Archive for the ‘Dreams’ Category

In just three weeks, I’ll be looking at this landmark eating these desserts with this woman:

That’s right, folks! The Alexander women will soon be traversing across Europe and coming to a city near you – but only if a city near you includes Paris or Amsterdam.

Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, Tam and I will spend four whole days getting better acquainted with the City of Light and will finish up our week visiting the Netherlands, where my sweet and talented mother will be doing a book tour for her latest novel, which literally will be coming to a city near you. Details here.

For now, I’m left to finalize a few last-minute details of our trip, including mastering the art of French metro navigation, figuring out exactly how many pairs of riding boots will fit in a standard carry-on, and attempting to learn some basic phrases in French and Dutch.

Since we’ll definitely have a translator with us in the Netherlands, I’m focusing more on French and have created a top ten list of phrases I believe will best aid me in exploring Paris and have included the logic behind each selection below.

1. Which way to Gilles Marini’s house?

A no-brainer.

2. More crepes, please.

Another no-brainer.

3. Yes, I am Debra Messing.

Just in case the French are huge Will & Grace fans who are easily duped and in turn invite us to a party hosted by none other than… Gilles Marini.

4. Did you know that France derives 79% of its electricity from nuclear power?

Knowledge is power, mes amis. #Wikipediaforthewin

5. Leggings are not pants.

The faster we take this message global, the better.

6. Team Aniston or Team Jolie?

Even the French take sides, people.

7. I apologize on behalf of Lance Armstrong.

I’m no Erin Andrews, but my gut tells me that the Tour de France is no laughing matter over there.

8. I don’t speak French.

Frenchman: “But you just spoke French.” Kelsey: (dramatic pause) “Or did I?” #mysterious

9. Where are you hiding Jason Bourne?

Can you say, “what’s the French word for ‘stakeout’?”

10. Thank you for the Statue of Liberty.

Because good manners never go out of style.

19 days to cross these all off my list. Wish me luck! Or should I say, “souhaitel-moi bonne chance?” #thanksGoogleTranslate


– Kels

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After a particularly hectic week, shopping online in sweat pants was all my little heart desired for my rainy Friday night. Thus, this evening I found myself curled up on the couch and perusing the Stella & Dot website, clicking on sparkly necklaces and bangley bracelets. I don’t know if it was the sparkles or the bangles, but inspiration struck rather quickly. I should throw a jewelry party! Perfect. I envisioned rows of sparkly jewelry. A small group of close friends. Linen tablecloths. Glasses of chardonnay. Trays of miniature desserts and cheeses. I had it all planned out.

Colette Necklace - Silver (Stella & Dot)

Then, Oprah spoke to me.

Ok, not really directly to me.But she did speak directly through my DVR. And God works all things together for good, right? Nevertheless, Oprah was in the middle of delivering a heartfelt speech on the importance of making a difference in the lives of others. Saving a puppy. Opening a soup kitchen. Mentoring a child. You know the drill.

Without warning, conviction set in. Darn you, Oprah Winfrey.

After a few brief moments of contemplation and repentance, my small jewelry party idea morphed into a charity event that even Oprah herself would be proud of. There would be vendors, sponsors, a local celebrity to emcee (hopefully Paul McDonald), and a hefty percentage of ticket sales benefitting an immensely worthwhile cause—either feeding hungry orphans or ending sex trafficking. The jury’s still out.

Suddenly, a Food Network special on pie appeared on the television screen! Cherry pie. Pecan pie. Shepherd’s pie. While a normal person could glance up at the television, note the delicious pies, and return to the task at hand, I happen to be a slightly abnormal person who loves delicious pies of any variety and finds it difficult to focus on any task when baked goods enter the picture.

So sue me.

Before I knew it, my best-laid charity event plans were temporarily on hold (call me, Paul!) and I began taking notes on New York City’s most popular bakeries.

Bottom line: I may be losing my mind.

Just kidding.

Bottom bottom line: I like to daydream. I have a lot of goals and a growing list of interests, which can feel a little overwhelming at times because so much of life in your twenties is “to be determined.” You haven’t figured out your dream career, you haven’t found the perfect guy, and plan all you want, God’s the One in control and His plans will always trump yours. But you have a choice: you can either resent your ambiguous future or embrace the blank slate that is your life and actively wait for God’s perfect timing.

I’m giving the latter a try. So in the meantime, I’m going to embrace my blank slate, host some parties, attempt to do some good, and eat some pie.

…and maybe gaze at this picture of Paul McDonald just a little bit longer.

Paul McDonald


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Two weeks ago, in an effort to eliminate at least one project from my ever-expanding to-do list, I dove headfirst into my closet and refused to emerge until the mandatory winter wardrobe transition was complete. My collection of multi-colored tank tops and bejeweled flip flops soon found themselves stuffed inside Tupperware containers and relegated to the very back of the closet, while cowl-neck sweaters and suede boots emerged from closeted hibernation and took their rightful place among my everyday wardrobe.

In the midst of this massive restructuring effort, I stumbled upon my old leather trunk filled with memories from high school and college. Photos from my high school honor choir tour. Handwritten notes and cards from loved ones. Journals and maps from my adventures in Europe. Even the token stuffed animal, which in my case happens to be an over-sized cow named Fatima.

During this brief stroll down memory lane, I happened across another to-do list I made a few years back. A list filled with tasks that I WANT to do as opposed to HAVE to do. A list comprised of feats I’d like to accomplish, places I’d like to travel to, languages I’d like to learn, and milestones I’d like to reach. A list full of potential and possibility. And sadly, a list that—until a week ago—had been misplaced at the bottom of a trunk, forlornly nestled between Fatima the Cow and my international postcard collection.

As I sat on the floor of my closet and started reading through my newly rediscovered list, I realized that I could only cross off a handful of tasks. And by a handful, I mean less than five. Study abroad in Europe. Check. Graduate from college with honors. Check. Take an art class. Check. Learn how to knit. Eh, that one never should have made it on there in the first place. And… that was pretty much it.

I realize that I’m only twenty-three years old and hopefully have several years ahead of me to explore Italy and Ireland, change the oil in my car, learn to play the guitar, and take a cake decorating class, but that shouldn’t give me an excuse to procrastinate and put these dreams on hold. At the risk of sounding like a bad American Idol song: What about now? What about today?

Which brings me to my rare and spectacular moment of initiative and follow-through. Determined to begin tackling my rediscovered to-do list, I enrolled in a Cupcakes and Cake Balls class at the local Viking Cooking School. And after five hours this past Sunday, the verdict was in: I was in love.

I made cake balls.

I rolled fondant.

I shaped tiny carrots out of marzipan.

It. Was. Fabulous. I rediscovered my love of baking and for the first time in a very long time I felt truly excited and passionate about what I was doing and creating. I was practically giddy. Now, I’ll most likely have to take up full-time yoga in order to compensate for this new hobby, but we all have to make sacrifices in life. To peruse more pictures of my decked-out baked goods, check out my Cupcake & Cake Balls photo album on Facebook album.

One task down and countless others to go. It may only be one small step for my little to-do list, but it’s definitely one giant leap towards realizing and accomplishing my dreams.

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