Key_WestI have never seen water so clear and sand so white! Upon arriving at Key West, the tour bus I was on with about 35 other people dropped us off at the southern most point of Key West and the United States. In fact, we were 90 miles from Cuba! We took photos and then planned the rest of our day on the island. This was an adventure I took on my own. I vaguely knew a few of the other people on the bus from my Disney College Program (blog to come on my experience). I spent half the day navigating the island by myself and the other half with the entire group.

Shortly after I returned from Fort Zach Taylor beach (on a vespa!) I foundKey_Lime_Pie my way to a snack shop by the dock. The wonderful treat I got to try was frozen chocolate covered key lime pie! I’ve never tasted something quite so unique and refreshing in my life. It was perfect after an afternoon on the beach laying in the sand (and stone, ouch!) of Key West.

My next little adventure started soon after my frozen chocolate brain freeze ended. I had purchased a ticket to go snorkeling for $50. I assumed I’d just be swimming around in the water looking at sand and nothing really interesting. Instead we went out on a catamaran and sailed a few miles out into the water to snorkel at a reef! There were roughly 40 people on the ship and we were all given a life vest, flippers, goggles, and a snorkel. The boat’s crew lowered a set of stairs into the water and gave us the go ahead. I waited for about 20 people to go before me (in case of sharks or barracuda we were warned about) and then finally I worked up my nerve to jump in.

SnorkelingThe water was luke warm and had high salt levels (I swallowed enough to know). I began to swim towards the other snorkelers and looked down at the sea floor below. At 15 feet deep I saw sea life that I never thought I would get to see in a natural habitat. There were tons of fish, bottom feeding sharks, some sort of sea snake, little sea turtles, and beautiful coral reefs. It was so peaceful. The first time I ever felt at ease with nature! The sun was incredibly bright, illuminating the sea floor. A school of small clown fish ran into me (literally) and a few turned to look at me and then swam away. After about an hour a half we got back on the boat and sailed back to the dock. The ride back was accompanied by a setting sun, a light breeze, fruity drinks (I had a cherry limeaide mixed with pineapple juice) and reggae music.

It was a beautiful adventure and one I’ll always remember. When we got back into town the sun had set and we went to dinner. The downtown area of Key West was, in my opinion, a little sketchy. Not somewhere I’d take my children but it was great for people watching and a few hysterics. After dinner we boarded the bus to go back to Orlando. Unfortunately a few people were missing and showed up late, one passed out drunk in the back of a pick up truck. When we stopped in Key Largo she had to be taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning. Did I mention she was underage?

Anyway, all around it was a great time and a really nice memory.

What’s your favorite vacation destination? Comment below!

-Liz


Hint: Academics didn’t make this list. 

 

1. You’re on your own

Regent_University

My university’s campus

No one will be holding your hand through this experience. Get used to it. Your advisors are not there to register you for classes or create your life plan. They are there to advise you on what you should do. You have to decide what you will do. 

2. All nighters are stupid

All nighters seem to be a staple in college. On Facebook people are all like “Yeah, pulled an all nighter and drank so much Red Bull!” This is bad for you. Don’t do it. I admit to doing it on several occasions (particularly around mid terms and finals weeks). Unless you’re doing it with friends to keep you awake and totally wired (in this case you probably aren’t getting anything done anyway), then you will end up writing something completely incoherent. I distinctly remember writing a paper that had a paragraph of nonsense that I was thinking about and didn’t realize I was actually writing it down. I was that tired! 

3. Money doesn’t grow on trees

No, Seriously. It doesn’t. Learn how to budget the little money you have so you aren’t running to mom and dad for a loan. I wish I had been smart enough to figure this out. 

Bonus tip: If you think you can afford something expensive, then you probably can’t! 

4. Get a schedule

I cannot tell you how important it is to have some sort of a daily schedule for yourself. It really helps to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it at least during the day. I preferred to keep my days really busy (i.e. homework, exercise, classes) so that my nights and weekends were mine to enjoy. 

5. Work out

Just do it. Besides the freshmen 15 you have the chances of gaining you will be building up stress. Exercise of some sort helps with this. My sophomore year I went to a YMCA across the street from my campus and I would run or lift weights. My stress levels were a lot lower than the year before. I also succeeded in losing some of the 15 pounds I gained the year before. 

6. Be involved

College is a hub of activities, clubs, and committees. Get yourself involved in one of them. Its a great way to be connected to your school and also find people that have the same interests as you. Plus, when you’re looking for summer internships (see next point) you will have something to put on your resume that says you are involved and dedicated. 

7. Intern, intern, intern!

Supreme_Court

Semester in DC (in line for tickets at Supreme Court, we pulled an all nighter)

Internships are a God send. Sometimes. As long as they are paid (all of mine have been) and offer you substantive work to do then you have hit the jackpot. Don’t be afraid to branch out and go to knew places. You really don’t need to be at home with your high school buddies every summer. Just go and make something of yourself to improve your chances of being hired after college. 

8. Read the textbook

I hate reading (thanks to college) but there are definitely times when I wished I had read the textbook. Particularly in my freshman year when I was fulfilling my general education requirements. I found that the best time for me to read was when I had gotten in my pjs for the night with a cup of hot cocoa or tea and just read. Not only did this slowly chip away at all the reading I had to do, it also helped me go to sleep a lot quicker because the material was so boring (bet you didn’t see that coming). 

9. Build your professional wardrobe

After you graduate the world you will be entering is full of suits and pencil skirts. Prepare early. If you see something work appropriate on sale, buy it and save it for your not so far off future. If you do those internships I recommended, then you will be needing these a lot sooner! 

10. Make memories

Don’t live your life in your dorm room. Get out, make friends, take pictures, and savor every last minute of this awesome time in your life. The college years (for most people) really are the best time in their life. It goes by so quickly. I know, everyone says that about something. But its so true. Have fun and live it up!

What were the 10 most important things you learned in college or even high school? Comment below!

-Liz


Girls Can Get Dirty Too!

SelfieLast week I went on a day trip to a fun little place called GoApe. Its mostly for the younger crowd but adults (like my fearless mom) can go too. They strap you in a harness and then let you go and climb through the trees. You go over bridges and on tight ropes, wiggly rope ladders and so much more. The best part? Zip lining!

Despite the girly persona I usually exhibit, I put on my harness and climbed with my sister and her youth group on their crazy outing. I was a chaperone and keeping up with those kids while suspended 30-40 feet in the air is not an easy task. I can’t tell you how much dirt I got in my Sperrys and down my hoodie from shooting down the zip line and hitting the mulch and dirt floor that was there to slow me down. My nails were also ruined in the process. 

By the end of the day all the kids were messy and tired. A lot of great memories were made in the process though. Not to mention most of us overcame our fear of heights! When Climbingpresented with the idea I wasn’t so sure about it, but the thing about life is that you don’t know if you’ll have an opportunity to do something again. So take it. That’s what I did. 

However, there were a few things I wish I had known or brought with me! Here’s my lovely list:

1. Baby wipes

The dirt just never seems to go away and no matter how careful you are you will get dirty. Welcome to nature. 

2. Hand lotion

All the climbing and cool air chapped my hands and it would have been nice to have something that would moisturize afterwords. 

3. Comfy shoes

While I’m convinced Sperrys are made for almost any activity, climbing may not be one of them. Since they don’t tie very tightly I got more dirt and wood chips in them than I thought possible. Bring tennis shoes or climbing boots. 

4. Nutrition bar

The entire course was about 3 hours long and you don’t realize how much energy you’re exerting climbing around. By the end of it I was so hungry! 

There you have it. Next time you want an adventure GOAPE!

What have you done adventurous lately? Comment below!

-Liz


Sometimes I just don’t think we appreciate the little things anymore. We live life so fast and don’t see the small miracles that happen everyday. True happiness is found when you learn to love things that don’t seem to be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life, but in fact they make life grand. 

10 Little Things

Sunset1. The sunset 

2. A bird hopping on the ground

3. The sound of laughter

4. A handwritten letter

5. Soft, warm blanket fresh out of the dryer 

6. The smell of rain coming

7. An old photograph 

Old_Photos

Old photo of my grandma

8. Freshly cut grass 

9. Piano music 

10. Smell of a campfire

What are the little things you enjoy? Leave a comment!

-Liz


6 Tips For an Amazing Easter Basket

Easter_Basket

My sister and I’s baskets! Not pictured is my Tumbler and cute socks!

After a certain age Easter baskets really aren’t the same. The candy doesn’t excite us like it used to and hunting for Easter eggs is out of the question. My mom has always put together a cute basket for me (and I’m 21) and I still love it! Here are a few things that you can put in an Easter back for the kid at heart in your life. 

1. Good candy

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on this but some Ghirardelli chocolate pieces in an Easter basket is very nice! If you buy it in bulk from Ross it can be cheaper (just check the expiration date). 

2. Starbuck’s VIA 

Again, find this at Ross or even Marshall’s. They have the coffee version and then teas also! I love the berry hibiscus pink on they have. If these happen to be too expensive then buy a generic version from Walmart or Target. 

3. Tumbler or Mug

Coffe_mug

Mug from Burlington

There’s nothing better to me than finding a mug I love! Some of the best ones I have found were at Burlington Coat Factory and Vera Bradley! They range in price. One of my faves I found for $1.98 at Burlington. I also bought one at a Vera Bradley outlet for $7! The Tumblers tend to be more expensive but I saw one that was adorable for $4.98 the other day. 

4. Bath or body products

Both guys and girls alike need them and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Twice a year Bath & Body Works does their big semi-annual sale and you can find body wash, soap, body spray, and other little things for up to 75% off. They have a great selection of men’s products too. This sale happens during the summer and then right after Christmas, so stock up early!

5. For the Ladies

Nail polish and cute socks. I get my fave socks at Target for $1.50 a pair and every season they have new patterns and designs. Target also sells N.Y.C. nail polish that ranges from $1-3 a bottle. Not the best brand, but I use it on my toes because no one can see the little chips and mistakes you tend to make with cheaper polish!

6. Go Traditional

Get Peeps. Its a classic and you can’t go wrong. 

On Instagram, I saw one girl had posted her Easter basket for that year and her parents had filled a Lilly Pulitzer bag with Lilly Tumblers, Vineyard Vines baseball hat, Peeps, Souther Proper t-shirt, and Cadbury Creme eggs. Obviously, this was a little excessive and probably cost around $170. You do not have to spend crazy money like that to give someone a great basket! Planning ahead and constantly looking for good deals is what gets you the goods at a great price. 

What do you put in Easter baskets? Do you have a traditional item that goes in?

Comment, like, share!

-Liz


My best friend, Lindsey, has a blog too! She writes about similar things that I do. Head on over to her blog http://lifelovelindsey.wordpress.com/ and follow her! 

-Liz

Live_Love_Lindsey