This is pretty weird because I'm typing on my phone in the San Francisco airport. I should almost be in Hawaii right now but we had an emergency landing in Sacramento that was headed to LA (my worst nightmare basically) and they then shuttled us to San Francisco where we now wait till 4 for our flight. Mind you our first flight was at 5:30 am.

I've already had a minor meltdown already and then realized how blessed and grateful I truly am for this past year. It has been stressful and confusing at times, I lost a loved one, friends came and went, but more importantly I feel closer to my family than ever before and I feel big changes in 2013. (Starting in Italy.) Ringing in the new year in Kauai isn't so bad either. Even if its later than I expected.

I'm going to hug my loved ones tight more than i have before, break down barriers, and really LIVE in 2013.

Join me?

A Quote a Day

{photo: tumblr}
"Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye"
-Regina Spektor

San Francisco


As I've grown older I've come to love San Francisco more and more. Before it used to be the 
city we passed as we drove to Grandma's and now I see it as the city that sparkles
at night and has it's own vibe during the day. 

My friends and I happened to stumble upon the city on one of its good days 
and we took in as many sights as we could and ate as much food as possible
including the worlds best root beer float. 

San Francisco, you were totally showing off. 

Merry Day after Christmas

Merry Day After Christmas

Here are some snaps from our Christmas tree that I am obsessed with. Now that Christmas
is over I hate the thought of taking down all of our Christmas decorations. 
I really think they make the house warmer and more inviting. 

I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you did too! I am blessed with the 
greatest family and was completely spoiled this year. 
Tomorrow I am going to San Francisco with some friends so hopefully
I'll come back with some fun pictures! (:

Have a great Wednesday!

Favorite Christmas Songs

Allie's Favorite Christmas Songs

I am the type of person that listens to Christmas music as much
as possible almost to the point of driving everyone I love away from me. 
There is something about how each songs brings back a different memory
 and emotion that really pulls me in and sometimes even moves me to tears.

A few of my favorites are any songs by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole
because they are absolute classics, any songs from Michael Bublé's Christmas
album that came out last year (I think), and of course, Judy Garland singing
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis. 
Mariah Carey's rendition of "All I Want for Christmas is You" is up there on the 
charts as well. 

What are your favorite Christmas songs?

Let's Play Catch-Up...

Sorry for my absence!
I've been busy soaking in every moment of being home and honestly,
have not whipped out my camera even once. All the pictures below
are from Instagram or my friends cameras. Whoops! 
Here's what I've been up to:

Staring at our Christmas tree and beautifully decorated house. I'm in love
with this season. Seriously. 

 Christmas services at Bayside church with friends. The services are spectacular! 

 My sisters choir concert with the symphony in our town. We got to dress
fancy and my cape made an appearance. 

Last night my BFF Amanda and I got to take over the huge stage
at her church and play around with all the cool lights. I felt famous
for about 2 seconds. 

Other than this, my mom has been making me work out with her and boy, am I
sore. My body forgot what is was like to work out. (I know, it's horrible.)
I also wanted to remain quiet for awhile because of the Newtown shooting.
I was driving home on Friday and had no idea until a friend texted me letting me know.
My heart broke into a million pieces. I've been praying so very hard for all of 
those children and their families. 

I hope your Christmas season is filled with as much joy as possible. (:

Bam Bam I'm Done!

Here is a selfie showing my excitement because...

I got my visa in the mail!!! Finals are over!!! I'm
going home tomorrow night (3am!)!!! 

So I am now officially (and legally) going to Italy ( my mom said the packaging
was pretty intimidating. So official.), I am a free woman from school and now 
have to pack up all my thangs to take back home, and then I'm outta here!!

I can't wait to sit around my Christmas tree with my family, think of all the things I am
thankful for this beautiful year, and hug every single member of my family 
until they beg me to stop. 

Fall semester, you've been a doozy. But now that you are over, I have never felt
more relieved and free. So I guess, thanks for that. (:

Talk to you guys when I'm settled in at home. Oh, and I couldn't put my coffee
down for these pictures. Coffee is obviously pretty important in my life. 

We Interrupt These Messages...

...to bring you light spread all throughout a Botanical Garden.
It was magical and beautiful and Trader Joe's was handing out free samples
of their warm Apple Cider. Any place that has millions of twinkly
lights is my kind of place. It was a great study break. 

Now back to the grind... 

A Quote A Day

{via tumblr}


That is all for today. I hope finals are going well for everyone in college/
high school. Don't go too crazy! :) I'll try not to as well. 

This Song

This song NEEDS to be in some wedding video or really
adorable video that we all share to our friends because it makes your heart
skip a beat and your whole body feels warm and loved. 

I love me some Philip Phillips. He is so darn talented and now he
has a whole album! Go snatch it up!

There is only a lyric video out for now but please tell
me how great this song is!!!!

Dear Santa...

Christmas List 2012
Here are a few things I asked for for Christmas/
my 20th birthday. That's what's great about a birthday so close
to Christmas- you get to make one list for both times!
Most of these items are suited for Italia and traveling. (:

 A cozy jacket to keep me warm and one that I can layer.

 Recipe cards that I can bring to Italy/ I just need since I've become quite
the cook. ;)

A Safepac purse for traveling around Europe that is safe from anyone slashing
my bag and stealing my money! I thought this was one was the cutest. 

 Infinity scarves for keeping warm in the winter!

Blouses with a collar for lots of layering.

A journal to document all my travels!

What are you asking for this year?


Homesickness hit like a ton of bricks this morning. One second I'm watching 
E! and the next all the air is sucked out of me and the more I think about home and 
California, the harder it is to breathe. I try to push the thoughts back and remind myself
that I still have 14 days here but it's.so.hard.

This is the first semester where I haven't been home at all since I left for Arizona
in August. Sure, I've seen my parents because they came to me or I met them
in San Diego, but never once was I home in my safe familiar place. So many people
I go to school with live only 2 hours away and have been home numerous times
or they grew up in town so they see their family once a week or more! It's difficult
because you can't discuss this feeling of homesickness with them. They truly
don't know the feeling. 

When I was in elementary school, I played basketball. One of the worst feelings
in the sport was when someone would chest pass you the ball and it would end up
right in your stomach and suck all the air right out of your lungs. 
This is the only way I can describe being homesick sometimes. 

I'm ready for this semester to be over. And I still have 14 days. 

The Many Expressions of Charley

The other night I snapped some photos of Charley because she was sleepy and 
would let me do whatever when typically it's her way or the highway!
Charley is known as the diva in this house because she is really feisty and 
well, a diva. No other way to describe her. But lately she gives us these faces 
that basically say, "Guys. I am SO unamused." It's gotten worse since she 
was groomed. 

But anyways, I hope you appreciate these model shots of Charles Francis. 
(and yes, she's a girl.)

A Little Hello

Photo: Tumblr

Hello! (: 
Unfortunately, I did not take any photos from my Thanksgiving away from home. This
was the first major holiday I celebrated away from my family and California (except
for Easter. Does that count?) I'm not going to lie and say it was easy but it definitely
wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm truly grateful for good friends and 
extended family that was here to help fill the void a little bit.

All I can think about right now is going home! I have about 5-6 tests standing in my 
way and then I am off to California and then Hawaii and then ITALIA! (I know
I am way spoiled and incredibly blessed. I tell myself everyday.)
I still can't believe I will have two other dear friends in Italia while I am there.
It feels like God truly wants me there at this time and is helping me out 
along the way. I finally sent off my visa application and after one minor complication
all I have to do now is wait! 

Sorry this post doesn't have much substance to it but this is where my mind is right now.
It's jumbled and filled to the brim! I hope your Thanksgiving went well
and many thanks were given. I know I have a LOT to be thankful for!

I'll try to plan out posts from now on. We'll see how that goes...


(Photo: Tumblr)

This weekend I finally went and saw Lincoln. Guys. If you 
haven't seen this spectacular movie yet, you must!
Even though I knew the outcome of the movie, I was
still on the edge of my seat, biting my nails.
Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln and every other
actor was truly immersed in their historical role.

But something I caught at the very end of the movie was
Lincoln's second inaugural address. The conclusion is
shown below. I realized as Daniel Day Lewis spoke
those beautiful words that they eerily apply to today.
Every word fits like a historic puzzle piece into these
tumultuous times we are encountering now and possibly
in the future. These are encouraging words, inspiring words,
words that pick up a nation once and could do so again.

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."

Things I'm Loving...

What I'm Loving Recently...

 Dressing up really patriotic for Veterans Day. All I have to say,

 Pretty skies like this one from a week ago. God was totally showing off.
 Getting in the holiday spirit. I love writing on our chalkboard frame.

 Homemade chai tea lattes. Nothing better.
Photo: Tumblr

I used to watch this show during season 1, took a break, and am now catching up on season 3 so I can understand season 4. 
So good!

What are you loving??

Warm Feelings Up in Here

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” 
― Edith Sitwell

Currently I'm listening to "Marshmallow World" (possibly the greatest Christmas
song ever written? yes.) and day dreaming about white snow on the ground, the
stillness as it falls, and twinkly lights everywhere you look. 

This is my favorite time of the year. I love the childlike wonder involved
and the feeling that once again, anything is possible. I absolutely
refuse to ever grow up during Christmas time. I think this is how 
Scrooge became the kind of man he grew up to be. 

I am so excited to go home in less than a month (!!!!!), be finished
with this semester, and head off on the greatest adventure of my life
thus far. 

What's your favorite part about the holiday season??

Photos: Tumblr

Celebrating Early

So this happened.

My roommate and I decorated for Christmas a little bit. I am one to believe
that Thanksgiving and Christmas can coexist and so that's why
we didn't take down our pumpkins, we just added a Christmas tree 
(or two) to the mix. A lot of this had to do with the fact that Arizona had 
it's first cold spell this weekend and I grasped on to that and ran with it.

But because Arizona is out to get me (I kid), the weather should be back
up to the 80's by Wednesday. Yaaaaaay...

Anyways, here is our roommate Christmas card 2k12 starring
the one and only diva dog, Charley. (Who is so unamused
with this position we put her in.)

Things This Fall Have Taught Me


Without a doubt, God has a plan. And it's perfect. 

Sometimes the hardest moments are the ones you look back on and realize
they were also the largest growing moments. 

But sometimes they are just hard and miserable.

Your mom can heal any wounds and pick you up off the 
ground when you've (almost) thrown your hands up and said,
"I give up!"

Your dad can give you the greatest words of wisdom and the best
pick me ups without even saying the words.

Your sisters can put you in your place and remind you that your 
problems are not that bad.

Sophomore year is difficult.

And lastly, sometimes you can't have it all and other times it sure
feels like you do. 

A Quote For Tuesday

It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and than make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit their and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite." -Stephen Chbosky
Happy Election Day!!!!

A Beach Getaway

On Thursday and Friday I ditched this 80 + degree weather....

For the beach with my mom and sistor. 
 Needless to say, it was a fantastic two day getaway. We were 
visiting Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego for my
sister and the campus was right on the ocean. Let me repeat that,
RIGHT on the ocean. Basically, it was really hard to get back on 
the plan heading to the desert. 
Being with my mom and sister really did my heart some good
and these next few weeks till I get to go home are so jam
packed that I'm thinking they'll go by really quickly. 

Also, all these studying abroad meetings and visa appointments
coming up are really daunting and I can't believe all of this is
really happening! Ah!

And lastly, Charley does this adorable thing where she hugs your leg and then
continues to eat your leg. Does anyone have any good puppy recommendations
to stop the biting! It's like Twilight up in here! :)

(Oh yeah, you knew I got a puppy right? Well she's mostly my roommates
puppy but I have equal responsibility haha) 

Be Still

In the wake of Sandy's destruction on the East Coast, I can't help but feel guilty for 
all the complaining I've been doing. In the thick of the moment, the complaining
seems worthwhile. I tell yourself it's ok because right now everything is a 
little bit horrible and I have all the reason in the world to be sad.

But then I take a step back.

I realize that all of this complaining is not accomplishing anything and it
is forcing me to think my little life is tragic when in reality, my life
is beautiful and full. 

As I watch the news unfold from last night I can't help but pray for everyone
on the East Coast and I hope this bible verse can help anyone
who is feeling defeated either from the hurricane/super storm
of just from daily life. 

I love this verse so much that I plan on getting "Be Still"
tattooed on my foot hopefully soon. I think it's a great

Being Candid

this photo may not be of the best quality but i think it might be my favorite picture of myself. it's completely candid and i look happy.

these days i haven't been feeling like myself. i'm not sure if it's the constant sun surrounding me with no end in sight (where, oh, where are you clouds??), my very mediocre grades even with all the energy i put into them, or the fact that i have so much to look forward to and none of it has happened yet.

maybe it's all the above.

all i know is i'm tired of this funk. tired of october and yearning for november. change. yeah, i could use a little change.

but mostly i wish i could step out of body and whisper to myself, "be happy you fool! you have a brilliant life and even though you highly doubt this right now, but you will miss this time in your life. you will. so be happy."

i'll let you know how this goes. for now i'll watch the giants play.

Some Pretty Big News...

I'm Officially Going to Italy 
Next Semester!!!!

I can't believe my acceptance letter has finally come
and that in January I will be setting off on the adventure
of a lifetime. I'm going to have to try even harder in Italian
class now. :) 

I've been to Italy before, the summer before my Freshman year 
of high school with our family friends and I feel so blessed because
my friend that I went to Italy with the first time is also studying abroad 
at the same time!!! She'll be in Florence and I'll be in Orvieto. Here are 
some incredibly awkward photos of me and my family on our last trip. 

And this will be my new home in January:
Orvieto Italy - Fog - Day
source: Here

General View of Orvieto, Italy
source: Here

I seriously can't believe this is happening officially. I also can't believe I thought
it was ok to buy a Pinocchio shirt last time I was there. Oh yeah, because we 
didn't have any of our luggage. That hopefully won't happen this time :)

Have you studied abroad before? Any words of wisdom?