Radiating Sunshine: July 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Curly Hair Probs... No More

All my life I have always hated my curly hair. It was too frizzy, too wild, always messy... but most of all it wasn't straight; which is what every girl who was "pretty" seemed to have. People with straight hair have it so easy. They don't have to spend endless amounts of money on hair products, they don't have to wake up and shower every morning to control the afro, they don't understand the concept of frizz taking over one's head, and lastly their hair can look great even if they don't try.  All of my life problems would be solved if I had straight hair... haha that sounds so ridiculous thinking about it now. So about a month ago I decided to stop worrying about my hair that frizzes out and too start embracing the fact that I have beautiful curls.

 Before, I was always anxious about the way my hair looked. When someone would ask me if I loved my hair I would instantly say no or it was okay, because who would love a mess that can't be tamed. Countless times I have heard people say that they would kill for my hair... or that they pay thousands spending money on perms to get my volume and curls and it took awhile for me to actually realize that they are right. My boyfriend constantly says how much he loves it and how it is beautiful. So it took me sometime before I came to the conclusion that sure the curls can be a pain in the butt but they also make me, me. And I have a new found appreciation for them. So instead of complaining and hating my curls; I'm going to be more accepting and love the skin I'm in.
The Works... (I don't use all of these every day)
 I have used tons of hair products in lifetime. And I have found the one hair product that is my secret weapon. My friend, Charlotte who has similar hair to me uses Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner. She swears by it so I decided to give it a shot. and WOW. I'm in love with this frizz weapon. I also use gel with it to style it and keep the curls contained. So maybe I have just found the perfect concoction to make my curls look stunning. But whatever it is, I am happy to say that I have curly hair that can't always be controlled and doesn't always look perfect but that's okay. Because although its not pin straight and what every other girl has; I am unique. No curl on my head is the same as the others, and no curl on my head is identical to another's. And that is enough for me.

I have blue eyes and blonde hair. I like to make crafts and cook lots of food. I like to give back to society and smile whenever I can. I am outgoing and like to make people laugh. I also like to organize things and take care of others. In my friend group I am always considered to be the mom, which I don't know is good or bad. I'm a perfectionist and strive for excellence. 

And I have curly hair and I don't care. :)

To anyone who has a "flaw" with their body, just take a step back and learn to accept it and love it. That "flaw" makes you, you; and maybe you'll come to see that it isn't even that big of an issue that you made it out to be. It has taken me 18 years to love my curls and I can't tell you how good it feels too not worry about how they look. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dorm Shopping Secrets and Check Lists

High school has come and gone and now some of you are leaving home to go to college and live in a dorm. This is a huge adjustment for both the parents and child and can be a scary process not only mentally but also financially. Going off to school means you have to buy new things such as bedding, dorm essentials, a laptop, etc. 

But, don't let that get the best of you! I just finished this process about a year ago and over this past year I have learned some helpful tips on what you'll really need to survive dorm life and what you won't need. 

This post was inspired by my recent trip to Bed Bath & Beyond. This store has all of your college "essentials", but most of it you don't really need or will use. When I went shopping with my mom last year we bought everything and anything that looked useful and unfortunately that was a lot of money wasted on stuff that I didn't really need and didn't really work. Anyways, as I was at BB&B I came upon a mother and a daughter doing there going-to-college shopping and they had all the things I had in my cart that I ended up HATED using. As the mother and daughter were looking at shower caddies I kindly stepped in with my recommendation. They were so thrilled to have some help that we ended up going through their entire cart and picking out what was really needed for dorm life.  

So, I will share with you what I shared with them! Hope this makes the process a little bit easier :)

Warning this post is gender specific

I lived on a girl's floor with a hall bathroom - So, if this is your living arrangement it will definitely apply or if you are on a co-ed floor it will apply as well.  

This is all a matter of opinion and can be dependent on your college, but I found this worked best for me and for most of my friends. 

The What Not To Buy List:

1) Mesh Shower Tote- They work excellent but they stay wet and it's hard to fit all your hair products in them. I would just use a plastic caddy that way you can clean it and they dry so quickly.
2) Gearbox Underbed Shoe Organizer Bag- This is a huge waste of money! It didn't stay up right and collected so much dust! Not to mention one of the zippers broke first use!
3) Bedside Caddy- I found that a lot of people didn't use them. I didn't buy it but I know if I did I most likely wouldn't have used it. My desk was next to my bed so I just used that as my caddy and didn't waste any money. 
4) Table-Top Ironing Board- NOOO, don't do it! In a dorm you already have limited space so don't waste any valuable space with a ironing board regardless of the size. Instead I bought Real Simple's Ironing Pad-- works the same and rolls up nicely for storage!
5) Bed Lifts- A lot of schools don't allow you to use them because its a hazard. 
6) Lots of Tupperware, Cups, Plastic Plates, Bowls, etc- They are a waste of money we bought like 4 cups, 4 bowls, 3 plates, and tupperware but the truth is I only used a cup a day max and I never really used the bowls or plates.

The What To Buy List: (Girl Specific)

Leave me a comment with any recommendations or questions! Hope you found this useful!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hall Program Ideas For RA's

Starting August 7th I will be embarking on another wonderful year away at college. I will be a sophomore and with this new year comes new responsibilities and new challenges.  

I will be a resident assistant to sophomore and junior girls. I will be discovering the challenges and benefits to being in the honors program and taking honors classes. I will miss my boyfriend like crazy as we learn how to make a long distant relationship work.

Although I am nervous for what lies ahead I am also incredibly EXCITED!! I have faith in myself, my studies, and my relationship. I plan on making these next 9 months memorable. 

To start off right I decided I would plan some possible hall program ideas:
I have 22 right now but the list is growing as I am thinking and hearing about more ideas
  1. Handprint canvases/ ice breakers/ getting to know RA & Each other **
  2. Door Decorating Competition - Halloween or Christmas **
  3. Microwave Cook Off-- Three Judges to see who can make the best (something)
  4. Memory Jar- Residents fill it as the year goes by and at the end of the year you read them all
  5. Secret Santa- Christmas
  6. Valentine's Day Party
  7. Cards for Saint Jude's Hospital- Christmas **
  8. At Dorm Spa-- Hair Masks, nails, face masks, etc **
  9. Nature Hike-- Grotto, Indian Lookout
  10. Baby Photo Guessing Game
  11. Unbirthday Party- Pick a month with little to no birthday and have a birthday party
  12. Messy Twister- Twister with paint!
  13. Karaoke
  14. Donuts on Mardi Gras & Learn about Mardi Gras traditions **
  15. At the end of the year- The Final Hour what you still want to do
  16. wii Bowling Tournament
  17. Community Service Day- Sandwich Saturdays **
  18. Christmas Time- Random Acts of Kindness Cards **
  19. Sundae Sundays-- Ice cream Party!
  20. Warm and Fuzzy Night
  21. Movie Night
  22. Spring Flower Power Night  **

The events with (**) are programs I definitely plan on doing! At the Mount we have to tie our programs around our 4 pillars Faith, Discovery, Leadership, and Community so I just have to make sure that the programs idea fit at least one of them!

Current or New RA's if you like any of the ideas I have listed please use them! And if anyone has any cool ideas they would recommend please leave a comment and a cool story to go along with it I am all ears!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Favorite Nail Color

Looking for that perfect nail color? Me too.

I paint my nails every week... or at least try too! And for the past three weeks I have been loving Essie's Happily Ever After nail polish! It's a very light pink and gives your nails a polished clean look even if they are a bit chipped! Now, that is hard to find! 

Not only is the color wonderful but the polish itself doesn't chip very easy and really gives your nails a healthy look!

I work in retail and do a lot of things around the house like cleaning, cooking, & crafts so it's nice to have a nail polish that I can rely on to always make my nails look stunning and professionally done!

I have the polish on in these pictures

Pretty sure the polish Happily Ever After is suppose to be for a bride on her wedding day, and who knows I may even use it for my special day (way in the future) but for right now it suits my needs quite well with the perfect color that goes with any outfit and occasion!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Extra-Cash at the Bottom of Your Receipt

I am always looking for the sales when I shop! I do my best to find the best deals possible and hey who wouldn't want to save extra bucks or better yet get free things!! 

Here is a great tip that will save you money that you might not have even know you had the option to save. Usually it involves a quick five-minute survey but to me that is totally worth it!

The best deal I have found has been from Chick-Fil-A... if you get a survey on the bottom and you fill it out and get your confirmation code then you can get a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich! The only down-side to this is that it does expire which I found out the hard way, but who can pass up an opportunity to get a free sandwich!

Other deals I have found include CVS's ExtraBucks Rewards and from clothing stores $15 bucks off with filling out of a survey! Some grocery stores also do money off of a purchase!!

Just remember to get the confirmation code and put it at the bottom of your receipt so it is validated/ and watch out for expiration dates!

Please let me know if you know of other great money-saver options at the bottom of receipts so I can include them here. Thanks!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dorm Decorations For Cheap

Here are some cheap decoration ideas that you can use in any space! 

And if you are on a college student budget these are excellent decorations that won't hurt your savings and will decorate any room and don't take a long time to make!

The Hand-Made Coasters-- $1 each

The Supplies: 
-- 16 cent tile from Home-Depot
-- Scrap Book paper; I got mine for 50 cents from Michaels-- and I bought in bulk so I could make tons of coasters for friends and family
-- Felt
-- Hot Glue / Regular Glue- Elmers works great!
-- Mod Podge
-- Acrylic Spray
-- Scissors

1) Cut out a 4X4 piece scrap book paper and glue it with regular clue to the tile. Be careful because the paper will bubble up and it won't give you the ideal coaster look. 
2) After the paper is glued and dried to the tile, apply the mod podge with a brush. This will seal the deal so to speak. 
3) After the mod podge is totally dry then go outside and spray the acrylic spray. This stuff is flammable so avoid open flames!!
4) The once the product is totally dried, cut out a piece of felt and hot glue it to the bottom of the tile

Home-made coaster to put on my desk! You can pick
any color scrap book paper to match your color

Wall-Decorations -- $8 each

The Supplies: 
-- Scrap book paper
-- 12X12 (or any size) canvas
-- Glue
-- Scissors

1) Pick a color scheme out of scrap book paper. 
2) Glue your scrapbook paper to the canvas
3) You may need to use scissors to trim the sides if they run over a bit!
4) Hang on the wall-- it's that easy!

**In a college dorm room you can hang these with command strips! Yes it's that easy!!**
I chose pretty neutral colors revolving around blue. My color scheme for bedding
is raspberry, blue, and green. So with the neutral wall decorations it makes the room
come alive in a cute and mature way!!

 I am just thinking of more decoration ideas so don't forget to visit this post again for more cheap decoration ideas! :)

Travel Smart-- Toiletries Organization

I'm a girl with tons of hair products, make-up, and toiletries in general! I like to be prepared so when a situation occurs I am prepared... A couple of my friends swear by this Vera Bradley- Hanging Organizer. Online prices range from $19.20-$48; depending on the color and pattern. But, trust me this is an investment that is worth your money. 

Here is the bag totally empty. It has 4 pockets that
are ready to be filled with toiletries!

This is my bag full! This is a miracle because
with everything I bring on a trip-- especially one to
the beach, it was great to only use on bag!

And after the bag is full you roll it up and tie the two strings
together and you have a cute and organized bag full of toiletries. 
I would really recommend this hanging-organizer! It makes packing for a trip so less stressful and your toiletries can travel in style!

Girls Night Out

On Thursday night I had a great night out with my favorite girls! We started the night at the Cheesecake Factory where we ordered small plates and cheesecake! We caught up and talked about our lives and working! It was great to just relax and enjoy great company.
The Perfect Girls Night Out
But the fun didn't end there! Then we walked over to the movie theatre and saw the midnight premiere of Magic Mike! And boy oh boy!

The movie was great! Definitely centered around them stripping but hey we didn't complain. It was the perfect G.N.O and if you and your friends need ideas for a girls night out I would recommend this recipe for success! 
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