5 chokers I need to add to my collection ASAP

Hey, ya’ll!

If you follow me on Snapchat (which you totally should – especially since I’ll be at College Fashion Week, giving live updates from my Snapchat!) and Instagram, you know that I totally love my tattoo choker.

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(Black tattoo choker from Icing)

I’m obsessed with the choker trend and want to add more to my collection. I totally love the 90’s and think that chokers can just be added to any outfit! I wore my tattoo choker out with a romper to Foxwoods for my little’s birthday and then the next day with a tank top and cropped yoga leggings – and it looked cute with both looks!

Here are five that I currently have in my different online shopping carts:

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Hamsa Choker Necklace from Etsy

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Claire Velvet Choker Necklace from Urban Outfitters

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Acrylic Monogram Choker from Bauble Bar

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Double Ribbon Choker Necklace from ASOS

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Layered and Long Suede Leather Wrap Tie Choker Necklace from Etsy

What do you think of the choker trend? Where do you buy your chokers? Comment below and let me know!

 

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Story time with Sami: That time I ran a match-making service for my sisters

Happy Thursday, babes!

I don’t know if it’s because I am a blogger or because I’m addicted to social media, but I love when bloggers are transparent – whether this means on their Twitter, Instagram, or sharing personal stories for their readers. Some of my favorite YouTubers often post “story time” videos about crazy events that happen to them or weird memories they made with their friends.

And if you know me in real life, then you know that I have a tooooon of stories. This is why I decided to create a series called “Story time with Sami” where I share some funny stories about things that I’ve done. So for the first edition, I decided to share about Sami’s Sexy Singles, my match making service.

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Now, Sami’s Sexy Singles originally started as a joke my sophomore year at Quinnipiac. One of our sisters, Tammy, was the sweetheart of SigEp and would always try to match make sisters with her brother – I mean, she made Google spreadsheets and PowerPoints. I would have a lot to live up to! When she graduated, that left someone to try and arrange sisters with dates for all of our events. Somehow, I don’t even know how, the position fell into my lap. I joked about Sami’s Sexy Singles but nothing ever came of it.

All of a sudden, for a grab-a-date last semester, Sami’s Sexy Singles re-appeared. I’m friends with a lot of affiliated men who wanted to come to our grab-a-date, so I thought I would jokingly bring back Sami’s Sexy Singles. Unknowing to me, a lot of my sisters were interested in being matched. So in true senioritis/lack of motivation fashion, I decided to pour my all into Sami’s Sexy Singles – even staying up until 3 AM one night to make a professional Google Drive through the official Sami’s Sexy Singles e-mail account!

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I even had my friends Kristina, Courtney, and Dale get involved! We would send out e-mails to those who were matched and even to our entire chapter reminding them to e-mail us if they wanted dates and the “rules” for the match-making service (including no liability and about customer satisfaction). We would try to keep the e-mails as professional as possible, to add to the humor of the entire situation. Our dates also received e-mails, to help them realize how serious we took our match0making responsibilities that night.

We weren’t the only people taking Sami’s Sexy Singles serious…. We had people tweeting about us with the hashtag “#samissexysingles” and e-mailing us about getting matched. Guys were coming up to us and e-mailing us asking to be added to the list of eligible bachelors! We were a hit.

One day I was getting lunch in a Greek-life populated area and I had some fraternity men that I wasn’t friends with come ask to me and ask if I could match them for their formal. People that Kristina, Courtney, Dale, and I weren’t friends with even knew about Sami’s Sexy Singles and were interested. I bet that’s like what Kim K. felt the first time someone recognized her as more than just Paris’ BFF….

The day the grab-a-date rolled around, we had over 15 couples – that’s more than 30 people who were coming to the event because of Sami’s Sexy Singles. Our phones were blowing up with questions and e-mails, I felt like a real life C.E.O!

In the end, I had a blast at the event, Kristina, Courtney, Dale and their dates had fun, and so did our sisters and their dates!

Here’s my date and I at the event. His little was one of our eligible bachelors who came to the event! Gotta keep it in the family, you know? –

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Here is me and my date, Justin, from the event. All the seniors celebrated the event in a duck-hunting themed (aka my dream theme due to my “Duck Dynasty” obsession). Recognize this picture? If you follow me on Instagram, it’s the picture I posted that night!

Now, I’m not saying Sami’s Sexy Singles was extremely successful (I haven’t finished our customer satisfaction survey yet, but I’ll say it was pretty dang successful), but I am saying that many sisters asked what would happen to it once I graduated. Since Kristina is a year younger, I passed down Sami’s Sexy Singles to her in my senior will, so my legacy will live on.

I would love to know how you feel about Story time with Sami!! Comment below & tell me some different types of stories you would want to hear or tweet them to me @sparkleshinesam!

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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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5 Ways to End the Semester Right

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To be honest readers, I’m writing this post as one of my many tasks to procrastinate writing my thirty page research paper on how journalists impact the human rights movement. I’m usually not a procrastinator, but with the scary g-word looming in the near future, it has become a new way of life. Push everything off and pretend the days aren’t counting down to that day fateful day, right?

But as the semester- and my undergraduate career – end, I realize that I always end the semester the same way. I’ve developed a routine of what I do to properly end each semester and I just needed to share it with you.

  1. Write “thank you” notes to your professors

    You wouldn’t have truly survived the semester without your professors – if you didn’t have them, there would be no classes to attend! Yes, they may have caused you late nights in the library and additional stress, but they took time out of their children’s soccer games to grade your papers and missed dinner with their family to meet with you. I always make sure to thank my professors for their time and effort. An act of kindness, like a hand written thank you card, goes along way! Be appreciative.

  2. Take some time to focus on yourself 

    High School Musical 2 and other movies left me with an unrealistic expectations of what the summer should be. For my undergrad years, they always were focused around going back to my summer job, interning, attempting to get back on a fitness routine, and cross as many books off my “to read” list as possible. This left me with little time to actually destress from the semester. That’s why I always make sure to take a night at school to put my phone away, focus on my affair with Netflix, and do an at home spa night. Nothing will ever compare to a proper massage, but a deep exfoliating drug store face mask, a glass of wine, and a good night’s sleep can come pretty close if you let it. You deserve some “you” time.

  3. Return/sell your textbooks

    After the semester comes to a close, it is time to put myself on a budget because I am tight on cash. Those bar tabs, big/little hibachi dates, and twice-a-day Dunkin runs really seem to be unnecessary once you realize how much they take out of your bank account. You don’t want to have more money taken out due to fees and fines for not returning your books on time, so make sure you return them as soon as you are done with the final. Plus, you may even be able to make some extra money through your school bookstore, Amazon, or from my previous sponsor, CampusBookRentals.com.

  4. Get rid of anything you no longer need

    This could be your notecards from your Gen Ed history final, the sweatshirt from the cute boy in your science class, or a just the Starbucks receipts and gum wrappers at the bottom of your backpack. The semester is officially over, so no need to be a packrat. Only having necessities will make life easier once you start to move out of your dorm room.

  5. Say your goodbyes

    I used to feel like Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana when I would go home for summer break. My “fake” life at Quinnipiac with my “school friends” was not the same as my “home friends.” At college, you are used to having the same people constantly around you, within a mile or two of you at all times and all hours. It gets weird not seeing these familiar faces so often. It’s just like saying bye to your mom when she drops you off for the semester. Make sure you say goodbye to everyone you want to-once you are hours away at home, you won’t have the chance! 

    Do you always end your semester a certain way? Let me know!

     

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Last first day of school {#OOTD}

Hey, readers!

Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life – it was my last first day of school ever. Yup, that’s right – I started the second semester of my senior year of college. Am I ready for the emotional roller coaster that this semester is going to be? Oh, absolutely not. Which is why I decided to at least dress the part of looking like I have it all together.

So check out the look….

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Jacket: Faux Leather Moto Jacket from Forever 21Sweater: (Similar) from Aerie

Scarf: (This has been my favorite scarf since high school, so it’s old – but here’s a similar one) from Charming Charlie

Jeans: WESTPORT 1962 Signature Skinny Jeans from DressBarnBoots: Diba Shelby Bootie from DSW 

And with today being the second day, I somehow ended up back in yoga pants and a Greek Streak Alpha Delta Pi spirit jersey. Whoops?

In my defense I somehow managed to wake up with swollen blood shot eyes, so I wasn’t trying to waste a cute outfit when I wasn’t going to wear makeup or glasses.

Whatever, maybe tomorrow I’ll look go back to looking put together..

 

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Twenty-one, Single, & Exactly How I Want It To Be

During a recent dinner time conversation with my mom, we discussed dating, relationships, and friends of mine in serious relationships.

We then continued to discuss people I went to high school with that are engaged, married, or are having/have kids.

I’m not even close to any of these. Oh no, no, no. In the future – but not too near- I do plan on getting engaged, having my Cinderella themed wedding, and having kids.

But for now, I’m single- which is exactly what I want to be.

For right now, at 21 years old, I am choosing to be single. I am living my life by my rules, while I can. Life is what you make it- which  is why I want my college years to be exactly how I want them to be.

I have so many opportunities presented to me at all times of the day. With these opportunities, I want to take them on with my own rules and my own perspective. If I want to go out to a club on a Saturday night, I’m going to. If I want to have a girls night, I will. I don’t have anyone else’s schedule to plan mine around. I don’t want to have to think before doing. I want to just live my life and live out my actions for me.

Right now, I am having the time of my life with my best friends – people who I know will be by my side in the future.

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I am more focused on finding the women who will be standing next to me as my bridesmaids than I am the man standing next to me at the alter. I don’t want my kids to ask me about college and start my stories around “some boy” that no longer matters. I want them to be revolving around my friends, who they know and whose own kids mine will be friends with them.

I’m out, meeting new people. If you want to wine and dine me, I won’t say no. But at the end of the night, I am eating Dominos with my friends, talking about the night, then getting into our pajamas for a sleepover.

More importantly, I am learning how to be strong and independent. I can take care of myself. I can fix my own things when they break.  I am working hard in all aspects of my life so I can succeed. I don’t need to depend on a man in my future. I am a strong woman who will not take a back seat to a man.

If it wasn’t for discovering myself and all that I accomplish now, by being single, I may never have had to figure it out.

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This isn’t my pledge of swearing off boys – some of my very best friends are of the male gender, my future groomsmen.

This is my pledge as to why I’m putting more time and effort into me and my life. I’m young and I’m doing what’s best for me.

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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!

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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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