Expectations Suck

Hey there! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. School, you know?

I just spent the last four hours working on a video for my YouTube channel. This idea came to me that I thought would be doable given my skill level and the materials available, so I went for it. I’ve been piecing together the part I have for the past while, and I’m not super happy with it. Which sucks.

It’s not bad! It’s good enough. The thing is, I know I can do better. But since I just spent my afternoon working on it instead of doing homework, I feel like I need to upload it anyway once I get the rest filmed.

I realize that it really isn’t any sort of deal. I doubt my two whole subscribers will bat an eye, but it’s frustrating to see anything you devote your time to come out as less than you had envisioned. There’s no way I’m going to try to recreate what I did (I don’t have the patience, light, or spare time to do that) so I’m going to have to work with what I’ve got I suppose.

I guess this turned into a complaining session today? I’ve been working on coming up with more ideas for videos on my channel, and I was super excited when I came up with this one. Obviously, I’m a little less enthused now. Oh well! I’m sure this is really enticing you to go check out my channel.

Anyway, I promise the next time I post it won’t be quite so complainy! What’s more cathartic than typing away my woes into the void? If you do by some chance want to go check out my channel, you can click here!  I’ll see you when I see you. I hope you have a nice day today and thanks for reading through my whiny mess.

–Nicole

 

Top Travel Tips I’ve Learned So Far

Hey there everybody! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about traveling recently. I want to study abroad next year, so now’s the time to start thinking about applying and arranging my schedule for it and all that terrifying/exciting business.

I thought today I’d leave some of my travel tips here for you to peruse. I’ve been coast to coast, North to South, and even abroad, so I’ve gone on a trip or two in my time. Wow that sounds pretentious, I’m just going to get into it. Let’s do this!

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New York, New York

When I went to France, I sat next to this mom and daughter from my group on the long flight. It was an airbus, and those suckers are big, so obviously it took a good while to fill up. They didn’t have the plane on as everyone was getting on, so it was pretty warm. These two would not stop moaning and groaning about how hot it was, and all I could think was man, you are on a plane to France! Calm down! The moral of this story is don’t sweat the small stuff! Things are going to go wrong, or at least not how you expected, but that’s just part of the adventure. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and hope that the air conditioning comes on soon!

 

 

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Nîmes, France

I’m one of those people that doesn’t do their packing until 10:00 the night before they leave. Questionable tactic, I know. Now I don’t endorse my packing strategy, but I do think you should wait to do your packing until two to three days before you leave if it’s a trip that lasts five days or less. My theory is if you do your packing closer to your departure date, you’re going to have a better idea of what you’ve got in your bag and what you’re missing. If you do it a week before (like my mom is always pestering me to do,) I feel like you have a better chance of forgetting those items you have to pack later like chargers or straighteners. Also, if you’re like me, you might not be able to last that long clothes-wise if they’re all packed up a week before.

 

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Paris, France

There are four things that I always brings with me: band-aids, chapstick, ibuprofen, and headphones. Of course, you can always get these at the drug store or the airport, but I can never really justify buying these when I know I have multiples of them sitting around at home. I also suggest either bringing or buying a water bottle that you know won’t leak. Seriously, check the quality of the cap before you buy one. The last time I flew, I got a big water bottle from the airport then discovered a damp surprise in my purse mid-flight. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when you’re on the go, but your possessions don’t need the same treatment!

 

 

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Gulf Shores, Alabama

If you’re bringing a camera with you, bring an extra SD card. Or two! Those things are slippery. If you just plan on using a device to take pictures, I would take some time either before you leave or on your way to free up some space in your device’s memory! You don’t want to whip out your phone to snap a photo of the crazy huge rat on the tracks in the metro just to find out you’ve used up all available space.

 

 

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Chicago, Illinois

Take a second before you leave to get some apps that will make your life easier. I suggest Uber, Google Maps, and Venmo for starters. If you have any other good ones, please let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

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Estes Park, Colorado

This is my last, and arguably most important, nugget of wisdom! Just say yes. Even if you’re not sure if it sounds like something you’d usually be interested in, just do it! Obvious caveat here is if it’s dangerous/illegal. In that case you have my blessing to say no. I had to apply to go on the New York trip I just got back from, and I almost said no to it for various reasons. But this has been my philosophy since I hit college, and I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t go, so I agreed to go without knowing anyone on the trip. Thank goodness I did, because I gained some new friends, saw parts of New York I’ve never visited, ate some amaaazing food, and got some job insight that has already helped narrow my idea of what I want to do with my life. Saying yes can be scary, but sometimes you just have to go for it.

So that’s all I’ve got for today! If you have any good travel tips leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear some more. I’ll see you when I see you, and I hope you have a nice day!

–Nicole

 

Nicole Goes Places: New York Edition Part 2

Hey folks, I’m back home now. I feel like I definitely caught some kind of bug after running around the city on limited sleep all week, but it was so worth it!

I was looking through more of the picture I took, and I decided I wanted to share a few more! When we stumbled upon the Flatiron Building the sun was right in our eyes, so I had absolutely no idea what the photos looked like. Turns out they were real nice! Enjoy part 2 below. I’ll be reveling in the great week I just had as I try to get this article done before Thursday.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Have a good day, and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

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Nicole Goes Places: New York Edition

Hey everybody! I can’t remember if I’ve said it in a post before, but I’m a journalism major! Let me tell you, that’s a great thing to be in the current media climate. Anyway, I’m in a magazine club at my school since magazine is an industry I might want to go into, and this week I went on a trip with them to New York!

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We left on Monday night and spent the next three days visiting major magazines and asking questions about how the hell you move to New York, a job, and all that. The idea is equal parts exciting and terrifying for me, so I feel like that’s a sign I should try it someday. The key word here is someday.

Some of the places I got to see were Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, HGTV, US Weekly, and so many others in just three days that it makes my head spin. I’m leaning more towards the PR, advertising, branded content side of the industry, but who knows! We talked to an editor who had gotten a degree in plant science then went on to work for magazines. The world is your oyster.

In the time we weren’t frantically trying to figure out the subway and visiting magazines we got to explore on our own. I’ll leave some of the better photos I took in those times below.

Today we head back to good ol’ Missouri and all my responsibilities. Future Nicole is going to hate New York trip Nicole that decided to just not think about or do any of the work I have due this next week. Is this semester over yet?

That’s about all I’ve got for today. I need to go meet some friends for brunch and some last minute exploring before our flight. I’ll see you when I see you, and I hope you have a good one!

–Nicole

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2017 Has Not Been Kind

Hey there everybody! So I watched a video by AmazingPhil a few weeks back talking about how 2017 was trying to kill him and I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, well that’s not a great way to start out the year, glad that isn’t me!”

Yeah, things have taken a turn.

This story starts back in mid-January. Now the steps in our apartment are hardwood and I’ve known for some time that I was going to slip and fall one day. My socks are just too slippery. This one fine evening I was heading downstairs with my laptop in hand to go make myself some mac ‘n cheese with a side of Netflix when the inevitable hit; I took a good old-fashioned tumble.

I didn’t just slip and slide. No, my feet literally came out from underneath me and I landed on my lower back on that wonderful hardwood. Thankfully I was only a few steps from the bottom and my grip on my laptop held true so it could’ve been worse!

I wish I had a picture of the bruise I got from this because man, was it impressive! I had to spend a few minutes writhing on the floor before I could get up to make my mac ‘n cheese.

So a week goes by and my bruise heals to the point that I can start wearing pants with a belt again and not be in severe pain. That’s when our next calamity strikes.

Before I get into this one, I’ll admit that I had some hormones doing their thing at the time which clouded my judgment just a little bit.

I have this cheap storage unit thing that lives in my closet. I keep all my extra bags in one of the cheap draws of the cheap storage unit. The bag I needed was at the bottom of the drawer, so I decided to just take the drawer out instead of taking all the bags out. Efficiency, right?

This was mistake number one.

When I went to put the drawer back in, for some reason it wouldn’t budge. I could get one side to go in, but the other wasn’t having it. I was pissed. Really pissed.

After some shoving and swearing I finally got the drawer back in place, but somehow the front panel popped off on one side. This only added fuel to the hormonal fire that was brewing. When I couldn’t get the panel to stick back down, I decided to just pull the drawer out entirely and see what I could do.

This was mistake number two.

So here I am, one hand on the drawer pull of the front panel and the other holding the actual side of the drawer that I could now see with the panel hanging off. I was trying to gently ease it out, but apparently, I wasn’t gentle enough because the other side of the panel decided to give way and whap me square in the face.

I Mcfreaking lost it.

At first, I was only concerned about my mouth and whether my teeth were loose. Spoiler alert: my teeth were fine and dandy. I think the bottom edge of the panel made impact right below my nose because I had a nice little cut there when I went to look in the mirror.

After angry crying and throwing the panel somewhere in my room, I got some ice and took a sit on the couch to cool off. That’s when I realized the pain was moving north into my nose and I began to wonder if my nose was broken.

This thought was only enforced when I went to go blow my nose after all the angry crying and found out nose blowing was a complete no-go from pain. Despite my mom’s suggestions to go get an x-ray, I stuck to the knowledge I had gotten from Google and diagnosed myself with just some non-doctor worthy swelling and bruising. (Fun fact: my roommate only just told me yesterday that while I was fuming on the couch, she called our nursing major friend to ask her if she thought I needed to go to the emergency room. She came to the same conclusion as I did)

Now fast forward to last night. It’s been about three weeks since the drawer incident and I was down to just a little bit of pain in the end of my nose if I bumped it or something. While at a game night with some friends, I leaned forward while laughing right as one of my friends walked past me.

Boom, nose meets shoulder and they do not hit it off. I think it hurt a lot more than it normally would thanks to the soreness still there from round one, but dang, not fun. I heard a crunch and for a second, I was scared that I had actually done it this time.

Thankfully, I’m not in nearly as much pain this time around so it’s all good. At this rate, I’m expecting my next calamity to hit within mid-March.

This one was a long one, so I really appreciate you sticking with me if you made it to the end! 2017 isn’t exactly trying to kill me, but it also hasn’t been too kind to me, either. It could be worse! If I have any more ridiculous injuries, I’ll be sure to update this story. Until then, that’s all I’ve got for you. I’ll see you when I see you and I hope you have a nice day!

–Nicole

 

 

Let’s Get to Work

Right now I’m putting off a three-page paper, a quiz, three lecture recordings, figuring out the subject for a project, and writing an article. Look, I got real busy and wowza did I just realize how much I actually have to do.

While I wait for my mac n’ cheese to do its thing, I thought I’d tell you about some of the ways I keep myself motivated and on track when things get hectic. Like right now. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best opener for a post like this…

  1. Write it all out– What would you have to do if you didn’t know what you had to do? Didn’t Satchel Paige say something like that? Some people live by their planners and other people live by the seat of their pants. Somehow, I am both. Weeks upon weeks will be blank in my planner until panic hits me and suddenly I have to write down everything. Maybe you’re the same, maybe not. If anything, just jotting it all down on a sticky note, old receipt, whatever you’ve got can sometimes help. I’m a visual person, so I like to be able to look at everything to make a game plan from there.
  2. Shower– Showering is my Windex; I treat it as a cure all. Cold? Shower. Sad? Shower. Too much stuff, not enough time? Shower. You get a nice, relaxing break to think about what you’ll tackle next while still being productive. You’re going to have to get clean sometime!
  3. Set deadlines– On the days that I just can’t get going, I’ll sometimes set some kind of deadline for when I have to start being productive. Examples: I’ll read this chapter after this next YouTube video. At 9:30, I’ll login to my email. After I write this post, I’ll finally take that quiz. That last one may or may not be my current deadline…
  4. Make your friends be productive with you– This one is definitely not for everyone, but it works for me! A few times a week, the stars and our schedules align so that a bunch of my friends all have a gap at the same time during the day. This is what we refer to as social hour. This is when I can get things out of the way that don’t require a whole lot of brain power, but I don’t want to do sitting in my room alone. We’ve had plenty of study parties so far, too. I personally can get a lot of work done when I’m with friends, but I know that others can’t! I like being able to take a break and chat while for a bit.
  5. I can’t think of a fifth thing I do, but I already made the bullet point. Oh well.

Okay the mac ‘n cheese is done, so I must be done as well. Time to cross my fingers and take this Econ quiz. Send good vibes. Let my know what you do to stay focused because man, do I need all the help I can get. I’ll see you when I see you, and have a nice day!

–Nicole

The Search for a Pie

Hey there everybody! Back in the summer of 2014, I went on a trip to France for a little over a week. This trip changed my life; this was the trip I had the best meal I have ever eaten.

According to my records (my journal), the restaurant was somewhere near Biarritz. The meal was just a salad, a little quiche, and a piece of pie, but holy crap. So good. It probably didn’t hurt that I was jet-lagged and starving when we sat down to eat, but I’m going to assume that regular Nicole would’ve thought it was great, too.

I’m usually against taking pictures of your meals, but I wish I had some photo evidence of this one for once.

Now for the real point of this post! The idea struck my brain the other day that maybe I could try to find the recipe for the pie thing we had. It was a Basque restaurant, so I did some searching for anything under Basque pie and came up this site and recipe! The pictures looked like the pie I had if memory serves, and I had most of the ingredients, so I decided to go for it.

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End results first, naturally.

I didn’t have vanilla beans or a lemon, and I didn’t want to go buy those, so I substituted with vanilla extract and pre-bottled lemon juice. I know with vanilla you’re going to get a better flavor when you use actual vanilla beans, but you do you. You can look up the ratios on how much to use of each if you do attempt the recipe with my substitutions.

Pro tip: don’t start making this after 6 in the evening. You have to give the dough a couple hours to chill and the custard at least an hour to chill, so plan ahead! Learn from my mistakes. I may have finished this at 1:30 in the morning…

img_4653I’m gonna be straight with you, I don’t actually remember what that magical dessert I had tasted like. I don’t think it was like this. This one is pretty good, though! You’d better like sweet things if you’re going to make it. It’s basically custardy filling surrounded by one big sugar cookie. I’d make this again, but not in hopes of experiencing what once was…

I’ve eaten this attempt fresh out of the oven and also fresh out of the fridge after an overnight chill sesh (see what I did there?), so I still need to try it at room temperature. Maybe that’s the magical secret! I’ll update if I have any shocking revelations. Until then, I’ll keep searching for what once was.

If you have any suggestions for me, please leave ’em below! Otherwise, I’ll see you when I see you! I hope you have a nice day.

–Nicole