New Year New School and New Lifestyle for Your Child

Another great aspect of the blog conference was the morning keynote speaker, Neha Gandhi the VP of Editorial Strategy at Refinery 29. All of the advice she gave on the job search and career path climb was valuable, but one message stuck out to me in particular, “You shouldn’t stay in a job where you’re not learning”.

As a soon to be a college senior this remark doesn’t currently apply to my career, but it does apply to my college experience. In fact, it goes perfectly with the news I am finally able to share today. I have decided to transfer to the University of South Carolina for my senior year of college. The best thing is that your child is love to go to the new year’s new class with new lifestyle.

A large part of me felt like this decision was a reach for months, but the fact that I had originally attended the University of South Carolina before transferring to Siena College in the spring semester of my freshman year allows me to finish my degree at the same time I would have had I stayed.

That’s not the only reason why I was hesitant to leave. At the beginning of the fall I helped launch the Her Campus chapter at Siena, began taking classes for my newly chosen major, and eventually developed new friendships that I hadn’t had during my first two years at the school. These new ties lead me to believe that transferring during my senior year would leave things unfinished at Siena.

After a lot of pacing, panicking and even a little crying (all while at my brother’s orientation in Columbia, SC two weeks ago) I realized that by not taking this chance I would be crazy not to go to South Carolina this fall.

I spent almost all of the last two years thinking about how different my college experience would be if I hadn’t transferred during my first year. Would I be happier? What would my major be? How great would it be to not suffer through an upstate New York winter again?

If I had all of these questions, all of these regrets, why shouldn’t I go? At this point, I feel like I have had a great experience at school, but if I graduated and never had another chance to go back to school in South Carolina I would definitely regret it.

More than that though I am graduating from college this spring, yet I really don’t know what I want to do after that. Part of me wants to go to grad school, but I also wonder whether or not that’s what I really want to do. By staying at my current school I would have almost the same experience as I did last year.

I wouldn’t learn anything new about myself or my future career, so why stay there when I know that in South Carolina I would have a totally different experience which will give me the opportunity to learn more about myself.

This isn’t to say that Siena College isn’t a great school-because it is-just not for me. It’s so easy to offend someone when you say anything negative about a school they go to, a place they live, even their favorite book, but I think it’s important to remember how different each person is. What works for one person, may not work for another.

I think college applies to that idea. Each person looks for something different while applying or choosing a school, and while some of those different ideas may overlap into one school choice, not everyone who chooses the school will appreciate it in the same way. Sometimes a place can be great for a person for four years and other times it’s just a temporary stop on their journey.

Siena was an important place to stop along the way in the process of finding my own purpose. I know that I had to have that small school experience to show me which classes I struggled in and disliked that way I could figure out what I really loved to learn about. Attending a small school without a Her Campus chapter allowed me to help launch one and then hold a leadership position, which is something I may never have been able or willing to do at a larger school.

This school helped me transition from 18 years old and confused about what I wanted to do with my life to an older and more confident version of myself who actually had a better grasp on where I want to go next.

I am applying that quote from the conference to school. Why stay somewhere where I won’t learn anything new about myself? Why stay somewhere and wonder what it would be like to be somewhere else? I know that I could stay at Siena and have a good year, but I know that I would be missing out on a huge opportunity to learn even more by going somewhere different.


The College Lifestyle Ready for Tips to Pack in Only a Suitcase

The hardest part of packing this week was trying to figure out how to get everything I need for the semester down in only a suitcase and two carry-on bags. It was honestly so stressful, but totally manageable.

Since I feel like a bit of packing pro now (though I haven’t totally unpacked yet so I could’ve missed a few things and I just don’t know it), I thought I would share some tips on packing for a whole semester in only a suitcase. A college lifestyle is the best part of your life.

I’m going to make the assumption that if you’re reading this post in hopes that it will help you pack for college a) you’re a girl with a ton of clothes and b) you’re mostly just packing clothing. I definitely focused most of my available space on clothing, because that’s the one thing you really don’t want to have to purchase at the beginning of the semester. It’s easy to run to Target for bedding, bathroom, and kitchen supplies, but not so easy to re-purchase your whole wardrobe.

Here are things to keep in mind while you pack:

Pack only what you love

Okay so maybe you don’t have to love every single item you bring, but make sure you only bring things that you already wear often. With so little room to pack in, you can’t afford to bring that dress you bought three years ago but only wore once.

Pack what you love, leave what you don’t. If you realize you really need that dress because you finally found the right occasion, have it shipped to you or pick it up during a break when you go home. There’s no reason to pack “just in case” items if you’re short on space to pack or store them.

Pack smart

Aside from only packing what you know, you’ll wear, don’t just throw your clothes into your suitcase. Carefully fold each item and stack it nicely in your bag. If you’re really low on space you can even try tightly rolling your clothes to save even more space.

Packing like this will make unpacking easier because you can take your already folded clothes and just put them away when you get there. You’ll save a ton of time, because honestly who really wants to unpack immediately after they get to school (or even in the first week) when there’s so much happening on campus?

Clothes in the suitcase, shoes in a carry on

Most likely your largest items that you will be packing are your shoes, and not only that but they probably aren’t very clean either. Rather than putting them in your suitcase and having to do laundry when you get to school or sacrifice valuable space that could be used for something else, pack your shoes in a carry on size duffel bag.

By packing them this way you can avoid having an overweight suitcase. This also forces you to only bring what you know you’ll wear. All of your shoes should be neutral colors (black, brown, and gray) that will match almost any outfit.

Here’s my list of essential summer/fall shoes:

Rain boots
Sneakers (Gym)
Sneakers (Walking)
Flip flops
Casual sandals
Dressy sandals
Riding Boots

Accessorize Simply

Although it’s tempting to bring every statement necklace, scarf, and bag that you’ve ever purchased, you definitely don’t have enough space for those. Layout all of your accessories alongside your clothes and match them with your favorite outfits. Pick out a maximum of five of your favorite statement necklaces that you know you will wear often.

Anything that is too bulky, heavy, or catches on your hair leave at home, it’s not worth the discomfort. If you wear scarves in the fall choose two of the favorites that you can wear with different outfits.

Then, choose two bags that go with the most outfits. Generally, a cross body and a tote are best to bring with you so depending on where you’re going or who much you have to carry you always have a bag to match your outfits. Black and brown bags are the best for matching with your outfits. I brought a black crossbody, a brown crossbody, and a brown tote. This is definitely one more bag than I really need, but I chose not to bring any scarves.


Magnum Opus Give You Lessons From a 14th Century Lifestyle Enthusiast

In the 14th century, the French nobleman Michel de Montaigne was thrown off his galloping horse and nearly died of his injuries at the age of 32. He narrowly survived, but the near-death experience compelled the wealthy Frenchman to reassess the priorities in his lifestyle.

Montaigne left his cushy job as an influential magistrate in Bordeaux, worked only at his choosing, and would retreat into his tower (the 14th-century man cave) to ponder his own existence.

Although Montaigne was officially in retirement life, he did not sit idly on his hands. For the remainder of his life, during his term as the Mayor and the King’s adviser, navigating the carnage of religious wars, plagues, and the deaths of his children.

Montaigne wrote the famous collection of memoirs, known as the Essais (“Essays”), which recorded decades of his thoughts, self-reflection, and observations. Montaigne believed there was not a more worthwhile subject to study – and master – than how to live.

Centuries later, literary titans the world over have been and are still being inspired by Montaigne’s work.

Here are some ideas extracted from Montaigne, with real-life, contemporary applications for the life enthusiast.

Your Greatest Project is you

Montaigne was convinced that the overarching goal in life is to become the ends of our labor. In other words, we should be the most important project in our lives our magnum opus.

I spoke with a good friend the other day. He works in the investment banking industry and works long hours. Long, stressful hours though I suspect he enjoys elements of his work, he has moments of serious doubt: “I have no life outside of the office and am sacrificing my health to make my bosses richer. There must be a better way of making a living.”

Being that the man was a few tax brackets above the most people his age, it is tempting to tell him to “suck it up, princess”.

But maybe there is another way of looking at this:

If quitting is not an option, he can choose to either:

Work dispassionately for the paycheque
ii) work passionately knowing that the end goal is himself, not the paycheque

It is hard not to be passionate about work when the subject of your labor is yourself.

Build the Engine First

If we can learn to work hard when its building someone else’s equity, imagine when that engine is taken to do our own work, our own art, our own legacy – things that are worth a damn.

That is the connection I think we should make between facing our work challenges – whatever they are – with what the end product really should be – YOU.

Even when we work for somebody else, we can choose to work for ourselves.

Awake from the Sleep of Habit

Aristotle famously said that “excellence is not an act, but a habit”. If so, mediocrity must also be a habit. Practice great work, produce great results. Practice shoddy work, produce shod.

I am a believer that how we do one thing is how we do everything. Which makes it so important to make everything we do, count?

Use Little Tricks

I mentioned in An Ode to Fear: Feel Fear, But Do it Anyways a now well-known trick used by the late Steve Jobs to contemplate death in order to overcome fear.

Centuries before him, Montaigne was an advocate of using little tricks or thought experiments to open our eyes to what is important.

When I find myself losing steam in a task I happen to be doing, I ask myself two questions:

 If this work were directly affecting my personal bottom-line, would I be producing the same quality of work as I am now?

Would I accomplish what I set out to do in life if this is the quality of work I’m accustomed to producing?

As I am writing this piece, I am asking myself: If I let myself off the hook and write a shoddy post (or worse, not at all), how would this negatively translate to my other endeavors elsewhere and in the future?

The answer is terrifying, so I try harder.

Over the top

Maybe But if consistent discipline with the small stuff influences our habits to do the important, then I would take being anal-retentive any day.

As an Aside:

But wait, didn’t you say you wanted to start your own gig, be your own man, leave the rat race? What’s all this talk about being a model employee?

If you asked around, I’m convinced 9 out of 10 people would tell you they would like to be their own boss one day. They would relish nothing more than to get out of the proverbial “rat race”. Maybe even for similar reasons. The fact is, I think we have a much better chance if we prepared ourselves well while we’re in it.

My observation of those who have “escaped” has been: if you’ve not made more than $50K a year being employed for a while, transitioning to making $50K (assuming that is your baseline for an escape) from a personally owned business or through passive income will be very difficult. The confidence, discipline, and work skills required have simply not been developed enough.

My humble suggestion to those contemplating an exit: give it all we’ve got while we’re still in the race (become the Linchpins), just don’t fall too much in love with it.


The Reliable and Easy Way of Buying Glasses Online is So Improve for Your Lifestyle

Glasses, or a pair of eyewear, are an important part of the modern lifestyle. These are, of course, mandatory prescription glasses but other forms of zero powered spectacles and sunglasses are vital for proper eye care. Amidst busy schedules and immense workloads, consumers look for an easy purchase option that is available through the internet.

With an increasing number of online stores for eyewear buying online glasses is common nowadays. You may have several assumptions with regard to choices and perfect fits. While buyers have the option of checking the frame before having the glasses made to their lens specifications you can also avail online tools for bridge and nose adjustment with the frame.

There are two basic advantages that are clearly available from the online eyewear stores. Foremost among all, it saves you the rush at stores and time. Browsing online in the convenience of your home or office when you are free and relaxed will always bring in good results of purchases.

You can check through several stores and their range of products almost in the same span of time you would otherwise need to visit one store located closest to you. The second advantage available is the prices. There is around the year availability of various offers, bargain deals, schemes for buyers, and seasonal discounts. It could give you a significant saving on your glasses even when you choose high-end products priced steeply.

Look closely and you will notice that eyewear has made a recent comeback among users. There was a time when contact lenses were chosen as a means of ridding the boring dull and heavy glasses. And now there is just the opposite. People prefer glasses to contact lenses because these frames are lighters and trendier; at the same time is increasingly cost-effective that makes multiple purchases possible.

To add to this bounty there are some of the best names among designer labels and makers of sunglasses who have forayed in the sphere of prescription glasses too. Now you can choose your spectacle frames from among the favorite designer label you have preferred over the years.

A mention of designer labels always reminds one of the steep prices. Buyers have been intimidated by the mention of these designer brands under the notion that prices will be too high for their affordability. The scope of the internet and online shopping can change that considerably and has met with success as well.

People browsing have realized that they can enjoy the luxury of these brands when they shop for online glasses. Modern designs are available with trendy colors and lightweight frames making these accessories easily wearable at all times. Frames are not the only sphere of advancement made in eyewear. Lenses used for viewing have undergone several changes that have made them lighter and less obtrusive on your face.

An array of online stores has different specifications of lenses and frames available for a variety of eyewear requirements. Whether you need high powered lenses for severe eye conditions or a zero powered lens frame ideal for eye protection from dust heat and pollution along with exposure to long hours before the computer – there is a proper option for everyone.

These are manufactured with precision and accuracy that meets your requirements with high-quality standards. When you buy cheap glasses at an online store you avail competitive pricing but with the same assurance of quality from some of the best manufacturers in the world.

Also available is a wide range of stylish sunglasses for ultimate eye protection under outdoor conditions. You can avail safe online transactions or cash on the delivery scheme of payments; sellers have ingeniously researched options that will help them to reach out to buyers to their optimal scope.


The Sandra Always Enjoy Valentine Day With Healthy Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon and for me that’s an extra special day with lifestyle. You see, that’s my birthday and Indy’s as well. So always a fun day for us! This year I wanted to do something special so we’re going to do a free giveaway this year.

You can win a free Anytime Love Session valued at EUR175! What do you have to do to win this? First of all, become a member of our Facebook Page and second of all, shoot us an e-mail telling us why you should win this free session.

This session is for couples, married, engaged no plans to get married yet; it doesn’t matter as long as you are a couple! Your entry has to be submitted by February 12th and the winner will be announced on the blog in the week of February 14th.

Do you want to book an Anytime Love Session for Valentine’s Day anyway? You will receive a 10% discount on all Anytime Love Sessions booked before the end of February.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and for me that is an extra special day. It is my birthday and also Indy’s. So always a nice day for us! This year I wanted to do something special, so we’re doing a give-away. You can win a free Anytime Love Session worth EUR175! What do you have to do to win this? First, join our Facebook Page and second, send us an email and tell us why you should win this session.

This session is for couples, married, engaged with no wedding plans yet, it doesn’t matter if you are just a couple! Your entry must be received by February 12 and the winner will be announced on the blog in the week of February 14. Would you rather have an Anytime Love Session books? Then you get a 10% discount on all Anytime Love Sessions that are booked before the end of February.

Sandra and Dennis are getting married in December and they really wanted to take the pre-wedding photos with the sun and always enjoy valentine. So we were lucky with the weather! The sun was shining a large part of the shoot so if it was gray outside in December, we have at least now been able to take photos with a radiant sun.

Sandra and Dennis are getting married in Readies de Paw in Wassenaar and really enjoyed doing the photo session at the Town Hall. It is beautiful green there so a very nice location for the session.
What a nice couple to photograph! I am really lucky with my brides and grooms!

Sandra and Dennis, I had a great time with you and look forward to our next collaboration on your big day!

Sandra and Dennis are tying the knot in December and really wanted to have their engagement session with sunshine. Were we lucky or what last week with the weather? The sun did shine for most of the session so should the weather be grey and gloomy on their wedding day, at least we’ll have these images with radiant sunshine.

Sandra and Dennis are getting married in De Pauw in Wassenaar and chose this location for their engagement session. It’s lovely and green around De Pauw so a great location for the session.
What an adorable couple they are to photograph! I’m so lucky with my couples!

Sandra and Dennis, I had a great time with you two and look forward to working with you again on your big day.