I Can Go the Distance

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For those of you who don’t know, I spent my first semester of the current school year in Europe. The University of Dallas has what is called the Rome Program. A group of 95 students, 5 professors, and a small group of staff live together for four months on the outskirts of Rome. Almost every weekend is a four day weekend, so everyone is allowed to travel outside of Italy until classes resume late Monday morning. There were also tons of class trips made throughout Italy and Greece.

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Our class trip to Greece was basically a week-long vacation.

We went on an overnight boat, which I had never done before! Although the rooms were incredibly small and tight (four per room), the boat itself was massive. The bar was open to all and was placed right in front of a lounge area everyone hung out in.

There are two things I remember most that night:

First, there was a long drive to the port itself. It was a 7 hour drive, so by the time we got on the actual boat I had so much energy! Amongst all the other students who were jetlagged and tired, I was doing the “Wobble” like the fool that I am.

Second, the party of the top deck. Despite the chilly wind and legit fear of falling overboard, it was a lot of fun. It was basically filled with only University of Dallas kids doing random things. Like singing and rapping along to music, reading Aristophanes’ The Frogs for homework, having a dance party, and playing Ninja.

I even scraped my knee pretty badly playing Ninja too hardcore. But I won. Twice. And that’s what really matters.

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So many things happened on this trip that I couldn’t possibly write about. Mostly because, to be honest, I can’t remember a lot of it off the top of my head.

But I do remember visiting some of the most gorgeous monasteries in the world. One of which was on Meteora. While the climb was a nightmare, the view was an absolute dream. With the gorgeous rock formations, and clear blue skies, and amazing landscapes that blew me away.

I will say this, however, beware of the bathrooms in monasteries . . .

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Over the course of our time there, we had multiple on-site lectures given by our professors. One of which was the Temple of Apollo in Delphi.

Now at this particular archaeological site there are three different levels you can see. So on every level we had a different professor give a lecture.

In general I hate climbing, so imagine how it was for us when it began to rain. And I don’t mean just a little drizzle, but like hardcore pouring rain.

While everyone checked earlier that morning what the weather would be like, none of us could have anticipated just how bad it would be. Some of us didn’t even have umbrellas or rain jackets that day.

But despite the nasty weather that day, it was one of the most memorable afternoons those ten days.

Everyone persevered and listened to all three lectures, despite being given an out. We all chose to instead enjoy that afternoon by singing rain-related tunes and jumping in/over puddles we pretended were oceans.

This one, big insane family stuck together in the rain like pros.

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Another on-site lecture we had was at Mycenae.

It’s an archaeological site that contains a tholos tomb called the Treasury of Atreus. This tomb is shaped like a beehive and allows visitors to go inside it. Initially we were outside when our professor began the lecture. Midway through, however, it began to rain…

So this big group of Americans (except for myself and one other kid) rush to the tomb below us to take cover and finish the lecture there.

Our professor, noting the amazing acoustics in the tomb, invited students to stand in the middle where the sound was best and sing.

From Italian opera to a sea ballad to a Shakespeare recitation, we filled the tomb we glorious sound. But it was the finale that was unforgettable.

One of my best friends goes up and invites us all to sing Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. Now throughout our semester together, there were a few songs in particular everyone knew and sang together. Such as Edelweiss from The Sound of MusicHey Stephen by Taylor Swift, Thank You, Next by Ariana Grande, and the song mentioned above.

So altogether, in a circle with our arms around each other’s shoulders, we sing.

Loud and proud and happily.

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We also spent a whole day island hopping.

There were two boats we went on where the top deck was open for seating. The ride was about 2-3 hours long, so some of us would sleep under the warm sun on the top deck or even talk with our professors. I distinctly remember how nice it felt to have the sun come down on my shoulders as the cool wind blew in my face. There was also music paying in the background along with a bit of chatter.

That day we visited two islands that were just gorgeous. One of which had awesome food and views, and the other an open beach and adorable shops. The day was spent looking at things to buy in a bathing suit and running around like madmen.

Even the boat ride back to our hotel was fun. In order to pass the time, we would play cards or hand-clapping games with each other.

The day was equal in fun and exhaustion.

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Our last night in Greece was spent dancing.

There was a group of professional dancers that came to both perform for us and teach us some moves. The night was filled with loud music and sweaty people joyfully dancing the night away. I remember being in my polka dotted and flamingo print dress that I had bought on one of the islands, hair up in a ponytail, with my black ankle booties stomping the ground.

Greece was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

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P.s. Gibbs and the Kids rule.

Stephen’s Heathens suck.

The Hills Are Alive

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For those of you who don’t know, I spent my first semester of the current school year in Europe. The University of Dallas has what is called the Rome Program. A group of 95 students, 5 professors, and a small group of staff live together for four months on the outskirts of Rome. Almost every weekend is a four day weekend, so everyone is allowed to travel outside of Italy until classes resume late Monday morning. There were also tons of class trips made throughout Italy and Greece.

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My second long weekend was spent in Austria.

Just like Paris, I was luck to to visit Salzburg more than once. But I’ll talk about that a little later. For now it’ll be about Vienna.

For my first trip, a small group of us went on an overnight train crossing the borders between Italy and Austria. It was one of my favorite parts of the semester. The train was set up like the one that goes to Hogwarts. A carriage compartment you can share with friends and have tons of snacks in.

One of us even had our 20th birthday that night.

So we had our own little celebration with pringles and some beer (well, in my case orange juice). Everyone spent the night talking and making jokes as we headed into another new country.

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Our time in Vienna was calm and lovely.

We hit the ground running once we arrived.

As we walked to our hostel we stopped by a few places since checkin wasn’t open yet. I had, what I personally believe, to be the best hot chocolate ever. The lady even asked if I wanted white hot chocolate, dark hot chocolate, or milk ho chocolate. I didn’t even know I had options! Pair that with some yummy brownies and I’m good to go.

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After dropping off our bags at the hostel, we went exploring.

Right outside a church we were visiting, there was a small fresh market that sold freshly baked bread and fruits. Everyone sat together, having our own little picnic, eating strawberries and raspberries and pumpernickel bread (a whole loaf of it!).

Soon after we came across a playground with a big merry-go-round and a set of swings. One of which was like a mosh pit and so big that two people could ride it!

Are we too old to be fooling around on playgrounds?

Probably.

Did we care?

Not really.

After spending what was probably an unhealthy amount of time there, we stopped by a burger place nearby.

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Our last day in Vienna was spent visiting a museum and studying at a cool place called Pickwick’s. It’s actually a British pub with tons of great food and books to read for fun.

But our time in Austria wasn’t just spent in Vienna…

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It was also spent in Salzburg, where every Sound of Music fans’ dreams come true!

We went everywhere we could.

From the beautiful gardens where the children learned how to sing, to the Von Trapp household, to the gazebo where two thirsty teenagers shared their first kiss, and many more!

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We even climbed up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Now, when whomever proposed us visiting the place, it was never mentioned that there would be a climb. A big, STEEP climb. Probably the worst I’ve ever done.

Out of the five in our group, two of us were struggling hardcore. And the worst part is that there are literally no places to take break! It’s just a constant uphill battle.

You know, when Mother Superior said to climb every mountain, I thought she meant it figuratively. Not literally for a bunch of out-of-shape college kids.

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We were also fortunate enough to visit Salzburg while a festival was being held there.

We didn’t exactly know it was for, or understood when we tried asking someone, but it was a joy nonetheless.

There was a never ending stream of booths that sold pretzels, and schnitzel, and gelato, and ornaments, and other wonderful things! There was eve n a few rides set up, like a small Ferris wheel and swing ride.

We spent the day eating as much as we could handle (both interns of our stomachs and our wallets), starting from chocolate covered strawberries that tasted like heaven. Afterwards, a young group of drummers and singers were leading the general crowd towards someplace. Intrigued, we joined in until we reached the beautiful church Kollegienkirche. Although Salzburg is typically a quiet place to be in, our time there was filled with festivities and fun that will forever be cherished.

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Little Me, In Paris

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For those of you who don’t know, I spent my first semester of the current school year in Europe. The University of Dallas has what is called the Rome Program. A group of 95 students, 5 professors, and a small group of staff live together for four months on the outskirts of Rome. Almost every weekend is a four day weekend, so everyone is allowed to travel outside of Italy until classes resume late Monday morning. There were also tons of class trips made throughout Italy and Greece.

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I was fortunate enough to visit the City of Lights twice.

It took both times and two 3 hour visits for me to barely finish one floor of the Louvre. And let me tell you, that Mona Lisa is teeny. The museum taunts you by putting up signs everywhere saying “She’s this way” and making visitors climb stairs after stairs after stairs. And of course you do so quickly because you want to get there before the crowd gets too big. But at least I got to say that I saw it in person.

The museum is a maze. It is never ending in its treasures and beauties. The floor I explored was 1 (the others being -2, -1, 0 and 2). My personal favorite was the Denon Wing, in particular the Napoleon III Apartments.

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There is also a great cafe called Hubsy that I recommend to college students visiting Paris. It is exceedingly cheap considering all the things they provide you. You pay a set fee depending on the number of hours you are there, and in return you get free WiFi and unlimited snacks and drinks. It also helps that the place itself is pretty cozy.

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Lucky for us, climbing the Arc de Triomphe was free!

Since we had to stay for such a long time in Italy, everyone has student visas that made us legal residents of the EU for the time being. Apparently for EU residents it’s free to climb the monument!

The climb, while exhausting, was worth it in my opinion. The view allowed us to see not only the overall city, but also the Eiffel Tower during it’s light show. It was just a few of us, fooling around in the cool air while looking around like the tourists that we are.

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During my second visit, we took a day trip to the Palace of Versailles.

Although we had purchased tickets online, the line was simply horrendous. It was so long that it created three huge loops outside the palace, kind of like a huge snake. And while the wait was long and the heat was strong, our little group passed the time making jokes and playing games.

The palace is gorgeous.

With it’s black and white tiles and elaborate gold ornaments, the palace was indeed beautiful. A friend and I even had a meal there. Albeit a little expensive, but delicious nonetheless (with a much cheaper dinner that night). Their orange juice was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. It even came with their own fancy bottle and label! 😀

I was most excited to see the Hall of Mirrors, but ended up falling in love with other items within that room. While the mirrors were indeed impressive, it was the multiple chandeliers and painting-covered ceiling that made me awestruck.

We ended the trip with some macaroons from Laudurée. Expensive, and small, but delicious! If you ever visit one, make sure to get a ribbon there! There’s blue, green, lavender and pink.

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My favorite part of both my trips to Paris was seeing the Eiffel Tower at night.

After the trip to Versailles, we took our macaroons and sat down in an open space right in front of the Tower. It’s a clear, grass field that is open to the public and perfect for seeing the entire Tower.

There were tons of people there.

Families with their children playing around, couples taking romantic photos, and groups of young adults just like us having picnics.

We watched the sun set right before the light show began.

The rest of the night was spent eating our macaroons, making funny videos, and dancing along to “Stand By Me.” It was one of my favorite moments in the entire semester.

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And while I was blessed to see Paris twice, there is still so much more to see and do there!

Such as climbing the Eiffel Tower (once I earn more money, of course).

And visiting Saints Chapelle with all its glorious stained glass!

And the booklover in me must of course visit Shakespeare and Company too!

There is still so much wonder to discover in the city that I have yet, and will hopefully one day, see for myself.

I will, however, warn future fellow university student visitors that Paris is very expensive. It is a very hectic place and their Metro system made my head hurt.

But Paris will always have a special place in my heart, as it was the first time I had ever traveled somewhere without any parental OR school guidance. Not to mention that it’s also the first, and I proudly proclaim the only, place I was ever lost in.

For two hours.

Alone.

With a dying phone.

It was truly an experience to remember.

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If Bliss Could Be A Color, It’d Be Amalfi Blue

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For those of you who don’t know, I spent my first semester of the current school year in Europe. The University of Dallas has what is called the Rome Program. A group of 95 students, 5 professors, and a small group of staff live together for four months on the outskirts of Rome. Almost every weekend is a four day weekend, so everyone is allowed to travel outside of Italy until classes resume late Monday morning. There were also tons of class trips made throughout Italy and Greece.

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Our first class trip was to Souther Italy, otherwise known as Campania.

One of the few places we went to was Amalfi Coast. It’s famous for it’s delicious lemons and gorgeous beaches. We spent the morning strolling around, visiting churches and eating delicious lemon treats. My favorite was the lemon-flavored granita, which is basically a fancy version of a slushy.

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We were told that the Amalfi beach inspired many Greek stories, like the Sirens in The Odyssey. The day was unbearably hot and humid, making the blue waters that much more welcoming. We all practically ran towards the cool waters, with sweat dripping down our faces and backs.

As beautiful as it was, however, the waves were hella wild. They kept throwing us against the sharp boulders, covered with mushy algae and sea urchins. I even almost fully stepped on one. Eventually I just gave up actual swimming and stuck to the shore.

The sand there wasn’t even sand either. It was instead small pebbles that burned like the sun and were painful to walk on barefoot.

Some kids even went cliff diving. In theory this is a pretty cool (probably insane) idea. If it weren’t for the height. Or the 20 minute nonstop swim to it. Or the crazy waves. Or the sharp boulders. One of us even hurt their leg and had to put it in a cast. A lot of us also got cuts and bruises.

The Amalfi Coast, while gorgeous, was not in the least relaxing or calm.

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We ended the trip in Positano, where some of my favorite memories are.

Like the dance parties in the hotel lobby and the sunset watching at the beach. Especially the beach.

It was about a five minute walk from the hotel we were staying at, and almost everyone wanted to watch the sunset there for our last night of the trip. The beach, unlike the one at Amalfi, was calm. With soft sand and warm waves that gently rocked us about.

The sky was magnificent. A complete gradient of colors that reflected off of the waters like an impressionistic painting. One moment it would be orange and yellow, and in another purple and pink. With this as our gorgeous backdrop, everyone sang songs and acted like complete fools. For that one night everyone let loose before heading back to work the following morning.

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Sweater Weather

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EVE

Sheela Writes and I have come together for another collaboration.

In the spirit of winter and cool weather, we decided to put together looks centered around sweaters.

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I found my sweater in a clothing outlet in Sarawak, which is where my mother is from.

It was fate that I found it and have it. I mean, Eve is not exactly the most common name.

The sweater is perfect for dodging awkward conversations wherein someone forgets your name. And if you don’t feel like talking to people in general. Which happens frequently for me…

The store that I bought the sweater from was in what was once known as CityONE Megamall. For those of you who don’t know, there was a gas explosion that took place in early December and the mall is now destroyed.

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Ring is momma’s and shades from Urban Outfitters.
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Nothing like a good pair of booties.

My sweater has EVE written with embroidery patches across the front, while momma bear’s has two matching silver metallic unicorns.

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I went for a “sweet” look with a badass edge.

I paired what I call my “Sugar Plum Fairy” dress with my signature black ankle booties and a few unique rings. I then tied my sweater in the back to keep myself warm and prevent myself from looking baggy.

Whereas Momma Bear went the opposite way: edgy with a twinge of cuteness.

While the unicorn sweater would normally be passed for just “cute” or “adorable,” she pushes it forward by accentuating the metallic silver with her bling. Not to mention the mixing of prints that she does so brilliantly (plaid and camouflage). And of course there’s that mermaid hair (which I hate-love her for).

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Thanks for tuning in this week and make sure to come back for more.

And don’t forget to comment whose sweater look you love the most!

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Here Comes Santa Claus…

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Buddy the Elf, who?

This is a special holiday collaboration with Jodie’s Touch of Style, Sheela Writes, and newcomer Michael Durden. We have put together outfits centered around the one and only Old Saint Nick. Except for me, because I’m more of the sassy elf that never gets any work done. But always serving the looks. 💋

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Time to kick off the holiday season 😉

 

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❤️❤️❤️
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Watch out hoes!

Check us out!

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Sass in spades.
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A real life Candy Cane Princess!
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YAS 👏👏👏
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Jodie’s boots are literally giving me life!
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Nothing says “BADASS” like red leather gloves.
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A classy, all-red outfit ❤️

Battle of the Christmas Spirit 🤶🎅

 

Outtakes!

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Fancy Jeans

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This is the last edition of a two-part collaboration with Jodie’s Touch of Style and Sheela Writes. We have put together outfits centered around jeans. Also, though unintentional, it is a collaboration amongst mothers and daughters ❤

The last of the series is to “dress up” and be fancy.

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Top from Poshmark.
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Sneaker wedges from ShoeDazzle.
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Cuff from an indie boutique.

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Here’s the squad in our full glory:

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MOI.
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Momma is such a boss.
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In love with Jodie’s gold tones.
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That sequin top is to die for.
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Stacey, that is such a pretty top and an adorable yellow bag.

If you’ve followed my blog before, you’ll notice that we are short a woman this time.

Nancy is currently on sabbatical and wasn’t able to participate. However, Jodie managed to rope in her best friend, Stacy, and have her step in for our jeans collaboration.

Much love to Nancy and a warm welcome to Stacy! 🙂

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Jeans from Forever 21.

Thank you for joining us this week!

Hope you liked the looks we put together for this collaboration.

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Casual Jeans

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Plaid jacket borrowed from my momma.
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Tank from Poshmark.
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Jeans from Forever 21.

This is the first edition of a two-part collaboration with Jodie’s Touch of Style and Sheela Writes. We have put together outfits centered around jeans. Also, though unintentional, it is a collaboration amongst mothers and daughters ❤

The first of the series is to “dress down” be casual. The last one will show jeans in a “fancy” way, which shall be posted at the end of the week.

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Our squad lookin’ fresh in our jeans:

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Mine, of course 😉
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That moto jacket is to die for!
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Lovin’ this bohemian look, Jodie.
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I really like that plaid jacket 🙂

If you’ve followed my blog before, you’ll notice that we are short a woman this time.

Nancy is currently on sabbatical and wasn’t able to participate. If you read Monday’s post, you’d know that Stacy, Jodie’s best friend, joined us for the “fancy” portion of the collaboration. However, she was unable to make it for the “casual” part.

Much love and thanks to the both of them though! 🙂

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Make sure to check back on Friday to see our fancy jeans outfits!

 

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Shoes were a gift from momma.

20 More Facts About Me

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Dress from Goodwill.

1.eWhenever I wake up, my left eye is closed until I’m no longer groggy.

2. I’m a true Gemini: one moment I’m going to fight and cut you, in another I want snuggles and love.

3. I hate milk. Unless it’s chocolate.

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Boots from Target.
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Blazer from Charlotte Russe.

4. I hate bananas. They make me want to throw up…

5. My favorite rom com is The Proposal. Then it’s Crazy, Stupid Love.

6. I skipped fourth grade in my Malaysian elementary school, but when I transferred to my American elementary school I returned to my original grade level.

7. Roses and sunflowers are my favorite flowers.

8. I’ve dyed my hair pink, purple, blue, blonde, green, and various shades of brown.

9. My lucky number is 9.

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My train.
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Clutch bought at the Singapore Zoo.

10. My first pair of heels is Audrey Brooke.

11. I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve only ever had sprains.

12. Whataburger is my favorite fast food chain.

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#BLUEFEELS

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13. Chicken is my favorite meat.

14. Libraries are my favorite places.

15. I don’t do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke. I get lit all on my own.

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16. At one point in time, I considered pursuing photojournalism.

17. My favorite things to do are taking naps, scrapbooking, and eating.

18. Strawberries are my favorite.

19. I’m a mama’s girl.

20. My nose and shoulders are the only parts of me that burn.

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20 Facts About Me

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Gemini necklace from momma. Cross necklace from Charlotte Russe.

1. I was read Enid Blyton books as a child.

2. I hate vegetables. They’re basically grass.

3. My favorite Pixar film is Finding Nemo. Then Monsters Inc..

4. I loved Bratz growing up. I still think they’re better than Barbie.

5. I always curl my toes and feet inward without even realizing it.

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6. When I was a little girl, I thought I wanted to become an artist when I grew up.

7. I call my cousin, Marian, Squirt and she calls me Stretch because of our insane height difference.

8. While I was taking ballet lessons as a child, my teacher told my mother that I trotted like a horse instead of danced. Clearly I wasn’t meant to become a ballerina.

9. The first movie I remember watching is 27 Dresses.

10. I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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Fields of Gold

11. I attended three different elementary schools. One in Malaysia, two in Texas.

12. I suck at math.

13. My first phone was a Nokia.

14. The first thing I look for at an airport is an Auntie Anne’s.

15. I love watching the trailers that play before a movie starts.

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Shoes are Antonio Melani.
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Dress from Forever 21.
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Fun fact: this was shot in the rain.

16. I used to always say that I’d attend an out-of-state university, but ended up choosing one in Irving, Dallas.

17. The songs I’m currently playing on repeat are Girls Like You by Maroon5 and Back to You by Selena Gomez.

18. When I was very young, I’d refer to myself in third person plural.

19. My first imaginary friend was a pig with wings. For some reason this made my mother worry that Satan was befriending me. Also because of #18.

20. I don’t know how to ride a bike.

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