Radiating Sunshine: August 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Naturally, when my close friend and follower Clancy nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award I immediately hit google to find out information about what it is and what I have to do. But, before I go into what I found here's a shout out to Clancy and you all should totally go check her out on Life. a little less ordinary!

So how it works...
    The nominee has 5 questions to answer (from the blogger that nominated them), 5 random facts about themselves, 5 new nominees with less than 200 followers, and finally 5 questions for those who they have nominated!

The idea behind this is to spread awareness for small blogs like mine! There is some speculation between whether the blogger answers 11 questions, writes 11 facts, nominates 11 other blogger, and so on. But, I decided I'll just stick with 5... I am pretty busy and currently creatively brain-dead so I don't think I can come up with 11 questions to ask!


Soo, lets begin :)

Clancy asked me the following questions: 


1) who inspires you?--- My mom for sure! She is such an independent woman and has managed to raise a family and have a successful career all at once! She gives the best advice and always knows what to do in any situation!
  
2) what 5 items would you take to a deserted island, and why? --- ONLY 5! Ahh, okay well for starters my entire Elin Hilderbrand collection-- she's an author and I love her stuff!; and matches for a fire, and cooking utensils, and rope! Oh and I would definitely bring my iPhone so then I could get off the deserted island-- but I don't know if thats against the rules or not :p
 
3) what are 5 things on your bucket list that you have yet to do? 
- Change someone's life
- Graduate college
- Marry the love of my life and start a family
- Meet someone famous
- Do something extraordinary

4) what was a highlight of your childhood/favorite memory? The beach... hands down. Always had the greatest time at any beach we went to with my family and family friends!

5) where is your favorite place to be? At home, with my family, friends, and Chad!


5 Random Facts:
- I'm a black belt
- I make my bed everyday 
- I am currently using 3 different calendars for all of my scheduling
- My favorite dessert is Tiramisu 
- If my work load and responsibilities don't kick my butt this semester, not seeing my boyfriend while we are both away at school will! 

5 Nominees: 
2) Lauren
3) Ariel
4) Emily
5) Katie

Anyways, 
 
My 5 Questions for you: 
1) Who's your favorite author?
2) Are you a skirt or a dress kind of gal?
3) Where do you like to shop for clothes?
4) Crafts or Cooking, and why?
5) Favorite disney character?

Hope you do this! It was a fun way to reflect on your life!! Leave me a comment, I wanna read your answers :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

RA Training in a Nutshell

For more Resident Assistant ideas, such as bulletin boards and hall programs please visit the Topics Tab on the right side of my blog and you will find all of my ideas organized there.


 It's official! I have passed RA training successfully and am now about to start my third semester as an RA! I'm super excited and I have so many cool things planned for my residents-- that I'm hoping they'll love! This is such a great learning experience and I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be an RA! I remember when I first heard about the position... I was a Junior in High School and my Peer Counselor director told me that Peer Counselors make the best RA's and really qualify for the position! To be sitting here, writing this post just seems so unreal!

Although it is a job; its work I love doing! Imagine that... I get paid and receive benefits for something that really excites me and I find interest in! Talk about a lucky break! I love meeting new people and learning new things! Plus, this is a great opportunity to broaden my interests and will definitely come in handy as I pursue my Psychology major and hopefully future psychologist job position!

So, lets talk about training... This training process has been challenging both physically and mentally! I have had to adjust my sleeping arrangements since I haven't been up everyday around 7am since High School! I've had to sharpen my memory skills as I tackled the task of learning 45 other RA's names! But, I have learned great skills on how to do it quickly and efficiently so that when my 46 girls show up I'll be able to get their names down as fast as possible! Not only was learning names a bit of a challenge but learning all the policies that follow under the Code of Conduct and Community Standards was intense too! Other things that I learned these past two weeks was how to handle conflict and difficult situations that could arise! I also learned all about FERPA so if your expecting funny stories about situations I have had to deal with you should go find another blog to read, because that is DEFINITELY not happening here and or anywhere else. Anyways... back on track. One early evening we spent a lot of time talking about diversity and what it means to our campus and how as RA's we can work with the different cultures amongst our residents and peers! I learned how to be a role-model and an everyday hero! And overall, how to keep my residents safe in general and what to do in case of emergency!

Yes, I learned a lot about the school and policies/procedures. But, one of the most important things I learned was how to work with a team and understand that my fellow resident assistants/pro staff are here for me when ever I need them! On a side note, My AC (Area Coordinator) is so awesome and she has the best personality and everyone on my team is so supportive and contributes great ideas! Even the RAs who aren't on my team are all wonderful people and I feel so blessed to be on the Res. Life team!

But, enough about the policies and stuff that I learned... how about some awesome things I did?

Using the fire extinguisher!!
90s Snack Night!
Besides playing hours and hours of ice-breakers... just so you know, the ice is officially BROKEN! I did cool things like learned how to use a fire extinguisher-- I literally use a fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire! Trust me when I say this was amazing and surprisingly a great de-stressor!  I participated in an event called CLEO and pretended to be a resident while my AD (Area Director) played the RA role. I did a homeless simulation and learned some pretty interesting facts-- this was probably one of the coolest activities I participated in! I had s'mores and tons of ice-cream socials; one social was even centered around 90's snacks! Another, awesome thing I did was on the second Monday I spent the entire day on a rope course and challenge course!! I did the high-rope event which was so really cool! I even saw the President of my university "christen" our brand new zip-line early in the morning! We also did a giant scavenger hunt and then another game that was set up similar to a scavenger hunt but it involved A LOT more running and doing hysterical things to get clues, like saying the alphabet backwards. Just so everyone knows, I cannot say the alphabet backwards... not even close! 

We did so many cool things and I learned so much that the days truly blend together and these past two weeks flew by at a crazy speed! 

We did staff bonding experiences and contests like the boat race-- which is when each staff makes a boat out of cardboard and duck-tape and races across the lake on East Campus. We came in second because out kayak which was totally awesome kind of sunk half way through... but no worries our kayaker was a great swimmer! The theme for this years training was The Avengers. So for our roll calls (second contest) which introduce us as a staff to the rest to other buildings was based off of the superheroes and we also came in second for that! And the last competition was the infomercial- which shows which resident building is the best in a funny way that can be related to the theme. And once again, we placed second for that! These contests really vamped the staffs up with some healthy competition! In the end, Terrace- (my staff) took the lead and won the competition because we had the most overall points! We won the golden Res Life Cup-- a new tradition starting this year in the Res Life Office. It was really cool to participate in this event and I definitely got to learn more about my staff in the process.

 During training, bonding, learning, and experiencing new things... I had a lot to do! I had to prepare my bulletin boards, door decorations, and get my RCRs (Room Conditional Reports) done. Now RCR's are not for the faint-hearted... I had to fill out 47 reports on what the room looked like down to the number of thumbtack holes that were on the walls! The basis behind these reports is so that if a resident claims that they did no damage to the room we can look back at the report and see if the damage was there in the beginning of the year! The RCR's were definitely stressful because there were so many of them to do and the deadline was always fast approaching, but I got them all done which felt sooooo good! It was nice to just put them in my AD's mailbox and get them off my To Do List!


This is my door with more information for
residents!

I have set expectations for myself, like putting my residents first most of the time. Sometimes its important to get just me time! I also want to do everything I can to make sure that my residents are safe and that they are comfortable talking to me! I want my hall to be a home away from home for them and although with making sure their safe I may have a couple documentations on my hands I hope that they understand that I'm not out to get them-- that I am just trying to uphold the code of conduct and make sure that they are safe! I truly can't wait to meet all of them tomorrow and I really hope that we have the best year!

Please keep me in your prayers as I embark on this Res. Life journey! 

So there you have it... the past two weeks of RA training in a nutshell! This is a lot easier than me having to explain it to everyone who asks! Haha, whenever Chad and I would talk I kept saying but "I'll go into more detail on the blogpost so don't worry" ;) 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let's Get Thrifty

My staff and I decided to get off campus for during a break between RA trainings and we hit up the local thrift store! It was so nice to get off campus but even nicer too find an amazing steal that will look great in my dorm! 

I came across these cute pictures and I love the adorable flowers and the frames are perfect too!


 I got both picture frames for $3.16! Three dollars! It can't get much better for that, especially since I am now back on my college student budget! I love the frames and it really fills up the wall a lot! 

Other people hit the jackpot by purchasing an $8 dresser, $15 television and some other sweet things!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August's Bulletins

I have been so busy with RA training that I haven't had time to update you all on how its been going! At the end of training and after I pass the exam I will give a full report on everything I did, learned, and cool adventures. 

But, for now. Here are the bulletin boards and door decorations I put up this month. At the Mount, Resident Assistants have to put up new bulletin board(s) and door decorations once a month. I have five bulletin boards but luckily I only have to change one of them once a month. But, I will always be updating the other ones with more relevant information and things. 

Here is what I did for August/September: 

Twitter Board. One of my Area Directors always used technology during his
teach-ins so we can tweet about what we are learning #msmreslife

So I decided to create a 4th Mac Twitter Page! My residents can find out
information and find ways to get more information if they are into
social media---twitter!

I love cute quotes! So naturally, I wanted to welcome my residents with
a board that will make them happy and feel at home! I also put a column (left side) where they can
write about what makes them happy! -- I'm hoping they keep it appropriate, but since
I have all girls I have faith!

My door decoration for this month is a star! I used lilly green, salmon (color above but
flash altered it), and orange as my star colors!

I have 45 residents so thats about 50 door decs I have to cut out-- wowww! But, I had such a great time
thinking about what I wanted to welcome my residents with! 

Since, I have 5 bulletin boards I figured this would be an easy way to
be able to change a bulletin board but not have to put a lot of time and
effort into it. So this is my advice column to my residents. I am definitely
going to change the advice monthly!

The board I didn't know I had until the last minute... It is just a
welcome board because its in the stairwell and I am hoping to put little things up about
my residents when I have one of my first hall programs but for now
its a simple welcome board!

And here is the info board! It has information about me,
roommate commandments, important phone numbers for
the Mount, and ways to get involved.

This is also a board I can update once a month with new and important information!

I am also using my door as an information board so that residents who walk the opposite way in the hall way who won't get a chance to see the information board above can still be up to date on current information at the Mount! 


Although I have a lot to do and a lot of responsibilities... I love being an RA so far! It's so cool getting a chance to be more involved in my Mount community and I love giving back! I have met two residents so far and I am so excited to meet the rest!! 

If you have any questions or ideas for me please comment below! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

All Moved In

So, yesterday my parents and boyfriend helped me move into my new dorm room! I didn't know what to expect... but I definitely wasn't expecting this!! I have a couple more things to add so see the comments below the pictures. 


After all the organizing and moving...
so happy to be done! But, also wiped out!
It took about two and a half hours to organize and move everything in! But, man am I in love with my new space! I definitely still wish I had a roommate! Last night was quite lonely without Hannah to chat with!

View from door... I am getting curtains (most likely brown)
and a brown area rug to cover up all that tile!

I have about 8 ft. to put a futon-- most
likely to be brown like the curtains
& rug :) I'll also hang some cute pictures
up on the wall behind the futon!

Love the window! My view is pretty wonderful too!
 
My desk area! Really loving the calendar that is hanging on the wall! Found it at Staples and I can even write on it with dry erase markers!
Oh also... I have AC. Hello 60 degrees!



The New Updates:

You can't really tell the color but its a pale blue! Very tasteful
and can match anything!


My friend Kevin will be happy about this but I got a BLACK futon!
I really wanted to do a brown color scheme but they only had black futons
so I had to settle. I'm also looking for raspberry pillows to go with the futon!

That is a dark grey rug on the floor there! 
Now, I just need to think about what to put over top of the futon for decorations! I am thinking possibly pictures but if you have any suggestions please leave a comment below! I have a pretty good amount of space on the wall for decorations! But, please no suggestions that will involve possible damage :) Thanks!
The curtain from earlier... but now its hooked
to the side via a Command Hook! Talk about
nifty! Oh and the blue body pillow is
from Chad's mom! Thanks Mrs. H!


More New Editions: Est. 9/12/12
My wonderful boyfriend, got me
the cutest poster of two people kissing
under and umbrella! So cute!

And the post it underneath is the note he hid for me
in my pillow case the first day I moved into college
Freshmen Year!

This is just a little section I added a couple of
days ago! Those cute little images below
 the TOMS sign were from my
Happiness is Homemade Bulletin
Board! I just couldn't let precious
words and cool graphics like
that go to waste!

The bookshelf!! I love this new edition to
 my desk!! It really frees up some space
and allows a great place to keep
all my textbooks and binders
for class! Not to mention an excellent
photo dump area!! Now I can look at all my
loved ones ALL the time! :)


Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Year of Concerts

I am giving reviews about the concerts I have seen this year! They we're all superb but my favorite was hands down Coldplay. Lets start from the beginning though!


Concert #1: Katy Perry @ The Naval Academy, MD

I saw Katy Perry with my roommate Hannah, close friend Meghan, and Hannah's boyfriend who was a young plebe at the time, Matt! The company was great and Katy Perry is one amazing performer. 

The singing was okay... they said she had a cold. But, she was still SO funny! She was quite sassy and sarcastic! The best part of the show was when she picked a totally random Midshipmen to come up on stage and she kissed him-- they did the iconic Navy pose! Man, that was probably a lucky day for that young fellow! She didn't leave the girls out though, for us she sang I Kissed a Girl. The concert was great and although we had pretty bad seats it was still so much fun to see her perform and spend some quality time with my close friends! The Venue was pretty cool too! We got to explore the Naval Academy and see really cool things!



Concert #2: Ingrid Michaelson @ The Electric Factory, PA


 I saw Ingrid Michaelson with my best friend Caitlin and her dad! The venue was so cool, we were really close to Ingrid and the vibes from the audience was awesome! Ingrid was so original and even told cool stories about her life. Not only does she have a beautiful voice but her personality is so wonderful. I will always be biased towards Ingrid so I could easily say her concert was the best concert ever! She is currently my favorite singer and I know almost all of her stuff! My all time favorite song by Ingrid is You and I, check it out here! I hope you fall in love with her music just like I did!

                        Concert #3: Cold Play @ Izod Center



 So we started our trip with a long car ride to Northern New Jersey to see Coldplay! The drive was a pain, but it was totally worth it! The two opening acts were both UK singers and they did an okay job- the back up bands were playing way to loud so we could barely hear the singers! But once Coldplay came to the stage the entire crowd lit up... literally. They gave us all these cool wristbands and when the first song came on the wristbands lit up and started blinking. The picture to the left is the wristbands lit up and the stage. Chris Martin is truly an artist and it was fabulous! He is a great performer and I will definitely see him again! The show was so interactive and he sang his heart out! Plus, is was great spending some time with my family, Chad, and Brooke's boyfriend Gerry! 



Have you been to any cool concerts? Please let me know some ones I should check out! 




Friday, August 3, 2012

How I'm Feeling

As most of you know I leave for college, RA training, honors classes and a whole bunch of new things on Tuesday. I still have yet to pack - which is totally not like me, but I have been so busy with everything else I just haven't had time. But I wanted to share with you this image I came across yesterday. 



Last year, when I looked at my life right before going into college I had a whole list of what if's and where I wanted to be that drove me crazy. I wanted to be an Resident Assistant but the application process was frightening, I wanted to continue doing service but I didn't know where to spread my love, I wanted to have a good group of friends who understood me, and the list goes on and on. 

But, as I am about to start packing... not today probably Monday before I leave, my concerns aren't really present. I have found some of the greatest friends I have ever had, who are genuine and true and like to laugh just has hard as I do. I have found that I love working with Best Buddies, specifically Cindy, and I love working with a society that is all about educating people on social justice issues. Lastly, on a Friday night my official dream turned into a plan when I opened up my email and saw that I was awarded the tentative RA position. Now, that RA position is becoming official I am just so happy and blessed for the life I have. 

I am happy that I have turned my can'ts into cans and my dreams into plans. 

That's all for today folks! Hope your Friday is truly amazing and that you look into your life and see where you have turned your can'ts into cans and dreams into plans! It's never to late too start!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello Long Distance Relationship

I have never had a long-distance relationship before, nor have I ever wanted one. Last year, Chad and I were only an hour away from each other. But, now he will be a junior at Salisbury University and I will be a sophomore at Mount Saint Mary's University. 

Mountains vs. Sea. Salisbury vs. Emmitsburg. Seagulls vs. Mountaineers. 

Sea vs. Mountains... whatever way we look at it there is 4 hours of driving and bay bridge traffic to tackle if we want to see each other. So, its time to start getting used to having a long distance relationship.

Last year was painful going weeks without seeing each other, so for awhile I have been SO nervous about how our relationship will be affected with the 4 hours in between us instead of just the hour. We have talked a lot on how we plan to compensate for all the time we will miss spending together. And that has slowly made me feel more comfortable about leaving... which is in less than a WEEK! Not only is the distance going to be taxing, but we are both taking challenging classes, I'll be a new RA (which means I can't just pick up and go visit on a weekend), he'll be living in an apartment with total strangers. So all the new changes are going to be pretty stressful now add that to not being able to get together with your best friend when ever you need to talk or have a hug and you have one sticky situation.

If you have any advice on how to make a long-distance relationship work please comment below! I'm a new-by in need of direction! 

But for now, I want to show you how Chad and I spent our summer! It was short, but wonderful at the same time!

Brunch at the BoneFish Grille- Back when I had LONG Hair! 

We took a day trip to Busch Gardens which was soooo much fun! I'm not pictured because I hate the drop tower!

We went hiking at Cunningham Falls and went for pizza afterwards! 

We both got a lot of sun down in OBX for a week with my family.  We spent the 4th of July there and had a great time with family and family friends!


We double dated with Hannah (my roommate) and her bf, Matt at Buca Di Beppos which was so much fun! Literally we laughed till our insides hurt!
We are having one last hurrah this weekend, before he helps pack me up and move me into school! Friday night we are going to see Coldplay perform, Saturday we are going to Baltimore for a afternoon and night on the town, and Sunday we are going to his Grandparent's house for the kick off party of their family reunion week that regrettably I will be missing most of because of RA training! It is a packed weekend that will be full of memories!

So goodbye the ten minute commute between our houses and hello long distance! I'll miss you Chadders! :)

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