Remember

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.” ― Jack Kerouac

LA has my heart

With the stress of family time over Thanksgiving, holiday madness, and purchasing a home (!!) I had a freak out and snagged a 3 day ticket to L.A for the holiday weekend. There’s something about the west coast that makes me feel a little more whole. I daydreamed about feeling lighter and happier the minute my plane landed – but that really didn’t happen. For some reason, it  took me a good 2 days to really unwind and feel comfortable with myself and my surroundings. And by the time I really got the hang of Venice Beach, and spending quality time with Colleen and John, it was time to leave. With a heavy heart, and tears on the plane ride home, I flew back to Little Rock with conflicted emotions.
I second guessed my decision to buy a home. I was a little frustrated with myself for never having the guts to move to a larger city. But, like always, those feels subside when I’m surrounded by the best people I know back home. These are my people. This is where I grow and feel the most supported. I think I just get in a cyclical routine and lose sight of the progress here. And also, I don’t really enjoy the thought of working only to pay rent.

Missing those beautiful palm trees already. Thanks for the love, L.A. XO

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Forever Home

On the second day of the year I purchased a home. I don’t think this still feels like a reality even though I’m already living in it and steady making it mine. It can be a little overwhelming at times because I have a very tight budget when it comes to renovations, but isn’t there some saying about “nothing worth doing it easy?”

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Berlin

I spent the last part of my trip in Germany. I stayed with my friend Kristina; she was an exchange student in our high school and we’ve kept in touch over the years.

2014-06-20 21.34.53Drinking some German beer. I can’t remember. By this part of the trip I was pretty emotionally exhausted, had blisters on my feet and I was ready to relax and let Kristina be my guide.

2014-06-20 18.54.51-1Berlin Wall

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2014-06-20 13.42.46-1swinging by the Berlin Wall (NBD)

2014-06-20 17.46.56-1Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) on Museum Island was beautiful neoclassical architecture.

2014-06-20 16.23.28-1Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe designed by Peter Eisenman. Kristina told me this memorial was pretty controversial because the architect is world-renown but Germans felt this wasn’t his best work. Kubrick-like monoliths stretch out of the ground at varying heights. Kristina, Jasper and I went through the negative spaces and I think she had a change of heart after interacting with the piece. She said it did feel kind of solitary, changing and confusing.

2014-06-20 15.34.30Kristina, Japser and I enjoying some dipped ice cream cones. Yumz.

Her parents live on a beautiful farm in Strausberg, Germany (about 20 mins outside of Berlin). They have a to-die-for farm.

Kristina said they are trying to build a factory farm down the street so on their front porch, her dad made a sign that says, “Yes to Farms, No to Factory Farming Here or Elsewhere”.

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2014-06-20 09.51.00Kristina made bread, a cake topped with berries from the garden, egg scramble with their eggs, bacon from the neighbor. I was in brekkie heaven.

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Berlin was great. I wish I had been able to stay longer. I flew from Berlin to London and had an overnight stay where I jumped on the Underground, picked a random stop (Leicester Square), had fish and chips and beer and watched the World Cup in a packed bar. Met a few sweeties, smoked too many cigarettes then tipsily made my way back to the airport where I stayed in a super mod pay-by-the-hour Yotel.

Feels good to be back. XO

Marseille, France & Liège, Belgium

Met up with Katy when she flew into Paris. Had a little brekkie then got ready to head to Lyon.

Luckily , there was train strike in France. Had to cancel part of our trip (no Lyon), spent hours in the train station with multiple non-English speakers that gave us the wrong instructions on attaining a ticket the fuck out of Paris. I will spare more details of utter disappointment, confusion and frustration to say – we finally got on a damn train headed south. Not really sure where we were going to stay, no real solid plans, hoping we were just heading the right direction.

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We made it to Marseilles, stepped out of the train station, and saw this:

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Most hotels were booked. It was easier to get on my phone and make a reservation. So dumb. Liked this pretty little place. Had lots of espresso.

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We decided to hike up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde. It is a Catholic basilica that residents traditionally see as the guardian and the protector of the city.

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On our way back to our incredible b&b (below) we stopped at a market (the best one I’ve EVER been to ever) and loaded up on things to make dinner.

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Din with lots of bread, cheese, goodness, wine.

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Marseilles was actually kind of tough. It was a much different city than Paris. I will say, I had some killer seafood there.

Katy and I split ways and I took off to Belgium and she went back to Paris a day early. Train shenanigans again prevented me from taking a train to Liege. I had to stop in Brussels and Lylou was the most incredible friend and offered to pick me up even though she had to drive almost an hour. Got off the train, my phone died, stood there for a good 10 minutes just not knowing what to do – and then she appeared around the corner. Starving and shaken, I was overjoyed to see her.

She took me to A Pilori where we had HUGE meatballs, beers and peket violette (peket is Belgium’s local version of gin and it’s typically flavored). We grabbed some beers & hung out at my place, taking photos and catching up. It was a short visit but SO SO good. I miss this girl.

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Paris, France

I just got back from a wonderful visit to Europe. It was a quick and busy trip but I wanted to see all of my lady friends that are currently across that big blue water. I stopped in Paris & Marseilles in France, Brussels & Liege in Belgium and ended up in the countryside of Berlin.

My plane out of Little Rock was majorly delayed. Which meant that all of my other connections were missed. I connected from Dallas to London and the doors were already shut but they let me on. Barely made it across the sea. By the time I finally arrived in London I had to hurriedly scramble for another flight to Paris. Which all meant when I finally did arrive, I hadn’t eaten anything in a long while. My nerves were shot, my adrenaline was skyrocketing, I was finally on vacation and wanted to get a drink.

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First stop, Experimental Cocktail Club. Cozy little place in my neighborhood. I taught my bartender from the UK how to make a Manhattan. I sat at the bar and met some expats from Canada and the cutest french girl that could speak English. We proceeded to drink way too much and then we relocated to some dance club. I danced until 4AM then stumbled back to my place in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris.

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I slept until noon. Woke up completely hungover and starving. It had been over 15 hours since I’d eaten. I met up with My Tam, a dear friend from the U.S. doing an internship in Paris. We walked around collecting fresh baguettes, meats and cheeses and made ourselves a meal by the Eiffel Tower.

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After our lunch, we walked around the city all day. We went to the gardens outside of the Lourve, had some incredible gelato, swooned over the architecture at Notre Dame, bought some books at Shakespeare & Co.

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Then by sunset finally felt like going all out at dinner. Super french style. Fois gras, duck confit, cheese, wine and escargot for dinner. After dinner, we got our wine to-go then took a taxi back to our neighborhood. Stopped by a bar called Le Sully for a nightcap. Ended up meeting some lovely Frenchmen.

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I love how we walked under the street light and it just turned on.
– Jason Anderson

vingt sept

Ah, 27 hath arrived.

We had an incredible house party with 5 bartenders making crazy cocktails upon request. The special ingredient was flamin hot cheetos bitters.

I couldn’t party too hard on my actual birth date due to a massive final the following day. I played hookie at work and had ice cream with AiLien then my friend Eric made one of my favorite french dishes, Coq au vin.


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Whirlwind of a year, for sure. Here’s a little tipsy 27 selfie. For giggles.

I’ve gotta move through the weeks without you here,
I get a shock, shock hurts to heal

– Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton