Radiating Sunshine: May 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Confessional Friday

Today is a special Friday, because today my favorite guy turns 22! Its hard to believe that we have been dating since he was a teenager. Anyways, today I'm confessing five things I love about this incredible man!

I confess... I love how kind his soul is! Josh will literally do anything for anyone. He will literally stay up until 3AM trying to get school work done because he takes an hour or two break to talk to me before I go to bed! 

I confess... I love how hard working he is! This man has no limits when it comes to perseverance! To all of the employers out there seeking a hard worker please check out this guy! He will endlessly impress you just like he endlessly impresses me. 

I confess... I love how amazing he looks in my power color: navy blue! Seriously though since he has met me his wardrobe has made significant changes in the navy blue department. 

I confess... I love how he is endlessly supportive. Seriously though, whether it comes to this little blog of mine or my academic freak outs he is always here to support me. 

I confess... I love how at the end of the day he is all I want to talk to and every adventure I go on he is the only guy I want next to me! I'm so very grateful for my adventure buddy. I love sharing this life with him and I'm so blessed to have someone who loves milkshakes, pizza, movies, family time, and traditions as much as me!

Happy 22nd Birthday, Josh! I'm so proud of all of your accomplishments and I can't wait to see where you go next! Hope you all have a happy Friday friends :)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Work Life Balance

Over the next few weeks (well, basically month) I will be working non-stop! I'll have the occasional day off to relax and spend quality time with Josh and hopefully family... but, for the most part I will be working A LOT. Throughout my graduate program, I have to have three internships (called Practicums & Fields). For my first Practicum, I will be working with New Student Orientation. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to learn how a crucial aspect of retention in Higher Education is created and managed. 

Lately, I've been putting on my self awareness hat and trying to do some reflection and exploration. The field of Student Affairs is HUGE and there are just so many different opportunities. The vast majority of my new professional career has been spent in Housing and Residence Life. Although I love my Res. Life roots I think it will be fun for me to see how different departments do things. 

So, I'll be starting this transition with New Student Orientation. I know it will be a lot of hours (10-15+ a day) and long days. But, the amount of learning and responsibilities I will have is really exciting. My supervisor and I have met to discuss expectations and it sounds like I will have a lot of autonomy and opportunity!
I've been really happy with my job! This weekend marks the official one year mark since I became a Residence Director. It is crazy to me that I have been doing this job for a year now. I learned so much this past year (I'll save that for another post)! Being an RD is very different from what I expected, but I have grown to love this position so much.

I continuously tell people that you create happiness wherever you go! Well, that has continued to hold true for me as I completed my first year of graduate school and RD life. There were weeks where I was emotionally and physically exhausted. There were students that kept making the same mistakes over and over again! There were staff members who continued to challenge me time and time again. But, the challenges and difficulties of this position only have made it so much more enjoyable!

I hope you all work or find jobs that allow you to use your gifts and that bring you meaning. If you find that your jobs don't bring you meaning than I pray that you use some positive psychology and find meaning (if possible wherever you are at)!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Solo Eating Tips & Tricks

I have lived on my own for almost a year now and have slowly started mastering the art of eating on my own. It's a lot harder than you think! Some days I wish Josh lived with my so I had someone to finish my leftovers and or allow me to get all of the good deals when you purchase in bulk. 

I swear grocery stores do not try to save folks who live by themselves money. I literally have three packages of sausages in my freezer because it was actually cheaper to do the buy two get two free deal than to just buy one! I recognize that it is an incredible privilege to have access to all of this food! I don't believe in wasting food either, so I have been working to master the art of eating for one. 

Grocery Shopping: 
(1) Only shop with a basket -- if you get a cart, you will fill it with unnecessary food, which will cause unnecessary spending. 
(2) Set a spending limit, and stick to it-- I go grocery shopping every two weeks and I spend about $40-$60 every trip depending on how much food I need to get or if I'm hosting Josh! I usually set the spending limit so I can get gas points and I stick to my budget. 
(3) Buy what you will eat -- Don't buy six bananas unless you'll eat six bananas! With fresh produce it can be really tempting to fill your cart with a bunch of delicious and healthy options. But, remember these items go bad usually within a week or two! 
(4) Inspect your items and expiration dates -- When you eat on your own you need to know how to purchase unripened items and items that don't expire for awhile. It is literally the worst when you have to throw out moldy food that you never ate! 

Cooking for One: 
(1) Meal prep & portions -- I portion out everything and I'm not afraid to use tupperware containers! Every meal has a balanced portion of protein, carbs, and veggies. 
(2) Spices can change the same meals -- this might be my favorite trick! I'll usually buy the same either a package of thin chicken breasts, rice, and spinach or veggies. I've learned how to change al of these into different flavors to make my mind think I'm eating something new every night. Here are two examples: 
a. grilled chicken breasts with a balsamic glaze, garlic rice, and sautéed spinach and arugula. 
b. breaded chicken, risotto, and spinach arugula salad  

My Usual Purchases: 
- Red Baron Deep Crust Pizzas
- Simply Lemonade {Blueberry}
- Orange & pineapple juice
- Coffee creamer
- Spinach and Arugula salad (or mixed greens)
- Balsamic or oil based dressing
- Rice or a healthy starch for the week 
- Loaf of bread (I love oatmeal bread)
- Fruit (bananas, strawberries, or apples)
- Some form of dessert (ice-cream usually)

I still have a lot to learn about cooking on my own. Sometimes, I make too large or portions or too small of portions. Sometimes, I don't eat all of the food before it goes bad! I love cooking and eating in because it is so much cheaper and almost always is healthier. 

Happy eating friends!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Life Lately

I'm currently hunkered down on the couch with the recent grad as I nurse a sinus infection and reflect on how amazing the past week has been! I'm officially moved in to my new place! I have a few more paintings to hang on my walls, but the apartment is really coming together. I'm hoping to do a reveal for y'all in June!

Anyways, besides moving and transferring offices! I took a little break and watched Josh graduate this weekend! On Friday night, we went to his Senior Formal. Before the dance, Josh took me to one of his favorite restaurants, Corner Stable and we had delicious barbecue... well Josh did. I had a shrimp salad sandwich, which is now my newest food addiction.

Then we headed back to the hotel and got ready for a night of dancing, laughing, and snacking. The hotel had a horse theme, so we thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures with all of the pretty horses. Some of the horses were bigger than us!
On Saturday, Josh had his majors socials, his baccalaureate mass, and hooding ceremony, dinner at the President's House, and Otts with friends. Josh graduated as a Business and Communications double major so we got to hit up two socials, which means twice the snacks! I think the business school had the best snacks! They had these pretzels filled with cheese and I really regret only stealing Josh's pretzel haha. His food is almost always better than mine! 

The baccalaureate mass and hooding ceremony was beautiful! We absolutely loved Father Brian's homily. He literally got up there and sang "Forever Young" for us all! It was really nice watching Josh get hooded. I remember that moment when I was in college and I was surrounded by all of my closest friends! Nothing can beat it! After the mass and we all had sufficiently worked up appetites, Josh and his family and I went to the President's House for dinner. The President hosted all of the Presidential Interns and it was wonderful eating and hearing all of the positive praise that Josh received. 

After dinner, we went home and got Josh's outfit ready for the big day! We then headed to Otts to meet up with friends and see our college friends! It was so nice being reunited especially since I don't think I will be able to see all of them for quite sometime. My internship starts up here in a little while and it's going to be really busy! 
On Sunday, Josh graduated and joined the adult world. It was a bittersweet day for us. We met his sophomore and my junior year and the rest has been history! We were inseparable in college and the vast majority of our fondest memories were spent together. It feels sad to see our Mount journey end. But, I know we will start a new journey somewhere else!  
While at the Mount, Josh and I had several mentors that helped us along the way! Father Brian and Dr. {Caitlin} Faas have truly been monumental in our lives at the Mount. Hopefully, one day (if we both end up in Higher Ed) Josh and I can be mentors to undergrad students and help guide them in their major life decisions.

After a fun graduation weekend, I came down with yet another cold in the last two weeks and Josh has so kindly decided to keep me company and help make me feel better! We also cooked our first breakfast in my new place today! I look forward to cooking more in this apartment and I can't wait to see all the delicious creations we make together. I have three recipe books just calling my name! 
Anyways, that's all I have to share for now! I'll be working a lot this weekend so hopefully more blog posts will be written and I can finally start working on some product reviews! I've been so behind on all of this blog stuff, but I feel like I'm slowly getting caught up!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happier You: May Goals

May will be a big transition month, which only makes sense that my Happier You May goals are focused on transitions. The word transition comes with a lot of pressure. Nobody likes change. Our bodies are practically designed to cope with change and to do it as smoothly as possible (i.e. homeostasis). So, when big transitions are upon us like moving, starting a family, or graduation it's important to cope with those transitions well.

All throughout your life you will always have transitions, some will be more difficult then others. My goal this month is to evaluate the role that transitions play in your life and to evaluate how I deal with transitions.

So, here are my Happier You goals for May:

move into a new building... this process has started yesterday and is definitely causing some stress. Not only is it hard to pack up all of your belongings and move everything (including your office). But, it is a reality of my job and the res. life lifestyle.

set goals for next year... I'm a huge goal setter and now that I have completed a year as an RD I have learned a lot about where I need to grow as a person, professional and grad student! So, I want to establish goals for next year and evaluate how I did this year!

research resilience... resilience is a hot topic in Student Affairs and is definitely something that I think everyone should have tips to be resilient. There are some great books out there that will be really helpful with this and I can't wait to share everything I learn with you all!

create a home... now that I'm moving into a two bedroom and two bathroom apartment, I will need to add twice as much stuff to my apartment. I've already started making some decorating decisions and I can't wait to create a warm and welcoming home!

So, wish my luck! I am hoping I'll do better on these goals compared to April. And hopefully at the end of May I'll have some pictures to show you all of the new space and place that I'll be in :)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Confessional Friday

Hey there friends! Another Friday is here and this is a special Friday... it's the last Friday (and weekend) before I move to my new apartment. So, today I'm sharing the five things I'll miss about this apartment. 

I confess... I'll miss this blue recliner chair. This chair has definitely been my blogging station for the year and is so comfy. I love curling up in this chair, reclining, and snuggling up in a blanket. A downside to having a furnished apartment is you can't take the furniture that you LOVE with you and an upside to having a furnished apartment is hopefully I'll re-fall in love with the new pieces of furniture in my new space!
 I confess... this little corner of my kitchen fits my trashcan perfectly! I know I really shouldn't miss a spot to put my trashcan, but I'm really wondering where my trashcan will fit in my new apartment.
I confess... I love the daybed lifestyle, but I will probably be retiring it after I move to my new apartment. The daybed kind of made me feel young and made my bedroom feel a lot bigger than it actually was. So, it has been real daybed and I'll definitely miss you!
I confess... on the window in my bedroom I have a small little garden growing of sunflowers, asylums, and tomatoes. It is not the prettiest garden to look at (no cute pots and things), but it definitely makes my room feel cleaner and refreshing! Not sure where this garden of mine is going to go when I move to my new place, but hopefully these plants survive the move!
I confess... I'm going to miss the memories I've shared with J in this space. This is the apartment where we decorated my first Christmas tree, where we spent countless Saturday night date nights in, where we hosted my college friends and co-workers, where we build pillow forts and watched tons of movies. Every Residence Hall I have lived in has bene completed by this guy visiting and creating tons of memories with me. I am going to miss my first apartment and I can't wait to see what memories we can create next year in the new space!
So, cheers to moving on Monday and to hopefully this guy volunteering to come up and help me unpack! I feel bad that every time I move, J is responsible for all technology and wall decor set up. But, I really would be lost without him! Thanks for the memories McLean apartment, I promise I'll visit you soon!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happier You: April Review

So, April definitely wasn't the best month for the Happier You blog goals. I think I struggled holding myself accountable this month and will definitely be adding these family goals to May's agenda! Anyways, here is a review on how I did for April!

surprise someone... I did manage to go home and visit my parents and (sister) once in April. It wasn't really a surprise, but I think my family was happy that I got off work and could come down so maybe I surprised myself!?

call a relative 2x a week... this did not happen, which I feel really bad about! My goal was to call relatives outside of my immediate family and catch up. But, unfortunately the pressure of closing and other things just made this next to impossible.

friends are family too... This was probably the goal that I did succeed on! I spent a lot of good and quality time with my college friends and my co-workers. I went to visit a friend in Virginia and worked on leaving the office early to spend quality time with my co-workers!

plan a family trip... this did not happen, but I did map out when I am going to go home to visit my family in May. The month of May is really quiet at work, so I am going to take three days off during the week and visit the best family of mine. I'm hoping to plan a family dinner while I'm home and cook up something scrumptious for my family to enjoy.

So, that is a review of April. Definitely not my best month, and I'm going to create a chart to hold me accountable or put in my calendar when I'm going to call people so that way I never become "too busy" to call my family members!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cheers to 4 Years {Giveaway}

Today is a special Tuesday because I'm celebrating this baby blog's 4th birthday! So, cheers to Radiating Sunshine's 4th Blogiversary! This blog has seen me throughout all of college and my first year in the adult world and in graduate school. Back in 2012, I wrote on this baby blog of mine 49 times very irregularly. I didn't really know what I wanted from the blog community (and sometimes I still don't know). Well, 4 years later I double what I posted my first year as a blogger and have met so many amazing blog friends. So, today I'm going to share with you all some of my biggest life and blog accomplishments and hopefully take you down a trip down a sunny memory lane.
While blogging... I met this guy! Who for awhile I only referred to as J on the blog!
My first post, Closure to Freshmen Year: My Year in a Nutshell truly makes me giggle at my lack of blog etiquette. But, it is still the beginning of my blog journey and should be remembered (and cherished).
I traveled to Austria and fell in love with Europe! I documented everything on this blog of mine :) 
My most popular post: Fall 2013 Programming Ideas ... as a Student Affairs practitioner this made me smile thinking that my most popular post has hopefully helped others with their programming. It also makes me cringe on how non-inclusive it is! But, that is the joy of learning and growing as a professional!
I supervised my first staff as a Residence Director and attended my first professional conference!
My least most popular post: finals  ... not surprised by this one it is literally like 5 sentences long, but clearly I just needed to post something for that week!
I went to Alaska with my family on our last vacation for quite sometime now!
The highest viewed Weekend Recap, came from 1/20/14 and I discussed bowling, dinner out, and bingo! During my Junior year of college I was an extreme blogger and I spent so much of my time reading, writing, and expanding my blog! My life has definitely gotten way busier and I can't blog as much as I would like, but maybe one day I'll get back to it!

Other major highlights, I started advertising on Radiating Sunshine, I began doing product reviews, and gave Radiating Sunshine a huge facelift with some fancy new graphics. I still have a lot of hopes and dreams for this little blog of mine and hopefully you all will continue to support me! I also hit 200 GFC followers! Hopefully, I can hit 250 by the next blogiversary!

Because I love you all so much and also will really miss the Starbucks being open on campus (summer hours) I am doing a fun and energizing giveaway today:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck lovelies! Thank you all for your dedication to this baby blog of mine :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekend Recap 5/2/16

Happy Monday friends! I can't believe the last weekend recap of the academic year is upon us. Some days, I don't like that my life is literally divided up into two semesters (Fall & Spring) and then Summer. And although I'll miss the weekend recaps on this little blog of mine, I will continue to do my best and update you all on Radiating Sunshine's happenings over the next few months. Anyways, here is how J and I spent our weekend ;) 

Friday... Josh's little sister had prom, so I helped her get ready and we took a ton of pictures. This was her Senior Prom and it made me so nostalgic for my Senior Prom! Here's a little trip down memory lane... Pre-Prom and pictures was absolutely crazy! I really don't remember much of the drama that went into planning this event, but by the looks of these photos I would say it must have taken a lot of work! Thanks to my parents who let this many people come to our house ;)
Can you see me!?
Anyways, back to Friday night... after pictures were taken and Melissa was off to prom. J and I had dinner with his family and then went to a baseball meeting. After the meeting was over we went to the Mount (my alma mater and J's almost alma mater) and saw the Spring concert! 
We watched a band called PVRIS and ate ice-cream. I also got hugged by 50+ Mounties and it was so nice to see so many friendly faces. After the band finished performing we got treated by Fireworks over Echo Field! J and I love a good fireworks show and it was so nice getting to watch fireworks with him at the place where we met. There was something really nice about this weekend. It brought us some wonderful closure to a beautiful three years of friendship at the Mount!

Saturday... was full of baseball! I got to sleep in, which was lovely and then spent the afternoon at the baseball field. It was such an overcast day and the wind was chilling. But, I did manage to get a little bit of color and watch my favorite Club baseball team play! Saturday night, J and I watched the movie, Invincible about the Philadelphia, Eagles. It was a a really cute Sports movie and I totally recommended it for all of my couple friends out there.
Sunday, I spent the day studying for my Stats final. I also cleaned up around the apartment, made Mother's Day presents, watched FreeForm, and painted my nails! Overall it was quite the lovely weekend. I'm so glad I got spend the weekend with my favorite guy and his family. I can't believe this academic year is coming to an end! Hope you all have a beautiful week :)

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