Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Give Kids The World Experience

Back in March, I volunteered with Give Kids the World Village for my Spring break. Give Kids the World Village provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families where the families go to themeparks in the Orlando area. Children and their families are provided with accommodations in fully-furnished villas, transportation, tickets to theme parks, meals, daily entertainment, and more. You can learn more about Give Kids the World here.

I was fortunate enough to volunteer at Give Kids the World Village for a week. Immediately after looking through the website, I knew I had to volunteer soon. Luckily enough, my wish of volunteering came true. I spent a week watching smiles take up kids faces.

In the week I spent at Give Kids the World, I assisted with lunch, cleaned the dining room, helped with a party, and helped bring smiles to the kids faces. While there, I got to meet some of the most remarkable families with the most resilient/strong kids I've ever met. It was truly transformable to see how bright and positive the kids were. The kids would around with a huge grin spread across their face as they greeted me and the other volunteers with a big, friendly hello.

One of the magical things about the week was seeing all the volunteers. I got to meet people from Emory, Georgia Tech, and UGA in a span of a few hours. Later that day, I met a group of high schoolers who were spending 2 weeks volunteering. I also met locals who spend their days and nights volunteering in order to make sure the kids and their families experiences are incredible. The most amazing of them all is the staff who do so much in order to ensure the kids have a magnificent time. No matter what they're doing, they always go above the extra mile to help make the day a blast.

I truly recommend that you volunteer at Give Kids the World Village. It is truly a life changing opportunity. I'm forever grateful to have spent the time I did volunteering, and hope to come back in the future. Please donate if you can to the wonderful organization here or learn more about volunteering here.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Step Into My Week: Mother's Day and BBYO

This past week was great. I got to go to the High Museum for Mother's Day, see my chapter's new board get inducted, and be with my friends. This week is my last week of school. I have finals this week. Then, I'm done with school until August. I'm so excited for Summer.

For Mother's Day, my family went to the High. I absolutely love the High. The top floor has the most amazing contemporary art collection. I could spend hour on the floor looking at the art. Contemporary art is so cool. I love how different mediums are combined together to create a whole new medium. Basically, anything that's unique is amazing is what I'm saying.

We also went to dinner for Mother's Day. My grandma and aunt tagged along for the outing. We went to a restaurant that had the most amazing bread. The bread was warm and had cranberries.

Monday night was my BBYO chapter's board states and installs. It was bittersweet to watch the old board leave and the new board come in. I absolutely love the new board. I know they're going to do amazing things with my chapter. It makes me so happy to think about what they'll accomplish next semester.

I'm off to study for finals. Have a great week.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Step Into My Week: BBYO Chapcon

This week's Step Into My Week post is going up on a Monday. I was too busy on Thursday to write the post. Sorry. I figured the post all about what I did in April would make up for it. If you haven't seen the post, you can read it here. I talk all about my school's musical and my foreign exchange student experience.

The best part of my week was Chapcon. Chapcon is where each chapter in BBYO has a sleepover at the end of the year where we celebrate the seniors, get life, and elect the new board. The night was a complete blast. I loved getting to hear the seniors talk about their BBYO experience. It made me so sad to see them leave, but I'm so excited for them. My favorite seniors are going to College of Charleston and University of Maryland. Hopefully, I can visit them. I was given life by the seniors. It was so sweet of them. I absolutely adore the seniors, so it meant so much to me.

Elections were amazing. I didn't caucus for any of the positions, but I was nominated. I totally wasn't expecting to be nominated. It felt so nice to be nominated. I lost, but I know their are so many opportunities out there for me in BBYO. The new board is absolutely amazing. I already have a list of ideas I have for next year. Their going to make my chapter even better, so I'm beyone excited for them.

For the last 2.5 weeks, everyone in theater has been working on creating our own plays. We got to premiere our plays on Tuesday. The entire night was amazing. I absolutely adored all the plays. All of them were amazing. I can't believe the plays were written in 3 days. My friends are so impressive! I'm so lucky to have the most creative friends. They're constantly blowing me away with their amazing talent.

That's a wrap on my week. I had several projects and tests this week since school is over in 2 weeks. I can't wait to be on Summer break. I officially have each of my classes 5 times before exams. It's bittersweet to see the year end.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Step Into My Month: Theater and French Exchange Student

This is a recap from April. The month where I was gone from Gold Clutter. I kept busy doing other things beside blogging. My school had our musical, and I hosted an exchange student from France. Well, here's a look at April.

The week leading up to the musical was a whirlwind. I lived and breathed theater. We stayed after school until 8 o'clock everyday practicing for the musical. It was tons of fun getting to hang out with the cast and crew during downtime.

Thursday night was opening night AKA my favorite night. The feeling of excitement backstage was contagious. Everyone was excited to show off all that we'd done for the past 2.5 months. The show was incredible.

The whole weekend was amazing. I especially loved theater dinners after the musical. We went to Waffle House and Taco Mac. It was great to talk to my friends after the show. We were all so hungry by the time we ate. We'd eat dinner at 10:00.

Sunday was the Senior ceremony. It was so sweet. The Juniors get goofy gifts for the seniors. Then, the juniors present the gifts to the seniors and talk about them one by one. Teachers in the theater department talk about the Seniors. I loved hearing what the Juniors and teachers had to say about the Seniors. I was so sad during it. I don't want the seniors to leave. They're the best.

My French exchange student, Aglaé, got to Atlanta on Friday, but I didn't get to meet her until Sunday afternoon. It was surreal to meet her after emailing back and forth since October. I loved that she was able to see the musical. I didn't get to spend much time with her on Sunday as I had to help with strike. Strike for costuming went by really fast. We just took everything off hangers and sorted it by color. I was so glad that it didn't take too long, since I was really tired from the whirlwind weekend.

Aglaé shadowed me in school on Monday. She got to meet all my teachers and friends. It was interesting to learn what's different in French schools versus American schools. She liked my school, so I was happy.

We took Aglaé to Steak and Shake on Monday night. My mom wanted her to experience the true fast food experience. She loved the hat they gave her. Aglaé got a burger that night. She ate a ton of burgers while she was here.

Tuesday was a busy day. Aglaé taught the French classes for the first half of the day. After, she headed to Lenox to do some shopping. I had to stay in class but I heard it was a great time. To make the day even better, we went to a Hawks game. The Hawks played the Hornets that night. We we're lucky enough to go on the court. We got to high five the players as they went out onto the court. The whole night was so exciting.

On Wednesday, Aglaé explored Atlanta. She went to Coke's headquarters where she got a behind the scenes look, World of Coke, and Ponce City Market. After that, we went to theater. For the first part of the afternoon, we had a guest speaker. He was a playwright from New York. It was interesting to learn what its like to write plays for a living. To celebrate the end of the musical, all of tech went to dinner after. It was a great time chatting with all my fellow techies.

Thursday through Saturday were spent on a segway tour of East Atlanta, canoed the Chattahoochee, went to the aquarium, and chilled at home. The segway tour was tons of fun. It was pretty funny to see a group of 10 riding on segways through traffic.

Sunday was a casual day. We hung out at the house dying eggs, made slime, made rolled ice cream, and thank you notes for our teachers. My sister taught Aglaé how to make slime. They made ridiculous amount. We attempted to make rolled ice cream but it didn't work out. :( Lastly, we hung out in Enos as a nice way to end off the day.

Monday was Aglaé's last day. We let her sleep in really late to help with the jet lag. After all her stuff was packed, we headed out for one last adventure. Cinnaholic was our final stop on our tour of Atlanta. Aglaé got cookie dough while I got a cinnamon roll. Needless to say, we both loved the food.

My French teacher took Aglaé to the airport but before that we had a farewell party. Aglaé got a t-shirt that all the American kids could sign. After everyone was done signing t-shirts, we watched a slideshow of everything we did throughout the week. It was absolutely adorable. I hated saying goodbye to Aglaé. Hopefully, I'll get to see her again soon.

We didn't have theater the week after the musical, so we had a lot of catch up work to do. That whole week, we worked on organizing the costume shop, laundry, washing the costumes from the musical, and putting them away. We still have a lot of work to do before the end of the year. In a few weeks, we have a dance show. After that, we're done costuming, and just have to clean and organize.

Wednesday night I went to states and installs for BBYO. It was incredibly sad to watch the N'siah and Godol of Atlanta Council give their states. As usual, they did a terrific job. The new board is going to have to live up to high standards. To end the night, I got an award. My love for BBYO is through the roof.

I spent the weekend volunteering. We had a fundraiser that we sold raffle tickets for. Last year, we raised over $2,500 from the fundraiser. Sunday, was a volunteer event. We we're supposed to have a Spring festival. It rained the entire day so most people thought it was cancelled. It was just moved inside the building. Only 25 people showed up when we we're expecting 300.

For my Biology class, we do a year long research project. On Tuesday, we presented our projects to anyone who wanted to come. My project was on the health effects of the vegan diet. I decided to get cinnamon rolls to present with my project. They were a smashing success.

That's a wrap on the last three weeks. Once again, sorry for not posting. I hate that I went so long not blogging. I definitely kept busy, though.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Shoes for Graduation: Wedges

Shoes that are perfect for graduation.
Graduation ceremonies are well under way. This year, will be my 6th time going to a graduation ceremony. I love them so much. They're so sappy with all the speeches. They make me so happy. Anyways, year after year the girls wear wedges. You get the height of heels with some of the comfort of flats. They're the best of both worlds. I gathered up my 10 picks for wedges for graduation.
Clockwise: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

These shoes are the cutest. I'm really into the espadrilles trend. They look chic no matter how you wear them. I might have to get a pair for myself. The OTBT wedges have been the it shoes for high school and college students the pat few years. I have a pair similar to them, and they're so comfortable. I definitely reccomend them if you have to stand around for a long time. I normally trip in wedges, but those shoes haven't caused such a problem. The pink wrap around wood-esque wedges are adorable. I saw someone on them recently, and loved them.

Which wedges are your favorite? What are you wearing to graduation?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Step Into My Week: Inman Park Festival and High Museum

This week has been a great week. I've been able to spend a lot of time with friends. I love getting to be with my friends. Great times with amazing people make for a superb time.

The weekend was an absolute blast. My sister and I stayed in painting on Friday. She made the cutest painting that was absolutely gorgeous. She's way more talented than me at painting. I love seeing what she creates. It's always amazing.
I went with my dad and sister to the Inman Park festival on Saturday. We sadly didn't get to see much art. Luckily, my dad got one of his favorite meals from a pickle food truck. I ended up getting a rice bowl with veggies. It wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst. The festival always gives off the best vibes. I love seeing happy people, beautiful music, and amazing weather.

We went to Ponce City Market for snack on Saturday. My sister and dad got raspberry gelato from Honeysuckle Gelato. It's the best. I got a mushroom bao from the place next door. I love their buns. They always taste amazing.
After a quick snack, we went on the Beltline. We planned on going for a walk for a few minutes. It ended up being an hour. We walked to Piedmont Park. It's so cool how you can walk all over Atlanta because of the Beltline. It totally reminds me why Atlanta has my heart. #ATLiens
 Sunday was a great day. We went to the High. I love the High. My dad got a family membership a few weeks ago. Needles to say, I'll be going way more often. It always gives me tons of inspiration. The top floor has a modern art collection that I could daydream in for hours. I love the art in that area. The High has this amazing mirror that enchants me whenever I see it.

To end the weekend, I went to a painting class. It was one of those classes where the teacher tells you the instructions for painting. It was my second time doing a class like it. I had a great time. We made paintings of flowers in vases.

For some random reason, I didn't have homework on Monday night. I was totally happy with that. I decided to bake a cake for an extra credit assignment. I forgot to add water to the box mix. It turned out very interesting. The top completely puffed up and then instantly fell down when it came out of the oven. I need to make a new one, since I wasn't able to use that one.

On the way to school, I saw some ducks and the mama goose walking across the road. It was incredibly adorable. All the traffic stopped to watch. I hope it happens again. Baby ducks are so fuzzy and look so happy.

Theater ended early on Wednesday, so a bunch of my friends and I hung out. It was great to be together. The weather was absolutely beautiful outside. I love the weather in May. It's the perfect temperature.

Overall, it was a great week. This week really showed me how amazing my friends are. I'm totally pumped for the next few weeks. I know they're going to be amazing.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Graduation Gifts for High School Seniors

High school is wrapping up or nearing completion for Seniors. With the end of the year, Senior year festivities normally include graduation parties to allow Seniors to celebrate with their friends. This year, some of my friends are Seniors, and I'm already devastated for when they leave in August and September. To make me less sad about them leaving, I decided to get them graduation gifts. While I was brainstorming gifts for them, I came up with a list of several other ideas.

Money
No matter where the Senior goes to college, they're going to need money. They're going to be exploring their new home for the next four years, and will want to go to every restaurant, bar, and clothing store in sight. To help make the first year less stressful, give them money to spend on something they enjoy.

Giftcards
Gift cards are a great option if you want the Senior to spend money on something they enjoy but in a specific category. To help make the gift more meaningful, you could research restaurants or stores the college students normally go to in the town of their college, and buy a gift card for them. It will be a helpful way for them to explore their new home. Amazon, Target, grocery store, and gas station gift cards always make great gifts that will definitely be used.

Quarters for Laundry
Most schools have laundry machines that you have to pay per wash. Save the Senior one less errand the week before they leave for college, and get them $10-25 worth of quarters. That will be sure to last them a long time, and will give you an excuse to not do their laundry.

T-shirt blanket
Make a quilted blanket from their favorite t-shirts. Whenever they get homesick at college, they will be sure to remember you as they curl up in their blanket. Several companies make them or you can make it yourself. Try and do a variety of t-shirts from all the different activities they've done in their high school career.

Monthly Delivery
Get the Senior a monthly delivery to surprise them when they first get to school. Receiving mail always puts a smile on someone's face so why not send them a package. You could get someone to deliver a home cooked meal of their favorite food, fresh flowers, or baked goods. If you're making food or getting it made, be sure to order enough food for the Senior to share with their new friends.

Metro/bus card
Depending on where the Senior goes to school, they will need a metro card or bus card to get around town. Save them the trouble of having to figure it out while on the way to their 8am, and get them a pre-loaded metro card. If you're able to, you should make highlight a map showing the different routes they will probably need to take. It will definitely come in handy during the first few weeks of the school year.

Card/Board Games
The first few weeks of college are a time when it's common to get homesick and meet new friends. Help them play old childhood favorites with their new pals by getting a card game or a board game. Pair the game with a few sweets to make the perfect game night.

Oh, the Places You'll Go Signed
A few years ago a Pinterest pin went viral where a dad got all his daughter's teachers to sign Oh, the Places You'll Go starting in Kindergarten. While you might not be able to get Kindergarten teachers, get the Seniors favorite high school teachers to sign the book. Years down the road, they will treasure the book as one of their favorite mementos from high school.

College Survival Kit
Pack a box with everything you think the Senior might forget at home or little surprises to open in the first few weeks. Pack a spare toothbrush, laundry detergent, and extra shampoo and conditioner in a box to put a smile on the Seniors face in dire times. If you want to be nice, sneak in some money, a gift card, or a voucher for something at a later date to be extra meaningful.

Printed Instagram photos
Print out pictures from the Seniors Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or personal library. You can arrange them in a scrapbook, order them in a photo book, or leave them as is. They will love looking at some of their favorite high school memories whenever they're feeling homesick.

Goodnight Dorm Room
This adorable book is an adaption on Goodnight Dorm Room. The book combines the simplicity of the original with tips for college to make a beautifully illustrated book that will prepare Seniors for college. I might have to order the book for myself after seeing how adorable it is.

Personalized Necklace
Order the Senior a personalized necklace. You could personalize it with their high school's name or hometown. Additionally, you could do the coordinates instead of names. They will always have a little piece of home with them whenever they're walking around campus.

Hopefully you were able to find a gift to get your Senior. Let me know in the comments down below what you end up getting them. If you're graduating this year, what do you want? If you've already graduated, what do you wish you got?