Thursday, September 18, 2014

And Old Crow Kind of Night

First of all...Stop whatever you're doing and go check this out!  I wrote my first freelance piece for the veterans' website Task & Purpose and I would love it if you supported me and gave it a read!
Last year when I moved to Las Vegas I had a lot of trouble fitting in anywhere.  I didn't really have friends and I honestly felt like maybe I'd made the wrong decision moving here.  It wasn't fun.  I wasn't getting that "college experience" that I wanted and I was really sort of sad. 
This year has been the polar opposite. I found a fun little Irish Pub with a bluegrass jam that I've been going to on Saturday nights.  I've made some new friends.  My roommate and the people on my floor are cool and fun to chat with. 
Those awesome people I have been playing music with? They hooked me up with an incredible opportunity and got me a free ticket to go and see the Old Crow Medicine Show at the Brooklyn Bowl. 
The openers were an amazing lil group from Louisiana called The Deslondes .  I can't even believe how much I enjoyed listening to them.  After the show, I bought their CD and it's currently in my car on repeat. Not to mention the fact that a couple of them are so cute... 

Later came the main act...I can't even describe to you how they made my heart sing.  They are incredible musicians constantly showing how proficient they are on some other instrument than what they had been playing before.  They were hard core.  Played a million songs and basically...It was the best night of my existence so far.
 I don't know why they turned out so purple.  I think it was just the lighting on the stage.  But seriously.  Holy crap.  They're amazing. 

After the show, I was walking out of the venue and saw some of the members of the band.  I stopped them and just had a regular conversation with them about how I'm a mandolin player and I was completely inspired.  They looked so grateful for the compliment and were sincere.  Possibly the nicest and most famous people I'd ever spoken to. 
And now I just want to play and play and play and never quit...
Inspiration at its finest. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leaving Room for Fun

Welcome to another edition to The College Chronicles.   As often as I come up with random and wonderful things to say about college, you'll get a post like this one.  I've written a couple before I decided to make this a series, so if you'd like to catch up, you can read about the 10 things I wish I had known when I started college as well as Zoe's  advice for a college student
After I met with my adviser I found out that my expected graduation date isn't until Spring of 2018.  That date would include two summer semesters (read class every day.  During the summer) with a full schedule.  This semester I've also made a goal to get a 4.0 GPA.  So far things are going well.  I've been studying for my exams and quizzes, completing my homework and contributing during class discussions. 
However, it's only the first couple weeks of school and I've got a whole lot on my plate. The stress has yet to begin, but it's coming.  To combat the stress, I decided to try and hyper-organize my life.  
I set up a little system on Monday and so far, it has made a huge difference. 
On the left you'll see a stack of notebooks.  Each notebook has a matching folder.  Each folder has the homework and syllabus inside.  On the right is my month "at-a-glance."  Yellow stickies are for assignments due and pink is for quizzes and exams. Behind all that you can see my open planner.  In there I break down all of my time.  I write when I'm going to study, what assignments I'm going to do, and for how long.  

I've realized that the better you do with your time management, the more time you have to do the fun stuff.  I don't know about you, but I really like to have time for the fun stuff! 

Another thing you want to make sure that you do...Check your email! My professors use email to communicate like crazy.  If you don't check it, you might miss out on important changes! College is hectic and busy, but the better you plan out your days, the more crazy you can let in :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sympathetic Musings of the Tattooed Woman

Today I have a lovely guest to share with you! Sincerely, Alaska is one of my new favorite blogs! She has all kind of good things to share and she's a college girl fighting her way through life just like me!
I'm beyond in love with her post today and I hope that you all enjoy it :) 

Tat * Too :

1. a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.

2. One of the most commonly misjudged (modified) features on a human being. 

*        *        *
If you're like me, then you have a special place in your heart for the art that is tattoos. It took me about a year to convince my parents to let me get one for my 18th birthday but once they agreed I was on a mini-roadtrip with one of my best friends. It was a scary moment for me to have my first one done...especially since I started off with a big calf piece. 

Tattoo #1 was done 2 hours from my home by an artist who specializes in Horror themed pieces. I stared at a zombie head for the 3 hours I was on the table. I passed out for the other 45 minutes. It's a dream catcher to remind me to keep in the good/beautiful and let go of the bad/ugly with a blue rose for Hope. 

Tattoo #2 was done in my hometown and with the Boyfriend at my side. It's a teal bow to support sexual assault survivors/victims. 

Tattoo #3 was done at the same place on Friday the 13th when they do $13 tattoos. I was alone and the whole thing took about 5 minutes of not very happy feelings in my arm. It's the chipped teacup from Beauty and The Beast.

*        *        *
With each of these tattoos comes endless amounts of chatter from other people. Women have it a bit more on the sharp edge but most of these can apply to all the fellas out there rocking a full arm sleeve or calf piece. 

#1. "You know that's permanent, right?"

I love it when people ask me this specific question. Because, really, know one informed me ahead of time that my tattoo which was inked into my body with needles wasn't going to wash off in the shower 2-4 weeks from now. 

I also had a women ask me if my calf piece was temporary. Yes. 

#2 Highly unnecessary judgement, to your face, from strangers.

I once had a women come up to me while I was changing the trash at work (I was wearing a skirt which showed off my dream catcher) and yell at me: "Why would I do this to my body? What was wrong with me? Never get another!!!" 

Because, it is my body and I make the choices of what to do with it.

#3 The Wedding Dress Dilemma 
The first thing my grandmother said to me when she saw my newly done bow was: "But what about when you're in your wedding dress? Are you really going to want people to see that?" If I didn't love it and I didn't want to be able to show that part of me through physical/body art, I wouldn't have gotten it. 

Honestly, I think my tattoos will look great the day I'm in a wedding gown. 

#4 The "You'll Never get a Job" Speech

You have to love when people stop you for their 15 minutes speech about how you will never, ever, ever, ever get a decent job with a tattoo. You might as well monogram that McDonalds uniform since you're stuck there forever.

Excuse me, but do you understand how many places do fully accept body art and how many products are on the market to cover them when needed?

#5 The Meaning Demand
As I mentioned, each of my tattoos do have meaning to me. However, I do not always feel up to stopping and telling, in depth, the story behind all of my tattoos to any stranger who happens to pass by. It's even better if they get annoyed that you won't//can't tell them.

+5 points if they are angry that you DON'T have a meaning behind your tattoo.

#6 The Questionable Mommy
Ladies, your tattoos will never ever make you a "bad" or "questionable" mommy. You are not slowly seeping the thoughts of Satan into your baby's mind. You are a mom. Who happens to have some really great art on her body.

#7 The Questionable Christian
You have tattoos. Not a one way bus ticket to Hell. If you love the Lord and serve him, that is what matters. Not what is on your skin.

#8 Old Age and Pregnancy
People assume that everyone, especially young adults, who get a tattoo or multiple don't realize that the tattoo will not look that gorgeous when your skin stretches, sags, or wrinkles. Honestly though, by the time we hit those points in our life, we won't care. They're still a part of who we are and they still mean something to us. What do you care?

Your body, Your rules. Rock what you have and love it till you're 6 feet under. Other people's negativity toward what you love is not worthy of your time and effort. I think you look awesome.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm Still Alive

(insert really good excuse for not blogging like a pro here)
In case you missed it, I wrote a lovely guest post for Tracey over at Just a Trace.  Tracey has been such a great blog friend and I've only "known" her for a month.  It was an honor to write for her!  I hope some of those lovely ladies that commented over there are reading now.  You all had such awesome things to say and it made me feel so great.  Just the little boost I needed! 
So a little updated on me.  School is...overwhelming.  I have been working on a few things that are helping me stay organized.  You'll be able to read about the things I've been working on later this week in the College Chronicles.  Life is better when you at least try to keep things organized. 
Ashley sent me a lovely present to put up in my room! That will also be seen later this week in a post about how my room finally feels like home.  I think you'll find it has vastly improved since the day I moved in. 
I have been getting up and going to work out every morning with the ROTC battalion even though I'm not required to be there.  I've been really motivated, killing the 2-a-days, and working hard to try and get used to a new life that is ROTC.  It's a challenge but the change is coming slowly but surely...
The other day after my last class I sprained my ankle pretty good.  That wasn't the most fun think in the world.  I had my breakfast buddy drive me to the hospital.  Luckily the verdict was just a sprain and I should be doing fine in a week or so.  I won't be down and out for long. 
I will have lots more to say in a couple of days! Keep an eye out for a great guest post, some fun stuff about college life, and an updated on my weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zoe and the College Chronicles

Hey there everyone! Today I have another awesome guest to share with you.  Zoe is another one of those awesome new blogs I've been reading.  She blogs over at What Zoe Says.  She'll tell you a bit more about it and show you how to follow her. She's a student just like me!  Today she is sharing what she has learned since she started school.  It's definitely some valuable advice!
Hang in for more from the College Chronicles 
Hello to Katie’s lovely readers!

My name is Zoe and I’ll be taking over Katie’s blog today to give you a little insight to my life! Before we start with my story about the things that I have learnt since starting university I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I blog about all things fashion, beauty and lifestyle and I’m from England! I blog over at What Zoe Says and would love it if you checked it out! I hope you like my little internet slice and if you’d like, you can keep up to date with my ramblings on Twitter or Instagram

First of all, we’ll jump into the big one and no matter how much you’re going to deny it, deep down you know it’s true: you will miss your mum. Everything she ever told you that you disregarded as unnecessary and unimportant was actually true. She told you to save your money but did you? Do you regret that now? She knows best and now you wish you’d listened to her.

Your meal times will all get a bit muddled up. It’s okay to eat breakfast at 3pm and dinner at midnight. It’s also okay to live off noodles and beans – you don’t have anybody telling you not too, so why shouldn’t you?

The rules of drinking games will be imprinted in your mind! Is there much else to say about this one? As student, we like to bond with a beverage, perhaps (read: always) alcoholic so why not make it into a game? Whether its beer pong, ring of fire or never have I ever, you can guarantee that a drinking game is the best way to break the ice and get everyone chatting.

Never do your food shop during the day! If you head out to the supermarket during the evening you’ll be there just in time for all the reductions! If you think of it this way: cheap food = more drink money. There, have I persuaded you enough?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weightless Against All Odds

Today, I've written a letter to my future self.  I've also written a hard copy of this and put it in sealed envelope.  It's meant to be read upon my graduation of college.  I've decided to write myself one at the start of every semester because of this random inspiration to write today's letter. 

Dear Katie 
       You were walking down to the dining commons after PT and contemplating your future.  School had just started and you were feeling weightless. Every step you took was effortless even though you'd just finished a nice little battalion run and could not have been more tired. The thought to write a letter to your future self occurred to you because you wanted to remind yourself of what exactly that feeling was. 

This is you right now.  Okay well a couple days ago, but still...

      September 4, 2014. You're a freshman in college with graduation so far away it doesn't even seem real.  You're PT score is worse than it has ever been.  You're living in a state without any near-by family, no job, and not a freaking clue about how on earth you're going to pay for your next semester of college.  School is hard.  You have a lot of homework.  You have tons of reading.  ROTC is new and frustrating.  It has only been two weeks, but you can tell the adjustment is going to take some time. Life isn't easy right now.  You've been single for a quite a long time and it's sort of starting to get old. You dream too big for the amount of money that you have, but you can't help it and that's okay. 

     Sometimes you wish that it was easy.  You wish that you'd saved every penny you had ever earned to pay for college.  You wish that you didn't have to take a million and a half credits to finish your degree.  Sometimes you even wish that you could be content in mediocrity and not reach for the stars like you do.  Well, future me, I'm here to remind you that you wouldn't be the person that you are today without all this struggle.  You wouldn't have accomplished half of the things you have without the endurance that your life has taught you.

     You're supposed to be reading this when you graduate from college, so if you're reading it before then you're wrong. a college graduate, I want you to remember that feeling you had walking to eat some morning chow.  With everything that was trying to weigh you down you still could think of nothing but how great you felt.  Never stop trying to be better.  Always do the things that scare you most.  Listen to your heart and follow your dreams.  No matter how hard it seems you can always feel weightless. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge

I knew it was only a matter of time before someone nominated me for the ice bucket challenge.  

And while I get the premise behind it and I completely understand why people do it I'm not a fan. Personally, I'd like to give in a different way.  I like to volunteer at the food bank or...oh I dunno...devote my life to the United States Military.  I don't really have extra money to give, so instead, I like to volunteer and work to make a difference.  It's what I do best. 

Before you get butt-hurt let me tell you something:  I don't think any less of a person who participates.  It's always great to donate to a good cause.  No matter the motivation, giving to an organization that does good things for people is a good thing. Don't think I'm attacking anyone personally or saying that you didn't do a good thing.  

While I doubt that there are many people who don't know about the Ice Bucket Challenge, you can read about it here.  In summary though, it's a challenge designed to raise money and awareness for a little-known (well...not really anymore) disease. 
  1. "Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time."
  2. That is directly from the website.  Okay, so now that you know about it lets continue.  I read this article about the challenge its self.  They called it 'Slactivism'  which I think is a little bit unfair.  Anyone who donates is doing a good thing and shouldn't be called a "slacktivist".  What we should be doing is looking at other organizations that raise money for causes and ask them this:  Why didn't you think of this? 
Donating to this particular cause is easy.  They have a website that links directly to a place where you can give any amount of money.  They have the challenge that started a huge chain reaction and got people who probably wouldn't donate otherwise to do so. 

Instead of being critical of it, maybe you should try to be more like it.  

Just so you know, this post started about an hour ago as one that was talking about how I think the challenge is dumb and how I agreed with the "slacktivism" article.  The more I thought about it, though, the less I agreed.  

I'm still not going to dump a bucket of ice-water on my head...Instead, I'm going to participate in an event that honors veterans, volunteer at a triathlon, and work to do things that make the world I live in a better place. 

Get involved.  Work hard.  Donate if you can.  Volunteer if you can.  Participate in food drives/clothing drives.  Pick up that piece of trash you passed by in the parking lot and toss it in the trash.  Recycle.  Give to Toys for Tots.  Join the military.  Feed the missionaries or a starving college student ;)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The College Chronicles

1. You're probably going to get sick.  Apparently everyone gets sick especially in their first semester.   In fact, I'm sick right now. I thought I was immune because of the military. I was always in close proximity with people. Wrong. I got sick and it made me miss work and class in a bad way! Get some day/night cold medicine. Sleep. Use things like Airborne or EmergenC when you feel the sniffles coming on and wash your hands.  
2.  You will likely feel an overwhelming urge to skip class. Don't.  Most schools have an attendance policy. If you skip class, it can really affect your grade. Not only that, you won't know what's going on in the next class and you're going to miss a lot of things that you wouldn't have if you had simply gone to class.

3.  Studying is hard. I took TWO years off of school before I started college.  I didn't know it would make such a difference, but it did. Turn off your phone close out the Netflix/Pinterest tabs and focus.  If you can't do it in your room or at home, go to the library.
Good Idea
4.  Time management is hard too. Use your planner. Most schools will give you one for free. A lot of the time, they have all of your school events in them though. It can take up a lot of space.  Walmart also has good, cheap planner. If you are someone who really needs some discipline or you are exceptionally busy, plan a time for everything to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

5.  College is stressful.  I thought that I would be just fine, but I, like so many do, got overwhelmed with stress.  The best thing I have found for this is to take a break or have some outlet for all the stress. I like to go to the gym, so I make sure to do that as often as I can and it certainly helps.

6.  You don't want a single.  What I mean by that, is that roommates are a good thing. My roommate my first semester was never around. We we weren't friends and I never saw her. I may as well have had a single and I think it has prevented me from making friends and really enjoying my college experience.  This year, I have an awesome roommate that actually likes to go out and wants to enjoy the college life.  I'm better for it. Promise.

7.  Sometimes  you will have bad luck.  Bad luck doesn't mean you're doomed though. I've had multiple experiences that really kicked me when I was down and out already. One time, I flushed my keys down the toilet...The first thing I did was call my mom. It was probably the best thing to do.  Eventually, I took care of all the bad luck on my own, but it calmed me own and made me feel a whole lot better to talk to my parents about it before I made any decisions.  Don't let the bad luck hurt you! I suppose a sub category could be Don't be afraid to call your parents if you need them!

8.  Books are expensive.  Seriously. So expensive. If you can help it, avoid the campus bookstore and use other resources like Amazon or borrow from others! It is worth it to avoid the several hundreds of dollars spend on books, that a lot of the time, never get opened...

9.  Some of your professors are really going to suck. I have yet to really learn anything at all in my English class because we pretty much never actually do anything. It is crappy. I pay for that class and I want to learn something from it. I highly recommend using Rate My Professor when you are choosing your classes.

10.  College education is very expensive. Take advantage of your resources. Do you have any idea how many thousands of dollars of college scholarships go unclaimed every semester?! There are so many ways to get college paid for.  There is even a scholarship for being a blogger. I'm totally serious!  For me, I have many untapped resources that I've had trouble getting, but when I start again next fall, I'm going to have things figured out and I'm going to do it right and you should too!

Come on over every month for more college-survival tips!  The key to success is preparation.  Be prepared for the hurricane that is to come. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Wonderfully Messy Mom

Why hello there and happy Tuesday, everyone!  If you were wondering school is still good and life is still awesome.  I'm keeping plenty busy, and I'm working hard and kicking ass and taking names. 

But today is not about me.  Today is about Brandy! Brandy is another new addition to my reading list.  I love to read her blog because she shares all kinds of product reviews of things that I have wanted to try but have always been to scared to give a fair chance.

Brandy tries out the products for you and she'll give you her completely honest opinion of how well it did or didn't work for her.  On top of that, she has all kinds of other great posts about her life as the "Wonderfully Messy Mom."  Check her out! You won't regret it!

Until next time!

Hi there, I am Brandy! I blog at Wonderfully Messy Mom!
I like long walks on the beach, ice- cream....ok seriously...I have 3 kids, I am a SAHM, wife, cook, nurse maid, the list goes on and on.

I blog DIY household cleaning and beauty products, and spotlight the chemicals that those products contain. I also like to blog about this and that, and have recently started in on the product review band wagon.

I will be redirecting soon and adding in posts about how to add your own custom design elements, you do not want to miss those posts!!

Right now, I am in getting blog burn out. I know you all have hit that at some point in your careers, and if you have not, you will. And if you have gotten so lucky that you have always enjoyed it, please share how you do it!!

My greatest joy comes from writing, so why am I hitting this lull?? I think that I have lost my focus, changed directions and lost my passion. It was a slow fade, sneaky twists and turns that lead my blog here. I got a thrill from doing certain posts, but then it got overwhelming. The pressure to have a post pushed out because a company wants it ASAP is tough.

I am just be real here. I'm done. I want to turn in my keys. But the moment I go to hand them over, the light at the end of the tunnels shines out and calls me!! There is so much joy in writing, there is so much joy in making new friends in the blog world. I have made lots of great friends :-)
So I will chug along, I will rethink my program, I will redirect- I WILL NOT QUIT!!

I will stand up and fight for what I love- blogging!
I will not bow down to the sway the internet has on me!
I will not follow the blog crowds- I will be my own person and blog what I love!!
I am a MESSY MOM but I will be WONDERFUL at it- I will be WONDERFULLY MESSY MOM!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Currently Sick and Tired. Literally.

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of today's post, I'd like to extend a thank you to the awesome ladies of my sidebar.  I have had so much fun working with them all this month.  They have all been so great.  I'll be keeping them all on the sidebar for at least the rest of the week.  I hope you'll stop by their blogs and show them some love! They deserve it and I've really enjoyed reading their blogs this month! I can't wait to read more from them!

With that in mind, I'm looking for more sponsors! If you're looking for some free advertising, here is the place to get it! It won't be free for much longer, so you'll want to jump on this opportunity while you still have the chance! I post 4-5 times a week, share LOTS of times on social media, and I'll work hard for you!  All you have to do is ask. Contact me at for more info!

...drinking orange juice.  I somehow caught a cold within a week of being at school. 

...watching Supernatural and Mad Men. In moderation of course...I have school work. 

...reading How Humans Evolved .  The incredibly dry yet interesting text required for my Anthropology class. 

...eating anything that can be microwaved and "free" food from the Dining Commons. 

...writing blog posts for weeks to come, thank you card to all my awesome Sponsors, and papers.  Yep, already. 

...wishing it would cool down just a tad and my stuff nose would simply clear up. 

...wearing shorts.  Always.  It's so hot. 

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