Birthday Week – Mardi Gras Style

This past week I was able to celebrate my 21st birthday with some unforgettable memories! I was able to start off the week by getting matching, mother-daughter tattoos with my mom. We found an amazing, yet simple tattoo design that we both instantly fell in love with. The tattoo we decided on is considered a part of the Swahili culture, emphasizing the special bond a mother and daughter share together for eternity. On my actual birthday, my best friend took it upon herself to go out of her way in order to throw me a mini surprise party, given that we still had college classes come birthdays or not. As I walked into our classroom, I had seen she had surprised me with balloons and cupcakes. My actual birthday was spent with amazing friends and dinner with family. Given that my birthday did fall in the middle of the week, the weekend became my birthday celebration.

Over the weekend, I was able to travel to Louisiana in celebration for my first Mardi Gras celebration – an exciting event I will definitely want to attend next time! The day started off by eating lunch at my favorite restaurant in town. After a lunch, a fun trip to the casino seemed appropriate; however, we did not exactly get our money back. We have a way of calling it “feeding the machines,” as opposed to losing our money! The rest of the day was spent at the Mardi Gras float preview, an event I will never forget. The amount of floats and the elaborate designs of each float was amazing. The most amazing part of the event was the welcoming crowd of people to all the out-of-town people. Loud music, beads, awesome costumes, crowds of people, and food were all a part of that night. I can say that I got my first ever Mardi Gras beads! After attending such an event, I was somewhat curious as to the origins of Mardi Gras. I am familiar that it tends to fall around the same time as the Catholic’s Fat Tuesday event. In researching a little about Mardi Gras, the event actually originated back in medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice around the 17th and 18th centuries. The event has been around for quite some time. If you have never been to a Mardi Gras festival, you should definitely check one out!

Overall, I have had an amazing birthday. This may have been one of my favorite birthdays given that I was able to spend it with all my friends and family all while traveling and exploring new things. Here’s to another year of adulthood! Have a wonderful day, everyone!

What was your most memorable birthday?

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Our newly done tattoos!

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Here is one of the amazing float designs!

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Needless to say, this float featured steam coming out of the bull’s nose!

Too bad I couldn’t have gotten pictures of all of the floats. Thank you for reading!

See you soon,

Jennifer

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First blog post

I saw the most inspirational post on social media today. The post was about how we should all take a moment to step back from our busy lives in order to fully appreciate all of the small things right in front of us, sometimes those things that we simply fail to notice for being in such a rush. This particular post resonated with me on a deep level, for I have always been one of those people who never stepped back to take in all of the breathtaking things around me. Instead, I have always relied on a calendar book to feed me information about my day’s agenda without holding my head up long enough in order to notice the small things occurring all around me. Like I mentioned, the motivational aspect to that very post has become my personal mantra over the past year when I first started training for half-marathons. I have always been the type of person to enjoy nature; however, I was not fully appreciating nature in its wholeness. Training for half-marathons forced me to wake incredibly early, sometimes before the sun rose. Those early morning runs, in what people would say as the blistering cold, was rejuvenating. Not only was the physical exertion from my run exhilarating, I was able to rise before most people in town only to see what some people are missing out on – the sunrise. I didn’t only go on morning, training runs. Some days I would run at night, just in time to awe at the beautiful sunset before the day would turn into night. Training for my races taught me a lot in regards to being more appreciative of the beautiful things we have in our lives around us.

I am by no means trying to encourage any of you to start running half-marathons (even if they are fun and rewarding). I want to encourage you to give yourself fully in the moment when you are going for a walk outside or having lunch with a friend. I actually have a related story to watching the sunset this week. I am a full-time college student and have many other things on my plate, all at once sometimes, and it can be quite overwhelming at times. This week I had about the same amount of work I am normally faced with; however, this week I experienced an overwhelming sense of emotions to the point that I was completely unsure as to where I should even begin. Even if you are unsure where to begin, you still have to start somewhere. I am from the south and winter is fairly nonexistent around here. One day this week, the weather was absolutely perfect with such gorgeous sunshine. Instead of completing work indoors, I chose to complete my criminal law work outdoors. In doing so, I got to watch yet again, another breathtaking sunset. In my opinion, watching the sunrise or sunset just has some way of captivating you.

As the title of my blog implies, I am from a small town. Growing up, I have always believed in order to fully take in everything around you or even find the most inspiration, you have to travel to big cities; however, I am now aware that is not the case. I am more than able of finding beautiful inspiration outside of my doorway, as I could find in a bigger city. With my blog, I want to encourage you all to find your inspiration, to appreciate everything around you, to take the time out of your day to fully be present in the moment, and to finally know you are capable of doing these things whether you live in a small town like myself or a bigger city like New York. I hope you all have a lovely day, and thank you for reading!

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I had the opportunity of capturing this beautiful sunset over the summer, resembling that of an angel.

See you soon,

Jennifer