Friday, December 30, 2011

B is for Bicycle

Bicycle: a vehicle with two wheels tandem, a handlebar for steering, 
a saddle seat and pedals by which it is propelled.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Wow. It's been a while since my last post. That makes me sad. I hate getting so caught up in everything that I neglect my blog. =(
Anyways. Being on Christmas break and back home for 3 weeks, I've been pretty pent up in my house in the little town of SM. It's too cold to go run outside - I hate when my throat gets all cold and it's hard to breathe. And, since there isn't even any snow to play in outside, I'm forced to become creative inside.
Now, it's not that I work out on a daily basis, by any means, but when I get pent up like this, I  have all of this energy that I NEED to use. So yesterday, I booted up the ole Wii and popped in Just Dance. I like the game. I like its variety and the fact that I get to dance around in my skivvies alone in the house like a fool. However, I dislike the fact that I have to hold the wii-mote in my right hand and it only adds to my score when the sensor hits perfectly! =( I know for a fact that I'm doing those moves just like that animated person on the screen! Also, I find it utterly impossible that I can dance to 20 songs - my considered workout - and be sore the next day! Seriously? What's even better though, is that only my right bicep is sore. Haha. If I keep Wii dancing, I'm going to end up with one super buff arm and one lil weakling arm. Cute! But I suppose that's the price I pay since I would much rather Wii dance than do boring pushups and whatnot.
Other things I like to do as my physical activity / workout include Zumba, dancing, cheering (and I mean flying and occasionally basing), swimming (though I've not yet been able to fit that into my schedule this year). When it's warm out, I'm pretty partial to rollerblading, running outside, tumbling in the grass, waterskiing, taking walks, walking/running with dogs or really any kind of outdoor activity. I just really enjoy being active in general. Helps to clear my head, de-stress and  I also love my bike, which saved my life the past two years by getting me to some of my classes on time. Oops. I've had my bike forever, though. I mean this thing was my first real big-kid two-wheeler! I would ride that bike everywhere if I could. In the summers I would ride it to Grand Lake SM or drive there and rollerblade the path up and down a few times. So pretty!
And now I'm missing Summertime ... 
Well. That's about it. I'm using some of that hyped up energy to write this blog instead of being able to do anything that I listed up there.  Short and sweet and hopefully more to come soon!

-~- B.

Friday, November 4, 2011

B is for Bureaucracy

Bureaucracy : a system of administration based upon organization into bureaus, division of labour, a hierarchy of authority, etc: designed to dispose of a large body of work in a routine manner.
[According to the World English Dictionary]

The last time I talked about the American Marketing Association, I told about how my co-president, Chelsie, and I had completely restructured the group and strategy. Since then, we've gotten so much accomplished. We've done more in these first couple months than in the previous years that I'd been involved.
This is how we restructured the group to increase organization, focus and incentive:

  1. We decided to implement a point system to measure and reward attendance to meetings, events and participation in fundraisers. At the end of each semester, we'll award the 'Member of the Semester' with a $25 gift card. At the end of the year, the 'Member of the Year' will receive a $50 gift card. The point chart will also be used to determine the allocation of our group funds for the trip to New Orleans for the International Collegiate Conference.
  2. We also decided to have each officer keep a log of each of the activities/work that they did each month in their position for the group. This would not only measure which positions were doing more/less work than others, but it would give us a Transition Booklet to be used for reference when new members are elected into officer positions for the next year. These logs would also help us decide how to reorganize the executive board for next year, if need be.
  3. Chelsie and I decided that both our group and officer meetings needed to be more routine and set into a schedule. We  keep everyone involved and interested in staying in the group if we met more than once every few months.
    • I created a calendar for the year, marking each of the general and officer meetings in the schedule. This would allow members to know before-hand when we would be having meetings to schedule around them. Our semester schedule was also included with holiday breaks and special events, fundraisers and more.
    • We decided to hold our meetings bi-weekly, with our officer meetings every other Sunday from 8:30-9:30 PM and our general meetings the following Wednesday from 7:00-8:00 PM. The schedule really seems to be working out well for us this year.
  4. Finally, I completely re-created our chapter's website, since it was last updated in 2006 (not okay). You can check it out here at ONU's AMA Website.
We kicked off our year with a booth at WelcomeFest, where all the freshman are able to walk around our field house and check out all of the campus organizations and sign up if interested. AMA incorporated an interactive game into our booth and gave away prizes to get the interest of the students, and it was really successful. Our Kick-Off Barbecue, a few days after WelcomeFest, actually had a record number of attendees and interested students. We did typical introductions and ice-breakers, asking why they would like to be members to get ideas for later meetings and provide valuable experiences for our members.

Marketing Week was held October 17th though the 23rd, where we had a booth set up all week in the college. Monday we kicked off marketing week with a marketing research taste test where we had students use french fries to taste both Heinz ketchup and an off-brand label. The results were interesting though. With 70 participants, we had 53% voting on Ketchup 1 (Heinz) as best-tasting and 47% voting for Ketchup 2 (Off-Brand) as the best-tasting. Next for marketing week was having three teams of five people participate in the St. Jude's Up Til Dawn Letter Writing Event to raise money for the hospital. We also had a booth set up all week to gain donations, which went towards our New Orleans trip for the Collegiate Conference by being able to pie the professor whose jar collected the most money at the end of the week. We even had an incentive that if you donate money, you get a raffle ticket and a chance to throw one of the three winning pies! For the first time holding this event, we had a great turn-out. Finally, to end marketing week on a high note, our club took a trip to Cedar Point's Halloweekends to ride some roller coasters, learn a bit about the marketing efforts of an amusement park and enjoy the spooky atmosphere with the group.

Most recently, our group joined with the local Mexican restaurant to promote their business, encouraging the community and students to eat at the restaurant on Halloween, and in return, AMA would get 10% of each of the bills for profit. We also hosted a costume contest during the specified hours of 5-9 PM, where the winner would receive a $25 gift certificate. Our club made over $100, so we hope to hold the event again later this year.

-~-
 B.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

B is for Business


Business: a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

I am well aware that I have not posted an update in well over a month. =( I feel pretty awful about that, but the truth is, being in the middle of the semester, my life has kicked into high-gear and The B List was put on the back burner. Currently mid-week in week 11 of 16 on ONU's semester schedule, I'll catch you up on all of the exciting events in my life since B is for Busy.
Okay. Well with my Ada Chamber of Commerce internship, I've started calling each of the 65 companies and compiling my information to a database. For the past few weeks, I've been getting myself up early and in the building to allow for a few solid hours of calling before I have to go to class. I've actually had a really great response rate and almost everyone I've called has been very friendly and cooperative. Plus, I've found that to speak with the person I need and collect all their data, takes only about 10 minutes per business. Awesome!
Next are my campus jobs, and yes that is plural, because since my last post, I've been hired for additional positions, which I'm really excited about. I'm actually wrapping up my job with the Sports Information Department. I've got our last home women's soccer game tomorrow and the last few football games to update the stats for, but after that I'll be on to new assignments within the Marketing and Communications Department, right down the hall. I'll be filling two positions, actually. The first is working with the University's website as a web development assistant, and the second is a graphic design assistant working with more of the hard copy promotional items for the University. I'm really just getting started with these, but there'll be more to come once I get a little more into it.
Then I've got the American Marketing Association, but you can read more about that in B is for Bureaucracy.
Most recently though, I've been doing interviews. Yesterday, which seems like a week ago, I interviewed with American Trim for an internship position for spring semester. I'm really excited about this as well and believe the interview went really well. American Trim was pretty recently featured in the publication, "Discover the Dayton Region," as one of the Top 10 Businesses in Shelby County for its plans to continue to supply innovations that will improve manufacturing in Ohio. I really like the position's responsibilities and the experience I could gain and I find that promoting their products to be really intriguing. However, after that interview, I had to pack my things and drive down to Cincinnati. I was scheduled to meet with a Procter & Gamble employee from their marketing department at 9:00 this morning. Also, if you know me at all, you'd know that I'm in love with the P&G company and find their brands and values fascinating, which of course is why I read all of their press releases to keep updated. Sort of nerdy, but that's fine. Anyways, I was able to stay the night at my Uncle's place in Loveland and finish the 1/2 hour drive to the P&G headquarters in the morning. I arrived at the Towers building and I felt like a child in a candy store. I was elated. I was actually there. I got to meet the wonderful employee who graciously allowed me to ask her questions about her position and the company and she gave me a little tour of the rest of the building before she had to return to meetings. It was absolutely amazing.
That's my life right now. I'm hoping it'll get a little less hectic for a bit, but projects are coming due and exams are popping up. I will say though, that I can't wait for Thanksgiving break and being able to relax a bit and spend time with my family.

-~- B.

Friday, September 23, 2011

B is for Blue Ribbon


Blue Ribbon: a blue ribbon awarded as an honor (as to the first-place winner in a competition).
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So the other week, I was approached with an amazing opportunity. The digital scrapbooking company, MyMemories read and was impressed with my blog and I was given a copy of their software to have, use and review. I LOVED IT. I've done quite a bit of scrapbooking in the past and trust me, I know how expensive the paper, stickers, ribbon, pictures, tools and adhesives are. Plus add in how much time and effort it takes, and you may even be discouraged by the process. I love scrapbooking though, and turning my memories into creative keepsakes. After a bit of toying around with MyMemories Suite 2.0, I really found the software super easy to use and the best part is that you can use so many different fonts and move around the layout until you have the perfect design. It's incredible, and you can save your pages and work in so many different formats.


So here comes the best part. MyMemories asked ME to host a sweepstakes / giveaway of their award-winning digital scrapbooking software on my blog to one of my readers for FREE
How can you win the $40 Software and invaluable resource??
  1. Visit the MyMemories website
  2. Check out their Digital Scrapbooking Kits
  3. Choose the kit that you like the most or find the most creative/interesting
  4. Come back to this blog post and comment!! to tell me the kit that you chose/liked the best.
And that's it! I'll choose a winner on the evening of October 10th and send the lucky reader the code for their FREE MyMemories Suite 2.0 software. Also, just for reading, I get to provide you with a coupon code for a $10 discount off the MyMemories Suite 2.0 and $10 coupon for the mymemories.com store! Here's the code: STMMMS80941 Now go try it out!! 

Check out this quick video from MyMemories YouTube channel 
to learn how easy it is to use.


And check out the couple example pages that I made earlier today!
It's so simple!



Let's see how many readers we can get to participate in the giveaway and as always, Thanks for reading!!  =)

-~- B.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

B is for Busy

Busy: engaged in action / being in use / full of activity.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So with school back in full swing, being the middle of week 4 (of 15 now that we've switched to semesters), life is getting busier. Tests are coming up and assignments are coming due. I've been pretty blessed with a light schedule this semester and I'm loving it! Only 12 credit hours - three classes and an internship with the town's Chamber of Commerce. You think I'd have a ton of free time with at most 2 hours of class a day, but you'd be very, very wrong. I've got a lot of responsibility and commitments that take up my time.

Right now with the chamber I'm working on compiling ideas for content from the local businesses and obtaining that information to start up our social media campaign.
I've also got cheerleading. With our second game coming up, we practice twice a week for a few hours building and perfecting pyramids and partner stunts as well as conditioning. Then of course there's my on-campus job with the Sports Information Department where I update the University's football stats every Monday. I also work in the press box at the home Girls Soccer games. My most time consuming position though, is definitely being President of the ONU chapter of the American Marketing Association. My co-president and I are completely rebuilding the club's structure and strategy and although it is tons of work, I find it the most rewarding. I'm very passionate about the things I do and I'm really trying to have the club live up to its potential, and I know this year is going to be great! The little time I have left I spend on cooking, working out, doing homework and projects, working on my social media presence / getting my sites all coordinated, starting to do some job searching activities, and at the end of the night, relaxing before I have to start it all over again!

I always think it's kind of funny when sometimes in an interview they'll ask you what you do in your free time or for fun besides your activities. Then I'll say well I do those things in my free time because I love doing them. Why would I be in those clubs or teams if I didn't enjoy it? That's just silly. I put my time and effort into my work because it reflects who I am.

Anyways, thats pretty much my life right now. I'm sure if you check back I'll have some posts up further detailing these activities and what I'm doing with them - So get Excited!

Also, Thanks for reading, and actually, be sure to check back Next Week. I've got some very exciting news and I'll tell you all about it soon!


-~- B.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

B is for Box Office

Box Office: an office (as in a theater) where tickets of admission are sold.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So this past summer I carried on a tradition started the summer before with my brother and friends, Trina and Garrett. This tradition is TNMN - or Tuesday Night Movie Night. Almost every Tuesday evening the four of us and occasionally some tag-alongs as well would head over to the Chakeres Celina Cinema 5. The best thing about TNMN and the reason for the tradition is that any seat and any showtime every Tuesday was only $4. It was perfect! Movies can get to be so expensive these days and in a small town, there isn't always that much to do. TNMN gave me and my friends a great way to get together and have a few laughs throughout the summertime.
The movies we all went to see were:

  • Bridesmaids
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 4
  • Bad Teacher
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  • Horrible Bosses
  • The Change-up

There were obviously a few Tuesdays that we missed when I was busy with other different things. Though I am pretty sad that I wasn't able to see Cars 2, Friends With Benefits, Crazy Stupid Love or The Winnie the Pooh Movie. =) Yes, I'm a kid at heart and I loved that when I was little so it's fine. I think that my favorite movie from the summer was probably Bad Teacher though - so funny!
Give me some feedback and let me know what movie was your favorite from the summer and why??

-~- B.

Monday, August 29, 2011

B is for Bobbin

Bobbin: a cylinder or spindle on which yarn or thread is wound
(as in a sewing machine).
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

I first learned to sew in the seventh or eighth grade in our Homec classes. I really found it fascinating how many creative things you can make from fabric and how easy it really is. Since my mom had a sewing machine at home, I always used to mess around on it and make little pillows and stuff. But actually, since I’ll be soon living on my own, I guess my mom decided that I need my own - or she was just tired of me using hers all the time. Anyways I got my own sewing machine this past Christmas and my mom couldn’t have picked a better gift.
I love picking out cute ribbons and fabrics and making different things out of them for my room and decorations. Just recently I’ve been finding quite a few DIY projects on StumbleUpon that I adored and obviously had to try my hand at. Some of my sewing creations include: curtains for my room/closet/shower curtains, a lamp shade cover, curtain valances, various mendings on different articles of clothing, a couch cover, a pin cushion, coasters, seat covers for my dad’s fishing boat, new straps on a dress, and a bunch of cute little bags for makeup and whatnot. I also made these little clothes hamper things from old pillowcases - I love them, though no sewing was required. I’m not sure why, but I love decorating and doing all kinds of crafty little things. 
Some of my favorite things I've made are the makeup and jewelry boards I found on StumbleUpon. My necklaces and earrings hang on framed wire fencing with little S hooks while my makeup sticks up there with magnets. I also love pictures and having them all over my room too. I printed out a bunch of cute pictures and quotes to decorate my room with this year. I plan to hang up ribbons and hang the pictures on them with clothespins that I painted and decorated. They're not up yet, but I've been pretty busy getting back into the school routine (why this is my first post in a while.) So go check out some of the Things I Make and let me know what you think! =)

-~- B.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

B is for Baggage (Pt. 2)


B is for Baggage - Part 2
Baggage: suitcases, trunks and personal belongings of travelers.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Well this post ends my series from the adventure to Boston. I had to be at the train station before 11 AM in time to wait and board the train at South Station. Unlike my first trip on the train, I wouldn’t have to get off or switch to anything else, it was just going to be a straight ride from Boston to Toledo. So I boarded at about noon and was estimated to arrive at about 5:55 AM on Monday morning. That’s like 18 hours… and also a funny joke because the train somehow got behind schedule somehow - like by a lot. The train didn’t arrive in Toledo until 7:30 AM! So that was fun. It was pretty nice though because I had both seats to myself for probably 75% of the trip. I was able to spread out and lie down and get a bit of sleep.  Other things I did to keep myself busy:
  • Finished reading the last 3/4th of a book (The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks)
  • Ate snacks
  • Watched a movie (Morning Glory)
  • Ate more snacks
  • Listened to music
  • Tried to sleep
  • Played a bit of solitaire
  • Went to the cafe car to get some “real” food
  • Watched another movie (A Lot Like Love)
  • Listened to some more music while trying to sleep
Good Times! So yeah, it was a super long ride, but at least the train seats were comfortable. It trip would have been better if it wouldn't have been so long, though. Plus this train was rocking all over the tracks kind of a lot and it was sort of like feeling sea-sick .. not okay. I wouldn't be against traveling by train again, but I'm not about to go again real soon. But at least I can say I've done it!
After I arrived in Toledo, Brentlee was there waiting and picked me up. We got some real "real" food for breakfast at Bob Evans - I love Bob Evans. Then we stopped back at his house so I could get my car and drive the final two hours of the trip back home to get some quality sleep in my own bed. There's nothing like laying down in your bed after you've been away. So nice!

-~- B.

Monday, August 15, 2011

B is for Boston

Boston: a city and port in Massachusetts.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So this post is sort of long, but thats because it's basically a day-by-day of my time in Boston. I'd like to say up front that the reason for my trip was to A. travel alone and have an adventure and to B. spend some time hanging out with one of my best friends from high school, who I rarely get to see and to C. see how she spends a typical day/ what it would be like to live there. This trip was not about going to all the bars and getting drunk and partying, so if thats what you expected to read about then you'll be pretty disappointed. Honestly with being in a new city and knowing maybe 3 people that I could for sure trust, I was not about to put myself in a compromising situation. And, because this is actually my second trip to Boston, I got most of the real touristy things out of the way the first time. So here we go:

Monday - Basically we just slept in because after two long days before, I was pretty exhausted. When we got up and about, Alycia and I made our way to the grocery store to pick up some things for the week so we wouldn't be spending mass amounts of money eating out everyday, plus it's healthier. After walking back from the store, we headed out to the New England Institute of Art, where Aly takes classes. While she was in class for a few hours, I was able to use the internet, get some things done, check some things out. Then back to the house. We got to relax and catch up on everything and then watched the movie, Limitless, which I would recommend. It was really interesting.
Tuesday - Newbury Street, known for its was next on the agenda. They've got boutiques to bohemian and everything between. The street is known for its historic brownstone buildings filled with hundreds of shops and restaurants on all levels. Obviously we went for the shopping and it was great because since Aly's majoring in fashion marketing, she knew all the places that had good pieces and because she's in college like me, she knew exactly where to find all the best deals.  Our favorite place on Newbury didn't sell clothes though, it sold the BEST frozen yogurt ever, and if you ever find a BerryLine, do yourself a favor and get some! Amazing. I ordered the Oreo kind topped with bananas and raspberries. So Good! Anyways so after shopping for a good part of the day, we hopped back on the crowded T (not a fan) and headed back to Commonwealth Ave. The next activity for us was hitting the gym. We went to Commonwealth Sports Club (CSC) and I got a free week trial thing and worked out, which was perfect, then we walked next door to the grocery store to pick up a few more things.
Wednesday - So Aly had class for a few hours and I was really hoping to go back to Newbury Street for a bit to walk around some more, but it wasn't looking too likely with the time frames we had. She suggested though, that I just take the T and go there by myself and insisted that it wasn't that hard. I figured you know if I really did live here, I would have to get around on my own anyways plus it was broad daylight so I did, and it really was super easy to get to. Take the green T from Long Ave. to Copley St., get off and cross the street. Yep. Super simple. So I went and I'm so glad I did. I loved just walking around the street myself and looking at everything. There's something about shopping by yourself and taking all the time you want and not worrying about the other people waiting on you or going into places they don't want to. It's just nice to so sometimes. Anyways I got to shop and got BerryLine again (how could I not, I was already there .. ) and made my way back to the house just in time as Alycia got home from class. We headed to CSC for a yoga class and then hit up WonderBar to experience Dubstep music for the first time in a place like this. I don't know what to say about it except I didn't really know what to do. Completely different type of music than I've ever been around. 
Thursday - We start off with a pilates class at CSC and walk around a bit after. We make our way to a frozen yogurt place nearby called Mixx, which was also amazing, and then to a little park close by to swing at. Later we adventured to Quincy Market in Nathaniel Hall, and even though most of the shops were closing, it was really neat to see. Aly and I ate at Dick's Last Resort, where the waiters are kind of rude and they give you these paper hats with crude sayings on them. Yeah, but it was fun and a different kind of atmosphere and experience than any other restaurant. Back in Alston we met up with a few of Alycia's friends and hung out with them. Nothing too crazy.
Friday - We made our way to the Boston Commons, which reminded me of a much smaller scale Central Park in NYC. It was really cute and a great place to walk around and hang out at. Aly and I layed out in the grass for awhile on a hill and chatted about life and whatnot. After a while we got up and walked around a bit, coming across a new little shopping square near Park St. We got Mixx again and went to a party at one of Aly's friend's house to have a good time and meet a bunch of new people.
Saturday - We started off our day with a yoga class at CSC and then back home for a nap. For lunch we got Mixx again (I'm telling you this place was amazing!) and then walked down to the grocery store for a few things for the day and for snacks on the train back home. Just hanging out for the rest of the day, I packed all my bags and we watched The Roommate and Drive Angry on their projector screen. Not really ready to end the trip, we headed out one last time to hang out with her friends for a bit until we had to get back and get some rest before my long day of traveling ahead of me.

So that was pretty much my time in Boston. I had a great time there and spending time with Alycia. My favorite part was probably just walking around in the city, and we literally walked miles everyday to get around. I loved not having to have a car but still just be able to get anywhere or anything you want. Not so fond of the T though, and I'd rather walk in fair weather, because it was just so crowded and if you don't have a seat or a thing to hold onto, then you're just falling all over the place when it stops and goes and it's just awfully embarrassing and difficult. But on a final note, I enjoyed the experience and could see myself living in a city after school. Guess we'll see what happens! && if you stuck around until the end, Thanks for reading! =) Oh and you can check out some of my pictures from Boston on Facebook, too.

-~- B.

Friday, August 12, 2011

B is for Bus

Bus: a large motor vehicle designed to carry passengers usually 
along a fixed route according to a schedule.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Ok so a few days before I was supposed to board the train, Amtrak called me and told me that there was scheduled track work and for part or all of my trip I would have to take alternate transportation. I minorly freaked out, being completely confused my the message, but I called the number back and basically they said that everything was taken care of and all I would have to do was take the train from Toledo, Ohio to Albany, New York, get off the train and board a bus in Albany which would take me the rest of the way to Boston. I guess I did want an adventure right? Well that’s how I looked at the situation anyways - as just another part of the adventure. So here we go exiting the train and being herded into the Albany station. I hear an older man ask a worker what travelers heading to Boston were supposed to do, so naturally I went up to this man and asked if he was taking the bus to Boston too. He said yes and told me to stick with him and two other younger people around my age. He said, "Well, if we miss the bus then we'll all miss it together." I was fine with that. At least I wasn’t completely alone. So we wait over an hour for this bus to pick us up and it finally comes and we get split up a bit. There were two buses and each was stopping at certain stops but leaving out others to shorten the trip. Another bus was coming along about an hour later to be a straight shot to Boston, but I wasn't really in the mood to be waiting a whole additional hour. Anyways I get put on the red bus to Boston, and luckily I’m put on the same bus as Matt, an accounting grad about to get his Masters from the University of Tennessee, returning home to Boston after a family wedding in Rochester, New York. Matt was another stranger made friend during my traveling adventures and we talked about anything and everything during the bus trip. The trip lasted a good 5 hours but when you're occupied that doesn't seem so long and can go by pretty quickly. I was pretty thankful to have had Matt there to keep me company. Unlike the train, the bus had much less room to spread out but fortunately when they filled the buses, this one only had so many people that everyone has two seats to themselves. I couldn’t complain. The trip could have been pretty miserable if everyone had been partnered up, but I was able to spread out a bit and not have all by bags smashed up on my lap. Nearing the end of the ride I got a bit nervous, not familiar with the area I was being dropped off at to wait nor knowing exactly where my friend was going to pick me up at, but Matt knew the area so he showed me where to wait safely and was really helpful. All-in-all the entire trip to Boston was a success and quite the adventure. =)

-~- B.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

B is for Baggage

Baggage: suitcases, trunks and personal belongings of travelers.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Take a long-distance train ride and travel alone. Check and check. On Sunday, July 31st, I boarded an Amtrak train as a single rider at 3:30 am heading to Boston, Massachusetts. The trip was scheduled to last a good, long 17 hours, and though there were some complications, (which are further detailed in B is for Bus) I must say that I was not disappointed with the train. First off, so I board at 3:30 in the morning and I’m already pretty wore out from the day’s activities, so I’m ready to just get on and sleep. Of course I got paired with a random rider since I was traveling alone, but the man in the window seat was crashed out. At least he was in his own seat and not sprawled out into mine as well. It was a bit awkward though because he had a jacket over his head and upper-half so I couldn’t tell a thing about this guy. That’s fine though. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I realized why Mystery Man had his coat on his head - the emergency overhead lights kept the cabin pretty lit up. No matter - I fell asleep in an instant once I was all covered up too.
So next thing I know I’m awake, it’s about 6 AM and the sun is rising. It was pretty sweet to see that from the train but I was still pretty tired and tried to go back to sleep - and by that I mean pretty much just laying there with my eyes closed. I have to compliment this train though, because seriously, these seats were pretty amazing. They were probably better than first class plane seats because they were so cushiony and give you so much leg-room! There was even this little leg rest thing that propped up like a recliner would and the seats leaned back pretty far too. So nice! Anyways Mystery Man wakes up and moves around a little. I think he got off at the next stop and no one filled his spot so I had probably an hour or so to sleep laying down in both seats. It was glorious. Both seats combined with the leg rests out was like the size of a small bed - enough for me to curl up comfortably anyways. Just what I needed to get some rest from the day before. It didn’t last too long though, because the spot was filled at the next stop.
Now if you read B is for Brave, you’ll know that one of my goals was to have a nice friendly chat on the train with a stranger. Enter Gloria, a cute grandma traveling home to New York after her granddaughter’s bridal shower. Gloria and I chatted for a good couple of hours or so about everything from family to politics and from the job markets to our life adventures. Then I had to go check out the dining car and grab some 'real' food for lunch. Though I wasn’t overly impressed with the food options and all that, I wasn’t disappointed either. The vegan burger I ordered filled me up and tasted pretty good too. I mean as good as you can get from a microwavable bag on a train. The most interesting thing I found to be, though, were the bathrooms. I can’t tell you how awkward it was to be in there with the train rocking around on the tracks all over the place - definitely easier on an airplane, though the train's was more spacious. Anyways that about sums up my first train riding adventure. Be sure to check back for the next part of my trip!

-~- B.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

B is for Baby Elephant

Baby Elephant: the calf of a thickset, tall, large-eared and herbivorous mammal of tropical Africa with elongated snouts into a muscular trunk and large ivory tusks.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Because my train to Boston was departing from Toledo, Ohio, I decided to make plans with my long-time friend, Brentlee, who lives in Toledo and make a day of it. But because the train didn’t leave until 3 AM, we were making a very long day of it. The first thing on the agenda was to visit the Toledo Zoo. I love zoos. I love seeing all the animals and even seeing all the little kids react to seeing the animals too. We started off with the polar bears. There were two in the exhibit and they were fascinating. I told Brentlee straight off that I was going to take a bunch of pictures while we were there, so he’d have to put up with it.  We watched the Polar bears for a good 20 minutes and of course I took plenty of pictures of them. Our next stop was in the African Safari part of the zoo. We took this shaky little metal train ride around the area and saw ostriches, giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles and other things like that. I liked the giraffes the most and there was a baby too - they said that when it was born, it was six feet tall - way taller than I am. The safari thing was a bit disappointing, and because it was still sort of early in the morning and over 90 degrees outside, a bunch of the animals were just sleeping in the shade and not really doing too much. So Brentlee and I kept making our way through the zoo and we saw a few penguins and meerkats, two rhinos and sleeping lions and hippos and otter. When we first checked out the elephant exhibit, the mother and newly born calf were huddled in the far corner and hardly visible, but the second time we passed it, they were both out and about and eating some food, so of course we had to stop by and watch them again. They were so cute! The baby’s name was Lucas and he was so funny following his mom around and standing under and around her.
Next we made our way through the Reptile House and checked out the snakes and lizards. The chameleons were pretty sweet, I thought. But then we went and saw the monkeys and honestly we could have stayed there all day to watch them. By far the most active animals we saw the whole day, they were just swinging everywhere and running and playing and it was so entertaining. The orangutans were pretty sweet too and this  one was really moving around and he was playing in their tub of water and everything. The gorillas were cool and it was crazy though because the one huge man gorilla was sitting just right up against the glass, face-to-face with everyone who came to see them. After the monkeys, we hit up the aquarium and saw so many pretty fishies and creepy, gross ones too. Then after touring the whole place and with still time to kill, we went to check out some of the animals that had been boring the first time we saw them. Actually we got to see some of the animals up and about a little bit more, like the hippos, tigers and there were a few more penguins out too.
All in all I ended up taking 202 pictures/videos. Don’t judge me. I would have taken more too, but my camera battery died =( Not okay. You can check out most of the pictures and video that I did take, here at Zoo Pictures and Zoo Videos. Hope you like ‘em!

-~- B.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

B is for Book

Book: a set of written, printed or blank sheets bound together into a volume.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

I love books. I mean, I really like reading when I have the time. Now this isn't like reading textbooks and school stuff, although I'll admit that sometimes I like to read those too, but only when I'm really interested in the subject. My favorite books are by Nicholas Sparks, and I own all of them except for his latest and of course the one that comes out this October. I've read about half of them so far. I love the romance in the stories, even the tear-jerkers and I just can't get enough. It's my guilty pleasure. Sometime to get lost in for a little bit. I wish I had a few more hours in the day to read and to do everything I want to, but priorities come into play and work and all that nonsense.
Anyways, the book that I'm reading right now is actually not by Sparks. It's called the 4 Hour Work Week and is written by Tim Ferriss. I'm not sure how many people actually read books and really get into them like I do, but for being about only twenty pages in, I'm already inspired. It's actually part of the reason for the many adventures and plans that have and are going to take place this summer, which I'm very excited for.
The PostSecret Book series is another that I really enjoy reading and the PostSecret Blog (new every Sunday!) for that matter too. It really is eye-opening to see these secrets that people write down and send to a Frank Warren, just some guy who started a project/experiment to collect secrets on postcards. It's kind of comforting as well to see what everyone else is going through, knowing someone else is dealing with the same issues and knowing that you aren't alone in that.

-~- B.

Monday, July 25, 2011

B is for Brave

Brave: having or showing courage.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

As a girl, I was completely shy and reserved. For the most part I've still got that calm and quite nature, but for the last three or four years I've been more outgoing and much less self-conscious. I try to meet new people and experience as many new things as I can. I really love listening to people's stories and what they've experienced. I find it fascinating to learn where people came from and how they got where they are today. I do whatever I can to be happy and to live so that I'll have an amazing story with lots of adventures that I can tell someday to someone like me. I chose 'brave' for this blog because I'm traveling to Boston by train (a 17-hour ride) by myself. Yes, thats going to be really long and probably boring, but I'm not worried about keeping myself occupied. Actually I'm kind of hoping to meet someone on the train and have a nice friendly chat with them. You know, kind of like in the movies. Silly as it might sound, but it's just all part of the adventure. I want to be able to say that I did those things and take something away from the experience. After college I want to move somewhere new. If I'm starting over on my own, I think I should kind of test myself and I'm using this trip as that test. I'm sort of taking this adventure prove to myself that I'll be fine. I mean I know I can do it and it won't be a problem, but honestly if I can't take a train to Boston and travel by myself to meet my friend for a week, then how can I possibly live  on my own in a brand new, unfamiliar place? It's all about pushing the limits and testing comfortability.

-~- B.
 "A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he is willing to have."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

B is for Bold

Bold: fearless before danger / standing out prominently.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

This past Saturday I knocked off one of the items on my bucket list. I've wanted to jump out of an airplane since I was younger because my dad used to do it about twenty years ago. You'll know from B is for Bait that I've got a close relationship with my dad and for the longest time I was thinking that I would go skydiving and take him with me for one of our big birthdays (you know like 18, 21, 45, 50). But this summer I got the "live in the moment/now or never" urge and we decided to go for his 46th birthday this summer. IT WAS AMAZING. I can't even describe in words how excited and adrenaline-filled I was. The free fall was an unreal experience and it was all just so fast. I think the craziest part though, was standing at the edge of the plane door and having Brandon (my tandem partner) push us out of the plane. Awesome. The wind was rushing by us so fast - I almost lost my goggles! After a couple minutes, he pulled the parachute and ended the free fall. The rest of the ride down was just as cool though. We floated down safely, doing some spins and I got to hold the handles and help us steer. We even got to float through a cloud! It was everything that I had hoped it would be. When I had originally planned the trip it was for my dad and I for his birthday, then my brother was showing some interest so I couldn't say no. If you knew my brother from when we were younger, you'd know he's pretty shy and he was scared of heights and roller coasters. He's a big fan now though and I wanted him there with us, too. He was a trooper - him, my dad, and I all got to take the same flight up and drop right after each other. Jeremy went first. I went next, then my dad followed. I'm so glad I was able to share the experience with the people who mean the most to me. Just another great day that we'll be able to look back on and laugh about and another one of my adventures this summer and in life, and I loved every minute of it! Check out my video, Jeremy's video and our pictures from the trip!! And to anyone who has ever wanted to skydive - DO IT!! The thrill is amazing and 100% worth it!

-~- B.

- Our Skydiving Song -

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

B is for Beer

Beer: an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal 
grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So this past weekend I attended Country Concert for the second year. The three-day concert featured Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Justin Moore, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Montgomery Gentry, Lady A and so many more! Although the music was great and the concerts were fun, I think that the best part was just being there for the experience, camping, partying with everyone and meeting so many fun, new people. This weekend I stayed at a campsite with a friend from school and his friends from home. Everyone was so nice and we had all had a great time. Once we  got our camper set up, we met all the neighbors and settled in with a few drinks. We had to take our chairs and wait in line for Golden Circle tickets. Basically it's a huge mad dash to get a first come first serve ticket for super close seats. You just have to take your chair to get a ticket. The other days the guys had to get up pretty early and wait in line just to sprint again to make sure we got enough tickets. While the guys went to get our tickets, Richie made us breakfast on the grill every morning. It was the best meal you could ask for after the nights we had. Another one of the best parts of the weekend was after breakfast, when we all piled into Spencer's truck and headed to our friend Baum's house, which is kind of close to the concert. We all got to take showers and naps and get ready for the day - so refreshing! Then back in the truck and back to the concert. We had massive FlipCup games going on with our neighbors and random passer-bys while we waited for the concerts to start and during the breaks. I'm not sure what it is about alcohol that just allows everyone to bond, but I won't forget the people I met this weekend. They really made the weekend live up to its potential and helped make this one of the best adventures of my summer so far. Can't wait to see you all again and wish CC'12 wasn't so far away.

-~- B.
My Family for the weekend =)
Stephanie, Richie, Scrap Jesus
Chad, Spencer
Shrimpy and McMuffin

    

  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

B is for Bait

Bait: something (as food) used in luring, especially to a hook or trap.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

Ever since I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do has been fishing with my dad. Everything about our trips has made it a lasting memory. From the rides to the lake in his big, red truck and listening and singing along to The Cars and John Cougar Mellencamp, to drinking Big Red  on the boat and listening to Casey Caseum's Top 40 while catching blue gill. I remember in elementary school I used to brag to all the boys and tell them that I can bait my own hook and take the fish off the hook too. They thought that was pretty awesome. I mean, come on ... how many girls would hold the worm and stick it on the hook and then touch the slimy fish? Almost none. But besides something to brag about, I loved fishing with my dad because it was our thing. We'd just pack everything up for the day and head out to the lake and hang out, just me and him.  This weekend was actually the first time we got to go fishing this summer. It was great, and now that I'm older we don't use the little bobber and hook for blue gill. We used rapala minnows and fished for bass all day and caught quite a few actually. Though most of them were small mouth bass, my dad actually caught a large mouth bass that we had to bring in with the net. It was really nice to get to go fishing again and spend some time with my dad like we used to. I love those memories that I have from back then. I'm so grateful that we're still able to bond like that. I can't even put into words how blessed I am to have a dad like mine, and how much I appreciate all the time he's spent doing things with and  for me and our family. 

-~- B.
We're so good, we catch our fish at the same time =)



Friday, July 1, 2011

B is for Boredom

Boredom: the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.
[According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary]

So a few months ago I was hearing all this buzz about a site called StumbleUpon and I really wanted to know what all the hype was about, since you know, I like all things social media and whatnot. Well anyways I checked it out and basically you pick and choose a bunch of categories that you're interested in from their selection and click the [Stumble] button.
I love this site!! 
So if I ever happen to be super bored, like when there's nothing new on Facebook, I just head over to StumbleUpon and click away. It brings me all kinds of new material from these little unheard of websites with content that I want to see. I get all kinds of craft DIYs, quotes, articles on life and whatnot. Sometimes it'll even come up with some marketing things and tips for life after college or the real world and job searching tidbits. 
I think the reason that I like the site so much because the material is always new, and thats pretty refreshing since normally you just look at the same social site's feed with some occasional new pictures or whatever. It's great and I really recommend checking out StumbleUpon if you're looking for new things on the internet to keep yourself occupied.

-~- B.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The B List

Well hello to the curious readers who came to check out my blog!

If you've been here before, well then you know that I created this blog for a Social Media class and assignments for that. If this is the first time you've seen this, well now you know why it was initially started. [Check out some of my old posts if you'd like!] Basically I had to blog three times a week about various things, but since the class is over, I've decided to change things up and start posting again. My posts probably won't be nearly as frequent and the topics will be a little different too, but it's all going to reflect my life, my adventures, my thoughts and my perspective / outlook on life.

Feel free to comment. I'd love your feedback!   =)

-~- B.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ready for a New Chapter

Well here it goes, my last mandatory post for my social media class. I'm not sure if i'll be keeping up with posting after this, probably not nearly as often and consistent, but I guess we'll see. The past week has been a little crazy for me, but busy all the same. The weather has been amazing and it makes me so excited for summer. After a recent break-up, I've gotten to connect with more of my friends and just hang out with everyone. I've had so much support and can keep myself busy and I'm happier now, too. I've loved laying out by the pond with my best friends and taking walks throughout campus and on the Green Monster. I'm starting to study for finals, but I'm also  going out to make the most of these last two weeks here of my junior year.
I'm pretty excited to be home with my family and for camping at the lake and fishing and skiing there, too. I have my old summer job back at the pool, which I've had for the past five years, but I'm looking around for something that's going to be more beneficial for my job search next year. The one marketing company that I had been talking to for a few months has still not gotten back to me with a final answer, saying that they should know by "next week," several times. It's very frustrating to have a company do that though, because I need to know if I need to continue looking around for somewhere else or if I'll really be able to work there. It definitely sucks because I just feel like I wasted so much time thinking that I had this position and I could have been contacting other companies for opportunities. I just think it's so disrespectful. I mean why keep dragging me along if you're not going to offer me the job and wasting my time if you're not going to know for a few months. In our business classes, we're taught to follow up with a thank up card right after an interview and I think that companies should show that same timeliness and let you know within a two-week period or something. Luckily I've been able to contact another company who is hiring summer help in their marketing department. I have to call them this Friday and set up an interview. Hopefully I can land this so I won't be stuck at the pool again and have to roast in the sun six hours a day this summer. I guess we'll see how it plays out though. Wish me Luck!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thank God for Mothers

In honor of Mother's Day, I am dedicating my life blog this week to my amazing mother, Lisa Wilson. I am so thankful for my mom and everything that she's done for me. 


My mom has been there for me through absolutely everything. She supports whatever I do and helps me out more than I can say. Though we look very much alike (and absolutely everyone tells me that, too), we share many of the same traits and characteristics. My mom is very organized and on top of things, which has been instilled in me and it has helped me in my school and work life. She's used her knowledge and past experiences to help guide me and go through these major steps in life, like shopping for things for my apartment and getting all my stuff ready for college and all that good stuff. 
My mom has been to all eleven of my dance recitals and driven me to many dance competitions while I was in high school. She's helped me get ready with all my costumes and with hair and makeup during the hectic changes. She's also gone to all the football and basketball games to watch me cheer at them. It really means so much to me that she comes and watches and is always in the crowd for me to find. I love that.

 < This is my mom with Klondike at on of the ONU football games earlier this fall.







With this summer coming up, I can't even say how happy I am that I'll be home for one more summer and being able to live at home and still get to hang out with my mom. I think the longer that I'm away from home and after my third year in college, the more I miss and cherish the time that I do have at home with her. Sometimes now it seems that when I was at home, for holidays and whatnot, I would rather hangout with my mom at home than go out and hang out with friends from high school that I really didn't keep in touch with too much.

I hope that when I become a mother, someday in the future, that I can be as supportive and loving as my mom has been for me. I'm sure that I don't get to tell her nearly as much as I should, but I love my mom and I so greatly appreciate everything that she does for me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Got Milk?

The National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign is one of the most recognized and respected advertising campaigns, with a message that has helped boost awareness of the nutritional aspects of milk. Personally, I love milk and it's one of the few drinks I like. I think that Got Milk Campaign is great because it uses the buying personas that we talked about in our social media class. They promote milk to families, and most recently had Angie Harmon, a model and actress, posed with her daughters with the famous milk mustaches. Harmon said, “A mom is most often the largest role model in her daughter’s life and has tremendous power to influence their health and nutrition. Something as simple as watching mom drink a glass of lowfat milk can help influence her kids’ beverage choices in a positive way.” Other family-related promotions included a milk and cereal back to school program, a milk and cookies program, and the Pour One More program. Another profile used is athletes, because chocolate milk is such a great source of nutrients needed to refuel after a workout. Because low-fat chocolate milk has been scientifically shown to refuel and rebuild muscles to help athletes recover after strenuous exercise, the got milk? campaign has provided information for coaches, school sports teams and athletes. I think it's pretty sweet to see a company that actually has examples of the multiple distinct buyer personas and designates their marketing plans based on those consumers' needs.
Go to milkdelivers.org to learn more!