Mismatched Mess

of life, love, fashion, & forgetting to update


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Dover Travel Video…and Bloopers

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I have begun making travel videos for our adventures abroad.  I love these videos and wrote about my basic plan for them last week.

Our trip to Dover last weekend was so fun.  After I made the initial ‘pretty’ travel video,  I decided to make a blooper reel as well.  In the videos I show you serene scenes of landscapes and buildings set to lovely music,  but in reality my husband and I are two dorks and our commentary is so contradictory to the lovely scenes you see.  Have a look!  And check out my YouTube channel for more #TexansAbroad funny and lovely videos!

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#TexansAbroad | Dover, England

Dover Castle Grounds

This past weekend me and Taylor took a 40 minute train ride to the coast to visit the town of Dover. Hopping off the train, we made our way through town in search of a map of Dover and breakfast.

There was nothing remarkable about the particular breakfast place we chose. It called itself The Mean Bean. It served strong coffee and cold pastries. It was rather early so the place was empty when we sat down. As we sipped our lattes and made a loose plan for our day, the coffee shop slowly began to fill up. Each and every customer greeted the owner with conversation and camaraderie. They spread themselves out amongst a few tables, but the conversation never stopped. A few patrons table-swapped to have more personal catch-ups with their friends. The place filled with laughter, British slang, and the smell of coffee. We had stumbled into a local establishment.

This was actually a major find for us. We love Canterbury so much, but between all of the universities and its only industry–tourism, you can’t just walk into any given place and be met with locals. This place was the real deal. It was wonderful and amusing and refreshing.

Dover was refreshing.

Dover, Kent Ocean

Dover still has quite the tourist draw, with its famous white cliffs, a major castle, and its lovely seaside location. But there was such a difference between it and Canterbury. We were thrilled to step away from the hustle of tourists in Canterbury to the slower paced Dover.

We had an amazing time hiking the cliffs, visiting the castle and eating like locals.

Dover, Kent white cliffs of Dover

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New Home | Writing Day 11

12 tears old. A time of energy, growth and happiness. The previous age–11–was the exact opposite. New school, new home, no friends. At 11 I remember arriving early to school and not knowing where to go. Every single day. I remember science class, my new teacher turning to the news on September 11th, 2001 and watching my new classmates cry. I remember rushing to the computer after school, trying to find more information about the twin towers. 11 was a year of fear. 11 was a year of silence. 11 was the year my math teacher told me I was terrible.

But at 12, things were looking up.

I finally found friends. I was involved in clubs and projects and had settled into a new house. We didn’t stay there long.  We moved again soon after. But, like with all childhood memories, some moments stick out.

I remember sharing a room with all of my siblings. But I don’t remember it bothering me. My fondest memory is standing in front of the mirror in that room, with the fan blowing my hair and singing ‘I Could Not Ask For More’ into a hairbrush. I didn’t even like country music.

I remember discovering Hot Cheetos. I could eat bags of them. I’d get in trouble for doing that. I still pride myself on my love of spicy foods and sauces.

I remember one room in the house that was ‘under construction’ the entire time. The floors were original wood. So original that the floor still had a faint red pattern in the shape of a rug. It was painted there long ago. That was to be my room when it was finished. It never was. I didn’t complain.

I remember having a trampoline in the back yard. That was fun. But then I remember the time we were warned that it wasn’t a safe neighborhood. It became less fun after that.

I remember the dogwood tree in the front yard. We rarely went to the front yard. But in the springtime, it was beautiful.

I remember getting my first hair cut at 12. I remember going to the mall…not the mall in town with two stores and a Blue Cross in it; the mall in the ‘big’ city. I bought $300 worth of clothes and felt so guilty. I tried not to ever do that again. I kept those clothes separate from all my other ones. Neatly folded in a large shopping bag right by my bed.

At 12 I remember having late night adventures with friends. I remember the internet really started making sense. (I remember Neopets). I remember I was in enough advanced English and History clubs and school projects that I could get out of math class. I skipped most of math class actually. My new math teacher–the one who might have helped me enjoy math at 11 (before I had given up because I was “terrible”)–was too nice to fail me.

I remember packing up and moving away. I don’t remember protesting. I don’t remember being sad about leaving my new found friends. I just remember starting over at 13; new town, new house, no friends. But I was less silent and more ready this time around.


Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences.

I know I’m showing my age with this post and I know it’s most likely considered ‘young!’: 9/11, the brand new snack Hot Cheetos, the Internet had chat rooms and games….

Oh and in other news: don’t be a jerk to kids. That shapes their future. I tried really hard at math, but still struggled and that teacher basically gave me an excuse to just give up completely.


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To Live Forever

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“In every letter, in every line, she saw him. He hadn’t changed – he’d only grown into the man he’d meant to be.”

Diana Peterfreund, For Darkness Shows the Stars

“To my dearest….”

I read the faded script, ink dried on the page years ago, paper soft with age. Tucked between a loose brick on the bottom of the wall and a piece of driftwood, the letter seemed to have called for me to read its words.

My mind wanders through possibilities. Was the letter ever read? Was it laid here on purpose so many years ago? A secret hiding place between young lovers, a place to share their affection without being caught.

Did this letter fall from someone’s belongings? Perhaps the belongings of a mourning family, as they walked along this same pathway. Their husband, mother, brother…this letter a keepsake to that person, who kept it all these years.

I fold the yellowed page and return it to its envelope. Filled with possibilities and nostalgia, I daydream about the owner, wishing I could return it to its rightful place.

Part of me connects so deeply, I can’t even explain. I’m reminded of rifling through my grandparent’s memories. I’m reminded of reading the notes my parents wrote to each other. I’m reminded of the hundreds of small notes my husband and I wrote when we were younger.

I slip the letter in my purse, but thinking about it, I return it to its spot. Perhaps the letter will never be read again. Perhaps I was its first reader. There’s something beautiful about the mystery. That the words were even written at all provided a cathartic sense of love and purpose to the writer.

Beyond that, the story is unknown. But the writer’s appreciation for this mystery person will live on forever through his words. For what better way to live forever than by proof of deeds done from love?


This was part of the Writing 101’s Blogging University. Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.


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I’m 25

24 was a great age for me.

23 was allowing negativity to build up all around and inside me. 23 was about realizing that mistakes were made. 23 was about learning lessons. So 24 was about embracing those lessons and changing my entire attitude.

At 24 I healed. At 24 I opened up. At 24 I stopped letting negativity decide my choices and started finding ways to produce positivity.

I learned that silence is wise, but responsible confrontation is healthy. I learned when to use either of these methods.

I learned a great deal from working with young girls; about how my actions and choices affect others and how I allow others’ actions to affect me. I learned that justifying wrong actions for wrong actions is life-draining. I learned that I had changed, not at my core, but just by opening up and allowing myself to grow into a better version of myself.

At 24 I learned to dance unexpectedly, be happy with being dorky, be healthy.

I learned to get rid of the ‘things’, learned what it means to leave everything and everyone behind, learned to not let fear stop me.

25 will be something else entirely. Mistakes will be made, like at 23. Personal growth will happen, like at 24. And we’ll see what else I can learn and see and do at 25.


Birthday Things
My Year of Adventure
25 Things To Do at 25

 


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Vacation 2014

My husband and I just got back from a really fun two week vacation! It feels good to be home but that two week break to see family and do whatever was so appreciated. Now that we’re back in the swing of things it’s full on PREPARE mode.

Friday we opened a new bank account that will make the transition to international banking easier. Today my husband will be putting the deposit down on our hopefully future flat in England and tomorrow we’ll be traveling to Dallas to have our fingerprints and other biometrics taken as the final step of the Visa application.

We also just bought suitcases! They’re the largest suitcases either of us have ever bought in our lives, yet in comparison with all the possessions I was thinking of bringing for a 3+ year stay, they are small!

I’m excited where all this heading! Tentative kick off date is September 10th…ish…

I will continue updating the blog on the process. Until then, here’s what we did on vacation!

Vacation Day 1 – I ended up working half a day to finish as much as I could on my giant to-do list, but after that we headed to Deep Ellum (Dallas) to see Antemasque and Le Butcherettes in concert. It was amazing! Antemasque’s energy was totally thrilling and Le Butcherettes—a girl vocalist/guitarist and a girl drummer? Yes please!

After the show we were stopped on the street by a man who showed us magic tricks and sold us a couple of t-shirts out of his backpack for $5. Totally legit. We then couch-surfed on our good friend’s couch.

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Vacation Day 2 – We watched Guardians of the Galaxy with our friend then began the travel to Texarkana, TX to visit another friend. Taylor and he caught up and had deep philosophical discussions over Starbucks for several hours before we headed out for a late night trek to Hot Springs, AK.

Vacation Day 3 – Waking up in Hot Springs at the old Angels in the Park hotel, we walked downtown for late morning breakfast before we visited our favorite spots in downtown Hot Springs. Lunch was a flight of locally brewed beers and hummus and dinner was our favorite German restaurant.

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Vacation Day 4 – We packed up early and headed to a Starbucks–the problem with taking a vacation in the middle of searching for overseas apartments and applying for visas is that there was always an email that needed to be responded to immediately so we took frequent Starbucks (aka wifi) breaks. We then mailed our parents some postcards then began a long trip all the way to South Carolina where we stopped at 1:30 am for a few short hours of sleep. For a late night snack I couldn’t resist buying the Lays Cappuccino Chips and a Starbucks frappuccino at a gas staion. The chips were not all that people made them out to be and the drink tasted like a bad batch of barbeque! Gas stations are hard to trust.

Vacation Day 5 – Four hours of sleep at a hotel and McDonald’s breakfast later, we were on the road again a few hours from our destination in North Carolina. When we arrived I met Taylor’s grandmother, great-aunt, uncle, aunt and cousin for the very first time. We also hadn’t seen his mom in 4-5 years. That night we stayed in a beach house, looking at old photos and catching up.

Vacation Day 6 – We spent the day with Taylor’s mom, aunt and cousin at the beach then the evening with his grandmother and uncle. Afterwards we headed to Raleigh, NC where we met with Taylor’s step dad. They bought us a room in a downtown hotel, which led to a lot of walking through the beautiful downtown area the next day.

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Vacation Day 7 – Waking up with room service coffee (just because we could), we ventured onto the streets of downtown and ended up at the North Carolina Natural History Museum. We explored downtown (found a coffee shop, of course) and then met back up with Taylor’s family for dinner out and the a trip to Krispy Kreme donuts.

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Vacation Day 8 – We began the day by walking to a cupcake shop for coffee and cupcakes! It was accidental thanks to wrong GPS directions, but it was a good stop nonetheless. Afterward, we traveled to Durham to meet with theologian Dr. Stanley Hauerwaus. Taylor and I (more so Taylor) love his work and forward thinking methods. We met him at Duke University in his office where they chatted about the future. He encouraged us on our journey to England and took a photo with us! The rest of the day, not gonna lie, was spent at a mall. Taylor found several outfits at H&M and some shoes, which he needed. We ended the day driving back to our hotel in pouring rain and had pizza delivered to our room.

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Vacation Day 9 – We traveled to Benson, NC after waking up at 6 am where Taylor’s mom showed us every home and landmark that had anything to do with Taylor’s childhood. It was interesting seeing a part of Taylor’s past. After breakfast we were introduced to Taylor’s old baby sitter then carted off with tons of drinks and ice. We then began what end up being 24 hours straight of being up.

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Vacation Day 10 – 6 am after driving 15 hours home, we made our way to our beds where we didn’t wake up until 12:30 in the afternoon and it was devine.

 


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Weekend Trips

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The husband and I aren’t spontaneous people. We have our routines, our shows, our restaurants. It works for us, because we’re so like-minded when it comes to overall comfort level and being money-conscious.

But I just found out that this weekend we’re taking a quick trip to Arlington, with friends, to stay in a hotel, ride roller coasters and enjoy doing something different.

This will be the first time we’ve ever gone to an amusement park together, so this trip will also be a learning experience for both of us. (Like the secret fact that as much as I love roller coasters, I will have an obnoxious-freak-out-panic-attack the whole, entire ride. And I will use the phrase “I regret doing this” or “Get me down”. Fun for him, right?!)

-P.S. Facebook followers: My blogs are being automatically sent to facebook via a second-party program. I promise, I’m not posting the blogs myself during this 2 week break!


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A New Adventure

Taylor and I have recently outgrown our apartment….with junk!

We love thrifting and antiquing! Ok, we’re not wallowing around knee-deep in great vintage finds, but only because we both had to say enough is enough!

I’ve learned that I have such a passion for vintage objects. I absolutely love climbing mountains of junk and getting dusty just to find a great  piece of old “junk.” I’ve been thinking, for a long time, about how to utilize this love.

Therefore, I’ve started my very first etsy shop. Mismatched is an etsy store that focuses on great vintage finds such as purses, kitchenware, houseware…etc. I’m SO excited about this new adventure! I’m starting slowly but hope to branch out into more vintage areas and possibly refurbishing/upcycling vintage pieces.

I’ve been researching how to have success on etsy. Going into this, I knew a lot of work would have to be put into creating a successful business. Everything from the descriptions, the photos, to the prices have to be appealing to customers. I’m still working out these kinks, but I’m getting so many great tips that are really helping me out.

This shop is mostly to enjoy my passion of vintage finds and sharing that passion with others, and to make some extra money. However, if this could become a lucrative  business, I would love to make my passion a full-time career. Like I said, I’m starting slowly, but hey! I can’t help but dream big…

Welcome. 🙂 Mismatched-a Vintage Shop