Friday, February 27, 2015


This semester I joined a new organization on campus called CHAARG. CHAARG stands for Changing Health, Attitudes, + Actions To Recreate Girls. It is a women's fitness org with the motto, "Relieving girls from the elliptical." Basically the idea is to motivate and support girls to pursue fitness in new, fun, interesting ways. The organization goes about this by pairing with local fitness studios to hold different workouts for each week's main event. So far, for example, there has been kickboxing, ballerobics, and body attack. Sadly, I have not been able to attend any of these so far because of work conflicts. Basically, many of these have limited spots and the sign up sheet goes out while I am at work, so it is usually filled up by the time I am able to sign up. However, this week's main even was a wellness event, so there were more spots available allowing me to be able to go. A nutrition professor came in and did a Q&A session for us. I always find little nutrition tips interesting, so I enjoyed our hour session.

This semester is the Penn State's chapter's first semester, but CHAARG is a national organization that was started at Ohio State University and currently has 18 chapters on different campuses. I hear that our president had to go through a heck of a lot to apply to get CHAARG here on our campus, and I am grateful she did.

In addition to the weekly main events, we have small group every week as well. Basically everyone signs up for the time slot that best fits their schedule to meet at the same time each week with about 25 girls. Last week, we went to dinner at Fiddlehead, a soup & salad cafe in town. And this week, we met at the squash courts in one of the gyms on campus to do the spring break fit plan workout for the day. The fit plan is a package you can purchase online that has weight lifting, bodyweight, and cardio workouts for each day of the week. Our leader purchased it so all of us were able to use it. Thursdays are bodyweight workouts, so we did six sets of six pairs of exercises for thirty seconds each. Exercises included burpees, jumping jacks, planks, leg raises, scissor kicks, vertical crunches, bicycle crunches, spiderman planks, twist burpees, high knees, and others. There is a preset timer for the exercises, so we all got in a circle and completed the workout along to some music. It was nice to get away from my usual treadmill and elliptical workout. Next week, we will be having a potluck at our small group leaders apartment.

So far I have been loving what CHAARG is about. I hope to make it to more events in the future and get myself some of their cute gear. 

Have you done any new and interesting workouts lately?
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Empower the Dreamers


This past weekend was THON. For those of you who don't know what THON is, it's an annual 46 hour dance marathon held by Penn State students to raise money to cover the medical bills for families with kids who have pediatric cancer. THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This year there were 708 dancers who stood on their feet without sleeping from 6:00 P.M. Friday night to 4:00 P.M. Sunday afternoon. I have no idea how they did it for the kids. Major props to them! This year the theme was Empower the Dreamers. I just happen to love the logo!

Students planned for this weekend and raised money all year long. Each year there are three canning trips held to collect money. Basically, students stand on street corners all weekend long with cans to get donations. There are also canvasing trips where students go door to door. And, there are all sorts of other fundraisers, such as getting proceeds donated when you buy cookies, merchandise, etc. There is also a family carnival and a 5k. Organizations compete against one another to raise the most money and support their dancers in the stands holding up their letters. 15,000 students head to the BJC, where the basketball team plays, for the event and must stand on their feet while they are there also.


This year the total was $13,036,652.23! I am truly proud to say that I go to a school that accomplished this incredible fete. This year I did not do much to contribute other than donate a little here and there and watch the live feed over the course of the weekend. But, next year, I hope to be more involved now that I understand THON better.


There is food and merchandise for sale as well as a THON museum portraying its history. In addition, there are different activities set up throughout the course of the event. Every hour, the line dance is performed. It changes every year. The lyrics to this year's was: 

Lean with it, rock with it / Penn State, now pop with it
Hands out, stretch back / Tighten up your fanny pack
46 on the clock / Grab your tutus and high socks
15,000 on your feet / Dancers, ya feel that beat?

Verse 1: 
THON ’15 make some noise /  Nittany Lions, “We dem boyz”
Penn State Pride, For the Glory / Do it for the campus story
Wait, what? Chipotle’s closed? / Let’s go to Primanti Bros
Jamba Juice, brand new deli / HUB food, get in my belly!
Peace prize won by scholar / Neha Gupta, HOLLA!
Set, spike, victory / Lionettes make history
Pinstripe win in NYC / Seniors show their loyalty
Barbour Barron are on board / 409, wins restored!

Whoop! There it is! / We’re here for the kids
Raise the roof, don’t stop, don’t stop / Diamonds, up top, up top
Together, one family / Magic, the BJC
For the dreamers all year long / We Are! Penn State Strong

Verse 2: News/Sports
Nations mourn with France / “I’ll ride with you,” Aussies chant
Ferguson in the papers / Seeking peace for all our neighbors
“Interview” still presents / To tour the White House, hop the fence
Michelle, “Bring back our girls” / Ebola scare around the world
College playoff great for fans / King James back in his homeland
Jeter says farewell / No one catches like Odell
Stu Scott’s legacy / K.D.’s mom, MVP
Mo’Ne Davis came to play / Howard blocks for U.S.A.

Whoop! There it is! / We’re here for the kids

And, you can find a video of the dance here.

Throughout the 46 hours, there were live bands performing, the three top acts of Penn State's Got Talent, the 2015 homecoming theme reveal, a pep rally where sports teams perform, dancer mail for dancers to receive messages from loved ones, family hour where families of kids share stories, and so much more. I found the hockey, soccer, and gymnastics performances to be entertaining. Here's a picture of the soccer team below in their jorts a.k.a. jean shorts.


Going into this weekend, I didn't really understand all that THON is, but now that I do it makes me want to be more involved in it next year FTK!
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Bumper Less Bowling

Friday night the FastStart mentor program I am in had an event at the bowling alley nearby. I was kind of nervous to go because I had to take the bus, which I have never really used. I figure I would fight through it though for the free cake and pizza. To my relief, I didn't have to take the bus though. I was able to get a ride with the girl who I was going with because her parents drove up from Maryland to surprise her for the weekend.

I knew going into the event, that I am far from a great bowler even though I am a pro on the Wii. Last year when I went for a friend's birthday, it was my first time playing without bumpers, and let's just say I need some more practice. But, to my surprise I won! I came in second the first game and first the second game, but I had the highest total of both games! Try not to laugh too hard when I tell you my score. I got a score of exactly 67 for both games making my total 134. I definitely had my fair share of gutter balls. Like I said, I need some work, but at least I was better than my fellow competitors! (And that's all that matters right?) ;) I definitely credit my victory to my impeccable form. I chose the two handed granny roll since I can't seem to control the spin with just one of my weak arms.

Would you beat me at the bowling alley?

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Preschool Diaries {Part 1}

A few weeks ago I started going into one of the preschools on campus two days a week for 2.5 hours as part of the curriculum for one of my human development and family studies classes. I go in the morning one day and in the afternoon on the other day. I always go to the same classroom, which only has eight children ages 8 months to just under 3 years. There is a neighboring classroom with another eight kids, however, and they come over to play pretty often too. It's amazing how quick the kids warm up to new people.

The kids go outside every day that the weather is above 25 degrees. It hasn't been that "warm" lately at all since I've started going to the preschool, but last week the temperature was up, so the teachers decided to take the kids on a walk. I had to help get them all bundled up in their hats, snow pants, jackets, mittens, and boots. This was all a process in itself. The rule on the walk is that the kids must hold a teacher's hand at all times unless of course they are being pushed int he stroller. I had a little girl in one hand and a little boy in the other. The little boy kept stopping to stomp on the snow on the sides of the pathway and the little girl kept dropping to her knees because she didn't want to walk anymore. I had to pick her up with one arm while holding the little boys hand with my other arm. Nontheless, I really enjoyed our slow stroll shall I say since we had to keep pace with the kids' short legs.

Then, this week I had to do a lesson plan in the classroom. I literally had no idea what what to do that would be age appropriate, but my mentor teacher suggested I read a book to them. So, my task then was just to figure out what book to read being as I do not have any children's book with me here at school. I noticed the children are learning about colors and each week they focus on a different color. This week was green week so I found the perfect book about the color green for them. On Fridays, everyone, including the teachers, dresses up in the color of the week. They do activities such as walking around the preschool and taking pictures of green objects that they see. They even had guacamole as a snack since it is green.

Anyways, back to my lesson plan. I figured I should probably walk downtown and get a library card at the community library to find a book about the color green. I figured the library on campus would not have many if any children's books at all. To my relief, all the kids were into the book I found and even wanted me to read it again! And, later, one of the teachers asked me to read it to the neighboring classroom too, so I'd say my lesson plan a success!

I have two more weeks before I switch to a new classroom with kids ages 3-5. I can't wait to see what else is going to unfold before then. Be sure to check back later to read about it in part 2 of The Preschool Diaries!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Best Dressed {Grammys 2015}

Last night my favorite awards show was on, but sadly I could not watch it because that darn CBS did not have a live stream, which is necessary since I don't have a TV in my dorm room. I enjoy the Grammys because I actually know the nominations unlike any of the movie awards shows. Anyways, despite the fact that I was unable to watch, I was able to check out the red carpet fashion online. I've rounded up my Best Dressed picks below.

{Best Dressed Females}

1. Paris Hilton

Not gonna lie, it pains me that she is my favorite, but I am a sucker for sparkles. I love the V shape too.

2. Bonnie McKee

I love an open back dress. I also love the color choice, which is kind of different from most of the dresses we normally see.

3. Rosci Diaz

The dress fits her like a glove. I love the fabric and metallic accents.

4. Anna Kendrick

I think wearing pants is such a daring move along with the plunging neckline. This look is nicely pulled together from head to toe.

5. Miranda Lambert


I love the pop of pink for what could be an otherwise boring black dress.

{Best Dressed Male}

1. Common

I am a fan of all black. I just think it looks so sharp and clean.

Did you watch the Grammys? What were your favorite looks of the night? Or which one of my picks is your favorite? Did you enjoy the performances? Did your favorites win??
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Mixing It Up {Mission 2}

In case you missed it, I am going to be talking about each of the duties, or missions shall we say, that employees encounter at the Mix where I work since there are so many different tasks. On Wednesday I talked about the Hoagie 1 station and today I am going to be talking about the Hoagie 2 station, which just happens to be my favorite.
If there is enough staff, there are usually two people at this station because it gets pretty busy. Basically, this is the station where the burgers, sandwiches, and wraps get all their veggies and sauces put on. Then once they are done, they must be cut in half before being sent off to their last and final station.
The first person at this station usually takes the subs out of the toaster. They can be pretty hot so there we use a rag to touch the hot plate that it went through on. However, the actual sandwiches themselves can be pretty toasty almost burning you if you're not careful.
The next step is to put on the sauces and we have tons! There is hot sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, honey mustard dressing, italian dressing, barbecue sauce, miracle whip, chipotle mayonnaise, ranch, red hot ranch, oil, vinegar, oregano, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, marinara, and there are probably some more that I am forgetting. It is vital that the sauces be put on first or else everything gets really messy.
After the sauces, the first person at the station puts on the black olives, banana peppers, jalepenos, pickles, cucumbers, and green peppers if it is on the order. They are the one who looks at the screen and then tells the next person at the station if it needs lettuce, tomato, or red onions.
Once all the veggies are taken care of, the second person folds the wrap if needed and then cuts the cuts the sandwich with the correct knife. There is a blue knife for tuna, a green knife for veggie, and a yellow knife for meat. The knife must then be wiped off with a wet rag for each cut.
This station can get pretty messy pretty quickly with all the excess veggies taking up room not the cutting board. It is important that we keep it clean though so it doesn't get on the other food.
Well, that's it for Mission #2, there's more to come soon. Have a wonderful work free weekend!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mixing It Up {Mission 1}


I started working in November, but I realize I have not blogged much about it. For those of you who don't know or remember, I work on campus at The Mix. The Mix is a mini grocery store as well as a place to order food. So, I am going to start blogging more about the specific tasks, or missions if you will, on the job since there are so many. I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures. It is hard to show you all what it's like since we are not allowed to have our phones out while clocked in to take pictures.
One of the places they tend to start new people at is the station called Hoagie 1. Customers order their food at a kiosk, so all the sandwich orders pops up on a screen behind the counter at Hoagie 1. Basically, all we have to do at this station is look at the orders and put the correct cheeses and meats on the right bread of the sandwiches or wraps before sending it to the next station. It is only a bit of a challenge at first to pick out the bread, meat, and cheese on the order amongst all the veggies and sauces.
The first step is to pull out the correct bread and cut it if necessary. We have ciabatta rolls, white rolls, and wheat rolls as well as plain, wheat, blueberry, chocolate chip, onion, cinnamon raisin, and everything bagels in addition to the plain, wheat, spinach, tomato, and garlic & herb wraps.
The next step is to put on the cheese. We offer American, Swiss, Pepper Jack, and Provolone.
Once the cheese is placed on the bread, we put the meat on next. Customers can choose one or a combination of ham, turkey, tuna, chicken salad, pepperoni, salami,  roast beef, chipotle turkey, Italian cold cuts, chicken tenders, grilled chicken breast, and bacon for the meat of their sub.
The final step is to look at the order to see if it either needs to be sent at the start of the sub through the toaster on a metal disc or walk it to the next station before clearing it off the screen.
Most of the meats and cheeses are located in an open cooler behind a cutting board counter with the exception of the pepperoni and chicken salad in a fridge below, the chicken tenders located next to the firer, and the grilled chicken breast next to the grill. The breads are located right to the left of the cutting board.
It only gets slightly complicated when someone orders more than one sandwich because it is easy to clear the order after making the first sandwich since the second one pops up on a second line. There is  also a clock at the bottom of the screen with the average prep time, so I like to keep challenging myself to lower the time.
Did I mention that each specific cheese and meat has a specific number of slices you are supposed to put on? Luckily, it says on the cooler, but after a few shifts it gets pretty much memorized. In addition, we're supposed to make it not look like a hot mess, so we have to carefully position and fold everything.
This station can get a bit boring during the times when no one is ordering at odd hours.
What bread/cheese/meat combo sounds good to you? There are so many possibilities! I am a fan of the chipotle turkey on an everything bagel with no cheese.
I will be posting about various other missions that Mix employees must complete soon! Hopefully my work posts don't bore you too bad.
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Ice Skating

On Saturday, I went ice skating at the Pegula Ice Arena. The hockey team plays there but we were at the community rink next to it. It was nice because it was not crowded at all since it was rented out for an hour for just members of the FastStart mentor program I am in.
I arrived with a girl who lives in my building along with her friend who decided we should take the bus. This was only my second time on the bus. I found out that the buses only go in one direction, so we literally left in the opposite direction of the rink causing us to be super late and miss valuable skate time being that we only had an our.
Nevertheless, I had a great time being on ice skates for the first time in four years. I am proud to say I did not fall once although I did have a VERY close call once or twice. Let's just say I am not the most graceful or skilled at balancing. The ice was super smooth though so that did help. The walk back was freezing so I had to warm up with a cup of s'mores hot chocolate. I would love to go ice skating there again soon!
I hope you had a great weekend! Did the team you were rooting for win the super bowl? I did not see all of it since I had to work but I was rooting for both teams to lose since they are both cheaters.
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