My Skincare Must-Haves

Very few things stress me out and make me feel self-conscious more than having bad skin. That’s why I take great pride in taking good care of my skin, as we all should. My skin is by no means perfect, but I am lucky to feel comfortable going out with no makeup on.

Fresh outta the shower. Zero make-up, zero filter.

Fresh outta the shower. Zero make-up, zero filter.

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Back-to-School Workout Challenge

Although I still have a week left of my winter break, I know many of you have already started your second semester, which totally sucks I’m so sorry. But going back to school also means getting back to working out, because like many of you, I know I have been slacking in that department this past month. I didn’t have time to get to the gym the other night so I came up with this 35 minute cardio and strength workout routine inspired by a bootcamp class I take at my university’s recreational center and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred that incorporates some of my favorite exercises. It switches back and forth from 6 minutes of strength training to 3 minutes of cardio exercises. I’m a huge fan of interval-based workouts because you can fit in your cardio and strength exercises in a short routine and it doesn’t leave you dying from long periods of high intensity cardio (such as in Insanity, god I hated those videos). Also, it’s been proven that interval-training fitness systems actually burn more calories than traditional fitness systems with no varying levels of intensity, so i’ll take it.

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So here is my Back-to-School Workout that you can do straight from your room, 3 times a week to help you tone up and get your Spring Break body.  All you need is a pair of free weights (I suggest 5-8 lbs.), a mat, a timer, and lots of water. Do each exercise for 1 minute.

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Wrapping Presents 101

I know this may have been a better post to have before Christmas, but of course my procrastinator self didn’t wrap my presents until Christmas Eve, a few hours before our family dinner party. Although wrapping presents yourself is much more difficult, it saves you money and is a good skill to learn for the rest of your life. After seeing some tweets and pictures of people struggling I decided to help a sista out and share how I have learned to wrap presents, with a special appearance from my favorite boys of One Direction.

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Restaurant Style Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

So I just started serving at the Vine in Iowa City and I have become obsessed with their Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla. Although I didn’t have all the ingredients I wanted to make that, I did make a scrumptious, restaurant-style chicken quesadilla that was way better than Panchero’s or Chipotle (although I still love them).

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I used frozen chicken breasts (defrost by placing frozen bag of chicken in bowl of hot water), shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions, and minced garlic  that I already had in my apartment and didn’t want to just throw away (wasting precious money) before I left for break for this quesadilla. The trick to homemade quesadillas is cooking your vegetables and chicken separately before you put them in your tortilla so they are thoroughly cooked and warm. Also, spray Pam in your pan and heat both sides of your tortilla before you add your cheese and other ingredients to get your tortilla nice and crispy like the restaurants.

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Shopping Style Steals: Tanger Outlet

So if you’re like me, you have been spending the last two weeks working on final projects, papers, and studying for finals. I HATE FINALS WEEK! Ugh, it’s the most stressful time of the school semester but don’t worry, you’re almost done! Anyway, yesterday I needed a little study break and what did I choose to do? Shopping, of course!

Instead of going to the mall close to my school in Iowa City, I drove about 20 minutes to a town called Williamsburg, IA where there is a Tanger Outlet Center. If you have never been to an outlet center before, it’s basically a little plaza with discount outlets for brand name stores. While the plan was to get some Christmas shopping done for my family, I may or may not have bought a few items for myself. I can never say no to a good sale…sigh.

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College Cribs and DIY Decoration Projects

            The best part about moving away from home or even moving into a new apartment during college is being able to personalize your living space. While decorating can be really expensive if you go out and buy everything new, there are a lot of ways to save money and to make things yourself with DIY projects. In this very special multimedia post, I’ve included an audio slideshow I like to call “College Cribs” which is a play on the MTV show where celebrities give you a tour of their homes. But instead of celebrities, two female students from the University of Iowa will be giving you a tour of their apartments. In addition, I made my first DIY tutorial on how to make a glitter vase out of an empty wine bottle. Finally, I have put together my list of “Best DIY Projects for College Homes” with the use of Storify. I have worked really hard on this post so I hope you all like it! And if you don’t, just tell me you do anyway.

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How I Lost the Weight

As promised on my #transformationtuesday Instagram photo from yesterday, I am going to share how I lost more than fifteen pounds (probably losing that freshman fifteen finally) since this past July.

I would just like to start off by saying that I am not the type of girl to post a bunch of pictures of myself in a bikini for all of social media to see. And I honestly spent a good hour debating whether to post my before and after Picstitch (I texted my sister and boyfriend for their opinion) because again, it’s so unlike me and I am so awkward with that kind of stuff.

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Shopping Style Steals: Goodwill

Fall is here and winter is quickly approaching (yikes), so it’s time to layer up. I’m obsessing over chunky knitted sweaters and cardigans this season and to go to one of my favorite stores to find some. If you have never shopped at Goodwill before, you need to. Don’t be freaked out that the clothes are “used” or “old”. I look at it as a chance to have something “vintage” that none of your friends will have.

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Build Your Own (Cheap) Burger

College towns have endless American-styled restaurants, sports bars, and fast-food restaurants around campus that can serve up a mean burger. For my Iowa City girls, Short’s Burgers is a definite must-try! But knowing from experience, going out to eat can add up real quick.

With the price of one burger meal ($8-$10) I get at my favorite burger joints, I made five burgers in my apartment. I always have bulk ground beef in my freezer so I just defrosted about 1 pound of it and then mixed in diced onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce into the meat for flavor. But season your meat with whatever your preference is.

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Here’s some helpful tips I learned from watching the Food Network (I’m obsessed with watching food shows), add a splash of milk to your meat to prevent it from falling apart while you’re cooking. Also to get an even patty, make a dimple in your patties, meaning the sides are higher than the center.

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