Looking Back at the Spring 2017 Semester


I did a look-back last semester and since it happens to be one of my favorite posts, I figured I should do one for Spring as well.

Looking back at your life is eye-opening to say the least. It’s like looking into a rear view mirror and seeing everything you’ve done in that specific timeframe: all the mistakes, all the successes, all the stumbles, all the lessons. I try not to miss out on an opportunity to look back at things if I can help it, but this might be just be because I am a terrible overthinker.

But even though I’ve only been home for a week, Spring semester seems so far removed, like it was lifetimes away. Maybe my mind is so preoccupied by other things, or maybe there are things I just don’t want to remember, but it seems like I have a slight haze over the past semester. January just seems so long ago.

February is a bit clearer, at least. I took a family trip to Punta Cana with my family, which meant tons of quality time, a great sun tan, and time off from school. I came home and celebrated a whole two decades of myself with one of the best birthday celebrations I’ve ever had– at least until I sprained my back playing Just Dance (beware the Rasputin dance, kiddos). In all seriousness though, my birthday totally rocked, so thanks to my incredible friends for everything.

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Seriously, my birthday was incredible.

The next few months honestly kind of blur together. I saw Panic! at the Disco in concert (incredible, in case you were wondering). I saw The Lion King on Broadway (also pretty incredible). I went to some awesome campus events, like Strawberry Fest, where you get all these delicious strawberry-centered foods to nibble on, and Roth Regatta, where teams build cardboard boats and race in them across a pond on campus.

As far as my academic and professional lives are concerned, I got a real job doing social media for Stony Brook’s residential safety program. I also joined Her Campus Stony Brook‘s social media team. I got another internship at the school paper, the Statesman, this time as their archivist. I got to really test out my photo-taking chops at work, in class, and for some friends. I worked really hard in my classes, and got some really great grades. Overall, this semester was really a time of growth and fun.

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A snap of me in the photo studio while I was taking my final project

That being said, this semester was not without its lessons. From January to now, here are some things I’ve learned.

  1. It’s okay to ask for help: I used to have this notion that if I couldn’t do something on my own, I shouldn’t do it at all. I often used this argument for why I didn’t need to speak to a therapist about things that made me sad or anxious, or why I didn’t need to see a school advisor. The thing is that this argument doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, you need to get a little assistance, either because you need the support or because you’re not an expert in the topic. Getting assistance isn’t a bad thing, and shouldn’t be seen as such. In fact, asking for help should be seen as a strength, because someone is comfortable enough with themselves to admit when they’re just not sure about something.
  2. But trust your gut: Sometimes, though, you just are right. No matter what anyone else says, don’t let them dissuade you if you’re confident in yourself and what you’re doing. If it fits with your standards, morals, ideals and values, stick to it. Don’t let anyone knock you down.
  3. You’ll never know everything: But also, don’t ever think you know everything, because you just don’t, and that’s okay. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn whatever you can, but remember that there’s always so much more out there to learn. This is a silly story, but it really made me realize just how much I don’t know, and how much more open-minded and humble I have to become: I was still in school when my friends Torie and Lauren had finished, so they decided they’d take a trip to Stony Brook to visit me one morning. We wanted to go hiking, and one place that came highly recommended was Avalon Park and Preserve, somewhere I had already visited with my friend Alyssa. I assured Torie and Lauren that the park itself was just a brief nature walk, not an actual hike, but online sources said otherwise. Despite my protests, we decided to visit Avalon anyway. I was skeptical about the so-called “hiking,” but found myself eating my own words when we stumbled upon an actual hike and then some. The truth was that I didn’t know everything about Avalon, just like I don’t know everything in general, and I can’t claim to be the expert on anything. And that is okay.

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    A shot of Torie and I as we took a break from hiking (yes, hiking) at Avalon Park and Preserve.
  4. Think outside of yourself: Consider how your actions affect more than just yourself. Could they hurt or offend someone? Then maybe it’s best to avoid that action. During this semester, I got into a huge fight with one of my closest friends because I didn’t consider how my actions might have affected them. I truly regret how I let myself become so self-consumed that I didn’t even notice their feelings. I don’t think this is an experience I’ll ever be able to forget, and because of it, I’m trying harder to recognize the affect my actions can have on others.
  5. Communication is key: If something is bothering you, the only way to make them better is to communicate. People can’t read minds… well, most people anyways. You can’t expect something to get fixed if you don’t try to talk to someone about it. Also, if you’re working with a group or a team, you need to be prepared to communicate, and to do so ahead of time. You can’t be giving people orders the day you want something done. Communication means success.
  6. You can change and still be you: Just because your interests or passions change, doesn’t mean you do. When I first came to Stony Brook, I was convinced that all I wanted was to be president of Greek club. I didn’t care about any other extracurricular, as long as I got that position at some point. Now, did I really want that position, or did I just want it because everyone knew me as the Greek girl? I’m not really sure. But now I’m a part of other clubs and activities that I love as well, and I’m beginning to wonder if this me, the one that loves doing social media for Her Campus Stony Brook and the one that loves planning events for the School of Journalism Advisory Board, is the actual me. Not necessarily a changed me, but a self-realized me. Of course I still love being Greek and being a part of Greek club, but that doesn’t always have to be my defining factor, nor does it have to be the only thing about myself that I chase. Changing your passions, your goals and your dreams doesn’t mean you’re not yourself anymore. It just means you’re doing what makes you happiest and most fulfilled in that particular moment.

    sojab
    A photo with this year’s and next year’s School of Journalism Advisory Board (affectionately known as SOJAB) at the banquet that we planned.
  7. Sometimes plans are too ambitious: Take my 2017 resolutions, for example. I could barely get myself to blog once a month, let alone once a week. I was just too busy (sorry, guys). Even more than that, I made a goal to read as many pages of fun books as I did school books. Well, guess what: that didn’t happen. Not that I didn’t want it to, I just couldn’t find enough time in the day to get it all done. My plan may have come from a good place, but it just wasn’t a good fit for my actual life. And that’s definitely something to keep in mind for future plans and goals.
  8. Spread your love: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s so easy to get comfortable with just one group of friends. They become your safe place and, especially in college, meeting up with them takes almost zero planning (thanks, GroupMe). But if you spend all your time with the same people, and never make time for anyone else, like those random friends from your math class or the girl you sometimes talk to at club meetings, you might be missing out on the friendship of a lifetime. Make an effort to spend time with and get to know other people outside of your inner circle. It’s refreshing to hang out with a new face, and it can be even more helpful when you need a brief escape from the people you’re always with. In all seriousness, expanding your circle doesn’t hurt, and you’ll be better for it.

    bria
    A Snapchat of my friend Bria and I. Bria and I had three whole classes together this semester and managed not to kill each other! Jokes aside, we got even closer than we were before because we got to spend so much time together.
  9. Take (calculated) risks: I’m not saying you should run on train tracks or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. What I’m saying is that sometimes, doing something out of your comfort zone isn’t always bad. When my family started planning the trip to Punta Cana, I told them to go without me. I had to be in class and couldn’t risk missing any material. What if I missed a homework assignment, or worse, a test? The problem was, I couldn’t even imagine missing out on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for my entire family to go on vacation together. Plus, I would have serious FOMO if I knew that all my aunts, uncles and cousins were sitting on the beach with my parents and brothers, getting their tan on. So I thought about it and realized that the pros of me going heavily outweighed the cons. So what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s okay to risk what you know to be safe and easy, as long as you’ve calculated to make sure that your risk is worth it.

    cousins
    Vacationing with my brothers and cousins was so worth missing class!

 

With Spring semester finally over, I’m excited to finally turn my attention over to summer, which means high school friends and camp! I’m overjoyed to say that I will be returning to my camp, Camp St. Paul, for my fifth summer, this time as an admin team member. I will be running a session all about service projects, called Diakonia, as well as the camp store. I can’t wait to head to Connecticut and unwind at my favorite place for five weeks, but until then I’ll be home making some Diakonia lesson plans, hopefully hitting the beach, and catching up with some friends.

I’m also going to try to keep blogging. I have a few things lined up for you all, but like I said in my last post, if there’s anything you’d like to see up on Tantalizingly Tasteful, please let me know! Until next time, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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#OOTN April 29, 2017


Welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I thought I’d make up for it with an outfit post! But also, on the subject of posts: It seems like my life is just too boring for me to have much content. I really don’t do anything too exciting or go out all that much, so I rarely have much to post about on a weekly basis.

That being said, if any of you have any content you’d like to see me write about, please contact me to let me know what it is! I’m always in need of new ideas, and I’d love to give you all what you’d like to see.

And now, without further adieu, here’s my outfit from my res hall ball last night! And a special shoutout to my best friend Ian for taking all of these awesome pictures!

#OOTN

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Dress: Vijiv; Heels: Audrey Brook; Lipstick: NYX
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A shot with my friends from the party. From left to right: Zach, me, Marissa and Mike
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Another shot from last night, this time with my RA Patrick

Details

 

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This year, our res hall ball was Roaring 20s themed, so I wanted to get a dress that fit the theme, but was also fun and a little bit modern.
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One of my favorite aspects of this dress was the open back. It was fun and stylish, but also helped cool me down on a super night, which was a definite plus! 

Where You Can Get It

 

4.27.17 where you can get it

Dress: Vijiv 1920s Short Prom Dresses V Neck Inspired Sequins Cocktail Flapper Dress in Gold Glam, $36.99 at Amazon

Shoes: Journee Collection Tru Pump in Black, $39.95 at DSW

Lipstick: Epic Lip Ink Dye in Fresh, $7.00 at NYX (Just an FYI, this lipstick works wonders! I was drinking out of a plastic cup about 10 minutes after I applied the lipstick and it left no residue. That’s incredibly impressive, if you ask me.)

I hope you all enjoyed getting a look into my life and hopefully getting some fashion inspiration! Let me know what you think, or if you have any more ideas for content!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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Rebranding Me: A Jumpstart


So, as it turns out, I am terrible at resolutions. If you recall from my New Year’s Resolution post, I made a goal to post on Tantalizingly Tasteful every Friday. Well, I’ve gone nearly two months without a post. And that’s not the only goal I didn’t follow through on.

While I was gone, I turned 20 — which means I’m officially an adult. *gulp* I went back to school, and I’ve honestly been having a great semester. Just like last semester, I’m working on a lot of awesome things that are making me super busy. But that’s not an excuse to get lazy with taking care of myself and my blog.

 

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A picture of me from my 20th birthday celebration, taken by my beautiful best friend Lauren. Thanks to my other best friend Ian for the wonderful “20” balloons. Seriously, best birthday ever!!

 

In the last few years, I have been much more open about my health struggles, both physical and emotional, and I’d like to continue that trend. While my emotional and mental health have noticeably improved this semester, my physical health has noticeably… not. I went on an amazing vacation to Punta Cana with my entire family (21 people total!), but when I got back, I brought that “who cares” attitude home with me. Since then, I’ve been eating whatever I want without considering the impact it might have on my body. My visits to the gym have been far and few between. And I’m starting to feel the difference. My legs hurt and I’m more tired. I want to make a change, but change is hard. Why would I want to make my life any more difficult than it already is if I’m doing alright with what I’ve got?

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A photo with my entire family in Punta Cana! Yes, we planned the white shirts and blue jeans.

The fact of the matter is that I’m not alright with what I’ve got, and sometimes, you just need a jumpstart to help you realize that.

My friend Caroline sent me a really awesome blog post the other day that served as my jumpstart. Lee Tilghman, the blogger behind leefromamerica.com, recently posted a blog post about living with PCOS. I read it and, of course, shared her pain. But one thing I noticed is that Lee has done more to help her body in just a year of knowing about her disorder than I have done in eight whole years. It really opened my eyes to what I can be doing to help myself combat the symptoms of PCOS that I see and inspired me to get started.

I don’t think I would have been inspired to make a change if Caroline hadn’t sent me that text. This is why we need jumpstarts. The littlest things in our lives can inspire us to make changes, as scary as change can be. For those of you who are tired of dragging your feet through life, take this as your jumpstart. I’m challenging you to join me as I renew my desire to better myself and my life. It’s nearly Spring anyways, which means it’s time for new beginnings. So, who’s with me? Let me know, and let’s take on these challenges together!

xx,

Toni
Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com
Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful
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My Last Few Days as a High School Senior!!!


Hey everyone, happy July!! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. This summer is a really exciting summer for me because it’s my chance to transition from high school to (gulp) college. I graduated a week ago and I already can’t believe how fast the time is flying. To start off this summer, I’m going to share some of the details of my last few days as a high school senior with you all!!

Thursday, June 25: Senior Prom

Thursday was the day that started it all. Senior prom is the day that everyone spends their high school years dreaming about. It’s the things that (high school) fairy tales are made of. But no one ever tells you how much work it takes!! I was out the door by 10 AM to get my nails done, grabbed a quick coffee and lunch (to go!) with Torie, ran to my hair and makeup appointments at an Ulta store twenty minutes from my house and got home with barely enough time to get ready before my family was supposed to come take pictures with me. And I was still three hours off from the beginning of prom!!  To spare all the grueling details, I went to pre-prom at my friend’s house (where three of my amazing friends surprised me with a stunning corsage!!!) and then at school, where we climbed onto a super cool party bus that fit 29 of us! The half hour limo ride to Floral Terrace, where prom actually took place, was great, the cocktail hours was nice and the real party was incredible! I can honestly say that it was one of the best nights of my life. I danced all night, took great pictures with my friends, enjoyed delicious food and just got to reminisce about my four years in high school. Looking back at it now, I can’t even believe how quickly it all passed! Shout out to all the incredibly people who made this night possible!! Check the end of the article for details on what I wore!!

Couldn’t resist a selfie!!
Torie and I attempting one of our signature poses!!
My outfit!!
Some of my best friends!! From left to right: Lauren, Me, Dani, Emily and Torie
Posing with props that Torie made! From left to right: Emily, Me, Arianna, Torie and Dani

Friday, June 26: Afterprom

When prom was over, we took the party bus back to Arianna’s house and stayed for the night. We ate yummy mozzarella sticks and pizza bagels, laughed and danced… And didn’t get to sleep until the early hours of the morning!! In the afternoon, we took a ferry to Fire Island, where we spent the day lounging on the beach and going swimming (the water was freezing!!) We grabbed dinner and ice cream, and while most of the crew grabbed a late night ferry back to “the mainland,” four of us stayed overnight in a borrowed house! Back at the house, we chilled out on the back porch and ate late night mac and cheese. It may have been a long day, but it was incredibly fun and enjoyable!

Deliriously happy after prom!!
Emily and I enjoying the beach!!
Emily, Dani and I posing for pictures!!
Saying goodbye to the crew at the ferry!! From left to right: Me, Torie, Dani, Emily, Lauren and Arianna

Saturday, June 27: Return from Fire Island

Saturday was by far the most relaxed day of this particular weekend. The four of us who stayed over in Fire Island woke up at 8, ate mac and cheese for breakfast, cleaned the house and then took a nap. No pressure, no tight schedule. We grabbed pizza and ice cream and caught a ferry back to Long Island. That night, Torie and Emily came back to my house to finish decorating our caps for graduation the next day. Even though they were at my house until midnight, I was glad they came by to keep me company.

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Our finished graduation caps! Mine is on the left, Torie’s is in the middle, and Emily’s is on the right!!
My cap in all its glory!!

Sunday, June 28: Graduation!!

Sunday was THE day… the end of four incredible years of high school, the end of the memories. But it was also the beginning of a new stage in my life, a stage that I am so excited for! It was such a bittersweet day, complete with caps, gowns, selfies, laughter and tears. It all went by in a flash, it was honestly so hard to believe. The only thing that ruined the day was the it was nearly impossible to hear the speeches, which I had really been looking forward to hearing, from the stage. All in all, it was incredibly fulfilling day, knowing that I successfully finished my high school career and have so many awesome opportunities and events ahead of me. I really am so proud of myself for doing as well as I did and doing the different activities that I did, and I am so grateful to everyone who got me there. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me as I go on to college at Stony Brook University!!

Torie and I posing with our honor cords!!
Showing off our caps after graduating!! From left to right: (top) Amanda, Emily, Torie, Dani and Lauren; (bottom) Arianna and I
Some of my closest friends!! From left to right: Me, Emily, Grant, Max and Torie

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my life! What did you think of my prom look?  Did you recently go to prom or have your graduation? Do you think I should write more posts like this? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr, tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account, http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys xx

In This Article:

Prom:

Women’s Poplin Cami Fit & Flare Dress in Multi Print, $25.00 at Old Navy

J Kara Aqua Sequined High Neck Gown, $289.99 at Estelle’s Dressy Dresses

Not Rated Bering Strait Wedge Sandal, $34.94 at DSW

Silver headband, New York and Company (similar here)

Silver stud earrings, New York and Company (similar here)

Urban Expressions silver faux snakeskin clutch, DSW (similar here)

Afterprom:

Xhiliration olive green crochet-top maxi dress, Target (similar here)

Browline Round Sunglasses in Black/Silver, $7.90 at Forever 21

Black and gold crossbody bag, Forever 21 (similar here)

Graduation:

Garden Party Panache Dress in Noir, $41.99 at Modcloth

All supplies for graduation cap, Michael’s