September 6, 2013

I'm Excited About...

Fall. It's my favorite time of year. The colors, the smells, the feelings, the treats, and all of the
festiveness. There's something romantic and comforting about late September, October, and November-the change and the possibilities that it welcomes, unlike any other season, is what makes it my favorite. And while it's still pretty warm here out in California, I can tell the weather is starting to change; cooling down in the mornings and evenings.

Here are just a few of the things I'm looking forward to while I wait for the heat to get out of town!

1. Oversized sweaters//
There's not much I love more than a cozy sweater, especially with the right jeans and boots. It's also my belief that you can never have too many. They're the perfect "go to" outfit when it's cold out and you just don't feel like putting much effort into what to wear on a cold, dreary morning. I can't wait until the weather finally starts to cool down around here, so I can wear them.

2. Pumpkin bread//
I was in the play Little Women my junior year of high school, and we were having rehearsal one day. Someone picked up Starbucks for the gang and one of my friends asked us if we wanted a bite of pumpkin bread, so I said sure...And instantly, it was like my entire world changed. Up until that moment, I hadn't really been a big pumpkin fan, or at least when I was younger and had gotten set in my ways. Now, I count down the days until I can get pumpkin bread with my favorite beverage. I'm also hoping to make some of my own this year...Just call me Betty Crocker!

3. Pumpkin patch//
I always look forward to going to the pumpkin patch; picking out the perfect one to carve with my parents, while we listen to music or watch something on TV. Even when there are no good ones left in the bunch, it's just a tradition and it makes me feel most festive. I love watching the little kids hold their parents' hands as they walk around, holding their little pumpkin with pride, excited that they picked it out all by themselves and it reminds me of being a kid, when finding the perfect pumpkin was the hardest decision I had to make.

4. Parenthood season 5//
This show is one of the greatest things! Period. I fell in love with the Braverman family immediately, because I'm an only child...And I love family gatherings, whether it's my own or watching them on TV. It just gives me those warm and fuzzy feelings inside. So, it's perfect for this time of year and it just so happens that the 5th season comes back September 26th!!!!! I can't wait to be all caught up by then.  

5. School//
Instead of my nerves getting the best of me this time around, I'm channeling them into excitement. I'm so pumped about all of the classes I'm taking, even though I have no idea of what to expect out of them. I know that this is the next step for me and getting closer to following my dreams. It's going to be a great experience, no matter what! I'm also really looking forward to getting involved and going out to more sporting events. I'm very into school spirit.

6. Keith Urban's "Light The Fuse" tour//
I have always loved Keith Urban! He is one of my favorite musicians and songwriters, and always puts on one heck of a show! I'm going to his Light The Fuse tour at the Hollywood Bowl!!!! I cannot wait. I've heard the Hollywood Bowl is fabulous, and I've always wanted to see a show there, so the fact that it'll be for one of my favorites is kind of a big deal! Also, can't wait for the new music that he'll  be releasing in just a few days! AHHH! :). He always makes the best feel good music. 

7. Boots//
I love boots for all seasons, but especially fall. They keep your feet cozy and match just about any outfit. During colder months, they're all I wear, so I have them in all colors and styles to mix and match for casual and dressy occasions. They're kind of my thing. 

8. Chris Young's New Album, "A.M."//
If you hadn't caught onto this before....I LOVE Chris Young! I love that most of his songs have really positive messages, like "The Man I Want To Be" and "Voices" and just the sound of his voice...*Sigh*. It doesn't hurt that he's not too bad to look at either ;). He's definitely my biggest celeb crush at the moment, and I'm just really looking forward to his new CD...I lost track of how many times I listened to Neon. I probably listened to it a good couple months straight every night...

9. Candles//
I really wish I would buy more candles. I guess that's something to put on my list of "things to buy," but either way I just love the way candles make your home feel that much more cozy and inviting, especially this time of year. My favorites around this season are cinnamon, apples, and anything that just smells like the outdoors/fire burning.  

10. Apple picking//
I have always wanted to go to the apple orchard to pick out some pretty, shiny red apples or to bob for them at Halloween, because judging by everything I've seen on TV, that's just one of the things to do. Well, this is the year that I am going to accomplish that...One way or another. I love being outside when the weather is cooler and there's just a certain change in the air, so this would be festive to try.

11. Pumpkin Spice Lattes//
I love pumpkin treats of any kind, so I can't wait to drink Pumpkin Spice and Chai lattes!

September 4, 2013

"It was labor day weekend, I was 17, I bought a coke and some gasoline and I drove out to the county fair..."

Alright, so I'm not 17 anymore (thank goodness), and I didn't drive out to the county fair, but it was Labor day weekend, so I thought the song was fitting! I'm all about having the perfect song for the occasion. This weekend, I went to Bass Lake with my parents and our closest family friends, because after our last visit (when I was just 15 and a freshman in high school--Man, have things changed since then), we have continuously talked about getting up there again. Looks like we finally made it happen. It was one of the best times I've ever had! We rented a cabin really close to the lake, went boating, drove a jet ski for the very first time in my life, toasted s'mores, had some very entertaining conversation, cranked up the tunes, gazed up at the stars, and soaked up the last few minutes of summer, as I prepare for what's to come in the next few months with school and the unavoidable event of...Growing up. I guess it has just taken me a lot longer than it has for most people.

Being able to get away from it all for a few days was one of the greatest things for me to just be still; to hear what God is saying and to feel His presence, and nature is where I can usually feel the closest to Him. It also gave me a lot of time to think and to clear my mind. How do I want to change the world? What's my mission? What steps am I going to have to take to get there? And in these last moments of summer, I was able to appreciate the sunsets, the trees, the company of those around me, the simple moments of not doing anything and not having to rush, and those wonderful opportunities when inspiration hits and you just have to get it down on paper (or a note on your iphone). I felt a sense of freedom and independence as I glided across the lake, with nothing jumping in front of my path (except for the occasional boat...But, you know what I mean) and I was in complete control. I have never felt so much peace in my life, surrounded by trees and driving on water...Crazy, right?! But, sometimes you just have to stretch out of your comfort zone. And to think I almost didn't want to do it. By the end of the day, I felt like an old pro. I was tired out and ready to go in by the time we returned them to the dock, but boy oh boy, I can't wait to do that again.

Day One//
We stopped at Bravo Farms for a bathroom break, and also got to explore around the gift shop for a bit and see what other trinkets they had lying around! I had never been there before, but I can't wait to go back...And I'll bring a better camera with me to get artsy.

We got to Bass Lake, got settled in a bit at our place, then went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, which was pretty tasty! When we came back, we sat on the deck and watched the sun set; talked and laughed, relaxed a bit..It was perfect. Then, my dad cranked up a little Sara Evans and Martina McBride. 

Day Two//

My mom and our family friend, Tammy, made breakfast, and we had a lazy morning around the cabin. I sat out on the deck for a little while, listening to some good 'ole country music and worked on a story for a bit. After awhile, we went out to the lake for the afternoon-cruised around on the pontoon boat (while cranking the song by Little Big Town, of course) and riding on the jet ski's! Crazy times! We came back a little earlier than expected, and had dinner at the cabin-Hot dogs and chips. A few of us went down to one of the pits at the complex we were staying in to roast marshmallows for s'mores and listened to LeAnn Rimes (courtesy of my dad's iPod), then my dad and I sat around, waiting for the fire to go out and talked about some of the changes that I hope life brings me pretty soon and what I'm working towards right now. We took a short walk, and sat up on the deck, taking in as much of the the night sky as we could. You could see billions of stars all clustered together where we were...It's in those moments that whenever I start to doubt or wonder whether God's up there or if He's really everything I read and hear about...That vision of the sky puts my doubt/fear to shame. His creation and beauty is EVERYWHERE. We just have to open our eyes to it. 

This was when I realized my hat flew off...HAHA! 

Day three//

I woke up later than I had planned to, but got ready in plenty of time. As soon as we all woke up, we started cleaning and packing up the cars. I didn't get a chance to hang out on the deck like I had hoped, but still just waking up to the incredible view of the sun shining down on the lake was enough for me. I took in every bit of it as we drove away. We stopped for breakfast at a Vons to get some donuts and Starbucks, then hit the road. The car ride passed off rather quickly, which was nice, because I think I'd had too much sun the day before and wasn't feeling too well. We were all tired and just wanted to be home at that point. We made one final stop at Bravo Farms again for lunch, made a quick dash to some outlets nearby, then headed home. 
I took a shower and shortly after, fell asleep, because the thought of doing anything else seemed exhausting. I woke up, had some pizza and watched random shows like Shark Tank and Undercover Boss with my parents! HAHA! Good times. 

It was such an incredible weekend that I won't soon forget, which sounds so cliche...But, I really mean it. I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend the last official weekend/hurrah of the summer! The trip was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

September 3, 2013

30 Day Challenge (Day 10)-Describe Your Most Embarrassing Moment

I know I've had a lot of random, awkward moments over the years, like bad hair days, not speaking when Nick Jonas looked my way, feeling like I bombed a presentation or getting turned down by a crush who didn't return the same feelings, and other cringe worthy moments where I just really made a mistake and shouldn't have opened my mouth when I did..But, most embarrassing? Let's throw it back to high school.

I think I'm going to go with one that always kind of bothers me when I think back to it. It was my freshman year in algebra, with this really wacky teacher, and a few kids in the class who just really made me feel insecure as it was. Well, I went up to the teacher's desk to ask her a question, when I accidentally knocked off one of the students' books off of his desk, in the front row. I had planned to pick them up and apologize for it when I came back, because I still had to go back that way anyway...But, I didn't get that far. The teacher, who I won't name, called me out in front of everyone and told me to say that I was sorry (she had a tendency to treat us like we were 5). One of the snotty girls, who always seemed to act like she had everything together and everyone else should have to live up to her standards, made some comment as well, and it just made me feel extremely awkward like I was a horrible person. I knocked his book off the desk, it wasn't the end of the world..And I didn't need someone telling me I need to apologize. Besides, if you have to tell someone to apologize, then it comes across not very sincere in the first place, am I right? I was very insecure and making sure I always did the right thing was important to me...So something like this, made me want to crawl in a hole. But, eventually, I got over it.

Also, another time might be when I suggested that we should make an American Idol basket, when coming up with ideas for this fundraiser we were having at school. Yeah, everyone looked at me like I was the craziest person alive or that I needed help. I just wanted to donate some of my Carrie autographs, and I knew a lot of people liked it (even though they didn't have the guts to admit it), so I just thought I'd throw that out there and be bold to speak my mind. I always ended up doing it at the weirdest times. Though, come to think of it, it just made me more annoyed with my class then embarrassed...Never mind.