Friday Favorites - Decisions, decisions

My manager mentioned yesterday that this week has flown by for her. I feel the COMPLETE opposite. I feel like this week has dredged through the mud and back, that I have lived a thousand lives in seven days, that I have been running a non-stop engine for 2 straight weeks.

Here are some favorite little trinkets that I have gathered in this week's long journey.

01) This informative article claims that getting six hours of sleep is as bad as getting no sleep at all. This is especially disturbing since I get about 5 and a half hours of sleep each night. Uh oh.

02) I saved $6 on make-up at CVS this week using coupons. I have honestly never used coupons before. I felt like a powerful sorceress. One of my good friends is a certified crazy coupon lady, and she's hopefully going to give us all a couponing workshop in the near future (over wine, of course).

03) This little gem of a song is so soft and lovely.

04) I finally decided to try what one of my favorite bloggers (The Skinny Confidential) claims is the best drugstore mascara ever. I am really into it right now. The primer contributes to a curl that actually holds in place all day long. And I got it on sale $3.12!!!

05) Podcasts have pretty much consumed my life, I even listened to one while I was tanning outside yesterday. I will definitely have to do a blog post on my favorite podcasts soon! But two other things I've been loving are Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. I'm trying as hard as I can to finish both of these by the end of the month.

06) Breakfasts like this.

07) Putting my big girl pants on/being a responsible adult human and scheduling two doctors appointments, setting up one payment plan for an ambulance bill, and setting up a phone interview for a potential job offer. Which brings me to...

Decisions, decisions...

I am pretty fed up with working at the gym. The lack of responsibilities, being treated like a child, mediocre pay, and false promises from corporate all add up after a year and 9 months of working here. At the same time, the flexibility with hours is very convenient. 

I set up a phone interview for a position of "Patient Service Specialist" at a physical therapy clinic. This would be a really good position for me, if I was offered it - I'd get office experience in a medical setting, I'm really interested in physical therapy, and it's a full time position. I'm not sure of the pay, so that would obviously make a huge difference. 

The only problem is the hours. The office is open from 9am - 7pm. In my current position, I get out of work at 1pm. Coming this September, I'm scheduled to be teaching several dance classes throughout the week starting at 6pm. 

So what should I do if I'm offered this position? Should I give up my passion and side hustle of dance teaching to pursue a real full-time job with benefits and a 401k? Would this destroy my soul?

If you have any thoughts, please just let me know what you think/what you might do. 

Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to start a conversation on this blog!

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Happy Friday! 

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College Series: 10 mistakes you probably did (or will) make your
freshmen year

This installment of my college series brings us to the learning curve of freshmen year. Everyone makes mistakes - these are just 10 (of many) that I encountered my freshman year. As you'll see, I didn't learn my lesson right away. Sometimes it takes awhile - like three years - for a lesson to be learned!

1. Buying books from the bookstore.
I'm not trying to judge here, but are you really planning on highlighting that brand new textbook? If not, save $400 and rent it for $50.

2. Calling your parents every night.

Again, I'm not judging. But having a pre-planned phone conversation every night at 10pm really limits you in terms of spontaneous adventures with new friends.

3. Only hanging out with friends in your dorm.

No matter how small your school is, there are at LEAST a thousand undergrads for you to get to know. Don't limit yourself by staying inside your small, comforting dorm bubble.

4. Forgetting the importance of cleaning supplies. 

The most invaluable thing you can bring to your college dorm is a bucket full of Lysol, dust wipes, and one of those tiny handheld dustpans. This is because you will likely be the only one in your dorm smart enough to think of this, and your space will be spotless and ant-free (take it from me).

5. Being too uptight. 

College isn't for the faint of heart. Yes, you will learn a ton academically. Just as important (or even more so) are those social lessons that you'll carry with you through your whole life. So get out of your comfort zone and start talking to strangers.

6. Getting WAY too loose. 

College is a vast well of pure freedom. There may be campus security and RA's to get around, but college freshman are well known for being very sneaky. I'm talking rigging a pulley system to pull a 12-pack of beer from the side of a dorm building up through a second story window kind of sneaky. Just be careful not to get too loose, too quick. It's no fun waking up in a puddle of vodka + Red Gatorade that may or may not have once been in your stomach.

7. Mixing your alcohols (!!!!!)

So, I may have made this mistake every single time I went out, through all four years of college. At least I've finally learned it by 23 years old. If you're going to drink, you're probably going to be pressured to drink a lot, and a lot of different things. If you want to save yourself a feeling similar to death the next morning, stick to one kind of alcohol. Tequila Tuesdays. Wine Wednesdays. You get the idea.

8. Not taking advantage of free events/free stuff.

Especially at the beginning and end of the year, there are usually a lot of free actitivites for college students. Outdoor concerts, carnivals, festivals, comedy nights... the works. Take advantage of these fun, FREE things while you can because student debt is four short years away and no one is going to be throwing you an Autumn Fest for free in the real world. You will never be too cool for free stuff.

9. COMPLETELY letting yourself go. 

I will brag for a second and say that my college dining hall was ranked one of the top 3 in the country. It was buffet-style gourmet food. It was fucking unreal. When you have a meal plan like this, you have to exercise your strongest willpower and self control. Like, maybe go crazy the first week, but then dial it back. Find the healthiest options, go wild at the salad bar, always get grilled chicken.

10. Getting locked out of your room. 

This happened to me SO MANY TIMES (and not just my freshman year...). I am an easily distracted, forgetful person who always confidently skipped out of my dorm without my room keys. It definitely helps to have your roomate, RA, and hall supervisors phone numbers on hand - it only took me like three years to learn this.

I don't usually like to generalize, but if you're an old fart and out of college like me, I feel like there are some points here we can all relate to! Freshman year is an unbelievable learning experience and I really believe that the best way to learn is through making mistakes.

What are some mistakes you learned from your freshman year? 

Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to start a conversation on this blog!

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Barre can be intimidating - Here's what to expect!

I always used to be a creature of habit with my fitness routine. Twenty minutes on the elliptical and 20-30 minutes of resistance training was usually about as adventurous as I got. Then we introduced Spinning at the gym I work at and I got tossed into my first Spin class. Fast forward a year later and I decided to get Spinning certified so that I could teach my own classes.

Since then I've decided to make it my mission to try as many different kinds of fitness classes as I can. So far I've ventured into Body Pump, Zumba, and Body Flow. In the future, I hope to try aerial yoga, Bikram, and pole dancing, just to name a few! 

Here are some things I noticed in my first barre class, and what you might expect in yours, too.

+ YOU MUST WEAR SOCKS. My mom and I did not realize this and showed up in bare feet. Way to blow our cover of being totally new and confused. So we forked over $12 each for fancy grippy barre socks and headed on our merry way.

+ There are different barre heights. My mom didn't realize this at first and when we went to stretch our legs on the barre, she damn near pulled her leg out of its socket. Stand at the barre height where you can comfortably lift your leg onto the barre.

+ It's pretty intimidating! All of those soccer moms were in way better shape than me in their lululemon leggings and dri-fit strappy tank tops. The instructor herself was also RIPPED AS HELL. So I guess if this isn't motivation to take more barre classes, I don't know what is.

+ We took a 30 minute long sampler for this first barre class, so the instructor squeezed so much into that half hour. We began with some dynamic stretching, leg and balance work, followed by modified plies and releves. I know this because I'm a dance teacher, but I don't know if the average person is capable of performing this alignment correctly on the first try! Definitely watch the instructor closely and try to match your hips and body facing with hers. 

+ The weights section is HARD. Unless you've been doing this for awhile, 2 lb. weights are just fine to absolutely burn the living hell out of your upper body muscles. Two pound weights certainly don't feel like 2 lbs. after they've been lifted over your head at a fast pace for three straight minutes. 

+ Smaller movements (and more of them) are definitely the theme of barre. As someone who has taken ballet, Yoga and Pilates, I really enjoyed this weird fusion of all three.

+ It requires a lot of random equipment. A mat, a resistance band, two sets of weights, a small resistance ball, and a Yoga strap are just some of the accessories we played around with. Which can actually be a pain in the ass to gather and put away if you have somewhere to be after class!

So, overall... 

I really enjoyed Barre! I would definitely recommend this class if you want to try something new and don't mind being a little bit confused and overwhelmed at the beginning. The results honestly speak for themselves, Barre instructors are some of the most toned people I've ever met.

Have you ever tried Barre? 
What's your favorite specialty fitness class? 
Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to visit my little 'ol blog! 

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Friday Favorites - Back on tha grind

This was my first actual full-blow Monday through Friday work week since the first week of June. Wow, this sucks! Hah, I think I'm just totally burnt out from my insane work and side hustle schedule. I work Monday to Friday from 5am to 1pm, I teach five dance classes between Monday and Wedneday, and a Spin class on Monday and Thursday.

I don't really know how I do it either.

But alas, over-achievers gotta over achieve. I have this deeply ingrained issue with being stagnant. Scheduling myself all over the place definitely prevents that from happening. But then when I actually take the time to physically write down my schedule I'm like - what am I doing to myself.

Happy Friday + here are some cool things to click on, listen to, and know about.

01) This song is just one of my favorites from a new artist that I discovered this week named Kaleida. She sounds to me like a cross between Florence + The Machine and The xx. Her music is very cool.

02) Newborn babies... which earlier this week I said I found terrifying. Maybe two and half week old babies are less terrifying? We've been spending a lot of time with Lucy and her baby since her husband works nights and she needs some extra help.  Holding a tiny little baby and hearing it breathe and squeak is the coolest, most comforting thing.

03) Podcasts are like crack for your ears. I do so much random driving that it doesn't make sense for me to NOT listen to podcasts, but I just got into it this month! The Friend Zone is a new one that I've been listening to, free on iTunes. It's three friends, each from Atlanta, Detroit and Harlem. They discuss how to be well mentally and physically. One of them says she isn't a spiritual guru, but she sure sounds like it! They tackle hard topics and spiritual well-being while still somehow managing to be hilarious.

04) My new blog design!!! I spent forever working on this shit earlier this week. I think it reflects my style perfectly at the moment - a little minimal, a little fun, a little cozy. I say at the moment because my style shifts every couple of months, so who knows how long this is going to last.

05) I recently discovered that there's an entire personality theory all centered around what side you part your hair on. Read the article and let me know whether you think it's the real deal or a load of shit.

06) One of my friends has an intense interest in studying psychopaths and sociopaths. We were both psych majors so we love this shit. She told me that a personality type called "empaths" are most likely to be the target of sociopaths. If these results are correct, I'm EXTREMELY vulnerable. Find out if you're an empath here.

07) Like, I know I've been saying Big Brother for the past 3 weeks in a row, but if you aren't watching this fascinating and horrifying social experiment that has been going on for 18 seasons, what are you doing??? It's finally starting to get extremely juicy and the house guests are turning on each other left and right. I have absolutely no idea who is going to win this season, which is a first. It could be anyone. 

^ this is how we watch Big Brother ^


How was your week? 
Do you have any weird subjects that you love researching? 
Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to visit my little 'ol blog! 

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College Series: My Freshman Year Experience

College orientations and move-in days are literally right around the corner, so I decided to write about something that I know because I was there for four years. The college experience. I have a ton of blog posts lined up all about eating, making friends, creating a positive living environment, and how I navigated through four years of joyful chaos at my university. I don't think it matters if you're going into college, have already been through the ringer, or have no interest in college whatsoever. I find the experiences of others so interesting, so feel free to compare your points of view with mine and have an open conversation all about the college life! 

To start with, I thought I'd share my personal freshman year experience. 

I was the first member of my immediate family to go to college. I was basically wading in uncharted waters. After all of the applications, the paperwork, the FAFSA, and the campus tours, I knew where I wanted to go. 

I arrived at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI in August 2010. My freshman year was pretty miserable but I was forced light years out of my comfort zone and learned so much about myself. 

My roommate. 

Kristin and I met through the Facebook group made for incoming freshmen. This same Facebook group was being used to plan dorm parties a month before we even stepped foot on campus. I was so intimidated because I didn't drink or party at all in high school - I was the ultimate goody-too-shoes. 

We reached out to each other because she lived so close to my hometown and we thought, oh great idea, we can carpool when we need to go home for school breaks! In theory, this sounded great. What I didn't realize was that Kristin would turn out to be the WORST ROOMMATE EVER, a hurricane of drama, and a pathological liar. 

I know people in history who have had worse roommates, but this was no party. She would wear my underwear without asking. She would eat my food without asking. She lied about a pregnancy AND an abortion for attention. She would talk so much shit about one of our mutual friends, who was literally the nicest person on Earth and put up with all of her drama without ever complaining. 

It was unreal. Especially the underwear part. So my advice is this: maybe just go for a random roommate. 

At least this way, if they end up being unbearable, you can blame someone other than yourself. 

My living conditions.

Maple 5, man. Maple 5. This dorm was literally the last on the list of preferences I gave to my school. They were towers with hallways of tiny dorm rooms. You had to walk across the hall to use the bathroom and shower. And this dorm just had a reputation of being a gross, loud, sloppy place to live.

Maple 5 did not disappoint. Almost daily, our common living area was destroyed in some way, shape, or form. The people who lived in my hall were not friendly, smart, or interesting. I'm being brutally honest here. They were going to our school because the acceptance rate is pretty easy and because mommy and daddy had a lot of money to blow. I come from a very diverse town in Connecticut in terms of race, socioeconomic class, and sexual orientations. I was like a fish out of water in this white-washed environment. My dorm-mates were drunk and spouting ignorant nonsense almost every night. I considered transferring at least once a week.

My classes. 

I've always just been good at school. Required college classes were a breeze for me. I even got to skip a few because my AP scores from high school were high enough. I was able to find solace from my living conditions with the other dance majors. We refer to our graduating class of dance majors as an island of misfit toys. We had competition dancers, trained modern dancers, a classical ballet dancer, and me - somewhere in the middle. We were tall, short, overweight, and too skinny. One of us had a leg deformity. We got along great this first year because we were the underdogs and it was clear that the upperclassmen definitely didn't like us. But I fell in love with the dance program here and this, ultimately, is why I think I didn't end up transferring. 

My social life. 

I didn't turn 18 until late December, so halfway through my freshman year. Obviously, I was NOT the kind of person to get a fake ID, so while my crazy dorm-mates went to dirty, sweaty Providence clubs on the weekends, I stayed in with my psycho roommate, or any of my other introverted friends. We watched movies, studied (omg, what a loser I was this first year), and participated in club activities. I was in two clubs my freshman year. Dance Club and Add Nothing. Add Nothing was a club devoted to alternative activities for people who don't drink or do drugs. We'd go to pumpkin patches and play laser tag. 

I know some of you (if you're still reading this biography) are dying to know:
why didn't you just drink? 

The answer goes back to high school. I was so devoted to making my parents proud. I was also just so busy with dance classes and school work in high school that I told myself I didn't have time to go out. Really, I was just scared. I had never been drunk before - would I be myself drunk? Would people make fun of me? Would they take advantage of me? 

I was not very trusting of new people my freshman year in college. In retrospect, this closed me off from meeting a lot of people that could have turned into lifelong friends. 

So, I'm not saying you have to drink in college. Especially your freshman year. What I'm saying is that you need to fling yourself out of your comfort zone, because nothing beautiful ever happened there. I wish I could've given myself this advice six years ago. 

And I want to make this clear: it wasn't all bad
It gets better, obviously, because I graduated from this same school four years later. 
But it could've been better, fuller, richer, lighter, and happier that very first year if I wasn't just damn scared.


Tell me about your freshman year experience. 
Did you drink that first year?
What was your very first roommate like?

Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to visit my little 'ol blog! 

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