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Thursday, May 31, 2018

University of Texas at Austin Graduation

It has now been a little less than two weeks since I graduated from college. And those two days were wonderful (but also incredibly sad). If you aren't familiar with UT's system, your graduation is separate from university-wide commencement. At graduation you walk the stage, accept a piece of paper that is not your diploma and you do that with your college (Moody where you at?). Commencement is much shorter and, let's be honest, more fun - there are fireworks at the end (see photo above). If you have been following along on this journey, you'll know I recorded one second a day my entire senior year, you can find that here, where you will see some moments from graduation and commencement. 
We started off the day of graduation with breakfast at La Madeleine and a trek to get my cookies for graduation, my mom surprised me with them, a whole post about that is coming soon. They were adorable. Then we got ready and went to lunch at Torchy's Tacos. I insisted that this be where we ate because my first day of college I had a Democrat taco (no avocado) and I wanted to make sure my last day of college had the same moment. Plus, who doesn't want a photo in their grad cap with a taco? We then headed to Frank Erwin Jr. Center for the graduation process. I ran into my former Ladybirds Vice President in the bathroom and we snapped a photo. Then we lined up by major, alphabetically, and walked onto the floor. Let me take a moment to say, graduation is an interesting deal. You sit in this alphabetical order with people you most likely don't know and that is how you end college. This also happened to me in high school. We spend so much time making friends at school and then we don't even celebrate this moment together. It's an interesting deal...
Journalism was the second school to walk across the stage, and I did it. I didn't fall or make a fool of myself and...it was the most anticlimactic thing I've done in a good long while. After taking, what seemed like, 50 posed photos that I will not be purchasing I sat back in my incredibly uncomfortable seat and waited for about an hour and a half to go eat dinner. Graduation is a strange time y'all. And this is just my experience, I'm sure others had a wonderful time. But I found the whole thing to be a bore and kind of disappointing? Like it was dumb of me to build it up in my head but come on? There should be more excitement in the air and it seemed like no one really wanted to be there (be forewarned, this all changes soon). 
We finally got out of the arena, snapped a few photos and headed to Mattie's at Green Pastures (one of my favorite restaurants in Austin). All in all that was a great experience, I would recommend it for anyone graduating from UT in the future. After that we stopped in at St. Elmo's Brewery in south Austin, it's one of my favorites and it seemed appropriate to drink a beer in my grad cap too...that thing never came off basically. Saturday morning dawned bright and after a quick breakfast the best friend was in town for a catch up and commencement. We had steaks for lunch then went to the Great Texas Exit at Etter Harbin Alumni Center for some free drinks and photos with Bevo (aka the best part of being a Longhorn). Commencement seats opened at 5pm (which is very early, because students are supposed to line up until 7, so what were we supposed to do in the meantime?) so we ran over to get good seats for my parents and Hannah. They ended up under some big oaks with a pretty good view of the tower. For those of you that don't know, at commencement there are speakers and then they turn the tower burnt orange with your graduation year's number and there are fireworks. I then walked over to line up with my fellow Moody grads to walk into our seats. 
The evening was nothing short of magical. I cried (tears of happiness, sadness and everything in-between). By the time we were singing the Eyes of Texas and the fireworks were being shot off I felt a  sense of place begin to develop. Sure, I was graduating from college - the best years of my life thus far - but I was becoming part of something so much bigger than myself. Basically, now I am a Texas Ex and I am so so so proud of that. There are amazing people out there doing phenomenal things for this planet and I can call them fellow alums. I'm thrilled with the new journey that is going to take place regardless of the sadness that sometimes still plagues my heart because I won't be on the Forty Acres this fall. But everything will work out. This is gonna be fun - xoxo darling & HOOK 'EM, Hayden.
P.S. There are more photos that go along with the post above. Also, have you graduated? How was your experience? 

Mattie's drinks are A+. 

St. Elmo's Kolsch is my favorite.

I clearly look like I know how to do this whole graduation thing...right?


Love my besties.

My classy drinking buddy, Alyssa.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Week Re-Cap: Part 2

After graduation (see tomorrow's post all about that) it was a whirlwind time in Austin. My apartment had the possibility of being sold extremely fast so instead of flying home for two weeks and then coming back to move me out my dad and I had to move out in two days and then drive all of my things home...a very adult way to end the graduation weekend. But we still found ways to have fun during this very sweaty, heavy lifting time. We visited the last of the breweries we hadn't tried in Austin (Last Stand and Oskar Blues), both of which were delicious and I would highly recommend. Last Stand is adorable and the drive partway through the hill country provides for a nice sunset trip. Oskar Blues is a staple of the American craft beer scenes, with breweries in Colorado, Texas and North Carolina. Dale's Pale Ale is their most famous but they have a Mexican Lager that I'm excited about. The taproom is an interesting mix of interior design but they have a stage so I assume they do live music. We finished out the night with Austin Beerworks, a true classic, and their Mexican Lager is wonderful. For me, light beers are where it is at, so it is awesome to see all of these breweries making an effort in that regard. After our final day in Austin for the foreseeable future (don't worry, I'll be at almost all of the football games in the fall) we headed out to Baton Rouge.

My dad and I have done Red Stick a bunch over the years because I was highly considering LSU so we have a few places we always like to visit. The first being Tin Roof one of the only craft breweries in Baton Rouge. We went when I was in high school so I had never tried the beers and they built a taproom in the time that had elapsed. The taproom is really nice, lots of "Geaux" signs and the beer is even better. After that we stopped in at The Chimes for dinner, a classic college spot that serves some spicy red beans and rice. We then walked around the LSU campus to see the changes that had been made over the years and visited Mike...because if you go to LSU how can you not visit the tiger?

The next day we went onto New Orleans. Let me stop right here and say that if you have never been to NOLA, please buy a plane ticket right now. That city is one of a kind and everyone should experience it. Our first stop was the National WWII Museum, something we have done before but about six years ago and it has expanded to take up almost four blocks of the Magazine District. The new pavilions are so well done and if you love history even a little bit you will need to visit. They make the exhibits so personal and you almost feel as if you are there with the soldiers in some aspects. We worked up an appetite in the museum so we headed to the Palace Cafe, a place I had never been but my dad assured me it was a staple. We, somehow, got street parking(probably because it was a weekday and summer hasn't officially started).The cafe is owned by Brennan's (the people that brought us Banana's Foster) but has a much more casual vibe. Very much like a little cafe in Paris, it provides ample people watching and delicious sandwiches. We both opted for the Bresaola Baguette (brie, bresaola, apple, dark beer mustard, arugula and a mixed green salad).
It was perfection. We then drove to park at the old mint in the Quarter and walked to Cafe du Monde, my one thing I always want to do in New Orleans. This time I tried the Chicory Coffee and I kind of loved it. I am really picky about my favorite coffees because I think most don't taste like anything but the Chicory honestly gave it some good flavor. And we had beignets because why else would you go? After all of these adventures we hopped in the car and headed for Tallahassee.

Tallahassee is where I spent so much of my childhood so, since we had the extra time, we decided to stay an extra day just so I could see all that had happened to the capital city of Florida. First, we took a tour of the recently opened Grove Museum. It's the home of two Florida governors (Richard Keith Call & LeRoy Collins) and serves as an example of powerful women in Florida's history. The museum is excellent and if you are in Tallahassee you must make a stop to at least enjoy the grounds. The Florida Governor's Mansion is right next door so we popped over to get a photo through the gates. This is a scary (sad?) fact but I had never actually seen the front until that day! We stopped for BBQ at a Florida staple, 4 Rivers, who's mac-and-cheese and baked goods make it unique. Then it was off to walk my parents alma mater, Florida State. The university holds a special place in my heart and I would highly encourage any of y'all applying to college to visit. It's beautiful and they are a wonderful school. My favorite building on campus is Dodd Hall because it has this wonderful reading room that is usually closed but was open when we visited. It's now a place to quiet study or visit the FSU Heritage Museum. You'll see photos of it below and that stained glass window is beautiful. After our walk we headed to Proof Brewing that has a lot of options for all beer lovers. The taproom is cool but they are going to expand into an old Coca-Cola bottling factory soon! Then we had pizza at Mellow Mushroom (an oldie but a goodie) before driving over to Ology Brewing to end the night. They have less selection than Proof, but their Sensory Overload New England IPA is delicious. The next morning we had breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company and then headed home to Fort Myers.

While the immediate move was not the most fun thing in the world we had a blast and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Currently I'm enjoying some time off of school in FM, enjoying the heat and heading to the beach. This is the end of the crazy week-recaps, we should be back on normal schedule next week. What have y'all been up to? And have you been to any of these spots? - xoxo darling, Hayden.
P.S. Check out all of the photos from our trip below!

Planes at the National WWII Museum

The adorable menu at The Palace Cafe.

It doesn't get better than this. 

You can spot this over on my dad's Instagram.

The Florida Governor's Mansion.

The Grove Museum

Dodd Hall

Westcott Building at FSU

Proof Brewing

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Week Re-Cap: Part 1

Dinner at Moonshine
 After an extremely long break for Week Re-Caps (I know, I know) I bring you two in a row! That's right, there is a Week Re-Cap today and one tomorrow. These photos all come from the pre-graduation celebrations with friends and my family. Tomorrow will be post grad adventures. Overall, my last two weeks in Austin were some of the best of my four years. I ate at my favorite restaurants, took in some live shows and just got to be in the moment. There are quite a few food recommendations and breweries to try amongst the photos so check them out - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Finally saw a show at Esther's Follies.

Cupcakes from Sugar Mama's.

Breakfast with Devi...she is heading off to France soon!

My first trip to Blue Dahlia and it was phenomenal.

 A little late night stop at the Westin rooftop downtown.

Saturday night at the Cactus Cafe.

 Mother's Day brunch at Banger's.


 Tried a new brewery and if you like IPAs, it is for you. 

 Friends & Allies has a cute taproom, would recommend. 

A wonderful exhibit at the Briscoe Center. 

The Texas Memorial Museum is an underrated museum on 
campus - everyone please go.

Fresa's on South First is one of the cutest restaurants in 
Austin...and the food is real good too!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Final Formal

This post is long overdue but I couldn't help but share the wonderful photos from my last Texas Ladybirds formal. This group has been thrilling to be a part of (I mean I wouldn't found something that wasn't top shelf, right) and I am so proud to call myself a Texas Ladybird Alumna. 
My date was the always lovely, Marcus, who's enthusiasm for life is something we should all have. I've included my outfit information at the bottom of the post. Hope you enjoy - xoxo darling, Hayden
P.S. Did you go to a formal this year? If so, what did you wear?

The dress is old, from Lilly Pulitzer, I've included similar dresses below. 
Our formal was held at the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs Mansion.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

One Second Every Day of Senior Year

My entire college experience has been wonderful but this last year was the best. I decided back in August to film one second for each day of my senior year and compile it into the video you see below. Check it out and let me know what you think. I am so thankful to all of my friends, family, professors and everyone who helped make this journey possible - xoxo darling, Hayden.

P.S. Hook 'Em!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Happy Graduation

Today, at 3:00 p.m. I will graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism and a certificate in Business. I'm incredibly proud of this moment and I couldn't be happier to join the ranks of Texas Exes. I am not in a mindset to really discuss graduation as it is the most bittersweet I have ever felt, but I will share it with y'all soon so that you can know what you'll go through if you are in this position. 
I did want to share my senior photos with you, a fellow Ladybird took them and she did a wonderful job. At the bottom of the post are the various locations. Hope you enjoy - xoxo darling, Hayden.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Week in My Life Vlog

Oh look, another week in my life vlog! This one is full of fun because I'm no longer in school. Check it out for some bittersweet memories - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Graduation Gifts

{Clarisonic, Signet RingHatLaptop CasePortraitPassport HolderJack RogersScarfWatchSuit CaseKey FobMargarita PouchBucket List BookNew York Book}

Graduation season is upon us people! These gifts are mostly geared toward college graduates (because, it me) but a lot of them would also apply to your high school graduates. I think graduation presents should be fun, they come with so little pressure and you can make them unique to the student. Check out these and let me know what you end up getting your graduate - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Clarisonic - This might just be me but I feel like now that I'm an "adult" I should probably take skin care seriously? And everyone I know that has flawless skin uses a Clarisonic. It makes me want want because I want flawless skin! I want to be one of those people. 
Signet Ring - A very southern, preppy, old school gift, the signet ring is a classic. Maybe if the graduate in your life didn't get a class ring this is a great gift. It's personalized and shows they are ready to join the workforce (and then take it by force). 
Hat - Wherever your student is graduating from or wherever they are moving to probably has an airport and that airport has a code which is probably on a hat. I love these things - I got my dad one for Christmas and he loves it. I think I want an Austin or Fort Myers one to reminisce about my home(s). 
Laptop Case - I got one of these for going into college and it was great. My original was a Kate Spade but I was so unimpressed, it actually fell apart. My Barrington (gingham pattern) has lasted me over three years and is still going strong. I love the ability to customize these cases. You can get them in college colors, different patterns and add a monogram. Great gift, am I right? 
Portrait - This would be such a cute present. Find an artist you like on Etsy or use Lauren Taylor Creative because I love her stuff and get a little custom portrait of your graduate done. It is kind of a small thing but it's adorable and would make them feel special. 
Passport Holder - If your graduate is off to an adventure after college this is THE gift to get them, along with the suitcase (see below). There are so many cute ones out there but I love this crab because it feels whimsical. You can get them a solid color but that feels too much like they will be traveling for business in the future. The more fun you have with it the better. 
Jack Rogers - Really close to your graduate? Buy them these to wear for graduation! I've worn Jack Rogers (or I'm planning to) to both of my graduations and they are stylish yet comfortable. I love 'em. The customized ones are a great grad gift. 
Scarf - We all have scarves but a really nice silk scarf from someone like Hermes just seems like one of the greatest graduation presents. Silk scarves (especially from the brand) seem like one of the most "adult" things you could gift someone. You are trusting them to take care of it and know how to tie it. 
Watch - This is a very cliche graduation present but yet again, this just seems so "adult"? And don't get me wrong I don't think you should get your graduate just any watch, it should match their personality. For me,  I would never wear a metal watch, it would have to have a leather band. And I want the vertical face, not a round one. But there are tons out there (or get them an Apple Watch). 
Suitcase - Have a jet-setting graduate? Get them some custom suitcases. I love this idea! Luggage is a great gift because it is easy to choose but it feels really personal. Your graduate will love having some cute luggage to Instagram story in the airport on their way to Paris. 
Key Fob - I love a good needlepoint anything and this key fob is no exception. This is a great gift for a guy or girl in your life for either high school or college. Get them this on their way in or out of a university. It'll always remind them of their college years and is a good conversation starter. 
Margarita Pouch - I don't really know why I added this to the graduation present list but I kind of love it? And maybe it's the Texan in me? I think something like this is great if you know the person, like me, I love margaritas because I went to UT so anyone that purchased this for me would know that and I would get a good laugh. 
Bucket List Book & New York Book - Books are great for graduation because your graduate can finally read for fun again. I like the idea of getting them something that applies to their future, although "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a good one too. The Bucket List would be great for someone who has a sense of wanderlust. The New York book is ideal for your graduate moving to NYC; Anthro has them for a ton of different cities, so find yours. 

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Week in My Life Vlog

My last week of college held a lot of content - from turning in my final portfolio to laying in the Pedernales River to Senior Day at Cain and Abel's. It was an adventure and I'm so thrilled to be able to share it with you. I hope you enjoy - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Week Re-Cap

Senior Day at Cain & Abel's

After a lot of stress on Thursday (the last day of classes was nuts, I was up at 5:30am), everything chilled out significantly. Friday was Senior Day at Cain & Abel's, something I had been looking forward to for years. You take a photo in the parking lot that then gets framed and placed on the wall - I had to be in it. We drank some Texas Teas, ate queso fries and just had fun. Our friend Mary turned 21 so we took her to Via 313 for her first legal drink. Then I cannot remember a weekend in which I did less. Lots of lounging around my apartment, watching documentaries, eating and catching up on my email. Serena and I went to a mutual friend's Kentucky Derby party (the horse I chose won!). Then I finally did something productive and washed all of my laundry but that took significant energy. Sunday was weird, it was like I was in a kind of funk? Like I had zero motivation but I also did want to just nap all day? It was very strange. So I just watched a lot of Youtube, attempted to start three movies and then talked to Marcus on the phone for over an hour. Y'all have those days where you're just not feeling anything, right? By the way if you have any shows that you've been loving to stream at the moment, let me know, I'm in need of something new, currently catching up on Superstore. Monday morning dawned and I went to Texas French Bread for a treat yo self breakfast followed by getting keys cut (so fun!) and a deep clean of my apartment. Currently, every trinket I own is residing in my closet because I am having photos taken of my apartment so we can sell it. Monday evening was Texas Ladybirds Formal (aka my last formal, nuts). There will be a full blog post with photos of that but there are a few in this post. I hosted a little pre-game where we ate frosted animal crackers and drank champagne. Then we walked over to formal where I had the best time. Formal has never been my favorite event but they did such a wonderful job this year. So if you join Texas Ladybirds in the future, you're going to have a killer formal. Tuesday I was on campus for a study break event Texas Exes was throwing. I was tasked with making cotton candy - first time for everything, right? Then I picked up my final portfolio, you can see that in this vlog, went home and drank some iced coffee to just chill out. Today I have a bunch of things going on, including a movie night with Marcus, Thursday Hannah and I are doing a bagel tour of Austin and Friday I'm hanging out with quite a few people. My parents are flying in this weekend to begin graduation preparation and I'm excited. I've missed them a lot recently and I can't wait to excessively celebrate.

Now, that was much longer than most Week Re-Caps and I want to know what you think. Was it over-sharing or do y'all like more words? Let me know! What are y'all up to? - xoxo darling, Hayden (Top Right: Debora, Taryn, Serena and I at Formal, Middle Right: Kalissa and I at Formal, Middle Left: Cotton Candy at Texas Exes, Bottom Left: Taryn and I at Formal) 
More photos from the weekend are below.

Finally tried under eye masks. Uhm kind of love them? 
They felt so nice on my skin. This was the only kind our 
campus Target had but I want to try more. 

My date, the lovely Marcus, and I at Formal.

Does this not feel like a 2007 middle school, Kodak moment photo?

Basically ever photo of Serena and I starts like this...

I really went to town on a photoshoot with this cotton candy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mother's Day Gifts

{Espadrilles, Phone Case, Chanel, Card 1, Card 2, Slides, Passport Holder, La Mer, Smeg, Elephant Cheese Board, Watch, Tote, Rain Jacket, Sneaker, Hair Dryer}

Mother's Day is this Sunday! If you haven't yet purchased your gifts, check out these that I'm sure your mom will love - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Espadrilles - These espadrilles are the ideal walk around the house, go out in the garden shoes. They feel like something off of the set of a Nancy Meyers movie...do you get those vibes? If your mom ever travels to the south of France, stick these in her Mother's Day present and she'll be a happy camper. 
Phone Case - Phone cases are a great "stocking stuffer" for Mother's Day...does anyone else do a smaller present and a big present for their moms? Or is it just me? I love to get my mom phone cases because they wear out easily so she always needs a new one and I think my mom's mood changes about the time she wears out the phone case. I usually get her something Kate Spade in black but I am loving this pink champagne case. 
Chanel - Maybe your mom already wears Chanel, because she's a classy lady, but if she doesn't get her this all-body spray to have in her purse or to travel with so she can always smell like she walked out of an incredible perfumery. 
Card 1 & Card 2 - Every mom needs a Mother's Day card! I am a huge Evelyn Henson fan and her cards are just adorable. Skip the line at Hallmark and order one of these babies right now. They are aesthetically pleasing and not cheesy at all. 
Slides - These are so cute and bright. Every mom needs a little pep in her step and having these on her feet will do wonders. They kind of look like that school project you did in elementary school but fancier? 
Passport Holder - This is not your average passport holder; it's for your entire family. I don't know about yours but my dad and I defer to my mom for travel documents and this holds all of them. That way there aren't five passport holders, travel cards and such floating around in each person's bag. It zips and is aesthetically pleasing - this is a practical gift that she'll love. 
La Mer - Anyone loves being spoiled and seeing a pot of La Mer in gift wrapping will make your mom feel special. This stuff is like crack for skin? Seriously, it works wonders. 
Smeg - Treat her to a super fancy coffee maker this Mother's Day because she's worth it! Plus, if you are an older child (hi) and it's just your mom or your mom & dad at home this is the perfect coffee maker. It makes 1 or 2 cups and is easy to use. 
Elephant Cheese Board - This is just adorable - I think anyone would love this as a present? Like a) who doesn't love a cheese board and b) it's an elephant! 
Watch - A few years ago we bought my mom a new watch for Mother's Day and she loved it. I think we know our moms have things like watches, but we never think to renew those items. This Mother's Day get her a new watch, something updated that fits more with her style and personality now. 
Tote - This simple tote with her initial is a great carry-all. She can store all of her stuff (and, undoubtedly, your stuff). I also love the idea of buying her a scarf to tie around the handles, because your mom is stylish too. Check out this one or this one
Rain Jacket - Everyone needs a nice rain jacket, including your mom! This one comes in multiple colors and seems like it will last for forever. Rain jackets never go out of style so splurge on a good one for Mother's Day and she'll love it every time it rains. 
Sneaker - If your mom is stylin' on the regular get her these adorable bow sneakers to spice up those outfits. They are comfortable, practical but have a nice flair to them. She can rock them with jeans, shorts or a dress and look adorable. 
Hair Dryer - Splurge on your mama with this phenomenal hair dryer that anyone would be jealous of. It is one of the most efficient things you can buy her and she's probably had hers for forever. Splurge on her! 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Aaaaaand We're Done...

*with classes
So I thought I would be able to sit down and write this blog post. Because yesterday was the last day of my undergraduate college career. It was the last time I will sit in the CMA or BMC as a UT college student. It's nuts. Four years went by so incredibly quickly...I still don't understand. But I find myself struggling to put words to how I feel about my school, this experience ending or anything like that. SO I'm going to work on it. I'll post it before or after graduation in two weeks. But I did want to recognize that today is the last day of school {for everyone else} and I'll be going to senior day at our local college bar and just being bittersweet about everything in general. Also...it feels so weird to not have school work to turn in... 
How many of y'all have graduated from college? - xoxo darling, Hayden

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Week Re-Cap

 The best friend & I went to Pedernales, our favorite state park. 

 Cow Tipping slaying me every time I go. 

Flower Child will cure a hangover - in case 
you were wondering. 

 I finally tried Juiceland! It is an Austin institution...yes I've lived here for four years.

I took my senior photos! Get ready for a ton of them to be posted soon! 

 Took Libby for a Tower tour on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Design Portfolio

This semester I took a class called Design Journalism and it was one of the best classes I have ever taken. When I tell people I'm a journalism major they just assume my favorite part is the writing - but that's not true. I love the design aspect, that's why I decided to major in it. But it wasn't until the last two years I got to experience this aspect. On Thursday I will turn in my final portfolio for design so I thought I would share my designs with y'all. What do you think? - xoxo darling, Hayden

My letter head: the "h" is my handwriting taken into Illustrator. 

We had to "re-do" a book cover, I chose one of my all time favorite books. 

We had to make a fake magazine, mine is West, about travel in West Texas. 
This is the cover. 

This is the Table of Contents for West. 

 A two page spread about cacti in West. 

Our last project was a "Cause Poster" so I tried to be 
funny and make it about Tide Pods.