisdom teeth out. We don’t go to the same school so we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. I brought her vegan cheesecake, flowers, and a magazine full of quizzes. My other friend, Lindy, was also there so we had a great time eating the cheesecake. I turned Isabelle onto Chrisley Knows Best, and, now, we’re both determined to meet them one day.

My friend, Catie, and I spent a day hanging out at some of my favorite spots in Atlanta. We tried to go to Oakland Cemetery but the art exhibition had ended. We still walked around for a bit, but it started to rain. We didn’t let the rain stop us as we headed off to Yeah Burger. Yeah Burger makes the most incredible vegan burger. I don’t get to go there very often so it’s always a treat. We then headed off to Ikea where we spent a few hours goofing off while looking for for some boxes. We ended up not finding the boxes I needed, but we had a great time exploring the fake homes, designing a kitchen, and trying out the couches. It was definitely a successful day.

My sister and I decided to venture out to the mall. I’m not a huge fan of shopping, but I had a great time with my sister. I didn’t find anything I liked but my sister had some success at the mall.

My friend, Brian, and I decided to spend a day hanging out. We went to Ponce City Market for ramen. The ramen was really great. We went to Citizens Supply, an Atlanta emporium of products crafted in Atlanta. I love their T-shirt collection. I have a shirt that says ATL in the MTV logo that is so cute. We also checked out the succulent plants part of Citizens Supply. We were in the mood for a treat so we popped into Cinnaholic for cinnamon rolls. At this point, I’ve gotten so many of my friends hooked on Cinnaholic. We decided to venture over to Zesto’s. Brian wanted their $1 ice cream. We ended up seeing our friend, Avsha, there which was a nice surprise.

My first trip of the summer was to Asheville. We ended up getting in super late as my sister had a dinner with her friends, which meant we went straight to bed.

The adventures continued with vegan pizza at Garlik pizza with my grandma, sister, and cousin. It’s a vegan pizza place a little south of Asheville. We went on a road that had flooding, so we had to turn around and find a new way to get there. It was definitely an adventure trying to get to the pizza place. We decided to swing by Dolly’s. Dolly’s is an ice cream place in Brevard that has wacky flavors based off of local sleep away camps. When I went to camp in Brevard, my friends and I would get so hyped to visit Dolly’s. Unfortunately, they don’t have vegan flavors, but I always love going.

My cousin, Chloe, sister, and aunt ventured out to do some shopping. We ended up stumbling upon a store that sold incense that Lucy and Chloe were mesmerized by. After we had finished shopping, we decided to get dinner at White Duck Taco with Alan and Gabe. After our dinner, we helped break down a wedding. The wedding was in the most beautiful location with a stunning backdrop of the mountains.

We decided to venture out to Hot Springs for a visit to their mineral pools. The drive to the mineral pools was very curvy, but the views of the mountains were totally worth it. The mineral pools themselves were a fun experience, but I’d love to experience true hot springs. I went to a hot spring 4 years ago in Colorado that was so much fun.

I’ve recently found this app called Sound Print that tells you if it’s too loud. I’m so fascinated by the technology. Ethan and I were sitting in the car when he decided to turn the music up way too loud. I decided to test the app to see how loud the car was. It was insane to see that cars could make noises that were way past the mark for hearing loss starting to occur.

On our last night in Asheville, my mom, Lucy, Chloe, Claire, Richard, Addy, Alan, Ethan, Gabe, and I went to a Korean bbq restaurant. Although we all weren’t able to cook the food due to some complications it was still a great experience.

My friends and I decided to have a Bachelor watching party. Maddie, Bari, Shayna, Isabelle, Marin, and I all went to Maddie’s house. Most of us hadn’t seen the Bachelor so it was definitely an interesting experience for all of us.

To put it simply, the past few weeks have been great. I can definitely say this summer will be one for the books. Here’s to more summer memories!

Monday, April 2, 2018

These Last Few Months, An Update

Gold Clutter Update
To put it simply, these last few months have been quite hectic. I've had some stuff going on personally that has left me unmotivated to create content. I'm hoping to be getting over this phase, but I want to produce content I wholeheartedly adore. I chose to let myself take a break from blogging, and it was a much needed and well-deserved break that allowed for a multitude of personal reflections.

Traveling is truly the greatest // These past few months have consisted of visiting Salt Lake City, Columbus, Orlando, Washington DC, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and New York City. I left each of these remarkable trips with memories of times spent laughing, exploring, and enjoying my environment of friends and family. When I disembarked on my plane ride home after each adventure, I could imagine the vivid moments of true enjoyment I felt. These trips had different purposes, but they all left me with the spark to see and explore the world.

Spend time doing the things you are passionate about // I've been reminded lately to take advantage of the times spent with friends and family in the past year. This has really honed in on me in the last few months. I'm hoping to look back on my time spent in high school and remember the nights spent with my friends instead of the nights spent studying. While my adventures have prohibited from spending time with my friends, I'm looking forward to creating memories with my friends over the next while. My latest adventures have established some friendships that I hold near and dear now. I hope to spend the remainder of my high school years cherishing the memories I make with my friends and family.

Focus on the goodness of life // So much of the past few months have been full of the most thoughtful people and memories. At times, I've taken these memories and people for granted instead of focusing on nurturing them. I'm hoping to move forward focusing more on the goodness occurring in my life and less of the negative aspects.

Focus on yourself // I've realized that self-care is possibly the most important aspect of life. I've been emphasizing paying attention to how I feel and how the things around me are affecting me, and its been quite beneficial for me. I'm intending to continue to manifest the favorable aspects around me into my life.

Be willing to take risks // By nature, I'm not much of a risktaker, and I have no current plans of changing that, but I'd like to be more accepting of new challenges that come my way. This year has thrown me many curveballs that I was not anticipating allowing me to grow tremendously as a person. I want to use the knowledge from these events to grow into someone who is willing to take risks.

Disconnect when needed // I've been making a conscious effort to know when I need to step away from current things lately. This has allowed me to be more aware of my surroundings and focus on growing my friendships. I'm hoping this habit will continue as I become more and more aware of myself and my surroundings.

I want to sign off by saying that my blog has always been a creative outlet for me that I wholeheartedly adore. Moving forward, I want to make a more conscious effort to create content that inspires me as I have not felt that has been the case for the last few months. I hope to be back shortly with content that allows me to grow as a creator.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Step Into My Week: AIPAC Policy Conference & DC

I’m currently on a plane as I type this to sunny Southern California from Washington D.C. where I attended AIPAC’s Policy Conference. BBYO sent out applications a few months ago, and I was so excited to hear I was accepted to be apart of BBYO’s delegation. The actual conference lasted from Sunday to Tuesday but I flew in early to spend time with my friend from a BBYO summer program.

I ended up flying on Friday right after school. I literally had to make a mad dash to the airport for fear I might miss my flight if I got stuck in a ton of traffic. Luckily, I got to the gate ahead of time. I was definitely shocked to see such a jam packed gate as I didn’t know flights were being cancelled left and right because of the wind in the northeast. The girl I ended up sitting next to on the flight is a pilot instructor. She ended up telling me all about planes, the process to becoming a pilot, and answered any questions I had about planes. It was pretty cool to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to me.

I flew into Baltimore as it was the closest airport to my friend’s house. My Lyft driver was interesting to say the least. The driver wasn’t super familiar with the part of Maryland my friend, Carina, lived in. We ended up getting a little lost as their was a downed tree close to her house. When I finally arrived, I was so excited to see her.

She had told me that her power had gone out, but I completely forgot. I was a little worried that no one was home, but I was so excited to see her. Her mom was the sweetest and made the most amazing vegan food for me. I had pita with hummus and a salad and grain mixture. It was so good. I also tried chia pudding with fruit that was absolutely divine. I loved it so much. We ended up hanging out in her room catching up. We decided to FaceTime one of our friend’s, Chase, where we debated over who has the better hat collection. Carina’s hat collection is pretty cool. She has a cat hat and a cheesehead.

The next morning we were out the the door at 10:30 ready to explore the city. We dropped off my bags at the hotel as I didn’t want to lug my bag around all day. We drove over to the Newseum but decided to go to the National Building Museum instead. I was completely amazed by all the different newspapers on display. As a journalism student, it made me so happy to see newspapers from all over the U.S.

The National Building Museum was crazy cool to say the least. Carina and I ended up playing in the little kid’s play zone for a little while. The building blocks and Lincoln logs were super fun to play with as we constructed homes. The museum featured a paper model exhibit that was truly mind-blowing to see the exquisite detail in the models. I’d love to see the process of creating a 3-D model as I’ve only seen ones that are getting characters to stand up.

The focal point of the National Building Museum was an exhibit featuring a model home. The premise of the museum was that today’s homes aren’t suited to work with the evolving lives of the individuals who inhabit today’s homes. The model home was incredibly innovative with storage everywhere, foldaway showers and beds, and moving walls. I left the exhibit feeling inspired to see what housing will look like when my generation begins to buy houses.

We ended up spending way more time in the National Building Museum than we anticipated, so we were pretty hungry when we left. We ended up going to Le Pain for lunch. Let’s just say that I was incredibly impressed. I got an amazing black bean and sweet potato toast that was so good. I had the hardest time choosing between all the incredible sounding food. I was so excited to see that they had vegan Nutella. I ended up buying some to take home with me, but security at the airport took it away from me. I’m definitely ordering some online as the chocolate spread was such a great treat.

We decided to go to the Washington Monument to allow me to see at least one of the monuments. The Washington Monument is being renovated so we weren’t able to get close but it was still very cool. I’d love to see the view from the monument as I’m sure its very pretty.

We had to make a mad dash back to the hotel as Carina had a BBYO event she had to be at. Although I got there a little early compared to everyone else, one of my roommates, Melanie, was also early. Both of us were hungry so we went to Shouk. It’s vegan Israeli cuisine that is seriously the bomb dot com. I’m so hoping they open up a location in Atlanta because vegan Israeli food isn’t super available in Atlanta.

We went back to our hotel and met the rest of our roommates. My other roommate, Sarah, was super sweet. She’s going to College of Charleston. My big in BBYO goes to Charleston so it was cool to meet another BBYOer whose going to CofC. My other roommate, Leah, is super cool. She actually goes to camp with someone who goes to my school so we ended up hanging out for most of the convention. The international n’siah (president), Rebecca, was also roommate. That was pretty cool!

The entire BBYO group gathered together to get dinner. My roommates along with Gabby, another girl in the group, went to Whole Foods for dinner. It’s so incredible to me that we all instantly got along. BBYO truly unites us. We had a blast and a half chatting for hours. We grabbed dessert at Jeni’s Ice Cream where I got a delicious chocolate flavor. All of us took pictures of our ice cream as it was so pretty.

Sunday was the first official day of AIPAC. We got to hear from so many speakers share how their helping to support a strong US and Israel relationship. It was pretty neat to be in the presence of so many people who shared the same love for Israel. My favorite panel that I heard from all about how AIPAC will win on college campuses. I was so incredibly inspired by all the innovate programming the college students were putting on. I was particularly inspired by UC Berkeley’s programs that they were putting on. The girl from UC Berkeley talked about a Israeli vegan food market. I’d love to see something similar be put on by my chapter in BBYO or by the JCC.

I had the opportunity to lobby my representative. I hadn’t lobbied for anything prior to AIPAC so I was stunned to see the inner workings of Congress. I’m inspired to come back to D.C. to lobby for other causes I’m passionate about. Capitol Hill, you’ll be seeing me real soon.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February Playlist

I got to see my result from Spotify's 2017 Wrapped a few weeks ago. I was taken aback by how little I listened to music according to Spotify. The tracker said I listen to a whopping 867 minutes of music in all of 2017. Granted,  I have a record player that I listen to music off of too. I'm definitely aware that 2017 wasn't my prime year for listening to music. I'm hoping to listen to more music in 2018.

I've decided I'm going to create a monthly playlist to help me discover more music starting next month. This month, I opted to stick with one of my favorite playlists. This is a soft, mellow playlist that has lots of emotion. I'm definitely the type of person who chooses to listen to calming music rather than pop music.

I'd like to create a music playlist for when I run on the treadmill. I'll probably end up creating a throwback playlist as that's the type of music that gets me dancing. In the meantime, I've been listening to podcasts while I run. Be on the look for a running playlist for next month's edition.

Free Spirit // Atlanta Rhythm Section
Laundry Room // The Avett Brothers
Snow Time // James Taylor
Atlanta // Ron Pope
Black Balloons // Local Natives
Sun It Rises // Fleet Foxes
Tuesday // The Eveybodyfields
White Apple // Blind Pilot