New Year’s Resolutions Update

Hi everyone, the year is somehow already ⅙ done and I really wanted to see how on track I have been with my resolutions to see if I have to make any improvements or to see if any of you have forgotten about your resolutions and to kickstart the both of us. Let’s see how I’ve done


  1. Blog consistently: I am doing rather well with this one. I have posted on average one post every other day, and if not one every three days, which is really an improvement for me.
  2. End the year with at least double the posts I have now. This is my 30th post of the year so hypothetically if I continue at this pace I am at, I should surpass my goal of 143 (the number of posts from 2016) with flying colors.
  3. Connect with more Bloggers: I haven’t been fabulous at this but I definitely have met more people which was my goal
  4. Take quality pictures: The posts that I have used pictures in have been good, but a lot of my posts haven’t needed photos so this is one I’ll have to come back later for.
  5. Read: I have started reading every night before bed instead of scrolling my phone so I have read quite a few books this year and I am super proud of myself for that
  6. Learn something new: I still don’t know what and I don’t know when, but I will learn something
  7. Move into the basement: Our basement flooded so we had to tear up our carpet, and under our carpet we found asbestos tile so we have to get that removed but once we do that, we are getting the basement recarpeted and then I will move down there, although it will be sort of pointless since I’ll be leaving again but whatever.
  8. Volunteer:  SOON
  9. Create a budget for myself: I haven’t done this.
  10. Choose a college: Haven’t done this either
  11. Get a job: I have a summer nannying job and once I get back from Peru I am going to start looking for something on the days that I don’t have to babysit
  12. Clean: I have been keeping my kitchen, living room, and my room fairly clean so I’d say that this is a win
  13. Get on a solid sleep schedule: I have been going to sleep at about 10 and waking up at 6 during the week so kudos to me for getting my nocturnal ass in the loop with every other human.
  14. Exercise: I have been doing insanity and running in the morning, so I’ve been doing at least some sort of physical activity almost every day.
  15. Create a skincare routine: Check out my Tarte skincare review for my skincare routine
  16. Be one of ‘those vegans’: I have been eating pretty healthily. I ate a box of Thin Mints for breakfast the other day though, so… Balance.
  17. Drink more water: Some days I’m really good about this and other days I’m not, so I’m halfway there.

All in all, I have been doing pretty good. There are some items that I will definitely have completed/closer to completing by the summer I’ll update you all then. Until then, I have some spinach that needs to be put in a smoothie and a book that needs reading

Alicia

Peru prep

Hi everyone, I leave for Peru in around a month and to say I’m nervous is an understatement. Obviously, I am excited but nervous nonetheless.

I have met a girl on Facebook who is from New York who will be in Peru at the same time as I and we end up on the same connecting flight in Panama City, Florida, so it will be nice to have a familiar face and it has also been calming knowing someone else is just as nervous/excited as I am. We have requested to room together (her request as I really don’t care who I room with) but it might not happen. If it does great, and if not, just the chance to meet more people.

I went to the doctor last week and he gave me 6 (?) prescriptions for typhoid, altitude sickness, and a ton of other things I may or may not need. I am literally going to have an entire pharmacy in my suitcase. But I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially in a new and foreign place such as Peru.

All I have to do medically is receive my yellow fever and flu shots, which I will be doing this week. As for the trip itself I just have to pay my actual program fee and then I am officially ready to go to Peru. Yes, I have to pack (and unpack and repack), buy some shoes, gifts for the kids at the orphanages, and a few last minute tasks but this is so crazy to me. I am going to Peru, something that a few months ago was just a mere thought in the back of my head is actually coming together. It’s crazy what $1500 and a good puppy-dog face can do.

I never thought I would be going to Peru at all, let alone a month, and I have to keep telling myself that yes, I am in fact going to Peru. I can’t wait to update you all about my adventure as the day I depart nears, and throughout my entire trip. ¡No puedo esperar a Peru!

hablaré pronto

Alicia

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi everyone, the other day, I was nominated once again for the Blogger Recognition Award by Bea from BeaFree. Thank you so much for the award and definitely go check out her blog because not only does she have some amazing things to say, she is super consistent in posting (something I need to learn about). Anywho, let’s get started.


Rules:

* Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

* Write a post to show your award.

* Give a brief story of how your blog started.

* Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

* Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

* Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How I started blogging

I have been blogging since I was 14. I stumbled upon someone’s summer bucket list blog and I decided that I wanted to make one as well. So, that summer and the summer after, my friend Molly and I made a summer bucket list blog. We are no longer friends, however, I wanted to continue blogging so I have made a few blogs over my lifetime to continue blogging, mainly just random writings and a bit of food tracking. However, last October, I decided that I wanted to document my time in college so that’s how I started this blog.

Advice

The biggest piece of advice I have is to be social. Follow people, like people’s posts, comment on posts, etc. With all of my other blogs I never did that, however, with this blog, I like, comment, and follow so many people’s blogs and have met so many awesome people because of it.

Another thing is to be consistent. If you’re going to post like once a month people really won’t follow you or keep up with you. I’m not saying you have to post daily, but make a schedule and try to stick with it. Yes, there will be times that you won’t be able to maintain it, say during finals or vacations, but definitely try your hardest to stick to a schedule that is pretty frequent.

I nominate

Lauren           Jessica            Marcella               Katie            Ciarra


Alrighty, that’s all for this award, obviously if you ladies don’t want to make a post about this award, you don’t have to, it’s just something I think is very fun.

Alicia

Day at DePaul

Hi everyone, yesterday I had the opportunity to visit DePaul University (the second of my two college options). I live super close so I have been on/ around campus a few times (the vegan cupcake place I mentioned in a post last summer is less than a block from campus) but yesterday I went on an official tour (specifically crafted for transfer students… not sure how much it differs from the freshmen tour but it’s what I was told) of the campus. The weather in Chicago has been absolutely wonderful and completely out of character for February. It has been in the mid to upper 60s and low 70s for the past week (but no… global warming doesn’t exist) but of course yesterday was 40s and raining. Is that a sign from the God I don’t believe in? Kidding, but overall I enjoyed my visit to campus and am even more conflicted on my final college choice.

DePaul’s campus is pretty small (however there are two different campuses; one in Lincoln Park, which we visited yesterday, and one in the Loop) and everything is within a two block radius, unless I have to have classes at the Loop campus, which I will. Students are all given a ventra ticket with unlimited rides for this reason, so there is no cost for getting from class to class which is super nice for school days and also nice for going places on weekends.

For it being such a small campus, there are a plethora of places to go for relaxing, studying, eating, etc. I’ve been to campus a time or two before yesterday so I knew what the library looked like, where the union was, etc.but it was nice to be able to see all of the students in their natural habitats (I have only been on campus when school was not in session) and to be able to learn about buildings I never saw or the significance behind some of the statues on campus.

The tour was very personal and quaint. There were about 6 families and 4 groups of guides so my dad and I had our tour guide all to ourselves. Not that I had any questions, because I’ve done all my research online and I know how a meal plan works, but had I had any questions it would have been so easy to ask any type of question. It was thorough and very informational but also to the point and didn’t drag anything out too long.

All in all, I am now even more conflicted about my decision about college and will continue to make lists about both schools and when I receive my financial aid packages, I might get a better sense of where I want to be.

I can truly see myself at either school, which isn’t what I really wanted to happen. I sort of wanted one to stick out as a front runner but both schools have everything I need and more, and beautiful, and I feel like I fit in at either place.

Well, I’ll be here with my white board and a Venn diagram, ripping my hair out.

Alicia

Tarte skincare review

Hi everyone! Look at me being all beauty bloggery. Today a Tarte review, tomorrow two million Instagram followers.


Okay, so basically one of my resolutions was to create a solid skincare routine because well, I don’t have one. My skin is terribly dry and sensitive and finding something that is vegan, cruelty-free, and works on my skin type is not easy.

A few months ago, I discovered Tarte Cosmetics and was blown away by their (mostly) vegan, cruelty-free, and natural line of products they have.

After trying a few skincare brands, and the only thing I’ve gotten out of them is red, dry, and utterly damaged skin, I decided since I use Tarte for a bunch of my makeup products, why don’t I try it for skincare?

They had a sale where I could get a bunch of their skincare products, in sample sizes for only $20 so I had to give it a go.

img_7363
I received two sets of products: The Scrub Clean set and The Make a Splash skincare savers set. I also got a freebie travel size of my favorite mascara, so that’s definitely a bonus.

In the Scrub Clean set, there was Tarte’s Frxxxtion stick, Tarte’s Deluxe Deep Dive Cleansing Gel, and a cleansing scrubber.

img_7371
Scrub Cleanse Set

The Frxxxtion Stick’s job is to remove any dead skin cells. You apply the stick to wet skin and then massage in with the cleansing scrubber and then rinse off and pat dry. After this Frxxxtion stick application, my skin hasn’t been this soft in I can’t even remember how long. Also, for being a travel size, I didn’t use that much of it so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it. Fun fact: the little scrubber can also be used for brush cleaning, even though I make my sister clean all of my brushes so for the day that I do clean my own brushes, I’ll be able to use the scrubber.

Following the Frxxxtion stick was the Deluxe Deep Diving Cleansing Gel, which for starters smells like a rainforest. I don’t know what a rainforest smells like, but I have to assume it’s this. It’s a face wash that can also be applied with the scrubber. It’s really refreshing when you put it on your skin and definitely gets anything that the Frxxxtion stick missed off of your face. I really enjoyed this face wash and didn’t dry my face out, which is totally a first when it comes to face washes for me.


For the next set: The Make a Splash skincare savers set, there was the deep diving cleansing gel (the same as the other set so I won’t go over it again), Rainforest of the sea Setting Spray, and the Drink of H2O hydrating boost.

img_7372
The Make a Splash Skincare Savers set

After I used the cleansing gel, I spritzed on some of the setting spray, which smelled exactly like Sprite. I don’t even like Sprite but this was phenomenal. It’s supposed to be a setting spray or makeup primer, but can also be used as a skin refresher. I didn’t use it before or after makeup, but it was refreshing. I definitely will have to use this as a primer or setting spray at some point and see if it lives up to those uses.

The final Tarte product was the Drink of H2O hydrating boost. This is actually the main reason I bought this set in the first place. It’s a lightweight gel moisturizer that is said to help quench dry skin. It is literally supposed to be a drink of water for your skin, and it is. With all of my old skincare regimes, I had to reapply lotion every hour or so, but I had this product on all day and never reapplied once. I thought it would be oily on my skin, based on how gel-like it was, but my skin absorbed it really quickly and easily.


All in all, if you’re vegan/ use cruelty-free products, and have dry and sensitive skin (or any type of skin really), these products are for you!

Starved Rock Shenanigans

Hi, everyone, last weekend was absolutely beautiful outside (global warming is real folks), so my mom, some friends, and I decided to head out to Starved Rock for some hiking, eagle watching, and apparently a ton of dog petting ( this wasn’t planned but we saw over 20 dogs, so naturally…).

I woke up bright and early, ate breakfast, put a backpack together, and ventured the hour and a half or so to Starved Rock. At about 9 am, we arrived and parked, grabbed a camera, water, etc. and started hiking to see some bald eagles.

After climbing an obnoxious amount of stairs, which my mom complained about the whole time, we stopped at the eagle look out post and waited… and waited… and waited… and waited. And guess what we saw! Absolutely nothing. We waited, and zoomed all the way in with our big lens, and saw squat. So, we decided to make our way around to another lookout point in hope of seeing something other than a squirrel or a seagull.

As we made our way over, we climbed an ungodly number of more stairs (which my mother also complained about) and finally ended up at the lookout point on the opposite end of the park.

We waited then… and waited… and waited… and finally saw a freaking bald eagle! It was so crazy and majestic and beautiful and although we had a HUGE lens on our camera, we couldn’t get a solid photo. But, who cares about a picture, when I got to see my nation’s bird, in the wild, doing his thing?

After we got our eagle fix for the year, my mom got a text saying that the people we were meeting at the other State Park, Matthiessen, had arrived so we finally got to walk down some stairs and venture on over there.

img_7405
Driving from Starved Rock to Matthiessen

Tyler and Day, the people that we met up with, brought their dog Annie, who we’ve dog-sat for before, and it my absolute favorite (living) dog. She’s half cocker spaniel and half pit bull and is the sweetest dog.

We started walking down some stairs and everyone started making fun of my for my shoe choice: Converse. I know they weren’t the best shoes for hiking but I’ve hiked in them before and I still don’t have a solid pair of hiking shoes, so, those had to suffice.

As we made our way down 10 or so flights of stairs (nice then but not so nice going back up) we decided to go left towards one of the two waterfalls. The ground was mostly hard, however, we were sinking into the ground a smidge, because the temperature had been rising all day and people had been using the trail for the past 2 hours or so.

As we kept walking, the mud had become slippier, our feet, even despite the traction on their hiking boots, were covered in leaves, so much so that we were basically mud-skating. As we edged closer to the first waterfall, the ground became suuuuuuuper soft, and all of a sudden my mom goes sliding down a hill, I am knee deep in mud, and Tyler completely eats shit and has mud all across the right side of his body. We didn’t let the mud stop us, however, and we were able to see a beautiful frozen waterfall. After some photos, we made out back to where we started and kept walking to the other waterfall.

The journey to the other waterfall was a little more treacherous, but with muddy shoes and clothes we began. There were a lot of little streams (and by little I mean pretty damn wide) with makeshift bridges using logs, 2x4s, rocks, and other random things that we somehow had to cross and not fall in the water. I got mud all over my hands after the first bridge crossing and then just gave up and let my converse be submerged during the second bridge crossing. After that, my solely muddy shoes, were now muddy and soaking.

We finally made it to the other waterfall which was absolutely gorgeous and had some caves of sorts in the surrounding area. Annie thoroughly enjoyed being able to run all over the place, eat snow (not yellow snow of course), sticks, and just to have the ability to be a happy camper.

img_7418

After climbing 50 flights of stairs, walking over 5 miles, and having been covered in mud and god knows what else in those creeks, we were finally able to relax with a picnic lunch before driving back home where I promptly stripped off my pants, socks, and shoes, and threw them right into the washing machine.

Alicia

Who Am I Tag

Hi everyone, so I’ve seen a ton of people do this tag, and I’ve decided to do it as well, because who doesn’t want to know more about me? All jokes aside, this is actually a really cool tag because the questions aren’t “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your mom’s name?” but really intriguing questions. Let’s get started.


What is the meaning of my name?

There are a few different meanings of my name, but since I am predominantly German, I’m going to use the German meaning, which is sweet. I can be sweet sometimes, key word is sometimes.

What is my Myer-Briggs personality type?

My personality type is INTJ, also known as the architect. My %s are Introverted – 67%, Intuitive – 69%, Thinking – 86%, Judging – 60%, Turbulent – 94%. Almost no one believes that my introverted % should be that high (or be on the introverted scale at all) because when I’m around people I know and am comfortable with I’m super outgoing and I can talk A LOT, but I’m really awkward and anxious in new social situations so… I don’t know.

What is my Zodiac Sign?

I’m a Gemini (June 12th and don’t forget it… kidding) Everyone gives Geminis so much shit and I still have no idea why. I mean everyone thinks all Geminis have that double personality thing going or whatever (but who doesn’t have a double personality). Like I can really hit it off with someone and then I’ll be like “yeah I’m a Gemini” and all of a sudden they’re out the door. Obviously, this isn’t always but it has happened at least once, which it shouldn’t.

What is my Hogwarts House?

I took the quiz and I got a tie between Gryffindor and Slytherin… That makes 0 sense. I’m basically Draco and Hermione’s love child. I dig that

What are my learning styles? 

I got a multimodal learning preference which basically means I can learn from any of the VARK methods. I did get the most for kinesthetic, but only by 1.

Am I right or left brain dominant?

I got equal. 44% left and 56% right, so I’m a little bit more right brained but not too much.

What is my Blood Type?

O positive. The Red Cross sends me emails like 5 times a day asking me to donate.

What career am I meant to have?

I GOT SOCIAL ACTIVIST AND I AM CACKLING THAT IS SO TRUE

Which Divergent Faction do I belong in?

Okay, I never read/watched any of the Divergent books/movies. Well I watched about 10 minutes of one and it reminded me too much of the Hunger Games (which I also didn’t like) so I have no idea what this means, but I got the Divergent faction.

What does my birth order say about me?

I’m the firstborn in my family and it basically says that I am a natural leader, ambitious, and responsible. I can be a leader when I have to, I am usually ambitious, and I’m pretty responsible (unless I have to make my own doctor appointments… no thanks)


Okay that was really fun, I learned a lot about myself through this and I hope you guys all learned something about me too. I am not going to tag people because I feel like everyone should do this, If you end up completing this tag, tag me in it or something because I want to know how similar/different we are!

Alicia