5 College Kid Friendly Weekend Ideas: Philadelphia!

I’ll be honest. Nothing feels better than stepping out of your last class on Friday and realizing that you are free for the weekend. It’s an especially great feeling when you live in a city with SO much to do and SO little time.

But I also know know that nothing feels worse than checking your bank account balance and seeing a number that is much lower than you were expecting.

So for all of you college kids on a budget, I’ve put together a list of my 5 favorite things to do on the weekend for little to no cost. (I’m not including the cost of transportation, which is only $3.60 round trip on the subway, and you might even be able to walk to these places!) Maybe I’ll inspire your weekend activities! Read on…

1. Rittenhouse Square [Free! + a cup of coffee]

WHAT TO DO: If you live in the city and have never been to Rittenhouse, GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE! This is hands down one of my favorite places to go when the weather is nice (and even when it’s cold). Take the Broad Street Line to the Walnut-Locust stop, head down Walnut towards 18th Street, and you’ll hit the park soon after. On the way, you’ll walk past a Starbucks, so my recommendation is to grab  your favorite drink and take it with you.

WHY I LOVE IT: I am a people watcher. I could do it for hours. I just love to watch the hustle and bustle of life happen all around me. Rittenhouse is absolutely perfect for this. Plus, there’s always someone entertaining. Be it the fantastically talented juggler, the swing band, or even just another bored college kid and his guitar, you’ll have something to watch. It’s beautifully laid out, easy to walk around, and another plus: a popular spot for dog walkers. If you’re an animal lover like me, you’ll totally dig it. There are also special events held here depending on the day, so Google before you go! There is a farmer’s market on most Saturdays, but double check it’s times before you leave.

2. The Italian Market [free; bring CASH] 

WHAT TO DO: I am a through and through Italian girl. My grandparents have taught me the ways of pasta from scratch, fresh bread and real and true olive oils. So it should come as no surprise that I absolutely love the Italian Market. This little gem is on 9th Street. To get there easily, take the Broad Street Line to South Street. Walk down South until you hit 9th Street, and it starts about a block in once you’ve begun the walk down 9th itself.

WHY I LOVE IT: The real question here is, what don’t I love about the Italian Market. This is true and authentic Philadelphia. Produce, fresh fruits, beautiful flowers, and nearly anything you could purchase at the Fresh Grocer can be found here, sold by local vendors who line the street, for dirt cheap. I mean DIRT cheap. You will literally not find this stuff cheaper anywhere else. The bustle of the market, as it is a popular destination, is all part of the charm. There are also some of the most amazing bakeries I’ve ever eaten in. I suggest picking up a fresh cannoli if you’re hungry, or a cup of gelato to satisfy the sweet tooth. Even if you aren’t shopping for food, this is great place to just soak up the atmosphere of Philly and enjoy a nice day out and about.

3. Magic Gardens at South Street [$5]

WHAT TO DO: This one is just cool. Located at 1020 South Street, this is hands down one of the coolest urban art displays in the country. For $5, you can enter the garden itself to check out the art display. The mosaic art, which lines the building walls as well as the “garden” itself was created by an artist named Isaiah Zagar. The glass, bottles, tiles and mirrors that line the place are absolutely breath-taking and make AMAZING Instagram posts! 😉 They’re open daily, but be sure to check specific hours before you go as they do change depending on the seasons.

WHY I LOVE IT: This is one of those “go-to” places in Philly, particularly on South Street, that is so worth seeing at least once. You can’t miss it as you walk down South, and it’s so eye catching that you almost have to go in. It is displays of urban art like the Magic Gardens that remind me why I love the city so much. We have such a vibrant and eclectic mix of people in the city. This is just one great example of an outward expression of just one of those thousands of unique personalities.  It’s also great knowing your money is going to a good place, as your admission price is used to help fund the non-profit organization that runs the gardens themselves as well as funds art education resources for the city.

4. Franklin Fountain at Penn’s Landing [$5-10] 

WHAT TO DO: I scream, you scream…that’s right, ICE CREAM. Franklin Fountain is an old fashioned, straight out of the past, soda fountain. It’s located just near 2nd and Market, so getting there is not difficult. Stepping inside is  a little like entering a time machine. All of the decor is endlessly interesting, with period antiques furnishing the place. Their staple? Homemade ice cream, scooped into the original ice cream container (which looks just like a Chinese take out box). The staff, called soda jerks, are all dressed to the part, and everything down to the red and white paper straws have the inner history dork in me squealing! I love this place. I absolutely adore it. Their ice cream is a bit more expensive than something like Dairy Queen, but you are truly paying for quality and experience when you dig in. It is so good, even I can justify spending my hard earned cash here.

WHY I LOVE IT: Why NOT?!? It’s old fashioned, full of charm, and located directly across from Penn’s Landing, a cool site to see if you’ve never seen the view of the river from the city. If you and your friends are just looking for a nice way to spend a great spring day, this is the place. As far as ice cream goes, the soda jerks are more than willing to let you try before you buy. My personal recommendations are Peanut Butter, Maple Walnut, and Hydrox (OREO!!!) Cookie. It is a must visit. Beyond the ice cream they also sell old fashioned candy and soda that I have literally never seen anywhere else. I am such a geek about this stuff, so I totally love it. Once you’ve got your ice cream, take a walk over the Landing or even to the dog park just across the street. It is a great place to just sit and relax, and one my friends and I frequent very often.

5. The Kimmel Center, KimmelSTIX ,[$10]

WHAT TO DO: If you are a theater nerd, or you just love performing arts, this is the ticket (haha!) for you. The Kimmel Center, which is located directly at the Walnut-Locust stop on the Broad Street Line, is amazing at offering student friendly rates to certain shows that are playing at their theater. This could include operas, cultural performances, musicals, comedy shows, or even speaker series. The Kimmel Center is a beautiful, breathtaking theater that brings in world-renowned programs each show season.

If this sounds like something up your alley, you’ll need to sign up to receive access to the student priced tickets when they go on sale. This one does take a little bit of planning in advance, as you need to sign up for the service. However, it’s totally worth it. Do it RIGHT NOW if you have a moment.

First, register for KimmelSTIX online using this form. According to the Kimmel Center website, “KimmelSTIX is open to high school, college and graduate students, ages 18 to 30, with a valid student I.D. card.” Once you’re all good to go, you’ll recieve an email each month letting you know what shows will have ten dollar tickets available.

WHY I LOVE IT: Repeat after me: “You cannot beat a ten dollar ticket.” Did you say it? Good. Say it again. You really can’t beat the price here! Regular costs for these shows can range anywhere from $20 to over $100 just to see these shows. Because the Kimmel Center understands that college students don’t always have expendable income, they make it nearly impossible to say no to attending their shows with this discount. I use this service almost every month, and I have yet to be disappointed. If you have some time to plan, this is an amazing way to spend your weekend.

So that’s the list! If you are from the area, what hidden gems do you frequent that didn’t make the list? And if I’ve inspired you, please let me know! I love the feedback. Hopefully this little list will help you make the most of this first weekend of what finally feels like Spring, and many more weekends in the future. You guys RULE.




Finding Your Personal Asana

Hi pals! Last weekend, Admissions had our largest and most successful Experience Temple Day in the history of ETDs! Over 3,400 students and family members joined us on campus for a taste of what it is like to be a Temple Owl. Needless to say, every one of the Owl Ambassadors worked hard to make the day a success. We have another ETD approaching quickly: April 14th. One thing we always joke about in the office is the “post-ETD coma” – the recovery period we all inevitably take to let ourselves recharge after a big event.

SIDEBAR: This semester, I’m taking a yoga class. Having something so centering on a regular schedule (twice a week) has given me a really remarkable perspective on how to stay positive and balanced, even when life gets crazy. During a yoga practice, the very last pose is called an Asana – sanskrit for ‘sitting down’. You quite literally just lay down and center your mind. Most often, it is Corpse pose:

Okay, so where am I going with this? I have been doing a lot of personal reflection lately about what the benefits of this yoga pose are, and how they relate to our daily lives. During the Asana, one’s whole goal is twofold:

1. Take time to thank yourself for the time you have spent focusing on doing something positive for your body, mind, and life. 

2. Revitalize and prepare to re-enter your daily routine with a sound mind. 

This is so, so vital to our attitudes! Everyone gets bogged down sometimes. Life is distracting. We have responsibilities, obligations, commitments, wants and needs, and just general stuff we need to do. That is life. But we all deserve time to focus on ourselves and our personal happiness. However, this should not just be a yogi concept. It should be for everyone, all the time.

What I have been really thinking about is how we can all have our own personal Asanas.

For some people, that might mean actually practicing yoga. But for others it could mean something radically different.

Perhaps your Asana is taking time to listen to your favorite song without interruption or haste. It could be treating yourself to a treat at Starbucks and letting yourself savor it without guilt. It could be running outside instead of on the monotonous treadmill. It could be walking down a scenic route to class, even if it takes a few minutes extra. Or, it could be going to bed an hour early to make sure you’re well rested. Anything counts.

I think we all deserve a time to recharge. How will you find an Asana this week? As you go through your daily routine, seek opportunities to say “THANK YOU!” to yourself for doing all that you do.

Let me know how it goes…. and Namaste!




How to Reset Yourself: Spring Break 2014

Hello there, blog world! As I write this, my Mom is milling about the kitchen, my Dad is just coming home from my brother’s hockey game, I am drinking coffee out of my Goofy mug, and I haven’t gotten out of my pajamas yet (it’s noon).

Welcome to Spring Break.

This year, break fell a bit earlier than usual and I have to admit it sort of crept up on me.  In fact, I didn’t even feel ready to leave school yet. Usually, I’m coming in hot for break. This year, I didn’t think I was desperately in need of a week off quite yet.

What I realized, though, as soon as I stepped foot in my home again last Friday evening, was that I really did need to recharge. I could literally feel the tension in my body relax the more I settled back in.

Even when you don’t think you are, you are always ON. You are always working, and moving forward, and putting in effort, and succeeding, but most of all burning up energy. And that’s a great thing! But it’s also great to take a step back and relax. Spring Break means going home, staying at school, a fresh tan, relaxing on the beach, family vacations, friendship trips, travel, doing everything, doing nothing, or like me, just going home. It’s different for everyone! But one thing Spring Break is for us all is a chance to reset.  

So how have I been resetting? For one, I have been blessed enough to sleep in my home bed again! I’ve also had the time to spend with the people I always miss the most: my family. My brother had a VERY exciting hockey tournament (final game tonight!) and my grandparents treated me to lunch. My mom and I got to spend some quality time together. I even totally revamped my hair – from red to black! These are all the ways I have been taking time for myself to turn off, relax, and reset myself. My suggestion for you? Do. what. you. want. Like I said, it’s different for everyone! If you want to take a whirlwind trip to the beach, pack up and go! If you want to sleep fifteen hours a night…do it! It’s all about doing what you feel is best for you. There’s nothing better than a little self love sometimes.



Weyhey my hair is black!

Going back to school on Monday means time to jump back into the daily, wonderful grind of school. I feel totally recharged for the final portion of my fourth semester at school (don’t even get my started…WHERE DID THE TIME GO, PEOPLE?!?!)

Here’s to a fabulous March, people!




It Begins: The FIRST Experience Temple Day!

Click to check out the ETD Hashtags here and see what we were up to:


Hello again friends! It’s been almost a full week since our very first Experience Temple Day this semester, and I think I can safely say my feet are STILL recovering. But it was SO worth it; ETD’s are some of the most energetic, exciting, and rewarding days during our admissions year. It is a day when our accepted students can come to campus and get the FULL Temple Experience. Nothing beats it.

Even though the weather threatened to really let loose on us, the day ended up being wonderful! All of the owls were up bright and early. By this picture, you wouldn’t even know we’d been up since the crack of dawn:

IMG952966Just some of my BEAUTIFUL tour guide ladies! 

I have to let you in a secret: I was NERVOUS for ETD this year! That’s mostly due to the fact that I was apart of something super fun this year; the opening dance number. (I know, people back at home, ME? DANCING? It’s true.) The nerves were mostly just jitters, because we were about to get up in front of around 1700 prospective students and parents, and the pressure was definitely on. Once the Rocky Theme started, all of it faded and it was nothing but a blast! I think the crowd enjoyed it, too. Us dancers sure did! I know you’re probably foaming at the mouth to see it, so I’ll help you out (CLICK):



The rest of the day was spent doing tours, checking our the residence halls, exploring campus, attending academic sessions, and plenty of other sessions. I could go on and on about how awesome ETD was. I spoke to so many interested families and students, tons of smiling faces, and even some really amazing alumni who dedicate their time back to to Temple even though they’ve finished their time here. THIS is why I love ETD: Everyone comes together, and it’s all about showing what it truly is like to feel that “Temple Experience”. 

All day, the Owl Ambassadors, Admission staff, and especially the STUDENTS were using the hashtag #ETD2014 to document their day. We even had a “Selfie” competition throughout the day, which I think is amazing.  SOOOO… GO CHECK OUT THE HASHTAGS. Instagram & Twitter both have tons of amazingly sweet tweets and pictures from all sides of the event. They’re so worth viewing. It gives just a small glimpse into the joy and excitement all of us were feeling on ETD! Click the buttons at the top of the post for a direct link to the hashtag streams.

Well, now that I just rambled for a few paragraphs about how much of a great time I had, I suppose I’ll conclude with this. If you’ve been accepted, REGISTER FOR AN ETD!!!!!!!!! We still have two more: March 23rd and April 12th. It is SO worth it to come out and see what Temple has to offer you. Plus, you’ll get to see me dance. And who in the world would pass up that offer?

Talk to you soon!



Why College is the BEST Time to Do Something Else

Happy Wednesday, folks! I hope the first half of your week has been productive, enjoyable and fun! And if it hasn’t been, that’s okay; you’ve still got four days left. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the big picture. With classes, work and studying, it can seem like nothing else is important besides working full speed toward that important piece of paper: my degree. And it is very important! Not just the degree; the classes you take on your way to graduation teach you valuable skills that are useful in everyday life. 

But beyond all of this micromanagement, I think college is the perfect time to do something ELSE as well. 

As a disclaimer, of course, I don’t mean you should stop caring about your classwork. But I do think that you should remember a very important fact: you will never have as much free time as you do in college. It’s true! Even on your busiest days, you’ll probably still have way more free time outside of school than the average working person does, or even than you did in high school. Sure, you’ve got plenty of “extra” activities. And sometimes, free time is best spent grabbing a much needed power nap. But if you’ve ever had an idea, or dream, or goal, listen up: NOW IS THE TIME! 

Think about all of the things that we use daily that happened as “side projects” during someone’s time in college: Facebook, Insomnia Cookies (!!!!!!), Google, Dell, and Microsoft all were born from the minds of college students. It’s no coincidence. Consider this: pursuing an idea requires time, resources, and creativity. So we’ve established already that college will provide you with the time, if you choose to use it wisely. 

As far as resources go, being in college means having professional tools at your finger tips – and they’re most likely free. For example, if I wanted to record, film and edit a short film – voice overs and all – I have access to the film majors who could help me film, the professional (expensive) applications to create and edit the shots, and the recording studio to finish with voice overs. And I don’t have to pay. Because I’m a student, and these things are here for our use. And that, my friends, is so cool. Even if your dream was to learn to run a marathon, something as simple as having a gym on campus is another resource just sitting at your fingertips. 

Plus, being in college means connections. Be it a professor who is knowledgeable about the business venture you’re looking into, or friends who love to paint and draw to help you with your art dreams, you’re surrounded by people who are willing to help you create as well. 

And creativity is key. If you can dream it, you can do it. As long as you have the drive to pursue it, a little touch of imagination can bring a little seedling of an idea out into reality. Buy a notebook and start planning it. Write down what inspires you. Don’t limit yourself. Throw out what doesn’t work. Stick with what does. Venture out of your comfort zone. Dare to share it with others. 

Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. I mean it! There’s never been a better time! 

Stay super, my friends! 



6 Spring Semester Staples

Turning the Paige

Ceremoniously, the last day of my winter break always seem to be a crazy scramble to repack all of my stuff. (Don’t mention this to my mom. My procrastination drives her up a wall. Hi, mommy!)  Break ends, and it is time for my return to Philadelphia, and subsequently the start of the spring semester. In this mad rush, my number one concern is that I’m going to forget something completely and end up without it at school.

But I will tell you this – there are a few things you will NEVER see me forgetting. Six things actually.  I’ve got some items that are absolutely essential to my success in the spring, so I thought I’d share them with you. Without further ado, I present my 6 Spring Semester Staples – Sophomore Year Edition!

  • MY PLANNER –   Anyone that knows me will tell you that organization is not my strong suit. In high school, I never wrote anything down. As it turns out, you can’t do that in college! Since, my planner has become my lifeblood. My external heartbeat. My one true love. Basically if I didn’t have my planner, I would lose my head. I don’t have a fancy one, although I do often drool over the Lily Pulitzer ones when I see them. I just use a simple Temple planner, but I PACK it full. Here’s an example of a light week:

…..and a heavy one: 

Honestly, this one is a staple ALL year, not just in the Spring, which is why it’s number one on my list.

  • TECHNOLOGY GLOVES – It might be “Spring”, but it’s still cold! Especially here in Philly. One of the biggest mistakes I made my freshman year was leaving my winter hats, gloves and scarves at home when I returned for the second half of the year. Trust me, you’ll still need ‘em. Speaking of fingers, there is no point in wearing gloves if you’re just going to yank them on and off every time you need to use your phone while you’re outside. Save yourself the trouble and grab some technology gloves. Your freezing fingers will thank you.
  • STURDY BOOTS – This one I have learned from experience, unfortunately. Like I said, winter doesn’t end right away. Snow might still be on the ground, depending on where you go to school. In Philly right now, we have NO shortage of snow and sludge. If you don’t have a sturdy pair of boots to stomp around in, you’ll end up with wet feet and less than clean shoes, and no one wants that! Especially not if you have to sit through class with those soak toes. Last year, I only had my rain boots (BRIGHT PINK ones, mind you) to wear when it snowed, or even when the roads were still slushy. This year, I came prepared! For us city students, these sturdy boots are a must have, boys and girls alike. They make walking to and from class SO much easier, and your feet stay happy with you. Plus they’re adorable. Win win. (The boots in the picture are the ones I wear almost daily!)
  • BUBBLE UMBRELLAIn Philly, the winds can be somethin’ else sometimes because of the buildings and the air tunnels they create. They can really get to whipping. So much so that in the rain, in order to keep the rain from getting in your face, you’ve got to duck a bit as you walk. But I think I’ve found the solution. These bubble umbrellas are a savior when it comes to less than perfect weather. I happen to love a good rain storm, so it doesn’t bother me at all, but I do like to stay dry. This umbrella works so well because the wind can’t get underneath and flip the whole thing inside out, a common sight in a city rain shower. No one likes a broken umbrella, plus this one is clear so you can see through it and keep your head high as you walk! A good umbrella, regardless of the one you choose, is KEY. It’s also one of those things people tend to forget when they pack. Take it from me – a good umbrella makes for a good day! And it keeps you dry too. Always a plus. 😉  
  • ID WALLET AND LANYARD – As I was talking to my roommate about this post, she mentioned that keeping her ID and keys together is crucial to not losing her stuff. I have to agree! I am a huge fan of having everything together in a small, compact place. I’m also NOT a fan of carrying too much cash. That’s why this ID wallet is perfect for me. On the outside, it’s got a spot for your ID card – perfect for Temple because we use them to get in and out of buildings. Super easy to access your Owl Card like this! Second, its got enough room in the zipper pocket to keep your debit card, some change or subway tokens, and a little bit of cash. This is exactly what I need! Plus, I keep mine attached to a lanyard that has my key on it. This way everything is together, I can account for all of my belongings, and it fits perfectly into my backpack without being bulky. I’m obsessed with my little pouch wallet, can you tell? This one might be more for the girls, because boys often just carry their wallet. Sorry guys. 
  • WATCH– There’s nothing worse than whipping your phone out in class to check the time. You know how it goes – you mean to look at the clock and lock the screen again, but then you notice all your notifications, and before you know it you’re pulling a face for Snapchat and missing out on the class instruction. Trust me on this one: PHONES ARE DISTRACTING! As fun as they are, they keep you from putting your full attention into work, especially during class time.So wear a watch. They look awesome, and they’re useful. Plus, even if you’ve got your phone attached to your palm, it actually is faster just to glance at your wrist. And did I mention they look awesome? As a bonus, if timeliness is one of your new year’s resolutions, this will help you out for that, also. Boys, watches are cool, I promise.

So that’s that, friends. My long winded list of Six Spring Semester Staples for my new semester here at Temple. What about you? Do you have any “go tos” that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments below! And maybe this list can help you out as you make some new spring choices as well.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading so far! I can’t wait to share more with you in the future.



Slow & Steady || Saturday, January 25th

There is something borderline magical about having nothing to wake up for on Saturday mornings.

Which would explain why neither my roommate nor I woke up until noon today.

By the time we were up, two things were obvious. One, we were starving. And two, it was already snowing! I love seeing the snow in the city. It’s not like at home, where the snow falls on mostly clear ground. The buildings and city lights look beautiful in the show.  Lately, we haven’t had a shortage of it, either. Midday Tuesday and all of Wednesday, Temple was closed because of the snow storm that swept through.

As for the hunger pains, we had a plan. Fortunately we had a gift card to the Fox and Hound in Center City, and even though the weather was a little gross we braved the elements. Who are we kidding. I’d go into a total blizzard for food (read: HAVE gone into a total blizzard for food).

Of course I forgot to take a picture of our food, but of course it was yummy. We stopped for a coffee before we headed back and ended up sitting and people watching for a few hours, which was a  fine way to spend the majority of the afternoon. Sidenote: I tried the new Caramel Flan latte – the commercials are EVERYWHERE. I had to.

It’s days like these that remind me of how lucky I am that we live so close to Center City. It’s so easy to make your own fun when you’ve got such a bustling city in front of you. Every time I’m downtown, I wonder what each person’s story is that I see. Do they live and work here, or are they visiting? Do they love it? Do they hate it? Are they where they want to be? Often I forget that everyone has as much of a back story as I do. Being downtown always reminds me of exactly how much life is happening all around me all the time.

As we were headed home, I couldn’t help but be thankful that we don’t have to check for directions before we leave anymore. After over a year here, it’s definitely second nature. Even just knowing the order of the subway stops is comforting to me, considering I had never even ridden it before college. Being comfortable in the city makes me feel even more like Philly is home, not just a city I sometimes live in.

So all, I hope your Saturday has been just as lovely and relaxing as mine. Enjoy the rest of this snowy weekend, and we’ll chat soon!