Radiating Sunshine: October 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Why I Love Fall {Happy Halloween}

Photo Cred to Josh!
 This past weekend I kept being reminded about all of the reasons I love fall so much! I seriously couldn't have asked for a better Fall themed weekend so,  I thought I would share with you all why I love Fall!
the leaves changing colors

the crisp feeling outside

the fall flavored drinks

picking pumpkins

wearing flannels and boots

still being able to enjoy being outside

sweater weather

fall desserts... pumpkin rolls

pies... apple or pumpkin

football Sundays

afternoon runs

hiking around my school

fall crafts

being thankful

nature's masterpiece

jeans, boots, and scarfs

I feel like everyone always talks about how much they love fall and why it is their favorite season, but I doubt these people have such an admiration for Fall like I do! I truly believe this is God's last work of art, before a cold and overcast winter. This past weekend, I went pumpkin picking with Josh, played football out in the yard, made delicious savory meals, and watched NFL Sunday while being wrapped up in a blanket. The only downside to fall is that the days seem to end so much quicker, but really Fall is the perfect season, and I am so incredibly thankful that I live in a part of the country where I get to truly experience the beauty of Fall. 
p.s. I know I probably should write a post about how awesome Halloween is and all of that, but to be honest with you all. I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween. Like this year it has been such a chore to even think about a couple's costume idea for Josh and I... anyways, disclaimer: we are going to a Halloween Party on tomorrow night and we're going to be people from the 1920s {real original, I know} I just can't see the point in spending so much money for a costume/outfit you're only going to wear once and seeing as I have no sewing experience {hopefully that will change in the next 10 years} I had to come up with something cheap and cheerful!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My 2014 Wish List

So, last Sunday when I got home for break my mom so kindly reminded me that there are only 9 more Saturdays until Christmas and I better give her my Christmas List ASAP. Now, my mom is a get-all-shopping-done-before-December kind of gal and who could blame her. Once December hits every parking spot in the mall is full, and she does not like to join all of the crazy shop-a-holics. So, after putting something together, I decided I would share with you all what was my inspiration for this year's Christmas. I am not big into receiving gifts, but everyone has a little list of things they think are cute and fun! So, here is a little by from mine:

Absolutely love the Kate Spade 2015 Planners, cute mugs from anthropology, essie nail polish, and crosses!
I have literally been eyeing that cross ring from Etsy for months now!

I'm pretty easy going when it comes to shopping! I love preppy, but not tacky patterns and cute journals. I am really into cute wall decals and posters with my favorite quotes on them. Navy blue is my favorite color so chances are you can't go wrong with that.

For more wish list related ideas check out my pin board on Pinterest, under wish list!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

{Overwhelmed & Having Faith}

Little Things About God Tumblr
 I woke up to an email this morning from three different Graduate Schools letting me know that they have received my applications and their committee boards will begin reviewing the materials I sent in. Applying to Grad School is probably the most stressful life decision I have gone through... even more stressful than applying to undergraduate colleges. Why? Because unlike undergrad I actually don't know if I'm going to end up in grad school or not. And what I want to do: Higher Education Administration almost always requires graduate school. So, while balancing my workload for 5 classes, two senior projects, RA life, work life, personal life, and finding time to maintain my diet and exercise regularly I am officially just so overwhelmed. Last year, I did a study on emerging adults that revealed that Freshmen rated themselves higher on knowing their identity than seniors did and I think I know why! Not knowing where you're going to be next year or what you'll be doing is seriously stressful.

I'll find out in a few weeks what programs I'll be accepted into and then I'll begin the assistantship process but, for now I just continue my day to day activities with such an overwhelmed heart. I continually hear people say, "if I can't get a job I'll just apply to grad school" and they have no idea how much hearing that bothers me. Because I need Grad School for my future career.... Not only is it hard to apply to these programs and attempt to look better than all of my peers who are just as qualified as me, but I want to go to Grad School for my future not as a last resort.

But, thankfully I don't ever have to deal with the stress alone. Lately, I keep coming across the best bible verses (one of my favorite blogs, blogged about this today) which have been really giving me the confidence to persevere and have faith. Although I don't know what my plans will be next year and the unknown has been eating me up (and probably bothering everyone who I complain to about it) I know that through prayer and trust that everything will be okay, I can get through this time. So, tonight when you're praying before bed, please keep me and every senior who is going through the same process that I am in your prayers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap 10/26/14

Howdy friends! So, I'm currently writing this post from Josh's couch while he freaks out over the Steelers playing the Colts and I "act" enthused and write some blog posts. His current statement "for whatever reason we do seem to play well with these uniforms."

Before, I get into the details of this past wonderful weekend I wanted to let you all know that I have something special coming up with my blog friend Meg from borrowed heaven! We are going to be doing a Let's Be Thankful Swap... so be on the lookout for that! More details will be coming in the next few weeks :)

I nannied Friday afternoon for a few hours and went to a little cookout for my senior class with all of my friends. It was literally so much fun and it was so kind of the President of our university for inviting our class over for the cookout, s'mores, and drinks!

Later Friday night I was on duty so besides performing my RA duties I also caught up on some homework and did little things around my room!

After nannying and baking cookies for a bake sale in the morning, Josh came over and we headed down to a pumpkin patch in Frederick! I'm huge into everything related to Fall. I love picking pumpkins, making apple pies, you name it I most likely love doing it. Anyways, I was really excited that Josh and I had a free Saturday afternoon so, we could go pumpkin picking. 

cheesing on the "hay" ride! 

Family picture?
Was kind of how I always picture my Sundays in the future. I read and did various homework assignments while I watched football and had yummy food with the greatest guy. We even went out in the yard in between games and played football. It was literally like a little taste of what I hope every Sunday is... the only thing I missed out on was a fall nap and a cup of apple cider.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Break Recap 10/21/14

I'm officially back at school and officially wishing Thanksgiving Break could hurry up and get here. This break was amazing it filled with good foods, good company and good memories! Here is just a little recap on how I spent my last Fall Break!

I went to Apple Harvest with Josh's mom and sister! I got a little Austrian fix with some apple studel and had a great time
hanging out with them for the weekend! I am so blessed that Josh has an amazing family I can hang out with.
I applied to grad schools... I'm still not done! But, I did just submit my first application. I have about three more to go and
I'm hoping to know where I will be heading (if I get in) by the Spring! So many unknowns but, it was nice getting most of those applications done. Keep me in your prayers, please :)
good food... is a must have during break! I didn't gain any weight which, I am really happy about and I enjoyed Carrabbas with my parents. My favorite dish since I was a child was mezzaluna and I finally got to have it again. 
with good food comes good baking! I was a baking machine this break. I made buttery brioche loaves, apple pie, pumpkin rolls, and homemade cake for my staff! I loved baking and my mom loved me cleaning out the pantry. 
the wardrobe I lived in... haha my favorite pair of minion boxers and my boyfriend's big comfy t-shirt!
a little bit of shopping... I didn't buy the chunky cream sweater but, those pants definitely came
home with me! I'm actually wearing them right now as I type this post. 
I discovered the cutest boutique down in Old Ellicott City! I can't remember the name of the store which kills me but, I had a field day shopping in there. It was kind of like a Francesca's with a mix of fun Maryland love. I even picked out some stalking stuffers for Christmas which, I can't wait to "open."
a break post wouldn't be complete without a picture of the cutest baby, June! Loved spending time with my favorite pup!
Josh and I literally had the best dates! We went out to dinner, we saw a movie, we walked around the park,
made dinner, watched Grey's Anatomy (I know I can't contain my excitement either), and so much more! I seriously
can't get enough of this guy and I can't wait to spend more time with him this weekend. 

I bonded with dad at the Ravens vs. Falcons Game on 10/19/14! Loved the ravens win and spending the
entire day with my dad. He is literally the greatest and I miss him so much while I'm at school. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"One Bar Closer to Humanity"

So, ironically earlier today while I was taking a quick break from the world of graduate school applications I came across this video that was shared on my  FB timeline. If you have three minutes to spare, I would really recommend you watch this video. Sometimes you don't realize how checking your phone while your out to dinner or waking up and instantly scrolling through the mass forms of social media can drastically effect your "social" life.

The guy who performed this Spoken Word video on unplugging isn't telling us to delete our social media accounts or stop blogging... but, what he is saying is that we need to be more balanced. I want to focus more on my relationships with people and it is sad when my relationships with others can be so focused on social media and staying "connected" that way.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Break is Finally Here

I'm writing to you from the residence life workroom and I am so excited to announce that Fall Break is officially here! I'll be officially off RA related duties by 8pm tonight and I'll be spending the weekend with Josh's mom and sister before, I officially head home! Anyways, my univeristy is so kind and gives us a week off! So, I decided to write a little post about what I plan on doing over break.

*Disclaimer: I intend to be a very busy bee*

I printed off a weekly schedule template so I can stay on top of everything and I'm really excited to be productive and have a lot of fun over break.

Some of the things I want to do:

Read Gone Girl and (or) Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderband

Bake yummy fall treats... like pumpkin rolls and apple crisp!

Finish my Grad School Applications

Blogger Related Fun

Homework & Studying

Start training for the 5k's I'm running in November

Plan and Buy Some RA/DA Programs

Clean out my closet and donate things

So, I think I made a good list of things I want to get accomplished and I'll have to keep myself accountable by crossing things off my to do list. I want to get done a lot of school work and finish my grad school applications. I want to do things that will help my personal growth and will bring me happiness like baking, RA programming, and reading. I'm hoping I'll see Josh at least once and I'm definitely gonna spend a lot of time with my main girl, grandma! I'm also hoping to do a little upgrade to the blog over break and play around with HTML coding to get Radiating Sunshine looking even more clean and presentable. 

And if you haven't already done so, just a quick reminder that the giveaway that I'm doing is live until the end of October so, if you like Target, Starbucks, and Breast Cancer Awareness check it out, here

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you all next week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

So Many More Octobers & Giveaway

Every year when October rolls around I find myself having difficulty choosing a bulletin board for the month... I know #raproblems! Anyways, when I choose a bulletin board I want it to be fun, interactive, and educational for my girls and October is such a hard month because there are just so many topics. For starters there is Halloween and who doesn't like a giant pumpkin to walk past every time they go to the bathroom? Anyways, as I was thinking about what I wanted to do I decided to look at breast cancer awareness. Using my favorite source of inspiration, Pinterest and the help of some other bloggers for this giveaway, I decided to focus in on Breast Cancer Awareness for my October bulletins!

So, what exactly is this "Not Just October" Giveaway? I know as soon as someone's eyes read "giveaway" on the blog feed you instantly click to see how much free stuff you can win but, this is a really special giveaway because not only will you win free things like {Target and Starbucks Giftcards} but, you also will get a chance to win a Chance Band which the non-profit Not Just October is promoting. Not Just October is a very new (est. August 2014) non-profit geared towards raising money and awareness about breast cancer ALL YEAR LONG! Breast Cancer and really every cancer for that, can effect anyone at anytime so it is so crucial that we continue to support those with breast cancer, pray for this effected and their families, and keep spreading awareness!

More details on the Chance Band: "when a person passes away, they are mourned by friends and family for a short amount of time and unfortunately the memories sometimes fade away, my bands give us the opportunity to remember the strength of the person who battled Cancer and spread it across the world. Survivors and family members of women who passed away donate fabric which, we sew to the band and mail around the world. Their strength lives on! Each band comes with a small card that has some facts about the person who's fabric was donated."

For more information about Not Just Octobers or this blog giveaway and link up check out Raewyn's Be a Warrior Queen blog, here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Recap 10/6/14

So, let me say just say that this has probably been the worst post-weekend depression I have had in a very long time. If you read this blog regularly then you know that I always write about my weekend and usually how amazing they are... but, this weekend in particular was truly one I will always remember. 

Camping Weekend


Josh came over around 5:15pm to pick me up for our camping adventure. Before he got there I was just sitting at my desk tying some loose ends, finishing some blog posts, and finishing up a present for a friend. Once he got there and we had everything in the car we were off for our camping adventure. We had to make a couple stops along the way... we needed to pick up ice for the cooler, get dinner (pizza), and check in to the campsite. 

Josh really knows how to pack a trunk! 
We knew the forecast for the weekend was bleak. Friday night has an 80% chance of thunderstorms and on Saturday night the high was going to be about 38 degrees! But, we stuck it out and as we were driving to the campground I prayed that God would help us enjoy this weekend even if the weather conditions were not up to par.

Once, we arrived at our campsite the sun was setting...so we rushed to get everything set up and to waterproof our tent. It has been raining off and on all day, so we knew we couldn't mess around with rain! We basically tied three different tarps onto our tent in the hopes to prevent water from coming inside... of course, water did come in but, it wasn't too bad.

In regards to the tent, I feel kind of bad! It was my job to get the tent from home and I told Josh it was like a medium sized tent... well, turns out my ten year old me memory isn't as accurate as I would like so we were a little squished.

Once, our friends arrived and the tents were all set up we tried to stay dry and ended up playing cards in our friend's tent. DJ, Amanda, and I taught Josh how to play rummy which is one of my favorite card games. We called it an early night and crawled into our somewhat dry tents!
Amanda and DJ's tent was definitely high tech compared to our tarp fortress on the right!

After it rained and poured ALL night... Saturday morning came with the promise of sunshine! We got up around 8:00am and hung up all of our wet clothes up and started prepping for breakfast. DJ and Amanda brought a griddle to cook things on so, we made eggs, bacon, and pancakes! If you're looking for an easy breakfast while camping I would definitely recommend this one... it is so delicious and doesn't take that many ingredients.

That's some crispy bacon!
After breakfast, we all got dressed and set off on a hike. We had a hard time finding the trail that would lead us to Cunningham Falls so we kind of just walked and explored until we finally got to the lake and could get our bearings straight.

The hike to Cunningham was so blissful! We took the Cliff Trail which, is labeled moderate but, I think it was pretty easy. It only took us about 45 minutes from the lake to get to the falls. We probably could have hiked it in 30 minutes but, we stopped and took a lot of pictures (no complaints here).

Speaking of pictures... when I got to my camera to upload photos on Sunday afternoon I was shocked by the amount of pictures we took, 235 in 2 days... woah! In the mix of these photos were some really funny candid pictures that well made us all look like supermodels.
Model status while hiking Cunningham Falls!
I think the best part of the whole camping weekend was the hike. We hiked up the falls, jumped rocks around the rivers leading in, had a pb&j picnic at the top and just enjoyed the sunny beautiful day! We really couldn't have asked for a better day!

Once we got back to the campsite, we struggled to make a fire. The wood that the Camp Store sold was terrible. It was still green and it was beyond frustrating. But, after some necessary patience and Amanda'a amazing fanning of the flames we got a fire going long enough to make some S'mores!

For dinner, DJ grilled us up some hamburgers, hot dogs, and made beans and corn over the fire.

Snuggled up and ready to play some cards!
It was a cold and chilly night on Saturday but, a wonderful Sunday morning! The sun was still shining and we made a quick breakfast and packed everything up. I was definitely sad to see if all end but, I absolutely loved spending the weekend away with Josh and friends. We couldn't have asked for a better time and we're hoping to plan another trip in the Spring when it is a little warmer.

After we got home, Josh and I showered and headed to church and then we went our separate ways! I can't wait for the days when we can spend Sunday afternoons together relaxing on the sofa, eating chips and dip, and watching football. I know life as a grown up will be tough, but honestly I am so looking forward to it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five Thoughts on Friday

Happy Friday Guys! As I get back into the swing of things and learn how to balance life I have been really working hard to make sure the blog received it's necessary maintenance so, I'm planning out posts ahead of time and making sure I post regularly... Anyways, today I thought I would do a 'Five Thoughts on Friday' post because honestly who doesn't love Fridays and who needs something to read while they are desperately wanting the weekend to get here...

5  on Friday

one... I love really good soup. Like I'm just craving delicious soup! I primarily live off of dining hall food so, my soup options are limited but, when the cafeteria serves really good soup like shrimp and corn chowder you can bet I will be having at least two bowls! Unfortunately, it has been a little while (a week or more) since I have had some good soup to warm me up!

two... I miss my family and my puppies! I'm so ready for next weekend when I can be reunited with them! Not to mention Brooke has fall break next week too so I will get to spend some time with her in between applying to grad schools and making every apple / fall related dessert known to man. 

three... the Orioles are doing so stink in good!! They won both playoff games they have played these past two days and I couldn't be more proud of them. Today at work we had every TV in the office playing and of course for the last two innings of the game we all congregated around the smallest TV in the office to watch them win!

four... I love my residents and RA Life in general! I have made the greatest friends in the RA world and this week I've gotten to do so many things with them. 

Like play football with them!
We also held the annual Pie Your RA Fundraiser for the RAs/DAs Relay for Life team!
 Pie Your RA is probably one of my favorite fundraisers just because it is a great way for the residents to see that we are totally on their level and that we are "equals"... so, yes RAs have to enforce the rules but, at the end of the day we care about our residents development and safety and we want them to have the best college experience possible. Pie Your RA also raised us over $250 dollars so, for a dollar a pie that isn't bad ;)

Twinning with Ashley, my accountability buddy!
five... I am really excited because in the next hour or so I'm going camping with Josh and another couple! A few weeks back Josh and I were talking about trips we did when we were younger and I just had this crazy urge to go camping. So, I checked out some campsites and found one that was close to us! Unfortunately, it is going to rain all night... so, pray that we don't get too wet and that our tent is fully waterproof.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend, see y'all on Monday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Welcome to the World of an RA

So, I feel like it is about time I update you all on life as a Freshmen RA! For the past two years, I had always worked with upperclassman, and last March I found out that I would be working with Freshmen residents. Needless to say, I was really excited. 

Freshmen present so many wonderful blessings and the occasional challenge. I've been so lucky with my floor of girls! They are all so wonderful, and I love being able to stop in their room and just hear about the little things that have been going on. Recently we have been leaving messages to each other on our doors, and it is so funny when I'm walking to the bathroom and I notice my name on one of their boards with a joke or a question. 

Some challenges as a Freshmen RA obviously revolve around time. Freshmen need a little more attention than upperclassmen residents, and I've been really working hard on being more present on the floor and leaving my door open. I've actually started to feel sad about graduation because that means I won't get to watch my girls grow up and explore college... anyways, I'll save the rest of my mushy-gushy-oh-my-gosh-I-graduate in a few months talk for another post!

Anyways, what have I been up to as an RA?

one... bonding with other RAs! I literally have the best RA staff, and I am endlessly thankful for them and all of the fun things we've been doing.

two... programming! I've been a busy bee when it comes to programming! I live in a first year student community so some programs that I have done and found successful are:

Hall canvas decorating & ice breakers
S'Mores Night
Time Capsule
Quad Games

Cupcake Decorating
Mug Decorating
Thankful Tree
Christmas Party

three... bulletin board and door decorations!

The way my school does bulletin boards and door decs is on a monthly schedule... so the 15th of every month I have to replace the old and put up new things! September's Theme is ' Fall into Good Health' and I did little apple cider cups for my girls' door decorations!

Last month's theme was: Let's Shine This Year and they all got suns! On each ray of the sun there are tips on making their Freshmen Year a successful one.

four... I've been loving my residents! Freshmen residents are literally the best and I can't tell you how nice it is to come back to my room and find that they wrote little notes on my door to show they care about me! 

Also, Happy Fall Y'All :) 
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