Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Everything You Need to Know About Alliot

Hello all!

In the wake of last night's parent Knightchat, I decided it would be a great time to dedicate an entire post towards covering one of our most popular questions from parents and students alike... so, how's the food...really?

As a student, you'll be spending a lot of time at the dining hall, so it's a valid question, and one that I certainly asked often as a prospective student. So without further ado, here are a few key things you need to know about Alliot!

1.) Swipes

Yay freshman me!!!

 Your student ID (a.k.a. Knightcard) is your admittance into Alliot, and will be swiped at the door. The majority of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have unlimited meal plans with unlimited swipes, however, a few juniors are lucky enough to get into a townhouse with their own kitchens and are on limited meal plans with a limited amount of swipes per semester. The same applies to seniors with townhouses.

2.) Hours

Alliot is open at 7:15 AM and closes at 8 PM on weekdays, and you can swipe in however many times you want/need to in that time! Weekends are a little more complicated, with an early breakfast from 8:30-9:30 AM, brunch from 11 AM to 1 PM, and dinner from 4:45 to 6:30 PM.

3.) Options

In addition to their regular menu (which changes day-to-day), Alliot is newly equipped with a gluten-free area! Additionally, various vegan and vegetarian options are offered every day. I know a handful of people with the aforementioned restrictions, and even they agree that Alliot is very accommodating to their individual needs.

4.) Holiday Dinners

Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are arguably the best nights at Alliot all year. Get there as early as possible to secure a seat, because I can assure you that you'll never see Alliot as packed as you will on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner nights!

Throughout the rest of the year, Alliot has a few other special menus from time to time, including Local Foods night and guest chef nights. Be there for those as well!

5.) KEY TIP: Make the Best of Your Options

When it comes down to it, your dining hall experience will be no more and no less than exactly what you make of it! So the most important thing to remember when eating at the same place every day, which can become monotonous wherever that is, is to pay attention to your individual needs and preferences, explore your options, and be inventive! While a cheeseburger might seem like the easiest option before your afternoon class, you're going to find yourself hating Alliot if you don't branch out a little. Take advantage of the stir fry station, salad bar, meat carving station, and of course, don't be afraid to mix and match! You'll be glad you did.

Happy dining, and be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 1st!

Interested in other posts like this one? Check out:

Knightchat FAQs

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #8

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. While we were on break for the first half, it certainly felt like a full week, and schedules are only getting busier. But as always, we made the best of it!

We finished off our long weekend on Monday with the best breakfast we'd had in a long time- Vermonter's at Athens Diner! The Vermonter was a good sized skillet with home fries, hash, eggs and toast. Super yummy, and right in Winooski.

Next we made our way over to Shelburne Farms for some quality animal time. But on this particular visit, it turned out to be all about the scenery!

Yes Vermont, YES. My favorite shot of the day.

We spent this Saturday in Burlington, enjoying the Farmer's Market and Church Street before winter hits. In this shot, I'd taken my seat at a bench in front of the Burlington City Hall to observe it for a paper I'm writing in my Art History class. Our task is to observe either a piece of ancient art, or a building that reminds us of ancient architecture for a total of 10 hours. I chose to observe this building, and I've been catching the bus downtown over the past few weeks to observe and take notes.

Things got spicy at the Farmer's Market.

The best little cupcake joint in Burlington!! Make a trip, you'll be glad you did. 

As much as I'm loving fall, it does tend to be a short season up here, and I'm definitely looking forward to our weekly Smugg's trips come wintertime! (I'll be getting my pass this week!!!)

Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 28th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Time Management Necessities

Hello all!

Now that our October break has come and gone, schedules are really starting to pick up here at St. Mike's. For me, several exams, projects, and presentations are beginning to converge into a two-week span, and my time management skills are being put to the test.

While you hopefully started to hone in on these skills through your high school years, college requires a whole different kind of time management in that you're now living at school. In other words, it's up to you to separate your personal life from your school life, and that can be a little difficult when your busy schedule requires sacrificing time from one for the sake of the other.

Thankfully, there are a few tools that, when put to good use, can go great lengths in helping you manage your time on a college schedule.

1.) Your Planner

I've said it before and I'll say it again...your planner is THE number one tool in staying on top of your schedule in college. Use it to your full advantage, making note of every assignment, meeting, event, to-do list, etc. Putting your schedule in writing relieves your mind of the burdens of remembering everything, organizes your thoughts, and is the first step in building your time management skill set.

2.) Phone Reminders

This is a tactic I employ pretty frequently in my weekday life. If I'm out and about and something comes up that I know I'll need to take care of later after class, I immediately take out my phone and set an alarm labeled with said task. That way when I get out of class and start heading back to my suite, my phone will go off and that will be the first thing I take care of when I get back.

This is another way of getting relieving yourself from the responsibility of remembering and the risk of forgetting. When I set that alarm, I know that I'll be instantly reminded when it goes off and I'll be able to get right down to the task at hand.

3.) Lists

The most important parts of making a to-do list are writing down something the second you think of it (so as not to forget), and keeping it in a place that you'll be constantly seeing it. That can be on your bulletin board in your room, your phone, whatever works for you.

And above everything else, stay calm and collected. Even the best time management tools are rendered useless if you're carrying around the burden of a cluttered mind. Keep everything in writing, set up reminders for yourself along the way, and you'll be on your way to a well-managed schedule!

Interested in other posts like this one? Check out...

Keeping it Cool Through Busy Weeks

Keeping the Perfect Planner

...and be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 25th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #7

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. We're currently in the middle of our long weekend; we won't have classes Monday or Tuesday, and lemme tell ya...a break came at just the right time. 

Yay foliage!! It's been so gorgeous here and all over VT.

Visiting my brother, Mr. College, over at Champlain.

Today, we hiked Mount Hunger for the first time. Another first for the season was all the snow we encountered! It was absolutely gorgeous going up.

Unfortunately, I have no summit photo for you because we had to turn around a little less than 1/4 mile from the top. :( We were starting to hit a big stretch of climbing, and there was just too much ice.

Mount Hunger, we'll be back with a vengeance in the spring!!

Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 21st!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Staying Organized in a Small Space

Hello all!

Growing up, you probably got used to having a whole house's worth of space for all of your stuff. You slept in your bedroom and kept several key items there. All your toiletries, makeup, and hair-styling tools stayed in your bathroom. You probably had a few things scattered about your living room and basement. And of course, all the superfluous leftovers had an attic all to their own.

Once you get to college, however, you'll quickly discover that it's all about small spaces. Whether you're living in a two-person dorm room or a personal bedroom in your suite/townhouse, you're living out of that one space. And although St. Mike's has some pretty ideal living options, I won't lie to you when I say those spaces will probably be more limiting than you're used to!

First thing's first, being able to live in a small space heavily relies on your packing job, and there are some serious considerations to be taken throughout that process. But on today's What-to-Know Wednesday, I'm going to take you through an entirely different process that you'll go through once you've unpacked.

In a small space, it's extremely important that everything has its rightful place, can be navigated in a reasonable fashion, and most of all, stays that way! So without further ado, here are some key tips on staying organized in a small space!

1.) Give Your Bed a Boost! 

Most beds at St. Mike's can be lofted to a height of your choosing with the simple submission of a work order. Take advantage of this option!

Go high and push your whole desk under there, or go low to stash away a few storage bins and suitcases.

Whichever option works best for your stuff-to-space ratio, lofting your bed can give you an invaluable section of extra space. Utilize it well, and your room will start to feel a whole lot bigger!

2.) Doll Up Your Desk!

Don't let your desk serve as a disorderly dumping ground for stray assignment sheets, paychecks, and bills. Your desk will serve you best as an ecosystem of its own, whether or not you actually plan to study there.

Invest in some cute canvas bins, mini mason jars, and don't forget the desk decor!  This will help bring some order to your desk, as well as a little aesthetic to the organization process. You're less likely to let a space become messy if you like the way it looks when it's clean!

3.) Closets Aren't Just for Clothes!

Clothes only take up a fraction of all that closet space. There's no reason why the rest should go to waste! Utilize both the shelving above and the floor below for maximum storage opportunity.

Your closet is a great place to keep all those extra towels and blankets, a fold-up drying rack, mini vacuum, hamper, or anything else your needs call for!

4.) Surface = Storage!

Let no surface go unused!

Keep any plates and silverware on top of your mini fridge. Use your dresser as a bedside table and keep a box of tissues, your phone charger, and your coffee maker readily accessible on top. Heck, use your windowsill as a perch for whatever might fit there!

However you choose to utilize them, make sure you're taking advantage of all those spaces wisely!

5.) Calm, CLEAN, and Collected!

In a perfect world, all of our rooms would be kept perfectly neat and orderly at all times. And while the best way to clean is to keep it clean, we're all human in the end.

If you happen to let your room slip into disorder, it's important to set aside a time to restore that order. An uncluttered living space makes for a less cluttered mind! 

Make a routine out of keeping your space in order, and you'll be amazed at the organizational habits that fall into other aspects of your life.

Hope you enjoyed today's What-to-Know Wednesday! Now let's get organized!
And of course, be sure to stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 18th.

Interested in other posts like this one? Check out: 

Living in Quad Commons

Organizing Your Planner 

Keeping It Cool Through Busy Weeks

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #6

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's- and with the forecast predicting snow next week, we're continuing to enjoy fall as much as we can! 

The always beautiful view across the street from St. Mike's after testing out the all day McDonald's breakfast!

Lot's of yellow foliage at St. Mike's this year...last year I remember there being much more red. But I'm loving this too!

A balanced breakfast on our way to Mount Philo this Saturday!
Passing Shelburne Orchards...

Behold the views of Mount Philo! While this was a much shorter and sweeter hike than we've gotten used to this fall, I absolutely loved it. It was the perfect fall day to take in the foliage below.

Lounging at the top!


Either we became free climbers overnight, or I flipped the decide!

Next weekend we have our October break. While a lot of students will be using that time to head home for the weekend, I live a little too far for that trek to be worth it. So instead, I'll be enjoying a super long weekend here!

Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 14th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Fall Favorites!

Hello all!

We've fully launched into the fall spirit here at St. Mike's! It's this magical time of year right after summer fades away and right before winter kicks in, and we all know the pre-holiday hype that usually comes with that! Some people get annoyed by the sudden influx of holiday decor and pumpkin flavorings everywhere they go...but most of us have chosen to embrace it, myself included!

So without further ado, here are a few of my fall favorites here at (and around) St. Mike's!

1.) Pumpkin Lattes & Muffins
     Einstein's Bros. Bagels

There's no better way to get into the fall spirit than sipping a nice Pumpkin Latte. Use your dining dollars at Einstein's for a latte and/or pumpkin muffin (preferably the one with frosting) to warm up on a crisp fall day!

2.) Flannels & Winter Boots!

There's nothing better than bundling up and getting cozy as the cooler weather starts to roll in! And of course we can't deny the cute factor. Bring on the layers!

3.) Apple picking & Baking
     Shelburne Orchards

Personally, getting to take that first trip of the year to Shelburne Orchards is probably the number one reason I look forward to fall! Read more about my first trip this season on my last Sum-It-Up Sunday.

4.) Halloween Decorations 

My suite-mates and I have started to get into the decorating spirit here at our suite in Quad Commons! Throwing up a few fall-themed decorations here and there is a great way to embrace the changing seasons and add a cozy flair to your room. (I would show you our leaf-shaped plate of candy corn, but alas, it's just a leaf-shaped plate now!)

5.) Foliage
     Local parks

North Beach Park, Burlington

Oakledge Park, Burlington

I think it's safe to say that one of the best parts of fall in New England is the beautiful foliage! I may be biased, but I think it's most vibrant here in VT. I don't think it's gotten quite cold enough to see those leaves really change just yet, but it's just around the corner!

What are your favorite parts about fall? How have you been celebrating the changing seasons?

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #5

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. Summer has officially come and gone- the air is crisp, the trees are colorful, and we're feeling fall!

So naturally, we felt it was the perfect weekend to start getting into the spirit of things!

After our first time at Papa Frank's in Winooski on Friday night (delish and cheap!!), we made our way out to Shelburne Orchards Saturday morning for the first trip of the season!

This shot had me making a pretty spot-on Charlie Brown reference on Instagram. Holiday-film-inspired captions for the win! Check out @claire_cavanaugh for some more #smcvt !

My cider had a relentless bee following me around for a good ten minutes.

Next, we made a trip to the store for a dessert project we had in mind for all our apples...and I stumbled upon my first carton of the season. This is when you know we've officially launched into that time of year! Haters, look down on the early excitement all you want. But I'm amped!!

Later on that night, we got to work on a festive apple pie. (Yes, those are apple and jack-o'-lantern cutouts on our braided crust!) Jared's floor in Pontigny shares a communal kitchen, and this was our first time putting it to good use. Can't wait to test it out some more in the future!

Brunch in 'Bean! (L.L. Bean, in case you were looking for a quality pair of slippers.) As much as I miss making my own breakfast, Sunday morning trips to Alliot in PJs are the next best thing!

I'm loving this lovely VT fall we're having right now. Here's hoping it lasts! 

Stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 7th!

Let's Connect!
Instagram: @claire_cavanaugh
Twitter: @CavanaughClaire