HAPPY NEW YEARS!

This post is not one of a happy nature.  It's a goodbye post.  To Austin Michael Hall.  He was the best friend someone could have asked for.  Sweet, innocent, good head on his shoulder, loved his mother, and talented in everything he did.  He was in the Air Force and he was quite the daredevil.  He had a passion for life and trying new things, but sadly that passion is why he isn't here with us anymore.  Austin passed away due to a motorcycle accident.  The whole town was shocked.  Something this horrible should not have happened to someone so amazing.  Our whole community has heavy hearts, but we will always keep you in our hearts Austin.
One of the gifts that I got Omar, Gabe, and my brother, Patrick, for Christmas was take them paint balling.  I got a bunch of our friends together and we went out to Paintball in Aldie, VA.  We had all of the couple on opposite teams and we played for what felt like hours.  We used all of our tactic skills to hide and dodge paintballs.  They hurt!!! If you've never gone before you totally should because it's a blast, but be prepared for the bruises.


My team won the most games!  I think there was only one game that we didn't win.  Omar & I went after each other every game.  It was hilarious though.

The most important thing I can ask of my readers is to never give up on what you want.  May it be a health goal, a career goal, or even if you've been eyeing the last pair of Jessica's on the shelf, always go after what you want.  It's something that I have strongly believed in the past couple years and it has never let me down.  People say I'm crazy for applying to a large internship, they tell me to start small and local.  People tell me that living in California is too expensive and I should "stay in my price range."  People are constantly telling me that my degree won't get me a job.  In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.  Why would I settle for anything but extraordinary?  No one ever made it big by playing it safe.  I know that my perseverance and drive will take me places further than I could imagine.  I don't need someone to hold my hand and walk me through the steps because I am doing it on my own.  I may not be where I am today, or tomorrow, but I will be there one day.  And you are never too young to have a dream.    I hope all of you stay true to who are and go after what you want in life.  Don't let anyone stop you from accomplishing your goals. Your value doesn't decrease because somebody doesn't see your worth.  I believe in you, but most importantly I hope you believe in yourself too.

As one of my Christmas gifts, Omar took me to a shooting range for the first time in my whole life.  It was so much fun and I did pretty well for a newbie.  Apparently my stance is off, but I can work on that.  It was great going to the range with my boyfriend, Omar, and my best friend, Gabe.  Most people learn to shoot guns by themselves or by a parent- two Marines trained me!







MERRY CHRISTMAS!


I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas.  I celebrated today with family, best friends, and loving boyfriend.  I drank way too much hot chocolate and stuffed my face with delicious foods.  I played with my baby cousins and watched movies with friends.  My brother & I took our annual picture in front of the tree and there was so much wrapping paper in the trash cans that they started to over flow.

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and it's a great feeling to have everyone I love come together in one place for a fun filled day.

What do you do for Christmas?



HAIL TO THE REDSKINS, HAIL VICTORY !


It's football season and my favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins!  Since that is my Dad's favorite team and I am a Daddy's girl, it only seems fitting.  However, Omar's favorite team is the Philadelphia Eagles... boooooooo! 
Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  The chilly weather, the colorful leaves, and the transitioning of summer fun to a fresh start.  I know that January is supposed to be a new start, but for some reason the fall time always seems to be the fresh start.




Lately, I've been going through a tough time.  Everything just feels out of place in my life and I am constantly having to wait for certain aspects of my life to start, and if you know me, you know that I am very impatient. There was this quote that I came across though, that give me that gut wrenching feeling and has helped me to be patient, take a deep breath and keep going.  It sounds lame right?  I don't know, not everyone works the same way I guess.  Anyways, the quote goes like this;

"That's what life is about.  Those moments where you feel entirely carefree, like nothing can touch you.  It's those moments that make the hard parts so worth it.  It's moments like that that make the heartache bearable.  I know it'll pass - my moments will come."

It may not seem like a lot to you, but it is a lot to me. I was just going by my normal daily schedule and saw this and it just hit me.  I'm working so hard right now for a lot of different things.  I’m doing multiple things at once and I'm not perfect at any of them.  Things take time and I know that I'll get to where I want to be, I just have to be patient.  With all the bad days, there are good days too.  If anyone else is feeling like I have been lately- just know better things are coming your way.  Keep working hard and stay focused.  

This is some of the realest advice I can give you, because I'm going through it too.  And we can get through it together.



OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY


Today's the day!  My baby brother is going to college.  He had to leave a little bit earlier because he was accepted to the ROTC Army program, but I could not be more proud of him.  Old Dominion is a nice campus, it's a nice campus and there is a lot to do around town.  The Monarchs are tight knight school who bleed school pride.  I think that this is a great fit for you brother and I can't wait to see you take dominate all the new challenges that are thrown at you.  If anyone can do it you can. See you at Fall Break!





We're back for round two except this time we have to say good bye to baby bro.  We had one hell of a summer together kid, but know it's time for you to leave this place and get a great education.  ODU has no idea what they have coming for them, but I know you'll make me the proudest big sis just like before!
Every year my family goes to Myrtle Beach for some fun in the sun.  This year we had doubled our normal crowd when I found out that my friends were going the same weekend.  We had a lot of adventures that week. . . everything from chipped teeth to cigarette burns.  Those might have been the down side of the week but the memories that were made, in every cliche way, were priceless.

Lately, I have been obsessed with watching room and apartment tours on YouTube.  I love seeing how people decorate their homes because it is a direct representation of who you are as a person.  I swear when I move into my own apartment one day I am constantly going to be redecorating.  I pulled together some pictures from Pinterest to kind of show my style of how I would love my home to look.

I've been to multiple soccer games in my life, but they were all mine.  My first professional game was with my friends Andres, Danya, and Kelvin.  It was a relaxing day with good friends watching a great match!  I wouldn't want my first prof game to have gone any other way.

Today, Rocio took Gabe and I to this little quarry about forty minutes from home.  It was a breath taking view.  We hiked to the top of the rocks and jumped off the cliffs into the clearest water I have ever seen.  Literally I could see everything. 


We spent all afternoon there swimming and seeing who had the best flip off the cliff.



For those of you who don't know already I am a huge Glee fan.  It's my guilty pleasure.  So when I heard that Cris Colfer was coming to Washington D.C. for his book signing I called up my friend Krysta and demanded that we go.
I think we can all admit that at one point or another 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' has taught us a valuable lesson in life.  Maybe it was to never date your friend's boss, or adopt a pet duck and chicken, whatever it may be the lessons that this show brought to our lives were comedic and lovable.  My top situations that I have learned the most from this cast though would have to be the following:

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY MY FELLOW AMERICANS!

Graduating isn't as much fun unless you celebrate with your friends, your graduating class, and just about everyone else in the town.  We threw a huge bash for my brother for graduating and everyone came out to support him.  We even rented a moon bounce.  You can still go onto Instagram and Twitter and look up the hashtag #Patman2014 and see some of adventures from that night.

The title says it all, I MET CAPITAL CITIES.  Rocio won some tickets on the radio and we got to go to a private concert where afterwards we got to have drinks, take pictures, and talk to the band.


If anyone lives in Virginia you know that this weather has been ridiculous lately.  First it's snowing, then hailing, then raining, and now it's a beautiful sixty degrees outside.  I don't know about you guys, but I am so ready for summer.  Thinking about summer just reminds me of being back at the beach, and when my mind goes back to the beach, it makes me think of the best vacation that I have ever had and that was in Waikiki, Hawaii.
I went to the tropical island my senior year of high school with my family as well as my cousins, aunt, and uncle during Thanksgiving Break.  It was the best!  I seriously felt like I was in paradise.  Besides being in an ocean front condo, my cousins, brother and I had a lot of freedom.  We were able to walk all around by ourselves and visit the different shops and restaurants.  My whole lifestyle that I adapted while on that vacation I have tried to keep with me.  Everyone was so relaxed and carefree.  It was something that I admired most about the island.  If you haven't been yet, I suggest you buy a plane ticket right now and get on your way.
It's graduation season!  And there is no more important graduation than Baby Brother Katsaris!  Congrats to my baby bro for graduating high school with a 3.7 GPA and an acceptance letter to Old Dominion University.



There have been a few things on my radar lately that I really want to buy soon.  I have found some reasonably priced ones of these items online too, so I definitely can't wait until payday!
THE WORLD CUP IS BACK BABY!


I've waited four long years to watch the best of the best compete for the championship.  I am always rooting for my favorites; USA, Mexico, Argentina, Spain.  I will always go for the underdog of course when it comes to matches.  And as you can tell- the World Cup is kind of a big deal in my house.
Every year my family and I go to Lake Anna for Memorial Weekend.  We own property down there as well as a boat.  This year we had some fun guest come along with us.  My best friends Rocio, Gabe, and my boyfriend Omar.  To say this weekend was fun would be an understatement.


I have seen numerous YouTube videos about what is on people's iPhones, so why not give it a try?



As you can tell I am really boring when it comes to my background.  I adore the galaxy type backgrounds on my phone because it's easy and since I have all of the apps there is no need for me to have a picture of people, because their face would just get blocked.  On the top row (left to right) I have Messages, my Photos, Camera, and Instagram.  These are the apps that I use the most.  The second row (left to right) I have my Contacts, Alarm Clock, Newsstand and the Starbucks app.  I am probably the only person I know who actually uses the Newsstand app because I have a bunch of different magazines downloaded onto there.  It's very convenient when you're bored and just want to flip through a magazine but don't have one on hand.  Obviously the Starbucks app is for just about everything that has to do with Starbucks (drinks, locations, my rewards, etc.).  The last row (left to right) I have are a couple folders and FaceTime.  The very bottom on my deck is Phone, Safari, E-mail (2 unread!) and Music.  I actually don't have any music on my iPhone, I have an iPod with all of my downloaded music on it.  If I only have my phone on me and want to listen to music I usually just open up YouTube or Pandora.  On the next page I have a small folder labeled Other, with really just a bunch of apps I never use.


If you've never heard of The Sweet Life Festival you need to google it and buy your tickets for next year's event ASAP!  This concert was so amazing and the line-up had so many of my favorite artist!  I went with Rocio and two other friends.  Everything from the music to the free gifts, the drinks and the good, all of it made the dead car battery, forgetting the tickets and having to turn around, and missing the first two performances worth it.

For those of you who are looking for a summer job, and my opinion is completely biased here, but I highly recommend being a lifeguard.  Now, you're probably thinking- "Oh, she's only saying that because she's a lifeguard."  Well, YES!  Of course I'm saying this because I’m a lifeguard, but also because I've had other typical summer jobs and lifeguarding is definitely the best one yet.  I also have valid reasons why you should be a lifeguard . . . 
It's officially Spring Break and my best friend came home!  Gabe has been my best friend since second grade and now that he's a Marine stationed in North Carolina, I hardly get to see him.  So when he took leave to come have an amazing Spring Break with me I was super excited.  We tore up the town that we grew up in together! 



Miley, Miley, Miley, Miley!  That was the non-stop chant going on last night and my ears are still ringing a little from it.  Miley Cyrus was awesome in concert.  She hit all the high notes and danced more than I have ever danced in my entire life. 


Incase anyone has forgotten I recently turned 21 back in February.  I know, I know, that's a huge age.  The only thing I really can't do these days is rent a car for a decent price.. but that's the least of my worries.  Working at a pool I tend to work with a lot of younger kids (highschoolers), who come to me with their problems and initially I try to guide and advise them the best to my ability.  I feel the reason that they come to me though is because I have been there.  I know exactly what they are going through because I was in their shoes not too long ago.  Now these kids are growing up and starting to go to college which - I've done too.  Now granted I am not done growing and I still won't admit that technically I am an adult, I know that there are some solid rules when it comes to growing up.  Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right.  I don't know the solution to every problem, but I do know that there are some golden rules in life that if you stick by them it will cut out a good portion of your stress through these awkward, tough, demanding, yet completely rewarding times.

I have told you all some of my most favorite things in this world, but I haven’t told you what I dislike.  There are very few things that get to me in this world, but there are still a few.  Pet peeves are something that I try not to let them interfere with my day or ruin my mood, but sometimes these things just get to me.  I'm sure everyone has a few and maybe we share the same.  Some of these are just small and silly, but a couple of these can really bring me down.

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  Just a couple days ago I announced to my family that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  "Sound great sweetie," is all they replied with.  They obviously didn't take me seriously, but they started to when I was whaling on a guitar at ten at night! HA!  My brother showed me the basics and told me to look up tabs, which is exactly what I did.  I watched YouTube tutorials and then my roommate showed me how to read actual music.  I have been playing nonstop the past few days and I feel like I'm getting the hang of it.  Apparently my brother told his girlfriend, who is also my friend, that I'm “doing really good for someone who is learning by myself,” (but I totally wasn't supposed to admit that he said that).  That really makes me happy though because I wasn't sure if I was getting the hang of it at all.  My next mission though is to tackle a song.  I am currently working on Buzzcut Season by Lorde.  If you haven't heard the song yet I highly recommend that you stop everything you are doing and listen to it.  It's a great song and the chords aren't too hard to learn.  I have found a new love in my life and that is playing guitar.  Hopefully I will be good enough one day to actually play a full song by memory!  Fingers crossed!


Incase anyone wants to try the song out: http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/l/lorde/buzzcut_season_crd.htm


I want to live in California not because "it's a super cool place."  I want to live in California because I want to learn how to surf, and continue the hobby in a place that is possible.  I want to live in California because I want to sit outside on my back patio and drink my morning coffee while I watch the sunrise over the ocean.  I want to live in California so I can hike to the Hollywood sign as my daily exercise.  I want to live in California so I can build a mansion on top of a hill and over look the city.  I want to have a large enough yard for the farm I've always wanted.  I want to ride my horses on the beach.  I want to live in California so I can be in the middle of the know-it-all city buzz and trend starters to make working in the magazine business more interesting.  I want to live in California so I can befriend people I have admired for years.  I want to smell salt water every time I step outside and I want to feel the oceans breeze sweep across my face.  I want to live in California because I want to walk down Sunset Blvd and say hello to familiar faces.  I want to live in California so I can shop on Rodeo Dr. I want to hear the wind rip through Palm trees on a breezy day.  I want to wear sunglasses in the middle of the winter.  I want to live in California because I want to be one of those success stories, small town girl makes it.  I want to live in California because I want to show myself there is more than Manassas Park.  I want to be able to show my family and friends a good time when they visit.  I want to live in California and buy my parents retirement condo for them, beachfront property.  I want to live in California and be able to eat at cool and exciting restaurants that 95% of the world hasn't heard of yet.  I want to be able to wear any type of clothing I want without having to check the weather.  I want to do yoga on a paddleboard in Mission Bay.  I want to live in California so I can drive down the coast.  I want to visit all the famous landmarks and beaches- just because I can.  I want to live in California to feel the sunshine on my face anytime of day.  I want to own my own apartment and move into my house.  In all honesty, I want to go on a date with Taylor Lautner.  I want to live in California so I can pursue my dream of working for Teen Vogue and to hopefully one day own my own magazine corporation.  I want to live in California because the feeling that most people my age get when they step foot on a college campus, the feeling of belonging, is what I felt when my seventeen year old self first landed at LAX.  I belong in California.  I didn’t choose California, California chose me.  And that’s why I want to live in California.