Re-Views: Cortado

Hey Hawkeyes! Just thought I’d write a quick review of one of my favorite places on campus: Cortado Coffee & Cafe. They opened a little over a year ago and I can confidently say that I’m a regular customer now. This happened mostly because of my efforts to visit my roommate and hang out with her just about every day that she’s working (love you, Celia). However, there are obviously other things Cortado has to offer that have made me a loyal customer.


Cortado’s decor, layout, and overall design are very open which is certainly refreshing. It’s huge windows that face the Pentacrest bring in an abundance of natural light, and I love the white brick walls. Local art is put on display on the wall behind the main counter and I’m pretty sure they’ll put anyone’s art up there if you just ask! I love that the coffee wakes me up in the morning and that the space in which I drink it does, too ☀ Pro-tip: As a part of their initiative to limit screen use in-store, Cortado doesn’t offer wifi to their customers. The Airliner next door, however, does 😉 If you’ve got their wifi, then you’re basically set.








Speaking of coffee, let’s get to my favorite drinks. My go-to, ride-or-die hot drink would 100% be Cortado’s Mochaccino. Its chocolate flavor comes from a house-made chocolate ganache,  and when I really need to wake up, I get a double of this. Its so tasty and the coffee really gets me going.

On those iced-coffee-mornings, I order a cold brew with vanilla flavoring and soy milk. I can already tell that I’ll be ordering it more often as the weather gets warmer (*if the weather gets warmer).


I typically don’t prepare breakfast for myself in the mornings so when I do make it over to Cortado for a cup of coffee in the morning, I can’t help but order food, too. Everything on the menu, including the breakfast items, is pretty nutritious so I always know I’m going to get a solid meal when ordering food here. My go-to is the Ultimate Wrap (think: a typical breakfast burrito) but recently, I’ve become a huge fan of the Hawaiian Wrap pictured to the left. This one’s just so tasty. The pepper sausage and grilled pineapple wake my taste buds up in the best, sweet and savory way


If Celia’s working a later shift, I’ll go in to get a bite to eat sometimes, too. Most of the time I’m there and want to order something to eat, I’m in the mood for breakfast food (which you can order anytime!!). But on those occasions where I want something other than breakfast food, I’ll get the Grilled Halumi Cheese sandwich. Basically, its the cutest, fanciest little grilled cheese I’ve ever had. The Turkey sandwich is also up there on my tastiest-sandwich list. I love its caramelized onion jam 🤤


Don’t even get me STARTED on the chocolate chip cookies. They are, hands-down, the chunkiest, chocolatey-ist, overall tastiest cookies I have ever eaten. Just writing about them makes my mouth water. One time Celia gave me a taste of it as cookie dough and truly had no words. I will, with no shame, eat one as breakfast sometimes. There are certainly healthier options but whatever. The heart wants what the heart wants. The healthier options I would go for otherwise on the pastry menu would be the vegan banana nut muffins. The chocolate and banana just compliment each other so well. Every single pastry is made fresh every morning which adds to their overall quality and flavor.

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As always, thanks for reading! I’m so excited that this school year is wrapping up, I’ve got a lot of fun things planned for the summer. If you want to see more frequent updates of my life on campus and in Iowa City, feel free to follow my social media accounts!


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Views: My Student Orgs

In my sophomore year, I have started getting really involved with my student organizations. Here on campus, I’m on the executive board of Her Campus Iowa as Director of Social Media and a Director of Public Relations for my sorority, Delta Gamma. With over 500 student organizations to choose from on campus, sometimes I feel like being involved in just two of them isn’t enough. However, I pour my heart and soul into the positions I have because I know they’re building a huge portfolio for me to use one day if I want to be in the Social Media Industry.

Her Campus Iowa

About a year ago, I was introduced to an organization on campus by my advisor through this admissions blogging project (Hey Aly!! 😊). She said she came across an organization that made her think of me and let me know that they were accepting new members. I can’t thank her enough for directing me to Her Campus because it has seriously impacted my college experience for the better.

For those who don’t know, Her Campus Iowa is a branch of the national Her Campus brand with chapters all over the country. Our goal is to provide an online platform for collegiate women to gain experience in journalism, social media, marketing, event planning, and so much more. Our editorial team writes pieces similar to articles you’d read in a magazine like Cosmo, but oftentimes with an Iowa City/University of Iowa twist.

When I realized what Her Campus was all about, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about it sooner! As a student minoring in journalism and majoring in media communication studies, my mind was blown; this was the perfect student organization for me. However, when doing research on the University’s webpage of student orgs, it didn’t show up. I’d later find out that Her Campus is a for-profit organization so the university doesn’t allow it to be a registered student org on campus. Some may see this as a negative thing, and it sure is frustrating now when trying to get our name out in the community, but I knew I’d be gaining great experience by being involved. So that’s exactly what I did.

I joined the social media and marketing team because I wanted it to be my goal to make sure that no one else like me went without knowing about Her Campus. By the end of April, I became co-social media director with my best friend and got to work!

I’ve built a pretty solid portfolio of tweets, Instagram stories, event graphics, and am working on getting our follower count up. I’m not sure what it was at the beginning of the school year, but I know I wanted it to be at 1,500 at the end of second-semester and we’re so close! Liz and I have implemented a striped theme on our Instagram page and I think it looks pretty cool.



Not to mention the fact that Her Campus has also given me the opportunity to travel and learn from some of the brightest professional women who have real-life jobs in media. This summer, I attended Her Conference in New York City to learn from, collaborate with, and meet collegiettes from around the world. It was a two-day event with delicious breakfasts and lunches, informative panels, and keynote speakers that truly inspired me to keep working toward a career in media. I loved it so much that I purchased a VIP pass for this year’s conference so I could have an even more fulfilling experience. This was a trip I paid for completely on my own and it was so worth it. I worked the entire summer to help pay for my expenses (and of course the multiple shopping trips we went on and delicious food we had to eat). This is a topic I could talk about for multiple blog posts, honestly. But that’s the gist of my experience!


Delta Gamma

This is another topic I could go on and on about, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

I honestly never saw myself as a sorority girl in high school. I didn’t like the idea of paying expensive dues and being surrounded by 100+ girls since I kept my friend circle relatively narrowed-down to the drama and choir kids by the time my senior year rolled around.

What I didn’t realize, though, is that the sense of community I was getting from my drama and choir friends was exactly what I was missing the entirety of my freshman year of college. I didn’t know how to meet people without an organized group of like-minded individuals and felt extremely bored and lonely a majority of the time. There’s no way I could say I feel like that now that I am in a sorority.

Delta Gamma stood out to me during the formal recruitment process because I believed they could offer something truly special to me. Not only would I be receiving a circle of 100+ new, down to earth girls willing to become friends with me, I’d be able to become involved in ways that could potentially build my portfolio even further.

As the recruitment process went by, I began to learn about all the ways I could get involved and hold leadership within the chapter. It was in the second round that I spoke to DG’s then-Vice President of Communication (and now my Grand Big! Hey Alexis 😊) about all the work she and her team does for the chapter. I was sold. I knew from that very moment I wanted to have a leadership position and felt like I could truly have a place in a sorority.

Before I knew it, it was bid day and I was officially a new member! It wasn’t too long after that we’d host our first philanthropy event, Dunkin with the DGs. Sororities do a lot of work for their designated charities and for this one, I made a graphic that girls could share on their Instagram and Snapchat stories to help spread the word. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect to get my name out there because I had the opportunity to tell everyone if they wanted to see more stuff like this for our events, they should vote me as a Director of Public Relations in our upcoming elections.

A week or so later, I became one of DG’s Directors of PR with my good friend, Kristen! Together, we run our sorority’s Instagram and Tumblr accounts. I’ll take pictures of our events and sisterhoods and love saying happy birthday to our members on the Instagram story. I save all of the images and content I create for this account (and Her Campus) because maybe one day I’ll be able to attach some of it to an application in my future.


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In the time I’ve spent becoming more involved with my organizations, I’ve learned that the experiences I can receive from them are truly dependent on the work I’m willing to put in. Not only am I making great memories, connections, and new friends, I’m also productively building a portfolio of media I could potentially use to get a job one day. I wouldn’t change my experiences with Her Campus or Delta Gamma for the world and am so glad I’m taking advantage of the opportunities coming my way through these spaces!

Make sure you check out the University’s website for more information on the countless other organizations on campus you can get involved in and always try to keep your eye out for groups like Her Campus who aren’t officially a part of our school!

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Thanks for reading! I know I haven’t been too active on here. I have a lot of obligations with these two orgs and academics that I still have a hard time balancing everything. I’m working on it, though! Feel free to follow my personal social media accounts to get a more up-to-date look into my life as a college student!


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Views: Finding a Job on Campus

I know, it’s been a while. I’ve honestly had a really hard time pushing through this semester ever since I got back from Spring Break and all of my procrastination has left me feeling super behind in all of my classes. There really isn’t a time where I feel completely on top of everything and I’m constantly overwhelmed with work to do. I am taking one more class than last semester so the workload is a bit heavier, but I know everything will (eventually) be okay. However, I still felt like there was something missing.

I had been meaning to get a job at school since the beginning of second semester, then at the end of February, I finally scored one! For those who didn’t already know, I’m now a hostess at Northside Bistro in Iowa City. It’s a cute restaurant just a few blocks down from the Pappajohn Business Building on market street, and it has such a great location for students who are only able to walk to work. Before I get ahead of myself, below you’ll read about my experience when applying along with a few helpful tips for landing your perfect job on campus.

1. Figure out what YOU want

When looking for a job, I had to first consider what would work best for me. I knew before I even started school that I wanted to work on campus, but I didn’t feel quite ready to start working right away first semester. So, I decided to take all of my first half of freshman year to just focus on academics and get acquainted in Iowa City.

This went pretty well for me most of the time, however, I must admit that I’m quite an avid shopper and having absolutely no income for six months was pretty hard for me. Now, I wouldn’t go spending like crazy or anything because I like to believe that I’m pretty good at managing my money, but it was a little bit of an adjustment to be seeing my savings dwindle instead of growing.

Before coming to college, I had been employed since I was 15 years old. I was saving up just about half of every paycheck I made in those four years to help fund myself whenever I’d go off to college. I knew that this money would be mostly for me (shopping, going out to eat, buying toiletries/necessities, recreation, etc.) and maybe a few textbooks here and there, but I had never touched it that whole time. After saving all of it for over four years it just felt so weird to use it, even though I was spending my money here on exactly what I was planning to be spending it on.

Around November, I was over it. I needed income and I needed to start saving up money again. I thought I had a job lined up to be a hostess at Graze downtown because my dad knows their owner, but the management never got back to me even after contacting them multiple times over the course of two months.

My whole plan was to have a job set up before second semester began, so it really sucked to feel so unsure about having/not having a position at Graze. They strung me along for two months when I could’ve been applying to other places. It was now January and just as I was about to give up, I dropped my phone into a bowl of water.

Yeah, I know, pretty unfortunate. However, on my angsty, rage-filled walk over to Johnny’s Market to get rice to soak my phone in, “NOW HIRING: Host” caught my eye. The front door was locked, but it was only about 30 minutes before the sign said they were closed. If I hadn’t dropped my phone in water, I probably would’ve never walked past that hiring sign, and I was so upset with what had just happened and just generally fed up with the fact that I didn’t have a job yet that I went to the back door and knocked until someone came over to give me an application.

By the end of February, I had the job! I had to make a few arrangements in order to keep it since I’m living at home over the summer, but so far, it’s been super great. I plan on becoming a waitress eventually, but I know that won’t happen until after summer. I’m completely okay with it though because although I have four years of experience at a restaurant, I’ve never been strictly a Hostess before so it’s a great learning experience for me.

The restaurant itself is super cool, too. Northside’s whole theme is “Iowa-inspired” so every aspect of the restaurant is focused on being local. Besides simply being a local business, the furniture is all mostly made from repurposed wood from an old barn, and they’re pushing for 80% of the menu to be made with ingredients from local farms in eastern Iowa. I didn’t know this before applying, but being the huge supporter of local businesses that I am, I found this really impressive and it was right then that I knew Northside Bistro was going to be the perfect fit for me.

2. Experience is Key

Once you have a clear idea of what kind of job you want to have on campus, try to work toward getting at least some experience before applying. If you know you want to work at one of the various retail stores in Iowa City or even the Campus stores, try to get a summer job in retail at the mall. If you want to work at a coffee shop here, try to get some experience at a local cafe in your hometown, and so on and so forth. By just having experience working for a summer, you’ll increase your chances significantly of getting the job you want while you’re at school. I’m sure a lot of kids come here and apply with no experience so when you walk in having at least 2 months of it, you’re putting yourself that much closer to getting hired.

Thanks to the job I had in high school, I have a little over four years of experience in the restaurant industry and that made me feel really confident applying to places here. From the time I was 14, I knew that I wanted to be a waitress for the majority of my young-adulthood so I started working toward that right away. I’m not saying that everyone needs four years of experience to get a job, but I will admit that it’s pretty impressive to employers and basically guarantees you a position wherever you apply.

3. Plan Ahead

Since I knew I wanted to be employed second semester, I decided to plan my class schedule around a potential work schedule. I tried to leave my evenings as free as possible. Besides choir, (which inevitably gets out at 5:20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays) the latest class I have gets out at 3:20, allowing me just enough time to get to work by 4:30 every other day. My weekends, including Fridays, are completely free so I knew that this would get me even more brownie points in an interview seeing as a restaurant’s busiest times happen on the weekends.

Taking the time to hand-craft my class schedule around the specific work schedule of someone who’s applying for a job in a restaurant made me feel that much more confident in getting employed. It shows the employer that you’ve put thought into working there AND if you have fewer conflicts with their typical shifts, it makes their job easier when scheduling.

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These may seem like really basic, obvious tips when applying for jobs on campus (or anywhere), but they’re the three main things I gave a lot of consideration when trying to find the perfect job for me. I don’t see myself working in restaurants for the rest of my life, but it makes a lot of sense for me right now given my previous experience and because of how much I love the environment in which I’m working!

As always, thank you so much for reading and again, I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging as frequently as usual. I’ve been in a funk, but I’m working toward getting out of it and can’t wait to get some more content out for you guys before the school year’s over! (Only 5 more weeks, not including finals, but who’s counting 😉)


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(re)views: Food Truck

Lunch: the one time of day I’m always looking forward to no matter how I’m feeling. There’s seriously nothing more satisfying than fulfilling your hunger, and lately, I’ve been taking advantage of the Street Hawk Food Truck.

Located on the T. Anne Clearly walkway right behind Calvin Hall and across from the Pappajohn Business Building, the Food Truck is easily accessible to any customer because of its close proximity to the heart of campus. From what I’ve briefly researched, the Food Truck debuted this past fall semester as a means of alleviating the congestion at the dining hall in Burge, making it now one of the 8 locations on campus students can redeem flex meals. I wouldn’t get lunch here too often last semester because I’d occasionally sleep through the afternoon and just wait to eat until dinner (that’s what strictly having evening classes will do to you) but now with my classes primarily taking place in the morning-early afternoon, I’m actually hungry for lunch at a normal time!

With the Gold meal plan, I’m allotted 75 flex meals to accompany my unlimited dining hall entries.  I think I ended last semester with a little over 60 of them in my account and unlike HawkDollars, flex meals don’t roll over. That’s 60 meals I let go to waste! So this semester I decided to use up as many of my flex meals as possible and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty easy when you love the Food Truck as much as I do.

It’s almost been 5 weeks since I started my new round of flex meals and I’m already down to 55 of them! In that time, I’ve made it my goal to try new things from the food truck and make assessments on which meals I thought were the best. After all, it’s kinda free so why not? Also, every item on the menu is available for purchase if you’re someone who doesn’t have flex meals or HawkDollars to spare. However, if you’re a student who doesn’t have a meal plan, I would highly recommend getting together with a friend who does and using one of their flex meals (unless of course they don’t want you to, but I know I’m always down to share☺️)

Now, I’m no food critic and I still have yet to try everything on the menu, but below are some of my opinions on what I think is the best food the University has to offer.



My Top Picks


It’s no secret that this is the truck’s most popular item. I’ll be waiting in line for my meal and notice that a majority of food being called out the window is this one – but for good reason!

First of all, it’s got bacon and barbecue sauce on it so is there honestly anything else to say? I’m always on the lookout for good burgers and especially love the fried onion strings on this one. They also top it with cheddar cheese, 2 pickles, a tomato, and lettuce. I pretty much always get the cookies and chips as my two sides.




This semester I decided to become a little more health conscience and even though I’m sure there’s not much difference in calories between a regular burger and a veggie burger, I still feel a little better about my health after eating it. I’ve always been super willing to try new dishes and the Food Truck’s veggie burger pleasantly surprised me! They alternate the types of food, but there’s always at least one vegetarian option on the menu.

The patty is primarily made out of broccoli and it actually has a decent flavor. On the rest of the burger, you can choose to have lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheddar cheese, a tasty black bean spread, or of course, all of the above.

The only downsides to getting this sandwich are that since it’s not as popular as the actual burger, it takes a while for the cooks to get it out the window (same goes for the wrap I mention later) and the patty itself falls apart really easily. However, I don’t necessarily see this as a negative thing. The little crumbles that fall out clean up really well with the fresh potato chips 🙂



Every day, the truck likes to feature an item that’s not on the menu, and one day I was lucky enough to catch these chicken tacos. In this meal, you get two tacos and although they look small, they’ll make up for it in deliciously fresh flavors. They’re made with traditional tortilla shells, which provides a unique aspect to this meal, especially for someone like me who has gotten used to Americanized taco shells and tortillas the size of my face.

I’ve only ever seen these as the special once, however, the truck now features Chorizo Tacos on their main menu. Chorizo is highly seasoned, ground up pork sausage and if you’re into spicy tacos, then these are for you.



Finally, my favorite, the falafel wrap. If you would’ve told me last year that I’d be eating this just about every single day in college, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you the first thing about falafel let alone think I’d ever try it and like it.

Falafel, as it is defined by Google, is “a Middle Eastern dish of spiced mashed chickpeas or other pulses formed into balls or fritters and deep-fried, usually eaten with or in pita bread”. Inside the Food Truck’s wrap, the falafel is topped off with cucumbers, a pickled slaw, a creamy feta spread, and hummus. This is the other vegetarian menu item that gets swapped out with the veggie burger and these two are honestly the only things I eat for lunch anymore.

This image isn’t the best because if you look closely enough, you’ll see I got a little impatient and took a bite out of it before I could snap a picture (sorry, not sorry). And although you do get the choice of a chocolate chip cookie for a side, you probably won’t ever get DeLuxe bakery cookies with your meal. The day I got this wrap also happened to be Valentine’s day and this bakery was handing away free goodies right next to the truck so obviously I had to get one!

Again, I’m not an expert, this is just my personal opinion. I’m still going to make it my goal to try everything before the end of the semester and if I happen to find a new favorite (which is unlikely) you’ll be the first to hear about it 🙂

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As always, thanks for reading! Keep making sure to check out my social media for more of my daily life on campus and, of course, my page on the Admission’s website. I’m really close to earning my next digital metal, so even though it’s the same exact content, every view still counts!


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Getting Cozy at Iowa

If you’re familiar with the weather patterns of this fabulous state, you know that you need to be prepared for anything. One morning in the winter, you could wake up to sunny skies and temperatures high in the 40s to 50s with the hopes of having a decent walk to your classes on campus. But wait! Just kidding! As soon as you leave your afternoon lecture, you see that there’s a torrential downpour and realize you’ve left your umbrella in your closet. Again.

As an Iowa native, I’ve come to terms with the inconsistency of our climate but I still find myself in the worst situations with this weather. You’d think by now I’d learn to check my weather app before leaving my room (or even take a peek out the window), but when I’m running late to class, that’s the last thing on my mind.

Lately, it’s been extremely cold on campus. Not necessarily snowy or rainy, just nasty, the-air-hurts-my-face cold. I’m generally very chilly at all times, even in heated buildings, so when it comes to getting cozy, I feel like I know a thing or two.

First, there are the obvious things like sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fleece-lined leggings to get me through a cold day, but I’ve found that having the right outerwear really makes a difference.

In high school, I remember always going for the “cuter” option when running out of the house in the winter. My outerwear usually involved wearing a sweatshirt, the knit sweater I was wearing with my outfit already, or no coat at all. I realize now that this was a really dumb move on my part, and is probably why my knuckles would get so dry that they bled from not wearing gloves. However, thinking back on it now, I had the luxury of a vehicle for transportation to and from my education and now all I’ve got is a crowded cambus (if I’m lucky) and whatever I put on myself.

Since the winter of my senior year, I’ve started to care less about how cute I looked in my outerwear and began to focus on comfort and warmth. For Christmas that year, the majority of my gifts were things to help prepare me for walking to class in the cold and they’ve honestly saved my life (that might be a little dramatic, but it feels too true).

I was going to make a post before the Holidays explaining all the things you should put on your wish-list in order to prepare for college in the midwest, but shopping for outerwear right now is more ideal. Most stores are putting all of their coats on sale in order to prepare for spring so get out there and catch those deals on these necessities while you still can!


First, you NEED to have a winter coat that goes below your waist. I’ve felt so #blessed to be warm all they way down to my knees while walking to class, and I know I’m not the only one who owns a long, down-filled coat who feels this way. All of my outerwear is from a Banana Republic outlet store so unfortunately, they’re not available anymore. However, I’ve done some research and found some similar products for you guys to check out if you haven’t done your college-winter-wear shopping yet! This mid-length one from Columbia looks just like mine, and is on sale right now, too!


Rain Coat

Although this item won’t particularly help with warmth, it’ll surely come in handy on those days when you actually know it’s going to be raining. Finding a super cute raincoat is great for the spring and rainy fall days. I like mine so much I often layer it to give more dimension to some of my outfits. This one from Macy’s is on sale right now and I love the fitted waist.

Style & Co. Hooded Anorak Jacket





Including a lined vest in my college wardrobe made for a really great piece to layer with any outfit. In the fall, I found myself pairing this with simple long sleeved t-shirts, but it also looks extremely cute on top of flannels. This is a piece you can dress-up, dress-down, and layer on top of or underneath virtually anything. I actually think this one from Abercrombie is cuter than mine and I’m seriously considering purchasing this one for myself!


Snow Boots

Alright, now, this is the perfect example of why practicality and comfort sometimes need to be put above style. It gets really slick and snowy here in Iowa, so having a durable pair of snowshoes to put on before walking to class is 100% essential. These Totes boots are lined with a warm, fluffy, fabric and never fail to keep my toes warm.


Rain Boots

As cute as Hunter rainboots are, they can get pretty pricey. My mom is the queen of finding good deals and introduced me to these adorable rain boots by the brand Chooka and they come at such a great price. The brown accents make these black boots easy to pair with any outfit and I love them so much!

Chooka Top Solid Rain Boot

Gloves, Scarves, ETC.

The additional accessories I include in my walking attire are almost as important as the big pieces, I think. I’m a huge fan of hats and beanies so when I randomly found this sparkly, knit IOWA hat at my local HyVee grocery store, I couldn’t help myself. I love when I’m shopping and little, unexpected surprises like that catch my eye.

Socks have recently become a huge obsession of mine and I love incorporating cute crew socks with my sneakers in order to keep my ankles warm. These were gifted to me by a friend, but you can find knit crew socks literally anywhere.

You can’t really tell, but the huge knit scarf I’m wearing is from Old Navy. They sell really nice, cheap scarves and so do places like The Gap and Target.

Finally, the gloves I’m wearing were gifted to me by my boyfriend’s mom and I couldn’t be more thankful for them! They’re a really nice, heavy duty pair from the brand Isotoner with touch screen finger tips and lined with fleece on the inside. Investing in quality gloves will save your hands from the harsh winter air and these have been such a great addition to my daily winter wear.

Isotoner Women’s Nylon SmarTouch Winter Texting Gloves in Concord Grape





Of course, the final thing I use to get cozy in the winter is a nice cup of coffee. A new coffee shop just opened up on Clinton street, called Cortado, and I absolutely love it.

My roommate, Celia, works here and I always visit her when she’s got a shift. The atmosphere is incredible, the prices are similar to (or often cheaper than) Starbucks and it’s closer to the heart of campus than Starbucks, too (therefore, less time walking in the cold). They sell a variety of coffee, pastries and even have a breakfast and lunch menu. My favorite drink is the Mochaccino, but I’ve also gotten the caramel latte a few times and indulged in a chocolate espresso muffin one morning.

Hours: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Thank you for reading and I hope this helps to make some of you a little bit cozier on campus this winter 🙂 As always, make sure to check out my personal blog and social media!


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More than makeup

A huge hobby of mine is experimenting with makeup by trying out new colors, techniques and products. However, the college life doesn’t really promote this practice. I’ve noticed that a large majority of girls on campus aren’t dressing up or putting on much makeup for every day classes because no one here really cares. And as awesome as it is to be in an environment that’s much less judgmental than high school, my makeup-loving self starts to feel a little out of place.

No, I do not cake my face every day with pounds of makeup. Frequently I try to have makeup-free days to let my face breathe (because it’s healthy). But some days, I just need it to feel cute and confident. I definitely do feel more willing to talk to people and put myself out there if I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin. I understand that confidence comes differently for everyone but when my eyebrows are on fleek and I’m wearing my favorite lip product, I feel like I can do anything.

This look isn’t quite as glam as I can get; and if you know me, I love pulling off glitter on my eyes for a casual look. However this is the typical makeup routine I’ve obtained while at college and I usually go for it if I want to play it safe while still feeling confident. I also made sure to include some of my tips on finding inexpensive alternatives to the more high end products I used. Enjoy!

First I start off by applying foundation. I’m using two products because it’s that weird time in between Summer and Fall where I start losing my tan. I stopped by CVS in the Old Capitol Mall and bought some lighter BB cream so that I could mix it with my darker foundation to make my perfect shade. I then placed my new mixture on my face with my fingertips in little circles and blended it out with my dampened Beauty Blender. Dab the foundation in with the sponge and don’t forget to blend down your neck to avoid harsh lines on the edge of the face.

I really like the formula of the BB cream by itself because it’s coverage is light but gives my skin a really nice glow. This specific product was around $6 and I’m all for saving money whenever I can, especially when it’s with makeup. You also don’t have to spend the money on a beauty a Beauty Blender if you’re wanting a good makeup sponge. Real Techniques is a brand that sells makeup tools and brushes, and they sell their sponge for $7 at ULTA, Walgreens, Walmart and online through Target (where its only $4.99!!)

Next, I’m applying my holy grail concealer, from Maybelline’s FITme collection, and used the pointed end of my Beauty Blender to blend it in. Gotta hide the dark circles from staying up late watching Netflix all night. I then take my Laura Mercier translucent powder and a small, dense powder brush to set the concealer. I’ve had this product for a while now and honestly, Rimmel’s Stay Matte pressed powder works just as well for about ten times cheaper (I’m not kidding).

The brushes I’m using are from the brand bhcosmetics. Their store is online and they sell large brush sets for under $20! They’re pretty good quality for the price and for the amount of brushes you get and I’d definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to buy a set while on a budget. I’m using ones from the the Sculpt and Blend 2 – 10 piece brush set ($14.99!)


Before I get into the next step I want to make sure I mention how great this palette is. Before moving in, I decided to go through with purchasing a large Z Palette to put all of my most used eye-shadows and face products with metal plates all in one place. This really made packing easier while moving and it’s totally customizable. They have smaller sizes sold at Sephora, but the larger (more inexpensive) ones can be found on Amazon.

For my contour, I’m using a “handy buki” brush from bare minerals to apply two shades I took from my Anastasia Contour palette in light to medium.

Shortly after move-in, I broke the spooly (swirly brush thing) on the end of my only eyebrow brush so I had to make another trip to CVS and find another one. Luckily I found one, and for a really great price! Wet and Wild isn’t known for having great quality but I actually really like this product AND it was only $2. Score.

Now taking my Sephora blush in the shade No. 6 Heated, I’m going to apply it directly above where I applied my contour and right beneath my cheekbone. I really like this shimmery blush because it adds a nice flush of color to my face while also giving me some added sparkle. To finish up my face, I’m going to highlight the tops of my cheekbones with Becca Cosmetic’s highlighter in the shade Opal. This is another one step that can easily be replaced with a cheaper product. ULTA sells products from the brand Revolution and they carry really high quality highlighters for a very reasonable price.

For my eyes, I start by taking a fluffy eyeshadow brush and lightly dip it in the same warm bronzer I used as my contour. I placed this color in the hollows of my eyes, or the crease, to give them depth. I then take an even darker, chocolatey brown with a more angled fluffy brush and work that into the outer V of my crease to create a blurred angle on the outside of my eye. Finally, I take a flat eyeliner brush and a mixture of brown and black eyeshadow to create a muted, soft-looking wing.

I finish my eyes off with a layer or two of mascara and then move on to lips. I always try to  prep them with a layer of lip balm before applying other products (this is one that I happened to get for free in my first few weeks of being on campus). And last but not least, I top it off with my favorite lip product at the moment, Candy K gloss from Kylie Cosmetics.

And then I’m done! My makeup routine is pretty inconsistent and I either apply less or more than this depending on the occasion or my mood. However, this look is what I go for when I don’t know what else to do and want to keep it simple. It’s not a bad thing to go all out on your makeup, and it’s certainly not a bad thing to wear none at all if that’s what makes you feel comfortable and confident 😊✨


Inexpensive Hawkeye Apparel?

After attending the first three football games of the season and carefully reviewing Instagram posts from other Iowa students that I follow, I noticed a trend in Do It Yourself Hawkeye apparel. Girls all over Melrose and my Instagram feed would be wearing unique, creative variations of DIY-ed outfits by completely remodeling oversized t-shirts.

diy2In the spirit of wanting to look cute whenever I can, I decided to hop on this trend too. I also love crafting so it was a win-win. This Tuesday I stopped by Salvation Army to pick up really inexpensive Hawkeye t-shirts. I ended up finding two shirts for a total of 5 dollars. FIVE DOLLARS for inexpensive Hawkeye apparel. You probably didn’t think that existed, now did you? So even if I completely botched my t-shirts after cutting them up, I wouldn’t be out too much money (and even if you’re just looking for a place to find cheap Iowa clothes, taking some time to rummage through Salvation Army is a good idea).

For the first t-shirt I decided to just do a simple fringe cut on the bottom and this is what I came up with! Instructions on this top are in descriptions of the individual pictures below.


For the next shirt, I decided to get a little fancy and make it into a cropped halter top. This one’s going to take a few more steps and if my pictures and tips don’t help very much, here’s the video I watched:

Like I said, if my pictures and tips weren’t very clear for the halter top, please refer to the video. And if the edges aren’t straight or the fringe pieces aren’t even, it’s totally cool! I feel like any crafted t-shirts, take tie dye for example, have more character if they’re a little messed up. Sorry for posting so late this week, I came down with a bit of a cold this weekend and it hasn’t been too fun. But you’ll hear more about that in the next post so get excited 😉

As always, please make sure to check out my personal blog for more content!

Views: Kinnick

This Saturday, I had the most fun at a football game I think I have ever had in my life. Growing up in a family of Iowa Hawkeye fans, going to games at Kinnick Stadium was a pretty special, and often a rare occurrence. Sometimes we’d even do a fun thing called “tailgating” in one of my parent’s friend’s RVs or in the back of someone’s car in a parking lot. However none of these experiences prepared me for what game day is like as a student.

Saturday’s game started up at 6:30, however, the tailgating festivities always begin bright and early. Tailgates are great places to get hyped for the game and fill up on as much free food as possible before entering the stadium. I met up with some of my closest friends from high school at a tailgate and we were all wearing glitter!

We knew that the stands would fill up more quickly than last week’s game, so we left tailgating early to arrive one hour before kickoff. Not without some touch-ups on lipstick, though.

There really isn’t a bad seat in the house. Next time, though, I think I’m going to make it my goal to get even closer to the field. The whole student section is first-come-first-served so why not be as close as possible!? However as long as you’ve got good company (and the Hawks are winning) the game will be fun no matter what.

Screaming at the top of my lungs, cheesing until my face hurt for the Smile-Cam, and dancing to any music that was played made for a great time with my friends. Then, as the sun descended, the cell phone flashlights rose. Needless to say, Kinnick was pretty lit.

By the time the game was over (and won) I was starving, exhausted, and ready to go to bed. I don’t recommend buying any food at the game because, in my opinion, it’s far too overpriced for the budget of a college student. And since you can’t bring in your own water bottles, I make sure to have enough money for that when I go because its always important to stay hydrated.

Being a Hawkeye fan is amazing, but being a Hawkeye fan in the student section is even better. We’re only into the second game of the season and I can’t wait for more!


My first two-ish weeks of classes have actually been pretty great so far. The schedule I created for myself back at orientation is something that really works well for me and I’m so glad that I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I thought I would be.

First of all, I have an average of two classes every single day with multiple hours of free time in-between. I’ve never considered myself a morning person, so knowing this about myself really helped when planning my schedule. My Monday and Wednesdays don’t even start until 4:30 pm and that’s perfectly fine by me.

Another thing I made sure to think about when I was building my weekly routine was taking my interest in choir into consideration. I have a few choir friends from high school who also became involved in the programs here at Iowa so I asked one of them which choirs I could possibly be in. I then used this information in collaboration with my counselor to make specific gaps in time where two of the choirs could easily fit. This definitely gave me major brownie points for a good first impression when I had my audition and they asked to see my schedule.

I ended up getting placed in Women’s Chorale which meets every Tuesday and Thursday and I’m ecstatic! I’m so excited to be involved in a program in which I can meet girls who are just like me and I’m also glad that I’ve been given the opportunity to continue my passion for music and choir.

However, with choir being added to my schedule, Thursdays are now my “longest” days. On these days, I wake up around 7 am in order to be ready for my 8:30 Media and Society discussion class and steadily have something to do until 5:30 pm.

Now, to be honest, most of my high school days were like this. I’d be up early some parts of a semester for morning rehearsals then have more extracurricular activities until 6:oo at night. Plus my classes are actually intriguing and I’ve essentially got 3 extra long “study halls” in-between so this is obviously something I can handle.

With all of this being said, that allows for quite a bit of things to see, learn and experience during an average Thursday. This is what I saw today:

Although there’s a lot to see on Thursdays, that doesn’t mean every other day can’t be interesting. I’m going to make “Views” a weekly topic in addition to whatever else I blog about during the week to show what I’m actually seeing around Iowa City.

If you haven’t already checked out my personal blog, you should! I write about the same content that I post on here but it’s little more in depth including additional pictures and extra commentary. Below is the link to “Views” that I posted on there. Enjoy!


Just Wing It

As I make my first K-Cup ever in my dorm room’s Kuerig this morning, a simple little three word quote runs through my mind.

“Just Wing It”- a motto I’ve recently obtained from one of my beloved coffee mugs. Not only can I apply this saying to my everyday makeup routine, but it also pretty accurately applies to my life at the moment.

After spending my (rather busy) weekend at On Iowa, I’ve noticed that my life as a student could go a million different directions with all of the opportunities this city has to offer.

And even though I’ve always had a pretty hard time putting myself out there, I’m just gonna have to put all my fears aside and “wing it”.

With a little push, however, making friends isn’t too difficult at all. So after going through On Iowa! with floor assigned groups through our LLC, I’ve started putting faces to the name tags on the doors. All of the group activities and ice breakers, no matter how tedious they were, actually really helped me get to know my neighbors better.

All of the mandatory meetings we had with our group also aided me in settling into a scheduled life again. I’m feeling 100x more acquainted with what college is going to be like and the excitement is real.

However, lets rewind back to move-in day. AKA the day my adventure in Iowa City truly began.

I moved into Currier on Wednesday, August 17. After hours, and even an extra visit from Dad the next day, my dorm room finally came together! Needless to say, it’s pretty cute.


Months prior to moving in, Celia and I planned a color scheme of pink, black, gold, and gray. This really helped when buying our bedding and the (completely necessary) decorations for our room.

I’m an avid DIY-er so including my own artwork an crafts in the room make this place feel more like home. I spray painted all of the jewelry and makeup organizers on or near my desk to match the theme. I also had to include the large canvas I painted last winter after deciding to go to Iowa, and the cute “C” & “R” paintings done by one of my closest friends, and fellow Hawkeye, Claire.

If there’s any advice I’d give to freshmen moving in next year, it’s to buy any and all Command Strips you can get your hands on because they will absolutely save your life. There are strong ones for holding up heavy items (AKA cork boards in need of support for necklaces), hooks for towels, and even double sided sticky tape that lets you hang up cool posters from the IMU poster fair.

I’m genuinely feeling pretty confident about most aspects of college after this weekend. The only thing that’s truly freaking me out is how hard it’s going to be for me to make friends and refrain from just hiding in my cozy room all day. However, I know that if I just go out and get involved with the things I love, I’ll meet like-minded people and making friends should be a breeze.

I can’t wait to make new connections with my future friends and through the ones I have now. Even though I’m nervous about meeting new people, I know that once I put myself out there and just “wing it” everything will fall into place.

Head over to my personal blog for more information and pictures of my dorm: