an interview with filmmaker, wesley elder!

Last year, I attended The Matchbreaker movie premiere to film interviews and met several amazingly talented people in the process, including Wesley Elder! Wesley not only starred in the film (alongside Christina Grimme) but also wrote and produced the film as well.

The rom-com follows the story of an idealistic romantic who finds himself with a one-time gig of breaking up couples for disapproving parents that spirals into a “match-breaking” profession.

Back in October, I was filming interviews at the Christina Grimme Foundation Inaugural Event in Hollywood and happened to see Wesley there so we set up this inspiring interview.

  1. What inspired you to make your start in the entertainment industry?

 I studied abroad in Argentina right after high school and was there for a year and a half. During my time there, I took part of this touring drama ministry called “Renacidos”. It was super dark, about drugs and all that good stuff. Anyway, when I came back home, I told my mom one day that I thought I was supposed to act, like, maybe in movies or something. I had never been in theater or anything ever, so this was out of left field, but then I started researching a lot about it on my own and watching a ton of movies. And then next thing you know, it’s my career path, ha.

  1. How do you balancing wearing multiple hats, so to speak, during production?

 Dude, that’s hard. Especially on the indie level. Because not only am I worrying about my scene and my lines and stuff, but I’m making sure this actress’ flight arrives on time and I’m making sure lunch got picked up and that we’re on schedule and it’s just a lot. I used to say “this is fine” like the little cartoon dog who is in the burning house, ha. But if you just keep calm and treat people with respect and take care of them, typically it works out fine.

  1. How does a feature movie project like The Matchbreaker go from an idea to a script and then onto the big screen?

 A lot of time, ha. I mean, it took us three years from the original concept to the premiere. I think the biggest hurdle is diligence in the story part of it and staying on task in post-production. It’s really easy to slow down on those two parts of the process and let time get away from you, but if you can stay diligent and knock it out, then you’ll get it out into the world. And always put names in your movie if you can, haha. That’ll help it get made for sure.

  1. What has been one of your most favorite experiences so far on a set?

 Honestly, my more favorite moments are either when I’m doing something big that I haven’t done before (for example, I did a civil war VR shoot this past weekend), or when it’s super small with me and my friends and we’re shooting something. I have a group of friends that I call the Dream Team and it consists of about 6 people and if it all of us on set making stuff, I’d be happy for the rest of my days, haha.

  1. What struggles have you faced in achieving your dreams?

 Being young, haha. People don’t listen to you when you’re young. Which is why you just have to make stuff like The Matchbreaker.

  1. What is your primary focus with entertainment and how have you been involved with it?

 My primary focus is acting. Second to that is writing. Producing is a means to both. More often than not, you’re going to have to set in motion your ideas and that’s ultimately how producing fits into it all. However, I’d love to get to where I’m doing less producing and focusing on the creative more.

  1. As a writer, how do you deal with writer’s block?

 Talk with people. If nothing is happening on the page, then I go to talk to someone to get a little jolt. That or play ping pong, ha.

  1. In your opinion, what do you think is the key to being a storyteller?

 Study other movies and TV. And not just the old stuff, but the new stuff too. What are people doing right now? I think that’s crucial. Film school puts you through all of this old stuff which is sometimes great, but more often than not, it’s dated and is totally different to what audiences enjoy today. And experiencing life helps you tell a story. It’s easier to recreate life if you’ve experienced it.

  1. Could you share anything you are currently working on and how the process is going for that?

 TELEVISION! We want to get into TV. We’re working on two different concepts that are totally different. One is comedic, kind of like Master of None, and one is dramatic, kind of like Mad Men. It’s fun and challenging because within your larger plot, you’re creating much smaller ones. But I’m also trying to plan for 5 seasons because if it got picked up, I want to have a map as to where I’m going. I want these stories to be so strong that if we pitched it, nobody could say no.

  1. What is your advice to aspiring filmmakers/actors/writers/creators?

 Go. Make. Stuff. I’ve learned more from making stuff than I have anything else. Some of us are born with raw talent, but the majority are not, so we have to fail and fail and fail until we eventually succeed.

As a young storyteller myself, I find Wesley’s accomplishments and advice incredibly inspiring! Check him out online @thewesleyelder to keep updated on all of his projects!

at the Christina Grimme Foundation event with Wesley Elder, Eva Amantea, & Yising Kao (October 2017)

Stay Inspired!

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the easy avocado toast recipe you need in your morning routine

It has been about three years now and I am officially the most basic LA girl…especially now considering my morning routine composed of sunshine, palm trees, and avocado toast.

Cooking and/or baking anything as a college student is always an interesting endeavour, but the key element to it all is eating not only what sounds good, but what is good. I feel my best self when I am eating things that make me feel great and healthy.

So I have become obsessed with avocado toast…and while there are many different recipes already out there for this and it’s pretty self-explanatory to begin with, I thought I would write my delicious, easy, and affordable version.

Easy, Breezy, Lemon-Squeezy

Avocado Toast

What you need:

  • an avocado
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • fruit of your choice
  • bread (due to supply on campus, I have been using wheat bread)
  • a toaster

Recipe:

  1. Toast the bread to your liking

  2. Slice a quarter of your avocado (save the rest!)

  3. Sprinkle cinnamon

  4. Sprinkle salt

  5. Sprinkle pepper

  6. Sprinkle onion powder

  7. Top with fruit

  8. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!

me

 

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the taste of autumn (healthy & vegan!)

Tis’ the season of all things autumn!

If you know me, you know that I am OBSESSED with autumn! Despite the fact that I have spent the last (going on) three years now away from the lovely autumns of New York, I still find myself looking up fall aesthetics online, listening to autumn alternative playlists on Spotify, and rocking the scarves the second I feel a breeze.

Of course, one of the BEST things about fall is always the incredible food! Personally, I am not a pumpkin fan, however, I am a major fan of all things apple. That being said, today I came back to my apartment and wanted to make something easy, healthy, delicious, and totally fall time. This is the amazing deliciousness that followed…

Cinnamon Apple Muffin Bowl

a perfect breakfast blend on the go!

What You Need:

  • one apple of your choice (macintosh are my favorite but LA doesn’t seem to have them anywhere so I used a pink crisp)
  • cinnamon
  • water or milk of your choice (I used water)
  • pancake mix
  • a microwave

Recipe:

  1. Chop the apple into small pieces.
  2. Put those pieces inside of a bowl.
  3. Add cinnamon and mix in.
  4. Microwave for two minutes.
  5. Separately, mix pancake batter, water/milk, and more cinnamon in a smaller bowl. Make a small amount and make sure it mixes to a thicker consistency.
  6. Microwave the pancake mix for a minute and a half or until poofy.
  7. Once thoroughly cooked to your liking, combine the two!
  8. Enjoy!

This was such an easy thing to make and it passes as breakfast, a snack, or even a dessert! Plus, it’s super healthy so you can feel amazing eating it as well.

Enjoy!

me

 

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small town girl, big city dreams

a screening,

a premiere,

a moment,

an email,

an audition,

an opportunity.

In the least overwhelmingly long story sort of way, these words capture an incredible story of my current life, a year and five months in the making.

I have always been a dreamer with passions surrounding storytelling through creative writing, filmmaking, acting, performing, dancing, and so forth. Anyone who is any ounce of familiar with who I am probably knows by now that I do a lot of things, which has brought me from my childhood in upstate New York to my current life in Los Angeles. Small town girl, big city dreams. We have all seen that cliché before, yet, it’s a pretty accurate summary of the past two years of my life.

The Hollywood Premiere That Started it All

So to get this story started here, in March 2016, I got invited to the advance screening of a movie out in Beverly Hills and then the official LA premiere the week after at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood. That movie was a lovely independent dance film called, High Strung. The opening theme sent chills down my spine in that small screening as the impending ability to meet those in the movie the next week seemed so unreal.

I had no idea.

The following premiere was everything I could ever ask for with a premiere. I wrote about the whole experience here.

When most premieres are done and the press online starts to fade into other events, that’s generally the end. I still freaked out when I saw High Strung at stores or even at my local RedBox at home. It’s on Netflix now too, so I highly recommend watching it. That being said, this movie was different…it kept on taking new forms in my life.

The Event That Changed Everything

So, let’s jump ahead to the Dizzy Feet Gala event at LA Live (DTLA) in September of 2016. I was just starting off my second year as a film and television production major at LMU|LA, and already I was feeling pretty amazing about where my college life and forming career was taking me. I was there to film interviews with my friend, Eva for her channel (youtube.com/onthespotinterviews). Among the many we interviewed that day, we were excited to see Michael and Janeen Damian again, whom we had already met during the High Strung premiere. You can watch that interview here:

There was a moment that day that left me completely in shock. This was an invite into being in an amazing movie and in my realm of what seems like a “normal life experience”, this was far outside the realm of “normal”. Everything was about to change.

The Process & Audition

As the whole movie process goes, everything takes time. Months went by and life moved on. However, I kept updated with the process and by audition time, got the opportunity to send in an audition tape. I’m a far stronger actress than dancer, but this was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss so I did want any actor should do…act! I spent countless hours in the dance studios on campus after hours working on a routine. To prep even before then, I spent time at the gym every day for weeks. Even making it to extra Bollywood dance cardio classes helped. My friend, Emily, who happens to be a dance minor helped one day too. This was a level of dedication that left my heart soaring.

 

these things i do… 💃

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dance, passion, hopes & dreams 💃…and selfies

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another dance studio photo 😎

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I couldn’t say anything and even more importantly, I could not get my hopes up. A part of me felt like something great was going to come out of this, but of course, my former experiences with getting involved with acting through auditions have always been not as successful. I have not been getting leads throughout middle and high school. In fact, before getting smaller roles (that I gave full-out back stories for), I had always felt like when it came down to acting, I wasn’t experienced or talented enough. Later into the high school years, that started to change, but only now do I fully realize how important that tricky past has been.

I never gave up. I kept trying to prove myself and improve my abilities. I had a passion for actually creating characters from nothing and transforming myself into them. There are no “small” roles, especially when you embrace any role to the fullest.

So as exciting as everything was, I became overwhelmed with the conflicting moments of trying to not get too excited while being really excited. With an email, my audition was sent. I didn’t hear back, nor get a role. To be fair, that was expected. However, the story was not over yet. The entire spring of my sophomore year was incredibly stressful due to my lack of knowledge of summer plans. While this wasn’t the only situation on my mind at that time, it was definitely one of them. More than anything, I truly wanted to be a part of this. More time passed, I spent an additional month in LA before heading back to NY for the remainder of summer. All the meanwhile, filming had begun in Romania.

While watching the live streams from set and keeping up with the process, I found out when the NYC part of filming was going to take place and that I was still indeed invited to be an extra (or as officially called now, “background actor”). A major perk to living in New York state is being a several hour drive away from the big city. Timing wise, the filming was right before the trip back to LA for the upcoming school year, but my absolutely incredible family worked it all out. The next thing I knew, I was packing once again to a weekend like no other.

The Filming On-Location

I have always loved the idea of being a part of filming movies on location because that is a beautiful combination of work and vacation all at once. Late August 2017, my family and I arrived on a Friday afternoon at the Empire hotel in NYC. Call times were set for Saturday and Sunday and by the time the Monday scenes were set to be filmed, we had to be heading back for last second packing for LA. Exploring the city again was incredible and slightly odd with timing since the last time I was in NYC was a band trip my junior of high school. Now, I’m entering my junior year of college.

The first scene I got to be a part of was at Duffy’s Square… right on Times Square! There is nothing quite like being with a movie crew, standing in the middle of a place I have been watching every new years eve, being surrounded by so many tourists and people with cameras filming the filming process. I was a part of something that I would typically be watching as an outsider thinking, “oh that’s so cool”. One of the coolest things about all of this was the fact that I got to experience this as a young filmmaker AND share this world with my family. It was a blend of what I do in familiar and new ways.

The next day, I took the subway for the first time to SoHo for a couple different locations and scenes. Between scenes and takes, I got an interview with one of the stars of the film, Harry Jarvis, who was an absolute delight to meet.

I’m not used to the interviewing life since I usually film and edit them, but it was a lot of fun. When it came down to being in the scenes, I got a general placement in frame and some directions on what to do. When High Strung Free Dance comes out Summer 2018, keep an eye out for the exterior shots that include my family and myself walking through NYC. The filming took the whole day and night. It was incredibly amazing to see how the process took place on a professional level, while taking role in the midst of it all, intensely observing and living for every second.

…Which brings me to being a film student on a professional set and the observations I made. I’ve worked on various sets before, ranging in professional levels. However, it is amazing how many sets have miscommunication issues that lead to complications with filming. It was outrageously pleasing to be on this set where everyone knew each other, communicated well, and effectively kept on schedule and even got ahead of it often.  I am incredibly impressed by how well-managed the cast and crew regulated. It was inspiring and I took many notes on things that worked well that I can carry with me through future sets. Never have I witnessed such a well-organized group that has inspired me so very much.

The Epilogue

The entire weekend of filming was overwhelming on levels I did not know could exist. It was as if a sea of emotions and memories past, present, and future collided, leaving my head spinning in a whirlwind of feelings. Everything came full circle and even though I was only filming for two days, it felt extra emotional wrapping Sunday night. Like the end of past middle and high school productions, emotional sad vibes of the end sunk in, leaving me back in the post-High Strung sadness I felt after the premiere of the first movie. The whole experience felt incredibly unreal and in more ways than I could describe, so many full-circle moments came into perspective. Of course, this isn’t the end of this whole experience, since upcoming screenings, the premiere, and all of the future releases are still to come. As I sit in my childhood bedroom the morning after getting back and procrastinating from packing to be back in LA, I am realizing that I am still the same self I have always been, but now I am a step further into my “new normal” (which is simply what I call this realm of the “biz” that feels far from normal at all).

I cannot thank everyone who made this possible more than enough. I am incredibly thankful for this life and this experience. I am excited for everything that is ahead. I am living yet another life dream.

Truthful Inspiration

This is truly a story that seems too good to be true, even to myself. Former me (even a year ago!) would have never in a million years expected for any of this to have happened and been real. That is why I have complete belief that whatever it is you want to do in life may not happen in the ways or time frames that you could expect, but they will work their way into happening. Believe, keep hope on your side, stay positive, and persevere. Anything can and WILL happen. When they do, magic happens.

Keep updated with my ever-abundantly-amazing adventures via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook…basically, every social media @sarahfhamilton. Feel free to leave comments and/or tweet/comment at me as I love to respond!

Keep Dreaming, Keep Sm:)ing!

me

 

 

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS:

Advance Screening & Press Day

Premiere

BTS of Auditioning (when I still couldn’t say anything at all)

Trip/NYC Filming

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see me at the EMMYs!

There’s this word…”normal”. LA took everything I thought I knew about what “normal” meant and flipped it like a pancake. Okay, weird metaphor over…the moral of the story is, life has been incredibly crazy in the best of ways and yet another major step into my new normalcy has happened.

I went to the Creative Arts Emmys on September 9th, 2017 (it filmed on a different day then it aired). There appeared to be only a few types of people there…

  • the nominees/announcers/famous and entertainment industry people
  • their friends and family
  • the amazing crew running the show
  • the seat fillers (a.k.a. yours truly)

As a seat filler for the Kids Choice Awards about two years ago, I knew the drill. Basically the job of a seat filler is to fill in the empty seats (pretty self-explanatory).The main celebs get up and move around during the show, but to make the camera happy, seats need to be filled. So we jump around from seat to seat and despite the fact that you may see a seat filler in various different spots during a program, most viewers won’t be paying enough attention to us to even notice.

So, I got tickets and got to be a seat filler for the Creative Arts Emmys at the Microsoft Theater at LA Live and it was one of the most amazing opportunities.

For starters, I should mention that if you watch the show, watch carefully and send screenshots my way because I make cameos from several different seats throughout the theater. For some time, I was behind the crew of Saturday Night Live. Then I briefly showed up second row right by James Cordon and Derek and Julianne Hough… just to name a few. I moved to the very front by the right steps for the ending so that was amazingly cool too. Plus, after a plethora of years worth of science classes… I can say now that I have seen Bill Nye in person and you bet I “considered the following”… WHAT IS LIFE!?!?!?

To summarize the experience, yes, I saw and sat next to and around so many amazingly cool (and pretty famous) people. At first, I felt as if being a seat filler wasn’t a legit enough excuse to be there. At first, I felt as if I didn’t truly belong there. After all, literally the night before I was spending a quality messy hair homework night on campus when everybody else seemed to be at parties or date nights (which is totally cool and all, but college is a series of varying moments). Which brings us to a moment at the Emmys where everything clicked…

I did belong there among all of those really cool famous people. I am a part of the entertainment industry and in the big picture of things, I happen to actually be a lot like them. We are all creators and storytellers and this is simply a moment of my life that continues to connect my former self who only dreamed of such random opportunities like this with a potential future where I too am a part of the whole system. Yes, I see these sorts of events as very casual moments of life because I see the practicalities behind how and why I get to do what I do. Regardless, just because I see the practicalities, it doesn’t make the umbrella of what I do any less real.

Example:

Umbrella: I went to the Emmys!!!!!

Reality: I signed up for free seat filler tickets to go to the Creative Arts Emmys, stood in various long waits, and miraculously ended up in several amazing seats where the camera did face on several occasions!

…Ultimately, both are true and this concept applies to most of everything that I do around this wonderful city. That being said, this was an incredible opportunity and I had the greatest time attending my first Emmys while being further introduced into this chaotically beautiful lifestyle.

If there could be one major thought that I would have to conclude this post on, it’s this: take into account the behind the scenes look at the media you consume. Every single day, it is so easy to take things for how they seem to be. Watching TV, seeing movies, looking at various media on the plethora of platforms that currently exist is such a common activity yet, there are so many people who spend their livelihoods making all of that so possible. So the next time you are watching something or simply scrolling through your phone, take a moment of appreciation for all of those who may or may not be on-screen who are making the content you are consuming possible.

Check out the Creative Arts EMMYS Saturday September 16th at 8pm ET/PT, 7pm CT on FXX!

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testing & reviewing LipSense!

I have always been a fan of lipsticks, lip gloss, and lip products that make them pop and survive various temperatures. However, it just so happens that finding the perfect lip product for long-time wear is a difficult task. Luckily for me, the brand, LipSense, reached out to me and I became instantly interested about their products.

Here is the initial rundown about LipSense… their lip products are so long-lasting that they are waterproof, kiss-proof and smudge-proof to the point where the color does not come off until you take it off (via the remover provided). To make matters even better, LipSense lays color over lips and then the gloss seals the color in. “It’s Lead Free, Wax Free, Gluten Free, Vegan friendly, never tested on animals, contains NO animal by-products, is made from naturally reoccurring ingredients and is made in the USA”.

A lovely thank you to Karen Brasiola Mitchell for sending me a product kit to try. I like it so much, that I decided to write this post about it!

I’m always looking for a lip product that will stay all day and get through various weather temperatures, coffee, and my daily life. Inside of the adorably packaged box, I got some information on the other products, perfume sampler, and the lip color (Aussie Rose), moisturizing gloss, and Ooops! Remover. Following the application instructions, I began to add the color on my clean and clear lips. The product itself applies far differently and feels more dry than regular lip glosses. I waited for it to dry to avoid sticking and was surprised to see it dry as fast as it did. After about three layers, I added the clear gloss to seal the color in, which provided extra moisture.

Turns out, it feels very natural and lightly plumpifies my lips. The color is rich and beautifully natural looking and even with minimal face makeup, it added a nice pop to my face without drawing mass attention to my lips. I didn’t need a lip liner and the longer I had the product settle, the better my lips felt. As it goes for the scent, the products had a floral tone with a slight tang of the alcohol that keeps it bacteria free. Once applied, the smell seemed to fade away while the color stayed strong.

Here is a video about the application process: https://www.facebook.com/SeneGence/videos/10153283993174080/

I tested it on a hot afternoon in sunny LA. Since September always brings the hottest weather around here when all I want is sweater weather and fall time, the humidity is high, making this test really…well, a test. Turns out, the color did last the entire night despite multiple fans, drinking non-stop water, and the night heat on a spontaneous Saturday night. The color lasted even after I took a much-needed shower, but it was about that time when it started to come off. That being said, I do not recommend swimming with it (or any lip product for that matter), but LipSense definitely lives up to its expectations!

However, since I only wore it for a few hours one night, I decided to try it again the next day to see how it lasted. It was another hot day I ended up in Malibu. There was no time to reapply either the gloss or color, but there was also no need! The color survived most of the day and only began to disappear later on into the late afternoon. Once I took off my makeup for the night, I realized that my lips felt more exfoliated and fresh. As it goes for the remover, it helps with cleaning up mistakes, but regular makeup remover works well too. However, the remover does work wonders and has a lovely vanilla scent!

Long story short, I am quite impressed by this product and I am definitely excited to use it again! It’s not just a long-lasting lip product…it’s long-lasting magic.

To learn more about LipSense, check out their website at https://www.lipsense.com/.

Check out Karen’s Hip Chic Beauty Boutique on Instagram, Facebook, and https://www.senegence.com/karenslastinglips!

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a letter to the summer

Dear Summer 2017,

I’m not sure where you went or why you had to leave so soon, but you totally rocked so here this goes…

I spent the entire first half of this year planning for you. Funny enough, when it was still December of last year, I was already trying to figure out what these few months would bring. Some call that “planning too far in advance” while I call it “adult/college pressures to productivity activate free months for career advancements”.

Spring rolled around and I still really had no idea what was going to happen, but I opened many doors and waited several eternities to figure out where fate and destiny was going to land me. Early spring soon turned into late spring and the next thing I knew, it was only a week until move out at the end of the semester. I had no dedicated plans, only a lot of people and places to hear back from. Going back to NY for the summer meant potentially missing out on cool LA opportunities but nothing was settled yet. I got fed up with waiting, but great things come to those who wait.

So, I stayed an additional month. It got me to actually move into my first LA-on-my-own apartment, which taught me that being on your own in a non-college setting is a whole new ballgame. I cut my little finger open while trying to put a cleaned glass away. The alarm falsely went off one early morning and left me shook at the thought of someone breaking in (which was not the case at all!). I grocery shopped on my own and fed myself without a meal plan. Adulting. That month provided growth and a whole lot of productivity and fun. However, I learned that I love what I do so much that I am a total workaholic and it all got so overwhelming. In need of an actual break, I flew back to New York early June.

Summer part two continued the productivity! Each week I posted two YouTube videos, I filmed and edited several promotional videos for local theater groups, I regulated posting on this lovely website/blog, I got more involved with writing/reading/planning, and most importantly of all, I got to spend amazing quality time with my family. It has been amazing in every way! We explored new places, went on majestic and nostalgic bike rides, and enjoyed each others company so much. I helped film a video or two with my brother, who has a super cool channel I should mention (youtube.com/outsidetheboxadam). I finally relaxed a bit (although, I was more of a workaholic back here too than planned) and I made a couple of milestones.

One was turning twenty. I’m officially (as young me would say), “both hands and both feet”. Not sure what to count next…

Another milestone was definitely the great loss of the tree in the backyard. Treebert Birch was a great tree. Despite the fact that it was growing towards out house and getting quite dangerous to keep around, as understanding I am at the loss, that tree will be missed.

That brings me to my next point…

This summer, I came back to family, reflection, comfort, and transition. I believe that I reached these goals with flying colors. Funny enough, I can’t mention too much about my upcoming future, but as overwhelming as things are about to get, I am so incredibly excited! (Keep updated with me for more info)

So, I suppose that’s it then. The end of summer. I’ll miss this but I’m incredibly glad that everything happened the way that it did. Thank you summer 2017. And thank you to everyone who made it so incredibly special.

Thank you.

me

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things you should know before college | back to school series

College is an incredible exciting time! Whether you are a first-timer rookie or seasoned student, here are some great tips for preparing yourself for the upcoming semester!

Pack Smart

A little bit of everything truly goes a long way.

Free Stuff

Prepare for free stuff that you will collect as time goes on. The amount of tee shirts you will get within the first week will last you!

Textbooks

Your books can get really pricy so shop around and be smart! For an entire post I wrote about the subject, click here!

Water Kettle

Invest in a water kettle for coffee, tea, soup, oatmeal, and infinite amazing D.I.Y. goods you can make in your room (saving your precious money).

MicroFridge

Yes, you want a microwave and mini fridge. Just make sure you follow the rules and codes of the school and housing so that you do not get charged for having these in your room!

One Notebook

Having one five subject notebook should help for all of your classes per semester. Keep things simple and write all of your notes in this one notebook.

Explore

Learn about your college town for fun weekend exploration!

Self Care

Sleep is important, coffee is pricy and addicting. Care for yourself!

Enjoy

Go with the flow of life! Enjoy every moment you can because time truly flies by! Meet new people, do fun things, and enjoy it all! (Take many photos to document it all too!)

If you want to see my years of college vlogs, check out my LIVIN’ CA series at youtube.com/sarahfhamilton! Tweet or comment any questions/thoughts @sarahfhamilton.

Best of luck!

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10 college textbook life hacks | back to school series

Textbooks can be super pricy (and annoying) but after two years of college, here is a collection of my best advice for the ideal textbook college life hack.

Wait until the first week

Professors typically tell you on the first day what you will need and by when. Unless you get an email from the professor in advance, your best bet is to wait it out so you don’t get anything you don’t actually need.

Compare prices

There are really great deals out there for those who don’t look around first! FIY: your campus bookstore is the most convienent way, so they probably charge the most!

Check your school library

Every school is different, but at LMU, most (if not all) textbooks are on reserve and can be used in the library for a certain amount of time. Chances are, you can probably even check some out. This is a way to save money and use the wonderful resources of your campus library!

Search online for free copies

Sometimes, copies of textbooks end up online as beautiful PDF’s. Even older editions have most of what you need for class, so this is a great way to find what you need.

E-books over Hardcover (if you can!)

Freshman year, I got all of my books as hard copies…which is exactly why I try to use ebooks at all costs now. Textbooks can be heavy and bulky. Chances are, you are already using a laptop and bringing that around campus, so to have your book on your phone or laptop is incredibly convienent.

Rent Used 

Textbooks can be rented or bought. They can also be brand new or old. You may not get lucky with this everytime, but renting used books can save you a ton of money!

If you like it, buy it!

There are some books that may be super convienent and you may want to keep on hand. These are the ones you should just buy and hold onto for life.

Share with a friend/roomie/classmate

College is a time where you are surrounded by peers who are probably taking the same classes. Team up and share textbooks! One in doubt, if you have a friend in the class you need the textbook with, split the cost of the book and then share it. This also may form a great study-buddy friendship!

Check Facebook

Students post out their textbooks to sell or just get rid of. Not only can this be you when you are done with your books, but this is a way to meet new people and get the copies you need from someone who already took the class. You can even contact another classmate with the book and ask for photo copies of the pages you need for the assignment. (Thank you, technology!)

Sell bought textbooks 

I hope those college textbook life hacks help! If you have additional comments/questions/thoughts, comment below and/or tweet me @sarahfhamilton!

Best of Luck!

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10 things you should do everyday

Making every day count is SO very important! Here are ten quality things you should try to do every single day…

  1. Relax

    Do something that eases your mind and body. Taking a moment to rest is incredibly rewarding and helps give you more energy when you need it.

  2. Read

    Taking a moment to read, especially if it is when you first wake up or right before going back to sleep, is a fantastic way to unwind, learn, and fuel the imagination.

  3. Create

    Creating things, whether that happens to be some form of art or even cooking/baking is a great way to unwind while feeling like something is being accomplished.

  4. Balance

    This could mean literally balance yourself, but the idea here is to manage everything that you may be doing/feeling/etcetera. Sometimes, life gets pretty busy but having a balanced moment per day to organize and understand what is happening will help business from piling up and stressing you out.

  5. Hydrate

    Drinking water is incredibly important to the natural health and well-being! It provides energy and keeps you going so drink up!

  6. Write

    Write down (handwritten is a personal chosen way to go) your thoughts, feelings, tasks at hand, and anything else you feel is needed. Writing releases energy and lets your mind think in new ways.

  7. Move

    Exercise via a full workout or a small walk around the block…the point to having movement is to keep you going. The quote, “what’s in motion stays in motion” is so true!

  8. Progress

    Being productive is absolutely important! Seeing tasks get done is both rewarding and incredibly exciting. When tasks pile up, stress does too! Avoid stress by getting tasks done one at a time (or multiple at a time if you are in the extra productive sort of mood).

  9. Cleanse

    Clear your mind, clean your space, take a quality shower or bath… cleansing is yet another way to keep your head on your shoulders.

  10. Smile

    Smile to yourself in the mirror and outward towards others. Simply forming a smile releases internal chemicals that will make you feel great!

Life can get so busy but taking small moments to cherish life and fuel oneself with positive vibes is a very wonderful and powerful thing.

Sm:)e On!

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