Thursday, July 31, 2014

Organize My Life: School Work

{Organize My Life is a multi-post series all about (you guessed it) organization! Make sure you check out the other posts listed at the end of each entry (as most of these posts will reference one another), as well as the coinciding video!}

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Organize My Life! Today I'll be tackling School Work organization. As I'm writing this post (I'm writing this on Sunday, this post will go live Thursday), I am just about to start a summer intensive course so the timing is sort of perfect for me to write about this subject!

As most of you know, I'm currently a graduate student, so I still have to keep track of school work and need keep everything relatively organized to do so. I've had the same system for school work organization since I was in about 6th or 7th grade, so it's pretty clear that this system works for me. I thought it might help others who may be struggling with organizing their school work as well since this a tried-and-true method for me. However, don't think this is the only or best way to approach it. Tweak it to your liking and make sure that it works for you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dealing with Headaches

I'm basically Psyduck... #constantheadaches

I know I've mentioned on my blog a handful of times before that I am very prone to headaches and migraines. Sometimes I can predict when they're going to hit me, and other times they just blindside me. It's tough. They can be extremely debilitating, making it hard for me to think, speak, see straight, or in extreme cases, even move without feeling like I'm going to pass out. Though this all sounds pretty awful (and it really can be), I've gotten pretty good at dealing with headaches once they do some around and can offer some advice for those of you that may deal with chronic headaches as well.


1. Limit light. If you're at home, draw the blinds, shut off your lights, and avoid all other light sources, such as screens of electronic devices. I usually like to put a show on Netflix that I've seen 100 times, put the brightness all the way down or face the screen away from me and just listen to it. If you're at work, or in a position where you have to look at a lit screen, turn the brightness all the way down on the screen and (as silly as it sounds) wear sunglasses. You'll look silly, yes, but it will be much easier on your eyes, and ultimately, your head.

2. Refrain from any activity that involves straining your eyes. If you wear contacts, switch to your glasses for the day. Try not to read or drive if you can help it. You'll never realize how much you use your eyes in a day until it physically pains you to use them! If possible, try putting a cold washcloth across your eyes. And speaking of cold washcloths...


3. Think cold. Putting a cold ice pack on the back of your neck will draw the excess blood away from your head. It works even better when your other extremities (feet & hands) are warm, as the blood flow will move toward those warm areas. You'll start to feel some pressure relief after a while. I also enjoy eating something cold and chewy, like grapes or melon, when I have a headache, as headaches affect my jaw as well. It's nice to have the cold sensation on the areas that hurt!


4. Caffeine. If you want migraine relief, caffeine is your ally. It's not the healthiest remedy in the world, but your body will respond to this chemical in a way that will relieve your pain. Most migraine medications have caffeine in them already, so don't feel the need to load up on coffee and soda if you've already taken medicine. If the pain persists, though, sometimes a caffeinated beverage will do the trick to subdue it.

5. Massage your neck, temples, shoulders, or other areas of your body that are sore. Many headaches come from muscle tension, especially the tension that is carried around in your neck and shoulders. Give yourself a mini-massage (or even better, have someone else do it for you) in the places that feel the tightest. Even just a 2 minute rub-down can make a huge difference.

6. Stretch. The same idea as massage, stretching will relive muscle tension that may be causing your headaches. There are several specific stretches and yoga poses that are known to relieve headaches as they target muscles that could be causing the pain. Most of these are easy enough to do from the comfort of your own bed!

7. Invest in a neck pillow. These are usually intended for travellers, but I find that it works wonders if I'm trying to relax or fall asleep when I have a migraine. Your neck gets support in the areas that usually don't get supported with a regular pillow, which allows your head and neck to really be able rest. This Etsy shop sells adorable hand-made animal and character neck pillows like the one shown above! :)


I hope some of these tips help any and all friends out there who, like me, suffer from chronic headaches. I do have a Pinterest board dedicated solely to headache relief techniques, so if you'd like to continue to see the tips that I'm finding throughout the internet, make sure to follow it here!

If you have any headache or migraine relief tips, please leave them in the comments.
I would love to hear anything and everything that can help cure my headaches!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lobster. Traffic. Must be the Cape. (25 Before 25 - #9)

Brett and I were invited down to our friend Ashley's Cape house this week! 

We packed up the car and headed down Sunday and got there right around lunch time. Ashley, Andy, Grazia, and Dre were all there just starting their day with some brunch! Grazia made us some delicious coffee drinks and there were snacks everywhere! (I mean, they had a whole candy corner. Talk about dangerous!) It wasn't the best day for weather, but we enjoyed ourselves by watching Rocky I & II on TV, playing Kan Jam in the back yard, eating an awesome BBQ dinner, and indulging in a few board games. 

Monday was another gross weather day, but more friends - Jenny, Gina, and Mike - came to join us! We did more Kan Jamming, more eating, more drinking, and more being merry-ing. There was a dinner of delicious steaks, marinated chicken and roasted vegetables, and amazing trifle dessert. Just thinking of it makes me so hungry!

We finally had a beautiful beach day on Tuesday. I got up before everyone else for a run (and so I can look at all of the gorgeous Cape houses in the area!) and I returned everyone else was just starting to wake up and make breakfast. We were on the road to the beach by 9:45 and parked at our beach base camp at 10:15, just before the crowd started to arrive! The water was so cold, but its was so hot outside so we all sucked it up and went swimming between our beach lounging.

After a solid day at the beach we went back to the house for yet another amazing dinner of Italian sausages, melon and prosciutto, and an incredible summer salad. We played a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity (I had never played before... I was laughing so hard I was in tears!) and Grazia made us all delicious monkey bread to snack on. If I can say anything about this trip, I'd say we ate like kings!

We had to leave out mini-vacation Wednesday morning as I had to get back to work and reality, but we had a wonderful few days down there and we're looking forward to returning in the future!

Unfortunately, the above photo was the only real picture I took the entire time we were there (#terriblebloggeraward), but I did a bit of vlogging through our trip so be sure to watch the video for a few fun clips!

*This crosses off #9 on my 25 before 25 list - Go on another road trip somewhere. I'm attempting to reach 25 goals before I reach the age of 25! Want to see the whole list? Check it out here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Instaspiration {#1}

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'm currently on a mini-vacation with Brett and friends down the Cape. Even though it's still mid-July, summer is quickly coming to a close for Brett and me (as is the case for the majority of people who work in the collegiate setting), so we're trying to soak up as much of our break as possible! I'll write a post later this week about our Cape adventures.

Do you guys know those inspirational quotes you'll see on Tumblr or Instagram? For the most part I'll scroll right by them as they're usually things that I've seen hundreds of times before, but every now and then I'll find a few that strike a chord and I'll screenshot them for some future motivation. Here are a few that I've saved recently, maybe they'll give you some motivation as well!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekends in July

I've been busy-busy relaxing and having fun over my two weeks off - my favorite kind of busy! I spent a large amount of time hanging with Brett, family (both his and mine), watching Netflix (yesssss), and enjoying the summer sunshine. (I even got a nice little burn on my back to prove it!) Here's a little round up of everything I got up  to during my vacation!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Links {#5}

Hey everyone! I hope everyone's July has been as wonderful as mine has been. I've been doing lots of much needed relaxing and spending time with loved ones. I apologize for not giving this blog the attention that I thought I would have been giving it during my time off, but I wanted to utilize my free time to spend as much time off the computer as possible. You know, making up for that personal life black hole I was trapped in back in May. (Don't worry - I'll be filling you all in on what I've been up to on my vacation later this week!)

However, my time spent on the computer these last couple weeks have not gone to waste - I've been finding some internet gems lately! Of course, I wanted to share them all with you here - when you find awesome you just have to pass it along, right?

The DOs and DO NOTs of Running Your First Marathon

This was shared with me by one of the students I work with, Cassie, who has recently started a running career of her own! I love The Oatmeal comics, and the fact that the creator of The Oatmeal is also a long-distance runner is just icing on the cake! His comics on his experience as a runner always have me rolling because they so perfectly sum up everything you go through while you train & race. I shared another comic of his last summer about running, and I laugh myself to tears each time I read it. I'm so psyched for him to come out with his book all about running!


This short documentary highlights the life of a young transgender woman who is struggling with straying true to herself and true to her Mormon faith. It's interesting to see an individual have an internal battle such as this and how to navigate issues of making themselves happy when the things that make them the happiest are conflicting. This is definitely worth a watch and some internal reflection.

This article talks about how powerful positive thinking can be, which is something worth reminding ourselves over and over again. Everyone feels like they're not good enough from time to time. It's nice to keep these things in mind when those times do come around and haunt us.

Raju and his new friend Phoolkali!

It's heartbreaking knowing that many animals are still treated the way Raju was treated in many parts of the world today, but having stories like these definitely raises awareness of this major issue. Elephants are my absolutely favorite animal (as I've mentioned many times before) and knowing that there are organizations out there like Wildlife SOS working to help these animals gives me such joy - and it's so heartwarming to see that Raju can finally be happy after 50 years of captivity! :)

So much good buzz about elephant preservation lately! This article outlines some fun facts about elephants and why they're so important as a species to humans, some of which I had no idea about (like the fact that elephants should have a 96% risk of cancer, but only have a 3% risk... what?!). It also made me really want to go visit the Hope Elephants in Maine. It's only a few hours away from me and would make an amazing little road trip! :)

Awkward Moments After Wisdom Tooth Surgery

The fact that this popped up on my News Feed kind of terrified me, because well... I'm getting my wisdom teeth out in a few short weeks. I really hope my loved ones are nice enough to not film me for the whole world to see online! (Maybe I can bribe them with cookies or something?) But at the end of the day, I have to admit that these are pretty hilarious!

What links have you been loving lately?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Organize My Life: Erin Condren Life Planner 6 Month Update!

{Organize My Life is a multi-post series all about (you guessed it) organization! Make sure you check out the other posts listed at the end of each entry (as most of these posts will reference one another), as well as the coinciding video!}

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first edition of the Organize My Life series here on FivEleveNinety! I'll be sharing how I stay organized in my daily life over the next few months in hopes that those who may have a similar lifestyle as me may be able to pick up some tips & tricks that may be useful to them. The first topic that I'm going to tackle is one that I'm very much an advocate of - using a daily planner. I use both an electronic and portable paper calendar in order to really keep my ducks in a row, but today I'm going to get more into detail about how I organize my paper planner - the 2013-2014 Erin Condren Life Planner!

Last fall, I purchased my very first Erin Condren Life Planner and posted a little review video, which not only included the ins and outs of the 2013-2014 edition, but also included how I had been using my 2013 planner. I thought that now that I've settled into my Life Planner and have been using it for half a year, I'd show you the ways that I've been using it so far and how it's held up thus far!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Survived Orientation 2014! *insert T-shirt design here*

Orientation at Bridgewater ended last Friday and I'm officially on a little vacation! WAHOOOO!

Though I'm excited to have some *real* time off for the first time in a long, long while, I'm pretty bummed that the Orientation experience has come to a close. As a graduate student, I only see so much of how BSU really operates (I'm typically either in the office for my GA or in a classroom when I'm on campus) and to be able to experience all that BSU had to offer from a different perspective definitely gave me a new found appreciation and pride for my school. GO BEARS!

1. Sneaky backstage shot of the OLs performing their skits during Session 1
2. Hanging out with Bristaco and some PC members during Session 1
3. Selfie with the OL staff during Session 6
4. Amazingly awesome gift from the Orientation Staff that was given to me during the end-of-sessions banquet!

This whole experience has been so special in ways that are difficult to put into words, but I know that there are moments from this past month that I will be talking about for my entire Student Affairs career. Though many times it was stressful (as large event planning & management tends to be), the connections that I made with the Professional Staff, Orientation Leaders, new students, and family members throughout the month of June will be something I remember for years to come. I'm so, SO appreciative to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Orientation Staff this summer!

Orientation Leaders & Pro Staff at our end-of-sessions banquet! Such a great crew of people! <3

The rest of my summer is looking comparatively low-key. I took this week and next week completely off from work and class to focus on some quality time with Brett, family, sunshine, running, reading for pleasure, and possibly getting my teeth ripped out of my face (but that's a story for another post... #istillhavemywisdomteeth), but I will be back to work in OSIL July 15th, taking a week-long intensive course July 28th - August 1st, with a smattering of races, work functions, and family events thrown in here and there before the school year starts up again! Don't you hate how fast the summer flies by? >_<

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer so far! 
Let me know what you've been up to in the comments! :)