Welcome to my blog! I hope you find useful ideas or just like what I have to say. Either way feel free to comment on anything & tell me what you think.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

College Series: Roommates

I went to community college for 2 yrs on a scholarship before going away to a state university. In moving in I didn't know quite what to expect or what to bring so here I'm going to talk about that and things to think about before making decisions from my own experience.There will be different instalments to this as there are different things I would like to talk about in no specific order.
I'm rooming with my friend (we have our own "best friends" but we are really good friends (like 2nd best if you want a title)) which works out because our schedules are different so we don't see each other 24/7. We have good communication skills with each other, we try to be respectfully open and honest. We also have similar morals and values which is important as you are in fact living with this person but we're not clones of each other either. Our personalities are different so we do clash on some things but so far that hasn't been often because we let things go and realize its not that big of a deal.
We have tv schedules because most epic shows are in the evenings or at nights which we both have no class during (or we didn't at the time I started this but now we do with the semesterly schedule change). We pick which shows we want to watch the most; that we can't function without knowing what happened and try to work it out. It pretty much goes I get to watch Dance Moms, Bunheads, The Vampire Diaries, and Switched at Birth if she gets to watch Pretty Little Liars, Teen Mom, The Middle and Big Brother (when it's on). With those shows there are no time conflicts and if for some reason we miss it they are online.
We do little gestures of kindness every now and then for each other to show appreciation. For example, I did her laundry with mine while she was gone over the weekend. I did it because A) She lets me borrow her clothes when I want and so I was already washing what I had borrowed and B) There wasn't much so it wasn't a lot of work that I went out of my way to do. She bought me a smoothie today because she thought I might want one and it was a flavor I said I like. These are just little things that can make their day and make life easier for you having to live with them.
If you are more of a loner I would suggest that you are upfront with your roommate on your personality and your social habits so they know not to take offense.
Roommates are typically who you're going to spend the most time with in the long run and so the biggest thing is respect. Me and my roommate where earphones/ headphones when listening to music as to not disturb the other. We try to go to bed at decent hours (or I wear and eye mask to block out the light if she stays up later than I do). We also mutually established how we feel about guys in the room and came to the agreement of not allowing that. We only really ever have mutual friends over.
These are things that work for us but the biggest thing is communication and finding out what works for you and your roommate(s). Learn to agree to disagree and compromise. Establish some ground rules, know what's completely off limits and what's negotiable. Remember that you are sharing the space you're living in so share in the responsibility for  maintaining it. Roommates don't have to be friends but they should get a long and have some sort of positive relationship.

Monday, January 28, 2013

College Series: After Acceptance

Once Accepted into college/ university or trade school there will be a flood of paperwork coming at you. A lot of it will probably be online while other stuff will come in the mail. Do not let it overwhelm you, just stay organized and take things as they come. I suggest a binder with dividers or an expandable wallet, letter (these are water proof and already have gaussets for separation). You can get them at staples or wal mart. Keep records of everything just in case! When you submit something print out the summary pages and the proof of submission pages, you can never be too prepared in college. Print off contracts and invoices from payments. Once I started school I even put school reciepts (like book purchases, returns) in the college binder so if there was any discrepencies I had proof. File all of this stuff. You can organize it however you want. I did it by finances (financial aid, bills, reciepts), housing (contracts, requests, assignments), and academics (book lists, schedules, book reciepts from purchases or returns). I would even keep a calendar or planner or even just type up and put a list in the front of the binder of when everthing is due. Stay on top of everything, dont let anything sneak up on you.
It's also a good idea to have another binder or expandable letter for copies of personal documents (such as voting registration card) if you are going to be far from home with little access to them otherwise, but do not leave this lying about. I know someone who opted to by a safe but I don't have that much money and I don't live that far from home so I just keep it put away and take it home when I go.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

College series: The Plan of Action

I went to community college for 2 yrs on a scholarship before going away to a state university. In moving in I didn't know quite what to expect or what to bring so here I'm going to talk about that and things to think about before making decisions from my own experience.There will be different instalments to this as there are different things I would like to talk about in order that I came across this stuff in my life.
Deciding where to continue my education was a hard decision but I feel like I made the right decision. When I was a senior in high school I was the person who knew where they wanted to go and was just awaiting my acceptance letter. I was overwhelmed by the whole thought. As a matter of fact I only applied to maybe 4 universities and was rejected by 2. I was the greatest in math so I wasn't the prime student they wanted especially since I waited so late to apply. So tip 1.) have some sort of plan early. Truth is waiting until your a senior to start trying to figure things out short changes you out of opportunities. Junior year of high school start taking the ACT and SAT because if you don't do so hot you still have time for retakes for a higher score. No matter what you want to do unless it's a trade you will need a good score on at least 1 of those 2 tests. That's another thing to have at least some clue of, are you going to a trade school/ vocational college for career certification, are you going for a degree at a community college/ university or are you going into the military. You don't have to know specifics at the beginning but at least an idea. 2.) Do research. Be looking into your plan to know what you would need for that, for example if you want to be in the military they have their own test they want you to pass (physical training "PT" & armed services vocational aptitude battery "ASVAB") or a specific college/ university wants higher ACT/ SAT scores than others or they want one over the other. Some universities even require that you take certain classes and pass them with certain grades and if you already have that in mind you have 2nd semester and your senior year to plug those in if you haven't already taken them. 3.) Do the work. Go out and visit schools and talk to people to see if you can see yourself there, pamphlets and flyers can only tell you so much. Dual credit classes are your friend! They will save you time if you're going for the university/ college route. Buckle down to ensure a good GPA. By the end of the year you should have schools in mind that you would attend if you got accepted if that's your plan.
4.) Decision & Application time. Now you're into the beginning of your senior year and you've taken the act/ sat and have gotten a satisfactory score for whatever tests and are signed up for all the necessary classes that are required and are not slacking of because grades still do matter and will for a while. Applying early is the next big thing. Decide on a school based on what is important to you. Some things to consider are finances (tuition, room and board, meal plans, other student fees can get pricey, do they offer lots of scholarships that you're eligible for?), distance, and educational goals (do they offer a program for me and do they offer it as far as I want to go? for example I want to teach elementary so I am in a school with a very accredited education program). Try not to put all of your eggs into one basket, keep your options open. Once accepted apply for institutional scholarships and any local ones through the community before those deadlines approach. Cappex and Fastweb are some good resources for online scholarships.
Ok so to review
1.) have a plan and have it early-break it down starting with what you think you want to do and go from there so it's less overwhelming. Refine as you go, 2.) do your research-look into places of interest and their criteria so you know if you're even qualify. I f you do it early enough you'll still have time to become qualified, 3.) do the work- go on college visits and get in those dual credit classes if you can, 4.) make decisions and apply- you don't even have to decide one yet, just narrow the list down to places you would actually go if you got excepted and start applying. Find and start applying for those local scholarships, they have deadlines that will approach quickly and a lot of them probably want essays and recommendation letters and you want good quality so no rushing. I would advise investing in a 1/2in binder with tabs to organize them by deadline date so you don't miss anything
Some people might think this is a bit late to be doing this stuff but I think it depends on you and what you want to do. I started later than this and still managed to do well but I limited myself and I would like to save others. I hoped this helped, these are things adults probably told me but I didn't listen. Hearing this from someone going through it like this probably would've saved me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rach & Randii Tips

I've been so busy with college that I haven't had much time to write tips, how tos, ideas, or anything that comes to mind. I have been on polyvore however, where I've come across a duo that makes sets including great tips. Rach and Randii take requests on anything from acting to writing a paper, check them out:)
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/profile?id=1943119
Peace, Love, & Flowers
Nija

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines



I remember the days of being younger & having to bring Valentines for my friends, teachers, and even whole classes. Now I give Valentine's to my parents work, friends, & neighbors. My choice of Valentine's tend to be:
Brownies
Mini Cupcakes (red velvet w/ home-made cream cheese frosting)
-frosting ingregdients: cream cheese, marshmello fluff, powdered sugar
[this frosting will harden a little over night, eliminating the frosting mess of stacking cupcakes]
Mini Cookies (heart shaped sugar cookies w/ red or pink sprinkles)
*I personally like mini foods because you get bite size portions & you can make more out of the same amount of ingredients than regular size portions.
Mini Red, Pink, or White Roses (from gas stations)
These are all fairly inexspensive and things people tend to enjoy. Another good thing about little gifts is that youa can make gift bags for people filled with different things or for people you don't know that well it's just a little something to show that you care. That single little token may be the only Valentine they get & could make thier day.
Peace, Love, & Flowers
Nija

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Shopping

This time of year most people are wondering what to get people for christmas, here are some tips to aid in the gift giving
1. Don't wait until the last minute, if you find something you think someone will like in jan get it and save it until christmas
2. Be practical, dont get a gift for someone just to give them something because they typically won't use/ wear it.
ex. fill up their gas tank, give them money to pay a bill, take them on a spa day
3. Personalize, no one wants some generic gift that you give to everyone
ex. if you're artistic write them a song, or a poem, paint/ draw a picure. Remember their favorite colors & what they like.
4. Don't be so commercial & save a shopping trip by making gifts that people will cherish, they will appreciate that you spent the time
ex. pot holders, afghans, quilts, doilies, table cloths, coasters
5. Instead of giving people presents give them your presence, they will find you more valuable than any gift you buy
ex. make christmas meal together, have a holiday movie marathon, make gifts for others together, volunteer somewhere together
6. Don't just remember your friends & family at christmas, but your coworkers teachers, & other people you interact with daily
ex. make them cookies (something they can eat & move on (going back to #2))
7. Cards are cheeting, calling & visiting is better. If you think about it people just throw cards away anyway which wastes trees
* Remember that it's better to give than to recieve but that doesn't mean you have to go in debt to do it. When it comes to children they will have so many christmases that they will not remember every new toy you got them.
Peace, Love, & Flowers
Nija

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu Planning

When I hear those words I think tons of food, friends/family, and lots of laughing. The menu this year for us includes a ham, stuffed hen, dressing, mashed patatos & gravy, green bean casserole, rolls and an apple pie. Sometimes it's hard to come up with the perfect menu for you & your guests so here are a few tips that I go by
1. keep in mind any food allergies
-http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com is a great site with recipes and tips
2. remember the number of guests & how many options you want to give them
3. its fall, so think fall flavors (personal culture can influence this)
-desserts: pumpkin, apple, sweet patato, berries, nuts
-vegitables: corn, green beans, patatos, carrot
4. common meats are turkey, ham, hen, & even German sausages. All of them can be served to give variety or pick what your guests typically have to make them feel more at home
-ham glazes: brown sugar, honey bbq, mustard, & smoked (anything fruity is typically Christmas (going back to tip 4))
5. it is important that your sides compliment your main dishes
-simple meat/ fancier sides, fancy meat/ simple side
-flavor simple sides with spices
6. try new things, mix traditional dish up by giving someone elses recipe a go
7. the type of dressing/ stuffing shouldn't be to fancy if there are going to be alot of different foods
8. remember that you won't be able to please everyone & overall your the one who will be left with the leftovers so make sure you like everything

peace, love, & flowers
Nija