Reflection

It’s amazing an entire year and a half has gone by so quickly.  I’m already halfway through my second year of college, and it seems as though the graduation date is coming sooner and sooner.  Next semester I will be officially a junior (I took extra classes this summer, so now I’m a semester ahead), and it seems as though my college years are flying by.  I look back on my freshman year self, and there are tons of things I wish I knew back then, but in a way it was good that I learned it the hard way.

First, I wish I knew that it is totally okay to have me time.  Its normal and natural to sit in your bed, alone, with a bag of chocolate and some Netflix.  I was so obsessed with making friends that I completely neglected myself last year.  I didn’t take the time for myself that I needed to relax and de-stress.  Don’t be worried or scared if you’re going into college and you don’t have plans every Friday night.  Take time for yourself, and make sure you designate time to relax.

Second, I’m glad I went through the “going out” phase, but I’m even gladder that I’m out of it.  Yes, its fun to go out every night, but eventually you just get bored, tired, and sick.  I definitely think every freshman should experience it, but its also important to learn from it.  There are many people who get sucked into the illusion of the party life in college.  However, the best memories I’ve made is when I’m with my best friends, sitting around, and watching a good movie.  Girls nights will ALWAYS beat out any night at a sloppy bar.

Now that I am making my own money, I wish I could have tried to get a part time job my first year of college. Currently, I have a part time job working at the performing arts center on campus as an usher.  This is the absolute best job I could have found because it combines my love for the arts, and you get to pick the shows you work.  It’s all college students who work there, so they work around your school schedule.

Having a job will allow you to have extra cash, money to eat out (because college food…ew), and money for gas.  There are so many jobs on and off campus, so I definitely recommend looking for one that caters to college students.  Also, you can meet some really cool people at your job.

Last, take the time and look for scholarships.  There are soo many scholarships out there if you know where to look.  Especially if your planning to study abroad like I am (New Zealand WOO!) scholarships can help ease the financial burden immensely.  For study abroad, there are so many scholarships available to you, some within the school generally, and some within your specific major department.

If your concerned with any other types of financial aid…because I know we’re all broke college students, this blog from Earnest is super helpful and I recommend checking it out!  This is also important when thinking about after college when those loans start kicking. Earnest can also help with refinancing your loans to make them more affordable and not take over your post-grad life!

Food is another HUGE change I’ve had to deal with when moving to college.  I’m going to be honest, food on campus sucks.  You’ll get sick of it so fast and will be vying for other options before you know it.  Last year, I let myself indulge a lot.  Looking back, I wish I had tried to buy more groceries, cook for myself more, and make the extra effort to eat healthier.  THE FRESHMAN FIFTEEN IS REAL Y’ALL.  Almost all dorms have a kitchen for residents to use, and I do wish I had taken advantage of it before this year.  It’s my second year on campus, and I now understand the importance of grocery shopping.  I know the mini fridges can only hold so much, but its easy to get healthy snacks like carrots, grapes, cheese, and wheat thins.

There are so many things I can think back on my freshman year and wish I changed, but that’s the beauty of college.  You have four years to experience life, make mistakes, create the best memories, and make lasting friendships and relationships. Its only halfway through my sophomore year and its going way to fast.  I wish I could go back to last year when my biggest worry was my Dance 101 class. But, hey..thats life!

Hope you enjoyed my little bit of reflection…I’m hoping to start baking and cooking again this winter break so stay tuned for some recipes!

Love,

Jess

 

Dabbling in Poetry

So, I quit ballet last year.  Ballet was such a huge part of my life that quitting wasn’t an easy decision. Quitting ballet was like saying goodbye to a part of me.  Ballet became an identity for me, and without it, I was, and in some ways still am, incredibly lost. I found a way to translate the ever-consuming feelings in my mind was to write my feelings through poetry.  I had a very rough time last year, and my feelings towards ballet had been soured. There is a part of me that wishes I didn’t have to leave ballet the way I did-so angry, bitter, and totally screwed over.  But another part of me understands that the total destruction of my view and feelings towards ballet was necessary to get me to leave.  Without the mental torture I went through, I would never had found the strength to move on.  I can now differentiate my love for ballet and my hate for the ballet world.  It is not ballet I hate, it is the world that has been formed around it.

So here it is, my mind and heart’s inner meanderings.  I am by no means a poet, but I find the process of writing poetry to be quite soothing.

Ballet

A hobby

An activity

Fun

Happy

Passionate

A dream

A life

A goal

A need

A desire

An obsession

Consuming

Overwhelming

A disorder

A lifeline

Stressful

Painful

Insecure

An upheaval

A decision

Done.

 

Dear Ballet World,

Do you care?

Do you care that you tortured me?

Took my heart and crushed it for all to see.

Dangled my dream in front of my face

Only to snatch it and take it away

To glow as the others walked in front

Of the students who worked long and hard enough

To smile and act as all is okay

As you made my year slowly decay

To say you’re sorry as if I’d actually believe

To tell me one thing and then watch me bleed

 

I wasn’t good enough.

I wasn’t thin enough.

You couldn’t see my bones.

You couldn’t see my spine.

You couldn’t see a gap between my thighs.

 

I starved.

I barfed.

I did everything,

To try to make you like me.

 

But it didn’t work.

 

But that’s this world

A life based on superficiality

A world based on beauty

And nothing in between

 

Where your self worth is in another’s hands

Where one misstep could ruin your chance

Where one man holds your life

And makes his living through a web of lies

 

So, Ballet?

Is it pretty?

Maybe.

But not to me.

 

Not anymore.

Now I have clarity.

Now I have closure.

Dorms, Bedding and other tips

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Exclusive Image from parachutehome.com

Dorm life is quickly approaching for me and I’ve been searching for some good bedding and linens to take to college. The most important thing I want when I go away is to feel like I can create a home away from home.  I want my room and bed to be as comfortable and cozy as possible.  I was approached by Parachute, a bedding company, and after looking at all their designs, I definitely think this is the right place to start my shopping!  Today is their White Linen Launch, which is a new line of their linen products.  These linens are inspired by summer and goes beautifully with their existing collections.  Another thing that is attracting me to their products is that they are light and breathable, which is perfect for hot weather.  This will definitely be a help to me because I’m going south for college!

For anyone looking, the products can be sold together or as separates, so you can pick and choose which products you want.  The link to their bedding page is here.

The other fantastic thing about this brand is that for every Venice Set sold, they send one life saving bedding net to someone in need. Parachute is partnered with Nothing but Nets, which is an organization dedicated to providing safe sleep nets to people in need.  In parts of the world where malaria is present, a bed net has the ability to reduce infection by 90%.  These bed nets are saving peoples lives.  I love that I can feel that if I buy my bedding from this company, I am also helping someone else in the world.

I love home decor and being able to make a room your own with decorations.  I have paintings of Paris covering my room at home, and down the shore, I have pictures of the beach to compliment the ocean vibe of the Jersey Shore.  Being comfortable in a place coincides with decor and furniture.  Although people may not think it, bedding has a huge place in loving your home and space.  The right sheets and comforter cannot only enhance your sleep but can also brighten your room. I’m definitely considering bedding products from Parachute and looking forward to decorating my dorm room!

Love,

Jess

Updates and Life Changes

So I haven’t been updating my blog very frequently this past year.  I’ve mentioned this before but my life has been incredibly crazy and super busy. This, however, has recently come to an end. I have decided to quit ballet for the time being. I hope to continue dancing in college in some form, maybe joining a dance company or taking ballet classes, but my professional ballet career/dream is now over. Making this decision was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been debating and considering stopping this whole year, and in recent months, I realized the ballet world is not the place I want to live my life.

I’ve been struggling, as old readers know, with an eating disorder. Trying to live in a world full of competition and uncertainty whilst dealing with serious body image and eating issues is incredibly stressful. I’ve had a long time to consider all my options and it was difficult but I realized that my mental health was more important. In order for me to find happiness, I need to be healthy in all forms. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally.  Ballet was not making me happy. When I finally admitted this to myself, I was able to make this life changing decision.

Ballet was never just a phase, and I won’t ever consider it one. Ballet is a part of me and always will be. I will forever be a dancer, but I hope to move forward to create a new life for myself and find something else that makes me happy.

So, what this means for my blog? I want to start gravitating to more of a lifestyle blog…which means I may not have a recipe attached to every post.  I’m going to try to post some more overall health and life tips.  I hope to get back to baking, but since I’ll be going to college and living in a dorm, I don’t think that cooking and baking will be an everyday thing next year.  Since I’m free this summer, I do plan on posting more this month and the next.

Thats all for now but if you made it this far, thanks for reading! 🙂

Love,

Jess

Tips for Food and Vacation

Vacation is the time for food, fun, good times and sharing memories with family and friends. Sometimes it can be very stressful to handle eating and dieting on a vacation. While I don’t completely agree with strict diets, I can understand wanting to maintain eating healthy while still enjoying your holiday. For me, health is just a part of my life. I love eating healthy as much as I love eating junk. This being said, it is can be easier for me to make decisions at meal times when it comes to choosing healthy meals.  I definitely indulge (probably much more than I should haha) but I also genuinely love salads and vegetables.  For some people, this is not the case, and eating healthy is a big commitment.  Whatever your situation, you can always enjoy your vacation and make wise food choices, so I decided to write out 5 tips I found while vacationing the past few days…

1. Eat a Light Breakfast

While it may be hard to avoid the bacon egg and cheese or chocolate croissant, the rest of your day will most likely be filled with junk, so maybe keep breakfast a bit lighter.  Stick with yogurt, fruit, granola, cereal, or a small pastry.  Not overloading at breakfast can save some valuable calories.

2. Snack

Yes, I know this is usually told to be a bad thing, but definitely snack throughout the day.  If you go to each meal starving, you’ll likely eat way more than you need or want.  Then, you’ll just be left feeling sick. I was recently just in Disney World.  We would usually stop for a mid morning coffee and fruit at one of their little cafes in the park after a few rides.  I recommend either this strategy or just packing a small snack.  You don’t want to be hungry while going on rides, or whatever your plans are.

3. Indulge!

Do not skip the dessert or ice cream.  You’re on vacation! Let yourself indulge.  Just relax and let loose and break the diet.  You’ll be sad if you don’t and this could possibly lead to a big binge later.

4. Keep Lunch Lighter too

I found that keeping lunch on the lighter side such as soups and sandwiches definitely helped.  If you eat a really heavy meal for lunch, it can set you back for dinner.  Also, depending on what your doing it could hold you back from some activities. If you’re at an amusement park, eating a pasta dish for lunch may not be the best idea if you’re planning on going on a roller coaster.  I’m not saying don’t eat or just eat salads.  Just don’t overdo lunch. You want to save room for a lovely dinner and you don’t want to feel too stuffed for the rest of your day.

5. Bring your own food to the Airport

Airport food is expensive.  If your flying, think about packing some snacks in your carryon.  The worst is being starving and waiting for your flight, then having to spend four dollars for a water and seven dollars for a bag of chips.  Avoid an unnecessary expense by thinking about your travel plans ahead.  If your flight is late at night, maybe eat before or make sure you have food for when you land.

I’ve been traveling a lot these past months, and there have been multiple times where we landed late and the only thing open was a Seven Eleven for dinner…don’t let that happen haha.

I am a firm believer in moderation and I really don’t support dieting.  I believe in eating healthy and developing a plan for your own body.  This being said, these are just tips I have found to be helpful in my own travels and vacation. The best plan is to just enjoy your holiday though! Indulge and relax, thats what summer and vacation are for! 🙂

Hopefully you found this helpful!

Love,

Jess

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

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Yay! I’ve gotten back to blogging, its been very difficult to balance school, ballet, and blogging and unfortunately, blogging has been taking a back seat to school and ballet 😦 But, thankfully, everything is starting to come to a close.  Ballet will be over tomorrow and I graduate high school in a week.  There’s a feeling of nostalgia that has been passing over me lately.  I will be going to college next year, and officially closing the door on my professional ballet career. While this was an incredibly difficult decision to make, it is also very liberating to know that I have a thousand possibilities waiting for me. I’m beyond excited to start college and start a new chapter of my life.  As I look back on the past few years, I learned so much about myself and who I want to be.  Everything is going to change drastically.  High School is going to be over soon and college awaits, and while I am so scared about what lays ahead, I’m excited to embark on a new adventure.

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So now that you have that little update on my life, I thought I’d give you all a great protein smoothie recipe because right now smoothies are all I seem to be able to handle.  I recently got hemp protein powder from Manitoba Harvest, and I am loving it. I wanted to get a plant based protein powder just because I’ve never used protein powder before and figured I’d rather play it safe and stick to plant based stuff.  Also, I freaked out when I saw it was hemp protein powder because hemp seeds are one of my favorite supplements and I put them in practically everything. If you’ve seen any of my other smoothie recipes you know hemp seeds are always included.

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Anyway, we’ve had so much fresh fruit in the house that I just had to make a smoothie!

What you need

1 container of greek yogurt

2 tablespoons hemp protein powder

handful blueberries and blackberries

1/2 frozen banana

3 ice cubes

water-amount to preference

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe! If you make it let me know how you like it!

Love,

Jess

Banana, Strawberry and Orange Smoothie

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I’ve mentioned this before, but smoothies are my favorite.  They are so easy and soo yummy.  I’ve also found if you’re not very hungry in the morning, they are a good thing to have because it’s filling but not as much as a traditional breakfast.  If you pack in lots of fruit and greek yogurt, you have a blended breakfast that doesn’t feel like a huge meal.

I love making strawberry smoothies because getting the pink color is so pretty.  Strawberries are also my favorite fruit, and its strawberry season…so this was bound to happen haha.  Anyway, expect to have many more strawberry recipes coming up soon. 🙂

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What you need

1 container Greek yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
4 frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
Hemp seeds to taste (optional)
3 ice cubes
Directions: throw it all in a blender and smoothie it up!

 

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Enjoy!!

Love,

Jess