E I G H T E EN | London is Calling

Thursday, September 18, 2014

We did it! I still get a little flustered when I think about yesterday's vlog, but I am proud of myself for putting it out there. You should see my blooper videos and mini freak outs ;) Actually, you're never going to see those! Too embarrassing. Today's topic for The Blog-tember Challenge makes me giddy. I love love love traveling, and this spring found a true delight in journeying on my own. I flew all across the country for grad school interviews and to visit family, each trip to the airport more exciting (and often more frustrating/eventful) than the last. But today I'm sharing about a trip of a lifetime, traveling Europe with 20 close friends. Let's go back, shall we?

Today's prompt: Tell a tale of traveling, a city or country you've been to or a favorite vacation.

In July of 2012, I took off on an unforgettable adventure. After two weeks of online assignments and prep, 20 students and 3 professors from Baylor University Theatre headed to Europe for three weeks of sight-seeing, exploring incredible theaters, and seeing show after show after show. I spent time in the UK and Germany in high school, but this was different. This was not a hyper-organized tour or a mission trip, but the chance to study and engage in theatre abroad. Oh how I loved it!

This was also the summer before I started my senior year/advanced directing classes. Zach and I were brainstorming for our shows the ENTIRE time! There were only a handful of seniors on the trip and we enjoyed ourselves immensely! From wandering around Kensington Palace to enjoying the general splendor of London post-Diamond Jubilee and pre-Olympics, it was a dream come true. 

And the shows! We saw a show every night we were in London, including the musical Ragtime, The Last of the Haussmans, Ghost the Musical, Billy Elliot, Crow, and Henry V. The above pictures are from a tour of Shakespeare's Globe (to which several of us sprinted across the Millennium Bridge thinking we were late... I thought I was going to die...) and our last day in London we had the chance to see a production of Henry V. It is perhaps my favorite show I've ever seen! It was well worth the £5 to stand for three hours (oh, my knees!) and witness Shakespeare as it was intended. 

I've included a short clip below because I loved it so much and I showed this to my Intro to Theatre students this week and they seemed to like it as well! Can't I go back and watch it again and again? Oh wait, that's what the DVD is for ;) Warning, it's loud at first. 

A trip to England would not be complete without a few days in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace! This is a close second to Disney World in my book (and that's saying something!).  We toured the old Trinity Church where he is buried, wandered by the river, staying in the quaintest hotel whose rooms are named after his characters and the places in his plays. At Anne Hathaway's cottage (Shakespear's wife, not the actress from Princess Diaries + Devil Wears Prada) we wound our way through a muddy hedge maze and performed monologues for the tourists in town. 

Oh the stories I could tell from this trip! There are too many to choose from and I am suffering from wanderlust enough by simply looking at the photos. If by chance you are still in school and the opportunity comes up to study abroad, I say GO! RUN, do not walk, RUN to the sign up sheet. 

And if you have already graduated but have never been overseas, DO IT ASAP! It will change your life! Experiencing life and culture outside of your bubble, and surrounded by friends as I was, is an experience like no other. Run after it. Make it happen. You won't regret it.

Brave Love Blog

S E V E N T E E N | Brave Love Vlog, Vol. 1

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I promised myself I wasn't going to write anything to go along with today's prompt, but I couldn't help it! When I decided to host The Blog-tember Challenge, I knew I wanted to put a vlog in there somewhere. Goodness knows I wouldn't do it unless I had someone to hold me accountable, so here we are! Maybe someday I'll figure out how to do it on my Canon Rebel T3. For today, Photo Booth will have to do. Enjoy!

Today's prompt: Be brave! Make a vlog!

Brave Love Blog

S I X T E E N | Little Did You Know

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sweet sixteen. It's my favorite number, you know. Or maybe you didn't know that. Look! I answered today's prompt in one sentence ;) We're just over the hill, halfway through The Blog-tember Challenge, and I've got to admit I've dropped the ball on this one. Some last minute assignments and struggles are keeping today short and sweet on my end.

Today's prompt: "Most people don't know this but..."

Hm... how about a few random facts to tide you over?

Most people don't know this but...
...I'm a really bad procrastinator. Really bad. Okay, you might know that.
...my favorite number is sixteen (it's my birthday, golden year, and volleyball number).
...I played volleyball and tennis in middle school, but now I'm athletically challenged.
...I have the bad habit of popping the knuckles on my middle fingers.
...I hate hate hate sushi. The texture freaks me out. Actually, that's true for many foods.
...my guilty pleasure shows include Once Upon a Time, Duck Dynasty, and Hoarders.
...I've only pulled one all-nighter in college. I will take a 1-2 hour nap then work some more.
...I spend eight hours a week painting/building in a scene shop.
...my pinky fingers stick out in a weird way, crooked and awkward.
...I was briefly stranded in a tulip field last spring. So. Much. Rain.
...I have high arches which make wearing boots without zippers on the inside almost impossible.
...last but not least, I have been to Europe 3 times but never to NYC.

What about you, friend? What's something new you can share with the class?

F I F T E E N | In the Homemaking Mood

Monday, September 15, 2014

Does anyone else think Monday came too soon? Or that September is flying by too quickly? Day fifteen of The Blog-tember Challenge was an easy breezy day for me as I have been in the habit of making moldboards regularly for the past several months. I love that Pinterest and Tumblr allow me to collect inspiring images and project ideas, but sometimes I want to take things a step further. If I'm working on a room or a show or even a series, collaging my thoughts and ideas can put things into a whole new perspective. And it often gives me the kick I need to get going!

Today's prompt: Make a mood board. Are you brainstorming a room re-do, or are you dreaming of glamping with gal pals? Share a collage of any kind! (Examples here and here.)

Perusing my Pinterest page, it appears that I pin home decor inspiration and tutorials more than anything else. Correction, I pin wedding ideas the most, but what girl on Pinterest doesn't? You can find my "Home Sweet Home" board HERE.

As you can see I have a particular obsession with bright, white natural light, open shelving, pretty florals and pops of color. The shabby-chic trend is still one of my favorites, and especially after becoming addicted to HGTV's Fixer Upper I love the mixture of clean lines, white tile, rustic elements, and basically anything/everything Joanna and Chip Gaines can come up with! 

While owning my own home is a long ways off, I am so enjoying settling in to my apartment here at OSU. I plan to stay in this unit for the full two years, which gives me plenty of time to change my mind whenever it suits my fancy, and to embrace the slow process of making a home. Part of me wants to have all the final details in place by the end of the month, but neither my wallet nor my schedule will allow it. One day and one vignette at a time.

What's on your mind or setting the mood for you these days? I can't wait to see your collages!

Brave Love Blog

F O U R T E E N | Why Blog?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Congratulations! We've completed two weeks of The Blog-tember Challenge! The prompts on our horizon cover a wide range, but today's takes us back to the basics. I think it's good to go back to the beginning and see how far we've come. It's also a great reminder to those of us feeling lost in the blogosphere, wondering why we joined in the craziness to begin with.

Today's prompt: When did you start blogging and why?

I've been part of the blogging world for almost five years now, and it has been incredible to watch this community grow! Brave Love is my third site, and I am here to stay. When I started out, I just wanted to write. I wanted to put my words out for the world to see, to have a space of my own to sort out this mile-a-minute mind of mine. It was simple, and it was the start of something wonderful.

Here is my first ever blog post from September 23, 2009:
Blogging. What a popular word these days, huh? Sort of. When we say blogging, I at least think of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc. In the past five to ten years, we have been given so many different avenues to connect with friends and others; each has was of allowing us to share thoughts, pictures, events, and to plug in deeper with various networks. It's both a blessing and a curse I think. 

 But, I do think I am going to look at it mostly in the first light: it's a blessing. Facebook and Myspace are how I keep in touch with people. Since going off to college, some of my closest friends and I have parted our separate ways, but a small chat window gives me easy access into their lives. Even before graduation, simply changing schools has disconnected me from people I held close, but pages and profiles and the like have kept me intune with them. 

 As for Blogger, I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. It reminds me of Xanga, where we could make full posts about whatever we wanted. I found my first Xanga and absolutely cringed when I saw what I had written and the horrible grammar and spelling and iRRiTATiNG uSe OF CAPiTALS and the like. Thankfully, I've grown up since then. And I suppose that is why I'm here. 

 Some of my friends have told me that I need to write again, like the blogs I used to post on Myspace from time to time. To be honest, I miss writing. It was definitely a release and a way for me to put my thoughts into words that helped me better understand what I was dealing with and how I was dealing with it. And so, I write again. 

 I'll write of random things and of important things, but mostly whatever I'm in the mood for. I can't wait to begin. However, this is the beginning. Here is where I say "Hello!" and "Welcome!". Here is where I make my mark and take a step forward. Here we are.

Here we are. It's funny how grown up I felt at eighteen and how young I feel at twenty-three. But here we are five years later, and my core is the same. I write to connect, to share, and to dig deep. This space has been both blessing and burden in various seasons, but there is something that burns in me to keep it going. So I shall.

It also looks like my 5 year blogiversary is next week! Woohoo! What about you? When and why did you start in on this crazy adventure?

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