How did this happen?! It literally feels like yesterday that I posted last month’s Odds & Ends. April always whizzes by because of Nationals, Easter, and semester-end projects, but this one takes the cake for being the fastest month of my life. Today is already May 1st, which means:
- my e-mail was flooded with birthday month freebies/discounts this morning
- Justin Timberlake memes
- 13 days until…Mother’s Day!!!! (and graduation, I guess)
- the impending doom of having to pack up my college life and leave Chapel Hill! *cries*
I’ve been so good at avoiding graduation emotions, but I have a feeling that it’s all going to come out the minute I get behind the wheel for my lonely 5 hour drive home… But before we get to that, April favorites – here we go:
- sweet, sweet redemption – Four years ago at my UNC orientation, a group of us went to Sweet Frog and someone posted a photo on Facebook with the caption “University of National Champions”. One year ago at the Championship game, that Sweet Frog (where we watched the game) was the most lit it ever was (RIP)… until it wasn’t. A couple weeks ago, I hit publish on this post right before I left the house for what would be the uncontested highlight of my four years at UNC. College sports really didn’t meant anything to me until I came here, but before I knew it… I found myself more invested in a game of basketball than I ever imagined I would. Rushing Franklin Street and seeing the fireworks come down right in the middle of the crowd that night we won the National Title? It’s an experience my friends will talk about for the rest of our lives. One paragraph in a blog post won’t do it justice, but I guess it’s just one of those things… you had to be there 😉
- blender muffins – I haven’t perfected a recipe to share yet, but I’ve been experimenting with blender muffins (where you mix all the ingredients in a blender instead of a mixing bowl). I make a batch and freeze half so a yummy snack is always just a 30-second microwave away! Currently my fave combination involves carrots, bananas, and walnuts (inspired by leftover ingredients from my carrot cake cupcakes). This recipe for banana bread muffins is what I started with – I love how quick they are!
- “The ‘Goddess’ Yi Wan Ka: Ivanka Trump is a Hit in China” – I almost wrote an honors thesis on the rise of the Chinese middle class and their increasingly global presence, so this article caught my eye immediately. Considering the fact that I know women who vehemently boycotted Ivanka’s brand, it’s astonishing that she represents the epitome of grace and class to young professionals on the other side of the world.
- Parachute – Third time’s the charm! Parachute has played at Cat’s Cradle in Carborro for three years in a row now, and I’ve been to every single concert with Sarah. I’ve listened to them FOREVER (& Always, see what I did there?) and this tradition makes me love them even more! They’re such talented musicians who love what they do, and it shows.
- Trader Joe’s Simpler Wines Italian Sparkling Wines – My list obviously wouldn’t be complete without another Trader Joe’s find… These are a gem. When I saw that they had samples of their new line of bubbly, I was immediately drawn to… well, the pretty colors. But then I took and sip and couldn’t believe how refreshing and easy to drink it was! They have it in a sparkling white and a rose. Portable, fun-sized, pretty packaging, and so affordable ($4 for a 4-pack!) – what more could you ask for for a summer picnic?!
- Pantene Beautiful Lengths – I’ve been long overdue for a haircut. I was so impatient that I scheduled an appointment at the Aveda Institute for the morning after our graduation photoshoot! I always grew my hair out and chopped it off to donate when I was younger, so this wasn’t new for me. I haven’t done it since high school, though. I wanted 8″ off (the Pantene Beautiful Lengths’ minimum requirement) but when I measured the ponytail they cut off, the longest pieces were actually 11″. My hair is now juuuuust shoulder-length – shorter than what I was going for – but I think I’m getting used to it! (Except for the part where it flips in different directions at my shoulders every morning…sigh) If you’re thinking about making a big chop, please consider growing your hair out a bit more and donating it to the Beautiful Lengths program.
This was my first time getting a haircut in Chapel Hill, and the Aveda Institute is a beauty school so it was a gamble. The whole appointment took about two hours including a mini facial and styling. (She didn’t shampoo because she cut my hair dry for texturizing). Other than cutting off more than I wanted which literally always happens, I have no complaints about the service for the price.