Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting in the Holiday Spirit!

My desk at Whitney Management!
I love Christmas! 

I am so excited that Thanksgiving is over so I can finally get in the Christmas spirit without people judging me! 

As you know if you've read my previous blog post... I just started back at my old summer internship job... which means I have another office I get to sprinkle with Holiday Cheer! 

I love being surrounded by Christmas decorations because Christmas represents a really fun, warm, family-oriented holiday for me. 

Christmas was not always a fun time for me and my family... in fact, we still always get in fights and are very stressed when we get together for the holidays (I cannot remember the last time we decorated the tree without at least one fight).

Having just said that, you may wonder why I love this holiday so much and certainly why I associate warm-fuzzy family memories with this holiday... and the reason is because even though in the days leading up to Christmas my family may get in TONS of crazy fights, Christmas morning is magical!

There is no more satisfying feeling then when you know you have made or purchased the PERFECT gift for someone. To me, gift-giving is a way of showing that you truly care and have taken the time to get to know that person, and know exactly what they would love. 
The measurement for how awesome a gift is is not measured by how expensive, or how popular a certain item may be; but rather, how perfectly it reminds the recipient of a good memory between the two of you, or how useful it will be for the recipient's strange/weird/boring/old-lady hobby that they may love. For this reason, nothing makes gift-giving more boring to me then when someone wants a) money b) gift card or c) tells you exactly what they want. It takes the mystery and enchantment out of Christmas morning, and ends up feeling more like a chore then an exciting holiday tradition.

I am so happy that the holiday season is finally here. Are you? Do you love Christmas as much as I do? Do you have any wonky family traditions that make you either love or hate Christmas? Let me know!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving Plate
Today was such a fun day, filled with family and giving thanks!! 

My Thanksgiving festivities started yesterday when my sisters and I all met up at my Grandmother's house to sleep over in order to be able to start the meal preparations nice and early on Thanksgiving morning! The four of us worked what felt like all day to make a ham, turkey, collard greens, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, bread, salad, some egg concoction, stuffing, and cranberry sauce! Everything turned out fantastic and just in time for when my mom, her boyfriend, and a family friend arrived.

My favorite part about Thanksgiving dinner...yum!!!
After our incredibly large feast, we indulged a little more on the ginormous pies and that my grandmother had bought. I think that pumpkin pie and coffee may be my favorite part of Thanksgiving. My mom also brought a pumpkin cheesecake from Sweet William's which was a huge hit, as you can see by the picture I snapped.

My Grandmother enjoying not cooking for once!
Though the food and desserts are always delicious, my favorite part of this holiday is the time spent with my family. As I have explained in earlier posts, it is not often that my immediate family is all in the same area, so when this happens it is truly time to treasure. I was able to snap a picture of my grandmother sitting back and enjoying not having to cook the meal (this is the first year that my sisters and I tackled the chore), and I also was able to teach my mom how to use Instagram! She is totally into it and just as much in love with posting pictures as I am!

The night ended well with my sisters and my mother driving back to my mom's house in the Northwest part of Connecticut. Two of my sisters (Nina and Rebecca) passed out into a Turkey Coma soon after we arrived home; but Andrea, my mom, and I stayed up and watched the 7th Harry Potter, part 1 & 2.

The next day Nina and Rebecca left back for Washington, D.C with a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers. 

My Mom learning how to use Instagram!
Where did you spend your Thanksgiving? What is your favorite Holiday? Did you help cook the meal or did you get to sit back and watch a football game?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Internship Opportunities

An awesome thing about the curriculum at AMC is that most majors require you do an internship in order to graduate. Though at first glance this may seem like an inconvenience, it is really a blessing!

I completed my internship this past summer at a local property management company, Whitney Management. I was the Marketing Coordinator Intern and I got to learn a ton about making sales-pitch power points, e-newsletters, website design, social networking, and a ton more. I ended my internship just before school began and felt completely satisfied on what I had taken away from my experience.

Though what you learn during your internship is vital, what is more important (at least in my eyes) are the connections that you can make and the future opportunities that may result from doing a good job and putting forth your best effort.

I can attest to this, because just last week I got a call from Whitney Management asking me to come back to work part-time for them. I happened to be looking for a job anyway, so I am really excited to be able to go back to Whitney and continue helping out. Because I also work in the Financial Aid Office, Whitney Management is willing to work with me on my scheduling and give me very flexible hours. I am really grateful for the opportunity they are giving me and recognize that this opportunity would never have presented itself if I had not needed to have an internship and had not given my best effort.

My first day is Monday, November 26th - stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting Excited for Thanksgiving Break!

My sister Andrea (who lives in Texas) came to visit this weekend! In an earlier post, I asked you guys for some input on where to take her during her visit... unfortunately for me, no one responded so I was left to fend for myself!

I ended up taking her to Claire's Cornercopia (a place I have blogged about before) because she is a vegetarian. We then decided to walk around downtown New Haven, which was tremendously fun because it was a beautiful night and the downtown New Haven area is such a classy place filled with glamorous buildings and small hole-in-the-wall gems!

We had a great time and it was such a pleasure to be able to catch up on the various happenings of our lives - I love visiting with my family and that is why I am SO excited for Thanksgiving!!

3/4 of the Palmer Girls outside of Bruegger's Bagels
This morning, Andrea's visit came to an end as my mom and other sister, Rebecca (visiting from Washington DC), came to scoop Andrea up and take her back to my mom's house. I have classes Monday morning, so we had a quick bite to eat at Bruegger's Bagels on Amity Road before I went to my Accounting class. It was a ton of fun and their bagels are sooooo delish!

I will be joining my family for Thanksgiving Break on Wednesday, because AMC closes at 3 pm Wednesday afternoon. My professors have individually cancelled the classes for the rest of the week, but I am staying in New Haven so I can still get my hours in for my Work Study position in the Financial Aid Office.

I am so excited for Thanksgiving Break to start so I can go to my mom's house and just relax with my sisters and my mom. I cannot wait to be surrounded by my family for the holiday! 

Are you excited to visit with your family, or can it get somewhat stressful? When does your school get out for Thanksgiving Break? Do you think we should get more or less time for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Date Night: C.O.Jones

Tonight I had a date night with my boyfriend at a local Mexican joint, C.O.Jones. We decided to go here because of the fancy livingsocial deal I bought a few months ago. 

Zairis viewing the menu while we waited for a table, very crowded!
For those of you who live in a cave (just kidding!), livingsocial is a coupon website that emails you local deals everyday. These deals are usually 50% - 90% discounts for awesome restaurants, spa's, activities, etc. If you subscribe to the New Haven County email list, it is a great way to discover new places and activities to do with your friends while staying in budget!

I liked C.O.Jones and will definitely add it to my places to recommend in New Haven. The food was delicious, the prices decent, and the happy hour specials are unheard of (1/2 price margaritas, free price burritos... and more!)

Though it was delicious, there are some things to be careful of should you decide to go:
  1. Very small restaurant so it gets crowded and loud very quickly.
  2. They have off-street parking, so be aware that you need to put change in parking meters until 9:00 pm in New Haven.
  3. They charge for soda re-fills. 
Do you like Mexican food? Have you ever been to C.O.Jones? Do you notice anything goofy about the name?!

The Giving Tree

Giving Tree: located in Bree Commons
in Aquinas Hall
If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know that my Business Policy Seminar class is conducting two fundraisers for the local organization, Life Haven. We are doing this to promote the community spirit on our campus and to spread our good fortune to those less fortunate then us this holiday season. (To read about the first fundraiser we did, the Life Haven Raffle, feel free to read my previous blog post.)

Today we started the next phase of our donation: the Giving Tree. For this community outreach project we have a tree in the Bree Commons which is decorated with a bunch of paper ornaments. On the back of each ornament is a description of a donation needed; for example, one may say "Girl 15 Outerwear" which means we need some outdoor clothing suitable for a 15 year old girl such as mittens, a scarf, hat, etc.

We hope that people will take an ornament, purchase the desired items and return the item and the ornament to Professor Munson. We have left instructions under the tree (shown below) so that people can join in and help donate if they want to. 

Does your school do any charity work during the holiday season? If so, do you get involved and which charities do you partner with?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1, 2, 3, 4... I Declare A Prank War!

If you have read my 'About Me' section, you know I am a Work Study in the Financial Aid Office here at Albertus. Honestly, it's a pretty awesome job: the work is interesting and the women in the office are fantastic - I enjoying going in to work every day.

It is because I love my job and the women in my office so much that I have declared a Prank War with my co-worker/supervisor, Christina!

So far the score is 3-1, me. I have done some pretty fancy pranks (if I do say so myself). Here are the following pranks I have done:

Peter, Paul & Perry, Christina's stressball people that
I kidnapped... and taped upside down!
  • Placed a mini-sticky note under her mouse (covering the lazer) so that when she tried to use the mouse it would not work!
  • Turned everything in her office upside down! (pictures, calendar, mouse... etc).
  • Kidnapped her stress-ball people (Peter, Paul & Perry) and left ransom notes so she had to go on a scavenger hunt to find them around the office!
It is so much fun. Christina is a good sport and pranks me back, it is all in good-humor and sometimes everyone in the office joins in!

The only problem is... I am running out of prank ideas! Do you have any prank suggestions I could use on Christina?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Where Should We Go?!

Thanksgiving is almost here and that means my family is starting to trickle in to town! 

This year my 3 sisters, my mom, and I are gathering at my grandmother's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. I am so excited because we are all spread out across the country that it is hard to get all of my sisters into one room at the same time. My sister, Andrea, is flying in from Texas, and my other two sisters, Nina & Rebecca who live in Washington DC, will be hopping on the train to get here.

Where should we go?!
Andrea decided to fly in a little earlier than the others to capitalize on her vacation time and her time home. She will be staying at my mom's house which is in a small po'dunk town in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. Because it's fairly boring there (and because she loves me!), she is going to come visit me here in New Haven! If you've read my previous blogs you know I LOVE when family and friends come to visit, so I could not be more stoked!

The only thing is... I'm not sure what to do! There are so many cool places and restaurants to show that I'm at a loss of which ones to take her to! I know that I am going to take her to East Rock, but other then that her visit is an open book! She will arrive this Sunday afternoon and stay only until Monday afternoon.

What do you think we should do? Do you have any hot spots that you think we should hit up? Let me know your ideas and stay tuned to hear about what we actually did!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Life Haven Raffle

My lia sophia section at Life Haven raffle!
One of the cool things about Albertus is that the professors and curriculum really encourage you to get involved and give back to the community. In my Business Policy Seminar, a senior-level class, we are doing two different community outreach projects. 

The first community outreach project we are doing happened last night in the Bree Commons, where we did a raffle in which all proceeds went directly to Life Haven. Life Haven is a non-profit organization here in New Haven that helps women who have been dealt a tough hand in life, get back on their feet and help support their families. Life Haven offers these women and their families a safe place to stay and nutritious food to eat while they get back on their feet financially and emotionally. If you'd like to learn more about this organization, feel free to visit their website.

Our raffle was a huge success! We had some really great donated items... one student even donated a bran-spankin' new set of Beats by Dre (retail value between $200-$300!!). I donated two pieces of lia sophia jewelry because I am a lia sophia Advisor.

We ended up raising $454.11, which is much more then we expected! We are so excited to donate the money to Life Haven and get started on our second fund raiser (which begins TODAY) which is the Giving Tree located again in the Bree Commons. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

AMC Open House: A Tour Guide's Perspective

Yesterday was Open House here at Albertus Magnus College and let me just tell you... it was a blast! As a Tour Guide, I was working at Open House to help people find where they're supposed to be, answer questions, and of course... give tours!

Albertus Magnus College Campus Map
The morning started out early with us Tour Guides having to arrive by 8:15 am. We got the debrief of what was happening and then they sent us on our way. I was assigned to the station that helped prospective students and their families find their seats for the buffet-styled breakfast. I loved doing this because I could tell people were so excited to be there and it reminded me of how excited I had been when I attended two years ago as a transfer student. BTW: the food looked delish!

I also enjoyed this station because I saw a student and his family that I had given a tour to! They recognized me and even remembered my name! That made me feel pretty fantastic to know that I had made an impression on this family and they had decided to come back to learn more about Albertus.

After the breakfast, there were two huge rooms (Bree Commons and the Tag Center) filled with booths. The Tag featured booths manned by Professors so that students could meet their potential instructors and see some of the cool things they would be learning, and in Bree Commons the booths were dedicated to the Student Activities. I was so shocked by how many activities we have on campus... I knew we had a lot but seeing them all in one room was very helpful because I got to learn about a few I didn't even know about, but will definitly check out!

After exploring the booths for a bit, I was asked to give a private tour to a family... I love giving tours so that made my day! The family I got to give a tour to was very friendly and already in love with Albertus, so it was a pleasure to show them around and tell them even more amazing things about Albertus.

After my tour I stopped back in the Bree Commons to sip on some hot apple cider and munch on a cinnemon donut.

All in all, it was a really great day. I had such a great time and hope that the students I met will come to Albertus.

Have you gone to any Open Houses yet? Have you ever attended an Albertus Open House? If so, let me know how you liked it!

Also, if you didn't get a chance to come to the Open House, but still want the grand tour of Albertus, call the Admissions Office to set up a private tour: 203-773-8501

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election Reflections

Zairis (my boyfriend) submitting his vote into the machine
Last night the results for the Presidential Elections for 2012 were released! There was a lot of build up and, because it was such a close race, a lot of anxiety on both sides! As everyone (should) know by now, Obama will continue his presidency into a second term.

My boyfriend and I were so excited to go vote, the place we voted was just down the road from our apartment in a local fire house. This was both of our second time voting, though my first time voting in Connecticut (I voted in the 2008 election in Austin, Texas). I was so proud to wear my "I Voted" sticker all day... I even got free popcorn last night at Rave Movie Theater (in North Haven) because of my sitcker!

I loved seeing everyone get involved in this national event on campus. A few weeks earlier I had participated in the National Voters Registration Day. I was able to help Albertus Students register to vote, which really made me feel like I was a part of the process and helping others become part of the process as well.

A lot of my classmates were really excited about this election because it was their first time able to vote. The amount of "I Voted" stickers around campus yesterday was amazing and inspiring.

Because I was so nervous about the results, my boyfriend and our two friends went on a double date to go see Wreck It Ralph (where I got my free popcorn for voting!) to take off some of the anxiety caused by waiting for the results. We made it home well in time to see the results, and I could not have been happier!

I know some people are very upset about the results of this elections, but I think what is important now is to unite as a country so we can move towards a better, brighter America!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pup or No Pup? That is the Question!

Living off campus is very different from living on campus. There are a few disadvantages to being a commuter, but at this point in my life the advantages outweigh them. My favorite 'perk' of living off campus is that we get to live with my boyfriend's dog, Patch. Patch is SUCH a cuddle bug and I quickly fell in love with him. He literally brightens up my day and is such a goofball!

While I am totally satisfied with having our little family consist of just me, my boyfriend, and Patch, my boyfriend has found another pup at the local animal shelter that he wants to bring into the house: Socks. Though I love dogs, this is a very hard decision for me... maybe you could help me with my decision?

My reasons to not adopt Socks: 
  • It's a huge commitment, are we ready to take on another dog?!
  • Not sure we have enough time to give Socks the time she would need to learn how to potty train, socialize, etc.
  • Dogs are expensive!

Zairis' reasons to adopt Socks: 
  • Has visited with her and he loves her already (and he doesn't typically like pitbulls)
  • Socks would be company for Patch when we're at work
  • Thinks we're ready for another dog / would complete our little family
  • More protection for our apartment (we life in a very rough neighborhood)
  • Will make walks and trips to to the park more fun
  • Wants the pup to learn from Patch because Patch is older (almost 5 years old)
  • May help Patch become more social with dogs, currently Patch is not very friendly with other dogs.

So now that you've got all the facts, what do you think... should we adopt Socks? Let me know your thoughts!

Soccer Mania!!

Final Score of the Men's Soccer GNAC Championship Game.
This afternoon, the AMC Men's Soccer team hosted the GNAC Championship Game against Norwich. After around an hour and a half of scoreless play, Albertus and Norwich went into a 5 minute overtime... and then another one after that because neither team was able to score! Even after both overtimes, the two teams were still locked at 0-0, forcing the teams to face in penalty shots. Finally after some very close shots and amazing saves from both teams, Albertus pulled ahead and took the game with a final score of 6-5. 

The game was such a blast to watch, and if you missed it you certainly missed a very good time. Albertus came so close to scoring so many times throughout the game that it definitely kept the crowd on their toes - there was not one boring moment throughout the whole game! 

In addition to the game, there was a Spirit tent set up which was offering prizes for those students who were adorned in the most Falcon Blue, and raffling off other prizes; the Women's Basketball team was manning a refreshment and snack table to fundraiser for their season; and Frankie the Falcon was out making his rounds - I was lucky enough to snap a picture with him!

I had such a great time, and as a commuter the game offered me a great opportunity to visit with my on-campus friends. Living off campus can sometimes get in the way of visiting with the friends who I used to live down the hallway from, so I cherish the opportunity to spend a few solid hours with them on campus!

Do your school sports team's ever make it to tournaments? Do you ever go to the games? What is your favorite part? Let me know :) !!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting Ready for Spring 2013

I am so excited because I have just registered for my final semester as an undergrad student! This moment has been five years in the making, and I could not be more stoked!

Registration for all students at Albertus happens this week, and I could not be more excited and proud that I have made it this far! As a transfer student who attended a community college in Texas prior to attending Albertus, it is safe to say that my college experience has differed from that of the normal 4-year experience. Though I would not trade a thing about my path to where I am now, it is certainly exciting to finally be in this position, registering for my final classes as an undergrad! (I specify as an "undergrad" because I most definitely plan on pursuing an MBA, though the where and when of that equation have yet to be filled in.)

At Albertus, the registration process is fairly simple. First you meet with your advisor; in this meeting you discuss the possible classes that work with your major and your schedule and they input the classes you select together into your account. Once the school gives the OK to register, all you have to do is pull up your "Planned Courses" and click the "Register" button. It is so simple, which I love because if there is one thing you do not want to mess up, its registering for classes - mistakes in this arena could cost you another semester before graduating! 

My Spring semester looks like it should be an easy course-load. One of the classes that I have registered for (Professional Selling) is a week-long, intensive course that happens prior to the start of the semester. It is Monday - Friday 8:30-4:30 for one week and then it is over; this was ideal for me because once I knock that class out, I will have a more flexible schedule for work!

I'm really excited about my schedule for the upcoming semester. I took a screen shot of my schedule below so you can check it out and see the format we have at Albertus! What does your schedule look like? Does your school offer you online registration? Is your registration process more or less simple then the one we have here at Albertus?