Liebster Award


Wow! I am just so thrilled that people are recognizing and enjoying my little blog I’ve got going on here! I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award and now the Liebster award! Berryduchess nominated me last week and I am finally getting around to putting this post together. I want to thank her and thank Faithful Homesteader for her nomination as well! So I guess that I will be answering 22 questions today instead of 11! 🙂

Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. Like so many others, I love The Walking Dead. The only thing is… I am terrified of zombies. I have always said that I would probably be the first to die if a zombie apocalypse were to actually happen. I have even gone so far as to give my friends permission to leave me behind in this event.
  2. I am moving back in with my parents next month (mostly to save money) and I cannot wait. I am so excited to be living with my family again and seeing them every day.
  3.  Moving back home means that I will be living significantly further away from my current job. Which means that I will need to find a closer one to home, sad day.
  4. I want to be able to afford to take/send my parents on vacation one day.
  5. I always want a nap, like it’s pretty bad. Sometimes I dream about being a koala, they sleep for up to 22 hours a day! That’s the life man!
  6. I am thinking about foregoing a trip I had begun planning for 2016 in order to save and prepare to teach English overseas.
  7. I just cleaned out over half my closet last weekend and I still feel like I have too many clothes. Although, I can’t decide what else to get rid of.
  8. I used to have a thing for heels. While I was in college I probably owned around 15 pairs of heels alone. (YIKES!) I don’t go out/get dressed up as often now, so I only own about 5 pairs.
  9. When I was in Paris our group decided to eat at a Mexican restaurant one day. It was awful, and I’m not just saying that as someone that is half Mexican. It just wasn’t good. So consider my lesson learned, I will only be sticking to local foods!
  10. Speaking of Paris, I got about half way up the Eiffel Tower and still regret not waiting in line to make it to the top! The line for the ride down was incredible long as well, so we took the stairs! Leg cramps for days!
  11. I did my first ever tequila shot in Rome. At a bar called Twins, that was owned by twin brothers. I didn’t know what I was doing but wanted to seem cool, so it went something like tequila-salt-lime and then a really confused Laura as to why it wasn’t as great as everyone said. (For the record, I love tequila. It was just a weird order to taste everything in.)

Questions from Berryduchess

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you sing?
Is -10 an option? I am a terrible singer!
2.  What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I would probably own a very limited amount of clothing. Like 10 pieces total.
3. When something is wrong, who is the first person you turn too?
My mom! She’s my rock.
4. If I had 3 wishes….
1. Round the World plane tickets 2. Speak multiple languages 3. EAT ALL THE CARBS.
5. How many places have you lived and where were they?
I’ve only lived in Houston! Very exciting… I know…
6. The worst gift that I received…
An old lady night gown, for my 20th birthday…
7. If you can have lunch with a famous person, who will it be?
Miles Teller, because he is just a dreamboat
8. What is that one thing that you are really good at?
I’d say I’m pretty good at driving. Considering I grew up in Houston, this is a feat.
9. If your life will be a movie, who do you want to play your role?
Jennifer Lawrence
10. What are the things that we can find in your bag/purse?
Well my current bag is my work bag, so you will find my computer, my phone, a pencil case, my health supplements, wallet, and peanut butter! 
11. Nobody knows that I….
am scared of the dark. This is why I don’t own any curtains.

Questions from Faithful Homesteader

Do you prefer sweet or salty foods?
Oh that’s a tough one! I guess I’m more of a salty person, but my ABSOLUTE favorite is salty AND sweet.
Are you urban, suburban, or rural?
Definitely suburban. Although for the last 5 years I’ve been urban, but I cannot take it anymore. I need less people around me!
Do you have a favorite reality TV show?
Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures, right now it’s Dancing With The Stars and The Voice. During the summer it’s So You Think You Can Dance.
What is your favorite genre of music?
I can be all over the place most of the time, but I guess I tend to gravitate towards Top 40 hits.
Do you have pets? if so, what do you have?
There are 4 animals in our household (aka my parents home). 2 cats and 2 dogs. All lovebugs!
Dark or Milk chocolate?
If you could live in another time, when would you chose?
I think the 70s. Just seems like my lifestyle. 
What is your favorite color?
Red, Go Coogs!
Do you have a favorite sport? If so, what is it?
Football of course! College football to be exact!
Do you prefer a hot or cold climate?
Definitely cold, we get too much hot weather here in Texas!
What is your favorite movie genre?
I am a sucker for a good Rom Com, it’s the hopeless romantic in me.

Alright, I feel like I should mention that accepting this award is totally up to y’all. No pressure, just sharing some of my favorite reads. The nominees are:

More thoughts, vicar?

Aspects of Style

Apparently Anna Has Some Explaining to do

A Vegan Abroad

The Courtney Diaries

The Veronese Dragon

Grasshopper Girls


Finding Fab-You-Lous

The Adventures of Isobel

Olivia in La La Land

Alright, you’ve been nominated! I hope you accept because I would love to read your answers to the following questions!

  1. When you were little, what did you want to be?
  2. What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? Ever?
  3. What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?
  4. Which house would you belong to in Game of Thrones?
  5. What would your last meal be?
  6. On the first day of ruling the world, what would you do?
  7. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done on a date?
  8. If you had the option of adopting a baby fox or a baby koala, which would you choose?
  9. If you could be either a duck or an owl, which would you be?
  10. You can go anywhere in the world, where to?
  11. What do you love about yourself most?

10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in Ireland

Hello! I had hoped to post this on Wednesday and start a regular posting of “Wanderlust Wednesdays” (which fits perfectly with today’s Blogging101 task!) But alas, a migraine/whatever plague is going around the school knocked me out for a few days. Thanks to a heavy amount of medication and hours of glorious sleep, I am functioning once again!

About Wanderlust Wednesdays: Every other Wednesday I am going to be posting about the places I’m dreaming of, places I’ve been, maybe blog posts that have inspired me, and places you think I should check out!

In case you haven’t heard, I’M GOING TO IRELAND IN MARCH!! I can’t even begin to describe how freakin’ excited I am. To pump myself up I’ve thought about what 10 things I’m really looking forward to.

  1. Meeting locals and sharing a drink in a pub. I’m probably looking forward to this the most. When I sat down to write this list, it was the first thing I thought to write down. Ireland is often referred to as one of the friendliest countries in the world, so you’re bound to run into someone up for a chat!
  2. The Cliffs of Moher. If you haven’t seen or heard of the Cliffs of Moher you should google it. They are gorgeous. I’m a sucker for great landscapes, and I have a feeling that I won’t be disappointed with this one!
  3. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade. So I’m going to be in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day, insane, I know. Along with day drinking I plan on checking out the annual festival. This year’s parade theme has to do with exploring the present-day Ireland. There are also comedians, walking tours, beer & food markets, and art shows. Needless to say, it’s looking to be one helluva jam packed day!
  4. Full Irish Breakfast. Bacon, sausage, black and white puddings, eggs, veggies, and potato all fried in creamy butter. A generous amount of homemade bread, breakfast tea and orange juice. (Have I mentioned my love affair with food yet?) I fully intend on this being my hangover cure the day after St. Patrick’s, which also happens to be my birthday! I mean, go big or go home right?
  5. Galway. Artsy and bohemian with a great music scene and more restaurants per capita than any other Irish city. Do I need to say any more? Not to mention it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from the Aran Islands.
  6. Guinness Storehouse and the Old Jameson Distillery. I am not a fan of Guinness, it’s just not my preferred type of beer, BUT when in Rome right? (…or Dublin, I guess?) You can’t pass up the opportunity to tour the Storehouse, sample the freshest Guinness and check out 360 views of Dublin in their rooftop Gravity Bar. On the topic of alcohol, I will definitely be checking out the Old Jameson Distillery and taking part in a whiskey tasting!
  7. The Ring of Kerry. Looking forward to driving the 112 miles around the Iveragh Peninsula and catching amazing views. Again, landscape lover here guys. As well as a visit to Bog Village to experience 19th-century rural Irish life.
  8. Chester Beatty Library. You also can’t beat a great library or museum. Chester Beatty was this huge collector, like huge. I mean he literally had to buy an entire building to store his art and text collections. When he died he left the building and it’s contents to the public.
  9. Trinity College. As much as I am a sucker for landscapes and museums, I also love a gorgeous college campus. Oh, and they happen to have a pretty impressive library with the Book of Kells Exhibit.
  10. Cute Irish Boys. I know right?! What kind of single twenty-something female would I be if I wasn’t looking forward to this? Yes, I know that the accent will probably heighten the attractiveness of pretty much anyone I meet over there, but I don’t care. I’m ready to talk, dance and share a drink with the hotties of Ireland!

Ever been to Ireland? Any tips for this first timer? Feel free to leave suggestions for a Wanderlust Wednesday in the comments!

Daily Prompt

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

We’ve all been there. Stuck in the grasps of the talkative stranger while trying to go about your daily routine. Perhaps it’s you who is the talkative stranger? I think the answer to today’s Daily Prompt depends completely on your feelings towards the ramblings of an outsider at any particular moment. I am all for the friendly conversation with a stranger on the metro, in fact I depend on these conversations when I travel. What better way to discover the hidden gems of a city than asking a local? I also know that these talks are not always welcome, I am guilty of occasionally trying to avoid them at costs.

I’ve learned to practice the art of boundaries when it comes to anonymous chit chat. I can judge pretty quickly when I am trying to connect with someone who is choosing to be a zombie for the day. I embrace the unknown when someone decides to open up and indulge me when I’m looking to ramble. These public spaces can inhabit both distracted, stressed zombies and interlocking human stories.

One Lovely Blog Award


I want to thank Victor over at The Veronese Dragon for the nomination, you sure know how to make a girl feel special! 🙂 You should check out his blog if you haven’t already! I also want to thank him for making me realize how inactive I have been on wordpress. I have definitely started stepping up my reading game! I got the following description from Berryduchess, check her out, she’s pretty awesome.

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer or up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and to also help the new blogger reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow-blogger who chose them. This award acknowledges bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines.

The guidelines for the One Lovely Blog Award are:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
•Add the One Lovely Blog Award logo to your post and/or blog.
•Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
•Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

7 Interesting Things About Me

1. I am incredibly excited about traveling to Ireland for Spring Break/St. Patricks Day/My birthday. There are still 162 days left, but I cannot stop talking about it. Thank God I have friends that love to travel as well and can put up with me!

2. I have this really weird thing about eating tomatoes. I used to hate them as a kid, and then I started loving them on burgers as I got older. Now I’ve developed this thing of only liking cold tomatoes. It’s strange, I know. Just the thought of hot tomatoes in pasta makes me want to gag a little, no thank you!

3. I have recently been pouring a lot of time into researching about teaching English overseas. I love to travel and I feel like this would be an interesting way of doing it. I have a friend that taught in China for a year and she loved it. I’d be very nervous about leaving my family behind though. (I’d love your thoughts on this if you’ve ever taught overseas!)

4. My mom is my best friend. I thought that I had best friends growing up, but the older I get the more I realize that my mom is truly my best friend. She is so kind, loving and supportive. I love her to pieces.

5. I am a HUGE animal lover. I could never be a foster volunteer because I would end up adopting every pet that came through my home. I recently was forced to rehome my cat and it was one of the most devastating nights of my life. Although he was going home with a friend and he was going to be well taken care of, I still cried the whole drive home.

6. I have an obsession with comfort food. Blame it on being raised in the south, but sausage gravy and biscuits are my lifeblood. I could eat that every day and never get tired of it. I guess you could say I have an obsession with food in general, but can you blame a girl when there’s Houston Restaurant Week every year?! You mean I get a ridiculously delicious and cheap brunch/lunch/dinner made by Houston’s top chefs WHILE raising money for the Houston Food Bank? I’m all in!

7. The Houston Rodeo is my favorite time of year. Yes, traffic is insane and annoys most Houstonians during this time, but I do not care. Rodeo is just so much fun with the carnival and the World Championship BBQ Cookoff and the country music/dancing! If you want something authentically Houstonian and Texan, definitely check out the rodeo if you’re in town.

Ok so now for 15 Bloggers I’d like to nominate

1. Live Now – Dream Later!

2. My Hypothetical Blog

3. A Momma’s View

4. Lifestyles With Lia

5. Bookish Hijinks For Fun and Profit

6. Apparently Anna Has Some Explaining To Do

7. Leftwithlouie

8. Wardrobe Vibrancy

9. Journey To A Healthy Me

10. From My Plan To His

11. Mommy Cook For Me

12. from the sticks to the bricks and back again

13. Olivia in la la land

14. Aspects of Style

15. I Am Getting Fit, I Think

That’s it for this post! Such great talent out there, I hope you all spread the love and check out some of these wonderful sites!

My Weekend on the River

When I think of summertime in Texas quite a few things come to mind: 100+ temps, never having a good hair day (ugh, humidity!), mosquitoes, the beach, sunburns, sweat, third degree burns from your seatbelt, snow cones, crying when your A/C breaks, and floating the river.

In case you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, floating the river is classic Texan summer pastime. Someone, somewhere down the line in history decided that it would be a great idea to gather your friends, bring inflatable tubes (or rather, “toobs”), fill your ice chest with cold beer and float on down the river for the day! And to that person I say, “Thank you, you kind, beautiful soul.”

New Braunfels is a wonderful city established in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany. That’s right folks, lots of German influence in this city, the word Braunfels actually means “brown rock” in German. By 1850 it had become the fourth largest city in Texas, right behind Galveston, San Antonio, and Houston. Fast forward to present day, New Braunfels is still a thriving city and as of the 2010 census it has a population of 57,740 residents. It’s one of those cities that manages to feel like a big city and a small town all at once.

Instead of driving up early in the morning, using a toobin’ company, floating and driving back; my family actually rented a cabin for the weekend. Check out some of the photos below!

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”

Fall is finally upon us, and may have been for a few weeks for some of you. I love everything about fall, pumpkin spice lattes, leaf piles, cooler temperatures, fall fashion. I own ENTIRELY too many fall/winter clothes for living in Texas. I feel like this photo sums up our annual weather pretty accurately:

While I can't say that this is true for ALL of Texas, it is most definitely true for Houston!
While I can’t say that this is true for ALL of Texas, it is most definitely true for Houston!

I think Christmas 2013 was the first time in like 17 years that I remember not wearing shorts on Christmas. We had a freakishly cold, hard winter last year and it was amazing. I know those of you that live where it gets cold regularly are probably looking at me like I’m crazy. My avid interest in fall attire probably stems from the fact that I was born and raised in the wrong climate, you want what you can’t have right? My point being, I love fall and winter. I love wrapping myself in layer after layer and warming up with a warm beverage. We may only get about 3 weeks of it here before the hard freeze sets in, but I’ll take what I can get!

By the way, this is a response to this Daily Prompt

Inspiring Words (I Hope)

So I discovered this blog piece via a friend’s Facebook post, a friend I actually met through traveling. This piece really struck me because I often struggle to find the right things to say when people ask me why I travel, how does it benefit me more than buckling down and working on my career. Brianna Wiest‘s list is 16 great examples of how I have benefited, and continue to benefit from the gift of travel.

Have you ever felt as though you were more (for lack of a better word) mature than a majority of your friends? Even as a passing thought? I know I have, and I also know that it’s not true; I just have a different way of thinking due to my traveling. I could analyze every single bullet point in her post and how I can relate to it, but instead I’ll just elaborate on my favorite. 🙂

The way you were raised isn’t the only way. Immersing yourself in one culture shows you that the standards you’re holding yourself to are subjective.

I love, love, LOVE this point. This is probably my all time favorite part of traveling, having my social norms challenged and experiencing culture shock again and again. When you are so out of your normal environment you are forced to reevaluate your standards on almost a daily basis. This is something that I’ve carried on into my every day life, and I can’t imagine it being any other way. Sticking to just one way of doing things? What a drag! The great thing about living in an incredibly diverse city like Houston is that I can experience this culture shock every day if I really wanted to! It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am directionally challenged, I have lived in Houston my entire life and I still rely on GPS to get me places. When I’m feeling adventurous I chuck the GPS out the window (figuratively speaking of course) and try to navigate myself to my final destination. 90% of the time I make it there, the other 10% I just end up woefully lost and running back to my GPS pleading for mercy. That 90% success rate has led me to discover wonderful art installations throughout the city, eat at incredible restaurants, and provided some of the best people watching opportunities, i.e. Juan Carlos, who you may recognize from AMGT. You don’t have to travel far to experience these things, just allow yourself to be open to doing things completely different for an entire day and see where it takes you.

I’d love to hear about an experience you had while traveling or getting lost that really made you rethink the way you approach things. Feel free to leave your thoughts 🙂

Who I am and why I’m here.

So I am participating in the Blogging101 course offered by WordPress, and I am already slacking on my homework. (Trust me, I don’t know how I got my college degree either) So let’s see, for those just joining my name is Laura and I am currently living in Houston, TX. I work a semi-desk job currently but I what I really love to do is travel. That’s what this blog’s main focus is going to be, my travel adventures: past travel, future travel etc. Occasionally I may post some of my fitness musings, I have currently been working on loving my body and becoming healthier and I will need some help holding myself accountable. That’s where you, my lovely readers, come in.

So why not just keep a personal journal or scrapbook for all this stuff? If you know me, you know that I love to talk about where I’ve been, where I’m going or where you’ve been and where you’re going! This isn’t to brag or shove it in people’s faces, traveling is a passion of mine and I am constantly searching for other passionate people. I also hope to show people (particularly young people) that travel IS possible. I think an alarming amount of folks see price tags and immediately decide that they will never be able to take that dream trip. I don’t have an endless supply of money, my parents do not help me with my travel funds. I do this on my own and I hope that I can show you how to do that as this blog grows. If I can inspire one person to sit down and make their travel dream become a reality, I would consider this blog a success.