My second assignment for my art class was to take a self-portrait and create an artist statement. My first assignment was a lot of fun, but I was really excited about this one. I hope you like it, too!

A Solitary Combination (2013): Emily

I am Emily Rebekah: an individual, independent of others. Despite this, I have found that those who surround me also shape me: my closest relationships and mere acquaintances. I have always believed in the power of relationships, in how they can simultaneously break and heal you. Even at a young age, I could see pieces of other people imbedded in me. The phrases I said, the way I walked, the thoughts in my head. Yet I could still tell who I was underneath all of the influenced behaviors, who I would be even if I were solitary.

I now find myself for the most-part independent. I am a twenty-one year-old full-time college student with two jobs; I live over a thousand miles away from my immediate family, and over eight hundred miles from the man I love. However, I am still dependent on others. I love having three roommates who I consider my best friends. I hate that my family moved away from me and that we might not spend holidays together. I am deeply shaped by the absence of my boyfriend. We have been together for four years, but distance has separated us for three and a half years. It has been a constant emotional battle of trying to be “strong”, realizing that this time is good for us to grow independently, and also knowing that it is okay to want to be with someone else so badly it hurts.

My self-portrait is a combination of two pictures which shows the two “sides” of me. I am a solitary being, alone and independent of others. I am my own person with my own thoughts, emotions, and feelings. I can stand on my own, knowing that I do not have to rely on others for personal happiness. However, I am always open to letting others into my life. I crave the closeness of other human beings, of facilitating relationships. I am always waiting for my other half to someday join me and to lie by my side. That side of the bed will always be open to him, because together we make the perfect combination.

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Come Back, Weekend

I guess you can call me a rebel, because I'm doing my weekend recap today instead of on Monday like all the "normal" bloggers do. Really, it makes so much more sense to do it on Monday, but what can I say, I'm weird unique.

Friday's have been a little weird for me now that I don't get off work until 8/8:30. My roommates and I ended up going to Applebee's and we didn't start eating until 10pm. I don't know about you, but to me that is a really late dinner. Afterwards we went to Frost to get gelato...yumm. Then we finally got around to watching the Pretty Little Liars Halloween special. The fact that it took us so long to watch is just sad. Anyone else big PLL fans?? Honestly, I didn't think the episode was that great...but I won't say why because I don't want to give any spoilers for those who are even worse than me and still haven't seen it.
I spent most of Saturday lounging and playing with the stuff that came in my ipsy bag. I really had nowhere to be, but you better believe I used every single thing that came in it on my face...hopefully the people that did see me that day didn't think I looked like a hot mess. I was lucky enough to see a fellow USAFA girlfriend on Saturday, though! She is from Albuquerque but her and some of her friends drove to Tucson for a fun day trip! I met them on campus and showed them around Greek row and the main part of campus! It was a short visit but very sweet. We decided that since we're only a four hour drive from each other, we should try to plan some more weekend visits next semester!
 Although I really should have gotten some more homework done than I did, I ended up watching Supernatural all. day. long. I honestly didn't start my homework until 9pm. Whoops! I really don't know why I think it's a good idea to leave all my homework for Sundays anyways. All weekends should be homework free, am I right?

Randoms from the weekend:
 They were at home together and I was at work when they did this...I was destined to lose this one!!
My adorable turtle in his new rock. It is seriously so cute to see him sleeping inside of it with his cute little hands sticking out the little hole in the rock.

I hope you had an amazing weekend! Did you do anything fun?
Also, quick question: would my lovely readers like to see an Ipsy review on my blog? To be honest, I tend to skip over any type of review posts, but I know that some people like them. Tell me what you think either way!

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"What Will You Do After You Graduate?"

Ah, the question of my life. Any of you have this experience? I feel like it's impossible to have a conversation with someone without them asking me what I was doing after I graduated. At first it bothered me because I had no idea. To be honest, I was pretty embarrassed. I was yet another college kid who paid all this money to go to a four-year college but had no idea what they were doing with their lives afterwards. Wouldn't it just be perfect if the day of your graduation someone gave you a list of five jobs and told you to pick the one you liked the most, and that's what you did? Yeah...that would be the life.

Now that I actually know what I'm doing after I graduate I still get a little embarrassed. I know some people will look at me and think of me as lazy, unable to get a "big girl job," etc. But the truth is that I am actually really excited to be doing what I am. At the end of September I got a second job. I'm essentially a nanny, but one of the kids I work with has autism. A few weeks ago she asked me what I thought about working with him full-time after I graduated. I hadn't really thought about it before that. I was applying to jobs and interviewing with companies like a good soon-to-be-college-graduate should. But when she asked me this, I couldn't help but think that it was a great opportunity. Currently I am only looking for a job until May of 2014. I figured it might be hard to get a good full-time job knowing that I would want to be quitting in the near future. I want a job that is pretty relaxed so that I can still see Dillon on three-day weekends and such. And this just seems like the perfect job for me. I have already been working with the family for about two months, so it will be a pretty comfortable transition into a full-time job. Plus, this job will pay more than some of the other jobs I had originally looked into. And even though it isn't with a company, who is to say that this isn't a "big girl job?" The other jobs I was wanting were essentially the same thing; working with people with special needs, but it was with a company instead. You can see I get a little defensive about it. I am nervous for people to judge me or look down on me because it's not "what you're supposed to do after you graduate." But I really think I'll be happy with this, and I think that is all that should matter.

Have you been through a similar experience? What was your first job after college?

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I Can be Artsy...Right?

Since this is my last semester, I knew I had to take an art class. I had been wanting to pretty much my entire college career, but had always set it aside for other classes that were actually in my major/minor. I reeeeeeeally wanted to take a photography class; a beginner's class would have been perfect! But my university is apparently stuck up, because only art majors can take even the most basic beginning photography class. Lame, right? Just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an art class titled "Concepts of Photography." Okay. Not exactly what I was looking for but hey, it's something??

After the first class, I knew I had made the right decision. I am seriously loving it! We have gotten to go to a couple art exhibits already, which is awesome. And here's the cool part, a couple of our assignments are actually taking pictures! I wish there were more assignments like this, but I'll take what I can get!

Our first assignment was to show that we could understand the elements and principles of art and design. I had to take two photographs and submit them; one showing off an element of design, the other showing off a principle. Here is what I submitted:

This is my beautiful puppy, Sammy. In this picture I was showing the element of positive space, which is occupied by an element or form. And come on, she's just absolutely adorable, so I'm pretty sure I get cute points. ;)

This picture I have titled "Clouds". I'm super creative, I know. Big clouds like this have to be one of my favorite things ever. In this photo I am displaying the principle of contrast, in which it shows a range of difference between light and dark areas.

So what do ya think?? I'm definitely no professional photographer (haha!) but it was a really fun assignment! And I got a pretty good grade on it, too. :)

Have you taken an art class in college? Or any fun class not in your major?


Weekend Recap

This weekend was honestly one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. Not only was it a three-day weekend in which I didn't have to do any homework, but my amazing boyfriend flew into Tucson and we got to spend it all together!!

Friday. I still had to work on Friday which was kind of a bummer. Dillon's flight landed around 5:30 but I was working until 8:30. I kept telling myself it was good because his friend Ian was picking him up, and it would be good for them to have some time together because they haven't seen each other in so long. But it was still hard knowing he was so close, yet I still couldn't see him. I was talking to the mom I work for about how he was here for the weekend though and she was like wait, he's here now? Well you can go! I was really surprised! I had made my peace with having to wait until later to see him, but here she was telling me TWO HOURS before I thought I could leave that she totally understood and not to worry about it. So I rushed over to his friend's house and finally got to see my man after over two months apart.
Dillon bought us three tickets to the UA homecoming basketball game! I hadn't been to one in quite a while and I forgot just how much I love my school. We, of course, won! It was a blast to really get into the game. And that sweatshirt is pretty awesome, huh? I gave it to Dillon as an early birthday present. I didn't want to, but he kept saying "I think I'm going to go buy a UA sweatshirt before the game," so I had to spill the beans, haha.

Saturday. We spent the majority of the day running around town doing a bunch of different things. We went to brunch at IHOP which is kind of a tradition with us. When he was here for spring break a couple years ago I'm pretty sure we went there every single day. Although...they got rid of the Nutella crepes, which is honestly just so sad. Anyone else think those were absolutely amazing?!? Afterwards we went to PetSmart and got a bunch of new stuff for Tuck! He was in desperate need of a new filter and pretty much new everything. We went a little crazy and spent over $100 on him. We are crazy turtle people, I guess!

After going back and cleaning his tank and setting it all up we went and got myself the new iPhone 5s! Dillon had gotten his new 5s when he created our plan together (that's right...we took the next step in our relationship and created a cell phone plan together!) and even though I didn't have the update, I was in desperate need of a new phone. Boyfriend helped pay for it, and I'm calling it an early Christmas/Graduation/Anniversary gift. ;) Afterwards we got Chick fil' A (YUM), Starbucks, and then went to Ian's house to hang out there the rest of the night.

Sunday. I convinced Dillon that we needed to go on a nice date at some point this weekend. We decided that we would have a day date! We went to Claim Jumper and it was seriously delicious. I don't know what else to say about it other than I would love to go back sometime! Then we went and saw the new Thor movie which was really good!
I bought this dress at the end of August and finally had an occasion to wear it!! I'm slightly obsessed with how pretty it is.

That night we went over to Ian's again for another night of hanging out and drinking. We ended up buying the documentary Bronies...if you don't know what that is look it up. To say we had a night full of laughter is an understatement.

Monday. The dreaded "you leave today" day. We slept in and then went to breakfast at Bobo's with Ian and Jobin. It's a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Tucson, and although it looks pretty worn-down the food look absolutely delicious. I say looked because I was slightly hungover and only had a couple bites of the massive pancake Dillon and I got. I'll definitely have to head back there so I can actually say it tasted really good! Haha. Then we headed back to my house, he packed while I laid on the bed pouting, and then I drove him to the airport. I thought it would be a fairly easy goodbye since he's coming back for Thanksgiving in just nine days, but I definitely still cried. On the way to the airport I had tears in my eyes because Dillon was playing music and singing loudly to me, and it just made me so happy. It's the small things like that that so many couples take for granted, but I would give anything to be able to do every day. 

Overall...best. weekend. ever. I love that boyfriend of mine so much and every day we spend together is amazing. I cannot wait until that is our every day.

I hope you had a great three-day weekend!! Did you do anything exciting?

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Trust vs. Respect

This topic has been on my mind for quite a while now, but has recently really gotten to me since Halloween was last weekend. There is a difference between trust and respect, and I believe that both are important to have in a relationship.

I have been in a long distance relationship for about three and a half years now, and the one thing I always hear from other couples in long distance relationships is that trust is the most important factor. And I do agree with that. Both my boyfriend and I have had huge trust issues. We were only 17 when we started dating and we were thrust into a long distance relationship only seven months into dating. We were young and naive and downright stupid at times. But our relationship has always been strongest when we learned to trust each other. We both still worry and jealousy creeps in, but we trust that we love each other and would never intentionally hurt one another.

Past trust, though, is respect. And I honestly think that there is too little respect going around in the relationships I see. This may be none of my business, but when pictures are shared for all to see on social media such as facebook, twitter, and instagram, I can't help but notice. I love a good party as much as the next person, but when you are in a relationship, close or long distance, there are certain ways you should present yourself. With Halloween, the trend is for girls to wear as little as possible and call it a costume. I do not necessarily look down on this - I get it, you want to look and feel sexy if only for one night. And chances are, as "slutty" as you look, there will always be a girl with less clothes on (cue fully naked ASU student). With that being said, it is disrespectful to do so and then take a ton of pictures with other guys.
Now before you think I'm a total hypocrite, I want you to know that I don't think all pictures with other guys are terrible. This is a picture I took on Saturday night. Even without knowing any details, I would like to think that if my boyfriend saw this he would not be in the slightest upset, and I did in fact send this to him. First, it's his best friend, but also I feel I am not so close to him in the photo that anyone would think that this was my "new boyfriend."

When you take a picture with your arms completely around another guy (that isn't your boyfriend or a relative), it is disrespectful to your relationship. When you take a picture that involves kissing any part of the body, it is disrespectful to your relationship. If I can't distinguish between your body and his body because you are that close, it is disrespectful to your relationship. If I, or anyone else, has to check your relationship status to make sure you're still with so-and-so, because your picture shows a different story, you are being disrespectful to your relationship. This is not about trust - you can trust your significant other and they can trust you 100%, but if you are not respectful of your boyfriend/girlfriend and the relationship you have, then that is not any better. Think twice before you get so close to another guy that it would look like you're dating, and most of all, think twice before you post said pictures on social media. Personally, I don't think you look cute, and I'm not jealous of all the fun you want to let everyone know you're having. I see someone who is trying to have a good time, but is not remembering to respect the committed relationship they are in.

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Someday I Will

Isn't there always something you would like to do eventually? I find that I pack all the things I want to do in my "someday" box, only to look at as I'm putting more things into it. But hey, if we didn't have dreams then we might not ever do anything. Right? Yeah, that's what I'll say. So here are the things I'll get around to someday, I pinky promise?!

Someday I Will: Learn how to put a proper outfit together.
I'm definitely not a fashion blogger, if you couldn't already tell by the zero times I have posted a "What I'm Wearing" post. Actually, I don't particularly like fashion. I like cute clothes, but I've never been up-to-date on all the biggest trends. I'm usually the girl who buys what everyone else got at least a year ago. Currently, the closest I have gotten to putting a proper outfit together is through what I post on my Pinterest board.
But someday I'll put an outfit together that looks like this, and I will be proud of myself.

Someday I Will: Learn how to do my makeup.
I kind of just throw things on my face and hope I look good. I can watch as many tutorials as I want but I still can't seem to get it right. But one day Dillon and I will go out on a date and my face will look perfect and all will be right with the world.
Currently me doing my make up looks a little like this...even though I'm not drunk.

Someday I Will: Be able to cook with more than three ingredients. 
My most popular blog post is this three ingredient crock pot chicken tacos. Because it's easy and delicious. But someday I will be able to whip something together with more, like four, ingredients and it won't come out looking like a Pinterest fail. 

Someday I Will: Be able to walk somewhere without tripping over my own feet. 
Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this on a daily basis. I'm just slightly over almost falling on my face and then trying to look around to see if anyone saw me. They did. 

Someday I Will: Learn to paint the nails on my right hand as well as those on my left. 
Can anyone actually do this?? Magical people I'm sure. The amount of time it takes me to do my right hand while still getting horrendous results is just ridiculous. Also, maybe one day I'll actually keep my nails nice and polished instead of calling my chipped nail polish "abstract." 

Someday I Will: Do a 5k and like it. 
I hate running. I always have and I probably always will. So why do I even want to run a 5k? I honestly don't know...except for all the cool kids are doing it and I just want to join in on what is apparently considered fun.
^^How I want to look.
^^How I will most likely look.

Someday I Will: Live Abroad and love life more than I ever have.
Backpacking across Europe, surfing in Australia, sipping tea in England, and taking the typical picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Those will all happen someday and it will be amazing.

Someday I will: Come up with more dreams and actually do them. 
I do have my 30x30 which I am determined to finish and now I have this. I hope I never stop having dreams and desires and I hope I always find a way to accomplish them, even if they are as ridiculous as not tripping over my own two feet.

The Daily Tay

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Beautiful Simplicities Lately

It has been quite a while since I have done a post like this - and I have realized lately that I really need to be focusing on the beautiful things in life rather than the negatives.

First hot chocolate of the season. Just...yum.

These adorable potted flowers for $5. As soon as I saw them I forgot what I was at the store for to begin with and bought these right away. Unfortunately they are now dead...RIP Cute Flowers.

The  memorial hill for 9.11 that UA does every year. I love how it's done and it causes everyone to stop and remember, if just for a few seconds.

My roommate and I bought rollerblades in our attempt to be more active. Plus, rollerblading is so nostalgic for me...if you did not rollerblade as a child, then you just didn't live right. ;)

And last but not least, FREE FOOD. One of the reasons I love my job is because we get free food a lot, which includes brownies every Friday. Again just...yum.

I hope you all have been able to see the beauty in simplicity lately! Let me know some of yours!

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Thirsty Thursday Anyone?

Now that I am finally 21 and back in my college town, I had to take advantage of the fact that it was the first Thirsty Thursday I could actually go out to the bars and drink my little heart out. Okay so, that didn't actually happen, but it could have, and that's the point! The first Thursday of the school year my roommate and I got all dressed up to go out on University with her other friend and her friend's boyfriend.
The first place we went was to the Auld Dubliner where we had their famous...wait for it...Harry Potter shots. I don't know what is in those bad boys but they are goooood. And quite a show is put on when you order them, too:

So, you know. That's pretty awesome.

The only other bar on University is Gentle Ben's, which I thought was pretty cool because it's a roof top bar. There's an outside section, the bar, and then the dance floor. Unfortunately for you, I don't have any fun videos of me dancing, because it didn't happen, because I wasn't quite drunk enough for that. Haha.
Once we were at Gentle Ben's it started raining, but not enough for it to be unpleasant. After we had enough of creepy boys and spilled drinks, we walked to Toni's boyfriend's frat house on campus just to say hi. Poor guy was literally standing there all night opening and closing their front door. Also, my toes didn't appreciate the walk, because I got a huge blister on my toe from walking that far in my heels. After a quick hello we hopped in a cab back to our house. And let me tell you guys, I need to stop carrying around cash. Usually people say to always have cash because it's harder to spend cash than it is to use your card. It is the complete opposite for me. If I have cash, then it's already not in my bank account, so I pretty much just throw it around. It was a $10 cab ride but I gave him a $20 and told him to keep the change. Pretty sure I made his night, haha!!

Since then, I haven't been to the bars. Call me lame, but I like staying at home, watching Netflix, and sipping on a beer much better.

Have you had any fun weekends out lately? Do you prefer going out or staying in?

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A Trip to Flagstaff

The day after I came home from California I hopped in the car with my mom and sister and made the three(ish) hour drive up to Flagstaff. My sister goes to Northern Arizona University up there, and we decided to make a day of it to help her move into her new dorm and enjoy the cooler weather.

On the way up we literally drove through the clouds. I wish photographs accurately portrayed exactly how it looks because it was probably one of the coolest things ever.
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Once we got there we went straight to unpacking the car and moving it all into her new dorm. She has an apartment-styled dorm which is really cool. It has a living room with a couch, table, and desks, a small kitchen, a separate bedroom where all three girls have their beds and closets, and then a bathroom. I wish UA had something like this!
Then we walked around the campus because my mom had never actually been able to walk around, and it had been years since I took my tour of the campus.
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We're cute.

Then we went to chick-fil-a. Anyone who says Disneyland is the happiest place on earth is lying...bring me to a chick-fil-a and I'll be nothing but happy. ;)
My sister got annoyed of us really quick though. She says she has "trouble with transitions." I scoff at that, I just think she can get a little bitchy. But we love her none-the-less. :)

Unfortunately, Flagstaff is around a four hour drive from Tucson, but I might just have to suck it up soon because I miss her!!
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And Then Life Got in the Way

I told myself I would be a "good blogger." I would blog consistently, I would post pretty pictures, and I would post content that people would enjoy. But then life got in the way. 
Since my last post, exactly a month ago, things have gotten extremely busy. I was past syllabus week at school, and things that I forgot how to do, like study, started happening. I got a second job that now puts me at working about thirty hours a week. My family moved to North Dakota, which has made me quite sad.

I have been struggling with even wanting to blog, but I remembered how much I genuinely enjoy it. I enjoy taking the time to remember the great things that have happened, and I even enjoy looking back on the not-so-great things and how I can learn from them. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers, through comments on my own posts and me commenting on other bloggers' posts.

So here is to catching up, one post at a time!

When I was staying with my grandparents in California we ended up going through about seven boxes of all of their old picture slides. Grandpa set up the projector, and for a week we sat down and looked at all their pictures. There were some of my mom and aunt when they were babies, but most of them were from all their travels once my mom and aunt were out of the house. It was fun to see all the pictures of my mom and aunt with different boys...ha! My grandparents lived in Germany for a year and I absolutely loved looking at all the pictures from that time. One of my favorite pictures, though, was of my grandma and grandpa when they were newly married. I cannot tell you how happy it made my heart to see a candid photo of them in a snowball fight with each other, smiling and so in love. My grandma told me that they probably hadn't looked at those photos in years, and it made me so happy to sit there with them as the reminisced about their adventures together.

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Quote Boards

If you remember from this post I finally got all my decorations up in my room! Okay, I actually still have a few things left, but for the most part they're all up!

Some of my favorite decorations in my room are my quote boards. I spent a good amount of time making sure I had four quotes that I really loved. I took an even longer time actually putting them together. I remember when my friends and I had a "quote board date night" and in the time that I finished one they had finished around three. What can I say, I get a little OCD about it. I want them to look perfect if they're going to be representing some amazing words and be hanging up in my room for me to see every day!

Numero Uno:
"Inhabit your moments. Do not rent them out to tomorrow." - Jerry Spinelli, Love Stargirl
Does the quote surprise you?? I'm pretty sure you have all heard it by now, if you're a regular on my blog. If not, you can see the full quote here and it's significance to me. 

Number Two:
"No one is in charge of your happiness except you." - Unknown
This quote might actually be from someone specific, I just don't remember exactly where I found it. I love this because it's a great reminder that no matter what is going on my life, I can take charge and make myself happy without relying on others.

Nummer Drei:
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." - Moulin Rouge!
I wholeheartedly believe in these words. I have always believed that relationships of any kind are more important than anything you will ever learn in school. And this movie?? Beautiful.

Uimhir Ceithre:
"What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful." - Scott Westerfeld, Uglies
If you have not read this book, or this entire series, you should definitely get on it. A beautiful message that shows that your outer beauty is absolutely nothing compared to your inner beauty. All set in a dystopian-type future, my favorite! 

And here are the other quotes I have in my room, not made by me.

"All you need is love." - John Lennon, The Beatles
This is a painting that Dillon gave me! He bought it at a local street fair, and I absolutely love it.

"If you can dream it you can do it." - Walt Disney
My mom got this from one of her students but didn't really want it, so I snatched it right up!

What are some of your favorite quotes? Do you like to display them around your home?

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