Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roasted Pepper Potato Soup

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I haven't shared any cooking adventures in a long time! Today I decided to make something new, so I looked through Pinterest and thought making a soup would be perfect since it's starting to be continually cold (though strangely warm today, in the 60s!). I chose the Roasted Pepper Potato Soup, it was pretty simple. Just roasted red peppers, onions, cilantro, some spices, and cream cheese. Make sure to click the link for the full recipe and instructions.

It was pretty easy and quick to make, it only took about an hour. The actual tasting review is that I made it a little too spicy for my own liking. I added some red hot pepper flakes and some red chilis and it was a little too much. But, my parents and brother loved it! I think I would like to try it again without trying to make it spicy haha.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Part II: Pink Ladies Edition

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Part II of Halloween was Saturday and Christina and I went to Kent State University's Halloween with her boyfriend Dan (The baseball player, or Mario as he was mistaken many times in the night) and his friends the Oompa Loompas! They were so funny, everyone kept stopping them to take pictures and they sang the songs down the street!

Christina and I decided to be the Pink Ladies from Grease, which was so much fun! I made her take outfit pictures with me, but we were kind of rushing so I only took a few pictures and majority of them were us looking totally silly (see picture number two as an example). We saw lots of creative costumes from everyone, I even saw a few Lucy's so I was glad I wasn't wearing my Lucy costume as well.

I love Halloween themed things so much because I love dressing up! Tonight I'm going to a Halloween themed karaoke night with Chrisina so we're going to be Pink Ladies again, and I have two more Halloween things to go to which I might make up a third or fourth costume for those.

Has anyone else done anything fun for Halloween or love it as much as I do? Share your costumes if you have dressed up already!

Friday, October 25, 2013

I Love Lucy: Halloween Costume #1

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Dress: Lindy Bop via Amazon
Petticoat: Modcloth
Tights: We Love Colors
Sweater: too old to remember

So today is seriously the best day ever! It started off pretty normal, just a work day, I actually had to stay a bit longer because my poor coworker got super sick and had to leave early, After I left, my job called, and it was actually the Deputy Director calling to let me know that I got a promotion! At the library I work in Circulation, and I applied for a Reference position, which is much closer to being a librarian than circ is. I didn't mention that I was applying here because I just wasn't sure I was going to get it. Also, I thought I bombed my interview! It was so short, like 15 minutes short, and while I answered all of their questions, I was just like wow I don't know, maybe I should have talked more. But I got it! I'm just super excited!

After work I had an Cleveland EMP meeting. Tonight we went to the Dittrick Medical Museum at Case Western Reserve University. It was so cool! I don't have any medical background, but I was fascinated by the museum. After the tour we had a Q&A with the curator, and he briefly mentioned the books and archives collection, so when I asked about it, he actually took us into the rare books room. We got to see an anatomy book printed in 1454! We also saw a few other books, one of which was a first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species. I could not contain myself, and asked if they take practicum students, and he said yes! So this is not official but I am going to get in contact with him and my adviser and see if I can actually do my practicum there! See, I told you it was the best day ever.

The EMP meeting doubled as our Halloween party, so I made a quick Lucille Ball costume from clothes around my room. I don't think it really looks too much like her, but I think it has the Lucy "essence" haha.

Have a great Friday! **As usual I am linking up with Passion for Fashion over at Rachel the Hat's blog, go check it out!**

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...Sort Of...

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I wasn't planning to post anything today, but I woke up in shock to this lovely sight in our driveway! The snow brought down a tree branch and some live wires along with it! Cleveland really brought in the first snow with a bang this year. All of my friends have been posting pictures of fallen trees everywhere, luckily no houses were hit that I know of, but just wow. Now I am wondering how I'm going to get out of the driveway to get to work! I was hoping that the snow would hold off for a little bit longer for Halloween at least, but that didn't happen, oh well! This just means we're getting closer to Christmas!

Has anyone else been hit this early with snow? Do you like the snow or do you hate it?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cinema at Home #11

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1. Pitch Perfect

AH! How did I not see this movie until now! I LOVED it so much. Pitch Perfect was about a girl named Becca who wants to be a DJ but her dad is forcing her to go to college and join a group and make friends. She ends up in an competing acapella group called the Barden Bellas, which is stuck in past with their song choices and outfits and she wants to switch things up a bit and be more modern. She has to battle against the leader of the group who wants everything to be exactly the same even though she knows they are not winning this way. Becca also finds herself in a bit of a flirtation with one of the boys from the competing acapella group the Trebles, which is strictly against the Bellas' rules. There is so much fun singing and dancing, just an all around fun movie.

2. Wuthering Heights (2009 Masterpiece Theater)

I will admit...I've never read the book all the way through, maybe the first few chapters and it's just sitting on my shelf. Shame on me! But this Masterpiece theater version of the story was absolutely brilliant. My heart just poured open for Heathcliff and Burn Gorman (one of my favorite actors) was amazingly evil as Hindley. I despise Katherine on a Tinkerbell level (sorry, I've never liked Tinkerbell even as a child, I don't get the hype). The scenes, sets, and the homes they used for Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange were all so beautiful and perfectly picked for the movie.

3. Les Miserables (1998)

This was the first Les Mis that I've seen that wasn't a musical version. I've seen the musical live, the 2012 movie version, and clips of the 10th and 25th concerts. It was really nice to see a version that did not focus on the songs and more on the story. There were more scenes that were stretched out, like Fantine didn't die in what seems like that same night in the musical, she was held sick for what seemed to be a few weeks at least. Also Marius and Cosette saw each other every night in the movie while Javert stalked them. Unlike the musical where the see each other through a fence once and their madly in love, that always was a bit of a stretch for me haha. Eponine did not exist in the movie, but sadly Gavorche's death did still, I can't stand watching that little boy die, it makes me sad every time.

4. Les Miserables  25th Anniversary Concert (2010)

I watched the entire 25th concert and I'm not going to go on and on about how everyone was amazing, but they were. Except....every time Nick Jonas came on stage this song popped in my head:


That's all I have to say on that one.

5. Girls Season 2

If you haven't watched Girls I need you to go order it from your library right now. This show is so good! It's pretty much Sex and the City for 20 somethings today, which at first made me very hesitant because I LOVE SATC, and nothing can replace it. Girls follows four friends, Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna, and Jessa (aka Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha in that order). Hannah wants to be a writer but is still mainly surviving on her parents giving her money. Marnie works in an art gallery, Shoshanna is the awkward naive friend who talks super fast, and Jessa is a bit easy and parties a lot. Even though it has a lot of SATC copying going on, I still really like it, it's really relate-able to my life. All the girls are trying to figure out life, where they're going, what they want to do/be, boy problems, normal everyday things 20 something girls are constantly trying to figure out. I don't want to give spoilers so I won't say anything specific about anything but I can just say that I was so mad at the season finale because I want to know what's going to happen!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Musicals and Brownies

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Hair and makeup for the show!

Happy Monday! Sweeney Todd was so amazing, I was so happy I got to go with my mom. When we got to the theatre, we weren't sure which theatre it was being performed in. Fun fact: Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland is the second largest theater district in the country only behind Broadway in New York. The show was actually in the Hanna Theatre, which is one that I actually had never been in, and we were pleasantly surprised. It's definitely the smallest of the theatres, and we were actually 3rd row from the stage, that's the closest I've ever been at any shows I've been to there! All of the actors were so talented, and they used the whole room, running through the crowd and coming really close to everyone an singing. Most of the actors were either students or professors at a nearby college which was really cool.

For those of you who don't know the story of Sweeney Todd here's a little recap: A barber named Benjamin Barker is ripped away from his wife and daughter by a jealous judge and sent to an Australian prison for 19 years. When he returns, with a sailor named Antony, he changes his name to Sweeney Todd to stay under cover while he seeks his revenge. He goes to Mrs. Lovett's meat pie shop, and she tells him how his wife was poisoned and his daughter was now the evil judge's ward. This fuels his fire even more, and he comes up with a plan to kill the judge. Meanwhile, the sailor Antony falls in love with Sweeney's daughter Johanna and wants to break her free from being locked away with the judge. I don't want to give away the whole story but there is lots of blood and killing and shaves. It's a fun musical, I am not a horror/blood fan, but it's not very scary, maybe a little gross.

The rest of the weekend was spent reading (on Book Four of the City of Bones Series now) and watching the tv show Upstairs Downstairs with my mom. I thought it would be like Downtown Abbey, and the servant/rich family premise is similar, but it's set starting at the beginning of WWII instead of the 1910s, so a bit later. I really like it so far, we're now on season two.

We also did a little baking and tried Oak and Oats York Mint Brownies! So yummy, so minty, so perfect!

Friday, October 18, 2013

These Are My Friends, See How They Glisten...

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 Dress: Ebay via my50svintagedresses
Tights: We Love Colors
Shoes: Target
Sweater: So old I don't remember, I think from 8th grade!

Long time no see! I've disappeared from blog world since Monday and I didn't even realize it! I picked up an extra shift at work this week and then have been tearing through the City of Bones series, I'm now halfway through Book Four. If you like teen fiction and want to read about Shadowhunters that are semi-angels that hunt demons, it's such a good series!

Tonight I'm going to see Sweeney Todd with my mom! I'm super excited. It's being put on by the Great Lakes Theater in Playhouse Square. I've actually seen a production of Sweeney Todd by the Great Lakes Theater a few years ago, so I'm sure it's going to be amazing. I think it's perfect that they're doing Sweeney Todd so close to Halloween.

Is anyone else as excited about Halloween as I am!? I always have my costume (or costumes) figured out by August, I love to dress up. I have a few different Halloween parties to go to this year, and I like to make up a different costume for each one. I like to do homemade costumes because it's soo much cheaper and I think it's fun to be creative instead of just picking one off the rack. I've only had to buy one piece for one of my costumes, I'll share them here in the next few weeks!

How has your week been lovelies? Any exciting plans this weekend? Happy Friday!

**I of course am linking up with Passion for Fashion this week, head over to Rachel the Hat's blog and check it out!**

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cosmic Stardust

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 Jacket: American Living via JCPenney
Shirt (similar) : LOFT
Skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing

Hello all! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, mine was pretty fun! Thursday I went to see my friend Jamie's band Let 'Em Run play for the first time. They are a bluegrass band with some modern twists. I danced my tail off at the concert they were amazing! Friday night I had a Cleveland Emerging Museum Professionals (EMP) meeting and we listened to Dennis Barrie speak and he was the biggest museum world person we've ever talked to. He helped build the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland, the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. and a Mob Museum in Las Vegas. 

Most of his time was spent on telling us about those in particular, but in his early career he also worked at Graceland! I almost fell out of my seat! He looked over at me when he was talking and said "I know some of us here are probably too young to appreciate this one" (I'm the youngest in the group, the median age is around 30) and all I wanted to do was shout out how much I love Elvis and ask how he got that job and just lots of mush about Elvis but I also didn't want to look nuts in front of this man or embarrass our group so I just sat and smiled.

I also started my first knitted sweater and I'm so excited! I've always been intimidated by having to follow very large detailed patterns but so far I haven't had too many problems. There were a few abbreviations I didn't remember exactly what to do (M1, ssk, 6 st LC), but nothing that couldn't be fixed without youtube instructions! I think it also helps that I've done cables before and that is the most difficult thing about it the pattern really. 

Hope you have a Marvelous Monday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A to Z Book Survey

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I just found the most two most darling book blogs Bookworm Diaries and The Perpetual Page Turner and they both do excellent reviews. I came across this survey from the Perpetual Page Turner and it looked like fun so I thought I would fill it out too!

Author you've read the most books from:
Sophie Kinsella. She wrote the Confessions of a Shopaholic series as well as some stand alone books. She also writes under her real name Madeleine Wickham.

Best sequel ever:
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner.

Currently reading:
Looking for Alaska by John Green

Drink of choice while reading:
Chai or Pomegrante tea. If coffee is handy that's always welcome.

E-reader or physical book:
Physical books hands down. I love the feel of the pages and the smell of old books and I love to physically be able to see my collection. I do have an E-Reader, but I very rarely use it.

Fictional character you've dated in high school:
Ron Weasley, actually we're still dating ;)

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Slightly Single by Wendy Markham. I saw it in one of the used book stores I go to and usually I stick to known authors for "chick lit" kind of book but I wanted a fun summer read and turned out to be a series.

Hidden gem book:
Divergent by Veronica Roth. I don't think this is really a hidden gem, by I definitely recommend it.

Important moment in your reading life:
I've always loved to read, but at the end of college I decided to minor in English. I took a poetry class and realized that I actually really enjoy poetry now. The same thing applies to Shakespeare and Chaucer. I never thought I could enjoy Shakespeare but I actually really loved Othello.

Just finished:
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Kinds of books you won't read:
I really get bored with Mysteries/Thrillers and Supense/Horror. I'm not a horror fan and the detective thing isn't that appealing to me.

Longest book you've read:
Currently Little Women by Louisa May Alcott at 790 pages, but I'm halfway through The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and that will be it at 973.

Major book hangover because of:
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner (minus The Kill Order Prequel). Those books are definitely up all nighters.

Number of bookcases you own:
Currently one, because my other one broke, so I have piles of books on the floor and also two big storage containers in the basement.

One book you have read multiple times:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, my favorite of the series.

Preferred place to read:
Most often in my room in bed, I like to be comfy.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels:
 “There are many Beths in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed, and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.”
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Reading regret:
Any time I accidentally watch the movie before I read the book and then it makes me extra critical of the movie. Most recently this was with the City of Bones series. I didn't read it first because I thought "oh, just another Twilight replacement", but actually I really liked it, and I've read the first two books in the series in the past few days.

Series you started and need to get around to finishing:
The Ender's Game Series, in particular the Shadow Books. I have read Ender's Game itself about four times, and the first few books that came after, but the Shadow books are sitting in my room along with the rest of the to-read pile.

Three of your all-time favorite books:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Right now, John Green! I have been on a roll with reading his books! DFTBA!

Very excited for this release more than all the others:
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding. I love the movies and the books and can't wait for the third one!

Worst book habit:
Buying more books than I can physically keep up with reading. Last time I counted my to-read pile, there were about 30. I just love shopping for new books.

X marks the spot - the 27th book on your shelf:
You Don't Know Me by David Klass

Your latest book purchase:
I bought five at once: Looking for Alaska by John Green, Howl and Other Poems of Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, Partials by Dan Wells, and 1356 by Bernard Cornwell.

Zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.

P.S. If you have a Goodreads account, come and follow me here, I love seeing what other people are reading and getting new reccomendations!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stairway to Nowhere

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 Sweater: H&M
Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Shoes: Target

Actually these particular stairs lead to a tennis court, but nowhere sounded better to me! Monday I  pretty much barricaded myself in the house doing schoolwork, and yesterday morning started the same way but I decided I needed to get up, get dressed, and get out into the world. So I got dressed and it was so nice outside so I went to the park to take pictures and found this cool staircase I've never seen before. I'm still a bit nervous about taking pictures in public so I was so paranoid that someone was going to walk by and think I was crazy, but no one did, thank goodness.

My goal was to go out, take pictures, and then head to a coffee shop to do some more school work, but I was pleasantly sidetracked when my friend Christina called me and we ended up spending the day dress shopping for her. She's going to a wedding on Saturday and of course waited until the last minute to pick out a dress. We literally went to eight different stores before we found one, but it was worth it because it's super cute and she's going to look fabulous.

We finished off the day by going to dinner at Steak and Shake. They seriously have the best fries and the best fry seasoning ever, I could eat their fries every day. It was nice to have the homework distraction, but now I'm re-energized and ready to jump back in.

**I'm linking up with Passion for Fashion again this week, head over and check it out!**

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cinema at Home #10

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1. Music Within

I saw this movie in a preview on the Lars and the Real Girl dvd, and it looked so good I requested it from the library that day. It follows a man who had a very troubled childhood as his mother went a bit crazy because of her many miscarriages, being abandoned at an orphanage, and being brought back again a few years later. He went to the army after school was done and ended up in Vietnam, where an explosion caused him to be partially deaf minus this horrid constant ringing in his ears. His dreams of going to college were dashed because of his new disability, and he becomes friends with a guy in a wheelchair who has cerebral palsy. The two of them become best friends and begin to fight for disability discrimination rights when they experience things like being asked to leave restaurants because they were making people uncomfortable and actually being arrested for refusing to leave. This was based on a true story of how these two changed the way we view and treat the disabled, thankfully for the better.

2. Year One

This movie was hilarious! It had my favorite awkward guy Michael Cera, and Jack Black who is always funny. It follows these two, Cera being a gatherer and Black a hunter (a really bad one) and  they are banished from their tribe and begin wandering around, and run into a few different biblical characters, get sold into slavery, and all along the way they keep running into and trying to get two ladies from their tribe to like them. Overall it was really funny, nice light movie to make you laugh.

3. Don Jon

I admit, I saw this movie only because Joseph Gordon Levitt directed, wrote, and starred in it. I've loved him since his 3rd Rock from the Sun days, and he has been in a lot of great movies, and also some lesser known oddballs that were still great (Mysterious Skin is a good example). The plot of this movie is that a Jersey guido type is addicted to porn and also promiscuous sex, but it's strange because he's sort of freakishly clean and goes to church every week to confess and has a really funny family. He sees this one girl at a club, and she makes him want to not watch porn anymore and actually try to date a girl, but he finds that he can't do it. The girl (Scarlett Johanssen) turns out not to be the best for him either, because she wants to change everything about him and "fix" him. He finally meets an older lady in a night class and she teaches him how to truly love. Even with the weird fixation on porn, this movie is trying to comment on relationships and how men, women, and society think of relationships differently. That, or I'm thinking to hard to defend my childhood crush on making this awkward plotline.

4. Gravity

I love the director Alfonso Cuaron (He also directed Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and he did such an amazing job. I don't want to spoil to much of the movie so the basic premise is that there is a space crew with three people space walking doing maintenance on the Hubble telescope when debris from a broken up Russian satellite hits their ship, the telescope, and them. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney were two of the people space walking, and Sandra gets detached from the ship by debris and starts to float away into space. The views of space and earth were absolutely stunning, I recommend if you want to see it to see it in the theater just so you get the full effect with the large screen. It was very suspenseful, very little dialogue and lots of periods of total silence to make you feel like you were in space with them.

5. Mr. Lucky

Turner Classic Movies shows the best movies on Sunday mornings, I almost always can watch a Cary Grant movie! In Mr. Lucky Cary Grant is a gambler who goes undercover at a War Relief Society to try and steal money to buy a casino ship. He's a pretty slimy character in the beginning but he falls in love with one of the ladies who works at the War Relief Society and learns that he also cares for the fund, if not until the very end of course. Before this happens of course, his love's grandfather is constantly suspicious of him, even accusing him at a fundraiser ball of already stealing money from the society, which he conveniently had to hand over in his suit jacket. I won't tell you the end, but it surprised me. My favorite part was when the ladies were teaching him to knit, they were teaching him ribbing and he dropped a bunch of stitches and slammed the needles down. I have totally done that!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Knitting Style

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 Lately I have been knitting like crazy! I gave up on making my green blanket I was working on for months and months any longer and since I've been working on new projects I've started to love knitting again. The blue cowl I made after winning our Staff Summer Reading program at work. My coworkers made the prize bag personalized to me, so I received the blue yarn, which is the absolute softest, knitting needles, and a coffee gift card.

These socks are like my pride and joy, the second sock is finished now, and I'm restarting a second pair of socks in a blue, yellow and green pattern. I don't know why I was so afraid of making socks, now I love them and they go pretty quick. I know what I'm making for some of my Christmas presents ;)

Yesterday I went to an annual library Knit Out, not at my library but at a different system, and it was hosted by the North Coast Knitters Guild. I went with my knitting circle girls and we got to chat with lots of other knitters who were all working on fun projects.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Sounds #23

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Saturday Sounds is back! I stopped doing them for September because I thought six posts a week would be overkill, but now that everything's back to normal I thought it was time to say hello to them again. I am jumping on this song's bandwagon way too late, but I still think it's hilarious. Happy Saturday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action!

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 Dress: Modcloth
Sweater: Old Navy

After attempting to take so many pictures, outfits and otherwise, and being so sad at how bad the quality is I have decided to start saving for a real camera. The camera I have now is a pretty nice point and shoot (a Canon Powershot A3400 IS), but it's not working for me anymore. I don't know much about high quality cameras, so just doing research on them is a bit daunting because there are just so many different options and prices (and lenses, but I think I'll just work on the camera first).

I have looked at a few and here are two of my favorites:

Nikon - D3200 24.2-Megapixel DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens - Red

I really like Canons and Nikons, I've had a few of each kind of camera so I think I'd like to stick with these brands. The problem is that I just don't know exactly what to look for in choosing a DSLR. I don't need anything super fancy, just something that takes better quality pictures. If any of my lovely readers have any experience buying DSLRs let me know what kind you have, if these are good or bad choices, and any tips you have on picking one! 

Have a fabulous Friday! I'm also linking up with Passion for Fashion over at Rachel the Hat's blog so head over and check it out :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back to Normal!

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Well, Blogtember is over and I am really excited to get back to normal posts and normal scheduling (Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat..most of the time don't hold me to it!). Blogtember was really great and some of the prompts were really fun, I think my favorite was the Creative Writing Day , I had so much fun coming up with a short story for you guys!

Anywho, since I've been doing all those prompts I feel like I've missed out on telling you guys about what's been happening in my daily life. The Life Lately prompt caught you all up pretty quickly on the highlights of September, but I have two more fun things to share! The first, I went to a high school Battle of the Bands competition with my friend Simone. There were six marching bands that participated, three of which were from out of town (two from Detroit and one from Tennessee). They were all so so good!

This past weekend I went to my first college football game, my school didn't have a football team and I hadn't made it out to any other school's games. I went with my friends Christina and Mary and we roadtripped the two and half hours to Bowling Green State University for the Bowling Green vs University of Akron game. Mary and Christina both went to Akron so I had to pretend to be a Zip for the day, but the Bowling Green Falcons didn't mind!

How have you all been? Are you excited we're really getting into fall now that it's October?