Focus on the good.

My flight home from Minneapolis was delayed on Thursday. Actually, my flight home from Minneapolis was delayed three times on Thursday. 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, "hopefully we'll be out of here by 9," they said, "as long as the weather clears up".

It's always promising when the flight crew uses words like "hopefully" and "as long as".

I texted Kyle. "Looks like we're delayed again." Since he was supposed to be picking me up from the airport that night. "At this rate I won't get home until after midnight." And we both still had to get up and go to work the next morning.

Apparently there were storms in Chicago. At least that's that they kept telling us. I didn't see any of the little-rain-cloud-icons on my Apple Weather App (because as soon as they made this announcement - I whipped out my phone to double-check, like an asshole) - but otherwise, I had no reason not to believe them.

Why would they make that up? It's "raining" in Chicago - aka, the pilot is missing, or the engine fell out, or one of the wings snapped off on our last flight and we've got to duct tape it back together.... but... those things sound scary and hard to explain, so... "There are 'storms' in Chicago." (I don't really know how it all works, but I'm 99.9% certain this is not how it works.)

I tried to imagine a scenario where I walked up to the counter, pulled out my iPhone and said: "Um... excuse me? Hi. Yes." *shoves iPhone in their face* "According to my weather app here, it looks like there aren't actually any storms in Chicago. See? If there were, you would see little-rain-cloud-icons, but there aren't any. So..." *Points to phone, as if talking to my grandma* "Look - you can even scroll out to see the future forecast - this one can predict until 5AM tomorrow. And look! No rain! See?" 

I'm sure that would go over well. They would probably say, "You're right! Thanks for bringing that totally-accurate-weather-app to our attention! Our high-tech-weather-checker-thing must be broken. Alright, ya'll - hop on board!"

And then we would all die because the plane tried to land during a storm in Chicago. And the CEO of the airline would go on the news and say, "Yea, look, some girl told us it would be okay? She said this app on her phone was TOTALLY trustworthy. She looks at it every day to decide what she's going to wear! You know, like jeans, or a sweater- And it's only been wrong, like, ten percent of the time. We thought those were good odds!"

What to Pack: Beauty Essentials For Your Carry-on.

You know how grocery shopping has that cardinal rule about "never go shopping when you're hungry"? God forbid you end up with an extra bag of potato chips.

Sephora should have the same rule. Never go shopping when you're... feeling... shall we say, less than confident. Like, super-model-hot confident, particularly about your face. Because once you get in there.... well, that's it. Suddenly everything you see becomes THAT THING YOU NEED to be mistaken for a dewy-glowy Victoria's Secret model.

This concealer is $80, and claims to have "pore vanishing" powers? It also has the word "clinical" on it, so it must be legit. Everyone knows 'clinical' means 'doctor' - so buying this is kind of like having plastic surgery - for ONLY $80! That's a bargain!

This stuff is called "Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder"... Airbrush powder! Like how they airbrush supermodels on magazines? So if I wear this, people will believe that I look like a supermodel in real life? Well, YEA, duh.

I'm not making fun of people who shop in Sephora like this. Because I genuinely shop in Sephora like this. 

This foundation is called "Your skin, but better". So, people will think it's MY skin - just, better. Natural. Naturally flawless skin. This foundation is going to CHANGE MY LIFE... Face. It's going to change my face. Yay!

I'm not saying I'm PROUD of it, I'm just saying... I am easily swayed by marketing. 

Exploring the Grand Canyon.

I had been to the Grand Canyon once before. Which is not to say that when Kyle and I discussed visiting the Grand Canyon on our trip to Vegas last year, I was like - "yawn, snore - seen it, no thanks" --- but I figured you should know this for two reasons: 

1) Because I - for some completely stupid reason - believed this made me an expert on all things 'Grand Canyon'. At least once I said, "No, we need to go this way. I remember from when I was here before." (Keep in mind that I can barely remember where I parked my car in the Target parking lot after thirty minutes - but, sure, I remember this dirt path from my two hours spent at The Grand Canyon four years ago.) And also -

2) I was the WORST  tour guide. For someone who has actually BEEN to the Grand Canyon before - I know shockingly little about it. We pulled up to the entrance where they were doing helicopter tours, and I actually said "Oh wow, they do helicopter tours?! That's so cool!" So. There's that. *Also - in case you didn't know, they do helicopter tours. 

I won't bore you with details about my trip there from 2014. Mostly because it was two hours spent walking around with my friend saying, "Oh, will you take a picture of me by this rock?" and then taking pictures of my friend when she asked, "Hey! Will you take a picture of me on this ledge?" And then we left. Because once the profile-picture-taking-game was over, we ran out of ways to entertain ourselves. "The Grand Canyon seems like more a 'family' vacation spot," we said - whatever that means. Like it's the equivalent to Sea World.  

Study Abroad Series | Packing to Live Abroad.

I signed up to study abroad during my junior year of college. An entire semester in Spain designed to immerse students into the culture, learn about the history, and live with a host family who spoke zero English.

Literally, zero. No habla. Just a Madre and a padre who discussed current affairs every night at the dinner table (I'm guessing, I actually had very little idea what they were talking about. Like I said, everything was in Spanish, and they talked so fast!), and a host brother who was super into Shakira. My roommate and I heard the song Rabiosa through the thin walls of our piso AT LEAST once a day.

Spending a semester in Spain sounded like a great opportunity. I mean, yea, my Spanish skills sucked - even after two semesters of the basics, my ability to string a sentence together usually went like this: "Hola. Como estas? Chaqueta, biblioteca, gracias, tienes un pluma?" Which Google Translate will tell you means: "Hi. How are you? Jacket, library, thank you, do you have a pen?" Clearly, I was ready to navigate a foreign country.

Saint Patricks Day 2018 | Chicago, IL

Before we could even DISCUSS plans for Saint Patricks Day, I had already made up my mind that I wanted to go into the city. It's tradition that Chicago dumps green food coloring in the river that runs through the city, and the whole day is just one big-huge-ginormous Saint Patricks Day party. All of the people from all over the land come to Chicago to party it up. They wear green, and watch a parade, and have a grand ol' time.

And I told my boyfriend - again, before anyone ever said anything about Saint Patricks Day - "I want to do a blog post about it." 

#ThingsBloggersSay

Out and about!

Full disclaimer: I am not a photographer. Sure, I take a lot of pictures – but that’s essentially all I am: a picture-taker. When purchasing a new camera, photographers are people who consider things like shutter speed, lens selection, aperture, and various camera-words-that-I-don’t-know-because-I’m-not-a-photographer. Meanwhile, in the other camp, a “picture-taker” will pick out a camera based on… “I don’t know, is it easy to use? Is it heavy? Do I have to know stuff about cameras to be able to use it? Will it take better pictures than my iPhone?”

These are all real questions that I asked when searching for a new camera.

Photographers don’t like picture-takers (I’m just guessing). At least they don’t like the picture-takers who like to call themselves photographers. (Again, I’m just guessing.) I feel like if I had taken a lot of time and practice to hone my craft, I’d be pretty annoyed with the person who shows up with an iPhone and an Instagram account and refers to themselves as a “photographer”. Congratulations, you officially have as much photography experience as Chrissy Teigen (who, for all I know, could actually be a very skilled photographer.)

Travel Diary: Las Vegas, NV.

I would love to be the kind of blogger who can start off a travel diary by saying, “Earlier this year, I booked a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas!” and make it sound totally normal. Like I’m the whimsical kind of girl who does this sort of thing all the time. “It was completely spur of the moment, tickets were cheap, and I thought – hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!”

 “Hey, why not! Let’s go to Vegas!” is not something I’ve ever said in my entire life. I was whimsical for about twenty minutes. The twenty minutes that it took for some woman on the phone to convince me that Vegas was all the rage. “Oh, you haven’t been to Vegas?!” She asked in a tone that suggested ‘but eeeeeveryone’s been to Vegas!!!’. (But, like, in a nice way? I don’t know. It was weird.)

The woman calling me worked for the hotel chain that I frequently use when traveling for business trips (therefore they assumed that I would have the money to, you know, travel). “Now is a GREAT time to come out to Las Vegas.” She said – (as if she would have called me to say, ‘You know, maybe now is not such a great time’) – “We just opened up a BRAND NEW hotel on the strip...