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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Step Into My Week: Homecoming, BBYO & Atlanta

I'm back! I always forget about the adjustment time it takes to get back into the school routine. It was definitely a little worse for me than other years. I always strive to produce the best high-quality content so I chose to take some time for myself to regroup with school before creating blog content. This month will be a true test for blogging with 2 fun trips planned for this month, so many projects due in the next 2 weeks, and a huge project I'm taking on. I'm so excited to see all that I do this month.

At this point, I've lost how many days I've had off because of snow or some other weather-related issue. I'm very thankful that my school hasn't had to extend the school day or add additional days to the calendar like a lot of other schools have to. I'm definitely one of those people who absolutely loves school. I love getting a day off every now and then, but I get bored after a few days off. I'm glad that we haven't had any more unexpected days off.

My school has basketball homecoming. Truthfully, I love that we have basketball homecoming rather than football homecoming as the hype gets built up for a little while. This year, my friends and I decided to get dinner at what we found out was a popular place to eat before the dance. It's hilarious to think we must've seen at least 25 people from my school and even more people were in a different room. The dance itself was super fun. I always love dancing it out with my pals.

After homecoming, I drove on over to my BBYO chapter's kickoff. We had an ice skating themed kickoff that was super fun. I got to see so many people I hadn't seen in quite a while. It's so cool to think about all the awesome friendships I've created because of BBYO. I was so happy to see so many new faces as January tends to be a big recruitment month. I can't wait for all the chapter programs coming up in the next few months.

My friend Catie and I went out for dinner at the new Braves stadium's little town center. It was so much fun. Unfortunately, I got lost driving around the Braves' campus, so we didn't get to hang out for too long. We ended up going to a Mexican restaurant where I tried empanadas for the first time. They ended up being delicious. We also had the most amazing avocado salsa. I'm definitely going back to get avocado salsa.

I ended up volunteering with a special needs organization. I had an amazing time helping out at Tu B'Shevat. It's such a great Jewish holiday that celebrates trees and nature. I hope to celebrate it even more next year.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Skin Care Wishlist Under $25

Skin Care Wishlist Under $25

I'd really like to start taking better care of my skin this year. Currently, I just wash my face and call it a day. I figured I'd put together a collection of all the products I'm interested in getting to give myself a proper skin care routine. I'm pretty sure all of the products featured are vegan and cruelty-free, but I could've accidentally made a mistake. What are your favorite skin care products? Am I missing an essential item on my list?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Step Into My Week: Skiing, Park City, & Atlanta

It's another snow day for me so I figured now was a good time to give a recap of all that I've done in the past week or so. I've traveled all over Atlanta, and I went a little west to the ski town of Park City. With my travels, I've gotten quite a bit of cold weather. Hopefully, we get another snow day tomorrow or it warms up.

My class went to the High museum where we met the curator for the civil rights exhibit named Fire that No Water Could Put Out: Civil Rights Photography. We were fortunate enough to get a tour from the curator herself. It was truly fascinating to hear her talk about why she picked each photo and the importance of each photo. I'd like to start going to curator talks in the future. Hearing her speak about the exhibit while touring it allowed me to have a deeper connection with the history, signifigance, and overall understanding of the exhibit's photos.

On Friday, my class went to the Atlanta History Center. I'd been to the center numerous times but not in a few years. I was excited to learn more about Atlanta during our time there. The center was nice enough to take us into the archives where we got to see maps, photos, city records, directories, and a few other archival pieces. I mostly enjoyed my time moseying around the archives admiring and reading all the books they had in their collection. I'd love to go back to spend some of my own time there.

I went skiing in Park City at Deer Valley this past weekend. It was truly an amazing time. We landed on Saturday, but we didn't go skiing until Sunday. Instead, we went snow tubing at Gorgoza. I loved going up the slopes as you had to go a magic carpet. It was completely insane how fast you went. I'd love to go to Stone Mountain now.

On Sunday and Monday, we went skiing. My sister and I took a group lesson on Sunday to help us get back in the groove again. We started on the bunny slope, but before we knew it we were on some difficult greens. I personally didn't love Success as I don't love steep hills in general. I loved going down Homeward Bound and Ontario. During our midday break, we stopped for lunch at Silver Lake Lodge. I ended up getting an amazing mushroom and tofu pho on both days. I'd love to find a place that serves vegan pho in Atlanta.

My sister's friends we're also skiing, but we didn't end up seeing them until we got to the airport. We all ended up on the airport which was definitely a little funny. I was truthfully a little sad to hear school was cancelled as I was really excited for my field trip on Wednesday, but I had a blissful day playing in the snow, relaxing, and unpacking and organizing my ski clothes.