Ten Link Tuesday: 9.9.14

1. The organ isn’t really your cup of tea? Here’s 20 alternative songs to walk down the aisle to.

2. Here are 17 new ways to cover your books from it’s original lackluster design.

3. There Isn’t Enough room is a wonderful little piece on minimalism. It really opened up my eyes!

4. Here’s a wonderful explorer’s guide to the less frequented places in New York.

5. Coco Cake Land makes me want to throw a party and make delicious little treats!

6. Got one day in New York? Here’s a to do list!

7. A post on Parisian romanticism. Looks like I’m not the only one with Paris Nostalgia!

8. Here are 5 reasons we should slow down in life.

9. If you’re looking for a hilarious yet vulgar healthy food blog, Thug Kitchen does the trick!

10. More Paris Nostalgia? Here’s a beautiful vintage photo-blog of Paris.

Photo Credit: Kseniya Vetrova


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Student Center #1: Dealing With Transitions

Boston Home magazine

When it comes to transitions, I am not the best at it. As much as I thought I was against it at a younger age, I like routine. I like being able to have the same general plan of how my day goes when I wake up in the morning. I function better. The transition from Summer into the school year feels like a vacation stopped abruptly due to emergency. Now I know that is a little bit dramatic, but it does hold some truth as to how alert we are when the school year hits. When anxiety hits, there are plenty of ways to stay on top of your studies as well as your overall mental state when transitioning into the school year.

Buy Supplies Ahead of Time

It is very easy to just take a pen and a pad of paper the first week of school and just tell yourself that you will pick up your school supplies later. That does work for some people but not for me. I end up feeling much more stressed when I have to go out the first weekend after a long week of school and buy all my supplies. You can tailor this tip to your preference as much as you’d like. Maybe it’s buying all of your writing supplies and a few notebooks, or just buying all of your storage to put your supplies. Taking the time to think ahead relieves your brain of stress once you become instantly busy once the school year begins.

Read The Syllabus Ahead of Time

On top of acquiring your school supplies ahead of time, it’s important to read the syllabus to your classes ahead of time if you have access to them. This is especially for freshman because the first day of college can be quite overwhelming when you read a three page document full of expectations much higher then you had in your previous years of schooling. You will have some time of mental preparation if you read ahead of time!

Plan Travel Time To Class

This can apply to anyone attending to college whether you are commuting or not to campus. You should get a general idea of how long it will take you to get to class. You do not necessarily have to do this before class starts, but whatever makes it easier. You do not want to wake up every morning and guess what will be a good time to leave. You could either end up to class late or ridiculously early, and trust me, I have done both.

Talk To People

This is easier said than done… I know. The reality of college is, everyone going to college for the first time are in the exact same boat as you. Everyone is concerned about social interaction with our peers, which is kind of silly! We all worry about if people will talk to us or not but will not go out and strike up conversation with anyone. I have not really met anyone that was not open to conversation that I have met on campus. Try it, you will be surprised when it is not as frightening as you thought!

Go In With An Open Mind

College can be very daunting in terms of how you expect the day to go. More than likely it will be way different then you have it imagined up in your head, for the better. The freedom that college grants you is very liberating, but with that being said there will be other things that you will not be accustomed to that having an open mind will make dealing with these differences less extreme on your part.

You will be fine heading into your first year of school. It is completely overwhelming, but you will get through it. Being a human with extreme anxiety, I know firsthand how it feels to deal with your routine being completely turned upside down. College can be anything you make it out to be and the more openminded you are can lead you to many more opportunities and experiences to come your way. With that, have a wonderful week readers!

Photo Courtesy: Joyce Lee

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Euro Diaries: Paris


Throughout many memorable experiences that was delivered throughout my adventure through Europe, we finally came to our final destination in Paris. Being my first visit to Paris, the moment that we could first see the Eiffel tower from our bus is a moment I will never forget. To see the structure romanticized by many throughout the world created a fluster of so many different emotions as the tower crept over the horizon. Of course, due to the photo above I did get to stand a bit closer. ;)


I was greeted by my first day in Paris with a fabulous bus tour throughout the city. I was very eager throughout the whole trip to take a turn down the Champs Elysees which features my favorite structure in Paris, even more than the Eiffel, the Arc De Triomphe!


The Arc De Triomphe makes Washington Square Arch in New York bleak in comparison.



Once we finished navigating the streets of downtown Paris, we made our way out to Versailles. I felt as if I was looking at a painting when overlooking the Gardens of Versailles. You could spend a whole day strolling through the pathways that make up the gardens. It is simply divine.


I was already blown away from the gardens, which was before entering the palace itself. I was eager to walk down the hall of mirrors which looks untouched by the photo above, but out of frame was a crowd taking selfies in the mirrors. I can’t lie, I took one as well.


After visiting Versailles, we made our way back into town to visit Montparnasse tower, which overlooks all of Paris. Being above the city magnified the winding, tight European streets.


Navigating the Metro was an interesting experience, but each station looked different, like it’s own personal touch.


My Parisian dream ended with an evening at the Eiffel tower. I was lucky enough to be in the tower itself when it’s iconic light show. I completely recommend visiting in the late evening so you can see it during the day and it’s transition into night time. Nonetheless, I felt magical when walking the streets of Paris making this trip unforgettable. I cannot wait to return.

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Beach Days In Michigan


As I grow older, I realize more and more how much I adore the state of Michigan. I have taken the landscape for granted. For how much I complain about our harsh Winters, it is actually pleasant have the opportunity to live within polar seasons throughout the year. The Summers are warm, Fall is chilly, Winter is almost apocalyptic, and Spring starts our year off fresh. I have not gotten the chance to visit the beaches of Lake Michigan only until late in the Summer and I have been missing out. It’s wonderful!


Holland Beach is one of my favorite beaches because of the beautiful views of Lake Michigan. It also is way less busy than Grand Haven which is nice when you are trying to lay out and enjoy the Sun.

My friend Nicollette got a candid shot of me laying out. Actually, I made up for lost time with the Sun this Summer in this one visit to the beach. I came home pretty burnt… ouch. Nonetheless, that would never stop me from taking day trips to the beach to enjoy the sand and water of Lake Michigan.

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7 Practices For Creative Minds

“Begin with the end in mind.”

A few weeks ago, I had the marvelous opportunity to attend my first Creative Mornings seminar in Grand Rapids. The speaker was Chuck Saylor, CEO and founder of izzydesign, a collaborative business bringing products of exceptional design. Heritage being the theme of this month’s Creative Mornings, Saylor laid out the definition of heritage to be a “legacy of physical artifacts.” This got me thinking about what the past has to do with today’s fundamentals of design. Design is all about the fundamentals meant to create a certain affect by the consumer.

That being said, Saylor then went into a series of seven practices for creative minds that he has lived by, or adopted through trial and error.

1. Learn How To See… Context

Being a creative person requires you to take something and look at it from many different perspectives to create something unique and new. Something right under your nose may have a totally different use then what you originally thought it was intended to be.

2. Continuously Compose Your Life

Taking the time to compose different elements of your life may seem a little lackluster, but it is true that you need some brainpower in how you want to control your life. Yes it’s true, you will come across obstacles in your lifetime that are completely out of your control, but having some sort of composition with long term goals in mind, you will much more efficiently be able to blast right through those obstacles.

3. Choose The Right People To Hang With

I can touch on this from personal experience. I have been through the wringer when it comes to surrounding myself with the exactly wrong  people. Uninspiring, lacking empathy, ill-motivated, and negative. When your life is surrounded by people that are not on the sideline cheering you on, involving yourself with them only holds you back from being your best self. The same goes for you if you honestly could tell yourself that you wouldn’t cheer on the people you surround yourself with as well.

4. Be Authentic

When it comes to be creatively based industries, competition is always much more prevalent then other careers. With this competition in mind, self-comparisons are bound to happen. It’s best to stay away from those and do your own thing. You will find more pleasurable results if you take some risk in going your own direction then following someone else’s success.

5. Find a Great Creative Partner

This point tied well with number three. Being a creative means taking advantage of collaboration. Collaborating with other creatives opens up opportunities for you, makes connections through networking, and motivates your self to do better. When you are apart of a partnership you have double the brainpower into whatever project you take on. A partner can also hold you accountable when you are not working to the best of your abilities.

6. Reflect & Reinvent

I believed this point by Saylor to be very mind-blowing. I had never really thought about this, but when you believe a project to be complete, it is not put to rest really… ever. There is always room to make something better. This has encouraged me to reflect on my work and think about what I can do to improve in every project.

7. Wear a Silly Hat

This closing point, while eccentric, it made a valid point. Essentially Saylor explained that we must not take our work too seriously. We should be doing what we do out of passion anyways, which can lead us to lead very intense business because of this. While this is good, and the pivotal force in our success, taking our work too seriously releases the danger of making work not feel like play, when the two should go hand in hand. Do not be afraid to let loose a little bit and enjoy the ride to success.

In conclusion, I thank Chuck Saylor for such a motivating and inspirational talk which included his own personal experiences and background that helped me think about what I need to do for a successful future. Thank you to the sponsors of Creative Mornings | GR for coming to town to fuel my creativity on a monthly basis. Until next month GR…

Photos From Wildfox

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Euro Diaries: Normandy

Cover Normandy-01

Normandy, a region enriched in history that impacts the inhabitants of American soil as well. The region itself is home to many beautiful cliffs, sandy beaches, and oceanside villages. Besides the hours on the busses, we reached the French countryside.


After our first jaunt on the bus from Rouen we stopped in beautiful Arromanches. The small sea-side town was full of small shops and gorgeous views of the English channel. The first thing I was set out for lunch and a crepe. French food mainly consists of bread, no joke.


When I travel a large distance away I try to just sit back and think about how far away I am from home and I never have been able to wrap my head around it when doing that. In the photo above I thought “the freakin’ English channel is behind me!” I still couldn’t get my mind the grasp that of course until I am home in Michigan.


Upon stepping foot on the beach, I felt the amount of ominous history fill my mind. It was incredibly emotional to step foot on a point where so much had happened.


To wind down, I took some time strolling through the American Cemetery before having to board back onto our bus. Reading the names stretching across the cemetery really opened my eyes in the sense of how many lives were lost during that short time on the battlefield. An experience I 100% recommend taking part in if you are ever over seas in Europe. With that, enjoy your weekend.

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