Coffee Alternatives Suggested by Me, an Addict

    If you didn’t already know, I love coffee. A lot. If I don’t have a cup by roughly 12:30pm, pounding headaches ensue. I also enjoy drinking water out of cups that previously had coffee in them because I can still taste hints of coffee. I really like coffee. But sometimes we all need a coffee alternative.

    At one point I needed to have a 5:00 pm venti coffee every day, and maybe another one later in the night..which became expensive and probably unhealthy. So, in the middle of last semester, I decided I was going to try something else for my night time drink: TEA. What a novel idea huh?

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    A “Just Because” Lunch with Mom

    Now that I am away from home basically 10 out of the 12 months in a year, I really appreciate the time I do get to spend with my Mom. Yesterday, she was off work so she suggested we try out a new restaurant in town called Taste. It has a very aesthetically pleasing decor with a little store on one side, with a wall of wine bottles separating it from the restaurant side with tables.

    Think of it as a slightly different Jason’s Deli, that doesn’t have the amazing corn bread muffins. I ordered a BBQ sandwich (#typical) which was super good, and my mom tried some buffalo chicken soup with a spinach salad. The sweet tea was also on point. Below are some pictures from the inside, and if you scroll to the very bottom you can see a new snack I decided to try!

    Happy Tuesday!


    I really wanted these to be amazing, but I’m not convinced. In my head they would be like hot cheetos, but they aren’t at all…


    Podcast Party

    Podcast Party: Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood


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    Follow them on twitter @blackmenpodcast

    Hey friends! I hope that everyone had a great holiday season, and hello to 2016! It has been a while since I have found a new podcast, but just the other week I came across “Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood” and it is so good!
    The breakdown of the podcast is pretty simple. There are 3 black men who discuss movies featuring black stars.



    • The first segment is their initial reaction to the movie and simply discussing the movie’s main take aways. It is probably a good idea for you to have seen the movie before listening because there will be spoilers.
    • The second segment is called “The Swirl” (which is always funny) as they discuss whether there were any interracial relationships that weren’t simply about having “jungle fever.”
    • The final segment is called “The Cause” where they vote on whether the movie did anything to help the black communities cause.

    So far I have listened to their episodes about the movies: Creed, Love and Basketball, and The Best Man Holiday. I thought it was interesting that they compared Love and Basketball to The Notebook, and The Best Man Holiday to Love Actually. You’ll have to listen to the episodes, but it makes sense. They also have episodes discussing Training Day, Rush Hour, Hancock, Coming to America, Barbershop, and more!

    For me, this podcast has shone a light on the many inequalities people of color face in Hollywood. Obviously I knew there were problems (hello #OscarsSoWhite) but this podcast has given me some insight into how the business works and the excuses companies stand behind in order to explain their lack of diversity (marketing schemes blah blah blah).

    Basically, Viola Davis’ Emmy speech sums it all up: “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” 

    If you listen to this podcast, or any others I have posted about, I would love to know what you think!


    5 #Realistic New Year Resolutions


    In 2015, I did fairly well at some resolutions and really awful at others. While everyone knows you can make a change any day, any time, I don’t think it hurts to use the new year as a fresh starting point. In order for it to be effective though I do believe you need to make sure your resolutions are manageable and lead to a specific end goal. In my list below, I have the action I will take, and what I hope this action will bring about in 2016.

    1. Do 14 sun salutations every day. In the past year I really tried to create peaceful, productive, reflective mornings whenever possible. I did this by waking up earlier then I needed to in order to drink coffee in bed, read the news, and just ease into my day. In 2016, I want to add daily sun salutations to that routine. Maybe 7 in the morning, and 7 before bed!? 

    I hope this resolution, enhances my mornings and strengthens my body so I can hold downward dog for longer periods of time.

    2. Send greeting cards to family and friends. My Grandma is incredible at sending cards for no reason. The instant gratification of social media is amazing, but there is something special and genuine about snail mail. In 2016, I want to start sending my friends cards in the mail. Whether it be for their birthday, or just cause I was thinking about them. This could get really expensive, hence my first couple of tries at calligraphy (see above).

    I hope this resolution, helps me stay better connected to the people I may not see everyday and just puts a smile on people’s face.

    3. Finish the Bible in a year. Guys. I tried this last year and it didn’t go so well. I managed to finish 33% of the Bible before I fell off track. In 2016, I hope to finish it for real this time. Ideally, I would like to commit to reading in the mornings, instead of saving it for bedtime, but we shall see.

    I hope this resolution, brings me closer to God and gives me a more comprehensive picture of His word.

    4. Save more money. In 2015 I saved all the coins I received, and every $5 bill I received. I haven’t added it all up yet, but it is a nice chunk of money. In 2016, I want to take it up a notch and continue to save the $5 bills, but once a month I will put away an additional $20 as well.

    I hope this resolution, saves me more money. This one is kind of obvious, but I am really trying to look to the future and at this point next year I will be applying for jobs and getting ready to go out to the real world. So, I simply want to do what I can now to be able to pay rent in a new city, buy work clothes, travel, etc.

    5. Have faith in God’s plan. 2016 will be a year of looking forward to what will be next for me. In this time I don’t want to be pouring over the statistics and fretting over getting the job, getting accepted into the program, or whatever. Wherever I end up, is where I am suppose to be and I need to be okay with that.

    I hope this resolution, lowers my overall stress level and gives me a sense of peace.

    Well friends, that is my list for 2016! One of my friends was talking about making a 2016 dream board so I think I might do that too and hang it up in my room. Anyways, enjoy the last few days of 2015, and have a happy New Year!



    5 Thoughts During my First Barre Class 

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    I have heard a lot about the barre workout classes lately, and my mom used to swear by it, and pilate reformer classes. So, tonight I gave it a go! If you are unfamiliar with barre it is based around ballet, hence the name barre. It works all those small muscles that you didn’t know you had. Here are some of the thoughts I had throughout the class!

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    Santa Please?

    Hey friends, 13 more days until Christmas!!! My mom asked for my Christmas list at least a month before Thanksgiving and this is what I asked for!

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    1. J.Crew Field Jacket: I have a had a similar jacket from Forever 21 for the past 3 years. It’s about time to replace it, and even though this one doesn’t have a hood (tear) I think this is what I want. My sister is also really excited because I told her she could have my old one.Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 7.02.49 PM
    2. Bauer Hockey Gloves:  If you didn’t know that I started playing hockey, I will direct you to this post about my experience so far! I am truly thankful that a majority of my equipment was donated to me, but I do want a new pair of gloves. My Mom actually bought me a new helmet at Thanksgiving, so i’ll probably use Christmas money to buy these gloves for myself.  Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 7.11.30 PM
    3. Ghetto Schooling: A majority of my list consisted of books like this. Over the semester my Professors are always referencing books that have been really influential in the field of education, research, and/or race/culture/ethnicity. So, in preparation for my Christmas list I went through all my notes and wrote down the titles of books that I had scribbled in the margins. The follow up to this book is: Radical Possibilities 
    4. Other books on my list:

    What did you ask for? Any good books I should put on my list?!




    I Play Hockey Now? #Debatable

    I sit here writing this blog post while watching the 30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men, an ESPN documentary about the US National Hockey team and their “miracle” win again the USSR. Anyways, if you didn’t already know, after reading this title you know that I have started playing ice hockey!

    My first two years in college I rowed for a D1 collegiate program. After my second year both me and my coaches recognized that I was never going to be competitive enough in the sport, so I stopped rowing(well thats a simplified explanation.) This left me without an organized sport for the first time in 10 years. For my first semester of 3rd year I told myself that I wanted to give my body a break and experience what is is like to not have so much of my life dedicated to a sport. Welp, that lasted about half a semester before I made the spontaneous decision to start playing ice hockey.

    I came across and ad looking for women hockey players with the words “no experience needed” and I quickly jumped on the idea. Quickly may even be an understatement. Within a 15 minute car ride I had read the ad, emailed the captain on the team, gotten a response from her, decided I was going to play, and texted my mom to inform her of my new sport.

    My first practice I attended was v interesting. First lets talk about the equipment. I got to the rink and the captain hands me a bag the size that 2-3 toddlers could fit inside of. I head to the locker room and everyone is starting to get dressed (a 10 minute endeavor) and I am just sitting there looking at the one other new girl like..tumblr_mwgtmgvZO41qln4e1o1_500

    Eventually one of the girls tells us step by step how to put all the gear on. I make it onto the ice and warm up before the coach calls us in a huddle to go over the drills we are doing next. I’m listening to him talk and explain the drill but i’m like whaaaaaaaat? tumblr_msszwrMEGs1sgl0ajo1_500

    Each week after the first is better and better. My improvement is noticeable and I really start to enjoy the sport. In a way hockey is a lot like my first sport of basketball, and it really started to fulfill a void that rowing could just not do.

    So after my 4th practice comes my first game. We traveled to Philadelphia for a hockey tournament and suddenly I was thrown into a hockey game with girls who have been playing their entire life. I was informed of what off-sides meant and icing before being sent off to play (those concepts are still a little hairy.)


    We won the first game 9-2 and I actually did way better than expected. The games allowed for me to better understand how positioning works which was helpful. I recognize that the actually hockey skill will come with time, but understanding the game itself is big.

    The rest of the tournament did not go in our favor but our last game was a pretty good game and we only lost by one. Playing in this tournament really showed me that hockey and this team is exactly what I was looking for. I’m really excited for the rest of the season and i’m looking forward to making a lot of improvements!


    P.S: I don’t know how to stop

    P.S.S: My inner thighs are bruised from climbing over the boards



    My Thoughts on Becoming a Teacher

    Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 5.20.39 PMI came into my major with a very clear plan of what I wanted to do. At that time, I thought I wanted to run an athletic non-profit for underprivileged kids. The more classes I took and the more informed I became, it just seemed as if I would not be working to address the root problems society deals with. This same reasoning is also why I decided the summer before my freshmen year that becoming an orthopedic surgeon would not evoke the change I was looking to make. The demographic I want to work with since starting this major has not changed, but my service has.

    Over the past year I feel like there has been little hints that maybe I should go into reaching. I kept suppressing that idea because I am not currently on a track to graduate with that degree. Well, this year especially the idea became stronger and the Teach for America option came up. I think TFA in theory sounds great, but knowing what I know about the effectiveness of qualified teachers I have a hard time putting myself in a situation that could negatively impact the future of a young student, due to my lack of experience. So then came the idea of going back to school to get certified to teach. I was informed that it might be necessary to have a Bachelors of sciences for these programs..with my first major I’ll be getting a Bachelors of Arts #problem. So I did the only logical thing, I decided that in my 3rd year of college I would double major. Awesome.

    One week after deciding I was going to double major, I attended the Career Fair here at school. Usually I don’t go to these as many of the job opportunities don’t apply to me. Well, this time I went, and I talked to one person: the rep from Urban Teachers. You can read more about it here, but I was hooked from the beginning. To me, it sounded like a better version of TFA. I talked to the rep for a solid 20 minutes and she advised me to apply early because as a junior I have the option to defer for a year.

    Actually she told me I should apply by the November 9th deadline, but that was way too soon and I needed to think about it some more. But after talking to my mom and some close friends I really think this is the option I am going to pursue. I also chose to wait until the next deadline because I want this semesters grades on my transcript #HopingForA4.0

    So yeah guys, thats my life right now. The idea of having a classroom and teaching the babies makes me so happy and I am excited to see how this all turns out.


    Its not me, It’s Him

    Hey friends! So, I had planned to drop a new post I have been working on, entitled: “My Thoughts on Becoming a Teacher” (check back later this week) but then I went to a Christian ministry service here on Grounds and it gave me some time to reflect. In the service tonight we were asked to reflect on some ways God has been faithful in our life? Immediately, I thought about school.

    Many of my prayers for the past 5-7years have been surrounded around doing well in school and getting into school (wahoowa!), in order to set myself up for my future goals (grad school? a job? both? see next blog post!) As of right now, I feel I am in a really good space academically, and for a while there I was giving myself all the credit. People ask me, “Alysse, how do you balance all your clubs, meetings, schoolwork, (sleep maybe) and keep such a positive attitude?!” My response would usually be, “well it’s all about planning, being organized and efficient with your time” and then I would probably go off on a tangent about how important planners are.

    But I was wrong. Jesus is the reason I am able to balance everything so well. Its not me, its Him. 

    I lean on Jesus in my moments of stress. I draw strength from Him. I know I can call on His name and He will be there. I would not be where I am today without the grace of God, and I need to do a better job of giving Him that glory. So next time someone asks me how I handle it all, Jesus will get the credit first, then my planner.


    2 Months and 1 Day Later….

    Tonight, our Athletes in Action/Fellowship for Christian Athletes student leaders group, had bible study and reviewed a passage, (Isaiah 26th) that we previously worked through a day before the semester started. August 24th, exactly 2 months and 1 day ago. As we talked about the chapter we worked through a handout that had questions such as:

    “What is God calling you to trust him with this semester?”

    “What do you need to give over to Him so that you can walk in the goodness of his ways?”

    “What in your life is taking God’s place?”

    Tonight, I answered those same questions again and then reflected on how God has worked in my life this semester, what I still
    need to be praying about, and also things I completely forgot I wrote down. I really enjoy doing activities like this because it gives me concrete examples of the growth I’ve made. I write a lot so I always have material to reflect on, but if you don’t often put your feelings on paper I recommend finding/creating a list of questions and answering them every 2-3 months to track your own growth, as a person and/or in your relationship with the Lord.

    I would love to hear about different methods you use for reflection, and/or prompts you might use for journaling!