Radiating Sunshine: April 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Confessional Friday

Woohoo!! It's finally Friday and a special one at that because I am taking the day to see Josh and visit our undergrad! This Friday is also the last Friday of classes, which means I have exactly one week left until I close my building, my residents leave, and Summer begins. Although Summer still comes with work, two grad classes, and an internship there is something really nice about knowing I have finished a whole year as an RD. So, just like every (or almost every) other Friday here are my five confessions to end the last week of classes with:

I confess... brie and croissants are literally the best dynamic food duo (if you aren't lactose intolerant).  Almost every RD social and get together has brie involved and I am never mad about it. How do I make my brie and croissant appetizer? I wrap the roll of brie in the croissant dough and bake it at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes (or until the croissant dough is golden). Serve with wine if you'd like :)
I confess... last week my RAs teamed up with our apartment complex staff (Chris and Evan) and hosted a Condom Carnival. We had over 150 students come out to the carnival and had a lot of different and some questionable stations as well. Overall I'm really proud of all of the work they have done on the event this year.
I confess... rolling coins stinks, but if you have a good attitude about it rolling coins isn't really that bad! Last week I had to roll coins from the donations at Shave this Ship, a fundraiser my students did for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. So, long story short I arrived at the bank and they didn't have a coin counter and boom I sat my butt down and rolled $93 worth of coins. Now, you could argue that I could have gone to coinstar... but, this was way more humbling!
I confess... I just finished the sequel to Me Before You, After You and am totally at a loss! I loved those books and Louisa Clark so much and I am bummed it is over. I really can't wait to see the movie and am totally looking for my next book... so, if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!
I confess... in less then two weeks I will be moving all over again and am at the stage where I am really ready to pack up... but, I'm struggling to find the motivation. I have moved so many times in the last year and am really not in the mood to do it all over again! Oh well, I can't wait to show off my new place in a few weeks :)
I confess... balloons, sunshine, dresses, and smiles are literally the best medicine. On Sunday, I was feeling really down in the dumps about work... but, nothing some cognitive re-framing couldn't fix. Seriously though a lot of people ask me why I'm "so positive" all the time and I think its because I can really reframe how I'm feeling and put a smile on my face!

Anyways, that's all I have for you today! Have a beautiful day :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Buy Products with Meaning: Sakari Watch

Hey blog friends! Over the years, I have fallen in love with companies and organizations that have great products that when you purchase they will also give back to a good cause. Some of my favorites include: (RED), TOMS, The Charity Pot, LUSH, and Sakari Watches! The Sakari watch is definitely my most recent charitable find. When you buy a sakari watch you get a premium product with high grade swiss ETA movements as well as helping out horses! 10% of all watch sales are dedicated to rescuing slaughter bound horses.

To read more about the owner's passion behind the cause, visit his page here! Anyways, let's get back to the product. I'm currently on the hunt for a durable and nice watch for Josh. He isn't really a watch type of guy, but maybe with the right watch that is comfortable, durable, and weightless I could convert him... It might even serve as the best graduation present or big-boy job present! 

So, after researching a lot of different watch options, I think I'm going to go with a watch that is personalized and handmade. I like how the maker of Sakari watches has a personal investment in every single watch he has created or restored. I like how there are variety of different band options that you can order. And what I love most is that every 5 watches sold will directly save a horse and the watch maker will send you the details of the horse that you have saved because of your smart purchasing. 
There are a lot of products out there that you can buy that will help a good cause. But, a lot of these products are made in factories all over the world and do not contribute to justice for all parties involved. However, one thing I love about the sakari watch (Valeta Sport Chronograph) is that it is personally made by a small and relatively local business. So, check out the Sakari Watch and purchase one today!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Reasons to Date a Res Lifer

Hi lovelies! Hope you all are having a phenomenal day! Today, I'm talking about balancing my work and my personal life (a task that is not easily achieved when you work as an Student Affairs). There are many pros and cons to living on campus and working at a university. For example, a con is on most days I work ALL day. Last night, I had a break from 6PM-9PM and I literally told my DA I didn't know what I was going to do with myself. I ended up throwing frisbee with some residents, but still the all day work life is real. A pro is I literally have no commute... Have a morning meeting? No problem, just put on a pot of coffee and walk downstairs. 

However, I will be honest sometimes my job does affect my personal relationships. Whether its phone calls interrupted, cranky programmed-out Alex, or the inability to to explain work days-- it can be hard to work in Student Affairs (but, more specifically Residence Life).

But, there are a lot of reasons to date a Res Lifer and I've outlined some of them below. Maybe next week I'll get J's opinion on the manner and share with you all. 
Five Reasons to Date a Res Lifer:

(1) We usually get to live in an on campus apartment that comes furnished! My apartment is extremely cozy and J and I absolutely love spending time here!

(2) Food. Food. Food. Almost every program comes with food and that definitely moves mountains with J! Whether its yummy desserts or eating some french fries, there is almost always a snack available. My work also pays for a meal plan, so J and I eat at the dining hall quite frequently!

(3) We get to experience cool things and go to socials that we don't have to plan (most of the time)! Some of the highlights from this year: giant corn hole, arcade games, Photo Booth, etc.

(4) Res Lifers (occasionally) have a crafty side, so we can literally help with any project (home or work related)!

(5) We are very sensitive people and were tremendous listeners! Our jobs call for us to listen to people and help sort out issues. These experiences have helped us build up our social skills, which can be used for listening, advice-giving, and or boosting people's moods.

There are pros and cons to every job, but dating a res lifer definitely comes with more pros then it does cons.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spirit Voxbox

Greetings lovelies! Today, I'm sharing the most recent Influenster voxbox that I received for testing purposes. All of the opinions present in this voxbox are my own and feel free to listen to me blab about my opinions or not :)

 So, let's do the product reveal:

(1) SweetSpot Labs Wipettes (Vanilla Blossom, Neroli Mandarin, Grapefruit Verbana)
(2) SNICKERS Crisper
(3) Yogi Tea
(4) NYC New York Color
(5) Kérastase Oléo-Curl

This voxbox was kind of a hit and a miss! Some of the products, I absolutely LOVED and the other ones were okay. I'll start with the okay products now and then go into the definitely must have products at the end of this post.

(4) NYC New York Color 
This Demi Lip and Cheek Tint falls into the mediocre category. To start, I found it difficult to use. I just didn't really understand how to rub tint on my cheeks as blush. However, a major benefit is that it is blendable to your skin tone and is long lasting! If I were to buy this product again, I would definitely look for a color that suited me more!

(1) SweetSpot Labs Wipettes (Vanilla Blossom, Neroli Mandarin, Grapefruit Verbana)
Now, I really wanted to love this product, but the pricing is a little high (30 ct. for $9.99) and I just don't think it would be affordable for college students. But, it is a great product and smelled wonderful. The packaging was also very cute. However, due to price I don't know if I would buy this product in my current financial state. However, I would totally recommend it to all of my lady friends out there!
(3) Yogi Tea
I really enjoyed the samples of Yogi Tea! I'm sorry that I don't have any pictures to share, but the two flavors I tried were green tea and mint! They were so pleasant and refreshing. I am still trying to teach myself to become a tea drinker and this was definitely a helpful starter kit!

(2) SNICKERS Crisper
Can you say yum! This was literally the perfect snack. It was packaged adorably and the chocolate was delicious. It also had peanuts, which kind of made it taste healthier than candy normally is :)


(5) Kérastase Oléo-Curl
Hello from the curly side! This was a great product! For any of my curly haired friends, I would totally recommend buying this! The dream cream and cleansing conditioner smelled so incredible and I'm so thankful that Influenster sent me this.

So, to review I would definitely buy: Kérastase Oléo-Curl, SNICKERS Crisper, and Yogi Tea! I could probably live without the whippets and New York Color.

All of these products were sent to me complimentary of Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Confessional Friday

 Today's confessional Friday post is geared towards confessions about living on a college campus (for literally the past 5 years). Every day my job pretty much focuses on making sure that my residents are comfortable with (and love) their live on experience.

I confess... I love only having a 28 second commute.... literally I walk 300 steps and boom I'm in my office! It can't get much better than that right? The only downside to living where you work is that sadly its hard to get out of the office. I catch myself in my office until 12AM sometimes and that work life balance is not healthy!

I confess... during inclement weather, living on a college campus really isn't that bad. This past January when the East Coast got hit hard with a blizzard, I really wasn't mad about having access to all the food I could eat, having the roads cleared off, and not having to commute in icy conditions.
That's about 3+ feet of snow
I confess... the food can be a hit or a miss. Having a Starbucks (and Dunkin) is super convenient and delicious (especially when your work pays for your meal plan). There are days when I love everything that I eat and than there are days when I am basically eating chicken tenders and french fries. The one thing I would change would be the healthy options, but I understand the crowd the dining halls are serving.

I confess... what inspired this post was that I am moving in less then a month. I love getting a fresh start in a new space, but I have moved every year for the past five and I'm kind of over it. I'm a full nester (minus pregnancy) so I love to decorate and make the space my own. But, that comes with a lot of time tearing down an apartment, packing boxes, and moving to a new location. (Plus side, I'll be in my new place for a year woot woot).
I confess... although there are pros and cons to a Live On position, you really can't beat the wonderful (and sometimes furnished) spaces that you get to share memories in. J and I talk about how much we're going to miss the apartment I'm currently in, but we are looking forward to all of the wonderful memories that we will share in the next place. 
On a side note, thanks to everyone who helps me move and supports my apartment decorating desires! You all are seriously the best and I'm eternally grateful for my live on position and the beautiful spaces that I have lived in.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hello... It's Me

I've noticed that I have had a lot of new visitors hanging out at Radiating Sunshine and it has been awhile since I did some introductions. So, today I'll be sharing 10 facts about me for all of my new little sunshiners out there! To start, my name is Alex and I've been blogging in this little space for almost 4 years now O.o! I've loved blogging and sharing my experiences throughout undergrad with you all. I now mostly share the experiences of the adult world and everything that it entails.

one... I work in Student Affairs at a university in PA! I am a Residence Director and I am enrolled part-time in graduate school. I have kind of always knew I wanted to work with college students and now it feels so magical to live that dream out every day (and most nights) ;)

two... I eat muffins every morning for breakfast. I'm not a huge cereal fan (partly because I can't control myself and I will literally eat 3 bowls). So, muffins are my life. On Sundays, I meal prep my muffins and make a bunch of delicious stuff! My favorite currently is: banana and coconut chip muffins!

three... Navy blue is by far my favorite color and its a running joke that I will only attend schools with navy blue in their colors. (Literally this has been happening since middle school).

four... When I discover a new song, I literally listen to it on repeat constantly. I'm sure this made my undergrad roommate extremely annoyed... but, I just really like songs. My current obsession: Take All the Time You Need by Oh Honey! Or really anything by Oh Honey-- go Spotify them now!

five... I try to embody a happy lifestyle at all times (cue- Radiating Sunshine). Seriously though, I love positive psychology and talking to others about ways they can simply be happy. Life is way too short to be sad, right? Check out my blog series, Happier You for the happy goals I want to achieve over the course of this year!

six... I'm extroverted and introverted all at the same time (not sure how it works, but it does) and I love spending time with family and friends... and love to stay home, read a book, preferably in sweatpants with a glass of chocolate milk (I'm still trying to be a tea drinker).

seven... I'm the happiest when I get to spend time with my favorite Radiating Sunshine fan, J! Seriously though, before we started dating he read my blog consistently without me even asking. I should have known he was a keeper then.

eight... Although I live in PA, I'm secretly a MD girl at heart. I love how much pride my crab lovin' state has and although I may never live in MD again, I hope I will always be within driving distance or on the East Coast.

nine... I love positive affirmations, which is probably why my building theme is You've Got MAIL: More Affirmations In Life! Nothing brings me more joy when I am told I'm doing a good job with something. I occasionally wish I was more intrinsically motivated and had my own intrinsic reward system, but I think everyone secretly likes to be appreciated.

ten... I work long and weird hours, but I genuinely love love love my job! I really don't mind living on a college campus for forever and my students are seriously the best. I also get a lot of pleasure from making flyers and creating programs. I think I chose the right profession, but I'm still figuring out where I fall in the world of Student Affairs.

And there you have it! 10 facts that I hope will help you get to know me better! I love my job and my life! I am truly grateful for every moment of every day. Hope you all have a beautiful Wednesday!

xoxo.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Confessional Friday

What a week, what a week! Super excited that its Friday and the weekend is practically here. But, just like every Friday before the weekend can get here, I have to give y'all my confessions! 

I confess... in my one on one with my supervisor this week I told her that I need to stop being needed. I swear every aspect of my life has been absolutely crazy recently. Here is just a small list of all of the areas of my life that are calling for my attention: My car's check engine light came on this week, my car needs me. My RAs are planning a huge program, my RAs need me. My sink has been piling up with dishes, my sink needs me. My laundry is over flowing, my laundry needs me. My DAs need to schedule their next set of shifts, my DAs need me. My card scanner on my building is acting up, my scanner needs me. My classes have SO MUCH work, grad work needs me. You get the point... Not a fan! I'm in a helping profession, so it is not very uncommon for me to offer a helping hand whenever it is needed. But, it is also not very common for me to get burnt out and be totally desperate. 

I confess... Aaron and I picked out the cutest tonsil and birthday care package for our friend and buddy, Alex! A-Team is definitely the best buddy group out there and our birthday baskets are just short of being famous. Also, shopping for this care package might have been the best part of my week. Aaron got the full experience of me in a Target. Now, he has some insight into why J never goes to Target with me ;)
I confess... A few weeks back I ordered an adorable etsy mug for my supervisor for AD Appreciation Day. On Tuesday, when I was in my "EVERYONE NEEDS ME AH" phase this mug was definitely on that list. I mean two and a half weeks, come on! But, patience is a virtue and this cute little package was waiting for me when I got into the office on Thursday morning. 
I confess... J's snaps continue to be the best! I loved this beautiful snap of my alma mater and a gorgeous rainbow. I definitely think that Mount rainstorms are the best rainstorms and I have never seen more rainbows than I did when I went to college there.
I confess... tomorrow is Relay for Life at Ship and I'm so excited. I've done Relay for 3 years in a row and this year will definitely be special since I'm at a new institution. I'm also really excited to be running my own table for St. Baldrick's, a fundraiser I'm planning for the end of April! We are going to serve mint milkshakes and it will be amazing. So, I'm really excited to walk off all the milkshakes I taste test ;)
So, there you have it! I hope you all have a beautiful day and I'm really looking forward to seeing you all next week! Also, on a side note: If you want to hear the cutest song ever YouTube: Oh Honey! Take All the Time You Need -- it is seriously the most chipper love song ever!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happier You: Family


Last weekend was Easter and I got to spend sometime with my mom and dad for a little while. This was the first Easter that my younger sister, Brooke wasn't home. Too be honest, it was definitely a really hard holiday. I missed Brooke so much and the whole holiday didn't feel the same with her not being there.

Brooke and I have been talking a lot about how important family is. I love that we have been talking more regularly and I'm really looking forward to her coming home from college and us sharing the same time zone.

All of this talk about family and seeing a lot of my family members this past weekend have set up April's goal for Happier You quite nicely. This month, I am focusing on FAMILY and truly embracing all of my different types of family that I have been blessed with.

surprise someone... Everyone loves a surprise! So, I'm hoping to conjure up a surprise for a special family member and make them feel truly special this April! If you have any ideas comment below ;)

call a relative twice a week... starting on April1st my goal is to schedule thirty minute blocks in my week to call two different relatives every week. Now, I know most of you must think this is really easy for me to do. But, with working the way I do and going to grad school my free time almost always consists from the hours of 10PM-1AM and that is way too late to be calling relatives. So, I'll have to block time between work and class. So, stay tuned family members :)

friends are family too... I think this will be one of the best goals for this month. I'm really looking forward to spending sometime with friends and treating them like family. I'm not exactly sure how this will pan out, but I'm really excited to shower some love on friends.

plan a family trip... whether I get time off to go on it or not I would love to plan a family trip for my family. It might only be a day or a weekend trip somewhere, but I would love the opportunity to plan something for my family of mine.

And that's it for April! It will be a very busy month. I just found out that I'm moving in May, so I'll have to start packing and prepping for the move. But, life is great and it will fly by!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weekend Recap 4/4/16

Holy smokes, its April! Well, this weekend was dedicated to the duty phone and spending some really nice quality time doing homework, sitting on my couch, and occasionally hanging out with some RD friends. I kid you not, this couch could not be any more comfortable!

Anyways, this weekend truly was dedicated to homework. Friday night, I was really successful with my SPSS Statistic homework and finished the rest of the book! I can't wait to buy a binder and put all of those assignments in and submit the project!

After my time in the library, Lindsey and Chris came over and we had a "girls night, plus Chris!" We made brownies (licked the bowl), listened to happy music, braided hair, and watched Sex in the City! It was such a relaxing night and the brownies were literally DELICIOUS. I have one left and I am waiting patiently to eat it. I think I have discovered that brownies truly are best when a little under-cooked! Now, mom before you start thinking I just ate a bowl of brownie batter, let me explain. As we were baking the brownies... we all discussed setting a timer and because of some accountability law or something NO ONE DID. And the end product resulted in me checking the brownies several times and pulling them out at the perfect time.
Hair braiding is definitely my favorite thing to do! My first year-roommate used to braid my hair all the time and I absolutely loved it. It probably can be linked to the hair being played with obsession that I have. Anyways, Lindsey did some different kinds of braids. The one on the right made me feel like I should be in Pride and Prejudice!

Saturday morning was fabulous! I brewed a pot of coffee and worked on my article critique for stats! I don't think I have ever read an article with as much scrutiny as I did this weekend. I also began working on my methods section for my paper! This weekend definitely has left me feeling a lot more productive and ready for this week to begin!
Sunday, wasn't as productive as I would have hoped. It started with me cleaning my apartment and doing laundry, which took forever! I then got a chance to get off campus and hit up the gym for a little while. I definitely needed it and I felt so much better! When I got back from the gym, I folded all of my laundry, painted my nails (AND DIDN'T MESS THEM UP), and got ready for dinner.
My department is currently hiring for a new Assistant Director, so a couple RDs and I took the candidate out to dinner at a local restaurant! It was a really yummy dinner and we had great conversation. My friend, Lindsey snapped this adorable picture of downtown Ship of the beautiful trees in the city.

I ended the night, shopping with my favorite buddy- Aaron! Aaron had a full Target adventure with me, which basically consisted of me rattling off my list of items (and necessities), examining each product according to my coupons and Cartwheel App, and exploring every aisle with Aaron. We made it out alive and before the store closed, which was a definite success in my book!
And that's my weekend! It was definitely a relaxing one and I missed having J around! I'm very grateful for a cozy weekend in and I'm really excited for Relay for Life and a trip to DC next weekend! For now, I'm going to sip on some ginger lemon tea courtesy of a BOGO from Target and couponing :)

xoxo.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Confessional Friday

Today's a special confessional Friday because its April Fool's Day! Now, all of my friends tried to convince me to write a confessional post that features crazy and quick witted confessions... but, I think I might stick to my traditional confessional root. 

I confess...  Josh sent me a snap chat this week about two gift cards he won. He was nominated as Ambassador of the Month (which, I'm super proud of) and translates into some yummy future date nights. We are huge gift card people and these babies will def go into the collection of date nights we have been storing up. 

I confess... I got another Influenster Vox Box and I'm really looking forward to testing out these products. I've currently become quite the tea drinker, so the yogi samples will go straight to use. The product I'm the most anxious about testing is NYC Cheek and Lip Stain. I have no idea how to work this product, but I'll hopefully learn! Lastly, the Snickers bar is calling my name! I've been eying it for a few days now and I'm so tempted to eat it, but I'm waiting for the right moment.
I confess... recently I have been feeling quite indecisive. And this has really been effecting my ice-cream eating habits. Therefore, I present to the blog community the best combination of ice-cream that has ever existed: pineapple-coconut, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip. It was heaven in a bowl and the colors of ice cream weren't bad too!
I confess... when I was a teenager, I used to move my furniture around ALL THE TIME. Even when I got to college, every once in awhile I liked to re-arrange my room. I think its because change is good and sometimes I got restless. Well, when I moved to PA I was doing a really good job with keeping things in the same location. So, on Thursday I decided to rearrange my bedroom, by adjusting my bed.
One of my RAs made me that cute turquoise blanket!
I confess... One night this week I had brie, croissants, and carrots for dinner. Probably not the most nutritious meal, but boy was it good! In the Fall I ate brie like every day, but it was DELICIOUS. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a big glass of wine, but I'm on duty this week so no wine for me!
Anyways, that about wraps it up for my confessional Friday posts! I'm really looking forward to getting a lot of grad work done this weekend. I'm bummed that I won't get to see Josh this weekend, but I'm hoping to knock out two big papers and maybe sleep in! Anyways, that's all I have for you :)
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