So I Was Kind of Sick

Hello lovelies!

It's been a little while - I haven't gone blog silent for a long time, so having to do it the past week was not fun. If you follow me on SnapChat (@MikkSalamatin), then you probably know that the stress and sleep deprivation of the first week of school plus Camp Carey equaled a big NOPE from my body. My body sort of decided that it was not going to function like its supposed to do, thus the bout of blog silence as I fought through bottles of Robitussin and NyQuil to get myself back to normal.

I am on the mend and getting back to where I should have been, which is great. This is once again a testament to the fact that it is really easy to get sick in college. Reminder: Here are tips on how to avoid getting sick (which are, unfortunately, not fool-proof but still pretty effective) and here are tips on how to deal with being sick in college (most important tip: hydration!).

One of the tips I share about how to avoid getting sick is staying active! This past Friday I tried out a barre class at TenPoint5 Scottsdale during a blogger event and (while my thighs cried the whole time) I loved it! TenPoint5 is actually being really great and offering two (2) weeks of unlimited classes for $39 if you sign up through this link - so if you're even remotely interested, I strongly recommend trying it out!

Okay, well I'm off to a Recruitment event - did I mention I am sick during one of the worst times possible?! How was your weekend?!

Catch you next time.


The Opportunity Cost: Is It Worth It?

This past weekend I had a blast at Camp Carey and can't wait to share a few stories and pictures with y'all! Unfortunately, a few little hiccups means I can't do that just yet - hopefully Wednesday will be the day.

Since I got back to ASU yesterday afternoon, I've been going non-stop: unpacking, laundry, homework, errands, meeting, laundry, homework, and finally blog. I'm not going to lie, I am quite tired as I write this.

But I am still up and doing this because I chose to make a sacrifice, an opportunity cost. I chose to give up time I could have been spending around my apartment spreading out various tasks between sessions of Netflix and lounging by the pool to instead go to help facilitate at Camp Carey and get to know some of the new freshmen. And it was more than worth it.

Some people with different personalities would argue that my choice of how to spend my time this past weekend was not worth it even though I believe it was. But that's the thing here: worth is subjective. Sometimes it can be hard to weigh opportunity costs because of how subjective it can be, so here are a few quick tips to help you evaluate some if you are caught between two and can't decide.

Why Do You Want to Do This? | Are you doing this for fun? Or are you doing it because other people are doing it? This may not always apply, but do you want to do this for the right reasons? Take it down to the root and try to figure out the reason you want to do something. If it's a gut feeling, then maybe you should evaluate how accurate your gut has been in the past and decide from there.

What Are The Risks? | This seems like common sense, but you know what they say - sometimes common sense isn't too common. I have seen way too many people jump into risky situations without even stopping to think about the other possible outcomes. I definitely agree there are certain situations/times you may throw caution to the wind, but obviously if your mind keeps floating to this idea, then maybe you should take a little more time evaluating your choices before making your decision.

Do You Have Faith in Your Follow-Through? | Super important. You know yourself better than most, if not all, people. You know most of your habits. If you committed to getting a project done on X day, do you do everything in your power to make it happen? Or do you just push it off and shrug? For me, the bottom line was if I was going to make sure that I still got everything I needed to do done with the limited time I would have because I attended the camp. If I really didn't think I could handle it, I would not have gone on the trip. If you aren't willing to push yourself to follow-through on necessary parts of your regular life, making decisions like going away for the weekend probably aren't the best ideas for you.

Do you have any tips for evaluating opportunity costs? What's the hardest part for you?

Catch you next time.


Little Discoveries

Thursday was the first official day of classes - it was a little rough but I got through it! Today has been a pretty busy day as well, in fact in a few hours I will be on a bus full of freshmen headed to a camp in Prescott for Camp Carey! I am so excited to see these new SunDevils bond and experience school pride in a way they never had before. The camp runs the whole weekend so be sure to follow me on SnapChat and Instagram (@MikkSalamatin) to see some of the fun!

I am guilty of falling down the rabbit hole on Pinterest, especially when it comes to 'Wedding Inspiration' even though I am most definitely not in a relationship. But a girl can still dream about the event anyways, right?

Walgreens and Unilever Helping You Help Others

I am a huge fan of when companies team up with consumers to help others. Carly of The College Prepster talks about Walgreens and Unilever's #GIVEH2OPE campaign. When you buy products by Caress, Suave, or TRESemmé at Walgreens before September 30th, a donation of five gallons of clean water will be given to a family-in-need through the partnership with Unilever and the Me to We Foundation.

One of the Best 'Trap Queen' Covers Ever

This summer I've been slightly obsessed with the song 'Trap Queen'. A lot of people don't like it, and whether or not you're one of them, I think you need to listen to this cover. It's so different from the original and Josh Levi's voice is just great. I do have to admit that this is only my second favorite one though, because Ed Sheeran's cover has my heart.

J. Law Is The World's Highest Paid Actress

Every year Forbes releases a list of the world's top paid actors (this year's is once again Robert Downey, Jr.) and actresses. This year's top three actresses were Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johannson, and Melissa McCarthy! I am really excited for Mockingjay Part 2, hopefully another Avengers (why isn't there a Black Widow movie?!), and I loved Spy.

ANOTHER Disney Princess!

This past January I let you guys know that the first Disney Latina Princess, Elena, was announced, and once again Disney is showing its diversifying its spread of Princesses even further with the announcement of a Polynesian Princess, Moana! Unlike Elena, however, Moana is getting her own movie! So exciting!

How has your week been? What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Catch you next time.


Little Black Lace Dress

Every girl has their favorite LBD, but sometimes it can feel a little too plain! This little black lace dress was the answer for my tiny prayer for a dress to wear to a Benefit Concert for the music program of my high school alma mater.

The dress code was 'dressy casual', but being me, I would always rather be overdressed than underdressed - and honestly, I had very few chances to get dolled up this past summer and I really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.

Custom sizing always makes me nervous, so I went ahead and stayed with standard sizing but had it customized on the length. I am on the shorter side so I shaved an inch off my height and specified that I wanted the skirt to be knee length and it was perfect! eShakti specializes in custom sizing - if standard sizes are usually too loose or too tight, I would definitely recommend taking a look at what eShakti has to offer.

I love wearing my pearl necklace with black dresses (I just love how classy it feels!), but I opted to put it away for another occasion. I tried to keep everything simple and dress down the slightest bit by sticking to my usual accessories (my watch, my class ring, and the necklace my parents gave me last Christmas) and nude pumps. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture with it, but I also opted for using a simple wallet clutch over a full purse!

Catch you next time.


Motivation Wanted: If You Find It, Let Me Know

It's only Monday and to say that I am already slightly stressed out and panicky is a bit of an understatement. As much as I want to curl up in a ball (in my now very comfy bed thanks to a visit from my parents this past weekend) after today's very long day of training, I decided to browse through some quotes to find a little motivation. I can't really say if any of them are working yet, but I will keep y'all updated.

In love this print from Design Darling!

Mistakes are proof that you are trying. - Unknown

Fall seven times. Stand up eight. - Japanese Proverb

Doubt kills more dreams than fear ever will. - Karin Seddiki

It always seems impossible until it's done. - Nelson Mandela

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. - Truman Capote

Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement. - Henry Ford

That Nelson Mandela quote really helped me earlier today when I was worrying over my course load and my various time commitments. Sometimes it feels like I am doing too much or too little, but at the end of the day, if you can look in the mirror and proudly say you finished what you started/needed to do, then you had a pretty successful day.

What's your current 'hustle' quote?

Catch you next time.


Little Discoveries

Happy Friday, lovelies!

Oh, what's the saying? Isn't it a girl can never have too many pairs of jean shorts?! 

I am so exhausted and I could not be more ready for the weekend! If you've been following along on SnapChat (shameless plug: follow me! MikkSalamatin), then you have probably seen that the drive down here was long and the process to check-in and get my key was horrible and slightly drawn out.

Just to add a bit more to the rant fest: the single light in the room blew out, the blinds are stuck rolled up, and parts of the apartment are really dirty - seriously, it seems like the only thing that was cleaned was the bathroom, though I am thankful for that!

But anyways, enough about that, let's get to the good stuff: so many exciting things have been going on around the world wide web and I can't wait to share some of it with you!

CoverGirl Meets Star Wars

This may just be a sneak peek, but the fact that this is happening at all makes me so happy. By now, I'm sure many of you have picked up on the fact that I'm more than your regular ol' nose-always-in-a-textbook nerd because I love watching sports, comic book characters, minor physical activity, and Star Wars. I also happen to love CoverGirl as a a company, so when I saw this, my poor little nerd heart almost melted. Well, it might have if it weren't already melting from the insane heat we're having here in AZ. 

Target Does It Again

I love Target. I love Vogue. Target decided to recreate 15 iconic Vogue photos with TargetStyle elements and it is pretty cool. I'm a fairly big fan of *creative* recreations and I am definitely a fan of these ones. On top of that, Target is trying to up it's game by letting you shop the ads by Shazam-ing them. How cool is that?!

This Cat Broke a World Record. Again.

Fun little trivia tidbit I found while browsing around - the record went to Corduroy, a 26 year old cat. At first I was surprised that 26 is old until I read that domesticated cats typically only live around 15 years. Wanna know a fun fact? Apparently Corduroy held the record in 2014 until another cat, Tiffany Two, took the title. However, Tiffany Two recently passed away and Corduroy reclaims the throne.

The Prince is Coming Back to Philly

Will Smith is reportedly working on a 'Fresh Prince' reboot. "Say what now?!" It's always exciting and a bit scary when you hear one of our favorite childhood shows may be trying to make a comeback (hello, Fuller House), but knowing that the original Prince is producing it makes it feel just a bit better. Are you excited?!

So You Wanna Rush a Sorority?

I am neither in a sorority nor planning to rush one this upcoming semester. I do, however, happen to be a fan of Isabella's blog, Yep It's Prep, and loved a collaboration post she recently posted with answers to common questions about rushing. If you're considering rushing, I definitely recommend checking this little guide out!

M&M's Are Like Lay's But Better

M&Ms will always be better because they're chocolate. And I love chocolate. Personally though, I am not a fan of pecan pie. But if YOU are, M&Ms is already working to get everybody in the mood for Fall because they're rolling out this limited edition flavor early. Maybe at some point I'll give in and try one just for the heck of it, but we'll see.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Catch you next time.


Adulthood and Adventuring

Happy Hump Day, y'all!

I'm on the road right now to head back down to Tempe to start getting ready for training and school! My siblings just started their next year of high school and because it's a weekday, I'm going on my own with about half of my stuff and my family will come with rest on the weekend. 

Coming and being home this summer has actually been an experience all its own. My little sister is usually the one known for being more independent, but I think my first year of college plus the time I spent in Europe really has helped me to mature and grow as a person. I feel a little less scared of the world and the future, and it's great! Of course I'm still a bit apprehensive about the school year with everything I have going on, but I feel more inclined to smile and think I can take it on.

That feeling is what inspired this post. It is a shorter one than usual (for the record: this was intentional, not a result of procrastination, I swear!), because I want to turn the tables and hear from y'all! 

How has your summer been? 
What is your current summer jam?
What's the most exciting thing you've done this vacation?
Are you ready to take on the next step in your life? 
What is something you're looking forward to do today?

I can't wait to read your answers!

Catch you next time.


How to Succeed in College {E-Book by Sara Laughed}

Since I've been home, I have run into pretty much everyone and their mother ranging anywhere from the grocery store line to the benefit I attended this past Thursday (details to come soon, promise!). The most common questions I have been asked by concerned mothers and incoming college freshmen have been the following:

1. Are there a lot of drugs and parties?
It all depends on the environment you put yourself in, the people you make friends with, etc.

2. How are you doing in your classes?
I'm doing well, thank you! College is great when you give it a real chance.

3. What are some things my child/I can do to succeed in their/my classes?
Well, there are a lot of things they can try.

You might notice that the answer under the third question is, well, extremely vague. That's because there is no one way to succeed in college, no golden ticket to help you zoom right on through. Everyone has their own regiment that work for them - the problem most people have, however, is that they haven't found the method that works best for them yet.

This e-book is filled with so much information! Nine chapters, eighty pages, this e-book is a healthy mix of things I already knew and other ideas I had never really thought of. Some of the most helpful things I wanted to make sure to point out to y'all who may be on the edge of looking into the e-book are that:

1. There are entire chapters on Motivation, Procrastination, and Balance. These are three areas I personally have not seen too many books include about besides the obvious "Focus on your goals", "Study now means play later" or "Stress is bad, remember to take care of yourself". These chapters go a bit more in detail and include plenty of helpful tips.

2. Each chapter ends with a section labeled 'Takeaways'. Let's be honest: you're reading this e-book for information you don't already know. You may choose to skim areas you don't believe you need as much help in - this is where the 'Takeaways' are really handy: after skimming, you can make sure you hit the high points by quickly reviewing the list at the end of the chapter (or you can just jump to the list and decided whether or not to read it, totally your choice!).

3. If you have a hard time getting through large chunks of reading and believing you actually took substantial notes, then you really need to check out the chapter on Reading. Within the chapter, there are several different suggested strategies (from SIBS to SPICCS) about how to tackle these problems. 

4. The worksheets provided with the e-book are simple yet effective. I used to print out all of my course requirements and take several pens and highlighters to it, trying to figure out how to make my schedules for the next few years so that I could make sure I was going to graduate on time. Needless to say, I killed a lot of trees and was left with a big mess of scribbles. The Courses worksheet is exactly the type of thing I could have used a year ago when I was stressing over course requirements.

College can truly be an amazing experience. If you allow it to be. One of the ways you can reduce tons of stress and have fun is by making sure you can handle your academics: remember that school comes first! If you're not happy with where you are academically, what are the chances that you'll truly be happy with the rest of what's going on around you? Odds are the stress from one area of your life as big as school will bleed into other areas and affect your mood and attitude.

If you have struggled with finding your rhythm in school, I strongly suggest you look further into Sara's e-book How to Succeed in College. If you're thinking about buying it now, you can check it out here!

Catch you next time.


Little Discoveries

Last night I had the amazing honor of being invited to my first benefit - a reunion concert of Theatre Geek's A Capella group, Climbing the Mountain, to raise money to support the music program from my high school alma mater. Whoa, it feels so weird to be able to say that!

Anyways, the night was filled with laughter, catching up, seeing old teachers (quite a few of whom were forthcoming in their "Wow, Mikkaela, I didn't recognize you!"s), and beautiful A Capella music - and ended at In-N-Out burger because we girls were starving. And really, who can say "No" to milkshakes and fries?!

Jon Stewart Has Left the Building

Despite your opinion on Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, you can't argue that they brought more people into the conversation and encouraged people to pay more attention to the world. That being said, I love how Stewart phrased the beginning of his farewell: "Nothing ends, it's just a continuation, it's a pause in the conversation..."

Kaling's Guide to Killin' It (BTW: What Mindy Should Have Named Her Newest Book!)

I love Mindy Kaling, she's great. One of the things I love so much about her is her confidence! I've struggled with self-confidence for a long time, and I really loved this excerpt from her newest book where she doesn't just give three tips and call it quits - she actually takes the effort to explain confidence and the context it should exist in.

86 Year Old Grandma Does the Whip

It's Fri-YAY, have you laughed yet?! If you haven't yet or if you just want a happy day, then you need to watch this video. I cannot Whip or Nae Nae or do any of the other dance moves, but this adorable granny can and I love it. So cute, so funny: WATCH IT!

World Record for Longest Birthday Ever

46 hours is a long time, and while I love my birthday, I don't think spending such a long time on planes would make it a more enjoyable day! This guy flew from New Zealand to Australia to Hawaii to earn himself the Guinness World Record for the longest birthday ever!

TSP Turned 1

In case you missed the extra blog post yesterday, TSP celebrated its first Blogiversary yesterday! Thank you so much to everyone for their continued support - you can check out my post to read about the accomplishments that have been possible because of your support!

Catch you next time.


Happy Birthday, TSP!

Well, today is the day! Exactly one year ago I pressed "Publish" on the first post that started this incredible journey.

As I write this, I am sitting in the exact same chair in my house as I was when I made the decision to start TSP. I had been reading a few blogs for a while. I was nervous about starting college and how it would all work out, but most of all, I was worried about losing my creativity.

Some of you may already know that I'm an Accounting major and plan on becoming a lawyer. Did you wince a little when you read that? It's not exactly an industry that involves a lot of creativity, excitement, and human interaction - things I like to think I live on. TSP is the place where I try to keep that part of myself alive and healthy, because I don't ever want to lose it.

One thing that I wanted to quickly touch on and hope to elaborate more on in the future is that TSP has taught me an appreciation for coding. I have not paid or had anyone look at the coding for blog and fix things for me - it's all been GoogleFu, e-books, and random troubleshooting articles on how to make TSP a reflection of who I am. I am very glad I discovered this part of blogging and hope to help encourage more women to explore the technical side of technology.

I've said it once, and I don't think I'll ever stop saying it: Thank you, all of you! Thank you for your support, for putting up with my weirdness, for coming back and always sharing your kind thoughts and words.

I had absolutely no idea where this blog would take me - to be honest, I wasn't even sure if I was going to have enough time to devote to it and keep it alive to make it through a whole year. But I did, and I have received so much support from readers and potential sponsors, and I am so grateful that I decided to go on this adventure.

Let's put some of this in perspective, shall we? In the past year, BECAUSE OF Y'ALL I have:

Gained 1087 Instagram followers.
Gained 303 Twitter followers.
Gained 134 Bloglovin' followers.
Gained 102 Facebook likes.
Hosted my first blog giveaway.
Had a few sponsored posts and secured more.
Met so many amazing bloggers online.
Learned more about myself that I had no idea about.

I am so excited to see where this next year will take me (and TSP!). Here's to more fun adventures, cute clothes, more Netflix binge-watching, and a million more minutes of laughter.

Catch you next time.


Molto Bella, Venezia

These past few days I have REALLY been missing Italy. One of my new blogger friends, Emily from Emily & Dot, spent a portion of her summer in Milan - I just had to share a quote she shared in one of her posts: "Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life." - Anna Akhmatova. This quote rings true for me, and I just can't wait until the day I can go back! Hopefully, that's sooner I can think!

Don't even try to tell me that these pictures don't have you falling in love!

Yes I bought a hat. I couldn't help myself!

#BEClang: Backpacking Europe.

Italians take pizza very seriously.

Gelato for breakfast? I can dig it.

Unfortunately, a large portion of the Rialto was under restoration, but at least I snuck onto someone's dock and got this picture!

Dress: H&M (Similar) | Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider | Purse: Michael Kors (Similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Watch: TAGHeuer (Similar)

Italy is absolutely beautiful - it's the type of city that you can stay in for a day and forever be in love with it!

Catch you next time.

P. S. Want 10% off the cutest stuff at Sugar Spice & Sparkle?! Use "SWPREP" at checkout!


Pros and Cons of Summer Study Abroad {A Guest Post on Sara Laughed}

Happy Monday!

A lot of different and fun things have been happening, both around TSP and in other areas of the vast Interwebs. Let's go through a few - some changes have been happening on the TSP Facebook page, there's a hilarious video of Bill Nye reading mean tweets directed at himself, the newest Mission Impossible movie is amazing, and I have been given the opportunity to guest post on Sara Laughed! Here's a little sneak peek of it:

If you're in college, you've probably thought at least once about studying abroad! If you haven't, then you should definitely look into it. Did you know less than 2% of students study abroad? Studying abroad is a unique experience, definitely unlike any other.

I studied abroad as a university freshman, which is really uncommon because most people try to study abroad their sophomore or junior year. On top of being a freshman, I chose a summer program!

Summer programs are a bit different than the typical study abroad programs, and they aren't for everyone. So let's go over some of the Pros and Cons I had to think about studying abroad over the summer!


On top of this new guest post, I really wanted to let y'all know about the Blogger Postcard Travels Linkup going on today! Summer is a wonderful time to travel, and don't we bloggers love it! Hosted by a wonderful new blogger friend of mine, Emily from Emily & Dot, this is a really fun linkup to see what other people have been up to over the summer and I hope y'all take a minute to check it out - who knows, maybe you'll get an idea for your next trip or find a new packing hack!

Hope you find some of my Pros and Cons on Summer Study Abroad helpful and enjoy the Blogger Postcard Travels Linkup! Let me know what y'all think - would you be willing to do a summer abroad?

Catch you next time.

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