31 August 2015

to pass the time

Im still working on sifting through all the new photos that I would like to post from recent adventures, but in the mean time I wanted to share some older photography. Last spring I took a class and posted some of my work to a bog for assignments... Check it out!


It's a bit of a mixed bag but I certainly enjoyed taking some of the photos that are posted. Ill hopefully post some more (and higher quality versions) soon, as well as my more recent adventures.

Only a few days until I leave the US!

28 August 2015

yes, I'm still blogging

Major, big time, crazy never ending apologies...I've totally disappeared. Of course, I knew it would happen at some point and it will definitely happen again but I am sorry nevertheless. This past week or so has been super crazy, and life is only getting crazier. I have less than a week until I depart for Rennes, so I am extremely excited + a little anxious + busy trying to get ready. Today is my last day of work, which should free up my life a little but knowing me I'll fill the free time just as soon as I get it. 

I will try to recap the past week...so much has happened that i may not catch it all. In addition, there are a few topics that definitely deserve their own post.

Last Friday I put myself on an Amtrak train and headed to NYC for a long weekend. My cousin who Shaw been living there invited me up, and I finally was able to take her up on her offer. She was incredibly generous with her time (and apartment!) and expertise - I had an incredible time. In a separate post (I'll link to it once it's written) I'll go into detail...especially on the incredible food. 

I kept babysitting once I got home, which was super fun this week. One on one time with a little cousin is great - we had a spa day, played with friends and headed to the river. I'll post pictures from the river separately...

I also forgot to mention that last week I skyped with some SYA classmates which was very exciting...I also got the book of letters that my mom wrote home during her time at SYA which I'm slowly working through...I've already found a mention of my dad, which was pretty cool. 

Last blurb! I finally got a bette camera for myself + the blog. She is named Fred (if she's a friend, I'll use her more? Maybe... I thought naming would be fun at the very least) and I picked her out in NYC. Keep your eyes peeled for better pics!

Xo, sorry it's so brief!

20 August 2015

coffee + cars + tunes

Just got home from Cvile adventures, and of course I now have some tasty treats :) Abermarle Baking Company has been my favorite for as long as I can remember...and I remember stopping at ABC on the way to French classes that I took for a semester in kindergarten. it turned out that my appointment was only half an hour long, so most of my time was spent driving and thinking. Two hours of driving alone isn't something I've done before, and I actually quite liked it. Save for paying attention to the road, you're stuck in the car with nothing to do other than let your mind wander. I reccomend trying it if you have the chance and a reason to drive somewhere...hopping in the car just for kicks and giggles might not be as rewarding. I also listened to music.... C's Paper Towns soundtrack playlist on the way there and Count This Penny on shuffle on the way home. I was driving so I couldn't change the music or skip or anything. I just listened to good music , drank my coffee and drove. I don't often do that, and I really enjoyed it. Now I'm going to enjoy my ABC mini tart with my lunch!


big time scary // feeling real

Last night I finally shared this blog with the people who follow me on social media (with the above pic on my Insta...) and it felt far more personal than expected. For the last few weeks I've tried to keep up with the blog and update regularly, but only a handful of people knew that I was even keeping a blog.

I know for a fact that now my friends and family will be visiting my blog, I believe mainly to track my adventures abroad (as intended) but also out of pure curiosity... I find this very exciting but also a bit daunting. Before my audience was imaginary, residing in the anonyminity of the Internet but now I've received feedback from my people who've already visited this site.

Continuing on the topic of more personal, I made a decision when I put links up on my social media. I have been trying to maintain a fairly secretive identity but I realized that this blog already is going to share my adventures, thoughts, personality, life and more...why not at least link my personal Instagram? Initially I tried to keep a separate Instagram account for the blog, but (maybe I'm just a mess) I was having difficulty keeping it up so I've decided to just stick to my personal account - lu.vosmik. It's now linked to this blog (look on the right hand side of the page...) which I hope gives more insight to me, as well as inspires me to improve my Insta pic quality.

The original purpose of this blog was to create a digital diary for people "back home" to stay up to date on my adventures, even if I'm not able to talk to them all the time. I also hope to provide some entertainment or at least interesting viewing for the casual stumble-uponer, ideally enough to keep them coming back :) I think I'm on my way to these goals...or at least I hope!

(Now I'm headed to Charlottesville to check out UVa...and I have every intention of visiting my favorite bakery on the way home!)


19 August 2015

impromptu lunch // mother daughter bonding

Yesterday morning my mom and I found ourselves an hour early for an appointment down town, unexpected because we thought we were wicked late...as usual. She proposed lunch to pass the time and we ended up at a restaurant I'd never visited before called Pasture. The chef's goal (according to their website) is to make good southern food with local ingredients, and I think he's succeeded. Apparently there is a second location in Charlottesville, which I haven't visited but will if I have the chance. I ordered a cheddar grilled cheese because I hadn't had one in a while, and it was really quite good. My mom had a salad with a side of the falafel she remembered having had there before. We ate outside but the decor inside was very cool, so I snapped a picture while my mom caught up with some friends she ran into.



anticipation + thoughts // next year abroad

 At this very moment, I'm sitting in a freezing cold waiting room and expect to stay here until my aunt is ready to be driven home. I've been thinking about how I've spent my summer and what lies ahead of me. As I've mentioned before, I have only a short time (14.5 days) left in Richmond VA before I head off to Rennes. It still doesn't feel real, but ever since I started counting down a few days ago I've realized some things that I'm going to attempt to articulate now. 

Firstly, going to Rennes is an incredible opportunity any way you look at it. I get to go to a new school, meet new people, immerse in a new culture and live with a new family, just for starters. Everyone I've spoken to agrees that a year abroad is life changing, and not just for the high points. I expect to face all sorts of new challenges, and become a stronger person for them. Even just dealing with silly things like getting a phone fixed, as I did last summer, without any parents around can be surprisingly educational. This post has the potential to come off sounding cheesy, but please understand I write it with the utmost sincerity. I spent five weeks away from home last summer and even that short time changed my life and outlook dramatically...I can't wait to see what a whole year does. Someone asked me what I plan to do, what I want to get out of it and I honestly think I just want to refine my understanding of life. I think that it's a worthwhile goal independent of living abroad, but I'm glad I have the added incentive to do so. 

Secondly, I've been thinking about the connections I've made at home in Richmond. I've personally always sought independence, almost to the point where it was self-isolation, and this summer helped me find an incredible balance. Knowing that I had only a few months before departing for nine months helped me realize this importance of the people around me. My aunt moved to RVA to be around family, and this summer I finally spent time with her. I didn't do anything extraordinary, just help her move houses and go to the zoo and hang out, but it was so worthwhile. Same thing with babysitting my little cousins all summer...I know them so much better now, and I'm so excited to see what they are up to when I come home from France. My sisters and I connected this summer as well, probably due to my ability to drive us on adventures, and I can honestly say I'll miss their antics while I'm away. Having a near twin (C) was so much fun, and my little nugget S is really incredible. When I come back from France I'll have only a year left to live with them, which is frightening and exciting at the same time. I can remember eating sand with them, and now we're closer to visiting each other's apartments. Lastly, I realized how much I'm going to miss my friends. I used to think friends were just for fun but I've realized there more than anything a support systems wrapped in laughter and good times. I'll miss them like mad while I'm away, and I can't wait to come home to them, but I also realize that France opens the door to incredible new friendships. I know that by the time I come home I'll have a whole new network spread all over the world of incredible people to enjoy. 

I have no idea what the next few months will hold but I think it's safe to say that it will be the biggest adventure of my life, and I am immensely excited and a little nervous. I've tried explaining my thoughts about this to my friends and realized this : I'm sad that I'm leaving here, but I'm glad I'm going there.


18 August 2015

Lu + C + Lettrick // a spontaneous day

Occasionally I think about how boring my life seems, but invariably a day comes along that reminds me that's not exactly the case. Of course I wouldn't be writing that if I hadn't recently had such a day, so without further ado I have a picture timeline to share from yesterday (side note: I'm getting better at the pictures thing!) 

I slept through my alarm, which is far from the norm, but even so C and I had time to grab coffee + a donut at Sugar Shack on our way to Pilates. I got an iced spiced mocha which was excellent, and as an added bonus C's  "coffee hipster" is barely visible in the background. 

Pilates was great as usual (it always makes me feel stretchy and just plain good) and afterwards we headed home to shower + meet up with C's friend the Lettrick (how she appeared in my contacts when I synced with C). We then headed out to lunch, with a quick stop at Ellwood Thompson's for some tasty and healthy juice + kombucha. 

We picked up lunch at Goatacado in Carytown Bike Co. and it was great as usual. I got the Mountain Tropp and shared with C - Lettrick got the Athena. 

We made an impromptu stop in Plan 9 Records, an awesome store that's been around since my dad lived in the Fan and visited it for music and AC during the summer. Some flannels hanging outside caught our eye, so we stopped into Luxor on our way back to the car. The vintage store is packed with all sorts of fun finds, and C bought a new favorite shirt. 

The Lettrick hadn't been to Addison street, one of my favorite places to frequent with C, so of course we took her to visit. C invited her via "formal invitation" aka text to come along on a sisters day...so we had to keep it authentic! The three shops were excellent as usual, and we all got a little something that brightened our days. After we stopped at Lamplighters Roasting Co. for some iced coffee and headed off. 

This is C's "situational sadness" face... She's working on my mom to get a puppy, and has done surprisingly well in the convincing department. I agreed to go to the pound to look at puppies, and we ended up at City Hall thanks to her subpar research skills. Apparently she legitimately thought they'd have puppies in a corner office of something. I got the proper adress, only to find out apon arrival that it was closed. Hence the sadness, but we'll likely be returning soon.

On our way back towards home we took an extremely circuitous route, and saw some new cute places.

We also stopped into a psychic store at C and the Lettricks request and had lots of fun picking out rocks for our friends...apparently they have mystical properties , but I liked the colors. I decided to use the as going away gifts for my closest friends in order to save money for better things in France. 

All in all the day was crazy, adventurous and super fun. C and I have a good time together, and hanging out with her friends isn't bad at all...because we're close in age there is actually considerable social overlap. After all the adventures I dropped off the rocks and visited with my friend Mol. She's finally back from her summer adventures, so of course we had some catching up to do. I realized I only had 17 days left in RVA (16 now!) which was a major bittersweet moment...and definitely inspired me to make the most of the rest of my summer. I'll keep you posted!

Sugar Shack Donuts ... www.sugarshackdonuts.com
Re:Form Pilates ... reformrichmond.com
Ellwood Thompson's ... ellwoodthompsons.com
Goatacado ... www.goatocado.com
Carytown Bike Co. ... carytownbikes.com
Plan 9 Records ... www.plan9music.com
Luxor ... www.facebook.com/pages/Luxor-Vintage-Clothing/161380838847
Yesterday's Heroes ... https://www.facebook.com/YesterdaysHeroesVintage
Addison Vintage and Handmade ... www.addisonhandmadevintage.com
NANIN ... shopnanin.com
Lamplighter ... lamplightercoffee.com
Animal Control and Adoption ... www.richmondgov.com/AnimalControl/index.aspx
Aquarian Bookstore ... aquarianbookshop.com


15 August 2015

falling asleep//random thoughts

I'm currently half asleep on the couch, aka my bed for the night, after a super crazy day. We went on all sorts of adventures that I enjoyed and will post about later, but I just had an odd thought I wanted to share. As I began drifting off I remembered that as a little girl I visited the doctor in Brazil and received a jello lollipop at the end of my visit. I have zero explanation as to why I held onto this memory, or why it resurfaced just now, which makes me wonder about the complexities of human memory and thought. I find both these thinks fascinating and would love to understand more. I also realized that this little blurb would tie in nicely with a journal page, so I've shared it above. Hope you enjoy. Now I'm finally headed off to sleep....

today's adventures//a brief run-through

I finally remembered to take pictures, so I have some better content to share! Granted, I only had my phone so the quality isn't excellent on all of them but I believe that visuals are always nice. 

Step one on the agenda today was breakfast at the Farmer's Market in Nelson county, which I though was extremely well put together.... My sisters and I quickly found the donut truck and shared some, and then I moved onto a pumpkin spice muffin. Both were super tasty, and pretty photogenic :)

My aunt is also really into Kombucha, and there was a local brewer (I think that's the proper term) with a stand so we tried some. I had a ginger flavored one that was awesome...it tasted like very gingery, slightly sour fizzy tea. 

After the farmers market we went to a fish hatchery (by way of a missed turn) and parked under a cool hibiscus tree (in the photo with the Kombucha sticker) then looked around and had lunch. 

Then we began our hike!

We hiked at Crabtree Falls (about half an hour from Wintergreen) which was a pretty spectacular spot. 

According to my cousins research, these falls are the longest cascading falls in the USA to the east of the Missippi River. It certainly seems to be the case...this was only one part, it wasn't all visible at once!

When we finally reached the top (1.7 miles seems way longer with little kids, up hill) the view over the valley was awesome, and we got to take a (dysfunctional) cousin-pic once all the stragglers arrived!

I stuck my feet in the creek to cool off, and then we all marched back down the hill. After wards parents went to a brewery, and I drove all is kids to get ice cream...an all around great end to the day. 


13 August 2015

all tucked in

After a stressful morning, a medium length drive and an action packed evening I am now safely tucked into my bed in Wintergreen listening to the night. The apartment is "cozy" (code for tiny) but until my other aunts arrive C and I get to share a real bed, where we're currently located and checking electronics. The car ride from RVA wasn't bad at all, 2hours ish, just enough time for a jam sesh and a nap. The last leg of the drive here was gorgeous, and I'm glad I was awake to see it... 

Visiting ski towns in the summer always seems a bit odd to me, and it's always clear it's the off season,  but so far it's been fun. Right after dinner all eight of us headed to some night tubing, which ended up being far more exhilarating than expected (I'd recommend trying it) but enjoyable for everyone, even Al. I didn't get any pics but I'll get them from others if possible, and share of course. Now I'm headed off to sleep before another action packed day with the little cousins! (Never before have I charged up a hill screaming, dragging two inner tubes...I'm definitely worn out)

chauffeur duty//waiting

My mom has had it way easier in terms of driving time now that I have my liscence. Not only am I able to take myself wherever I need to be, I can also transport my sisters. This morning, C and I had consecutive appointments so I drove us both into town. However, this means that I now have an hour or so to kill while I wait for my turn...so why not blog?! C and I have very similar schedules, so I find myself driving her around pretty frequently. I think it started when we both joined the same crew team and had practices at the same time, but for whatever reason we not only drive around a lot but we also eat together a ton! We used to end up at Starbucks whenever we had an early morning that called for coffee, but we recently upgraded 1000%. (In fact we've finally made a habit of trying local, extra tasty spots...with the excuse of "sibling bonding before I leave")

Meet Sugar Shack, the best breakfast spot ever. They're primarily a donut shop but they also serve coffee. We originally went just for the donuts, but then realized that the "special coffee hipster" (as named by C) made some pretty excellent lattes to pair with our donuts. Their "lattes of the day" are always excellent, and you can order all sorts of tasty drinks , even if the menu looks pretty minimalistic. Today I had a Spiced Mocha, which I first tried as a latte of the day a while ago and adored, and C had a Irish Cream Mocha that she liked. And as usual, we both got chocolate sprinkle donuts. The shop offers tons of incredible flavors but ever since we stopped there on the way home from parental-authorized ditching school, chocolate sprinkle has been our go to. If you have the chance, definitely stop into one of their three RVA locations. 

They're super tasty - and make great bug eyes...C wouldn't let me touch my donut till I took this picture of her. 


12 August 2015

Homegrown Apples

I'm supposed to be packing for my weekend trip to Wintergreen VA, but as I was thinking about my upcoming cousins weekend I realized that to me mountains and cool end of summers mean apple picking... The popular orchards aren't quite ripe yet, but I'm incredibly lucky to have a dad that planted his very own fruit orchard. Our trees ripen a bit earlier that the mountain top ones, so this past weekend my dad made a batch of cider out of some of our homegrown apples. As I was helping him I realized how photogenic our slightly rustic (out of an Amish catalogue, I believe) but very effective cider press looks while in use and wanted to share what my past Saturday afternoon looked like. 

First you pick the apples and throw them in the cider press (while someone spins the black wheel) to get ground up...sometimes apples get stuck

After the apples go through the press they look like this: 

Once the basket is full, you smush it down until the juice all comes out. 

And then you enjoy, and trust me it's super tasty! By the end of the whole process, a glass of juice always sounds great. 

Right after making the cider, my family headed off to a wedding reception for my close friend's mom. I didn't get many pictures (not enough to write a whole post) but it was a gorgeous party in the headquarters of the Virginia Garden Club, with an absolutely beautiful (and tasty!) cake that I had to share a pic of...the toppers were vintage from a shop in Carytown! 


10 August 2015

watermelon festival

Richmond, affectionately known as RVA, has developed a bit of a reputation as having a festival for everything. One of the most popular is the annual Watermelon Festival in Carytown, which I attended for the first time ever yesterday.  The event runs pretty much all day, I believe, but I arrived around noon and quickly encountered the horrendous parking situation...it took me nearly an hour to park and meet up with my friends. Cary street closes to traffic along the length of Carytown and fills in with tents and food and music and watermelon and people. Lots of watermelon and people. I ran into quite a few people I hadn't seen in a while, and had tons of fun with my friends that I met there. Watermelon was available in big bowls for a dollar each. More than watermelon, the festival seemed to emphasize people. I personally didn't spend too much time at the festival tents and hung out more in the typical Carytown attractions, like lunch at Goatacado inside Carytown Bike Co (definitely try it/their food truck if you have the chance). For those of you living in RVA I'd recommend attending the Watermelon Festival next year, and maybe even check out the other festivals the city has to offer. And if you don't live in RVA, you could still look into your city's festivals!

And yes, I forgot pictures....I'm working on getting some from friends and will post them if I can!

feeling useless//intro

^ a typical failed attempt at me+pony self portraiture 

This summer I've been nannying my little cousins which has proven to be extremely action packed and tiring at times. However, I occasionally find myself technically babysitting but in reality sitting in a foreign kitchen while my little charges play at a friends house, just waiting for them to cross the street and come home. Right now is one of these types of situations, and trust me I've rarely felt more useless. However, this time I've decided to take the opportunity to introduce myself a bit more properly. I wanted to get the blog running, but in doing so failed to post any sort of introduction, so here goes... Amongst friends I go by Lu, which is the name I'll go by on the blog. I currently live in Richmond, Virginia (USA) but am only three weeks away from moving to Rennes, France for the school year. I am still in high school, so I live at home with my family/host family next year! I have two younger sisters that I spend plenty of time with, so they will probably make frequent appearances on the blog. I also really enjoy riding horses, and my primary sport is rowing crew. I used to play the harp, and even though I don't play very much any more I definitely still love music. Art also appears frequently in my life, so that will likely appear on th blog as well. At the start of the summer I began a blog with two friends (urbanxescapades) in order to keep track of adventures, but realized it wasn't the best platform for blogging about my more mundane activities... Hence the birth of Chronicles of a Small Life! Here I hope to share my life in a digital diary type of format, but with an emphasis on memories and adventures I find especially interesting, typical of my life or otherwise worth sharing. I don't have a theme for the blog so it may be a bit random at times, but I'll try to keep it organized and coherent, and most importantly enjoyable! As the blog progresses you'll likely learn not only about my adventures, but also about me which will hopefully add to the overall experience. I hope you enjoy, and as always comment/email (hello@chroniclesofasmalllife.com) to send in anything you'd like to share!


08 August 2015


Another appearance update: I already have my ears pierced and an upper cartilage piercing, but I decided I wanted to get a second holes in each earlobe... I happened to have sterile needles at home from having horses, so I took out a sharpie to mark where the holes went and then grabbed the needle. It hurt but not so badly that I couldn't pierce straight through comfortably (high pain tolerance perhaps?) but unfortunately one ear bled way more than expected. No biggie, as it stopped quickly. I popped in some earrings and was super pleased with the result. Now I'm waiting to make sure nothing gets infected, but I ink with continued care all will remain well. 

(Yet another super grainy image, my apologies! The little pearl is the newly pierced hole. )

hair update

Sadly, my favorite-color-blue disappeared from my hair after the first wash and I woke up yesterday to a very green-y turquoise due to my blonde underneath, I think. Last night, knowing I had a wedding to attend today, I decided to adjust the color a bit. I only used the lavender dye (from a brand called ion I believe) and then hopped in the shower. I woke up this morning to a nice blended turquoise to indigo to purple color, which I likes much better. I'm going to let the colors fade and see how long it take for it to completely wash out, and if it's nothing too drastic perhaps I'll dye my whole head...if not, I'm enjoying dying the tips...

The colors are a bit more vibrant in person/sunlight, but this is the best I can share for now...


06 August 2015

exciting new things


I'm not the most artistically talented person, but unfortunately for me I am very artistically inclined... This leaves me with bit of a dilemma because while I frequently visualize things I'd like to create, the execution rarely matches my visual idea. However, I've recently begun keeping an artistic journal of sorts where I've combined painting with diary-type reflections. I've really enjoyed working on it, and hope to share some of its contents on my blog. The page I've shared here works nicely with something I worked out today.

I'm spending the summer working as a nanny for my little cousins, and today little Al helped me pick out a new visual appearance for my blog. I'm not the best with coding themes and such (although I'd love to learn) so we picked out a pre-made theme from pipdig that will arrive soon. I'm very excited because I think it will add a whole new element to my blog that more accurately reflects my personality (see journal entry page!) and of course looks much better. In addition to the aesthetic aspects, getting input from my little cousin was quite fun! Keep your eyes peeled for the improvement :)


05 August 2015

social media stuff

to date I have this blog and a related Instagram account....hopefully (maybe) I'll set up other social media accounts to go along with this project but for now.....read the blog and follow me on Instagram for pictures and such


experiment no. 1 follow up pics

Round one...barely noticeable purple. 

Round two...closer to what I want! More blue + vibrance :)


experiment no. 1

I promise I'll get more creative with my post titles, but for now I hope you're having a lovely day.

I've always been a visual person, and really really really enjoy color (blue is my favorite). In addition, I like experimenting with color and in some cases my hair. In seventh grade I dyed a streak bright blue (pixie stix candy is a surprisingly potent dye) just for fun. Of course, it faded to a horrid green and I eventually had to dye the streak back to my natural blonde. However, blue hair has always interested me... About a month ago I saw a picture online of gorgeous silvery-pastel-blue hair and it's been on my mind ever since. A friend of a friend also had dyed her hair an incredible rich bluey purple color and added to my inspiration.

I couldn't make the full head leap permanently, but I knew I had to at least play with a little color. I ran out to a hair supply store and picked up ski permanent dye in lavender and aqua colors, then spent the rest of my morning pretending to be an artist... I decided to only dye the tips of my hair, so that I could cut off any mess in the case of an utter disaster. Granted, I had very little idea what I was doing so the initial result was very subtle...

After having the muted purple for a day, I decided I wanted a brighter, and slightly bluer color. To achieve this I dyed my hair a very light blonde last night (I'm super scared when it comes to bleach...maybe one day) and then tried the colors again this morning. End results on the next post...I'm super happy with the ombré type dip dye but of course I'm going to keep playing with it, because that's where half the fun is. And of course I'll post updates as it progresses!

Blast Off

Hi! Welcome to my blog. Hopefully over the next however long (and many posts) you will perhaps get to know me. I've always wanted to have a blog, and decided that there was no better time to start keeping one. I'm trying to avoid any sort of theme and just focus on me + my adventures + whatever strikes my fancy...hence the blog title. I currently live in the United States, but my upcoming year abroad played a major role in motivating me to make this blog...I hope to use this as almost a shared diary or memory deposit for myself, with the added benefit of interesting and amusing other people. I hope you enjoy the blog and please always send me your thoughts!

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