Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Why is it that I always get the urge to go shopping on Wednesdays, the day I quite frequently lend my car out? Is it some kind of "there's no way I can actually go shopping so it's ok if I think about it because it won't result in me spending money" thing? Or, does it just take me this long in the week to get up the energy to want to spend some time in the mall or sifting through racks at Target? I'm not sure, but either way sometimes it becomes incredibly frustrating. If only it was possible to leave the urge for the day and pick it back up tomorrow. But, truly, that is not always the case.

Other things I've been thinking about:

- how I am going to decorate my room in my new place! I move in Tuesday, and it is the first time since starting college that I will live somewhere for an entire year. Needless to say, I am incredibly excited. And want to paint!

- graduating. Big meetings are happening this week and I've been focusing on being prepared for them by going over class schedules and credits, etc, etc. Now I just need to go to them and get that elusive advice. I have 3 different advisors I need to meet with. Sound excessive to you? Because it sure seems excessive to me.

- eating raspberries. I want them in my morning muffin, I want them for a snack, I just seriously love them right now.
- how often the elevator in my building gets cleaned. Someone spilt something very non-appetizing in it early Monday morning and it seems to be clean now. So, it definitely does not get cleaned every day, but possibly every 3?

- when people started using acronyms. I'm going to research this. There are far too many floating around in the world.

- how cool one of my new roommates is. She is the only one I didn't know and we met up last night for coffee and chatted for a really long time. I think it's going to be a great year.

- STLF's annual event! It is rapidly approaching and we are all starting to realize how close September 18th really is.

- buying TOMS. this needs to happen. soon.

- how crazy I am to have given away 11 days of my life in exchange for 14 hour days of volunteering and leading freshmen around campus/shaping their first week of being college students. I start this madness Friday and will most likely be in communicado from then until Sept. 8, when school starts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Books, I Love You

So, my plan for the summer was to read quite a few books. I stocked up on books at second hand stores. I borrowed a few from friends. I literally went into Barnes and Noble a couple of times a week for awhile there. And then I got busy. I would start a book and decide that classical literature wasn't what I wanted that week. I would start another and think that maybe I should try something that is more of an easy read. I actually brought a book to Boston and back without cracking open a single page. I think that while I love, love, love book stores, I just needed a little time to think through things myself and focus on my own story (I've been writing a lot on my own lately.)

BUT (there is always a but isn't there) but, yesterday I finally opened that same book that I had been carrying around and was fully taken in by the story. It is what I plan on reading this week as a "goodbye summer" capstone. I have a few other stories I will still work on throughout the school year, but I feel that this book, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, needs a little bit more of a dive into it than a casual read. That may just be me, but whatever it is, that's the plan.

I think you should check out this trailer, and I think I am going to have to go see this movie as soon as it comes out. Watch:

I saw the movie "Paris Je t'aime" on a bus in Belgium and, while I fell asleep halfway through (it was all in subtitles) I woke up at the end and it was definitely a story that I feel I would have enjoyed. Well, this is done by the same producer and is essentially a similar idea but in English and set in New York. It also has about a million amazing actors/actresses in it. Anyone up for going with me when it comes out?

(and p.s. the song in the trailer is 1901 by Phoenix. love love love! the Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album was one of the "must haves" I purchased last week.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

This little boy...

has completely, totally and utterly stolen my heart. I call him my little Beatle because the first time we got to know one another he would only stay calm if I played The Beatles (he's not very keen on Tom Petty, The Arcade Fire or Missy Higgins, my other tries.) He is the closest thing I have to a nephew right now - his mom literally grew up with and helped raise my siblings and me. Also, I picked out the plaid overalls he's wearing in the above photo. So precious! Just a photo of him will brighten my day. I hope it brightens yours, as well!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Wow. So, a tornado touched down not too far from where I live this week. The best part about it was that I had just gotten off work. The annoying *beeeeep* *beeeeep* *beeeeep* that signals that a National Weather Advisory is out for the area went off in the shuttle I was in, but it was too low and way too many people were on their cell phones for me to catch what exactly was going on. So I, naturally, began my 1/2 mile walk home from where the shuttle lets me off. It was pouring but I knew that there was no use fighting it and waiting it out so I just trudged on (sans umbrella or hood or anything...) Well the pouring rain turned into flash flooding. The wind picked up. And then the sirens went off. Three of them. At one point I was just laughing to myself at the ridiculousness of the situation. Yet I continued on thinking "It's still raining so there can't be a tornado." and "The sky is gray not green or anything so definitely not a tornado." It was a tornado. Even the NWS didn't pick up on that one until afterward. Needless to say, by the time I got home it looked as though I had jumped into a pool, twice, and then taken a shower in my clothes. I could actually wring out my hair and clothing and it took my shoes three days to almost completely dry. Not good.

This week has been very busy with trying to catch back up on work and life after being gone for 5 days. I was officially home for almost 4 days and am currently on the move again for 3. I just got notice of the dates of a few things I volunteered myself for a while back and am realizing that I will probably not get another decent break until Christmas time. Life and adulthood sure does creep up on people, doesn't it?

On another note, I kind of went on a need-new-music binge the other day on iTunes. The few CDs that I had narrowed down to the "I seriously, seriously need this" category were purchased and the playlist I had been working on was finally completed. Do you remember the little giveaway I did awhile back? Well the playlist is going to the winner. I'll post the songs on here at some point and am definitely willing to share a copy with anyone who would like one. But, I warn you, it is a mixture of things that I love now, I've loved for a long time, that make me think of Kayla (the winner), that will make her think of me, and truly the entire purpose of the playlist was to keep her guessing at all times. It is meant to be played in a car on a road trip or something, not on iTunes where it can be put on shuffle. The random order and mixture of old and new has been really fun to put together and even though the songs are not the most popular, they are pretty fabulous and sure to put an almost college freshman at the head of the class.

Now, the song of the week is Daylight by Matt and Kim. It's catchy, fun and available as a free download here. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Have you ever said something like this: "I'm going to make all sorts of friends from Boston because I've always wanted to go there." to yourself? Because I have. Almost exactly a year ago, when I found out my housing assignment for studying abroad. While admitting this should probably make me feel bad, it truly doesn't because once I met the girls I now know from Massachusetts, I didn't care where they were from, just who they were. They are some of the most fun, unpredictable, and wildly crazy people in my life. They keep everything interesting and are just as eager to talk about the small things as they are to dress up and hit the town. This is the same for all of the girls I got to know in London - and (thankfully!) we had a reunion in Mass this summer. Inside jokes, tales of our time abroad, hilarious and embarrassing moments since we've been back - all of these stories were amazing to relive and laugh through. It seriously was a long weekend I will never forget. Oh, and I saw some of Boston, too. Win win. :)
I went to MA a day earlier than the other girls and met up with MK and Andrea in Boston. I don't even want to disclose how loud the squeal I let out was when I saw Andrea in the airport. It was embarrassing and fabulous and a seriously long hug followed. Eight months is a long time to be apart from people that you lived, traveled and spent everyday with for four months. We then met up with Mary Kate and all took the T to the hotel.

We walked to Fenway from our hotel and tried to get into the Red Sox game. Sadly, it sold out before we could get same day tickets, but it was still amazing to see all of the fans and the buzz about the place. We decided to eat in a restaurant that is under Fenway and watched the game, caught up and tried to plan out what we would do for the rest of the day. We ended up at Harvard - somewhere I had hoped we would go but knew we wouldn't have much time for - and MK continuously commented on how "in awe" I looked. I'm such a collegiate nerd, but I really did love it.
Touching John Harvard's toe! :) But, this is not actually John Harvard; I heard some tour guide say that there were 3 things wrong with this statue, but incoming students (and tourists) still rub the toe for good luck. I also read that graduating students like to pee on this statue. The way I am standing right next to it is probably incredibly hygenic.
MK, Andrea and I then went to The North End for Regina's Pizzeria and to see the classic Hanover street. We ate with one of Andrea's friends who ended up coming out with us that night!
And we went out. No further stories of this night to be published on a public blog. (Your welcome, friends.)
Then the other girls met up with us! Heather, Amy, Erica, MK, Andrea and I explored Boston the whole next day - seeing Fenway, walking down Newbury street, going on a duck tour, exploring the North End, etc. It was the quick walkers guide to seeing all of the sights!
Erica and I met Wally the Green Monster!
MK, me, Erica and Heather on the duck tour! A duck tour is one in which the vehicle starts on land and then transforms into a boat. We started doing a tour of downtown, then went into the Charles River and saw so many great views and sights and the driver let little kids drive the boat. Then we went back on land and saw gardens and markets and made a full loop. It was perfect for the London crowd as it was so natural for us to be somewhere for a day and doing a tour to see everything!
After the tour, we walked to the Boston Gardens. We saw Paul Revere, took in the "green spaces" (a running joke with us), and simply explored. We went back to the hotel and met up with Veronica! She took a night off of the camp she works and lives at during the summer to meet up with us! And we met up with Banni for dinner. Oh, so many good people!
Our group after dinner! We then had to say goodbye to Banni and all got ready and went out for our last night in Boston. We ended up at a bar where the Red Sox game was playing - I'm not really sure there are any other types of bars in Boston - and met some very interesting people and listened to some great music, including snoop dog which explains the next photo...well it would if you have ever seen the "Drop It Like It's Hot" video.
The next morning we all woke up and headed to Veronica's house in Boston. Her parents made us a delicious breakfast and we got to see where little Vron grew up - her house is amazing. Seriously. But sadly, that was all the time Vron could get off so we had to say goodbye to her again.
The other Mass girls had previous committments for that Saturday, so the MN girls all boarded a bus and then a ferry and headed off to Martha's Vineyard for a night with our friend Lindsay!
Heather, me, Amy and Erica on the ferry! We had such good weather the entire trip. The Mass girls kept saying that it was the nicest weekend they had had the entire summer! Obviously, once we got to the vineyard and met up with Lindsay, we went for a mandatory swim in the ocean with her brother and a friend, and then Lindsay's parents made us dinner at their super cute summer home. We then went back to her brother's house (where we were staying that night) got ready, met more friends and went out!
Out at Nancy's in the vineyard! We went to this bar first, then to another club, and back to the house for a lot of fun. Eric, Heather, Amy, Mike, me and Lindsay chilling on the harbour deck.
We got up the next morning, ate a fab breakfast of bagels, and bacon, cheese and egg sandwiches and beer...then went for a quick swim in the ocean before we caught a noon ferry back to the mainland! Whoo it was such a quick side trip!
Amy and I and our still-wet hair from our swim before we got on the ferry!
And then, to wrap up the trip, MK got us at the port and brought us to Andrea's house! She lives literally on the lake - with steps and a dock to get into the water. Once we got there we met a bunch of her college friends and her family and went straight to the boat to go tubing! We all went tubing, a couple of us went on jet-skis later, and then we swam and hung around on the deck or in the water for the rest of the night. Her parents made us dinner (we were so spoiled, seriously) and I got to regale stories of life in SD. I love, love, love all of the people who say "I didn't actually think people lived there..." and are so excited that I am the first person they know from that state. I was also asked questions about tornadoes and other weather conditions and other get-to-know-you things. It was so funny to be recognized by everyone's parents just from pictures from our time abroad! One of the mother's literally said "Oh yes, I know Janae." haha and I was like "Umm...yes. Did we meet in London?" and she laughed and said "No, but you were in my daughter's profile picture for months!" Oh, Facebook.

And on that note, if you want to see more photos, I did put them online! MK would have probably yelled at me furiously by now if they weren't up. :) I love friends and travels. Hopefully there will be more of this in years to come.

Friday, August 14, 2009

craft time.

Hanna, Joe and I deemed last Sunday night "craft night" and set out to do projects that we have had on our to-do lists since summer began. I had a deadline of Wednesday, which fueled the motivation and desire to get started. It also fueled the need to make a stop at J0-Anns and Cheapo. With every new project comes new, good music. So, we popped in all sorts of CDs (The Arcade Fire, Rachael Yamagata, The Rocket Summer, Ingrid Michaelson, etc.), cranked the stereo '80s boombox style, and got to work.
I was creating necklaces to give a few good friends as gifts. (This is why this post wasn't put up until now, as I am giving all of the girls I am visiting one and didn't want to spoil the surprise!) The necklaces are made of fabric (we just used fabric quarters so we could have a lot of different styles), wooden balls, and knots with a ribbon to tie them together. They are really simple to make; it just took a little time to get the desired effect through trial and error. Every good craft time deserves a good snack time. Pretzels and nutella are our snack of choice as of late.
And ta-da! Here's Joe wearing one of the necklaces. He actually made us all wear one while we were bonding, maybe? The people at Jimmy Johns thought it was fabulous.

Joe was creating juggling balls and poi and Hanna, thankfully, worked on all of the projects with us, problem-solving and supporting. Here are the finished products. Do you like?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I think I'll go to Boston...

actually, I am on my way. I'm going to meet up with a big group of girls I met, traveled and lived with in London and I am SO excited for this reunion! We are going to be in Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and one of my friends' hometowns over the next few days. I have a little post planned for tomorrow from something I've been working on but other than that am going to step away from the computer and internet for the next few days in favor of seeing these faces:
I leave you with a fabulous song that I happened to adore at this time of the year, three years ago. Who knew this is where my life would take me?

Boston - Augustana

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


There is a very large chance that this post is one of those "you had to be there" moments. But, let's just say that if you have ever gotten together with a group of friends, had an extensive chat about any one subject and then played apples to apples and gotten a card that could not have been a bigger sign than if it would have been painted on a billboard outside of your window, then you would appreciate puffy.
These girls are the brilliance behind the story. Plus, all of the red card piles are just plain wonderful. And Ms. piles is the photographer that captured "puffy" in all its glory. :) I got to have a great girls night with these friends last Friday; we shared all sorts of laughs, stories and life questions and I came home thinking through so many things that I rarely take the time to think about. I love that I have people in my life questioning me and forcing me to question myself. It's definitely a good thing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

twins time.

Ash and I rounded out her visit with a Twins game. If you follow the Twins at all, it was the first night Cabrera was on the line-up. It's cool to feel jealous....(Joe.)
They asked us to be team members so, being the nice ladies we are, we said sure. Ash likes the coaches and I wanted to show them how its done with my shades on. No big.
Ash's fav of the night - Joe Mauer.
My fav, Justin Morneau. :)
The view. This was one of the last games in the Metrodome. Oh, how I'll miss it and it's perfect climate.
The fact that the Twins lost was just a side note. Our reactions to that fact may possibly have been hindered by the fact that I had just spilled a pricey drink or the fact that we had consumed a number of said pricey drinks before the end of the game. Seventh inning stretch, anyone?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Raksha Walk

A couple of weekends ago, I participated in the Raksha Walk for the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation with some good friends. It was a 5k walk around a gorgeous lake area for Distraction Free Driving, a worthwhile cause in my book.
My friend Sarah and I purchased a "mystery box" of sorts and here were our reactions. Ash is wayyyy to quick with the camera to have not posted these faces. We won a gift certificate to The Cheesecake Factory and will be having a friend date night sometime soon. :)
After we finished our walk, we chipped in and helped a couple of the ladies at the finish line cheer on all of the other finishers! We did lots of yelling, clapping, high-fiving and it was wonderful to see everyone's faces as they rounded the last curve and realized we were cheering them on. Sometimes, support is really motivational and essential to finish those last few feet.

Sarah, Ash and I in front of the gorgeous lake we walked around.
And STLF-ers! :D Kari, the red-head in the back middle, started the organization and works really hard to keep it going. She is ridiculously hard-working and is going to seriously turn the non-profit world upside down someday. Actually, she already has started to. All of these people are fabulous and give up an extraordinary amount of time of their lives to volunteer. They are definitely some of my role models.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

sculpture garden picnic.

Here are a couple snapshots of the picnic Ash and I had in the sculpture garden when she visited a little over a week ago. It was such a nice day. :)
One of my favorite displays is this mirror area.
We were fighting. Twilight style.My friend, the model.Kick it.
Greenhouse photos!
I loved her visit! Photos of the Raksha Walk and Twins game coming soon. :)