Year One. Check.

by Tessa on April 23, 2014

in College, Daily Life, Style

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Freshmen year –> over! Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I was in 5th grade playing doll house pretending the dolls were huge college students and talking about how one day I would be there. For the dolls, college was a musical (literally), with boys galore (obviously), and no homework (why would it be any different?), and parties every weekend (everyday actually). If I were to calculate the accuracy of my imaginings, I probably had about 10% of it right… haha! While college isn’t the musical I imagined, there has been a lot of “Frozen” rock-out sessions (but hasn’t it been the same for everyone?). We’ll skip the boy topic and move on to the “no homework”, how beautiful that would have been! But library sessions until closing time did happen on more than just a few occasion (at least they play Tarzan music at closing times… obviously that’s the real reason I stayed). My doll house fantasies were accurate when it came to making fantastic friends, however! Especially in Student Government which has been the highlight of my semester (I’d recommend getting involved to anyone and everyone). So in short, college has been marvelous, exciting, and incredibly stressful! So of course I’m incredibly sad to leave but also excited for a break.

Anyway, note on the random photos: I was in a photography class with an assignment to play with lighting but I didn’t understand anything so I made (actually he volunteered) my friend James teach me the reins. I started out behind the camera but ended up in front of it–per usual.

Also, side note number two: you can follow me on instagram @deartessalynn. I frequent instagram far more than my blog these days.

Anyyyway, how are all of you doing!? What’s going on in your lives?

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A Lavender Sea

by Tessa on August 23, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

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Background behind this little blog of mine. When I was coming up with a name, I wanted it to represent something important to me; something that’s made me who I am. Instantly I thought of the sea, of the calm hushing melody of crashing waves that has been a constant part of my life. Then of lavender. Side story. When I was three, I was harshly burned and spent a week in the ICU. After returning home, my mother put lavender oil on my skin for months. It’s said that smell is most strongly connected to memory and lavender is a healing and calming scent for me. A scent so beautiful and wonderful! So you can imagine how intensely delighted I was to find fields of lavender in France! Well… seas of lavender;) It was a sublime moment, to walk through rows upon rows of the most beautiful and most delicious scented flower as the sun set and the wind caused the lavender to ripple like the waves of the sea. That evening won’t be easily forgotten.

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Adventuring at Home and Abroad

by Tessa on August 14, 2013

in Barcelona, Millie&Me, Spain, Style

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I found these pictures on my laptop that I had intended to share months ago! As I was looking through them I was thinking about how when we lived in Spain, we would always go places and see things. We knew we had a limited time there and to us, Barcelona was new and amazing! When we felt bored we left the house because there was always something new to see and we didn’t want to waste time. We didn’t want to return home to America and have regrets about not taking advantage of our time and experiencing everything that we could have. I was talking to the woman that cut my hair and when I told her of the places I had been she said “I’ve lived here ten years and I still haven’t been there yet!”

We’ve finally moved into our place in Utah and in the past few days we haven’t done much, mostly because we’re unpacking which is a boring and odious job if you ask me. Multiple times each day I think “Wow. I’m bored! I just want to go to college already!” But I’ve realized that to me-to many of us-America seems so common, just like how Barcelona wasn’t anything particularly special to my Spanish hairdresser! I want to live in America the way I lived abroad. I want to see what the cities I live in have to offer. I want to adventure through my hometown the way I’d adventure through a far away city. I know that we currently live a few miles away from 2 adorable old main streets that I have yet to explore and there’s a charming train track that runs through the city. There may not be any grand and stunning cathedrals nearby but I’m sure Utah County has some gems of its own and I’m determined to find them!!

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A Baguette Bigote

by Tessa on June 7, 2013

in Culture, Trips & Travels

Bigote/MustacheBigote/Mustache One my favorite things about traveling is the food. I just love food. The bread and the pastries in France are scrumptious! I was spoiled afterwards; anytime I have a pastry now, I compare it to the ones in France! Terrible, but true. Spain, however, is known for its paella and tapas, which are out of this world! And when we were cruising’ down the Danube last year, the food was equally as unique and delicious. Also, I do have to give props to my home country, America, for its burgers. You cannot find a burger in Spain that compares to deliciousness of In-n-Out, Islands, Five Guys, and the list goes on. Oh, and I’m a huge mexican food fan as well! I’ll take a fish burrito or cheese enchilada any day!
Often, when we’re on the road, we’ll grab a baguette (which sounds a little like bigote, Spanish for mustache) and humus and chow down; it’s a tradition now and one I’m in favor of:) I’d love love love to travel to India and Asia and so many other countries and experience the food and culture there as well. India is currently at the TOP of my bucket list! Where’ve you been, what’ve you eaten and loved? Any local places you love too?

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Peace.

by Tessa on June 5, 2013

in Daily Life, Spain, Trips & Travels

Segovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightThere’s so much that goes on in life. There’s so much to get done, so much hustling around and worrying about how we’ll finish all the tasks that lay before us. Sometimes, we just need to slow down, take a breather, and remember how stinkin’ beautiful the world is and how blessed we are to live in it! My peaceful moments normally occur at night. Living in a big city, there are lights everywhere at night which would suggest noise and movement but sometimes, its the opposite: it’s perfectly still and quiet. It doesn’t matter if there are 1000 people out walking around at night or if there’s only 1, the street lights will always click on at their designated time; however, sometimes I like to pretend they click on for me. Especially on rainy nights, when the streets are desolate, I pretend the street, the lights, even the night and its beauty belongs to me. We have a fantastic view of the city from our apartment so sometimes, late at night, when all the lights in our own flat are out and everyone’s asleep, I like to sit on our porch in the crisp night air and just admire this city, the moon, the city lights, and the Sagrada Familia all lit up. Time seems to stand still, if only for a moment, but that moment is all I need to relax, recharge, and prepare myself for another busy day.

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Because This is Reality

by Tessa on June 3, 2013

in Family, Spain, Trips & Travels

in Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spain
Just thought you’d like to know the routine. The weekly, daily, hourly routine. It’s all fun and games when this kid is jumpin’ around in front of the camera, but when I’m going through the photos and every few pictures, BOOM! there’s Silas or when a spectacular photo comes along and there he is, floatin’ in the air, his tongue sticking out and all… my head explodes! However, each time I see that adorable face of his with his chin up like Pinocchio’s, all of a sudden he could do nothing wrong in my eyes.
in Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spain
But to convince you (and myself for that matter) that my work (i.e. posing) ain’t completely  fruitless and that this adorable/mischievous child’s photobombing skills are only utilized part-time, I’ve included some of our only good photos my favorite photos from our day in Salamanca, Spain.
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In short, I think I can say that this post most accurately describes my life more than any other post i’ve written. Therefore, since this has been a peak into what this life of mine really looks like, I guess you can call this a true and honest introduction. This kid, both these kids, make my life so enjoyable, I wouldn’t have them any other way:)

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Gypsies in Granada, Spain

by Tessa on May 31, 2013

in Spain, Trips & Travels

Granada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, Spain is known for being a city of gypsies. At major landmarks like the cathedrals and along the streets, gypsy women stand with small herb bouquets in their hands and offer them to every person that walks by, and they are very determined. If you walk by them, they’ll leave their hand in front of you, up until the second you walk past them, or they’ll even follow you! Oh, my poor sister: when we first started walking around, a gypsy came to her to offer a leaf “gratis” or “for free,” so my sister took it and said thank you, hoping to continue on her way, when the women grabbed my sister’s hand to read her palm! Millay was so confused, she pulled her hand away and tried walking past her to catch up with us, but the woman started swatting her and yelling at her! The woman took the leaf out of my sister’s hand and walked in the other direction, muttering. Apparently, the leaf is free if and only if you then pay for them to read your palm!
There’s also a famous gypsy district in the city, El Albaicin, that was super fun to wander and such a groovy part of town. Very old. Labyrinthine. Groovy gypsy music. Street venders selling jewelry. Funky cafes. Super artsy. Guys rockin’ their guitars and playing gorgeous flamenco music. Street artists. Are you feelin’ me? Ya gettin’ the picture?
So hot tip: don’t accept leaves from people. Free isn’t always free. And if you really want a leaf, there’s a thing called a tree (of which there’s no shortage).

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Those Precious Moments

by Tessa on May 30, 2013

in Spain, Trips & Travels

Jaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainAs I was going through all of our pictures from the south of Spain today, I was thinking about how much I love this place and how much I love our style of traveling- reading in the car, stopping at a few cities each day and staying for however long we want, strolling the streets until it’s dark, eating churros and chocolate almost everyday. Strangely, it’s both exhausting and relaxing at the same time. After looking through the photos, I was in a really good mood when I went out today to ride the metro to meet up with some friends.  When I was walking to the metro, I couldn’t help but smile as I was rediscovering how beautiful Barcelona is. I was so happy I was literally on the verge of tears. How can I leave this place!? Sometimes, when I’m in a moment that I never want to end, I will myself to remember everything: the smells, the sounds, the people, the sky, the way I feel. I wish I could take the moment I’m living in, stretch it out, and wrap it around my finger so I could keep it safe and always remember it perfectly or relive it if I so choose.
Completely random and unrelated side note: the day these photos were taken, in Jaen, Spain, it was drizzly out and this adorable old lady I was already watching and adoring basically made my life when she parked her husband (who was in a wheelchair) on the sidewalk to pull a plastic bag over her head to keep the rain off her hair before continuing on her way. I died. It took a lot of self control to keep myself from busting up laughing and running up to hug her. People watching. There is nothing that brings me greater joy on this planet.

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The Sun and its Rays

by Tessa on May 17, 2013

in Daily Life

CarcassonneBecause how could you ever have a bad day when the sun’s always there, tucked behind your ear, waiting for you to wrap yourself in its rays!?

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The Best Kind of Dates

by Tessa on May 16, 2013

in Daily Life, Millie&Me

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The best kind of dates are ice cream dates. They mean playing with your food. They’re walks through the city. They occur on warm sunny days. They’re hours long. They don’t end until your feet hurt. They’re spontaneous. They include popcorn. They result in laughter. They’ll be memories you look back on with fondness. The best kind of dates are sister dates.

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