Mari's Notebook

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to wish everyone a happy, safe and super-delicious Halloween! I can't believe today's the day! Today I only have two classes and am wearing a nice pumpkin-orange shirt to be festive. I also tried to mix things up a bit by trying out some green eyeliner...don't really think that worked out too well, but it's fun.

Some favorite Halloween-y links to share and spread the excitement...

This video is so awesome. I love light shows.

Some pretty epic pumpkin carvings. My favorite is the House one.

Next year I have to make these. yumm!

Least favorite celebrity costume.

Most favorite celebrity costume.

Enjoy! See you all in November!!

xx Marisol

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

First Snowfall

Guys! The craziest thing happened yesterday….

It snowed!!

Yes, in fact, it did. Over here in Connecticut it snowed a good two or three inches at least (I’m never really good at estimating quantities…). The morning started off really cold with some rain…then it turned to icy rain…then it turned into a snowstorm. It was so windy!

I loved every second of it. I know October’s not supposed to be a snowy month, and I know no one likes the cold…but I absolutely loved every single thing about yesterday.

What made it even better was the fact my family came up to see me. We spent the entire day walking around campus, shopping, eating—in the snow! One of my favorite moments was sitting in Au Bon Pain with my mom and brother, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow. It was such a tranquil, peaceful time, where everything just slowed down and we enjoyed each other's company.

This wintry weather has got me so excited to go home for the holidays. Not an hour goes by that I don’t think about coming home, being with family, eating good food and celebrating.

Here are some pictures from my phone…SNOWTOBER 2011!

This is the view from a shop in town. Poor flowers...




This is one of the dorm campuses. In the distance, to the right, you can see a couple students making a snowman!



The snow’s already pretty much melted by now, but I certainly enjoyed it! Can’t wait for it to snow again.

xx Marisol

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Friday, October 28, 2011

The R-Word

As we close in on the end of the month I would just like to share something very special about October…

Halloween—and everything it entails—is fantastic. If you haven’t noticed from my last posts…I revel in the festivities and excitement. But October is also pretty awesome because it is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

As a sister to an individual with Down syndrome, I’m trying really hard to be the kind of advocate for my brother and the special needs community that I want to be. I want to break out of my shell and help people and educated people about this part of my life. Most importantly I want my brother to be proud of me, because he is my BIGGEST inspiration.

This is just one of my ways.

One of my biggest concerns about society today is that we have preconceived notions and assumptions about people with disabilities. It’s important to know the facts. Above all, we need to remember we all can contribute to and have an impact on our society. We are all worth something.

Growing up with an older brother with Down syndrome isn’t always easy. As I made my way through the really awkward and difficult years of middle school and into high school, what really struck home the most was the insensitivity of our generation, especially when we throw around words like “retarded.”

Now, I’ve fought long and hard with some stubborn people about why the r-word is completely inappropriate in any sort of context. It’s obsolete, plain and simple. And there are much better and more descriptive words we can use to express what we mean.

It’s also just plain mean. And hurtful. This video can’t put it any better.

Will you do something for me? Take the pledge.

Have a lovely day!

Marisol

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin!

Last Saturday I went apple and pumpkin picking at a local farm. It was really nice just to get away from campus. I can’t remember the last time I was on a school bus!

The ride was so beautiful. All the leaves were in the middle of changing colors. There was a spectacular mix of green, yellow, orange and some red.

The apples were delicious (needless to say). The pumpkins were well-picked-over by the time we got there, so I had to really dig around for a proper one for my desk.

On our way home we stopped by this giant market—hot apple cider (which I don’t like), apple cider donuts (which I do like!), homemade breads, cheese, pies, everything. We all got an apple cider donut—freshly-made and super yummy.






Until next time...

Marisol



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Friday, October 21, 2011

Savor the Cider

This was the lovely view I had while walking to the bank yesterday…It made me really happy.


I love the feel of autumn and seeing the leaves change colors and waking up just a bit chilly so you actually fantasize about putting on a nice, big, oversized sweater.

But in all seriousness where has the time gone? It’s October 21 already!! It kind of saddens me that October is almost done…since October, November and December are my favorite months, that means a third of it has already flew by. I don’t think I sat down and appreciated it enough.

Things I need to do before the end of October:

1. Sit outside and read. Because soon it will be really cold and that will be the last thing I want to do.

2. Decorate the common room. One of the best parts of the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas season is decorating. I need to get pumpkins or something. Maybe I’ll go to Rite Aid later today.

3. Have my first frosty glass of apple cider. Before I know it it’ll be eggnog season.

4. Figure out my Halloween costume. Can’t wait to experience my first college Halloween.

5. Watch a scary movie. It’s the season for it, right?

6. Read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The ultimate vampire novel.

7. Take more pictures before all the fall pretty-ness goes away.

xx MD

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

"The beginning is always today." - Mary Shelley

Hello there!

Happy Thursday to all. I love Thursdays. For me, it is the official start of the weekend and I really feel I can relax on Thursdays. Relax, and focus and set myself on a straighter path. Yes, I guess you could say I’m feeling quite well right now.

A couple things I am excited about today:


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I first read this book in tenth grade and absolutely hated it. It was reading for March break…so yeah I was that kid sitting at the Barnes and Noble café reading Frankenstein because, well, I had to.

But you know what? I’m ready to give it a second chance. I am determined to enjoy this book.

Besides…I love the feel of opening a fresh, new book. It’s not something I do often, since I get most of my pleasure reading books from the library. I typically only get new literature books for school. But not textbooks. Those I try to get second-hand as much as possible. They’re a bit expensive.


Britney Spears’s album, Femme Fatale & iTunes $7.99 albums

I love Britney Spears. Don’t make fun. Any girl my age spent her elementary years screaming “Baby One More Time” with her friends during sleepovers. Britney Spears will always be in.

Up until yesterday I had only downloaded a couple of her songs from her latest album…

But then I saw that her album actually went on sale on iTunes for $7.99. To complete my album, I had to fork over a mere five bucks. Definitely worth it.

But of course, if you are not a Britney fan iTunes has a whole selection of $7.99 albums…and the selection changes quite frequently, so I suggest you check them out!

See you tomorrow! xx
Marisol

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rainy Day Style

So it rained today. And let me tell you: I love rainy days. I prefer my weather chilly, dark and wet thank you very much. Add some thunder and lightning, and I’m really in heaven.

And one of the very reasons I love rainy days is that I get to wear my rain boots! And rain jacket! And umbrella!

And this fashion enthusiasm for dressing-for-the-weather is (I happily noticed) not lost on the rest of campus. Today, as I made my way to all five of my classes (Wednesdays are killer) I couldn’t help but notice the variety of raingear. So I thought I’d do a little recap of today’s trends…

Umbrellas

So there are many perfectly appropriate and acceptable styles for umbrellas….

There are the “I’m being sophisticated and chic” umbrellas:

http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/cute-umbrellas-the-best-kind-of-umbrella
http://www.lovelyish.com/733663853/where-can-i-get-those-cute-umbrellas-from-gossip-girl/
I saw quite a few of these today. I like the shape—it’s different. I wonder if I got one, would I feel as stunningly awesome as Blake Lively? Maybe.

But maybe not.

**Side note: I am actually experiencing a lull in school work these next couple weeks. Which, of course, means I will be capitalizing on this time by using it efficiently and productively. Not. Yesterday I started re-watching the first season of Gossip Girl. I plan to finish them all. Oh, yes. I do.

I also quite loved seeing people with rather delicate, quaint and vintage-looking umbrellas. They seem like the most interesting people. I want to be their friends.

http://isabellang.blogspot.com/

Aren’t these pretty?

And then of course we can pull a Suri Cruise and go with the ladybug umbrella. Or any umbrella-shaped-like-an-animal… I love how quirky college students are. Really, our years at college are a great excuse to embrace the inner child that has been suppressed all this time…

http://socialitelife.com/

I think my favorite animal-umbrella was shaped as a penguin. So. cute.

Rain Boots

These are an absolute staple for rainy weather. Especially in a place where it rains quite often. The weather can get quite nasty during the fall and winter…

I guess needless to say Hunter willies are all over the place. I love them—I really do think they are cool. But I don’t own a pair. They are just too expensive…and the rain boots I have suit me quite nicely!

http://www.cmichellestyles.com/fashion/opc-mens-rain-boots

My Steve Madden rain boots! I got a good deal on them. I have them in green (LOVE the zipper in the back).

Rain Jacket

Warm and weather proof. One of my most favorite purchases has to be a yellow Land’s End rain jacket. It was your perfectly typical yellow rain coat…you know, the type you see in movies and on adorable little kids.

This isn’t the exact one, but I think it’s cute too:

http://www.landsend.com/
Another campus favorite would be North Face rain jackets. The really thin ones. (they always have a pretty selection of colors!)

Anyways, happy rain day everyone!

MD

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Going Home & Autumn

I know this post is long overdue but…

A couple weekends ago I went home for the first time since I left for college. And it was really, really nice.

The entire week before my trip home, I was super excited. I felt like I was going on vacation. And it really felt as if I was going on vacation when I realized I’d have to pack a bag to go home, since I actually had nothing (clothes, toiletries, nail polish) at home for me to use.

Home really is where your underwear is.

But it just felt so weird, being on the highway (hell, in my mother’s car to begin with) and see the “Welcome to New York” road sign. For a few seconds I felt like visitor…almost like a visitor.

There was the sense of familiar and the unfamiliar…

For one, it was great seeing this guy again.

For another, it was actually kind of weird not having a lofted bed with 298352 plastic storage containers beneath it. : )

They also happened to finish construction. So I came home to some brand spanking new sidewalks (such a win).

But above all it was just nice being home and doing homey things….like driving into town and getting Starbucks and browsing the farmer’s market.

I can’t really say it enough: I love October. Everything starts to get so colorful and warm and cozy and orange. I wanted to bring mini baby pumpkins back for all my suitemates, but there was a bad harvest or something and we couldn’t find any! : (

I am still trying to figure out how to decorate for Halloween. I want to enjoy it as much as possible.
In the end, though, while it was great being back home, I couldn’t wait to get back to dorm life.  I missed my roommates, and my bed, and my college. : )

Love,
Marisol

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Five Favorites

Hey!

So here’s the deal about me: I am a closeted fan of YouTube beauty gurus. Well, not so closeted anymore now that I am admitting this. And some of my favorite videos they do are favorites videos, where they share their top fashion/beauty products of the month.

Don’t. Worry. I won’t actually be doing this.

Instead, I decided to make a few lists of what’s been on my mind lately this past September. I hope these ideas/links/subjects inspire you as much as they have inspired me.



Top Five TV Shows

1. Ringer. I’ve only seen the first episode, but I am very excited to see what comes next. Plus, Sarah Michelle Gellar is so pretty.

2. Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Only because it has been our background noise since we moved in. (I can’t tell you how many times Kris Humphries almost proposes…and then it cuts to a commercial break.)

3. Community. So funny. And quirky.

4. Modern Family. The king of kings—and now they finally have a talking Lily!

5. Grey’s Anatomy. Just for old time’s sake. I think the earlier seasons were better, but I can’t get enough of this guy.



Top Five Songs/Artists

1. Ellie Goulding. So earlier this month iTunes had this awesome $7.99 album sale…so needless to say I had to get Miss Goulding’s album. Stat. Particularly since she performed for Prince William and Kate (they're lovely).

2. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. Another $7.99 album (that I had completed for $3!). I love “E.T. (even though it sends some interesting (dark) messages). “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is a good one, too.

3. “Good Life” by OneRepublic. My suitemate and I are kind of obsessed with this song. It’s been playing on repeat for quite a while now.

4. “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. I wish I could remember how to play this on my guitar….

5. “One Headlight” by The Wallflowers. Or anything else by The Wallflowers. I am kind of warming up to them.



Top Five Blog/Website Discoveries

1. I love her. Beautiful blog.

2. So this awesome dude started following me on twitter…and well, one thing led to another and this website might be the reason I am not getting any of my schoolwork done. This blog is about a couple raising their baby boy who has Down syndrome. As a sister to an individual with Down syndrome…gosh, I totally connect. Noah is probably the cutest baby in the world. Check out the articles, pictures and videos. It is very informative and helpful if you have a child with special needs, but also there are lots of good general baby-raising information any new parent would appreciate! I love the message this couple sends--the importance of embracing and celebrating what life gives you.

3. Really interesting Ted Talk!

4. Pandora. I mean, we all know what Pandora is. I just think it’s worth mentioning it since I seem to be using it a ton more these days. It’s an awesome way to discover new music.

5. Good Reads. This helps me keep track of all the books I so desperately want to read. If only I could get paid to read all day…



Top Five News Headlines

1. This is such an unfortunate occurrence. Casey Anthony gets off but Troy Davis doesn’t? Come on people. There was an overwhelming amount of reasonable doubt.

2. Don’t eat the cantaloupe. This is what my mother said to me last Thursday. Of course, this was after I had had a breakfast that consisted completely of cantaloupe.

3. Never forget. It felt so different not being in New York for the tenth anniversary. Homesickness hit real hard that day.

4. Yay! I’m so happy for her!

5. Grrrr.



Top Five (Recent) Books

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. So I obviously jumped on the bandwagon here and read the book in celebration of its movie companion being released this summer. In the two days that I read this book, I could not put it down. But seriously, I couldn’t put it down. My mother practically forced me to keep reading it so I would finish before we saw the movie. We were kind of on a time crunch considering I was to leave for college just a couple days later. But The Help is totally worth the read (and do read it before seeing the movie!). It’s thought-provoking but does have its hilarious moments as well. I am taking an English class right now called “The Idea of the Human” and I can’t help but think back to The Help. It really made me think about the complex relationships we have with people—nothing (our opinions, beliefs, morals) is ever so clear-cut.

2. One Day by David Nicholls. Again, I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. But I never actually got around to seeing the movie; I had to leave for college and there isn’t really a movie-theater here that is in walking distance. I loved the premise of the book—a snapshot into the lives of two people on the same day each year for about forty years. It is a unique love story, and everyone knows I am a sucker for love stories.

3. Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy. I randomly picked up this book at my local library—and I am so glad I did. Basically it tells the life of a woman who, at a very young age, vowed never to get married or have children. She comes to terms with falling in love, losing love and a serious tragedy that leaves her thinking about what she truly wants in life. I really liked this book because there wasn’t really this big physical plot or problem in the book; it just told the continuation of Jane’s life. Problems in her life would come up and be solved, but really it was all about her perspective on what’s happening as daily life goes on. This book reminded me a lot of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife which will always be part of my all-time top favorite list of books. They stories weren’t similar really—just the way in which they were written. Daily life and the problems, joys, heartaches that come with it.

4. The Norton Critical Edition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. So yeah, probably the main reason I am including this on the list is that I need to write an essay on this by Friday. So it’s kind of on the top of the brain right now. But the story’s quite interesting, and I am also enjoying all the essays and added reading the edition includes. I love reading related things—which is why I’m kind of excited about the next thing we’ll be reading in my English class: Cesaire’s A Tempest.

5. Federico García Lorca’s Romancero Gitano. I haven’t read this book of poems in full, but it has some of my most favorite poems in the world. I really do think García Lorca was a genius; the ideas and imagery in his work, and how they all flow/fit in with each other, is beautiful and magical. A couple favorites are “Romance de la luna, luna,” “Romance sonámbulo” and “La monja gitana.”



Top Five Favorite Places

1. My bed. And this is where I currently am. It’s been rainy and cold here lately; I love just settling on my bed with my computer and my books, playing some music and just working. Because my dorm room is pretty tiny and narrow, it just makes my bed all the more cozy. It’s my own little corner.

2. The dining hall. Particularly now that they decorated for Autumn!

3. The green. Although, it seems the days where I get to go out and work on the grass are numbered…it’s just been to chilly and rainy. But I don’t mind. This will be something to look forward to when it gets warm again. Also, I like cold and rainy weather…so it’s all good.

4. Our common room’s futon. So comfy. Usable for work and play.

5. The library. So quiet. I feel like a legit college student when I’m working there.



Top Five Things I Look Forward To In October

1. The weather changing. I seriously can’t wait for the leaves to change and for it to start getting cold.

2. The decorations. Pumpkins, orange things, Halloween-y things. I’m a sucker for all that stuff.

3. The celebration mentality. My favorite months would have to be October, November and December—the holidays, the weather, the snow, the coziness of it all. October really gets me excited for what’s to come. : )

4. Midterms. Haha, just kidding.

5. Two words: boot season.

See you,

Marisol