Monthly Archives: December 2013

A 2013 Year in Review

What a year! I cannot believe that another year has come and gone and we are about to be in the year 2014…that just seems unreal. 2013 was pretty good to me, I wouldn’t say that it was a big milestone year for me or anything but it was a fun year and i stayed busy, busy, busy! I am a pretty big analyzer of all things and situations and as i sit back and reflect/analyze this past year I can honestly saw that this was a year of growth for me. I learned so much about myself and the world around me. I had both my eyes and heart opened to new people and new places that stretched me to become someone great and stronger.


In these past 12 months I…(not in order)

1. Went on a cruise (where i got backstage tours and got to meet the captain)

2. fed a stingray

3.  drove an ATV along the shores of Mexico

4. toured a tequila factory (also in Mexico)

5. Inner tubed down a river in Jamaica

6. Jumped off many more waterfalls

7. spent another summer in Maine

8. snowboarded over 30 times

9.  visited Athens, GA

10. saw my favorite band, NeedtoBreathe, in concert (basically front row)

11. moved into an apartment

12. bought a pair of chacos (life changing)

13. cheered my University to almost no victories (but it was still fun),


15. started working for Mountain Alliance (a local non-profit)

16.  went caving

17.  turned 20 years old

18. added a new member to our family, our dog Desi

19. Created an adult Resume

20. hopefully did some maturing.

After making that list i think i now know why mom always jokingly says, “Hayley, I wanna be you when I grow up.” I am very fortunate to have such a fun-filled life and great people to share it with. I am so excited to start of 2014 in Costa Rica with some great people (while earning class credit).

I am excited and anxious to see what 2014 has in store for me. I am scheduled to graduate in December but I have a long way to go until then. So much of 2014 is still up in the air but, I am excited to see where the Lord leads me throughout the year.

I would love to hear all about your accomplishments from 2013! Leave me a message or join the link-up below!




Another Christmas that my family has given me way too much. Despite the fact that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, my family took care of me and #spoiled me with so many gifts and food. 2 warm and fuzzy hats, J. Crew sunglasses, 2 necklaces, a scarf and the perfect mug for me! Oh and don’t forget about Costa Rica! I hope that your Christmas was great also! Of course Christmas isn’t about these material items, it’s about the birth of hope and of our lord and savior!






Avoiding Winter-Break Boredom

Christmas festivities are winding down, you have finished an entire netflix series, you are out of money from shopping, you have finally caught up on your sleep, your parents have gone back to work and you are home for 2 more weeks. Oh! And my personal favorite…your parents are threatening that if you don’t get off the couch you are going to have to go through all of your old childhood things (avoid that as long as you can).  Yep! I’ve been there and so have all my friends. My friends from home and I  have gotten pretty creative over the years trying keep ourselves entertained, spend time together and get ourselves out of the house, away from the leftovers. We are here to share our wisdom with you! This is to all the college freshman out there who literally have no idea what to do for another 2 weeks and are missing their friends from school.

Try to make a little extra money because, who can’t use an extra $10? Ask your family, grandparents, aunts, uncles or neighbors if they need some extra help getting things done. Bathe dogs, walk dogs, wash some cars, babysit, do some yard work, polish your dad’s “glory days” trophy collection or just go tap dance downtown. I guess you could say i had the “privilege” of bathing  my sister’s dog and now my gas tank has a few extra gallons in it.

Get outdoors! Try doing all the things you used to love to do as a kid. Rally the gang and ride some bikes, climb a tree, jump on a trampoline, ripstik, play tennis at the park, Rollerblade and take back your neighborhood streets from the new generation of munchkins.

Get creative. I would say that this is our specialty. We have made our own music videos, destroyed the kitchen baking cakes, played board games, dedicated a whole day to crafting for our dorm rooms and even tested out at-home kid’s science experiments. Now is the chance to unleash your weirdness and creativity because once college is over you are gonna be wishing for a random Wednesday to whip out the glue guns with your best friends.

Catch a weekday matinee movie…like I said, when is the next time you are going to be free on a Wednesday  afternoon to catch a cheap movie? Not to mention there are just some great movies out right now.

Explore your town! You are a student now so you get all kinds of discounts! Hit the museums, art galleries, local parks and town landmarks. I’m guessing that your local museum has changed a few exhibits since you went on a middle school field trip there. 

Hope this helps! And if none of these things work you can try starting a blog because I love it and it keeps you busy!

How do you Avoid Winter Break Boredom?

Coming Home


Do you like my new mug??

I have been home a week now and this is the longest I have been home at one time in 6 months and boy does it feel good. I am pretty proud of myself because I have yet to spend an entire day sleeping, eating and watching TV. I have managed to be productive and spend real quality time with my family and close friends. I have decorated countless cookies, walked my dogs, finished my Christmas shopping, seen movies, eaten at my favorite restaurants, visited friends and family and okay, maybe caught up on some television.  However, I have noticed that I am a much better blogger at school than at home. I tend to blog along side of doing homework, when I am in a very productive state of mind. Now that I am on a little break from school my mind isn’t quite as efficient. Hey! After getting straight A’s a girl needs a break!

What I have begun to realized is that coming home is a constant reminder of how long I have been gone. When I was a freshman in college it was much easier to stay in touch and keep up with things happening in my home town, 5 hours across the state. As i have grown older, spent my summers away from home and made a life for myself in Boone it grows harder and harder to stay connected and keep tabs on people. Many of my friends were either in Wilmington this summer or were back and forth between Wilmington and summer school but I was only home for a very small window of time, much of that was spent packing, unpacking and preparing to move into my apartment. My only mode of staying informed have been texts from my parents, letters i received in Maine or when something is posted on facebook. Over the past week I have used the expression, “ WHAT??? Why didn’t anybody tell me”  numerous times and had to asked, “Who is that person?” because I hadn’t been around to meet new members of our church or additions to my friend group.

My Mom has assured me that this is a part of life and this is something everybody goes through. Despite this I still can’t help but feel a little guilty that i am missing out on some important milestones in lives of those who I grew up with. I have no intentions of moving back into my home town anytime soon and I am beginning to get a glimpse of some of the downsides of being a traveler. I now have so much respect for all of the bloggers out there living as expats in different countries and I think I might have some growing up to do before I graduate.

This has only made me appreciate this break even more. I have come to really appreciate Christmas parties (the ones i dreaded as a kid) because it has been so fun getting to see everyone. I always tell myself I will just drop by but this year I have found myself being the last to leave. I am feeling so much love and support from those who I have gotten to catch up with and even though I have been asked the same questions 100000 times I am thankful for my friends and their parents taking a genuine interest in my future.

I am home for about another week and I am very excited for Christmas, my mom has done a great job decorating the house….even without my sister and I. This will be my last post until after Christmas so Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you all a joyful day to celebrate a joyful season! It’s Monday and below are my Weekly Wishes for the nectar collectives week link up.  ___________________________________________________________________________


1. To read my National Geographic December Issue: With exams and the holidays I really have not had the time…and sadly the desire….to sit down and read my December NatGeo. This is usually one of my favorite things to do each month but, once I set down my bookbag I haven’t picked it back up. This week I am hoping to hit my favorite local coffee shop and find some time to read it.

2. Help my sister with her Blog: My sister is a great writer and she wants to start a little blog about married life and her attempts at being the perfect hostess. I am no expert but she has asked me to help her get her blog going.

3. Sing my Heart out for Jesus: At my church’s Christmas eve service tomorrow night I am making it a personal goal to sing my little heart out because I haven’t gotten to sing classic Christmas hymnals at all this year so…Christmas Eve is my chance.


Enchanted Airlie Gardens

Airlie Gardens is a Wilmington trademark, featuring a 467 year old live oak, walking trails, wildlife, over 100,000 Azaleas and lakes all overlooking the North Carolina Coast. Every weekend from Thanksgiving till Christmas they host, Enchanted Airlie, one of their Christmas traditions and a huge attraction in Wilmington.They covered the gardens in beautiful and colorful Christmas lights and of course hosted Santa for kids to visit. After going there tonight with my parents and our closest family friends I now know why Enchanted Airlie is sold now for the rest of 2013. I give all the credit to my Dad for planning this and buying the tickets. Hopefully this will be a new family tradition. My Dad’s friend that was with us said, “Jack, you have made 2 good decisions in your life, marrying Beth (my mom) and coming to Enchanted Airlie.”






what have you guys been up to?? Happy Holidays! — HayUp

Jannell’s Hidden Gems Around Charleston, SC

Meet Jannell! She is a twenty-something wife, dog lover, champagne drinker, ice cream carton eater, recent marathon runner and most importantly MY SISTER. After many family vacations growing up, a 4 month summer internship and a year and a half living in Charleston, SC,  my sister knows her way around the Holy City. I went and spent the night with her and her husband on my way home from Boone. While I was hard at work baking cookies in the kitchen I let her commandeer my blog to talk about some of her Charleston favorites, some of which you might not find in your local visitor’s guide. Here are some of Jannell’s favorite {hidden} Gems around Charleston, South Carolina.


1. Dell’z Deli: Dell moved to Charleston from the Caribbean and when she did she brought a little piece of culinary heaven with her. When I met my friend, Robyn, the first month I lived in Charleston we decided to meet for lunch one day at this “little hole in the wall spot” she knew about. We have all heard the “little hole in the wall” expression before but this is like, FOR REAL, a hole in the wall. The entire restaurant is smaller than most people’s second bedroom and there is no seating, everything is to-go. Dell is only open for a few hours in the middle of the day for lunch and then again 10pm-2am for late night. BRILLIANT. Her fresh wraps, caribbean pizzas and healthy spin on traditional southern guilt food stole my heart. And then it stole my husband’s heart, then every single one of my friends’ hearts and now my parents are obsessed with it, too. We like to take it down to Battery Park for picnics, it is sort of our cute tradition. The price is just right, too ringing in at under $12 for pretty much everything made fresh to order. Basically, YOU’RE WELCOME!

2. The bar menu at Cypress: $4 glasses of wine during happy hour, a meatball plate for $12 and the most amazing charcuterie plate in Charleston for a good-looking $12, too. The scene is super urban… like a southern version of Buddakan (Buddakan is in NYC and where Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner in the movie.)  Social + Wine Bar is also on-point with their Happy Hour Specials with $3 glasses of delicious wines, champagne and Gin concoctions. Plus, they have a $3 flatbread pizza and a blue cheese/homemade chips dish that don’t hold out on the delicious.

3. This one isn’t really a “gem” per se because everyone knows about it, but Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar: It’s expensive and Ritzy BUT it’s one-of-a-kind amazing with a 360 degree rooftop view of downtown Charleston, a pool and high top tables with umbrellas to shield the hot southern sun. This isn’t a place you stay all night, but do yourself and favor and either wrap your day up or start your evening there.

4. Taco Boy: Say hello to the most delicious guacamole and you’ve ever had in a rural, garden setup. It’s not your average spot to load up on refried beans and cheesy rice. Their dishes are fresh, their bar is fun and it’s spot-on place to day drink. Just sayin’…

5. The Shrimp and Grits at 82 Queen: Just do it.


If you ever find yourself exploring the beautiful and historical city of Charleston with an empty stomach, keep us sisters in mind!

Just for fun here is an old photograph from a Christmas card photo shoot we had in Charleston circa 2003.

jannell and hayley

Thanks for reading friends.

Peace Out–HayUp

Hosting Your Broke College Friends For A Weekend


WHOA BABY as in… Whoa Baby finals are over and I am slowly making my way home for my Christmas break. Just days away from Christmas, New Years and then Costa Rica! I am proud to report that I got straight A’s this semester (Merry Christmas Mom and Dad) and now that finals are over I will have lots of free time to devote to blogging and being present here on the blogosphere.

I had an INCREDIBLE mountain weekend with my friends! I love Boone always, but even more when I have time to enjoy it without the stress of class. We had two big sleepovers and two days that were action packed at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Even though my friends were braced with some not-so-ideal snowboarding conditions they still learned like champions and in the words of my friend Kenzie “Shaun White ain’t got nothin on us.” Here are some of my tips on how to successfully host an awesome snowboarding weekend with your broke college friends. These might be really obvious but they are my fun little way of recapping the weekend.


1. Check Out Group Rates

We couldn’t get a group rate at the mountain this time because there wasn’t quite enough of us but, we got one with a big group last time and we all saved about 10 or 15 dollars. It is definitely worth giving the resort a call to see if they offer group rates and if you qualify.


2. Make your own magic

We had all just finished exams so we were all pretty exhausted and spent out on Christmas shopping. Friday night we made our own magic in my apartment. We jammed out to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album, played games in my apartment and caught up with each other. As for Saturday night…let’s just say we all headed to bed early. We are college kids…we just need to be together to have fun!


3. Pack Your Lunch

We saved a ton of money by not buying lunch at the Ski Resort and packing our own. We made a grocery list, divided the items evenly and took a group trip to Wal-Mart…which is always an adventure. Both Saturday and Sunday we took over a little space in the ski lodge and had our own picnic, complete with Christmas cookies. We may have received some dirty looks from the employees but I am thinking they were just eyeing our goodies.


4. Get an Early Start

Ski Resort tickets can be very expensive, especially on the weekends, so get an early start and get the most out of your day! My friends loved waking up to Christmas music, coffee, my bright and shiny face, waffles and scrambled eggs. We made it to the mountain at quite an impressive hour, beat the crowd and had a FFFFFUUULLLLLLL day seizing the slopes.


5. Rent Local

This is something that I wish I would have known long ago. Many local ski or snowboarding shops offer rentals which can save you lots of money from renting them from the resort. I have my own gear but my friends were able to get a student discount, faster service and a weekend rental from, First Tracks, a snowboard and ski shop literally seconds from my apartment. I give myself a pat on the back because that was my suggestion.


For all of the things I can’t describe through my typing i have put together this fun little video that captures some of the highlights from the weekend!

I am still learning how to make videos and i dont have the best software so i apologize for all the glitches