Apartment tour

Something I did way back when [2 and a half years ago] before the apartment life was a dorm tour! I loved getting to share my little home with everyone! Dorm, apartment, house, etc. tours on blogs and YouTube are my absolute favorite because I love seeing where people live and what they do with the space they have. I didn’t do an apartment tour with my last apartment [I might be able to if I still have the pictures I took of it] but I wanted to share my space in Greece.

I live in a studio apartment in a suburb of Thessaloniki known as Kalamaria. My apartment is on the top floor of a five-story apartment building with two apartments per floor. I am the only one currently living on my floor but people have been in and out of the other one for the past few days so I have to assume I will be getting a neighbor at some point shortly.

After unlocking the front door of the building, there is a small lobby area with mail slots, one apartment, a set of stairs, and a sketchy elevator. I take the elevator of course because I’m not trying to walk up five flights of stairs after a long day at school or with two arms full of groceries. If the elevator could hold my two 45-pound suitcases, my backpack, me, and another woman, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

When I get off the elevator, my apartment is on the left side of the platform.

The first thing you see when you walk into my apartment is everything. It’s a studio apartment so it’s very very tiny but it has everything I need. To the left of my door is my mudroom or mud area because obviously in a studio apartment we only have one room and then the bathroom. In this mud area, I keep all my shoes, my two coats, my teaching bag, hats, scarves, gloves, my umbrella as well as purses. There’s also a really nice mirror that I make sure to look in every morning before I leave so that I’m not going out looking a mess.

Right next to the mud area that is my bathroom. The bathroom is also pretty tiny, but it also has everything I need. There’s a toilet, a sink, a shower, and a laundry basket. My favorite part of the bathroom is the little counter underneath the mirror where I keep all the stuff that I use each morning and night like my skincare items, toothbrush, toothpaste, my sinus rinse, etc.

Something I love in homes are kitchens. I love cooking, eating, the homey atmosphere that kitchens bring so having this kitchen is a little bit of a challenge for me because it is so small but like everything else, the apartment is only for three months and it has what I need so I’m making it work. In my kitchen, I have a tiny microwave oven, three stovetop burners, a sink, a mini-fridge with a freezer built in and then a bunch of storage space as well. In the weeks I’ve been here I’ve only eaten out TWICE which means this kitchen is getting a TON of use.

One of my favorite parts of this apartment is my little coffeemaker area. I have a 10-cup coffee pot, a water heater, a toaster, as well as another toaster//Panini maker type thing. It’s rested on this cute little table and under the coffee pot I have coffee, sugar, tea bags, etc. Then underneath there’s a little storage area that I keep extra snacks in as well as my first aid kits.

I sort of have a dining room. In my dining area, I have a very small table with two stools that I really don’t ever use to eat. This table is more of my hub for keeping random stuff so when I go grocery shopping I put my groceries on there, after school, I put my laptop on it to charge, etc. It is still a nice little addition to the apartment and there are some days that I use it to eat dinner or breakfast which makes it nice to have.

Next, we have my closet. On top of my closet are my suitcases. Inside of my closet, I have a top-shelf which is where I keep underwear, bras, socks, and pajamas. I also have a shelf on the bottom and underneath that shelf, I have a vacuum cleaner and a couple sweatshirts that I brought. In the middle of the closet, I have a rack to hang things. When I got the apartment it only had a couple of hangers, so I do have to fold a lot of the clothes I brought and put them on the bottom shelf. I could go out and buy more hangers or ask my Airbnb host for some, but I’ll live with only hanging the necessities.

The next thing is my bed. My bed here is a sofa bed so during the day you can have it as a couch and then at night turn it into a bed however I prefer sleeping on the couch, so I usually just keep it as the sofa.

The balcony is by far my favorite part of the Airbnb because it is so big it’s really great to just sit and watch the sunset and sometimes I can watch the sunrise. I could literally sit out there all day. I work out on the balcony, do homework, lesson plan, etc. it is by far my favorite place and view in all of Greece.

What’s your favorite part of your home?
❤ Alicia

How I set up my planner

There’s absolutely nothing like the feel of a new planner. Having the opportunity to highlight, draw, scribble, sticker, and more to the hundred or so pages of a planner is unlike anything else. Before heading to Greece, I bought a new planner which was unlike all of my old planners. After seeing my schedule for the semester and realizing that it was different every single day, I decided to get a Day Designer from Target, which is a weekly hour by hour planner with additional room for to-do lists and other things to keep in mind. This planner is by far my favorite planner I’ve had and I’m using the HELL out of it. I still haven’t mastered my schedule so when I’m in five different classrooms in one day, this planner comes in handy. I wanted to share with everyone the layout of my planner to hopefully give some inspiration to those of you who have written three things for the whole year in your planer… in black ink.

Monthly view

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My old planners are scary compared to this one. Before this semester I had 334923957382 things on my plate each month, so the month view had white-out, scribbles, and 7 different colors of marker to sort my life out. This semester, while I feel a lot busier, I have a hell of a lot less to do. I have four obligations: school, lesson planning, blogging, and my trips. Really that’s it, besides the hell of the edTPA which will be over soon. Each of these things has color in my planner and that’s that. School is blue. Blogging is red and trips are pink. I also add birthdays and holidays which I keep in black so that I don’t overload my senses. I also decided to finally use the stickers that they gave me in this planner [as well as my last planner too] to spice it up. Who doesn’t love a good sticker… or 20???

Weekly view

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This looks like an absolute cluster, but I can tell you it’s organized. Day to day I have a lot going on and the only way I could keep it nice and organized was by highlighting, highlighting and more highlighting! My breaks are written in pink [just like trips because it’s a nice time to relax for me]. ESL is orange. Spanish is blue and Planning is yellow. Then, everything else from the monthly view transfers over to the weekly as well so that I know what I’m doing and what’s happening and when. I use the same colors for monthly and weekly so I can write fewer words and still know what I’m talking about i.e. I can put “None” in blue and know I’m talking about school because of the color.


All in all, I love this planner. If you have the same schedule day to day this planner isn’t all that necessary. However, for those of you who do have a lot going on day to day, BUY THIS. It comes in a bigger size which I didn’t buy solely because I wanted it to be smaller for travel purposes. Out of the 5 or so different planners that I’ve used, this takes the cake as being my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s better or because I’m actually using it every day, but this planner gets an A+ in my book.

What is your favorite planner? And why?

❤ Alicia

Why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work

We’re just about finished with January and almost everyone has already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you made a resolution to eat better, lose weight, read more, go to bed early, etc. most people [80% of us] have already given up on our resolutions.

I think resolutions are funny. I make them, I won’t lie, but year after year we fall short on achieving our New Year’s goals for a variety of reasons. There are simpler ways to reach these goals, but people think just because they write them on their whiteboard above their desk that they will achieve them. Whether you’ve made no progress on your goals or have decided to give up completely, here are a few ways to actually achieve your goals, whether you start today, February 1st, this next Monday, or in 2021.


  1. Set attainable goals: A goal to write a book when you’ve never written more than 5 pages for a school paper is not realistic. Setting smaller, more attainable goals like writing a short story or planning out that novel you’ve dreamt of writing allows you to still make progress on your lifelong dream but they’re less daunting and you can 100% complete them and be happy with your success instead of being upset that you fell short on writing a whole novel.
  2. Don’t make tons of resolutions: The biggest mistake I used to make [2018 Alicia was far too ambitious] was to make 8-15 resolutions for the New Year. I could only focus on one or two of these resolutions and would get disheartened when I would fail the rest even though I was making progress in some areas of my life which was in fact, still progress.
  3. Make a plan on how to achieve these resolutions: Making a resolution to “Go Vegan” is so unrealistic it’s not even funny. I remember when I went vegan, it was hard. I ate fruits, veggies and protein bars [and Chipotle] for the first few months because I had no idea what I was doing. After hours of research about going and eating vegan, I was able to incorporate a variety of vegan foods into my diet. For larger and longer-term goals [getting healthy, learning a new hobby, etc.] you have to research and make a plan to achieve these resolutions if you want them to work out.
  4. Check-in on your goals every so often: Ever two weeks I have an event in my calendar that says “Resolution Check-in” where I look at what I’ve been doing, see if it’s working or not, make changes and sometimes even change the resolution as a whole. You won’t be the same person in March as you were in January and it’s okay to make those changes accordingly.
  5. Realize it’s okay to have setbacks: When you’ve been eating unhealthily or drinking soda or whatever for YEARS, you are going to have a setback or two. Realize that it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself about it and try to not do it the next time you’re tempted.

Finally, remember that completing a New Year’s Resolution doesn’t occur overnight. So many HUGE resolutions will take months if not the entire new year. Take it slow and you can [finally] achieve your New Year’s Resolution[s].

❤ Alicia

Saalt Period Cup Review

Hi all, Happy Thursday! Slowly but surely getting into that routine // self-care practice of writing when I can. As you’ve probably seen from my Instagram or blog posts here and on LVNG Limitless [RIP], I’ve been actively working to live a more sustainable lifestyle. One of the many ways that I produce waste every month is through period products. Tampons and Pads produce an obscene amount of waste over the course of a lifetime and I was 100% over that. So, after much self-debating and a trip to Target, I came home with the Saalt cup, a silicone cup that replaces single-use period products.

 

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In short, I’m in love. The Saalt cup has truly changed my life in such a short time and I am NEVER going back. After just six months of using this cup, I’ve saved over 24 pads and 60 tampons.

Short story long, I don’t have to worry about my period anymore. I will not lie, the first period I used the Saalt cup for, I was PARANOID. It’s a weird feeling at first, I cannot lie. I thought it would leak and I wouldn’t know, I thought it would get stuck, millions of thoughts flooded my mind during those first five days, and guess what? None of them were true! I didn’t need to worry about a thing [although I am glad I paid extra careful attention just in case].

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the cup itself

During all of the periods I’ve had that have followed using the Saalt cup, I do not worry about my period. Most days [except for day three which is my heaviest flow] of my period I change it in the morning after my shower and before I go to bed and that’s it. No leaks, no ruined underwear, no pain, nothing. It’s just like a regular week, with a little bit of added silicone.

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the storage pouch

So, of all period cups, why the Saalt cup? Well, besides the fact that it’s roughly half of what other name brand period costs retail for [Diva cup in particular], it comes in two sizes [most do], with the bigger size being blue [what could be better ??], the packaging is absolutely adorable, it comes with a carrying case, and three little pamphlets about usage, helping communities, and how to follow it. Not only this, but for every Saalt cup you buy, it gives one to a menstruating individual in need of period care.

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the how-to guide and their mission

The how-to guide was extremely useful [especially because I was quaking in my boots because I didn’t know if it would hurt] and reading about how women in 3rd world countries have to miss a month or so of school or work every year due to their period. Due to this, many people drop out or quit their jobs because it is so difficult to work or go to school while menstruating without the proper period products.

In my opinion, you don’t need to buy both sizes. I have the larger size and even on my lighter days, it does the job well.

I would recommend the Saalt cup [or any period cup for that matter] to every single menstruating human not only because of the lack of waste you are creating but also because of the care that they give to those in need.

A huge 5/5 stars for the Saalt Cup. Thank you for giving back, being affordable, and being the absolutely cutest period cups to line the shelves.

*Please note: If you use an IUD you cannot use the saalt cup because of the suction. You would run the risk of having your IUD come out.

❤ Alicia

Exploring my options: What does post-grad hold?

I’ve done a lot of reflecting during the time I’ve had this blog. From what I’ve done during college, outside of school, and before college, it’s one of my favorite things to do. However, in less than four months [WHAT??] I will be graduating college. What comes next? I know a lot of what I don’t want to come next, but I’m not certain what will come next. I have options. A shit ton of options actually and it’s terrifying. I’m almost positive everyone has as many options as what I’ll mention in a minute but everyone takes the typical path: grad school or a job because they’re easy and the proper ‘next’ thing to do in life. If we’ve made one thing very very clear from my time of writing, it’s that I never do the proper thing. So, what the hell am I going to do in four months? What the hell are any of us soon to be graduates going to do in four months? Beats me, but at least I have options and the ability to make a pro-con list. So, let’s have at it.


Grad school

I know that one day I will have to go to grad school. Whether I go to grad school for education, Spanish, business, etc. who knows? But I’ll have to go eventually. A month or so ago, my advisor told me she has recommended me for grad school into the Spanish department at OU. This would entail a “TAship” which would mean free tuition. I would still have to pay room and board but I would also be paid for being a TA so I would be able to manage on that salary. I wouldn’t be able to save much if anything, but I could live off of that.

I always knew I would go to grad school. However, I NEVER thought I would go for Spanish. I could do it, obviously, and it would be tremendous for my Spanish skills and teaching skills [since I would have to teach an intro level course] but it’s never something I thought I would do. I need a year off. So I would, if I took this opportunity, start in the fall of 2021.

Be a “Cultural Ambassador” in Spain

This is also a new option for me which was shown to me by my linguistics professor who is a liaison for the program here. I’m not 100% confident on my teaching abilities because I really still haven’t taught a class by myself even though I’m supposed to [lol] so I would like a bit more practice [which could change come the end of the semester] before taking on my own classroom. This Cultural Ambassador program would basically entail me being a part-time teacher in a classroom in Spain teaching about my language and culture. I would be making a living wage and living in Spain as well as having time to travel. It’s also very nice because it’s only a 9-10 month commitment so it’s not too much pressure for me to adore the job because if I don’t want to renew the job, I don’t have to. I can apply starting January 30th [which I will be doing] and if I get it, as long as I don’t get offered another job, it is probably what I will be doing right out of the post-grad gate.

The Peace Corps

The Peace Corps has been something I have always wanted to do. Since I first heard about it five or six years ago, I knew it was something I had to do before I die. My only concern with it is that it’s a 27-month program. I have a few friends I know doing it right now, so I want to talk to them before I do it in the near future. I will do it eventually, but I want to know if now is the time for it or not. Obviously, if I do it soon, I would probably go and teach. However, if I ended up going later, what I did would definitely depend on my career path then.

Get a job in America

The education job fair is in April and I will probably not be back in Athens for it so my advisors will give my resume and portfolio to schools of sizes, locations, etc. that I’m interested in. If I get offered a job either close to home or somewhere I could see myself living, I might take it. I would LOVE if they could pay // help pay for grad school. We will see what April brings.

Get a job abroad

There are two former COST students turned teachers here in Thessaloniki and it sounds like a dream. Having a year by year contract so you can go home or somewhere else to teach whenever you please is amazing. Not to mentions living in Greece and having ample time and places to travel. It would be great to live here but obviously, that’s not really up to me. If I were to get offered to stay here, I’d have to think it over, but I think I’d eventually take it. Who wouldn’t?

Something else??????

My dream would be to move to the Pacific Northwest, get a tiny house and a dog, and work at a vegan restaurant and write and read in the woods in my free time. However, I do not think that a small vegan restaurant or bakery salary could pay for the lifestyle I would love to live. So, this might have to wait.


As we can see, I have options upon options. I need to keep my focus and not let anyone or anything influence my decision for post-grad life [as I did with college] so that I can do what I want and be one happy camper after I graduate.

❤ Alicia