An Afternoon at the Pumpkin Patch

img_0167Happy Fall friends! Yesterday two of my dearest, oldest friends and I headed to the nearby pumpkin patch– actually, it was more like a pumpkin patch on steroid. Festival is a more accurate word as there were booths, food, music and plenty of festivities. Below are a few photos from our afternoon if you’d like to see!img_0330img_0278img_0198img_0220^Asada fries did not disappoint. They reminded me of Döner, a similar turkish meal I always used to order in Germany.img_0229img_0236img_0238Pumpkin hat anyone? Anyone?img_0243^What a beauty, this oneimg_0249img_0254img_0262img_0267img_0275img_0281^Wow, is she stunning or what?! img_0284img_0290img_0295^Green pumpkins are just as cool as orange if you ask meimg_0297img_0301img_0306^True loveimg_0308img_0310^I was very attached to this gourd…img_0317img_0324^These mini, misshapen gourds were adorableimg_0327img_0333img_0340img_0341img_0347^The happy coupleimg_0154Hope you are able to celebrate fall this week! What are you planning to be for Halloween? My top contender currently is White Trash (i.e. wearing a white trash bag over my clothes…). Pretty lame, I know :p

Summer is Here!

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I always feel a little guilty talking about summer in April, because technically it’s still spring and most people don’t get out of school for several more weeks. But I’m just so excited, I can’t help it! I took my last finals, packed up my belongings into my car and drove home. It’s crazy to think that all my material possessions at this point in life can fit into a single car. College is a time of such instability and transition– you have to be ready to up and leave at any moment. Every few months you move to a new situation and have to readjust. I grew up in a very stable home, so it’s taken me a while to learn how to be flexible and embrace change. I guess that’s just the season of life I’m in right now!

Anyways, what are you up to these days? I am working a few hours each day at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and sinking deeper into summer mode. It always takes me a few weeks to fully stop stressing and actually relax!

P.s. Photo via here

A Christmas Quiz

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Happy “Christmas Eve” Eve! How are things friends? I am writing this from my couch at home while watching a movie marathon. Life is good. One of my favorite blogs Unlocking Kiki posted a little “Christmas Quiz” to give her readers a better idea of how she celebrates the season. I loved hearing about her thoughts and traditions in more detail, so I thought I’d do the same for you! Enjoy:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper is my preferred medium for gift concealment. I just love ripping it open layer by layer- the suspense adds to the surprise!

2. Real tree or artificial?
Real tree all the way baby. My family has never had an artificial tree, because no matter how practical they are, they just don’t smell the same!

3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually the week after Thanksgiving. I wasn’t able to help put it up this year because I was away at school 😦

4. When do you take the tree down?
Usually the day after Christmas! If we leave it up longer, it just reminds me that it’s not Christmas time anymore.

5. Favorite gift received as a child?
A Barbie dream house when I was eight or nine! I can still remember playing with it for hours on Christmas afternoon.

6. Hardest person to shop for?
My dad. I want his gift to be personal but also useful!

7. Easiest person to shop for?
My little brother. We have many several interests, so it’s not hard to think of something he’d enjoy.

8. Favorite Christmas film?
Elf. Always. Favorite quote: “I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.”

9. Favorite Christmas food?
Potato pancakes, or Latkes. We eat them for breakfast on Christmas morning, and they are pure cheesy, fluffy goodness.

10. Colored or clear lights on the tree?
This year colored, last year clear. Just depends on our mood when we decorate!

11. Favorite Christmas song?
“Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Never gets old.

12. Travel at Christmas time or stay home?
Both are great, but I actually love to travel somewhere cold and snowy at Christmas time. Some years we go to Iowa or Nebraska to visit my dad’s extended family, and I always enjoy the cold weather!

13. Favorite Christmas cookie?
Peanut butter blossoms– peanut butter balls covered in sugar with a Hershey’s kiss stuck in the middle. They are holy, I tell you.

14. Favorite Christmas tradition?
Decorating the house, especially setting up the miniature Christmas village!

15. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Morning, for sure.

16. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The crazy traffic in the area. I live near the airport, which makes it ten times worse.

17. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A polaroid camera!

Well friends, I hope you learned a little more about me and my Christmas traditions. What are a few of your Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear, and have a happy “Christmas Eve” Eve.

P.s. Photo from here.

A Neurotic’s Guide to Small Talk

06loose-master675.jpgHave you seen this article from The New York Times.com? I first found it on the lifestyle blog Cup of Jo, and couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It is entitled “A Neurotic’s Guide to Small Talk” and serves as a “helpful” road map to navigating social interactions this holiday season. I really relate to the picture above, as I have a bad habit of going over everything I said during the day and mentally kicking myself for it! But I also relate to some of the following situations outlined in the article below:

Q: “Hey, how’s it going?”

In this instance, the speaker is somewhat interested in knowing how you are, but only the smallest details. Don’t over-share, but don’t under-share, either. Keep your answer succinct and stop doing that thing with your hands. Everyone is watching you do that thing with your hands and the longer you stand there, the more prominent the hand thing becomes.

Q: “Where do you work?”

Go to the bathroom. Now, now, now. This conversation has shifted dramatically, and you need to get out of there. Say something like, “Be right back,” or “Gotta go pee,” but don’t say it too loud, or too weird. Say it normal, for crying out loud. BE NORMAL.

Q: “How’s your family?”

Wait. Didn’t you see on Facebook that this guy’s parents recently split up? If you say your family’s “good” it’s almost like rubbing it in his face, like: “Look at my good family. I’m so lucky. No divorce for this guy.” Say your family is “fine,” but don’t smile while you say it, that way he knows that you sympathize, but you’re not trying to steal his sadness thunder. Also stop doing that thing with your hands, you literal monster.

Q: “Are you still living in Brooklyn?”

Leave this place. They know too much.


Please tell me I’m not the only one who relates to this?! Human to human interaction is hard. Especially after spending a year in Germany, where small talk is virtually nonexistent, my American small-talk skills are severely lacking. Sometimes I drink a lot of water before parties just to have an excuse to go to the bathroom multiple times for a much needed time out….introvert problems! If I had to add a few of my own scenarios to this article, they would be:

Q: (Person knocks on bathroom door) Hello?

You’ve been discovered. Don’t panic. Be COOL! How should I respond? Should I say “hello” back? Or maybe “I’m in here”? No, that sounds too conceited. They already know you’re in here stupid. Too much time has passed, now it’s awkward to respond, the window of opportunity has closed. Just wait it out silently…they’ll go away eventually, then you can sneak out and hide behind the appetizer buffet in hopes the person won’t see you.

Q: What’s new with you?

Do they really want to know? Didn’t they see your latest Fbook status about your grandma passing away? This is a trap. I repeat, a trap. They probably don’t really want to know, they’re just trying to be nice. Respond with a quick “Nothin’ much” and pose the same question back to them. Keep it casual. Well played, my friend, well played.

Q: You’re leaving the party so soon?

Busted…You’ve been caught. Come on man, you’re work is getting sloppy. You used to be able to exit a party early without a single person noticing. It’s your spiritual gift. Mumble an indecipherable response such as “I have work tomorrow” or “I’m not feeling too well” and flee. Don’t look back.

Question of the Day
Do you ever feel this way? Don’t get me wrong, I love people as much as anyone, but sometimes I just.can’t.function. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Pumpkin Patchin’ It

IMG_0130.JPGWarning: If you’re not a fan of the color orange, this post is probably not for you :pIMG_0109.JPGIMG_0210.JPG Sometimes when Fall won’t come to you, you have to go to it. The trees are frustratingly green here in SoCal, with no sign of shedding their leaves, so I made up my mind to place myself directly in the way of Fall! So on Saturday evening two sweet friends and I headed to the pumpkin patch. We had so much fun goofing around, posing for pictures and trying to find the perfect pumpkin to bring home. It’s hard work, guys. It can’t be too big but has to be large enough to carve, and the stem needs to be cute. I personally liked the pumpkins with warts and funny shapes, but opted for a regular one in the end.IMG_0171.JPG
^I think this should be our Christmas card this year! If only we were related…IMG_0220.JPGIMG_0148.JPGIMG_0218.JPGIMG_0215.JPGIMG_0142.JPGIMG_0157.JPGIMG_0124.JPGIMG_0121.JPGIMG_0120IMG_0105IMG_0114IMG_0126IMG_0206.JPG
^Saw this adorable baby sitting on a hay stack and couldn’t resist taking a creeper picture. Note the orange bow perched atop her gorgeous black curls. Obsessed.

Tell me friends, have you been to your local pumpkin patch this season? If not, I highly recommend a visit. I left wearing a smile that has yet to fade!