Ravenna

Soon came the first weekend in Italy, that brought along with it the first field trip. The field trip was to Ravenna, a smaller city northeast of Florence. We went as a group on a coach bus, to my surprise their charter buses were very much like ours in the states, and traveling in them with a bunch of americans made me think I was at home for a little while. 

The view that appeared when leaving the city was a quick wake up call that no, I was not in the states. I was listening to The General Specific by The Band of Horses and the sun began to rise. 
Quickly the sun touched on patches of fog, lighting up all the tiny houses on vineyards and small towns that were in the mountains. Description does not even do the sight justice, but I can confidently say it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. As you can tell I have a lot of feelings right now. They say that comes with moving to a foreign country…. huh.

If you do not know much about Ravenna one thing to know is that it is full of churches. I honestly could not tell you all the names BUT there are famous ones if you follow art history, such as San Vitale, which is absolutely incredible inside. 

Ravenna is also where you can find some of the most incredible mosaics. 

Here are some photos:

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As for life, I have been learning my way around FLorence so much better. I can finally always find my way home, find my way to all my studios, and know where most supermarkets are. I have made a few new friends and hopefully in the next post I can tell you all about friends and what we have been doing!

FYI: Spotify picks up on your location, so all of my ads are in italian.

Ciao

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Welcome to Firenze!

Well I am officially no longer in the US. Can I get a whoop?

I will say that leaving the US and landing in a foreign country was not as climactic as I thought it would be. I thought I would have a rush of emotions and strange new feelings. I thought I would feel like a new person, but I didn’t.

I was mostly just worn out and ready to be in Italy. I still can’t even believe I am here, even while I write this post from my bed in my gorgeous apartment.

Traveling started at 7:30 am.. And my mom insisted on this picture. Glad she took it though!

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The gate was decorated for Christmas, it appeared to be jolly but at 6:30 in the morning no one is around to make you feel the holiday spirit.

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My flights continued from Houston To Washington D.C., To New York To Zurich, Switzerland And finally to Florence, Italy . A whopping 24 hours later.

I can officially say I’ve never gone this long without sleep.
Check for typos..

BUT I was so pleased to be dropped off at my new home and it is absolutely beautiful:

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Plane shots:

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Dare ya to guess which one is which!

For now, exploration and much needed sleep. My cat naps on the planes led me to weirdly vivid dreams about food so I think I need some real sleep in a bed.

Arrivaderci

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Filed under Jacque, Under the Tuscan Sun

Ciao Italia!

I am long overdue here… But I have some great news!
I am going to just be blunt here..

I am going to Florence, Italy in two weeks!
For those who don’t know me well should know that
-I never travel
– I just got my first passport ( so I’ve never left the country)
– I’m not quite sure what to do in airport
-and I’m leaving my family…

I am very close with my family and love spending time with them.. So to leave for 4 months and go across the globe is going to be very difficult but I’m so lucky to have this opportunity!

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That’s my sister, I am hoping she will come visit and get to explore Florence with me, but who knows!

I am going to a local art school and studying art and art history, including photography!

Now let’s catch up on some things that have made life crAzy

I spent some time making a grill.
Yes a grill for your mouth. Yes Miley may have inspired me.
Yes it’s metal. No I will not sell it. It’s custom fit for my mouth!

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Is it cute?
My mom thinks not… But I think she’s just jealous.

My cousin had her baby! #littleladyblake is 6 weeks old!

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A garden began…
What is used most is the basil but a few heads of cabbage have showed up aaaand

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Butternut squash babies!
Go mom!!!

I wanted a more travel friendly garden

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And then came Christmas parties.. I’d say I’m about 110% done with cheistmS music. Sorry

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So far I’m enjoying my time home, I’ve only been here a full week!
I’m not sure I’m ready to leave yet… But Italy is definitely calling my name..

Some things I will miss:

This guy for sure

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MAaaaaybe this guy too

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This special lady!

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I’ll probably miss coconuts a lot too… I love coconuts..

And my family ❤

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We’ve been besties all along.

I will be creating a new tab soon for the blog contJnjng my posts from Italy, so you may not here from me until then.

If that’s so,

Ciao Italia
Buenanotte Texas

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Releasing

It’s winter break.

I’ve always thought: yeah it’s break time to partay, go wild, and what not. But now I consider myself SOMEWHAT more mature and SOMEWHAT of an adult. and I notice that no, break is actually for:

1. Sleeping.

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zzzzzzz…….

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Well…in all actuality, the reason I wanted to spend the majority of my break sleeping at the beginning of break is because I had lost my eyeglasses and was literally blind. I felt like an old woman and my friends had to drive me around and read me items off of menus at restaurants.

The missing eyeglasses are still a mystery, but I was able to order some new ones from http://www.warbyparker.com , which I would recommend to anyone. You browse their tremendous selection of trendy glasses, choose 5 you like, and for FREE, they’ll send you those 5 as samples in the mail, you try them on, send them back, and can order 5 more samples, or order the one you liked! I gave them my eye doctor’s number and they were able to get my prescription and do all the work for me. With expedited shipping, I got my glasses 3 days later, taadaa!

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With every pair you buy, they give a pair to a person in need! Which is something so beneficial to the needy. Glasses are so expensive nowadays.

2. Reading (currently reading Fast Times in Palestine because of my future hopes to take a solo trip to The West Bank this summer, cross your fingers).

3. Getting ahead on all your projects you left behind.

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I started face painting as a side weekend job, not only is this GREAT money, but I’m also seeing it as a side project to express my creativity. I always think it’s creepy to take photos of the kids I work on at birthday parties, so instead I practice on friends and use them as my porfolio.

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Another little project I took on this break was this gift I made for a friend for christmas. I bought the texas stand at a thrift shop, and used my collection of beer bottle tops over the year, and hot glued them on. No repeats of the caps!

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4. Applying for internships/jobs.

5. Cooking/eating every single thing that is in your vision.

My boyfriend’s family is in Dallas, so I spent my first week of break there. We ate so much….but he also picked up this wonderful hobby of juicing. He made me plenty of this deliciousness which is purely veggies and fruits 🙂

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His mom taught me how to make lots of their traditional Venezuelan foods.

These are Arrepas, you can open them up and stuff them with any meat and cheese you prefer. Similar to a Gyro.

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This is Pan De Jamon. It was a long process to make but well worth it. Dough with ham, turkey, olives, and raisins in it. The contrasting flavors make your mouth water with every bite.

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6. Watching TV, even though it makes you feel lazy. relax your brain.

I watched the first whole season of Showtime’s, Masters of Sex in the first few days of break. SO GOOD. and so different from anything you’ve ever seen before. A show on human sexuality set in the 1950s, topped with lots of typical exaggerated drama. Yum.

7. Not looking back on finals, or grades, or ANYTHING school related.

Just think about all the great times you have enjoyed this semester. 

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8. ENJOYING THE FREE TIME.

Here’s a little bit of what I did in Dallas. The city showed me way more than I expected, next destination of the break is Grandmas House in good ol’ Brownsville, TX. Then my H-Town Houston Hood.

My Christmas Gift from Brian was this Free People Skirt ❤ , as much as I love that clothing brand, I can just never afford it. Good job boyfriend 🙂

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My cousin Antonia lives in Dallas as well, so she joined us for the day. IMG_2025

In front of the Dallas Art Museum which is completely FREE. Everyday. IMG_2060

It’s a little north of Austin, so the climate is completely different, and the trees and leaves and all were such beautiful colors.

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The Venezuelan becoming a true American. This was in Deep Ellum, pretty much the sixth street of Austin. We stopped at one bar and had the juiciest burger. And Brian enjoyed what WAS a delicious IPA, until he found out it was $8 for one glass…IMG_2054

We all spent the evening in Highland Park Village. This shopping center and whole area was like a touristy museum attraction to me, because you get to see the luxurious, glamorous, lifestyle these people breathe everyday. Seeing their different world was cool, but made me appreciative of my own. But their christmas lights were pretty and that was all we really cared about! IMG_2057

My last night there, we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where you get a taste of True Texas. I felt eyeballed for not having my cowboy boots on.

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With many restaurants, all being steakhouses….we decided to partake in the festivities.

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Happy Holidays! Smile, eat, don’t feel so guilty about splurging on gifts a little, and if you want a mix of Christmas Jams, you can search me on spotify and I have created a wonderful Vurry Murry Christmas playlist.

Sincerely, 

Nadeen Abou-Hossa

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Givings of Thanks Everywhere.

Every year I compile a thankful list on thanksgiving. Of course I know this is a good habit to keep, but yesterday it made me feel kind of naive and selfish.

I should have this feeling of thanks EVERYDAY. Thanksgiving should just be the day that all your appreciation is highlighted around you with food and family and friends.

I sat around yesterday looking at how much all my cousins have grown, how the stories my mom has told me about my uncles when they were younger still reflect upon their personalities today. I let myself be spoiled by all my aunts (guilty as charged).  I ate 3/4 of the green bean casserole, and I just breathed the healthy air around me.

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My cousin Amanda and I putting our little girl poses on.

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All of us with my mom who looks like she’s still our age.

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La familia

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 Aunt Gloria- my second mother who has the most kind soul

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Tio Beto passes out after his first beer during the cowboys game….aren’t you eager to get to that point in your life?IMG_1848

I guess the women weren’t too interested in the game…

Being thankful for family is very important, but another reason that I stay sane is because of my amazing friends. Last weekend, my co-op had a hausgiving. The day was spent with a full kitchen, cooking all day, christmas jams, and some puzzle solving

I was on mission potatoes. Here are 10 pounds of them….

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Which I eventually mashed and mixed with oregano, romano cheese, garlic, and a beautiful amount of butter.

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We all took a pause from cooking late morning because of the sudden “snow” that magically appeared by my car.

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Tender Trent making his mean pumpkin bars which didn’t last long in our house.

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And the children colored while impatiently waiting for all the food to be prepared….

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TaaaaDaaaaaa, look at all da grub on that plate. Makes me proud to be an american.

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Brian with his ginormous turkey leg, what a brave boy he is.

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NOMZ NOMZ NOMZ

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Gosh there’s just so much food, what a disaster! (said no one ever)

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We went around the table and said what we were thankful for, the perfect combination of awkward and cute.

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My mini family: boyfriend and dogIMG_1789

This is all 19 of my housemates on our front porch. They are my family and see me at my grossest and finest moments and I am so thankful that I get to know more and more about each of their unique personality’s everyday.

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The holidays are here people! I’m ecstatic to be able to geek out on my christmas music and ugly sweaters and egg nog and christmas trees and all that good jazz.

Spend this time with family or friends or animals or whatever  else is important to YOU.

xoxo, 

Nadeen 

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Wild Child

I am making it a homework assignment to blog.

I want to stay committed to this because I love the feeling when we get a ton of views and when friends tell me “I read what you posted last night!” It makes me feel like wow, my life IS kinda cool. Ya know?

Before I moved to Austin, my brother lived here, and he would always tell me how excited he was for me to get here cause he just KNEW that I was going to love it. Based on my taste of music, fashion, hobbies, and so on. He thought I’d fit in well with this “hip” culture.

When I got here last year, I was so overwhelmed with the Austin lifestyle and new school and people, it took me a while to adjust. I always felt like I was left out on something going on the city and I wanted so badly to be in this loop of music and the spots to get the best cup of coffee and coolest dog parks and such.

The first Austin band that I started listening to was Wild Child. I saw one of their videos on my news feed on facebook, clicked on it, and instantly fell in love. It was so many sounds, with such genuine lyrics. Unlike anything I had ever heard before. I thought it was so cool to listen to something constantly that none of my friends back home knew of. And to listen to words that people my age, in my own city, wrote. I could relate so well.

This was the first I had ever heard of them. The song Pillow Talk is similar to much of their other music because if you were to just listen to the lyrics and analyze them, it’s really depressing. But they pair their harsh words  with the happy sounds of a ukelele and catchy melodies. Which to me, is life itself. Life gets shitty, alot, but it’s the little happy things that  cover these dampers up, and get us to move on. And keep on living.

Everyone in Austin will tell you they’ve seen Wild Child perform a million times. Which is probably true, but this doesn’t make me any less excited whenever they announce a new show. This past Friday they played at one of my favorite Austin venues, Moody Theater. 

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This place just makes me feel so classy and chic. With the greatest view when you look off the balcony, and the music sounds so clear and beautiful inside.

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Kelsey, you have the most mesmerizing voice. And YOU, only you, could pull off that dress. Keep doing what you’re doing.

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IMG_1279Another Austin band, Holiday Mountain, got on stage with them to perform their new single, Crazy Bird. Let me tell ya, this song is my jam. It’s more pop-y than the rest of their new album, but it only takes one listen, just one,  to find yourself playing it every time you get in the car.

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Things started to get a little wild when Ben Kweller got on stage. One thing led to another, and soon it was a dance party. I looked around and half the crowd had left my side to get on there with them. IMG_1283

Friday night was beautiful. They sounded remarkable and they looked so happy. Watching a band you love have fun, makes it more worth it to continue to support them. I’ve been listening to their new album The Runaround on repeat since it came out on spotify last week. And I am not nearly close to being sick of it yet. GO LISTEN.

I end this post with a photo of some sunflowers I took at the store yesterday. I’ve been obsessed with yellow lately, and I seized this photo opportunity mainly because yesterday was so rainy and gloomy, walking into the grocery and seeing this at the entrance put a huge smile on my face.

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“Could you imagine a place where fields and flowers made of space and stars like your eyes, shine both day and night.”   -Wild Child 

xoxo,

(still not completely in the Austin music scene but has accepted that no one will really ever be),

Nadeen Abou-Hossa

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There’ll be Love wherever you go

My first time to Austin city limits —Jacqueline
My second time to Austin city limits— nadeen

Friday started off great with sunshine and a full bagel breakfast sandwich.
When finally ready, yes it takes SWEET time to get ready for a festival, nadeen, her boyfriend Brian and Trent and I biked down through the beautiful city to zilker park.
Friday afternoon was a beautiful picture, sunshine, in the grass listening to the beautiful sounds of local natives, and then dancing our butts off at vampire weekend. They blew our socks off! Literally I rubbed holes in mine!!

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Then muse started, Brian’s dream and things got steamy…

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Welp those are all the photos from Friday because we had one phone… Mine, and I left it at the park Friday night, just hanging out in the grass it slept.
Saturday morning started to a great start with a phone call from my phone saying it was found! (Secretly enjoyed not having it… Shhhh)

Saturday we saw: grimes, passion out, Kendrick Lamar, and I’m sure I’m missing someone in here… Then the cure! The cure brought it for the new weather! It got so chilly we needed sweaters, luckily we looked in advance.
Kids with their technology these days…
OHH and Brian got a Venezuelan flag! (EAsily recognize able, thanks b! )

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Sunday: the best and final day. As some of you may heard… The second weekend Sunday got cancelled, so I am incredibly sorry to those who missed it.
The weather could not have been sweeter
The day we saw: MS MR (MS is so awesome!), Noah and the whale, not did they surprise me, but the last song had the 4 of us dancing around together in a circle, and I wondered why I couldn’t be that happy every day, then we saw some grouplooooove which we were definitely feeling. Followed by franz Ferdinand and finally PHEONIX.
I have to say… I am incredibly tired of PHEONIX, BUT I FELL IN LOVE. We were sooooo impressed, we laughed, we danced, we cried, and had a really really really good time.
Jk about the crying…. But I may have shed one. the weekend couldn’t have ended any better!

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A disposables post will be soon to follow!
In the meantime we all crunch to come up with our Halloween costumes over the next couple weeks!
Any ideas for us?!?

—Jacqueline, approved and added by nadeen

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UTOPiA Fest

The reason that life has been so surreal lately is because I’ve somehow managed to have booked every weekend with exciting outings. I am so fortunate and continue to say thank you thank you thank you so that I can forever live these loving weekends.

Two weeks ago, I traveled to a far away land. Not just a far away land, but a whole different world. Beyond anything that you can even imagine. A mere three hours away, the town of Utopia provided us with a great 3 day escape.

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The outdoorsy side of my boyfriend came out, and boy was I impressed 😉

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We were ready to conquer the rain.

Our car was overfilled with goodies and munchies and dranks, and about 13482395 gallons of water. It made the ride there a bit of a squeeze, but in the end, way worth it. Every goodie was much needed.

photo 2And anyways, it didn’t matter cause it was a girl partay in the back.
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We were all in a bit of a panic when we arrived because it was raining, and everything was muddy, and there was no light for us to set up at the campsite. We decided pouting around would cause no good, and so we packed our cooler up and walked to the festival. Rainboots and all, looking a little crazy, but ready to have a good time. The first band we saw was called He’s My Brother She’s My Sister.

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The next band that night was called Brownout. We all danced the night away, and our moves were so groovy that we intimidated the rest of the crowd away from us.

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Waking up in nature is a beautiful feeling, especially when you go to sleep on a muddy terrain and wake up to a dry, sunny day. You feel as if in that day, you WILL be productive, you WILL laugh. I almost feel selfish when I’m having a “bad day” in this kind of sunshine.
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And of course we brought the french press. I want to tell Trent thank you everyday for teaching me how to use this thing, because it has changed my life. And made me a bit of a coffee snob.

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Hills in every direction.

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Brian became a bubble model..? He will be featured on the cover of next year’s Utopia Fest Ad. Be on the look out.

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Them boys gettin down to work.

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Camping is fun because you get to know everyone so well. There’s always that moment of frustration where everyone hates each other for a few minutes, and then comes the laughter and happiness. And in the end, we are all so much closer.

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Brian and Trent’s booties together make a big ol’ donk.

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My beloved Utopia, I can’t wait to see your beauty again next year. In the meantime, keep your sunny days and positive energy there. We’ll be back.

xoxo, 

Nadeen 

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Part austinite

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So I have seen nadeen A LOT recently. And I can attest to the fact that life right now is great. For many a reasons:

-school is so awesome this semester, yes, I went there. But I love my classes… And pay for them so why complain?
-I have been able to cross a few things off my life check list that I slowly make up in my head
-I got a job! Yay for baked goods I sell! Come visit, BIRD bakery, noooomz.
-I have gotten to venture to Austin a lot, which contains many adventures in and of itself.

So that was a QUICK life update, but the real reason I’m posting this one is for nadeen. I know I’ve said that I always dedicate things to her but I truly get to appreciate her and her love more all the time. I have been visiting frequently and it’s different because she doesn’t live in the apartment anymore, but a house full of people. And by people, I should say great people (If any of you read this, you could be my favorite).

Every time I go to her house all of her housemates are incredibly welcoming and outgoing towards me. I have also gotten to know her boyfriend and their best friend very well.
All I can say is she deserves this.
Just gonna say how great THEY ARE. They always make sure we have fun when I am in town.

I want to now share some pictures, I get these over time from her, and they need to be shared.

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And we get along so well!! ^^^ in case you didn’t know. . . . That’s her boyfriend btw. (HI BRIAN)

This weekend was a quick visit but worth the effort. I got to go canoeing on the lake, never before done, and never so much fun.
That night we all went dancing, they have taken me to this place before and it was the greatest, told by the guy dressed as spider man.

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AND they have MULTIPLE photo booths! Which we took advantage of… Duh.

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Don’t they make you wanna just throw up?!

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Now to the most important parts of the house: The DOGGiES.

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And how Trent sees them…

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—-Jacqueline, now officially part austinite part San antonioan
— half nadeen for being a photo collector.

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Cracro

It’s been a while but hey! Guess what? I moved back to San Antonio! Decorating and organizing a giant place to myself takes quite the time and effort… Finally people are moving back and I am slowly adjusting, but I really couldn’t be happier.

This post is dedicated to a something new, acro. My friend Matt from Houston always talked about how “waaaycoool” it was and I was like well yeah it does look awesome but there’s no way I can do it. So I kinda decided when I came back to San Antonio I would try to start doing it. There’s a lot of people here who do it so I had an area to dive right in. Being like 46% introvert that I am I was a bit too nervous to do it alone. My friend autumn is from Austin and sees acro all over the place as well, so she had displayed some interest.

I woke up from a nap and my room was entirely orange from the sunset and autumn texted me saying yo $5 acro jam lets go!! I felt kinda sick but was like screw it I need to get out of bed its 9 pm. So we went…. It was incredible.

We practiced flying and basing for eachother… We toppled over a lot and I instantly realized this would be like those hard yoga poses I’m not strong enough to do for more than a second, meanwhile I was watching people being balanced on their shoulders and hips.

I felt slightly discouraged until a new friend wanted to base me and try some stuff. I never knew the support of a strong base makes it so much better. Because then we could do stuff like this!!

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Then things got real crazy..

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It was SO much fun I can’t wait to go back!

IN OTHER NEWS, I get to see nadeen this Friday because its her boyfriend and her boyfriends boyfriends birthday weekend! Eeeep

-Jacqqqquelineupsidedown

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