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

IMG_2470

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!

IMG_2345

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.

IMG_2428

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.

IMG_2409

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.

FullSizeRender-3

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

23278067660_c087bf7a86_o

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.

14107241288_b1f6fcd43b_o

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.

IMG_2457

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.

FullSizeRender

FullSizeRender-2

FullSizeRender-1

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

3218587798_c7e836733c_o

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.

IMG_1665

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

 

 

 

Banned Books Week | Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week

If I’m honest, the whole idea of censorship drives me crazy. But censoring books? That one, I’ll never understand.

I don’t know if I can even begin to explain to you how important books are, and always have been, in my life and in my heart. Books were my escape as a child. Books taught me all the things I didn’t learn at home or at school. Friendship. Hardship. Love. Fear. Excitement. Magic. Lust. Anger. Sadness. Companionship. Books taught me that I would never be alone, as long as I was able to pick one of them up and immerse myself in the world that the author had created for me. There is an endless list of things that books have introduced me to over the years, and there’s no way for me to explain how grateful I am for that.

It seems though, that there will always be people that feel the need to challenge that. People that think they know what the youth of the world should be reading and what words they should be consuming. How dare young people read about sexual situations? Or violence? Or racially charged moments? Or various religious viewpoints? Sexual orientation that isn’t heterosexual? Witchcraft or magic? How dare authors put those things into words? We must challenge and ban those books! Put a stop to them! At least that’s what the various parents, teachers, politicians, and board members seem to think.

In those regards, we must also ban the news, right? And most television shows. And political debates, we can’t have those things popping up and tainting the minds of our youth, can we? Most art should go, right? Quite a bit of nudity in those silly old paintings and statues. And all education should cease in regards to the civil rights movement and things of that nature, can’t have kids hearing of racism, can we?

I hope I’m making it clear how absurd I find this whole thing to be. Banning books on the grounds of things like racism, sexual situations, political viewpoints, the presence of witchcraft, encouragement of “damaging” lifestyles, or violence has never, and will never make sense to me. What will shielding children from these achieve? Are these things that children won’t see or hear on television, in their day to day lives, etc?

Banning books is disgraceful and insulting really, to the intelligence and consciousness of the youth that they are trying to “shield”.

Banned Books Week should be important to all of us. Even if you never experienced that censorship first hand, you should still push for future generations to have the freedom to read and explore. To learn and understand. To be introduced to things in a safe and enlightening way, rather than the harsh realities of the real world. Let them read about depression. Let them understand it. Give them the freedom to explore sexuality. Help them understand it. Make the classics available to them, so they can see the words that helped shape the world around them. Treat them as intelligent and comprehending beings, and maybe they’ll have a better chance of growing up as such.

Parents, teachers, religious organizations, and political organizations alike, have tried to take so many pieces of literature away from the youth of the world. Catcher in the Rye. The Harry Potter Series. The Hunger Games Series. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The Kite Runner. The Great Gatsby. To Kill a Mockingbird. The Lord of the Rings. I think it’s clear that some of these people mean well in their efforts, but I don’t believe that any good has or will ever come of it.

Authors like Maya Angelou, John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and infinitely more have had their books challenged or banned at one time or another, all in the name of censorship.

This is why Banned Books Week matters.

Please, take some time to read and understand what is happening, and why it’s happening, and decide if you would like to stand up for the future of literature.

I believe it is important for the younger generations to have a chance to learn, dream, and understand, while they’re still able, and I feel that Books are able to give them that chance.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, you can visit the American Library Association’s site dedicated to the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the ALA or any of these other wonderful sites.
Some blog posts I’ve read recently that helped inspire me to put my opinion out there and join the conversation;
The Rambler, Illinois College,“Banned Books Week”
Nathan Biberdorf, “We Must Indeed All Band Together, Or Most Assuredly, We Will All Be Banned Separately”
Lady Jane,“Banned Books Week Challenge”
Kateywrites,“#RaisingReaders Monday: fREADom”

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

-Lexie Xx

New to my blog? Why not read a bit about me; Like how I love Doctor Who, or what I would say to my Future Husband if I knew who that person was, or take a look back at various points in my life in my post about my birthday last month? Or, you know, do what ever you’d like. 🙂

12 Autumnal Goals

IMG_2401

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.
IMG_2443

1. Go to a pumpkin patch.

2. Go apple picking.

3. Bake something new.

IMG_2476

4. Carve pumpkins.

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

6. Watch 5 scary movies.

IMG_2533

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

8. Go on an adventure.

9. Work on more photography.

IMG_2685

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

image7

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.

image1

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.

image08

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.

image13

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

30 Day Writing Challenge | Day 19

(Source)
(Source)

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

(Source)
(Source)

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

Sleepy Sundays | Why I love Doctor Who

(Source)
(Source)

Once again, I’m laying in bed, but this time I’ve even been too lazy to get up and get a drink yet. I desperately want a cup of tea but I can’t muster up the energy to move. If you could teleport some tea, with one sugar and a splash of milk, and maybe a muffin or something as well over to me, I’d really appreciate it. Aside from that, there hasn’t been much going on. I’ve spent as much time as possible at home relaxing this weekend, as I have a huge job interview bright and early tomorrow, one that I am absolutely terrified for, but I don’t want to get into that right now. Right now, lets talk about something that makes me happy. I was looking through the results of my poll that I posted the other day asking everyone what they’d like to see out of this blog, and someone mentioned Doctor Who. A subject that I’ve mentioned once or twice in a post or two, but have never really gotten into here on this blog.

Doctor Who wasn’t always a part of my life, I’ll admit it. I’m from America, we didn’t have classic Doctor Who playing here, at least not that I ever saw, so I was only introduced to it when Christopher Eccleston came on the scene as the Ninth Doctor 10 years ago. Yes, I’m one of “those” people, the ones that aren’t “original” Doctor Who fans, but I feel like a lot of people are like that, and it’s totally fine. I caught the flu a year ago and was down for the count for over a week, and that was the moment that I decided to take the time to go back through the Classic Doctor Who episodes available to me on Netflix (lets also just recognize the beauty that is netflix for a second, such an amazing thing). So after that moment, I could officially say that I had seen every episode of Doctor Who and finally understood why everyone loves the Fourth Doctor so very much.

Its difficult to even explain why I love Doctor Who so much. I guess I love it because it reminds me that its okay to dream, and to have an imagination, even though I’m not a child anymore. It lets me stay a child at heart, and that is so incredible. You get to see things that you’ve never dreamt of, and explore worlds that you desperately wish were real (and some that you’re really glad aren’t real). It has this wonderful sense of adventure in everything that happens, from the beautiful and magical parts, to the horrible and sad ones, it always keeps you hooked, and when it’s over I always feel like I’ve gone on this incredible journey with them, even though I’ve never left my couch, and I think it’s clear with this blog how much I love adventure.

Craig Ferguson described it perfectly once when he said that Doctor Who celebrates “the victory of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.” Doctor Who speaks to the best of humanity. It shows that we are capable of love, understanding, nobility, courage, strength, and so much more, and though the show is just that, a show; it still shows us what we should strive for. The Doctor doesn’t care if you’re white or black, or if you’re gay or straight, he doesn’t care if you’re young or old, he just cares that you’re good, and that you can represent the best of humanity with your own actions and your own choices.

I think the biggest thing about Doctor Who that has always stood out to me was that the Doctor never gave up, after all the struggles, loss, pain, fear, torment, everything, he kept going. Even if this isn’t real, and is just a  science fiction show, a children’s show as some call it, I think everyone can learn from this point alone. If he didn’t give up after losing his entire planet, after watching the people he loved die countless times, after encountering enemy after enemy, why should any of us give up in our own lives?

This is one corner, of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see.” – The Doctor

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 5

Day 5: List five places you want to visit.

My blog is full of posts telling you all about where I’d like to visit, and there are many more posts coming up about even more places, but if you haven’t read any of my previous Take Me Away posts and would like to, please check them out! So far I’ve written about Vancouver Canada, Santorini Greece, Skagen Denmark, Krabi Thailand, and Kyoto Japan. But, since this is the prompt for today, I will give you a brief excerpt of some other places I’d like to go, and I hope you’ll keep your eyes peeled for the full posts about all of these places coming soon!

1. Bali Indonesia
2. Champagne France
3. The Amalfi Coast in Italy
4. The Catalonia Region of Spain
5. Nuuk Greenland

For this list, I’ve picked five random places from my list of future travels, so they’re not necessarily the ones I dream of seeing first, and they’re in no particular order, but I do have hopes and dreams of seeing every single one of them, and many more as well! Traveling is one of my biggest dreams. I just feel like I can’t live a life here in my small little bubble knowing that there are so many incredible places and cultures out there to explore. What a dull world it would be if we never took the time and opportunity to have adventures.

(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)

Bali is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, to see the sheer beauty of the place. There is an endless supply of things that I would love to see. Volcanoes, rice paddies, forests, mountains, beaches, coral reefs; everything. I want to see all the beautiful trees and animals, meet many of the local residents, dive around a world war II shipwreck, visit the temples and shrines of the area, and so much more.

(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)

Champagne partially speaks for its self, as I definitely want to take tours of all the various wineries and things that Champagne has to offer. But there is so much more there that I’d also like the chance to experience. Champagne is a historic place, and I love a good bit of history. Later when I write up a full post on this place, you will get an abundance of information on all the things I want to explore in this picturesque area of France, but in a short list, I’d like to see the wineries, the countryside, the “crowned mountain”, and the Gothic cathedrals throughout the city just to name a few.

(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)

The Amalfi coast is a larger area than the other things listed so far, but it is equally as full of beauty. The small towns, the sea, the salty air; I want to experience it all. I’ve never been able to picture myself road tripping in a foreign country quite as much as I can with this place. I see myself in a flowy white sundress, with a big hat on my head and sunglasses on my face, enjoying a nice cone with chocolate gelato on top, walking down the street staring off into the vast blue ocean and the rocky shoreline. I love that I couldn’t help but smile when writing that sentence. There’s something so special about traveling and exploring, even just thinking about it makes me happy.

(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)

I first learned about Catalonia in one of my Spanish classes in high school. As a part of Spain, with its own language and its own identity really, it instantly captured my attention. Barcelona is the largest city in the area that I intend on visiting, but its not the only place I’d like to see. I am a sucker for a good coast line, and the Catalonia region of Spain has it. The whole thing is absolutely breathtaking. A few other things that pull me to Catalonia are the fact that it was Salvador Dali’s home, Sagrada Familia, Girona, the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Casa Batllo, and infinitely more.

(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)
(Source)

Last, but certainly not least, is Nuuk Greenland. Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland, and it is matched in it’s size by the beauty of the place. You’ll find snow, chilly weather, pebble beaches, and much more when you visit this beautiful area of greenland. I’ll keep this one short, because I am currently in the process of writing up a Take Me Away post for this incredible city, but I will let you in on a few things I’d like to see there, like the Nuuk Cathedral, the art museum, and the Qornok, and so much more.

I know I go on and on about how much I want to travel, but I just can’t help it. It is such a strong and intense feeling for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to explore the world. I’m one of those people that feels like their heart is in a place they’ve never even been before, and I’m happy that way for now.

What are five places that you’d really like to visit? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I’m always looking for new places to dream about. 🙂

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

-Lexie Xx