Monday, September 30, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
So when a few people on my Facebook feed were sharing posts from this page called 'Humans of New York', I figured there was something to it. I finally clicked on it and honest to goodness spent two hours just on my phone, looking at every photo they'd posted on that page. This really cool, great guy, Brandon Stanton, wanted to take a photographic census of New York, so he started a photography blog with photos of thousands of people in New York and their little stories and quotes. It's incredible.
Here's an example of one. (Click on this link or on the photo to make it larger)
I know that this guy's been doing this for three years and already has over 1.3 million Facebook likes. I know people already know about him, but gosh dang it, I just had to share it.
People like this are the reason we all still have to have a little faith in the world. Stanton is the kind of guy that listens and absorbs everything he hears, shares what he loves, and tries to leave the world a little better than he found it. Isn't that what we all should aspire to do?
CHECK IT OUT. I promise you won't regret it.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Wait, what? This is Monogram Meredith's 100th post??
I'm absolutely amazed and excited for this. Who would've thought that I could keep this up and this little silly blog could turn into the biggest aspect of my life?
Yesterday when I wrote about life being great and having its ups and downs, this blog is one of those exciting things. And I'm so proud of that. I write because I'm in control of it and have free range of what to write about. The fact that I've taken that free range and gotten to 100 posts make my insides flutter a little bit. I'll probably be
And speaking of birthdays, this is a mini shoutout to my good friend Gates, who's turning 17 today!
Anyway, I hope y'all have a great weekend full of excitement and wonderful things.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
But this year, I was introduced to real life.
I think I had always been in this bubble of 'work hard and get what you want' and 'the best things happen to people who try the hardest', because it's kind of what I had been surrounded by. Work hard and see the things you want. You want good friendships? Work hard to make sure you keep in touch. You want to make money? Get a job (...or start your own business). You want good grades? Study hard.
They're all logical, smart things to think about. Easy solutions to sometimes difficult problems. Very black and white. But this year, I was introduced to real life, a more grey area. You see, I always thought that if I gave something my all, I could get it. There have been disappointments and sad times in my life, but I always thought they were fixable. This year, I've been stressed with several things and thought if I had only worked a little bit harder, I could achieve my goals. However, when I try my hardest and am still stressed, I only have more anxiety put on me. It angered me that I was working hard and trying my best, but there were still things in my life that weren't working out the best for me. And then I realized: this is real life stuff.
For me, anxiety comes from the uncontrollable aspects of life. The things that you put a lot of work into, yet you can't control the results. This drives me crazy to no end, because I'm one of those annoying, meticulous control freaks. Responsibilities exist, and they're real ones. You can't screw up a real life responsibility, because real life consequences follow, sometimes consequences that are unpreventable.
And I'm not exactly sure how to go about these things that aren't going my way... other than to accept them. We have to accept who we are as a person (yes, I have to accept that I'm a control freak) and be willing to try our best and our hardest at whatever we do, with great goals in sight. Set goals, and don't accept failures as the ideal situation, but learn from them. I can't control all the failures in my life, sad and nerve-wrecking as it might be. It's hard to accept that my life in Area X isn't where I want it to be, but I have to.
Because it's life.
I know I'm only 17 years old and that I've barely experienced any of the world or even grown-up things. I know that there will be plenty more failures, much, much worse failures, heartbreaks, and tragedies. I know that. And I am a little scared for it, but it's okay, because I'm just trying to enjoy things right now.
Life is great, it really is. You know how excited I get about my life and the things that will come forward in it. But there's a reason that someone started saying "that's life, man" after someone complains about his/her problems. Life is full of surprises and changes and failures and happiness and congratulations and sadness. We say "that's life" because there's no way to describe what each individual in this massive world is going through, other than "life". Life's tough sometimes, and I've come to meet that, especially this year. But life's also great, and you, my friends, are going places. It can be tough right now and you have no way to describe your situation, but if you keep at it and have a little faith, something will work out. Maybe not everything you ever wanted, but enough to keep you loving life as much as I do.
And I don't mean to be cheesy or 'basic', but one of my favorite books of all time is Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I found these.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
A couple of my favorite recipes like that? Most definitely the chocolate chip bundt cake or the buttercream icing. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either, but topping the list for favorite family food is moca icing...though we all just call it 'coffee icing'. And this stuff is the best. I'm not kidding, we eat it by the spoonful (more on that later), and absolutely die when my mom or grandmother ices it on cakes.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup & 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup & 1 tsp butter, softened
- 2 & 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin pan with liners, set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in between adding each egg. Stir in the vanilla. Add in the flour alternately with the mix and beat well until creamy.
- Fill each muffin liner a little bit more than 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- While cooling, make the icing.
- 2 lb bag of confectioner's sugar
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4-1/2 cup coffee (depending on preferred consistency)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- Cream butter and sugar together, then mix in cocoa powder. Finally, add the coffee.
- While cupcakes are still warm, drop a tablespoon of icing onto each cupcake. The warmth will allow for the icing to spread, but use a knife to cover the entire top of the cupcake. The icing will harden, so use it right away.
- Have extra icing? Put it in spoonfuls onto wax paper and stick it in the refrigerator for about an hour! Enjoy!
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
I say that because I've always been obsessed with school supplies. I know we all say now that we love getting new, crisp notebooks, but I've seriously had this really weird obsession since about 1st grade. Not only have I always been in love with buying new ones, but making them look really pretty.
Yes, I know that I started school over a month ago. And getting my school supplies together and making them all pretty was one of my first priorities (but shouldn't it be?), but I never actually posted about them! And y'all know how excited I was to post about my Lilly planner.
But like most girls all over Pinterest, I decorated mine, as well as my sister's, with plenty of monograms!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
(or Monogram Meredith :) )
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
One of the most difficult things about eating meat-free is eating out. Similar to dieting, eating out with people who aren't vegetarians can be a little bit stressful and nerve wrecking. I've had plenty of experiences of eating with people who didn't necessarily appreciate my eating decision and would either give me crap for it or try to convince me otherwise (can't a girl just eat in peace?!). Usually, these things were brought upon by making a big deal out of being a vegetarian. It's a social thing, but totally avoidable. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't let people know of your choices (obviously I'm sharing my choices with the whole world), but if you're ever wary of it, I've written out some of my tips for eating vegetarian at restaurants! ...watch for a post about the best vegetarian things to order at specific restaurants!
1. Always keep a protein bar, granola bar, or snack in your bag. Sometimes you'll end up getting just a salad and without meat on it, you may get a little hungry afterwards. I can't tell you how many times I've cleaned out a purse and found about three Luna bars in it. (Plus, this is much cheaper!)
2. Look at the sides. I tend to order salads a lot, but I also order sides. Salads are cheaper and if you're looking for a little bit something extra, look for sides that'll fill you up. Sometimes these are macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta salad, vegetable plates, french fries/onion rings, etc. See if they'll let you order two sides instead of an entree!
3. The same thing goes for appetizers: who says they can't be your main meal? My favorites are quesadillas, but it varies from restaurant to restaurant. Just don't forget about the appetizers, even if it's an unconventional entree!
4. Look for good pasta dishes. Pasta is my favorite (no matter what kind of restaurant) and comes with good filling-up calories. A lot of the times they come with meat, but if you politely ask, they'll be happy to take it off for you, and they'll occasionally take down the price a dollar or two. One time they even added more bell peppers onto my pasta because I wasn't ordering it with chicken. The same thing goes for salads.
5. If you're ordering something special, just ask for 'no meat'. Sometimes, menu items have more than one type of meat (bacon is often hidden in things) or are made with meat-derived products. So if you ask for something without meat, they'll understand what you mean and if the meat can't be taken out, they'll most likely let you know. You can read the menu in detail, but unless you ask, you won't know.
6. This is a shot in the dark sometimes, but ask about veggie patties to substitute on burgers. Some restaurants have them, but they're not on their menu. Also, if a restaurant advertises a 'veggie burger' but you want it in the style of a special burger specific to their menu (ie, a Mexican burger), they'll usually be more than happy to dress your veggie one with whatever you'd like.
7. Pizza and flatbread sandwiches are the best. The very best, I may add. Simply order these without meat, but still get the cheese, veggies, and bread.
8. Look at the menu before you go. I can't stress this enough. No one wants to get into a situation where they're spending time at the restaurant freaking out over the menu, not knowing what to get because they're a vegetarian. Plus, if you know what you want when you get there, there's not going to be any concerns from who you're eating with. (Note: Not that you're trying to hide it, of course, there's just no need to make a big deal out of it if you don't want to).
This should be a given no matter who you are or what you order, but be courteous to the people serving you. They have lots of customers and people to serve, so if your meal comes and it has chicken on top of the salad, don't chew out your waiter or waitress. It's not necessarily their fault and they're trying to do the best they can. Just pick it off and try not to make a big deal out of it.
I hope this helps when you're going to restaurants, whether it be fast-food or sit-down, because even though it may seem overwhelming to go meat-free in public, I promise it isn't!
Have any questions, suggestions, or concerns? Let me know!
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Friday when I posted, I was in Chattanooga, waiting on my dad to get out of a meeting. It was cool to see where he travels to work there. Afterwards, we drove to Athens and got there later that afternoon to see the University of Georgia. It was beautiful there and I loved it!
Friday, September 13, 2013
A lot of people say that their life isn't interesting enough to blog or write about (which I completely disagree with, everyone has something they can write about, but that rant will come at a later day). But that thought is kind of interesting, because blogging is a lot of work and a real time commitment. Anyways, not that my life is real fascinating by any means (I'm honestly just a high schooler. Haha.), but I haven't been able to post some of the more exciting stuff I've wanted to! I mean, cupcakes are exciting, right?!
But right now, I'm all over the place! As I write this, I'm in a hotel in Chattanooga, but will be in Athens and Atlanta within 24 hours. And I was in Louisville last night. All this traveling makes me feel like I'm back at LBW, going from place to place. It's all just senior year stuff, but it makes me happy!
Lots of big stuff happened this week (especially in terms of Monogram Meredith), but the one of the biggest things is my mentoring project with Awesome Inc., a place in Lexington created to help startups and make everything awesome. I'll have to share more about it later (and how awesome it is), but the other day I went through core value training and officially became a member of Team Alpha. Check out @awesome_inc's tweet!
Who's excited for a good weekend?!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
John 1:5 reads "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
There's not much we can do to change what happened during those horrific events. There's not much we can do to stop evils like this from existing. But what we can do is show a light to those who need it. It's 12 years later, but there are people still hurting and suffering. If there's anything we, as Christians, can do, it's share a light and a love from deep within.
For more of an insight about Appreciation and 9/11, read my post from the 4th of July in Boston.
Never Forget 9/11/2001,
Monday, September 9, 2013
I forget the number of super cool things that happen in Lexington that can't and don't happen anywhere else in the country. Lexington is the sum of everything I love about Kentucky and the South, and yet, is still a big city to house so many things. Rarely do you see a city and college town surrounded by horse farms! Anyways, this weekend was a super fun weekend with so many things happening that only occur in Lexington.
Henry Clay Homecoming
I love high school football games. I really do. My school has an amazing student section at almost every sporting event, but especially at football games, and even more when that this was our homecoming game! (We also had a pep rally that afternoon, where I was an MC...long story). Anyways, we won 50-0, which was exciting!
World's Largest Water Balloon Fight
This is truly a Lexington special. For a couple years (this was my third year), the CSF organization at UK has this huge water balloon fight, breaking the world record. From what I've heard, there were 280,000 water balloons and 12,00 people there. It's seriously the most fun thing because there's such a buildup and everyone goes (but really, everyone's there, including your aunt's brother's daughter's boyfriend and on and on), and it's at midnight. Yup, fun stuff to get to go because you can have plans before and still be there. And then, the throwing of water balloons only goes on for about five minutes, which is probably a good thing (I got hit with a lot of balloons), but it's so much fun.
Getting home at 1:30 and not going to bed until 2:30 is fun...until you have to get up the next morning.
University of Kentucky Football Games
No, but really, UK was playing Miami of Ohio at Commonwealth at 12, so I went with some friends tailgating! None of us had tickets, but seriously, we had so much fun!