How to Write a College Paper: eBook!

After publishing the last segment of my series: Writing a College Paper, I decided to turn it into an eBook. I've had such positive feedback on the series so I hope that after downloading the PDF you'll be able to reference it whenever you need help with writing a paper whether it be in college or high school. 

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I'm Finally an Adult! #It'sMyBirthday

The day has come! I'm finally 18. Yes I was 17 in my first semester of college, and yes it sucked. My roommate also happened to be 17 and our friends called us the babies. Her birthday was December 23 (Happy Birthday Sehar!) and Mine is today, December 29th! So now we are adults! 

For the past couple of months all of my parents were asking what I wanted to do for my birthday, and honestly I didn't want to do anything. It seemed like so much work to throw a big party and I just wanted to relax on my birthday. But I was totally shocked on Saturday. I had spent the afternoon at an outdoor mall in our area with my boyfriend. We had been there for about 4 hours (it was 4pm) and I texted my mom saying I was on my way home. She told me no one was home and our door was locked. Since I don't have a key we just kept shopping.

We both got bored and decided to grab a coffee near my moms apartment building so he could drop me off when my mom got home. We sat in Dunkin' Donuts for an hour! Finally I decided we should just wait in the parking lot of my building, but when we got there my parents cars were there! I was so confused. I buzz in and go upstairs and I didn't notice anything. I was telling my mom all about the cute stuff I had bought that day and had no idea that a surprise party was set up behind her and I was earlier than all my friends. Talk about embarrassing! Early to my own surprise party! 

Nine of my closest friends from high school and elementary school came, and it was so fun! We all just ate, talked about college, and played bingo (insert dying laughing face here) my mom gave scratch tickets out as the prizes! The food was delicious, we all preferred the dino-nuggets and mac n' cheese to the dainty finger sandwiches that were laid out. And we pigged out on brownies and cookies that I had unsuspiciously watched my mom bake that day. 

I'm so lucky to have such amazing parents and friends who planned this, it was so fun! And a big thank you to my two sorority friends for putting their newly found craft skills towards their adorable gifts!

Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes! 

xoxo

AME

Coming Home for the Holidays

It's done.

My first semester of college is O-V-E-R! Finals have ended and I've made the (short) journey home. I started feeling home sick toward the end of finals week. I was craving raspberries and the comfort of my own bed, both of which I enjoyed the second I got home last friday. It's nice to be home. I missed being able to do laundry for free whenever I want and to watch cable TV on my couch instead of the first floor common room of my building. 

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As much as I love being home there are definitely some downsides. I love my family, my complicated screwed up family, but I forgot how stressful it could be to be back living with them full time. Some of my friends from school and floor mates have been wanting to go home since they came back from Thanksgiving Break, but all I can think about now that I'm home is how much I want to be back at school. You're never alone in the dorms, which can be a negative at times, but I love it. I love being able to wake up and hang out with friends all day. I love being able to watch Sex and the City marathons with my closest friends and eating take-out at 10 in the morning. 

Being home is a great feeling. It's relaxing, stressful, cozy, and loving. But as hard as the workload at college is, I still miss it. If I could take my house and out it on my campus and fill it with my three best friends, and have a house next door filled with all my guy friends and boyfriend, I would be the happiest girl ever. But for right now I'm content. My life is finally at a point where I feel stability (something I've wanted my whole life). 

Coming home has made me realize how much I have to be grateful for: 4 parents, 2 brothers, 1 unborn sister, my amazing new friends and a few old friends, and my incredible boyfriend. No matter how crazy my parents houses get, they're my homes. And I wouldn't change anything. 

Welcome Home to all my fellow first-year college students out there! Enjoy it. 

xoxo

AME


How Some of my readers feel about being home:


Writing a College Paper Part VI:

So you've written your first draft and had someone you trust (with their writing opinions) review it. Now it's time to take a serious look at your paper and make some corrections. Before you do anything really read through the comments that your peer editor gave to you. If they didn't leave a lot then ...

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Holiday Dates on a Budget

As a college student, dating another college student, money for dates has dropped significantly since I don't have we don't have our completely disposable high school job incomes to rely on. So for this holiday season I've put together a list of fun dates that won't cost you your entire paycheck or balance in your checking account. 

Holiday Dates on a Budget

Take a Walk

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 7.39.32 PM.png

This is my favorite thing to do in the winter. (before it gets too cold) Bundle up and go to your towns center or downtown in your city and just walk around. Look at all the lights and decorations. Take pictures and goof off. I love to go to little open shopping centers, like Faneuil Hall in Boston, and window shop, see the tree and eat at the little food carts or sip hot cocoa while I'm walking.

Spend a night in   

Take your beau to the grocery store and get some ingredients to make dinner or to bake some goodies. This is fun if you both love to cook, but even more fun if you don't know how. Learn something new together, and then enjoy your home cooked meal. 

Photo from http://eenigwonen.nl/herfst-in-huis-warmte/

Photo from http://eenigwonen.nl/herfst-in-huis-warmte/

If you really hate cooking then go to Target or RedBox and pick up a new movie that neither of you have seen and grab some of your favorite candies and popcorn flavors and make your own movie night. Cuddle up on the couch and enjoy each other company (and your favorite snacks).

Go Ice Skating!

photo found w/o a link on Pinterest

photo found w/o a link on Pinterest

Unfortunately my boyfriend refuses to ever go iceskating in case of embarrassing himself, but I love it!

As long as one of you knows how to skate it can be super fun to teach the other or just skate around each other, race and just have a good time.

Plus it only costs about $10-15 for the both of you, and it's even cheaper if you already own your own skates. 


There's something for everyone in the holiday season, but the most important part about going on dates this time of year is to tai advantage of the things this season has to offer! Don't miss out on the beautiful lights and seasonal decorations! 

xoxo

AME

Mid Week pick-me-ups

So it's finals week, and it's a lot less stressful than I had imagined. Especially after my horrendously stressful time last week. But in my down time between studying, exam taking, and presenting, I've found some little things that have given me a little joy and excitement for this holiday season. 


I discovered Warby Parker after I had purchased my new Tory Burch frames (which I love and couldn't find a link for). Even though I love my frames, my love for fun quirky glasses is still pretty strong and after I saw the Warby Parker winter collection come out I knew I'd never be happy with just one pair of glasses. I mean come on, eyewear is an accessory too! And one pair of black frames definitely doesn't match every outfit. 

Since I know I'm definitely not affording any new frames any time soon I still wanted to share my favorites from their collection. If you've never heard of this company before then you should know they're the TOMs of glasses! Giving a pair of glasses to someone in need with each pair purchased. 

this post was not sponsored by Warby Parker and is completely my own thoughts

The Smart Girls Group Book Club

Every week, since November 24, on Monday the Smart Girls Group hosts a twitter chat book club meeting to discuss their current book: Becoming the Boss, by Lindsey Pollak. I love this book! And I love this book club! But it's not too late to join. You don't even have to read the book, you just have to be interested in the topic that week. 

So next monday at 8pm (EST) if you want to read, or join in on, our chat follow the #smartbooks.

Opportunities Alert!

If you've been wanting to join the Smart Girls Group, or you think you'd like to be apart of a fabulous group of successful and aspiring women, then there are currently two opportunities open: 1. Smart Media Sisters and 2. Social Media Managers. I am currently involved in both, so if you'd like to know more email me or connect with me on social media and I'll be happy to talk to you about them! The links to the applications for both are on the names above. 


Finally, the biggest thing that caught my eye is Mandy Engelman. Over the weekend I read on Facebook about a little six year old girl who was dying and wanted a lifetime of christmas cards for her gifts this year. I sent one out immediately (and had my friends do it too), but then I got a text from Mandy. In the text she asked me to participate in a holiday challenge that she was posting to her blog on Sunday. The challenge is to fulfill this little girls dream and teach us all that the holidays are not only a time for spending money and monetary gifts. I want to ask each of my readers to go to this post, and as a personal favor to me, send this little girl a Christmas card. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas. Send her a holiday card, a Hanukkah or Kwanzaa card. Anything to brighten her day just a little bit more. You can read more about her story on Mandy's Blog.   


Happy Finals Week Everyone! 

xoxo

AME

The Spark Notebook!

This past weekend while I was doing some blog research I stumbled upon this handy dandy new notebook prototype: The Spark Notebook.  This notebook is kind of revolutionary. Now I love the day designer, and I will be using that for my day-to-day planning and goal setting for my daily life next year, but for a blogger, a second planner is kind of necessary. And this one is perfect! 

photo from here

photo from here

Everything is undated, so It's great for people like me who sometimes get to busy to update their planner, because you can just jump right back into using it without wasting pages (or money!) Plus it has so much more than just monthly/weekly/daily calendars, it has everything someone who is running a blog, business, writing a book, or doing any major project other than academic. 

One thing I notice that my blogger friends and I love is colorful pens. But the problem with most planners is that the ink bleeds or runs through the page. But the paper in this well-bound notebook is bleed-proof. 

After using the free printable pages I was emailed (which you can get too just by giving them a shout-out on social media) I kind of fell in love. As a struggling college student I can't afford t pledge the $25 it costs to get the full, physical notebook, but once I can you can bet that I will be ordering and doing a full test-drive. 

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xoxo

AME

An Italian Christmas Tradition

Happy Friday everyone! Today is my first post for the #countdowntoblogmas collab. This week our posts have been all about recipes and traditions and today I want to share with you a recipe that is also a tradition for me and (half of) my family. 

I am by no means 100% Italian if that's what you inferred by the title. I describe my heritage as "European Mutt". But despite my lack of a prevalent italian familial background, my mothers side of the family has kept strong ties, and has strong roots to, and Italian history. Every other year my 'italian family' has a christmas party which we call the Borrocino Christmas party, Borrocino being our family name. One of the staples of this party is what we call Italian Cookies. (the real name for them is anisette cookies)

These are my favorite cookies! I look forward to the holiday season every year for the sole reason that I get to have at least one of these cookies with almost every meal. Now I know that not everyone in the world loves these cookies when they buy them from a store, cause even I don't really love those ones, but the ones we make from home are amazing. 

Recipe 

warning: only use this recipe if you want to make A LOT of cookies: you can scale it down if you only want 100 or less.

click the image or click here for a printable version of the recipe

One of the special things about these cookies is that they are all hand rolled and tied into cookies knots. After you make the dough be sure to kneed it before you either hand roll them. Or you can do the store bought 'dots' look where you simply roll a little ball of dough and bake them, but it's not as fun. I will be doing a video of how to hand roll these later this month when I am back home for the holidays. 

Pre-frosted cookies

Pre-frosted cookies

cookies with frosting and sprinkles 

cookies with frosting and sprinkles 

Be sure to add the sprinkles while the frosting is still wet!! This is super important. 

This was my technical first day ever making italian cookies (my mom was pregnant with me, I was born 1 week later!) 

This is me on frosting duty before I was old enough to roll!

What are some of your holiday season family traditions?

xoxo

AME

P.S. Let me know if you use this recipe! I want to hear your feedback. 

Here are the links to the other posts in the blogger collar so far this week:

A Sprinkle of Kate: Reindeer Cookies 

The Fashion Newcomer: Cookie Exchange Recipe 

Classy Cathleen: Pinterest to Real Life 


The Pledge Life

Over the summer my best friend from home, Sarah, wrote a fabulous 7-day guest post about her experience rushing a sorority, and today she's back again with more. Except this time is not about rushing, but about her first semester of sorority life, and being a pledge. 

if you haven't already read The Rush Diaries, click here

Hello readers, I’m back! I have loved my time in Gamma Phi Beta since Bid Day in August, but I must say I was not well prepared for all of the things I would need. I have been initiated for about a month now, and after all of things I have needed during pledgeship and other activities I realized I should tell all of y’all so you are well prepared! Below I have put a list together of things every girl who joins a sorority should get.

  •  White dress that covers the shoulders- this is important for rituals or ceremonies of any kind. Typically the shoulders must be covered or just use the 3 finger rule is used. 
  • Black dress- Every girl needs a black dress! Why?! 1.) Everyone looks good in black 2.) Always appropriate for any occasion; can easily dress it up or down 3.) It is the perfect thing to wear to swaps/mixers, date parties etc. Just get cute accessories to match the theme
  • Some type of formal dress- Even if you just reuse a prom dress that’s fine! There are always plenty of fraternity and sorority formals so a nice dress is great to have just in case you meet a cute boy on campus
  • School color dress- A dress with at least one of your school colors is a must. Down south, people dress up for football games almost as much as they dress up for church. Every girl here wears dresses to the games, and the guys wear suits. Stocking up on crimson dresses was a must for me.
  • Random props/accessories- at Alabama, we have swaps every week with a fraternity which are essentially themed parities. If you ever danced and had any random accessories bring them!  Anything neon, american flag, plain white shirts, sports jerseys/state apparel, hippie, or animal print items will definitely come in handy for picking something to wear each week. It's definitely better then having to run to Wal-Mart at 10pm the night before to buy something. 
  • Definitely have a pair of black or nude heels, some cute wedges, and a few cute dresses for other events . Also don’t worry about dressing up all the time. At my school oversized t-shirts and nike shorts are basically the uniform because it is so hot out all the time. My drawer in my dorm is so full of t-shirts I literally have to force it to close. There are just too many cute ones to buy.. from football games, to panhellenic events, to philanthropy fundraisers, and the preppy vineyard vines or southern tide shirts I just can’t help myself!

Roll Tide!

Sarah