Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Little Reminder!

image by La Caitlin.
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"Life does not need to be perfect to be wonderful."

--Annette Funicello
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Monday, September 26, 2011

A Peek Into My Life Via Instagram!


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Happy Monday, by the way! To be honest, I really wasn't ready for the weekend to be over. You see, I went out of town this past weekend with my sister & two of my close friends (I've been out of town every weekend for nearly two months! Lordy, that's a lot of travel for a homebody like me!), and we drove to Austin to see Spring Awakening at the Zach theatre.

 Lovelies, the show was INCREDIBLE!! I sincerely mean it. It was such an amazing cast, a very strong ensemble, beautifully haunting music, and a very moving message. Granted, if you are conservative or offended easily, this show is NOT for you. There is a lot of adult language and content, although it's all done tastefully and with a deeper message in mind. Before we travelled, I downloaded the music and put it on my iPhone so I could familiarize myself with the lyrics. After the performance, I came out with strong feelings of rebellion percolating inside me and the urge to speak my mind. If you have a chance to see it, GO!! You will love it, I promise!! 
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Here is a little peek into my life lately via Instagram:


Lots of love & positivity!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Heart Fall!


There is a subtle chill in the air, the rainy days have started to creep in, and the winds are stirring the trees as if to announce the arrival of autumn. As the leaves begin to transform into golden, orange, and crimson masterpieces, we see the beginning of the most magical & enchanting of the all the seasons. Autumn has come, and now it's time to unpack your favorite sweaters, scarfs, and wooly hats. It's time pick out your favorite pumpkin from the patch, bake warm pies for your friends, and prepare for the winter to come. 

Happy first day of Autumn, Lovely friend!!
!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

Hello, Darling Dear! How was your day?? 
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My day was pretty rough. I've started a stress relief section in my filofax where I can scribble, vent, or doodle. Let me just say, I utilized my stress relief pages fully today. I'm just thankful for a quiet evening of movies and blogging to help me get over my day of frustrating circumstances.

As always, I usually bounce back from the doldrums rather quickly, especially when I give myself some time to relax and reflect. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be an excellent opportunity to make up for such a crummy Wednesday. My Thursday of thankfulness is going to be splendidly imperfect & wonderfully whimsical. 
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Tuesdays & Thursdays are my favorite days because I don't have any classes. I use these days to get a lot of stuff done. I work out, clean, organize, read for class and work my rear off on my school assignments. I also spend time with my pets, cook dinner, bake cookies, and write blogs & journal entries.

Also, Zeth has been an absolute godsend and a completely, wonderfully, and perfectly amazing boyfriend. Lately, I've been struggling more than usual with anxiety & bad health days. I have a tendency to forget about the important things like square meals & vitamins when I'm feeling down. I'm also much more sensitive. Things have been sort of rocky in certain aspects of my life, and he's been so incredibly supportive through all of my breakdowns and stress attacks. The things I adore most about him is that he loves & accepts me for who I am, even when I'm at my worst. Also, he cooks me dinner, and there isn't anything sexier than a man who cooks!!
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Little Bursts of Happiness!

Pizza nights ♥ holding hands ♥  vanilla ice cream cones ♥ fairy tales Princess by Vera Wang ♥ brand new Moleskines ♥ sparkly jewel tone nail polish ♥ doing things that scare me ♥ Freebirds burritos  visiting my best friend, Brittany her adorable beagle ♥  my new bright pink bedspread ♥ Paris Amour lotion from Bath and Body Works ♥ pink lemonade powerade ♥ my purple cambridge satchel ♥ watching True Blood under the covers ♥ unicorns ♥ Duck Tales comic books baking strawberry cupcakes with my sister ♥  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ♥ popcorn gerbera daisies  The Lion King in 3D ♥ art museums ♥ going with Zeth to see Shakespeare's Pericles at the Globe theatre of the great southwest ♥ Skins ♥ My pinterest app for iPhone (follow me on pinterest & I'll follow you back! It's so addictive!)♥ glitter explosions ♥ vanilla scented air fresheners ♥ Apollomy furry study buddy ♥ shrimp hibachi ♥  and sleeping late after a long week! 
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What are you thankful for today?

Lots of love & positivity!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Little Reminder!


“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

--Helen Keller

Go out and fill today with a plethora of whimsical adventures & a million reasons to smile. Hang in there, Lovely Friend. You're amazing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Quirky Girl's Guide to London!

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“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

--Samuel Johnson
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I studied abroad this past summer in Scotland, London, Paris, and Cannes. I've already blogged about my adventures in Edinburgh in part one and part two. About the time that we arrived in London, my poor Nikon bit the big one. I dropped it in Edinburgh and MacGyvered it back together with a hair tie, but it stopped working altogether in London. So, I took a lot of pictures with my iPhone 4 and snapped some with my sister's Nikon camera. Most of the pictures I took of myself are iPhone pics, so the quality is kind of poor.

I've been non-stop busy since I came home from my trip in June with birthday parties, wedding showers, lake parties, and many other functions. I haven't really had the time to sit down and write about my experiences in London, Paris, or Cannes. I'm planning to write about Paris & Cannes together in another blog post soon to come, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

I was tempted to split up my photographs from London into two parts because I was afraid the image-heavy post would discourage some readers. But I decided to keep it all in one post by clumping some of the pictures together in little collages.
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Some may disagree with me, but I think London is one of my favorite places in the world. There is so much to do, such a diverse population, a million places to stuff your face, and such a lovely place to get a little shopping done on any budget.

The photos above are all from the British Museum, which is an amazing place to visit if you are ever in London. The admittance is free with the request of a small donation of your choice. I have literally hundreds of pictures from the British Museum, but I decided to just share my favorites. As you can see, I even managed to snap a picture of the Rosetta Stone, which was surrounded by an enormous throng of tourists with clicking cameras. My favorite section of the British Museum includes many Egyptian artifacts & statues. 

If you are planning to the visit the British Museum, make sure to schedule plenty of time if you want to explore the museum in its entirety. There is a lot to look at, and it's difficult to get through the large mass of tourists in a big hurry.
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As you can see, my sister had bright pink hair during the duration of our trip. And it surely did cause some interesting situations, including a short British man almost causing a car accident while violently snapping pictures of my sister's hair with his phone camera. 
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I decided to go on a day of adventures in London solo. I know it probably wasn't the safest idea, but I'm pretty familiar with London and I felt comfortable exploring on my own. I was a little tired of basing all of my plans on others, and I just wanted to do my own thing. I visited the London Aquarium and the London Zoo on my day of adventures. No one else in my group was as excited as I was about these animal-related spots. The aquarium was very crowded, but it was worth it. My favorite exhibits were the clown fish & the piranhas. 
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I had an AMAZING time at the London Zoo! I'm definitely a huge animal-lover & animal rights advocate. After exploring Regent's Park, I found the London Zoo and paid for my entry. I immediately came upon the warthogs and llamas. Lots of squeeing, ooing, and awing came out of my mouth. Shortly after, I found the gorillas, lions, tigers, pygmy hippos, otters, exotic birds, and many more. I took dozens of pictures of each animal type. 

I was slightly disappointed when I didn't see a giraffe habitat, but I was happily surprised to discover that it was only hidden towards the back of the zoo. The giraffes were very friendly and photogenic.

I would definitely recommend the London Zoo to all of you animal lovers out there!
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My favorite animal habitat at the London Zoo was the Penguin Pool. There were at least 40 penguins swimming happily & doing tricks for little treat pellets. I even saw two baby penguins inside an incubator. I think penguins are among my favorite animals.
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If you are visiting London for the first time, you should definitely go see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. It's an extremely tourist-heavy event, but it's something you should see at least once. 

You have to gather rather early if you want a good spot outside the Palace. Make sure to go with a small group and keep all of your belongings close to your person. 

My favorite part of the changing of the guards was all of the horses in uniform and the marching band. 
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Of course, there is Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. These are the biggie tourist spots in London, and they photograph beautifully from most angles. I have about 50 different angles of Big Ben alone. I even synchronized my pink Fossil watch with Big Ben! Across the Thames, there is the London aquarium and the London Eye. 
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I decided against riding the London Eye, which is a gigantic ferris wheel, because I was a little tired of waiting in lines full of noisy tourists. Instead, I walked down the Thames and crossed the Millennium Footbridge, which was featured in the 6th Harry Potter movie.
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Being the theatre major nerd that I am, I definitely had to visit Shakespeare's Globe. It was my second visit to the mecca for theatre nerds. I bought a few souvenirs, including a timeline of all of Shakespeare's plays for Zeth. We really wanted to see a play at the Globe, but our schedules wouldn't allow for it. It was nice just to visit a such a significant place and moon over all of the history.

My favorite part of Shakespeare's Globe, besides it being right on the banks of the Thames, was the front gate. The front gate was done in black wrought-iron and covered in a plethora of different animals, including a bear, shark, cat, frog, and an OWL!!
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Another nerdy place to visit would be Fleet Street. If you have seen Sweeney Todd, either the musical or the movie, you may be interested in visiting the infamous Fleet Street. Granted, there isn't anything really significant about the street except a large amount of barber shops. We stopped into a little restaurant on Fleet Street to eat lunch. We did keep a careful eye out for fingers & toes in our food ( if you haven't seen Sweeney Todd, you probably think I'm a little bit weird!!)
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Piccadilly Circus is one of my favorite places for shopping in London. It's sort of a tourist trap with its bright lights and souvenir shops, but there is something very magical about it. If you have ever seen a movie based in London, you have seen the jumbotron in Piccadilly Circus. It's sort of iconic, much like Times Square is to New York City. 


My sister and I found an adorable little bakery off of the main drag. They had pastries of every size, shape, color, and flavor. I gawked over the beautiful & extravagant wedding cakes in the window display. My sister and I probably gained 5 pounds from all the sweets we devoured in London (Granted, we walked it all off in turn). 


We ate in many pubs in the Piccadilly Circus area. If you are hungry and on a budget, stop into a pub for a warm meal. Pub food is delicious and much less expensive than regular restaurants.
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The highlight of my entire trip was seeing David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing. My sister and I are both extreme Doctor Who nerds, so we were pleased as punch to get tickets to see the 10th Doctor on stage. The show was sold out for the entirety of our stay in London, but happily, we were able to snag standing-room-only tickets. Yes, we stood up for nearly 3 hours to see David Tennant and Catherine Tate, and it was definitely worth it. They were both phenomenal. I sort of felt like a reject standing in the aisle, but we were moderately close to the stage and able to see their faces quite clearly. I bought a pair of real pearl earrings while we were in Scotland, and I wore them to the play for the first time.  

After the performance, my sister grabbed my arm and led me to the stage door at the back of the theatre. It was already packed with adoring fans. We wrestled our way up to the front and snagged autographs from both David Tennant & Catherine Tate. My sister even got a picture with David Tennant. I was too shy to ask for one though. It was such an amazing experience. 
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The view from my room in London.
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I developed the blues after a few days in London, and my sister dragged me to Covent Garden to do a little shopping. I think I was just really home sick. I'm such a homebody, and as much as I love traveling, I also love to be at home with a good book or movie.

We ate lunch at a really cute little Italian cafe and explored a marketplace style shopping area. I ended up having an amazing time with my sister. It started raining during our escapades, so we sought shelter inside an Apple store close to the Covent Garden tube station. On a sidenote, we didn't have internet data on our cellphones while we were abroad, so we stopped into every Apple store we could find to use their free wi-fi.
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Being quirky in London!
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There are dozens of other wonderful places to visit in London, but these are just a few of my favorites. The thing I love most about London is the diversity & variety. You can find just about anything in London if you look hard enough. 
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Lots of love & positivity!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lookin' Forward to Fall!!

Oh, hello!! I'm starting to get very excited for autumn. I woke up this morning to discover a lovely autumn rainstorm had settled upon my little town. I threw on some cozy socks, picked out my favorite movies, and brewed up a pot of Scottish breakfast tea. To my delight, I discovered on my calendar that the first day of fall is this Friday!!!

Autumn is probably my favorite season of the year. I adore spring for it's florals, pastels, and warm weather. But there is just something magical about the changing of the leaves & the wonder of autumn. I decided to make a little collage of my favorite things about fall! I'm literally bouncing in my chair with excitement about the beginning of the loveliest of seasons.



If you are interested in winning a Pink Holga 120N Camera, please check out my giveaway, too!!

Lots of love & positivity!

p.s. Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments on my previous post! It meant a lot to receive so much support! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Living in the Moment: Why I Chose Positivity Over Despair


I've been blogging officially for two years today. I didn't start blogging publicly until much later, but I started my adventure in writing two years ago. Happy Birthday, A Quirky Girl's Thoughts. You really saved my life. I've never really detailed why I started blogging, and I feel like it's the right time to do so. I owe it to myself to open up to you, sort of like a little session of therapy for a girl who has been hiding behind an emotional barricade for too long. 

A lot of people don't know that I've struggled with anxiety for many years. About two years ago, I started getting really sick. I lost my appetite for life, my anxiety had me sleeping only a few hours every night, and I felt depressed all the time. If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a very optimistic person. I've have always been that girl who sees a ray of hope in the direst of situations. My family relies on my positive outlook and my ability to problem solve without losing my faith in the beauty of life.

With all of that in mind, my behavior was very uncharacteristic of who I really am. When I was about 19, I went to see a family practice doctor about my anxiety. She asked me a few questions about my lifestyle, and I explained that I was a music & theatre major with a lot of obligations on my plate. If any of you study music or theatre, you know what I'm talking about. The doctor told me I needed to eat more calories and get more sleep. She sent me out the door with a pamphlet on nutrition and a handful of sleeping pills.  

Two years passed, and I was a reck. I was sick all the time, and most of my friends were too busy to notice how depressed I was. I must admit now that I frequently put on a happy face for most of my friends and they probably just didn't know what I going through because I didn't let anyone in. I'm still working on tearing down the wall of impenetrable bricks that I built around myself. I didn't want sympathy from anyone because I just wanted to deal with my situation on my own. Growing up in a divorced family made me very independent and emotionally unavailable in my relationships. I didn't want to do anything but sleep during the day and my anxiety was causing intense panic attacks and sleepless nights.

My mom started to notice that I was struggling when I couldn't get out of bed for class. She immediately made an appointment with her family practice doctor and I was seen that day. After a few months of seeing several different specialists, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and a disorder of the metabolism. I was only 23 years old when I found out that I had a chronic illness that would never go away for the rest of my life.

Rather than fall into despair, I decided to start an online journal. I wanted to create a safe haven for myself filled with positive thoughts and an abundant amount of love. After a semester away from class, I felt well enough to go back to school. I started blogging for an audience, reading other blogs, and meeting other inspiring & lovely bloggers out there. I was met with a world of love & support. I have learned so many amazing things from other blog authors and from my own writing endeavors. Being a writer has given me the confidence to stand up for myself and find my own voice in the world.
 


Two years whizzed past and here I am today. Quirky, still. Vivacious, brave, confident, bursting with positivity, and splendidly imperfect. I've learned how to really love myself and accept who I am, even when it feels nearly impossible.  I still view myself as a little cookie baking away in the oven of life. I may never be perfect or work through all of my issues, but I'm hell-bent on living life in the moment and loving every minute of it. 


That's my story!


Lots of love & positivity!

Fantabulous Friday!!


Hello, Lovely Friends! It's been pretty quiet around these parts for the past few days. Sadly, I haven't had enough energy to write, read, or tweet much at all. On Tuesday morning, I hit my head on the stone shelf in my shower and gave myself an actual concussion. I'm sort of klutzy, although I hate to admit it, and my grace is probably on the level of a hippopotamus inside a figurine shop. I've been really loopy and tired for the past few days. Thankfully, I just started feeling better after what seemed like an endless amount of sleep. My pets all seemed to sense that I was under the weather because they continuously suffocated me with their cuddles & attention. 

It's a very exciting feeling to be well after a few days of illness. I'm refreshed, well-rested, and dying to compose a blog post! What better way to get back into my blogging routine than to whip up a gratitude list!



Spending time with my besties who live far away Shasta daisies ★ Cloud gazing ★ Ingrid Michaelson ★ Enchiladas with extra cheese ★ Gigantic handwriting ★ Lunch dates with my sis ★ Rain storms ★ Owl Beanie Babies ★ Strawberry cupcakes ★ Picnics ★ Vegetarian casseroles ★ Dreams about having a pet buffalo ★ Cleaning sprees ★ The beginnings of autumn ★ Midnight snacks ★ Bright yellow mums ★ Doodles ★ Rainbow pencils ★ Never-ending pasta bowl at Olive Garden ★ Colorful office supplies ★ George & Apollo, the sweetest fox terrier and cat a girl could ask for ★ Frozen yogurt dates ★ Exploring the children's section of a bookstore ★ Pencil pouches ★ My family ★ Road trips with Zeth ★ Relief from my anxiety ★ My hair, skin, and nails vitamins ★ Amazing readers who send me the loveliest emails & comments!

What are you thankful for today??
Hope you have a FANTABULOUS Friday!!!


Lots of love & positivity!