Saturday, January 26, 2013

How to Stay Warm during Vermont Winters

Hey everyone! Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.

This week was the coldest week I have experienced so far in Vermont. It was in the negatives for a couple days in a row, which combined with windchill meant it was REALLY COLD. I am from Massachusetts, which isn't too far and usually gets pretty cold, but I'm pretty sure this is the coldest week I have ever experienced. So I thought I would share a few tips to keeping warm during a Vermont style winter!

My weather screen on my phone the other day!

1. Layers! While it's chilly outside, the buildings have their heat turned way up to keep us warm. Use layers to keep yourself from getting really hot inside. My favorite way to layer is to put leggings under jeans, they keep you really warm without having to buy special long underwear. The leggings keep the cold from getting to your legs. Also, layers on top help you adjust to be comfortable inside; just take off your jacket and sweatshirt!

2. Cover your face! It's really important to keep your ears, mouth, and head covered when it's really cold. The best way I have found of doing this is a big, fuzzy scarf. I wrap it around my neck and then up to cover my mouth and ears. Also, a hat does a good job of keeping you warm too.

3. Make sure to blow dry your hair! I made the mistake of going out with wet hair on Thursday and my hair FROZE. It was the scariest moment ever, and luckily I knew not to touch it because then it could break. This could have been avoided if I had just blow dried my hair before I left my room.

And those are my tips! I hope everyone has stayed warm, wherever you are! The temps in Vermont look less intimidating this week, it's even supposed to get up in the 40s on Wednesday!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dorm Room Recipes: Rocky Road Bark

Happy Tuesday!

I love to cook and bake. It makes me really happy to cook and share food with my friends or family, and I did it a lot over the past break. I've definitely had an adjustment over the past few days as I don't have access to a kitchen. In the first year dorms, we are pretty much allowed a microwave and an electric kettle. I do not have a microwave as I have never needed one... I'm not a fan of Easy Mac, popcorn, or heated leftovers. But I did want to bake something. So over the weekend, I got a little creative with some food I had in my room. I thought I would share the recipe for this delicious Rocky Road Bark.

Rocky Road Bark, Dorm Room Style
Here is what you need to make the recipe:
Electric kettle
Tupperware container with lid

Here are the ingredients you need:
Almonds (I prefer sea salted, but anything will work)
Semi sweet chocolate chips
Mini marshmallows

1. Put about a cup of chocolate chips into the tupperware container... you want enough to cover the bottom. Turn on your electric kettle and wait a few minutes until the water comes to a full boil.

It's kind of upside down, but the water is boiling!
2. Remove the top of the kettle, then place the container directly on top. Try to block as much of the steam as you can.

You want enough chocolate chips to cover the bottom of the container

3. Wait a minute or so for the chocolate to begin to melt, then begin to stir with your spoon. When the chocolate is a good half melted, you can remove it from on top of the kettle and stir harder. It should all melt.

The chocolate is starting to melt...
It's okay if it's a little lumpy, it will all harden up after anyways!

4. Throw some almonds and mini marshmallows on top of the melted chocolate. It really is up to you... I think it's good to have about equal parts of almonds and marshmallows and to make sure they are mostly covered by the chocolate. Stir them in so everything is evenly distributed.

Throw what you want to mix in on top...

...and mix until you're happy!

5. Once you are happy with how your bark looks, stick it in the freezer section of your fridge, uncovered, for half an hour or until it's solid. You can break it up by twisting the two sides of the container in opposite directions.

Stick it in the freezer!

6. Enjoy!

Finished product!

This would be the perfect snack to bring to a party (it will get devoured, fast) or wrap up in a nice cellophane bag and give as a cheap and easy birthday gift to a friend.

Hopefully, over the course of the semester, I will be featuring some more Dorm Room Recipes! Thanks for reading, everyone!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Week Down...

...and fifteen to go!

I can't believe I've already been back to school for a whole week! It's been a whirlwind week of catching up with friends, getting a solid start on schoolwork, and changing my major (more on that soon!).

I've really enjoyed my classes so far. I ended up switching one of them, Digital Media: Art, Culture, Theory to the Fiction Writing Workshop. I never even went to a Digital Media class, so I can't comment on how it was, but I've heard great things. The Fiction Writing is more in line with my new major, so I decided to take it this semester! So now my schedule is:

8:00-9:35 Intro to Philosophy

9:45-11:20 Aftermaths
11:30-1:05 Acting Techniques

1:15-4:35 Fiction Writing Workshop

Yes, that does mean I have Fridays off still! Lucky me!

Here are my initial thoughts on my classes:

I feel really bad saying this, but I do not like Philosophy. Not the class- just the subject. I hate arguing and  I feel like there's never really an answer. But Jim, my professor, seems to know how to break it down really well. We've only done two reading so far, but I've gone into class not really understanding what we read and leaving with a much clearer sense of what I just learned. It's at 8am, but it's a really discussion based class so, so far, I have yet to have a problem staying awake. I think it will be a good class for me because it takes me out of my comfort zone.

I really enjoy this class so far. It's an English class about the aftermaths of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Recession. So far, we've read some articles following 9/11 from publications like The New Yorker and The Onion. My professor seems really passionate about the class, and has lead some great discussions about 9/11.

Acting Techniques
This class is a lot of fun. It gets us up off our feet in the middle of the day, which I am really grateful for. Also, I have this class with my friend Colleen! This class is going to be mainly focused on scene work, so I think it will teach me a lot as an actor. I just finished reading the first play that we are going to be using, Dinner with Friends. It was a great read and I can't wait until Tuesday when I can start my work on it!

Fiction Writing Workshop
This class is with Liz, who taught my First Year Seminar last semester. I really enjoyed writing in her class and thought it would be a fun class in a possible minor. I was a little intimidated being the only First Year in the class, but it didn't even really matter once I got there. The class only meets once a week so it's going to take time management to get all the work done, but I am really looking forward to improving my skills as a writer!

Overall, I'm really happy with my classes and think it's going to be an awesome semester.

Lastly, let me show you some pictures from the first week back:

SNOW!!!!! On the walk from Joyce to Alliot.

First week back means a trip to City Market to stock up on dorm room essentials, like cheese!

The lovely spread that Alex came up with for the VITA social!!

Snow on the campus! As seen from the Farrell Room, St. Ed's.

Well, that's my first week! Hope everyone had a great week themselves :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Semester Eve Resoluions

Hello! I am back on campus after a (very) early bus! It's cold in Vermont, and there's some snow on the ground, but lots of brown and green patches. Not quite as scary cold as I had been expecting (for now)!

Classes begin tomorrow morning, so I spent the afternoon unpacking, cleaning my room, and getting ready! I am excited for my classes this semester, so I am excited to get into them. But, for now, I wanted to put out a few resolutions I have for the next sixteen weeks:

1. Get better grades. My grades last semester were not bad by any means, but there is always room for improvement! Now that I have the rhythm of college down, hopefully I will be able to score higher grades.

2. Spend less money on things I don't need to. Last semester, I found my self stopping in Cafe Cheray (a little cafe in the academic quad) to get tea or hot cocoa on the cold mornings when I was sleepy. This was a totally silly expense, when I can either make it in my room or take my mug to Alliot and fill it. I have brought back lots of hot cocoa mix and bought a new kettle, so hopefully I can make it instead.

3. Receive less spam mail. Okay, so this one is not really tied in with my life at school, but I think it's a good one. I get a lot of junk mail- companies I gave my email to once send me mail every week (Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I'm looking at you!). It's so easy to do this, you just have to hit unsubscribe at the bottom of each email.

Anyways, those are my resolutions! Hopefully, I can achieve them! Hope that everyone has a wonderful week. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hometown Connections

Happy Wednesday!

I am enjoying the last few days of my break, but also gearing up to get ready to head up to St. Michael's on Sunday morning! I am excited to get back to my friends, my dorm, and get into my new schedule of classes.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get to go back to my high school. They had an Alumnae College Fair and I got to go and represent St. Michael's with our Hometown Connections program. It was awesome to get to speak about my experience at school. Along with about 10 other Alums, I spoke about how to choose a college, a major, and what activities I am involved with. I think it was a really helpful event for all the sophomores and juniors I spoke to!

My table at the Alumnae College Fair
Anyways, hope everyone is having a great week! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!