7 Things to Bring to Orientation

Every year during Orientation, I see students that always look so uncomfortable. I mean, granted, being at Orientation can be an uncomfortable experience, what with all the ice breakers and having to talk to and be around people you don’t know. That’s not the kind of discomfort I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is physical discomfort – let’s face it, you’re walking all over campus to different offices and it’s hot and humid and sticky and sometimes, it’s even raining. So, I’ve come up with a list of a few things that I think will help mitigate some of that. Continue reading


Friday Roundup #6

Cashmere and wool and my skin are not great friends. When I find a good linen or cotton sweater, I buy it in as many colors as will fit with my wardrobe. This linen swing sweater by J.Crew is as perfect as it gets. It’s got side slits that aren’t too long and a wonderful drape. It comes in some nice neutrals and in some brighter (although not too bright) colors. I bought mine in regular (I usually take petite) and sized down one size. They’re currently full price, but I’m willing to bet you’ll find them on a 25-30% promo (which is when I bought mine) soon or you can wait till they hit the sale section.

I’ve been feeling wistful for England. I think the next time we go, probably when I finish my Masters (in like, 30 years), we’ll stay in Somerset and possibly the Lake District. Photos from the Oh my, Britain! Tumblr account will have to get me through until then.

In terms of interiors, I am all about the white. I’m not big on tchotchkes or art because I do not like physical or visual clutter. I like being in a calm and quiet environment. Scandinavian style decor generally works for me, as it tends to have a less clutered vibe, and that’s how we’ve “decorated” our home. However, all of a sudden, the white shabby-chic-cottagey style has really appealed to me. I’ve started a Pinterest board where I can keep up with all of it and get inspiration on how to choose pieces for our home as we start to replace some worn out items.

That’s all I’ve got, guys. How’s your week been? Got something ready for show and tell? Let me know!

A Good Night for an Even Better Morning

Last week was the craziest week! It was so full of the unexpected. When I’m working extended hours while under pressure, I try extra hard to make sure I decompress by making a good dinner and getting a good night’s sleep. Although some things went by the wayside (I didn’t post last week – did you notice?), I feel like I was able to reasonably keep it together. Today I’m going to share some things I do in the evenings to ensure I get quality rest and am ready to hit the ground running.

1. Get together all outgoing items. I put some bottled water in my bag, plug in my laptop and phone (my charging area is next to my “landing strip”) and make sure anything that is leaving the house with me tomorrow is already in the car or is in my bag. That way, I can just grab everything and go. For lunches, I put everything in a re-used grocery bag so that I can toss it in my bag and not have to worry that I’ve left something.

2. Shower. This may not apply to everyone. I shower twice a day. Morning showers get me woken up and give me a fresh start, while evening showers wash the day’s dirt down the drain. Besides, I don’t want to crawl into a bed with the previous day’s grime already embedded in the sheets! If showering in the evening isn’t for you, make sure to do a hygiene or full beauty routine to help skin heal and prepare it for the day ahead.

3. Do a quick tidy up. Before going to bed, I like to make sure there are no dishes lingering in the sink. I also walk through the house and put things where they need to go, fold up throw blankets and put the remotes in their place. I HATE leaving the house in a messy state and doing it before I go to bed puts my mind at ease – one less worry!

4. Turn off the screens. From the point I get in the shower at night, I make sure my phone’s on the charger and my laptop’s either charging or closed and I also turn off the TV. I usually turn on the radio to the local public radio station. It’s just another way of winding down by bringing down the visual noise and quieting my brain. If I’m not feeling sleepy, I’ll grab whatever book I’m currently reading and read a few pages.

5. Brew up a warm drink. Having a warm drink is so relaxing. I brew up my tea just before stepping in the shower. By the time I’m out it’s still warm but cooled enough to drink. My favorite is get some zzz’s from Republic of Tea. It’s a little pricey, but Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Tea is very affordable, easy to find and comes in tea bags and K-cups.

Instead of turning my evening routine into a novel, I thought I’d spare you all and distill it into its most essential elements. Getting through my evening ritual ensures I have the best possible likelihood of having a successful morning. What about you? What’s part of your evening routine?

Friday Roundup 5

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Mine was great and boy do I love me a short week! It was slow getting back into the swing of things, but I’m so glad I went in to work for a couple of hours on Friday so that I could return to somewhat of a normal state of affairs to get the work week started off right. Here’s what’s been on my radar this week:

A restaurant designed by Wes Anderson? I guess Milan’s my next destination?

And speaking of the man himself, check out Wes Anderson’s new short film, Castello Cavalcanti.

This Tyme Iron is insanely expensive, but insanely interesting.

Check out The Minimalists’ Joshua Fields Milburn’s interview on how he simplified his life.

I contemplating doing a post on my England trip, but I figured that the blog version of a vacation slideshow isn’t interesting for anyone. However, I do have the link to the pictures I took (which seem like a lot, but I never think there are enough!) for those of you who are interested. (I’m in the process of organizing them into subfolders, but Photobucket keeps crashing, so I can only do a bit at the time, so please forgive the disorganized state of my photos).

Make the Most of Your Summer: Volunteer!

By now summer plans are in full swing. Some of you are vacationing or otherwise relaxing, others are working and a few of you are probably taking a summer course. One thing I hope you’ll consider adding to your schedule is volunteering.

There are a few schools that actually require students to accumulate volunteer hours as part of their degree requirements or to complete their portfolios. I can’t think of a better time to work on these hours than summer. Continue reading

6 Things to Consider When Adding to Your Wardrobe

I think for most folks out there, we’ve hit the end of the semester and finals are over, so I’m going to cut back on the advising posts for a bit. They may pop up here and there, though.

I’ve gotten a few questions on how to create a “minimalist” wardrobe. “Minimalist” and “minimalism” are words I’ve come to shy away from, as they seem to have become somewhat buzz words. However, there are folks out there who are teaching themselves to make do with what they have and are learning how to stretch ever more limited resources. I consider myself to be in the latter camp as opposed to being a “minimalist”.

I have drastically streamlined my wardrobe and it has become more flexible. I never thought this would happen: the more I wear the items in my closet, the more I want to wear the items in my closet. I have become more discerning in what I add to my wardrobe and I add only when an item will fulfill a need. Perhaps in a future post, we can discuss the contents of my closet, which I’m sure would satisfy the voyeur in all of us.

We’ve all had those times when we’ve found the “perfect” item. The perfect dress. The perfect sweater. The perfect shoes. But, is it really perfect? We might think so at the moment, but over time that item may not prove to be as useful as we thought in the beginning. I’ve compiled a list of 6 things that I consider when adding a new item to my wardrobe.

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What To Do When: You’ve Said Something Offensive

Well, I’ve got a true story for you. I was sitting in a meeting last week and, out of ignorance, I blurted out something that was offensive. We were trying to look up something via the school portal and we were getting a heaping helping of nope. I said, “yeah, my Internet’s been garbage off and on for the past couple of weeks.”

Little did I know that a director in information technology services was in the meeting and of course she was the chair of the group. Of course. She took it graciously and we had a jovial banter, but believe you me, I felt awful. Afterward, she approached me and said she understood that I meant no harm and to let her know if my Internet connection was dodgy; it was most likely do to icky old cable in our building. This person had been nothing but welcoming and kind to me, so naturally, I felt like a heel. Of course I apologized, but it seemed weak. Here’s how I dealt with it and hopefully this will give you some ideas on how you can recover when you’ve said something offensive.

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