Radiating Sunshine: November 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Home for Thanksgiving

Excuse the makeup less face!
Guess who is home for the holiday? Yep, thats right this ^girl! I can't even begin to explain to you how nice it is to be home. To sleep in my own bed. To do work at my kitchen table. To have access to the family's DVD collection. To constantly be surrounded by family and the pups. Literally, the only negative thing about being home is that I usually gain a few pounds because of all the yummy food that seems to just appear in the fridge!

Anyways, for the next few hours I'm going to be working on some homework, wrapping presents, decorating our Christmas tree (yeah, I know its not even Thanksgiving yet) and getting ready for my first shift back at the Limited. Hopefully, I'm not to rusty when it comes to folding endless piles of clothing and talking to customers. But, I seriously can't wait to get back to work. 

Tomorrow is going to be a great day… For starters I love Thanksgiving and I can't wait to send out my personalized "I'm thankful for you" messages. I also love sweet potatoes… and its Thanksgiving, so I am guaranteed at least a serving of them. This will also be the first year in the past 2 years that I am spending Thanksgiving with just my family and extended family. The past couple Thanksgivings my ex and I always split up the holidays so we could spend it with both families. Although I miss his family, I'm beyond excited to spend the whole day with mine and end the night at the Ravens game with them. 

How are y'all spending your Thanksgiving? Any cool family traditions? Share below :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Recap 11/25/13

Another one bites the dust... Its amazing to me how quickly the weekends come and go, but for once as I write this post on a Monday morning I do not want the week to fly by so that the weekend can be here. But, why? Because I only have two days of classes this week and my wonderful sister, Brooke is up visiting. Plus, Turkey day is in four days and I can't wait to be on break, at home, with my family, surrounded by so many things/ people that I'm thankful for. 

Anyways… lets get to this weekend's recap!

Friday- I was on duty until 2am #raproblems… did laundry… wrote an 8 page paper on Maize {corn}(it was a wild Friday night) 

Saturday- caught up on my blog feed, did a bit of homework, volunteered for a few hours with best buds, made dinner with my friend, Alex. Also watched a movie and relaxed with another great friend! It was a really relaxing Saturday and was definitely needed. 

Sunday- was definitely the best day of the weekend by far, which rarely occurs! Anyways, Sunday morning I had my Thanksgiving brunch with my good friends, and then Brooke came up. We watched the Ravens win, woohoo! And, she told me that she decided on a college. Miss Brooke will be attending Auburn University in Alabama, next Fall! So, it looks like I'll be completing another 101 in 1001 by traveling to a state I've never been too. Congrats little sister, I know you will do amazing things. 

I had an amazing weekend and I know I will have a wonderful week too. 
Did y'all do anything special?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Thoughts

This is where I live… well it doesn't look like this anymore. But, you get the point.

Happy Friday, lovelies! 

thank. goodness. its. friday

So, last night I saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire and it was amazing. Definitely one of Jennifer Lawrence's best performances yet and the movie followed the book's plot line so well. Needless to say I'm already planning to see it again! Anyways, this weekend I'm scheduled to be on duty (tonight), crank out a few papers (hopefully), volunteer at a Best Buds event (Saturday), celebrate Thanksgiving with my friends (Sunday), and prep for my sister's three day stay at the Mount! 

Also, next week I will be announcing some exciting Summer plans to y'all :)

Hope you all have an exciting weekend planned, can't wait to read about your recaps on Monday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Dorm" talk

Let's talk residence halls... I've already posted pictures of my dorm room and I keep y'all updated on the happenings in my life... But, rarely do I and other bloggers take pictures or fill you in on the chaos behind the posts.

So, here I am countering that beautifully organized "dorm" room with a picture of what my residence hall room looks like after a week of staying up until 3am working and only being in my room to sleep and shower.  

Now, for those of you who know me personally you know that I am not a slob by any means. Usually my room looks exactly like the photos I posted, here. But, this is college and I wanted to talk about the realities behind the picture perfect res hall room. Now grant it, my room is still not as messy as other "dorm" rooms. But, regardless of how messy or not messy a room is the principle behind the blogger's staged life is just so wrong sometimes. The blog world is often fueled by this staged life and here I am countering it with this post. Here, is a glimpse into the real life of a college student. It is not all glamorous and organized. 

So, I challenge you all to abandon the "picture perfect" life and post about the ugly truth in life… behind the blog. Chaotic it may be, sometimes it's better to be fully honest with your readers and let them know that it's okay to not be perfect. 

Also, total disclaimer… after I took this picture I was overcome with anxiety on how bad I let my room get, so I turned on some music and cleaned the whole space. But, here you have a photo of my not so "picture perfect" life. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Recap

So, this has definitely been one of the best weekends I've had in awhile… Okay, I feel like I could write that for every weekend recap, I just love the two day break in between work and classes!

Anyways for starters I had a three day weekend, which was great. On Friday, instead of going to classes and work I found myself at the MCPA conference. MCPA- Maryland College Personnel Association held a conference for undergraduates, graduates, and professional staff. It was nice attending a little Student Affairs conference and I got the opportunity to present at it too. -- I feel like such a grown up!

Estela (^) and I presented 'Making Training Go Beyond August' which was an hour long presentation on the importance of RA training and how we as RAs can continue this. We even had geeky moments with the other RAs in the room as we talked about what our staffs do to bond! Love it!

On Saturday, I went down to DC to visit my good friend, Brandon! We met while working at TIP this past summer. If your curious on what I spent my time doing in Texas for 2 months, click here! Anyways, I met up with him in DC because he is here for an internship. It was great catching up with him and talking about TIP and all of those great memories. This past week I received in email asking me to reapply for Duke TIP and it practically killed me knowing that I won't be able to go back. 

What a stud!
And on Sunday, as if the weekend couldn't get any better… I drove an hour and a half to a family friends to surprise my family at my dad's 50th Surprise Party! My mom asked me if I could come home for it earlier this past week and I told her that I was so bogged down with work that there is no way I could make it. Anyways, I arrived a little bit after the "surprise" happened and as I walk down the stairs into the basement, my mom was standing at the bottom. She looked up and started to scream. (seriously, people she screamed over and over again-- and sounded like this) Anyways, I walk down the stairs and she gave me the biggest hug and then my dad came over and he told me he didn't think I was gonna come and he had the biggest smile on his face. It was literally one of the best surprises I've been able to pull off for my parents (I notoriously always giveaway surprises-- I can't lie to save my life). My mom cried thats how shocked she was… and my sister well she pretty much hogged me the whole night and filled me in on every detail of her life-- you would have thought I hadn't seen her in months.

I love my family so much and am beyond thankful I get to see them as often as I do. I can't imagine what next year will look like when Brooke is off at school and then the next year when I'm away at Grad School… but for now I will just soak up every amazing minute I get to spend with them!

#046: Mail a Thinking of You Box

So, I've always wanted to send a random 'Thinking of You' box. But, it always was just put on the back burner and (or) saved for a birthday present. So, that's why back in September when I made my 101 in 1001 list I made sure I put it on the list so that I was held accountable, and boy am I glad I did! 

I sent the 'Thinking of You' box to my dearest sister, Brooke! A little while back she called me and was just so frustrated with High School, boys, and college applications. Right after I got off the phone with her I knew that she would be receiving the box. The next day this baby was in the mail, but not after I filled it with a ton of goodies and a letter to her.

I labeled each gift I put in the box so that she knew exactly why I put it in the box. She called me after she received it and told me she laughed so hard at all of my tiny explanations… she said that the Mount lanyard specifically made her smile, because the explanation said "in case NC State doesn't workout… come live with me forever"." 

I love my sister and I'm thankful for her everyday. When we were younger we did not see eye to eye and spent most of our time fighting over who got the nice barbie doll house or who got to watch TV after school. However, college has changed us and I'm so glad we are so much closer.

Also, here is the official count down until I see her again: 6 days (I can 
barely contain my excitement) 

Picture from her last visit to the Mount!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Glorifying College Cafeteria Food

Lets talk college real quick… Its pretty hard for college students to eat healthy. College students with a meal plan are constantly being temped by chicken tenders, pizza, cheeseburgers, and all around fatty foods. Its a very rare occurrence that a college or university (as much as they try) can provide a substantial amount of healthy food that students want to actually eat. So, its crucial that college students pick and choose what they eat carefully and attempt to make the best out of eating at a cafeteria everyday. 
So, I decided to put together a list of ways that I brighten and improve my cafeteria food diet. Now, the Mount only has one dining hall and works hard to provide some variety. However, after eating similar things for months on end its easy to stop choosing the vegetables and start choosing pizza. So, thats why I work hard to make sure that I give myself a healthy variety of different food options. 

So, lets check out how I "glorified" my favorite soup. I love the Red Pepper and Gouda soup. It is literally a perfect cup of goodness, check out a post I wrote in September about my addiction! But, seriously this soup is delicious, but can get old. So, I spice it up with some spinach leaves, parmesan cheese, and a few croutons. Not only do I get to eat something that looks delicious, but it tastes delicious too. Sometimes add a couple little things can really turn your meal from bland to extraordinary!

My second favorite way to "glorify" cafeteria food is to turn a Caprese sandwich into a caprese salad.  By removing the bread, adding some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, some spinach leaves and voila I have a delicious salad that I am love!

Another amazing salad that the Mount provided a few weeks back is the Greek Salad! This is new to the Mount's menu and was seriously the best thing. It gave a variety of different (and new) tastes and really changed up my usual routine. Not to mention I don't usually have access to feta cheese so this delicious salad really improved my day. 

And lastly, the typical Friday lunch. Usually I don't sit down and have a big lunch (I just eat snacks throughout the day), but on Friday's I treat myself to something special. Usually I get a sandwich and pair it with something delicious (and occasionally unhealthy :p). This past Friday, I had my usual chicken salad, spinach, and paperback cheese half sandwich and paired it with sweet potato fries. I love sweet potato fries and I cannot explain to you how this lunch made my entire day!

I'm hoping to put up more posts on glorifying college food. Usually when I get something delicious I forget to take a picture of it but I know its important to eat healthy and get variety so I will continue sharing the ways that I work on spicing up my daily meals. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#047 Create a Thankful Tree: Hall Program

This pie was seriously delicious! I love to support
the local bakeries and stores around the Mount!

It can't get much better than a homemade apple pie from
handpicked apples :)
 I have always wanted to make a thankful tree! I came across the idea 3 years ago via Pinterest and it has always been on my to do list.

But, as everyone knows other things pop up and for an RA different program ideas may catch your eye and my thankful tree was put on the back burner. 

However, earlier this semester when I planned all of my hall programs for the semester I made sure to include a Thankful Program in honor of Thanksgiving and fulfilling the Residence Life's Faith/ Unity theme for November. 

So last night my residents and I gathered in my hallway, sat down and had some delicious apple pie, and talked about what we are thankful for. 
The program costed me $11 [for the pie] and I just used bulletin board paper for the tree and the leaves. 

I would say that this program was very successful. I learned so much more about my residents and it was so sweet that some of them wrote on their leaves that they were thankful for me (insert: awhhh). 

Some of the other things that they were thankful for include: good grades, The Mount, upcoming break, health, Jesus, family, education, life, love, freedom, our veterans, a roof over our heads, dogs, etc. 

It was so nice seeing what my girls were thankful for and I now have a wonderful thankful tree decorating my hall way! So, glad I can check off #047 on my 101 in 1001 list!

What are you thankful for? I'm thankful for all of you :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Letters from Grandma


For the past three years that I have been away at college my grandma and I have written letters to each other. Usually we write once a month and we catch up and make plans for when we will see each other next. It's pretty much the cutest thing ever. Her letters literally brighten my day and today I received a letter that was drafted in an email and somewhat addressed to all of you and Radiating Sunshine as a whole! Not sure if this was intentional or not but, needless to say it gave me a great opportunity to post about my wonderful Grandma Bee! 

As a little girl I almost always had a baby doll with me.
Literally, some doll was always in my arms and I cared
for them like my parents cared for me. 
I'm a huge family gal. For anyone who knows me they know how important family is to me. One my favorite memories as a child included going to Gma Bee's house and baking things and playing cards. We call my grandma, Grandma Bee because she is allergic to bees and my dad thought it would be funny to nick-name her after bees. Don't ask me why, but the name stuck and I've always called her Gma- Bee! But, anyways I just wanted to share on this fine Tuesday how much I love my grandma and how I can't wait to see her in 2 weeks. But, seriously cannot wait :)

So, I challenge you to pick up a pen and get some paper and write
a letter to a family member in your life. It doesn't have to be long 
and you can even draft it in an email. But, it is important to always
remind family how much you love them. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Its the holiday season"

"Its the holiday season…" But, not really! I'm definitely one of those people who loves the holidays and I'm not afraid to start listening to Christmas music a little bit before Thanksgiving. I know that many people criticize those who listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but I just like getting myself into that holiday spirit. But, no worries this week I'm decorating my floor for Thanksgiving (will totally post about this later) and next week Santa will arrive in Brute Lounge. I am by no means a forget-about-thanksgiving type of person, I believe it is so important to recognize what you're thankful for and to spend time with your family while sharing a delicious meal.

My best friend posted the above meme to my fb wall! We are both obsessed with Lord of the Rings so any meme that includes LOTR is a must see. But, this meme in particular is totally awesome because it really describes the differences in our personalities. We even talked about re-making this meme so maybe that will be on the blog later in the season.

Snowflake Swap

Oh and one more really exciting thing that I am going to be taking part of is the Snowflake Swap! Click the picture link and sign up so you can participate in this great opportunity to connect with others and share some holiday love! 

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was Ring Dance! So, I decided to make that this Weekend Recap's theme.

Classic pre-dance kitchen picture

So, lets talk dress details… I had such a hard time deciding what dress I should wear. I had two options one is the flowery tight dress that you see above and the other was a purple strapless that I wore to the Christmas dance last year. Now, I had not worn the flowery dress since high school and it definitely showed my curves, which made me hesitant. 

But, after asking people "1 or 2" because I'm a child and I can't make my own decisions… I finally decided on the flowery tight option. Now, I got this dress 4 years ago at Express and it practically made my day knowing that I could still fit and (or) look decent in it!

Check out these beautiful class rings!

Why didn't I get a class ring? Well, I actually didn't really consider getting one. Yes, the memories would be nice and I know its like a right of passage. But, I honestly just did not feel like spending that much money on something that I might not even wear every day. I already have the two rings that I wear regularly and they are simple and work for me. 

Showing off our rings!

The rest of the weekend was spent writing papers and prepping for this crazy upcoming week. Oh and yesterday I went for a run and got my best mile time yet… hey there 7:15! Woohoo!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

So, I just finished a theology exam, which did not go as well as I was hoping it would. You would think that after hours and hours of studying I wouldn't just blank on some of the questions, but you would be surprised. If you want to argue about the evidence of epistemological and metaphysical claims on miracles, find someone else because I'm not the girl for the job. 

Anyways, so after getting very little sleep, probably getting a B- on the theology exam (my version of F), and forgetting my rain coat; this rainy Thursday is not looking too promising. I am genuinely a glass is half full type of person, but as I walked to the library where I will be spending the rest of my afternoon I was feeling so pessimistic. Now, usually I don't check my blog feed when I know I have a lot to work on. But, I really needed to decompress from that exam with some blog-therapy! And I am so happy I did. I stumbled upon this lovely lady's post! Kelsey is always very inspirational, but today her Thankful Thursday was just what I needed to get myself in check and realize that all of my above complaints shouldn't ruin this day. 

So, I'm thankful for Thursdays. Even though Thursdays are my worst days by far, when it comes to my schedule and workload...

But, what else am I thankful for? 

  • I'm thankful for this cup of coffee.
  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to go to school and study epistemology and metaphysical claims on miracles… there are so many people who don't even get an opportunity to finish grade school and here I am working on a bachelor's degree at a wonderful university. 
  • I'm thankful for my mentorship later today, which is the only real redeeming quality of my Thursdays apart from my staff meeting. 
  • I'm thankful for my sister; who doesn't know how beautiful of a person she is inside and out. Can't wait to see you in three weeks! 
  • I'm thankful for knowing that the sun will come out tomorrow 
  • I'm thankful for all the people in my life who are constantly challenging me to be a better person
I'm so thankful for having so much in my life to be thankful for… and for being able to recognize and appreciate what I do have in life, even on this rainy Thursday. It is probably one of the best ways to change a crabby mood and keep your thoughts in check. So, thanks Kelsey for inspiring me and potentially changing my attitude towards today. 

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Product Love Tuesdays #1

Hey, blog friends! So, I've been thinking about some link up opportunities for Radiating Sunshine for sometime now and finally I thought about sharing my favorite products with y'all! I'm always searching of fabulous finds and products I should check out, so hopefully I can learn from you guys and I can share cool things with you! 

So, what is on this week's product love list? 

Product One- My Fitness Pal
I love this iPhone app so much! I'm on this health kick/get in shape stage of life and this little app has really helped me kick it into gear. With the app you can track what food your eating, weight loss/gain, where your nutrients are coming from etc! I'm down 11 pounds since I got home from Texas this summer and I'm definitely being more health conscious thanks to this app! 

Product Two- Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat
If your schedule is anything like mine than you know that fixing your chipped nails is not on your priority list… but, with the diamond shine coat I can paint my nails every two weeks and am guaranteed that they won't look all gross and chipped by the end of the week. Seriously, this clear coat is a blessing! 

Product Three- Cover Girl Clump Crusher Lash Blast Mascara
They really need to stress the lash blast mascara portion of this… because it is totally awesome for us ladies with tiny lashes! I started using this about a month ago and I know longer need to wear any eye liner or really anything else to give my eyes some definition. 

Product Four- Garnier Fructis Leave- In Conditioner
Ahhh time for the classic curly hair product plug! Anyways, I've been using leave-in conditioner for probably 2 years now and I'm hooked! If you have an issue with frizz and have relatively thick but dry hair then please give this product a shot! 

All of my opinions about the above products are my own. I was not compensated for this post. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend Recap

It's Monday y'all and you know what that means? Time to recap the weekend and start looking forward to the upcoming weekend that will be here in a few days! 

So, this weekend was another great one. I didn't dress up once for Halloweekend and that's quite okay with me! But, I still made some great memories and as I sit and write this post I just feel so blessed for all the opportunities I get to do! 

Anyways on Friday I helped my good friend, Afton move into her new cottage! The Mount wanted to build/give a new residence hall experience so they decided to build 4 cottages which are adroable! After moving her in, Hannah and I went back to Hannah's place and met up with some other friends and ordered Chinese food and watched Dirty Dancing. If that's not a perfect Friday night than I don't know what is!! 

On Saturday I joined up with some of my best buds friends and we checked out Make Studio in Baltimore which is an art therapy studio for people wth intellectual disablities! They primarily work with men and women with autism and the ages range from 18- mid 50s! Not only does the studio give the artists an opportunity to challenge themselves and create amazing art, but they hold shows which allows their work to be sold and to raise awareness about human dignity and the importance of an inclusion in a society.

We had lunch in the inner habor and debriefed what we saw at the studio and why inclusion is so important! 

And Saturday night we had a baking night where we made soft pretzels! I recently have been the biggest fan of homemade pretzels and I have been trying out a bunch of different recipes. Hopefully I will be able to narrow one down or combine a few that I like! Once I do, I'll be sure to share it with all of you!


Anyways, until next time! I hope you have a happy Monday :)

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