Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Georgetown!

Today, I'm actually rocking my Monogram Meredith tank right now, so it's all still close to my heart (literally). I mean, when you have free marketing, what else are you going to do?? Plus, it's much hotter here and I can actually wear tank tops. Ironically, I wore it playing volleyball yesterday...funny how I wrote about missing volleyball just the other day.

It's been absolutely insane, though. I keep thinking about how I'm going to write about this experience, and I honestly don't know if I'll be able to. It's something like I've never ever done and I'm in love with it all.

But the other day, we went to DC and Georgetown and I thought I'd share a few of those pictures!

 
It was hot as blue blazes, much different than it was in San Francisco! We all wanted to look cute, but didn't want to get too uncomfortable because we'd be walking all day. I wore my favorite shirt dress (from Old Navy!) and was very happy with it all day.
 
And of course, there's the Capitol in the background.
 
 
We also saw the White House! Crunched for time, we took a cab there, took a few pictures, and headed back to our shuttle we were taking to Georgetown.
 
 
First of all, let me say that Georgetown is absolutely one of the cutest little cities I've ever seen! I've been to DC a few times before, but never Georgetown. It was so cute and I loved it tons!
 
 
 
Of course, we had to go to Georgetown Cupcake, where the show is filmed. Was the one $3 cupcake worth the 45 minute wait? Maybe not, but saying I did it was worth it all. And it was still good!
 
But really, how I'd love to live in Georgetown some day. It's the cutest and I'm obsessed!
 
Right now, I still can't believe I'm here. Philadelphia is absolutely fantastic and Penn is breathtaking and wonderful. Writing this, I'm sitting in the Quad on my laptop, listening to music and talking to other people, and loving every minute of it. I'm not even letting myself think about leaving.
 
Let's just hope I get through presenting my business plan, that'll be crazy.
 
with much love,
Mere
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Philly

Freaking out because: I am in Philadelphia, at the great University of Pennsylvania!
Like I've written about plenty of times before, we were in San Francisco for the Leadership in the Business World at the Wharton school. In SF, the Wharton facility is used by executive MBA students, so we got a real treat being in that building! But there are actually 60 other LBW kids in Philly, on the real Penn campus, so for the last week of the program, all 120 students are here!
Yesterday, we flew out of SF into Philly- super fun flight. Losing three hours in the time difference, six hours to a flight, and only getting four hours of sleep the night before is really causing me to be confused and tired, but I'm so happy to be here! Today we're getting up and going to New York City, I mean, talk about a lot of traveling!
But I'm also suffering from lack of wi-fi on my computer (sorry that I'm such a 21st century girl) and an unoperable phone camera (how am I supposed to Instagram??), and I'm a tad behind on blogging. I miss it so much! Don't worry, I'll have TONS to write about and ramble about when I can. But don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@mlscroggin) and on Instagram (@meredithscroggin)!
xoxo,
Mere

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mini Chocolate Chip Cakes

Let's all take a minute and freak out because IT'S A NEW BAKING RECIPE!

You love baking, I love baking, and I don't know how I've gone four whole weeks without being in a kitchen baking. Heck, I haven't been in a kitchen at all or even made my own meal in four weeks.

And oh, how I've missed real baked goods. In our cafeteria, sometimes, on these rare occasions, they have desserts that can make me think of back home. But nothing can compare to a real recipe with the satisfaction of knowing that you made it.

So that's why I'm sharing one of the best recipes in my family and one of the best recipes ever. I'm not kidding, my friends know about Ms. Marta's chocolate chip cake. They ask for it whenever there's some sort of get-together, because it's just that good. It's a simple, classic chocolate chip bundt cake, but the moist cake paired with the decadent chocolate makes it unforgettable.

Even as someone who prefers white cake over chocolate cake (please don't hate me), I could eat this forever and ever.

But remember a couple of weeks ago when I had my party and made a ton of food- including cream cheese garlic dip, cake balls, and a rant about Polo dresses thrown in there? Same party! I decided to take the recipe for the one cake pan and turn it into mini bundt cakes. And who doesn't love mini cakes?? Remember my amazing mini-cupcakes from flag day? Miniature versions of foods are just so doggone cute.

They turned out wonderfully and everyone really loved them. They were mini cakes of the best cake that already exists! How could it go wrong?



Mini Chocolate Chip Cakes

Ingredients
  • 1 butter-flavored yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix together the first seven ingredients until blended well and smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into greased mini bundt cake pans, only filling up about 2/3 of the way.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • While warm, pop out of the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.
  • Can be served with ice cream, chocolate syrup, etc. Enjoy!
Note: If interested in making the large bundt cake (which I totally recommend), bake for 50-60 minutes!

xoxo,
Meredith

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happily Exhausted

As I write this, I am absolutely exhausted. I mean, I'm waiting for a team meeting to start and trying to stay awake. Most of this week has been an effort to stay awake and be alert, but I can't be happier.

I know it looks like I've been a really bad blogger...and I'm so sorry! I can't even stay awake right now to type this, but I figured I'd post a few things!

Yesterday, we went to Tesla Motors and Google. Pretty much the best day I've ever had, not even kidding. It was too legit to be at Google, especially a company that I use the products of every day (I mean, Google owns Blogger!). But I'll have to write more about how in love I am with Google later.

 
The girls (and Fred) at Tesla.
 
 
Team Puff Daddies at Google!
 
 
They let us hang out and look at the cars at Tesla!
 
Today, we're going to the beach at Santa Cruz. San Francisco may be in California, but it's definitely not warm: very foggy, cool, and cloudy, so I'm pumped to be in the sunshine!
 
lots of sunshine love,
Mere

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Looking Back at Volleyball

The middle of July can mean a lot of things for different people, but athletes know why the middle of July is so important: end of dead period.

Now, I don't know about other states or regions or what have you, but I know that it can be a general consensus that when it gets closer to August, athletes know that their few days of summer (and those two weeks without sports) are coming to an end. Because it's tryout time.

To be honest, I would have completely forgotten about it. But back home, my brother and sister are both trying out for high school soccer. Brandon, just recovering from two concussions, is going through six hours a day in the hottest weather you can imagine, and Shelby, an incoming freshman, is trying out for a school soccer team for the very first time (at my school!!!!).

And if you'll remember, a long, long, long time ago, I used to actually be an athlete, and a pretty intense one, at that. So that's why I laugh thinking about this time last year, because so much has changed and I can't even explain it. Remember my super intense Throwback Thursday post in May? I had tons of people tell me they teared up and loved it. This time last year, I was stressed beyond belief.

Volleyball used to be my life. I was a student and an athlete. Maybe not the best athlete, but that's why I had to work so hard at it. I was always at strengthening sessions and open gyms and practices and tournaments, and I loved it, but I thought that that hard work would eventually get me to the skill level I wanted to be at.

 
Starting at a new high school freshman year, volleyball was honest to goodness the best way that I got to know people. I had my middle school friends, but we were such a small group and none of them played, so I had to quickly make friends with people I'd played with for a few years. I crack up looking at this picture because it was taken before the academic freshman year had even started, and I start to see a few people that I'm still close with today.
 
Volleyball taught me how to befriend everyone and work in a team.
 
 
First off, can we take a minute to just laugh at this picture and find the odd things?? This was taken in the fall (freshman year), when I should've been tan, my makeup is way too dark to function, and that smile was taken off some freaky mannequin. Whatevs.
 
The important part is that volleyball really made me feel part of a team and made me feel special. Just little things like this, when we had secret buddies and they'd decorate our lockers, made me feel fantastic. I loved it.
 
 
Volleyball taught me about working hard for an end goal, even when you're not the one directly affecting it. My freshman year, the varsity team had the chance to go to the state competition. I'll tell you what, I hauled booty to get to Louisville and cheer on our devils. I wasn't playing, but I wanted our team to win so badly. Megan (pictured) and I made so many signs, painted up, and showed our true spirit.
 
 
Volleyball emphasized the value of knowing yourself, and knowing yourself well. One of my best friends, Elizabeth, would put inspirational quotes on my locker every game day, and I would do the same for her. This is where my quote obsession started, but it's also when my sense of self-efficacy began as well.
 
 
Volleyball made me love people that I might not have talked to beforehand. This group above had so many differences, but we all loved volleyball so much and wanted to win more than anything (hence the first place trophy pictured).
 
 
 
These two pictures make me really miss volleyball, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
 
It cracked me up when people would ask how volleyball was going, I told them I wasn't playing (they figured I was cut), and they started to apologize profusely. But it was funny because I was so over it.
 
Getting cut from my high school volleyball team was one of the lowest parts of my life (silly to think about that now): I cried for a day straight and didn't sleep.
 
Ironically, getting cut from my high school volleyball team was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned so much about myself and so much about what I truly enjoy that not getting to play volleyball was truly a blessing in disguise. I love the sport (and still do), but I'm simply not a natural athlete. Not a natural athlete in that I can't breathe and sleep the sport, and that I can't physically be up to par with others.
 
I believe in hard work, but at the end of the day, if I'm not enjoying it, why am I doing it?
 
So like I talked about in that May post, everything that's happened to me since that last middle of July has been for the better. Never in a million years did I think that I would be happy for not making the team (one of the best high school teams in the state, if I may add), but here I am. Without being cut, I probably wouldn't have loved Pinterest (my friends will attest that the days after the cut decision, I spent 30 hours on Pinterest), wouldn't have loved to bake, wouldn't have loved to craft, wouldn't have loved to be more social, and most of all, wouldn't have Monogram Meredith and wouldn't love to write.
 
Although much of it was a crying blur on that July night, I do remember my favorite verse echoing over and over in my head:
 
Whether you're an athlete dreading the tryout, a student fretting about the new school year, or just nervous, know that everything works out for the better in the end. I promise.
 
xoxo,
Meredith

Monday, July 15, 2013

California Gurlz

I have so many emotions. Maybe I'm just becoming emotional, but I cannot even fathom to you how much fun and fantastic everything has been this past week!

I mean, how has a full week gone by? How was it that a week ago, I knew no one, and now I have best friends? How is it that people I met only a few days ago I'm already knowing the ins and outs of? How is it that I've already absorbed so much information in such a little period of time? How is it that my business team is already my family?

I may have been so incredibly busy to write a formal post, but I have been informally journaling to keep up with what we've actually done so far, and I'll share some of those later.

But for now, some of the best pictures from the week.

 
Aren't these homes on the river too legit??
 
 
We totes rock the business casual. Trust me, we've all learned what business casual really is. More to come on that later.
 
 
I cannot explain how happy being in a t-shirt and yoga pants makes me. We'd wear dresses/skirts from 6 in the morning to 10 at night and being casual was so stinking nice. Plus, now they all know me as the 'monogram girl' and all want shirts. I'm just walking advertisements.

 
This is the Wharton facility, placed in the old Hill Bros Coffee shop, super cool!
 
 
Here are some of the fun people I've met so far!
 
 
Friday, we went to eBay (San Jose), where we got a TON of free stuff: t-shirt, bag, notebook, pen, and a waterbottle. And I get super pumped about freebies.
 
 
 
I know this isn't the best picture, but I bowled SO HARD with some of the best friends I've ever made. We even made it a competition (I've quickly learned that everyone is as competitive as me, even in little things) between the guys and the girls. Naturally, us un-proficient-bowler girls lost.
 
 
 
 
Saturday was considered just a free day, so we went to the Golden Gate Bridge! Too much fun and way too cool.
 
 
 
The absolute BEST part of Saturday was our amazing race all over San Francisco (photos above are shots from the trip). And when I say all over, I mean all over. At 11 AM, they literally just gave us a list of things with point values, and told us to meet us back at Union Square at 5. A pure SIX hours to completely dominate the other teams.
 
The rules were that 8 out of the 9 people in the team had to be in the photo (so one person could take it), which turned out to be a bigger struggle than it seemed. Lunch was on our own and we could go as fast as we wanted. So we went fast.
 
 
We had to find '101 California' and be as creative as we wanted with it to win!
 
 
A Pipe Dream.
 
 
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
 
 
This was hilarious. Our task was to find a non-LBWer in Penn attire, so we asked this kid on the bus if we could take our picture with him.
 
We did SO many other things (I just don't have the pictures for them), but it's safe to say that I've never embarrassed myself so much as I did that day, especially with people I'd just met.
 
I mean, heck, I did leap frog on a playground in the middle of Chinatown, did the Macarena in the MIDDLE of the pier for a flash mob, yelled 'I volunteer as tribute!' on a moving bus, asked street performers if they would sing the Canadian anthem with us (they did.) and so much more.
 
 Standing on that bus at the very end, it didn't feel like I was in a business program and that there were other people, it honest to goodness felt like that team was my family.
 
 
Aren't we just the cutest team out there?
 
No wonder we win everything.
 
xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kaintuck

I'll tell you right now, I am a proud Kentuckian. I was born and raised in the great city of Lexington, Kentucky and I love it to death. It's a perfect balance of a city and farmland, which makes it so great.



But when I got to LBW, it was the funniest thing hearing people's reactions to me being from Kentucky!

I mean, I had no idea that people outside the south really had such strong stereotypes of Kentucky. And it's not like I even live in some small town of the state, I live in the second biggest (but definitely the best) city! So I'm here to declare my Kentucky pride and share some of the funniest things I've heard just in these past few days.

First off, usually when people ask me where I'm from, I say Lexington, Kentucky, because it's important, right?! There's a HUGE difference between Lexington and say, Mayfield. Now, nothing wrong with Mayfield, but they're completely different in all aspects. And most people near Kentucky have some sort of connection with Lexington (UK, Keeneland, etc.), so that's why I always include it.

But apparently, if you're from anywhere in Kentucky, you're just from Kentucky. As if there's no differentiation between any of the cities. Heaven forbid someone from California say that they're just from California, they absolutely have to be from Los Angeles, San Jose, or some other memorable city. But here, Kentucky is Kentucky.

Why don't you have an accent?
NOT EVERYONE IN KENTUCKY OR THE SOUTH HAS AN ACCENT. How many times do you want me to scream this and tell everyone that just because I'm from below the Mason Dixon line, I'm not required to have a country/southern accent??? I've definitely met people from Kentucky that do speak differently, but like I said, I'm from Lexington!

So do you live on a farm?
Alright, alright, this one is reasonable. Lexington is known for horse farms (HORSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD WHOOP WHOOP), so it makes sense that there are a significant people that live on farms. But I don't! Where do you think the rest of Lexington's economy comes from? I ain't got no horses or sheep.

What do you even do in Kentucky?
This question came from an NYC friend who's super sweet, but it cracked me up....we do normal teenage things in Kentucky. We go to parties, we hang out, we go shopping, literally nothing is much different than another big city. But sadly, I couldn't for the life of me think of anything cool that we have in Lexington. However, if you think about it, I live in the prime spot for college sports. We may not have any pro sports teams, but heck, we've got the great University of Kentucky, and everyone here bleeds blue. So it's normal to go to every basketball game religiously and cancel events if there's a home football game.

And then what's the plus side of living in the horse capital? Keeneland. The infamous horse racing tracks where everyone goes to get fancy and bet on the horses. It's something completely unlike anywhere in the country, so I try to brag about it as much as I can. I just love Keeneland.

 

I don't mean to be rude, but I don't have any clue where Kentucky even is.
??????WHAT????? It's not some obscure state, it's Kentucky! You know, right above Tennessee, to the west of Virginia, right below Ohio and Indiana? It exists, I promise. Just keep driving south and I promise you can eventually get to it.

Does Kentucky have a beach?
I'll admit, this was a few years ago at Passport, asked by someone who had barely ever been out of South Carolina. But no....Kentucky doesn't have a beach. Like come on, you have to drive through a few states to get to the ocean.

Do you eat fried chicken?
...No comment. Except for the fact that I'd rather clog my arteries with something else than eat at KFC.

I've never met anyone from Kentucky, THAT IS SO COOL!
After hearing that, I'll have to admit that I felt pretty special. A compliment among the confused comments, I felt unique to be from Kentucky. So many people here are from the northeast or are international students, so being from the south is a real rarity. One girl just thought it was legit that I was from Kentucky!

I never thought that I'd be reppin my great state here at LBW. I've got a lot to prove that Kentucky isn't the state that gets on the news for having a woman get superglued to a toilet in Walmart or the man that was forced to eat his own beard. I'm here to say that I live in the prime state between north and the south with enough diversity to go around. I'm here to say that Kentucky is where some of our nation's finest are from: Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, George Clooney, Ashley Judd, Johnny Depp (his mom still lives in Lex!), Muhammad Ali, and the list could go on and on. We have Ale-8 and horses and bourbon and Corvettes and I love it.

And we've got the University of Kentucky and the BBN (Big Blue Nation)! I've never felt such pride for being a UK fan (there is a guy here from the United Kingdom, but I don't think that counts).

 
Going for 9.
 
 
Goggles up.
 
 
 
Can we just keep going back to when we won the NCAA championship in 2012?

So here I am, a native Kentuckian, letting the world know that I love where I come from and wouldn't change it for anything!

xoxo,
Meredith


PS: This is meant to be humor, not a nag at anyone! I'm having a blast working with the most intellectual and passionate kids I've ever met in my life, but that's for another time :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do You Have the Time?

I have a friend who's obsessed with watches. I mean, one time, I thought he was only playing on his phone, but he was actually online shopping for watches.

And I'm starting to feel a little bit like that. I randomly got a new watch from Target (still in love, it works perfectly at Leadership in the Business World (LBW), but I still feel the need to look through more and more watches. It's becoming a problem.

 
I can totally rock the digital watch (I have been for years) and the one above is what I have, but apparently it's not the most professional. Whatevs. But of course I went through some of my favorite brands and found the ones I LOVE. I'm so digging the tortoise shell, but who isn't? 
 
 
 
 Kate Spade watches




Kate spade jewelry
nordstrom.com



Kate spade jewelry
katespade.com



Kate spade watch
bloomingdales.com



Kate spade jewelry
katespade.com



 I just think that Kate Spade is so chic and classic! I mean, the quilted watch is to die for.


 
Michael Kors watches



Michael kor
asos.com



Michael kor
cusp.com



Michael kor
$360 - julesb.co.uk



Michael kor
cusp.com



Michael michael kor
nordstrom.com

And you simply can't shop for watches without thinking of Michael Kors! I don't know a lot about designers, but I know that I love Michael Kors.

 

Fossil watches


Fossil is probably what I'll end up with- very cute but still not over the top expensive! I've even tried on that tortoise one in the store and it felt just perfect.
 
Again, sorry if these Polyvore creations aren't the best, I'm still a newbie!

What kind of watch do you have?

xoxo,
Meredith