A former Bachelorette contestant texted me to start blogging again..and HERE I AM!

Hey babes, hey!

Hope you’re still sparkling and shining because I am back! Let’s pop the champagne, raise a glass, and throw some confetti in the year, shall we?

But honestly, it feels like a complete dream that I am currently posting on Sparkle and Shine again. Time and time again, I sat in front of my laptop in my office, while on NJ Transit, or even on my phone with the intent to start a blog post. But after commuting in and out of the city, every time I sat down to work and create blog content, I ended up getting distracted by a text message from a friend that I wasn’t able to answer in a few hours or wanted to get away from the screen after spending 9 hours in front of it at work. Then, on the weekends, I would make as many plans as possible to try and have some work-life balance.

After connecting through work on a professional level with former Bachelor contestant Jamie Otis, her and I quickly formed a friendship. While recently eating some of the yummiest crab cakes ever in New York City, I started chatting with Jamie about my blog (for those of you who don’t know, on top of being a nurse, a mom, and hosting Married At First Sight Unfiltered, Jamie also runs a blog. What A #GIRLBOSS!), and chatting through the hurdles of trying to get back into blogging, finding the time to do so while juggling a full time job as a PR gal and a work-life balance! Jamie, being the total ray of sunshine that she is, helped encouraged me to find the balance and make my time. After her encouraging words that day, and a text that evening as additional kick-in-the butt encouragement, I am here. I am back and plan on being better than ever.
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Here’s to what Sparkle and Shine will bring through the end of the year, and into 2019! Cheers!

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I graduated…..now what?

Well, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Quinnipiac University on Sunday (despite being scared out of my mind to do so).

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And what has post grad life given me so far? A lot primetime The Price is Right specials, naps, and trying to get a hold of this adult thing.

To save some breathe for when everyone asks “what are you ACTUALLY doing post grad?” I decided to just share it with the whole wide world on Sparkle and Shine. 

Starting on Monday, I began my online Master’s courses for Interactive Digital Design from Quinnipiac. I’m excited to dive more into learning coding, Adobe programs, and different multimedia techniques. It’s definitely going to be harder than any of my other classes from my Undergrad years at QU, but I’m very excited to get started. Plus, I’m lucky to have my mom, grandparents, aunts, and best friends as an amazing support system for whenever the going gets tough.

I’ve been in love for the past three years – with Sparkle and Shine. I’ve loved coming up with what I want to write about, putting the piece together by creating graphics and typing the story, sharing it on social media, and watching everything come together. I’m hoping that with my Master’s in IDD and my undergrad degree, I will be able to further my professional career and Sparkle and Shine.

More importantly, since I will be living at home, I will not have as many responsibilities on my plate. As you readers know, I was constantly boggled down with Res Life, my sorority, my school television station, a full-time course load, and so much more. Now, I will have so much more spare time to focus on the Sparkle and Shine blog and video blog. I’m hoping that with my spare time and my new Master’s courses, I will be able to continue Sparkle and Shine and all of its contents.

In the meantime, here’s to sparkling through the next few months as I begin this post-grad journey!!

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Thanks Square Cash for making going out so much easier!

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions are my own.

Thank you Her Campus Media, Inc. and SquareCash for the opportunity and compensation for this post.

I’ve got to admit something to you, readers. Sometimes, going out is hard.

No, I’m not talking about the hours you spend doing your hair and makeup, the dozens of pictures you send of potential outfits in a GroupMe to your best friends (only to wear the first outfit, of course), or deciding whose house is going to be the first stop of the night before even heading out.

I’m talking about figuring out the monetary aspects.

Whose going to pay for the Uber this time? Who paid last time? And of course, Jackie forgot cash for the cash-only club’s entrance fee, so now what?

Why would I not just pay for everyone’s drinks since I got to the bartender first and we are totally on a first name basis, right? Or the fact that Dominoes is so not about to break up a $100 dollar order for your drunk pizza onto ten different debit cards, so who just got paid last and can throw it on their card?

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

And want to know what else is familiar, when all of the calculations for who was going to pay who and how much really goes out the window when the third margarita is served and the newest Nicki Minaj jam is bumping through the bass.

Now you don’t need to worry because Square Cash has made it easy for you!

ACTUAL USE

Square Cash is a free app that allows anyone to quickly send money between their friends or even get paid for doing business. There’s no “cashing out” which means that the money gets deposited right into your bank account. This means that if the mom of the kid you are babysitting for wants to just send you your payment over the app, she will deposit it directly into your bank account from her bank account. No need to stop at the ATM! Plus, it is free to use between friends!

Not only is it super simple to use and works exactly how it should, it’s safe and secure. Plus, in a world where we want to get everything done quick, using this app is the quickest way to pay your friends! All you need to do is download the Square Cash app, link up your debit card, then start sending money to your friends. You can even request them to send you the funds.

So how do I know that this is all this super easy? Because my friends and I use the app! We all downloaded it because as I mentioned above, we got tired of always trying to figure out who owed who what and then trying to backtrack ourselves during breakfast the next morning to figure out who owed who what. Sometimes there is just not enough coffee in the world to help you do math! So now, we would have someone put it on their card, quickly divide the amount spent on our phone’s calculators by the amount of people it was split between, and then send the money right on over to whoever it belonged to. It was so quick and easy we were able to do it in while waiting on line for the bars, waiting on the bathroom line, or even on the dance floor after we checked our text messages. Going into my senior year, I know that this app will definitely be a necessity on my phone and should be on yours, too!

To find out more, check out the app‘s Twitter and Facebook page!

And to see exactly what it’s like to go out with my friends and I, stay tuned for another video blog coming very soon! This one will detail our recent trip to Atlantic City for our friend Jamie’s 21st birthday. Catch a preview from the pic I posted on my Instagram.

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Guess Whose Back…Back Again! {Special Monday Musts}

Guess whose back….tell a friend!

Well, it’s not Eminem, readers – it’s me!

Now that recruitment is over and I have 49 beautiful new sisters, I’m able to get back down into the wonderful word of blogging!

I’ve missed blogging so much recently and was reminded about how much I love it during a recent trip out with my best friend.

After breaking my iPhone (whoops), my best friend and I went to the local Apple store to get it fixed. While out, we decided to get Shake Shack and skip the usual cafe food. While ordering, I was asked if I was Sami from “Sparkle and Shine” – I was so surprised!

Julia and I both starred with our mouths dropped. I felt like a mini celebrity; like Paris Hilton before the “Simple Life” gig or Bieber before the YouTube discovery. It turned out to be Emma from The World According to Emma, another college blogger. It was by far one of the coolest moments of my life!

Besides being a mini-celebrity, I’ve been super busy.

I’ve been working on my broadcasting skills. This past week I was the entertainment anchor for my school’s TV station, Q30, and did a package for one of our entertainment segments, #That. Check them out –

Plus, I’ve been getting down and derby with my sisters.

As an Executive Board Member of my sorority, I plan events for our sisters. This past weekend, I executed our first ever Bowties and ADPis event, a Kentucky Derby themed Grab-a-Date on our quad. Sisters and their dates dressed in their floppiest hats and brightest bowties and spent the day playing croquet and other yard games. I brought my best friend, Ben, because there is no one I know who is willing to get fratty and dress preppy! Here’s one of the many pictures of us-

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But readers, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally be back!

Recruitment is over and I am finally back into my blogging groove. I have so many posts planned, so get set…get ready…because Sparkle and Shine is about to really shine.

But, make sure you shine, too, readers! Have a great week and keep sparkling!

 

 

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“Life Moves Pretty Fast…..”

Hey readers, so I have been a little M.I.A. recently.

No, I didn’t end up in Australia after entering the witness protection program like Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen did in Our Lips Are Sealed.

Nor did I go to Abu Dhabi with my best friends in a Sex and the City 2 like manner.

Instead, I took a breather. I just simply took a break.

My entire life is based off of a time schedule and my Lilly planner. I have many things on my plate – all things that I very much enjoy doing.

Though I love living my life like this, sometimes you just need a little vacation to not be so wrapped up doing some form of work. Between e my summer job, resident life work since I’m an RA, paper work for my sorority as social chair, or for my blog, I just have so much piled onto my plate. So to relax, breathe, and truly stop and look around – I have my self a break.

It required a lot more will power than I thought. I am so used to being plugged in and working towards a goal, that I forgot what it was like to relax in my pajamas and watch a Criminal Minds marathon.

I spent my week going to the beach, visiting my grandparents, and pampering myself. I may be a little more behind than I would have wanted to be, but at least I now feel relaxed. I feel like I took a giant deep breathe and now have a clear head to continue conquering all that I need to.

It’s important to relax, readers. It’s important to schedule some “me time” in your day.

Most importantly, it’s important to stop and look around. You don’t ever want to miss something because you were too busy planning for a “what if” or exhausting yourself from so much work.

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Versatile Blogger Award

One of my fellow Her Campus Blogging Network gals, Charlotte, from Velvet and Vinyls nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award!!

 

VERSATILLE BLOGGER AWARD

Rules
• If you are nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award, you have been awarded the award.
• Thank the person who awarded you and include the link to their blog.
• Nominate 15 bloggers who you think deserve the award, whom you’ve recently discovered or read their blogs regularly. (You must include a link to their site).
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself in your blog post.

I would like to nominate:
1) Jacqueline at Pretti Please

2) Caroline at The Caro Diaries

3) Ashliegh at The Darling Prepster

4) Marisa at Love Always

5) Taylor at Pinstripes&Lipgloss

6) Kriselle at Livin’ and Lovin’

7) Nasya at Turquoise and Tortoiseshells

8) Colie at The Curse of Gluten

9) Emma at It’s Emma Elise

10) The College Girl at That College Girl’s Guide

11) Raphaela at Tiny Girl, Big Dreams

12)  Lindsey at Lindsey’s Thoughts

13) Briannah at Briannah

14) Hannah at The Daily Diabetic

15) Brittany at Oh Hey, Brittany

7 Things About Me

1) In high school, I was competitive swimmer. I competed not only on my high school swim team, but on my local YMCA’s competition team. My favorite strokes is breast stroke and I often competed in the 100 meter breast stroke and 500 meter free style.
2) I know every word to Taylor Swift’s “Thug Story” rap and will proudly rap it for you.
3) I’ve seen Taylor Swift twice in concert. The first time I saw her, she hugged me. It was one of the greatest moments of my life.
4) Next semester, I’m not going to have class on Tuesdays or Fridays and I’m so excited. AKA look forward to blog posts on those days, for sure!!
5) I recently became a Starbucks/Dunkin iced coffee addict.
6) The sound of people “cracking their bones” freaks me out. It’s my biggest pet peeve. Even though I go to the chiropractor, I am still completely scared of that sound and cringe. Oh, and occasionally have a freak out on him when it’s really loud or when he “adjusts my neck,” (which I refer to as cracking my head – don’t ever refer to it as that to your chiropractor, FYI).
7)  :PI HAVE to listen to classical for studying music when doing homework or whenever I need to focus to do work. I listen to it so much though, that I now enjoy it and will occasionally listen to it whenever I need to relax or when I clean my room.

 

 

I’m looking forward to seeing all your posts regarding The Versatile Blogger Award! Don’t forget to link me in when you post it!
To all the bloggers, keep up blogging!
To all our readers, keep on reading!
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$100 Nordstrom Shopping Spree On Myself, Caro, and Other Bloggers!

Yes, you read that right! I’m giving away a $100 Nordstrom giftcard!

In honor of my real life best friend and blogging buddy’s one year blog-aversary, Caro, myself, and a few other of our closest blogging friends partnered together to give away a $100 Nordstrom giftcard! If you haven’t met Caro yet, head over to her blog here.

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But back to the giftcard. Imagine what you could do without $100 to Nordstrom….my shopping spree list is pilling up quickly in my head. A new purse and wallet, new brown boots, and all the summer essentials I can think of. However, it’ll be your shopping spree, not mine. All you have to do is enter and WIN!

TCD nordstrom giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.
Best of luck to all who enter! Comment below with what you would do if you win the gift card!

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