Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'M AN ADULT!? 17 Things I've Learned in 17 Years

Today is my eighteenth birthday. First of all, I know it seems pretty egocentric for me to be writing a blog post to commemorate my own birthday...However, this post really isn't about me — this post is about what is means to become an "adult." In many ways, this new designation doesn't feel strange to me at all. Oddly, I've felt eighteen — like an adult  for a while now. I've craved the treatment that comes with being considered a legal (and, thus, valid) individual.

Forewarning: I’m going to use the pronoun “you” throughout this post, as that’s exactly who I’m talking to — both you, reading thisand, you, Libbywriting this (sorry, that’s a lot of commas). Thus, without further adieu, here's my list of...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moving Out & Heading to the City?

I made a big decision a couple of days ago. Finally, I decided where I'll be going to college for the next four years. And what does that mean? I'll be moving out in August and headed to the "Big Apple" (I've never really understood why NYC is nicknamed the "Big Apple" — I'm assuming it's unrelated to fruit production though?)...Anyways, New York City is an indescribably inspiring place, and I'm very confident that this school is going to allow me to explore such urban wonderland whilst challenging me academically, helping me to form extraordinary connections, and being a place for me to deeply discover myself and who I want to be. I apologize, as I know that I sound incredibly sappy — however, this is the first time (in a while) that I've actually come to terms with and acted upon something that I, myself, have wanted. For far too long, I've allowed myself to sit back and concoct dreams without actively taking measures toward achieving such dreams. Hence, I've decided that it's no longer fair to hold myself back — it's time to act (and push through inevitable fear, apprehension, and nervousness that will arise — as the more real the nervousness is at the beginning, the more real the sense of fulfillment will feel in the end). 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE — 2/3: Porchlight Coffee & Records

Next up is Porchlight Coffee & Records on Capitol Hill. I love this place for multiple reasons: 
1) The guy manning the counter was so incredibly sweet. He seemed genuinely interested in what we were up to, where we were from, how we were enjoying the city, etc. Although his friendliness wasn't anything overly unfathomable, it definitely enhanced and made our experience at Porchlight a memorable one. 
2) A fusion of vinyl and coffee? How could you go wrong!?
3) They offer more than just coffee drinks! For all of those over 21, you can purchase local craft beer/other alcoholic beverages. They serve various gourmet sodas and drinks too — I got a delicious sparkling apple juice. Also, they're well known for their cold brew (which they offer bottles, glasses, and growlers of).
4) Stunningly minimalistic, modern, and artistic/creative aesthetic.
5) They sell beautifully designed mugs, totes, t-shirts, notecards, etc. (as pictured above)
6) It's an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere overall. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE — 1/3: Street Bean Coffee

As I mentioned in my most recent post, I've decided to feature some of my favorite food spots in Seattle individually, as clumping them together in one post feels belittling to each of the restaurant's individuality. Thus, I'm kicking things off with one of my favorite coffee shops we visited in Belltown — Street Bean Coffee. Visit them at: 2711 3rd Ave.

According to their site: 
"We are a nonprofit multi-roaster coffee shop providing opportunity for street-involved young people to reclaim their lives, one cup at a time."
(Read more HERE)

Delicious coffee AND a wonderful, community-helping cause? What could be better!?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SPRING IN SEATTLE — A Travel Guide to the Emerald City

Seattle is a stunning place. My dad and I took a trip out there a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first time either of us had been to the city (let alone the Pacific Northwest altogether). I've always been incredibly attracted to such region of the country. However, there had never been a reason to visit (we flew out to see a school. Also, it's worth noting that Washington state is over 3,000 miles from where I live — AKA about the same distance between my house and London, England...). That being said, I was ecstatic to cross Seattle off my bucket list and experience the respected, thriving culture for myself. 

I've decided to put together a bit of a travel guide (or an overview of my favorite things that we did while in Seattle). Before the trip, I was furiously researching where to eat, what to see, and where to go in the city — our trip was short, so I wanted to make sure I could fit as much in as possible in three and a half days. I found that there wasn't much to be found online (besides your standard Yelp reviews, Trip Advisor rankings, and magazine articles). Thus, I hope this post can be a resource for future Seattle goers (and/or just a fun read overall)!

What to See/Do #1: Pike Place Market (& site-seeing in/around the area)
I know, it's pretty cliché Seattle. However, people aren't lying when they say Pike Place is a MUST-SEE. We popped into the market fairly early on a Saturday morning (around 9:00AM). In my opinion, this was a great time to walk around — it was before the crowds and just as the various vendors were getting set up (we went back later at around 3:00 PM and were fighting elbows as we walked through the market's main stretch — it wasn't all that enjoyable). Also, I found it quite interesting to catch a glimpse of the assembly process that the vendors go through at the start of their busiest day of the week — Saturday). The market itself is an assortment of everything and anything — from ridiculously beautiful flower arrangements for $10 (!!!), to radiantly fresh produce, to beautiful art by local woodworkers, photographers, and other artisans. Truly, you cannot and will not be bored at Pike Place Market. Also, the food scene is insane — you absolutely can find any kind of food that you're craving. As we were meandering through the market, we couldn't get over the friendliness that was exhibited (not only by the locals and vendors themselves, but also by the passers-by who greeted us with warm smiles and hello's — something we're not used to coming from New England). Additionally, the market is located on the city's downtown waterfront, featuring views of the Puget Sound and the industrial workings of Seattle's active port. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Heartache?...Or Nostalgia? There's a difference.

You know those feelings that are incredibly painful yet addictively enchanting? Yes? No? Either you 1) know exactly what I'm talking about or 2) have deemed me a crazy person and are wondering why I'm trying to impress the validity of a completely contradictory statement upon you. Either way, I'd appreciate it if you kept reading — I have some thoughts that I'd like to share.

I've always loved going through old photos. When I was little, I would often sit on the floor of my living room and disappear among stacks of peeling photo albums. Many of the albums contained photos of me as an infant or a toddler; family portraits; snippets from our summer adventures on the island; photos of me and Hector sharing lollipops (our dog, thankfully yet unthankfully); action shots from dance recitals; snapshots of candles being blown out (that, notably, didn't reveal the splay of spit that always came with the celebratory finale of the "Happy Birthday to you...." song); and the documentation of many other memories. Undoubtedly, there's something captivating about recalling special memories (ranging from captivatingly painful to captivatingly enchanting).

Recently, the act of going through old photos brought up new feelings — feelings that weren't comforting, full of happiness, or gratifying at all. Why? Yes, there's a level of sentimentality that transpires when flipping through said old photos. However, it occurred to me as I flipped through page after page that I no longer crave those moments; I no longer remember those moments so vividly; I no longer am the girl in those photos.