Life

  • How to Get a 4.0 in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Disclaimer : These are things that have worked for me. I am giving my best advice and the strategies that I’ve implemented to help me achieve my goal GPA. Sidenote – a 4.0 is not necessary!

    Also because some of y’all might not believe my GPA, here is a little proof

    Going into college, I made a promise to myself: reduce my overall stress level. Senior year had me frail and broken. While I was motivated in previous years, it seemed to heighten with the added stress of only needing to maintain my GPA for one more year to graduate valedictorian. During my senior year I had lost unnecessary weight and was consumed by anxiety.

    While I decided to keep my same method of studying (typing my notes into question and answer format to study off of), I decided to change the amount of time I would study. Instead of burning myself out studying for 7 hours straight, like I would in high school, I would take a break whenever I could tell I wasn’t able to 100% concentrate. I would return to working on my homework when I was able to.

    5 Quick Tips for a Perfect GPA

    1. Break up your homework and study sessions w/free time!
    2. Create study guides (please please please don’t just reread your notes to study!!)
    3. Ask questions you don’t understand and answer the ones you do in class.
    4. Go talk to professors about your essay when you’re in the process of writing – they might grade it a little easier.
    5. Go into every quiz, test and exam knowing that the final result is now out of your control so you can relax!

    Detailed Look at How I Study

    Example Study Plan

    Example Study Guide

    Another important thing that I’ve learned about myself in college, skipping meals and sleep to study is NEVER okay and causes MAJOR HARM to your mental health. Please eat and sleep. Your GPA won’t matter if your health is failing.

    With Love, Marin

  • Takeaways from a Semester in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Phew, finals are over. I am prepared beyond belief for six weeks without school! First semester of college has taught me a lot. These last four months have been chaotic and I wouldn’t know where to begin…so I compiled some of the life lessons I’ve picked up on.

    25 Things I’ve Learned during First-Semester

    1. I should’ve appreciated welcome week and not having classes more. Like a lot more.
    2. Having a randomly assigned roommate was the best decision I ever made – luv u so much Olivia.
    3. College can turn even the most organized person into a procrastinator.
    4. The dining hall loses its pizazz after like week two, but eating is important so don’t skip meals.
    5. Don’t stay friends with just your high school friends. It is so much fun to have two different friend groups that can come together.
    6. Waking up before 7 am is now impossible.
    7. Take advantage of the on-campus/off-campus activities. You pay for those with student activity fee money!!
    8. Frat parties are not like the movies but still fun??? (idk yet I’m debating on that one).
    9. Communal bathrooms are not that bad. Except when you have to squat in the shower or someone threw up or a girl flushed their shirt down the toilet…ok yeah…it’s not good either.
    10. Getting involved on campus can connect you with some pretty awesome people who you wouldn’t be friends with otherwise (freshman class cohort > everything).
    11. Going home is weird and my bed is more comfortable at my dorm.
    12. Don’t download dating apps.
    13. On second thought…do download them (you’ll have some good stories).
    14. On a related note, public first dates!!! I cannot emphasize that enough.
    15. Repeating number 1 because it’s important – I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF WELCOME WEEK.
    16. After fall break time just moves quicker. No, I do not know why.
    17. Coffee either occurs all day for a week straight or you forget what it tastes like – there is no in between.
    18. The CASINO on a Monday night – that’s all I got on that one.
    19. Going to the gym is no longer to get fit. It is purely to avoid other responsibilities.
    20. I shouldn’t have wasted so much money on uber and uber eats….
    21. The entire boy’s dorm building has a weird smell…
    22. Roll Toms sounds better on the tongue than Ski U Mah.
    23. Yeah, counseling is “available.” But like…your crippling mental health can wait until spring semester though! We will put you on the wait list!!
    24. Finals week has no rules. PJ’s to class? Acceptable. Running on pure coffee? Not just acceptable, but you’re THRIVING.
    25. End the semester the way you started it. Even if that’s chaotically walking to the Mississippi River at 1 am to look at stars.

    With Love, Marin

  • Halloweekend Episode 1 : TV/Movie Character Costumes

    Riverdale

    If you’re looking for couples costumes, trendy costumes or something that generally fits your overall style – Riverdale is your best bet. These costumes can range from classy to sassy to flashy.

    Veronica Lodge : Simple black dress, pearl necklace, black heels, dark eye makeup, curled hair.

    Betty Cooper : Sweater, jeans, flats/booties/sneakers, soft makeup, pony tail.

    Cheryl Blossom : Red dress, choker, red lipstick, curled hair.

    Jughead Jones : Black tee, black jeans, flannel for waist, jean jacket, beanie.

    Archie Andrews : White tee, jeans, letterman jacket.

    Gossip Girl

    With the reboot recently announced a few months ago, this is a perfect throwback costume to reminisce our old favorite characters and celebrate the new ones to come.

    Blair Waldorf : White dress top, black skirt, high socks, flats, headband

    Chuck Bass : Full suit, dress shoes.

    Dan Humphrey : Kackis, dress shirt/casual polo, jacket over the top.

    Clueless

    Currently there is a major throwback to 90’s clothing. This is the perfect way to incorporate trendy clothing with a costume.

    Cher : Plaid Dress or Skirt/Blazer Set (Check Forever 21 and Target)

    Mean Girls

    This movie is basically a classic, and is perfect if you want a group costume for you and your new college besties! There are two ways you can use this movie for costumes.

    Talent Show Costume : Need a group of 4 for this one. Y’all all know the costume. To simplify it : red dress, knee high black boots, black ribbon for belt, black gloves.

    On Wednesdays We Wear Pink : Need a group of 3 (or 4) for this one. Decorate yourself a burn book and mix-match different color pinks with whites.

    With Love, Marin

  • Takeaways from a Month in College

    Hey, pretty girl!

    After a month of living at UST, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve begun to settle into college life. While some expectations I had for college were true, others were completely and totally inaccurate.

    Dorm Life

    First of all, don’t even try to schedule a bedtime. It won’t happen. Literally never. However, you will not regret the 4 hours of sleep because it was probably for a good reason. The dorms are socializing central, leaving you meeting so many new people. I was terrified of communal bathrooms coming in, but truly they are a lot better than you think AND you meet new people at the same time. Roommates are awesome (just be respectful to each other) and turn the space into your own mini home.

    Schoolwork

    There is a lot of reading and outside of classwork. College isn’t harder than high school, it’s just more. DO NOT procrastinate (I say as I write this blog post while procrastinating my two papers)! But seriously, don’t. You’ll regret it. Professors are also there to help you, so participate by raising your hand and get them to know you! You will thank yourself later.

    Meeting New People

    I was terrified of meeting new people in college. I was worried I would not be able to make any friends, or I had forgotten how to make friends. However, a month into college I have a well-established friend group with people who support me! While it’s not always that easy to make friends, it pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow as a person. If your school offers small dorm communities with people of similar interests, I 100% recommend it. The Aquinas Scholars Honors Living Learning Community was the best decision I ever made!

    With Love, Marin

  • Tips to Creating a Dorm Room that Feels Like Home

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Up next in the college blog series – dorm rooms. Some of us prior to college cannot wait to live in a new space with new people! Others of us (aka me prior to college) was worried about sharing a space with another person, not having enough room in the closet and feeling like I wasn’t “at home.”

    After week one, room 546 (that’s me) was labeled the room that had everything. And we did have everything : aloe, drying racks, vacuum, snacks, etc. But, over the last few weeks, I’ve also been able to figure out what has truly made my dorm room feel a little bit more like home.

    I used the same bedding and color scheme I had at home.

    I decorated my wall with photos and signs to make the room less empty.

    I put marble contact paper on the doors to cover up the boring wood color.

    Now, these three things may seem super simple, but they make a huge difference. If you’re worried about being “home-sick,” start here with these things. Things that gently reminds you of home are the best things to bring with you.

    With Love, Marin

  • Let's Share, Vent or Whatever Else you Need

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I made this blog, I had created a vision of a safe space for people to share, come together and be themselves. I’ve had this idea for a little while but held off because I didn’t know how much interaction I’d actually get on it. Then I caught myself, why do I care??? If this posts helps out one single person, I’ll be more than happy.

    So what’s my idea? A lil’ sharing/venting circle – the online version.

    Here’s how it’s going to work. Scroll to the bottom of this post to “leave a reply.” Write WHATEVER is on your mind!! You got into your dream school?? Congrats girl, share it! You spilled your coffee on your way to class? Vent about it. If you’d like your post to be anonymous just type your name as anonymous and for email plug in my email “marinmaeblog@gmail.com”

    I plan on responding to all of y’all’s comments! And to get the ball rolling, I’ll start…

    I’ve listened to Written in the Sand by Old Dominion 30 times this morning. Country music always seems to speak to me. This song is my current mood. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll get what I mean….

    Now you go!!

    With Love, Marin

  • Gifts to get your S.O. for Valentine's Day

    Hey, pretty girl! (and guys tuning in trying to figure out what they should buy)

    For Her

    1. Barefoot Dreams Blanket
    2. Scrunchie Apple Watch Band
    3. Heart Initial Necklace
    4. Starbucks Reusable Cup
    5. Rose that lasts for a Year
    6. Heart Shaped Sunglasses (Use my link for referral)
    7. Pearl Headband
    8. Jewelry Box
    9. Pink Handbag
    10. Anything cute & cheesy (chocolates, flowers, stuffed animal…)

    For Him

    1. Custom Leather Airpods Case
    2. Temp Control Smart Mug
    3. Wool Running Shoes
    4. Winc Subscription
    5. Something cute & cheesy (guys like to be spoiled sometimes too)

    With Love, Marin

  • $500 Amazon Giveaway 1/29

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I am part of another giveaway!! $500 to Amazon. I listed some v-day picks you could purchase if you were to win! Information on how to enter the giveaway will be at the end of this post!

    Slippers (I got a size XL in pink)

    Lipstick

    Necklace

    My fav perfume

    I teamed up with @Bloggerlove_giveaways to gift one lucky winner a $500 Amazon Gift Card!!! It only takes 30 seconds to enter! Here’s how:

    1️⃣G O to @Bloggerlove_giveaways and follow them on Instagram
    2️⃣L I K E the gift post!
    3️⃣F O L L O W all the accounts @Bloggerlove_giveaways is following!
    ➕Each friend tagged in their post comments is another entry➕
    ✨B O N U S share this gift on your Instagram and tag @Bloggerlove_giveaways to DOUBLE your entries ✨
    ❤️DOUBLE BONUS- Follow all the girls on LIKEtoKNOW.it app using the link in our bio!

    Promotion closes Sunday, February 2nd at 8PM EST. Winner chosen at random, notified via tag, and required to email or direct message within 24 hours to claim prize. This giveaway is not affiliated with Amazon or Instagram.

    With Love, Marin

  • Nothing Good Gets Away

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was scrolling through Pinterest tonight and saw a quote that completely resonated with me.

    “If it is right, it happens. The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

    Upon seeing this, I knew I wanted to write a blog post covering this topic. While it’s a little too late for a Motivation for your Monday post, it looks like this can be a Thoughts for Tuesday post.

    The first thing that comes to your mind when you see this post is probably the thing you’re currently rushing in your life right now. Is it a relationship with someone you’ve liked for a while? Is it an opportunity in your activity/sport/job? Is it reaching a personal goal you set for yourself?

    No matter what thing your brain is worried about, it is important to establish patience. I’ve been one to always wish and pray for things to come to me quicker, making deals with God and wanting things to come sooner to be than in His plan.

    However, upon recently listening to a sermon, I learned something important that I felt tied really well with this quote. In a podcast from Berean Baptist Church, given by Tony Manning, this quote resonated with me …

    God has a plan that provides the backdrop for our lives. He is in control.

    If God is in control, what is the point in hurrying things? Every single moment of your life has a purpose. If we try to rush the learning moments God has given us, the “good” thing will not feel as special. Instead of spending time focusing on things we don’t have YET, focus on the moment you are in and the purpose it is serving.

    I make it sound so simple – just be patient. But, I understand, it’s not that easy. However, when we beg God for the things we want, it is evidence that we aren’t quite ready for whatever that thing is yet. In time, however, we will be ready.

    It’s easy to be anxious about receiving the things you want, especially when you feel like it should be your turn to receive. But what if we cut that anxiety part out of the picture? Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if we just lived our lives praying for what we have, preparing for what we are to receive?

    And that is where this Pinterest quote comes in. Don’t worry about rushing things. If you are meant to receive the thing you want, you will.

    With Love, Marin

  • TBT High School : The Club that Changed my Life (1/18)

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Senior year I made a decision that will forever affect my life. Instead of playing softball, I decided to join Eagan High School’s Speech Team (with a little push from the best head coach ever Mrs. Joni Anker). I was placed in the category of Informative Speaking (the one w/the boards if you’re familiar with speech).

    I was nervous beyond belief at our pre-season mock tournament. I stumbled on my words and felt SO inexperienced…until someone said a few simple words to me (you know who you are). “You are going to well this season.” After that one comment, I began to loosen up. And that’s where the season all started.

    The reason I posted this today is exactly a year ago I competed at my first tournament. The start of a long journey to who I am today.

    The season was a wild ride filled with 6 final rounds, a novice championship win, 2 national tournaments and one of my speech coaches getting married during my practice. Speech gave me a different feeling than softball did. I was so supported regardless of how I did. I never felt put down or worthless. I felt empowered.

    My coach always lifted me up. Something I never had before.

    Now, that doesn’t mean speech wasn’t always easy. At sections, my anxiety got the best of me. I stumbled over words I ever had before and I didn’t even know why. One of my teammates (you also know who you are) was in a round with me and made eye contact with me and helped me regain control of my speech. You jeopardized your own ranking in that round by helping me, but in that moment you made me understand that we were a team still. Speech, from the outside, didn’t look like a team sport. However, speech gave me a greater sense of teamwork than softball ever did.

    Walking into the last tournament of the season, I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. NIETOC was the midwestern nationals and I had earned enough bids to attend. I truthfully thought I’d get demolished…this wasn’t the Harvard National Tournament…you had to be in final rounds to get to NIETOC. When I saw my name on the octofinals list, I was shocked beyond belief.

    Every single final round at NIETOC, I spoke every single word like it was the last time. Every time I saw my name pop up on the next final round board I was in shock. How in the world could I, of all people, be going this far at a national tournament? It was because I spoke every single word like it was the last time.

    Since speech, I’ve trained myself to speak with purpose in my daily life. Every single word matters. Every word has a purpose. Instead of a ten minute time limit, however, I have my finite lifetime.

    Novice turned 11th place at a national tournament? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. But you know what’s even cooler? Fragile girl turned confident woman.

    I owe speech team for helping me find my voice, my worth and my place in this world. Even when the whole world seems to be breaking around me, my words are something that I will never, ever lose. If you’re looking for a home to express yourself or are just debating on whether to join speech, especially if you go to Eagan, join. It’ll not only help your writing, communicating and leadership skills, it’ll help you become more…well…you.

    A love letter to speech : I wish I could’ve joined sooner, but I wasn’t meant to. I was meant to only know you for long enough to love you and not dread you. You were something new but something that had always been within me. The awards in the end aren’t what you gave me. You gave me new friends. You gave me self worth. You gave me a chance to speak at graduation. You gave me the truest form of myself.

    With Love, Marin

  • St. Paul Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Welcome to St. Paul!! My new city!! While I haven’t had a second to do all the touristy things that St. Paul has to offer since starting college… here’s my bucket list (also including some things that I’ve done since I’ve grown up close by)!

    #9 – @seniorsbysarahchacos

    1. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

    2. Minnehaha Regional Park

    3. Exploring Grand Avenue

    4. Saint Paul Farmer’s Market

    5. Wabasha Street Caves

    6. Como Park Conservatory

    7. Hi-Lo Diner

    8. Fitzgerald Theater / Ordway Center for Performing Arts

    9. St. Paul Cathedral

    10. Izzy’s Ice Cream Shop

    With Love, Marin

  • Madden’s Travel Guide

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I don’t know if it’s just a Minne-girl thang but there is nothing I love more than trips to the lake. Due to a legal convention, I’ve had the joy of lake life for a few days every August. Three years ago, the convention was moved to Madden’s Resort on Gull Lake – and let me tell y’all – I get more excited for these trips than large vacations!

    Our Room

    This is the upstairs area where I stayed with my sister @photosbyjannajo

    Steamboat Bay Sunrise Villa

    • 2 Queen Beds on the main level
    • 2 Twin Beds on the upper/loft level (the best view of the sunrise)
    • 2 Bathrooms (1 on each level)
    • Kitchenette
    • Balcony w/Lake Views

    On-Resort : Things to Do

    • Waterskiing
    • Paddle-boarding
    • Swimming (Lake/Pool)
    • Fishing (Boat Rentals Available!)
    • Outdoor Waterpark
    • Visit the Tennis/Croquet Club
    • Golf
    • Do a Photoshoot (explore the resort to find a gorgeous flower patch)

    Around Town : Things to Do

    • Shopping at Westgate Mall & Fun Sisters Boutique
    • Horseback Riding w/Outback Stables
    • Zip-lining at Mount Ski Gull
    • Cuyuna Mountain Biking
    • Northland Kart Kountry Family Fun Park

    On-Resort : Where to Eat

    Quick Service:

    • Parfecto Pizza
    • Madden Bros’ Market (strawberry-banana smoothie is SO good)
    • Chrissy’s Ice Cream Parlor

    Classic Dining:

    • Fairways
    • The Lobby Cafe

    Fancy Dining:

    • Mission Point
    • The Classic Grill

    Around Town : Where to Eat

    • Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill
    • Ernie’s on Gull
    • El Tequila Mexican Restaurant (tacos are THE best food ever created)
    • The Boulder Tap House
    • Rafferty’s Pizza

    With Love, Marin

  • Nashville Travel Guide: In 10’s

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When you step off the plane and into Nashville International Airport, you immediately know you’re in music city. With Nashville becoming a booming metropolis for all music, tech and bridal parties – Nashville is the place to visit right now!

    @photosbyjannajo

    Where to Stay:

    When my family was in Nashville for spring break, we opted to stay in an Airbnb. With bigger groups (aka over 4 people) it can be hard to find a hotel room. While I wished we stayed closer to the inner-city, this was a quieter area and was only an uber ride away to many top visiting locations!

    1) This specific Airbnb that we stayed in had the cutest Nashville decor and made you feel right at home. Other great extras things included board games, record player and lighted mirrors.

    2) Hilton Nashville Downtown

    3) Airbnb Nashville Cottage

    4) Sheraton Music City Hotel

    5) Airbnb Contemporary Apartment

    6) Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center

    7) Airbnb Townhome with Outdoor Space

    8) Dream Nashville Hotel

    9) Airbnb Apartment on Broadway

    10) Onmi Nashville Hotel

    What to Do:

    1) Grand Ole Opry Tour & Show

    2) Madame Tussauds

    3) Tour of the Ryman Auditorium

    4) Nashville Zoo (you can pet Kangaroos!!)

    5) Explore the Opryland Hotel (this is where I purchased my cowgirl boots)

    6) Johnny Cash Museum

    7) Belle Meade Plantation Tour

    8) Shopping in the Gulch (this is where the angel-wing mural is wink wink)

    9) Country Music Hall of Fame

    10) The Parthenon

    Where to Eat:

    1) Milk & Honey (grab morning coffee before shopping in the Gulch)

    2) Corner Bakery Cafe

    3) Aquarium Restaurant

    4) Hard Rock Cafe

    5) Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse (a lil on the pricey side but so worth it)

    6) Corner Pub Downtown

    7) Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery

    8) Sam’s Place (if you go anywhere on this list, GO HERE AND ORDER THE HAND-BREADED CHICKEN STRIPS – you will thank me later)

    9) Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

    10) Goo-Goo Shop

    With Love, Marin