Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Must Have Items in Your College Pantry

When I think back to what I had in my college dorm room food wise, it was pretty much Swedish fish, popcorn, almonds, and the occasional granola bar. I was really lazy when it came to cooking and let myself live off the dining hall's selection instead of trying to make anything on my own. Louisa from Living Lou is sharing her suggestions for a well-stocked college pantry. (If only I could rewind time!)

5 Must Have Items in Your College Pantry
Guest Post by Louisa from Living Lou

My college experience is a little different from most because: A) I lived at home all four years and B) I am a food blogger. So why does that make me different? Well, being at home is a no-brainer, but being a food blogger (I started my blog in 11th grade), means that the food I ate and cooked throughout my college experience wouldn’t be what is considered “normal.” So, for this post, I did some crowd-sourcing and ran a poll throughout my graduating class (we were a small class, about 40 students, I graduated from a really small film and media production program) and asked my friends what were their “must have” pantry items throughout college, that were both affordable and simple, here’s what they said.

1. Frozen fruits and vegetables 

Frozen fruits and vegetables are often more affordable than fresh produce and are available year-round. Because the produce are frozen when they are at their peak, they have a high nutritional value. I love adding frozen fruits to smoothies, or even eating it as a snack. One of my friends suggested throwing some frozen vegetables (just cook them according to package directions) with rice and either beans or tuna for an affordable, simple and healthy dinner. 

Try it: Add some ginger to your morning smoothie with a tropical ginger smoothie

2. Peanut butter 

Peanut butter is versatile and packed with protein, you can often find bulk-sized tubs that are more affordable. Peanut butter and banana wraps are a popular snack or lunch amongst my friends, but you can also make sandwiches or enjoy it as a snack with apple slices. 

Try it: My go-to breakfast for one has peanut butter, yogurt and fruit for a satisfying start to the day.

3. Potatoes 

I was surprised to find potatoes to be a popular choice, but when you think about it, it makes sense. They are affordable and you can really do anything with them, plus they last for a long time if stored properly (store them in a cool, dark place). Try making french fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, potato soup, or roasted potatoes. 

Try it: Find your inner Canadian with my great Canadian potato salad.

4. Canned beans and canned tuna 

You can find canned beans and canned tuna for under $1 which is an incredibly affordable source of protein. When I’m really busy, I’ll often eat a can of tuna for lunch with an apple and some yogurt, but beans and tuna are the sort of thing that you can add to a salad or rice for a simple, affordable meal.

Try it: Tuna and white bean salad uses both of these for a simple and healthy salad – I’ll often bring this for lunch. 

5. Eggs 

Eggs work for everything; breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m known to make scrambled eggs no matter what the time, but you can hard-boil them for an on-the-go snack, fry them up in the morning or bake them with some tomato sauce for shakshuka.

What were your “must have” pantry items for your college pantry? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Scuba Diving in Bonaire

If you're following along on Instagram and Snapchat, you may have noticed that I'm currently in Bonaire for a scuba diving trip. Garrett convinced me to sign up for a class to learn how to dive this summer. (If you're in the New York City area, I highly recommend Ocean Blue Divers– it was an amazing course.)

I've been a little apprehensive about this trip as we're diving a lot and I feel like such a beginner. We had the option to finish our open water certification in a lake in Pennsylvania, but this trip seemed like such a better option considering once we finish our certification (the first few dives there) we're good to go. Wish me luck...

This trip comes at a little bit of a stressful time considering the move we just did and back-to-school season, but at the same time maybe it's the perfect time to take a little vacation. I'm excited to soak up the last bit of summer (and celebrate my 26th birthday!) down there. 

Here's a few of the things I packed:

Anyone else a scuba diver?!

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dixieland Collection Seersucker Pajamas Giveaway

I firmly believe one can never have too many cute pajama sets. I love wearing them to bed of course, but I also love spending a lazy day indoors watching movies or reading while wearing something comfortable and still cute. 

The Dixieland Collection is gearing up to release their new fall line of pajamas and, whoa, they are cute. They're made out a super soft combed cotton and genuine seersucker material. And they're made in America!

The detailing is really what takes the pajamas to the next level. I love the pocket detail on the tank and there's even a bow on the back (you can see how the bow looks for last spring's collection).

The pajamas will be released soon, so this is your chance to claim a set early! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Back to College Q&A with Skype and Kevin Droniak

I'm really excited to be partnering with Skype this year as an online Resident Advisor. Skype was one of the ways I stayed connected with my family and high school friends. Also, as I've mentioned numerous times on here (hello broken record!), my freshman year was particularly rough. Because of my own struggles while transitioning to college life, it's a mission of mine to help freshman adjust better! I learned a lot the hard way and I hope you can pick up a few tips from my mistakes to make your own transition to college as smooth as possible!

I recently chatted on Skype with Kevin Droniak (the vlogger behind This Kid Needs Medicine– those hilarious videos with his grandma in the car!) to help answer some of his college questions before he starts his freshman year like how to do laundry or stay organized for class. 

To learn how you can get involved and to find out how to ask me your own questions about college life, visit here!

Thank you Skype for sponsoring this post!
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On My Radar

I'm slowly but surely adjusting to living in Connecticut. Actually it's going really well, it's just a little different and there are tons of lose ends from the move. Balancing the usual workflow, tying up those loose ends, and prepping for our trip to Bonaire (tomorrow!!!) I'm feeling a little loopy crazy. 

Let's jump right into what's been on my radar this week:

I thought this was a really interesting article. I personally don't follow a lot of brands on Instagram because they feel too "glossy." Looks like a lot of brands are experimenting with different photography than traditional marketing ads. Combined with Instagram's latest update to allow vertical and horizontal images (as opposed to only square!) and I think we're going to see a lot of brands embracing new strategies on Insta.

I did an interview with Career Contessa earlier in the summer and it's finally live! Would love for you to check it out. (Makes me miss my bedroom wallpaper, ha!)

"I wish I had lived my life differently." That to me is one of the most terrifying sentences. I think it's never too late to change course but I also want to try to make the best decisions I can when it comes to how I live my life, both in terms of work and self. I've definitely gone down the path of working somewhere with less than ideal conditions and expectations and now I work for myself where every day I have to balance my well-being and my professional endeavors. One of the last lines from the article that really resonated with me: "If you’re going to devote the best years of your life to work, do so intentionally."  

Garrett and I got a Costco membership when we moved to Connecticut. The day we signed up, everyone was walking out of Costco with a watermelon in their cart. Literally everyone. Obviously we got one too because all I could think about was digging into the watermelon when we got home. LOVE this trick for cutting watermelon!

Considering my birthday is right around the corner (gulp, 26), I loved this video about advice through the ages... you definitely have to watch through the end ;)

Anything great on your radar?

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Coats I'm Eyeing...

Coats are one of the most exciting things to me when it comes to cooler weather. Having grown up mostly in Florida, all I ever wanted when it was "back to school" time was one of those cute corduroy coats I'd see in the catalogues. (Remember when back to school shopping was done from a catalogue?!)

When I went to Georgetown, I had one coat. A sturdy black peacoat that I was finally allowed to buy as a senior in high school before a journalism trip to Philadelphia. That coat still hangs in my closet and I wear it frequently in the wintertime. (Seen here last I believe!)

Moving "north" to DC gave me the perfect excuse to really grow my coat collection. It's really grown significantly over the past few years. I swear, I don't always love the cold, but having a closet of coats I love eases the pain. 

I've been noticing that the sun is going down earlier and earlier, and while I don't really want to admit it, fall is creeping in. Don't get me wrong, I'm hanging onto summer for dear life, but I know the inevitable is around the corner.

Here are three coats that I have my eye on for fall...

Barbour Waterproof Quilted Jacket | I love the hood and the elbow patches, but the waterproofing is a huge bonus. I have a weakness when it comes to Barbours, don't tell Garrett that I'm eyeing this. 

J. Crew Stadium Cloth Anorak | I love that this coat has a little bit of an unexpected twist: a classic anorak in a wool (just like the peacoats).

Ralph Lauren Faux Leather Trim Quilted Jacket | One word: LOVE. The only problem? Having to decide between navy and olive!!!


PS This jacket is a STAPLE in my opinion for fall! It looks great with everything from striped tees to white jeans
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