Five Things

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1. I swear I get asked the question, “What are your plans after graduation?” multiple times a day! I’ve started answering with silly things like “I plan to join the circus” or “Become an astronaut.” I have a few post-grad ideas/leads in the works, but nothing concrete. Any suggestions?

2. How is this blog always SO good? It has been my inspiration for years with no sign of stopping. I once emailed the founder/senior editor, and she emailed back right away with the kindest words of encouragement!

3. Have you heard of the podcast “Pod Save America”? I just discovered it and am enjoying listening to an episode before bed each night.

4. I started my new job as a student worker in Pepperdine’s Human Resources department. It’s a lot of new information and new faces, but I’m really enjoying it thus far. Plus, it’s fun to dress professional every now and again.

5. I started an article club on Tuesday nights with my girlfriends. We discuss an article, eat cookies and bask in each others company. Would you ever consider attending or hosting one?

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P.s. Photos from my other instagram

Five Things

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset1. I attended a Christmas party last night with my sweet friends Meredith and Chloe (pictured above) that was thrown by the Dean of our university. I love a good excuse to get dressed up once in a while and eat your weight in finger foods, don’t you?
2. Tomorrow I have plans to spend the afternoon and evening at The Grove, a beautiful outdoor shopping center in LA with a dear friend. What could be better?
3. Three finals stand in between me and Christmas break, that’s all. I fly home to Texas on Wednesday. I can’t wait, it’s been a long time coming!
4. I snapped the picture below on a drive through a nearby canyon today. Southern California can do Fall right once in a while!
5. This video interview of Barack and Michelle Obama was incredibly inspiring. They talk about the last eight years living in the White House and their experience raising two girls while in office. I miss them already!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Five Things

img_55551. Christmas break cannot come fast enough. I’m not too stressed about finals this semester, but I’m just so burnt out. Senioritis is real.
2. It has been CHILLY and windy here lately. Ok, so that’s coming from a native Californian who thinks anything under 60 degrees is chilly but hey…
3. Have you seen my little Thanksgiving film?
4. Dreaming up plans for this summer already…is that bad? Europe is definitely involved ;p
5. Trying to figure out what to get family for Christmas is always tricky for me. Gift Giving is not one of my love languages haha but I always try to make my gifts a bit more personal.

Five Inspiring Women

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If you know me, you know I’m all about female empowerment. It can be a little much sometimes– but what can I say? It’s one of my passions! I make a point to keep up with news regarding break throughs made by women in society, and try to read as many books as possible on the subject. It’s an exciting time to be alive. I feel as though we are the middle children of history. Something is shifting, and I can’t wait to see what magnificent things women continue to accomplish during my life time. That being said, I thought I’d share five women who have inspired my recently in some way or another in hopes that perhaps they will inspire you as well. Enjoy!landscape-1451322311-younghillary.jpgHilary Clinton Okay, I know the jury is still out on this one for many people, what with the election and all, but I personally believe Hilary Clinton is an example of a woman who puts her self out there despite her imperfections. She is obviously flawed, but she doesn’t let that stop her from following her passions and making a difference in the world. Just think about the positions she’s held in her career: first lady, senator, secretary of state, and now possibly president. She has broken glass ceiling after glass ceiling for women and, regardless of your political views, that is something to be admired.lana-del-rey-interview.jpgLana del Rey Singer Lana del Rey is one of my personal favorites. With her bluesy voice and 1960’s vibes, she is a true original. Her 2012 album Born to Die reached number two on the US charts and was the fifth highest selling album of the year. Her following three albums have achieved similar success, and she is currently the most streamed female artist on Spotify in the US and the fifth worldwide. As someone who’s been a fan longer than most, I can say I am truly inspired by Lana del Rey. She is breaking records left and right and paving a new path for female vocalists the world around.static1.squarespace.png

Amy Poehler If you don’t already know who Amy Poehler is, you may have been living under a rock for the past few year…just kidding! But seriously, Amy has been killing it lately. She began her career in improv, staring on SLN and eventually founding the Upright Citizens Brigade theater school. She then went on to write, direct and star in shows and movie such as Parks and Recreation and Mean Girls. Her most recent book Yes Please was received exceptionally well and was one of my personal favorites. In all her spare time, she is the mother of two young boys! As an aspiring writer myself, Amy is a picture of what it means to pursue your passions no matter how tough the going may get.Misty-Copeland-Workout.jpgMisty Copeland In June of 2015, Misty Copeland was announced as the first African American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, which has been around for more than 75 years and is one of the top three ballet companies in the US. Rising from a tough childhood and tense custody situation, Misty rose to fame and is now considered one of the most graceful, sophisticated dancers in the sport. She appeared on the cover of Time magazine as part of their 100 most influential people issue and is the author of two autobiographies and a documentary. Needless to say, this woman has been busy in her 23 years! She is a true inspiration in a field that is largely lacking in diversity.mindy-kaling1.jpgMindy Kaling Mindy is a gem. After reading her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I garnered a new appreciation for this actress, writer, and spokes woman. Surprisingly few people know that she was a writer and producer on The Office, one of the most prolific shows in TV history, before moving on to direct and star in her own show The Mindy Project. She is also a pioneer for minority women in a largely male dominated field, and carries herself with enough grace and charm to make anyone jealous!

Five Tips & Tricks for Au Pairs

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Hi there friends, thanks for stopping by to say hello! As you may know, I have spent the last three months as an Au Pair, or live-in nanny, for a Germany family. My main motivation behind this decision was to improve my German language skills and experience German family life first-hand. And although I’ve done my fair share of babysitting and camp counseling in the past, I’ve never been a huge kid person. That is, I’ve never had the burning desire to be a teacher, or felt the urge to hold the baby in the room. I like kids, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve never played a huge roll in my life.

So when this opportunity arose, I was initially hesitant. A million doubts ran through my head. Would I be nurturing and loving enough? Do I even possess the ‘mom’ gene? Will they understand my broken German? But eventually, I realized there were more pros than cons, so I took the leap of faith. And guess what? I’ve loved it! I already know this was one of the best experiences I’ll ever have, and would absolutely consider being an Au Pair again for another family.

Have you ever thought about working as an Au Pair? Do you enjoy travel, learning about another culture up close and personal, and investing in children? If so, then this job may be perfect for you! Today I thought I’d share five tips and tricks I’ve learned through this experience for those of you who have been an Au Pair in the past, are considering becoming one in the future, or are just curious about the lifestyle. Enjoy!
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1. Give It Time. I tend to want everything to be perfect right now. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how life  works. Au Pairing is no exception. The first few weeks were a bit awkward and unfamiliar. I didn’t know the family’s schedule, household rules, or lifestyle. Even though they were incredibly hospitable and accommodating, I still felt like a guest. But slowly, things changed and I began feeling right at home. There is just no way around the fact that it takes time to adjust to a new situation and complete a transition. Be patient with yourself and others through the process!
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2. Communication is Key. This point seems obvious, but I actually really struggled with it for the first few weeks. I wish I had sat down with the parents the first day and clearly outlined my hours and responsibilities. Once we eventually did so, everything felt so much easier and less complicated. When I knew that my hours where 8:00am to 1:00pm and that my ‘household chore’ was to load and unload the dishwasher, I no longer felt guilty about spending alone time in the afternoons or not doing my own laundry. We also keep a weekly calendar of events to help us all stay on the same page. Communicating expectations and needs is key to a healthy and happy Au Pair experience!
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3. Learn How to Discipline. Initially, I was extremely hesitant to discipline the children in any way. I knew when they were clearly misbehaving or testing me, but it still felt strange to reprimand other people’s kids. Again, communicate with the parents about this subject, and ask for some guidelines. Chances are, they will tell you how they usually do it, and trust you enough to make discipline decisions when you see fit. When I found the courage within myself to discipline the kids, our relationship blossomed! They garnered a new respect for me, and I acted with more patience towards them! Discipline is a wonderful tool for everyone involved when used properly.
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4. Protect Your Alone Time.
I am the mother of all introverts. If I socialize for a period of time, I need to recede into my ‘cave’ for some serious alone time. At first, I felt guilty about leaving the kids, so I would sacrifice my alone time to play with them, even after my working hours were through. But eventually I realized that I’m no good to anyone if I don’t take care of myself first. I learned to say no and prioritize time to recharge, which ultimately benefitted everyone.

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5. It’s Okay to Say Goodbye.
As my time here draws to an end, I’ve begun dreading saying goodbye to the kids. Will they think I’m abandoning them? They are too little to understand the situation, they don’t even know what America is! But then I remembered the quote “It takes a village to raise a child” by Hilary Clinton, and realized that I am a part of their village. There are countless people who played a vital role in my upbringing who are not actively involved in my life today, but I would not be the same person without them. I may not see the final product or outcome, but I know I am a vital link in the chain. I have influenced their lives for the better in some way, and that’s pretty dang awesome in and of itself.
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^Selfie attempt number 12 million.

And there you have it friends, five tips and tricks I’ve garnered throughout my time as an Au Pair. This experience is never something I actively sought out or wanted to cross off my bucket list, but I’m so glad it fell into my lap. It has been better than anything I ever could have dreamed up myself. I feel so blessed to have worked with a wonderful family who treated me like their fourth child (probably because I still act like one), and who I know will visit me in California one day. I hope this post was helpful and informative, and don’t hesitate to comment below. Have a lovely week friends!
Question of the Day
Would you ever consider working as an Au Pair? Why or why not?