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).

IMG_0005

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!!

signature 22222

Sometimes, life just hits you…

And it hits you hard, like a s-h-i-t ton of bricks.

200

Image via Tumblr

Many of you may follow along on my adventures on my Instagram or Twitter, but many have been very basic recently, like formal, birthday, or my typical ‘I love my sisters‘ posts. Why? Cause life hit me and I’m about to get a bit personal with you all.

A lot of times we live in a bubble. We get used to the routine of our lives, sometimes spiced up with a little love-life drama or hard decisions that need to be made. After loosing my father in high school, I am well aware that one day can rock your entire world, not to sweat the small stuff, and the importance of processing your own thoughts.

But sometimes, events that can rock your world hit you all at once….

I am sure you heard about the Belgium attacks on the news, maybe even listened to the Quinnipiac University students who were there talk about what they went through – what they were lucky enough to live through.

The pretty, skinny blonde in the pictures? Yeah, that’s my grand little, one of the people I hold closest to my heart. She’s a best friend, a partner in crime, and one of the women who will beside me at my (one day, far away) wedding. And she was fifty feet away from a bomb that went off in Brussels from a terrorist attack.

12208577_10207358050496978_8220573341340157427_n (1)

That morning, I woke up to a text message from her to our sorority family saying that she was safe, but the airport she was leaving out of today for spring break was the one that was bombed. She informed us she was safe and that she loved us. And then we didn’t get to talk to her for many, many hours.

I woke up to this before I even knew that there was a bombing, before my Twitter feed was flooded with news outlets sharing about the event, and before my school let us know that it was three of our own that were there.

And I was then forced to continue on my day – classes, spinning with my great-great grand little, homework, etc. Going about my normal day, while everyone else was talking about, gossiping about it, while my sorority family realized our lives could have drastically changed.

And now this was something I needed to process and take this all in. Sudden emotions – the shock, the fear, the sadness – aside, I needed to think this all through.

But before I got to completely process this, one of my other sorority sisters was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. I was supposed to see Corey, my rush crush, days before we got the news at a local St. Patrick’s Day parade. Now, she was not going to be back for the rest of the semester to focus on her health and go through chemotherapy.

11988197_10205332007928467_606676997257136123_n

From the moment I spoke to her at recruitment, I knew she was a perfect Alpha Delta Pi and someone who was meant to be a special part of my life. She’s as beautiful on the inside and she is outside and can always make me laugh. Someone who has so much going for her should never have to go through this and thinking about her illness was a lot to process.

She was someone my age and her whole life had been flipped upside down.

Please think about donating to Corey’s GoFundMe. Over $20k was raised in 6 days and you can help make even more of a difference!

So here I was, within two weeks, thinking about two things that twenty-two year olds, or even anyone, should not have to be thinking about. Ever. And now they were both on my plate to process.

And that didn’t even conclude the stress of graduating next month and finding a job because trust me, I think I have a quarter-life crisis everyday about this. Just ask my best friend Paul….I’m always hyperventilating about this.

Plus, class, Greek Week, being an RA, and everything in between… life just hit me. I had a lot to think about, a lot to take in, and a longer to do list than ever before. And if you have ever had a lot going on with a long to-do list, you know it would take super powers to truly focus to the best of your ability.

Here’s to the good days that remind us that there’s more than just the bad. Here’s to Lauren’s safety and here’s to Corey being one of the strongest women I know. Here’s to the future, the unknown, and the support system I have to get me through it. Importantly, here’s to this crazy thing called life.

signature 22222

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….

USE_FULL

half_OOTD_use

shoes_use

watch_use

sunglasses_use

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..

 

signature 22222

Top 3 Instagrams of the Month: October 2014

Hey, readers!

It’s officially one week into October – a.k.a. one of the best months! Before deciding which Halloween movie I am going to want to watch while on R.A. duty tonight, I have to share with you all my top Instagrams of September!

sept 1

 

A majority of my September involved around sorority recruitment – which is why there is no surprise that my photo with the top likes came from day one of recruitment! This year was the first time my little diamond, Amber, went through recruitment as an Alpha Delta Pi and the last time my big diamond, Katherine, would get to go through recruitment. It was amazing getting to snap my fingers, chant my loudest, and recruit new sisters with them by my side in our day one attire of chapter letters and white jeans!

 

sept two

 

My second most popular post related to my Back to School post, courtesy of Seventeen Magazine and Office Depot. Through my contract with Seventeen, I was able to get some awesome school supplies from Office Depot. I stocked up on cute folders and my multi-purpose four color pen. To learn more about these supplies, check out the post or search the #GottaGetIt hashtag on your favorite social media site!

sept three

As I mentioned, this was Katherine’s last recruitment. As you can see in the caption, Katherine has been one of the greatest assets to my life. If I never went Greek or Alpha Delta Pi, I wouldn’t have been able to be blessed with Katherine was my big diamond. Over these past few years, Katherine has shown me how to exemplify the Alpha Delta Pi values each and everyday. More importantly, she has become my best friend, my forever friend, my future bridesmaid, and my rock. Going through recruitment made me reflect on my time in ADPi and I know it wouldn’t have been the same without her. So, on our last day of recruitment, I posted this photo of us before we started the final rounds!

To stay update on all things Sparkle and Shine, you can follow me on Instagram by going HERE.

OR if you want to check out previous Top Instagram posts, you can see what made the list in January, February, March, April, May, June, and July/August.

I wonder what Instagrammable opportunities October will have for me!

signature

Top 3 Instagrams of the Month: May 2014

Happy June, readers!

Those April showers brought more than just May flowers, it brought you my monthly edition of Top 3 Instagrams of the month!

May wasn’t as busy for me – once I finished tackling finals, I came home for the summer and immediately started working 40 hour work weeks. Though I haven’t been having much time as I would have wanted to spend blogging so far, don’t worry, readers! Now that I have a handle on how my schedule is going to be, I’ve already been filling my Lilly planner with post ideas and publishing dates.

Now, enough about the blog, check out my May Instagrams with the top likes!


may insta 1

On May 15, 1851 Alpha Delta Pi became the first sorority on the scene! I celebrated my love for the first and finest sorority by posting a picture of my chapter by posting a picture of my beautiful Theta Theta sisters and I on May 15! The photo was taken outside on our lovely quad during our Diamond Dash philanthropy event. The greatest decision I have made while being in college has been joining a sorority. I couldn’t be more thankful for our founders who created ADPi 163 years ado and I couldn’t be more blessed to live out the ritual those women created as an Alpha Delta Pi sister.

may insta 2

The most exciting event that occurred during May was my trip to the New York City Makeup Show with my little diamond, Amber, courtesty of press for Seventeen Magazine! In the post, which you can read HERE, Amber and I traveled to New York City to learn about makeup from some of the best in the business! Going to the makeup show, and getting to experience it with my little diamond, is just one of the many perks having a contract with Seventeen Magazine has given me!

may insta 3

The Instagram with the third most likes for May was a collage of some of the highlights from my second semester of sophomore year at Quinnipiac. Second semester of sophomore year held many great achievements – I was appointed the Director of Social Enrichment for my sorority, became my school’s weather girl for our news station, gained a contract with Seventeen Magazine, officially became an adult by turning 20, completed my second ever Relay for Life in honor of my father, made Dean’s List for the fourth time in a row, and just so much more. The laughs, the memories, and the friendships made during this semester will live long in my heart. It was quite a semester for the books!!

I can’t wait to see what the month of June will have for me – and what Instagram pictures I will be flooding your feed with. You can check out my top Instagrams from January, February, March, and April or follow me on Instagram to stay up to date on my life.

Enjoy June!

signature

My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, readers!

So I’m currently on Spring Break! Instead of laying out on a Florida  beach soaking up the sun or skiing the Vermont slopes (not that I know how to ski anyway, I’m too accident prone that no one ever will take me on the slopes….), I’m laying on my couch in good ole’ Dirty Jersey planning my sorority’s formal, while taking a few breaks to catch up on America’s family, the Kardashians.

So with my messy bun looking messier than ever, 10 tabs of Pinterest open to my formal board, and crafting supplies scattered all over my dining room table, I decided to take a break from creating Alpha Delta Pi’s own wonderland for our “Alice in Wonderland” themed formal to share with you all this week’s My Monday Musts!

1. My Big Diamond and I celebrated our One Year Anniversary this Week!

Remember before I mentioned how I’m not skiing on any slopes because I’m so accident prone – well, one year ago during big/little diamond reveal ceremony, I wasn’t there because I had broken my hand and had possibly tendon damage. So a few days after everyone else had their formal reveal, I came back to school, and within 10 minutes, Katherine took me and my sling out to froyo so we can do an impromptu reveal. The day I received Katherine as my big diamond was one of the biggest blessings Alpha Delta Pi has given me. Katherine has been there for me through every up, every down, and every weekend adventure. She is my best friend, my sister, and my big diamond. I can’t express how incredible she is in my life, so not only did I have to share with you all that we just celebrated one year together as being big/little diamond sisters, but hope that all of your sorority girls have bigs like her!

katherine anniv

2. Adding Resident Assistant to my Resume

One of my biggest goals of my college career was to become a Resident Assistant for freshman on Quinnipiac’s campus. This past week was the interviewing processes. Finally, on Wednesday, I received the e-mail saying that out of 236 applications, 26 where chosen – and I was one of them. I don’t think I have been this happy and this proud of myself in such a long time. Having a bunch of freshman residents is all I could dream about – I want to stay up late with them eating Dominoes discussing boy problems and life, I want them to come to me for outfit approvals, and for me to ultimately be their shoulder to lean on as they get through their first year of college. I have already been looking on Pinterest for ideas for door decorations and program ideas. For the Quinnipiac Class of 2018 who will be living in Irma next year, get ready, because RA Sami is ready to create the best year you can imagine.

ra

3. Jack Rogers & Chubbie’s Giveaway

Jennifer Taylor, the social media and PR associate of Jack Rogers, contacted me this week to help spread the word on their current giveaway! (Talk about total fan girling… someone from Jack Rogers contacted ME!). Jack Rogers and Chubbies partnered together to create a sorority woman and fraternity man’s dream giveaway – to give away a pair of Jack Rogers sandals for her and Chubbies shorts for him. I entered the giveaway! Have you? Whether you’re on your phone or computer, you can enter the giveaway here.

jack rogers

So as I get back to the craziness of planning a formal and the spring break of a 40 year old woman thanks to the over 100 e-mail I need to answer, I just wanted to share something fun with you all…..

i-can-t-keep-calm-it-s-my-birthday-week-5

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK! MY BIRTHDAY IS ON SATURDAY, MARCH 15, AND I WILL NO LONGER BE A TEEN! I’M TURNING 20!

And on that note, have a great week! Keep sparkling!

signature

First Day Back To Classes: A Cute Outfit Thanks to Great Savings from Campus Book Rentals!

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

On this snowy, snowy day in Connecticut, I had my first day of classes! Both went really well and I am looking forward to the rest of the semester….even though my first class WAS at 8 a.m. Tomorrow, is one of my busier days. But hey, by the looks of this snow storm right now, who knows if I will even have class tomorrow! Quinnipiac cancelled classes starting at 5 p.m. today!

However, I am sharing with you all my first Outfit of the Day (OOTD, for all ya’ll Instagramers):

first day of school

Shirt: Gap
Scarf: Gap
Vest: Gap
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: DSW

And how was I able to get that super cute outfit WHILE still having all my text books? Thanks to Campus Book Rentals!

campus book rentals

Campus Book Rentals offers 40% – 90% off of your school’s bookstore prices, provides free shipping, allows you to highlight in the textbooks, has flexible renting period, and donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented.

Interested? Check out this video!

OR do you wanna buy some super cute clothes, but don’t have enough cash? If you have some of your extra textbooks lying around your room, remove the clutter and check out Campus Book Rental‘s RentBack program. This program can help you make 2x – 4x the amount of money compared to what you would make by selling your books back to the bookstore. OR, if they’re just sitting there, you’ll make more money compared to the none you would originally have!

Now, you can’t tell me this doesn’t sound appealing! Now go check out Campus Book Rentals!

Now that you have all this extra cash, what will YOU spend it on?

signature