Friday, December 27, 2013


Is it just me, or is everyone in a serious relationship, engaged, or married?

Don't get me wrong--I'm extremely happy for my friends who fall under one of the above categories. But it's taking a toll on me. I haven't even liked anyone in over a year, let alone dated anyone. Sure, I've gone out on a date or two, but it's never the right guy.

I usually stoop down to asking what's wrong with me, but I know better. I haven't met anyone. It's difficult, being a second-semester college senior. There isn't anyone new to meet, and you have to wait until the next chapter of your life. The waiting is the hard part--I'm getting impatient.

On the other hand, I could be in the Middle East this summer, France next year, or anywhere across the United States. Do I really want to involve myself right now, when in four short months I'll be picking up and moving? I want the freedom to make decisions about next year and my life after that and, at this point, I don't want to be tied down.

That's my little rant. I know that I'll meet someone wonderful, but it just hasn't happened. And honestly, it's really hard when all of my friends are infatuated with their significant others, especially around the holidays.

The one thing I will add--if you are lucky enough to have a SO, please do not be obnoxious about it on social media, and refrain from PDA overkill. If you're really that much in love, be confident and comfortable that it is mutual, and don't shout it for the entire world to see on a daily basis.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Passion for Language

If you haven't figured it out by now, I absolutely love language. Studying languages is one of my hobbies, and that isn't a joke. While I had some exposure to Spanish and Hebrew in elementary school, nothing stuck. Something clicked with French, though. I've been studying it for nine years now(!), and it's taken me so far. In high school, I spent a month in Lyon and took advanced courses. Since then, I have declared it as my major, taken over 30 credit hours in the language, interned at the French embassy, and spent two months interning in Tours, France. Reading French novels and magazines, watching French TV shows and movies, and speaking with other Francophones is fun for me.

As much as I love French, I've done so much with it. At my level, we write analytical essays about Rousseau, perfect our pronunciation, and learn how to do word-for-word translating. It's all important, but the language basics are what drew me in. So, I began Arabic this year.

Hebrew is another language I've always wanted to learn. In elementary school, I learned the Hebrew alphabet, but that's it. My dad received a Hebrew Rosetta Stone as a gift a few years back, and I was incredibly jealous. Imagine how excited I was when I learned that you can download the software on up to two computers! Over Thanksgiving break, I scoured the house for it, downloaded it, and began the lessons.

I love it. It's a little easier than Arabic (and somewhat similar), so I'm not having a difficult time. I've already learned some basic grammar concepts, began keeping a vocabulary journal, and spend about 30 minutes each day with it. My Hebrew keyboard cover just arrived in the mail, too! (My Arabic one lives on my keyboard, though, as I need it more often for school.)

So far, it's working, but we'll see after some more time passes. All I want to be fluent in as many languages as possible. Also high on my list are Pashto, German, Spanish, Russian, and Persian, but I would have to find a means of learning them. For now, I just need to keep practicing the ones I know and am learning, and then gradually pick up some more.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful, family-and-friend-filled day!

Winter Nail Colors

If you know me in real life, you know the extent of my nail-polish addiction. I think I'm at about 75 bottles by now... And that's after I purged some old ones this past summer.

It's pretty funny, actually, because I don't paint my nails that often--I don't usually have the time to sit still and let them dry! With finals, though, I've made an extra effort to keep myself feeling refreshed, so I've been painting my nails quite a lot. These are some of my favorite colors right now, all of which I own and have used.

hated Hedge Fund in the bottle, but looks can be misleading. On my nails, it's a beautiful, shimmery olive green, which is perfect for the season. Helen is a classic pinkish lavender, Top Shelf is a satin-y champagne, Vested Interest is a deep jade, and Keeping Suzi at Bay is a royal blue.

Up next for nail polish? I'm just ordered the Julep Maven box and will receive all of the colors below except for the stormy grey. Can't wait to try them!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Break!

I don't even know how many hours I spent studying for this morning's statistics exam, but all that matters is that it's DONE and I'm back home in Bloomfield Hills for two-and-a-half weeks!

While today was sort of boring, it was so nice to just relax and not worry about studying or doing homework. That doesn't mean I have nothing to do over break, though, as graduate-school and job applications are calling--no, shouting--my name. There is SO much I'm looking forward to doing, though! Here are some of those things.
  • I get to spend time with so many of my friends whom I hardly get to see, including Meghan, Jenni, and Makayla.
  • Eating at all of my favorite restaurants (read: Zoe's House of Pancakes) in the area.
  • Going to Somerset to pick out the perfect birthday gifts for one of my littles (Claire) and one of my grandlittles (Lindsay).
  • Trying out some of my new Birchbox goodies!
  • Petting as many dogs and cats as possible.
  • Working on expanding this baby blog.
  • Napping. All the time.
It's nothing too eventful, but it's just what I need right now. It has been an extremely long semester.

My all-time favorite dog picture, featuring yours truly.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finals Reflections

I'm done studying for finals. In less than 12 hours, it'll all be over.

As I try to fall asleep, I'm stressed, anxious, and thinking about my semester. I think back to the crazy derivations that the professor scribbled all over the board, homework assignments that took 10 hours, learning how to code in R (the hardest statistics software I've encountered), and lectures where 12:55-1:00 were seemingly the longest minutes of my life. I also think back the relationships I've created and nourished, though.

There's Sam. She's in my sorority, but we didn't know each other too well before this class. After sitting with each other in lecture for three hours each week, I can say differently. Ben, a friend from high school, and I talk more now, and he introduced me to Greg. For the group project, my group (shoutout to Kyle, Heather, Kaiyi, and the other Chloe) spent hours poring over data and experimental design, but also shared many laughs, stories, and inside jokes. Heather gets an extra-special shoutout--our frantic back-and-forth texts about this class culminated in our study session today, where we had our first heart-to-heart. Same with Max, whom I've known since summer before freshman year. And I'm so excited to spend another great semester with most of these people in biostats and continue to grow these friendships.

A positive spin on preparing for this final. Yin and yang.

From my actual exam cheat sheet (we're allotted eight pages)...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Getting Through Finals

I absolutely need motivation right now. I've already taken two finals, but they were my easiest ones. Of course, the only one I have left is for my hardest class--and it's not until Friday, the last day.

STATS 470. While the material really interests me (it's about the design of experiments), the class is extremely difficult. It's difficult in a frustrating way, though. Another thing that I hate about finals is that I let myself go (temporarily, of course). My sleep schedule is off, I don't have consistent meal times, and I don't have healthful food options (it's the time when you run out of food but don't want to shop right before going home). Moreover, I reserve the right to leave the house in a sweatshirt and without lipstick. Right now, as I take a study break (well-deserved, in my opinion), I'm thinking about the things that are pushing me to the end of this week. Here they are:
  • In 36 hours, I will be done with all of my finals!
  • I received an A in my other upper-level statistics class (401) this semester.
  • My professor submitted the last of my graduate-school recommendations today.
  • Earlier tonight, I met a man who was in the Army and has done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. As I would like a career in national security, he gave me his business card. It also turns out that he's going to teach at West Point next year. He was able to guess my career goals (down to the organization!) solely based on my major and minors, and told me I'd be a great asset to it. Such wonderful, unexpected networking--this happened while I was studying at the business school!
  • Birchbox is awesome and is sending me my free mystery-sample pack, even though it's my fault for excluding it from my order.
There's light at the end of this tunnel.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Birchbox (December 2013)

December 2013

Nelson j Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Non-Foaming Shampoo: full size costs $22; sample value is $2.75

ARCONA Magic White Ice face lotion: full size costs $40; sample value is $13.33

Salt of the Earth Aroma Bath Salt in White Ginger: full size costs $18; sample value is $6

Salt of the Earth Whipped Body Crème: full size costs $24; sample value is $8

Color Club® Cocktail Hour Collection nail polish in Top Shelf: full size costs $8; sample value is $4

Chuao Chocolatier chocolate bar in Pop Corn Pop: full size costs $6; sample value is $0.84

Total value: $34.92

The theme for December is Sparkle and Shine but, if anything, I'd say that this month's box is luxurious. I just used the shampoo and it made my hair feel amazing (I didn't even need conditioner!), but I'm not too keen on the mint-citrus scent. I'm excited about trying the lotion and nail polish, but not too sure what to do with the Salt of the Earth products--I don't exactly have a good bathtub in which I could test them out. Oh well!

Click here to get your own Birchbox subscription!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birchbox (October 2013 & November 2013)

I've been meaning to try Birchbox for a while, as a lot of my friends are obsessed with theirs. The idea of paying $120/year for beauty products intimidated me, though, as I'm a poor student. My friend Sami put it nicely, though--go out to eat one less time each month, and you're saving more than $10. That covers the cost of the Birchbox!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, you fill out a beauty survey and pay $10/month for a box of samples curated for you based on your survey results. Make sure to write a review of each product you test each month, as you get 10 points per sample review. Every 100 points is $10 in the Birchbox online shop!

I've been watching a lot of "unboxing" videos, so I think I'll post each box I receive. So far, I've received boxes in October and November, and I'm eagerly awaiting December's arrival. Let's go!

October 2013

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund: full size costs $10; sample value is $10 (received the full-sized product)

theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac: full size costs $17; sample value is $2.25

SARAHPOTEMPA The HALF-UP™: full size costs $9; sample value is $9 (received the full-sized product)

dr. brandt® microdermabrasion skin exfoliant: full size costs $78; sample value is $9.75

ChapStick® Hydration Lock: full size costs $3; sample value is $3 (received the full-sized product)

Total value: $34

I wasn't too impressed with my first Birchbox, I'll be honest. I don't love the nail-polish color (but I can't knock it until I try it, I guess), and the Stainiac feels sticky on my lips. My favorite product this month was definitely the ChapStick. I can't get enough of it! Too bad it's sold out in the Birchbox shop...

November 2013

Folle de Joie eau de parfum: full size costs $98; sample value is $1.75

WEI™ Pomegranate Buffing Beads: full size costs $20; sample value is $2

AYRES Body Butter in Midnight Tango: full size costs $28; sample value is $4.15

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: full size costs $24; sample value is $10.75

Fatty Sundays Gourmet Chocolate Covered Pretzels in Toasted Coconut: full size costs $7; sample value is $1

WEI™ Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask: full size costs $42; sample value is $5.25

Total value: $30.90

This month was so much better than October! I absolutely love every single product that Birchbox sent me, especially the mud mask. Although it says that each pod is for a single use, I've used mine four times already and still have half of it left! The AYRES body butter is to die for, as well--the scent is marvelous.