Things I've Learned...

Well hello there!

As you probably know, I have just recently started college. Already, I am learning so much--not just academics (in fact, those have yet to really pick up), but about...oh, I don't know...SURVIVAL.

The last post I did was all about staying healthy in college. Well, I have a confession.

I'm sick.

Like, really sick, and I have been for a least a week. Everyone else has gotten the same cold, but mine has REFUSED to get better. Usually, I am not sick for more than two or three days when I have a cold. But I know why this time is different.

I didn't follow my own advice!

I've been eating so badly--lots of sugar. SO MUCH SUGAR. And, you might also know that I'm gluten intolerant, and yet I have been eating gluten out the wazoo since getting here. As a result, my feet stink (yeah, it happens when you eat gluten if you are intolerant), my appetite is off, and I'm sick as a dog.

So, seriously, heed my warning: eat well in college or you will regret it! Seriously. So seriously.


Anyways, now that I am sick, I am using this as a "teachable moment" as my mother says. I have stopped the gluten intake (or at least I'm trying to), I bought a $30 humidifier for my dorm (so cool--it uses water bottles! Go to CVS and get one. Now.), and I'm really focusing on giving my body what it needs.

Please use my misfortune as an opportunity to avoid this wretched state. I'm going to be sick at a concert tonight (Roscoe Dash and the Ying Yang Twins!), for the first football game of the season, and for visiting my friends back home on Sunday. Yeah, it sucks. Don't do what I did.

Make good choices!


The New S&S! Also Some College Tips.

Hey everyone! As I mentioned in a previous post, Sparkle 'n Spice is undergoing some changes-- a re-vamping, if you will. My life is changing, and I think it is only fitting that the blog changes with me. My posts will probably be geared a lot more towards college life from here on out, but I'll still keep the same idea of the blog--to provide a place for young women to go to get inspired and feel good about themselves.

So anyways, here is the first post of the new and improved S&S!

It is not even close to being a secret that college students aren't the healthiest of people. I mean, I've met a few who have managed to eat well so far, but personally, I have eaten pretty shadily since moving into my dorm. Whether it is because I am too lazy to go to the dining halls or because I am eating junk food just because I don't have as much access to healthy foods, the result is the same--a lot of carbs and sugar and not a lot of fruits and veggies.

Now, I am not saying that you should try to eat only bunny food, or even that you should completely banish all sweet treats. I am, however, going to give you guys some tips to stay as healthy as possible without having to obsess over your food intake in college.

1. WATER. I know that I've mentioned this before, but water is SO IMPORTANT if you want to get/stay healthy. Your body is over 60% water--your blood is around 90% water and your muscles (brain included!!!) are about 75% water. So, while you are eating all those nasty delicious foods, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to flush the toxins and such out of your system. As a plus, you will feel more alert and your skin will be clearer and brighter.

2. WALK. This depends on which campus you are on, but most colleges are walk-able. Don't drive to your classes, don't take a bus...Walk! It's revitalizing and it is an easy way to burn calories and tone up.

3. CHILL OUT. I know everyone reacts differently to stress, but I tend to eat whatever I can get my hands on when I am overwhelmed rather than focusing on what I need to do and solving any issues. If you are the same way, relax! Meditation can help a lot, as well as listening to calming music. Also, I know that there are infinite social opportunities in college, but once in a while, stay in your room! Eat dinner, then go back to your dorm, shower, put some PJs on, and just relax! Watch some TV, have a little dance party with yourself...whatever you need!

4. STOCK UP. It is so tempting when you go shopping for your dorm to buy popcorn, candy and soda, but resist! Okay, obviously you can buy some--live a little! But also buy some easy-to-prepare fruits and veggies like pre-cut carrots and apples, just so that when you feel like eating well, you actually can!

More tips to come!

Stay healthy!


Gel Nails

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful end to the summer. I thought I would tell you guys how I feel about gel manicures, because I got my first one the other day! I know people have a lot of questions about the difference between a gel mani and a regular mani, so I'll try to clear up as much as I can.

First off, the main difference between gel polish and regular polish is that it lasts a whole heck of a lot longer. I use really strong cleaning products at my job all day, and the gels stay mostly in-tact up until I left for college. Now, granted, I only worked for a few days in between my mani and move-in, but I was still impressed with it's durability.

Secondly, the gels feel different. Something about the hardness of the polish or the smoothness of it--I'm not sure. They feel so slick and wonderful! That also means that the gels are SUPER shiny. I always think my nails are really shiny after I get a professional manicure, but the gels are at least 10 times shinier than a regular polish.

If you don't know this already, the gel polish is painted on in intervals--one coat, then a few minutes with your hands under a UV light, then another coat, then more time under the light, and so on. This means that the polish is basically bonding itself onto your nail, so DON'T TRY TO TAKE GEL POLISH OFF ON YOUR OWN! You should go back to the salon and ask them to remove it--otherwise, you could destroy your nail. I've seen it done, ladies. Be careful.

One last perk to having gel nails is that they are dry before you walk out the door of the salon. After your last sesh under the UV light, you are good to stick your hand in that chock-full purse and grab your wallet to pay. It's crazy! So, I definitely recommend giving this special manicure a shot.



Hot Mess.

That is the only phrase that can describe me right now. I move into my dorm tomorrow morning, and I am so not ready! Not only have I not finished packing, but I haven't ordered my textbooks or completed this alcohol and drug awareness online seminar (dumb). Anyways, between working all the time and all of that, I am about ready to run through the streets with "I QUIT" painted on my naked body. I will probably end up in an asylum shortly after that.
So this post is not just for me to vent about my stress. It is to try to seek calmness for myself, and hopefully to help some of you out there along the way. It is so easy to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by our lives. We practically welcome stress, because it somehow makes us feel accomplished or even simply functional to be over scheduled.
But I think it is high time to take a step back--to transcend our daily lives as take a look at the bigger picture. When you feel yourself start to get stressed out, ask yourself these questions:

What do I want out of this life?

Where will I be a week, a month, a year from now?

What is it that truly makes me happy?

I will go ahead and answer these questions for myself. What I want out of life is to be fulfilled. To one day have a family, to have made myself proud by working hard, and to have shown those close to me how much I love them.
A week from now, I will be started classes at the University if Georgia, and hopefully I will have found a sorority that likes me as much as I like it. month from now, I will have completed my first month of college! I will have made new friends and discovered a new piece of myself. A year from now, I will be entering my sophomore year, having hopefully figured some things out, but also having new, exciting questions.

Another way to calm down when you are feeling overwhelmed is to try and focus on one thing at a time. When you are at work, focus on being at work. When you are, say, packing, focus on packing--not on the million other things that you have to do later. It is important to live in the moment without losing perspective.

I hope this helps! Keep coming back--there are gonna be some changes at Sparkle 'n Spice soon!