I was looking through my pinboard for interior design and I came to the realization that apparently I've got a thing for black and white color schemes with wood accents. Ideally I'd like to live in the city, but if I HAD to choose a suburban home, this would be it.  Let me give you a tour of my lovely light and dark abode...

The exterior: the shapes make it so modern, but the white siding adds a nice almost colonial feel. 

The media room: mixed textures with a touch of organized chaos.

The closet: even the clothes are black and white! Bonus: that awesome denim jacket hanging up to the right.

The living room: book-reading room by day, perfect coffee-sharing and conversation room by night. I wonder if the fire place is actually functional...

The backyard: can I just say that this outdoor space knocks my hypothetical socks off?

The master bath: tiles on the floor, wood on the wall--A.K.A. just the way I like it...

 Breakfast/blogging nook: fresh flowers, artistic wall decor, and a watermelon for good measure.

The bedroom: I sincerely hope I'll be living with some kind of mad scientist who will take complete advantage of this majestic chalkboard wall and use it to its full potential.

The kitchen: not a huge fan of the wood color on the cabinets, but that tile... and those windows!

The lighting: apparently these lantern lights are all the rage?
(1. 2. 3.)

If you need anymore black & white interior inspiration, I highly suggest you take a look at my pinterest linked at the beginning of this post. I really didn't notice how obsessed I was until I put this together!


College never ceases to amaze me, especially the random things it throws at you. It all started when we were leaving Airheads, a pretty sweet trampoline place. "Your parents dropped you off 5 hours ago? LET'S POP HER TIRE! And THEN, let's point out the fact that she's still unfamiliar with anything but Michigan left turns and let her nearly drive herself over a median--WHILE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!" (<<If college shared its personal agenda, that would be it.) It was a fabulous first night. Even though I was stressed out about the whole ordeal and panicking about my lack of car knowledge and father, it was seriously hilarious. I mean it when I say that that day has by far been the longest day of my life.

One of my new favorite things in this town is Rita's Italian Ice; my eyes were opened on Labor Day after a sun-filled afternoon at Clearwater Beach with friends. It's almost like a slushy or snowcone, but it doesn't melt as quickly and you can get it in mango-pineapple flavor with vanilla custard on top! Is it morally acceptable to run off with a dessert? No? I don't believe you. Another rockstar down here is Yogurt Mountain. Pretty much everyone is familiar with the fill-a-bucket style franchise, but this place has cookies and cream froyo. No complaints over here!

That same weekend a few friends and I had the opportunity to go to a Guinness World Record-breaking food truck rally in Tampa. With 99 trucks the event was incredibly awesome, but unfortunately the immense crowd at the open of the bash wiped out at least half of the trucks by 5 o'clock (A.K.A. the time that we showed up). Lessons we learned: 1. Go early. 2. Just because the dish is called "Taco Cactus" does NOT mean that there is actually cactus in the taco, even after you wait a whole stinkin' hour to eat the semi-exotic plant. 3. If you want to eat from a truck, eat from that truck the first time you walk by it. DO NOT wait until you pass it a second time to realize that everyone else took the opportunity before you did. 4. Water bottles will be sold for $1 at a multitude of stands, don't pay $2 just because Kristin convinces you otherwise.

So BACK to the car issues. I tried to deal with it the next day by hitting up Tire Kingdom not too far down the road. ATTENTION ALL YOUNG FEMALES WHO APPEAR TO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS: They WILL attempt to rip you off. The original quote they gave me for 2 tires was ridiculously outrageous, but thankfully my dad loves me quite a bit and offered to call and talk about it with the establishment before I came back the next day. Their original plan was to sell me cheaper tires with unnecessary add ons, but our final deal was nicer tires, no stupid add-ons, and a lower price than the quote. UGH. People make me so mad. FLORIDIANS, DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR BUSINESS.

Another inanimate object I would run off with: Super Target. It's close; it's massive; it's got everything. Plus this random guy from Hong Kong works there who's super nice and likes pandas. How can you not love someone like that? We were there the other night looking through the cheapy clearance section when I came across a bag of gold--and by gold I mean Einstein Bagels. Think about it: you've been eating food made for the masses that just kinda weirds you out, but you eat it because you need something to fill your stomach. And then you come across TWO GLORIOUS ASIAGO BAGELS (your favorite), JUST WAITING TO BE EATEN. They looked untouched. It was right before closing so no one was coming back for those suckers. WOULD YOU OR WOULD YOU NOT EAT THE BAGELS? 

So despite being advised against the decision, I ate the bagels


I felt like a Neanderthal trying to discover fire by chewing on a rock or something. Not the pleasant experience I expected, but hey, no regrets over here. I would've lived the rest of my life wondering about the mystery bagels.

Kristin is much better at putting air in tires than I am.

Asian style pulled pork, asparagus panini with prosciutto, provolone, and horseradish sauce, and corn  salsa from Flying Sliders. That was some good food!


Food truckin'

^^My phone was much higher quality than this -_-

Clearwater Beach for Labor Day!

**Hallelujah Chorus** 



Rifle Paper Co. notebooks have been a recent trend around my house (and others, from what I've seen). They're visually appealing, small, and are a little more fun than a moleskin. However, I think I've spotted a new favorite. Although I haven't gotten my hands on one yet, the hand-bound books over at Emgie Libris are a lovely refreshment for the simpler side. Made from materials like leather, canvas, and denim, the books are flexible and come in three sizes: the passport, designer, and artist. The leftie part of me is especially excited about the flexibility :).


This post is very cold-hard facts oriented, so it may not sound the most positive. Part III will be much more fun and exciting, I promise!

Friends and People:
Laynie and Kristin are my home team. For the first week or so, it was just us. When you're alone you kind of have to branch out, but with the three of us, the pressure isn't there so much. Even though we were totally open to meeting new people and being friendly, I don't think our little group was very approachable. Having solid core friends is awesome, though. I dig that.

You meet a multitude of personalities, both pleasant and not so pleasant. Have you ever wanted to slap someone really badly? That urge hit Kristin and me in chapel this week when a group of guys wouldn't stop talking throughout the majority of Dr. Klem's message. You pay some heavy cash to attend this fine Christian institution, yet you don't have the respect and decency to shut your trap to listen to God's Word for forty minutes!? I don't know why I expected everyone to be mature, but I've been sorely disappointed by some of the individuals I've encountered. Yes, guys will still blast their music unnecessarily loud from their fancy car and drive around campus an excessive number of times. BUT the vast majority of people I've met so far have been amazingly kind and friendly, so I'm fairly certain a few bad eggs haven't poisoned the entire campus :). I haven't had any bullies, mean girls, or jerks personally offend me, so no need to worry about enemies thus far! I absolutely love my unit, so I feel very fortunate. We seem to be on the same page for many topics that could make living together very awkward, so it's a huge relief to be able to be open and not be afraid that someone is silently judging you in your own residence.

Living  Conditions:
I explained this quiet often when I was back home, but I'll just remind everyone who's curious. The girls' dorms are made up of units. Each unit has four rooms connected to one main living room area. Two girls live in each room. Additionally, a bathroom with two stalls, two (newly renovated) showers, and three sinks is joined to this main room. 

The food... oh, the food. It's not good. If you have no qualms about where your food comes from (even fruit, in my case, just because I'm picky), it's not so bad; however, if you're a grass-fed, cage-free organic type, this place is torture. I would be all over Nature's Food Patch every meal, if budget allowed it (me + strawberry kombucha + gourmet cheese press = happiness for the rest of my life). I will admit that I thoroughly enjoy drinking carbonated water with lemon for every meal, and the coconut ranger cookies are incredible, so it's not all bad.

If I cook for myself, I typically have to trek it up to the lounge. Only hotpots and coffee makers are allowed in the dorm, so if I'm craving anything more than tea or soup, a large haul of supplies is in order. After lugging my griddle, food, utensils, and dishwashing tools to the second floor, I normally make a mini feast to make the trip worth it. The other day I went all out with scrambled eggs, an egg sandwich, and almond butter/cinnamon/honey toast--sooo good. Popcorn is an amazing option, too. Don't be afraid to get thrifty when you're on your own.

^ My dorm room! Shoutout to Niki for letting me borrow the lights. They really do make all the difference in our room!

^ My desk! It hasn't looked this pristine since I took this picture.

^ When in Florida, do as the Floridians do.

^ I do not regret buying these slippers at all. We aren't pigs, but I'd rather have something on my feet than not, knowwhatImean?


I've made it almost THREE WHOLE WEEKS! That is all God because, honestly, the first weekend I was about to lose my mind up in here. Privacy? Nope. Sleep? Nope. Easily meeting new people? Nope. Bonus: everything felt like camp! I'm not kidding you. Halfway through the first week I was like, "When are they gonna assign teams? Where's my counselor? People can hold hands!?" (single hand-holding, mind you). 

Thankfully after you give it some time and settle into your regular routine, you come to accept the fact that nothing's the same and you have to get used to it. At the end of the first very stressful week full of not knowing where to sit at lunch or where the heck everyone goes after classes are over, I was talking with my friend Laynie during one of our very regular late-night walks. The conversation went a little like,"Why do we care so much? I don't even know these people! It's been one stinkin' week, who cares if I sit by them or not. I'm tired of stressing about these people. Ya know what, I surrender to college. I SURRENDER. Que sera, sera. It stinks but it's not gonna last forever. Christmas Break, come quickly."

That little vent actually released a ton of stress for us and slowly, bit by bit, college is actually becoming enjoyable. I got around to decorating my half of the dorm room, I've started to make some great friends, and I've learned a loooot about cars (wait, did I put that last part under the enjoyable section? My bad. I didn't mean that).

Anyways, here are some pics from the trip down and the first week. Part II will be much more specific and I'll share some of my best experiences so far... college certainly has not been uneventful!

^ Took this the day before I left. I miss this goofy face so much. There's no one to pick up my dropped popcorn around here.

^ The Creation Museum was super cool, but one of the most exciting things was the multiple llama face opportunities. Jessica Cook herself liked the picture on the right on instagram ;)

^ Sunday we ventured to a lobster shanty near church. Pretty good stuff.

^ Don't worry, be crabby :)

^ We went to Clearwater Beach. We got rained on at Clearwater Beach.

^ You are correct, that IS a flat tire. It was gifted to me on the very day my parents dropped me off. Many unwanted adventures ensued.

^ Does anyone else follow Dogs or Legs on twitter? We went to the Edson's community pool so I had to pay tribute.

^ My first attempt at a sunny-side egg on my griddle. Just because it says non-stick surface DOES NOT mean you shouldn't use non-stick cooking spray. #lessonlearned

^ Cafeteria food stinks. Desserts are hit or miss. You know what's not hit or miss? Marshmallow fluff, cap'n crunch, and frosted flakes. Hope you like sugar.

^ Kristin: "I can't wear red lipstick."
Me: "Yes you can! Here, put this on."
**lipstick is passed around and many pictures are taken**

^ I ordered a poster a week before I left, but it came a little late so my mom had to forward it on down to Florida for me. Seeing her handwriting on the back made me happy :)

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me or sent any little bit of encouragement! It is very much appreciated. I absolutely love getting mail so the last three weeks have been a lot of fun.

Look for Part II soon!

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