Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Means...

1. It's the last day of February, now on to March, the month when spring starts!

2. I am officially "in season" again with crew.

3. My boyfriend, CB is coming to visit this weekend, and we are going on a double date with MC and her boy =)

4. Serious smoothie making. I bought a blender from Wal-Mart, so now I can make fresh fruit smoothies in my room!

5. I am determined to have a productive week!


Always,
Alyssa

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Plum Dandy

... is one of the newer spots to go to right downtown in the heart of Saratoga Springs, New York. After going to a similar frozen yogurt shop in Philadelphia over the summer, I was thrilled to find out we had something just like it when I returned to school. Plum Dandy features different flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt everyday. After you choose your flavors, you can add toppings that range from fresh fruit to cookie dough. There are so many options! Not only does Plum Dandy offer delicious frozen yogurt (my favorite is "cake batter"), but it also offers bubble tea, different flavored hot chocolates, and fresh fruit smoothies, among other drinks and foods! Plum Dandy has a comfortable and "mod" atmosphere. It is a fun place to go with friends and family to play the different board games they have there, or to guess how many candies they have in a jar. Not to mention, the owner is super friendly and has done a great job promoting his business. He offers a buy-one get-one free frozen yogurt special on tuesdays for students, and has let me try samples of different drinks he has been working on. The homemade marshmallows are to die for!

Always,
Alyssa

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies!


It's Girl Scout Cookie Season! Yayyy! I used to be a girl scout, and couldn't wait for this time of year. When it rolled around, it was always exciting to hear of the new featured flavors, eat my favorite ones, and sell the cookies to all of the loyal customers. My girl scout days are long gone now, but the excitement for this time of year has not faded. My favorite cookie by far is the Caramel Delight (aka Samoa). There is just nothing like a good girl scout cookie!

image found via weheartit

If you are like me, and do not have a girl that comes to your door selling cookies, you can figure out where they may be selling them through the online Cookie Locator.



This is what my living room used to look like, when the cookies would arrive:


My mom was the "cookie mom", which means she went to the big warehouse and got boxes and boxes of girl scout cookies to distribute to the individual girls, and then to sell at our booth sales. It was always fun watching the boxes pile up, destructing a significant amount of space in our living room. Each girl would stop by our house with their mom or dad, and my mom and I would pile the boxes into their cars (which were usually mini vans). Although my mom enjoyed it, I know she was happy when her duties as a cookie mom ended. Regardless, seeing those brightly colored boxes probably bring about fond memories for the both of us.


Always,
Alyssa


images found via google images

Friday, February 25, 2011

Soft Skin

Since the one nice teasing day of spring-like weather last friday, every other day has been winter-like. Don't get me wrong, I love all four seasons in different ways, but winter just always seems to out-weigh the other ones in terms of length. I am ready for spring already! My skin just doesn't seem to agree with this cold weather either. I am done with dry skin and chapped lips! However, I am not done with Aquaphor, which works wonders. I used to use Vaseline on my lips and hands during the night. But Vaseline is more of a skin protectant, where as Aquaphor is similar in feel, but a healing ointment, which actually makes your lips feel moisturized. Chapstick can temporarily make your lips feel better, but it can end up drying them out more. Aquaphor is overall a great product, and you can even use it as a substitute for clear lipgloss. Plus, when you put it on your hands at night, they feel so much better in the morning. For daily moisturizing, I recommend Eucerin Calming Cream, which is by the same company that makes Aquaphor. They are essentials for purses, backpacks, bathrooms, and bedrooms.



Always,
Alyssa

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Short and Sweet

It is late on a thursday night and I've been pretty busy all day. Yet, I am not complaining though because it is the weekend for me! I don't have class on fridays, so when thursday evening rolls around, it is pretty exciting. That being said, I am pretty exhausted so I thought I would just make this post short and sweet with a few fun pictures.







images found via weheartit



Always,
Alyssa

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It was a Dunkin Donuts Day

Tuesdays are tough. I know they are only the second day into the week, but the rest of the week just feels so far away. Wednesday's just seem so much better. My day ends a little earlier, and I don't have captain's practice so I can take a nap, and work out on my own time. After Wednesday, I'm practically to the weekend! It's always nice to make "tough tuesdays" a little easier, so I can slide right into wednesday. My fix for this past tough tuesday? Going to Dunkin Donuts with MC for an Iced Caramel Swirl Coffee. Mmmm. Every time we go, we always get the same thing. I could drink a Dunkies Iced Caramel Swirl in the dead of winter. I went through a drive-thru once and ordered one, and the lady that worked there thought I was crazy for getting an iced coffee when it was so cold outside. I get overheated easily though, and the cool coffee is just so refreshing. =)

image found via weheartit




Always,
Alyssa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Latte Art

I am constantly being inspired by different forms of art. One form that I have recently discovered is Cappuccino Art (also known as coffee art and latte art). I think I first saw it on TV in a featured show, and then again last semester at Uncommon Grounds. If I do recall correctly, a woman who worked there made a snowman on top of a cappuccino! How cool?! This is a trade that I would like to successfully be able to do one day.

image found via Google Images



image found via Google Images



image found via Google Images


Image found via Google Images



image found via Google Images


image found via Google Images




Always,
Alyssa

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lace Monogram Pendant Necklace

I am not one for watching television very often. To be honest, the majority of my "extra" time is spent on this laptop. This isn't to say I don't enjoy watching Modern Family or some sort of "reality" show on the Food Network or TLC. I am also not sure whether or not I should be ashamed to say that I may dapple with some shows many people accuse of lacking class. These include but are not limited to: Jersey Shore, Teen Mom Season 1, and the bachelor(ette). The latter of the three would definitely have to be my guiltiest pleasure. Although at this point, I have accepted the fact that the show may not be that realistic it is still fun to see people go on dream dates with their prince charming. Heartbreak, drama, and calls to mom and best friend in Illinois, may entail. Despite the fact that I may have religiously watched prior seasons, this season just did not seem to get me hooked. However, there is one thing that did get me hooked...Michelle's LACE MONOGRAM  PENDANT NECKLACE! On the few episodes I did see, she wore it everyday! I have to say, I wouldn't be too upset if someone got me one of my own! Taylor Swift can also be seen wearing a similar necklace with just a single initial "T". If I do one day get my own, I will have to go for all three of my initials. =)





these pendants can be found at Be Monogrammed and Three Hip Chicks



Always,
Alyssa


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Impossible is nothing. (part two)

In part of an effort to raise money for a spring training trip with my crew team, we host some sort of erg-a-thon. Last year we raised money for Habitat for Humanity and rowed 42,000 meters, which is equivalent to a full marathon. This year we decided to commit our time to other community service opportunities and collectively "row the distance" to Tennessee, which is where our spring break trip is. Altogether that is about 900 miles and a 15 hour bus ride. Each rower had to erg (use an indoor rowing machine) for 30,000 meters, which is approximately 19 miles. The experience went better than I had anticipated. I kept a relatively steady pace as my teammates and I enjoyed a couple different movies projected onto a screen. The experience was rewarding in so many different ways. It felt good to know that I had been training hard over the winter season and was able to complete such a long row with so few water breaks. To feel yourself use your muscles in such a way after building them up for a while is amazing. You sometimes forget how much your body is capable of because your mind teases you to thinking otherwise. But sitting there on the erg with my legs repeating the same fluid motion, as my back and bum ache to stop, I can't help feeling invigorated and compelled to go forward. Because I know I am capable of that, and I have faith in my peers who surround me with sweat and pain encompassing their faces. It's experiences like that that make it all so rewarding. It's trying and succeeding. It's fighting the battle and having the scars to show. It's knowing that pain really is temporary, and impossible is nothing.


photo by Martha Valentine. I'm the one in the pinkish hat!


Always,
Alyssa








ps- if you'd like to help out my team click here

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Friday!

The weekend is here and it feels great! It started off nicely with a beautiful sunny day and my first run outside in a long time. I'm only hoping this nice springtime weather is here to stay, but I know that is not likely in upstate New York. Regardless, I am back home for the weekend with my friend MC, for a small break before the crew season starts. The best things about being home? My family, my bedroom, and my dogs. Not going to lie, I really miss my dog Sandy when I am at school. There is just nothing like the love and compassion you get from a childhood dog ( I know it's corny, but it's true). And although she's 12, she's still going strong!


Sandy


the window in my bedroom

*
What's your favorite part of being home?


Always,
Alyssa



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Convenience and Class

When I get back to my room at the end of the day, the first thing I do is take my jewelry off. During the day,  I feel naked if I don't wear jewelry. But for some reason when my classes are done and I am ready to relax in my room, I need to take it off in order to feel completely at ease. I used to just throw my jewelry wherever it seemed appropriate (aka my desk or some place by my bed). However, that has changed because, for Christmas my sister gave me this really awesome jewelry stand and I brought it back to school with me. It was handmade using two vintage plates and a brass candlestick. I currently do not have a camera, so I was unable to take a picture of mine, but here are a couple images of different ones I found on Etsy. Mine has very different plates, but these ones are pretty darn cool too. I think they are neat because they are decorative and functional at the same time.





Always,
Alyssa

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snagging the Sweet Tooth

Straight up, sweets are my downfall. They are just so tasty, I can't resist them. It really has started to become a problem. I walk into the dining hall and there is my favorite crumb cake on a friday morning, my favorite cookie on a tuesday afternoon, and a new dessert that is calling my name on a wednesday night. The truth is, my will power is horrible. Honestly, if I didn't work out everyday, I would probably be a good 175 pounds heavier. Don't get me wrong, the occasional sweet treat is good for you. You need sugar to survive. And if you deprive yourself of this, you just end up binge eating later on, which makes you feel even worse. So how do you find a balance? How do you learn to settle for a natural sugar, such as that in a strawberry or a grape? That is truthfully something I'm still working on, and something that I may be working on for a while. I love fruit, but It doesn't feel like dessert to me. I'm not sure that type of sugar can give me the fix that I need every day. I am still looking for tips, or the magic solution to curb my constant cravings. However, there are some things that I have found to be helpful.

1.) Eat breakfast. I know I stressed this in a recent blog post, but it really does make a difference. 

2.) Eat before you get hungry. This doesn't mean eating out of boredom, or snacking right after you've had a meal. It means eating before you get so hungry that you are "starving" and ready to shove just about any white carbohydrate down your throat. So if you know that you usually get hungry around 6, have a small snack around 4 to curb your appetite.

3.) Try not to think about that treat that is calling your name. Distract yourself with other things like work or activities you enjoy doing.

4.) Eat something that is sweet, but that isn't necessarily "bad" for you. I enjoy a banana with peanut butter and honey, a banana with peanut butter and mini m&ms, a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and honey, fruit smoothies with yogurt, a glass of chocolate milk, GO LEAN Crunch Cereal, or greek yogurt. All of these things are sweet and taste good, but are actually good for you too! They all have essentials like protein, fruit, and/or a whole grain.

5.) Cut back your portions. If you want a piece of cake, and there is one that is really large and the other is small, take the small one. You won't regret it. Although you may think you want the big one, it may end up making you feel worse afterwards, which gets rid of the enjoyment of eating a treat in the first place. Also, don't go back for seconds. Trust me, the first cookie is always better than the second.

image found via google images


Image found via Google Images



image found via Google Images



What are your favorite healthy snacks? Any advice for a chronic case of "can't get enough sweets"?




Always,
Alyssa

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Means...

1. It's Valentine's Day ( aka GALentines Day)! This means you have an excuse to eat lots of candy, and to give your girlfriends fun cards. If you're lucky, you get the added bonus of a valentine from a significant other or a secret admirer!

2. Fairly nice weather for this coming week. I actually thought spring was coming today...

3. A new episode of Modern Family on Wednesday =)

4. Now that Valentine's Day candy is coming and going, Easter candy is arriving, which is the best kind.

5. It is one more week closer to the summer time!



photo by me



photo found via Google Images here


Always,
Alyssa

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast is my favorite meal. I wake up in the morning, and the first thing that is on my mind is eating a nice big, warm, breakfast. Honestly, I cannot function throughout the day if I don't have breakfast. Plus, eating in the morning gives you energy and boosts your metabolism! My breakfast of choice? Oatmeal. I like it best with a little bit of brown sugar. Adding bananas and walnuts can be pretty tasty too. That way, you get a serving of grain, fruit, and protein all in one small bowl. It is also pretty filling. If i decide that I am not in the mood for walnuts, I usually have a couple scrambled eggs on the side. Yummy!

image found via google images

Always,
Alyssa

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Home

I have to admit that I have recently had an obsession with all things Lilly and all things domestic, so when I came across this blog post, while blog browsing, you can only imagine how excited I was.


Lilly Pulitzer is coming out with a furniture line! How cool! I'm really liking that chair on the left, so I'm hoping that is one of the new items. Not to mention, this is just in time for me to move in to my new house next fall =) Also, now that I decided I am going to be an art major, and that I am taking an art history class entitled "The Domestic Interior", interior design just keeps inspiring me more and more! For a look at what Lilly Pulitzer currently has for home decor, check it out here at Garnet Hill. Again, thanks to BLC from The Company She keeps for informing me about this!
Always,
Alyssa

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Maybe Karma Does Exist

So there is a nice little store right here in Saratoga Springs called The Pink Paddock Boutique. It is a Lilly Pulitzer via shop, and tonight they hosted an event through Skidmore College. It was called "Learning Lilly: An Insider Look at Managing a Compelling and Creative Brand & Career." It was very inspiring, especially for someone like me who is an art major, and interested in design and retail. There were a few different speakers, including: Joanna Lee- Lilly Pulitzer Director of Merchandising & Marketing, Kimberly Burton- Pink Paddock Owner, and Jennifer Raines- Lilly Pulitzer Business Development Manager. The event was very nice and well run. At the end of the night, they gave out prizes for different trivia questions.  I answered the first question and won a murfee scarf (this is where the karma comes in, because I blogged about the scarfs yesterday, and happened to win one tonight)! The cool thing about this scarf is, it supports breast cancer awareness, and $5 from each scarf goes to the American Cancer Society.



Always,
Alyssa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fashion Forward: From Winter into Spring

With all the wind, snow, and freezing air that has been bustling around upstate New York, it is no surprise that I am yearning for a little springtime. However, knowing how long winters can last up here, it may be a while before it actually starts to look like spring. Believe it or not, March is less than a month away, and that is when I start gearing up for the spring season! What to wear in those awkward months, when it's still fairly cold, but you want to add some color to your wardrobe? A colorful scarf! Scarfs can be worn almost three quarters of the year, and they instantly add character to a look. I prefer lightweight clothing, so scarfs can be tricky for me. But I do enjoy Jcrew's scarfs, which can be found in a variety of fun colors. Also, Lilly Pulitzer has a ton of scarfs in beautiful prints right now. I only wish I were able to buy them all!







Also, at the end of the month Lilly Pulitzer will be selling this skirt (also in the first impression print):


How cute is that?

Always,
Alyssa





Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Means...

1. A fresh start to a new week.

2. A dinner date to celebrate a birthday, with my girlfriends at school.

3. Doing work at Uncommon Grounds, a comfortable coffee shop that always has fresh flowers on the tables.

4. Being on some sort of schedule.

5. Learning new things!



Often, mondays can be met with a negative attitude. Your alarm goes off in the morning and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed. So, I decided to make a small list of the things I am looking forward to today, and for the rest of the week!


Always,
Alyssa

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Impossible is nothing.



I used to hate running. It made my knees hurt, my stomach upset, and my heartbeat uncontrollable. In the 8th grade I joined the cross country team, mostly because my best friend was, and secondly because I only played softball in the spring and needed something to do in the fall. Cross Country forced me to be fit. I wasn't set on necessarily beating everyone else, but rather making it over the finish line. And I did. Even when I sprained my ankle in the middle of a race, I kept going, hobbling to the finish. Doing cross country helped me to discover the determination and drive that I have as an individual. By realizing the potential I have to be an athlete, I went out for the rowing team in high school. Rowing was a lot harder than I expected it to be. It was time consuming and tedious, and required a lot more patience than one would think. Often we would vary our rowing workouts with cross-training through running, and I would complain to my friends that we were rowers, and not on the cross country team for a reason. 

When I decided I wanted to continue my rowing career through college, again we cross-trained through numerous indian and hill runs. Again, I complained.  It wasn't until this year that I finally made a truce with running. I took a self-paced fitness class in the fall just for an extra credit thing to do. In it, we were graded based on our improvement on a one and a half mile run. So, I practiced running. I would run outside through the neighborhoods, across campus, or on the track. Sometimes I would choose to stay indoors and run on the treadmill. I varied my workouts by breaking up the speed and pace at which I ran. I would jog for a few minutes, sprint for one minute, and so on. It was this type of interval training that really helped me with the steady state and overall fitness. By the end of the semester, I had significantly improved my time.

Now I almost enjoy running. A part of me is scared to say that I find it therapeutic. Yesterday, I ran on the treadmill for 4 miles at the pace I used to run at for one mile. There is nothing more empowering than  putting your head down and believing in yourself. The outcome makes you feel incredible, it is so rewarding. I never thought I would ever be a runner. I always put myself down, criticizing my short legs, saying that some people "just aren't built to be runners". But you have to believe in yourself. So next time you are doubting and you want to give up, just take a deep breath and keep going. It only gets better.





"Impossible is nothing." -Muhammad Ali



Always,
Alyssa

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Night's alright, alright, alright...

I don't wear perfume everyday, but I do find that it is fun to wear on occasion, sometimes before class, but mostly on the weekends. I find that the scent I choose usually depends on my mood. Even though I don't wear perfume that often, it's always fun to see a few differently shaped bottles on my desk or in my bathroom. It adds a sense of character. Also, I think a girl just feels so much more like a lady when she has a nice bottle of perfume!


My top picks (in no specific order):

1. Lilly Pulitzer WINK



2. Ralph Lauren HOT



3. Burberry BRIT


4. Vera Wang PRINCESS





Always,
Alyssa



Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Good Giveaway!

...And this time it's from Kate, blogger of Nautical By Nature! She is giving one lucky winner a monogrammed floppy hat by Marley and Lilly. This hat would be great for many events during the spring and summer, including going to the track and watching horse races! I am loving it with the green trim and light pink initials! I think giveaways are really cool, so become a follower so I can start hosting my own!



Always,
Alyssa


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Shopping

Lots of snow days across college campuses here in the upper east coast! My day consisted of sleeping in, playing in the snow with friends, sipping on hot chocolate, and online shopping at etsy.com. If you haven't visited Etsy, you should! It is a website that features different dealers who sell handmade and vintage stuff! Two of my favorite things. Last semester, I bought a vintage Ralph Lauren side bag for only $50 similar to this one:


This particular bag is actually on sale at retrodesignerdeals, I found it via google.






I bought this set of plates by Syracuse China today:




 I'm obsessed with pretty antique china and teacups!





Other good Etsy Finds:





Always,
Alyssa