Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boston. Show all posts

Monday, June 29, 2015

Can't Just Sit By

Hello lovely readers,

I have had a few thoughts on my mind about this weeks "My World Monday" and I want to let you know what's going on in my life but before I start I want to say "thank you" to you guys my readers. I know I have gone back and forth on this blog from posting a lot to not posting at all. I know I have changed my mind on the focus of this blog a few times and I have probably left you wondering "what is going on in her head" so thank you for staying with me through all my transitions.

Second I want to say that as much as I love this blog... it is going through more transitions. I want this blog to feel comfortable and personal. For people who know me in real life I want this blog to sound genuine and true (I don't want this blog to be a false persona). For the people who don't know me in real life I want you to feel connected. I am trying to blog about the truths in my life from the highs to the lows and all the in between. One transition you might notice is that I am trying to set up a blogging schedule (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). I am not a professional blogger so I am sure I will miss some days but I hope you guys will stick with me. Another transition I am trying to make is getting my blog more professional (at least in looks). There a few blogs I follow closely and I would love to have more their style, but I still want this blog to be comfortable.
I don't know why but for some reason I picture a big comfy reading chair when I think about how I want this blog to feel. So I will still be posting about my faith, my obsession with period dramas, my writing, the books I am reading and other various things I enjoy. But I have added advertisement to this blog in hopes of getting a little bit of money while doing something I enjoy. There might be some other changes a long the way but as I am not a professional blogger it might come in bits and pieces.

Third, I want to say "I am sorry". I feel sometimes I hide behind my books, my stories that I am writing and even this blog to hide what is really going on in my life and in my heart.

I think I hide because it is easier to share only part of the truth, the truth I like, than to share some things that hurt me to write out. But a blog seems safe, minus a few people I know who read my blog for the most part my readers are anonymous. So in that way I feel I can express myself better with you my readers than sometimes my own friends. But in other ways I can't... I know many readers are anonymous and we will most likely never meet but I still hold myself back because I fear judgement. I fear that if I say to much you may not like what I say and stop reading. I fear that if I speak out for things I believe in I will be called a hypocrite.

I have made mistakes, I have held grudges and I admit I let those grudge fester inside me that they have turned to hate. And I feel like a hypocrite in that way because I claim to love God and Jesus and the Bible talks endlessly about loving people. Yet somehow dislike and bitterness are easier for me than love. I love my family and my friends but the Bible says "love your neighbor as yourself" and I fail miserably at this. So I am sorry.

My church has been doing a series called "Forward" about the story we are moving forward with our money, in our families and in our community. As much as I pretend on the outside to be fine, I know with my thoughts and actions I am not moving the Good News forward.

One thing I have noticed in both my prayer time and in this blog is I talk a lot about changing and doing things but I don't really move towards change. So I can't just sit back, I can't just hide behind my books, or my stories anymore. If I want to change things I am going to have to get going. So this will probably be the biggest transition this blog and my life will be going through. For example: I can't just say I want to be a writer I have to actually get writing. And I can't just say I want to make an impact on this world and do nothing. So the first thing I am going to do is make to get invested in my community around me (not sure exactly what that means but I am keeping my eyes open). 

So I can't just sit by anymore... I hope you will stay with me as I go through this journey.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rainy day in Boston

Opening scene to "Midnight in Paris"

It is kind of a rainy day here in Boston. In my romantic or idealistic way I love the rain (as long as it is not a down pour). My parents just got back from Europe (celebrating their 20th anniversary) and my step-mom told me it rained in both London and Paris. I said "It is suppose to rain in Paris, haven't you seen Sabrina." (I hope she knows I meant that as a joke. I have never been to Paris but I have been to London and when we have a nice rainy day here I think fondly of London.

So to my friends in Boston (or any where it is raining) I hope you are having a nice "London rainy day."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In need of some light-heartedness

Dear Anne,

When I started writing these letters to you I made a promise to you that I would not write any "fluff" post but right now I need some "fluff." Lots of things in my life seem to be crumbling around me and I cannot think of how to phrase them all. But I didn't want to not write this week so if you will pardon me... I am going to write some fluff. 

Reading the book on the T.
I just got done reading my friend Katharine Grubb's book Falling for Your Madness, which I highly recommend as a great read on the beach over the summer or when you are stuck inside due to a blizzard or like me and just don't want to think about grad-school. I started it on Thursday afternoon and finished it by Sunday and I got swept up in the chivalry of the story. It is great to have such chivalrous character like David to fall for and you know me I am a sucker for a chivalrous hero. 

Any way this letter is not to write you a book report but I wanted to write that blurb so you understand this part. In one of their dinners they discuss what five things they love and five things they hate. I will only share my five loves in this letter (as I need some time to remember the good things in my life). 

my nephew wearing the T-shirt
I got him for Christmas
1. I am going to break David's rule of not saying my family... he thinks it is virtuous to say but doesn't say anything about us (p. 37). I am sorry but I think if you want to know me you must know I have a deep love of my family. They shape me so much and  while I am at least a thousand miles away from them they are a constant in my life. And lately I have seen how important they are for me as a support team in my life. But more specifically you have probably seen from my other letters I do have a sort of addiction to my niece and nephew. Last week I was feeling lonely so I made sure to spend some time with kids. I skyped with my sister and through that I drew pictures of princesses with my niece. Then on Friday I spent the afternoon with my best friend's baby. It was what I needed. So I love kids. 

2. I love getting lost in a good a book. Even though I am in grad-school I try to make time to read a fun book on the side. I love when a story can completely take me away from all that is going on in my life and I can disappear into another world. I usually find this true about historical fictions but last year I read the Hunger Games and could not put them down. 

3. My first cup of coffee. I sometimes get up, switch my coffee pot on, and then climb back in bed and wait for it to finish brewing. My first cup always wakes me up. The picture is of my favorite mug. My best friend gave it to me for Christmas and it is absolutely my favorite. This picture is not good but it says "Creative Fuel" and I love my days off when I can sip out of it and actually do some fun writing, which leads me to my number 4. 

4. Getting time to write. It doesn't happen much from going to grad-school, working, and doing life but I love when I find a few minutes to "work" on my story. I put the word work in "" because it is not really work it is a pleasure.  Like my getting lost in a good book I also like getting lost in  my own stories. 

5. Umm... last thing. This is hard because I feel there are many things I love. But I would say this city of Boston. Since the first time I came here I felt like this place was home. While, I love going back home to Oklahoma for the nostalgic aspects. I think Boston was the first place I ever felt like I truly fit in. And even in the cold I still love it here. I also feel God has blessed me here with my school, my friends I have made that have become a second family to me, my church, and most importantly my walk with Him.  
Boston gets more snow. 
Okay thanks for listening to my "fluff" it was good to write this down and remind myself all the goodness in my life. There are more than five things I love but I want to follow David's rule. 

- Blaire 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A little bit of my past

Hello lovely readers,

In my last post I talked about how I was going to talk more about my faith on this blog. I know I have already talked about my faith a little but I wanted to go back a bit in my story. I have not always  followed the Lord in my life but have had Christians always in my life and I have catch myself thinking about them "you must have it all together to be a Christian." I would say my dad and both my sisters are these super Christians in my life and I looked up to them as if they were perfect... well they aren't and neither am I.

I wanted to lay out a bit of my life story so no reader can accuse me of being "perfect" and "having it all together" when I don't. In this blog I am simply sharing my life and my faith is a HUGE part of that. So before you think I am standing on a soap box or hitting you over the head with a Bible, I wanted to share a pice of my story so hopefully you won't think I am doing those actions.

From my Baptism... May 20th 2007

When I was 5ish my parents got divorced. I know it is common for kids to think that "it is their fault", I never thought that. Looking back on it, I don't really remember a time they were together so it seems like a "natural" thing. Though I didn't think it was my fault through the divorce I got it into my head that I had to please everyone. I somehow thought that there was this bar of "perfection" that I could never measure up to. When I thought I was close to that bar, I would  discover that there was something else I had to do to make people happy. And if people weren't happy with me they wouldn't love me. This an aspect of my life I have lived with for nearly 21 years, while it is waining in strength, sometimes when I am low I still feel this bar above me. So for me it was very "natural" to think there were always conditions or hoops to jump through to earn love.
Skip ahead to my Junior year of High School. It was not a good time for me. I know I was stressed about my grades (I wasn't a stellar student) and I knew my grades that year were not good enough to get into a good college. I just remembering feeling as if I had failed. I know college wasn't the only thing that brought stress on me, I just like I had failed (I can't fully put it into words). For so long I had felt as if I was treading water keeping my head above float and all of the sudden I got tired of treading so I stopped and it felt as if I had drowned. Drowned to the bottom of the ocean and for awhile I walked around feeling no need to get up. I also felt no one around me could see how much pain I was in and I couldn't express because if I did they would know I had failed and then no one would love me.
Over this time I was taking over the counter sleeping medicine because I could never sleep at night. One night, I remember, I was emptying the dish washer and I thought about taking 5 or 6 pills that night and not waking up the next day. In reality I wanted my mom to come in try to wake me and when she realized I couldn't, she would rush me to the hospital, have my stomach pumped and then be fine. Also people would realize how much pain I was carrying around. Yeah not super logical but it is hard to be logical when you are sad. It is also hard to be logical when you are living inside your own head and not grasping on to reality.
I started going to therapy my senior year. I talked a lot about my emotions and how sick I felt but I still carried around shame and guilt over what I had thought and what I had almost done. I still sometimes think back at that time and think, if people knew that about me they wouldn't love me. I mean how can some one love somebody who thought about ending their life. Yeah also not super logical. That is probably the biggest bruise I carry around me and I still ask God to heal my heart from that.  
Boston in the fall..
the first time I came to Boston was in the fall
During my Junior year I would stare out my classroom window and look out over the San Fransisco Bay and dream of running away. I thought I would just leave school take BART to Oakland get on a Amtrak train and see where life would lead. Well I found a nice legitimate way to run away, college. I had a large book that listed every college in the US and I looked into all of them on the East Coast from Boston to Virginia. But on my first trip to Boston I felt at home and I never wanted to leave. 

Over the summer, between Senior year and college, I went back to visit my dad and per usual went to High School church camp. I always went to camp mostly because all my friends went and this year was no different. But something happened to me at camp. I had 2 wonderful camp leaders who showed me how they weren't perfect and still were Christians. I began to ponder that thought. Then over the week I realized I had tried to do everything on my own and I had failed. I realized I couldn't do it on my own anymore. So after camp I asked my dad to help me find a church in Boston, I remember he was driving on the high way but I am not sure why. I am sure if he had not been driving he would have had a heart attack over this question.

I found Park Street Church and through that found one of my best friends. She didn't let me hide behind my wall of shame, she got right to the heart of my life. She also didn't allow me to be a wall flower and she "dragged" to different bible studies where I got to meet a lot of people. While I had this great friends sometimes I felt completely alone as a Christian so I clung to my Bible and read all of Psalm that first semester. Through my friend I found Reunion Christian Church, my home church, and have found a great community there.
People might ask me "how do I know God exist?" I will answer "because He saved me." I know that is a classic Sunday school answer but I know it to be true. I was in the pit and I wanted to end it all because everything I had done had made me fail. With God I have never felt like a failure, though I continue to stumble. I make mistakes, I will make mistakes. I continue to walk around with scars on my heart for all the things that have happened in my life but God knows those scars, He know the dark spots inside me, and yet he created me and He loves me with no condition and no hoops to jump through. That is what I cling to because sometimes it is the only thing that makes sense.
As I have finished this up I realize the title is a little miss-leading as it is actually a long post. So as a treat... here is one song I have really loved for a long time and still gives me goose bumps.
"How he loves" by David Crowder.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Scribbles

After last week when I was brain dead because of school I got very little writing done... well this week I have made up for that so I hope you enjoy.


Kathryn James once her mother was well from her summer flu came back to Boston in a surge to get all the plans for her wedding done. How she wished Nicholas and her could have a quiet ceremony, maybe out in the count but her mother and mother in law would not allow it. "The fine James and Danford family are marrying and it is to an event to make society talk," was how it was explained to Kathryn. Since her return to Boston it felt like from sun up to sun down all she did was think about her wedding. She had so many calls to do, dinners to attend, and many teas to sit at she barely saw Nicholas. Though he still walked her home from church every Sunday but it wasn't the same. Charles Danford insisted that Nicholas be more active in the business that he could no longer flit around on the outskirts of it. Kathryn did encourage Nicholas in that way nevertheless she could not wait till they would have their evenings together. The Danfords had bought them a nice little home on Marlborough street for them to live once they came back from their honeymoon till Nicholas took over the Danford name. When Kathryn was not planning their wedding she was working with designers to get the house all read for them. So usually by the time Sunday came around they were both too tied to express more than a few words to each other.

            When she received Emmy's note of her coming to Boston, she cherished the thought, she had such a lovely time in Pine Haven away from all the hustle and bustle that Boston had and she could feel that she and Emmy may perhaps be true friends.  She knew Emmy would bring Pine Haven back to her even if she could not go back to Pine Haven herself. She was also glad she would finally meet Mrs. Dumont. Mrs. Dumont sat on the top ring of Boston Society, and Kathryn had heard wonderful stories about Mrs. Dumont's society's meeting that she longed to be in there. With marrying a Danford she would have the name to fit into that society but having a personal connection with the Dumont family would qualify her as a belonging. So she made sure to respond quickly to Emmy and to have the best of the best prepared when they came. Kathryn had almost completely forgotten that Brandon was to come over for tea that day as well. She did not fret though as she knew how delighted Brandon would be to see the girl he looked at as a new sister. So she kept their meeting a new surprise.

            "My dear brother, you will not guess who is in town and will be joining is for teas," she said as he walked into the room.
            "The Queen of England?" Brandon smiled.
            "Then who?"
            "Miss Emmy Cromwell."
            "What?" he said rather stunned.
            "Are you not happy to see your new sister?"
            "I am thrilled," he said trying to hide his real thoughts.
            "I knew you would be."
            "What brings her to Boston?"
            "She and her sister are visiting their mother's dearest friend who they call Aunt Iris but it is really Mrs. Dumont."
            "Dumont, how in the world do they know them."
            "I do not know, but we shall ask over tea. That is not the point, Mrs. Dumont is as the top of Boston's society and meeting her and if she likes me that will get me into their little club. Wouldn't that be wonderful. I will prove that I am worthy to all of Boston that this little Connecticut girl is worthy of the Danford name, whatever they might think."
            "So you are just using Miss Emmy," Brandon sounded very protective.
            "Of course not, I love Miss Emmy, she was such delight in Pine Haven, but I must use a connection."
            "My sweet Kathryn, only you would have a heart of gold and still use it to move up in the this world," he smiled his big brother smile her.
            Then they heard a knock at the door and before the butler announced their presence Kathryn said "Now be nice Brandon, none of your little side comments." He nodded to his command.

            "Mrs. Dumont and Miss Emmy," the Butler announced them into the room.
            "Thank you Mr. Larsen can you let my mother know our guest are here."
            "Yes Miss James."

            At first they were formal as Emmy introduced Aunt Iris to Kathryn and Brandon. She was pleasantly surprised and all too happy to see Brandon there. He asked after her health and how everyone at home was doing, she reported everyone was fine. Then Kathryn asked about Laurel's where about and hoped to see her soon. Once all the polite formalities were exchanged the formalities were dropped and the girls talked as if they had never been a part and how glad they were to see each other. Mrs. Dumont chimed in about how all Emmy talked about was "Miss James this and Miss James that." Emmy blushed a bit at the way Aunt Iris talked about her.

            Before they could get too far along in conversation Mrs. James entered and they were back in their formal habits while Kathryn introduced her mother to Mrs. Dumont and Miss Emmy. They stayed in their formality longer with Mrs. James the room. She had an old century style about her with hair pulled tightly into a twist, her dress had a high collar and her dress had a high collar and her skirt was a little wider than the new fashion. Though she was wearing slightly older fashion she was highly eloquent and the formality of the conversation seemed to fit her better.

            "Well Miss Emmy you are just as charming as my daughter said you weren't."

            Emmy blushed again no one ever described her as charming "Thank you Mrs. James. My sister Laurel is the charming one in our family, I owe most of my looks to your daughter she gave me a fine make over when she was in Pine Haven."
            "My daughter might be a good artist but I must say she was already working with a fine canvas." Mrs. James noticed the way Brandon was looking at Miss Emmy. "Wouldn't you agree Brandon?"
            "I have always thought Miss Emmy ever so humble in her appearance. Though I am glad your color has come back, you were rather pale when I left."
            "Pale, why were you sick?" Mrs. James asked.
            Emmy did not know how to answer and her eyes showed it.

            "Not sick," Brandon spoke up before Emmy stumbled over her answer "I was say maybe just a little tired from all the adventures of the summer."
            "Yes just tired."

            Emmy gave Brandon one of her sweet smiles that told him she was thankful for the save.

For more click here 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Opening Day!

Hello Boston Red Sox Fans!
Happy Opening Day!
I am not a big sports fan but I do enjoy a good baseball game. I am not a Red Sox nation kind of person, I have changed loyalties from where I live from the Mariners to the Giants... but I will never root for the Yankees! (I promise).

Red Sox Fans will understand

Me at my first Red Sox Game
One of these things just doesn't belong... can you spot it?

My first Red Sox game and it was Lester's no hitter 5/19/2008
Us celebrating the win. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Writings

Hello Lovely Readers,

I am happy to have another section of the Sisters of Pine Haven up on the blog. A few weeks ago I told you about going to a writing work shop and how the best advice is just to sit down and write, at least for 15 minutes a day. It is was hard to keep up on this schedule last week but 
Twenty-nine Chestnut Street by its address alone told the world of the old wealth the Dumont family possessed.  A block or two from Louisburg Square where the height of society and wealth lived. It was not a grand home, like the ones new money were building in the Back Bay, it was a quiet and pleasant and no one would really think twice about it except it had a few window panes that were purple. It had been a drastic mistake in the glass factory when they added too much magnesium, at first the purple was hated but then it became a sign of privilege. The house would also be noted for having a side entrance with a little garden before the door when the house was built, the style was more common but new land was scarce and only a few home had gardens of their own. It was a fine home and the Dumonts had kept in their family it in their family for generations.

            As soon as Emmy was inside she was handed a note from the footman.

            "Kathryn writes Laurel, she is excited to us again and invites us to tea when we are settled, should we call her tomorrow."
            "You go, I am sure she is much more wanting to see you besides I had plans to call on my friend Amelia she is still in town in visiting her cousins and buying her wedding clothes, I would like to see her and let her know of my arrival."
            "Oh all right, Aunt Iris she is looking forward to meeting you as well, shall you come?"
            "Of course I would be honored to meet this Miss James."
            "Wonderful, may I send out word immediately," Emmy asked.
            "Any words you have you have you can give it to William, he will see it well," Aunt Iris said.
            "I suppose we should write Aunt Victoria and Julia to let them know we are in town, it seems only right," Emmy said.
            "You write, I think a bit of fresh air will do me good," Laurel said picking up her hat and walking coat
            "Do you know where you are going?" Aunt Iris asked.
            "Just around the Public Garden I will be back shortly, I need to stretch my legs. Do not worry I remember the streets like of the hand."
            "Do come back quickly, I would hate to tell your mother I lost you in one day."
            "Yes I promised."

            Laurel was in and out of the house in ten minutes, much to the surprise of her companions. She usually was so thorough with details, she would have insisted they wrote mother to let her know of their safe arrival and she would have written Aunt Victoria, even though she had no desire to see them she knew it was right and that’s all that mattered in Laurel world. After the post had been sent she would then insist helping with unloading the trunks and making sure the dresses were hung properly. However no she seemed to care for these details.

            She walked down tiny street one of the few that connected Beacon Hill to the outside world and stood at the edge of the common. It was hard to believe that the Boston common was once a grazing area for small farm area such as sheep or a cow because now it was such a lovely park. Laurel pulled out the envelope that came with Ethan's book it was addressed from 126 Marlborough Street. She didn't know if it was the book store in which he found the book, his place of business or his home but she was adamant  to find out. She feared running into him if it was his place of business or his home but she felt worse over excitement she got over the possibility of seeing him. Laurel wouldn't know what to say or feel when he did. She crossed through the commons till she got to the garden, if she had a longer block of time she would have enjoyed the gardens more, but she promised Aunt Iris she would be back quickly. It was so impulsive for to take off like that. She wasn't planning on either but nervous knots had been growing in her stomach the closer and the closer she they got to Boston. In the motor coach she had made up her mind that she would at least walk to the address and whatever happened after that it was in God's hand. She walked quickly then caught herself and slowed her pace down. She did not realize everyone in Boston walked quickly so quickly so walking quickly did not draw attention to herself. In Pine Haven if one walked quickly people would surely pay attention to her and worry a bit. Everyone knew everyone in Pine Haven so people would surely talk, and while both the Danford and Cromwell families were known in Boston no one knew her. She did try to walk at a sociable pace so her cheeks would not be flushed. She would hate to run into him with her face all red.

            After the gardens, the streets in the Back Bay were alphabetical, Arlington, Berkley, and Clarendon, judging based on the address it should be in the next block. Laurel remember this from when she was a girl she thought it was most off how it was alphabetical all the way from A to H but then the next street was Massachusetts Avenue, and after that the streets made no sense. Mother once told her the Back Bay was formally planned but it still never made sense why they would not carry on in alphabetical order, it was much more efficient. Laurel could quickly tell that most of the Back Bay was residential so it lead her to the conclusion that 126 Marlborough Street was his home and what a fine home it was.

            Laurel replayed the conversations she had with Ethan in her head, she knew his mother still loved in Sussex, England where he was born and while he had an aunt in Connecticut she did not remember him ever mentioning her living part of her time in Boston. Without his mother or aunt and no other family here in Boston it made no sense to have a house so big. It wasn't an striking home like the other she had seen in the Back Bay but it was a fine home with three levels of windows and a little bay window on the second level. The house all looked rather pleasant.
            Society would never allow a single girl of any sort to call on a single man when she did not know of any woman in the house. If he had a sister or mother, or an aunt she could call on then even if all she wanted was to see him but a single woman calling on a single man was absolutely forbidden. So she wondered how long she stand across the street from his house without drawing attention. She feared and anticipated the longer she stood the more likely she was to run into him.

            Laurel thought she was standing there almost an hour but it really five minutes, when she saw them, she recognized him immediately but she had no idea who the woman would be. There was only two women that were ever talked about his mother and his aunt. The woman with him was too young to play either of these roles. They laughed a bit, she saw and as soon as she realized he had looked across the street she turned across the street she turned her face and walked steadily back to Aunt Iris'. For the first block she did not care about her pace as she just wanted to get away from it all. By the time she got back to the garden she found the tears too hard to hold back.
To read more click here

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Who Knew...

Hello Lovely Readers,
Kimberly, from Here's What I think about that is featuring 11 questions about you... I found this lots of fun and thought I would spread it on. Hope you enjoy...

1. What is your number 1 goal for next year- Finish my story The Sister's of Pine Haven (even if it is not published) I want to finish a rough draft of it.
2. What is your biggest fear-  My biggest fear is that my deepest desire, of becoming a wife and mother will not come true.

3. What is something you wished others knew about you that may not be obvious till they get to know you- I think when people first meet me they see me as this goody two shoes... I don't mind it but then I think they peg me as one type of person and I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone (sometimes). Most of the time when I am pushed out of my comfort zone, I really enjoy it. 
4. What is your favorite breakfast- Sweet Potato Pancakes. I had them once at the Trident Book Store here in Boston, and they tasted like heaven in my mouth.

5. What is your favorite workout- Walking around Boston. I have found great little places to walk around. I love getting lost in the city and exploring new places I never knew about. Plus her in Boston I have learned when ever the sun is must take advantage of it.

6. Have you ever gone skydiving- No, because I hate falling from high places. I am okay with heights but I hate jumping from heights.

7. Growing up, what did you do that got you in trouble- I don't remember doing anything over and over again that got me in trouble. But I do remember one of my worst/best punishments. I was about twelve and I was playing with my dad's lab top, something happened and the screen went blank. I lied to my dad three times about not playing with it. When he caught me in my lie, I was sent to my room where I could twiddle my thumbs or read my bible. I decided to read my bible, and through reading scripture, I felt so guilty about my actions I prayed to become a Christian that day.

8. What story about you does your family like to tell and retell- I can't think of any story my family tells over and over again.

9. What was the last TV show, book or movie that made you cry (or made you feel really emotional)-it is not hard to  make me cry, but Downton Abbey.

10. What is your favorite time of year- My favorite time of the year is tied between Christmas and my birthday (not because of the gifts). Christmas because I know I will go home and all my family will be there. I have so many fond memories of Christmas growing up and going to my Mema and Grangran's house, and spending the whole day with my family... it was my best gift. My birthday because I get my a big groups of my friends together and it is just fun to celebrate. 
My friend and I doing Karaoke 

11. What is your favorite song at the moment- Kimberly did a video and I liked that idea, so here it it. Fun - the Gambler 

Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Six CommuTing Secrets

A green line train-looks more like trolley

Here in Boston we call the "subway" the T. 

For this semester I have an internship near Harvard Square, in Cambridge and I live on the western side of Boston (circled on map below) and if I drove I could probably be there in 20 minutes but since I don't drive and I am dependent on Boston's sometime erratic schedule I predict an hour of travel time.
With this I have been keeping a little list of commuting secrets. I am not a driver so these secrets are based for more train commuting people. 

1. Carry a snack-  always carry a little snack like a granola as long as it is easy to hold with one hand, because more than likely you will be holding on to a bar or something else with the other hand. Also it is nice that if you can throw your bag and you don't mind if it gets beaten up a bit.

2. Bring entertainment- A book for me is ideal but sometimes hard to maneuver. Either the train is too packed or I have overloaded myself with bags. So bring back up. I think a smart phone or tablet is great for this you can have your music, games, and Facebook. I also like to use my phone "memo section" to write blog post. Most of this post was written on my phone as I was actually on the T, then when I have service I can send it to my email and transfer it easily to a post. But as a student sometimes I feel like my T time is the best time to get some homework done. 

3. Coffee mug should have handle. I don't know how many times I have held my mug by just my pinky. (This isn't really that insightful  just a good trick of the trade)

4. Wear comfortable shoes. I am always impressed by the girls who wear nice high heals on the T and are able to maintain their balance. But I believe in comfort. I mean most of us have seen Working Girl where Melanie Griffith changes from her sneakers to heels...until I was working full time I didn't understand it but now I do. I know now that this fashion trend is such a faux pas but the idea is still the same... be comfortable because you never know how long you will be standing.

5. Bring big bag. I am personally trying to decide if it is better to have one big bag or lots of little bags. I like my purse it holds a lot which is good because I discover sometimes I have to pack for everything I am doing that day as I don't have time to go back home. I can slip a notebook and maybe a book in it... and I still get compliments on it being super cute.

6. Silver linings- some times you have to find a silver lining in your commute. Yeah being on a train for an hour or might suck but if you find something to enjoy it makes it a little better. Silver linings for me are when I get to the station just as the T is getting there so I don't have to wait, or getting a seat, but the biggest one for me is walking through Harvard yard, it is so pretty and when the church bells go off things seem to be at peace even in the hecticness of the commute.  
Well those are my commuting secrets if you have any other suggestions please let me know. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Quick Update

Hello Lovely Readers,

I am back in Boston and will write about my great trip to Denver soon. I will admit as much as I love Boston it was hard to leave Denver and my niece who calls me "Abba" because she can't say Aunt Blaire yet.

Will write more soon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursdays are my Saturdays

It is only 11:40 AM and I feel I have so much to post. So this will be a long one...

First I want to post a video from Mindy Gledhill in my countdown to Valentine's day. I like this song because I feel this way when I have a crush on a guy. (Yes I am 25 and still say crush.)
The point of these music videos wasn't really just to share love songs but new performers I am discovering. I used to think that people who spent time on YouTube had too much time on their hands but as I am trying to add music to this blog I am discovering some cool music through YouTube and Spotify. It is adding a great mix to my music. So hope you enjoy the music too. I am always willing to take suggestions so please feel free to contact me.

Second a few weeks ago I entered a giveaway contest at Live.Laugh.Rowe
She was having a guest writer, LA Kuehlke, who was writing about her passion in life. Here is a little snippet...

I have many things in life of which I am proud and with which I am fulfilled. I am a wife, a mother, and an experienced teacher who still enjoys what she does. The one thing I hadn’t done, though, was something that I’d always said I’d do “one day”. For some reason, “one day” just never seemed to arrive.

What was this thing? you ask.
Oh, to write a novel, I answer.

While I am not a mother or a teacher, I know the feeling of "one day" I want to write a novel so I really loved this post. She talks about her passion being writing and how she pursued that passion (click here to read more). I was moved by her post that I entered the give away to win a coy of her book... and guess what I did. So I guess I have more books to add to my list. 

Speaking of my book list I have finished The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. It is 465 pages and I think I found it my biggest but fastest read. I mean I have read bigger books than this but I was surprised how  fast I got through the book. Even though it was big I found it easy to read on the T. A lot of bloggers I saw this that mentioned this book called it a good read as we wait for season 2 of Downton Abbey to begin and interestingly enough the main characters name is Cora. Like Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey, Cora Cash,  is an American Heiress who marries for a title. But Downton lovers this is not a prequel to Downton Abbey, it is just a good book to get lost in the world of English Aristocracy. I should say you can like this book with out having ever seen Downton Abbey. 
This clip comes Single Minded Women
Be careful what you wish for. Cora makes a dazzling impression on English society—followed by a brilliant match—but finds that the chill in the air of magnificent ancestral homes comes from more than the lack of central heating. As she gradually learns that old-world aristocrats are governed by obscure codes of conduct and loyalty that can betray even the most charming, accomplished outsider, Cora must grow from a spoiled young rich girl into a woman of substance. 

That is a good description of the book. Cora while she is not as eager to marry a title as her mother is, she wants freedom from her pushy and over bearing mother and sadly it doesn't seem like English society is a good place to find freedom. She seems more surrounded by rules, servants who don't obey her and every one is waiting to gossip on her failures. Her mother in law despises her, her "best friend" is plotting for her ruin, and I personally had a hate love relationship with her husband who though wanted to embrace her "new world behavior" turned cold at any mistake she made. Aw to British.  With my little insight into Vanderbilt world this seemed like a good fictitious story of Consuelo Vanderbilt. 
Consuelo Vanderbilt

If you like getting lost in the world of the "Gilded Age" I also recommend the book Alva. That Vanderbilt-Belmont Woman. A fictionalized biography of Alva Vanderbilt-Belmont (Consuelo's mother) and the builder of the Marble house in New Port, RI.
I could not help but imagine Marble House as Cora Cash's house, where the story starts off in New Port. Of I course I couldn't get Downton Abbey AKA Highclere Castle out of my head when I imagined Cora Cash's house when I thought of her new dwellings as Duchess of Wareham.
Now that I am done with The American Heiress I have four new books to read as I listed in my Button and Books post (click here). I will be reading Beth Moore's Praying God's Word recommended to me by Colleen at Soundtrack to I do.While I love fiction I think I can get easily swept up and lost in that world. I need to come back to earth every once and awhile. Plus I want this year to be full of new books, though I love re-reading books, I am going to read new books... good thing  have a good list ahead of me.
I am glad I will have lots of time on the T to get some reading done.
This is my favorite view of Boston so I am glad I have more excuses to see it. 

Roaming around Cambridge.

Today's photo was to take a picture of the sun. Well I decided to take a photo of my shadow in the sun. I am in my winter coat with my school bag on my side (that is the weird lump on my side). Today I went I took a little trip to Cambridge. While it is only across  the river from me... I hardly go which is a shame because today I remember why I love Cambridge, well at least the Harvard Square area. Tons of brick buildings and old colonial homes.
Map of Boston

But I went to Cambridge to go to the Schlesinger library, it is part of the old Radcliffe College now Radcliffe Institute as it is a part of Harvard. (Side Note: If you love Julia Child her papers are there). Any way the picture above is when I got I got on Radcliffe's campus. I am glad I took the picture then because when I left the library it was cloudy.
This is the campus
I went to the library for my Intro to Archiving class, we had to visit the an archive and write a report on it. I want to research more into Women's Education at the turn of the 20th century. And so I went to the library to look at Elizabeth Cary Agassiz's papers, she was the first President of Radcliffe.

I guess I didn't have to do real research on her, but I maybe I will later. She traveled with her husband, who was a professor, to Brazil together and wrote a book about it. She raised money for the Perkins Kindergarten for the Blind but students ranged in age.
An example of her papers.
I know I am really geeky because I found reading her papers really fun and while I pushed myself to read the late 19th century hand writing some times I was happy to that some one had transcribed her papers (as seen above). 

But while I was at the library I got an email letting me know where I was placed at for my internship (part of my Intro into Archiving class). It is also in Cambridge, so I decided to walk to it. (Side note: I guess I will get lots of reading done while I am on the T). Any way while I was walking around Cambridge I took some other pictures.

I saw these post its just stuck on to an empty store front. I was surprised they weren't on the inside but they were on the out side just flapping in the wind.

I loved this one
But this was my favorite photo...
I took an adventure around Harvard's campus on the way back to the T station and I ended up in part of Harvard I had never seen before. I didn't see a sign for this building but I found it random to see a status of a rhinoceros standing around Harvard, even more odd it is a set. But I didn't take a picture of the second one because a guy was standing in front of it and was blocking the head.