Category Archives: Random

As much as I love being back at school, living in my sorority, and being with my friends, coming back to the cafeteria food was a rude awakening, and pinterest recipes are killing me right now as I salivate in front of my computer screen.

Now, I know that my school’s food is not that bad (or so people tell me), but it gets old real quick. So, for all of you other college students out there who struggle with yucky college food, and have some culinary inclination, I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for making the experience a little bit more pleasurable.

So here’s what I have come up with:

  • Lots of schools have various themed “stations” within the cafeteria. What I have found helpful is to mix things up. For example, I have gotten plain pasta, and then put fresh spinach, tomatoes, and olive oil from the salad bar on top. Mixing and matching options from the various stations can break up the monotony of eating the same things all the time.
  • If you have a kitchen in your dorm, house, or suite, you can always use the cafeteria to collect various ingredients and come up with your own recipes. This takes some time and creativity, but it is a fun way to get a bit more variety, and not waste money if you already have a paid for meal plan.
  • I almost always have some snacks in my room, like cereal, yogurt, cup o noodles type of soups, carrots and peanut butter, and Annie’s mac and cheese, for those times that I just don’t feel like walking to the cafeteria, and then I do a bit of grocery shopping every couple of weeks to replenish.
  • And for those of you who think you can’t cook now is a good time to learn! It is a life skill you are going to need! My roommate just asked me yesterday how to cut an apple. . .  and that doesn’t even require any cooking! While it can be faster to just grab something out, it will be a lot easier on your wallet if you lay off eating out all the time and cook a bit o your own 🙂

Now, for a little bit  of inspiration I will leave you with some deliciousness from pinterest

And on that note, have a good week!


Why so much enthusiasm for back to school this year, you might ask? Especially given my recent retail experiences with the hell of back to school shopping?

To be honest, I don’t think I have been this excited for the first day of school since Kindergarten. In the past, back to school has always signaled to me the end of summer, and sitting still for hours on end each day, bored to tears. And last year, coming to college as a freshman was an entirely different experience. Don’t get me wrong, I had an awesome freshman year of college. I met so many new friends, took classes that really interested me, and became much more independent living away from home. But, it wasn’t always smooth sailing, and Freshman orientation was probably one of the most anxiety filled experiences of my life to date.

This year was different though I came to school already knowing lots of friends, knowing who my roommate would be, and feeling much more prepared for the year ahead in general. Plus, the fact that I have no classes on Fridays this semester doesn’t hurt either 🙂

Having successfully completed the first week of my Sophomore year, I felt the irrepressible need to blog about. In addition, I have been crafting up a storm this summer in preparation for my new room this year! And I am so excited about it! But before I say more, here are some pics of my new home for you all to feast your eyes on

My side of the room

And some close-ups!

The kitchen corner. We all know how important food is

Gotta have some color above the desk

Closet and jewelry organization

 

I am absolutely in love with my  room! Last year I researched for dorm decor like a fiend, but I found that I didn’t really like all that much of it. . . And I also realized that outfitting your room can get spendy fast. So, here is what I recommend/what I have done

1. Almost all of my wall decor was made by me 🙂 (you may recognize one of the pieces above my bed from this post )I picked up a variety of cheap frames from the dollar tree and places like Ross and Target, and hung them with command hooks.

2. Speaking of wall art, I had a variety. I not only framed fabric, but also used embroidery hoops to frame it. I think mixing frames and having a variety of shapes and sizes really helps me pull of that ordered chaos thing I tend to go for.

3. As you may have noticed, I didn’t go in with much of a color scheme. Last year I bought bedding that was reversible, so this year I used the flip side ( I highly recommend reversible!), which has a blue geometric pattern. This brought in some pattern and color for my bed, but also allowed me to bring in a variety of colors in my other decor.

4. I collected a lot of little postcards and things from places/events I went to last year, which are all on my bulletin board- memorabilia is always an easy way to personalize your room.

5. I am a huge fan of color since I go to school in Washington (can you say Rain?), but I think that no matter where you are, it is important to have at least a little color to brighten up your room.

6. One of my best brainstorms this year is featured in the last pic. My roomie and I had to rearrange every piece of furniture in our room to get it in a configuration we liked, so we used the bookshelf as a little entry table/storage space. We covered the top of the shelf with drawer liner adhesive from the dollar tree!

So here is what I recommend for everybody:

A college room is temporary; don’t spend a ton of money on things that you may not want by the next year or two

Make it personal; this is your home! It should reflect you and be comfortable!

Make it functional; again, this is your home, so you need to make it work for you, storage is key.

Lighting!!! So important! Most dorms use the same flourescent lights in dorm rooms. If you (like me) hate that, make sure to have a few lamps. My roomie and I also plan to pick up string lights closer to Christmas (and by closer to Christmas, you know I mean in like 1 month)

Well, that about wraps it up. Hope everyone had a good week! If you have already survived the first week of school, congrats! If not, good luck!

 

 

 


After my last day of work yesterday (HALLELUJAH), it’s time to to get packing for school. I gave myself two days to pack up before moving back in on Saturday, with classes starting Monday. I think I may have underestimated just how much crap I have. . . But, according to all the Facebook posts I’ve been seeing lately, I am not alone in my packing dilemmas.

Despite my struggles, I’m now on track to leave and almost all packed up. As a result of all this, I have created a NO FAIL PACKING PROGRAM! for all of you who struggle with packing for a move, or even just for a vacation. By following my multi-step program, you can have a successful packing experience too!

Here it goes:

Step 1. Make a conservative list of all the things you will need to pack

Step 2. Guestimate how much space you will need and get out those suitcases/boxes

Step 3. Do a ton of laundry so that the clothes you pack are actually clean

Step 4. Pack all of the items on your list

Step 5. Reevaluate your list, and add as many additional items as desired

Step 6. Decide you just need one more box/suitcase

Step 7. Fill up said box or suitcase

Step 8. Start getting paranoid. Pack for all the random situations you know are probably unlikely, but still possible

Step 9. Realize you have no clothes left to wear. Pull out a few. Put in a few more.

Step 10. Take a little break, maybe have snack. Put on some music to motivate you to finish packing.

Step 11. Sit on suitcases/boxes in order to close them. Duck tape is always handy during this step.

Step 12. Crap. Don’t have Duck tape. Make a run to Target. Get distracted by all the awesomeness Target has to offer. Buy some random things that you don’t really need.

Step 13. Cram in that extra stuff, and use that handy dandy duck tape you just got to seal up all your packing containers.

TADA! You are done! I have personal proof that this is by far the MOST effective packing method.


Working in retail this summer, I have learned that although there are many nice, polite people out there, but there are also countless obnoxiously rude people.

Some are just in a bad mood, but others are simply oblivious.

With the back to school frenzy, things tend to only get worse. Though retail employees are there to help and provide you with customer service to improve your shopping experience, they are not there to be personal doormats.

So, I am writing this post to educate you all on the appropriate behavior to exhibit as a customer.

Here are some tips to shop by:

1. Set a budget before you go in the store, especially if you plan to do a lot of shopping (back to school, christmas, etc). As a retail employee, I get really uncomfortable when customers haggle, or bitterly complain about how much things cost. I don’t set the prices people!

2. If you are shopping with your kids, please refrain from yelling at them  and/or arguing with them while at checkout.

3. Most asked question this month: Is it always this busy? I realize that customers may not know this, but I can assure you, if you are shopping during a particularly busy time of year (again, back to school, christmas) THERE WILL BE OTHER CUSTOMERS AROUND GUYS. And, as much as this is beyond your control, your attitude most definitely within your control.

4. When you get to the register, it is very helpful if you DO NOT dump out everything you are purchasing on the counter and spread it out so it takes up the entire space, especially if you are buying a large quantity of merchandise. A little patience, people. We will be more organized and less likely to make a mistake as we ring you up if you load up our counter as we go.

By keeping these simple rules in mind, you will make the jobs of people like myself so much easier, and help us to make our days a little bit smoother!

 

 


I’m super excited to be going on vacation tomorrow! I had hoped to fit in one more post before heading off to Hawaii (!!!!!!!) but that will have to wait until I get home. Between working everyday up until leaving and packing and cleaning house before leaving, time has absolutely flown by!

Gotta get up at the buttcrack of dawn tomorrow, but I cannot wait to hit the beach when I get there!

I will be leaving my laptop at home while I’m gone (I think I need a break from the interwebs for a bit), but you can look forward to at least 2 picture filled posts on my vacation when I get home!


Hi all,

So, I have been a little delayed in posting Craftastic Part 2 (but it is coming, I promise!) because I have been enjoying my time off work so very much.

We say in Portland that it’s not summer until the 4th of July. This definitely rang true this year– after a good month and a half of rainy, overcast weather, I woke up on the fourth of July to sun streaming through the window, and the meteorologist on tv promising temperatures in the 80’s! Finally! . . . And then I went to work. Sigh.

Yes, working in retail, I was supposed to work from morning until evening on the fourth of July. I was more than a little bummed that I would be cooped up inside all day, on the first nice day in ages, and not really doing anything anyway since no one would be in the store on such a beautiful day. But, I made the most of it and tried to keep busy doing my job. Brownie points for me! I showed such enthusiasm to get stuff done my manager rewarded me by letting me leave at 2!

Woo hoo! So, I went on a bike ride with the fam in the afternoon and then came home to prepare the picnic. The 4th is usually pretty low-key for my family, and with my brother gallivanting about the UK this summer, was seeming even more lackluster. So I decided I actually wanted to do something this year. After scanning the internet for ideas, I decided on watching fireworks from Council Crest.

For those of you who have never been (or never been to Portland for that matter), Council Crest is the highest point in Portland (i.e. a HUGE hill). Apparently it used to be an amusement park at the turn of the century, but now it is just a nice park with some trails and a beautiful view of the city and on into Washington from one side of the hill, and on the other, a view out into the metro area (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, etc).

The circular patio at the top of Council Crest

View of Portland metro area

A really bad pic of fireworks

So,  we packed up a picnic, and headed up to Council Crest. Be warned: it is winding and pretty confusing, so bring a map/google directions/your gps if you are unfamiliar with the area and want to go check it out. Once there, we spread out our blanket and dug in. The fireworks show on the waterfront started at 10, but the view as the sun set was gorgeous, and we got to see tons of fireworks going off across Portland and across the river in Washington.

The main event, the waterfront show, was absolutely beautiful! I am so glad we went up to Council Crest instead of going to the waterfront. I’m not a fan of huge crowds or super loud noises, so it worked perfectly for us, and we had a great view of the show from our spot on the lawn.

Now that I have been, I would definitely recommend it! A great way to spend the fourth, or even to just enjoy a picnic and sunset on a clear summer day!

Hope everyone had a great 4th as well, however you chose to spend it!


So guys. Have you heard of One Direction yet? It seems nearly impossible since their hit song, “What Makes You Beautiful” plays every time I turn on the radio. The song, catchy and fast-paced played at nearly every event in the last two months while I was at school, and now seems to have become a summer anthem.

Much as I love singing the song at the top of my lungs with my friends while we dance around our dorm room, I saw something the other day that had taken it a little too far. I believe it was on the Today show (though it might have been some other morning show. . . can’t be sure, hadn’t had coffee yet), that I saw an interview with the pop-y boy band, complete with carefully coiffed hair (on the part of the boys) and a live audience of screaming 12-13 year old girls in the background, in a frenzied, adolescent hysteria.

Now, this in itself was not that surprising. It’s like a boy band of Justin Bieber- what young girl could possibly resist that. What shocked me about the interview was the comparison made between One Direction, and The Beatles. The Beatles?!?! Really? For me, One Direction is a lot more like the N’Sync or Backstreet Boys of the 20teens, but not, at all, the second coming of The Beatles. Granted, both bands were made up of young men, and both bands are British, touring in the US to the sounds of screaming young girls, but is that really enough to begin to compare the two?

Personally, I think not so much. Does this mean I will stop singing along to “What Makes you Beautiful”? Of course not! The song is still a very catchy, pop-y song, enjoying it’s fifteen minutes, and I intend to enjoy it too (along with “Call Me Maybe”- both of which were the ridiculously popular songs at my college this spring).

So, decide for yourself: Is One Direction The Beatles, or N’Sync?