Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Can Hear the Bells

On Saturday, my beautiful and smarty pants best friend tied the knot with her sweet love {and also became an aunt}.

And what a lovely day for a wedding!

The day started off with extra exciting news as the world welcomed in the birth of Grace Elaine a few short hours before the wedding. I guess Baby wanted to make a grand entrance as she was a week late.

Walker Gardens in Bigler, PA offered quite the view! For more info, visit their Facebook page, or for some more info on the lovely areas surrounding my hometown, Explore PA History.

My pretty sis looking pretty and cool in her breezy dress and sandals.

Heidi's favorite color is purple so she had her bridesmaids dressed in three varying shades. The dark purple looked lovely on her second oldest sister, especially with the cute baby bump :)

Little sister Ali looked stunning in her lighter shade of purple.

Luckily, I didn't look too out of place with red hair and fair skin. So honored to be by her side as Maid of Honor!

The absolutely stunning bride. Yes, indeed, I teared up a bit seeing my best friend walk down the aisle. The look on her face...dang. Her face beamed with all of the love and happiness and simply radiated from her.

Miles certainly lit up as her father lifted her mother's bridal veil, which was her "something borrowed."

Slightly washed out lighting, but Mummy looks fiiiiiiine.

Sister lovin' to the utmost level.

Mummy and her girlies, fierce ladies all around and two of my favorite people.

Overall, a lovely day and I couldn't be happier for the couple! I may be a little jealous of their adventure across the country to the state of Washington!

Mr. and Mrs. Miles Ridgway...has a nice ring to it, non?

Best of wishes and much love to the new couple!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

What's Wrong with Being Confident?

...naturally, Demi's voice started ringing through my head wie ein Ohrworm like an ear worm.

A business trip to company headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota for leadership training and development led to some serious reflections and realizations.

I felt increasingly more aware of just how much stuff I knew, especially when placed in a culminating group of adults who have been leaders with many years under their belts, some with resumes boasting of managerial experience longer than my personal timeline.

Feeling good in your skin
definitely makes a difference.

I love that little epiphany when you come to realize just how much you know when a presenter asks a question and all around there are blank stares and you solely have the answer, or a suggestion for an issue another account is having based on your relatively short amount of experience.

It's a bit scary and also empowering.

In leading others, it's not just about the confidence in yourself, but exuding that in order to convince others of your competency. The obstacles faced on a day-to-day basis build character and instill that confidence while increasing your knowledge-base, which, in turn, only reassures belief in yourself.

In between all of the training, there was plenty of time for some fun in the Twin Cities.

First stop was Mall of America.

Dave & Buster's provided a great time to get to know leaders from other accounts across the country and let loose the inner child in all of us!

I couldn't stay away....two evening visits to the second largest mall in the United States! And yes, I definitely rode one of the roller coasters while I had the chance!

A little retail therapy doesn't hurt ;)

An interesting week, well worth the long hours of travel. Many connections made, as well as beautiful sights seen and I sure learned quite a bit.

The best part? Having Superman waiting for me at the airport.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy Celebrations

On Sunday, my bestie walked down her first of two upcoming aisles to graduate with not just one, but two degrees - her undergraduate and graduate. So happy and proud I could be there to watch her achieve one of her many goals!

May 8, 2016
University Park
 The past two weekends were filled with half work, half play & excitement. With graduation over, the following weekend I was able to spend some more time with the bride-to-be at her bachelorette party before driving off again from home to wedding #2 of the season.

Conner & Sam were high school sweethearts and I had the pleasure of meeting them during my freshmen year of college.

May 14, 2016
Vineyards at Grandview, Mt Joy

A mini LVC reunion of lovely friends on this joyous occasion ^_^

The rain didn't put a damper on events {albeit it may take me a while to clean the mud off of my heels} - a rainbow appeared and hopefully it'll bring much happiness and luck on their new chapter together!

Best man, and one of my lovely friends, Nick serenaded the couple for their first dance..

A bit of personal celebration: I'll be going back for my MBA starting this summer! Feeling inspired by my bestie & her perseverance and will finally be taking the plunge back into school to better myself and see what doors may open up as a result.

Nerd alert: going to be a student again! Oh, and going to be taking advantage of the student discounts once again, duh.

Oddly enough, I don't look all that different from when I had my ID photo taken 5 years ago *awkward*


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Extensions of the Skin

Our clothing choices can often paint a surface-deep {or further} picture of our personality, our lifestyle, our feelings, etc. The articles of clothing we place upon our bodies is very much an extension of the skin in a sort, a visual projector onto the world. This even applies to uniforms, no matter how we may enjoy or loathe them - it connects us to our schoolmates, coworkers, fellow businessmen {or -women}, brothers {or sisters} in arms, etc.

A bold cat eye seems to become my special little uniform for days I wish to be productive. Paired with a bold lippy, and my little transformation from a blah day to a fabulous, accomplished day is complete.

When you feel like yourself, motivation goes up!

If we are only granted a finite number of days on this earth, why not feel comfortable in the clothes we place upon our backs? Take advantage of the circumstances which allow free dress - or check out a nude beach or nudest community if you'd rather not wear anything at all.

Love the skin you're in, but also the materials you put your skin in.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the Fourth Be with You

Star Wars Day should, without a doubt, be a fun {and nationally celebrated} holiday. I sure as heck would have allowed my employees to wear something in commemoration of the fantastically epic saga.

Coincidentally, one of my days off for the week fell on Star Wars Day, so I was able to run errands and change my outfit a few times at my leisure in order to wear a few of my many SW regalia.

Of course, I jokingly told my employees that I had off because it was SW Day.

The greatest mask $.25 can buy from Goodwill.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Beer Meister

Beer connoisseur.

In jest I've said: I work to pay for the beer which I drink because of my job.

However, based on my Untappd account, this is not necessarily the case - I merely love beer, the mechanics and process of its coming to be, the smell of some good hops & bitters, and exploring the divine world of beercrafting.

Trying new things is not inherently a bad habit - one of curiosity and bravery to tease the palate with new tastes, delicious or not so much, according to one's individual taste preferences.

In accordance to this curiosity, I'm making it a summer goal of mine to branch out and explore as many breweries as I can as I feel I have only begun to scratch the surface of what these fine establishments have to offer.

Microbrewing is a staple in Germany with a majority of its restaurants having their own house brew concocted above and around the heads of its dining patrons. While I would love to take a spontaneous trip out east across to the magical Beer Wonderland, paying too far ahead on bills has put a bittersweet damper on the wallet - hurray to loans nearly being paid off, boo to not budgeting better for surprise expenses.

I do admit, however, I can be a creature of habit, resorting back to my absolute favorites such as Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy or the delicious new limited edition Redd's blueberry ale. The blueberry ale is new, though, so that counts as branching out, right? Otter Creek's Fresh Slice white IPA is fairly delish and was a new taste for my tongue earlier this week.

Thank goodness for the ever-resourceful Google for seeking places new adventures and stomping grounds...which I've found myself doing as I await anxiously amid the storm, perking my ears to hear the door creak through the din of the thunder, and contemplating the emotional swirl in my heart which my brain is always trying to unweave in order to understand.

Current reflection: that no one will see the tears you cry if they're shed behind closed doors, the ruined mascara saved for a private showing with the only viewer staring back at you in the mirror.

I guess it's rather fitting the weather is coinciding with the flaring tempers and upset feelings of those among us... As I sip my fruity-tooty strawberry wine, I'm feeling oddly at peace finishing up my thoughts and the adventure-planning wheels are whirling inside.

....and to all a good night.