Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Florida Trip!

A few weeks back, I went to Orlando for the weekend for a conference. The conference was for the Society of Professional Journalists, and was called Excellence in Journalism, or EIJ. When registering for the conference, I also got free tickets for Disney World, which was extremely exciting. We went down to Orlando on Friday morning, and once we got there, we darted straight to the hotel.
Our hotel was beautiful, as you can tell from the picture above. (that was just the lobby.) When we got to the hotel, we settled in. Then, we registered for the conference. That night, we went to a club called B.B Kings, which was a great place to mingle with fellow journalists. I met some awesome people that went to an outstanding journalism school, and hung out with someone named Danielle that was in my chapter.
The next day was the longest day. In the morning, I went to two back to back workshops. Both of them were about technology in the field and how to use it in an effective way. I thought that was interesting, and both conferences were amazing. After the conferences, I headed down to lunch with our advisor and Danielle.
Some shots of the afternoon parade: 
After the conferences, we decided to go to Disney World to use our free passes. We took an Uber there, and decided to go to Magic Kingdom. We arrived just in time to see the afternoon parade, which was amazing.
Cinderella castle. 
After the parade, we wandered around Disney for a while and went one some rides. My personal favorite was the Teacup ride, which I think is a classic. However, my favorite had to be the Light Parade after dark. The light displays were amazing! If you ever go to Disney, I highly recommend that as a must see. It's simply beautiful, and my pictures don't do it justice!
Parade Pictures! 

After the light parade, my friends Monica and Anisa went to watch the fireworks, while I went to go pick up a few things with my friend Danielle. (my mom gave me a full-blown shopping list.) Then, the park closed and we went home. It was such an exhausting day, but it was worth it. We didn't get home until almost midnight.
So basic, but YOLO.
The next day, we enjoyed a few minutes by the pool before we packed to go home. Our flight was in the early afternoon, however, we still managed to make the most of it. Overall, it was an amazing weekend, and a great experience.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Music Monday: Honeymoon Album Review

 Image result for honeymoon album
It's no secret on this blog I've mentioned my love for Lana Del Rey. In August, I talked about her recent single "High By the Beach" which was the first single off of her new album "Honeymoon." Promotional singles "Honeymoon," "Music to Watch Boys To" and "Terrence Loves You" then followed in the following weeks. "Honeymoon" then arrived on Sept. 18, 2015.
It starts with violins, and the melancholy melody of "Honeymoon", which is a dark ballad that in my opinion is one of the best songs off of the album. For those who liked "Young and Beautiful," will instantly fall in love with the dark melody. Then, it goes into "Music to Watch Boys To," and "Terrence Loves You." The ultra catchy "High by the Beach" is reminiscent of summer, and puts listeners in a "summer state of mind" despite the fact that summer days are behind. Del Rey also covers "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" as the final track for the album.
As a Lana Del Rey fan, I'm in love with the album. Del Rey is extremely talented in her vocal range, and her music is beautiful. I will admit that I haven't listened to the album as much as I would have liked to, but I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorite releases for 2015. Del Rey is definitely unique compared to other artists on the scene, and this release shows that element off quite nicely. "Honeymoon" is definitely a must-listen. 
Must Listen: Honeymoon, God Knows I've Tried, High by the Beach and Music to Watch Boys To. However, I just recommend you listen to the entire album.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Why Sometimes You Just Gotta Take a Vacation.

The pool of where I stayed; I really didn't want to leave.
This past weekend, I went to Florida for a conference. (More about that will come next week--there are a lot of pictures to sort through). When I went, I was so stressed out about everything that I had going on which included school, working three jobs (it was an accident I swear!) and just trying to survive the semester with my sanity semi-intact.
However, when I came back I was totally relaxed. I'm talking so relaxed that I actually had time to get ahead on my homework. Since when does that happen? I think probably in the summer.
Then it occurred to me. Sometimes, we just really need to take a vacation from everything. Whether it's across town or the country, I think everyone in the world needs time to get away from the stresses of life and just chill. I think we sometimes overwhelm ourselves with the responsibilities of being a student and trying to be the best, and sometimes we need sometime away to simply enjoy ourselves. After all, life is too short. Do you really want to spend it stressing out about everything?
But, let me stress. Sometimes, you just don't have the money to put down for a tropical trip to Florida. And that's okay. For some, it's as easy as taking a day trip to the next town over and exploring. The term "vacation" doesn't always have to mean going on an airplane, however if you really want to then go for it.
So, if you're feeling down about something the answer to me is clear. It's a sign that you really need to get away, whether it's for a few hours, days or even a week. Trust me, you'll come back refreshed. 


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Things I'm Looking Foreword to This Fall

Fall is fast approaching despite the fact temperatures are still in the 90's. However, some of the fall tastes and sights are fast approaching. Here's somethings I'm looking foreword to in this upcoming season:
  • Pumpkin Flavored...Anything: This speaks for itself. Pumpkin flavored coffee is literally the best thing ever.
  • Charlie Brown specials: Nothing says fall like It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.  
  • Perfect Artsy Instagram posts: If you follow me on Instagram, then you'll notice I am the queen on posting landscape, pictures of my boots in leaves, and that perfect pumpkin spice latte. 
  • Apple cider: Like I said earlier, the foods of fall are the best. 
  • Layers: Finally, I won't have to sweat on my way to class...I hope.
What are you looking foreword to this fall? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

English Is Not My Thing

This semester I'm taking two English literature classes. One of them is for my minor-20th century literature. The other one is a Young Adult Literature class that I'm taking as an elective. And, as I'm taking the classes I've confirmed what I've learned last spring-English and I aren't exactly the right fit.
Why? I hate annotating and sitting around to analyze literature. I don't like figuring out why someone wrote something. Yes, I like to read books for fun. Thus, I don't like to analyze why someone wrote it. Or what they meant by a certain theme or motif.
But that doesn't mean that I hate literature. I just hate analyzing it. However, I'm all over book reviews, and talking about what I thought about the book. I like to tell someone how I feel about the book, and whether or not I think that it's good. However, I don't want to pick the text apart and make an academic argument.
While I sit in my two English classes, I got to admit that the teachers are good. I got to admit that my classmates are pretty awesome. However, I really don't like sitting there trying to figure out what some author meant. I'm not excited about the classes, but when it comes to my journalism classes I have heart eyed emoji all over it.
At the end of the day, it's often easier to realize what's not a perfect fit for someone before you realize what the right one is. For me, it was realizing that English and literature wasn't. I'll never be the person who can find hidden meaning from a poem. However, I'll be the person that tells you the news, and what's going on in the world that day.
And that's okay. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Music Monday: The Weeknd's New Album

 The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness.png
One of the album's that has been on repeat for me for the past few days was the Weeknd's second album "Beauty Behind the Madness." I never really heard of The Weekend until I heard that Lana Del Rey, my favorite singer ever was going to be featured on the album. I remembered seeing "Earned It" on the Fifty Shades soundtrack, but since I didn't know much about the artist I didn't end up getting the song. Needless to say, I downloaded the song when the album dropped August 28th. And it was a repeat, because it's amazing. Lana did an amazing job with it, but I really liked the beat of it as well. I knew right then and there that this was an artist that I needed to have the entire album of.
And so, Friday night I snagged a digital copy of it. I feel in love with it, as soon as the first notes of "Real Life" came out of my Macbook speakers. It's a bit different then some of the other Indie/Metal/Rock artists that are present in my iTunes, but I'm still obsessed with his vocals, lyrical content and the overall album. Some of my favorite artists, such as Del Rey and Ed Sheeran, appear on the album and those songs did not disappoint. Even though those artists are different then The Weeknd, I thought the combination sounded perfect.
Overall, I think this album is one of my favorite albums that came out this year, tying with Madonna's "Rebel Heart." As we enter the last few months in fall, I'm expecting that this will compete with a few other albums, such as Lana Del Rey's "Honeymoon" (expected release this Friday), and Demi Lovato's confident (which is expected to be released in October.) And, we can not forget JoJo's tringle. However, I think "Beauty Behind The Madness" is definitely going to be one of my favorites of the year.
Must Listen: Real Life, Prisoner, the Hills, Tell Your Friends Can't Feel My Face, Angel, Earned It (Fifty Shades), Losers and Dark Times.

Friday, September 11, 2015

They Took a Plane, To Spain!

Last Sunday, one of my best friends embarked on an adventure that they have been looking foreword to for as long as I can remember. That is? A chance to study abroad in Spain.
This past week, we've spent some time getting Thai food (a staple for us), getting Starbucks and hanging out. Last Saturday, we said goodbye. But first, we got cookies and just spent the last night hanging out. And watching them pack.
Even though we tend to not see each other for longer periods of time, this time it's a bit different. Being in a different country means that they will be about 6 hours ahead of me. Instead of texting and calling, we have to be reliant of Skype, iMessage, What's App and Facebook Messenger to keep in contact. I'm looking foreword to hearing about their adventures though, and hopefully will get my snowglobe ;)
Have fun in Spain Gabriel!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Apps Everyone Should Have.

It's no secret that I've been dealing with a lot lately when it comes to mental health. Sometimes, I feel depressed and can get down on myself. However, on those days I've learned to really take care of myself. One of the ways that I do so is through some apps that I have.
One of these apps are What's Up. What's Up is an app that focuses on how to get you through depression. As seen here, there's a thing called "Help Right Now," which focuses on getting you better and calm. Coping Strategies is geared towards getting you to cope with what you're feeling through powerful steps and changes to your thinking pattern. Information helps you get informed about what's going on with you. And finally, the personal section helps you keep track of habits and what's going on with you for the day.
I really like this app because whenever I have a bad day, it helps me control my feelings of depression and feeling overwhelmed. I actually heard about this app through my friend Griffin. I recommend it to anyone whose stressed, anxious or really upset. I also like how it has an information section in it, which helps me learn what's going on with me.
The other app is called I am. Basically there's not much to say about it other than it sends you positive things about you through out the day. You can control what they say, and how often they send you the notifications. I like this app because whenever I'm stressed out, seeing something about the good parts of me never fails to make me happy. Sometimes, we really need to be remind about our good qualities, not just our bad ones.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Books and Bracelets

Last week, I was a girl on a mission. I needed to try to locate some of the books I needed to read for my classes. However, I didn't want to buy them nor pay too much money for them. So, my solution, besides trying to find them at work, was to head to a local bookstore called Books and Company.
Books and Company is a bookstore for used books. It also is a haven for other goods, such as beautiful unique jewelry. There's also a little coffee shop, called Legal Grounds, which has amazing coffee and baked good.
So, originally I went in to get some books for my 20th century lit class and my young adult lit class. However, they didn't have any of the books. So I decided to wander around. First, I fell in love with this beautiful handmade bracelet. So, I had a YOLO moment and decided to treat myself. The bracelet was made by some women in India. I thought the colors were very beautiful, and knew I had to have one. Then, my YOLO moment continued as I wandered the stacks. I got the books "One Day" and the "Choice." I'm not sure when I'll have time to read them, but I wanted to get some "fun" books on hand. They both look very good, and when in doubt Nicholas Sparks will always do the trick.
What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fall Semester Goals!

Wow, I can't believe that I'm already a senior in college. It seems like yesterday since I was wondering around campus lost, sad and confused and now I'm a senior who hopefully has an idea about where I'm going. (JK I'm not even graduating on time) However, even though I'm going to be a senior for the next year and a half, I still have a laundry list of things that I hopefully will get accomplished this next semester.

  • Have fun: This past year has been a formula of working two jobs, and class. This semester I still have two jobs but it's nowhere near as demanding as it was last year. So I want to make sure that I make time to have fun and do things that I actually will enjoy. Make time for fro yo dates and dinners with friends. Make time to read with a cup of iced tea, and for blogging. I believe you are the one in complete control of your schedule, so make sure that you schedule time to breath. 
  • Visit friends. I've been meaning to visit my friend Griffin at Vassar for the past year, and now I actually will try to make time to go see it. I've seen so many great pictures of it, and the campus is beautiful. So, this semester I actually want to see it. (And if I do go, make sure I get amazing pictures for Instagram.)
  • Do the best I can. Sometimes I'll think my best isn't good enough. It really is. So, if I'm working really hard and I need a break I'm going to take it. I want to make sure I'm doing the best that I can, not rushing through it. I want to keep my status on Dean's List, but I also want to keep my sanity. 
  • Remember that everything is going to be okay. Sure, there's going to be days when everything really sucks. However, the thing about bad days is that they only last 24 hours. When I have a bad day, I will try to remember that it doesn't last forever and to take extra care of myself. 
What are your goals college students?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Semester Reading List

Over the summer, I have surpassed my reading goals. So, this semester I decided to create another list of books I wanted to read. However, because of the fact that I'm taking two literature courses over this semester, I'm going to not have as much time as I did in the summer to read books. (However one of the courses is really interesting--young adult literature!) But, I'm going to need to do a little reading for fun every once in a while, so hopefully I'll be able to tackle these books. 

  1. The Lo-Down by Lo Bowsworth 
  2. Made in Reality by Stephanie Pratt 
  3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Rosie Project by Graemie Simison
  5. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes 
  6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
If I can read at least a few of these books, I'll be really happy. However, between all of the other responsibilities I'll have, I'm sure that reading will be the last thing I can think of doing. However, I'll keep you posted, and like what I did this summer, I'll be sure to post about my progress. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Last Beach Day of the Summer

I can't believe that school is starting today. It seems like it was only yesterday when school was out, and now I'm about to start my senior year. So, last week Gabriel and I wanted to have one last hurrah before they went to Spain and I went to school to adult. We decided to make it a day filled with good food, the beach and getting a bunch of errands done.
After running to Target to get a purse, we ordered Thai food. After Gabriel got their food, we bought me a sticky bun (which was amazing) and then headed to the beach. The beach was about ten minutes away, so we were armed with fantastic tunes on the way there.
Once we got there, Gabriel and I ate our food. After eating, Gabriel went to lay in the sand and I walked around. (And took pictures.) After I got bored taking pictures, I sat down with Gabriel and we talked about life. Before leaving, we explored the beach and took a few selfies to remember the day. We then collected some sea glass and decided to head home.
This was an amazing way to celebrate the last few summer days. It was very relaxing and it was nice to spend some time with Gabriel before they head off to Spain.