Life’s most important lessons, learned through baton twirling.

According to all sorts of social media, today is World Baton Twirling Day. This is a part of my life that some of you may know about, while others might not.

The first time I ever picked up a baton, I was 5 years old. Back then, I cannot imagine my parents would have imagined all I had accomplished through this sport, because I certainly didn’t. Many parents place their children in a studio with the goal of going to class every week, making friends, and performing in an end-of-year recital. I was so fortunate to accomplish this, in addition to having many local, state, and national championships under my belt.

Here I am at 24 years old and my twirling career is now 6 years in the past. Some days, I find it hard to believe it has been that long, because the memories seemed as if they happened last week.

I learned countless tricks over my 13 year ‘career,’ but it’s the other stuff that I cherish more. This sport shaped me into the person I am today, and I cannot thank my parents, my coach, or my teammates enough.

Lesson 1: Hard work pays off. I logged more hours into baton twirling than most people do their routine 9-5 jobs. Endless practices at the studio, local school gyms, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks. There were so many tricks that seemed impossible, but through dedication and hard work, you could get it. Always work hard. Work hard for that promotion. Work hard for that degree. Work hard for fighting for your beliefs. With hard work comes success. It is possible for anyone and everyone.

Lesson 2: Teamwork. I was able to not only twirl solo, but in a group as well. Whether it was a recital team or a national team, from a young age, you learn every member mattered. You learned really fast that you have to put your trust in others to get the success you want. If you don’t trust those around you, you won’t get the payoff. It was almost easy to trust each other, as we spent days on end together practicing – reaching for the same goal. I was fortunate enough to be on a team with lifelong friends who, together, we won countless local, state, and national championships. None of this could have happened without our solid relationship.

Lesson 3: You will fail, and it will be okay. The most obvious form of failure in twirling is the drop. In this sport, I learned that you will not always be perfect. You won’t always have an all-catch. You won’t always win first place. But what you will have is a new perspective. I learned that if at first you don’t succeed, you pick yourself back up, and try again. I was my biggest motivator – it was all in my hands. How you carry yourself and pick yourself back up pushes you to work harder and harder. This is something I have carried on with me through every single aspect of my life.

Lesson 4: Respect. From a young age, I learned how to congratulate others that placed ahead of me. I’ve learned to appreciate talent when I see it. I knew I was not the best in the world, but I knew how to treat the ones who were. I also learned how to respect myself. Being a sore loser will get you nowhere in life – it is all about the effort. There are times you will put in your best performance and not get the top spot. The important thing is that you put your best effort into every single thing you do – when you do, you will walk away feeling like a winner regardless of the place.

I can’t wait to one day have a child of my own and have them become a member of the twirling world [if they want to be, of course]. It is so much more than holding a metal stick with two white, rubber ends. xoxo.



Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 3.56.08 PM.png

The worst part about working full time and going to school full time is that my chances to leisurely read are completely diminished. The only things I read are research articles and textbooks. While they obviously interest me [duh, you pick your major], it really is not the same as reading for pure enjoyment.

While out adventuring with my honey today, we made our way to Barnes and Noble so I could pick up some things to read during this spring break.

I had been hearing amazing things about milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. It’s been on the New York Times best seller list and just about everyone I know has either read or purchased this book, so I wanted to see for myself what it is all about.

To my surprise, Barnes and Noble did have one left, so honestly, it felt destined that I was meant to pick this up today. I just started reading, and this poetry is breathtaking. I cannot wait to finish the rest. xoxo.

Spring recess, feat. the snow.


First of all, the feeling I had when I woke up this morning having to scrape snow off of my car and wear boots and a winter jacket to work cannot be put into words. I wondered to myself how this was possible considering it was April 7th, but then I remembered, I do live in Buffalo, where we experience 4 seasons in 3 hours.

Once the clock struck 5:30pm today, I was officially on spring break from work and from school. You read that right….12 days of absolutely nothing but a few projects and homework assignments. No alarms. No need for makeup. No need to even get out of bed. To say I am excited is a complete understatement.

This week was somewhat the week from hell. This week of work brought a few bites and punches, tons of paperwork, and many temper tantrums. This week of school brought so much homework and so many large assignments. This week of life brought many headaches and extreme fatigue.

Today was a great day [minus the snow]. We did so many fun springtime/Easter activities and crafts, everyone was happy, and it flew by solely for the fact that I could not wait for this break to come. Plus, tonight I got to eat pizza, so how could today not be great?! xoxo.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. What?!?


I forewarned you a couple weeks back that this post was coming. Well, I just finished watching this revival season a few days ago, and good Lord, I don’t know how to feel after this one.

This season/series/whatever we call it consisted of four 120-minute episodes ever-so-cleverly titled: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Being the overly obsessive Gilmore Girls fan that I am, I was stoked about this revival. I know I am very, very behind on watching this, but I waited for my mom to finish the “old” series so we could watch these four episodes together.

After watching, I can truthfully say that A Year in the Life really didn’t really live up to my expectations. Some parts were really, really phenomenal while others I sat there thinking to myself, “why?”

If you have not watched it yet [which I’m sure is not the case for most people], do not read ahead, because I am about to break it all the way down to the final credits. Let me forewarn you….my synopses are a jumbled, probably-grammatically-incorrect mess, as I was jotting down thoughts while watching each episode. So, without further ado, enjoy!

Episode 1: Winter – This episode began with Rory journeying back to Stars Hollow to spend time with Lorelai and crew before jet setting off to London [again]. We then get an overview of the little town that we’ve gone without for many years as they make their way home. Everyone looks great, and Kirk now has a cute little pet pig named Petal. In this episode, we meet Rory’s boyfriend Paul that nobody can seem to remember exists. We get a glimpse into Luke and Lorelai’s relationship and see how they are still going strong all these years later, basically ending the cliff-hanger of the then-series-finale as to whether or not they were together at all. We learn how stressed Rory is, as she is not finding as much success she [and we all] believed she would have. Michel got married. Richard passed away. Sookie is well over a year into a six-month sabbatical trying to discover new food growing techniques. Emily now has a new maid, whose family is now living in her house. Emily has clearly been grieving in her own way – we even see her in jeans and a Candie’s tee shirt. I KNOW. We get a flashback to the day/night of Richard’s funeral after seeing Emily ordered a painting of him that was way too large for anyone’s liking. The night of Richard’s funeral, Lorelai got drunk which led to a long-lasting battle between her and Emily, as she did not give a proper tribute to her father that night when asked to share stories of Richard. At dinner, Emily disapproves of Rory’s new no-strings-attached style of living. She has no permanent place of residence, her things are scattered between a multitude of houses, and she is flying back and forth from London quite frequently [more on this later]. Finally, we meet back up with Paris, who is now the owner of a fertility and surrogacy clinic. Loreliai thinks that her and Luke should have another child [hence, the trip to see Paris], but Luke does not agree. Rory flies back to London to meet with a psycho, drunk woman named Naomi, who has plans to allow her to write her biography. All of a sudden, BAM we see Logan and Rory. Together in London. AND THEY ARE KISSING?! What about Paul?! What is going on?! We now learn of their secret together-when-together-separate-when-separate relationship. At the end of the episode, we learn that Emily has begun going to therapy, as per Lorelai’s suggestion. She ended up loving her therapist so much, that she suggested they go toghether. This ends up being really interesting.

Episode 2: Spring – In this episode, Rory is still trying to figure out her relationship with Luke and get back on her feet professionally. Rory and Logan get “caught” by Mr. Huntzberger [UGH] while out to lunch one day, and we are reminded of how she totally wouldn’t make it as a reporter because, duh, she is struggling. Mr. Huntzberger ends up dropping a major bomb…Logan is engaged. To another woman! We learn Odette, his wifey to be, is a French heiress who lives in Paris. We meet Lorelai and Emily’s therapist, Claudia. This ends up being a really sour time for the two of them, as they end up arguing the entire time. We learn that Emily is still mad at Lorelai all these years later for running away when she got pregnant. Back in Stars Hollow, we finally sit in on a Town Hall meeting. Taylor wants to host the first-ever gay pride parade in which he encourages members of the LGBTQ community to come out at the meeting. We get a slightly awkward moment when Gypsy implies Taylor himself may be gay. We learn that the Dragonfly is struggling, which made me so sad because, like, ARE EVERYONE’S DREAMS FAILING HERE?! We learn that before Richard’s death [I am still so sad about this], that he left Luke a large sum of money with hopes he would use it to expand and franchise his business. Luke, of no interest, gave into the pressure by Emily and went with her to check out some potential spots. It is through this “date” that he finds out Emily has quit therapy and Lorelai is continuing to go alone, using the time to talk about her problems with her family and with Luke. Rory and Paris head back to Chilton where we get acquainted with some more old friends to speak to students on alumni day. Headmaster Charleston suggests Rory get her Master’s degree and come back to the school to teach, as he knows of her struggling journalism career. This makes Rory angry, as she does not want to accept the fact she is failing [does anyone?!]. She finally gets a meeting with an editor of GQ which leads her to travel to NYC with Lorelai and eventually eventually leads her to have a one night stand [her first one ever] with a man dressed as a Wookie. This leads Rory to admit to her mother about her relationship with Logan. At the end of this episode, Rory ends up moving back home unannounced, leaving us to wonder…what’s next?

Episode 3: Summer – The most important part of this episode, JESS IS BACK. AND LOOKING HOT AS EVER. We begin this episode with our two favorite ladies, Lorelai and Rory, hanging out by the community pool. Everyone welcomes Rory back and she stresses [basically throughout the entire episode] that she is indeed not back. Just here. Also back?! April. *cringes* I have never been a fan of April, but we learn she has so far been successful. I mean, geez, the girl just graduated from MIT. She is taking the summer before grad school to go travel the world with her friends to support the legalization of marijuana. After a strenuous talk with April in her bedroom, Rory goes outside to the porch to call Logan, suggesting that she fly out to London tomorrow instead of two weeks, only to find out that THE FIANCEE NOW LIVES WITH HIM. But, Logan wants to keep their arrangement the same. She comes out even few weeks, they do their thing, but she just stays in a hotel from now on. *facepalm* We learn of a Stars Hollow-themed musical in next town meeting. I will not talk of this or bring this up at all because I thought this was the most terrible thing they could have done this entire series. It had no businesses being included in this show and it dragged on FOREVER. We learn that Bernie Longbottom, editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette has retired after 89 years. Naturally this spot is open and Rory is jobless, so she takes the job. It is then that we meet Jess again, as he came back to catch up with Luke and popped into the office to see her. He gives her a great idea to write a book about the relationship she and her mother have, and provides her with the immense amount of motivation she needs. We all saw that one coming. Michel is back in town and informs Lorelai that he is leaving the Dragonfly Inn for a better job, as she does not want to expand, etc. Rory surprises Emily at home to see she has moved a TV into her living room and now eats off of a TV tray. *gasp* We are now on gravestone number 5 for Richard, as Emily always finds things wrong with them. Lorelai goes to Emily’s house to find her there with a man, making her upset and causing them to have another fight – this time, Emily brings up the news of taking Luke to franchise the diner, of which he did not tell her. At the cemetery, Rory and Lorelai get into a massive fight over the writing of this book, as Rory was excited about it and Lorelai does not want it to happen. On the way home from the cemetery, still reeling from that fight, Lorelai stops at the diner and picks a fight with Luke. The next day, she went home to tell Luke she would be leaving to live out the Wild book, as she wants to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, leaving him standing there in their kitchen.

Episode 4: Fall – Holy cow, this episode. We start with Lorelai on her adventure to the Pacific Crest Trail to free her mind and cleanse her spirit. We see her struggle because, well, nature, but we see her flourish as she makes friends and finds the clarity she needs in places she didn’t expect. No surprise here, she didn’t hike the trail. Heck, she couldn’t even pack her bag without things exploding everywhere! Did any of us really think she would? Defeated, she takes a drive to find a cafe. It is not open, but around the corner finds open land surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is here that she finally got some closure with Emily, as she is finally able to talk about Richard in a way in which she desired to the night of his funeral. She picks up the phone to call Emily and tells a super heartwarming, tear jerking story about how at age 13, her boyfriend broke up with her in front of her friends at her birthday party. The next day, she tried to look great and make him regret his breakup by stealing her grandmother’s coveted blouse. When she got to school, the boy made fun of her so she fled to the mall. She sat in the food court only to look up and see her father. He let her cry, bought her a pretzel, took her to the movies, and even covered her shirt to avoid confrontation with Emily upon arriving home. Lorelai returns home and confesses her desire to mary Luke [the same way that she did in past episodes], although he thought all this wanting to be free stuff meant she was breaking up with him. He began expressing his love to her, begging her not to leave, reinstating to her how much he really meant. Wedding planning begins! We get more guest appearances this episode from Jesse, Luke, Finn, Colin, Robert, Logan, Dean, and even Chris. [Damn, did Chris not age one bit or what?]. Rory continues to work at the Stars Hollow Gazette. In this episode, she continuously finds some creepy yet perfectly placed clues. I thought she was hallucinating, but when we got a glimpse of Colin, Finn, Robert and Logan. Welcome back Life and Death Brigade! Logan surprised her by arriving in Stars Hollow and whisked her away. They watched movies, went to a tango club, and ended up at an inn in New Hampshire. Logan offers Rory the keys to his family’s house in Maine, so she can be alone and write her book. He rented her her own room that night but, of course, they spent the night together. When she wakes up, she says her final farewell to Logan and the boys, realizing that she cannot live like this anymore. That something has to change. In the midst of this episode, Paul also shoots Rory a text saying he thinks they need to break up, finally, as she kept setting reminders to do it but always forgot. Emily is vacationing in Nantucket with her new man candy [who I hate]. When he leaves, she spends the day visiting the Nantucket Whaling Museum alone. It is then that she calls Rory, telling her that her house is free for her to go and write her book. And that, she does. Michel becomes unhappy with the interview candidates to fill his spot and Lorelai still does not want him to leave. Lorelai then finds a retirement home that was up for sale and asked Emily’s permission to use the money intended for Luke to buy this property, expand the Inn, and keep her dads memory alive. That night, Rory returns home, to Lorelai’s surprise, with the first three chapters of her book in hand, aptly titled “The Gilmore Girls” *cries* The following day, Rory goes to meet with her dad, Chris. At first, you think this is regarding her book, but it completely foreshadows everything that is aboutt to come. She presses him about how he felt about Lorelai raising her alone. From here on out, everything speeds on by. Emily sells the house to live in Nantucket and work at the whaling museum. Rory runs into Dean at the market. We learn he still looks so good and has three kids with Lindsey, and another on the way. Sookie is back, crazily making cakes for Lorelai and Luke’s wedding. Rory gives Jess her book to read after her mom gives her the ok, and we see that JESS IS STILL NOT OVER HER. *sobs* That night, Lorelei and Luke, 10 hours before their wedding decide to get married after the Pastor left bingo. We see the magical setup that Kirk did for their wedding, centered around the town’s gazebo. We watch Luke and Lorelai finally get married. My heart was so unbelievably full. You think all is hunky dory then BAM. Hellllloooooooo cliff hanger. THE LAST FOUR EPISODES OF THIS SHOW WENT AS FOLLOWS. Rory: “Mom.” Lorelai: “What?” Rory: “I’m pregnant.” You expect for Lorelai to be like holy shit kid who is the dad? Do you even know? Are you done sleeping around? Are you gonna be a kickass single mom like me? But, nope. BAM AGAIN. Screen cuts to black. Credits roll.

Final Thoughts: I never would have thought in a gazillion years that Rory would end up unmarried and pregnant with an unknown baby daddy. She doesn’t end up with anybody. She had a struggling career. She didn’t really live up to anybody’s expectations at all. But, hey! Life happens, right? [I really am not calm I am so mad they ended it like this]. Some things I want to know: I want to know what Lorelai and Luke’s wedding ceremony was like the following day. I want to know if Rory’s book gets published by Jess’s publishing company, because that would be the sweetest thing ever. I want to know if Logan is the father of this baby. I want to know if he and Odette ever get married, or if he breaks it off to be with Rory. [I mean, he clearly still loves her – he still calls her Ace]. I SECRETLY WANT JESS TO BE THE BABY DADDY. I want to know if Lorelai and Luke have another kid via Paris’ surrogacy company. If the Dragonfly Inn expands to all of Michel’s desires. If Emily remains at peace. If they ever pick out Richard’s headstone. If Stars Hollow gets a Starbucks. I NEED TO KNOW. I am hoping this major cliff hanger means more episodes are coming, but who knows. Overall, I would rate this revival series somewhere in the B or B+ range. I really did not love it. But I didn’t completely hate it either.

If you made it through this entire thing, I bless you. I want to know, if you watched this, what did you think? Let me know. xoxo.

Light it up blue.


Today is April 2nd. Today is also World Autism Awareness Day. Today, all members of the United Nations are encouraged to take measures to raise awareness about individuals with autism. On this day, we are encouraged to wear blue. If you aren’t today, remember it for next year.

There is so much I need to say, and there is so much we all need to know regarding autism. Like how it is a lifelong brain development disorder. Like how it affects 1 in 68 children in America alone. Like how it impacts social interactions, learning, and communication. Like how there is no known cause and no known cure. But, through all the statistics, there is so much more.

We don’t need a cure, we need to understand. Individuals with autism are such amazing, incredible people. They are more aware and more intelligent than most – probably more so than I, personally, will ever be. They each have unique sets of strengths and abilities. These individuals are creative. They are loving, smart, funny, talented, uniquely observant. Every single individual with autism is a small piece of the puzzle that is the autism spectrum. Every single individual with autism matters.

This April 2nd means more to me than ever before. I now have the opportunity to work with children with autism every single day. I have wanted this for years and it is the greatest blessing I have ever received. My students teach me so much every single day. They have inspired me, probably more than I have inspired them. I love these kids so much that my heart is overflowing. I have laughed and smiled more in this past month than I ever have in my entire life. It can be challenging. It can be hard. But, man, is it worth it.

We see the diagnosis of a disability and tend to get afraid. Tend to get judgmental. Tend to treat these individuals differently. Tend to lose some aspect of respect. When I tell you it absolutely broke my heart to see our leader make fun of an individual with a disability in front of the world, I am not lying. My heart was shattered to a million pieces.

I want to do so much as to open the mind of one person. If I can do so much as to change the life of one person for the better – whether it is one of my students, a parent, a bystander – I can die happily knowing I have done my part.

If everyone took as much as 5 minutes to open their minds – get educated, become aware – the world would be a completely different place. Volunteer. Work. Have experiences with individuals with disabilities. Welcome them into your community. Hire them if they are aptly qualified for a job. Change someone’s life.

Information on how to get involved and how to get educated can be found at Take 5 minutes today. You don’t even have to search, I provided the link for you. All you have to do is click. It will make a world of difference. xoxo.

3 out of 12, done!


I feel like I start these monthly-recap posts off by always wondering the same thing…where the heck did that month go?! Today begins month 4 of 2017, and I am wondering, how?

This month, I completely slacked in terms of blogging. My personal life was a constant whirlwind between going to Long Island, starting a new job 45 mins after arriving home, going through mid terms and insanely huge school projects, and somehow finding time to breathe in the midst of all else that went on. I have been so busy that I haven’t even had 30 minutes to find time to spend with my best friend. It is insanely sad. And honestly, I didn’t feel very inspired and often lacked any creative topics to blog about, so I tended to push this priority aside. As for April, I promise to be better now that I have made my way into a new routine. [You all are my witnesses, here].

Some of March’s iconic worldwide events included [but are not limited to]:

  • The record-breaking celebration of International Women’s Day.
  • The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
  • The removal of South Korea’s President as per the Constitutional Court.
  • The beginning of the celebration of Lent.
  • The long awaited launch of Space X.
  • The death of Chuck Berry.
  • The madness that is the NCAA Division I Mens and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.

In regards to my personal life, this month I:

  • Traveled to Long Island to conclude my brother’s final-ever weekend of hockey, watching his team pull off an impressive tournament and championship win for the NYSAAU High School Championships.
  • Began training, passed certifications, and began my new job.
  • Fell in love with my new job.
  • Experienced a blizzard in the middle of March, followed by days of 50 and 60 degree weather.
  • Cut off all of my hair.
  • Watched my brother commit to the college of his choice.
  • Attended multiple banquets with my family, celebrating many accomplishments.

Thanks for the memories, March. Here’s to April! xoxo.