My Very First Valentine’s Day: Recounting my Best Date Yet!

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My amazing cappuccino from the Filling Station!

This past Friday, my boyfriend took me on the best day-long date I have ever been on so far in my life! Of course, it was on Valentine’s Day, but it wasn’t the holiday that mattered, but rather it was making lifelong memories with him that took my breath away at the end of the day. Since I knew my boyfriend was planning on an amazing day trip to Temecula Wine Country and Pechanga Casino, a favorite place of ours to go for some low-risk fun at the penny slot machines, I wanted to have my own stamp on the day, and took him out to breakfast at the Filling Station restaurant in the Old Towne Orange Circle before he had his two morning classes. He had an amazing breakfast sandwich with spinach, eggs and bacon, while I indulged in decadent cappuccinos and amazing savory Eggs Benedict with hash-browns! It was definitely filling and a great hearty start to this amazing day!

However, the waitress at Filling Station was less than great at customer service – it took us over 20 minutes for our check to be processed! And funnily enough, the waitress remarked to us as we were leaving (since the hostess graciously ran our check) that we were her “lucky charms!” This may have been a nice pleasantry to hear while leaving a restaurant, but at the rate of her service, we could only assume that it was a failed attempt to deflect her recognition of fault from ignoring our table in favor of only one other table on the other side of the restaurant. As the determined person I am, I vowed to my boyfriend that the rest of the day would not reflect that poor service, and profusely apologized for what happened, even though I had no control over it! After that debacle, I dropped my boyfriend off at his classes and headed back to his apartment to wait until he was finished with them and we would head down to Temecula!

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Eggs Benedict! Yum!

Little did my boyfriend know, while he was at class learning about wildly difficult and complex mathematical formulas and theories, I was frantically whipping up a batch of Valentine’s themed Funfetti cupcakes and picking up his Valentine’s Day gift from Target! He was very surprised when he returned home to find his gifts sitting out for him on his kitchen table!

Now, one of my gifts to my boyfriend was a small planner that had weekly and monthly planning pages for 2014. While this may not seem like the most amazing and romantic gift ever, I knew that he would really appreciate it for much longer than just the holiday itself. Recently, my boyfriend had been very stressed since our spring semester still started and he had a lot on his plate from being on the executive board of his fraternity and starting new classes as well as working on recreating the economic association at our college. Since he didn’t have a planner, he often would stress out from not being able to visualize his weekly schedule until the day of each event, and I think that attributed to a lot of his stress. I hope that the planner will help him be able to plan his weeks a bit better and allow himself to figure out where he can have some free time to himself to de-stress and not worry about what is coming next. Making daily lists of chores, meetings and other items will hopefully let him check things off one by one and break up his busy schedule into more doable chunks.

I was not expecting my boyfriend to give me even more gifts than taking me to Wilson Creek Winery and Pechanga, but he did! I opened my Valentine’s day card from him to find a small booklet. Upon more detailed inspection I realized it was a COUPON BOOK! Michael gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received – a coupon book full of free trips to my favorite restaurants, free candlelit dinners and bubble baths, as well as shoulder rubs when I get stressed out! What impressed me even more was that there were also coupons for going out to dinner, going to a party, and happy hour! That showed me that he wanted me to be able to let him take care of me whenever I needed a break from my busy schedule as well as him being comfortable enough to let his life be dictated by my choices for a little while.

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My OOTD for Valentine’s Day!

 

Next stop: Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula! After the 2 hour drive, we arrived at the beautiful winery for an amazing lunch and a bottle of one of their amazing wines. Unsure of what was considered appropriate wear for the winery, I decided on a one shoulder neon coral colored top from Lilly Pulitzer, dark wash skinny jeggings from White House|Black Market, and my go-to Coach gladiator Sandals. As it turns out, I was dressed perfectly, especially since it was about 90 degrees in Temecula once we arrived! (Thank goodness we sat under the shade with fans around to keep the breeze up!) The scenery was picture perfect, but would have been much better if the grape vines were still ripe! While we were there, I indulged in an amazing romaine salad with feta cheese and all of the traditional caesar salad fixings as well as a slew of bread with decadent sundried tomato butter to go with it! As a butter fanatic – I was very impressed at how amazing the butter tasted! Below are a few more pictures of our afternoon in Temecula! I had an amazing time finally feeling like an adult, and enjoying grown up dates in exchange for the tried and true dinner and a movie dates that are so common among college age people. I definitely felt love and romance in the air, and had great conversations with my boyfriend throughout the afternoon before heading out to the casino!

 

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Finally, Michael and I headed down the road to Pechanga for a few hours of gambling. While this may not be one of the more romantic date ideas for Valentine’s Day, we definitely had a good reason for going! Pechanga was offering an awesome Valentine’s Day deal for slot players, with $100 being given away to one lucky slot player each minute from 2pm-10pm, and Michael was definitely keen on getting a shot at that money! While we didn’t win the $100, I still came out a winner after three hours of gambling on penny and fifteen cent slots! I had $2 in club dollars left from my players card, so I only gave a dollar of my own money during that time, and came out with 13x my winnings with a take home of $13!!This was my biggest win yet and I stopped soon after, too nervous to lose my progress! (It is gambling after all, it can happen in a heartbeat!)

After a few hours, our amazing Valentine’s Day was coming to an end, and we headed back home. Once arriving home, Michael and I did what any normal couple would do – enjoy the last few hours of the day watching silly TV shows together and finishing off the bottle of wine we had brought home with us after lunch. The amount of love I felt through that day was unbelievable, and I definitely can see myself with Michael in the future, creating so many more memories on amazing dates and travels! This Valentine’s Day was my first proper one (see my Pre-Valentines Day post here!) and I couldn’t have been any more happy than I was and still am. I want to thank my boyfriend for being so amazing and thoughtful, and tell him that I couldn’t have pictured a better way to celebrate our first Valentine’s Day as a couple in the same place!

 

 

 

 

 

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I Know That You Like My Style : OOTD

Well, here you go bloggernation: my first Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) post!

Today in sunny California, the high is going to be a balmy 77 degrees! So therefore, ITS TIME FOR SHORTS!!!!!

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Here’s today’s outfit! Repping My Sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma! Enjoying the warm weather today!

Can't forget the shoes!

Can’t forget the shoes!

This week is the beginning of Spring Recruitment at my school, and my sorority is one of three that are participating! So, I wanted to represent my sorority in a super stylish way around campus!

My Top: Once, Always Phi Sigma Sigma sorority tee from The Greek Supply

Shorts: American Eagle Outfitters AE Boyfriend Short

Shoes: Black Gladiator flats from Coach

Bow: Made by my lovely sorority sister Kate!

Make Up: Naked Palette Eyeshadows, Bobbi Brown Foundation and Smashbox Liner and Mascara from Sephora

So excited to step out and enjoy this beautiful “winter” day and strut my stuff!

If Life had a Refresh Button

When I was in my first year and a half of college, I was one of a tight-knit group of Biology and science majors at my university. I had originally decided that to make myself more competitive in the biomedical business field after college, that majoring in science would set me apart while minoring in Business Administration to gain basic business skills. However, this decision greatly affected my life and GPA over that time period until I changed my major to Business Administration. I wish I could have made a more insightful decision prior to starting school so that I could have possibly saved my GPA before I even started.

What I did not realize about being a Biological Sciences major in college was that it was difficult – extremely difficult – to obtain even a mediocre grade in entry level classes. I thought to myself that it can’t possibly be THIS much more difficult than my high school International Baccalaureate biology and chemistry classes were, and I did well in those! However, after my first semester of science courses and getting a less than acceptable GPA for my standards, I realized why these classes were so difficult – they acted as a way to weed out the “weak” students that apparently couldn’t make it through medical school if they didn’t get an A or A- in their classes. Being a science major actually caused me to compete in a manufactured “survival of the fittest” and my individual species was becoming extinct in the science world.

Reading Dad's Biomedical Engineering Textbooks!

Reading Dad’s Biomedical Engineering Textbooks!

I used to love studying science and thought this would continue into my college studies seamlessly. When this ended up not being the case, I lost interest in my courses and generally lost interest in studying enough to make the grade because I simply wasn’t motivated anymore. Sure I liked science, but compared to all of these ultra-competitive, intense medical school hopefuls, I wasn’t fitting in with the group. During my second semester of sophomore year, I had finally had enough and realized that my time as an outsider in the science realm needed to come to an end, and I changed my major to Business Administration with a minor in Human Biology to save credits.

If life had a reset button, I would have pressed it in a heartbeat to go back to the start of my freshman year. I would have decided much earlier on that I was made to be a Business major (my GPA in Business has never dived under a 3.8 since changing my major), and not cut out from the same mold every medical student is. Had I changed my major when I should have, I would have been ale to enjoy my first few semesters at school a lot more and been more social. I definitely felt the hinderance science had on my social life, because no matter how much I had studied, whenever I had free time science was always on my mind.

Studying Gen. Chem on Halloween!

Studying Gen. Chem on Halloween!

But if I hadn’t decided to change my major from the start of freshman year, I wish that I would have concentrated harder on the classes I was taking. Even though I did not like the major, I should have still understood that getting good grades matters a lot more in your life after college – especially for getting a job. I realize now that digging myself out of the hole that I fell into from science class overload is extremely difficult and took me over a few semesters to even get up to a GPA that my dad thought was acceptable to have for what I am concentrating in as an undergrad. Also, majoring in a difficult subject does not always destroy your interest in it if you are passionate, but it showed me the harsh reality that I was not as interested in the sciences as I thought and it should not be my primary focus as a college student.

Changing my major earlier on would have had a very positive effect on my college life and definitely would have decreased the unnecessary stress I have had to deal with. Not changing my major early on may have prevented me from being as close with my sorority sisters from the get-go and also from being as involved in my sorority as I have been since becoming a Business major. Minoring in biology has again increased my interest in the sciences and has given me the chance to appreciate science while not being overwhelmed by the course load or the amount of tenuous labs I had to endure each week. It is a good break from business classes and keeps me curious about the medical world while allowing me to have some more free time and ability to become involved in extra-curricular things. If I had a refresh button, I would have changed this part of my life in a heartbeat and would have been excited to see all of the options it could have opened up! But until that happens, I am glad that I finally made a change for myself that benefitted my life and still takes me in the direction that I want to go in.

How a Bedazzled Mason Jar Perfectly Describes My Life

Today I decided to let my inner creative side show and went to my university’s “Kickin’ It with University Program Board” crafting event this afternoon as part of their Spring welcome week. Little did I know that bedazzling these mason jars would teach me more about patience and relationship building. The ability to be innately creative has always alluded me, but today I was helped with designing the beautiful mason jar below by one of my sorority sisters who absolutely loves graphic design and anything artistic. After talking with her about what ideas I could use to create the perfect design, I began working on it and realized how much this mason jar artwork mirrored my life this year so far.

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Since this week was the first week of my spring semester, I have definitely been feeling a lot of emotions like stress, anxiety, and excitement (of course). On my mason jar, I decorated one side with colorful gems in an “ombre” style array in size order starting at the bottom of the jar. I think that the bottom of the jar represents the stability I have in my life in regard to my family and friendships as well as with my boyfriend. The gems are large and close together, reminding me of close relationships, strength and stability, as well as a firm foundation for my life.

However, as the gemstones move up the rest of the jar, they begin to decrease in size and in their order and placement. In hindsight, I realized that the more spread out and haphazard gems represent events in my life that have caused a lot of emotional outpourings, both positive and negative. Since I am an optimist, I consider the bigger gemstones to be representative of events that have brought me joy and excitement. I have been given an amazing opportunity to become a leader in my sorority as well as in the Panhellenic council at my university in the past few months and had my first official meeting on both of those executive boards earlier this week. They are more unstructured in comparison to my foundation gemstones, but this is how emotional events affect me during my life – they appear on their own and stand out in my memories.

The smaller gems towards the top of the mason jar represent things that have caused me to have anxiety or stress in my life. This past week I have had four new classes and professors to get acquainted with, and I am anxious about the future of the semester and making sure I can juggle everything while maintaining good grades and being a successful group member in my extra curricular activities. I tend to think of these stress-inducing events to be smaller and less significant because they shouldn’t have as large of an impact on my life as I sometimes allow them to have. The fact that these stressful events are closest to the top opening of the mason jar show that I want to let those events pass by me and not hold onto their effects for as long as I have in the past when I bottled my stress until it controlled my emotions and livelihood.

This past year I have been really diligent about making sure I have control over how situations that arise in my life affect me to make sure I am keeping myself in check emotionally and physically. Making this mason jar has given me a perspective on my life and showed me that when I take a step back and reflect on my life, I have come a long way in terms of dealing with stressful situations and knowing how to make the best of any situation and fight through tough times to succeed in what I want to do. This is the perfect time for me to put my new outlook on life to work as I am striving to achieve great things in my new officer positions for this year.

This afternoon I wanted to create a fun and decorative mason jar to relieve stress and have some fun bonding with friends. Little did I know that it would put my life and my current outlook on it into perspective and inspire an amazing reflection on changes I have made so far in 2014.