I Fell in Love with Austin, Texas on the Fourth of July

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Sometimes you visit a city, and you just know. You get that little voice in the back of your mind telling you “this is a place I could stay”, or “this is somewhere I belong”. Austin gave me those thoughts, and I just knew. But let me start from the beginning…

One day, in the middle of April, I was sitting at my desk trudging on through the work day, wishing I was somewhere else, when I had an epiphany; I should take a mini vacation. Then it came down to deciding where to go, simple enough, right? Wrong. Being in the center of the country means that my options are incredibly limited, and unlimited, all at the same time. I can take a plane heading anywhere in the country in a relatively small amount of time, and I can take plenty of road trips, but most of the “desirable” places to go in the scorching heat of the summer (i.e., the beach, for obvious reasons) are quite far away. Now I’m the queen of road trips, so per usual, I opted for that, then looked at the map and just chose. Just like that. Austin, Texas is it was. My family vacationed in Texas often when I was young, so the idea of venturing there on my own this year felt comfortable and inviting. So, I grabbed a friend, and off we went!

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Driving from Kansas City to Austin wasn’t the MOST pleasant of things, but I think making that whole drive down, through the construction, traffic, and holiday travelers made driving into the city that much sweeter. I was more excited than I ever would have expected to be when I realized we were about to *finally* make our way into town. I even pulled off the road, just to capture the moment for myself, and you as well, I suppose. For anyone familiar with the city, we stayed just off East Cesar Chavez, and it was a hipster’s paradise, let me tell you. I loved it.

We were only there for the weekend, so I didn’t get the chance to do many of the things I had hoped, but I still had an amazing time. Our first stop was visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, and explored for quite a while. I genuinely enjoyed learning so much about his presidency, the good and not so good parts alike. I’m someone that loves learning as much as possible about history, and this was something new for me to dig into. The library itself was quite astounding, walking up the steps towards it was a special experience all on its own, without factoring in the beautifully put together LBJ Museum that accompanied it.

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After we were satisfied with our exploration there, we decided to visit the capitol building. For any of you that may not know, or may be from a different country, in the US, we have our Nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C., but each individual state has it’s own Capitol as well. Austin happens to be the state Capitol of Texas, so the (absolutely beautiful) Texas State Capitol Building is here as well. We took quite a long walk around the grounds, and had a bit of a wander through the interior of the building as well. My favorite part, however, was simply sitting on a bench, near the front of the building, all by my lonesome. Having a tea and taking it all in, that’s what I do best.

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From there, we simply explored. For the next two days, I ate more Tex-Mex than anyone should ever eat, I grew to feel like I was a part of a new place and a new city. I went grocery shopping, I laid by the river and read a book, I chatted with strangers in a bar; I completely immersed myself if the daily life of this city, and I think thats’s what made this trip so special for me. It felt like I was visiting a home away from home, and I was genuinely sad when it came to an end.

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I may have single handedly eaten all of the avocados in Austin, and I’m not even sure I’m exaggerating.

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One of my favorite moments was sitting by the river watching the sun go down around the city. I think this will be a memory I keep close for a long time.

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One of the things I admired most about Austin was the graffiti, which might sound strange to some people. But Austin is filled with beautiful, inspiring, and interesting graffiti. The city just seems like an even more special place after seeing how many people have made their mark here in such a positive way.

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I spent a surprising amount of time in this backyard whilst I was there. The house I rented had a beautiful backyard with a comfy seating area to relax in. I definitely made use of it, particularly the incredibly comfy lounge chairs, they were perfect for reading and relaxing. These popsicles were absolutely scrumptious by the way, check out GoodPop if you’re able to get your hands on them. They’re all natural, and are honestly the most delicious frozen fruit pops I’ve ever had. I’m feeling serious withdrawal symptoms at the moment.

The final day, before we had to wake up and make our way home, was the Fourth of July. Celebrating Independence Day in Texas is not something new for me, I’ve done it a few times in my life with my family, but this was a whole new experience for me. We went fairly early in the afternoon to secure a seat near the water to watch the fireworks over the city. I expected that there would be a lot of people, and Austin didn’t disappoint me there, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would love getting to know all the people that happened to be sitting around me. I arrived with one friend, and left with dozens, and it made me so much more in love with the city, and so much more pleased with the trip itself.

I had a few drinks, set off a few sparklers, and chatted with more people than I have in the past month, all in one night. The fireworks were stunning, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was the perfect ending to a much needed get away.

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I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Sleepy Sundays | Don’t call it a comeback

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So, we meet again, you cute little blog you. I’ve missed this, I really have. Sometimes you forget how good something simple like this can feel, just releasing all your thoughts onto a screen, letting anyone that’s willing read everything you’ve decided to share. Life gets in the way, I’m sure you know how it goes. But today, after so much time away, I’m back. Will I stick with it? Make time for something I enjoy in life for once? Who knows, but I appreciate each and every one of you that kept following me, even as I was away for months on end. You’re beautiful and I love you.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s chat. After all, that’s what I always wanted to do with this blog. I wanted to get my thoughts out of my head, and written down on paper, even if that was through a keyboard on a public forum. I wanted to talk to people, interact with them, learn from them, get to know them, and become friends with them. So let me just ask, how are you? How are things going? I’m doing well. Things are going okay I suppose, all things considered. Nothing too exciting has happened in my life since we last talked. It may have even grown just a little more monotonous since then, if that’s possible. I’ve fallen into a routine; get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, and repeat. Monday through Friday, this is my life. I wish I were able to switch it up, to add a little spice to my life. How do you do it? How do you keep your life exciting? Please, share your secrets with me Senpai.

The most exciting thing that happened to me this weekend was when my Amazon order arrived yesterday, containing a new Electric Kettle and some cupboard organizers for all of my tea; who knew life could be filled with so much excitement?! I know I didn’t! All joking aside, I was sincerely thrilled to open up my new kettle, but I digress. Maybe I’m just in a rut? That’s possible I suppose. Or maybe it’s because my birthday is just a few short weeks away, and I’m beginning to feel the pressure that comes along with it. I’ll be 23, which may not sound old or important, but there is a lot of pressure coming along with this birthday. My parent’s think I should be settled down with that “perfect someone”, thinking about getting married and starting a family, my friends think I should already be finished with college and moved into my own place, partying it up. When in reality, I’m 22, living at home, single, fighting to finish this bachelors degree, and working a full-time job that brings no joy or excitement to my life, and chasing Pokemon in my spare time. Oh goodness, this is turning into a very “woe is me” sort of post. I need to change things up, turn it around.

Maybe I should share some things that make me happy, who knows, maybe that will pull me out of this little funk I seem to be in at the moment.

One seemingly unusual thing that always makes me happy is a strange one to describe. I suppose its essentially just the wind, but it’s much more than that to me. I love that feeling, when you’re sitting outside on a slightly cooler night, in-between the summer heat and the autumn chill, reading or just watching the world go by, when the wind sweeps across your face and you feel completely calm and safe, even if just for a moment. It makes me so happy to know that moments like that exist.

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My cat is also another point of sheer happiness for me. I mean, just look at her! Look at that face! She has this way of knowing when I need her. She’s always so quick to come and snuggle with me when I’m feeling down, or ill, or upset. Even when she’s being obnoxious, or irritating, she still has a way of making me feel so genuinely happy, all the way to my core, no matter what. For instance, she is currently laying on my chest, partially blocking my access to the keyboard on my laptop, and just being a general pain, and I still smile like a fool each time I look down at her sweet little face snuggled up against my arm.

As much as my family has a tendency to be a bit overbearing and hard to handle, I’m still filled with happiness each time I remember how lucky I am to have them. After the horrible events in France, TexasMinnesota, Louisiana, Turkey, and so many more these past few weeks, I’m feeling even luckier than usual to have my family, and to know that I have people out there to fall back on and lean on when things get tough. They are all absolutely insane, pushy, and ridiculous, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Lastly, one of the things that makes me happiest; daydreaming. I’ve always loved the fact that we’ve all got this ability, this superpower, to transport ourselves to another time or place in our own minds. We’re all equipped with our own mental T.A.R.D.I.S, if you will. If I’m unhappy, or feeling stuck, or sad, or anything in between, I can simply imagine that my life will take a different turn in the future, or imagine that I’ve stumbled into a new place, or just lay back, and let my daydreams guide me. There’s no limit to the amount of things I can accomplish in a daydream. No one cares how I look in a daydream. There’s no body shaming, there’s no cruelty, and there’s no fear. It’s a completely pure space, untainted by the outside world, and it is one of my biggest sources of happiness.

And with that my friends, this Sleepy Sunday post has come to a close, and I’ll have to drag myself out of bed to start my day. My tea is gone and my cup is dry. I hope you enjoyed reading this ramble that I’ve decided to put out onto the internet, and that you found something to take with you from it. Whether that be something life changing, like learning your daydreams are a T.A.R.D.I.S, or simply just the memory of how adorable my cat is, I hope you’ve had a lovely few moments here with me.

Please feel free to leave me a comment and chat with me, or check out the “Contact Me” page to send me an email. I would love to hear from you and get to know you.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

 

 

 

12 Autumnal Goals

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Earlier this year, I did a post entitled “20 Summer Goals” where I listed, you guessed it, 20 goals that I wanted to complete over the summer. I didn’t make it through all the goals, but I made it through some of them, and I honestly had a really good time doing it. Making that list gave me something to look forward to over the summer that helped me look past the burning heat and the long days. After the summer, I wasn’t planning to make any more goals for myself or anything like that, but this morning I felt really inspired to do it. I think it may just become a habit for me, to give myself inspiration to get out and do things throughout each part of the year rather than getting stuck in a rut and letting the year pass me by without taking advantage of all of it. All of the photos throughout this post were taken in or around Grand Marais, Minnesota. Grand Marais is my favorite place to be in the Autumn. Just looking at these pictures brings back so many wonderful memories that I’ve made there over the years, and it felt quite fitting to put a few of them in this post filled with inspiration for myself.
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1. Go to a pumpkin patch.

2. Go apple picking.

3. Bake something new.

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4. Carve pumpkins.

5. Go on a walk/hike in 3 new places.

6. Watch 5 scary movies.

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7. Read 6 new books, in at least 3 different genres.

8. Go on an adventure.

9. Work on more photography.

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10. Write at least 1 blog post each week, if not more.

11. Put myself out there more, let more people in.

12. Explore the city, and document it.

As you can see, some of these goals are ones that I can (and hopefully will!) blog, and others aren’t, but the ones that are blogable, are the ones I’m most excited about. Some of these goals are the most standard of things. Things that people say they want to do every time Fall rolls around. Cliches. But that fact aside, they are all things that I haven’t done since I was a little kid, and I really want to try and do them again. I want to make memories, because when it comes down to it, memories are all that matter. And if there ever comes a time when I can’t remember these things anymore, I like to think I’ll be able to come back to this blog, and relive these moments.

So here is me, wishing myself good luck in completing each one of these goals. I hope you will enjoy sharing these moments with me, and if you yourself decide to create your own goals this Fall, please let me know or tag me in them so I can follow along with you! I hope it can give you inspiration and help you create memories of your own.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

20 Summer Goals | Watercolor Wonders

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Okay, yes, summer has come and gone, and while I did fulfill many of those goals that I shared with all of you in my earlier post, I just didn’t seem to capture them all and share them with you. So for one last time this year, I wanted to share one more of my Summer Goals with you.

This one may have been my favorite. I’ve always loved art. Growing up all I wanted to do was color, paint, and create. Maybe that’s why I’ve fallen so in love with writing. It’s my way of creating something and sharing it with people. But I fell into that trap of thinking that “I’m just not good at art doing art”. I think a lot of people think of creating things or being artistic as some sort of competition. Like you have to be amazing at it to do it, and if you aren’t, then you shouldn’t even try to create things. Or thinking that because someone else is better than you are, that you shouldn’t even try to create things. But through this little water color journey of mine, I’ve realized (although, this is something I’ve understood for a while) that it doesn’t take skill or a special talent to create. All it takes is you. And your imagination. Being creative is a part of life that everyone should partake in. Its not a competition, its not just for the wildly talented. Creativity is a right that no one can take away. Creativity is about passion, and happiness. Creativity is about letting your mind and your thoughts do what they want to do, rather than always thinking it through to every last little detail. Creativity is an essential part of life.

Creativity is intelligence having fun.Albert Einstein 

When I first started in with watercolor painting, I tried to really learn it. Learn the techniques, the skills, the whole process. But I quickly learned that I didn’t fully enjoy it that way. I created many beautiful paintings, from lighthouses, to beaches, to flower arrangements, but through out those projects, it all felt like work. I had to pay attention to what I was doing, I had to focus, and I had to try incredibly hard. It was easy to see that it wasn’t my thing.

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Eventually, I put away the YouTube tutorials, sat down outside in my backyard, and just painted. I didn’t realize how much I could love just sitting down with my paint brushes just splattering paint around on paper. No thoughts about what I would be painting, or what techniques needed to be used to achieve it. I don’t enjoy making those things, as much as I enjoy these little pages full of messy patches of color.

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Now, after making dozens of these colorful, blob filled creations, I had to figure out if anything could be done with them. As much as I enjoy them, and enjoy the process of making them, they aren’t exactly “frame worthy”. But as I was walking through the card aisle of Target, I realized that I had a use for all of them, one that would add an extra personal touch to everything that I do. If this were a cartoon, the little light bulb would have lit up on top of my head. Cards. I could make cards out of these silly little paintings and add an extra personal touch to all the little things that I like to do.

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I love to give cards for all sorts of occasions. When someone is sick, when someone’s birthday rolls around, etc,. But one thing I always do, is send Thank You cards. So that’s what I made for this post. This little thank you card is for all of you reading this, and for all my internet friends that follow this blog and send me emails checking on how I’m doing and just generally chatting with me. It has been so fun starting this blog, just the enjoyment that I’ve gotten out of writing alone would have made it the best thing I’ve done all year, but the friendships I’ve made, and the support I’ve gotten, have all made this into something that I don’t want to give up. So thank you, you lovely people you.

I hope all of you can find some way to be creative, even if you’re not great at it, as long as you’re doing it, that’s all that matters. There is no wrong way to be creative.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Somehow I fell off the blogging bandwagon. I have many things to blame for my lapse in posts; full-time course load, full-time work load, quarter-life crisis, etc,. The list could go on and on, as it could for everyone I suppose. But I wanted to get back into things. This is almost therapeutic for me. Writing down my thoughts, sharing them with all of you. Its nice. So I’m going to do my best to regain that spark, if you don’t mind of course, and what better to start with than another Summer Goals post? Although this is the final Summer Goals post of the year, I can assure you, that I have some things in-store for this blog that I am truly excited about, so I hope you come along with me on the continuation of my little blogging journey. ❤

Sleepy Sundays | I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22

My brother and I, at my first birthday, August 7th, 1994.  Yes, I still eat cake that way.
My brother and I, at my first birthday, August 7th, 1994.
Yes, I still eat cake that way.

Birthdays. What can you say about them really? Some people love them and some people hate them, but I for one, fall into the “love” group wholeheartedly (for the most part). I am not someone that dreads getting older or has an existential crisis every time their birthday rolls around, but I am someone that does a lot of contemplating and thinking when this day comes back around each year.

I'm pretty sure I saw a girl leaving Starbucks wearing this exact sunflower dress yesterday. The baby version of me was such a trendsetter.
I’m pretty sure I saw a girl leaving Starbucks wearing this exact sunflower dress yesterday.
The baby version of me was such a trendsetter.

Friday, August 7th, was my birthday. I spent it with friends and family having one of my favorite meals, eating yummy cupcakes, enjoying more than a few cocktails, and reminiscing about life and all the birthdays I’ve celebrated before this one. Every year for at least the last 5 years or so, I sit down, and just think. I think about all the things I have or haven’t done this past year, I think about the chances I took and the ones I let slip by, I think of all the happy and sad times, and I think of what I expected life to be at this moment. I always have a clear picture of what I want my life to be and where I want to end up, and coming to terms with the fact that I have no control over those things is a tough one for me. Well, I wouldn’t say that I have absolutely no control, but there are many things that just happen how they are mean’t to in life, and there’s not much you can do about it.

This is still the face I make when someone asks me to "smile for the camera!"
This is still the face I make when someone asks me to “smile for the camera!”

In a perfect world* (from the point of view of a daydreaming, introverted, bookworm that has an intense love for adventure and smiles), I would be travelling right now. Making the most of my youth, exploring all the places I’ve written about on this blog and many, many more. I would be standing on top of a mountain in Greece, staring off into the ocean contently thinking about where I’ll go next and what places I want to see. I’d be writing every day, and putting it all out there for the world to see. I’d never worry about money or material things, because who needs that when you have so much to see and do in life? Books would never be far from my hands and a smile would never be far from my face. I’d be happy, in the purest sense of the word.

But it isn’t my perfect world. Instead, I’m a struggling student, working a full-time, at a supremely boring and mundane office job, while tackling a full-time course load. I’m stuck in midwestern Missouri in the middle of America, with no funds to get out. I’m drowning myself in student loan debt in hopes of giving myself a better future. I’m boyfriendless and single in a place where that is a rarity. I’m not fit and healthy, as I would so love to be. I’m not writing everyday or living out my passions and dreams. But one thing that I realized on my birthday this year, is that I am happy. In the purest sense of the word. And that is all that matters to me right now. I may not be where I’ve dreamt of being in life, but I’m happy. I’m meeting new people and making new friends all the time. I’m exploring my own city and creating my own adventures. I’m writing a lot more than I used to, even if all of that writing is still sitting in my drafts folder and hasn’t been posted here.

This is one of many football team related photoshoots that my parents forced upon me as a child. American parents and their sports, you can't get away from it.
This is one of many football team related photoshoots that my parents forced upon me as a child. American parents and their sports, you can’t get away from it.

This birthday has shown me that I don’t always need to be in control. I can still lead a happy life, even if it isn’t what I expected it to be. Even when I have hard days, and bad days, and even on those days where I just want to sit on the floor and cry from all the stress, it will all be worth it in the end, and it is all worth it right this moment, just for those days where I am filled with pure happiness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the little glimpses into my life and child hood throughout this post with the random photographs I’ve decided to throw in. What’s a good birthday post without a little bit of a throw back.

I will leave you now, as I always should, with a quote from Harry Potter.

What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does. -Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 719

And now, at the very end, you get me, in my current state. Hair that somehow always manages to be untidy at all times, Superhero t-shirts, and a cat in the background.
And now, at the very end, you get me, in my current state. Hair that somehow always manages to be untidy at all times, Superhero t-shirts, and a cat in the background.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

Thank You For Supporting My Blog! | My First 40 Days of Blogging

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It’s been exactly 40 days since I started this little blog, and as I’ve neglected to provide you with either blog posts I’ve promised you today (more on that later), I’ve decided to write this little thank you post to all of you that read my blog. I started this blog on a whim. I’ve always had the desire to write a blog, but never thought anyone would read it, or that I would even be able to create any sort of content that I would find to be adequate enough to post online. After a few friends gave me the courage to do so (one of them has a FANTASTIC blog you can read here, I sometimes just sit and read some of his older posts for fun, they are perfectly written and so easy to connect with; I love it), I jumped on WordPress at 3 in the morning and threw myself straight into this crazy blogging world.

I feel like I was lucky in that I had no idea, and still have no idea, what sort of traffic or “stats” a blog would normally get in it’s infancy. I still have no idea if my little blog is doing well in those aspects or not, but its not about that for me, not yet anyway. At the moment, I’m still just loving writing and putting my thoughts out for people to read. It has been such an incredible outlet for me so far and all the comments I have received have been more lovely than I can describe. I’m waffling at this point, but I suppose that’s just what I do. I ramble when I have too much to say with no idea how to say it. I guess I’m just trying to say thank you. Thank you to all the people that have viewed my blog, liked my posts, commented on my posts, and followed me. It truly means the world and I appreciate each and everyone of you that are coming along with me on this blogging adventure.

So far, my stats for my past 40 days of blogging are as follows:

I've been visited by people from 63 different countries, or more by the time you're reading this, and I find that absolutely astonishing and beautiful.
I’ve been visited by people from 63 different countries, or more by the time you’re reading this, and I find that absolutely astonishing and beautiful.
All the visitors, views, likes, comments; everything. It all blows my mind. I find it incredible that this many people have taken the time to click on my little blog. Thank you to all that have. <3
All the visitors, views, likes, comments; everything. It all blows my mind. I find it incredible that this many people have taken the time to click on my little blog. Thank you to all that have. ❤
This is a snippet of the bottom of my blog's homepage, where you can see that there are now 786 people following my blog. To me, that number is incredible. I am speechless that in only 40 days this many people have found my blog and enjoyed my writing or content enough to follow me. This number may be small or insignificant compared to what other blogs have or do in their first few months, I truly have no idea, but for me, this is a huge number and I am appreciative of every single one of you following and viewing my blog. You're all brilliant people.
This is a snippet of the bottom of my blog’s homepage, where you can see that there are now 786 people following my blog. To me, that number is incredible. I am speechless that in only 40 days this many people have found my blog and enjoyed my writing or content enough to follow me. This number may be small or insignificant compared to what other blogs have or do in their first few months, I truly have no idea, but for me, this is a huge number and I am appreciative of every single one of you following and viewing my blog. You’re all brilliant people.

I never really believed that anyone would read what I have to say, or that anyone would ever want more, but the amount of “never stop blogging” comments that I have gotten from some of you makes me feel so incredible and shows me that there are people out there that really do want to read exactly what I want to write.

I won’t keep going on and on here about this, because there’s only so much that can be said, but the main point here is simply thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my weird little heart, and I hope you enjoy whatever I decide to write about in the future.

Now, I do owe you an explanation as to why my 30 Day Writing Challenge and my Sleepy Sunday blog posts haven’t gone up today. There is one simple yet complex reason for my absence today, and that is Food Poisoning. Note to all reading this: If a food truck at a festival downtown in your city looks questionable, DON’T ORDER FROM IT. No matter how hungry you are. That’s what put me in this hell I’m in; a dodgy chicken and black bean burrito from a dodgy food truck at an otherwise lovely festival called Boulevardia here in downtown Kansas City. One mistake and I’ve been on my deathbed (I’m over-dramatic by nature, can you tell?) all day, wishing the worst upon whatever health inspector failed to shut that food truck down before it made it’s way to me with its poisonous food. So that my friends, is the reason that I have failed to write out my usual posts for you today. I decided to write this little one showing my appreciation for you, as it has only taken about 10 minutes and minimal effort. I am hoping beyond hope that this mess ends tomorrow, and if it does, I will most certainly get back to my normal schedule. I hope you understand, I know that any of you that have experienced food poisoning will most definitely understand, and I look forward to feeling like a human being again and getting back to writing thoughtful posts for this little blog baby of mine.

Once again, thank you endlessly for your support of this blog and your all around support of me personally. I don’t even know how I could thank you for the loveliness that you all have shown me here in these past 40 days. Here’s to the next 40 days and many more to come.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 19

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Day 19: Discuss your first love.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t feel like I’ve ever been in love with another person romantically, and I think that’s what this prompt is referring to. So I can’t really blog about that for you. I wish I could say that there was a high school sweetheart or a college love, but I’ve not had that. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, but none that amounted to real love. Instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about a few other “first love” situations.

When I was really young, as young as 3 and 4, I loved maps and puzzles. I would put together map puzzles of the world and of various countries, and would tell everyone about all the different places I could see. This was the point that my United Kingdom love affair began. I did my UK puzzle over and over and over again until it basically fell apart. Apparently I loved the shapes and colors of it and didn’t want to do any others. Once that was destroyed, I was given little books and things by family about the UK and all things British; they all found it so funny that I had this little obsession as a toddler. Eventually, as I grew older, I began learning about the history, the monarchy, and the geography of the countries and fell even more in love. Aside from that, I gained a real love for geography from my map and puzzle obsession. I don’t know that there is a subject (aside from writing and literature) that I excelled in more.

Reading. I can’t think of a time in my life that didn’t revolve around books and reading. I can remember vividly being read to as a child, all the time. I was lucky enough to have been taught to read at an early age, before entering school, so I was reading at a higher level than most of my peers as I grew. I may be absolutely crap at math, but reading is something I can most assuredly say I am spectacular at. The first “real” book I ever read on my own was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I was hooked. I have read all the books in the series cover to cover more times than I can count. It was an outlet for me, to be able to jump into a magical world so vastly different from my own when things got particularly hard at home or when I wasn’t having the best time socially at school. I didn’t have the simplest childhood or teen years, but books and my imagination helped me through it. Reading will always be a part of my life, from my “first love” book of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, to every book I’ve read since then, they have all inspired me in their own ways.

Lastly, my niece and nephew. I didn’t have the best family life growing up. Nothing was very stable, there were a lot of fights, and things just weren’t very pleasant at times. I wasn’t really sure what love was when I was young. I was never sure whether or not my family loved me, or if I loved them even. It was all really complicated. But the day my niece was born, and I was able to hold her and experience her very first day in the world with her, I knew what love was. I was only ten, but I knew that she was going to be someone very special in my life. I didn’t think it was possible to ever love anyone as much as I loved that chunky little monkey, but then her brother was born, and I fell just as in love with his sweet little face the moment I saw him as I did with my niece. Those two absolutely mad children are my whole world, and I couldn’t be happier that they are the people that helped me realize what love really is.

How about you, have you ever been in love? I’d love to hear about it.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 18

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I should start this post off with a bit of an explanation. I haven’t posted in a while, a week to be exact. We’ve had some big storms here lately, and my internet has been down for 7 days; 7 agonizing days. But it’s back now and so am I! I’m a bit torn as to what I want to do with this 30 Day Challenge, do I want to post everything I missed when my internet was gone? Or do I just want to pick up here, on Day 18, and forget about the past few days? I think I may have to go with the latter, just for my sanity’s sake. So here it goes, Day 18, I hope you will join me on the next leg of this writing challenge and will forgive me for missing the past week. Here goes nothing!

Day 18: Post 30 facts about your self.

1. I am turning 22 on August 7th.
2. My favorite color is Seafoam Green
3. I’ve wanted to live in the UK/Ireland since I was in preschool, there are adorable drawings from me at age 4 describing where I want to live and why I wanted to live there, along with a FANTASTIC little Union Jack flag in the background.
4. I don’t believe I have ever really been in love romantically.
5. In Kindergarten I chose “J.K. Rowling” as what I wanted to be when I grew up. That’s still accurate today.
6. I like to watch the NASA channel on TV when I’m doing things around the house like cleaning, or working on homework. I find it really soothing.
7. I listen to audiobooks to fall asleep at night almost all the time.
8. I consider myself to be an “old soul”.
9. I really, REALLY hate onions. They make me feel sick every time I eat one.
10. I have two older brothers, one 12 years older than me and the other 7 years older.
11. I did competitive cheerleading as a child, won a lot of awards, and absolutely hated it.
12. When I was a little kid, I used to burst into tears and turn off the VCR when the villagers grabbed their torches and pitchforks to go after the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
13. I have an obsession with outer space and maps.
14. I feel most at home when I’m by the sea, especially on cloudier cooler days.
15. I have very pale skin, and burn almost instantly when out in the sun without sunscreen.
16. I am half Italian and half Danish. No one ever believes that I am half Italian until they see my mother. I most definitely took after the Scandinavian side of my family.
17. I sing in the shower. Loudly.
18. I once broke my arm in two places, when riding a bike with no brakes. I have my brothers to thank for that.
19. I love to bake. It is one of my favorite things to do.
20. My dream home isn’t a huge mansion like many people would want, but a small little cottage, with fields of flowers in the countryside, with a city close enough to go to everyday, but far enough to keep things calm and quiet.
21. When I was 11, I beat 55 other people, all at least a few years older than me, in a geography bee.
22. I love to fly in airplanes.
23. I have 4 teeny tiny tattoos. And will be getting one more teeny tiny one next summer.
24. When I was seven, my brother spilled red Kool-Aid on the floor, so naturally I laughed at him. He then lifted me up by my ankles and mopped up the Kool-Aid with my bright blonde hair, causing the ends of my hair to be dyed pink. He got in a lot of trouble, and I had pink hair. It was a win-win for 7 year old me.
25. I don’t like to go to family functions with my extended family, because I don’t enjoy being around them.
26. I love my pets more than I love most people.
27. I love to shop and buy new things, but I hate going to stores.
28. I am a really loving and caring person, almost to a fault.
29. I am a dreamer.
30. I believe that someday there will be a time when everyone in the world will be able to get along.

Bonus Fact: Missing this last week of blogging really made me realize how much I truly enjoy it! I hope this little blogging hobby is something I keep up for a long time. 🙂

I hope you all will accept me back into the world of blogging, and will forgive me for being away for a while. I’m excited to be back at this and have missed this outlet dearly. And thank you crispywalker for checking on me and making sure everything was okay after noticing I hadn’t posted in a while, that was very kind of you!

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 6

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Day 6: Five ways to win your heart.

1. Be yourself.
2. Be nice.
3. Have a passion.
4. Be understanding.
5. Smile.

I was a little apprehensive about writing this one. As a single girl, I think it’s clear that I don’t even know what I really want in a guy, let alone how one could “win my heart”. I’m the kind of person that believes that love is something that never ends, and since I’m not with anyone and I don’t have those feelings of love for anyone, for me its safe to say that I’ve never been in love. At least not the relationship sort of love. I love my close friends, and my family, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever loved any boyfriend I’ve had. I know that’s not the way everyone sees this whole “love” thing, but it is the way I’ve worked it out for myself. With that said, I decided to list qualities that would push me a little closer to falling for a guy, which I suppose would mean he would be the one to “win my heart”.

I don’t think there’s anything better than when someone is truly being themselves. I think its completely obvious when someone is acting differently or not being true to themselves. I’ve written about bad experiences of men acting ridiculous on dates before, and I can’t help but be a bit apprehensive about going out with anyone new, because I just don’t want to deal with it again. The last thing I want is for someone to act different than who they are just because they think it will make them seem cooler or because they think it’s how I want them to act. Personally, I’ve never been one to go for the big muscly guys, or the ones that talk down to other people, because I’m just not like that. I’m at the point in my life where I really want to find someone that I have a lot in common with, someone that I can really build a friendship and a relationship with, and if the person I’m talking to isn’t being themselves, how can I possibly have a hope of building anything with them?

Being nice should just be common sense, but from what I’ve seen in the dating world so far, in this city at least, it doesn’t seem to be as common as I think it should be. I’ve encountered men that were mean to the staff in the places we went, men that were rude to their family and friends, etc. I don’t want to limit this to just men, because that’s obviously not the case, but that’s the only reference point I have. All I ask is that the guy I’m with treats the people around him with respect. Being kind can be the simplest thing, and also the most attractive. I’m not asking for you to be Gandhi or anything, but a little kindness and respect can go a long way.

Have a passion in life. I don’t mean like sexual passion or anything like that if that’s what you’re thinking, although I suppose that’s somewhat important too, but I’m not getting into that here. I mean a passion as in a drive for something in your life. Whether you’re passionate about writing, sports, books, travelling, science, anything; I just want you to have a passion for something. I’m saying you as if you reading this right now could be the guy for me, who knows, maybe you are, but I suppose I should say “him” instead; I want him to be passionate about something, whatever that may be.

I’m not a perfect person by any means, I have a million and one flaws to go along with all of the great things about me, and I need a guy that can be understanding about that, just as I’ll be for him. Being understanding of someone else’s feelings, views, opinions, dreams, lazy days, insecurities, and everything else that someone goes through is important, not just in a romantic relationship, but in any relationship. Friendships, family relationships, work relationships, it all takes understanding and kindness even. I can assure this mythical future boyfriend that wants to “win my heart” that I will always be just as understanding as I’d like for him to be.

No one can ever look better than they do when they’ve got a smile on their face. Knowing that the person you’re with and spending time with is happy and smiling is a lovely thing. Seeing someone genuinely smile at me can brighten my whole day. There’s only so much that can be said about smiling, I feel like this is the most self explanatory of all the things on my list here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Some of these posts in this challenge make me feel a bit uneasy, as though I’m making myself out to be this crazy demanding person when it comes to relationships, but I’m really not. I feel like everything I’m looking for is fairly basic as far as relationship “requirements” go. I think the biggest thing here is that everything I’ve written down as something that the ideal man needs to possess to “win my heart” are all things that I have to offer him as well. I can’t promise that I’ll always be pretty or have a nice body, or that I’ll always have it all together, but I can promise that I’ll always be a genuine person and be myself, I’ll always be nice, I’ll never lose my passion for the things I love in life, I will always be understanding, and I will do my best to have a smile on my face as often as possible. What more can you ask for really?

Are there any things that someone can do or qualities that they should possess to win your heart?

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx

20 Summer Goals | 19.) Do at least three crafts | Tie Dye Shirts

Once again, I decided to set off on another little adventure in hopes of moving closer to checking another thing off my list of 20 summer goals. This time, I wanted to work on a craft, and what better to do than get a little messy and tie dye some shirts! I have to admit, I didn’t do this craft alone, I grabbed a friend and my niece, to make working towards this goal a bit more fun! After enlisting their help, we went off on a journey to Michael’s (just a chain of craft stores, in case you’re not familiar with it) to pick up the tie dye kits. I ended up deciding to go with two separate kits with 5 bottles in each, as the bottles in those kits were larger than all the others and I thought I’d be able to do more with them. The two kits I bought were both the Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Kit, and I bought one called Carousel and one called Neon.

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The colors included in the Carousel kit were Teal, Royal Blue, Black, Purple, and Fuchsia, and the colors included in the Neon kit were another Fuchsia, Orange, Yellow, Lime, and Turquoise. Each kit also came with some gloves to protect your hands from looking the same as your newly tie dyed shirt when you’re done, and some rubber bands to use when making the design. Once we arrived home, set everything up outside, and changed into old clothes that we couldn’t care less about, we got down to business.

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These kits are incredibly user friendly; all you need to do to get started is fill the bottles up with normal water from the tap, shake it up to incorporate the powder dyes in the bottle, and its time to dye! Before you start, its best to wash your shirt and pop them in the dryer (without any fabric softener or dryer sheets) so that they are clean and ready to go to soak up the colors. This kit doesn’t require you to soak them in vinegar before dying them to hold the color, but you can always do that if you’d like. I absolutely hate the smell of large quantities of vinegar, so I passed on that one. Once the dye was ready, I got started getting the shirts tied up in the rubber bands. For the tank top I’m going to share with you here, I chose to attempt a spiral pattern. I say attempt, because these things never turn out “right” for me. My spirals always turn out a bit wonky and off, but that’s honestly half the fun of tie dye; nothing ever comes out the same and it usually looks better when its not perfect!

First, you lay your shirt out as flat as possible on your work surface. I’m using an oversized tank top that I got from Walmart for something like $10, but you can use anything you’d like really. It’s just best to make sure it’s mostly (if not 100%) cotton, as it tends to be the easiest to work with and holds the dye the best.

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Then, now this is the tricky bit, you want to pinch a spot near the middle, or wherever you want the center of your spiral to be, and start twisting it counter-clockwise, gathering all the rest of the fabric into the spiral as you go. It is hard to explain, but once you start twisting your shirt you’ll understand what I mean. And don’t sweat it if you have to start over and re-do it, or if it goes a bit wonky, it always takes me at least three tries before I’m happy with the final product.

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After twisting the shirt until the entire thing has gone into one big spirally circle, you’ll just want to chuck a few rubber bands on it to secure it. Make sure that the rubber bands all meet in relatively the same spot in the middle of the spiral. It should almost look like a sliced pizza from the top.

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After you’ve done that, and have completed whatever design you’re wanting for your other shirts (if you’re unsure what other designs you’d like to make, just do a quick google search and you’ll find loads of ideas and instructions on how to do them), its time to start the actual dying process. For a spiral design, its easiest to just dye the shirt in between the rubber bands, as if you’re dying each little pizza slice a different color. I always do them in a pattern of sorts where each slice gets dyed the same color as the one directly across from it, but you can do whatever you’d like really. This is the messy part obviously, so do take care to wear the gloves provided in the kit and make sure you’re wearing things you don’t care too much about, because its almost guaranteed that they will get messy. It’s also helpful to lay an old towel or something down on the surface you’ll be using to make sure nothing gets ruined (aside from the towel) and also to make the clean up process a bit more manageable. The dye will bleed together with the one next to it, and chances are high that various colors will rub off from your gloves onto the next section of the shirt that you work with, but don’t worry about it too much, it will turn out fine in the end, I promise.

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After your shirt is thoroughly soaked with the colorful dye, you just put it into a zip-lock bag or wrap it in plastic wrap, and leave it to sit for 6-8 hours, or whatever your kit recommends if it is different from mine. Once that agonizing wait is up, you’ll have to begin the task of getting the excess dye out of the fabric. This takes a while, so be prepared. They say to rinse the shirt in the sink until the water runs clear, similar to dying your hair at home, but if I’m honest, I’ve never been able to get the water completely clear. So just do your best, and once that’s done, you’ll just pop them in the washer on the largest load setting you have (the excess water is necessary to get the rest of the dye out) and add in a very small amount of whatever laundry detergent you use, and let them wash. Once that’s through you can either let them air dry, or pop them in the dryer. I, being the forever impatient girl that I am, chose the dryer option, and in 30 short minutes, my shirts were dry and the tie dye process was complete!

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I love tie dye, and not because its psychedelic or because I’m a “hippie” as people often think, I just love it because of the color. The bright colors, the various patterns, and the way that every single one of them is different just makes me happy. And I’m always up for any excuse to get messy and do something creative.

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With this, I am one step closer to checking another thing off of my list of summer goals. And if there’s one thing that I’d like you to take away from this post, it would be to just go out and do something creative! There’s no “wrong” way to be creative, and that’s a beautiful thing.

I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.

-Lexie Xx