Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #13

Hello all!

It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving break, and while I could have stayed home for a whole while longer, there's just a few more weeks left in the semester before we're off for Christmas!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving, wherever and however you spent it! Here are a few photos from mine:

The best breakfast ever at one of my favorite spots, Mad Martha's Cafe in Plum Island!

My mom and my apple pie creation! 

Family fun!

A little pie action post-Thanksgiving din. 

How'd you spend your Thanksgiving?

Until next time!

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Thankful For Thanksgiving

Today's project!

It's finally here: the day all us college kids have been waiting for, and the break that has become more and more exciting with each passing year...Thanksgiving!! (I know, we've still got one more day. But on today's What-to-Know Wednesday, the celebrations start now!)

After tomorrow, the holiday season can officially commence. Bring on the festive lighting, homey decorations, and Elf !

But before we get to that, it's important to take a moment to sit back and remember all the great things we have to be thankful for over this Thanksgiving break! So without further ado...

1.) Reconnecting with family & friends!

For many students (myself included), Thanksgiving is the first time in the fall semester that they return home! That makes it a great time to see family and friends that you may not have seen in months. It's always such a sweet reunion over turkey and pumpkin pie (or a breakfast date, like the one my friend Maureen and I had this morning)!

2.) Having a home-cooked meal (or several)! 

There's nothing quite like making your triumphant return to a fully stocked kitchen in your own home. (Oh, the luxury!!) Coming home for Thanksgiving doesn't just guarantee you a hogfest like no other on the day itself, but also a whole long weekend's worth of home-cooked goodness! Indulge and enjoy it while it lasts!

3.) Taking a break!

It is a break, after all! It's important to take time to relax amidst the constant stresses of this time in the semester. (It's crazy to think that it's almost over!!) Sleep in, enjoy down time with family and friends, and restore your body and mind for the upcoming weeks at school!

What are you thankful for this year?
Have a wonderful break and a happy Thanksgiving!!

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #12

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. With Thanksgiving break starting in just a couple of days, people are getting antsy and ready for some down time, family time, and of course, turkey time. But naturally, we couldn't let our last week before that go by without a few adventures!

Alliot hosted their annual Thanksgiving Dinner this past Wednesday. As I've mentioned many times before, this is one of the best nights at Alliot all year! We actually got there at a record 4:30 this year, so we had no difficulty finding a seat. (Yes, this kind of effort is required!)

This Saturday, we finally made our way out to the Cabot Cheese Factory for a tour, and of course, some souvenir cheese. (Did you know jack cheese is just once-washed cheddar? And muenster is just twice-washed cheddar? And Colby Jack is all jack, just half-dyed orange?!?! I didn't.)

On our way back from the Cabot Factory, we stumbled upon this cute little bakery called Rainbow Sweets a little ways down the road. This photo was taken of Jared's raspberry Neapolitan pastry after I'd already devoured my cream cheese pastry twist with raspberry (can you blame me?!).  

After Rainbow Sweets, we found this adorable covered bridge at Martin Bridge Park and decided to take a quick stroll to see what we could find.

After a little exploring, we found this cool little stonehenge at the top of a hill!
And naturally, when you stumble upon a stonehenge, a little "yoga" is imperative. 

Whether you're a prospective student or a current one, I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving and a great break! Stay tuned!

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Money Saving Musts

We all know the age old stereotype: broke college kid lounging in their dorm room with a bowl of ramen in their lap and calling it dinner. While I deny that there's any truth to that image, I will be honest with you...

...once you get to college, you might start to realize that your money is disappearing left and right. Where is it going? Who really knows. The bottom line is, it's pretty easy to find yourself dreading the monthly bill when all of a sudden you're off on your own and responsible for buying your own toothpaste.

However, there is some good news. With conscientious spending when spending is necessary, careful planning, and a little bit of effort, you'll have the privilege of dreading that bill no more!

1.) Ask for the right gifts!

When you're living on your own and responsible for the corresponding expenses, sometimes a dinner out or a spontaneous shopping spree are luxuries you can't afford. With that in mind, I figured out pretty early on that gift cards are the best gift to ask for in college. Whether it's your birthday or Christmas, for your favorite restaurant or your favorite store, a gift card will always be a great gift. Don't be afraid to drop a subtle (or not so subtle!) hint to the 'rents.

(**Any soon-to-be college parents reading? Take note!!)

2.) Find free fun!

One of the many great things about living in Vermont is that planning a fun Saturday out doesn't have to be a pricey endeavor! In fact, most of the time, it doesn't need to have a price at all. Hiking Camel's Hump, exploring local parks, and taking in the view at the Burlington waterfront are all fun, free ways to spend some weekend time (amongst many more)!

3.) Make Shopping Lists!

Making a trip to the store for a few necessities? Do yourself a favor and make a list beforehand of everything you plan on getting. Having a list in front of you while you shop will help you focus on what you need and prevent you from wandering around and splurging on what you want. 

4.) Make Your Own Coffee! 

I'm amazed at how many people I see walking around with a Dunkin Donuts cup on a daily basis. Of course I'm not denying anybody some occasional Dunkin Donuts; I wouldn't dream of it. But relying on the drive-thru regularly will start emptying your wallet quicker than you might think.

While Keurigs (and coffeemakers in general) aren't exactly cheap, you'll save much more money in the long run by making your own coffee (preferably with a refillable K-cup!) than you will by dropping $3 on your morning cup every day.

Happy saving!!

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #11

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. We're just around the bend from Thanksgiving Break, which can also mean that professors start to push out material like crazy and we all get busy. My fingers are crossed that this next week and a half goes smoothly!

Low quality pic, high quality sunset!

Celebrating Jared's birthday on Tuesday with dinner at Vermont Pub & Brewery!

We had a few visitors from Shelburne Farms in Adventure Film this Thursday! They're with an organization that takes in injured birds and gets them well again before releasing them back into the wild! This one, however, wasn't very appreciative and kept trying to get away. 


The best mac and cheese in the world at Our House on Friday night! I've mentioned this place several times, so that should tell you just how amazing it is. It's a small place, so it's an inevitable wait every time, but so worth it nonetheless!!

Hope you all enjoyed today's Sum-It-Up Sunday! It's a short and sweet one today; lot's to do to prepare for the busy week ahead! Be sure to stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 18th!

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : Maximizing Your LSC Experience

Hello all!

There are many aspects of our education here that make the St. Mike's experience unique, but on today's What-to-Know Wednesday, I'll be focusing on a pretty key aspect: the Liberal Studies Curriculum!

Right off the bat, there's a chance you already have a few questions. First thing's first, you're probably wondering what the Liberal Studies curriculum is! Put simply, it's St. Mike's' way of ensuring a broad, well-rounded immersion in several different paths of study as they relate to your major and to the world around us.

More specifically, the Liberal Studies curriculum is a path of requirements that each St. Mike's student has to follow, including:
  •  First-Year Seminar: a course to be taken at some point in your freshman year, heavily based on writing and discussion, usually a small class size. A wide array of different First-Year Seminars are offered, ranging in different unique topics! (This is a super fun class if you pick the right one!!)
  • Philosophy Course
  • Religion Course (** You can take two Religion courses and one Philosophy course, OR two philosophy courses and one Religion course. Totally up to you!)
  • Global Issues Course
  • History Course
  • Science Course
  • Math Course
  • Foreign Language Course
  • Human Behavior Course
  • Art Course
  • Experiential Learning Course

You might be intimidated by the list...but trust me, working these classes into your schedule alongside your major requirements is really not much of an effort at all. In fact, you'll probably find that these classes will serve as a nice break in the day from your major classes. And depending on which classes you choose to fulfill these requirements with, you have the opportunity to make your LSC experience a lot of fun!

Which brings me to the actual point of this knew I'd get around to it eventually!...some of the best courses to take to maximize your Liberal Studies experience here at St. Mike's!

History of Rock & Roll

YES...this overview of rock and roll's origins from the 1950's-present day fulfills the History requirement!!

I'm currently taking the course this semester, and not only am I learning a lot about music I've been listening to for years, but I'm also learning a lot of new stuff and having a ton of fun doing it! A couple of friends and I just did a presentation on the effects of racism on rock and roll. Other groups have covered topics like music festivals, feminist politics in rock and roll, etc.!

First-Year Seminar: The Art and Science of Snow

I knew I wanted to take this first-year seminar from the second I knew it was offered! In addition to learning tons of cool things about snow through different discussions and projects, we did an overview of the Winter Olympics as it played out, spent class time outside observing the way snow coated different plants in the garden, and took field trips to the Snowflake Bentley museum in Jericho, VT and Smuggler's Notch Ski Resort for a snow-making presentation!

We also learned a lot of key writing tips, and even had a few conversations about St. Mike's life in general. The small class size and discussion format made for such a personal, fun, cozy environment that I looked forward to the class every Tuesday and Thursday! Consider this course highly recommended!

Creative Dance

It was just as much of a surprise to me as it is to you- St. Mike's offers several dance classes, all of which fulfill the Artistic Experience requirement!

Fun fact: Art is the last LSC requirement I have to complete! I'm currently signed up to take Creative Dance next semester (I registered this Monday!). Taking a Dance class has come highly recommended by two of the girls I live with, so I couldn't be more excited to have this in my schedule next semester!

What courses are you excited to take?

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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #10

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. And with class registration for next semester coming up tomorrow, this coming week is certainly going to be a busy one!

We had quite the warm, very non-November weekend. Friday night, I attended the Telluride Mountain film festival for my Adventure Film Class, which was hosted by Outdoor Gear Exchange. We sat in the Davis Center at UVM for a screening of around 15 short outdoor films ranging in topics. They were all great, and it was an awesome time! Even though it was for class, I'm so glad I went.

The following morning, things got juicy...

Kale and ginger shots at the Juicebox in downtown Burlington! These weren't exactly enjoyable going down, but lemme tell ya- I felt like I'd drank about three cups of coffee afterward! It was a great boost of energy to start the day.

My "Energizer Honey" smoothie: banana, raw peanut butter, raw cacao, and raw honey. So yummy you would have thought it was just a good ol' milkshake. No kidding.

Next, we made our way out to Airport Park where we got on the Colchester Causeway, which is linked to other paths in the area (like the Burlington Bike Path!) by the Island Line Trail. Yes, this is a bike/pedestrian path that runs straight through Lake Champlain! It was a super cool adventure, yet still pretty close to SMC.

After a great weekend, today will be a busy day of homework and registration prep. Hope you all enjoyed today's Sum-It-Up Sunday, and be sure to stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 11th!

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What-to-Know Wednesday : 5 Key Tips For Staying Energized & Motivated

It's that time of year's getting darker earlier, temperatures are dropping, and workloads are picking up. It's the perfect storm, and chances are your energy reserves are drying up.

We're all here for school, and of course staying on top of your work and studying hard is a huge priority. But an even bigger priority that isn't emphasized enough is making sure you take care of yourself. If you don't take care of yourself, you certainly won't be able to take care of your mid-semester workload!

Remember the following tips, and you'll feel far less bogged down and ready to take on the week!

1.) Eat Well

Like I've said before- all those greasy cheeseburgers and grilled cheeses may seem tempting at first, but you're much better off if you try and save those options as a once or twice-a-week treat.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly the poster child for this tip, but your body will be fueled much more efficiently with some salads, deli sandwiches, or even something from the meat carving station that hasn't been slathered in butter and fried up on the grill...and you'll feel a lot better, too!

2.) Drink Well
I know your first inclination on a tired day might be to guzzle as much coffee as possible; I've certainly been guilty of this. And even though coffee gives you that quick jolt that you're looking for, it also does a great job of dehydrating you, which will contribute even further to your fatigue.

I understand it would be way too much of me to ask that you completely resist coffee altogether. No need to act rash. But instead try limiting yourself to 1-2 cups a day, and pound that H2O. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body will thank you.

3.) Sleep Well

It can be tempting to lay in bed watching Netflix after a long, hard day. And I won't stop you...go ahead, you deserve it. But try to limit yourself to one or two episodes, depending on how early you start. Your time will be far more efficiently spent sleeping, restoring your body and mind for the day ahead! 

4.) Do Something For YOU

It's so incredibly important to take a break from all your work; don't wait till you burn yourself out. 

Whether you're taking a solo walk, reading a book (that isn't for school), or even indulging in a few episodes of your favorite Netflix show, make sure you set aside some time to do something for yourself that you enjoy doing.

5.) Reward Yourself
It can be difficult to move past a bad grade here and there, and it's easy to give yourself a hard time about it. However, when things do go well, it's important to acknowledge that even more! Take a moment (or more!!) to celebrate!

Now let's get energized!...and stay tuned for the next Sum-It-Up Sunday on the 8th!

Interested in other posts like this one? Check out:

Surviving the Study-Stage of an Exam

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

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sum-It-Up Sunday : Week #9

Hello all!

It's been another wonderful week here at St. Mike's. My busiest week yet has just come and gone, as well as Halloweekend! Sadly, I won't have a cute costume pic to show on today's Sum-It-Up Sunday. This semester has just been so busy that I didn't have time to think up something to my full potential. (Which is why next year is going to have to be especially excellent!!)

But thankfully, we still made the best of our week/weekend.

Another shot sent from my brother at Champlain, stolen for Instagram.

Friday afternoon, my Adventure Film class and I went on our third and final lab of the semester to Mad River. It was a chilly couple of hours shooting some very generous members of the Wilderness Program as they performed trick after trick for us, but some awesome footage was sure to come out of it! For those of you who might be interested in pursuing the Media Studies, Journalism, & Digital Arts major here at St. Mike's, I highly recommend taking Adventure & Environmental Filmmaking for one of your electives. It's a collaboration between the MJD department and the Wilderness Program in which you'll spend time learning about the camera, editing programs, and critiquing films in class, as well as getting off-campus field experience on a few Friday afternoon labs scattered throughout the semester. We've also gone mountain biking at the Catamount Outdoor Center, and climbing at Bolton!
 Saturday morning sweets at Doughnut Dilemma!
Gorgeous, St. Mike's-themed purple kale at Sam Mazza's Farm Market!
Making friends with the friendly local pony.
NOT a friendly.
This was a surprisingly difficult corn maze, but fun nonetheless!!
*corny* hahahhaa

Hope you enjoyed today's Sum-It-Up Sunday, and be sure to stay tuned for the next What-to-Know Wednesday on the 4th!

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