Monday, January 26, 2015

Food for the Journey

I know I talk about a lot of things on this blog: school, stress, food, coffee, and my sorority are all favorite topics of conversation. I love New York City and the north in general and I'm also a big fan of just plain traveling.

But surprisingly enough, there's something that I love more than all of my other favorite things, but I don't really talk about that as much. 

Right now I'm talking about God. 

How sad is it that sometimes I think of coffee more than Him? I made a personal goal of trying to work on our relationship this year, and so far, that's the worst resolution-progress I've made. 

I stumbled upon this Tumblr account tonight and it helped me put a few things into perspective. 

In fact, this particular phrase just had me full of emotions and I'm still not 100% sure why or even which emotions they were. Regardless, I'm sharing anyway. 

I hope you all have a lovely day! 

P. S. Sorry if this post looks all wonky. I'm blogging from my phone tonight! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

TGIF?

You know those days that start out with the potential to be so great but then turn out to be less than great? 

Today was one of those. 

I woke up early this morning, read through a chapter to be extra prepared for class, actually put makeup on, and then walked across campus through all the puddles because I had my cozy bean boots to keep my feet warm. 

And then I walked into class fifty minutes late. 

An actual snapchat sent to my friends on my way to class when I saw that I was going to be early.  

Why does this sort of thing always seem to happen? 

I was mortified when I walked in and realized that the lecture was almost over. I mean, I just blogged about getting to class early on the first day! 

So now I'm stuck with a rainy day and I'm in a bit of a funk. 

Cookie butter might not be a cure-all, but it's a start. 

How do you get over less-than-perfect days? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Back to School

Today was my first day back at school after what felt like a very long winter break. I know everyone says this at the beginning of the semester, but I'm really going to try to buckle down this time.

My grades took a little slip in the fall, nothing major, but a little cause for concern. I feel much more organized this time around and I'm optimistic about school, work, and everything in-between! 

So now I'm sharing my first day of school tips incase some of your school's give you obnoxiously long breaks, too. 


1. Show up early. 
I'm always paranoid about walking into the classroom and choosing a seat when people are all around. Showing up early eliminates that for the most part. Plus, it's a million times better to be early than it is to be late. Walking in after the professor has started talking is practically mortifying and will certainly not put you at the top of their list. 

2. Dress comfortably. 
You will be in new classrooms with new faces and there will probably be a few awkward moments in the day. You don't want to be worrying about your outfit in addition to everything else (like the baseball player sitting next to you). 

3. Don't dress like a bum. 
Yes, I know I said dress comfortably, but please put in a little effort. This is your only chance to make a good impression. Save the sweatpants for snow-days or other emergency situations and the gym clothes for the gym. Show the professor (and your classmates) some respect; let them know you care. 

4. Check out the class page online before you go to class. 
Most universities use sites like Moodle or Blackboard and chances are, your professor has already posted their syllabus. Take a look and see if there's anything you need to have for the first day. I usually order textbooks after the first week of class, but I would hate to have an Elle Woods first-day-of-law-school moment. 

5. Don't sweat the small stuff. 
Even if you have a super awkward experience (like forgetting how to speak when that cute guy asked how your break was), don't let it put a damper on your day. So what if your professor calls you out for not knowing what "quantitative business analysis" means exactly. It's only your first day (or week or year, or whatever)! You're here to learn and there's always room for improvement! Everyone has their awkward moments (even BeyoncĂ©, I'm sure). 

Good luck! Let me know how your first day was! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

21 Before 21

I'm no stranger to list-making. In fact, I just asked my roommate to help me brainstorm a last couple of items for this post and she flat-out refused. I'm hoping it was because she was too engrossed in Pitch Perfect to be distracted and not because she's fed up with the lists on the blog lately. Either way, I've finally finished my 21 Before 21, and am posting it now so that I won't be bored this year!

1. Go on a trip with friends. 
2. Go to an art museum.
3. Give up all social media for 1 week. 
4. Bake a cake for someone's birthday. 
5. Visit another country. 
6. See a musical. 
7. Write 5 "just-because" notes. 
8. Learn how to do my own makeup. 
9. Ride on a train. 
10. Run a mile without stopping. 
11. Have a picnic. 
12. Send flowers to someone. 
13. Visit a place I've never been. 
14. Journal every day of the summer.
15. Run a 5k.
16. Try 5 restaurants I've never been to (1. Cristiano's, Houma, LA )
17. Run a half marathon. 
18. Try something new. 
19. Have brunch in New Orleans. 
20. Stop waiting until the last minute to study. 
21. Get a firmer grip on the future (aka "What do I want to be when I grow up?")


As always, this list is more of a guide than a checklist because we all know what happened with the 20 Before 20 and the subsequent birthday-depression. This time, there will be no failure, guaranteed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why My Life is Really a Lie (Instagram Fibs)

Please raise your hand if you're reading this and aren't on Instagram yet…

*Crickets*...?

I think it's safe to say majority of y'all know about this form of social media.

I personally LOVE Instagram (so much that I have two accounts, follow me @toodlebelle!), but I realize that sometimes the pursuit of perfection can make the posting process a bit of a hassle. I only use one editing app (VSCOcam is a gem), but I know some bloggers out there who take hours to edit one photo.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes mine have different words behind them than you might think. So inspired by Olivia Muenter's Bussle Article and Allison Ellzey's blog post, here are some of the lies my favorite Instagrams have been telling.


What it looks like: Ooh fun! Gilmore girls! Everyone deserves a lazy day every now and then. 

What is actually happening: (Not pictured: the pile of clothes pushed to the other side of my bed waiting patiently to be folded). I have no idea how I got through season two so quickly, especially when I thought I started it yesterday. The hours have disappeared. I know I should be reading books so that I can be as smart as Rory, but I've already missed my chance at an Ivy League education anyway. Why bother? I've started using Lorelei's jokes in casual conversations (with my mom over the phone because I'm suddenly a hermit) and thought that I was just becoming more clever. 


What it looks like: Ooh, I have a few spare minutes in car line waiting for the adorable children that I nanny for to finish school. I'll just catch up on some reading for class *classical music playing in the background because I'm so smart, obviously*. 

What is actually happening: It took me so many tries to get this picture exactly how I wanted. The sun is blinding me because I'm not wearing my sunglasses! In the time I spent taking this photo, three soccer moms passed me in the car line. I'm sweating because I had to turn the air off while sitting in line to conserve fuel. I'm singing along to Taylor Swift loudly. That empty Starbucks cup is three days old. And perhaps most importantly, I did not even open this text book in this thirty-minute time frame. 


What it looks like: Ooh, I'm getting ready for a fun night out for New Year's Eve! Extra sparkles! Kate Spade! #PopFizzClink! 

What is actually happening: (Not pictured: The outfit that took me two hours to pick and I still hated) When I took this picture, I had no idea which party I was going to, and even after I got to the party, I felt super awkward for at least an hour and a half. This glitter nail polish took over a week to get off. I felt self-conscious for wearing black on my nails. Oh yeah, and when we went downtown and stood around the crowded, smoke-filled bar for a while, the strap to this purse broke. 

What it looks like: Ooh, pool party! Aren't I fabulous with my tan legs?! My subtle Chaco tan says that I'm a little adventurous, but not a total nature freak. My pink toenails say I spend every other Thursday in the nail salon for a pedicure. 

What is actually happening: I forgot my swimsuit. I'm setting up a sisterhood pool party and I forgot my swim suit. I snapped this picture before running back to my apartment to grab a swimsuit and towel and racing back to the party. I'm already soaked with sweat because living in Louisiana is like living in a sauna. I wear my Chacos more often than any other shoe and am not actually adventurous at all. I paint over my toenails when they start to chip and have more layers of paint on them than the walls of my grandmother's living room. 


So maybe my life isn't a total lie, but you get the idea. Sometimes a picture is actually worth 2,000 words. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras... Fat Tuesday... Carnival... If you aren't from Louisiana, these terms might not be familiar to you. Growing up here on the bayou, this holiday is practically as big as Christmas. If you aren't from the South, I can understand how this might seem like a goofy holiday, but it's a season full of traditions, sparkles, and fun.

So let me try to break it down...

The season kicks off with 12th Night, which falls twelve days after Christmas (shocking, right?). The Epiphany is the day when the Wise Men made it to baby Jesus, and was always a big celebration with so many Catholics in the region. From the Epiphany until Ash Wednesday, everyone celebrates and feasts (since Lent is supposed to be a time of fasting). 

There are lots of parties leading up to the big day, and parades fill almost every weekend up until the big day, so that's why I say Mardi Gras is a season.

My dad and I share the same opinion on parades ("throw me something, mister" or "so done" ?). 

There are parades all over the state, in big towns like Baton Rouge and New Orleans and small towns like Thibodaux and Labadieville. Being a quiet shy child, parades were never my favorite (what part of waving and yelling and occasionally getting smacked in the face with beads is fun?), but now that I'm older, I can understand how the drive-thru daquari shops and open container drinking laws might have some appeal. 

But before the parades, there's the most sparkly part: the Mardi Gras balls! Almost all the krewes will pick a royal court and keep them secret until they are presented at the ball! 

My little was the queen of a krewe in Slidell last year! I'm so excited to see her crown the new queen at this year's ball. 

I was almost a maid senior year for the Krewe of Christopher here in Thibodaux, but decided that all that money (thousands of dollars, yikes!), would be better spent on something else. Do I regret turning them down? Not very much anymore. 

This is my roommate when she was a maid for Terreanians. Maids get to wear beautiful sparkly dresses and insane headpieces. 


My favorite part of the season? Hands down, the king cake. Second favorite part? The three days off of school! 

I'm already looking forward to the break and we still have a week left of our winter break! 


Mardi Gras is definitely a celebration in this town. Will you be celebrating this year? 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Endorphins Make You Happy

I know. I know. How cliche of me to write a post about exercise in January. I can practically see the disappointment in your faces already.

But here's the thing, this isn't a post about exercise! 

 I don't know about you, but that word makes me uncomfortable. Thoughts of sweat and itchy PE uniforms come to mind and I sometimes break into hives. Suddenly I'm back in middle school trying to run a ten minute mile for the Presidential Fitness challenge and being dead last. 

That might be a bit exaggerated (only the hives part), but I just really hate the word exercise. I prefer to use the words like movement or play. 

So I've started walking, and I'm thinking about graduating to running in a while. 

I used to go to the Rec Center on campus with the goal of burning at least 600 calories in an hour. (I'm no doctor, but I don't think that's healthy) When I stopped thinking about burning calories and making up for dessert, I actually started to not mind doing other activities besides Netflix-watching in my yoga pants.

I've been walking around campus with one of my friends for about an hour a few times a week, and it feels so good to be active again. I've got no goals besides being healthy, so there's really not a lot of pressure. (Although I'm thinking of doing a 5k soon to make up for the missed one on my 20 Before 20).

I guess the point of this post is to just remind you that you should try to avoid the "calories in, calories out" mantra with the start of your new year's resolution. Yes, being confident in a bikini would be nice for spring break, but killing yourself over trying to get there isn't worth it. Confidence doesn't come from crash diets or crazy work-out regimens, take my word on that.

There's no need to "make-up" for the holidays, and fitting into a smaller size should not be your top priority. Work towards health. Maybe try focusing on getting stronger, instead. That mindset has certainly helped me in the last few months. I hope it helps you, too.

What's your favorite way to play? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015

I'm pretty sure it's an unwritten rule if you have a blog, you're required to make a post about your new year's resolutions/goals for the year. 

For the past few years, I've avoided making resolutions. I know, sort of a cop-out. I'm terrible at sticking to anything and failed resolutions only add to the melancholy feelings at the end of the year (that whole New Year's kiss might also be a factor, but that's another topic for another time).

But this year, I've decided to finally jump on the bandwagon, make some goals, and share them with y'all. I might be starting this year off as the queen of unfinished bucket lists, but hey, I'll keep trying and maybe one day I'll check off every single item!

So in no particular order, here's how I'll be attempting to spend my year:

Not too many items, but a nice outline (in my humble opinion). 

Hopefully 2015 will be the year that I learn how to do assignments before their due dates, the year I learn to be adventurous, and the year I stop being so mean to my body. This will be the year I learn to take bigger risks, and hopefully find greater opportunities because of it. I want to travel more, and to be at least a teensy bit closer to choosing a career path by the time 2016 rolls around (goodness, that feels like forever away!).

I know there's nothing about a changing date that can make me a bolder person, but I'm choosing now to stop being so worried and to start making things happen.

Let me know what some of your New Year's Resolutions are! 

P.S. This "resolution-making" change of heart sprouted from this Buzzfeed article. Definitely worth reading.