Feeling 22

Wow, where does the time go? I hate saying it because it’s such a cliche, but I can’t believe it’s August. Mostly because that means my birthday has come and gone…and I guess it’s time to talk about it!

The last four days of my birthday week were the best four days I’ve had in awhile. My family drove 10+ hours each way from Colorado to spend 5 days with me and I had so much fun. I honestly would not have wanted to spend my birthday any other way. And yes, I am feeling 22 😉

I don’t want to bore you with long descriptions of what went down (and believe me, I could go on and on) but I’ll just share some highlights of each day through pictures.

Thursday

My last day of work before an extended  (4 day) weekend. I spent the afternoon running errands, treating myself to an amazing green smoothie and getting my place ready for the fam. Once they got here, we went out to eat at Freebirds, a Chipotle-like place.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag -- local and DELICIOUS.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag — local and DELICIOUS.

 

Friday

Running some errands in the morning, pool time and then getting ready for the main event: Center of the Universe. I was SO excited for this alt rock music festival. It was freakin’ hot but Fitz and the Tantrums were incredible, 21 Pilots was also pretty cool (AWOLNATION was there too but we left during their set) and the falafel I got for dinner was amazing.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

High-tech wristbands.

High-tech wristbands.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

"Street" falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

“Street” falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

Right next to the famous Cain's ballroom.

Right next to the famous Cain’s ballroom.

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live :)

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live 🙂

 

Saturday

Pool time was a big theme for the day, as well as buying some fun apartment decorations for me. We did some tourist-y sightseeing around town at some landmarks. Dinner was at a taco place downtown — I got some tasty fried avocado tacos with black beans and these delicious roasted sweet potatoes. And then some Netflix and games at my apartment with the fam.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

The Golden Driller.

The Golden Driller.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It's a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It’s a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

Sunday

The big day! I really wanted to go for a hike, so we hit Turkey Mountain in the morning for a quick hike with some great views of the city. More pool time since it was so hot and then getting ready for dinner at Laffa, a cool Mediterranean place downtown. I finally got the sweet potato fries I’ve been craving for months! And for the birthday dessert, we stopped at Whole Foods (of course) and then celebrated back home with a few presents (think owl-themed stuff mostly) and games…and more pool time.  

Awww, love this sign.

Awww, love this sign.

Love this view.

Love this view.

My "I need to go hiking more" face.

My “I need to go hiking more” face.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Sister selfie.

Sister selfie.

This was called "Forbidden Fruit" and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn't artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

This was called “Forbidden Fruit” and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn’t artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn't GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn’t GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

Feeling 22!

Feeling 22!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

Monday

I was dreading this day because it was the last full day my family was here. But it was a blast! We went to the zoo and literally spent 4 or 5 hours wandering around checking out all the animals and exhibits. It was basically the biggest zoo I’ve ever been to! I got to see tons of my favorite animal — flamingos! And then it was off to a sushi place for dinner (I found a new go-to). 

Really colorful fish.

Really colorful fish.

Polka dotted lizard.

Polka dotted lizard.

My favorite <3

My favorite ❤

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

My kind of place.

My kind of place.

What’s your favorite zoo animal? What do you like doing for your birthday? 

Currently: November

As you can see, I’ve changed my blog design yet again! I am a little obsessed with page design but I didn’t want to shell out money that I don’t have to get one of the premium designs or find a professional blog designer so this is what I went with and I like it–I love the colorful, bold look!

Anyways, here’s the latest edition of Currently. These kinds of posts are always my favorite to write because they’re more personal but in a fun way!

Current Book: Am I ever reading a book I actually like, instead of something I have to read for school? No such thing! Again, currently reading this book (on my tablet) for my post-WWII history class. I really like that class, and the books are pretty interesting, so no complaints.

all soulsCurrent Music: I’m patiently awaiting the arrival of Christmas music on Sirius XM (editor’s note: actually found out it started on Tuesday, so I’m officially listening to it on the drive to and from school) and I will be listening to that nonstop until New Year’s. What can I say, I love the Christmas season!

Current Guilty Pleasure: Starbucks 1x per week. I’ve been hitting up the ‘bucks almost every week for awhile now, especially now that the red cups are back. Seriously, it’s a problem but not really because I’m working my way up to gold card status and I never order those crazy fancy expensive drinks. Tall Americanos and blonde roasts for me, please and thank you, with the occasional addition of soy or sugar free syrups.

Another guilty pleasure is car selfies.

Another guilty pleasure is car selfies.

Current Nail Color: This pretty forest green color from OPI that I got last Christmas. It came in the cutest mini-size bottle and somehow I still have some left.

Current Drink: I feel like I say water every time (boooooring!) so I’ll switch it up and say tall Americano from Starbucks with 3 pumps sugar free peppermint, in a red cup of course. I got this drink the other day when I was at Starbucks for a group project meeting, and it was surprisingly good and not overly sweet.

Current Food: Lettuce wraps for lunches on campus, random salads at home, homemade PB & J bites (basically raisins blended with peanut butter from the Whole Foods bulk section), black bean pasta (soooo good, and I love the protein it has), protein banana softserve, pomegranates and persimmons.

A totally random but yummy salad.

A totally random but yummy salad.

Current TV Show: I’m not watching any show regularly, aside from SNL every week. A lot of the cast is brand new this season, but I’ve liked most of the shows so far. I still miss Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, though.

Current Wishlist: Basically, all I want is to make it to Thanksgiving break alive (I am crazy busy with school stuff) and then make it to graduation with good grades. I’m in the home stretch, and I’m freaked out and not at the same time. #senioritis

Current Needs: More time in my day to get shit stuff done, a break from school (Thanksgiving break in T-minus 8 days!), a little bit more money in my budget to get me through the rest of the semester.

I also need to find more persimmons, to feed my addiction.

I also need to find more persimmons, to feed my addiction. I like the hachiyas best.

Current Triumphs: This may sound weird, but learning to like the color black. Before this year, I owned basically nothing black in my closet. I was not a fan of black in any way. I finally branched out and bought a few black pieces to add into my wardrobe and I’m finally starting to love it, in small doses, paired with other colors. I just love how chic and edgy it can be!

Current Bane of Existence: School, my skin situation (I still have acne, and it’s not going away easily), stress about finding a job after graduation.

Current Indulgence: These homemade PB cups I made last week. Okay, maybe they weren’t that indulgent, being made with stevia-sweetened dark chocolate and organic, no-salt no-sugar PB, but they were really good and I’m planning on making them again once I get more chocolate chips and PB.

Current Blessing: Having the support of my family, forever and always. I’ve said it before, but I love my family. Even when they get on my nerves, I still love them and I will be forever grateful that they’re so supportive and loving. My mom’s been helping me pay for groceries lately since I’ve been running low on money, and my dad’s helped me figure out some school stuff, and my sister’s just been there to cheer me up with some new Lady Gaga music 😉

Current Outfit: This was something I wore last week, but a red peplum shirt from Forever 21, my new black jeggings from American Eagle (I’m obsessed with these, and they were $12!) and sparkly black flats from Target.

OOTD shots are always better in my new full-length mirror.

OOTD shots are always better in my new full-length mirror.

Current Excitement: ARTPOP, the new Lady Gaga album, is finally out. It’s a lot different than some of her older stuff, and I still think I prefer her Born This Way album, but the new songs are really catchy and fun.

What are some of your currentlies?

Currently: September

I’m trying to get back to a more regular posting schedule (which includes new recipes–check out my other blog for some spicy raw tacos!) but for now, I still don’t have a ton of content I want to cover, so I’m gonna go with the random and always fun ‘Currently’ post.

Current Book: This may be nerdy, but I think my nutrition textbook is really interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition & health, but before my nutrition class this semester, I never did much research into it. Now I’m finding out so many things, like how conventionally-grown oranges are often colored with food coloring to be more ‘orange’ and what those weird-sounding food additives really are.

Current Music: Sorry not sorry, but another alt song is on the list for this month. This time, it’s “Unbelievers” by Vampire Weekend. Gah, I love Vampire Weekend. It doesn’t hurt that the lead singer (Ezra Koenig) is pretty attractive…and obviously talented.

Current Guilty Pleasure: The matching mani I got done with a friend last week. Disclaimer: this is like the 3rd or 4th time EVER that I’ve gotten a mani. The first time was on my 18th birthday. I don’t get them done a lot because it’s hard to justify spending $10+ for polished nails that I could do at home for the price of a bottle of nail polish (though I can’t always get it as good when I do it myself, but at least the price of nail polish goes a lot farther). But it was fun to do it with a friend and now I have pretty taupe nails.

Perf for fall.

Perf for fall.

Current Nail Color: See above ^^^. Before this though, I was sporting Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear (my go-to brand, because it’s cheap and effective) in pink and purple, both on sale at Target for under $2 (because sadly they’re both discontinued colors).

Current Drink: Water from my freebie ‘PINK’ water bottle. It makes drinking water more fun and convenient, since I can just bring it with me to classes and it won’t spill as easily as my other water bottles did. Plus it’s gigantic, so I end up drinking more overall.

I'm loving water + Amazing Grass greens packets too.

I’m loving water + Amazing Grass greens packets too.

Current Food: Lettuce wraps stuffed with spicy raw taco filling/homemade avocado-cashew dressing, coconut butter-stuffed dates, Larabars (so great for when I’m on campus all day), all-fruit softserve from the softserve food truck on campus, figs.

Current TV Show: One of my friends got me hooked on old episodes of New Girl. I won’t be able to watch them live this season because I have CTV on Tuesday nights, but I’m definitely gonna keep watching them somehow.

Current Wishlist: For the 2nd Colorado location of Native Foods Cafe to open (it’s only an hour away from my hometown!), cute and comfortable booties (preferably cheap, too), a new phone (my contract expires in December–maybe I’ll finally get an iPhone…though I love my Android too), for this nice weather to last for awhile (can we just skip over winter?).

Current Needs: I need my budgeting skills back. Over the summer, I wasn’t buying much for myself other than clothes occasionally from money I earned doing chores or from birthday cash but now that I have student loan money again, it’s been too tempting to spend some of it on fun stuff, instead of saving most of it for rent and groceries. I haven’t been going too crazy, and a lot of it has been when I’ve been hanging out with friends and we got sushi, or manis, but I need to keep my spending in check and only buy what I need, with minimal ‘fun’ purchases.

Current Triumphs: Starting to get back into the swing of school (I still have senioritis, BUT it’s motivating me to get through the next 3 months) and being more spontaneous. I’ve gotten really close with a friend I met in our newswriting class 2 years ago, and we’ve been hanging out a couple of times per week. She also invited me to join her intramural volleyball team and even though I don’t like volleyball and I’m not one for team sports (I prefer working out solo, or playing tennis with my dad), I decided to do it. It’s only for 4 weeks, 1x per week (and we’ve already made it through 3 weeks), and even though our team sucks, it’s been fun. Hanging out with friends more often has made me realize how much I crave a schedule, but it’s made me go out of my comfort zone a lot. I’ve been saying yes to Starbucks runs and yoga sessions instead of staying home and doing my regular workouts and such on my own time. It’s been hard, but really freeing.

Current Bane of Existence: This 5 day forecast. Thursday–great! Saturday–okay. Sunday and Monday–perfect. Friday just had to be cold and rainy, right? Ugh, I am so not ready for the 50s yet. I still want the 80 degree weather back!

No. Just...no.

No. Just…no.

Current Indulgence: This deliciousness. Gah. I stopped getting these so often (read: every other week) because they were a bit too expensive (not really, but definitely for a regular purchase) and I didn’t want to get burned out on them. Now that the Whole Foods by school has stopped carrying Hail Merry tarts (WHY?), I have to make a stop at Natural Grocers for them, but they’re cheaper there anyway, so it’s a total win. Plus anything mint+chocolate is just amazing.

Current Blessing: Having my family coming up to visit me this weekend. I usually go home every other weekend because I LOVE my family and it’s nice to get a break from my apartment once in awhile (even though I live alone–I need the company sometimes!) but sometimes they get to come up and spend the weekend at my apartment. Being a hostess is a bit stressful (mostly because I keep my apartment clean and having people over makes that harder to do…and also because I don’t get to keep my regular workout schedule) but I always love seeing them and having my parents treat me to dinners out is always a plus.

Current Outfit: This was actually from Monday, but it was a navy knit sweater over a mint lace bandeau, light wash jeggings, floral hair wrap and a mint statement necklace. Anybody else feel awkward wearing jeans again after a few months without them? Ignore my weird looking thighs in the photo. I’ll be used to wearing skinny jeans again in a couple of months.

This necklace was $5...gotta love Living Social deals!

This necklace was $5…gotta love Living Social deals!

Current Excitement: In the short term–this weekend with the fam. In the longer term–graduation…just 3 months away now!

What are your ‘currents’?