June 28, 2013

Summer of Something New blog challenge: Week 1

     Finally time to share my first post for the Summer of Something New blog challenge! I did my "new thing" for the challenge last Sunday, at the start of the week. Since I had such a busy week coming up with work, I wanted to make a little treat item that I could take with me as a snack for my breaks. However, since I've left for college last summer my mom has been trying to have a sugar-free diet for her health, and has asked that I don't bake large portions of sweet treats anymore and leave them around the house. So with this in mind, I knew that whatever I made had to be small. Small portion recipes are also great to have around for instances such as if you're having a friend over for the afternoon and want to share some homemade treats, but don't want the hassle of making a huge batch of something and having the whole kitchen a mess.

     Well, the recipe that I found had a lot of great qualities! First, it was a very small portion. I was able to make everything using only a tiny mixing bowl and one cookie sheet. Second, the cookies didn't have any regular sugar in them, the only sweeteners were honey and the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Not quite "sugar free," but better then using a ton of regular sugar. And third, they're eggless! This is big for me because I HATE eggs. Seriously, I think they're the most disgusting things ever. I don't eat any type of eggs (like scrambled or boiled), and just the smell of them cooking makes me want to puke.   Obviously I do need to usually use eggs when I bake, but even just cracking and touching them makes me grossed out. So it was great for me to find a recipe that made delicious cookies and avoided them altogether! This also means that the batter is safe to eat! ;-)

     The original recipe for the cookies that I made can be found here at a website called Sugar-Free Mom, but I changed a couple things so below is the exact recipe that I used:


Almost Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 tablespoons softened butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup white flour (you can also use whole wheat flour for even healthier cookies)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips



      Ready to hear how easy this recipe is? You combine everything in a small mixing bowl. Since there's no eggs and only a few ingredients, there's no order as to how things should go into the mixing bowl. 



    Next you make small balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet, and then bake the cookies at 375 degrees for about 10ish minutes!




     These cookies came out really soft, which was wonderful because I'm not really a big crunchy cookie person. They tasted best warm and right out of the oven, but made a decent snack for my first few days of working both jobs. The whole recipe only made like 12 cookies, but that was perfect because clean-up was easy and since I was the only one eating them it meant that I wouldn't eat too many. I'm definitely going to keep this recipe on hand for the next time I have a friend over and want to make something quickly! 


     To see more Summer of Something New posts, check out these blogs today!


     Tonight is my very first (and only!) night off from work this week, and I'm going to use it to do some errands, which include a trip to Michael's to get some craft supplies for an upcoming week of the Summer of Something New challenge! (I know that I just posted about how I'm currently on a spending fast, but this craft project will create storage for some important items of mine, so I think it's necessary! It will also help with dorm room organization once I head to school.) I also hope to grab some Indian take-out food to bring home for dinner, and after I'll hopefully continue to make my way through season eight of the That 70s Show on Netflix. :-)

     
     xoxo Miss ALK

June 27, 2013

Encouragement and perseverance.

     I started a new devotional book this week called Get Lost by Christian author Dannah Gresh. I'd read a couple of Dannah's books before and always been encouraged by them, so when Get Lost came out recently I ordered in on Amazon right away. This book is wonderful and has already been such a positive influence for me, and I hope to blog more about that soon. But for today I just wanted to share this brief but wonderful quote that I found in the book:

     "The fact that God created you is your worth." -Dannah Gresh

     This quote just struck something in me, and since I've read it I've been pondering over how amazing it is. What a simple and brilliant concept- the fact that God created us is our complete worth. Ever person on this Earth was created as apart of His plan. No one is an accident or mistake. We all have the power to do wonderful things during our lives, and we can do those for God's glory! The next time I start doubting myself in any way, whether it's in behavior or appearance or anything really, I'm going to try and remember this quote. It all comes down to the fact that all of us were created, and that should be more than enough to satisfy us. Another reason why I love this quote is I feel like it can apply to so many situations!

     In other news, I wrote in yesterday's post that I had a really rough first couple days at my second summer job, which is at a day camp. My schedule there wasn't what I'd asked for, and I was working afternoons instead of mornings. This proved to be a problem because I was signed up for nights at my retail job, so I was rushing from one job to the next and I had no down time at all. Tuesday night I had a breakdown and cried and cried after I got out of work. After that I was determined that I was going to quit my camp job, but when I went to work yesterday I realized that I was having a much better day. I didn't have to rush off right after work to my retail job, so I was more relaxed and calm, and I found that I was in a better mood and I was also enjoying the kids that I work with a lot more.

     I have talked to my boss at the camp to make sure that next week and for the rest of the summer I'll be working mornings- so days when I have shifts at both jobs I'll have a nice break in the afternoons to rest at home or at the beach.  I have a feeling that this break will make all of the difference for me, but I've also come to accept that if it doesn't, I'll have to quit my second job. But if I do quit, I'll know that I gave it a better try then just two days. I have a tendency to quit a lot of things that I start. While sometimes it might be necessary, (such as if I find soon that I just can't handle two summer jobs) I also think it's good to try to follow through on your commitments. Perseverence is a word that I keep telling myself to get through this difficult first week. 



     Stay tuned tomorrow for my first post of the Summer of Something New blogging challenge!


     xoxo Miss ALK

     


June 26, 2013

Wants vs. Needs.

     I have come to the conclusion that I like to spend money a little too much. I don't think that I have like a shopping addiction or anything; for example, I always make sure there's a decent amount of money in my bank account in case of an emergency. But I've started to realize that when I'm bored the things that I do to entertain myself usually cost money, especially when I'm at school. When I was bored after a long day of classes at college I'd usually treat myself to some off-campus food, and oftentimes I'd go shopping. While I am usually a bargain shopper and don't usually buy things on full price, I think I bought a lot of stuff last year that I didn't really need at all, and I'm starting to see that trend follow me this summer.

     For example, last week my mom and I went to the outlets in Freeport, Maine (home of L.L. Bean for those who didn't know). While up there I had wanted to buy another pair of shorts, because one of my summer jobs is casual attire since it's outdoors and working with kids. We have uniform t-shirts but I was worried that I didn't have enough shorts. We went to J. Crew, and I got distracted and ending up buying a whole new outfit and then realizing at the cashier that with the amount of money I'd spent I  didn't want to spend anymore buying shorts, which was the thing I went there for! 

     I spent a lot of money during my freshman year, and although I'm working more this summer then I did last year I realize that I need to get serious about saving money. I'll be hopefully doing Greek life for the rest of college and that will bring more expenses, and if I'd like to go on a spring break trip next year with friends that I will probably have to cover my share of the trip. Then there's things that will come after college, such as rent and a new car (And possibly a wedding? Hey you never know!) and money for those things won't show up instantly! I'll have to have a good savings account in place to afford any of those things. 

     And those are just the things that I want. This past year the Lord has really put on my heart the subject of tithing. I tried last semester to always have a little bit of money each week to tithe to the church I went to at school, and this summer I'd really like to make a donation to a Christian charity such as Samaritan's Purse or World Vision. My heart breaks for the people around the world who live in poverty and struggle to get by, and sometimes I feel almost sick when I think about all of the material possessions that I already have. 

     So I've decided to to take a month long "spending money fast." I decided to start it last Wednesday, June 19th, and it will run until July 19th. That will give me a few weeks before I leave for school to purchase anything that I'll need for the coming school year. My goal is to put most of the money from my paychecks directly into my bank account. Hopefully this will allow me to re-discover some things that I already had and forgot about, and also allow me to make a positive dent in my savings. 

     There are a few exceptions to this fast: I will still be purchasing gas for Lucy (my name for my car :-)) when I need it. The good news is that both of my summer jobs are about a five minute commute from my house, and I'm working so much in the next month that I won't have a lot of time for road trips, so I shouldn't need too many trips to the gas station. Another exception is food: the few times now that I get to see my high school friends it's usually surrounding getting lunch or dinner at a nearby restaurant since there's not a ton to do in our small beach town. With my work schedule and my friends' schedules I don't think I'll be going out to eat too much, but I want to allow myself that if the opportunity arises. And the last exception would be necessities that I need for school. I have a summer reading assignment for one of my classes, so I'll be ordering that book sooner than later. I also needed a new planner for school anyways, and a few days ago Lilly Pulitzer was having a free gift with purchse promotion, so I purchased it then. It'll be great to know that my planner will be coming in long before I leave for school too! 

My new agenda for sophomore year! :-)

     I hope that my spending money fast will have many positive results!  I can't wait to see how much money I save, and be able to donate to a charity soon.


     xoxo Miss ALK


     P.S. This post was actually pre-written a few days ago, and I'm writing this update the night before I post this. I would really appreciate any prayers right now for strength- my second job is proving to be not as good of a fit as I thought and the past two days with double shifts have been extremely stressful for me. I'm also having bad PMS right now, and that plus 10ish hour work days in a 90 degree Maine heatwave has made for a really hard time. I might have to soon think about leaving one of my jobs, but I'm already stressing about that because it means a lower income then I expected. But hey, I guess that corresponds perfectly to this post. This might be a way that the Lord is testing me, and if He wants me to make do with less money coming in then I need to stop placing so much importance on money. But anyways, prayers for handling my work situation would be much appreciated! It won't be perfect whether I stay or if I leave, and I'm just unsure about where to go and what to do right now. 
     And as always, let me know if you have any prayer requests too! This summer praying more is one of my goals, and I'd love to pray for any of you. :-) 

June 25, 2013

Missin' Myrtle.



     Have you ever visited a new place, and loved it so much almost instantly? That's the story of me and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, even though I've only spent a total of about four hours there in my whole life.




      Last summer I went to freshman orientation at my former college in mid-July. My dad decided that we would spend a few extra days in the South and make it a daddy-daughter vacation. I wanted the whole trip to be at Myrtle Beach, but since it's very touristy and busy my dad decided against staying there, because he wanted a quieter vacation (which I could understand). We ended up going to Ocean Isle Beach in NC after orientation, which is a peaceful little beach town on the state line of the Carolinas.

     By our last day of vacation we felt like we'd kinda done the Ocean Isle scene, and we decided to do a day trip since we had a rental car. Myrtle was only an hour south, so that's where we headed off to! I was PUMPED.

     I loved Myrtle Beach the second we arrived in the outskirts of town. Some people may find all of the touristy shops and strip malls to be tacky, but I thought it was awesome. Most of Maine's beaches have a very rural and remote feeling to them, and while natural beauty is great, it was a big change for me to see a more built up coastline.

     My dad and I had no idea what Broadway at the Beach was until we stumbled upon it (literally). We spent much of a great afternoon and evening shopping there, eating some delicious food and just taking in all of the sights!


Dad and I

     It was a great day, and the highlight of last year's summer vacation. My little taste of Myrtle Beach just left me wanting a full week there! I wish I could visit Myrtle again this summer, but I'll be attempting to wait patiently until the next time that I can.


     xoxo Miss ALK
   

June 24, 2013

Introducing the Summer of Something New blog challenge!

     Boy oh boy do I have some exciting blog news today! And doesn't exciting blog news make Mondays better? I think so! :-)

    *drumroll please*....... I now have (real) social media icons up! After realizing that it was beyond me to make my own, I ordered some from an Etsy shop. I think they make my blog look like 100% more "professional" already, and I may or may not have clicked on them about a bazillion times because I'm so happy about their arrival. #bloggingnerdstatus

     You probably know that's not the real reason for this post though... the real news is I'm introducing that I'm co-hosting a fun blogging challenge!

        A couple months ago I started e-mailing back and forth with Elle exchanging ideas for a summer blogging challenge. She and I had done a 30 day blogging challenge back in early 2012 when I was still writing on my old blog. :-) It was a lot of fun and allowed us to get to know each other and our readers better! Unfortunately it summer is a busy time so an everyday of the month challenge didn't seem too realistic, so we eventually decided upon the Summer of Something New challenge!

     Basically each week for the next six weeks Elle, myself, the two other fabulous gals that are joining in will commit to trying one new thing, and then blogging about it that Friday at the end of the week! So this week's posts will go up on Friday, June 28th, and the last Friday of the challenge will be Friday, August 2nd. If a blogger cannot post on that week's Friday for whatever reason, the post can be shared on Thursday or Saturday.

     The beauty of the Summer of Something New is that you can you can literally do anything as long as it's new to you, and you blog about it! Some ideas include trying new recipes or craft projects, taking a day trip to somewhere you've never been before, learning a new skill, reading a different type of book than you usually read, etc. I always find that I tend to get lazy during my free time in the summers, so I'm looking forward to this as a way to stay busy and creative when I'm not working!

     Now let me introduce the bloggers who will be participating with me:

*Elle: First up is my co-host for the challenge! Let me just say that I have a lot of favorite blogs I follow, but Elle definitely writes one of my top favorite blogs! I love her honesty and realness, and she has a great sense of humor, too! She is a great role model for college girls like myself, and I am so thankful that we were able to become blog friends! One thing that I find interesting is that one of the reasons that we both started blogging is because it was a way to vent about school. ;-)
     Elle and her husband J are "not-so-newlyweds" who just celebrated their 2nd wedding anniversary. (Side note: they're one of the cutest blog couples that I know of.) Elle is currently in a graduate program studying to become a counselor. She and J are both Christians. They're also fur-parents to a very cute dog named Cooper who makes frequent appearances on her blog.  Elle blogs over at elle-oh-vee about enjoying married student life! 



*Jessica: Jessica is one of my newer blog friends, but she's one of the sweetest bloggers that I've ever "met"! This girl has one of the biggest hearts for Jesus that I've ever seen. Her testimony was so encouraging for me to read, and I encourage all of you to read it too! Her blog posts are always so down-to-earth and fun to read.
     Jessica is a new college graduate from the Northwest who is getting ready to take on grad school! She is passionate about photography, iced coffee, chocolate travel and being a Young Life leader. Jessica started her blog, Forever Convinced, as a way to share her faith with others. 





*mQs: Miss mQs from The Shore Life of M and I have a lot of interesting things in common! Both of us blog under our initials, and both of us are soon to be college sophomores who are also transfer students! It was really cool for me this past spring to be able to read another gal's blog who was going through the transfer process as well. mQs wrote up her own bio for me to share with all of you!
     My name is Michaela Quigley (mQs).  I'm an east coast girl starting my sophomore year of college.  I am studying Middle Grades Education with the intention of becoming a teacher.  I have a passion for fashion,quotes,  photography, sports, the beach, Starbucks, shopping, food, exercising, and crafting.  These things are all noticeable throughout my blog. I started my blog, Shore Life According to M, in January 2013. I had been following blogs for about six months, and with the start of a new year I thought it would something fun to try.  I have always been a creative person.  In college I found myself not being able to express my creativity as much, so my blog became a way for me to be creative and take my mind off of the stress of college. My blog doesn't really have a theme.  I write about whatever inspires me each day.  I am working to expand my blog and obtain a larger following base, as well as make my blog bigger and better. I am always open to feedback and suggestions, in fact I love hearing what my readers have to say.  It is one of my favorite parts of blogging.  I am excited for this month long challenge with Ms. ALK and what it has to offer me and all of my readers.





     I'm so excited to be doing such a fun blogging challenge with three awesome bloggers! I can't wait to see what fun ideas everyone brings to the table. And the good news is for all of you reading this; there's still time to join in if you'd like to! Just make sure to e-mail me asap (which you can now do using that handy dandy little e-mail icon!), and I'll add you in!

     In other news, today is my first day of working at both summer jobs. I have evening and afternoon shifts, which means that I'll only have less than an hour later to drive home, change from camp attire into business casual attire, eat dinner and then leave for the next job! Eeek. Pray that I'll be able to make this in time!


     xoxo Miss ALK

June 21, 2013

Guy lessons from reflection {Part 1}

     In the last few weeks, I've had this huge urge to just pour my heart out into this blog. When I first began this blog I was looking forward to doing some things differently then I had on my old one. For example, I never really got into fashion at all before, and fashion posts were something that I was excited to do. I still love doing them (I'm not stopping! Don't worry) and I've gotten some great feedback, but as I look back on my first few posts on this blog I realize how little I wrote about what was going on in my life at that time (which was my first semester of college). If you've read any of my posts of late about non-fashion things you've probably realized that I over-analyze everything that happens in my life. Well, a good way to deal with all of this is by blogging things out. :-)

     During my first semester I had "relationships" with two guys, one at the start of the semester and one at the end. When I say relationship, it makes it sound like I had two boyfriends over the course of the semester, which isn't true at all. I'm proud to say that my Facebook relationship status has never been changed from single, and it's going to stay that way until a wonderful Godly guy sweeps me off my feet. ;-) But anyways, by relationship with these two guys I mean more like friendship that was headed in the direction of dating, but never made it. (See how complicated that was to explain and why I just stuck with the term "relationship?" Haha.) Both were totally different situations involving guys that were total opposites of each other. Since coming home for the summer I've been thinking a lot about both of these "relationships" and how much I learned from each one and grew. But I feel like I'm still hanging on to each one a little bit, and it's time to move on for good. So hopefully by telling all of you the details of both, as well as what I learned, I can finally have closure and move on. Plus, it will give you all a little insight as to what I was up to last summer, which is a time when I had taken an unofficial blogging break.

The story of Guy #1:

     Guy #1 and I actually met on online, and it will be a year ago on Tuesday. I only remembered this because he first messaged me on June 25th, and 25 has always been one of my lucky numbers. Anyways, last summer I was apart of a Facebook group for members of the incoming freshman class at my (former) college. I was going to be attending July's orientation, so I tried to message as many people as I could who were on the group to introduce myself and see if they were going to the same orientation as me.
     Guy #1 actually messaged me first! He sent a basic message saying a little bit about himself and that he was a fellow incoming freshman looking to make some friends before the start of the school year. I happened to be online when he wrote, so I wrote back right away, and then he wrote back, and before I knew it we were deep in conversation. Well, I ended up glancing at the clock at one point once it had gotten late and I saw that we had been Facebook chatting for four hours! We talked about so many things in that first chat; everything from what we were majoring in and where we were from (he was from NC), to our Christian faiths and our families. I told him that I had to get to bed, but I asked him if he wanted to continue to chat the next day and he said yes.

     Well fast-forward to a week later and by then we'd Facebook chatted every night that week! By this point we'd also shared phone numbers. That weekend I went away on a one night camping trip with my high school's Interact club. I'd been very involved in Interact since sophomore year, and this was the big end of the year bash. It was held on a small island up Maine, the teacher advisor for interact had a cabin on the island and we all camped in her yard. But anyways, while on the camping trip my friend H and I had a heart-to-heart talk about boys while in my tent at two in the morning. I told her all about guy #1, and I was so excited to finally be able to tell H that things were happening for me in the boy department! After a failed attempt at liking a guy friend of mine during the start of senior year, I hadn't really liked anyone since then, so this was kind of a big deal for me. This was also the first guy I had liked in a long time that was Christian.

H and I on the boat ride to the island for the camping trip! June 2012

     Guy #1 and I continued texting, and our conversations began to talk more to matters of love and dating. At this point things were never about each other, but he later told me that he had feelings for me by this point. I was on the verge of developing feelings. We were open with each other on just about everything: qualities we were looking for in a BF/GF, thoughts on sex before marriage (both of us not for it), our dream dates, celebrity crushes, etc. I loved how open I could be with him, and I felt totally comfortable talking to him about everything. I liked how he said his family was an important part of his life, and how his Christian faith was important to him. He didn't curse, and shared my views on drugs and alcohol. And the best part was he loved talking to me even more than I liked talking to him! Things seemed great as the month of July started.

Saw this amazing DOUBLE rainbow while driving in my hometown on June 24th, 2012, the day before guy #1 and I started talking. I saw this while driving and was so amazed that I pulled over to take some pictures!!!

     A couple days before I was leaving for July orientation at my former school, I suddenly wondered to myself why I wasn't trying to make plans to meet guy #1 in person while I would be down in NC for a few days. He lived about an hour from the school, and didn't have a job so scheduling wouldn't have been a problem. We had still been talking a lot. I thought that I liked him in a more than friends way, but I was still a little bothered by the fact that we had met online and I wanted to meet him in person before I could let my feelings grow. I like to think I'm a logical person. ;-)

     I texted him asking if he'd like to meet up while I was in his neck of the woods, and he said definitely! Within a couple hours our plans were made. He and a family member would drive down to have dinner with me and my dad after orientation at school. I was totally cool, calm and collected about the whole thing as you can see from this text between me and one of my high school friends:



     So off my dad and I headed to NC! I was excited to be in my future home state again, to have some Bojangles biscuits, and to meet some of the girls from school that I'd met on Facebook. But most of all, I was excited to meet guy #1! The night before orientation I was literally freaking out in our hotel room. My worst nightmare was that he'd actually be like some 70 year old pervert who ended up on the Facebook page and posed as an 18 year old dude.

We stopped at one of my favorite Southern restaurants right after arriving in NC!

     Finally, orientation day arrived. The actual day itself was pretty great. I got to meet my bestie K in person for the first time, as well as my other good friend M (who is the one that took many pictures for the fashion posts on my blog during the school year!)

Left to right: M, a girl I met at orientation that transferred after first semester, K and me! 

     But as fun as orientation was, I couldn't stop thinking about how I would be meeting guy #1 later that day. After orientation ended, my dad and I headed over to the restaurant that we were meeting guy #1 and his aunt at. My nerves were at an all time high...

     And then guy #1 and his aunt walked in! He really was who he said he was, and I was so happy. Conversation came just as well in person as it had over texting and online. I told him all about my orientation experience, and we all talked about the tragic shootings in Aurora, CO (which had happened the night before). My dad liked him, and his aunt liked me. He kept shooting me sweet little smiles across the table, and I noticed that his eyes were nicer in person than they were on his Facebook pictures.

     However, during the whole meeting I realize now that I was trying too hard to convince myself that since he had come all that way to meet me, I had to like him in a romantic way. I could tell from the way he was looking at me across the table that he was really into me, and I think that I liked knowing he liked me more than I liked liking him! (If that makes any sense). I do remember thinking to myself how in person he was still attractive, but didn't look exactly like in his pictures, and I wasn't quite as attracted to him as I thought I would be (despite the pretty eyes). But I told myself that my attraction for him would grow more once school started, and I should be thrilled to have a Christian guy who was that into me before school even started.

After orinetation my dad and I headed to a beach in NC for a few days of vacation. More on that next week! :-)

     A few days after we had met in person, guy #1 told me over texting that he had feelings for me. Even though I'd had some moments of doubt when I was actually with him in person, I was so flattered by the fact he admitted it that I told him I liked him too. The one good thing that I did say is I'd like to date him but nothing could be 100% sure until we'd spent more time in person together once school started (proud of myself for saying that). He said he agreed but jumped right into planning what we'd do for dates.

     In the last few weeks of summer before school started, we got a lot more comfortable with each other and started referring to each other as our BF/GF (although the Facebook statuses were never changed THANK GOODNESS) and texted each other hearts and things. Guy #1 had even begun to talk a little bit about how he could see us getting married after college... which I know now should have been when I ran for the hills, but at the time again I was flattered, although I made no promises to marry him. ;-)

     I forgot to add that by this time we'd started skyping. The night before my big move to NC a few of my girlfriends from high school came over to say good-bye. Two of them joined me in skyping him... after talking to him they told me they approved!

High school friends Jules and B joining me in skyping guy #1, the night before I left for NC. Sorry the picture is a little dark!

     Two days later, I was officially a resident of the South as it was move in day at college. Guy #1 and I texted most of the morning as my parents and I left our hotel and headed for school. After I'd checked into my suite and moved some of the larger items into my room I texted him and told him I was ready to meet up. We decided to meet on a little bridge over the small end of the school's lake. It was halfway between his dorm and my suite building.

     I got there first, and I saw him coming towards me. When he came up to me, I gave him a hug. It was a long hug, and I was shocked that I felt NOTHING. No romantic feelings, no butterflies in my stomach, no happiness, just AWKWARDNESS. That's when I started to see that everything that I'd planned out was about to fall apart. Next he pulled something out that he'd been holding the whole time, a beautiful little bouqet of lillies. He'd remembered once during the summer that I'd said lillies were one of my favorite flowers, so he'd bought me some. I was so touched. No guy (besides for my dad lol) had ever bought me flowers before!

Sadly this is the only picture I have of the flowers. I snapped it on my phone as I was walking back to my room after meeting him.

     After he gave me the flowers, I felt like it would be appropriate to kiss him. This would have been my very first kiss. But as I leaned in, something inside me screamed NOOOOO! and I remembered how I'd felt a moment before with no romantic feelings, so instead I kissed him on the cheek. He was delighted by this and didn't make any moves which was good. I went then went back to my room.

    I showed my parents the flowers and they were just tickled. They were so happy for me that I'd met a nice guy so early into school, and were more excited than I was about the flowers I think! Haha. Anyways, I was hoping that finishing moving in would help me sort out my feelings about guy #1, but he showed up right then at my suite to help my parents move stuff. My mom got to meet him and took a few awkward pictuers of the two of us (pictures that I've never seen and never want to haha). After this I told him I needed some time to myself to move in, and he agreed.

     Dinner that night was a campus-wide barbecque for students and their families. His parents and him ended up finding me and my parents, so our parents met each other and started talking over dinner. I barely said anything during that meal. I knew by this point that I didn't like guy #1 at all in a romantic way, and after dinner I wasn't even sure I could see him as just a friend. He asked me to hang out that night but I told him I wanted to meet up with K, who I hadn't seen since orientation.

K and I having fun with my umbrella, "Mr. Frog," on our first night at college!

     The next morning was a church service for students and their families. I sat with my parents, new friends K and M.... and guy #1, who tagged along. At the start of the service the pastor speaking announced how he met his wife on his first day of his freshman year of college at that school... when he said that guy #1 gave me this weird smile and K and M poked me on the arm. ONE OF THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENTS OF MY LIFE... because I knew I had no interest in guy #1.

Guy #1 took this picture of K and M and I after the service. I hate the dark background because it looks like I have no hair haha.

     That night, I texted guy #1 and asked him if I could have space for a couple days from him as classes started and I settled in. He wasn't happy about it, but agreed. I feel really badly now that I wasn't honest right away in telling him my feelings had changed. Instead I blamed not wanting to see him on "having a hard adjustment to life so far from home" which was actually kind of a lie. I settled into college pretty well.

     Long story short, after about a week of not seeing him he messaged me all confused as to why I wasn't talking to him anymore and wanted to know what happened. I told him then that I had decided that I wasn't ready for a BF so soon after coming to college, and that I thought we should both focus on making friends. He was REALLY upset by this and I won't go into details but he sent me some pretty weird texts that got me very worried about him.

     I went to see him in his dorm room later that night and again, I won't go into specifics but he was very upset. I learend that his transition to college had actually been a lot harder than mine, and in his head he'd always counted on me being there for him from day one. At the time this creeped me out, and I started to see how deep his feelings had been for me. Wayyyy more than just an online crush. I advised him again to just work on making friends, and I alerted his RA about the weird messages I'd gotten and how he seemed upset.

     About a week later (I think) he had sent me a message apologizing for his behavior the night I visited him and told me he'd thought a lot about what I said. He agreed he wasn't ready to date at the time, and asked if we could kinda start over and be just friends. But here's where I messed up.

     Instead of seeing that he was genuinely sorry and was a brother in Christ who was in need of a good friend, I told him that I didn't want to be friends at all. By this time I'd started thinking he was really weird. It took me awhile to make friends in high school, and I didn't want anyone like him to hold me down from socializing in college. This sounds terrible now as I write it, and I'm so ashamed that I acted that way, but I did, and I want to be honest here.

     In short, I cut off all contact with him on my 18th birthday. That was also the day that I started this blog. I wanted it to be a day of new beginnings, and for me new beginnings didn't include guy #1 at all.   Unfortunately, guy #1 and I had a class together last semester, so that was kinda awkward. He used to glare at me a lot from across the room (I don't blame him now).

        The end of the story is that one night in January I was at my school's weeknight worship service when I spotted guy #1. He was there all by himself, as compared to me sitting with a bunch of friends. He looked so lonely and sad, and God spoke to me and told me in that moment that I had to make things right between us. This is something that my parents had been urging me to do for a few months, but I had to come to it on my terms and at the right time.

     Since we'd had such a bad parting in September I knew that I couldn't just go up to him and say something. In fact, I had no clue how to approach him. I ended up scheduling a meeting with one of the counselors at school, and I went back to see him several times over the next two months, until I had the courage to apologize to guy #1 for not being honest and for being a bad friend.

     Guy #1 and I were able to meet one more time and make closure at the end of April, and you can read about that in this post. Things went well, and I think that's because we had both prayed about the situation, and enough time had past that hard feelings were softened.


..... So that's the very long story of me and guy #1, and here are a few lessons that I've learned from the situation!


  1. Self-disclosure shouldn't be rushed: I took a sociology class as an elective at college last semester, and we talked a lot about the term self-disclosure, which is when one person reveals their true nature to another person. This is critical in any type of relationship (friend, family, etc) but especially important when you're interested in dating someone! However, it shouldn't ever be rushed. The phrase "True Love Waits" means more to me than just waiting until marriage to have sex. It also means to me that if God wants you and a person to be together, things will develop in their proper course over time. From the first week that guy #1 and I were talking on Facebook we shared almost everything about ourselves. I realize now where that's it's not wrong to have become friends online with someone attending my school, I should have not gotten too carried away and kept more personal things to myself (like my thoughts on relationships), in case things turned out like they did between us.
  2. ALWAYS be honest, even when it hurts: This is actually going to come up next week in my second guy story from first semester, so it's really important to me. In the case of guy #1, I wasn't honest with him. As nice as it was that he bought me flowers, I should have told him from day one of being at school that I wasn't as into him as I thought I'd be, and gotten that taken care of then, instead of dragging it on for a few weeks. I've also learned since then that you can be honest with someone who is interested in you and let them down without being mean about it. A guy liked me second semester and I didn't feel the same, and I told him that it wasn't so much about "him" as it was that God would bring him the right girl in his life at the right time, and that girl wasn't me. A much better way to let someone down then to cut them off like I did with guy #1! 
  3. Go with your gut: I've always relied on my gut feelings to make major decisions in life. Sounds terrible, I know, but I believe that's sometimes how God reveals His plans for me. (Don't laugh!) As I gave guy #1 the hug and kiss on the cheek after the flowers, I knew that I didn't have feelings for him, and I felt my instinct saying he wasn't the one for me. Did I handle this in the right way? No. But is it better then having ignored that feeling and made myself date him? Heck yes!


     For awhile I was angry and ashamed about how things went down with guy #1, but I honestly do believe that God allows all things to happen for a reason, and I'm happy that I learned some important life lessons from it. I think that I learned even more from my experiences with guy #2 though, so stay tuned for that story next week!


     xoxo Miss ALK


June 20, 2013

Giveaway & Product Review // Qoileez!

     I'm so excited to be back with another giveaway today! This one will be perfect for anyone with very fine hair, someone who has a little girl in their life who loves hair accessories, someone who knits, someone loves pen and pencil grips or someone who has their own set of chopsticks. ;-) Curious as to what the product is? Read on!

     I was contacted a couple months ago by someone who works for the Qoileez! company. Before this I had never head of Qoileez!, but after checking out their website I realized what a cool concept their product is. Qoileez are little colorful stretchy spirals that can be used so many ways! Their many purpose is to assist in hairstyles, but they can also be used as pencil and pen grips and to hold knitting needles togther. And best of all Qoileez come in a variety of fun colors and designs.
     One thing that I really enjoyed on the Qoileez website was reading the interview with the company's founder, Maria Casarez. She had always had a dream of being an entrepreneur and finally made that dream come true when she created Qoileez after much research and many trials. In the interview it says that Maria's favorite part of Qoileez is having her children so excited about the product, how sweet! :-)


 
     The Qoileez company sent me two packages of Qoileez! to review. I tried to attempt a few braid hairstyles with my Qoileez!, but unfortunately my hair is a little thick for these (My guess is they work best on little girls' hair). However, I ended up using mine as fun pen grips!! I almost wish that I was a knitter because I know these would be the perfect way to hold knitting needles together.

     Qoileez is sending one reader three packages of Qoileez! of your choice! You can choose to get a package of ones that are all the same color or design, or two surprise packages like I received. This giveaway will be open until midnight on Thursday, June 27th! Enter below via Rafflecopter:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


     Good luck!


     xoxo Miss ALK

June 19, 2013

Last night was just one of those nights...

     ....when it felt totally necessary to have a private four minute dance party to this song.



     Might I add that this wild dance party took place at 10:30 at night in my room, in the middle of a blogging break? And my attire for this dance party included pajama pants tucked into socks (If I wear pajama pants they have to be tucked into socks so they don't move up and down my legs while I sleep) and an old t-shirt that says NEWBURYPORT (town in Massachusetts) with sparkly cats on it. The shirt is so old and well loved that bits and pieces of the cats' tails have started to fall off.

     I actually just learned about this song on our trip to Vegas. We flew JetBlue and there was free satellite radio on the plane, and I heard this at least a few times on the 90s station. It came out in 1995, and I really wish I had known of its existence before, because this song is AWESOME and totally my new jam.

      This is was probably an insignificant four minutes in the scheme of my life, but sometimes it's the little spontaneous things that you want to remember. I found myself reading through some posts on my old blog last night, and I was thrilled that I'd chronicled so many of the little details of my days at the time that I was writing on it. It brought back so many small memories that I'd forgotten about. And this called for a celebration, which came in the form of my dance party. ;-)


     What are your favorite jams to rock out to when no one else is around?


     And on an important side note, be sure to check out my guest post on Mckenzie's blog! She posted it yesterday. In it I share two of my most awkward guy stories from freshman year of college, both surrounding unwanted male attention from guys that I was most certainly not interested in! Hey, at least they make for good blog stories.


     xoxo Miss ALK


   

June 18, 2013

Doubting decisions and letting go.

      Yesterday I went to the beach in the morning with my high school friend Jules. She was a grade behind me and just graduated from our high school last weekend. With our cancelled flight leaving Vegas I was unable to make it to her graduation party, so we met up today so I could hear about everything and give her a graduation gift.

     Our high school has a tradition of planning a huge project graduation celebration for the seniors instead of a senior trip. The project grad takes places right after graduation and is an all night celebration that concludes the next day. Jules and the rest of the class of 2013 had a really cool project grad planned, and as she told me about it I was amazed at the amount of activities they were able to cram into a 12 hour period. However the more she told me about it, the more I felt myself listening less to her stories and instead remembering my own graduation week last year...

Graduation day: June 2012

     I don't talk about my high school years too much on this blog, mainly because my old blog was written during this time in my life, and when I started college/this blog I wanted a fresh start. But the truth is, most of high school was a pretty bad time for me. All through the years I struggled with finding good friends, and was hurt by a lot of people that I thought I could trust. The week leading up to graduation was one of my worst high school memories. Several of the people in my class that I'd been good friends with for most of high school had planned a post-graduation trip to Florida, and I was the one of the only ones out of the friend group who wasn't invited. What hurt the most is that one of the girls going on the trip originally lied to me about it. These were the people that I'd planned to hang out with during marching practice and other graduation festitivies, but at the time I felt hurt and betrayed and kept to myself, which got very lonely. All of this and more triggered my anxiety, and I felt on edge and drained the whole week. God felt very far away. One afternoon after marching practice I took a nap (something I rarely used to do) and I remember that when I woke up I was crying so hard because all of the hurt and pain from the high school years was suddenly hitting me all at once. I was so upset that I couldn't even drive to my last Interact club meeting, my mom had to drop me off.

     Because of all this, I decided on my own not to attend my class's project graduation trip, even though it was the big event that all of the class fundraisers throughout the years had been supporting. At the time, it seemed like the right decision. I was overtired from the long and emotional week, and staying up all night after graduating didn't seem that appealing. And because of the Florida trip I was keeping my distance from the good friends that I'd had in my grade. I knew that things would eventually work out with all of us becuase I hate holding grudges, but at the time things were still too fresh. (Just so y'all know: things have been resolved. Time away at school and prayer allowed me to forgive the fact that I wasn't invited, and I still hang out with them sometimes when I come home from school). And besides for the people going on the Florida trip, I didn't really have any other friends in my class. A lot of the people in my grade hadn't been very friendly to me at all over the four years, and I doubted that would change at project grad.

Instagrammed version of some of the beautiful flowers given to me for graduation

     So after my graduation I ended up going to one of my favorite Chinese restaurants with my parents, an underclassman friend and some of my mom's family, and then went to bed early since I was tired. I'd been pretty confident in my decision about not attending project grad and I honestly haven't had that many moments of doubt that I did the wrong thing. But suddenly on Monday morning while Jules was telling me about her experience, I found myself getting angry about stuff that's over a year old. I was suddenly mad again about the fact that I didn't have a lot of friends in my class, and mad again about how I wasn't invited on that Florida trip. Mad that I wouldn't have had a good time if I had gone, even though I deserved to have a good time. I kept thinking Why am I doing this to myself right now? but I couldn't stop these thoughts.

      I've also ended up doubting a more recent decision that I made: working vs. an internship. I'm a communications major in college with the goal of being able to work in radio when I graduate. One of the keys to getting a good job in radio is to have as many internships on your resume as possible by graduation. The fact that I hosted a radio show all of freshman year at the college radio station is great, but a summer internship at a commerical radio station would look great as well. But being only 18 and with limited experience, there's no way that I could have gotten a paying internship this summer. And internships are a big time commitment, so there's no way that I could have had a job as well. My parents would have supported my choosing to have an internship instead of work, but they made sure I realized that without income this summer I wouldn't really have any spending money at school next year. Since the college that I'm transferring to is in a city (Translation: more places to spend money) and I'll hopefully be particpating in Greek life which will be extra expenses, I thought that getting a regular job would be the smart thing to do. And although I had a long job search process, many of you know that God blessed me with two part time summer jobs, both with very short commutes from my house.

My last visit to my former college's radio station: May 2012

     Like with the project grad situation, I was very confident in my work decision at first. I have enjoyed summer job #1 so far overall, and I'm excited to start job #2 this upcoming weekend. But then I started seeing pictures on Facebook for a couple girls from college that were also communications majors with interest in radio. Both of them chose internships in their hometowns instead of jobs this summer. They're both posting tons of pictures of them hanging out and having fun in real radio stations, and both have gotten to go on the air. All it took was seeing these pictures to make me start doubting my summer plans, and it made me miss the radio station environment. I know that working was the right decision for me at this time, and I'll appreciate the spending money once I start school. I also know that my new school has a fabulous internship program, and I'll at least get to do an internship during my junior year. But it's like all it takes for me is to see one person's Facebook update for me to doubt my decisions. It's like the grass is always greener on the other side.

     In reflecting on all of this I came to a realization: both of these situations that I have been stressing over in few days have been about this that I could control. No one was forcing me to go or not go on project grad, and no one decided for me whether I should have worked this summer or gotten an internship. I've always thought that being in control of a situation is the best feeling in the world. I'm not a very spontaneous person (Unless it involves a trip to Bojangles or Chick Fil A ;-)) and I like to be the decider of what I do and when I do it. I always thought that nothing bad could come with being in control, but I see now that it has its ups and downs.

     One of my goals for this summer is to let down a little bit of my need for control, since I've seen how it can affect me negatively as well. I also want to get in the mindset of when I make a decision, the decision is final and there's no need to dwell on it like I did in these situations. And thirdly, I want to start praying about more big decisions in my life and searching for God's guidance instead of just deciding things on my own. I like to be independent sometimes, but sometimes I also forget that I'm a child of God and sometimes I need to let Him take control instead. As far as the work vs. internship situation I can take comfort in knowing that if His plan was for me to have an internship, then I probably wouldn't have been offered two summer jobs near my home.

     "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


     Do any of you suffer with questioning your decisions and judgements? What are your tips for overcoming this and being confident in your choices and God's plan for you life?


     xoox Miss ALK


     P.S. Sorry if this post was a little jumbled and hard to follow. Sometimes I write posts that are more for my benefit as a way of venting, and this may have been one of them. ;-)

 




June 17, 2013

A fashion post, a happy ending and a little blog business.








  • Dress: Marshall Rousso (June 2013)
  • Shoes: Raffini {Bought at the Walking Company} (June 2013)
  • Earrings: Gift from my new friend from India!
  • Bracelet: Francesca's (June 2013)
  • Nail Polish: Sephora by OPI in Already Famous
  • Lipstick: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Lollipop

     Happy Monday y'all! Hope that your weekends were restful and wonderful. :-) I spent most of my Saturday at one of my summer jobs (the retail one), and Sunday was spent at church and then visiting one of my family's favorite Chinese restaurants with my dad for Father's Day! I had a bad headache Sunday afternoon so I rested for most of the afternoon and spent the evening taking a nice long bath and watching the Miss USA competition. I haven't watched beauty pagaents in the past but I was interested in watching this one since it's held in Las Vegas and I was literally just there! Many of the places that the contestants visited were places that my mom and I saw not even two weeks ago. 

     The above pictures were my Sunday outfit. My mom bought me this adorable dress in Vegas! I love the bright colors and the unique pattern, but what I love the most is that it was found at a store that was new to me. Marshall Rousso is a great women's clothing chain that can be found at resorts and casinos around the country. If you find yourself near one of these stores I'd highly reccomend stopping by! 
     You can't really tell from the angles of the pictures, but the shoes that I'm wearing actually have chunky heels, which are really in right now. They're also super comfortable, and I'll be wearing them a lot for my retail job this summer! The soles are so cushioned, and despite the heel they provide good support for being on my feet. And I love the warm brown color, they'll match so many things!
     My bracelet was found on clearance at Francesca's. Last week I was baby-sitting my mom's friend's daughter and I took her up to the mall with me. We both enjoyed browsing the sale items at Francesca's, and I was thrilled to find this bracelet! I'd been wanting a bow bangle for awhile. I love the ones that Kate Spade makes, but those are a little out of my budget at this time. ;-)
     Revlon's ColorBurst Lip Butters are my favorite lip products ever. You can't beat the drugstore prices and the beautiful colors, and I love the fact that they feel like chapstick going on and have the appearance of a lip gloss without all of the yucky stickiness! Since this color that I'm wearing was so bold, I decided to tone down my eye make-up a little bit. My nail polish is one of my favorite fall and winter colors, but I missed wearing it so I decided to do my nails in that color this week.

     Now, about my earrings, and the "happy ending" that I spoke of in the title of this post. A little over a week ago I blogged about how our first flight home from Vegas was cancelled and my mom and I were having to spend an extra night there. The original flight was cancelled after more than six hours in the aiport, boarding and un-boarding the plane two seperate times, and then waiting for over an hour in lines to speak to airport agents. Through all of this I was able to meet a young woman from India who was also on the cancelled flight and was travelling alone to the East Coast. We spent some time together on our extra night in Vegas and exchanged contact information. She was off to spend a week with her mom in Boston. Well, I had a few days off from work once we got home so my mom and I were able to spend the day in Boston visiting her and her mother! It was so nice to see our Indian friend again and to be able to meet her mom. They gave us some gifts from India including these gorgeous earrings! They also said that I'm welcomed to come and stay with them at their home in India someday... visiting India is on my bucket list and I've always been fascinated with the culture, so maybe (God-willing) I'll be able to make that happen eventually! ;-)
     Coincidentally my dad was in the Boston area for a conference last week, so after spending time with our Indian friends we were able to meet him for dinner. My parents had been to a Melting Pot restaurant a few years ago and had always wanted me to try one, so that's where we went! The fondue experience was very fun and delicious, and it was a nice ending to a day in the city.
     Thinking back on our whole cancelled flight experience and how it lead to a friendship is really just amazing. God truly blesses us in the smallest ways and when we're least expecting it! It's also a great reminder about how important kindness is in all situations, you never know when just a simple smile can lead to a friendship.

     Lastly, a tiny bit of blog business. You may have noticed today that there's a lot less blog buttons being displayed on my sidebar! After seeing how many other bloggers manage their buttons, and also seeing how "cluttered" my sidebar was becoming, I decided to make a new system for determining which buttons I display. It's quite simple actually: you display my button on your blog, and I'll display yours on mine! :-) So I went through all of the blog buttons that I had and the ladies whose buttons are still up have kindly offered to share my button as well. If you had a blog that I love but choose not to do button swaps, don't fear! I've expanded the link list of blogs that I love, so your blog will probably be included there. But if you'd still like your button shown on my blog, send me an e-mail and we can work something out! If I didn't say this already, button swaps are still free of charge and will continue to be so! 

     Expect many more posts this week including another giveaway, information about a summer blogging challenge that Elle and I are hosting and links to two guest posts that I've recently written for other bloggers! :-)


     xoxo Miss ALK



June 15, 2013

Vegas 2013 {Days 4, 5, 6 +7}

     Here's a big jumble of pictures for the rest of our trip to Las Vegas!


     Day 4:


We started the day by eating breakfast at one of the little cafes in the Bellagio near the pool. I had the above pastry, called a Nutella pocket. It was literally just STUFFED with Nutella. Definitely goes on record for one of the best breakfasts ever (and unhealthiest, but hey). 

Bikini: Victoria's Secret   Sunglasses: Kohl's

Then we caught a little sunshine by the pool!


Our big plans for the evening were to see Criss Angel's Believe magic show at the Luxor hotel. That was located on the south side of the strip. We got there by a combination of walking and monorail riding. We hadn't seen a lot of that end of the strip before, and I got to see many more hotels!




Excalibur!! I think this hotel looked awesome. This might be where I'd want to stay if I went back to Las Vegas in a few years with my friends. 



Dress: Dillard's   Shoes: Dillard's   Necklace: Kohl's


Entrance to the Luxor hotel! The hotel itself is shaped like the Great Pyramids.


Of course a trip to Vegas isn't complete without seeing a wedding chapel! Here's one of the smaller ones located in the Luxor. Definitely not my idea of a dream wedding venue, but to each their own! ;-)


Tender Steakhouse at the Luxor. A wonderful steak restaurant!


Pictures weren't allowed during Criss Angel's magic show until the very end, so this is the only semi-clear picture that I got. I enjoyed Criss's magic illusions a lot, but I found that the humor put into the show was very raunchy and a little innapropriate, so I wasn't as crazy about that aspect. Overall the show was very entertaining though!


The Luxor hotel is next-door to Madalay Bay, so we walked around their shops after the show. We found some interesting things, such as the above picture, which is a whole store dedicated to socks...


And I saw a crystal, see through bikini set... Only in Vegas! :-p



It was a beautiful and warm night so we stopped to take pictures on our walk back to the Bellagio.


And of course everyone needs at least one picture with Vegas showgirls! They asked me where I was from and when I said "Maine!" the showgirl on the right goes "I'm from Maine!" Small world.


And we ended the night by watching the amazing fountain show that the Bellagio is famous for!





     Day 5: 

This was originally supposed to be our last full day in Vegas. We spent it by touring the hotel that I was most excited to see, the Venetian!




We didn't end up riding the Venetian gondolas because it was $20 dollars per person (and a really short ride!), but I did enjoy watching them. That's an activity that I'd rather do if I come back to Vegas someday with a significant other... gondola rides seem so romantic. :-)




While in the Venetian we caught a bit of an acrobat show! These guys were amazing.


This National Geographic photography exhibit was on display at the Venetian, so we decided to see this instead of the gondola rides. I really enjoyed it! There were detailed descriptions of the inspirations for all of the pictures which made it more interesting.


The Mirage hotel as seen from the Venetian. I liked the Mirage from the little bit that I saw of it when we had gone to the Cirque du Soleil show there. Definitely a hotel that I'd consider staying in if I am to go back!

Romper: Body Central
Top: Body Central   Skirt: H&M   Shoes: DSW
We spent (what we thought was our last) dinner in Vegas at the Jasmine Chinese restaurant at the Bellagio. I thought that the restaurant was beautiful and it had great views of the fountains, but I thought that the food was a little bit overpriced for what it was. My favorite part of our meal there was dessert, my first time trying Asian mochi ice creams!


Then we started packing up the room, since we had to be at the airport early the next morning. My mom snuck down to one of the Bellagio's cafes that was open late and brought up some cookies and cream gelato for a late night snack. :-)


     Day 6: 

You can read all about what happened in this post! Long story short, our flight home was cancelled. But after a very stressful day in the airport we made the best of things and were still able to have a nice evening, and make a new friend in the process! 


     Day 7: 

Our actual last day got off to the same start as the day before, except instead of waking up in the Bellagio, we found oursevles in a small hotel near the airport. But the good news is our flight back to New England was finally on time! The bad news was the flight had a lot of turbulence, but I guess that was uncontrolable. I was just happy that we were finally headed home!



Isn't the Boston area just beautiful when seen from the sky? So nice to see lots of green trees after our week in the desert!


     Have any of you been to Las Vegas before? Besides for the cancelled flight it was a wonderful experience, and I really hope to go back in the future! I was happy to see that there are tons of ways to have fun in Vegas without having to gamble, drink or visit any place involving nudity and/or strippers. Gosh, you could spend a whole day just touring hotels and not even visit half of them! The shopping was top notch, and we didn't have a chance to visit all of the malls! And food in Vegas is to die for. The 100+ degree weather could be a bit uncomfortable at times, so I've heard that the best times of year to go are in the fall or earlier in the springtime. :-)


     I'm off now to eat a late breakfast and then get ready for a long shift at work, but I hope that y'all will have a great weekend! Talk to you Monday!


     xoxo Miss ALK