SURVIVAL GUIDE: FINALS WEEK EDITION

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Ahh, yes. The stress of finals has settled in on everyone. Late nights, Redbull and moral support will get you through it!

To help alleviate some of this stress, here are some things to remember!

SURVIVAL GUIDE: FINALS WEEK EDITION

1. Water is your friend. Yes, Redbull may make you bug-eyed until 4 AM, but your body cannot function on sugar and caffeine alone!

2. Schedule out your study sessions and take breaks! Do not cram for one subject ALL DAY LONG. Break it up, keep yourself interested.

3. Make your flashcards or study guides colorful. Come up with whacky ways to remember things!

4. Eat properly. Please do not live off a box of cheez-its for the week. I know we may feel too tired to make a substantial meal, but at least throw in some basic fruits and veggies.

5. Sleep is NOT for the weak! Sleep is a period of restoration for your body that is either weary from studying or procrastinating. If possible, take a 20 minute nap in-between each study session. I promise that you will think more clearly and feel re-energized.

6. No class, GPA or teacher can define you. We all excel at different things. YOU ARE LOVED.

Best of luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

(P.S. Be sure to love on your seniors before they graduate)

March Grooves

Because I’m HAAAAPPPPYYY.

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March is just around the corner! To help keep you in a great mood or to help you get there, here’s an earful of happiness.

March Playlist:

St. Paul and the Broken Bones… are awesome. With New Orleans influence, this soul band gets you going! Their song “Call Me”, is my personal favorite. Other great picks include: “Everybody Knows” & “I’m Torn Up”. (picture above)

Pharrell Williams… you will be dancing & groovin! The jazzy top hit makes anyone smile.

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Aloe Blacc… is the man! Other great hits include: “Love is the Answer” & “I Need A Dollar”.

John Legend… a beautiful singer who can melt your heart and groove. “All of Me” is a great new hit.

The Fray… “Love Don’t Die” is a great song to jam to in the car. Windows down… take my advice!

Valentine Party… Success!

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The “Anti-Valentine” Party was quickly transformed to a true Valentine celebration when I noticed just how much I love pink. Here are a few snaps of the party and my girls! I’ve also included my “secret” Love Bug Punch recipe.

Love Bug Punch

(serves… a lot)

2 Bottles of Champagne

2 Bottles of White Wine

1 Can of Frozen Lemonade

1 Can of Frozen Limeade

1 Can of Strawberry Daiquiri

Rasberries for yumminess and aesthetics!

Here are the few pictures of the decor that I snapped!

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DIY Glitter Bottles and Polka-Dot Champagne Glasses (which later tumbled)

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Lights and all in action!

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Roomie Pic!

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I highly recommend throwing at least one valentine party in your life. It is a fabulous celebration of pink and friends!

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party

Happy Single Awareness Day!

Valentine’s Day is… great. Sometimes. However, when you are single and have no man to sweep you off your feet with a dozen red roses and chocolates, it’s a great excuse for a party!

This year, my roommates and I are hosting our first ever Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. This isn’t going to be some depressing event though where we sit around and eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching The Notebook. No way. This party is going to be legen…. (wait for it)… dary! -I’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother again.

Attire:

Of course full out obnoxious PINK! I’m talking over the top, all the shades of pink and red you can get your hands on. Maybe even a nice bobble heart handband.

What To Do:

 Gather your best friends, make a tasteful, yet strong, party punch and turn up the music. We have asked guests to bring their favorite valentine treat. For a twist though, make cupcakes with black icing instead of pink!

Decorations:

I’ve been cutting out paper hearts for DAYS. Black, red and pink hearts will create a nice swooping banner for across room. Then I’ve bought way too many rolls of streamers in red and pink. I want the house to be as pink as it can be. After all, just because we are single doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate each other!

Games:

Okay, so this may or may not be from the movie Valentine’s Day, but we are totally getting a PINATA! My only hope is that we do this before we start drinking. Anyways, fill up your pinata with fun retro candy or big wax lips!

Here are a few things from Party City that I’m thinking about getting to help get everyone in the “anti”-valentine mood!

heart.sunglassesWho doesn’t love heart-shaped sunglasses?!

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And these funny cupcakes as a sweet treat!!

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^^Basically… your house should look like this. ^^

(Minus that engagement photo. Boys… YUCK!)

Dunn’s Top Picks for NYE

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

New Years Eve is a night of celebration! So naturally, a new outfit is necessary. I’ve found a few dresses and accessories that will be sure to make you look great while not hurting your bank account!

First up..

Forget black… bring on the RED!

Red Zara Dress

Can be found at Zara for $49.99

Pair with a nude shoe and simple gold jewelry. If you’re dying for glitter, carry a sparkly clutch!

Alright, back to black.

Nordstrom

Find this shift at Nordstrom for $59

This is the perfect canvas for some fun jewelry or bright colored shoes!

Last but not least, GLITTER.

Forever21

This sparkling dress is available at Forever21 for $27.80

You also be happy to know that this has 2 different glitter options!

Frost yourself? Don’t mind if I do. Step into the world of jewelry at ASOS!

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This fabulous vintage cuff can be found at ASOS for $45.37

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Peter Lang Earrings at ASOS for $72.60

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Ottoman Hands Stone Ring at ASOS for $70.78

Hope that you will look and feel your best while sipping champagne this year! Best wishes for 2014.

Winter

Snow in Kentucky

As my week of finals dwindles down I realize just how quickly the semester has gone by. It feels like just yesterday I was complaining about how we didn’t have a syllabus week!

 Coffee after coffee and practically an IV of Red Bull (gave me wings) and got me through this week, which reminds me what going home is for. It’s time for a detox. Not just a detox from unhealthy junk foods and caffeine, but a soul detox. Time to breathe deeper and slow down.

 My absolute favorite part about winter is the snow- cliché. But the best part about snow for me is how quiet the outside world suddenly becomes.  A blanket of pure, white snow calms the world and everything is still for once. To be able to stand outside, surrounded by white, and breathe in the crisp winter air is my dream kind of day.

 Don’t forget to get caught up in your favorite book by the fire or watch every Downton Abbey episode you can with hot cocoa. It’s time to spend more time in the kitchen with family- cooking and trying new things. Make those cookies or rum cakes and take them around to friends and family.

Winter is my absolute favorite time of the year. We have so much to be thankful for and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of red and green, parties and presents but don’t forget to breathe in the crisp air and the warm smiles of the people around you.

With snow comes an inner and outer peace that is truly irreplaceable.

 

(And then there are those not so pleasant days with ice…. But that’s a different story.)

Love is Sometimes Overwhelming

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Love. Everyone wants it, but we all look in the wrong places. Self love is one of the most important things in this world and is something everyone should constantly work on; however, appreciating the love that is already around you is just as important and can make you love yourself even more.

Every year on my birthday, when the cake comes out and my friends/family around me are singing, I start to cry. EVERY TIME! After further pondering this weird habit, I realized that I cry because other people’s love and care for me was hard to take in!  Think about it: a whole room of smiling people who want to be with you on your special day to show how much they care? That’s incredible. It was especially incredible to me on my 10th birthday. Fellow cast members of a musical I was in sang me “Happy Birthday” and all I could do was cry my eyes out. Love is sometimes overwhelming– so much so that it is difficult for me to absorb it… hence the tears. (If you know me well, I can be incredibly emotional). But these tears are tears of appreciation and joy. To know that someone cares for you and shows that through little things like offering to pay for your Starbucks when you are having a rough day, or someone who just sits and listens to your worries- Some of you may never know how appreciative I am of those things and because I keep those feelings bottled up until my birthday…well, Niagara falls appears in my tear ducts.

What I want you to take from this though is that everyone is loved by someone. Somehow, someway, somewhere! And what  us more reserved people need to do is appreciate that love every day so you won’t embarrass yourself year after year as you’re blowing out your candles.

Ole Miss beats LSU

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Remember that one time when Ole Miss beat LSU?

Actually.. I don’t! This weekend was by far one of the best weekends in Oxford I have ever had. My two best friends that go to the University of Kentucky were in town and my other friend had boys from LSU in town! Turns out, this group was made for each other. Friday night was an absolute blast. We went to the square and payed those $15 bar covers and probably spent too much money but I had so much fun meeting new people. Turns out that LSU fans really don’t smell like corn dogs and that they are actually just here to have a good time! Though their kind of a good time was a little bit more rowdy than I usually get, I was able to keep up.

Is that your cooler? Haha… nope. Upon still being awake come 4 AM we decided it would be a good idea to leave some tiger markings around the neighborhood. In fact, we so kindly repainted someone’s cooler for them with some LSU sayings. (oopsie)

Now about that game.. did I watch the game? Yes! Did I watch the entire game? Not exactly.. Upon getting 5 hours of sleep, groving and then walking the 4 mile walk home, I was exhausted. So even though I fought to keep my eyelids open on the couch at home, I began to snore! Soon after a good 40 minutes elapsed I was woken up by, “WE BEAT LSU!!!!!” With a jolt, I woke up but didn’t believe my roommate. I kinda laughed it off and was like yeah okay. To my surprise, Ole Miss had done exactly that. Even with a ton of injured players, we had won.

Soooo after that there were many more celebrations, another late night and more random people crashing at my house but I will never forget this weekend for as long as I live. Though football creates rivals I met so many LSU fans that were kind and truly appreciative of our hospitality. So much so that they offered for us to visit them sometime in hopes that they could return the favor! So love your football team but don’t let rivalry put walls between you and fans of the opposing team..you’d be surprised to find that they aren’t as bad as you think! (unless they’re Bama).

HOTTY TODDY!

Starting a Supper Club

Supper Clubs are a great way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.  Many have talked about starting one but don’t know where to begin! Here are some tips on how to get started!!!

1. Who to Invite:

You don’t want to have a massive throw down so let’s keep the guests to 8-10 max. What I think can be fun is for the hostess to invite 4 or 5 and ask them to bring a friend or date! That way new people are constantly meeting!

2. Set a Date:

Check with people’s schedules and see when works best for others. I’m planning on having one of the first Sunday evening of every month.

3.  Decide who brings what:

Appetizer, Entre, dessert. I’d say BYOB. (Wine that is). You can put 2 people on appetizers, 2 on entres, 2 on dessert and others can bring supplies such as napkins, plates, utensils if you are deciding to make your clean up MUCH easier.

4.  Budget:

Typically I would tell people not to go crazy. There are many food items you can make for a group of 8-10 for under $15. However, if someone wants to splurge… I’m not opposed!

5. Themes:

Keep it interesting! You could have indoor picnic nights, wine and cheese nights, passport nights… these themes can also effect the dress code for the evening and music!! I.E. costumes & playlists

6. Tablescape:

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on flowers, but a little effort doesn’t hurt! Get some baby’s breath and cut them to place in a short glass. Candles are also another great way to set the mood without going overboard on price. (I know y’all have candles at home.) Tablecloths are optional as is putting out all the china! Remember how great an easy clean up sounds.

7. Menu:

Print out the menu and say what item is! Encourage guests to try everything. It is a fun way to break the ice by trying new things together. Also include who provided the dish!

Hopefully this will encourage you to start a supper club or at least get some friends over for dinner! It doesn’t have to be fancy… it’s not the last supper-just a nice relaxed evening with friends.

Facebook Deactivated

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Everyone talks about deactivating their facebook like it’s the new hip thing to do but no one actually does it. I’ve mauled it over and over again in my head about how nice it would be to not have facebook, or any kind of social media, constantly buzzing at me or making me feel inadequate but never decided to do something about it until tonight. My facebook account has been officially “deactivated”.

Lately I have found myself struggling to stay off the addicting site when I know I should be focusing more on academics or MY OWN LIFE. This and other things led me to finally jump off the cliff and become “unplugged”. (temporarily, that is.) On facebook we so often obsess over other people and their lives. Some of us are even jealous of other’s awesome photos! Let’s be honest though.. it takes ONE person with a picture in Europe to make you feel like your life is crap. I’m here to tell you that you’re life isn’t crap and that the people you are jealous of have off days too!! Not everyone’s life is perfect, but facebook has allowed us to edit things down to the t of who can see what photos and posts of you. Sooo in reality, even though you totally had closed eyes in that one picture or had spilled a drink on your shirt, NO ONE HAS TO KNOW! After all, your life on facebook can be as “perfect” as you want it to be. But this isn’t right. Our generation isn’t living life in the now and certainly aren’t making the kind of connections people used to. My whole world is on facebook. Even my parents and grandparents are on facebook, but that doesn’t mean it has to be my world.

So I’ve started tonight to see how I can improve relationships, myself and my overall happiness without facebook. If you’re daring enough, you should try it too.