Tag Archives: atx

Where Have I Been?

Nadeen here!

Jacques in a far away world of Florence, Italy and while I miss her dearly I’ll be spending my semester a little differently.

And while it is true that her life is way more exciting than mine at the moment, it’s still not an excuse as to why I haven’t been posting regularly.

I have learned that although I am extremely busy this semester, this blog is a tool I use to relax, and I need to start utilizing this more often.

Since we haven’t spoken in a while, I’ll briefly update you on all the new happenings in my life.

First off, I’m currently an intern at Refugee Services of Texas.

I’m absolutely in love with everything I do at this internship. It is alot of work, but it is also extremely rewarding. I get to use my arabic and spanish, while DIRECTLY helping families who just arrive in the US because of unfortunate events happening in their homeland.

I’m especially appreciative of this internship because of all the important life skills I’m gaining such as problem solving and multi tasking. We held our annual cycling fundraiser this weekend, where rode a 10 mile route to raise money for refugee and asylee families in Austin who are in need. I am thankful for all the sponsors that I had, and our whole nonprofit raised about $25,000 in total. which is absolutely amazing and one cannot even begin to imagine how directly helpful this money will be for so many families in Austin, TX.

The event was fun before and after the ride. There was yoga, breakfast tacos, live music, beer, and more. and it was at Yellow Bike Project! 

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Second, I’ve taken this whole Face Painting thing to the next level and started my own mini business. 

I created some business cards, put up a few ads on craigslist, and have received a great response!

If you’d like to book me for a party, you can email me at nadeenabouhossa@yahoo.com

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So these are all the “important,” productive, life factors in my life.

Other than that, I’ve really been enjoying myself and learning how precious time is, and instead of blabbering away you can see some highlights in photos. (I got the new iphone 5s for christmas, so my photos are way better quality now 🙂 )

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^^my new room

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I made Arrepas (venezuelan meal) for the boysIMG_2497

their faces show the deliciousness IMG_2516

We put up a hammock in the hall of our house, but of course it’s only for cody 😉IMG_2609

Made candles at home! It was fun but really messy and alot of work. IMG_2614

Gotta have a strong man to cut up all the wax so it can melt properly IMG_2621

Taaaa-daaaaa! They smelled delightful. One of our housemates got a lil wild with mixing scents and she ended up throwing hers away cause it smelled like puke. (oops)
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My man and I went on a sweet little getaway over MLK weekend. (thanks groupon getaway for making it affordable)
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The weather was perfect! IMG_2685

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I cook for my house every Thursday, and I want to start updating you all on what we cook cause it’s been great and unique this semester! Here are our chicken and bean enchiladas con mucho queso IMG_2718

This has been the coldest winter in TX that I can ever remember. 3 snow days so far, including tomorrow! (that’s the real reason why I’m blogging :)) And as tortuous as it’s been to deal with this freezing weather (continuous nights in layers of clothes drinking hot tea and cuddling – it’s actually not so bad), I’ve been happy cause I get to wear this monkey hat my brother gave me a few years ago. IMG_2780

A few days ago, when I started this post,  I couldn’t remember how the sun looked like or how I could even begin to fathom to pull out some shorts, so that’s why I wanted to post this photo from the week before. a day of beautiful sunshine all day, cause I wanted to go back to that day in the grass.^^^^^^
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Last weekend, we went to a wild child show here in Austin, where they were shooting their music video. It was at the coolest house I’ve ever been to. You be the judge by the looks of these photos.
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(sign waiver to jump on this trampoline ^^)IMG_2825

play some chess IMG_2828

smoke machines!! IMG_2831

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and we were in the front row 🙂IMG_2847

after the show, arrakis had our around the world. where we go from room to room and engage in some activity. my room was carnival themed. we played twister and drank some cotton candy stuff with obnoxious music in the background. it was great and unfortunately there were no photos taken. One of my housemates, Nick, put all our spare mattresses in the dining room and made this his room designated for wrestling matches. IMG_2872

So that’s how my life has been. No complaining here, I always say I consider myself a pretty lucky girl.

I promise you all ONE blog post a week, with more detailed descriptions of life and there are lots of concerts coming up that I will photograph and talk about with you all.

I also have been crafting a lot more, and I want to document that as well.

Thanks to everyone who reads, it means so much. and let’s all say how much we miss jacqueline. I shall live vicariously through her by eating pasta everyday 😉

xoxo,

Nadeen Abou-Hossa

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So Long Sweet Summer

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Summer is almost over, and I am halfway done with college. I can’t decide whether I should celebrate or  cry. I mean I don’t wanna cry, but I am sad to see my precious days diminishing. And so I sit here and can’t help but think about that dashboard confessional song from my high school days. So cheesy, I know, but read these words and tell me you can’t relate.

“So long sweet Summer

I stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays

So long sweet summer

I fell into you

Now you’re gracefully falling away.”

And so I try to mentally prepare myself for the next school year. For the busyness, sleepless nights, stressful tests, coffee dates with classmates, etc. And as my summer mellows down, I do things such as:

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Take cody to barking springs, (FREE FREE FREE). this photo above would be his profile picture if he had a facebook. IMG_6494

We dine at the finest of the fine (@ Austin Java).

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I have the greatest college dog because I can, and I do, take him everywhere with me. (@ Dolce Vita Gelato & Espresso).

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And during my breaks at home, I like to lay on my comfy bed with the pups. Their cuteness can be distracting, but I would never ask them to leave.

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I spend my evenings laughing with these people who do nothing but bring brightness to my days.

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I cherish all the friendships I have made this summer and am grateful for this community.

Getting back into the groove of things will be healthy. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of these free summer days. Go bask in the sun and sing your favorite song with the windows down and the AC still blasting cause it’s so darn hot outside.

xoxo, 
Nadeen 

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Life is Normal

Everything feels so at home and comforting, and life hasn’t been like this in a while.

I still can’t seem to figure out exactly what it is that has made everything fall into place again. It’s an odd conjunction of things really.

A huge contribution has been, the love of my life has come back into town.

Lana was doing really cool photography things abroad in Prague, and although I was so happy that she had this opportunity, I missed her dearly.

I came home yesterday to find her on my front porch, and it was the greatest, most inexplainable feeling anyone could ever describe.

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I feel like we’ll never be able to fully catch up from the 6 weeks that we were separated, and that’s exciting, because it means so many more dolce dates.

But Lana being back makes my life seem a little more back to normal, and it means more arabic in my life. Which is necessary for us both.

I also feel like I am in a nice community, which is tough to find these days. I know some people who wish to have few very very close friends in their life, and that is all. And yes, this is nice, I enjoy it, but I’d rather have a big family of friends from everywhere. Which is why my birthday dinner’s are always the awkward ones.

I felt community last night. Some of my housemates and I went to spiderhouse and I felt so comfortable out with all of them. It usually takes a while for this to happen, but when you live with someone, it dramatically speeds up the friendship process. One of my roommates was sweet enough to walk cody back home, she loves animals, and cody calls her “Aunty Kaleigh.”

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And so, it’s the little things. Like that, and barton springs, and good food, and the new vampire weekend album. That have made life more than exceptional for me.

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Jacque and I hope that you notice our effort to post more frequently, and I can only wish that you enjoy it.

xoxo, 

Nadeen 

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Free Nights

Summer is awesome and all,

But many of us are diagnosed with this disease called boredom. And although some may crave this. It can start to  become deadly at some point..

Boredom leads to over thinking, it leads to questioning  yourself, it leads to calling randoms who you don’t normally speak to, and most importantly, it leads to wasting your precious cash monay.

Luckily, living in a co-op decreases my chances of picking up this sickness. When I’m bored, I just go downstairs and find someone who is bored, and we do something about it!

One of my house mates Al and I have been exploring the comedy scene in Austin. Last thursday night, we biked downtown and watched a FREE show at The Hideout Theatre. Not only was the show hilarious, but there is a cafe connected to it! With lots of deliciously strong coffee and juices and austiny granola bars and such. I was too involved in the hilarity of the show that I didn’t take any photos, but I did snag this one of the bar.

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I got a delicious italian soda, with whipped cream on top. I heart you topo chico.

Their shows are typically 5 dollars(thats nothing for what you get!), but the 10:00pm show on thursday nights is completely and totally free!

We enjoyed this outing so much, that last night, when boredom started knocking on the door, we decided it was time to explore again. This time, we ventured off to The New Movement. We parked our bikes and seemed a little lost because this place is slightly hidden. Just look for a huge sign with a question mark on Lavaca Street.

The comedians here were alot younger, so the humor was definitely a different feel, but nonetheless hilarious.

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These shows are also typically $5, but their 9:30PM Wednesday shows are FREEEEEEEEEE. And you forget how great it feels to laugh, continuously, for like 2 hours. It’s a stress reliever and it works your abs. How could you say no?!

(Reason #18272398982 why I love this city: It’s easy to have fun and be frugal at the same time)

Al and I plan to continue this habit and find plenty more of these local holes.

In the meantime, don’t allow boredom to conquer your summer days. Yes, you should relax, but get out there and enjoy yourself. There is never NOTHING to do. I will punch someone if I hear them say this.

Cody wishes you crispy days with lots of laughter and treats.

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xoxo, 

Nadeen Abou-Hossa

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Summertime and the Livin’s Easy

Ah yes, sweet summer… At last, you are here.

I’m ecstatic, but to be honest, I really haven’t known what to do with myself

First off, finals are over! Yay.

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(Lana and I before our arabic final, sleepless and still fabulous)

But now that this is over, i’m confused. What is this weird thing called free time? How do we spend it? Relaxing? I have time to lay out and read for hours? This all feels so strange to me, but I do know it’s necessary.

I pack up my messy room, hang out with these doggies who do nothing but feed me brave words of encouragement for the big change that is about to happen in my life.

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Although I will be working full time and going to school, it will still be summer. No doubt about it. There will still be crispy sunburns from the pool, late night talks about nothing with random acquaintances, lazy evenings drinking beer, and the windows down on those sunny days with my favorite death cab for cutie song playing.

So far, my summer in Austin has consisted of: 

Thrifting: If you’re in Austin, you have a plethora of shops to choose from! However, if you’re a broke college student like me, then you can’t afford most of these cool shops with trendy vintage items. So do what I do, and go to places like Savers! or in Houston, Value Village. It’s a normal thrift shop like the goodwill, a HUGE one, with so much cheap fashionable clothing! You just may have to search a little but there’s some great stuff. I snagged this vest for a few bucks. Granny or hot?

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I’ve started a new book that is making me want to go travel the world alone in hopes of “finding myself.” (We’ll see about that)

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And I’ve ventured out to all the hip austin eats. Julio’s is one of my favorite local mexican restaurants. It’s not the fanciest, they only take cash, and the employees won’t be the friendliest, but none of that matters when you taste the authentic deliciousness. Look at this enchilada plate that is “bigger than my head.”

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But really, this is all inevitable. I also await all the new friends I will make this summer. I just moved into a co-op  named Arrakis where I will have something like 17 roommates? It’s been a huge change, but I love it so far. It seems like such a close community and it’s amazing to see everyone put in their individual labor to contribute in creating a wholesome functioning house.  I am especially excited to get to know each and every one of my housemates unique personality.

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This is my new, unpacked room. Every time I go home I can’t help but  become more obsessed with my door. Be prepared for many photos to come of the cool artwork around the house! The walls are all painted beautifully 🙂

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Cody seems to be adjusting well to the house as well. His main rule was to stay out of the kitchen, and as dumb as the baby can be sometimes…he is learning so fast!

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During my first morning at Arrakis, I woke up to all these cookies in the kitchen with an arrow pointing to them saying, “eat me.” In this moment, with coffee brewing in the background, I knew this was going to be a great home for me.

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And this is one of my roommates, Mary Elizabeth. We bonded over our mexican habit of putting spicy seasonings on our watermelon one night in the kitchen..and we snagged this hat that she’s wearing at the dollar store. Dolla dolla make you holla!!!

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As I unpack my new room, I go through my belongings and think of all  these creative projects I want to start on. I’ve been realizing how important it is to document. Journaling and keeping photos in a special place (not your Facebook), will be worth while in the long run. Keep your eyes peeled for a austin project I’m starting soon involving the blog 🙂

Until next time, I am at South Padre Island lounging and spending time with family. I’m getting pretty far into my book while I’m here and I want to leave you with a part of it that left me thinking all day. I think most of us are guilty of the crime she describes.

The main character in the book, Elizabeth, explains how in her beautiful travels, loneliness still haunts her. And then on page 65, she stops and tells herself: “So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map with it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” 

I think if we all wrote this on a sheet of paper, and hung it up on our wall, we would feel a little bit more settled inside.

I wish you all sunny days and safe travels

xoxo,
Nadeen

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Heartache to Happiness

It’s not until now that I am starting to realize how odd this universe is.
Of course I never thought it was dull, but the white and black colors are starting to transform into vibrant yellows and greens.
What do you think it is that creates this spin?

Is it finding a best friend on a school bench?

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Or waking up to a sweet kitten cuddled up under your bike?

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Certain things keep us functioning – such as laughter

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And we must never forget how beautiful this place can be

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We’re never going to get to live these college days again. The feelings we are going through are stronger than ever and although they may cause heartache, we should embrace them as much as we can.

xoxo, 

Nadeen

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SXSW 2013

Hello loves, Nadeen AND Jacqueline here! We have been together for the past week and it has been the greatest. Today is a sad day, because all of our fun is about to be over and Jacque is about to go back to San Antonio. Instead of crying about this, we will blog about it and remember all the great times we had! This was our first south by south west ever!

Tip #1 for all you newbies: Making a set hour by hour schedule WILL NOT WORK. Play it day by day and it will all work well. HOWEVER: remember you CANNOT do everything. It is impossible to make it to every show, so you should figure out the ones you are dying to go to, and allow yourself travel time plus line time. Luckily we made it to all the artists we were dying to see, however we missed a few that we planned on seeing.

DAY 1: Waterloo Records and Spiderhouse.: All week, Waterloo Records on 6th and Lamar had free shows. I was confused when I first found out about this, because I didn’t understand how they’d be able to accommodate all the crazy hooligans in the streets. However, it worked out perfect. We grabbed lunch across the street at whole foods, sat on the patio and listened to the angelic voices of Tegan and Sara. A salad later, we decided to join the crowd for Macklemore.

We had to kinda linger behind the fence for a while like stoop kids on the street, we finally decided to stack on shoulders and move our way backwards. We got around to the back gate and surprisingly it was still open! But we still didn’t end up that close.. Macklemore has so much energy on stage that even far away we could see him bouncing around having so much fun.

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I had fun too!

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Tip #2: Always keep in contact with friends who are traveling around the city, they may guide you to a MUCH cooler show than the one you are heading to.

Day 2: WOODIE AWARDS. Our group relied on the bus to travel around Austin (sometimes helpful, sometimes not) because its pretty cheap and you won’t have to walk 10 miles. But we still had to walk a lot downtown. On the bus I got a text from a friend about the MTV Woodie awards, the most important words that I got in that text were “FREE, ALT-J, TEGAN AND SARA, FREE BOOZE” So while on the bus we rerouted and headed down to that. The line did not look very promising but it moved so quickly and before we knew it we were noming on free hibiscus popsickles listening to Atlas Genius.

This is what the MTV Woodie Awards included: Free entry, free beer, free mixed drinks, free doritos, free condoms, free sunglasses, free water + soda, free BBQ (we are vegetarian but they still had good options for us!), and free goodies.

Music included: The Lonely Biscuits ( I met them! we have friends in common because they are college students!) Jake Bugg, HAIM, Atlas Genius, Alt-J, Tegan and Sara, Macklemore, 21 Pilots, Zedd, and rappers named Travis Scott, Trinidad James, and T.I. showed up too!

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^High School Hometown Friends!^

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^The Lonely Biscuits (From Belmont University) ^ They won best college band of the year by MTV

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Day 3: At this point, we were exhausted. As much as we wanted to just lounge around the apartment with the doggies, we fueled ourselves with coffee and eggs, and headed back onto downtown. I’ve recently been obsessed with wild child. This Austin based indie folk band was by far the best live show I’ve seen in a while. Their combination of instruments flowed so well and they all seemed to be a big happy family. I’ve been trying to catch a show the whole week and finally was able to get to this one at Shiner’s Saloon. (Jacque: I was REALLY scared we were going to miss it then we would have to all cry in the street)

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This was the first day that we were actually able to meet some of our idols. After the show, we found the keyboardist of wild child, exchanged some words, where he redirected us to our next location. One minute after this exchange, we happen to notice wild child’s van. As the obnoxious fan that I am, I yell out how much I love them while Jacque silently smiles (I get really really nervous around people I want to meet). We react to these situations very differently. AND THEN, after I am recovering from this, we see alt-J in the street.

ARE WE NOT THE LUCKIEST GIRLS IN THE WORLD?

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These foreigners told me how ecstatic they were to be in Austin and were nice enough to accept a photo with us. I was all smiles after being serenaded by their beautiful accents.

The only set plans we had for Austin was to see our friends shows on Friday night. I (Jacque) have some great friends from Houston I have gotten to know over the years, and Nadeen has slowly gotten to know them, along with our other friends and after staying with them in New Orleans we feel like one big happy family.

The show was at this awesome guy named Will’s house (THANKS WILL) and the setup was : My Fathers Rifle (NOLA), ArchAnimals (NOLA), Growl (ATX), and Donovan Wolfington (NOLA). We happened to know pretty much every person playing so it was the best way to end a sunny evening. As the beer started to sink in to peoples stomachs and the sun was setting absolutely every body was groovin.

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These bands bring so much energy that you absolutely cannot stand still during their shows.

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After the shows ended we walked to East Side King’s where we got some delicious squid ink ramen noodles! I stumbled into this place after a show at hole in the wall and was amazed at the unique conjunctions they make with my childhood ramen. Jacqueline and I felt extremely adventurous trying out this meal.

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Tomorrow marks the day we teleport back into reality, homework calls our names, as well as a full nights rest. SXSW has felt like the longest and best dream we have had in a while. Even though sxsw is over, the good music still continues in this great city all the time, so life is always good. Be on the lookout for our NOLA post.

arrivederci,

NADEEN AND JACQUELINE

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March 16, 2013 · 4:50 pm

What’s your happy place?

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

-Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

If you haven’t read this book or watched the movie yet, go put it on your schedule immediately. When hearing the plot, it sounds like the typical, bland high school movie. I promise it will prove you wrong. It brings happiness, appreciation, and reality straight to your eyes.

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I’m currently in the process of “finding myself.” It’s odd when you discover the little things in life that bring you so much happiness. The little things like driving around in the car with your best friends and singing that song as loud as you can. Laughing for no reason. A pretty day.

20130218-074522.jpgRecently, my friends and I have made a habit of experiencing nature every Saturday. It’s so refreshing and brings me happiness to be surrounded by the people I love in such a beautiful environment. I have learned that this is one of my happy places.

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Sitting in a coffee shop with a best friend, exchanging stories, laughing, with pleasant music in the background. This is happy.

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The ridiculous face my dog makes when he sticks his head out of the car window. How could this not bring you happiness?

This may seem like a sort of cliche, but once you discover these happy places, it makes life so much more enjoyable. And it helps in figuring out YOU.

happy monday!

-nadeen

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Learning to Love

Recently, I’ve been focusing on the importance of showing my love to others. Everyone in my life is special to me and I want them to know it each and everyday.

You know those people who are constantly just feeding compliments and seem as if they’re in their own little la la world. That’s not what I mean.

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I’ve been showing love through giving. Giving my time and attention to my best friends. Being consistent. Asking for more. Laughing.

All that good stuff. I promise you end up receiving more than you gave in the beginning.

this photo serves as an example of my theory.

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Anywhoo, enough of the mushiness, MY LIFE IS SO BUSY.

I’m currently:

  1. Applying for internships
  2. A part time nanny
  3. Taking an intensive 6 hour arabic course
  4. Somewhat trying to start my own business (you’ll hear more soon)
  5. Aiming for a 4.0 so I can get into McCombs Business School
  6. Practicing Bikram Yoga again
  7. Going through training to become a young life leader
  8. Rebuilding friendships
  9. Trying to keep my sanity

While I would love to show you all of these current activities I’m engaging in, I don’t want to bore you. Here is a quick recap.

I went on a cruise to cozumel at the beginning of this month

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I started off my semester by going on a hike at Barton Creek Greenbelt with my best friends

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I’ve been adventuring out into the city. Every weekend I try and go somewhere new. I swear there will never be a boring day in Austin.

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I’ve been experiencing a sense of independence that I’ve never had to think about before. It’s odd and can be uncomfortable, but I love it. Feeling accomplished and constantly thirsty for more.

“It’s a luscious mix of words and tricks that let us bet when you know we should fold.”  -The Shins

xoxo,

NADEEN

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Life Within Itself

Hello lovelies!

This girl is quite content with her life right now.

Last weekend, I was able to reunite with all my best friends. We all had our last fun before a week of studying.

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We went to watch one of our favorite rappers, G-Eazy.

For a little over a year, my friends and I have been listening to this rapper/songwriter/producer . Our friend Al showed him to us, and eventually we were all hooked. This young man is incredibly talented. He takes 60’s pop songs and remixes them for a beat, AND he writes all his own music. Anything and everything you hear is entirely him.

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I was fortunate enough to have a moment with him during the show and get some pictures with him after. I’ve never had a personal experience with a celebrity before, so this really got to me. I was definitely a happy camper.

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My next week consisted of…studying…studying…and COFFEE. Literally lived at Dolce Vita espresso and gelato. Bottomless coffee for a few bucks, heaters out in the cold weather, good music, and friendly people. Twas a great way to prepare for finals. 

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After knocking out all my exams, I knew I would need to repay myself with an amazing weekend. Which is exactly what I did. Friday night I went to Shine Studios to watch Mother Merey and The Black Dirtthe band I told ya’ll about last week. If you’re looking into becoming more festive this season, they just released a christmas album called A Dirty Christmas. I’m obsessed with their version of Silent Night, go take a listen!

Saturday night I went out to downtown with my favorite twins. I’ve been friends with these guys FOREVER and it was really nice to be able to hang out like old times…but in a totally different setting.

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I ended my weekend at my sister-in-law’s dance performance at The Boys and Girls Club. She was incredible, and look at her fabulous costume! (something I would wear on any normal day)

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When I’m this busy, I tend to lack appreciation. So I want to take a moment to soak this all in. I am so thankful for all the great opportunities being presented in my life right now.

“every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” -semisonic

Happy Holidays!

-Nadeen

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