Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break Instagram Recap

This week I'm taking a break from my regular weekday shenanigans and recapping my Spring Break instead with Sara of Pearls and Curls's Instagram linkup. It was perfect and honestly I just wish I could be back right now catching up with friends at the beach.

Cards Against Humanity // I played this with my family on Christmas and loved it. Gerred went to Fedex Kinkos and printed out the card game (because the creators gave the game a creative license that allows you to do this.) And we played the game and had so much fun with it. For those that don't know the game, think Apples to Apples's twisted cousin.

Starbucks // Katie, Montana, and I were walking around base and chilled at the Starbucks for a while with our drinks. I, of course, got juice.

Jeopardy Drinking Game // Jeopardy drinking game! Grab 3 people, partner up with the contestant across from you on screen. Drink when they buzz in, drink twice when they get it wrong, drink twice for double Jeopardy, finish your drink if your player wins. Katie and I came up with this.

Pensacola Beach // White sands and relaxation. I was fully covered, sun screened up, and happy.

Flight Suits // These guys were finally issued their flight gear and were happy to wear them to the last few weeks of API and flight suit social. I think I like being engaged to a pilot.

Bear Grylls the Cat // This is Katie and Phoenix's new little kitten. Guess where they got him? Craigslist. He's adorable, energetic and and ready to curl up into a little ball on your chest, shoulder, leg, or back while you are sleeping. You can find him on instagram under the hashtag #beargryllsthecat.

Wine Bar // Gerred and I shared a wine and cheese plate at the World Wine Bar on one of our dinner dates.

Essie No Place Like Chrome // I borrowed this silver nail polish from Katie and it is now my favorite. I got so many compliments.

How was your Spring Break?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Five Things

I've been tagged by Rebecca from Life with rMe to do the five things tag where I share 5 random facts about myself with you all. Now I know that this one is very similar to the liebster award so you can check out a few other facts I've shared here. I definitely had to take a brainstorm shower to figure out a few of these.

"Hello, I'm Shannon"

1. Last night I stayed awake trying to understand Amanda Bynes's mind circa 2013. This proved difficult.

2. I workout practically everyday and have lost five pounds so far. I'm loosing more inches than pounds so I guess I'm building muscle?

3. I have played a French conversationalist, a talking mad cow, an escapist Gorilla, a rapping bird, a sad reindeer, a scheming producer, a pro-yiddish speaking grandmother, and a skyscraper in my years of Destination Imagination from 2002-2010. I hope to become a team manager or appraiser for DI next year because creative problem solving has always been a big part of my life.

4. I am graduating a semester early. You heard that right, I'm graduating in the Fall of 2013. My last classes will be The Renaissance: The Age of Elizabeth, Eco Poetry, Playwriting, and Applied Data Analysis.

5. I absolutely love Maryland. I love the strange weather, the chesapeake bay, the beach, the history, and of course the blue crabs. I'll miss this when I get married and move away.

Now I will tag:
Bailey of Becoming Bailey
Emily of Blue Dog Belle
Shelby of Chasing Birdies
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jenn & Ryan's Wedding

My brother and sister-in-law, Ryan and Jenn Kirby, were married February 17, 2013 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Their wedding was beautiful, fun, and incredibly special. We spent the week at the beach, banana boating, clubbing, dancing, swimming, and snorkeling all up to their big day.

When Jenn walked down the aisle to The Bright Eyes "First Day of My Life" Ryan was in tears, so was I, so was everyone. Jenn was lovely. After their ceremony, the wedding quickly turned into a party. They had a photo booth, cigar rollers, and fire dancers there for entertainment which really had everyone going. And when the music started everyone jumped on the dance floor and didn't stop dancing until midnight. It was so much fun.

Kataya Nova's pictures are up on her blog now. So go take a peek at Ryan and Jenn's wedding! 

P.S. If you see a man with a tie around his head and white hair, that's my Pop Pop. He's crazy fun and I really hope he gets like this for my wedding.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fort Barrancas

After visiting the Pensacola Lighthouse, our group decided to visit the base's other important landmark, Fort Barrancas. This historic military fort dates was built in 1839 by US troops around the reclaimed Spanish fort that was previously built in 1787. The entire fort is in a prime location and stood up against fleets during the Civil War, but ultimately the confederates lost.

Coming from Maryland, the border state where a lot of Civil War history occurred, it was weird to hear things from a strictly confederate perspective. Even so, I was generally interested in the beautiful architecture of the fort and had a truly great Winter Break in Pensacola, FL.

Monday, March 25, 2013

January 2013 Birchbox

A new year and a new box of Birchbox treasures. This box marks my Birchbox 1 year mark and I could not be happier with the service of this industry. That and all the products for such a great price. I don't have to spend money on products I'm not sure about anymore. This is my one beauty research stop and here's a few things I got for the new year.

1. The Balm // Put a Lid On It // Primers are great to use since they bring out the color and set the eyeshadow all day. Compared to Urban decay's this one is a little oilier and not pigmented.

2. Juicy Couture // Viva La Juicy // I've tried Juicy Couture's "Juicy Couture Signature Fragrance" and "La Fleur" and came to the conclusion that neither scent was "mine." The signature fragrance smelled like and I'm quoting my past self "overwhelmingly strong, floral, and has a hint of an elderly woman's house filled with victorian furniture." While "La Fleur" was like a cotton candy pre-teen slumber party. This fragrance however jumps over all of these and smells fantastic. With hints of wild berries, sweet mandarin, honeysuckle, jasmine, gardenia, caramel, amber, vanilla, sandalwood, and praline this fragrance sings a song of fireside relaxation.

3. Caudalie Vinexpert // Radiance Day Cream // I'm a little tired of receiving moisturizers in my box, but at the same time I can say that I will never run out and my face really needs to try and try new moisturizers. This one just did not stand out too much. I found nothing wrong and nothing to rave about. 

4. Number 4 // Clarifying Shampoo // I always need at least one clarifying shampoo in my shower and I'm glad I have one. Most clarifying shampoos have a lot of tea tree oil which I like, but this product does not. I will say that as much as it cleanses, it did not strip my hair whatsoever. 

5. 100 % Pure // Nourishing Body Cream // The Green Apple smells like sugary candy which is not something I really want in a lotion. But it does make my dry skin happy.

And as always, if you're looking for a birchbox of your own you can get them here. You'll get about 4-5 trial size samples of high end products for $10 a month + free shipping.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Social {Week 37}

I'm getting back into the habit of Sunday Social by linking up with Ashley and Neely!

1. What is your favorite thing about spring?
My birthday is probably the biggest thing to happen in Spring. April 22 Earth Day Birthday. Other great things which I definitely said in the last Sunday Social: flowers blooming, the perfect temperature, the smell outside, seeing the sun again, and moods changing.

2. What is your favorite kind of flower to grow or receive?
My favorite flowers are Chrysanthemums (because of the book by Kevin Henkes,) Daffodils (because of Big Fish,) and I'll be walking down the aisle with peonies hopefully for my wedding.

3. What is your favorite nail polish color?

4. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Water balloon fights! I haven't done this in a while, but I sure need to bring it back. Last time I did this was when I was a camp counselor in 2010 and Steve and I got together to surprise our cabins with a water balloon fight in a field. We were so excited, but none of them were impressed. Kids these days.

5. Do you have any fun spring plans? Details! :)
I already traveled to Pensacola, FL for Spring Break. Now my fun spring plans involve Easter (which is today!)

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday's Instagram Linkup {Week 11}

I'm linking up with Sara of Pearls and Curls again to show you all how my week has been after returning from Spring Break.

Mail // I sent out letters to both Gerred and Rebecca from Life With rMe (she's a great blogger pen pal!)   and postcards to postcrossers. I even recieved some great postcrossing cards from Belarus, Portugal, Australia, and Finland. Also if anyone wants to become pen pals with me let me know!

Thesis // I am getting started on my thesis proposal. So far I'm aware it has to do with: Heroes of the Ulster Cycle in Irish Mythology, Yeats, the Irish Literary Revival, and the theme of the past always in the present in Irish culture. So, I have quite a lot of material to research and read. The proposal is due next week so I better hop to it.

Nails // I tried out one of the nail polishes from my Julep box, Julep "Lynn American Beauty" and wasn't too keen on it. It's a little too tame, so I added a pop color of Essie "Cute as a Button." The combination is much much better this way I think. 

Ritas // It was the first day of Spring this week so naturally I hopped over to the Rita's behind my dorm (perfect placement for a Rita's) and picked up my free Rita's Italian Ice. It was my one treat in my dieting/exercising regime and it was perfect. I had pumpkin ice since they were only giving that out for one day only.

Birchbox // I won't share everything about this box just yet, but here's a sneak peak at my March Birchbox.

How was your week? And seriously, if you want to become pen pals with me let me know. Snail mail is so fun and writing with bloggers is even better.
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Pensacola Lighthouse

When Gerred and I returned from Disney World we still had a week left of me visiting for Winter Break. So he drove the 9 hours from Orlando to where he is stationed in Pensacola, FL. There we met up with Katie and Phoenix again and decided to see the Pensacola Lighthouse on base.

I have a thing for lighthouses. Not like a "collecting" thing, but I sure do make it a point to explore them. I've been to a few in North Carolina and to at least 2 or 3 in Maryland. But I hope to see more in my day. The Pensacola one, was a nice big one and the house below was kept up really well. In fact, some say it's haunted. We got to watch a ghost hunters episode in the basement of the lighthouse that had the people from the show explore it. 

On my trip I didn't see any ghosts, just 177 steps I had to climb of a spiral staircase to the very top of the lighthouse. Which to me is just as terrifying as ghosts. But when I got to the top, it was great to look out at the beach and the entire Navy base from way up high.

Does anyone else like exploring lighthouses?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Downtown Disney

When Gerred and I weren't at the parks we were always exploring all the little Disney extras at night. From resorts, trading items, and restaurants in Downtown Disney, we were having a blast.
We got into a habit of exploring different Disney resorts after coming back from the parks by boarding new buses with groups that lived there. We saw Port New Orleans, Key West Resort, All Star Movies, Animal Kingdom Lodge and our favorite Disney's Art of Animation. In the Art of Animation Studio there was concept art on the walls, drawing competitions, and color absolutely everywhere. If we weren't so tired we would have checked the place out a little more.

We kept seeing Vinylmation everywhere. Essentially they are a basic mickey mouse figure painted into so many different designs. You buy one at a time as a mystery and can trade them with others. Gerred and I didn't see the point, but thought they looked nice. We did however get into pin trading. Not too hard core, but we at least had a starter pack and learned how it is done. We just went around swapping pins we liked with park employees and boards until we had a 11 pins that we loved.

One night we decided to eat at the T-Rex Cafe with Gerred's friend Nick and his new fiance (he proposed to her on New Years.) The place is just like the Rainforest Cafe except with Dinosaurs. Each room was themed with either the ice-age, volcanoes, the jungle, or under the sea. And every 20-30 minutes there was a meteor shower which was neat to watch. We had such a great time with them, with all four of us wearing "Just Engaged" pins.

Oh and we split a chocolate extinction. Yeah, that's dry ice around the chocolate icebergs. So delicious. Other than the fun restaurant, we also made it our point to walk into every shop in Downtown Disney and see every street performance. 

We got a kick out of it all and we really did enjoy all the Disney magic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blogging Spring Cleaning + More

It's been a busy blogging week so I thought I'd share some of the new changes going on the blog and a few other interesting tidbits like a giveaway from Bayside Bride in light of the first day of Spring.
Blog Design
Not sure if you've noticed the new blog design. I've been crazy about blog design on Pinterest lately and have been researching so many new ways to improve my blog. I was debating whether to hire a designer (well I've been out of a paying job since I left for Ireland) and just decided that I should learn how to do this on my own. So I designed and added in:

new header + statement
anchor image
social media buttons from Her New Leaf
and a signature
button (grab one, let's swap)
instagram slideshow in sidebar

 I'm slowly making progress.

Goodbye Google Reader
Google Reader is apparently dying out. I'm not sure of all the details, but the news is definitely hopping around the blogosphere. So I suggest following me on facebooktwitterinstagram, or bloglovin'. If you're worried about losing all your blogs from GFC in the switch, don't worry. Just go to bloglovin', click on settings, drop down to import blogs and choose GFC. It's as simple as pie and bloglovin is a lot easier to read through than GFC. Learn to love it.

Also, you should really check out the giveaway going on at Bayside Bride. They're giving away some adorable nautical headbands from Gina Made It. If you enter now there's a great chance of taking one of these headbands home.

Gerred will be doing the altitude chamber doing today and experience some of these symptoms probably. I hope he's safe and enjoys himself in there.

Do you like the change?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

December 2012 Birchbox

I'm catching up on the last of the Birchboxes that I had stockpiled for myself on Christmas Morning. After this I'll slowly be fading into 2013's boxes and into present day boxes. Since I just received my March box today.

1. Amika// Obliphica Nourishing Mask // The hair mask smells out of this world, like some crazy berries and it conditions so well that my hair felt hydrated and soft for days.

2. Aerie // Shimmer Fragrance // Light and airy this fragrance is very similar to Aerie's sheer fragrance, just with a little more pizazz.

3. Lashem // Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum // This is meant to help lashes grow healthy and is to be applied at the lash line on make-up free lashes. I haven't noticed any big changes yet though.

4. the Balm cosmetics // Mary-Lou Manizer // Works as both highlighter, shimmer, and eyeshadow. It has great pigment on the eyes and a nice sheer application for cheeks. I'm considering actually purchasing this when I'm done.

5. Chuao Chocolatier // Salted Chocolate Crunch // A delicious salty and crunchy dark chocolate. The sea salt is what really makes the taste.

If you'd like to join Birchbox as well, you can sign up for your $10 box here.

P.S. Notice any changes to the blog? Tell me what you think.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Navy Wedding Accents

My second article, Navy Wedding Accents, is up on Bayside Bride. Read about ways to incorporate the "Navy" theme without going to overboard. I talk about bouquets, garters, cakes, and Top Gun serenades.


I'm really enjoying this internship so far and discovering a few things: I love weddings, reseraching Navy tidbits, and writing articles.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Social {Week 41}

I'm back from Spring Break in Pensacola, FL. Now for some reason, my posts didn't post on schedule. I'll have to figure that out and if any of you might know why they didn't post let me know. But for now, I'm easing back into my regular non-vacation life with Sunday Social hosted by Ashley and Neely. Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.

1. What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Arts & Crafts. I'd do it all day every rainy day if I could. If I don't, well hello computer, what's happenin'?

2. What is your favorite thing to do on a summer weekend?
Explore. I love to find new towns, landmarks, restaurants, shops, trails. You name it, I'll explore it.

3. What is your favorite spring activity?
I like exploring in the Spring too, but for all intensive purposes, I love going on walks around town and not having to worry about wearing a jacket. I always bring a camera.

4. What is your favorite way to spend a winter day?
Fire, hot peppermint tea or cocoa, relaxing music mixed with relaxation.

5. What is your favorite season and why?
Spring. The temperature is great, there's flowers everywhere, and the promise of school coming to an end is almost better than no school at all. Everyone just seems to be in a better mood.

6. What is the best birthday you ever had?
Hands down it will always be my 18th Birthday. Nothings better than turning 18 and finding your future husband in your kitchen.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Epcot's Snacking Around the World

Our last park was Epcot. I park I never actually went to as a kid because I probably wouldn't have cared for it back then. But just like It's A Small World, I was all about exploring other (slightly stereotyped) cultures. The best way we knew how was taking a page from a friend of mine, Ashley, who did the Disney Semester years ago and snack around the world. Best decision ever.

We had...
Couscous in Morocco
A Pretzel in Germany
Gelato in Italy
Rice in Japan
Pastries in France
Schol Bread in Norway
Fish N' Chips in the UK
Egg Rolls in China

The whole week we brought packed lunches and ate healthy knowing of what would occur in Epcot. Then we lived life. Obviously, I was not 21 at the time so I could not drink. But next time I go, which will be when I'm married with children probably, I will be drinking around the world. And it will be crazy.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Animal Kingdom

Our third day was spent in the Animal Kingdom. We knew there was one thing we wanted to see when we got there, the Kiliminjaro Safari.

We hoped on board and it began to rain, we thought we wouldn't see any of the animals but hey, Disney has it rigged or something and we got to see so many. Baboons, and lots of animals that were so far off I couldn't capture them with my phone. We saw zebras, crocodiles, baboons, lions, elephants, and gifraffes.

After our safari we rode the Dinosaur ride (Gerred was such a fan,) the river rapid ride (too cold in the rain,) and the yeti Himalayan escape ride. Thinking about it, it seems Animal Kingdom has some really great rides. 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Magic Kingdom

Our second day of Disney was spent in the Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom is the epitome of Disney so most people like to go to it first, spend two days there, or save it for last. Well, we decided to go on a  Tuesday and it worked out real well for us. We weren't bothered by too many long lines because everyone else happened to go to Hollywood Studios that day. We were really able to enjoy ourselves and our first rush was to New Fantasyland.

Immediately upon entering the park we made a mad dash to New Fantasyland which had just opened two weeks prior to our visit. We saw Belle's castle and a few other places that were still under construction that we'll just have to come back for. But the absolute best part of New Fantasyland is Ariel's Grotto. You see her castle, and go through a waterfall until you board the ride. Both Gerred and I really enjoyed it with all the music and colors. I've shown my 5-year old cousin, Jesse, this a few times and he's in absolute awe of how I was able to go under water to see Ariel.

Then we rode Winne the Pooh's honey pot ride which was really fun. I have a sweet spot in my heart for Winnie the Pooh. I slept with a Winnie the Pooh doll when I was little (it's still on my bed back home) and my cat's name is Tigger. Anyways, we got to take a picture with these guys and it was wonderful!

And who can go to Magic Kingdom without seeing It's A Small World. I don't remember liking this as a kid, but when I saw it this time after spending some time abroad, I really enjoyed it for the overdone stereotypes. My favorite part was passing Ireland. Leprechauns, castles, green, green, green, pots of gold, rainbows, shamrocks, sheep, and harps. Yes, that is what Ireland is made of. One of my friends from Ireland commented saying that their pots aren't filled with gold, but with naggins.

And one of the prettiest sights was Cinderella's Castle at night. It was lit up with icicle lights for Christmas and it just looked magical.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hollywood Studios Park

The first park Gerred and I headed to for our week of Disney Magic was Hollywood Studios Park. I had not been to Disney World since I was maybe 11 and I remember it being called MGM. It makes a lot of sense for them to change the name since the whole park is run by Disney. But, the name of the park wasn't the only thing that changed. Gerred and I both noticed that going to the parks when you're older just makes everything different. We were there to ride the rides, take pictures, and we didn't have any kids in tow. The park seemed new to us for that reason so we explored the places we never saw as kids and to places we did and saw them in a whole new way.

The Tower of Terror for instance was way scary when I was a kid. I remember sitting down in the seats and going through the twilight zone and feeling creeped out beyond belief because 1) Rod. Serling. 2) I knew I was about to drop to my deaths. I practically clawed my Dad's arm off dropping. I had that same anticipation of fear when Gerred and I rode except, the drop felt so different. It was scary, just not as long as a drop as I remembered. There was bouncing in between to lessen the blow, but still what a ride.

Then came the Star Wars area. I kid you not Gerred was in heaven the whole trip. Jurassic Park the day before and Star Wars the very next day. He was a happy camper, we even got to see some kids train at the Jedi Training Academy after the ride. We also found $20 on the ground and decided to get a Light Saber.

After Star Wars came our favorite part of the day, the Animation Studios. We got in there and began to draw Stitch. Do you see mine? See I can draw. Anyways, what really surprised me here and what made my day was how much Gerred enjoyed himself. I'd never seen him show interest in anything artsy before so to see him really concentrate on drawing was perfect. I'd say that's the real Disney magic right there, discovering new things.

We loved Hollywood Studios and Gerred insisted we head for another round of the animation class. We drew Woody. Ever since, Gerred got a drawing book and has been sending me the drawings he's been learning from the book.