Hot Tip Tuesday

Life is too short for shame, so I’ll not apologize for my extreme tardiness on my post for last week (but I’m really sorry there wasn’t a post last week, friends…). Instead, I’ll furnish you with some wisdom from my day-to-day life:

* Keep your receipts. If there is no toilet paper in your stall (and you’re at the movies, and you’re about to see Jurassic World, not to be specific) and you have no other options, they’ll come through for you.

* If you are at a The Dear Hunter concert and the music is too loud and you don’t have earplugs, individually wrapped cough drops work okay (hint: do not shove them in, just lightly rest them inside the outer part of your ear. I will not be responsible for ruptured eardrums).

* Always expect the unexpected. For example, if you thought your adopted Boston Terrier named Sam couldn’t do many tricks (just “sit” and “lay down”) keep holding out that treat. He might just roll over and provide you with a disproportionate amount of glee and entertainment (especially when he occasionally gets stuck halfway through his roll).

* Say you’re sorry when you need to, but don’t apologize for every.little.thing. Especially for women, I’ve noticed “I’m sorry” comes out almost reflexively. My wonderful sister was visiting this weekend and I counted how many times either of us said “I’m sorry” for no good reason. It was way, way too many.

* Do something good for the world at large, whenever you can, in whatever way you are able. Recently, I have gotten involved in this non-profit. Check it out and even give if you can.

* The layout of Walgreens will never make complete sense. Save yourself the frustration.

* Let yourself have down days, but pick yourself up again. I’ve been feeling a bit too negative for my liking recently, so I decided to start making a concerted effort to be positive and focus on being grateful. Not in a phony sense, though. If it’s not genuine it will make you feel weird and pissy- take it from someone who was in the store the other night literally whispering, “I’m breathing out negativity and breathing in positive thoughts” and suddenly wanted to punch the person in front of me who was holding up the line. Which came first in this scenario, the chicken or the egg? Who knows but at least there is protein available…see?!  I’M SO POSITIVE. THE GLASS IS HALF FULL…of poison and bad checkout line etiquette (which are basically synonymous).

So anyways, there is that.

Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all (hi mom!) well and happy!

Advertisements

The Week(+) I (Almost) Forgot About My Blog

Oh hello there!

Long time no see! I was basically in a cocoon of schoolwork for the better part of last week. They manufacture those during summer classes. They look very much like a snuggie but they are woven from the same cloth as… I don’t know, HELL. But finally, I have burst forth. In the words of Kimmy Schmidt (if you haven’t seen “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix , I recommend you do!) “I feel like a butterfly, bursting forth from it’s crystalish and falling from the nest!.” (Until later this week when a boatload of work descends upon me again.)

How was YOUR week?! Any great blog posts or internet sensations I missed? Link them below if there are any must-sees 🙂

When I wasn’t doing schoolwork this week, I assembled a housewarming gift for some friends of ours. It turned out well, was useful and not expensive, so I thought I would share.

I made this:

gift

Here is how this too could be yours to give to a loved one upon the acquisition of their new digs (avoided saying “housewarming” two times in a row–cha ching!):

  • Go to Homegoods (TJ Maxx, Marshall’s etc. would be fine, too)
  • Pick out some citronella candles (I got a three pack of copper colored handmade ones). I found them in a clearance aisle near lawn and garden items.
  • Choose two useful household products. I bought a lavender aromatherapy all-purpose cleaner and a mango linen spray.
  • Buy something green and alive. I popped by Stop N’ Shop and picked up an African violet.
  • My mother in law had some extra baskets around the house, so I got a basket from her. Homegoods probably has many basket options as well. Baskets can be a bit pricey depending on where you go, so asking if someone has one is never a bad option. Baskets are like opinions. Everyone has a few spare ones that aren’t serving them well. Help them help you.
  • Now is the fun part! Arrange the candles and household sprays in the basket and place the plant at the front. I lined the basket with tissue paper first to make it extra festive.
  • I had a picture frame that we weren’t using, so I wrote “Welcome Home” on a piece of cardstock and placed it in the frame. I nestled the frame in the middle of the basket to tie it all together.
  • I will be tacky and talk about price here: it cost about $15-20 in total.

Our friends liked the gift and the citronella candles came in handy that very evening.

Do you have any go-to gifts for various occasions?! Let me know.

xo,

Kara

Tips on Surviving Grad School

I have been a bit all over the place with posts lately. My intention is to post new stuff Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, I am taking accelerated summer courses. Holy moly. SO. MUCH. WORK.

Ya see, I am a graduate student. I think if you have a passion or a definite career goal it’s good to pursue an advanced degree. I am getting a Master’s in Counseling, and I’ve gained a lot from my program thus far. I am starting to feel like I can deal with people who are 50 shades of cray (aren’t we all though) with ease and utmost professionalism. However, throughout much of grad school, I have felt like this…

grad school feelings

At the beginning of my graduate school career, I was working full-time, doing fee for service work at a behavioral health organization and taking two of the three classes you are allowed to enroll in each semester. OH, I was also recently engaged and had 7 months until our wedding, so planning was a priority. This was too much.

Here are some steps I took to make things manageable and not want to swan dive into oncoming traffic:

1) Assess what you ACTUALLY NEED to be doing to reach your long-term goals

I decided I needed to reassess all of the things on my plate (both figuratively and literally, really… all of this stress had me getting burritos at Chipotle for multiple meals each week). Working full-time (with a commute!) and trying to focus on a nearly full course load was not healthy for me. I had already decided to move in with my fiancé and future in-laws to save money for school and the wedding, but I needed to take the next step and leave my full-time job and my fee for service position. I went back to an office I had previously worked in, this time as a part-time employee. This helped tremendously.

While money is an important factor, I decided my sanity and finishing school faster would support my long-term goals best. I doubled down on taking as many classes as I could and made grad school my main focus.

2) Take care of your body

All you want to do after work, class, an internship, etc. is reach for that hot pocket and take a long winter’s nap. Try to resist (most of the time). Exercise, eating well and a good night’s sleep are HUGELY important for success in life (and grad school, but that won’t last as long as the rest of your life will, even though it feels like it sometimes).

Tips for sleeping better can be found here.

Some advice on eating well when you’re under stress is here.

My advice is try to have food on you to curb the drive through cravings. I like Trader Joe’s or Kind granola bars. I try to always have one in my purse.

Having a healthy “on-the-go” meal option is also helpful. I have classes that make it difficult to eat dinner a lot of the time so I make a smoothie and bring it with me to class.

3) Little chunks of work add up!

Do not underestimate the power of getting 15 minutes of reading (even writing!) done for class here and there. Make use of a spare half hour or 45 minutes whenever possible to keep the workload a bit more manageable. I try to have my schoolbooks in my car most of the time, so I am not without them in a situation where I have downtime.

4) Ask for help/more time if you need it

I was having a very difficult time getting an assignment done on time because of a personal struggle I was having, so I told my professor as soon as this was evident to me. She understood and accommodated my situation. If you are having a difficult time in your family, with a chronic illness, with a mental health issue, etc. tell your professor and see if you can have a reasonable extension. They may tell you no but they might surprise you (particularly if you have a great track record with getting things done for their class).

Similarly, ask those in your family or friend group for a hand if you need it (editing papers, watching your kiddos for a couple hours so you can get work done, crashing your in-laws house for dinner if you just can’t cook your family something because you’re too spent). My husband has been a lifesaver editing papers and arranging reference pages. My sister is also always there for me in a pinch.

5) Major on the Majors

When you are pressed for time, not everything needs to get done for every class. Never discuss or get tested on the readings and have 49,000 essays to write this week?! Scratch the reading off your to-do list. Do not feel guilty. Preserving your sanity is important.

Most critical: Remember, your schoolwork/professional goals are important but your health and relationships will be with you forever.

So those are my top 5 pieces of wisdom for kicking graduate school right in the keister. Comment if you have anything to add!