Love Stories That Will Melt Your Heart

Surprise surprise y'all... it's basically Valentine's Day. I wanted to do a special type of post this year for one of my favorite holidays. I did a little brainstormin' and realized I know so many people in amazing relationships and I wanted to showcase them. So, I emailed a handful of friends and family asking for the story of how they and their S.O. met and chose some of my favorites to share with y'all to remind you that there is hope. Hope y'all enjoy!




I'll start the stories out with one of my favorites... my grandparents. These two still act like teenagers in love and that's something that everyone can admire. (Note: I call them Grammy and Poppie, hence the nicknames in the story..)

"Prelude —  Poppie moved to Wichita the day after his graduation from high school. Probably not a happy camper. His parents bought a house where they soon met your mother’s godparents, who lived down the street, and became good friends. They had a son who was a friend of your Great Uncle Warner (my brother) and were friends of Warner's girlfriend’s parents. This new boy in town (Poppie) sounded very cool to all the girls.

Poppie had a track scholarship to KU, he pledged Phi Psi and Warner was his pledge father. My dear brother introduced him to girls for dates and one was a classmate of mine. Thank you Big Brother! They dated until I came along!  It was spring break, March 1953. There was a dinner party, and after dinner we (Warner & Julie & Tom & Kate) went to a night club. I thought Kirkwood High had a strange style of dancing, but he was the talk of the town and pretty cute (and nice). 
Then he invited me to the Phi Psi spring dance, I stayed with Julie in the Theta house (!) and I was sold (on Theta). When Poppie came home for the summer we were together almost every evening and that was that forever more! And the flowers burst into bloom, the birds singing and winding garlands in the trees, the Prince kissed Sleeping Beauty, the Prince found Cinderella and the shoe fit.
And you know what they say — if the shoe fits, wear it!?"


It's only fitting the next story is my own parents. Another love story you can't help but smile at. The story started many years ago on this very day!

"I was working in the advertising department at Cessna Aircraft at the time and your mom was working at a small advertising design studio. Her firm did a fair amount of work for Cessna and Susan would often bring the work to Cessna for review — this was LONG before the days of email, electronic files, pdfs, etc. I was attracted to your mom from the start because of her easy going smile, her patience with me when I gave feedback on her firm’s designs and because she was fascinated by my northern heritage and how I pronounced certain words (not incorrect, mind you, just differently). 

After several “asks” your mom finally agreed to go out to dinner with me — only to cancel the day of because her boyfriend from law school unexpectedly came home for the weekend. I knew about the boyfriend but I felt a connection with your mom and I wasn’t going to give up. And, after three tries, we finally had our first date — it was on Friday, February 13th, my lucky day. After drinks and dinner at a favorite little restaurant, we went back to Susan’s apartment for cheap wine and music. We spent hours listening to her vinyl and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her better through her music. Needless to say, we had a great evening.

The next day, Valentine’s Day, I did the somewhat traditional thing and sent Susan a dozen red roses. The boyfriend did not. Big mistake on his part (he didn’t know his competition!).  Now, after almost 34 years of marriage, two great kids and a lot of laughs together, both February 13th & 14th are special days to us." 


And for the third generation of love stories: my dear brother and his amazing girlfriend. A true modern romance if I do say so myself.

"I think we can both agree that meeting people in New York is difficult. Soon after moving to Brooklyn I turned to Tinder a little more seriously than I had in the past and came across Victoria's profile. We both swiped right and met at a bar a few weeks later. The next day we ran into each other at a Trader Joe's in Manhattan. If that's not fate I don't know what is. I'll be celebrating two years with my Tinderella next month."


I've known Kaitlyn since we were forced to wear pink sequin costumes together in dance class at age 8. Since then I've witnessed her grow up into an amazing woman and even better, witnessed her entire relationship with Cole. I remember her gushing about him asking her out back when we were just barely in high school and now she and Cole are getting married!

"Cole and I met during our sophomore year of high school in an Ethics class. We had mutual friends, but first met in class together. We started dating a few months after we met. Cole took me out to dinner at his favorite Italian restaurant. When we came back from dinner he asked me to go on a walk. Little did I know that he had secret plans for when we were on our walk. He had talked to my mom and sister and asked them to chalk our driveway for when we got back to my house from our walk. When we got back I found a flashlight on my driveway (it was dark outside) and there was a list of the 7 things he loved most about me. He read the list to me and then asked me to be his girlfriend. He had a bouquet of flowers waiting for me and I gladly said yes! Cole and I are happier than ever almost 6 years later. We are getting married in 4 months and he continues to sweep me off my feet each and every day. He is definitely unique within today's generation! God could not have blessed me with a more amazing man. I cannot wait to be his wife!!"


As one of my first friends at TCU, it makes my heart so happy to see Mark with someone perfect for him. Mark and Maisen are simply two peas in a pod.

"Although we’ve only know each other since the end of August, my girlfriend Maisen and I have grown very close over the last couple months. Since this is our first Valentine’s day together, I’ll have to share the story of how we met instead – it’s a pretty funny story. We joke around with friends that we met at a bar on a Tuesday night, but there’s a little more to it than that. On top of being one of my best friends and my girlfriend, Maisen is also my brother – we’re both members of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional fraternity at TCU. Last year, I was involved in the recruitment process for our new members and decided to reach out to people who had signed up to get to know some actives in a more personal setting. I had never met Maisen and picked her name off a sign-up sheet because her oddly spelt name caught my eye. Once we met that night, we couldn’t stop talking and our connection was obvious!  From there, we took every opportunity to spend time together. Now, we own four chickens together and we foster dogs while finding them a good home. We are both so lucky to have found each other."



Janie and Alex are practically everyone's #relationshipgoals at TCU. These two are the epitome of God's love in the flesh. (This story is by far the longest but definitely worth it. Tip: have tissues ready)

"So it all started freshman year of college at TCU....

There was this guy that I instantly knew would be my best guy friend for the rest of my life. His name was Alex Caroom, but to me he was “Caroom” – yes, I called him by his last name, I think it made it seem more like we were friends if I called him what all his guy friends called him. So Caroom was my best, best, best guy friend and that’s all I really knew him as. Apparently, so I’ve been told, I accidentally, instantly friend zoned him in the nicest way possible. 

Early on freshman year, he had tickets to an upcoming concert; and one day I received a text from him asking me to go to this concert with him. I looked at my best girl friend and said out loud “how weird... Caroom just asked me to go on a date with him to a concert?!” Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the real meaning behind him asking me and had to politely decline his offer because I had my first college exam the morning after the concert. Fast forward a couple of months, Caroom and I played on various intramural teams together and boy did we have some funny stories from these games: I asked him if he would be my friend’s date to a mixer, he almost broke his ankle twice and he only called me “champ...” So after one of our basketball games, he was bragging about how incredible he was at ping-pong; so naturally I challenged him to a game. About 20 ping-pong games later, I finally beat him.... when he was playing with his left hand...but that’s beside the point. 

Well one day we were playing ping-pong after class and he said if he could beat me 10 times before I could beat him 5 times, then I had to let him take me on a date. Of course I just laughed and accepted the challenge. I had nothing to lose! A dinner date with my best friend would be so fun and casual, I didn’t think twice about it. Well naturally I won!!!! Kidding... he won. So we planned to go on a “date” Saturday night and we thought nothing else of it. Until that Friday rolled around when we were both in the same morning class, we quickly realized the next day was not only Saturday, which was not only the day of our date, but it was also Valentine’s Day.... Well thankfully neither of us had prior plans so we were absolutely still on for our dinner. If you can’t spend Valentines Day with your significant other, might as well spend it with your best friend, right?

So we go to dinner at the infamous Woodshed and naturally have the time of our lives - great conversations, great music, great food, and wonderful company. After that we went for a walk alongside the Trinity River and then all of the sudden he snags my hand, tells me he has a surprise for me, and we take off running to his car. After driving around for a little while, we park in a quiet, quaint neighborhood and begin to explore. Next thing I know, we are sitting high above the ground looking out at a perfect view of the beautiful Fort Worth skyline lit up and shining bright in the beautiful, Texas starry night sky. 

After spending hours talking and staring at the stunning sight all around us, Caroom puts his arm around me. And from that moment on, the rest is history. He looks at me and says he has something really important he needs to tell me. He looks at me and begins to confess his feelings for me. And he will never let me forget what I did next. I laughed out loud and said, “Shut up!” WHO SAYS THAT IN A MOMENT LIKE THIS???? After apologizing over and over and over again, I began to tell him how shocked I was that he just told me that. “Caroom just told me he liked me” was on repeat in my mind and I just began to nervously blab for probably half an hour about who knows what. After moving on from that conversation (thankfully!!) our night continued on. And man oh man, this is a night I will never forget. After an innocent hug goodnight, my first date, full of adventure and life-lasting memories with Caroom, sadly came to an end. 

Shortly after that night, he was promoted from Caroom to Alex, and I was upgraded from champ to sweetheart.

I can proudly, joyfully, thankfully, and lovingly say we will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary this upcoming Valentines Day. And let me tell ya, the adventures, laughter, and love only grows stronger every single day."


If your heart didn't flutter reading any one of these stories... well you've got bigger problems. How amazing is the world that it can bring two people so perfect for each other together?!

As for me? Well, I have my own story in the works but that's a story for another day. I hope everyone has an amazing Valentine's Day, single or not! What are you doing for V-Day? Comment below and let me know what you have planned!

How to Score Your Dream Internship

One of the hard things about college, especially as a business student, is that everyone feels pressure. Pressure to get the best GPA, to get multiple internships, to get a stellar job offer- the list goes on. If you say this doesn't apply to you, I envy you. (And I also wonder what college you go to...) I've spent a better part of my college career trying to get one specific internship, at a local digital advertising agency. I've dubbed it my 'dream internship' ever since I first encountered the company and have been consistently chasing after it ever since (second semester of freshman year, to be exact). Well, I'm now a junior and I finally did it: I scored my dream internship. This post isn't intended to brag about my accomplishment, but to share my experience in an attempt to help others.


Here's how I scored this internship. It may help you, it may not, but all of this advice is relevant to getting any and all internships and jobs you may be interested in.

Consistency is key
Like I said, I spent a better half of my college career chasing after this internship dream. So that means I've been at it a while. I've been through three different interview processes (I guess third time really was the charm), talked to at least twelve different employees throughout the interview process and emailed the recruiter more than a dozen times. My point is that I was consistent. I literally did not let them forget my name. Every time they came to campus for career fairs, I was there. (In fact, the most recent career fair, I was so familiar with them, I was greeted with "Hi Emma" from three employees working the booth.) Once I was denied from one internship "session" (i.e. the Spring internship), I would wait a couple of months, then apply for the summer internship. It did get a little disheartening at some points. I felt like all I was doing was getting rejected, or that I was truly wasting my time, but I kept on keeping on.

Do your research
You know how at the interviews they ask if you have any questions? Sometimes during my interview process, I would almost laugh at this question because I had so thoroughly stalked the company that I felt I knew absolutely everything. (Obviously, I didn't, so I would still come up with a question, as you should in every interview, but still.) This doesn't mean just reading over their website before heading over for your interview. This means treating your interview as if you are about to be quizzed on your potential employer. Stalk every single page of their website. Stalk all of their social media. Search recent news about the company. Know any awards they might've just won. If they're a B2B (business-to-business) company, know their clients. Know precisely what they do. If you know who you're interviewing with, stalk them on LinkedIn. Know where they went to school, how long they've been with the company, etc. (This will make interviewing with them easier if you know potential common ground!) Something some might forget, is to research the culture of the company. An odd, but common mistake (according to my father, an advertiser) is to not dress the part. For an advertising firm (well, most of them), showing up in a full suit is usually a big no-no. But for a big financial firm, showing up in jeans is a no-no. Know what is the expected dress code, and if you have absolutely no idea, ask someone in the industry. To sum it up, you should feel like a freaking expert on this company when you walk into their office. This will not only impress your interviewers, but it will show you truly care about this company and didn't just randomly find it online.

Be thankful
If you know anything about interviews, you should know that you always thank your interviewer afterward. The most impressive form is a handwritten thank you note, but unfortunately I, and most people, don't have a lot of time to hand deliver this. (Mailing would work, too, but the faster the delivery, the better.) I opted for the classic email thank you approach. The key to this is to make the email memorable. One way to do this is to mention specific things you talked about in your interview. This email should be sent out no later than the morning after the interview, but preferably the evening directly following the interview (so it's waiting in their inbox in the morning). It seems like a small gesture, but it goes a long way in the long run.

It's all about connections
In the business world, it's all about who you know. Your GPA could be stellar and your experience impressive, but if no one is there to back you up, chances are you're going to be left in the dust. I might not have known anyone at my particular company when I was introduced to it, but I quickly changed that. My best resource during my process was another, older student that was a current intern at the company. I met him at an unrelated event at the business school and he mentioned his current internship. I knew I needed to connect with this guy immediately. I simply asked him later, via email, to get coffee and chat about his experience. When you do this, people will rarely deny you. People love talking about themselves, it's a fact. But people also love when you put in effort like this, so they feel the need to reciprocate your effort with their time. I could not be more thankful for this person, that I now consider a friend for getting me to where I am now. I'm not saying this guy got me my internship, but I know for a fact that he personally delivered a hard copy of my resume to the recruiter at the company, a simple gesture, but a huge deal. Did I stop at this one connection? Absolutely not. Any chance I got, I would make a connection. If I heard of a friend of a friend that worked there, I'd get their contact information. Every time I connected with a person, I made sure to not let them forget my name. I connected with every single person on LinkedIn, and would often email them later on in my process. I probably annoyed some people, but it was totally worth it, obviously.

I've now been interning at the company for about three months and I've learned more than I ever could have imagined. I can honestly say the work was worth it because I cannot imagine getting this experience anywhere else. I highly encourage anyone applying for their dream internship to never give up. In the end, it will all work out.

What's your internship experience? I'd love to hear some stories below! If you have any questions about interviews or internships, feel free to reach out to me via email, or follow me on TwitterPinterestBloglovin' and Instagram!

A Kansas City Staycation

Happy New Year friends! Can I just say how glad I am that 2016 is over?! T-God.
This year, my dad had the grand idea of doing a vacation instead of showering each other with Christmas presents, most of which we don't need anyway. Unfortunately, this plan fell short when my dad checked the flight prices to places we were interested in. Instead, we opted for a simpler plan: a staycation. My brother's girlfriend (who's from New York) would be in town so it would not only be fun for us to explore our own city, but also fun to show her a new city! We booked a couple rooms in the brand new Residence Inn in downtown Kansas City and packed our bags.


DAY 1
We arrived downtown around 4pm and after exploring the hotel for a little, we decided to rest up a little bit before dinner. Once we were all rested and cheery, we took the new streetcar to The Rieger. We actually were hoping to get into Manifesto, the secret little speakeasy located in the basement, but it was completely full, so we settled for a drink at The Rieger. I got this cute little drink called the 'Fatboy Sling,' which was basically a carbonated cocktail with rose in it. They even bottle it themselves!


Once we were finished with our drinks, we took the streetcar to Union Station, one of my favorite spots in KC. This grand monument has seen its fair share of history, but I also have many many memories as a kid playing here. We had reservations at one of the restaurants in Union Station, Pierpont's. We started the dinner with some crab cakes, along with two different selections of pinot noir, then for the main course I enjoyed a delicious broiled salmon that was paired with red rice and brussels sprouts (my favorite!!). It was absolutely yummy.


After stuffing our bellies, we explored Union Station a little bit more, showing my brother's girlfriend the model trains and the bits of history here and there. We boarded the streetcar once again and headed down to Tom's Town, a bar/restaurant, but more importantly: a distillery.


This cute little spot looks like it hopped right outta Great Gatsby. It was absolutely gorgeous, and my drink, the Cider Slice wasn't half bad either! Tom's Town concluded day one's activities and I think I can confidently say we all slept pretty damn well.


DAY 2
Day two was all about the Frogs. The big day started out with watching TCU vs. Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. I cheered on the Frogs with some fellow TCU students at Johnny's Tavern in the Power & Light District in downtown KC. Bloody Mary's and beer made the loss just a liiiiiiiitttle bit less painful.



After the game, I met my parents on the Plaza to do some shopping, which eventually led to drinks at O'Dowd's, then we headed to Tom Fooleries to watch the TCU vs. KU basketball game. This was a big game for us because my brother and mom both went to KU, so the house was certainly divided. We watched the first half there and then headed to Houston's for the second half. It was another tough loss for the Frogs, but the filet and mashed potatoes that followed the game made me forget all about it (almost).  After another booze-filled night, we all passed out in the hotel rooms pretty quickly.

DAY 3
Day three began with breakfast at the quirky Succotash where I enjoyed a vanilla latte and a breakfast sandwich. The place was packed and for good reason!


After getting ready for the day, we headed to our main event for the day: the Boulevard Brewery. If you're looking for some good [free] beer in KC, this is the spot.


The tour is free (and interesting!)  but the most important part is that they start the tour off with a free beer sample and then you finish the tour with two. And if you haven't had a Boulevard brew yet: they're tasty. After, this we were pretty beat (and very full) so we went back to the hotel to rest and save up our energy for the night.


After the brewery, we drove around a little bit, checking out spots like the Jazz District before trading in the car for the streetcar. We headed to Rivermarket which is.... well exactly what it sounds like. It's a market next to the river (the Missouri River to be exact). During the summer this place is hoppin', especially during its farmer's market every Saturday and Sunday. We ended up eating at one of the many small restaurants in the market. I got a great sandwich with a side of slaw. Yum-O!



Before heading to dinner, we gathered for a little champagne toast in the hotel room. After the bubbly was drank, we went to a late dinner at The Bristol, an amazing seafood restaurant. I got the scallops, along with brussels sprouts and potatoes and it was delish. For the evening festivities, I had previously bought a ticket to a huge NYE party in Kansas City at the Power & Light District. I met up with a couple friends from TCU and we certainly had a blast. Needless to say, I had quite the hangover the next day.


The next morning we headed back home, but I had an absolute blast staycationing in my fun-filled city. It really made me want to explore more, especially since I'm not home as often anymore. I would highly suggest a staycation for anyone looking for a [slightly] more affordable vacation than jetting off somewhere.

As always, remember to follow me on TwitterPinterestBloglovin' and Instagram!

Why I'm Rebranding My Blog + How I'm Doing It

If you've been here before, you'll notice the blog looks a little different. The logo has changed, the colors have changed (slightly) and you might just see a little more personality come out. You know what that means: rebranding. If you're a blogger you've probably done this more than a few times. If you're not, I'll do my best to explain it. Basically, it's changing the look/feel/aesthetic of your "brand," which in my case, is my blog. It can be something little like changing colors, to something huge like changing your blogging niche. The latter is a much bigger time commitment that I'm definitely not doing at the moment.

Why I'm Rebranding My Blog + How I'm Doing It


WHY
So, why am I doing this? Well, if you scroll down to my previous blog post (go ahead, I'll wait here..), you'll see that it was posted on October 19th. That's quite the gap between this post and the last. I've made excuses such as being busy with school and my internship and my social life... but to be honest, I just wasn't feeling motivated. I'd open my blog and sit there... and then nothing. I didn't feel like putting in the work and I didn't know why. Finally, I started to ease myself into it. I logged back into my blog's twitter account and began reading other bloggers' tweets. Then I started tweeting myself. Then I got back on Bloglovin' and got back to reading blogs (something that had totally made me discouraged before, because they were doing amazing and I was not). Then I started reading 'blog help' pins on Pinterest. I was finally feeling a little inspired. But for some reason, I still could not get my fingers moving enough to actually write something.

As I browsed my own blog, I realized that my own blog had uninspired me. I just wasn't feeling what my blog looked like, or the vibe it was giving off. So, I decided to rebrand. I felt like my blog hadn't really changed its aesthetic since I'd started it more than two years ago. It was still a young, college freshman, while I had moved on to an upperclassman college student, thinking about the real world. I also wanted to change the voice of my blog. I felt like at some point, I had become part of a blogger mold. I was trying to be like 'other blogs' and had strayed away from who I really am. I'm a vulgar, cussing, middle-finger using lady who doesn't really give a damn if I am your 'typical blogger.' So I decided I need to really be myself, rather than being a blogger.

HOW
1. The first thing I did was really decide on my brand style. Before, I had kind of just decided on what looked good and threw it together, without really caring if it was cohesive. Now, I've realized how much better it looks who a brand/blog is cohesive. I first started a secret Pinterest mood board to figure out what look I was really going with for the rebranding. Here's a taste of some of the pins I curated.

Why I'm Rebranding My Blog + How I'm Doing It

Clearly, blush and black/grey were a big inspiration, but also some 90's movies, alcohol and fashion.

2. Once I had a pretty good board, I pulled colors out of it and created my style guide. I made sure to make note of the HTML color codes so I could use the exact colors over and over. I then decided on fonts I liked together. This took more time than you'd expect- there are so many damn fonts out there!!

3. Finally, I wanted to redo my logo. This probably took the most time because I am no graphic designer. My old logo was designed by someone else and the one that I had before that was poorly thrown together in Picmonkey. I wanted the new one to look professional and beautiful, as well as matching my aesthetic. I couldn't find any freebies online that I liked and finally threw in the towel and decided to make one myself. First, I tried only using Canva. I didn't like what I did, so finally I decided to use a free trial version of Photoshop (I'm cheap okay?!!??!). Now, keep in mind my only experience with Photoshop was one high school class where my teacher basically made us teach ourselves: aka I knew nothing. Thankfully, my brother happens to be a photographer and was super helpful in teaching me a few things. I'm really happy with the end result!

Here's my final blog style guide, which I made with Canva. I splurged for the 'Canva for Work' and already love it. I allows me to save my 'brand colors' and 'brand fonts' so everytime I make something in Canva, I don't have to search for colors and fonts.
Why I'm Rebranding My Blog + How I'm Doing It
So here I am, blogging again. I've faced the music and realized I shouldn't set expectations too high for how much I'll be blogging or how consistent I'll be, but I'm already feeling more inspired. It also feels really good to finish this blog post, and feel happy about it. I'm going to give myself a nice little pat on the back.

The next step in this process is obviously, blogging as much as I can and coming up with new + fresh ideas. I also really want to go back into old posts and make them prettier and possibly edit the content. The final steps are setting up an email list and monetizing the hell out of this ish! Wish me luck babes.

As always, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin' and Instagram to follow along with my random adventures. And thank you, to those that have stayed followers throughout my multiple droughts, y'all rock.

Best Places to Instagram in Fort Worth

Inspired by Helene's post about the best places to photograph in Nashville, I decided Fort Worth needed a little love, too! Dallas seems to get a lot of press because of its "trendiness," but I think Fort Worth deserves a share of the spotlight! If you're in Dallas, or visiting the DFW area, head over to Cowtown to get some of these shots- perfect for Instagram!


Brewed - Southside


Brewed is the go-to coffee shop for students and hipsters alike. Just 10 minutes away from TCU's campus, Brewed is a popular study spot, but also brings in large crowds on the weekends for their delicious brunch. This mural on the side of the building is the perfect place to proclaim your love for the Fort.

AVOCA Coffee - Southside

A photo posted by nikki | 26 | dfw (@nikkiknack) on


Just a hop, skip and a jump away from Brewed is another caffeinated FW favorite- Avoca. From their locally brewed coffee to their study spaces, Avoca is the perfect place to chill. In addition to this, their recently finished mural is the perfect spot to snap an artsy insta.

MELT Ice Cream - Southside



For a cooler treat, head down the street to Melt at its new location on Magnolia. After grabbing your ice cream, head outside to take some bold Instagrams next to their iconic yellow wall. You won't even have to set your location with this one- everyone knows about it!

Taco Heads - Museum District

A photo posted by Taco Heads (@taco_heads._) on


For those of you that consider tacos a main food group- this wall is for you. What better way to proclaim your love for the food than an Instagram in front of this wall?! Located on Camp Bowie, Taco Heads is an Iinstagrammer's dream. In addition to this "raining taco" wall, there are numerous spots at this restaurant just begging to be photographed.

WHO WAH WAH WHO - Southside


Any die-hard TCU fan (well, any TCU fan at all) knows that this is part of the TCU chant we yell at just about everything. This place is the perfect spot to publicly proclaim your love for the Frogs, Fort Worth and art all in one Instagram. (And a great stop after getting some ice cream at Melt!)

Fort Worth is full of surprises around every corner, so it goes without saying that this is just a sample of the photoshoot options you have in Funky Town. For even more ideas, check out the hashtag #wallsoffortworth on Instagram! Where have you found spots to shoot in your own town? Show me your Instagrams, people!!