Radiating Sunshine: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Choosing to Walk

So, I know this sounds like an interesting title for a blog post... but this is something I have been really focusing on! Since I moved to PA, I keep finding myself having conversations with friends and or co-workers on why I don't drive to work or really anywhere else on campus. Now, before I mislead y'all to think I walk 3 miles to work (it's actually about a half mile), I choose to walk everywhere on campus. Sure, it can be a little inconvenient when I have to walk 15 minutes back and forth for lunch. But, I love that time. I didn't become a huge walker until last Summer when I was in Austria. See in Europe, you walk pretty much everywhere and I loved it. It is so much nicer to enjoy the fresh air and to have moments without being plugged in to some technology source. I love feeling the sunshine on my skin and swapping a story or two with a friend who also chose to walk that day! 
I don't have a pedometer, so I genuinely don't know how far I walk a day (maybe, I should get one) but I do know this. In choosing to walk, I am benefiting myself in a number of ways:

(1) I don't have to drive... and waste gas... and put miles on my car... and deal with campus construction!

(2) I'm preventing heart disease, need proof check it out here!

(3) You can lose weight (hello soft ice-cream at lunch)

(4) It lowers your chances of disease... including dementia!

(5) and it beats sitting down at the office, and then at lunch, and then in a car! I mean don't ya get restless just sitting around all day?

Now if you have a similar schedule to mine, it can be really hard finding that time to go for a run. Especially when your only free time is after work and by then you're famished and ready for dinner. So, by walking I am continuing to live a healthy lifestyle even on the days when I'm too tired to make it to the gym (woohoo)! 

How do you stay active when working an office job?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Recap 6/29/15

Growing up Sundays were always the saddest days. You had to say goodbye to the weekend and prep for an early morning school day or work week! If you had a friend over on Saturday, then Sunday night felt like the loneliness night you've ever had. You no longer have that buddy to chat with till you fall asleep. Grown up life is pretty similar. Especially when your best friend comes up to spend the weekend. 

Friday: 
After work, Josh drove up to visit for the weekend. While he was driving up, I was prepping for dinner. I made brie in a croissant (arguably the best thing I have ever had), sausage and peppers. By the time he got to my apartment it was around 6:30PM so we were both famished. After dinner and he so kindly did the dishes, we walked out to the football field and played some wiffel ball. It was fun just being silly and running around. We also tried to lift the tires on the field (the ones that the football guys lift). I couldn't lift it at all, but Josh managed to move it 15 yards down the field. 

 I absolutely love when Josh comes up to visit and we go on our long walks! We always find the cutest spots for a pictures too. We knew that the weather would be crappy all day on Saturday, so we did our best to get outside and run around on Friday night.
 After our beautiful walk outside, we met up with my fellow RDs for some ice-cream! We went to this adorable little cabin that sells homemade ice-cream. Josh got a strawberry swirl milkshake and I got the almond joy single scoop with some caramel sauce. We sat outside and chatted for a few hours.  And one of the best parts of the whole evening was that I didn't get any bug bites.
 Saturday: 
So, on Saturday I saw something that truly made me chuckle...If you're from the East Coast or are aware of all the sharks that have been making appearances near the beaches, then you may understand where I am coming from when I say I'm scared. Well, I am joining all of the crazies out there in absolute fear over the sharks! Josh and I are planning on going to the beach at the end of July and I swear every week I freak out about the sharks that could potentially eat us. Now, I know it's probably irrational how scared I am. And I know I'm swimming in their habitat, but still you can't help but, feel a little terrified with a nine foot hammerhead swimming along side of you.

 Anyways, I saw this meme on Facebook and I couldn't stop laughing. I was literally crying I was laughing so hard. Everyone is freaking out about sharks (including me) and this helped put things into perspective. So, I'm going to do my best to love the sharks and get excited for our vacation.

 Josh is currently taking some summer classes and he had an 8 page paper due on Saturday night. He worked so hard to try to get everything done before he came up to see me, but he still needed to finish  a few pages and proofread it before he submitted the paper. So, naturally I was like "of course, I'll just sit and blog and you can just write your paper."
Well, apparently I'm a "distraction" and was exiled to my bedroom to write in there. I have been loving all of the attention I have been giving to my blog. It has really brought me so much happiness. I have even started a new goal on working on building my product reviews and advertised posts resume. So, hopefully I'll have some more stuff to present to you guys within the next month or so.

After Josh finished his paper and we had lunch, we went to church. This was the first time, Josh saw my church and I'm glad we went together. After church, we came home and played wii and had some fun. We then made this delicious pepperoni pizza. I tried re-creating the pizza crust recipe his dad uses and I just couldn't do it. The pizza turned out fine, but the crust was too dry. No matter, I'm sure I'll practice a thousand more times before I master it.
 Later on Saturday, we watched a chick flick 'Dear John' and Josh was very angry with the ending. I've never seen him so worked up by the ending of a movie. I guess 'Dear John' didn't rank high on the chick flicks he has seen. So, far 'The Longest Ride' has been his favorite.

This weekend absolutely flew by and not going to lie, I kind of sulked around all morning on Sunday. I was so sad when Josh left. But, as he always reminds me "I'm gonna miss this." I know I shouldn't want life to fly by, but this whole not being able to see each other as often as we used to really bums us out. I guess we have way too much fun when we do get to spend a weekend together.

The reminder of my Sunday went well. I caught up on some Grey's Anatomy and did some work on my Collective Bias stuff.  I also worked a check in for a conference and then went to a barbecue for the ASP students we now have on campus. ASP stands for Academic Success Program and I can't wait to work with the students.

And now, Sunday is almost to an end. Knowing that Josh was here last night and now we are going a week apart is so sad. I don't know when I became so clingy, but man I'll need to get over it when the school year begins. I'm really looking forward to this week though. I start my first grad school class and we get Friday off! I'll also be leaving on Thursday night to go home and spend the weekend with my family and friends. So, that's all for now folks! Happy Monday :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Seven Thing I Learned In Europe

It has been over a year since I embarked on one of the best adventures I have been on to date! I have loved looking back at my TimeHops to see what I was doing at this time last year. It has been really nice to reflect on the trip and to feel nostalgic on all of those memories I made while in Europe. I can still recall how sad I was on the last night in Salzburg. There was a beautiful sunset and I kept looking up at the city skyline and the beautiful fortress and I just couldn't believe my time in the city was up. So, I have compiled seven things I learned when I was in Europe! Hopefully, if you get a chance to go to Europe one day, you'll learn the same things to.

(1) Travel smart and pack light
When I was preparing for my Europe adventure I read online that you should pack the essentials, but you don't really need to pack a lot of {not signature} pieces of your wardrobe. I really didn't understand that piece of advice. To me, I felt like everything I owned was a "signature" piece of my wardrobe... something I wore very regularly. But, when I was in Europe (during the Summer) I found that I didn't wear or use some things (like black heals) and then there were things I desperately wish I brought (sweaters and scarves). Obviously, depending on the region you go to, the climate can be quite different... but, if I could pack my suitcase again I would pack more books/wordsearches (all of those train rides), more dresses (black and solid colors), more scarfs to dress up the dresses, a few cute sweaters/wind breakers, and the cutest walking shoes that ever existed (still searching for those).  Which leads me to...
 (2) Enjoy walking everywhere & Public Transportation
My friends and I walked everywhere... one day Noelle and I decided that we would walk literally everywhere! We didn't use the bus pass we had or anything. We just did some old fashioned exploring and it was probably one of the best days of the entire trip. Enjoy all of the opportunities to walk around the old cities. Now, obviously you must be observant of your surroundings and only walk in safe areas (with friends & preferably in daylight). But, enjoy the opportunity to feel cobblestones under your shoes. Also, most cities in Europe have a fairly straightforward and easy to use Public Transportation... use it! It is a great resource and Europeans take pride in their transportation. Make sure your respectful and don't put you feet up on another seat (I know it will be appealing) but, it is considered rude and trust me one of the train employees will yell at you... and if you keep doing it you will get kicked off the train. Oh, and speaking of getting kicked off the train-- don't try to skip paying for the transportation. In most cases it is only a few euros at the most and that is a lot better than paying a 60 euro ticket! 

 (3) Take pictures of everything
Weird, but definitely something I learned. When I first got there I was very selective of what I took pictures of. I'm not really sure why? It's not like I didn't have unlimited space and or a laptop I could just upload all of the pictures on to. So, please take pictures of everything! Including cute little plates that were hand-painted for duchesses and dukes! (You can never have too many plate pics, right?)
 (4) Go to Beer & Wine Tastings
They really aren't too expensive! I went to a wine tasting in Italy and I think it was 5 euros for 2 hours and plenty of glasses of wine! Not to mention, you learn so much about wine in the process and about the harvest season. I also went to the Stiegl Brewery and took a tour/tasting there and I really enjoyed that as well. I learned a lot about the European culture on both of those occasions and would totally recommend it. 
 (5) Take touristy pictures
 And lots of them!! Who cares if you're pegged as tourist... enjoy it and get those pictures!!
 (6) Eat as much gelato as you can
Trust me, the gelati brand they sell in the States is great and delicious. But, I miss my rafealeo and fresh gelato on every street corner! If I had one regret about being in Europe it was not eating as much gelato as I possibly could. Trust me if you follow (2) you'll work it off no problem and your sweet tooth will always be satisfied. 
(7) And try new things
No explanation necessary for this one!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sweet Summer Living

So, whenever I tell someone I am working at a college in a rural location, everyone's first response is "oh that must be really boring." I then automatically begin telling them about how I'm actually really busy and I haven't felt bored once. Now I know country living isn't for everyone, but I have really been enjoying it! For example two weeks ago, I went strawberry picking for the first time! 
 I can only ever remember going blue berry picking one summer in Maine, so when I saw that there were farms that permitted strawberry picking I was all over it! A couple RDs and I went and we picked seriously some of the best strawberries I have had in awhile. They were so tasty and flavorful. Plus, they were only $1.95 per pound! Yeah... I checked out the local prices at the grocery store and a pint of strawberries are priced at $3.50.
Berry picking was a lot of fun and I enjoyed knowing that the fruit I will be eating is not pumped full of steroid and preservatives. You genuinely can't get any fresher than an Amish farm, amirite?
Also, fresh handpicked strawberries make for excellent gifts!! So, I would highly recommend you drive to your neighborhood strawberry patch and do some pickin'. Happy Wednesday, friends :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Keeping Organized

Now that I'm on my own, I have been working on getting organized. I have printed numerous different budget sheets, grocery sheets, and ways to plan my week! I'm still figuring out what type of organizational printables I'll need and am really considering designing my own yearly planner. I feel like I could really customize it to fit my own needs so, we'll see whether I decided to embark on that journey!

Anyways, for now I wanted to write about two of the printable I have really been enjoying.

Sherbet Cafe's: Monthly Budgets 
^^ Jessica has some really cute planner ideas and printables! She is so creative and her products are so easy to download. I have been loving using her monthly budget sheet and am considering using her meal planning sheet!!

Simply Kieste's Cleaning Printable
^^ I love this cleaning printable! I don't have a garage, but other than that it works perfectly! I cut out the printable and hung it on my fridge... Nothing like a daily reminder to clean things/areas of my place.

I have also been using Iheartorganizing's printables and am very thankful for all of these ladies sharing their wonderful ideas/printables with me!

How do you stay organized? Any tips and tricks for the new adult/apartment dweller like me?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cooking on a Budget

While most of the RDs eat dinner together in the dining hall, I have found another way to destress! I have always loved to cook and am now loving having my own kitchen. I've had to get used to cooking single portions (unless when Josh is up here than I need to make triple portions). So, I wanted to debut three of my meals last week. They all have similar ingredients and only cost $10 total! That is $10 for three meals and leftovers! Now, I am by no means a master chef. I often look at my ingredients and end up with my own creation. However, in my humble chef opinion you can't go wrong with olive oil and some seasoning!

Breaded Chicken with Veggies
Ingredients: chicken breasts, bread crumbs, Italian dressing, onions, green beans, red peppers, and olive oil.

Recipe:

  1. I marinated the chicken breast in the Italian dressing in the morning, so it sat all day while I was at work. 
  2. I heated two separate pans (one for the veggies and one for the chicken) with some olive oil. 
  3. I cut up the peppers, onions, and green beans, and through the onions in the pan to cook on medium heat. 
  4. I breaded the chicken and cooked it on medium heat for probably 10-15 minutes. The Italian dressing helped the breading stick to the chicken and made for a very crispy chicken breast. 
  5. While the chicken was cooking and the onions were almost caramelized I added the peppers and the beans to the veggie pan. 
  6. After the veggies were cooked I seasoned them with some garlic powder and salt/pepper. 
  7. And completely enjoyed this meal!
Chicken, Peppers, and Whole Grain Pasta
Ingredients: whole grain pasta, red pepper, green pepper, onions, chicken breast, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese. 

Recipe
  1. Marinate the chicken breast in some olive oil, salt/pepper, and Italian seasoning
  2. Boil water in a 2-quart pot and add spaghetti 
  3. Heat two pans on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil
  4. Cook the chicken on medium heat for about 15 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, add the veggies to a pan and saute them in the olive oil
  6. Drain the spaghetti and with the empty water pan, heat up some sauce. 
  7. Add parmesan cheese to season. 

Risotto with Veggies
Ingredients: rice, milk, onions, green beans, green pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, italian herbs, grated parmesan, brie, salt/pepper

Recipe:
  1. Boil water and rice (I just followed the rice box directions) and added a tablespoon of olive oil
  2. Saute onions, green beans, and peppers
  3. Add 1/2 cup of milk to the rice (once all of the water has been absorbed by the rice)
  4. Cut the brie and put at the bottom of the bowl
  5. Add the rice on top of the brie and let the rice warm the brie
  6. Mix together and add the seasoning to the rice


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Healthy Living

Now that I'm living on my own, I have had this huge mission to get healthy. As much as I loved Senior Year, I feel like my health and my body took a hit. I went out a lot with friends and ate a lot of junk food. Between the stress of planning my future and graduating with honors, I barely had time to worry about how much caffeine I was consuming or whether I had at least 25 minutes of cardio a day. Needless to say, I got sluggish and gained a few pounds. 
So, now that I feed myself and have my evenings free I have been  going on runs and to the gym. I have been eating lots of healthy snacks with the right serving sizes. One healthy tip I have learned from reading other blogs is to portion size ahead of time (even with healthy food). Every night before I go to bed and after I prep my coffee pot, I pack my healthy snacks in plastic bags, so they are ready to go in the morning.
I have been primarily buying my produce at our local Weis grocery store! I picked up a membership there last week and have successfully earned 10 gas points (very proud of myself). I feel like there is this by stigma around eating healthy and how much it costs, but I have been working hard to bargain shop. So, although carrots cost maybe $3.00 more than the Lays Potato Chips it's a switch I'm willing to make!

Being the goal setter that I am, I have some personal goals that I have been working to hold myself accountable to: (1) eat more veggies (2) walk everywhere on campus (3) don't eat after 9:00PM and (4) reward myself with some chocolate milk after a solid work out... hahaha the psychology major in me needs to set up a positive reinforcement system. It's hard sitting in an office all day, but for every hour I sit on my butt I hope I can spend at least 10 minutes walking around and enjoying Summer!


What healthy habits do you have when you live on your own?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekend Recap 6/15/15

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a great weekend and that this week is beautiful for y'all! This past weekend, I road tripped home with Josh and we (or me) were dropped in baby heaven, for my cousin Christina's baby shower! It was a great and memorable weekend. Full of MinuteClinic and family fun!

Friday
After spending most of the afternoon baking, I began the trek home! While driving, I got to talk to one of my old residents Cassandra and we caught up about life and how our summers are going! I then picked up Josh and we started heading down to my parent's house. When we got there we ate pizza and hung out with my Aunt Paula and mom as they ran around the house prepping for the baby shower! They seriously are crazy ladies when it comes to the party planning department. Who else's mom is a champ party planner?
I took a little decoration break and opened up some mail! Check out that diploma, woohoo!!
After all of the decorating had ended for the night and the Orioles pretty much beat the Yankees, Josh and I headed for a night swim! I have barely been swimming all season and the pool was so warm and refreshing. What wasn't refreshing... was the little buggies were swimming with, oh well!

Saturday
 Josh and I spent the morning at the MinuteClinic (his ears were clogged) and then running errands. I also got into a fight with a self-check out machine. After the Store Manager assured me everything would be fine and I had a couple gulps of my raspberry lemonade, I calmed down! When we got home all of the baby shower preparations were in full swing.

The shower was awesome! My mom hosted it for my cousin and she did a great job planning the event. We played "Don't Say Baby" with clothespins, measure the belly with yarn, Family Feud, and gifts BINGO. Other activities included: advice cards, write a message on a diaper, and pick the delivery date! Christina is having twins, so the party was covered in pink baby fun!


While I was at the baby shower, Josh took my dad to the Orioles Game! They have never been to a game before and when they got home they were smiling ear to ear. I guess that's what happens when they have a boy night and the Orioles beat the Yankees!

Sunday
Josh and my dad didn't get home until almost midnight and because I time laundry very poorly, Josh and I were up super late! But, I loved hearing about the game and the stories those two swapped. Sunday morning, Josh and I were two sleepy cats!
#sleepyfaces
But, after a little Dunkin Donuts and a nice country drive to his team's baseball field we were ready to take on the day!  I didn't stay for both of his games, but Josh was the lead off batter and I got to watch him hit the ball to a hole in the outfield and score a run! After some nice sun tanning and before my precious flowers / food (grocery shopped at home) could spoil, I packed up my picnic blanket and headed on home.
Love these beauties! 
It took awhile to get home because I had to take a few detours, but once I got all unpacked I turned on ABC Family and started setting up some things I brought back from home. I managed to do all of my laundry while I was at home, which is really nice because I can start this week of with barely any chores!
I have a really large entertainment system!
I spent the rest of the night, writing my staff's expectations, watching Harry Potter & The Hunger Games (thanks ABC Fam), chatting with Josh, and prepping my veggies and extra stuff for this work week. I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week because it's orientation week. Although I'm not pumped to wake up at 5:30AM every morning, I can't wait to learn how orientation works here and to learn more about Student Affairs!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Life as an RD

So, I am officially almost done my second full week of training/working as an RD! This week felt like a month, but I have learned so much and I feel like I got so much stuff done. I organized my office and got settled. Made my schedule for the remainder of the summer. I have 50+ things to get done and I'm really pumped! The major thing I have been focusing on this week is getting stuff ready for the RAs to return in August. I have been writing their individual training manuals and have been planning what activities I want to get done throughout the year.
Love the Lilly prints I found for my binders!
I was assigned my two auxiliaries, Civic Engagement and RD Selection. I'm really excited for them both and they were my top choices. Civic Engagement focus on the education and outreach for service opportunities. I loved being involved in the Office of Social Justice at my undergrad, so when I saw Civic Engagement was an option I was over the moon. I made a full list of different activities I want to plan and different teach ins that I want to host. With RD Selection this will be a big hiring year. There are quite a number of RDs graduating, so I'm really excited to get with the committee and start planning what RD Selection will look like.

I have also experienced my first duty weekend! It went really well. I must say when I got the phone I was really excited and then I started worrying about getting calls I couldn't handle. Since I have been on duty, I have had a few phone calls. Mostly just maintenance related issues. I was on duty for almost 5 days straight and now I keep looking for the duty phone, worried that I have lost it. But, I think the phantom phone syndrome will go away since I'm not on duty again until the end of June.
Anyways, going back to the 50+ things I need to do before the RAs get back on campus and we start opening up the buildings... I knocked one of them off the list and that was my RA door decs. I chose my building theme: You've Got Mail {More Affirmations In Life} and intend to create a positive community built on affirmations. I'm still working on what this will look like in the grand scheme, but I'm feeling extra-creative and I can't wait till my building opens up and all of the residents move back in.
But, we have eight weeks to go until that happens and for now I'm gonna keep knocking things off my to do list and loving my job!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekend Recap 6/8/15

This past weekend was lovely! It was my first weekend on duty, so I couldn't stray to far from campus. This charming guy came up to visit. We are still adjusting to this whole not seeing each other thing. It's weird how last summer we went over two months without seeing each other and now a week or more is a completely crazy notion! Josh came up to visit on Friday night and I made us meatball subs and prepared a salad! It was so nice sharing a meal with him at my apartment! 
(Please, take note of the super cheesy candle)
Saturday morning we decided we would do some exploring of Shippensburg! We walked around the entire campus and I showed him where I work and where I'll be taking classes. We know that Shippensburg will be apart of our lives for at least three years, so I'm glad we got to get acquainted with the campus together.
We even managed to take some widely attractive pictures in front of the pretty fountain on the old side of campus! 
After Josh left on Saturday, I hung out with my RD friends! We went out for ice-cream and I found a place that serves strawberry soft ice-cream. After ice-cream and American Pharaoh won the Triple Crown, we headed to the volleyball court and played some beach volleyball. Lately with the way my summer is panning out, I really wonder if I'll make it to the beach. So, some beach volleyball in PA may be all that I get in terms of sand :/
On Sunday, I saw Josh's sister's recital! It was the first dance recital that I had ever been to and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoy ballet and these girls are seriously very talented!! It was a great weekend and I can't wait to see my family this weekend for my cousin's baby shower. Happy Monday friends!


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