Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Snow Day" in Florida

Well, it happened. I've lived in Florida for 19+ years, I grew up here, and not once has it snowed. It snowed the year I was born! But I was born in New York, so that doesn't count. But it snowed in Tallahassee.

Last night FSU sent out messages that school was going to be cancelled until noon today due to ice. Which makes sense, since most students here have probably never experienced driving on icy roads. Then this morning, they cancelled classes for the entire day. Great! Right?


They cancelled a huge performance of the University Symphony with Itzhak Perlman tonight.

And our flights to Michigan were also cancelled. And there are no flights out tomorrow because Atlanta is pretty much just shut down.

So now, it's barely even icy (mostly just slushy/wet) (although it was legitimately snowing earlier) and Chris and I have to fly out to Michigan on Friday morning, hope all of our flights are on time, and audition for UM in the afternoon. I am not happy about this. At all. LEAST ideal audition situation, possibly ever. But I am choosing to consider the pleasant things...I get to spend a snow day at home with my dood, and we have tomorrow together too. More practice time, less money on hotels and food in Michigan...ah well. This is life, I'm dealing with it, it is frustrating but it is all good.

Also, John bought an iPad Air and we downloaded a drawing app and it is straight up dope. Obviously.
And I took a little video of it snowing out the window here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Over the Weekend // Austin, TX

This weekend Chris, Allison, and I were in Austin, TX. It was quite a trip. I think the main thing I took away from this trip is that there is so much good food to eat in Austin ;)

The Butler School of Music is really beautiful! The whole campus is, really. On Friday, classes were cancelled and there was snow on the ground, but in the afternoon it was warm from the sun so Allison and I strolled around campus.
On Saturday, Chris and I auditioned and then we went to the botanical gardens in Austin. It was pretty dead plant-wise since it's winter and there had just been a freeze...but it was a nice way to stretch our legs!
 ^ one of the three brides we saw at the gardens, ha! ^
Then we walked around Sixth Street, where all the bars with live music are. We're not really "bar people" so it wasn't all that exciting, but we did find an amazing doughnut food truck.
 ^ maybe Austin's grumpy cat? ^
 ^ doughnut, brownie batter, hot fudge (I think), chocolate chips, brownies  = delicious, and also, diabeetus ^
I'm thankful for such a fun trip with friends! Hope to see you again some time, Austin.

Off to Michigan tomorrow night for audition #3! Hopefully we don't get snowed in...

First audition weekend here, and you can also follow along on Instagram!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Travel Emotions

Two out of four auditions down. Third audition this coming Friday, then a weekend off while my friend Leah auditions here/visits me before the last. (I can not WAIT for Leah to come to Tallahassee)

I am exhausted. Physically, and especially emotionally.

Traveling is tiring. Going back and forth between times zones is tiring. Even though it's only been a one or two hour difference, it takes it's toll, and I find myself wanting to nap every afternoon. Around 4pm, I am just done.

Traveling is stressful. Will the flight be on time? Will I miss the connection? Will it be cancelled? Will it be too icy to get around town? Will my reeds work? Will the school of music be unlocked so I can practice or warm-up? What if I tank the audition? What if my hands get sweaty and shaky? What if I forget how to play the clarinet? What if I get sick and throw up before my audition? I'm spending so much money flying out there, paying for hotels and foods, what if they don't accept me? What a pain in the ass.

Initially, it's exciting to go to a new city and sight-see. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy that? New food, new places, getting lost ;) But then you have to focus on the fact that you're not there to enjoy, you're there to work. You're there to nail an audition, get accepted, get an assistantship, get financial aid. So basically, after the initial excitement of feeling like you're on vacation, it's just nausea and fear. And I don't know about you, but when I don't perform as well as I know I can, I just get all sad and homesick. It's hard to enjoy your evening when you're bummed out, you know?

I come back to Tallahassee completely wiped out and irritable. Poor John, that guy has to navigate the choppy waters that are my emotions lately. They are so unpleasant. Sometimes I'm cranky for no reason, and I snap at him after every comment regardless of what he said. Sometimes I just cry seemingly out of nowhere because I'm feeling so overwhelmed, I want more attention, I'm scared of the future, or I just plain missed him. OR all of the above! (On the other hand, NOTHING is better than how happy John is to see me after I've been gone for 3-4 days. He makes me so happy.)

Guys, it is exhausting being so emotional. I feel like I have no control over it anymore, I am just a mess of tears and stomach aches and bad hair days.

I'm over traveling, and I'm over grad school auditions. I just spent 2 hours dealing with the fact that my flights to Detroit this week were cancelled. As much as I'm looking forward to being in Boulder, CO for my last audition, I can not wait to put this time behind me and get my life back to normal.

Photos from Austin this past weekend to come soon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

For a Future Home, Part IV

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

And now, for kitchens! I pretty much stink at cooking and I don't do it very often. But that being said, I do eat a lot so I think it's important to have a pleasant kitchen. I'm certainly more inclined to cook if I have an organized, clean, and lovely space. 

My current kitchen is pretty nice, but I'd love to have an open, white kitchen with an abundance of natural light. I love the idea of colorful refrigerators, chairs, plates, and bowls, and pops of wood, brick, or tile to bring life to a simple white kitchen. And I just know that any future kitchen of mine will be littered with plants, flowers, and hopefully some herbs.

I know that wherever I move next year, it's likely that I'll have a very small space. But I'm hoping that I'll gather enough inspiration to still make it my own, regardless of how small it may be. I want to create a living space that will let me relax, and encourage my creativity. I suppose that goes for the whole apartment, too, not just the kitchen ;)

Follow me on Pinterest HERE!
Previous posts for the home: bathtubs, beds, and office spaces.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adventures in Cooking // Crock-pot Diaries

Soooo, I got a crock-pot for Christmas. I am very excited to own this crock-pot. It has a built in timing system and everything.

I decided to break in my new crock-pot with a beef and broccoli recipe that I pinned a while back. No, I was not kidding when I said that I had been pinning a lot. It's ridiculous. But! I have a backlog of some really yummy looking recipes.
What you'll need:
- 1 lb. boneless beef roast, thinly sliced. More tender meat would be best, I didn't think about that when I bought the meat and it turned out a bit tougher than I would have liked.
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil. Sesame oil is expensive, so instead I used peanut oil and shook some toasted sesame seeds into the pot before cooking.
- 1-3 garlic cloves. I think this is purely based on how much you like garlic. I put in two cloves and it was too much for my taste.
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch, to make a slurry.
- 4 tbsp. sauce, from the crock-pot after the dish has cooked.
- Broccoli, either frozen or fresh, as many as you want.
- White or brown rice. We used brown purely because that's what we had in my pantry. Generally, I think this dish is served with white rice though.

P.S. I buy a lot of Publix brand things, because Publix brand is almost always comparable, if not better, than name brand (aka more expensive) things.
Follow this recipe!
Pay attention to her updated notes and her note at the end of the instructions; not all crock-pots cook the same way, so start with 4hrs and then leave it in for longer if necessary. Also, it always helps to read the recipe entirely before you begin. That's something that I need to work on ;)
I do wish that I had bought better meat, used less garlic, and that the sauce had thickened a bit more. But, now I know! I'd definitely make this again. It was quite good, and I didn't even eat much of it because I was really sick that week and didn't have much of an appetite. Haha.

If you have a crock-pot, definitely try this! I'll keep you updated on my crock-pot cooking adventures.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Over the Weekend // Tempe, AZ

I had a really fantastic weekend in Tempe, AZ, auditioning at Arizona State University, hanging out with my friend Audrey (who was kind enough to let me sleep on her couch), and playing with Audrey's bird, Scuttle. Scuttle is an adorable and extremely friendly bird, by the way.

I've never spent a ton of time out west, and I've got to say...I love it out there. I think I belong out west. What with the lack of rain (I hate rainy days), the generally spacious nature of the city, and the cacti just growing kind of town.

After my audition on Saturday, Audrey and I went out to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. Tempe is really close to Phoenix, so it wasn't a far drive and it was SO WORTH IT. It was amazing. They had a Chihuly exhibit in, too, so there were glass sculptures all throughout the gardens, amidst the cacti. (if you click that link to his website, it's right on the first page!)

And so, approximately one million photos of cacti and glass can be found by scrolling down. Forever.
^ my favorite sculpture ^^ my favorite plant. I love the blooms ^^ desert wildflowers are so small and colorful ^

If you got through all of those photos, you rock. I am so thankful for weekends like this and for kind people like Audrey, her sister Whitney, Dr. Spring, and Dr. Gardner. 

I can't wait to go to Austin this weekend with Chris and Allison!! You can follow along as I go on my grad school audition adventures on my Instagram, and when I'm bored waiting for planes I tweet a lot.
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