Sunday, March 29, 2015

Your OTCAS Questions Answered!

Hey everyone!

As you know, I've been working hard on applying to MSOT programs for Occupational Therapy. This post will be an informative Q&A for other students who are on the same track as me currently or in the future. I ran across some ambiguities so I can clarify them all now!

Before I start writing, I just want to express how extensive this application is. Do not plan on doing it in one session. Start at least a month in advance so that you can work on chunks of it from time to time--especially if you are in school or working. You need to type in your entire academic transcript one class and grade at a time from every school you have attended. It is tedious and time consuming so be warned. Don't procrastinate!

1. OTCAS requires a cover letter that you can print through your account to be sent with every school transcript you send to them. You must order your transcript in person and ask for your form to be included in the envelope or email a scanned form to your transcript office if they allow it. 
This allows OTCAS to organize and file your transcript faster. 

P.S. I sent one without a cover letter accidentally and then a second one with a cover letter. Both arrived to OTCAS but that doesn't mean it will necessarily happen to you. Please check your transcript status!

2. Your personal statement should be "limited to 1 page (approximately 7,500 characters)".
This is ambiguous because 1 page on word is about 2,000 characters but 4 pages on word is about 6,500 characters. So what do they want? One page or under 7,500 characters?

I believe that they offered 7,500 characters for a reason but it doesn't mean you need to "over write" an essay. Just make sure that you answer their questions in a unique and personalized way. One page in my opinion is a tad short to answer it all thoroughly but I'm not saying it's impossible. 

3. You are required to write in the amount of hours you spent on in your extracurricular and shadowing activities. Sometimes, the estimated hours makes no sense to fill in but you are asked to estimate as best as possible. For example, I have childcare experience from the past 6 years but no hourly count on it. I estimated it by how often I usually work and multiplied that by my average work shift. Then, I multiplied this number by the number of years I was working to get an estimate. 

4. Most programs will have a supplementary application for you to complete alongside the OTCAS application. From my experience, they are not very long and just require some general information on you along with a supplemental fee. Some programs will not ask of anything from you but the OTCAS application.

5. Make sure you send transcripts to the school itself if they request them. Even though they will receive it through OTCAS, most of the programs wanted me to send them transcripts from every school I attended directly to them. Make a little excel spreadsheet or write down when and where you sent out what to in order to keep things organized! 

6. Most students are taking prerequisite classes while applying or waiting on grades during the application cycle. OTCAS will offer a one time academic update in order for you to update any new grades into the designated section. This means that you can put in "Hey I'm taking this class right now and have no grade for it yet" and send it to a school. Later on, the OTCAS update will forward all new grades to the programs you submitted to already.

7. OTCAS has steps towards verifying your application, Do not submit it a week before it's due because it's stated on their site that it can take up to 3 weeks to process and verify your application. The sooner, the better! :)

8. Regularly check in on your application (weekly or even bi-weekly) on verification after completion and to see if they are receiving your transcripts. This way, you will be on top of everything. 

Hope these tips help! Good luck and remember that your best is good enough!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fig & Ivy Naturals: Review and Giveaway

Hey everyone!

I hope you are all well and adjusting to the incoming Spring weather nicely. :)

Please welcome our sponsor Fig & Ivy Naturals today!

Fig & Ivy Naturals offers a variety of handmade bath & body products such as soaps , unique perfumes , and tinted lip balms , scented lotions. All of their items are made in small fresh batches using quality ingredients.

I had the opportunity to review a handful of products from Fig & Ivy Naturals. Here goes my review!

Rose of Fig & Ivy was super easy and nice to work with while I was coordinating my review products with her. 

When I got my package from the mailbox, I knew right away it was from her because I could smell the goodies inside when the envelope was still sealed! My products arrived in an airtight plastic sleeve envelope that had all of my products packaged and surrounded in a layer of bubble wrap inside. The packaging was very neat and protective. On top of that, the overall presentation of Fig & Ivy Naturals' products are present-worthy and adorable. The individual plastic sleeves is really smart to keep everything sealed and in tact as well.

I loved the extra mile Fig & Ivy Naturals went with presentation not just with the packaging but with the product labels as well. You could easily pop one or two of her products into a gift set, party favor, or stocking stuffer!

I wanted to review a variety of products from Fig & Ivy to best represent the variety in this shop. 
They have everything natural soap, lip tints, roll on perfume, and more. 

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of make up. So when I saw that Fig & Ivy offered lip tints, I needed to try them. My lips are always dry and I noticed in the past year that a little color really spices up a plain jane face on the go. I chose a red "Cerise" color and a Plum "Perfectly Plum" color to try out. (The Cerise lip tint got wet so don't mind the sticker label-- it arrived in perfect condition)

These lip tints are only $5 and will arrive with a shrink wrap plastic seal around them. To me, that means they are super fresh batches of skincare products! Some interesting things I wanted to point out about these products include that they are scentless, non-greasy, and have "buildable" color. 

I hate sticky lip gloss. These lip tints are made with many hydrating and natural products such as sweet almond oil and coconut oil. One coat will apply a shine and some tint to your lips but if you want more of the color, you just need to apply it twice. It's nice since not everyone likes the same amount of tint so the fact that you can build up the color is awesome. 

The color surprisingly lasts throughout at least half the day. And even after you wipe it off, the tint remains present to a degree. Out of the reviewed, I like "Perfectly Plum" just a little more than "Cerise" because I naturally like the darker berry colors. But they are both gorgeous. These pictures of me wearing them show two layers of the lip tint! Also, they don't smell like anything so if you have scent sensitivities, these are perfect for you. 

Moving onto my little new bundle of joy: White Tea and Nectarine Roll on Fragrance ($6.50)

Wow. When I opened this, I just fell in love with this scent! I immediately smelled white tea and then the nectarine (which smells like Honeysuckles to me) kicked in. It's so lovely and romantic, but not what people would call "floral". It smells like when I prepare a cup of hot white tea and add a spoonful of honey to it. It's deliciously delicate and soft! 

I love to roll it on my wrist and my neck and take it in. You'll prominently get whiffs of it on your wrists over the next hour. It's so easy to use a convenient size to carry around anywhere. I love it! 

We can't forget about soap! When I saw this Lychee Berry and Sugar Cane Soap ($4.00), I immediately thought of Dorothy's shoes from the "Wizard of Oz". It's red, glittery, and well... pretty! The best I can describe this scent is Lychee bubble tea. It really smells like sweet lychee candy to me. The lathering process is quick, easy, and your whole bathtub will smell delicious!

Here's the shop's description:
"Crushed lychee berries , sugar cane , sun ripened figs , and a hint of tartness from cranberries and tamarind. An energetic sweet & tart blend of exotic fruits. Reminds me of a sophisticated "grown-up" fruit punch or perhaps a tropical red fruit cocktail."

Here's a mini interview and a few products at Fig & Ivy Naturals that stood out to me!
Honeysuckle Rose Soap - Handmade Soap - Floral - Summer - Scented Bar Soap
Honeysuckle Rose Soap $4
How did your shop get started?

I opened Fig & Ivy Naturals as I began receiving received great feedback and encouragement on my products from friends and family. What began as a hobby making soaps and perfumes in my spare time blossomed into a business and has been growing steadily since opening earlier this year.

Wild Currant & Sandalwood Hair Fragrance - Hair Perfume - Spray Mist - Body Splash - Perfume For Hair - Berry Perfume
Wild Currant and Sandalwood Hair Fragrance $7.50

What is your favorite product to design/make?

My favorite products to make are perfumes. Blending different scents has endless possibilities and I love when I get just the right formula for a new perfume. (Dana: That sounds like a lot of fun!)

Vanilla Sugar Cookie Perfume - Roll On Fragrance Oil - Sweet Bakery Scent
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Perfume $6.50
What is the most challenging part of your line of work? 
The most challenging aspect of my business is taking a risk to invest in putting out new products. You never know if the time and money invested in creating new products will result in an item that people want to buy. However, this is a really fun part of my business at the same time. I am a "tinkerer" by nature and love the creative process. (Dana: You never know unless you try right?)

Now it's time for a lovely giveaway thanks to our sponsor. It's an international giveaway!

Good luck! Feel free to connect with Ivy & Fig Naturals or start shopping now! 
Use the code 15FORDANAFANS for 15% exclusively for Cheers To Novelty readers. Start shopping right now! :) Expires 7/1/15.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Inspirational Tumblr Wall

Hey guys~ I'm going to try my best and post some inspirational and happy photos for you all more frequently. They always make me smile and often remind me of things I tend to overlook or forget. :)

Looking forward is a lot more effective than always looking back.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

LucLuc Product Review

Hey guys!

Here is a quick and sweet product review with LUCLUC.
Magento Commerce
They are an online clothing and fashion store.
They offer a large variety of fashion trends along with free shipping worldwide.

I chose this scallop boatneck tunic dress ($19.99) for it's simplicity and scalloped neckline.
It arrived within 2 weeks of shipment which is an awesome shipping time frame.

This dress comes in a multiple color options such as black and navy as well.  I always wanted a red dress so I decided to get this one. This color is red but it's actually more of a bright orange/red in real life. Unfortunately, I got a size too large. Asian clothing sizes always run small so I got their XXL based on their size chart. The fabric is very durable and stretchy so a XL would have fit better. (I am a U.S. size M) Luckily, I can alter this one in the back and make it fit better. :) Here it is with a cute white bow belt.

I was really pleased with the overall sewing and fabric of this dress. It's not thin-- it's actually double layered and polyester. There is an invisible pocket on the side and it's super comfy. It's easy to dress up or down based on your shoes, accessories, and hair. With the weather warming up, I'm hoping I can wear it out soon. :) The weather is still transitioning into spring here so it's been rainy and muggy or just warm enough to wear a light jacket.

The packaging came in a plastic sleeve and inside was the dress in another ziploc plastic bag that you could reuse. I'm excited for these picks that would be perfect for the approaching spring weather.

LUCLUC White Cut Out Lace Long Sleeve Chiffon KimonosLUCLUC Mesh Panel Short Sleeves Little Black Dress

Thanks so swinging by and be sure to check out LucLuc's clothing!

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