arizona recap

Hey y’all!

My apologies for breaking my one-post-a-week streak, I was doing so well! Finals stuck up on me and I ran out of time to schedule posts in advance. I’m currently writing to you with a Band-Aid on the bridge of my nose and ice on my forehead – I decided to go swimming in the hotel I’m staying in and swam head-first into the concrete wall šŸ™ˆ Hey, you can’t blame me! I had to swim with my eyes closed because I was wearing contact lenses. I learned my lesson there šŸ˜Ŗ

Today is officially the first day of spring quarter, which means spring break came and went! Over spring break, one of my sorority sisters invited me to go to Arizona with her and ofĀ course I said yes, because who doesn’t want to escape the Seattle rain? Here’s a little recap…

Day One

We left Seattle at about 9am and got to Phoenix around noon. My friend’s dad picked us up and we got In-N-Out for lunch (my fav!), and then headed back to the house. I have to say, Arizona’s landscape is super flat and you can see into the distance for miles; it’s so different from the PNW!

My friendĀ has two dogs at her house, and it was definitely a treat to play with them all week. WeĀ just kind of relaxed by the pool for the entire day.

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Days 2-4

We headed up to Lake Havasu City to one of the resorts for a couple of days since they have a boat that we could take onto the lake. I had never been on a boat before, and my friend’s dad even let me drive the boat for a bit. I also tried inner-tubing for the first time! Highly recommend one-piece swimsuits when doing that… It was super sunny and even though I didn’t tan as much as I wanted to, it was still an awesome experience.

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THE London Bridge

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Day 5

We headed back to Phoenix and relaxed more by the pool and also decided to go seeĀ Beauty and the Beast. It was my first time sitting at a theater with recliner seats – how come no one told me those were a thing until now?!

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Day 6

My friend and I went to go see a jockey/horse-racing event becauseĀ apparently it’s pretty big in AZ. We only went for 30 minutes though because it was actually pretty slow to watch. That day turned into a Nicholas Sparks movie marathon kind of day (in case you’re curious, we watchedĀ Safe HavenĀ andĀ The Best of Me). Then we had some Mexican food for dinner and ended up at a cowboy/bull-riding event! My only knowledge of bull-riding is from watching The Longest Ride,Ā so it was really interesting seeing it with my own eyes. Of course, my friend and I were looking for our Scott Eastwood the entire time šŸ˜‰

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Day 7

On our last full day spent in Arizona, my friend and I hiked up a little hill next to the neighborhood. It was super rocky but really easy – we spent 15 minutes hiking up, 20 minutes taking photos at the top, and 5 minutes going down (we took a shortcut). After the hike, we went to the Phoenix Zoo for a couple of hours! I hadn’t been to a zoo in ages so it was fun to feel like a kid again.

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That concludes my Arizona recap! Overall, I love the Arizona weather and atmosphere, but it’s a little slow-paced for me, and the weather makes me a lazy, lazy gal. It’s a fantastic place to relax for sure though – see you soon, AZ!

sweet iron waffles

Hello friends!

It’s officially finals week! Absolutely insane – I’ve already completed two out of my three final exams. My last one isn’t until Thursday, so in the meantime, I’ve been studying, of course, but also relaxing and trying out new coffeeshops in Seattle.

Today I wanted to share a new favoriteĀ waffle place! I had originally gone to this waffle bar in their downtown location over the summer, but they opened a new location in Capitol Hill and talk about rebranding. Sweet Iron Waffles used to be extremely small and not really eye-catching; their new location is bright, inviting, and much larger.

I went with my good friend Natalie and I ordered a mocha alongside a strawberry and whipped cream waffle. It was absolutely delicious (and they wereĀ real, fresh strawberries!)

I loved the vibes in Sweet Iron. It feels like a coffeeshop, but the only downside is that they don’t have WiFi – they did have outlets though!

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I highly recommend Sweet Iron Waffle! The location itself is by 34829 other cute coffee shops in Capitol Hill – I’ll definitely be returning.

Have a great week!

Jen

the london plane

Hey y’all!

It’s Monday yet again and I can’t believe I’m heading into the second-to-last week of classes for the quarter. Things are starting to pick up again so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up posting on Mondays!

Last weekend I headed to The London Plane with a fellow SK sister and blogger, Alyssa! When I joined the house, I was overjoyed to meet another blogger in the house – and plus, she’s studying graphic design and art history (so cool)! Please do check out her blog and InstagramĀ and give her some love!

I had heard that TLP is one of the most aesthetically pleasing coffee shops in Seattle, so of course I asked Alyssa to join me for a photoshoot there. It was a little misty that day so it was nice to hideout in the beautiful and spacious area! Fair warning though, it’s more of a restaurant than a cafe because we had to wait 30 minutes to get seating on a Saturday at noon-ish.

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If I were to describe The London Plane, I would describe it as Anthropologie meets coffee shop. TLP sells florals, normal (London-inspired) food, and drinks. I ordered the Elm “Nine Swans” drip coffee, and then Alyssa and I shared a toast with hazelnut butter. It’s definitely on the pricier end, but the environment is so beautiful, it’s worth it!

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Next time I definitely want to try their fancy food – maybe after I get my paycheck šŸ˜‰

Have a great week!

Jen

*Thanks to Alyssa for taking such beautiful DSLR photos!*

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Hello, and happy President’s Day!

Classes were cancelled today because of the holiday, and thank goodness for that. Last week was probably one of the hardest of the quarter so far, and I really needed the three-day break. On Saturday, I was able to make some plans to get donuts with my work wife Hannah and y’all, I always have the best conversations with her (and overall have the best mems with her).

We ate our donuts, drank our London Fogs, and read our books (for fun!), but most importantly, we talked. Our conversations always prompt me to think about again later – to reflect and introspect more than I usually do.

As winter quarter draws to an end, Hannah’s really been there for me. To put it simply, this quarter has been really tough. And as the title of this post quotes from Mr. Dickens, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

I started off winter quarter ready to jump into my new classes. I’m sure everyone was rejuvenated after making their new year resolutions – I know I sure was. A few weeks into the quarter though, I got hit with the bug that everyone seems to be getting (at least in Seattle), and I’ve had a cough for the past five weeks. I know, I know, I’m starting to suspect I have acute bronchitis, and IĀ promise I’m going to go the see health center on campus this week!

But back to the point – it’s been affecting my sleep, my performance, but luckily, not my social life. But my persistent coughs aren’t the worst of it. I’m taking five classes this quarter, which is the most I’ve done but I thought I could handle it just fine at the start of the quarter (I mean, two of them are dance classes).

My mistake. I’ve been loaded with group projects, homework readings, assignments, and never-ending exams. I’ve never had a tougher quarter. It’s not that each individual class is hard at all: it’s the combination of them all together. I got my exams back one after the other and my self-esteem dropped every time. It hit me – I probably won’t be making Dean’s List this quarter.

This is a really low blow for me because I’ve made Dean’s List every quarter in college so far. I was jokingly – but not really – telling my friends that I was trough-ing this quarter, academically. I have high expectations for myself, and seeing myself perform so low has me re-evaluating what’s going on this quarter.

Of course, it’s always the same problem: I’m spread too thin and I’m not leaving enough time to study. I look at my Google Calendar and I really only have time to study and do homework for three hours at night before having to go to bed by midnight. That simply isn’t enough time for the five classes I am taking.

Did I fail myself this quarter? Maybe. This is hopefully the lowest quarterly GPA I’ll ever get – but I have to remember, so manyĀ amazing things happened during winter quarter, too.

To start off, I was able to travel to Los Angeles for a weekend for my sorority’s leadership conference and met up with Katherout (I’m in her vlog!!), one of my role models for sure. And then I interviewed and was accepted to study abroad in ROMEĀ in the first half of summer – truly a dream come true. And after declaring my dance minor, I auditioned for a Master’s Faculty dance concert and got a role!

In addition to my accomplishments, I really pushed myself to build my network this quarter. I have been getting coffee with at least one professionalĀ every week and learning about options for my future career. Socially? I felt like I found my place in my sorority with my wonderful roommates. Of course, there are certain friendships that have grown stronger and locked themselves in my friends-I-want-to-keep-forever group.

So, yes, it’s been the worst of times, but also theĀ best. I think it’s important that I experienced failure this quarter, because it’s setting me up for what’s to come: growth and success.

I hope to finish off winter quarter – whatever that may look like – knowing I tried my hardest but also being sure I enjoyed my quarter. I want to enter spring quarter with a relaxed mindset, and to not let my lower performance from this quarter drag me down intoĀ the spring.

After all, you can’t have your ups without your downs!

Have a wonderful week,

Jen

setting yourself apart

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Hello!

Just wanted to pop in real quick today! This week is going to be pretty intense for me as I finish up some tests and projects that will be a huge part of my grade, and then I’m running a faculty banquet for my sorority! Thank goodness this weekend is longer because of President’s Day – I really need this break. I definitely need to catch up onĀ Jane the Virgin andĀ Sherlock, and visit a new coffee shop or two.

In other news, I wanted to talk about something that’s constantly going through my mind: setting myself apart. Maybe it’s the business student in me, but ever since coming to college, it’s been wired in my brain that I have to set myself apart in order to attract employers and have good interviews with them.

I talked to one of my close friends about this recently, being afraid of having a bland personality or life. It’s hard to build on personality and to set goals to change just because personality is hard to quantify (in terms of SMART goals) – personally, it’s still something I’m gradually working on. Steps I’ve been taking are to live different experiences in order to experiment with that personality differentiation.

In the business world, the “typical” business student is majoring in all the same stuff, involved in business clubs, volunteers on the side, and holds some extra leadership positions. It’s hard to set myself apart from everyone – I have those things too. But what other business studentsĀ don’t have? A dance minor. Two weeks ago, I declared a dance minor becauseĀ why not. I love (and will always love) dance, it fits really well in my schedule, and it’ll set me apart.

Setting yourself apart never has to be anything extravagant. People love people who are passionate about things. Super cheesy of me to be referencingĀ The Longest Ride movie, but there’s a couple where the woman loves art, but the man simply doesn’t understandĀ it. She drags him to all these art museums and galleries, and, don’t get me wrong, she’s considerate and aware of the fact that he doesn’t understand it. What does he do? He says, “I love how much you love it.”

Obviously, being passionate about something not only attracts employers but also attracts relationships too. It cultivates interest and has the potential to be something more.

Find something you love to do. Make it part of your life. It’ll set you apart.

Food for thought for the week – I’ll talk to y’all in a week!