I’m coming to you live from a hotel in Kansas City – killing time before I head to the airport and fly back to my beloved east coast. I don’t know why, but I miss being in the same time zone as my friends and family. You would think an hour isn’t a big deal, but it’s thrown me all off. The conference went well. I mingled (against my introvert tendencies) and learned a lot; however, I cannot wait to get back to my office and start my hardcore training for the new job.

Things I learned this week:

1. Always carry a bag with a hashtag on it to a technology conference. It will always be a conversation starter.


2. Kansas City calls this barbecue. Also, they have this delicious obsession with putting cheese on everything. The runny yellow stuff on the right is cheesy corn. Basically, yellow kernel corn in a soup of velveeta cheese. It was actually delicious, though I couldn’t help seeing the digestive irony in putting cheese and corn together.kcmo

3.  Name badges ruin every outfit. Also, never date pirates. They’re just after the booty.argh

4. “It’s not what you find, it’s what you find out.” – Barry Clifford, pirate treasure finder


5. Always do something the kid version of you would be proud of — like visiting the crayola store.


Talk to you guys when I’m east of the Mississippi. xo.



reasons why i’ll need therapy

Today was a day of overwhelming activities. The day started at 5:30 when I surprisingly beat my alarm clock at waking up. From there, I stumbled into the shower and out the door on my way to the airport. During this 35 minute drive, I had the thought “Hmm…I miss my old apartment” briefly….but only because it was ten minutes away from the airport. I could have slept longer.

Now for the overwhelming part, I flew alone for the first time…ever. This (and the whole conference I’m at this week) is a reason why I have social anxiety. I think over time my childhood shyness developed into full-fledged awkward adult introvertness. I’m not comfortable in places that I’m not familiar with. I don’t know how to initiate conversation. I can literally feel my skin crawling when I’m in a crowd of people and don’t have my buffer zone (aka my phone). It’s something I desperately need to work on.  Anyway, I made it through security (TSA lady liked my hair – holla!) and located the Starbucks where I had a conversation with a pilot. Okay, it was early in the morning and I was making small talk with another individual. I deserved all the gold stars.


To add to my success, I made it through the first flight no problem. Then during the stop in St. Louis an older gentleman boarded the plane and sat in my row. There was a seat between us and I smiled and said hi after he got settled in. HE IGNORED ME! Like looked me up and down and then turned his head. Then a lady took the seat between us and he struck up a conversation with her. So the rest of the flight I wondered what was so wrong with me that he couldn’t even say hi.

After deciding to put on my headphones and go about my day without worrying about Mr. Grumpy Gus, I successfully navigated the airport, baggage claim, and catching a taxi to the hotel. Small successes. From there I spent the day curled up in my nice, comfy king size bed writing two papers I put off until today (hence the lack of grammar in this post – sorry guys…those papers got my good writing). Then here comes overwhelming incident #2 – the welcome reception.

Photo Jul 28, 6 30 14 PM

Now I’m attending this conference for work, and I’m attending it alone. Oh, and there are 700+ people registered for it with multiple schools sending entire fleets of people. Needless to say, I was feeling mighty small to begin with. So there was a welcome reception this evening called “Spirit Night” (where you wear your school colors  and all that jazz). Well I had decided before even getting on the plane that I wasn’t going to it. No way – no how was I going into a room full of people I didn’t know for a social function. That has awkward written all over it. After spending all day alone, I convinced myself that in order to meet people, I have to be where the people are. So I pulled on my little work polo, jeans and converse and meandered my way down there. What I saw was terrifying. A darkened ballroom, reminiscent of a high school prom, clusters of people milling about and loud music. Introvert Leah was like, “Oh hells no!” So I turned around and went back upstairs. Social butterfly fail. Finger crossed for tomorrow!

Photo Jul 28, 6 36 18 PM

(Pictures are from the world war I memorial that is right outside of my window – I had to go for a walk after all my awkwardness).

mama bear.

Y’all – I had my first “mama bear” moment this morning. And to make matters worse, I don’t even really know the child I was feeling protective over. So what happened, you ask? Well it all started by me opening Instagram. I love Instagram – I’m that girl who’s taking pictures of her food before she eats it at almost every meal. I’m sure if you follow me, you roll your eyes at me at least once a week. I even posted a selfie this week (oh – the horror!).

Anyway, I opened Instagram and saw that someone had requested to follow me. At first I didn’t recognize the name, and then it hit me – it was the child of one of my mom’s old friends. Someone that should only be like ten or eleven if that. Someone whose dad used to hide his beer in inconspicuous plastic tumblers so my sister and I wouldn’t know that he was drinking. My first thought was “WHY?! Why does this child have an iProduct?” then I started scrolling through their feed (which made me feel like a pedophile) and saw a mixture of pictures of themselves and then screenshots of graphics that float around the interwebs saying things like “When life gives you lemons, add vodka”.

Oh my gosh – I almost had an aneurysm. I wanted to shake this child and say, “You deserve to have a childhood – stop trying to be an adult!” It was so unnerving to me. Like is this what kids these days do? What happened to sports and being so nervous to call your friends because their parents might answer? Finally, I consoled myself with the fact that they will grow up and (hopefully) realize that being an adult is not all it’s cracked up to be and popularity on the internet shouldn’t be your life’s ambition. That and they’ll probably hit that stage where they’re embarrassed by what they said online when they were 11-ish. Heck, I’m embarrassed by things I posted on Facebook last week.

Ye Olde Virginia.


This past weekend I visited my wonderful sister and her soon-to-be hubs at their new house in Virginia. As sad as I was about her leaving me in North Carolina to fend for myself, I’m so excited for their new place and new town. We spent the weekend unpacking and organizing their new place, watching lots of Big Bang Theory and Friends, and driving all over Lynchburg to take care of errands. My favorite stop was this little produce stand on the side of 29 where we encountered a man who was scared to cut in front of my sister in the squash line because he didn’t know if Alan “was packing”.


I managed to get a run in on Saturday evening and I am so sad this isn’t my everyday view. If anyone tells you Virginia isn’t the prettiest state, punch first and ask questions later.

Anyway, I’m sure I will be back up there soon — I mean we’ve got a wedding to plan! Also, they’re the most adorable couple on the planet, I mean how could I resist?


Picture courtesy of StoryPhotographers!



I’m about to start this novel by Ron Rash. It’s set in North Carolina and has been turned into a movie that is to be released on October 31. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and we all know how much I loved them together in SLP. Yay library books!Serena

Creativity is hard work!


Here’s a little something I whipped up for my facebook page while getting some practice in on the software I’ll be using on a day-to-day basis. It’s already miles ahead of the stuff I thought I could do! Happy hump day, y’all!

Weekend wins.

I haven’t quite figured out how to balance the super awesome weekends with the mediocre, humdrum weekends. It’s usually all or nothing with me, but thankfully this past weekend was all awesome! If you read my last post, you know how my Friday went and you know what I did Friday night (hello pantsless nutter butter party!) and I’m sure you’re extremely jealous of how cool I am. It’s hard for some people, I know.


Saturday was even more awesome. I had plans with my good friend, Melissa, to eat chicken and waffles at Beasley’s. That turned into wandering around the history museum discussing history, current issues, personal issues, and everything else under the sun, crying into my chicken and waffles, and watching Silver Linings Playbook while drinking rum and Cokes and putting stamps on Abby’s wedding invitations. (Holy run-on sentence, Batman). Basically, it was the perfect girls’ day and I’m so thankful for it!

Sunday was pretty stinkin’ awesome, too! I laid out at the pool, uninterrupted, because apparently no one else realized the sun was out. Then my phone rang and it was none other than Gwen, who said she was passing through town on her way to the coast. Hello, impromptu lunch date with my BFF from home! That was such a pleasant surprise. Now I’m completely obsessed with the idea we discussed of running a half-marathon together. I want to run the Disney Princess half-marathon in February (24th birthday weekend, holla!), but it’s a little pricey and I’m a little out of shape. I’ll let you know the verdict! Happy Monday!

These are a few of my favorite things…

I usually have a hard time with picking out the obvious and “reading the signs”, but I’m guessing when two people (related and non-related) mention your blog and how it hasn’t been updated in a while – you should probably write something. So hi…sorry I’ve been a hermit.

I know I missed a Friday favorites and finds; however I was on a road trip for work which involved being in the car for 12 hours, seeing 20 of our alumni, purchasing 9 dozen doughnuts, and laughing until we cried. By the time I got home on Friday night, I was pretty much a shell of a  person. Literally, I walked into my house, took off my pants, ate some Nutter Butters and went to bed. If you think I don’t know how to party, you are mistaken, my friend. Anyway, I figured I would do favorite things tonight.

1. Warm Bodies – I know, I know…I was skeptical at first, too. I was all like, “Zombies? Romance? I outgrew my Hot Topic phase seven years ago. No, thank you!” But it was adorable and heart-warming.

2. White Mocha Skinny Iced Coffee from Creek Coffee – seriously, it’s the one reason I look forward to going to class on Monday nights.

3. Moon & Lola and seeing my sister’s soon-to-be monogram for the first time! Oh, and of course I had to order something for myself when I went to pick it up. Doesn’t this look like me? I couldn’t resist.


4. The One With All The Resolutions – This love is threefold: 1. It’s currently on right now. 2. Ross’s leather pants. 3. It always reminds me of Kara saying “No divorces in ’99!” on New Year’s Eve.

5. The new pop-up ice cream shop Downtown. Mainly because it’s located across from the only parking deck I know how to navigate the city from.


6. Christmas is 5 months and 10 days away. Start making your lists!

Let’s start this week off with a bang!