Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Listin' bout Kentucky

I love Kentucky. I talk about it too much. But I love getting emails from the people at Movoto about new posts related to Kentucky and had to share!! Though these aren't all completely similar to me, isn't that the beauty of being a Kentuckian? 






I absolutely love my old Kentucky home!

And it's not hard when you have such a good basketball team playing this Saturday...

xoxo,
Meredith

Thursday, March 26, 2015

You're all ice cream

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a really big fan of ice cream. I love ice cream a whole lot, because how can you not? It's all really wonderful, but one of the hardest things about loving ice cream is that I love a lot of different types. But I can't have them all.

Some days I really crave a good chocolate based moose tracks with all sorts of creative pieces, or cookie dough with things a little half done and lots of potential, or a very consistent and smooth vanilla with all the right flavors. Maybe even some days I'll crave sherbert, but you wouldn't think of me as a sherbert kinda girl. Overall, I love all ice creams. They're pretty great, but you want certain things on certain days, but at least when I leave that ice cream for another one, someone else gets to enjoy it. And they'll probably like it and appreciate it more.

To all of those of you who are seniors and these are the final scary weeks, you're some pretty freaking fantastic ice cream. I know this week and I know it badly. People have been asking you for months where you're going to school and you want to yell that you have absolutely no clue because you don't know where you've gotten into, but now that April 1st and other deadline are creeping up on you and it's becoming more real. Rejections and waitlists hurt. I just pulled it up and I got rejected from EIGHT schools and waitlisted at three. I didn't get accepted into any schools during that time period, and a lot of them were schools I thought I had a good chance at and was definitely on considering seriously. I know I'm not the smartest but I was a very competitive student, and especially being in the program I was in, I was among some really smart kids, too, so I knew what I was going against (somewhat cringing saying that now). I was a good applicant. But you know, there were eleven schools that didn't want me. That really hurt me and I was upset that so-and-so got in ahead of me and it felt so easy to be bitter about it and mad at everyone and hate all colleges in general.



The college admissions process is a little whack sometimes. It's looking at all of these applicants and realizing that they're all some nice ice creams, but they can't choose all of them. Picking one ice cream flavor over another ice cream flavor doesn't discredit the greatness of the one not chosen-- maybe that college was looking for more community service instead of a ton of leadership roles. Maybe they just weren't in the taste for completely put together, smooth vanilla with the perfect GPA and standardized test scores. It just kind of depends year to year, but it depends on the most obscure things whether or not a school wants you and it's annoying.

All of this to say: I PROMISE you that you will end up where you're supposed to be. If I had gotten into one particular school, I wouldn't have even considered Richmond. It was my good choice then and I was absolutely devastated to be waitlisted, but you know, I feel like I'm much happier here than I would ever be there or any other school I didn't get into, and the same thoughts have been echoed through all of my other friends here and at different schools.

It's really hard right now because all you can focus is on is this sucky feeling of not getting in, but you have to remember what's inevitably going to happen-- you're going to college. There's so much more exciting stuff in store and you just have to get through these few weeks and wait for the exciting day when everyone decides and you're not thinking about any other schools. The day you decide, you won't think about anything else or even consider another school. It all just seems so right then.

Wait for this moment and enjoy the remainder of your senior year. These days go by fast and they're really great memories with your friends, so try to keep your head up and think about what's actually going to happen-- college! 

I promise it'll all be okay and more than okay. Here are some of my posts from this time last year: I'm going to college!, It's May 1st, and A roller coaster of a year

Thinking of all y'all ice creams.

xoxo,
Meredith

PS: This is all for my sweet senior friends that put up with me last year and inspired me to write this. You're my rocks and my beautiful people. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring breaaaaaak

SPRING BREAAAAAAK!

I never actually saw that movie, I heard it was just one of those that you watch and you realize you wasted away a few hours of your life. Regardless, I'll scream "SPRING BREAAAAAK", even if my spring break was nothing crazy or wild.


It was, as best put, absolutely blissful and peaceful and relaxing, and I feel so incredibly refreshed-- and a little bit more tan. I can't complain. I spent my week a little outside Palm Beach enjoying the Florida sun, and oh how, it was so nice. My best friend Sarah, her grandparents live down there and were so gracious to let she and I come down for the week, so I figured I'd share a few snapshots of our wonderful week.


Even just opening my spring box of clothes to pack was exciting and had me yearning for the days where I can wear this every day.


So, so ready for spring break!




Of course the week was documented in Snapchats all around, whether it be Sarah making fun of my slow speed on the plane or making sure everyone knew we were in high degree temps.


I have a whole thought set on my love of sunsets that I'll share another time, but really, how can you not love it?

Top: Old Navy // Shorts: American Eagle // Hat: (just a fun wear from Sarah's grandmother)


We spent our days at the pool, getting there via golf cart.




at Shrimpers- delicious!


This was probably one of the coolest things that we got to see. It was in the backyard of Sarah's grandparents' house; it backed up to the St. Lucie River and every night, all of these birds flocked to the bushes on the river. We learned it was so they could sleep without the fear of being attacked by predators at night. I wish I could've gotten a photo of all of the birds, but it was too dark. There were probably three times as many birds as there are in this photo.




Dress: TJ Maxx // Sarah's shorts: J. Crew

And then for dinner at the country club! Such a lovely night and wow, how grateful we were to eat a meal OUTSIDE. It's the little things.




And of course, the beach! We were a little bit of a drive away from the beach, so we only went a few days, but there's no feeling like the sand and the waves of the ocean. 

Bikini: Tommy Hilfiger

I'm going to stop right here to yell: EVERYONE READ THIS BOOK. PLEASE. It is so incredibly great and I literally read it in 26 hours. I only actually even started it because I had finished my other book for class and Sarah's mom lent it to me for the day. I started it...and couldn't put it down. It's a thriller and just a great, easy, intriguing read.



We are soooo hashtag candid.


We're also a little goofy and were just making fun of ourselves after a week of "ohhh, I look fat in this!" 





And then we were ready for our trip home- but not without any problems.


THERE WAS NO GEOTAG FOR PALM BEACH ISLAND


The real drama of Sunday was a delayed flight. We spent the whole day in the airport trying to make it to Atlanta and then to Richmond, but there were problems with the plane that took forever to fix. Around 3:30 and realizing that the plane might not be fixed at all that night, we decided to leave the airport at hour 7 and take the hotel voucher and get a new flight. So even though we were supposed to be some of the first back on Sunday, we were actually probably some of the last, getting back to Richmond on Monday night. But you know, I'm actually pretty grateful for it all. We're alive and didn't get on a malfunctioning plane. No complaints. 

Overall, it was an absolutely fantastic spring break! Safe travels to all those on spring break this week and in the coming weeks! 

xoxo,
Meredith

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Coffee Talk

When I went my summer program almost two years ago, we had frequent Starbucks trips. I don't drink Starbucks at home, but my mom is an avid coffee lover and we just drank it normally from a coffee pot at home. I learned to like it with just a little bit of milk and a little bit of sweetener. I, of course, went through the middle school love of only knowing what a Frappucino was at Starbucks and calling it "coffee". I think I had gotten mochas before, but simply because in my head, 'mocha' meant chocolate, and the good Lord knows I'll have anything with some chocolate in it. And a dear friend at my summer program tried to explain coffee and espresso drinks to me, but I really just didn't understand.

By the way: the title of this post is most definitely in reference to one of my favorite SNL sketches, that you definitely should watch, and also, none of these photos have to do with whatever drink I'm talking about... I just have a lot of photos with coffee. It's a blogger prerequisite to have a class in "making an Insta photo with a cup of coffee".


At the business program

I'm no coffee expert, but I do love coffee. A lot (or should I say "a latte"?!!!! Ahahaha okay I'll stop). I also work at a cafe on campus where I make espresso drinks and have learned how to make them and what they're really comprised of. Also, because I'm a huge geek and analyze everything, I looked up the caffeine contents of each a while ago. I tend to find myself in conversations with people about it a lot (maybe they wish they weren't talking about it, but I don't even care). 

I'm from the South and not an avid lover of Dunkin' Donuts like those from the North are.... but I will agree that Dunkin' Donuts coffee is by far one of the best out there.


I used to be scared of ordering coffee because they'd ask if I wanted cream or sugar or room for either and I'd think "??? room???? I have room right here, I have my own room at home, what kind of room are they asking about??" or "Is it like cream cheese?? Is it the same as milk??" So I kind of just wrote out everything I know. For no particular reason other than I think it's fascinating and working at a place that sells coffee teaches you a lot about the coffee and about people.


A coffee. It's basically just taking coffee beans and brewing it with hot water. I know there's a lot more to it, but that's the best way to explain it. It's cheap and easy to make at home, but the coffee flavor extends all throughout. It's exactly $2.11 where I work and frequently bought with crumpled bills by grad students, professors, and people that know what they're about in life. I think it says something about someone when they just come in and want a coffee. They know exactly which blend and how much room they want, and they're there for that coffee. Where I work isn't the main coffee place on campus, so seeing someone get just a coffee says something about their attitude on life. What that is, I'm not sure, but I think of it as somewhat mysterious. Who knows. 

8 oz. of coffee has zero calories (if black) and about 95 mg of caffeine. 

Iced coffee. Same sort of deal, but as more of for refreshing people. Imagine people who always have their life together and are just the kind of people that make you happy. 


Latte. So here's where we get into espresso drinks and all that jazz. But like, actual jazz, because when I think of fancy shmancy espresso drinks, jazz tends to go along with it. Weird? Yes, but let's move along. A latte is the most basic of all espresso drinks. Lattes have one or two espresso shots, which could definitely have some sort of better explanation, but I just have to think of it as more coffee beans for the water that it's brewed with. For visual reference, two espresso shots fills up a small paper Dixie cup. The other part of a latte, the majority of it, is milk, which is where my problem with lattes comes in. You steam the milk, which just gets it real hot and then foamy, and pour that on top of the espresso shots, holding the foam until the very top. That's where you get the idea of that cute little art that goes on top of coffees. And it's not mixed, so you just have this sort of coffe-ish milk. 

Lattes? Not really my thing. Often people that get lattes are ones that don't really like the taste of coffee, but just want the caffeine. They're kind of a toss up. I absolutely can't stand drinking just milk and I like it when my drink is all mixed together, so I steer clear of them. And then there's the calories. I'd just really rather prefer to eat my calories than drink them. 

But the other part of lattes are that these are the ones where you can get all the flavors-- a vanilla (or caramel, hazelnut, etc.) latte is literally just what's above, but with a pump of a sugary flavored syrup.

You better believe that Tervis is always full of coffee.

And now for my favorite, a mocha. Here's the thing that always tripped me up.... a mocha is just a chocolate latte. But for some reason, the coffee gods decided to give it a different name. Where I work, the mocha is different in that the chocolate is a chocolate sauce and actually is mixed in with the drink because if not, it would all just settle at the bottom. I absolutely love mochas, but I only get them every so often because it's just a lot of unneeded sugar and they make my teeth hurt. I think people who order mochas are just smiley people who enjoy life. They know it's a chocolaty based drink and they're happy with it. They're having a dessert in the middle of the day for no particular reason and you know, more power to ya. YOU SEIZE THE DAY AND ENJOY IT, MY FRIEND.

The thing about lattes and mochas, though, is that you can get them with skim milk. I really don't understand what the whole big deal or stereotype is when you hear a girl order a "nonfat" or "skinny" drink.... maybe because I am one, but also because I don't like whole milk in general, so why would I want it in my drink? 

A latte can vary from 100-150 calories for 8 oz (but know that 8 oz is just one cup and the smallest size at Starbucks) and has about 75 mg of caffeine. 

Soooo, note that 8 oz of coffee has more caffeine than a latte. 


Cappucinos! Another thing that had a weird name and I didn't know much about. They're basically the same thing as a latte, but with less milk and a smoother texture. When the milk is steamed, it's supposed to have more air in it, so that when you pour it on top of the espresso shots, it's a lot less hot milk, but more 'frothy' milk. People that order cappucinos are light and fun and airy and just having a cappucino on a whim, in my book.

They have about 80 calories per 8 oz and also 75 mg of caffeine.


Americano. I love America and I love being an American.... but I don't like americanos. They're intimidating. They have no milk, just espresso and hot water. So when someone orders one, I think "....wow. Look at that bravery." There's an explanation behind the name because American coffee and European coffee is very different, but I can't really understand it that well. Because americanos are also typically two espresso shots, they're also 75 mg of caffeine. 


Espresso shots. That's it. I don't know whether I look at people ordering espresso shots or americanos more boldly, but they have an equal amount of intimidation correlated. I always wonder how on earth someone can order just an espresso shot and simply... sip on it? How do you drink something that's so small to begin with? Fancy or courageous people order these, and I admire it. 


Shoutout to Keurig for giving out free coffee during a football game...super nice.

Chai tea lattes. I don't mess with these, and they're not really coffee drinks, but it has the word latte in it, so I've gotta go for it. I like iced sweet tea and that's basically the only tea for me, but chai tea, is from what I understand, simply a type of tea with spices and whatnot. It comes cold, where I work, and is combined with milk, then steamed to make a chai tea latte. I'm not really sure of those, but lots of people love them. I believe it's about 50 mg of caffeine per 8 oz, but 120 calories, simply because there are calories coming from the tea and the milk. 


There are a whole multitude of other drinks you see at Starbucks, like macchiatos or Frappucinos, but they're basically just more layers (and calories) added to these espresso drinks (a caramel macchiato, for example, is a vanilla latte with caramel drizzle). Alsoooooooo, the place I work doesn't get this fancy, so I don't know much about them.


People (aka me on days of weakness) also tend to get an extra espresso shot in their drinks. Gives it a little more of a caffeine boost but without having to have another coffee. Or, I really love pumps of syrup into my coffee as well. 



I'm actually writing this while sipping on my "large iced coffee, light ice, pump of sugar-free hazelnut with little room". I used to be embarrassed by having so many requests, but I think the way people order their coffees is just so interesting and unique to each person. Maybe I'm thinking too much into it, but it's kind of actually pretty cool to think we have all these little requests and favorite things. Yeah, I can drink just a normal coffee without all of my quirks, but if I can make it my own, why not? I also have fun when I'm at work and get to try making different drinks-- my favorite right now is pulling two espresso shots over a little bit of peppermint syrup and a little bit of mocha, then filling the rest up with iced coffee and a little bit of milk. If it's just a good cup of coffee from home or my dorm room, it's a Splenda and a splash of milk. Coffee just makes me happy. It goes well with desserts, it's a thing to "have coffee" over something, it gives you a little boost of energy, it keeps you warm, and in general, it just brings people together. It's a happy thing.


To those who say they're too good for coffee and will never be "basics" because they don't drink it, sorry you're missing out (okay maybe you don't have a caffeine addition, which is good, but regardless, you're MISSIN OUT!). Coffee's been around for actual ages and isn't a "trendy" thing.  To those who have just never learned to drink coffee, come on over and I'll make you a cup. 

xoxo,
Meredith


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