The Land Down Under

G’Day Mates!!

As many of y’all know, my family and I returned from our trip to the “land down under” (aka Australia) roughly 2.5 weeks ago. We are having many friends and family ask what all we did when while on this trip, so I’ve decided to pick my travel blog back up and inform you about one of the most amazing trips we have ever taken.

Now, I am no expert when it comes to travel blogging, so I am just going to type what I feel about what needs to be said about this trip. It’s so hard to express an experience through words, but I’ll do my best to convey how amazing our time was. I hope this gives you a glimpse into our roughly 3-week long adventure.

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow uploading of large files, so many of my “great” pictures couldn’t be published. Feel free to go look at my photo album on Facebook if you want to see some cool photos from the trip!

 

Here we go!

Ten flights, 23,817 miles, three countries (our layover in Auckland, New Zealand and stop in Maui counts right??) is all we could fit into our 17-day extravaganza. Y’all let me just make a note, to circle around Earth once is 24,000 miles… WE JUST ABOUT TRAVELED THE DISTANCE IT TAKES TO GO AROUND THE GLOBE!!! I’m so shocked by that statistic. Seventeen days is the longest we have ever traveled as a family, and while we wanted our own beds and to see our pets, we wouldn’t trade this time for anything. Since this was such a long trip, I am going to break this post down into cities and then add descriptions of what we did where. It might get kinda long so bear with me… or don’t, I’ll leave it up to you!

 

There is no direct flight from ATL to Sydney, so we first flew from ATL to LAX. This was roughly a five our flight, but we just so happened to be flying in at night on July 5th and people were still sending off fireworks. IT WAS SO COOL!! I think Abbey and I were the only ones who really saw them but looking down at fireworks is something else let me just tell ya. After we landed in LA, we only had two hours before we hopped right back on the airplane to head to ‘straya (trying to use some of my Aussie lingo). Y’ALL… this flight was 15 HOURS LONG!! The entire family was really dreading it, but luckily we were able to sleep a majority of the flight. We landed in Sydney at approx. 6:00 a.m. their time and had to hit the ground running. We luckily got to head to the hotel and shower to wake us up and help us push through some of the jet lag, because we lost an entire day due to the time difference.

**I’m leaving out the travel days in the day count, so it will seem like we were gone for a shorter time than we really were**

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, let’s get started:

SYDNEY

Hotel: Shangri-La

Duration: 4 days

 

Day One: Our first day we had to our leisure! Once we all freshened up at the hotel, we decided to walk down to the harbor and check out some of the sites, such as the Sydney Opera House. I knew what it was going to look like, but something about seeing it in person makes it that much more magnificent. The entire family, especially Brooke (who was once an architecture major and wont let you forget it) found the design and structure so fascinating. It literally looks like sails from a sailboat. To keep us busy and from sitting down, we took a tour of it. It was really interesting to learn about its history and how long it took to build such an iconic landmark that is recognized all around the world. By the end of the tour, we were all fading extremely fast. You could tell by looking at us that we were so exhausted. So once the tour was over, we headed back to the hotel to get to rest… and yeah… we fell asleep at 4:00 in the afternoon. Needless to say, we were EXHAUSTED!

Day Two: This day we decided we would take the ferry and go visit the Taronga Zoo and Manly Beach. The first half of the day we spent walking around the zoo and checking out the animals. The second half we visited Manly Beach, which is a popular local area with shops and just like its name implies… a beach. This area was so cute, but since it’s winter down in Australia right now it was too cold for us to really enjoy being out on the beach. That’s the only downside of visiting Australia during the United States’ summer, it’s their winter. Our family loves the beach, so I would love to go back during their summer months, because the beach is such a large part of Australian culture.

 

 

Day Three: WE CLIMBED A BRIDGE!!!This was such a cool day. One of the two things I asked to do on this trip was to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and luckily everyone approved of this excursion!! I’m so glad my family consist of daredevils who aren’t afraid of heights, because it got pretty high, even though the climb was an easy one. The top of the bridge is one of the absolute best ways to see all of Sydney at once. It was so breathtaking from the top, looking out onto the harbor and city skyline. If you ever visit Sydney this is one of my must do’s!! After the bridge climb, we headed to a local restaurant to grab some lunch before we headed back to the hotel to rest up. By day three of this trip, I had eaten more fish and chips I could have ever imagined!! That night we had a cruise around the harbor and dinner at a local restaurant. We were told we were going to be picked up by a pontoon… we figured this was the shuttle to the main boat with where everyone else would be… boy were we wrong!! We ended up being picked up by a yacht and having it all to ourselves!! At first we were a little hesitant, but the cruise around the harbor was awesome. They took us to this local seafood restaurant where several of us had the Moreton Bay Bug. Yep, you read that right…I had a BUG for dinner! Fun fact: a bug is very similar to our lobster and it ended up being really good! After dinner we boarded the boat and continued to sail around the harbor while having dessert.

 

Day Four: This day we walked from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. By the way, they pronounce it like Bond-eye. That tip will keep you from looking like an American tourist! This was roughly a 5 mile walk along the coast. The views from every inch of the walk were breathtaking. I was constantly trying to take photos of the view, but no picture can do this view justice!! Unfortunately, by the end of the walk and lunch, dad wasn’t feeling too good, so we headed back to the hotel for him to rest.  He ended up having a stomach bug and getting pretty sick on the trip, but luckily didn’t miss out on too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORT DOUGLAS/CAIRNS

Hotel: Sea Temple Resort and Spa

Duration: 3 days

Day Five: This day we flew from Sydney to Cairns. Cairns is located on the northeast tip of Australia where the temperature is significantly warmer than it is down south. It was nice to escape to a tropical paradise from the frigid Sydney temp. We arrived at the Sea Temple and went to our rooms to unpack. WE HAD THE COOLEST ROOMS!!! On the top of each room there was a green space with a grilling station as well as a hot tub. My sisters and I are fascinated by any room that differs from our usual Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express lol. Since dad wasn’t feeling too hot, mom and the girls headed into downtown Port Douglas to grab some dinner. Everywhere we went, we kept saying we needed a couple more days there. Port Douglas was no different. The town was so cute, but we didn’t have enough time to explore it.

 

Day Six: THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!!!! I was so excited for this day because I LOVE the ocean. My family is huge into snorkeling and so we couldn’t come alllllll the way to Australia and not snorkel around the Great Barrier Reef. We had been told that the ocean had been really rough lately, so we were kind of concerned about what was in store for us. Once again, I’m so glad no one in my family gets sea sick!! Yes, we indeed had some wimps take sea sickness medicine: **cough cough** Brooke, Mom and Dad. Abbey and I aren’t wimps and decided to run the risk by not taking any medicine. We snorkeled three different parts of the reef and saw so many cool varieties of marine life. We learned that the media has been telling lies about the Great Barrier Reef dying. It indeed is not dying, and we learned that coral bleaching is something that is needed once in a while in order for the coral to continue to grow and flourish. The GBR hasn’t seen coral bleaching in over a year and is expected to continue to thrive and flourish. The crew on board our boat were so welcoming and informative!!

 

Day Seven: We spent our last day in Port Douglas/Cairns by visiting the Kuranda Village. Kuranda is located in the rainforest, so it was really cool to go from the ocean one day to the rainforest the next. We took a scenic train up the mountain to the small village. This was a really cool way to see the rainforest and many of the waterfalls that surround the area. Once at the village we walked around for an hour before we went to HUG KOALAS!!!! You can’t visit Australia and not hug a koala bear, right? We had such an awesome time seeing and hugging these animals. Unfortunately, Brooke and Dad ended up being the Koalas toilet… yuck, I know. After lunch we visited local art shops that sold aboriginal art work. Australia has a large population of aboriginals, and their art work is so cool to look at. We ended up getting several pieces for our own home! After a day at Kuranda we took a gondola back down to the bottom of the rainforest.

 

BRISBANE

Hotel: Sofitel Brisbane

Duration: Two Days

 

Day Eight: This day we flew from Cairns to Brisbane. We got in late afternoon and ended up finding a Mexican restaurant for lunch. We were all craving Americanized food and this Mexican restaurant was the closest thing we could find!! It wasn’t the same as what you would find here in the states, but it was close enough. That night we ended up walking around in what I call “Little Tokyo” the actual name of the area was Queen Street Mall. You could tell this was easily the place to be in Brisbane. All the shops and food were located in this centralized area. The only downside of Brisbane is that all the shops close early. So, we emerged out of our hotel room around 6:00 p.m. and all the stores were closing/closed.

 

Day Nine: THE BEST DAY EVER!!! We visited the Australia Zoo! If you aren’t familiar with the Australia Zoo, this is the zoo that Steve Irwin “the crocodile hunter” started. This, besides the bridge climb, was one thing that I absolutely had to do! There was no question of whether or not I would be visiting this place, because I would have found a way to get myself there if it wasn’t planned into our trip! We had a guide drive us to the zoo and show us around. He had informed us on the way up there that the Irwin family had been in town all week and there was a chance they might be there. Apparently when we arrived he was informed that they would indeed be there. He told my family, but I must not have been paying attention because I was completely shocked when they came running out for the crocodile show. I was so shocked and taken back that they were actually in front of me. I definitely had my fan girl moment right then. It was so cool to see Bindi, Steve and Terri continue to live out Steve’s passion. You could really tell they have a huge heart for all the animals, especially their dads favorite: crocodiles. We spent the rest of the day roaming around the zoo and checking out the rest of the exhibits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne

Hotel: Park Hyatt

*side note: this hotel has a dog for its ambassador!! His name is Mr. Walker, and he is a yellow lab that sits out front to greet guest every day. So of course, this has to be our FAVORITE HOTEL EVER!!*

Duration: Three Days

 

Day Ten: We flew from Brisbane to Melbourne on this day. When we got into Melbourne we checked in and took a little nap before heading out for dinner. Our front door man was actually from Dallas, Texas, so he suggested we head over to China Town for dinner since we were craving Asian Cuisine. Let me just says, my father doesn’t need to be the one with the map or giving any form of directions. Like always he thought he knew where he was going, but once again we didn’t end up where we had planned. Luckily there were several Asian restaurants on the street, so we stopped in a local Japanese place to grub. It ended up being a really good meal, which is just what we needed!

 

Day Eleven: This day we spent driving along the Great Ocean Road. The GOR leads to the Twelve Apostles, which was one of the main things my dad really wanted to do. We had the most amazing driver/guide, who went above and beyond for us. This drive was spectacular. Once again, the views were so magnificent even photos can’t do them justice! We made frequent stops along the way to check out the view. We stopped at this one local place that had a light house, it was so cute!! Plus, there was a coffee shop next door that made us some bomb hot chocolate. This drive takes several hours and as soon as we arrived at the Apostles it started raining on us. Now, this is somewhere that you spend hours looking around, but it was so cold, rainy and windy that we could only tolerate 30 minutes of its beauty. It definitely is a place to go back and actually take it all in for more than 30 minutes. On our drive we mentioned to our driver that we had passed the Princess Theatre on our walk back to the hotel the night before and Mamma Mia was showing.. When we looked that night, there was only five tickets left on the back row, so the ‘rents said they would think about it. Our driver actually had a performing arts background and knew one of the main leads in the show. GUYS… he went above and beyond to get us HOUSE SEATS for the show!!! He got us on the seventh row, aka some of the best seats in the house.

Day Twelve: We spent our last day in Melbs checking out the Australian Open Tennis facilities and walking around the city. That night we attended Mamma Mia, and boy are we obsessed with that soundtrack now. If you are/ have been around any of us since we have returned you probably have heard that soundtrack being played in our cars. The cast and show were phenomenal, and it was the perfect way to end our trip!

 

Day Thirteen-Fifteen: We spent these days traveling to Maui where we took two days to recuperate from all the jet lag. This time helped our bodies get somewhat back adjusted to American times. Of course, we were only in Maui just long enough for us to want to go back. I would like to say that we flew Air New Zealand from Melbourne to Auckland to Honolulu and all I have to say is if you EVER have the opportunity to fly this airline DO IT!!! It puts Delta and all other American based airlines to shame!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Minute Travel Facts:

We used Amy Daniel at Alabama World Travel!

The company she used was Abercrombie & Kent, and this  company provided us with the best guides!

Bona Fide or Bogus

To be honest, I knew that something was going down with Facebook; however, I wasn’t sure what exactly had happened. I just remember scrolling through my Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram feed and seeing Mark Zuckerberg appearing in what looked like court. For some reason, I never really invested any of my time into reading up on what all was happening, which I probably should have because Facebook is one of my top applications I use. Luckily, this blog post assignment has given me the opportunity to catch up on the Facebook- Cambridge Analytica data hijacking scandal.

 

This post is focusing on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook apology. I’m sure most people reading this knows what happened but might not have seen the written apology he made.

 

I honestly think that Zuckerberg’s apology was heartfelt and concerned. He addressed the situation at hand and made feel like he was going to do everything possible to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. I especially like how he took full responsibility for this scandal. He mentioned that he started Facebook and at the end of the day is responsible for what happens on his platform.

 

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” said Zuckerberg.

 

It might seem that Cambridge Analytica needed to take all the blame, but Zuckerberg didn’t bash them. He noted everything in the past Facebook has done to prevent these types of scandals. Even though this happened, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will now have a feature that reveals what apps are using your data and how to revoke it. This not only shows that Zuckerberg addressed the issue but is implementing a strategy to allow Facebook users to know when their data is being shared.

 

Here is a link to his Facebook apology: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10104712037900071

 

What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment below.

How AR Is Changing PR

There is a lot of discussion about how augmented and virtual reality are changing the game in public relations, marketing and even advertising. Many are unware that there is a difference between AR and VR. To get y’all caught up, virtual reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a scree inside or gloves fitted with sensors. Augmented Reality is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.

 

Ikea is a great example of how using AR can change the game. Ikea created their own app that allows their customers to view what furniture will look in their own space. In this image, I took an ottoman that Ikea sales and was able to place it in my own apartment to see what it would look like.  In my opinion, this changes the game. For example, with the Ikea app, buying furniture is no longer a pain. Customers don’t have to worry if a piece of furniture will work in their space or not. They can just use the app!

 

I think AR has many practical benefits available to the public relations field. Here are two examples:

 

  1. Press Releases using AR: Using AR in a press release or instead of your typical press release might benefit your company more. Using images to launch a range of media content, social links and 3D experiences can take your engagement to the next level. By using AR, people are going to be more likely to engage and connect to you or your company.
  2. PR Events: Using AR to showcase an event experience is another way that AR can change the game of PR. Customers want to know they are going to have a great experience at an event, whether that’s their seats or venue itself. Using AR to display visual floor plans or view from certain seats will benefit the company more, because the customer knows what to expect; therefore, creating a better experience. By using AR, customers will know what they are getting for their money.

 

These are only two of the hundreds of ways AR can be used and optimized in the field of public relations. I believe that AR and VR might end what we call modern day advertising. AR is constantly creating new experiences for the consumer through their phone or computer screen. AR has only wet our appetite and is only going to continue to grow. A couple years from now, I think AR is going to be everywhere.

Dear Lindsey

Senior year formal with the best gals

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I lack a lot in the sentimental/ emotional aspect of life. I rarely cry, and when I do, its normally happy tears and a dog video is involved. So, when writing this blog, it’s unlikely that I will get chocked up, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not sad to be leaving the place I’ve called home the past four years.

 

Auburn University, what can I say, I owe all of my successes these past four years to you. You gave me my passion in life, and I will never be able to give to you what you have given to me.  Looking back at these four years, a lot has changed. I’m such a better person because of this school, and little did freshman year me know what was in store.

From my senior self to my freshman self:

 

Good grades aren’t EVERYTHING (but they are important)

I, like many others before and after me, spent most of a first semester of freshman year stressing over my grades. I spent a lot more time in the library than out of it. #RBD4lyfe

My grades ended up being really good my first semester, but my social life was kinda nonexistent. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of friends, but I missed out on a lot of activities because I was always putting school first.

I believe that there is an even balance between the two. Good grades will get you into grad school, **SIDE NOTE: I’m going to grad school!! GO GATORS!!!** but going four years with little to no social interaction will be more likely to hold you back in life than a couple less than stellar grades on your report.  Learn to budget your time between studying, socializing and sleep.

 

All-nighters weren’t a good idea in high school, and they’re an even WORSE idea in college

 Save yourself a lot of trouble and just make getting a good night’s sleep a priority from the get-go. I’ve always been a night owl, and most of my best work is done late at night; however, college is a whole ‘nother level than high school. Trust me on this one; YOU NEED SLEEP!!! College classes move much faster than high school ones, so snoozing in class will put you very much behind.

Want to know the number of people I know who can be an actual functioning human after pulling an all-nighter? ZEROOOOOOO!!!! Don’t wait until the night before, or the day of like me and this blog post that is due by midnight tonight, to start studying for/doing your paper, project or exam.

 

Learn when enough is enough

This statement applies to many aspects of my freshman self: alcohol, junk food or Netflix binges- the list can go on for miles. Won’t go into great detail here, but just know when to call it quits!!

 

Please take advantage of the nation’s top recreation and wellness center  

 Not going to lie, gymtimidation is a major thing I suffer from. I hate going solely for the reason that I think people are constantly looking at me as if I’m doing something wrong. Well, that isn’t the case. The rec is one of the greatest things on campus, and who wants to gain the freshman 15????

This gets me to my next point…

 

AVOID the freshman 15

 Freshman 15?? More like freshman 30!!! Going from constantly having soccer practice every day of the year to not having to go to any practices was a major wake up call for me. Don’t get me wrong, I was no stick in high school, but I was in shape…


Boy did college change all of that. With that being said, feel free to TREAT YO SELF, but not to every good test or bad week you have. Both happened quite frequently to me, and my “treat yo self” moments added up to be higher than my calculus grade.

 

 

DON’T be afraid to ask for help

This one goes out to my mother!! She was constantly nagging me freshman year to go ask my professors for help. Hate to admit it, but she was right all along. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a VERY stubborn and strong-willed person. I hate asking for help from other people, whether it be friends or professors. I finally realized that most professors LOVE to help their students and want to see them succeed. Take advantage of office hours if you’re struggling. I promise it will benefit you in the long run.

 

Get involved

 Freshman year, I wasn’t involved in much. I was too scared as a pre-pharm student that getting involved would take away from me making good grades. All I have to say is that getting involved at Auburn was the best thing that has ever happened to me. If I would have realized that being an Athletic Recruiter would completely change my life, I would have joined S.O.A.R. freshman year. You come to college to get an education, but college is SOOOO much more than that. You go to college not only to prepare yourself for the rest of your life, but also to make you a well-rounded person.

My bff Liv and me on game day as Athletic Recruiters

***Don’t get involved so much to where you aren’t having a healthy balance of good grades and involvement!!***

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s okay to change majors, even more than once

 Coming to college, I knew exactly what I thought I wanted to be… a pharmacist. Well, have you ever met a pharmacist? If you have, you know that my personality is not meant to be behind a counter. I am a loud and proud person, and for me to thrive in life, my personality needs to show.

It might seem like everyone else has their life plan mapped out for the rest of their life, but it’s totally fine to not know what you’re going to have for dinner tonight. Let go and trust God to lead you to where you’re meant to be. Who knew that changing majors four times and traveling to ATL to get aptitude testing done would lead me to public relations. But guess what? I changed majors four times, and I am still graduating on time!!!

I only figured out what I wanted to do the rest of my life my second semester of junior year. I had five semesters go by before I realized what my true passion in life was. Take your time deciding, because if you’re not happy with your choice in college, then you won’t be happy in the “real world.”

 

Last but not least, GO TO ALL FOOTBALL GAMES (HOME AND AWAY)

 This one is very self-explanatory, so I promise to wrap this post up. Going to home and away games these past four years, gave me some of the BEST memories and even GREATER friends!! I mean you do attend an SEC school after all, so not going to football games is like not liking the taste of water: RIDICULOUS!!

Auburn @ Texas A&M senior year
Auburn @ Ole Miss junior year
ewwwwww
Auburn @ Georgia freshman year

State of the Union Address

For this blog post, I have created a word cloud for President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address.

 

President Trump had over 5,000 words in his State of the Union Address; however, I decided to only use his top 100 words for my word cloud. I chose not to read the entire address, because I wanted this post to be what topics I thought were most important to him and what caught my eye based on his top 100 words.

 

When first glancing at the word cloud the variations of America are the most eye catching. You can see that American, Americans and America were his top three words. I find it pretty interesting that all three are variations of each other. In my opinion, this tells me that President Trump was constantly addressing the American people. In the State of the Union Address, it is important to make sure your know who you audience is. Yes, he addressed Congress in person, but this address is always for the American people. It is the president’s responsibility to speak to the citizens of the United States through this address.

 

Next, the words “ISIS,” “terrorist” and “immigration” caught my eye. Now these three words were definitely hot topics this year and during President Trumps presidential race, but I found it strange that those three caught my eye before the words “country,” “year” or even “Congress” did.  Immigration was a huge part of President Trumps political campaign, so I am not surprised that it was one of his more frequent words. I knew this word would probably fall in the top 100 words, but he only used it eight times. I found this to be very shocking since he has such a strong stance on the topic.

 

After creating this post and the word cloud, I plan on going back and reading the address all the way through. It will be interesting to see if what I found most important in the word cloud, ends up being what was most important to President Trump in his speech.

 

The State of the Union Address is always an important part to any presidency. I would to love to hear back from anyone who reads this post what they took away from the word cloud.

 

 

 

Technology’s Long Tail: TED Talk

To get everyone caught up on what this post is about, I am writing a blog post on my reaction to the following video: https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_of_wired_on_tech_s_long_tail#t-842138

Please feel free to give it a view to better understand what I am about to talk about.

 

Not going to lie, I found this TED Talk to be very outdated, but I soon realized after watching it that it was published in 2004. That makes so much more sense. This video talks about “Technology’s Long Tail.” Chris Anderson, who was the then editor of Wired, explored the four key stages of any viable technology: setting the right price, gaining market share, displacing an established technology and becoming ubiquitous.

 

It’s no secret that technology is constantly evolving. We, as a society, love anything new, especially new technology. We can’t wait for the next bigger and better thing to immerge, shoving what we currently have to the side. This video really opened my eyes as to how fast technology is changing and progressing.

 

Anderson mentions the DVD player, Netflix, Wi-Fi and many more technologies in his talk. One thing that I found very interesting is that he said, “Wi-Fi hasn’t reach all four stages.” This made me stop and really think. What do you mean Wi-Fi hasn’t reached all four stages yet? It’s been around for as long as I can remember. But he is so true, Wi-Fi isn’t anywhere near being ubiquitous. Yes, it’s in most place that you go, but there are many places and people in this world who don’t have access to Wi-Fi. Until something new comes along to replace it, I have a feeling Wi-Fi is only going to get bigger, until it reaches every end of this earth.

 

I’ve grown up with technology almost all of my life. For as long as I remember, I had access to some form of technology. Now, this may include the good ole dial up in my grandmother’s computer room, but it still gave me access to the World Wide Web, even if it took four hours to get up and running. I think my generation, millennials, is the last generation to grow up on a VHR, or at least knows what VHR is. Seeing Anderson talk about how Netflix almost singlehandedly got rid of all movie rental stores is crazy. And now, Netflix doesn’t even distribute DVD’s anymore. Everything is all streaming. Anderson even mentioned Skype, which sends me back to my middle school days when I would come home from school and video chat my friends that I just left. Even Skype is basically nonexistent anymore. With Apple’s creation of FaceTime, Skype is no longer needed. FaceTime comes with every iPhone, so downloading the Skype app just takes up storage on our phones.

 

Lastly, it’s crazy to see how much things cost originally, and then as they become popular and new things emerge, the price starts to drop. The average DVD in 2018 cost around 30-40 dollars. In 2004, they were in the range of 100-200 for a nicer one.

 

Technology will always be evolving, and watching this TED Talk just made me realize how fast we as a society are making strides in the technology field. Everyone who is interested in technology’s long tail, please give this video a watch. It’ll only take 15 minutes of your time.

 

source for average cost of DVD player in 2004: http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=497

Turk Down For What

Not gonna lie, I have a love-hate relationship with Spring Break. Don’t get me wrong though, I look forward to Spring Break starting in January. For us Auburn students, we don’t have a break between MLK Day and SB.  SOS!! Those nine weeks tend to be very long and full of tests and projects, so by the time SB rolls around everyone can’t contain their excitement.

Almost all of my life I’ve gone to Colorado to snowboard for SB, but starting last year, I made the switch from snow to sand. Last year, I went on the most ratchet (use urban dictionary if you need a definition) cruise that exists on this planet. All in all, it was a huge waste of my money, but the 46 girls I went with all left with some of the funniest memories that we will cherish forever. (#GMOTB)

I’m getting to the point about this whole “sand for sb” thing. If you look at me, you know that I don’t have the bod for a swimsuit. Honestly, thinking about cramming myself into a swim suit is the last thing I want to be doing.

However, I will say that Lent always comes at the right time of year. PRAISE. THE. LORD.  I speak for all the college women out there when I say that we would like to take a moment of silence to thank God for these 40 days!!!  (I gave up bread, which has helped “somewhat” achieve a semi, nonexistent “beach bod”)

However, this Spring Break, I am headed to the Turks and Caicos Islands with one of my best friends, Kate Stewart. **Side note, I would like to thank the wonderful Ms. Knight for introducing us to each other in her Case Studies class our Junior year!!**

 

Anyways, if you’re not familiar with the Turks and Caicos, they are an archipelago (that’s a big word for me) of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean. They are a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas. The island that we will be visiting is Providenciales, or as the locals call it “Provo.”

This is my second time visiting Provo, and I literally can’t contain my excitement to be going back in just a few short days. Kate and I are going to be traveling with a crew of 20… let’s pray that everything goes smoothly. Traveling with this big of a crowd needs a PR plan of its own. There needs to be serious planning, implementation and evaluation to help achieve a successful SB2K18.

My main goal for SB is honestly just to relax. After this week heading into Spring Break, there is nothing more I am going to want to do than just lay by the ocean and listen to the waves crash along the shoreline. Our huge crew will be staying at the wonderful Beaches resort. Y’ALL THIS RESORT IS AMAZING!!! The last time my family and I went to Provo, which was Thanksgiving 2014, we stayed at this fantastic resort in their French Village.

Beaches consists of a 45,000 square-foot waterpark (yes, you read that correctly, A WATERPARK!), five magnificent villages (which mimics architecture of Italy, France, the Caribbean and Key West), a 12-mile beach and 21 taste worthy restaurants. Kate, my ‘rents, my sister and I will be staying at a house in the Key West Village. Just imagine those cute houses down along 30-A, Florida. Pretty much we basically picked up 30-A and moved it to the Caribbean.

There isn’t really an “itinerary” for this trip. We basically are going to wake up each morning and see what we want to do that day. However, we do have a catamaran snorkeling cruise scheduled. (my family is huge into water sports, so snorkeling comes with every trip of ours) Each morning when we wake up, normally at breakfast, we will strategize what all we want to plan and do during the day based on what is around us. My ultimate goal is to come back as a bronze goddess, so you’ll find me out in the sun every day, all day.

If I don’t come back bronze and rejuvenated, then I’m not sure what is going to happen. I need that Vitamin-SEA, ASAP!!

 

Being near the beach is my happy place, so I have a feeling that this SB trip will be very successful. Y’all please pray that I am able to pack my suit case with everything I need, without exceeding the 50 pound weight limit.

 

 

 

I’ll see y’all in a week!!

 

 

 

Your Ultimate National Singles Awareness Day Guide

All the single ladies

Now put your hands up

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I don’t know about y’all, but I hate the month of February. What is worse than a month filled with chocolate, candy, hearts and my favorite, couples. Now one might say, “you don’t like February because you’re single.” Well… you would be correct. February is an entire month dedicated to rubbing in single people’s faces that you’re in a relationship. Well guess what? I’m not about it one bit.

 

If you’re like me, aka single as a pringle, then you’re probably just as fed up with this month as I am. Not only is February 14, one of the hardest days for us people not in a relationship, but for some reason, every couple thinks it’s okay to take the whole month to advertise that they’re in a relationship.

 

Last time I checked it was Valentine’s DAY, not Valentines MONTH!! I do have some good news for all my single ladies out there: February 15 is considered National Singles Awareness Day. Yes, you indeed just read that sentence correctly. NATIONAL SINGLES AWARENESS DAY!!! I promise it’s considered a “holiday,” even nationalcalendar.com told me so. Most acronyms abbreviate it as “SAD,” but we aren’t sad, so I went ahead and added the “N” to it.

So how is one supposed to spend NSAD?? All it takes is a little planning, implementation and evaluation to make this day bigger and better than V-Day. Forget V-Day, it’s now Me-Day. Us single people know we don’t need anyone to complete us. In my opinion, my dog gives me more love and affection than any guy will/ would.

 

To pull off the ultimate NSAD, you’ll need to do a little bit of planning.  In the wise words of Tom and Donna on Parks and Recreation: Treat. Yo. Self. And this is just what we are about to do. Map out how you’d like to spend this wonderful holiday than implement it. Need ideas? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

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The first step to my NSAD, is to go out and buy some candy or chocolate. You should know by now, but the day after Valentines, candy is drastically marked down. I would like to say a big “thank you” to Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens. We didn’t need your overpriced candy to begin with, now we get to indulge without breaking the bank. See, since we are single, we have no shame stuffing our faces with candy. We aren’t out here to impress anyone, especially not on NSAD.

 

After you’ve racked up on the discounted Ghirardelli, Dove, Lindor and Hershey’s, you’re ready for the next part of your amazing day. On your way home plug that cellphone of yours into the aux or use Bluetooth (because we are so tech savvy nowadays) and jam your heart out. I have included an epic playlist for us single ladies out there, so prepare to channel your inner Beyoncé on your drive home.

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**for the bomb playlist search “man! i feel like a woman” by Amalea Poulos in the Spotify app (don’t know who that person is but everyone thank her for your jams)**

Now that you’ve made it home, order the best take-out food. If you live in the wonderful Auburn-Opelika area, I would suggest Pho Lee. Nothing goes better than Vietnamese food and candy, right? Right! Or if you’re not feeling it Tiger Town Togo has some other great options.

 

Between the time you place your order, to its delivery, you probably have roughly 30 minutes. This is where my ladies need to whip out those bath bombs that I know every one of you currently has at home and have a nice relaxing soak in the rub a dub tub. Keep an eye on the time now. We don’t want any awkward encounters of going to the door in a towel.

 

Once you’re out of the bath and the food has been delivered, it is time to post-up (not as in basketball) and watch the best chick flick or women’s empowering movie. Hopefully by now you have either Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Fire Stick, Rocu or Apple TV; if not, we have a major problem that I can’t resolve. Some movie that I suggest are She’s the Man, Mulan, (if you’re into Disney, because I totally am), Legally Blonde, Clueless, Miss Congeniality or The Princess Diaries 2. There are many more, but those are my faves so that’s what you get from me.

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Time to ball up on the couch, eat your favorite meal and have candy for dessert, all while watching the best women related movies.

 

Now the best way to evaluate how successful your day was, is to make sure you checked all the boxes. If you’re using my routine, you can’t skip any of the above listed elements. They are all a necessity to make sure you NSAD is the best one yet. If you wake up on February 16 happy and stuffed, then I would say you had a pretty successful day. You can thank me later for it.

 

Now then, let’s celebrate not having to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

The Ultimate Auburn Bucket List

So here it is. The year I have been dreading for four years now: my senior year of college. December is fast approaching, which means I only have one more semester left at the best school in the entire nation. For some, graduation is an exciting time because it means no more school. For others, it’s the day we have dreaded since stepping foot here for the very first time.

As scary as it is to graduate, it has to come and we might as well make the most of it. At Auburn, there a several things that upperclassmen will tell lowerclassmen that they need to do during the next four years. After thinking about graduating, I came up with a list of things that all Auburn students must do before they walk across the stage and receive their diploma.

1. HAVE TOOMERS ON SAMFORD LAWN

Samford Lawn is the most iconic spot on Auburn’s campus. On a pretty fall or spring day, the lawn will be covered with students studying, catching up, throwing the football or walking their dogs. While at Auburn, it is a must to not only have Toomers Lemonade, but to drink it on Samford Lawn. Toomers is located steps from Samford Lawn, so just bring the lemonade on over to campus. Something about having Toomers Lemonade on Samford Lawn makes it taste even better. It’s hard to describe, but if you’re an Auburn student you’ll understand as soon as you do it.

2. GO TO AWAY FOOTBALL GAMES

Every year I made an effort to attend one Auburn football away game. Let me just say, that I should have attended as many as possible. Senior year, I made a pact with myself to attend all of them unless there was no way I couldn’t. I made it to every game but the Missouri game. Not only does it allow you to see more Auburn football games, but it gives you an excuse to travel to other states and schools and meet new people.

3. VISIT CHEWACLA

Chewacla State Park is any adventure, nature loving person’s playground. All it takes is $2 to get in and you have hiking/biking trails galore and a river to take a nice dip in. You can rent a bike, hammock or kayak from the outdoor rental store at the Auburn Recreation and Wellness Center to take to the state park. 

4. STUDY ABROAD

This is my biggest regret while attending Auburn. There are so many ways to study abroad at Auburn, that there is no excuse not to. From yearlong, single semester and summer study abroad programs, Auburn has something for everyone. Why not take a class in another country and get credit for it?

5. FIND THE SECRET TUNNELS

Word on the street is that there are secret underground tunnels that run all over campus underground. There is even one that leads to the fifty-yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Find someone on campus who has previously done this and go on a hidden tour of Auburn University.

6. CLIMB SAMFORD HALL

Only certain organizations on campus have the privilege of being able to climb to the top of Samford Hall. Find one of these organizations to get involved in, or get someone higher up in Samford Hall to take you to the top. Once at the top you have the opportunity to sign the clock tower and leave your forever mark on Auburn University.

7. CLIMB CATER HALL

As you go through your four years at Auburn, you will more than likely see a picture of someone standing on the roof of Cater Hall. Visit one of the upper quad dorms located besides Cater Hall to get access to the roof. Just knock on the door that has window access, and I’m sure they will understand. It comes with the territory.

8. VISIT THE RED BARN

If you ever want a photo shoot, the Red Barn is the place to do it. When the sun is setting, the view from the red barn over the little lake is breathtaking. There is nothing like an Auburn sunset, because God is an Auburn fan, right? Whip out those cellphones and document the view on social media for everyone to see.

9. ROLL TOOMERS CORNER

This is a no-brainer. After every football win, the Auburn Family and community makes it way to Toomers Corner to roll the oak trees. It doesn’t snow in Auburn often, so this is our own version of a “Winner Wonderland.” Take part in rolling Toomers by throwing a roll of toilet paper up into the trees.

10. EXPERIENCE CALLOUTS

There is no tradition like Cater Callouts. When you interview for an organization at Auburn, instead of posting a list of who was accepted, your name will be read aloud on the back steps of Cater Hall for the entire Auburn Family to hear. Everyone gathers to celebrate and congratulate the new members of the organization.