Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Roman Holiday in pictures

Remember when I went to Rome - oh, 3 months ago - and didn't post any pictures? They may be a lot little late, but here is my photo journey of Rome in pictures. Hope you like them!
All pictures were taken by me and edited in Paint.net

Trinita dei Monti church (atop the Spanish Steps)

The Colosseum 

St. Peter's Basilica & Square 

Tiber River

Roman skyline from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo

Campo dei Fiori farmers market


We both fell in love with Rome, and would definitely go back in a heartbeat! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Personal Post - caught between a rock and a hard place

I feel like I'm stuck between what I should do/what I'm expected to do and what I want to do/know I can do.

image here

To the few IRL (in-real-life) friends and family that read my blog, I realize this seems to be coming out of nowhere, but trust me it's not. I hash over things in my mind for days or weeks before I even voice them out loud. 

I've gone through the past 20 academic years of my life in a sort of blind stumble. I'm currently on my 3rd post-high school degree, and to be perfectly honest I still don't know if I made the right choice. I've now gone from Fashion School to an Arts Degree to Teacher's College to ...? That's the big question. Sometimes I wish I was one of those kids that decided what she wanted to be in Kindergarten and followed that path without question. 

I'm about to face one of the scariest and hardest semesters of my life, and aside from being terrified there is an ever-growing part of me that simply does not want to do it. As much as I (obviously) love summer vacation and dread school starting, there has always been a part of me that looked forward to the coming year because it meant a fresh start and a new challenge. Not this year.

A year ago when I was starting Teacher's College I was excited and thought I'd finally found my niche in the world, something I would be passionate about and something that would make me want to work hard. Now a year later I'm not so sure anymore. I've learned that teaching is more bureaucratic hoop-jumping than creatively enriching the lives of students. I would be spending more time doing administrative work and pleasing 30 parents than trying to make 30 students love History as much as I do. It's disheartening. 

Unfortunately I don't live in a country of free education, and I've racked up quite a bit in tuition fees over the last 8 years. I've been lucky that my family has (so far) always helped me out financially, but at the same time I feel like I've had to do all of these things because they help me out. Does that make any sense? 

It may sound like I don't have a Plan B at all, and to a certain degree that's true. I've tended to live my life in a Plan A pattern, hoping for the best that things work out - and for the most part they have, I've been incredibly lucky. 

I do have a Plan B in the back of my mind, it's sort of been in the back of my head for years now, but it would mean making a pretty large commitment to something that once again may not guarantee me a job at the end. I'm in my mid-20's but that number is slowly but surely creeping into my late-20's (wow that's depressing) so I feel like at some point I want my life to start. I feel like I've been stuck in perpetual limbo for the last number of years, never really moving forward but not totally satisfied with the present either. 

So what it comes down to is that I really don't know what to do. I'm caught between a very hard rock and a very hard place. 

Kudos to you if you've actually read this far, I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head for a change.

NKOTBSB round 2 - a night to remember!

* I started this post nearly 3 weeks ago, life got in the way and it's been sitting in my 'drafts' folder ever since 

I'm actually surprised I still have any followers since I've basically been rambling about nothing but boy bands for the past 2 months. That being said, I'm also a little surprised I have friends left at all that don't share my current-obsession.

Anyway, 15 year old Ella will slowly be retreating so expect a gradual shift back to my normal posts. Until then, however, I have to update you all on the second concert from Saturday night.

If you were ever a New Kids or Backstreet Boys fan (or fan of any band/celeb) I think you'll appreciate this story!

All 9 when they first come out

After seeing the show in June and knowing how amazing it was, right away I started looking for tickets for the August show. Now, naturally I tried getting the best possible seats available, but there was also another deciding factor. The bestest says we cheated, I see it more as using insider information.

mash-up of "The One" and "Single"

To increase audience interaction for fans who couldn't afford the expensive floor seats (like us) - BSB started a great system of starting one song at the top of the first level and walking all the way down some aisles towards the stage. This is a genius move on their part!

One of the first blocks of tickets TicketMaster gave me when I was searching for August was 12 rows up from the floor, and aisle seats. Something right then told me to jump on those tickets. So much so that I pretty much ordered them before I had full confirmation from my friends. They would all tell you in hindsight - Best. Decision. Ever. There was no way to know for sure which aisle they would come down, and which Backstreet Boy it would be because they changed it up every show. Very sneaky!


The show was once again amazing, but the best part happened just over half way through. We were all momentarily distracted from the show by big burly security guards putting down ropes along both sides of the aisle we were sitting beside. That's when we knew we were at THE AISLE. It was probably another 15 minutes or so before it was to happen, but we were all giddy with anxious anticipation the whole time. 

We knew from previous experience that the aisle scene happened right after the New Kids sang "Tonight". As soon as the lights went down, our excitement went up. The opening chords of "Shape of my heart" started, and all I could hear was the bestest behind me going "Who is it?? Is it Brian??". All I could see at this point were security guards until S (seated on the aisle) cut in with "It's Nick! OMG It's Nick!" 

Hello Mr. Carter, nice to meet you

He came down the aisle slowly, touching hands as he went. He came to our section, touched all of our hands and then started to turn to the other side. I'll be honest and admit that any rational thought left my mind completely at this point, so without even thinking about it I reached out and grabbed his hand so he turned back to our section and touched our hands again. Side note: if you happened to be sitting across the aisle from us and missed out, I do apologize!

While this was happening, somehow part of my brain was being alerted to the fact that there was more commotion coming from the top of the aisle. I looked up only to see AJ coming towards us! That was the biggest shock of my life because I could swear at the first concert they picked 4 different aisles instead of doubling up. I vaguely remember grabbing the bestests arm and going "OMG it's AJ! OMG it's AJ!" 

I heart you

AJ also came down slowly and made sure to touch as many fans as possible. Meanwhile, Nick was getting mobbed by fans at the bottom of the aisle, forcing AJ to stop briefly where he was. Which happened to be right in front of us! That's right. He was standing right in front of me, shook my hand and went "Hello. How are you?" My mind went completely blank, and I managed a very eloquent "HI!...... I'm .....goood!" (I don't even remember adding the "I'm good" but the bestest assured me that I did)

This show definitely topped the first one, and may even come close to topping front row many years ago! I'm a little sad that the summer of NKOTBSB is over, but when they come back you can bet that I'll be going again!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Fridays!

It's time for another edition of Fun Fridays over at Jen's Blog

Happy Friday! 

This weekend I will be spending time with these girls (minus Jay, 2nd from left plus Kay not pictured)..

@ NKOTBSB round 1 in June, photo courtesy of the Bestest

And these boys..

No biggie right? 

Judging by my plethora of posts in the last 2 months, you've probably all realized that my teenage self seems to have taken over my life recently. I'm sort of hoping that after tomorrow's concert (and possible DDUB stalking in NYC) it will slowly die down again. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm (P)interest-ed!

Today I spent a good portion of my day on Pinterest. It's been a good day. I've been hearing about this allusive website from so many of my blog friends that finally curiosity got to me and I had to check it out.  

I'm completely hooked! I started planning my (dream) wedding! Nevermind that I'm currently single. I figure I'm allowed to plan regardless and this way when Prince Charming does find me, it'll all be a breeze. I can almost hear all you brides/wives laughing at my thinking the planning will be easy. Let me believe it for now!

On a slightly more realistic note, I've also created a board entitled "Decorating Ideas" and pinned all things I would love to have in an apartment/house one day. I've noticed that I tend to pick neutrals with just a pop of color, so I suppose that's more my style. It surprised me a little. 

If you're interested, you can follow me HERE and if any of you have a Pinterest, let me know so I can follow you and see your beautiful boards! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August blues

I saw a tweet the other day that said "Summer 2011 should get a ticket...for speeding" - and that's exactly how I feel.

As soon as August hits, I always feel like summer is over. Never mind that there is still 4 weeks of vacation, but something about that elusive 8th Month always makes me feel a little sad. The days are a little shorter, the temperature a little cooler and the people a little less relaxed. 

August is a harsh reminder that September is right around the corner, and let's face it, no one likes September. I shouldn't be complaining as I still have lots planned, including a concert and trip to NYC, but I can't help but feel a little bit bummed.

To the bestest and all others born in August, I apologize for the anti-August rant, don't take it personally!