1/2 Pineapple Pizza

I ordered a pizza for myself tonight – for the first time in a long time, and it wasn’t half pineapple.

I have been at Clemson University in South Carolina now for a few months. Overall, I love it, and it has been such a good experience. I have learned SO much and made so many GOOD friends. I am sure there will be posts to come about it, but tonight I will be honest and say I’m struggling.

I miss my Ram-Fam, aka the amazing, strong women who helped shape me into who I am today, Christina and Rachel. My senior year at Carolina was defined by our late-night-code-name-ratchetry and conversations. I would do anything to be back in that little living room, with cold tile floors, obnoxious neighbors, the smell of cookies in the oven, fuzzy blankets and snuggles on the couch. We would laugh, cry, celebrate our life decisions — the good, the bad, the ugly, sometimes all three.

I sincerely hope EVERY person has a friendship in their life like this one. A friendship full of love and support, no judgement, no expectations. A friendship that lifts you up physically, mentally, emotionally. A friendship that accepts the very best and worst of you, challenges you, and helps you grow. A friendship, that when you walk out of your room, you are greeted by wide eyes, and “Dayyymmm, look at you and yo’ fine ass.” <–No matter how you *actually* look.

My favorite nights were the ones when we’d watch Criminal Minds into the wee hours of the morning, with a half pineapple, half cheese pizza from Domino’s. Then we’d inevitably end up at a McDonald’s for iced coffee and hash browns, listening to our favorite (Latin) music. While I can’t do that tonight, I can express the sheer gratitude I have for these two incredible women, Christina and Rachel, the Queen and Golden Goddess themselves — and know that I carry our friendship and its profound impact on my life everywhere I go.

Mother Russia, the Queen, and the Golden Goddess in their natural environment – George the Dart.

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This blog and what to do with it has been on my mind for quite some time now. I do not know entirely if I have decided what to do with it. However, I think I have decided to do something. I realized today that I missed this, and the wonderful community of bloggers I found here. So, until next time friends.

Sunday Sweet: Clemson.

Hello beautiful friends,

I. Made. It.

This is my first post, coming to you live, from Clemson. I have got to say, this past week was a lot, but I am so glad that I am finally here. Last you heard from me, I was feeling a little homesick for Chapel Hill. Luckily, I have some really great people in my life that took the time to Skype and hang out, and I was feeling better in no time! Then, I had my sister’s wedding last Saturday – which was beautiful. After that, I packed up, and left for Clemson on Tuesday. After a 7 hour drive, I arrived (with my parents following behind me) to get moved into my new place!

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I attempted to take a few pano shots of my apartment lol, they are ok. You will see more of my apartment once it is all finished and everything. I still really want an area rug for my living room and a welcome mat! (Ha, I just spilled my coffee on myself). Otherwise, it is pretty well set up. On my first day here, my mom saw a groundhog. I was inside unpacking and she texted me to, “Hurry, come outside, I found you a friend.” She joked I should name it Sam 2.0 after my dog back home. I wasn’t too amused, she admitted at first she thought the squirrels here were on steroids. (PC: My Mom)

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My parents left the next morning, so I went and got my parking pass and some coffee and took on the day. I still had quite a bit of unpacking to do and some shopping. I basically spent all day doing that. Fast forward to later in the week, I got coffee/lunch with my new supervisor, then went to a Donut Making Party on National Donut Day. I learned to play Wink, which might be one of my new favorite games!

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Yesterday morning, I went hiking with some of my new grad friends. We hiked out to a waterfall, it was so incredibly beautiful. We got there early and beat the crowd (and the heat). We had the waterfall to ourselves for about twenty minutes. We took out shoes off splashed around in the water, ate a granola bar, and rested up for the journey back. All in all in was probably about 3 miles, but the terrain was very hilly and full of obstacles. I was exhausted when I got home. I came in, showered, and took a nap! Tonight, we are having a little Game of Thrones viewing party, tomorrow, I am grabbing lunch with a friend, and Tuesday, I start my job!

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This first (almost) week here has been great. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. I am so glad that I am here, I cannot wait to see what the journey ahead has in store. Everything is “falling” into place 😉 I hope that all of you are well, do let me know what you have been up to in the comments, I would love to catch up with you all! As always, until next time ❤

Commencement 2016!

Hello beautiful Bees!

It is official, I have graduated! There were times it felt like this day would never come, but  now that it is here, it feels like it arrived way too soon! I feel so many ways right now – at the forefront of my mind is tired, but also happy, excited, nervous, overwhelmed, grateful, sad…. the list could honestly go on.

I transferred to Carolina just two years ago, and already I am preparing to set out on my next adventure – it just feels surreal. Two years, gone in the blink of an eye. I just can’t believe it… and I know that is what everyone says, but it is true.

UNC Commencement 2016

The past two years have been the absolute best, even when things weren’t the best. This university has afforded me the ability to meet so many people and try so many things. I have been involved in boxing and swing dance club, worked with some of the greatest minds in the world, I have been an RA (which has been life changing), I have gone to plays and shows, eaten many meals with great people, stayed up late – gotten up early, played with ponies, this experience was everything.

This journey of course would not have been possible without the love and support of my family, friends, and mentors. Having you all behind me has helped push me forward through the years. I can’t ever thank anyone enough for everything they have done for me.   Today, like everyday, is a great day to be a Tar Heel. #BornBred(Graduated)Dead, I am so glad to be a part of the Class of 2016 – I know we are all of to do great things and change the world one day at a time.

UNC Cimmencement 2016

To those of you still in school – live it up. Go to games, see plays, go for runs, take advantage of the resources available to you through your university, go out, study, do everything and anything you can (even if you think you will not like it, you might be surprised, and can always leave if not). You are in control of the experience you have in college, so make it what you want it to be!

And this is me, signing off for the first time as a college graduate. I don’t even know what else to say – be kind of course, always. Anyways, I love you all dearly. Do stop by in the comments! Byyeeeeee ❤

Snow Day! University Edition!

Hello Bees!

As you may or may not know, I live in the south, which means snow can be pretty rare! But, yesterday, we got snice (snow + ice)! I am still so freakin’ excited! School was cancelled. I got to spend a good portion of my day adventuring with friends.

And guess what?! I recorded a bit of it! Meaning, my goal of a Saturday video has been met this week, and even better I had fun filming 🙂 So, if you want to see a small bit of a college snow day, hit play on the video below. Ok, GO!

If you are currently experiencing winter weather conditions, I hope you are enjoying it and staying warm! I need to stay in today and work on homework, cleaning, and applications. Besides, everything iced over last night, so there isn’t much to do today. But, I hope you enjoyed the video! Don’t forget to say ‘Hi’ in the comments! As always, I will talk to you tomorrow, byyyeee ❤

10 Tips for a Thriving Blog!

Hey there beautiful Bees!

So, I have been in the WordPress world for a little bit now, and I thought today, I would share things I have learned along the way to help your blog thrive! This is a long one, but certainly worth the read:

 

  • Tagging your posts: This is the easiest and most important way to get views. It is good to tag your posts with about 10-15 tags. Out of those, you want a few to be relevant and specific to the post, but then also some that are more general, established, popular tags like ‘beauty’ and ‘fitness’. In all of my posts, my tag clouds are visible at the bottom of the post, if you want to see, but here is the selection of general tags I usually mix in with my specific tags:

Art, beauty, blog, blogging, books, culture, DIY, Design, Education, Entertainment, fashion, fiction, fitness, food, humor, inspiration, journal, life, lifestyle, style, thoughts, music, nature, opinion, people, personal, photography, poems, relationships, reviews, travel, videos, writing

 

  • Tagging Your Photos: This is something I have only learned recently, but I learned it from my good blogging friend Karen over at Confetti and Curves. Her blog is amazing, she frequently posts tips for successful blogging. Here is the link to her post, which I also reblogged. Basically, she explains how search engines find your photos, giving you more traffic. She is a genius really….

 

  • Use Social Media: Social media is a fantastic tool for views. People on your social media are already (hopefully) interested in what you do, so they are likely to head over to your blog. To this day, I still get a good chunk of views from Facebook. I always link my posts to Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, I will post them to Pinterest and Instagram. Another good thing to do, is share posts on group pages that may interested in your content. If you write product reviews, go to a retailer of that product, and write a mini-review in the comments, and then link the full review on your blog! I am all about some shameless self-promotion J

 

  • Find A Community: First and foremost, blogging is a community. It took me a little while, but I fell into a nice community of bloggers. On the sidebar of my blog, I have a widget just for my favorite bloggers. I would highly recommend talking to any of them – but explore WordPress and find blogs you are interested in, comment on their posts, build relationships with them, collaborate with them, follow them on social media. It is a slow process, but I promise it will pay off. It makes blogging so much more fun and worth it, sure it helps with views, but friendships you gain are cooler ❤

 

  • Time: I like to think of blogging like this John Green quote, “slowly, then all at once.” It is a slow process to start and grow a blog, but once you have it going, it really goes. Don’t give up too soon. I think so many quit just as they are getting started. It’s ok to take breaks to live, so you have inspiration to write, just remember to come back! Unless you genuinely don’t like blogging, then it’s ok to quit. It is a lot to take on! But when in doubt, stick it out!

 

  • Set Featured Photos: On all of your posts there is an option to set a featured photo, do it. It is what people will see when they are scrolling through their readers, more so than post titles. If you don’t set a featured photo, WordPress uses the first photo in your post as your featured photo, which is what people in the reader will see. Sometimes the first photo in your post may not reflect that post, or be visually alluring. I typically edit most of my featured photos in PicMonkey, in the very least I add banners, text, and boarders.

 

  • Design: So, content is very important, but in my opinion so is the design of your blog. It is the first thing people see, even before they read anything. Consider putting some widgets in your sidebar. That is empty space you can use to personalize your blog and link to things you love (including previous posts)! This will keep people clicking around once they come to your site. I recently changed my blog theme, so I am currently working on rebuilding my sidebar myself. PicMonkey is a free photo editor you can use to edit photos but also create custom content. Everything on my blog is custom content created with PicMonkey, my background, my sidebar, my header, my featured photos. I really want my blog to be a reflection of me and my content, I am never fully satisfied, but I do like my blog right now!

 

  • Content: This is often the hardest part of putting a blog together. But, having good content is so important. What is good content? Content that is clear, well thought out and written, well researched, and honest. Honesty and being genuine are the key ingredients in good content. People know when something isn’t genuine, and they will not react to it well. Your audience will not trust you, so put your best foot forward, always.

 

  • About Me + Contact: These are the two pages every blog should have in my opinion. They should be easily identifiable, somewhere at the top of your blog’s homepage. They are also important to keep updated! After initially coming to your blog, and reading something, viewers may want to know more about you, or say hello! And they shouldn’t feel like they are searching for Waldo whist trying to do so! Also, later in your blogging journey, people and companies may want to reach out to you for collaborations, they are not going to want to do so if they can’t even find your email. I recently started a collaboration with Prairie Charms, which will be going live around New Year’s (more details to come then)!

 

  • Have Fun: Don’t lose sight of why you started your blog. Post things you want to post, do things you love, meet amazing people in the process, learn lots, make changes, be a positive force. Use your platform and your voice. Be you, and be awesome. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or stand out. You are a wonderful human being, let your blog showcase that!

 

That’s all for today folks! Hopefully this post is of some use to you, don’t forget to say hello in the comments 🙂 Byeeeee ❤

Twitter: @Cyndel_Bee | Instagram: cyndelbee

 

 

 

#Killthekcup

Hey beautiful Bees!

Happy-Almost-Friday!!! Whooo! So, I was scrolling through Facebook today and one of my friends had posted this article to her wall. It is about the negative impact k-cups have on the environment. If you are not into articles, never fear, a YouTube parody video has been made for your enjoyment:

Believe me, as a serial tea drinker, I know Keurig machines are super convenient. They have hot water ready in a flash (I personally steep my own tea and have never been a fan of Keurig tea cups). My roommates drink coffee daily, which makes this versatile machine even better. It is the do-it-all-machine-without-massive-storage-conflicts in a small, college girl’s apartment!

But this article and video raise good points. Keurig cups are not environmentally friendly. They can not be recycled and are piling up quickly. The fact this machine keeps getting more and more popular is even more concerning. Now I know most of you are saying, “What is life without coffee? I am in college, we don’t even know how to function without it!” Preach. ‘Tis the truth for most people.

I am not saying give up coffee, if you like it, keep drinking it. I am not saying get rid of Keurigs, they are nifty. I am saying maybe there are more environmentally responsible ways to use them. I know at my house, we have a refillable k-cup. It is actually cheaper in the long run to have one. My roommate has a big jug of coffee grounds, she fills the cup, and BAM same single cup, more environmentally friendly coffee! However, the newer machines don’t have a reusable cup that will fit them 😦 That’s a problem.

I know this has been said before one way or another, but the convenient, consumptive lifestyle of Americans is killing the planet… You know, but not only the planet, slowly it is killing humans too (but that’s another blog post)! So, if nothing else, do small things — recycle when you can, use refillable water bottles, turn off lights not in use. These things add up.

Anyway, clearly this post has been brought to you by Cyndel, the Public and Environmental Health major, who will always love you dearly! Until tomorrow, byyyeee ❤

True (Love) Confession: Yik- Yak

Hey there beautiful Bees!

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite ways to procrastinate, be entertained, and stay up to date on current events, at the same time… Yik- Yak.  So first, if you have not heard of Yik- Yak, it is kind of like an anonymous Twitter, but a news feed of Yaks comes to you based on location. Since I live on a college campus, Yaks here are generally about classes, different events to go to, jokes, whatever. There is even a person on our Yak feed that does a weather update every morning with the tag line WeatherDog.

So, here is what a Yak looks like when you save it to your phone. As you can see, it can be up or down voted. I caught most of these as they were getting popular. I am pretty sure all of these made it to the ‘hot’ list after a while.  Obviously, most of these Yaks reflect American/my university’s culture, but none the less, I think they are funny.  So, here are some of my favorite Yaks from last semester!

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1. I mean, who doesn’t like naps?! Anyone, anyone? No, that’s what I thought!

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2. Because this was the reality of most of my fall semester…. And the sound is accurate!

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3. Thought it was funny seeing as I had caught the plague at the time 😥

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4. HAHAHAHAHAHA, can’t wait for Spring rains, I will be swimming to class!

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5. Though I have not encountered the spider, the exhaustion and I are friends…

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6. Self- explanatory, though thankfully I didn’t experience!

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7. Because the people here are too brilliant sometimes.

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8. RULE #1: Netflix is bae.

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9. Campus tours are everyone’s favorite… said no one. EVER.

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10. Sound logic though..

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11. Haha, the truth though (P.S. this is what a screenshot of Yak actually looks like)

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12. So punny!I contributed the Pushkin and Chekhov bit : )

The last Yak was by far my favorite! The other ones were not in any particular order though. I will continue to save funny, genius Yaks to share with you at the end of this semester! Let me know what your favorite Yak was! Byyyyeeeee ❤