Sunday, March 17, 2019

How I Try to Stay Positive & Handle Stress

Hello! I am going to try to be real with you all... freshman year of college is a lot of fun, but at the same time, it's so mentally draining. I've been in limbo at school of being super productive (thank you only one class on Thursday) and having some sort of ailment that causes me to not do any of my work until the last minute. With life being so hectic at school, I've been trying to handle stress in a way that is healthy, and will not hurt me in the long run.

Here are some ways that I've been working to remain positive & handle stress effectively!

Taking Some Time for Myself & Checking in with Yourself

I love people. I love talking to them, going out, studying with them; but, I also get super overwhelmed in situations. There are times when I will talk to everyone in a room, and times that I feel shy and uncomfortable. Both ways are so okay to be because they are just human feelings. When I have the feeling of being overwhelmed, I try to take a break from wherever I am and ask myself, "Why do I feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable?" Is it the people I am around? The setting? Do I have a lot of work I should be doing? Once I ask myself those questions, I decide what I want to do with the rest of the event (i.e do I want to leave or stay).

You're always surrounded by people in college. So it's important to do check-ins with yourself. I'll find myself in situations where everyone's going out, but I had a really hard week and just want to watch Netflix in my dorm room surrounded by blankets. It's really okay to take some time for yourself! I'll find myself at school-sponsored events talking to new people on a Friday night, and then going back to my room or getting dinner. Then there are times where I will do homework all of Saturday and then stay out until 3am. Listening to yourself and knowing what you want to do is so important. School and work weeks are rough, so there should be time for you to take a breather.

If I need some time for myself, I'll go off campus (and it does wonders). Last month, I went to Thayer Street (near Brown University) and worked on an essay about The Great Gatsby (which I got a 90 on!) and an unpublished blog post (which is slightly controversial so I need it to be perfect) while eating grilled cheese and drinking a coffee. I was eavesdropping into people's conversations (as one does), and just being in a space where if I wanted to talk to people I could, but at the same time I could mind my own business and do work.

Making a Check List of Things I Need to Do 

I like to make lists of everything I need to do, not just school work. I like to put fun things on my list so that I have other things to look forward too. If I have a list of accounting work to do or western civ, I'll balance it  by adding to do items like, "write a letter to____", "blog post," "buy tickets to the next hockey game," " plan the newest episode of your radio show," or "call mom." Crossing off things on my to-do list makes me feel a lot better even if it's trivial things like going to the gym or taking a shower.

Going to the Gym 

One of my resolutions was to go to the gym more often and I have been doing exactly that. Since being back at college, I've been trying to go the gym 3-5 times a week. Lately, I have been going for three days, but I am trying to aim for four for the next month. I'll do anything from full body work to cardio to yoga. Exercise is a really good stress reliever, and it has been my go to. I've been listening to podcasts, and just working on myself for an hour a day.

One of my favorite classes to do is on Thursdays at 4:30pm called "Throwback Thursday" and it's a Tabata class to all throwback music like Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Cobra Starship, etc... It's forty-five minutes of sweating and working hard, but it's so worth it.

Pour my Stress and Feelings into Writing

Sometimes when I am stressed, I either shut completely down or do some easier work. The other day, I was very upset about a test I didn't do that great on; I sat in the business center and just wrote a narrative about everything that was going wrong in that moment. It was nice to just write all my feelings out for my own viewing. What will I do with the five paragraphs? Who knows, but it helped me feel better. It's almost equivalent to venting because you can write absolutely what you want, and then come back to it later. I also will write, edit, or read blog posts when I'm stressed to remind myself there are so many things I care about.

Watch YouTube and Netflix for a period of time

I love Youtube. I find myself on that website every day, and I don't have one set type of video I watch. I will watch anything from David Dobrik videos to language learning videos to college acceptance videos. I admit that it is wasting time at points, but it works to mindlessly watch something if you are stressed.


It's very easy to fall into a hole of being negative, especially during high-stress times, but it's important to think of uplifting thoughts or take moments to check in and give thanks for the good at the moment. Not everyone is religious, but taking a few minutes to pray or think about things you're grateful for. If I am very stressed about school, I tend to think about how lucky I am to be able to attend an institution to seek higher education. It's all about the mindset! Think about what you can do and not what you cannot.

Obviously, it's hard to maintain a positive outlook all the time; but, it's beneficial to try! I hope my tips are interesting to you.

What are some things you do when you're stressed?

Christina Madeleine


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Follow My Spring Break Home *2019*

Hey everyone! Happy Spring Break! Although many people are traveling to Punta Cana and the Bahamas, and going on service trips; I went home to New York for the break to just have some time to clear my head and see some friends. Going home wasn't a bad option for me because I love spending time with my parents, friends, and dog. Also, I live in Brooklyn so there is always new and exciting things for me to do while I am home. 

Right now is the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, which is a big deal at my school since Providence College is part of that league of sports. While I type this post, I am watching the Villanova University vs Providence College game. Tonight, I will be attending a networking night at Madison Square Garden while the remainder of the games play out today! I will hopefully be writing about my experience there soon...
Here's what my Spring break has looked like so far...

I love LED lights, so I made my friend take a photo of me at The Little Cupcake in Brooklyn. You can find this photo on instagram: here


Over the weekend, my dad and I went to the Supermarket since I was desperately in need of fruits and vegetables. At school, I do not eat as much fruit as I would like due to their limited selection (no berries at all!), so I needed to take advantage of being home and eating as much as I want to. I've been making bowls with clementines, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I will either eat this with my breakfast or as a dessert.

Later that day, I went to Cocoa Grinder ( a chain of cafes located in Brooklyn) for lunch. Right now, I am on a trend of eating less chicken, beef, and pork; so I ordered the vegan steak bowl. It was so delicious. The bowl had brown rice, cooked kale, tofu in seasoning, cucumbers, and tomatoes. The bowl is very filling, and I was so obsessed and will most likely buy it again in the future.

While I was at Cocoa Grinder, I was working on a blog post that will be up on Sunday! I also ordered myself a hot chai latte to go with my meal and blogging.


My dad and I went to the gym in the morning. I was on a grind at school for a few weeks of going often and then stopped, when I get back, I need to re-evaluate how I slacked at the gym and make an effort to go. Summer is coming up, and I really want to be working on a body that I am happy and confident in. On that note... post-breakfast I ate avocado on a baguette with turmeric, salt, and pepper. On the side, two Morning Star veggie sausage patties.

Being away from my dog, Bosco, has been hard so I have been taking so many photos of him while I've been home.

Later that day, I headed to downtown Manhattan to get lunch with my friend, Aubrey. We have a tradition now of going to Jack's Wife Freida when we are both back in the city (we both go to college in New England). This place is a Meditteranean breakfast/lunch place in Soho that I love so much! Their cappuccinos are so good!

Both Aubrey and I had Green Shakshuka with Challah Bread on the side. I've never heard of shakshuka before, but my first experience with it was pleasant. I had the option to have feta with it, and it was a nice touch. Last time, I ate the Meditteranean Breakfast from this restaurant which I also recommend.

You can see more of Aubrey and My adventures in New York City here.

We ended up walking to Washington Square Park and hanging out by there for awhile. We also went to PetCo to look at the animals, and Barnes and Noble (to skim books, sit around and talk, and charge our phones). Washington Square Park was very lively as the weather is getting warmer, but also because NYU is still in session.

We went to Cafe Reggio on McDougal street for dessert, it's a small Italian cafe with large art pieces and sculptures on the walls. I ordered Italian cheesecake, and Aubrey had Tartufo. This cafe was filled with groups of people talking, lone people working on their computers, and just all the different types of people that live in NYC. The music was very organ (the instrument) heavy, which fully does set the mood of the place.


I didn't take any photos, but today was my day of spa regimens. I had my hair cut & straightened (will be posting pictures of that to instagram), my eyebrows threaded, and my nails painted. It had been about two months since I've been home, and all those cosmetic routines are so much cheaper in my neighborhood than when I am at college. My hair was also too long for my liking and I would constantly be complaining. My mother and I went to get Bubble Tea after everything which was really nice. Do you have a favorite flavor of Bubble Tea?

 I love sushi. Last week, I facetimed my parents asking if we could go to this Japanese Buffet restaurant called Sake. I hadn't eaten sushi in a while, and I knew if I was coming home; that's one of the things I would want. We went last night, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. I ate some of the sushi shown but also vegetable fried rice, and miso soup.

More pictures of Bosco :)

Even though it only looks like I've only been eating on my break, I swear I have done other things. The food is just too good in New York to not take advantage of it. I've been spending the days home relaxing, catching up with people, watching Basketball, blogging, and doing homework. It was a much-needed break. 

Do you have spring break? What are your plans?

Christina Madeleine


Sunday, March 10, 2019

What I've Been Watching *March 2019*

Hey everyone! I am back with another "What I've Been Watching" post since I've watched quite a few interesting shows in the last few months (some have been very hyped up, so I had to watch them).

*none of these images are my own, but taken from Google*

First, let's talk about the Netflix Spanish show, Elité.

I saw coming attractions to this show on Netflix often enough to be intrigued, but then I finally decided to look into Elité. Some accounts on Instagram were posting clips of how dramatic the show is, and it's a mix of the British show Skins, which I've rewatched a few times, and Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. Google's description of it is, "When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder." The description does not show justice because it's so well directed and written. The show is produced in Spain, hence it's all in Spanish, but I have been listening to it in its original audio since I can understand a bit of the language, but with English subtitles. I personally don't like dubbed tv shows, but there's also English, German, and Chinese dubbed versions of the show. I am a very big fan of the show, so I highly recommend it, definitely, don't let the language barrier discourage watching it. 

Around December, I watched Netflix's Italian show, Baby.

I have been watching shows in English too (I swear), but this show caught my interest because 1) I started taking an Italian class in college 2) it is the in the realm of teen drama that I can't seem to get away from. Google's description of this show is, "By day, Chiara is a promising student at one of Rome's most elite private high schools; by night, she leads a scandalous secret life." There is heavy criticism for this show since it's based on the baby squillo case in Italy, which involved minors and government officials in a scandal (it's definitely a case to look into). A lot of elements of the case have been removed such as in the real case, the girls are fourteen, and in the show, they are older. As an entertainment purpose, this show nails the drama.

Comparing it to Elité (since they are both European shows), I would say I like Elité slightly better than Baby because the characters are more relatable and likable. No matter how bad the characters of Elité are, I can find more hope in them because you see their whole home lives compared to Baby. Both shows do deal with super rich, privileged kids; but, it is interesting to watch. Both shows have been renewed by Netflix for a second season. Once again, I watch Baby with the Italian audio and subtitles in English. 

The next show I've watched recently was, You (which is also a Netflix original).

Okay, this show freaked me out and made me want to delete all social media. The description of the show from Google says, "What would you do for love? For a brilliant male bookstore manager who crosses paths with an aspiring female writer, this question is put to the test. A charming yet awkward crush becomes something even more sinister when the writer becomes the manager's obsession. Using social media and the internet, he uses every tool at his disposal to become close to her, even going so far as to remove any obstacle --including people -- that stands in his way of getting to her." Note the main character, Joe (played by Penn Badgley from Gossip Girl) uses social media to stalk and find out every aspect of Beck, the other lead's, life. 

This show was incredibly hyped up, and although it was suspenseful and generally a well-produced show, I can't say I completely liked the show. It's hard to say you like a show where you watch some stalk a girl and the steps he goes through. My main issue is how annoying the character Beck is. She's a writer, but that's her defining factor. She refers to herself as a mess and instead of getting herself on a track, she tends to make everything worse for herself. Beck constantly makes horrendous decisions and almost makes you not pity her. Almost is the keyword. This show also contains cameos from John Stamos and Shay Mitchell. Personally, I think Penn Badgley and Shay Mitchell saved the show for the most part because their characters, although cruel, were written very well and intense to watch. I don't know if I will be watching a second season (when they make it), but we'll have to see...

A show I watched earlier this semester was another Netflix show called, Sex Education. 

I loved this show. There is only one season out on Netflix, but I enjoyed every episode. The show has a very strange concept, but believe me when I say this show is really good. The description from Google is, "Socially awkward high school student Otis may not have much experience in the lovemaking department, but he gets good guidance on the topic in his personal sex ed course -- living with mom Jean, who is a sex therapist. Being surrounded by manuals, videos and tediously open conversations about sex, Otis has become a reluctant expert on the subject. When his classmates learn about his home life, Otis decides to use his insider knowledge to improve his status at school, so he teams with whip-smart bad girl Maeve to set up an underground sex therapy clinic to deal with their classmates' problems. But through his analysis of teenage sexuality, Otis realizes that he may need some therapy of his own." 

On first glance, I've heard people say that they thought this was show would raunchy and disturbing to watch, but it's another teen drama, but this time it talks about real taboo topics that many shows don't discuss. Characters on this show talk about events such as coming-out, dealing with sexual assault and health, but also just the ins and outs of being a young adult. The show's aesthetic is a little all over the place because the high school is very American-ized in order to be more appealing to United States viewers (i.e jocks, popular girls, referring to the school as a high school), but is set in Wales. The main character, played by Asa Butterfield (who has been in movies such as Hugo, the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Space Between Us), is dressed in a very 80s outfits. To the sum that all up, the show has a weird vibe that absolutely works. The show is raw and comedic at times and deals with real issues without making the show just about them

Lastly, I'll talk about the Freeform show, Good Trouble.

The first season of this show has been airing each week, and I have been obsessed. For those of you who watched The Fosters, this show really does all the characters justice. The description of this show is, "Good Trouble" follows Callie and Mariana as they embark on the next adventure in their lives in Los Angeles. Mariana tackles the male-dominated world of tech, and Callie faces the harsh realities of the legal system as she clerks for a federal judge. After moving to The Coterie in downtown Los Angeles, Callie and Mariana realize that living on their own is not all it's cracked up to be. Although they have new neighbors, new romances, and new challenges, the sisters must rely on each other to navigate the City of Angels."

It is very refreshing to see two female characters who have more issues than just dealing with significant others on a show. Callie and Mariana are both powerful women in the show, one working in tech and the other training to be a lawyer and actively deal with issues that affect real people. Yes, there is a lot of romantic drama, but all the screentime doesn't go to that. The side characters are all very interesting and have backstories that are very developed. Topics such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement are regularly mentioned and its importance explained quite often. Characters from The Fosters have guest-starred in the show (Noah Centineo included!), and have brought new light to their old characters. I highly recommend this show if you have the chance.

Have you watched any of these shows? What are your thoughts? Did you like them? Were some of them overhyped? Comment below! 

(All you need is an email or Twitter to comment through Disqus). 

I hope you liked this post! I will see you on Thursday with another one :)

Christina Madeleine



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