Wednesday, December 30, 2009


 Hello world,

Yea it has been a while... too long, I think.

I believe the last time I posted was just before my trip to Williamsburg with my grandma.  It was a pleasant trip.  We did plenty of shopping and visited Busch Gardens to see the Christmas Town shows.  The Prime Outlet mall in Williamsburg is AMAZING!!!!  I got a couple of summery things to wear when I get to Australia.  I also got plenty of gifts for various family members at the Lennox outlet.  I think my favorite was a a Christmasy teapot for my aunt.  As soon as I got back from that trip, I left again to go to Charlotte for Christmas Eve and morning.  We opened presents that evening and had a big meal.  I got back just in time to head over to my neighbor's house to have some delicious chocolate cake.  Generally, it was a very nice Christmas. 

I have spent the majority of this week packing up all of the stuff in my apartment, where I have a very large bedroom, and cramming it into my tiny bedroom and closet at home.  Tomorrow will be furniture moving day.  I plan on spending New Year's eve at home since the bf is out of town. 

There isn't really anything new to report about the Australia trip except that I submitted my visa application, which cost an arm and a leg.  I also received an Australia travel guide.

I have lots and lots of new books to read, so maybe I will write a couple of non-professional reviews as I read them... just a little something to occupy my time until I leave.  Right now I am working on a book called "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.  It is about a young man who works on a depression era circus.  So far it is pretty interesting, but more on that later. 

Well I think I will get back to organizing my room.  I promise to write more frequently now that I will be at home for a while.  I also promise to post a couple of Christmas pictures.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

To grandmother's house we go

Well, I won't actually be going to my grandma's house, but  I will be going out of town with her for a couple of days.  I will tell you all about it when I return. 

In other news, I am currently in the process of applying for my visa online, which will allow me to stay in Australia for the duration of my study abroad program.  *excitement!!!*

It's almost Christmas, and I will be going to Charlotte to celebrate with my dad and his side of the family, including my cousin Kaity, who is my best friend in the whole world.

Ok I have to go now... see you in a couple days!



Thursday, December 17, 2009


Hi everyone!

I decided to buy a dress from Etsy that I posted about before.  Here it is:

I wanted to wait until after christmas before buying anything new but I was terrified that someone else would get it before me. It looks so awesome and I can't wait for it to arrive.  When it does, I promise to post pics of me wearing it.

Merry Christmas to me!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vintage Love

Hello world,

Australia trip update!!!! My flight has been booked!  I will be flying into Brisbane airport bright and early on February 12th.  Here it will be dead winter, but there it will be summer!  How sweet is that?  Aaaahhhh I am so excited, I could just dance.

I wanted to show you some of the amazing and super cute vintage things that can be found on Etsy.  Being a college student, I am perpetually broke so I can't have them all, as much as I would love to spend every penny I have on them.  Plus, I need to be buying things for other people and not for myself.  Speaking of which...

I bought these adorable Christmas ornaments today at Marshall's.  I always find the most random stuff there.  I don't know who I am going to give them to yet, but they were just too cute to pass up.  They are mini embroidered Christmas plushies!  Who knows... maybe they will end up hanging around my own room.

Ok, back to the theme of this post... here a some of my vintage faves on Etsy right now:

This dress is amazing.  It's so glamorous and sexy.

This coat is so gorgeous.  It looks very cozy.

I am completely in love with This dress.  I want it.  All of the Gunne Sax dresses are pretty much awesome.

Soooo cute.  Another one that I would love to have for myself.

This is so pretty.  It makes me want to put on little lace gloves and have a tea party.

There are so many more fab vintage finds on my wish list but I can't be too greedy.  After all Christmas should be about giving, not getting.

So, dear readers, I will leave you with a new playlist of some of my favorite songs for your listening pleasure.

Love Always,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tighten Up!

Hello world,

One of my very favorite things about cooler weather is the cute and cozy clothes.  Right now I am absolutely in love with tights.  I just got a pair of turquoise and a pair of deep purple from Express and I have been trying to think of new ways to wear them.  I just love This and This from the vintage shops on Etsy.

I have been finding a lot of really cute vintage dresses on Etsy lately.  I am currently
searching for the perfect winter/fall jumper dress to wear with my tights and boots.  I will probably visit Abbeygail's sometime this week to see if I can find something for myself.

Here are a few more tights looks that I love:

Next on my tights wish list:  red tights, yellow tights, patterned or textured tights.

How do you wear your tights?

In other news, I took my organic chemistry exam this morning.  I stayed up all night studying and the test itself took 4 hours... phew at least that's over with.  I have one left to go and then I am free until I fly away on my world adventures in February.  I have decided that I am going to try to hand make some of my gifts this year.   I will probably sew a pretty apron for my grandma and maybe try my hand at some knitting or chrocheting.  Wish me luck!

Till next time,


Monday, December 14, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

Hello world,

This is going to be a very brief post today because tomorrow morning is my organic chemistry final exam and it's crunch time right now.  I found another must-have to add to my Christmas list and I just had to post it since we are getting sooooo close to Christmas.  Anyways, I have discovered a lot of really cute and fun craft ideas that involve Polaroid pictures.  Soooo...

Item number 2 on my Christmas wish list is:

This super cute Polaroid camera, which can be bought Here.

That's all for today.  I need to get back to studying.

Happy holidays everyone!



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh how I love...

Christmas time at home.

Hello world,

Today has been wonderful.  I went to church this morning with my dad and they put on a super cute little pageant.  There were actually some very talented singers in the show (I was a little jealous).  I spent a couple hours straightening up my apartment and catching up on some emails and then I headed home for dinner and to work out some more details of my Australia trip (housing and flight times and such).  Spending time at home near the holidays is always a treat.  My stepdad made a fabulous meal (as always) and my sister chatted my ears off about her newest crushes and best friend drama.  I got to read through a couple of my mom's People magazines, watch a couple mindless TV shows, play with my two attention hungry dogs, and, most importantly, admire the festive decorations that my mom had recently set out.  Unfortunately she doesn't decorate for every holiday like she did when I was much younger, but she still goes all out for Christmas.

Here are a few nice photos of the house and decorations:


I think Mr. Nutcracker is my favorite.  My mom is just obsessed with nutcrackers.  She has a collection of around 20 of them ranging from ornament size to two and a half feet tall.  The one in the picture is one of the tall ones... he lives on the staircase.  Although some of the traditions have changed, especially since I left for school, the mood is still the same.  I can't wait until Christmas morning.  We always have mimosas and sticky cake before opening presents.  And of course my mom plays her Elvis Christmas CD.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

I in love with the new trend in funky headbands and hair pieces.  This gorgeous beaded one is at the top of my holiday wish list.  It can be found Here on Etsy.


Keep living in holiday spirit!


Amanda G.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fairy Tales by Syfy

Hello world,

Australia trip update!!!!!!  I have decided where I am going to live next semester.  I will be sharing a four-bedroom apartment at UniCentral.  It's an adorable apartment complex that's a five-minute walk from the USC campus.  The buildings are all blue and orange and the apartments come with modern furniture.  I decided to live in the four-bedroom apartment so that I can meet as many people as possible right away when I get there.

In other news, I have found a new TV obsession.  It's called Alice and it's a two part miniseries from Syfy channel.  It's a very imaginative reworking of the classic story of Alic in Wonderland.  The story told in this series has only a minimal resemblance to the original story, but I think the premise is that this particular episode is occurring 150 years after the original Alice first visited Wonderland.  It has a completely new cast of characters, including a power-hungry queen of hearts and her arsenal of 'suits' who work for her, the Walrus, the Carpenter, the Caterpillar, and the heart-throbbingly sexy Hatter, who is played by Andrew Lee Potts.  Oh and of course Alice.

Isn't Hatter simply adorable?  Anyways, Alice enters into Wonderland after accidentally falling through a looking glass while chasing after her boyfriend, Jack, who has been kidnapped by the White Rabbit.  Alice is captured by the White Rabbit, but she escapes and begins wandering around Wonderland in search of her boyfriend who actually turns out to be the son of the queen.  She meets the gorgeous but zany Hatter who runs a 'tea shop' where citizens of Wonderland can drink up the liquid emotions that have been drained from 'oysters' (people from Alice's world).  The queen serves these emotions to her populace in order to control them from afar.  Hatter agrees to help Alice find and rescue her boyfriend.  I don't want to ruin the whole story so I am simply going to leave it here and tell you to watch it by downloading the torrent or here on youtube.  The Youtube version is a little bit frustrating because the show is slit up into about 18 different segments but it's free and easy to use and it doesn't take up any space on your hard drive.

I'm no professional critic but I found this series to be highly entertaining and well worth watching.  Next I will be checking Syfy's version of The Wizard of Oz which is called Tin Man.

Photo of the day:


Amanda G.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Hello world,

Once again, I have stayed up all night and slept the day away; not because I had to work or because I was up studying.  No, it seems that I have simply become nocturnal.  This is a common ailment of college students, given that most of us don't have full time jobs that naturally regulate our sleeping habits and the closer we all get to being on winter holiday, the worse the sleep habits get.  Why is it that college students, in particular, find it impossible to follow the same schedule that the rest of the world does?  No one knows for sure, but my guess is that we college students associate the day time with classes and studying.  Night time is when the fun stuff happens.  However, the time will eventually come that we will all have to enter into the real world and follow the same boring sleep schedule as the other nine-to-fivers, so here are a few steps that one can take to force your brain and your body to keep the schedule that it should and not just the schedule that it would prefer :

1.  Make the room as dark as possible before you try to fall asleep.  The human brain was programmed, long ago, to sleep when it's dark and to be active when it is light.  The darker the room is, the more quickly you will be able to fall asleep and the longer you will stay asleep.  Using a sleep mask is one way to trick your brain into thinking it's dark.  I use one that's made by Earth Therapeutics, but they come in all colors, fabrics, and designs.

2.  Expose yourself to light first thing in the morning.  I have never been a fan of morning exercise (or morning anything for that matter) but exposing yourself to natural light right after you rise will really help your brain to wake up more fully.  If you don't fancy taking a stroll first thing in the morning, it is a good idea to step out onto a patio or at least open the curtains to let in sunlight.

There are many schools of thought on the best way to maintain optimal sleep habits.  One school says that the best way to get the right amount of sleep for your body is to go to sleep at night only when you are truly tired, but to set your alarm and wake up at the same time every day.  This way, your brain will know when it needs to wake up, and will shut down on time to give you the optimal amount of sleep.

Here are links to a couple of articles on healthy sleep habits:

Photo of the day:

We will see if I can take my own advice.  That's it for now, I have to go start my day and try to be at least somewhat productive with the time I have left.

Love,  Amanda G.

About My Blog

Hello world,

It's that time of year again, and everyone I know is in a frenzy.  For most people, the frenzy is all about the holiday season, but for me and my fellow college students, it's all about exams and the end of the semester.  It's an exciting time for everyone because after next week, we will all be able to leave behind our current classes and spend a month relaxing before moving on to the new ones.  For me, this year is especially exciting.  Next semester, I will not only be starting new classes, but I will also be starting them at a new school... in Australia!  Yep, this spring, I will be attending the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.  True to its name, Sunshine Coast is located in an area of Australia that stays warm and sunny all year round and the campus is just a short bus ride from a gorgeous beach.  I will be using this blog to document all of my experiences before, during, and after my trip abroad.  I am so excited to have this opportunity to see the far reaches of the world.  Here is a lovely photo of the USC library.

 Apparently the USC campus is full of wild kangaroos that just lounge around in the sun all day.  Being a naturally curious person, I wanted to learn as much as possible about Australia before going there, so I have been doing some research on Australian food, slang, tourist attractions, and other random facts.  The more I learn about Australia, the more excited I get about spending a semester there.  Being a fan of dance clubs, I was very interested to learn that Australian night clubs play mostly techno music, and that Australians do not dance the way we do in America.  It will be interesting to go to a dance club and not see people simulating sex on the dance floor.  I also found out that Australians drive on the left hand side of the road and they have their own version of McDonald's which they call Maccas.  I will be posting more updates on my preparations for my semester abroad throughout the next couple months.

As excited as I am for going abroad, I can't forget about my holiday which is right around the corner.  Like any normal human being, I love getting gifts, I love giving gifts, and I love going shopping for gifts for both myself and others. So, in honor of the Christmas spirit, I will soon be posting my own Christmas wish list, and a list of a few of my favorite places to shop for gifts.

Well that's it for now, so until next time, goodnight, America and good morning, Australia.

Love, Amanda G.