Author Archive | Francesca D.

Image by Merrimack College on Flickr

Image by Merrimack College on Flickr

“Are you excited to graduate?”

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Over the past six months, almost every single person in my life has broached the topic of graduation at one point or another. After being asked about it so many times, you’d think that I’d know how to answer the question by now. But the truth is – I have absolutely no idea. At first, this realization was a terrifying reality that I had to face, and I sought out to discover the answer. However, upon undergoing some significant soul-searching, I thought to myself – maybe it’s okay to not know how to feel.

Graduation represents the closing of one chapter in life, along with the opening of another. Understandably, it’s natural to be bombarded by a surge of different emotions. Of course, there is the initial excitement that comes along with saying goodbye to midterms, finals, huge assignments, and those infamous all-nighters that left you feeling like a zombie for days on end. But at the same time, there comes the sadness associated with saying goodbye to familiar faces, a safe environment, and that comfortable routine that you’ve been living in for four years. Moreover, there comes the overwhelming fear that stems from not knowing what exactly the future is going to bring, as well as the stress of becoming what feels like a tiny fish in a sea of recent grads searching for jobs. And let’s not forget the pressure connected to becoming a real adult, taking on much heavier responsibilities, and nearing important milestones such as getting your first full-time job, potentially moving out, and better yet, getting married and having kids.

With that being said, it dawned on me that I was getting way too ahead of myself. And I think that coming to that realization is what is essential in moving forward in a stress-free and happy manner. Having obtained my Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from a prestigious business school, I have been told time and time again that a successful student is one who obtains full-time employment either a) in September of their final year of school or b) no later than twenty minutes after graduation (I say this with little to no exaggeration). But is this realistic? Not at all. I’ve finally come to understand that I’m still only twenty-two years old, I have the rest of my life to work, and I don’t have to get hired the day that I graduate in order to be successful. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t find a job right away, and I shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to take the summer to relax, travel, do the things that I enjoy, and figure out what exactly I want to do moving forward. I know so many people who just rushed into accepting job offers without truly considering whether or not it was a job that suited their interests and passions. Through my academics, work, and extracurricular experiences, I’ve learned that it is important to do what makes you happy. If it takes a little longer to figure out what that is or find a job that incorporates your passions, then that’s okay.

So where do I go from here? I’m not entirely certain yet. But having this great revelation has evoked one more feeling out of me – hope. I’m hopeful for my future and I look forward to finding my professional calling – whenever the time is right.

 
 
Getting sick and tired of the bitter cold weather? Winter definitely has its downsides, but it is the perfect time to spice up your style and experiment with the latest fashion crazes. Here are some of this season’s trends that you can incorporate into your style for the next few months to help you beat the winter blues:

fur  
 
Faux fur scarves are the way to go this winter season. This type of scarf is a classic and adds elegance to any look, so opt to dress up a basic outfit by accessorizing with this piece. The best part is that no animals are harmed in the making of this chic accessory!
coats
Wearing a long, oversized coat is the best way to achieve the best of both worlds. Stay warm while still looking fashionable by topping off your outfit with a coat that is on the longer side. A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have been spotted wearing this trend all winter long.
 
 
Statement necklaces are another great way to make a plain outfit more exciting. Necklaces with crystal jewels are beautiful during any season, but especially during the winter when everything is white and icy outside.
necklace
beanie
Having a bad hair day? Don’t fret. This season, girls are combatting those types of days by throwing on a beanie. Beanies add a grungy feel to any outfit, which is right on point with this winter’s street style trends. On top of that, some beanies have fun sayings written across the forehead area that you can use to express yourself and your personal style.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mid length pencil skirts are what all the rave is about right now. This length of skirt is suitable for many different occasions since it screams sexy and sophisticated. You can rock this trend for a job interview or for a night out on the town.
pencil
neon  
 
During the winter months, we tend to gravitate towards darker toned garments. Try adding a pop of colour to your outfit by throwing on a neon accessory. This will brighten up your entire look and add some interest to an otherwise bland outfit.
sweater
A chunky knit sweater will never go out of style. It is the perfect way to stay warm and cozy while looking effortlessly cute. Tuck yours into an A-line skirt to achieve a polished look, or pair it with some leggings if you’re going for a more relaxed vibe.
olive  
 
Last but certainly not least, this winter season is seeing a ton of olive green coloured pieces. Wearing this shade is appropriate in the winter months because it is not too bright, but still allows you to branch away from the typical blacks, deep blues, and maroons.

Hopefully this has inspired you to make the best of the cold winter weather and have some fun trying out a few of this season’s hottest trends.

Happy styling!

Photo credit: Hidden Exposure and [email protected]

 
 
Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet is something that most students find to be challenging. Preparing healthy foods can often take time, which is hard to come by when catching up on readings, preparing for a huge presentation, pulling an all-nighter to complete an assignment, or studying for an exam that is worth half your grade. Nevertheless, it is important to make healthy choices when it comes to eating in order to provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs to carry you through these hectic times.
 
Here are ten food items that any college or university student should have in their kitchen to make healthy eating as easy and enjoyable as possible:

Image by alexlomas, Flickr

Image by alexlomas, Flickr

1. Vegetables
Vegetables – especially dark greens such and kale, broccoli, and green leaf lettuce – contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, and plant-based substances that help to improve one’s overall health. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can cause problems for the brain, which can lead to a lack in productivity. Eat them raw, in a salad, sautéed, or by incorporating them into more substantial dishes.
Image by rumpleteaser, Flickr

Image by rumpleteaser, Flickr

2. Fruits
A perfect snack for students. They can easily be consumed on the go and contain healthy sugars that can curb a sweet tooth. In particular: bananas are rich in potassium and make a great accompaniment to breakfast; blueberries are filled with antioxidants, and help to improve one’s learning and memory; and, as the old saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Image by s58y, Flickr

Image by s58y, Flickr

3. Nuts
A great source of protein – especially for vegetarians! They are a quick, easy, and surprisingly filling snack. Moreover, there are numerous types to indulge in depending on your personal preferences, including almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and cashews.
Image by Neeta Lind, Flickr

Image by Neeta Lind, Flickr

4. Salmon
The ultimate brain food. This type of fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that help to develop the brain and enhance its function. Unlike tuna, salmon does not contain large amounts of mercury, making it a healthier option. If purchased pre-seasoned, it can be very quick to merely grill or bake.
Image by SodanieChea, Flickr

Image by SodanieChea, Flickr

5. Yogurt
An excellent source of calcium, which is a vitamin that aids in bone development and preservation. This delicious food can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or even as dessert. Opt for a low-fat variety and add some granola and/or fruit on top to make it more satisfactory.
Image by SweetOnVeg, Flickr

Image by SweetOnVeg, Flickr

6. Quinoa
Quinoa is among some of the newest health food trends. It is said to be a super-grain, and offers incredible health benefits such as protein, fibre, and iron. Iron deficiency can lead to energy loss, which is why it is important for students to keep their iron levels up. Quinoa is a great alternative to white starches, and can be prepared in an endless amount of ways to accommodate different tastes.
Image by jenn.b, Flickr

Image by jenn.b, Flickr

7. Granola Bars
One of the easiest, tastiest, and least distracting snacks to bring to class. They are high in fibre, and can be rich in protein if they contain nuts. Purchase ones with a light chocolate drizzle over them and you have a great way to satisfy your chocolate craving without going overboard.
Image by jeffreyw, Flickr

Image by jeffreyw, Flickr

8. Eggs
Eggs can be prepared in so many different ways, each of which is quick and simple. Again, they are a great alternative to meat. If made into an omelet, you can even mix in some vegetables for added health benefits and a more filling effect.
Image by USDAgov, Flickr

Image by USDAgov, Flickr

9. Whole wheat bread
It’s much healthier for you than white bread, and is a versatile food to have in the kitchen. It can be eaten for breakfast with some natural peanut/almond butter, or for lunch and/or dinner in a sandwich.
Image by veggiefrog, Flickr

Image by veggiefrog, Flickr

10. Healthy, savory snacks
Non-buttery microwavable popcorn and kale chips are perfect for when you get that salty craving. Although they are not the absolute best for you, they are substantially healthier than buttery popcorn or regular chips, and can still do the trick in satisfying your craving.

By having all of these items readily available in your kitchen, you can easily maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, as well as increase your brain function, energy levels, and overall productivity.

A few of our fashion picks work in jackets, chic style, and this fall's maroon colour. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia

A few of our fashion picks work in jackets, chic style, and this fall’s maroon colour. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia

Fall is definitely one of the most beautiful times of the year. The ever so colourful leaves, brisk yet cozy weather, and the feeling of reinvention are all incredibly inspiring aspects of the season. Each of these elements can be reflected in some way through fall fashion. The colourful leaves inspire rich, jewel-toned pieces, while the weather encourages bulky sweaters, statement jackets, and trendy boots. Most importantly, with the start of school, fall is the perfect time to reinvent yourself – especially when it comes to your personal style.

Since universities and colleges are filled with thousands of students, it is very easy to merely blend in and just become a number. Utilizing fashion as a means of showcasing individuality and personality is a great way to set you apart and be remembered – in a good way, of course!

Here are some tips to get students through the fall season looking fabulous, but without breaking the bank:

  1. Don’t let the arrival of a new season make you feel as if you have to buy a completely new wardrobe.
  2. Transition staple pieces from season to season, and make them appear as if they are new by styling them in different ways.

  3. Shop the newest trends, but at reasonable prices.
  4. Trends come and go, and will not necessarily be carried into the next season or the next year. Indulge in the latest fashions, but look for these pieces at inexpensive stores such as H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. You can then pair these items with higher quality staples that are already in your closet.

  5. Share wardrobes with your friends!
  6. Take advantage of the fact that your friends have great style, and swap pieces with each other whenever you feel as if you have nothing to wear. This allows for you to be versatile and it can save you loads of money.

  7. Dress for success.
  8. Even when those lazy days strike, push through and rock a chic outfit. This will instantly boost your mood and help increase productivity. Looking good makes you feel good, and it is important to feel good at school so that you can be attentive and accomplish your goals. Just don’t forget to ensure that your outfits are school-appropriate.

  9. Be yourself.
  10. Fashion is an art, and what you wear should express the type of person you are. Choose outfits that make you feel comfortable and good about yourself. Confidence is the best accessory – even if you are wearing something that may not typically appeal to the masses, you will look great if you wear it with confidence.

Add a little denim or military inspiration to your outfit this fall. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia

Add a little denim or military inspiration to your outfit this fall. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia

With the beginning of a new season comes the introduction of new fashion trends. This fall, maroon-coloured pieces, chunky sweaters, leather accents, black and white combinations, military inspired outfits, denim on denim, statement jackets, and trendy boots are among some of the hottest crazes. Hopefully the images we’re showing you will provide some inspiration for this season.

Happy styling!

Model Emily Mais shows us how to add a key trendy item to spice up an everyday outfit. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia

Model Emily Mais works a trendy item into everyday outfits. Photo Credit: Francesca Della Savia