{Life Update} – A Brand New Chapter


I’m back! My last week or two of college, party planning, and graduation has kept me extremely occupied! I am finally entering a new phase in life – post grad. I can’t believe it’s already here…

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But first things first… I did it! I chopped off all of my hair – and was able to donate 12 inches to Locks of Love! I’m actually still getting used to it, but it’s definitely nice for (what’s supposed to be) spring & then summer. Although since Ohio decided to be bipolar, I do miss the warmth of my long mane, ha!

Donated my hair to Locks of Love

I actually wanted to donate locally here in Cleveland (especially after reading how Julie from Wearing Mascara donated hers to Wigs for Kids!)… but I couldn’t find anything that accepted dyed hair. So when I finally found out that Locks of Love did, I was just glad to have found a place I could send my hair to! It makes it more meaningful and feels good knowing all of that hair will make a child’s life a little bit better ๐Ÿ™‚
If you’re thinking about donating your hair – I highly recommend it!

On to the big news, though…

I’m officially a college graduate!

College Graduation Kent State University Class of 2013
I graduated from Kent State University on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing ๐Ÿ™‚ Class of 2013!

I can’t believe it’s finally come and gone! It went by so fast, but was such an incredible day. I was so thankful to have almost ALL of my family there to celebrate with me. A majority of my dad’s side of the family came down from upstate New York, my grandparents on my mom’s side came up from South Carolina, and my aunt, uncle, and cousin came down from Toledo! Plus, a few of my closest friends stopped by my grad party later that night. My only complaint was how cold it was! It still turned out to be one of the best days of my life though. I not only feel proud of myself for achieving this, but it warms my heart to make my family proud. My dad’s side of the family kept telling me how proud he would be/is of me. I decided to honor him (and my best friends, boyfriend, mom, and grandparents) by putting their pictures on my cap:

Graduation Cap Class of 2013 Tri Sigma
And of course I had to rock some Tri Sigma pride, too… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Words can’t even describe how much I miss him and wish he could’ve been there to see me graduate, but I know he was there in spirit. It was so fun spending time with his side of the family though, it makes me feel closer to him. We were all reminiscing and realized my dad would’ve been 50 this past January. It’s still so hard to believe that he’s been gone for over 20 years. But I’m so thankful for him & my mom. I have this amazing, incredible family who always supports me and I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. My mom especially, because she raised me on her own, has always put up with me through everything, and is one of my best friends. Milestones really make you look back on everything that led you to that very moment… I still can’t believe how so many little things and people impacted my life so drastically.

In the midst of all of the excitement & celebrating, I forgot to take a single picture at my grad party (which directly followed my graduation ceremony). Silly me! Oh well, I at least have all of the fun memories..
It seriously was a hilarious, truly unforgettable night. My mom’s friend got me this for my graduation present:

Kent State University Class of 2013 Cornhole Bean Bag Toss set

Which I, of course, had no idea about when I bought & painted these…

Cornhole Bean Bag Toss game set from Pat Catan's

Now we have 2 sets, at least! Mike & I are talking about taking these ones and doing Cleveland & Columbus sports teams (Indians & Browns, Blue Jackets & Crew) and making it ourย tailgatingย set. Also, shameless plug… but if you’re looking for a decently priced set that you can customize yourself – I got these from Pat Catan’s for less than $30 for each board. Such a good deal! However, the set my mom’s friend got me were done by someone and obviously turned out fantastically, too.

So I guess the next big question is…

What now?

I have all of this week off for vacation, for starters. My mom & I were going to take off to some unknown destination when we first decided this, but we didn’t have time to plan anything so we decided to just do a staycation instead, which is actually pretty perfect and much less stressful (oh, and cheaper too!). We’re still not 100% sure of what all we want to do (because we know the time is going to evaporate), but we have a few things planned. One of which is checking out Walnut Wednesday since we’ll both be off of work! I can’t wait ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I just saw that the Downtown Cleveland Alliance is having a Pop Up Party with more food trucks, so we just might have to check that out too! We’re also heading to an ELLE blogger event Thursday evening, so that should be pretty fun (who doesn’t love free food & gift bag swag?). And I can’t forget that it’s also Cleveland Marathon weekend! One of my sorority sisters is running the half (I believe), and my big was supposed to join her but registration was full, so we might go cheer the runners on… we shall see!
So much to do, so little time… I tell ya.

It is already nice having time off between ending school & starting work. I’m continuing at the company I’ve been interning at, so I plan on really taking in every moment of this vacation before I head back to work next Monday. I’ll let you know when reality hits me… haha! I will definitely be appreciating not having to study for exams, pull all-nighters, schedule classes, write papers, and so on though. I want to take advantage of my free time as much as possible. I obviously have a few blog posts to catch up on, too… Oops! I also really want to get back into reading, focus on getting healthy & working out more, continue trying new things and taking every opportunity I can, and more. We’re already planning a couple weekend road trips, too. My cousin is graduating college this coming Saturday, so we’re going up to New York in June for his grad party. Such an exciting time for our family!

Speaking of family, before everyone left to head back to New York, we all went out for a huge Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. We had about 21 people altogether… my dad’s side of the family is HUGE, but we love it that way! One of my uncles, his fiancee, and their kids stayed an extra day, so we got to go to Red Lobster for Mother’s Day dinner with them, too. By the time the day was over, we were ready to pass out from all of that food and the running around we’ve been doing.

Yesterday was our first day of vacation post-graduation, so we kept it really low key. We ran some errands, got some movies, and my mom cooked a wonderful dinner for her, myself, and Mike. Now we get to spend the rest of the week having a blast & continuing the relaxation!

I hope you are having a great week so far, too!

If you have any recommendations for things we should do this week, please let me know! We’re always looking for new things to do/try ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Oh my gosh Jess. You’re posts are so….MEATY. I never know where to start…well, almost never, for this one I do know…..
    1. CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! You graduated! And with the most baller cap I’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely perfect for you.
    2. I envy your relationship with you mom! It was so nice to meet her at the bandaid bash.
    3. You’re new haircut is stunning aaaaand it’s going to a good cause. So good.

    Enjoy your summer even though you’ll be working ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yeah hopefully now I’ll have more time to post more often so I can break things up a little more ๐Ÿ˜‰ hahaha!
      1. Thank you so much! It is such a good feeling ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan on framing my cap too, actually!
      2. Aww, thanks! It isn’t always perfect, but since it’s just been me & her for as long as I can remember, we’ve been each others’ rocks. I grew up in a Navy family, so our relatives are pretty spread out.
      3. Thank you! I think the good cause is the best part ๐Ÿ™‚

      The working full-time part hasn’t hit me yet… but I’m honestly just glad to be making money & not taking exams haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I really wish I haven’t been so busy so I would have seen this sooner. #1 – so I could give a big shout out to my fellow Tri Sigma on her graduation – CONGRATS!!!!! (love your cap by the way) This is really an exciting time in your life – enjoy every minute!! I think the new hair do is PERFECT timing. Love that you donated it too. Dang I wish I knew you were going to the blogger event last night!!!! I want to give you a big fat hug in person. Next time!

    • Aww thank you so much!! I was definitely thinking that if there ever was a perfect time to do such a drastic change, this would be it, haha. & yes, hugs!!! Definitely next time! ๐Ÿ™‚