Living Slowly.

We live in an incredibly fast-paced world. One where everyone’s in a constant rush to get errands done, survive the workday/week, hurry to where they need to be, etc. Everyone looks ahead to the next thing they must do and forgets to appreciate the now. Heck, do you know how often we hear, or even say, “I cannot wait for the weekend. I just need to get through this week.” I would say several times a day, every single day. And, I’ll admit, I make this statement a few times a week. My question is: Why? Why do we want to rush through five days to enjoy two? Why do we want to wish our lives away?

I think we need to enjoy all seven days, living slowly and making every moment count. What I mean by living slowly, is I want to slow down my lifestyle and enjoy every moment, including the 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. job, working out, sitting at my favorite coffee shop with a delicious coffee. I’m striving to get the most out of my time, going from checking off a task to gaining valuable experiences. I’m learning to stop at various moments of the day to collect myself and appreciate my surroundings. This living slowly is a perspective I learned from the minimalist lifestyle.

There’re many misconceptions surrounding minimalism. Many people believe it’s living with the absolute bare minimum, like one pair of shoes, pants, shirt, towel, etcetera. Some people even go to the extreme and say minimalists can only own one spoon, fork, and knife. I’m not kidding. I’ve genuinely seen comments or heard remarks about it.

Minimalism isn’t about “living with the absolute bare minimum.” Yes, minimalists live with what they need (which may be a step above the bare necessities because why own more than you need?), but it’s about much more than that. It’s about appreciating what you have but not being bogged down or owned by your possessions. It’s about slowing down and making the most out of every moment.

I’ll also confess that I did not have this slow living mentality until recently. Rather, I was in this rushed lifestyle all through college. I made a checklist of everything I had to do in a day — class, study, lunch, class, work, workout, dinner, sleep — and I went through the day checking my tasks off as fast as I could so that I could move on to the next thing. I forgot to appreciate each moment of every day. That needed to change, and that is something I’ve been working on for a few weeks. (And, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to write about it. I allude to this living slowly concept in my last blog post about the journey versus the destination.)

Even when work gets a bit overwhelming, I make it a point to appreciate that I even work there because it’s an amazing opportunity for me and digital marketing is remarkable. When I struggle through a workout, I look around and am thankful I have the ambition and ability to exercise. When I’m laying in bed and the sunlight shines through and illuminates the room, I just have to stop and acknowledge this moment. And, of course, when I go to a coffee shop (like I do every week…), I relish in the savory coffee and coffee shop aesthetic.

Just because we live in a fast-paced society and work in a face-paced environment, that doesn’t mean we can’t stop to recognize a great moment and reflect on our lives. Yes, it’s okay to drive in the fast lane, but we also should take the slow lane every once in a while. You may not get where you’re going as fast, but you’ll enjoy the ride a lot longer and get more out of the journey we call life.

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Sorry…! I’ve Been Busy!

Why, hello, hello. It sure has been quite some time, hasn’t it? Let’s see… like six months? Damn, feels like last week I was busting out two blogs a week. But, that was back when I had all the time in the world!

Now — well, not right NOW because I am on Christmas break — I am bombarded with college, two internships, my personal self, and student government. Please don’t think I am making excuses for not blogging! I am just stating a simple fact: I have no time to blog during the school year. I take on full credit-load semesters, work for Clarke University and Nicolosi | Galluzzo, LLP as a copywriter intern, and act as the school’s student body president. I am lucky I get time to eat and workout every day. (Honestly, it is a blessing I have time for these.)

But, as I stated, I am on Christmas break right now (for only a few more weeks). So, as I lay here in my bed watching my 40th movie or so, I thought I would fill everyone in on why I have not blogged. Yes, I could have blogged all Christmas break, but when you read, write, and mentally destroy yourself for 16 weeks straight, you kind of want to do nothing during the break. So, really, I have just slept, watched movies, lifted, and played Xbox for three weeks straight… and, I am not mad at all.

Anywho, I am glad you all have asked me where my blogs were at; honestly, it means a lot that people are interested in my writing. I am going to be 100% with you all. I most likely will not blog again after this break until I graduate. This semester will be ridiculously hectic. I have my English capstone, three other courses, I am applying for jobs in Chicago and apartment hunting, acting as the student body president, tying up loose ends before I graduate and move, and working on myself to create the best version of myself… On top of having a social life, working out, and just trying to enjoy last semester. I love blogging and will never give it up. But, I just do not have time right now, and I will start it back up after I settle in and start my career.

So, stay tuned… big things are coming… fashion, lifestyle, and everyday talk.

– Kyle Majerus

 

End of Summer…

Well, the time has come… the end of summer, which officially ends for me on August 21st because of training for CONNECT and CONNECT itself. While this summer did fly by faster than I could have imagined, I can wholeheartedly say that it was an extraordinary and spectacular time filled with work experiences, internships, travel, developing close friendships, knocking things off my bucket list, and finding myself.

As a lay in my bed and stare at the raindrops sliding down my window, I cannot help but reflect on my summer and how much happened in such a short four months. It really is remarkable how much you can do in a mere few months.

First off, I have become the most healthy I have been in my entire life. Not only am I eating ridiculously well and keeping track on my calories, but I also hit the weight room hard this summer and made some serious strides there (still can’t tell, though). Mentally, I feel I am in a very fine place. I have conquered my anxiety (to an extent) and am so, so, so freaking happy with who I have become. I cannot help but smile every day because I am who I am. And, spiritually, I have come closer to God this summer and learned to put my full faith in Him! He has seriously made His presence known to me over the past two months, and for that, I thank Him.

Secondly, as I stated above, I love who I have become. Although it is damn near impossible to explain who I am in words, I think I can just classify myself as a “sophisticated hipster”? If that is even a thing? For those who know me personally, I think they would agree completely. I love artsy stuff, photography (if anyone has any camera recommendations, let me know. I am looking for one!), writing, journaling, brewing coffee, drinking craft beer, etcetera, etcetera.

 

Third, I was able to check JUST about everything off of my summer bucket list! I’ve eaten probably five — yep, that sounds about right — acai bowls at Charlotte’s, and they are literally everything I thought they would be. Also, I saw a Cubs’ win inside Wrigley Field, tried the phenomenal pizza pot pie (OH, MY LORD. IT WAS TO DIE FOR.), and visited the Art Institute of Chicago. The only thing I was not able to do was finish reading The Historian. I will be honest, I read like nine pages of it… haha. I just had so much more going on that I never got around to it. Oh well, there is always next summer.

 

Fourth, I have had some serious luck lately. In just two weeks, I won my JuneHouse backpack,  my Marcel Floruss safari-inspired collection, and found a $25 gift card. All I can really say is do good in this world and it will do good back.

Finally, I have decided to try something new: grow my beard out. Every year I try this once, but every year I either keep it to a stubble or shave it all off within two weeks. I can proudly say that I am going on 60 days right now with NO intentions on getting rid of it or trimming it; it suits me rather well!

(Photos are taken one week a part from each other beginning in July… Sorry for the last one just think it shows it better… haha.)

Well, Summer 2017, we have had our ups and downs, but I will miss you sincerely. You have blessed me with the best summer I have ever had, but it is time to get back into the school mindset and finish strong. Next summer at this time, I will have my Bachelor’s degree, moved to Chicago, have a big boy job, and adulting (Yikes!).

Until next time, summer.

– Kyle Majerus

Review: JuneHouse Backpack

You ever feel like Instagram giveaways are just fake and meant to promote an account? Like, you’re 98% sure that they never choose a real winner, just a dummy account? Well, you good sir or madam, are wrong. They actually are authentic giveaways and real people win! I know because I won two giveaways within two weeks, and I am pretty sure I am a real person…!

The first Instagram giveaway I won was this beautiful fashion backpack by JuneHouse. Shoutout to my man Hunter Vought for choosing me! (The second one was a phenomenal three-piece safari-inspired collection by Marcel Floruss, but that is for another blog. Shoutout to Marcel, as well!)

I remember exactly where I was when I received the Instagram “winner” notification for the former giveaway. I was in a Clarke Student Association (CSA) Executive Board retreat. And, during the middle of reviewing the constitution, I got the notification. Let me tell you, I was hyped/pumped/ecstatic. I never won a giveaway before, let alone for something of this magnitude.

In General: This fashion backpack literally screams “Kyle Majerus.” It is rose red with light brown leather straps and a white JuneHouse logo that just pop, very high-quality, and minimal in design but with a rediculous amount of storage space and compartments… I mean, there is so much room I fit three days of clothes and necessities inside with room to spare. What is more, the backpack compliments my style perfectly. I can pair this backpack with literally everything I wear — from blue chinos with a mustard sweater and white sneakers (example below) to gray chinos with a black sweater (or white long-sleeve and blue jacket) and dark brown boots. No matter what outfit I am rocking, this backpack only adds to it.

Junehouse bookbag match

Exterior: Just admire the rose red color and the light brown straps. They pair so well together and compliment one another. In addition, the white JuneHouse logo on the front compartment gives this backpack that three-color vibe that y’all know I love to do every single day.

Next, notice the pull-over folds on both the large and small compartments; this is a great fashion niche that not many backpacks can pull off. On the other hand, both side compartments have zippers, which gives the exterior a little diversity.

Finally, the back of this backpack. Oh, my L*rd. I cannot convey how freaking comfortable this backpack is because of the thick pads located on the back and straps. When I visited Chicago last weekend, I walked for hours around Downtown and Lincoln Park with this backpack on, and I did not experience discomfort once. On the contrary, I welcomed the padded feeling on my back and shoulders, it was rather pleasant.

 

 

Interior: I. am. in. love. with. this. interior. The number one thing I absolutely adore about this interior is the black, padded, and fleece-lined laptop sleeve. Not only does it comfortably hold my MacBook Pro, but it is also entertaining to stuff your hands down to feel the fleece.

The second detail I love about the interior is the red and black stripes that run along the whole inside. It is such a unique addition to the bag that I have been obsessing over since day one. I think it makes this bag stand out even more because not many backpacks do a design on the inside. I can really only think of Herschel right now…

Next, I like that there are two hidden compartments along both sides of the backpack. They are just perfect for me to store my Warby Parker eyeglasses inside. Further, I can stuff my iPhone in the right one and pull headphones through an opening designed for just that! Not having to hold my iPhone and get to listen to music? Winner, winner, chicken dinner. And, finally, the front compartment has a rose red hook to put my keys on so I don’t lose them. I mean, come on, this backpack has everything.

Overall: I cannot be more content and happy with this backpack. Sure, I did win this backpack, but for roughly $70 on Amazon, I would purchase it in a heartbeat because you really can’t get a better deal; it is high-quality at a low price. My JuneHouse backpack is everything I have ever wanted, and I cannot see myself using a different backpack for a long time. When you see me, look for the rose red color, because it will be with me every step of the way on my life’s journey.

– Kyle Majerus

Who are Saturdays For?… Me!

I look forward to Saturdays after an exhausting work week because I dedicate Saturdays to me, myself, and I. My Saturdays are meant for running errands, spending time alone, enjoying my past times, and essentially doing whatever I want. No obligations to anyone or anything but myself. Boy, do I love my Saturdays.

And, since tomorrow is Saturday (YAY!), I thought I would bring you all along on a typical Saturday in my life. It is filled with fun, adventure, and experiences. While this is a “typical” Saturday in my life, I want to note that sometimes I may just make coffee at home or eat out for lunch/dinner, etcetera, so, this is not exactly what I do every Saturday, but most of them!

This particular Saturday you all are tagging along on was this past Saturday, the 24th of June.

  1. Make a mean breakfast

    One thing I pride myself on is my cooking skills. I was blessed to receive the cooking gene from a parent of mine, so it has always been something I excelled at. After my natural alarm clock wakes me up around 06:00 (…), I jump out of bed and make myself a hearty, delicious breakfast. I aim to hit all the macro groups — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. For this previous Saturday’s breakfast, I made scrambled eggs with onion and lettuce, a sliced Honeycrisp apple drizzled with cinnamon, toast topped with peanut butter and sliced avocado, and cold-brew coffee. Let me tell ya, it was worth every. single. bite.

  2. Clean up and get dressed

    Trust me, no one wants to see this face in the morning. I have bed head, morning breath, and a sleepy demeanor. Before I head out to tackle the day, I go through my morning personal hygiene routine. It normally takes about an hour or so, but it really depends on how long my shower is. And, then I get dressed and head out. The photo below shows what I wore this Saturday, and the links to the items are provided.

    Shirt: J.Crew White Long-sleeve T-shirt

     

    Pants: J.Crew 484 Navy Chinos

    Shoes: Gray Converse

    Watch: 38mm Series One Apple Watch

    Eyeglasses: Warby Parker “Stockton”

    Belt: Target Cognac Belt

    Socks: Nike Black Socks

    img_2528-e1498354882417.jpg

  3. Head to Charlotte’s

    I go to this coffee shop at least once a week. Shocker, right? This experience will vary based on whom I am going with and why. If I go alone with the intent on getting some work done, I will order either a 16-ounce hot coffee or cold-brew coffee, head to a corner of the shop, and work from my laptop. This place is perfect for it because it sparks my creativity and inspires me to strive for greatness.

    On the other hand, if I go because I am going on a coffee date, then it is a whole ‘nother ball game. I laugh, talk my butt off, and truly get to know the person/people I go with. I will order the same drink but maybe with some food too (like an acai bowl!), sit in the middle of the coffee shop where the traffic is heavy, turn my iPhone and Apple Watch on silent, and truly enjoy the company I am with. It doesn’t matter if I am doing the former or the latter, I will be at Charlotte’s for well over an hour. For this past Saturday, I did the latter, and it went quite well and was truly enjoyable.

  4. Write in my blog

    When I graduate, I intend on becoming a copywriter. In order to improve my writing to be well enough for this type of field, I must write, write some more, and then write even more. I write for at least thirty minutes a day, whether it is for my blog, in my journal, or for my marketing internship. This way, I can find my weaknesses as a writer, get used to the demands of being a writer, and improve my writing skills. On the 24th of June, I wrote for at least two hours and created both blog posts for this week.

  5. Make lunch

    It has been a pretty productive day for me so far, hasn’t it? And, it is not even noon yet! Between 12:00-12:30, I will begin making lunch. Without fail, I make myself a homemade pizza for lunch on Saturdays. On these pizzas, I use Sweet Baby Rays for the sauce; top them with turkey slices, lettuce, onion, sweet relish, pineapple (WHICH DOES BELONG ON PIZZA.), and shredded mozzarella cheese; and season them with basil, pepper, paprika, sea salt, and garlic salt.

    Yeah, my mouth is watering too. Below I have pictures of all the ingredients and the finished product. I also enjoyed my pizza with some tasty lemon water and honey mustard pretzels. 

  6. Watch a movie

    As you could imagine, I am pretty tired from how productive my day has been so far. So, I decide to lay in bed and watch a movie or two. It all really depends on the mood. For some odd reason, I have been on a Twilight kick lately, so for this past Saturday, I watched part one and two of Breaking Dawn. Makes me reminisce back to when I took my cousins to see it in theaters… Ahh, good times.

  7. Go for a walk

    Because I am a fitness freak, I have to exercise some way, shape, or form every day. Since I refuse to lift weights on the weekends or run on a dreaded treadmill, I will walk the Clarke Drive stretch and back — which comes to about 2.5 miles. A decent walk if you ask me. This also allows me to clear my head and relax. This past Saturday was perfect weather for walking. It was not too hot, not too cold, the sky was clear, and the gnats were minimal.

  8. Devour some dinner

    Dinner time for me is 06:30, and I always make this meal a large one because I know I will not be eating for at least thirteen hours. I focus on protein and carbohydrates for this final meal. This past Saturday I decided to make a honey-drizzled chicken breast, baked beans, cinnamon oatmeal, a mixed salad topped with honey mustard, and lemon water. It was pretty healthy and very filling, which is the goal. Of course, I had a cup of coffee after because, well, coffee is life and I’m addicted.

  9. Take a bath

    Oh, yeah. I am a huge advocate for baths. I will take baths until I am not physically able to. I was feeling a good, calming bath last Saturday, so I took in my cup of coffee, lit my Suit & Tie candle, dimmed the lights, and truly, truly enjoyed myself. 10/10 recommend you all give it a go.

  10. Get ready to take on the night**

    As a 21-year-old college student, you all know what I do on weekends. I go downtown to enjoy an adult beverage (or six). The summer squad and I like to have a couple drinks before we go downtown so we can save some dollar bills. Getting ready and the pre-game session goes from about 22:00 to 23:00, and then we take on the night.

  11. Go downtown**

    Our routine for going downtown is this: start off at Easy Street playing bags and enjoying some drinks (I like brass monkeys), head to either Lot One or 1st & Main to socialize with myriads of people, and ending at the Venue so we can dance. We normally return to the apartment building around 01:45 – 02:00. It is always a good time.

**This is typically what I do on Saturday nights; however none of my friends who go downtown with me were in the area this past Saturday, so I just stayed in and prepared myself for the busy work week and extremely fun weekend ahead. I played a lot of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which was just as fun as going downtown if you ask me.

Well, there you have it. A “typical” Saturday for me. I, personally, love it and have no desire to change it. Some say, “Saturday’s are for the boys,” but I say that they are for “me.”

– Kyle Majerus

Three Must-have Colors in Your Wardrobe

It is 2017, people. It’s time to throw out those graphic Walmart t-shirts and American Eagle jeans you’ve worn for the past four years. They are a part of the past, and it is time to leave them there. With fashion ever-changing and new trends popping up every few months, it can be difficult to keep your wardrobe up-to-date. I thought I would help guide you all in the right direction. I will provide you with the three most versatile colors you need for your wardrobe. This way, you don’t have to keep buying what is “in” because these colors are classic, versatile, and will never go out of style.

1. Navy

I am a huge advocate for the color navy. I wear navy almost every day because is a phenomenal color that it is versatile, eye-catching, and downright classy. What is more, it is the perfect color for every piece of clothing you own – shoes, chinos, shirts, sweaters, suit, etcetera. No matter what, navy pieces of clothing are timeless and can be incorporated into your wardrobe. I, currently, have navy socks, two pairs of navy chinos, a navy v-neck sweater, and a navy rain jacket. I am also looking at getting a navy suit because it is excellent for every occasion. Now, I can incorporate these five pieces of clothing into over 100 outfits. Trust me, it is just that stinking easy. Navy will also always be part of fashion trends, so why not always have it around?

2. Gray

The next color I advise getting your clothes in is gray because it is a wonderful color for every piece of clothing you wear. My two favorite pieces of gray clothing are my gray 484 J.Crew chinos and my Natascha Myers baseball cap. They go well together, too! Nothing like the baseball cap, a light gray sweater, the chinos, and some converse to have a well thought-out, put together look. I encourage you all to get a cap, a sweater, a long-sleeve and a short-sleeve shirt, chinos/pants, and a jacket in gray. Not only do they all pair well together, but they are excellent pieces to pair with black, navy, and white. Just like navy, gray will forever be in fashion.

3. Black

The final must-have color is black. Notice the pattern? The neutral, dark shades I suggest? That is because you simply cannot go wrong with them. They will always be in style. I highly suggest black sweaters and chinos/pants. They can be worn to a more formal event or dressed down for a lunch with a colleague. I wear my H&M black chinos at least twice a week. I love going for a monochromatic look with a black sweater and the black chinos, but then add a pop of white with my sneakers. The other look I normally rock is more random; I will throw on a light gray sweater, black chinos, and my white sneakers. The variety of color makes every piece stand out and a focal point of their own. You really can never go wrong with that.

There you have it, ladies and gentleman. My three must-have color suggestions for your wardrobe. You can wear them for years and years without any worry of them fading in popularity.

– Kyle Majerus

Hot Coffee vs. Cold-brew Coffee

With living in an apartment this summer, I have had the opportunity to embark on a coffee-inspired journey in which I brew various types of coffee. So far, I have brewed hot coffee; iced coffee; and cold-brew coffee. Of the three, hot coffee and cold-brew have been, without a doubt, my absolute favorite. However, which one do I prefer more? Below, I compare the two based on the following criteria: preparation time, the amount of ground coffee grains required to prepare it, overall taste, and the lasting effect on me.

 

 

  1. Preparation Time (Using a French press)

    Hot Coffee: It takes ten minutes to prepare hot coffee. Five minutes of this time is boiling water in the kettle, and the other five minutes is allowing the coffee to steep in the French press. That is it. Once these two steps are done, the hot coffee is ready to be poured and enjoyed.

    Cold-brew Coffee: Cold-brew coffee takes a significantly longer time. In fact, it takes twelve to twenty-four hours for cold-brew coffee to be correctly prepared. You prepare cold-brew coffee by putting 2/3 cup of ground coffee grains and three cups of room-temperature water into the French press. Then, you store it in the fridge for twelve to twenty-four hours so the coffee may steep. After that, you press the coffee grains down, and it is good to go!

    So, hot coffee easily trumps cold-brew coffee based on the first criteria.

  2. The Amount Required

    Hot Coffee: This all depends on how much you make. For a French press, it is advised to use two tablespoons of ground coffee grains for every six ounces of water. For me, I only use five ounces, which is just enough to fill my coffee cup, so I use one and a half tablespoon of ground coffee grains. I like this a lot because I am able to make a small bag of Verena Street Cow Tipper coffee last a month.

    Cold-brew Coffee: Cold-brew coffee is drastically more. As I wrote above, it takes 2/3 cup of ground coffee grains and three cups of room-temperature water to prepare the cold-brew coffee. This depletes your coffee supply rather quickly. Which, as a poor college student, is NOT the most ideal or preferred method.

    Once again, hot coffee is triumphant.

  3. Overall Taste

    You may be puzzled by this because you may think all coffee tastes the same. You, my good sir or madam, are wrong. Coffee tastes entirely different based on the way you make it, the roast you use, and the flavor. I, personally, use medium roast coffee from Verena Street. However, even though I use the same type of coffee, the hot coffee tastes completely different than the cold-brew coffee.

    Hot Coffee: I consider hot coffee to be less flavorful and have less of a caffeine kick. I honestly believe hot coffee is lacking in the taste category, which is a shame because I drink it every morning. It is just, well, dull. Don’t get me wrong, it still tastes delicious, but, still.

    Cold-brew Coffee: On the contrary, cold-brew coffee is bold, packed with flavor, and downright delicious. Every gulp sends my taste buds into a frenzy. I think this has to do with the amount of time you allow the coffee to steep in the water. While the hot coffee steeps for five minutes, the cold-brew steeps for twelve to twenty-four hours. This allows the coffee to fully infuse with the water and give it that outstanding taste.

    Without a doubt, cold-brew coffee is the undisputed winner when it comes to overall taste.

  4. Lasting Effect

    Since I have been drinking coffee every day for the past three and a half years, I really have developed a high tolerance to the caffeine. This is a good and a bad thing. It is good because it is just an excuse for me to have another cup of coffee. But, it is a bad thing because it is just an excuse for me to have another cup of coffee… which I know, for a fact, is not good for my health. The sacrifices I make for coffee.

    Hot Coffee: It has little to no effect on me. I can have a cup of hot coffee at 7:00 a.m. (07:00) but will be exhausted and wanting a nap by 8:00 a.m. (08:00). I honestly only drink hot coffee in the morning for the taste and the warm sensation because the caffeine has no effect on me.

    Cold-brew Coffee: This makes me wired. In fact, when I made it for the first time, I ended up drinking the whole French press worth. By the time I got to work an hour later, my hands were slightly shaking from the amount of caffeine I ingested. What is more, the shaking lasted well over an hour, then I was finally able to come down from the caffeine high.

    It is quite obvious that cold-brew coffee is significantly better than hot coffee when it comes to the lasting effect.

Both the hot coffee and the cold-brew coffee have their positives and their negatives. The former is easy and fast to make, and the ground coffee grains required is the minimum. However, the taste does not blow my mind, and it has hardly an effect on me. The latter has what is arguably the best taste and makes me wired, but it takes a ridiculous amount of ground coffee grains and time to prepare.

When taking everything into account, I truly believe that the cold-brew coffee takes the cake. Yes, it can be a nuisance to prepare and costs a pretty penny, but it is absolutely delicious and has the effect that coffee is supposed to. I give my full recommendation to you all to try the cold-brew coffee. If you either don’t have a French press or just don’t want to go through the process of making it, head to a local (so, not a corporate coffee company) coffee shop and order it. You will be very impressed if you are a coffee lover like me.

– Kyle Majerus