Weekend of Thrifting

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Nicer weather means it’s flea market time! I stumbled across my new favorite store in Maryville called Vintage 159. They were having a flea market outside the other day and I stopped by. There’s something so fun about looking through a bunch of old things and trying to think of a use for them. The first thing I noticed was this funky looking shelf. It’s the long, brown wooden shelf in the photo. The guy selling it was not even sure it was a shelf. He said he had never brought it out before because he didn’t think anyone would buy it. I plan to pain it and them decorate it with some old bottles and flowers on every other opening.

I picked up a few flour sacks, too, finally. I see them everywhere and I finally got a good deal on some nicer ones. I have no idea what I am going to do with them yet, I have just always wanted some. The windows are going to be added to my growing collection. I hoard old windows and slowly, but surely, will start to finish painting them for decoration. I have a done a few before and they turned out really pretty!

I saw the old, rusty, wheel on my way into the shop and had to buy it. It was so cheap! Only like $10. I figured I can do something with that, too, and get an Anthropologie look for way less. I found the fabulous suitcases inside Vintage 159. I could spend hours in that little store. They had the coolest items. Old, new, refurbished, redone, painted, destroyed, vintage, EVERYTHING. The prices were unbelieveable. I plan to turn the suitcases into displays for jewelry and accessories.

Now I just need to get to painting and selling! But I always end up wanting to keep everything for myself 🙂


Tangled Up In Frozen

I believe I was about four years old when my parents first took my older sister and I to Walt Disney World. I lived in the blue Cinderella nightgown they bought me for weeks after the trip. When I met Cinderella, my parents said I cried and gave her the biggest hug ever. Each time I have gone back I still tear up when I see her. The whole place makes me tear up–it truly is magical. When TinkerBell flies out of the castle at the end of the night, the World Showcase light show over the water at Epcot, seeing Peter Pan running around FantasyLand and by the time you notice him he is gone…this list could go on forever.

I am always reading up on the secrets of the park and I have used research papers and presentations for school as an excuse to learn more about Disney. One of my favorite papers I wrote about Disney was called “Feminism in Fairytales.” I discussed how I believe Ariel, Belle, and Mulan are independent and confident young women who act as good role models for girls. So many people bash Disney for ‘too good to be true’ story lines or submissive and powerless characters. True Disney fans know that it is just not the case.

Last weekend I had the privilege of being Rapunzel from Tangled for the night. I work at the Edwardsville YMCA and we had a princess themed night for little girls. All of the Disney princesses were there for the event and we read stories and took photos with everyone there. It is so fun to see the youngest generation still watching the older classics like Cinderella and Snow White. I surprised myself with how much I got into the character. I was probably an awful actress but the 4 and 5-year-old girls really thought I was Rapunzel. I felt like I got more hugs that night than I ever have in my life.



I also recently recorded ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. I had been meaning to record this song for weeks. I finally saw the movie over spring break and it has such an awesome storyline. Anna and Elsa are strong female roles that do not succumb to the typical ‘end up with Prince Charming love.’ They realize that the true love needed to bond them together and to break the winter curse is the love they have as sisters. The music is AMAZING. I knew all the songs before I even saw the movie. Here is my cover of ‘Let It Go.’


While Out West

3 weeks. 3 states.  1 National Forest. 2 National Parks. 1 National Memorial . 1 National Monument. 1 rock concert. 5+ cities. 1000+ photos.

That pretty much sums up my vacation last summer out west. It was the most eye opening and awe inspiring trip I have ever taken. You can take a million vacations to the beach and have a relaxing, sun-filled week, but how many times can you say you’ve seen three waterfalls in one day. Or a herd of 500+ bisons crossing the road right in front of you. Or 5 moose in a week, each about 20 feet away from you. Or cowboys trying to get a ton of cattle up the mountain by herding them with horses up the highway causing traffic to stop. Or spent the morning in the historic gambling town of Deadwood, South Dakota and then drove a few miles to see Mt. Rushmore and Badlands National Park all in one day.

The west is where America’s beauty lives. It’s not in St. Louis. The real beauty isn’t on the east coast or in the south. All of these places are too populated and urbanized. The beauty is in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and all the other states in that area. This is where the last bit of untouched nature lives. Mountains, waterfalls, rock formations, canyons, geysers, hot springs, rivers, wildlife, forests, history…the list could go on forever.

My sister and I spent a week and a half on our own with our Aunt in Buffalo and Sheridan, Wyoming. They are very small towns, but full of natural beauty and the old west feel. It sits in the Big Horn National Forest. Crazy Woman Canyon is in the area as well, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Crazy Woman Canyon

Moose in Big Horn Moutains

Overlook of Big Horn Mountains

Veteran’s home pond looking out at Big Horn Mountains

From there we went to Montana and visited Yellowstone National Park. There are so many things to see in the park. We saw the main sites like Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. The park is full of natural wonders that are nothing like you have ever seen. Bubbling hot springs that plunge into darkness some 100 feet deep, waterfalls in the middle of the forest or off a canyon, and herds of bison and numerous elk around every turn. The amount of tourists there are also overwhelming. It was always a struggle to take my photos without having people in them.

Near the Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Canyon

Mammoth Hot Springs

Tower Falls

Hayden Valley

Devil’s Tower was another sight unlike any other. It takes over an hour to walk around the giant rock formation and each step you take you become even more in awe of how this formation occurred over time. It literally looks like it was pushed out of the ground with the vertical lines down the sides and the millions of rocks surrounded the perimeter.

Devil’s Tower

Mt. Rushmore should be on everyone’s bucket list. I thought I wouldn’t like it that much. I figured I’ve seen it in photos and I get it, some presidents carved out of stone. I’m not dying to see it. Well I was wrong. It was amazing to see in person. The heads are much more massive than they appear in photos. Learning about the construction of it was so interesting.

Mt. Rushmore

Badlands National Park was probably the most obscure park we saw all trip. The whole area looks as if you are on a planet in Star Wars. There is really no other way to describe the park other than the photos.


If you love the outdoors, traveling, hiking, sight seeing, nature, wildlife and pure amazement, then you MUST plan a trip out west. See if you can do it all in one trip. It was a challenge, but my family did it. Then again, we are a bunch of vacation freaks. We drove straight home to Shiloh without an overnight stay from Badlands National Park in South Dakota. But that’s another story.


Photo by Mollie Rittenhouse

Photo by Mollie Rittenhouse

Like every other college student, the red and white logo of Netflix has been permanently burned into my sight. After a long day of classes and work, Netflix is just a given when I sit down with my leftover pasta that I have been trying to finish for three days. Recently, I started watching the series “Freaks and Geeks” that aired back in 1999 to 2000. Not only does it have an awesome, comedic cast with names like James Franco and Seth Rogen, but IMDB gave it a 9.0 rating. The show follows two groups of teenagers (the freaks and the geeks, of course) in the 1980s, dealing with everything from first love to embarrassing parents and everything in between.

It is a highly relatable show regardless of if you grew up in the 80s. I am almost finished with the first season and nearly every episode has nostalgic qualities. Innocence is everywhere in the show, like a boy having a huge crush on his best friend’s older sister and awkward dancing between hormonal teens at Homecoming. The show constantly reminds me of high school. I cannot believe I am already halfway though college. It seems like yesterday morning I was freaking out because I forgot my P.E. clothes at home or got turned around as a Freshman in my high school’s extremely confusing hallway system. It is hard to believe that was over three years ago. Nothing makes me feel more old than saying “I have not seen you since high school!” to an old friend.

The innocence of high school is something to be cherished. In college you still have a little bit of innocence left, but you are so much more on your own than you were in high school. Decisions are forced down your throat every second about your future. What will you do with your degree? Where will you live? How will you pay off your loans? You ARE going to get your Master’s aren’t you? Classes fill up quickly and you realize you might not finish in four years. Even though you earn above average grades and work really hard, scholarships are hard to come by when you are an average white girl with two working parents who are happily married. The world is so much bigger and scarier than high school. The real world is fast approaching and it terrifies me. I just have a couple more years of my parents being my own personal bank, summer and Christmas break, and late night Taco Bell runs. Cheers to making the most of it while I still can. Innocence is bliss.