lion and gazelle

The Lion and the Gazelle

Monday night, a few of my teammates and I had our last Veteran Leaders meeting to complete our four years of training in the Richard A. Baddour Leadership Academy. During the meeting, we spoke about three different types of teams: the underdog, the break-through, and the top dog. The status of each of these teams lend both advantages and disadvantages. In our case, my teammates and I decided that we are a top dog team. This is an advantage because we are held to a high degree of excellence, and we consistently bring in good recruiting classes. This is also a disadvantage, because it means that we have a lot to lose in comparison to the underdog teams, who have everything to gain. It’s very challenging to stay a top dog for a long period of time.

One situation that our conversation leader Jeff Janssen brought up was that of the Lion and the Gazelle in Africa:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.”

The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle — when the sun comes up you better be running.

As the top dog team, we compare to the lion. It’s easy to get complacent, when all you have to do is aim for the slowest gazelle. Yet before we know it, we’ll have picked off the slowest gazelle and will be headed for the fastest ones both in regular season and playoffs. One of our biggest challenges is to tap into our incredible individual talent in a way that will be cohesive for the team as a whole. We have so much depth, and so many different threats, but we need to find a way to play like we’re running for our lives, not like we should get dinner handed to us. However, that’s not to say that we’ve gotten hand-outs to be where we are. We have worked our butts off this year, so complacency isn’t necessarily the issue.

We have challenged ourselves mentally and physically more than we ever have in the past. Our work ethic has been truly very impressive this year. Therefore, we’re not like the complacent lion at all. We need to reflect on the work that we’ve put in throughout the year, how it has paid off at this point, and how it will continue to help us in the future as we prepare to take on the fastest gazelle.

The 2015 heels are not gazelles afraid of the fastest lion, nor are we complacent lions picking off the weaklings. We are a breed of athlete that feeds on the best in order to be the best.

There were other relevant situations that Jeff mentioned during the meeting, but the lion and gazelle quote really stuck with me. I feel that it’s a good reminder for many situations in life; if you ever get complacent or unappreciative with anything in life, find a way to spice things up again, and find appreciation for the little things that make you happy πŸ™‚

Keep on runnin, gazelles.

xo

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shamrocks

St. Patty’s Day Crafts

Our family is very Irish thanks to my light-haired blue-eyed grandfather: grandma and grandpa dev
and green is my favorite color, so needless to say, I love to go all out on St. Patty’s Day. Every year, my Aunt and Uncle throw a Saint Patrick’s Day Party at their house, but ever since I’ve been at school, I’ve had to miss out on them ;( I miss the little green favors she gives, and her amazing sugar cookies. So in the meanwhile I’ve kept myself entertained by stacking my Pinterest board with St. Patty’s Day crafting ideas!

Here are a few cheap and easy ideas that I’d like to try:

1. Shamrock Chips: use a cookie cutter to make shamrocks out of green tortillas. Then bake to make crispy chips. shamrock chips 2. Use marbles to distort baking cups into a shamrock shape and green batter to make festive cupcakes. shamrock cupcakes 3. Make sure you don’t get pinched by giving yourself a green & gold mani. St. Patty's Day Mani 4. Cut out shamrocks using green foam or starched felt, and attach them to a wire wreath frame for your front door! I would exchange the green bow for a gold contrast. shamrock wreath 5. Here is a cute print that would be a great framed present for any of your Irish friends: Credit to: http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-271500106/tomasrfox/photos/ig-660146210019061493_271500106 Lucky Best Friend 6. If you host a lot of parties, keep plain white candles and hurricane glasses handy. They’re great for any holiday! Put acorns or leaves in for the fall holidays; pine cones, holly berries or evergreen sprigs during the winter; red hot hearts, candy hearts, or foam hearts for Valentine’s Day; and green marbles, stones, or pebbles for St. Patty’s day! green hurricane centerpiece

7. Use gold card stock from the craft store to make gold shamrocks for around the house or workplace.
gold leaf shamrocks

I hope some of these ideas inspired you to be festive on one of the best holidays of the year!! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

xo

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Is HGTV considered reality TV?

Is HGTV considered reality TV?

I admit that I have a slight obsession with HGTV. Love it or List it, Love it or List it Too, Property Brothers, House Hunters International, Rehab Addict, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Fixer Upper— you name it, I love it.

I’d like to think that these home improvement shows are not as brain-melting as some Bravo and MTV shows, but who knows… I guess it’s the crafter in me that loves seeing an old property get a glamorous make-over and a second life. I feel like these shows help my creative juices flow, rather than frying some brain cells: I like this style, not sure about that tile with those fixtures, etc. I know I sound like a dweeb, but I seriously love it! If a job in the advertising world doesn’t pan out, it would be incredible to be an interior designer.

It’s really neat seeing designers cater to a show participant’s style. Sometimes it’s a style they didn’t even know they had until they saw the finished product! It would be so fun to be a designer like Hilary on Love it or List it. I normally have a pretty good gut instinct when I meet new people, so I feel like it would be a cool challenge to combine that with my design eye.

I must admit that I don’t know the first thing about interior design, but I do have a Pinterest board that says otherwise haha. My mom even asks for my opinion on paint colors, tile, fabric swatches, light fixtures, etc. whenever we start a new remodeling project on our home. It’s easy for me to imagine all of those elements cohesively in a room, while my mom always says she knows what she likes once she sees it.

Although, she did just remodel my parent’s master bathroom and it looks incredible!!

glass shower detail

Shower Corner

vanities with custom cabinets

Dual vanities with custom cabinets for extra storage

hidden toilet

It was crucial that the toilet was at least a little hidden…

basket weave floor

Basket weave floor detail

Picture wall

Picture wall with mother of pearl accent and pencil detail

All of the decisions definitely took some time, but it really paid off. The pictures have a few lighting inconsistencies, but in person, the bathroom is a relaxing oasis of beige (just the way she likes it πŸ˜‰ )

My dad is also very handy, and did a lot of the dirty work — reframing the walls and molding, installing the cabinets, etc. etc. It was a neat family project that turned out amazing. Great job mom & dad!

I’m a long ways away, but I can’t wait to get started on making my first home an expression of my own design taste. So at least for me, HGTV is more educational than “trash TV”. It stimulates my creative juices and usually inspires my next craft πŸ™‚ Until then…

xo

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wine glass painting

Wine Night

I’ve worked with a lot of acrylic paint on canvas like on those UNC Painted Sneakers, but painting wine glasses with enamel is a litttttle tougher. Yeah, enamel and I have a love/hate relationship… For the girls reading this, it’s kind of like applying thin nail polish: you need to use a bunch of coats to get your desired color (which is even harder on clear glass versus a tan nail bed), and you need to make sure each coat is very smooth and even. This process can make you very impatient — the fifth time you go over “Caileigh” can make you wish you didn’t have a back side to decorate. Haha I’m just kidding, while the process is long, it’s actually very rewarding.

The reason that I love crafting so much is because it’s relaxing! Taking the time to painstakingly concentrate on the smallest details actually calms my mind and gives me pleasure with how the final project turns out.

I decided to paint wine glasses for my classmates on the team with their names on one side and a little object on the backside that made me think of them. Of course I’m a bonehead and forgot to take pictures of the final products, but here are all of the names without the image on the backside:

wine glassesEnamel is great to use on glass because it’s more durable than acrylic. You can find it right next to the wall of acrylics in most craft stores though! I believe you should be allowed to put the glasses in the dishwasher once you’ve sealed the enamel appropriately, but I’d still hand wash them just to be safe.

Of course the process depends on the brand of paint you’re using, but enamel is worth the few extra steps for a great finished product. First, you prep the glasses; many glasses you purchase from stores can have a film from the factory/store, not to mention germs and fingerprints from other customers. So just make sure to rinse all of the glasses with warm, soapy water, and dry them with a low-lint cloth. Next, break out your paintbrushes! Pour your desired paint color onto a palette (I just use a disposable paper plate), and get creative! Some layers might need more coats than others due to the transparent nature of the tone, just try to make them as smooth as possible. When you’re satisfied with the way your masterpieces look, it’s time to bake them! Place the glasses in a COOL oven **this is important, if you place a room temp glass into a hot oven, you might get a shattered surprise** then heat the oven to the temperature specified on the bottle on your brand of enamel, and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the glasses to cool in the oven, then they’re ready to use for wine night! You also might want to give them one more wash before putting them to good use πŸ˜‰

I used a few gems and some jewelery glue to give the glasses a little sparkle as well.

Good luck to anyone working with enamel!

xo

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Fresh New Kicks

My favorite art medium is probably graphite on paper, but I’ve also come to love acrylic. There’s nothing like putting a little color on a fresh, white pair of Vans heheh.

Last year I began painting “Game Day Shoes” for a couple of teammates. They would hand me a shoe box of those crisp, white Vans, and I’d hand them back a Tar Heel masterpiece a few days later.

My first customer was my teammate Sam. She was the guinea pig, but nonetheless they’re still a classic between the argyle and NC. We had just won our National Championship last year, so the Natty panel was a special touch:

Sam's ShoesNext in line was my teammate Brittney. She wanted a pair for herself, as well as her two sisters. They are literally mini versions of Britt, so naturally all three pairs were identical. As I said in my last post, I’m pretty good at eyeballing characters/logos and reproducing them. I was really proud of the way the Ramses turned out, and I even finished them all right before she could take them home for Christmas presents πŸ™‚

IMG_3295

Little CoppasThen my teammate KK wanted in! She has a ton of personality, so I wanted to step it up from the classic Carolina features by adding some glitter. She also has her personalized name and number on the back panels.

KKYesterday, I just received a fresh pair in the mail from one of my graduated teammates… I’m chomping at the bit to sketch out a plan for ’em and get started! Wahoo! I’ll letcha know how they turn out… Hit me up if anyone wants a personalized pair!

#goheelsgoamerica

xo

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Time to take on the Terps

Tomorrow we hop on the bus to travel to College Park, MD to take on the number one University of Maryland Terrapins. #1 vs #2 is a big game in any sport, but the forecast for the weekend is going to make things quite interesting…

According to weather.com, College Park is supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow and has a high of 32 degrees during the day, which is actually warm compared to the average temps in Chapel Hill this week!

Nonetheless, the game will still be a battle of the greats. We’re both playing in the same conditions, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. We’ve been grinding out in the interesting weather all week, so bring it twerps!!!

twerp soup

I like to sketch/doodle when I need to unwind. I found this picture of a struggling turtle from Google, and based him off of that, but he is free-handed! I’m pretty decent at eyeballing graphics and replicating them… but turtles are hard to recall off the top of your head! Haha

Anyway, if you’re not brave enough to face the weather, you can stream the game on BTN Plus on BTN2go, or you can view live stats here, or you can follow @uncwlax and @MarylandWLax on twitter for updates. Otherwise, I’ll see you in College Park!

Go Heels!! #fearnothingattackeverything #road2two #beattheterps

xo

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Snowdays in the South

do you wanna build a snowman

photo from @heelslaxunc

As a displaced northerner, it cracks me up whenever a little precipitation falls in North Carolina. Whether it’s rain or snow, the drivers are even slower than they are when the roads are dry…ugh. But when it comes to snow specifically, it’s safe to say NC is never prepared.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about the snow days and cancelled classes…In fact it’s been awesome only having one class this week so far. Heheh I know I stink. And I’ve even been really productive during all of these days! I haven’t simply sat on the couch and chilled, I’ve filled out applications, done homework, cleaned, and even gone on adventures trekking to practice to make sure we’re ready for our game against #1 Maryland this weekend.

Our first snow day was particularly dangerous, because while only about half an inch of snow fell, it was “iced” over with sleet all night. This left our driveway and much of Church street as a giant sheet of ice. However, once you made it out to the main roads, they were completely fine and almost dry! Our driveway melted a little bit, but we made a rookie mistake: we let the melt from the day before re-freeze again overnight and guess what…our driveway is still a sheet of ice! So now that all the roads have been cleared, we’re still car-stranded in our little house 😦 We should have learned after the “Snowpocalypse” last year, but we also never got the ice that we did this year.

The driveway finally re-melted a little bit today, only to be snowed over again by a surprise blizzard during practice! Haha it actually made practice really fun to have constant little flurries swirling all around. It made you feel like you were in a giant snow globe. That was until the hugeee flakes started falling in your eyes and covering the field. That made our tiny rubber ball a little hard to see, but it was still fun nonetheless.

So shoutout to the south for your surprise snow days off of a little bit of snow (compared to poor Boston), and keep em comin πŸ™‚

xo

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German Shorthaired Pointer

GSP Lovin

I grew up in a family full of Miniature Schnauzers. My mom and dad were the first to introduce Schnapps, a little schnauzer pup, to our extended family, and the breed sure caught on quick… Eventually, both sets of grandparents as well as my aunt and uncle all got miniature schnauzers for furry companions. My aunt is still a mini schnauzer supporter, rescuing countless dogs from abusive puppy mills in PA. Seriously, the patience, love and care she lends these scared pups is truly inspirational. Check out where she volunteers, and what you can do to help puppy mill and shelter dogs at MLAR.org.

Below is my childhood buddy, Jagr (“yah-gur”), who took Schnapps’ place when he went to dog heaven. Jagr was named after Jaromir Jagr, who at the time was a Pittsburgh Penguin with long, black curly hair, just like our pup did! (My mom is a Pittsburgh native, so although my family is from the Philly area, we tend to root for the Pittsburgh teams.)

jagrdogNeedless to say, I was heartbroken when we had to put him to sleep my sophomore year of high school. Jagr was a barker, but he was my watchdog and sleeping buddy, and I still miss him very much.

Enter Gunner, our current German Shorthaired Pointer. And by “our,” I mean my brother’s dog. Gunny was his college graduation present. He and my dad did a ton of research to figure out a sporting breed that would fit my brother’s active lifestyle, and the GSP fit best. My dad had a GSP, Rocky, growing up who he fell in love with for his loyalty and hunting instincts. So he suggested that Pat look into the breed. Pat loves hunting in his free time, but he works long hours, so I was fortunate to have Gunner stay at the family home while Pat is away.

It’s hilarious how attached Gunner is to Pat. If Pat’s not around, he literally sulks and pouts until he gets home. My dad and I feed Gunny, take him out, give him treats, play with him, snuggle with him, etc., but as soon as Pat walks through the door, he cries with happiness and pretends like my dad and I don’t even exist. yeesh! Nonetheless, I still love how cool this dog is. He’s so regal and photogenic, in case you couldn’t tell from my Instagram pix πŸ˜‰

lala

Gunny chillin as a puppy

German Shorthaired Pointers are known to be high energy dogs, but Gunner is the perfect temperament for our active lifestyles. He constantly wants to go outside to exhaust his energy pointing mice/birds/anything that moves, but he can also snooze all day and store up his energy for his regular “walkie-walks” through Marsh Creek State Park. Gunner also listens very well. My dad should be a certified dog trainer, but GSPs are also instinctively obedient. We bribed him during training with small bits of cheese, and he’s been a spoiled prince ever since…he still turns up his nose at your average dog treat. At least I can still get a paw-shake and a half roll-over when I take out the cheese to make sandwiches at lunchtime πŸ™‚

Although Gunner’s #1 is Pat, he is still very loyal to me. He is such a neat companion, I can’t even express it in words! He simply looks at you when you walk past his bed, and you know that you two have a connection. I loved having Jagr as a little dog, but after living with Gunner, I’m definitely more of a big dog person. It’s hilarious because even Gunner’s physique is just like our family’s: tall, lanky and athletic. Haha he’s such a great fit.

IMG_5036

I did some research of my own for this post, and found out that GSPs are the 12th most popular breed according to the AKC. They are known for being versatile hunting dogs, and they are friendly, smart, and eager to please. They’re generally a healthy breed, but they do shed A LOT! The short hair sticks to just about anything…as an article on Woofipedia put it, “No clothing color is safe. Black pants? We’ve got white hair for that. White shirt? Have some short brown hairs! Carpet? You get a little of everything.” GSPs are medium sized dogs, but they have super-sized energy. They thrive on exercise, and they’ll run til they just can’t run no more! They do need certain food for their unique digestive track depending on what phase in life they’re at. GSPs also have very large chests. We place Gunner’s food and water on a wire rack up off of the floor, so that food and water get caught less often while traveling the long road from his throat to his stomach. Overall, GSPs are outdoor lovers. Gunny is always happiest when he’s outside, no matter the weather. They’re proficient at trailing, retrieving and pointing a variety of birds, rodents, and even deer.

GSPs are great dogs, but long story short, always do your research to make sure a dog’s temperament fits with your lifestyle. It’s fine if you’re pursuing a reputable breeder, but please do not support puppy mills by purchasing a dog from them. It may seem like you’re “saving” the pup from inhumane conditions, but you’re really supporting the system. You’d be surprised by the amazing dogs waiting for love at rescues and shelters. Millions of shelter dogs are waiting to be adopted into a loving home, so please try to “adopt, don’t shop.”

xo

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Ring City

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love my rings. Like a lot. I probably wear five or six on a daily basis (depending on how flashy they are πŸ˜‰ )

Some of them have very significant meaning, and some of them are just fun to wear, but nonetheless, I have the perfect ring for each finger down to a science…

numbered rings

1. Eileen gave this awesome mustache dude to me on my 21st birthday last year. I love him cause he’s orange (which I don’t wear much of) and obviously who doesn’t love a good stache?!

2/3/5 These guys are the rings I wear on a daily basis. They don’t really have a story, I just like the way they look πŸ™‚ They’re all from Village Silver in the Exton Square Mall (PA). It has recently closed, but it might still be open at another location in Glen Eagle Square.

4. My roommate Maia brought this Crucian Gold knotted ring back from St. Croix as a Christmas present. It’s so simple, yet so delicate and pretty.

6. This is a silver oval with my monogram on it, that my mom got for me back in high school.

7. I actually made this guy in jewelry class back in high school (Shoutout to Listy!) by sawing the spiral sun and waves out of a sheet of metal, filing and buffing the edges, and then soldering the ends together to form a ring.

8. This was actually my mom’s costume jewelry from when she was in high school! We were cleaning out some stuff in our basement this summer, when we found her old agenda book, along with some old jewelry and other gems (pun intended).

9. Grosser than I’d like to admit, but I found this on the floor at a bar this summer. Considering it’s a middie ring, it was small enough that I doubted anyone would find it, and I didn’t see it’s owner looking for it either. So I just gave it a good wash, and I still wear it from time to time. #noshame #sorrytothepreviousowner

10. My “Fairy Godmother,” as we call her, got me this flowered beauty while she was visiting Arizona. I’m a sucker for turquoise and silver.

11. She also got me this beautiful gem ring from Stephanie’s, our favorite jewelry store in Stone Harbor, NJ.

12. This is another everyday wearer, I love how it wraps around my finger like leaves/waves.

13. This one isn’t sentimental, but it’s a nice switchup to all of my silver. It’s gold painted with two iridescent pink gems. I got it from Urban Outfitters.

14. I found this middie ring on Brandy Melville, and fell in love because I’m a sucker for anything dog-related.

15. Totally forget where I found this crazy bedazzled bling, but it’s definitely flashy enough to wear on it’s own. I love wearing it out for a statement piece.

16. I got this ring as a high school graduation present. It’s very intricate and delicate, which contrasts nicely with my love for the clunkier silver rings.

17. Finally the classic Claddagh (“Claw-duh”). It’s a traditional Irish symbol that represents love, loyalty, and friendship. My aunt gave it to me after my confirmation into the catholic church. It’s another ring that I wear every day, and a constant reminder of how much my family means to me.

Bonus!! Haha shoutout to my homemade wrap bracelet *wink wink click the link*

AHHHH I ALMOST FORGOT THIS BEAUTY:

NATTY CHAMPS '13

NATTY CHAMPS ’13

This guy means more than words can express. We put in countless hours to be great at our sport, and I literally cannot express what a relief it was to have it pay off with a National Championship. The team also asked me to design the ring, which was an incredible honor, so this ring is very important to me on many different levels.

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me, and thanks to all who contributed to my collection!

Maybe I can land some more for my birthday hehe πŸ˜‰ jk I think I might have enough already…

xo

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Gameday #2

Welp, the whole team is sitting here in the Miami airport, and I’m thinking of what a combination never-ending and whirlwind time span this trip has been. We left Chapel Hill Thursday night to travel to Gainesville, Florida, and are finally getting back later Saturday night. That’s a long trip logistics wise (traveling 25 girls by bus, through airports, by plane, and through hotels can be a headache, and our big Carolina Blue blob always turns heads), but the time is also flying by at the same time!

We have a huge team this year, so it’s always a major bummer when we can’t travel the entire team due to financial restrictions. We were missing ten awesome girls during this trip, but they were all crucial to preparing us for our win over Florida, so we’re all very appreciative of their contributions to our sick win of the day:

Today marked game 2 of our #road2two aspirations, meaning our journey to clinch our program’s second national title. Head over to my teammate Sam McGee’s blog to hear more about our interesting past and bright future. We took on the Number 4 Florida Gators and beat them 17-11. It was especially meaningful to hand the Gators a loss to start their season, as well as end their 23-game winning streak at their home facility Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

The game did get tight for a while… We were winning for most of the game until the Gators went on a 4 goal run to tie the game at 9-9 with 28 minutes left in the second half. The game was definitely a test of both side’s physicality and endurance; thanks to Fetzer, we’re used to playing on a long and wide field, but our depth across offense, midfield, defense and goalie is really special. Our team is in tip top shape, and each position has fresh players “ready to go” off the bench.

I think we were still getting back into the swing of things during our season opener last week. We still beat JMU, but I didn’t think we played to our full potential. (After coming off of 5 ACL injuries last season, it’s nice to have almost everyone back on the field.) This game we had much better flow with each other. I’m not gonna reveal our secrets and tricks in case our opponents find this, but just know that 2015 is gonna be a great season for us Heels, and we’re coming for all y’all πŸ˜‰

Check out the article and photo gallery from the game on Lax Magazine’s website. And here’s goheels’s article on the win.

…signing off from warm and sunny Miami πŸ™‚

xo

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