Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend Overview

I feel like I haven't posted in days...

and that's probably because I haven't posted in days!

On Friday I left St. Louis and headed to Madison, New Jersey for my visit with the ladies at Fairleigh Dickinson.  I'm staying with some of the chapter members and there is NO WIRELESS INTERNET!  Crazy, I know.  So because of that my computer/internet time has been pretty limited. 

Wait until I tell you what I did this weekend.  Some of you might be pretty jealous.  The town of Madison is only about 35 minutes from Manhattan, but sadly we didn't have enough time to visit the city.  Instead I visited Carlo's Bakery aka CAKE BOSS!

Here I am with two of the chapter members outside the bakery!

Some of the cupcakes... I had one of the carrot cake ones--delicious!

We waited outside in line for about an hour, and after another 30 minutes wait inside we finally ordered some treats from this famous bakery.  For those of you who don't know, Carlo's is the bakery featured in the TLC program, 'Cake Boss.'  Apparently on weekends there is always a huge line to get in, but week days you can walk right in.  It's in the cute NJ town of Hoboken (home to a huge St. Patty's Day Parade) and is right across the river from the city so there is an amazing view of the NYC skyline.

I also went to see the indie flick shown at the Sundance Film Festival, 'Blue Valentine,' starring Ryan Gossling (ahhh!) and Michelle Williams (boo).  It was an artsy movie like I expected, but basically showed you the destruction of a relationship.  So for those of you who believe in love and romance and all that stuff--this might not be the movie for you.  Ryan Gossling is always amazing to look at, and he definitely did not let me know in this movie.  Basically, if you can appreciate a good movie for what it's worth, and can deal with the depressing ending (for once a movie had a realistic ending and not happy one simply to please the audience) I recommend seeing it.

The rest of the weekend went well.  My scheduled got switched up a bit and I will now be visiting Old Dominion in Norfolk, VA before heading to Oregon!  As always, I will keep you posted!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wild About Wilde

Ok so I know the title of this post is kind of cheesy, but I couldn't help myself.  Oscar Wilde is by far one of my favorite poets and was way ahead of his time.  His peak was during the Victorian era in the late 19th century, but many of his quotes and poems are just as relative today as they were back then.  Not everyone is a fan of this era of writing, but if you even have somewhat of an open mind I highly suggest looking into this literary genius. 

If you do I'd love to hear which pieces spark your interest or get you thinking!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I love my job and all the traveling I get to do is amazing, most people I talk to think that it couldn't get much better.  But you have to remember, unlike big-shot businessmen, I don't get to stay in a fancy hotel room.  I get to re-live my college years and stay in either campus housing or lovely college student houses.  So, that means no relaxing bath time for me.  That is one thing I absolutely look forward to during my breaks.  To me, running a hot bath, filling it with bubbles, lighting some candles (cheesy, I know), getting a hot cup of tea and reading a book is about as good as it gets.

I came across this picture and decided that I need this and need to have a bath that allows something like this.  It's perfect!  Sort of like a TV tray, but for the bath!  And it's really just a piece of wood so I could probably make it which makes it even better!

What kind of things do you do to relax?  Any good tips for relaxing on the road?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One of the Most Controversial Topics in the World...

A few years ago in my speech class we had to break into teams and pick a debatable topic.
I know you're probably thinking abortion, gun laws, animal rights, the drinking age etc.
Those are all debatable, but we settled for another very serious and controversial topic.


Who is better,

I have my own opinions on the topic, and know who my winner would be, but I don't want that to affect your decision.  So because of that I am going to be unbiased and just list the facts.

1. Use of kryptonite (if found)
2. Intelligence
3. Gadgets and weapons
4. Great strategy and resources
5. He's human and understands the human race

1. X-Ray vision
2. Ability to fly
3. Lung capacity
4. Chest of steel
5. Superior strength

So I leave you with this,

who's better...


and ps.  go steelers!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I could not be more excited for this weekend.

Today is filled with lots of meetings and some relaxation at night.

Saturday is University of Evansville's "Musical Madness," where all the Greeks put on a 15 minute mini-musical.  And the theme this year is.... British Invasion!  So yes, that means almost 2 hours of Beatles music : )

and last but definitely not least, the most important day of this weekend


I'm waking up bright and early and catching a plane to St. Louis, and then one of the most important nights ever to the city of Pittsburgh and any Steeler fan...


So put on your black and gold, head dahn tahn to the game, or sit at home with your case of Arn City, and prepare for a Steelers victory.  7 Superbowls anyone?


and if that wasn't enough... here's a little Black and Yellow for ya...


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Favorite iPAD Apps

I'll admit, I am an Apple geek.  I love my Mac, iPOD, and my most recent addition... my iPAD!  Unfortunately, I don't have the iPhone yet... Verizon, HURRY UP!  My mom and step-dad bought me an iPAD for graduation and I have been in love with it ever since.  It was such a surprise because I didn't even ask for one and had NO idea what I was opening up.  I still travel with my laptop, but the iPAD is perfect for all the traveling I do.  While on the plane I can watch a movie or go from taking notes, to playing games, to reading the news all while listening to itunes or Pandora (thanks to the new software!).  

A lot of people have been asking me questions and what my favorite apps were, so I figured what a great topic to post about!  A lot of the apps are available on both the iPAD and the iPhone; when downloading the app if there is a + symbol on the download button it is available for both.

Here's some of my favs:

1.  Aweditorium--if you're a music fan this app is a must!  All those little pictures are snapshots of awesome bands and artists.  When you click on one it begins to play a video and gives facts while it's playing (think old VH1 pop up video style).  

 2. Flipboard-This is one of my newest apps.  The picture is of the main screen.  My boxes are made up of Twitter, Facebook, FlipTech, FlipPhotos, FlipStyle, FlipHome, Design Sponge, and SPIN Magazine.  You tap the box and it shows all different stories, status updates, pictures, video clips on the same page.  When you want more, you just "flip" over the page!

 3. Post on iPad- Also known as "Gadabout" this is the cutest app ever.  It is filled with different notecards you can email or if you have an iPhone, text to your friends.  There are tons of categories to choose from.  So next time you're sending your friend an email, jazz it up a little bit and send her a note on one of Post's creative designs!

 4. Houzz-If you love design this is the app for you.  The left column is all the different rooms of a house, plus extras!  Design professionals update Houzz with their design books that have all their favorite designs, pictures of rooms, and ideas for you to try.  My favorite part is that you can save the pictures into your own ideabook, so when it comes time for you to design your apartment or house, you can just pull out your iPAD for inspiration!

 5. Logic Box- My sister and I spent hours on this when I was home for break.  It's made up of 6 different logic games (our favorite being Parking Lot), and has over 300 levels.  It gets you thinking and is highly addictive! 

 6. Can Knockdown- My second favorite game on my iPad!  It takes me back to when I was young and would play these kind of games at Kennywood and other amusement parks!  The sound effects are the best part.

7. Pandora- I prefer Pandora on my iPAD more than my computer.  It's very similar, but just cleaned up and doesn't have as much clutter.  With the new iPAD software, if you click the home button fast two times, the bottom bar comes up and you can play Pandora while your browsing the internet, reading, or playing a game.

 8. USA Today- I think the reason I like this so much is because it looks like an actual newspaper!  It offers all the same stories, plus the "Day in Pictures" and lots more charts and graphics.  I read it every morning!

9. Weather Channel Max- After I get done reading "the paper" I check the weather.  You just type in your city (no zip code needed) in the top left corner, and it immediately give you a week forecast, lots of pictures, satellite radar maps, weather warnings, and local stories.  Perfect for all the travel I do!

Do you have an iPAD or an iPhone?  What are your favorite apps?  I'm always looking for new ones so I'd love to know!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Welcome to Miami

In an earlier post I talked about my visit in Miami.  I left the sunny weather this past Monday and now I'm at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana!  It's freezing and rainy here, just like most of the country,  so I figured I'd share some Miami pictures to warm you up and lift your spirits!

The chapter in the UM jerseys ready for the 1st round of recruitment!

How cute is this!  The theme for their skit was "There's No Place Like Zeta" and this was displayed outside the recruitment room.

 Beautiful candles set up for the Preference Ceremony.

 Me, Steph (VP3 Recruitment), and Eli (Advisor) in our new Bid Day shirts!

And now to the good stuff...
The BEAUTIFUL house where they had the Bid Day party.

 Bridge going over the infinity pool.

 I just loved the color tile and designs on the bottom of the pool.

 The entire chapter with their new members!

I had an amazing visit at the University of Miami-- it's definitely a place that I hope to return to and actually visit South Beach!  Next up:  University of Missouri, Fairleigh Dickenson in NJ, and Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Top 15 Places I NEED to Visit (in no particular order)

I've been thinking about this for a long time... if I could go anywhere in the world, where would I go?  I've done some research and think I've figured out my top 15 places (I tried to do 10 but it just wasn't working out).  Each place was so amazing I had trouble actually ranking them.  But then I thought, what's the fun of a "Top 15 Places" list with no top place?  So because of that, my number 1 place was hard thought about and actually is my number one.  The other ones are in no particular order.  

15. Paris, France
--For obvious reasons... who doesn't want to go to Paris?

14. London, England
--I am fascinated with British people.  I love everything about them, their accents, style, class and probably the most important reason... The Beatles!  I would love to explore London and the surrounding areas, but I need to see the site of the historic Abbey Road album cover and Apple Studios

13. Palm Islands, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
--How amazing is this?  I'm sure you can tell it is not natural and is being constructed by a developer from the UAE, but either way I think it's beautiful and worth seeing--or at least flying over!

12. L'Albereta, Erbusco, Lombardy, Italy
--I love the idea of sleeping under the starts.  This hotel is definitely a step up from a sleeping bag in your backyard.  I love sleeping with my window open on a summer night, but couldn't even imagine sleeping in a big cozy bed with the sky as your ceiling.

11. Bethel, New York
--Some of you are probably questioning this one... but if you are a 60s fanatic like me you will know why I want to go here.  It's the site of the infamous music festival, Woodstock!  At the actual site there is just this monument, but close by there is an amazing Woodstock museum filled with memorabilia from the festival and the 60s in general.  It's only an hour from NYC so I have a feeling I'll be visiting soon!
10. Crater Lake National Park, Medford, Oregon
--I'm actually going to a small town in Oregon in about a month for work, but I looked it up on Google Maps and unfortunately Crater Lake is about 4 hours away.  To me, this is a truly 'take your breath away' site.    

9. Santorini, Greece
--This beautiful place is the remains of a volcanic eruption from over 3,600 years ago.  The island surrounds the Agean Sea and the cliff is fairly steep.  I love the architecture, the contrast of the white and bright blue, and the openness of the buildings.

8. Seattle, Washington
--Known for many things including Starbucks, grunge rock and Kurt Cobain, Grey's Anatomy and of course Sleepless in Seattle, Seattle is a wonderful city.  Although it is also known for the constant rain, it is a beautiful port city with lots to offer.

7. Madagascar
--Ok so I'll admit, the movie did spark my interest in this large island.  After looking at real life pictures, I soon realized that the scenery in the movie was pretty spot on!  The island is located off the southeastern coast of Africa and has over 12,000 of the worlds plant species and thousands of animals.  The lemur is one of their most popular!  

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
--This is the largest city in the Netherlands and and is filled with culture.  In the past, these canals were used as the main means of transportation.  Many still exist today, however roads have become the primary means.  Many things that are illegal in most countries, are legal in Amsterdam... I'm sure you can figure out what I'm talking about.

5. Ashford Castle, Ireland
--Every child has a fantasy about living in a castle.  I know I've certainly used to pretend I was a princess living in an extravagant castle.  Visiting Ashford would partly make my dreams come true.  It is now a hotel, so I could stay I temporarily lived in a castle!  Not to mention the gorgeous green hills surrounding the site.  And it's in Ireland!

4. San Francisco, California
--I think by now you know that I love music and the 1960s.  San Francisco has so much history and culture I am just dying to go there.  Between Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz, the cable cars, and the place I most want to visit, the legendary 1967 "Summer of Love" Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, you will never be bored during your stay here.

3. China Danxia, China
--I highly recommend looking at more pictures of China Danxia.  These are just two of hundreds of pictures I found, many of which say this is one of the "new" natural wonders of the world.  The red rocks and mountains are unreal, and I just can't get over the houses built into the cliffside!

2. Grindavik, Iceland--The Blue Lagoon
--I LOVE this!  I know you're thinking Iceland, there is no way those people can be warm.  But this lagoon is one of the warmest bodies of water in the world (you can see all the steam!)  The Blue Lagoon is actually a spa/resort in Iceland, and this is part of their outdoor facilities.  

And my number one choice....

1. Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
--My maternal grandparent's families are both from Slovakia.  Although the other places on my list are amazing, I just had to put Banska Bystrica at the top.  Not only is it such a historic city, but this is where my family is from.  Banska Bystrica isn't the exact town, which I do hope to visit, but it is filled with history and beautiful sites.  I know my pap would have loved to visit his family here, so I hope to one day fulfill his dream and visit myself.

I hope I've sparked some interest and inspiration with my Top 15 list!  I promise if I ever get to cross a city off my list I will let you know!  What are your top places you want/need to visit?  I'd love to know your dreams and ideas... maybe it will make my list will grown to 20!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

GP and the NOCS

Many of you already know because I've blogged about it a million times, but I am a HUGE music lover.  Some of my favorites being older artists from the 60s and 70s.  Besides country music, I have a hard time finding current artists that give me that feeling I get when I listen to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Eric Clapton, etc.  I do love OAR, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, but one of my favorite bands, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is the perfect mixture between old and new.  First off, Grace is rockin' and her voice is amazing... so powerful and at times has that Janis Joplin scratchiness...  

...and the rest of the band is made up of so many talent artists with the best personalities.

I saw them perform for the first time in Pittsburgh this past October and cannot wait to see them again.  After the show I was being the creepy fan that I am and walked slowly past the tour bus.  I missed most of the band, but did get to meet Scott and grab a picture!

Grace and the Nocs were asked to be on the Johnny Depp Alice and Wonderland's soundtrack featuring their amazing cover of Jefferson Airplanes "White Rabbit."  It's one of my favorite songs they sing, along with "Low Road" and "One Short Night."  Here's a clip of a live performance of "White Rabbit:"

 They also have a great Facebook Page with fun status updates and exclusive pics and videos!  Pleaseeee check them out and let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Party in the City Where the Heat is On

I'm sure you by now you can figure out that I am in MIAMI!  I arrived in Miami on Monday and I'll be here through the 17th.  Yesterday the weather was BEAUTIFUL, 81 degrees.  I was sweating my butt off, especially coming from Pittsburgh and the freezing cold.  Recruitment at the University of Miami starts today and I can't wait!  The girls have been working hard the past few days rehearsing their skit and preference ceremony and getting together all the decorations for each night.  Tonight is Spirit Night, so the entire room is filled with orange and green!  All the girls are wearing jerseys and it's very laid back and casual.

After being here for only 2 days, I've already decided that I NEED to come back here.  I haven't even seen South Beach yet and I'm in love.  I don't see how you could ever have a bad day living here.  Recruitment ends on Saturday and Bid Day for the new members is early Sunday, so I'm hoping afterwards I get to see JB and get a little tour of Miami, especially the South Beach area.  I'm hoping to run in to Kourt and Khlo outside of DASH, but we'll see.  Stay tuned for some more Miami updates : )

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Country Stong

As a lot of people may know, I am a HUGE movie person.  Those $5 bins at Walmart get me every time.  So I love watching movies, but I don't actually go to the theater too much.  It takes a lot for me to really want to go out and see a movie.  Well, there is a movie that comes out tomorrow and I have literally watched the trailer about 50 times AND all the extra videos and clips.  Country Strong looks like it will soon become one of my favorite movies.  I'm going to the theater to see it on Saturday and can't wait!  For those of you who haven't heard of it or haven't seen the trailer... here it is!