Meet Me at the Barre…

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What’s up guys!!! Happy tuckin’ Wednesday!

If you’re like most people on this earth, then chances are you have been indulging in some delectable treats this holiday season….AS YOU SHOULD! One of the greatest pleasures in life is food, and there’s no reason why you should restrict yourself from the occasional pumpkin muffin, salted caramel hot chocolate, or hunk of peppermint bark. Enjoy yourself, and don’t be so hard on your eating decisions…you won’t be expected to wear a bathing suit for the next 6/7 months anyways!

However–everything is better in moderation–so here’s a lovely workout suggestion to help you balance out your caloric intake this holiday season.

Ever heard of barre? I’m not talking about the kind where you order vodka sodas or adios mother f*****s. This barre is the no-guilt kind. You won’t be waking up hungover….or with a stranger by your side…lol jk…(but not really).

Barre is an up-and-coming form of exercise that combines pilates, dance, yoga, and functional training. Not flexible? No worries…I can barely do the butterfly stretch, and yet I’m chillin’. Every class is perfectly choreographed to upbeat and motivating music. Every instructor is literally A++. How is that possible? I have no freaking clue.

During the exercise, you use small workout balls, free hand weights, resistance bands, and the like. Every class is unique, and no two classes are ever the same. And just when you think you’ve gotten the class down…NOPE! They switch all of the choreography every few months to keep it challenging and new.

And the absolute best part? I guarantee you that during the class, you’ll think of nothing else in your life outside of that room (stressful work issues, recent breakup, impending assignments…nope, nada). You literally cannot do two things at once, and this class is no exception. Enjoy the unique and invigorating opportunity to be truly, 100% MINDFUL, and in the present-moment. It’s the ultimate stress-relief activity.

So if you’re in the market for a new & improved exercise regime…look no further than your local barre studio. For the first time ever, you’ll look forward to your workout and enjoy every minute along the way. Plus, you’ve never felt your muscles burn quite like this before…I can assure you.

While these classes can be somewhat expensive, more often than not you can purchase special packages that will decrease the cost per class! Or, take advantage of student discounts…always.

If you live in my area, I highly encourage you to check out Studio Barre Newbury Park. This place is everything.

Any questions? Shoot me a comment, and I’ll be happy to answer!

That’s it for today folks, hope to see you at the barre! 😉

xx allie

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Black Friday Consumes Thanksgiving

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Happy Tuesday everyone–it’s almost Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is excited for turkey, Martinelli’s sparkling cider, and good ol’ pumpkin pie. We all know that year after year we consume over 5,000 calories in that one Thanksgiving meal alone! Only this year it’s different. Thanksgiving itself is being consumed. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.

If you’ve done your research at all on the Black Friday specials of 2017, then you may have noticed that the major door-busters begin at 6pm on Thanksgiving night. 6 PM!!! What in the name of Christopher Columbus?! I thought black Friday starts on Friday?

Isn’t it true that Black Friday used to start at precisely midnight following Thanksgiving?!

Over the years, black Friday has continued to creep closer and closer to Thanksgiving night. Last year I remember that a lot of the doors opened at 9 or 10 pm…. and even that was pushing it. BUT NOW 6PM? If you’re like most Americans…then chances are you are just sitting down to eat your Thanksgiving feast with the fam at this time. And now what? Instead of enjoying and appreciating quality family time, we are all supposed to be running off and finding the best deals on expensive items? Blasphemy.

What about everyone that must show up to work at 6pm on Thanksgiving, just so that people can barge their way through the doors and save money on a TV or game system? Hath America no soul?

At this rate, I would not be surprised if Thanksgiving goes extinct in the coming years. Black Friday will become Black Thursday, replacing Thanksgiving once and for all. I digress..

I honestly refuse to be at the door-buster sales this year, and I highly encourage all others to do the same. Instead, I will be embarking on a CyberMonday shopping spree from the comfort of my own home. In fact, I am hearing that CyberMonday is supposed to be even better than Black Friday….so there.

This Thanksgiving…don’t lose sight of what is truly important. Family, friends, and thankfulness. ❤

…and if you do decide to shop this Black Friday, then may the odds be ever in your favor.

xx allie

 

 

Starbucks vs. McCafe

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Hey guys, Happy Wednesday!

Today I am going to be discussing Coffee. Why? Because without it, I would undoubtedly spend 24 hours of each day sleeping. So I figure it (more than) deserves it’s own post.

I’ll start by saying that I have always esteemed Starbucks Coffee as my default go-to, for a few reasons.

  1. I like the variety of drinks available
  2. I like the ability to customize your drink any which way (yay for kids temp!).
  3. I love that they recognize the holidays and alter their products accordingly.

But, although the coffee/sweet drinks are choice, there are a few things about Starbucks that aren’t. For one, the price isn’t always right. I used to be able to justify spending $4-7 on a Starbucks drink once or twice per week, but now that I’m in grad school I basically visit a coffee shop 5-6 days per week. So if I spent $5, 6x per week, then I would be spending $120 per month on coffee drinks. While I do love coffee, $120 is a little steep. That’s more than half the price of my monthly car payment, and over 2x more than my gym membership. If guilt didn’t exist, then I would continue to pay the price without giving it a second thought. But, as the careful spender that I am, I cringe with guilt every time I purchase a drink for $5, which I always finish in 5 minutes.

For this reason alone, I found it necessary to explore my options. Although I almost NEVER choose to visit a McDonald’s for anything else, I had heard that their coffee was tasty and affordable. I decide to give it a (expresso) shot. 🙂

Much to my surprise, they too offered holiday drinks! On the menu, I noticed flavors like toffee latte, peppermint mocha, peppermint hot chocolate, vanilla latte, etc. McCafe is steppin’ it up!

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I chose just a simple hot mocha, and was pleasantly surprised by how smooth, rich, and perfect it tasted. In fact, I gave it a 10/10, as opposed to Starbucks mocha drink which I rate a 7/10. Starbucks makes their mochas SUPER sweet and chocolatey (even for a major chocoholic)–I always have to ask for them half sweetened. *The only thing that I didn’t like about the McCafe Mocha was how HOT it was. OH MY GOSH. I definitely burned my tongue [a few times]. If possible, ask for it much less hot than it comes.

The major perk though? The price! Each size was over $1 less than its Starbucks counterpart. So let’s do the math again with this new price. If I were to spend $3.50 on a McCafe drink, 6x per week, my total for the month would be: $84. So much more reasonable than Starbucks!

Let’s be real though, McDonalds is really only an option for coffee on-the-go. I’m simply not going to bring my laptop, books, and assignments to a booth at McDonalds. It’s obviously not the best hangout place, and doesn’t account of students looking for comfortable seating and plenty of outlets. So when I’m looking for a location to do work, it’s worth the extra price for me to choose Starbucks over McDonalds.

BUT–if you’re ever on the go, needing coffee, but aren’t trying to spend top dollar for your fix….then try out a McCafe. You might even find you prefer it…

Have a beautiful rest of your day ❤

xx allie

 

 

 

Origins Skincare Review

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What’s up guys! Happy Tuesday. Hope your week is going rather swimmingly thus far. My week has been a little hectic. I’ve been inundated with projects, papers, and quizzes-oh my! Therefore, I am sorry that I’ve been slacking on my blog posts lately…I can assure you that once Winter Break starts mid-December…I’ll be more present.

Today I wanted to discuss Origins skincare products. I discovered Origins a little over a year ago, when I was perusing through a Macy’s department store and happened upon the designated Origins skincare section. Immediately I was captivated by the branding on the bottles and the scents of the products. I purchased a few smaller products and began to try them out. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad experience from using their stuff.

Here’s what you should know:

I have combination skin—certain parts dry, certain parts oily. I’ve always struggled to find skincare products that cater to both skin types at the same time…until I found Origins. Here are my fave products:

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Ginzing Energy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist: (Retails for $22.50). This product is for dry, normal, and oily skin. After I wash my face, I spritz this moisturizing spray all over my face. It invigorates my skin, wakes me up, opens up my pores, moisturizes, and makes my face smell like fresh oranges!

 

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Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash: (Retails for $23.00). This face wash is extremely gentle and never stings. It smells fresh and lathers better than any other product I’ve ever used before. No matter how small of an amount that I use, it STILL always seems like way too much…making this product last forever! My face feels so fresh and clean after using this wash. It feels like it cleans very thoroughly, yet never leaves my skin feeling dried out. My breakouts have truly diminished from this product alone. If I had to choose one product to suggest from Origins, it would have to be this one.

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Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask to Quench Skin’s Thirst: (Retails for $27). This “lotion” is the bees knees. Although it’s an overnight mask, I treat it more like a lotion, since you aren’t supposed to wash it off. I use it every night before bed, after I’ve washed my face with the Checks & Balances Face Wash. It moisturizes SO WELL, soaks into the skin perfectly, and doesn’t make my skin feel oily AT ALL. It also spells like a tropical paradise. Best face lotion I’ve ever used…and I’m not just saying that.

I’ve also tried a number of Origins face masks, including the rose clay, charcoal, 10-minute mask, and more. They are all amazing. However, for the purposes of this post, I wanted to center the focus on the top 3 every-day products that I’d highly recommend for clearer, happier skin. These products last a long time, and are relatively inexpensive. Give them a try and I doubt you’ll regret it. If you’ve used Origins, and have an opinion of your own, please leave a comment!

Well that’s all for today. Have a wonderful rest of your week!

xx allie

Revel in Your Small Victories

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Happy Tuesday Everyone! Hope yours is off to a good start.

Today I’d like to discuss the importance of reveling in your small victories.

In this busy world we live in, with only 24 hours in a day, it’s difficult to function efficiently without a giant “to-do” list that governs your day-to-day schedule. And one thing that I notice rather often is our tendency to quickly scramble onto the next order of business as we are still in the process of crossing off the last. We rarely take the time to breathe between tasks and celebrate the small victories that we’ve already accomplished!

This should never be taken lightly. It is SO important not to fixate on the things that we have not yet finished, and instead praise ourselves for the things that we have. Take the time to pat yourself on the back for your progress…as ANY progress is better than none. Don’t allow yourself to be frustrated by the outstanding items. See them as a healthy challenge that you will gradually conquer over the course of time…it’s not a race!

Now do not take this message the wrong way: I am not trying to encourage laziness or procrastination. However, I think that it is critical to take the time to feel proud of the things we have accomplished, rather than frazzled by the things we have not yet attended to. If we do not take the time to acknowledge our victories, then we’ll continue to feel that we just cannot keep up.  Now I don’t know about you, but if I felt like I was working hard and tediously, yet getting nowhere…I’d likely end up quitting. Encourage yourself by encouraging yourself. Self-praise and admiration are key.

IN FACT!!! I like to celebrate my own small victories by rewarding myself along the way. The positive reinforcement is healthy and fun. I’ve finished my reading for the day? GREAT! Time to relax and catch up on the last episode of “This is Us”. I just finished with my midterms? FANTASTIC! I’ll finally schedule the nail appointment that I’ve been putting off for so long. Made it into both of my doctor’s appointments in one day! AMAZING! Time for a scoop of Baskin Robbins ice-cream. Personally, I find that rewarding myself for the things I’ve completed rather than scurrying to get crackin’ on the unfinished business, truly motivates me to take on the new tasks with a positive attitude and a refreshed enthusiasm. My efforts and work ethic are enhanced after taking a small breather and reveling in my accomplishments.

SERIOUSLY guys, you will be amazed by the strikingly obvious benefits you’ll experience by simply taking on this ideology. Staying positive, refreshed, and ambitious has never been so easy. Positive self-talk + Personal Rewarding (as a mechanism of positive reinforcement) truly make the biggest difference.

Stay lovely, lovelies.

xx allie

Always Listen to Your Body

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What’s up guys?! Happy Wednesday!

Lately, I have been itching to discuss an ideology that I’ve been adopting a LOT these days. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

What does it look like to listen to your body? Sometimes, it means not being able to give your 100%, 100% of the time. This is something that I still continue to struggle with, but I’ve been progressively learning to take my personal limits in stride.

As I’ve discussed in my blog posts before, exercising is extremely important to me. Although it’s nice to see physical developments as a result of working out, I appreciate exercising more for the mental benefits it provides. Exercise combats stress and depression, two things that I have been known to struggle with in my life. Devoting 2-3 days to working out per week is essential to my mental wellbeing, and for that reason I refuse to give it up. I regard it as my due diligence to see to it that I get the exercise I need to ensure that I am operating at my most pristine mental capacity. Sometimes however, I am a little too ambitious. I book myself for a workout class at 8am, the morning after being up until 12:30am doing my grad school reading/assignments. On these mornings, it is particularly difficult to wake up and work out. So what do I do? I listen to my body. If my body is saying that sleep is more important than exercise for that day, I turn off my “snooze” button and fall back asleep for another hour. I almost never regret missing my workout for extra zzzz’s. In my personal opinion, it’s a good tradeoff.

If you know me personally, then you probably know that I’m a little bit neurotic when it comes to my school work, which I see as a general reflection of my ambition, perseverance, and motivation. It irks me when I don’t complete the assigned reading before class, or I feel that I have underperformed on a paper or assignment. In the past, I’ve been relatively successful at devoting 110% effort into my school life–even going above and beyond when possible. However lately, I am realizing that this is next to near impossible in grad school. If I were to give 100% in everything I do, then there would never be enough time in a day. It’s about learning to recognize my limits, accept them, and then not beating myself up in the end. In grad school you learn about prioritizing, and you also learn about “scraping by” or just “doing what you need to do”. Point is, I’ve been listening to my body lately and ignoring my guilt. If I’m falling asleep while reading, then I choose sleeping. I’m not going to die if I don’t finish…in fact, it probably won’t matter at all. If I need quality time with friends for the sheer sake of sanity, then you best believe I’m going to make myself get what I need…even at the expense of other tasks. Balance is truly everything….and mental health and sanity is always #1. In fact, I even give myself ‘break days’ during the week, where I promise myself not to even open a book or take out my laptop. It’s important to be present in life, and to continue to enjoy living.…which can often be sacrificed for the sake of education or getting ahead.

Getting sick? Make that your focus. Listen to your body and give it what it needs to get well. If you ignore the signs or symptoms your body is presenting, then you will only suffer for longer. Make time to visit a doctor, allocate 20 minutes to pick up the meds you need from a local CVS, go get that “Cold Buster” from Jamba Juice, or crank out that Chicken Noodle Soup recipe you’ve been pocketing. You might not think you have time for any of this, but the fact is, you don’t have time to NOT do this. Your health is important, and if you are not operating at your best, then nothing you do will be a reflection of your best efforts. Take care of your body, then take care of your other responsibilities.

Your body is smart. You will always know what you need if you are perceptive to its language. Be mindful and aware of what it tells you. Take it into consideration. After all, it is the vessel in which you live. I can think of nothing more important than that.

Stay beautiful, stay in tune.

xx allie

Shaken

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All day today I have felt shaken. I simply cannot get the vision of Sunday night’s catastrophe out of my head…and yet I was not even there. Thankfully, I did not attend that concert. Thankfully, no one that I personally know was hurt. But tonight I lay in my bed thinking about the many thousands of people who lost someone dear to them unexpectedly on that night. I wonder how many people will cry themselves to sleep, grieving over the loss of their son or daughter, their husband or wife, their cousin or best friend. Nobody could have foreseen the events of that night that left us all in disbelief. Nobody can undo it. My heart breaks to know this.

As I studied today in a public place, I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety as I imagined how it would feel if suddenly I were challenged with the daunting task of running for my life amidst an avalanche of bullets. A feeling of panic overcame my entire body as I stewed in fear at the thought of its possibility. To think that at any moment one could be caught off guard and introduced to the stark contrast of life and death.

There is nothing in this world that will remedy the tragedy that occurred on Sunday in Las Vegas. But when tragedies of this sort happen, it is important that we do the only thing that we know how–look for the light.

There were many heroes that rose to the occasion when those bullets were fired. Incredible people jumped in front of bullets to save others they did not know. On that night, we saw the sinister act of one highly disturbed person. But in contrast, we also bore witness to the truly compassionate nature that resides within the very same species. We were reminded, albeit traumatically, of the extremely divergent conditions of the human mind. The devastation that can result from that of a deeply troubled mind, versus the heroic altruism that comes from the same network of neuronal connections.

We wonder what caused such a psychotic break. What compelled this man to follow-through with the deadliest recorded mass shooting in US history? The sickly part is that we may never know. We may never determine what caused him to snap. This shakes us even more.

But if we can learn anything from this tragedy, let it be this: spread kindness. 

We cannot know what people are going through behind the scenes. We cannot know how our interaction with a stranger might affect their decisions–and how those decisions might affect others. We cannot truly know even the people that we think we know. The best defense against this act of violence is just simply to spread kindness. It doesn’t take much, but it makes all the difference. Do something to make someone’s day. Start a chain reaction. Show the world what us humans are really made of.

#prayforvegas

xx allie

FabFitFun Fall Box Spoiler!

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HAPPY FALL, OFFICIALLY!!

Hope your season started off beautifully.

There’s no blog post that can truly do the first day of Fall justice, but I figured what better way to kick off the season than with a FabFitFun Fall Box spoiler?!

So without further ado, let’s get started:

MerSea Scarf: Absolutely love this item. I expected it to be soft, but I had no idea it would be THIS soft! It’s a big scarf, with plenty of material to go around (and around and around and around). You can definitely tell it’s high-quality. I also love the color options. Depending on chance, you might receive the grey, pale pink, or teal color in your box. I received the teal and I couldn’t be happier, since my wardrobe could definitely use a bit of a color pop! Not a fan of scarfs? No worries, you can also use it as a bed runner! Retail Value: $98

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Private Party Gym Bag: I think this is my favorite item in the box. I was in need of a gym bag (so that I could carry my car keys, towel, change of shoes, workout clothes, water bottle, etc.), and this box answered my prayers! It’s a sizeable bag that will easily fit all of your gym items. It’s also very light-weight and flexible. All bags come with a super cute line on the front. So far I’ve seen “Gym & Juice”, “Will Work out for Cupcakes”, and “Meet me at the Barre”. Retail Value: $59

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TreStiQue Matte Color & Shiny Balm Lip Crayon: I’m always a fan of lip colors, so this item did not go unnoticed. The crayon is soft and hydrating to the lips, but also leaves a lasting shade. The lid is also magnetic, which is a nice touch. I received the lighter of the two colors, and I’m really happy with it. It is a color that I would typically use for an everyday work or school day. Retail Value: $28

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The JetSet Diaries Beanie: Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of hats…but if you like beanies this one is really cute! I received the black one, but I believe it also comes in a pale pink color. It’s light-weight and has a cute subtle fabric pattern. Retails for $49

 Heart Shaped Jewelry Holder: I would probably love this if I hadn’t just purchased one of my own. It’s really cute, and adds some cute deco to your bedroom. Minimalist design, with a place to put your rings on the bottom as well. Retails for $33—which is actually somewhat hard to believe.  

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My TagAlongs Hot & Cold Gel Pack: I am really happy with this product. It’s rare to find a gel pack that serves as both a hot and cold compress. I’ve already tried it out in my microwave, and it works like magic and holds its heat. Not to mention, it has really cute sayings on it. It’s small and slim and can easily be fit inside the gym bag! Retail Value: $15

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Whish Renewing Mud Mask: I LOVEEEEEE skincare products, so whenever they include these I’m psyched! This one only needs to be left on your skin for 2 minutes—so it’s super quick! It left my skin feeling soft and supple. Also is a decently sized bottle…so it will last for many a mask. Retails for $48

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Deco Miami Lavender Cuticle Oil: Not quite sure how well this oil works (as I’ve used it for 3 days in a row now and my cuticles seem about the same [as far as redness and dryness goes]). BUT (and this is a big but) I absolutely love the scent…and putting the oil on my nails before bed helps me relax and fall asleep to the lavender smell. Retail Value: $12.50

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Cottonelle Wipes Sample: This wipe sample is great because who doesn’t love to have wipes on hand! Throw them in your purse or put them in your glove compartment. 10 wipes come in the sample!

Molr Dental Club Organic Carbon + Coconut Teeth Whitening Powder and Toothbrush: A natural way to whiten your pearlys. It comes in a decent size container and will be good for SEVERAL uses. I like that they include a toothbrush, so that you don’t have to get your primary one dirty and charcoaly. The taste is almost non-existent and it’s an enjoyable enough teeth whitening experience. Only needs to stay on your teeth for literally 2 minutes! Retails for $43.95

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All in all, I really loved the fall box. It came with a lot of useful items, and was nicely themed for the season. Every time I get a new box, I always tell myself it’s the last one….but then I simply just cannot stop! FabFitFun is SO affordable and SO fun! I really feel like I’m getting a value. You can get all of this for $10 off using my code…so only $39.99!

CLICK HERE TO GET MY SPECIAL DISCOUNT: http://xo.fff.me/gv5Ap

xx allie

Back to School

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So I survived my first week of grad school…but just barely.

I write to you today (on a Saturday night) because I am quarantining myself from the outside world, due to the illness that has befallen me. Slight fever, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, and coughing. There is never a year in my life where I make it through the first week of school without catching something. I guess grad school is no different. So here I am.

 

First Impressions of MFT Grad School:

  • People seem to be a lot more friendly and open to discussion: Perhaps because my cohort is so small, and we all know that we are going to be very close over the course of the next two years. Students are eager to exchange names and get to know one another. In a weird way, I already almost feel like family to some of them.  I know that we will be having a lot of deep conversations in our classes, disclosing a lot of personal information and narratives. I am looking SO forward to intimately getting to know each and every one of my cohort members, digging deep into each others’ psyches and learning the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for them choosing this line of work. I was also surprised that my cohort is rather young. I expected that our ages would be scattered, with a substantial range between the youngest and oldest peer. Turns out we are all about the same age.
  • Professors really care: The professors I’ve met so far seem to REALLY care about getting through to their students. They are willing to bend over backwards to meet up with students after class to address and answer their questions. They encourage you to email them at any time if you are confused about anything. They ask a million (*dramatization*) times throughout class if we have any questions. They have spent a long time creating extremely detailed syllabi that preface the expectations of the class, assignments, grading scale, and rubrics. They are passionate about their subjects and work hard to teach the material in ways that are understandable and clear, providing a number of extremely good examples and  relevant class exercises. They seem to really want us to excel in the class and receive “A”s. I feel inspired by their enthusiasm and encouraged by their belief in us.
  • Challenging Exams: Long gone are the days of multiple choice exams. It never occurred to me before, but since our classes are so small (in some cases only 7 students), grading exams is nowhere near as daunting as it probably was when my classes were 800+ people. All exams are now composed of only short answer and essay questions. While I’m not super stoked about this, I guess it will provide our professors with an accurate idea of our knowledge and understanding on any given subject. Not sure yet if tests are ever curved. Crossing my fingers that they are.
  • Attendance: Mandatory. This one is a little more obvious. Unlike undergrad, you can’t just choose not to show up to grad school classes. Doing so would be doing yourself a colossal disservice. Every class is made up of a week’s worth of content. The professors also pass around an attendance list during class. They know who you are. And they know when you don’t show up. It’s hard not to notice in a class of only 7 people. Gone are the days of playing hooky.
  • Laptops: So far I’ve noticed that I’m one of the only people that doesn’t bring their laptop to class. I literally felt like Elle Woods with my little notepad and pen. Am I the only one that sees laptops as a distraction though? I know I’m slower at hand writing than typing, but I definitely digest the material better when I actually write out the words, rather than press buttons on a laptop. I never used my laptop to take notes as an undergrad, but since the professors move so quickly in class through the slides, I may have to make a change. Gone are the days of hand written notes…maybe.

Overall, I’m super excited to start grad school. I forgot how much I love learning, and the enthusiasm I have for doing the reading and taking my own personal notes at home. I really feel like I am in my element, and that grad school is the perfect place for me at this point in my life. I am excited for my future career and the many many people I will hopefully be able to help. There is no better feeling than following your dreams, and I highly suggest that if you have a goal…start working towards it! You would be amazed how invigorating it feels to be doing something important for yourself, and working towards becoming a better version of you. That’s it for this post. Signing off–

xx allie

 

10 Stress-Relief Tips

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We know stress as the enemy. Not only does it feel terrible, but it is also associated with a lot of negative health implications (both short-term and long-term).  Nevertheless, although it is an uncomfortable experience, it serves an important biological purpose. Stress presents itself when a challenge has been posed, and it helps to rise us to the occasion and harness our ability to take on the stressor head-on. So although it can be a pain the in butt in many ways, the experience of stress is probably not going away any time soon. So then what do we do? We learn how to cope with the stress we experience in healthy ways.

Here are 10 tips that have been helpful to me in minimizing my experience of stress and transitioning out of it:

  1. Take 5 Minutes to Stretch—The experience of stress causes tension to build up in our bodies. When our bodies are rigid and tense, it is hard to feel relaxed. Many people have come to believe that the mind and body are connected, and that there is communication that occurs between the two. I suggest stretching in a dark place, where you are less distracted by your surroundings and are able to really tune into your body, stretch your full range of motion, and center yourself. You would be amazed just how stress-relieving the act of stretching can be!
  2. Use Essential Oils—Our sense of scent is powerful, and there are some natural scents that are believed to be more relaxing, soothing, and stress-relieving than others. If you tend to feel stressed out often, I would highly suggesting investing in one or two essential oils/sprays. I recently purchased an inexpensive lavender sage pillow mist, and I am happy to report that the scent is not only relaxing and enjoyable, but also seems to help me sleep at night. Another calming scent is eucalyptus.
  3. Try New Workouts—The key word here is “new”. As you probably know, working out in and of itself is already a great stress-reliever. But oftentimes we get so used to our typical routine, that it becomes mindless. We go to the gym, put our headphones in, and go through our series of machines, all while letting our mind wander. Trying a new workout presents a new challenge, engages our mind, encourages focus and present moment awareness, and disallows us from ruminating on the issues from our day. Immersing yourself completely in a new workout separates you from the distraction of your phone and the outside, stressful world. Go hiking, try studio barre, engage in a pilates class, or go swimming. Literally anything you can think of!
  4. Take a Bubble Bath—Honestly, bubble baths are so underrated. They are a fantastic way to disengage from the world, and tune into yourself. Pick out a yummy smelling bubble solution, pour a ton in, and just soak away all of your troubles. Perhaps even turn on some rainy-day tunes, jazz, or classical music. Taking 20-30 minutes for this “you-time” will make all of the difference.
  5. Get Lost in a Good Book—Oftentimes, reading can take you away. Immerse yourself in a new fictional world, or take the time to learn a new subject. When you spend 20+ minutes of your day to make a dent in a book you enjoy, you feel a sense of accomplishment for your self-motivation and follow through.
  6. Take Yourself on a Date— Have you been wanting to try that new restaurant down the street? Or that new dessert place? Then go! Treat yourself to an indulgent meal…and heck, even “cheat” a little! Get comfortable doing things by yourself, and you’ll feel good about your new-found independence.
  7. Write it Out—If you have something that you just can’t get off your mind, write about it. Get it all down on paper. Do a stream of consciousness activity. Sometimes just the act of writing can help us to make sense of something that’s complicated, or serve as a sense of catharsis. No one has to ever see what you write, and in fact, you can even toss your notes when you’re done!
  8. Organize and Plan—If you’re feeling stressed out by all of your responsibilities or upcoming deadlines, then take some time to plan and get organized. Purchase a planner, or make notes in a calendar or phone. These days, it’s much too hard to try to remember everything in our heads. So simply relieve yourself of that obstacle. When you start to see all of your plans on paper, and allocate your time and efforts accordingly, it all starts to feel doable. Be in control of your plans, and stop letting your plans control you. There are 24 hours in a day, and plenty of time to get everything done. It’s all about being efficient with your time, and responsible in your planning.
  9. Get Enough Sleep—I can’t stress this one enough. If you’re not getting at least 7 hours a night, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Sleep is crucial, because it helps your body restore and renew itself from the wear and tear of the day. Sleep replenishes your mind. If you’re overtired or sleep deprived you are just adding onto your stress load and putting your health and body at risk of illness. Do yourself a favor and make a personal pact to go to bed by a certain hour every night. Whether it’s 10pm or midnight, stick to it!
  10. Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself—Last but not least, be gentle with yourself. Make an effort to abstain from using negative self-talk. Don’t be angry at yourself for being so stressed. That causes you to feel EVEN MORE stressed. That’s almost the same as trying hard to fall asleep before a certain time…you end up being unable to fall asleep. Be self-encouraging and positive. Give yourself a break. You’re only human, and you’re not perfect. Stress is a normal part of life, and it’s more than likely temporary.

Well, that’s it for this post! I hope you find it to be helpful. Feel free to share any helpful tips you have for reducing the impact of stress! Happy almost September!

xx allie