My Journey in Scenic Painting

This semester, I decided to do something new and outside of my comfort zone…take a painting class! While several members of my family share unique artistic abilities, I have never thought of myself as “artistic.”

Me with my favorite project so far!
Me with my favorite project so far!

At first, I didn’t know anyone in the class, and my painting abilities were nothing to be proud about. But now, it is one of my favorite classes with some of the nicest people I have met, and my painting has definitely improved with practice.

I love how my brick wall turned out! 10+ hrs of hard work!
I love how my brick wall turned out! 10+ hrs of hard work!

I love that it is different than any class that I have taken. It’s a much-needed break between writing papers, reading textbooks and taking quizes!

My advice: each semester, take a class that interests you outside of your major. You meet new people you never would have crossed paths with before, and it saves you from a boring routine of same-old, same-old classes.

My first project: ombre and lines.
My first project: ombre and lines.



Four Fall Fashion Must Haves (And Under $20)

Fall is my favorite clothing season. I have been over wearing shorts for months now and cracked out my fall favorites well over a month ago! Styling in fall is all about layering key pieces that will transition throughout your entire wardrobe. These four key items are my “must haves” for the season and won’t break the bank!


1)   Cozy Scarf

Nothing is better than a cozy scarf to keep you warm during the chilly, crisp, weather of fall. Step outside of the box and pick a new neutral color! Neutral doesn’t mean black, white, brown or grey. Colors like burgundy, minty green or pale pink are a staple and will go with almost any outfit while adding a pop of fun color.

Under $20: – Knit Infinity Scarf $12

Animal print scarf with shimmer stitch detail paired with dusty eggplant field jacket with feminine ruche detail.

2)   Boots

Whether you are wearing a cute feminine dress or a staple like black skinnies, riding boots or slouchy boots add the perfect masculine structure to any outfit. Pair them with textured tights and a sweater dress, or an oversized cable cardigan for that “effortless” look.

Under $20: – Faux Leather Slouch Boots $21.20

(A little over $20, but a great deal for a boot!)


3)   Chambray Shirt

Layering is the name of the game in fall, and a chambray shirt is a wardrobe staple that will help elevate your look to a perfectly polished sweatshirt ensemble.  Worried about getting too hot in class? Go sleeveless!

Under $20:

Forever 21 – Sleeveless Heart Print Chambray Shirt $19.90


4)   Statement Necklace

This probably should have been my #1 since I am obsessed with statement necklaces this season. Adding a “third piece” to your outfit completes your look and ties all of your pieces together. The best thing about a statement necklace is you can wear it at least once a week with countless outfits!

Under $20:

Forever 21 – Colored Gem Statement Necklace $10.80


This white, seed bead necklace has been the perfect addition to many of my wardrobes!
This white, seed bead necklace has been the perfect addition to many of my wardrobes!

How to Survive and Thrive as a College Student

As college students, one skill that is completely necessary to succeed and keep our sanity is juggling. Yes, juggling.

I am not talking about learning how to throw knives or little plastic balls around in a circle above your head. No, I am talking about juggling this crazy little thing called life.


College means that you have a full plate of things to get done. If you are on a sports team juggling practices, games and lifting can get a little overwhelming. If you are in a club or organization you need to juggle group meetings, events, etc.

For me, I juggle two jobs, a boyfriend and a full course load of homework and classes. Some days it seems like something is always getting the short end of the stick. Whether it be realizing that I haven’t had a real, face-to-face conversation with my boyfriend the whole week, or I forgot to study for that quiz or test, something always gets forgotten or put at the bottom of my list.

I have compiled a small list of things that have helped me juggle, but don’t get confused! I am still figuring this out as I go, just like the rest of us.

1)   Back to the necessities!

If you are like me, you say yes to things without even considering the consequences (or ramifications). Yes to another job, yes to hanging out with friends when you have homework, yes to helping out a friend moving, etc.!

Last semester, I had three jobs to juggle…yes three. Every night I found myself so stressed about the things that I wasn’t getting done that I had to make a change. I chose the two jobs that I liked the most and said sayonara to the other. I also asked for a lighter work schedule (20 hours a week versus 30+), which helped a lot. The truth is, work will always be there, but you only live once! It isn’t worth it to take on too much.

This brings me to my second tip:

2)   Get a daybook or planner and get organized!

In order to be organized, I keep a detailed schedule of when and where I am working each day and all of my homework and assignments. Some people make fun of me for color-coding it and checking it every day, but without it, I wouldn’t be able to keep track of anything!


My work schedule changes every week and I frequently work weekends, so it’s important for me to know when I have “free time” to complete assignments or focus on friends and my relationship. Every week, I know when I need to devote my time to what, which helps keep things from not getting done.

3)   Give yourself free time and enjoy the little things

To be honest, one of the things that I enjoy every day is to take five minutes and get a bagel with cream cheese from the Bistro in Gordon Science Center and relax. That little time to myself allows me to clear my head and not think of school, assignments or work.

Whether it is grabbing a milkshake from Voss on Fridays or turning off your phone and watching a movie in your room every Monday, find something that helps you relax and clear your head.

BTW…I would love my “me time” to be watching a movie or getting my nails done, but I just don’t have the time. With 6 or 7 day work weeks, I try to find something that I can do every day that I enjoy and my time, and budget, allows.

4)   Relationships need time, so be creative!

It is no secret that when you are in a relationship, you have to spend time with that person for the relationship to be successful. When you have a very busy schedule and are constantly juggling, finding time with your special someone has to get creative.

My boyfriend and I try to squeeze in any time together as possible. This means going over to his house after work for an hour or so after my shift that ends at 10 p.m. or going on the infamous “Library Dates”.  These, by no means AT ALL, replace a nice day trip or night out, but with crazy schedules, they help us get through until our days off.


My suggestion is to find something that you both like to do, doesn’t require a lot of time or money, and allows both of you to actually enjoy each others company. My boyfriend and I love to grab dinner to go and eat at the train station in downtown Utica. We sit, talk, eat and place bets on when the next train is set to go by. I know it sounds boring, but when you have a great person to be with like I do, any time is a great time.

(DISCLAIMER: I hereby officially call dibs on the train station as our date night spot. Even though it is a public place, it is officially known as “Our Spot” and cannot be taken by any other couple. Sorry, not sorry J) .

Do you have any ideas on how to juggle life as a college student, I would love to hear them! Comment below with suggestions, questions, etc….and happy j


How to Make Life Go the Way You Want

BREAKING NEWS: Life doesn’t always work out the way that you thought it would. I know, shocker!

Sorry for the misleading title, but if you think that there is a magic way to make life go the way you want, let me be the first to tell you that it doesn’t exist! The only thing that you can control is how you react to the things life throws at you.

Everyone has those days that all you want to do is put on sweatpants and your favorite sweatshirt, crawl back into bed, and watch reruns of 90s shows all day long. Although this is acceptable on a Sunday or when you are sick, when you have classes, exams and homework, it is not the wisest choice.

90s Nick

Therefore, we must make the best out of those days. Here are a few of my tips for making your day better…or at least more tolerable.

1)   Eat what you want. Treat yourself to your favorite food, sugary guilty pleasure, or whatever else you are craving! Usually, I try to stay away from fast food, but when I am having a bad day, I let myself have whatever I want. Sometimes just a Hershey’s chocolate bar with almonds is just what I need! In the midst of the craziness and stress of school, work, family and everything else life throws at me, it’s nice to have a few minutes just to enjoy a little treat.


2)   Find the Funny Moment of the Day. This is something that my mom does all the time. No matter how her day is going – and usually it is pretty stressful – she tries to find that one moment that makes her laugh. I don’t know how many phone calls I have gotten from her telling me her “Funny Moment of the Day.” The other day, my FMOTD was I saw these two girls driving in their car…with their coffee cups on the roof! I couldn’t help but laugh when it flew off and splattered all over the college parking lot. When you are having a bad day, find something that makes you laugh – laughter is the best medicine and moms are always right!

Mother Knows Best – Video

3)   Be Positive. We all do it, even with out noticing! We get into cycles of complaining and always finding the negative side to things. Set a goal to not say anything negative the entire day. You will find that your mood will change, your day will seem less traumatic, and who knows, people may even like you better!


4)   Make the Best Out of It. My grandpa always tells me, “Every change is an opportunity.” In the middle of change, this may not seem like great advice, and all you want to do is find someone to vent or complain to (remember #3?). Instead of finding your next victim to corner and unleash your worries and stress on, step back and thing about the situation and find something good in the change. Ask yourself, “Are there any new opportunities with this change? Can I adjust to this change and make this change work?” If the answers are yes, buckle up and just go for the ride and see how it all plays out. You never know!

Do you have a tip for getting though a rough day, or how to make it better? Share it in the comments section below!


Did Cinderella Ever Get Her Slipper? Nope!

Earlier this month, I attended the UC Performing Arts’ production of “Cinderella Waltz.” (Some of you may remember from my last post). I knew that I wasn’t about to see an average, Happily-Ever-After fairytale, but the great acting and quirky characters had the entire audience laughing and having a great time.

Cinderella Waltz

The basis of the play was Rosey Snow (Cinderella) lives at home with her Step Mother, Father and two Step Sisters – one who hates the world and only smiles once in the whole show and one who didn’t stop smiling, laughing, giggling or flirting! Through a series of quirky events, the Step Mother forces the Prince to give them 3 tickets for his royal ball where he is to find a wife.


My favorite part of the production was when ever the Fairy Godmother (I’m pretty sure she had a Boston accent) would come from the water well, the lights would get turned down, disco music would play and a disco light would shine! This proved to be very humorous during serious or intense scenes!


In the end, the Prince DOES NOT fall in love with Rosey Snow! She didn’t even try on her glass slipper…she threw it down the well! Here are the “relationship” outcomes of the play….the Prince falls in love with the angry Step Sister…I did not see that one coming! The other Step Sister falls in love with a Troll. As for Rosey Snow, she falls in love with the Village Idiot who turns out not to be an idiot. Hope I didn’t lose anyone while explaining those crazy love triangles!

During my theatre class the following week, I was able to climb inside the well and see how they snuck people in and out of it!

Cinderella Walt-  Well

You may also remember from my last post that I hid my initials while painting part of the set! Here is a close up…can anyone spot it??


Overall, I really enjoyed the show, but if you went expecting the traditional tale of Cinderella and how she met her Prince Charming…you were quickly awoken! I can’t wait to see what the theatre group performs next!



A Class Outside My Comfort Zone: My Experience

As a public relations junior, I am in a different spot than most. I only have three more major-related courses left to take, but I still need at least 25 more credits to graduate.

This means that for the Spring ’14 semester, I could take almost any class that I wanted to – and I wanted to take something different and outside my comfort zone!

comfort zone

This may sound easy to pick any class that sounds interesting…but it wasn’t. I wanted a very flexible schedule to allow me to put in plenty of work hours – which meant having Tuesdays and Thursdays off. My options were limited, but I ended up choosing one “outside the box” course.

THE 115: Introduction to Theatre

            I have always loved going to the theatre to see shows, and I have even performed in a few during high school. Since this class was an intro class, I was worried that I would stick out amongst the sea of freshmen. I also did not want to take on a large workload for a class that is just an elective to me. So far, I am really enjoying the class.

Highlights from the class:

Painting part of the set for UC’s “Cinderella Waltz” :

We were required to complete at least 3 hours as part of the theatre crew for the upcoming play, “Cinderella Waltz”. During that time, we would paint, hang lights, use a jigsaw to cut out scenery – you name it! It was not only a great time to learn some new skills (like how to use a power drill), but I also met some great people! Next week, we are required to attend the production, and it will be cool to see the work that we did and how it came together!

Paint Bucket

*A classmate and I may or may not have hidden our first initials while painting some of the scenery…an artist has to sign their work! It’s pretty hidden and unnoticeable but I am definitely going to look for them this week to see if it wasn’t painted over. (I’m hoping its still there!)

Acting Exercise #1

During class, we were given a short 10-line script that was very basic. Our task was to act out any scene that we wanted while sticking to the script. The lines were pretty generic, such as Hi, How are you?, What time is it? etc.

Each group, although we all had the same script, interpreted and performed a completely different scene. Some were angry, some flirty, some creepy…we had it all! The most memorable was two men in the doctors office (the doctor used Beats headphones for a stethoscope) and a teacher and an annoying student. It was fun to just relax, have fun and be creative for a little bit; a nice change from presentations and lectures.

Acting Exercise #2

This was my favorite. It was a mix between charades and improv. We were given a topic and had to all freeze in a position that would help the other team guess what our topic was. The other group in the class drew the topic wrestling match. All of the people in the group were frozen in the middle of “fights” and one girl was frozen standing on a table about to jump into the middle of one of them.

Our group drew the circus which was a little difficult to do…but the second round we drew the Olympics! Being oh so creative, we decided to be the Olympic rings. There were five of us and we all held our arms in a circle with three people standing and two kneeling. Instantly (before the fifth member could get into position) the other group guessed our topic! We definitely deserved an Oscar!


The People

The best part of this class is by far the people. I have already made some great friends that I have made many memories with. This is the best reason for taking a class outside your normal comfort zone…you meet people you never would have! In my public relations classes, I usually walk into them on the first day and know 90% of the people around me – which is great! But sometimes, its nice to see fresh faces and meet new people.


In the end, at graduation, we are not going to look back and remember the time we spent on each assignment, or the all nighters we pulled to cram for that final exam. What we will remember while standing on that stage are the amazing memories we made with the amazing people that we met. And those things, are also the things that we will miss.


5 Tips for Choosing the Best Classes

With registration this week, I figured I would share a few of the things I have learned about picking the right classes for you and your schedule.

1) Don’t schedule 8 a.m. classes if you don’t have to.

If you are not a morning person, enrolling in 8 a.m. classes will not change this. Every morning will turn into a battle with you and your pillow and your class will look less appealing each day. Instead, schedule classes during the day or night.

8am Class Alarm

2) Want to skip the parking spot hassles?

Schedule classes around lunch time, like 12 or 1 p.m. Most people will be out to lunch or are done with classes for the day, which frees up parking spots.

3) Go to group advising sessions if they are available.

I just attended my first one a few weeks ago and it made choosing classes a lot easier. At the meeting, all of the teachers for my major (Public Relations/Journalism) all talked about the classes they will be teaching. It provided insight into the classes (or teachers) that are not the right fit for me, and those that I would have never chosen. Also, they might let you know if the classes being offered this semester will or will not be offered in the future….Oh! And there was free pizza!

Deciding what classes you need to take can be difficult. Attend group advising sessions or individual sessions so you can sort through your options.
Deciding what classes you need to take can be difficult. Attend group advising sessions or individual sessions so you can sort through your options.

For example, this semester I will be taking a class on the Olympics, and the public relations aspects behind the iconic games. Just hearing the professor talk about the class and the things that we would learn got me interested in the topic…even though I had never been interested in the Olympics before. I also learned that this class won’t be offered again until 2016, so this was my only chance to take it.


When it’s your time to register, sign up for your classes at that exact time. Classes fill up quickly, especially ones that count for core credits. During my first semester, I waited too long to register for a history class. I ended up taking an 8 a.m. class that I was not interested in at all.

When you go to register, don't forget your pin! You need to get it from your advisor in order to add or drop classes.
When you go to register, don’t forget your pin! You need to get it from your advisor in order to add or drop classes.

5) Talk to people. 

Nothing is worse than signing up for a class that is not the right fit for you. Whether it be the work load, the professor, or the material, you want to know what you are getting your self into. Talk to the people in your current classes to find out if they have taken the class, or know someone who has.

This semester, I had to complete my core credits with a non-lab science. I am not a sciencey person at all, and wanted to find out what class would be best for me to take. I asked many people about the science that they took, if they liked the class, and what the difficulty was. Through this, I found a science that both interested me and had a difficulty level that I could handle.


Winter in Upstate, NY for $10 or Less

Even if you have lived here for your entire life, winter in Upstate, NY can seem like a cold, dreary time with nothing to do. But this is not the case! There are plenty of things to do (both inside and outside) that won’t break your college-student-size budget.


Ice Skating:

Did you know that there is an ice skating rink about 10 minutes from campus? The New Hartford Recreation Center offers ice skating Tuesday through Sunday. For just $5, you can skate as long as the rink is open and get in the winter/holiday mood. Skates can be rented for $5 as well. Check out the rink’s schedule for more information.

Art Museums: 

Once the winter weather comes, finding inside activities are key for snowy weekends and days that you just want to stay warm. Local art museums, like the one on campus or the Munson Williams Museum of Art, always have new exhibits coming and going that compliment their permanent collections.

The Munson Williams Art Museum, only five minutes from campus, is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. More than six exhibits are featured through out November along with their permanent collection. One exhibit, “Robert Indiana from A to Z,” will feature the works of the artist Robert Indiana, who actually spent some time in Utica. You may recognize his works from the image below! Check out the Museum’s website for more information.


The Edith Langley Barrett Fine Art Gallery is located in the lower level of the library on the College campus and is FREE and open to the public. From Nov. 4 through Dec. 6, the gallery will feature the works of the Utica Camera Club, which is composed of camera enthusiasts, both amateur and professional. The club, established in 1923, also hosts monthly photography competitions and challenges. Check out the Utica Camera Club’s page for more information.

Lights on the Lake:

The Lights on the Lake is one of my favorite thing to do during the winter. It is one hour from campus, but provides the perfect opportunity for one last road trip before the end of the semester. Lights on the Lake is a two-mile drive-through show that features thousands of displayed Christmas lights, accompanied by Christmas music played through your car radio. Admission is $10/ car Monday through Thursday, or $15/car during Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I suggest that you get together with friends, (including one that owns a car) and all drive together. If about 5 people arrive in one car, that is only $2/person! You can also stop and get hot chocolate and cookies on your way to enjoy during the show. Lights on the Lake starts Nov. 21 and goes through Jan. 12. Click here for more information.

christmas lights

Turning Stone Casino:

Only 20 minutes from campus, the Turning Stone Casino is a great place to enjoy the holidays…even on a budget! Its annual Gingerbread Village and giant Christmas tree are quite the spectacles. The Gingerbread Village is a collection of houses, mansions, etc. all made out of gingerbread, candy and icing. Last year, the display was more than 50 feet long! There is no charge to view the village or the Christmas tree, so you can spend your money on coffee and dessert or other activities in the casino. 

The Utica Zoo: 

During the winter season, the Utica Zoo offers reduced admission, as well as snow shoe rentals! With a valid college student ID, admission to the zoo is only $3.50, and snow shoes can be rented for $2.50/hr. In addition to the many snow shoe trails and outside exhibits, the zoo also features several inside, heated buildings, such as the Primate Building, Wildlife Hall and gift shop. For only $6you can see snowy owls, monkeys, red pandas and more all only five minutes from campus! Check out the zoo’s map here!

Sea Lion

Have any other ideas for things to do during the winter? Share your ideas and/or experiences!


Midterms: 7 Tips to Help You Ace Them

It’s that time of year again…midterm season. The time when the library is packed, cobwebs have been dusted off of textbooks, and a paper, test or project is due in every class (and usually on the same day). BUT before you get overwhelmed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel….homecoming starts Friday!

So follow these tips to ace your midterms, and hopefully you can enjoy the events this weekend.

1) Start Now…like right now!

Well, actually wait until you finish reading this post. But after, start! First create your study plan. Schedule what subject you will study on what days (or for those who are in a time-crunch, what hour you will study each subject). Then, create an outline of each topic you want to study and the key points and highlights for that topic.

2) Pick the perfect place

Choosing a nice quiet space where you can focus is important. Studying on your bed, in Strebel Student Center, or in the caf will not help you ace those midterms; they have too many distractions. Instead, find a spot in the library with plenty of room and privacy.

One of my favorite places to study are the computer labs in Hubbard Hall or the Library Basement. These rooms are usually very quiet and have are rarely crowded!
One of my favorite places to study are the computer labs in Hubbard Hall or the Library Basement. These rooms are usually very quiet and have are rarely crowded!

3) Unplug and Disconnect

This tip, is one of the hardest to do. Checking Twitter, Facebook or Instagram every five minutes has become routine, especially when we don’t want to study or work on assignments. According to “Top 10 Tips for College Midterm and Final Exams,” turning off your cell phone and shutting down social media for at least one hour will help you accomplish a lot.

 4) Cut the Junk 

Even though it’s easy, skipping meals or eating junk food from the vending machine will not help you ace those midterms. Plan time in your study schedule to have regular meals, and pack yourself some “brain foods” as snacks. According to the Huff Post Healthy Living, here are some super foods that can help keep your brain in tip-top shape:

  • Walnuts
  • Berries
  • Coffee (could also carry you through an all-nighter too!)
  • Dark Chocolate (yum!)
  • Avocados


Berries, walnuts, chocolate and coffee can boost your brain power during midterms!
Berries, walnuts, chocolate and coffee can boost your brain power during midterms!

5) Meet with your professor

If you have time, go to your professor’s office hours and talk to them about the topics that seem too big to tackle. They may even give you key topics to study, and give you a heads up if you are focusing too much on a less-important topic.

6) Take a Break

After a few hours of studying, take a little break so you do not burn out. 10-15 minutes is enough time to stretch, get some fresh air, and have a little snack.

7) Sleep

Giving your mind and body time to rest and relax before a big exam is important. If you walk into a midterm exhausted, you will not be able to think clearly. Six to eight hours the night before will give you the energy you need to make it through the test.



About Me

Hi everyone! As my first post, I thought I would introduce myself and talk about why I chose Utica College and some of my experiences so far:

I have lived in Central New York my whole life, but love to travel all over! My most recent vacation was to California this past spring with my parents and brother. We went to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Hollywood. My favorite part was the “Back Stage Tour” where I saw the sets and props from The Mindy Project, The Voice and Back to the Future. (I am a big TV fan, I watch pretty much anything and everything!)

Since I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a teacher, and even after graduating high school I still believed that. I had only applied to one school, the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY, and the night before my first deposit was due, I completely changed my mind. I decided that St. Rose was not for me…at all, and my mom suggested that I visit Utica College. So it was May, only a few weeks from graduation, and I quickly applied to UC with the help from my school’s guidance counselor. The admissions staff at UC was SO helpful and I was admitted and registered for classes for the coming fall semester.

After sitting in my first education class, I realized that I could not do this for the next four years, let alone my whole life! Through a variety of classes and the help from advisers, I found that I love the field of public relations.

Two years later, I know I made the right decision. UC has given me something that no other college could have; the opportunity to find out what I really wanted to do! I am sure that if I had attended any other school, I would not have had the support from advisers and professors that I did here. I know that i also would not have had such great experiences, and would have never met the life-long friends that I did.