Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Bit of an Update

Today I realized that I haven't really had an update about my life on here in awhile, and that it needed to happen. 

Life has been...busy. Which for me, is a pretty normal occurrence. Per usual, I was wary going into the holiday season due to the friction between my family and I as well as all the losses that the season has brought me in the past. This year was a nice surprise, as it was a calm and wonderful time with family and friends. In November, I went up north to my brother's house to celebrate his marriage to Jessica that happened in October. I think it is the start of renewing our relationship as I can actually see us becoming much closer in the next couple years.
I went bowling with my coworkers in December. We played crazy frames, this one was bowl with your feet.

That Thanksgiving, I spent it with Kevin and his family. It was a lovely affair, that is for sure, and I got to meet even more of his family. After that came the end of the semester crunch, which I was able to keep my head above water. I was worried about my classes, but I am happy to say that I finished the semester strong with 2 A's and 3 B's! 

Better watch yourself, I'll get you with the meat slicer Molly got me for Christmas.
Christmastime was upon us. I packed my weeks off with time spent with friends and seeing some that I haven't seen in a long time. I held my Christmas party again this year and we shared some lovely games of Cards Against Humanity and I received a nose hair trimmer as my white elephant gift (thanks Jasmin :P). 

Christmas was spent at Kevin's. I was on duty the weekend before, but I got off at 5pm on the 24th and basically headed to Kevin's as soon as I could. I spent 2 nights down there and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was very different from how my Christmases in the past have happened. Instead of getting all dressed up and making the trip around the state, I stayed at Kevin's. We opened presents (I got some pretty nifty things) and then relaxed all day. I read my Kindle and finished a book, something I hadn't done in awhile! Kevin played his game on his Playstation. We had a quiet family dinner of ham and enjoyed some Gl├╝hwein, which is a German heated wine. It was an experience and super yummy (for those who don't know, Kevin's mother is German and Kevin actually was born in Germany while his father was in the military!)
A bunch of us got together for a night of fun at a local dive. I love this boy <3

My brother and his wife stopped by just after Christmas to share some time before heading back to the north, and they had some exciting news. Jessica is pregnant! I will be a blood auntie in July!!! They have 2 kids already from Jessica's prior relationship that I call my niece and nephew, but this is the first child that is actually my brothers. 

My brother, the soon to be daddy!

New Year's Eve, I was on duty, so I just chilled with Nick who was also on with me. We shared some sparkling apple juice at midnight and just chilled. That week after was spent getting ready for school. Books were bought, sales were shopped and preparations were made for the semester to start. 
My "fancy" beverage for New Years.

Now in the 3rd week, it seems like this semester will be an interesting one. With all the changes at my job (some staff have left, some have moved to different positions and there is lots of unknown things), the loss of my Aunt Sue and Uncle Steve's house and my classes, these weeks have been busy but interesting. Plus there is the excitement and nervousness of the unknown that is post-graduation...which will be here before I know it. Life is just crazy.

But I love every moment of it.

I have some really awesome friends :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dealing with the Sniffles: College Style

So, we all have those mornings where we wake up with a pounding head, a loud cough and a nose that wants to run away from us. These mornings we want to stay in bed all day but as college students, we get up and go to class anyway. Throughout the day, we bumble through class after class, toting with us a box of Kleenex. We sneeze and people wince. It isn't a pretty sight.

The best thing you can do in this situation is:


That's right. If you have a cold, or what possibly could be the flu, stay home. Send an email to those professors you are going to miss for the day. If you are going to miss a test, go to the doctors and get that note that many professors require for you to bring in to do the retake. In many cases, missing one class won't hurt you academically, and you can always ask for notes from that class you missed. It isn't worth infecting the students in the 20 foot radius from you with the same cold that you are sporting for the day.

And if you don't have health insurance, or live far away from home, you don't have to suffer through. Sometimes, it worth going in to see a doctor. On my campus, and many campuses around the country, there are campus clinics. These are medical clinics that offer students a lower priced medical care. No, these aren't students practicing on you (though they may be understudying). You'll find real doctors, or nurse practitioners, who will help you out. If you don't have a campus clinic nearby or it's after hours, there are always emergency clinics...and in severe cases the ER. You don't need to suffer through!

If you do decide to stick it out, here are some college style tips:

1. Eat healthy!

I know, this seems to be a given, but it's true. The college diet of pizza and cheeseburgers isn't going to make you feel any better. Eat some vegetables, stay away from the grease for a little while. But get some of those healthy foods into your system.

2. Vitamins!

I know, these seem like what old people take...but it is really worth it for college kids. Vitamin C is what is going to help your immune system the most in recovery from any sickness. You can get it from pills, but also fruit juices (OJ is the best!), and some foods. Try to get that vitamin C and keep away a cold all season long.

3. Soup, soup, soup!

Yup, it is true what they say about chicken noodle soup. Having some warm soup when you are sick will help soothe your throat, loosen up mucous in your nasal passages and just help you feel better overall. So, make some Chicken Noodle, curl up in a blanket and rest.

4. Rest is really the best option.

I know personally that when you are sick, you realize that you are going to fall behind. But if you spend your time being sick, or just ignoring the sickness and doing all the things us busy college kids do, then you'll just get sicker. I don't know how many people I know who won't spend a day in bed when they are sick and end up taking their cold onto bronchitis or even pneumonia. You can afford to take a day off and get some major sleep. Your body will thank you for it and you'll feel MUCH better afterwards.

5. Fluids

I know, you hear this one too much too. But it's true. Being sick means you excrete more bodily fluids than normal. Mucous is generally made of water and is there to flush toxins and dust out of your body. You may have phlegm as well, which does the same thing for your lungs. If you have the flu, then you may have nausea. If you are feverish, you'll sweat more than usual. Make sure you are drinking more than normal to make up for these losses. And don't just drink water. Your body needs electrolytes. It will be worthwhile to ask a friend or roommate to run to the store and grab you some Gatorade.

If you don't stay properly hydrated, you chance getting sicker. Dehydration is a serious issue and it may send you to the hospital in a much worse condition then you were in. If you are throwing up and can't keep anything down, find a way to take sips in order to stay hydrated. Dehydration is no laughing matter, and has a whole set of issues that could lead to much more serious complications.

If you find yourself sick this season, I hope you get to feeling better soon. Being sick is no fun, and being away from home while sick stinks more. Hang in there!

A Month of Letters

So, I have been lacking on the snail mail front this year. I don't know what it is. I guess I just haven't sat down and spent the time sending out mail, though I love it so much. 

My friend Luna introduced me to the "A Month of Letters" Challenge. For the whole month of February, the challenge is to send a letter on each day. That is a total of 24 letters, postcards, greeting cards, etc. through the US Postal Service to recipients.

Earlier this week, I joined Postable. This website allows you to compile an online database of addresses. I put it on my Facebook and Tumblr accounts and asked for addresses. Though I only have gotten a few people, I have addresses for people all around the world (which is exciting) that I can send mail to next month. I can only hope that they write back and I get to know them :)

So, if you want to join me, here is the link to the website where you can learn more and make an account! http://lettermo.com/

And if you want me to send you a letter, PLEASE leave you address on my Postable.  I'll make sure to send you something (I have vowed that if I get over 24 addresses, I will send more than 24 letters!)

Happy writing!

1. The A Team- Ed Sheeran
2. Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men
3. It's Time- Imagine Dragons
4. Try- Pink
5. Never Too Late- Three Days Grace
6. Yes- Coldplay
7. When They Come For Me- 30 Seconds to Mars
8. Lazy Eye- Silversun Pickups

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bulletin Board for Winter

Bulletin boards can be a little difficult when it comes to ideas for winters...especially when dealing with older children and adults (especially in the college atmosphere). Here is a cool idea that was a hit in my dorm.

Basically make a bunch of different kinds of coffee cups out of construction papers. I found stencils online for 3 types and made them out of different things. Don't forget to decorate them! 

Use a white background and draw "steam" coming from the coffee cups. Name it "Favorite Winter Memories," or "Favorite Things About Winter," or "What did you do for Christmas?"

Leave some markers and wait to see what gets put up there! Super easy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Palmolive Fresh Infusions?

So, about a month ago, my buddy Luna sent me an invite to this awesome website, influenster. I signed up and started to check it out. It was pretty sweet, I wrote some product reviews, did some quizzes and checked it all out.

A couple weeks later, I got an email in my lovely inbox stating that I was possibly qualified for the next voxbox. For those who don't know what that is (don't worry, I don't blame you); it is basically a box sent to you from influenster with free products for you to try out and write stuff about. So I took the pre-survey and went from there. I didn't hear anything back, so I didn't think of anything.

Until last week when a white box showed up at my apartment complex. Opening it up, it held 3 full size bottles of Palmolive Fresh Infusions. Yes, dish soap.

If any of you know me, you know that I am not a fan of washing dishes. But, because I don't have the luxury of a dishwasher, I have to do them all by hand. Whomp whomp. So, free dish soap was a major plus actually.

There were three scents: Lemon Thyme, Ginger White Tea and Lime Basil. The first thing I read was to give one to a friend. So, I gave all the bottles a whiff and handed over the lime basil (I have never been a fan of lime) to my boss with one of the five $1.50 coupons included. We talked about the fact that the bottles were NOT sample sized and how awesome the website was.

Personally, my favorite it the Lemon Thyme! I just love the freshness of lemon!

The first test came the next day when I was washing dishes. It performed as expected. Not going to lie, it isn't as good as other dish soaps (that I won't mention here) but it still works to get my dishes clean. And the scents are rather yummy. I think it is well worth the price and they aren't too much. I saw online that you can get a pack of all 3 scents for $8.00 at Target. You can also find it at Walmart!

And if any of you want a coupon and I have a couple extras, let me know, I'll send one to you!

Here's a link to their website and to the review page where you can learn all about the products!