Bienvenidos a Miami

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

I was finally able to travel to one of the cities I have wanted to visit for a very long time, Miami! We’ve seen the movies and television shows¬†of¬†the crystal blue¬†water, fast boats, yachts¬†and¬†warm weather. Let me tell you, my expectations were pretty high stepping off the plane and I was not disappointed.

Being in Miami reminded me of a lot of being home in California. I think it helped that I explored the city with my big sister, Malaina. It was hard not to make constant comparisons between the two locations that are miles and miles apart. Even though I must say Miami traffic and crazy driving beats California by a long shot!

The Food- There are tons of taquerias in California where you can find the best Mexican food. Whatever you want they’ll have it,¬†tacos, burritos and one of my personal favorites, sopes. In Miami, I discovered my love for Cuban food. Malaina and I had many meals¬†consisting of¬†maduros, tostones and the classic Cuban breakfast. I can’t forget the coffee either! Colados and cortaditios have raised the bar on my coffee expectations.

The Language and Culture- I wish I had continued my education in Spanish because it is a first language for many people who live in Miami and California. For that reason, I started learning Spanish in 7th grade but unfortunately stopped after my first semester in college. It would have been so beneficial during my recent trip but I got to break it back out and practice. I also quickly caught on to the Latin greeting in Miami, of cheek to cheek kissing.

The Art- I fell in love with the art district in Miami. There¬†are walls and walls of art on the buildings and streets of Wynwood. I didn’t get to see it all in Miami but when I go back it’s #1 on my list! In California, attending Coachella or going to¬†The Broad Art museum¬†you also get a chance to see lots of unique pieces.

 

The Shopping and Fashion- We all know I am pretty much a shopaholic and if you don’t SURPRISE. All the malls, shops and stores in Miami had so many items I wanted to take home. They were so big I think I almost got lost in the maze of clothing. Malaina and I went on a shopping spree! In California, there are at least 4 malls and 3 large shopping plazas within a 15 mile radius of my home. They may not be as large as Miami however they are definitely abundant.

The Beach- Being from California you would think that I would prefer to be at¬†the beaches there. This is partially true. In California, I love going to the beach for the hiking trails near the water and the many activities on or near the piers. In Miami, the water is so warm and¬†vibrantly blue unlike California. The sand is also so white and doesn’t have as many rocks as they do back home. This may not be¬†a big deal to some but it makes a big difference. On the sands of Huntington Beach, there are plenty of fire pits for bon fires when night falls however in Miami there are plenty chairs and umbrellas to relax under the sun without baking.

 

You are probably thinking “Jess which place do you love more?”¬†I think it’s pretty clear….

beautiful world

Time to Jet,

Jess

 

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Adding to the Collection

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

Collector quoteI have always been a collector. I think it started when I was pretty young.

barbie room
What 6 year old Jess wanted¬†her room to look like…FOREVER

I would collect all sorts of things, Barbie definitely topped my list. I had to have every single Barbie, every new outfit, car and house she ever had.

 

I am going to¬† embarrass myself a little right now and admit I was also the girl who collected Pok√©mon cards. Barbie to Pok√©mon, I know two different ends of the spectrum. I remember winning¬†a pack from school in the 5th grade. I had no idea what they were but it was something new to stock up on.¬†I also collected¬†POGS. Now, if you don’t know what¬†POGS are I really just¬†dated myself. I think I found happiness in gathering new things. This is a quality that has always just stuck with me. I have found the collector in me manifest in many different ways. makeup

If you saw my make-up collection you would think I owned a mini store. I have enough eye shadow, blush and lip gloss to last anyone a¬†good two years. I’m not too sure where that started but I think it can be attributed to the countless hours of watching YouTube videos. I LOVE watching beauty gurus. Hauls, reviews, and monthly favorites are all right up my alley. I even considered becoming a guru myself. Cleary, that never happened.

When looking at the ridiculous amount of makeuup, shoes, and accessories that have stocked up in my home, it made me think a little. Why have I chosen to invest in so many things? Things that just sit there, sometimes used, often times not. As many of you know, I have been traveling for a total of eight months now with solely the items I could fit in my suitcase.  It was almost a reality check for me, returning home to so much stuff. If I could survive these past months while leaving these items behind, were they really adding value to my life? most important

I find it true that it is not always the things collected that are most important, it is the value, significance and memories attached to those items. However, it made me realize I had been placing value on all the wrong things. I was not longer focused on what things meant to me, but how they added a number to what I already owned.

While traveling as a LC, the collector in me never died instead it was transformed.¬†I began collecting¬†memories in the beautiful new places I¬†had the opportunity to see.¬†I was able to stock up on the laughter, fun and pictures to document it all.¬†I now¬†realize how these ‘things’ I have gained could never be replaced.

  1. I have collected new friends and developing relationships with women I know will always have my back.
  2. I have collected a new sense of independence, confidence and self-love.
  3. I have collected a greater love for the world and the beauty of mother nature.
  4. I have collected a joy for living in the moment, never fearing the unknown.

I don’t plan¬†to ever stop collecting, there¬†will always be something new out there. Something to learn, gain or just experience to create a lasting memory that can be cherished forever.

best quote

 

Time to Jet,

Jess

Let me see you do that Yoga

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

I think yoga has been one of the best, most rewarding activities for me. It not only helps with flexibility, it strengthens muscles, reduces stress, helps with concentration, and can help with posture. It can also be one intense workout. I have tried Bikram or hot yoga a few times, and that helps you sweat even more and increases blood flow. The practice room has elevated temperatures that can reach up to 104 degrees. I feel like anytime is the right time for yoga. You can do it at home, in a studio, at a park or even at the beach.

I love to follow yogis on Instagram too. I was just going through the explore section one day and stumbled across people doing acroyoga. It was something I had never known about but I was fascinated by it. Here are some acro poses along with a few classics.

Adho Mukha Svanasana-Downward dog

Downward-Dog.jpg

Savansana- Corpse pose

corpse-pose

Suksasana- Easy pose

easy pose.jpg

Balasana- Child’s pose

Childs pose.jpg

Salamba Sirsasana- Supported handstand

headstand.PNG

 

Time to Jet,

Jess

 

Packing like a Pro

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

Since I have been a traveling as a leadership¬†consultant, I have many¬†learned packing tips that have helped me for the long months on the road. I definitely didn’t have these skills prior to traveling. I thought it would helpful to let you all know what I’ve learned.

1. Pick the right luggage РI love suitcases with  4 wheels to get you through the airport faster

2. Use packing cubes or space bags for clothes

3. Pack outfits that can be mixed and matched

4. Choose cases to categorize and compartmentalize; tackle boxes are great for jewelry

5. Accessorize to the max; this is the chance to amp up your outfit

6. Bring bags for dirty clothes

Well, I better get to packing, I have a flight to catch!

Time to Jet,

Jess

Say Cheese

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

Sometimes it is difficult to brainstorm a good topic to write about. I always do my best to say what’s on my mind and speak about the things I love. So when sitting down to write this, I thought to myself Jess, what do you love oh so much? My answer to that was….CHEESE!

cheese

I know that may sound a bit unexpected but it’s true. When ordering pizza, I never hesitate to¬†add extra cheese. When asked at restaurants if they can add¬†extra cheese to my salad, pasta or entr√©e, the answer is of course. A cheese plate appetizer paired with crackers, nuts¬†and fruit always hits the spot. I love¬†gouda cheese, feta cheese, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese and I even like to cut slices right off the block.

cheese plateHere are a few of my favorite foods that make my mouth water and are overflowing with cheese:

macaroni-and-cheese   girlled cheese

broccoli cheddarcheese ravioli

chips and queso

Stay cheesy my friends!

Time to Jet,

Jess

Snowed in! Now what?

Snow Beta theta
Outside my window in Marietta
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

I was recently stuck inside due to snowstorm Jonas that hit the northeast. I was visiting with the women of Marietta College, Beta Theta Chapter, and we had the best time. I not only enjoyed experiencing my first snow storm with them, it gave me some ideas of how this Californian would tackle the snow.

 

PrincessDiaries

Netflix or movie 

Don’t forget the popcorn with this one. And hey, it’s probably close to 0 degrees outside so add some hot chocolate in the mix to keep you warm. I recently watched the first DVD I ever owned on my first snow day…..The Princess Diaries.

Bake something new, or try some Pinterest recipes

I love finding new recipes. The thing is I never get time to attempt making all the delicious creations. When you’re stuck inside what better time to whip out some ingredients and get cookin’.

 

bath candles

Pamper yourself

This means nails, hair, face masks, bubble baths and lighting a candle or two. If you’re a reader throw in a good book or magazine. I love spending a little….actually A LOT of time on me when I can.

 

Start a Journal

I recently started journaling and not only has it been a great way to clear my mind it is also great for reflection. You can track your life in all its successes and have something to look back on. It can help you put things into perspective and address how you truly feel.

Step outside for a moment  

snow
Loving the snow with the ladies of Beta Theta

Depending on the weather conditions, you can always take some time out to enjoy nature. For me, this was a must for my first snowstorm because I don’t get to see falling snow too often. If it stops, go out and try some sledding! I did, in a kiddie pool!

Time to Jet,

Jess

 

Getting to Know the LCs

Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton
Jessica Cunningham, Epsilon Tau, California State University, Fullerton

It’s been amazing¬†traveling as a¬†leadership consultant this year and working¬†with all the women on my team.¬†It blows my mind how close we¬†became, so¬†quickly. I guess that’s one of the incredible things about being Sigma Kappa women, we are¬†truly connected by¬†a bond.¬†From late night dance parties during training to¬†video calls from six different states, we have spent a lot of time getting to know each other.¬†I¬†figured what better way to¬†conclude this¬†blog writing season than¬†to give you all some¬†info about each one of¬†my teammates.¬†And of course I had to do¬†it in a fun way!¬†Please enjoy the nicknames I have created to represent all of¬†their fun, unique, spunky personalities.

Cora, The Cackling Cat Lady

Cora seious

Cora has the most hilarious, distinguishable laugh that and can stop anyone from talking mid-sentence. She is always giggling and can make any situation funny. Whenever I’m with her we crack¬†up until my stomach hurts. She also¬†loves her cats so much that she must FaceTime them, weekly.

Morgan, The Energetic Optimist

Morgan (2)

Morgan is such a go with the flow ball of energy. She is always on 100% and her battery never dies! She has a positive outlook on life and it will easily rub off on you.

Bri, The Dancing Perfectionist

Bri Bowling (2)

Don’t know how to hit the quan?¬†Never heard of the¬†thizzle dance? Ask Bri to teach you cause she is a dancing star!¬†¬†She is my go-to dancing partner.¬†I can count on her no matter what; whether it’s¬†for the latest dance moves¬†or¬†proper procedures.¬†She is so knowledgeable and always seems to have everything in check.

Cozy, The Bubbly Vegan

Cozy

Cozy¬†is the first and¬†only person who has made me think I could live a vegan lifestyle.¬†Her meals¬†are delicious!¬†I wanted to eat everything she made when I was visiting Oregon. Cozy is always upbeat and in a good mood. If you’re in a bad mood and she is around, it won’t last long. She can walk in the room and lift¬†everyone’s spirits up.

Annie, The Open Book

Annie

You know that friend that will actually say what everyone was thinking? That is Annie. She’ll¬†also say what everyone wasn’t thinking! TMI (too much information) doesn’t exist in her world. She¬†is down to earth and definitely isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She stays true to herself and it’s so refreshing!

Madison, The Southern Sports Fanatic

Madison

Oh Madison!¬†I wish I had an accent like¬†hers.¬†She graduated from Auburn and if we are out anywhere with TVs, the game better be on. I’m pretty sure she’s been going to games since she was two years old, maybe even two days old. It’s like sports are in her blood. If you aren’t rooting for her team you better be prepared for the rivalry because Madison is hardcore.

Britney, The Posh One

Britney

Britney walks into a room and what do you notice? Her outfit, of course. She is stylish, trendy and classy and has the personality to match. She always seems ready to take on the world and exudes extreme confidence. She is an independent woman with a little sass.

Dana, The First to Know

Dana

Do you need some top secret information? Want to know the inside scoop about something? Dana is your girl! I’d like to think she gets information about things before they even happen. I secretly think she is a¬†spy. She is so resourceful and you can go to her with any question. She will definitely have the answer.

Kate, The Deep Thinker

kate NHQ

Sitting around, having casual conversations, we can count on Kate to challenge our minds. She encourages us to talk about something other than work. In fact, she makes us. She loves bringing up controversial topics and getting our opinions on important issues.

Bianca, The Spirited YouTuber

Binx

If you didn’t know, Binx (as we call her) is a famous! Look her up, she has a YouTube channel which is so entertaining to watch. A camera is always in her hand to¬†document life’s adventures.¬†Her vlog about Houston football shows how¬†pumped she gets about everything.

Lindy, The Free-Spirit

Lindy Addison (2)

Do you want to dance, laugh, run in the rain, sing Frozen songs, jump on the bed, go on an adventure, laugh some more? Lindy will do all of that with you and more. She is full of life and nothing is off-limits. Lindy will help you forget about being an adult and bring out your inner child!

Olivia, The Endless Hugger

Olivia

If you are every feeling down, or even if you aren’t, Olivia will be¬†there to hug it out! She won’t even ask you sometimes, she wants to just throw her arms around you. You just have to embrace it.

Nicole, The Fit Forgetter

nicole

Nicole is the kind of person to choose celery over brownies. I know it’s unbelievable to me too! She loves to remind us to¬†fit 30 minute workouts into our busy schedules. However, with our busy schedules Nicole¬†needs a reminder about everything else. If you tell her something, make sure her planner is nearby so she can write it down. If not, she’ll probably ask you to remind her to write it down.

Addison, The Smiley Socialite

addison

Addison’s smile is radiating. She is the person¬†who will always lose the laughing contest. I’d say she’s pretty popular.¬†I mean who wouldn’t be¬†if you were as outgoing and fun as she is. Addison can walk into a group and immediately get along with any and everyone.

Christian, The Collected Engineer

 Christian

Cool, calm and collected. That would definitely describe Christian. She is so level-headed and always the person who can keep her sanity with our craziness. She is smart, analytical and can think so logically. I feel like she just understands things on another level.

Alyssa, The Hipster Artist

alyssa

Do you need some creative juice? Alyssa is the one to steal some from. She has a unique talent of seeing things through a different lens. Literally and figuratively. She is an amazing photographer and can add a spin on all sorts of art or even clothing.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about each one of us.

Group pic

Time to Jet,

Jess