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Why Anything and Everything?

Welcome to my site!

I thought for my first blog post, I would start by answering the question: why am I doing this anyway?

There are two reasons. First, I felt that I wasn’t writing enough. I have journals and diaries and I have had a personal blog in the past, but I still wasn’t motivated or finding the time (or making the time) to write in them.

The second reason is that I wanted to build a dynamic portfolio and stay relevant in the PR/Advertising/Marketing world while I live out my dream to live in Madrid, Spain for one year. I am hoping this blog will help me to stand out in my future job application processes.

So, I am combining my love for writing and my passion for the PR/Advertising/Marketing industry to motivate myself to keep up with this blog and website not only for professional growth but for personal growth as well.

Why call it Anything and Everything?

Anything and Everything is not just a blog, it’s also a website, a dynamic portfolio and a resume. But, I’m not strictly using this blog/website for professional reasons. This is why it is composed of fun, personal blog posts. So, this little project of mine has many different layers and is truly a little bit of anything and everything!

The tagline, “A little bit of everything all rolled into one.”, comes from one of my favorite 90’s songs, “B*tch” by Meredith Brooks (not the most classy title, I know). In the song, Brooks lists all of the adjectives she identifies with, all of them contradicting one another. This. Song. Is. Me.

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Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

I am many contradicting things all in one 22-year-old woman. There are so many layers to my personality, to my background, to what makes me, me that it would be so unfair to describe myself as just a few agreeable adjectives.

I want Anything and Everything to be a reflection of myself and who I really am: a little bit of everything all rolled into one.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep scrolling for my latest posts!

Podcast Review: Serial, Season 1

Serial Podcast, Season 1

Serial Podcast CoverWhat a roller coaster of a story.

Adnan Syed was 17 years old when he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He has now been in prison for 15 years, and reporter Sarah Koenig tried to crack the case and answer the question everyone has been wondering for almost two decades: Is Adnan guilty or innocent?

There are so many ups and downs, holes in alibies, and timelines that just do not add up. My biggest frustration with the whole case, however, is the lack of hard evidence. There is no hard evidence one way or another, which is why to this day people still wonder if Adnan is guilty or not. So, that brings up the question, then why is he serving a life sentence in prison?

Koenig takes you on a whirlwind adventure as she tries to answer the hard questions and solve the case herself.

I highly recommend this podcast! It is captivating, frustrating, and keeps you on your toes. You can download the podcast for free on an Apple device in the Podcast app. For more information on the series, you can visit serialpodcast.org.

 

“You Betcha!” from Brainerd, MN

So, my boyfriend grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota, a town very different from any city I’ve ever visited.

They. Don’t. Have. Uber.

Which, to be honest, scared me a little. I’ve never actually been in the middle of nowhere and felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. But, in Brainerd’s defense, it has its charm. It has a cozy, outdoorsy, small-town feel that makes you relaxed and slows you down like you’re in no rush.

The views are vibrant in color and calming, to say the least. Also, I went fishing for the first time in forever, saw my first shooting star, and completed my first par 3 golf course in Brainerd. It may be different from where I come from, but it feels good to be able to put the crazy, chaotic city life on pause for a weekend.

 

“Hello!” from Washington, D.C.

This was my very first time at the nation’s capital! It was a great trip filled with very much overdue best friend bonding, a hop-on-hop-off bus with endless sightseeing, and a Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert.

I was in D.C. for a long weekend, and that still wasn’t enough to do all of the sightseeing. However, my two-day pass for the hop-on-hop-off bus tour made it a little easier, and in the end, it was still fun to play tourist for four days!

I could list all of the places I went and things I saw and what I liked and disliked, but that would take far too much time and patience. So, here are pictures from the highlights of my trip!

I will say, however, the Bey and Jay concert was unreal and my life will never be the same, I geeked out at the Newseum since I dedicated 4 years and tens-of-thousands of dollars for an education in journalism, and we ate at a Spanish restaurant that made us completely nostalgic about our study abroad days.

“Hello!” from Madison, WI

I didn’t have to travel too far for this trip, but Madison still deserves a short and sweet post!

I traveled to Madison to visit one of my best friends that I hadn’t seen in six months. Also, I hadn’t been in Madison since my senior year of high school when our football team won state.

The Madison campus is so cute, quaint and unique. It may not be a very large campus but there are some really beautiful old buildings and fantastic views. There are always fun street festivals where you can find some killer deals and every Saturday the farmer’s market around the capitol building attracts a huge crowd. Also, it’s Wisconsin, so, the meat, cheese and booze options are plentiful.

Some of my favorite views include the view of the lake from the union terrace, the capitol building lit up at night, and view of the city from the top of the capitol building, just to name a few.

A Haircut for a Cause

Some people are afraid of spiders, some people are afraid of heights, but I have always been afraid of haircuts…

Since I was younger, I have always had long hair. I never wanted to cut it. I was always afraid to get a haircut in fear that it would look bad or I would hate it, until Summer 2015.

At that point, my hair was so long that it was getting in the way and restricting me from doing the simplest of tasks. When I went swimming, my hair would be wrapped around my arms or when I would pick up my newborn cousin, my hair would be all over her and me, making us both frustrated.

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My first hair donation.

Fed up and looking for a change in style, I did something out of character and decided I was going to chop my hair. I wanted to cut enough to donate but not too much because I was nervous. I put my nerves aside, cut 10 inches, and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Fast forward 3 years and my hair was frustratingly long again. This time, I was not scared and I was ready for a new look. I did my research and found a trendy, professional salon in San Diego that I could trust to give me a new cut and color.

Four hours and 14 inches later, I looked like a completely different person! I had a bob and was borderline blonde, and I loved it! Cutting all of that hair made me feel lighter and more liberated. I decided, again, that I would donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths in hopes that the recipient gaining my hair would feel as happy and liberated as I did while cutting it.

If you are interested in donating hair and meet all of the requirements, I highly suggest you check out Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Above: My most recent hair donation. Haircut and color credit goes to Ashley Chicago! (Instagram: @ashleychicago)

“Hello!” from San Diego, CA

In typical “me” fashion, when I returned from Madrid, I was only on U.S. soil for about 12 hours before taking my first trip.

My first stop was San Diego, California. I’ve been visiting SD frequently ever since my uncle moved out there about ten years. I know my way around, I know where my favorite restaurants are, and I know my favorite spot on my favorite beach. For a place I have never lived, SD feels like home.

Now, SD is not only home to my blood family but also my chosen family. My best friend just moved to SD and I cannot wait to have double the excuses to take vacations out to the west coast.

I desperately needed the overdue family time, and the warm weather is always a plus. SD, you have a special place in my heart. It feels great to be home!

Pictures: A family picture celebrating my cousin Amelia’s 3rd birthday! The picture to the right is the birthday dinner we had called “kamayan”, which is a Filipino style of eating with your hands.

Hasta Luego, Madrid.

Hasta Luego. See you later.

I have always appreciated this farewell by Spanish people. “Goodbye” suggests a permanent departure, whereas “hasta luego”, literally translated to “until then”, leaves room for a return.

When I said “hasta luego” to Spain for the first time, I was on my way home from a life-changing study abroad experience. I had high hopes and a dream of returning and living in Spain as a more permanent resident. My dream came true when I applied, was accepted and made my big move across the pond to Madrid to teach English as a second language (ESL).

I am not naive or ignorant. Going into my year of working abroad, I knew it would not be the same as my study abroad experience. This time around, I was not with friends nor was I in a large group where the program was holding my hand each step of the way.

I was alone.

I was not afraid to be alone, but I was nervous. But, I also was extremely excited and eager for what the future had in store! Getting my visa both before and right after my arrival was a total drag and saying my goodbyes to family and friends was difficult, to say the least. It was a rough start, but, still, hopes were high.

I felt confident in myself that I was prepared for what lied ahead. I had lots of traveling experience, a minor in Spanish, a certificate in ESL, a personality that can win others over, and most importantly, a good head on my shoulders. I had high expectations and thought I was going to be living my best life over there in Spain. I thought wrong. Maybe not completely, but I was still wrong.

Living in Spain was amazing, working in an elementary school was not so amazing, and making new friends in a city where I knew no one was almost impossible.

Living alone in a tiny studio apartment and traveling alone were eye-opening experiences. At the start, I thought I highly valued new experiences and learning how to survive on my own. However, I slowly came to realize that I value my family, friends and home more. I wouldn’t take this experience back and do not have a single regret. I needed these lonely times in order to realize and reflect on what is most important to me.

Spain was a little harder on me this time around. I needed it though. Many life lessons were had and a dream was fulfilled. I put in my time and I made the most of it. That’s all that matters.

Sometimes when I think about how I lived in Spain for a year, it’s kind of unreal. I have such a unique experience under my belt at age 23 that the majority of people will never have in their lifetime.

It was a hard farewell to leave Madrid, but one of the best homecomings ever. I have peace of mind knowing it wasn’t actually goodbye, but rather a “see you later.”

I am not sure when I will return to Spain or under what circumstances. My future right now is ultimately unknown and for once, I am okay with that.

So for now, until then, Madrid.

Pictures: My first weekend trip in Spain to my last…