Radiating Sunshine: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Blissful Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with Meg and Heather's Blogger Bliss and wanted to share with you what brings me bliss. Well, for starters it is not the never  e n d i n g  rainstorm that has taken the North East by storm... but, rather bliss is sunshine and the warmth of the sun on my skin. 

Bliss is also sitting out by the pool, reading a good book, and drinking a piƱa colada... and although that one doesn't happen frequently-- or ever; that is where my mind is at on this dreary April morning.  

{bliss is}

finally finishing my Psychology Senior Proposal
cuddling with my boyfriend on a rainy day
laughing with Alex until my stomach hurts
sitting with a warm cup of coffee and reading blog posts
a good pair of yoga pants
connecting with my residents
knowing I'll be in Austria in 31 days
moving home in a week and a half
holding my new baby cousin, Jasper 
having an empty inbox
a delicious piece of chocolate
the perfect pair of shoes
reading for fun


Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Recap 4/28/14

Cheers to the last weekend of Junior year... well, kind of! We have one more weekend at school but, the following week is finals and let's be serious I will be secluded in the library or my room calculating the lowest possible score I can get to still get an A in the class and studying for those exams. 

Anyways, it was the perfect last-kind of weekend! Although, I really should have been more productive I'll look back on this weekend fondly. Now, as most of you know it is the perfect weekend when I can see friends, workout, go home to spend time with my family, and hang out with J... and that is exactly what I did. 

Friday: was a great day! My one and only class was really interesting and J and I met up for lunch. We also watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother and just relaxed before the craziness of the weekend. 

Friday afternoon I went to a meeting for Austria! We discussed little details and it is really becoming so real! We have officially 33 days until we leave for Austria. I'll be sure to put up a couple posts about what I'll be doing and how flipping excited I am! 

Friday night was so much fun! I made dinner (chicken parm) for Alex and her roommates and then we had a few friends over to celebrate all of our Senior friends who are graduating. We danced, laughed, and made memories that will last us a lifetime.

Saturday: I woke up and went to the gym which was amazing! I've been slacking on going to the gym this semester so, I'm glad I hit the gym on Saturday morning. Then, I did homework and met J and his family at church. Saturday night, J and I went York, PA for his sister's Show Choir Concert. The concert was three hours long but, all the groups that went did really well. I definitely think J's sister's school had the best performance, but maybe I'm a little biased. 

Sunday: I left early in the morning and went home to see my family. I then went to my cousin Christina's bridal shower. She is getting married in a week which, is beyond exciting! After a few hours of driving I finally made it to J's baseball game. It was fun sitting out in the sun, watching him play, and getting a little bit of homework done.

I'm beyond thankful for J and I'm so glad I got to spend so much time with him this weekend! I'm definitely gonna miss squeezing in our 15 minute chats throughout the day and seeing each other so frequently on the weekend. So, that's all folks! Hope you all have a fabulous Monday :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Dog Behind the Blog

So, last week there were a ton of "The Guy Behind the Blog" posts spanning my blog feeds and this week I decided to jump on the puppy bandwagon and give y'all a little glimpse into the puppy behind this blog. 
I really wish she stayed this size!
So, my family has two dogs an alaskan klee kai (not featured) and a siberian husky (above). This post is dedicated to my favorite pup, Juneau the siberian husky, who is loyal and adorable. Even though I don't live at home whenever I come she is always ready to greet me. 

Check out those paws!
Look at that baby! Well, she isn't a little baby anymore but, I just couldn't resist putting up that picture. I mean seriously she is adorable. Anyways, my four and a half year old-not-so-baby anymore still loves life. Holiday parties still wear her out and she will literally do anything to go on a walk.

Her favorite place in the house: curled up on the couch
Her favorite things to do: lay on my feet while I cook/bake or nom on a bone
Her pet peeves: sharing her bones with her sister, Jenna and getting baths 
Her favorite special treat: peanut butter or doggie ice cream

I started to draft this post last week when I was home and what is beyond funny is that June hopped up on the couch next to me and wouldn't leave me alone. Now, picture this big Siberian husky trying to cuddle with you while you write a blog post... not the easiest thing! I had to stop writing the post because she started to climb in my lap. But, I'll take puppy cuddles over a laptop in my lap any day of the week. Happy Friday, friends :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Weekend Recap 4/22/14

So, I have a special weekend recap for y'all today! Not only was it Easter this past weekend but, I also spent the whole weekend at home. Here is how I spent my weekend: 

I checked off number 73 on my 101 in 1001 list by making a two tier cake this weekend! I knew I was gonna make a carrot cake so, I decided to test out my baking skills by making layered cake.

Friday: I met up with an old friend from High School for sushi! I hadn't seen her since Fall semester so it was beyond nice to share a delicious meal and catch up.

Saturday: I went to visit my grandma and ran errands. But, Saturday afternoon I hung out with my dad and helped him work... and by helping him work I mean I sat and read Allegiant. I did keep him company though so I would like to think that is being pretty helpful?

Saturday night, I went out with my parents to a dinner event that one of their mutual friends was hosting. It was seriously one of the best nights of break because I got to spend time with my parents, eat delicious food, and hang out with a bunch of family friends!

Oh and the open bar was nice too! I think I have my go-to drink established now and I'm proud to say that it is a Malibu Bay Breeze. It tastes like a vacation and I love it.

Sunday: I woke up bright and early and went to church! To me, there is no better way to a week than in the presence of God. I'm beyond thankful for him and how he continues to bless me all the time. I love the Easter season

Then, I met up with my family and we had a really nice brunch. I had a fancy omelet, which had crab meat, asparagus, and swiss cheese in it. I think it has a clever name but, I can't remember what it is called at the moment.

When we all got back we decided to attempt some family photos out on the lawn. I don't know how to work the self-timer option on my camera so we had to settle for some iPhone WaveCam pictures. They came out pretty grainy so I did my best to edit them!

My beyond beautiful sister!
It was seriously the perfect day out! God continues to bless me in so many ways. 

Sunday night was relaxing! After a nice afternoon nap, I woke up and finished Allegiant; the third and final book in the Divergent series. For those of you who have read Allegiant, y'all know how I was probably feeling Sunday afternoon... but, for those of you who haven't well I'm not gonna spoil it for you here. To add some humor to those of you who have read it, click here #8.

However, when my post-series depression started to set in, I decided that I needed to boost up my serotonin levels and go for a run. Thankfully, I had my favorite pup to keep me company. I swear just the presence of her boosts my mood sometimes!
Juneau was beyond excited to go to the park! She even decorated my back windows with her tongue. 
And of course, Sunday was made complete by a long phone call from J... We hadn't talked much while he was away with his family so it was nice hearing about his trip. He even let me go on a Allegiant tangent for awhile, which I am beyond thankful for. I just really needed to debrief after reading that series and of course I could count on him to listen patiently to my ramblings.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Colorful Notes: BIC® 4 Colored Pen™

This post brought to you by BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm the type of person who is proud of the notes I take in classes. The majority of my classes are lectured based and I'm not one to just pull out my laptop and check facebook or take a little snooze in class. So, instead of distracting myself with other things; I take notes. However, my notes are black and white. I try to highlight when possible but, it is just not practical when I'm trying to write so fast and keep up with what my professor is saying.

However, I recently got the offer to review the BIC® 4 Colored Pen™! Now, while working on the campaign and to give an honest review I needed to see whether the BIC® 4 Colored Pen™ improved the quality of my notes. And friends, all I'm gonna say is these 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen worked wonders for my notes. But, seriously people my notes are fun and colorful. They are also more organized, which is definitely an added bonus. Plus, if lecture gets really boring, I can draw a fun little doodle on the side of my notes and be impressed by his colorfulness.

So, whenever I write about a product I like to do some research on it... and I don't know get to know what I'm trying out. Well, while researching the BIC® 4 Colored Pen™ I came across an interesting campaign that describes the different colors based on personality. For those of you who know me, I'm a psych major so anything that has to deal with personality typing is definitely on my must read forever and ever list. Anyways, I was going through their list of the different colors and the personalities and I thought it would be cool if I shared it with y'all...

Blue: the color of the sky... jk but, blue is a classic and timeless color and he knows it!

Green: often feels left out when competing for love with blue, red, and black. I honestly can't blame him but green is also a soft and comforting color that I truly can't go without.

Red: is a passionate corrector. He likes it when grammar, spelling, and conjugation are all in check. He loves correcting errors but, he isn't a jerk about it!

Black: sometimes comes up second when he is compared to blue. But, he has a plan for life and is dedicated to becoming the "Undisputed Master of the Word."

Out of all of the colors, I think my favorite one/ the one I personally relate to them most is green! I feel like when it comes to taking notes, black and blue are usually my first go to colors/pens... so recently, I've been trying to share the love with green and I have not been disappointed. Plus, I may be too empathetic for my own good; I feel that Green feels unloved therefore, I must love him! Also while doing research I came across the funniest videos that featured the BIC® 4 Colored Pen™,

These two videos showed the perspective of the ink inside the pen which, was really funny to watch! They are only 30 seconds each so if you have a moment check them out.
So, I've talked about how much I like using the BIC® 4 Colored Pen™ when taking notes, but I haven't dicussed where one should get the pen. I guess that's really the most important part, right? Anyways, for all of my fellow students and (or) note takers y'all can purchase the pen online at Amazon or Staples. And if you are a social media fanatic like me feel free to check out BIC® 4 Colored Pen™'s social media outlets, like Facebook or Twitter! You can find promotional thoughts and giveaways on these pages. I love using my BIC® 4 Colored Pen™ and I know you will too.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Full disclosure: I was compensated for this post by BIC via SocialSpark. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wishing I Was Out There & a $150 PayPal Cash Giveaway

So, lately I've been cooped up inside writing papers and doing school work. It has been absolute torture seeing how beautiful it is outside and knowing that I'm stuck in the library for hours on end. But, thankfully after my last class at 2pm-- my easter break will begin and I'm beyond happy! However, before my Easter break begins I wanted to give' y'all a little gift and celebrate with one of my good bloggy friends, Jane who has just had a three year blogiversary. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Uni Vox Box

Finally, I've been able to put together a post that reveals the newest Influenster Vox Box! A little while back I got an email from Influenster asking if I could fill out a survey on foundation… little did I know that it would then add me to the list to receive the University Vox Box #UniVoxBox that would come with a ton of treats for the university student.

So, let's reveal the Uni Vox Box: 
Rimmel london's Stay Matte Foundation
NYC: lipstick
RedRose Real Tea 
EXPRESS: Press On Manicure
Playtex Sport- Fresh Balance Tampons
Acroball Ball Point Pen

EXPRESS: Press On Manicure

So, when I got these fake nails, if it's okay to call them that? I wasn't completely on board! I haven't worn fake nails since I glued a cheap pair onto my fingers the night before homecoming in High School. I guess after that occasion, I realized that fake nails aren't really for me. Anyways, I gave them a shot and they weren't too bad. I got used to them and this brand was surprisingly resilient. The only issue I ran into was taking my contacts out at night.

I personally wouldn't ever get fake nails or buy this product, but for people who need the extra tip on their finger nails then I would definitely consider looking into this product. It was so easy just to peal back the sticker and press them on. There was no messy gluing and (or) destruction the destruction of your nails in this process-- which, is a win in my book!

NYC: New York Color Expert Last Lipstick

The second product I tried out was the NYC: Expert Last Lipstick... and boy when they say "expert last" they mean expert last. When I first opened up the box and I saw the color I was very hesitant. I mean seriously, just look at the photo below and I think y'all would agree that I look like a barbie doll. But, besides the fact that the color wasn't really working for me... the lipstick itself was phenomenal. It stayed on literally for hours. I even tried to wash it off before one of my meetings and it wouldn't come off. Now, that is endurance. 

Barbie dolls all the way!
Acroball Ball Pure White Pen

So, like any other girlie college student I am obsessed with nice pens. When I take notes I like them to look like little works of art, so I was really excited to try out this product. The pen was light and writes very well. The only issue I found was that the ink kind of blots at the end, so while I'm taking notes a little drop of ink landed in the middle of my line... not cool pen, not cool. It may just be a user error but, I was frustrated with that. However, all and all it wasn't too bad of a pen! I am still in the search to find my perfect note-taking pen! When I do, I'll be sure to let y'all know. 

Rimmel london's Stay Matte Foundation

This was probably my favorite product in the entire box box. I absolutely love the foundation. Now, I'm pretty lucky when it comes to break outs because usually they are fairly controlled but, I know that if I'm having a bad skin day or I have black bags of sleep deprivation under my eyes I have a tool to turn too. This foundation is really nice and isn't too expensive. So, say no to Sephora and give Rimmel London's Stay Matte foundation a try! 

I've worn it everyday! And the best part is it doesn't look like I'm wearing foundation at all :)
RedRose Real Tea Premium Water Enhancer

I have never used a water enhancer before, so I was really eager to try this product out! I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to tea drinking. However, I know I like black tea and sweet tea so I was up for the challenge. After a few drops of the RedRose Real Tea into my water I was hooked. It definitely enhanced my water and it was so easy! I didn't have to fuss over tea bags or anything. Also, the RedRose Real Tea fits in my book bag so easily, it makes for the perfect on the go beverage. 

Playtex Sport- Fresh Balance Tampons

So, this product is a little TMI... especially to blog about! But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Anyways, Influenster suggested we take a picture playing our favorite sport. So, I don't know what my favorite sport to play is... I love playing a pick up game of touch football with my guy friends and I like to run and swim, but I figured that I would try out a new sport for this post. Now, thankfully my best friend plays tennis and actually teaches tennis over the summer so I lucked out with a free lesson. I took tennis lessons when I was younger, but it has been years since I actually went out and played. I really enjoyed playing with Alex. As far as my review on the the tampons I still have yet to try them... but I'll edit this post when I do :)

I loved the #UniVoxBox from Influenster! Thank you so much to all the companies who participated and I can't wait to write more reviews about my experiences with the products. All of the opinions above are my own. Happy Tuesday :)

I received all of these products from Influenster and their providers for testing purposes. I was not paid for my reviews on these products. 

Weekend Recap 4/14/14

I took a break last week from the weekend recap, but I'm back this Monday Tuesday recapping another weekend. Recently my weekends have consisted of endless amounts of work-- which well, isn't the most exciting thing for y'all to read about. But, hopefully this past weekend is the last weekend where I'm drowning in work!

Friday: Was a wonderful day. I always have an easy class schedule (10am Sociology class) on Fridays and then I go to work for a few hours and do paperwork. But, this Friday I got out early and hung out with J for an hour before I left for babysitting. After babysitting for a few hours I came back had dinner and then met up with Alex and J for L'arche. L'arche is an organization dedicated to the creation and growth of homes and communities for people with intellectual disabilities. My school has a partnership with the local L'arche community so we all get together on the third Friday of every month and enjoy each other's company.

After L'arche, J and I went back to my room and we watched The Amazing Spider-Man! Spider Man is his favorite hero, so it was really fun watching it with him and hearing his views on where the movie could have improved on and all of that stuff.

Saturday: Was a homework and Best Buds kind of day! I woke up early and started working on my American Experience 202 paper. The 10-12 page paper on 'Success in the Early 20th Century' really interested me, but I just couldn't get motivated to write it. I know we've all been there before! However, I did get a nice little break for a couple hours and went outside to play wiffle ball and kickball with some friends from Best Buds. I love those Saturday afternoons when I get to spend it outside with amazing company.
My view for pretty much all day Saturday!
Sunday: I spent most of the day working on my paper, going to meetings, scarfing down food whenever I could, and seeing J play baseball! It was the first game I've seen him play so, I was beyond happy that I got to sit out there and support him. Plus, he is beyond handsome in his uniform... hopefully, I'll be able to get a picture of us next time! It didn't even cross my mind :/
Check out that mountain view :)
So, there is a quick recap of my weekend! I'm beyond excited for this weekend because not only will I be going home and spending some much needed time with my family but, it is also Easter Sunday! I'm definitely gonna enjoy this much needed mini-easter-break!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

For all of you East coasters or maybe really anywhere in the US; you know that Winter just wouldn't leave us this year. There was snow on the ground for my birthday and that was at the end of March!! Everyone was getting frustrated with the weather and if snow was forecasted instant dread dispersed amongst all of my friends and family. Poor J who plays baseball, couldn't get outside to practice with his team until last week-- totally ridiculous.

I'm not the biggest fan of Spring, only because I have terrible allergies… I'll be red eyed and sniffling for a whole month which, for those of you who have allergies know how miserable that is! But, for now I'm just enjoying the warmth, driving with my windows down, and watching flowers blossom.

Yesterday, was definitely the first day it felt like Spring. It was in the mid 60s which, basically felt like Summer after the longest Winter. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze. It was the perfect day to go driving, to have an early dinner, and to play tennis with my best friend!

So, you'll probably agree with me when I say this but, driving with the windows down and jamming to some happy music is one of the best simple pleasures that life has to offer. Spotify has mood playlists which, is the best because all you have to do is click on your mood and Spotify will do the rest. I'll let you guess which one we clicked on… that's right, happy. We were singing along to songs about sunshine and friendship… and just loving life.

Yesterday was also the perfect day for an early dinner at Olive Garden! Olive Garden has this special, where for $12.99 you can order two pasta dishes; one to eat there and one to take home. You also get their unlimited salad and breadsticks so, as the little frugal college students that we are we filled up on the salad and breadsticks. Took three bites of our pasta got the dinners boxed up. Now we have two full meals that will last us all weekend. I also decided to order a drink and decided to get a watermelon margarita. And man, did drinking that make me wish I was outside by a pool somewhere tropical. I also felt like a grown up ordering a drink at a restaurant… maybe I still view myself as a little kid but, it was a weird feeling presenting my ID like it was no big deal. As I wrote on Monday, 21 isn't a big deal to me but, I still can't get over how old I feel when I look down in my wallet and see that horizontal license. 

One thing I love about driving on the highway during Spring time is seeing the beautiful daffodils blooming on the side of the road. I always think of roads, particularly highways as places that get abused when it comes to littering. I've seen people chuck things out their windows so often, and every time it kills me. But by God's grace, flowers bloom and provide a yellow sea of beauty for everyone who is stuck in traffic to marvel over. Against all odds and the pollution that covers the side of highways, these little guys still find a way to greet the world.

While I was on my way to play tennis with Alex I saw these little guys just starting to bloom! I'm not sure what type a tree/bush/flower they are but, man are they gorgeous. So, if you know what it is comment below because I want to plant these in my yard when I'm older.

And after a great day, I'm so glad I ended it with a little exercise on a cool Spring evening! We played until it was literally too dark to see the tennis ball… or I just became terrible at hitting the ball. I'll go with it being too dark to see, because if it's the latter I must be down right awful at playing tennis.

How are you welcoming and seeing Spring in your life?
Happy Friday :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

My Thoughts on Being 21

So, this week I decided to take a break from the weekend recap and instead recap how it feels to be twenty-one! 

So, everyone always says that your twenty first birthday is one you probably won't remember… but, as I have said before that wasn't my experience for my twenty first birthday. I had two drinks: a malibu bay breeze and a margarita; and called it a night. 

As an RA I have worked with students who were belligerently drunk. I've heard horror stories about students who drink themselves to death. I've seen how alcohol can change a person and I have read that alcohol is a depressant. So, I guess I'm just conditioned to think that "getting turnt" is not the way I want to spend my Saturday night. 

Drinking responsibly is so important. I think that a lot of people my age do not realize that. Heck, our brains are still maturing and if we spend our weekends getting trashed and killing braincells all we're doing is dumbing down our generation. Sure, people have been abusing alcohol for forever but, there is so much research out there, that shows the devastating side effects to getting drunk every weekend. 

However, I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that I'm not going to drink or that you shouldn't either. I'm the type of person that when I go on a diet I can justify having a cookie, because having things in moderation are okay. So, I'm gonna try different drinks and find out what type of beer I like.  
My first drink at a restaurant: Strawberry Patch

 So, 21 isn't that big of a deal… But, it's exciting to know that I can order a drink at a restaurant or go out with friends to celebrate being done our huge presentations for the semester. But, I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to ordering drinks. I honestly don't even know what I like… so if you have a favorite drink, comment below!

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