Radiating Sunshine: May 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why Hello There

So, I'm currently writing this post in my robe... yeah, I know kind of scandalous. Anyways, I just got back from the beach and visiting my darling boyfriend for his birthday and I realized that I have pretty much abandoned you guys.

Naturally, post- shower I decided hey why not procrastinate and check blogger and now, I'm procrastinating even further by writing a blog post! Anyways, I am back to recap the days I spent at the beach soaking up the sun, going out, and spending time with some of my High School friends.

four girls, one car, no problem. When we went out to load up my car, my friend Petra said "she hoped I had a very large and deceiving trunk." 
This week's drink was: Malibu Bay Breezes 

 Free firework show from Seacrets... don't mind if we do!
First night club experience... and man were we surrounded by some crazy people! But, the band was awesome and it rained like confetti so how can I possibly not have a good time. 
First time all 5 of us got drinks at Happy Hour. I had Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. It wasn't my favorite beer... I think I'm definitely a Samuel Adams Summer Ale type of gal but, I did get to practice my german with that name. 
A little unknown secret about me is that I could literally live off of piña coladas and not be mad so, there was no way I was going to come back from the beach without consuming a piña colada at least once... or three times ;)
and I also couldn't go to the beach without seeing a beautiful bayside sunset a few times!! There is nothing like a sunset that reminds you how beautiful His handy work is.
 Thanks girls for a fabulous beach trip! I can't wait for next year. Y'all are truly the best and I'm beyond thankful that we still can get together just like we used to in High School. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

{sister graduated}

 yesterday Brooke graduated High School! I couldn't be more proud of the woman she has become and I know she will continue to grow and will someday become an amazing veterinarian. We had a wonderful mass and ceremony at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and then had an amazing lunch at Clyde's in Tower Oaks. As far as I'm concerned it was a beautiful and amazing graduation day and the nice 80 degree whether showed us that Brooke got out of HS just in time for the start of summer.

Check out these two cuties! Ari (my cousin) was always around growing up and
between the three of us, I'm pretty sure we drove my parents crazy! 
 Brooke, I am endlessly proud of you! Stay safe at beach week and don't forget you'll only be 800 miles away when you're down in Alabama... so, that is like a 12 hour car ride or a short 3 hour plane ride!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Little Things & Venus Snap VoxBox

 I feel like it is so easy to just over look the little things but, lately I have been really trying hard to appreciate those little things and the literal little things in life. 

Like this...

and a yummy strawberry little bag of Chex mix

and this: 

Influenster sent me the cutest little razor to review and boy am I in love! The Venus Snap razor is little and perfect for summer travels. It comes in a cute little blue traveling case and I cannot wait to take it with me to the beach next week. 

So, far the razor has worked really well! And I mean look at it, it is so tiny and so cute!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Friday, May 16, 2014

adventure is out there...

In 15 days, I'll be boarding a plane for a trip of a lifetime. For a month I'll be living, studying, and exploring Austria. As an RA I never thought I would get the opportunity to study abroad. I thought it just wasn't an option... until I heard about the summer program. So, I'll be joining a bunch of my fellow college students on a trip of a lifetime.

But, first I wanted to share with y'all some details of the trip:

i'll be living in Salzburg
i'll be traveling to Bolsano, Italy and Vienna, Austria
i'll be visiting as many cathedrals as I can
i'll be singing the Sound of Music like that annoying tourist
i'll be eating as many pretzels as I can ingest
i'll be drinking at beer gardens
i'll be walking everywhere
i'll be testing my fear of heights on the alps
i'll be learning how to sleep on buses, plains, and trains
i'll be studying Mozart and the Enlightenment
i'll be attempting to speak German to the best of my ability
i'll be missing my friends, family, and J back at home
i'll be taking thousands of photos
i'll be updating you all (hopefully) on my travels
i'll be thanking God for his beautiful creation and
    my parents for letting me go on this adventure.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Moving Out: College

So, I'm currently writing this post as I procrastinate unpacking... but, I wanted to write a quick post moving out: college! Now, moving out is quite a process especially when you're a girl... especially when you seem to collect ten times more stuff when its time to move out. 

Anyways, since I've moved out of my residence hall room 3 times now I figured I would go ahead and give y'all some advice on stuff not to do, when moving out of college. 

My friend, Alex sent me the picture above... it was via snapchat and it said "fit in all in one car they said" because that seriously defines how both of our packing situations. 

Things Not To Do: 

1) Do not wait to start moving things home... I had such a hard time with this. I felt like everything in my room (like my movie collection) or my book case was needed until the very last day I moved out.

2) Declutter while your packing up... I decided to just declutter at home instead and man am I regretting this decision. Seriously though I've been going through boxes just throwing out useless stuff and it has been awful.

3) Never underestimate how much stuff you have... "it will all fit in my trunk"... which is a total lie because it doesn't and then you find yourself sitting up in the front seat with your bedding and wondering how you didn't plan better.

Things To Do: 
1) Pack in advance... its okay, to start packing a few days ahead of time especially if you're moving out. You can also start taking things home or sending them home.

2) If there are items in your closet that you haven't worn in awhile donate them instead of just holding on to them or throwing them out. 

So, the next picture has nothing to do with moving out... but, on the day I was moving out J came over and brought us breakfast. He then helped me move everything into my car which, was a gift in it of itself. And then gave me the cutest flower. The flower now sits on my night stand and when I woke up this morning it was such a simple reminder about how amazing he is.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Weekend Recap 5/13/14

This has been the greatest last weekend at school. It still doesn't even feel real knowing that tonight is my last night in my res hall room. It is unreal that I'm now officially a senior in college. Like, where did the time go!? Anyways, here is how I spent my last weekend at college: 

Wednesday: Yeah, I know it isn't the weekend but, Wednesday night I went to the local bar with my favorite girlie to celebrate her 21st birthday! It was so much fun and even though this summer we will be on totally different contents I know we will still remain close!
Friday: After closing down one of the residence halls for Summer, J and I drove home to see my beautiful sister off to prom! She looked beautiful... like absolutely stunning. After taking pictures with her, we went to my old High School and I showed him around. I've seen his High School numerous times so it was really special having him see mine. For dinner we went to a delicious restaurant called Founding Farmers. For once, J didn't get a burger and got fried chicken instead. The restaurant makes everything they have in house and the food was so fresh.

After dinner, J and I spent our last night before summer vacation; just talking and watching youtube videos. We only live about an hour and a half away but, between that and the fact that I'll be gone for a month and a half while studying abroad; I know I'm gonna be missing him so much this semester.

Saturday: Was an awesome res life day. Since almost all the residents had left, me and a few RA friends just spend the whole day together. We had a delicious lunch at Wegmans, drove up to High Rock, and just spent the day laughing and singing in the car. There is just something so wonderful about driving with the windows down and blasting good music.

Saturday night, I went out to dinner with all of the RAs. It is a tradition for us to go to Friendly's and then go something after. Well, due to bad weather we ended up going to see a movie. I saw The Other Woman and it so funny. It was actually less raunchy (is that even a grammatically correct adjective?) and more focused on fortifying a friendship.

So, this will probably be my last weekend recap till the Fall semester begins! But, I promise I will still be blogging as regularly as I can.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekend Recap 4/5/14

This is the last weekend recap that I will post as a junior in college... so crazy! Anyways, even though this week is finals week and even though my finals are going to be hard... I still managed to have an amazing weekend; full of good memories, friends, and studying. 

Friday: I went on a little flower picking, frosty drinking, program shopping adventure with my good friend, James! We put the windows down and turned on 21 Pilots and just drove around town. James and I both work in Residence Life and we got really close this year! We won't be on the same staff next year... I'm moving to a Freshmen community but, we will both be RCLs (Residential Community Leaders). So, even though we won't live in the same building I'm glad we will still be working together a lot. 

On Friday night I drove to J's house for some wiffle ball! I didn't play... partly because I'm kind of uncoordinated and partly because I didn't want to make a fool out of myself in front of J. But, I think the next time we get a game together I'll suck it up and probably strike out every time. Thankfully, at some of the Best Buds events I've been able to practice a little!
 After a good game of wiffle ball, I drove back to school to complete my last set of rounds in the residence hall I live in. It was bittersweet but, I'm not gonna miss walking 3 miles around the huge building while on duty. Before, I started rounds though I wanted to take a picture of one of my favorite window views on campus. This window is on the 4th floor and it is literally the length of me! The view is breathe taking though. I love being able to see the steeples in town and the sky is just so lovely.
Saturday: I spent the morning studying for finals. Then, I went to a Best Buds event where I learned some sign language. I now know how to spell the alphabet and sign words like: cat, dog, fish, duck, help, please, bathroom, yes, no, I love you, boy, girl, drink, and home. I think I learned more but, those are all the ones I can remember at this moment. It was a really cool moment to be taught sign language by one of the buddies who only communicates via sign language. I guess it is just one of those moments where I learn way more from them, than they learn from me. 

I'm taking Sign Language in the fall and one of my goals is to become fluent. I love working with students with disabilities, so if I could develop more ways to communicate with them that would literally make my day.

Saturday night, J and I went out to dinner with my parents! We met at Bonefish and nommed on bang bang shrimp and tuna sashimi. J has never really used chopsticks or had any version of sushi so, it was really exciting having him try it out. I'm a big sushi eater so, I am thankful he is at least willing to try new things... even if they are out of his comfort zone. But, if he doesn't like sushi it won't be the end of the world. 

Sunday: I met up with J's family for the Apple Blossom Festival. His sister was running for Apple Blossom Queen so, we went to all of those activities and walked around the fair. His family was telling me about the harvest festival in October so, I marked my calendar for that. I love going to fairs and festivals.
They had some live music and it was such a relaxing afternoon. His sister ended up placing and was crowned one of the princesses! I'm so very proud of her and it was the perfect day. After the crowning ceremony, J's dad and I drove to meet up with/ surprise J and his brother at their baseball game. They couldn't go to their sister's contest, so I guess I was kind of like J's representative. Anyways, J's team won both of the games they played and it was just the perfect day all around. J even got a hit, got on base, and scored a run (hopefully I used the right terminology)-- so, glad I'm not a bad luck charm!

Sunday night was spent studying my life away for finals and getting things prepared for this week. It wasn't a bad night and I love when I get in the zone. I was so in the zone that when I looked at my watch at 12:23am I realized I missed the first 23 minutes of my best friend, Alex's 21st birthday. Needless to say I called her and apologized. She said it was okay because she is glad I was focusing on statistics... she is a math major so I guess that is kind of like a gift!

Anyways, Happy 21st Birthday Alex! I have loved all of the crazy adventures we have gone on, all of the meals we have cooked, trying out different churches, and going on hikes together. I'm so blessed to have you in my life and I'm so excited that we can now go to college night together! You're a true blessing and I love that whenever we go anywhere people always say "and the Alex's are here." 

Tips and Tricks for Passing Finals Week

So, the season of finals is here! Some college students have finished, some college students are just beginning, and some college students still have a little while until there finals begin. But, wherever you're at in the finals process check out a few tips and tricks that I have found successful to use during finals week.

1) Make a Plan:

When finals do roll around, it is crucial to have a plan. Simply planning out your week can really give you peace of mind and can help your productivity levels soar. What I like to do is write down when my exams are, when I'm going to study for them, and incorporate work and other activities into the mix. Simply seeing each day written out is beyond helpful.

2) Actually Study

Yeah, yeah I know this one is a no brainer... but, if you're stressed about a final or your final grade for a class it can help if you designate a few hours the week before for simply preparing to study. What does preparing to study look like? Well, I like to print out all the study guides, make a list of things I know pretty well and a list of things that I still need to master and then go from there. Eventually everything on the must-master-list will be on the know-pretty-well list and I feel really confident while going into the exam.

3) Take Care of Your Health

Not to get all biopsychology on y'all but, when your stress and sleep deprived you're more likely to get sick. So, picture sick you who is exhausted and stressed trying to pass a final... yeah, that's what I thought. So, instead of getting all stressed out, pulling an all nighter, and downing some cold medicine... eat a salad, get some sleep, and study in between. 

My current salad of choice: 3 cups of spinach leaves, a pinch of parmesan cheese, a few raw onions, half a cup of red peppers, a cup of tomatoes, a cup of grilled chicken, 3 tbsp of sesame dressing served with a pita bread... i'm basically obsessed with this dish, which means I better try some alternatives or I'll get sick of it soon

Also, and while we are on the topic of taking care of your health... try to avoid excessive caffeine intake during finals. I'm a coffee drinker and as I write this post I'm sipping on a large coffee with some hazelnut creamer (delicious) but, pumping your body with caffeine all day whether in the form of coffee, tea, soda, or an energy drink is not the way to go. So, don't make the mistake in thinking that when your caffeine levels go up your productivity levels go up too... because they don't.

4) Have Faith

Finals is a stressful time for almost everyone... but, if you take a step back, get all of your stuff together, and actually believe in yourself you can move mountains... or at least get close to the grade you want.

Hope this helps, good luck! I know y'all will do wonderfully :)

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