I’m Moving!

This post has been something I’ve wanted to write for a while now, but have been kind of afraid to. It’s kind of a long story and I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I’ve dealt with several disappointments and some major drama concerning my full-time clinical rotations (for occupational therapy) for the spring. When I thought everything was finally settled, I announced the news on my Facebook page, only for everything to fall apart a few days later. I was pretty heartbroken and frustrated, but as of now I have my placements for the spring, and I’m just crossing my fingers that nothing bad happens with them! Anyway.

Pittsburgh 2

I’m excited to share with all of you that come December, I’m saying “goodbye” to Pittsburgh and moving…twice in the spring. That’s right. Two placements, two states, six months. It’ll be interesting to say the least! I don’t want to jinx things too much, so I’m not going to share where I’m going. As it gets a little closer, I promise I will keep you updated.

Cathy

Looking up at the Cathedral of Learning.

As happy as I am to not have to spend January-March in Pittsburgh (the COLDEST winter season ever, am I right?), I’m a little bit sad to leave! I’ve made so many amazing friends here, and it’ll be really hard not to spend 8 hours a day with them, 5 days a week. Plus, there are so many things I love about Pittsburgh. It’s a great city, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I have a few things I still want to see/do before I leave, and I’ll share that “to-do” list in the near future.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy the beautiful fall season here in the ‘Burgh and relish these last few months.

Thanks for letting me share my news (and ramblings) with you!

xo.

a week.

Garden Goodness

phipps

One of my favorite things to do in Pittsburgh is spend a quiet morning in Phipps Conservatory, an amazing botanical garden/greenhouse/escape from an urban landscape. It’s especially amazing in the winter, since it’s pretty warm and snuggly inside, and the lively plants really cure the winter blues!

A couple of weeks ago I decided to spend my morning at Phipps–it is my happy place, after all–and snapped a few photos that I’m sharing here on the blog today.

Phipps

Desert room

Of all the amazing rooms, the Desert Room is definitely my favorite. It may not be filled with ornate flowers, but those little cactus’ are poky and I love them. Everything about them is fascinating!

Phipps

If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, make sure you check out Phipps! It’s a beautiful building filled with unique plants and flowers, plus they rotate the displays seasonally so the rooms are changing constantly.

One last photo of my morning–walking back from Phipps, I looked over the bridge and the view was gorgeous. This picture doesn’t do it justice (my iPhone camera isn’t working as well these days), but the lush trees with the Cathedral in the background…oh man. Pittsburgh is such a beautiful, old city. I’m really trying to appreciate everything about it before my time here is over.

Cathedral

xo.

Life Lately: April Showers

It’s been raining a lot the last couple weeks here in Pittsburgh, and I feel like spring is finally here. The grass is suddenly green, there are flowers blooming, and the trees are starting to bud! Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks.

Studying in the sun on my front porch.

 

Studying in the sun on my front porch.

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A happy card for my friend.

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I treated myself to a scone and coffee at an amazing bakery this week.

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One of the neighborhood cats taking an afternoon nap.

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you have a great one.

xo.

 

Friend Dates: Flowers and Thai Food

Today was the last day of classes for our Spring Semester (Finals are next week, lots of studying this weekend!) and we got out of class a little early, so I made plans with a couple friends to celebrate! It felt like we earned a little bit of a study break. So after our class ended, we headed over to Phipps Conservatory to walk through the gardens. Phipps is just always the best place to go. It’s so rejuvenating.

phipps

A gorgeous tree blooming outside Phipps

Playing around in this cute palm-frond hut (meant for children)

Playing around in this cute palm-frond hut (meant for children)

What a great break from the hustle-bustle of the semester! After Phipps, we headed over to Shadyside and had some killer Thai food at Noodlehead (I would highly recommend it!). Their menu is short but they have obviously perfected each dish. I tried the Pad Thai, which was incredible, and I can’t wait to go back and try some of their other dishes. Amazing.

It was a great outing, and I loved spending some time with my friends outside of school. It feels like we get so busy sometimes that I only get to see them when we’re at school, and it was really nice to get away from all of that and just have some fun.

xo.

How To: Survive Winter

I’ve complained about winter a lot, which makes me feel bad. It’s not that I completely hate the whole season…there are lots of things I do like about winter, like skiing, Christmas, cozy sweaters, and watching the snow fall. But I’m definitely more of a summer person. I’m the happiest in the sunshine, when I can spend all day long outside.

Winters are always so long (where I live, at least), and by the time February rolls around I’m already so over it, and we’re not even close to being done with winter. If you’re anything like me, it can be pretty hard to keep your spirits up this time of year.

So today, I’m sharing a little list of some tips for getting through the long winter.

How To Survive Winter

1. Find little things that make you happy.
For me, I find a lot of happiness in watching my neighborhood’s feral cats outside of my window. They’re sure resilient little kitties, walking through snow up to their stomachs and surviving the bitter cold Pittsburgh weather. I love watching them hang out and try to find those little patches of sunlight to bask in. I’m also trying to paint some (although school work prevents me from doing so as much as I’d like) because it makes me happy.

2. Get outside every day, no matter the weather.
I know, this sounds a little crazy. But I have to say that I always feel more productive and more awake/alive when I leave my house, even when it’s just for a 10 minute walk around the block. I just bundle myself up in tons of layers and head outside for a couple of minutes.

3. If possible, plan a trip or vacation.
I know that it isn’t always possible. This year, I’m going on a spring break trip for the first time in my life, and I could not be more excited. The mere thought of sitting on a beach in just a few short weeks is enough to keep me happy for a few hours! If you can’t go somewhere far, plan a day trip somewhere for a weekend. Having something to look forwards to really helps.

4. Get to the gym (sometimes).
I’ve been really pushing myself to get to the gym the last few weeks, and even though I hate HATE going, I always feel so much better about myself after I get back from the gym. Any kind of movement helps in the winter. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get so icy, take some brisk little winter walks!

Those are some of my tips for getting through winter alive. Do you have any good ideas? I’d love to hear them–winter is such a rough season for me, and I’m really struggling this year with the dreary Pittsburgh weather (I’m very seasonally affected, and I’m missing the sunshine something fierce right now!).

xo.

Happy Weekend

Now that the second week of the semester is over, school is starting to pick up serious momentum and I can tell I’m going to get busier every day. So this weekend, I’m making it a point to spend some of my lingering free time doing things I want to do. Some of the things on my list include painting, trying to take a walk in the park, and getting lots of relaxation time.

Last night, I had some friends over for dinner and cards against humanity. My friend made homemade pho (it was amazing, you guys!) and I made some spring rolls, and we had a really fun night! Here are some pictures of the dinner:

Pho 1

The pho boiling on the stove. My house smells so good still! Lots of spices and herbs.

Pho 2

Pho. So good.

Pho 3

My little spring rolls with peanut sauce.

We had a great night! Pho is one of my favorite foods, and Pittsburgh doesn’t seem to have many good spots for pho, so it was really nice of my friend to make some for us. I wish I could have pho every time I get sick–it has the best healing taste. Hope you have a great weekend!

xo.

On Being Homesick

I feel a little ashamed to say that, with less than a month until I get to go home, homesickness has really gotten the best of me the last couple of weeks. I’ve had highs and lows that change on a daily basis, I’ve been a little grumpy and irritable, and I’ve had a few mild meltdowns.

I’m prepared for this week to be especially hard, because almost everyone will be going home for Thanksgiving break, and I’m starting to feel that little green pang of jealousy. I’m going to try so, so hard to spin my perspective and look at all of the positive things about this week, and try not to let my jealousy and my grumpiness affect others.

Thanksgiving should be a fun day, because a good friend of mine (from California!) is coming over and we’re going to make pizza for our little holiday. It’ll be nice to have someone to spend the day with, and I’m pretty excited about our Thanksgiving pizza!

It’s been a hard stretch, and a really long 6 months since I’ve seen my family. It will be so meaningful when I step off that plane in December and finally get to see my family! It’s nearly all I can think about, and I’m hoping it will motivate me to work extra hard through my finals.

Thanks for listening to my little homesickness rant, I know it isn’t the happiest little blog post that ever existed! But I’m getting through it, I know that this experience is making me stronger and more independent and a better human being.

xo.