Everything I Learned From Planning my Wedding

Don’t check the weather.

Order a clear plastic umbrella a few months ahead of time just to be safe ($14, amazon.com), then stop looking at your weather app. People will text you and call you to tell you they checked the weather. Ignore them. There is zero point in stressing about things that exist outside the realm of your control. Think about something else. Besides, overcast skies are better for photos anyway. Mother Nature is like a dragon: She will do whatever she wants, even on your wedding day.
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Why the Soundtrack for Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette’ is the Soundtrack of Your 20s

I will prove it to you. Here’s a life moment for every single stellar track on the 2006 two-disc masterpiece album:


Track 1: Trying to incorporate your mom jeans into an office appropriate outfit

“Hong Kong Garden” by Siouxsie & The Banshees Read More

The Golden Moment

There are very few things in this world that I haven’t tried to be.

Olympic figure skater? Check. Model? I prefer pizza. Gymnast? They are not kidding about the butt hairspray. Veterinarian? If you can’t stick humans with needles, then you definitely can’t stick puppies with needles. Musician? Name any televised talent show—I auditioned for it. Lawyer? Not as fun as Elle Woods makes it out to be. Detective? Listen up, people: an interest in crime shows does not qualify you to hunt down serial killers. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 8: The Redwoods and a Note on Solo Travel

San Francisco, CA to Seattle, WA. 17 hours and 41 minutes. 893 miles.

Today was the last day of my road trip. My husband called to tell me that our dog Cooper was not doing well, (TMI WARNING) and had blood in his stool and his throw up. So I decided to cut my trip short and go home.

I knew taking the Pacific Coast Highway instead of I-5 back to Seattle would make the long day of driving even longer, but I did not want to miss the Avenue of the Giants. I also wanted to, at the very least, end my trip with a great view. And I was not disappointed. Walking through the Avenue of the Giants was like walking through a fairytale. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 7: Big Sur

Santa Barbera, CA to San Francisco, CA. 6 hours and 45 minutes. 334 miles.

When I woke up this morning after another successful night of boondocking, there was a dense fog hovering on the Pacific Coast Highway. When I unlocked my car and shoved open the door to the backseat to stretch, I looked up at the sky and shouted to no one in particular, “Oh come on! It’s Big Sur day!” Two men lounging and eating breakfast in the bed of their truck two spots away looked up at me like I was some kind of lunatic.

I had driven all across the country under a near-cloudless sky only to hit the coast with an obstructed view. I nearly went back to sleep. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 6: The California Coast

Phoenix, AZ to Santa Barbara, CA. 7 hours and 30 minutes. 469 miles.

When I turned 16, I spent my entire life savings on a used Chrysler Sebring convertible that I named White Lightning. Though the car ended up having many costly problems, it is still to this day the best purchase I have ever made. Having a car meant freedom. It meant that I could get a job. Suddenly, I was no longer reliant on my parents to take me to cheerleading and drama club practice, and I could leave my house if it got cramped and stressful. It was the first thing I ever owned outright, and it opened a door to the world.

The beauty of a road trip is that you are in control of the timeline—even more so when you go solo. When you’re tired, you stop and sleep. When you’re hungry, you stop and eat. When you see something incredible, you stop and take a picture. When you’re bored, you change the station or playlist. You do all of this without consulting anyone. That is freedom.
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Cross-country Road Trip Days 4-5: The Desert

El Paso, TX to Gilbert, AZ. 6 hours and 17 minutes. 385 miles.

Over the last several days, I pulled off three epic surprises that I believe bring my capacity for shock and awe to an entirely new level. After blocking members of my family on all my social accounts and dodging their calls for weeks so I did not have to lie to them, I finally arrived in Arizona after a long and blistering 6.5-hour drive through New Mexico and eastern Arizona. There is absolutely nothing, and I repeat nothing, to report from my journey across the New Mexico/Arizona desert. Stop for gas often, people. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 3: Car Camping

Dallas to El Paso, TX. 6 hours and 13 minutes. 385 miles.

Guys. I just had my first car camping experience. It was totally fine! Well, almost. Around 11 p.m., I woke up to a police car shining a blinding spotlight into my car window. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 2: A Day in Waco, TX

Dallas, TX to Waco, TX and back. 3 hours and 7 minutes. 203 miles.

Waco, Texas is the epicenter of all my white, vintage, French country, shiplap-loving dreams! I had planned on stopping in Waco to see the Magnolia Silos on route to El Paso in an attempt to cram all the Texas goodness I could into a single day, but I elected not to after my cousin Aryn offered to come with me (after working an overnight shift at the hospital, God bless her). Instead, I decided to make a day of this long-awaited side trip. Read More

Cross-country Road Trip Day 1: Leaving Home For The Last Time

Waterloo, IL to Dallas, TX. 668 miles. 10 hours and 30 minutes.

I decided to start my road trip a day early. I’m not one to hover or overstay—especially when there are extensive hours of oncoming driving involved. As Madonna said, “There’s only so much you can learn in one place. The more that I wait, the more time that I waste.” So, I showered, packed, and brewed myself a latte while my blessed mother filled my cooler with fruits, sandwiches, and snacks, cleaned my car windows, and filled up my water jug.

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