Friday’s Fantastic 5 11/30

Ok so its been forever and a day that I have updated, but I have a perfectly good reason for it…I HAD NO INTERNET.  I know, the notion of living without internets is pretty shocking so I’ll give you a moment to digest my sucky existence for the past few months.  Actually it really wasn’t that bad, I finished two books, made more Sim families that I even knew was possible, and got a healthy use out of my Netflix account.  I now live in my permanent housing with plentiful internets so that I can blog, watch puppy videos, and Pinterest until my heart’s content.

1. Moving Into My Permanent Place!

255107_10100754608136099_2058944783_nSo this is kind of a super dark picture of the house I share with an amazing co-worker and his partner.  I seriously could not have asked for better housemates.  Not only did they let me stay upstairs (I live in the basement level, pictures forthcoming), but they helped me shop for furniture.  I really feel that I am starting to become part of DC life and not just a visitor passing through.  Not to mention its impeccably decorated for the holidays.

2. Having Internets Again
Ok, anyone who knows me knows Im not by any means super connected.  I don’t have a smart phone and I only really use the internet to entertain myself.  I didnt really realize how much I missed it, till I didnt have it.  I couldnt skype with my mom and Lola (still cant due to a dysfunction camera, but hopefully that will be remedied tomorrow when I get a new one!), I couldnt check weather or news.  It was just weird to not know what was going on with friends.  I know sometimes the internet can get a bad rap but it really can keep us connected and really just makes me feel like Im not so far from home.

3. Finding the Perfect Gift
So my Dad is literally the hardest person to shop for.  He hates when you spend money on him and will never give you legitimate ideas when you ask for them.  Im not going to say what I got him because I want it to be a surprise to my whole family because it is pretty awesome.  The stroke of genius I had as I was online shopping when I was staying at work late the other night and it really propelled me to go on a creative streak for the rest of my Christmas list and hopefully I will be able complete it this weekend if not next week.

4. Figuring Out My Bus Schedule
I usually pride myself on being pretty good at figuring out subway routes and bus schedules, but I must say DC’s bus system through me for an absolute loop.  There are probably 1242039402938 different lines (may or may not be an exageration) and trying to figure out what was the best and what made the most sense for me to take to work each day was a huge headache.  But after three straight days of taking the bus to and from work, I can safely say that I really feel I have mastered my route options with the help of the Trip Tracker on the WMATA website.

5. Junior League Interest Meeting
A great friend was able to visit me a couple of weeks back from Orlando and she talked about how she had started the process of joining the Junior League.  I decided to check out Washington’s local chapter and really enjoyed what I found but I am really excited of seeing what this experience could mean for my connections to DC.  I really enjoy their mission of helping out in the local community and the genuine nice nature of a lot of their members.  Fingers crossed that I make it to the new member class!

Stay positive my friends



Start of Something New

I seriously still cant  believe the absolute amazing turn of events that has outlined my life within the past few weeks.  I gotta admit, I was getting pretty jaded.  I was completely content to keep living at home for another year or so and keep job searching forever.  My life had some semblance of fulfillment.  Puppy training with Lola was going great, she was super fun to show off when people came over.  My parents and I developed a very comfortable routine.  Everything was ok except for the fact that I felt no direction of where I was going or what was next.  When I first started this search process, the whole reason I did a nationwide search and not just one limited to FL or the south was because I wanted the opportunity to live somewhere completely different, to live in or near a vibrant city with a lot of great experiences and people to offer.  As my search wore on and I had been to several “cute and quaint” small college towns, I began to kind of give up on that dream.  That I would be ok with living somewhere small for a while to move to the big city after I got my 3-4 years in.  Even when I went on my on campus interview to American University I was sure that the visit was just the one time and I should really enjoy my stroll through the Glover Park neighborhood on a beautiful fall like day.  Even after my interview, it felt so much like other interviews that I felt went great but never led to a job offer.  I was even hesitant after hearing from my favorite reference and she said that she was pretty sure I was getting the job.  I eventually heard from the search committee chair and accepted their offer.  Even as my stuffed car sits in our driveway (seriously this is a fairly accurate representation):

I still cant believe it.  I really dont think it will hit me until I am schlepping all 103023423 boxes and moved into my temporary apartment steps from campus.  I have visited DC twice and LOVED it.  It is such vibrant city with people from all over the world coming and going within its streets.  Now I will admit I have a weird mix of adrenaline/excitement/apprehension/fear anytime I really think about living in my nations capital city.  But I feel there are so many great experiences that the city and my new job have to offer that as soon as I settle in I will find my rhythm and niche for the city.  Not to mention, I can make this a regular trip 🙂

Fridays Fantstic 5-9/7/12

Hello Readers!
So without further ado here is this weeks Fantastic 5

1. College Gameday Lists FSU as going to BCS Title Game!

My favorite gameday crew really made me happy last Saturday when three of the four announcers predicted FSU going all the way to the BCS title game (never mind the fact that we have a ridiculously easy schedule this year).  This should make for an excellent football season!

2. Wedding Shower Shopping!

Anytime I can shop for someone I get excited and this week my gift for a certain bride to be came into the mail!  My friend Erin and her fiance Dan actually did something really creative and unique for their gift registry.  They registered on where they can actually classify everything on their list of how much they want it/need it.  It allowed Erin and Dan to make comments about how they would use each product and I loved how I could be confident in what I was getting them was something that they really needed/wanted.  Totally using Amazon for any future gift registries I may need in the future.

3. Getting to See These Lovely Ladies!

Plus some more from my awesome cohort (Im looking at you Tava Lava and Queso!)  I really cant wait to hear about how awesome my friends are doing in post grad life and to see my Orlando friends!  Probably more gushing next week after I get to see them!

4.  Baby Lola Being Nominated as August Puppy of the Month!

Our vet’s office hosts a puppy of the month contest each month and Lola was nominated for August!!  Our friends and family have been very supportive of voting for her!  To vote for little Lola, just go to my facebook page, click on Lola’s picture, then click “Like” once her picture within the album pops up!  If she wins, she gets a gift basket full of puppy goodies!

5. New Haircut and Pedicure from Aveda!

Unfortunately the haircut did not turn me into Jennifer Aniston circa 1998, but my web cam isnt working for some reason so I cant take a picture of my “Rachel-esque” haircut.  This is the best representation I could find on Face in Hole.  I loved my experience at Aveda St. Pete and love my new bottle of OPI Nail Polish called Samoan Sand, a really nice nude color that is really professional looking!

Stay positive my friends!

Friday’s Fantastic 5-8/31

To keep myself centered on maintaining a positive attitude, Ive decided to kind of do a weekly wrap up of five things that made me happy.  By doing this I can share with those who read my blog some interesting experiences as well as remind myself of all the good things that have happened to me this week!

1. Daily Show with Jon Stewart Taping!

So this is a perfect example of an experience that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I wasn’t in the unemployment state that I am in.  A friend posted the link on Wednesday lamenting how she wish she could go (she lives out of state).  I immediately clicked on the link and registered for a ticket for Thursday.  To get an actual ticket I headed to the Straz Center and waited what seemed like forever but finally got my ticket and was treated to an amazing show.  It had been on my bucket list to go and see the Daily Show and I feel incredibly grateful that I was able to do so in my hometown!

2. On Campus Interviews!

Over the past week I had been invited to not one, but TWO  on campus interviews!  One for American University in Washington DC and one for Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah!  Anytime I get an on campus interview, I get very excited and view each one as a new networking and learning opportunity.  Not to mention I love DC and have never been to Utah before!

3. College Football has started!

Now FSU doesn’t technically start till tomorrow, but yesterday officially started the college football season!  I love all the passion that comes along with college football and love sitting around Satudays with my dad watching College Gameday.  Heres to hoping that the Noles have an amazing season!

4. Lights on Tours of Halloween Horror Nights

So I am the first to admit I am the biggest scaredy cat on the face of the earth so the idea of even attending Halloween Horror Nights has always, well, horrified me.  But I was always intrigued on what the houses looked like and their backstories.  I really dont event remember how I stumbled across this videos (and the other dozens or so like it) that give a very un-scary lights on guided tour of some of the houses and scarezones at HHN, but I have become OBSESSED with finding new ones and watching them.  I love all the backstory and details the tour guides give and the lack of scare actors popping out trying to scare the living daylights out of you.

5. Reading Chick Lit

While I was waiting around for Jon Stewart yesterday, I picked up one of my many Chick Lit novels that I bought for a steal at Books A Million a while back.  I really like Emily Giffin’s story telling style.  I love getting lost in a silly love story and the easy reading that Chick Lit provides.  I have a feeling over the next few weeks I’ll burn through several books!


Everything Happens for a Reason…

First off, so so sorry I’ve been MIA for like 2 months, but a little thing called Retention happened.  Retention is a “weekend intensive class” (aka I class on the weekends) with just the same amount of reading as a regular semester and a 25+ page paper to cap it all off…  Now that my time isn’t completely consumed by school work, I can give a quick update on my life.

Over the summer, I had the great opportunity to do a practicum in the Office of Student Involvement at UCF and it really ignited my love of student involvement all over again.  Being involved at FSU is what defined my undergrad career and what eventually led me to my career in higher education.  With the help and encouragement of my amazing cohort, I was able to come to the realization that I had to make the difficult decision to look for another assistantship my second year of grad school.  If I wanted to actually be doing what I want to do, I would HAVE to get an assistantship in student involvement.  Low and behold, not only did an assistantship open up in OSI at UCF, it would be working with students I had already gotten to know pretty well.  I was ecstatic and thought for sure I had the job in the bag.  Now my interview wasnt by far the greatest, but I didn’t think it was a total disaster either.  A week after I should have heard goes by… than another.  I really start to panic, what if I didn’t get this opportunity as easily as I had thought, was the fact that my contract at my previous job wouldn’t be up till August played against me?  Two and half weeks after I was supposed to originally hear, I get that fateful form email that informs me that I did not get what I perceived as my dream assistantship.

I was devastated.  I spent the majority of that night crying my eyes out feeling like just absolutely nothing was ever going to go my way.  I eventually convinced myself that something else was coming along and that if God didn’t want me to be at OSI, than that’s not where I was supposed to be.  As pure fate would have it, three GA positions posted the NEXT day Stetson University’s Office of Student Involvement.  I was apprehensively excited, I had learned to not get my hopes up and didn’t want to end up feeling rejected again.  I submitted my application for two of the positions that I had the most experience with and felt that would fit more with my personality.  I had never been to Stetson before and was intrigued to see a new part of Florida that I’ve never been to before.

I’m pretty sure my excitement started when this was my drive up to the school:

Downtown DeLand is one of the cutest areas ever!  I was starting to feel that aprehensiveness of falling in love.  I was too afraid to like it too much in case I didn’t get the job.

Then came the campus view:

SWWWOOOOOOONNN!!  UCF definitely has its own character, but coming from FSU with its red brick gothic architecture, I had forgotten how much I missed the red brick “oldness” that FSU has.  I was falling in deep.

I go into my interview in a beautiful red brick union building that is completely charming and had by far the most fun I had ever had on an interview.  Everyone who was part of my interview was fun to talk to and actually made the interview an enjoyable experience.  I knew I had found my home, I knew as soon as I left the interview that even if I didn’t get a position that it was a great experience to see that there are other student affairs professionals who are just as compassionate about helping students develop as I am. 

I wasnt really expecting an answer from them until Thursday at the earliest, but to my utmost delight and surprise I received a call around 2:30 offering me one of the positions I applied for.  I was absolutely over the moon.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for accepting a job offer ever (except maybe the first time I got a job with UP, it ranks right up there with that).  Even if I had gotten the UCF job, I wouldn’t have been as happy as I am right now. 

Today has been total proof that everything happens for a reason 🙂

Veggie Dish for One

Hello Blog Readers!

Sorry its been a while, but I took a nice long staycation that allowed me to relax before this crazy summer of classes, work, practicum and hopefully a little fun starts.  This week I got an invite in the mail for a wedding this summer.  And as I was returning the adorable little card I got indicating how many people would be coming with me and what meal I would like (eggplant parmesan, yum!) it kinda occurred to me that right around this time in previous years I would be yearning for a *summer romance*.   The old me would write a blog post sounding something like this: “Waaaah, I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m such a catch, why don’t boys like me blah blah blah….”  But honestly the fact that I’m not in serious relationship is probably such a good thing for me.  When I find something I’m passionate about, I throw my whole self into it.  And if I had a boyfriend, it would be THAT much harder to finish the massive amount of summer reading I have to do.  Now I’m not saying that if a nice guy asked me on a date, I wouldn’t say yes, I’m just kind of got sick of the pressure that it seems to be ingrained in us as 20something females to have a significant other.  I love being able to just go out with friends and strike up conversations with some interesting guys and having fun!  I like just thinking in the single sense and while I do like the idea of companionship and having someone who you could turn to for anything, being single is a lot of fun!  Of course I want to fall madly in love and get married to a wonderful man, but since I am pursuing a master’s degree (something I NEVER thought I would do) I’m perfectly ok with waiting for Mr. Right to come at the right time.  And besides, a girl could always dream…. 😉

Top 5 Memories of My First Year of Grad School

So its technically not completely over, but I just have an online test left, so close enough!!  I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories from my first year of grad school!! It has been quite a year, but I wouldn’t have traded it for ANYTHING!!

This is a pretty recent memory!  My mom (the total babe in the black!) wanted to go to Blue Man Group for her birthday so my dad, my sister (the babe in red), my mom and I (the babe in yellow) had a fun-filled weekend in Orlando.  It started on Friday with a trip to FL Mall, where I converted my mom and sister into Lush addicts like myself!!  On Saturday, we just hung poolside of the hotel they were staying at all day and then went to Margaritaville for dinner and then to the late Blue Man Show!!  I had already seen it with some friends, but it was just as much fun the second time around!!  Even my dad who isn’t usually into that type of thing really liked it!!

Ooooh Relay!  It was a great bonding experience for my cohort and we got 3rd place overall for fundraising!!  It was for a great cause and we really did have a blast!! Special props to Marissa, Tava, Catherine and myself for sticking it out the ENTIRE 18 hours!!  Jana (the babe in the purple in the front!) was a total rockstar and donated 12 inches of her hair to locks of love!!  Such a sleep deprived fueled fun time!!

MARDI GRAS!!  I was able to check off something from my “bucket list” and had an absolute blast.  The trip was something deeper though, my dad’s family is from New Orleans and I felt like I was more connected with that side of my family while I was there.  The fact that I went with two of my favorite DNZ sisters also made the trip that much more fantastic!!

This picture is when I went to the NASPA national conference in Philly, PA.  NASPA is one of the major professional organizations in the higher education field and it was a pretty awe-inspiring experience to meet and hear some of the top professionals in my field.  I learned a lot and renewed my zeal for this field.  Sometimes with class, my assisstantship and everything else going on, I forget what got me into the field in the first place, which was to help students and help them develop.

Of course all the nights out downtown had to make the list!! Every night either out with the cohort, coworkers, or random visitors was always fun and (mostly) memorable!  I have really started to like the downtown scene and must say that Orlandians know how to have a good time!!

Well I’m off to bed, I have to get up bright and early to watch my first rowing regatta tomorrow!!  It should be fun to support my students, plus Lake Pickett always has great weather 🙂

Today’s 3 Positives

Hello readers!  So I really like the idea of ending each day talking about three good things that happened to me that day.

1. Volunteering at Give Kids the World

I volunteered tonight for the pirates and princess party.  I got to speak in a Disney-esque princess voice all night decked out as a princess and it got to paint hearts, rainbows, stars and butterflies on the most adorable and sweet little girls.  They were complete sweethearts and one girl even asked if I was going to the Royal Wedding, you know since I was a princess and all…

2. Watched Friday Night Lights

My dad introduced me to FNL a couple of summers ago and I just have loved the show ever since.  After I went to FSU, I got REALLY into football and realized that I would have LOVED to live in a town like Dillan where the whole social scene and town revolves around high school football on Friday nights.  Plus it always reminds me of my dad and just makes me feel home-y.

3. Watching Nick Pitera’s “One Man Disney Movie

You cant help but smile while watching this movie and the guy’s mashup, voice, and creative skills are AMAZING!  I always get goosebumps when he sings When You Wish Upon a Star at the end…If youre a 90s kid who grew up on Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, etc it will be a great dose of nostalgia!

Stay Happy 🙂

Happy Earth Day/ Good Friday

Hey everyone!!  I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on my first post, that I’m now fully ADDICTED to blogging, like as I was falling asleep last night, I was thinking of blogging ideas LoL  Anyways so onto Earth Day.  My parents (specifically my madre) had always encouraged “being green” even before it was cool.  Before my little sister went off to school, my mom would NEVER buy pre packaged snacks.  My typical school lunch back in those days consisted of:

  • yogurt in a little thermos bowl with  a lid
  • apple juice/water in a reusable thermos cup
  • an apple or orange
  • either pretzels or mixed nuts in a reusable bag

Back then I was annoyed by the fact that I didn’t have all the prepackaged granola bars and stuff that the “cool girls” had, but now that I’m older, I completely appreciate and thank my mom for teaching me such a valuable lesson.  When I first moved out on my own, it was weird for me to NOT recycle and I can’t wait till I have I “real” house where I can recycle and give back to Madre Earth. 

Now Good Friday has a both good/bad connotation for me.  It has a good connotation because it reminds me from when I was a kid and I participated in living stations of the cross and it was the first time that I really felt close to God.  By participating in the living stations, I just really felt like what it could be like to be a person during JC’s time.  Now it has a bad connotation because when I was in high school I participated in the living stations again, but this time, I was wearing a VERY hot costume and actually nearly passed out in front of the whole church.  Luckily an old family friend came onto the altar and saved me before I actually bit the dust.  But mostly I remember that first experience, thank goodness! 

Happy Earth Day/ Good Friday Everyone!!