8 down. 8 to go

Hi all, today marks the end of my eighth week in Ohio. I moved in literally 9 weeks ago today. Isn’t that crazy. It feels like I’ve just started yet we’re halfway done. Yet here I am, 9 weeks since that fateful night I was rethinking every aspect of me coming here, how I could transfer again, how I would make my dad drive 7 hours back to Ohio to pick me and all of my things up and head back home.

I had a really deep conversation about this with my roommate Wednesday night. Her friend is transferring to OU next semester so we were discussing our experiences and what we wish we knew, etc. She reassured me that she has also cried since being here. She cried about feeling alone, about credits not transferring, about not knowing what to do, etc. It made me feel so much better about my situation and wanting to go home and not thinking Ohio was the right place for me.

Olivia and I both agree that we haven’t made too many friends. CHAARG has helped immensely as have class and work and I’m making baby steps towards those ‘life-long college friends.’ But it’s hard.  It’s hard being singled out as transfer students. We aren’t surrounded by freshmen (people who also need/want friends) but we are surrounded by other transfer students (I can assure you that Olivia and I got the short end of the stick when it comes to the pick on our floor) and 2nd year students who have already found their niches on campus. Like I said, baby steps.

So, is school still weird? Yes, but a whole lot less weird. Ohio is beautiful and I love all of the people (minus those in Make America Great Again shirts). I truly believe that Ohio is the place I belong. Sometimes, though, I just wish I’d thought of Athens Ohio 3 years earlier.

Alicia

Change

Good afternoon everyone. I am currently supposed to be reading a chapter for my  Intro to Education class, so naturally, I thought I would sit down and write something.

For the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of reflecting… and a lot of homework, but let’s not discuss that. Something that always makes me anxious is change. However, all of my best memories came from when I made a big change. Going to San Diego, going vegan, taking a year off of school, going to Peru, transferring to Ohio, joining CHAARG… I could go on. So, then why is it that change makes us so anxious? Why is it that that cancel plans, don’t start new projects, and give up on goals when those are the things we know can/will be in our best interest. Change is so good for us, for our body, for our mind. So good. Why do we fear change?

Today is the start of CHAARG’s fall fit plan and I woke up bright and early at 630 to get to the gym by 730 and get that workout in before my day started. It is also the start of the second half of the semester (seems like just yesterday I was crying in Baker’s 5th-floor bathroom) and I have realized something, I need to stop hating change. Change is hard, change can be messy, and change can be scary, but it can also be incredible, exhilarating, and well worth it.

I am going to try to make a few changes in my life and I will be trying a new change each week of the fitplan (fitplan is 6 weeks so 6 goals).

My goal for this week is to eat at the dining halls… ALONE. Something that has always made me so anxious is being alone. I don’t want to seem like a loner. I feel the need to call someone every time I’m walking alone. If I can’t walk alone… how can I eat alone? In my 7 weeks at OU, I have eaten at a dining hall 5 times… each and every one of those times I was with at least one person.

This afternoon, I walked into the dining hall, alone, and I got food. I got the food to go, mainly because I had homework to attend to but also because I was uncomfortable, but I swiped in aloe nonetheless. I am trying to go to the dining hall daily for lunch (except Tuesdays because I work during the lunch hours) and sit in a little booth, alone. I can work on homework, fiddle on my phone or just simply sit, but I need to be able to be alone, comfortably, in public.

Alicia

Exhausted yet content

Howdy friends,

I just said howdy… Ohio is changing me. Just figured I would give a bit of a life update on this fine Monday night. Mainly because I want to do something but my brain is too fried (will get to why in a minute) to do any homework. Thank the grammar gods for Grammarly and spell check because I can that without them… I would not be able to be posting right now.

Anyway, this weekend I was able to go home for the first time since school started! It was Homecoming but that didn’t stop me because I can honestly say that cuddling with my dog for 3 days is much more fun than getting blackout drunk.

I left bright and early Thursday morning at 5:15am and made it to Chicago at around 4:30pm. From there I went home, cried upon seeing my dog, and just recuperated from the long day of travel.

Friday, I had a doctor’s appointment, then I didn’t… but then rescheduled it for the next morning. After my doctor mishap, I was able to drive to my grandparents’ house and surprise them. Seeing the two of them was great and they both cried when they saw me. After talking for a few hours about school and life we went to dinner because I hadn’t had a good meal yet. I missed PASTA. They are both doing good and kept saying how lovely of a surprise it was to have me come home. It’s the little things. 🙂

Saturday morning I finally had my doctor’s appointment with a VERY ATTRACTIVE doctor that I’d never seen before. I went in for some ear pain and a fluid feeling but apparently, there’s no infection (always good) so I got some Flonase and was told to hope for the best.

Post-doctor appointment, I got my dad and I Dunkin Donuts. I MISSED GOOD COFFEE. Starbucks is always good but I missed Dunkin. I then showered, made myself look less ugly and my family and I ventured to the city to go to the Art Institute. We had lunch, saw some art, tried not to kill all of the tourists in the city for the marathon and had a grand ol’ time until I decided I wanted cupcakes. This prompted the 25-minute drive to Swirlz for some vegan gluten-free deliciousness.

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a blur, filled with homework, shopping trips, dinner with my grandparents again, and spending as much time with Poppy as I could before I had to leave again last night. I had a 12-hour journey from Chicago to Indianapolis to Columbus to Athens to my dorm and let me tell you, I am exhausted. I napped on and off on the bus while simultaneously trying to ensure that none of my belongings got stolen.

Nonetheless, I made it back home to my dorm, unpacked, showered, and have been living my life as if that weekend hadn’t even happened.

I’ll be back in 6 weeks Chicago

Alicia

PS I’ve never felt such a sense of calm and fear as I did in a bus station at 430 in the morning

A peppy pupdate

Hi all, I’ve been completely swamped this week and this weekend and although I am loving it here, the amount of reading that goes into getting an education degree is immense and I physically cannot read anything else for the night, so I decided that I would write.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 9.57.26 PM

A few months ago, I made a post about getting a dog. In that post, I also discussed how Poppy had contracted heartworm in the kennel she was at in Alabama.

Yesterday my mom brought Poppy to the vet to get her blood drawn to see if she was heartworm negative and we could slowly start increasing her activity, or if she was heartworm positive and we had another month or so of treatment.

This afternoon, I received the best news possible! Poppy is HEARTWORM NEGATIVE!!! I started crying in my dorm because I had so many emotions. I wish I were home to give her a big hug and a peanut butter bone, but I’m sure my family is taking good care of her.

Soon she will be back at full energy (I am terrified to see what that is) and she will be in extreme training to work on her constant barking and leash pulling. Counting down the days until I get to see her again

Until next time

Alicia

17 in 2017 update

Hi everyone. Last year, I posted my 17 goals for 2017, and since we are a little over halfway through the year, I figured I’d update it. Check out the original post here.

  1. Blog consistently: Before Peru I was on top of things, however upon returning… not so much. I’m doing better right now and I have some posts planned out for the next few months so let’s get back in the swing of things
  2. End the year with at least double the amount of posts I have now. I have written 56 posts this year (not including this one) so I have 87 more to go. I will be participating in #NaBloPoMo and Blogmas again so that is at least 55 posts, so as long as I can get 32 posts in by Halloween, I should be good to go.
  3. Connect with more Bloggers: Since I’ve visited wordpress maybe 10 times in the past 3 months, I can say I’ve struggled with this.
  4. Take quality pictures: I haven’t posted many posts involving pictures, but when I do, I will be budgeting my time and taking pictures before hand.
  5. Read: Being a single mother (my dog) I haven’t been reading as much as I would like, but I have been a bit.
  6. Learn something new: I’m taking Italian at school this fall so, I’m hoping to learn Italian.
  7. Move into the basement: This never happened and will not be happening
  8. Volunteer: I DID IT
  9. Create a budget for myself: I never made a set budget but I have been saving money for school and am trying to not spend money unless I have to.
  10. Choose a college: OU OH YEAH baby.
  11. Get a job: I have been nannying this summer, however, I need a real job at school.
  12. Clean: My room has stayed decently clean, except now because I’m in college and puppy world, but I make my bed most days, do my laundry, keep up with the dishes and living room most times.
  13. Get on a solid sleep schedule: I have to wake up every day from 6-7 for either work or my dog, so the latest I’ve gone to bed all summer is midnight.
  14. Exercise: I’ve been working out every day for the past month or so and my dorm is right next to the rec center so I’ll have no excuse not to get a workout in.
  15. Create a skincare routine: I use lush products for my face which is working pretty well (it’s also pretty expensive but I’m dealing)
  16. Be one of ‘those vegans’: This year I’ve learned balance is key. I have my spinach smoothies and beans and lentils, but I also eat Oreos and ice cream. I can be one of ‘those vegans’ and still indulge.
  17. Drink more water: I am still struggling with this. Some days I excel and some days I’ve had 2 glasses by 10 pm. How do you get all of your daily water in??

Alicia

A new addition

No.. I’m not pregnant but my family did recently adopt a puppy! A little over two months ago, we adopted Kizzee (now Poppy), a one year old Border Collie Spaniel mix from Second City Kanine Rescue. She is the sweetest little pup who has taken my whole heart.

A little bit about this sweet baby; she is all black with some salt and pepper on her stomach and paws (the Border Collie) and has the fluffiest ears and tail in the world. She looks like a fox and she already has too many nicknames to mention. She’s got a bit of a barking problem but with some training and lots of cookies I’m sure that’ll be fixed in no time.

We adopted her from a rescue here in Illinois but she came up from Alabama, after spending over 6 months locked away in a kennel (wonder how that barking started), where she also contracted heartworm. For now, we have to restrict tiny dog’s activity (heartworm treatment) and we have a dog pharmacy on our counter(also heart worm treatment), but once she is heartworn negative this little dog will be bounding all over dog parks, beaches, and people.

Now, while Poppy and I sit here patiently waiting to get that dang blood test, please enjoy a plethora of pictures of this sweet, cute, and tiny pup.

Until next time

Alicia and Poppy🐾

Final post before Peru!!!

Happy Thursday to you all. In a matter of 12 or so hours I will be on my plane to Peru. I wanted to make one last post prior to leaving just to be like ‘hey, I’m leaving’ and so on and so forth.

For those of you who are new or simply don’t pay attention to my blog posts… I will be in Lima, Peru for the next 4 weeks volunteering in an orphanage(s). Basically, in regards to posting, I am hoping to post 10 posts at the most over the next 4 weeks (but expect a ton of Peru related posts when I get back home). I am not going to say that I will have any consistency in my posting whatsoever (and I really don’t care) and I just really wanted to get that out there.

Yes, I will have down time, however, I may want to nap or explore and do other things besides blogging. I’m not gone, I’m not dead, I’m just out here, enjoying life.

I am super excited for this experience and the next 4 weeks of my life. Until I get to Peru (or my plane) I must logoff because I have to shove this computer into my backpack, along with so many other things. So, hasta pronto mis personas favoritas y hasta pronto Lima

Alicia

Winter bucket list update

Hello everyone, one of my Blogmas posts was a Winter bucket list and with winter basically over and spring right around the corner, I decided that I would come back and see how well I did on my little list. Most of the snow ones didn’t really happen because there were about 2 weeks in April where it was above 50 and most times the snow didn’t last long, but the rest of the ones I was able to do 🙂 Let’s get started.


  1. Finish Christmas Shopping
  2. See the Christmas trees at the Museum of Science and Industry: Did this one also. Check out my Blogmas photo set to see some photos from that day!dec-26-biggest-tree
  3. Visit the Christkindlmarket: Check. It was so beautiful and I was able to find vegan candy there as well!! Check out my post about that day here
  4. Drive around and look at Christmas decorations: This happened on more than one occasion. Friends, family, and I drove around and marveled at many houses and did more than critique others.
  5. See the Macy’s tree and windows: The hype of doing this was real. I had never been to Macy’s to see the tree or windows and I did both of those. It was spectacular and the people involved definitely put in a ton of work to make Macy’s beautiful for the holiday season.

    dec-10-the-cubs-window-at-macys
    The Cubs window
  6. Go to Wisconsin for the weekend: I have done this a couple times. We were up there for New Year’s weekend and then I think another time but I can’t remember.
  7. Put up the Christmas tree: Put up our Christmas tree and took it down successfully.
  8. Have a Christmas movie night: I definitely watched sooooo many Christmas movies. It happened over a few nights (and one even in February) but I watched so many classics.
  9. Go sledding: It never snowed enough to go sledding :/
  10. Read some good books with some wintery drinks: I don’t think I ever did these together but I definitely enjoyed some great books and wintery drinks separately.
  11. See all of my friends while they are home on break: I wasn’t able to see all of my friends because of work, vacations, etc. But I was able to see a lot of my friends and I have been seeing them as well when they’re been home for Spring Break as well.
  12. Dress up on Christmas: Since I was given a Shrek Christmas sweater and was forced to wear that on Christmas Day I wouldn’t really consider myself dressed up, but I wore nice pants so I sort of looked nice
  13. Do a winter photo shoot: Did a mini shoot but nothing too extravagant.dec-10-we-forgot-to-take-a-pic-there-so-this-is-an-empty-cub-and-im-on-a-parking-garage
  14. Try to take a family photo… key word is try: This literally did not happen at all haha.
  15. Shovel some now: My neighbor with a snow blower beat us all to it each time it snowed
  16. Build a snowman: It literally didn’t snow enough to make one and when it did, the snow wasn’t good packing snow.
  17. Eat a candy cane: I didn’t even eat a mini one 😦
  18. Make Christmas cookies
  19. Build a gingerbread house: 2 of my friends and I each made one and they were super cute to be honestdec-22-gingerbread-house-fail-ish

     


    All in all I would I was pretty successful. I just need a damn candycane. 

    Alicia

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