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Gift Guide: The Traveler

With just over a few weeks until Christmas, I've been busy shopping around for gifts for my friends and family members. As I've gotten older, my Christmas list has decreased in length (& increased in price, oops) because I never really know what to ask for. 

During my three hour layover in Charlotte on my way back to school from Thanksgiving Break, I sat down & compiled a bunch of different gift guides for all the people on your list this holiday season. Since I'm shopping on a nice college budget, I tried to keep most of the items on the gift guides budget-friendly, but even my own wishlist has some big tag gifts. 

I got this portable charger at the beginning of the year and it's easily one of the best things I've been given and it's gotten so much use this year. I take it with me every time I fly, go on road trips or sometimes I'll just use it to charge my phone when I'm laying in bed or on the couch and I'm not near an outlet. I can get 4 full charges out of the portable charger before I have to charge it again. Seriously a life saver when it comes to traveling. 

Unfortunately, I don't fly quite as often as I would like to think I do so a personalized carry on bag isn't on my Christmas list this year, but, for someone who travels often, this carry on luggage is so chic and from the reviews I read, is very durable and protects your contents. 

A simple, personalized gift that can make spotting your luggage easier and ensure that you always have your passport with you with a cute, monogrammed cover. 

Perfect for someone who travels long distances and spends several hours in the air or on the road. Definitely better than leaning against the airplane window (#guilty).

One of my biggest pet peeves about traveling is that my necklaces always end up getting tangled so with a jewelry organizer designed specifically for travel purposes, you don't need to worry about your jewelry getting all tangled up. 

Having all your makeup and brushes in one spot is convenient and takes up less room in your bag. A makeup bag like this one is perfect for someone who loves their makeup and is on-the-go all the time. 

Tote bags are my go-to bag of choice whenever I travel because they can hold anything and everything I need. From boarding passes to my laptop and chargers, a giant tote bag is perfect for your travel-loving friend. 

There's no better way to capture your travels than with a GoPro. Perfect for taking pictures & videos to remember all the fun memories of your trips. 


Hiking at Table Rock State Park

Last weekend I traveled to Greenville, South Carolina with 5 of my friends to hike up Table Rock Mountain. I'll admit that hiking is not something that I usually enjoy doing nor can I be found doing often, but I was in need of a day away from campus and since we had an away football game, we piled in my car and headed to Greenville bright & early on Saturday morning.

The drive from Columbia to Greenville is just under two hours so we arrived at Table Rock State Park a little after 11am. We had beautiful weather aside from the trail being a little bit muddy from all the rain South Carolina got the previous day. The Table Rock trail is a total of 7.2 miles (!!!) and from what other hikers told us, is not the easiest trail to hike but the views from the two lookouts & the view from the summit were definitely worth it!


Let's Catch Up!

Hi friends! With student teaching being finished for the semester & shockingly not having anything due or any exams before Thanksgiving break, I have the next week and a half to just hang around and finally get working on some new content for Northern Prepster. 

Since I've been a little MIA recently (thank you sophomore year for that) I think it's time for a post to share some photos and update you all on what I've been up lately! 

P A R E N T 'S  W E E K E N D 

Parent's weekend was in early October and although my family couldn't make the trip down to South Carolina this year, I still attened our Parent's Cocktail. I got to meet my little's family (even though she wasn't officially my little yet) and take some cute pictures. 

P U M P K I N  P A T C H E S

We had a sisterhood event at a pumpkin patch about 25 minutes outside of Columbia in mid-October one Sunday afternoon. It was a nice study break and even though it was 80º, my friends and I still had fun taking some fun fall photos and starting to get in the ~fall spirit~.

B I G  L I T T L E  R E V E A L

Big Little reveal was on October 12th and leading up to reveal, my chapter does two nights of gifts called DZ Christmas. As much fun as crafting for my little was, I was very excited to finally get to give her all her gifts & free up some more space in my room. On the first night I gave her a bunch of t-shirts, canvases, wooden letters that I modge podged with pink & green paper, and I painted her a big wooden crate to carry it all in. On the second night of gifts I gave her more t-shirts, canvases, her costume for reveal, a tote bag, and a big plastic bin to carry it all in.

My family's reveal theme this year was "Ice, Ice, Baby" so my twin and I were bags of ice (loved sporting a trash bag all night), our littles were the babies, my big was Vanilla Ice, and we painted a giant boomb box for our grandbig to hold that said "Stop, collaborate & listen, this DZ fam's got some new additions!"

All of the bigs jump out of giant boxes to surprise our littles which is not the easiest thing in the world, trying to hide in those for extended periods of time is not the most enjoyable thing, but it was definitely wortht it! My little, Katie,  knew I was her big the whole time (oops) but she's the best and played along with it the whole time leading up to reveal.

F A L L  B R E A K

Fall Break was three weeks ago and it was so nice to be home for a couple of days. I didn't have any big plans, just a lot or errands to run, getting to see my family & catching up with a few of my friends that were home or go to school in Columbus. I also had a decent amount of work to do over break, bummer I know, so I spent a while working on all of that, too. I'm super excited to be home for Thanksgiving next week, especially since I'm flying home so I don't have to spend 8 hours in the car!

S O R O R I T Y  F U N C T I O N S - AC/DZ

The first Friday in November my sorority had our second function of the semester, AC/DZ. It was fun to dress up in rock-n-roll style clothing becasue I can't think of any other time I would get to cut up and old band t-shirt and wear a leather skirt with hightops. I took my roommate from last year, Sophie, and my sorority twin brought my suitemate from last year, Claire. I haven't gotten to hang out with Soph and Claire as much as I had hoped I would've this semester so it was so fun to get to spend a night with them.

B I G  L I T T L E  P A D D L E  E X C H A N G E

Last week we had an event during dinner one night where all the littles could give their big a paddle if they chose to make one. I didn't know that my little was making one for me so I was so surprised when she gave me one! I love my paddle & it's now hanging by my bedroom door! To my little if you're reading this, thank you, love you lots!

Happy November!


Get to Know Me: Part 2

Back in March, I shared a post called The Girl Behind the Blog: Get to Know Me! and had such a fun time answering your not-so-typical Q&A questions to let you all as readers get to know me on a personal level. I know that the majority of those who read my blog have never met me in person so by answering this odd questions, I hope that it allows you all to see who the girl behind this blog really is. Today I'm back with 25 more random questions that you all submitted via my Instagram stories along with some fun outtake photographs that never made it on the blog.

1. What is the dumbest way you've been injured?
In 4th grade, my family went out for Easter Brunch at The Faculty Club on OSU's campus and afterward, we took some of our extra bread from brunch down to Mirror Lake to feed the ducks. I guess the ducks saw me holding all these rolls in my hands and got excited because they jumped out of the lake and started chasing after me. I freaked out and tried to run but because I had my nice Easter sandals on, I tripped over a crack in the pavement and stubbed one of my toes. I didn't think anything of it but later that day I was complaining about how bad my toe hurt so I had my best friend's dad who is an ER doctor come over (perks of living across the street from your best friend) and look at my toe and he confirmed that I had broken it. I remember being so upset because I had to sit out of the golf unit in gym class all because I broke my toe running away from the ducks. To this day I will not get close to the edge of Mirror Lake.

2. Have you ever worn clothing with the tags still attached?
Yes. In 8th grade, we did this thing called Dance Club where the 8th graders from the other middle school in my town would come over to my school one night each week and we would be taught how to do basic dances like the box step and other dances. You had to dress nice so I showed up one night wearing a new pink dress that I was SO excited about and it wasn't until halfway through the night that when I was doing the box step with a boy from the other school that he said "hey did you know the tag is still on your dress?" I was mortified.

3. What's an embarrassing song that you have memorized word for word?
Introducing Me by Nick Jonas from Camp Rock 2. A true bop, feel like I'm back in middle school everytime it comes on and can proudly say that I still know every. single. word.

4. What do you dislike but have no good reason for disliking?
The movie theater. I have no idea when or why I started to dislike the movies but I can't stand them! They kind of creep me out a little bit if I'm being honest. If anyone ever asks me to go to the movies with them, my answer is most likely no.

5. What's the worst food you've ever had?
Unpopular opinion but I tried quinoa for the first time last week and was NOT a fan. Kind of felt like I was eating bird food the whole time. 0/10 will never be eating again.

6. What's your favorite genre of movie?
Biggggg rom-com girl.

7. Did you want to be anything besides a teacher when you were younger?
Yes! Before I wanted to be a teacher I wanted to be a meteorologist. Looking back on that I'm a little confused by that choice. Yes, I think the weather is so cool but @ younger Riley, weird flex but ok?

8. If teaching wasn't an option, what career would you like to pursue?
Interior Design!

9. What's your favorite month of the year?
December! I love the holidays & the snow and it's nearly impossible for me not to be in a good mood all month.

10. How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
I 100% support pineapple on pizza.

11. What's one of the most memorable things you remember about every grade in grade school?
Kindergarten: I met my best friend in kindergarten!
1st Grade: Eating in the school cafeteria for the first time as first graders went to school all day. My best friend was in a different class than I was so we would always race to the lunchroom so we can sit on the crack in the lunch tables where my class table met up with hers.
2nd Grade: Receiving an anonymous note from someone in my class that said "(insert name of the boy here) likes you." Pretty sure I still have that note stashed away in a drawer in my room back home. Can't throw away a good second-grade love note.
3rd Grade: This was the year I realized I wanted to become a teacher.
4th Grade: Breaking my toe running away from the ducks on Easter. See question #1 for the full story.
5th Grade: I got my first cell phone. It was a little pink flip phone & you had to press the number keys multiple times to get the letter you wanted. Good memories, good memories.
6th Grade: Meeting the girls from the other elementary schools that fed into my middle school and would go on to become my 6 best friends that are still my best friends today.
7th Grade: I vividly remember trying to study for a science test one afternoon and getting so frustrated that I wasn't retaining the information that I picked up my folder and threw it across our living room and my papers went everywhere. Slightly concerned that this is the first thing that came to mind when thinking back to 7th grade.
8th Grade: Going to Washington, D.C. with my entire class.
9th Grade: I started Northern Prepster!
10th Grade: I got my driver's license.
11th Grade: Missing the majority of my junior year golf season because I went out with a bad shoulder injury during a tournament one afternoon. Still bitter because I was -2 when I had to withdrawal :/
12th Grade: Standing with my teammates when we watched them circle our name on the scoreboard to indicate that we had advanced to states.

12. What's a weird habit you have that you've never told anyone?
I stand on my tip toes in the shower. I have NO idea why I do this or when I started doing this but for as long as I can remember, everytime I shower I'm always standing on my tip toes.

13. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
One of my high school teachers senior year was talking with my class about college acceptance letters and college rejection letters and when one student shared that they had just been denied from their top choice, the teacher told us "everything happens for reason, and sometimes it's best if we don't know that reason so don't try to figure it out because you'll just end up overthinking it" and it's stuck with me since.

14.  Would you rather your life be like a Hallmark movie or a Nicholas Sparks movie?
This is tough but I think I'm going to have to go with a Hallmark movie on this one.

15. Do you think you'll stay in South Carolina after graduation?
Ideally, I would like to move back to Ohio and teach back at home but we'll see where the wind blows me.

16. Favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
The day before Thanksgiving I always wake up early and go over to my grandparent's house and help them prep all the food for Thanksgiving, set the table & decorate their house. I've been doing this for at least 6 or 7 years now and I love it because one year for Christmas they gave me a blank recipe book and ever since I've been filling it in with the recipes for all the foods they teach me how to make. My grandparents are my best friends so I love that I get the chance to spend this special time with them every year!

17. Favorite Christmas tradition?
Every year on Christmas Eve, my younger brother, Ryan, and I go out in the street in front of our house and throw reindeer food. I'm 19 and Ryan is 17 but you're never too old to throw some reindeer food. Usually it ends up with me and Ryan just throwing the oats and glitter at each other but it's always a fun time and results in some good laughs.

18. What's your favorite part about being home when you're home over breaks?
Having a full sized shower, not having to climb on my desk to get into my bed, not having to sleep in a twin sized bed, homecooked meals & my dog.

19. You seem like you're still super close with your friends from high school, how do you guys stay so close even though you guys are so far apart?
My friend group is still super close! We have a group message with the 7 of us that we texted in daily and we also have a group Snapchat that we occasionally snap in. We all have very different personalities which I think is part of the reason why we work so well as friends. We keep each other updated on our lives at our colleges but we don't talk 24/7 which is nice because then when we're all together back home in Ohio we have things to talk about!

20. What would your perfect holiday date be like?
Nothing fancy! I think going ice skating would be so fun, especially if it was an outdoor rink. Or honestly just driving around looking at Christmas lights at night or baking Christmas cookies and listening to holiday music. It doesn't take much to please me so even the simplest thing is likely to put a smile on my face.

21. Do you have any nervous habits?
Yes! I fidget with my ring whenever I'm nervous. I wear it every single day but on the rare case that I'm not wearing it, I still find myself going to play with it even though it's not there. I also have the tendency to play with whatever necklace I'm wearing that day. Especially whenever I'm taking exams I find myself holding my necklace up under my chin, not sure when I started doing this but now I have to wear a necklace every time I have to take a quiz or an exam.

22. We all know you have your Spotify on as you're working on this blog post, what song is playing right now?
When isn't my Spotify on, let's be real, that thing is never off. But to answer your question, Cold December Night by Michael Bublé. Yes, my Christmas playlist has made its debut and yes I am thriving. Please feel free to listen with me, playlist linked below.

23. Have you ever thought about making stickers for Northern Prepster?
Yes! Some fun things are in the works for (hopefully) early 2019! Get excited!

24. Have you ever thought about vlogging?
Honestly, my life really isn't that exciting. I just wake up, go to class, come home, do homework, and sleep. Sometimes there are some scattered exciting things that happen but for the most part, I'm just your normal college student. If I got a high demand for a vlog I might consider doing one while I'm home for Thanksgiving break but no promises there. YouTube is not my forte, definitely more of a blogger gal.

25. If you would have stayed in-state for school, which Ohio school would you have attended?
I applied to Miami University which is in Oxford, Ohio and The Ohio State University in Columbus so one of those two but probably Ohio State #GoBucks. Please enjoy this photo of little Riley in an OSU cheerleader uniform.