Radiating Sunshine: September 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday Friends!! Today, I am writing from the comfort of my parents' home and it feels ah-ma-zinggg! I have missed this place so much and it's astonishing how even when I'm gone for so long it still feels like home. I'm going to spend my day at home relaxing, catching up on work, and writing my five weekly confessions!

I confess... besides missing my home home. I also miss my friends from my undergrad. Recently, I have been reflecting on everything I did last Fall and I truly miss walking to my friend Matt's apartment, meeting up with this crazy clan of RAs and friends, and hanging out. Our next set of plans is to see everyone at Kevin's wedding and I am practically counting down the days for that!
I confess... I love coloring! This past week my staff and I participated in #whaleforacause by Vineyard Vines! Every picture someone puts up by today, Vineyard Vines will donate a healthy meal to a child in need. So, not only are we helping others, but old fashioned coloring is therapeutic for our souls. I really enjoyed seeing just how different everyone's whales were and we talked about the inspiration behind color choice and pattern.

I confess... We are two days in to Fall and it's wonderful! I've talked about this numerous times, but I love Fall. I also love not having a cold and or allergies. So, hopefully my sinuses will get used to everything outside so I can go back to singing in church and taking long walks!
I confess... while at home I soaked up all the kisses from my parents' little fur babies. My parents have three rambunctious pups who are everything, but well behaved. They climb on you, they kiss you, they prance around you and nearly trip you. They sleep on the couch and lick your face until your "clean." And although I really want a smaller dog that doesn't jump up on me when I'm older, I love hanging with these cuties.
Let me introduce, Evie my snuggle puppy!
I confess... tomorrow I am selling items at Josh's parents' yard sale and I'm really excited, but also really nervous. What happens if no one comes or no one buys anything. What happens if I struggle parting from things or people offer me low prices. Hopefully, I will be able to let things go and I won't buy anything new to take home. But, we will see how I do! Since I have moved a ton of times over these last few months, I've realized I really need to let go and donate/sell things!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Work Life Balance

Lately, I have been on the struggle bus with work-life balance. This is the first time in my entire life that I feel completely burnt out. I thought college was hard... well folks being an RD, going to graduate school, and having a personal life is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. My only true hours of free time are usually from 10:00PM-6:00AM during the week, which leaves 16 hours to squeeze in work, RA's, DA's, residents, conduct issues, budgeting, campus programming, fellow RDs, eating food, going to the gym, trying to maintain communication with loved ones, and so on.

At the start of every week, I write a big to do list of everything I want to accomplish this week. Usually the to do list gets added to every day and even sometimes things get pushed over to the next week (which, is surprisingly okay with me). I enjoy knowing that although my days are long, I feel very accomplished. But, with that sense of accomplishment also comes exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings. 
My fellow RDs have been great when it comes to helping my work-life balance! I feel like I really connect with them and often times when we are all together I find myself smiling the whole time. I have amazing buddies-- Aaron and Alex who have been huge role models for me. Chris and Anette, two first years like me have helped me feel validated on where I'm at. MaryEllen, my walking buddy gives me great advice and serves as a great role model. We took up walking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it has slowly become more than that. We both go through withdrawals on the mornings we decide to "sleep in" and miss our 6:00AM walk time. Lindsey, Keeyana, and Emily also serve as role models and idea boards. They make me feel so incredibly creative and help me bounce ideas off of them, which I really appreciate. 

I love my fellow RDs. I know that I am never struggling alone and when I have an overwhelming work week, they are right there with me. It makes me feel like this experience is somewhat normal and that everything I am learning will serve me in a thousand and one ways. More importantly, they give me wonderful tips on ways I can improve. 

But, sometimes I like to step away and remove myself from work. It is in those moments that I find myself in my apartment snuggled un on the couch or in my recliner. However, when you constantly come home to an empty apartment it is easy to feel lonely. So, I have once again found companionship in my favorite lady, Elin. I have purchased two Elin Hilderbrand books and I recently started reading The Beach Club. I love her stories and I love knowing I am knocking off an item on my 101 in 1001 list, which is due in May!!
I have a lot of self-care tips that I am doing my best to practice. The first is calling my significant other, Josh. Hearing his voice brightens my day. I have also started reading for fun, hence Elin Hildebrand. I have a new goal to take at least one bubble bath per week, which is probably my favorite goal out of them all. I also strive to go to the gym at least twice a week... partly to get my money's worth and partly to get my bikini body ready for Fall. Since August, I have struggled with work-life balance, but I am working hard on making more time for myself.

Josh always reminds me that these are the days I want to remember most, so I want to remember happy and not-stressed out Alex over the workaholic I was slowly becoming. And with this change, I have a hunch that I will be a lot happier and will be a lot better of an RD too.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekend Recap 9/21/15

This past weekend was definitely one for the books. I hung out with some grad school friends on Friday night and finally visited the Mount on Saturday. I haven't really been back since I graduated and I was blown away by the beauty of the campus. 
This is the place where Josh and I fell in love. It was in this very spot that I found my person!
It was family weekend there so the whole campus was buzzing around with a ton of parents. Josh and I met up with one of my old residents, Cassandra and we got to catch up. We also hiked up to the grotto, which was a spectacular view as usual. Going back to your undergrad after you graduate definitely feels very strange. It felt like a stranger who was completely at home. How one can be a stranger and feel at home all at once is beyond me. But, I definitely never thought I would feel that way visiting the Mount.
My goal is to visit the Mount more regularly. Maybe hike up to the grotto and eat at the cafe. While I have been gone, they got sophisticated and now have a Starbucks on campus O.o So I will definitely need to check that out. Hopefully one day, I'll be able to take my kids to the grotto and maybe one day I'll be able to walk up the stairs without gasping for air. (at least I know one of those is definitely attainable)
After we visited the Mount, Josh and I road tripped to visit one of my cousins. We hung out with her husband and family and then we started heading back home. We went to church and stopped by an a restaurant for some yummy food and to watch the O's play. It was probably one of the best dates Josh and I have ever been on. There was something just so wonderful about sitting at dinner and watching the game. We spent three and a half plus hours at the restaurant. We didn't check out phones. We held hands and ate a ton of food. And it was just us. We talked about our futures and what we wanted. We gabbed about the weekend and his club baseball stuff. I just love dating him so much and I can't wait to date him next weekend and the weekend after that and the weekend after that...
The Meathead from The Greene Turtle.
So, that is how I spent my weekend. With a mini-Mount campus reunion, driving around with Josh, eating yummy food, and most importantly dating the best guy around. I genuinely have never been able to just talk to someone about everything and anything at any moment of the day for such a long time. I would talk to him forever, if I didn't need sleep and didn't need to do work. How did you all spend your weekend?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Confessions

I am starting a new blog series called Friday Confessions. I got this idea from my good blog friend Chelsea at Anchors Aweigh. Ever Friday I'm going to blog about five confessions I have from this week.

I confess... that this blog is changing quite a lot! Now that I'm getting old, I decided that a new look would be perfect for this little blog of mine. So, over the next few weeks I'll be updating this little blog to capture where my life is at currently. My goal is for this lifestyle blog to become more involved in product reviews and student affairs!

I confess... for the past few weeks I have been waking up at 6:00AM with a friend and we have been walking a few miles every morning. I have been loving it! I am so much more productive when we start our mornings walking and the days are so much longer when you get to see the sunrise.
I confess... I have been really into crafts recently and I really want to make this guy for my Aunt Paula. She loves wine and I feel like this would be the cutest craft. Maybe even drink the wine that's in the bottle too!
I confess... my office has been a mess recently! I think this is the first time in quite some time that I've been able to see my desk. But, on the plus side in three weeks I am getting new office furniture and a new carpet. I'll be sure to do a before and after picture when it's officially done.
I confess... my apartment currently smells like burnt bacon! I cooked bacon earlier this week and I cannot get rid of the burnt bacon smell! I literally have little bowls of vinegar spread out around my apartment, my windows are open, my air conditioner is on max, and every time I have an hour to spend in my apartment I have every candle and plug in on. If you have any suggestion, please let me know because I am desperate.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Recap 9/14/15

This past weekend was a weekend full of firsts for me! For starters, I started the weekend early on Friday by going to the dollar star with MaryEllen for some balloons for the open house this weekend. Now, let me just ask... have you all put 10 balloons in the backseat of a bug? Or have you ever ridden inside a bug? It's awesome that MaryEllen has a bug, it's kind of like all of my little girl barbie bug fantasies coming true. Anyways, we put a bunch of balloons in the back seat and proceeded to drive back to campus and were attacked by the balloons continually for that drive. As co-pilot it was my job to reign in these balloons... I didn't do the best job unfortunately, but we didn't loose any so I consider that a success! 
 On Saturday, Josh and I had quite the big breakfast spread. Josh made pancakes while I cooked up some scrambled eggs and sausages. I love breakfast and Josh comes from a cereal family... but, I prefer eating something hot and preferably with sausage for breakfast. So, when Josh comes up we make a big breakfast spread and I make a lot of sausage #novegetarianshere! Josh also manages to drink me out of an entire jug of orange juice everytime he comes to stay. But, I don't mind... it's so much easier cooking for two than it is to cook for one!
After we ate breakfast and Josh so kindly did the dishes, we left for Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Shop. I have passed this place on Route 30 probably over twenty times in the past 6 months on my way to Shippensburg. Our original plans were to go for a hike, but this past Saturday's weather was not ideal. So, we decided to get out of my apartment and check out something new. We loved going to Mr. Ed's! I picked up a gag gift for Christmas time (I cannot believe I just wrote that) and we toured the museum of elephants. I have never seen so many elephants in my entire life. What was really cool about the museum is that Robin Williams and a few other famous celebrities visited this wacky little shop!
It was my first weekend off in quite sometime and now it has really started to feel like Fall. I'm really looking forward to this semester and to the days when I don't think about my life in semesters, but in years. However, who knows if I'll ever stop thinking that if I stay in Student Affairs for the rest of my years! Definitely something to ponder as I snuggle up on the couch and watch some Sunday Football.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Weekend Recap 9/8/15

I hope you all had a wonderful labor day. There is something sad and exciting about Labor Day... it's sad that Summer ends and exciting that Fall (my favorite season) is officially beginning. This past weekend I was on duty, which basically consists of handing around the university and caring the duty phone with you everywhere. And by everywhere I mean in the bathroom when you're in the shower. I almost fell out of the tub before trying to get to that darn duty phone. Anyways, this past duty weekend was fantastic. It was spent with friends and Josh and I just feel like I am so well rested and ready for this upcoming work week.

After handling some duty responsibilities, MaryEllen and I did some crafting! MaryEllen and I are walking buddies and we came up with some Fall crafts that we wanted to do while we were on duty this past weekend. So, on Friday afternoon we headed to the Dollar Store and Walmart to pick up some craft supplies.
We made four crafts together: FALL signs, little decorative jars, THANKS jars, and pumpkin toilet paper decorations. All together, I think we spent $35 on actual craft supplies for the both of us! But, we also get a little wild when we go shopping.

We really enjoyed the craft night and just being able to watch some chick flicks (Sleepless in Seattle & Just Friends) and enjoy a quiet evening without much fuss. Of course, we were on duty so we had to respond to various situations, but really we couldn't have asked for a better evening.
After sleep was disturbed quite a lot throughout the evening, I managed to make it to the first home football game! It was awesome watching a football game at the college level, even if it was Division II. We all split some french fries and enjoyed each other's company. I only made it until half-time until football-induced-nap started to kick in. I will probably regret one day always napping during football games, because now it always makes me tired! I came back and took a solid nap! Once I woke up and did some cleaning, I met Chris for dinner and then he came back to my apartment and we watched a movie. He also removed this massive spider from my apartment, which I greatly appreciated!
Once I got off duty, I drove down to Josh's for a Labor Day bbq! We shucked corn, grilled chicken, and played a lot of corn hole. I was only down there for a little while, but I enjoyed the time I got to spend with him! He is one of my best friends and I love our walks and talks.
 I also got to bond with Radiating Sunshine's biggest fan, Josh's brother, Jonathan! While Josh was showering, Jonathan and I took a trip down memory lane and looked at this old blog I have here. We read old posts and commented on memories. I also enjoyed slurping down my delicious peach milkshake that Josh's dad made us! There are definite benefits to Josh living at his parents house... I love spending time with his family and I couldn't imagine these past two years without them in my life!
Even though I am old now, I loved having Monday off and a day off from work! It makes me feel like a little kid again, but it is wonderful getting a day off and knowing that I'm starting this week off on a Tuesday! Life is slowly starting to have rhythm again and I am so excited for Fall to officially get here. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

1st Year of RD Life: Apartment

As some of you know, I moved this past August! It is crazy to think that it took me over a month to write this post, but August for a Res Life professional is crazy! So, now that life has calmed down and I finally have a night to sit on my couch and work on some personal stuff. It felt amazing leaving the office around 5:30PM tonight and being able to just have a quiet night. So, on my quiet night I decided to write a reveal post of my new home! 
The Bedroom

I have a four room apartment (bedroom, living/office space, kitchen/dining room, and bathroom). The apartment isn't huge, but has so much charm. It was designed back in the late 60s, so it definitely has a vintage feel with a lot of random furniture pieces. When I first moved in I was worried I wouldn't have enough space, but now that I'm officially unpacked, I feel like this apartment is huge!
I love the quilt I purchased from TJ Maxx for my bedroom. I feel like it just really brightens up the room. My goal wasn't too spend a lot of money on this apartment since I'm only living here for about 9 months. I'm really glad that I got the opportunity to reuse a lot of my old stuff! I'm also grateful that my mom lent me a lot of household items and or gave me some of her old stuff to use! My apartment definitely had a homier feel now that she has given me some essentials.
Little sneak peak at my closet and dresser!
The Office

Setting up an office is really important to me. Every time I move into a new apartment (the whole two times) I move the desk out into the living room. Some of my RD friends have asked me why and honestly it's because I don't want to do "work" whether its office or school work in my bedroom. So, I really enjoy setting up an office space in my living rom. I'm glad this apartment has a little space where I could set this up! 

The Kitchen

The kitchen is probably my favorite space. Although it is a little outdated and doesn't have much storage, I have managed to do a lot with this space! I really am missing the cabinet storage I had in the apartment over the summer, but you really can't pass up this kitchen table! Josh and I spend so much time sitting at it when he comes to visit. It's perfect for a friendly dinner and I'm probably going to miss this table the most when I move to a newer apartment. I made a little pantry out of a bookshelf I found in the living room, which has been very handy! I still don't know how I like having all of the food piled up in there, but until I can come up with a way to make it look less cluttered it will have to do for now.
Here is the view from the kitchen table at the rest of the apartment. 
The Bathroom

The bathroom is pretty nice! I have a really big bathtub and nice mirror storage. I'm still working on decorating the bathroom, so for now I just have quotes on the walls. I am hoping to make a cloth covering for the poles/plumbing underneath the sink. I keep all of my cleaning stuff underneath the sink, so hopefully I can sew small curtains to cover that. I'm also hoping to do seasonal decorations in the bathroom of some sort!

The Living Room

And to end the tour we will finish with the living room/ entry! The living room is still a work in progress! I'm in the process of ordering new curtains that will liven up the apartment, which is really exciting! I'll do a big curtain reveal once I finalize the colors and get the measurements done. I love the sofa and the recliner. It is perfect for entertaining and the recliner is so comfortable. I have a nice tv stand that came with the apartment. A previous RD painted it blue and a lot of the blue paint has scraped off, so I'm working on deciding to either scrape it all off or leave it the way it is! I just purchased the tv from Walmart, so it's exciting having a tv that I can actually watch things on! My old tv is in my bedroom and is currently out of commission since it does not have a QAM Adapter.
And that's my apartment! I have really enjoyed building a home here and am really proud to call this place my own. I'm excited to start decorating for every season and am really looking to experiencing Fall, Winter, and Spring in this place! Cheers to being officially moved in and to all the memories that will come in this new home. 
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