About Me

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Columbia, Missouri
My traveling closet began halfway across the country three years ago when I left Las Vegas and started my freshman year at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Then it went halfway across the world for a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Now it's back to Mizzou for a final year. I began this blog to detail my European adventures. Though I'm back in the states, the adventures continue.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Forever a Tiger

A few major events occurred lately. I turned 21 and Mizzou hosted its 101st homecoming celebration.

At midnight on my 21st birthday, my father began tagging pictures of me on Facebook. My phone exploded with notifications. One notification of a tagged picture, three notifications of a tagged picture....FIFTY notifications of a tagged picture! They weren't just any pictures...they were baby pictures.

From cute, chubby baby cheeks to those awkward middle school and early high school years, my father covered it all. I deemed some pictures Facebook acceptable, but others did not meet the criteria and were far too embarrassing. (Thank goodness there is an "untag" button!)

However, some pictures that did make the cut brought back fond Mizzou memories. From an early age, I always knew I was going to be a Mizzou Tiger.

I had a little fun comparing recent photos to the childhood photos my dad posted online.

Me (left) and my cousin Kayla (right) with Truman in 1994.
The bunny ears are courtesy of my little sister Katie who apparently thought this picture was part of a coloring book. 

Showing off my cheerleader outfit pre-football game.

Me with Truman at the 2012 homecoming football game.
Fun fact: I'm wearing the same bow I wore in 1994. 

For three generations, Mizzou has been the school of choice for the Alewel clan. From a young age, my family attempted to brainwash me and my cousins to attend the university.

The Alewel cousins in 1994. 

So far, the brainwashing has worked for three out of the six Alewel cousins. There is one traitor amongst us...my brother... He chose to attend the University of Washington. (Obviously, he won't make it into our parent's will. No big deal.) 

The Alewel cousins at the 2012 Homecoming football game.

Despite my brother's traitorous ways (he's pictured on the far left), he still manages to support Mizzou. Maybe he will stay in our parent's will after all. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Pinterest Problem

I have a Pinterest problem.

That's the first step, right?

...admitting you have a problem.

I can easily waste an hour of my day by accidentally slipping into the dangerous world of Pinterest. The site lures me in with tempting pictures of creative crafts to make, latest fashion trends to buy, and delicious-looking treats to bake.

If I visit the website, productivity is instantly thrown out the window. I waste precious minutes pining after a pair of shoes and pinning them to my board dedicated to fashion as if the shoes will magically appear in my closet with a single click.

If only Pinterest worked that way...

Instead, the site is a reminder of all the things I haven't crafted, all the clothing I don't own, and all the treats I will never be able to bake. Let's face it, me + a kitchen = disaster.

Despite my lack of baking/cooking abilities, I do consider myself rather crafty. I have challenged myself to make at least one Pinterest creation each month. This will justify my Pinterest problem because I will actually make something useful based on a craft I saw on the site. Therefore, the time I spent (or wasted) on Pinterest looking at pictures will be...somewhat...acceptable.

My craft this month: A mantle piece decoration consisting of beer bottles wrapped in yarn.

Source: Julie Murillo on Pinterest

However, I wanted to put my own twist on the craft so I came up with a Mizzou-inspired design.

Tah dah! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

That Fall Feeling

The green leaves that escaped summer's dry heat are finally turning colors. The temperatures are dropping into the 60s. Starbucks keeps running out of pumpkin spice lattes. My boyfriend is giving more attention to his beloved fantasy football team than to me.

It must be fall. 

As a girl from Vegas, 60 degree weather means its time to bust out the sweaters I haven't seen since winter.

It took me a while to find where I stashed all my sweaters because they hid somewhere within the endless cavern of storage under my bed. I dug them out and found a sweater I brought with me to Barcelona last spring.

When you can only bring TWO suitcases full of clothes that have to last you FOUR months, you get to know the clothes you packed extremely well. I wore them over, and over, and over again. I refer to those clothes as my "Barcelona Wardrobe." Each article possesses a special memory. 

I grabbed the sweater and put it on. The sweater instantly engulfed me in a strange but familiar scent. My host-madre's detergent mixed with Barcelona's fresh (well, as fresh as a city can be) air filled my nostrils. I suppose I never rewashed some of my clothes when I returned to the states. 

The smell survived 5,790 miles and five months. Wow.

I really wanted to shuffle through the rest of my "Barcelona Wardrobe" to see if the scent lingered on other items of clothing as well. Instead, I think I'll leave it a mystery and wait to be thoroughly surprised if the scent offers its sweet reminder of the best four months of my life once again. 

To add to my trip down Barcelona lane, I wore my "Barcelona Boots" to class.

These bad boys walked me across Europe. With these boots, I conquered cobble stone in four different countries. After a rough first couple of weeks, my feet became impervious to blisters. I had the callous feet to prove it. Keyword: HAD. 

In the boot-less months of summer, my feet became vulnerable once more. These boots and I conquered Europe, but we did not conquer the campus of Mizzou. 

For now, I think I'll stick with wearing sandals.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"A Rose for Love and a Book for Forever"

Every April 23 the streets of Catalonia are adorned with makeshift bookstalls and rose stands commemorating the holiday of Sant Jordi. It's basically the Catalonia version of Valentine's Day.

Per tradition, men give their loved ones a rose and women return the gesture with the gift of a book. Apparently half the total yearly book sales in Catalonia are made on April 23.

 People packed Passeig de Gracia to purchase gifts.

Oh hey there Sant Jordi. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Sunday

Mimosas and Huevos Rancheros

After sleeping half the day away (oops!), me, Sonja and our friend Maddy went out for brunch. We ate at an adorable restaurant called Picnic. The food was to die for. They even had blueberry pancakes - a rare find in Spain. 

It's our final Sunday in Barcelona. The thought of leaving this city and all the amazing people I've met here is incredibly depressing. All I know is I'm going to take full advantage of these next 6 days and soak up as much of Barcelona I possibly can. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

¡Hermanas en España!

What could possibly make Barcelona better?

...sharing it with my ADPi sisters of course!

For the past month, I've had a visitor every weekend and have absolutely loved it!

Diamonds en la playa.


Kelsey and I with our 5 Liters of sangria at Oveja Negra! 

Breaking "curfew" with Mashinks! 

 Opium with Danielle!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Barca Babyyy

I've seen plenty of Barca games at local bars but those experiences don't come close to watching the game live at Camp Nou. Lively fans filled the GIGANTIC stadium. The game was Barca vs. Granada. At this particular game I witnessed Messi, the leading scorer for Barca, break the team's record of most goals scored by a Barca player with an astonishing total of 234 goals. Pretttyyy amazing.

 My host-brother was a sweetheart and let me borrow his Barca jersey and scarf to wear to the game.

 Obviously, Barca won! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oh My Guinness!

Please pardon my lack of posting this past month. Between traveling, school, friends and family visiting Barcelona and everything else, I've been a little busy. I'll try to make up for lost time with a few different posts tonight, starting with my St. Patty's Weekend in Dublin!

It started out a rough morning. You know it's bad when you're waking up to get ready as your roommate stumbles back home from the club. 4 am is far too early. I'm not sure how I functionally made it to the airport, especially since I didn't even have time to drink a café con leche. 

However, it was all worth it once I finally arrived at the Dublin airport. They were certainly ready for the influx of tourists coming their way. The man handling the passport station took one glance at my passport and said, "We don't have any more room for Americans." His comrade joined the conversation and chipped in, "What, is it like a holiday or something?"

Oh Irish sarcasm... Don't worry though, I had plenty of American sarcasm to throw right back. 

Dublin Airport

After sliding into a taxi, it took me a moment to register that the driver was sitting on the wrong side of the car AND speaking English to me. It was so bizarre. The driver talked a little too much for my taste. He asked me all sorts of complex, life questions like 'what's your best piece of advice.' I thoroughly struggled with his questions given the fact I was running on two hours of sleep. I was so thankful when we pulled into the driveway of the adorable Heatherview Bed and Breakfast. The B&B was located about 15 minutes outside Dublin in the quiet town of Malahide.

The hosts, Maura and Jim, greeted me at the door. I was the first guest to arrive for the weekend. They offered me a cup of coffee, which I graciously accepted. Before I knew it, I had a plate of pancakes topped with strawberries in front of me too! I thought I was in heaven.

As if their hospitality hadn't already exceeded my expectations, they offered me a ride into the center of Malahide so I could explore before the rest of my friends arrived. They dropped me off near the port and I began my solo adventure.

It was a bit rainy, but beautiful nonetheless. The small city center had a wonderful small-town feel.

After touring the port and shopping area, I began my walk back to the B&B, cutting through the forest to get a little taste of some Ireland countryside. I had high hopes of running into Gerard Butler, but alas that didn't happen.

I made it back to the B&B without getting lost. For those of you who know me best, this was quite an accomplishment. I climbed into bed to take a short siesta but as soon as I did, I heard Kayla and Monica's voices down the hall. The first part of my group had arrived. My sorority sisters, Marisa and Kelsey, were coming later that night. I abandoned the thought of getting any sleep during the weekend and we headed straight to Dublin.

The bus ride was an adventure because we didn't know when to get off! We took it as a good sign when EVERYONE began exiting the bus. Luckily for us, it was the right stop after all. We arrived in Dublin extremely hungry and lost with no idea where to go. We looked up at the first street we saw and discovered there was a place with everything we could possibly need: Food Safety Information Center. Hallelujah!

The Food Safety Information Center wasn't exactly what we had hoped, but there was a nice lady inside who pointed us in the right direction to finding our friend Veronica at her hostel. Once we met up with her, food was our main priority.

The Grand Central Pub had the most amazing food...and beer too!

With full bellies, we were content, real people again, and ready to start celebrating the holiday. We began hopping from pub to pub. My favorite was The Stag's Head.

I also enjoyed the random street music. Those Irish certainly know how to play. 

I had to leave the festivities early and return back to the B&B to meet up with Marisa and Kelsey. Finding the bus back to Malahide was even trickier than knowing when to get off it. I think I walked the streets of Dublin for at least 45 minutes before miraculously stumbling upon the right bus stop.

Seeing Kelsey and Marisa was so incredibly wonderful. The previous lack of ADPi in my life was completely unacceptable. We decided to stay in Malahide for the evening and try out one of their local pubs. It ended up being a good decision because we witnessed this:

Oh Irish jigging...or at least an attempt at it...

We left the pub late and woke up early for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Like I said earlier, there is no such thing as sleep in Dublin...at least not during St. Patty's Weekend. Thank goodness for Insomnia coffee!

We made sure we were parade ready with:

An irish flag

A walking stick

A make-shift flag to cheer on Marching Mizzou

And of course shamrock face paint

The streets were packed with people. It seemed like we waited forever and ever for the parade to begin, the anticipation of seeing Marching Mizzou rising every minute.

At last it began! And oh boy was it colorful!

I even spotted a leprechaun!

Of course, Marching Mizzou ended up being dead last. They really do save the best for last though. They were the biggest band in the entire parade! We went NUTS when we heard our fight song. See it for yourself:

We might have chased after them...singing along to the fight song...until the parade ended...but whatever... Can you blame a bunch of study abroad kids completely Mizzou-sick? Of course not!

After the parade, we headed to the Guinness Storehouse where I hoped to taste my very first sip of Guinness. How poetic of me to wait to be at the Guinness Storehouse - in Dublin - to try my first Guinness. :)

 First sip of Guinness! To Arthur! 

 The Storehouse was gigantic. So much Guinness-ness on every level. 

Once we got our fill of Guinness, we took a horse-drawn carriage back to the Temple Bar District where we carried out the rest of our night.

 First diamonds in MONTHS! 

The Temple Bar District was absolutely insane. The amount of people was unreal. Once we made it inside a pub, we could barely move. It was quite the experience. 

Overall, I absolutely loved Dublin. I wish I could have spent more time there. You can bet me arse I'll make it back there someday soon!