Head into the weekend with my current playlist

My weekend playlist

So confession time… I usually mooch off of two of my best friends’ Spotify playlists. Why make my own when Paul has the perfect country and going out playlists and Lo has everything I need when I want to drive with the windows down or cry over a boy with a giant container of chocolate icing?

However, I finally decided to make my own playlist for going out in the summer and I can’t.stop.listening.to.it. Even if I’m not going out, whether it’s in the car, the shower, or going for a run, I’m blasting this playlist!

I’ve added and adjusted to it, making it the perfect playlist for you to jam out to this weekend when you’re getting ready to go out with all of your friends (shoutout to everyone who’s back at school with their friends, I’m having serious graduate FOMO).

Here are some of my top picks for your pre-game playlist this weekend:

Closer by The Chainsmokers and Halsey // Girls Like by Tinie Tempah // My PYT by Wale //

How I Want Ya – Dawin Remix by Hudson Thomas // Bad Intentions by Niykee Heaton //

Does Ya Mama Know? (Dance Like That) #HEYNOW by 99 Percent // Sex by Cheat Codes 

Grove St. Party by Waka Flocka Flame // Say My Name by ODESZA //

R U Crazy – Radio Edit by Conor Maynard // Cold Water by Major Lazer and Justin Bieber //

I Can’t Stop Drinking About You – Chainsmokers Remix by Bebe Rexha //

Don’t Mind by Kent Jones // Mamacita by Travi$ Scott // White Girl by Shy Glizzy //

And of course my go-to jams that I’ve talked about in the past.

Check out the rest of the playlist here.

What songs can you not stop listening to this right now? Comment below and let me know!

 

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Lose weight and never step foot inside the gym…

So like every college kid this summer, I came home and realized that all those nights of drunk eating, sugar-filled drinks, and easy-to-grab chicken finger meals from the cafe really added to my waistline. And like every other college kid, I decided I wanted to make a change.

Except, I wanted to do more than just lose the weight I gained, then fall back into the old habits. I was now a college graduate and had my whole life staring back at me (which is like, really freakin scary). I ultimately won’t be going back to two AM diner trips after all night studying, tour de Franzias, or living life without a full kitchen. So much was going to change about my lifestyle, why not make fitness more of a priority?

At school, I would go to the gym a few times a week (well, I’d try to), but was always guaranteed one day a week because of a set Tuesday spin class with my GG-little, Taylor (who is now teaching! Go Tay!). I was never a fan of the gym because whether it was true or not, I feel like everyone always stared at you, peek over at how fast you were going on your machine, or judged you. In spin class, I liked how everyone seemed to be so focused on getting the most out of their own 45 minutes and listening to the instructor, that everyone was pretty much in their own little world with the instructor.

But now that I graduated, spin classes aren’t free….. unless you have a gym membership. I was always self-conscious at the gym, so why waste money on a gym membership? Or even worse, drop ten dollars per spin class? No, thank you! There had to be free, fun ways to work towards being healthier and avoid the gym.

So, I spent my summer rounding up great ways to get fit, lose weight, and avoid a gym! And after months, and weight loss and muscle gained, I’m sharing with you my fun ways to workout and never step foot inside a gym…

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Get off the couch and go for a run! // Trust me, I know it’s easier said then done. But I’m not talking easy, I’m talking free and easy right now.

The fall season is quickly approaching (buh-bye humidity, my hair can’t wait to see you leave), so the weather will be perfect for a morning run or after dinner to relieve stress from work. Put your earbuds in, relieve some stress, and get some fresh air!

If you aren’t currently a runner, there are tons of different apps to help you change your ways. If this past sentence described you more than you would like to admit, then the C25K app is definitely for you! All it takes is 3 days a week, 30 minutes each day, and in 8 weeks, the app will have you ready to run in your first 5k.

But if you are going to start running, you will need to download the free Nike+ Running app. It will monitor the distance you ran, how far you ran, and your average pace rate. Plus, another great feature is that the app will let you sync up your Spotify playlist! You can’t workout with a good playlist, am I right?

Count your steps // This one goes hand-in-hand with the last tip, but you don’t need to run to count your steps. Even better, you don’t need any fancy technology to do so, either. Before I bought my FitBit, I had the Pacer app (free, of course- can you tell I don’t get an app unless it’s free?). My entire family had it and we were able to add each other as friends and make a group, where we could all see who had the most steps per day. It created a competition between us- who had the most, who could reach their goal the fastest, etc. It added fuel to my fire to help me find ways to get extra steps – taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the mall, parking my car farther away when doing errands, and even marching in place when I would brush my teeth. I never realized I was supposed to be aiming for 10,000 steps a day. Before I started counting my steps, I wasn’t even close to getting this number. Now, I make sure I hit 10,000 steps every night before I go to bed. It was such a great step in kicking off my fitness journey.

Free fitness videos on YouTube // In high school, once I quit swimming, I would do Zumba Fitness on the Wii to stay in shape (despite my lack of rhythm..thanks mom and dad). However, as four years has now gone by, I knew most of the songs and dances already. I figured to take to YouTube one day to try to find routines. There were tons of videos and playlists put together for different levels of workout, different time lengths, and more. There were so many options!

After a few days of this, I got to thinking that there had to be some dances out there to some of the Billboard Top 100 songs. I searched “Cardio Fitness” and came across two fitness vloggers that I now do everyday…

The Fitness Marshall

As soon as I found Caleb on YouTube, I was obsessed with his channel. His personality comes through in each video, leaving me laughing as I work up a sweat. Caleb has dances to not only current hits, but as well as some of Britney Spears’ greatest hits – which can always get anyone dancing!

 

Dance Fitness with Jessica

One day in the car, an Ariana Grande song came on and I found myself moving along to The Fitness Marshall’s moves. I decided I wanted to switch it up and found Jessica, by going through my recommended stations. Jessica always kicks my butt, whether it’s a workout at home with her kids, a class routine, or a cell-phone recorded video (like my personal fave down below!)

Lastly // To kick off my fitness journey, after hearing a ton of positive reviews from many of my sorority sisters and vloggers, I decided to take the 28-day Advocare challenge. Though this wasn’t free, it definitely helped put me in a better mindset to start this journey. It helped rid my body of the different toxins that would weigh me down, help me feel more energized, and helped me learn more about what I should and should not be eating. For an extra jumpstart, I highly recommend Advocare!

I’d love to hear how you workout without the gym! Comment below and let me know. PLUS, if you decide to try any of these methods, I want to hear! I promise to respond back to all comments on this post and Instagram!

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Red Solo Cup, I fill you up! {Toby Keith Concert}

Happy Tuesday, babes!

This past weekend, I got to head back to my college stomping grounds (4o days post grad and I feel like it’s been forever) to see some of my best friends and then go to the Toby Keith concert at the Xfinity center in Hartford, CT.

After creating my first ever vlog of our annual country concert last year, I wanted to try again this year…..and in the excitement of seeing all of them since my graduation, I completely forgot to even record. I barely even posted a snap story of the concert cause I was just so excited to see them and be back together with them.

However, thanks to my little’s unlimited use of phone storage, we managed to take tons of pictures! Check them out below: 

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Make sure to go and check out the pictures on my Instagram – here’s the silly group shot and here’s my favorite of me and Paul! I’ll be commenting back on YOUR pictures if you stop by my Instagram TODAY!

Time to look into tickets for another concert – who do you recommend seeing live?

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My latest Netflix binge…

T.G.I.F, am I right?

What better way to relax this weekend by laying by the pool watching Netflix OR for those of you are #indoorsy, lay in bed with the A.C. blasting while watching the good ole ‘flix.

We all know I’m addicted to Netflix, so here’s some of the shows that I have binge watched in the past few months…..

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Wow wow wow…babes, I haven’t done a Netflix binge post in years! Heck, the graphic still has .wordpress.com on it!

Parks and RecreationThe hilarious seven season show, known as Parks and Rec, revolves around Leslie Knope and her team at an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department. Leslie has big dreams for furthering herself in the political world, but as for the rest of her team…..they would prefer to be anywhere but there. The show begins with Knope helping local nurse, Ann Perkins, turn the abandoned construction site that injured her boyfriend Andy Dwyer, into a community park. Leslie hopes that her team, including  her underachieving co-worker Tom Haverford, her government – opposing boss Ron Swanson, and the uninterested department intern, Aubrey Plaza. With the show using the same filming style as The Office, with the same implication of a documentary crew filming everything, the cast’s side commentary is as hilarious as the show’s actual hijinx.

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Image via Tumblr

 New Girl: Quirky teacher Jessica Day returns to her boyfriends’ home one day to find him with another women. She immediately breaks up with him, leaves and begins to look for a new place to live. She answers an ad on Craigslist and moves in with three single men: Nick, a grumpy law school drop-out, Schmidt, an uptight womanizer who used to be overweight, and Coach, a former professional athlete turned personal trainer. (However, for anyone who starts to watch the show from this post, I feel it is important to note that Coach moves out after the pilot and the loft’s former roommate, Winston, moves back in.) The men, Jess, and Jess’ childhood best friend and fashion model, CeCe, form a bond to create a dysfunctional family. Together, the group discovers more about themselves, their careers, love, and more. Not all seasons of New Girl are on Netflix, since the show is currently airing on Fox.
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Image via Giphy

Orange is the New Black:  Like any true OITNB fan, I began to watch the newest season, season four, as soon as it premiered last month. As the most watched Netflix series, most of you know by now that the show follows Piper Chapman, who is sentenced to 15 months in Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum-security women’s federal prison. The show also allows for viewers to get to know more about the other inmates, both through flashbacks and their current lives at Litchfield. This shocking season (no spoilers, don’t worry!) shows many characters in more-detail, has a surprising death, includes one character being released early, and so, so much more!
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Gossip Girl:  High school just got a lot more dramatic for a group of privileged Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl, an anonymous blogger, sends text-message blasts with the group’s deepest secrets and scandals. Once the group, featuring frenemies Blair and Serena, Nate, Dan, and Chuck, graduate from high school, they hope Gossip Girl’s reign will end. But as the scandals continue and hearts continue to break, Gossip Girl continues to share all of their secrets.
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Image via WiffleGif.com

Currently, my mom and I just started the Netflix-original Between, about a town that has been struck with a mysterious disease that has killed anybody over the age of 22. While under quarantine, the 21-year-olds and younger are now left to fend for themselves.
However, I am looking for something to watch when I am at the gym! So if you have any recommendations, let me know!

What are you currently binge watching on Netflix? Let me know by commenting below!

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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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Tips for making the best iced coffee at home

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Home for school forever means no more iced coffee on my meal plan and being a post-grad means being responsible enough to not waste big bucks at Dunkin Donuts everyday (#adulting, right?). Well, for someone who hates hot coffee, this leaves me in quite the tizzy.

Brewing a coffee in the Keurig and then pouring in ice never worked right, which led me on a mission to find a way to make iced coffee at home, without going for broke. This led me to finding the Primula 50 oz. cold brew iced coffee maker at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

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It’s super easy to use the Primula iced coffee maker…..

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First, you fill the middle container with any coffee grinds of your choice.

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Then, mix in water until the coffee grounds are damp.

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Fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water. This will allow for all of the coffee grounds to mix in properly.

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Refrigerate the pitcher for 12-14 hours. I always make my coffee when I am cleaning up the kitchen after dinnertime. That way, when I finish my nightly routine, I don’t have to worry. Then, in the morning, I already have my coffee ready!

All I need to do is pull the pitcher out of the fridge, add ice cubes, my favorite Dunkin Donuts creamer, and Sweet and Low.

Super easy right? 

Plus it was only $29.99 and with all the coupons Bed, Bath, and Beyond always has out – it’s even cheaper. I was able to use a 20% off coupon on it.

But what else makes this product so great? Let’s say you wake up to a text message from your co-worker saying that she wants to meet you at Starbucks to go over talking points for your big meeting that day. No worries! Your coffee is good for 14 days! Ev

Now go drink up, my coffee lovers, drink up…..

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Image via Tech Times

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The Wishlist of a Netflix Addict

Hi, my name is Sami and  I have an addiction…..to Netflix.

This past summer summer alone, I finished Greek, Grey’s Anatomy and Orange is the New Black. , now finding any spare chance I get to watch Gossip Girl. And as soon as I’m done with Gossip Girl, I’ll be starting Fuller House.

Some of the greatest shows have stopped releasing new episodes – and some have stopped being shown on television all together. Yes, I may be able to catch a good Sex and the City marathon on a Thursday on E!, but with so many episodes that teach me about adulting, boys, and friendship – I want to watch them on my own time.

Dear Netflix, if you are reading this – these are the shows I wish you would add:

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1. Sex and the City

Knowing if someone is a Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, or Charlotte can tell you more about them than any social media stalking could ever do. Sex and the City is what taught me about my friendship, adulting, and everything in between as these women tackled life as a female in the beautiful NYC. They tackle feminism in a way that wasn’t discussed before – from motherhood, to being a successful woman, to expressing your sexuality.With each designer shoe-step and cosmopolitan, these women were there for each other. They weren’t perfect, but they were real.

2. Lizzie McGuire

Before there was Sex and the City to teach me about life, there was Lizzie McGuire. Lizzie talked first kisses and first bras with her parents and best friends at the same time that I was. She showed pre-teen girls in a real way, not as secret rockstars. Lizzie faced the struggles that we all do growing up and Disney Channel portrayed these obstacles in a very real well. For this, the show will always have a special place within my heart. All 90’s girl grew up with Lizzie and I would love nothing than to sit back and watch the Lizzie-Gordo love unfold.

3. The O.C.

Moving down my wishlist list, I can’t help but wish that the most dramatic television show in the history of teen show history, The O.C., was on Netflix. Everyone was dating-and sleeping- with everyone, everyone seemed to be an alcoholic, and everyone seemed to struggle with some very serious hardship. If your mouth didn’t drop to the floor during every episode, where you really watching The O.C.? But I don’t think I bawled my eyes out harder then when Ryan carried Marissa’s lifeless body away from a burning car or when I realized that Seth and Summer were the most perfect couple.

4. Laguna Beach

I don’t know if I’ll even love my husband as much as I love Laguna Beach, L.C., and the lessons that I learned from the show. My obsession with Laguna Beach will never be “dunzo.” Before Sex and the City, Laguna Beach is where I learned about high school boys, friendships, and the importance of a good eye roll. The cast taught us that both boys and friends can break your heart and through these moments, you’ll realize who really matters. I learned that Lauren Conrad is the definition of #goals and what happens in Cabo does not stay in Cabo, my friends….

5. Jersey Shore

Call it my biggest guilty pleasure ever, but I love Jersey Shore.  I don’t think I would binge anything more than some Season 1 antics from my favorite guidos. I teased my hair, bought a tanning membership to GTL, and would have “t-shirt time” before going to teen nights at Karma, thanks to my favorite Italians. Also, we need to remember that no show has every had any better set of quotes come out of the “diary room” like chats. Even past all of this, to re-live the hook ups, the drunken mishaps, and realize why the ocean is actually salty sounds like the best way to avoid doing homework.

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What’s on your Netflix wishlist? Comment below and let me know!

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Disclaimer: All gifs were found on Giphy.com