Since starting "Maple Leaves to Palm Trees" it has been such a learning experience! I love getting feedback from others about my writing, post ideas, and photography suggestions. I have received many of the same questions from readers so I thought I would do my best answering some of them!
What does a brand ambassador do, and how can I become one?
I am currently a campus representative for KIND Snacks at the University of Central Florida. My job is to plan events on campus and build partnerships with like-minded organizations. My counterpart and I promote the brand by giving out products for students and others to try. We also do random acts of kindness for others such as giving out flowers or volunteering. It is the most rewarding job because, people appreciate our presence on campus so much. I got my job from applying to a posting on LinkedIn. But Indeed, Monster, and campus job postings are also great places to look!
When do you graduate, and what are your plans?
I try not to think too much about the future, but setting goals has always been extremely important to my success. I graduate in the Summer of 2018 (yikes it's coming up). My dream job is to be a field marketing manager. I am open to moving to any city (sky's is the limit)!
Was it hard going to a school so far from home and, will you stay in FL?
To say adjusting to UCF was difficult would be an understatement. The first two weeks submersed me into extreme culture shock. Having grown up in a town of only 7,000 going to a school of 70,000 felt like a city. Not many people knew where New Hampshire was, and I felt like a complete outsider. I begged at times to give up and go home for good. But I knew this was the easy way out. I pushed through my first semester, and things got so much better. My biggest advice is to NOT GIVE UP! UCF has become my home away from home. I would not have had half the amount of experiences or opportunities had it not been for putting myself out there. I do not have any concrete plans to stay in Orlando permanently but, who knows what the future will hold?
What camera do you use?
I have a Nikon DSLR D3100 but, I typically just use my iPhone 7. It takes really great quality photographs and, is easier to upload right away to social media.
Why are you a vegetarian, and will you ever eat meat?
When I was two years old my mom made the transition to consume a plant based diet. Following in her footsteps, I quickly picked up her healthy eating habits. Flash forward twenty years later, and I have never eaten meat or fish. This is just the way I have always been, and I cannot see myself (at least in the near future) eating any animal products. It is such a healthy lifestyle, and there are so many great alternatives to meat I never feel like I am missing out.
© Copyright 2017 Rachael Maurais
I don't know about you guys, but this time of year leads to tremendous amounts of baking, overindulging, and countless excuses not to go to the gym! Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas I just cannot say no to sweets. Making an effort to stay healthy during the holidays can be a challenge, but here are my best tips to keep up. Do you guys have any suggestions for me? Please comment below.
Have Fresh Cut Fruit in the Fridge
Around the afternoon I get the worst cravings for snacks! I have started keeping fresh cut mango, watermelon, strawberries, etc. in the fridge all ready to go. Not only do these fruits keep me feeling full, but they also prevent bloating for the rest of the day.
Skip the Holiday Flavored Drinks
Have you ever actually looked at the ingredients in a Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino? Well, I have some sad sad news... They are FULL of artificial ingredients and sweeteners. A grande sized cup has over 50 grams of sugar... Instead grab an iced coffee or tea with only one or two pumps of flavoring if you want to feel festive.
I made this absolutely delicious Pumpkin Marinara sauce this week. It was tempting to go crazy and eat the whole pot. Instead I made grilled Brussels sprouts and carrots to compliment the meal and not fill up on carbs. You can eat anything you want in moderation.
This might seem like common sense, but even if you are going to be eating a Thanksgiving day feast have breakfast in the morning. It will make you feel fuller and prevent you from overeating when lunchtime rolls around. My favorite breakfast to cook is peanut butter toast with banana because, it is packed with protein.
Stick to a Workout Routine
I usually try to workout at least 5 times a week. But during holidays when I'm traveling and finishing up finals this number begins to dwindle. To stay committed I plan my workout schedule at the start of the week. My gym offers a variety of exercise classes so I feel more motivated to stick to a schedule.
© Copyright 2017 Rachael Maurais
Since my brother and his wife moved to Austin a few years ago, I have fallen in love with the city. Every time I visit we eat amazing food, dance the night away on 6th Street, and shop until we can't anymore on South Congress. This city is full of hipsters and some of the best live music in the country. Here is a list of some of my favorite places to explore in Austin. Have you guys ever been to Texas?
Graffiti Park at Castle Hill
Be prepared for the biggest and most colorful wall mural you have ever seen. Hipsters, artists, and teens spray paint the walls at Castle Hill on a daily basis. If you’re feeling brave take a quick hike to the top for some of the coolest views of downtown Austin.
The Capital Building
The amount of history in Texas blows my mind! If you can’t make it to The Alamo in San Antonio, the Capital building in downtown is also beautiful to explore. You can take a self guided tour or walk through with an expert that will give you all the insight.
Barton Springs Pool
If you are looking for a place to cool down in the hot Texas heat, I highly recommend hanging out at the Barton Spring Pool. Spend the day exploring the 358 acres of trails and wildlife at Zilker Park, which lies adjacent to the man-made spring. They also offering paddle-boarding and kayaking if that is more up your alley.
After taking a short drive through what feels like the Hollywood Hills of Austin, Mount Bonnell stands out prominently. Overlooking the Colorado River and Lake Austin, you can get some killer views of the city from this vantage point. The hike to the top is nice and short, and if your lucky maybe you will get to see Matthew McConaughey sipping his morning coffee from a mansion. (A girl can dream right?)
Jo's Coffee Shop on South Congress
Known as the SoCo shopping district, South Congress is an iconic part of the Austin. Lined with amazing shops, food trucks, boutique hotels, and restaurants it is the place to be. Looking for a cliché place to take an Instragam photo? The wall on the side of Jo's Coffee Shop on South Congress Avenue is the perfect spot (plus there coffee isn't half bad).
Lady Bug Lake Trails
This is the perfect Saturday morning spot to relax and walk your pup. You are guaranteed to see dozens of cute dogs jumping into the Colorado River, and might even make a few friends along the way. The trails are great for hiking or walking alongside the lush greenery and peaceful riverfront.
It is no secret to my family or friends that I have been a vegetarian my entire life. Growing up my mom worked in the organic food business. After learning the ins and outs of the meat industry, she made the decision to eat a plant based diet. I was two years old at the time, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I have never had the desire to eat meat or fish, because there are so many wonderful alternatives. If you are thinking about making the switch or just feel like getting more veggies into your diet, these suggestions should spark your hunger.
Vegetable Pad Thai
This recipe seemed intimidating to me at first, but it is honestly so simple... Pick up some rice noodles, peanuts, and limes to get the most important elements. Mix together soy sauce, vegetable broth, brown sugar, and red chili paste in a jar. Once the noodles are done cooking pour over the noodles add scrambled eggs and stir-fried veggies with scallion for extra flavor.
I order this dish nine times out of ten at any Italian restaurant! Cook up some al dante fettuccine and add your favorite tomato sauce. Dip the eggplant slices with beaten eggs, bread crumbs, and shredded mozzarella. Bake for around 35 minutes until golden brown, and bon appetite!
Whenever I do a cleanse, it can be so hard to feel satisfied from just eating fruits and veggies. To prevent my body from going into a craze and raiding the fridge, I make a rainbow salad. It has almost every antioxidant and vitamin you need to kick your butt into shape. I add hummus and olive oil on top for added flavor. Taste the rainbow!
Whether homemade or bought from a jar at the store, I am obsessed with pesto. I always have a fresh basil plant growing in my kitchen so it is tempting to add it to a lot of my dishes. I usually pair my multigrain pasta with a light salad with arugula, cranberries, and walnuts. The best part about this dish is that it takes under 20 minutes to cook!
If you want an easy meal that will get you through Monday-Friday I highly recommend vegetable wraps. You can chop all the vegetables ahead of time, and when you are ready to eat heat the multigrain tortillas in a skillet. Sometimes I add Mexican cheese or brown rice to mix it up during the week. This is my go-to when I am running short on time or want something easy.
© Copyright 2017 Rachael Maurais
Welcome to my blog, my name is Rachael. I'm a twenty-something year old from southern New Hampshire. I'm studying marketing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Follow me as I adventure through my senior year.