Broadway Flea Market Haul

If you ever wanted to check out the Broadway Flea Market, here's your chance! In my latest video, I take you along with my to the Broadway Flea Market, talk to the Executive Director of Broadway Cares, and show you the amazing goodies I got while there.

I also talk about shows I'm excited for, why I can't ever see Les Miserable, and my *totally not weird* thing for Adam Chanler-Berat.

Don't forget to subscribe to me on youtube! New videos every Tuesday(ish)

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Dog Birthdays and the Perils of Thoughtlessness

When I was maybe eight or nine-- although I can't remember as well as my cousins might, since the dog in question was theirs, not mine, and this episode is an outlier with very few tethers in my own timeline-- my cousins had a dog and we decided to celebrate her birthday.

I am a little fuzzy on the particulars, like a memory partially submerged in murky water. I'm sure you know the feeling-- sometimes you'll see a corner, or a flash of a color, and you have a sense of the general form of the object but you can never be absolutely sure that you know it in its entirety. Anyway, that's beside the point. My cousins had a dog and somehow we decided on a date (I think pretty arbitrarily, since she was adopted) and decided to celebrate her birthday.

None of us were the type of person to genuinely believe this dog needed a birthday celebration. We just wanted something to do and it seemed like a fun idea that would pass the time in a way that's more interesting than watching TV together. My sister, my two cousins (also sisters) and I would hang out together somewhat regularly during the summers, and we'd begun to fall into boring routines. We were determined to bust our boredom in a new way.

However, we didn't put a lot of planning into it-- it was supposed to be fun! We were being spontaneous! So we embarked (get it?) on this adventure by baking a cake for this birthday, because as far as we were concerned, you could be alone, you could be giftless, but as long as there was a cake, it still felt like a birthday.

How the dog would know the difference, we didn't know or care.

I cannot emphasize enough how little thought went into this process.

We worked off a box of cake mix, but in what seemed like a stroke of genius at the time, we thought to add some cooked ground beef to the mix. It was a cake for a dog birthday and it only seemed fitting that we include meat in the cake.

We baked it and frosted it with excitement and care.

And then we realized we had no idea what to do with it. We couldn't conceivably feed it to a dog-- it had so much sugar in it and other things that dogs should not eat. But we also did not want to eat yellow cake with ground beef in it. The realization came upon all of us very suddenly, and then we shared a sort of frustration, as though someone had made a fool us us, but even worse was that that 'someone' was ourselves.

Looking back on it now, it's a hilarious story. Most of my memories often read as hilarious to me (sometimes even as they are happening, which is sometimes a gift, and other times, makes other people think I'm laughing at them, because they are not yet at a place that can qualify as me laughing with them), because they seem to fit into a ridiculous sitcom of my life where I find myself in absurd scenarios. We baked a cake with ground beef mixed in. It's reminiscent that episode of Friends where Rachel decided to make a Trifle for Thanksgiving and accidentally added components of Shepherd's Pie in, creating a dessert with ladyfingers, jam, ground beef, and gravy. Except we did it on purpose. Kind of.

This experience, as hilarious and embarrassing as it was, taught me some really important things.

Don't rely on others to be responsible. During this entire fiasco, I think we all thought that if this was a really bad idea, someone would say something, but because everyone thought someone else would say something, we each absolved ourselves of any actual responsibility to think through what we were doing. Fortunately, in this iteration it only resulted in the relatively small tragedies of wasted cake supplies and ground beef, but there are far worse ways this can play out. It's incredibly dangerous to fall into pattern of believing that if something is happening, it can't be all that bad, because someone would have stopped it before it got to this point. That's not to say that we shouldn't try to trust others-- it just means that our trust in others shouldn't be used as a crutch or be-all-end-all of judgment. Even big groups can agree to do dumb things.

Work with purpose. Why did we really think we were baking this cake? Who was it even for? What problem were we solving? We didn't really know. We didn't really care. If we had gone in solely expecting to have passed some time on a hilarious, ridiculous project, I think we wouldn't have been so caught off guard by the reality of our relatively inedible dog birthday cake. But we really hadn't thought about our goals and because of that, we had these excited, vague expectations that were let down. We didn't accomplish anything, and it made us feel let down.

Manage expectations early. I am a big proponent of dreaming big, but expectations have to be managed in order to actually accomplish anything and feel good about it. If we had set our sights lower, I think we would have been pretty happy with this weird little culinary adventure.

Do not straddle markets. This is business-speak for not making the mistake of trying to please everyone, only to end up pleasing no one. We had not firmly decided to make a cake the dog could enjoy, nor had we decided to bake something that we would eat. I'm pretty sure one of us attempted to eat the cake and promptly spat it out in disgust. We just made a cake that no one would eat. Had we decided firmly one way or the other, I'm sure it would have ended much better than it did.

Dogs don't care. Some things are relatively pointless, and that's okay, but it doesn't do any good to convince yourself that things that don't matter really do-- even if other people try to convince you those silly things matter.

Have you ever group-thinked yourself into a corner? Or a vomit-inducing baked good?

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School Tips: The Apps and Tricks You Need

If you are in school, you're probably interesting in getting some tips for managing your workload, maximizing study time, and if you're living at college, how to handle the life transition. Luckily, I'm here to hook you up with some secrets for success. Check out my video below!

Don't forget to subscribe to me on youtube! PS, I'll be starting a newsletter soon. That way my blog can stay on my blog, my youtube can stay my youtube, and you guys can get all that goodness delivered twice a month to your inbox!

Good luck with school, guys!

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College App Organization Printables

Five years ago, I created some sweet PDF printable organizers for anyone applying for schools. Getting into college (or university depending on your institution and where you're from) is a really stressful process, and the amount of paperwork involved in applying does nothing to ease your stress. That's why I put these printable organizers together-- so you could write stuff down and have all the info you need handy in a snap-- rather than taxing your brain with trying to remember everything. I've been meaning to update my handy-dandy college app organization printables for ages. The time has finally come and I've updated these documents for your stress-saving pleasure and made them available for download! And they are free-- because I love you and it matters to me that anyone who wants to pursue higher education can do so without losing their minds with stress.

After clicking the download link, you'll be taken to a Mediafire page where you can download a zipfile containing PDF printables of the College Application Deadline Organizer and the College Application Information Organizer

College Application Deadline Organizer
  • Set personal deadlines for drafts of your essays, transcript requests, recommendation requests, and the all-important thank you notes. This way you remember everything!
  • Separate sections for early and regular decision deadlines to keep you on top of your calendar.
  • Has space to check off each item on your to-do list!
College Application Information Organizer
  • 6 colleges worth of printables (print more if you need them)!
  • Write in early and regular decision deadlines as necessary.
  • Easily indicate whether it is or isn't a common app school.
  • Keep track of your log-ins and passwords for all your online applications!
  • Essay section to keep all your info on the number of essays, the prompts, and your first draft goal date.
  • Easy spots to indicate applications fees, and whether or not they've been paid.
  • A section to keep track of when you sent your application and transcripts.

Click here to download.

More college help at my College Series page.

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Monthly Faves! August 2015

I've got a new video up on my youtube channel! I talk about my favorite things in the month of August-- make-up, music, TV shows, and more.

If you're already subscribed to my channel, you already knew that since 10am EST yesterday. But if you're not, you can easily subscribe now. I'm aiming to put new episodes out every Tuesday at minimum.

If you wanna see all the info in the description in the youtube description, you should go there-- because come on, I try to not be an info repeater. 

Want me to try stuff? Wanna see me go to a place in New York City? What kind of content do you wanna see on my youtube and blog? Let me know below!

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