Friday, April 21, 2017

Sephora VIB Sale | My Picks.

In case you haven’t heard (and I’m sure you have), this week is Sephora’s semiannual VIB sale, where VIB members get to take a whopping 15% off their order. If that sentence sounds like it’s peppered with sarcasm, it’s because it is. In the grand scheme of all things makeup and luxury skincare, 15% off feels like pennies to me…but do I participate anyway? Absolutely. Because money saved is money saved, is it not? PS: Beauty Insiders can take 10% off as of yesterday, April 20th! Have at it, my friends.

After spending more than an hour scouring through pages upon pages of reviews, thinking about what I want vs. what I actually need, and discovering items I never even knew I needed but now desperately want, I narrowed it down to these three items. It's still a little more than I'd like to spend on a grad school budget, but I think it's okay to splurge on skincare and makeup bits every so often. Shop my favorites below:

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

bareMinerals All-Over Face Color | warmth - $21

This is an old favorite of mine, but it fell off my radar a few years back. My friend Steph let me use hers when we were getting ready for a wedding last month and I fell in love with it all over again. It looks pretty dark in the pot, but don't be discouraged! A little goes a long way, and it'll last you awhile for sure.

I have two friends whom I refer to as the Messiahs of Makeup. I've been on the hunt for a good mascara, as drugstore brands have been seriously failing me lately. I texted our group chat, "what's your favorite mascara?" and within two seconds of each other, both of them recommended this one. I'm excited to try it out!

At 25 years old, I'm not all that worried about anti-aging and wrinkle treatments. Having said that, I think skincare is of utmost importance, and I've been wanting to incorporate something to target those fine lines on my forehead. This product says it helps with dullness, loss of firmness and elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles. While it only has a couple reviews right now, I'm excited to try!

Other items I'm loving but holding off on...

Will you be taking advantage of Sephora's sale? What's on your must-have list? Have you tried any of these products? 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

For All the Soon-To-Be College Grads:

Graduation season is upon us, my friends. My friends from my post-bacc year are receiving their caps and gowns and setting up photo shoots. My second-year grad school friends are gearing up for their final externships and applying for their Clinical Fellowship Year jobs. And I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of the grad school tunnel (472 days until MY graduation, guys! Definitely not counting!!!).

It’s crazy to think it’s already been four years since I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. Even though I had an internship, I didn’t have a job lined up yet. I was still a server at Carrabba’s and my only plans were to visit my sister in Europe and then move back in with my parents. Despite my lack of plans, the world felt like my perfect little oyster, waiting for me to take it by storm!

Even though I’m back in school, I still feel like I’m qualified to give at least some advice in the post-college life department. I had two whole years of freedom after I graduated college, so here are my best bits of advice for all you soon-to-be grads:

Moving back in with your parents for a while is okay. I know it may feel like a step backwards, but if your parents give you the OK to come back for a bit rent free (or at a low monthly rent), take advantage! My parents were more than happy to have me move back home after college, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone. I lived with mine for almost a year after graduating, and about seven months after I got my first “big girl” job. In that time, I put nearly $7,000 into my savings account. Definitely worth it!

More money = more problems. With student loan payments looming, it’s obvious why college graduates immediately chase after the highest paying job they’re qualified for. Money is great, but keep in mind that 9 times out of 10, a higher salary means higher responsibility which means higher stress levels (and I don’t know about you, but at 22, I was not ready to be thrown into the fire). We all want to come out of a four-year degree making $50k+, but don’t turn down a fantastic job just because it isn’t paying you top dollar right away. My boyfriend came out of college and started making a decent but “lower” hourly wage at a big company. He’s worked his ass off ever since, has been promoted multiple times over the last few years, and has continuous plans for growth within the company. The money will come, but you have to be willing to work for it.

Most of your college friendships will fade, but not all of them. It’s easy to have a bunch of good friends when you’re in college because you all live a stone throw across the pool from each other. But unless you all plan to live in the same town after graduation, maintaining the friendships that were once so easy might become difficult to juggle. Keep in mind that some friends are for life, while others are meant for just a few chapters…which is completely fine. I actively hang out with about four friends from college, and I still keep up with others through social media and the occasional text. Nurture the friendships that mean the most to you – distance and time spent apart from each other will never break a solid bond.

Your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job. You might not even know what your dream job is just yet…and even if you do, don’t be disappointed if you’re not landing interviews right off the bat. It takes time to figure out exactly what you want from your career (and to gain experience). Before I decided to become a speech-language pathologist, I got my degree in public relations…and ended up with a job in sales. While I never saw myself working in sales, I had a great time at that job and made some great friends. It wasn’t my “dream job,” but it was a stepping stone, and every day was a networking opportunity.

It’s totally cool if you don’t have a plan just yet. It’s okay not to have a job lined up immediately following graduation, if you didn’t get into grad school this time around, if you don’t have a studio apartment lease signed in NYC five minutes after receiving your diploma. When I first graduated, I thought I’d move to Chicago or some other big city, have a crazy “single” life, and be 100% done with academia forever. Reality: I stayed in my beautiful hometown of Tampa Bay, met my wonderful boyfriend of 3.5 years just a couple months after graduation, and went to graduate school for SLP. More often than not, life doesn’t go accordingly to plan, and that is just fine.

If you’re graduating, what are you most looking forward to about post-college life? If you’re a post-grad, what advice to you have to give to soon-to-be grads?

Monday, April 17, 2017

List of Happy | Part 11.

Has it really been more than a year since I last wrote my last "list of happy" post? What in the world? 
With the semester coming to a rapid close, it's safe to say that life has been all sorts of busy and now more than ever, I'm looking forward to the future. 

List of Happy

- Picking up books at the library and actually making time to read them. This just in: getting lost in a good story is way more satisfying than getting lost in my Instagram feed. Who knew? (Almost done with The Woman in Cabin 10, then on to What She Knew and 13 Reasons Why...can you tell I'm on a mystery kick?).
- Drinking 24 ounce mimosas and eating breakfast tacos with Ryan, going on dinner dates, watching movies at home. Making time for each other in the midst of all the crazy. 
- Midday naps. Because I won't always be able to take them, and because sometimes I just need them. I cannot exist function without proper rest.
- Rediscovering my old favorite songs. I've been rewatching One Tree Hill and the entire soundtrack gives me all the feels.
- Freshly washed hair and MoroccanOil shampoo and conditioner.
- Pooch snuggles. All the time, every time.

What's been making you happy lately?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Graduate School Application Season | For the Future SLP!

March and April are two of the most stressful months for potential graduate students. Schools are dropping acceptances, wait lists, and rejections left and right, and hopeful college seniors all over the world are anxiously refreshing their email inboxes thirty-eight times a day. Call me biased, but I think if you're a CSD major (communication sciences & disorders), it's even more stressful.

Despite the high demand for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, the graduate programs required for these careers are pretty tough to get into, and anxiety levels for students are at an all-time high during application season. Having been rejected, waitlisted, and finally accepted, I thought I would share some insight I gathered from personal experience over the last year:


Congratulations, the hardest part is officially over. I know I’m gearing this post toward all graduate school applicants, but if you’re a speechie like myself, give yourself a giant pat on the back (and pop a bottle of champs!) because these programs are stupid competitive and you made it. Having said that – now’s the time to drop the competition. If your classmates are waiting to hear back from similar programs, be humble and be supportive! I only had one good friend applying to programs with me last year. One good, brilliant, super humble friend (hey there, Ali!). She was getting into programs left and right and well…I wasn’t. But she was so supportive, caring, and kind to me throughout the grueling process of waiting to hear back. She knew I was an anxious mess nearly 95% of the time, and she gave me so many words of encouragement and genuinely wanted me to be successful. When I eventually got accepted to USF, she was almost just as happy as I was (and I was ecstatic when she got into Vanderbilt!). Application season is rough on everyone…the least you can do (especially if you’ve been accepted!) is to be kind. You never know how badly someone could use some inspirational words.


Being waitlisted to a school is bittersweet, isn’t it? You still have a chance of getting in, but who else is on the waitlist? What’s their GPA? What’s your placement? Is it ranked? When will I know? A month from now? 10 days before the program begins? You’d think I’m being excessive, these are allllll thoughts that were running through my mind daily when I was waitlisted to my current program. It’s exhausting, and a bit daunting. A few pieces of advice when you get waitlisted:

  • EMAIL THEM BACK ASAP. Too often, applicants leave their waitlist email chillin’ in their inbox while they wait a few months for the next update to arrive. Do not be one of those people! If you really want to get into that program, say so. All it takes is a simple, “thank you so much, I’m excited to be placed on the wait list, XYZ University is my #1 choice” etc. etc. 
  • Send an "addendum" to your application. Note: double check the program's policy on sending in additional documents or updates. If you've completed additional observation/volunteer hours or joined a new major-related campus organization, let them know! This shows that their program is still at the fore front of your mind. Not sure what to say? Here's a quick look at what I sent my program last year while I was on the wait list:
    • "As an applicant on the wait list, I wanted to send an addendum to my application. Attached is my updated resume. I believe increasing my number of volunteer/observation hours at ______ attests to the fact that I would be a strong candidate for the program. Also, please let me know if I can provide any additional letters of recommendation. Thank you for your consideration!" 
  • Ask about attending the program's open house. Again, this lets them know you're interested!
Having said all that, know when to pump the brakes on your contact. You want them to know you're interested, not crazy...even if that's how you're feeling at the moment!


I applied to a decent number of schools, and I am not ashamed to say that I got rejected from a few. Even if I wasn't dying to get into the program, I wanted them to want me, ya know? Rejection sucks in all forms, and it's okay to acknowledge allow yourself to be sad or upset. Give yourself a night to make fancy drinks at home or get your mind off of it by going out with your best girlfriends. Binge watch Netflix with a large pizza or spend a night curled up with a novel and a cup of tea. Acknowledge any negative feelings you might be having, allow yourself to feel them for awhile, and then do your best to get past it!
  • Bonus: After you've gotten yourself together (or if you aren't even the least bit upset, you can do this right away!), shoot over an email or a phone call to the program director and ask their recommendations for re-applying next year. Maybe they were looking for more volunteer hours or a couple extra points on your GRE verbal score. It never hurts to ask, especially if you plan on reapplying during the next application cycle. 
Additionally, remember that these are tough programs to get into, with hundreds of applicants per school. There might always be someone with a "better" GPA or GRE find something to make you stand out even further next time around! Give yourself this next year to work as an SLPA at a local school to save some serious $$$ and look into volunteering opportunities. As tough as it may seem, the only way to get past rejection is to get yourself "back in the game." You got this!

Are you in the process of applying to graduate school? If so, what are you studying?!

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