Kate '18

St. Thomas Brand Day

Happy Monday and start of the spring 2016 semester everyone!!!

I always have this looming sense of mystery, invigorating energy, and unforeseen excitement when it comes to new beginnings. I look at the start of new things, especially the beginnings of new semesters, as a fresh chance to start over or build on what you have already accomplished.

This upcoming spring at St. Thomas, we have a lot going on, and I’m super excited! As many of you know, the university has undergone a major change- St. Thomas has been rebranded, and the launch party and unveiling is TOMORROW, Tuesday February 2nd!

Over the past 16 months, the university and a branding team have been very busy analyzing our current image, and specifying the direction in which the university wants to carry forth into future generations. The new brand will exclusively highlight and perfectly describe what the University of St. Thomas stands for.

Known as Brand Day, February 2ed, promises to be a very exciting day. President Julie Sullivan has strongly encouraged students and faculty to attend this event in Woulfe Hall (On the third floor of the Anderson Student Center) at 11:50. President Julie Sullivan will be doing the honors in St. Paul, and the rebrand will be officially unveiled in addition to other components of this large social media event.

This is the start of a new beginning for St. Thomas. As tradition carries forth, alumni, students, staff, and the community are very proud of St. Thomas. We need all of your support, and hope to see everyone at our launch party tomorrow!

Go Tommies!!!

MJensen University of St Thomas ust

Liz '17

So excited for this semester abroad

It’s crazy to think that it’s already been a week, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here forever because this past week was that busy! Here’s a little run-down of the past week:

  1. First 10 minutes of being in London I went to go cross the street, of course I looked, but I looked the wrong way and all of a sudden a car come flying around the corner. No worries, I’m alive and well. The cars driving on the opposite side of the road has definitely been the biggest culture shock for me so far.
  2. I could have spent months in London, but in the day and a half we were there, we saw as much as possible. In the morning, we got on a bus with our group and had a guided tour all throughout London. We got to see Buckingham (also learned how to say it–Buck’n ham) Palace, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge and more! After we got off the bus, we walked around London and saw the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the London eye on foot, which came to about 10 miles of walking (thanks FitBit!). We were dead, so we even got to ride the tube, which we conquered as well!

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  1. Orientation was about four days long…..We started with a meeting with our program and dinner at a local Chinese restaurant the first night. The next three days consisted of learning how to travel on a budget, a campus tour, a lot of you tube videos about the university and a performance by the Celtic Steps! They were so good with their dancing and instrument playing and singing!

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  1. Trip to the city market in Limerick City, which is a giant farmers market type thing that has a roof over the top that looks like a tent to keep the shoppers and vendors a little dry since it rains so much here.

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  1. Day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren! Wow what an experience that was, so excited to be able to cross that off my bucket list!!! The Cliffs were absolutely breath-taking! The Burren was a nearby area which is essentially a limestone farm, and there was so much limestone. I picked up a little rock to bring home, but I wasn’t sure a few years down the road I would remember why I had a rock in my bag.

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  1. January 25, marks the first day of classes. So far, I’ve only had one, but I have another one shortly. I’ve only gotten lost once so far, so I would consider today a success…so far.
  2. I have been learning so much about the Irish culture and they’re way of life. For instance Craic (pronounced crack) is the Irish term for Fun. So last week at orientation in particular, people kept saying “THERE’S GOING TO BE SO MUCH CRAIC” and it made me laugh every time…still does. I also learned from PJ who is one of my Irish roommates that the weirdest thing to him about Americans is that we walk barefoot, even around our own house he thought was strange.

All in all, it’s been an amazing week and I’m really looking forward to everything else that lies ahead for me this semester. We’ve been busy thinking about trips we want to take and where we want to go, but nothing has really been booked yet.

 

Kate '18

Blue Door Pub- St. Paul

The month of January in St. Paul is bleak, cold, and almost like an abandoned city. It’s so frigid outside with below zero temperatures that the few students who do remain on campus only venture out for class once a day. However, I’m more than willing to bare the cold for Blue Door! Another perk about St. Thomas is that Blue Door has a location just a few blocks from campus. In my opinion (as well as many other highly rated food reviewers), Blue Door is home to one of best burgers you will ever have. They also have an incredible happy hour, including deals on appetizers after 10pm. Last night I ordered the boneless Buffalo Wings and Smoky Bandit Tots. The wings and tots are so special because any of the ten wing sauces can be tossed with the tots. Delicious as always, Blue Door never disappoints and was such a treat in this cold January weather!

Check out the Blue Door Pub website and menu!

http://www.thebdp.com

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Smoky Bandit Tots

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The Classic Blucy with Maple Bourbon Bacon Tots

Kate '18

Namaste and Sweat Away- A Week of Free Yoga

Who doesn’t like to take full advantage of free things, especially free yoga? CorePower Yoga offers a free week of yoga and other fitness classes to all of their new members. This is a great deal because a workout class can be anywhere from $5- $20, and even more costly in the Twin Cities area.

A little background: I consider myself to be an avid yogi. I have gone to a hot yoga studio for years and have mastered most of the posses including the headstand.

My boyfriend Alex and I decided to put CorePower to the test as we dove head first into a fit 2016 and here’s the results!!

Our Week at CorePower…

Day 1: Friday, Hot Power Fusion yoga, 4:30-5:30

All week long I had been super excited to start at CorePower! The sign up process was super easy, we then had a tour of the spacious studio, and immediately began our class. As soon as I stepped into the 107-degree studio I started sweating profusely. Multiple times I thought I was going to pass out from the intense heat and difficultly level, and at some points I even felt too weak to perform the next pose. It was a rough class, but at the same time, very satisfying. Afterwards, I can honestly say I have never felt better in my life.

Day 2: Saturday, CorePower Ryder, “RealRyder” cycling class, 8:30-9:15

I have ALWAYS wanted to try a cycling class. I could already envision myself riding in The Tour de France and cycling my heart out. The reality was this class was extremely DIFFICULT. It was interesting to see the type of people in the Saturday morning class- mostly older (and very fit) people from the St. Paul area. Within the first few minutes the entire room had steamed up and the intensity level sky had rocketed. The upbeat music and fun atmosphere dictated the vibe of the class, and yes, it was very difficult, but it was also a ton of fun!

***Note: CorePower got the best of us, and we had to take a few days off as a result of being extremely sore.

Day 5: Back At It!! Tuesday, Sculpt Yoga, 4:00-5:00

I had heard from numerous people that their favorite class at CorePower was yoga sculpt, so I was so excited to try this! Similar to yoga, yoga sculpt is a variation of yoga flow intermixed with free arm weight training and core. The class instructor had a whistle, and even had the audacity to blow it at me, pushing me to work even harder. This was another challenging class, but also very fun. One thing about CorePower is they don’t let you skimp on your workouts.

Well… Here’s What I Thought:

Favorite class: Yoga Sculpt

Take Away: Immediately after my first class, I noticed a positive change in my body. I felt more toned, and as if all the toxins in my body had been rung out of me. Even though I was very sore, my energy levels had increased. Yoga focuses on mind, body, spirit connections, leaving one with feelings of energy and positivity, and I can truly tell the difference in my body and mind after doing yoga classes.

Would I like to do it again? YES!!! However, CorePower is very expensive at $20 a class or you need to purchase a membership. Working out at a studio is also a huge time commitment. So sadly, I probably won’t be doing it again.

What Did Alex Think: I was very impressed that he went to every class with me! He also thought the classes very challenging, but the end results of feeling so good made it all worth it!

Check out the CorePower website for their class schedule and how you too can get your free week of yoga!

http://www.corepoweryoga.com [Copy and paste link into browser].

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Liz '17

10 things only Tommies would understand…

The Top 10 things only Tommies would understand…

  1. There’s nothing better than snow on the day of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. 

    • Totally instagrammable duh!

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  2. Even if purple isn’t your favorite color, you find yourself wearing it at least twice a week.

    • It’s the Tommie way of life.

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  3. Tommie Johnnie is an official school holiday.

    • Well maybe not, but it definitely should be!

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  4. Don’t even try to go to the View after the 10:55 class gets out.

    • You’ll be stuck in line until you’re a senior.

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  5. Convo hour is God’s gift to the nappers of the world.

    • And it’s a sign that the weekend is one day closer.

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  6. Once it gets to be about 60 degrees in the spring, you better be out on the Dowling beach tanning.

    • #MinnesotaProbs

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  7. If you haven’t instagrammed the lower quad yet, do you even go here?

    • A picture of the purple flowers and the fountain at sunset is nothing less than mosaic.

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  8. Doesn’t matter what year you are, you will stand in a line no matter how long for the free Homecoming sweatshirts.

    • …Because I don’t have enough purple clothing.

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  9. You have thought about dropping a class just because it’s in Brady Education Center.

    • You won’t be too happy about that 10 minute walk in February.

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  10. Binz Burger Bar is Bae

    • If you have to ask, you don’t deserve it.

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Kate '18

No-Bake Cookie Dough Chocolate Cups

Let’s be honest… I make cookies because the absolute best part is eating way too much dough. I found this recipe for No-Bake Cookie Dough Chocolate Cups on Tasty and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since!! This is such a fun recipe because first and foremost you can safely eat the dough (goodbye eggs and salmonella poisoning, hello cream cheese!), and this recipe puts a modern twist on your average chocolate chip cookies by adding the outside chocolate layer.

https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/1675310172721625/?pnref=story

(To watch the link above, you will have to copy and paste it into your browser, it’s 40 seconds and super cute!)

Ingredients: 6 tbsp melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 ounces cream cheese, 4 tbsp sugar, 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp vanilla, 3/4 cup chocolate chips (for the dough), 1 cup chocolate chips (melted for the outside layer), muffin tin lining cups.

Directions: Stir all the ingredients together. Melt the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Put a layer of the melted chocolate on the bottom of each muffin tin, then form a ball of cookie dough and place on top of the melted chocolate in each tin lining. Pour a layer of melted chocolate over each of the dough balls. Cool for 30 minutes.

I hope you all enjoy just as much as I did!!!

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Kate '18

Insider Look on Urban Evolutions 

Over winter break I spent time with family, ate lots of good food, relaxed, enjoyed cooler weather activities, and of course, shopped. While in Appleton, I made a special visit to the most fascinating shop I know: Urban Evolutions! It is extremely hard to put into words why this store is so mesmerizing, but each and every time I go there, I fall for Urban Evolutions even more! This is a specialty shop located in Appleton, Wisconsin which handcrafts and produces ornate furniture, flooring, and decor. Using reclaimed material to make the old new, Urban Evolutions is family owned, and produces truly unique pieces that are sold on location as sample pieces, or can be ordered out of magazines such as Anthropologie. Upon entering the doors, I just feel this overwhelming sense longing to buy everything in sight. Each piece is so wonderful and unique in it’s own way, you can’t help but yearn to have it! By no means am I anywhere close to buying full sets of furniture for myself yet, but I have been instilled with the mind set of quality over quantity. Urban Evolutions is a prime example of upholding a level of excellence in their creations with the mindset of well-made and beautiful pieces will last a lifetime, and these are the things that make a house a home.

Check out the Urban Evolutions website, or if you are ever anywhere near Appleton, it’s completely worth a visit!

http://urbanevolutions.com

The Anthropologie website is attached below, Urban Evolutions designs and creates furniture for this company, as well as several other companies.

http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/index.jsp

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Liz '17

15 Things from 2015

Every year goes and comes. And when the end of the year comes, sometimes it is nice to reflect on all that has happened during the year, both good and bad. I am an extremely blessed individual and taking the time to reflect on the year helps to remind me of that.

1. First time studying abroad

January 1, 2015 I got the chance to leave the country for the first time and study abroad in Rome, Italy. I went with my best friend Britney and we got to go to Germany and Paris first. We were then in Rome for three weeks. On the weekends we got the chance to travel to Pompeii, Naples, Venice, and Florence. What an amazing trip it was, and it is something I will never forget.

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Emily, Liz, and Britney at the Colosseum in Rome

2. Started volunteering once a week at the Children’s Hospital of St. Paul

In November of 2014 I decided I didn’t want to be an education major anymore. I wasn’t entirely sure what my next step was, but one of my professors had mentioned Child Life to me. I began doing a lot of research on this field and realized that it might be something I would really like to do. Because of this, I started volunteering in the Child Life Zone.

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My badge for the hospital

3. Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day 

Chicago has huge St. Patrick’s Day Festivities, which include a parade as well as dyeing the Chicago River green. My roommate at the time Madie, and our friends Georgia and Kate and I all drove down to Illinois for the weekend. We got there on Friday evening and then took the train into the city on Saturday and drove back to St. Thomas on Sunday. Although I have lived in Illinois for my entire life, I’ve never gotten to go to the city for the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities, so it was super fun!

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Kate, Georgia, Liz, and Madie in front of the Bean in Chicago

4. National Day of Prayer at the University of Minnesota  

At the end of April/the beginning of May, I got to attend the National Day of Prayer with some friends from Cru. It was an amazing night of worship and prayer. We got to hear a sermon from Francis Chan, and Kari Jobe also performed. I had never really heard of either of these people before, but I’m so glad I got to hear them then.

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Photo taken at University of Minnesota Hockey Stadium

5. Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade

For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! Although I was living in Wisconsin at the time of the parade, it just so happened to be a day that I didn’t have to work. I got to go home for the parade, which I went to with my brothers and my mom. We were able to get front row seats on the parade route for when the team came by on the double decker busses! It was so cool to be able to not only see the entire Blackhawks team with their families, but we got to see the Stanley Cup too!

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Matt, Chris, Robin (mom), Liz in Chicago at the parade

6. Worked at the Wild Tomato in Door County, WI for the summer

The Wild Tomato is a really good restaurant in Fish Creek, Wisconsin which is in Door County. The Wild Tomato is mostly known for their wood fired pizzas, which are so good! I was a hostess last summer, and it was such a fun job, not only did I get to interact with the hundreds of customers that came to the restaurant, but I also go to work with the amazing staff. It was the perfect summer job, that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

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Wild Tomato staff during a storm when we lost power

7. Moved back to St. Paul for my Junior Year at St. Thomas

Although living in Door County was like a dream, by the end of the summer I was super excited to move back to St. Paul for my junior year. This year, I moved back on campus into the apartments with some of my best friends. I still can’t believe I’m a junior, but I was so excited to get back to school with my friends again.

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Mom and Dad helping me move-in to my apartment

8. First Twins Game for St. Thomas night

For the last two years that I have been living in Minnesota, I have wanted to go to a Minnesota Twins game, but it just never seemed to work out. Finally, I got to go to my first game this past semester. The day started out great with getting our purple St. Thomas edition Twins hats. Britney and I then ran into some people we knew, everything was going great. But, unfortunately, it had rained all day and then continued to rain all night, so my first Twins game actually ended up being cancelled before it even started.

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Britney and Liz

9. First Visit to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for Love Your Melon

Being a Love Your Melon Ambassador this year has been one of the highlights of my year!! In September, I got to go to the Children’s hospital for the first time dressed up as super women and walk around the hospital giving hats to children that have cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Love Your Melon is such an amazing organization that I’m so happy to be part of.

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Liz, Allie, little boy, Hannah, Jack, and Sammi

10. Tommie Johnnie football game in Collegeville on ESPN

The last two years the Tommie Johnnie football game has been at St. Thomas and has unfortunately ended with a loss for the Tomcats. This year, both teams went in undefeated, so ESPN on the road was covering part of the pregame from 6-8 am in Collegeville (about two hours away from St. Paul). I had this crazy idea, and some of my friends went a long with it, so we woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning and drove up the Collegeville, got on Sports Center on the Road, drove back to St. Paul, and then drove back for the game. Which ended in a Win for the tomcats!!!

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Michael, Liz, Britney, Joe; Fathead of Coach Caruso

11. Cru Fall Retreat

Every year Cru has a fall retreat in Osceola, Wisconsin for the different Cru’s in the Twin Cities metro area. This year, I got the help with the planning of the retreat. It was awesome to be able to see how much not only myself, but all those around me were able to grow in their faith and relationship with God at this retreat.

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Liz, Jake, Claire all on planning team from St. Thomas

12. St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn

Every year, St. Thomas hosts a St. Jude Up ‘Til Dawn Event, and this year was the second year that I got to participate in the event. For this event, we stay up all night until 6:00am, raising money for St. Jude. It’s amazing to see college students come together for something greater then ourselves. This year, Up ‘Til Dawn was more than just a volunteer opportunity for me. This year I really wanted to step up because with my experience with Love Your Melon and the Children’s Hospital I have seen how much these diseases impact a family, and I don’t want anyone else to have to endure that pain and suffering. As a St. Thomas community, we were able to reach and surpass our goal of raising $75,000 for the families at St. Jude!

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Liz, Morgan, Michael at Up ‘Til Dawn

13. Applied to study abroad next semester in Ireland and got accepted

After my study abroad last year, I was content that I got to study abroad once and I thought I was good. At the last second, I decided to apply to study abroad in Ireland for next semester. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, but I did it anyways. I am so excited to spend next semester studying in Limerick, Ireland.

14. Research Methods research project accepted for National Conference in Chicago in May 2016

This semester was definitely the hardest one yet. I was finally in classes for my major. Being a psychology major, we have to take a research methods course. This was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken. My group (Katie, Maddie, and Liz) and I decided that we were really excited about our research, so we submitted it to the Midwestern Psychological Association’s annual conference. We really wanted to go, but we weren’t sure. Finals week came, and we found out that our research had gotten accepted. It’s so exciting when all of your hard work finally pays off.

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Maddie, Liz H., Katie, Liz R. at mini poster presentation

15. Ended the year in Colorado with family

I couldn’t think of a more perfect end to 2015, than a family vacation to Colorado for a week. We got to go skiing and snowboarding for a few days, and just spend time with family. It has been a nice way to relax.

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2015 was such an amazing year, and I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for me! :)

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Win or Lose: Tommies Show Support

The St. Thomas football team played another long and memorable season. From Tommie Johnnie, to homecoming, to Tommie Johnnie (round 2), and all the games in between, the Tommies just kept on winning! This took the team all the way to the D3 championship game against Mount Union in Virginia. Unfortunately, the Tommies could not pull a victory in this championship game (35-49 loss), but what has remained a constant throughout this entire season is the fan base! Virginia is quite a long drive, and not to mention finals going on, so the Tommies held their own viewing party in Scooters inside the Anderson Student Center to cheer on their boys in purple! Hundreds of students, alumni, and fans flooded Scooters to eagerly watch the game! It was amazing to witness that win or lose, Tommie fans will always be there!

Read about the game here:
http://www.ncaa.com/sports/football/d3

Here a just a few snapshots of the fun Tommie atmosphere!

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Kate '18

It’s Up to You

There is a choice to be made, but ultimately, it’s up to you. You are the only one who can choose which way to live your life. In my own life, I choose happiness. I choose being a positive person who has no room or time for negativity in my life. There is nothing I dislike more than negativity. Being negative is a very unattractive characteristic, and when I see this in people, I don’t want to be around them at all.

I recently saw this quote by Lululemon:

“What are three things you’re grateful for in the last 24 hours? If you answer this question daily, you’ll be a happier person (and we’re really into that).”

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This message sunk in deep, and it also really got me thinking. My mind instantly thought of the last 24 hours, and in that 24-hour span, there were so many things that popped into my mind that I was grateful for. I constantly count my blessings, and remember how fortunate I am to be where I am in my life, as well as the amazing people that I get to spend my life with. Pinpointing three other things that I was grateful for in the past 24 hours came easy to me as well. I was grateful for attending a beautiful mass at St. Maron’s church. I was grateful for the beautiful, and usually warm weather for a Minnesota December. Most of all, I was grateful for my amazing boyfriend who is way too sweet to me.

In thinking of these three things that I was grateful for, not one negative thought even crossed my mind, and to be honest, it was easy to come up with these three things because I truly believe that I am a positive person. There are so many things that we are all grateful for, and these blessings are in direct correlation with our happiness. If we think of all the good things in our lives, instead of dwelling on the negative, we will be much happier people.

So, it’s up to you. You have the choice between being a positive or negative person, but it’s ultimately up to you. I challenge you between now and Christmas, to take the time each day to think about 3 things you were grateful for in the past 24 hours.