Monday, August 29, 2016

One Year | Now & Then.

It's true what they say: a lot can happen in a year. Also true: time flies.

When you have something big to look forward to, be it graduate school, your wedding, or achieving your goal weight, it can sometimes feel like the clock is actually ticking backward. But isn't it funny that as time goes on, it feels like nothing changes, and then when you look back, everything is different?

This time last year, I had dark (DARK) brown hair. Today, I'm back to blonde.
This time last year, I'd just moved in with my boyfriend. Today, we're secured into another 15 months in the same apartment.
This time last year, I was starting my communication science disorders pre-requisites. Today, I'm officially enrolled in graduate school and beginning therapy with my first client next week.
This time last year, I had literally no idea where I was going to be today.

Looking ahead a year can be daunting. For me, it was unbearable. I had literally no idea where I would end up, and the worst part was that I knew I had no control over it. I couldn't do much about predicting the future, but I made tiny steps every day in hopes of reaching my eventual goal - hoping that some day, these tiny steps might actually pay off...and they did.

A lot can happen in a year. It sure did for me...and I couldn't be happier with where I've ended up.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Feeling Inadequate.

Have you ever worked so hard for something, gotten it, only to be borderline petrified once you finally have it? Because that's 1000% been me during my first two days in graduate school.

I worked my ass off in pre-requisite classes last year, observed more than 100 hours of therapy, slaved over the GRE and the overall application process...and it all paid off. I got accepted to my top choice, I'm a graduate student, and in two years, I'm going to be a speech-language pathologist. Wowza.

Despite all that, there's a part of me that still feels out of place. I'm surrounded by so many hardworking women (and a whopping 2-3 men!) and brilliant professors and I'm sitting here thinking, "how did they let my scraggly self in here?" I'm hardly a Type A, I've never been "the very best" at anything, I haven't known that I've wanted to do this my entire life. Was it just dumb luck that they let me in here?!

No. No, no, no, no, no. 

It's so easy to fall into the self-deprecating trap of telling yourself you don't deserve to be where you are and to have what you've worked so hard to have. We deflect compliments and claim dumb luck for our greatest accomplishments. Maybe it's in the name of humility, but maybe it's also a load of crap.

Getting into grad school wasn't dumb luck; it was hard work and well deserved. Quitting my well paying job to go back to school for something new wasn't no big deal; it was a huge effing deal. And I'm realizing that it's entirely okay to feel overwhelmed, terrified, nervous, etc. during a major life change, but it is never okay to let yourself feel inadequate or undeserving when you've worked your ass off to get to where you want to be.

Having said that, I am certainly ready to kick off my first semester of graduate school! Anyone else back in school this week? 

Also, in case you missed it on Instagram, here is my official badge for the next two years! Samantha Rose, graduate clinician...hip hop hurray!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tea Talk Tuesday | Volume 2.

- I start orientation for my graduate school program today! And all day tomorrow. And 10 minutes on Thursday. And two hours on Friday. It's already taking up my life and it's hardly begun. A few of the girls from the Facebook group coordinated a little beach day this past weekend to get to know everyone, and it's such a relief to know I already click with a lot of the girls! I'm excited to finally get my class schedule today and to get the ball rolling. It's crazy to think this is all happening after working for it for so's true what they say: hard work pays off!

- I'm 10000% loving on my new car (which I still need to do a little post about the car buying process!). For those who don't know, I just started leasing a 2017 Hyundai Elantra last month. She's a beaut, and yesterday she was getting 45 miles to the gallon. I think I've named her Sailor Moon, and I wish I could just kiss her on the face because that's how much I love her.

- I finally set up Apple Photos on my Macbook and I am fully regretting it. I now see why celebrities get so pissy when hackers get ahold of pictures from their iCloud. Thousands (and I do mean thousands) of photos resurfaced on my computer - from screenshot text messages circa 2011 to selfies I took when I got my very first iPhone in 2009, it's actually been borderline creepy. And just when I thought I had all that figured out, I opened my iPhone photos to see that I had 11,000 PHOTOS in my library. Oh, Apple. I have a love/hate relationship with you and all of your connectivity.

- I'm starting to see pumpkin spice everything, and since I'm about as basic as they come, I am pumped about pumpkin. I'd be more pumped about temperatures dropping below 90 degrees before November, but I guess I'll take what I can get.

What's going on with you this week?


Friday, August 12, 2016

2017 Agenda Review.

I've always been the kind of person to write everything down. Even though I'm always on my phone, I can't bring myself to use iCal or to-do list apps. I put entirely too much thought into which planner to use at the start of every year (and now the start of every school year), and I have to fight the urge to throw an extra $10 away for a Sugar Paper planner from Target.

For the last three years, I've been a loyal Lilly Pulitzer planner fan. This year, I was in the mood for something a little different. I went back and forth about splurging on an Erin Condren or Day Designer planner, but I couldn't bring myself to drop $50-70 on a planner...maybe someday, but not this summer.

With everyone getting back to school in the next few weeks, I figured I'd give a little overview of my newest planner addition: my 17-month medium agenda.

I came across the agendas and immediately fell in love with the brand. They're all about girl power and falling in love with your life and the plans you make for it. Plus, their designs are bright and fun...color me sold.

I desperately wanted this pink print, but I knew their small planner (while very cute) would be just a tad too small for what I needed. So I settled on the ice blue version in their new medium size. I may or may not have bought both the large and the medium size planner to figure out which one I liked more...okay, yeah, I definitely did that.

My favorite part about my Lilly planners was the stickers, but I love's planner stickers so much more. From mimosas to "ladies night," these little guys will be dressing up my pages all year. There's even a "secret code," with little messages scattered throughout the year. It's probably something I could have done without, but it's a neat little addition!

Beautiful (and humorous) designs introduce the beginning of each month, along with a bright, laminated divider, followed by a full two pages of notes. The notes pages are probably my most favorite part of the planner, since to-do lists are my favorite pass time.

 Something I wasn't entirely sure about with this planner was the unlined design for the weekly view. I have weird, loopy handwriting, and I can never seem to write in a straight line on my own. I was hesitant about getting another horizontal layout (I found that I ran out of room pretty quickly in my horizontal Lilly planner over the years), but the boxes provide plenty of space. I also bought a few rings of skinny glitter washi tape to separate plans, work shifts, and tasks. It definitely helps to split up all the blank space!

Overall, it's a little too early to say whether or not I'm in love with the agenda design. While I'm a big fan of blues, the light color makes it pretty easy to see scuffs here and there. The pages could be maybe a tad bit thicker, too. Having said that, this baby was only $28 (compared to some pricier options, i.e. Erin Condren, Day Designer, etc). It's a beautiful and well designed, and I'm excited to give it a shot this semester!

Are you as obsessed with planners as I am? What agenda do you swear by?


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tea Talk Tuesday | Volume 1.

As I've mentioned here roughly 324984 times, drinking coffee on a regular basis makes me break out like a teenager. Thus, a cup of hot tea is more my thing. I figure with school starting up again in less than two weeks, maybe Tuesday's can be my time to "dish," AKA to update everyone on what's going on in my life.

- I ordered my very first pair of prescription glasses yesterday. As I've gotten older (you know, the ripe old age of 25), I've become a little near sighted, which makes it difficult to focus on slides in class. Definitely an investment I wasn't thrilled about making, but ayyyy, life happens.

- I've finally decided on a new blog design, and this baby will be looking fresh in the next week or so. It's been awhile since my corner of the internet has gotten any TLC, so I'm excited for the change.

- I start my graduate program in just 13 days, and I begin orientation a week from today. To say this summer has just flown by would be the understatement of the year. I'm a bag of mixed emotions when it comes to the start of grad school classes. I'm very excited, but also ferociously nervous. I'm nervous about not working (at least not nearly as much), I'm nervous about how being so busy will affect my relationships...I'm nervous about surviving the program, period. At this point, I guess it will just be what it will be, so all I can do is believe in myself and hope for the best!

- It's been a gloomy couple of days here in the Sunshine State. Actually, I don't think I've seen the sun for more than a few minutes at a time since Friday. I relish in this kind of weather, so after a quick gym sesh this morning, I plan on having my Sloth Day 2016. Yep - today you can find me cooped up on the couch watching movies, or Gilmore Girls, or the Olympics, or whatever my little heart desires because I declare today the day of non-responsibility. I'm working a good chunk of the next week, and then orientation starts, so I figure that today is my last day to really, truly sloth before all hell breaks loose.

What's going on with you this week?


Friday, August 5, 2016

Tampa Things | Cask - Ladies Night!

Having a live-in boyfriend, I have a tendency to become a social recluse. Ryan is my best friend, so it's pretty easy to be content being curled up on the couch together with the pups watching Veep for most nights. I feel like (most times) when you're dating someone long term, making intentional plans with friends can sometimes fall to the wayside, if only for the reason of sheer laziness. Guilty!  I've been trying to make a point of designating girl time with my friends, from staying in/drinking wine/watching movies to lunch out. So when my friend Kaitlin told me about Cask Social's ladies night on Thursday nights, I fought the urge to "stay in and save money" and happily agreed to go!

Cask is a restaurant on Howard Avenue (the "bar district" of Tampa) with a somewhat southern cuisine and a fab drink menu. Ladies night featured several drink options, all for $5 or less. We sat out on the patio right next to the DJ, but it wasn't very loud at all, and we were jamming all night long. 

Drink wise, we both opted for Black Bubbles - "Ketel 1 vodka, fresh blackberries, St. Georges raspberry liqueur, fresh lemon juice, topped with sparkling wine," followed by a glass of French 75 champagne. With the purchase of a drink from the Ladies Night menu, we were given a free appetizer, which was a chicken taco with a tiny side salad. 

Obviously one taco each wasn't going to do it for us, so we split the mimosa salad (watercress and arugula, blue cheese, spicy candied walnuts, and fresh seasonal fruits tossed with champagne vinaigrette) and herb chicken flatbread (sun-dried tomato pesto, marinated roasted chicken, pearl onions, bleu cheese, and fresh mozzarella). Both were good, but I definitely had to add a considerable amount of crushed red pepper to my flatbread to give it a little bit of a kick. Story of my life.

No girls night is complete without dessert, and if you know me at all, you know that I'll never have abs because I literally cannot say no to sweets. I will never utter the words "I don't like cake," and chocolate would be a daily food group if it didn't make me break out like crazy. Thankfully, Kaitlin shares my very unselective palette for sweets, and was happy to continue to chow down. We decided to go all out and get the S'mores bread pudding. GOOOOD LAWWWWD, it did not disappoint. I know bread pudding is a bit of an "acquired" taste, but this baby was a winner for sure. I'm still thinking about it.

If you're in the Tampa Bay area and always on the lookout for specials (like this broke college girl), grab some girlfriends and head over to Cask on Thursday nights for ladies night. I got out of there for under $30 (before a 20% tip, of course), and certainly did not leave hungry. It was the perfect summer evening, and it's definitely worth a trip if you're in the area.

On that note, happy weekend! I'll be spending the majority of it working. Ah, life. But you know what they say: empty your pockets and gimme all da monies.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Hello, August | The Month Everything Changes.

Hello, August. The month I've been looking forward to and dreading all in the same breath.

Hello, grad school. To new friends, new experiences, and an entirely new way of life for the next two years. 

Hello, "last month" of summer. We all know Florida won't be cooling down for awhile, but next month is officially Fall for the rest of the country. Time to break out the donut floats and summer salads!

Goodbye, July. Goodbye to neuroanatomy and conceptual physics, to car shopping, to being stuck in my own head and overthinking literally everything. 

Goodbye, life I once knew. I have a feeling that the last few weeks of this month are going to rock my world...but not necessarily in a bad way. Here's to it all being worth it in the end, right? Right!

Happy August, my friends. I'm off to the beach for a couple days! Starting off my official summer vacation. Whoop whoop!

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