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Summer plans and my sister is getting married

Eye of Kali Hibiscus

Thomas picked up this gorgeous Eye of Kali Hibiscus recently. He got into gardening last summer, which has elevated our yard from worst on the block to not too shabby. Picture by yours truly.

 

I’m about to get on a plane so I’ll keep this brief. A few days ago I revisited my list of goals for 2016 and was pleasantly surprised with how many of them I have either reached or am on the path to. I set 36 goals with the premise that if I accomplish even a third of that I’ll be satisfied.

So this all ties in to my summer plans. Kind of. I’ve got some travel plans coming up and I’m going to try to take the GRE later this summer. I also got accepted to participate in a writer’s retreat next month, so go me. The third Catahoula comes out next month and I’m staying on at my current job for at least another six months. Writing for a living badge? Unlocked.

Things I haven’t been so great at: weekly Spanish lessons haven’t happened, no plans on traveling abroad anytime soon and hitting the gym hasn’t happened in a long time.

Whatever.

In a few hours I’m heading out west to the Grand Canyon for my sister’s wedding. I went to there last summer (to Havasupai) but this trip will be different. Aside from Christin’s nuptials, this will be the first time in five years that I will be there with my brother and sister.  What’s the significance? Here ya go, cut and paste from my Facebook because I’m feeling lazy.

June 7, 2016: Today marks 15 years since my dad died. The last thing my dad wanted to do was hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon before he died. He never got the chance.

So all three of his kids did it for him.
The year after my dad died, Thomas and I hiked to the bottom for the first time. The next year, we spent a summer working on the South Rim, then we got married at Havasupai.
After Katrina, Chris and Ruben moved to the Canyon and eventually both got jobs working at Phantom Ranch (aka the bottom of the Canyon). Thomas and I landed in Scottsdale after the storm, so we went to the Canyon every chance we could get.
Christin graduated high school in 2006 and her graduation present was a trip to Phantom. She had never been hiking before, so we brought her ass down there in the pitch dark. It wasn’t even a full moon; I’m talking total darkness save for a headlamp.
Fast forward to this week; I’ve hiked to the bottom 10 times, Christin has hiked down several times (5 or 6?) and Chris lived down there. And now my sister is getting married on the South Rim at Shoshone Point this Saturday.
I think Dad would be rather proud.

2015 Year In Review & 2016 Goals

Ahh yes, it’s that time of year: {insert something about this year being better (or shittier) than the last}. 2015 was admittedly pretty brutal at times, but overall I had a phenomenal year. Here is 2015 broken down by semester, since that’s how my life has been segmented the past three years.

Spring 2015

  • Joined a marching band (first time since high school) and marched in four Mardi Gras parades. P.S. I’m doing it again in 2016.
  • Took a scriptwriting class that really flexed my writing muscles. Fiction writing scares me, but scriptwriting helped me find a way to do it on my own terms.

Christy Lorio Driftwood

 

  • Won a departamental award for my work at Driftwoodalso received wonderful, heartfelt emails from faculty in regards to the complete overhaul we did to the print and online editions.
  • Publish-o-rama. Three pieces I wrote in my creative nonfiction writing classes were published in various literary magazines and websites.

Summer 2015

  • Ireland. I went to Ireland to study for a month. You can read all about my experience here. I made so many friends and had so many incredible experiences. I felt so enriched after the program was done.

Havasu Falls

  • I went to Havasupai for the fourth time in August. I didn’t blog about it (left my camera on a bus in Ireland), but I shared plenty of cell phone shots on my Instagram.

Fall 2015

  • Cut my hair above shoulder length for the first time in years.
  • Went wedding dress shopping with my sister in Houston over fall break. I eloped when I got married, and the one thing I regret was not wearing a wedding dress. I’m glad my sister included me in on her experience.
  • Saw Hamish Bowles on Halloween night in the French Quarter and he complimented our Halloween costumes later on social media. Yes, THAT Hamish Bowles.
  • A photo I took in Dublin was a finalist in UNO’s Study Abroad photo competition. I didn’t place, but the other finalist’s work was so good that I felt honored just to have made it that far.

Brent Houzenga

  • My 1999 Honda CRV got an upgrade thanks to Brent Houzenga. I’ve always wanted an art car and now we (he also painted my husband’s) have two. Half my neighbors think we’re cool, the other half think we are weird. They’re probably both right.
  • I replaced (and upgraded) the camera I left behind in Ireland.
  • Visited my brother in Louisville for Thanksgiving. We’re trying to make it a yearly tradition. My brother cooks professionally, so this is not a problem.
  • I secured a six month fellowship in my field, so I will finally be getting paid to write full-time. Mission accomplished (see below).
  • Read some of the embarrassing things I wrote in high school at Lost Love Letters, which was a fun and surprisingly cathartic experience.

Christy Lorio

  • Oh yea, I graduated last week! Y’ALL. I can not express the joy and satisfaction I felt (okay I can– I’m a writer– but I’m being lazy right now) when I walked across that stage. I received two bachelor’s degrees from UNO and at 35 years old it feels so good that I finally got the damn thing(s). Being an adult student certainly had its challenging moments (balancing a marriage and hours of math homework is not for the timid), but the sleepless nights and sacrifices made were worth it; I feel more confident knowing that I finally completed college. I utterly enjoyed going back to school as an adult; I honestly think finishing in my 20s would have been a waste. I was dealing with too much to focus. My dad died when I was 21, then my grandma died a year later. I also needed to figure out who I was before I could give a shit about schoolwork. I’m proud of what I did, and I think my dad and maw maw would be too.

 

2016 goals

I’ll go with 36 goals since I’m turning 36. I’m also copying off my friend Missy, since I like how she compiled her list last year.

  1. Take the GRE and apply to grad school for the fall 2017 semester
  2. Travel abroad at least once
  3. Visit the Grand Canyon (Okay I’m cheating with this one; my sister is getting married there in June.)
  4. Learn Spanish
  5. Cook more
  6. Spend less money on inexpensive meals (see #5)
  7. Get tattooed
  8. Edit my wardrobe so it’s more cohesive
  9. Take a sewing class
  10. Take more photography classes
  11. Launch a zine (Technically cheating because I’ve already started this, but I want to make it quarterly.)
  12. Spend more time with my friends
  13. Spend more time with my grandparents
  14. Maintain a weekly cleaning schedule
  15. Lose 20 pounds aka fit back into the Billy Reid jeans I bought when I was at my thinnest (and most confident self) six years ago.
  16. Start saving money to put towards a new car
  17. Put a serious dent in my student loans
  18. Read and watch everything on my “to read/to watch” list
  19. Spend less time on social media
  20. Blog once a week
  21. Audition for the volunteer orchestra
  22. Reestablish weekly date nights with my husband
  23. Visit four new museums
  24. Cook for Christmas this year
  25. Paint the bedroom and downstairs bathroom
  26. Take more day trips
  27. Go to the beach
  28. See more movies in a movie theater
  29. Watch more plays
  30. Write everyday (I’m kind of cheating because my new job will require this.)
  31. Go out dancing more
  32. Buy another camera lens
  33. Plan my 100 mile hike for late 2016/early 2017
  34. Bike to work (almost) everyday
  35. Love myself more
  36. Remember to floss

Slow Southern Style has a new look

cropped-BigSlow.jpg

 

Whoa now.

Do not adjust your computer screens; Slow Southern Style has a new look and a new logo. I’ve been meaning to freshen up around here for at least two years, but a redesign just kept getting pushed off and pushed off until I couldn’t take it anymore. I think the new look better reflects the content now that I’m not blogging about fashion anymore.

So, what have I been up to? Nothing noteworthy, really. My weekly routine revolves around class and putting out the school newspaper. My Lenten social media fast is going well. I’m not gonna lie, I peek a little bit every now and then, but overall I’ve been pleased with how much more free time I have when I’m not glued to my phone. It’s not a drastic change, but enough to where I realize that hey, it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m (sort of) caught up on homework enough to do some yard work and catch a comedy show later on. Maybe I’ll keep it up after Lent is over.

I’m giving up social media for Lent

Abita Mystery House
Photo taken at the Abita Mystery House
I’m giving up social media for Lent. I’m not religious but every few years I feel the need to give something up.  Last year it was alcohol, this year i’m giving Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The longest I’ve made it without jumping to check every ping and bleep my phone makes is a handful of days, so my 40 day digital detox will prove to be a challenge.

Anticipated trials:
  • battling boredom while waiting in lines (grocery store, bank, etc…)
  • feeling like I’m missing out on special moments that friends and family might be sharing
  • temptation to scroll through personal feeds when I need to log on for legitimate, work related reasons
  • potentially feel as though I’ve lost connections with colleagues
Anticipated rewards:
  • more free time
  • mental clarity- won’t feel fatigued since I won’t be constantly bombarded with information
  • less distractions- better grades in school
  • more productive downtime; reading a book for pleasure instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds
  • hopefully break the cycle of mindless scrolling so when I do go back, browsing will feel more purposeful
I’ll let y’all know how this goes.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Give Me A Minute

I’ve been up in New York for a wedding weekend and am feeling the crunch of deadlines. Working a full time job, freelance writing, and trying to have a life outside of work and “work” can be tough at times. I’m taking a little blog break to ensure my sanity remains in tact. In the meantime here are some good, fashionable reads to get you through your week. Do you know of some blogs worth checking out? Leave it in the comments section and I’ll see y’all in a bit.

Giogo Show- My friend Leslie turned me on to these ladies and I’m 100% smitten.
Mosey!- Street style a la Dallas, Texas.
Zarna’s Runway– Laid back and cool in Tennessee
Back Down South– Classic Southern style.
Ingenue & Camp– Six New Orleans ladies documenting fun and fashion.
Hybrid Headpiece– Fashion blogging from Kuwait.
Beckerman Bite Plate– Sisters with enviable hair.
Girls With Glasses– Two quirky gals and yes they wear glasses.

Onto some random pictures for your amusement.

Lovely hoop & chain earrings c/o Rue Belle.
Be on the lookout for these in an upcoming blog post.
Funny twitter pic that Uptown PR sent me. That’s one way to deal with bad “press”.
An old favorite polka dot chambray shirt with new kelly green jeans
Cat tattoo- read about the inspiration on Uptown Messenger. The second one is coming soon to a thigh near you.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Invade NOLA Book Release Party

I typically reserve non-fashion related banter for the likes of my social media accounts but I have much love for Justin Shiels and what he does with Invade NOLA, not to mention  I’m also an occasional contributor on the website. Needless to say I’m more than happy to help get the word out about the Invade NOLA book release party this Thursday. It’s free with your RSVP through Event Brite. See y’all there!

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Slow Southern News

  • Show me some love by voting Slow Southern Style NOLA as New Orleans’ best local blog in The Gambit’s web awards. 

  • Forget me not NOLA is sponsoring the “High Heels for Hope” fashion gala and champagne dinner on Saturday, May 23rd at 7pm.  to benefit Sentebale, a charity that assists African orphans. The event takes place at the Roosevelt Hotel in the Roosevelt Ballroom.

  • Worn Again Nola is seeking designers for its annual recycled fashion competition. Call 284-8871 or e-mail wornagainNOLA@gmail.com by the June 1st deadline to apply.
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style