If you have followed the blog for the past year, I am bringing back one of my favorite posts…things that I am looking forward to. Over the year, I have had some pretty amazing times, and 23 was definitely one for the books. This year, I traveled the world and had the experience of a lifetime all thanks to Sigma Kappa. I went abroad to countries that I am obsessed with, and I met some of the most AMAZING people. However, I do not intend to bore you with my sentimental thoughts…I intend to share 23 things I am looking forward to before I turn 24. CRAZY to think, but enjoy.
…with my love for fall. While pretending to be a Floridian for the past 4 years was wonderful, I’ve forgotten how much I appreciate participating in the normal fall festivities while not wearing a bathing suit at the beach. Although fall has just begun, I am in full season mode, besides adoring the change of colors in the leaves, below are a few of my seasonal favorites!
Candles (the rekindled old flame pun)
There is something about coming home after a long day on campus, putting on fuzzy socks, and lighting a candle that makes me feel like I’m superwoman for a few hours and can tackle any spreadsheet thrown my way. I love that I can do this now, because in Florida it didn’t set easy in my mind to snuggle up with a blanket and a candle when I just got back from tanning at the beach.
Sweater wearing weather is simply the best time of the year because sweaters are simply the best. You can wear sweaters in Florida, and in fact, I have been that desperate to try and participate in fall; however, the heat does not condone it.
I don’t feel like I need to elaborate on why I love pumpkin everything, but here are a few of my favorite things that come from pumpkin season!
Pumpkin Seeds from the carving
Pretty much any gluten-free pumpkin-related dessert should be on this list
And lastly, but absolutely not least, the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks
Drinking a hot PSL while walking outside to class wearing shorts and flip flops just didn’t seem legal in my mind.
The last and my ABSOLUTE favorite thing about fall is one I haven’t been able to do in 4 years, so I am finally looking forward to it! When I lived in Michigan, some of my favorite memories were made at the Franklin Cider Mill down the street from our house when my dad would take me. So being able to relive those memories and being embraced within fall at its finest is going to be the high point of my first fall in years.
I love when I have the time to try new recipes I find on Pinterest, but finding the time isn’t always easy. Most of the time I “pin” recipes that I intend to try because they look amazing… but then I never get around to making them. So I’d like to share with you a few recipes I’ve discovered through Pinterest. Each comes with my own personal seal of approval because after making them I fell in love!
One Christmas, my mom and I were searching for a new holiday cookie to try because we were sick of making sugar cookies. After some digging on Pinterest, I came across this recipe. I was a little unsure, but it’s always fun to see if Pinterest recipes are fantastic or a fail! We decided to dress the cookies up to make them more festive so we crushed candy canes in a Ziploc bag and sprinkled them on top of the ganache while it was still warm- they were so cute! In the years following, we have experimented with using colored sugars (note: does not show up well), regular sugar, and coarse sugar (I liked them this way!). I could eat a whole batch if only it would not make me sick…
This is a salad recipe I found while I was in New Zealand last fall (I studied there for a semester and everyone needs to go at least once in their life!) I bought a small basil plant to keep in my room in an effort to save money. I had also started to see the value of canned beans and legumes for a college student/world traveler on a budget- so this recipe was perfect! I did not have any apple cider vinegar and did not want to buy a whole bottle so I used the Italian salad dressing I had in my fridge- and it was so good that I have been doing this ever since! I like to mix it up by adding canned corn, black beans, bell peppers and/or red onion so it’s not the same each time. You can also make it into a Greek salad by adding cucumber and feta and subtracting a few other ingredients. This is so easy to make and can be great as a side, or you can eat it as a meal like I do!
The story behind this recipe begins when I fell in love with sweet potatoes my junior year of college. I had signed up for a food share and was receiving a box of fresh local vegetables every other week. One week, we had sweet potatoes and dried black beans in the box so my roommate and I decided to try something totally different-hence the sweet potato burritos. They were honestly so good I have no idea why I have not made them since! This is definitely on my to-do list for this fall.
I hope you feel inspired to find new recipes on Pinterest. And don’t be afraid to experiment because you never know how delicious the end result might be!
Some tips and tricks that would have been helpful to know before entering the big, bad real world great adventure of post-grad life.
Don’t take your parents/guardians for granted. They really do know more than you think. Be extra appreciative if you’re lucky enough to have your parents paying your tuition or helping pay it. You seriously can’t thank them enough and don’t realize how fantastic it is until you get your loan statement.
Google is a great best friend 🙂 But have someone teach you how to bake chicken before you move away from home!
Prepare yourself to constantly step outside your comfort zone. After a while, you’ll enjoy the feeling of walking into something blind.
ALWAYS act confident! No one knows when you’re faking it.
Be busy! Fill your time with things that matter to you. Netflix shouldn’t be a priority anymore (at least not on the daily).
Pick up the phone and call! You get to say so much more in so much less time.
You need to take time for your relationships, but not every friendship is worth your time and energy. It’s okay to leave some friendships in your college memories.
Hangry does not look good on you. Pinterest has great quick and easy recipes for meal prepping for your busy weeks.
You deserve nice things. Buy nice clothes/shoes/whatever you’re into. No reckless spending, but save up some $$$ and then put it to good use.
In addition to #9, buy a fab bag. I was inspired by Past LC, Gabriela Rodiles’ My Search for the Perfect Bag blog she wrote last year. I love my Lo & Sons OG Bag for travel and long days spent on campus.
It’s okay if you don’t know where you want to live and what you what to do for the rest of your life. You’re young and you’re allowed to wing it. Enjoy that you don’t have a set plan yet.
Life doesn’t get less fun! The “real world” has provided me just as many laughs and good times as college.
Enjoy your collegiate years, but certainly look forward to life after graduation!
As I am quickly learning, the “real world” doesn’t provide as much free time as the typical “college world.” I’m not going to lie when I say it has been an adjustment! But one thing I have had to quickly learn is that “me time” is the best time.
As a leadership consultant, I love what I do, and sometimes get so consumed in all of my daily tasks that I forget to take time for myself. A young wise woman by the name of Cozy once told me that no matter what, I always need to take time for myself. I have been experimenting with just how I enjoy spending this time.
First I did the typical move and started watching Netflix (Gilmore Girls obviously) every night before I went to sleep. Which worked for me because I was a night owl. But in the real world that doesn’t really fly unless you have the desire to run on no sleep. But because I will stay up all night waiting to see what is new with Lorelai and Rory (it’s my first time watching, so I am really addicted) I now limit myself to one episode a night so I am not grumpy in the mornings.
A couple of weeks ago, Cora and Kate came to stay with Britney and me, and they decided they wanted to go see a plantation before they left Charleston. So they decided to take an early morning to see the plantation then have brunch (I hate early mornings, ask Britney, or anyone who tries to get me out of bed before 9). So we woke up and went out there, and let me tell you it was such a great time. I have been craving some time to take pictures because we are always around such beautiful scenery, but I haven’t gotten to pull my camera out yet. Then around 11 am we left and had a wonderful brunch at a restaurant called Triangle. Which if you don’t know, brunch is basically a weekly holiday in Charleston! We even saw people tailgating brunch. And afterwards took an afternoon nap, and then had all evening to work!
This was a game changer for me. I loved getting up early and doing something for myself, and then still being able to fulfill my responsibilities for the day. Normally I would spend the morning sleeping in if I had the choice, but I still got a few extra hours that day during my nap.
So with all that being said, whether you are in college or in the real world, find at least a little time each day to do something for yourself, and it will make the long days a whole lot easier. I wish I would have come to this realization in college, because it really is a game changer!
Now for some pictures from the Magnolia Plantation. Enjoy!
When I returned to my home state (Florida) for a little over a week to assist LC Nicole with promoting our newest chapter at the University of South Florida, there are several things we quickly discovered about each other and what it is like living in Tampa. Here are a few things that I learned:
We are both work-a-holics
Our meaning of relaxation is answering emails, fixing our agendas, writing to-do lists, and making up tasks just to cross them off our to-do list. We once lasted about 15 minutes watching The Hobbit before we both grabbed our laptops and started working. We just love getting stuff done too much!
I’ve now become a fan of the show Shark Tank thanks to Nicole
Before arriving in Tampa and staying with Nicole, I had never seen the show Shark Tank. Now that I have, I just want to say that I give a round of applause to all those business men and women that present their services/products because those sharks are brutal! If you haven’t watched it before, I definitely suggest you watch an episode on ABC. She also got me to watch Big Bang Theory and Modern Family!
Bug spray is very necessary to survive in Tampa
You are probably thinking, “Are you not from Miami? How could you forget bug spray?” Well I now have over 10 mosquito bites all over my body as a reminder to never forget such an essential item ever again. You win this time, mosquitoes!
Recording ourselves for my YouTube channel quickly became second nature
If I ever started to record myself in public, Nicole would explain “Binx has a YouTube Channel” to those around us. If something interesting was happening, Nicole would sometimes be the first to say, “You should record this for your video blog” before I could even whip out my phone. Despite it being awkward, it seems to pay off since a woman actually mentioned that she was a subscriber to my channel during our formal recruitment presentation! It is safe to say that my upcoming Life as Binx episode about my time at Tampais almost 10 minutes long and Nicole is the star, so make sure to subscribe to my channel to watch it!
With me around, your healthy eating habits might disappear
Nicole has always been the “eating healthy and working out” type, but the moment I arrived in Tampa that all changed. For some reason, we quickly found ourselves eating out a lot and ending the night with double chocolate brownies and Publix Moose Tracks ice cream. I’m not opposed to healthy eating habits and working out (I’d actually love to start) but I suppose my love of chocolate and fried food is just contagious!
If you don’t have a map to find your way around USF, I suggest you get one
This campus stretches over 1,900 acres of land and is ranked as the fourth-largest public university in Florida. Coming from a campus that is just a bit over 573 acres, this campus felt like I was entering a whole other town. Good thing the two places where we needed to spend most of our time that week were just down the road from each other!
If you like New Zealand or Harry Potter, this is going to happen
Except Ted is Nicole. If you were ultra-involved in high school or college or watch an insane amount of television and movies, then Ted would be me. When talking to potential new members, we had this down to a science.
There’s no one else I would have wanted to stay up with for my birthday
No matter how sleepy Nicole and I were, she stayed up with me and surprised me with a candle for my birthday at midnight. It may have not seemed like a big deal at the time, but it was my first birthday away from home and that small gesture made all the difference. Needless to say I had an incredible birthday doing what I love most in this world (teaching others about Sigma Kappa) with one of the greatest sisters I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and living with for a week.
Thank you so much USF and Nicole for making my week back in Florida an incredible time. In memory of all of the lessons learned, here is this epic picture we took before starting our formal recruitment presentations:
This week I am celebrating my one-month anniversary of moving to Myrtle Beach to work with our Lambda Beta chapter at Coastal Carolina University. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown! In the last 30-ish days, I have learned so much about this unique university and have even utilized my own Instagram hashtag to document my time at CCU (#DFGoesCoastal, in case you were wondering). Here are a few “Coastal colloquialisms” I have picked up on:
Teal Tuesdays: Coastal’s colors are teal and gold. People really, really like teal here. (I like teal too!) So much so that every Tuesday you can see students and faculty alike strolling around in teal from head-to-toe. Apparently, the University gives out free t-shirts to those with the best teal attire. So much school spirit!
Chauncy the Chanticleer: Did you guys know that a Chanticleer is a rooster? I did not. My high school’s co-ed a cappella group is called the Chanticleers, so I always assumed that a chanticleer is a person who sings really well and wears spiffy clothes. I was so wrong. According to Coastal’s official website, a chanticleer is “a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard.” Fun fact: I have an a very large and very rational fear of all birds, especially roosters, after witnessing my sister being bit by one during a visit to a farm in our youth. I like to think that I am working on getting over my fear by working on a campus where this rooster is literally plastered on everything. (Sidenote: the correct way to prounounce chanticleer is SHONT-te-clear.)
CINO: The food court in the student union at Coastal is called the CINO Grill and student/faculty ID cards are called CINO cards. It took me about two weeks to ask Lambda Beta’s chapter president what CINO stood for. Apparently it stands for “Coastal Is Number One.” Clever, no? Once again, this place has a lot of school spirit.
“It’s not college, it’s Coastal.” Another common phrase here. I’m guessing it refers to the fact that this campus is not your typical college campus. For example, everyone zips around on fancy CCU golf carts, there are pools at many of the housing complexes dotting the campus, and the school owns its very own golf course which is open to the public. All the palmetto trees don’t hurt either.
It’s been a fun first month at Coastal, and I look forward to exploring this campus even more in the upcoming semester!