My First Time at A Lantern Festival

I asked. You all answered. So here is the highly requested weekend recap. As you all know by now I went to school in Philadelphia my freshman year of college. It was during that time when I was first introduced to the Philadelphia’s Chinese Lantern Festival hosted in Franklin Square. I’ve always had a fascination with the Chinese culture because it was just so  unique.  Each year since my freshman year of college I said I would go and see what everyone was raving about. Nevertheless,  I never got around to doing so until this year. When Historic Philadelphia decided to extend the festival a few more days due to countless rain dates  I knew it was meant for me to go. So when I saw the opportunity open up, I jumped at it. On a Friday I finally took the trip back to Philadelphia to see the festival and here’s a recap of what happened.

When you walk through the entrance of  festival you are greeted with the “Goldfish Tunnel”. Which I thought was pretty ironic.  It was like they knew you were going to have a reel fun time! Get it? I’m sorry about that. I just love love love puns. Anyway, the tunnel glows in bright orange, red, and has yellow undertones. As you  look around you are suddenly immersed in so many beautiful lights, designs, and lanterns. It was like nothing like I expected. All for a low cost of only $18.00.

The PCLF is a 10/10 would recommend. It’s a great place to be in the summer with your friends or S.O. It can be perfect for date night or a girl’s night out. It’s a place that can accommodate all ages.  If you live near Philadelphia I would definitely suggest that you go to  Franklin Square and see the Lantern Festival at least once.  The highlight moment while there was just seeing everyone face light up. For me, just seeing everyone’s reactions and the oohs and ahhhs of it all was great. Collectively, we  were all appreciating  our time there.Everyone wanted to  freeze the moment. So many pictures were taken to  capture all the memories.

Here’s some of my favorite photos I took while being there:

When I go to places I’m  always  asked the question of whether I would go back. The answer to the question is YES YES YES. I think seeing the lantern designs will never get old because they are always coming up with new creations each year. It’s such a great atmosphere to be in as well. When your done at the festival you can take a stroll through Chinatown and be surrounded by Asian culture. Walk around and explore or grab a bite to eat!

Until next time! Talk soon.🦉

Love Owlways,

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I’m Not Okay. Is That Okay?

 

What inspired me to write this rather personal post was the recent passing of Kate Spade.  For those of you who don’t know of Kate Spade this is her life in sum.Kate Spade was a fashion designer who made some of the best handbags I have ever seen. So much so, I had to buy them for my own closet! My mom gave me my first Kate Spade backpack when I was in middle school. These handbags she curated  were a staple of fashion and always will be.  Unfortunately, Kate Spade took her own life recently and it was a moment of reflection for everyone. It reminded us all that mental health is important and something that should be talked about. Their is this constant stigma surrounding mental health and with her passing we should all realize this is something that needs to stop.

 

 

Blue Clouds Turn Dark Sometimes

When it comes to posts like this I am always so scared to press publish.  I never want people to read this post and think of me differently. Yet, on  the other hand I want to expose my readers  to my life; the good, the bad, and the ugly. If at all I help one person after they read my personal story than this was all worth it.

Last summer I was at one of the lowest points in my life. Every day I would wake up really sad and that sadness wouldn’t go away. It would be this dark cloud hovering over me for days. Which shortly turned into weeks and then months. At first I didn’t want to tell anyone about what I was feeling because I myself wasn’t really understanding what was going on. It would get so bad that some days I wouldn’t leave my room. I would just lay in bed  and constantly think about all the things that were wrong in my life. Replaying it over and over again in my head.  Things started to get bad for me rather quickly. I started to not  really have an appetite. The idea of going outside was something that I didn’t want to do. Simple tasks like getting out my bed, getting dressed, being motivated to do things became the most difficult. I saw a side of myself that I never knew.

 

 

I’m not very good at hiding things so eventually my mom picked up on it. Shortly after that my sister and dad realized. When they asked me what was wrong I didn’t know really what to tell them. Still to this day I am not sure what exactly was making me sad. It was not just one thing but a  combination of things. At the time I was mentally becoming sick due to constant negative thoughts that I seemed to never be able to shut off. These ” negative thoughts” were coming at all different angles some about  my job at the time, and certain friendships that had ended.

I left my friends and boyfriend in the dark about my depression initially. Until one day, I felt like I couldn’t take my sadness anymore. So I started drafting the people I love messages. At the time I was texting my boyfriend and throughout our conversation I sent  a really alarming message. Which he later felt it was necessary to  forward to my mom, sister and close friend because he was concerned about my well being at the time. I not only scared them but I was scaring myself.

I write all of that to tell you that as of today,  I can say confidently that I am doing a lot better. Last summer I was thinking about all the things that were making me really sad. Which in turn kept me in that dark place for so long. I think looking back at that time in  my life I could have gotten out of that dark place quicker than I did. Only if I had focused my thoughts on things that brought me happiness.   With every experience comes growth and opportunity to learn a little bit about who you are. If I learned one thing from that experience  it was to talk about what your dealing with to someone you trust.

Talk About It

When I told the people I trust and love about what I was going through I realized that it was in turn helping me deal with it all. The thoughts were slowly leaving my head and I was able to replace them with positive ones. I’ve always had this mentality that people have bigger problems than me. So  instead of opening up to others I would usually keep  my problems bottled inside. Which is something that I don’t recommend and what I have recently stopped doing. If your facing something currently I would talk about because  it is very therapeutic. Whether you phone a friend, have a therapist, call a hotline I would suggest talking to someone. Whenever you are at your lowest point and think life is not worth living please remember that it is. There are people surrounded by you who love you oh so much and want you to be happy but most importantly alive.

If there is anything that I want you to take away from this post is the following:

  1. Remember the future is always worth the fight!
  2.  You won’t be sad for long though it may seem that way initially.
  3. Check on your friends and family even if they may seem to be the happy or strong one.

Until next time. Talk soon.

Love Owlways 🦉,

 

 

If you or someone you know is facing depression or has suicidal thoughts please contact

  1-800-273-8255

 

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Gallow Green

BRUNCH IN THE CITY

GUESS WHAT, I’m finally 21! Unfortunately, being in college puts a damper on my birthday because it always falls around finals week. So  I never really get the chance to fully celebrate it. Unfortunately, this happened once again. So I spent half of my birthday at Cheesecake Factory with a close friend {super fun time} and the second half at an Ecology study session with my professor and classmates {boring}.

So a month later I found myself in New York celebrating my birthday with some close friends and having the best Sunday ever.

I’ve always wanted to do  brunch in the city and my dreams finally came true at Gallow Green. Which is one of the most popular rooftop bar and restaurant the city has to offer. When you first arrive you enter a dim elevator which takes you to the most magical place ever. The restaurant is filled with gorgeous plants and has a rustic feel with a giant swing, wooden tabes and benches. Did I mention there is a  gorgeous bar and pathway? Which is a great opportunity for you to get drinks and amazing  photo op.

Gallow Green doesn’t just have great food but there are so many instagramable moments here. There is a brunch and dinner option at the restaurant. I went to brunch on Sunday from 2:00- 4:00pm and it was $43.00 per person which covered both gratuity and tax. You can set up reservations prior to coming in right from your computer and pay  before hand. This is a great option for larger parties because splitting checks can be a hassle! After you eat your brunch you can take your pictures, take in the rooftop view, and enjoy a wonderful day in the city.

Your $43.00 will get you a buffet style brunch that includes organic fried chicken, AMAZING french toast, bacon, shrimp cocktails, salmon, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and so much more! The food is delicious so eat as much as your stomach can take.

Both my friends and I enjoyed our time at Gallow Green because it was unlike any place we had ever experienced. We were in the “concrete jungle” but it didn’t feel like it because we were surrounded by this gorgeous garden in the middle of it all. Beautiful wouldn’t be the correct word to describe Gallow Green because it is so much more than that. With live music, great ambiance, and food it is the perfect way to spend your weekend.

Experiencing Gallow Green during the day was such an amazing opportunity  but I vowed I would go back to experience it at night. With countless string lights hanging from the roof I can only imagine how much better it is during the nighttime.  Enough of me talking about it… it’s time for you to experience it!

Until next time! Talk soon.

Love Owlways,

Alexis🦉

For more information about Gallow Green visit: https://mckittrickhotel.com/gallow-green/

TIME TO TREAT THE SKIN YOUR IN

   Hi! I haven’t written a post in such a long time. I came back from hiding to tell you all about these new handmade soaps I’ve been trying…LOVING. After attending an event in Philadelphia I was introduced to Mahogany Essentials.  Which is a company based out of Pennsylvania that creates body/face essentials for your everyday use.

Prior to Mahogany Essentials, I never tried handmade soaps before. So I was interested to see how washing up in an all natural soap would be versus with a soap like Dove. I had the pleasure to try three different natural soaps- Ginger Lime Salt, Oatmeal Milk & Honey,  and White Tea.  All soaps are priced at $7 and some are even priced at $6! Which is super affordable for all the great benefits you’ll be receiving from using these handmade soaps!

Some of the ingredients I’m loving in these soaps are Coconut Milk, Hazelnut, Oatmeal, Charcoal and Herbal Botanicals. Each ingredient is placed in the products to ultimately help your skin instead of stripping away your natural oils! These soaps will exfoliate your skin, lock in moisture, and give you an unforgettable cleanse.

So the question is should you start using handmade soaps? The answer…. of course. It’s time to treat the skin your in. What I love about this company is that they curate  more than just soaps but also have scrubs (body & lip), lip balms, candles and lotions/ body whip. PLUS for all the men that read my blog- they’ve got you covered with gentlemen essentials. Which will help all your beards flourish!

      

My skin has been thanking me after using these handmade soaps!  The lather is so rich and smooth and when applied to the skin feels so good. My skin feels so soft and cleansed at the end of all my showers!  I almost forgot to mention how good these soaps smell. WOW- Ginger Lime Salt will have your entire bathroom smelling so refreshing after all your showers, I promise! Get your essential products today.

Until next time! Talk soon.

Love Owlways,

Alexis 🦉

Shop today at www.mahoganyessentials.com . ✨

Dating A Computer Is Hard

I love Valentine’s Day because it’s a day dedicated just for love and really let’s you appreciate those around you. Whether that be your S.O, family, or your gals! Unfortunately, it wasn’t until recently that Valentine’s Day wasn’t the happiest time for me.

By now, I hope I reeled you in with this title and your curious about what this post is about. If you know what I’m about to write about then wow, you’re good!So, I date a computer? Yes, that’s true. In fact, I date a computer for a significant amount of time throughout the year. Some of you might think I’m crazy but I promise I’m not.

 

Right now, I am currently in a “LDR”, long distance relationship. I have been in one for a couple of years now. Often times, people think that long distance means you date someone that is 1,756 miles away, but it also can mean that you date someone who is 78 miles away. The difference between those numbers are quiet significant in size. However, when you don’t see someone every day and have to rely on Facetime calls the miles apart suddenly doesn’t matter. Every mile apart is too much.

This is my boyfriend Tyler. 

Let’s get to know him a little bit better before we move on with the post.

  1. He is currently a junior at Temple University located in Philadelphia, PA.
  2. At Temple he majors in Sports Management and he dreams of becoming an Athletic Director  one day.
  3. We are completely opposite from each other yet somehow the same.
  4. Tyler  only gets burritos at our favorite place, Chipotle. He even makes jokes about how I get a salad EVERY TIME we go.
  5. He’s a lover of all things sports and can watch Sports Center all day if you let him.
  6. Family means everything to him and he will do absolutely anything for them.
  7. He’ll pick sweatpants over jeans any day of the week  because  to him they are just  more comfortable.
  8. His favorite color is black.
  9. If he had to pick one food to live off of for the rest of his life it would be pizza.
  10. He sucks at texting but if you ask him he’d say otherwise.
  11. Did I mention he is a die hard Yankees fan? #PINSTRIPEPRIDE

How We Met?

Tyler and I met freshman year of high school. I was the new girl in school and just recently moved from my hometown. At the time, there was a boarding school I wanted to go to instead of my local high school. There were times when I would turn around in our Freshman Seminar class and talk about the school with him. He would always say  that I was never going to go there and of course, I was so sure that I was. Fast forward, three years later and I was walking across the stage and graduating from a school I was supposed to leave from.

We sometimes joke and reminisce about our first interactions with each other. I was the new girl with the glasses and “suede boots” if you let him tell it. He was the popular guy everyone knew if you let me tell it. At the time he was on the varsity football team as a freshman and I mean if that’s not cool then I don’t know what is.  My initial impression of him was that  he was just way too cool for me and I was so out of his league. There wasn’t ever a time when I thought we would end up together but life clearly had a different plan for us.

After we graduated high school we went on to attend college in the same city, Philadelphia. Freshman year was challenging for me on multiple levels. When certain circumstances arose I made the decision to ultimately come back home and attend college in the state that I lived. That decision brought its own challenges but as always I pushed through them. With Tyler staying in Philadelphia and me coming back home it took our relationship on a different course.

In some ways, it helped our relationship grow. We went through a lot  but name a couple who hasn’t. These past few years have brought obstacles for the both of us but none that we haven’t been able to conquer together. Which is why long distance is so hard but in the same breath, the most beautiful thing in this world.  It really shows you how strong you are as couple and also as individuals.  There are so much things that could break you but it doesn’t have to if you don’t allow it.

How We Make It Work?

      Communication 

I think communication is by far the most important thing when dealing with a LDR but a relationship in general. Your not there with the person so talking to each other is vital. You want to know how their day is going, what they ate for dinner, what they are doing, etc.

Lately, Tyler and I have been communicating through Snapchat which is super weird because  before we used to text majority of the time. However, I’ve come to realize that texting is BORING.  I think Snapchat is more interactive because you get both the visuals and words to go with it. I’ll snap him a picture of me in class or on the line to get lunch and he’ll snap back and we just find that works for us.

Add me on snapchat! lexis-nexis

We of course also FaceTime and I’ll admit sometimes being on FaceTime actually makes me sad.  It’s a reminder of the distance. In some ways, it’s torture because you can physically see their movements and what they are doing but your not there with them. Some days it can be a little frustrating for me but I try not to let it bother me too much. We usually FaceTime everyday if we can.

Why It’s Hard?

There are three things that make can make it  “hard” sometimes.

Trust: This is really put the test because you may really think you trust each other and maybe you do.  Yet, there will be times when you second guess if what they said was true. Did he really go to the library after class? Is she really hanging out with the girls? Like any relationship without trust there is no relationship because it’s so essential. So when those “trust issues” arise you have to fight them off.

Jealously: I realize that you may not be a jealous person but when your dating someone who is far away that jealously can kick in. You become jealous that certain people get to see your S.O everyday and you don’t. Sometimes you question others and their intentions. (This has happened to me many times before) You feel like you know how awesome your S.O is and you think hey, does this girl think the same? Haha believe me it may cross your mind maybe once or twice.

Patience: Tyler has a really busy schedule and is involved in a lot on campus. With that being said it makes him unavailable sometimes. If I have something going on he’s usually one of the first people I call and when he can’t talk…. it’s sad. Sometimes when you want to tell someone good news or get advice and it says “FaceTime Unavailable” your just so upset about it. So you really need to have patience when it comes to things like that.

 

Thanks for reading our LDR story. If you are in a LDR we’re all in this together! I was channeling my love for High School Musical there. If   your planning on getting into a LDR it’s work but it’s worth it.Also If you are in a LDR, have advice, or just want to say hey  I’d love to hear what you have to say! So leave a  comment down below.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day again!  Love you all so very much xx

 

Talk soon.

Love You Owlways,