30 Things

I promise I’m working on a write-up of WEC 9, but this hop was too fun not to join in! I’m a perpetual oversharer so maybe you know a lot of this, but here’s a bunch of things about me that don’t relate to horses:

1. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in biological engineering, concentrating in biomedical engineering. I always look at people a little funny when they say how much fun college was- I had plenty of good times and wouldn’t change a thing, but it was not what I would call “fun.” It was the best education I could ask for, but it was hard.

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With our favorite prof on graduation day

2. I don’t do cold. I grew up in New England, went to school in NY, and promptly moved down to Virginia to escape the cold. I did my time, I have no interest in being cold ever again. One snow per year is enough for me.

3. I am a full on Northern Virginia convert. I love love love living here so much. It’s stupidly expensive and the traffic sucks, but it is beautiful and diverse and exciting and amazing. Like, I understand that people want to live other places, but pretty sure Nova is the best possible place.

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I can get pictures like this, and also have any cuisine I want within 5 minutes.

4. Cheese. I love cheese. All I ever want is cheese. Good day? Celebrate with cheese. Bad day? Drown my sorrows in cheese. Buddy Fianci is the best at arranging cheese plates and it’s a huge reason why we need to lock this thing down legally forever. Kidding. But it does help.

5. I love love love crossword puzzles. I do every one that I can get my hands on. Sometimes I struggle with TV or movie references since I don’t watch that much, but I can usually puzzle it out (ha) from the other clues.

6. Along the same lines, I love trivia games. I’m still in an online trivia group with my old coworkers and I play every day! I’m in a rivalry with my old CIO and send him snotty messages when I beat him. I think his ego needs it.

7. I have a really hard time doing just one thing, with few exceptions: reading an amazing book or riding my horse. Otherwise, I need to have music going, a crossword puzzle (see above), and three text conversations just to be able to watch a TV show.

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Probably the only time I’m ever completely focused (also I had to sneak more Francis in here somewhere)

8. My favorite genres to read are historical fiction and fantasy. I just really love reading about places and times and worlds that I can’t experience outside the book. The Wheel of Time series has been an incredibly huge presence in my life since I was young.

9. I dyed my hair all different colors when I was younger- every shade from platinum blonde to almost black, and even purple once. I was always a pretty conservative dresser and a good kid, so this was my way of branching out a bit. I’ve been my natural shade of mousy brunette for years now, but I still think of myself as blonde (I always use the blonde emojis).

10. I connect most with people over humor. You can be the nicest most interesting person in the world, but I’m not particularly interested in spending time together unless we can laugh. All my closest friends are sharp and witty and amazing people, and Buddy Fianci is hands down the funniest person I have ever met.

11. My heritage is 50% Greek from my mother, and 50% Scottish/Irish/English from my father. Basically, I have extremely pale olive-toned skin.

12. My mom and I traveled all over the world together just the two of us when I was younger- cruises, two trips to Italy, Mexico, etc. The most amazing trip was when I was in college, when we toured around Tuscany over spring break. I had just taken an Art History class, and she took me to see all the masterpieces in person. She’s the best travel buddy ever, and my best friend.

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Sunglasses twins.

13. My oldest brother is 10 years older, and he basically helped raise me. I went into engineering in large part because he went into engineering and I wanted to be just like him, and I lived with him and my sister-in-law for 6mo after graduating college. I’m incredibly close with both of them (I couldn’t be closer to my sister-in-law if we had actually shared a womb), and am godmother to their younger little girl!

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Living with them was the best ever

14. My other brother is 5 years older, and is so much cooler than all of us in every way. He is talented musically, artistically, financially, socially, and in any other area you can think of. He married an equally sparkling woman and between the two of them, they are probably the most-loved couple in RI. Not even exaggerating. Every single person that meets them loves them. I get it, they’re awesome.

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Totally candid normal picture, guys

15. To round out the immediate family, my dad is basically a superhuman. He’s a fetal surgeon, a professor at an Ivy League medical school, and a colonel in the Air National Guard, where he also serves as state air surgeon. He’s a true renaissance man- he loves history and reading poetry to us (and is an incredible reader), sails his boat all summer, and is beyond devoted to my mother. You can’t talk to him for 5 minutes without him mentioning how much he loves her. I talk to my father every single day, and he is the most supportive, encouraging, compassionate man on the planet.

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Best dad/person ever

16. I’m big into hydration. I drink tons and tons of water all day erry day. My Beloved Betrothed carries a Nalgene with him everywhere and I lovingly refer to him as my constant source of clean fresh drinking water.

17. I met my roommate on Craigslist several years ago, and now we are maids-of-honor in each other’s weddings. It was fate. We are polar opposites in every way, but that’s why it works (also she’s hilarious, see point #10).

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We’re gonna need to get a duplex because we need to live together forever

18. I don’t like icing, or plain sugary candies. Chocolate- yes. Sugar- no. I’ll scrape the icing off of cupcakes and cakes, and would much rather have some pie. We vetoed the wedding cake- we’re going with doughnuts instead (Dunkin 4 lyfe).

19. I have spreadsheets for my spreadsheets. Everything goes in a spreadsheet. All wedding planning is in spreadsheets. All budgeting for my life is in spreadsheets (I made a baller daily tracker). Google Sheets runs my life.

20. I grew up doing alllll sorts of different activities- I did ballet on a pre-professional track into my teens (I quit to pursue riding more); played tennis recreationally; spent most summers out on the water at sailing camp; took piano, violin, flute, and trumpet lessons (I ended up on the trumpet and was first chair in high school); ice skated often; practiced with the swim team despite never being on the team; and obviously rode ponies.

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Also went to zoo camp because I was very cool.

21. I hate loud noises and countdowns. I can be totally zen, but if someone starts saying “ten…nine…” I will FLIP OUT. Dearest Fiance thinks this is hysterical and threatens me with countdowns on the regular.

22. I don’t cook. I used to try and pretend that I would, but I’ve stopped lying to myself. I can cook, I just don’t. Baking is my fun rainy day activity, but Fiance is for sure the chef of the household- he enjoys it and is really good at putting meals together. Thank goodness, because I am queen of the microwave.

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Legit our third date he came and cooked for me. Also OMG what a baby he was.

23. I was raised in the Greek Orthodox church and my faith is very much a strong part of my identity. Getting married in the Greek church is hugely important to me, and I’m so so so grateful that Fiance is on board with that (it’s gonna be My Big Fat Greek Wedding WHATSUP).

24. If money was no object, I would probably go into tutoring full time. I love working with all ages to develop problem-solving skills. I wouldn’t want to be a teacher- I don’t do groups like that- but working one-on-one with people to learn together is one of the most satisfying feelings ever.

25. I’m a very outgoing introvert. I LOVE meeting new people and will strike up conversations with just about anyone (especially at a horse show), but at the end of the day I recharge best with some quiet time at home.

26. While most people call me Olivia, the people close to me call me Liv, and my family calls me Livy. I was Livy to everyone growing up- teachers, friends, friends’ parents, etc., but really only my parents and siblings call me that anymore.

27. I wear sunscreen on my face every day. My Nana always drilled sun safety into us and I think of her every morning when I put my sunscreen on.

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Also grew up going to the beach at every opportunity, so my fair skin has always needed lots of protection.

28. I’m a huge list person- probably why I wanted to join in this blog hop so badly! It’s why I gravitate towards spreadsheets so much- I make lists to organize my thoughts for work, personal life, etc. It’s just how my brain works.

29. I’ve only ever had one car- my Jeep, Benjamin. I’ve had him since I was 17 and now at 125k+ miles, he’s trying to die and I won’t let him. I’ll be driving that Jeep until it falls apart, which hopefully won’t be for another couple of years.

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Benjamin was there for the world’s best proposal

30. I’m not a big jewelry person except for two pieces- my engagement ring (duh), and my class ring. I feel naked without them.

I’ve loved reading all of yours, hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me!

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Bits and Baubles

A collection of random thoughts and factoids about me that don’t warrant their own post right now:

    • I recently got a super cool hat from Target and have been wearing it every day. I realized there are two types of people that wear hats: hipsters and people who just don’t even GAF  about how they look. I’m clearly not a hipster, so guess I’m in the second category. Who cares, this hat is awesome! (For fantasy nerds, it totally makes me feet like Mat Cauthon from WoT)

hat lady

    • When manfriend’s mom exclaimed over a picture of Addy, “She’s so beautiful! Her mane looks almost golden blonde!” I almost cried. My gray mare looks golden blonde.
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Please ignore my face.
    • I absolute love the #rootd hashtag and will spend an hour on Instagram looking through the gorgeous schooling and show get-ups. I wanted to join in by posting my own, but then I realized that I have 3 pairs of breeches and a pair of boots, and I wear the same long sleeved workout shirt for every lesson. I ran out of variety after three tries.

    • After hearing so many horror stories of sisters growing up together and crazy in-laws, I’m so glad that my brothers chose the women that they did to tie down for life. I get to have sisters that I adore and we got to skip the angsty teenage phase!
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These are my sisters, it just took around 14 and 19 years to figure that out.
    • On the other side of the crazy in-laws, I’m so glad that manfriend’s family is totally awesome. They’ve welcomed me in from day one and have given me a home down here where I’m so far from my own home. Lucky me.
    • The cool drawings I have posted around my office are fraudulent. I taped paper to my computer screen and traced like a 5 year old. Someone commented that I was pretty good at drawing Captain America and I just nodded sagely and said it was a special talent.

captain america drawing

    • I’m not a big one for celebrity crushes; I never had posters of Orlando Bloom up around my room or gushed over Brad Pitt. But I’m pretty sure that if the opportunity came for me to be with Chris Evans, I would take it without hesitation (sorry manfriend).

    • One of the nicest coincidences in my adult life is that ombre hair came into style just when I started having to pay for my own haircuts, meaning that I am too cheap to keep dying my hair. I’ve had stylists ask me who did my ombre- turns out my cheapskate roots are trendy!
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Featured on Insta. But check out those golden ends and muddy roots. Trendz 4 dayz.
    • On the topic of hair: in my head I am blonde, in my stick figure drawings of myself I am blonde, and my first thought on every form that asks for hair color is to fill in “blonde.” I can’t wait for the day when my disposable income reaches my threshold and I can head to the salon to once again end the torment of being a natural brunette.

blondies

    • I am genuinely curious as to how people cleaned their homes before Lysol Wipes were a thing. They’re good for everything.
    • Living with my oldest brother and sister-in-law for six months after I graduated college was waaaay better than I thought it would be. We got to know each other as adults instead of just as siblings and hanging out with them all the time was the best. Weird to know that I not only love them because they’re family, but I also sincerely like them as people.
    • For a couple months during my junior year of college I watched the 2009 Star Trek movie on Netflix at least once every single week. When they took it off the Instant lineup, I bought it on iTunes so I never have to go without. I still don’t get sick of that movie and it’s my go-to when I can’t think of anything else. Love original Star Trek too, but definitely a big fan of the reboot.
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GEE I WONDER WHY. But seriously, space battles = favorite.
    • Movie soundtracks are the modern equivalent of classical music and I love them. John Williams, James Newton Howard, Howard Shore, all of them. I once got so worked up about the Star Wars soundtrack that I wrote a 11.5 page essay explaining how it changed cinema (y’all don’t even realize how groundbreaking it was) and I’m getting worked up just thinking about it.
    • I don’t drink coffee. I did for a couple months ’cause I thought that’s what grown adults do, but it’s not really my jam. Cold water wakes me up way more without making me jittery. I’m not a soda person either, so the caffeine in a cup of tea is enough to keep me buzzing. To the point where I cannot have anything with caffeine in it after 1pm if I want to sleep that night. Decaf tea for the win!

Hope you enjoyed this brain dump and learned a little bit about the lady behind the blog! Stay warm and enjoy your weekend!