These Days

We’re entering the dark days.

No, but literally, the days have become shorter by the hour and even now it seems like night time might be right upon us along with the threat/anticipation of snowy weather later this week.

We’re entering the point of the year where I become much better at editing my Spotify playlists than my papers. I transform into a barista constantly pouring coffee into a mug, wondering when it became possible for my body to consume this vast amount of caffeine in one sitting. The season where I see more live music than my bank account should allow for, where I become indiscernible to the naked eye because I won’t leave my apartment with an inch of skin bare. I am becoming introverted yet overly outgoing all at the same time, meaning I am out of my element – mostly meaning I am the ultimate HBO Go consumer. Meaning yes, winter is coming.

But for this season, these days of dark and cold and bitterness and yet still ultimate joy, I’m planning to fully embrace these oddities I have developed these past four years. It has truly begun to hit me that this is my last full year of school and my last opportunity to behave as such. This is the last run before true adulthood has to set in. This is really happening.

One of my roommates is in her sophomore year of school and I am truly envious. She has so much more growing to do and so many more lessons she’ll learn, and she doesn’t even know it. It’s in these days that I look at her and think wow, if I could even for a minute give you the knowledge that I have now, I could save you so many potential disasters. I could tell you so much about what you will learn from yourself. I could show you how I would retrace my steps and maybe make life a little easier, how I would change things given the chance. And at the end of it all, your senior year almost over, how you’ll look back from the top towards the landslide that was your college career below you.

But… that wouldn’t be true. Not fully. I can’t tell her that from each of these hurdles came the moments where I felt the most at peace, the most myself. I couldn’t show her that from those difficult classes or that disaster of a relationship would come something even more beautiful – that you may be at the tip, the end of one of the greatest chapters of your life, and you may see landslides and destruction and those “how could I have done those betters”, but you’ll see the landscape. You’ll see the most beautiful visual of these years spent with some of the most perfect people you could ever hope to inhabit your life; you’ll see all of these insanely pleasurable moments that transform your distress at leaving into a feeling of ultimate peace, knowing you’re embarking on a journey that only these past four years could have prepared you for.

And she’ll learn that. She’ll look at an underclassman the same way I look at her and she’ll think “if only I could show you…”. But then she’ll realize that this is what being a senior is really about – the fear, the excitement, the desire to be fully encapsulated by the outside world yet totally in awe of how it works. That’s where I am.

For now, in this time I have left within the comfort of knowing I have months before I make this transition, I am entering the dark days. Wondering yet again how I’ll survive this brutal winter or, more importantly, how my car will. And this season which is filled to the brim with school, work, volunteering, work, school, did I say work? I know it’ll be worth it at the end. I may be fully entranced with the idea of switching my schedule to only online classes for spring semester and I may be planning too many road trips than could ever be logical, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And behind it is light, too. Because each moment so far has been so ridiculously good, even when it hasn’t been.

 

And to that, I can’t be envious or reminiscent on past days. I can only focus on these days.

 

x.

 

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When the Leaves Become Crisp in the Fall…

Wow, it’s been quite a while since a blog post has happened. Where did the time go?

 

As per usual, this summer swept me up in hours of work, classes, and limited free time. At the end of the day a blog post seemed to be the furthest thing from my mind, but wow I’ve missed it!

It is also shocking to me how many of you read this little homemade blog. I can’t explain how appreciative I am each time someone asks me when I’m posting something new, what happened to me over the summer, or suggestions on what I should write next. I love knowing that this is a project that I’m passionate about and that others are benefiting from it, too.

So, where to begin after it’s been so long?

 

This summer was spent on the coast of Mississippi as it typically is. This summer started much earlier for me after an unfortunate incident led me to break my ankle. After attempting to hop (literally hop!) up and down three flights of stairs each day, while also trying to keep up with my job as a nanny, and make it to classes, I finally said enough. I moved down to Mississippi and began my summer finishing up classes from the comfort of my parents’ home, which honestly was not the worst way to start a summer.

When the boot finally came off and the knee scooter I’d been using as transportation was returned, even AFTER it was run over by a truck, I started back at my old summer job of serving for a family owned restaurant on the coast. This shortly became my life for the next four months, which was one of the most fun experiences of my life. One of my closest friends lived with me for the summer and we both worked at the restaurant while hitting the beach in our free time – who can complain about a summer like that?

Coming back up to Michigan, though, was a struggle. I may be a senior in college, but it never gets easier to leave your family.  That being said, it may be hard to leave your family, but it’s insanely easy to move into a new apartment where you FINALLY, after three years of sharing a room, have your own space to decorate and sleep in as much as you please.

My new apartment, although it may be far from campus and there may or may not be a family living across the hall, is perfect. I may just be saying this due to the fact that I have my own room, it’s decorated to my exact tastes, and it’s ridiculously comfortable – but whatever. Being a senior to me meant that all of the things I’ve been doing without for the past three years would be fulfilled this year, even if it meant having to take the bus to campus.

 

Now, after weeks of settling in and running around seemingly non stop, I’m finally settled in for my last year at MSU.

Looking forward to many experiences, many posts, and many, many good times to be had during these next months. I’ll be sure to post as often as once a week. In an effort to try something new, I’ve decided to start doing a project of “Let me try…” where I’ll go to any place around EL and check it out. This can be bars, restaurants, your lecture that has the insane prof, a show, an apple orchard … wherever. If you have any ideas on where I should head off to, comment or message me and I’ll be sure to make a stop at that location at some point throughout this year. Be ready to explore a little more of MSU than Wilson to Albert!

 

Can’t wait.

 

x

 

I’m Proud to say Go Green But…

(Originally posted December 9th, 2013)
But…. Let’s get real about what happened this weekend.
I go to a school where every single student, whether they enjoy sports or not, bleeds Green and has such pride for every aspect of their school. You could walk Michigan State University’s campus and talk to just about every student you pass and ask if, honestly, they enjoy attending State and I would not doubt that, if not EVERY SINGLE ONE but close, would say that they are Green and White to the core.
I know that I feel like that.
But, this weekend, we go to the the B1G Championship game. So many of us shelled out the $40 to drive down to Indianapolis to see our boys on the field showing the Buckeyes what football means to us. We’re inside Lucas Oil Stadium, feeling ‘some type of way’ about our players, Dantonio, MSU, and when we win the game and feel the excitement of going to the Rose Bowl we….
Burn household items? Flip over cars? Incite riots?
To me, that sounds less of a celebration and more of an action performed by those rebelling. What were we rebelling? Our beautiful win? Our outrageous time we had in Indy? Our feeling of knowing that we, as Spartans, are really all in this together, one big community?
Nope. We just want to set things on fire.
I’ll get a lot of flack for this from fellow Spartans. But, to be honest, I’m tired of forcing a laugh whenever someone brings up what happened Saturday night. I think how we acted as Spartans is disgusting. A true shame that we disgraced ourselves to a national level. We took the attention away from those football players, who have probably dreamed about this moment for years, and brought it to a pack of students who didn’t know how to just high five each other and talk about making plans to go to Pasadena.
Every time I get a text from a family member or friend asking me more about what happened Saturday, I don’t even want to respond. I’m so disappointed in our reaction to such a great moment in MSU history that i can’t admit that I live in the Cedar Village complex. I hate to admit that this isn’t the first time I’ve seen couches burning. I hate to say I know many, many students who joined that riot and who won’t ever think it was a poor choice. I mean, have fun and enjoy our win, but to deface property and ruin a fellow student’s car in the process is ridiculous. To know that the reaction in Indy was purely joy and happiness at our win and then to see the pictures of East Lansing was so… annoying. Upsetting. Purely stupid behavior.
I know my opinion is not popular. But I also don’t understand why it’s popular to engage in an activity like “Cedar Fest”, which many have obviously forgotten began because of a LOSS. Not a win, like we saw on Saturday. I saw a quote where a student said “It’s a tradition. It’s not like we’re a school of pyromaniacs.” ….. Oh? So, burning couches and trees, street signs, planks, anything you can find, is a tradition? In my time at MSU, I’ve seen probably 6 couches burning. Never for a significant reason. So, please elaborate more about the tradition behind an event that occurred once long before our generation reached MSU’s campus.
I still love my school and still have great pride in everything that I know MSU stands for, but I will not stand behind something like this. Tom Izzo, MSU’s basketball coach, gave an interview  – that I loved – explaining his distaste for what happened on Saturday.
http://bcove.me/3sjntyjx
I would love for our student body to watch this, a man close to everyone on this campus idolizes, and then try and explain why Saturday’s events were a good idea. Someone could have been killed. Someone could have been injured. That poor student could have been without a car if his friend didn’t help start a fundraiser for him to have his car fixed.
Spartans Will – that’s our motto. Let’s try to keep that untainted. I hate to hear from friends at other colleges how many jokes MSU has been made the butt of. If you want to go crazy, do what Auburn does. Go TP the trees. But keep the fire to a minimum.
x. (msu go green)

GO GREEN

(Originally posted July 1st, 2013)
It’s real. It’s actually not really a big surprise. But I’m coming back to State, for good. Okay well not “coming back”. I’m not leaving.
Trying to decide which college to transfer to has been really, really difficult. When I first came to the south, I had my sights set on Ole Miss. I love the campus, their love of football, the classiness of the university, but… the dorms are coed. I’m not Greek. I’m classy in the way that I can do an Irish Car Bomb and not spit it back up. I also wear J. Crew.
So… I started thinking maybe I should look into other schools. Mississippi State seemed cool, up there in Starkville where I’ve never been. But I’ve never thought about going there, so why would I now?
Where did that leave me? Community college? LSU? Leave the country and never return?
Ughhhhh. No.
Time to get real. I’m coming back to EL.
Now, listen, I’m sure you’re all just like okay, whatever Cait, we all knew you weren’t going to really leave. But I was. It just happened that I started thinking how it would feel to walk across that stage in two years (okay maybe three…. four) and not have my friends by my side. How would I end my college career without them?
How was I going to deal with missing out on tailgating with them? With my family? My favorite uncles? You know who you are.
I kept thinking about birthdays. Like, Rheanne’s 21st in October (okay have to fly up for that… $400). And Erica’s birthday in January (fly up for that… $400 and an extra $100 because somehow I’ll pay for Erica’s drinks). And then, you know, I’m thinking about the Red Cedar and the trees and that time we lived in Hubbard and remembering how close we are to Chicago and lakes and Zoe turns 21 in December and I miss Quinn and everything just made me want to come home.
I think sometimes, when we’re confused on what the next step should be, we need to take a moment to reevaluate. This summer with my family on the coast has been more than therapeautic and I feel revived.
So, I’m wearing green. I am a real, not moving, Spartan. I need to register for classes. Erica’s going to be so happy when she finally reads this.
I’m ready. In a couple weeks I’ll be heading back to the college I don’t think I could’ve ever left, not really. And I have a balcony. Hell ya.
x.

Booty (BEU-TEE)

(Originally posted June 21st, 2013)
It’s been four days since my last manicure and my shellacked (?) nails are already chipping. Four. Days. Shellac is supposed to stay on your nails for two to three weeks, according to all the magazines I’ve read and the lady at the place. Now I know you just can’t trust everything you read in a beauty magazine. What I do know is that you can usually always count on what others are doing around you. I can’t even tell you how many hair/makeup/nail/health/clothes ideas I’ve copied from friends and, you know, Pinterest.
People always ask me about my skin. It used to really creep me out, like Silence of the Lambs style, “Your skin is so creamy and smooth. How do you do that?”. I would cringe and not answer, hoping they wouldn’t follow me out to my car later and skin me. But once the question started becoming a little less creepy, I started taking into consideration my “beauty” routine. I hadn’t realized I had one until I watched this episode of Mad Men where they talk about that and, yeah do you guys watch Mad Men?… Anyway, I do have a routine. And it’s strange to me that so many young women out there really don’t care to care for their skin. I love my skin. I was so blessed to have received my mother’s side of the family’s skin. But don’t get me wrong, it still takes work.
To any males reading this, just stop. I’ll talk about the Heat and the Spurs later (totally knew the Heat would take it all) or the Stanley Cup but just don’t read right now. To my dad, I did go crabbing and I’ll write a post about that later, but I didn’t get anything and didn’t even get to drink a beer.
So, here are my little tricks to keeping up with your skin:
1. Wash your face. Duh. 
Your face takes on so much during one day. Imagine your face being a towel. All day long it wipes up whatever you stuck your hands in, the outside elements, whatever you laid your head down on (no one wants to know), your face takes everything, well, to the face.
2. Exfoliate. Your skin is not really your skin, it’s more like a facade of the skin that should be your skin, so you need to exfoliate to let that skin show. Right? Okay, listen, everytime you walk outside without sunscreen on you’re damaging your skin. The outside layer, and layers underneath, are being baked and crisped by the sun which leads to your face looking like it’s peeling and ew, no one wants to see that. Now, I can’t really say much because I never wear sunscreen and always opt for oil and right, I’m fully aware that when I get older I’m going to look like the Crypt Keeper, but all of that aside I’m really going to encourage everyone to wear sunscreen. That’s really more coming from my mom, so you can thank her instead of me. In the winter, exfoliating is important because the air is so dry and therefore so is your skin, so in order for your skin to kind of rejuvenate itself you need to give it some help and get that old layer off (as Cosmo would say, “Lol that layer is SO last season!). I only exfoliate about once a month during the winter. It irritates my skin to do it often and also I’m too lazy. But in the summer, exfoliating is where it’s at. You go out in the sun, you’re burnt, you come inside and your skin looks like mine at my senior prom when patches of my skin were peeling before the dancefloor’s eyes. You need to heal yourself and save yourself from it peeling any further and exfoliate. This allows the old skin to be gone and your new skin to be fresh and clean and you won’t look like a snake shedding its skin. You can go buy yourself an exfoliant at any store, but I prefer to make my own. I use sugar, olive oil and either cinnamon or lemon. It works really nicely, smells good, and the cinnamon leaves a nice tint. Also it’s super cheap and ready for you whenever, which is always good. Now, listen, I’ve become a serious beach layer this summer. My skin is probably as damaged as it can get, but I exfoliate even when I’m at the beach. Ha ha, funny, right, but multi tasking is great and so is sand. When I’m hanging out in my beach chair I literally rub sand on my legs and arms and when I look like I just crawled out of the ocean, I go for a swim and rub off the grody skin and sand and oil and, voila, I walk out of that ocean a new woman. Alright, sorry, you get what I’m saying, right?
3. MOISTURIZE. Whenever someone asks why my skin is so smooth and how I got it to be that way, I just look at them and think, “What? Lotion?”. It’s not a medevial medicinal tactic, it’s called mositurizing the layers of your skin. To keep your skin looking great and not all dry and dusty, it’s not botox that’s going to help you. It’s not whatever Cosmo said was the “it” product for the summer. It’s moisturizing and if you want nice skin then this should be implemented into your routine. If you have sensitive skin, ultra dry skin, or anything like that, then you should be looking for a lotion that’s suited to you. Using whatever your mom picked up at Costco will NOT work for your face and let me tell you what, you’ll learn that sooner if you have any type of skin that I’m talking about. I really like to use Clinique’s oil free lotion for sensitive skin. It’s yellow and smells pretty weird, but I can put a dime sized bit on my face at 8 am and it still feels nice when I wash my face to go to bed. When I can’t afford to buy something from Macy’s, I’ve used Aveeno daily moisturizer. It works well, but I don’t slather it on my face because it’s a little heavy. If you can find a good moisturizer, your days of facial worries will be in the past. That much I can tell you. Now when it comes to moisturizing the rest of your body, I’d go with cocoa butter. I seriously love cocoa butter too much and will find excuses all throughout the day to use it. I’ll get home from work and be like “I just need some cocoa butter”, or I’ll be watching a movie, “This would go great with cocoa butter”. I don’t know why, but something about that lotion being able to moisturize multiple layers of my skin just really warms and moisturizes my heart. Anyway, it’s great and if you’re looking for a new body lotion I’d go with that over the $10 bottle of Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea. And honestly, can people not use that scent anymore or any of that because it kills me and my sinuses.
Now, makeup. This is a really long piece and probably half of you have stopped reading because a) you already know to do the three things I mentioned or b) you don’t want to read. I understand. I do.
But anyway, makeup is tricky. I know nothing about makeup, I don’t really care about makeup. But what I do care about and will avoid at all costs is looking like I wear makeup. Now, in the winter, I’m sure that I am guilty of overdoing the bronzer. But living your life with translucent skin is pretty rough and you know what, I’m not going to apologize.
I use:
– Moisturizer. Obviously.
– Tinted Moistuizer. I really love to have smooth and healthy skin, so I use Aveda tinted moisturizer after my inital lotion. It’s natural looking, adds some color and has SPF. While I know a lot of girls like to use concealer, it’s too heavy for my skin and I can’t put it on without feeling like one smile will make it crack. This particular moisturizer is a little pricy, but since you don’t have to use a lot it’s worth it.
– Bronzer. Okay, I don’t really know if it’s called bronzer, but it looks like it and makes my skin look great so whatever I’m just going with that. I use True Match powder from L’Oreal. I put it under my cheek bones and then on my forehead and all of that, which is cool because those areas won’t really tan when I’m wearing sunglasses (I have to because I’m blinded in the sun). I feel like a tool for explaining this, but that’s how I wear bronzer. Next question.
– Blush. I love blush. Pick a subtle color, and you’ll look like fantastic. Please just use it lightly and don’t put it all over your face because that’s weird. I like Clinique blush but I’ll use Cover Girl in a pinch.
– Mascara. One of those things I think a woman should never leave the house without wearing unless you’re going fishing, running, to the hospital, or if you’re trying to read or watch a Nicholas Sparks movie while, you know, you’re emotional. I use Clinique (I really like Clinique) because I have really sensitive eyes. I’ll also use L’Oreal Volumnious lashes because it makes my eyelashes look seriously great and I’ll deal with my eye problems later. No, actually the formula they use doesn’t irritate which is nice.
Alright, so there are my little tips. I think we get so wrapped up in the new phases of skin care and makeup that we forget the little basics. I know that after talking with girls my own age and women older than myself that moisturizing has never been a huge thing for them when it definitely should, and using harsh products to wash your skin, like generic bar soap or even some of those pricy acne cleansers, can actually make you break out more and make your skin look rougher than you would think.
I’m not a dermotologist and I have no idea, but there you go and now I’m going to get ready for the day,
x.