Radiating Sunshine: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Confessions

TGIF! This week or really the last two weeks have seemed to drag on. I'm not sure if you share my sentiments, but really every day has felt incredibly long it's own versions of frustration and victories. As I sit here and write this post, I'm looking forward to experiencing my first RA Interview weekend at a new university. I'm also really looking forward to going to another homecoming basketball with my main man! Anyways, before all of that can happen... I have some confessions!

I confess... I'm obsessed with the chicken teriyaki bowls at the CUB. Last semester when I discovered them I began limiting myself to one chicken bowl a week... but, not having them for over a month due to Winter Break has caused a strong craving for them! Do you have a favorite food that you crave?
I confess... all of my jeans & yoga pants are ripping... I guess I'm at that point in my wardrobe to reinvest in jeans and yoga pants. However, I'm being really stubborn about it. I totally wore the jeans below for 3 more days once I noticed this hole. Now, I know why my freshmen roommate in undergrad struggled with parting from jeans with holes in them. It's like you're breaking up with your favorite pair of jeans. You've worn them every day for years. They are comfortable to you. They make you feel and look good. And suddenly, they develop a hole in them and threaten to expose you to the world... So, farewell to my favorite pair of jeans! Where do you get your favorite jeans?
I confess... Since I sit on a Selection committee for work and I read a ton of resumes and cover letters I have noticed two things about myself: I really need to update my resume and I really hate it when people don't proofread their work that they submit. Now, I'm definitely not a proof-reading angel (this blog I'm sure is scattered with typos) but when you submit a resume I feel like that should be on the list of things you NEED to look for!

I confess... I love getting letters... particularly from Josh! I've gotten two love letters from this guy in the last week and I feel like a million bucks. There is just something so darling about a hand written letter from a loved one! So, if you have an extra 10 minutes in your day send a letter snail mail to someone you care about... it will for sure brighten their day and boost them up.
I confess... I love salads in a jar. There is just something so magical about eating salads from a jar. I'll be sharing my favorite recipe next week... but, today I'm sharing my favorite ingredient in the jar. And that's onions. Now, before you shake your head in disgust, please remember that onions are flavorful and extremely healthy for you. Sometimes I wonder how people live in a world without onions, I've met a number of people who can't even have onions in anything that they eat. While I still respect and love these people (and eat all of their shares of onions) I still cannot fathom not enjoying this delicious vegetable.
Anyways, that's all my confessions for the day! Hope you all have a beautiful weekend. See you on Monday for another weekend recap :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Happier You: Health & Wellness


I can't believe that January is coming to an end! This month truly did fly by and I'm excited that I am a month in to Happier You. To see more of my Happier You goals, check them out here! This month was a really exciting month. I felt so empowered by choosing five new goals to focus on and meeting the expectations I set for myself.

Health & Wellness month was pretty much dedicated to making my body run smoother. After reading a few happiness books, I've learned that one can't become happier by having a run down body. I also learned that one cannot feel happier if one is exhausted and feeling sluggish. So, this month I made five goals: get more sleep, drink tea, leave my apartment, rise on the first alarm, and eat my veggies.

So, let's begin with the update & grade for this month's Happier You goals:

get more sleep... um yes!! It's not surprising that getting more sleep was on my list of happy improvements. As Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project so cleverly writes that sleep is essential to our happiness make up! Like her, sleep was one of my first goals for my own happiness projection. Rubin even offers her readers 14 Great Tips for Getting More Sleep. Some of these include: setting a bed time (midnight), establish a bed time routine (cup of water- sometimes with Vitamin C tablet, brush teeth, pre-bed stretches, call Josh to say goodnight), make your room dark and chilly, cover those feet, lotion up (I love using Body Butter by Bliss), and write down your agenda for tomorrow.

I knew getting more sleep was very important for improving my work production and overall function. Now, I definitely still craved naps on some days. But, once I started getting in a routine sleep became easier and I felt more rested from the sleep that I got.

drink tea... so, this Happier You goal I kind of just stumbled upon. I was at Target, walking aimlessly through their well organized aisles when I stumbled upon tea that was on sale. So, naturally I spent twenty minutes in the tea aisle examining the sale, picking out the tea, and putting it in my cart. I was so excited about my new purchase and hopefully what would become my new habit. I decided to test out two different types: Lemon Detox and Nighty Night by Traditional Medicinals. These little teas have made their way into my routine and I am loving their effects. My skin is clearer, I feel healthier, and I sleep pretty gosh darn well. Now, I was a psych major so I'm well aware of the placebo effect... so if this is a placebo or not, I really don't care! I feel better and I'm sticking with it.

leave my apartment... lately my extroverted self has been sent to hibernation and my inner introvert is here to stay. I keep finding myself enjoying quality time in my apartment where I can work on my hobbies, read books, and take bubble baths. But, this quality time spent alone has also been driving me a little crazy! So, my goal is to continue to get out of my apartment... whether that is stretching my legs (achieving 10,000 steps) or swinging by a friends. I've done pretty well on this goal for January. Even when the blizzard hit, I still made it outside and shoveled A LOT. Too bad shoveling didn't equate to steps on my tracker!

rise on the first alarm... arguably the hardest goal and the one I struggle accomplishing every day. Josh kind of inspired this one because he gets up on the first alarm (most mornings) compared to me, who sets 6 alarms to get out of bed. However, I've been realizing that I spend a good 30 minutes whining about getting out of bed and that isn't going to make my morning anymore positive. So, I set my alarm song to All is Love by Karen O and the Kids and am off to a great start!

eat my veggies... hello salads in a jar it's nice to meet you! I used to struggle getting my daily veggie intake. Living at a college campus and eating primarily cafeteria food leaves my veggies opportunities quite limited. So, the salads in a jar have really come in handy! I've been eating them for almost a month now and shaking up the recipes and the jars has been a lot of tasty and healthy fun.

It was really important for my Health and Wellness goals to be tangible and exciting. I did not want to pick any cliche goals and I wanted to pick something new and exciting. I already go to the gym three times a week and I drink plenty of water (I could probably cut soda out of my diet) so I knew building on those goals wouldn't really give me that accomplished feeling. I'm really quite proud of my first month in and I'm glad I stuck to my goals! Stay tuned for February's theme and goal :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happier You: An Overview

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Today, I'm finally writing my first post for my Happier You Project! Back in November, I decided to start researching ways to make my life happier and more productive. I came up with twelve different areas of my life that I wanted to work on over the course of the next twelve months. I divided them divided up by month, just to keep me organized and on track. The months were selected intentionally because of life events, however throughout the year I'm keeping all of my happy goals in mind. So, today I am updating you all on where I found the inspiration.


These books have been influential in organizing, planning, and executing my Happier You project. The consistent themes that all three of these books capitalize on are these: You choose happiness, happiness will literally improve all aspects of your life, and happiness starts now.

Happiness has been sought after my literally everyone. People are always looking for the key to happiness, but what I have found is that the key is you. All of these books offer great insight into happiness and I would highly recommend you read them.

The Happiness Advantage- Shawn does an amazing job showing how happiness can not only improve your life, but build up your work performance. One of my favorite quotes from this book is "simply believing we can bring about positive change in our lives increases motivation and job performance; that success, in essence, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy" (Anchor, 74). This book holds great insight into my professional life and I look forward to incorporating his ideas and tips into my work as a supervisor. After all, no one wants to work for someone who is negative or fosters a negative environment. Another aspect that I love about this book is that Shawn uses real life examples and studies to further his evidence! I found the studies he mentioned fascinating and am currently preparing a presentation for my RAs on how simply having a positive outlook on their work will improve their outcomes!

The Happiness Project- I wish Gretchen and I could be best friends. I know she is a married, New York City dwelling, mom and writer/blogger but her book and project was so down right inspiring. She even gives a full tutorial on how to start your own Happiness Project! I loved all of her chapters on ways to make your life happier. My favorite chunks of advice she gave are: de-clutter your life, give to others, hug more & hug for longer then 3 seconds (come here Josh), "be as eager for Mondays as you are for Friday," act with intrinsic motivation, make to do lists for life, and enjoy the journey. Thanks Gretchen for all of your insight and if this little campaign of mine every makes it on your radar I would love to talk on the phone with you... or have coffee... or just be your best friend.

The How of Happiness- Sonja wrote a beautiful book about happiness is changeable and based on your present situation. This book was also quite educational and can be applied to LITERALLY anyone. Sonja covers topics from finding companionship to struggling with depression. I also found Sonja's advice on social comparisons and struggles to be really insightful... every day we experience stress and insecurities. However Sonja encourages popular advice for chronic over thinkers and that's to: "break free, move to higher ground, and avoid future traps." So, stop comparing yourself to others, because no one else is you!

All of these books talk to some extent of practicing kindness! They aren't the cliche happy self-help books that you see in every library or book store. They are real and useful guides to happiness that aren't afraid to call out off days or moments in your life when you want to have a crummy attitude.

I know I won't be a beacon of happiness on this Happier You project. Trust me, just yesterday I found myself sulking in my office about all of the heat issues in my building. Life throws curve balls and difficult situations every day. But, the key to happiness is feeling confident that you can handle all of that and looking at those struggles with a positive frame of mind (intrinsically decided upon).

That's all for now folks! Check back on Thursday for a full update on January's resolutions.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Resolution Essentials {Fitbit} Giveaway

Happy Tuesday friends! I can't believe the month of January is almost over. It really did fly by and before we know it Valentine's Day and then Easter and then Summer (aka beach time) will be upon us. Now, in light of the 'New Year, New You' phenomenon, I teamed up with a bunch bloggers to giveaway a Resolution Essentials Kit! There are a bunch of fun things you can do to enter to win this fabulous giveaway. Among my resolutions (or goals if you will) was to stay more positive. 

Today, I'm also giving you a brief preview of Happier You, which I'll be writing more about on Wednesday!
Borrowed Heaven ||| To Travel & Beyond ||| Christina Lea Loves ||| Martinis & Bikinis


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Over the next year, I will be working on becoming happier. I like to consider myself a happy person, but every now and then negative thoughts consume me and then my work and personal life falter. Well, no more! My goal is to appreciate life for all the bumps in the road and to get more educated on positive psychology so I can share it with you, my family/friends, and my wonderful staff of RAs. 

Spoiler Alert: For January, I focused on health and wellness. Now, I will do a full review of my goals for January later this week. But, here are the goals in short form: get more sleep, drink tea, leave my apartment, wake up on the first alarm, and eat my veggies! January wasn't a perfect month, but it definitely was a month when these goals came to life. 

Hope you all have a terrific day and good luck on all of your resolutions! You have a few days to enter to win this awesome giveaway {It will begin Tuesday, January 26th at midnight and end Monday, February 1st at 11:59 pm. }

How would you use this Resolution Essentials Giveaway?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Recap 1/25/16

Happy Monday friends! Today, I'm enjoying a slow work day full of RD Interviews, RA programs, and potentially a night class. The university is closed today, but the students never sleep! Anyways, today I'm sharing how I spent the blizzard 2016. 

Before the snow storm hit, Josh and I squeezed in a date. We knew our plans to get together would get canceled because of Jonas. So, we hit up a Mexican restaurant, visited a Pet Store, picked up some groceries, and aimlessly toured Dicks Sporting Goods. I always drag Josh around all of my stores, so it was nice walking around Dicks with him and seeing what good deals we could find! 

After a busy day of work on Friday the snow finally came. It started out slowly at first and it was actually really nice. I got to officially break in my new E Spirit boots (fake LL Bean) boots and trekked to the library to do some Stat homework and re-fall in love with SPSS... 2 hours later and one hot chocolate finished I was ready to head home and cuddle up!
The next morning, I woke up early to assess the snow damage! We got about 34 inches of snow which is definitely the most I can ever remember getting. I decided to get a work out in and begin shoveling. I made a small little path to the dining hall and then started to freeze my little butt off so I needed to get retreat to my cozy apartment.
 After warming up, folding laundry, and doing some stats homework. I then proceeded to bake my day away. I started by teaching myself to make donuts. They were really easy to make! Seriously, I think it only took 10 ingredients total and of course this mixer makes life so much easier.


I loved making these donuts. They were so therapeutic to make. You had to mix all the ingredients without over mixing. Then you pour it into the donut pan and bake them until their golden brown. Once they are hot you need to remove them from the pan and then you can make the topping. I chose a cinnamon sugar topping and the rest is history (or in my tummy)... check Instagram for the final pictures!

I also baked skinny peanut butter banana muffins. I went completely rogue when I made these so they came out a little flat. But, they are delicious and will be perfect little breakfast muffins for this week. I love a little muffin and cup of coffee in the mornings... maybe one day I will be cereal person. But, for now I'll stick with what I love and thats muffins!
Sunday was filled with assessing more of the snow... and I started with my car. Yes, my car is under there. Unfortunately, the snow plows plowed a lot of the snow right next to my car. So, I began to shovel my car out. As I was shoveling, my supervisor Jen and a total stranger-resident came to help. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. It literally would have taken me hours to dig this car out, but with three shovels we cleared Penelope out within an hour of work! I'm always so touched by other's generosity so I decided to pay it forward. I shoveled two other student's cars out and hopefully they feel/felt called to pay it forward too. 
Sunday night was spent watching football and making salads in a jar. My prediction for the Super Bowl came true and the Broncos and Panthers are heading to the Super Bowl. I am now in a real pickle because I don't know who I'm going to cheer for. I'll really have to think about it and will update you all on who I am cheering for and what my prediction is. In regards to the salads... I'm thinking about sharing my favorite salad recipe on the blog later this week!
Anyways, that is how I spent this snowed in weekend! I made lots of food, baked a lot of treats, became a card dealer at Frostival, and FaceTimed Josh a lot. Hopefully, this is our last snow storm apart because really who wants to be snowed in by themselves?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday Friends!!! I hope you are enjoying this day and you are loving life... if your a North East Coast resident I hope you are prepped and ready for this impending snow storm! Today, I'm confessing five things while I wait to be snowed in all weekend! 

I confess... I love Michaels coupons, however despite all of the times that I give them my email I NEVER RECEIVE THEM via email! I'm not sure if I blocked my email from receiving Michaels coupons or not, but I would really like to start receiving them... or maybe like a once a month coupon? That might be more ideal!


I confess... I laughed an awful lot at this meme! Props to Adams County Winery for putting up this hysterical post! Now, I probably won't be in the orange category... or even the aqua category, but for all of my wine lovers out there I'll stand in solidarity with you! Or I'll sit with a glass of wine in solidarity (you choose)!
I confess... I walk by this mirror every day and never give it much thought. But, boy can it capture an  outfit pic! I'm lacking a mirror like this in my apartment so I'm really excited to have learned the magical abilities of this mirror. #imanawfulselfietaker
I confess... I emailed the university I live at's IT Help Desk about my wifi dropping on my SmartTV. I struggled telling them that it is really inconvenient when the wifi drops and I can't binge watch my shows on Netflix. I mean really that's not a major issue, right? But, it's starting to get so annoying and there only suggestion was to plug my tv into an ethernet port (which, is not possible)! So, I guess I'll have to kiss Netflix goodbye for the remainder of the semester!

I confess... I went on a winter hike with Josh and his family on our day off earlier this week and it was easily probably the highlight of my week! We had such a blast and got in a solid 2.5 miles. I really enjoyed spending quality time with his family and exploring the chilly outdoors!

That's all for now... I'm slightly proud of myself for all of the blogging I have managed to do! Thanks for continuing to be my inspiration and I hope you enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe

I've never been very good with recipe posts! To be honest, I always start cooking with the best intentions. My goal is to always share yummy recipes with you all, but I struggle with two things: one-- I usually don't follow a recipe and two-- I forget to take pictures!! So, I'm sorry that this post won't look gorgeous like most recipe posts do (and I'm not just being humble)!

Anyways, here is the delicious & simple recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water 

In a bowl, mix 1 cup flour, sugar, and salt together. In a measuring cup mix 2/3 cup of warm (I used fairly hot) water and dissolve the yeast in it! Then add the yeast water to the flour mixture and then slowly integrate the final cup of flour. Then, put a warm and wet towel over top the bowl and set a side for 10 minutes. Bake pizza at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown!

I love flavor, so before I put sauce on the pizza I spread a thin layer of olive oil over top of the crust and then sprinkled garlic powder and Italian seasoning! Then I used regular marinara sauce, cheese, and pepperonis! This was definitely the easiest pizza crust I have ever made and only took my 20 minutes to prepare!

the one and only picture I took (see I'm awful!)
I'm not about the 1.5 to 2 hour prep for pizza dough, especially on a Saturday night! So, if you're in a pinch and you have two cups of flour and some yeast, then I would highly suggest this yummy dough recipe!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#JingleVoxBox

Hi Friends! It's that special time of year when I finally get around to reviewing the Influenster Vox Box that I got two weeks ago! Now, it's time do some product reviewing.

This adorable Vox Box came with the following products: 

Cetaphil® Moisturizing Cream
Biscoff® Cookies
Ore-Ida® Tater Tots
Hallmark Itty Bittys®
NYC City Proof 24HR Waterproof Eyeliner
KISS® True Volume Lashes & Adhesive
Up Ice Nail Polish

All of these products range in price from $2-$10, but for their prices I would say they are priced fairly. For example, I would definitely pay $4 for a bag of tater tots or eye liner. Anyways, let me start reviewing some of these products!

 Totally eyed out!! This vox box came with eyeliner (color brown) and fake lashes! I love the eye liner and have found myself wearing it every single day! The fake eye lashes were a bit much for me. Not only were they volume to the max, but I don't have that many events (or any let's be real) to wear them to! However, I am going to save these guys for a wedding I am in. So, I'll be bringing these guys back out for those September fiestas!

The Cetaphil Moisturizer is definitely my favorite product featured in this voxbox! During these cold windy days it has locked in moisturizer and it has come in handy! I would definitely recommend the moisturizer and I will definitely be purchasing this in the future.
The Pure Ice Nail Polish was also surprisingly wonderful! I have seen this nail polish in Walmart loads of times and have never tried it out! Well, boy am I glad I did. It lasts a long time and the color was perfect!
The other products I was sent was the Itty Bittys of Spider Man from Hallmark, which I gifted to Josh because he loves Spider Man! I also got Biscoff Cookies which I carry in my school/work bag for when I need a little pick me up! I haven't baked the Ore-Ida Tater Tots yet, but from experience I know I will love them!!

If I had to order these products on my favorite scale (meaning they are the best all around -price and usable- 1 being the best) the order would have to go like this:

1. Cetaphil Moisturizer Cream
2. Ore-Ida Tater Tots
3. Biscoff Cookies
4. Spider Man Itty Bittys
5. NYC City Proof Eyeliner
6. Pure Ice Nail Polish
7. Kiss Products

And as a disclaimer, I received all of these products complimentary of Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions above are my own.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Let's Get Reading

I saw this 2016 Reading Challenge on Facebook (shocker) the other day and i think it has really inspired me to try different books. Now, when I read it's either for three things: work, happiness, or Elin Hilderbrand. But, I really want to broaden my reading horizons! So, this 2016 Reading Challenge above has kind of inspired me to create my own reading challenge.

So, now premiering 
Radiating Sunshine's 2016 Reading Challenge: 

1. a book that is being turned into a motion picture (or has turned) 
2. a classic novel that will challenge me
3. a happiness book
4. a romance novel
5. a children's book
6. a book that I own but have never read 
7. a book that Josh has picked out for me
8. a book that I have read before
9. a book that a friend has suggested
10. a mystery book

Now, I would like to be optimistic and put 12 different books on this list... but, the way last semester went I finished two books over a course of five months. So, I'm going to stick with my 10 different books and hopefully will find more time to read!

Do you have any suggestions for books I should pick up? I should have added number 11 be "a book a blogger suggested!" Oh, well!! Comment below friends :)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekend Recap 1/18/16

Writing my first weekend recap of the New Year! It felt so strange to type 16 instead of 15! But, that's how it always feels when you begin a new year! This past weekend was really lovely. On Friday night I went to a barbecue restaurant with some of my RD friends and then worked off that delicious pulled pork sandwich at the gym! Then, J came up and we watched a movie and made milkshakes. They weren't really milkshakes... rather glorified chocolate milk! But, still delicious! 

On Saturday, J went to the farm show and I decided to have a lazy craft day! I painted three pieces for my apartment. The first was 'For where two of three gather in my name I am with them'! I've been wanting to make this piece for sometime and when J surprised me with a beautiful piece of wood to paint on I couldn't resist. 

 The second to mini canvas were inspired by Pinterest! The first is 'start each day with a grateful heart' and has found it's home on my night stand! I love the pink and gold colors together. The last piece I created was 'spirit lead me where my trust is without borders' to honor my favorite Hillsong song!
I enjoyed my paint day, even though I have really old brushes! For my next paint projects I will definitely have to get new brushes! I kid you not y'all I was washing my brushes and looked down and the tip fell off and went right down the drain.

After my painting ventures were over. I got busy cleaning and cooking. I cleaned the whole apartment (minus the bathtub -- I've got to tackle that today)! I even made four more salads in a jar and tried a new pizza crust recipe!
When J got home from the Farm Show he showed me all of the cool goodies he got! I hope I can go to the farm show with him next year *remind me not to take duty* :) On Sunday (today), we spent the day watching football and relaxing. I was totally cheering for Carolina to win and who knows what will happen with the Steelers vs. Broncos game! Obviously, I have to cheer for the Steelers because of J but, I really don't know who I think will win. J and I keep joking that we should start a youtube channel called 'When Your Girlfriend Watches Football' because apparently he loves it when I give my two sense on the games. So, stay tuned we may have a little project to start working on!

Happy Monday and Martin Luther King Day! May you all remember the importance to treat each other not just equally, but also justly.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday and Residence Hall Opening Day!! Today has started off with a bang and a power outage. But, no worries friends the electricity and heat are running again. I'm really looking forward to this weekend! This week I have been driving myself into the ground and I am sensing a nasty cold or illness will plague me if I don't get some rest! Anyways, like most Fridays it's time to confess some things. Also, thanks for all of my readers (especially my co-workers) for making me laugh and feel special. I never thought these Friday Confessions would amount to anything, but I'm glad they give you a little joy!

I confess... I went snow tubing this past Sunday with my Residence Life Pro Staff. I knew that one could get hurt snow tubing, but I had no idea how easy it was. After the first run, two of my staff members flipped out of their tubes and got concussions. It was beyond icy that night and I realized that although it's fun to go sliding down a icy hill on a tube, it is definitely not the safest option. So, I'm sorry future children... snow tubing probably won't be in your future. On a side note, please keep my friends Alex and Keeyana in your prayers as they recover from their injuries (love you both)!

 I confess... Last summer when I started my new job I naturally bought a new planner... well, it only took 7 months for me to get sick of that planner and one trip to Target. So, $11.99 later and I have a new planner. What is kind of confess-able about this little tid bit is that it brings me a strange amount of pleasure to have a new planner and start writing future events in it. I have learned from my positivity research that simply anticipating a future event like a friend's wedding or a date can bring you great amounts of joy!
I confess... I love leading ice breakers/ team builders. Thank goodness I chose Residence Life. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing my staff work together to solve a problem. The only downside is my staff rocks at team builders, so I have give them a bunch of hoops to jump through (literally)! But, don't worry the blind folded people didn't have to jump!

I confess... I'm kind of regressing back to my middle school self with fonts. Now, before you freak out and think I'm using Comic Sans for all of my work signage I've been recently addicted to Century Gothic. I know this is kind of embarrassing, but I love how clean and crisp the font is! So, please excuse all of the Century Gothic that is plaguing my building.

I confess... I'm attempting to become a tea drinker. While I was at Target (shocker) they had a sale on their tea. So, naturally I had to buy it. I got two different types (lemon detox and nighty night) and my tea drinking habits have been going well. I'm officially a day in and I've had two cups already (hold the applause). My tea routine is as followed: lemon detox tea after lunch and nighty night before bed. I still enjoy my cup of coffee in the morning, so that probably won't change any time soon! What is your favorite types of tea?


Anyways, that's all I'm confessing this week! Stay tuned for next week when I'll share more juicy secrets from my life. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Straight vs. Curly


 five reasons why having straight hair is WAY easier than having curly hair...


1. You can literally wake up and go anywhere and not look deranged. 

Waking up an hour- hour and a half earlier because you have to shower every morning so you don't scare people can get real old real quick. Especially since my straight hair-ed peers can just role out of bed and brush their hair and go!

2. Brushing your hair is no problem

Have you ever seen what happens to someone with curly hair when they brush their hair? Boom. They are back in the 80s!

3. Your hair is longer by default 

When I let my hair go curly, it sits above my shoulders. But, if I straighten it my hair touches my shoulder bones. Coincidence? What was once a mom hair cut has improved itself! On a little side note, my curls don't seem to grow pass my shoulders no matter how hard I try to grow them out!

4. People don't make comments about your curly hair

Grocery store check out lady: "Oh my, are those curls natural?" ... me: "no ma'am this was God's gift to me" Grocery Store check out lady: "man, I used to pay a lot of money for curls like that!" #hairisconstantlybeingcoveted

5. Your hair has little to no frizz (at least not the way curly hair frizzes)

When my hair is straight I have little to no frizz. I usually have the occasional random short hairs that refuse to be bobby pinned down, but thats really a small consolation for frizz free hair!

see what I'm dealing with!!
Now, obviously there are numerous different types of straight and curly hair. Some people have really oily hair, really thin hair, really thick hair, etc! So, my opinion might not sit right with you! However, after having my hair straightened for this past week I must say I definitely think it is easier to work with.

However, as I sit here writing this post as my curly haired self I can't help but also feel grateful for "God's gift." And as much as I complain about how much hair products are, how long it takes to get ready, or what happens after I wear a hat I still love my hair (straight and curly)! Over the years, I have learned to be comfortable with who I am and I hope you feel the same way too.

Happy Wednesday friends :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Guess I'm an Adult

Over the course of the last month, I don't think I have ever felt more like an adult. For starters, while writing this post I remembered that I need to pay my credit card bill. If that doesn't scream adulthood, I don't know what will. Now, I really should just set up the automatic payment thing. But, call me old fashioned when I actually want to review my bill and see exactly how much money I have spent eating out recently... which, needs to come to to an end! Anyways, adulthood has hit me hard this holiday season. 

For starters, I have officially gotten into rebating and couponing. Over break, I couponed like crazy and then discovered I could earn money by using an app called Ibotta. My friend showed me this app a few months back, but I had never had time to use it until this break. So, hello $5 from going grocery shopping for my mom! 

I also had a full adult Christmas, which I really cannot complain about! This Christmas I got a beautiful KitchenAid mixer, a blender, and a Real Simple ornament holder. I also got some foam soaps for my powder bathroom and a suitcase! There was something about these holiday presents that really showed me that adulthood is here. Perhaps years ago I might have been disappointed in such an appliance heavy Christmas, but half a year on my own has brought out my inner adult and I couldn't be more grateful for these appliances. Now, I can make all the cookies and milkshakes my heart can desire. Just kidding... add margaritas and bread to the list too! 

When I was a little girl, I always grew up pretending to be an adult. I was the mom to many baby dolls. My sister and I played office and pretended to be our own mom selling IT materials. For years, I kept saying life will be better when I have graduated or done this. Well, sticking with my New Year's Resolution to be more present, life is great now!

I recognize that I am definitely not a full adult. I still depend on my parents for a lot of things and will forever be in their debt for everything that they have provided for me. I still have a lot of things to learn as I continue on this journey into adulthood and I still will probably always call my mom about household related questions. She is my best friend and I love how she raised me to be an independent and capable young woman. Anyways, thanks for reading! I've got to go use my ornament holder and take down my Christmas tree :( Better late then never (or leave it up all year long)!

xoxo,
Alex

Monday, January 11, 2016

Break Recap

I'm currently on my Staff Retreat in Virginia, so I figured while I was away I would write you all this darling post about how my break went. As most of you know, I'm work as a Residence Director for a state school in PA. I love my job and my students. Nothing fills me with greater emptiness when they all leave for break... but, that emptiness is filled then followed by great joy because I too get to leave for break! So, here is how I spent my two and a half weeks off!
 I got home on a Tuesday morning and proceeded to take a nap. What better way to start break, than by napping for a few hours! Then my sister and I went to dinner and did some Christmas shopping. We also took a picture with Santa to surprise my mom for Christmas.

While on break, I got to see a bunch of High School friends, catch up with family, make ginger bread houses and snuggle with my dogs. And when I say snuggle I mean picture me, trying to drink coffee while being endlessly harassed by this knucklehead trying to lick my face.
 I also read a lot while on break. I finished two more Elin Hildebrand novels... and I must say she is still by favorite! I read more for my Happiness Project and read a lot of cookie recipes. My goal is to read a variety of different books (not just Elin) during this 2016 year, so if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them!

All and all it was a phenomenal break! I got to spend time with so many people and got to do so many things. I rung in the New Year with all of my greatest friends. Josh and I spent quality time with my grandma and made her lunch. Christmas was everything and more and we continued to do all of the amazing traditions.

Life is grand and break was grand! Now, I'm going to start getting back into the swing of things with work. Hope you all stay beautiful.

xoxo,
Alex

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Confessions

 Happy Friday friends! It has been a week since the New Year has begun and I'm finally getting around to showing this little blog of mine some love! But, better late than never right! Today, I will participating in my Friday confessions...

I confess... I'm "sending Josh to camp" this upcoming week to learn some old fashioned wood working! His Uncle is really crafty and joked over Christmas that Josh should come and spend a week with him to learn how to build things. Well I fell head over heals for the idea and after discussing what Josh could potentially make and his availability, Josh is heading to camp this Sunday. I'm really excited to see what he can create and I can't wait for the new pieces that he is making to enter my home!

When I was at Hobby Lobby the other day, I saw this cute little wood panels. I'm hoping Josh could make this or at least the wood paneling for it :)

I confess... I've been spending entirely way too much time on FaceBook recently! I'm constantly checking it and it is taking up way too much of my time. So, I'm gonna start working on only checking it twice a day... once in the morning and once in the evening! Wish me luck. Anyways, a benefit to checking Facebook regularly is you get to be tempted by every video by Tasty and you get to read a lot of funny things (below is one of those funny things).

I confess... over break I barely walked anywhere! So, I'm happy to be back in PA where my daily average is 8,000 steps and I usually walk 4-5 miles a day. Cheers to losing the four holiday pounds I packed on this year (sugar cookies are my weakness)!
I confess... all I want right now is a good cup of hot cocoa! Did anyone watch The Polar Express over this holiday season? Well, they know how to make animated hot cocoa look enchantingly delicious. If anyone is seeking my friendship, a cup of hot cocoa with some whipped cream on top is a sure in!

I confess... I leave for my staff retreat tomorrow and thus say goodbye to this man of mine! We got to spend a few days together when I moved back to PA and it was beyond marvelous. We went running, cooked delicious meals together, and watched a lot of movies. My favorite sous chef is the best guy I know and I couldn't be happier with him by my side!

There you have my five Friday confessions! I hope you all have a wonderful Friday, weekend, and life in general. As I get back into this thing called life, I promised I'll be around way more. Having two and a half weeks off was just way too good for me. And sitting around on a computer writing, when I could have been with family, friends, or binging on netflix just won the battle for my time!

xoxo
- Alex
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