Activities · Favorites · Lifestyle

Distractions from Blogging: A Guilt-Ridden List

Hi. Yep it’s me coming back to blogging with my tail between my legs. This past month has been busy. Like SUPER busy. I’ve been bouncing from school to home to Florida for Spring Break, and along the ride I managed to take quite the hiatus from this blog. So, instead of apologizing for my lack of posts, I give you a list of what has been keeping me from getting in front of my screen and writing. Enjoy, I hope I can promise that the next post will not take a month for me to write!

4214199 (1)(A room at the Hotel la Zorza in Riomaggiore, Italy where Connor and I will be staying for a few nights.)

IMG_6337(Frozen mango margaritas the size of my head in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.)

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs West Virginia(The Gonzaga Bulldogs slowly making their way to becoming NCAA champions, and in turn letting me defeat my family in our bracket challenge.)

IMG_6353(Senioritis (noun): A condition that forces you to bribe yourself with candy to finish a reading, but even this doesn’t work because you have no self control and eat the candy right away anyways.)

unnamed(The search for the perfect inexpensive, faux leather jacket finally came to an end with this little number.)

IMG_6101(A weekend visit from my favorite guy, complete with a pre-spring break trip for fries and a shamrock shake.)

59704fc8970af2cb2c20345794c1fa4b-shameless-season-7-1474737516(And finally, Shameless. Addicted would most definitely be an understatement.)

Activities · Lifestyle

Study Break

Hey there, long time no see! My semester has really kicked into high gear, and I’ve been bouncing from visiting my parents in NY to old of my oldest friends in Boston so I do apologize for the lack of posts. For today I wanted to do something a little more fun than just my normal “advice-esque” posts. So if you’re struggling through some type of work, whether job or school related, as the title suggests I have a little break for you! And it’s in the form of my favorite online quizzes, because honestly who can resist finding out if their pizza choices makes them a dog or a cat person??

Spirit Animal Quiz

This online quiz is one of the best spirit animal ones I have found. While you do have to bear (heh, animal puns) with some pretty funky questions/answers, I like how the answers correspond to pictures, so even if you don’t really understand the question it isn’t impossible to choose an answer. I took this and got the panda bear as my spirit animal, as seen below.

panda-spirit-totem-power-animal-symbolism-meaning-1200x630

We Know If You’re A Dog Or Cat Person Based On How You Like Your Pizza

As prefaced above, this was a quiz I just had to take for my own sanity. I am a self-proclaimed dog person through and through, so the answer to this was undoubtedly going to send me into an existential crisis if it didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. Sure enough, I was a dog person!!! Don’t ask me how Buzzfeed designs these things but if somehow my love of excessive condiments on pizza makes me a dog person, so be it.

Sorting Hat Quiz

This quiz was adapted from the one on J.K. Rowlings’ site Pottermore. It was designed for you to take as quickly as possible, so try not to think about the answers too much and just go with your gut! For reference, I was sorted into Ravenclaw.

2a0daa30-a362-42a7-876b-ea53ff3a5a59

Personality Test

This is a psych quiz that isn’t as long as the infamous Myer-Briggs Type Indicator test. It has fifty questions but doesn’t take very long to complete if you go with your gut, like I had said above. My traits included extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness,neuroticism, and openness to experience. I like this quiz because if you answer it honestly, chances are you will dislike one of your traits (looking at you neuroticism), but it’s more realistic as you are never bound to like every little thing about yourself!

Star Wars Character

And finally, this quiz will tell you which character from the Star Wars saga you are! In case it wasn’t obvious yet, I have a thing for more personality-driven quizzes 🙂 I am Queen Amildala based off the results, I liked how the questions actually pertained to Star Wars as opposed to being utterly and completely random.

I hope you take it upon yourself to try out any of these quizzes and that you like the results! Until next time,

-Sarah

Activities · College · Lifestyle

What to do with a Snow Day

It’s that time of year! Living in a location on the coast in New England has its perks, and one major one is the amount of snow we manage to accumulate each year. My semester has only been three weeks long so far and we have already had three snow days (including today)! Aside from the fact that you get to sleep in, there is something so magical about cozying up inside and watching the snow build up all around you outside.

Now, I as much as anyone understand how easy it is to fall into the slump of staying in bed all day and only moving to heat up your tea or take a bathroom break. While that can be a great way to spend a few hours of your day, there is nothing stopping you from still continuing to be productive! Here are a few things I like to fill my snow day with to balance out relaxation with still checking things off my to-do list.

e94ddcaf7a3437c9fb2dae29e1c65ac2

Via: Pinterest

Organizing Your Home

I love taking a chunk of time on snow days to do some organization. This morning I pulled out all of the food in my cabinets and organized it in a more cohesive way. It was very cathartic to see it go from a crammed and chaotic mess to something that will help make mealtime a little easier. Plus it allowed me to see the food that I didn’t even know was there (looking at you, year old ramen packets), and finally get rid of it.

250428199_1280x720

Via: Google

Exercising Without Leaving Your House

Snow days give you a super legit reason for skipping out on the gym: the roads are genuinely dangerous and definitely not worth driving on just to squeeze in a workout. HOWEVER this doesn’t mean you have to skip out entirely, there are plenty of things you can do in the comfort of your own home! I went to a Zumba class last night and woke up with a very sore body, so I started off my day with some stretching. I’m a big fan of doing yoga in my room as well, since you don’t need a large amount of space or equipment to do it. Do Yoga With Me is my favorite online yoga resource, and Fiji is my favorite instructor. Her vinyasa flows are great for relaxation, strength, and getting sweaty.

Chores

Okay, bear with me on this one. I know these aren’t exactly a favorite to do on a day designed for relaxation, but I love doing chores on a snow day for a few reasons. First, it allows me to get things like laundry, vacuuming, and changing my sheets out of the way when I actually have time to do them. There is nothing worse than having no time to do laundry, but also no clean socks to wear as you’re racing out the door. It also acts as a sneaky form of exercise, since you are on your feet cleaning instead of just laying down and being a potato. Also, I sometimes need to feel like I’ve earned my relaxation time, and if I know I have it makes that TV show or book that much more satisfying to dig into.

broccoli-cheese-soup-2-550-opt

Via: Brown Eyed Baker

Pick an Activity You Have Been Meaning to Do

Trying out a new recipe? Making a DIY craft? Picking out a killer new workout playlist? Having free time on a snow day gives you a glorious opportunity to finally have no excuses about doing something you have been meaning to. Granted, I have been dying to try out the broccoli cheddar soup recipe from the image above, but since I cannot get to the grocery store (hi 8 inches of snow) I think I’ll have to hold off on it for now.

200_s

Via: Google (Donna Meagle everybody)

Giving Yourself Some Me Time

Since I’ve told you to organize, exercise, and do chores, it’s only fair I let you treat yourself a bit! Draw a bath, make some hot coco, dance around in your underwear; whatever makes you happy! I’m thinking a face mask, lighting a candle, and dipping my head into a Europe guide book once I’m ready to go into relaxation mode. Snow days are fundamentally lazy, so I could never expect you to be running at 100% all day when I definitely don’t do that myself!

I hope this has given you some inspiration on what to do when you’re hit with a snow day next. I hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday, see you in my next post!

-Sarah

College

College Knowledge: Unique Extracurriculars

Today I wanted to introduce another segment on my blog about all things college! As a senior, I would like to think I have collected a few nuggets of information/knowledge/advice during my time as an undergrad.

This first installment deals with something that is both awesome and terribly overwhelming in college: extracurricular activities.

Now I will be the first to admit that I have taken the normal route when it comes to finding fun groups to be a part of. These include intramural sports and greek life, the latter of which I plan to write a whole post on (keep your eyes peeled for that!).

However, with the hundreds of different activities offered on a college campus, it’s really easy to overlook ones that could potentially end up being the niche that you fit into during your four (or more/less, whatever tickles your fancy) years.

For me, when I switched from nutrition to mechanical engineering my freshman year, I really didn’t know anyone in my classes. So, when I saw a flyer for a group called the Society of Women in Engineering, I immediately marked my calendar for the next meeting. This group was great because we would have all sorts of people come in and talk to us about all things engineering. Whether that was a professional roller coaster engineer, local companies looking to hire, or even our own university career advisor helping us with our LinkedIn profiles. While I am still part of the group to this day, I begrudgingly admit that I don’t even remember the last time I went to a meeting. HOWEVER, as a freshman this group really helped me to get to know some of the girls in my major which set me up for a solid friend group within my classes.

Another activity that I got involved in just this year is called STEMbassadors. As a part of this group, you go to local elementary/middle schools and run through fun engineering-themed activities with the kids. Now that I have done a few of the outreach trips, I am kicking myself for not becoming a STEMbassador earlier in my college career because it is honestly so fun. Seeing the kids light up when they are working through the activities and seeing the gears in their little brains turning is such an inspiration. If your school offers something similar to this program, I highly recommend joining. Aside from how enjoyable it is, being in this group shows responsibility and leadership, both things employers look for when scouring resumes.

Now, if you’re not an engineering major and the previous two groups don’t apply to you, fear not! One of the best activities that people wouldn’t initially think about are group fitness classes. Now I know these aren’t *technically* extracurriculars, but if you find one you love and go for multiple weeks, chances are you will start to see some familiar faces in the groups. Not only are you making friends and exercising, usually these classes are free to students through your local rec center so you really can’t go wrong with them!

One last suggestion I have is to volunteer in your local community. There are so many great organizations out there that are always looking for an extra set of helping hands. Personally, I applied to be a volunteer at my local animal shelter. I love animals but never had pets other than fish, birds, and hamsters growing up (the struggles of being the only one in your family without allergies). Most shelters will need people to walk the dogs, play with the animals, do office work, or just help with general cleaning. The work is rewarding and again, would look great on a resume. Other organizations include senior centers, soup kitchens, even a Salvation Army or Goodwill. The options are endless!

I hope this has been helpful in assisting you to expand your extracurricular horizons! Good luck with exploring and I hope you find one that you fall in love with.

– Sarah

 

Favorites

Favorites: Episode 2

Hobby Idea: The inner grandmother in me wants to learn how to cross-stitch so badly! I especially love this “take a hike” one that I found on Etsy. They are such cute pieces that are totally homemade, but still look very polished and cute. I would put this one with a gallery wall of other art, or leaned up on a bookshelf along with a fake plant and a candle.

7b69e361da6eed5c2307304a89490948

Via: Etsy

Song: Versace on The Floor by Bruno Mars has been my absolute jam this past week. Since it’s more of a ballad, I probably wouldn’t listen to it when I’m trying to get pumped about heading to the bars (grandma makes another appearance with how much of a struggle that process usually is). Regardless, I’ve been rocking out to this song with my shampoo bottle microphone, and loving every second of it.

Book: I know I’m late on the bandwagon with this one, but I started reading Yes Please by Amy Poehler at the beginning of this week, and only have about 20 pages left. Her stories about growing up and making it as an improv comedian in her twenties are refreshing and hilarious, but also really applicable to just being young and still having no idea what you really want to do with your life. It also sparked me to start watching Parks and Recreation, which Amy stars in, and so far it’s great. Keep an eye out for it to make an appearance in a future favorites…

20910157

Via: Goodreads

Buy: Everytime I go to Target, I inevitably buy AT LEAST 3 things from the dollar section. I have a problem, I have accepted it, but I probably won’t do anything about it anytime soon. With that being said, on a routine trip to grab notebooks, toothpaste, and mascara, I stumbled upon this cute little heart pillow that was only $5! It added some texture and color (white is adding color to me?? I clearly have a neutrals problem) to my otherwise dark bedding. I also love it’s cheeky little shape, and with Valentine’s Day coming up I just couldn’t leave it. The one I have linked below is larger than the one I bought and a bit more fluffy, but for visual reference it was the closest I could get.

51359567

Via: Target

Pointless but Highly Entertaining Buzzfeed Article: This montage of Disney jokes had me giggling during a welcome break from job applications this week. There is something so satisfying about wholesome articles like this that are there strictly for entertainment purposes. They are a great distraction when every time you get on the internet these days, there is more and more about all hatred going on in the world.

Until next week!

-Sarah

Interior Design

Ikea Hack #1

As a quick post for today, I wanted to share a mini project I did last year in my room. It included taking my Ikea Micke Desk, and adding a little personality to its otherwise blank facade. The desk before looked like this:

micke-desk-white__0123483_pe279640_s4

Via: Ikea

I chose it because I wanted drawers, but also a cubicle as shown on the left side to store things like books and other office supplies. This desk works great, but I always found it a little boring. So, one lazy Sunday last semester I decided to do something about it! I went on Amazon and purchased this marble contact paper, fully prepared to deck out the entire top of the desk with it. Little did I know, I am the world’s worst contact paper putter on-er (is that even a thing?? oh well I think I just made it one). So bad, that when I was halfway through the top, there were so many bubbles in the paper that I just had to scrap it and go with plan b: using it for the front of the drawers.

This worked MUCH better, and was actually very easy to do. You just measure the amount of paper you need, peel off one corner of the paper and stick it to the corner of the surface, then flatten out as you peel back the remaining paper. I didn’t even have to use a credit card to keep bubbles at bay! It worked like a charm and you can see the end result here.

img_6028

It’s not an upgrade that makes the desk look more expensive, per say, it just gives it a little something extra!

I hope you enjoyed this short but sweet DIY post, let me know about any of your fun Ikea hacks that you have tried!

-Sarah

Activities · Lifestyle

What to Know Before Going to a Music Festival

In honor of the lineup for the 2017 Firefly Music Festival dropping tomorrow, I felt it was appropriate to write a post about my experience going to this specific festival in 2015.

firefly-2015-official-lineup-0320

Via: Firefly

This poster. I have a copy plastered on the wall in my apartment, and every time I look at it I get hit with oodles of great memories from that fateful weekend two years ago. First, let me start off by saying that if you ever have the chance to go to a festival, DO IT. Do it with no questions asked, don’t worry about the money or the exhaustion you will encounter or the crowds, just buy those tickets and get excited for one of the best experiences you can have (in my opinion). I wasn’t too sure how I wanted to format this post, but I have come up with a list of what I would assume to be FAQs regarding festivals, so I think that’s going to be the game plan. Oh and of course I will throw in a few pictures from my festival experience, along with a few stories you have to hear to believe.

How much do festivals usually cost?

So this varies between the different festivals, but my 4-day pass to Firefly ended up being ~$350 (I don’t remember the exact amount, but for reference the 2017 passes are starting at $290). The reason I paid more is that the tickets for Firefly are sold in tiers. Keep this in mind, the first round of tickets went on sale for me at a specific time in the day, so if you track the festival’s website I’m sure you can find when that time is. What I failed to predict, though, was my computer totally crashing as I tried to buy my ticket. I think the issue was the amount of people attempting to do the same thing as me, and the website crashing because of the insane amount of traffic it was receiving. So, once I finally sorted my computer out again, the lowest tier tickets (under $300) had sold out. I was super bummed, only to see my Firefly group message blowing up about how the same exact thing happened to pretty much all of my friends that were going. So if this happens, it’s not the end of the world! Another thing to expect are *fees* that go along with your ticket. Who even knows what they are for, but they can be anywhere from $20-$40, so expect that to add on to your total at checkout.

How much should I budget for things once I am actually there?

There are a handful of things that you will need to be prepared to buy before entering the festival grounds. Food, alcohol, LOTS of water, ect. You will also need a camping pass ($170 for six people and one car), and a car pass ($40) if you expect to have more than one car. I tried to be good about eating at our campsite since the food is insanely overpriced, but I must say I don’t regret the $10 pulled pork mac and cheese I bought one day. They have the most insane kinds of food at festivals, even if you don’t buy any I still think it’s fun to explore and see all the options.

What are the necessities to bring with you to the actual stage site?

For Firefly, the campsites are about a 25 minute walk from the actual venue, so you have to pack a small bag each day when you are ready to go to the actual festival. They don’t let you bring outside food/beverage in, but there are totally ways to sneak in alcohol if that’s what you’re into (think empty sunscreen bottle filled with vodka). You will need your wristband, to be worn at all times, ID, cash/credit card, sunscreen, sunglasses, and your cell phone. I got burned so badly one day from forgetting sunscreen that I had to sit in complete shade the next day, quite literally feeling my skin peel off. So listen to that nagging voice inside your head (aka your mother) and wear your sunscreen!

If there was something you would do differently next time, what would it be?

Ah, if only I could have asked my future post-festival self this question before I went to Firefly. Yes, there are definitely a few major pointers I can give as far as things to bring, and general first-hand-experience knowledge for what I would have done differently. First off, I would have brought a pair of rain boots as my main source of footwear, or really any waterproof shoes for that matter. I made the mistake of bringing only flip-flops, and vans. As shown in the picture below, this didn’t work out too well.

img_4234

Why yes, those mud covered little feet belong to me!

Regardless of the weather: festivals will always be muddy. There is no logical explanation as to why this is, but it’s a fact, and you should prepare for it in advance. It also didn’t help that there was a quasi-monsoon while we were there, but that’s a whole other story(peep this news article)…anyway back to tips!

I would also stock up on a bunch of those big multiple-gallon containers of water. While there are water stations available, I sincerely question their sanitation levels, so just save yourself the concern and stick to your own water. Plus, you will be using this water to “shower” with, so buy a lot more than you think you need. You will use it all, I promise.

One last thing I would recommend having is a large tarp with grommets in it, and some bungee cords. We brought a tarp, but failed to have the cords, so when it was pouring rain and the sunroof of my car was stuck open, we were forced to physically hold the tarp over it throughout the night. Not exactly fun but a great story to be told after the fact! Speaking of my sunroof being stuck open, maybe don’t let your friends try to charge their phones using your car because your battery WILL die and you WILL be very sad. Also make friends with your awesome neighbors so that they can jump-start your car for you on the last day 🙂

Phew, sorry for the lengthy answers! To wrap up this post in a more visual style, here are a few pictures from 2015 (most taken on a disposable camera because we were so cool like that). I hope you enjoy!

04790002

img_4233

04790017

img_4250

img_4291

04790005

Had to caption this: my friend T and the stray kitten we found at our campsite. We named her Jude because we saw Sir Paul McCartney perform, and fed her water out of a frisbee.

I may write a few follow-up posts about my own personal experience, some tips while you are actually at the festival, and the best gear to bring to have a seamless stay on the campsites. Until next time!

-Sarah