Weekend Reading

October 30, 2015

This week flew by! I think it was the excitement of all the Halloween festivities. Yesterday, my dorm hosted a trick-or-treat for local kids and it was so much fun. I loved seeing all the adorable community kids all dressed up and excited! I'm looking forward to some more Halloween festivities this weekend.

I've been loving the fall foliage this week.

It was overcast and rainy for most of the week which makes the bright foliage pop even more.

Some of the trees are starting to lose their leaves, which is making me a little sad... I wish the beautiful foliage could last forever!

Some links I liked this week...

1. Getting so excited to study abroad! I love Ashley from History in High Heels' tips for embracing your experience.
{ via Glitter Guide }

2. Sarah and KJP's cruise around Europe looks magical...
{ via Classy Girls Wear Pearls }

3. Some helpful ways to beat sugar cravings.
{ via Mind Body Green

4. Can't stop buying vests... I love how this one has some texture to it.
{ via J.Crew }

Happy Halloween!

Savoring Quiet Moments

October 28, 2015

I'm so much busier this year than I was last year. Between my job, more difficult classes in general, and a more active social life, it's hard to find time to myself. Especially in the first few weeks of school, when it was so exciting to be back at college and surrounded by friends, it was hard to say "no" to things and set aside time to relax.

Since I'm studying abroad next semester, sometimes I feel like I stress out and feel like I have to do everything to make up for all I'll miss.

I have to remember, though, that it's okay to say "no" to hanging out with friends every time they ask or okay to give myself an afternoon off from covering events for work.

I took some time on Sunday to just hang out, catch up on Scandal, and drive around by myself. At least for introverts like me, a little alone time goes a long way. It makes the time that I do spend with friends much more enjoyable! And because of that time to myself, I started the week off feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Dorm Room Grocery List

October 26, 2015

I'm not the type of college student who can subsist on dining hall meals every few hours. I always have a bunch of snacks in my room for in-between meals or on busy days when I can't make it to the dining hall.

I like to start the week with a grocery run to stock up on my favorite snacks. Here are the snacks I like to have on hand in my dorm room...

What are your favorite snacks to have in your dorm?

Getting Off Campus with Zipcar

October 23, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zipcar for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love college and my campus, but I have to get off campus every few days or else I start to go stir crazy. I enjoy taking some time to run my errands in a nearby town or go on a walk in a pretty place. Zipcar is the perfect solution if you're like me and don't like to be stuck on campus all the time. Zipcar is a service that provides cars by the hour or by the day that you can access directly on your campus. Gas and insurance are included in the low daily or hourly rates, making it the perfect set-up for college students aged 18+.

It's so great to have the freedom to head to the mall with my friends on the weekends or go on a longer excursion to a pretty nature walk after a long day of classes. Last week was particularly stressful, so I convinced my friends to join me for a peaceful walk at a local farm at the end of the day.

It was so easy to pick up our Zipcar right on campus.

All of the cars are only 1 or 2 years old, so they're always really nice to drive. You can get up to 180 miles for each trip. Last year, my friends and I rented a Zipcar and drove up into Maine to my favorite outlet shopping town. There are tons of possible ways to spend your day with Zipcar.

Last week, my friends and I used our Zipcar to get off campus and explore our area a little. We headed to a farm a few miles away that has beautiful walking trails. It was the perfect escape from campus after a long and busy week.

I brought two friends along, including my roommate, Lea.

We had a beautiful walk even though it was a little overcast. We saw the prettiest sunset, too!

I came back to campus feeling relaxed and ready to take on the rest of the week. I think it's so important to take time to get out and do something outside of "the campus bubble," as I sometimes refer to it. Taking time for myself to get out and about is #whatmakesmefree. Zipcar is the perfect solution to getting off campus for a bit and doing some exploring in your area!

Visit Sponsors Site

Weekend Reading

This has been such a crazy week. I did a lot of homework and studying but also covered some fun events for work. This weekend my school is having a fall concert so that should be fun to go to with my friends.

The highlight of my weeks lately have been the beautiful foliage. Before the school week began I went on a quick walk through College Woods, one of my favorite places on campus. There was some beautiful leaves that I couldn't resist taking a photo of.

I barely had any extra time this week but here are a few articles I came across...

1. I love this creative idea for a halloween costume from Lauren Conrad!
{ via Lauren Conrad }

2. I love books that follow two parallel storylines to explore the "what if?" in a certain situation. This one looks like a great read.
{ via Amazon }

3. So excited that Netflix is looking into reviving Gilmore Girls, my all-time favorite TV show.
{ via TV Line }

4. The blogger behind History in High Heels has the coolest travel adventures... Watching hot air balloons at sunrise in Turkey looks so magical!
{ via History in High Heels }

Getting Involved in College

October 21, 2015

This year, I got a job working in the social media department of my university. I've been really loving it, and a large part of that is all the fun and interesting events that I've been going to. 

In the past few weeks I've gone to a rooftop brunch for the New Hampshire Film Festival, met an NBC journalist at an private gathering prior to his talk, attended several fun student shows, and much more!

I've been busier than ever this year with juggling my increasingly heavy workload, my hours in the office, and the events that I attend. Despite the hectic days, my time at school so far this year has been more fun than ever. Every time I go to an event, no matter how fun or boring I think it will be, I always walk away feeling glad that I went.

This year has really shown me the importance of getting involved on campus. Here are some tips to make sure you're making the most of your time on campus by taking advantage of all the events and opportunities offered...

1. Check your school's calendar Usually, universities have an event calendar listing all of the events, lectures, sports games, etc. everyday. I have to check this several times a week for work and have found it's great to be in-the-know about what's going on around campus.

2. Stay up-to-date on department events Don't keep hitting delete on those emails from your academic department... Develop relationships with professors and other students in your major by attending department events such as guest lectures (they can be really interesting!), socials, etc.

3. Take advantage of campus resources Some of my favorite events that I've attended have been Career Center workshops and Center for International Education events, so definitely take a look at different resource centers around campus and what they're offering for events.

4. Go to events and shows in your student union The student union often has awesome shows, whether it's a concert of student singers, a guest performer, or a visiting comedian. I've gone to hypnotist shows, student lip sync battles, and a ton of other things. Follow your student union on Twitter (if they have one) so you can always be in the know.

5. Attend residence hall socials Some of the easiest events to get yourself to are the ones that occur right in your dorm! I went to a fun "Paint Night" in my dorm a few weeks ago. There are always fun activities to be found, so look out for fliers around the halls and ask your RA if they have any socials coming up (free food is almost always involved).

6. Join a club This is kind of a given, but joining a club will mean you always have something to do. Join a club that aligns with your passions and interests or try something totally different. I love to write, so I began contributing articles to my campus newspaper last year. Not only did it help me find a community within the paper, but it also got me out and about as I covered different events on campus.

7. Attend sports games A great way to get your enthusiasm and school spirit up is to head to a sports game. Cheer on your school's team from the student section, or even head to more casual intramural sports games on a random night with some friends.

Some other places to find fun events and things to do are your student activities board and your campus recreation center. I like to follow various campus centers and organizations on social media so I can keep up with all of their events.

Getting involved at college helps you to feel like a part of the larger culture in addition to helping you find a smaller community of like-minded individuals... Both of which are super important to being happy at college!

Study Abroad Plans

October 19, 2015

Today I'm sharing something that I'm very excited about... I've decided to study abroad in Spain next semester! I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in college and figured I would go junior year, as most people seem to do. However, in the past few months, I grew increasingly impatient and the idea of waiting until junior year seemed less and less appealing.

I've had my heart set on Spain since I went there with a group from my high school junior year.

One of my favorite memories from my time in Spain 3 1/2 years ago, watching the sunset from a beautiful garden in the city of Salamanca. 

I stayed in Salamanca, a Castilian city in northwestern Spain, for 10 days. My group and I explored the city and went to Madrid, Segovia, Ávila, and Toledo. I absolutely fell in love with Spain. I've been dying to go back ever since and knew that I wanted to study abroad there.

My school's program is in Granada, an Andalusian city in southern Spain. It sounds like a beautiful city and I'm excited to be immersed in the culture.

It's started to hit me lately as our group has meetings and starts to plan for the months we'll be there. It's definitely a little crazy to think that I'll be living in a foreign country speaking a foreign language for five months, but overall I'm so excited.

It's slightly bittersweet because I've been having such a great year at college and love all of my friends so much (and I will miss my family!), but I truly think this is the right time for me to go.

Side note -- my friend Caroline goes to Brown and is studying in Granada right now! Check out her blog and all of her fun adventures here.

Weekend Reading

October 16, 2015

Happy Friday! I'm hoping the rain and cold holds out this weekend so my dad and I can finally do our planned Mt. Megunticook hike. I'm hoping to see some beautiful fall foliage and get my much-needed dose of nature.

Here are some links I found interesting this week:

1. 35 habits of productive people in an infographic.
{ via Entrepreneur }

2. Swan Lake is my favorite ballet... There was recently some discoveries surrounding the original plot and music that's quite interesting to read about!
{ via The New York Times }

3. I love Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa. I enjoyed this in-depth article that captures her essence.
{ via Eater }

4. I love reading "advice to my younger self" type articles. I think this "20 Things I Wish I Knew at Age 20" is a good one!
{ via Cupcakes and Cashmere }

Ways to Have a Good Day

October 15, 2015

One of my favorite quotes is "It's a good day to have a good day." I think it's the perfect reminder that positivity is a choice. I try to choose to have a good attitude at the beginning of each day, but there are some little things in particular that always make my day better.

1. Listen to upbeat music as you walk to class I listen to music every day as I walk to class but some days I play some fun throwbacks or upbeat music and it always brightens my mood!

2. Enjoy the little things Get excited about even the mundane, routine things, like getting your favorite coffee or having a quiet moment to yourself midday.

3. Take a scenic walk Find some time to go for a walk through the woods or along the beach, either with a friend or by yourself. A brisk walk can be the best mood resetter and a beautiful setting can reinvigorate you.

4. Get excited about exercise Like taking a walk, getting in some physical activity releases endorphins and improves your mood. I try to psych myself up to exercise and frame it as something to look forward to rather than dread it. 

5. Go for a drive Is there anything better than driving around with the windows down and the music up? Even if you have nowhere to go, taking some time to tune out the world in your car is sometimes the best therapy.

6. Set aside time for friends I'm an introvert so I can go the whole day without really talking to anyone if I'm busy, but this year I've been much better at taking time to hang out with friends. Setting aside time to laugh and have fun is just as important as getting all your to-do's done.

What do you do to make your days a little better?

Recipe for the Perfect Fall Day

October 12, 2015

I spent the weekend at home enjoying a taste of the Maine fall. As I was driving up from school, the foliage along the interstate got more and more vibrant. The season is definitely a bit farther along up here. I decided to make the most of it and had just about the best fall day on Saturday.

Here's my recipe for the perfect autumn day...

Pumpkin pancakes for breakfast...

Browsing local farm stands...

Bright blue skies and a chilly breeze...

Crisp, juicy Macintosh apples...

Cozy blanket scarves and Bean boots...

Bright orange pumpkins in neat rows...

And sweeping views of colorful trees...

What's your perfect fall day?

Weekend Reading

October 9, 2015

It's been a long and tiring week so I'm very excited to be heading home today for some relaxation and fun fall activities! My hometown is having their annual pumpkinfest which is always full of festivities.

Last weekend was homecoming here at school...

I work for social media at my school so I spent a lot of the day covering events with my co-workers, but I did have some time to tailgate and go to the football game with my friends!

On Sunday, I needed a quick break from all the craziness on campus so I headed to Wallis Sands, one of my favorite nearby beaches. The light was coming through the clouds in a gorgeous way and I loved the reflection of the sky on the wet sand. Sometimes all you need is a walk along the beach to center yourself after a busy weekend!

I've been loving the cooler temperatures and little reminders of the season that I encounter throughout my busy days, like these pumpkins at Trader Joe's.

Some links I liked this week...

1. This missed connection on Craigslist that went viral is a beautiful read.
{ via Craigslist }

2. I loved this post on remembering to be thoughtful with your friends and family.
{ via Summer Wind }

3. Included in that post is a link to this amazing story of two friends who brightened each other's spirits in times of tragedy in a fun way. So sweet!
{ via The Ellen Show, part 1 and part 2 }

4. An amazing story from a Holocaust survivor.
{ via YouTube }

Have a great weekend!

Favorite Vegetarian Foods

October 5, 2015

I stopped eating meat (except for occasionally fish) over a year-and-a half ago and haven't looked back since. I don't miss meat at all because I've found so many vegetarian options that I love. One of my favorite things to eat is falafel!

Falafel is made from garbanzo beans, herbs, and spices and are delicious served warm and paired with a refreshing tzatziki sauce. I was recently sent some samples of Nate's Mediterranean Bites, delicious falafel bites with flavors like Garlic & Pesto, Kale, Southwestern, and Sweet Potato.

These falafel bites are seriously delicious and so easy to eat. They're perfect for a college dorm room. My roommates and I just popped them into the microwave and they were hot and ready to eat in under a minute. They were a delicious snack to eat midday, at night, and any time in between.

I've always been a fan of falafel but my roommates had never tried it... I convinced them to give it a try and they loved it! Now we always laugh about craving falafel because it's so good.

Nate's Mediterrean Bites are great because they're gluten-free and non-GMO. For vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, they provide a great source of protein and fiber. You can find them at Sprouts grocery stores nationwide for $4.99.

October is actually National Vegetarian Month and I encourage you to replace meat with some of the many delicious vegetarian food options!

This post was sponsored by ADF Foods but all opinions are 100% my own.

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