Monday, July 30, 2012

Vacation Recap

Hello, hello! 
Shirt- Banana Republic

So for the past week I've been in one of my favorite places.
Crested Butte to be more specific.
And it was beautiful.
But the trip was jam packed with craziness.

First off, my brother was not supposed to be on this trip.
He had been gone for a week at boy scout camp
backpacking like the best of 'em.
Until we got a call on Saturday while we were driving from 
Albuquerque (where my grandparents live) up to Crested Butte.
He had been pulled of the mountain.
Thankfully it was nothing serious. 
He just has been struggling with knee issues and 
when you tack on a 40 pound pack and 10 mile hikes everyday
I could imagine how that would make it worse.
So we had to go out of our way by three hours to go 
 pick him up and bring him with us to Crested Butte.
He seems to be doing better now, but he has an appointment soon 
with an orthopedic specialist. 

So after we got all the craziness involved with getting him settled,
we went zip lining.

It was so fun.
Plus I think I really am rocking the whole helmet thing.
I've considered wearing them on a daily basis.
But really, my head is far too big for helmets to ever work.
I had to make my helmet as big as it could go before it would 
fit on my head.. I think this is a problem.
Anyways, zip lining is awesome.
(Helmets are not.)
But while we were zip lining, my mom came in on a landing 
wrong and pulled her quad. 
Talk about the worst kind of injury.
{Oh, did I mention she's a runner?}
Yeah, so basically the rest of the trip was spent 
walking as little as possible so that my mom and my brother
wouldn't further injure themselves.

But we did have a good time! 
We shopped, explored town, and ate really yummy food. 
Plus, I got to have photo shoots.
Which I never really thought I would get into.
I just wanted to play on my new camera.
Explore its settings and what not.
But that turned into a complete shoot of my family.
I took 1,001 pictures.
And none of them were of vacationy type things.
They were just pictures. 
Here are some of my favorites: 

I also celebrated my 19th birthday while I was gone.
 It was nice to be around my whole family on my birthday.

It's fun to celebrate with all of them.
I was really excited about getting bananagrams and a stuffed lion
It's not like I turned nineteen or anything. 

While I had a great time, 
it's so nice to come home after vacation.
I love being gone, but the feeling of returning to a normal 
schedule is one of my absolute favorite feelings.
I like normal.
I like routine.
I like plans and schedules.
I like busy.
These are the things that I am used to.
That I love about my life.
And while I love travelling.
I love coming home even more.

Friday, July 27, 2012


It's my birthday.
So go dance it up. 

Or enter my giveaway.
Whatever floats your boat. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012


So you know when you stumble on the most amazing stores
and you just want to spend your whole life on their
website imagining yourself wearing all their clothes?
{c'mon, I know I'm not alone here}
Well, that happened to me a few weeks ago with 

I was just browsing.
Ya know, Pinterest and such.
And wham, bam, thank-ya ma'am.
I found Impressions

They are the absolute cutest boutique based in Arkansas.
And they have an online shop.
Which is a win for all of us that live in the other 49 states.
Because we certainly don't want to miss out.

Let's just say, they're amazeballs. 
I don't usually use that word, but this calls for it. 
Because they are.
Not only do they have the CUTEST clothes.
{See below if ya don't believe me}

Shades of Red

My Private Cabana

Patio Stripe Navy

I'm in love with their prices.
For clothes that are Pinterest worthy, you usually have to tack on a hefty price tag.
But at Impressions everything is well within my price range. 
And considering I'm a college girl that probably means it's within yours as well. 

So why do you people care about all this?
Well, I'll tell ya why.
I've set up an awesome giveaway for you ladies.
A 40 dollar gift card.
All because I love ya. 
And I feel that every lady loves to find the perfect new addition to their wardrobe.
I know I sure do. 
Plus this little blog o' mine just reached 100 followers.
And that deserves some major rewarding dontcha think?
So here's how you enter: 
{Leave separate comments for each, please}

Mandatory: Follow Living & Learning through GFC 
 "Like" Living & Learning on Facebook 

For additional entries:

Follow Living & Learning on Bloglovin' 
Follow me on Twitter 
Follow me on Pinterest
Follow me on Instagram (@nataliejung)

"Like" Impressions on Facebook 
Follow Impressions on Pinterest
Go to Impressions site and tell me what you'd spend the gift card on

Tweet, Facebook, Blog, etc.. about this giveaway
(post the link in the comments) 
{each tweet is one entry per day}

Alright chicas, by my count, that's nine entries per person! 
Unless you tweet about this giveaway once everyday.
Then you get more. 
I'll announce the winner as soon as I get back from my Vacation! 
So get yourselves amovin'. 
You definitely don't want to miss this one.

Now I don't want this giveaway to be confused with the one I have going on
Breanna's blog My Crazy Beautiful Life.
Head over there to enter for your chance to win a separate $40 gift card to Impressions.
This means you have an opportunity to win two gift cards because they are two separate giveaways.
Now go on and get entered!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scribbles in the House, Yo.

Hi loves.
I am so excited today to share with you a very sweet bloggy friend of mine.
She never fails to make my day with her super sweet comments.
I'll let her introduce herself

Hi there all you pretty
Living and Learning fans!
My name is Chelsea :-)

I blog over at
where I write about my crazy life
and anything else that comes to mind. 

Maybe you want to know why I have braces
Maybe you would rather read a fun post

Either way, you should stop on over HERE
so that I can get to know ya'll better!
(I am from Iowa.. Did I really just say "Ya'll"?)
I am SO very excited to be here today to fill in
while our lovely Natalie is enjoying herself on vacation.
I already know that you guys are awesome 
because you are following such an awesome blog!!
While Natalie is on vacation,
it only seems fitting that I blog about vacationing!
I actually just got back from two vacations
Vacation number one was a whole lot of relaxing in Wisconsin:

 and a whole lot of hilly-billy
Yes, my hair is in beer can rollers.

What I learned from this vacation:
If you have a big family, have each family make dinner one night for all of the other families.
Each family has a theme and it is kept a secret until the dinner reveal.
As you can see from the pictures, our theme was Hilly Billy 
and we went ALL out. 
It made vacation and dinner a lot of fun!
Vacation number two, 
New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. (with a group called People to People),
 was a whole lot of sight-seeing

and a whole lot of learning. 
  What I learned from this vacation:
Traveling teaches you so much about your country and our world.
Take the time to try new things and visit new places!

Time for me to say goodbye!
Make sure to come over and say HI.
I can't wait to meet you :-)


I told you she's a sweetheart.
Get yo bootays over to her blog and say hello.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Magic Mike

Alright, alright, alright.
Can you guess who I am?
Ten points to the winner. 

You're right.
I'm Matthew McConaughey.
So I saw Magic Mike
with my mother.
While some of you may be thinking,
"Uh.. how awkward, why?"
I was thinking,
"This is awesome".

Until I actually saw the movie.
I was sort of disappointed.
Well, I didn't have high expectations,
but I was still a little let down.

Channing Tatum is as attractive as ever,
but his dancing was way less awesome than in
his previous movies.

I was not happy with you Mr. Tatum.
But you were very good looking so I forgive you.

And then on top of all the awkwardness in the movie already,
there was awkwardness in the theater.

To the woman next to me,
your weird comments under your breath
were not so "under your breath" as they were out loud.
You creeped me out.
Sincerely me.

To the three men in the audience,
you are a very sweet husband,
but c'mon.. somethings, you need to stand up
and say no to.
Unless you like male strippers yourself.
In which case, more power to ya.

To all the screaming girls,
uh, the movies rated R.
So unless you snuck in and are really thirteen.
You shouldn't be screaming like a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert.
It wasn't awesome when you were twelve and
it's especially not awesome when you're in a movie theater.

And this concludes the end of my randomness on Magic Mike.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


My heart is breaking.
I woke up yesterday morning to the news of the shooting 
at the Colorado movie theater.

I know that there is pain in this world.
I know that everyone has their issues.
But when a person is so tortured inside 
that their pain leads to them picking up a weapon
and harming those around them my heart breaks. 
It breaks for the families of the mortally injured.
It breaks for the families of those in the theater.
It breaks for the family of the shooter.
And it breaks for the shooter himself.

I guess it doesn't always make sense that my heart breaks for 
the one causing so much pain and destruction.
But I believe that they are the ones who need prayers the most.
Obviously they have been struggling with their pain for a long
time if it has led to them taking the lives of others and I hope God
can help them through it since the shooter won't have many people
standing by his side today.

Events like these always make me realize how blessed I am.
How lucky I am that I've never been in a situation that could end my life. 
Please take a moment to say a prayer for all those involved in this shooting.
But then be still and thank God for the good fortune that He has blessed you with. 
Be thankful that you have your families and your friends.
Be thankful that it wasn't your movie theater.
Be thankful for your life. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

100 & Abandoned Bathtubs

Holy New Followers.
I can not believe that you all showed up today.
I am absolutely thrilled to have you. 
I did a little dance around in my underoos when I saw you.
Well nevermind, I was wearing pants. 
But I thought saying "I did a little dance in my pants" was inappropriate.
Whoops. I said it anyways. 

You people just got me to a new milestone.
It's a big day people.
Which means, at the end of this week.
We have a very exciting surprise.

But until then, you people must be patient.
I'm off to my favorite place eva. 
An abandoned bathtub.

But I'm really off to Crested Butte, CO.
Check ya later homes. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blanca Blanco: Hair Cutting Machine

That's my name.
Don't wear it out.

Well it's my name according to about 2000 hairstylists.
"Hairstylists..? Did I hear that right..?"
Why yes, yes you did.

This weekend I worked a hair show.
"What?! you're a model?!"
Uhh.. not exactly.
Although it's so sweet of you to think so. 

Ya know how everyone works those odd jobs at some point in their life?
Well, this weekend I worked one of those jobs.
I sold hair cutting shears

Now lets remember that my experience is a little lacking. 
Actually I have none, other than the fact that
at age four I cut my brothers hair.
It was a hack job.
I used the safety scissors with the plastic covering the blade.
I cut random chunks.
They were forced to buzz the rest off.

I did an excellent job.
If you're ever in need of a hair cut, hit me up. 

I know absolutely nothing about what each different type of shears do.
 I didn't even know they were called shears until two days ago. 
I called  them scissors. 
So when I was forced to sell them to hairstylists my pitch went a little like this: 
"I know they cut hair.
I know they're sharp.
I know they are shiny.
Wanna buy some?"

Well, kind of.
It went more like :
"These are pretty great.
You'll do a great job. 
Why don't you try 'em out on the mannequin?
Wanna buy some?"

Essentially, I spent all weekend pretending I was a hairstylist.
 I thought I failed miserably, but apparently not because
I was asked to freelance.
Had I agreed, that would include flying all over the country and selling products.
I politely declined even though I was pretty flattered. 
But the best part..
My free hair products.
The booth next to the one I was working
sold all sorts of hair products and since I was working next to them,
I got some swag. 
These bottles run about 30 bucks a pop.
So I'd say it's a win for me. 
Plus look how cute that packaging is! 

So if y'all ever need any tips on shears and/or hair products,
let me know. I can make up a reasonable answer for you. 

Blanca out. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Current Crushes

I recently found a great blog. 
It's called 
She's a college girl.
Just like me.
Whoop whoop. 
And she does a really fun link-up.
It's called Current Crush
Whoop whoop. 
Can you guess what we're doing today?!

If you guessed link-up, you would be wrong.
Oooh, gotcha there.

Just kidding. 
I lied. 
You would be right.
I mean, did you really think I'd build that up 
and then not actually follow through?
Well, actually that sounds exactly like something I'd do.
But today, we're following through. 

Alright, alright, alright.
Can we guess what I'm crushing on this week?!
Just guess. 
{I'm liking these games today apparently...}

If you guessed Matthew McConaughey, you're right.
But I have no clue how you guessed that...
Mind readers?
I'm getting off topic..

If you guessed all things nautical, you are right.
But way less perceptive than those who guessed Mr. McConaughey.
It's OK.
I wouldn't have gotten that either.

Happy Thursday Cupcakes. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vacay, Vacay, Vacay

In the interest of full disclosure, I did write this for a guest post back in March.
I changed a few things in it to make it more applicable to whats going on right now.
But it took a ton of work to write it and I love it so here we go:

I'm going to tell you about my favorite vacation.
But see this is a toughy.
There are so many to choose from.

I would want to tell y'all about last spring break when I spent four days down in Matagorda. 
It was four days of sleeping in which was so nice! 
 While it was pretty great, I got strep throat so bad I couldn't close my mouth.
Or breath deeply
Or sneeze.

I could tell you about the time I went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
But I slammed my finger in the car door and was forced to shove it in the snow for thirty minutes.
{PS.. it was June. There was snow}

I could also tell you about the summer I went to Albuquerque
 to visit my grandparents for a few weeks.
But I got glitter in my eye and spent a night in the hospital
 having doctors numb my eye and shine bright lights in it.

I could tell you about the time I went to California with my Dad and my brother.
Which was fun, except that I shared a room with my dad who snores louder than a jack hammer.
Oh and we saw whales
Which was awesome, until everyone on the boat got seasick except for me and my dad.

So I guess since all of those are out, I'll tell you about the two that are really great.

1. My trip to Europe.
We went to Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
We saw historic churches, historic buildings, historic cities.
We ate good food.
And I used a little bit of my German.
(Ordering an ice cream cone counts, right?)

2. Summer in Colorado
 Every summer for the past three years, my mom, brother, and I go to Crested Butte, Colorado.
We stay in a house with my grandparents, my aunt, uncle, and cousins. 
It's an entire week or two of doing whatever we want.
We go for walks, we go to the lake, we hang out at the house, we see movies.
Basically, it's a weekend in the Mountains surrounded by the sun.
And time with family.
I can't imagine a better summer vacation.

Which is why I'm so stoked to get my butt back
in CO in 10 days.
I can't wait.
I am mostly excited to get away from my computer
& to turn off my phone and just hang out with my family. 
And I'll be turning 19 during my time away.
So you better believe I'm pumped. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

Happy Fourth! 
I hope your day is filled with hot dogs, popsicles, goofy pictures
and fireworks. 
And whatever other 4th of July things you can think of. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Emotion Overload in 3, 2, 1...

Hello lovelies. 
This summer's been a hard one. 
In more ways than people may imagine.
I mean there are obvious things.
Things I've already blogged about.
But then there are things I think some people forget about.
Or maybe wouldn't think to consider.
{Not that a ton of people are really sitting around
thinking about how my summer is going}
But what I'm trying to say is.
I feel like a grown up.
And I think it's because this past year I did grow up.
A lot

I think the majority of it has to do with where I chose to go to school.
I'm a proud student at Texas Tech.
{again, old picture, I am now 20 pounds lighter and I have way less hair}
I love my school.
And I would never want to be anywhere else.
But here's the catch, every single one of my close high school friends,
are at the same college.
Living in the same town.
They see each other pretty much everyday.
So for them moving home wasn't a big deal.
Nothing really changes for them being here, rather than at school. 
But for me, I feel a little left behind.
I have been out of their "group" for the past year.
I haven't been a part of their jokes.
I haven't gotten to spend time with them.
I sort of feel like my "place" is gone. 
You know what I'm talking about?
Those people who you consider your best friends and how you just mesh with them.
Well, I'm kind of missing that. 
I was one of the only people that chose my own path.
I took a huge step out of my comfort zone.
And it's definitely paid off.
But it also has it's downfalls.

And then there's the loss of my first love.
While I've seen the positives in this situation, it doesn't just stop hurting.
It doesn't just disappear.
We are attempting to be friends.
But I'm not going to lie, it's hard.
Especially considering the reasons behind our split. 
But, he was my best friend in the world.
And on a daily basis, I have to stop myself from sending him all my thoughts through text.
And it's awkward.
Neither of us know how to act.
Do we just keep on being best friends?
Do we start over and try and get to know each other?
Where do we stand?
I really don't think these are questions that anyone can answer.
Even the two of us. 

On top of all of trying to cope with pain and trying to find my place
with my high school friends, I've been taking summer school classes.
I only have two days left, but it's taken away a huge portion of my summer.
And I mean a huge portion.

Then tack on my babysitting/nannying gig.
3 or more days a week.
5 children.
Ages 1 week, 2, 4, 5, 7.
It's a lot.
But they're little angels.
And they teach me so much. 
However, it's very tiring and it's very time consuming.
While I love them, it does add stress into my life. 

Sorry to dump all my emotions into one post.
I figured it's best to get it all out at once. 
I'll try my hardest to make tomorrows a little more light-hearted.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Update

Hi, hi. 
Do you ever have those weekends where you do absolutely nothing 
and don't care at all?
I certainly did this weekend.
It was raining and dreary and I spent pretty much all of it sleeping.
I didn't open my computer for four straight days.
A bit of an accomplishment of mine.
But sometimes I think it's necessary to just kind of unplug.
I hate being attached to my iPhone in the hopes of a 
text message that may or may not come. 
It makes me feel pathetic and lonely.
And those are two things which I hate feeling. 
As do, I'm assuming, the majority of the population.
So I gave myself a few days off and I really enjoyed.

And now we are already into July.
My birthday Month.
The one year anniversary of my blog.
And I've got some really big things planned.
Plus, I'm sponsoring some of my favorite blogs ever! 
Which is awesome y'all. 

What I'm most excited for is my week of vacation.
I'm headed to Crested Butte, Colorado.
I am beyond excited. 
{This picture was taken in 2010 before I chopped my hair off}
It's become sort of a family tradition.
For the past three years we've done this.
And I am so looking forward to going back.

I am also so looking forward to a break from the usual.
And a break from the Texas heat & Houston humidity. 

But what this means is I will be gone from July 20-29.
Which means my blog will be a little empty unless by some magic
I get enough inspiration to schedule that many posts ahead of time.
And lets be honest.. that will (most likely) never happen.
So what I'm saying here, is if you just happen to feel like writing an extra post,
ya know just because, and then you just happen to feel like sending it to me,
you can land yourself a guest posting spot.
So hit me up, yo. 

July is going to be an exciting month.
I can't wait to see what's in store for us.