20 Days!

First, I want to say sorry, for never blogging anymore- between schoolwork, interning and then the holidays, there were not enough hours in any day. The holidays brought family, fun and tons of food, followed by mornings at the gym to try to sweat off all of the cookies.

As I sit to blog, I cannot help my nervous and excited feelings about leaving to study abroad in 20 days. In 20 days, I will be flying over the Atlantic Ocean, hopefully sleeping, on my way to Paris. In 20 days, I will be starting an incredible journey, living in a foreign country for 5 months. In 20 days, I will be starting a once in a lifetime experience and I cannot wait.

As excited as I am that in 20 days I am leaving, I am slowly freaking out and starting to get very nervous. I got a new suitcase for Christmas, which is awesome, but it is still sitting under the tree as I contemplate how on earth to pack for 5 months over the course of possibly 3 seasons. Not only am I nervous about packing I am starting to realize that my fast talking, slurred English is not going to cut it in Paris. I am beyond excited to be surrounded by the language I have been studying since 8th grade and finally solidify all of my skills but it is terrifying to know that I will have 5 classes, all taught in French, sometimes I can barely handle classes in English!

As I get nervous to be away from friends and family, live abroad in 5 months and not know anyone, I get excited, excited to prance around Paris with a baguette and a bottle of wine and to do something that I will never have the opportunity to do again. I am excited to be the tourist American girl, walking around with my camera around my neck and taking pictures and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the sites, sounds, foods and boys!

As I prepare to leave, I am going to purchase a Kindle Fire, so I can read, have textbooks in one spot and have a lighter option than a laptop for traveling the world! Please feel free to send book recommendations, there will be lots of traveling and time spent under the la tour Eiffel soaking it all in and reading.  

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Halloween Day of Fun!

Sunday, before Sandy’s arrival in Philadelphia, I had a truly incredible day with some of the kids of Tree House Books!

Temple HANDS hosted an event called “Kids Halloween Day of Fun” in the student center, featuring pumpkin painting, face painting, music, dancing and lots and lots of candy! The Young Friends had a table with an activity based off an awesome Halloween book- the kids made either a spider or a cat out of paper plates to make a candy holder! As I stapled and folded papers, I looked around to over 50 kids running around in costumes, dancing and on a complete sugar high and could not help but smile at how much fun everyone was having. The kids had face paint all over, bags of candy and were strutting their stuff in the Halloween costume fashion show. The event concluded with a dance party that had everyone, including parents and volunteers, up and dancing. We did the wobble, cha-cha slide and many other dances and had a complete blast. Although I can honestly say I did not know many of the songs and especially the dances that went along with them, I was having a great time watching the 6 Tree House kids break it down and truly having an incredible time.

The day was truly special, being able to bring the kids to Temple’s campus, let them completely unleash and have a great time.

our fun activity!!Image

Imagesome of the tutors with some of the kids holding up the “silent wolf”

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I’M ACCEPTED!!…now what?!

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Late last night I was accepted to study abroad in Paris for the spring semester!! I was wide awake because I am super sick and got the email and almost screamed- but quickly realized I would wake up 6 sleeping girls. Because no one in my house was awake to celebrate the good news, I tweeted it and made it my Facebook status to feel good about myself- and boy, 117 likes later, I feel GREAT!!

My application process was pretty stressful and thorough, including a language assessment and much more since I am doing an external program not through Temple- but it is all worth it because I am going to PARIS!

Just when I thought all the hard work was done, I was bombarded with an email from my program saying I still had 11 things to do before I left- yikes! I scrolled through the list to prioritize and figure out what I needed to do immediately.

1. Confirmation and form of agreement- As expected, they want some money for me to hold my spot! I am sending this in tonight and as for my form of agreement, my parents need to sign this, so I am headed home Friday to get it all together! These forms are due by November 15 so it is pertinent that I do them ASAP and have a spot in the program!

2. Apply for a visa–uh without it I can’t go for more than 3 months so I must!

3. Apply for housing- I did this today. My program offers apartment style living as well as home stays and I placed apartment style living as my number 1. This has been a decision in the making- there were pros and cons to both and although I would love to live in a house where only French was spoken, I heard some horror stories about home stays, I made the choice to do apartment style. This is not official yet, so I could still end up with a family!

Of course this is not all 11 forms but they are most important! Today I worked on filling out medical reports, uploading my passport information and filling out a sheet to do an internship abroad! Even though it is an optional form, it is certainly something I am interested in doing, so I want to kick start the process as soon as possible!

As I fill out more and check more tasks off my list, I will keep you posted, until them, au revoir!

 

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Pinspiration

Being in the city, I tend to miss out of my favorite season- fall. I cannot go for hay rides, walk through corn mazes or hand out candy to trick or treaters, but luckily, I live close enough to school, so I can go home to carve pumpkins!

Each year my best friend comes home from school for his moms birthday mid October, the perfect reason for me to get away and carve pumpkins together! Last year I made a Temple “T” and this year, I wanted to stick with school spirit and go big for an owl! My friend and his mom and no faith but as I carved away, I was pretty proud of what I created.

My pinspiration

ImageWhat I made…

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Twitter over capacity?!

Tonight I was curious if my internet was being slow or if Twitter was not responding well–as my page finally loaded, Mashable Social Media released an article that Twitter, was in fact, over capacity.

Their quick response and use of a screen shot of a parody “The Dark Lord” makes me love and admire the site even more. Before Twitter announced anything or problems were solved, they identified the problem and could create a blog post. It was informative, stating the last time it went down and its success so far, answering more or less, everything I wanted to know!

http://mashable.com/2012/10/15/twitter-is-down-monday-night/

Now, if only every site was as quick as Mashable Social Media, we would all have more answers; such as why as their cops all down my block and Temple without a TU Alert!

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Making a splash…getting back into the pool

So right before I came back to school, I re-injured my knee in a different place, putting a huge damper on my new hobby of running, so I have resorted to lots of arms and abs exercises and jump roping as cardio. This was not doing it for me, so I figured I should go back to what I know best as a cardio workout, swimming.

Today was the second early morning swim I have done being back at school and it felt…oddly incredible. Although kicking hurts my knee, what else is new, I can still get in a workout and be in what I still consider my natural atmosphere. When my alarm went off, I was tempted to hit snooze and sleep until I needed to wake up for my internship but instead, I hit snooze on the little voices in my head doubting my dedication and got up and went to the pool. I never thought I would miss early morning fall commutes to the pool but it felt crisp and refreshing starting my day early and with a great workout, (mind you the walk home in the rain was not as enjoyable).

I am quickly learning my body is not in the swimming shape it was even a year ago, but I am anxious to get there. After a long pull set, it felt as though my arms may fall off, a feeling I weirdly miss. Even though the amount of yards I did today would be a joke to what I would do in 1 morning practice in high school, I still got up and did it!

As I lay in bed exhausted, swimming at 8am makes for a long day no matter what you do, I am realizing that getting back in the pool is the start of more than just a new workout for me. I am starting a new page, a new outlook on life; I am happy, anxious for the future but living contently in the present and doing anything and everything I can. My internship is looking up, I am planning events, volunteering at events, kicking butt in my classes and figuring out how to be the best version of myself and loving every second of the journey!

Until next time…making a splash in the pool and everywhere else!

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A Successful Bake Sale

HELLO! I realize I have not blogged in a while but time has completely gotten away from me lately! I have blogged for PRowl and for Her Campus but not for myself.

As I sit finishing procrastinated work as most of my Sundays end, I think about the week ahead and realize that tomorrow, as usual on Mondays, I have a bake sale to raise money for Tree House Books! The plate of brownies is taunting my in my kitchen but I realize I should save them for people actually paying for them…Image

I have worked tons of bake sales and some go well and others you leave with $5 for your cause but now that it has been 2 years, I consider myself an expert and here is how to have the best bake sale possible!

  1. Know your audience- Every other Monday for the Young Friends of Tree House Books, we have bake sales in Tyler School of Art. Each week, students know we will be there and we try to cater to the needs of people who come each week to support our cause. Students typically ask for gluten free or vegan foods, although we cannot always have that, and we are still working on perfecting this taste, we want to have it available so they can support us and we can give them what they want! Also, with the changes of seasons, we change what we offer. Everyone is crazy about pumpkin in the fall, hot apple cider and even more warmed spiced products for the winter month. If you have what they want, they will pay for it!
  2. Location, location, location- For different student organizations, we have bake sales at different places on and around campus. In the student center atrium, many students are going in and out at a fast pace and there is always more than one bake sale going on. This is not prime location because students have options, are not likely to stop by because you cannot properly advertise and many students are going in to use their meal plan and they are not likely to cash of their own. Tyler School of Art, as well as the Bell Tower, are great spaces because you are the only one there, there is a large flow of traffic but more students are likely to stop because it is convenient.
  3. Remember, they are supporting you- Be polite to your customers, they are supporting you! Always cut them a deal and help them out, lets be honest, sometimes it is ridiculous to pay $1 for a small baked god, so throw them 2 =) Also, be informative, tell them what your organization is and how they are supporting you as well as how much it means to you. We are all students or members of Temple University, so help each other out!

Bake sales take over college campuses and are a great way to fund raise if executed well. Reach out to your friends to support you, but do not annoy them every time you have one, it gets old pretty quick, my friends still make fun of me for harassing them! Have fun, make a baking party out of it and remember why you are having the sale, to raise money for a cause, so you are doing a great job, keep it up!

Until the next time baked goods are screaming from my kitchen to eat them, bye!

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