Freshman Year: The Dorm

dorm, freshman year
Freshman Year: The Dorm

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The time has come!  Your baby is going to college.  You have a freshman!

Last year, I went through the same thing, totally uncertain of what was to come.  I took a week of vacation just to move my daughter into college for her freshman year.


You, like me, will be just fine.  Your freshman, just like mine, will be just fine.  

Just breathe!

I know you have a tremendous amount of things to do.  It will all get done.  Let’s start with the easy stuff first: 

the dorm.



Bedding is the most important thing you will need to ensure your freshman has.  Most dorms have twin beds; however, you should contact the college’s housing department to verify the size of bedding your freshman will need. 

Depending on your budget, your freshman will need the minimum:

·       Sheets and Pillowcases

·       Pillow

·       Comforter or Bedspread

There are tons of choices.  Check out these awesome deals below:


Other items you may want for your freshman, include:

·       Decorative Pillows

·       Extra Pillows

·       Mattress Cover

·       Throws


Your freshman will want to have some type of décor for the walls and his or her desk.  What you buy and do depends on your freshman’s preferences.   This is your child’s first time away from home, so he or she will need help with organization in order to help things run more smoothly freshman year. 

Décor can be grouped into the following:

·       Wall Décor

·       Desk Décor

·       Floor Décor


For the wall, you may buy tons of different things.  My daughter loves tapestries like these:


She also took an old picture frame with wires attached across and added pictures from home, using clothespins.  She then hung up white lights across the frame.  One trip to visit, I gave her a canvas with a quote on it. Just an FYI, you will most likely need Command Strips, as the dorms will not want you to nail nails into the walls.  Command Strips do not damage the wall.  Inspiration and a touch of home are important in the décor.  Depending on your child, you will add as much or as little as your freshman wants.  Everyone is different.


For the desk, you will want to ensure there is something to keep items organized.  What you use then depends on a few factors, such as major, hobbies, and other interests.  Examples of organizational tools include baskets and shelves.  You can find some really excellent deals on these, such as in the items below:



 Your freshman would benefit from the following on the desk:

·       Lamp

·       Pencil Holder of Sorts

·       Alarm Clock

·       Waste Basket

Now, on to the floor décor.  Some beds are rather high, so it would help to have a stepstool or even a simple ottoman. Most dorm floors are cement, so a rug for the floor in front of the bed is nice for those cool early mornings. 



Your freshman will have roommates, so this is best to be a joint decision.  For the bathroom, the following items will be ideal:

·       Floor Rugs

·       Shower Curtain with Rings

·       Toilet Brush

·       Plunger—and make sure they know how to use it

·       Waste Basket

·       Shower Caddy

Here are some excellent deals for some of these items:




Finally, here are some other ideas of items that your freshman will need:

·       Cleaning items, such as sponges, rags, and cleaner

·       Bath items, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, etc.

·       Health items, such as vitamins and essential oils

·       Medicine, such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, Motrin, Midol, Aleve, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Pepto Bismol, antacid, and any prescription medications

·       First aid items, such as band-aids, Neosporin, Benadryl itch cream, etc.


Hopefully, these lists will help you on your way to seeing off your freshman to college.  Before you know it, you will be just like me, preparing your Sophomore for a new year of college.  Just breathe and enjoy every second.  Your freshman will come home in winter break an adult.


Until next time,


Song of Sapelo Sunset

Toasting to 45 Years and a Future of Amazing Changes

changes, healthy living
Toasting to 45 years and the future

It has been a while!  Life threw me some definite curve balls the past few months, and I have had to take quite a few steps back, regroup, and plan for the future.  This week I met a milestone, celebrating my 45th birthday!  My family took me to dinner this weekend and to an awesome vineyard–12 Spies Vineyard–in the north Georgia mountains.

weight loss, healthy lifestyle, motherhood
Toasting to 45 Years and a Future of Changes

If you are ever in the area, try out the 12 Spies Vineyard.  Their Muscadine Wine is absolutely amazing! Add a cheese tray and the beautiful mountain scenery on the veranda, and you have a relaxing, tranquil afternoon!


The past few months have given me much to ponder.  Challenge has been the theme.  Loss of a job and work family, amazing new job full of awesome opportunities and a new work family, death of my stepfather, birth of my second grandbaby, my mother’s depression and illnesses after losing her second husband, my son’s wrestling injury (first injury ever), my son totaling his first car (no injuries there, praise the Lord), my college daughter’s return home for summer, running a concession stand every evening after work, planning summer vacation, college prep for my son, and the list goes on.  I have barely had time to breathe!

In the midst of all of this, my health has declined.  A couple of weeks ago I spent a week with my mom, trying to nurse her back to good health.  Now, I have known that I have gained some weight.  So, when I saw the scales in Mama’s kitchen, I just had to jump on them.  They must be broken!  For sure!  194 pounds….There is no way in this universe.  I stepped off the scales, and then I stepped back on them. Same results.  My stomach had begun to feel crammed up into my chest almost, a rather weird feeling.  I was not well.  Broken scale or not.  I had to make some changes…and pronto!

Thursday of that week, I went to the YMCA near my new job and signed up for a membership.  I began my workout the next afternoon.  Right before the workout, I weighed in on the gym scales.  Well, dang!  194 pounds AGAIN!  They are broken by the same amount as Mama’s scales.  NOT!  My butt has gotten fat as heck!  That is the only way to put it!  I never even weighed that much during a full term pregnancy!  How embarrassing!

All of this together pushed me to not only exercise but to diet as well.  My goal?  To shed 50 pounds and greatly improve my health.  My husband is joining me on this journey.  Although this has been my birthday week, and I have cheated just a little, I have dropped a few pounds already.

How am I doing this?  I drink a fresh fruit smoothie as breakfast every morning.  I do indulge in a cup of coffee as well.  All I have until lunch is water with lime or lemon.  For lunch, I alternate.  One day I juice, and the next day I eat a meal, but nothing fried and no grains.  On the days that I juice for lunch, I eat a regular meal for dinner, but only grilled items.

This week, we will shake the routine up a little:

  • Breakfast–Smoothie
  • Lunch–Salad or other healthy meal
  • Dinner–Juice or Smoothie, primarily green smoothies or juices

In this way, both my husband and I are on the diet and on the journey to better health for our entire family.  My health, although this has only been one week, has begun to get better.  My body can definitely tell the difference.

I have spent the past few years thinking that I had to do everything and could not take time for myself.  That is now catching up with me, and it is time, at 45, for a change!  My grandsons, my children, and my husband need me to be healthy!

Join me on this new journey into losing this weight in a healthy way, while still caring for my family.  A good mother also takes care of herself!

Here is a before picture taken just yesterday at the 12 Spies Vineyard, during my birthday celebration.

weight loss journey, healthy lifestyle
Before picture


Of course, I am the one on the right!  If only I was my daughter’s size!  Let’s start this journey!  Anyone else want to join, please come along!

All the best,


Song of Sapelo Sunset