How to Sneak Out of the House (and Get Away With It)

A year ago, I never ever would have thought that I would be writing a post on how to sneak out. But then I went to college, and things got crazy, I guess? I SNUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE. And then had a somewhat-illegal cookout on the beach. I am a rebel. And you can be too with these easy tips! *wink*

When I was growing up, my parents were pretty strict. When I started high school, they were much more chill, but I carried on the strict-ness for myself. My parents trust me a lot because they know I would never do anything I shouldn’t. And perhaps this is what helped me get away with sneaking out.

I am certain that my parents would let me do whatever I want if I just asked, knowing that I won’t get myself into trouble. But asking for things is scary, and I would rather jump out a second floor window of course.

Two of my best friends, Micah and Ray, both live over an hour away from me, so when they told me that we were going to go out Tuesday night, I didn’t think it would actually happen. There was no way I was going to drive halfway across the state of Connecticut (admittedly a very small state) in the middle of the night, so I did not properly prepare to sneak out. Here’s what I learned from my mistakes.

Tip #1: Beware of Alarms

How to properly sneak out a window diagram

My main concern throughout the course of this scheme was my family’s safety alarm that chimes every time someone opens a door. While plotting the afternoon of, I decided that the best move would be to crack the basement door open while my parents weren’t home. That way I could get out of the house without opening any doors or windows.

Although I did not end up carrying out this plan, the alarm was continually a concern of mine as the night unfolded.

Tip #2: Have a Backup Plan

Micah and Ray started texting me around 10:00 PM, and I said I was too tired to drive. We decided that they would come to pick me up, and we would hit up downtown Westerly (Rhode Island).

My dad usually stays up later than the rest of my family and takes the dogs out before he goes to sleep. To sneak out, I would wait until my dad took the dogs out and then, open the basement door while he was outside (and couldn’t hear the chime).

I initiated a strategy I frequently use at school: taking a micronap before participating in nighttime activities. I dimmed the lights in my room, so I could keep them on while I sleep, so if I was up and about, my parents wouldn’t be suspicious that I had gotten up.

Tip #3: And Possibly Another

As we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. I was awaken from my nap by a phone call from Ray. They were at a gas station about 20 minutes away. There was only one problem: my dad hadn’t walked the dogs yet. In fact, he had fallen asleep while watching TV and wasn’t going to be taking them out any time soon.

Ray asked me if I could just jump out my window, as that was how he was able to sneak out. My window is right above our back deck and conveniently, the window that my dad was sitting next to.

Thinking on my feet, I thought of another window I could sneak out of. From the window in my older brother’s room, you can get out onto the roof above the front porch. Said roof is held up by pillars, which I thought I could slide down.

Very quietly, I opened up the window, removed the screen, and climbed out onto the roof.

Tip #4: Don’t Miss the Blanket

And as I should have expected, the pillars weren’t exactly within reach from the roof. To be honest, it wasn’t that big of a drop, I was just worried about the rocks in the garden below. Micah and Ray, who had been stargazing in the car, made their way over to the house to help me out.

Micah told me to dangle and then, drop down. However, I couldn’t get a  good grip on the roof due to the slant and crumbly shingles. Micah said that I could just jump, and he would catch me, but I protested.

“Can’t I just jump into that bush?”

“That is a tree. That will break you.”

I had brought blankets out on the roof with me because we changed our plans to have a cookout on the beach. Ray said that they would hold a blanket I could jump onto. So they did, and so I jumped.

Jumping off the roof illustration

As Micah explained it, “I saw you jump, but then I couldn’t see you. I just heard a crunch.” I completely blacked-out for my jump because I was so nervous, but apparently, I completely cleared the blanket and landed behind them in the garden.

It was honestly hilarious, but I think I lightly sprained my pinky.

Tip #5: Put the Getaway Car in “Stealth Mode”

We ran across my yard to where they had parked around the corner. I live at the end of a long driveway with only two houses, so it was essential that my dad did not notice a car driving down our driveway at midnight.

Micah, a top-notch driver, turned off the lights in the car and drove with his head out the window to see the road until we got past the house.

Tip #6: Relax

We headed to Walmart to pick up some steaks, and as we were driving, I was freaking out that my dad would notice the window. Bu I realized that there was nothing I could do now, and I just tried to enjoy the night.

We went to East Beach in Watch Hill, RI. This was a perfect location because there’s only a few houses by the beach, and it was a Tuesday in early June, so most people probably weren’t even there. Using coal and a takeout pan, we cooked steaks and hot dogs. They got a little sandy, but were quite delicious anyhow.

Micah by the fire

After we finished cooking, we buried the coals because fire safety is very important!! It wasn’t exactly warm, and we had to turn the heat up all the way as we whipped back to my house.

Tip #7: Know How to Sneak Back In

They dropped me off at around 4:00 in the morning. I decided I would sleep on the back porch for an hour until it was a reasonable time for me to be “leaving” the house (I wake up at 5:00 most mornings and go to the gym). Our garage door could be opened with a code, and I figured my parents would assume I opened it to leave-not get back in.

It was pretty cold though, and I started to get antsy. First, I went around to the front of the house to see if there was any way I could get back in through the window I used to sneak out of. There wasn’t.

I wandered around the house, seeing if there was any other way to get up onto the roof. Being the observant observer that I am, I noticed that the lock on one of the windows to my garage seemed to be backwards. I thought to myself that the window was either unlocked, or the lock was on the outside, so either way I was getting in.

Upon closer inspection, I found that the window was in fact unlocked, and I climbed into the garage.

Tip #8: Beware of Dogs

I took a nap on some cardboard boxes, and then, at 5:15, I went up to the door to the house, and twisted the door knob. The door stopped when I tried to push it open. It was bolted, and my dogs began to bark at the sound.

I quickly backed away. Once they settled down, I decided to make one last ditch effort and stand on a trash can to get back onto the roof. However, as soon as I began to move the trash can, the dogs began to bark once again.

Tip #9: You Can Never Have Too Many Back Up Plans

I put down the trash can, stuffed my sandy, smoky blankets and shoes into my brother’s hockey bag, and ran to hide behind my dad’s car. Surely the dogs had woken my parents up by this point, and my mom would be coming to take them out any minute.

I heard my mom making the dogs breakfast in the kitchen, and eventually, she came out into the garage. I couldn’t BREATHE. My mom remarked to the dogs, “Why does it smell so bad in here?” and then, walked outside. Stealthily, I walked around the edges of the garage, checked the windows, and ran back inside the house.

Tip #10: Act As if Nothing Happened

I ran upstairs and quickly shut my brother’s window. The screen was too difficult to replace at the time, so I was going to fix it later. I didn’t have a commitment until 12:00 PM, so I immediately took off my smoky clothes and took a nap.

I showered, and before I left for class, I tried to put the screen back on the window. It was actually quite difficult, and I couldn’t do it. I was freaking out throughout class that my dad had noticed the window on his inevitable trip to the golf course, or that my mom had seen it while walking the dogs or on her way to work.

I contemplated leaving the screen off and making some excuse for why I took it down. When I drove home from class though, I realized that the missing screen wasn’t immediately obvious, so I decided to put it back up.

Finally, I am way  friendlier when I have done something wrong, I don’t know about you. I was not sure if my parents had noticed anything unusual or were suspicious of me.

Luckily, my parents would never expect me to go anywhere after 7:00 PM, so even if there were some strange things going on that morning, they were never able to put it all together. I think that it is safe to say I got away with it.

All in all, I was not as prepared as I should have been. There were so many things I can’t explain in one blog post that just happened to go my way. But I hope that this post will be helpful to someone the next time they are home from college and need to sneak out!

How to Get Over a Donut Addiction

When I visited Ireland last month, I ate a life-changing donut. Before I found a place to buy donuts in Ireland (surprisingly difficult),  I had been having extreme cravings, so of course, I gave in. After my experience at Offbeat Donut Co., I seemed to develop what some medical professionals may call a donut addiction.

I used to be able to drive past Dunkins all day without blinking an eye, but now, it’s a battle between my brain and my heart every time I see a sign. One week, I stopped every night on the way home and picked up a donut. And that’s when I knew. It was the dreaded donut addiction.

Since then, I have been able to get my cravings under control, and the result is this: a guide for anyone else struggling with a donut addiction.

Step One: Eat Lots of Donuts

Scientifically speaking, eating a ton of food in one day actually has some benefits, and if it can get you to stop eat donuts every day, then it’s definitely a win. Overeating can boost leptin (a hormone that helps with weight loss) production by up to 30%. It also helps to satisfy cravings, which is exactly what we want, right?

I don’t want you to eat so many donuts that you puke and never want to eat them again (although this may work). I just want to get donuts off your mind for a little while.

I decided to try out the famous Allie’s Donuts in North Kingston, RI.

A half dozen donuts I bought to feed my donut addiction cravings

I want to be honest. I didn’t love  Allie’s. Like yeah, they were pretty good donuts, and worth the price, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about this.

Interestingly, after I kept them in the refrigerator overnight, they tasted better. I think the hot and gooey freshness of them (which most people probably enjoy) was too much for me, especially when I wanted to try to consume all six donuts at once.

Step Two: Find Motivation and Start Exercising

Exercising will help a lot with a donut addiction (or a food addiction of any kind). Exercise not only lessens your appetite, but it also helps motivate you to eat better. However, sometimes we have to motivate ourselves to get motivated.

If the fact that you just ate a half dozen donuts doesn’t motivate you enough, I have some tips for you. When I was in tenth grade and couldn’t study the day before my chemistry final, I read an article that told me to list three reasons why you should do the thing you don’t want to do.

If you actually write out three reasons why you should start going to the gym, you will be much more likely to go.

Step Three: Protein and Water are Your Friends

It’s a lot more difficult to have cravings if you are not hungry, so we want to keep ourselves full with protein and water (the good stuff).

Time and time again, studies have found that people who eat more protein are less hungry throughout the day. The same goes for drinking water.

Step Four: Unfollow All Your Favorite Donut Shops on Social Media

I hate to say it. Who doesn’t love when colorful donuts pop up in their feed? ..but out of sight, out of mind, as they say.

Step Five: Find Alternatives

Determine what elements of donuts you like, and find other (healthier) desserts or snacks with them. For example, I love sprinkles, so I eat frozen yogurt with sprinkles! I also love the soft, chewy texture of donuts. Mochi is also soft and chewy, but has much less fat and fewer calories.

Other options include cinnamon toast, angel food cake, and gum!

If you have made it this far in the guide and can still only dream about donuts, making your own donuts may be the option for you. There are plenty of healthy recipes with the same hole-y shape we love.

Step Six: Train Your Brain

I use this little brain trick for everything. It can be applied to so many things, like anxious moments or negative thoughts, but today, we’re going to use it to stop donut cravings. Whenever you think about donuts, immediately think about something else. This could be one of the alternatives we came up with, or how good you’ll look if you stop eating donuts.

Eventually, you won’t even have to remind yourself, and your brain will start doing this on it’s own. This should really help to control your donut addiction.

If you follow this guide step by step, eventually, the cravings should subside. But if not, hey, life is short, and donuts are yummy.

6 Best Websites for Selling Notes Online

Have you ever considered selling your notes online? This summer, I decided to pursue a yoga instructor certification. Completing these classes can cost around $3,000. A lot of this came from my savings, but I still had to put myself on a pretty tight budget for the summer, so I could afford things like.. food.. and gas. I decided to start selling notes online to make some extra money.

I think that all students should look into selling notes online because you’re already taking notes for class, so you might as well upload them as and potentially earn some money from them.

Organic chemistry notesThere’s two different types of websites that you can use for selling your notes online: marketplaces and what we’ll call elite note-taking websites. On marketplaces, you are responsible for all the selling and all your earnings. You list each set of notes you want to sell, and if people find them, they can buy them for a price you set. You must apply for elite note-taking sites, but they are great because you get paid right when you upload your notes; however, there is no potential to earn any income after this.

I swear I tried every single website for selling notes online that exists, but in the end, I decided to use these six. These websites not only have the most potential for earning income, but they are also the most user-friendly and easiest to sign up for.

Online Note Marketplaces

Stuvia (stuvia.com)

When you Google “websites for selling notes online,” Stuvia is probably the first one that comes up. Stuvia has a lot of users, which makes it super easy to make sales. Unlike many other websites, Stuvia accepts notes from high school courses as well as photos of handwritten notes. I list most of my notes for free or the lowest possible price, which gives me a payout of $0.92. Stuvia is probably the best place to get started in the selling notes online game.

Notesgen (notesgen.com)

I have had the most success on Notesgen, but the recommended price to sell for in $0.40, so I only make about $0.08 per set of notes that I sell. Furthermore, the website was not designed for the U.S. or U.K. (I believe it’s Indian), so it is not always the most user-friendly. However, like Stuvia, Notesgen accepts a wide-range of notes, so almost anyone has something they can upload.

Omega Notes (omeganotes.com)

Omega Notes is super legit. You can upload any notes you want, but unfortunately, you must bundle your notes, so you aren’t able to just upload single notes. Also, your notes will only remain on your profile for 12 months, so you will have to reupload them each year.

Quest Notes (questnotes.com)

Quest Notes is a unique website for selling notes online. They actually give you credits every time you upload which you can use to buy other people’s notes or convert to cash once you have enough. Each credit is essentially worth $0.20, but you can also continue to make commission when people buy your set of notes. The website is super user-friendly, but it can take a long time for your notes to get approved.

Elite Note-taking Websites

OneClass (oneclass.com)

It is super easy to get started with OneClass. First, you upload a few samples of your notes (and you’ll still get paid for them even before you’re an elite note-taker!) If they like your notes, i.e. if they’re detailed and legible, you will be promoted to an elite note-taker. As an elite note-taker, you will earn credits which you can again use to buy other notes or turn into cash. With OneClass, you can earn at a rate of $0.63 per note, and you’re also automatically entered to win all sorts of cool prizes.

If you want to try out OneClass, my favorite website for selling notes online, you can use my referral link: https://oneclass.com/a/2443129

Study Soup (studysoup.com)

To become an elite note-taker on Study Soup, all you have to do is join a 30 minute information session led by a current note-taker. Study Soup runs with your class schedule, so you aren’t really able to upload older notes. They also require you to promote your notes to your class via email, but you’ll get a pretty fat paycheck at the end of the semester.

If you’re interested in getting started with Study Soup, you can use my referral code for an automatic $5 paycheck when you sign up: https://studysoup.com/r/2419130?utm_name=5for5

Calculus notes perfect for selling notes online

I am taking a class this summer, so I have been uploading my notes from that throughout the past month, and honestly, I think that selling my notes online has also had an impact on my learning (in a good way). I am paying better attention in class and writing more examples down because I know that my potential income depends on it!

Once you get past the initial upload, selling notes online is a great form of passive income. Just because you’re done with a class doesn’t mean that students won’t continue to need the information you’re selling. If you’re consistent with uploading, I think that selling notes online is an easy way to potentially earn hundreds of dollars.

If you have any questions about selling notes online, or you know any other good websites for selling notes, please let me know in the comments!

6 Best Websites for Selling Notes Online

The Best Places to Eat in Ireland

Out of all the luxuries in life, I think that food is my favorite. So of course that’s what I am interested in when I am visiting a new place. The first time I ever “visited” Ireland, I just stopped in the Dublin airport on the way to France, but I remember my breakfast being super yummy. So while I was visiting for real, I wanted to make sure that I found the best places to eat in Ireland!

The food in Ireland did not let me down, and the restaurants I listed below serve the best of the best. Get ready for lots of “best I’ve ever had”s.

Breakfast: Barnabrow House (East Cork)

Eggs Benedict from the Barnabrow HouseWe actually stayed in the Barnabrow House while visiting Cork, so we decided to try out their breakfast one morning (but you don’t have to be a guest to eat at their restaurant).

Breakfast is my favorite meal, and breakfast in Ireland usually features all of my most favorite breakfast foods. And don’t even get me started on the fresh squeezed orange juice.

At breakfast, they had a buffet which included various cereals, a fruit salad, yogurts which were literally made at a dairy down the street, and more. They also served toast and tea and coffee of course, and you could order an entree of your choice.

I ordered blueberry pancakes because a) I’m a gringo, and b) all the other options had meat. They were super delicious and also the perfect portion size. My mom got the Eggs Benedict and said it was the best she had ever had in her life.

And I almost forgot to mention the view! From the tall windows encircling the dining room, you can watch the bright morning sun light up the rolling countryside.

Lunch: Brew Bros (Limerick)

This restaurant was not at all what I was expecting. “Brew Bros” makes it seem like a restaurant designed for bachelors and guys with beards, but as soon as we walked inside, I realized that this was not the case. The restaurant was actually kind of fancy.

Not white table cloth fancy, but it was pretty upscale.

The menu was just your classic Irish lunch menu, but compared to everywhere else we had eaten, this menu was executed to perfection.

This restaurant actually just opened up a year ago, and they have multiple locations, so definitely be sure to support Brew Bros on your trip to Ireland!

Dinner: Farmgate (Midleton)

We actually went to Farmgate our first evening in Ireland. This one is white table cloth fancy. We were super under-dressed after a day of travelling, so the staff hid us in the back room.

The only downside to this restaurant was limited vegetarian options (seems to be a trend in Ireland). However, the taste of said limited options completely made up for it. The goat cheese appetizer was one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth in my entire life. Period.

Ireland has really good dairy products in general (Irish butter, anyone?) Wait a minute. Scratch that. Do goat products even count as dairy products? Anyway, you know what I mean. For the rest of my life, I am going to be comparing all the goat cheese I eat to that goat cheese.

Since it was our first night in Ireland, we hadn’t even gotten any Euros yet. This restaurant uses the little handheld credit card readers, so we were not given the opportunity to tip by card.

We left a twenty U.S. dollar bill on the table. I still feel kind of bad about this because this poor man (who was the nicest waiter ever by the way) is going to have to go through a lot of trouble just to get his tip. But it’s a pretty funny story.

Dessert: Offbeat Donut Co. (Dublin)

Doughnuts from Offbeat Donut Co.

As we all know, I have a bad sweet tooth, and I luuuve dessert, so I couldn’t make a list of the best places to eat in Ireland and not include a place to get dessert!

On one of our hikes, for some reason, I had an instantaneous craving for doughnuts! I gasped and told my brother I needed a doughnut A$AP. Luckily, I was able to get one (and a half..heh) by the end of our trip.

When we were in Dublin seemed like the time we would be most likely to find a doughnut shop (the Irish don’t seem to be too fond of doughnuts, so they don’t have anything like Dunkin). While visiting Trinity College, I searched on Google Maps for doughnuts.

There were two shops equidistant from where I was standing! My brother will tell you that in this case, the key is to go off reviews. 4.7 stars, how could you go wrong? So we chose Offbeat Donut Co.

And the reviews were right! Best doughnuts I’ve ever had, I swear. I tried the S’mores flavor, the apple crumble flavor, and of course a classic sprinkle doughnut. Oh my god, my mouth is watering just looking at a picture of them.

Offbeat has many other locations, so you have no excuses (besides a diet plan, but what kind of excuse is that??)

Is Visiting the Blarney Castle Worth It?

The one place I didn’t want to go in Ireland was the Blarney Castle, one of the most popular tourist attractions, because I prefer the path-less-traveled experience. However, my mom bought my family tickets, so I really had no choice.

View of Blarney Castle from the ground.

After spending some time at the castle, I was able to decide whether or not I was right about not wanting to visit. Controversial opinion, but I honestly think that there were better things I could have done in the three hours I spent at the Blarney Castle and Gardens.

The tickets are not overly expensive, and there were not too many people there, but the real blow was waiting in line to kiss the Blarney Stone slash tour the castle. I didn’t even kiss the stupid rock (germaphobe over here), and I didn’t want to have to wait in line to look around.

Interior courtyard of Blarney Castle.

View from a window in the Blarney Castle.

“This is like waiting for a ride at Disney World.” It was a weekday and not even peak-season, and we still had to wait in line for about an hour.

The castle was quite impressive, but not cool enough to spend an hour waiting in line for, especially given the number of castles in Ireland I could have freely explored. In my opinion, everything at Blarney could be found somewhere else. However, someone along the way was able to develop the castle into a tourist trap that kept the visitors pouring in.

View from the top of the Blarney Castle.

The real hidden gem of the grounds were just that, the grounds. Surrounded on all sides by white flowers and the smell of wild garlic in the air, you can submerse yourself in a new world while walking along the trails of the magical gardens.

If you explored enough, you could find cows and fairy houses among other surprises. Not to mention hundreds of beautiful plants and well-designed gardens.Forest in the Blarney Gardens.Trail in the Blarney Gardens.

The gardens were dashed with small doses of magic explained on signs throughout the trails. My favorite part of the gardens were a little spot called the “Wishing Steps.” They were a set of stone steps that pass beneath some large rocks while a waterfall goes overhead. Walking up the wishing steps was magical and beautiful.

Waterfall over the Wishing Steps.I asked my brother what percentage of Blarney Castle visitors he thought do anything besides visit the castle and go to the gift shop (which you have to go through on the way out). “Fifty percent. Maybe forty-five.” We saw very few people walking around on the trails, especially compared to the hoard of people waiting in the castle.

View from the top of Blarney Castle.

If you do end up visiting the Blarney Castle, please make sure you check out the trails. I promise you won’t regret it.

While the gardens are beautiful, the Blarney Gardens are not the only botanical garden in Ireland. You could visit the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin or the Fota House & Gardens if you are planning a trip to Cork.

Blarney Castle from the front entrance.

Overall, I don’t think you’re missing too much if you decide to pass on the overrated Blarney Castle. However, visiting the castle and kissing the Blarney Stone are a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people, so you will have to weigh that into your decision.