Life since last summer....

So, a lot has happened since I got back from London last summer. And since I haven't kept up the blog since then and have also neglected Twitter until somewhat recently, some of you might have wondered what I've been up to and where I disappeared to. Well, the answer to that is....

....the PhD program in Rhetoric, Composition & Linguistics at ASU (wow, that's a mouthful).

Yeah, grad school. Part 3. Am I done yet? Lol. Seriously though, I do love it, it's just a TON of work. I thought with two Masters under my belt the PhD wouldn't be that much of a transition but boy has it been. 

Two days after I arrived back in the States from London I dove head first into 5 day a week TA training for my teaching assistantship. Forget 3 years of teaching experience in the community colleges. Teaching First-Year Composition to a bunch of 18-year-old Freshman has been such an eye-opening experience. But I'm loving it.

The year isn't over yet, but the spring semester is rapidly coming to an end (I think we have 6 weeks left? Yikes!). Anyway, I wanted to share what I've been up to the past several months. But rather than write a novel here I figured I'd dig through my iPhone photos and share the highlights of those. Because it's more fun to look at pictures, right?

So here we go. Hope you enjoy.

Very shortly after starting TA training, I move homes! After 5 years I finally have my own apartment again. It's lovely and gorgeous and has a nice big balcony with this gorgeous view and I love it! :)
In late August a friend and I ran up to Vegas for the weekend. It was right before the semester started so I had to bring readings with me, but after spending the first night and next morning walking around and sightseeing we spent the rest of our Saturday in the spa at the MGM Grand. You know you're a hard core grad student when you spend your time in the spa on a chaise lounge reading approximately 100 pages of theory. But it was probably the most fun I had doing homework so I consider it a win.

But seriously though, can I have this in my home?

I attended the opening of The Cape at the Phoenix Art Museum. And it was gorgeous and amazing and I took tons of pics on my Canon but I think they're still on there, because I'm really bad at downloading pics from my camera to my computer. But here's a taste of what that show was like.
I attended the ACI Nouveau fall party and it was so nice to hang out with my Nouveau friends.

Q&A with author Elizabeth Winder for her book Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953.
My copy of the book, newly signed by the author, plus other goodies from the night including these stunning earrings from Kendra Scott and makeup samples from Dior. 

There's a Starbucks within walking distance of my new home. As soon as the weather started to get bearable in the fall (you know, so where I wouldn't die of heat exhaustion at 8am) I started going to walks in the morning, stopping by Starbucks on the way home for a bit of a treat and to enjoy one of my UK magazines (I think this was InStyle in my lap) and, when I was lucky, a copy of The New York Times Sunday edition if someone had left it on the table.

It wasn't long before I had to start grabbing books from the library. Back to work for me!

I wrote a paper about St. Paul's Cathedral. Because if you're going to have random obsessions you should call it a "research interest" and write a seminar paper about it. By the end of the fall semester I still hadn't unpacked my apartment enough to get a desk set up (I thought moving before the semester started would be a good idea, but it was still just as stressful as it could have possibly been). So I did all my writing in bed, which actually was pretty nice and a trend that's kept up for when I hit the main drafting part of the process. *shrug*

In November my family went back to Kansas to visit our "Army family", the Barba's for Drew's wedding. I still can't believe he's married and has a family of his own. I remember when he was born! Life goes by so fast. But every time I come back to this farm I'm 16 again pulling in to visit my BFF. Memories. <3

Scruffy. Who truly lives up to his name. Love this dog.

Landing back in Phoenix. Hello ASU!

By November the weather had cooled down enough that I could start hiking. The McDowell's are gorgeous!

On Thanksgiving I made a new friend. I call him Harry. :)

I bought some new shoes! A few pairs actually, but I love these lace up brogues that go great with my "post stamp" satchel I got at a boutique in Oxford.

Christmas! My mom knows me well, she knew I'd love these great English themed ornaments....

...But she also knew I'd love the gift card to Ted Baker taped to the back even more. :) Yay!

Happy New Year!

Spent New Years Eve at home watching a favorite classic film and then at midnight watching YouTube vids of firework celebrations around the world. It was lovely.

Sherlock premiere advance screening at the PBS station downtown. Nearly 300 PBS Nerds/Sherlock fangirls and fanboys squeeing like the proper fans we are. So exciting! I think we all needed shock blankets when it was over.

I attended the Independent Women Luncheon at the Phoenix Art Museum. Each table was decorated differently and it was beautiful.

Valentine's Day was spent watching the Donmar Warehouse's production of Coriolanus as part of the National Theatre Live screening program. Josie Rourke did an amazing job and Tom Hiddleston was....amazing isn't even accurate. No words. Saw it twice. Wish I could see it a hundred times more.

I turned 33! And was reminded that I have amazing friends who love me and know me really well. Good friends send birthday texts. Great friends manage to work your celeb crush into the text as well. :)
I presented at my first conference! I was super nervous but still had a blast sharing my research on fashion blogs. 

More writing and revising. It's not seminar paper time yet but I had another project sneak in. I'll post more about that once I have more details. For now, the books on the bed might give you a hint.

New nail polish! Sale at ULTA, yay! Picked out some fun colors for spring/summer.

"Primrose Hill Picnic". This was the wildcard choice. I wasn't sure I would like it. But as soon as I put on the first coat I was in love. I have decided that this is the color of happiness. This will likely be my default color this spring/summer. :)

Ok, I think that gets me caught up. It's been a whirlwind year so far. And there's some super exciting stuff coming up, starting later today. So stay tuned! 


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