Don’t Drown Yourself in Work

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It’s easy to do! We all do it.

We drown ourselves in the stresses of life. Wether it’s work, school, internships, volunteering, financial stress, there’s always something that’s getting our attention and focusing it on things we don’t want to do.

I hope to reinforce the fact that life is short and we only get one chance to do what we want, to do what brings us joy.

So step away from that textbook, step away from the paperwork, take a break from the office. Even for just an hour or two. I promise one hour won’t hurt you.

We have to make time for ourselves and our families.

As a mother of a two year old boy, I personally have watched myself put spending time with him on the back burner to catch up on schoolwork or study for an exam, the list goes on.

One day I stopped. It won’t kill me to take a break and make time for this little boy who happens to mean the entire world to me.

One hour spent with him is totally worth losing that hour of study time, because guess what? He won’t remember if mommy got an “A” on an exam, but he will remember begging me to play and being ignored.

I want to encourage you to spend a little less time doing the things that exhaust you and a little more time doing the things that make you happy.

Whatever happiness means to you, you should do that, AT LEAST once a week.

At the end of the day we all have something that we love to do and wish we could be doing more of, but feel like we can’t because,”this has to be done tonight” well truth is, maybe it does. But, there’s always a strong chance that taking a little piece of the day or week to do that thing that makes you smile, will outweigh what “can’t wait till tomorrow.”

 

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Make Time For What Makes You Happy

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My life motto is “do what you love”. It took me a while to realize that it was okay to do what makes me happy and to stop letting others dictate my happiness.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with chicken parmesan I’m sure.

It’s pretty simple. Some days spending time with my son watching Paw Patrol is what makes me happy, well that always makes me happy. But, other days I just want to do one small thing that makes me forget about the world. Something that makes me happy.

That’s where this delicious chicken parmesan comes in.

I love to cook! While Some days I have hardly any time left in the day to do it, I always try at least a few nights a week to cook up a yummy meal.

This chicken parmesan was last night’s special. I chose to look for an easy recipe online and NOT follow it, because well….that’s pretty much what I do every time I cook.

I get excited about some recipe I found online and swear I’m going to use the exact ingredients listed and always end up adding my own. Sometimes, that’s what makes for an even better meal and more unique meal.

The only problem is you have to remember what you did so you can repeat it for next time.

For this dish, I bought 4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, Italian bread crumbs, crushed tomatoes, and parmesan and mozzerella cheese. The other ingredients, which I already had  included Italian seasoning, basil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, 2 eggs, angel hair pasta, alfredo sauce and fresh garlic.

Seems like a lot, but half this stuff is probably sitting in your spice cabinet or fridge.

My philosophy when cooking Italian is, the more seasonings (especially garlic) the better. Unless you’re allergic to garlic obviously which would be completely tragic.

As most people know when you cook chicken parm you have to put it between two sheets of plastic wrap and basically punch it with your fist while thinking about someone who really ticked you off last week. Kidding! But once you beat that chicken to about 1/4 inch thick, the hardest part is over.

The next step or possibly the first step, whichever order you prefer, is to get that sauce going. You want to have at least one large can (28oz) of crushed tomatoes. Drop those bad boys in a sauce pan and turn on the stove to about a 5 and start adding your chopped fresh garlic and your favorite seasonings. I like to add a couple tablespoons of sugar to every red sauce I make, trust me you won’t regret it.

After you’ve got the sauce going, let it simmer. Meanwhile, have about 2 eggs whisked in a bowl, have another bowl with a can of bread crumbs, (maybe 1 cup or less depending on how much you’re making.)

Dip those 1/4 inch chicken breasts in the egg, then in the bowl of bread crumbs. You’ll want another pan with a small amount of olive oil heated up before you drop your chicken breasts in. The chicken breasts should be cooked no longer than about 5 minutes, turning frequently. While this is going on you should have your favorite noodles boiling as well.

Once you’ve done all that, put your oven on LOW broil. Please not on high, I did that and almost burnt the house down, but the worst part, burnt my dinner.

Now your chicken is cooked, it’s on a baking sheet and ready to be cheesed! Throw some mozzarella on each piece of chicken and put them on LOW broil until cheese is melted….watching carefully and checking frequently.

Once the cheese is melted, throw some sauce (as much as you like) on it and a pile of noodles, with some sauce, top with parmesan cheese and viola! You have a delicious and yummy Italian style meal for one or the whole family depending on how hungry you are or if you like to share.

As a woman who loves to take care of her man, I heated up a can of some garlic Alfredo sauce I had sitting in the pantry that was about to expire, he loves alfredo.

So if you have picky eaters who don’t want the red sauce, Alfredo is a great substitute! Or a mixture of both.

 

 

 

 

 

Life as a Reporter at the University of Florida

There may be a ton of things I wish I had done differently in life but choosing to be a multimedia journalist at UF was by far one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Obviously it’s one of the better schools of journalism and communications in the country and the hands on experience that I’ve been able to get while studying here has been phenomenal.

From the very first classes I started taking until now, I’ve grown tremendously. I think I owe most credit to the outstanding professors, teaching assistants, news managers, and mentors in the college.

As my second to last semester is winding down I can only look back and be so grateful of all the opportunities that I’ve been given at UF. My experience thus far has been more than positive. I’ve learned more than just how to report and edit scripts and video. I’ve learned life lessons that I will take with me when I leave this beautiful college.

I’ve had some of the best of the best give me advice and tips on how to be a better journalist, how to conduct interviews, how to write a catchy script, and even how to cope with the stress while on a time crunch.

Some of the best times of my life have been spent inside the newsroom at the college of journalism and communications.

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I’ve been able to learn what it would be like to work out in the real world, outside of college as a reporter, and that I think is the most helpful part of being a student in this college.

They give you the opportunity to find your own stories and pitch them in the morning meeting, then go out in the field and take care of business. We get to do different stories and meet different people every single day and then come back to the newsroom and put together a story that we get to then tell to people of all ages in over 50 small towns and cities across North Central Florida. If that isn’t exciting, I don’t know what is!

The fact that WUFT (UF News Station) puts together a live show every single day with nothing but students, I think says a lot about the brilliant people that study in our college and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

I think one of my greatest memories so far has been the time that the station allowed me to do a “live shot”, which is pretty awesome for a beginner like me. The rush of excitement and butterflies before you “go live” is really incomparable to any job I could ever imagine having. It’s one thing to be able to be live in the studio next to your anchors, but to be on scene and going live is a real adrenaline rush, (plus I’m pretty sure it’s good to have on your reel).

 

It’s hard to really compare one day from the other working as a reporter for WUFT because they were all a ton of fun. I thoroughly have enjoyed every moment and with one semester left I’m excited but also getting a little sad that I only have four months left at one of the greatest schools in the entire world, of course that’s my humble opinion. I’ve met so many people who share the same interest in being a reporter as I do and being able to work with such amazing and smart people has been a blessing.

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I feel like I’ve grown so much and learned more than I could’ve ever imagined at UF and I will always be proud to have studied to be a multi-media journalist for WUFT and of course I’ll always be proud to be a Gator!

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Tipping Point: Book Review

The book Tipping Point reminded me in an odd way of the book Don’t Make Me Think. Which probably sounds a little crazy since they are so different. But, it’s the accuracy and comprehensibility of the two books that are related, in my opinion. I think that Malcom Gladwell made some very valid points, as well as things that are eye-opening.

I think he does a good job getting his point across in a way that almost anyone can understand which is much appreciated with people with busy lives. “The Law of the Few” as he called it in the book, really stood out to me. It was extremely eye opening because it’s something that may be pretty obvious but it’s not something that I, or I’m sure many people think about. You wouldn’t have to dig too deep to realize that it’s the powerful people in the country that are responsible for spreading the ideas that we see every day. Sometimes, with social media being so prominent in the lives’ of teens and college students I think some of us may write off all the things and ideas we see as just something someone shared and someone has it’s brought it’s way to our TV or phone screen. However, if we were to really think about where it is those ideas came from we would realize there’s very few people who influence every single thing we read online and even see on TV. It’s quite astonishing that people can be so powerful and honestly I think for me, it makes me want to work even harder to be one of those people.

Secondly, I loved how Gladwell writes about the “stickiness factor”. Again, something that is so simple, yet many of us probably don’t think about or realize the affect of the things we read, see, and hear. Like he writes about, somewhere, someone, specifically designed, or wrote, or played, or just made something so unique that it would stick with us. Now personally I think this may be one of the hardest things in the world to do. And as a journalist, we strive every single day to do this. We want our work to be unique, to stick out, and to be remembered, because after all, that’s the only way to gain an audience, which is what we all want in this industry. Most of all, I love how he referenced children’s television shows to explain this concept. I personally have witnessed this, I see how some TV shows my son will not take his eyes off, no matter what time of day, while others he will watch for only a few minutes. For example, he will watch the show Paw Patrol any day any time, no matter how upset he is. I think the people who brought the show to television are geniuses. I say this because I don’t know a child on earth who doesn’t love that show, and it’s become this huge hit across the country. I think it goes beyond their basic concept.

I can appreciate everything Gladwell writes in his book, however, those two ideas stood out the most to me. I think we all take for granted the work that goes into making these memorable shows, movies, and even music. It made me think a little deeper into the engineering that goes into developing any website, or movie, or show, even from a simple short youtube video. There are just things that stick with us and things that we can watch several times and still not remember, and after reading this book I think I’ll be trying harder to do all of that.

Positive, Relate-able Blogs Anyone?

The fantastic blogs just don’t end. If I had time to read each and every blog entry from each and every single peer, I’m pretty certain my entire outlook on life would change, it actually sort of already has. If you are a mother who has ever had any thoughts about parenting that you think nobody else has…read Shazquia Ranson’s blog. She goes in depth about not only giving birth, but afterward and having those very natural “postpartum blues” as she calls it and it’s fantastic to find someone to be able to relate to. In addition, she gives tips and tricks for new mothers, Gosh I wish I would have read this before I gave birth. If you want an inside scoop about all that Italy has to offer you should really check out Julia Zaruba’s blog. She went to study abroad and moved back a year later. She proves that being fearless and doing things that make you happy are always worth it. Plus she gives you tips about all the things to do in Florence. If you’re looking for a cool artistic blog you have got to check out Andrea Terrassa’s page. She teaches you how to embrace your inner artist and feeds you positive vibes. She puts a cool artistic twist on the simplest things in life.

Happy Blogs, Look No Further

WOW! I really have some amazing peers. Reading through all these different blogs have not only shown me the diversity, it’s shown me the drive, the strength, and the pure talent there is in this group of students. There really is no way that I could pinpoint my favorite blog but I will say I really enjoyed how positive Britnee McCoy’s blog is. Her blog talks about embracing your natural hair, and as a woman that’s rough to do sometimes, especially with so many women being in the TV industry, it seems there is some look women are supposed to adapt to, well Britnee shows why that’s just not true. Another blog I thoroughly enjoyed reading was Talia Pate’sTalia Pate’s blog. Her blog is the epitome of strength. As a mother, her take on being a student and a parent is a wonderful read, she gives great tips on how to juggle it all. Anna Perlstein’s blog is fantastic. She is so talented in the way she writes, and gives cool tips about how to be stress free, which everyone can use. She also has some first hand experience on really great vacation spots, that I WILL be hitting up next time I get a vacation.

Positive Vibes Through the Storm

Sometimes life likes to throw 101 things at you all at the same exact time…

Little do most of us know that, THOSE are the moments where we see our true strength and the little engine that could in all of us comes out and survives.

Now this is the same thing I have to tell myself repeatedly as I am drowning in school work, trying to potty train my hyper two year old, and pulling a double at work, all while a storm of personal issues hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t telling myself the things I’m trying to tell you, BUT I do always stop and give myself breathing time. I think it’s easier said than done, but if you just put aside breathing time, everything will be okay.

What do I mean by breathing time? Well certainly any college student knows what I’m talking about. It’s that time that you just sit and do nothing for a bit. Whether it’s just sitting on your couch reminiscing the good times when you had no worries, or whether you’re contemplating why in the world you even are in college, everyone needs that moment to just sit and breathe. You might be thinking…who has time to do that? Guess what, YOU do, because if you don’t set aside that time you could very well lose your mind, much like the 2007 Britney Spears…anyone ever feel like that?

If so, you’ve come to the right place because all I want to do is get people thinking positively and to understand that we all have problems and things going on in life but we don’t give up, we keep on chugging along and we will all get there as long as you have one thing, determination.

If you can just do one thing for me before you leave this page, think about where you were last year, the year before? Five years ago? How far have you come since then? You are your OWN success story already, just keep proving to the world how awesome you are and more importantly, do it for YOU.

As long as you love yourself, you will be UNSTOPPABLE.

Outgoing Worrier

Let’s go! Let’s do something, now! That’s been me my entire life.

I’m the type of person that hates sitting around and doing nothing. In fact, I don’t think I have ever actually sat still for more than an hour…okay maybe I’m being dramatic but honestly it’s very rare to see me sitting on the couch. Which is probably why I’m always tired, but yet I always find something that needs to be done.

I think that all of that just stems from my determination. Every thing I do is based off just pure determination. I was once told by an old mentor that “determination is everything in life”. I didn’t have to think much about it because I already knew I had it, I’m just kind of ready to reap the benefits now.

When I think about how I would describe myself, one of the other things that comes to mind is how much of a worrier I am.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop worrying.

Not about anything in particular…just life. I’m that person that is always stressing out and worrying about every little detail. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing because sometimes it’s beneficial, but then again I’m already starting to see gray hairs in my head.

I would consider myself a chronic “stresser” yeah that’s not a word but it is in my life.

Sometimes I wish there was a switch I could just shut off so I could stop stressing out and worrying so much. I think since I’m such an emotional person that every thing in life, every person, every school assignment, every day at work, every moment raising my son…there all things that I constantly stress about and worry if I’m doing it all right.

At the end of the day though, I know that everything I’m doing at this moment in my life is because I love it, all the commotion, all the hard work, it’s all worth it.

 

Resume

Multimedia Journalist at WUFT News -January 2016-Current

January 2016-May 2016

Pitched, reported, produced, and anchored radio stories for WUFT-FM, and WRUF ESPN Gainesville. Stories were featured on-air, on WUFT’s website, and on ESPN Gainesville’s website. Produced, hosted, provided commentary, and read for the All Sports Radio Reading Service which was streamed live online through WRUF.com. Pitched stories, wrote scripts, and submitted “voicers” to be aired on WUFT-FM.  Assisted with the production of a seven minute live show working as a camera operator.

June 2016-August 2016

Super90-

Edited video, wrote scripts, and anchored for a 90 second news segment that aired on WUFT-TV.

June 2016-September 2016

Interned at WCJB TV20. Went out on stories everyday with reporters. Assisted reporters as a camera operator, as well as video editor. Shot stand ups for reporters as well as myself. Answered the phone, checked emails, set up and filled out the daily planner for the news manager. Interviewed numerous people for reporters. All work aired on TV20 that evening.

June 2016-Current

Work for WUFT as a TV reporter, pitch stories, edit video, and operate the camera as a photographer. All reporter work is pitched, reported, and shot with an assistant before the 5 PM live show.

Intern at WCJB TV20 Sports-

Work as a camera operator shooting live high school football games. Assist sports photographers with editing video and writing scripts.

Education:

 

University of Florida -January 2015-May 2017

 

Telecommunication-News Major.

 

Santa Fe College-August 2012-August 2014

 

Associate of Arts in Journalism graduate. Made the Dean’s List for the Fall 2013 semester.

 

Work:

 

Ballyhoo Grill and Raw Bar-September 2015-Current

 

Server: Meet and greet customers. Monitor dining room to ensure optimal guest dining experience. Answer customer inquiries and resolve issues promptly.

 

Pomodoro Cafe-October 2007-September 2015

 

Worked as a server, cashier, and manager. Responsible for operations, as well as supervising the dining room and employees. Managed computer system, budget, and inventory. Accountable for daily cash-outs and deposits. Responsible for increasing business of restaurant. Meeting and greeting customers, as well as organized table reservations. Recruited, trained, and motivated staff. Maintained high standard quality hygiene, health and safety. Scheduled and planned large events at the restaurant as well as outside catering events. Estimated daily food and product consumption and placed orders with suppliers. Recorded inventory using Microsoft Excel.