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Peony Prattle

Move Out

May 24, 2015

On my last night in Washington DC I left the shades up on my bedroom window and my glass balcony door. I wanted to be able to look out onto my little piece of the city before the night carried me to morning, to moving day.

For almost a year I looked out across an alley to a rooftop garden tended to by the elderly couple that lived across the way. It was luck that we had chosen the one apartment on the seventh floor alley that looked out on an open garden rather than look directly into apartment windows of the building next to us- had I appreciated that enough?

For the weeks leading up to graduation I had been focused on who I was going to miss rather than what I was going to miss. In those moments before I fell asleep with my room almost bare and my dresser bubble wrapped next to me, I understood for the first time that DC had become my city in far more ways than just geographic location. I was going to miss it.

Because in truth, DC is more than a place that I lived, its a moment in time.

The city, its streets, its landmarks, its color, is anchored to the memories that line the passing of my four years at college. The Lincoln Memorial is my freshman year, while Twenty-Third Street is connected so closely my sophomore year. The walk around Washington Circle my junior year, U Street colors the summer. Running down Connecticut in DuPont will forever be senior year.

While I was connecting myself to all of these places I was spending a great deal of time saying, never DC, only New York. Nostalgia and hindsight have left me wishing that I hadn’t been overlooking Admo and Logan Circle to what may happen in the future. My fingers and toes are crossed that I do end up in New York City,but  I can’t help to acknowledge that I’ve never given the District enough credit.

Any of my snapchat friends can tell you I cried in the UHaul as my dad maneuvered it through Dupont. I was crying because I had just said goodbye to that garden terrace, my best friend and was in the process of saying goodbye to my city. I waved as I passed our Thursday night bar one last time.

As an homage to my four-year city, be on the look out for the P&S BEST OF DC tomorrow! There’s a guest blogger, some graphics, and a wide selection of memories, places & people from our last four years in the District. We couldn’t be more excited to share it with all of you. 

little moments make you move,

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Vingt-deux (22)

May 6, 2015

Its been a week and a day since I woke up as a twenty-two year old. I can’t say that in the week that’s followed April 28th, I’ve felt much different. Its not the way that twenty-one shows up and let’s you know that its there. Twenty-two is much quieter, a bit more unassuming than the birthday’s that have come before it.

For that reason, I started to think about what I’ve done since turning 22. It’s actually a pretty impressive list of new, funny and thoughtful things happening to me and around me. So, while 22 was a bit quieter, the week that followed has been pretty weird, pretty funny, and pretty great. It made me realize that vingt-deux shouldn’t just be written off.

Here are 10 things that have happened since April 28th:

  1. I got flowers sent to me on a Monday
  2. Grilled a hamburger on my very own for the first time (I didn’t turn on the grill)
  3. Received a ‘thank you’ note for being me
  4. Got punched in the face (inadvertently, yet punched just the same)
  5. Drank red wine & oranges for breakfast
  6. Thought of my next great idea
  7. Found out another one of my friends will be joining me in the tri-state next year
  8. Drank my first bottle of Veueve with my favorite people
  9. Was forced into an ab workout of all ab workouts
  10. Was gifted a Peonies necklace

flowers

Flowers 2

Oranges

Peonies and AOE

Peonies

wasn't so bad #22

 

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#DenimDay2015

April 29, 2015

This morning people everywhere threw on their favorite pair of jeans in a show of support for survivors of sexual assault as well as a call for sexual assault education. Today, I wear my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans knowing that each rip is a reminder that there is never an excuse.

Peace Over Violence along with Guess Jeans is sponsoring this moment of jean-clad solidarity that has been covered on social media by Vogue, J.Crew, Jean Stories and countless other tastemakers in the US.

Sure, I’m no Condé Nast, but I would be remiss not to use this moment as a call to action to all of the women and men that read this blog, especially those of us still living on college campuses. There isn’t ever an excuse. No jeans are too tight, too low cut or too ripped.

So, throw on your favorite pair of jean cut-off’s and know that you’re wearing them with a purpose,

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A Planner With No Plan (& No Job)

April 23, 2015

The Last Year Series Body

Yesterday I was standing alongside the canal in Georgetown talking to my dad on the phone before walking into yoga. We were talking happy hours, family vacation and my impending move-out of my first big kid apartment.

“We can really move you out whenever,” he said. “Its not like you have any commitments after graduation, right?”

At face value what he said was completely true; after May 18th time becomes even more fluid. There is no schedule. There is no start date. What my father didn’t realize was that he was articulating exactly what’s so scary to me about the concept of graduating without a job.

I’m a planner by nature. No matter how hard I try to be flexible, I find it difficult to deviate from a plan. Throughout high school, there was always a next step to get to, something expected that you had to achieve. Senior year of high school was spent jumping from deadline to deadline, and while I complained about its stressors, I liked the methodical schedule of the steps to college.

Being a senior this time around hasn’t afforded me the benefit of knowing “the correct steps to take next.” ThereCountdown are no universal ‘right steps.’ All of my friends and fellow class members are going about finding their futures differently; it’s a non-scheduable process.

So, with only 23 days left before undergrad is over I’m planning what I can. I’m planning when to send out a slew
of cold emails asking people I’ve never met to chat about entry-level opportunities. I’m scheduling coffee dates with people who can help navigate the landscape of what a post-grad journalism life look like. I booked a hair appointment so my hair looks acceptable in graduation photos (thanks for that Mom). I made all of my dinner reservations for graduation weekend weeks ago.

In between reserving a place at Farmers, Fishers and Bakers and booking an appointment to regain my lob though, I’m also trying to coax myself into the mindset that unscheduled doesn’t mean unsuccessful. Perhaps it means one really great trip across the Atlantic with my family free of responsibilities. Maybe it means writing for myself for a bit while I scour Indeed and Media Bistro.

Or maybe I should stop trying to define the time I’ve been afforded between graduation and employment because perhaps its unscheduled for a reason.

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Cap & Gown Got Me Down

March 30, 2015

Two years ago, when P&S was a baby blog living on Blogger, I wrote a post about an email GW sent to us the April of my sophomore year. The email was an invitation to a “Halfway to Graduation!” Party. I was appalled. Who were the cynical people celebrating the halfway mark to the end of my life? Needless to say, I didn’t attend. P&S The Last Year Series

Somehow though, halfway has become 7/8ths of the way done and GW has decided to celebrate my fall from college grace with another feté: The Commencement Fair.

I was still appalled at the thought of connecting the words ‘fair’ and ‘commencement,’ because I have yet to see what it is that we’re celebrating. The loss of Wednesday mornings without work or class? Going to yoga during the day? Going out on a Tuesday? I couldn’t wrap my mind around something festive waiting for me in our basement bookstore when I was feeling so stunted by the onslaught of graduation nerves. But I had to get my cap and gown. I had no choice.

As it turns out, a party would have been much appreciated.

The grey of the bookstore was punctuated by 4 balloons. Four. Then there was a line of tables representing the Senior Class Gift, the yearbook, and two reps from Herff Jones that spend most of their time in underground bookstores trying to sell class rings to people who have yet to accept that they’re even graduating. Besides me, Chelsea and the employees of the bookstore, they were the only one’s there.

“Buying your gowns?”

It was a guy with a deadpan expression standing behind the register. The shock that ran through me is equivalent to the shock that ran through Hogwarts each time Harry Potter was brave enough to utter the name Voldemort. The robe that shall not be named. 

We purchased our cap and gown ($60, available from Herff Jones universities wide) as the deadpan man pointed to a window at the other end of the room.

“Go pick them up there.”

And so we did. We gave them our height and they gave us gowns that are supposed to fit and a cap that honestly may not fit my head and then it was over. It was over and we were walking up the stairs back to the day. I felt like something huge had just happened in a very quiet way. Chelsea teared up as we passed the Registrar’s office. Because now it’s unavoidable.

And there were only four balloons.

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Spring Break 2015

March 7, 2015

ksprigbreak

Number 20 on the Last Year Series To Do List is “Go on a tropical spring break.” Well, after a touch and go moment with one plan falling through and another one not readily available, it’s happening. Miami here I come! (Not as tropical as I was originally thinking, but islands aren’t the only places with palm trees).

I’m hoping that I can put on two hats this break: granny & college spring breaker. This means books on the beach and a lot of fun at night exploring a city that I’ve never been to before. There will be some guest appearances by high school friends, my cousin Matt, and my GGLittle.

So, cheers to not knowing exactly what I’m going to get & cheers to my last spring break as an under grad. I’ll see you all in a week with some new posts and a lot of photos! 

little moments make you big & big trips make for good stories,

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2015

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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my P&S readers! My cards have be written, sent, and prepared for hand delivery. Now, I’m off to brunch to meet my two valentine’s Mimosa & Waffle.

I hope that your day is everything you want it to be! If that means laying in bed with a bag of chips and a good movie, I hope that you’re already queuing Netflix up. If you want February 14th to be full of surprises and red roses, I hope that your day is overflowing with gestures. If you’d like to eat chocolate all day, by all means, channel the chubby kid from Matilda on a chocolate cake of your choosing.

Whatever it may look like & whoever you may spend it with, I hope that you feel the love this Valentine’s Day.

 

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Write More on Paper

February 10, 2015

When I asked Lisa Rowan of Grey Moggie Press what ‘Write More on Paper,’ meant to her, this is what she said:

The people who think of you and send you stuff in the mail? Those are the people you love the most.

I would have to agree with her. Sitting down to write out a card or a letter or just your thoughts takes effort, something that not many of us dispense anymore when expressing ourselves to somebody else. True effort is not remembering to text someone, its taking that extra step. That extra step for me is buying a card and penning out exactly what it is I want to say.

For those of you who don’t know, my mom moved expat this year.

She’s 5 hours ahead and an ocean apart from me, so while I use Viber and iMessage on a day-to-day basis, I love to pick out the perfect card to send to her a world away. It was my mother who instilled in me this love of letter writing (and an even bigger love for buying adorable note cards like these). My childhood memories are sprinkled with the types of cards she was using that year or that season. Every time I’ve ever done anything with anyone else’s family, there was a perfectly picked out thank you note involved.

So, now, I write her letters. Some are just to say hello. Some are to thank her for not killing me while driving me around Oxford, England. Some, I don’t have much to say in, but rather just wanted her to see the design on the front.

I hope that when she gets a letter from me, signed xoxo, Kell, she feels like she’s reading a little piece of home.

This Valentine’s Day I challenge you to write out something for someone special.

You think they know you love them? Write it down! Tell your friend thank you for letting you order that pizza and then listening to you drone on, over slices 4, 5 and 6, about the kid that broke your heart. Leave your roommate a little note letting them know that you’ll forget about the dishes and that you love them just the same.

I write because it is more articulate than anything that ever comes out of my mouth. Perhaps you should write just because you can. 

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A Liebster Award!

February 3, 2015

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What a pleasant surprise! Kirsten Brontmire of Kristen Loves Lyla  nominated P&S for a Liebster Award!

After a few minutes of Googling, I found out the Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers. The point of the award is to spread blogging love for sites that are on the smaller side.  It’s a pay it forward movement that’s meant to gain those nominated and those nominating new followers! Here’s how we go about it:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominates you.
2. Answer the questions given by the person who nominates you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
5. Let the nominees know they’ve been nominated!

Thank you so much, Kristen. P&S readers, how about we give Kirsten Loves Lyla some reader love? Now, to answer some questions:

1. You only get to eat one food for the rest of your life. What is it?
French bread and cheese. I’m simple. I always tell my friends I could have survived just fine in 18th century France.

2. What is your focus goal for your blog this year?
On P&S I’m really attempting to diversify my editorial content and expand my readership by doing so. I want to show that I don’t only love to write, but I enjoy curating content as well!

3. What is one thing you love about yourself?
I love my big round cheeks. I’ve spent a lot of time complaining that they’re not high cheek bones, but now that I’m a little older I’ve realized that they’re my signature thing. 

4. Your proudest moment?
Getting into the journalism program in the school of media and public affairs at gw. I was so undecided for so long that deciding on a major and succeeding in getting into the program felt like a huge accomplishment. 

5. Favorite movie?
This a tie between 500 Days of Summer and The Family Stone. Both are quirky and little bit devastating. I love them for that. 

6. What are two things you hope to improve about your blog?
First, I want post more regularly and have more of a uniform schedule. Second, I want to cement my series into features that readers want to come back to P&S to check. 

7. What is the one thing you hate the most?
Waiting.

8. What is your dream vacation?
Traveling around Europe for an extended period of time with the people that I love. 

9. What is one thing you can’t live without?
A notebook (and a pen). If you know me then you know that I never go far without something to write on.

10. Where do you like to go with your friends?
I like to try out new restaurants all around DC

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Honestly, I have no idea. Then again, that uncertainty is exactly what this blog is about. 

Next! My 11 nominees:

  1. Lindsey of Rebhan Rennovation
  2. Olivia of Liv Laugh & Love Leopard 
  3. Erin of Styles I Like
  4. Kelsey of Fashioning Fiction
  5. Ana of Better Than Ramen
  6. Dezzie of Dezzie, Darling
  7. Yuen of the Craziest Paradigm 
  8. Angela of Cowgirl Runs 
  9. Rebeca Elena of The Glitter Diaries 
  10. Becky Neeb of her Paris Abroad Blog 
  11. Holly of Simplify Create Inspire 
  12. Kelsey of Fashioning Fiction

My Questions to the above 11 bloggers:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What’s your favorite thing to blog about?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  4. What’s your favorite place to go by yourself?
  5. Coffee or tea?
  6. Can you describe your personal style?
  7. What can readers expect from your blog in the upcoming year?
  8. What are you most excited about right now?
  9. Biggest accomplishment?
  10. What’s your favorite type of music?
  11. What did you do today to reach a goal that you have?

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Cousins Who Blog Together…

January 30, 2015

…stay together. 

I’d love to introduce you to Rebhan Renovation, a blog run by my cousin Linsdey! It was originally a space used to document the renovations she and her new (at the time!) husband were carrying out on their first house. While the blog remains a chronicle to Lindsey’s various renos and all around craftiness, there’s been a little shift in content.

Lindsey has officially entered the world of mommy blogging!

Both of us running blogs was serendipitous and I revel in it. While we are nearly a country apart, we are no longer tied only by our last names (or maiden names) and round faces. Lindsey has even carved out some room for me on her page, ‘Blogs We Love,’ which is quite possibly one of the biggest and best compliments I’ve ever received.

Send some P&S love to Rebhan Renovation and check out their page, their adorable dogs and the most huggable, squeezable baby you’ve ever seen!

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