My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, “Sparkle and Shine” readers!

Hope you all had an exciting week! I had two snow days this week, which was exactly what I needed to relax! It has made my school schedule much more hectic – one of my classes I still have only had once this semester! But just like life goes, we have to adjust to the obstacles and go with it, which is exactly what I am doing!

Overall, this week had been SUPER positive. To be honest, I don’t think I have a single thing to complain about!

Plus, I had such an incredible weekend. I stayed in on Friday night to watch a scary movie with my best friend and then went out to Quinnipiac’s infamous club scene, Toads, for the first time of the semester and then had a sleepover with my best friend after!

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So let’s keep the positive energy and good vibes rolling for this week! Here’s this week’s My Monday Musts!

1. Cookie Dough Doughnut from Dunkin Donuts

Yes, I know I JUST posted about eating healthy on a college budget, but hey, a girl needs a cheat meal every now and then! In every article I ever read about eating healthy, it says to allow yourself a cheat meal every once in a while not to restrict yourself. Well, ladies, I think I just found mine! My friends and I recently (and by recently I mean one of our multiple weekly trips) to Dunkin Donuts, I saw their new “cookie dough doughnut.” I’m a total sucker for cookie dough products, so I just had to try this new doughnut. When I tell you it was the best thing I have ever eaten…it was the best thing I have ever eaten! The regular doughnut has chocolate frosting and sprinkles on top, but inside it has warm, melted cookie dough! YUM!! Next time you feel like splurging, go on over to Dunkin Donuts and try their seasonal cookie dough doughnut! But hurry! It’s only out for a short amount of time!

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2. “The Fault in Our Stars” Trailer

Every TFIOS fan has been freaking out since the trailer has been released – I now I have! You know I’m a huge fan based on this post. My Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with people sharing the link to the best selling novel turned movie that will come out in the summer. “The Fault in Our Stars” is by far the best book I have ever read in my life and I honestly believe that no book will ever be able to top it. Ever. So now that it’s coming onto the big screen, any book nerd, would be freaking out about if the movie is going to not play up the how incredible the book was. Based on the trailer, I absolutely think that it will. I keep watching the trailer on repeat, even though it makes me cry every single time. The book made me bawl hysterically, so I think I will have to bring two boxes of tissues to the movies. No matter how many tears I plan on shedding, this movie is just another reason I am even more excited for summer!

3. Seventeen Magazine Social Club

Readers, I have recently received news about the greatest thing to ever, ever, ever happen to me. I am now officially a member of the Seventeen Magazine Social Club!! Yes, the Seventeen Magazine that I grew up on read as my own person Bible. As a member of the Seventeen Social Club, I will receive some awesome freebies from the company to blog about and share on my other social media sites, get access to awesome VIP events, get the inside scoop on special deals and discounts, AND have the possibility to appear in the pages of Seventeen itself! Receiving an e-mail from Seventeen, and having it signed XOXO, Your Friends at Seventeen Magazine, was the most incredible moment to ever happen to me. Of course, I received it when I was at the gym and started bawling my eyes out on the elliptical. But hey, it’s okay because my Carrie Bradshaw dreams are slowly coming true!!

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By the way have you entered my giveaway yet?! Calling all sorority girls – get on it ASAP, if you have not already!! It’s for this awesome app which you can get for FREE if you win!! I’m loving it, so check it out!

Plus, check out my awesome sponsors! Head over to my sidebar and see where it says “Check out these Sparkling bloggers who are reading “Sparkle and Shine” ??? They’re some pretty awesome bloggers and are sponsoring me this month, so make sure you go and check them out!!!

Have a great week, readers! Keep sparkling!

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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):

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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!

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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?

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My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, readers!

Guess what?! I’m back at school! Yaaaaaay! After being reunited with my best friends and sisters, I am just so excited to be back at Quinnipiac and to start the second semester of my sophomore year! My classes start tomorrow and I’m ready to get back into the swing of things at school with all my classes, extracurriculars, gym sessions, library trips, and some socializing.

Here I am last night taking on Quinnipiac with some of my best friends!

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1.  Shallac Manicure

Once you go shellac, you are never, ever going back! I just couldn’t go back to school without getting a manicure, so Julia and I got our nails done on Friday. I hate when I just get my nails done, and they are chipped within a few days – or worse, a few hours! Since I was getting them done on Friday and needed them to still look for classes on Tuesday, I just needed something that would last longer! I have heard amazing reviews on getting a shellac manicure, so I decided to get it. I absolutely love it! My nails just look so good and it doesn’t chip. It was so worth the extra money!

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2. iOS 7

So, I finally got myself up to date in the technology world by downloading iOS 7. Yes, I know…I’m a few months later. But, my phone always told me I didn’t have enough store to download the new version. Then, a sister told me that you can download it by plugging your phone into your laptop and connecting it to iTunes. Fun fact – it worked!! Now, I finally have iOS  7 and all the awesome features it offers iPhone users. I’m still getting use to how it all works, especially since I get very used to how something is and struggle with change. So far I’m loving it!

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3. The premiere of “Duck Dynasty”

Come on now, readers. If you didn’t see this one coming, I would say you need to get yourself more up to date on “Sparkle and Shine.” If you do want to do so, check out the buttons on the side under “Follow me on Social Media.” BUT, since I am a huge fan on A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” the season premiere, to me, was like Christmas Eve, jack! The two episode premiere introduced the world to two new Robertson family members – who I immediately followed on Twitter. #sorrynotsorry I can’t wait for the rest of the season and to see what else the Robertson clan has in store for it’s viewers. I know it’ll make me happy, happy, happy!

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Time for me to go prepare for my first day of classes by packing my backpack up, printing out some more syllabuses, and deciding what to wear tomorrow!

Happy Monday, readers! Good luck this semester!

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My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, readers!

Hope you all are having a fabulous Monday! I know I sure am! Guess who got a 100 on her last nutrition exam after studying for over 8 hours?! Me! And nothing can put me in a better mood than knowing that all my hard work is paying off during my 8 a.m.

However, now I’m stuck back in reality though after the incredible weekend I had. It’s no more city streets, but back to my campus. There’s no more hole-in-wall dining, but a cafeteria. I’m just stuck with all the memories, tired legs, and a new Facebook profile picture.

But another part of my reality though, is bringing to you all my Monday Musts!

1. How I Met Your Mother

Once I returned home from New York City, my little diamond, Amber, began to tell me about her newest obsession, the television show “How I Met Your Mother.” I’ve heard so many people talk about, read so many tweets about it, but never had any interest in it. I always felt that it was in someway similar to “Friends,” and nothing could ever compete for my heart the way Chandler, Ross, Joey, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe have. After a much needed few minutes of relaxing, I decided to give the show a chance and watch with her. I quickly became obsessed. We have watched so many episodes in just a short amount of time as we try to figure out who the mother is. It’s safe to say that I finally hopped onto the “How I Met Your Mother” bandwagon!

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2. Quinnipiac got an Alex and Ani

I looooove Alex and Ani bracelets! My collection includes the anchor bangle, the Alpha Delta Pi bangle, and the daughter bangle. Quinnipiac’s campus was in uproar when Alex and Ani released the Quinnipiac University bangle, decked out with the Bobcat and our school’s name! I, like every other girl on campus, was in love and obsessed – and may have even stopped breathing for a few seconds. I can’t wait to hopefully add this to my collection, especially since Christmas is just around the corner( if you really want to know, I like it in silver)!

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3. Ice Cream IS Happiness

By accident before, I opened up my Tumblr app, which hasn’t been open in forever thanks to Pinterest. The first photo that popped up said “…You cannot buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream (which is almost the same thing).” I instantly fell in love with the photo and had to screenshot it to save it and now share it all with you. Fun fact, one of my all time favorite foods is ice cream. Whenever I’m happy, whenever I am sad, or almost whenever in general, I could go for a big bowl of ice cream! Almost every Monday, my big diamond, Katherine, and I go to a local ice cream place, called Wentworths. We catch up on each other’s weekends and give each other a play-by-play of our nights. The only thing that gets me through the dreaded Monday is our weekly big diamond/little diamond ice cream dates! Seeing this photo made me realize how true it is- my true happiness from Mondays comes from ice cream dates with Katherine! If you’re stuck in those Monday blues today, grab yourself some Ben & Jerry’s! Yummy!

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Hope you all have a great rest of your week, readers! Keep sparkling!

Breaking the Bucket List: Spend 24 hours living in New York City before I’m 20

One of my greatest goals in my life is to accomplish everything on my bucket list. I’m constantly adding different things to the list. As the years go by, it continues to grow and grow. I have already completed some of the tasks, such as joining a sorority, go to the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, and go to a taping of NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Whenever I complete another part of my bucket list, I am going to be blogging about it in a new segment I am introducing today called “Breaking the Bucket List.” In this first edition of “Breaking the Bucket List,” I am going to be talking about how I spent 24 hours living in New York City!

I absolutely love New York City – the busy city streets, the lights, the people, just absolutely everything about it. I have taken plenty of day trips there, but have never really lived the experience of living in the best place on Earth. I dream of one day living there, however, I know that right now is not the time. I did, though, want to spend 24 hours living in the city before the age of 20. This past weekend, I got the opportunity to do so!

My best friend, Julia, and I went to visit our other best friend, Vanessa, who attends Parson’s New School of Design in Manhattan. After our two o’clock classes on Friday, we hopped onto our school’s shuttle that took us to our local train station. There, we took a train into Grand Central Station.

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Here Julia and I are on our way to the train station. We took a train into Grand Central Station. Of course, we had to send a selfie snapchat to share the experience!

By the time we got into the city, it was around 6:30 p.m. My 24 hours of living in the city started then. We originally started walking to Vanessa’s apartment, but then decided we should take a cab so we could get there faster. It was my first ever attempt to flag down a taxi – and I did it! Once I flagged down the taxi, I felt so NYC chic. I was ready for you to  start calling me Carrie Bradshaw because I was so ready to take on New York City with my best friends.

Once we got to Vanessa’s apartment and dropped off our luggage, we were off to Union Square. Union Square is only a few blocks away from where Vanessa lives. We were all looking to start the night, so we just grabbed a quick dinner at T.G.I.Friday’s in Union Square.

Once our stomachs were full, we were ready to start the night!

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My two best friends and I! It felt so great to be back together the three of us again.

I have never experienced the night life in New York City. It was one of the parts that I was most excited to experience apart of my 24 hour New York City lifestyle. My two best friends, myself, and Vanessa’s roommate, Emma, got dressed up in our cutest tops, favorite shoes, and took on the city that never sleeps.

New York City nightlife is so different than here in Connecticut, or even back at my home in New Jersey. It was just so much more relaxed and felt so much more of a natural thing. It was one of the most fun nights of my life!

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I don’t think I have ever had a greater night. New York City nightlife is incredible. Here Julia, Vanessa, and I are with one of Vanessa’s roommates, Emma! The four of us had amazing night!

After finally heading back to Vanessa’s room and staying up girl talking just like at home until super early in the morning, we finally went to bed. We needed our beauty sleep to start our adventure tomorrow!

The next day consisted of a lot of walking and exploring the city. We didn’t want to just have our normal New York City experience, the typical one I can usually experience as a tourist. Instead, we wanted to truly get to know the city by exploring.

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Keeping up with our normal snapchat routine, here is the snapchat Julia and I sent a majority of my snapchat friends – the start of our NYC exploration!

The first step was breakfast. The last time we ate, we ate at a restaurant we could have eaten anywhere. Now, we wanted to find something unique. Vanessa knew of a great little hole-in-the-wall breakfast place called Mapi. If you didn’t know that it was there, you probably would have missed it. The store was so small that Vanessa, Julia, and I barely could fit comfortably. Any other patron had to wait outside. There were no seats inside. My best friends and I got our breakfast sandwiches – a ham, egg, and cheese for me – and headed to Union Square to eat. The sandwich was so delicious! Eating it in Union Square, on a park bench, watching all the people go by was just another part of the NYC lifestyle experience I was looking for .

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Our breakfast location for the day – Mapi!

Once we finished, Vanessa had to get back to work on a project. Before parting ways, she gave Julia and I directions and the two of us were off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met was about an hour and a half away from Union Square. Instead of grabbing a taxi, the two of us walked the entire way. There was no greater way to explore the city!

About halfway there, we were starting to get a little tired and a little hungry. We found a quaint little cafe, one that turns out to be apart of a mini New York City only chain, called GiGi Cafe. We went in for a little snack. I ordered an M&M brownie and a lemonade. They were both so yummy! GiGi cafe was the perfect little spot for us to grab a snack and relax before heading back on our miles long walk to The Met!

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With all the walking we were doing, I decided it would be okay to splurge and go for a brownie! It was so delicious. So worth it!

GiGi Cafe was our only stop. Though MapQuest said it was only about an hour and a half walk, we didn’t factor in our breaks our our slow pace (why we thought it was a good idea to do a leg day at the gym the day before we left for the city is beyond me!), we finally got to The Met. As a joke, so many of our friends who knew us, and our crazy antics, doubted that we would be able to make it to The Met by walking all those miles. However, we did it – and have never been prouder of an end result of an adventure!

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And we finally made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Both Julia and I have not been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before, so we had no idea what we were about to walk into.

What we walked into was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen with the most incredible pieces of art, more incredible than I could have ever imagined. It was such an amazing experience to see all of the artwork. We were surrounded by art work that had been created hundreds and thousands of years ago. It was just so powerful to think about as we explored the many different sections of the museum.

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Julia and I inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art – what a beautiful place with beautiful art!

After being in there for quite sometime, we were back on our way to Grand Central Station to head back to Quinnipiac. We set off an about an hour walk and then a two hour train ride. Around 9 o’clock last night, we were finally home.

In less than 24 hours, Julia and I had experienced more than I could have thought. We got to experience the city streets in so many different areas of the city, we got to experience the daytime and the nightlife, we got to experience what it is really like to live in New York City.

Thank you Vanessa for the incredible experience and thank you New York City for being the greatest place on Earth.

My Monday Musts

Happy Monday, readers!

And happy midterms week to most….

I hope you all had a great weekend – I know I sure did! It was my first weekend back at school since my knee injury and I could finally go out with my best friend.  It was so good to be back with them, doing what we like to do on the weekends, and spending my Saturday night at Quinnipiac students’ infamous Saturday night club, Toads.

Now, it’s back to reality of the craziness of school. It’s midterm week here at QU – and that means spending hours in the library, studying my note cards til I can barely see straight anymore. It’s day like these that I wish I liked coffee!

With two exams tomorrow, and one on Wednesday, I have only this weekend to look forward to. This weekend my absolute best friend, Julia, and I are going to New York City to visit our other best friend, Vanessa, at school! I am so excited for the three of us to be reunited and spend a Friday night in the best place on Earth together, NYC!

But, in the meantime,  I’ll take a study break to share with you all this week’s Monday Musts:

1. Passionately Pink for a Cure Hair Strands

Last Monday, some of my best friends and I got pink clip-in extensions to show our support for breast cancer awareness. According to the American Cancer society, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer. These are mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. Grieving offer the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest struggles someone could possibly go through. Our $5 hair strands contributed to making a difference, and making an awareness, to changing these statistics. I am proud to be a female and proud to help fight back against cancer.

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2. Wednesday Night TV

In my previous Monday Musts, I discussed my LOVE for “Duck Dynasty.” “Duck Dynasty” airs their new episodes on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. With some of my closest guy friends, I gather around their television to watch the show. As Connor, Ben, Pat, and I finished up the episode, we decided to then watch the next show, “Bad Ink.” I never saw it before – and I quickly became obsessed. “Bad Ink” follows two Las Vegas tattoo artists who fix people’s bad tattoos – whether they were just bad choices or the original tattoo artist just did not do a good job. The show left me so amazed. So when we all planned on watching only one thirty minute episode, it turned into a 2 hour marathon. I don’t get to watch a lot of television in college, so I look forward to Wednesday night with the boys watching “Duck Dynasty” and “Bad Ink.”

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3. ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays – always has been and always will. One of my favorite parts of any holiday are the themed movies. ABC Family’s annual 13 Nights of Halloween kicks off this Saturday and I am SO excited! ABC Family always plays the greatest cliche Halloween movies that we were all raised on, such as “Hocus Pocus” and “Beetlejuice” (two of my favorite movies). Though with the craziness of my schedule, I won’t be getting to watch as much of the Halloween movie marathons as I would like, I’m just happy to know that it is on. Plus, to me, this kicks off the start of all the holidays and all the great traditions that come along with it!

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Now it’s back to studying for me…Enjoy the rest of your week, readers!

There’s a little bit of heaven in those angel eyes…

se….she’s a little bit of heaven with a wild side.

Yes, I’m sure that from just the title of this post you could tell what this post was going to be about – Love and Theft! (And if you didn’t know from that, you probably knew about it from this past Monday’s Monday Musts). After going through another knee injury, I had to put blogging this week on hold. Now that I am back at school, I am excited to get right back to “Sparkle and Shine.” What better way to get you all excited for all the upcoming posts, then telling you about seeing Love and Theft live and meeting them!

I’m going to jump right into the photos of my friends, Amber (who happens to my little diamond sister in Alpha Delta Pi!), Kelly, and I meeting Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson themselves because hey, it was one of the greatest moments of my life so I need to share it with you right away.

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Annnnnd I’m also going to show you my signed phone case from Eric (as if I couldn’t love my J.Crew Cheetah phone case more – that happened):

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but now about the concert itself, readers…

Two weekends ago, my school hosted a fall fest country concert, where Love and Theft came and performed. As a huge country fan, I couldn’t wait to see the country duo live. I have been loving their recent hit “If You Ever Get Lonely,” so I couldn’t wait to hear it!

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The duo performed for about an hour – and it was just as amazing as I thought they would be! They really knew how to get into the college aged crowd, had a great line up of songs, invited a few students on stage, and even threw up the Alpha Delta Pi diamond’s hand sign (you know me, I’m a total sucker for anything ADPi related – so country cuties diamonding on stage was perfect!).

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Another highlight of the concert – the two singing Uncle Kracker’s “Drift Away.” The group also did a mash up of “Born in the USA” by Jersey boy Brice Springsteen and Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” The two then had a little guys verse girls competition from the audience, having the two sexes belt out the lyrics. At the end of the set, the two ended with their hit “Angel Eyes” which had everyone in the crowd singing along.

The concert also included Canaan Smith, Sara Haze, and Eric Paisley. Though I hadn’t heard of these three prior to the event, they each were able to draw in the crowd with their talent and stage presences. Country 92.5’s radio personality, Broadway, introduced all of the performers to the crowd.

Besides meeting the boys of Love and Theft, I was also able to meet Canaan Smith with my little diamond sister, Amber! He decided to diamond with us (hello phone background for the next few months!):

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So thankful for this awesome experience thanks to Quinnipiac!